The Moment of Truth Series #21: Bullshit Petroleum and much, MUCH MORE!
After lots of intense work in my garden, it is high time that I send you all this new packed full compilation with lots of material on the hemorrhaging of Mother Earth in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the greedy BP vampires. According to an expert seen on TV here tonight, it is unlikely their top kill method will work (because the oil from this well is pushing back with the highest pressure of any oil well on Earth) and so he was suggesting BP should use again its top hat oil recovery collector, but fit it this time with 2 sucking pipes, one for oil, near the bottom, and one for the gas, at the top, which would apparently prevent the freezing over of the pipe experienced at their initial attempt. This way, they could collect (pump up into ships) all the gushing bloody oil for several months while they dig the relief well that MAY (this is very iffy as the technical feat to reach the first well hole deep underground AND under 5000 feet of water is absolutely daunting) succeed in plugging permanently this mega gusher.
And you'll also find the usual smorgasbord of news and info on a great number of topics.
Hope you continue to enjoy having all this material gathered and delivered to you (at no cost) for your review and informed action whenever possible.
Oh! and one final MOST important thing. I just watched a stunningly powerful video "The Call" that has been released on May 24. It has been recommended to my attention by Jay Iversen (see his email in the Quote section below). I cannot possibly emphasize it enough that you must take 10 blissful minutes right away to go at http://awakeningasone.com/ and watch this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G video. The Time is NOW to act boldly and decisively and we definitely are the ones we have been waiting for!...
Please note that the forthcoming Italian translation for the June Solstice meditation will be archived HERE within the next couple weeks. And the new Spanish version is now available HERE. I didn't have time yet to do the French version, but I'll do so in the next few days and it will be posted HERE - If you didn't see yet the original English version, it is available HERE as well as the Dutch and the Portuguese versions. Please help in any way you can to network the information about this important June 21 global Solstice meditation and make preparations for it (organizing a local day-long celebration for instance as some do - click HERE to join others in doing so) if you intend to participate to this unique opportunity for global soul remembrance activation. And of course, there is also the second installment this Sunday of the current Meditation Focus #212: Moving to Higher Ground
DERNIER RAPPEL: L'épisode sur les communes du Québec tourné ici sera présenté le 8 juin prochain à 19:30 à l'émission Tout le monde en parlait à la télévision de Radio-Canada.... Cet épisode sera ensuite entièrement disponible au http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/tout_le_monde_en_parlait/2010/ où vous pourrez trouver les heures de rediffusion de cette émission. Un épisode sur les hippies (et ne portant pas sur notre écohameau) sera également diffusé le 1er juin aux mêmes heures.
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This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2010/MomentTruth21.htm
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"Dear Jean: Thank you for the extraordinary role you play in updating and keeping so many of us lightworkers up to date on what is really occurring on our present world. You spend enormous energy and hours to do so and I am always amazed at how much you accomplish, how well you respond to those who write to you, and your compassion and love for humanity. Your wishes for safe and pure water are just what the world needs to concentrate upon, not just the recognition of the extreme damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, etc. I cannot say thank you well enough for all you do. I read all your postings and it helps me to acknowledge where Earth and our species are, our responsibility as well as the need for our positivity for ingenuities and creative action to help heal self, soul, planet and cosmos."
- Joyce Kovelman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Well done!! How very eloquently put... This could not be more true at this point in our journey. It never ceases to amaze me how many of us reach the identical cross road at almost the same time - the new world is getting ever more real... This reality seems to be fading like the distant sound of voices from the past. Have I thanked you lately for continuing to shine your light on this path for us? The validation I received from your words today was such a gift. Bless you
... We are almost there... See you on the other side."
"ONENESS! Wow, I love stumbling across sites that have been doing the work as long as you have. Love the vintage charm and the timeless information. Great Job. I also Love to see the response from people who are just dropping the scales from their eyes and experiencing the opening of their heart. I agree with the "call to action" that we are to be responsible for who we are; are called to exercise our beingness and cease Mother's Bleeding into the oceans. NOW! If our focus is not peace... (you fill in the blank). In the Highest Vibration of Love."
"Dear Jean, Thank you for inviting me to cross the rainbow bridge, to remember and to pray for a world of colour and innocence and trust. Your dedication to the truth helps me to believe in one of life's sweetest
promises: that the Story is ours for the telling. I am grateful for the light of your heart, Jean and I thank you for all your love in making such a difference in my understanding of these times. This video of 'The Call' and website were put together by some friends from British Columbia. I hope you enjoy: http://awakeningasone.com/ - With LOVE and GRATITUDE from Montreal!"
- Jay Iversen (email@example.com) - Note from Jean: This video is highly recommended!
"The beauty of nature is like a fountain, You see the beauty of the spray, but you do not see the wonders inside the droplets. The astral light and color behind each atom are indescribably beautiful. In this fountain of beauty in nature, you see sometimes only the gross external, not the subtler inner beauty, not the Power that gives beauty to nature. So just whisper this: "O Lord, The moon smiles and the stars twinkle because Thou art sparkling there. O Infinite Beauty, Thou art more beautiful than all things beautiful that comes from Thee. The beauties of nature are but waves of Thy beauty, dancing in Thee, O Invisible Spirit of Beauty !"
I can see laughter, or I can see tears
I see a choice, love or fear
What do you choose?
I can see peace, or I can see war
I can see sunshine, or I can see a storm
What do you choose?
Now I choose to live with freedom flying
From my heart, where the light keeps shining
I choose to feel the whole world crying
For the strength that we can rise above
I choose Love
I choose Love
I can see sharing, or I can see greed
I can see caring, or poverty
What do you choose?
I can see gardens, or I can see bombs
I can see life, or death
Coming on strong
What do you choose?
Now I choose
I see us healing, the darkness dying
I see us dawning, as one world united
So what do you choose?
Love or fear
Oh, we choose
Now I choose to live with freedom flying
From my heart, where the light keeps shining
I choose to feel the whole world crying
I choose to feel one voice rising
I choose to feel us all united
In the strength that we can rise above
I choose Love
I choose Love
Oh, I choose Love
"I think people should know that you derive the greatest satisfaction from serving others, rather than serving yourself. I would want more and more Nigerians to define themselves also in this light of service to the nation and service to humanity."
"Nous réalisons maintenant que seul un changement profond et généralisé de nos comportements individuels et collectifs en tant que consommateurs de ressources et utilisateurs de technologies polluantes parviendra à inverser la destruction accélérée de notre environnement planétaire. Un changement fondamental doit en effet survenir au sein de la conscience humaine pour qu'un tel miracle se produise. C'est au sein de la conscience de chacun d'entre nous que se joue l'avenir de l'humanité et du monde. Et c'est là-même que se prépare le prochain bond quantique de l'évolution anticipé par Peter Russell. La perception que nous avons de nous-même doit changer. L'ensemble des idées et concepts à partir desquels nous construisons notre interprétation de la "réalité", le paradigme intérieur servant de point de référence à notre vision du monde, doit aussi évoluer. Enfin, notre mode de vie devra peu à peu se transformer pour qu'une nouvelle relation synergique émerge avec notre environnement naturel si nous voulons arriver à préserver la viabilité globale de la Terre et permettre une intégration harmonieuse de chacun dans le fonctionnement du super-organisme gaien."
by Curtis Lang (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Jane Sherry
Working Together For Change
As we approach the summertime Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010, an epochal signature in the stars that traditionally indicates the total transformation of cultural, political and economic systems, it appears that we are nearing the end of the Age of Oil, the Age of Globalization.
There's a massive, uncontrolled deep-water oil spill of unknown dimensions thousands of feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. So far neither British Petroleum, the company responsible for the spill, nor the US government, have been able, or willing, to quantify the amount of oil and natural gas being released into the Gulf, nor have any credible solutions to the problem been proposed or implemented.
"The damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades," says Peak Oil expert and Satya Center contributor Richard Heinberg. "The deadly stench from oil-oaked marshesas spring turns to hot, fetid summerwill by itself ruin tens or hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods. Then theres the loss of the seafood industry: were talking about more than the crippling of the economic backbone of the region; anyone whos spent time in New Orleans (my wifes family all live there) knows that the people and culture of southern Louisiana are literally as well as figuratively composed of digested crawfish, shrimp, and speckled trout. Given the historic political support from this part of the country for offshore drilling, and for the petroleum industry in general, this really amounts to sacrificing the faithful on the altar of oil."
". . . This is what the end of the oil age looks like. The cheap, easy petroleum is gone; from now on, we will pay steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanksmore not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet."
"The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff."
It's also time to end our dependence on the oil-based economy of conspicuous consumption and endless economic growth. The ongoing collapse of the global economy makes it imperative that we learn to live in a more frugal and sustainable world civilization.
Several countries in the European Union are currently suffering from a "sovereign debt crisis" reminiscent of similar financial meltdowns that occurred in Latin American and Asian economies over the last thirty years.
This is the first time since the 1930s that advanced industrial countries have experienced such catastrophic collapses in their economies and in their ability to service their debts.
Greece is currently in a state of simmering insurrection in response to the punitive measures forced upon the Greek people by the International Monetary Fund and by the German government, which controls the European Central Bank, and which is co-ordinating the financial community's response to the Greek meltdown.
America's economy is said to be emerging from the Great Recession, but many thoughtful analysts suggest that another dramatic financial downturn is not only possible but highly probable.
North and South Korea are eyeball to eyeball and talking war talk.
The war in Afghanistan is still heating up and although President Obama's plan is for a draw-down of American troops in 2011, at the present time it appears that American drones are extending the battle further into Pakistan every month.
Obama and his bellicose Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, continue to ratchet up tensions between the US and Iran, in an eerie reprise of the tactics President Clinton used to isolate and punish Iraq prior to the formal declaration of war between the two countries under President George W. Bush.
Fear and anxiety are rampant across the globe as people and nations prepare for potential economic disaster and possible new and wider wars in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
People around the world are looking for hope, praying for relief from suffering and asking for help from their Spiritual Guides and Teachers, Angelic Beings of Light, and Divine Source. Jane and I have been focused on the search for spiritual and practical guidance as well.
Message to Lightworkers
Late last night, after working all day on this newsletter, I received some extremely hopeful spiritual guidance while in a meditative state, and I would like to pass along the following message to Lightworkers in the hope that you will be uplifted as I was.
This is the message in a nutshell:
We are witnessing another phase in the ongoing collapse of globalization that we predicted in early 2008, very early in the present crisis.
The world is currently undergoing a crisis that transcends concerns about the end of the age of oil, or class-based political struggles over the proper configuration of rules and regulations in a capitalist economy.
The events described in this newsletter point to a much more fundamental transformation in human affairs that will be required if our civilization is to survive and thrive.
This twin financial and ecological crisis marks the end of the High Industrial Age of Hydrocarbons, brought about by uncontrolled greed and predation in financial markets and by the onset of peak oil production, which guarantees dwindling supplies of the fuels that support our current way of life.
More importantly, this crisis marks the beginning of the end of the culture of hierarchy and male domination that has existed for thousands of years, ever since the establishment of large-scale agriculture, priestly accounting castes, giant-sized grain storage bins, and a predatory, hereditary class of "nobles" in civilizations around the world, from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Europe to Asia.
The great monotheistic religions of the world, which represent the patriarchal model of spiritual aspiration, have declared war on one another.
The great Powers of the world, America, China, and the rest, are positioning themselves to obtain a lion's share of dwindling global hydrocarbon fuels, by peaceful means or by use of military might if necessary.
It is clear to thoughtful observers that the Gulf Oil Spill, global warming, resource wars in the Middle East, and the unbridled greed and predation inflicted upon the world by financial elites represent the ultimate result of a human civilization based upon the domination of society by predatory financial, political and religious elites.
We are slowly destroying the Earth's ability to sustain human life as we know it today. We are impoverishing billions of innocent human beings and concentrating unprecedented wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer predators.
On an individual level, and on a global scale, the current global crises, reflected in the stars by the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010, challenge us to transcend our conflicts with others and to find ways to work together for our mutual benefit and for the overall good of humanity.
The problems of peak oil, resource wars, religious wars, and overly hierarchical societies governed by predatory elites can only be solved by an unprecedented level of co-operation on the individual, family, neighborhood, local, national and global scale.
The great challenge for all of us is to overcome our differences and work together to solve the problems that are common to all humanity.
That's a really tough assignment from the Cosmic Taskmaster, Saturn!
My spiritual Guides tell me that the more we can co-operate with one another to find innovative, equitable solutions to our common problems that will benefit everyone involved, the better the outcome will be for all humanity.
Humanity is now entering a space of transition, a time of choice and commitment, when the old withers and dies, and the new struggles to be born. Humanity is blessed with an opportunity to embrace a new vision for human civilization.
We are entering what my spiritual Guides call an "omnidirectional gateway" with the potential for humanity to make choices that will shape an entirely new reality on planet Earth.
It's important for Lightworkers to understand that this global crisis is a golden opportunity for humanity to choose accelerated spiritual progress, which will manifest as global agreements to avoid environmental disaster, diplomatic solutions among warring nations and co-operation among friends, neighbors and family to implement energy-saving life strategies and local solutions to the twin environmental and energy crises.
Depending on what choices we make, and how well we can learn the lessons of Saturn in Libra, humanity may emerge from this civilizational gateway into a world of total war of all against all, into a world that resembles the Dark Ages, or into a world in which together we find ways to transcend the limits of the current Industrial Age of Global War, Global Markets and Global Environmental Crisis.
The Oil Catastrophe (May 27, 2010) http://www.thenation.com/article/oil-catastrophe
It's hard to grasp the magnitude of the ecological catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. At this point no one is certain how much oil is pouring from the well into the surrounding ocean. BP, adopting an early government estimate, has claimed that it amounts to a mere 5,000 barrels a day, but some scientists say the amount is closer to 60,000 or 70,000 barrels. Taking the lesser of these estimates, that would translate into the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez spill every four days. Given that this has been going on for five weeks at the time of this writing, the gulf has by now absorbed nine such spill equivalents, with more to come. But picturing the 1989 Exxon Valdez spilluntil now the largest in US watersand multiplying by nine does not begin to convey the scale of the disaster. For the first time in history, oil is pouring into the deep currents of a semi-enclosed sea, poisoning the water and depriving it of oxygen so that entire classes of marine species are at risk of annihilation. It is as if an underwater neutron bomb has struck the Gulf of Mexico, causing little apparent damage on the surface but destroying the living creatures below. Who bears responsibility for this unmitigated catastrophe? What should be done in response? (...) What can we learn from all this? It should be obvious that merely tightening safety and environmental procedures on offshore rigs will not be enough to prevent further environmental ruin. As long as the major energy firms continue to rest future profits on wells in ever-deeper watersand government regulators collude with them in thismore catastrophes are inevitable. Clearly, it's policy that has to change, not its implementation.To prevent more ecological disasters, President Obama has to acknowledge the fallacy of his offshore-drilling plan and place a moratorium on all drilling in the Arctic, the Atlantic and new areas of the Gulf of Mexico while the government and industry determine whether it will ever be safe to operate in these waters. As BP's inept response to the crisis shows, the giant firms lack the capacity to control leaks in deep offshore waters, and so any approval of new wells in the gulf must be contingent on developing safety and cleanup technologies equal to the task. In the meantime, every effort must be made to speed the introduction of alternative fuels that pose fewer threats to the natural environment.
Americans wait to learn if top kill will stop oil (May 29, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/29/AR2010052900561.html
ROBERT, La. -- Two days after BP began a risky effort to stop a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, company officials said the operation was going as planned but offered few details, leaving the nation in suspense about whether its worst oil spill would end any time soon.BP PLC warned that it could be Sunday or later before the outcome of its bid to plug the well through an effort known as a "top kill" would succeed.Experts said they could see incremental progress at best from BP's "spillcam" of mud, gas and oil billowing from the seafloor. The hypnotic video has become an Internet sensation as Americans watch and try to fathom whether BP's efforts are working. Scientists say the images may offer clues to whether BP is getting the upper hand in its struggle to contain the oil, said Tony Wood, director of the National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. If the stuff coming out of the pipe is jet black, it is mostly oil and BP is losing. If it is whitish, it is mostly gas and BP is also losing. If it is muddy brown, as it was much of Friday, that may be a sign that BP is starting to win, he said. That "may in fact mean that there's mud coming up and mud coming down as well," which is better than oil coming out, Wood said. Philip W. Johnson, an engineering professor at the University of Alabama, said the camera appeared to show mostly drilling mud leaking from the well Friday morning, and two of the leaks appeared a little smaller than in the past, suggesting the top kill "may have had a slight but not dramatic effect." But Bob Bea, a professor of engineering at University of California at Berkeley who has studied offshore drilling for 55 years, said late Friday that what he saw didn't look promising. He likened the effort to pushing food into a reluctant baby's mouth - it only works if the force of the stuff going down is more than the force of what's coming up."It's obvious that the baby's spitting the baby food back" because the pressure pushing up from the well is stronger, Bea said. CLIP
By the Way... Who Owns BP?... "Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands is a major shareholder (...) JP Morgan Chase Bank, holding 27.74% of the total ordinary issued share capital." And the JP Morgan Chase Bank is apparently owned by the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds ... Hmmm...
As oil blankets Gulf Coast, further evidence of BPs criminality (22 May 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/gulf-m22.shtml
Each passing day brings two basic realities into starker and starker relief: the direct culpability of BP in the Gulf Coast oil spill, and its total incapacity or unwillingness to contain the oil blanketing the shoreline. On Wednesday, Schlumberger, the oilfield services company, which had been contracted to do testing on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, revealed that BP skipped a critical test of the cement seals of the drill well, which would have detected that the cementing job was not adequate.Schlumberger officials said in an email statement that a team of the firms workers were on standby in the two days before the blast, but they never conducted the test they were hired to carry out: an acoustic test of the wells soundness. Instead, they were sent back by helicopter 11 hours before the explosion. Steve Gordon, of Gordon, Elias, & Seely Maritime Lawyers, which represents a number of survivors of the blast, said that this step was taken by BP to cut costs at the expense of safety. The whole basis of the decision was money, he said. This finding presents even more evidence of gross negligence and criminal behavior. Its a conscious disregard for the rights and the welfare of the crew. The news comes after revelations that the company had earlier replaced heavy drilling mud with saltwater prior to capping the well. This highly unusual move may very well have undermined the safety of the rig, since saltwater is easier to displace than drilling mud, making it more likely that a blowout would make its way up the pipe. What the public has found out now clearly raises the actions of BP to the level of criminal behavior, added Gordon. CLIP
Awful News From The Gulf: Explosions Collapse Seafloor At Deepwater Horizon Well Head (May 23, 2010) http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/50368/
A series of explosions appears to have collapsed the seafloor and blown up the BOP at the well head. Oil and gas are billowing out of a depression in the seafloor where the BOP used to be at an exponentially greater rate than anything seen before. My theory: The well consisted of the casing with the drill pipe inside it. The sand and rocks that turned the gusher into a giant sandblaster that blew out holes in the riser pipe at the kinks was coming from the walls of the well that the cement between the casing and the wall was supposed to protect. Therefore, the hole has been getting bigger and bigger and now its like a volcano vent with the piping inside it probably a twisted mess. The relief wells cant possibly stop this because anything they add will just be blown out of the volcano. Now what? - MANY COMMENTS POSTED THERE INCLUDING... "From other blogs and sites I understand the pressure at the wellhead to be approx. 2500psi . High enough to erode even stainless steel . And certainly high enough to have done damage over the last 30 days . I dont expect to hear any verification of the seafloor collapse from MSM , if indeed it did happen ."
LATER THE FOLLOWING WAS ADDED IN RESPONSE TO A COMMENT: "First, Larue is right. I got ahead of the story when I phrased the title and wrote my diary intro. I sincerely apologize for that. Nevertheless, something weird is going on down there. No one appears to be questioning monkeyfisters observations or screenshots at the oil drum and several people noticed the same things. Theres a good discussion going on at the oil drum regarding possible explanations for monkeyfisters observations ranging from ROV thrusters kicking up mud on the bottom, to BP clearing out its straw insertion pipe every couple hours, to BP practicing a Top Kill by slowly adding drilling mud to the choke and kill valves on the BOP (which assumes the BOP is still there), to an enlarged drilling hole similar to the scenario that I described in my intro. BP remains ominously silent and may very well have used a loop to conceal whats happening. Im sticking to my original theory: Gas and oil under enormous pressure is shooting up between the casing and the sedimentary rock wall of the well eroding the wall and widening the hole. As it hits the near freezing seawater at the seafloor, the gas solidifies forming a snowfall of hydrates and the volume of oil is increasing as the hole gets wider, truly a whiskey-tango-foxtrot moment. Meanwhile, follow the discussion on oil drum starting with monkeyfisters comment last night, and/or check back here for updates."
THEN THERE IS THIS OTHER COMMENT: "The oil coming out of the riser pipe portrayed on BPs streaming video looks like it has increased substantially, which is not a good sign. Meanwhile, BP says the flow from the insert pipe has been slowing down for two days, which indicates that its plugging up.Looking at both diagrams, I think the sand and rocks are being eroded from the sedimentary rock wall of the well by the oil and gas gusher, which means the oil and gas gusher is not confined to the area enclosed by the casing and riser pipe. Therefore, the Top Kill and Jam Shot methods wont stop the gusher. If Im right about the well wall eroding, the hole is getting bigger. The BOP is not visible in the streaming video that Ive been looking at.I can only wonder, why?"
AND THIS OTHER OMINOUS ONE FROM AN EXPERT: "... the truly worrisome aspect of the BP blow out is not knowing the reservoir drive mechanism. If it were pure pressure depletion the NG would come out of solution and pressure would drop proportional to the amount of oil produced. But in a water drive reservoir the pressure can remain fairly constant over the life of well and the flow rate doesnt drop until the reservoir is depleted. What makes this blow out so unique and dangerous is that its a cased hole. Had it blown out in a open hole it probably would have collapsed (bridged over) and stopped flowing long before now.
AND THIS CAPER ONE: "If this is true were FUCKED big time! This is no longer a spill its the equivalent of a nuke meltdown! This is a thousand Chernobyls all at once if true! God help us now. Obama can kiss his Presidency all but over if this is true. All people will remember about this guy is that he left BP in charge of this and walked away saying he was powerless. WTF???"
'Knowing' Movie Knew About Oil Rig Explosion (10 MAY 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5WISUquers
More than a few people have noted the Illuminati symbolism in the film Knowing starring Nicholas Cage. But as the video above demonstrates, there may also be predictive programming in the film in regard to the recent oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, Notice that 666 is the first recognizable number when Cage picks up the sheet of paper. Another inside job?There is something odd about the number eleven too. 11.. "11 people missing." "The entire World Trade Center event was underlined with the occultic number 11. Occultists all over the world knew exactly what had happened and who did it." Further on, "The Illuminati ended the First World War according to Albert Pike's occult plan to produce Antichrist. They deliberately ended it on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, on the 11th month. (11 x 3 = 33) The signing of the Armistice agreement was undergirded by three eleven's!" Read more CLIP
OIL RIG DISASTER - HALLIBURTON ALLEGEDLY SABOTAGED THE RIG ! (12 mai 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyEeMS10cs
Was the disaster on the BP rig off the coast of Mexico actually an act of terrorism? Listen to this report from TruthFrequencyRadio.com to learn more. Is there a split in the Bilderberg Group members.... Was this the work for Dick Cheney, with the help of Xe, previously known as Blackwater, in an attempt to prevent The Dutch Royals from tapping into this huge oil field? --- Blackwater personnel hired by Halliburton allegedly rigged the platform with explosives and blew it up to prevent their competitors from being able to lay claim to this huge oil field!
The profit system and the BP oil catastrophe (24 May 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/pers-m24.shtml
As oil from the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico began to wash ashore in large quantities, the Obama administration reiterated its confidence in the giant oil company. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the lead official in the oil pollution crisis, said BP had the necessary technical knowledge. Referring to the companys CEO, Allen said, I trust Tony Hayward. When I talk to him, I get an answer.Appearing on CNNs State of the Union program on Sunday, Allen was asked why the federal government did not take over the effort to cap the well and block the flow of oil, which BP has failed to do for the past month. He replied, What makes this an unprecedented anomalous event is access to the discharge site is controlled by the technology that was used for the drilling, which is owned by the private sector. They have the eyes and ears that are down there. They are necessarily the modality by which this is going to get solved. In other words, the fate of the Gulf Coast, and the millions of people who depend on the Gulf for their livelihood in fishing, boating, tourism and other occupations, are all to be subordinated to the profit interests of the giant multinational oil company. The private sector controls the technology, and that control cannot be challenged. There are many practical grounds to question the US government claim that BP knows best. BP did not drill the well. It hired contractors, like Transocean and Halliburton, to do the job for it. Nor, judging by the experience of the past month, does BP possess either the technical knowledge or the engineering skill to cap the colossal oil leak. (...) In the post-disaster response, it is clear that the companys financial interests, not the ever-expanding environmental destruction, have been the driving force. Critics have pointed out that the procedure being employed this week to cap the well could have been attempted much earlier. It appears that the company did not do so because it hoped that a less drastic approach would make it possible to restore production from what is manifestly a huge pool of oil. Financial concerns also dictated the companys approach to containing the damage from the spill. BP initially released lowball estimates of the quantity of oil escaping from the Deepwater Horizon site, delaying the efforts to protect sensitive wetlands like the Mississippi delta region of Louisiana.The company also stalled proposals to build artificial berms to protect Louisianas barrier islands, because of the enormous cost of moving so many tons of sand. Now it is too late. And on Grand Isle, Louisiana, 40 boom-laying boats hired by BP were sitting idle at the dock as oil began coming ashore on beaches Saturday night. A local government official had to commandeer them for emergency use.When the EPA belatedly reversed its approval for the massive spraying of chemical dispersants, and told BP to switch to chemicals less toxic than the Corexit 9500 it had been using, the company simply refused. BPs main concern in the use of dispersants is cosmetic: it wanted to keep the vast quantities of oil emerging from the Deepwater Horizon site from reaching the surface, where the damage would be immediately visible, and used the chemicals to keep the bulk of the oil under water, with incalculable consequences for the undersea environment. CLIP
What if a hurricane were to slam into the oil slick? (May 24, 2010) http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/31528/what_if_a_hurricane_were_to_sl.asp
While the oil leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is bad enough, many people have been wondering what could happen if a hurricane were to slam into the region.AccuWeather.com hurricane expert Joe Bastardi is concerned about multiple threats from storms throughout the season in the Gulf of Mexico. Bastardi attributes heat rising over the tropical Atlantic to a collapsing El Niño pattern in the Pacific. In turn, the rising warm, moist air over the tropical Atlantic is forecast to unleash a top-10 hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin. With 16 to 18 tropical storms and/or hurricanes expected, a significant number of these are bound to make their way into the Gulf of Mexico. Bastardi expects a little more than 1 out of 3 tropical storms and/or hurricanes to impact U.S. coastal waters this season. The hurricane seasons of 1998, 2005 and 2008 had similarities to the expected pattern this season. Some locations could be hit by more than one storm.In this scenario, much of the central and western Gulf of Mexico could be one of several targets for potential multiple tropical storm and/or hurricane landfalls this year. Depending on the approach of a tropical storm or hurricane, increasing winds and building, massive seas would first halt containment operations.Rough seas would dislodge or destroy protective booms, rendering them useless as the storm draws closer. Next, as the storm rolls through, high winds on the right flank of a hurricane making landfall would cause some oil to become airborne in blowing spray. A storm surge could carry contaminants inland beyond bays, marshes and beaches to well developed locations. Even a glancing blow from a hurricane passing to the west of the oil slick could be enough for winds and wave action to drive the goo nearby onshore, or to more distant fishing and recreation areas, perhaps in foreign waters. During the age of sail, winds occasionally blew ships hundreds of miles offcourse. The wind could have the same effect on the oil slick. Now, imagine several storms during the season doing the same thing. There has been some speculation on the impact an oil slick might have on hurricane intensity, perhaps to the point of limiting the storm's heat- and moisture-grabbing properties. However, high winds from the storm would probably mix the surface of the water and oil to the point, where it would not significantly have an impact.Given the untimely nature of the weather, this could be a nasty summer and autumn dealing with hurricanes in the Gulf, Atlantic and Caribbean, their natural effects and disasters alone, let alone managing the complicating oil slick disaster from the short term weather.
Florida is ground zero for worst oil spill in history: BP oil leak over a million gallons a day (May 24, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-17299-Hernando-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m5d24-Florida-is-ground-zero-for-worst-oil-spill-in-history-BP-oil-leak-is-over-a-million-gallons-a-day
Florida is ground zero for the worst oil spill in history. The 2010 BP oil leak is over a million gallons a day Scientists have confirmed their worst fears on the size of the 2010 BP oil spill. Revised estimates from videos and new calculations confirm that the volcano of oil on the Gulf ocean floor is leaking at a rate of 1.68 million gallons a day, according to Columbia University scientists. The size of the leak has not reportedly decreased since the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, therefore, the 1.68 million gallon rate is more accurate than the 210.000 gallons reported by BP for the past 34 days. BP has been unable to stop the flow, despite several attempts. The next effort, a "top kill" injection of mud and cement, is scheduled for Wednesday May 27. However, that procedure has already ben delayed twice during the past week. It has only a 60% chance of success, according to NBC News. MSNBC's Chris Matthews reported today that "there may be no way to ever stop the leak." He said "These numbers are beyond imagination." If the leak is not stopped until August when relief wells are completed, the Gulf may be forced to swallow 200 million gallons of oil and gas. Governor Crist's office has issued a state of emergency for Florida. In a press release issued May 20, emergency response teams stand ready in 23 counties, including Hillsboro, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and Pinnellas. The oil field the Deepwater Horizon had tapped is said to be the second largest deposit in the world. The oil slick is expected to reach the eastern US coast, now that it has entered the Gulf loop current, and may travel as far as North Carolin in the coming weeks and months.
