The Shift of Ages Series #1: There is No Time Like NOW to Get Involved!
Before you start reading this fact-filled, extremely diverse compilation - which took me at least 20 hours to put together as much of its content didn't come from stuff ERN subscribers recommended to me - give a look at this short video and try to take in the full meaning of its message... You'll be bowled over and blown away!
P.S. There are 7 "Note from Jean" comments in this one ;-)
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This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/ShiftAges1.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 44,000 words and 286 links provided.
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In case you never saw this, here is the Mission Statement for the Earth Rainbow Network. It is still pretty much relevant today...
The Earth Rainbow Network was formed in January 1997 by a small group of people interested to use the approaching millennial celebrations as a catalyst to unify the world. By cooperating with a wide range of people and organizations, we hope to co-create a sustainable future for the entire community of Life on Earth.
With the collaboration of people in countries around the world, we are therefore offering a way to cooperate in co-creating a massive shift of consciousness on this planet towards peace, unity and a sustainable relationship with all other Life forms, including our living planet.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!"
* We will strive to help unify the world and bring Peace on Earth.
* We commit ourselves to support all creative, cooperative endeavors advancing the following goals:
- To promote life-sustaining spiritual values.
- To make the world a better place for every living being.
- To unify humanity beyond all cultural differences.
- To inspire caring and respect for one another.
- To share the world's bounties more evenly.
- To safeguard the environment.
- To BE a world family.
The Earth Renaissance The power of an idea whose time has come
The Earth Rainbow Network A tool to serve the Great Spirit of Life
"Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"
"Obama brings a healing and uplifting spiritual quality to our politics at the very time when our worst enemy is fear. For eight years we've been ruled by a stunted fear-filled mediocrity of a little liar who has expanded his power on the basis of creating fear in others. Fearless Obama is the cure. He speaks a litany of hope rather than a litany of terror."
"Dearest Jean!! Thank you for putting this so well. I've sent it out to all my contacts, and I sooooo appreciate your caring words and, yes, this is a time to continue with the momentum we've harnessed to elect this person, to do the real work which now must begin in earnest. We cannot let up!! We are rolling along quickly, and I know the people of this world are waking up to the fact that what's ahead involves us all, and will take us all to keep moving in order to see our vision become a reality on this material realm. I so want to see all the community centers, which were created to help elect Obama, continue to stay open for our communities, and be used for projects which we would so benefit from in having a place to go for direction and organization. Could you put this idea out there before we close it all and go home, thinking all is well? Thanks again for your support during this time of change for our country."
- Bruce Cummings (email@example.com)
"Let us share our heart's gratitude, our hands energy of service, our intrinsic unity as one human family, the secret of love's power, the stability of hope, and the light that opens the way ahead. Let us make sure this season's opportunity is seized with our most noble qualities for it is by living these qualities that the new President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama has come to serve. Let us serve together. Gratefully."
"You have outdone yourself with this last enewsletter. You have recognized the spiritual essence of this magnificent time in the United States, and it spreads across the world. The vibrational level and consciousness has risen and all can feel it. Blessings to you. Your wisdom is appreciated. "
- Bev Sines (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"I love the "Always Hope" series that you have introduced. This will help us all maintain an uplifting vision in co-creation of our collective experience. We are all being abundantly blessed."
- Rishael Sisler (email@example.com)
"In the wake of election passion, is it time for We The People to co-create a new covenant, to inspire and unite even enemies toward a new paradigm where ALL can win? Are We The People ready to reach higher, dream bigger, and love deeper? Some possibilities are offered HERE and HERE. Perhaps a huge event in DC could launch such a movement... And a prayer for oneness... I've really appreciated your opening statements in the last few compilations. Felt very significant."
- Carl Landsness (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Halelujah!! The reality that Barack Obama is the president of the USA is a prophetic sign that we have shifted as a nation and are waking up as a planet. There is something truly remarkable about this man. He is much more than a president, he is a sacred Presence. You can hear it in the sound of his voice and the peaceful confident look on his face. He simply causes you to relax and find a deeper trust inside yourself. You can just FEEL that this man knows the power of God is within him, guiding his way in every moment and breath.Wherever you live on the planet, Barack is going to make your life better. He is a magnificent beacon of Light with solid values and devotion to creating a more enlightened world. His mission is to help us all shift into a new paradigm of thinking, feeling and being. He's here to inspire us all to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Listening to his acceptance speech all I could think was this man is going to transform this entire world. All I ask is that you send him a little love everyday. Support him with your positive thoughts and vision. mailto:email@example.com">Send him a letter of gratitude and support, for he's here to lead us into world peace and true unification."
- Jafree Ozwald -- Forwarded by Ed Elkin (EdElkin@aol.com)
"History will record this as the night the souls of black folk, living and dead, wept and laughed, screamed and danced releasing 400 years of pent up emotion. They were the souls of those whose bodies littered the bottom of the Atlantic, whose families were torn asunder, whose names were erased. They were those who knew the terror of being set upon by men with clubs, of being trapped in a torched house, of dangling at the end of a rough rope. They were the souls of those who knew the humiliation of another persons spit trailing down their faces, of being treated like children well into their twilight years, of being derided and despised for the beauty God gave them. They were also the tears of those for whom Yes We Can, Obamas campaign slogan, took on a broader, more profound meaning. Yes We Can escape the prison of lowered expectations and the cycles of poor choices. Yes We Can rise above history and beyond hatred. Yes We Can ascend to Martin Luther Kings mountain top and see the promised land where dreams are fulfilled, where the best man wins and where justice prevails. During this election African-Americans, their hearts weary from disappointment, dared to hope and dream again. Tonight their dream has been realized. Whether or not you agree with Barack Obamas politics, there is no denying that his election represents a seminal moment in the African-American narrative and a giant leap forward on the road to Americas racial reconciliation. In fact everyone, regardless of race, should feel free to shed a tear and be proud of how far our country has come."
"With the political changes that will follow the election of a new President, there is a renewed interest in life and the expectation of a new path being taken that will lead to peace amongst all people. Can you see how the divine plan is working out exactly as intended, and how you plumb the depths of chaos until the Light is powerful enough to lift you up again. The path of Humanity is destined to take you out of the control of the dark forces. Already they plan to influence the new President, but they reckon without his determination to create a new paradigm that brings fairness and honesty into politics. There will be much cleansing within the halls of power, none more so than the many organisations that have supported the Illuminati. Once the people see the changes for good taking place, it will result in an upsurge of support for them and there will be no place for the dark ones to hide. There are souls of good intent in all walks of life, and they need a sign that their day is coming. It will release all of the pent up energy and direct it into reshaping your society, more in line with the model that will carry you onto a new path. We find that if you give people hope they will respond, and join in wholeheartedly with the moves to carry Humanity forward into the New Age. It will not take long before they realise, that they hold the power to change all that is out of balance and needs bringing onto the Light. (...) It has been written that the dark shall concede to the Light, and so allow the final stage of this cycle to go ahead. Therefore you can remove your attention from the dark forces and their demise, and focus on manifesting your vision of the future. Live your Light now, as you do not have to wait for it to bring the changes about. By doing so you will be helping the Light to become fully grounded upon Earth."
"I just wanted to leave a message of Hope for all of us and after reading realize for sure it is WE together that can create change, there is no other way and to learn to love one another, learning how to work together in harmony and love. I remember listening to my grandmother and now understand her sadness, she was a wise women with a lot of heart. Believe she passed it on to me as I sit here reading and knowing how we let the good pass us by greed, such a shame, we do have a chance to change the process together. Blessings to you all in love."
- Jackie O'Neil (firstname.lastname@example.org) Message posted in the ERN guestbook
"As for the point you raise about the whole global warming issue, my take on this is that there are more aspects to this than what meets the eye. On the one hand, I see humanity as indissociably, albeit mostly unconsciously, connected with Gaiawe are one with all Life, literally and therefore the efforts of those trying to get humanity to reduce its impact on the biosphere are themselves a reflection of Gaia striving to self-regulate the growing imbalance in its dynamically maintained equilibrium. On the other hand, Gaia as a sentient being, has sent a "distress call" to the universe and the sun has been responding through dialing down its overall output thus allowing us all a chance to fix the problems we have created through our negligence and lack of awareness of the consequences of our individual and collective acts. Without this reprieve, our planetary fever would have been much worst at this point. We are indeed going towards a milder climate globally, one way of another, but it is in our own best interest to make this a "soft landing" rather than a hard one. Of course, this is oversimplifying as there is much more in play and at stake, but I think it helps us grasp the larger perspective and behave with a keener sense of our individual responsibility for the highest good of all. To find out more about our oneness with Gaia, may I refer you to the ecospiritual novel I wrote in 1987 - The Immortal Child - after experiencing in meditation a life-changing experience with the motherly presence of Gaia. In that awe-inspiring moment I was given the mission to serve as an instrument to write a book that would enable the readers to experience what it is like to feel the planet - and ultimately the entire universe - as one single living being."
Note from Jean: This is a reply I gave to a comment by ERN subscriber Maribel Todd (email@example.com) about people still campaigning to help mitigate the Earth's global warming.
"Dear Fellow Lovers of Mother Earth, wherever you are it is my delight to initiate Earth Chant Full Moon Toning. You are invited at each Full Moon to let your heart sing, tone or play an instrument which brings you joy, either at 8a.m. or 8p.m. sending your sounds of Love into and around Mother Earth. This may be done individually or in a group. Imagine that there are many other folks around the globe creating their love songs at the same time and that we are all powerfully joined together connecting our sounds to create harmonies of Peace and Love, as our mutual gift to our Mother the Earth. I have a feeling she would be delighted. Could you also please give your support by letting other folks know about Earth Chant Full Moon Toning. I suggest that you mark your calendar as the intention is to continue this loving sonic focus at each Full Moon."
- Suggested by Ulli Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Note from Jean: Should you decide to join in this wonderful initiative, feel free to let Ulli know about it as I'm sure she will be delighted to be informed.
1. Feedback on There Is Always Hope
2. What an Amazing Moment!
3. Can Obama Stop the Bush Administration's Final Economic Heist?
4. Who's going to Finance the rising US National Debt ?
5. Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War
6. The New Dawn
7. Is Obama Screwing His Base with Rahm Emanuel Selection?
8. Obama Will Be One of The Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents
9. The Obama Wave
10. A Suggestion for Veterans Day
11. Executive on a Mission: Saving the Planet
12. The Olive Branch - A Global People Movement of Nonviolence
13. Humanity Healing's Twelve Keys of Spiritual Activism
14. Don't kill me,' she screamed. Then they stoned her to death
15. Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging
16. Rise in jellyfish swarms hints at oceans' decline
17. Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship
Office of the President-Elect - Of the People, By the People http://change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople
Tell us your ideas and help us solve the biggest challenges facing our country -- Throughout the Presidential Transition Project, this website will be your source for the latest news, events, and announcements so that you can follow the setting up of the Obama Administration. And just as this historic campaign was, from the beginning, about you -- the transition process will offer you opportunities to participate in redefining our government. Come back often as we define new programs and possibilities to engage and be part of this administration. NOTE from Jean: From what I just saw there I can say it bodes well for the future of the US and the world. These guys REALLY have their act together! Impressive and really empowering! Truly "Of the People, By the People"! Check also the the White House Transition Project and the Presidential Transition Team and ...
An American Moment: Your Vision http://change.gov/page/s/yourvision
Start right now. Share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country. Where should we start together?
America Serves http://change.gov/americaserves/
"When you choose to serve -- whether it's your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood -- you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That's why it's called the American dream." The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nations challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Agenda disappears from Obama Web site (Nov 10, 2008) http://www.prisonplanet.com/agenda-disappears-from-obama-web-site.html
Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site. Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq and immigration to taxes and urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign Web site, www.BarackObama.com. Instead, the official agenda on Change.gov has been boiled down to one vague paragraph proclaiming a plan to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives. NOTE from Jean: The following sentence is what it first said: "Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year." which sounded like a Mandatory National Service! Read the new version above where "by developing a plan to require" now reads "by setting a goal". Someone else wrote on this: "I've been following the media propaganda pushing mandatory National Service for some time. Read the Time magazine article "A Time To Serve, The Case For National Service" if you want to see absolutely frightening propaganda in action. Mandatory National Service was fully supported by both Obama and McCain."
Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions http://www.truthout.org/110908C
Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith, The Washington Post: "Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team. A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration."
Can Barack Obama Undo Bush's Tangled Legal Legacy? http://www.truthout.org/110808B
Marisa Taylor and Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers: "When Barack Obama becomes president in January, he'll confront the controversial legal legacy of the Bush administration. From expansive executive privilege to hard-line tactics in the war on terrorism, Obama must decide what he'll undo and what he'll embrace. The stakes couldn't be higher."
It Still Felt Good the Morning After http://www.truthout.org/110908D
Frank Rich, The New York Times: "On the morning after a black man won the White House, America's tears of catharsis gave way to unadulterated joy. Our nation was still in the same ditch it had been the day before, but the atmosphere was giddy. We felt good not only because we had breached a racial barrier as old as the Republic. Dawn also brought the realization that we were at last emerging from an abusive relationship with our country's 21st-century leaders. The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place - in cities all over America."
Obama Win Causes Obsessed Backers To See How Empty Lives Are http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_95F5e-Ac
The revelation that Obama's candidacy was the only thing that gave their lives any meaning has caused many supporters to wander aimlessly, unsure of what to do with themselves.
HILARIOUS ONION SPOOF!
America has Truly Overcome by Wangari Maathai (7 November 2008) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=§ion=opinion&xfile=data/opinion/2008/November/opinion_November25.xml
This morning I am going to Uhuru Park in Nairobi to plant a tree. A plaque on it will read: This was planted to mark the moment Barack Obama was elected President of the United States of America. It will stand next to the tree that Obama planted when he visited last year, and will be a lasting testament to this historic moment: a wonderful thing for America and the world. Across Kenya, people are celebrating the fact that a son of this nation has become president. Many stayed up all night. There is such a feeling of connection with him that a national holiday has been declared. Kenyans know he is first and foremost American, but at the same time someone we can call a relative. (...) When you look at the people receiving Obama in Chicago, they are white, black, yellow - exactly as envisaged by Dr King. The US truly has overcome. And with the global reaction it seems like the whole world is joining in that overcoming. This is one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Americans have elected a person of extraordinary character and ability, who also happens to be black. It is a moment of greatness for all humanity.
Obama to the rescue? (November 7, 2008) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/11/uncle-obama-to-the-rescue.html
Barely 48 hours have passed since the US election result came in, and now it's as if everyone thinks they've got a rich uncle in the White House. Yesterday, Jacques Diouf, head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization wrote to Barack Obama pleading with him to make solving the global food crisis a top priority. Next, Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Obama had a responsibility to lead the US back into the fold of international climate negotiations. The latest high-profile figure to knock on Obama's door is Al Gore. His team has pushed out an add which boldly asks "Now what?" and declares part of the answer must be a new and improved US power grid. Gore would like to see the US take a leaf out of Germany's book and set up a national "feed-in" power grid where anyone generating renewable energy in their backyard can sell surplus to the grid. It may all come to pass. Meanwhile rumours are circulating that Gore could be appointed to the new cabinet as 'climate czar'. Not sure how reliable they are - last I heard Gore was very happy tackling climate change from outside government offices. But the world of politics is notoriously fickle.
A Kennedy back in the White House? (November 6, 2008) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/11/a-kennedy-back-in-the-white-ho.html
President-elect Barack Obama has short listed firebrand environmental lawyer Robert F Kennedy, Jr as a potential head of the US Environmental Protection Agency according to the Washington Post and Bloomberg.As a prosecuting attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and environmental watchdog Riverkeeper, Kennedy - the nephew of former US President John F Kennedy - boasts an impressive track record as protector of the nation's waters, air and open spaces. One could even argue that he has already served as the de facto EPA head for the last 8 years, as Bush appointees used the Cabinet seat to plunder public lands for oil and gas, gut the Endangered Species Act, and block CO2 emission regulations. CLIP
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. How we got here - Strident critic of the US disinformation media and MUCH MORE! - Amazing off-the-cuff speech! http://tinyurl.com/5cr2w5
Since he's being considered to head the EPA... check out how great he is. The absolute best speech on how we got to where we are today, bar none. Should be mandatory viewing for every American. A few years old, but still current, I trust his facts and history are correct. Referring to Bush Admin. And the liberal vs. right media. NOTE from Jean: His command of the facts - historic and current - is absolutely stunning. His eloquent views are the absolute truth. This video is an absolute MUST watch! If this man is put at the helm of the EPA by Obama, it should put to rest all worries about what this president intends to do.
High Environmental Hopes Riding on Obama's Green Promises http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2008/2008-11-05-091.asp
WASHINGTON, DC, November 5, 2008 (ENS) - Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama and his team with messages of hope and pledges of support rolled in today from environmental and sustainable business groups across the political spectrum. The Sierra Club said in a statement, "If the Obama administration is as smartly, deliberately, and thoughtfully run as his presidential campaign, our country and our future are in very capable hands." Obama declared in his victory speech, "We cannot go back to the old way of doing things."The groups agree and each organization - from the investors of the Ceres Group to the grassroots members of Defenders of Wildlife - has words of advice for Obama along with their congratulations and compliments. Many groups are reminding Obama of his pledge to make clean energy his top priority, to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, kickstart economic recovery, create millions of jobs, and curb climate change. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense said, "This election offers us the greatest opportunity we have ever had to change course on global warming." (...) "The new administration and Congress must shun the excuse that it is 'too expensive' to act to curb global warming, to treat our resources as limited, or to end our allegiance to high-carbon fuels," said Lubber. "It is too expensive not to act, and the cost of inaction in a future world of 9 billion people is what Barack Obama last night called "a planet in peril." "It is a world in a headlong rush toward climate instability, water scarcity, high food prices, deeper global poverty, and locked in a perilous addiction to oil and coal," she said. "The reward for action is a green and sustainable economy that creates new business opportunities, trains a legion of new workers, helps heal the environment and assures our future," Lubber said. "We believe investors, companies and those who work for them are just waiting for the signals from Washington to begin this work. Those signals should come quickly - in the first 12 months of the new administration." CLIP
Barack Obama Will Make You Look and Feel 20 Years Younger (11/5/2008) http://www.utne.com/2008-11-05/Politics/Barack-Obama-Will-Make-You-Look-and-Feel-20-Years-Younger.aspx?blogid=30
Last night, Barack Obama announced that "a new dawn of American leadership is at hand." What will that mean for everyone else? According to Jason Kottke's webpage, when Obama wins, "everyone will be 20 years younger and 20 pounds thinner." Also, "all gov't buildings will be made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper... and Hope." Inspired in part by Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle, the site reposts Twitter messages with the words, "When Obama wins." And, like the video below, it's a reminder of what the expectations of a Obama presidency might be.
Check also his other speeches in the additional video links on the right.
Paul Krugman: The Obama Agenda http://www.truthout.org/110908Z
Paul Krugman, The New York Times: "Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, is a date that will live in fame (the opposite of infamy) forever. If the election of our first African-American president didn't stir you, if it didn't leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there's something wrong with you. But will the election also mark a turning point in the actual substance of policy? Can Barack Obama really usher in a new era of progressive policies? Yes, he can."
The Climate for Change http://www.truthout.org/110908A
Al Gore, The New York Times: "The inspiring and transformative choice by the American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president lays the foundation for another fateful choice that he - and we - must make this January to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis. The electrifying redemption of America's revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet."
Obama team announces rules on lobbyists (Nov 11) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_el_pr/transition_lobbyists;_ylt=AvhTibzBUqvZYE.CS1JnHkMV6w8F
WASHINGTON President-elect Obama, who said lobbyists would not run his White House, signaled Tuesday that lobbyists could serve in his transition so long as their activities do not involve areas of policy they have tried to influence in the past year.John Podesta, a top transition aide to Obama, said federal lobbyists will be prohibited from any lobbying while they are at work on the transition. The transition office said in a statement, "if someone has lobbied in the last 12 months, they are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied."Podesta said federal lobbyists may not contribute financially to the transition. He called the guidelines the toughest ever imposed by a presidential transition. But they seem to give lobbyists somewhat more leeway than Obama suggested they would have when he campaigned for the presidency. CLIP
Health Care Can't Wait http://www.truthout.org/110908B
Edward M. Kennedy, The Washington Post: "President-elect Barack Obama has issued a clarion call for action on health care. His practical and thoughtful proposals draw from our Massachusetts experience and add important measures to improve quality and reduce costs. His plan includes crucial investments in modernizing the use of information technology in health care. He calls for a new emphasis on prevention and wellness, because the best way to treat a disease is to prevent it from striking. I'm sure opponents will dust off the same old slogans they have used to try to block every major advance in health care."
Will Ahmed No-Pack Rain on Obama's Parade? (11 November 2008) http://www.truthout.org/111108J
If state officials across the country ever count all the absentee and provisional ballots, Obama's popular vote might equal his landslide victory in the Electoral College, adding weight to his overwhelming mandate to fix the economy, end our dependence on foreign oil, create green jobs, provide health care and mend our broken schools. But how much will all our votes count if, at a time of reduced resources, the Obama administration allows foreign conflicts to sink his promises on the home front? Warfare or health care - this could become the defining choice for the new president, far more decisive than whether he will govern from the left or the center. Will Obama keep America's military commitments and military spending in check? Or will he see his best hopes for America lost in an ever-deepening quagmire in Afghanistan, an unnecessary war with Iran and an absurd arms race with the Russians? Afghanistan and the frontier areas of Pakistan could prove Obama's biggest test. During his presidential campaign, he strongly advocated sending in more troops, arguing that we had to finish the war against al-Qaeda that George W. Bush had abandoned in his rush to war against Iraq. This allowed Obama to defend withdrawing troops from Iraq without sounding like a dove, especially when he added that he would attack Osama bin Laden in Pakistani even if the Pakistanis refused to give us permission. Now, the crunch has come. In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban are showing new strength and the small escalation that Obama wanted looks like only a down payment on a major, ongoing commitment of blood and money. Worse, no one who knows anything about Afghanistan believes that a foreign military occupation has any chance of success. To the contrary, the more troops and inevitable killing of civilians, the more the country's Pashtun majority will turn to the Taliban as their national saviors. So, why play out a losing hand? Obama's answer is that we need to finish off Osama bin Laden and deny al-Qaeda a sanctuary from which to plan future terrorist attacks? Think that through. Making a martyr of Osama will hardly reduce the very real threat of Islamist terrorism, while our current effort could easily drive a nuclear Pakistan into chaos. CLIP
The Case for U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5658
International law is clear on this subject. No country may occupy another indefinitely and certainly not without the will of the people being occupied. If an Obama administration truly thinks that withdrawing U.S. and NATO troops would be a bad thing for Afghans, hold a referendum to see who would like the troops to remain.
