The Shift of Ages Series #8: Days of Reckoning for Many Stalwarts of the Old Waning Era
As you peruse this compilation you will quickly notice what its title refers to. Plus you'll find as usual several off the cuff comments I wrote to share my thoughts with you on various issues as I had just read about them. Of course, if you feel inclined to do likewise, you are welcomed to share yours with me for possible inclusion in my next compilation.
Aside from that, Spring is finally coming here (still 3 feet of snow on the ground though) and I'm planning to go out for my first solo kayak outing on the Saguenay River this weekend. I'll certainly take pictures which I'll share with you in the near future. Also I'll gradually slow down on compiling stuff for you for my usual summertime respite while I'll tend my organic garden for the 30th gardening season.
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If The Earth . . .
If the earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it, marvelling at it's big pools of water, it's little pools and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes on it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it, and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball, and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it precious because it was the only one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people would come to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to wonder how it could be. People would love it, and defend it with their lives, because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter.
- Sent by Irene Parsons (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"All that Creator does or brings about is an experiment in separation, separating parts of Himself to experience Himself in all possible ways, almost like a card player in a solitary game, to use a metaphor. And just like in a solitary game of cards, and because there is only ever The One Player, it is only normal then that the cards get to be shuffled over and over and over again. So there you have it: to push this metaphor of card playing to its fullness: there is Creator, nurturing a thought of separation, considering a game of let me see what happens and then holding that thought a while, only to let it go and start again, ever birthing new thoughts, each of which You and I and all are. Thoughts of The Great Mind that is what we are, as are the mountains, the rivers, the clouds or the suns All mere fleeting thoughts though What endures then, is not the thoughts, but the Love, that unfathomable energy of the One Player who for ever calls back to Himself the cards dealt, to again and again play them on and on if you are still following my metaphor Such is indeed the nature of reality beloved atoms and thoughts of God; you are time fractionally and ever only fractally made manifest in your dimension."
- Lou Bognon (email@example.com) -- Excerpted from her forthcoming 5th book tentatively titled The Cosmic Alphabet - An Introduction to the Language of Light
"One of most important steps for our collective groups is to move beyond any fear of death. This deeply embedded polarized energy within the human experience is based upon the false idea that death separates us from our loved ones, and from existence itself. Death is merely a transformation of form. It is not an end of Being. This misunderstanding of death has been one of the deepest rooting anchors keeping Humanity held within the confines of duality.Fear of death propels all other separative programming lack, limitation, resistance, conflict, division. It is a program of opposites: light and dark, right and wrong, us and them. When we stand for something or against something, we continue to enliven the energy of polarity which always results in a continuous wheel of suffering. (...) Divine Love is the new operating system which overwrites and gently shuts down the old programming, naturally restoring us to our original template. We activate this overwriting through our choice in every moment to remain open to the love within us, and choose to trust that we are held safely in this Love. From this place of surrender to the Supreme Power of all, our consciousness is free to see beyond the restrictions of the veil. From this greater perception, fear of death holds no power and all other fears naturally dissolve. "
"Lighted souls are producing films, books, music and other art forms with spiritual concepts; some churches are beginning to interpret religious doctrines in ways that meet the needs of soul-searchers; seminars and workshops of spiritual and metaphysical basis are flourishing and so are meditation circles; individuals, groups and organizations are expanding efforts to help the needy locally and in distant lands. In short, souls around the world not only are awakening consciously and spiritually, they are taking action! From our vantage point, the light shooting forth from these many millions of people and their benevolent endeavors looks like perpetual fireworks in your skies! Yes, wars, oppressive governing, corporate corruption and financial greed, disease, toxic pollution and impoverishment still are in your 3D world; but even in the midst of those conditions, souls are discovering their personal power and becoming actively involved as "part of the solution." And yes, the ugliness of duality still is prevalent, but increasingly individuals are seeing common problems, common interests, common goals; and cooperation is replacing contention, apathy and selfish interests in neighborhoods and communities throughout your world. This unstoppable force for goodness and change is expanding in all directions, and often it is the women who are leading the way."
- Matthew -- Taken from his March 29, 2010 message which covers the following topics: Chile earthquake manmade; Illuminati failings; positive developments in many areas; effects of goddess energy; womens self-perception; opposition in political arenas; timeframe determination difficulties; the Vatican; various destinies of souls
"Justine Sharrock: First off, is your book still relevant under Obama? Naomi Wolf: Unfortunately it is more relevant. Bush legalized torture, but Obama is legalizing impunity. He promised to roll stuff back, but he is institutionalizing these things forever. It is terrifying and the left doesn't seem to recognize it. (...) I was invited by the Ron Paul supporters to their rally in Washington last summer and I loved it. I met a lot of people I respected, a lot of "ordinary" people, as in not privileged. They were stepping up to the plate, when my own liberal privileged fellow demographic habituates were lying around whining. It was a wake-up call to the libertarians that there's a progressive who cares so much about the same issues. Their views of liberals are just as distorted as ours are of conservatives. JS: Why do you think the sides don't understand each other? NW: Frankly, liberals are out of the habit of communicating with anyone outside their own in cohort. We have a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism. (...) Even though I'm appalled when racism surfaces, and I personally don't agree with certain policy solutions and a lot of what they believe in, as someone who is very concerned about reinvigorating democracy the Tea Parties are an answer to what I asked for.I was basically saying don't sit around waiting for the two corrupted established parties to restore the Constitution or the Republic. The founding generation was birthed by the rabble of all walks of life that got fed up and did risky things because they were captivated by the breath of liberty. There is a looming oligarchy and it is up to the people to organize a grassroots movement and push back. You guys have to do it yourself. Their response is the most visible and the initiative they show is the most recognizable. People of all kinds are waking up. Even people passionate for Obama realize even that knight on a white horse isn't enough to roll back the oligarchy. I'm seeing a lot of action on the left as well that is never reported. But the Tea Party response is the most visible and the initiative they show is the most recognizable."
A Warm Embrace - The Great Bell Chant (Watch Full screen) http://vimeo.com/6518109
Read by Thich Nath Hanh, chanted by brother Phap Niem. The video footage comes from the spectacular movies Home and Baraka
The hippopotamus and the tortoise (with lovely pics!) Recommended by Lou Bognon (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://www.stustake.com/2009/11/the-hippopotamus-and-the-tortoise.html
NAIROBI (AFP) A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a bond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an animal facility in the port city of Mombasa , officials said. The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a mother ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP. CLIP
Signatures for the petition : Reject S. 3002 - The Nutritional Supplement Prohibition Act http://dev.healthfreedoms.org/content/reject-s-3002-nutritional-supplement-prohibition-act
If Arizona Senator John McCain has his way, many of the supplements you rely on for good health will disappear. And the cost of the few you can still get will explode in price. Earlier this month, Sen. McCain introduced a bill falsely labeled the Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (S. 3002). Sounds good, right? Nothing to worry about. McCain says: Legitimate dietary supplement companies should have nothing to fear from this legislation. The purpose of the bill is not to create a sweeping regulatory structure, but instead a targeted structure that provides for openness, transparency and safety. This bill would require every person involved with supplements all the way down to mom-and-pop health food stores and multi-level-marketing distributors to register with the FDA. Next, every dietary supplement facility must turn over a complete list of the products and ingredients they sell or handle. It gets worse. Should this bill become law, the state will determine if an ingredient can be sold. You see, under DSHEA passed in 1994, any ingredient sold before the bill passed could be sold legally forever. Well, no more.Under this bill, the FDA will assume any ingredient adulterated unless there is a history of use or other evidence of safety. Manufacturers and distributors must provide the FDA with information, including any citation to published articles, which is the basis on which the manufacturer or distributor has concluded that a dietary supplement containing such dietary ingredient will reasonably be expected to be safe. And guess who is the ultimate judge and jury? The FDA!A recent study shows there were ZERO deaths from supplement use in 2008. Zero. Nada. Ziltch. Big Pharma racked up about 150,000. Hospital infections another 48,000. Read the full report HERE: Please help us fight for your health freedom and forward this to your friends and loved ones - AND GO SIGN THE PETITION!
The Town of Allopath http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIhNyX3pRrk
The video parodies the drug companies and conventional healthcare system and many are furious about the truth being exposed. Recommended by Aklea Althoff (email@example.com) who wrote: "This is par excellence in the description of our system of being and healthcare... so absolutely delightfully done and should be shared... and we will know what to do. What a gift."
ERN subscriber Hunt Henion (firstname.lastname@example.org) is inviting us all to review his 3:36 min introductory video at http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=1858 which is part of his entry into a competition involving 2500 spiritual authors that will lead to one of them being picked for publishing by Hampton Roads Publishers. Hunt says that he's hoping that the promotion that results from this contest will help offset the time and expense he's put into a new book, The Renewal, the proceeds of which will be donated to The International Rescue Committee (www.theirc.org), a "global network of first responders, humanitarian relief workers, healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, activists, and volunteers." He needs to get as many votes as possible to get to Round 2 of this selection process - details HERE. I've already voted for him and I'm sure you'll resonate like me with the message he wants to bring to the world through this book.
We finally have a recovery of nuclear DNA from the Starchild skull http://exopolitics.blogs.com/exopolitics/2010/03/lloyd-pye-update-we-finally-have-a-recovery-of-nuclear-dna-from-the-starchild-skull-.html
(...) Please understand that this result has now been verified several times, and a few more different fragments have been identified that cannot be matched in this database to anything known. Despite that fact, mainstream skeptics will be obligated by their positions to try to say it's some kind of gibberish or some kind of mistake because in their world view it simply can't be true. Luckily, their bleating protests can be easily overcome with continued repetition of the result, finding more and more similar fragments in the library that will be created from the Starchild's DNA, which is what the geneticist is confident will happen over the next weeks and months---nothing but verification that a significant part of the Starchild's genome is not found on Earth. CLIP
Andrew D. Basiago and Laura Magdalene Eisenhower reveal "Marsgate" and make case for "Alternative 4" http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2010m3d28-Andrew-D-Basiago-and-Laura-Magdalene-Eisenhower-reveal-Marsgate-surrounding-secret-colony-on-Mars
Independent Mars colony recruits Andrew D. Basiago and Laura Magdalene Eisenhower have confirmed the existence of a secret human survival colony on Mars in a joint appearance on Exopolitics Radio with Alfred Lambremont Webre. Mr. Basiago, 48, a Cambridge-educated lawyer who practices law in Washington State, was a child participant in the DARPA time travel program Project Pegasus (1968-72) and later teleported to a U.S. base on Mars twice in 1981.Ms. Eisenhower, 36, the great-granddaughter of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was the subject of a sophisticated attempt to recruit her into the secret Mars colony in 2006 that she broke free from after resisting its deeply rooted manipulations and chose to live out her destiny on Earth. They described how the secret Mars colony is funded by black budget military and intelligence sources as a survival mechanism for the human genome in the event that solar flares, nuclear war, or some other cataclysm ends human life on Earth. In the wide-ranging, three-hour interview, Mr. Basiago termed the cover-up of the Mars colony Marsgate and called for a Congressional investigation of the U.S. presence on Mars, with its emphasis on military occupation rather than diplomatic engagement of the indigenous human society living in underground cities beneath the surface of Mars. Ms. Eisenhower stated that Alternative 3 the notion that trillions of dollars of resources should be spent to protect human life by placing it on Mars should give way to Alternative 4, a new public awakening to achieve a sustainable civilization on Earth. (...) Following the interview, Mr. Basiago and Ms. Eisenhower issued a joint statement about human survival colonies on other planets. "It is a positive thing for the human race to put survival colonies on other planets. Earth has been struck by many cataclysms in the past, and so we should protect the human genome by placing human settlements on other celestial bodies. Yet, when secrecy surrounding such projects tempts government to rob the free will of individuals, and excludes humanity from debating a subject that implicates the whole human future, and diverts the destiny of a planet to serve an off-planet agenda, the conscience of a free people requires that such projects be undertaken in the bright sunshine of public scrutiny, not within the dark corridors of the military-industrial complex." CLIP
Disclosure: Aryans, Mars and the End of Days - An interview with Jay Weidner http://www.jayweidner.com/Disclosure2.html
(...) These are words created by different cultures - the Hebrews, the Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Persians - to describe these people. OK? But their real name is very easy, because it describes where they go when they get out of Dodge. They're called the Aryans."Aryans" is just another word for "Martians", because Aries is Mars. They escape - at the end of the last Kali Yuga - I think, at the end of every Kali Yuga - the same cycle occurs every time; it may even be why there is a Kali Yuga. They come to Earth after the Earth is healed from the gigantic coronal-mass ejections which occur; and they come back in their ships, and they repopulate the Earth. They may even take genetic strains with them, which is what the genome project is; they may take all the seeds with them, which is what the seed project is. And they take it there; and they bury themselves under, because Mars is a pretty inhospitable place; and they wait for the Earth to recover. And they came back 60, 000 years ago, and they thought that the Earth had pretty much been wiped out. But a few groups had survived. Native Americans had survived, by being in caves; and they tell those stories, about how hot - it was so hot that you stuck a stick out the cave opening and it lit on fire. The Chinese survived - somebody - one of those Asian groups must have survived, obviously. And some of the African survived. So, when the Aryans landed, they kept to themselves. But they did have ships, and they went around; and they had an order that they couldn't have any sex with the remnants that were left behind. They could help them, teach them how to read and write and how to farm and all these other things; but they couldn't have sex with them. But those Earth women and the way they move: they just couldn't resist. So these are humans, but they went to Mars for a long time; and they lost the pigment in their skin, they lost the color in their hair, their eyes turned blue or green or hazel. They were tremendously big, because of the low gravity on Mars, when they landed here. Very advanced, super advanced - and they've been here for a very, very long time. And they're leaving. They're going. They're leaving now. There are colonies - I know this sounds completely out of my mind, but I have proof for all this. There's colonies up on Mars; just type in "Hale Crater civilization" on Google, and read Skipper's work - Joseph Skipper's great work on the colony there, up in Hale Crater.This is what's going on. This is the long and short of it. And, yeah, they live here; they actually lived once in Norway. That's where they lived, because they liked the coolness; they couldn't get used to the heat. And that spiral that exploded over Norway when Barack Obama was going to get his Peace Prize in Norway - yeah, well, that's their weaponry. Here's the problem Obama faces. OK? These guys are leaving. They're getting out of here because they think that the coronal-mass ejections are coming. Alright? They're leaving, and they don't care who runs the United States anymore. They did up until last year. Now they don't care anymore. And so Obama's sitting here, and he's got the remnants of their technology. He's got the stuff sitting around; right? And they're probably busily back-engineering the Aryan technologies; OK? And this is what's going on in Argentina and Chile, where they're raiding the tunnel systems.This is the new world order; these are the managers that have been left behind. The new world order is not the Aryans; the new world order are the Aryans' left-behind managers. CLIP
Nepal: The Big One? (March 22, 2010) http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100316/earthquake-disaster-Haiti-Chile
A looming catastrophic earthquake in Nepal could unleash devastation that surpasses that of Haiti or Chile. -- KATHMANDU, Nepal When disaster specialist Amod Dixit looks out his window in Kathmandu, he sees collapsed bridges, demolished hospitals, schools reduced to rubble and dusty corpses lying in the street, the nightmare of Port-au-Prince revisited on his Himalayan home. Unfortunately, that is the reality (of what we are facing), if not worse, said Dixit. If Kathmandu is impacted with a shaking of an intensity IX on the Mercalli intensity scale, the aftermath is going to be much worse than in Haiti.Unlike the more commonly known Richter scale, which measures the magnitude of an earthquake at its epicenter, the Mercalli scale measures the intensity of shaking in specific locations basically by measuring the destruction of buildings and natural structures. Dixit has every reason to be worried. The climax of the collision between tectonic plates that thrust up the Himalayas, Nepal is criss-crossed by geologic fault lines some of which have been building up pressure for centuries. Even if it happens 185 miles away, an earthquake that measures 6 or 7 in magnitude on the Richter scale at its epicenter could generate level VIII, IX or even X level shaking on the Mercalli scale in Kathmandu.In other words, many believe Kathmandu is overdue for more devastating shaking than the IX level disaster that flattened Haiti this January. The last time a quake like that struck here, in 1934, a quarter of all the homes in the country were destroyed, dozens of revered ancient monuments collapsed and more than 20,000 people lost their lives. The next big one could be much worse especially here in the Kathmandu Valley, a bowl that will trap and amplify the wave of energy. CLIP
Toads' earthquake exodus http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/zsol-tee032910.php
Common toads (Bufo bufo) can detect impending seismic activity and alter their behaviour from breeding to evacuation mode, suggests a new study in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) Journal of Zoology. Researchers from The Open University reported that 96 per cent of male toads in a population abandoned their breeding site five days before the earthquake that struck L'Aquila in Italy in 2009. The breeding site was located 74 km from the earthquake's epicentre. The number of paired toads at the breeding site also dropped to zero three days before the earthquake. No fresh spawn was found at the site from the date that the earthquake struck to the date of the last significant aftershock (magnitude ">4.5).(...0 "Our study is one of the first to document animal behaviour before, during and after an earthquake. Our findings suggest that toads are able to detect pre-seismic cues such as the release of gases and charged particles, and use these as a form of earthquake early warning system," says lead author Dr Rachel Grant
Iceland prepares for second, more devastating volcanic eruption (March 21, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7070239.ece
Iceland is preparing for an even more powerful and potentially destructive volcano after a small eruption at the weekend shot red-hot molten lava high into the sky. (...) However, the danger is that the small volcano is just the beginning and that it will trigger the far more powerful volcano of Katla, which nestles beneath Myrdalsjoekull.That has to be on the table at the moment," Dave McGarvie, senior lecturer at the Volcano Dynamics Group of the Open University, said. And it is a much nastier piece of work.Icelanders agree. "This could trigger Katla, which is a vicious volcano that could cause both local and global damage," Pall Einarsson, from the University of Iceland, said. (...) The island's worst eruption in modern times was in 1783, when the Laki volcano blew its top. The lava shot to heights of 1.4 kilometres and more than 120 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide was released into the atmosphere.A quarter of the island's population died in the resulting famine and it transformed the world, creating Britain's notorious "sand summer", casting a toxic cloud over Prague, playing havoc with harvests in France sometimes seen as a contributory factor in the French Revolution and changing the climate so dramatically that New Jersey recorded its largest snowfall and Egypt one of its most enduring droughts.
New Single Seat VW - with pictures http://quasi-superspooge.blogspot.com/2009/05/new-single-seat-vw.html
You can go to Shanghai for a vacation, buy two or more of these cars, one for your wife and one for yourself, and one for each of your kids, have them shipped to Canada and still spend less money than if you bought a car in Canada. This is not a toy, not a concept car. It is a newly developed single seat car in highly aerodynamic tear-shape road-proven real car. It is ready to be launched as a single-seater for sale in Shanghai in 2010 for a mere RMB 4,000 (US$600)! Interested? Wait till you learn that it will cruise at 100-120 Km/Hr with an unbelievable 0.99litre/100Km (258 miles/gallon) !! Impressed? Totally, after you have read all the details below about the hi-tech and space-age material input into this care !!! Truly the most Economic Car in the world . Must see and read to the end and please comment !!!! The Most Economic Car in the World will be on sale next year. Better than Electric Car - 258 miles/gallon: IPO 2010 in Shanghai. This is a single seated car. From conception to production: 3 years and the company is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.Will be selling for 4000 yuan, equivalent to US$600..Gas tank capacity = 1.7 gallons Speed = 62 - 74.6 Miles/hour Fuel efficiency = 258 miles/gallon. Travel distance with a full tank = 404 miles - Among the comments there: "1. It's a two-seater, not a one-seater: See HERE (or, at least, the version they showed off in 2008 was) 2. It should meet US safety standards. For all the moaning listed here, please note that (a) it's a European company (VW), (b) it was traveling on the roads in Germany (street signs), and (c) the European safety standards are more stringent than ours. So - all that moaning about US safety standards are to naught.3. What they remove are the *truly* gas-guzzling parts (at least, if you're European and, thus, live in a mild climate) - things like A/C. Air bags/safety equipment don't add nearly as much to the weight.
Pour tout connaître sur le recyclage et le compostage au Québec, visiter le site du Front commun québécois pour une gestion écologique des déchets au http://www.fcqged.org/
Action ELIANT - Pétition en Europe ouverte à tous - L'objectif de 1 million de signatures a été dépassé! http://www.eliant.eu/new/lang/fr/?p=4
Par votre signature, vous apportez votre soutien à laction ELIANT pour assurer la reconnaissance juridique de la médecine, des aliments Demeter, de la pédagogie Steiner-Waldorf et des autres initiatives issues de lanthroposophie en Europe. En soutenant lAction ELIANT, vous affirmez le droit de chaque citoyen européen à la liberté et au pluralisme dans ses choix pratiques de vie : alimentation, médecine, pédagogie Agriculture bio-dynamique Demeter, écoles Steiner-Waldorf, médicaments Weleda, médecine anthroposophique et ses thérapies, cosmétiques Weleda et Wala Dr Hauschka, banques à fonds éthique Ces choix sont actuellement menacés par les règlementations européennes. Vous demandez à lUnion européenne de garantir par ses textes lexistence des initiatives issues de lanthroposophie et de concrétiser ainsi sa devise : "Unis dans la diversité". AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH HERE
SPECIAL PEDOPHILIA FEATURE
US lawyer wants to question pope on child sex cases (March 31, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jMF3JxskJ3MSzYp1b4QnPYJsycvw
WASHINGTON A US lawyer has gone to court seeking to have Pope Benedict XVI questioned over the child sex scandal that is rocking the Roman Catholic church, the attorney told AFP Wednesday. Lawyer William McMurry filed a motion in a Kentucky court Tuesday seeking to take sworn testimony from the pope on what the Vatican knew about the long-running scandal of predator priests. The motion, a copy of which was sent to AFP, says Benedict was aware of clergy sex abuse in the United States and that he "discouraged prosecution of accused clergy and encouraged secrecy to protect the reputation of the Church" in the 24 years that he led the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. "That organization was responsible for screening these cases dealing with complaints by US bishops about their various abusive priests in various dioceses," McMurry told AFP. The motion says documents released last week by the New York Times "unequivocally link Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, to child sexual abuse cases in the United States. "These documents directly implicate Pope Benedict XVI's involvement in the Holy See's decision to cast a shroud of secrecy over clergy sexual abuse cases in the United States," it says. CLIP
Pope sees sex scandal as test; bishops urge reform (April 1, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jQWrzPjAEtxgfa_tARqu5413A4PAD9EQ1VE00
VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI sees the priestly sex scandal as a "test for him and the church," his spokesman said Wednesday, as bishops around Europe used Holy Week's solemn call for penitence to pledge transparency in dealing with the abuse of children.But amid such signs of humility, a senior cleric also mounted a sharp counterattack to the allegations now swirling around the papacy. In an article, the official accused the New York Times of faulting the pope unfairly for his treatment of past abuse allegations.Swiss bishops urged victims to consider filing criminal complaints. German bishops opened a hot line for victims. Danish bishops launched an inquiry into decades-old claims. And Austria's senior cleric, Cardinal Christophe Schoenborn, admitted church guilt as he presided over a service for victims billed as a sign of repentance."Thank you for breaking your silence," Schoenborn told the victims. "A lot has been broken open. There is less looking away. But there is still a lot to do."A week after Pope Benedict XVI excoriated Irish bishops for gross errors of judgment in handling cases of priests who rape children, European bishops one after another admitted to mistakes, reached out to victims and promised to act when they learn about abuse.Their mea culpas and pledges to be more open and cooperative with police echoed American bishops' initial responses when the U.S. priest-abuse scandal emerged in 2002. They come amid mounting public outrage over a new wave of abuse claims across Europe and what victims say has been a pattern of cover-up by bishops and the Vatican itself.