Benzene the killer! Plans in place to evacuate The Gulf Population (20 MAY 2010) http://gazbom.blogspot.com/2010/05/benzene-killer-plans-in-place-to.html
Plans to evacuate the Gulf are BEGINING TO FLY AROUND THE NET. Benzene, incredible amounts of Benzene are being released into the atmosphere and is a clear and present danger not only for the old and people with respiratory problems but the general Gulf population as a whole.The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that benzene is a human carcinogen, and can cause various forms of cancer from prolonged exposure. Exposed to high levels of benzene show association with leukemia cancer; including acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, and chronic myelogenous leukemia. Benzene-related leukemias have been reported to develop in as short as nine months, (read more below) This is much more serious than they are letting on, especially as one of the options here is to burn the escaping oil! Florida Gulf oil spill: Plans to evacuate Tampa Bay area expected to be announcedGulf Oil Spill 2010: Plans to evacuate Tampa Bay area expected to be announcedPlans to evacuate the Tampa Bay area are expected to be announced in the coming days as FEMA prepares for what is now being called the worst oil disaster in the history of the world. MORE HERE Evacuate Florida!! Good God in Heaven!!! What have these monsters done to us!!Was tuning my sat dish and picked up 'The micro effect radio show' and there is a scientist on there who said they have backup plans to evacuate Florida and eventually the East coast now that the oil is in the loop currents. The slick is releasing huge amounts of Benzene. Benzene will flat out kill ya!! Don't go down there, stay away!!!!(...) Even a small amount of benzene exposure can cause temporary nervous system disorders, immune system depression and anemia. Short term affects include skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation, headache, stomach irritation, drowsiness and dizziness. High levels of exposure can result in a rapid heart rate, excessive bleeding, tremors, vomiting, unconsciousness and death. Benzene can cause harmful effects on bone marrow, and can cause a decrease in red blood cells leading to myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndrome. CLIP
Just Like 9/11? Oil Spill Responders Are Getting Sick ... But Are Being Told They Don't Need Any Safety Gear (May 19, 2010) http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/just-like-911-bp-spill-responders-are.html
The U.S. government suppressed health information after 9/11. For example, as Newsday noted in 2003:In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.That finding is included in a report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA.Because the government lied about the health risks involved, many heroic first responders didn't use any real precautions, and so have gotten sick and died. And see this.The same thing appears to be happening in connection with the Gulf oil spill.Specifically, marine toxicologist Ricki Ott writes:Local fishermen hired to work on BP's uncontrolled oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico are scared and confused. Fishermen here and in other small communities dotting the southern marshes and swamplands of Barataria Bay are getting sick from the working on the cleanup, yet BP is assuring them they don't need respirators or other special protection from the crude oil, strong hydrocarbon vapors, or chemical dispersants being sprayed in massive quantities on the oil slick.Fishermen have never seen the results from the air-quality monitoring patches some of them wear on their rain gear when they are out booming and skimming the giant oil slick. However, more and more fishermen are suffering from bad headaches, burning eyes, persistent coughs, sore throats, stuffy sinuses, nausea, and dizziness. They are starting to suspect that BP is not telling them the truth.And based on air monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a Louisiana coastal community, those workers seem to be correct. The EPA findings show that airborne levels of toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, for instance, now far exceed safety standards for human exposure.***There is no excuse for sick people. BP and the federal agencies charged with worker safety know that the risks of working on a hazardous waste cleanup are extraordinarily high and that it will take a concerted effort to keep workers safe and healthy. Further, it will take an equally extraordinary effort by BP and the federal government to protect public health in coastal communities downwind or downstream from the toxic stew in the Gulf.Yet I don't see either BP or the federal government taking sufficient--or any--action to prevent human tragedy in the form of acute and likely long-term illnesses from its uncontrolled leak.
Boats Pulled off Oil Cleanup after Crews Get Ill (May 27, 2010) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/27/national/main6523511.shtml
(CBS/AP) The U.S. Coast Guard has pulled commercial fishing boats from oil cleanup efforts in Breton Sound off the Louisiana coast after several people became ill. According to CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans, seven people were admitted into the West Jefferson Medical Center for treatment. The Coast Guard says crew members on three vessels reported nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains Wednesday afternoon. One person needed to be airlifted to the hospital. Taslin Alfonso, a hospital spokesman, said the workers believe the chemical dispersant used to break up the oil spill caused their symptoms, but doctors won't know for sure until their examinations are complete, according to WWL. CLIP
Gulf of Mexico oil spill in the Loop Current (19 May 2010) http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMBKST889G_index_0.html"
Scientists monitoring the US oil spill with ESAs Envisat radar satellite say that it has entered the Loop Current, a powerful conveyor belt that flows clockwise around the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida. "With these images from space, we have visible proof that at least oil from the surface of the water has reached the current," said Dr Bertrand Chapron of Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea. (...) "Now that oil has entered the Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida within six days," Dr Chapron said. "Since Envisat ASAR, ERS-2 and other SAR satellites are systematically planned to acquire data over the area, we will monitor the situation continuously." The scientists warn however that since the Loop Current is a very intense, deep ocean current, its turbulent waters will accelerate the mixing of the oil and water in the coming days. "This might remove the oil film on the surface and prevent us from tracking it with satellites, but the pollution is likely to affect the coral reef marine ecosystem," Dr Collard said. Combined efforts using satellite imagery and in-situ measurements of collected water samples will help to assess whether oil is in the deep waters of the ocean. The Loop Current joins the Gulf Stream the northern hemispheres most important ocean-current system sparking fears that oil could enter this system and be carried up to the US East Coast.
BP: Obama's Do-Nothing "Root Causes" Commission (27 May 2010) http://www.truthout.org/bp-oil-spill-ecosystem-slowly-being-murdered59903
Obama had this frozen, robotic expression on his face when he announced that he'd put his signature on the executive order establishing the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He looked a bit like he'd been replaced with an animatronic doll, one programmed to speak very eloquently and say precisely nothing. Obama's commission is supposed to carry out a six-month investigation into the reasons underlying the explosion of the Deepwater Horizons offshore drilling rig. Securely informed and enlightened by such knowledge, the United States will be able to "prevent and mitigate the impact of any spills that result from offshore drilling." (...) Except there's a way out - a planned conversion to green energy via an Apollo project. These are root causes, and you can forecast that the commission will not discern them with as much certainty as you can predict the sun's daily rise in the East. And then there will be another Deepwater Horizons poisoning our waters and our atmosphere and another Exxon Valdez spilling black crude all over pristine estuaries and penguin colonies. CLIP
Obama: Love me, hate BP (May 28, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-39383-Capitalist-Examiner~y2010m5d28-Obama-Love-me-hate-BP
Barack Obama's press conference yesterday (transcript here), his first in about 10 months (imagine the media letting George W. Bush get away with that), was little more than another excercise in Obama narcissism.His message regarding the Gulf oil spill was repeatedly bipolar, coming across as "we're taking credit for anything that goes right and avoiding blame for anything that doesn't." (...) It's a safe bet that the large majority of the 20,000 are in fact working for BP. As usual, Obama aggrandizes the government's role.Much the rest of his message was a strange mix of "we're in charge" and "BP are really the experts." Consider some of these statements:(...) In other words, the federal government is extremely busy appearing to be "helping", at least when they're not talking about how much they're gonna make BP pay. (I count 6 references specifically to costs being incurred or to be incurred by BP in this one press conference.) CLIP
A Crude Awakening: Bill McKibben on BP's Mess (May 17, 2010) - Radio interview http://www.thetakeaway.org/2010/may/17/crude-awakening-bill-mckibben-bps-mess/
What can the oil spill teach us about the industrialized world? According to author and environmental activist, Bill McKibben, environmental damage is no longer the result of something going wrong, but the result of something working pretty much as it's supposed to. He hopes that even if the spill is capped soon, it will lead to a more aggressive approach to protecting the environment."There's an invisible spill pouring into our atmoshpere every day doing the same kind of damage" as the spill, says Bill McKibben. He talks to us from Beijing about what larger lessons we can take from the oil gusher. McKibben is the author of "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet." -- Watch also a 16 min eye-opening interview with Bill McKibben on the May 17, 2010 Charlie Rose Show http://www.charlierose.com/
BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant (May 23, 2010) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-20100523,0,907236.story
Oil washes ashore on 50 miles of Louisiana shoreline as tensions mount over how to treat the spill in the Gulf of Mexico. -- Reporting from Los Angeles and Elmer's BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be "the best option for subsea application." On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the London-based company 72 hours to replace the dispersant Corexit 9500 or to describe in detail why other dispersants fail to meet environmental standards. The agency on Saturday released a 12-page document from BP, representing only a portion of the company's full response. Along with several dispersant manufacturers, BP claimed that releasing its full evaluation of alternatives would violate its legal right to keep confidential business information private.» But in a strongly worded retort, the EPA said that it was "evaluating all legal options" to force BP to release the remaining information "so Americans can get a full picture of the potential environmental impact of these alternative dispersants. "So far, 715,000 gallons of dispersant has been applied since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, mostly on the spill's surface. The chemical has also been released near the leaking pipe on the seafloor. Government officials have justified both uses, saying that if oil reaches the shore, it would do more environmental harm than if it were dispersed off the coast. Dispersants break oil into droplets that decompose more quickly. But scientists worry that extensive use of the chemicals in the BP spill is increasing marine life's exposure to the toxins in oil. CLIP
Obama's Crude Awakening: Offshore Oil Drilling Is Ecologically Devastating and Must End (May 15, 2010) http://www.climateark.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=gulf_oil_spill
U.S. oil addiction is killing American and global ecology. An international wake-up call must be delivered to both the administration and Congress, to focus more effort upon reducing the demand for oil. The risks and costs of offshore oil exploration far outweigh their benefits, and the U.S. would be better off focusing upon promoting alternative energy sources. Will virtually every remaining intact ecosystem be razed to access every last bit of oil before we transition to lower energy use, a low carbon economy and renewable energy? New estimates are the Gulf Oil Spill is leaking at least 10 times the amount of oil as previous estimates of 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons, or 795,000 liters) a day, meaning the ongoing spill already far exceeds the Exxon Valdez accident. BP has shown it lacks the necessary capacity to handle the spill, as capping the leak has taken too long, and the cleanup will be massive. Given the extent of the ongoing spill, and the potential for the spill to spread more widely during the hurricane season, the federal government must immediately nationalize the spill response and take the lead in capping the leak and containing the spill. The Gulf Oil Spill is a clarion call to implement comprehensive climate and energy policies that address U.S. oil addiction. The first step is to ensure offshore drilling does not accelerate. Obama and his top deputies have yet to talk about reducing the nation's dependence on fossil fuels in connection with the oil spill. The underlying cause of this disaster is our dangerous and dirty addiction to oil. This addiction is killing American and global ecology. An international wake-up call must be delivered to both the administration and Congress, to focus more effort upon reducing the demand for oil, and end offshore oil drilling. TAKE ACTION HERE NOW
Why Is It So Hard to Stop the Oil Gusher, Why Was Such Extreme Deepwater Drilling Allowed in the First Place? (May 23, 2010) http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/big-picture-why-was-deepwater-drilling.html
The government failed to properly ensure that BP used adequate safety measures, BP and their contractors were criminally negligent for the oil spill, and BP has tried to cover up the problem. See this. But why hasn't BP stopped the leak? Some people assume that BP hasn't stopped the oil leak because it's people are wholly incompetent. Others have asked whether BP's $75 million liability cap is motivating it to stall by taking half-hearted measures until it's relief well drilling is complete. But there is another possible explanation: the geology - as well the deepwater pressures - at the drilling site makes stopping the leak more difficult than we realize. Does the Geology of the Spill Zone Make It Harder to Stop the Oil Spill? We can't understand the big picture behind the Gulf oil spill unless we know the underwater geology of the seabed and the underlying rocks.
(...) If the geology at Block 252 is like that described by Anderson and Boulanger for the Gulf oil region as a whole, then it might be difficult to stop the oil gusher without completing relief wells (which will take a couple of months). Again, if there are salt layers right under the sea floor, high porosity near the surface or salt movement, then sealing the leak by plugging the risers and blowout preventer might not work. The oil pressure is coming up at such high pressures that sealing the leaking equipment at the level of the seabed might just mean the oil will flow out somewhere else nearby. The government must publicly release details of the geology under the spill site. The American people - and people in Mexico, Cuba and other countries which might be affected by the spill - have a right to know what we're dealing with. Until it does so, people will not have be understand what is going on. And failing to release such information may prevent creative scientists from around the world from coming up with a workable solution.
(...) While BP, its subcontractors, and the government were all negligent with regard to the Deepwater Horizon operation, it must be remembered that drilling at such depths is new technology, operating in largely uncharted conditions. As such, the dangers of deepwater drilling in general should not be underestimated. The geology of the oil-rich region in the Gulf - as well as the deep, high-pressure conditions - makes drilling difficult, and containing oil spills challenging.
(...) Indeed, Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the Iraq war alone will cost $3-5 trillion dollars. And economist Anita Dancs writes:Each year, our military devotes substantial resources to securing access to and safeguarding the transportation of oil and other energy sources. I estimate that we will pay $90 billion this year to secure oil. If spending on the Iraq War is included, the total rises to $166 billion. Are you starting to get the picture? In addition, experts say that the Iraq war has increased the threat of terrorism.
(...) Personally, I strongly believe that it is vital for our national security - and our economy - to switch from dependence on oil to a basket of alternative energies. As I pointed out Friday: It's not just the one BP oil rig. For example, since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20th, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. Then there are the 12 new oil and gas drilling rigs launched in the U.S.this week. And a whistleblower who survived the Gulf oil explosion claims in a lawsuit that BP's operations at another oil platform risk another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the Gulf oil spill, partly because BP never even reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation. CLIP
White House admits BP disaster worst spill in US history (26 May 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/gulf-m26.shtml
After downplaying for weeks the significance of the Gulf Coast oil spill, the White House admitted on Monday that the Deepwater Horizon disaster constitutes the worst oil spill in US history. The admission from the White House comes as the Obama administration continues to insist that the response to the oil spill remain in the hands of BP.I dont think there is any doubt, unfortunately, Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, said Monday on CBS The Early Show. Some scientists estimate that the spill has already released 2.5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, ten times more than that released by the Exxon Valdez in 1989. The admission from the Obama administration came after Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced on Monday that 70 miles of coastline had been contaminated by heavy crude oil. That is more than the seashore line of Maryland and Delaware combined, he said.Popular anger has grown against both BP and the Obama administration as the enormous dimensions of the spill have become clear. A CBS poll released Tuesday showed that only 16 percent of the American people approve of the job that BP is doing, while 70 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, only 45 percent of those surveyed said they approve the Obama administrations handling of the spill.
(...) On Tuesday, it was once again Obamas turn to appear to be angry and frustrated, with the administration leaking to the press the presidents demand that BP plug the damn hole. But tough talk from Obama and Salazar has not been joined to any appreciable policy change. Even largely symbolic gestures from the White House have simply been dismissed by the London-based oil giant. Last Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave BP 72 hours to stop spraying Corexit 9500, a highly toxic dispersant used to break up oil in the sea, until more data comparisons could be run against otherand by the EPAs own data less toxic and more effective dispersants. BP simply flouted the injunction, and EPA head Lisa Jackson found herself on Tuesday again defending the response to the spill, accusing critics of Monday-morning quarterbacking in an interview with National Public Radio. While the failures to stop the oil spill have created a political crisis for the Obama administration, its main concern is that any move to challenge BPs control will raise the broader question of corporate control over the economy as a whole.
(...) The Obama administrations decision to leave BP in charge of the oil spill is entirely predictable. This is the same government that has turned over trillions in public money to the very Wall Street finance houses that in 2008 triggered the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, destroying hundreds of millions of jobs the world over. Just as Wall Street seized on the financial crisis to secure new riches, BPs cleanup is guided by its determination to defend corporate revenue and limit its liability for the destruction of the Gulf Coasts environmentand with it tens of thousands of jobs. The same motivation lies behind the Obama administrations insistence that only BP has the expertise to handle the disaster. A similar argumentthat only the oil industry has the know-how to monitor its own activitieshas been advanced by Republican and Democratic politicians for decades in order to advance deregulation. Deregulation, it is now clear, created the conditions for the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, which took the lives of 11 workers. The Obama administration, along with the entire media and political establishment, unconditionally defends the principle that the economy must be controlled by corporations, operating in the pursuit of private profit and the accumulation of individual wealth. It is this premise that explains the utterly feckless character of the governments response.
BP Played Key Role In Botched Exxon Valdez Response (05/25/10) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/bp-exxon-valdez-response-gulf-oil-spill_n_588335.html
Since a busted oil well began spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico a month ago, the catastrophe has constantly been measured against the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The Alaska spill leaked nearly 11 million gallons of crude, killed countless animals and tarnished the owner of the damaged tanker, Exxon. Yet the leader of botched containment efforts in the critical hours after the tanker ran aground wasn't Exxon Mobil Corp. It was BP PLC, the same firm now fighting to plug the Gulf leak.BP owned a controlling interest in the Alaska oil industry consortium that was required to write a cleanup plan and respond to the spill two decades ago. It also supplied the top executive of the consortium, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. Lawsuits and investigations that followed the Valdez disaster blamed both Exxon and Alyeska for a response that was bungled on many levels. People who had a front row seat to the Alaska spill tell The Associated Press that BP's actions in the Gulf suggest it hasn't changed much at all. The Gulf leak has grown to at least 6 million gallons since an oil rig exploded April 20, killing 11, and is almost certain to overtake Valdez as the nation's worst oil spill. Watching the current crisis is like reliving the Valdez disaster for an attorney who headed the legal team for the state-appointed Alaska Oil Spill Commission that investigated the 1989 spill."I feel this horrible, sickening feeling," said Zygmunt Plater, who now teaches law at Boston College.The Alaska spill occurred just after midnight on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez tanker carrying more than 50 million gallons of crude hit a reef after deviating from shipping lanes at the Valdez oil terminal. Years of cost cutting and poor planning led to staggering delays in response over the next five hours, according to the state commission's report. What could have been an oil spill covering a few acres became one that stretched 1,100 miles, said Walter Parker, the commission's chairman. (...) Onshore, BP has been criticized for the pace of improvements at some refineries. Government officials gave BP a massive $87 million fine for failing to make improvements in the five years since a blast killed 15 at its massive Texas City refinery. BP is appealing the fine. For those who endured the Valdez spill and are now watching another catastrophe unfold, industry improvements aren't coming fast enough."We've gone 20 years since Exxon Valdez and have advanced ourselves as a nation and world tremendously, yet the ability to control and deal with something of this magnitude still has not been addressed," said former Homer Mayor John Calhoun, who choked up at the memories. "This is as serious and difficult a situation as you can possibly imagine."
BP Could Have EASILY Contained the Gulf Oil Spill AND the Exxon Valdez Spill ... But They Were Too Cheap to Do It (May 8, 2010) http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/bp-could-have-easily-contained-gulf-oil.html
In a new expose, award-winning investigative reporter Greg Palast shows that BP was largely responsible for the Exxon Valdez spill: "In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon's name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was ... British Petroleum (BP).***Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.***What's so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates. That's because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap. To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a "boom." Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.But there's one thing about the rubber skirts: you've got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is operating A-O.K. Because rapid response is the key. In Alaska, that was BP's job, as principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska. It is, as well, BP's job in the Gulf, as principal lessee of the deepwater oil concession.
Must-See Video Shows BP Gulf Spill & Toxic Dispersants Underwater http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/must-see-video-shows-bp-gulf-spill-toxic-dispersants-underwater.php
(...) ABC invited Planet Green correspondent Phillipe Cousteau to dive into the oily mess and see what the water column actually looks like for the first time. And suffice to say, Cousteau's reaction wasn't one of optimism . . .This video is a great example of the potential dangers of relying on the dispersant Corexit, a toxic chemical that is said to render oil relatively harmless by speeding the evaporation of its toxic elements. But as we definitively see here, the oil is being pushed into the water column, where it swirls about in a mass below the surface -- where the dispersant-affected oil can impact fish and other marine life. CLIP See the video at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/diving-gulfs-toxic-soup-10735329
Government Workers Tasked With Gulf Oil Industry Oversight Accepted Gifts (May 25, 2010) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/25-5
WASHINGTON, DC - Staffers in the the Lake Charles, Louisiana district office of the Minerals Management Service accepted sport event tickets, lunches, and other gifts from oil and gas production companies and used government computers to view pornography, finds a report by the Department of the Interior Inspector General released today. Some of these same staffers were tasked with inspections of offshore drilling platforms located in the Gulf of Mexico, states the report on ethical lapses at the MMS between 2000 and 2008 written by Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall. CLIP
Oil Follies in the Arctic (May 25, 2010) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/25-6
Sometimes the future is filled with surprises. On other occasions, it can be painfully predictable. In the case of drilling for oil in the extreme reaches of America's Arctic seas, the latter is the case. BP's catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, growing worse by the hour, is a living lesson in what will happen, sooner or later, if America's Arctic waters are opened to the giant oil companies. If their drill rigs arrive, rest assured, despoliation will follow; and barring the sort of quick action by President Obama or Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that Congressional representatives are increasingly calling for, rest assured as well that they will come. Despite the sobering vision of BP's colossal mess in the Gulf, Shell Oil is reportedly "moving vessels and other equipment from distant locations, in preparation for assembling its Arctic drilling fleet" in Alaskan Arctic waters this summer to bore test wells. The company apparently has no second thoughts on the subject. The difference between the Gulf of Mexico and those northern waters is this: the climate is far less conducive to clean-up operations. If Shell were to "BP" the Alaskan Arctic, despite its effusive claims for the safety of its drilling operations and similarly profuse promises that it's ready to cap and clean the oil spills it essentially insists can't happen, real help would be in short supply and a long way off.If the oil company is allowed to go through with its drilling plans in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and anything goes wrong, the nearest Coast Guard base would be almost 1,000 miles distant, the nearest cleanup vessels and equipment too few and 100 miles away, the nearest airports capable of handling large cargo planes similarly at least 100 miles away, and the nearest "major potential supply city," Seattle, a couple of thousand miles away. Combine this with extreme local conditions and you have a surefire recipe for turning "drill, baby, drill" into "disaster, baby, disaster." CLIP
White House to Suspend Arctic Oil Drilling (May 27, 2010) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/27/politics/main6523124.shtml
Shell Had Exploratory Drilling Contracts Pending this Summer, but Interior Secretary Hitting the Brakes -- (CBS/AP) The Obama administration is suspending proposed exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says in a report to be delivered to the White House on Thursday that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011. Shell Oil is poised to begin exploratory drilling this summer on leases as far as 140 miles offshore. An administration official familiar with the plan said Salazar wants to allow further study of proposed drilling technology and oil spill response capabilities in Arctic waters. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan is not yet public. Salazar has said he wants to take a cautious approach in the Arctic. (...) An administration official said Salazar believes that fisheries, tourism and environmental values in Bristol Bay make the area inappropriate for oil and gas drilling. Shell, which has leases in both the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, had sought to begin drilling five exploratory wells in those areas this summer. Salazar's announcement means those wells will not be considered until 2011. CLIP
Obama Extends Moratorium on Offshore Drilling (May 27, 2010) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/27/politics/main6523412.shtml
(CBS/AP) Escalating his administration's response to the disastrous Gulf oil spill, President Barack Obama announced Thursday a moratorium on new deepwater oil drilling permits will be continued for six months while a presidential commission investigates, a White House aide said. CLIP
BPing the Arctic? http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175253/tomgram%3A_subhankar_banerjee%2C_oil_follies_in_the_arctic/#more
Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf? (...) Can Oil Be Cleaned Up under Arctic Ice? Unfortunately, as you've already guessed, I'm not here just to tell you about the glories -- and extremity -- of the Alaskan Arctic, which happens to be the most biologically diverse quadrant of the entire circumpolar north. I'm writing this piece because of the oil, because under all that life and beauty in the melting Arctic there's something our industrial civilization wants, something oil companies have had their eyes on for a long time now.If you've been following the increasing ecological devastation unfolding before our collective eyes in the Gulf of Mexico since BP's rented Deepwater Horizon exploratory drilling rig went up in flames (and then under the waves), then you should know about -- and protest -- Shell Oil's plan to begin exploratory oil drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas this summer. On March 31st, standing in front of an F-18 "Green Hornet" fighter jet and a large American flag at Andrews Air Force Base, President Obama announced a new energy proposal, which would open up vast expanses of America's coastlines, including the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, to oil and gas development. Then, on May 13th, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed a victory to Shell Oil. It rejected the claims of a group of environmental organizations and Native Inupiat communities that had sued Shell and the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to stop exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic seas.Fortunately, Shell still needs air quality permits from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as final authorization from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar before the company can send its 514-foot drilling ship, Frontier Discoverer, north this summer to drill three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea and two in the Beaufort Sea. Given what should by now be obvious to all about the dangers of such deep-water drilling, even in far less extreme climates, let's hope they don't get either the permits or the authorization.On May 14th, I called Robert Thompson, the current board chair of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL). "I'm very stressed right now," he told me. "We've been watching the development of BP's oil spill in the Gulf on television. We're praying for the animals and people there. We don't want Shell to be drilling in our Arctic waters this summer." CLIP
Sweep and Suck the Oil from the Surface of the Sea (May 24, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19304
Dutch Response Team Presents Solution for US Oil Disaster -- Two Dutch companies are on stand-by to help the Americans tackle an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. The two companies use huge booms to sweep and suck the oil from the surface of the sea. The US authorities, however, have difficulties with the method they use. What do the Dutch have that the Americans don't when it comes to tackling oil spills at sea? "Skimmers," answers Wierd Koops, chairman of the Dutch organisation for combating oil spills, Spill Response Group Holland. The Americans don't have spill response vessels with skimmers because their environment regulations do not allow it. With the Dutch method seawater is sucked up with the oil by the skimmer. The oil is stored in the tanker and the superfluous water is pumped overboard. But the water does contain some oil residue, and that is too much according to US environment regulations. US regulations contradictory Wierd Koops thinks the US approach is nonsense, because otherwise you would have to store the surplus seawater in the tanks as well."We say no, you have to get as much oil as possible into the storage tanks and as little water as possible. So we pump the water, which contains drops of oil, back overboard."US regulations are contradictory, Mr Knoops stresses. Pumping water back into the sea with oil residue is not allowed. But you are allowed to combat the spill with chemicals so that the oil dissolves in the seawater. In both cases, the dissolved oil is naturally broken down quite quickly. It is possible the Americans will opt for the Dutch method as the damage the oil spill could cause to the mud flats and salt marshes along the coast is much worse, warns Wetland expert Hans Revier. "You have to make sure you clear up the oil at sea. As soon as the oil reaches the mud flats and salt marshes, it is too late. The only thing you can do then is dig it up. But then the solution is worse than the problem." Wadden Sea experimentsHans Revier, lector in Marine Wetland Studies at the Stenden College in Leeuwarden, recollects experiments in the Dutch Wadden Sea wetlands. When combined oil and gas pipelines were to be laid in the area, experiments to combat potential oil spills were held. "It turned out that dissolving the oil with chemicals caused more damage than the oil itself. And burning the oil didn't help either. That leaves just one solution: to allow nature to take its course. It took almost ten years for the oil to break down naturally from the tanker Amoco Cadiz which stranded off the French coast in 1978 and for the environment to recover." That leaves the Americans no alternative. If they want to save the mud flats and salt marshes along the coast they will have to adopt the Dutch method. It can be done very quickly, because only the oil skimmers need to be flown across the Atlantic and placed on local tankers, explains Mr Koops. CLIP
Researchers begin studying long-term effects of oil spill on marine life (May 25, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0525-hance_longterm_oil.html
As a White House official today announced that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst in US historysurpassing even the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 (which is still affecting the area today)marine biologist are beginning to prepare studies to monitor how the spill will impact the gulf in the long-term. Scientists have begun collecting and analyzing three different mollusk species from the Gulf coastoysters, clams, and periwinklesto determine if contaminants from the spill have already invaded these species' shells. Mollusks continuously build their shells, and if pollution is present in the environment they may incorporate the contaminants into their shells. (...) Recent research on the long-term affects of the Exxon Mobil spill found that Harlequin ducks, which are particularly susceptible to oil pollution, were still exposed to residual oil twenty years after the spill occurred. Harlequin ducks feed on invertebrates like insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. If they are still impacted, it is likely other vulnerable species are as well.