MUCH MORE about Obama in the main articles in this compilation
SPECIAL WIKI FEATURE
The fast development of the various Wikimedia, all-volunteer based, users generated free services in the past few years is an extraordinary phenomenon worth exploring! This is a stellar example of what selfless human cooperation can achieve.
The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. 2,616,338 articles in English - Started in 2001
Available in several other languages like all the other Wikipedia's sister projects featured below along with some examples of content, including this one from Wikipedia - in case you've never looked at a Wikipedia entry.
Whole Earth Catalog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Earth_Catalog
The Whole Earth Catalog was an American counterculture catalog that granted "Access to Tools" published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. Apple Inc. founder and entrepreneur Steve Jobs has described the Catalog as the conceptual forerunner of the World Wide Web.
Official website: http://www.wholeearth.com/index.php
Wikibooks is a Wikimedia community for creating a free library of educational textbooks that anyone can edit. Wikibooks began on July 10, 2003; since then Wikibooks has grown to include over 32,741 pages in a multitude of textbooks created by volunteers. Here are 2 examples...
Lucid Dreaming http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Lucid_Dreaming
This book attempts to teach you the skills that can help you to have lucid dreams - dreams in which you know that you are dreaming. Lucid dreams have been scientifically proven to exist. See scientific history. Being aware that you are dreaming, and still remaining asleep, can give you the ability to control your dreams. Lucid dreaming truly can be a fantastic experience. See the introduction for more details on what lucid dreaming is.To start with, you will find out a little on what dreaming is from the biological point of view. Then, the book will explain how to improve your dream recall so that you remember more of your dreams. Next, it will explain how to become lucid during dreams, and how to stay lucid. It will also explain how to keep yourself in the dream and prevent it from "fading". Finally, there will be some suggestions for what you could do within your lucid dreams.
Wikiquote is a free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information! The English version of Wikiquote has 16,335 pages so far with many thousands of quotations and proverbs. Some examples follow...
Quotes from Albert Einstein http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Einstein
"Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do - but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it."
"I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research."
"The seven blunders that human society commits and cause all the violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles."
Classic Tongue-twisters http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/English_tongue_twisters
"Betty Botta bought a bit o' butter. "But," said Bette, "this butter's bitter! If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter!" So Betty Botta bought a bit o' better butter and put it in her bitter batter which made Betty Botta's bitter batter a bit better."
"Mr. Shott and Mr. Nott agreed to fight a duel. Nott was shot and Shott was not, so it is better to be Shott than Nott. Shott shot the shot that shot Nott. If the shot that Shott shot which shot Nott had shot Shott and not Nott, Shott instead of Nott would have been shot and Nott would not."
Wikispecies is an open, free directory of species. It covers Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life. So far we have 160,274 taxonomic entries. Tons of wonderful pictures!...
Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. We invite teachers, students, and researchers to join us in creating open educational resources and collaborative learning communities. Set learning free with 9,321 learning resources and growing.
The following resources are not related to Wikimedia, but this is all worth exploring and using too!!
Wetpaint - Create a free website about anything you love! http://www.wetpaint.com/
A Wetpaint website is built on the power of collaborative thinking. Here, you can create websites that mix all the best features of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks into a rich, user-generated community based around the whatever-it-is that rocks your socks. A social website thats so easy to use, anyone can participate.
Scribd - Who we are http://www.scribd.com/about
Scribd is a San Francisco startup company changing the way people share documents online. You can think of Scribd as a big online library where everyone can publish original content, including you!Since Scribd launched in March 2007, it has become one of the top 300 websites on the Internet, receiving over 20 million monthly visitors. It has also accumulated over 17 billion words in its library, making it five times the size of Wikipedia.
Scribd - Topics http://www.scribd.com/topics
Topics are collections of the best documents, ebooks, and presentations on the subjects most interesting to Scribd members, based on our search results. We've created these pages to make it easier for you to quickly find the content that you're interested in.
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY
14 months in the making, 42 countries, 69 locations depicted in video and a cast of thousands. Thanks to everyone who danced with me. Make sure to click "watch in high quality" right underneath the video -- and then on the full screen icon. This got 2.4 million views on YouTube in the first week the video has been up. Now it's over 11 million views!
Video star can't stop dancing (2008-06-29) http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/jun/29/entertainment/chi-dancing-matt-0629jun29
The new Web video from Matt Harding, accidental professional dancer, is up, and it is spectacular, a cry of life and brotherhood and joy. As Harding toured the world ... filming the third installment in his "Where the Hell Is Matt?" video series, you might have thought that the trick would have played itself out. An ordinary guy doing a kind of running-in-place dance at 69 earthly locales with an ethereal song as soundtrack shouldn't be endlessly endearing and deeply inspiring. But this music-video-length wonder works in surprising ways, especially amid the predominantly crass environment of YouTube. Part of the charm of the video (also at Harding's own wherethehellismatt.com) is his new twist for it. At each stop on his latest set of travels, Harding invited locals to come dance with him. In Chicago, that meant more than 100 people bobbed up and down in front of The Bean sculpture. In Poria, Papua New Guinea, it was a handful of people in full tribal garb accompanying Harding. The collection of disparate peoples doing essentially the same pointless yet joyful thing is a reminder of what's universal in humankind. The teasing glimpse of so many gorgeous spots is a goad to renew your own passport and get moving. Part of the charm comes from the unadorned simplicity of Harding himselfhe just looks damned happy to be wherever he isand the delight that is his story. A video game designer disaffected by the industry's trend toward violence, he quit his job in early 2003 and began traveling. At the suggestion of a friend, he used the video function of a point-and-shoot digital camera and taped himself dancing at all his stops. On his return, he edited the video and e-mailed it to friends. They loved it,mailed it around, somebody posted it to a blog, and suddenly Matt Harding dancing was viral. CLIP Chck also this compilation of other Inspiring News Articles in the Major Media
UPCOMING DECEMBER COSMIC EVENT: 'A TIPPING POINT' IN CONSCIOUSNESS (10 November 200) http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=135630
(...) For those who listened to the incredible interview with Richard C. Hoagland presented by Rayelan today, the headline above may hold a deeper meaning. Richard is one of the leading authorities in the field of hyperdimensional physics - http://www.enterprisemission.com/. On today's show, Rayelan and Richard discussed an astrological gateway which is coming up this December 2008. In this upcoming cosmic moment, humanity may have the opportunity to make a hyperdimensional leap forward in consciousness to a new reality of 'infinite possibility' ... or, they may also choose the retro pathway of the old matrix which is based upon - false evidence appearing real (fear). As mentioned in a recent post, it is the collective human consciousness of the planet which is now directing our course. Are we focusing on the light of positive creative potential and possibility or on the shadow of despair. Many believe this is a moment like no other. Will we accept responsibility for what we envision each day as our future reality? I know there are many readers and agents here who understand well the principles involved in the law of attraction. CLIP
Tsunami of Hope: Excellent newsletter by Curtis Lang of the Satya Center http://www.satyacenter.com/center-newsletters-full-moon-in-taurus-2008
(...) The universe asks us to reach out to our brothers and sisters in our neighborhood, our country, and around the world, to unite our efforts with those of a community of like-minded people, in a strenuous and sustained effort to create a new society based upon caring co-operation, social justice and environmental stewardship.
Are Arizona firefighters trained for UFO, alien contact? Video: FEMA Manual Covers UFO Attacks, Crashes http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lyIbecmuLXs
Paola Harris, an investigative journalist who specializes in ufology, spoke about her interview with Paul Hellyer, the former Canadian defense minister who has gone public with his UFO views. He told her he thought Col. Corso's book, The Day After Roswell, seemed credible to him and that he recognized many of the names in it. Hellyer expressed concerns over militarizing space in order to attack ETs, and suggested instead, that we learn from these beings and enter into an "intergalactic conversation" with them. Harris also shared a report on Monsignor Corrado Balducci, who told conference goers in Rome that Mexico is "blessed" with UFO sightings. Part TWO is available at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cx8q2SiS7Pc
World-Class Astrobiologist Says "NASA's Hiding Current Life on Mars!" http://www.enterprisemission.com/Chandra-NASA-Accusation.htm
(...) "the [recently confirmed] discovery of liquid water on Mars, combined with earlier discoveries of organic substances in a meteorite that came from Mars, and also of methane in the Martian atmosphere, all point to the existence of life -- contemporary life -- on the Red Planet [emphasis added] ...." Chandra Wickramasinghe, among other things, was the inspiration for a key character in Arthur C. Clarke's provocative sequel to "2001: A Space Odyssey," "2010 - Odyssey Two." In that same Indo-Asian News Service interview, Wickramasinghe then -- quite courageously -- also calmly asserted that NASA is deliberately withholding this explosive information "... for political and sociological considerations."
ENTERPRISE: The Mission http://www.enterprisemission.com/mission.html
Public understanding of major achievements of the Space Age over the past 30 years -- carried out by both the former Soviet Union and the United States -- increasingly seems to have been nothing more than a carefully constructed "version" of a much more extraordinary truth.Even Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, in a recent White House ceremony, hinted at the existence of such information, when he cryptically ended his prepared remarks by saying, "...we have only completed a beginning; we leave you much that is undone... there are... breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of truths protective layers. There are places to go beyond belief..."Space imaging data, made available to the Mars Mission (13-year independent space research group) investigation of these possibilities, from a variety of official sources (including increasing "inside leaks"), now strongly suggests the presence (on at least two worlds -- Mars and the Moon) of extensive ancient artificial structures in the solar system. The most celebrated of these potential "ancient artificial structures" is known to millions as the "Face on Mars" -- a mile long, 1500-foot high Martian landform that eerily resembles a humanoid face, lying in a Martian desert called "Cydonia"... where no "face" belongs.Nearby, lie equally provocative structures which resemble vast, formerly enclosed, ancient and now crumbling "high tech pyramids"... possible former "environmental arcologies" left by someone who tried to make Mars "home"... long before our fleeting, recent visits.(...) The recent "re-discovery" of an official government study ("The Brookings Report" as reported in the New York Times, December 15, 1960), predicting NASA's future acquisition of precisely this type of highly controversial solar system data ("[ancient ET] artifacts left at some time... on the Moon, Mars, or Venus..."), coupled with Brookings' strong recommendation to withhold such information from the American people because of fears of "severe social instability," is only one more piece of mounting, contemporary evidence now suggesting the existence of an extra-ordinary, wide-spread, global "official coverup" of this entire subject. CLIP
9/11: Energy budget and molecular dissociation of the World Trade Center (WTC) by Independent scientist Leuren Moret//CANADA -- Important 9/11 Transcript http://tinyurl.com/6n65et
Transcript of Judy Woods Interview with Richard Syrett Fri Sept 19, 2008 on CFRB 1010 AM Radios - The Richard Syrett Show. -- BERKELEY, CA - Sound science is the only approach to understanding what happened at the WTC on 911. The energy budget of molecular dissociation required to "disappear" two tall buildings as they collapsed is the answer to what happened on 911 at the WTC. Until the energy budget is addressed, which would be required to turn two buildings into nanoparticles (which are invisible and are permanently suspended in the atmosphere), the discussion continues to be based on bathtub chemistry and steam engine physics which will never give any answers to the sophisticated and exotic energy technologies now available for "special projects". Steven Jones told me in Vancouver at the 911 conference that his particle samples came from within 25' of the WTC buildings. Well anyone knows the settling velocity of particles is related to size, and nanoparticles have such a small settling velocity that motion of air particles keeps them permanently suspended - therefore Jones samples are the BIG CHUNKS and the huge volume of nanoparticles produced simply disappeared into thin air. CLIP
Senior Corporate Executives Warned to Leave N.Y. on 9/11 (November 3, 2008) http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/articles/2008/11/03/senior_executives_warned_911.htm
Foreign Policy Journal has learned that senior executives of a major U.S. international corporation may have been warned to leave New York on September 11, 2001. According to an inside source, one of the senior executives of the corporation told him beforehand that "something big" was going to occur and so other corporate executives would be travelling out of New York. CLIP
NEW footage of the WTC tower collapses http://tinyurl.com/6pg9hq
Scroll down the page 3/4. The video of Building 7 shows a series of windows being blown out in a perfectly vertical line for several floors just prior to free fall collapse.
Warnings from world leaders all within 72 hours (10 November 2008) A FALSE FLAG OPERATION TO JUSTIFY NUKING IRAN? TRY AS THEY MIGHT, IT SIMPLY WON'T BE ALLOWED... http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=135637
Warnings from world leaders all within 72 hours "Australian PM Kevin Rudd - Nuke strike would make 9/11 insignificant and other weird warnings""Over the last 72 hours there has been a strange melange of cryptic messages leaked from world political leaders about what could be in store for America over the next few months. These predictions of impending doom come from England, France, Australia and the United States. Biden told the top Democratic donors that a generated crisis will develop within six months and Barak Obama will need the help of community leaders to control the population as unpopular decisions are made and Americans resist. (...) Lord West, adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on national security says, There is another great plot building up again and we are monitoring. It dipped slightly and is now rising again within the context of severe. The threat is huge. We have done all the things that we need to do, but the threat is building - the complex plots are building, Across the channel from England you have the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warning the press that he believes Israel will strike Iran before they can develope nuclear weapons completley ignoring the fact that the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBradei, said that Iran lacks the key components to produce an atomic weapon. The devastation that could be wreaked by one major nuclear weapons incident alone puts 9/11 and almost everything else [in] to the category of the insignificant, Rudd said. Why are there so many high level politicians around the world in a seemingly coordinated effort warning of huge threats and developing crisis that may include a nuclear device? Are they preparing the masses for an event or series of events that have been in the making for some time? Is the public being prepared for new and forming enemies with a potential to plunge the entire world into war?
Brzezinski: Obama may be tested (Nov 10, 2008) http://www.prisonplanet.com/brzezinski-obama-may-be-tested.html
A former US national security adviser says President-elect Barack Obama may be tested by terrorists after he takes office on Jan. 20.Its possible. Theres no way of predicting that. Its a possibility, but its by no means a certainty, former Carter administration national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. Brzezinski said that history shows that every new US president is tested by transitional challenges and circumstances. CLIP
Warning of new bin Laden attack (Nov 10, 2008) http://www.prisonplanet.com/warning-of-new-bin-laden-attack.html
OSAMA bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will outdo by far September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported.- bin Laden planning US attack- Goal to outdo September 11- al-Qaeda reinforces training campsAnd according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a positive phase, reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next wave of action against the West.The warning, on the front page of an Arabic newspaper published in London, Al-Quds Al-Arabi - and widely reported in the major Italian papers - quotes a person described as being very close to al-Qaeda in Yemen. CLIP
Secrets of the CIA: A Powerful, Revealing Turner Home Entertainment Documentary http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8085945499556832271
"The CIA is a state-sponsored terrorists association. You don't look at people as human beings. They are nothing but pieces on the chessboard." -- Verne Lyon, former CIA agent in revealing documentary Secrets of the CIA. Five former CIA agents describe how their initial pride and enthusiasm at serving their nation turned to anguish and remorse, as they realized that they were actually subverting democracy and killing innocent civilians all in the name "national security" and promoting foreign policy agendas. This powerful documentary is a rare and remarkable look at the results of unbridled secrecy and the lengths to which government will go to achieve questionable foreign policy goals.
Frightening New Information About Sarah Palin Emerges (November 7, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/story/106197/frightening_new_information_about_sarah_palin_emerges/
With the campaign over, terrifying new information has started to emerge about Sarah Palin.- As Sarah Palin positions herself for what will undoubtedly be a long career in the national spotlight -- whether as the new messiah of social conservatives or a permanent fixture on Fox News -- damning new information about the former VP candidate is beginning to emerge.Much of it comes from disgruntled former McCain staffers, who since Election Day have engaged in nonstop grousing and finger-pointing, most of it at Palin. Other shocking news about the VP candidate is being released by reporters who were embedded with the McCain campaign.The new revelations, ranging from the unbelievable extent of her foreign policy ignorance, to her deeply unethical behavior on the campaign trail, are a testament to just how big a bullet Americans dodged on Election Day. CLIP
Uncounted - Bruce Funk: Why Diebold's Disreputable Distinction is Dead On Deserved http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zwHX7zDVkuc
A wonderful example of a man with absolute integrity and yet more evidence of a corporate takeover of democracy in America.
Lord Kuthumi: 11:11 Turning of the Tide
(Master Kuthumi's exercise to heal old fears, beliefs and attitudes about yourself) http://thelightweaver.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=219&Itemid=1
(...) Beloved ones this key date activation for the 11th of the 11th 2008 is a very important one. This is a time of the turning of the tide. (...) The reason why this key date is so important is because between the 11th and 13th of November the doorways and all the access points that the Dark Lord has used to gain entry to the world will be sealed, now the world I speak of is the world of the fluid energy, the fluid paradigm.. The time of darkness is coming to a close and in this case you are ending the journey through the Dark Age, which we refer to as the age of ignorance. (...) Some of you are already aware of the fact that a number of us, the Ascended Masters, are moving into a much higher vibration as a result of our own progress and we have been granted permission to bring those of you who are ready with us, not into the same realm, but you are being lifted into a higher realm than you have been in before however, it requires an enormous amount of responsibility of the self; self awareness, self love and self acceptance, for now you are being groomed to emerge as the true beacons of light of the Golden Age.From the 21st of December 2008 to the 11th of October 2011 your life path, your life mission and your purpose, if you want to call it that, will take on a whole new meaning, it will explode open like the blossom greeting the first rays of the sun and this is when you will understand why we have been so emphatic regarding mastering the self by accepting self, loving self and taking full responsibility for the self because this is where everything that you have learnt must be applied. In this new realm there is no room for the lower frequency human behaviour, you are emerging as a more enlightened human being and you create the new patterns. It is your destiny to do this, which is why you are doing this today. (...) Your experiences are changing beyond your wildest imaginings. You are now penetrating a hymen of sorts. It is this new world that will show you that all the teachings you have been following have always been preparing you for that moment. You will also realise that the inhibiting qualities of the ignorant human being was unable to and is unable to comprehend what lies beyond this hymen. We use the word hymen specifically because it is virgin territory that you are entering, and this hymen only you can penetrate because it is a world that has been created by you, with you and for you. There are billions of others that are working with a similar template but there is only one unique entry point for each of you, but the old access points must be securely sealed in order for you to penetrate this "virgin world". CLIP
A Last Push To Deregulate: White House to Ease Many Rules (October 31, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/30/AR2008103004749.html
The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January. The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms. Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining. Once such rules take effect, they typically can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis. "They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration's penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge "a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts." CLIP
Lame Duck Bush Takes Aim at Environmental Protections (11/7/2008) http://www.utne.com/2008-11-07/Environment/Lame-Duck-Bush-Takes-Aim-at-Environmental-Protections.aspx?blogid=26
As Jake Mohan wisely reminded us earlier this week, George Bush still has a few more months in office, which is plenty of time for him to do some serious harm to environmental protections. Bush recently aimed his firing squad at the Endangered Species Act (and not for the first time). According to High Country News, he attempted to dismantle the act like this: Back in August, the administration proposed tweaking the law to give federal agencies the discretion to opt out of independent biological oversight when considering new projects such as highways and electrical transmission lines. The proposal would also let the feds pass on considering individual projects' global warming impacts on species. Such changes usually take months or even years to accomplish, but by late October, the Interior Department had 15 staffers slamming through some 200,000 public comments (not including another 100,000 form letters) in a mere 32 hours Additionally, Bush is pushing changes that will ease pollution limits for power plants, allow factory farms to self-regulate their water pollution, reduce buffer zones around streams designed to protect them from mining waste, and open millions of acres of unspoiled public land in Utah to oil and gas exploration. On the last point, the New York Times writes:This sort of pillage would be hard to justify even if Utah's reserves were large enough to make a difference, which they are not And even if those reserves were worth going after, it would still be essential to protect areas of special cultural, scenic and recreational value. So don't forget to keep an eye on the Crawford cowboy as he rides off into the sunset, lest he plop an even bigger mess into Obama's lap than he already has.
Parting Shots: Bush administrations 11th hour wildlife assault http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jmogerman/parting_shots_administrations.html
(...) "Do they hate animals, or what?" "Why are they going after this so hard?" (...) Let's be clear folks. These are YOUR public lands. In many cases, these are YOUR animals---paid for by YOUR tax dollars. Whether or not you agree with NRDC's positions on wolves, buffalo, bears, belugas or any other wildlife issue, you should have a voice in how those resources are managed. In the waning moments of the Bush administration, that voice is being taken away from you. --NOTE: This is from the NRDC: "As the Bush Administration rides off into the sunset, it's taking a deadly parting shot at the wolves of Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies. This 11th hour attack would strip wolves of their Endangered Species protection and leave them vulnerable to mass slaughter by Northern Rockies states. Those states have plans that could kill nearly 1,000 wolves in the first year alone. We need to fire back 100,000 Official Citizen Comments and fend off this life-threatening attack. We don't have a moment to lose, because the Bush Administration is racing to put a new wolf-killing plan into effect before it leaves office. Your Official Citizen Comment could be the last, best hope for the wolves, so please submit it right now.The Administration is taking public comments only until November 28. We've protected Yellowstone's wolves before. And with your help, we will do it again."
Bush Secretly Gave Banks $140 Billion Tax Windfall http://www.truthout.org/111008A
Amit R. Paley, The Washington Post: "The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention. But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion."
The Bush gang's parting gift: a final, frantic looting of public wealth by Naomi Klein (October 31 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/31/useconomy-banking
The US bail-out amounts to a strings-free, public-funded windfall for big business. Welcome to no-risk capitalism -- In the final days of the election many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But don't be fooled: that doesn't mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700bn bail-out out the door. At a recent Senate banking committee hearing, the Republican Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. "How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?" Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bail-out. When European colonialists realised that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts. Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as "distressed asset" auctions and the "equity purchase program". But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese - a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe. (...) There is a glimmer of hope. In answer to Senator Corker's question, the treasury is indeed having trouble dispersing the bail-out funds. So far it has requested about $350bn of the $700bn, but most of this hasn't yet made it out the door. Meanwhile, every day it becomes clearer that the bail-out was sold to the public on false pretences. Clearly, it was never really about getting loans flowing. It was always about doing what it is doing: turning the state into a giant insurance agency for Wall Street, a safety net for the people who need it least, subsidised by the people who will most need state protections in the economic storms ahead. This duplicity is a political opportunity. Whoever wins on November 4 will have enormous moral authority. It should be used to call for a freeze on the dispersal of bail-out funds, not after the inauguration but right away. All deals should be renegotiated, this time with the public getting the guarantees.It is risky, of course, to interrupt the bail-out process. Nothing could be riskier, however, than allowing the Bush gang their parting gift to big business - the gift that will keep on taking.
