Once again there is just soooo much being featured in this 106 page compilation that requires attention - and it's only the proverbial tip of the infoglut iceberg! - that it is easy to feel you are drowning into a bottomless sea. One thing though that appears to me to be the common theme of it all, it is that the pace of change is really picking up and that we ain't seen nothing yet...
So tighten your spiritual safety belt and hop along for another wild ride into the juggernaut of our careening civilization plunging headlong into the deep end of a future we are definitely co-creating all together now.
P.S. Your feedback is as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer it is not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/TurningTide25.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 37,800 words and 206 links provided.
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"We are blessed to have two great American leaders and great Democrats running for President. My affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver. It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall. The 1990's were a decade of peace and prosperity because of the competent and enlightened leadership of the Clinton administration, but it is now time for a new generation of leadership to lead America forward. Barack Obama will be a historic and a great President, who can bring us the change we so desperately need by bringing us together as a nation here at home and with our allies abroad."
"Beloved ones you are standing in the midst of yet another level of extraordinary change. The energies that you are magnetically drawing towards you are creating shifts on not only a grander scale but within the minutest fibres of your being. Everything within the microcosm and macrocosm are undergoing change. This is a critical time as we lead all of you into the light of your own power and in so doing assisting you in recognising who you truly are, the you that exists beyond the programming of belief systems that have been fueled by insecure lower egos. I cannot even begin to explain to you how extraordinary these changes are, everything that comes your way now is pushing the boundary, it is forcing you to step outside of the mould, to shatter every single belief system that has created a system which feeds inhibition, everything that sustains limitation and fear."
1. What the hells going on down here?
2. Documentary Film Project on the New Indigo Kids
3. March 23, 2008 Message from Matthew
4. A Buddhist struggles to keep grounded about Tibet and China
5. Feedback to A Buddhist struggles to keep grounded about Tibet and China
6. Brasscheck TV: Why Eliot Spitzer was assassinated politically
7. American Refugees are flooding into Canada: Tens of thousands of Americans are now economic refugees 8. So? ... A Note from Michael Moore - Cheney On Two-Thirds Of The American Public Opposing The Iraq War 9. Iraq implodes as Shia fights Shia: Another tragedy as the Shia majority turn on each other
10. The Peak Oil Crisis: Stirrings in Ottawa
11. 'The Long Emergency' predicts dire future
12. The road to hyper-inflation
13. Daunting Stats on China
14. The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance
15. Scientists Confirm Unexpected Gulf Stream Slowing
16. Melting glaciers will shrink grain harvests in China and India
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Voices for Peace http://www.grainofwheat.net/voices.html
A Collection of Statements on Peace - Words on peace from many voices past and present. Their message is timeless, and especially urgent today. Compiled by (long-time ERN subscriber) Stan Penner, who in addition to peace advocacy, works with Winnipeg Harvest and other community service organizations in Manitoba, Canada.
Earth Hour 2007 was a Sydney event. Earth Hour 2008 is a global movement - WILL YOU JOIN IN? http://www.earthhour.org/
Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming. This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm March 29, 2008 millions of people in some of the worlds major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will unite and switch off for Earth Hour. See the difference you can make! And sign up! There some info in French on this HERE. Recommended by Sunny Ariel (email@example.com) http://www.genindigo.com/ - http://www.sapphirehouse.com/ -- See her letter below on her Documentary Film Project on the New Indigo Kids.
German challenge to Holocaust-Shoah Narrative http://youtube.com/watch?v=72dHps9pYSc
Dirk Zimmermann is a 36-year-old happily married family man who challenges Section 130 of the Criminal Code that prohibits doubting the legally-sanctioned Holocaust-Shoah narrative. He sent Germar Rudolf's 'Lectures on the Holocaust' to German public figures, then turned himself in to the police for having violated Section 130. It is a conscious act because Zimmermann demands he has a right to doubt.
Southern California Shanty Town / Tent City (More on this in item #7 below) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmeHiFZUWtE
More and more people living in Third World conditions in the wake of the sub-prime debacle.
'The Reflecting Pool' A New 9/11 Investigative Drama That Challenges The Official Version Of 9/11 Events http://www.emediawire.com:80/releases/911/movie/prweb781294.htm
A new 9/11 investigative drama that challenges the official version of 9/11 events, 'The Reflecting Pool', is now available on DVD from reflectingpoolfilm.com. 'The Reflecting Pool' follows a journalist who teams up with the father of a 9/11 victim to investigate the official version of the events. Their findings pose a disturbing question that has no easy answer: To what extent was the U.S. Government at fault for the attacks?
The Devil's Swimming Pool http://www.jibjab.com/view/234429
In Zimbabwe, Africa, you will find the magnificent Victoria Falls at a height of 128m. The location is known as "The Devil's Swimming Pool".During the months of September and December, people can swim as close as possible to the edge of the falls without falling over! These falls are becoming well known amongst the "radical tourist" industry as more and more people search for the ultimate experience. Would you dare?
Stand with Tibet http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/7002/petition?petition_KEY=48
The Chinese government isn't used to listening to the international community. But, the summer Olympics will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to shine the spotlight on abuses committed by the Chinese government. Sign this petition today to stand with the people of Tibet
March 27 UPDATE from AVAAZ
We reached our target! In just 7 days over 1 million of us have signed the petition calling for human rights and dialogue in Tibet--the fastest growing internet petition in history. As the crisis continues, it's time to deliver our petition and make sure Chinese President Hu Jintao hears our voices. An International Day of Action has been declared for Monday, March 31st. On Monday, thousands of people in cities across the world will march to Chinese embassies and consulates, and stack hundreds of boxes containing our petition outside them. 1 million signatures makes a mountain of boxes--it will send a powerful global message. We have just 4 days left until the petition delivery. Could we get to 2 million signatures in 4 days? We can do it--if every one of us recruits at least one more friend to sign the petition at http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/70.php
Study shows compassion meditation changes the brain (March 25, 2008) http://www.news.wisc.edu/14944
Can we train ourselves to be compassionate? A new study suggests the answer is yes. Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples' mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Published March 25 in the Public Library of Science One, the study was the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to indicate that positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be learned in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport. The scans revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions and feelings were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive experience practicing compassion meditation.The research suggests that individuals from children who may engage in bullying to people prone to recurring depression and society in general could benefit from such meditative practices (...) The study was part of the researchers' ongoing investigations with a group of Tibetan monks and lay practitioners who have practiced meditation for a minimum of 10,000 hours. In this case, Lutz and Davidson worked with 16 monks who have cultivated compassion meditation practices. Sixteen age-matched controls with no previous training were taught the fundamentals of compassion meditation two weeks before the brain scanning took place."Many contemplative traditions speak of loving-kindness as the wish for happiness for others and of compassion as the wish to relieve others' suffering. Loving-kindness and compassion are central to the Dalai Lama's philosophy and mission," says Davidson, who has worked extensively with the Tibetan Buddhist leader. "We wanted to see how this voluntary generation of compassion affects the brain systems involved in empathy." CLIP
The 2012 Enigma by David Wilcock Pt. 01 of 9 parts that can be viewed through the links provided there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5b-kLvppdg
Recommended by Carol Lynn Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "I was excited to hear this presentation by David Wilcock from the recent Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles."
2012 Pyramids http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PvZFnDNw7E
Messages for the coming changes of 2012 - Pyramids are found all over the world and often align with celestial bodies here are some great images and facts for you to ponder.
US moves towards engaging Iran (Mar 27, 2008) GOOD MOVE GEORGE! http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC27Ak04.html
The coming few weeks are going to be critical in the standoff between the United States and Iran as the upheaval in the Middle East reaches a turning point. And all options do remain on the table, as the George W Bush administration likes to say, from military conflict to a de facto acceptance of Iran's standing as the region's dominant power. One thing is clear. The time for oratorical exercises is ending. A phase of subtle, reciprocal, conceptual diplomatic actions may be beginning. An indication of this is available in the two radio interviews given by Bush last weekend and beamed into Iran, exclusively aimed at reaching out to the Iranian public on the Persian New Year Nauroz. Significantly, ahead of Bush's interviews, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger spoke. Kissinger, incidentally, is a foreign policy advisor to the Republican Party's presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. For the first time, Kissinger called for unconditional talks with Iran. That is a remarkable shift in his position. Kissinger used to maintain that the legacy of the hostage crisis during the Iranian revolution in 1979 and "the messianic aspect of the Iranian regime" represented huge obstacles to diplomacy, and combining with "Persian imperial tradition" and "contemporary Islamic fervor", a collision with the US became almost unavoidable. Interestingly, Kissinger's call was also echoed by Dennis Ross, who used to be a key negotiator in the Middle East, and carries much respect in Israel. Bush's interviews with the government-supported Voice of America and Radio Farda, especially the latter, were a masterly piece in political overture. He held out none of the customary threats against Iran. This time, there was not even the trademark insistence that "all options are on the table". There were no barbs aimed at President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Least of all, there were no calls for a regime change in Tehran. Bush simply said something that he might as well have said about Saudi Arabia or Egypt. As he put it, "So this is a regime and a society that's got a long way to go [in reform]." Bush spoke of the evolution of the Iranian regime's character rather than its overthrow. The criticism, if any, of Iranian government policies approached nowhere near the diatribes of the past. There was none of the boastful claims that the US would work toward isolating Iran in its region and beyond. In fact, Bush acknowledged, "There's a chance that the US and Iran can reconcile their differences, but the [Iranian] government is going to have to make different choices. And one [such choice] is to verifiably suspend the enrichment of uranium, at which time there is a way forward." CLIP THIS SUDDEN SHIFT COULD BE EXPLAINED WITH THE NEXT 2 ARTICLES BELOW... AND IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THE CHENEY/BUSH ADMINISTRATION WAS SAYING A COUPLE DAYS EARLIER - (See other articles below)
Military tells Bush of troop strains (March 26, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080326/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_iraq;_ylt=AkcCUcO7Lw4UxR73CGjjO4qs0NUE
WASHINGTON - Behind the Pentagon's closed doors, U.S. military leaders told President Bush Wednesday they are worried about the Iraq war's mounting strain on troops and their families. But they indicated they'd go along with a brief halt in pulling out troops this summer. The Joint Chiefs of Staff did say senior commanders in Iraq should make more frequent assessments of security conditions, an idea that appeared aimed at increasing pressure for more rapid troop reductions. The chiefs' concern is that U.S. forces are being worn thin, compromising the Pentagon's ability to handle crises elsewhere in the world. CLIP
The secret American-Iranian security deal in Iraq, and how this connected to McCains visit to Israel (March 26, 2008) http://tinyurl.com/yvoqdx
Arab online says that there are secret Iranian American negotiations at Ahmadinejads visit to Iraq. The report contains details and names of people who attended the meeting from both sides which we dont need here, so this is what the newspaper said in short: Ahmadinejad offered to calm the situation in Iraq, using the three days attacks-free visit to Iraq as a demonstration of what can Iran do, the second offer is to accept the long term Iraqi American agreement To remove Iraq from the 1546 U.N. resolution, which gives the permission for the Coalition Forces to use force any Iraqs neighboring country, if intelligence reports give evidence that the country exporting terrorism to Iraq, there is also a chapter allowing American forces to use Iraqi territory to attack another countries. - To end all American European political and logistic support for the Iranian opposition, especially Irans Resistance Council Organization, Pijac Kurdish organization, and other small opposition groups [Arabs, Turkmen, Azari etc]. - Stop the secret and public American administration incitement of toppling the Iranian regime. - End the U.S. and Europe campaign to push for the Iranian Jews immigration to Israel. - To put an end to the campaign of the need to for pre-emptive strikes against selective and sensitive intelligence, military and nuclear Iranian sites. The most important part of these negotiations is; What Iran can do for the U.S. in Iraq: Ahmadinejad mentioned that he is negotiating with a previous blessing from Ayatollah Khamenei, and thats reassured the Americans about the seriousness of the negotiations. So, Ahmadinejad commitments are: - Intelligence cooperation in Iraq and the region, while Washington gives Iran a space to maneuver internationally, easing the international pressure and the embargo, as a result, Tehran to postpone uranium enrichment operations for a period of two years, with the approval of Irans nuclear programme by the inspection teams of the International Atomic Energy Agency.- Full cooperation between Tehran and Washington in all areas CLIP
Cheney: Iran might be next US target (19 Mar 2008) http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=71055&start=680
A senior aide to the US Vice President has reportedly said a military option against Iran over its nuclear program is on the table again. Vice President Dick Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli website DEBKA quoted the aide as saying. The official added Cheney had told US troops in a military base in Iraq that "Iran has got to be very high on that list (of the countries that might be attacked)". The remarks came ahead of the talks Cheney was to hold during his 10-day tour of the Middle East, which began Monday, March 17 in Iraq. The report added that Cheney is again talking about possible US military action to shut down Iran's nuclear program, citing military and political sources in the region. Cheney stopped over in Oman Wednesday, after two days in Iraq. He will travel to Saudi Arabia and will be in al-Quds next Saturday. He is also scheduled to visit Ramallah and Turkey. According to the report, Cheney would emphasize the Bush administration's decision to distance itself from the National Intelligence Estimate indicating that "Iran has halted its nuclear arms program in 2003." The report has undermined the position of hawkish politicians who were beating the drums of war with Iran. Cheney will also underlines that "the administration now buys British, German, French and Israeli intelligence estimates that Iran is indeed pressing forward with programs for building nuclear weapons, warheads and ballistic missiles for their delivery." The report added the Americans will need the cooperation of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey to mount a military attacks on Iran. Israel was notified by the White House that the Iranian issue had been added to Cheney's regional agenda at the last minute, DEBKA quoted informed sources as saying.
Bush Makes False Claims on Iran http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032108K.shtml
Robin Wright reports for The Washington Post, "President Bush said Thursday that Iran has declared that it wants to be a nuclear power with a weapon to 'destroy people,' including others in the Middle East, contradicting the judgments of a recent US intelligence estimate."
Annan Warns Against Conflict With Iran http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032108L.shtml
The Associated Press reports, "Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Thursday that military action against Iran would be 'a real disaster' and said the Middle East could explode if the international community doesn't handle the many conflicts in the region very carefully."
Breaking Point By Ted Lang (3-21-8) http://www.rense.com/general81/break.htm
What will it take to really enrage the American people to the breaking point? Is it the comments made by that sneering, nasty old geezer with the pacemaker's reply "So?" to ABC's Martha Raddatz after telling him that only two thirds of the American people oppose the illegal invasion and war in Iraq? The truth is that it is more like 75 percent of the American people who want the war ended and believe, along with truly professional high-level military strategists and personnel, that the war is a horrific mistake and America's most incompetent military misadventure. It has lasted longer than World War II! Not sure the sneering, nasty old geezer heard her correctly, she repeated, "You don't care what the American people think?" "No," Cheney replied. Now consider this response and his monarchial attitude when applied against the history of governments, monarchies, revolutions and war. Consider the response to that usually ascribed to Marie Antoinette before she was guillotined: "Let them eat cake!" Or how about multi-zillionaire William Vanderbilt's outrage directed at a reporter: "The public be damned!" Or French King Louis XIV and Charles de Gaulle's, "I am the state!" Cheney's response, at a time when it is now known that it was his sole initiative to invade Iraq, which is now destroying our economy, has killed almost 1.2 million innocent, defenseless, Iraqi civilians in order to bring them "democracy" by bombing the shit out of them, and has probably killed somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 in our American military, is typical of the mindlessness, heartlessness, and downright treason of one of humanity's cruelest tyrants. This monster has killed more human beings than Abraham Lincoln! CLIP
Space-Based Interceptor (SBI) Bush's SuperSecret Space Based Interceptor (26 Mar 2008) http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/sbi.htm
Initially the Bush Administration articulated missile defense plans that included a significant commitement to a Space Based Interceptor [SBI] program. These plans provoked technical criticism and political controversy. The Administration apparently dropped these plans for space weapons, and the controversy faded. Critics of space based weapons were left with nothing to criticize. In reality, the Administration continued the Space-Based Interceptor program under a classified program, PE 0603891C Special Programs MDA, that first appeared in the 2005 budget request, around the time that overt funding for space based weapons was fading away. The program continues, without the political contoversy that had attended the overtly funded program of previous years. CLIP
MEDIA WATCH: "Bush's War" in the Cross hairs http://www.heartcom.org/BushWar.htm
The "front line" on the War on Terror has become everyone's TV where perception management attempts to fit the intelligence of the public to the agenda of war profiteers behind government policy. Political correctness was never so morally wrong since neocons hijacked public intelligence with emotional tyranny on 9/11. The PBS TV two-part Frontline documentary, Bush's War provides a good account, in a superficial dumbed-down way, of the power struggles behind the endless terror war quagmire. The price of all this becomes self-evident as encroaching tyranny promises law and order, but at the expense of freedom, right up to the current economic terror and saber-rattling with Iran. Will WWIII be averted by the same power elite who created this mess? Will the public wake up, wise up, and stand up for Constitutional checks on the abuse of power? CLIP
Frontline: Too Timid, Too Little, Too Late (27/03/08) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19619.htm
Frontlines Bushs War on PBS Monday and Tuesday evening was a nicely put-together rehash of the top players trickery that led to the attack on Iraq, together with the power-grabbing, back-stabbing, and limitless incompetence of the occupation. CLIP
Heavy Fighting Rocks Iraq's Basra City http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708J.shtml
Agence France-Presse reports: "Heavy fighting erupted in a bastion of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's militia in Basra on Thursday, witnesses said, as military operations against gunmen in the southern city entered a third day." CLIP - MUCH MORE on this below in "Iraq implodes as Shia fights Shia"
In Basra, Elections, Oil Drive Conflict http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032608R.shtml
Truthout's Maya Schenwar and Christopher Kuttruff report: "As conflicts swell in Basra and Baghdad, the Maliki government, supported by the Bush administration, claims it is subduing terrorism and cracking down on militia violence. However, the attacks on the Sadr forces may be primarily motivated by electoral politics and oil control, according to policy experts following Iraq's civil conflict closely."
Maliki: We'll fight militia to the end http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1320238/1665883
Mehdi Army fighters loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr remained in control of much of Basra, Iraq's second biggest city and main oil hub, defying a three-day government offensive that has led to violence spreading across the south and Baghdad.
Torture in Our Own Backyards: The Fight Against Supermax Prisons (March 24, 2008) HORRIBLE CRUELTY!!! http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/80440
In supermax prisons, 23 hours a day of solitary confinement is the norm. How did our prison system become so cruel? Imagine living in an 8-by-12 prison cell, in solitary confinement, for eight years straight. Your entire world consists of a dank, cinder block room with a narrow window only three inches high, opening up to an outdoor cement cage, cynically dubbed, "the yard." If you're lucky, you spend one hour five days a week in that outdoor cage, where you gaze up through a wire mesh roof and hope for a glimpse of the sun. If you talk back to the guards or act out in any way, you might only venture outside one precious hour per week. You go eight years without shaking a hand or experiencing any physical human contact. The prison guards bark orders and touch you only while wearing leather gloves, and then it's only to put you in full cuffs and shackles before escorting you to the cold showers, where they watch your every move.You cannot make phone calls to your friends or family and must "earn" two visits per month, which inevitably take place through a Plexiglass wall. You are kept in full shackles the entire time you visit with your wife and children, and have to strain to hear their voices through speakers that record your every word. With no religious or educational programs to break up the time or elevate your thoughts, it's a daily struggle to keep your mind from unraveling.
(...) A concept that spread like wildfire in the 1990s, today an estimated 20,000 prisoners in 44 states live in these modern-day dungeons, judged to be "unmanageable" by prison officials and moved from other penitentiaries to the nearest supermax. Life in supermax institutions is grueling. Inmates stay in their cells for at least 23 hours per day, and never so much as lay eyes on another prisoner. While many live under these conditions for five years, others continue, uncertain of how to earn their way out, for 10, 15 or even 20 years. SThe effects of such extended periods of isolation on prisoners' physical and mental health, their chances of meaningful rehabilitation, and, ultimately, on the communities to which they will eventually return are coming under increasing fire, from lawyers, human rights advocates and the medical professionals who have treated them. Bolstered by growing concern over the United States' sanctioning of torture, and the effect it's had on the country's international standing, their calls to action are gaining ground.