Pope accused of sparing priest suspected of sex abuse attacks (25 March 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/25/pope-accused-sparing-priest-suspected-sex-abuse
The growing sex abuse storm buffeting the Catholic church today moved closer to the figure of the pope himself, after allegations emerged that as a cardinal he had chosen not to discipline a dying American priest accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys. In a report that for the first time pointed the finger directly at the pope's own conduct, the New York Times said that while he was cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was twice informed about a notorious case involving Father Lawrence Murphy, who ran a school for deaf children in Wisconsin between 1950 and 1974. Though instructions were giving for a canonical trial to be held into Murphy's misdeeds, proceedings were dropped after the priest wrote to Ratzinger begging not to be indicted. The Vatican angrily denounced the latest accusation in what it sees as a campaign to smear the pope, and said the church was being unfairly portrayed as the only institution with such a sinister history.In a statement published on its front page, the Vatican daily, L'Osservatore Romano, lambasted the international media for an "obvious and ignoble attempt to strike, at all costs, Benedict and his closest collaborators". It said: "The prevalent tendency in the media is to gloss over the facts and force interpretations with the aim of spreading an image of the Catholic church almost as if it were the only [institution] responsible for sexual abuses." Benedict is already on the defensive because of his stint as archbishop of Munich, during which a paedophile priest was accepted into his archdiocese and assigned to duties that enabled him to prey on children again. Victims' groups have also accused Benedict of encouraging cover-ups by reminding bishops in a directive he issued before becoming pope of the need for secrecy in canonical proceedings involved particularly serious offences. The New York Times said that three successive archbishops of Milwaukee were told Murphy was sexually abusing children, but never reported him to the civil authorities. Instead of being disciplined, he was removed from teaching duties but transferred to another diocese where he continued to work for more than 20 years in parishes, schools and - according to one account - a juvenile detention centre.According to the newspaper, in 1996 the archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, twice wrote about the case to the future pope, then prefect of the powerful congregation for the doctrine of the faith, but got no reply.
(...) School of horror - An angel holding up a scroll on a pillar at the drive entrance is the only hint of what once went on at 3680 South Kinnickinnic Avenue in St Francis, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Until 1983, it was a boarding school for deaf boys. Until nine years before that it was the fiefdom of one of the most rapacious paedophiles ever to wear a cassock. When in 2006 the truth about the late Father Lawrence Murphy eventually began to come out, 62-year-old James Smith, of Orange City, Florida, shook and wept as he recounted his experiences to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter."I would be playing baseball, and the boys would come and say, 'Father Murphy wants you to come and see him'. I would refuse to go, and pretty soon I was dragged into his office and molested again," said Smith. The Wisconsin scandal brings the Catholic church's paedophilia crisis full circle. The current crisis started in Boston at the turn of the century with the revelations by the Boston Globe of the devastating extent to which the US Catholic hierarchy helped conceal the clerical sexual abuse of minors. More recently, allegations have hit the church in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Ireland. By 2002 about 1,200 Catholic priests in the US faced abuse accusations. The outcry surrounding the mishandling of abuse claims led to five prelates stepping down in one year alone. The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, arguably the most powerful Catholic official at the time, was the most high-profile departure. Somehow, despite bringing shame on the church, John Paul II gave the disgraced cardinal and archbishop a position in Rome - the Archpriest of the Santa Basilica Maria di Maggiore - an act that mystifies and angers victims and support groups to this day.
Pope accountable for hiding priest abuses: U.S. victim (March 25, 2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62O59C20100325
Reuters - Pope Benedict should be held accountable for doing nothing about a Wisconsin priest who was accused of sexually abusing as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf, one of his victims said on Thursday. Arthur Budzinski, a 61-year-old Milwaukee printer who is deaf, spoke through his daughter, Gigi, about how his "innocence was stolen from him" by the accused abuser, Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who died in 1998 at age 72. "The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing," Gigi Budzinski said at a news conference held outside the Milwaukee Archdiocese's offices. (...) Documents attributed to church officials showed that Murphy -- who knew sign language -- would enter the school's dormitory and ask boys to join him in confession, "instructing" them in sex education. He asked boys he molested about their sexual contacts with others, got the names of those boys and molested them. He molested boys at his mother's vacation cottage and on trips. Murphy admitted to the church that he had molested boys, according to the documents. Wisconsin church officials warned the Vatican about the probability that Murphy's acts would become public and create a scandal. One victim was paid a $70,000 settlement. Murphy was buried in his priestly vestments, over the objections of some of his victims. U.S. Roman Catholic archdioceses have collectively paid some $2 billion in settlements to victims since the priest sex scandals first erupted in Boston some eight years ago. Note from Jean: At long last, the time of reckoning has come for a Church that has defiled, almost from its very inception, the most basic precepts and spiritual rules taught by its founder. The Church of Rome will soon vanish in shame and infamy leaving behind it a historic trail of 2000 years of abuse, torture and death that compares only to the worst excesses visited upon innocent souls by current and past despotic regimes. It is rotten to its core and the stench of putrefied evil starts at the very top, and not just with Joseph Ratzinger who, despite his best efforts to protect the reputation of this Church, ended up being embroiled in its unsavory undertow current of hypocrisy and intrinsic contradictions. May all the souls sharing a part of the burden of responsibilities for the past and current actions of this Church open their heart to the saving Grace of God's omnipotent Mercy and may they allow the Light of Universal Divine Love to cleanse and heal their soul's radiance back to its pristine original splendor. May we also allow them to heal through holding only unconditional Forgiveness and Love in our hearts for them... as we ought to do for all who err, fail and, hopefully, learn redeeming life lessons from their sojourns in this physical field of existence. In case you missed this in my March 12 compilation: Spanish exorcist addresses claims of Satanic influence in Vatican (March 3, 2010) A renowned exorcist in Rome recently released a book of memoirs in which he declares to know of the existence of Satanic sects in the Vatican where participation reaches all the way to the College of Cardinals. CLIP - MUCH more through this Google search result and this Google News search result
Pope's Irish letter faces critical Catholic world (March 20, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031902806.html
Pope Benedict XVI addresses Ireland on [March 20] in a letter apologizing for the sex abuse scandal [there] - a message being watched closely by Catholics from Boston to Berlin to see if it also acknowledges decades of Vatican-approved cover-ups. The scandals first emerged in Canada and Australia in the 1980s, followed by Ireland in the 1990s, the United States this decade and, in recent months, Benedict's German homeland. Victims' rights activists say that to begin mending the church's battered image, Benedict's message ... must break his silence on the role of the Catholic hierarchy in shielding pedophile clergy from prosecution. That includes abuses committed decades ago under the pope's watch, when he was Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger of Munich, as well as the pontiff's role in hushing up the scandals. As leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger was responsible for a 2001 Vatican edict that instructed bishops to report all cases of child abuse to Vatican authorities under strict secrecy; it made no mention of reporting crimes to police. "Is it not time for Pope Benedict XVI himself to acknowledge his share of responsibility?" said the Rev. Hans Kung, a Swiss priest and dissident Catholic theologian. "Honesty demands that Joseph Ratzinger himself, the man who for decades has been principally responsible for the worldwide cover-up, at last pronounce his own mea culpa," Kung said.
On Satans trail with Don Gabriele, the worlds most famous exorcist (March 13, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7060354.ece
(...) Father Amorth made headlines this week by suggesting that those who had given in to Satans temptations included paedophile priests and even some cardinals and bishops who paid only lip service to the Gospels.The growing crisis over the clerical sex abuse now engulfing Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican, he said, was the work of Satan, who had even infiltrated the Vatican corridors. Is the sex abuse crisis really due to the Devil? Oh yes. All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including paedophilia. And the Vatican? Legions of demons have lodged there. The majority of those in the Vatican do good work. But Pope Paul VI talked about the smoke of Satan infiltrating the Vatican as long ago as 1972. Satan sets out to damage the leadership of the Church and of politics, industry and sport, for that matter. CLIP
Pope Benedict XVI has read the REAL Third Secret http://www.tldm.org/News7/PopeBenedictXVIThirdSecret.htm
"My children, long ago I warned you from Fatima, I warned you through many voice-boxes throughout your world that the time will come when you will embark upon a stormy sea, and it shall be bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal, and satan shall set himself in your midst. He shall maneuver and pit you and play you against each other in his plan to destroy My Son's House. Recognize what is happening now upon your earth. I say unto you, O pastors in My Son's House: if you do not listen, if you continue to proceed upon your present course, you ask for the heavy hand of My Son to come upon you. Your world shall be cleansed with a baptism of fire. Our Lady of the Roses, November 20, 1976 -- Cardinal Oddi on the REAL Third Secret of Fatima: "The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against the apostasy in the Church" http://www.tldm.org/news7/ThirdSecretCardinalOddi.htm
The Pope, Eichmann and the Nazi 'Ratlines' (March 17, 2010) http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/juliankossoff/100030163/the-pope-eichmann-and-the-nazi-ratlines/
Germany is fighting to keep sealed the Adolf Eichmann files detailing the years the Holocaust chief logistical organiser spent on the run before he was captured by Mossad agents. Those hoping to have a 50-year secrecy order overturned believe the government is embarrassed by details within that may prove German and Vatican officials colluded in his escape and freedom. For the current papacy under the German pope, Benedict XVI, the 4,500 page Eichmann dossier could be the smoking gun that would shoot down his plans to canonize Pope Pius XII (1939-58), aka Hitlers Pope. The role of Pope Pius XII during World War II, his relationship with Nazism and his efforts (or lack of them) to save Jews from the gas chambers are hotly disputed. Even within the Jewish community there are strong opinions on both sides of the debate. In fact historys most savage mass murderers Adolf Eichmann, Dr Josef Mengele, better known as Auschwitzs Angel of Death, Franz Stangl, commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp escaped justice down the ratline that ran straight through the Vatican state in Rome. Senior members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy marinaded in virulent Judeophobia and obsessed by Bolshevism organised the escape of thousands of the most debauched, cruel monsters to a peaceful, prosperous retirement in Catholic South America. Note (by Fred Burks) : As mentioned by the initiator of the lawsuit to open the documents in this Associated Press story, "I think it's impossible that in Germany we are hiding documents about a convicted Nazi mass murderer today." Evidence suggests that these Nazis were purposely allowed to escape with the involvement of the Vatican, the CIA, and other groups. Josef Mengele is purported to have gone on to train the CIA in powerful mind control techniques he perfected using concentration camp inmates as guinea pigs. For more on this, click here.
Conspiracy of Silence http://www.wanttoknow.info/060501conspiracyofsilence
Child Sex Abuse Ring Revealed In Free Discovery Channel Documentary -- Conspiracy of Silence is a powerful, disturbing documentary revealing a U.S. child sex abuse and paedophilia ring that leads to the highest levels of government. Featuring intrepid investigator John DeCamp, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and 16-year Nebraska state senator, Conspiracy of Silence reveals how rogue elements at all levels of government have been involved in systematic child sex abuse and pedophilia to feed the base desires of key politicians. (...) Conspiracy of Silence (55 minutes) is available for viewing HERE CLIP
Control of the Mind http://www.insightcourse.net/lessons/14b_mind_control
(...) Mind Control Techniques Used to Control Politicians -- One way in which the power elite are able to maintain a high degree of political and economic control over the world is to gain power over key politicians and other highly influential individuals. The principle means used to accomplish this objective is to develop blackmail on these key individuals that can be used whenever they might stray too far from the agendas of the elite.One of the easiest ways to develop evidence which can be used for future blackmail is through arranging sexually compromising situations involving mind-controlled Manchurian Candidates.Each targeted leader or potential leader is profiled by those involved in mind control programs to discover what sexual type is most attractive to them. Sexy Manchurian Candidates matching the target's sexual tastes are then sent in to get to know and eventually seduce the targeted leader, for instance, by working as an intern.These Manchurian Candidates may even be under the age of 18, yet look much older. Fake IDs left out on a dresser can deceive the target into believing they are having sex with someone of legal age. Video cameras record the illicit sexual activity unbeknownst to the victim, who is unaware of any of these manipulations.Only when a politician or leader later makes an attempt to go against the agendas of those in control is he or she informed of compromising videos which could ruin their career. The elite usually gain quality blackmail evidence on key politicians long before they rise to high positions of power. CLIP
Lawsuit claims Boy Scouts coverup of sex abuse (March 20, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031904657.html
The Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years. The "perversion files," a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could change in the coming weeks in a Portland, Ore., courtroom. The attorney for a man who was allegedly molested in the 1980s by a Scout leader has obtained about 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files and is expected to release some of them at a trial that began [on March 17]. The lawyer says the files show the organization has covered up abuse for decades. The trial is significant because the files could offer a rare window into how the organization has responded to sex abuse by Scout leaders. The only other time the documents are thought to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the organization over sex abuse allegations, but judges for the most part have either denied requests for the files or the lawsuits have been settled before they went to trial.
Washington Times on Franklin Affair http://www.wanttoknow.info/890629washingtontimesfranklin
"A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite. Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring." -- Washington Times, 6/29/1989
Millions In Zimbabwe Face Hunger Crisis (March 11, 2010) http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Zimbabwe-Millions-Face-New-Hunger-Crisis-And-International-Red-Cross-Launches-Appeal-For-Funding/Article/201003215571296
The International Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal for funding in response to a new hunger crisis in Zimbabwe.Some 2.8 million Zimbabweans - almost a third of the population - are in need of food aid, and the number is expected to rise as a result of a widespread drought. Across Masvingo province, in the centre of the country, the parched fields are full of dead or dying maize. (...) The Red Cross is facing a shortfall of $23.9m (£15.9m) for its programmes in Zimbabwe, which include home care for those infected by HIV. Hunger is impacting the efforts to provide anti-retroviral treatment to the sick because the medication has to be taken on a full stomach."We have seen people default on their treatment because the drugs are too toxic without food," Emma Kundishora, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Red Cross, said. Zimbabwe's year-old national unity government, led by president Robert Mugabe and his old rival Morgan Tsvangirai, has so far done little to address the widespread poverty that was largely caused by Mugabe's years of misrule.
We apologise for these images but they speak more eloquently than any politician of the plight of Zimbabwe's starving people (12th March 2010) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1257292/The-Mail-apologises-readers-pictures-speak-eloquently-politician-desperate-plight-starving-people-Zimbabwe.html
For us it is a saddening sight - a magnificent bull elephant struck down in his old age. But for the starving of Zimbabwe, it was little short of a miracle. The carcass provided a vital source of food, and hundreds of desperate villagers in the Gonarezhou National Park descended on the dead animal within minutes of its discovery. Using machetes, axes and knives made from tin cans they set upon the six-ton carcass, which was found deep in scrubland. (...) It took just one hour and 47 minutes for the 13ft-tall elephant to be reduced to a skeleton. Every part was used for food, even the trunk and ears. The bones of the 70-year-old animal were taken to boil for soup and within 24 hours nothing was left but a blood-stained patch of earth. The images are undeniably shocking. But they illustrate the terrible lengths to which Zimbabweans are forced to go just to survive under Robert Mugabe. Yesterday, the Red Cross warned the situation in the former British colony is 'critical' with 2.17million - one in four of the population - requiring urgent food aid. Emma Kundishora, of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, said: 'In some parts of the country, the food situation is as bad as many of our volunteers and staff have ever seen.' Conditions are expected to deteriorate further this year following the collapse of agriculture caused by President Mugabe's violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms since 2000. Erratic rain has also damaged crops of corn. Harvests could produce just 500,000-tons this year, less than a third of the amount required to feed the nation. CLIP
Farmers, Aid Groups Call Attention To Drought, Food Shortages In West Africa (March 23, 2010) http://globalhealth.kff.org/Daily-Reports/2010/March/23/GH-032310-Drought.aspx
A coalition of farmers from West Africa's Sahel region, known as Billital Maroobe, wrote an open letter to regional leaders Monday, appealing for help with drought and famine conditions that are affecting people and livestock, Agence France-Presse/IC Publications reports."Communities of farmers and pastoralists are already severely affected ... with the acute malnutrition rate estimated at 29.9 percent, which is double the emergency level of 15 percent," the group wrote in the letter. "Farmers are sinking faster and irreversibly into absolute poverty," according to Billital Maroobe, which "called on leaders to facilitate access to food for livestock, ensure the free movement of livestock and crops," the news service writes. (...) The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), citing Famine Early Warning Systems Network data, said Monday that a "serious food security emergency" was developing in Niger, SAPA/News24 reports. IFRC said the number of malnourished children being admitted to feeding centres had increased by 60 percent in January, compared with the same month the year before. "The peak was expected to hit in June as supplies dwindled following a bad harvest," according to the news service. Mamane Issa, secretary general of the Niger Red Cross, said in a statement, "We are very concerned about the fact that more than half of rural households have no cereals left in stock" (3/22). In related news, Reuters AlertNet writes that aid groups responding to the food security situation in the Sahel region "are likely to face a shortage of funds because donor attention is focused on Haiti, aid agencies say." According to Modibo Traore, head of the U.N. Humanitarian Agency in Niger, "Donors have already indicated that the bulk of their resources were allocated to Haiti and that they may not have enough money for Niger." "Aid officials say the sudden and dramatic nature of Haiti disaster is likely to ensure continued media interest and funding, whereas the food crisis threatening Niger lacks the same level of attention because of its more gradual and recurrent nature," the news service writes. "About half of Niger's 14 million inhabitants face the risk of moderate to severe food shortages, 2 million are at risk in Chad and substantial numbers of people could face the same situation in Mali, Burkina Faso and parts of northern Nigeria, according to Oxfam." "The crisis in Haiti is really serious and requires support but it must also be noted that if this looming crisis in the Sahel is not well managed it may get to the extent of Haiti," Eric Hazard, Oxfam International's regional agriculture campaigns manager, said. CLIP - MORE through WFP readies food aid for three million in Niger
Haiti promised $10bn for rebuilding (APRIL 01, 2010) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/03/20103312254291336.html
International donors have pledged $9.9bn to rebuild earthquake-devastated Haiti, going "far beyond expectations", the UN secretary general said.Bank Ki-moon said at the end of a day-long donor conference at UN headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, that the international community had come together "dramatically and in solidarity with the Haitian people" to help them recover from the January 12 earthquake. His co-chair at the conference, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, called the pledges "an impressive sum by any standard". But Ban also cautioned that "we need now to deliver". "The poor and vulnerable of other disasters should not be paying for this," Philippe Mathieu, a spokesman for Oxfam, said. It was not immediately clear if all the pledges involved new money, as some delegates appeared to be describing existing aid projects. CLIP Check also Haitians skeptical of foreign aid
Drought crippling southwest China, millions without drinking water (March 22, 20100 http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0321-hance_china_drought.html
Over 50 million people are affected by a severe drought in southwest China, according to Xinhua, the nation's state media. The lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures has also left 16 million people without easy access to drinking water. Since last autumn many regions have received only half their usual rainfall. The nation expects that nearly a million hectares will not produce crops due to the drought, while some rivers have dried up completely. China has sent more than 50 million US dollars to the impacted regions and 4,000 troops to aid drought-victims, especially with water supplies. China has also initiated hundreds of cloud-seeding operations in an effort to force rain in the regions, reports the AFP. Last June, He Lifu, of China's National Meteorological Center told the China Daily that he expected increases in extreme weather across China. "Extreme weather will be more frequent in the future due to the instability of the atmosphere, and global warming might be the indirect cause," Lifu said, adding that extreme weather events, such as droughts, had increased in severity and frequency since the 1990s in China. While scientists say that it is not possible to link a single extreme weather-event to climate changesuch as one droughta pattern of increasing and worsening droughts in many parts of the world is expected under climate change scenarios. According to state meteorologists, the drought is the worst some places have seen in a century.
Drought: 8 million deaths per year (22/03/2010) http://hello.news352.lu/index.php?p=edito&id=29744
11% of Europeans do not have access to water, and in 2030 the situation may get worst because of climate change and pollution. However Europe suffers the least as data from Brussels reveals. Eight million people every year die because of drought, disease linked to lack of hygienic services and drinking water as figures from World Water Day 2010 (it was on March 22) reveal. Statistics by ONU confirm that by 2030 over 3 billion people might remain without drinking water and that already today. In the last century, the use of water has increased twice more rapidly than population growth. At the moment 1/3 of the world population live in a condition of Water Crisis: when a countrys supply of water is less than 1000 cubic meters.The goal of World Water Day is to make people aware of a real problem, and hopefully to decrease by 50% the number of people without access to water in the next decade.
Obamas move on oil drilling chafes his allies (Mar. 31, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/obamas-move-on-oil-drilling-chafes-his-allies/article1519396/
U.S. President proposes expanding offshore oil and gas exploration in apparent bid to build support for climate-change legislation -- On the campaign trail, Barack Obamas opponents mocked him with the chant of Drill, baby, drill. Two years later, hes finally answered.In a move that will enrage many of his allies but please some of his adversaries, the U.S. President has proposed opening up a huge swath of U.S. coastal waters to drilling for oil and natural gas.The announcement is a bold gamble with an eye toward political arithmetic, observers said.It comes just before U.S. lawmakers are set to consider broad changes to energy policy that will tackle the contentious issue of climate change. By allowing offshore drilling, Mr. Obama is hoping to win support for those measures among Republicans and right-wing Democrats. Looking ahead to Novembers midterm elections, Mr. Obamas surprise move can be expected to resonate with voters wary about their energy-hungry nations dependence on Middle East oil. While welcomed by Republicans, the move drew withering criticism from environmentalists and some in the Democratic party. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said the policy amounts to Kill, baby, kill: it threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life, and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars. Mr. Obamas proposal represents a major expansion of efforts to find and extract oil from domestic sources, including the Atlantic waters between Delaware and Florida, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, and off the northern coast of Alaska.Mr. Obama called the move one of several tough decisions necessary to make the United States more self-sufficient in energy even as it attempts to shift toward renewable sources of power.