Goldman Sachs ready to hand out £7bn salary and bonus package... after its £6bn bail-out (Oct 30, 2008)!! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1081624/Goldman-Sachs-ready-hand-7BILLION-salary-bonus-package--6bn-bail-out.html
Goldman Sachs is on course to pay its top City bankers multimillion-pound bonuses - despite asking the U.S. government for an emergency bail-out. The struggling Wall Street bank has set aside £7billion for salaries and 2008 year-end bonuses, it emerged yesterday. Each of the firm's 443 partners is on course to pocket an average Christmas bonus of more than £3million. The size of the pay pool comfortably dwarfs the £6.1billion lifeline which the U.S. government is throwing to Goldman as part of its £430billion bail-out. As Washington pours money into the bank, the cash will immediately be channelled to Goldman's already well-heeled employees. News of the firm's largesse will revive the anger over the 'rewards for failure' culture endemic in the world of high finance.The same bankers who have brought the global economy to its knees seem to pocketing the same kind of rewards they got during the boom years.Gordon Brown has vowed to crack down on the culture of greed in the City as part of his £500billion bail-out of the UK banking industry. But that won't affect the estimated 100 London partners working at Goldman Sachs's London headquarters. The firm - known as Golden Sacks for the bumper bonuses it pay its top bankers - is expected to cut the payouts by a third this year. However, profits are falling much faster. Earnings have plunged 47 per cent so far this year amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. This has wiped more than 50 per cent off the company's market value.
Fed Defies Transparency in $2 Trillion Loans http://www.truthout.org/111108B
Mark Pittman, Bob Ivry and Alison Fitzgerald, Bloomberg: "The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return."
Banks to Continue Paying Dividends http://www.truthout.org/103008B
Binyamin Appelbaum, The Washington Post: "U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years.... Critics, including economists and members of Congress, question why banks should get government money if they already have enough money to pay dividends - or conversely, why banks that need government money are still spending so much on dividends."
Michael Hudson on the theft of our money (one hour MP3 file) http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=28908
The Bailout's New Financial Oligarchy" with economist and financial historian, Dr. Michael Hudson, discussing the largest financial theft in American history - the evolving giveaway to Wall Street crooks. We talk about the class war leading to depopulation, de-industrialization, poverty, and sharply increasing default and debt. The bailout offers no help to the economy. The only way to resolve the crisis is to write down the debt, and this is not being done. We discuss the IMF/World Bank, the end of foreign investment, Enron-style accounting, and the false cover story promulgated through media deception. The bailout is a gangland operation to pay the pals of Paulson.
U.S. will soon face second "Great Depression" (November 10, 2008) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21189.htm
Renowned economist Khazin predicted U.S. financial crisis in 2000
(...) Whatever decision Wall Street takes right now, the demand is going to fall. What will happen to these industries? In 2000, we estimated that 25 percent of the U.S. economy would disappear. Today, we think the number is closest to one-third - if not more.
IMF Bailout of the United States Coming? (Nov 04, 2008) http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article7125.html
(...) The combination of US deficit spending and tax cuts during the Bush presidency caused an extraordinary expansion of the US economy, an expansion that affected the global economy as well. Unfortunately, the US expansion was based on consumer credit and now that credit has turned into unpayable debt, the US expansion is affecting the world negatively. The growing US debt is the number one problem facing the world today. The US , the issuer of the world reserve currency, the US dollar, is the world's number one debtor and its borrowing needs have now reached the point of threatening global economic stability. The growth of US deficit spending combined with tax cuts has transformed the US into a debtor unable to pay down debt without borrowing more. According to Hyman Minsky's Financial Instability Hypothesis, debtors finance debt by either by hedge, speculative, or Ponzi finance. The US is now using Ponzi financing to do so. (...) Because the US, the world's lender of last resort, is itself bankrupt, the world economy is in danger of collapse. The IMF has now been asked to bail out Iceland, Pakistan, Hungary and Ukraine. The US may very well be the next IMF client. What has happened this fall has eclipsed everything that has gone before. What will happen next year will eclipse what is now happening this fall. The crisis is growing as the end-game of capitalism approaches its end irrespective of what central banks try to do. This time the bankers overstepped themselves in such a way they have brought destruction not only on society but on themselves as well. It is only right that they should suffer tooas, after all, it is they who caused our problems. It is unfortunate that society is being forced to lessen the burden on bankers even as bankers continue to indebt society. But, then again, that's what government is forto act as the bankers' agents in the continuing indebting of nations, businesses, producers and savers. Markets will only be free when the virus of bankers' debt-based paper money is permanently removed from commerce and the present tyranny of banker-controlled government is ended.
Gordon Brown calls for new world order to beat recession (10 Nov 2008) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/recession/3414946/Gordon-Brown-calls-for-new-world-order-to-beat-recession.html
Prime Minister Gordon Brown will today set out a five-point plan to create a "stronger and more just" world order in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. -- Mr Brown will call on fellow world leaders to use the current worldwide economic downturn as an opportunity to thoroughly reform international financial institutions and create a new "truly global society" with Britain, the US and Europe providing leadership.His call comes ahead of an emergency summit of world leaders and finance ministers from 20 major countries, the G20, in Washington next weekend.Mr Brown will say that the Washington meeting must establish a consensus on a new Bretton Woods-style framework for the international financial system, featuring a reformed International Monetary Fund which will act as a global early-warning system for financial problems.The original Bretton Woods agreements, signed in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944, established post-war international monetary protocols governing trade, banking and other financial relations among nations, including fixed exchange rates and the IMF.Mr Brown's plan for strengthening the global economy 60 years later involves recapitalisation of banks to permit the resumption of normal lending to households and businesses, better international co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy and a new IMF fund to help struggling economies and stop financial problems spreading between nations.He also wants agreement on a world trade deal and reform of the international financial system based on principles of "transparency, integrity, responsibility, sound banking practice and global governance with co-ordination across borders". CLIP
Politics' Return http://www.truthout.org/103008F
Yves Petignat in Geneva's Le Temps describes the "draconian" conditions Germany's government has established for bank bailouts and the lesson it teaches Germany's executives, begging the question why such measures are not employed in the US.
Tough Sledding Ahead, Surviving A Coming USD Collapse http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_08/laird110608.html
Now that the US election is over, we get to think about the Future. And, no matter how you look at it, the entire world, the West particularly, is in for tough sledding financially. First, we will continue to battle an emerging economic slowdown. Then, later, we will be battling world currency instability we already have signs of this now.Even though gold and commodities have taken a big hit because of a general liquidation in everything, there is one thing none of us should lose sight of, and that is what happens when the USD finally lets go.Why the USD is presently rallyingJust because the USD happens to be rallying now (with weekly fluctuations) does not mean that its fate is not bleak. There are many reasons the USD is rallying right now. They include flight to cash in general during market liquidations in all areas, but also cash hoarding because businesses cannot roll over the short term credit they use to do payrolls and ongoing operations. Then we have the usual end of year cash surge for businesses and financial institutions. Then of course there is flight to the USD for safety, and then finally, other countries currencies are adjusting to the slowing world economy, and the once hot foreign markets are cooling and there is lots of money moving out of the emerging markets.But, we are going to be facing two particular problems in 09 that none of us is really used to, that we really have never seen. The world is going to have a severe recession bordering on an economic depression. Essentially no one alive today knows what that is like. Only the oldest of us have lived through that experience.But then, on top of that, at some point later the USD will finally collapse. This is not something way way out there in the future. This issue is becoming a near term threat. CLIP
Exxon Mobil posts biggest US quarterly profit ever (Oct 30, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081030/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_exxon_mobil
HOUSTON Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported income Thursday that shattered its own record for the biggest profit from operations by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter. Yet numbers contained within the company's most recent financial report revealed production numbers that continue to sag, and shares slipped 3 percent in midday trading.The Irving, Texas-based company has reported unprecedented back-to-back quarters, the end of the most recent coinciding with a rapid plunge in crude prices. Benchmark oil prices fell another $2.91 to $64.59 Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, about 56 percent off record highs in July.Exxon said net income jumped nearly 58 percent to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago. The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when Exxon Mobil earned $11.68 billion.Revenue rose 35 percent to $137.7 billion. (...) A not-so-bright note was Exxon's output, which once again was below year-ago levels. The company, which produces 3 percent of the world's oil, said production on an oil-equivalent basis was down 8 percent from a year ago a concern given it generates more than two-thirds of its earnings from oil and gas production. CLIP
Who Watches While the US Invades - Again (1 November 2008) http://www.truthout.org/110108A
Has anyone in Washington noticed? The new US raids into Pakistan and Syria are, as was the invasion of Iraq, in blatant violation of international law. But who's keeping track of this sort of thing? Certainly not senior US officials, who apparently have weighed the negative consequences of illegal military operations against their perceived benefits and opted in favor of the latter. Washington officials apparently reason that relations with Syria, already damaged over the attacks, may well be mended with the arrival of a new occupant in the Oval Office, given that country's desire for an improved relationship with the United States. Possibly, but not certain. And what may work with Syria may not work with Pakistan; further, what may work with leaders of these countries may not work with their enraged citizens. There is no question that US raids launched from Iraqi soil only add to this latest downward spiral into Middle Eastern mud. (...) The announced objective for doing so is killing or capturing al-Qaida terrorists; the downside is the possibility of killing innocent civilians - children in schools, families celebrating a wedding, farmers working their fields. Add to the political calculus the certainty, not the possibility, of further infuriating and alienating other countries, both those considered friendly and those not so friendly. At this moment in history, it's hard to imagine a worsening of America's image abroad, but Washington seems determined to do so before the present administration leaves office.
Secret Order Allows US Raids in Many Countries http://www.truthout.org/111008L
"The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against al-Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, according to senior American officials."
Pentagon Board Says Cuts Essential - HARD TO BELIEVE THAT SOME AT THE PENTAGON FINALLY MANAGED TO SEE HOW UNSUSTAINABLE THEIR ORGY OF MILITARY SPENDING REALLY IS! http://www.truthout.org/111008E
Bryan Bender, The Boston Globe: "A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is 'not sustainable,' and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs."
Brzezinski: Obama Will Face Imminent Foreign Policy Problems (03-11-2008) http://blacklistednews.com/?news_id=2136
Trilateral Commission co-founder and top Obama advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski told CNN yesterday that Barack Obama would be faced with imminent problems in the context of foreign policy once he takes office, echoing prophetic warnings made recently by Joe Biden, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. (...) Brzezinskis warning that Obama will face immediate problems in the form of a foreign policy crisis echoes similar sentiments expressed by Obamas running mate, Senator Joe Biden, who last month told an audience in Seattle. Were gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.Biden was vehement in his proclamation, stating that it was a guarantee and a promise that Obama would face an international crisis and that tough and unpopular decisions would have to be made to combat it.Colin Powell made similar statements when he endorsed Obama on Meet the Press, saying Theres going to be a crisis which will come along on the 21st, 22nd of January that we dont even know about right now.Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright also told CNNs John Roberts, Its just a statement of fact something unexpected, you always have to be prepared for that. NOTE: What do they know that they won't tell?...
Gazans urge UN to help lift Israeli siege (10/30/2008) http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=1948915&Language=en
GAZA (KUNA) -- Leading Palestinian activists handed over on Thursday a petition signed by one million Gazans to the international agency, UNRWA, urging for lifting the siege on Gaza Strip. The written appeal was handed over to officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the strip. Dr. Iyad Seraj, in charge of the Palestinian campaign for lifting the blockade, said at a news conference held outside the UNRWA building that the message was addressed to the UN general secretariat. The document was signed by women, children and elderly. The Israeli siege has caused enormous hardships to the Gazans, particularly the sick.
Gazans plunged into darkness (Nov 11, 2008) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/11/20081110144158482216.html
Thousands of Gazans have been left without electricity following Israel's suspension of fuel shipments to the Hamas-controlled territory's only power plant. The power station was shut down on Monday evening after Israel refused to restart deliveries, despite warnings that fuel supplies were almost exhausted. Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Gaza City, said there was an almost complete blackout across the territory, with ordinary Gazans likely to exhaust personal supplies of fuel very quickly. The Israeli defence ministry closed the crossings last week after Palestinian fighters fired rockets into southern Israel. Late on Monday, Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, revised his decision to keep the crossing completely sealed and authorised a "limited resumption" of supplies to the Gaza Strip. The partial resumption of fuel shipments, expected to begin on Tuesday at 06:00 GMT, followed a request by Tony Blair, former UK prime minister and envoy of the Middle East Quartet - comprising the European Union, the US, Russia and the United Nations. "The fuel supply will be resumed completely when rocket fire from the Gaza Strip has ceased," Barak said. (...) "The Israel liaison office with the Palestinian territories told us that the deliveries to the power station could resume tomorrow," an European Union spokeswoman said.Israeli sources said, on condition of anonymity, that shipments would resume if no more rockets are fired into southern Israel. CLIP
Olmert: We must cede parts of Jerusalem (Nov 10, 2008) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1225910083935&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday used a Jerusalem memorial ceremony for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to reiterate that Israel must be willing to cede parts of the capital. "If we want to keep Israel Jewish and democratic, we need to give up parts of the homeland we have dreamed about for generations and [mentioned] in our prayers, even Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and to return to a 1967 Israel with certain amendments," he said, at the state ceremony on Mount Herzl, where Rabin is buried."The decision must be made now. The moment of truth has arrived. There is no escaping it, but [the opportunity] can be missed. If, God forbid, we dither, we will lose the support for the idea of two states. There is no need to expand on the alternative Rabin will win," he continued."The moment of truth has arrived," he repeated. "We can push if off for many years in which blood will be spilled. But we must look at it honestly, proudly and responsibly. The bullets that killed Rabin could not stop the historic path that he led. Even after his death, Rabin will be victorious." CLIP
Congo Quagmire Finally Grabs the World's Attention (Nov. 01, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1855735,00.html?iid=tsmodule
In the last several months, attacks against innocent, impoverished civilians in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo had become numbingly commonplace as a rebel group bloodied government troops, capturing and later relinquishing federal military installations. Indeed, chaos seemed to have reached a weary sort of equilibrium as refugees scattered at each outbreak of fighting. Few people in the west seemed to notice, or care. It was only this past week, when the rebels advanced to the outskirts of the eastern regional capital of Goma and routed government troops in embarrassing fashion, that the western world finally started paying attention. Jolted by the rebels' stunning march and the threat it poses to Congolese President Laurent Kabila, western diplomats have descended on the DRC this weekend to push for a lasting truce. The immediate concern was for the tens of thousands of refugees who fled the rebels' march to Goma, capital of the North Kivu province. The fighting dissipated Wednesday and the refugees are now heading home, desperate for food and shelter. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees, the world organization's refugee agency, said it was investigating reports that rebels had destroyed camps housing some 50,000 internally displaced people in the town of Rutshuru, about 50 miles north of Goma. "Hundreds of thousands of people who have already suffered far too much are in danger and in desperate need of help," UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said on Friday. Click here for pictures of the conflict in Congo CLIP
UN chief says 100,000 refugees trapped in Congo (Nov 11, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_re_af/un_congo_1
UNITED NATIONS The head of the United Nations called Tuesday for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Congo to urgently help at least 100,000 refugees cut off by fighting in rebel-held areas."Because of the ongoing fighting, these people have received virtually no assistance. Their situation has grown increasingly desperate," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.He said for at least 100,000 refugees trapped behind rebel lines around the towns of Rutshuru and East Masisi the "lifeline has been cut off," and their situation is "very serious and dire.""I urgently call for an immediate cease-fire in these areas to allow humanitarian assistance to reach many thousands of displaced persons," he said.About 250,000 people have been displaced by fighting in eastern Congo, where rebels led by Laurent Nkunda are battling Congolese forces. The conflict is fueled by festering ethnic hatred left over from the 1994 slaughter of a half-million Tutsis in Rwanda, and Congo's civil wars from 1996-2002, which drew neighboring countries in a rush to plunder Congo's mineral wealth.The secretary-general said he was mobilizing all U.N. humanitarian agencies "to find necessary humanitarian assistance" to help those who have received no aid. CLIP
A World Playground: Congolese People Sacrificed for International Games and Profits (Nov 7, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10848
(...) Homeless and income-less, people at the camps lived uncomfortably. There was little space, diets were unbalanced, and there was no way to work or occupy them each day. IDPs are unwelcome in surrounding communities where they try to rebuild a life. They are ostracized for fear they will take the few jobs available and, most depressing to them, they are forced to pay extortionate fees to bury friends and family that die at the camp. Given the heightened hostilities-and the permanent state of war that has devastated millions of Congolese lives over the past two years alone-Habimana is probably now listed among the unnamed and soon-to-be-forgotten dead. Safari Majune was an IDP representative elected by the others. He said that while people longed to return to their own land, the biggest problem was that there is not enough food for everyone at the camp. Famine and malnutrition, coupled with malaria and tuberculosis, means high death rates. More than 1000 people have daily died in Eastern Congo for over a decade now and there have been over 1,000,000 IDPs in the North Kivu region alone, for years. (...) On October 2008, civilians in Goma and other places attacked MONUC troops and UN compounds; there are credible reports that MONUC troops shot and killed some civilians. Many civilian protests against the MONUC mission, and the MONUC retaliations, occur out of sight and without any media reporting. Most every Congolese citizen will agree that the reason for the instability in Congo is the international influence within their borders. Some point their finger at mineral trafficking. Some point to tribal and historical 'facts'. Others, like Vital Katembo, claim it is obvious that people are doing harm when they are not achieving what they claim to work for-speaking of the humanitarian aid and conservation sectors-especially when they have the needed resources to accomplish their missions. No matter where you point your finger or for what reason, the DRC is an international playground filled with extremely dangerous toys and irresponsible playmates. Many times, knowing where to point is simply based on how dangerous it is to point that way.
Rebel vows to fight peacekeepers (11 November 2008) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/rebel-vows-to-fight-peacekeepers-1009588.html
The Congolese rebel chief Laurent Nkunda said he would fight African peacekeeping troops if they attacked him, as concerns grew that east Congo's conflict could suck in armies from neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda. African leaders have offered to send troops to help Congolese President Joseph Kabila pacify the area, where fighting between Nkunda's Tutsi rebels and the army has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people. Aid agencies in Congo's North Kivu province are struggling to cope with more than 200,000 refugees around the provincial capital Goma. They warn of the risk of cholera and measles epidemics in the camps. CLIP
MUCH MORE on the situation in Congo through THIS LINK
Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans (October 22, 2008) A NIGHTMARE THAT CAN'T BE ALLOWED TO BECOME A REALITY... http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/10/packs-of-robots-will-hunt-down.html
The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. They are looking for contractors to provide a "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" that will let packs of robots "search for and detect a non-cooperative human". Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies. "The giveaway here is the phrase 'a non-cooperative human subject'," he told me: "What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed. We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed." Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield, says "This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army's Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner." Note: For many revealing reports of new weaponry technologies in the planning and development stages, click here.
Wal-Mart in China standards drive (Oct. 22, 2008) AT LONG LAST!! http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto102220081432037802
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), the world's biggest retailer, on Wednesday told its Chinese suppliers to meet strict environmental and social standards or risk losing its business."Meeting social and environmental standards is not optional," Lee Scott, Wal-Mart's chief executive, told a gathering of more than 1,000 suppliers in Beijing."A company that cheats on overtime and on the age of its labour, that dumps its scraps and its chemicals in our rivers, that does not pay its taxes or honour its contracts - will ultimately cheat on the quality of its products." Wal-Mart has been pursuing a drive to improve its reputation on environmental and social issues over the past three years, in response to growing criticism in the US over issues including labour conditions in its supplier factories. The directive, which will be codified in a Wal-Mart suppliers' agreement, comes at a difficult time for China-based manufacturers, caught between rising production costs and the effect of the global financial crisis on consumer demand in their largest overseas markets. The requirements include a clear demonstration of compliance with Chinese environmental laws, a 20 per cent improvement in energy efficiency at the company's 200 largest China suppliers, and disclosure of the names and addresses of every factory involved in the production process. The company will require a 25 per cent rise in the efficiency of energy-intensive products, such as flat-screen TVs, by 2011. CLIP
A Solar Gold Rush Is Spreading From California to New Jersey (October 30, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/environment/105204/a_solar_gold_rush_is_spreading_from_california_to_new_jersey/
With new solar-powered movie theaters and factories, the solar industry is exploding. But how far can it take us toward a clean energy future? -- Solar power is exploding in America, particularly in California. San Luis Obispo's Palm Theatre and Berkeley's Shotgun Players are now the first solar-powered theaters in the country; FedEx's distribution center in Fontana has a solar system covering 20,834 square feet; and Google's Mountain View campus boasts America's largest corporate solar installation. True to its pioneering spirit, California is leading the way -- but that's not to say other states aren't tagging quickly behind. (...) In America, most of the policies that affect the solar industry are created at the state level. California, which is now poised to become the world's second-fastest-growing solar market behind Germany, has a long pioneering history, which has fueled the solar industry as much as the state's abundant sunshine. As proof, in 2005, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved $300 million for statewide solar rebates, tripling the original sum in order to bolster the market; since its Million Solar Roofs program kicked off in 2006, California has installed more solar panels than in the previous 10 years combined; and in 2007, the state approved the California Solar Initiative, the country's largest solar energy policy to date, offering homeowners a rebate on top of the federal tax credit and plans to provide $2.8 billion toward solar incentives over the next decade. (...) But other states are giving California a run for its money in an increasingly competitive solar market. Take Oregon, which has been proactive in welcoming renewable energy business thanks to the state's Business Energy Tax Credit (nicknamed "Betsy"), which covers 50 percent of all project costs -- the country's largest solar incentive. In August, Oregon's Department of Transportation announced plans to build a solar panel installation along a stretch of interstate, the first such project in the nation; in October, Germany's SolarWorld opened the largest solar factory in the Americas in Hillsboro; and in the same month, Sanyo began building its $80 million, 70-megawatt solar manufacturing facility in Salem. Oregon isn't alone. There's New Mexico, with an abundance of arid land and sunlight, offering the perfect platform for large-scale solar thermal installation projects. New Mexico recently welcomed a project from Germany's Schott Solar, one of the world's leading solar companies, which has invested $100 million to build a solar equipment manufacturing plant outside Albuquerque. CLIP
Solar Power in Numbers (10/20/2008 ) http://www.utne.com/2008-10-20/Environment/Solar-Power-in-Numbers.aspx
Solar energy is becoming a community effort, and more accessible than ever before. Married couple Sylvia Ventura and Dan Barahona have launched 1BOG, "One Block Off the Grid," a volunteer group that organizes neighborhoods and communities to install solar power en masse. Those who go solar through 1BOG have access to bulk discounts on equipment and installation, whose high cost has been a main deterrent for many potential buyers. The all-volunteer program boasts over 700 member homes in 20 cities across the country, with more to come.