(...) "Many of these inmates," he said. "have become psychotic, and many have engaged in self-injurious and self-mutilatory behavior." Annibal Santiago, who has been incarcerated at Tamms since 1998, describes how it feels from the inside: "The mentally ill prisoners drive the normal prisoners crazy by screaming, crying, yelling into the pod at all hours of the day and night for days nonstop, by banging on toilets, doors, walls, and/or by shaking or kicking the doors so hard that it sounds like rumbling thunder, flooding the wing with toilet water, and by throwing feces at other prisoners or inserting feces into the air vents so that the whole wing receives a dose of the smell for months." "The constant bombardment of unrelenting stress takes its toll like a flurry of well-placed punches on a tired boxer's head," he wrote in a survey compiled by Tamms Year Ten Campaign, an activist group working to shut down the facility.
(...) As Paul Beachamp, a Tamms prisoner since 2002, puts it, "What happens when you lock up a dog in a cage for years at a time and constantly harass the dog and treat it bad while it's in the cage? Do you actually think that dog will act right once you let it out?" Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Corrections and Rehabilitation, issued a similar warning before a Senate hearing in 2006. "The experiences inmates have in prison -- whether violent or redemptive -- do not stay within prison walls, but spill over into the rest of society," he said.
(...) Berry's work is one of the reasons he counts himself among the lucky ones. After spending eight years in a facility where he was told he would have to "relinquish everything, even your personality," Berry has done more than survive; he has thrived, and he is fighting back. Within the current debate over state-sanctioned torture abroad, his voice is an important reminder of the cruel, unusual, and too-often ignored contradictions of our own criminal justice system.
Soldier Asks Himself: "Am I a Torturer?" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708N.shtml
Justine Sharrock reports for Mother Jones: "When I first set off to interview the rank-and-file guards and interrogators tasked with implementing the administration's torture guidelines, I thought they'd never talk openly. They would be embarrassed, wracked by guilt, living in silent shame in communities that would ostracize them if they knew of their histories. What I found instead were young men hiding their regrets from neighbors who wanted to celebrate them as war heroes."
Chertoff: ID must comply to fly (March 21, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/secure_driver_s_licenses_4
WASHINGTON - Homeland security officials on Friday hinted at a possible face-saving deal to end their standoff with a handful of states over new driver's license rules a dispute that, left unresolved, could cause big air travel headaches. (...) Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff had warned that if holdout states do not send a letter by the end of March seeking an extension, come May, residents of such states will no longer be able to use their driver's licenses as valid ID to board airplanes or enter federal buildings. Such travelers would instead have to present a passport or be subjected to secondary screening.Five senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana, and John Sununu of New Hampshire appealed to Chertoff last week to exempt all 50 states from the looming deadline. (...) Chertoff has offered a plan to gradually implement Real ID requirements over a period of 10 years, so that eventually all driver's licenses would have several layers of security features to prevent forgery. They would also be issued only after a number of identity checks, including immigration status and verification of birth certificates. Critics of the plan say it is too expensive, is an invasion of privacy and won't actually make the country safer.
Clinton, Obama Are Wall Street Darlings http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032108P.shtml
Janet Hook and Dan Morain report for the Los Angeles Times, "Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who are running for president as economic populists, are benefiting handsomely from Wall Street donations, easily surpassing Republican John McCain in campaign contributions from the troubled financial services sector."
"The Clinton Myth" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032208A.shtml
The Politico's Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen write: "One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning."
The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and the Audacity of Truth http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032208F.shtml
Over the past week or so, mainstream media have turned much of their attention to the fiery sermons of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Dr. Wright is pastor to Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) and his family. He was also, until recently, pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago. Most of the discussion and commentary about Dr. Wright's sermons have come from a predominantly white media. The points of discussion have centered on what they consider to be the "vile, racist and un-American things" said by Dr. Wright. Very few, if any, of the discussions have focused on the historical basis and accuracy of what Dr. Wright actually said.
Bhutto's Party Picks a Consensus-Builder to Be Pakistan's Next Premier http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032308G.shtml
Saeed Shah reports for McClatchy Newspapers, "Pakistan's dominant opposition party on Saturday announced that Yousuf Raza Gilani, a soft-spoken consensus-builder, will be the next prime minister." And, William Dalrymple writes for The New York Review of Books from Lahore, Pakistan, "A new coalition government now looks likely to come to power peacefully, bringing together Zadari's People's Party and Sharif's Muslim League, and will do so unopposed by the army. These developments should now lead commentators to reassess the country that many have long written off and caricatured as a terror-breeding swamp of Islamist iniquity."
Pakistan's New Leaders Tell US: We Are No Longer Your Killing Field http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708L.shtml
Declan Walsh reports for The Guardian UK: "The Bush administration is scrambling to engage with Pakistan's new rulers as power flows from its strong ally, President Pervez Musharraf, to a powerful civilian government buoyed by anti-American sentiment.... On Tuesday, senior coalition partner Nawaz Sharif gave the visiting Americans a public scolding for using Pakistan as a 'killing field' and relying too much on Musharraf."
U.S. Government Concedes That Mercury Causes Autism (March 22 2008) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/3/22/u-s-government-concedes-that-mercury-causes-autism.aspx
The U.S. government has concluded that childhood vaccines contributed to symptoms of autism in 9-year-old Hannah Poling. The unprecedented concession was in response to one of three test cases that allege the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal caused autism in children.According to the case, the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, where she received vaccinations for nine diseases, two of which contained thimerosal. Within 48 hours of the shots, Hannah become ill, refused to walk and could not sleep through the night. Within three months, she began showing signs of autism.According to U.S. Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation, the shots "significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder" and resulted in a brain disorder "with features of autism spectrum disorder."Although federal officials continue to say there is no link between autism and vaccines, this concession says otherwise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that Hannahs family is entitled to compensation from a federal vaccine injury fund in an amount that is still being determined. There are currently 4,900 autism cases pending in Federal "Vaccine Court." More on this through http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/government-concedes-vacci_b_88323.html AND How to avoid autism? (March 7, 2008) REALLY EXCELLENT!! http://mwebworldhealth.blogspot.com/2008/03/how-to-avoid-autism.html
German Scientist Exposes Chemtrails As Military Operations (3-16-8) http://www.rense.com/general81/crimeag.htm
Chemtrails are Covert Weather Warfare Against Unsuspecting Populations -- A TV news report from Germany has confirmed that the German Military is manipulating the climate in Germany. As a result scientists have filed a lawsuit against the government for climate manipulation. The video concludes, "We can state with a 97% certainty that we have on our hands chemical trails (chemtrails) comprised by fine dust containing polymers and metals... The purpose of chemtrails, which are well documented over the United State and other parts of the world, according to researchers, is to manipulate the weather. Karsten Brandt, German meteorologist states, "The Federal Army is Manipulating the Meteorological maps." ... Mr. Brandt in the interview, "I was surprised that this artificial cloud was so wide-spread. The radar images are stunning considering the needed tons of dispersed elements - although, the federal army claims that only small amounts of material were propagated. The military heads claim that the substances used are not harmful." ...The forefront of these operations in the United States appears to be the US Navy, as detailed in "Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare," by Dr. Len Horowitz. An alternative theory to direct toxification of the atmosphere to explain Chemtrails, is that a new weapon related to controlling weather events is being deployed. By creating droughts and thus famines, large populations could be easily controlled or eliminated. Other countries could be easily controlled and brought to their knees by a global power if the weather could be controlled or altered. Johannes Remmel, German Green party representative states, "The government must provide explanations to the unsuspecting population." While radar is tracking suspicious aircraft, the Germany Military then uses counterfeit satellite imagery to hide their operations.... In Germany, weather manipulation is prohibited, and I would likewise believe that it is prohibited in the U.S. as well.Since Chemtrails are so widespread, I would rule out the idea that this is just military performing operations to disrupt radar signals as part of some sort of drill. Many government watchdogs claim global depopulation, the targeted reduction of the world's population by two-thirds, is secretly the reason behind chemtrail spraying. (...) Bottom line: Chemtrails -- although less conspicuous than in the late 90's (perhaps because some of us are on to them) it is still being done and still a major crime (or should be a crime), mass-murder and a crime against humanity if there ever was one.
For Clarke, Issues of Faith, but Tackled Scientifically (March 20, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/books/20clar.html
Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral were the instructions left by Arthur C. Clarke, who died on Wednesday at the age of 90. This may not have surprised anyone who knew that this science-fiction writer, fabulist, fantasist and deep-sea diver had long seen religion as a symptom of humanitys infancy, something to be outgrown and overcome. But his fervor is still jarring because when it comes to the scriptural texts of modern science fiction, and the astonishing generation of prophetic innovators who were his contemporaries Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and Ray Bradbury Mr. Clarkes writings were the most biblical, the most prepared to amplify reason with mystical conviction, the most religious in the largest sense of religion: speculating about beginnings and endings, and how we get from one to the other. Stanley Kubricks film of Mr. Clarkes 2001: A Space Odyssey for example a project developed with the author is haunting not for its sci-fi imaginings of artificial intelligence and space-station engineering but for its evocation of humanitys origins and its vision of a transcendent future embodied in a human fetus poised in space. (...) It is Mr. Clarke who first conceived of the communication satellites that orbit directly over a single spot on Earth and allow the planet to be blanketed in a network of signals. There are many other examples as well.But acts of reason and scientific speculation are just the beginning of his imaginings. Reason alone is insufficient. Something else is required. For anyone who read Mr. Clarke in the 1960s and 70s, when space exploration and scientific research had an extraordinary sheen, his science fiction made that enterprise even more thrilling by taking the longest and broadest view, in which the achievements of a few decades fit into a vision of epic proportions reaching millenniums into the future. It is no wonder that two generations of scientists were affected by his work. CLIP Check also Arthur C. Clarke: A Techno-Optimist With Climate Concerns and this 9 min video Sir Arthur C Clarke: 90th Birthday Reflections released on YouTube to mark Mr. Clarkes 90th birthday, December 16th, he spoke about his 90 orbits and his view of things to come.
Monsanto Wins: The Genetically Modified Food Gamble http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/032008EC.shtml
Robert Weissman of Common Dreams writes, "There have been few experiments as reckless, overhyped and with as little potential upside as the rapid rollout of genetically modified crops. Last month, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a pro-biotech nonprofit, released a report highlighting the proliferation of genetically modified crops. According to ISAAA, the biotech crop area grew 12 percent, or 12.3 million hectares, to reach 114.3 million hectares in 2007, the second-highest area increase in the past five years."
The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that Americans won't ever see (24 Mar 2008) http://www.inteldaily.com/?c=172&a=5653
The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years. The endless list of genetically modified seeds sold and controlled by Monsanto are putting at enormous risk age-old agricultural patterns under the presumptuous slogan of aiming at solving the huge problem of hunger in the world. On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, entitled 'The World According to Monsanto' (Le Monde selon Monsanto). CLIP
Death of the Bees : GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America (March 25, 2008) http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article16762
'Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North/America's crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize'. This essay will discuss the arguments and seriousness pertaining to the massive deaths and the decline of Bee colonies in North America. As well, it will shed light on a worldwide hunger issue that will have an economical and ecological impact in the very near future. There are many reasons given to the decline in Bees, but one argument that matters most is the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and "Terminator Seeds" that are presently being endorsed by governments and forcefully utilized as our primary agricultural needs of survival. I will argue what is publicized and covered by the media is in actuality masking the real forces at work, namely the impact of genetically modified seeds on the reproduction of bee colonies across North America. Genetically modified seeds are produced and distributed by powerful biotech conglomerates. The latter manipulate government agricultural policy with a view to supporting their agenda of dominance in the agricultural industry. American conglomerates such as Monsanto, Pioneer HiBred and others, have created seeds that reproduce only under certain conditions, often linked to the use of their own brands of fertilizer and/or insecticide.The genetic modification of the plant leads to the concurrent genetic modification of the flower pollen. When the flower pollen becomes genetically modified or sterile, the bees will potentially go malnourished and die of illness due to the lack of nutrients and the interruption of the digestive capacity of what they feed on through the summer and over the winter hibernation process. CLIP
Oil Deal for Alaska Wildlife Refuge on Fast Track http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/032008EA.shtml
Public Employees for Environmental Ethics reports, "A massive land-for-oil swap in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge aims to open much of eastern Alaska up to petroleum development, according to comments filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The land exchange is moving quickly despite the absence of any land appraisals for the more than half a million acres involved."
Oil From Anything http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization
Thermal depolymerization (TDP) is a process using hydrous pyrolysis for the reduction of complex organic materials (usually waste products of various sorts, often known as biomass and plastic) into light crude oil.
Glaciers melt 'at fastest rate in past 5,000 years' (March 16 2008) ¨ http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/mar/16/glaciers.climatechange1
The world's glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began, threatening catastrophe for hundreds of millions of people and their eco-systems.The details are revealed in the latest report from the World Glacier Monitoring Service and will add to growing alarm about the rise in sea levels and increased instances of flooding, avalanches and drought.Based on historical records and other evidence, the rate at which the glaciers are melting is also thought to be faster that at any time in the past 5,000 years, said Professor Wilfried Haeberli, director of the monitoring service. 'There's no absolute proof, but nevertheless the evidence is strong: this is really extraordinary.' Experts have been monitoring 30 glaciers around the world for nearly three decades and the most recent figures, for 2006, show the biggest ever 'net loss' of ice. Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told The Observer that melting glaciers were now the 'loudest and clearest' warning signal of global warming. The problem could lead to failing infrastructure, mass migration and even conflict. 'We're talking about something that happens in your and my lifespan. We're not talking about something hypothetical, we're talking about something dramatic in its consequences,' he said. Lester Brown, of the influential US-based Earth Policy Institute, said the problem would have global ramifications, as farmers in China and India struggled to irrigate their crops.'This is the biggest predictable effect on food security in history as far as I know,' said Brown. Based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's mid-range prediction that global temperatures will rise 2C above their long-term average, UNEP last year warned of further dramatic declines in glaciers by the end of the century. The revelation that the world's glaciers are in retreat came as Tony Blair began a series of high-level environmental meetings in Japan, China and India as the leader of a new international team charged with securing a global deal on climate change. In a speech yesterday in Chiba, Japan, Blair said that the world now faced catastrophe. 'We have reached the critical moment of decision on climate change,' he said. 'Failure to act now would be deeply and unforgivably irresponsible. The scale of what is needed is so great that the purpose of any global action is not to ameliorate or to make better our carbon dependence; it is to transform the nature of economies and societies in terms of carbon consumption and emissions. 'If the average person in the US is, say, to emit per capita, one-tenth of what they do today and those in the UK or Japan one-fifth, we're not talking of adjustment, we're talking about a revolution.' The key to that revolution was a vastly increased use of nuclear power across the world, (!!!) he added. Blair is also scheduled to meet Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's Prime Minister, and members of the Indian and Chinese governments.
Western Antarctic causes scientists most concern (March 27, 2008) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3628471.ece
The dramatic destruction of an ice shelf is a mere side show compared to the potential of catastrophic melting elsewhere in Antarctica. The Wilkins ice shelf covers more than 5,000 square miles, is up to 650 feet thick, took more than 1,000 years to form and is on the verge of melting in less than a decade. Almost 200 square miles of the ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula shattered into thousands of ice bergs over the last month, mostly on February 28. The rest of the shelf is expected to disappear rapidly in response to rising global temperatures. But while regarded as an impressive effect of global warming its impact on sea level rises is insignificant compared to those that scientists fear will be caused in the Western Antarctic. Climate researchers consider the southern continent to have three distinct regions - the Antarctic Peninsula, the Western Antarctic and the Eastern Antarctic. They are most worried about the Western Antarctic where the greatest volume of ice has been lost and where there is the potential for sudden, unpredictable and extensive melting leading to rapid sea rises.Loss of ice shelves in the Peninsula is calculated to have little effect on sea levels because they already float in the water. In the Western Antarctic, however, much of the ice shelf rests on rock so when it melts the water runs into the sea and can cause a rise in ocean levels.Warmer ocean temperatures have taken a huge toll on the ice shelves in the Western Antarctic where ice is thinning at a rate of about 6-7 feet a year. The problem is the Western Antarctic is extremely unpredictable, said Professor David Vaughan, of the British Antarctic Survey. At current rates its contributing a fraction of a millimetre to sea level rises per year but the potential is there for an acceleration. CLIP
Climate Change Deepening World Water Crisis (March 20, 2008) http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/20/7794/
UNITED NATIONS - When U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last January, his primary focus was not on the impending global economic recession but on the worlds growing water crisis. A shortage of water resources could spell increased conflicts in the future, he told the annual gathering of business tycoons, academics and leaders from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.Population growth will make the problem worse. So will climate change. As the global economy grows, so will its thirst. Many more conflicts lie just over the horizon, he warned. Anders Berntell, executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute, says the lack of safe drinking water for over 1.0 billion people worldwide, and the lack of safe sanitation for over 2.5 billion, is an acute and devastating humanitarian crisis. (...) We must find better ways to manage water resources, in so far as water pollution is concerned, and to meet the food requirements of a human population which will expand by over 3.0 billion people in 2050.We also must meet the water-climate challenge. Everything could become much more desperate and severe in the future if the proper steps are not taken, he added. So, it is important, Berntell argued, to make a distinction between the water resource crisis which is primarily caused by an overexploitation of water resources for agricultural and industrial use, as well as pollution and the water service and sanitation crisis. In a statement released Wednesday, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said many rivers in developing countries and emerging economies are now polluted to the brink of their collapse. The Yangtze, Chinas longest river, is cancerous with pollution due to untreated agriculture and industrial waste, IUCN warnedMeanwhile, arguing that water shortages will drive future conflicts, the U.N. secretary-general says the slaughter in Darfur described as genocide by the United States was triggered by global climate change.It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought, Ban said. When Darfurs land was rich, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water.With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing. For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out, he said.Water is a classic common property resource. No one really owns the problem. Therefore, no one really owns the solution, he declared. CLIP
Million Acres of Guyanese Rainforest to Be Saved in Groundbreaking Deal http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/032708EB.shtml
Daniel Howden, The Independent UK: "A deal has been agreed that will place a financial value on rainforests - paying, for the first time, for their upkeep as 'utilities' that provide vital services such as rainfall generation, carbon storage and climate regulation."