(...) Experts say it will be several years at least before any drilling takes place and that its impossible to predict how much oil might be found. They add that its extremely unlikely to be discovered in sufficient quantities to transform Americas reliance on foreign oil. Its a point that environmental groups drove home yesterday. Drilling our coasts will doing nothing to lower gas prices or create energy independence, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. Some analysts say they were surprised by the timing of Mr. Obamas announcement, since they expected the question of offshore drilling to be a bargaining chip in the actual negotiations over the climate bill, rather than a kind of peace offering ahead of time. Theyve annoyed their allies and its not clear theyve gotten anything in return, said Joseph Romm, a fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, who runs an influential blog called Climate Progress. Such ruffled feathers could get smoothed over if Mr. Obamas gambit succeeds and the end result is the passage of a comprehensive bill tackling climate change. CLIP
Past Decade Was Warmest on Record, Meteorological Agency Reports (March 25, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/26briefs-Unbrief.html
The last decade was the warmest on record, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report on Thursday. The finding by the association, a United Nations agency, corroborates research by NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which has already said that its measurements show that the period from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest since modern instrumental recording of temperatures began in the 1850s.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse! (3/24/2010) http://www.zerohedge.com/article/lies-damn-lies-and-sovereign-lies-why-euro-destined-collapse
Well, its official (sort of). Greece, a member of the European Union, will probably join the ranks of countries like Latvia (where policies are limited by the choice of the currency regime), Iceland (where the crisis has resulted in a very heavy external debt burden), the Ukraine (which is still affected by financial and political fragility) and a bevy of third world and emerging market countries in distress from the (not very) esteemed club of IMF financial aid recipients. What does this portend for the Euro? Well, I have blogged earlier in the year that the Euro's credibility is now highly suspect and those pundits who dared contemplate the Euro potentially replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency now see the folly of their ways. The chances of a break-up are significantly higher and quite realistic. Credit Agricole's currency strategist puts it succinctly: "If Greece goes with the IMF, that says something terrible about the political process within Europe," said Stuart Bennett, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in London. "This undermines any confidence in the currency. "Greece will probably end up defaulting on their debt, with or without the aid of the IMF, and they will probably have good company with several other EU members. I say so, and so does UBS Economist Donovan. "I think it's in an impossible situation," said Donovan, who is based in London, in an interview with Bloomberg Radio today. "Europe has failed to clear its first serious hurdle. If Europe can't solve a small problem like this, how on earth is it going to solve the larger problem, which is the euro doesn't work. It's a bad idea." How dare I make such a proclamation? Well, because I am telling the truth based upon facts and the many forecasts from the various sovereign nations are basically based upon lies, fiction and farce! As it is look at how the market is viewing the Greek tragedy: European governments have yet to agree on how to fund any rescue for Greece, which says it will struggle to pay its debts at current market interest rates. While Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a 4.8 billion euro ($6.4 billion) austerity package on March 3, the extra yield that investors demand to hold Greek debt over German counterparts has since risen. The spread was at 324 basis points today compared with 316 points at the start of the month. The euro fell 1 percent today to $1.3358, extending its decline this year to 6.7 percent.I am willing to bet the "market" has not taken a strong, hard, objective look at those proposed austerity measures and uncovered the secrets that I am about to reveal. If they have, these spreads would have been blown out much wider. A German finance official said yesterday that both countries may agree to involve the IMF. Papandreou said March 19 that Greece, which needs to sell about 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) of bonds in coming weeks, is a step away from not being able to borrow and may need to turn to the IMF if European aid isn't forthcoming. Europe's fiscal crisis shows the need for the euro region to create a common fiscal policy, former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont said in an interview in London today."That would be the logical step," Lamont said. "I don't think they are prepared to do that, and without doing that I think the euro is a contradiction, a currency without a state."Bingo! The man hit the point right on the head. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians. CLIP
Let the Billionaires Pay for the Crisis (22.03.2010) http://english.pravda.ru/business/finance/22-03-2010/112673-let_billionaires_pay_for_crisis-0
Each year, Forbes magazine releases its famous list of billionaires. The just released 2010 classifications provide insightful information that in one year, the number of billionaires increased from 793 to 1011, and their accumulated wealth is 3,600 billion, up 50% compared to the previous year. For the super rich, the crisis is long gone. No matter that Bill Gates is only the second, passed by Mexico's Carlos Slim, whose wealth reached $53.5 billion. The most important is that such an amount, concentrated in the hands of one person, represents 12 times the budget of a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which houses over 68 million people. It also represents more than 3.3 million years of minimum wage (guaranteed) in force in France.This sharp increase in the number of millionaires happens when billions of people see their living conditions deteriorated after the crisis. This shows vividly the manner that the rich have successfully managed to let the cost of this crisis be borne by greater numbers. In many countries, North and South, the state debt has soared, particularly for the relief of those responsible for this crisis (private banks, hedge funds ...) or to pay the consequences. The increase of this debt is then the excuse to impose antisocial measures that penalize the people, but spare the richest.In contrast to the capitalist system that shows every day its disastrous social consequences, one idea is gaining ground: that of a global tax on large fortunes, advanced by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1995. For example, a 20% tax on the wealth of the few thousand millionaires would get 720 billion dollars, half the public external debt of all developing countries in 2008 (1,405 billion) and 3.5 times their total annual payments under such debt (211 billion dollars).
EMP: The Next Weapon of Mass Destruction? (March 30, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1976224,00.html
If America needs a new threat around which to organize its defenses, try this one: Bad guys explode nuclear weapons miles above U.S. soil, sending out an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that fries the electronic guts of everything in America. The nation's financial and transportation systems collapse, hospitals and the Internet go dark, water and electrical grids freeze and runaway Toyotas with electronic throttles are finally brought to a stop. "The EMP resulting from the blast would cause widespread damage, devastating the economy and resulting in the deaths of millions of Americans," the hawkish Heritage Foundation warned last week, launching a call on Congress to establish an EMP Recognition Day. Maybe it's America's frontier heritage; moving west and constantly facing new bands of Indians, this nation has always seemed to have an exaggerated awareness of potential threats. The Cold War gave us warnings of missile and bomber gaps, later found to be largely mirages, that were supposedly leaving U.S. citizens vulnerable to Soviet attack. Fear of the supposed Soviet missile advantage spurred President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars initiative and the $100 billion Washington has spent preparing to counter incoming enemy missiles even as the Soviet Union disappeared. Then, 9/11 put us in the crosshairs of Islamic terrorists, calling into being a mushrooming homeland-security industrial complex. All very well, warn the sentinels at the Heritage Foundation, but what about the EMP threat? (...) To blunt the impact of an EMP strike, those most alarmed by the threat want the U.S. military to shield its key electronics, and want vital elements of civilian society to do the same. Like with taxes and health care, the debate over the EMP threat is polarizing. "More fearmongering to garner more $$$ for The Big War Machine," opines one poster on Wired's Danger Room blog. Another skeptic asks: "Do they have a flying carpet that could go that high?" But EMP-threat true believers won't be deterred. "Detonating a nuke on the ground would leave cities in shambles and radioactive for years to come," one points out. "If they had any plot to reuse the invaded land, they would most likely go for an EMP approach." (...) Unfortunately, the Pentagon thinks a threat is a terrible thing to waste, so the Navy has begun studying how to protect its fleet from such an attack. "A nuclear device detonated at an altitude in excess of 40 miles generates High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), which is the focus of the U.S. Navy program," a recent Pentagon report says. Doing nothing, it warns, poses a risk "at the highest level." Hemp and high? You can't say the Navy doesn't have a sense of humor.
Navy laser weapon goes through early tests - SUCH POWERFUL LASER WEAPONS WERE ONCE USED IN WARFARE AT THE TIME OF ATLANTIS WITH EXCESSIVELY DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES. HISTORY IS ABOUT TO REPEAT ITSELF UNLESS WE SOON SLAY THE BEAST OF WAR-MAKING ON EARTH http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2010/03/19/Navy-laser-weapon-goes-through-early-tests/UPI-58861269004576/
ALBUQUERQUE, March 19 (UPI) -- A new laser weapon designed for naval deployment has gone through initial design tests as one of the first steps before it is adopted for active service, most likely by the U.S. Navy before any other force. Laser weaponry now encompasses all branches of the military with a range of laser-based defense equipment already destined for the inventories of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. (...) "The Free Electron Laser will use a ship's electrical power to create, in effect, unlimited ammunition and provide the ultra-precise, speed-of-light capability required to defend U.S. naval forces against emerging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. In that sense, defense analysts said, the laser weapon would take over tasks that would normally be assigned anti-missile missiles or other counteractive defense equipment. "The successful completion of this preliminary design review is an important milestone in developing a weapon system that will transform naval warfare," Fitzmire said. (...) Other laser innovations in defense armament, including airborne laser, have involved Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. During a demonstration in February, a Boeing-Northrop-Lockheed laser destroyed a boosting missile in flight, the first event of its kind. It was also the first time that any system destroyed a missile in the boost phase. The Airborne Laser Testbed and its battle management system was fitted aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 Freighter. Northrop Grumman designed and built the laser and Lockheed Martin developed the beam control and fire control system.Northrop explained, "While ballistic missiles like the one ALTB destroyed move at speeds of about 4,000 miles per hour, they are no match for a super-heated, high-energy laser beam racing toward it at 670 million mph." It said the basketball-sized beam took just a few seconds to carve a stress fracture into the missile, causing it to split into multiple pieces. ALTB has the highest-energy laser ever fired from an aircraft and is known to be the most powerful mobile laser device in the world. The new tests for a naval laser weapon will address the need for similar weaponry to deal with seaborne threats, analysts said.
Trivializing War (March 25, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25076.htm
(...) During the first year of the Obama administration, there were 51 drone attacks, compared to 45 drone attacks during President Bushs two terms in office, according to The Year of the Drone, a report by the Washington-based New America Foundation. The report also states that the civilian fatality rate has been 32 percent in drone attacks since 2004. Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It should be noted that the United States is not at war with any of those countries, which should mean in a sane world that the killing is illegal under both international law and the US Constitution, states Philip Girald, a former CIA officer and fellow of the American Conservative Defense Alliance. Giralds observation is confirmed by Mary Ellen OConnell, a Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School. In a research paper entitled Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones Professor OConnell says, The CIAs intention in using drones is to target and kill individual leaders of al-Qaeda or Taliban militant groups. Drones have rarely, if ever, killed just the intended target. By October 2009, the ratio has been about 20 leaders killed for 750-1000 unintended victims. Drones are having a counter-productive impact in Pakistans attempt to repress militancy and violence. The use of the drone is, therefore, violating the war-fighting principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality, humanity. In the meantime, the U.S. military plans to more than triple its inventory of high-altitude drones capable of 24-hour patrols by 2020. General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Afghanistan and Iraq, declared in a speech last January, We cant get enough drones. War, we should sadly acknowledge, is not a Nintendo game. And innocent peoples lives are not expendable. If we dont admit the tragic dimension of war we will be cursed by its consequences.
Have a Nice World War, Folks By John Pilger (March 26, 2010) http://www.zcommunications.org/have-a-nice-world-war-folks-by-john-pilger
Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and "bunker-buster" bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.In Gaza, the sick and abandoned population, mostly children, is being entombed behind underground American-supplied walls in order to reinforce a criminal siege. In Latin America, the Obama administration has secured seven bases in Colombia, from which to wage a war of attrition against the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Meanwhile, the secretary of "defense" Robert Gates complains that "the general [European] public and the political class" are so opposed to war they are an "impediment" to peace. Remember this is the month of the March Hare.According to an American general, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is not so much a real war as a "war of perception". Thus, the recent "liberation of the city of Marja" from the Taliban's "command and control structure" was pure Hollywood. Marja is not a city; there was no Taliban command and control. The heroic liberators killed the usual civilians, poorest of the poor. Otherwise, it was fake. A war of perception is meant to provide fake news for the folks back home, to make a failed colonial adventure seem worthwhile and patriotic, as if The Hurt Locker were real and parades of flag-wrapped coffins through the Wiltshire town of Wooten Basset were not a cynical propaganda exercise.
(...) This is Americanism, the only predatory ideology to deny that it is an ideology. The rise of tentacular corporations that are dictatorships in their own right and of a military that is now a state with the state, set behind the façade of the best democracy 35,000 Washington lobbyists can buy, and a popular culture programmed to divert and stultify, is without precedent. More nuanced perhaps, but the results are both unambiguous and familiar. Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, the senior United Nations officials in Iraq during the American and British-led blockade, are in no doubt they witnessed genocide. They saw no gas chambers. Insidious, undeclared, even presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, the Third World War and its genocide proceeded, human being by human being.In the coming election campaign in Britain, the candidates will refer to this war only to laud "our boys". The candidates are almost identical political mummies shrouded in the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes. As Blair demonstrated a mite too eagerly, the British elite loves America because America allows it to barrack and bomb the natives and call itself a "partner". We should interrupt their fun.
Corruption Deepens Poverty In Afghanistan - U.N. Report (March 30, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/03/30/world/international-uk-afghan-un-rights.html?_r=2
GENEVA (Reuters) - Corruption is entrenched in Afghanistan, leaving the poor at the mercy of the powerful while security-obsessed international forces often turn a blind eye to abuses, a United Nations report charged on Tuesday.Despite $35 billion injected into the economy since 2002, one in three Afghans, or 9 million people, live in absolute poverty while another third survive just above the poverty line, it said."A key driver of poverty in Afghanistan is the abuse of power. Many Afghan power-holders use their influence to drive the public agenda for their own personal or vested interests," said the report issued by the U.N. human rights office.As a result, the government of President Hamid Karzai is often unable to deliver basic services, such as security, food or shelter, or protect communities from lawlessness, it said.Karzai says corruption is a problem in Afghanistan, but the West shares much of the blame for poorly managing billions of dollars in aid programmes, which dwarf Afghanistan's own budget.
Millions were in germ war tests (21 April 2002) CHEMTRAILS ARE A CONTINUATION OF THIS CRIME! http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/apr/21/uk.medicalscience
Much of Britain was exposed to bacteria sprayed in secret trials - The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any 'inquisitive inquirer' the trials were part of research projects into weather and air pollution.The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed to help the MoD assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country.In most cases, the trials did not use biological weapons but alternatives which scientists believed would mimic germ warfare and which the MoD claimed were harmless. But families in certain areas of the country who have children with birth defects are demanding a public inquiry. CLIP
The Coming China-India Conflict: Is War Inevitable? (MARCH 23, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1974028,00.html
By sheer demographics, it's the world's most important relationship. China and India comprise 40% of humanity and boast economies that are expected to loom large over the 21st century. They also represent two of the world's fastest-growing militaries, armed with nuclear weapons, and are expanding their spheres of influence across oceans. Jonathan Holslag, a Brussels-based scholar of Chinese foreign policy and author of the recent book China and India: Prospects for Peace, is among a growing number of observers who have dismissed the idea of "Chindia" - a term once often invoked, expressing optimism over the joint geopolitical rise of the two Asian giants. He spoke to TIME about the fault lines between the two neighbors, Washington's place in the region and how tensions could escalate into war.The subtitle of your book suggests that conflict is already under way. Is greater confrontation and perhaps even war inevitable in the coming years?It's not inevitable, but peace cannot be taken for granted. The scope for these two countries to develop peacefully and fulfill their national interests without entering into competition is getting smaller due to internal social pressures and rising nationalism. I am not arguing that they don't want to develop peacefully, but that the options for doing so are not that great. They'll be competing at all levels, not only for economic opportunities, but for regional influence. This will lead to an uncomfortable and risky situation.The last war fought between India and China was almost 50 years ago. How much of a strain is its legacy?Ever since the 1962 war, both sides have been extremely cautious and suspicious of each other. There has been no resolution to the border issue [over remote, heavily militarized territories in the Himalayas] in spite of numerous rounds of negotiations and tensions that have flared recently. It's a kind of historic scar that impedes progress. CLIP
Bagram prison in Afghanistan may become the new Guantánamo (March 22, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7070460.ece
The American detention centre at Bagram in Afghanistan could be expanded into a Guantánamo-style prison for terrorist suspects detained around the world. This is one of the options being considered as US officials try to find an alternative to Guantánamo Bay. A decision to send al-Qaeda suspects detained in countries such as Yemen and Somalia to Bagram, which is located north of Kabul, would be highly controversial. Bagram is synonymous in Afghan eyes with past human rights abuses, although the old prison has been replaced by a new facility at the large US airbase. The other alternative of using a special prison in the US is seen as less practical because the detainees would have to be put through the American justice system, and some of the suspects considered by the US as the most dangerous would be difficult to prosecute because of the lack of sufficient evidence. Congress would also oppose such a move. Bagram currently houses about 800 detainees, including a small number of foreign fighters who were not arrested in Afghanistan. They were taken there under the Administration of George W. Bush.
U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan are committing atrocities, lying, and getting away with it (March 22, 2010)
A COURAGEOUS JOURNALIST WHO TELLS HOW MILITARY CENSORSHIP CONTINUES TO HIDE THE TRUTH http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=440
Jerome Starkey recently reported for The Times of London about a night raid on Feb. 12 in which U.S. and Afghan gunmen opened fire on two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials -- an atrocity which NATOs Afghanistan headquarters then tried to cover up. Now, in a blistering indictment of both NATO and his own profession, Starkey writes for Nieman Watchdog that the international forces led by U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal are rarely called to account because most reporters are too dependent on access, security and the 'embed culture' to venture out and see what's happening for themselves. (...) Its not the first time Ive found NATO lying, but this is perhaps the most harrowing instance, and every time I go through the same gamut of emotions. I am shocked and appalled that brave men in uniform misrepresent events. Then I feel naïve. There are a handful of truly fearless reporters in Afghanistan constantly trying to break the militarys monopoly on access to the front. But far too many of our colleagues accept the spin-laden press releases churned out of the Kabul headquarters. Suicide bombers are cowards, NATO attacks on civilians are tragic accidents, intelligence is foolproof and only militants get arrested. CLIP
Pacified (30 March 2010) BECAUSE THEIR COUNTRY HAS BEEN AT WAR ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY SINCE WORLD WAR II AND HAS CAUSED COUNTLESS DEATHS AND OTHER ATROCITIES ("the total excess deaths in the Bush I and Bush II Asian Wars now total 8 MILLION"), MOST U.S. CITIZENS ARE NOW TOTALLY APATHETIC IF THEY HEAR - WHICH IS RARE! - ABOUT YET MORE INNOCENT CIVILIANS KILLED BY THEIR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM... INDEED THEY HAVE BEEN PACIFIED AND LOBOTOMIZED BY THEIR JEWISH-CONTROLLED MEDIA AS TO THEIR CULPABILITY BY OMISSION AND APATHY FOR THEIR COUNTRY'S HORRIFIC WAR CRIMES. http://www.truthout.org/kathy-kelly-pacified58143%20
If the US public looked long and hard into a mirror reflecting the civilian atrocities that have occurred in Afghanistan over the past ten months, we would see ourselves as people who have collaborated with and paid for war crimes committed against innocent civilians who meant us no harm.Two reporters, Jerome Starkey (the Times UK) and David Lindorff, (Counterpunch), have persistently drawn attention to US war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Makers of the film "Rethinking Afghanistan" have steadily provided updates about the suffering endured by Afghan civilians. Here is a short list of atrocities that have occurred in the months since Gen. Stanley McChrystal assumed his post in Afghanistan: (...) February 21, 2010: A three-car convoy of Afghans was traveling to the market in Kandahar with plans to proceed from there to a hospital in Kabul where some of the party could be taken for much-needed medical treatment. US forces saw Afghans traveling together and launched an air-to-ground attack on the first car. Women in the second car immediately jumped out waving their scarves, trying desperately to communicate that they were civilians. The US helicopter gunships continued firing on the now unshielded women. Twenty-one people were killed and 13 were wounded.There was press attention for this atrocity and General McChrystal would issue a videotaped apology for his soldiers' tragic mistake. Broad consensus among the press accepted this as a gracious gesture, with no consequences for the helicopter crew ever demanded or announced.Whether having that gunship in the country was a mistake - or a crime - was never raised as a question. And who would want it raised? Set amid the horrors of an ongoing, eight-year war, how many Americans think twice about these atrocities, hearing them on the news? (...) According to a March 3, 2010, Save the Children report, "The world is ignoring the daily deaths of more than 850 Afghan children from treatable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, focusing on fighting the insurgency rather than providing humanitarian aid." The report noted that a quarter of all children born in the country die before the age of five, while nearly 60 percent of children are malnourished and suffer physical or mental problems. The UN Human Development Index in 2009 said that Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, second only to Niger in sub-Saharan Africa.The proposed US defense budget will cost the US public two billion dollars per day. President Obama's administration is seeking a 33 billion dollar supplemental to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Most US people are aware of Taliban atrocities and many may believe the US troops are in Afghanistan to protect Afghan villagers from Taliban human rights abuses. At least the mainstream news media in Germany and the UK will air stories of atrocities. The US people are disadvantaged inasmuch as the media and the Pentagon attempt to pacify us, winning our hearts and minds to bankroll ongoing warfare and troop escalation in Afghanistan. Yet, it isn't very difficult to pacify US people. We're easily distracted from the war, and when we do note that an atrocity has happened, we seem more likely to respond with a shrug of dismay than with a sustained protest. CLIP
Anti-Zionist Jews Met Ahmadinejad In NY Hotel (3-30-10) http://www.rense.com/general90/met.htm
Something you never were allowed to see in the Zionist-owned US main stream media. This meeting occurred during Ahmadinejad's September, 2009 trip to New York.
Most Russians believe US is hell-bent on world domination, says poll (March 25, 2010) http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/most-russians-believe-us-is-hell-bent-on-world-domination-says-poll/story-e6frf7jx-1225845012315
The survey by the independent Levada Center polling agency found that 73 percent of respondents agreed that the US was "an aggressor trying to take control" of all countries in the world. Only 8 per cent agreed that the US was "a defender of peace, democracy and order," while 19 per cent said they were undecided. The poll's margin of error was 3.4 per cent. The poll, which surveyed 1600 people, showed Russians' attitudes to the US barely changed over the last seven years. The poll's findings came despite efforts by US President Barack Obama to "reset" relations with Russia after a series of bitter disputes between Moscow and Washington over issues such as missile defense and the 2008 war in Georgia.
Moscow in mourning, vows to avenge metro bombings (30/03/2010) http://hello.news352.lu/edito-31435-moscow-in-mourning-vows-to-avenge-metro-bombings.html
Moscow held a day of mourning Tuesday for the 39 victims of twin rush-hour suicide bombings on packed metro trains, as Russian leaders pledged to hunt down and wipe out those behind the attacks. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed those responsible for Monday's bombings would be "destroyed" as authorities pointed the finger at militants from the Northern Caucasus for the deadliest attack in the Russian capital for half a decade. President Dmitry Medvedev, while visiting the site of one of the bombings to lay a wreath of red roses, pledged "we will find and wipe out" those behind the blasts, calling them "wild beasts". The first explosion shortly before 8:00 am (0400 GMT) ripped through a train that had stopped in the Lubyanka station just below the headquarters of Russia's FSB security service, the successor to the Soviet KGB.About 40 minutes later, a second explosion went off in a carriage of a train on the platform at the Park Kultury metro station, named after Moscow's iconic Gorky Park. Officials said the attacks were carried out by women wearing belts packed with explosives, marking a return of the so-called "Black Widows" who terrorized Moscow a decade ago with a string of attacks. (...) Monday's explosions were the deadliest suicide attacks in Moscow since 2004 when the bombing of a metro train killed 41, part of a string of attacks carried out by Chechen militants. Chechnya has seen rising violence in recent months as pro-Kremlin regional authorities seek to clamp down on an Islamist insurgency that has also spread to the neighbouring majority-Muslim regions of Ingushetia and Dagestan.
Chechen Rebel Leader 'Ordered Moscow Attack' (March 31, 2010) http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Moscow-Metro-Bombings-Chechen-Rebel-Leader-Doku-Umarov-Says-He-Ordered-Attacks-In-Internet-Video/Article/201003415590088
A Chechen rebel leader has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings that killed 39 people on Moscow's metro, according to an internet video. Doku Umarov - who heads the Caucasus Emirate group - said he had personally ordered the deadly attacks. On Monday, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up during morning rush-hour on the capital's underground system.The first blast blew up a train carriage at the central Lubyanka station, which is located underneath the offices of the FSB security service - the KGB's successor agency. The second explosion happened some 45 minutes later at Park Kultury, which is the stop for Gorky Park. In a video message posted on the Chechen rebel website kavkazcenter.com, Umarov claimed both attacks "were carried out on my command and will not be the last". (...) The metro blasts were considered to be a direct challenge to the authority of Mr Putin, who has promised to secure energy routes that transit the Caucasus region. In his internet message, Umarov claimed the prime minister was to blame for the murder of civilians of Arshty. He also accused ordinary Russians for turning a blind eye to the killings in the North Caucasus region."I promise you that the war will come to your streets and you will feel it in your lives, feel it on your own skin," Umarov threatened in the video. His message comes on the same day 11 people were killed in two explosions in the the Dagestan region.