BP and the Perilous Voyage of Bama the Manatee (May 23, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0523-kozloff_manatee.html
To the degree that Americans are paying attention to the environmental plight of marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, they may focus most upon dolphins and whales. However, the U.S. public is much less familiar with another marine mammal, the manatee, which could also be placed in jeopardy as a result of the BP oil spill. (...) In the wake of BPs disaster, the manatee could be in for a rough patch. Indeed, oil could ultimately result in death or significant injury in the event that manatees are exposed to petroleum. The docile sea creature, which can be found along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, could ingest oil-damaged sea grass beds and other vegetation. If the marine mammals come into contact with surface oil, this could irritate their eyes and mucous membranes while clogging the animals nostrils. CLIP
MUCH MORE ON THIS WHOLE TERRIBLE MESS THROUGH THIS LINK
Massive Underground Coal Fire Started in 1962 Still Burns Today (12. 7.09) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/12/underground-coal-fire-centralia-started-1962-burns.php?campaign=TH_sbr_popular
You may have already heard the story of Centralia, PA, a coal mining town that had some 1,000 inhabitants at its peak. Now, that population is down to 9. It's become a ghost town for one of the most bizarre reasons imaginable--a fire started in 1962 to burn trash in a dump inadvertently spread to a coal seam underground and has simply never stopped burning. The most recent report, published Dec. 1st in the Bismarck Tribune, confirms that the fire continues to this day--it's lasted an incredible 47 years so far. (...) Now, the story of Centralia, while fascinating due to its intriguing narrative and dramatic history, is by no means unique. Decades-burning coal fires are unfortunately rather commonplace. In fact, it's estimated that a stunning 2-3% of the entire world's industrial carbon emissions may come from uncontained coal fires in China alone--where such fires burn20 million tons of coal a year. The Tribune explains: Such unwanted coal fires rage or smolder in the United States, South Africa, Australia, China, India and beyond. They are burning in huge volumes in rural China and blazing in a district of India to such a great extent the flames from some surface coal fires are more than 20 feet high. Here in the U.S., they are burning in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Colorado and Wyoming as you read these words. An underground coal fire is nearly impossible to control, and since many other materials are burned along with the coal, large amounts of other greenhouse gases like methane are released as well. Such fires have raged for decades--and are still raging--in Colorado and Pennsylvania. Coal fires have been called a 'global catastrophe', and for good reason. The world's worst are thought to be in China, India, and Indonesia, but obviously, they're endemic wherever coal stores are found. Technology is slowly being developed to aid the fight in extinguishing the coal fires--let's hope it's ready sooner rather than later, as these fires are atrocious polluters, and an unnecessary danger to human life.
SPECIAL CALLS FOR HEALING ASSISTANCE FOR MOTHER EARTH
Today the Grandmothers woke me with this message and asked me to send it out. Please forward it on so we reach as many people as possible.
"We ask you to cast, anchor, and hold the Net of Light steady for the Gulf of Mexico," the Grandmothers said. "This crisis is affecting the entire world, and humanity is asleep. Wake up!" they cried. "Animals are dying, plants are dying, and your Mother is writhing in agony. If you hold the Net of Light steady at this time you will help stave off further catastrophe.
"You have been lulled into a false sleep," they said, "told that others (B.P.) will take care of this problem. This is not so," they said. "And this is not the time for you to fall into oblivion. Determine now to stay awake, and once you have made that commitment, think of, cast, and hold the Net of Light. Hold it deep and hold it wide. Amplify its reach to penetrate the waters of the Gulf and dive deep beneath the crust of Mother Earth. Anchor it at the earth's core and as you hold it there, ask it to unify with the mineral kingdom of this planet. It will do this and will harmonize with all the solid and liquid mineral states on earth-including oil and gas. The Net of Light will call these minerals back into harmony. Men have wreaked havoc. They have abused the kingdoms of life on earth for many years, but this time their destruction has reached crisis proportions.
"Whatever human beings have damaged, human beings must correct," the Grandmothers said. "This is the law. We repeat: This is the law. You cannot sit back and ask God to fix the mess humanity has created. Each of you must throw your shoulders to the wheel and work. We are asking for your help. Several years ago we gave you the Net of Light so you would be able to help the earth at times like this. Step forward now. This is the Net of Light that will hold the earth during the times of change that are upon you," they said.
"First move into your heart and call on us. We will meet you there. The Net of Light is lit by the jewel of your heart," they said, "so move into this lighted place within you and open to the Net of which you are a part. Bask in its calming presence. It holds you at the same time that you hold it.
"Now think of magnifying your union with us. We, the Great Council of the Grandmothers, are with you now, and all those who work with the Net of Light are also with you. There are thousands, even millions now connected in light," they said. "Along with this union, call forth the power of the sacred places on earth. These will amplify the potency of our joint effort. Then call on the sacred beings that have come to prevent the catastrophe that threatens to overwhelm your planet. We will work together," they said, nodding slowly.
"Think of, cast and magnify the presence of the Net of Light in the Gulf of Mexico. See, imagine or think of it holding the waters, holding the land, the plants, the sea life, and the people. Holding them all!" they said.
"The Net of Light is holding them steady; it is returning them to balance. Let the love within your lighted heart keep pouring into the Net of Light and hold, hold, hold. Calmly and reverently watch as the light from your heart flows along the strands of the Net. It will follow your command and continuously move forth. As soon as you think of it, it will happen. We ask you to practice this for only a few minutes at a time, but to repeat it throughout the day and night.
"We promise that this work with the Net of Light will do untold good," the Grandmothers said. "We are calling you to service now. You are needed. Do not miss this opportunity. We thank you and bless you."
SIOUX PRAYER REQUEST- A letter from Chief Arvol Looking Horse
(Present Chief and Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation of the Sioux)
Gulf Coast Oil Spill - Sioux Prayer Request
****** A Great Urgency ******
To All Nations
Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.
We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.
The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.
I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.
I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).
We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on. As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.
So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and well-being, and the generations to come.
Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
- Recommended by Suzanne Ward (email@example.com), Meria Heller (firstname.lastname@example.org) and several others
"Shine as much love and light as you can on the Gulf oil spill, as often as you can."
"The root of this environmental destructiveness is the intention of a few minds steeped in greed to keep your world dependent upon petroleum, and to that end, they have suppressed the developments in free energy that would have eliminated their source of mammoth fortunes. The relentless pursuit of monetary wealth has withered their conscience, thus there is no consideration given to the potential effects of desecrating the environment; and they don't understand that Earth is a highly evolved soul, a sentient being whose blood is the fluids within her planetary body. We cannot say exactly when attempts to end the spewing of the oil will be successful, but this manmade disaster requires a manmade solution. We know of your visualizing marine life safe in pristine waters and your prayers that the oil will not reach coastlines. By all means continuenever underestimate your power to change any situation! (...) If every cloud has a silver lining, as your expression goes, then you could say that this cloud is surrounded by a brilliance that is billowing ever outward through your skies. The oil spill has given rise to demands for changes to insure that never again will such a disaster imperil your natural world. "Big Oil" will not be able to stem the growing tide of people curtailing gasoline consumption and looking for substitutes for petroleum-based products. This is adding impetus to efforts to create a "green world" through renewable energy sources; clean manufacturing; ending pollution from all sources; expanding recycling and stopping wastefulness; preserving rain forests, which are essential not only for animal habitats, but your very breath. You see these recent or extended developments as promising, and rightly so. We wish you also could see how lighted beings throughout the universe are cheering on the "grassroots movement" as it surges in many directions. Along with growing emphasis in those crucial areas is the ever louder outcry to end corporate control of governments; negotiate resolutions instead of wage war; eliminate massive impoverishment; end the reign of chemicals; and dig deeper into the pockets of corruption and deception, where only the tips of those icebergs are apparent. "
- Matthew - Taken from his May 19 message which covers Gulf of Mexico oil spill; grassroots efforts for "green world"; truth disclosures speeding up; Earth's energy field of potential; Illuminati, clones; astrological influences; history, new direction of religions.
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Statement on an un-released brief to President Eisenhower (filmed on May 8th, 2010) http://brieftoeisenhower.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/former-legislator-makes-statement-on-un-released-eisenhower-brief/
(...) I would like to submit to our nation my personal testimony of one document related to one of these ongoing topics which I saw while in office, serving on the State Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee. The document I saw was an official brief to President Eisenhower. To the best of my memory this brief was pervaded with a sense of hope, and it informed President Eisenhower of the continued presence of extraterrestrial beings here in the United States of America. The brief seemed to indicate that a meeting between the President and some of these visitors could be arranged as appropriate if desired. The tone of the brief indicated to me that there was no need for concern, since these visitors were in no way, causing any harm, or had any intentions, whatsoever, of causing any disruption then, or in the future. While I cant verify the times or places or that any meeting or meetings occurred directly between Eisenhower and these visitors because of his optimism in his farewell address in 1961, I personally believe that Eisenhower did, indeed, meet with these extraterrestrial, off world astronauts. CLIP - Recommended by Natalie Mannering (email@example.com) who wrote: "After all the rumors about Obama Disclosing on national TV last year had died down, I read somewhere that it would actually begin very quietly in the US, and would even go unnoticed in some circles. I had a hunch that was correct, and when I saw this, felt it could well be that beginning..." Watch the whole historic statement through President told aliens are on earth - EX US President Eisenhower was briefed about the presence of extraterrestrial intelligent beings on Earth and was invited to meet alien visitors. CLIP
UFODC-Obama adviser says documented UFO/ET landings on U.S. Capitol could destabilize society (May 19, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner%7Ey2010m5d19-Obama-adviser-says-UFODCdocumented-UFOET-landings-on-US-Capitol-could-destabilize-society
(...) Mr. Allens declarations are made in a wide-ranging exclusive radio interview with reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre on ExopoliticsRadio.org. Mr. Allens photographs of UFOs flying over and landing on the roof of the U.S. Capitol on July 16, 2002 were taken 50 years from July 16, 1952, when UFOs were photographed over the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Allens historic photographs of the July 16, 2002 event together with UFO sightings and landings by U.S. Senate buildings, and the Washington Monument are set out a Slide Show in the article below. In his in-depth Exopolitics Radio interview (available to Examiner.com readers in the article below), Mr. Allen, who grew up on U.S. military bases and now resides in Washington, DC, reveals that at age five he was visited by a group of four to five grey extraterrestrials in silver spacesuits who implanted him with a device. That implant device went undetected during all the years of his military and White House service, and now signals him to go to specific locations in Washington, DC where he is instructed to photograph extraterrestrial craft and personnel that enter P-51 restricted Capitol Hill airpace through hyperdimensional Star gates at extremely high speeds. Mr. Allen, who has reported some of these UFO/ET landings to the U.S. Capitol Police, states that the police have told him his photographs confirm ET/UFO landings their officers are also encountering. Mr. Allen believes that his photographs, which are forensic in quality, document that the same intelligent hyperdimensional civilization was behind the July 16, 1952 and the July 16, 2002 flyovers of the U.S. Capitol. These UFO/ET flyovers are continuing into the present. Mr. Allen states that the civilization communicating with him and directing his photographic documentation of their hypervelocity landings on the U.S. Capitol are grey and human-hybrid.
(...) 3. The grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials Mr. Allen indicates in the ExopoliticsRadio interview that he believes the extraterrestrial civilization behind the UFO/ET over flights and landings on the U.S. Capitol is grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials. Mr. Allen states that during a recent abduction by this civilization he was surrounded by grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials. If Mr. Allens documentation, photo-analysis and conclusions are correct, then extraterrestrial civilization behind the UFO/ET phenomenon including the 1944 Foo fighters, the July 1952 U.S. Capitol flap, the July 2002 and July 2008 Washington DC UFO flap, and UFOs in the 1972 Apollo 16 Moon landing have been hyperdimensional grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials.The intentions of the hyperdimensional grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials toward humanity have not been definitely established.Mr. Allen states that the UFO/ET presence may be signaling a 2012 connection, and seems to be accelerating its interaction in the run-up to the year 2012. In his ExopoliticsRadio interview, Mr. Allen states that during one UFO/ET landing in the reflecting pool, that occurred during his photo shoot of a record jacket for Def Jam Records, what appeared to be a group of ancient Mayans, dressed in traditional regalia and plumage appeared next to the extraterrestrial presence swimming in the reflecting pool. The group of apparent Mayans were staring around at Washington, DC in a kind of daze, not sure where they were. Mr. Allen speculates that this group of apparent ancient Mayans may have been abducted from ancient Mayan times, and time-traveled by the grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrials to the U.S. Capitol reflecting pool that day as a kind of 2012 marker. In a prior ExopoliticsRadio interview, an 18-year participant with the grey and human-hybrid extraterrestrial civilization, author Jim Sparks, states that the grey and reptilian civilizations behind the UFO abduction phenomenon has asked for a truth-amnesty process on secret agreements and technology transfers between their civilization and the U.S. government. Jim Sparks indicates that in a meeting with grey extraterrestrials, he was told that the greys and reptilians feel the U.S. government had violated the terms of agreements with them, whereby transferred extraterrestrial technology that was to have been applied to the benefit of the environment was instead used by the U.S. government for weapons systems and warfare. Examiner.com has reported on other researchers who claim that the grey and reptilian hyperdimensional civilizations are engaged in genetic farming of the human race with the intention of replacing humans as the dominant intelligent species on planet Earths 3rd dimension. 4. Grey extraterrestrials and the U.K. As Examiner.com reported in UK Deputy PMs birthplace is UFO hotspot, but will UK disclose the UFO/ET presence under Cameron?," an apparent UFO/ET spacecraft of the possible category documented by Will Allen was chased by U.K. fighter jets on May 10, 2010 over incoming UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleggs birth place of the village of Chalfont St Giles, England. Clegg and British Prime Minister David Cameron were sworn in the following day May 11, 2010.
Up to 1 billion humans are abducted by hyperdimensional ETs, and humans are in cognitive dissonance (JUNE 4, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2009m6d4-Up-to-1-billion-humans-are-abducted-by-hyperdimensional-ETs-and-humans-are-in-cognitive-dissonance
Empirical, replicable research published by ICAR, the International Community for Alien Research, confirms that a hyperdimensional civilization consisting of amphibian reptilian hybrids and Gray cybernetic clones, have reportedly abducted approximately 1 billion out of the current estimated human population of 6,783,421,727 as of May 31, 2009 or approximately 14.7 percent of the present world population. These 1 billion human abductees, according to the replicable empirical research, have had their consciousness and and/or their physical bodies taken by a quantum, hyperdimensional process, and returned to their original location (and in some cases original time) with erased memories of the abduction. Memories of the hyperdimensional abduction retrieved through hypnotic regression and similar techniques reveal consistent patterns during the abductions, related to a covert agenda toward the human species by this hyperdimensional species. One earlier study in the 2002 Roper Poll concluded that 2% of the U.S. population (now estimated at 306,587,601 on June 4, 2009) - had been abducted, or approximately 6.1 million persons by current figures. CLIP
UFO Spiral in the sky seen and heard across Western Canada (May 22, 2010) http://www.theweatherspace.com/news/05-22-2010-UFO-Spiral-in-the-sky-seen-and-heard-across-Western-Canada.html
The Norway spiral comes to mind when TheWeatherSpace.com received photographs and even an amazing video of the event. An object swooped down from the sky and then returned in a brilliant display on Friday night across the Western Canada areas. Three different photographers have given their photos to TheWeatherSpace.com in what looks like something out of a science fiction movie. We cannot see what would cause this one Earth. The Norway spiral was said to be caused by a missile launch in the Russian territory. But what is this? The only known areas to launch on the Western coast are the Vandenberg Air Force Base and Alaskan areas. Vandenberg confirms no launches and Kodiak Island has to be ruled out due to the direction of travel (from the west). The photographs show a very similar shape and mysterious object off the coast of Canada. The object is not a missile as one photograph from the beach has the trajectory curving up! What is it? CLIP YOU MUST SEE THIS VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfy2JMcyMyA
Norwegian spiral in Canada now! (May 24, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-47487-Practical-Spirituality-Examiner~y2010m5d24-Norwegian-spiral-in-Canada-now
Remember the unexplained Norwegian spiral of December 2009? Well, it seems to have happened again -- in Canada this time! Some say it's a hoax. Still, was the Norwegian spiral also a hoax? Was the spiral video-taped over China in 1988 a hoax? Was the Christian picture from 1486 of an energetic spiral in the sky also a hoax for the purpose of disinformation or maybe caused by a missile misfire? See the video on the bottom of this article for more information all all of that. As that video points out, the official explanation that the Norwegian spiral was caused by a Russian missile that went bad last December, isn't very likely to be true. Still what was the Norwegian anomaly? What is this one, and what does it all mean? Some guess that these two anomalies may be governments preparing for Project Blue Beam . Although, that seems like a lot of trouble just to mislead us, which they've been doing fairly successfully for years using much simpler means.Others suspect that ETs may be trying to get our attention, so we'll finally recognize that they'er up there. Perhaps, more than an attention getting measure, they're assisting in funneling energy into our world in preparation for our new, energized beginning in 2012? CLIP
Uh Oh! Has Voyager 2 Been Hijacked By Aliens? (MAY 13, 2010) http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/05/uh-oh-has-voyager-2-been-hijacked-by.html
It left Earth 33 years ago, now it's claimed the Voyager 2 spacecraft may have been hijacked by aliens after sending back data messages NASA scientists can't decode. NASA installed a 12-inch disk containing music and greetings in 55 languages in case intelligent extraterrestrial life ever found it. But now the spacecraft is sending back what sounds like an answer: Signals in an unknown data format! The best scientific minds have so far not been able to decipher the strange information is it a secret message? Alien expert Hartwig Hausdorf said: "It seems almost as if someone had reprogrammed or hijacked the probe thus perhaps we do not yet know the whole truth". Engineers are working to solve the data transmissions from the Voyager 2 spacecraft near the edge of the solar system, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said today. The spacecraft late last month began sending science data 8.6 billion miles to Earth in a changed format that mission managers could not decode. Engineers have since instructed Voyager 2 to only transmit data on its own health and status while they work on the problem. CLIP
Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds (May 16, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7127706.ece
Many more of Icelands volcanoes seem to be stirring -- THE Icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of Europe for decades, scientists have warned. They have reconstructed a timeline of 205 eruptions in Iceland, spanning the past 1,100 years, and found that they occur in regular cycles with the relatively quiet phase that dominated the past five decades now coming to an end. At least three other big Icelandic volcanoes are building towards an eruption, according to Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at Edinburgh University. The frequency of Icelandic eruptions seems to rise and fall in a cycle lasting around 140 years, he said. In the latter part of the 20th century we were in a low period, but now there is evidence that we could be approaching a peak. His findings coincide with new warnings that the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, which has disrupted air traffic across Europe for several weeks, could carry on for many months and possibly years. Some geologists have also warned of a serious threat from a fourth volcano, Katla, which lies 15 miles to the east of Eyjafjallajokull. Two of its past three eruptions seemed to be triggered by those of its smaller neighbour and a report issued just before Eyjafjallajokull blew suggested Katla was close to failure [eruption]. The three other volcanoes cited by Thordarson as being potentially close to a large eruption are Grimsvotn, Hekla and Askja all of which are bigger than Eyjafjallajokull. In the past, they have proved devastating. CLIP AND YET...
Too early to declare end to Iceland eruption: experts (May 28, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h4E_zefFU5QapiafqpL9JcJ7jieg
REYKJAVIK It is too early to declare the end of the eruption at Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano even though it has not spewed ash since the beginning of the week, experts said on Thursday."Usually, volcanic eruptions fade out gradually but that's not the case here. The eruption (under the) Eyjafjallajoekull (glacier) stopped quite abruptly so we're a bit hesitant to make any statements yet," University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson told reporters. "We need more time to figure out what is happening there," he added. On Sunday, activity ceased at the Eyjafjoell volcano, raising hopes the eruption which had heavily disrupted European flights for more than a month could be over. But the decision to declare the eruption over was postponed to at least the beginning of next week, experts said at a press conference held by the Icelandic department of civil protection. "Although there are currently no signs of the eruption starting again, we still can't be sure. But we are keeping a close eye on Eyjafjallajoekull, there's still some activity there but it's minimal," Einarsson said. "We also detect small changes in the GPS monitors, showing us that there is still some movements in the volcano but they are very, very small." During Eyjafjoell's highest activity peak in the week after it began erupting, it released enough ash to cause the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II, affecting more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers.
Greenpeace lauds historic new pact to save Canadas Boreal Forest (May 18, 2010) EXCELLENT NEWS!! http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/Canada-Boreal-Agreement-100518
International Greenpeace today joined eight other environmental groups and forest companies in the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)* to announce the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, a historic pact that will lead to large-scale protection of wilderness areas in Canadas Boreal Forest, protection of threatened woodland caribou, and significantly higher environmental standards for forest management.The Agreement, announced by environmental groups and FPAC at news conferences in Toronto and Montreal, covers 278 thousand square miles (72 million hectares) of Boreal Forest, a massive sweep of forest roughly the same size as Texas and New Hampshire combined that stretches almost from coast to coast. Included in the agreement is an immediate moratorium on logging in 112 thousand sq mi (28 million hectares, roughly the same size as Nevada and Rhode Island combined), covering virtually all the critical habitat of the threatened woodland caribou. This is our best chance to save woodland caribou, permanently protect vast areas of the Boreal Forest, and put in place sustainable forestry practices, said Richard Brooks, Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator at the news conference. The interest of the marketplace and public has been critical in this agreement. We have a lot of work to do together to make this agreement successful and we are committed to making it happen. The goals of the 90-page Agreement include commitments to developing joint proposals for networks of protected areas, especially areas of intact forest; joint proposals for the recovery of species at risk, including woodland caribou; and the development of world-leading practices in forest management and harvesting. CLIP - Check also Big compromise reached on Canada's Boreal by environmental groups and forestry industry
Scientist says Trees are Growing Faster Because of Climate Change (8 mai 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgpsSAXqpEs
Recent studies indicate that trees around the planet are showing signs of climate change. Trees are growing faster than usual, and scientists think these preliminary findings indicate even more changes ahead for the world's forests. Producer Zulima Palacio spent some time with a scientist who has been studying and measuring trees for the last 22 years.
CBS News: Students Build Breakthrough Car Engine Design. Where's the Publicity? http://www.WantToKnow.info/060303carenginebreakthrough
The CBS news article below reveals a major breakthrough in car engine design. This car engine gets over 50 mpg, goes from zero to 60 in four seconds, and runs on soybean oil! So why didn't this remarkable engine design breakthrough make front page headlines in all major media? It may be the same reason many other major energy breakthroughs have been reported but never given the headlines they deserve. Those who are reaping huge profits from oil sales have much more political and media influence than you might imagine. CLIP
Only Surviving Photo Album From Auschwitz -- Lest we forget. . . Hard to watch! http://www1.yadvashem.org/exhibitions/album_Auschwitz/mutimedia/index.HTML
This Album memorializes the arrival of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in May of 1944. It is the only one of its kind, and it is solely due to this album that we have a visual history of what occurred in the Auschwitz-Birchenau death camp. The album was discovered after the war by an Auschwitz survivor, Lily Jacob, who donated it to Yad Vashem in 1980. Recommended by Evelyn Goodman (BEGoodman@aol.com ) who wrote: "This bears witness to an unspeakable happening."
Zappons les OGM! Si vous êtes un-e Européen-ne signez la pétition dès maintenant pour un moratoire sur toutes les autorisations européennes d'OGM! http://www.greenpeace.fr/ogmjenveuxpas/zappons-les-ogm/
Au Président de la Commission Européenne José Manuel Barroso: Nous vous appelons à décréter un moratoire sur l'introduction des plantes génétiquement modifiées en Europe et à mettre en place un organisme éthique et scientifique indépendant chargé de mener à bien la recherche sur l'impact des OGM et de déterminer leur régulation.
Libor Spike Is Rekindling Fears Of Another Financial Crisis (May 25, 2010) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Libor-Spike-Is-Rekindling-cnbc-4262659974.html
A recent spike in the rate banks charge each other for short-term borrowing is reviving investor fears that the market is returning to the abyss of the credit crisis. By historical standards, the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor (: USL3M), remains at extremely low levels, with the closely watched three-month rate moving to 0.5363 percent Tuesday. It was the 11th straight day the rate rose. But a rise to levels not seen since July 2009-coming as a debt crisis cascades through Europe and reverberates around the globe-has spurred concerns that banks will tighten up lending just as the global economy was showing signs of a sustainable recovery. "You have to look at the direction much more than you have to look at the actual nominal level," says Michael Pento, chief market strategist at Delta Global Advisors in Parsippany, NJ. "The direction is telling you where the economy is heading. It's very bad." Spiking Libor rates have underscored the fear that debt problems in Greece, Spain and elsewhere will spread because of the exposure from European Union banks. That could cause subsequent contagion across the Atlantic, where US banks have significant exposure to EU institutions. The fear is that already-weak bank lending trends will only be aggravated as Libor churns higher and thus stall the US economic recovery. "We didn't learn much from the 2008-2009 credit crisis," Pento says. "One of the things we forgot is there's no such thing as decoupling. When investors were absolutely positive that China and Australia and the rest of the emerging markets would be unscathed by our credit crisis, they were proven completely wrong."Today they are telling us the United States is immune from the sovereign credit crisis in Europe. They are completely wrong." To be sure, if the most recent incidents are indicative of anything it's that things can change rapidly in such a volatile global economy. After all, it was only a few weeks ago that economists were touting a sustainable global recovery and strategists were encouraging clients to pile into emerging markets. CLIP
Democrats vote for government pay raises (May 28, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-35976-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m5d28-Democrats-vote-for-government-pay-raises
Democrats voted for another deficit-exploding union payoff scheme Friday, this time through more pay raises for our already wildly overpaid federal bureaucrats...whose forced union dues just happen to fund the Democratic Party. As I have noted, Democrats have repeatedly forced through obscenely generous favors for unions at taxpayers' expense...most notably, Obama's partisan porkulus scam.And again, by definition, government unions shouldn't even exist, but they do, and they are violently shoving this country into full-blown bankruptcy. MAKE SURE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-W-MlCvL3A NOTE from Jean: While many European countries have just adopted strict austerity measures to reduce their deficits, the US government is just ignoring fiscal reality and adding ever more debts on the shoulders of future generations... 19% of government workers now earn over $100,000 a year on the back of US taxpayers which is utterly outrageous when considering the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in the US... Those bad decisions will soon be coming home to roost! and everyone will suffer this time... SAME THING for the colossal waste of $1 billion of Canadian taxpayers' money to "protect" a few politicians from being disturbed by peaceful protestors - see next article...
Summit bill could go higher still, security chief says (May 28 2010) http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/816163--summit-bill-could-go-higher-still-security-chief-says
OTTAWA The $1-billion charge to taxpayers for hosting the G8 and G20 summits next month could grow higher still if there is a major security disruption, says the federal security chief for the meetings.The government has budgeted about $50-million to deal with everything from protesters clashing with police to a terrorist strike at the G8 summit in Huntsville and the G20 in Toronto, which will be held from June 25 to 27. Depending on the size of the (security) event, the costs could in theory go up if you had a really major one, Ward Elcock said in one of a series of interviews Friday designed to put to rest outrage that has erupted this week over the summit security tab. An estimate that securing the back-to-back meetings would cost $930-million has trampled on Prime Minister Stephen Harpers preferred focus for the meetings: presenting Canada as a world leader on issues like global financial reform, maternal and child health in the developing world and nuclear nonproliferation. Even if you were to take the $500-million for the RCMP and spread it across every single RCMP officer in the country, it works out to way more than $10,000 per officer. So I cant understand this money, said Liberal MP Mark Holland. I cant get my head around where theyre dumping it. CLIP
Civil liberties groups voice worry over G8/G20 summit security measures (MAY 27, 2010) http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/DISSENT/3079432/story.html
Some of the "unprecedented" security measures police have adopted to keep the peace during the upcoming G8/G20 conferences in Ontario border on intimidation and could squelch dissent, say civil liberties watchdogs.Their concerns include the possible deployment of ear-splitting "sonic cannons," unannounced police visits with protesters leading up to the summit and unnecessarily large security perimeters."We need to be protecting (protesters') rights just as much as we're protecting the leaders at the summit," said Abby Deshman, project director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.Toronto police have purchased four long-range acoustic devices (LRADs), which can be used to transmit messages over a long distance but can also emit high-pitched sounds.Deshman said these devices are a concern because they can cause permanent damage if people are exposed to the sounds for too long. "We view it as a weapon," she said. CLIP - Check also Fraser to audit summit expenses - Torontos G20 plan is a paranoids dream and many more related news
El Niño could make 2010 the hottest year ever (May 23, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/weather/uk_and_roi/article7134047.ece
CLIMATE scientists have warned that 2010 could turn out to be the warmest year in recorded history.They have collated global surface temperature measurements showing that the world has experienced near-record highs between January and April.Researchers working independently at the Met Office and Nasa are soon to publish data that reveal the trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year. James Hansen, director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss), a world centre for climate monitoring, said: "Global temperatures, averaged over the past 12 months, were the warmest for 130 years."December to February was also the second-warmest of any such period." Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: "It was a cold winter in Europe but, globally, January to March was one of the seven warmest starts to the year on record. "This year has more than a 50% chance of being the warmest on record." The average global surface temperature is based on measurements taken from thousands of monitoring stations and satellites. CLIP
Global shares fall on Korea and Europe fears (May 25, 2010) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article7135755.ece
Shares across the globe plunged today over fears that Europe's sovereign debt crisis will cause turmoil across the world's financial sector and tensions between North Korea and South Korea escalated. (...) While US investors are concerned that Greece's debt crisis is spreading across the eurozone, in particular to Spain, the market was spooked by North Korea's threat of military action if the South continued to violate its waters. (...) Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, said: "The toxic cocktail worsens. Continuing fears over the European debt situation stalling the global economic recovery has been exacerbated by the potential of military tensions in Korea." Madrid has outlined a string of austerity measures, including barring local authorities from obtaining long-term credit until the end of next year. The measure is part of a two-year ¤15 billion deficit reduction plan announced this month, which includes a freeze on state pensions and an average 5 per cent pay cut for civil servants.Yesterday the International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning to Spain. "The challenges are severe - a dysfunctional labour market, the deflating property bubble, a large fiscal deficit, heavy private sector and external indebtedness, anaemic productivity growth, weak competitiveness, and a banking sector with pockets of weakness," it said. CLIP
US Build-up for Possible Attack on Iran - Persian Gulf Deployment http://www.artishok.co.il/pages/AttackOnIran08.html Note from Jean: There is huge armada of war vessels and nuclear submarines that is being deployed in the Persian Gulf and in the Mediterranean sea. All options definitely appear to be on the "table"... The other article below about the S-300 interceptors might explain any possible plans for a subrepticious attack on Iran to pre-emptively "do the job" before Iran has the means to fend off such an attack.