Energy Economics: Good News and Not So Good News (10/21/2008 ) http://www.utne.com/2008-10-23/Environment/Energy-Economics-Good-News-and-Not-So-Good-News.aspx
A new study out of the University of California in Berkeley has good news for the economy and the environment: Between 1972 and 2006, energy efficiency measures undertaken in California have been a boon to the state's economy, creating approximately 1.5 million jobs and saving consumers $56 billion. "We find, I think demonstrably, that energy efficiency is good for the economy and good for jobs," study author David Roland-Holst told the San Francisco Chronicle.Unfortunately, while energy efficiency may be good for the economy, the economy isn't doing such good things for green energy, according to Grist. They report that "renewable-energy stocks around the world have dropped some 45 percent in the past three months," due to tightening credit lines and dwindling demand for alternative energy as oil prices fall.
The Good and Bad Economic News About Renewable Energy (10/30/2008 ) http://www.utne.com/2008-10-31/Environment/The-Good-and-Bad-Economic-News-About-Renewable-Energy.aspx
The renewable energy industry is more dependent than ever on the direction of the currently ailing economy. Recent news items from Triple Pundit and New West offer different perspectives on the economic plight of renewable energy. Triple Pundit states that future investment in renewable energy will create more jobs. TP's Gina-Marie Cheeseman turns to a Berkeley report on the job-creating potential of the renewable energy industry. "Every $100 million invested in the renewable sector creates 2,700 new jobs. The report estimated that additional investment between 2007 and 2010 will be between $14 billion and $19 billion, which will create between 400,000 and 500,000 new jobs." Cheeseman extols the economically stimulating effect of renewable energy, noting that worldwide wind power capacity increased 50 percent between 2006 and 2007, while solar power accounts for forty percent of the capacity in developing countries. This is a sunny forecast from a publication that looks at the business side of renewable energy. But New West is focusing on the ways that the credit collapse and global economic downturn has slowed the solar power industry. "Stock analysts have downgraded solar companies," reports Richard Martin, and "Xcel Energy announced it is slashing the rebate it offers to homeowners installing new solar panels." Xcel is reducing its solar-panel rebate because Congress' bailout package offers a generous tax credit to solar users. But the credit will take a while to implement, meaning a higher up-front cost. In an economy where homeowners are hurting, it's hard for them to make the sort of long-term investment solar power entails.
WWF warns of global boycotts over Baffin Bay polar bear hunt quota (Nov 6, 2008) http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/11/06/wwf-pbear.html
The World Wildlife Fund is condemning Nunavut for maintaining its polar bear hunt quota in the Baffin Bay area, warning that boycotts may follow the decision.CBC News revealed this week that Environment Minister Olayuk Akesuk accepted a recommendation from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board not to change this season's polar bear quota for the Baffin Bay area, despite concerns from government officials about overhunting. "This is an unfortunate, huge mistake of global significance," Peter Ewins, conservation director with World Wildlife Fund Canada, told CBC News on Wednesday. "There will be major global pressure on Inuit and Canada and Nunavut to reverse the decision, to actually get serious about taking measures to recover and conserve polar bears." This year's quota in Baffin Bay - an area between northern Baffin Island and Greenland - will remain at 105 polar bears. Nunavut environment officials have wanted the quota to be reduced to 64 bears or less. While the officials have said the Baffin Bay quota is too high as it is, with overhunting from hunters in both Nunavut and Greenland, the government deferred any decision to change the quota until next year. CLIP
IT'S NOT ABOUT THE HONEY - Colony Collapse Disorder Threatens Our Food Supply http://www.nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/0809.asp
Unless you are Pooh Bear, a life without honey is easily imaginable. There are, after all, other ways to satisfy a sweet tooth. But what about a life without fruit, nuts and vegetables -- without the apples and peaches, almonds and cashews, garlic and broccoli that keep our meals interesting and bodies healthy? It is not a rhetorical question. A diet primarily of bread and gruel may be our future if we do not address the honey bee crisis and the broader problem of "pollinator decline." Pollinators are animals that help plants reproduce by transferring pollen from flower to flower. Some 200,000 different species are engaged in the task around the planet, including birds, bats and a wide variety of insects. But when it comes to pollinating crops in the United States, no species is more important than the honey bee. Though not the only species up to the job, the honey bee is the mainstay of industrial agriculture, which pays migratory beekeepers millions each year to bring their hives around at blooming time. So it is no small matter that a third of the nation's managed honey bee colonies died off in 2006 due to a syndrome that has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or that the disaster repeated itself the following year and is expected to do so again in the year ahead. What exactly is CCD? A huge mystery, that's what. One day a hive is humming with activity. The next, it is virtually empty of adult bees. They simply fly off and never return. Is it possible that these master navigators, famed for their ability to dance out directions, cannot find their way back home? If so, what dread disease or poison could be responsible? Or perhaps the sick bees are purposely going off to die on their own, as these highly social insects are wont to do to keep the mother ship safe. No one has yet been able to explain the vanishing act, but research done to date suggests that more than one "stressor" is involved. Suspects include an AIDS-like virus that weakens the bee's immune system, the invasive varroa mite, malnutrition and pesticide exposure. Some scientists say that if CCD continues, honey bees could disappear by 2035. CLIP
For The Animals http://www.vegetariansolutions.org/fortheanimals.php
"There will come a day when men such as myself will view the slaughter of innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man." -- Albert Einstein
For years, those of us who follow factory farming issues have known that animals have been butchered alive in slaughterhouses. Finally, video footage has been obtained from a worker in a Washington slaughterhouse showing fully conscious cows being skinned alive and having their legs cut off while struggling for freedom.It may be this nations greatest shame. Billions of pounds of meat are consumed every day by people from all walks of life - educators, environmentalists, business people and children. Yet few think about the source of the burger or the ground meat in their tacos. Those who do try to believe that the animals are humanely treated. But they are not. CLIP
Are vaccines dangerous and ineffective? Vaccines - Are they deadly & Dangerous (Nov 1, 2008) http://www.healthcanadaabuse.com/index.php?command=show&ID=13520
(...) "If vaccines are safe, then why have there been over 5,000 adverse reactions [as of Sep. /07] reported from the Gardasil vaccine including 18 deaths of young girls, paralysis, Guillaine Barre Syndrome, etc.?" (Marcia Staggs Abbott, author of Shocking Discovery . . . What Have We Done to Our Children?) (N.B.: As of the 30th of June, 2008, that figure has risen to over 9,700 adverse reactions.) Needless to say you must be aware of the reactions, deaths, paralyses, etc. caused by the HPV vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) vaccine-reporting statistics clearly illustrate it is not a proven vaccine. Your decision to partake in this campaign does not speak well for your agency: Either your organisation chooses to ignore the evidence - and risks being accused of malfeasance (and the ramifications accompanying such an accusation) - or, just as questionable, you are unaware of the latest and most up-to-date information belying the use of the HPV vaccine. Merck is one of the manufacturers currently under fire for aggressively and unethically marketing their product at the expense of the public's health (and pocket) and intellectual integrity of our health care providers. No less than the Wall Street Journal, The New York Timesand ABC Newshave expressed serious doubts about Merck's intentions. (...) Given the dramatic decline in the number of deaths from cervical cancer - in spite of the promiscuity of the "love generation" - it would behoove your agency to rethink its rationale supporting the distribution of HPV vaccines. There simply is no rationale (other than Merck's) supporting the implementation of an HPV vaccine. "The American Cancer Society estimates that deaths from cervical cancer declined [my emphasis] 74% between 1955 and 1992, and that the rate continues to decrease by about 4% each year. Also, most cases occur in women in their forties.""The vaccine is still in the testing stages (final report due September 30, 2009), but it is already being administered to thousands of young girls and women." CLIP
What really is poisoned milk? (With many pictures!) http://barzilaiendan.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/what-really-is-poisoned-milk/
China milk poisoning incidents make everyone afraid to look at the daily news report. Everyday, the reports are changing. No one can clearly tell us what to eat and not to eat. What really is poisoned milk? It is the milk powder mixed with MELAMINE What is Melamine use for? It is an industrial chemical use in the production of melawares. It is also used in home decoration. US resistant board Do you understand! Melamine is use in industrial production! It cannot be eaten. Why is Melamine added in milk powder? The most important nutrient in milk is protein. And Melamine has the same protein that contains NITROGEN. Adding Melamine in milk reduces milk content and it is cheaper then milk so it lowers capitalization. It can give the business man more profit! CLIP
U.S. military can regrow human limbs, organs (November 07, 2008) http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=6864c9e0-cfcc-4cf6-b373-6d4cbabe6cd3
'Nanoscaffolding' has successfully regrown fingertips and organs on test subjects -- OTTAWA - American military researchers say they have unlocked the secret to regrowing limbs and recreating organs in humans who have sustained major injuries.Using "nanoscaffolding," the researchers have regrown a man's fingertip and the internal organs of several test subjects. The technology works by placing a very fine apparatus called a scaffold, which is made of polymer fibres hundreds of times finer than a human hair, in place of a missing limb or damaged organ. The scaffold acts as a guide for cells to grab onto so they can begin to rebuild missing bones and tissue. The tissue grows through tiny holes in the scaffold, in the same way a vine snakes its way up a trellis. After the body part has regenerated, the scaffold breaks down, is absorbed into the person's body and disappears entirely. The military plans to announce the breakthrough at the 26th Army Science Conference - which attracts more than 1,600 international military scientists - in Florida next month. (...) The ultimate goal would be to regrow a complex organ, such as a heart."This is an area where we're doing basic research to try and actually understand the signalling that takes place within tissue to enable this," he said. "So, we're beginning to understand how this process occurs, and if we can, it holds the hope of being able to regrow limbs."Several breakthroughs with nanoscaffolding preceded the U.S. army's stunning announcement. In June 2006, researchers from the University of Sheffield in England announced they had used nanoscaffolding to repair skin damage in people with third-degree burns.Researchers attached a person's skin cells to a nanoscaffold, and the cells grew over it. The skin-covered scaffold was then placed over the wound, where it bonded with the patient's body. The scaffold then dissolved.
Palin falls prey to Canadian prankster (Nov 2, 2008 http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2008/11/02/2407909.htm
Gotcha... Ms Palin was seemingly oblivious to an invitation to 'hunt baby seals'. US vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin fell prey to a Canadian prankster when he called her impersonating French President Nicolas Sarkozy and got her to accept an invitation to hunt baby seals.In an over-the-top French accent, a member of the Quebec comedy duo The Masked Avengers, famous for tricking celebrities and politicians including Mr Sarkozy himself, asked if Ms Palin would take him on a hunting trip by helicopter, and then in French said they could also go kill baby seals. An apparently oblivious Ms Palin said she thought that would be fun. "We could have a lot of fun together as we're getting work done. We could kill two birds with one stone that way," she said. The prankster also got Ms Palin, Republican John McCain's running mate in Tuesday's US presidential election, to reveal a potential ambition for the top job in Washington. Asked if she would like to eventually become president, the Alaska governor responded, "Well, maybe in eight years."Ms Palin's office quickly admitted they were hoodwinked."CLIP
Greens: No Cell Towers Near Schools/Preschools (4 November 2008) http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/greens-no-cell-towers-near-schoolspreschools/5/5030
The Green Party released its health policy on electro-magnetic radiation today, calling for a requirement that cell towers not be located near schools or childcare centres and for an independent review of the New Zealand standard on Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs)."The Green Party wants the law changed so cell towers cannot be built next to houses or residential dwellings without consent. We also believe that residential dwellings should not be built within 300 meters of high-voltage pylons," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says. "We need a resource consent to get a veranda added to a house. Why should a telecommunications company be able to construct a 15 metre cell tower next to someone's home or a local childcare centre, without their permission? I am being contacted weekly by residents who are horrified to find a cell tower had been erected next to their homes, without any warning or consultation at all." Communities all over New Zealand are fighting the construction of cell towers. Many are desperate as some towers are near their homes and even children's bedrooms, and they are worried about the potential health effects - as well as the effect on their property values."It's an intolerable situation. There is no protection for communities whatsoever. Anyone could wake up and find a mini-cell tower constructed on a telephone pole near their house, or a tower popping up near to their home or local school."As more and more evidence emerges about the potential adverse health effects of low level exposure to EMF, the Government must take a precautionary approach and offer protection to residents who don't want to be exposed to EMF," Ms Kedgley says.Other countries such as Germany and Sweden have much stronger regulations than New Zealand. EMFs are increasingly recognised as a potential trigger for cancers such as childhood leukaemia.
'Buddha Boy' reappears after year in jungle (11 November 2008) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/buddha-boy-reappears-after-year-in-jungle-1011713.html
They asked not where he had been or what he had been doing. Instead thousands of jubilant devotees simply trudged to the remote jungle spot in south-east Nepal where a teenage "Buddha Boy" reappeared to preach to villagers, more than a year after he went missing. Ram Bahadur Bamjon became famous three years ago when tens of thousands of people flocked to watch him sitting cross-legged under a tree for almost ten months. His followers - who say he is the reincarnation of Buddha - claimed that during this time he neither ate nor drank. Then, last spring, his supporters said that the teenager was planning to go away and meditate for three years in an underground bunker. He was last seen in August 2007, preaching to crowds in Nepals Hallori jungle, around 100 miles south of Kathmandu. Whatever encouraged Mr Bamjon to re-emerge is unclear, but police said that on Monday he appeared, long-haired, dressed in white and looking in good health, and preached to villagers for around 45 minutes. Local officials said he plans to speak to people for an hour a day for another week." Hundreds of devotees, including many from neighbouring India are trekking the five kilometres to see him," said one police officer, Prakash Sen. "He spoke to the devotees standing near a temple in the forest. He had shoulder-length hair and had his body wrapped in a white cloth. Since many people are walking to see him, I think he has some of the qualities Lord Buddha had."When Mr Bamjon first became famous reporters filmed him eating, even though his supporters said he could go without food or drink for days. He was also spotted sleeping when his followers said he was meditating in private. However, a number of witnesses spoke of the young mans ability to sit fixed in one spot for hours on end. There has been no formal declaration by Buddhist authorities on whether they consider the teenager to be the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in south-western Nepal in 500 BC and later became revered as the Buddha, or "Enlightened One". Buddhist priests have been divided on the issue, despite the claims of his followers. Meanwhile local volunteers have collected thousands of dollars from people who have visited the young man, prompting accusations that he is merely at the centre of a clever and enlightened money-making scam.
Longtime UFO Proponent Admits To Publishing Misleading Articles In Order To Support His Claims http://www.prlog.org/10119352-longtime-ufo-proponent-admits-to-publishing-misleading-articles-in-order-to-support-his-claims.html
The Various Claims Of Billy Meier Are Now Made Even More Unlikely. On August 27, 2008 in a public email Michael Horn admitted to posting false and misleading articles on his website in order to try and support the claims of Billy Meier. (...) Michael Horn also promotes several other claims made by Billy Meier. These claims include tales that Meier has traveled into the past on a flying saucer and took photographs of dinosaurs. However, his photographs turned out to be photographs of illustrations of dinosaurs taken from a book. Meier also published photographs of who he claimed was his extra-terrestrial contact, but it turned out that these were photographs of a singer performing on The Dean Martin Variety Show. CLIP
Phlylipa Delglyn (email@example.com) from the United Kingdom has posted the following balanced and inspiring message on 2008-11-10 in the ERN guestbook
Ive read your most recent compilation There Is Always Hope Im always checking your website for the latest and have been since 2001 and I was saddened to read the letter from Kathleen, and enjoyed the supportive and positive response that you inserted.
I want to thank you for the detailed and positive approach that you have. The way that I have dealt with this looking around ourselves to see how others are is to simply do my own work, my own healing and as I change I see those changes in others too. What I have noticed is that as I settle and live in the body and not the head, my body starts to see that I am available and that I love and care for my body and myself. It is only when we love ourselves, and the body that we have been given for this lifetime, that we can bring miracles into our own lives. Right now I see truly miraculous changes happening. Sometimes I wish it was faster, but I am so excited about being here right now as a part of this big transformation. Many people may not survive it, or see it as disastrous, particularly those who are caught up in the need to be financially successful. What we are seeing as a difficult time is just the crisis that happens as the old system breaks down and the new one comes in. There are always people who will do their utmost to fight and save the old way and this desperation will always appear to be more destructive.
It takes time for change to take place. If you are living in any extreme then your views will be extreme and the way you see the world will be extreme. In Chinese medicine this would be seen as a weak spleen, which is the way of the western world. We are addicted to so many things, bad food, binge drinking and unsavoury habits. Equally the opposite is true and we become extreme in our campaign for change and for good. Our beliefs can be addictive. When we settle in the centre and allow each person to find their own way we do not get so bitter and angry about whether or not they eat meat or behave in a way that we do not approve of. As we move more into the light all of this will change. It is only love and compassion for each other that will allow these changes to take place. Shifting from eating meat, which is still the norm, to becoming vegetarian will take its time and will happen in a more natural way as farmers can no longer afford to rear animals for food because they take up too much pasture which can be used more appropriately. If everyone suddenly stopped all those poor animals would simply be slaughtered because it would cost too much to keep them.
Let life unfold and we will be amazed at how correct it can be, as long as we stay in the loving centre of our own being.
Matthew is my inspiration he once asked his mother to end all she wrote with the words Love and Peace. This is how I now end all my correspondence.
This election will transform American life in ways we cannot yet fully imagine. It's amazing to be alive at such a promising period in history.
We are inheritors of this momentous victory, but it was not ours. The laurels properly belong to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and all of the other martyrs who died for civil rights. And to millions more before them who struggled across centuries and fell short of winning their freedom. And to those rare politicians like Lyndon B. Johnson, who stood up bravely in a decisive time, knowing how much it would cost his political party for years to come. We owe all of them for this moment.
Whatever happens next, Barack Obama has already changed this nation profoundly. Like King before him, the man is a great and brave teacher. Obama developed out of his life experiences a different understanding of the country, and he had the courage to run for president by offering this vision.
For many Americans, it seemed too much to believe, yet he turned out to be right about us. Against all odds, he persuaded a majority of Americans to believe in their own better natures and, by electing him, the people helped make it true. There is mysterious music in democracy when people decide to believe in themselves.
Waiting for the results, we all felt nagging tension, even when we were fairly sure of the outcome. I heard from a newspaper friend, a wise old reporter who never gave in to Washington cynicism. "This election eve night," he wrote, "I feel myself tingling about the prospect of a nation which used to lynch blacks during my lifetime electing a black man president. I so hope it happens, believe it would electrify the world. I think he is the bravest man in the world, perhaps the most foolish one as well . I worry about him like a Jewish mama."
We heard from another family friend, an African-American woman who teaches law in North Carolina. She reported weeping involuntarily when she saw Obama's picture. Did she know why? She said she saw her adolescent son's face in Obama's. Great moments in history give emotional definition to our lives and we carry those feelings forward with us, our own private meaning of events.
In this way, Obama redefined the country for us, but our responses involved generational differences. For younger people, white and black, his vision seemed entirely straightforward. It is the country they already know, and they expressed great enthusiasm. Finally, they said, a politician who recognizes the racial differences that are part of their lives and no big deal. For young blacks and other minorities, Obama's place at the pinnacle of official power lifts a coarse cloak that has blanketed their lives and dreams -- the stultifying burden of being judged, whether they succeed or fail, on the basis of their race.
For others of us at an advanced age, Obama's success is more shocking. We can see it as a monumental rebuke to tragic history -- the ultimate defeat of "white supremacy."
That vile phrase was embedded in American society (even the Constitution) from the outset and was still in common usage when some of us were young. Now it is officially obsolete. Racism will not disappear entirely, but the Republican "Southern strategy" that marketed racism has been smashed.
Americans will now be able to see themselves differently, North and South, white and black. The changes will spread through American life in ways we cannot yet fully imagine. Let us congratulate ourselves on being alive at such a promising moment.
Michael Moore: What Will It Be Like to Have a Smart President? (November 6, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/election08/106154/michael_moore%3A_what_will_it_be_like_to_have_a_smart_president_/
Who among us is not at a loss for words? Tears pour out. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment, shocking in its simplicity: Barack Obama, a good man, a black man, said he would bring change to Washington, and the majority of the country liked that idea. The racists were present throughout the campaign and in the voting booth. But they are no longer the majority, and we will see their flame of hate fizzle out in our lifetime.There was another important "first" last night. Never before in our history has an avowed anti-war candidate been elected president during a time of war. I hope President-elect Obama remembers that as he considers expanding the war in Afghanistan. The faith we now have will be lost if he forgets the main issue on which he beat his fellow Dems in the primaries and then a great war hero in the general election: The people of America are tired of war. Sick and tired. And their voice was loud and clear yesterday. (...) But today we celebrate this triumph of decency over personal attack, of peace over war, of intelligence over a belief that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs just 6,000 years ago. What will it be like to have a smart president? Science, banished for eight years, will return. Imagine supporting our country's greatest minds as they seek to cure illness, discover new forms of energy, and work to save the planet. I know, pinch me.We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. CLIP
The Hope of Obama (November 6, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/election08/106137/the_hope_of_obama_/
Barack Obama's resounding victory has brought even this cynical observer of Democratic Party politics to dare to hope, believing that -- as a child of the Eisenhower era -- I will soon be witnessing the most progressive presidential administration of my lifetime.This hope, which I fully realize may prove to be naive, rests upon Obama's personal history as a community organizer, his base of support in the party's left wing, and the remarkable shift in internal Democratic Party politics in recent years. Obama's Background -- There are a number of aspects of Obama's personal history which would seem to indicate empathy for those less fortunate. One, of course, is the fact that he is a black man in a racist society. Another is that he grew up in Indonesia (a poor Asian country) and Hawaii (the most racially diverse and economically stratified state.)More significant, however, is Obama's political history:Though the desperate lies and hyperbole from the Right regarding Obama's supposed far-left roots and radical associates are easily dismissible, Obama does come out of a progressive grassroots tradition.At Occidental College in the early 1980s, he became immersed in the anti-apartheid movement. CLIP
Europe's Obamamania (Nov 5, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/election08/106134/europe%27s_obamamania/
The president-elect is seen as something more than an American - he looks like a citizen of the world -- Why do Europeans adore president-elect Obama? Stupid question, you might say. He is young, handsome, smart, inspiring, educated, cosmopolitan, and above all, he promises a radical change from the most unpopular American administration in history. Compare that to his rival, John McCain, who talked about change, but to most Europeans represented the opposite. And yet, there is something odd about the European mania for a black American politician, even as we all know that a black president or prime minister (let alone one whose middle name is Hussein) is still unthinkable in Europe. Or perhaps that is precisely the point. (...) Obama's election has demonstrated that things are still achievable in the US that remain unthinkable elsewhere. As long as this is so, the US, as first among equals, can still be looked up to as the defender of our freedoms. Europeans -- and others -- may regard China's rise with awe, and hope to find a modus vivendi with Russia, but without the hopes inspired by that extraordinary republic, which represents the worst and the best of our battered western world, we would all be much worse off. In their hearts, most Europeans know this. That is why they are going crazy over Barack Obama's election.