Media Disinformation regarding Americas Afghan War (March 28, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18367
(...) In the U.S. mainstream media, complete silence reigned once again. Chagoti Ghar (Chergotah) simply does not exist. The deaths of an Afghan woman, an 8-yr old Afghan girl and a teenaged couple are unworthy of mention in America. Another immaculate deception, or conception in which a teenaged couple was first transformed into two Taliban sub-commanders. That is, until a courageous, independent investigator challenges the official U.S/NATO lies.
Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would Shock, Confuse Consumer (December 1, 2009) http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/12/wiretap-prices/
Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?Thats the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.Yahoo writes in its 12-page objection letter (.pdf), that if its pricing information were disclosed to Soghoian, he would use it to shame Yahoo! and other companies and to shock their customers. CLIP - Check also NSA's Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data
Houston Police To Begin Training Officers To Staff Checkpoints (March 23, 2010) http://www.infowars.com/houston-police-to-begin-training-officers-to-staff-checkpoints/print/
The Houston Police Department is poised to do what no other civilian police department in the United States has yet to publicly do. On the desk of the Chief of Police is the authorization to begin training officers to staff checkpoints at key infrastructure points throughout the city. (...) This Checkpoint Team will be armed with Assault Rifle Carbines with shoot to kill orders and tasked with manning sensitive areas such as airports, chemical refineries, and any other critical infrastructure locations. By the very nature of their training it is but only a small step for them to be tasked to man check points throughout the city, turning it into a defacto internment camp.Houston, being one of the largest cities in the nation in both population and square-mileage, will be hard to lock-down without adequate manpower. That is why the Checkpoint Team will have an initial staffing of 300. If more are needed, those highly trained will be able to act as Checkpoint Leaders or a "train-the-trainer" situation.According to a primary source federal money is being sought to offset the cost of creating and running of the Checkpoint Team, but the federal funding has not yet been approved. It seems the team will be created with or without the federal dollars. This will be the first civilian police agency in the nation to begin this type of training, so it should be seen as the "beta-test" for expansion to other police agencies nation-wide (as is very common in the law enforcement field).
The Afghan Ant Hole: The New US-NATO Offensive will Run into Trouble (March 24, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18298
NATO plans for Afghanistan this year are shaping up nicely: negotiate with the Taliban, but at the same time kill them in Kandahar and Kunduz.A joint operation involving several thousand troops was launched in Kandahar last week, the second one this year after Operation Mushtarak in Helmand province. Kandahar has been the bailiwick of 2,500 contingent of Canadian troops who have suffered heavy losses in this mountainous home of the Taliban. It is ruled by a Canadian national, Governor Tooryalai Wesa, a close friend of President Hamid Karzais brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, chairman of the Kandahar provincial council, infamous for his involvement in the drug trade.Already, there are strong indications from Marja, that the new offensive will run into trouble. The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing there two weeks ago that killed 35. Though Marja now has one coalition soldier or policeman for every eight residents, after dark the city is like the kingdom of the Taliban, said a tribal elder in Marja. The government and international forces cannot defend anyone even one kilometre from their bases.The new governor of Marja, Haji Abdul Zahir, like Wesa, a foreign national (German) parachuted in by the occupation forces, said the militants post night letters at mosques and on utility poles and hold meetings in randomly selected homes, demanding that residents turn over the names of collaborators. The Taliban still have a lot of sympathy among the people. Zahir has no idea how many Taliban are still in Marja. Its like an ant hole. When you look into an ant hole, who knows how many ants there are?Marja district MP Walid Jan Sabir scoffed at Zahirs denial that the Taliban were beheading collaborators. He is not from the area and he is only staying in his office, so he doesnt know what is happening. He predicts the situation will deteriorate and return to chaos as the Taliban and Marja residents all have beards and turbans so its impossible to distinguish them.Will these campaigns in Marja, Kandahar and Kunduz subdue the Taliban and bring them to the negotiating table, the newly professed strategy of the occupiers? It should not be forgotten that Karzai himself was a member of the Taliban government from 1995-98, before Unicol hired him as an insider to try to clinch an oil pipeline deal. His effortless transition to US protege suggests he was probably already on the US payroll, along with his less reputable colleague Osama bin Laden. Though Karzai sees negotiations as the only way out, comments by other ex-Taliban officials who have cast their lot with the occupiers, however reluctantly, are not encouraging. CLIP
Legal-Marijuana Advocates Focus on a New Green (March 25, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/us/26pot.html
SAN FRANCISCO Perhaps only in California could a group of marijuana smokers call themselves fiscal realists. Supporters of a ballot measure that would tax and regulate marijuana in California say it could raise $1.4 billion a year. And yet, faced with a $20 billion deficit, strained state services and regular legislative paralysis, voters in California are now set to consider a single-word solution to help ease some of the states money troubles: legalize. On Wednesday, the California secretary of state certified a November vote on a ballot measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a plan that advocates say could raise $1.4 billion and save precious law enforcement and prison resources. Indeed, unlike previous efforts at legalization including a failed 1972 measure in California the 2010 campaign will not dwell on assertions of marijuanas harmlessness or its social acceptance, but rather on cold cash. We need the tax money, said Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, a trade school for marijuana growers, in Oakland, who backed the ballot measures successful petition drive. Second, we need the tax savings on police and law enforcement, and have that law enforcement directed towards real crime. Supporters are hoping to raise $10 million to $20 million for the campaign, primarily on the Internet, with national groups planning to urge marijuana fans to contribute $4.20 at a time, a nod to 420, a popular shorthand for the drug. The law would permit licensed retailers to sell up to one ounce at a time. Those sales would be a new source of sales tax revenue for the state. Opponents, however, scoff at the notion that legalizing marijuana could somehow help with the states woes. They tick off a list of social ills including tardiness and absenteeism in the workplace that such an act would contribute to. CLIP
Nuclear waste piles up, and it's costing taxpayers billions (March 24, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0324/Nuclear-waste-piles-up-and-it-s-costing-taxpayers-billions
In the waning days of the Bush administration, the US Department of Energy signed contracts with more than a dozen utilities promising to permanently store nuclear waste from 21 not-yet-built reactors, nuclear watchdog groups reported Wednesday. But that "below the radar" DOE commitment was an unreasonable and unnecessary risk to taxpayers given the $1 billion dollars in contractual penalties the agency faced at the time and the agency's 35-year failure to develop a permanent radioactive waste storage site, the groups said, citing federal contract documents they had obtained. At the time DOE officials signed the contracts in late 2008, the government faced and still faces scores of lawsuits by nuclear utilities seeking compensation because the government has not stored their spent fuel as promised. Instead, the utilities must store it on their own sites. When DOE officials signed the deals, the government had already paid $565 million in damages and faced $790 million in judgments on appeal.IN PICTURES: Nuclear power around the world"It was rash for the Bush Administration to sign contracts for new reactors while taxpayers are on the hook for billions due to default on existing waste contracts," Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), one of the watchdog groups, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday. "These new contracts are likely to add billions more in damages at a time when the federal government is struggling with deficit containment. Energy Department way behind schedule - The Department of Energy is more than a decade behind schedule in fulfilling its contractual obligations to remove and permanently dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel from the nation's 104 nuclear power reactors. By 2020, taxpayers will have paid about $12 billion in court judgments against DOE for its failure to find a permanent storage site for highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel, the Congressional Budget Office estimated last year. CLIP
Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter (March 24, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/ap_on_sc/us_food_and_farm_disappearing_bees
MERCED, Calif. The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides. Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market. And on Thursday, chemists at a scientific conference in San Francisco will tackle the issue of chemicals and dwindling bees in response to the new study. Scientists are concerned because of the vital role bees play in our food supply. About one-third of the human diet is from plants that require pollination from honeybees, which means everything from apples to zucchini. Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006 a new concern, "colony collapse disorder," was blamed for large, inexplicable die-offs. The disorder, which causes adult bees to abandon their hives and fly off to die, is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides, experts say. "It's just gotten so much worse in the past four years," said Jeff Pettis, research leader of the Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. "We're just not keeping bees alive that long." This year bees seem to be in bigger trouble than normal after a bad winter, according to an informal survey of commercial bee brokers cited in an internal USDA document. One-third of those surveyed had trouble finding enough hives to pollinate California's blossoming nut trees, which grow the bulk of the world's almonds. A more formal survey will be done in April. (...) EPA officials said they are aware of problems involving pesticides and bees and the agency is "very seriously concerned."The pesticides are not a risk to honey sold to consumers, federal officials say. And the pollen that people eat is probably safe because it is usually from remote areas where pesticides are not used, Pettis said. But the PLOS study found 121 different types of pesticides within 887 wax, pollen, bee and hive samples. "The pollen is not in good shape," said Chris Mullin of Penn State University, lead author. None of the chemicals themselves were at high enough levels to kill bees, he said, but it was the combination and variety of them that is worrisome. CLIP
Over-harvesting is killing the seas by Jackie Alan Giuliano (March 23, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7048-Seattle-Green-Business-Examiner~y2010m3d23-Overharvesting-is-killing-the-seas
(...) The extreme harvest of animals from the sea and the huge pressure of commercial fishing fleets are usually justified by the claim that millions of people are provided food from this source of protein. Yet little of the sea life caught is used to feed the hungry. Unimaginable amounts of unwanted species, immature animals, and undesirable pieces of the meat are wasted and either dumped at sea or buried in landfills. Twenty five percent of the fish pulled from the sea never make it to market and much of the rest is used in designer foods for the affluent customer. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 70% of the world's fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. The worldwide fleet of commercial fishing vessels has doubled since 1970 and operates at a loss of 54 billion taxpayer dollars every year. The UN reports that 27 million tons of unwanted fish are thrown back each year (this figure does not include marine mammals, sea birds and some invertebrates killed in fishing operations). Most of them do not survive because of rough handling during the catch. This represents more than half of all fish from capture fisheries that are used for direct human consumption. The Humane Society of the United States reports that The annual global catch peaked in 1989 at 89 million tons and has currently stabilized at about 85 million tons. This abuse has raised great concern within all areas of the fishing community. Some claim that the worlds fish could be extinct by the middle of this century. The amounts of other kinds of fish that are wasted are truly staggering. In aquaculture, the controlled raising of fish, about 30% of the population often dies. When fishes are turned into filets, 40% to 60% of the fish is discarded. Thirty percent of the fish cut up into steaks or canned is discarded. The processing of fin fish wastes 30% to 60%, crab wastes up to 85 percent of the animal and shrimp processing generates 40% to 80% waste. The cod fishery catches millions of pounds of halibut and throws them back. They are usually dead or injured and soon die. The halibut fishery catches millions of pounds of cod each year and considers it a trash fish. The dead or injured fish are also wasted. Some efforts are underway to reduce the waste. CLIP
Mercury Contamination Report Hits Close to Home http://flyfishing.about.com/od/wheretofish/a/Mercury-Contamination-In-Fish.htm
USGS Study Shows Toxic Substance in Every Fish Tested -- A federal study released Wednesday showed that mercury contamination in fish is a widespread problem across the country. In a U.S. Geological Survey study that tested fish from nearly 300 streams, the toxic substance was found in each fish sampled although only a quarter had mercury levels that exceeded what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe for human consumption. This story hits close to home for me because my wife is a little over 4 months pregnant and has been encouraged by our doctor to avoid eating fish for this exact reason -- cutting out one of the favorite portions of our regular diet. A couple of my favorite California fly fishing waters are also located near old mining grounds, which are blamed for much of the mercury contamination in our fisheries.While many of the highest mercury levels in this particular report were detected in the South, high levels were also found in western streams that drain areas mined for mercury and gold.One more reason to catch and release my friends. Be sure to check out the complete findings of the USGS report and the national listing of fish advisories from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Chipped Dogs Develop Fast-Growing, Lethal Tumors (3-25-10) http://www.rense.com/general90/chip.htm
Medical Reports Point To Link Between RFID Chips And Canine Cancers - Highly aggressive tumors developed around the microchip implants of two American dogs, killing one of the pets and leaving the other terminally ill. Their owners --- and pathology and autopsy reports --- have suggested a link between the chips and the formation of the fast-growing cancers. CLIP A Vet's Opinion of Microchips and Vaccines for Pets : "For years manufacturer's and others have been pushing microchips. We, in my practice, have not chipped any patients because we wanted evidence that it would not induce tumor formation. We have repeatedly asked the manufacturers to supply us with information demonstrating that the chips are safe, but we have only received verbal assurances." As sent by Kathy Roberts (email@example.com)
Communauto - A different kind of car use (Toute l'info est aussi en français) http://www.communauto.com/comment_ENG.html#2
Communauto provides its members with exclusive access to its vehicles. By becoming a Communauto subscriber, you gain access to a fleet of cars that you can reserve at low cost for a half-hour, an hour, a day or longer, according to your needs. Located in the heart of your neighbourhood, the cars are available without delay, 24/7. (...) Pick up the car at the station you selected; it's self-service, which means there's no need for the assistance of an agent. Use the designated car, and at the end of your reservation, return it to the station where you picked it up. Pay for the length of your reservation and the distance you traveled; a detailed invoice is sent to you at the end of each month.Communauto pays all the costs related to the normal operation of the service: vehicle purchasing, financing, registration, insurance, repairs and maintenance, as well as all administrative costs and even gas! No more surprise repair bills! Communauto takes care of everything! CLIP From its humble beginnings in 1987, the car-sharing movement has never looked back. In Europe alone, there are more than 200 organizations that offer the service in over 350 centres. Collectively these serve more than 140,000 members mostly in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Austria. The service is also available in France, the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and Norway. You can find a complete listing of the car-sharing organizations presently in operation all over the world (in over 1000 cities! - the list of North American cities is HERE) at World CarShare Consortium (this site is available in several languages). Voir aussi: 15 ans et 20 000 abonnés plus tard, Communauto vise encore plus haut avec l'abonnement en ligne (...) Une analyse réalisée par la firme de génie-conseil Tecsult a permis de conclure qu'un abonné à Communauto réduit ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 1,2 tonne en moyenne par année par rapport à un propriétaire de véhicule. Une voiture de Communauto se substitue à environ huit véhicules privés. CLIP
Why Current Air Pollution Controls Won't Avert Climate Catastrophe (30 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/why-current-air-pollution-controls-wont-avert-climate-catastrophe58128%20
If you were told that a coal-fired power plant near your home was going to invest $500 million to upgrade the facility in order to reduce the amount of harmful air pollutants it spews, you would probably think to yourself that it was about time they did something. Air would be cleaned and the risks of pollution-oriented diseases would be reduced. Certainly this has been the position the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken throughout the years, with a brief time-out during the most recent Bush administration. (...) "Adding scrubbers will prolong the life of these plants by 30-35 years at least," said John Blair, director of Valley Watch, an Indiana-based environmental group that monitors coal. "These installations certainly have short-term gains but over the long haul they are helping create many other environmental problems."For starters, carbon dioxide emissions are not regulated by the EPA and do not fall under the rubric of the Clean Air Act or its NSR requirements. So, when an old coal plant installs a multi-million dollar scrubber, the plant, as far as the EPA is concerned, is as good as new.That's not something that sits too well with some climate-change activists who are seeking to shut down coal plants instead of working to keep them around. Taking a cue from Dr. James Hansen, one of the world's top climate scientists, these activists would rather see coal completely phased out of the world energy supply.Dr. Hansen says coal "is 80% of the solution to the global warming crisis." Ted Nace, in his book "Climate Hope: On the Frontlines of the Fight Against Coal," explains why:First ... the amount of carbon remaining in the ground in oil and gas reserves is much smaller than the amount of carbon contained in coal reservesSecond, coal is the most carbon intense of the fossil fuels. Producing a kilowatt-hour of electricity from coal produces about 2.4 pounds of carbon dioxide, while producing a kilowatt-hour of electricity from natural gas producing a kilowatt-hour of electricity from natural gas produces about 1 pound of carbon dioxide. While coal produces half of the electricity in the United States, it is responsible for 80 percent of the carbon dioxide released by electric utilities. CLIP
Dect Phones and Microwave Radiation on the Electrosensitive (March 23, 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EI9fZX4iww
Study shows, unequivocally, that microwave radiation from a cordless DECT phone immediately affects the heart causing arrhythmia and tachycardia (irregular and rapid heart rate) at non-thermal levels well below federal guidelines.
Testimony: I'm no longer electrosensitive -- How to alleviate electrosensitivity http://www.next-up.org/pdf/EHS_Marie_Christine_Testimony_I_m_no_longe_electrosensitive.pdf
(...) When I was exposed to electromagnetic fields, all sorts of symptoms could appear: inflammation of the thyroid and severe pains (I suffer from the auto-immune Hashimoto's disease); feeling dizzy, falling sensations, poor coordination between brain and legs; sensations of electrocution of the brain followed by suffocation; problems with my metabolism; heart problems, digestive problems; problems with my sight; joint pains; stabbing pains in my muscles; cramps; sleeping problems; exhaustion; being unable to stand stress, heat, noise, light; difficulty in remembering, concentrating and following through my thoughts and speaking; skin conditions; severe pain in the jaws and teeth; depression - to mention only the mentionable ones. (...) Unfortunately doctors do not receive nay training in environmental diseases. As soon as they come up against one of them they readily label it "psychosomatic" - it makes things so much easier! Tomorrow they'll tell us it's "genetic" but that won't make the diseases any better. So when will they stop just trying to suppress symptoms, and take an interest in finding the cause of our diseases: pollution and parasites, poor eating habits, ineffective cleansing organs or whatever? Without the Internet and the Melodie forum [Fr], it would have been impossible for me to treat myself successfully.
EMF-Omega-News 27. March 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/425/70/
Live Blood and Electrosmog - In Situ Double Blind Experiment on TETRA - DECT Phones and Microwave Radiation on the Electrosensitive - Diabetes and electrosmog - Not everyone favors widespread Wi-Fi - Stop Wi-Fi in its tracks - Canadian EMR Concerns - WHY VODAFONE SHOULD NOT INCREASE THE POWER OF ITS BASE STATION - Submission re Bill 235, Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 - Letter to Maine Legislature Regarding Warning Label Bill - Protest of antenna cell tower - Families voice mast objection - Parents blame children's health problems on schools' Wi-Fi technology - Spain has about 150,000 mobile phone masts, half of which need inspecting - Forum frustrates cell tower foes - Cell Tower in the Bell Tower - ILLEGAL TOWERS: 1 more sealed, 10 removed - Outrage over phone mast plan at Poole school
Netanyahu flies home amid disagreement with Obama on key issues
March 24, 2010
US president Barack Obama kept on turning the screw on Israeli minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday, March 24, after their harsh conversation in the White House Tuesday: Netanyahu was told bluntly to issue a White House-dictated public pledge before leaving Washington for home to eschew further construction in East Jerusalem, or else face a US presidential notice condemning Israel and holding its government responsible for the failure to restart indirect Israel-Palestinian talks.
Reporting this, DEBKAfile's Washington sources add that Netanyahu's public renunciation of Jerusalem construction was required to include also the large Jewish suburbs of the city and remain in force for the duration of negotiations. He must also pledge further concessions to the Palestinians.
As part of the ultimatum, the US president warned the Israeli prime minister that he also intended formulating in detail for the first time the settlement the US government sought for solving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Netanyahu flew out of Wednesday night without reaching common ground with the president on the key points at issue. He and defense minister Ehud Barak spent their last hours in the US capital working on a statement that might satisfy the White House. Barak worked out of the Israel embassy with the president's special adviser Dennis Ross at the National Security Council's office at the White House. Middle East envoy George Mitchell shuttled between them in an effort to save his mission.
A high-ranking US official categorized the current crisis in US-Israeli relations as the most acute in 54 years, ever since 1956 when President Dwight Eisenhower gave David Ben-Gurion an ultimatum to pull Israeli forces out of Sinai - certainly more serious than the impasse over the Madrid conference between the first President Bush and Yitzhak Shamir in 1992.
A US presidential notice condemning Israel and predetermining the shape of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement would be tantamount to a US diktat and put the lid on negotiations, direct or indirect, because Israel would be dragged to the table in handcuffs to face an Arab partner who would accept nothing less than the terms Washington imposed in advance on Israel.
Such a notice would put a clamp on the close dialogue which has historically characterized US-Israeli ties - to the detriment of Israel's international standing.
The Washington Post laid the blame for the crisis squarely on President Obama, whom it accused of treating Netanyahu "as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length."
The WP went on to say: "Obama picked a fight over something that virtually all Israelis agree on, and before serious discussions have even begun.
"A new administration can be excused for making such a mistake in the treacherous and complex theater of Middle East diplomacy. That's why Obama was given a pass by many when he made exactly the same mistake last year. The second time around, the president doesn't look naive. He appears ideological -- and vindictive."
Israel lobby presses Congress to soften Obama's tough stance on Netanyahu (30 March 2010 ) http://www.guardian.co.uk:80/world/2010/mar/30/us-israel-lobby-pressure-obama
American Israel Public Affairs Committee circulates letter urging White House to 'reinforce' relationship with Israel -- Aipac has persuaded more than three-quarters of the members of the US House of Representatives to sign a letter calling for an end to public criticism of Israel. America's main pro-Israel lobby group is mobilising members of Congress to pressure the White House over its bitter public confrontation with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. The move, by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), appears aimed at exploiting differences in the Obama administration as it decides how to use the crisis around settlement building in Jerusalem to press Israel towards concessions to kickstart peace negotiations. CLIP
Iran, Israel and an Obama Miscalculation in the Works? (March 31, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25114.htm
President Obamas apparent desire to move forcefully against Iran with new sanctions within weeks, not months, makes me wonder if he is calculating that he will be in a better position to put some real pressure on Israel, and possibly bring about regime change there, if he can successfully bully Iran into playing the game his way. If that is what Obama is thinking, he could be setting himself up (or is being set up?) for another humiliation. On one level of argument there is a case for saying that if he could persuade Tehran to meet his requirements on the development of its nuclear program, he could then say to Israel something very like, Ive neutralized the Iranian threat, now you must give an absolute priority to making peace with the Palestinians. Leaving aside for the moment the matter of Irans response to more aggressive bullying, the problem with that way of thinking is what it ignores. Israels leaders and AIPAC are playing up the Iranian threat not because they truly believe that a nuclear armed Iran would pose a threat to the Zionist states existence, but because it, the asserted threat, is an effective way of limiting the White Houses freedom to pressure Israel. The point? Even if Obama did succeed in getting what he wants from Iran, that would not improve his chances of bringing Israel to heel, with or without regime change. So from that perspective, Obama would end up being humiliated again. But there is a much worse, even catastrophic scenario. What if moving quickly and forcefully with new sanctions on Iran did not bring about a policy change in Tehran? Obama would then have painted himself into a corner where his options would be either to say, in effect, Weve got to live with the fact that Iran might possess nuclear weapons, or to give Israel the greenlight to attack Iran and risk the U.S. being drawn into a war which might not end until the whole Middle East was in flames and the global economy had been completely wrecked.That would be quite some miscalculation.