Who Is Responsible for the World Food Shortage (March 17, 2008) http://www.blacklistednews.com/view.asp?ID=5914
This weeks cover photo, showing corn piled on the ground, out in the open, near Minnesota grain elevators, is representative of the disintegration of the food supply system the world over. While the U.S. Midwest corn and soybean harvests were coming in this fall, the U.S. rail freight system broke down. After years of financial mergers, asset stripping, and rail track removal, such companies as Union Pacific, which are considered to be financial "successes," failed miserably on the economic front, and could not even supply engines to move the grain cars. Millions of bushels of grain are sitting, rotting on the ground.This grain transport breakdown is but one recent example of breakdown in the food supply in what is considered the most food-secure nation in the world, and illustrates the fact that "natural disasters"bad weather, floods, droughtsare not the cause of the worlds food crises. These examples, and equivalent situations all around the world, are "unnatural" disasters, caused by years of takedown of agriculture infrastructure under wrong policies and assumptions, in particular, serving the interests of private financial and commodities control circles, centered mostly in London.The worldwide food crisis is measurable in the decline of grains, of all types, produced per capita yearly. To provide every person with a daily diet of their preference, with sufficient calories and nutrients, would require well over 3 billion tons of grain produced annually. But as of around 1990, less than 1.9 billion tons were being produced yearly, and since then, world annual production has declined.An estimated 800 million people are suffering from some degree of malnutrition. Besides the nearly continentwide food supply crisis in Africa, there are other locations, such as Russia and former Soviet bloc nations, plunged into crisis. Even under the Soviet command economy, Russias annual grain production averaged 100 million tons. But output has fallen each year since 1991, to only around 65 million tons this year.No paradoxWhat does the international community say? Officially, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and sister U.N. agenciesthe World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)blame hunger on "poverty." The FAO gala conference in Quebec City in October, for the FAOs 50th anniversary, celebrated the fact that world tonnages of food have increased over five decades, but lamented that 800 million people dont have enough to eata "paradox," according to the conference speakers. But most of the 100 or more agriculture ministers present knew better. The last 25-30 years have seen a consistent decline of agriculture output potential in almost all countries. Necessary ratios of infrastructure (water, transport, electricity) and inputs (chemicals, mechanization, quality seeds and stock) have fallen, to the point where output per capita is sharply declining CLIP
Do this at home: Test your microwave http://www.proliberty.com/observer/20041013.htm
If you have ever wondered whether or not microwaved food is safe, heres an experiment you can do at home: Plant seeds in two pots. Water one pot with water that has been microwaved, the other with regular tap water.The seeds that received microwaved water wont sprout. If microwaved water can stop plants from growing, think of what microwaved food can do to your health!In 1989, Swiss biologist and food scientist Dr. Hans Hertel studied the effects of microwaved food. Eight people participated in the study. For eight weeks, they lived in a controlled environment and intermittently ate raw foods, conventionally cooked foods and microwaved foods. Blood samples were tested after each meal. They discovered that eating microwaved food, over time, causes significant changes in blood chemistry:1. A decrease in hemoglobin and cholesterol values, in the HDL (good cholesterol) versus LDL (bad cholesterol) ratio and in white blood cells, weakening the immune system, and an increase in leukocyte levels, which tends to indicate poisoning and cell damageconditions ripening the body for degenerative diseases and/or cancer.2. "The measurable effects on man through the ingestion of microwaved food, unlike untreated food, are blood alterations, that can also be found at the beginning of a pathological condition, also indicative of a beginning cancerous process," wrote Dr. Bernard Blanc, who assisted in the study.3. Microwave ovens "cook" food by forcing the atoms, molecules and cells within the food to reverse polarity billions of times per second, causing frictionthe more the friction, the more the heat. This oscillation tears and deforms the molecular structure of food. New compounds, called radiolytic compounds, which are not found in nature, are formed. Interestingly, microwaves are actually used in gene-altering technology to deliberately break cells and neutralize their "life-force" so they can be manipulated. Microwaves destroy the life force that gives food its vitality and nourishment. When this life force dissipates, microorganisms start breaking food down and it begins to rot. CLIP
Microwave dangers a hot topic (March 17, 2008) http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20080317/news/news5.html
When it comes to convenience, few devices can compare to the microwave. Over 90 per cent of homes in North America have them and their popularity in Jamaica is rising rapidly. There is evidence to suggest that millions of people may be exchanging their health for the convenience of microwave ovens. Before you use your microwave one more time, you might want to consider some facts.Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with a wavelength shorter than that of a normal radio wave. Microwaves are used in radar, in communications, and for heating in microwave ovens. The Germans used the first microwave units during the Second World War. The Russians researched their biological effects after the war, and because of what they learned, banned microwave ovens over 30 years ago. In 1991, a United States lawsuit involved a woman who had hip surgery and died because the blood used in her blood transfusion was warmed in a microwave. The microwave altered the blood and it killed the woman. Microwaves heat your food by causing it to resonate at very high frequencies. This may effectively heat your food, but also causes changes in the chemical structure of the food. Ordinary heating of food can cause problems by itself, but when you heat it with microwaves, you have additional damage from the negative energy frequencies. CLIP
Freshen Up Your Drink (Mar. 13, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1722266,00.html
Drinking water should be a gloriously guilt-free activity. H2O won't make you fat, give you cancer or stain your teeth a revolting shade of yellow. It's second only to soda as the American beverage of choice, ever since marketers thought to package it for us in handy plastic bottles. But now the green lobby informs us we may as well be clubbing baby seals with our Evian bottles, so great is the environmental havoc wreaked by their manufacture and disposal. Some resourceful consumers have taken to reusing the containers multiple times; others have switched to reusable water bottles. While we fuss over the impact of water containers on the environment, however, most of us have overlooked their potential impact on our health. Many water bottles on the market, like many soda containers, are made of a hard plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. While the material is perfectly safe for single use, it's not designed for repeated reuse, says Kellogg Schwab, an environmental microbiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: "Your mouth leaves a film that harbors bacteria, and the bottle's narrow mouth makes it hard to clean." Reusable water bottles merit scrutiny as well. Like many rock climbers, Scott Belcher used to carry a Nalgene water bottle made of polycarbonate, a sturdy, clear plastic. As an associate pharmacology professor at the University of Cincinnati, he knew that polycarbonates contain bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic hormone that mimics estrogen. What he didn't know was if or how much BPA wound up in his water. In experiments, he learned that trace amounts of BPA do seep into room-temperature water. But he was startled to find that when the containers were filled with boiling water--a common practice for climbers in cold climates--the BPA released 55 times as fast. His research, published in January in the journal Toxicology Letters, spurred alarm among not just water drinkers but also parents: 95% of baby bottles, which are routinely filled with hot water to make formula, are made of polycarbonates. CLIP
From: MICHAEL DEAN (email@example.com)
Subject: What the hells going on down here?
Date: 21 Mar 2008
Last night at 3 a.m. I awoke, tottered to my PC and tried to put into some sort of order a number of leading questions that have been exercising my closest friends and myself for the last few years. And although these questions are addressed rhetorically to our friends and advisers in Spirit, do by all means invite your readers to contact you if they have any answers, comments or observations that they think might be helpful. Thank you!
With love and thoughts and thanks, as ever, from London and
Q & A 2008
Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and you shall find; knock, and
it shall be opened unto you.
Matthew, vii. 7
Between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s, my friends and associates and I were privileged to enjoy the inspiration, advice, encouragement and instruction of a number of trusted allies on the other side - or HQ, as we usually refer to you collectively. In recent years, however, as the world crisis continued to intensify, we became more and more uncomfortably aware of radio silence from your end.
We assume that as our apprenticeship drew to a close, you decided that it was time that we emerged from the comfort zone and began to stand on our own two feet. We also realise that this is all part of the process of growing up, so we have increasingly relied on our own intuition, judgement and experience, and not expected all the answers to be dropped in our laps by your good selves.
But as the present chapter in the human adventure hurtles to a conclusion, and another, more enlightened one rapidly approaches, we ask you to give us definitive explanations and/or answers to the following:
It says in the Bible that God created Man in his own image.
Q1: If that is the case, who precisely was or is this Creator, whose image in some way resembles that of a human being? [we had always assumed that God was formless, present in all things, etc., etc.]
It has been said that the Creator decreed that all physical beings should enjoy free will, so that they could enjoy their lives uninhibited by some ever-watchful higher power that would not hesitate to make its disapproval, disappointment, exasperation or even anger felt whenever they got out of line.
Although this might appear to have been a wise and compassionate decision, it has given primitive, cruel, violent, barbaric, criminal, vengeful, greedy, power-hungry, possessive, ruthless, warlike and unscrupulous men carte blanche to ride roughshod over their more harmless and gentle fellow creatures.
The result has been the violent deaths of hundreds of millions of human beings during invasions, hostilities, terrorism, wars, Empires, and campaigns of deliberate genocide - quite apart from the countless millions of victims of famine, drought and disease.
Q2: How can this apparently insoluble conundrum be solved? [If we deny them free will, theyll be little more than robots; but if we do give them free will, theyll most likely quarrel, fight and even kill each other. . .]
Q3: Why wasnt this persistent problem solved long ago - or better still, at the very beginning - in order to avoid all the human sacrifice that has inevitably ensued?
Q4: Why were no steps taken to prevent the elders of the Church from using the Christian religion to control, brainwash, persecute and murder so many innocent people during the Inquisition, the Crusades and countless religious wars?
Q5: Why has Allah not reprimanded all those who have tampered with and deliberately misused the Quran in order to brainwash and control the faithful, and to incite innocent men, women and even children to go to war for Islam?
Q6: Would anyone respect parents who allowed their children absolute autonomy - including the free will to harm or even kill themselves and other human beings?
Please excuse our presumption, ignorance or whatever - but couldnt a system have been introduced long, long ago, whereby any human being whose behaviour threatened seriously to harm himself and/or others would, during his sleep state, find himself attending a meeting during which he would be told not only that he was about to do great harm to others, but to himself?
The law of inevitable consequence would be explained to him, and he would be advised that by using his thoughts and emotions and energies less destructively, he would be saving himself a lot of pain in the future. Perhaps he might also have been told that the meeting was strictly confidential, and that no-one in his family or circle ever need know about it. His pride would therefore have remained intact.
Come to think of it, could not all human beings, during the sleep state, occasionally attend meetings with their guides and advisers in the Spirit worlds, who would encourage them and increase their resolve to keep on keeping on? Many people already enjoy this privilege, but most are denied it because they havent been told about the higher worlds, nor have they ever been reminded - as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin so eloquently reminded your readers recently, that "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience."
Civilisation appears always to have been controlled by groups of sinister, faceless men who have deliberately misled, misinformed and manipulated us, and who have made sure that we all remain in ignorance. They have also gone to great lengths - as William Bramley reminded us in his eye-opening book The Gods Of Eden - to make sure that the nations remain suspicious of, and hostile to, each other, and all too often at war with each other.
The puppets who carry out their plans - despots, Presidents, Prime Ministers, warlords, bankers, industrialists, munitions makers, drugs barons, media moguls, film makers, television networks, etc. - are invariably rewarded with great wealth and power, while those who dare to stand up and suggest that there must be some other, gentler and more compassionate way of conducting human affairs [Mahatma Gandhi, JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon and Princess Diana, among others] are almost always silenced or assassinated.
Who could be blamed for thinking that this lovely world - a cosmic University and potential paradise - has been converted into a prison planet, a detention centre in which pain, injustice, cruelty, malevolence and mass murder prevail, and any serious attempts by concerned or enlightened human beings to transmute these appalling conditions are usually rewarded with a bullet, a car crash, poison, or an aviation accident. In other words, although many of us are fortunate enough to live out our lives in comparative comfort and safety, for billions of others, life might justifiably be described as a hell on Earth. . .
Q7: Why has so little been done by the authorities in Spirit to rectify, alleviate or reverse this grim state of affairs?
We are also dismayed by the fact that most species on Earth - including bacteria, insects, fish, birds, reptiles, animals and humans - spend much of their time hunting, killing and consuming each other.
Q8: Is this considered to be the proper way to conduct and perpetuate life in a physical world? Survival of the fittest, fastest, most predatory and most cunning? Decimation or extinction for the defenceless?
Q9: Was it ever thus - or was there once an Arcadian epoch on Earth, during which most life forms co-existed peacefully?
Finally, we would humbly and respectfully ask the Creator:
Q10: What are your current thoughts about the ongoing experiment called Life in a physical Universe - with particular reference to human life on Earth?
Lest we seem ungrateful, I hasten to add that my friends and I are not only in awe of the beauty, generosity and seemingly inexhaustible patience of the Earth - and of the ingenuity, creativity, resilience and courage of so many human beings - but we are also dismayed and appalled by the violence, cruelty and injustice that increasingly threaten our very tenancy of this planet.
AND MY REPLY WAS:
I finally had a bit of time to review your attached document with its many fundamental heavily loaded questions. I'm happy to include it in my next compilation but a fairly important part is missing in what you sent me. It is entitled Questions & Answers 2008 isn't it? You provided the questions but seem to think someone else should provide the answers. I believe you have set up there for yourself a most excellent exercise to practice discernment and enable your Higher Self to come forward and write down through you the answers as seen from its eternal vantage point. As a fragment of God your soul knows the answer to any question. . .
Learning to trust OneSelf is an absolutely vital key for our next evolutionary step, individually and globally, and I urge you to avail yourself of this unique opportunity you have set up for yourself by providing me with the answers within the next 5 days - my next compilation dispatch is probably in about a week from now - and I'll be even more happy to include them. I'd prefer to keep your Questions part separate so people have a chance to prod their own Higher Self into offering possible answers - something which I'll encourage everyone to do BEFORE they read the Answers part.
How about that?...
Much Love and inspiration!
NOTE to everyone reading this: As indicated above, may I suggest that before you review Michael's replies which he kindly provided, you give this a try yourself and see what you'll come up with. You need not necessarily write it down in great details. Just a couple key words resulting from what your soul's gut feeling tells you (for each question) and then you can continue reading this. I know you are curious to see what Michael's soul offered as a perspective, but the key to this exercise in soul searching is to allow your own Divine Self to manifest Its presence to you yes It can! so you may learn to rely ever more so upon It - and trust your own soul feelings! - as we gradually enter a higher realm of soul experiencing in our ever ascending - if we so choose! - evolutionary spiral of Joyful reUnion with Source. And should you feel compelled to go a step further and wish to write down in greater details your answers to Michael's questions, or write a general soul-perspective comment on the whole exercise, and then email this to me (and Michael as I'm sure he will be thrilled to see what his own soul-promptings have led to) for possible inclusion in my next compilation, then by all means, feel free to do so.
AND MICHAEL REPLIED:
I should have seen that one coming! Trust you to see what was missing in the Q&A. . . :-) I did as you suggested, asked my Overself - and the so-and-so did exactly the same as you! He bopped the ball straight back into my court with a wicked overhead, backhand smash: Go for it, kiddo. You can do it. It wont be perfect - but what is?!
So here goes. I cant wait to see what your readers send in. . .
A1: Creator is the name sometimes given to the Being who decided to see what would occur if perpetual Light and perfection were to cast shadows. The result of this thought or impulse was the Creation. Creator is not All That Is, but part of All That Is - as are we all. We are all Light and shadow. . .
A2: The Creation is not perfect. It is still learning, finding its way. The discomfort, disharmony and pain that exercise you so are what will propel you back to the Light from which you came. Only you can decide whether your physical life is a dream or a nightmare. It may appear to be all-too-real while you are dreaming it - but dream is all that it really is - as youll discover. . .
A3: see A2 [above]
A4: Man created the concept of God - God did not create Man. . .
A5: With all due respect, Allah is also a concept created by men, for reasons of their own. . .
A6: One would not respect parents who allowed their children to walk into danger. But ultimately, you must be your own guide - you are uniquely qualified for the job. Besides, children can learn as much from their parents mistakes as from their parents goodness and kindness. . .
A7: Invigilators do not peer over students shoulders and say, No, no no! Not that way - this! If they did, it would no longer be an examination, but a tutorial. . .
A8: If you find yourself in a lawless world, introduce law - or in a world without honour, introduce honour. And so on and so forth. . .
A9: There was indeed an Arcadian epoch. And as Matthew, Diane, Jean and other pathfinders have said, there will be again - and soon!
A10: THE CREATOR SPEAKS:
SEE THE LIGHT. FEEL THE LIGHT. BE THE LIGHT."
Date: 23 Mar 2008
From: "Sunny Ariel" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Documentary Film Project on the New Indigo Kids
How lovely to hear from you - I'm so glad I sent you the Earth Hour information. I was certain you knew about it and that I was preaching to the choir.... it's always good when I listen to my heart. Oh, and you are so right about David Wilcock. Those photos are just unbelievable. I heard him on Coast to Coast about a year ago and knew that he was the real deal.
I so respect the work you do to raise planetary consciousness, dear Jean and I want to share with you the letter I am sending regarding a documentary film I'm producing about the new kids, aka Indigos. If you know anyone who might be interested in becoming a part of this project you are welcome to share the attached query letter with them.
Again, thank you for all you do for the light.
May the force continue to nurture you!
We have formed New Kid Films in order to give a voice and stage to the young people among us who carry keys to humanity's future. Some of these "new kids" are in families and schools which recognize and nurture their unique intelligence and abilities. Many others are being drugged and coerced into behaving "normally." These children, those appreciated and those lost and medicated, have much to offer the rest of us. I invite you to go to our website and see Candace's story at http://www.NewKids.us
Our lead off film documents the true, inspiring and compelling story of the children born since around 1982. Although USA Today, CNN, Good Morning America, A & E and The New York Times have all reported on the growing phenomenon of our newest citizens, and there have been some feature films on the subject including Indigo, The Last Mimzi and most recently, August Rush, this is the first in a series of documentary dramas about our newest generation to compare scientific findings and esoteric and mystery traditions about these young people. It is also the first film to focus on their place in our rapidly changing world.
What is unique about New Kid Films is that it will bring forth both the outstanding voices of the professionals whose cutting-edge research on the new kids suggests new ways of raising, educating and seeing them, as well as the vision, wisdom, purpose and passion of the kids themselves. New Kid Films is a project of Sapphire House Productions, LLC.
We are inviting people in the New Kid field to co-create a platform and a medium for these young people to serve and be served. You have written about, parented, mentored or treated these amazing children. You know their challenges and have concerned yourself with helping them heal their fears and find their way. I believe that your information and your experience beg for more public exposure. I have been listening to and filming these new kids since 2001. Their insights into how to make the world a better place and their deep connection to nature and the planet humbles me. These kids are true activists who will not be distracted from their message.
It's as if they have digital wiring in an analog world.
From your point of view, what do we need to include in order to make this film the vehicle for opportunity it can be and at what level would you be interested in becoming a part of this documentary production?
I look forward to speaking with you and hearing your ideas. With your participation to give these children the voice and the recognition they deserve we may be co-creating one of the most transformational films of our times because to tell the story of our newest citizens and to hear their voices is literally to recognize evolution in our time.
Thank you for all you do for the children.
Peace and joy,
Sapphire House Productions
505 404 0924
Author of Shalom My Love (The story of a true love that bridges heaven and earth)
From: Suzanne Ward (email@example.com)
Subject: Message from Matthew
Date: 23 Mar 2008
Golden Age view of Earth; dark plans won't reach fruition; effects of frequencies/pollution, ways to relieve symptoms; global economy, national leadership reforms; energy field of potential; soul, cumulative soul
March 23, 2008
This is Matthew with loving greetings and joyous Easter tidings to all.
Some zones of Earth are welcoming the first signs of spring, the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, and I feel it is an especially appropriate time to describe our beloved Earth as we see her from this stationhow we wish that everyone on the planet could witness this magnificence! Please imagine a brilliantly blue sphere with myriad sparkling pinpoints of light as it recedes into an ever lightening space and joins other celestial bodies. All of these vibrant, glittering orbs are rotating among evanescent pastel ribbons wafting through space in rhythm with the angelic music of the spheres. This is your world in balance and harmony with its neighbors.
Bringing your view of Earth back from her universal placement, you see countless sparkling lights blinking upwards toward the filaments of a golden grid above vast verdant areas and expanses of pristine azure waters. Now narrow your viewfeel the serenity of the rolling countryside; hover above towns and cities and feel the exhilaration of the residents that permeates the atmosphere. Closing in further still, see imaginatively designed buildings of many sizes and shapes, flower gardens brightly dotting the landscape among the trees, animals of all species roaming freely in parks as adults watch children gleefully playing with them. Feel the energy of joy and peacefulness emanating from Earth herself.
This is your Golden Age world that already exists in the reality of the continuum, the world that you are co-creating in this moment of illusory linear time.
Hold firm these blissful visions and sensations in your minds and hearts as you deal with the situations confronting you. In stark contrast to the idyllic scenes and emotions of the Golden Age on your horizon, Earth's energy field of potential is teeming with combative activity. It is conclusive that the light is victorious, but the tenacious energy streamers of darkness still are struggling to survive. As the power of the ones influenced by the darkness keeps waning, their desperate foundering grows and so does their perniciousness. For a while longer you will see this in a number of ways, including an assortment of grave pronouncements and "leaked" plans, all intended to fill you with fear. Oh yes, dark plans do indeed exist, but they will not reach fruition! So recognize them for what they arethe flailing of souls intensely fear-filled themselves because they know their long era of keeping Earth's people locked in violence, deception and ignorance is over. The dark ones are panicking as they see their numbers dwindling, the futility of their attempts to keep hidden their history of manipulating all life on the planet, and their efforts to retain control thwarted again and again by the ever-increasing light of the higher frequencies Earth has reached in her steady ascension course.
The frequencies now prevailing are raising consciousness on a global scale. The rebelling against oppressive forces and the rallying for peace are mounting. So are efforts to end starvation and genocide, impoverishment and inhumane laws; actions are intensifying to stop environmental destruction and to protect the animal and plant kingdoms. In short, you are following your pre-birth chosen missions to help Earth's peoples rise above third density mentality, activities and consequences, and by your steadfastness within the light forces, you are succeeding!
Those same frequencies also are presenting physical anomalies and emotional peaks and valleys. Understanding this can lessen anxious moments about unusual symptoms, and there are helpful steps to relieve stress, frustrations and restlessness. Take time from your busy days to reach the sacred space withinwhether you think of it as meditation, soul searching, prayer or even escape from the world, the resulting tranquility is balm for mind, body and spirit. To uplift yourselves on a more active basis, spend time with kindred spiritsif you are not already including animals and trees among these, start now. Turn your thoughts of anxiety about adversity to gratitude for blessings; breathe deeply and let go of uncomfortable feelings you have held in check; listen to melodic music; write to the distant friend or family member you have been meaning to; watch a comical film; read or write poetry; take long walks; volunteer time to worthy community efforts; support charitable organizations; paint a room or a picture, whichever you feel more inclined to do. Smile! Those may sound trivial in the face of world events, but each moment spent in meaningful ways soothes the mind and leads to balance within.