Petraeus orders US spies to prepare for anti-nuclear strike on Iran (May 26, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7136614.ece
Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.The military units would penetrate Iranian territory to reconnoitre potential nuclear targets and make contact with friendly dissident groups, according to a secret directive written by General David Petraeus. The documents existence was disclosed for the first time yesterday. It authorises an expansion in the use of US special forces throughout the Middle East, US officials said. However, it is the possibility of American troops operating covertly inside Iran that has the greatest potential to destabilise regional security. (...) Sending special forces into Iran would be controversial but one of the missions of US Special Operations Command, headed by Admiral Eric Olson, is to conduct reconnaissance in any country deemed to pose a threat. A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged to The Times that individual commanders have authority to conduct intelligence operations as they see fit. General Petraeus is a member of the Pentagon high command whose tasks include drawing up plans to destroy Irans nuclear infrastructure. CLIP
General Petraeus's Secret Ops (May 25, 2010) http://www.thenation.com/blog/general-petraeus-secret-ops
A secret military directive signed last September 30 by General David Petraeus, the Centcom commander, authorizes a vast expansion of secret US military special ops from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia and appears to authorize specific operations in Iran, according to the New York Times. If President Obama knew about this, authorized it and still supports it, then Obama has crossed a red line, and the president will stand revealed as an aggressive, militaristic liberal interventionist who bears a closer resemblance to the president he succeeded than to the ephemeral reformer that he pretended to be in 2008, when he ran for office. If he didnt know, if he didnt understand the order, and if hes unwilling to cancel it now that its been publicized, then Obama is a feckless incompetent. Take your pick. If Congress has any guts at all, it will convene immediate investigative hearings into a power grab by Petraeus, a politically ambitious general, and the Pentagons arrogant Special Operations team, led by Admiral Eric T. Olson, who collaborated with Petraeus. And Congress needs to ask the White House, What did you know, and when did you know it? CLIP
Iranian teams train on S-300 interceptors at Russian bases (May 19, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8792/
While Russia joins the US in backing a softened UN Security Council sanctions package against Iran, Tuesday, May 18, Moscow is reported by DEBKAfile's military sources as surreptitiously training Iranian Revolutionary Guards crews at Russian bases to operate the advanced S-300 interceptor-missile systems, which are capable of fending off a potential US or Israel attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.UN sources disclose that the new sanctions motion - in its present diluted form - does not expressly forbid the consignment of this weapon to Iran. Moscow is withholding them from Tehran for now, keeping the promise prime minister Vladimir Putin gave President Barack Obama. But if and when the weapons are delivered, Iran will have trained crews ready to operate them. In their push to develop military ties with Iran and its allies, the Russians earlier this month also agreed to sell Syria MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles in a major arms transaction. Washington and Jerusalem have known about the presence of IRGC S-300 missile crews at Russian training bases since early May. But when Israeli president Shimon Peres raised the issue during his talks with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on May 9, he was told sharply that neither Israel nor any other government is entitled to tell Russia to whom it may give military assistance. And when US diplomats in New York and Moscow were instructed to ask their opposite numbers whether the training program augured the shipment of the interceptors to Iran, notwithstanding Putin's promise, they were greeted with deafening silence. On May 11, the White House was worried enough to send the president's nuclear adviser to tell reporters: "The United States has made clear to Russia that delivering a promised advance air defense system to Iran would have serious implications on US-Russian relations." This was the sternest admonition for Moscow to be heard ever from an Obama spokesman. This time, the Russians responded with equal abrasiveness. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who was with President Medvedev in Ankara at the time, shot back: Moscow needs "no advice from across the ocean" about the sale of the S-300. These less-than-diplomatic exchanges aside, the fact remains that Moscow's consent to start training Iranian missile crews has strengthened Tehran's hopes of the interceptors' early delivery. The Iranians are even more encouraged by the success of the Russian-Chinese bid to delete from the UN sanctions draft any substantial expansion of the standing international arms embargo that might apply to the sophisticated S-300 anti-missile, anti-air system.
Lifting US ban on Russia's S-300s for Iran blows hole in Israel's security (May 22, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8802/
Israel's security suffered a major setback on the eve of its homeland war-safety exercise (starting Sunday, May 23) from three Obama administration concessions that were granted to buy Moscow's backing for UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. One was the deletion of an embargo on sophisticated weaponry, including the suspended sale of Russian S-300 systems sought by Tehran for shooting down any US or Israel warplanes attacking its nuclear sites. As Israel prepared to drill millions of the country's civilians to prepare for synchronized assault by hundreds of rockets and missiles from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, Washington awarded Moscow, i.e. Tehran, three additional gains. US officials indicated they did not rule out a new round of nuclear negotiations with Tehran - even after the Brazilian-Turkish-mediated enriched uranium deal signed with Iran last Monday, May 17. And on Friday, May 21, the administration scrapped sanctions against the Russian state arms export agency and three other Russian entities that were penalized in the past for transferring sensitive technology or weapons to Iran. Also lifted were sanctions against a fourth Russian entity for illicit arms sales to Syria, including technology for developing the very missiles against which Israel's five-day exercise is preparing the public next week. Our Washington sources report that the Obama administration bought Russia's backing for a weak UN sanctions resolution by giving way on penalties detrimental to Iran's economy or impeding its nuclear program. America thus opened the door for Russia to start training Iranian S-300 missile crews - without Israeli raising its voice in protest in either capital. CLIP
Obama starts massive US Air-Sea-Marine build-up opposite Iran (May 20, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8794/
DEBKAfile's military sources report a decision by the Obama administration to boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants. Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sails out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21. On arrival, it will raise the number of US carriers off Iranian shores to two. Up until now, President Barack Obama kept just one aircraft carrier stationed off the coast of Iran, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea, in pursuit of his policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran. For the first time, too, the US force opposite Iran will be joined by a German warship, the frigate FGS Hessen, operating under American command.It is also the first time that Obama, since taking office 14 months ago, is sending military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf. Our military sources have learned that the USS Truman is just the first element of the new buildup of US resources around Iran. It will take place over the next three months, reaching peak level in late July and early August. By then, the Pentagon plans to have at least 4 or 5 US aircraft carriers visible from Iranian shores. The USS Truman's accompanying Strike Group includes Carrier Air Wing Three (Battle Axe) - which has 7 squadrons - 4 of F/A-18 Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet bomber jets, as well as spy planes and early warning E-2 Hawkeyes that can operate in all weather conditions; the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 for disrupting enemy radar systems; and Squadron 7 of helicopters for anti-submarine combat (In its big naval exercise last week, Iran exhibited the Velayat 89 long-range missile for striking US aircraft carriers and Israel warships from Iranian submarines.) Another four US warships will be making their way to the region to join the USS Truman and its Strike Group. They are the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and guided missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill, USS Oscar Austin and USS Ross. DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that the 6,000 Marines and sailors aboard the Truman Strike Group come from four months of extensive and thorough training to prepare them for anticipated missions in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.
Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons (24 May 2010)
ISRAEL AND SHIMON PERES' DUPLICITY FULLY REVEALED... AND MORE! http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons. The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret. The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence. The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week's nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted. A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were "never any negotiations" between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents. South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states. The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials "formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal".
(...) The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt - jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with "special warheads". Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer. Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: "It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement... shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party". The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it. The existence of Israel's nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation. Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads. Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. "The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date," he said. "The South Africans didn't seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime's old allies." PICTURE CAPTION: "The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa." Check also Israel's big secret exposed and Israeli 'nuclear offer' explained by investigator
Israel revelations resonate in global talks on establishing WMD-free zone (24 May 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/24/israel-wmd-non-proliferation
UN conference aimed at international non-proliferation is reportedly close to agreement -- Israel's nuclear dealings with the apartheid regime in South Africa date back more than three decades but they continue to resonate in global talks in New York this week. A UN conference aimed at bolstering and modernising the international non-proliferation regime is reportedly close to an agreement on measures aimed at a ban on nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Those measures would include the calling of a conference on establishing a WMD-free zone by 2012, potentially involving Israel and Iran, and leading to further steps to provide mutual security guarantees if all parties agreed. A co-ordinator would be appointed by the UN to arrange that conference. If the drafts circulating at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference are approved by the end of the week, it would mark a significant victory for Egypt and other Arab states who have long argued that Israel has not been subjected to the same pressure as Iran or Syria, despite its development of a secret nuclear arsenal. "Agreement on this issue is in sight. "Even in the whole conference does not agree on an action plan, the P5 [five permanent security council members] and the Arab states would continue to work on it," said Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association. "The Guardian's report about discussions between Israel and South Africa regarding nuclear [weapons] further reinforces the fact that Israel is outside the NPT and possesses nuclear weapons.(...) David Albright, head of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said: "On the positive side, the fact that Israel stopped doing these illicit black market deals in the 1990s as a result of US pressure, shows that pressure works. We don't have to worry about Israeli proliferation anymore. What we want to see is that kind of pressure working on countries like Pakistan." It also shows how critical this kind of assistance is to countries who are seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It shows they really need that help." NOTE from Jean: A WMD-free zone in the Middle East would be a GREAT thing but one can hardly imagine Israel giving up its stash of nuclear weapons or the US convincingly pressuring it to do so while not being itself willing to do so. Still, Israel being the sole nuclear-armed country in the Middle East is an untenable situation that must be somehow resolved. Either they allow Iran to get the Bomb to have nuclear parity like between India and Pakistan, or they all renounce it like Libya did and embark on a path of full demilitarization of the whole area to eventually turn the whole Middle East into an alliance of peaceful and friendly neighbors with mutually assured peace and prosperity for all. I know! It sounds utterly improbable, but what can I do! That's the "visionary" thing perking up through me ;-) and probably the only way ahead towards a safer, livable future and a shining example for the whole planet to emulate! Argh! There it goes AGAIN! YET as you can see hereafter, I'm not the only one with such a "crazy" dream...
Israel key to conference on banning nuclear arms (MAY 29, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iP_c47WRWDs-U5bRaYXA9xgrrmhwD9G0BBM80
UNITED NATIONS After 15 years, Arab nations finally won agreement from the United States and the other nuclear powers to take the first step toward banning nuclear weapons from the Middle East. Now, the next move is Israel's. Although the U.S. joined the 188 other member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on Friday in giving a green light to a conference in 2012 "on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction," senior U.S. officials appeared to backtrack afterward, setting several conditions for the talks to go ahead. (...) The Arab proposal for a WMD-free zone to pressure Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear warheads was endorsed by the 1995 NPT conference but never acted on. At this month's NPT review, a conference to begin talks on a nuclear-free Mideast was considered by many delegates as "the make-or-break issue," and agreement on the 2012 meeting was widely welcomed after the 28-page final declaration was approved by consensus.But the U.S. reaction raised questions and doubts about whether Israel, Iran and other countries in the Mideast will even hold a meeting in two years. Several delegates suggested that earlier comments by U.S. Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher and President Barack Obama's coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, Gary Samore, warning about the difficulties of holding a conference and persuading Israel to attend may have been sparked by the upcoming visit of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Tuesday. CLIP
U.N. Official to Ask U.S. to End C.I.A. Drone Strikes (May 27, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/world/asia/28drones.html
WASHINGTON A senior United Nations official is expected to call on the United States next week to stop Central Intelligence Agency drone strikes against people suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda, complicating the Obama administrations growing reliance on that tactic in Pakistan. Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Thursday that he would deliver a report on June 3 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that the life and death power of drones should be entrusted to regular armed forces, not intelligence agencies. He contrasted how the military and the C.I.A. responded to allegations that strikes had killed civilians by mistake.With the Defense Department youve got maybe not perfect but quite abundant accountability as demonstrated by what happens when a bombing goes wrong in Afghanistan, he said in an interview. The whole process that follows is very open. Whereas if the C.I.A. is doing it, by definition they are not going to answer questions, not provide any information, and not do any follow-up that we know about.Mr. Alstons views are not legally binding, and his report will not assert that the operation of combat drones by nonmilitary personnel is a war crime, he said. But the mounting international concern over drones comes as the Obama administration legal team has been quietly struggling over how to justify such counterterrorism efforts while obeying the laws of war. CLIP
West Point speech: Obama pledges a New World Order (May 23, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-2684-Law-Enforcement-Examiner%7ey2010m5d23-West-Point-speech-Obama-pledges-a-New-World-Order
On Saturday, President Barack Obama took center stage during graduation ceremonies for the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2010 and preached his message for the creation of a new "international order" to about 1,000 new officers.President Obama pledged to shape a new, international order based on global cooperation and partnerships that address not just military, but also economic and environmental challenges. While making his comments to men and women very likely to serve and command in Iraq, Afghanistan or other theaters of the Global War on Terrorism, Obama stressed the differences between his warfighting strategy and that of his predecessor, President George W. Bush. Right out of the gate, President Obama made certain to distinguish Bush's foreign policy as a "go-it-alone" approach. Obama told the graduating cadets, "The U.S. must shape a world order as reliant on the force of diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead." Obama told the cadets, family members and guests that "all hands are required to solve the world's newest threats: terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, climate change and feeding and caring for a growing population." "The burdens of this century cannot fall on our soldiers alone. It also cannot fall on American shoulders alone," the Commander in Chief said during his speech. CLIP
Britain's new government moves to scrap ID cards (April 27, 2010) http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/27/world/la-fg-britain-id-cards-20100528
Britain's new government announced Thursday that its first major legislation will be a bill to scrap a controversial and costly plan to introduce national identification cards."ID cards will be gone in a 100 days," Home Secretary Theresa May said at a news conference.May said the government would save more than $1 billion in the next decade by canceling the cards and the corresponding national registry. The cards contain biometric data, photographs and fingerprints. "But this isn't just about saving money," May said, "It's also about principle.... We did believe there was a liberties argument for not enforcing ID cards on the British people."Identity cards were first proposed in 2002 by the then-ruling Labor Party as part of efforts to fight fraud, crime and illegal immigration. The plan drew heavy criticism from civil liberties groups as an intrusion into the privacy of citizens. It also came under fire for its initial costs, which were estimated at more than $6 billion.After eight years of parliamentary debates, consultations, political arguments and public protests, ID cards became obligatory for foreign nationals in 2008 and optional for British citizens at an individual cost of $45 in November when it was introduced in Manchester. CLIP
Large aid flotilla to test Israeli blockade of Gaza (May 26, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0526/Large-aid-flotilla-to-test-Israeli-blockade-of-Gaza
A flotilla of eight ships carrying some 700 international activists and 10,000 tons of aid and construction materials is currently en route to the Gaza Strip from Turkey, in the most ambitious bid yet by pro-Palestinian groups to break Israel and Egypt's economic blockade of the territory. But this effort, like previous ones, is likely to end in confrontation with Israels navy later this week.Israel warned on Tuesday it is prepared to prevent the flotilla, which one official called a provocation, from reaching its destination in Hamas-run Gaza. Israel sealed its borders with the Gaza after Hamas, a bitter enemy, seized power there in 2007. But while a series of similar flotillas and aid convoys have managed to draw media attention to the now three-year-long Gaza blockade, which has devastated Gazas economy, they have so far failed to change Israels policy.The most effective pressure currently may in fact be coming from within Israel itself. The Israeli rights group Gisha successfully took the government to court on May 6 over its Gaza policies. Gisha compelled Israels ministry of defense to reveal information about how it formally manages the blockade for the first time. After nearly three years of secrecy, government attorneys conceded the existence of an official defense ministry list of items approved for transfer into the enclave, as well as a Red Lines document that establishes minimum nutritional requirements for Gazas 1.5 million people. Gisha had requested the government reveal on what basis it approves or rejects goods destined for the Gaza Strip, after items like chocolate, notebooks and jam were consistently barred without explanation. (...) No one, not even businessmen or aid workers, are entitled to see a list of the products allowed into Gaza, says Israeli economist, Shir Hever. The only way to know if you can import something is if you try. Its complete chaos. While the ministry refused to disclose the actual contents of the documents, claiming their details are harmful to national security and Israels relations with other countries, Gisha plans to press on, with the eventual goal of ending the blockade. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for October.This is not only essential to the Palestinians in Gaza, but that should also concern every citizen in Israel, says Gishas spokeswoman, Keren Tamir. There are major attempts by the government to hide information related to the blockade and, from our position in here, the first step to ending it is to expose this information in the name of democracy. Israel says that more than one million tons of humanitarian supplies have been allowed into Gaza since January 2009. CLIP GO AT http://gazafreedommarch.org/cms/en/flotilla.aspx TO track the flotilla GPS location, news, Twitter feeds, livestream videos, uploaded photos, discussions, social network groups and more!
Humanitarian Flotilla Vs Evil Navy (May 27, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25558.htm
Haaretz reports today that Israel will attempt to block the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla heading toward Gaza. However, according to the Israeli paper, the humanitarian cargo would then be unloaded, inspected and sent to Gaza overland via the United Nations.Typical for Israel, it tries to win a lost battle. On the one hand, by stopping the flotilla Israel attempts to maintain its regional status as an omnipotent super power that controls the land, the air and the sea. On the other hand, the Jewish state pathetically also wants to evoke sympathy for being sensitive to humanitarian issues and the Palestinian plight. The Israeli government fails to gather that the tide has changed. We see through them. We all know what the Jewish state stands for. We all know about the devastation in Gaza, we know about the siege, the destruction and the crimes against humanity. We all watch the Israeli separation wall cutting through Palestinian family's houses and olive orchards. We also follow the racist ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem. The Israelis better save us from their spins and manipulations. In case the Israelis still fail to see it, they are dealing this time with an international flotilla that is sailing under Turkish and Greek flags, a fleet that carries 800 enthusiast activists from all over the world. The Israelis are dealing with peace lovers who are determined to break through the siege and deliver medical aid, cement, paper and food. On the deck we have 35 European parliamentarians who must have decided to say NO to Zionist fund raisers. This flotilla is a clear signal to Israel that the game is over. Israel is now all but officially isolated. All that is left for Israel is to come to terms with its true nature: a shameless racist, murderous and terrorist state. CLIP
Gaza flotilla show down: Life line or a dead end? (May 28, 2010) MUST WATCH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmmpSp7yBpU
Gaza could be set for its latest humanitarian, and possibly military, confrontation. An international flotilla carrying aid is heading there, in defiance of a blockade imposed by Israel. Tel Aviv is preparing to block the effort at all costs.
North Korea cuts all ties with the South (25 May 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/25/north-korea-cuts-ties-south
North Korea today hit back at Seoul by announcing it would sever all links, escalating the standoff over accusations that the North sank a South's warship.North Korea's state news agency KCNA also reported that Pyongyang would expel all South Koreans from a joint-industrial zone in Kaesong, near the border.The announcement, leaves relations at their worst point for years. It came as a monitoring group in Seoul reported that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, last week ordered his military to prepare for war in case the South attacks. Military officials in Seoul were unable to confirm the report, and said they had detected no unusual troop movements.The North's statement followed and announcement by South Korea's president, Lee Myong-bak, that Seoul would suspend trade, ban Northern ships from its waters and take Pyongyang to the UN security council. This, he announced that Seoul would redesignate the North as its "main enemy" - a term it dropped six years ago, when relations were thawing. Citing the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, KCNA said Pyongyang would engage in no dialogue or contact while Lee was in power; he is due to leave office in 2013.Relations on the divided peninsula deteriorated sharply after he became president last year, ending his predecessor's "sunshine policy" of free-flowing aid to the North. KCNA described the retaliation as a response to Seoul's "smear campaign" - the accusation, based on a report by an international team, that a Northern torpedo caused the sinking in March of the Cheonan, which killed 46 people. Pyongyang denies any involvement.Scott Snyder, director of the centre for US-Korea policy at the Asia Foundation, in Washington, said: "This is really the last phase of unwinding of this policy of engagement that had been in place between the Koreas since 1998. There is a level of hostility and lack of interaction that is unprecedented in that [12-year] period." .He added: "The North Koreans view Lee Myong-bak's lack of commitment to the policy as the main source of conflict [that] has led to this set of events. That view is obviously not shared in South Korea."Despite rising alarm at the tit-for-tat developments, analysts believe neither side wants military action, fearing the cost would prove too great. But they warn there is a risk of skirmishes, and that these could get out of hand.Professor Hazel Smith, a North Korea expert at Cranfield University, said: "Wars sometimes happen by accident, or because you have escalation and no one can control it. It's a very dangerous position that everyone is in. ."With all the communications channels being closed down, there is a lot of room for escalation by default." CLIP
Analysts question Korea torpedo incident (May 27, 2010) FALSE FLAG ATTACK GULF OF TONKIN STYLE? http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/05/asian_analysts_question_korea_torpedo_incident.html
How is it that a submarine of a fifth-rate power was able to penetrate a U.S.-South Korean naval exercise and sink a ship that was designed for anti-submarine warfare?Such questions are being fueled by suggestions in the South Korean and Japanese media that the naval exercise was intended to provoke the North to attack. The resulting public outcry in the South, according to this analysis, would bolster support for a conservative government in Seoul that is opposed to reconciliation efforts.As fanciful as it may sound to Western ears, the case that Operation Foal Eagle was designed to provoke the North has been underscored by constant references in regional media to charts showing the location where the ship was sunk -- in waters close to, and claimed by, North Korea."Baengnyeong Island is only 20 kilometers from North Korea in an area that the North claims as its maritime territory, except for the South Korean territorial sea around the island, Japanese journalist Tanaka Sakai wrote in the left-leaning Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.He called the sinking of the ship an enigma."The Cheonan was a patrol boat whose mission was to survey with radar and sonar the enemys submarines, torpedoes, and aircraft ... " Sakai wrote."If North Korean submarines and torpedoes were approaching, the Cheonan should have been able to sense it quickly and take measures to counterattack or evade. Moreover, on the day the Cheonan sank, US and ROK military exercises were under way, so it could be anticipated that North Korean submarines would move south to conduct surveillance. It is hard to imagine that the Cheonan sonar forces were not on alert." CLIP
One in five men could suffer from fertility problems. And scientists have warned that it's just going to get worse... (May 10, 2010) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1275879/The-infertility-timebomb-Are-men-facing-rapid-extinction.html
There's a crisis brewing, but it has nothing to do with the economic deficit or the current political uncertainty. Scientists are warning that rising levels of male infertility have become so perilous that it is a serious 'public health issue'. And some go even further. Professor Niels Skakkebaek, of the University of Copenhagen, describes the issue 'as important as global warming'. Last week, one science writer even suggested, in starkly terrifying terms, that if scientists from Mars were to study the male reproductive system, they would possibly conclude that man was destined for rapid extinction. And if it continues, this trend could indicate men are on a path to becoming completely infertile within a few generations. CLIP
World Health Organization Moving Ahead on Billions in Internet and Other Taxes (May 10, 2010) http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/10/world-health-organization-moving-ahead-billion-dollar-internet-tax/
The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations' public health arm, is moving full speed ahead with a controversial plan to impose global consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and everyday financial transactions like paying bills online - while its spending soars and its own financial house is in disarray. The aim of its taxing plans is to raise "tens of billions" of dollars for WHO that would be used to radically reorganize the research, development, production and distribution of medicines around the world, with greater emphasis on drugs for communicable diseases in poor countries.The irony is that the WHO push to take a huge bite out of global consumers comes as the organization is having a management crisis of its own, juggling finances, failing to use its current resources efficiently, or keep its costs under control - and it doesn't expect to show positive results in managing those challenges until a year from now, at the earliest. CLIP
'Prepare for war': tensions rising over Brazil's controversial Belo Monte dam (May 25, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0525-hance_belo.html
Tensions are flaring after Brazil's approval of the Belo Monte dam project last month to divert the flow of the Xingu River. The dam, which will be the world's third larges, will flood 500 square miles of rainforest, lead to the removal of at least 12,000 people in the region, and upturn the lives of 45,000 indigenous people who depend on the Xingu. After fighting the construction of the dam for nearly thirty years, indigenous groups are beginning to talk of a last stand. "I have asked my warriors to prepare for war and I have spoken of this with other tribes from the Upper Xingu. We will not let them [build the Belo Monte Dam]," Chief Raoni Metuktire, of the indigenous Kayapo tribe in Brazil, told the French Channel TF1. He is currently traveling through Europe appealing for support in putting the brakes on the project. Another group of Kayapo, led by Chief Megaron Txukarramãe, have set up a blockade of a ferry crossing on a major Amazonian highway over the Xingu River in Mato Grosso in protest against the dam. As of last week the blockade was nearing its 30th day. A Kayapo boy (or Kaiapo, Caiapo) in Brazil. Photo by: Sue Wren.Chief Megaron recently called Brazil's President Lula "enemy number one" of indigenous people in Brazil, and has said that his people are prepared to "die fighting for our rights." The Brazilian government argues that the dam, which was originally proposed in the 1970s under a military dictatorship, is necessary for increasing energy demands in the country. The 11 to 17 billion dollar dam will provide energy to 23 million homes, yet during three to four months of the year the dam will only run 10-30 percent capacity due to low waters. Critics argue that for the dam to be at all viableand economicalother massive dams will need to be built on the Xingu River as well. "Indigenous people are determined to disrupt the 'business as usual' model of destructive development projects that ruin the environment and their traditional ways of life," said Atossa Soltani of Amazon Watch, an environmental and indigenous-rights group, in a press release. "Indigenous groups from the Xingu Basin have sent the Brazilian government a clear and resounding message that they will not allow the Belo Monte Dam to move forward. A Brazilian and international coalition of organizations and social movements stands in solidarity with these groups, and is mobilizing further social and legal actions." The issue recently gained wider media attention as James Cameron, director of Avatar, and several cast members protested against the dam in Brazil. Cameron also visited indigenous groups in the area that will be directly impacted by the dam. Although construction has not yet started, the government says that the dam will be online by 2015. While hydroelectricity usually does not produce as much carbon as burning fossil fuels, studies have shown that dams, especially those in the tropics, emit significant amount of methanea greenhouse gas which is approximately 20 times more potent than carbondue to rotting vegetation in reservoirs.
More of the Amazon opened to oil development (May 24, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0524-hance_amazon_oil.html
Perupetro, the Peruvian government's oil and gas corporate leasing body, announced last week that it will open an additional 25 lots for oil and gas exploration in the Amazon covering an area of 10 million hectares (nearly 25 million acres). Peru's national Amazon indigenous group, AIDESEP, criticized the move calling it a 'new threat' to Peru's indigenous group. According to Amazon Watch these new lots mean that 75 percent of the Peruvian Amazon is now open to oil and gas exploration and drilling. "Peru is opening some of the most remote regions of the Amazon to oil drilling, threatening some of the most biodiverse forests on the planet and the lives of the indigenous peoples who depend on this forest for their livelihoods," said Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch Executive Director in a press release. "The current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a clear demonstration of the risks involved. An oil spill in the Amazon would create an ecological disaster." (...) A study earlier in the year found that 41 percent of the Peruvian Amazon was already covered by 52 active oil and gas concessions. The space under concession had grown six times in seven years. The study also found that many of the concessions infringed on protected areas and indigenous territory, exacerbating the conflict between indigenous groups and the Peruvian government, led by President Alan Garcia who is known for his inflammatory rhetoric against indigenous groups, labeling them "confused savages" among other derogatory terms.