Can Obama Stop the Bush Administration's Final Economic Heist?
By Naomi Klein -- November 6, 2008.
To understand the meaning of the U.S. election results, it is worth looking back to the moment when everything changed for the Obama campaign. It was, without question, the moment when the economic crisis hit Wall Street.
Up to that point, things weren't looking all that good for Barack Obama. The Democratic National Convention barely delivered a bump, while the appointment of Sarah Palin seemed to have shifted the momentum decisively over to John McCain.
Then, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed, followed by insurance giant AIG, then Lehman Brothers. It was in this moment of economic vertigo that Obama found a new language. With tremendous clarity, he turned his campaign into a referendum into the deregulation and trickle down policies that have dominated mainstream economic discourse since Ronald Reagan. He said his opponent represented more of the same while he stood for a new direction, one that would rebuild the economy from the ground up, rather than the top down. Obama stayed on this message for the rest of the campaign and, as we just saw, it worked.
The question now is whether Obama will have the courage to take the ideas that won him this election and turn them into policy. Or, alternately, whether he will use the financial crisis to rationalize a move to what pundits call "the middle" (if there is one thing this election has proved, it is that the real middle is far to the left of its previously advertised address). Predictably, Obama is already coming under enormous pressure to break his election promises, particularly those relating to raising taxes on the wealthy and imposing real environmental regulations on polluters. All day on the business networks, we hear that, in light of the economic crisis, corporations need lower taxes, and fewer regulations -- in other words, more of the same.
The new president's only hope of resisting this campaign being waged by the elites is if the remarkable grassroots movement that carried him to victory can somehow stay energized, networked, mobilized -- and most of all, critical. Now that the election has been won, this movement's new missions should be clear: loudly holding Obama to his campaign promises, and letting the Democrats know that there will be consequences for betrayal.
The first order of business -- and one that cannot wait until inauguration -- must be halting the robbery-in-progress known as the "economic bailout." I have spent the past month examining the loopholes and conflicts of interest embedded in the U.S. Treasury Department's plans. The results of that research can be found in a just published feature article in Rolling Stone, The Bailout Profiteers, as well as my most recent Nation column, Bush's Final Pillage.
Both these pieces argue that the $700-billion "rescue plan" should be regarded as the Bush Administration's final heist. Not only does it transfer billions of dollars of public wealth into the hands of politically connected corporations (a Bush specialty), but it passes on such an enormous debt burden to the next administration that it will make real investments in green infrastructure and universal health care close to impossible. If this final looting is not stopped (and yes, there is still time), we can forget about Obama making good on the more progressive aspects of his campaign platform, let alone the hope that he will offer the country some kind of grand Green New Deal.
Readers of The Shock Doctrine know that terrible thefts have a habit of taking place during periods of dramatic political transition. When societies are changing quickly, the media and the people are naturally focused on big "P" politics -- who gets the top appointments, what was said in the most recent speech. Meanwhile, safe from public scrutiny, far reaching pro-corporate policies are locked into place, dramatically restricting future possibilities for real change.
It's not too late to halt the robbery in progress, but it cannot wait until inauguration. Several great initiatives to shift the nature of the bailout are already underway, including http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/24012700/the_new_trough
The Wall Street bailout looks a lot like Iraq - a "free-fraud zone" where private contractors cash in on the mess they helped create. (...) On the same day that he allocated the first $125 billion to the banks, Secretary Paulson announced the largest federal budget deficit in U.S. history. Buried in his statement was a preview of the next phase of the financial disaster. The deficit numbers, he declared, reinforce the need to "pursue policies that promote economic growth and fiscal responsibility, and address entitlement reform." He was referring to Americans who feel entitled to receive Social Security in their old age and Medicaid when they are sick. Those programs, Paulson implied, might not be able to survive the budget crisis he is currently creating for the next administration.This is why the stakes of the bailout are so high: Unless we get a good deal, there will be nothing left over after the banks are done feeding to pay for the meager services now provided in exchange for taxation, let alone for the more ambitious initiatives promised on the campaign trail. The spiraling cost of saving Wall Street from its bad bets is already being used as an excuse for why we can't solve our many other crises, from health care to climate change. There is a better way to fix a broken financial system. Treasury's plan to buy up the toxic debts never made sense and should be immediately scrapped - a move that would also handily get rid of most of the crony contractors. As for purchasing equity in banks, the next round of deals - and there will be more - has to start from the premise that the banks are bankrupt and will therefore accept whatever terms we choose to impose, including real regulatory oversight. The possibilities of what could be done if a chunk of the banking system were genuinely under public control - from a moratorium on home foreclosures to mandatory investment in green community redevelopment - are limitless. Because here is what George Bush and Henry Paulson are hoping we won't figure out: When a society no longer has enough money to pay for its most pressing needs, there are worse things than discovering you own the banks.
Who's going to Finance the rising US National Debt?
by Andrew Hughes -- November 5, 2008
Election Fever is over and President Elect Barack Obama has until January to formulate a realistic game plan to address the unprecedented financial morass that he will shortly be inheriting. He will , no doubt, have to have the moral character to honestly inform his electorate of the true gravity of the situation they now face. Gone is the time for platitudes, electioneering and vacuous speeches. The time of "Change we can believe in" is over; now it's time for "Change we have to Go Through"
The most difficult aspect to Obama's mission will be to inform the American Public that the Party is actually over and it's time to pay the bill that has been steadily mounting out of control and is now a mathematically impossible amount for the country to actually ever pay back. The lifestyle enjoyed during these last years has been possible using the rest of the world to pick up the IOU's. With the Wall St Nuclear Financial Strike delivered through credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities and derivative trading, the world is now reeling and stands over an abyss of enormous proportions. Despite the Wall St Media Machine, Governments around the World have realised that they are already over the edge and falling headlong downwards with no sight of the bottom.
First on the list will be the $1 Trillion budget deficit. The Treasury has just announced that it has to borrow $550 Billion in the October - December quarter. Goldman Sachs estimates that another $2 Trillion to finance the current deficit, to buy $500 Billion in bad assets and roll over $561 Billion in Maturing Treasuries securities. This is all before Obama spends a single penny on Healthcare, Alternative Energy research, infrastructure, Medicaid or unemployment insurance. This does not address the Trillions that have been borrowed from the Social Security Fund either. So where's the money coming from ? The population is already taxed to the hilt and cannot afford to pay anymore. Unemployment is rising, poverty is rising, homelessness is rising. Obama has said to the banks that they can only qualify for Taxpayer money if they "Temporarily" suspend foreclosure proceedings on these same taxpayers. Why doesn't he just give the money to the taxpayers right there, let them pay off their mortgage, keep their house and have some leeway to pay the extra taxes that Obama is going to ask them for ? Treasury Notes ? The rest of the world has already started to back off 10 year T Bills as witnessed by the rising yield and falling price of the latter. "There has been a real diminishing of demand from foreign investors over the last few months" said Tom Tucci, head Treasuries trader at RBC Capital Markets in New York. "We've seen them pulling back"
As the steadily worsening Real Economic data floods in to International view, foreign investors and Governments are beginning to realise that the US cannot spend it's way back to Economic stability. Something has to give. Reality has to have it's say eventually. The only, single way that the US can get out of it's current predicament is through the trust of these foreign investors and Governments, and that is fading away. Brazil, Russia, China and India have formed BRIC, a group of nations that have decided to look out for their own interests where the Dollar as the Reserve Currency is not considered beneficial to anyone anymore. In Europe we have seen a turn towards the Euro as a posssible reserve currency. The Dollar has outlived it's usefullness and the rest of the World is paying the price for it's former fealty.
These are the facts that the new President should be talking about when he promises..."There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.''
Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War
By Rob Kampia -- November 5, 2008
Voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.
On Tuesday, largely under the radar of the pundits and political chattering classes, voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.
Michigan voters made their state the 13th to allow the medical use of marijuana by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, the largest margin ever for a medical marijuana initiative. And by 65 percent to 35 percent, Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing arrests, legal fees, court appearances, the possibility of jail and a lifelong criminal record with a $100 fine, much like a traffic ticket, that can be paid through the mail.
What makes these results so amazing is that they followed the most intensive anti-marijuana campaign by federal officials since the days of "Reefer Madness." Marijuana arrests have been setting all-time records year after year, reaching the point where one American is arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds. More Americans are arrested each year for marijuana possession -- not sales or trafficking, just possession -- than for all violent crimes combined.
And the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, with "drug czar" John Walters at the helm, has led a hysterical anti-marijuana propaganda campaign. During Walters' tenure, ONDCP has released at least 127 separate anti-marijuana TV, radio and print ads, at a cost of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, plus 34 press releases focused mainly on marijuana, while no fewer than 50 reports from ONDCP and other federal agencies focused on the alleged evils of marijuana or touted anti-marijuana campaigns.
Walters himself campaigned personally in Michigan against the medical marijuana initiative, calling it an "abomination" and claiming yet again that there is no evidence that marijuana has medical value -- an assertion flatly contradicted by at least four published clinical trials in just the last two years.
In Massachusetts, the state's political and law enforcement establishment lined up solidly against the marijuana decriminalization initiative, including both Republican and Democratic politicians and all 11 district attorneys -- several of whom actually admitted to having smoked marijuana. They warned of rampant drug abuse and crime should the measure pass, simply ignoring the fact that no such thing has happened in the 11 other states (including California, Ohio and New York) that have had similar laws for years.
Voters were having none of it, giving a thumping rejection to government officials' lies and hysteria in both states. Americans have taken a hard look at our national war on marijuana and rejected it for the cruel, counterproductive disaster that it is.
The voters are right. Of over 872,000 arrests in one year, 89 percent are for possession only.
What has this gotten us? Not much. Marijuana arrests weren't the only thing that set a record last year. So did the number of Americans who have tried marijuana. Usage rates came down marginally in the last few years but are still higher than in the early 1990s. Marijuana is our nation's number one cash crop.
The one thing our costly and futile efforts to "eradicate" marijuana have accomplished is to create a boom for criminal gangs, to whom we've handed a monopoly on production and distribution. Unlike producers of legal drugs like beer, wine or tobacco, these criminals pay no taxes and obey no rules. Their illicit efforts despoil our national forests and bring violence and destabilization to Mexico.
For years, politicians who know our current marijuana laws make no sense have been afraid to change them for fear of political retribution. The voters' thundering rejection of our misguided war on marijuana shows that those fears are misplaced.
It's time for Congress and the new administration -- not to mention state governments around the country -- to listen to the public. It's time for a new approach.
See more stories tagged with: marijuana, election 2008, medical marijuana
Subject: The New Dawn
Date: 5 Nov 2008
What a glorious day for the New Earth!
In a journey today with my soul sister Bahli I saw the phoenix rising ,not just over USA but over the whole Earth. The people have chosen, they have chosen the Light, they have opened the way for critical mass to move us into ascension.
Obama has the energy of King Arthur and is the holder of the pendragon flame which Arthur brought to the Earth but was unable to hold and to complete.
Obama is the Champion ,the knight protector who upholds and supports The frequency of the Divine Feminine which is Birthing Gaia into her New Form .
It is no coincidence that his 2 daughters and wife were on stage with him. He epitomises the energy of the gentle warrior protector of the Divine Feminine so that She can reclaim the Earth for Love
I saw Lightworkers stepping out of the cocoons that they have been hiding and growing in until the Earth was safe for them to emerge and to be seen for who they are.
A massive birthing of all of us into our Bodies of Radiant Light in the consciousness of the Cosmic Christ .
The tide has turned and there is no holding it back now.
We have reclaimed our Beautiful Planet Earth for Love.
On a personal level the Earth now supports the Lightworkers to fulfill the mission we have always held ,to recreate Love, Beauty, Truth and Peace right here and right now .
It is time to come together to create the communities which will take us forward into the New Dawn.
As we move from the 5th night in the Mayan calender which is "manufactured lack" into the 6th day which is "consciousness surpasses technology" it is time for us to stop pretending we are not the Creator Beings who dreamed this whole Universe into Being and to begin creating our New Dream here on Beloved Gaia.
Blessings, Infinite Love and Gratitude to each one of you who has held the Dream through the days of Darkness.
Let us come together now and celebrate our Victory in the Light.
Note from Jean: Here we go again! Despite the very progressive agenda this new president has pledged to implement, Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff is seen by many as a clear sign that he has a hidden agenda and that he is under the strict control of Jewish and/or dark cabal elements, and thus cannot be trusted. Although at first glance, this move appears very suspicious, I'd like to offer all conspiracy buffs a perspective which might help alleviate their rightful concerns. I, for one, have chosen to actually believe that Barack Obama is working for the good of all, including those who have done some awful things before. His all-inclusive approach means that, instead of rejecting and demonizing those who think differently than us, it is better to have them work at our side and use their considerable experience at running things to our advantage, while making it clear that what we want achieved is now the order of the day, NOT their previous agendas. I could say much more to explain my point here but it would be unwise at this point to put it out in the open. Trust your heart and see through the games being played here and you'll understand. From a more universal/spiritual standpoint, no one living in duality is exempt from the presence of BOTH the Light and the Dark side within him/herself. This is part and parcel of the karmic design of life through which we are all being offered options towards and away from the Source of All. We cannot simply get rid of the dark side. Ultimately, it is ONLY through integrating all aspects of Who We Are in a balanced, unified Whole that we can go back to Source and the ONLY Way to achieve this is through Love, the Omniversal unifying/healing Force, the very Core essence of Creator. So get along with the program and learn to LOVE all the parts of us - we are ALL One right! - that have erred - as we All do at some point! - away from Source. Israelis and Palestinians will learn to love each other as brothers and sisters of the One Source. Yes they can! So can all the Jihadists and Zionists, and all the other groups representing the most extreme views in our still polarized and fragile world, as well as all those in between of those extremes. Fanning the flames of division as our egos are so good at doing will only delay the onset of a true world of Peace, Love and Harmony. Some might say I'm an unrepentant optimist and a utopian. But as Buckminster Fuller once rightly said: "The world is now too dangerous for anything less than utopia."
I'm including this article and other related videos and articles below to give you an idea of the kind of "scrutiny" Obama is going to get. Given the years of governmental duplicity we have all gone through, it isn't surprising that many will be cynical and unwilling to trust. Let's just hope that such well-meaning but very adversarial perspectives from progressive quarters won't end up doing more bad than good...
Oh! BTW there are many other interesting quotes from Buckminster Fuller HERE such as...
Search others for their virtues, and yourself for your vices.
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.
Love is metaphysical gravity.
Real wealth is ideas plus energy.
Dare to be naive...
Is Obama Screwing His Base with Rahm Emanuel Selection?
By Stephen Zunes -- November 7, 2008
Obama has asked conservative Clinton vet Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff -- it's not a good sign for progressives
I had really wanted to celebrate Barack Obama's remarkable victory for a day or so before becoming cynical again. I really did.
And yet, less than 24 hours after the first polls closed, the president-elect chose as his chief of staff -- perhaps the most powerful single position in any administration -- Rahm Emanuel, one of the most conservative Democratic members of Congress.
The chief of staff essentially acts as the president's gatekeeper, determining with whom he has access for advice and analysis. Obama is known as a good listener who has been open to hearing from and considering the perspectives of those on the Left as well as those with a more centrist to conservative perspective. How much access he will actually have as president to more progressive voices, however, is now seriously in question.
Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel is a member of the so-called New Democrat Coalition (NDC), of group of center-right pro-business Congressional Democrats affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Conference, which is dedicated to moving the Democratic Party away from its more liberal and progressive base. Numbering only 58 members out of 236 Democrats in the current House of Representatives, the NDC has worked closely with its Republican colleagues in pushing through and passing such legislation as those providing President Bush with "fast-track" trade authority in order to bypass efforts by labor, environmentalists and other public interest groups to promote fairer trade policy.
Emanuel began his political career as a senior adviser and chief fundraiser for the successful 1989 Chicago mayoral campaign of Richard M. Daley to seize back City Hall from reformists who had challenged the corrupt political machine of this father, Richard J. Daley. Emanuel later became a senior adviser to Bill Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998, serving as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy, and was credited with playing a major role in shifting the Clinton administration's foreign and domestic policy agenda to the right. Emanuel was the single most important official involved in pushing through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the bill ending Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and Clinton's draconian crime bill, among other legislation.
Leaving the administration in 1998, Emanuel worked as an investment banker in Chicago, where he amassed an $18 million fortune in less than three years prior to being elected to Congress.
As head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2004, Emanuel has promoted pro-war and pro-business center-right candidates against anti-war and pro-labor candidates in the primaries, pouring millions of dollars of donations from Democrats across the country into the campaigns of his favored conservative minions to defeat more progressive challengers.
Emanuel was a major supporter of the Iraq War resolution that authorized the invasion of Iraq. Indeed, he was the only one of nine Democratic members of Congress from Illinois who backed granting Bush this unprecedented authority to invade a country on the far side of the world that was no threat to the United States at the time. Even more disturbingly, when asked by Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" whether he would have voted to authorize the invasion "knowing that there are no weapons of mass destruction," Emanuel answered that he indeed would have done so, effectively acknowledging that his support for the war was not about national security, but about oil and empire. Not surprisingly, he has also voted with the Republicans in support of unconditional funding to continue the Iraq War and has consistently opposed efforts by other Democrats to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces from that country and related Congressional efforts to end the war.
At a time of record budget deficits, Emanuel has been a passionate supporter of increased spending for the Pentagon and has resisted efforts by fellow Democrats to trim excesses in the Bush administration's bloated military budget. For example, he has repeatedly voted against amendments to cut funding for Bush's dangerously destabilizing missile defense and even voted against an amendment to identify unnecessary Pentagon spending by examining the need, relevance and cost of Cold War weapons systems designed to fight the former Soviet Union.
A major hawk regarding Iran, Emanuel has also voted against Democratic efforts to prevent the Bush administration from launching military action against that country and has joined the administration in exaggerated claims about Iran's alleged nuclear threat. He is not opposed to nuclear proliferation if it involves U.S. allies, however. Emanuel has consistently voted against a series of Democratic amendments that would have strengthened safeguards in the Bush administration's nuclear cooperation agreement with India to prevent U.S. assistance from supporting India's nuclear weapons program.
Emanuel is also a prominent hawk regarding Israel, attacking the Bush administration from the right for criticizing Israel's assassination policies and other human rights abuses. He was also a prominent supporter of Israel's 2006 attacks on Lebanon, even challenging the credibility of Amnesty International and other human rights groups that reported Israeli violations of international humanitarian law. Emanuel's father had emigrated from Israel in the 1950s, where he had been a member of the terrorist group Irgun, which had been responsible for a series of terrorist attacks against Palestinian and British civilians in mandatory Palestine during the 1940s. Emanuel himself served in a civilian capacity as a volunteer for the Israeli army in the early 1990s.
It is unclear how serious of a blow Obama's selection of Emanuel is to those who hoped that Obama might actually steer the country in a more progressive direction. It's easy to see it as nothing less than a slap in the face of the progressive anti-war elements of the party to whom Obama owes his election, particularly following his selection of Sen. Joe Biden as vice president. (See my articles "Biden's Foreign Policy 'Experience'" and "Biden, Iraq, and Obama's Betrayal.")
However, this does not necessarily mean that Obama as president will pursue nothing better than a Clintonesque center-right agenda. Someone with Obama's intelligence, knowledge and leadership qualities need not be unduly restricted by the influence of his chief of staff as less able presidents have. At the same time, this shocking appointment of Emanuel is illustrative of the need for the progressive base that brought him to power to not celebrate too long and to refocus our energies into pushing hard to ensure that the change Obama promised is something we really can believe in.
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco and serves as a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus.
Here are some of the MANY comments on this article posted there - most of which strongly disagree with Zunes' negative views:
I'd disagree with the author's definition of "progressive". The areas where there is real need for progressive strategies include energy, water, agriculture and industry. Rahm Emanuel has a very good record on environmental and energy issues: Rahm Emanuel on Energy & Oil Yes, he is Jewish. There is also a Muslim member of Congress, right? CLIP So, he is fair enough - although we can think of many questions that Emanuel will not want to talk about, such as "how about a open and honest discussion about Israel's nuclear weapons program?" Anyway, what did you expect, a shining knight on a white horse? Our political system has been under the more-or-less absolute control of giant corporate interests for the past eight years - that's what needs to end first. To do that you need someone willing to tackle tough issues, which Emanuel is. Plus, here's a great video of Emanuel moving to strip funding from Cheney after he declared the VP to be a fourth branch of government: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1U025hVMeY - Seems like a good choice to me, especially after the nasty anti-partisan attacks put out by the Republicans over the past few weeks. More to the point, he has promoted a very good energy policy - and that's what matters most.
Emanuel is not the President, Obama is. Obama has already affirmed his commitment to diplomacy and peace in the Middle East. You cannot expect him to agree with Emanuel on every issue. By choosing Emanuel as Chief of Staff, Barack commands full loyalty from the man, already a long-term friend he knows he can trust and work with. (Besides, one mis-step and Emanuel can be fired.) Emanuel is an influential figure in Congress. Bringing him in as C of S actually works to neutralize Emanuel's possibly problemtic opposition to some of Barack's future initiatives. Emanuel is a hardnosed action man who will stand up both to Republican opposition and to Democrats who try to overreach by pushing a radical left-wing agenda that would quickly undermine Obama's credibility as a unifier. Contrary to some accusations, he has a solid record of bipartisanship. Also, Emanuel is very strong on environmental and on energy policy -- two of our most pressing issues. With one masterful stroke, Obama has put to rest all the lingering whispers of his secret radical Islamic leanings/liasons. He sends a clear signal to Israel that he is not just a Palestinian apologist but, rather, intends to *mediate*, to Islamic extremists that he will not be a pushover, and he can still fulfill his promise to engage in diplomatic negotations with Iran, etc. Reaching across the aisle can happen on many dimensions, not just in Congress. I think Rahm is a *brilliant* choice!