Obama recalls bunker-buster bomb kits to bar Israeli strike on Iran (March 20, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8665/
Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden's Israel visit ended on March 11 in high dudgeon over the approval 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, US president Barack Obama ordered a consignment of Joint Direct Attack Munition- JDAM already on its way to Israel to be diverted to the US Air Force base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. This step, the pointer to a US arms embargo for preventing Israel attacking Iran's nuclear sites, is first revealed here by DEBKAfile's military sources.US military sources describe the consignment as consisting of 387 JDAM kits for attachment to the warheads of 2,000-pound BLU-109/MK-84 or the 1,000-pound BLU-110/MK-83 bunker-busters for their conversion into smart bombs. On March 13, DEBKAfile disclosed that the Obama administration was pondering withholding from Israel military hardware that could be used for an Israeli attack on Iran. In late February, we reported that defense minister Ehud Barak had submitted to defense secretary Robert Gates a list of the items Israel required urgently to stand up to a four-front assault by Iran and its allies - mainly air force ordnance, certain types of missile and advanced electronic devices. Barak made it clear that all these items must be present in Israel before the outbreak of hostilities. The requests were so urgent that the minister proposed that if Washington was reluctant to hand them directly to Israel, they could be stored for the interim in the big American emergency depots in Israel's Negev.The 387 DJAP kits were due for delivery at one of the Israeli Air Force's Negev bases in March. Because of his concern over the US president's step to divert the shipment, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to take the defense minister with him to Washington next Monday, March 22 and have him present at the meeting with Obama which the US media reports has been fixed for Tuesday (the day after his address to the AIPAC annual conference). Together they will ask for the delayed munitions to be released and handed over as part of any general understandings they may reach. CLIP
Exclusive / Despite row, U.S. and Israel sign massive arms deal (25/03/2010) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1159155.html
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington this week absorbing the full wrath of the Obama administration, the Pentagon and Israel's defense establishment were in the process of sealing a large arms deal. According to the deal, Israel will purchase three new Hercules C-130J airplanes. The deal for the three aircrafts, designed by Lockheed Martin, is worth roughly a quarter billion dollars. Each aircraft costs $70 million. The aircrafts were manufactured specifically for Israeli needs, and include a large number of systems produced by Israel's defense industry. The deal will be covered by American foreign assistance funds. The Pentagon will issue a formal announcement on the matter on Thursday evening. America and Israel have still not reached an agreement regarding the purchase of the Lockheed F-35 war plane. It is still not clear when that deal, which is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion, will finally be sealed and carried out. If that deal is signed in the near future, Israel will likely receive its first F-35 in 2014. NOTE from Jean: Either the White House is not in control of what the Pentagon does, or it fully acquiesces to whatever Israel wants and its protests against Israel's full-speed colonization of the Palestinian lands it brutally conquered and occupies is just mere posturing designed to make the US looks like an honest peace broker in the eye of the Arab public opinion.
Israel under veiled US threat of diplomatic isolation (March 24, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8673/
The high-stakes conversations Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu held in Washington with President Barack Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton on March 23-24 only deepened the crisis marring relations between the two governments, DEBKAfile's Washington sources report.Netanyahu, defense minister Ehud Barak and their aides, received a strong impression that the White House's hand was behind certain European steps to drive Israeli into a corner on the points at issue. For example, even if the British government needed no encouragement to pick a fight with Israel over an unproven link with the forged passports used by the Dubai killers, Washington knew about the British plan to expel an Israeli diplomat. Its silence was taken by London as a go-ahead and a signal to the Netanyahu government that punishment could be coming from Washington too and that Israel could pay for defying the Obama administration with broad international isolation. France is also considering lining up behind this campaign. President Obama showed his displeasure with the Israeli government's failure to cave in to his demands - especially after Netanyahu's declaration that Jerusalem is no settlement but "our capital" to the AIPAC conference Monday - by ordering all the Israeli prime minister's meetings in Washington to take place without statements, news coverage or the cameras which normally record smiles and handshakes between friendly leaders.The warm public bipartisan welcome he received on Capital Hill was followed by the cold, peremptory shower given him at the White House."We in Congress stand by Israel," the Democrat leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said. "In Congress we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.""We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel," said the House Republican leader, John Boehner. "We all know we're in a difficult moment."At their first 90-minute encounter, the president made clear what he expected the Israeli prime minister to do on Jerusalem, West Bank settlements and Iran and where he drew the line. Every effort by Netanyahu and, behind the scenes, Barak and their advisers, to ease the pressure fell on deaf ears.As the tension climbed in the Oval Office, Netanyahu asked to consult privately with his staff and after an hour, asked to see Obama again. A second 35-minute conversation followed, after which the Israeli leader left without achieving any breakthrough on their differences. CLIP
Obama is going after regime change in Israel (March 25, 2010) http://www.debka.com/article/8676/
The deep abyss into which US-Israeli friendship was dumped this week is virtually unbridgeable because there is no point of contact between the ideology and politics held by President Barack Obama and his chief advisers Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod and Israel's fundamental security needs - no matter who sits in the Prime Minster's Office in Jerusalem.When he visited Washington this week, Binyamin Netanyahu discovered to his dismay that the protestations of America's "rock solid" support for Israel's security and future by top Obama administrations officials and US guarantees to furnish Israel with the resources needed for its defense were no more than lip-service to the verities espoused by previous administrations. Equally outdated were the standard Israeli assertions that the US needs Israel, its strategic partner, as much as Israel needs America. Common ground between Washington and Jerusalem has shrunk exponentially in the current administration fourteen months: President Obama wants to see a Palestinian state stretching across all the territory Israel captured in 1967 including Jerusalem (forget the UN resolution promising Israel secure, defensible borders), the siege lifted on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a territorial link between the two Palestinian territories (across a chunk of southern Israel) and a large number of the 1948 Palestinian refugees, most of whom are concentrated in Syria and Lebanon, returned - some to their former homes in Israel, some resettled on the West Bank. CLIP
Omission and Commission (29 March 2010) by long-time ERN subscriber Palden Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) VERY ENLIGHTENING HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE! http://paldywan.blogspot.com/2010/03/omission-and-commission.html
This is the second in a series of articles about the current situation in Israel-Palestine. -- The international community has played an enormous role in causing and perpetuating the Israel-Palestine conflict. This falls particularly on USA and Britain, but also Germany, Russia, France and Poland and, if only by omission, most European and not a few other countries too have played their part. (...) In 1947-48, the Arabs were unprepared for what happened. The British had earlier tried blocking Jewish immigration, by now significant and desperate, but they lost control and their colonial policy was unclear. The Jews fought for their lives against both British and Arabs. The Jewish Agency acted as a nascent government. The Arabs were confused, unready, with no consolidated national movement and no effective leadership. They relied, as often, on international support which never came. War broke out. Most Arabs fled, expecting to return home when peace came, then to find they couldnt their villages and towns were destroyed or occupied by Jews, many of them fresh from Europe, seeking a home. The Jews, even to their own surprise, seized more land than they were allocated 78% of former Mandate Palestine, including West Jerusalem. To stop them gaining more, the newly-independent Transjordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt seized Gaza with some help from remaining British officers loyal to the Arab cause. The UN, wringing hands in a conflict of priorities between supporting Arab needs and compensating Jews for their sorry fate in the Holocaust, drew an armistice line where battle ceased, the Green Line. This served as the border until 1967. The Jews founded the state of Israel in 1948, with West Jerusalem as its capital. The international zone in Jerusalem failed to come to pass and no one did anything about it. Palestine had no legal status. The fate of Israel and Palestine was sealed by the errors and double standards of the West. Several factors decided this. CLIP
Tell Me Again, Who Made The Desert Bloom? (March 19, 2010) http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/tell-me-again-who-made-the-desert-bloom/
In December 1945 and January 1946, the British Mandate authorities carried out an extensive survey of Palestine, in support of the work of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. The results were published in the Survey of Palestine, which has been scanned and made available online by Palestine Remembered; all 1300 pages can be read here. One of the subjects investigated in the Survey of Palestine is land use; specifically, which crops were Palestines leading agricultural products at the end of the British Mandate, and whose farms were producing them. So, according to the Survey of Palestine, who really made the barley fields of Beersheba bloom? (...) So, on the eve of the partition resolution, in which the United Nations proposed to allocate 55 percent of the land to Jewish Palestine (including those parts that produced most of Palestines leading crops, with the sole exception of the olive crop), and 45% to Arab Palestine, Palestinian Arabs were producing: 92% of Palestines grain - 86% of its grapes - 99% of its olives - 77 % of its vegetables - 95% of its melons - more than 99% of its tobacco - and 60% of its bananas. Palestines agricultural produce at that time had an annual value of approximately 21.8 million pounds sterling; 17.1 million of which was produced by Arab cultivation, and 4.7 million by Jewish cultivation. (See the exact numbers here). So, who made the desert bloom? The Palestinians made the desert bloom. --- AMONG THE COMMENTS POSTED THERE: "The concept of that kind of propaganda was to give people the idea that the Jews had merely taken a broken down wreck and revived it. Without massive donations and virtually unfathomable American taxpayer support, Israel would be Las Vegas without gambling." - "When will Zionist Israel ever see sense? Is there no guilt they feel as they uproot Palestinians, butcher them, grab their land, destroy their crops, trees or even grow more on their initial labour that Palestinians used but displace them and send them to congested camps if some lives make it? They import their Jewish settlers from just about anywhere and give this grabbed land to them, on the bones of dead Palestinians using their flesh and blood to feed their new crops on this land. Are they poor victims of the Holocaust or the perpetrators of a new Holocaust, the initiators of a second nakba?"
Obama demands Netanyahu's peace answers by Saturday
By HERB KEINON AND KHALED ABU TOAMEH -- 25/03/2010
US hopes to get immediate Arab League approval for proximity talks; PA official: DC meetings ended without progress on east Jerusalem construction freeze.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene his senior ministers on Friday to discuss the demands made by US President Barack Obama and his overall trip to Washington - a trip that, because of negative atmospherics and amid a paucity of hard information, has been widely characterized as among the most difficult in recent memory.
Officials in the Prime Minister's Office continued to throw a blackout on the Netanyahu-Obama meeting, as well as give only very sketchy information about the commitments that the US is demanding of Israel as a precursor to starting the proximity talks with the Palestinians. The US, according to officials, wants these commitments by Saturday so it can take them to the Arab League meeting in Libya and receive that organization's backing for starting proximity talks.
According to a Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah, the US administration on Thursday informed the PA that the Netanyahu meetings in Washington did not produce any agreement on the issue of construction in east Jerusalem.
The official said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas met in Amman with David Hale, US deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, who briefed him on the outcome of Netanyahu's talks with Obama.
"The American envoy said that the two sides failed to reach agreement on settlement construction in Jerusalem," the PA official said.
Hale also told Abbas that the US administration would continue its discussions with the Israeli government in the next few days and weeks, in an attempt to solve the crisis that has erupted between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government.
Prior to leaving Washington late on Wednesday night, Netanyahu tried to put a positive spin on the meetings, saying that the two sides had made progress in finding a "middle path" between the "traditional policy of all Israeli governments [regarding building in east Jerusalem], and our will to also find a way to renew the peace process."
US officials indicated on Thursday that Israel had bridged some of the gaps between the two countries during their marathon consultations, even though no final resolution was presented after Obama's and Netanyahu's staffs toiled late into the night on Wednesday for a second straight day.
"I think we're making progress on important issues," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters on Thursday afternoon, but he declined to go into specifics.
US sources indicated that there seemed to be a good deal of movement on the contents of planned indirect negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Nevertheless, the administration's treatment of Netanyahu during his meeting with Obama created the impression of a deep crisis in relations. As Jackson Diehl wrote in The Washington Post, the White House's refusal to allow non-official photographers record the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, and the fact that no statement was issued afterward, led to the impression that "Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arms length."
According to various Israeli sources, the Obama administration is asking for Israel to commit to some type of limitation on building in east Jerusalem; to show a willingness to deal with the so-called core issues of borders, refugee and Jerusalem already in the indirect talks; and to agree to a number of confidence building measures, including the release of hundreds of Fatah prisoners.
There were also reports, not confirmed, that the administration had asked for a commitment to extend the moratorium on housing starts in the West Bank settlements beyond the 10-months originally declared.
One source in the Prime Minister's Office said the goal of the dialogue with the US was to find a way to start the proximity talks and "put these problems behind us."
The key problem with the US has to do with Jerusalem, with the administration making it clear in recent days that it did not accept Netanyahu's declaration at the AIPAC conference on Monday evening that Jerusalem was not a settlement, but rather Israel's capital, and that building would continue there.
"On the issue of Jerusalem," one source in Netanyahu's office said, "the truth is that this is a city of 750,000 people, and every couple of days there is going to be some kind of building, or zoning, or buying or planning and actual building. The whole idea that every time this happens dialogue will stop is a recipe for no peace process."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, one of the members of Netanyahu's "septet" inner cabinet, told Channel 2 on Thursday that while Israel was not looking for a fight with the US, it would not give up on its "basic right" to build in Jerusalem. This sentiment was repeated by Netanyahu a number of times during his visit to Washington.
Lieberman, according to some reports, called the prime minister during his Washington talks to urge him not to bow to US pressure and not to sign off on any new commitments.
Regarding confidence building measures to the Palestinians, Netanyahu, according to senior officials, did not commit himself to a prisoner release, and said he would bring the matter to the security establishment in Israel to determine whether this was something they would recommend or not.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who accompanied Netanyahu on the trip, told the Americans - who reportedly had asked for an Israeli commitment to extend the housing start moratorium - that he was "disappointed" by the reaction to the original moratorium decision. He said he thought this would garner more positive reactions from around the world, as well as bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. Instead, he said, the move made the Palestinians believe that if they held out, they could get even more.
Netanyahu, during his talks in the White House, asked the Obama administration why it was not placing the same kind of pressure on the Palestinians as it was placing on Israel, and asked where the "reciprocity" was. Netanyahu, according to senior officials, said that while the US held him responsible for the timing of the announcement to build 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo, rather than holding Interior Minister Eli Yishai responsible, Abbas was not held responsible when it came to the PA - which recently presided over the naming of a square in Ramallah for the terrorist responsible for the Coastal Road massacre.
Meanwhile, the PA's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Israel was "damaging its credibility as a serious peace partner" by refusing to stop construction in east Jerusalem and West Bank settlements.
In response to the latest decision to approve the construction of 20 housing units at the site of Shepherd's Hotel in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Erekat said: "There is a growing sense of frustration among the international community with the measures and decisions taken by Israel."
Erekat said that if Israel were serious about achieving peace with the Palestinians, it would stop building "illegal settlements," as requested by the road map for peace in the Middle East and the Quartet.
"Why is Israel continuing to do what it's doing at a time when everyone is urging it to do what is needed to achieve peace?" he asked.
The PA official said that the decision to build the new homes in Sheikh Jarrah was in the context of Israel's policy to "end Palestinian presence in Occupied East Jerusalem" and destroy any hope of reaching agreement over the issue of the city.
Erekat said that the PA wanted to give the proposed proximity talks a chance to succeed, "because our obvious goal is to end Israeli occupation and [achieve] the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state within the pre-June 4, 1967, borders."
Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report from Washington.
Netanyahu leaves U.S. disgraced, isolated and weaker (25/03/2010) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1158992.html
Details emerging from Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington remain incomplete, but the conclusion may nonetheless be drawn that the prime minister erred in choosing to fly to the United States this week. The visit - touted as a fence-mending effort, a bid to strengthen the tenuous ties between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama - only highlighted the deep rift between the American and Israeli administrations. The prime minister leaves America disgraced, isolated, and altogether weaker than when he came. Instead of setting the diplomatic agenda, Netanyahu surrendered control over it. Instead of leaving the Palestinian issue aside and focusing on Iran, as he would like, Netanyahu now finds himself fighting for the legitimacy of Israeli control over East Jerusalem. CLIP
Israel fears Obama heading for imposed Mideast settlement (29/03/2010) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1159863.html
U.S. President Barack Obama's demands during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Tuesday point to an intention to impose a permanent settlement on Israel and the Palestinians in less than two years, political sources in Jerusalem say.Israeli officials view the demands that Obama made at the White House as the tip of the iceberg under which lies a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Israel. Of 10 demands posed by Obama, four deal with Jerusalem: opening a Palestinian commercial interests office in East Jerusalem, an end to the razing of structures in Palestinian neighborhoods in the capital, stopping construction in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and not building the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo. But another key demand - to discuss the dispute's core issues during the indirect talks that are planned - is perceived in Jerusalem as problematic because it implies that direct negotiations would be bypassed. This would set up a framework through which the Americans would be able to impose a final settlement. It is not just Obama's demands that are perceived as problematic, but also the new modus operandi of American diplomacy. The fact that the White House and State Department have been in contact with Israel's European allies, first and foremost Germany, is seen as part of an effort to isolate Israel and put enormous political pressure on it. CLIP
20,000 Palestinian homes under demolition threat (28 Mar 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=121861§ionid=351020202
Palestinian officials warn that more than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem al-Quds could soon face demolition orders from Israeli municipal authorities.Ahmad Ruweidi, the Palestinian Authority's legal advisor on al-Quds affairs, said Israeli courts will soon hand demolition orders to Palestinian homeowners over what Tel Aviv calls violation of construction rules over the past 10 years and the requirement of renewable licenses. The figure does not include homes whose owners have already received final demolition orders from Israeli courts or the Israeli municipality in al-Quds, Ruweidi noted. This means that all owners will live in a state of fear that at any moment their homes could be demolished or a family member may be found homeless on the street, he cautioned. Ruweidi said Israel's policy was intended to force Palestinians in al-Quds to pay large sums to engineers and lawyers in addition to significant fines for the so-called 'violations of construction restrictions.' Major differences between the Palestinians and Israelis are growing deeper over Tel Aviv's continued demolition of Palestinian houses in al-Quds and its efforts to create a demographic wedge in the region. On Saturday, acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas told delegates at the Arab League summit in Libya that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in annexed East al-Quds in particular, remained the main obstacle to the resumption of the 'peace' talks. Abbas described al-Quds, which Palestinians have long been demanding as the capital of their future Palestinian state, as "the jewel in the crown as well as the door and the key to peace." "We emphasize that we hold onto every grain of soil and stone in Jerusalem (al-Quds). We are determined to defend Palestine's capital," he stressed.
'Israeli escalation aims to kill talks' (22/03/2010) http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=171513
"It's obvious Israeli government does not want peace," says Abbas spokesman. -- The Palestinian Authority on Sunday stepped up its condemnations of Israel and accused the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of working to "destroy" US efforts to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.The PA claimed that Israel was increasing tensions in the region by increasing its "attacks" on Palestinians so that it could divert attention from the international community's demand for a total freeze of settlement construction.However, PA officials in Ramallah said they didn't rule out the possibility that indirect talks with Israel would be resumed in the coming weeks. The officials said that in recent days the PA leadership has received "positive messages" from Washington regarding Israel's plans to build new homes in Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem."Apparently, Netanyahu has accepted our demand that the issue of Jerusalem be discussed during the indirect talks that are supposed to take place in a few weeks," said a senior PA official. "If true, this is a positive development because Netanyahu had so far refused to put the issue of Jerusalem on the table."Another top PA official said that the US administration has told the PA leadership that the Netanyahu government has agreed to release a significant number of Fatah prisoners from Israeli jails as a "confidence-building measure" and "goodwill gesture" to the Palestinians ahead of the talks. CLIP
'Dispute won't harm $3b. aid to Israel' (26/03/2010) http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=171839
Key congresswoman advises PM not to "give away the store" in the midst of talks. -- WASHINGTON - The congresswoman who oversees US aid to Israel told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that the ongoing dispute between the countries would in no way harm assistance to the Jewish state."There is no question in my mind that the 10-year memorandum of understanding is solid," Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the US House appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said of the decade-long US aid plan under which $3 billion will be going to Israel this year. "There is strong bipartisan support for Israel in the Congress that will not falter."She said that continuing support is also in place when it comes to the US commitment to Israel maintaining a qualitative military edge over its Arab neighbors and other forms of military coordination."The military cooperation, the intelligence cooperation, the focus on Iran, is solid and strengthens every year," said Lowey, who also sits on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security committees.The New York congresswoman referred to the current tensions between the US and Israel as a "hiccup," noting there have been occasional differences between the two allies over the years, but that "we must move forward. The stakes are too high to dwell on the disagreements." CLIP - Note from Jean: The attitude of this congresswoman crawling in front of the powerful Jewish lobby through promising Israel that, no matter what it does and says, it will continue enjoying billions in direct military aid to bolster it hegemonious, egregious domination over ever more dispossed Palestinians and whomever happens to be in the way of this country's unrelenting, existential fear of being denied its legitimacy, shows just how difficult it is for the newly stiffened Obama administration to stir Israel towards the enduring and just peace it must ineluctably establish with the people sharing this history-laden land with the recently returned sons and daughters of the 12 founding tribes of Israel. Keenly aware that the plight of the long suffering Palestinians cannot remain unaddressed for much longer, or he will lose any remaining shred of credibility in his overtures towards the Arab world in his bid to bring lasting peace, shared prosperity and normal civility to this part of the world, Barack Obama knows he has to do what it takes to deliver the historic Peace Deal that will definitely turn the page on a dark chapter of the Middle East and of our entire planet's history. Let us pray he and his team will succeed for it is the whole world, and particularly both the Jewish and Arab peoples, that will benefit from this shift into a greater sense of our common Purpose as sons and daughters of the One vibrant Life in All - which is to live peacefully and with loving appreciation for each other and a strong mutual understanding of our Oneness beyond all superficial and yet richly diverse and preciously unique differences, so as to cocreate a long-lasting New Era of Peace, Love and Harmony for all on Earth.
Helen Thomas on her one question for Obama - She courageously speaks the truth!!! and is incredibly lucid!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Oz8M_FnV4
White House Press Corps longest-serving member says Obama lost credibility when he dodged her question on Israeli nukes. -- The Foreign Assistance Act and Glenn Amendment make US aid to Israel illegal - The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Symington Amendment (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976. It bans U.S. economic, and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections. This provision, as amended, is now also contained in Section 101 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Glenn Amendment (Section 670) was later adopted in 1977, and provided the same sanctions against countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology or explode or transfer a nuclear device. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The instant President Obama admits that he knows Israel has nuclear weapons, he is confessing that every single cent looted from the American taxpayers and given to Israel by the US government since 1976 is a criminal fraud and theft from the American people.
Recommended by Jack Williams (email@example.com) who wrote: "Obama may be an advanced spiritual being here to help us, but until I see more evidence of that, I'll report on what he is doing. After all, he may have turned to the dark side."
The Shadow Government Rules for the moment
There is a large and murky intelligence/lobbying network, that is subservient to the International Monetary and Banking Cartel, that writes US laws and ensures that our so-called law-makers pass them. This unseen, largely unknown, global and spidery web-work of control could be reasonably called the Shadow Government.
So apparent and pervasive is this control system, in Congress, that most of our elected representatives no longer pretend - very much - to have written or even read the legislation that they pass: This is true even though some bills still carry the names of various senators or congress-persons, all certainly making an inside joke of the democratic process and the illusions many un-tutored Americans still believe to exist.
I recently wrote what I had hoped was a satirical article, poking fun at the fact President Obama could not feasibly have read all the legislation he has signed into law, centering on the on the mammoth 2,700 page Healthcare Reform Bill. And although some people appreciated the article, a couple of readers did not.
One lady reader condemned the piece as being negative, with no discernible point; while, she invested no more of her own thought in it than that. A male reader (who showed some thought) bought the truth that while Obama probably didn't read the Healthcare bill - due to time constraints - he was certainly briefed with a detailed summary of it, highlighting the bill's major points.
This gentleman, like many others, does not see the absurdity of legislation that is so long it could take weeks or months to read; after all, our Constitution was handwritten on about four or five pages.