This is especially important in your adjustment physically and emotionally to the higher frequencies because you also are encountering the effects of the low frequency emissions from HAARP and other surveillance systems, the radioactive fallout of weaponry, the cell phones and electric power stations, in addition to the proliferation of pollutants in your air, soil and water. If we can say "that's the bad news," we hasten to give you the "good news": Your benevolent space family is using their technology to ameliorate to the greatest possible extent the damaging effects of those toxic ingredients.
But be aware that even though health disorders are exacerbated by bodies adjusting to the higher frequencies and by those many sources of contaminants, the root cause may be different, and it is wise to consult a trusted health care provider. Chemicals in pharmaceutical drugs and those you call "illegal" diminish or destroy your body's self-healing mechanisms, thus they are counterproductive to healing and well-being. While I do not endorse any products, I do recommend that you explore combinations of natural ingredients that may be very effective in reinforcing immune systems and strengthening energy levels. It is helpful to search the Internet and discuss the various natural remedies with a health care provider and friends; however, each body is unique, so trust your intuition about which products will best serve you. It is important that you drink a great deal of pure water to help balance the body's electromagnetic system and flush out toxins, and I repeat what I mentioned in prior messages about the great benefits of monatomic gold for enhancing brain functioning and spiritual clarity.
Now then, to speak about the most profound reforms underway. The disastrous state of the United States economy and its consequences that are rebounding around the world is in the public domain. Although still largely in the grip of Illuminati censorship, mainstream media are truthfully reporting the tip of this fast-melting iceberg. To establish a new system of banking and commerce based in integrity, it is essential that Illuminati control be eliminated, and they are doing this themselvestheir centuries of greed, deceit and monetary manipulation on an international scale have resulted in a system that is collapsing under its own weight. For a bit longer there will be scurrying about to apply band aids to a dying economic entity, but its inevitable death is essential to transforming today's world into the world you are there to help create.
Of equal importance in the transformation process, the changes in government officials will continue at its accelerated pace as hidden agendas and corruption become public knowledge and the angered citizenry demands full disclosure. Continuance in all leadership positions is dependent upon those individuals acceptance or rejection of the light that is being generated by lightworkers and your space family and being beamed with full intensity to all persons holding influential positions. Those who reject the light will either be voted out of office, overthrown by the people they have betrayed and oppressed, or their bodies will die as Earth moves into still higher frequencies, where physical survival is impossible without the cellular changes that light enables. Eventually the fact will come forth that some publicly seen leaders are clones.
The US military troops in Iraq will be withdrawn in increments after the US presidential election, and within a very few years, all occupation troops worldwide will be back in their native countries. The cessation of wars will not happen overnight, but worldwide peace is on its way. Nations that have been devastated by civil or international wars will be given reconstruction assistance, and so will communities that have been severely damaged by the negativity-ridding earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and violent storms, whether of natural or manmade origin. These facets of the transition into the Golden Age will be aided by new sources of energy that are known but have been suppressed to keep oil as king and the oil company executives living like kings.
We know that you would like to have names and dates and other specifics related to all the changes underway, and we cannot provide those. We can see the tapestry, if you will, but not the individual threads that produce its elaborate design. All we messengers who speak through our receivers can do is report the activity we observe in Earth's energy field of potential, where possibilities may become probabilities and those may or may not develop into actualities. It is the same on a global scale as it is with each person's lifethe big picture can be viewed, more clearly if there is a steady rather than an erratic pathway, but not each step along that pathway. It depends on the person's use of free will and the amount of energy put forth to achieve his or her goal. With God's permission, I am giving you an example. Recently my mother asked God if my sister would take a specific step in a relationship. "I don't know because she doesn't know. When she knows, so will I."
My objective from the very beginning has been to offer spiritual enlightenment and guidance during this unprecedented time not only on Earth, but in the universe, and as a microcosm of the universe, every soul is part of this. My mother and I have been complying with a foreign publisher's request that we add updated material wherever appropriate to the information I transmitted to her 1994 to 1997. Readers of Revelations for a New Era may recognize that in the following explanation that I believe will enhance your understanding of the god and goddess souls you are.
S: I know the soul is our eternal connection with God and Creator, but I don't know exactly what the soul is, or does.
MATTHEW: The soul is the very essence of life as it first sprang from Creator. It is an indestructible living entity of light energy that may have a physical body, etheric body or astral body, or it may exist in free spirit only. Our souls, manifested by God through His co-creating powers with Creator, are expressions of the love-light of God and contain in microcosm every essence of God. In any of its forms, the soul is an inviolate independent being at the same time it exists inseparably with God and Creator and all other souls.
The body is only a very fleeting vehicle for use by the soul, which is far stronger and more tenacious than any third density body such as those of Earth humankind. And, the body does not hold the soul, the soul creates the body from its image that will fit the specific experiencing it chooses in each incarnate lifetime. When the soul is released from the physical body, its etheric body is released at that same instant, and in that etheric body, the soul makes its lightning-fast transition from Earth to Nirvana.
The soul is the power behind everything that exists on Earth. It is the life force of all its parts that it creates for ever-greater experiencing. At every level of evolvement, each soul part is an independent self with intelligence, characteristics, choices, goals and all the other life elements that make each person a unique being.
Each individual lifetime of a soul is its personage. The sum of a soul's personages is the cumulative soul, and all knowledge gained by each is available to all. Thus, as each one melds into the cumulative soul, bringing the wisdom of that lifetime's experiences, every personage evolves just as the cumulative soul does.
S: Matthew, excuse me pleasewhere does ego fit into the individual soul that you call the personage?
MATTHEW: Ego is the part of the personage that is self-identity and self-worth in accordance with efforts and achievements. But just as honoring those is not the same as vanity, honoring ego as a reflection of one's self-identity is not the same as being egotistical. The sense of self is essential to the personage, yet often "ego" in that context is overshadowed by its derivations "egotistical," "egocentric" and "egotism" that define an individual as being focused solely on himself, relating everything to his needs or desires, and having a "puffed-up" impression of his characteristics and achievements. That kind of person is considered pompous and conceited, without a shred of humility, and unpleasant to be around.
However, much more serious than having an unpleasing personality is that without any sense of the humility that is a natural and automatic aspect of spiritual growth, that person is stagnating in soul evolution. Spiritual growth is the molding of one's ego in ways that are aligned with the soul contract. This is a time for ending third density experiencing, a time when soul contract choices are designed to overcome traits that are counterproductive to spiritual growth and to strengthen qualities that foster that growth.
S: How can we know if we're "honoring" our accomplishments or being vane about them?
MATTHEW: You know by the fulfilling feelings like self-confidence that you are making your best effort in whatever you are undertaking and the self-respect that comes with knowing that; self-determination to live in godly ways; self-assurance that you are being or becoming the "who" your soul signed up to be; self-awareness that you are a part of God and inseparable from the Oneness of Creation.
S: But what if the ego "tells" people they're right in what they believe about themselves, but actually they're being negatively influenced by the darkness?
MATTHEW: Attaching itself to the ego is precisely how the darkness operates, and the ramifications go far beyond "Is it vanity or humility?" The darkness shrouds self-identity with the delusion that the person's convictions are absolutely correct about what is true and what is false, and it firmly resists thoughts that threaten those assertions or could lessen the ego's stubbornness in holding fast to them. This produces the closed mind, or, in your common expression, "the box." Just as it applies to all other forms of dark influence, love is the key to opening that boxed-up mind and letting the light come in.
S: Thank you, dear. Am I right in thinking that the soul's consciousness is infinitely greater than the ego's consciousness?
MATTHEW: You are indeed, Mother! The consciousness of the soul has the capability to reach all knowledge that exists throughout creation. The universal mindthe entire spectrum of human and godly powers and all experiencing throughout this universe's existenceis within each soul. When the soul taps into this, it reports what it "sees" to the brain, which is a personal computer that processes data for the mind to assimilate and contemplate. The key to achieving this is to quiet your thoughts so you can receive the messages from your soul that may come as images or words or strong sensations or a combination.
S: Matthew, I can't even begin to imagine what all is in the universal mind!
MATTHEW: Mother dear, no third density brain has that kind of comprehension. It is at soul level that this kind of communication occurs, your soul tapping into everything your cumulative soul knows.
S: Where do cumulative souls reside?
MATTHEW: There is no specific place of residence because a cumulative soul is not an individual entity, but rather the indivisible sum of all its personages wherever they are living, and it grows as each one adds its experiencing to the ever-changing composite. Possibly the best description of a cumulative soul is a force field that derives its essence from all its personages wherever they are throughout the universe.
S: Do you personally know the other personages in your cumulative soul or do you only have access to their knowledge?
MATTHEW: I know those who are in this realm and some of us have become friends. Some are spending a lifetime on Earth, and I know very well who they are! Some have moved so far toward the light that our energy densities are incompatible, so a meeting isn't possible, and others have regressed far from the light into lower densities, and I'm surely not interested in going there! Some have chosen lifetimes out of this galaxy, where I don't travel often, so I'm barely acquainted with them.
Each has its own soul growth to accomplish, Mother. Wherever the other personages are experiencing for their individual growth, we're always within the familial bonding of our cumulative soul. But it isn't necessary that we meet or share lifetime interests or know all the details of each other's lives. What we do share is the essential knowledge of our collective awareness, otherwise all the individual souls learning would be wasted.
The cumulative soul can advance from its station toward the light only by the advancement of its personages. Therefore, each one not only has the benefit of the cumulative soul's composite knowledge, but it is continuously given encouragement at soul level to master its chosen lessons so the cumulative soul can evolve. However, that is not self-servingwith that soul's advancement, all of its personages also have the opportunity to evolve. But, depending upon the free will choices of each, the personage can either grow toward the light or regress so far as to become trapped in base energy.
S: If a personage becomes trapped, how does that affect the cumulative soul's full energy?
MATTHEW: The lifetime energy that consigns a personage to the base energy placement does not affect its cumulative soul because that personage's unique energy stream made its own way entirely by its free will choices. The cumulative soul may encourage its personages, but it can't ever interfere with their free will. However, out of its love for all its personages, the cumulative soul may request divine grace to assist any that become trapped in base energy.
S: Are the individual souls always aware of everything their cumulative soul knows?
MATTHEW: Let me compare this with your memory, Mother. Nothing you have ever learned or experienced is ever lost in your memory system, but you can't remember everything simultaneouslyit would be overwhelming! Furthermore, many of your experiences were so insignificant that they were irrelevant to subsequent experiencing and never returned to your conscious mind, yet all are in your memory bank. It's the same with the personages of the cumulative soul and their lifetime learning.
S: That makes sense. Matthew, with all these parts of your cumulative soul, I just want to be absolutely sure that you are ONLY my Matthew and nobody else.
MATTHEW: Oh, Mother, absolutely I am Matthew and no one else! Every personage is its own soul and no one else! The cumulative soul is the synthesis of all its personages.
S: But it sounds as if every soul that divides itself becomes a cumulative soul, so you could do the same and become one, too.
MATTHEW: Mother, I realize that in my eagerness to answer your questions, sometimes my efforts result in confusion rather than clarification. The terms I've given you for the various aspects of soul expressioncumulative soul, personages, soul fragments or sparks and suchare meant only to show the soul's long journey striving through multiple lifetimes to return to its beginning in the perfect love and light of Creator.
In this realm we don't need differentiation of terms, as the soul's energy registration in the universe is evidence of its evolutionary station. Since each soul is its own inviolate self regardless of its station or the number of its progeny, we think of each simply as "soul." And that is how we speak of each one to you unless we are trying to explain the soul growth stages through its independently functioning aspects, or the inseparable and eternal connection of each soul with God and all other souls in the universe.
A most relevant point here is that all experiencing of all souls is within the continuum. There is no linear time basis for the dividing and subdividing into independent entities. What you may call "past lives" are in process simultaneously with the "present" and "future" lives of the cumulative soul. All are merely in different life forms in different stages of development in different placements in the universe. However, since you can't comprehend the continuum, we can only explain in accordance with your past, present and future time structure, call the various lifetimes "reincarnation," and place it all within a spiritual hierarchical structure that can fit into your capacity to comprehend.
I still may not have clarified this enough, Mother, but the good news is that you will understand this seemingly unfathomable mystery when your soul returns to Nirvana.
S: I'll count on that for later, but I'd like to know now if you and I have the same cumulative soul.
MATTHEW: We certainly do, Mother! I was hoping you would ask, but if you hadn't, I would have told you. We go back together almost to our cumulative soul's beginning, probably half a million or so years ago in your counting of time. That's why you and I have such similar energy and special bonding. Some of our family and dearest other people came into it later on, but many were introduced down the line from other cumulative souls when we needed them or vice versa.
Thank you, Mother. In my next message we will include the other information about the soul. Now I take my leave by sending the power of love to all and assuring you once again that your soul family in spirit and in physical realms are with you every moment.
[Note from Suzy: After a trial-and-error learning curve, the moderator of the new Yahoo group happily reported that it is up and running strong. If you received this message as a forward and would like to receive future messages directly, click on MessagesfromMatthew@Yahoogroups.com, or go at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MessagesfromMatthew/
Please use the message/books index and the search feature before sending emails. Thank you! Because of numerous projects, traveling and visitors, unread emails go back to last April. As time permits, I am replying to questions that haven't been answered in Matthew's messages.
And then God said, then I said, then He said, a book of extraordinary messages transmitted to Celestial Bluestar, David of Arcturus and me, is in the printing stage. A description of content is at http://www.awakenedhearts.com/books2.htm and you can preorder a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
NOTE from Jean to the French readers: The excerpt from Revelations for a New Era featured above is part of the book I'm currently translating and which should be available by next September in bookstores.
THIS WILL COME AS A SHOCK TO MANY!... BUT AS YOU KNOW, THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO ANY COIN. SO PLEASE MAKE SURE TO READ ALSO MONICA WILSON'S REBUTTAL TO SOME OF THE MISLEADING INFORMATION FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE BELOW AND THEN USE YOUR OWN DISCERNMENT TO ASSERT WHAT IS BELIEVABLE AND WHAT IS NOT. And talking about discernment, if you missed it, may I recommend to your attention Building The Foundation for Our Spiritual Beliefs
From: Richard & Sandra (email@example.com)
Subject: A Buddhist struggles to keep grounded about Tibet and China
Date: 26 Mar 2008
Hello dear Jean!
Thank you again (continuously) for your constancy and clear intent toward Peace, Love and the Light it is such a joy to open my email and immediately notice a new Earth Rainbow Network message, any of which command my priority attention, and this mornings regarding the situation in Zimbabwe (Special Peace and Democracy Vigil for Zimbabwe) was no exception of course, included was your note about the current Chinese oppression in Tibet that has much of the world so riveted, and promise to include more information in your next compilation.
More than 35 years ago, while following Tibets Karmapa around on his tour of the Northern California, I , by accident (or perhaps Divine purpose) took refuge in Tibetan Buddhism and, though I dont practice the religion regularly, have followed their political plight fairly closely, and, like many, empathized strongly with their situation so it was with some chagrin that I encountered the following rather disturbing information and point of view, and was tempted many times to stop reading and avoid the conflicting emotions it arouses however, the article, though perhaps a bit too harsh, contains the powerful ring of truth and historical accuracy, and in the interest of dedication to Truth, Balance and Objectivity in a world too easily ignited and swayed by propaganda programs and disinformation systems, I hope you will find the time and motivation to peruse and consider it as well
A Buddhist struggles to keep grounded about Tibet and China
by Keith Mothersson (keith-mothersson.co.uk) -- March 25, 2008
Every day I get two or three e-mails urging me to do something about the current unrest and repression in Tibet. Perhaps signing some of these petitions is helpful, but perhaps not. Feeling powerless is not a nice feeling for any of us, but sometimes the truth is that there is almost nothing we can do to influence events the other side of the world. Least of all if we are seen to be intervening in a hypocritical way, as part of a Western propaganda offensive. No matter our 'opposition' to the misdeeds of our own governments, 'Why don't we take the beam out of 'our' own eye first?', many in Tehran or Moscow or Beijing might be tempted to ask us - for our 'opposition' stance - however important to the construction of our own right-on identities, seems to them barely observable.
The following thoughts are shared at a time when Western Buddhists and other would-be consistent supporters of peace and human rights find ourselves joined by many mainstream Western media in 'championing the cause of the Tibetal people': Hmmm.
These same Western media which haven't reported the 'avoidable death of 1.3 billion people since 1950 on Spaceship Earth with the First World in control of the flight deck' to quote the veteran biologist and public health statistician Dr Gideon Polya of http://globalbodycount.blogspotcom/ ? Hmmm...
These same Western media who also downplay the scale of the West-attributable excess avoidable mortality figure in the the Middle East/West Asia wars since 1990, which Dr Polya puts around around 8 million: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17139/42 Hmmm...
These same Western media which have averted their eyes and ours from the ongoing Holocaust of 5-10 million dead in the new scramble for Africa taking place in the Congo: see Keith Harmon Snow's The War that did not make the headlines: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7957 Hmmm...
I should add that I write as a Buddhist who believes that we should try to put truth/reality before all comforting myths. Let all ideological camps and political 'sides' wash our own dirty linen, and not necessarily only in private either! For a good example of such public truth-telling, see Zen at War by fellow Zen Buddhist, Brian Victoria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_at_War
Let us start with the following report from a China Daily reporter which shows - surprise, surprise! - that Western media have been manipulating the news about Lhasa demonstrations.
Whatever the truth about the scale and the brutal and/or relatively measured response by the Chinese, it is far from clear that the original protests which broke out recently in Lahsa were peaceful, or remained so for long.
Even those who are usually suspicious when the neocons start to champion the human rights of people living in or near Yugoslavia/Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Russia or China, seem all too ready to ignore the Dalai Lama's long term strategic alliance with - or use by - the CIA and the West.
This strategic alliance was most embarrassingly displayed when the Dalai Lama consented to receive the Congressional Medal of Honour from that same US Congress that has loyally voted credits for the illegal wars and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.
At a time when the 'freedom-loving' West keep amping up the propaganda against Iran, Russia and Beijing, and the US surrounds all these countries with missiles and battleships, it seems to me most unlikely that US-led 'external pressure' on Beijing will lead China's rulers to look on Tibetan autonomy with favour.
Such pressures will be particularly counter-productive if the Dalai Lama is either happy to be praised as a 'man of peace' by 'President' (non-elect) Bush or so compromised that he can't avoid being required to do so as an integral part of the West's surging propaganda offensive. Instead Political Sociology 101 tells me that China will redouble its authoritarian vigilance, and refuse to believe that the Dalai Lama is sincere in his protestations of only wanting self-rule within China. What some hail as a great day for Buddhism, I feared was a tremendously unskillful move which will just make life harder for all the people of Tibet.
For supporters of popular freedom and social progress in Tibet to avoid being swept away in a media-concocted hysteria against China and all things Chinese in the coming months leading up to the Olympics, it will be helpful to read an article such as Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Dr Michael Parenti.
'For the rich lamas and secular lords, the Communist intervention was an unmitigated calamity. Most of them fled abroad, as did the Dalai Lama himself, who was assisted in his flight by the CIA. Some discovered to their horror that they would have to work for a living. Many, however, escaped that fate. Throughout the 1960s, the Tibetan exile community was secretly pocketing $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama's organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama's annual payment from the CIA was $186,000. Indian intelligence also financed both him and other Tibetan exiles. He has refused to say whether he or his brothers worked for the CIA. The agency has also declined to comment.
'In 1995, the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, carried a front page color photograph of the Dalai Lama being embraced by the reactionary Republican senator Jesse Helms, under the headline "Buddhist Captivates Hero of Religious Right." ....
'Into the twenty-first century, via the National Endowment for Democracy and other conduits that are more respectable sounding than the CIA, the U.S. Congress continued to allocate an annual $2 million to Tibetans in India, with additional millions for "democracy activities" within the Tibetan exile community. In addition to these funds, the Dalai Lama received money from financier George Soros. (Heather Cottin, "George Soros, Imperial Wizard," Covert Action Quarterly no. 74 (Fall 2002).'
In November 2005 at Stanford University Nobel Peace Laureate, the Dalai Lama declined to condemn all use of force e.g. to defend and protect people. (Fair enough, for few of us are absolute pacifists. The devil lies in the detail of which applications of force people then identify as just or skilful, i.e. more life-protective than life-negating.) However as Michael Parenti continues:
"What of the four years of carnage and mass destruction in Iraq, a war condemned by most of the world -- even by a conservative pope -- as a blatant violation of international law and a crime against humanity? The Dalai Lama was undecided: "The Iraq war -- it's too early to say, right or wrong." (San Francisco Chronicle, 5 November 2005) Earlier the Dalai Lama had voiced support for the U.S. military intervention against Yugoslavia and, later on, the U.S. military intervention into Afghanistan. (Times of India 13 October 2000; Samantha Conti's report, Reuter, 17 June 1994; Amitabh Pal, "The Dalai Lama Interview," Progressive, January 2006.)"