The Chief of Staff is an ADMINISTRATIVE position, and by all accounts, Rahm E. is good at that. Discipline is important for a president's office. Obama has enough wisdom and judgment to be able to make decisions for himself. Give him a break and a chance before you start killing him with negativity before he's even inaugurated! Would you prefer John McCain???
Rahm Emanuel will be able to get the job done from day one. Progressives and Dems that want President Obama to push the issues should recognize that a member of congress that was on the fast-track to Speaker of the House has the connections and political know-how to get an agenda acted upon. He has the ability to work with the regressives and repubs in congress too and that will have to happen to get any ambitious work done. Plus, it seems smart to me to use the experience from the only living two-term President from your party to learn what to do and not do right from the start like Obama has done in using Clinton people on his transition team. Everyone on Alternet needs to take a chill pill and put it together that we now have an intelligent President that is not swayed by associations.
Rahm Emanuel: attack dog, policy wonk, committed Jew (November 9, 2008) http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/09/1000859/rahm-emanuel-attack-dog-policy-wonk-committed-jew
WASHINGTON (JTA) Political insight, killer in a fight, Yiddishkeit its an inseparable package when it comes to Rahm Emanuel, say those who know President-elect Barack Obamas pick to be the next White House chief of staff. Since his days as a fund-raiser and then a "political adviser" read: enforcer for President Clinton, Emanuel has earned notoriety as a no-holds-barred politico. Accept the good with the bad because its of a piece, said Steve Rabinowitz, who worked with Emanuel in the Clinton White House. (...) In truth, some observers say, Obamas Jewish supporters and Emanuels Arab critics are oversimplifying by painting the new chief of staff as a guardian of Israeli interests. Emanuel will be a strong voice for Israeli security but also one with the standing to cast a skeptical eye on some Israeli claims. "Rahm, precisely because hes a lover of Israel, will not have much patience with Israeli excuse-making, Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for The Atlantic, suggested on his blog. So when the next prime minister tells President Obama that as much as hed love to, he cant dismantle the Neve Manyak settlement outpost, or whichever outpost needs dismantling, because of a) domestic politics; b) security concerns; or c) the Bible, Rahm will call out such nonsense, and it will be very hard for right-wing Israelis to come back and accuse him of being a self-hating Jew.Tom Dine, a past president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a senior policy adviser to the Israeli Policy Forum, concurred and said that Emanuels knowledge of the issue will mean is are dotted and ts are crossed. CLIP
The Israeli Who Will Run the Obama White House (Nov 6) http://www.bollyn.info/home/articles/polphil/rahm-emanuel-and-barack-obama/
"Obama's first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff" is the headline of a November 6 article in Ha'aretz, the Israeli newspaper. The Israeli editors at Ha'aretz proudly proclaim that Obama's first pick was "Israeli Rahm Emanuel" to run the next administration. Americans should be aware that Obama's chief of staff will be an Israeli, with terrorist roots and a clear loyalty to the state of Israel. Although the Israeli Emanuel has been named as Obama's chief of staff, none of the Zionist-controlled media outlets in the United States seem as open as Ha'aretz to discuss Emanuel's family roots with the Nazi-linked Zionist terror gangs in Palestine in the 1930s and 40s. Naftali Bendavid of the Zionist-owned Chicago Tribune, for example, has written a book about Emanuel and spent a great deal of time with him but completely avoids his Israeli roots in the Tribune article he wrote on November 6. Bendavid wrote that Emanuel "is best known as something of a Democratic political assassin" who "might not appear to be the obvious choice for White House chief of staff for a president-elect who speaks eloquently of setting aside partisan differences and bringing the country together." Don't expect the controlled media to tell you the whole truth about Emanuel's family ties to real assassins. To get an idea of who Emanuel really is, I recommend my 2006 article, "Son of a Zionist Terrorist -- Rahm Emanuel's Dirty Secret."Emanuel even left the United States to serve in the Israeli army in 1991. A person from any other nation would automatically lose his U.S. citizenship for serving in a foreign military. Why do we let Israelis run our government? What will it take to remove people like Emanuel and Michael Chertoff to prevent them from damaging our American republic even more? The Zionist agents in our government are clearly in the process of accumulating power and not at all afraid of showing it. This is a very dangerous development. Americans should note that this means a foreigner, an Israeli, i.e. a person with loyalties to Israel, will be running the White House under Barack Obama. The chief of staff effectively controls the people around the president -- he decides who sees him, what he hears, and what he knows. The people surrounding the president report to the chief of staff. Emanuel will be the intellectual handler of President Obama (a continuation of the role he has played for years) and the controller of the White House. How do you think having an Israeli with terrorist roots will affect U.S. relations with Iran, Russia, the Palestinians -- and the rest of the world? (...) What can we expect from the Obama presidency? Elected on a platform of "Change" after 8 years of an unpopular and dictatorial regime, we would expect to see changes of the disastrous policies of the Bush administration. What changes will we see? Will we see an end to the costly and illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Will the senior officials of the Bush administration who willfully lied to start these wars of aggression be held accountable for their war crimes? Will we finally have a proper and independent investigation of 9-11? Will the ghoulish Israeli Michael Chertoff be fired and his oppressive Department of Homeland Security dismantled? If the war criminals are not held accountable and the most egregious criminal policies of the Bush administration are not changed and reversed - what exactly does the Obama "Change" slogan mean? Changing the curtains? Changing the Israelis in the White House CLIP
Who is Rahm Emanuel? (11 min video) http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=2747
David Swanson: Rahm Emanuel was a strong supporter of the Iraq war.
David Swanson is the creator of ImpeachCheney.org, the Washington Director of Democrats.com and co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition; a board member of Progressive Democrats of America; of the Backbone Campaign; and of Voters for Peace. He serves on a working group of United for Peace and Justice. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign. (Oh! And for those who wonder if Dennis Kucinich has been re-elected.He has!)
Ralph Nader Asks: Obama - Uncle Sam Or Uncle Tom? (November 6, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10837
(...) Nader: "To put it very simply, he is our first African American president; or he will be. And we wish him well. But his choice, basically, is whether he's going to be Uncle Sam for the people of this country, or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations". Fox News: "Really. Ralph Nader -- What was that?" Nader: "It's very simple. He has gone along with corporate power from the moment he entered politics in the State Senate -- Voted for the Wall Street Bailout -- Supports expanding military budget that is desired by the military industrial complex, and doesn't really have a tax reform thing for the ordinary fellow in this country -- Opposes single-payer full Medicare for all, because the giant HMOs AETNA and SIGNA do -- Doesn't have a living wage -- He's supposed to be respectful of the poor -- hardly mentions them in his speech -- It's all the middle class -- He doesn't have a comprehensive program..." (...) Nader: "I said that's the question HE has to answer. He can become a great President, or he can become a toady for the corporate powers that have brought both parties to their knees against working people in this country, and have allowed our country to be hijacked by global corporations who have no allegiance to this country other than to ship its jobs and industries to fascist and communist dictators abroad who know how to keep their workers in their place. This is reality here. This is not show business. It's not celebrity politics. There are people suffering in this country, and we expect a great Presidency from Barack Obama, and we're gonna try to hold his feet to the fire..."
Why Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, and Others Might Be Nervous About President Obama (Nov 7, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/106196/why_iraqis%2C_afghans%2C_palestinians%2C_and_others_might_be_nervous_about_president_obama/
John Pilger, Mahmood Mamdani, Raed Jarrar, Tariq Ali, Laura Carlsen, and more on Obama's troubling foreign policy ideas. (...) John Pilger: Well, my response, Amy, is that really anyone was better than Bush and the Bush administration. Having experienced election night in the United States and then seeing the response here, I feel that it's time that analysis and critical thinking took over and that those of us who wish to think that way, who wish to think critically, really should start addressing the -- this rather manipulated emotional response. I don't, in any way, cast doubt on the sincerity of the way people are speaking about the election of Obama around the world, although I think the reaction that you just played from the Middle East is rather more near the realism that is close to truth. But I do think we have to consider President-elect Obama as a man of the system. Michael Moore had it right when he said the other day, let's hope that Obama breaks all his election promises, as politicians generally do, because all his election promises, in terms of foreign policy, are a continuation of business as usual. And even if there is a return to what used to be called a multilateral world, I think there has to be critical analysis of the return to the pretensions of America as a peacemaker around the world. We had to endure this, and I mean endure it during the Clinton years, and I don't think that we, in the rest of the world, ought to have to endure it now through the Obama years, so that we have a continuation, if you like, of liberalism as a divisive, almost war-making ideology, being used to destroy liberalism as a reality, because that has gone on under so-called liberal presidents, from Kennedy to Clinton, Democratic presidents. And President-elect Obama suggests to us, in his promises, that he is going to continue that, bombing Pakistan and Afghanistan. CLIP
OBAMA MANIA.. BUT SOON ENOUGH, PEOPLE WILL LEARN THEY WERE FOOLED AGAIN http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=135615
This lengthy read is a good starting summation of the kind of people and policy lines which for the most part are likely to predominate under Obama's term. Long, it is worth reviewing. It is chilling. The only rays are that I believe Lendman overstates the case for pessimism on some points, I suspect that Obama will craft at least a few worthy departures from the past. The problem is, it won't be on the most important issues. I also believe that Lendman and the already burgeoning crowds of critics fail to appreciate just what a "transistion team" is. Obama has assembled a lot of Clinton era people who actually understand just what is there in the government and the mechanics for doing things within it. These people will be used to guide him and his real appointees into taking up the actual reins of power. YOU REALLY CAN'T DO IT ANY OTHER WAY. HOWEVER, that said, Lendman and Nadar are absolutely right in vociferously critizing the choices of the Economic Advisory Team and the really lousy choice of Rahm "The Zionazi" Emanuel as Chief of Staff. The objectivety, fairness, and transparency of the U.S. government in dealing internationally remain severly impaired with such a man in such a prominent position to shape the agenda and appointees of the Obama administration. Obama is dragging a large ball of iron on his right foot with this man. CLIP
Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran (6 November 2008) http://wsws.org/articles/2008/nov2008/iran-n06.shtml
On the eve of the US elections, the New York Times cautiously pointed on Monday to the emergence of a bipartisan consensus in Washington for an aggressive new strategy towards Iran. While virtually nothing was said in the course of the election campaign, behind-the-scenes top advisers from the Obama and McCain camps have been discussing the rapid escalation of diplomatic pressure and punitive sanctions against Iran, backed by preparations for military strikes.The article entitled New Beltway Debate: What to do about Iran noted with a degree of alarm: It is a frightening notion, but it not just the trigger-happy Bush administration discussingif only theoreticallythe possibility of military action to stop Irans nuclear weapons program [R]easonable people from both parties are examining the so-called military option, along with new diplomatic initiatives.Behind the backs of American voters, top advisers for President-elect Barack Obama have been setting the stage for a dramatic escalation of confrontation with Iran as soon as the new administration takes office. A report released in September from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, argued that a nuclear weapons capable Iran was strategically untenable and detailed a robust approach, incorporating new diplomatic, economic and military tools in an integrated fashion. (...) The emerging consensus on Iran in US foreign policy circles again underscores the fact that the differences between Obama and McCain were purely tactical. While millions of Americans voted for the Democratic candidate believing he would end the war in Iraq and address their pressing economic needs, powerful sections of the American elite swung behind him as a better vehicle to prosecute US economic and strategic interests in the Middle East and Central Asiaincluding the use of military force against Iran.
Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse? And why are they being given top positions in Obama's Administration? by Michel Chossudovsky (November 9, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10860
The October 2008 financial meltdown is not the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon. It is the deliberate result of US government policy instrumented through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board.This is the most serious economic crisis in World history. The "bailout" proposed by the US Treasury does not constitute a "solution" to the crisis. In fact quite the opposite: it is the cause of further collapse. It triggers an unprecedented concentration of wealth, which in turn contributes to widening economic and social inequalities both within and between nations. The levels of indebtedness have skyrocketed. Industrial corporations are driven into bankruptcy, taken over by the global financial institutions. Credit, namely the supply of loanable funds, which constitutes the lifeline of production and investment, is controlled by a handful of financial conglomerates. (...) At the time of writing, Obama's favorite is Larry Summers, front-runner for the position of Treasury Secretary. Harvard University Economics Professor Lawrence Summers served as Chief Economist for the World Bank (19911993). He contributed to shaping the macro-economic reforms imposed on numerous indebted developing countries. The social and economic impact of these reforms under the IMF-World Bank sponsored structural adjustment program (SAP) were devastating, resulting in mass poverty. Larry Summer's stint at the World Bank coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the imposition of the IMF-World Bank's deadly " economic medicine" on Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics and the Balkans. In 1993, Summers moved to the US Treasury. He initially held the position of Undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs and later Deputy Secretary. In liaison with his former colleagues at the IMF and the World Bank, he played a key role in crafting the economic "shock treatment" reform packages imposed at the height of the 1997 Asian crisis on South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. The bailout agreements negotiated with these three countries were coordinated through Summers office at the Treasury in liaison with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions. Summers worked closely with IMF Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer, who was later appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Israel. Larry Summers became Treasury Secretary in July 1999. He is a protégé of David Rockefeller. He was among the main architects of the infamous Financial Services Modernization Act, which provided legitimacy to inside trading and outright financial manipulation. Summers is currently a Consultant to Goldman Sachs and managing director of a Hedge fund, the D.EShaw Group. As former Treasury Secretary and his contacts on Wall Street, Summers had valuable inside information on the movement of financial markets. Under the helm of Larry Summers and as a direct result of the financial meltdown, the D E Shaw Group made record profits. At the end of October 2008, at the height of the financial meltdown, the Shaw Group announced $7 billion in revenue, a 22 percent increase over the previous year, "with nearly three times more cash on hand than a year ago" (2theadvocate.com, 31 October 2008).Putting a Hedge Fund manager (with links to the Wall Street financial establishment) in charge of the Treasury is tantamount to putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop. (...) The economic reasoning underlying neoliberal economic discourse is often cynical and contemptuous. In this regard, Lawrence Summers' economic discourse stands out. He is known among environmentalists for having proposed the dumping of toxic waste in Third World countries, because people in poor countries have shorter lives and the costs of labor are abysmally low, which essentially means that the market value of people in the Third World is much lower. According to summers, this makes it far more "cost effective" to export toxic materials to impoverished countries. CLIP -- NOTE: If indeed Obama picks Larry Summer for the position of Treasury Secretary, this would certainly be another troubling sign...
We Will Watch Obama Like A Hawk (November 5 2008) http://www.theinternationalforecaster.com/printerfriendly/International_Forecaster_Weekly/We_Will_Watch_Obama_Like_A_Hawk
Summary: USA now the Obamanation, Illuminati and elites are always the real winners in elections, politicians ruled behind the scenes by the powerful, gold and silver futures have been suppressed, more economic bubbles coming, stock market losses to reduce global wealth by trillions. (...) Politicians blab away, talking about what is on their party's agenda, and then they are told what to do by those in our shadow government who run the whole agenda, which is of course divided between the two parties. We promise Mr. Obama that we will never listen to what he says, but will we watch what he does like a hawk. We will burn away all the Illuminist lies and webs of deceit which are woven around his actions to obscure and to obfuscate their true nature and purpose. We will give him a chance like anyone else and we will be his supporter if he is honest and forthright. But we will be his worst nightmare if he tries to get "cute" with the American people. We will expose what he is doing and lay it bare to the American public. CLIP
Obama Will Be One of The Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents
Frank Schaeffer -- October 8, 2008
Great presidents are made great by horrible circumstances combined with character, temperament and intelligence. Like firemen, cops, doctors or soldiers, presidents need a crisis to shine.
Obama is one of the most intelligent presidential aspirants to ever step forward in American history. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, America: we have the leader for our times.
I say this as a white, former life-long Republican. I say this as the proud father of a Marine. I say this as just another American watching his pension evaporate along with the stock market! I speak as someone who knows it's time to forget party loyalty, ideology and pride and put the country first. I say this as someone happy to be called a fool for going out on a limb and declaring that, 1) Obama will win, and 2) he is going to be amongst the greatest of American presidents.
Obama is our last best chance. He's worth laying it all on the line for.
This is a man who in the age of greed took the high road of community service. This is the good father and husband. This is the humble servant. This is the patient teacher. This is the scholar statesman. This is the man of deep Christian faith.
Good stories about Obama abound; from his personal relationship with his Secret Service agents (he invites them into his home to watch sports, and shoots hoops with them) to the story about how, more than twenty years ago, while standing in the check-in line at an airport, Obama paid a $100 baggage surcharge for a stranger who was broke and stuck. (Obama was virtually penniless himself in those days.) Years later after he became a senator, that stranger recognized Obama's picture and wrote to him to thank him. She received a kindly note back from the senator. (The story only surfaced because the person, who lives in Norway, told a local newspaper after Obama ran for the presidency. The paper published a photograph of this lady proudly displaying Senator Obama's letter.)
Where many leaders are two-faced; publicly kindly but privately feared and/or hated by people closest to them, Obama is consistent in the way he treats people, consistently kind and personally humble. He lives by the code that those who lead must serve. He believes that. He lives it. He lived it long before he was in the public eye.
Obama puts service ahead of ideology. He also knows that to win politically you need to be tough. He can be. He has been. This is a man who does what works, rather than scoring ideological points. In other words he is the quintessential non-ideological pragmatic American. He will (thank God!) disappoint ideologues and purists of the left and the right.
Obama has a reservoir of personal physical courage that is unmatched in presidential history. Why unmatched? Because as the first black contender for the presidency who will win, Obama, and all the rest of us, know that he is in great physical danger from the seemingly unlimited reserve of unhinged racial hatred, and just plain unhinged ignorant hatred, that swirls in the bowels of our wounded and sinful country. By stepping forward to lead, Obama has literally put his life on the line for all of us in a way no white candidate ever has had to do. (And we all know how dangerous the presidency has been even for white presidents.)
Nice stories or even unparalleled courage isn't the only point. The greater point about Obama is that the midst of our worldwide financial meltdown, an expanding (and losing) war in Afghanistan, trying to extricate our country from a wrong and stupidly mistaken ruinously expensive war in Iraq, our mounting and crushing national debt, awaiting the next (and inevitable) al Qaeda attack on our homeland, watching our schools decline to Third World levels of incompetence, facing a general loss of confidence in the government that has been exacerbated by the Republicans doing all they can to undermine our government's capabilities and programs... President Obama will take on the leadership of our country at a make or break time of historic proportions. He faces not one but dozens of crisis, each big enough to define any presidency in better times.
As luck, fate or divine grace would have it (depending on one's personal theology) Obama is blessedly, dare I say uniquely, well-suited to our dire circumstances. Obama is a person with hands-on community service experience, deep connections to top economic advisers from the renowned University of Chicago where he taught law, and a middle-class background that gives him an abiding knowledgeable empathy with the rest of us. As the son of a single mother, who has worked his way up with merit and brains, recipient of top-notch academic scholarships, the peer-selected editor of the Harvard Law Review and, in three giant political steps to state office, national office and now the presidency, Obama clearly has the wit and drive to lead.
Obama is the sober voice of reason at a time of unreason. He is the fellow keeping his head while all around him are panicking. He is the healing presence at a time of national division and strife. He is also new enough to the political process so that he doesn't suffer from the terminally jaded cynicism, the seen-it-all-before syndrome afflicting most politicians in Washington. In that regard we Americans lucked out. It's as if having despaired of our political process we picked a name from the phone book to lead us and that person turned out to be a very man we needed.
Obama brings a healing and uplifting spiritual quality to our politics at the very time when our worst enemy is fear. For eight years we've been ruled by a stunted fear-filled mediocrity of a little liar who has expanded his power on the basis of creating fear in others. Fearless Obama is the cure. He speaks a litany of hope rather than a litany of terror.
As we have watched Obama respond in a quiet reasoned manner to crisis after crisis, in both the way he has responded after being attacked and lied about in the 2008 campaign season, to his reasoned response to our multiplying national crises, what we see is the spirit of a trusted family doctor with a great bedside manner. Obama is perfectly suited to hold our hand and lead us through some very tough times. The word panic is not in the Obama dictionary.
America is fighting its "Armageddon" in one fearful heart at a time. A brilliant leader with the mild manner of an old-time matter-of-fact country doctor soothing a frightened child is just what we need. The fact that our "doctor" is a black man leading a hitherto white-ruled nation out of the mess of its own making is all the sweeter and raises the Obama story to that of moral allegory.
Obama brings a moral clarity to his leadership reserved for those who have had to work for everything they've gotten and had to do twice as well as the person standing next to them because of the color of their skin. His experience of succeeding in spite of his color, social background and prejudice could have been embittering or one that fostered a spiritual rebirth of forgiveness and enlightenment. Obama radiates the calm inner peace of the spirit of forgiveness.
Speaking as a believing Christian I see the hand of a merciful God in Obama's candidacy. The biblical metaphors abound. The stone the builder rejected is become the cornerstone... the last shall be first... he that would gain his life must first lose it... the meek shall inherit the earth...
For my secular friends I'll allow that we may have just been extraordinarily lucky! Either way America wins.
Only a brilliant man, with the spirit of a preacher and the humble heart of a kindly family doctor can lead us now. We are afraid, out of ideas, and worst of all out of hope. Obama is the cure. And we Americans have it in us to rise to the occasion. We will. We're about to enter one of the most frightening periods of American history. Our country has rarely faced more uncertainty. This is the time for greatness. We have a great leader. We must be a great people backing him, fighting for him, sacrificing for a cause greater than ourselves.
A hundred years from now Obama's portrait will be placed next to that of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Long before that we'll be telling our children and grandchildren that we stepped out in faith and voted for a young black man who stood up and led our country back from the brink of an abyss. We'll tell them about the power of love, faith and hope. We'll tell them about the power of creativity combined with humility and intellectual brilliance. We'll tell them that President Obama gave us the gift of regaining our faith in our country. We'll tell them that we all stood up and pitched in and won the day. We'll tell them that President Obama restored our standing in the world. We'll tell them that by the time he left office our schools were on the mend, our economy booming, that we'd become a nation filled with green energy alternatives and were leading the world away from dependence on carbon-based destruction. We'll tell them that because of President Obama's example and leadership the integrity of the family was restored, divorce rates went down, more fathers took responsibility for their children, and abortion rates fell dramatically as women, families and children were cared for through compassionate social programs that worked. We'll tell them about how the gap closed between the middle class and the super rich, how we won health care for all, how crime rates fell, how bad wars were brought to an honorable conclusion. We'll tell them that when we were attacked again by al Qaeda, how reason prevailed and the response was smart, tough, measured and effective, and our civil rights were protected even in times of crisis...
We'll tell them that we were part of the inexplicably blessed miracle that happened to our country those many years ago in 2008 when a young black man was sent by God, fate or luck to save our country. We'll tell them that it's good to live in America where anything is possible. Yes we will.