Our Declaration of Independence was handwritten on one sheet of paper.
Our lawmakers and president should not be briefed on proposed laws, they should scrutinize every line, of every proposed law, as it is that important to the American people. And the American public should be given the opportunity to do the same, as President Obama promised.
Our presidents should veto any bill they cannot comfortably read and understand in one sitting. In fact, if there are legislative passages the average, literate Americans cannot understand, those too should be vetoed. Convoluted, long passages in legislation is simply an effort to hide tyrannical intentions. And with voice votes becoming popular, in congress, we are even denied the knowledge of knowing just who supports tyranny.
All points of legislation should be debated in Congress, by senators and representatives, not given talking points by unseen agents of the International Monetary/Banking Cartel, to memorize and parrot to the corporate media.
In response, I asked the gentleman, above, who seemed to think a presidential briefing was adequate, to consider what a colossal briefing Mr. Obama would have to have had to cover all 2,700 pages of just that one bill - the mislabeled Healthcare "Reform" Act.
If Mr. Obama was briefed in detail on the steady stream of hundreds of thousands of legislation pages proposed in congress, he'd be spending every waking moment being briefed, without doing any of it real justice.
Divinity students spend years in college studying the detailed summaries that highlight the major points in the 1,300 page Bible, and still not cover it all. Does the gentleman really think Obama can be briefed on something the size of ten novels, or two Bibles, in a month or so, especially considering all the other thousands of pages of Executive Orders (written for him) that he signs, or the thousands of pages of regulations that are annually issued by Executive Branch agencies?
Today, America is burdened with so many laws, they could not be contained within a full 100 volume set of encyclopedias. In addition to the thousands upon thousands of pages of congressional legislation, there are over 13,000 Executive Orders, most hundreds of pages long. Then there are Presidential Directives, Presidential Review Directives, Presidential Decision Directives, National Security Reviews, Homeland Security Directives, and on and on it goes. And still, more laws thunder down upon us.
England, composed of some of the most docile and submissive people anywhere (except maybe Canada) is where much freedom-limiting legislation is tested. If it won't fly in England it won't fly anywhere. Well, it is flying in England; and we, in the US, can soon expect about 4,000 new laws, as that is how many laws were enacted by the UK's most recent legislative parliament - the most ever in one year.
The phrase, It's a free country, is no longer uttered in the British Isles, and it is becoming passé in our United States, where the saying is not merely faded or aged, it is simply no longer true.
And while the hidden despots, who coerce so many laws through our government use national security or consumer protection, or some other thinly veiled altruistic grounds for their tyranny, it is still tyranny, none the less.
Worse yet, few of our laws have automatic self-expiring provisions with sunset clauses, which apparently means our current laws are to endure into perpetuity, guaranteeing us a permanently sad and deteriorating state of affairs.
We are in the thrall of a covert tyranny, wherein so many of us have become dependent on the state, either as government employees or welfare recipients, that we shy away from responsibility for ourselves, and - at least - tacitly support all incursions upon our liberties. But, in doing so, we not only lose our freedoms, but our souls as well.
The plutocrats of the private International Monetary and Banking Cartel have but one ultimate goal: To separate you from your soul, as all too soon, silence becomes betrayal.
Thus far, however, our massive array of laws have not - yet - all been used against the majority of us; but, instead, are used selectively against perceived enemies of the state, usually those people who try to expose serious governmental crimes.
Incrementally, however, more and more laws are being enforced, as more are being implemented; and, unless this encroachment on our freedoms is soon reversed, our entire country will become a prison camp.
Currently America has degenerated into a sick society, with an over-taxed, over-regulated, and disappearing middle- class, an expanding and poorly educated under-class, and a disinterested and callous public sector, that is quickly becoming the only employed.
And sadly, Mr. Obama - and our lawmakers - gleefully enact still more self-defeating laws, and promote them by doing nothing more than reciting from teleprompters and repeating the "talking points" and sound-bytes given to them by shadowy sources - the unseen minions of the Shadow Government, that are beholden to the International Monetary/Banking Cartel.
Our president, and most all other politicians, carefully avoid the subjects of who reads or even writes the thousands and thousands of pages of legislation, regulations, directives, and executives orders that pour out of Washington, DC annually, as they do not know who writes it all, and do not want to have to admit they don't read much of any of it in any case. With one exception.
That exception, that was probably read by Obama, et al, was written into the Healthcare Reform Act as a loophole for the privileged: The president, his staff and family, Joe Biden's staff and family, Nancy Pelosi's staff, Harry Reid's staff, and many other insiders are all exempted from the mandates of Obamacare. How nice, they've given it all to us taxpaying Americans to have, to hold, and to pay for.
As with all tyrannies, taxes, laws, orders, directives, and regulations are not for the insiders, but for us - the outsiders.
It would seem to me that if most of the tenets of the world-wide Christian religion are contained within 1,300 pages of the Holy Bible, America does not need 900,000 to millions of pages of legislation, orders, directives, and regulations to be governed. How can we obey those laws if we don't even know what they are?
But, the critical questions all thinking Americans will ask themselves run along the lines of who wrote the hundreds of thousands of pages of US legislation, orders, directives, and regulations that can so severely affect our lives. That Madame and Sir was the point of my satirical piece, and is an important point of this article.
But far more importantly, know that fear is their most potent weapon, as it captures unenlightened souls, by forming a barrier between feared circumstances and the freeing energy of real enlightenment. But, enough enlightenment shatters the machinations of the Cartel, and those of their petty tyrants, as crystal is shattered by certain frequencies of vibration.
May God bless you, and all fearless others, and speed us all to a more divine realm.
Check also Jack's latest article:
We Spoke Loudly... But It Didn't Matter At All (3-31-10) http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/we-spoke-loudlybut-it-didnt-matter-at-all-they-are-enforcing-obamacare-regardless-of-what-we-thi/blog-291220/
They Are Enforcing ObamaCare Regardless Of What We Think - Beholden to a handful of financial oligarchs, congressional democrats passed Obamacare, over the opposition of millions of Americans, while republicans in Washington kept the left/right paradigm alive by pretending to oppose the new Healthcare "Reform" Bill.With the plutocrats of the International Monetary/Banking Cartel in control of all US intelligence agencies, democratic senators and congress-persons had little fear of being voted out of office, when voting for Obamacare, no matter how much their constituents opposed that legislation. You see, its the Cartel's intelligence agents who implement electronic voting machines, that "elect" Cartel minions to congress. And, we the people can go ... well, we can go on pretending we live in a democratic country. CLIP
Obamacare prescription: 'Emergency health army' (March 25, 2010) http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=132001
President Obama's recently passed health-care reform legislation includes a surprise for many Americans a beefing up of a U.S. Public Health Service reserve force and expectations that it respond on short notice to "routine public health and emergency response missions," even involuntarily.According to Section 5210 of HR 3590, titled "Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps," the force must be ready for "involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises."The health-care legislation adds millions of dollars for recruitment and amends Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204), passed July 1, 1944, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of the seven uniformed services in the U.S. However, Obama's changes more than double the wording of the Section 203 and dub individuals who are currently classified as officers in the Reserve Corps commissioned officers of the Regular Corps. (...) As first reported by WND during his campaign, Obama called for a "civilian national security force" July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." WND also reported in January when a Rand Corporation report proposed the federal government create a rapid deployment "Stabilization Police Force" that would be tasked with "shaping an environment before a conflict" and restoring order in times of war, natural disaster or national emergency. The blogosphere is buzzing with speculation about the amendment. CLIP
10 Things You Didnt Know Were in the Health Bill (March 29, 2010) http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/10-things-you-didnt-know-were-in-the-health-bill-12100/
From breast pumping to adoption tax credits, the leviathan known as the U.S. health care bill is loaded with little goodies -- The 2,000-page health care bill that became law last week is packed with major reforms probably well known (in concept if not in detail) by anyone who has channel-surfed through the nightly news over the past year. Theres an individual mandate, a system of exchanges, new government subsidies and a ban on some of the worst practices of the insurance industry.Lets say the small print on the big stuff accounts for about 1,500 pages, give or take a ream. Whats in the rest? Some random, weird and interesting solutions to problems you may or may not have known you had, some with dubious connection to health care at best. As a public service, we explain some of them here. (...) 1. Menu labeling. The legislation mandates that national chains with at least 20 restaurants must post nutrient content disclosure statements in other words, calorie counts right next to the menu offering Big Mac. To drive the point home, menus will also have to mention your suggested daily caloric intake. The provision has all kinds of addendums to deal with seasonal specials, salad bars, vending machines and condiments, but the main idea is this: Maybe well eat less garbage if we cant remain willfully ignorant about how bad it is for us. 2. Swag disclosure. The bill contains key elements of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a previously bipartisan idea calling for pharmaceutical reps and device manufacturers to disclose all the goodies they give doctors. This includes money, gifts, food, travel, entertainment, grants, just about anything that may constitute a conflict of interest. The transparency reports must be submitted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and will be posted on a publicly searchable Web site. CLI
The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis, by Bill Moyers http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3505348655137118430#
This is the full length 90 min. version of Bill Moyer's 1987 scathing critique of the criminal subterfuge carried out by the Executive Branch of the United States Government to carry out operations which are clearly contrary to the wishes and values of the American people. The ability to exercise this power with impunity is facilitated by the National Security Act of 1947. The thrust of the exposé is the Iran-Contra arms and drug-running operations which flooded the streets of our nation with crack cocaine. The significance of the documentary is probably greater today in 2007 than it was when it was made. We now have a situation in which these same forces have committed the most egregious terrorist attack on US soil and have declared a fraudulent so-called "War on Terror". The ruling regime in the US who have conducted the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, are now banging the war drum against Iran. We have the PATRIOT act which has stripped us of many of our basic civil rights justified by the terror of 9/11 which is their own doing
THE SECRET GOVERNMENT The Constitution In Crisis - Transcript http://www.wanttoknow.info/050423secretgovernment
Bill Moyers, Secret Government, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) 1987 -- Moyers: The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when they cant win the support of the Congress or the people, creating that unsupervised power so feared by the framers of our Constitution.
Whos Left? A Few Ultra-rich and Us, the Tapped-out Masses (February 4, 2010) http://www.infowars.com/whos-left-a-few-ultra-rich-and-us-the-tapped-out-masses/
About to lose your home? Have you lost your home? Can you make the interest payments on your credit cards? Can you afford to maintain your car, your familys incidental needs, your childrens health, or even buy enough food, gasoline or heating fuel? How did such a sad state of affairs come about in our country, once the most affluent in the history of the world?We have been massively betrayed by our national leaders. And as if that was not bad enough our high level national leaders are appallingly ignorant of the basics in economics and finance, in addition to being traitors to their oaths of office, and to the American people. Our elected politicians and appointed bureaucrats in Washington have become no more than highly paid, but ugly and atrocious actors, pretending to represent the American people. But the American people be damned! Its the International Monetary/Banking Cartel our fraudulent leaders represent. Giving trillions of dollars to the ultra rich, while increasing taxes on our ever diminishing affluent, then exporting jobs and creating inflation, until all of us are tapped-out, has long been the standard operating procedure in Washington. Since the inception of the Banking Cartels Federal Reserve System, in 1913, our courts, congresses and presidents have come under lock-down to a relatively small, but powerful group of foreign plutocrats; but, former President Bill Clinton worked overtime for this crime syndicate. With the backing of the stealthy Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, and a compliant republican controlled congress, Clinton signed on to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), both of which essentially destroyed our ability to be a self-sufficient nation, and caused a tremendous exodus of jobs out of the US.Ross Perot, forced out of the presidential race of 1996, warned us about the dangers of both GATT and NAFTA, but the International Banking Cartel wanted both Trojan horse trade agreements forced on America, in order to eliminate her as a beacon of hope and light in a dark world. In the Cartels One World Order there is to be parity amongst all nations all equally poor. Among Clintons worse crimes against humanity, however, were his repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. From the time of these sweeping deregulations of the private banking fraternity until 2002, the once illegal practice of packaging and trading in the toxic paper known as derivatives had reached monstrous proportions of about $102 trillion, enough to destroy the real basic economies of the entire world.But by September of 2008, the once illegal practice of trading in derivatives had reached $530 trillion to 1.5 quadrillion dollars, amounts and figures well beyond human comprehension. This black hole of derivatives is now about ten to thirty times the gross domestic products of the whole world, meaning its about ten to thirty times what is needed to throw all societies of Earth into a neo-feudalism.Derivatives, sometimes called Asset Backed Securities are nothing more than financial contracts that DERIVE their falsely perceived value from other weak, underlying securities, mortgages, or other financial instruments. CLIP
Citizens United Against Citizens United (30 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/citizens-united-against-citizens-united58140%20
Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans tell pollsters when asked that they oppose the Supreme Court's decision in "Citizens United," which lifted limits on corporate political spending. I'm willing to bet that at least those same percentages would tell you the decision violates the US Constitution. And I would bet that if you explained to people that the Citizens United decision was based on the ideas that spending money on elections is speech and that corporations claim the First Amendment right to free speech that was meant for people, the numbers would increase. (...) Courts across the country are being called into action. Federal court rulings have decided that there are no limits on corporate spending, but limits still remain on spending by political parties. But those limits will vanish, too, as soon as the case reaches the Supreme Court, also known as these people.And thanks to the fine work already performed by the Supremes, we may soon see state judges universally cut from the same corporate cloth. And, as an added improvement, the corporations on whom there are already no limits include the health insurance corporations, which will have hundreds of billions of new dollars coming in by mandated purchase of their products. Still, even with the current imbalance restricting political parties and not corporations, it is the political parties that hold the most influence. The insurance corporations were not able to buy Democratic Congress members away from their party leaders. Nobody votes against war money or anything else, no matter how unpopular, unless their party leaders give them permission.And yet, when the limits are lifted on parties, the uproar will not match that in response to Citizens United, because very few people will notice that corporate money buys off two parties much more easily than it could buy off 535 independent representatives.
A Nation Betrayed - Secret Cold War Experiments Performed On Our Children and Other Innocent People http://www.wanttoknow.info/nationbetrayed10pg
Carol Rutz incredible journey from mind control victim to freedom is both harrowing and deeply inspiring. Her thorough research supporting her personal experience provides clear evidence of deeply hidden agendas within a shadow government. She explains how to order the thousands of pages of released government documents upon which much of her research is based at the end of this document.
JAPAN CORRUPTED AND BOUGHT THE POOR VOTING NATIONS AT THE CITES CONVENTION AND PREVAILED IN ITS PIGHEADED OBSTINACY TO VACUUM-CLEAN THE OCEANS. I'D SAY IT IS HIGH TIME THE WHOLE WORLD STOPS BUYING ANYTHING THAT IS MADE IN JAPAN (cars, electronics, everything!) TO TEACH THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT THAT IT CANNOT CONTINUE PROTECT THE SLAUGHTERING OF WHAT IS LEFT OF HUMANITY'S COMMON PRECIOUS, DWINDLING LIFE IN THE WORLD'S OCEANS FOR THE SOLE COMMERCIAL BENEFIT OF A FEW STUPID FISHERMEN.
A Toothless West Watches as Japan Guts Fish Stocks
by Charles Clover - March 28, 2010
The scalloped hammerhead is a pretty cool shark. You could learn to love it. It does cool things. Its eyes are placed to give it 360-degree vision. It can detect an electrical signal as weak as half a billionth of a volt from the muscle contractions of its prey. It gives birth to live young after the age of 17. And it is one of the few animals on Earth that actually tans, like we do.
The one thing that may not surprise you is that scalloped hammerhead fins are among the most prized for the Chinese delicacy known as shark fin soup. "Finning" remains one of the most disgusting fishing activities. Sharks are caught, their fins are chopped off and they are dumped back alive into the ocean to suffer horrible deaths.
An astonishing 2.7m hammerhead sharks (both scalloped and smooth) are ripped from their coral reefs and sea mounts each year to supply the Asian market, and consequently the hammerhead population has declined by 83% in the northwest Atlantic over the past 25 years.
It did not seem unreasonable for the tiny Pacific republic of Palau - along with the United States - to propose last week that countries exporting hammerhead fins should be forced to monitor this repellent trade and issue export permits only after ensuring that the numbers caught did not threaten the species' survival. Nor did it seem unreasonable to suggest - as Palau and the European Union did at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Doha, Qatar - that our own warm-blooded, slow-growing porbeagle shark should be made subject to the same rules. After all, porbeagle catches have declined by 80% in the northeast Atlantic since the second world war.
In all, there were 13 marine proposals at Cites this year - more than at any time in the past 35 years and a measure of the growing concern about the goings-on in our oceans.
Other species up for protected status include oceanic whitetip shark, spiny dogfish (the rock salmon found in fish and chips), red coral and bluefin tuna. Many people felt that the hammerhead and porbeagle had the highest chance of success, not just because they were cute, but because the proposals before Cites were asking countries only to monitor their populations and to try not to wipe them out. No such luck: an alliance of fishing nations led by Japan voted down all 13 proposals. It was the conservation equivalent of Pearl Harbor.
Japan's case was intellectually weak: it said it did not want any commercially traded marine species to be regulated under the endangered species convention, though, in fact, seahorses, sturgeon and eels already are. What the bemused delegations of the EU, the US and other defenders of the dwindling fish species had not realised, until the voting onslaught began, was the strength of the global forces Japan would muster on the side of a poor argument.
What galled the people trying to find a bar in "dry" Qatar to drown their sorrows after the vote on Thursday was that, by the old rules, they had done everything right. The scientific case had stacked up: every scrap of evidence pointed to the fact that shark populations were declining. But the world has changed since 1973, the year Cites was founded, when a nod from the West and a good scientific report could quickly get a species listed.
Somewhere along the line we have lost both our clout and the tacit understanding that science, not politics, should determine the common good. The paradox is that there has never been so much public awareness of environmental problems. However, the global process of dealing with them has been corroded by domestic political agendas, including the reluctance of China to agree to external monitoring of what it sees as its internal affairs (which all but sank last year's Copenhagen climate conference).
It could all get worse. We heard last week that Japan - with American support - is tilting for an end to the 23-year-old moratorium on killing the great whales. Apparently, Native American tribes also want to exercise their ancestral right to kill whales, and the US is snuggling up to Japan to let them do so.
When will this shortsightedness end? It certainly can't go on indefinitely. In my view, Japan's victory in Doha was an enormous diplomatic mistake, based on prejudice rather than principle, and it has not gone unnoticed by the public. Japan's government knows that, sooner or later, it simply has to address the issue of sustainability, but nobody wants to be the first to change such a hoary plank of foreign policy as Japan's right to eat all the fish.
What happened in Doha is like Pearl Harbor because it is a challenge that cannot be ignored. It is patently absurd to have a global convention that regulates trade in more than 30,000 endangered species, but not fish. That must be pointed out at the highest political level. Alliances must be built, weapons forged.
If we have to boycott Mitsubishi for trading in bluefin or sanction a Japanese airline for carrying it, then so be it. Next time the West must play the game like we mean it. And as the rematch will be in less than three years' time, we need to start mobilising now.
Related articles and petition:
CITES chooses 'commerce' over sharks, leaving endangered species vulnerable (March 23, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0323-hance_cites_sharks.html
Only the porbeagle shark received protection today from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Seven other shark species failed to win international protection despite plummeting populations due to overfishing. Once again, Japan led the opposition to regulating the trade in white-tipped sharks and scalloped hammerheads, including two look-alike species: the great hammerhead and the smooth hammerhead. Japan has dominated the CITES meeting, successfully leading resistance to banning the trade in the Critically Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna and against monitoring the coral trade. "The devastating result this morning sees hammerheads and oceanic whitetip sharks join the Atlantic bluefin, and red and pink corals, as victims of short-term economic interest winning out over efforts to save species from extinction at this CITES meeting," Greenpeace International Oceans Campaigner Oliver Knowles said. Oceanic whitetip shark loses vote for protection today at CITES. Photo by: Peter Koelbl. Sharks are increasingly targeted for shark fin soup, a delicacy in many Asian countries, including Japan. The trade has decimated some species, for examples the scalloped hammerhead has dropped by 98 percent in some regions while the oceanic whitetip sharks has decline by 90 percent in the central Pacific Ocean and 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico. (...) "Governments at CITES have in the past had a good track record of protecting rare species, but can they rise to the challenge of protecting species which are now seriously depleted, and simultaneously worth a lot of money? Sadly, the signs from this meeting are not good. Its clear that more and more governments attending CITES are not trying to protect species, but safeguard what they see as 'commodities' that they can continue trading," concluded Knowles, adding that "proposal after proposal designed to protect massively overfished marine species have failed to pass at CITES. Its an appalling result, the impacts of which will effect our marine environment for generations to come." While CITES has largely failed the world's marine species, the international body voted yesterday to against allowing sales of ivory from Tanzania and Zambia, fearing that it would worsen the current poaching crisis against the world's elephants. Marine biologist, Jennifer Jacquet, recently said in her blog, Guilty Planet that CITES failure to protect marine life was "another failure to see fish as wildlife."
Japanese government says it would defy bluefin tuna ban (March 5, 2010) WHAT A DEFIANT ATTITUDE! http://worldfocus.org/blog/2010/03/05/japanese-government-says-it-would-defy-bluefin-tuna-ban/9966/
Japan says it will defy any ban on trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna. Conservation groups say the fish is at risk of extinction if current catch rates continue. While the U.S. announced its support of a ban this week, the fish is prized for high-end sushi in Japan, where 80 percent of the fish ends up.
Save the whales BOYCOTT JAPAN http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/boycott-japan.html
To call the whaling programme research is a hoax. The International Whaling commission has declared that the results of the programme are currently of no use, and non-lethal alternatives exist for determining all of the programme objectives relevant to whale conservation. 4,000 tonnes of the whalemeat which the hunt produces remains unsold, giving the lie to the suggestion that the whale hunt could become a commercially sustainable activity. The current whale hunt in the Southern Ocean is neither scientifically useful nor commercially viable. We will Boycott Japan and stop buying Japanese products until the killing of whales stops!
CITES rejects monitoring of coral trade (March 21, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0321-hance_coraltrade.html
After denying protection to polar bears, sharks, and the Critically Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has today voted against additional protections for harvested coral species, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group. The joint US and EU measure would have put in place scientific and trade monitoring of over thirty species of red and pink coral in the Mediterranean and western Pacific. The corals are harvested to make jewelry. But harvests of the coral have seen a significant decline: over 85 percent in thirty years. Marine conservations warn that the corals are too slow-growing to sustain such heavy collecting, since they require a hundred years to reach maturity. Japan, which also led the movement to reject the ban on the Atlantic bluefin tuna trade, lobbied others to vote 'no' against the monitoring. The country argued that deep water corals are not facing extinction and that monitoring would impact poor coastal fishing communities, especially in North African nations. The vote was done secretly. "TRAFFIC and WWF are deeply disappointed with the decision not to list red and pink corals," said Ernie Cooper of TRAFFIC Canada. "Without the trade control measures this would have introduced, the current overharvesting of these precious corals will continue unabated." It is estimated that 30 to 50 metric tons of the corals are harvested every year. The United States is the world's largest purchaser of coral jewelry.