"To welcome the end of the old feudal theocracy in Tibet is not to applaud everything about Chinese rule in that country. This point is seldom understood by today's Shangri-La believers in the West. The converse is also true: To denounce the Chinese occupation does not mean we have to romanticize the former feudal régime. ...."
"Tibetan feudalism was cloaked in Buddhism, but the two are not to be equated. In reality, old Tibet was not a Paradise Lost. It was a retrograde repressive theocracy of extreme privilege and poverty, a long way from Shangri-La."
Yet the Dalai Lama has often portrayed an idealised image of Tibet and exaggerated the degree of popular opposition which the Chinese-imposed and Chinese-backed reforms engendered in Tibet in the fifties - and which actually left both the common people and the monasteries free to practice their religion to a much greater extent than subsequently obtained - i.e. in the context of the Tibetan struggle being taken up the the USA, with two brothers of the Dalai Lama actively involved with armed CIA-trained Tibetan liberation forces.
Parenti does mention the Dalai Lama's repeated praise of non-violence, and support for e.g. somewhat greater equality for Buddhist nuns compared with the monks. However, it is possible that he takes more care than is warranted not to risk offending Tibetan and other Buddhists by asking, as we now need to, whether there are deep-structural correspondences between Vajrayana Buddhism at the level of religion and a patriarchal-feudal social order which was admired by Hitler's SS and in some circumstances mutates into aggressive militarism, viz the religious zeal of Mongolian Genghis Khan or the Fifth Dalai Lama whose calls for a holy war of extermination mirror what we can read in Jewish/Christian holy books - or what some exponents of Imperial Zen advocated and practiced in Korea, Manchuria and China in WW2.
No such inhibitions detain two German scholars of Tibetan Buddhism, pro-feminists Victor and Victoria Trimondi (surely pseudonymns?) in their well-informed and comprehensive E-book, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama:
The Trimondis show with abundant examples that Tantric and 'Shambala warrior' mythology are full of bloodthirsty imagery, weapons, slaying, torture, etc. Reflecting real historical battles both defensive and aggressive against Islam, strands in such mythologies also look forward to an ultimate showdown with Islam/unbelievers. Here is an excerpt from one disturbing chapter (Chapter 2-9: The War Gods behind the Mask of Peace
Political calculation and the Buddhist message of peace 'It is not the task of our analysis to make a personal choice between armed rebellion and the ahimsa principle or to answer the question whether violent action in Tibet is morally justified and makes sense in terms of national politics. We also do not want -as the Chinese attempt to do to expose the Kundun as no more than a fanatical warmonger in sheeps clothing. Perhaps, by and large he is personally a peace-loving person, but without doubt he represents a culture which has from its very origins been warlike and which does not even think of admitting to its violent past, let alone reappraising it."
"Instead, Dharamsala and the current Dalai Lama make a constant propaganda project of presenting Tibetan Buddhism and the history of Tibet to the world public as a storehouse of eternal teachings about nonviolence and peace. There is thus a refusal to accept that the Kundun first acquired his pacifist ideas (e.g., under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi) after his flight; instead it is implied that they are drawn from the inexhaustible inheritance of a many hundred year old tradition and history. Even the aggressive Great Fifth and the Great Thirteenth with his strong interest in military matters now appear as the precursors of the current Buddhism of peace.
'On the basis of this distortion, the current Dalai Lama is able to fully identify with his fifth incarnation without having to mention his warlike and Machiavellian power politics and murderous magic: By holding the position of the Fifth Dalai Lama I am supposed to follow what he did, this is the reason I have to interfere, the Kundun explained in 1997 (HPI 006). Thus there is much which speaks for the pacifism of the Dalai Lama being nothing more than a calculated political move and never having been the expression of a principle.
'Jamyang Norbu, co-director of the Tibetan cultural institute, thus accuses his revered leader (the Kundun) and his exile Tibetan politicians of fostering the formation of the western myth of the good and peaceful Tibet of old. At no stage in history have the Tibetans been particularly pacifist the terrible fighting out of the conflicts between individual monasteries proves this, as well as the bloody resistance to the occupation in the fifties. The government in exile, says Norbu, capitalizes upon the western clichés, hampers a demythologization, a critical examination of its own history (Spiegel, 16/1998).'There is also absolutely no intention of doing this. For the Dalai Lama the fundamental orientation to be adopted is dependent upon what is favorable in the prevailing power-political situation. Thus a immediate volte-face to a fighting lineage is thoroughly laid out in his system. Neither religious, nor ideological, and definitely not historical incarnational obstacles stand in the way of a possible decision to go to war. In contrast, the Tibetan war gods have been waiting for centuries to strike out and re-conquer their former extended empire. Every higher tantra includes a call to battle against the enemies of the faith. In any event, the Kalachakra ritual and the ideology at work behind it are to be understood as a declaration of war on the non-Buddhist world. Important members of the Tibetan clergy have already reserved their places in the great doomsday army of Shambhala. "Many of them already know the names and ranks they will have. (Bernbaum, 1980, p. 29, 30).
'When the political circumstances are ripe the simple monk from Dharamsala will have to set aside his personal pacifist tendencies and, as the embodied Kalachakra deity, will hardly shrink from summoning Begtse the god of slaughter or from himself appearing in the guise of a heruka. The wrathful goddesses and the enraged gods are there, we learn from his own mouth (before he was awarded the Nobel peace prize), in order to demonstrate that one can grasp the use of violence as a method; it is an effective instrument, but it can never ever be a purpose (Levenson, 1992, p. 284). There is no noteworthy political leader in the violent history of humankind who would have thought otherwise. Even for dictators like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin violence was never an end in itself, but rather an effective instrument for the attainment of honorable goals.'
Finally, as an engaged Buddhist I believe that we should not draw too big thick black lines between 'spirituality' and 'politics', since to do so would compound and mirror the conventional but illusory separation between 'the divine' and 'reality', and 'society' and 'self'. Among engaged Buddhist teachers I have learned the most from David Loy, Ken Jones and Thich Nhat Hanh. It would be nice to walk into bookstores and find their work represented alongside that of other fine teachers, but lo!, for some reason it is the Dalai Lama whose books have been so very heavily promoted in the West, even to the extent of describing him as some kind of all-Buddhist equivalent of the Pope for Roman Catholics.
For the health of Buddhism's continuing development in the West, do Western Buddhists now need to ask ourselves to what extent our understanding of spirituality has been subtly shaped by shadowy forces and corporate marketeers who for different reasons have considered it expedient to promote such a 'de-politicised' - or Western imperialist and privatistic - understanding of our dharma?
May all beings know peace, may all beings be happy.
Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA (March 26, 2008) http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JC26Ad02.html
Given the historical context of the unrest in Tibet, there is reason to believe Beijing was caught on the hop with the recent demonstrations for the simple reason that their planning took place outside of Tibet and that the direction of the protesters is similarly in the hands of anti-Chinese organizers safely out of reach in Nepal and northern India. Similarly, the funding and overall control of the unrest has also been linked to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and by inference to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of his close cooperation with US intelligence for over 50 years. Indeed, with the CIA's deep involvement with the Free Tibet Movement and its funding of the suspiciously well-informed Radio Free Asia, it would seem somewhat unlikely that any revolt could have been planned or occurred without the prior knowledge, and even perhaps the agreement, of the National Clandestine Service (formerly known as the Directorate of Operations) at CIA headquarters in Langley. Respected columnist and former senior Indian Intelligence officer, B Raman, commented on March 21 that "on the basis of available evidence, it was possible to assess with a reasonable measure of conviction" that the initial uprising in Lhasa on March 14 "had been pre-planned and well orchestrated". Could there be a factual basis to the suggestion that the main beneficiaries to the death and destruction sweeping Tibet are in Washington? History would suggest that this is a distinct possibility. CLIP - More on this issue in this French article: Tibet: le soutien ambigu des Etats-Unis au dalaï lama
Germany Warns China Olympics at Risk http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032208Y.shtml
The Associated Press reports, "Germany's foreign minister has warned China that its response to the crisis in Tibet may jeopardize the Summer Olympics in Beijing."
Dalai Lama: "I Am Prepared to Face China. I Will Go to Beijing" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032208C.shtml
The Independent UK's Andrew Buncombe says, "Almost half a century after he fled to India, the Dalai Lama has raised the extraordinary prospect of traveling to Beijing and holding face-to-talks with the Chinese regime in an effort to resolve Tibet's most serious crisis for two decades."
Chinese Media: 'Crush' Tibet Protests (March 22, 2008) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h5Z6bJwtN_roGSIUQiQnfbf2NkhgD8VID1TG0
BEIJING (AP) The flagship newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party called Saturday for efforts to "resolutely crush" anti-government demonstrations by Tibetans, while Beijing urged people to turn in those on a "Most Wanted" list of 21 protesters. As Chinese troops smothered Tibetan-heavy areas to avert additional unrest, U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain, a Republican, and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, joined a growing international chorus of criticism against the crackdown. The protests, which started in Lhasa on the March 10 anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, turned violent four days later and touched off demonstrations among Tibetans in three other provinces.The movement has become the largest challenge to China's control of Tibet since the 1959 uprising. It also has threatened Beijing's attempts to project an image of unity and prosperity ahead of the Aug. 8-24 Olympics. Beijing's official death toll from last week's rioting in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa rose to 22, with the Xinhua News Agency reporting that five more civilians and a police officer died. The Tibetan government-in-exile has said 99 Tibetans have been killed 80 in Lhasa and 19 in Gansu province. CLIP
Tibetans appeal for world's help, but they're resigned to getting little (March 22, 2008) http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/03/22/asia/AS-GEN-India-Tibet-Seeking-Help.php
DHARMSALA, India: Nearly six decades of struggle against the might of China have taught the Tibetans one thing: Ask the world for little, expect less.As Tibetans rose up in recent weeks against China's harsh rule over the Himalayan region and Beijing sent forces to quell the protests, Tibet's government-in-exile sent its envoys to far-flung capitals with appeals for help.But guided by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, they kept their requests modest, knowing that few countries are willing to cross China, particularly with the world counting on the emerging superpower to keep the global economy ticking as the United States appears headed into a recession. "His Holiness says we have to be realistic," said Tenzin Taklha, a senior aide to the 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner who has come to embody the Tibetan struggle since he fled to India in 1959 in the wake of a failed uprising against China. From the Tibetan exile leaders there were no calls for sanctions, like those imposed when Myanmar suppressed pro-democracy protests last year, or even a boycott of this summer's Beijing Olympics. Visiting Dalai Lama, U.S. House speaker denounces Chinese oppression. It's an approach that reflects the pragmatism of the Dalai Lama, who has long sought an accommodation based on his "Middle Way" dialogue with Beijing aimed at autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese rule.Instead, the Tibetans appealed for international pressure on China to act with restraint, to open the area to international investigators and the media and for organizations like the International Red Cross to be allowed in to ensure the wounded get treatment. CLIP
China Lashes Out at Crackdown Critics http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032308C.shtml
Cara Anna, writing for The Associated Press, reports, "China lashed out Sunday at critics of its crackdown on Tibetan protesters, describing US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as 'habitually bad tempered' while claiming the Western media serve those who want to smear the communist country." And, Brian Krebs reports for The Washington Post, "Human rights and pro-democracy groups sympathetic to anti-China demonstrators in Tibet are being targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks designed to disrupt their work and steal information on their members and activities."
In quotes: Reaction to Tibet protests (17 March 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7300157.stm
Governments around the world have urged China to use restraint in dealing with Tibetan protesters, and called for dialogue between the two sides to ease tensions.
Premier: Door of dialogue still opens to Dalai (2008-03-18) The Chinese perspective... http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/18/content_7813194.htm
BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The door of dialogue still opens to the Dalai Lama, so long as he gives up the position for "Tibet Independence", so long as he recognizes Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable parts of the Chinese territory, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here on Tuesday. "We can see clearly from these two key issues how hypocritical the Dalai Lama is," said the Premier at a press conference upon conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. "I would like to ask, from the appalling incidents in Lhasa to similar turmoil in other parts of China and the mobs to attack Chinese diplomatic missions overseas, don't these conducts have nothing to do with the Dalai Lama?" Wen questioned. He noted, however, China's original proposition is still unchanged. "We mean what we say," he said. "We need to watch what the Dalai Lama does. It is up to his actions." On March 14, violence involving beating, smashing property, looting and arson broke out in Lhasa. There are ample facts proving the riot was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai Lama clique, Wen told reporters.
THE FOLLOWING FEEDBACK PERTAINS TO THE ARTICLE ABOVE
Thanks for sending this on to me, however, some of the information included is more than a bit stretched. The Tibetan Buddhist sangha that I belong to here in Seattle is centered around Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism (www.sakya.org) whose head is His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, the brother-in-law of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (one of Rinpoche's sisters is married to one of HHDL's brothers). Of course there are always political machinations that occur in any situation, but to characterize His Holiness the Dalai Lama as anything other than the compassionate person that he is simply not accurate. The involvement of the CIA has been known for a long time, as has the fact that the current incarnation of the Dalai Lama, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, before the Chinese invaded, recognized that he needed to change the situation in Tibet and move towards a democratic form of government. All of this is very well known and repeatedly documented. Repeatedly, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has wanted to step down from his position as political leader of the government of Tibet in exile, and repeatedly he has been asked not to do so by his people.
Currently, some of the most reliable information that we can obtain about what is happening in Tibet is from Tibetans who are living outside of Tibet (I have many Tibetan friends here in Seattle) who have been able to contact their family members still inside Tibet. One of the most consistent reports to emerge from them is the fact that members of the Chinese police and military are dressing up as Tibetan monks in order to incite some of the disturbances, which they can then blame on Tibetans. Be very, very wary of any reports coming out of Tibet that claim that monks have created any disturbances.
If you could sit, even for a short time, with someone who lived in Tibet at the time of the Chinese invasion, and had to walk out with only the clothes they were wearing, I think that you would have a better understanding. I have had that opportunity on many occasions. I find it interesting that the author of the article chooses to believe the China Daily reporter, as if that is a more reliable source of information than the western press! I would think that choosing to believe any authoritarian government's version of what is happening is very questionable.
And the outrageous comment that suggests that the Chinese "actually left both the common people and the monasteries free to practice their religion to a much greater extent" flies so much in the face of what actually occurred that it is just staggering! That is disinformation of monumental proportions. Having met and spoken with Palden Gyatso, author of "Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk", who spent over 30 years in Chinese prisons and any number of other monks, nuns and "common people", I find that statement to be beyond ludicrous!
I do want to thank you again for circulating The Skylark's article from my friend. As well as always reminding your readers to be discerning, as a great deal of discernment will need to be applied to some of this information. Indeed, there is always more going on than what is seen on the surface, but to characterize His Holiness the Dalai Lama as anything other than the understanding and compassionate man that he is could only be done by someone who has never been in his presence.
Related articles and videos:
Lhasa Monks Accuse Beijing of Lying Over Unrest http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708B.shtml
Reuters reporter John Ruwitch writes, "Tibetan monks stormed a news briefing at a temple in Lhasa on Thursday, accusing Chinese authorities of lying about recent unrest and saying the Dalai Lama had nothing to do with the violence, foreign reporters said."
Mass Arrests in Tibet http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032608S.shtml
Benjamin Kang Lim and Lindsay Beck of Reuters write: "Chinese authorities have launched mass arrests of Tibetans in Lhasa for interrogation about the fiercest anti-Chinese uprising for decades, a Beijing-based source told Reuters on Wednesday."
From: JoyRae Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Brasscheck TV: Why Eliot Spitzer was assassinated politically
Date: 21 Mar 2008
Most people have the sense that there was something bizarre and surreal about the sudden coordinated FBI and US news media attack on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
After all, unproven allegations about how he may have chosen to spend his own money on his own time hardly seems a worthy subject of front page news for a week straight.
Meanwhile, the US news media remained characteristically clueless about why Spitzer was taken out.
It's simple. He had the goods on Bush administration collusion with predatory lenders and was preparing a case that would have tied the administration directly to wide spread fraud and criminality in the lending business.
Full details here... exclusive to Brasscheck TV:
Why Eliot Spitzer was assassinated - The predatory lending industry has a partner in the White House http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/291.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMo7T9t0Gzk
Mortaging America's futurefor a quick buck -- It's one of the most amazing displays of journalistic incompetence and malpractice in recent memory. The US news media failed to draw the obvious connection between the bizarre federal law enforcement investigation and leak campaign about the private life of New York Governor Spitzer and Spitzer's all out attack on the Bush administration for its collusion with predatory lenders. While the international credit system grinds to a halt because of a superabundance of bad mortgage loans made in the US, the news media failed to cover the details of Spitzer's public charges against the White House. Yet when salacious details were leaked about alleged details of Spitzer's private life, they took that information and made it the front page news for days. To the 9/11 fiasco, the Iraq War, the travesty of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the shredding of the US Constitution, we can now add a deliberate and reckless undermining of the credit and banking system of the US to its list of "accomplishments."
- Brasscheck TV
P.S. No one else was covering this story, so we did. You won't find a video about this anywhere else on the Internet.
Postscript to Spitzer taken down by Mossad? (March 21, 2008) http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3088.shtml
In my March 14 article, Spitzer taken down by Mossad, I quoted veteran Beltway reporter Wayne Madsen who said, Defenses sources have confirmed our March 11 report that Emperors Club VIP, the prostitution firm that entangled New Yorks outgoing Governor Eliot Spitzer in a call girl ring, is viewed by US intelligence as a front for Israels intelligence agency, the Mossad. The sources claim that Spitzer was outed for his aggressiveness in attacking money launderers connected to Russian-Israeli organized crime syndicates and other Wall Street malfeasance. (...) And last but not least . . . Somehow I also find that when sexual scandal hits the Bushes, its not quite with the same impact. I couldnt end this without reminding you of the $2,000 a weekend male prostitute Jeff Gannon, posing in the buff on his website, turning up at White House press conferences as reporter Jim Guckert (same initials), and lobbing softball questions to President George W. Bush. His journalism credentials were from a weekend mail-order course. Nevertheless, Mr.Gannon/Guckert earned himself a hard pass to the White House. That is, come on over whenever you like. And he did. In a previous article, Keeping Hunter Thompsons death alive, I wrote that Gannon/Guckert visited the White House 196 times -- 39 of them days when there were no press briefings." In fact the Secret Service could not account for him checking out on many days when he checked in. Now who would his sleepovers have been with? Karl Rove, rumored to have been light in the loafers, a denizen of certain gay bars inside the Beltway? Or could it have been the president himself. Gannon was seen hugging Junior several times for the cameras. Then there was that Bush kiss with Prince Bandar. No major newspaper or TV station seemed up in arms that a non-reporter, male-hooker was allowed into the White House with such frequency. What an enormous breach of national security that posed. Who, in fact, knew who Gannon/Guckert really was or could be? Not to mention what a moral firestorm this should have ignited, especially from those gay-bashing hypocritical Republicans. But then the Repugs seem better at dirty tricks, period. In fact, even Poppy had been noted to have some issues with prostitution (pedophilia that is) as reported in the June 29, 1989, Washington Times. The article was headlined Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush -- Call boys took midnight tour of White House. The lead paragraph read, "A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite. Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring." Read the rest of the article for full details, unless youve had enough. But in Spitzers case, has justice been served enough? Or have we lost a potentially powerful governor and future candidate for higher office. And do we have to settle for a pimp and some prostitutes in jail for what is an international ring of political assassins? This brings a whole new meaning to Tea (or whatever) For Two.
American Refugees are flooding into Canada: Tens of thousands of Americans are now economic refugees
In September of 2007, the city of Windsor, which borders the United States, officially asked for financial assistance from Ottawa to deal withAmerican refugees flooding into Canada. This is proving to be the tip of the iceberg, and only the first wave of economic refugees that have been created in the United States.
There are now tent cities being built outside most large metropolitan areas, one of the largest of which is in Los Angeles. The following report from the BBC highlights the consequence of the US subprime meltdown and the fears that the crisis is growing.
The homelessness situation has grown so rapidly in the United States that certain cities are issuing color-coded wristbands blue for those who can stay, orange for people who need to provide more documentation, and white for those who must leave. Refugees will no longer be able to stay in one area, meaning that many towns and cities will now have to be prepared to receive migrant refugees displaced by local governments from other districts and States.