Scientists stunned as grey whale sighted off Israel (May 12, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j70ggBE1b_CpRhvbQIuIFeDAXROg
JERUSALEM (AFP) The appearance of a grey whale off the coast of Israel has stunned scientists, in what was thought to be the first time the giant mammal has been seen outside the Pacific in several hundred years. The whale, which was first sighted off Herzliya in central Israel on Saturday, is believed to have travelled thousands of miles from the north Pacific after losing its way in search of food. "It's an unbelievable event which has been described as one of the most important whale sightings ever," said Dr Aviad Scheinin, chairman of the Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center which identified the creature.A population of grey whales once inhabited the north Atlantic but became extinct in the 17th or 18th centuries and has not been seen there since.The remaining colonies live in the western and eastern sectors of the north Pacific. CLIP
Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds http://www.truthout.org/haitian-farmers-commit-burning-monsanto-hybrid-seeds59616
"A new earthquake" is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto's seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation's presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day. In an open letter sent May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the executive director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti "a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds ... and on what is left our environment in Haiti."(1) Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto's offer of Roundup Ready GMOs seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMOs. CLIP
The Urgency of Housing in Haiti: Government Destroys Refugee Camps, National Hurricane Center Predicts Busy Season (Part II) (14 May 2010) http://www.truthout.org/the-urgency-housing-haiti-government-destroys-refugee-camps-national-hurricane-center-predicts-busy-
Everything we owned got smashed. We lost everything." Getro Nelio was not referring to the devastating earthquake of January 12. The unemployed, 24-year-old Haitian was speaking about losing his home a second time in three months, on this occasion due to the government. Since late March, armed Haitian police have been closing camps and destroying the shelters that quake victims created out of whatever supplies they could scavenge, from cardboard to small strips of tin. U.N. troops sometimes aid in the evictions. The expulsions and renewed homelessness come at a time of growing urgency for permanent, sturdy housing with water, utilities, and sewer, where people can stabilize their lives and rebuild community. "Decent housing" is protected by both the Haitian constitution and the U.N. International Declaration of Human Rights. Haitian government officials and international aid agencies have revealed no plan to meet these needs or fulfill these rights for the 1.3 million left displaced - one in nine citizens. Instead, rare public statements evidence conflicting strategies for limited, temporary initiatives. CLIP
Norway to provide Indonesia with $1 billion to protect rainforests (May 19, 2010) BRAVO NORWAY!!! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0519-norway_indonesia.html
Norway will provide up to $1 billion to Indonesia to help reduce deforestation and forest degradation, reports The Jakarta Post. Agus Purnomo, head of the secretariat of Indonesia's National Climate Change Council, told the newspaper that the deal will be signed on May 27 and funds may start flowing as early as this year. The agreement comes two years after Norway pledged $1 billion to Brazil for reducing Amazon deforestation. Norway has also committed funds to Guyana, Tanzania, and six Congo Basin countries under its International Climate and Forest Initiative, which allocates 3 billion krone per year to forest conservation, mostly in the tropics. CLIP
NASA, Google Earth catch North Korea logging protected area (May 18, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0517-hance_nkorea.html
Employing satellite data from NASA and Google Earth, Guofan Shao, a professor of geo-eco-informatics at Purdue University, has established that North Korea is logging Mount Paekdu Biosphere Reserve. Since North Korea is off-limits to most researchers, Shao has turned to open-access satellite data to monitor deforestation on the UN designated Man and Biosphere region. "Particularly in the core area, there should be no human activityno deforestation," Shao said in a press release. "But when you look at the data with Google Earth, you can see the forest is no longer intact." CLIP
Big Green and little green clash over the American Power Act (May 18, 2010) http://www.grist.org/article/2010-05-18-big-green-and-little-green-clash-over-the-american-power-act/
When Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) unveiled their long-awaited American Power Act last week, it drew two sharply different responses from two collections of activist groups.Two hundred groups that might be called "little green" immediately condemned the climate and energy bill in a joint letter, calling it "greenwashing in the extreme." The coalition consists of regional environmental, peace, and religious groups -- such as Don't Waste Arizona, the Snake River Alliance, and the Turtle Island Restoration Network."This bill is just business-as-usual: taxpayer giveaways to giant nuclear and other energy corporations wrapped in the guise of doing something about our climate crisis," they wrote. Big Green issued its own statement the same morning. It was neither an endorsement nor an attack on the bill. It was thoroughly -- impressively -- devoid of any clear opinion of the bill."It is time for America's leaders to get serious ... the Gulf Coast oil catastrophe is yet another reminder ... President Obama and leaders of both parties in Congress must provide the leadership necessary to develop a clean energy and climate solution," said the joint letter from 23 larger and more D.C.-centric groups, including Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Sierra Club, Audubon, and the League of Conservation Voters. The Kerry-Lieberman bill is undoubtedly flawed from an environmental perspective; in addition to giveaways for the nuclear, oil, and coal industries, there are the weak emission-reduction targets and the heavy reliance on carbon offsets. Every concession to polluter interests was added in hopes of luring enough fossil-fuel-beholden senators to reach the painfully difficult 60-vote threshold. That's considered the only realistic way to pass a climate bill in 2010. Kerry, in a Grist post, implored greens not to slam the bill because it's too weak, saying it's better to get started with an imperfect bill.
(...) David Roberts explained this view last week: "Right now, policy is being made out of fear: fear by the private sector that decarbonization will be a crushing burden; fear by consumers that their energy prices will skyrocket; fear by politicians that the project will prove electorally unpopular." But there are "huge opportunities for low-cost (or negative-cost) emission reductions just waiting to be exploited," he argues. If a weak bill gets that process started, it can alleviate fears, begin moving the country in the direction of a clean-energy economy, and make it easier to pass stronger legislation down the line.So either camp can claim to be more hopeful -- one in the short term and one in the long term. The problem is that by working against each other, they sap enthusiasm for building a popular movement for climate action. Lots of Americans would like to see the U.S. move toward a clean-energy economy and address the climate threat -- 61 percent of respondents said so in a recent poll. But squabbles among environmentalists risk turning them off.And building a diverse movement should be goal No. 1, according to author and 350.org organizer Bill McKibben. He argues that lawmakers don't yet feel pressure from the public to take the climate threat seriously. "There are lots and lots and lots of groups lobbying Congress," he told Grist in January. "But Congress members are good at telling whether there's anything behind that lobbying or not. I think we have to figure out how to put some pressure behind that lobbying." Until then, he argues, the focus on Congress is premature.He may be right that movement-building -- the focus of 350.org -- is the long-term imperative. But there's a bill in the Senate that demands a response right now. So how should environmental organizations and concerned citizens respond to the bill? What's the best way to built momentum toward a strong climate movement? And how do we get started with solutions as soon as possible?
Plans to Cool Planet Heat Up Geo-Engineering Debate (May 12, 2010) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/12-0
Billionaire Bill Gates is funding experiments to explore using "artificial" clouds to cool the planet. Scientists say the experiments are in the early stages and confined to the lab, but critics say they are laying the groundwork for a trial to whiten clouds in a 10,000-square-kilometre patch of the Pacific."Bill Gates and his cloud-wrenching cronies have no right to unilaterally change our seas and skies," says Jim Thomas, of the Montreal-based ETC Group, that is part of an international coalition calling for a moratorium on geoengineering experiments.(...) A study commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, a European think-tank, has estimated that for $9 billion, a wind-powered fleet of 1,900 ships could be built to cruise the world's ocean, spraying sea water from towers to create and brighten clouds. The idea would be to operate most of the ships in the Pacific, far offshore so they would not interfere with the weather on land.Wood says the idea is still being tested in the lab, and it will likely take $25-$30 million to get the proposed 10,000-square kilometre Silver Lining trial up and running. CLIP
Summer's here: What are you doing to protect your skin? (MAY 25, 2010) http://www.enviroblog.org/2010/05/summers-here-what-are-you-doing-to-protect-your-skin.html
Every year the time comes to replenish the family sunscreen supply. And every year I wait until EWG's sunscreen guide is out so I can make the right choices without a lot of fuss. Good news then, that it's available in time for a trip to the beach this Memorial Day weekend. Bad news, though, that so few sunscreens rate well. Thinking it's going to be the year of the hat and shirted beach play - along with a little planning to take cover from the sun's most potent mid-day rays. You see, EWG's 4th annual Sunscreen Guide gives low marks to the current crop of sunscreen products, with (thankfully) a few notable exceptions. EWG researchers recommend only 39, or 8 percent, of 500 beach and sport sunscreens on the market this season. (...) "Many sunscreens available in the U.S. may be the equivalent of modern-day snake oil, plying customers with claims of broad-spectrum protection but not providing it, while exposing people to potentially hazardous chemicals that can penetrate the skin into the body.When only 8 percent of sunscreens rate high for safety and efficacy, it's clear that consumers concerned about protecting themselves and their families are left with few good options."And now, a new concern: Vitamin AThis year, new concerns are being raised about a vitamin A compound called retinyl palmitate, found in 41 percent of sunscreens. The FDA is investigating whether this chemical, when applied to skin that is then exposed to sunlight, may accelerate skin damage and elevate skin cancer risk. FDA data suggest that vitamin A may be photo- carcinogenic, meaning that in the presence of the sun's ultraviolet rays, the compound and skin undergo complex biochemical changes resulting in cancer. The evidence against vitamin A is not conclusive, but as long as it is suspect, EWG recommends that consumers choose vitamin A-free sunscreens. The FDA is taking t-o-o long to protect us - Some blame falls on the FDA, which has yet to finalize regulations for sunscreens promised since 1978. FDA officials estimate that the regulations may be issued next October - but even then, they are expected to give manufacturers at least a year, and possibly longer, to comply with the new rules. That means the first federally regulated sunscreens won't go on store shelves before the summer of 2012. Houlihan gives some startling context: "Both world wars, the creation of Medicare and the planning and execution of the moon landing combined took less time to achieve than FDA's promised sunscreen regulations. Meanwhile, more than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. This could be the poster child for government inaction." Protect yourself this summer. Here's how: Download our 1-page sun safety tip sheet, and Search our database to find the best sunscreen for your family - when you can't cover up or take the best cover - in the shade. CHECK ALSO Sunscreen or smoke screen? (...) Sunscreen can help protect against sunburn, but contrary to what many people think, it hasn't yet been shown to prevent skin cancer or premature skin aging, according to the FDA. Research has found that people who use sunscreen tend to stay in the sun longer than they might otherwise. That is particularly true if a product has a high SPF number, ratings the Environmental Working Group says "sell a false sense of security." CLIP
Preventing Cancer: 9 Practical Tips for Consumers (MAY 6, 2010) http://www.enviroblog.org/2010/05/preventing-cancer-9-practical-tips-for-consumers.html
Four of every 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and two of every 10 will die of it. But there are some things you can do to reduce the risk. First, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that are known to make a difference - stopping smoking, reducing drinking, losing weight, exercising and eating right.But according to a new report from the President's Cancer Panel, environmental toxins also play a significant and under-recognized role in cancer, causing "grievous harm" to untold numbers of people. Environmental Working Group's own research has found that children are born "pre-polluted" with up to 200 industrial chemicals, pesticides and contaminants that have been found to cause cancer in lab studies or in people. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your exposures: CLIP
Cancer, Cancer Everywhere (May. 24, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1989138,00.html
Was it hype or health care? on may 6, the President's Cancer Panel published an alarming 240-page report on the risk of cancer from chemicals and other substances in the environment. "The true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated," the report's authors concluded. "The American people even before they are born are bombarded continually with ... these dangerous exposures." The list of potential threats is exhaustive and, frankly, unavoidable: bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates found in plastic, pesticides, exhaust from traffic, pharmaceuticals in the water supply, industrial chemicals and radiation from medical tests, cell phones and the sun. The authors of the report Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr., of Howard University College of Medicine, and Margaret Kripke, professor emerita at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center urge the government to increase research and regulation of these carcinogens, which pose "grievous harm," especially to children, and give specific advice to consumers for avoiding them. More than 80,000 chemicals are on the U.S. market, of which only a few hundred have been proved safe, the authors note. "People have the idea that they are being protected and that things that are harmful aren't getting onto the market," says Kripke. "But that's probably wishful thinking." (...) 10 Cancer Panel Recommendations: 1. Drink filtered tap water 2. Store food and water in glass, stainless steel or BPA- and phthalate-free containers 3. Minimize children's and pregnant women's exposure to carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals 4. Choose fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers; wash all produce to remove residues 5. Choose free-range meat that has not been exposed to antibiotics or growth hormones 6. Minimize consumption of processed, charred or well-done meats 7. Turn off lights and electrical devices when they're not in use 8. Drive a fuel-efficient car; walk, bike or use public transportation 9. Check home radon levels 10. Reduce radiation exposure from cell phones and medical tests; avoid UV overexposure
Fluoridated water in tap water and bottled water unsafe for infants, children, adults, and elderly http://www.examiner.com/x-10728-Twin-Cities-Water-Examiner%7Ey2009m7d14-Fluoridated-water-in-tap-water-and-bottled-water-unsafe-for-infants-children-adults-and-elderly
Decades of research have been conducted on the dangers of fluoride to human health. The ingredient in toothpaste is pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride. Even toothpaste tube labels have a warning to call the Poison Control Center if ingested. Fluoride is the poison. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is what is added to drinking water. It is untreated toxic waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry added to city tap water, and has trace amounts of other toxins in the waste including arsenic and heavy metals. Fluoride is classified as a neurotoxin, just as harmful as lead and aluminum to the human developing brain. (...) Dangers and Health Hazards of Fluoride to Human HealthHere are some of the findings from literally decades of research on health risks associated with ingesting fluoride. 30% of American children have fluorosis (too much fluoride). Those brown spots on the teeth, mottled, pitted and weakened teeth are often caused by excess fluoride.Over exposure to fluoride can cause osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer in children. A recent report shows high levels of fluoride in dog food with bone meal fillers is linked to osteosarcoma in dogs, as well.Fluoride contributes to increased susceptibility to bone fractures, arthritis and skeletal fluorosis. The Journal of American Medical Association has published peer reviewed studies showing fluoride can increase risk of bone fractures. Fluoride has been found to lower IQ in children (according to 23 published studies on fluoride and intelligence in children); cause brain damage, and contribute to ADD (when linked with lead). Arthritis symptoms can be caused or aggravated by fluoride. Fluoride suppresses the thyroid functions, contributing to depression, and hypothyroidism. How Much Fluoride in Water Is Safe? Zero. There should be no fluoride added in drinking water! Studies show that over 2.5 ppm is toxic, yet the EPA allows up to 4 ppm in the water, not accounting for other sources of fluoride in the diet. CLIP
Photos reveal paradise-like site for coal plant in Borneo (May 21, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0520-hance_coal_sabah.html
With the world's eyes on the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, many are beginning to ponder the rightness of not just America's, but the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Yet large-scale fossil-fuel energy projects continue to march ahead, including one in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo to build a 300 MW coal plant, which has come under fierce opposition from locals (already the project has been forced to move locations twice). The newest proposal will build the coal plant, as photos below reveal, on an undeveloped beach overlooking the Coral Triangle, one of the world's most biodiverse marine environments, with transmission lines likely running through nearby pristine rainforest that are home to several endangered species, including orangutans and Bornean rhinos. A group of NGOs that oppose the coal plant, known as Green SURF (Sabah Unite to Re-power the Future), warn that the plant will come with a host of environmental problems, including discharges of chlorine and sulfates into the ocean, sulfur dioxide emissions that could cause acid rain, thermal pollution, and the need for new transmission lines, infrastructure, and cargo to carry coal from mines south in Kalimantan. Green SURF has recently conducted an energy audit that showed Sabah has the capacity to develop cost-competitive power needs from a variety of other non-fossil fuel options, including palm oil biomass, solar, and hydrological. To voice your opinion on the coal plant visit Green SURF. There are a number of campaigns, including a post card campaign, a petition, a Facebook group, and general information on Source Watch.
Alarm over Apple factory suicides (MAY 26, 2010) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/05/201052685433973378.html
The Chinese government has expressed concern over a series of employee suicides at a factory which makes electronic products including Apple's iPod and iPad. So far this year nine Foxconn workers at the Taiwan-owned Foxconn plant in the southern city of Shenzhen have died after jumping from buildings. Another employee committed suicide at a plant in northern China.Critics have said employees at the factory are forced to work extended hours for low pay in sweatshop conditions. (...) In a statement to the AFP news agency on Wednesday, Apple - which is preparing to launch its iPad computer tablet in countries outside the US on Friday - said it was committed to making sure workers in its supply chain were safe and treated with respect. "We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," the company said."Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity ... We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously." The deaths have raised questions about the conditions facing millions of factory workers in China. Al Jazeera's correspondent in Beijing, Melissa Chan, said that while much attention was being given to Foxconn deaths, it was also important to remember that China as a whole has an unusually high suicide rate, with an average of 12 suicides per 100,000 people every year. (...) One 21-year-old employee from the southern province of Guangxi told the South China Morning Post how she worked 12-hours a day, six days a week. "The atmosphere inside our workplaces is so tight and depressing that we're not allowed to speak to each other for 12 hours or you'll be reproached by your supervisors," the employee was quoted as saying.
Study finds high level of bacteria in bottled water in Canada (May 25, 2010) http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/05/25/study.finds.high.level.bacteria.bottled.water.canada
A Montreal study finds heterotrophic bacteria counts, in more than 70 percent of bottled water samples, exceed the recommended limits specified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Researchers from Ccrest laboratories report their results today at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego. "Despite having the cleanest tap water a large number of urban Canadians are switching over to bottled water for their daily hydration requirements. Unsurprisingly, the consumer assumes that since bottled water carries a price tag, it is purer and safer than most tap water," says Sonish Azam, a researcher on the study. (...) "Heterotrophic bacteria counts in some of the bottles were found to be in revolting figures of one hundred times more than the permitted limit," says Azam. In comparison the average microbial count for different tap water samples was 170 cfu/mL. Azam stresses that these bacteria most likely do not cause disease and they have not confirmed the presence of disease-causing bacteria, but the high levels of bacteria in bottled water could pose a risk for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, infants, immunocompromised patients and the elderly." Bottled water is not expected to be free from microorganisms but the cfu observed in this study is surprisingly very high. CLIP
EMF-Omega-News 15. May 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/448/70/
The infertility timebomb: Are men facing rapid extinction? - Did mobile phones disrupt the landing of the Tu-154 with the President of Poland and 96 other people? - Strokes on the rise in youths - International EMF Collaborative Advisory on Forthcoming Interphone Brain Tumor Study - We do not regard this facts as normal - Ghana bans telecom masts - Residents angry at phone mast near homes - Families will fight mast bid - Fears over mobile phone mast metres from homes prompts petition - Campaign launched against Hasbury phone mast - Pledge toi battle phone mast 'danger' - "PEOPLE POWER" SHOW DOWN WITH EIRGRID'S CONTROVERSIAL PYLON PROJECT MEATH TO TYRONE - Opposes substation - Dog mast cell cancers - UK to kill off Internet cafes - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity
EMF-Omega-News 22. May 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/451/70/
Microwave Hearing - Design flaws make INTERPHONE non-informative - The Interphone Study: A Call for Cell Phone Health Warnings - Rats on junk food pass cancer down the generations - Andrew Goldsworthy: Witness Statement April 2010 - Almost 4000 residents object to proposed phone mast in east Hull - The Boy Scouts: A Pact With the Devil - Something mast be done - Phone mast protest - 1,500 in campaign against mobile towers after 4 fall ill - Beijing residents fear radiation from maglev railway
EMF-Omega-News 29. May 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/453/70/
Philippe Hug - Bioeffects of Electromagnetic Radiation - Aspects of studies on the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity - Experiment shows fallout of mobile radiation - Mobile phones: Is there an epidemic on hold? - Cell phone use safe says FDA study, experts disagree - Local man blames cell phone use for cancer - Are we being overexposed to radiation? - Cellphone tower radiation 'unsafe', says study - Wi-Fi in Schools - Stratford Ontario: The Invisible Danger to a Beautiful Small City - The invisible touch - 'Digital schoolbag' program may impair learning: researchers - 'Delhiites living under cellphone radiation threat' - Cellphone buzz threaten honeybee survival: Study - Manufacturer beware: The myriad sources of criminal liability - Garage fights phone-mast plan - Victory as phone mast bid rejected - Widecombe Tetra appeal - Parents raise phone mast concerns - Charity backs mobile phone mast protest - Hundreds protest against Mobile Telecom Operators - University joins in fight against 'eyesore' mast - Flag flies proud for England squad
A horrific oil spill is spreading through the Gulf of Mexico. Yet U.S. law-makers still plan to ramp up offshore oil drilling. Let's send a global outcry to President Obama and Congress urging them to overturn offshore drilling expansion -- sign the petition, it will be delivered to the White House:
We've all seen the outrageous images: a monstrous oil spill is gushing as much as 2,500,000 gallons of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
Before the spill, U.S. President Obama and Congressional leaders were planning to ramp up offshore drilling. Now, with the spill, the politics have shifted -- and an opportunity has opened for the world's biggest historical climate polluter to shift away from oil and towards climate-safe energy sources.
At a moment like this, when leaders are making up their minds, the world's voices can help tip the balance. Sign the petition urging the U.S. to stop offshore drilling and invest instead in clean renewable energy -- the signatures will be delivered to the White House in Washington DC when we reach 500,000! Click to sign on now and spread the word:
This disaster is expected to be catastrophic for the land and people in the gulf. The oil has already reached land, contaminating wildlife sanctuaries. Authorities are so concerned about the impacts of more oil reaching land that they are prefer to set the gulf on fire, burning as much of the oil as possible.
Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is raking in windfall profits. BP, which operated the sunken rig, more than doubled its first quarter profits in 2010 to $5.65 billion.
For years, the world has waited for the U.S. to step up on climate. But with the carbon lobby's strangle-hold on Washington, weve had more drilling in place of stronger investment in cleaner, safer energy sources. Its time to for a change -- Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has already introduced legislation to repeal plans to expand offshore drilling. Let's back him up with an outpouring of global public outrage. Sign the petition calling on President Obama and Congress to end offshore drilling, and take the US and the world to clean energy future:
An oil spill in Arctic might be intractable, BP Canada head says (MAY 14, 2010) http://www.vancouversun.com/news/spill+Arctic+might+intractable+Canada+head+says/3026897/story.html
The head of British Petroleum's Canadian unit offered no assurance yesterday that the company would be able to clean up an oil spill off Canada's Arctic coast. In testimony before the House of Commons natural-resources committee, BP Canada president Anne Drinkwater said company officials are doing "everything in our power" to clean up the massive oil spill off in the Gulf of Mexico."I can assure you that we, and the entire industry, will learn from this terrible event and emerge from it stronger, smarter and safer," Drinkwater said. However, she had little to say about the company's plans to prevent or respond to a spill in the Canadian portion of the Beaufort Sea. In 2008, BP acquired exploration licences for three segments of the Beaufort Sea, roughly 180 kilometres off the Northwest Territories. "I'm not an expert in oil-spill techniques in an Arctic environment, so I would have to defer to other experts on that," said Drinkwater, when asked by Liberal MP Larry Bagnell if she agreed with the view of some scientists that oil trapped under the Arctic ice would be impossible to clean up. CLIP
US Army to Turn Gulf Spill Oil Into Asphalt With Experimental Chemical (Video) (05.13.10) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/us-army-gulf-spill-oil-asphalt-experimental-chemical-video.php
In order to protect the coastline at Dauphin Island -- a site where tar balls have made landfall and hundreds of fish are washing up dead on the beach -- the US Army has launched a highly experimental plan to prevent any oil from reaching its shores. It plans on trapping the oil in Hesco baskets and then applying a chemical called CI Agent, turning the oil into a gelatinous solid. That solid, comprised from oil from the gulf spill, will then be collected and turned into asphalt. Here's Dan Parker, the CEO of CI Agent Solutions, demonstrating how the chemical solution works: CLIP
14 Year-old Girl Confronts BP for Lack of Oil Spill Education Efforts (Video) (05.14.10) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/14-year-old-girl-confronts-bp-lack-oil-spill-education-video.php This has to be the most inspiring story I've stumbled upon out of all my coverage of the Gulf spill: Last night, at a tense town hall-style meeting that gathered fishermen, federal officials, and BP reps to discuss the latest on the disaster, one participant took all of the parties by surprise. A 14-year old girl named Lauren Spaulding confidently stepped up to the mic during the Q+A -- the only young person to do so -- and confronted BP about its lack of initiative to educate children about the spill. Spaulding was polite but direct when she asked BP what it was doing to educate young people about the spill or to provide teaching materials to schools, and she quickly won over the crowd. She pointed out that kids are concerned about the spill too, and want to learn more about what's going on and how they can help. They're worried about the environment and their parents' livelihoods, she said.BP isn't doing anything in the education arena at all, of course -- but that could now change, thanks to Spaulding. Lisa Garcia, a Senior Advisor in the EPA, was one of the federal officials attending the meeting. She was particularly impressed by the young girl's advocacy, and said that providing local schools with educational materials on the Gulf spill was a great idea -- and that she now planned on starting up such a program. I confirmed with Ms. Garcia after the meeting that she would indeed be doing so. BP would likely be responsible for funding the effort. CLIP
What went wrong at oil rig? A lot, probers find (May 12, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100512/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill
WASHINGTON - Bad wiring and a leak in what's supposed to be a "blowout preventer." Sealing problems that may have allowed a methane eruption. Even a dead battery, of all things. New disclosures Wednesday revealed a complex cascade of deep-sea equipment failures and procedural problems in the oil rig explosion and massive spill that is still fouling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and threatening industries and wildlife near the coast and on shore. CLIP
Hair Boom Oil Demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q0cL4GsSqw
You shampoo because hair collects oil. That means it can collect petroleum oil spills too. Over 300,000 pounds of hair are cut each day in the US and not to mention all the clippings from pet groomers.
Salons help with gulf spill recovery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0m1ertXPPM
Area salons are doing their part to help the oil spill clean up in the Gulf of Mexico.Attitudes Salon, along with other salons, is collecting hair to send to a company that makes booms and oil trapping mats out of hair clippings.
Giant Plumes of Oil Found Forming Under Gulf of Mexico
By JUSTIN GILLIS -- May 15, 2010
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.
"There's a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water," said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. "There's a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column."
The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.
Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. "If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months," she said Saturday. "That is alarming."
The plumes were discovered by scientists from several universities working aboard the research vessel Pelican, which sailed from Cocodrie, La., on May 3 and has gathered extensive samples and information about the disaster in the gulf.
Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.
BP has resisted entreaties from scientists that they be allowed to use sophisticated instruments at the ocean floor that would give a far more accurate picture of how much oil is really gushing from the well.
"The answer is no to that," a BP spokesman, Tom Mueller, said on Saturday. "Were not going to take any extra efforts now to calculate flow there at this point. It's not relevant to the response effort, and it might even detract from the response effort."
The undersea plumes may go a long way toward explaining the discrepancy between the flow estimates, suggesting that much of the oil emerging from the well could be lingering far below the sea surface.
The scientists on the Pelican mission, which is backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency that monitors the health of the oceans, are not certain why that would be. They say they suspect the heavy use of chemical dispersants, which BP has injected into the stream of oil emerging from the well, may have broken the oil up into droplets too small to rise rapidly.
BP said Saturday at a briefing in Robert, La., that it had resumed undersea application of dispersants, after winning Environmental Protection Agency approval the day before.
"It appears that the application of the subsea dispersant is actually working," Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer for exploration and production, said Saturday. "The oil in the immediate vicinity of the well and the ships and rigs working in the area is diminished from previous observations."
Many scientists had hoped the dispersants would cause oil droplets to spread so widely that they would be less of a problem in any one place. If it turns out that is not happening, the strategy could come under greater scrutiny. Dispersants have never been used in an oil leak of this size a mile under the ocean, and their effects at such depth are largely unknown.
Much about the situation below the water is unclear, and the scientists stressed that their results were preliminary. After the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, they altered a previously scheduled research mission to focus on the effects of the leak.
Interviewed on Saturday by satellite phone, one researcher aboard the Pelican, Vernon Asper of the University of Southern Mississippi, said the shallowest oil plume the group had detected was at about 2,300 feet, while the deepest was near the seafloor at about 4,200 feet.
"We're trying to map them, but it's a tedious process," Dr. Asper said. "Right now it looks like the oil is moving southwest, not all that rapidly."
He said they had taken water samples from areas that oil had not yet reached, and would compare those with later samples to judge the impact on the chemistry and biology of the ocean.
While they have detected the plumes and their effects with several types of instruments, the researchers are still not sure about their density, nor do they have a very good fix on the dimensions.
Given their size, the plumes cannot possibly be made of pure oil, but more likely consist of fine droplets of oil suspended in a far greater quantity of water, Dr. Joye said. She added that in places, at least, the plumes might be the consistency of a thin salad dressing.
Dr. Joye is serving as a coordinator of the mission from her laboratory in Athens, Ga. Researchers from the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi are aboard the boat taking samples and running instruments.
Dr. Joye said the findings about declining oxygen levels were especially worrisome, since oxygen is so slow to move from the surface of the ocean to the bottom. She suspects that oil-eating bacteria are consuming the oxygen at a feverish clip as they work to break down the plumes.
While the oxygen depletion so far is not enough to kill off sea life, the possibility looms that oxygen levels could fall so low as to create large dead zones, especially at the seafloor. "That's the big worry," said Ray Highsmith, head of the Mississippi center that sponsored the mission, known as the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology.
The Pelican mission is due to end Sunday, but the scientists are seeking federal support to resume it soon.
"This is a new type of event, and it's critically important that we really understand it, because of the incredible number of oil platforms not only in the Gulf of Mexico but all over the world now," Dr. Highsmith said. "We need to know what these events are like, and what their outcomes can be, and what can be done to deal with the next one."
LETS HOPE THE OIL VAMPIRES FRIENDLY HARPER GOVERNMENT WONT GIVE THEM PERMISSION TO DRILL IN THE ARCTIC - EVER!!! I THINK THE NORMALLY PLACID (DOCILE...) CANADIANS WILL REVOLT IF THAT EVER HAPPENS
Screw the Environment: BP and the Audacity of Corporate Greed
by Dave Lindorff - 5/23/2010
Even as BPs blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed into the Gulf Stream for a trip past the Everglades and on up the East Coast, the company is demanding that Canada lift its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean.
In an incredible display of corporate arrogance, BP is claiming that a current safety requirement that undersea wells drilled during the newly ice-free summer must also include a side relief well, so as to have a preventive measure in place that could shut down a blown well, is too expensive and should be eliminated.
Yet clearly, if the US had had such a provision in place, the Deepwater Horizon blowout could have been shut down right almost immediately after it blew out, just by turning of a valve or two, and then sealing off the blown wellhead.
A relief well is too expensive?
The current Gulf blowout has already cost BP over half a billion dollars, according to the companys own information. That doesnt count the cost of mobilizing the Coast Guard, the Navy, and untold state and county resources, and it sure doesnt count the cost of the damage to the Gulf Coast economy, or the cost of restoration of damaged wetlands. Were talking at least $10s of billions, and maybe eventually $100s of billions. Weigh that against the cost of drilling a relief well, which BP claims will run about $100 million. The cost of such a well in the Arctic, where the sea is much shallower, would likely be a good deal less.
An oil spill under the ice would be impossible to stop or clean up.
Such is the calculus of corruption. BP has paid $1.8 billion for drilling rights in Canadas sector of the Beaufort Sea, about 150 miles north of the Northwest Territories coastline, an area which global warming has freed of ice in summer months. and it wants to drill there as cheaply as possible. The problem is that a blowout like the one that struck the Deepwater Horizon, if it occurred near the middle or end of summer, would mean it would be impossible for the oil company to drill a relief well until the following summer, because the return of ice floes would make drilling impossible all winter. That would mean an undersea wild well would be left to spew its contents out under the ice for perhaps eight or nine months, where its ecological havoc would be incalculable.