Frank Schaeffer is the author of CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back. Now in paperback.
Forwarded by Lise Jacques (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From: James Gilliland (email@example.com)
Date: Nov 7, 2008
Subject: The Obama Wave
Whereas it again is wonderful to see a shift in consciousness and movement to the light, Obama has inherited a plane in a nose dive which will take a miracle to get back on course. He has his work cut out but I do believe in miracles. The only way he can be successful is to have our total support which also means standing tall for what is right and good. We have just experienced 8 years of lies, deceptions, thievery, torture and genocide by a so called Christian Right winged pro life group. How can one be pro life when 1.2 million civilians were killed in Iraq due to an illegal war based on deception? My gawd who would Jesus bomb or torture? Remember thou shalt not kill? There were no addendums that said unless they were Muslim or are sitting on top of our oil. It is no wonder we have terrorists and the last administration has given a whole new meaning to the ugly American.
Now we have a choice to end the ugly American image and bring to the rest of the world a new image fueled by right action. We are coming out of a very dark scenario filled with hypocrisy and oxymoron into the light and we the people, not one man is going to make the future. The elite have been running the show, they own the media and have a long history of secrecy, deception and profit at the expense of humanity and nature. This is all now becoming exposed, Armageddon does not mean wars and destructions it means coming into light, everything hidden exposed. It is a prophecy that all our iniquities will be shouted from the roof tops and as we sew so shall we reap. Karmageddon is a much better definition of our future and the action/reaction principle. It will be played out regardless of those who arrogantly be lie ve they are beyond karma and the hand of universal law or justice. There is no where to hide, underground bases, mars and the moon included. There is a frequency and a force moving in unseen ways exposing everything. The action/reaction principle some call Karma will be quickened as well. We are moving into Galactic Plane which is a ride that will be individually cancelled if you do not rise to the occasion. Humanity and the Earth according to the Mayan calendar are undergoing a quantum leap in evolution. We can evolve with the planet or find a new home. It is really that simple and there will be many ways of checking out in the days to come.
"We need to become the solution not the victim."
No longer can we be willing participants in organizations or actions that are not in the highest and best good of humanity and the Earth. The separation game is over, the Creator is Omnipresent in All Creation despite it's diversity and it is time we acted accordingly. It is not rocket science. Choosing to live in harmony with each other and the planet to sustain this civilization is a no brainer. The actions against humanity and nature, the me mine separation game are out of alignment with universal law which in it's simplest form is Love.
Love the Creator, God of many names with all your heart, your neighbor as yourself, "Of course this demands self love," and honor the balance or sacred circle of life. On these three laws lie all the laws and the prophets. Sound familiar. Common sense is God sense and rather than herd consciousness, critical thinking is a must in the days to come.
By their actions or fruits you will know them. When someone screws you, it stands to reason they will do it again and again until you rise up and say enough. If they are rewarded for screwing you by your leaders and government it stands to reason the leadership has gone astray. The days of denial and gray areas are over. Forget about the fancy titles, the positions of power, the outer appearances, see beyond the matrix. Look at the actions. There are those who live in a parallel universe a different world who care nothing about you, your family, truth justice or anything good. They are totally self-serving with no empathy or conscience. Many do their bidding, are willing participants intellectually explaining away what they know in the hearts to be wrong. If we are to pull this plane out of the nose dive it is on, a strong dose of impeccable integrity is in order, mixed with a little courage. Again it is not one man/woman who will generate the shift necessary to get this civilization headed in the right direction it is every man/woman not to mention the enlightened children. Pride and arrogance need to give way to humility and service. Manipulating the masses must give way to truth. We can no longer afford the luxury of acting in a self serving unconscious manner remembering the next generation will be us. What kind of world do you want to be born into and what are you doing to insure it contiues to evolve on the upward spiral? Leaders go where the awakened masses lead as long as the awakened have the courage and motive to ensure their voices are heard and right action is taken.
PS Disclosure is around the corner, we will soon join the rest of the universe in peace. The greater family of man is waiting.
Forwarded by Larry Stell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Suggestion for Veterans Day
From: email@example.com On Behalf Of Michael Mandeville
BULLETIN ITEM: The Parting Words Of Some U.S. Presidents Were Probably The ONLY Political Advice To Which We Should Have Listened
Not the campaign hype.
General George Washington advised us in his last Presidential speech that the Republic would fare well if it scrupulously avoided entanglement in foreign affairs and refused to allow foreign lobby's to agitate for governmental action and involvement in wars. The genious and the promise of the Republic, he argued, was to maintain people in freedom, peace and keep complete neutrality in the world so that the world would become more peaceful. THAT WAS THE AMERICAN DREAM OF HIS GENERATION. But a war lobby, if it arose, likely would destroy the Republic, he gravely warned, and rob the people of everything, even the American Dream of Peace, Liberty, and Equality. His advice was ignored and so it all came to pass.
Abraham Lincoln advised us at the end of the Civil War that the rise of the corporate power and money power in the hands of private factions would corrupt the Republic and make all men subservient to a small class of super rich. His advice was ignored and so it all came to pass.
Dwight Eisenhower advised us at the end of his term that the rise of the military-industrial-academic complex had taken up too much unwarranted power and if not checked, this power could fatally transform the Republic into a growing tyranny. His advice was ignored and so it came to pass.
This is what Harry Truman had to say about the creation of the National Security State apparatus in 1947/48
"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo."
-- Harry S. Truman, 33rd US President
It is time we stop euphemizing. Hence forth, in honor of Harry Truman's insight, in full accord with the wisdom of Generals Washington and Eisenhower, let us cut to the chase and call the CIA Homeland Security Complex the "U. S. Gestapo".
In honor of these worthy men, let us reframe the modern debate by consistently using this term.
VININGS, Ga. What Ray Anderson calls his conversion experience occurred in the summer of 1994, when he was asked to give the sales force at Interface, the carpet tile company he founded.
Thats simple, Mr. Anderson recalls thinking. We comply with the law.
But as a sales tool, compliance lacked inspirational verve. So he started reading about environmental issues, and thinking about them, until pretty soon it hit him: I was running a company that was plundering the earth, he realized. I thought, Damn, some day people like me will be put in jail!
It was a spear in the chest.
So instead of environmental regulation, he devoted his speech to his newfound vision of polluted air, overflowing landfills, depleted aquifers and used-up resources. Only one institution was powerful enough and pervasive enough to turn these problems around, he told his colleagues, and it was the institution that was causing them in the first place: Business. Industry. People like us. Us!
He challenged his colleagues to set a deadline for Interface to become a restorative enterprise, a sustainable operation that takes nothing out of the earth that cannot be recycled or quickly regenerated, and that does no harm to the biosphere.
The deadline they ultimately set is 2020, and the idea has taken hold throughout the company. In a recent interview in his office here overlooking downtown Atlanta, Mr. Anderson said that through waste reduction, recycling, energy efficiency and other steps, Interface was about 45 percent from where we were to where we want to be.
Use of fossil fuels is down 45 percent (and net greenhouse gas production, by weight, is down 60 percent), he said, while sales are up 49 percent. Globally, the companys carpet-making uses one-third the water it used to. The companys worldwide contribution to landfills has been cut by 80 percent.
He bet his entire company, said Bob Fox, an architect who specializes in green buildings and who, like Mr. Anderson, is a member of the advisory board of the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment. It worked out probably better even than he hoped. He has set the mark for every other corporation in this country.
And in the process, Mr. Anderson has turned into perhaps the leading corporate evangelist for sustainability. He had a head start, he acknowledges, because he ran his company and controlled its voting stock. But he can make the case effectively, he said, because his Interface experience teaches that sustainability doesnt cost, it pays in customer loyalty, employee spirit and hard cash. He says Interface sustainability efforts have saved the company more than $336 million since 1995.
In fact, sustainability has been such a successful strategy that Interface established a consulting arm last year, to market its methods to other companies.
As befits an evangelist, Mr. Anderson, a trim 72-year-old, has taken his message on the road, preaching the sermon of sustainability in at least 115 speeches around the world last year alone.
Since last year, when he turned operating responsibilities over to Dan Hendrix, his successor as chief executive, selling sustainability has been pretty much my full-time job, Mr. Anderson said, and several people on the company payroll work more or less full time on it too, handling his schedule and fielding inquiries. I think he was a typical corporate executive: the bottom line was everything, said Eric Chivian, director of the Harvard Center. He really did not think about the impact of his work.
But today, Dr. Chivian said, Mr. Anderson is a model of creative thinking about sustainable business practices.
When Mr. Anderson began his crusade, there were those who thought it was quixotic, and some in the company worried that he was a bit too intense about it. Others thought carpet tiles squares of nylon pile glued ubiquitously underfoot in offices, classrooms, hospitals, airports and elsewhere were an unlikely focus for an effort to change the way business does business.
Well, he won us all over, said Jo Ann Bachman, one of Mr. Andersons assistants.
And for him, carpet tiles were an inspired choice.
For one thing, he is a carpet tile enthusiast. After a short stint at Procter & Gamble, Mr. Anderson, a Georgia native and 1956 graduate of Georgia Tech, was working in the carpet division of Callaway Mills when he discovered carpet tiles on a trip to England that he also describes in his book Mid-Course Correction (Chelsea Green, 1998).
CLIP - To read the missing part, please click here.
For example, he said, the tax code is perverse, in that it puts heavy taxes on good things, like income and capital, and leaves a lot of bad things, like energy use, relatively unscathed. And economists typically underestimate the true cost of doing business because they exclude externalities, like environmental damage from pollution.
If it were up to him, he said, he would reduce income taxes and raise the gasoline tax (with subsidies for the poor). But he conceded that the Clinton administration, which he served as co-chairman of the Council on Sustainable Development, could not get an energy tax through Congress.
The country wasnt ready for it, Mr. Anderson said, adding that when the sustainability council had a cocktail party for members of Congress, only a handful of members showed up, some of them possibly drawn more by drinks than doctrine.
But since then, he said, environmental groups have been spreading the message. He gives them credit for the success of Al Gores global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.
Their work created a supersaturated solution, he said in the language of chemistry. Gore drops his crystal in it, and the whole thing precipitates.
The movie was fabulous, he added. And would he support Mr. Gore for president? Oh, in a heartbeat!
Mr. Andersons schedule is only getting more hectic. He is on track to easily surpass last years speech-giving pace, he said, and I dont have to send an invitation, they just keep finding me.
But the effort is worth it, he said, not just for the opportunities he has to spread his message, but for its business-building effect. His favorite audiences are rich in potential customers, he said, and among them the sustainability effort has done more to lift the companys image than all the advertising we have ever done.
All of which makes him smile when he looks back on that sales meeting of 1994.
After the speech, he said, I heard the whispers, Has he gone round the bend? Mr. Anderson recalls proudly how he confessed at once that he had. Thats my job, he said. To see whats around the bend.
Mission Zero Environmental Footprint http://www.missionzero.org/
"It is my hope that MissonZero.org will educate, empower, and inspire you as you proceed along your own sustainability path. I believe in the power of one and that each one of us can make a difference. Just as a stone tossed into a pond can create a ripple that reaches far away shores, so to can your contributions on this site create a positive ripple that can inspire, inform, and guide others along their respective journeys. So, I encourage you to explore the vast resources and tools available here at MissionZero.org and be a part of this important, growing, global conversation around sustainable business practices and ideas."
Note from Jean : The woman in all of us must now assert its caring, compassionate values to help foster the positive changes we need. This excellent initiative put forward by ERN subscriber Andre Sheldon is definitely a step in the right direction. Feel free to offer him your assistance!
From: Call to Women (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: The Olive Branch - A Global People Movement of Nonviolence
Date: 8 Nov 2008
The Olive Branch: A Global Strategy of Nonviolence
To all the people in the world, an amazing opportunity is at our fingertips! The world is ecstatic about Obamas election. This is a time for people to stand up, speak out, and reach out to others with the olive branch.
We, the people of the world, can send a message of unity to the new President of the United States and all the leaders of the world via a global initiative! The message is:
We, the people, in every country, want to have peace with everyone in the world and we are not a threat to each other, we do not want war, and we will not harm each other!
It is my honor and privilege to present for review a people movement called a Global Strategy of Nonviolence, For the Children (GS of NV). A GSofNV elaborates on three major elements of unity children, the common denominator, a common desire for no war, and nonviolence to be the path to reach out with the olive branch.
A GSofNV is a global illustration of nonviolence designed for everyone to participate. It is a plan of action. A major catalyst is planned and a marketing plan to capture the attention of the world and the media! As a people movement, a GSofNV is designed to assist leaders to prevent, diffuse, and resolve conflict. Pragmatic steps and idealistic goals are planned for changing military spending to humanitarian needs.
Leaders are needed and representatives of nonviolence. No fear is used, only positive, altruistic steps. A GSofNV is designed to prepare for, practice, and teach nonviolence on a daily basis and as an Emergency Plan in times of trouble.
A Catalyst is planned to set an initiative in motion. A strong representative of nonviolence is suggested something different, readily accessible, already organized in many ways, and usually, summarily dismissed women. Women are asked to be the diplomats and the peacemakers to lead the way for a World-Wide Unity Campaign. Leaders must come to the forefront and issue a Call to Women. Many women non-governmental leaders are aware of the concept. What spark will implement the project?
The sages throughout history have proclaimed the strength of nonviolence. The election of Obama offers an opportunity for the people to support a new global ideology of peace. Please review the following three-page document. Study my work Look for insights. Look to see where it can be made stronger, or re-written. My research, theories, and full plans are available for review. A GSofNV is a guideline, a template, and designed for everyone to participate. Lets work together to inspire humankind!
Global Strategy of Nonviolence http://www.gsofnv.org/Introduction6.html
The Global Strategy of Nonviolence calls for an OVERT EXHIBIT of nonviolence. The objective is to empower women around the world. The purpose is For the Children to see nonviolent efforts to bring about World Wide Unity. A Global Strategy of Nonviolence, For the Children (GS of NV)is a guideline for a world-wide social movement. (...) GUIDELINES: In 3 years, we the people, can change the world. PLAN ALL 3 PHASES -- PHASE ONE: Mobilize, in every village, town, and city,in every country! Select Demands and Deadlines One year awareness campaign Starting Event June 21, 2009 +23 scheduled events -- PEOPLE POWER: The People must be HEARD, the Moderate Voice. We want the children to see an overt exhibit of nonviolence. Welcome! PHASE TWO: Conflict Resolution and Disarmament -- PHASE THREE: Programs For the Children CLIP
Humanity Healing's Twelve Keys of Spiritual Activism
The embrace of the path of Spiritual Activism enables individuals or groups to develop the noble qualities of compassion, wisdom and gratitude. It is in itself a Path of Transformation - a Spiritual Blueprint for living. We can shift our perspectives of reality through seeking service beyond self by practicing the Gifts of Service. The core dynamics behind the Spiritual Keys of Activism are creativity, adaptability, understanding and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
1. All Action MUST be Based on Compassion
When championing a Cause, the mindset must be altruistic and the motivating emotion must be positive. Spiritual Activism is action for the benefit of something, not against something.
2. Compassion Flows from the Understanding of the Connection Between All Living Beings
We are all connected through our shared Humanity. When you learn to see that our differences are superficial and our similarities manifest, sympathy (or worse, pity) gives way to compassion. Our actions shift from one of "us helping them" to one of "for the good of All". We become One.
3. Compassion Must Be Applied With Wisdom
There are more Causes that exist than an individual or group can possibly be involved with. It is important to choose your causes carefully. Learn to Act instead of React.
4. Apply Synergy and Teamwork to Accomplish Goals
Synergy is the process where two or more actions combine to produce an effect greater than the sum of its individual parts. Like ripples in a pond, spiritual actions combine and build on each other to magnify an effect beyond what each could do individually. Whenever possible, team up with others to acquire a multifaceted and more holistic approach.
5. Spiritual Activism is the Pursuit of Service for the Good of All, Not for the Advancement or Benefit of Individuals or Selected Communities
The mindset behind your actions must be noble, holistic, Universal and non-partisan. Be mindful that ego and self-service have no place in Spiritual Activism.
6. Pursue Integrity, Honesty and Dignity in the Conduct of Your Actions
Embrace Mindfulness in the application of your activities and be aware of how your actions may be perceived by others. Machiavelli's "The ends justify the means" has no place in Spiritual Activism. If our methods are not noble, our results will not be either. Practice Spiritual Transparency, allowing negative energies to bypass your system without harming it.
7. Do not Defame Your Detractors or Those Who Doubt You
A confrontational approach leads to a defensive reaction. Approach others with Openness and Compassion in your heart. Build on the commonalities between you instead of focusing on the differences. As much as possible, detach yourself from the results of your actions. Aspire to always be a Peacemaker.
8. Raising Another Up Raises You Up As Well
Helping another becomes a form of self-love as well as an expression of outward love. This becomes an upwardly spiraling cycle of increasing awareness, connection, compassion, involvement, capacity, and back to increasing awareness.
9. Learn to Listen to Your Heart and Not Your Mind
You mind may only see the problem. Your heart will always feel the solution. Learn to act with Faith and cultivate a loving perception when facing collective problems.
10. Search Out Viable and Sustainable Solutions
Seek out solutions that maintain or restores the dignity of individual human and their communities. The goal of Spiritual Activism is to raise another up, not make them dependant.
11. Do Not Judge Yourself Simply By The Results Of Your Actions
Maintain a sense of detachment as to overall results. Embrace mindfulness as you intentionally diminish a judging attitude while keeping watchfulness on the gates of your heart. The ultimate goal of Spiritual Activism is to unconditionally raise the understanding and support of Humanity, with no exceptions. This achievement is larger than any individual. While individual projects can be completed, the sum is so much greater than its parts. Learn to see yourself not on where you have reached, but on the Path you are traveling. There is real fulfillment in just being called to serve humanitarian and spiritual causes.
12. Let Metta Be The Motivation For Your Actions
If you cultivate Metta (the practice of loving-kindness) in your heart, you will succeed. The Intention that is the motivating force behind your actions is paramount. Start from a position of pure and altruistic Love.
This material comes from the Humanity Healing Network website at http://humanityhealing.net/welcome.htm "We recognize the necessity of maintaining the integrity and dignity of Human Life in every stage of its existence: from the beginning until the end. Humanity Healing was started to combine Healing with Spiritual growth to offer a more complete healing to those in need. We believe that true Lightworking consists of service to others. We believe that we are all connected and that by helping another, we help ourselves. This is especially true in the areas of Healing and Spiritual growth. Globally, there are many people and regions in crisis. The principles of Altruism and the Brotherhood of Man have declined in importance as individuals, nations and religions focus on the differences between each other instead of the similarities within our shared Humanity. We believe that with Compassion, Education and Volunteerism through Spiritual Activism, this can be changed. Each individual can make a Commitment to reach out. Each individual can make a Commitment to work towards the Common Good. As individuals, our personal contributions may be small, but when United in Common Cause, we can Change the World."
MUCH more to discover there!
Check also the following:
The Ripple Effect - The Heartbeat To Eternity http://humanityhealing.net/RippleEffect.htm
The Ripple Effect is based on the understanding that we are all connected. These connections stretch like an incredibly interwoven and complicated tapestry. Each of us exists within this tapestry. Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond and they create ripples that travel outward. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives and their reactions in turn affect others. The choices you make have far-reaching consequences. Each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. We can use the Principles of the Ripple Effect to magnify our actions and their effects. (...) We Are Connected - The Pond is the World Your Heart is the Pebble. Drop a pebble in a still pond and watch the ripple travel out in an ever expanding ring with every Heartbeat.
Recommended by MICHAEL DEAN (email@example.com) who wrote: May this be the final outrage before all such cruelty and wickedness is eliminated from the planet forever. May Aisha know only joy on the other side, and may the memory of her terrible execution be erased from her memory. May the God/Goddess forgive the mentally and morally defective men who perpetrated this crime. May they - and those who indoctrinated them - find their way into the Light, and willingly serve and honour women, rather than defile and murder them. . . May the Moment of Quantum Awakening happen NOW!
Don't kill me,' she screamed. Then they stoned her to death
Outrage at execution of 13-year-old Somali rape victim for 'adultery'
By Daniel Howden - 9 November 2008
This was a death foretold. A Toyota pickup with a loudspeaker began an early-morning tour of the ruined neighbourhoods of Kismayo, a port in southern Somalia, announcing that there would be a killing. By 4pm a crowd of 1,000 people had gathered at the football stadium. A hole had been dug in the ground, and half an hour later a truck loaded with rocks arrived.
A group of fighters from the Al-Shabab militia who control the city appeared, firing warning shots into the air to disperse a crush of people trying to reach the stones.
A young girl was dragged into the stadium. She knew what was going to happen next, and witnesses saw her struggling and screaming.
"What do you want from me?" she asked. Then she shouted "I'm not going, I'm not going. Don't kill me."
But four men forced her into the hole and buried her up to her neck. Fifty men then set about stoning her to death. After 10 minutes she was dug up and two nurses checked to see if she was alive. She was. So they put her back in the ground and the stoning recommenced.
Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow's crime was to be raped and then report it. After being attacked by three men her family went to the Al-Shabab Islamist militia to report the crime. She was detained and accused of adultery. No effort was made to identify or arrest the rapists.
Despite reports that she was 23 years old, Aisha was actually 13. "She hadn't even reached the age to be married," her distraught father said.
People in Kismayo say they live in constant fear of the Al-Shabab, but not everyone was content to watch a "clearly distressed" girl being stoned to death. Some people tried to intervene. The gunmen fired shots; one man was wounded and an eight-year-old boy was shot dead. The militia later apologised for his killing.
After the execution a man called Sheik Hayakalah told a radio station: "The evidence came from her side and she officially confirmed her guilt," he said. "She told us that she was happy with the punishment under Islamic law." Aisha's father said his daughter had begged for her life. It is illegal under Sharia to convict a 13-year-old of adultery.
Somalia is nightmarish. During the Cold War its strategic location on the Horn of Africa saw it become possibly the world's largest arms dump. With no effective government for nearly two decades, it has become a theatre for the proxy wars of its neighbours and a domain ruled by warlords and extremists. The emergence of the Islamic Courts movement, which drove the warlords out of Mogadishu, briefly offered hope of relative stability. Instead the movement was portrayed as a hotbed of Islamist extremism, accused of links to al-Qa'ida, and neighbouring Ethiopia was encouraged by the US to invade.
Today the country is divided between warlords, an illegitimate government protected by occupying troops, resurgent Islamist militias and a small, besieged force of Ugandan peacekeepers. Three million people out of a population of nine million are at immediate risk of starvation.