Canadians will also need to be prepared for this influx, especially considering that the average processing time for a refugee claim in Canada is currently 14.2 months, a period during which the applicant is eligible for financial and other support. A failed claimant then also has the right to seek leave to appeal his or her rejection to federal court. If the American refugee crisis continues to grow as analysts predict, then the cost to Canadians will be astronomical.
Aside from tens of thousands of Americans becoming refugees in their own country, there is another problem. As The Atlantic is reporting, the subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn todays McMansions into tomorrows tenements. Over 60% of the homes in certain communities were in foreclosure as of late last year. Vandals have kicked in doors and stripped the copper wire from vacant houses; drug users and homeless people have furtively moved in.
The experience of cities during the 1950s through the 80s suggests that the fate of many single-family homes on the metropolitan fringes will be resale, at rock-bottom prices, to lower-income familiesand in all likelihood, eventual conversion to apartments much of the future decline is likely to occur on the fringes, in towns far away from the central city, not served by rail transit, and lacking any real core. In other words, some of the worst problems are likely to be seen in some of the countrys more recently developed areasand not only those inhabited by subprime-mortgage borrowers. Many of these areas will become magnets for poverty, crime, and social dysfunction.
NOTE: Some Americans are discovering that they are able to keep their homes and save themselves from becoming refugees by challenging the banks. All they are doing is asking the courts for proof that the banks own the mortgage notes that they claim to own. Judges in at least five states have stopped foreclosure proceedings because the banks that pool mortgages into securities and the companies that collect monthly payments haven't been able to prove they own the mortgages. More on this at Banks Lose to Deadbeat Homeowners as Loans Sold in Bonds Vanish. I personally know what I would be doing if I owned a mortgage in the United States. Good luck, and remember, according to the ex-Comptroller General of the United States, the top accountant for the United States of America, deficit spending and promised benefits for federal entitlement programs have put every man, woman, and child in the United States on the hook for $175,000. In essence, the United States is bankrupt.
Is Cheney betting On Economic Collapse? By Mike Whitney (3-27-8) http://www.rense.com/general81/chenn.htm
(...) The Bush-Cheney team has racked up another $3 trillion in debt in just 6 years. The US national debt now stands at $8.4 trillion dollars while the trade deficit has ballooned to $800 billion nearly 7% of GDP.This is lunacy. No country, however powerful, can maintain these staggering numbers. The country is in hock up to its neck and has to borrow $2.5 billion per day just to stay above water. Presently, the Fed is expanding the money supply and buying back its own treasuries to hide the hemorrhaging from the public. Its utter madness.Last month the trade deficit climbed to $70 billion. More importantly, foreign central banks only purchased a meager $47 billion in treasuries to shore up our ravenous appetite for cheap junk from China.Do the math! They're not investing in America anymore. They are decreasing their stockpiles of dollars. We're sinking fast and Cheney and his pals are manning the lifeboats while the public is diverted with gay marriage amendments and "American Celebrity". The American manufacturing sector has been hollowed out by cutthroat corporations who've abandoned their country to make a fast-buck in China or Mexico. The $3 trillion housing (equity) bubble is quickly loosing air while the anemic dollar continues to sag. All the signs indicate that the economy is slowing at the same time that energy prices continue to rise. This is the onset of stagflation; the dreaded combo of a slowing economy and inflation. CLIP
Toward a New New Deal (Forum) 07 April 2008 Issue http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080407/intro
Seventy-five years ago, facing the catastrophic, worldwide failure of the free market, Franklin Roosevelt launched what is perhaps the greatest democratic experiment of the twentieth century. Touching nearly every aspect of American life, the New Deal transformed banking, business, labor, agriculture, arts and literature, urban and rural landscapes and, of course, the relationship of citizens to government itself. Today, decades of conservative rule have jeopardized much of the New Deal's legacy. Many of its reforms and regulations have been gutted, and much of the infrastructure it built crumbles from neglect. Yet the New Deal endures, not just in institutions like the FDIC and Social Security but in the very idea that where and when there is crisis government should rise to the challenge for the good of the common people. How can a look back help us confront the challenges of the present - from the tangled housing, credit and financial market crises to global warming to the small-mindedness of public policy and debate today? What is the unfinished business of the New Deal? And what can we learn from its failures and limitations? On this historic occasion we asked an esteemed collection of activists, writers, scholars and artists to reflect on the "usable past" of the New Deal. Their answers follow. CLIP
Qualified Borrowers Face Credit Squeeze http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032308D.shtml
Kimberly Blanton, reporting for The Boston Globe, writes, "Lenders are rejecting more loan applicants with strong credit scores, the latest indication the nation's credit crunch is deepening and further depressing the housing market and the economy."
The Next Slum? (March issue) http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/subprime
The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn todays McMansions into tomorrows tenements. (...) A structural change is under way in the housing marketa major shift in the way many Americans want to live and work. It has shaped the current downturn, steering some of the worst problems away from the cities and toward the suburban fringes. And its effects will be felt more strongly, and more broadly, as the years pass. Its ultimate impact on the suburbs, and the cities, will be profound.Arthur C. Nelson, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, has looked carefully at trends in American demographics, construction, house prices, and consumer preferences. In 2006, using recent consumer research, housing supply data, and population growth rates, he modeled future demand for various types of housing. The results were bracing: Nelson forecasts a likely surplus of 22 million large-lot homes (houses built on a sixth of an acre or more) by 2025thats roughly 40 percent of the large-lot homes in existence today.For 60 years, Americans have pushed steadily into the suburbs, transforming the landscape and (until recently) leaving cities behind. But today the pendulum is swinging back toward urban living, and there are many reasons to believe this swing will continue. As it does, many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and 70sslums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay. CLIP
10 of the Most Important Economic Events of the Last 10 Years http://www.chycho.com/?q=node/1638
Since 1999, the following events have either caused or been the symptom of the present economic crises: (...) So what are the implications of all this? In a recent lecture, Seymour Hersh, an American Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, stated that he feared what would happen if American citizens began to believe the propaganda from the Bush administration now that the rhetoric to attack Iran has changed from preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons to stopping them from killing American troops in Iraq. He states that this change in tactics by the US administration seems to be working and Americans are starting to support an attack on Iran. As the Zogby Poll indicates, Hershs fears are becoming realized.The US economy is showing signs that it is in a recession and heading for a hard landing, due in large part to the subprime crisis and the inevitable end to fractional reserve banking. Unfortunately economists believe that the short term solution to saving the banking theocracies from completely collapsing, with a crisis of this magnitude, is to wage war. However this strategy has the reverse effect, and completely collapses an economy if the war drags on by mushrooming the national debt and depleting the resources of the warring nations. This kind of economic lifeline has two major consequences: First it devastates the populace and the environment, and second it consolidates assets for the elite.There is also one major setback to this proposal of a war with Iran: An attack on Iran would be nothing less then World War III. But then again maybe that is what the US economy needs to stay alive, a World War: The Perfect Consuming Machine. After all it was World War II that decisively ended the great depression, and since most economic indicators are worst now then they were then, it would be reasonable to assume that the United States will start World War III for nothing else then to continue the American lifestyle, maintain the banking plutocracy, and consolidate world assets into the corporate coffer. If World War III, the minimum expected death toll for which is 200 million, is allowed to take place to save the banking institutions from collapse, then it is a true sign of corporate economic intelligence and control, however this well not resonate well with humanity, but then again, corporations are anything but human and war is everything but humane.
It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the 4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Play me that crazy preacher again, will you, about how maybe God, in all his infinite wisdom, may not exactly be blessing America these days. Is anyone surprised?
4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America.
And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?"
"So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could care less."
I would like every American to see Cheney flip the virtual bird at them, the American people. Click here and pass it around. Then ask yourself why we haven't risen up and thrown him and his puppet out of the White House.
The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so. What are we to do about that? Continue to sink into our despair? Or get creative? Real creative. I know there are many of you reading this who have the chutzpah and ingenuity to confront your local congressperson. Will you? For me?
Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht. So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that.
The Founding Fathers would never have uttered the presumptuous words, "God Bless America." That, to them, sounded like a command instead of a request, and one doesn't command God, even if they are America. In fact, they were worried God would punish America. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington feared that God would react unfavorably against his soldiers for the way they were behaving. John Adams wondered if God might punish America and cause it to lose the war, just to prove His point that America was not worthy. They and the others believed it would be arrogant on their part to assume that God would single out America for a blessing. What a long road we have traveled since then.
I see that Frontline on PBS this week has a documentary called "Bush's War." That's what I've been calling it for a long time. It's not the "Iraq War." Iraq did nothing. Iraq didn't plan 9/11. It didn't have weapons of mass destruction. It DID have movie theaters and bars and women wearing what they wanted and a significant Christian population and one of the few Arab capitals with an open synagogue.
But that's all gone now. Show a movie and you'll be shot in the head. Over a hundred women have been randomly executed for not wearing a scarf. I'm happy, as a blessed American, that I had a hand in all this. I just paid my taxes, so that means I helped to pay for this freedom we've brought to Baghdad. So? Will God bless me?
God bless all of you in this Easter Week as we begin the 6th year of Bush's War.
Cheney On Two-Thirds Of The American Public Opposing The Iraq War: So?»
This morning, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, ABCs Good Morning America aired an interview with Vice President Cheney on the war. During the segment, Cheney flatly told White House correspondent Martha Raddatz that he doesnt care about the American publics views on the war:
CHENEY: On the security front, I think theres a general consensus that weve made major progress, that the surge has worked. Thats been a major success.
RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say its not worth fighting.
RADDATZ So? You dont care what the American people think?
CHENEY: No. You cannot be blown off course by fluctuations in the public opinion polls.
This opposition to the war is not a fluctuation in public opinion. The American public has steadily turned against the war since the 2003 invasion. According to a new CNN poll, just 36 percent of the American public believes that the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over down from 68 percent in March 2003, when the war began.
Even though he doesnt care what the American public wants, Cheney still thinks he is able and entitled to speak for the American public. Last month, Cheney declared, The American people will not support a policy of retreat. If Cheney were actually listening to the American people, he would know that 61 percent actually supports the redeployment of U.S. troops.
181 Responses to Cheney On Two-Thirds Of The American Public Opposing The Iraq War: So?
Iraq implodes as Shia fights Shia: Another tragedy as the Shia majority turn on each other
27 March 2008
A new civil war is threatening to explode in Iraq as American-backed Iraqi government forces fight Shia militiamen for control of Basra and parts of Baghdad.
Heavy fighting engulfed Iraq's two largest cities and spread to other towns yesterday as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, gave fighters of the Mehdi Army, led by the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 72 hours to surrender their weapons.
The gun battles between soldiers and militiamen, who are all Shia Muslims, show that Iraq's majority Shia community which replaced Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime is splitting apart for the first time.
Mr Sadr's followers believe the government is trying to eliminate them before elections in southern Iraq later this year, which they are expected to win.
Mortars and rockets launched from Mehdi Army-controlled districts of Baghdad struck the Green Zone, the seat of American power in Iraq, for the third day yesterday, seriously wounding three Americans. Two rockets hit the parking lot of the Iraqi cabinet. The mixed area of al-Mansur in west Baghdad, where shops had begun to reopen in recent months, was deserted yesterday as Mehdi Army fighters were rumoured among local people to be moving in from the nearby Shia stronghold of Washash. "We expect an attack by the Shia in spite of the Americans being spread over Sunni districts to defend them," said a Sunni resident.
Forty people have been killed and at least 200 injured in Basra in the last two days of violence. In the town of Hilla, south of Baghdad, 11 people were killed and 18 injured yesterday by a US air strike called in support of Iraqi forces following street battles with Shia militia members in the city's Thawra neighbourhood. In Baghdad, 14 have been killed and 140 wounded.
The supporters of Mr Sadr, who form the largest political movement in Iraq, blame the Americans for giving the go-ahead for Mr Maliki's offensive against them and supporting it with helicopters and bomber aircraft. US troops have sealed off Sadr City, the close-packed slum in the capital with a population that is the main bastion of the Sadrists, while the Mehdi Army has taken over its streets, establishing checkpoints, each manned by about 20 heavily armed men. It is unlikely that the militiamen in Basra will surrender as demanded by the government. Sadiq al-Rikabi, an adviser to Mr Maliki, said those who kept their weapons would be arrested. "Any gunman who does not do that within three days will be an outlaw."
Streets were empty in Basra and Baghdad as people stayed at home to avoid the fighting. The Mehdi Army is enforcing a strike in Baghdad with mosques calling for the closure of shops, businesses and schools.
In the Shia city of Kut, on the Tigris south of Baghdad, local residents say that black-clad Mehdi Army militiamen have taken over five districts and expelled the police.
At the same time, Mr Sadr is clearly eager to continue the truce which he declared on 29 August last year after bloody clashes in Kerbala with Iraqi police controlled by the rival Shia political movement, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, and their well-organised militia, the Badr organisation.
He renewed this ceasefire in February, saying he wanted to purge its ranks of criminals. "The freeze that Sadr has ordered is still ongoing," said one of his chief lieutenants, Luwaa Smaism.
Mr Sadr has sought to avoid an all-out military confrontation with American troops or Badr backed by American forces since he fought two ferocious battles for Najaf against US marines in 2004.
Mr Sadr has sent emissaries to Mr Maliki asking him to remove his troops, numbering some 15,000 men from Basra, and to resolve problems peacefully. But his aides say there will be no talks until the Iraqi army reinforcements are withdrawn. The offer of talks is in keeping with Mr Sadr's past behaviour, which is to appear conciliatory but in practice to make few real concessions. The US is claiming that the Sadrists are not being singled out, only Iran-supported militia factions, but this will find few believers in Iraq.
"This is not a battle against the [Mehdi Army] nor is it a proxy war between the United States and Iran," said a US military spokesman, Major General Kevin Bergner. "It is [the] government of Iraq taking the necessary action to deal with criminals on the streets."
The Sunni population is pleased to see the government and the Americans attacking the Mehdi Army, which they see as a Shia death squad. "Before, the Shia were arresting and killing us and forcing us to leave Iraq for Jordan and Syria where we lived in misery," said Osama Sabr, a Sunni in west Baghdad.
The fighting is threatening to disrupt Iraq's oil production, most of which comes from the Basra area, because workers in the oilfields dare not leave their homes.
The Mehdi Army
Armed wing of the Sadr movement. Muqtada al-Sadr's militia is divided, with one wing supporting the radical cleric's ceasefire while another has rejected it and continued attacks on Iraqi government forces and the British base at Basra aiport.
The Badr Brigade
Armed wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. The Badr Brigade has been involved in numerous clashes with the Mehdi Army and appears not to be the target of the current offensive by the Iraqi government forces. The group has organised "spontaneous" demonstrations against General Mohan and General Jalil.
A political party and armed group with a localised powerbase. The governor of Basra is a member of the party, and it controls a significant proportion of the region's oil supply.
Said to be armed and trained by Iran and allegedly carrying out attacks ordered by Tehran.
Bush and Bin Laden's virtual war (Mar 28, 2008) http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JC28Ak04.html
To contemplate a prewar map of Baghdad - as I do the one before me, with sectarian neighborhoods traced out in blue and red and yellow - is to look back on a lost Baghdad, a Baghdad of our dreams. My map of 2003 is colored mostly a rather neutral yellow, indicating the "mixed" neighborhoods of the city, predominant just five years ago. To take up a contemporary map after this is to be confronted by a riot of bright color: Shi'ite blue has moved in irrevocably from the east of the Tigris River; Sunni red has fled before it, as Shi'ite militias pushed the Sunnis inexorably west toward Abu Ghraib and Anbar province, and nearly out of the capital itself. And everywhere, it seems, the pale yellow of those mixed neighborhoods is gone, obliterated in the months and years of sectarian war. CLIP
Update On The Fighting In Basra - Mahdi Army arrested 17 American soldiers? By Roads To Iraq http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19600.htm
The situation right now is nothing to do with "Iraqi government" or "Iraqi Army", it is a Shiite-Shiite war, Mahdi Army with primitive arms and "Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution" [formed by Iran] with an army and supported by the Americans.
Heavy fighting in Basra (Mar 26, 2008) http://www.thehindu.com/2008/03/26/stories/2008032655921400.htm
DUBAI: The Iraqi governments decision to establish its hold over the oil city of Basra dominated by Shia armed militias has sparked heavy fighting there. Government forces backed by American surveillance aircraft have been targeting the citys six northern districts where Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadrs Mahdi army is the dominant force. The fighting follows Sundays mortar and rocket attacks on Baghdads high security green zone. The Mahdi armys hand is suspected behind these blasts.The Mahdi army has been vying for control over Basra with the forces of its rival the Badr militia loyal to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. A smaller Shia party, Fadhila, is also seeking influence in certain pockets of the city. In recent months, there has been a perceptible drop in violence in Iraq, mainly because of a ceasefire the Sadr movement has maintained. But after the government offensive began on Tuesday, field commanders of the Mahdi army in Najaf ordered the militia to strike the occupiers and their Iraqi allies. Najaf is the headquarters of the al-Sadr movement. Analysts say the operation in Basra is partly driven by the governments decision to establish full control over the flow of oil from the city. The surrounding oil fields export around 1.54 million barrels a day. However, factional forces as well as criminal gangs have been involved in the lucrative oil trade. Besides, Basras strategic location might be another factor prompting an all-out offensive. The city is not far from the border with Iran, which has been accused of pumping weapons for militants.
Official: 40 dead in Basra fighting http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080326/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_basra_toll_1
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi military spokesman says 40 people have been killed and 200 wounded in two days of fighting between Shiite militias and government forces in the southern city of Basra. Col. Karim al-Zaidi has given the figure to reporters Wednesday but is not saying how many were militiamen, Iraqi soldiers or civilians caught up in the fighting. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken personal charge of the effort to rid the city of militias, some of whom have ties to nearby Iran. Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have been fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad and other cities in reaction to the Basra crackdown.
Based on recent experiences, some believe this weeks interest rate cuts soon will send oil to circa $120 a barrel.
Others are saying the winter heating oil demand is over and given the worlds precarious economic situation, oil will be down to $80 a barrel by summer. Both sides make plausible cases.
In the meantime, while waiting to see how this plays out, the question of just how much longer Canada will continue pouring so much of their national heritage into U.S. gas tanks has been in the news lately and deserves some consideration.
In recent years, Canada has been sending about 2.3 million barrels of oil each day, more than we get from the Persian Gulf, south of the border. The United States also gets about 3.4 trillion cubic feet a year of its natural gas from Canada. Many in the U.S. are expecting that increasing imports of synthetic oil extracted from Alberta tar sands will keep the U.S. functioning for many decades as other sources of oil decline.
If you are not that familiar with the Canadian energy situation, there are a few things you should know. Canada produces about 3.4 million barrels of real and synthetic (tar sands) oil each day and consumes about 2.36 million. So far, so good.
Canada is energy independent just like the Saudis, Russia, Mexico, and Venezuela. But I just told you something that doesnt add up. If they are sending 2.3 million barrels per day to the U.S., they must be importing about 1.2 million barrels a day and indeed they are. Most of eastern Canada, including about half of Ontario, imports oil from abroad and is paying world prices. Of course, they are selling at world prices so the problem in the long run is not the balance of payments, but the availability. Add in some Canadian-style taxes and drivers north of the border are currently paying about $4.25 a gallon for gasoline unlike their fellow oil-exporter, Venezuela, where they are paying about 17 cents.
Another major factor in this equation is the NAFTA treaty with the U.S. which requires Canada to keep dividing its oil production with the U.S. in the current proportions, even if production is declining. Neither country may reduce the proportion of its energy exports to the other relative to the "total supply" of the exporting country during the prior 36-month period. Among other things this makes it tough to sell oil to China, should the Canadians be of a mind to do so.
The next big problem is that conventional oil production in Canada has just about peaked. As is well known, there is a huge quantity of hydrocarbon in the form of tar coated on grains of sand in Alberta some say 180 billion barrels (a 5-year supply for the whole earth), some say more than a trillion. The key point however is that it takes massive amounts of heat, currently provided by cheap natural gas, to melt the tar off the sand grains and the whole operation leaves behind the most gargantuan environmental mess ever conceived by man.
The last thing you need to know is that the Canadian constitution leaves resource exploitation up the provinces (such as Alberta) which can sort of do anything they want, while putting the Federal Government (Ottawa) in charge of the environment. While the current Alberta government is second only to Beijing in its devotion to economic development at all costs, Ottawa although currently in Conservative hands, takes its environmental responsibilities seriously.