BP and other oil companies like Exxon/Mobil and Shell, which also have leases in Arctic Waters off Canada and the US, are actually trying to claim that the environmental risks of a spill in Arctic waters are less than in places like the Gulf of Mexico or the Eastern Seaboard, because the ice would contain any leaking oil, allowing it to be cleared away. The argument is laughable.
This is not like pouring a can of 10W-40 oil into an ice-fishing hole on a solidly frozen pond, where you could scoop it out again without its going anywhere. Unlike the surface of a frozen pond, Arctic sea ice is in constant motion, cracking and drifting in response to winds, tides and currents. Moreover, the blowout in the Gulf has taught us that much of the oil leaked into the sea doesnt even rise to the surface at all. It is cracked and emulsified by contact with the cold waters and stays submerged in the lower currents, wreaking its damage far from wellhead and recovery efforts.
Active oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico
Finally, as difficult a time as BP has had rounding up the necessary containment equipment and personnel in the current blowout 50 miles from the oil industry mecca of Texas and Louisiana, the same task would be far harder to accomplish in the remote reaches of the Beaufort, far above the Arctic Circle, where there arent any roads, much less rail lines or airports.
In fact, it was the remoteness of the Arctic staging area, and the lack of infrastructure, that has been the oil industrys main argument against a mandatory simultaneous relief well drilling requirement for offshore Arctic drilling. The industry claims it would be too difficult to drill two wells simultaneously, as this would require bring in and supplying double the personnel, and two separate drilling rigs.
In a hearing in Canadas Parliament last week, Ann Drinkwater, president of BP Canada, told stunned and incredulous members of Parliament that she had never compared US and Canadian drilling regulations. In fact, whether by design or appalling ignorance, she had precious little in the way of information to offer them about anything to do with drilling rules, effects of spills, or containment strategems. All she wanted was relief from expensive regulation, so BP could go about its business of putting yet another region of the earth and its seas at risk in the pursuit of profits.
Asked if BP knew how it would clean up oil spilling out under the winter ice in a blowout, Drinkwater told the parliamentary hearing, I'm not an expert in oil-spill techniques in an Arctic environment, so I would have to defer to other experts on that."
"You'd think coming to a hearing like this that British Petroleum would have as many answers as possible to assure the Canadian public. We got nothing today from them," groused Nathan Cullen of the left-leaning New Democrats, after hearing from the ironically named Drinkwater.
The fundamental problem in the US is that politicians purchased by campaign contributions are unwilling to look at the real risks of offshore drilling, whether on the two coasts or up in the Arctic region. With luck, maybe at least the Canadian government will conclude that such drilling in their northern seas makes no economic or environmental sense. In both countries, the amount of oil provided from offshore drilling would, over the next decade, be less than could be saved by simply making automobile mileage standards stricter.
All this is even more true when the drilling in question is in the fragile ecological environs of the Arctic Ocean.
WITH an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon site every day for a total of some 3.3 million gallons, so far the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may eventually prove to be the largest oil spill in American history.
But New Yorkers forget, or dont know, that a much larger oil spill sits in our own backyard: an estimated 17 million to 30 million gallons of oil, benzene, naptha and other carcinogenic chemicals pollute Newtown Creek and a swath of soil roughly 55 acres wide and up to 25 feet deep, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
People dont often think of urban creeks as biodiverse waterways, but Newtown Creek was once a rich tidal estuary popular among hunters and fishermen. Starting in the 1870s, however, Standard Oil and other refineries began spilling or dumping excess fuels and toxic chemicals into the water or onto the soil, slowly poisoning the ecosystem. For years, people who hung their clothes out to dry found them darkened by chemical fumes. Today, Newtown Creek is a dead zone: when a dolphin was spotted in the creek in March, experts did not rejoice. They worried about its health.
Despite an underground explosion fed by accumulated oil and gas in 1950, as well as persistent health problems among the creeks neighbors, it wasnt until 1978 that officials recognized the problem. That summer a Coast Guard helicopter on a routine patrol noticed a huge black oil plume spewing from the side of Newtown Creek, heading into the East River and New York Harbor. A containment boom was set out, and workers collected 200,000 gallons of degraded gasoline, fuel oil and chemicals, some of which dated to 1948.
Today a viscous rainbow sheen floats on its surface, and the area around it is redolent of hydrocarbons. Although Greenpoint has a lower overall cancer rate than much of the city, it has one of the highest incidences of certain cancers, like leukemia in children and stomach cancer in adults. The creek was designated a Superfund site in 2009.
The spill has also rendered the Brooklyn-Queens Aquifer, once a valuable store of freshwater, undrinkable. The aquifer serves as a recharge zone for the groundwater stores in southeastern Queens that could provide an important backup supply for the city in a drought.
Documents unearthed by local activists show a history of regulators looking the other way to protect oil companies from liability for poisoning the creek. Fortunately, pressure from citizens groups and city and state lawsuits have wrung a certain amount of compensation from BP, ExxonMobil and other companies accused of being behind the spill. In 2009, a federal jury found ExxonMobil liable for contaminating the groundwater near the creek, awarding the city $104.7 million.
Yet thats nowhere near enough to clean up the site or compensate Greenpoint residents. Nor is the Superfund designation likely to bring immediate improvement in the creek: years of study will be needed before any action can be taken, and the Superfund money can be used only to remove toxic material from the shore and sediments; other water-quality problems arent eligible. In the long run, the only real solution may be to excavate the entire polluted zone and replace it with clean fill.
As President Obama condemns the cozy relationship between federal regulators and Big Oil, we might question why New York regulators and the companies charged with polluting Newtown Creek took so long to acknowledge the problem.
We tend to think of oil spills as dramatic events a sinking ship, a burning rig. So its easy to forget that across the country, hundreds of spills, many left over from a less regulated time, continue to poison groundwater and leak toxic fumes. Instead of letting the Gulf spill divert our attention yet again from slow-moving disasters like Newtown Creek, we should take it as an impetus to address problems much closer to home.
The environmental crises currently gripping the planet are the corollary of excessive human consumption of natural resources. There is considerable and mounting evidence that elevated degradation and loss of habitats and species are compromising ecosystems that sustain the quality of life for billions of people worldwide, says Corey Bradshaw, leader of a new study by the University of Adelaides Environment Institute in Australia that has ranked most of the worlds countries for their environmental impact.
The study, Evaluating the Relative Environmental Impact of Countries, uses seven indicators of environmental degradation: natural forest loss, habitat conversion, marine captures, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat. Unlike existing rankings, this study deliberately avoided human health and economic data, and instead focused on environmental impact only. Other variablesbushmeat harvest, coral reef habitat quality, seagrass loss, freshwater habitat degradation, illegal fishing, invertebrate threat patterns, and some forms of greenhouse gas emissionwere excluded due to a lack of country-specific data.
Two rankings were created: a proportional environmental impact ranking, where impact is measured against total resource availability, and an absolute environmental impact ranking which measures total environmental degradation at a global scale. Listed here are the top ten worst offending countries for absolute environmental impact, those that are just doing the most damage, regardless of per capita calculations.
The study, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and Princeton University, found that the total wealth of a country was the most important driver of environmental impact. We correlated rankings against three socio-economic variables (human population size, gross national income and governance quality) and found that total wealth was the most important explanatory variable the richer a country, the greater its average environmental impact, Professor Bradshaw said. There is a theory that as wealth increases, nations have more access to clean technology and become more environmentally aware so that the environmental impact starts to decline. This wasnt supported, he added.
Although Peru hardly seems capable of the harmful environmental impact that larger industrialized countries are capable of, the South America country ranks number 10. Of 179 countries, Peru ranks 2nd for marine capture and 7th for threatened species. Over fishing and illegal trade of endangered species seem to be the culprit: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) lists ten animal species as critically endangered (like the short-tailed chinchilla pictured above) the last step before extinction, 28 as endangered, and 99 as vulnerable in Peru.
About 11.5 percent of the the total land area of Australia is protected, which leaves a lot left over for unbridled usage, which is how the country ranks 7th worst in habitat conversion. It also ranks 9th for fertilizer use, and 10th for natural forest loss.
Less than half of Russias population has access to safe drinking water. While water pollution from industrial sources has diminished because of the decline in manufacturing, municipal wastes increasingly threaten key water supply sources, and nuclear contamination poses immense problems for key water sources as welllanding Russia in 4th place for worst water pollution. Russia ranks 5th in worst CO2 emissionsair quality is almost as poor as water quality, with over 200 cities often exceeding Russian pollution limits. The country ranks 7th for marine capture.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in an effort to boost food production, win farmer votes and encourage the domestic fertilizer industry, the government has increased its subsidy of urea fertilizer over the years, and now pays about half of the domestic industrys cost of production. The overuse of urea is so degrading the soil that yields on some crops are fallinglanding India is 2nd place for environmental impact due to fertilizer use.
India ranks 3rd for water pollution as increasing competition for water among various sectors, including agriculture, industry, domestic, drinking, energy generation and others, is causing this precious natural resource to dry upwhile increasing pollution is also leading to the destruction of the habitat of wildlife that lives in waterways. India comes in 8th for another three areas: threatened species, marine capture and CO2 emissions.
Mexico holds more species of plants and animals than just about any other country: 450 mammals (Brazil, which is more than twice Mexicos size has only 394 mammals); about 1000 birds, 693 reptiles; 285 amphibians, and more than 2000 fish. As of the mid-1990s, many species were known to be already threatened: 64 mammals, 36 birds, 18 reptiles, 3 amphibians, and about 85 fish. Mexico did not join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the chief international agreement to stop trade in threatened and endangered plants and animals, in effect since 1975, until 1991, the last Latin American nation to do so. It is perhaps because of these factors that Mexico ranks 1st for threatened species. One of the many reasons? The country ranks 9th for natural forest loss.
Japan ranks 4th for marine capture. By 2004, the number of adult Atlantic bluefin tuna capable of spawning had dropped to roughly 19 percent of the 1975 level in Japan, which has a quarter of the world supply of the five big species of tuna: bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and albacore. After the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, Japanese government started its whaling for research purposes the following year, which has resulted in documented cases of scientific whale meat ending up on sashimi platters. Japan ranks 5th for both natural habitat conversion and water pollution, and 6th for CO2 emissions.
According to Global Forest Watch, Indonesia was still densely forested as recently as 1950yet 40 percent of the forests existing in 1950 were cleared in the following 50 years. In round numbers, forest cover fell from 162 million ha to 98 million ha2. For this, Indonesia ranks 2nd in natural forest loss, which probably has some to so with their taking 3rd place for threatened species. Indonesia is ranked 3rd for CO2 emissions, 6th for marine capture, 6th for fertilizer use, and 7th for water pollution.
Chinas coastal waters are increasingly polluted by everything from oil to pesticides to sewage, helping China earn its 1st place ranking for water pollution. In China, 20 million people lack access to clean drinking water; over 70 percent of lakes and rivers are polluted; and major pollution incidents happen on a near daily basisthe World Health Organization recently estimated that nearly 100,000 people die annually from water pollution-related illnesses.
China isnt doing much better in terms of overfishingthey take 1st place for marine capture. Add to that 2nd place for CO2 emissions and 6th place for threatened species, and we can see how China takes the bronze for most environmental impact. Chinese environmental protection agencies lack sufficient authority, financial resources and manpower. When there are conflicts between environmental protection and economic development, the former often loses to the latter.
Youd think with all of the smarts and resources this country has, it would rank a bit better than Number 2afraid not. Although it did rank a respectable 211 for natural habitat conversionthat honor is pretty much negated by the countrys abysmal ratings in other areas. Ringing in at 1st place for fertilizer use, this countrys excessive application of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) fertilizers can result in the leaching of these chemicals into water bodies and remove, alter or destroy natural habitats. The USA also ranks in 1st place for CO2 emissions, 2nd place for water pollution, 3rd place for marine captures, and 9th place for threatened species. Not feeling all that proud to be American at the moment.
In all seven categories considered for the report, Brazil ranked within the top ten for all but marine capture: 1st place for natural forest loss, 3rd place for natural habitat conversion, 3rd place for fertilizer use, 4th place for threatened species, 4th place for CO2 emissions, and 8th place for water pollution. Whats to account for these areas of intense environmental impact? A large portion of deforestation in Brazil can be attributed to the expansive Amazon rain forest (pictured above) land clearing for pastureland by commercial and speculative interests, misguided government policies, inappropriate World Bank projects, and commercial exploitation of forest resources. Soy and cocoa crops, as well as cattle ranching, have had a far-reaching effect. While in the Atlantic forests of Brazil, some of the worlds most diverse ecosystems have been converted to fast growing plantations (mostly non-native eucalyptus) for paper pulp.
The proportional index, which takes into consideration the impact as proportional to the resources available in the country, ranks these as the top ten countries creating the most negative environmental impact: Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, Philippines and Netherlands. According to the study from which both of these rankings were taken, continued degradation of nature despite decades of warning, coupled with the burgeoning human population (currently estimated at nearly 7 billion and projected to reach 9 to 10 billion by 2050), suggest that human quality of life could decline substantially in the near future. Increasing competition for resources could therefore lead to heightened civil strife and more frequent wars. Continued environmental degradation demands that countries needing solutions be identified urgently so that they can be assisted in environmental conservation and restoration.
Kerry-Lieberman Climate Proposal a Disaster for Climate
by Center for Biological Diversity -- May 12, 2010
WASHINGTON - In the midst of what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) will today put forth a draft climate bill that will not solve the problems of global warming and continues pandering to the fossil fuel industry -- including expanded offshore oil drilling -- that created the problems in the first place.
The proposal, leaked one day before its official release, reflects months of back-room negotiations between the senators, major polluters, and other Washington insiders, and would:
- provide only a fraction of the greenhouse gas pollution reductions scientists have said are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate disruption;
- ban successful Clean Air Act programs from reducing greenhouse pollution;
- ban existing state and local efforts to tackle climate change;
- catalyze increased oil and gas drilling -- including offshore drilling; and
- subsidize dangerous and costly nuclear energy.
In response, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kierán Suckling urged rejection of the proposal unless these problems are addressed. He issued the following statement:
"The climate proposal put forth today by Senators Kerry and Lieberman represents a disaster for our climate and planet. This proposal moves us one baby step forward and at least three giant steps back in any rational effort to address the climate crisis.
"The senators' proposal would entrench our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history. Large domes, small domes, golf balls, garbage, chemical dispersants, fire -- none have succeeded in stopping the enormous flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Clearly, there are no 'safeguards' Senators Lieberman and Kerry could put into this bill to make offshore oil safe.
"This proposal echoes greenhouse pollution reduction targets that scientists recently called 'paltry' and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Scientists have determined that reducing carbon pollution to 350 parts per million is necessary to preserve life as we know it. 350 ppm must be the bottom line for all climate and energy policies. The senators' weak targets will not reduce carbon pollution to below 350 ppm from its current level of 391 ppm.
"In his recent Earth Day proclamation, President Barack Obama specifically celebrated the gains of the Clean Air Act; nonetheless, this proposal appeases polluters by gutting the Act, which has protected the air we breathe for 40 years, reaping economic benefits more than 40 times its cost. The Clean Air Act already provides a mechanism to establish science-based pollution caps for greenhouse pollutants, yet the Kerry-Lieberman proposal would ban proven successful Clean Air Act programs from cutting greenhouse emissions.
"The Kerry-Lieberman proposal is not the answer because it asks the wrong questions. A successful climate bill must build upon, and not roll back, our existing foundation of environmental protections, and it must achieve the greenhouse pollution reductions necessary to avert dangerous climate disruption."
Date: 19 May 2010
From: "Alice Jay - Avaaz.org" )firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Ban indiscriminate killers
Mao Sopheap was orphaned by a landmine. Then, when she was 16, she stepped on one herself -- her left leg was blown apart and had to be amputated. During an interview she cried:
"That mine has given me a future of tears until the end of my life."
Outrageously the U.S. has not signed the decade-old global treaty to ban landmines. But last week, 68 U.S. Senators wrote to the President to support the ban, giving Obama the two-thirds majority he needs to ratify.
The Mine Ban Treaty was driven through by a global citizens movement -- now if enough of us support the Senate's move, we could get the Obama administration to sign it! Click below to take action now and forward this widely, the petition will be delivered to the White House when we reach 200,000 signers:
Some military advisers are resisting the ban, but their argument that a ban would reduce security is tenuous -- the United States has not used landmines since 1991, has had an export ban in place since 1992, and has not produced any since 1997.
Since 1999, 156 countries have signed the global treaty banning their use and production. But significantly the U.S., China and Russia have not, and without the U.S. there's little chance of a comprehensive global ban, crucial to eliminate these indiscriminate killers.
Last week's letter from the Senate brings the U.S. one step closer to signing. But to counter military hesitation, a massive global wave of support is needed for the President to ratify the global ban. Sign the petition below, then forward this email to friends and family.
Mao Sopheap's life and over 2000 lives per month have been destroyed by these malicious and obsolete bombs. Let's raise our voices together for those victims and send President Obama a clear message that the world will no longer accept U.S. delays and excuses. Sign the petition:
by Martin Chulov in Baghdad - May 12, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
The United States is likely to delay the withdrawal of the first large phase of combat troops from Iraq for at least a month after escalating bloodshed and political instability in the country.
The US Commanding General Ray Odierno had been due to give the order within 60 days of the general election held in Iraq on 7 March, when the cross-sectarian candidate Ayad Allawi edged out the incumbent leader, Nouri al-Maliki.
US officials had been prepared for delays in negotiations to form a new government, but now appear to have balked after Maliki's coalition aligned itself with the theocratic Shia bloc to the exclusion of Allawi, who attracted the bulk of the minority Sunni vote. There is also concern over interference from Iraq's neighbours, Iran, Turkey and Syria
With sectarian tensions rising, the al-Qaida fighters in Iraq and affiliated Sunni extremist groups have mounted bombing campaigns and assassinations around the country. The violence is widely seen as an attempt to intimidate all sides of the political spectrum and press home the message to the departing US forces that militancy remains a formidable foe.
General Odierno has kept a low profile since announcing the deaths of al-Qaida's two leaders in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, who were killed in a combined Iraqi-US raid on 18 April. The operation was hailed then as a near fatal blow against al-Qaida, but violence has intensified ever since.
All US combat forces are due to leave Iraq by 31 August, a date the Obama administration is keen to observe as the US president sends greater reinforcements to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan - a campaign he has set apart from the Iraq war, by describing it as "just".
Iraqi leaders remain adamant that combat troops should leave by the prescribed deadline. However, they face the problem of not having enough troops to secure the country if the rejuvenated insurgency succeeds in sparking another lethal round of sectarian conflict.
"The presence of foreign forces sent shock waves through Iraqis," said Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister. "And at the beginning it was a terrifying message that they didn't dare challenge. But then they got emboldened through terrorism and acts of resistance. And as the Americans are leaving, we are seeing more of it."
From his office in central Baghdad, destroyed in a massive explosion last August at the start of a new phase in the insurgency, Zebari said Iraq's neighbours were taking full advantage of the political stalemate. He also hinted that they may be directly backing the violence.
"They too have been emboldened, because we haven't been able to establish a viable unified government that others can respect," he said.
"In one way or another, Iran, Turkey and Syria are interfering in the formation of this government.
"There is a lingering fear [among some neighbouring states] that Iraq should not reach a level of stability. The competition over the future of Iraq is being played out mostly between Turkey and Iran. They both believe they have a vested interest here."
The withdrawal order is eagerly awaited by the 92,000 US troops still in Iraq - they mostly remain confined to their bases. This month, General Odierno was supposed to have ordered the pullout of 12,500, a figure that was meant to escalate every week between now and 31 August, when only 50,000 US troops are set to remain - all of them non-combat forces.
US patrols are now seldom seen on the streets of Baghdad, where the terms of a security agreement between Baghdad and Washington are being followed strictly: this relegates them to secondary partners and means US troops cannot leave their bases without Iraqi permission.
US commanders have grown accustomed to being masters of the land no longer, but they have recently grown increasingly concerned about what they will leave behind.
Zebari said: "The mother of all mistakes that they made was changing their mission from liberation to occupation and then legalising that through a security council resolution."
Earlier this week, Allawi warned that the departing US troops had an obligation enshrined in the security agreement and at the United Nations security council to safeguard Iraq's democratic process. He warned of catastrophic consequences if the occupation ended with Iraq still politically unstable.
Out of Iraq? Don't Hold Your Breath (14 May 2010) http://www.truthout.org/out-iraq-dont-hold-your-breath59458
President Obama will not get the United States out of Iraq in his first term. If he wins a second term, it is highly unlikely he will get us out of Iraq before he finally leaves office.Print that out and tack it to your wall. Six years from now, it will still be hanging there, yellow and curled, but entirely correct. We're not going anywhere. Yeah, yeah, I know, the word from the White House ever since Obama first began to campaign has been that we'll be out of Iraq by 2011. That was the promise, oft-repeated, and I'm here to tell you that it's a load of bull. Iraq is the 51st state, now and forever, so praise the Lord and pass the taxpayer-funded ammunition, amen.The reasons for this grim truth are myriad, and most recently have to do with another frenzy of violence and bloodshed in that ravaged, raped nation. A parliamentary election on March 7 failed to deliver majority control to either of the two major factions - one controlled by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, the other by current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - and the resulting power struggle has spilled into the streets. Again. On Monday, more than 100 people were killed and 300 injured after a series of bombings and assassinations rippled across Iraq. In total, it appears there were more than 60 attacks; Baghdad, Mosul, Hilla, and other cities were rent by explosions and gunfire which, according to the power players, had a decidedly political edge. Matters have gotten so dangerous there that Allawi was compelled to lash out at his own government (such as it is) for sitting on their hands while people are getting killed: CLIP
The concept of the "long war" has characterised military doctrine since the end of World War II. The broader objective of global military dominance in support of an imperial project was first formulated under the Truman administration in the late 1940s at the outset of the Cold War.
The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which was the backbone of the NeoCon's agenda was predicated on "waging a war without borders". The PNAC's declared objectives was to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars" in different regions of the World as well perform the so-called military "constabulary" duties "associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions". Global constabulary implies a Worldwide process of military policing and interventionism. (Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding Americas Defenses.pdf, September 2000)
The diabolical nature of this military project was adopted and implemented from the very outset of the Obama administration. With a new team of military and foreign policy advisers, Obama has been far more effective in fostering military escalation than his predecessor in the White House.
Under the Obama presidency, this global military project has become increasingly pervasive. Military escalation as well as the Worldwide deployment of US military might are an integral part of America's "long war" military doctrine, to which the current administration is firmly committed. The nature of the long war was recently reaffirmed by the Vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General James Cartwright:
"[For the next] five to 10 years.... the military likely will remain engaged in the same kinds of conflicts it has been fighting since 2001 ... [N]o one I know thinks we'll be out of these kinds of conflicts any time soon. There is nothing out there that tells us we won't be wrapped up in these conflicts for as far as the eye can see.. " quoted in John T. Bennett, Cartwright: Expect war for 5-10 more years - MarineCorpsTimes.com, May 14, 2010)
Cartwright in his presentation to the Washington based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) also confirmed the global nature of America's military adventure, stating unequivocally that the US military will be involved "in different places and at different levels," (Ibid).
Cartwright's statements are consistent with the overall military doctrine of waging a global war under the US-NATO banner. Escalation of the Middle East Central Asian is part of a carefully planned scenario. According to The Army Times report:
"He [Cartwright] did not point to specific nations into which U.S. forces or assets might be deployed over the next decade beyond Iraq and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region." (Ibid)
Establishing a Military Assembly Line
Cartwright also called for a significant increase in the production of advanced weapons systems. The underlying emphasis is on sheer quantity, namely the establishment of a military assembly line as opposed to the commissioning of new "expensive" weapons systems: "We need quantity more than quality", namely the mass production of military hardware.
Cartwright also called for a massive increase in the number of US troops.
Cartwright's speech at CSIS was part of the Military Strategy Forum (MSF) focusing on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which is sponsored by Rolls Royce, which together with GE has developed the F136 advanced fighter engine designed for the Joint Strike Fighter. (Listen to audio of Cartwright's speech at CSIS, Military Strategy Forum with General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 2000)
, May 13, 2010)
"Humanitarian" Mandate: When War Becomes Peace
The Obama administration's objective is to give a humanitarian image to the "long war" and "global war on terror," labels, which were presented to public opinion in the immediate wake of the 2001 9/11 attacks.
In March of last year, the Defense Department's office of security review stated that that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' " (quoted by Scott Wilson and Al Kamen, 'Global War On Terror' Is Given New Name, September 2000)
- washingtonpost.com, 25 March 2009)
The surge in troop deployment is part of a long war scenario, which is by no means limited to the Middle East and Central Asia. While the US and NATO are directly threatening Russia, China and Iran, the Obama doctrine tacitly denies the very existence of a war. What is increasingly presented to public opinion is a Worldwide counter-terrorism crusade against Al Qaeda.
A change of words and labels does not modify the nature of America's global military design. What were dealing with is an intractable war, which in a very real sense threatens the future of humanity.
According to NBC News and journalist Jonathan Alter in his book "The Promise," President Barack Obama "dressed down" senior generals at the Pentagon for attempting in 2009 to "box him in" on troop levels in Afghanistan. The "exceedingly unhappy" president was in a "cold fury" at his generals for "speaking out of turn" before last year's speech at West Point. Alter even suggests that American generals hadn't been on the receiving end of such a serious tongue-lashing since President Harry S Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. Is Obama the reincarnation of Harry "the buck stops here" Truman? Has he brought rebellious generals to heel? Evidence suggests otherwise. First, under Obama the U.S. military has gotten everything they could've possibly wanted, and more: rising defense budgets, more soldiers and Marines added to the ranks, and virtually uncontested control over American foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. All major weapon system acquisition programs are "full speed ahead," the exception in this case -- the F-22 Raptor -- being a manifestation of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' determined opposition to the program, stemming in part from the Air Force's truculent and tone-deaf demands for ultra-expensive air superiority fighters that are unneeded in America's current war zones. Second, no general of the power and popularity of MacArthur has been fired. On the contrary, Obama has empowered the generals favored previously by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, men like David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal. This is not to suggest Obama should fire either of these men; rather, it's to point out that Obama has not yet taken the kind of strong (and, initially, wildly unpopular) stand Truman took in firing "the American Caesar" during the Korean War. So, has Obama reined in his generals and humbled our military? Of course not. At a time of huge deficits and prolonged recession, Obama has further empowered our national military state. He has made no tough decisions to corral, control, or cut our military establishment. His decision to surge more troops to Afghanistan may have been resisted within progressive and anti-war circles, but it was hardly an unpopular decision within the military-industrial complex.Indeed, the claim that Obama's "dressing down" of his generals is the toughest talk these and previous star-wearing men have heard since Truman-MacArthur is ridiculous. Tell that to the generals who had to deal with the skeptical Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a former five-star general, in the 1950s; tell that to the generals who were constrained by John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the generals who had their arms twisted by Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, or to the generals on the receiving end of profanity-laden second-guessing by Richard Nixon. Even Jimmy Carter had the temerity to cut the entire B-1 bomber program, despite intense opposition by the U.S. Air Force (the B-1 was later restored under President Ronald Reagan). To put it bluntly: During his campaign Obama talked about "change," but with respect to our military and our wars, the only "change" since 2008 has been more military escalation, including more drone attacks in the Af-Pak war, as well as more military spending. Indeed, Obama vowed not to ask for "emergency" supplemental funding to pay for these wars, only to break that vow by asking this year for an additional $33 billion for Afghanistan. Actions speak far louder than words: What we've witnessed from Obama is no "dressing down" of our military, but rather yet another ramping up.
$1 Trillion for Wars Makes No Sense By Any Measure
Mary Zerkel National Coordinator of the Eyes Wide Open and Cost of War programs within the American Friends Service Committee
May 25, 201
This May 30 at 10:06 a.m., we will reach another dubious milestone in our almost nine years of war. At that precise moment, we will have spent $1 trillion in operational costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tracked by the National Priorities Project's cost of war counter.
What is $1 trillion worth? NPP explains it this way: if you made a million dollars a year, it would take you a million years to earn $1 trillion.
Of course, most Americans don't earn $1 million a year. In fact 9.9 percent earn nothing because they are unemployed. It's a shame that we have wasted that $1 trillion on war, rather than on a WPA-style program to repair our roads and bridges that could have hired those 15.3 million people out of work for $50,000 apiece. And on top of that, we would still have had a cool $235 billion left over to invest in clean energy, producing 3.9 million green jobs while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, according to a study, September 2000)
by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Many such tradeoffs exist, tantalizing us with what could have been. For instance, with that $1 trillion we could have given 4-year scholarships at state universities to the 2 million freshmen currently enrolled - and do the same thing again in each of the next 23 years. Or we could have provided the estimated 500,000 homeless families across the U.S. with affordable housing - and done that each year for the next 17 years.
In other words, $1 trillion has the potential to completely wipe out major domestic social problems that desperately need funding as we cope with the effects of the great recession.
But some very different choices have been made. Runaway spending on the wars and the military in general, puts us in a situation where priorities like education, housing and many other vital domestic needs will be taking a back seat. Is war worth it?
Congress is on the verge of approving yet another "emergency" war spending supplemental, this time for $34 billion to pay for the escalation of troops in Afghanistan. Last weekend (May 22-23) for the first time the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq. We're winding down one misguided conflict only to accelerate another. And we're doing so with borrowed money. For generations we will be paying the price of these wars with a diminished capacity to respond to the needs of people and communities in our own country.