Incidents such as the stoning are presented by some as evidence of the need to confront Islamist forces in the country. However, analysts point out that the "military solution" has been a crushing failure that has driven out moderates and made a bad situation dramatically worse.
Raped Somali Child Stoned to Death by 50 Male Muslims (November 10, 2008) http://www.rightsidenews.com/200811102548/global-terrorism/raped-somali-child-stoned-to-death-by-50-male-muslims.html
WASHINGTON-The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom condemns the recent death by stoning of a 13-year-old girl in Somalia and calls on the U.S. government to join with other states in speaking out decisively in international fora against such grave human rights abuses. "There can be no justification for stoning, for torturing, this child to death just because it is cloaked in the name of a religious punishment," said Commission Chair Felice D. Gaer. Stoning is a form of torture, in which the victim is killed in a particularly brutal way; in many cases, the victims are girls or women accused of adultery. Most Muslim-ruled states prohibit stoning for crimes set out in the Koran, and even strictly Muslim-ruled nations where shariah deeply influences law apply the punishment rarely for adultery because of the Koranic requirement of four witnesses. Governments that still practice stoning include those of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Sudan. The Somali child, identified as Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was raped by three men in the capital, Mogadishu, according to Amnesty International. When her family reported the rape to the authorities, the girl was accused of adultery and ordered stoned to death. The killing was carried out Oct. 28 by 50 men, before about 1,000 witnesses, in a public stadium in the Somali port city of Kismayu, which is held by al-Shabaab rebels. Al-Shabaab militias have established "a strict interpretation of Islam" on the communities they control, according to the U.S. State Department. Fighters on all sides of the conflict in Somalia have attacked and abused civilians. Somalia has not had an effective, internationally recognized central government for 16 years, and it is not a party to any major international human rights instrument. The U.S. government has not maintained a diplomatic presence in Somalia since 1991, when the brutal dictator Siad Barre fell, and does not formally recognize as a government any group having control over any part of the country. The Commission calls for the perpetrators of the rape and those who ordered and executed the brutal killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to be held to account for their crimes. CLIP
Somalia: Girl stoned was a child of 13 http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGPRE200810317930
(...) This was not justice, nor was it an execution. This child suffered a horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayo, said David Copeman, Amnesty International's Somalia Campaigner. This killing is yet another human rights abuse committed by the combatants to the conflict in Somalia, and again demonstrates the importance of international action to investigate and document such abuses, through an International Commission of Inquiry. CLIP
Somalia Human Rights http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/somalia/page.do?id=1011237
Since the overthrow of Siad Barre's 21-year government in January 1991, civil conflict has torn Somalia apart, leading to the collapse of the state and the economy. In addition, threatened by drought and famine, the surviving population faces further massive loss of life. Despite the relocation of the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu and Jowhar last July and the lure of a broad bilateral trade agreement with neighboring Kenya in September, insecurity fuelled by rival warlords and their militia remains a major concern for Amnesty International.Civilians are being raped and mutilated, with the victims systematically targeted on account of their clan origin. Thousands of civilians were displaced. Warlords responsible for factional fighting have become members of the new government. Journalists were arrested and human rights defenders threatened in several areas. Amnesty International appeals to Somali political leaders for action to end these severe human rights abuses. The fighting between Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its opponents has killed civilians and livestock, destroyed infrastructure, and displaced thousands. Yet U.S. policy on Somalia, and the Horn as a whole, has lacked coordination and coherence, and has failed to protect Somali civilians. With this fact sheet, delivered to all members of Congress in March 2007, Amnesty International USA, Africa Action, International Crisis Group, the Open Society Policy Center, and Oxfam America call upon U.S. policymakers to seize the opportunity for the United States, in collaboration with Somalis and the broader international community, to effect positive change in Somalia. View the fact sheet »
Millions at risk in Somalia as attacks on aid workers escalate (6 November 2008) http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGNAU200811067998
An escalation of attacks on aid workers and human rights defenders in southern and central Somalia is putting at least 3 million Somalis at even greater risk of malnutrition and disease. Many organizations have suspended programmes and withdrawn staff. At least 40 humanitarian and human rights workers have been killed so far this year, as highlighted in Fatal Insecurity: Attacks on Aid Workers and HRDs in Somalia, a new report by Amnesty International. This is at a time when Somalia is in the middle of a humanitarian emergency, with the UN estimating that around 3.25 million Somalis 43 percent of the population will require food aid until the end of 2008.The restrictions on the freedom of humanitarian agencies to deliver emergency humanitarian services food, shelter and essential medical services form one of the leading factors contributing to widespread malnutrition and death from starvation or preventable diseases throughout the area. One humanitarian worker said: "We are not able to start new programmes because our staff can't go in. There is acute malnutrition in Mogadishu, but we're not able to respond quickly enough, we have to work by remote control, and quality suffers." "These killings, abductions and threats mean that workers and rights defenders no longer enjoy the limited protection they previously held, based on their status in the community as impartial distributors of food and emergency services, or as advocates of peace and human rights," said David Copeman, Amnesty International's Somalia Campaigner. Many Mogadishu-based human rights defenders and other civil society members have this year been forced to flee Somalia for the first time since the end of the government of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Attacks continue, with UN staff killed by bombing attacks on 29 October, the targeted killing of an UNICEF engineer in the central town of Hudur on 19 October and a women's rights activist killed in Guriel on 25 October. CLIP
Islamist fighters seize two key towns in Somalia (Nov 12, 2008) http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=97604
Remnants of an Islamist government waging an insurgency against Somalia's interim authorities took over two strategic towns in on Tuesday, the latest territory gain by a strengthening rebellion, officials said. The Islamist Al-Shabaab movement, once part of the Union of Islamic Courts government that splintered after being pushed from power, seized Al-Dheer in central Somalia and Qoryoley in the south as part of a burgeoning campaign to take territory held by the weak UN-backed interim government and its Ethiopian allies. The new seizures give the group a strategic base in central Somalia, where it controls Kismayo, the third-largest city. The Union of Islamic Courts had brought the first order in years - in the form of strict Sharia law - to large swathes of central and southern Somalia in 2006. The group was ousted after Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia at the behest of the interim regime, a body formed in exile and, at the time, ruled territory along the Kenyan border. CLIP
Somalia: Coastal Villagers Report of Helicopters Hunting Wildlife (11 November 2008) http://allafrica.com/stories/200811110138.html
Coastal villagers in Somalia are increasingly reporting incidents whereby naval forces from unknown foreign countries are actively hunting wildlife in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.A traditional elder from a village in Mudug region, central Somalia, told the BBC Somali Service recently that local leaders are collecting evidence and eyewitness reports regarding the hunting allegations."Three helicopters landed three separate days," said elder Mohamed Hussein Warsame, quoting witnesses and community leaders.Soldiers jumped out of the helicopters and loaded live animals, including deer and ostriches, the he added. The helicopters then returned to a warship off the coast.
No let-up in piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia ( November 12, 2008) http://www.bdafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11185&Itemid=5860
A Danish registered general cargo vessel Mv CEC Future is the latest to be hijacked off the Somali coast in the never-ending episodes of piracy. The vessel which flies a Bahamas flag has 13 crew on board comprising eight Russians, four Estonians and one Georgian.Reports reaching Mombasa say the vessel was hijacked within the Gulf of Aden while on its way from Middle East to Asia. The incident brings to 11 the number of vessels in the hands of the pirates including the Mv Faina, the Rusian vessel taken captive by the pirates six weeks ago while transporting military equipment to Mombasa. The International Maritime Bureau said last week that about 60 out of the 200 piracy incidents recorded worldwide this year occurred in the waters off war- ravaged Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. This compares with 36 attacks blamed on Somali pirates out of 198 global attacks reported in 2007.
Much more on the situation in Somalia through THIS LINK
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai issued a stark warning to regional heads of government yesterday, telling them that one million of his countrymen would starve to death unless a new government was formed immediately.
The man who won March's presidential election, told regional leaders at an emergency summit in Johannesburg that president Robert Mugabe's refusal to honour the power sharing deal signed up to two months ago was killing the southern African country. The former union leader who was forced out of the second round of voting by a murderous campaign targeting his supporters, told the five heads of that they must set a deadline for a real power-sharing government.
"Only a genuine power-sharing arrangement will allow the MDC to join a new government because that is our mandate from the people of Zimbabwe and we cannot and will not betray their hopes and dreams for a better future," he said in the speech, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.
Mr Tsvangirai, who would be prime minister under the mooted deal, cited inflation running at more than 200 trillion percent and mounting malnutrition, blaming the ruling party's stubborn determination to hold on to power at all costs.
"The people of Zimbabwe are suffering and they need immediate salvation. Frustration and anger is setting in and I hope and trust that the leadership in this room will be equal to the task that history has imposed on you," he said.
The stalemate has been cast by the ruling party as a petty squabble over ministerial positions but analysts point out that Zanu-PF lost both the parliamentary and presidential vote in March, and has opted to let their people starve rather than share power with the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
There is growing regional impatience over the stalemate and South Africa's new President Kgalema Motlanthe who took over from Mugabe sympathiser Thabo Mbeki -- said the power-sharing deal offered the only hope for Zimbabwe to rescue its collapsed economy. However, the regional grouping, SADC, has a disappointing record on taking tough measures, such as sanctions, to force an agreement over cabinet posts.
After the historic photo opportunity where he shook hands with Mr Tsavangirai on 15 September, Mr Mugabe has returned to his traditional, intransigent tactics behind closed doors and attempted to deny his new governmental partners any meaningful authority. The ruling party continues to insist that it holds onto executive power and total control over the security apparatus that is has used ruthlessly on its own population in months of serious political intimidation.
The MDC general secretary and lead negotiator Tendai Biti said that prospects for a workable deal were remote but could not be abandoned.
We have to keep the faith. We have people dying of cholera in tents. The hospitals are empty and closing down. There is no clean water and no food on the shelves.
Mr Biti also rubbished claims from Zanu's Patrick Chinamasa that the MDC had been offered joint control over the interior ministry.
Diplomats warned that the ruling party concerned at possible indictments and loss of plundered assets -- would stall for up to three months rather than give away any authority.
At independence Zimbabwe had the second largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa and produced enough food to feed the region. After 28 years of Mugabe rule it has the lowest life expectancy in the world and its population is fed by a combination of remittances from the millions who have fled the country, and the World Food Programme.
The meeting adjourned last night to consider both parties' presentations.
South Africa had promised before the meeting to take a new tough stance in sharp contrast to the quiet diplomacy of former president Mr Mbeki. Botswana has risked a breakdown in its relations with Mr Mugabe's administration by openly calling for fresh elections in Zimbabwe. Both countries have been overwhelmed with refugees fleeing the meltdown in Zimbabwe, with South Africa thought to be sheltering as many as 3 million people from its northern neighbour.
Zimbabwe to form new government: Mugabe (Nov 10) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081110/wl_africa_afp/zimbabwepoliticssummitsadc_081110211814
HARARE (AFP) President Robert Mugabe said Monday a new Zimbabwe government would be formed "as quickly as possible" despite his rival Morgan Tsvangirai's rejection of a regional compromise on a power-sharing deal."We will try to constitute (the new government) as quickly as possible," said Mugabe, who unilaterally handed key ministries to his own ruling ZANU-PF last month. The veteran leader told reporters Monday he hoped the opposition leader would change his mind and accept a proposal by regional leaders to immediately form a government and share the disputed ministry in charge of police."I hope they will" agree, the 84-year-old leader told state television as he boarded his airplane back to Harare, following the emergency summit in Johannesburg on his country's worsening crisis. (...) Tsvangirai said he was still committed to the deal, but said he would not accept Mugabe's proposals for a cabinet that locks his MDC out of critical posts."The deal is teetering on the verge of collapse. Technically it has collapsed," said Sydney Masamvu, an analyst with the International Crisis Group."SADC have failed in mediating the Zimbabwe crisis by failing to come up with a compromise position agreeable to all the principal parties." With inflation running at more than 231 million percent, half of the population requires emergency food aid while a breakdown in basic services has led to deadly outbreaks of cholera in Harare.
Lawyers condemn rising state violence in Zimbabwe (Nov 11) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_re_af/af_zimbabwe_3
PRETORIA, South Africa State-sponsored violence is increasing in Zimbabwe, human rights lawyers said Tuesday, joining other independent groups in condemning a suggestion from regional African leaders that President Robert Mugabe retain some control over his police force. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said pro-democracy organizations had recorded more than 1,300 cases of political violence in September, up 39 percent from the previous month. The cases ranged from property destruction to rapes and killings.Zimbabwe's Mugabe and main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing agreement Sept. 15, but that has yet to lead to a unity government, partly because of a dispute over who should control the police ministry. CLIP
From: "Ecological Internet" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging
Date: 03 Nov 2008
Greenpeace Reaffirms Support for Ancient Forest Logging
- Cursory review of FSC's controversial certifications completely fails to question false premise that primary and old-growth forest logging is ever "well-managed", instead calling for better training manuals for ancient forest destruction
(Seattle, WA) -- Today Greenpeace International released a report entitled "Holding the Line with FSC" which reaffirms Greenpeace's unflinching support for the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) past and on-ongoing industrial first-time logging of hundreds of millions of hectares of primary and old-growth forests. Greenpeace and other "forest protection" groups like the Rainforest Action Network and WWF continue to provide crucial greenwash for the false premise that ancient forest logging is desirable and can ever be considered "well- managed".
Greenpeace was the target of a series of protests in 2007 led by Ecological Internet, as Greenpeace held FSC's international chairmanship, regarding their continued support for ancient forest logging given widespread irregularities. At that time they agreed to review problematic FSC certifications, and to respond to criticism regarding FSC's dependence upon ancient forest logging. Their new report fails miserably on both counts.
"Greenpeace today released a one page report, with no mention by name of any specific failed FSC certification (of which there are many); and a 12 page, 80 item laundry list of bureaucratic measures to try, yet again, to make acceptable destroying millions of year old primeval forests for throw away consumer products," notes Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President.
"The review's only reference to primary forests is that better training manuals are needed for their destruction. All primary forests are of high conservation value, and it is pathetic and tragic that Greenpeace continues to greenwash ancient forest logging."
In light of abrupt climate change and emerging science further highlighting the importance of primary and old-growth forests, the report continues Greenpeace's obstinate and undemocratic stonewalling of any meaningful self-reflection or discussion of embracing a campaign to end industrial ancient forest logging as a keystone response to the biodiversity and climate crises. RAN has also promised to review their FSC support, and is cautioned to avoid continued greenwash of the sort demonstrated by Greenpeace.
"As the world is faced with spiraling abrupt climate change and ecosystem collapse, Greenpeace and friends have failed the biosphere. The mainstream environmental movement has shown themselves to be unfit and unable to pursue the full range of ecologically sufficient policies -- including working to end ancient forest logging -- to achieve global ecological sustainability. If you support Greenpeace, RAN or WWF -- you might as well be holding the chainsaw cutting down ancient forests to make your lawn furniture," concludes Dr. Glen Barry.
NEW EARTH RISING's Inaugural Issue http://www.newearthrising.org/current/
Biocentric writings to know Earth's crises and achieve ecologically sufficient solutionsEcological Truth and Transformative Action Issue 1, November 2008 -- New Earth Rising is a new e-zine from Ecological Internet committed to biocentric thought and action. Through thoughtful original essays and other creative works based upon both ecological science and intuition, we link what is known regarding the true extent of global ecological crises with specific personal and social transformations necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability.
Ecological Truth Exists and Matters And failure to know and act upon such truth threatens our shared survival and Gaia's continued being By Dr. Glen Barry http://www.newearthrising.org/2008/11/ecological-truth-exists-and-matters.asp
(...) There is still hope things can be turned around. And the responses, difficult as they may seem in terms of gut-wrenching change and sacrifice, are equally straight-forward: ending the use of coal and ancient forest logging would largely solve the climate and biodiversity crises, and get us at least half way to equitable and just global ecological sustainability. The rest of the mess including soil, water, toxics and oceans are not insubstantial, and each could eliminate us and all complex life in their own right. But if the upright apes can simply stop cutting and burning -- and begin an era of ecological protection and restoration -- we have a real chance to address these other issues, and of surviving as a species, with other life, on a living Earth. CLIP
Transforming Toward Sustainability -- Continuing with civilization requires more than fine tuning the present system. It requires metamorphosis. By Mike Nickerson http://www.newearthrising.org/2008/11/transforming-toward-sustainability.asp
Climate change, peak oil and all the other unfolding crises associated with pollution and resource depletion are all symptoms of one problem. There has been a fundamental change in the relationship between people and the Earth. We no longer have new frontiers to expand into when resources get scarce or our waste becomes intolerable. This change marks the maturity of the human species. Well-being now requires an equally fundamental change in how we manage our societies.As long as the goal of expanding production and consumption is considered legitimate, we are in danger of overshooting planetary limits and collapsing. When sustainability gains legitimacy, as our primary goal, the possibility will emerge for evolving a mature social form, capable of long-term well-being. It is a Question of Direction. "Enough" is the cue indicating physical maturity. A caterpillar spends its entire life gathering natural resources and growing. When it is big enough, it stops growing and undergoes a change of purpose. The butterfly that emerges from its cocoon is beautiful, it lives very lightly on the Earth, sipping the nectar of flowers, and its primary purpose is to launch the next generation.This image speaks to a sustainable future. If we were to gather our satisfaction from the beauties of life and use the material world primarily to provide nutritious food and energy efficient shelter, we too could safely usher the next generations. CLIP
Proposal to Replace Coal with Wood Is Ecologically http://www.newearthrising.org/2008/11/proposal-to-replace-coal-with-wood-is-ecologically-misguided.asp
James Hansen's proposals would increase the scale of today's monocultures for biofuels at least 20-25 fold, and adversely impact small farmers, indigenous peoples and forest communities with loss of their land and livelihoods -- Amongst scientists, James Hansen has long been one of the clearest voices for strong action against climate change. Yet now he advocates replacing coal with wood from vast tree plantations, burning the wood and capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide. He also supports the idea that we should burn vast amounts of biomass in order to gain energy as well as charcoal in the hope that digging the charcoal into the soil will permanently sequester the carbon and make the soil more fertile, a concept known as 'biochar'.It is deeply concerning that such ecologically short-sighted proposals come from a man who rightly warns that we are already 'beyond safe levels' of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. CLIP
BARCELONA, Spain - Blue patrol boats crisscross the swimming areas of beaches here with their huge nets skimming the water's surface. The yellow flags that urge caution and the red flags that prohibit swimming because of risky currents are sometimes topped now with blue ones warning of a new danger: swarms of jellyfish.
In a period of hours during a recent day, 300 people on Barcelona's bustling beaches were treated for stings, and 11 were taken to hospitals.
From Spain to New York, to Australia, Japan and Hawaii, jellyfish are becoming more numerous and more widespread, and they are showing up in places where they have rarely been seen before, scientists say. The faceless marauders are stinging children, forcing beaches to close and clogging fishing nets.
But while jellyfish invasions are a nuisance to swimmers and a hardship to fishermen, for scientists they are a source of more profound alarm, a signal of the declining health of the world's oceans.
"These jellyfish near shore are a message the sea is sending us saying, 'Look how badly you are treating me,' " said Josep-Maria Gili, one of the world's leading jellyfish experts, who has studied them at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona for more than 20 years.
The explosion of jellyfish populations, scientists say, reflects a combination of severe overfishing of natural predators such as tuna, sharks and swordfish; rising sea temperatures caused in part by global warming; and pollution that has depleted oxygen levels in coastal shallows.
These problems are pronounced in the Mediterranean, a sea bounded by more than a dozen countries that rely on it for business and pleasure. Left unchecked in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, these problems could make the swarms of jellyfish menacing coastlines a grim vision of seas to come.
"The problem on the beach is a social problem," said Gili, who talks with admiration of the "beauty" of the globular jellyfish. "We need to take care of it for our tourism industry. But the big problem is not on the beach. It's what's happening in the seas."
Jellyfish, relatives of the sea anemone and coral, in fact are the cockroaches of the open waters, the ultimate maritime survivors who thrive in damaged environments - and that is what they are doing.
Within the past year, there have been beach closings because of jellyfish swarms on the Côte d'Azur in France, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and at Waikiki and Virginia Beach in the United States.
In Australia, more than 30,000 people were treated for stings last year, double the number in 2005. The rare but deadly Irukandji jellyfish is expanding its range in Australia's warming waters, marine scientists say.
While no good global database exists on jellyfish populations, the increasing number of reports from around the world have convinced scientists that the trend is real, serious and climate-related, although they caution that jellyfish populations in any one place undergo year-to-year variation.
"Human-caused stresses, including global warming and overfishing, are encouraging jellyfish surpluses in many tourist destinations and productive fisheries," according to the National Science Foundation, which is issuing a report on the phenomenon this fall and lists problem areas as Australia, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Black Sea, Namibia, Britain, the Mediterranean, the Sea of Japan and the Yangtze estuary.
Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship
October 29, 2008 12:02pm
AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.
The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy.
The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter.
The plan was first created as a way to combat child pronography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to "protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users".
Mr Conroy said trials were yet to be carried out, but "we are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material."
The net nanny proposal was originally going to allow Australians who wanted uncensored access to the web the option of contacting their internet service provider to be excluded from the service.
Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate "there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it"
EFA board member Colin Jacobs said it would have little effect on illegal internet content, including child pornography, as it would not cover file-sharing networks.
"If the Government would actually come out and say we're only targeting child pornography it would be a different debate," he said.
The technology companies' move, which follows criticism that the companies were assisting censorship of the internet in nations such as China, requires them to narrowly interpret government requests for information or censorship and to fight to minimise cooperation.
The initiative provides a systematic approach to "work together in resisting efforts by governments that seek to enlist companies in acts of censorship and surveillance that violate international standards", the participants said.
In a statement, Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang welcomed the new code of conduct.
"These principles provide a valuable roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted," he said.
"Yahoo was founded on the belief that promoting access to information can enrich people's lives, and the principles we unveil today reflect our determination that our actions match our values around the world."
Yahoo was thrust into the forefront of the online rights issue after the Californian company helped Chinese police identify cyber dissidents whose supposed crime was expressing their views online.
China exercises strict control over the internet, blocking sites linked to Chinese dissidents, the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement, the Tibetan government-in-exile and those with information on the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.
A number of US companies, including Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Yahoo, have been hauled before the US Congress in recent years and accused of complicity in building the "Great Firewall of China".
The Australian Christian Lobby, however, has welcomed the proposals.
Managing director Jim Wallace said the measures were needed.
"The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child pornography must be placed above the industry's desire for unfettered access," Mr Wallace said.
I KEPT THE FUNNIEST - AND STUPIDEST! - FOR THE END...
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