For many years now, knowledgeable Canadian observers have been complaining about the situation. Why is energy independent Canada importing 55 percent of its oil requirements at world prices while sending 2.3 million barrels a day to the United States? How can Canada meet its Kyoto obligations while increases in tar sands oil production will increase their share of Canadas greenhouse gas production from the current 18 percent to 25 percent by 2020? Why are we using so much natural gas to melt off the tar when natural gas production is projected to decline? Last fall there was furor in a parliamentary hearing when the speaker told the body that Eastern Canada will soon be freezing in the dark.
Last month, Ottawa announced details of tough new environmental regulations that will require new tar sands operations starting in 2012 to implement carbon storage and capture. The plan which applies to industrial and coal-fired power plants all over Canada aims to achieve a 20 percent reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The political maneuvering and wrangling over these new regulations will likely go on for some time. The most obvious effect will be a major increase in the costs of building new tar sands production capacity which is already so expensive that some companies are starting to pull back.
From the U.S. point of view, the prospects for continuing Canadian synthetic oil production have taken a turn for the worse. Anyone who mutters oil sands when confronted by the prospect of depleting oil production needs to do some homework. As conventional oil production in Canada starts to decline in coming decades, it is doubtful that increased production of synthetic crude will be available to make up for the decline much less to increase Canadas production.
The big question in the next 10 years is what happens to NAFTA and the proportionality clause that sends so much Western Canadian oil down into the U.S. A big issue is that currently there is no pipeline bringing oil from Western to Eastern Canada. Trains are just not up to moving oil in the volumes it is consumed today.
If the calculations about the course of the worlds oil supply are correct, in two or three years prices are likely to increase markedly as demand simply outruns supply no matter the state of the world economy. When Canadian gasoline prices, currently a dollar or so a gallon higher than in the U.S., increase by several more dollars, political pressures on Ottawa will increase rapidly.
The real problems will come when shortages develop in Eastern Canada while oil is still being pumped into the U.S. At that point, a major paradigm shift in the U.S.-Canadian energy relationship is likely to occur.
James Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" is something like required reading among peak oil activists, and it's a great primer for those not yet familiar with peak oil's full ramifications. But I know of no other book so deeply, consistently pessimistic; it's a vision of a future that resembles Hieronymus Bosch's nightmarish depictions of the apocalypse. Or maybe the movie Road Warrior.
But the scope of Kunstler's inquiry and his scholarship make it uncomfortably plausible.
The book begins with an excellent history of our discovery, use of, and eventual over-reliance on fossil fuels, primarily oil. The sheer quantity of energy that humankind was suddenly able to access, and the changes it wrought, cannot be adequately conceived by those of us who have lived our lifetimes amidst its benefits.
The first well was drilled into a surface seep in Pennsylvania in 1859. With the coal, water and horse-powered industrial revolution already ramping up, the new energy source was quickly exploited to power new machines of all kinds. The U.S.-led world production for over a century, an era Kunstler describes as the "cheap oil fiesta." The party's about to end in "a tremendous trauma for the human race."
Oil's pervasive influence on every aspect of our way of life proceeded in chains of causality that Kunstler deftly portrays. With automobile mass production starting in 1918, Americans gained a great way to travel and transport goods. Cars required better roads, so extensive highway building commenced. Shorter travel times resulted in a mass migration of city dwellers into nearby rural areas where they could enjoy a simulacrum of "country living." Enormous housing tracts arose around urban centers, and a sprawling retailing infrastructure grew up to supply them. Above all else, the suburban way of life was born of, and demanded, oil.
Peak oil was first proposed in 1956 by M. King Hubbert, a geologist and chief researcher for Shell Oil. He inventoried all known U.S. oil deposits, plotted consumption rates, and came up with "Hubbert's Curve" a graph that predicted the highest possible rate of extraction, arriving about when our total in-ground oil supply was half used up.
His projections proved correct. U.S. production peaked in 1970 and has been falling ever since.
But just then Middle Eastern production capacity came into its most robust phase. The U.S. bought whatever was needed to fuel our ever more oil-thirsty lifestyles.
Then another generation of oil scientists used Hubbert's methods to look at global production, predicting a peak between 2000 and 2010. Most now say global oil peaked in 2007: We've used half the world's oil; we're already on the "bumpy plateau" at the top, the down slope just ahead.
Kunstler posits the fate of nations in an era of competition for oil and the collapse of oil-dependent social and economic systems. It will be especially hard in the U.S. Those suburbs are too spread out, while our skyscrapered urban centers are too dense, viable only thanks to oil-guzzling infrastructure. Our economy is based on cheaply transporting huge quantities of goods from around the globe.
Oil shortages will profoundly affect the availability of food and water. The "food bubble" of the last 50 years resulted only from having lots of oil to run agricultural equipment, make fertilizers, pump water from underground for huge irrigation systems, and power the trucks and refrigeration systems that deliver edibles to our tables. The past century of food abundance resulted in huge population increases, leaving us with too many people to survive on the carrying capacity of a world short on oil.
Kunstler's cascade of effects continues on through famines, epidemics, social unrest and wars all exacerbated by global warming.
One casualty will be what Kunstler calls our "hallucinatory" economy, epitomized by the stock market. The hugely complex financial instruments and trading schemes that now govern our economy have divorced real value from perceived or potential value. The financial sector, now an "industry" in its own right, runs money shell games and pyramid schemes that work only if we maintain faith in perpetual economic growth. A psychological product of the oil fiesta, that faith won't survive, and the markets it supports won't either.
Kunstler doesn't offer much in the way of solutions. Renewable energy won't save us; he methodically explains the limitations of each energy technology and source, rejecting the idea that they can replace any significant part of the lost oil bonanza.
Instead, we'll need to ratchet down our material expectations and live in austerity. We will need to produce essential goods locally, close to where we'll use them. We'll live in smaller, walkable cities surrounded not by malls but by farms. We'll all do more manual labor.
It would be easier to dismiss Kunstler's darker speculations if he hadn't proven surprisingly prescient. For example, in expounding on the "hallucinatory economy" and the downfall of suburbia, he wrote about the housing boom and described sub-prime lending practices in detail, warning of economic disaster.
Kunstler wrote the book in 2004-05, three years before the sub-prime and housing bubble burst, with ramifications still unfolding. One has to wonder just how much more he's gotten right.
World oil supply may have already peaked - by Lester Brown (05 Feb 2008) http://peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=3193
Is world oil production peaking? Quite possibly, says Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute. Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show a pronounced loss of momentum in the growth of oil production during the last few years.After climbing from 82.90 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2004 to 84.15 mb/d in 2005, output only increased to 84.93 mb/d in 2006 and then declined very slghtly to 84.93 mb/d in 2007.The combination of world production levelling out or starting to decline while demand continues to rise rapidly is putting strong upward pressure on prices. Over the past two years, oil prices have climbed from $50 to nearly $100 a barrel. If production growth continues to lag behind the increase in demand, how high will prices go? CLIP
Forbidden fields: Oil groups circle the prize of Iraqs vast reserves (March 19 2008) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5b24f674-f5e6-11dc-8d3d-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
Royal Dutch Shell has been quietly working with Iraqs oil ministry over the past two years, advising it on how to increase the production of two oilfields. Under an agreement struck after the 2003 invasion, no one from the company, Europes largest oil group, has set foot in the troubled country; instead, monthly face-to-face meetings with the oil ministry have been held in Amman, the Jordanian capital, and weekly contact has been maintained by video-link. The Shell-financed project and the attention showered on Baghdad appears to be paying off: Shell is now negotiating a technical support agreement in which it will be compensated for helping upgrade production of producing fields. The oil company will again set up a team outside Iraq, helping, among other things, to bring new equipment into the country and training Iraqis in its use. Shell is one of several inter national oil companies including BP and the US groups ExxonMobil and Chevron that have been tapping into Iraqs oil industry by remote control. But now, five years after the invasion, the oil groups are hoping to take their involvement in the country to a new level. Baghdad, desperate to increase oil production yet starved of investment, is starting to dangle what the companies have been after all along: a chance to develop and later explore what may be the worlds most promising untapped oil reserves. Indeed, as the companies gear up for technical support agreements, they are also registering to pre-qualify for the first bidding round of oil development contracts that are to be offered by Baghdad. (...) With parts of the global oil industry threatened with nationalisation and much of the Middle East still closed to foreign ownership of reserves, access to Iraq, with the worlds third-largest oil reserves, has long been viewed as a huge prize. Although no decision has yet been made in Baghdad over the nature of the development or the eventual exploration contracts that will be on offer, Iraq could prove one of the rare countries in the region where companies will be allowed to claim reserves as their own. This is the big frontier, says Raad Alkadiri, a senior director at Washington-based PFC Energy. According to the oil ministry, only 27 out of 80 discovered fields are producing in Iraq, the result of decades of under-investment. A report by Wood Mackenzie, the consultancy, meanwhile says the scale of Iraqs remaining oil resources surpasses allother countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and its high-quality reservoirs ensure that production costs would be very low. CLIP
Cheap Oil Is Over: Kiss the Gas-Guzzling NASCAR Era Good-Bye http://www.petroleumworld.com/sati08032301.htm
A suburban nation of snowmobilers, dirt bikers and NASCAR races -- all of it was made possible by the one-time blessing of cheap oil. (...) In this new era, coming soon to a 21st century region near you, the formerly industrial nations will have a great deal of trouble keeping the lights on, getting around and feeding their people. Vocational niches by the hundreds will vanish, while the need to make up for a failing industrial agriculture, with all its oil and gas inputs, will require a revived agricultural working class in substantial numbers. This is, in effect, a peasantry, and the word itself obviously carries unappetizing overtones, especially among those who used to be certain that the perfectibility of both human nature and human society were at hand. It all seemed that way, I suppose, in the early 1960s, when the United Auto Workers was setting up vacation camps along the Michigan lakes, and President Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon before the decade ended, and the doctrine of mutually assured destruction kept a sort of peace among the great military powers, and Dad drove home from the Pontiac showroom with a new GTO, which his son, Buddy, used to cruise the strip on Friday nights while "Born to Be Wild" rang out of the radio and into the warm, soporifc San Fernando night. All over. All over but the keening for our soon-to-be-lost machine world. We'll have to find new satisfactions now looking inward and reaching out with our limbs to those around us to discover what they are finding inward and outward about themselves. We'll certainly find music there, and dancing, and perhaps some fighting, and we will still have the means to make bases and balls and sticks for hitting them, and gloves for catching them, and twilight evenings in the meadow to play in. Amid a great stillness. With the moon rising.
From: Mark Graffis (email@example.com)
Subject: The road to hyper-inflation
Date: 22 Mar 2008
Whats amazing is that the Federal Reserve isnt even trying to protect the U.S. Dollar because all they care about is saving the power of their private banking cartel. They dont care about the U.S. Dollar nor do they care about the country itself. They are destroying this country through their actions and there needs to be an investigation into the controllers of this bank.
Posted By Peter Schiff On March 15, 2008 In US Stocks and Markets
"Backing paper money with mortgages is nothing new. The French tried it in the late 18th Century, and it lead to hyperinflation." Peter Schiff
by Peter Schiff
Baltimore This week, as the financial sector began to give way under the unbearable weight of bad mortgage debt, the Federal Reserve stepped in to save the day. At least thats what it says in the script.
In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve announced its intention to swap $200 billion of treasury debt for $200 billion of potentially worthless mortgage-backed securities. The Fed may have been partially spurred to take the step as a result of the rapid collapse of Carlyle Capital Corp., a publicly traded private equity firm that is a subsidiary of the Carlyle Group.
The Dutch firm could not meet margin calls on its depreciating collateral of AAA-rated mortgaged-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On Friday, the Fed then took the unusual step of providing emergency non-recourse funding to Bear Stearns, collateralized by that firms similarly worthless mortgage debt. Apparently the Fed now stands willing to assume any mortgage-related risk that no other private entity would touch.
That the Fed would take such extreme measures, which would have been considered unthinkable even a few months ago, followed a few notable media events that may have affected their thinking. On Monday, Wall Street was rocked by an article in Barrons that suggested that government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lacked sufficient capital to cover the likely losses on the $5 trillion in mortgages they insure (a position that I have taken for years) and raised the possibility of either bankruptcy or a government bailout. On CNBC the next day, Paul McCulley, the managing director at Pimco, the worlds largest bond fund, publicly called for the Fed to use it balance sheet and its printing press to buy mortgages.
According to the Fed, its new plan does not amount to buying mortgages but simply accepting them as collateral for 28-day loans. However, will the Fed really return these ticking time bombs to their true owners in 28 days, inciting the very collapse its actions were originally designed to postpone? Why does the Fed believe that the mortgages will be marketable next month; or the month after that? Nor can we believe that such loans will be restricted to only $200 billion.
Bear Stearns and Carlyle are certainly not alone in massive exposure to bad debt. Given the unprecedented leverage that many of the biggest financial firms used to play in this market, there will be many more failures to come. Does the Fed stand ready to bail out all comers? Based on this course of action, the Fed, or more precisely, American citizens, will end up with trillions, not billions, of such securities on its books.
The problem with these mortgages (other than the borrowers lacking any means or desire to repay them) is that the underlying collateral is worth a fraction of the face amount. With recent foreclosure recovery rates amounting to less than 50 cents on the dollar, it is no wonder that no one wants them. The real estate bubble allowed borrowers to leverage themselves to the hilt using inflated home values as collateral. Now that the bubble has burst, mortgage balances far exceed current property values. It is a trillion dollar time bomb that no one can possible defuse.
Frying pan and fire
Paper dollars are technically Federal Reserve Notes, which means they are liabilities of the Fed. When it puts newly minted notes into circulation it does so by buying assets, usually U.S. treasuries, which it then holds on its balance sheet to offset that liability. By swapping treasuries for mortgages, the Fed effectively alters the compilation of its balance sheet and the backing of its notes.
However, backing paper money with mortgages is nothing new. The French tried it in the late 18th Century, and it lead to hyperinflation. Assignats, which were first issued in 1790 to help finance the French revolution, were backed by mortgages on confiscated church properties.
Although the stolen underlying collateral did have some value, the revolutionaries saw no reason to limit how many Assignats were printed, which resulted in massive depreciation. Within three years, price controls were introduced and failure to accept Assignats, initially an offence subject to six years in prison, was made a capital crime. By 1799 the currency was completely worthless.
If even the threat of death could not prop up the Assignat, does anyone believe that the currency could have been saved if Robespierre had forcefully mouthed a strong Assignat policy as President Bush is now doing with the dollar? Rather than repeating the mistakes of history we should learn from them. Our own failed experiment with the Continental currency as well as the Great Depression should prove conclusively that it is Austrian, and not French, economics we should be following.
Related article and petition:
Protesters enter Bear Stearns building in New York (Mar 26, 2008) http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2644281720080326?sp=true
NEW YORK (Reuters) - About 60 protesters opposed to the U.S. Federal Reserve's help in bailing out Bear Stearns entered the lobby of the investment bank's Manhattan headquarters on Wednesday, demanding assistance for struggling homeowners. Demonstrators organized by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America chanted "Help Main Street, not Wall Street" and entered the lobby without an invitation for around half an hour before being escorted out by police. "There are no provisions for homeowners in this deal. There are people out there struggling who need help," said Detria Austin, an organizer at NACA, an advocacy group for home ownership. CLIP
Petition To Impeach George W. Bush http://financialpetition.org/petition-impeach.shtml
We the undersigned agree with and call upon Congress to raise debate, vote upon, and proffer to The Senate the following Article of Impeachment:"On or about March 16th, 2008, George W. Bush, both personally and through his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, caused to be provided to JP Morgan/Chase a bribe(1) ultimately flowing from the United States Treasury in an amount not to exceed $30 billion dollars US, via The Federal Reserve, in order to induce JP Morgan/Chase to assume the liabilities and assets of Bear Stearns and Company at a price not determined in the free market or via public bidding, in violation of the limitations expressly set forth in The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, 12 USC Ch 6."We believe the Federal Reserve bailout of Bear Stearns on March 16th constituted an unlawful act as it was in effect granting a payment of up to $30 billion US Dollars by The Federal Reserve to JP Morgan/Chase as part of the inducement to purchase Bear Stearns and Company. CLIP
Americas Ruling Clique (25/03/08) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19603.htm
Neoconservatives derive much of their political strength from the portrayal of big government as the enemy of the people: a belief that plays only too well in America. Big government is indeed the enemy of the people when it does not serve the peoples interests, or when it betrays them. Where the neoconservatives and the chicken hawks have been spectacularly successful is in the field of perception management. The super richor the ruling cliqueconstitutes no more than 0.1 percent of the US population. Yet they control the mainstream media, every branch government, the electoral process and the countrys major financial institutions. Thus, 99.9 percent of the people are being manipulated and cannibalized by a tiny but powerful minority. It is the interests of this powerful minority that are served by government and it is their interests that are defined as the national interest or as national security; and it is hardly benign. Robbing the poor to pay the rich causes irreparable harm to the victim. CLIP
From: "Larry Stell" firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Daunting Stats on China
Date: 22 Mar 2008
* The world's largest consumer of coal, grain, fertilizer, cell phones, refrigerators, and televisions
* The leading importer of iron ore, steel, copper, tin, zinc, aluminum, and nickel
* The top producer of coal, steel, cement, and 10 kinds of metal
* The No. 1 importer of illegally logged wood
* The third largest producer of cars after Japan and the United States; by 2015, it could be the world's largest car producer. By 2020, there could be 130 million cars on its roads, compared to 33 million now.
* China produces half of the world's cameras, 1/3 of its television sets, and 1/3 of all the planet's garbage.
* There are towns in China that make 60% of the world's button supply, 1/2 of all silk neckties, and 1/2 of all fireworks.
* China uses half of the world's steel and concrete and will probably construct half of the world's new buildings over the next decade.
* Some Chinese factories can fit as many as 200,000 workers.
* China used 2.5 billion tons of coal in 2006, more than the next three highest consuming nations, Russia, India, and the United States, combined.
* It has more than 2,000 coal fired power plants and puts a new one into operation every 4 to 7 days.
* Between 2003 and 2006, worldwide coal consumption increased as much as it did in the 23 years before that. China was responsible for 90% of the increase.
* China became the world's top carbon dioxide emitter in 2006, overtaking the United States.
* Russia is China's largest timber supplier; half of all logging there is illegal. In Indonesia, another timber supplier to China, up to 80% of all logging takes place illegally.
* 90% of all wood products made in China are consumed in the country, including 45 billion pairs of wooden chopsticks each year.
* The value of China's timber product exports exceeds $17 billion. About 40 percent go to the United States.
* More than 3/4 of China's forests have disappeared; 1/4 of the country's land mass is now desert.
* Until recently, China was losing a Rhode Island sized parcel of land to desertification each year.
* 80% of the Himalayan glaciers that feed Chinese rivers could melt by 2035.
* In 2005, China's sulfur dioxide emissions were nearly twice those of the United States.
* Acid rain caused by air pollution now affects 1/3 of China's land.
* Each year, at least 400,000 Chinese die prematurely of air pollution linked respiratory illnesses or diseases.
* A quarter of a million people die because of motor vehicle traffic each year, 6 times as many as in the United States, even though Americans have 18 times as many cars.
* Of the world's 20 most polluted cities, 16 are in China.
* Half of China's population, 600 to 700 million people, drinks water contaminated with human and animal waste. A billion tons of untreated sewage is dumped into the Yangtze each year.
* 4/5 of China's rivers are too polluted to support fish.
* The Mi Yun reservoir, Beijing's last remaining reliable source of drinking water, has dropped more than 50 feet since 1993.
* Overuse of groundwater has caused land subsidence that cost Shanghai alone $12.9 billion in economic losses.
* Dust storms used to occur once a year. Now, they happen at least 20 times a year.
* Chinese dust storms can cause haziness and boost particulate matter in the United States, all the way over to Maine.
* In 2001, a huge Chinese storm dumped 50,000 metric tons of dust on the United States. That's 2.5 times as much as what U.S. sources produce in a typical day.
* Currently, up to 36 percent of manmade mercury emissions settling on America originated in Asia.
* Particulate matter from Asia accounts for nearly half of California's annual pollution limit.
* Environmental damage reportedly costs China 10 percent of its GDP. Pollution related death and disability heath care costs alone are estimated at up to 4 percent of GDP.
* In 2005, there were 50,000 pollution related disputes and protests in China.
* China's middle class is expected to jump from 100 million people today to 700 million people by 2020.
The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance
By Donna Jackson Nakazawa, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.
Posted March 19, 2008.
Scientists worldwide puzzle over an alarming and unexplained rise in the rates of autoimmune disease. Yet the media remain mute on this crisis.
