Turning Tide of History #31: All together we CAN make a difference
I was not expecting to send you a whole new compilation so quickly but there it is. Things are moving at such an increasingly rapid pace, it is becoming harder by the day to keep up. There would be much to comment about, but as usual you'll find my Notes from Jean interspersed throughout this compilation. Also the very choices of material I made for this compilation are reflective of what seems to me to be more pertinent to know. There is MUCH you don't want to miss in this one...
I'll get back to you tomorrow (Saturday) with the new Meditation Focus which will be about "Flowing from Duality to Oneality"...
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STATS for this compilation: Over 46,800 words and 228 links provided.
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REMINDER: Lance White, who hosts a weekly radio show at www.bbsradio.com, called "A Fireside Chat With Zany Mystic" will interview Lou Bognon next Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 7:00 p.m., pst. He wrote this to me about her: "Lou is one of the magical, profound and loving beings that one is lucky to meet, though it is becoming more frequent during these times. Soul family, whether it be from the stars, walk-in, etc., is coming together in grand outpourings of shared love and respect; working together to create a new world. For those who are not familiar with "my work", i.e., the radio show, the focus is on the current shifts we're all in. Just a few recent guests who might be "known" are Patty Greer, who made the film "2012 We're In It Now', her close friend Patricia Cori, who writes the most profound books, some channeled through the Sirians, and her most recent being "Where Pharoahs Dwell", Cliff High from HalfPastHuman with the web bot linguistics, Jay Weidner, known worldwide for his extensive knowledge and research on esoteric archeology, and many other "wayshowers" who share their wisdom, light (information) and love (from the heart). I mention this not to toot any horns, but to open the mystical doors further by providing a FREE LINK TO ALL MY ARCHIVED SHOWS at this site: http://www.cosmicpenguin.com/Zany/ -- Simply click on the link and select the show, which is briefly described, and listen. It's a "Service to Others" project. For those who want to know more about the guest, a link to their website is provided. Thanks to Mark Bilk for maintaining this free site to my archived shows. Of course, one is free to subscribe to BBS Radio, to hear the many others who have terrific shows." NOTE from Jean: I checked the archived copies of Lance's past radio shows in the link given above and found a cornucopia of wonderful resources. I downloaded the interview with Andrew Basiago which I found utterly fascinating as he tells the amazing story of how he traveled with his father through stargates as a young boy and much much more. Lance also recommended the following interview to my attention: "Guest JOSH EAST is a Rare Object Historian who has extensively studied the Dropa Stones (Dropa Disks). These round stones, dating from about 12,000 years ago, contain a story, written in a unique language, of a group of visitors from another planet who crash-landed on Earth, were unable to repair their ship, and ended up living here. Skeletons of a pygmy race were found nearby. We discussed Crystal Skulls, which have a relationship with the Dropa Disks, and we also talked about the "quickening".
"I was listening to an awesome thing the other day, on NPR. It is a test which has been done and it is illuminating. One brings to an office a box of seventy cookies, home made, they look and smell delicious, and bits are cut of a few so you can have a bite and sample them. They are then offered at the price of 3 dollars for seven cookies. People all scramble to get as many as they can. Three dollars is a very interesting offer and demands are high from everyone in the office. Now, a few days after, one comes with the same amount of a new batch of cookies, all smelling and tasting like the ones before, delicious. This time the cookies are free. An interesting thing happens, everyone takes about two cookies. When asked why, everyone says I wanted to make sure there was enough for everyone in the office. Isn't this illuminating? It is most evident that our new world needs to be one where there is no more money and everything is free, it is the only immediate natural balance for Life. Isn't this so illuminating?"
- Florence Chapgier (email@example.com)
"Dear Jean. Thank you for the immense amount of hard work that must go into making these compilations each week. And inspiring us all to believe that we can and will make a difference. I'm working on it. Also the meditation focuses you provide are absolutely wonderful. Mother Gaia is so proud of you and so are we. Keep Up the good work. We so need you. God Bless you. Hugs."