Aidan Hartley video reveals China threat to elephants - UTTERLY DISGUSTING http://baraza.wildlifedirect.org/2010/03/29/aidan-hartley-video-reveals-china-threat-to-elephants/
Well CITES is over and the ivory trade has not reopened, but according to one new documentary Africas elephants are no safer. Last year we helped Aidan Hartley of UKs Channel 4 in an investigative story on the ivory trade. It was not an easy task for him and his team to do the undercover work to reveal what is really happening on the ground and in African government offices. We are happy to announce that this multi part documentary called End of the Elephant. Part 1 aired on the 26th of March and Part 2 will air on Friday the 2nd of April on Unreported World on Channel 4 in UK. You can also watch this series online here UNREPORTED WORLD - Or check out Aidans video blog. In a special article in the Spectator Aidan Hartley reveals that it was easy to find ivory on the Tanzanian streets any amount he wanted. but it was the bullet riddled carcasses in the Selous National Park that led Aiden to call the situation there a free fall. Over 31,000 elephants have been killed in this premier Tanzanian protected area. Aiden saysI became sickened by seeing so many fresh elephant carcasses: bullet-riddled, heaving with maggots, skulls hacked up with axes where poachers extracted the tusks. And what astonished me was that this was going on under the noses of foreign tourists, each of them paying a fortune to visit Tanzanias game parks. The Tanzanian government clearly has done little to stem the illegal killings of elephants, to the disgust of tour operators and conservationists. Indeed this was the main reason that Tanzania failed in her bid to sell off her ivory stockpiles at the just concluded CITES conference in Doha.The slaughter of Tanzanias elephants has been an open secret for some time. Corruption in official offices and threats to tour operators who speak have kept it out of the official news.Who buys Tanzanias ivory? Aiden discovered that Chinese in the country are the main buyerswe met Salim and another dealer, Daudi, at a petrol station. They got in our car and Daudi produced a tusk that still had dried blood on it. I asked, Do many mzungus [white people] buy these, or is it mainly the Chinese?All the time the Chinese come. Many, yes! Yes! exclaimed Daudi.According to the seller Salim, ivory is purchased by the Chinese and exported through the main airport after paying bribes. This ivory is fresh and still bloody and the sales and exports are happening openly everyday. Clearly the ivory is arriving in China without any problems on that end. Amazing considering that all the Chinese authorities would need to do is search the luggage of every person travelling from Tanzania to catch them. If they could track every tourist into China during the Swine flu epidemic, why cant they do this? I believe its due to a total lack of political will on the part of the Chinese government. But Aidan says its worse than mere negligence. His source, Daudi revealed that Chinese government officials travelling through Tanzania including Hu Jintaos entourage use their diplomatic status and immunity to move ivory. To me this stinks much more than the sickly smell of 31,000 rotting maggot ridden elephant carcasses. I hope that Aidans film End of the Elephant will wake up the Tanzanians, the world especially the Chinese to do something about this state condoned corruption which is destroying Africas greatest mammal.
Drought, Refugees, Revolution and War - Military Prepares for Climate Doomsday
By Jenny Fyall - March 22, 2010
Military chiefs are holding "back room" discussions on how to cope with the threat of a world ravaged by wars provoked by uncontrolled climate change, an expert has warned.
Gwynne Dyer, an influential lecturer in international affairs, said if the climate continues to change at its current rate there will be global conflict in decades.
Tens of millions of climate refuges unable to feed themselves in their own dried-up countries will aim for places like Scotland where conditions will remain favourable.
These countries will in turn use their military powers to barricade their borders, leading to wars over land, food and water.
Mr Dyer was speaking to The Scotsman ahead of the Edinburgh International Science Festival next month, when he will give a talk called "Climate Wars".
He said he had spoken to members of the military around the globe about climate change.
"It turns out that all the major military players are looking very seriously now at the kinds of roles they will be playing in a warming world," he said. "This was all being done in back rooms and not discussed in public, but definitely being done."
He believes conflict will occur for three reasons:
* Climate refugees. Tens of millions of climate refugees from the tropics and subtropics will sweep in waves to cooler countries, no longer to survive in nations where crops fail.
* Failed states. Africa and the Middle East are likely to have particular problems, with leaders ousted due to anger over famine. The fallout would be waves of refugees, terrorism and piracy.
* Water wars. Conflicts will flare up between countries - such as India and Pakistan and Iraq and Turkey - that share a river system - over the water supply.
Mr Dyer believes Britain would become a very desirable place to be under global warming.
Under a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, some tropical countries are expected to see a rise of 7C within the next half century.
However, the projections suggest Britain would get just 3C warmer.
"If you had to pick a place to sit it out, Britain is one of the most favoured places on the planet," he said. "Most of the land is farmable. In Scotland, any bit of land you can grow food on will grow better at 3C warmer. We are surrounded by ocean so it will always be raining here - and the ocean also keeps the refugees out."
He said hushed-up conversations were already taking place in Brussels about defence strategies.
The most drastic involved not just Africa but subtropical countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
"The third line of defence is that you cut the Mediterranean countries loose and put your defences on the Alps and the Pyrenees," he said.
"At the moment we've got freedom of movement, of course, so any Spanish or Italian or Greek citizen can come and set up here, which is fine if they do it in tens of thousands but not fine if they do it in millions."
Mr Dyer said he thought the situation was both "distressing" and alarming. But he added: "The happy side to it is that we don't really have to go there.
"If we can only get this sorted out and not get into those higher temperature rises, it never happens.
"This is not an inevitable future, this is a contingent future, but we are not doing very well at preventing it at the moment."
Warning that next parliament is last chance to stop climate change (22 March 2010) http://news.scotsman.com/climatechange/Warning-that-next-parliament-is.6169331.jp
THE next parliament will be the last chance for politicians to stop runaway climate change, business, environmental and charity leaders warn today. Whoever wins the next election will have to take urgent decisions to avoid the worst impacts of global warming and make sure the UK benefits from opportunities such as green jobs, they said. A short film backing the call to act, presented by Sir TADVERTISEMENT revor McDonald, celebrates past achievements of parliament from the abolition of slavery to the creation of the NHS.MPs in the next parliament will go down in history as heroes or villains, depending on whether they make the right choices to tackle climate change, Sir Trevor warns. Jonathon Porritt, one of the panel of experts making the call to act, said that despite an apparent "loss of purpose" in the wake of the Copenhagen climate summit and attacks on science, the imperative to act remained. A report by the panel demands the incoming parliament builds support for tackling climate change and leads a drive to "green" the UK's buildings. Politicians must ensure the UK takes the lead on securing international finance to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate. And in the UK, MPs must set out a route map to build "low-carbon" electricity, transport and buildings, the report urged.Others backing the call include National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday, Dame Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam and Stephen Hale, director of environmental think tank Green Alliance.
Global forest loss has diminished since the 1990s but still remains "alarmingly high", according to a preliminary version of a new assessment from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010), shows that global forest loss slowed to around 13 million hectares per year during the 2000s, down from about 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s [NOTE]. It finds that net deforestation declined from about 8.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to about 5.2 million hectares per year in the 2000s, a result of large-scale reforestation and afforestation projects, as well as natural forest recovery in some countries and slowing deforestation in the Amazon.
Nevertheless, loss of primary forests remained high at around 4 million hectares per year during the 2000s. Primary, or old-growth, forests today account for only 36 percent of global forest cover (1.35 billion hectares), while secondary and naturally regenerating forests make up 57 percent (2.15 billion hectares). The balance 9 percent or 264 million hectares consists of planted forests, including industrial plantations.
The ongoing loss of primary forests is significant because they store more carbon and house more biodiversity than planted and regenerating forests.
FRA 2010 says that forest loss was highest in Brazil, Indonesia, and Australia, each of which lost more than 2.5 million hectares between 2005 and 2010. Myanmar (Burma), Bolivia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Congo, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe lost more than 1.2 million hectares during the period.
China saw the biggest gains in forest cover, a product of an ambitious reforestation and afforestation initiative. Primary forests in the country however continue to be diminished for plantation development, particularly in the southern China. The United States also gained net forest cover, while experiencing primary forest loss.
FRA 2010 estimates that global forest cover change between 2005 and 2010 resulted in annual loss of roughly 500 million tons in carbon stock. Overall the world's forests store 289 gigatons (billion metric tons) of carbon, or about 37 years of annual CO2 emissions at 2006 levels.
The assessment finds that 12 percent (460 million hectares) of the world's forests are designated for biodiversity conservation, an increase of 95 million hectares since 1990. Legally established protected areas national parks, game reserves, wilderness areas and other protected areas cover 13 percent of the world's forests. 30 percent of the world's forests are used primarily for production and about 10 million people are employed in forest management (including logging) and conservation, although a much larger number depend on forests for their livelihoods. Globally, governments spend more on forestry than they collect in revenue, indicating that the sector is heavily subsidized, according to the report
FRA 2010 estimates that 80 percent of forests are publicly owned, but ownership and management by communities, individuals, and corporations is increasing. Community-managed forests are most widespread in South America, while corporate management dominates in Oceania, Europe, and Asia.
The assessment reports that some 35 million hectares of forest are damaged by pests annually, primarily in the temperate and boreal zone. Roughly 1 percent or 38 million hectares was reported as being affected by fire each year, although FAO warns that forest fires are "severely underreported."
The final version of FRA 2010 with country-by-country figures will be published in October and a new global forest map is expected by the end of the year.
FAO says that a collaborative global remote sensing survey will greatly improve its assessments by late 2011. The current assessment is based mostly on self-reporting by countries.
NOTE: FAO notes on its web site that its estimate for forest change during the 1990s have been revised from 13 million to 16 million hectares based on "new data and additional information on afforestation and on natural expansion of forests for the past 20 years." "The new global estimate for 1990 to 2000 (close to 16 million ha per year) is higher than previously estimated (13 million ha), because it now also includes deforestation within countries that have had an overall net gain in forest area."
Scientists: new study does not disprove climate change threat to Amazon (March 19, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0319-hance_amazon_letter.html
Recently, Boston University issued a press release on a scientific study regarding the Amazon's resilience to drought. The press release claimed that the study had debunked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) theory that climate change could turn approximately 40 percent of the Amazon into savanna due to declining rainfall. The story was picked up both by mass media, environmental news sites (including mongabay.com), and climate deniers' blogs. However, nineteen of the world's top Amazonian experts have issued a written response stating that the press release from Boston University was "misleading and inaccurate". (...) The scientists say that the fact that climate change could 'flip' large portions of the Amazon, approximately 40 percent, into savannah, was not only accurately reflecting the research of the time, but "has been reinforced by new studies."
Madagascar bans rainforest timber exports following global outcry (March 25, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0325-madagascar_rosewood_ban.html
Under mounting pressure over illegal logging of its national parks, Madagascar's transitional government on Wednesday reinstated a ban on rosewood logging and exports. The decree (no. 2010-141), which prohibits all exports of rosewood and precious timber for two to five years, was announced during a council meeting held yesterday at Ambohitsorohitra Palace in Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital city. Madagascar's Minister of Environment has already proposed a plan to address the illegal timber trade, according to the Madagascar Tribune. With the export ban in place, the fate of 10,000-15,000 metric tons of rosewood awaiting export remains uncertain. It is also unclear whether illegal loggers and traders will be prosecuted. Nevertheless, groups that have been protesting the resumption in exports of illegally logged timber cautiously welcomed the move. CLIP
Half of Indonesia's mangroves gone in less than thirty years (March 23, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0323-hance_mangroves.html
The Jakarta Post reports that, according to the local NGO Peoples Coalition for Justice in Fisheries (Kiara), Indonesia's has lost 2.2 million hectares of mangroves in less than thirty years, going from covering 4.2 million hectares in 1982 to just 2 million hectares today. Kiara's Secretary General M. Riza Damanik blamed the loss of mangroves on the construction of brackish fishponds and the expansion of oil palm plantations. Damanik also pointed out that the consequences of mangrove-loss were many. Fish production has declined in many parts of Indonesia, since mangroves are vital fish nurseries, while coasts without mangroves are experiencing rapid erosion, because there is no longer an ecosystem buffer against high waves In addition to providing fish habitat and buffers against erosion, mangroves are an also important carbon sink since they can store carbon in their soils for hundreds of years. A number of species, like the proboscis monkey, live in only in mangroves: many of these mangrove-specialists are endangered by habitat loss. Mangroves also save lives and property. Studies have shown that during the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, regions with mangroves suffered less damage than those without.
Last chance to save Bangladeshi forest: 90 percent of the Sal ecosystem is gone (March 29, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0328-hance_sal_forest.html
Considered the most threatened ecosystem in Bangladesh, the moist deciduous Sal forest (Shorea robusta) is on the verge of vanishing. In 1990 only 10 percent of the forest cover remained, down from 36 percent in 1985 according to statistics from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). A new study in the online open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science looks at the threats posed to the Shal forest and ways in which it may still be saved. The Sal forest in central and northern Bangladesh has long been used by local communities for everything from medicine to food and boat construction to fuel. However due to increasing population, the forest has long been over-exploited. In addition, rubber monoculture, commercial fuel-wood plantations, grazing, urbanization, and expanding agriculture have drastically reduced Bangladesh's Sal forest. On top of habitat loss, the biodiversity of the Sal forest is suffering from illegal poaching. CLIP
Population density corresponds with forest loss in the Congo Basin (March 29, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0329-hance_congo_pop.html
Africa's greatest rainforest ecosystem, the Congo Basin, has undergone significant deforestation and degradation during the past century. A new study in the open access journal Tropical Conservation Science examined whether or not there was a connection between population density and forest loss. Since the 1980s the Congo rainforest has had the highest rate of deforestation of any tropical region in the world. A combination of commercial logging, illegal logging, clearing for agriculture, mining, and civil wars has devastated much of the forest. The booming bushmeat trade is another threat to the Congo's wildlife. The Congo rainforest is home to some of the world's most celebrated and endangered wildlife, including forest elephants, okapi, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Some 10,000 animal species have been discovered in the Congo. Using a classified Landsat ETM+ scene of 2001 to determine forest cover and 2000 UNEP data for population, the researchers found "highly significant" correlations between increasing population density and pressure on forests, including increasingly isolated forest patches. According to the authors, the paper's findings "confirms the influence of population density on the degradation of natural ecosystems".
TORTURE BY CT-SCAN DELIVERING "100 times the radiation of a conventional chest x-ray" COMING TO AN AIRPORT NEAR YOU AND NOW BEING TESTED ON GUINEA-PIGS PRISONERS IN THE U.S. PRISON GULAG SYSTEM. JOSEF MENGELE WOULD FEEL PERFECTLY AT HOME IN THE U.S. TORTURE/DETENTION CENTERS!...
Prisoners forced to submit to radiation experiments for private foreign companies
by Eddie Milton Garey Jr. -- March 20, 2010
In Illinois, federal judges have allowed at least two lawsuits to proceed against correctional officials for using full body scanners to reveal the anatomy of both prisoners and visitors without removing their clothing. This is the very same device that airports are seeking to implement on some inbound flights to the United States.
The cases of Young v. County of Cook, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 64404(N.D. 111.), and Zboralshi v. Monohan, 616 Supp.2d 792, 798 (2006, N.D. Ill), explain, "A Rapiscan is a machine that uses 'back-scatter' x-ray technology to conduct a body scan." There is no significant difference between using Rapiscan and computer tomography (CT scan) whole body scanning.
Despite the clearance of some CT scanners (Rapiscan), the FDA's website shows that no data has ever been presented to the agency as to the safety of these devices and states that it has never approved these devices as being safe because "some Food and Drug Administration officials were worried that full-body CT screening scans (Rapiscans) 'may be exposing thousands of Americans to unnecessary and potentially dangerous radiation' and that CT scans of the chest delivered 100 times the radiation of a conventional chest x-ray between .2 to 2 rads of radiation during a single scan." See, e.g., Virtual Physical Ctr-Rockville, LLC v. Philips Med. Sys., 478 F.Supp.2d 840, 842-43(D. Md. 2007) and "FDA Raises Body Safety Issue" by Marlene Cimons in the Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2001.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons officials have been forcing inmates at USP Big Sandy to submit to random computerized tomographic whole body radioactive scanners. If they refuse to submit to these radiation experiments, prison officials are charging them with disobeying a direct order and subjecting them to a wide range of sanctions, including but not limited to loss of good time credits, resulting in an extended time in prison, even if they agree to be subjected to an ordinary visual strip search as a reasonable alternative to radiation exposure from the whole body scanner. These images are saved and viewed by male and female staff and available online to certain civilian populations.
Regulations at 28 CFR §§ 512.11 and 512.12 prohibit the government from using inmates for this type of experimentation and require them to give both the inmates and the public notice of their intent to use inmates as test subjects as well as all of the possible effects related to being subjected to any such experimentation - and then only on a voluntary basis. See also Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551(4) and 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)-(d).
Federal regulations also prohibit the use of x-ray, MRI or similar devices on inmates for any reason other than legitimate medical purposes or only when there exists reasonable suspicion that the inmate has recently secreted contraband - and then only by a licensed practitioner in the manner set out in 28 CFR §§ 552.13(b)(1) and 541.48.
The government has been forcing prisoners, the majority of whom are Blacks and Hispanics, to be subject of these types of inhumane experiments for years. They recall the Tuskegee experiments, where 400 Black men were allowed to suffer with syphilis for 40 years so that doctors could study the disease. Also, Dr. Albert Kilgman, at Holmesburg Prison near Philadelphia, under the direction of major pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Dupont, exposed Black prisoners to herpes, gonorrhea, malaria, dysentery and even athlete's foot from the 1950s to the 1970s.
In 1952 over 300 Black inmates at an Ohio state prison were injected with live cancer cells so that doctors at the Sloan-Kettering Institute could study the effects. In these cases the research subjects' rights were violated because either they were not told that they were participating in an experiment or the government knew the experiments had no therapeutic value, or both.
Other cases include Heinrich v. Sthemet, 62 F.Supp.2d 282(D.Mass. 1999) (government utilized false pretenses to lure plaintiffs into participating in radiation experiments which the government knew had no therapeutic value); Stadt v. Univ. of Rochester, 921 F.Supp. 1023 (W.D.N.Y. 1996) (plaintiff, who thought she was receiving medical treatment for scleroderma, was injected with plutonium without her knowledge or consent as part of a U.S. Army study); In re Cincinnati Radiation Litig., 874 F.Supp. 796 (S.D. Ohio 1995) (plaintiffs were not informed that the radiation they were receiving from the Department of Defense was part of a military experiment rather than treatment of their cancer).
In Allen v. United States, 588 F.Supp. 247, 399 (D. Ut. 1984), the court held that it is becoming established that shortening of life span is a general effect of whole body exposure to ionizing radiation. Experiments have also shown a similar reduction may be caused by irradiation of substantial portions of the body from ingestion of radioactive materials.
In all of those cases, both the state and federal government had told the subjects that they experimented on that the radiation levels were harmless - only for the victims to learn later that they were in fact not harmless, but deadly!
It has also been reported that these whole body Rapiscan scanners have been malfunctioning. They have caused electrical shocks as in the case of Carrie Milton v. Rapiscan, 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 11574(E.D. La.). An airport security screener was severely shocked and suffered permanent injury to her hand operating one of these Rapiscans.
Independent tests on Rapiscan devices have also shown that the EEPROM chips, which are used to calibrate the radiation levels of the whole body scanners, have repeatedly malfunctioned, resulting in greater radiation exposure than Rapiscan reports on its own websites. Some prisoners have experienced blurriness of vision, headaches and groin pains after being subjected to these whole body radiation scans. Many of these prisoners have been Rapiscanned up to three times in a single day, even though they never left the institution or had any contact with anyone outside the institution.
In the 1960s and '70s the Bureau of Prisons forced inmates - mostly Black and Hispanic prisoners - to submit to radiation exposure to their testes in order to study the effects. See the case of Bibea v. Pacific Norththemst Research, 980 F. Supp. 349(D.Or. 1997); See also, Clay v. Martin, 509 F.2d 109(2d. Cir. 1974) ("The court reversed the decision that dismissed prisoner's complaint against defendants, federal government and prison officials, holding that it was against public policy to dismiss the complaint on pleading technicalities because the action involved experimentation on humans.")
Other experiments include testing psychotropic narcotics on inmates who have not been prescribed them just to see their effects, such as in the recent case of Walker v. Hastings, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 80924, Case No. 09-CV-074-ART(E.D. KY). Walker was diagnosed with H Pylori, a bacterium that can infect one's stomach or intestines, but was given Zyprexa, a psychotropic narcotic on at least nine different occasions by a prison pharmacist at USP Big Sandy seeking to test the effects of the medications for pharmaceutical companies.
If this is a legitimate security concern and not for the mere use of inmates as test subjects for private interests of companies like Rapiscan Corp., then ask the Obama administration, Eric Holder and Department of Justice officials why are they threatening inmates and charging them with disciplinary infractions for disobeying unlawful orders to submit to these radiation experiments, even when they are willing to submit to an ordinary strip search?
Update: Record long lockdown punishes cross-racial unity
The inmates have only refused to be exposed to harmful amounts of radiation and not to be the subject of a human radiation experiment, but they never disobeyed any lawful orders. Yet on March 1, the warden at USP Big Sandy imposed a lockdown that is expected to last at least two months.
The lockdown is clearly in retaliation against Black prisoners for exercising their First Amendment rights to petition the government for redress of grievances. Since this prison has been open, no lockdown has lasted more than 21 days - not even when there were repeated back-to-back murders.
But when all the inmates have found common ground for unifying lawfully, the federal white overseers have deemed this to be a threat to the order, security and discipline of the institution.
This warden finds it a serious security threat when all of the different factions of inmates decide not to focus on killing one another but on coming together in peaceful, lawful challenges to tyrants' abuse of power in total, reckless disregard of our basic human rights and bodily integrity. Even the skinheads, Aryan Brotherhood and American Born whites came to an agreement with Blacks not to be subject to these human radiation experiments.
To my knowledge, there were no threats of violence, there were no assaults and there were no mass demonstrations - just individuals refusing to be the government's test dummy for this Rapiscan x-ray product being illegally used on us in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations. But if we had ganged up on an inmate, no such lockdown would've occurred for more than a couple of days to a week. Imagine that!
Travelers file complaints over TSA body scanners (March 8, 2010) http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9167618/Travelers_file_complaints_over_TSA_body_scanners_
Documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) show that complaints have been lodged with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the use of whole-body scanners at U.S. airports. More than two-dozen complaints that were filed by travelers subjected to whole-body scans over the past year or so were included in a document obtained by EPIC as the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The 51 pages of documents show that travelers were often not fully informed about the scans or what the process involved. Some complained about a lack of instructions or signage regarding the scanning machines, while others said they were not informed about the pat-down alternative available to those who don't want to be scanned. Travelers also expressed concern about their privacy being invaded, of feeling humiliated, of radiation risks to pregnant women and of children being subjected to the scans.The letters belie the TSA's claims about the disclosure policies related to the use of the technology and of the general level of concern related to its use, said Ginger McCall, staff counsel at EPIC. "The TSA has been reassuring people that travelers will be made aware of what these machines are and of the alternatives that are available," McCall said. The complaints suggest otherwise and appear to show less support for the technology than the TSA has let on, she said.The new documents are likely to provide more fodder for groups such as EPIC, the American Civil Liberties Union and others that have mounted a vigorous campaign calling for a thorough review of current plans for the technology. CLIP
Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to New York
by Charles Glass -- March 22, 2010
BBC correspondent John Simpson reported on March 4 that the number of defects in newborn babies in the Iraqi town of Fallujah had risen dramatically since the American assault there at the end of 2004. Some people in the town blame the abnormalities in their children on whatever chemicals the US Marines may have used in their conquest of the Sunni Muslim redoubt. Dr. Samira al-Ani, a paediatrician at Fallujahs General Hospital, told Simpson that two or three children were born each day with serious cardiac problems. Before the first American attack on Fallujah in two years earlier, she noticed similar ailments in one baby every two months. I have nothing documented, she admitted, but I can tell you that year by year the number [is] increasing.