Excerpted from The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance--and the Cutting-Edge Science that Promises Hope (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster).
Reprinted with permission. An interview with the author follows.
Most of us, at some juncture in our lives, have played out in our minds how devastating it would be to have our doctor hand down a cancer diagnosis or to warn us that we are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Magazine articles, television dramas, and news headlines all bring such images home.
But consider an equally devastating health crisis scenario, one that you rarely hear spoken about openly, one that receives almost no media attention.
Imagine the slow, creeping escalation of seemingly amorphous symptoms: a tingling in the arms and fingers, the sudden appearance of a speckled rash across the face, the strange muscle weakness in the legs when climbing stairs, the fiery joints that emerge out of nowhere -- any and all of which can signal the onset of a wide range of life-altering and often debilitating autoimmune diseases.
Imagine, if you can: the tingling foot and ankle that turns out to be the beginning of the slow paralysis of multiple sclerosis. Four hundred thousand patients. Excruciating joint pain and inflammation, skin rashes, and never-ending flu-like symptoms that lead to the diagnosis of lupus. One and a half million more. Relentless bouts of vertigo -- the hallmark of Ménière's. Seven out of every one thousand Americans. Severe abdominal pain, bleeding rectal fissures, uncontrollable diarrhea, and chronic intestinal inflammation that define Crohn's disease and inflammatory bowel disease. More than 1 million Americans.More than 2 million patients. Dry mouth so persistent eight glasses of water a day won't soothe the parched throat and tongue and the mysterious swallowing difficulties that are the first signs of Sjögren's. Four million Americans. And, with almost every autoimmune disease, intolerable, life-altering bouts of exhaustion. If fatigue were a sound made manifest by the 23.5 million people with autoimmune disease in America, the roar across this country would be more deafening than that of the return of the seventeen-year locusts.
And yet, despite the prevalence of autoimmune disease, surveys show that more than 90 percent of people cannot summon the name of a single autoimmune disease when asked to name one specifically.
Think of it -- other than walkathons for multiple sclerosis, how many fundraising walks or lapel ribbons have you seen for autoimmune disease in general? Nearly 24 million Americans are suffering from an autoimmune illness, yet nine out of ten Americans cannot name a single one of these diseases. It boggles the mind.
Each of these nearly 100 autoimmune diseases derails lives. Taken collectively, these diseases, which also include type 1 diabetes, Graves' disease, vasculitis, myasthenia gravis, connective tissue diseases, autoimmune Addison's disease, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, hemolytic anemia, celiac disease, and scleroderma are now the Number Two cause of chronic illness in America and the third leading cause of Social Security disability behind heart disease and cancer. (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, by contrast, is not an autoimmune disease; in fact, it is entirely different. In AIDS a virus attacks the immune system and destroys it, whereas in autoimmune disease, the immune system leads the attack, mistaking the body's tissue for an invader and turning on the body itself.)
Autoimmune diseases are the eighth leading cause of death among women, shortening the average patient's lifespan by fifteen years. Not surprisingly, the economic burden is staggering: autoimmune diseases represent a yearly health-care burden of more than $120 billion, compared to the yearly health-care burden of $70 billion for direct medical costs for cancer.
To underscore these numbers, consider: while 2.2 million women are living with breast cancer and 7.2 million women have coronary disease, an estimated 9.8 million women are afflicted with one of the seven more common autoimmune diseases: lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, Sjögren's, and type 1 diabetes. All of these can lead to potentially fatal complications.
Or slice these statistics another way: while one in 69 women below the age of fifty will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to estimates, as many as one in nine women of childbearing years will be diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, which strike three times as many women as men -- and most often strike patients in their prime. According to the National Institutes of Health, autoimmune disease affects far more patients than the 9 million Americans who have cancer and the 16 million with coronary disease.
Scientists from Cambridge University have confirmed that the Gulf Stream is weakening, and this is likely to bring much colder temperatures to Europe within a few years.
Scientists from Cambridge University have confirmed that the Gulf Stream is weakening, and this is likely to bring much colder temperatures to Europe within a few years. The weakening is significant: the Gulf Stream is flowing at a quarter of the strength that was present five years ago.
This is happening because gigantic chimneys of cold water that were sinking from the surface to the sea bed off Greenland have disappeared. These chimneys are the key engine of world climate as we know it today, and their disappearance signals the beginning of a great catastrophe.
This is the first research to show unequivocal evidence of the phenomenon, which was originally predicted in the Coming Global Superstorm, published in 1999.
In Superstorm and in the film based on it, the Day After Tomorrow, the event unfolds over the course of a week. The Cambridge scientists are predicting now that there will be clear water at the North Pole as early as 2020, and that temperatures in Britain are likely to drop by 5-8 degrees Celsius, from an average of 22 at present to 14 to 17 in the future. An average as low as 17 (62 Fahrenheit) will mean that the summer growing season will be catastrophically curtailed in Europe, leading to huge declines in production from one of the world's primary surplus production zones.
It will also mean that winters similar to those in Finland will extend far south into France, and that there is a possibility that a series of "no-melt" summers across the northern latitudes could cause the reflectivity of the planet to increase to the point that new glaciation will begin.
The weakening of the Gulf Stream is destabilizing currents worldwide, and will lead to radical climate changes in other areas. The nature of these changes is not known, and the current US administration has blocked US environmental agencies from studying the phenomenon, so the severity of its effect in this country is not under study. However, it is likely that the eastern US and eastern Canada will experience climate change as radical as that in Europe, as the Gulf Stream drops south. At the least, food production and liveability in the eastern half of North America will be severely challenged.
Scientists are currently assuming that the Gulf Stream will slow and stop over a period of years, not suddenly, as predicted in Superstorm and portrayed in the Day After Tomorrow.
However, there is ample evidence that sudden and extreme changes have taken place worldwide in the past. Unknowncountry.com reported on this phenomenon in December of 2004 and earlier in November of 2003.
There is a mechanism that changes a process of climate change that seems to be unfolding over a period of years into a violent event that takes just hours or days to develop, and then remains in a radically changed condition. This happened 5,200 years ago, as has amply been revealed in the fossil record.
Why it happened remains unknown, but it certainly had to do with the very sort of spiking of temperatures that the world has experienced over the past fifty years, and a reversal.
The changes that are taking place in the Gulf Stream are unstoppable. They will unfold. How that will happen, and whether or not the process will involve sudden and violent worldwide storms such as those that took place 5,200 years ago remains unknown.
It is, however, essential that planning for the change begin at once. At the least, the world faces dramatic economic upheavals and a decline in food production at a time when both energy and food needs are at the highest they have ever been in history.
So far, the only other media outlet that has picked up this story is the Sunday Times of Great Britain, and they have not provided the true perspective, or discussed the scale of the changes that are on their way. For the Times story, click here.
We need to concentrate on cleaning up our problems here on Earth so future generations can inherit a world worth living in, before The Day After Tomorrow arrives. Read the novella based on the hit movie!
Gulf Stream Leaves Its Signature Seven Miles High (Mar. 24, 2008) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320181838.htm
The Gulf Stream's impact on climate is well known, keeping Iceland and Scotland comfortable in winter compared to the deep-freeze of Labrador at the same latitude. That cyclones tend to spawn over the Gulf Stream has also been known for some time. A new study reveals that the Gulf Stream anchors a precipitation band with upward motions and cloud formations that can reach 7 miles high and penetrate the upper troposphere. The discovery, announced by a Japan-US team of scientists, shows that the Gulf Stream has a pathway by which to directly affect weather and climate patterns over the whole Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps even world wide. CLIP
Science says the Gulf Stream's not slowing (August 17, 2007) http://www.canada.com/topics/news/politics/story.html?id=18a82eea-b683-44db-a46c-47ad6c3ae6c1
A major study is throwing cold water on the idea that global warming is already slowing down the Gulf Stream, which supplies much of western Europe's warmth.That's the idea behind Hollywood's disaster movie on global warming, The Day After Tomorrow: The Gulf Stream suddenly stops flowing and everything freezes.Some preliminary observations have hinted that global warming has already begun to slow down the Gulf Stream. And even conservative scientists warn that within 50 to 100 years, the Gulf Stream is likely to slow by some 20 per cent, or possibly more. But there's no evidence this is happening yet, says the study released today in a major international research journal, Science. It says the decreases reported so far in the warm ocean current are consistent with natural, normal variations in the Atlantic Ocean - not pollution caused by humans.The giant ocean current, in fact, delivers more than eight times more water at some times than at others - a vast difference that has been there, unnoticed, all along.When it's in slow gear, the Gulf Stream carries four-million cubic metres of warm water every second, northeast from the Florida Strait to Europe. But its maximum flow is 34.9-million cubic metres per second.The news this ocean current has such big natural swings has the potential to raise a political ruckus in the climate field.Opponents of global warming haven't had much scientific support lately, as research evidence for the global warming theory has piled up.The opponents maintain, however, changes seen in Earth's climate are a natural variation that are interpreted too quickly as the result of human pollution.Now the Gulf Stream study, while not denying that global warming threatens to change the ocean current eventually, shows "natural variability" is indeed a potent force. CLIP
Gulf Stream Will Not Shut Down, Science Magazines Admit (February 1, 2007) http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=20505
Put away your snow shovels, ear muffs, and portable indoor heaters, scientists now say, because global warming will not trigger a new ice age after all. Putting to rest nearly a decade of scare scenarios involving polar ice caps quickly reclaiming Canada, the northern United States, and northern and central Europe, scientists now report there is no chance of the Gulf Stream shutting down any time soon, regardless of any predicted global warming. CLIP
Proof of the end of Global Warming (02-12-08) http://www.climatepatrol.com/forum/18/3346/pg1/index.php
Using satellite data that includes land and sea based temperature anomalies we were able to plot temperature trends going back to January of 1998 and identify the end of Global Warming. Actually from August of 1997 to January 2008 global temperatures are flat with just a slight cooling. The number is so insignificant I just call it flat. The global cooling trend started December of 2000. January 2001 to January 2008 showed a slight cooling trend. January 2002 and January 2003 to January 2008 all show more more pronounced cooling trends. This leaves us flat to slightly cooling at the 10 year mark and significantly cooling at the 5 year mark.
The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat (March 19, 2008) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans."There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming." In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on.That becomes clear when you consider what's happening to global sea level. Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands. This accounts for about half of global sea level rise. So with the oceans not warming, you would expect to see less sea level rise. Instead, sea level has risen about half an inch in the past four years. That's a lot.Willis says some of this water is apparently coming from a recent increase in the melting rate of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica. "But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says. CLIP
Britain freezes as White Easter causes chaos (March 23, 2008) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3605943.ece
Far from heralding the arrival of spring, Britain was experiencing a 'white Easter' today with heavy snowfall and bitterly cold conditions sweeping across much of the country. Snow hit the South East, the Midlands and Scotland, while the North East was the worst affected area, as police warned motorists to stay off the road amid treacherous driving conditions. Experts say that the bad weather - causing the first white Easter seen in the UK for a decade - follows the arrival from Iceland of a severe depression sucking cold, wet air southwards from the Arctic. (...) Sorry to hear about that. Here in LA it hit in the 90sF, record breaking temperature for Easter. -- Here in South Australia, we have just emerged from 15 days straight of near 40C temperatures - the longest heatwave on record for an Australian city. That snow you've had lately looks tempting to us. -- Just to put things in perspective. Here in Ottawa we recently got 80 cm of snow over a period of a few days. Now it is bright and sunny but the temperature tonight is going down to minus 19 Celsius, and you think you have it bad.
Melting glaciers will shrink grain harvests in China and India
Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute
March 21, 2008
The world is now facing a climate-driven shrinkage of river-based irrigation water supplies. Mountain glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau are melting and could soon deprive the major rivers of India and China of the ice melt needed to sustain them during the dry season. In the Ganges, the Yellow, and the Yangtze river basins, where irrigated agriculture depends heavily on rivers, this loss of dry-season flow will shrink harvests.
The world has never faced such a predictably massive threat to food production as that posed by the melting mountain glaciers of Asia. China and India are the world's leading producers of both wheat and rice-humanity's food staples. China's wheat harvest is nearly double that of the United States, which ranks third after India. With rice, these two countries are far and away the leading producers, together accounting for over half of the world harvest.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that Himalayan glaciers are receding rapidly and that many could melt entirely by 2035. If the giant Gangotri Glacier that supplies 70 percent of the Ganges flow during the dry season disappears, the Ganges could become a seasonal river, flowing during the rainy season but not during the summer dry season when irrigation water needs are greatest.
Yao Tandong, a leading Chinese glaciologist, reports that the glaciers on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau in western China are now melting at an accelerating rate. He believes that two thirds of these glaciers could be gone by 2060, greatly reducing the dry-season flow of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. Like the Ganges, the Yellow River, which flows through the arid northern part of China, could become seasonal. If this melting of glaciers continues, Yao says, "[it] will eventually lead to an ecological catastrophe."?
Even as India and China face these future disruptions in river flows, overpumping is depleting the underground water resources that both countries also use for irrigation. For example, water tables are falling everywhere under the North China Plain, the country's principal grain-producing region. When an aquifer is depleted, the rate of pumping is necessarily reduced to the rate of recharge. In India, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in almost every state.
On top of this already grim shrinkage of underground water resources, losing the river water used for irrigation could lead to politically unmanageable food shortages. The Ganges River, for example, which is the largest source of surface water irrigation in India, is a leading source of water for the 407 million people living in the Gangetic Basin.
In China, both the Yellow and Yangtze rivers depend heavily on ice melt for their dry-season flow. The Yellow River basin is home to 147 million people whose fate is closely tied to the river because of low rainfall in the basin. The Yangtze is China's leading source of surface irrigation water, helping to produce half or more of China's 130-million-ton rice harvest. It also meets many of the other water needs of the watershed's 368 million people. (See data at www.earthpolicy.org.)
The population in either the Yangtze or Gangetic river basin is larger than that of any country other than China or India. And the ongoing shrinkage of underground water supplies and the prospective shrinkage of river water supplies are occurring against a startling demographic backdrop: by 2050 India is projected to add 490 million people and China 80 million.
In a world where grain prices have recently climbed to record highs, with no relief in sight, any disruption of the wheat or rice harvests due to water shortages in these two leading grain producers will greatly affect not only people living there but consumers everywhere. In both of these countries, food prices will likely rise and grain consumption per person can be expected to fall. In India, where just over 40 percent of all children under five years of age are underweight and undernourished, hunger will intensify and child mortality will likely climb.
For China, a country already struggling to contain food price inflation, there may well be spreading social unrest as food supplies tighten. Food security in China is a highly sensitive issue. Anyone in China who is 50 years of age or older is a survivor of the Great Famine of 1959-61, when, according to official figures, 30 million Chinese starved to death. This is also why Beijing has worked so hard in recent decades to try and maintain grain self-sufficiency.
As food shortages unfold, China will try to hold down domestic food prices by using its massive dollar holdings to import grain, most of it from the United States, the world's leading grain exporter. Even now, China, which a decade or so ago was essentially self-sufficient in soybeans, is importing 70 percent of its supply, helping drive world soybean prices to an all-time high. As irrigation water supplies shrink, Chinese consumers will be competing with Americans for the U.S. grain harvest. India, too, may try to import large quantities of grain, although it may lack the economic resources to do so, especially if grain prices keep climbing. Many Indians will be forced to tighten their belts further, including those who have no notches left.
The glaciologists have given us a clear sense of how fast glaciers are shrinking. The challenge now is to translate their findings into national energy policies designed to save the glaciers. At issue is not just the future of mountain glaciers, but the future of world grain harvests.
The alternative to this civilization-threatening scenario is to abandon business-as-usual energy policies and move to cut carbon emissions 80 percent-not by 2050 as many political leaders suggest, because that will be too late, but by 2020, as outlined in Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. The first step is to ban new coal-fired power plants, a move that is fast gaining momentum in the United States.
Ironically, the two countries that are planning to build most of the new coal-fired power plants, China and India, are precisely the ones whose food security is most massively threatened by the carbon emitted from burning coal. It is now in their interest to try and save their mountain glaciers by shifting energy investment from coal-fired power plants into energy efficiency and into wind farms, solar thermal power plants, and geothermal power plants. China, for example, can double its current electrical generating capacity from wind alone.
We know from studying earlier civilizations that declined and collapsed that it was often shrinking harvests that were responsible. For the Sumerians, it was rising salt concentrations in the soil that lowered wheat and barley yields and brought down this remarkable early civilization. For the Mayans, it was soil erosion following deforestation that undermined their agriculture and set the stage for their demise. For our twenty-first century civilization, it is rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and the associated rise in temperature that threatens future harvests.
At issue is whether we can mobilize to lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations before higher temperatures melt the mountain glaciers that feed the major rivers of Asia and elsewhere, and before shrinking harvests lead to an unraveling of our civilization. The good news is that we have the energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to dramatically reduce CO2 concentrations if we choose to do so.
Arctic Meltdown (24 March 2008) http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=6773
Satellite data reveal that the Arctic is losing its old, thick ice faster than ever before-in modern times, anyway. This has continued even though the summer is over. Older ice floes are thicker and contain less salt, so they usually survive the summer better than the more newly-formed ice. The shrinking of Arctic ice has global implications, since ice reflects heat back into the atmosphere, helping to keep global warming at bay.In BBC News, Richard Black quotes NASA researcher Seelye Martin as saying, "Although this March the area is slightly larger than last March, the area of [thick] perennial ice has reached an all time low. So the volume of Arctic ice continues to decrease." He quotes NASA researcher Josefino Comiso as saying, "It's becoming thinner and thinner and much more susceptible to melting during the summer-much more likely to melt away."
Glacier Melt in Europe Too (24 March 2008) http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=6772
The rate at which glaciers are melting all over the world has more than doubled, and some of the biggest melts are occurring in mountain ranges in Europe, not in the Arctic or Antarctica, where you would expect most of it to be happening.BBC News quotes UN Under Secretary Achim Steiner as saying, "There are many canaries emerging in the climate change coal mine. The glaciers are perhaps among those making the most noise and it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice."BBC quotes Ian Willis, of the Scott Polar Research Institute, as saying, "It is not too late to stop the shrinkage of these ice sheets but we need to take action immediately."
Black carbon pollution emerges as major player in global warming (March 24, 2008) http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/33451
University of California - San DiegoBlack carbon, a form of particulate air pollution most often produced from biomass burning, cooking with solid fuels and diesel exhaust, has a warming effect in the atmosphere three to four times greater than prevailing estimates, according to scientists in an upcoming review article in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego atmospheric scientist V. Ramanathan and University of Iowa chemical engineer Greg Carmichael, said that soot and other forms of black carbon could have as much as 60 percent of the current global warming effect of carbon dioxide, more than that of any greenhouse gas besides CO2. (...) the global atmosphere comes from China and India, emitted from the burning of wood and cow dung in household cooking and through the use of coal to heat homes. Countries in Europe and elsewhere that rely heavily on diesel fuel for transportation also contribute large amounts.
"Per capita emissions of black carbon from the United States and some European countries are still comparable to those from south Asia and east Asia," Ramanathan said. In south Asia, pollution often forms a prevalent brownish haze that has been termed the "atmospheric brown cloud."? Ramanathan's previous research has indicated that the warming effects of this smog appear to be accelerating the melt of Himalayan glaciers that provide billions of people throughout Asia with drinking water. In addition, the inhalation of smoke during indoor cooking has been linked to the deaths of an estimated 400,000 women and children in south and east Asia. Elimination of black carbon, a contributor to global warming and a public health hazard, offers a nearly instant return on investment, the researchers said. Black carbon particles only remain airborne for weeks at most compared to carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for more than a century. In addition, technology that could substantially reduce black carbon emissions already exists in the form of commercially available products. CLIP
A Solar Grand Plan http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/3/4/a-solar-grand-plan.aspx
If the U.S. makes a massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants, it is possible that 69 percent of the U.S.s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy could be solar-powered by 2050. (...) Think about it: there is enough energy in the sunshine that falls on the earth in less than one hour to satisfy the energy needs of the entire human race for ONE YEAR. We simply have to stop this crazy reliance of fossil fuels. Nanosolar seems to be the best bet I have seen to date to start this vital transition. CLIP
Spain Sees Success With Wind Energy, Opposes Nuclear Power http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/032708EA.shtml
MetaEfficient.com reports on the progress of wind power in Spain, "which, along with Germany and Denmark, is among the three biggest producers of wind power in the 27-nation European Union." Both France and Britain, reports Inter Press Service's Jose Antonio Gurriaran, are about to agree on the creation of new nuclear power plants that can be exported to the rest of the world.
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