Sadly, our unfunded domestic needs are not the only cost of war. Why do we continue to spend in pursuit of a military solution in Afghanistan when nearly nine years of war should prove that it is not working? Imagine what spending a fraction of that money on building schools for Afghan girls, or rebuilding an infrastructure decimated by 30 years of war and occupation, could do for the "hearts and minds" we currently are trying to win through drone strikes and the spring offensive in Khandahar.
The human and economic cost of the wars cannot be separated. In yet another sad convergence, we will reach this $1 trillion milestone on Memorial Day weekend. There is no way to quantify the tragedy of the lost lives of the U.S. soldiers and countless Iraqi and Afghan civilians. Each dollar spent on the wars not only was diverted from peaceful, productive projects, but also contributed to these lives lost. That is the greatest tragedy of all.
Take some time this weekend to remember those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. And take a moment to let your members of Congress know that this out-of-control war spending is NOT worth one more dollar or one more life.
Imagine that in this alternate universe, a foreign military power begins flying remote-controlled warplanes over your town, using on-board missiles to kill hundreds of your innocent neighbors.
Now imagine that when you read the newspaper about this ongoing bloodbath, you learn that the foreign nation's top general is nonchalantly telling reporters that his troops are also killing "an amazing number" of your cultural brethren in an adjacent country. Imagine further learning that this foreign power is expanding the drone attacks on your community despite the attacks' well-known record of killing innocents. And finally, imagine that when you turn on your television, you see the perpetrator nation's tuxedo-clad leader cracking stand-up comedy jokes about drone strikes -- jokes that prompt guffaws from an audience of that nation's elite.
Ask yourself: How would you and your fellow citizens respond? Would you call homegrown militias mounting a defense "patriots" or would you call them "terrorists"? Would you agree with your leaders when they angrily tell reporters that violent defiance should be expected?
Fortunately, most Americans don't have to worry about these queries in their own lives. But how we answer them in a hypothetical thought experiment provides us insight into how Pakistanis are likely feeling right now. Why? Because thanks to our continued drone assaults on their country, Pakistanis now confront these issues every day. And if they answer these questions as many of us undoubtedly would in a similar situation -- well, that should trouble every American in this age of asymmetrical warfare.
Though we don't like to call it mass murder, the U.S. government's undeclared drone war in Pakistan is devolving into just that. As noted by a former counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and a former Army officer in Afghanistan, the operation has become a haphazard massacre.
"Press reports suggest that over the last three years drone strikes have killed about 14 terrorist leaders," David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum wrote in 2009. "But, according to Pakistani sources, they have also killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed."
Making matters worse, Gen. Stanley McChrystal has, indeed, told journalists that in Afghanistan, U.S. troops have "shot an amazing number of people" and "none has proven to have been a real threat." Meanwhile, President Obama used his internationally televised speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner to jest about drone warfare -- and the assembled Washington glitterati did, in fact, reward him with approving laughs.
By eerie coincidence, that latter display of monstrous insouciance occurred on the same night as the failed effort to raze Times Square. Though America reacted to that despicable terrorism attempt with its routine spasms of cartoonish shock (why do they hate us?!), the assailant's motive was anything but baffling. As "This is a blowback," said Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. "This is a reaction. And you could expect that ... let's not be naive."
Obviously, regardless of rationale, a "reaction" that involves trying to incinerate civilians in Manhattan is abhorrent and unacceptable. But so is Obama's move to intensify drone assaults that we know are regularly incinerating innocent civilians in Pakistan. And while Qureshi's statement about "expecting" blowback seems radical, he's merely echoing the CIA's reminder that "possibilities of blowback" arise when we conduct martial operations abroad.
We might remember that somehow-forgotten warning come the next terrorist assault. No matter how surprised we may feel after that inevitable (and inevitably deplorable) attack, the fact remains that until we halt our own indiscriminately violent actions, we ought to expect equally indiscriminate and equally violent reactions.
Pakistani Taliban say America will "burn" (May 14, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100514/ts_nm/us_pakistan_taliban
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) Pakistani Taliban militants have warned America that it will soon "burn" while calling for Pakistan's rulers to be overthrown for following "America's agenda".The United States is convinced Pakistani Taliban militants allied with al Qaeda and operating out of northwestern Pakistani border regions were behind an attempted car-bomb attack in New York's Times Square on May 1.The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. If confirmed, it would be the first time their members were involved in an attempted attack in the West.A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, in a video message obtained by Reuters, repeated a claim of responsibility, saying:"The movement proved what America could not have even imagined ... It was just an explosive-laden vehicle which did not explode."But it (America) will see, all imperialist forces will see that it will explode also and America will also burn," said the spokesman, Azim Tariq, sitting cross-legged on the ground in front of a rock face and speaking in Urdu.America's allies would meet the same fate, he said."They can neither eliminate the mujahideen nor jihad, nor they can harm Islam," he said, referring to Muslim holy warriors and holy war."Instead, they will have to die themselves, they will be burned themselves, they will have to dig their own graves," said the spokesman, sporting a long black beard and turban.
Strikes On US Mainland? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25441.htm
Drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal areas have intensified in recent days. The raids come after it was revealed that the US government had granted approval to the CIA to expand drone attacks to lower-level members of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. But the attacks have caused growing anger in Pakistan, as civilians continue to be killed and homes and villages are destroyed. Jamshed Ayaz Khan, a Pakistan-based defence analyst, told Al Jazeera that a "hundred per cent [of Pakistanis] are against the drone attacks"."I have not seen anybody who is in favour of drone attacks," he said. Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reports from Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.
The Ethical and Philosophical Questions Raised By Creation of First Synthetic Cell
By JOHN HUDSON on May 22, 2010
Craig Venter has done it. After some fifteen years of research and $40 million, the pioneering scientist has created what some are calling the first "synthetic cell." His team synthesized a bacterial genome and used it to take over a cell. Venter described the end product as "the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer." So did Venter create life from scratch? Not exactly. But it has fueled a vibrant discussion on bioethics and where this could lead. Here's what's buzzing in scientific circles:
Is It Man-Made Life? Carl Zimmer at Discover fleshes it out: "It's hard to say whether this is 'life from scratch,' because the boundary between such a thing and ordinary life (and non-life) is actually blurry. For example, you could say that this is still a nature hybrid, because its DNA is based on the sequence of an existing species of bacteria. If Venter made up a sequence from scratch, maybe we'd have crossed to a new terrain."
I Have Not Created Life, says Venter: "We've created the first synthetic cell. We definitely have not created life from scratch because we used a recipient cell to boot up the synthetic chromosome." Jim Collins, a bioengineer at Boston University agrees. "My worry is that some people are going to draw the conclusion that they have created a new life form. What they have created is an organism with a synthesized natural genome. But it doesn't represent the creation of life from scratch or the creation of a new life form."
It's Ultimately a Philosophical Question, says Andy Elington, a synthetic biologist at the University of Texas in Austin: "Whether you agree or not is a philosophical question, not a scientific one as there is no biological difference between synthetic bacteria and the real thing. The bacteria didn't have a soul, and there wasn't some animistic property of the bacteria that changed."
Don't Start the Ethical Concerns Just Yet, writes PZ Myers at Pharyngula: "Give it a decade or two, though, and we'll have all kinds of new capabilities in our hands. The ethical concerns now are a little premature, though, because we have no idea what our children and grandchildren will be able to do with this power... We're going to have to sit back, enjoy the ride, and watch carefully for new promises and perils as they emerge."
Does This Vindicate Physicalism? Christina Agapakis at Science blogs doesn't think so: "What separates a bag of DNA from a living, replicating cell is still unclear and un-synthesizable. To me, life is still 'special' and incredibly powerful and I don't think that we have to burst that bubble to be able to engineer cells. I'm a biologist because I think life is awesome. I'm a synthetic biologist because I think it's awesome to be able to see and experience just how robust and powerful biology is as we rewire, remix, and refactor living cells, not because I want life to be just chemicals, just DNA sequence."
Here Comes the Deism vs. Atheism Debate, writes Andrew Brown at The Guardian: "Atheists of the Dawkins type will take it as practical proof that there is no need to hypothesise God at all: we can make life without any miracles, and there's no need to imagine a creator; Christians will retort that they don't think that God exists the way that things exist, and that God is no longer a man in the clouds with a long white beard; still less is he a man with a short white beard, like Ventner. Both sides will continue to shout past one another, feeling entirely vindicated by events."
Scientists create synthetic cell (21.05.2010) http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/16292/randd/scientists-create-synthetic-cell
Scientists at US genomics pioneer Craig Venter's laboratories in California and Maryland in the US have turned inanimate chemicals into a living organism. The creation of the world's first "synthetic cells" is a project that took 15 years to complete. The cells are bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides ."We have passed through a critical psychological barrier," Venter told the Financial Times. "It has changed my own thinking, both scientifically and philosophically, about life and how it works."Beginning with information on a computer, four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesiser were used to construct the bacteria's genes, Venter said, and the research has been deemed a landmark by many independent scientists and philosophers. The research has been published online by the journal Science. The synthetic bacteria, which behaved like natural bacteria, have 14 "watermark sequences" attached to their genome - inert stretches of DNA added to distinguish them from their natural counterparts. M mycoides was chosen as a simple microbe with which to prove the technology. It has no immediate application. But scientists at the J Craig Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics, the company funding their research, are interested in designing algae that can capture carbon dioxide from the air and produce hydrocarbon fuels.
Synthetic biology raises bioethical questions (21.05.2010) http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/16295/randd/synthetic-biology-raises-bioethical-questions
Like nanotechnology and gene transfer technology before it, the creation of the first viable cell with a synthetic genome has not only raised obvious ethical issues about scientists "playing God" but has other bioethical repercussions; looking at humanity's relationship to nature as well as the changing scale between living and nonliving."Synthetic biology certainly raises deep philosophical and moral questions about the human relationship to nature," says Gregory Kaebnick, a scholar with bioethics research institution The Hastings Center, who is managing a project examining moral issues in synthetic biology. "It's not clear what the answers to those questions are. If by 'nature' we mean the world around us, more or less as we found it, we may well decide that synthetic biology does not really change the human relationship to nature - and may even help us preserve what is left of it." "We have come up against similar problems in other domains - most notably, in work on nanotechnology and gene transfer technology - but synthetic biology poses them especially sharply and pressingly," said Thomas H Murray, president of The Hastings Center and the project's principal investigator. Not only research and science institutes but also the world of art is concerned with examining the implications and impact of the first synthetic cell on society. James King, an independent British designer whose work is displayed in MOMA New York, is looking at how living cell and non-living cells differ from each other and how the future of medicine may not be a cure in the traditional sense but rather the replication of artificial cells in the human body where needed. CLIP
Artificial life warning: how it could get out of control (May 21, 2010) http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/artificial-life-warning-how-it-could-get-out-of-control-20100521-w10z.html
The making of mankind's first synthetic cell is a form of genetic engineering that could open a scientific Pandora's box, some ethicists and scientists warned today.Researcher and entrepreneur Craig Venter unveiled the self-replicating bacteria cell overnight in the US after 15 years of research, hailing it a "powerful tool" for designing biology.Using the same method, scientists could design bacteria to help produce biofuels or to clean up environmental hazards. But critics say Venter is playing God and exposing humanity and the environment to bacteria that could mutate, with unforseen consequences, or even be used as biological weapons."It's quite a radically different approach," biochemistry professor Ann Simpson of the University of Technology, Sydney said."You've got to be very careful when you willy-nilly send something into the environment and you can't control its spread."And you can't control a bacteria spread once you release it."Professor Simpson said this form of artificial life was unlike other form of biomedical advances, where changes are contained within an individual, drug or crop that could be carefully checked before they are released into the environment."Bacteria have been known to mutate and change, and [this could] change into something that they didn't predict, and it could be a problem."
(...) The synthetic genome created by the J. Craig Venter Institute is "watermarked" to distinguish it from a natural one.The watermarks included the names of 46 authors and scientists who worked on the project on the genome along with its own website address - so that anyone who decodes it can send an email to the team.Three sets of quotations including "to live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life" from Irish author James Joyce were also included.Venter told a press conference the team had started with a living cell, which had been transformed with the synthetic genome, adding that the cell had gone through a "million steps of replication" and was now frozen in a freezer."This is an important step we think, both scientifically and philosophically. It's certainly changed my views of the definitions of life and how life works," he added in a statement. He also dismissed fears that such synthetic technology could be use for bio-terrorism. "The technology is not for sale, the cells are not for sale," he told the BBC."We are trying to use this technology to advance vaccine protection, we are trying to use it to advance the basic understanding of cellular life."
Cell research defies divine law, says seer (May 23rd, 2010) http://www.deccanchronicle.com/chennai/cell-research-defies-divine-law-says-seer-020
Craig Venter's laboratory cell violates the divine law of recreation, says Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, who believes that creating life in a laboratory is an act of defiance against God, as man is created based on his deeds in his previous birth. "Venter's work violates karma, which alone decides the nature of life for all humans and, besides, creating life in lab could cause cultural degradation as it eliminates the need for marriage and family values," the swami told DC when his attention was drawn to the creation of synthetic cells in Venter's laboratory in Rockville, Maryland. This kind of scientific advancement could be used to provide vital needs like water, the pontiff said, welcoming the use of research to make vaccines and biofuels. "But if a man is synthetically created, he would not be guided by past karma and would behave just like a machine. This should be avoided," he advi-sed. Asked if the Venter success did not mean achieving greater hei-ghts in decoding the mysteries of life, he shot back, "God first created the entire world and made man and animals. He ensured man benefited through his creations. The synthetic cell will affect all of creation and should be stopped." In lighter vein, pointing to a newspaper advertisement on astrological predictions, the seer said, "Even this would be affected."
Cautious welcome to synthetic cell from Vatican (May 22, 2010) http://www.christiantoday.com/article/cautious.welcome.to.synthetic.cell.from.vatican/25946.htm
The Catholic Church has said that the creation of the first ever synthetic cell could be positive so long as the discovery is used "for the good of all".It was announced this week that researchers in the US had successfully replaced all natural DNA inside a cell with laboratory-synthesised DNA.Monsignor Rino Fisichella, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, told the Associated Press that it was a "great scientific discovery". "Now we have to understand how it will be implemented in the future," he said."If we ascertain that it is for the good of all, of the environment and man in it, we'll keep the same judgement. "If, on the other hand, the use of this discovery should turn against the dignity of and respect for human life, then our judgement would change." The research was led by Craig Venter of the J Craig Venter Institute and published on the website of Science journal this week. Venter, who is also working with ExxonMobil on turning algae into fuel, denied accusations of "playing God". "That term comes up every time there is a new medical or scientific breakthrough associated with biology," he said. "It has been a goal of humanity from the earlier stages to try and control nature - that's how we got domesticated animals."
Synthetic cell worries farm group (May 22, 2010) http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/05/22/sk-farmers-synthetic-venter-10522.html
The National Farmers Union says the development of a synthetic cell could lead to worrisome, long-term consequences. In a release issued Saturday from Saskatoon, NFU president Terry Boehm called this week's announcement of the world's first "100 per cent synthetic life form" a risk "for humankind and the environment." "This new technology raises serious concerns about who controls it, what it will be used for, and its potential impact," Boehm said. On Thursday, scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., said they had created what they described as a synthetic cell designed by humans.While the scientific development was only an incremental step toward custom-made organisms, it has already attracted considerable debate."We cannot imagine the implications of synthetic-life technology," Boehm said."All too often farmers and nature bear the brunt of the exploitive potential of these new technologies," the NFU added in its statement, noting the impact of genetically modified plants and synthetic chemicals such as PCBs and DDT. "We need to very carefully consider the regulations, ethics and moral questions raised by interfering with nature," Boehm added. "Agriculture has always tried to work with nature," said Boehm, who is a grain farmer. "It succeeds the best when it works with nature. Now we're creating something outside of that." He said his group will lobby government to ensure strong regulations are in place to protect the environment. "I really can't imagine what will flow from [this science]," he said. "This is something that can reproduce itself and there will be no natural checks and balances."
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
Speech on the Occasion of International Women's Day
Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, March 8, 2007
I can hardly believe I am here with you today, in Afghanistan. I have come a long way to deliver a message of hope to the women of this country.
Let me look at you.
I want to etch this image of you slowly into my memory.
I want this image to stay with me for a long time, and I want to share it everywhere I go as a beacon of hope.
If you only knew how often I cried out with indignation for you when you could not.
If you only knew how often I wished I could do more to free you from your prisons than just cry my helpless tears.
If you only knew how many times I thought about the life you lead, every moment of every day, terrorized and sick with fear.
For me and for so many others, the hand you were dealt was unacceptable.
I am here to tell you that in person.
I myself was born in one of the poorest countries in the Americas, Haiti, at a time when violence and injustice were everyday occurrences.
My mother left that regime of terror behind so that her daughters could grow and thrive in freedom.
We found in Canada a place of unparalleled freedom, and I have made it my mission to defend that freedom vigilantly.
I spent a number of years of my professional career accompanying women who had suffered many forms of violence: physical, psychological, sexual and institutional.
I will never forget the words of those women whose inner flame had been brutally snuffed out and who, little by little, found that spark once again.
Their words of courage lift me up, in good times and in bad.
And I am here today to hear your words.
I am absolutely convinced that women's participation in the life of cities and villages guarantees progress.
It is very important to me that Afghan women take their rightful place in Afghanistan's institutions.
In my opinion, the role of Afghan women in Afghanistan's reconstruction is imperative.
And I am not alone in this opinion, or in saying it out loud.
Earlier, I told President Karzai that women have always understood how precious life is, that their aspirations benefit the whole country, and that the future of Afghanistan depends on them.
Empower women and you will see a decrease in poverty, illiteracy, disease and violence.
Women are the ones who generally take care of children's health and education.
Women are the ones who instill them with the values of compassion and openness in a world where the warrior instinct still too often prevails.
The battles women have fought and continue to fight to ensure that their rights are respected are in themselves an affirmation of human dignity.
To attack the dignity of women is to fly in the face of life itself; it is to make a mockery of humanity.
I know, I know you face very harsh realities.
I know that some young women see suicide as their only escape from unbearable situations, to the point of setting themselves on fire.
I know that the women of Afghanistan have one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world.
I know that less than 10 per cent of Afghan women give birth with a qualified person present, and that these dangerous conditions are responsible for over 50 per cent of the deaths of Afghan women of child-bearing age.
And as a mother, it pains me to know that the infant mortality rate in Afghanistan is close to 20 per cent.
These are just some of the reasons to honour your efforts and to take action on behalf of Afghan women, while remaining respectful of their needs and aspirations.
And that is why I was so pleased, just now, in the company of Her Excellency Husna Banu Ghazanfar, Minister of Women's Affairs, to visit a school, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, which provides training opportunities to Afghan women so that they can support themselves and their children with dignity, and help with the advancement of their communities.
I am here to tell you that there is a strong commitment in Canada to improve the lives of women in Afghanistan and to ensure that their voices are heard.
And, finally, my friends, that is why I could not ask for better company on International Women's Day.
I decided long ago that I would come here on this particular day to show you how much I admire your courage and to tell you that you bring hope to your fellow Afghans and to women around the world.
That, my sisters, is what I see when I look at you.
I stand before you as an ally.
And I am accompanied on this journey by two exceptional women- Dr. June Webber, director of International Policy and Development for the Canadian Nurses Association, and Madame Francine Pelletier, a documentary filmmaker and an engaged feminist-who will help me spread your words.
And I would like to salute the Canadians who bring hope to the Afghan women.
But I have spoken enough.
I would much prefer to hear from you.
And let us not forget, on this festive day, the Tajik proverb - roughly translated-that says "the work of one woman is worth more than the views of one hundred men."
Chemtrails: The Consequences of Toxic Metals and Chemical Aerosols on Human Health - Part I
By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri
Global Research, May 12, 2010
For decades, we have known that heavy metals and chemicals can cause grave physical harm. Going back to Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," we have known and been amply warned of the serious consequences of using or being exposed to these poisons in our daily activities. Thousands of these are well-documented carcinogens.
Building on Carson's ground-breaking research, we also know that certain kinds of chemicals can and do disrupt human [and other animals] entire immune system. Going back 30 years, researchers were investigating what became known as endocrine [hormone] disrupting chemicals and how they were affecting frogs [who sometimes had five legs or hermaphroditic characteristics], other aquatic animals, and mammals. These animals were the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. In another pioneering book, "Our Stolen Future," authors Dr. Theo Colburn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers clearly demonstrate that 1 + 1 hormone-disrupting chemicals did not equal 2. Rather, in a nightmare of mathematical proportions, these poisons acted synergistically; and 1+1 could equal up to 1,600 times the original dose. We are also exposed to more than 100,000 chemicals regularly. Most of them have never been tested for human safety. So, almost nothing has been done to reduce human exposure to a myriad of hazardous chemicals. In fact, over the past decade, the Bush administration dismantled many environmental laws in existence for 30 years, to let corporations off the proverbial hook. [Just look at whats unfolding in the Gulf with the BP oil spill.]
Although this information, on the dangers of hormone disruption, is now more widely available on Internet sites, it still is not well known by the average person who gets news mostly from mainstream media.(1) Most of these highly toxic chemicals are invisible; and, therefore, are easily off our collective radar. With the high stress level created by the deliberately orchestrated financial crisis --where millions have lost their jobs and homes a degraded/collapsing environment or serious health problems are not priorities especially, if very little is reported in mainstream news. This disaster scenario is part of the larger picture of what Naomi Klein writes about in her book "The Shock Doctrine." We have so many major crises, one after another, that it is hard just to keep up with one's daily routine let alone have time to read and consider the toxicological health ramifications of massive amounts of thousands of heavy metals and chemicals that have poisoned our entire food chain and, thus, our own supposed "health." We are at the very top of this wrecked food chain.
Now, however, there is another far more insidious layer of toxicity that is not being addressed at all in any mainstream, corporate-controlled news, and it is affecting our very survival. It is, however, being addressed more and more by independent researchers who have supporting evidence to back up their Internet reports.
For more than a decade, first the United States and then Canada's citizens have been subjected to a 24/7/365 day aerosol assault over our heads made of a toxic brew of poisonous heavy metals, chemicals, and other dangerous ingredients. None of this was reported by any mainstream media. The US Department of Defense [DOD] and military have been systematically blanketing all our skies with what are known as Chemtrails (also known as Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering).(2) These differ vastly from the usual plane contrails that evaporate rather quickly in the sky. Chemtrails do not dissipate. Rather, planes (fitted with special nozzles) release aerosols "lines" in the sky that do not evaporate. Multiple planes are deployed, flying parallel (or often "checkerboard" patterns) overhead; and soon the sky is blanketed with many grayish-white lines [miles and miles long, although this is changing]. At first, these lines are thin; but soon they expand and, in a short time, merge together. Our once-blue sky has vanished and has been replaced by a grayish-white toxic haze that blots out and greatly diminishes our usual sunshine.
Military and commercial planes are involved in more than 60 secret operations. Last year, when I flew across the country, I saw a United Airlines jet (flying below us at about 37,000 feet) spraying a black aerosol that went for miles and miles across the sky. This clandestine program now includes aerosol-spraying planes in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand [all NATO countries]. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people have called and written their public officials to get answers. Replies from US and Canadian officials are not forthcoming; or, if they do reply, queries are dismissed. This remains an ongoing, deliberate cover-up. No one is held accountable, while we continued to be poisoned daily. This is not the first time, however, that citizens are being used as experimental laboratory test subjects. The US government and its military have a very long and sordid history of using us, without informed consent, in this illegal manner. As Carole Pellatt notes:
The U.S. military has been spraying chemical and biological weapons in open air testing over civilian populations since the 1940's. They are called "vulnerability tests". This is not a controversial statement. The military has admitted to this practice on many occasions and theres plenty of documentation from the government to corroborate it. There is also documentation of intentional, experimental releases of radiation on civilian populations. Unfortunately, this information tends to surface long after it could have saved lives, or eased the suffering of victims.(3)
Over the past decade, independent testing of Chemtrails around the country has shown a dangerous, extremely poisonous brew that includes: barium, nano aluminum-coated fiberglass [known as CHAFF], radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, desiccated blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, and polymer fibers. Barium can be compared to the toxicity of arsenic.(4) Barium is known to adversely affect the heart. Aluminum has a history of damaging brain function. Independent researchers and labs continue to show off-the-scale levels of these poisons. A few "anonymous" officials have acknowledged this on-going aerosol spraying.(5)
Numerous tests have been done to verify that these poisons are off the scale in their toxicity. They are documented in our water, in our soil, and in our air. For more than 10 years, researcher Clifford Carnicom has been valiantly and systematically reporting on the various detrimental aspects of these aerosols and what they are doing to our entire environment, as well as our blood.(6) Various "sky watch" groups also have been carefully documenting and diligently reporting about these daily assaults.(7)
With all these poisons surrounding our every breath, it is not surprising to see a dramatic increase in illnesses. There are numerous reports of the increase in cardiac deaths and upper respiratory illnesses (asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and often multiple chronic illnesses). Chemtrails toxicity has already dramatically affected our deteriorating "collective health." The significant increase in heart disease and various upper respiratory illnesses has been linked to a vast increase in "particulate matter" in our air. This can be seen by some revealing statistics:
1. Coronary heart disease is now the leading cause of death in the US. According to the CDC, in 2006, 631,636 died of heart disease. This means 1 out of every 5 Americans are affected.(8)
In Canada, every seven minutes someone dies of heart disease.(9)
2. Asthma and upper respiratory illnesses. Between 100-150 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In the US, 16.4 million adults have asthma and 7 million children have it. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema: 9.8 million Americans were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis this past year; for emphysema the figure is 3.8 million.(10) Total: 37 million Americans afflicted.
In Canada, 2.4 million have been diagnosed with asthma.
3. Particulate matter in air pollution. Particulate matter [PM] consists of tiny particles 10 microns or less. [1 micron is about 1/70 the thickness of a single human hair.] These particles can lodge in the deepest part of your lungs; and over a period of time, they can damage lung function. This kind of pollution, that we breathe daily, can and does cause various upper respiratory illnesses, coronary heart disease, and premature aging and death. Particulate matter can also exacerbate any existing illness.(11) Unanswered questions: Does hazardous particulate matter act in synergistic ways in human bodies (as do endocrine disrupting chemicals)? How does PM affect millions who already have multiple chronic illnesses?
Even with the increases in preventable illnesses, the issue that has not been linked or addressed with what Clifford Carnicom rightly calls "aerosol crimes" is the deterioration of cognitive function. Our immune system is already under siege daily; and this has resulted in millions (possibly billions) of people with not just one illness, but often multiple ones. The skin, the largest organ in our body, is a permeable membrane. This means that invisible toxins in our air, including Chemtrails and other highly dangerous chemicals, go right into our skin. Poisoned rainwater (or snow touching our skin) does the same thing. When the air we breathe is filled with a dangerous assortment of toxins, with each breath we take, these poisons assault our entire immune system. These poisons also affect our brain and, thus, our cognitive function.
Aluminum is a major component in these aerosols. Although it is our planets most abundant metal, our body has no biological need for it. Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA] lists it as "toxic to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity."(12) Yet, aluminum is commonly used [this is a very short list] in vaccines, deodorants and anti-perspirants, over-the-counter medications, soft drink and beer cans [aluminum leeches from the cans], baking powder, cake mixes, processed cheeses, and other food products and additives. Over years, aluminum accumulates in the brain, tissues, and to a lesser amount the bones. It causes brain degeneration, dysfunction and damage due to the blockage and reduced blood flow and oxygen of brain arteries. The brain shrinks, as brain cells die. This causes dementia. Symptoms include: emotional outbursts, paranoia, forgetfulness and memory loss, speech incoherence, irritability, diminished alertness, changes in personality, and poor/bad judgment. All these are on the rise, as more than 4-million Americans are afflicted. Brain deterioration and dementia take decades to cause serious and visible harm. Eventually, however, dementia is fatal. "Alzheimers" is now being used incorrectly as a catch-all term for all kinds of dementia. Just a few days ago, the front page of the New York Times had a headline: "More with Dementia Wander from Home."(13) People afflicted with, what the Times terms ""Alzheimer's" were interviewed. One person mentioned he "has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's." This is patently wrong. Alzheimer's dementia can only be accurately diagnosed after death when a post-mortem can be done. However, heavy metals poisoning can be diagnosed through lab testing; but this is rarely done for basic check-ups.
What is not addressed in this increase in dementia is the more than 10 years of breathing Chemtrails with nano aluminum-coated fiberglass. Billions of tons have been sprayed on us.
With all these sources of aluminum added to the air we breathe with each breath, the cumulative toxicity is very high. Even in daily events, it is obvious -to anyone who is paying attention- that many people are behaving oddly. While it may be considered "anecdotal" reporting, there are millions of people whose behavior is strange. There have been numerous times in just the past year when I have asked someone a question and received an answer that is totally unrelated. There have been more and more uncontrolled outbursts in public areas: someone "snaps" for no apparent reason. Violence levels are up. Look at all the shootings on school campuses. There are more unexplained auto accidents that never should have happened. In just one day a few weeks ago, I witnessed three traffic accidents that need not have happened. The news is full of these stories.
Add to this already highly toxic body burden is the US military's use of aluminum in its aerosols. It is used because of its electrical conductivity, durability, and light weight. The US Air Force reported in 1997 that it released "2 million, 6-7 ounce bundles of CHAFF." These are laid by military aircraft form 15-50 miles in length.(14) Another unanswered question: Why is the USAF not releasing up-to-date figures?
A 2002 report notes that: "over the last 25 years, the US Navy [has released from planes] several hundred thousand pounds of aluminized chaff during flight operations over a training area on the Chesapeake Bay."(15) If the Navy used hundreds of thousands of pounds in just this small area of the US, what could be extrapolated for the release of possibly billions of tons of nano aluminum by all the military divisions throughout the US and Canada more recently than 2002? CHAFF is being stored that has lead in it. Has that been released, without our knowledge, and added to these aerosols? What enormous, yet invisible, harm has that created for all of us?