The Iraqi government, which supported the American attack with troops of its own, denies there has been any increase. The US military authorities, Simpson said, are absolutely correct when they say they are not aware of any official reports indicating an increase in birth defects in Fallujahno official reports exist. Nor are any likely to. By any standard, though, this was a big story. John Simpson is a serious journalist and a friend, and I listened carefully to his report that morning on the BBC World Service. I waited in vain for the New York Times, Washington Post, and other serious American journals to take up the story. All I read was a brief item on the CBS News website quoting Simpson.
The US denied it anyway, perhaps out of habit. Military spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick responded predictably, No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues. But, as Simpson said, there have not been any studies. American spokesmen were reluctantly forced to admit the use of White Phosphorousor Willie Pete, as the troops call itin Fallujah when someone noticed that Field Artillery Magazine, a U. S. Army publication, had already documented its deployment in its March/April 2005 edition. The magazine wrote, We fired shake and bake missions at the insurgents, using WP [White Phosphorous] to flush them out and HE [High Explosives] to take them out. After Dahr Jamail, a brilliant freelance journalist, reported during the battle in 2004 that American forces were using WP on Iraqis, Project Censored gave him an award for the second most under-reported story of the year. It is still under-reported, but it is not difficult to understand why. The US government does not want it known that it was using chemicals on human beings in a country whose leader it overthrew ostensibly because he retained the capacity to do the same thing. And the US Treasury does not want to compensate foreigners for any harm its troops might have done. Let us turn now to New York and what has become the secular-sacred site of the former World Trade Center.
The government this month finally settled claims by 10,000 workers on the Ground Zero clean-up by agreeing to pay $657.5 million for the debilitating effects of the asbestos and other poisons they were exposed to. Thats an average of $65,750 a head, less the lawyers share. It doesnt sound like much, but theyre doing better than anyone in Fallujah. There are precedents for government resistance to admitting responsibility. American Vietnam veterans crippled by the dioxin they dropped all over Vietnam waited many years for the government to acknowledge their plight. At first, the government resisted the connection between dioxin and the veterans cancer, Parkinsons, and other fatal illnesses. By the time the government paid anything, the vets were observing that their children were being born with severe birth defects from dioxin in Agent Orange and other herbicides unleashed on the South Vietnamese countryside. Their childrens congenital deformities included spina bifida and other horrors that may go for generations to come. The Department of Veterans Affairs didnt send them any money until 2003thirty years after the last barrel of poison was dropped on Vietnam. Even that was restricted to 7,520 of the 99,226 veterans who claimed to have been affected.
While dioxin disabled thousands of American service personnel who merely handled it, as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese endured twenty-eight million gallons of toxic rain that drenched their skins, soaked their soil, and polluted their rivers and groundwater for ten years. As with the American war vets, then-unborn children were also affected. Vietnam has one of the worlds highest levels of birth defects, concentrated in the south where the American forced deployed most of the chemicals. Five children out of one hundred are born with serious abnormalities, including missing limbs, spina bifida, twisted or missing internal organs and grotesque malformations that have made their survival impossible. While reluctantly accepting a link between dioxin and birth defects in American service personnels children, the US denies any connection when it comes to Vietnamese. I guess its just one of those strange anomalies that nature throws up every so often, like Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates observation that the disproportion in African-American deaths from the police choking was due to the fact that blacks might be more likely to die from chokeholds because their arteries do not open as fast as they do on normal people. Perhaps Vietnamese born after 1961, when Operation Ranch Hand to defoliate South Vietnam began, were just not normal anyway.
The abnormal people of Iraq remember that the US denied Saddam Husseins use of chemical weapons on its Kurdish citizens. In those days, Saddam was an American ally. When freelance journalist Gwynne Roberts brought back the soil samples from Hallabja that proved Saddam has gassed the Kurds, the US blamed the Iranians. That assessment became inoperative when condemning Saddam was politically useful. Now that the US has been caught using chemicals in the same country that the monster Saddam did, it admits using them on insurgents but not on civilians. It is hard in a city to blast chemicals at the people with guns and miss those who dont have any. No matter. The US and Iraqi governments are blocking an investigation that would prove one way or another that White Phosphorous did any harm to Iraqi mothers and their children. Its unlikely theyll receive a cent for the next fifty years, if ever. But why the hell isnt this a big story?
Fluoride May Not Prevent Cavities, and Can Cause Health Problems
By Mary Shomon -- December 15, 2003
Wednesday January 24, 2001 --Cavity rates declined in several cities that stopped water fluoridation, new studies report, contradicting American Dental Association (ADA) predictions, according to Fluoride Action Network.
Fluoride added to over 62% of US water supplies is supposed to reduce tooth decay but these six studies from dental journals show it hasn't and, in fact, may have increased the likelihood of rotten choppers.
- "No increase in caries (cavities) was found in Kuopio (Finland) 3 years after the discontinuation of water fluoridation," according to Caries Research (1). In fact, when Kuopio was compared to a similar never fluoridated Finnish town, cavity rates in both towns either remained the same or decreased six years after fluoridation was stopped in Kuopio.
- Seven years after fluoridation ended in LaSalud, Cuba, cavities remained low in 6 to 9 year olds, decreased in 10 to 11 year-olds, significantly decreased in 12 to 13 year olds, while caries-free children increased dramatically, reports Caries Research (2).
- East German scientists report, "following the cessation of water fluoridation in the cities Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt) and Plauen, a significant fall in caries prevalence was observed," according to Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (3). Additional surveys in the formerly-fluoridated towns of Spremberg and Zittau found. "Caries levels for the 12-year-olds of both towns significantly decreased... following the cessation of water fluoridation."
- Not only did decay rates remain stable during an 11-month fluoridation break in Durham, NC, between September, 1990, and August, 1991 but dental fluorosis declined in children born during that period, according to the Journal of Dental Research (4)
- In British Columbia, Canada, "the prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community," reported in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. (5)
- In 1973, the Dutch town of Tiel stopped fluoridation. Researchers counted drilled, missing, and filled tooth surfaces (DMFS) of Tiel's 15-year olds, then collected identical data from never-fluoridated Culemborg. DMFS initially increased in Tiel then dipped to 11% of baseline from 1968/69 to 1987/88 while never-fluoridated Culemborg's 15-year-olds had 72% less cavities over the same period, reports Caries Research. (6)
A recently released government report out of Canada (7) shows similar negative results and offers a reason.
Fluoridation was launched in the 1940's when dentists believed fluoride's beneficial effects were achieved internally, through the bloodstream then absorbed inside the teeth. The Canadians report that "this effect is likely to be minor...The evidence for a post-eruptive (topical) effect,... is much stronger."
Therefore, swallowing fluoride doesn't reduce tooth decay but does cause dental fluorosis -- white spotted, yellow or brown stained and sometimes pitted teeth.
According to the ADA's website "Dental decay can be expected to increase if water fluoridation in a community is discontinued for one year or more, even if topical products such as fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinses are widely used."
"Well, science proves the ADA is wrong about the claimed benefits of water fluoridation and they are wrong about the safety of water fluoridation, too" says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. "Studies have linked fluoridation chemicals to increased blood lead levels, neurological defects, brittle bones, thyroid cancer and more," says Beeber. "It's time for the media to challenge the science that supports water fluoridation and present the truth to the public. We've made it easy for the media to access the medline abstracts via the links below. No more excuses."
Other US government studies and statistics support the findings of these six studies and the Canadian government report. For example, children in fluoridated-since-1945 Newburgh, New York, have no less tooth decay but significantly more dental fluorosis than children from never-fluoridated Kingston, New York, according to Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology June 1999.
- (1) "Caries trends 1992-1998 in two low-fluoride Finnish towns formerly with and without fluoridation," Caries Research, Nov-Dec 2000 -- Reference
- (2) "Caries prevalence after cessation of water fluoridation in LaSalud, Cuba," Caries Research Jan-Feb. 2000 -- Reference
- (3) "Decline of caries prevalence after the cessation of water fluoridation in the former East Germany," Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, October 2000 -- Reference
- (4) "The effects of a break in water fluoridation on the development of dental caries and fluorosis," Journal of Dental Research, Feb. 2000 -- Reference
- (5) "Patterns of dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation," Community Dentistryand Oral Epidemiology, February 2001 -- Reference
- (6) "Caries experience of 15-year-old children in The Netherlands after discontinuation of water fluoridation," Caries Research, 1993 -- Reference
- (7) Benefits and Risks of Water Fluoridation -- Reference
CONTACT: Paul Beeber, President, NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, 516-433-8882, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Paul Connett, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, St. Lawrence University in Canton, 315-379-9200, or email@example.com, Fluoride Action Network
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. / Fluoride Action Network
Related information and video
SODIUM FLUORIDE http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/S3722.htm
DANGER! MAY BE FATAL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. AFFECTS RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, HEART, SKELETON, CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND KIDNEYS. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. IRRITATION EFFECTS MAY BE DELAYED -- Potential Health Effects: If inhaled or swallowed, this compound can cause fluoride poisoning. Early symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Later effects include central nervous system effects, cardiovascular effects and death. Inhalation: Causes severe irritation to the respiratory tract, symptoms may include coughing, sore throat, and labored breathing. May be absorbed through inhalation of dust; symptoms may parallel those from ingestion exposure. Irritation effects may not appear immediately. Ingestion: Toxic! May cause salivation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Symptoms of weakness, tremors, shallow respiration, cardopedal spasm, convulsions, and coma may follow. May cause brain and kidney damage. Affects heart and circulatory system. Death may occur from respiratory paralysis. Estimated lethal dose = 5-l0 grams. Skin Contact: Causes irritation, with redness and pain. Solutions are corrosive. Effects may not appear immediately. Eye Contact: Eye irritant! May cause irritation and serious eye damage. Effects may not immediately appear. Chronic Exposure: Chronic exposure may cause mottling of teeth and bone damage (osteosclerosis) and fluorosis. Symptoms of fluorisis include brittle bones,weight loss, anemia, calcified ligaments, general ill health and joint stiffness. Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: Populations that appear to be at increased risk from the effects of fluoride are individuals that suffer from diabetes insipidus or some forms of renal impairment.
Child Obesity in America: "Mommy, Mommy! Why Am I Fat?"
By David Kendall -- March 26, 2010
Malnutrition comes in a delightful assortment of colorful flavors nowadays. But poverty and obesity are a correlation that Americans find hard to swallow.
"Genetics and family history can predict whether you will become obese but then so can your ZIP code," says Adam Drewnowski, world-renowned leader in innovative research approaches for the prevention and treatment of obesity, and Director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. In December of 2003, Drewnowski said, "If poverty and obesity are truly linked, it will be a major challenge to stay poor and thin." 
In a more recent interview regarding her new "Let's Move" campaign to combat childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama argues: "A recent study put the health care cost of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion a year. This epidemic also impacts the nation's security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service." 
It seems morbid that national security is Michelle Obama's primary concern regarding obesity in American children. After all, raising healthy American children to become dead American soldiers doesn't seem like a viable health care objective. But aside from that, poverty is directly correlated with obesity in Americans of all ages. So isn't American poverty an even worse security threat than American obesity?
Through the magic of photography, Ken Burns' productions of "The Civil War" and "The National Parks" comprise an epic pictorial scrap book of American History, spanning more than 150 years from the early 1800s through the 1960s. But in all those pictures of millions of typical Americans, there is no sign of obesity, except occasionally amongst the extremely wealthy. So, comparing those pictures to more recent audience footage from any "Blue Collar Comedy" tour, it's easy to see that American obesity is a relatively new phenomenon, imposed over the past 30-years or so.
Are most Americans fat because they are typically more affluent now than in past generations -- or is it because the American food supply has been poisoned with chemical additives that make cheap trash more accessible and flavorful than more expensive and more nutritional food choices?
While American society has become abundantly more affluent over the past quarter century, most of that gain has been concentrated amongst a shrinking upper class minority of people whose incomes are derived primarily from ownership, not from wages. In response, the FDA has prescribed additives like monosodium glutamate and high fructose corn syrup for American workers that are in debt up to their eyeballs because they haven't had the purchasing power to pay for healthy food since the 1960s.
The result is that deep-fried fast foods and chemically-charged, frozen garbage tend to be cheaper, more flavorful and conveniently microwavable than fresh and more nutritional, albeit less exciting, food alternatives. Efforts to improve sales by enhancing cosmetic appeal require even the 'fresh foods' found in the meat and produce departments of most grocery stores to be chemically treated, artificially retarding the discoloration inherent in the natural decomposition that results from the death of any plant or animal. Moreover, genetic modifications tend to compromise nutritional quality for the sake of increased production, distribution and sales of dead plants and animals that comprise the general inventory of every American supermarket.
Under capitalism, this is called 'economic efficiency'. But all those preservatives are also high on the glycemic index and spike insulin levels that tell our brains to store fat, prompting the FDA to approve an endless variety of diet pills and weight loss programs to combat American obesity. This in turn, only exacerbates the problem of American obesity and facilitates a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry, forcing most Americans into a spiral of financial debt, psychological depression and spiritual bankruptcy.  
According to Richard C. Cook, veteran Project Manager for the U.S. Treasury Department and Policy Analyst for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
"Cheap, mass-produced foods are largely based on grains and beef raised by massive agribusiness firms, so that the atrocious American diet is inextricably linked with capitalist enterprise controlled by Wall Street. A key ingredient is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), suspected of being a major cause of diabetes and heart disease, as well as obesity. Much of the HFCS is extracted from corn grown from genetically-modified seed which has been rammed down the throats of American farmers, again by the massive agribusiness firms such as Monsanto.
"American farming at present is completely incapable of supplying nutritious foods on a scale that would make a difference. In order to furnish natural and healthy foods to poorer markets would require a revolution in American farming where small family farms using heirloom seeds and natural farming methods would once again become prosperous. Unfortunately, this sector has been destroyed by agribusiness and by the federal government policies, not to mention bank lending practices, that favor it. We also have a massive food chemical industry, closely aligned with the pharmaceutical industry, that thrives on doctoring unhealthy and non-nutritious food, with the aid of the Food and Drug Administration which approves their chemical formulas.
"In other words, a big part of the U.S. economy, again under the control of Wall Street, gets rich off making kids obese and unhealthy to the point where we no longer have the capability of producing anything else on a large scale. If Michelle Obama wants to take on all this she has a pretty big job ahead of her." 
It's easy to find academic research on the Internet to support all these conclusions, and much of the information suggests that race is a key determinant in both poverty and obesity. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made similar observations 40 years ago, and a mountain of recent data supports his conclusions today. So why hasn't the wife of our nation's first Black President made the obvious connection between poverty and obesity?
Some of the best thinking on the matter of childhood obesity in the United States appears in an essay written by a high school student. Emily Cumbie-Drake of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Iowa suggests that lower income families are at the highest risk for malnutrition since foods with low nutritional value relative to calorie content are often the most economical choices available.
Food Safety, Agriculture and Nutrition: Seven Predictions for 2010
by Dr. Charles Benbrook -- 31 March 2010
Boulder, Colorado - The Organic Center, a leading research institute focused on the science of organic food and farming, has revealed its broad concern for the state of the food industry and American agriculture. Despite the hopeful and symbolic gesture of planting an organic garden at the White House and the First Lady's ongoing efforts throughout 2009 to promote healthier diets amongst children, the year ended with little progress on important domestic policy issues affecting food safety and quality, agriculture and nutrition.
The Organic Center highlights seven predictions for 2010 that cast a dark shadow over national efforts to improve public health and restrain health care costs, conserve natural resources and combat global climate change. These predictions will become or remain reality in the absence of concerted action to address the root causes of systemic problems relative to how food is grown and processed and in the American diet itself.
Seven Predictions for 2010 and Beyond
1. An increase in the number of children facing developmental issues including autism, ADHD, birth defects and allergies. Just one percent of all pesticides are responsible for virtually all pesticide-related developmental risks from exposure in the diet. The government must take steps to ban high-exposure uses of these pesticides, while also limiting access to heavily sweetened foods and beverages in schools and promoting affordable access to organic fruits and vegetables, which are generally free of toxic pesticide residues.
2. An increase in the number of Americans who are obese, diabetic or both. Government agencies and programs either directly control or shape one or more of the daily meals consumed by 25 percent of Americans. More can and must be done in the marketplace to reward the food industry for offering healthier choices. In order to address the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the US, farm program spending must shift away from subsidizing high-fat foods to supporting healthier fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. A diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables helps to balance caloric intakes with an individual's energy needs and largely eliminates exposure to pesticides known to predispose people to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.
3. A decrease in the efficacy of life-saving antibiotics. There are now several strains of bacteria that are essentially untreatable in humans and more will follow without major changes in how antibiotics are used on farms. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-New York) introduced a bill in 2009 that would ban the subtherapeutic agricultural uses of human antibiotics - passage of this bill would help preserve the efficacy of life-saving antibiotics. Until such a bill passes, the purchase of organic animal products is the only way to stop the evolution of newly resistant bacteria on farms and ranches.
4. An increase in disease linked to inflammation. Nutrient-dense foods can help elderly people fight disease, aches and pains linked to inflammation while also promoting brain health. As we age, our bodies become more dependent on antioxidants in food, as opposed to those manufactured by the body. Antioxidant levels are highest in richly colored fresh fruits and vegetables, and organic farming increases average antioxidant concentrations by about 25 percent.
5. An increase in the spread of "super weeds." Genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant crops have increased herbicide use by over 380 million pounds since 1996, with 46 percent of the total increase in 2007 and 2008. Strong steps must be taken to reverse the dramatic increases in herbicide use, which is resulting in spread of "super weeds" throughout the 160 million acres of US genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton grown annually. If voluntary resistance management isn't put into practice by the industry in 2010, the EPA should impose binding rules in time for the 2011 crop season.
6. The continued rapid decline of the honeybees. Five seed treatment insecticides are known to undermine bee immune systems and the ability of bees to find their way back to the hive. In Italy, a ban on these seed treatment uses during the 2009 crop season resulted in virtually no bee losses. The US should follow suit to assure ample harvests of foods dependent on pollination by bees.
7. Global warming. Farm and conservation program payments should be redirected toward proven ways to sequester carbon in soil organic matter, which will reduce America's contribution to global warming while enhancing agricultural productivity, lowering farm production costs and helping to shrink "Dead Zones" in coastal areas. Few public policy changes offer such significant and diverse benefits at such a modest cost.
In years past, the American approach to agriculture and food has been the pursuit of high yields with the support of chemical, drug, genetic engineering and other "advanced" technologies. The American food system faces profound challenges that will grow worse if the nation fails to astutely and honestly identify the core problems eroding our health and the health of American agriculture. We need new technologies and systems that prevent problems and sustain high levels of soil productivity. Organic farming is a good example of just such an advanced, systems-based technology.
Middle-class kids are taught from an early age that they should work hard and finish school. Yet 3 out of 10 students dropped out of high school as recently as 2006, and less than a third of young people have finished college. Many economists attribute the sluggish wage growth in the U.S. to educational stagnation, which is one reason politicians of every stripe call for doubling or tripling the number of college graduates.
But what if the millions of so-called dropouts are onto something? As conventional high schools and colleges prepare the next generation for jobs that won't exist, we're on the cusp of a dropout revolution, one that will spark an era of experimentation in new ways to learn and new ways to live.
It's important to keep in mind that behavior that seems irrational from a middle-class perspective is perfectly rational in the face of straitened circumstances. People who feel obsolete in today's information economy will be joined by millions more in the emerging post-information economy, in which routine professional work and even some high-end services will be more cheaply performed overseas or by machines. This doesn't mean that work will vanish. It does mean, however, that it will take a new and unfamiliar form.
Look at the projections of fiscal doom emanating from the federal government, and consider the possibility that things could prove both worse and better. Worse because the jobless recovery we all expect could be severe enough to starve the New Deal social programs on which we base our life plans. Better because the millennial generation could prove to be more resilient and creative than its predecessors, abandoning old, familiar and broken institutions in favor of new, strange and flourishing ones.
Imagine a future in which millions of families live off the grid, powering their homes and vehicles with dirt-cheap portable fuel cells. As industrial agriculture sputters under the strain of the spiraling costs of water, gasoline and fertilizer, networks of farmers using sophisticated techniques that combine cutting-edge green technologies with ancient Mayan know-how build an alternative food-distribution system. Faced with the burden of financing the decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of the young embrace a new underground economy, a largely untaxed archipelago of communes, co-ops, and kibbutzim that passively resist the power of the granny state while building their own little utopias.
Rather than warehouse their children in factory schools invented to instill obedience in the future mill workers of America, bourgeois rebels will educate their kids in virtual schools tailored to different learning styles. Whereas only 1.5 million children were homeschooled in 2007, we can expect the number to explode in future years as distance education blows past the traditional variety in cost and quality. The cultural battle lines of our time, with red America pitted against blue, will be scrambled as Buddhist vegan militia members and evangelical anarchist squatters trade tips on how to build self-sufficient vertical farms from scrap-heap materials. To avoid the tax man, dozens if not hundreds of strongly encrypted digital currencies and barter schemes will crop up, leaving an underresourced IRS to play whack-a-mole with savvy libertarian "hacktivists."
Work and life will be remixed, as old-style jobs, with long commutes and long hours spent staring at blinking computer screens, vanish thanks to ever increasing productivity levels. New jobs that we can scarcely imagine will take their place, only they'll tend to be home-based, thus restoring life to bedroom suburbs that today are ghost towns from 9 to 5. Private homes will increasingly give way to cohousing communities, in which singles and nuclear families will build makeshift kinship networks in shared kitchens and common areas and on neighborhood-watch duty. Gated communities will grow larger and more elaborate, effectively seceding from their municipalities and pursuing their own visions of the good life. Whether this future sounds like a nightmare or a dream come true, it's coming.
This transformation will be not so much political as antipolitical. The decision to turn away from broken and brittle institutions, like conventional schools and conventional jobs, will represent a turn toward what military theorist John Robb calls "resilient communities," which aspire to self-sufficiency and independence. The left will return to its roots as the champion of mutual aid, cooperative living and what you might call "broadband socialism," in which local governments take on the task of building high-tech infrastructure owned by the entire community. Assuming today's libertarian revival endures, it's easy to imagine the right defending the prerogatives of state and local governments and also of private citizens - including the weird ones. This new individualism on the left and the right will begin in the spirit of cynicism and distrust that we see now, the sense that we as a society are incapable of solving pressing problems. It will evolve into a new confidence that citizens working in common can change their lives and in doing so can change the world around them.
We see this individualism in the rise of "freeganism" and in the small but growing handful of "cage-free families" who've abandoned their suburban idylls for life on the open road. We also see it in the rising number of high school seniors who take a gap year before college. While the higher-education industry continues to agitate for college for all, many young adults are stubbornly resistant, perhaps because they recognize that for a lot of them, college is an overpriced status marker and little else. In the wake of the downturn, household formation has slowed down. More than one-third of workers under 35 live with their parents.
The hope is that these young people will eventually leave the house when the economy perks up, and doubtless many will. Others, however, will choose to root themselves in their neighborhoods and use social media to create relationships that sustain them as they craft alternatives to the rat race. Somewhere in the suburbs there is an unemployed 23-year-old who is plotting a cultural insurrection, one that will resonate with existing demographic, cultural and economic trends so powerfully that it will knock American society off its axis.
Salam is a policy adviser at the nonpartisan think tank e21, a blogger for the National Review and a columnist for Forbes.com
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