Dr. Hildegarde Staninger reported last year that "exposure to aerial emissions of nano composite materials resulted in cholinesterase inhibition."(16) The human body has three kinds of cholinesterase: for the brain, for plasma (manufactured by the liver), and red blood cells. Some pesticides and nerve gases (such as VX, an organophosphate) inhibit cholinesterase. The chronic inhibition of this enzyme (that normally circulates in red blood cells), caused by the spraying of these Chemtrails aerosols [for weather modification, but also used for mosquito and other insect eradication], causes chronic poisoning. This exposure causes severe neurological disorders, including paralysis in humans.
In a ground-breaking 2003 online essay, Dr. Kaye Kilburn, asks: "Why is Chemical Brain Injury Ignored?"(17) His article lists 13 concealed factors that affect our willingness to believe that dangerous chemicals do affect the brain. They include: 1. "It's all in your head" [meaning real symptoms are ignored by allopathic medicine].
2. Resistance to vulnerability [individuals, and society collectively, cannot believe the brain is at risk].
3. The acceptance of mind-altering prescription drugs [such as Paxil] that can and do affect the brain [millions are on anti-depressants what long-term damage does that also do to cognitive thinking?].
4. Chemical brain injury is considered not to be "an imminent threat."
5. Competition from other serious threats [causing indifference or denial];
6. Delay in acknowledging health risks.
7. Economic interests [delaying tactics by big corporations are well known delay continues profits and ignores taking responsibility We are all expendable for corporate profits].
8. The field of neurology has been slow to consider causes [how many independent researchers are left who do not have any ties to the pharmaceutical/chemical companies?].
In all these valuable reasons for not addressing this human crisis, the one that Dr. Kilburn has not addressed directly is the chronic assault of breathing/absorbing these now billions of tons of hazardous aerosolized chemicals and heavy metals over more than a decade without our informed consent. When one does not look for or address primary causes, then other issues can be blamed. This, on top of a governments silence or refusal to respond and the corporate medias complicity, make for an extremely dangerous combination that puts us all at grave and daily risk. As brain function is diminished, and other things are blamed for it, any population is easier "to control."
Dr. Kiburn's research clearly shows that chemicals do affect and seriously harm the brain [and, thereby, cognitive function]. Chemicals especially a daily onslaught of toxic chemicals over many years can damage our ability to think clearly. Even if we find this hard to believe, the evidence is there. Dr. Kilburn has expanded this essay into the first book to research this: "Chemical Brain Injury" (published in 1998). Dr. Kilburn notes:
The brain's preservation represents the only possibility of survival for mankind. To find in many parts of the country and in many individual patients that its function is eroded seriously by chemicals, chemicals that have been introduced into the environment basically in the last 50 years, is bad news indeed.(18)
It seems almost unbelievable that millions/billions of people could look up at the sky and not notice the dramatic changes that have occurred from what it was, for instance, in the mid-1990s. Then our sky was a gorgeous, deep blue. Clouds were a beautiful assortment of shapes. The sun was glorious. But people under 30, may not have a real sense of recollection about looking up every day and seeing this panoramic magnificence. Most of them are too busy texting or chatting on their cell phones. There are other issues to consider, as well: People are in their own comfort zones; and denial is a very powerful human emotion. In the hustle and bustle (now quite out of hand, for reflective time), how many people look up at the sky? It also takes huge courage, a very deep, internal willingness to examine politically motivated corporate controlled media spin, and search for the real answers. Humans like their regular routines. To re-examine what we think we know, based on new evidence, takes a willingness to think outside the proverbial box; to want to find out the truth not the pervasive Orwellian doublespeak that pervades our society. If everything in our daily routine belies what is truly going on, it requires fortitude to explore the unknown to question the litany.
Another courageous person is Dr. R. Michael Castle who continues to address the Chemtrails toxicity issue. He is a noted polymer chemist who has been interviewed frequently and has written articles about the extreme hazards of Chemtrails. Dr. Castle has also written a ground-breaking document, the Universal Atmospheric Preservation Act [UAPA]. This document has been in Congress since 2008; but is tied up in committee. The only way to have this vital piece of legislation passed is to have real congressional representatives actually representing us (instead of the corporate lobbyists). See:
Given these issues, since our collapsing society has so many different levels of deceit the financial debacle, the lies and deceit of government and the Federal Reserve blaming people for the housing/mortgage nightmare, the emerging police state, the disasters that envelope our fragile environment it becomes increasingly difficult just to maintain a daily routine and survive the economic depression and its daily fallout. Mainstream media does its supporting role and deceives us. Millions, like the proverbial lemmings, hasten to join the group demise. There are countless historical instances of this collective insanity. We Homo sapiens [sic, wise men?] have never learned the lessons of 5,000 years of history. This is because each new generation of corrupt political leaders (often tied historically to previous ones) never has the real interest of their constituents as a basic part of their political practice. Further, there is no Precautionary Principle in place.(19) Its not the way the political game of deception works. Precaution is not part of an equation that is broken from the beginning. Humans are gullible and want to believe the Orwellian deceptions.
To add to this already heavy burden, to ask uninformed, although supposedly "well educated" [What does that actually mean, given that much of our higher education has omitted much of what Prof. Peter Dale Scott calls "deep political events" that never get into our history books?] people to reconsider what they think they know about what is really going on this takes enormous internal strength. It requires profound courage. The basis of this "courage" actually means creating new synaptical pathways in the brain. Without them, we feel scared, nervous... because those new synapses have not yet been created. It takes repeated effort, and, thus, an emerging sense of ease, to create these new synapses.
If, however, millions of people are already on prescription pharmaceuticals to "calm them down" [long term, what is this doing to their ability to think clearly?] and, in addition, are breathing poisoned air rife with mind-distorting chemicals, then how clearly (if at all) is anyone able to think? How can anyone feel well and safe, if the very air we breathe is deliberately poisoned and is affecting our ability to think cogently? It is already evident that no one in any official capacity is willing to tell the truth. It is like Diogenes, the ancient Greek, searching for a truthful individual. No one seems to have the desire, or courage, or authority to stop this massive poisoning, because it is the secret plan of the elite insiders to deliberate destroy everything we once knew.
Our BASIC human rights, constitutional and international laws are mere paper. These rights and laws have all been torn asunder by those in charge. It has been done by stealth. We must organize peacefully. PEACEFULLY is the operative word. If these many-pronged aerosol attacks by military and commercial planes can spray these horrific toxins on us, year after year with impunity against all laws then it is absolutely imperative that we organize peacefully. As Peter Dale Scott notes in Jason Bermas new DVD "Invisible Empire": we must use the Internet and our peaceful intellectual powers to come together and shut this nightmare down. It is possible to do this.
Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is author of the highly acclaimed book, "The Uterine Crisis."
Note from Jean: I watched an interview with Joel Kotkin on Charlie Rose Show on May 19 and was impressed with his description of America as a multiracial superpower. So I looked for an article from him featuring his interesting perspectives and found this one which our many subscribers from the U.S. (nearly 60% of you) will certainly appreciate reading...
By Joel Kotkin, New America Foundation February 2, 2010 | Forbes
Few have focused on what may well be the country's most historically significant and powerful weapon: its emergence as the modern world's first multiracial superpower.
When Americans think of our nation's power (or our imminent lack of it) we tend to point to the national debts, GDP or military prowess. Few have focused on what may well be the country's most historically significant and powerful weapon: its emergence as the modern world's first multiracial superpower.
This evolution, after centuries of racial wrangling and struggle, will prove particularly critical in a world in which the power of the "white" race will likely diminish as power shifts to China, India and other developing countries. By 2039, due largely to immigrants and their offspring, non-Europeans will constitute the majority of working-age Americans, and by around 2050 non-Hispanic whites could well be in the minority.
But this should not be seen so much a matter of ethnic succession as multiracial amalgamation. The group likely to grow fastest, for example, will be made up of people, like President Obama himself, who are of mixed race. Theirs is no more demonstrable evidence of the changing racial attitudes of Americans. As recently as 1987 slightly less than half of Americans approved of interracial couples. By 2007, according to the Pew Center, 83% supported them. Among the millennial generation, who will make up the majority of adults in 2050, 94% approve of such matches.
Today roughly 20% of Americans, according to Pew Research Center, say they have a relative married to someone of another race. Mixed-race couples tend to be younger; over two-fifths of mixed-race Americans are under 18 years of age. In the coming decades this group will play an ever greater role in society. According to sociologists at UC, Irvine, by 2050 mixed-race people could account for one in five Americans.
The result will be a U.S. best described in Walt Whitman's prophetic phrase as "the race of races." No other advanced, populous country will enjoy such ethnic diversity.
The U.S. will likely remain militarily and even economically preeminent, but much of its power will stem its status as the world's only multiracial superpower. America's global reach will extend well beyond Coca-Cola, Boeing and the Seventh Fleet and express itself in the most intimate cultural and familial ties.
Our continuing relative success with immigration is key to this process. In the next decades the fate of Western countries may well depend on their ability to make social and economic room for people whose origins lay outside Europe. No Western-derived country produces enough children of European descent to prevent them from becoming granny nation-states by 2050.
In other words, countries and societies need to become more racially diverse in order to succeed. Yet over the past few decades many countries, from Iran to the nations of the former Soviet bloc, have narrowed their definition of national identity. Even the province of Quebec, bordering the U.S., has imposed preferential policies devised to blunt successful minorities. Because of these restrictive policies, which in some places are accompanied by lethal threats, Jews, Armenians, Coptic Christians and diaspora Chinese have often been forced to find homes in more-welcoming places.
In recent decades Europe has received as many immigrants as the U.S., but it has proven far less able to absorb them. The roughly 20 million Muslims who live in Europe have tended to remain segregated from the rest of society and economically marginalized. In Europe, notably in France, unemployment among immigrants--particularly those from Muslim countries--is often at least twice that of the native born; in Britain, as well, Muslims are far more likely to be out of the workforce than either Christians or Hindus. British Muslims, according to Britain National Equity Panel, possess household wealth one-fifth that of the predominant nominally Christian population.
This is also a famously alienated and socially isolated population. For example, in Britain in 2001 up to 40% of the Islamic population believed that terrorist attacks on both Americans and their fellow Britons were justified. They are not mixing much; 95% of white Britons say they have exclusively white friends. In comparison, only 25% of American whites in 29 selected metropolitan areas reported having no interracial friendships at all.
Despite scattered cases of terrorists in our midst, the contrast between U.S. Muslims and their counterparts overseas is particularly telling. In the U.S. most Muslims are comfortably middle class, with income and education levels above the national average. They are more likely to be satisfied with the state of the country, their own community and their prospects for success than are other Americans--even in the face of the reaction to 9-ll.
More important, more than half of Muslims--many of them immigrants--identify themselves as Americans first, a far higher percentage than in the various countries of Western Europe. This alienation may be a legacy of the European colonial experience, but it can also be seen in Denmark and Sweden, which had little earlier contact with the Muslim world. In contrast, in the U.S. more than four in five are registered to vote, a sure sign of civic involvement. "You can keep the flavor of your ethnicity," remarked one University of Chicago Pakistani doctorate student in Islamic studies, "but you are expected to become an American."
But the general success of American immigration extends beyond Muslims. Even the largely working-class immigrants from Mexico generally have had lower unemployment than white and other workers, at least until 2007; then with the housing-led recession their unemployment rate began to rise, since so many were involved in construction and manufacturing. Once the economy recovers the historical pattern should reassert itself. Other large groups, including Asians, Cubans, Africans and a still considerable number of Europeans, have performed even better.
Immigrants by their very nature, of course, are a work in progress, reflecting the essential protean nature of this civilization. Yet they are clearly becoming Americans and transforming who we are as a people. Ideologues on the left and right often don't understand what is going on in America. The left, locked on the racial past, looks for new grievances to stoke among newcomers. They envision the rise of a fractured country--precisely the same thing many conservatives fear.
Yet Hispanics, and particularly their children, are not becoming serape-wrapped Spanish speakers. Among Hispanics in California, 90% of children of first-generation immigrants speak fluent English; in the second generation half no longer speak Spanish. Only 7% of the children of immigrants speak Spanish as a primary language.
Over the next few decades this pattern of ethnic and racial integration will separate America from its key competitors. In 2005 the U.S. swore in more new citizens than the next nine immigrant-receiving countries put together. These newcomers will reshape the very identity of the country and allow the U.S. to continue growing its labor force.
Our prime competitors of the future--India and China--are unlikely to evolve in this direction. India is a highly heterogeneous country itself and remains driven by ethnic and religious conflicts. China, like Japan and Korea, remains a profoundly heterogeneous country with little appetite or capacity to accept newcomers.
America's relative openness is particularly critical in the worldwide struggle for skilled labor. Right now more than half of all skilled immigrants in the world come to the U.S., though Australia and Canada, which have much smaller populations, have higher percentages of them. Despite repeated press reports about return migration to home countries, understandable given our sometimes bizarre immigration policy and the deep economic downturn, the vast majority of skilled immigrants--at least 60%--from around the world are staying.
America's successful evolution to a post-ethnic society will prove particularly critical in U.S. relations with developing nations, our largest source of immigrants. Even those immigrants who return home to Europe, China, India, Africa or Latin America often retain strong familial and business ties to the U.S. They can testify that America maintains a special ability to integrate all varieties of people into its society.
As we negotiate the next few decades, America's growing diversity allows it stand alone, a multiracial colossus unmatched by any in the evolving global economy. In the current world being a "race of races" represents not a dissolution of power but a new means for expressing it.
NO WONDER THE GREEKS ARE VERY UNHAPPY WITH THE STRAIGHTJACKET IMPOSED ON THEM. LOOKS LIKE THE EURO DREAM-SHIP COULD SOON SINK... IN FACT, THE ENTIRE WORLD ECONOMY IS SIMPLY UNSUSTAINABLE - BASED ON A PILE OF DEBTS AND ABUSING BADLY MOTHER EARTH - AND HEADED FOR A VERY HARD LANDING PRETTY SOON
Merkel's Savage Blitz through Euroland: The German Chancellor pushes the Eurozone closer and closer to the Cliff.
By Mike Whitney - May 25, 2010
Angela Merkel has let a minor brush-fire on the periphery turn into a raging inferno that's sweeping across the continent. Absent Berlin's fumbling diplomatic effort and its ferocious attachment to Hooverian economics, the Greek matter would have been over by now. Instead, the fire continues to burn while the German Chancellor pushes the eurozone closer and closer to the cliff. And what for; to prove that prodigal spending by the member states (Greece) mustn't go unpunished? Is that what this is all about? Is Merkel really willing to break up the EU just to prove her point and to accommodate her towering sense of self righteousness?
There is a fix for the EU's problems, but it will require cooperation, vision and a supra-national government institution capable of implementing fiscal policy. It's all very doable, but not in an atmosphere that is charged with acrimony and divisiveness. As the most powerful member, Germany has a special role to play in maintaining cohesion; it's the glue that holds the EU together. Unfortunately, Merkel and Co. appear to be less interested in building bridges than settling on new ways to punish nations that stray from the 3%-maximum deficit rule. The German Chancellor wants to make sure that countries that exceed the limits will be stripped of E.U. subsidies and voting rights. The Austrian Finance Minister summarized the policy perfectly when he opined, "Countries that are lax with budget planning must be able to be rapped on the knuckles."
None of the countries in the Euro-project joined because they wanted to be lectured by arrogant German/Austrian bureaucrats whose Stone Age grasp of economics has thrust the 16-state confederation to the brink of disaster. Besides, the markets have already voted thumbs down on Merkel's "hair shirts and thin gruel" remedy. They want stimulus, growth and liquidity; none of which are provided in "Frau Nein's" plan for economic contraction.
It's worth reviewing some of the details of the so-called "Greek bailout" to get a handle on how debilitating the EU's austerity measures really are. Here's an excerpt from an article by Polyvios Petropoulos, former economics professor in the US, which outlines some of the harshest cutbacks:
"First of all, the IMF/EU program... is no "help" or "aid" or "rescue", or even "bailout", as the IMF, the EU and various commentators are saying. It consists of a series of loans, in fact non-concessional loans...with unprecedented draconian conditionality and the normal interest rate which is charged by the IMF in all cases. As to the EU portion, it is given at an even higher interest rate... Paying 5-6% interest rate, when the countrys GDP growth is -4% p.a., clearly makes the countrys debt problem unsustainable, as has been shown by several economists....
Second, it was not offered to help the "Greek people". It was offered to help the bondholders, the bankers, the euro, and to avoid contagion with its nasty consequences for the EU and the global economy...
Third, there is absolutely no "protection for the most vulnerable", as one would have expected from the "socialist" (or "ex-socialist"?) head of the IMF, or the "socialist" Greek government for that matter, and this claim is made several times in both of the documents mentioned above. The opposite is true. A mere listing of some of the austerity measures will suffice to prove my assertion:
- A meager so-called "social solidarity allowance" for destitute people was abolished, despite assurances in the IMF Q&A session that "the targeting of social expenditures will be revised to strengthen the social safety net for the most vulnerable".
- Despite assurances in the Q&A session that "minimum pensions and family support instruments will not be cut", all public and private-sector pensions and allowances have been cut, all the way down to meager pensions of 450, 500, 550 euros per month etc., which are well below the poverty line (making it impossible for old pensioners to survive)...
- Reduction of the salaries of even the lowest-paid civil servants....
- Freezing of the lowest salaries and pensions for the next few years, although inflation is already galloping above 4%...
- VAT (value added tax), which was much higher in Greece than in Portugal and Spain, was raised by about 20% on all goods, including basic foodstuffs, which make up the majority of poor peoples purchases.
- Sales taxes were raised on supposedly- luxury goods... such as gasoline (+50%), cigarettes, beer, wine etc....
To be fair... the reduction of the pitiful pensions of the private sector was not imposed by the IMF officials in Athens, but by the EU officials." ("Truths and myths about the "Greek Crisis", Polyvios Petropoulos, Credit Writedowns)
So the debts of the bankers and speculators are being hoisted onto the backs of the working poor and aged. Where have we heard that before?
Greece's deficits are not the problem anyway. The real problem is the underwater EU banks (that hold Greek debt) that will capsize if Greece doesn't get a lifeline. This is from Reuters:
"European banks have an estimated $2.8 trillion exposure to Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy -- debt-heavy euro zone nations that have worried investors. These banks may be hit with losses ranging from $350 billion to $700 billion, Neela Gollapudi, a Citigroup interest rate strategist wrote....
"The EU stabilization package helps towards refinancing of sovereign debt, but does not address private sector debt," Gollapudi said." (Reuters, "US 3-month Libor seen rising above 1 pct-Citigroup")
So Merkel can stop pretending that the bailout is an act of selfless charity. No one is buying it. Nor are they confused about the $1 trillion pile of euros that the EU gathered together to ward-off speculators. Short-sellers saw through that sham in less than 24 hours and sent the markets plunging again. Do the Euro leaders really think they're smart enough to pull the wool over Wall Street's eyes? Wall Street invented fraud; they're not about to be duped by prissy politicians in tweed suits.
Will someone in the EU at least show that they understand the basic problem? European integration is more than just a common currency and a Treaty. It requires politics, governance and unification. Currency is not politics and treaties are no substitute for government institutions. The charade has gone as far as it can go without more concessions from the individual states to establish a central authority to implement fiscal policy. The Merkel view is that Germany should maintain its sovereign independence--along with its gigantic surpluses--while reaping the benefits of a currency that serves its own economic interests. But the flaws in that plan have already been exposed. The smaller non-export dependent countries (aka--Greece, Portugal, Spain) need fiscal accommodation or be they'll forced from the Union. It's not a matter of profligate Greek spending versus German thriftiness. It's a practical matter of economic reality.
So, how can the EU get ahead of the markets before the euro vaporizes and the economy is pushed back into recession?
With articles on the link between cell phones and brain tumours or other cancers now appearing in major magazines such as GQ, Harperss, Prevention and even Time magazine, it appears the long honeymoon North American telecommunications corporations have enjoyed is finally over.
What I mean by that is that due to the deep level of vertical integration between media corporations who control the news we get and the Big Telecom who are now their major advertisers, until recently there has been a virtual media blackout on such stories.
But as more and more independent scientific studies from around the world demonstrate grave concern with the effects of microwaves on biology, including DNA strand breaks that lead to permanent chromosomal damage, the tide of public concern has become overwhelming.
Some scientists such as Australian neurosurgeon Dr. Vini Khurana are predicting a massive wave of brain tumours between 2008-2012. The problem of course is that medical statistics are often poorly coordinated with overall data, so naysayers can easily claim there are no trend increases in tumours. Yet already its known that brain tumours are now the leading killer of kids in the U.S.
A leading authority on cancer, epidemiologist Dr. Samuel Epstein, has stated that in his view both the Canadian and American Cancer Societies are compromised due to close funding ties with the pharmaceutical industry. So it is no longer enough to simply pull up their websites and rely solely on them for guidance. (See http://www.preventcancer.com)
At the international level, the EMF project at the WHO formerly headed up by Dr. Repacholi has also been criticized for setting microwave exposure standards that are considered by many scientists to be far outside the range of safety. Some have suggested that Repacholi himself is compromised by receiving funding from the telecommunications industry. (See http://www.next-up.org)
Congressional hearings in the U.S. recently heard testimony from Dr. Devra Davis, another leading scientist who has been sounding warnings on high exposure levels in North America. Not surprisingly, there have been no American studies done on the subject since the one headed up by epidemiologist Dr. George Carlo in the 1990s. This $28 million study was part of the telecommunication industrys deal with the devil, the FDA; a study they agreed to fund in exchange for being allowed to market cell phones WITH NO PRE-MARKET SAFETY TESTING. When Dr. Carlo delivered his final report to the telecom industry in 1999, noting some serious concerns with biological effects from cell phones, it was quickly buried.
In the final week of April we had a similar hearing in Canadian Parliament, though not quite so high profile, with the House Standing Committee on Health in Ottawa. The Parliamentary committee agreed to hear concerns about microwave exposure standards after Bloc Québécois MP Luc Malo presented a petition with 1,100 signatures asking Parliament to protect the public from microwaves. The petition was an initiative of the Québec group Protect Our Children From Microwaves (SEMO in French), headed by François Therrien.
The Committee heard testimony from international experts, including Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy of the UK, Dr. Olle Johannson of Sweden, Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, and of course Health Canadas mouthpiece, Dr. Daniel Krewski. The Committee also took submissions from citizens and concerned parents across the country.
Dr. Krewski, who heads up the Centre for Population Risk Assessment at the University of Ottawa, has received funding from the telecommunications industry. He is not the only one on Health Canadas panel of scientists with direct or indirect links to the industry. This is standard-issue influence peddling with government, a typical tactic of industry used since the advent of Big Tobacco.
To its credit, the Committee has decided to allocate $12,000 to further study the matter. What that study will mean has yet to be explained. Will they finally begin to include the countless international studies showing real risks from cell phone and wireless use? Will they recommend that Health Canada revisit and update its hopelessly antiquated Safety Code 6? Or will Big Telecom trump any real change? It remains to be seen.
The marriage of corporation and government has proven disastrous in every sphere of life, from communications to the environment. The current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is just the latest proof of that. And like any bad marriage, when the honeymoon wears off, its time to consider exit strategies. Just as the U.S. Congress is grappling with ways to impose some governance on a Wall Street run amok, we must do the same with Big Telecom.
At present, Industry Canada has de facto power over any regional district or municipal government when it comes to granting permission to erect cell phone transmitters and towers. Local democracy is trashed in favour of profit-making corporations. They cannot continue to be allowed to run roughshod over communities who are merely trying to preserve a healthy way of life for their families. Business is business, true, but not when your product endangers my health or even my life.
Big Telecom, the honeymoon is over. Divorce papers should follow shortly.
Related book and article:
Robert C. Kane Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette (March 17, 2010) http://microondes.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/robert-c-kane-cellular-telephone-russian-roulette/
Robert C. Kane had been working as top developer inside Motorola for decades, developing mobile phones. He died from brain cancer a few years ago, not without leaving this planet with a message, which you can find in his book: Robert. C. KaneCellular Telephone Russian RouletteRobert C. Kane has been actively employed in the telecommunications industry for more than thirty years. He holds a BSEE from the Midwest College of Engineering, an MSEE with an emphasis in electromagnetics from the Illinois Institute of Technology and also at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has completed the full course of study and research leading to the Ph.D. in electrical engineering with emphasis in the fields of electromagnetics and solid-state physics. As a research scientist and product design engineer, he has been directly involved with programs and projects for the design and development of portable cell phones, radio frequency mobile radios, microwave telecommunications systems, video display systems, and biological effects research. Download the complete book (pdf)
Mobile phone masts are dangerous the controversy continues (May 15, 2010) http://inthesenewtimes.com/2010/05/15/mobile-phone-masts-are-dangerous-the-controversy-continues/
(...) People living close to mobile phone masts (base stations) frequently report symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity such as dizziness, headaches, skin conditions, allergies and many others, the mechanisms for which are only just beginning to be understood (see The Dangers of Electromagnetic Smog). There is also growing anecdotal evidence for cancer clusters forming around them. However, we are regularly told by the mobile phone industry that these base stations are safe because their microwave radiation falls off rapidly with distance and is far too low to generate significant heat. Sadly, this is not true. It is based on the false assumption that it is only their heating effect that can cause damage and a serious misunderstanding of the ways in which living organisms use negative feedback to respond to changes in their environment, including the metabolic insults from mobile phones. Extent of knowledge on non-ionising radiation - There are hundreds of scientific papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals showing biological effects from non-ionising radiation that may be hundreds or thousands of times below the levels that cause significant heating (see Bioinitiative). Furthermore, these non-thermal effects include many independent and well-replicated studies showing that the radiation from mobile phone handsets can cause serious damage to the DNA of living cells in less than 24 hours, so we cannot regard these handsets as being safe for anything other than short-term use.Because of the extreme sensitivity of at least some cells to mobile phone radiation, it is likely that the much weaker radiation reaching people living or working close to base stations will also suffer adverse effects. Claims by the mobile phone industry that the base stations are safe because the radiation falls off rapidly with distance are flawed. Although the radiation level does indeed fall off as they say, the biological response will remain more or less constant over a wide range of signal strengths due to the ways in which living cells routinely use negative feedback to compensate for changes in their environment. (...) Defence mechanisms against non-ionising radiation almost certainly evolved over countless millions of years to protect living organism from weak natural radiation such as the wide-band radiation from thunderstorms that we now perceive as static on our radio sets. However, they are designed only for intermittent use because they disrupt normal metabolism and are expensive in bodily resources and energy. These resources have to come from somewhere. Some may be drawn from our physical energy, making us feel tired. Some may come from our immune system, making us less resistant to disease and cancer. There is no hidden reserve.As it is, our bodies are constantly juggling resources to put them to best use. For example, during the day, they are directed towards physical activity but during the night, they are diverted to repair processes and to the immune system. Day and night irradiation from mobile phone masts (which run continuously) is likely to affect both, with little or no chance to recover. In the long term, this is likely to cause chronic fatigue, serious immune dysfunction leading to an increased risk of cancer, and many of the other symptoms frequently reported by people living close to mobile phone base stations. There are also a growing number of anecdotal reports that the continuous radiation from DECT phone base stations and Wifi routers can have similar effects, so that these too should be considered as being potentially unsafe. We should perhaps add to these the growing use of DECT cordless baby alarms. CLIP
AH... THE "MARVELOUS" CRAZY WORLD OF MALEVOLENT SCIENCE!...
Now independent thinkers are considered diseased by psychiatry
Psychiatrists have been working on the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and, in it, they hope to add a whole slew of new psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, many of these disorders are merely differences in personality and behavior among people.
The new edition may include "disorders" like "oppositional defiant disorder", which includes people who have a pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures." Some of the "symptoms" of this disorder including losing one's temper, annoying people and being "touchy".
Other "disorders" being considered include personality flaws like antisocial behavior, arrogance, cynicism or narcissism. There are even categories for people who binge eat and children who have temper tantrums.
Children are already over-diagnosed for allegedly being bipolar or having attention-deficit disorder (ADD), which results in their being prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs. To categorize even more childhood behaviors as psychiatric disorders will only further increase the number of children who will be needlessly prescribed antipsychotic drugs.
Each new revision of DSM has included controversial new additions, and this newest version is no exception. In fact, the manual has increased considerably in size over the years. What is most disturbing about the current proposed revisions is the blatantly brave, new way in which so-called medical professionals are viewing individual characteristics.
Children who exhibit unique eccentricities in accordance with their unique personalities, in general, would be categorized as having a mental illness. If this criteria had been used in past centuries to diagnose illness, there may have never been people like Mozart or Einstein who ventured outside the norm and came up with new or unique ideas.
A Washington Post article captured the essence of this concept perfectly in the following quote:
"If seven-year-old Mozart tried composing his concertos today, he might be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and medicated into barren normality."
The perception that character differences are somehow a psychic illnesses not only absolves individuals of personal responsibility, but it takes away their unique personhood. It reduces people into subjects that cannot think for themselves, but rather have to be controlled through drugs.
Which brings us to perhaps the biggest thrust behind the DSM revisions: the drug companies. Pharmaceutical companies stand to gain a lot for having virtually every person categorized as mentally ill and in need of drugs.
A more accurate approach to the situation is to assess the psychiatrists and drug lords who are contriving such nonsense as being the true possessors of mental illness. Perhaps these people are the ones that need to be institutionalized.
NOTE from Jean: Re last paragraph above: Couldn't have said it better! Ils sont fous ces psychiatres!
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