- Esha (firstname.lastname@example.org) from India -- Taken from the message she left in the ERN guestbook
"Thank you for the wonderful work you are offering to our thirsty minds and hearts. I grow each time I read you and I am amazed of how much there is yet to learn. You are like the bee collecting nectar for us so we can delight on this wonderful life. I am a new fan but feel as if I have found a lost member of my family. Much love to you and hope to be with the family when ascension comes."
- Adèle Deprez (email@example.com) from Quebec
"We dont see the world as it is we see the world as we are."
"I ask for everyone to send the Violet Flame to Haiti -- NOW! Send the Violet Flame every day, as many times a day as you can. The calls must be made from the earth plane. Ask the Violet Flame to transmute all pain, suffering, fear, and other negatives into HOPE, LOVE, MIRACLES and BLESSINGS for all of Haiti. Please remember the animals, too. Ask the Violet Flame to purify ALL who crossed-over so that they may receive their Ascension. Be of Service to the earth and ALL life forms, for we are all ONE. The ascended masters can not intervene unless you ask for our help. Ask us and we WILL respond.Blessings to All. I AM Saint Germain"
"Britain faces a 'perfect storm' of water shortage and lack of food, says the government's chief scientist, and climate change and crop and animal diseases will add to future woes. Science is now striving to find solutions (...) The scale of the problem is striking. It is also unprecedented, says Professor Mike Bevan, acting director of the John Innes Centre in Norfolk. "We are going to have to produce as much food in the next 50 years as was produced over the past 5,000 years. Nothing less will do." It is a staggering goal that highlights the depth of the food security crisis that Britain and the world face. Over the next 40 years Britain's population will rise from 60 to 75 million while the world's will leap from 6.8 to 9 billion. Feeding all these people will stretch human ingenuity to its limit. Crop yields will have to jump, a goal that will have to be achieved in the middle of global climatic disruption. At the same time, farmers will find many aids in particular, chemical fertilisers that they have come to rely on will no longer be available ."People do not quite realise the scale of the issue," added Bevan. "This is one of the most serious problems that science has ever faced." In Britain the lives of hundreds of thousands of people will be threatened by food shortages. Across the globe, tens of millions if not hundreds of millions will be affected."
"The world faces mass starvation following more major crop failures in the United States and other places around the globe. According to Chicago-based Don Coxe, who is one of the worlds leading experts on agricultural commodities, so much so that Canadas renowned BMO Financial Group named the fund after him, this mind boggling event could happen before years end. After all 2009 is the worse harvest many farmers have ever seen, not only in America but elsewhere around the globe. Scientists in England are warning that a "perfect storm" of food shortages and water scarcity now threatens to unleash public unrest and conflict in that country, the governments chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, has warned. "People do not quite realize the scale of the issue," said Professor Mike Bevan. "This is one of the most serious problems that science has ever faced." In Britain the lives of hundreds of thousands of people will be threatened by food shortages. The repercussions of food shortages for any society are devastating. We are facing a problem that literally has never been faced in human history. Surging population and food demand, food inflation, diminishing world food stocks, drought, flooding, cold, diminished credit, infestations, soil erosion, industrial farming, factory farm pollution, aquifers/wells going dry, relocation of produce for energy production are all slamming into a global financial and economic crisis. And in some places like the United States they dont have enough farmers. Then on top of everything else we have desertification, which is one of the worlds most pressing environmental issues. New deserts are growing at a rate of 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) a year. Desertification leads to famine, mass starvation and human migration. According to Eric de Carbonnel, There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year. The 2010 Food Crisis is going to be different. It is the crisis that will make all doomsday scenarios come true."
Joanna Macy's address at the 2009 Bioneers conference (4 part video - the 4th part isn't online yet) http://www.youtube.com/bioneers#p/u/2/M_uKajuIKIE
One of our most popular addresses at Bioneers last year came from Joanna Macy, a renowned Buddhist teacher, eco-philosopher, systems theorist, scholar, and longtime activist in the peace, justice, and ecology movements. She speaks of a great turning in human consciousness and invites us to examine our relationships to nature and future generations. Recommended by Al Farthing (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "The speech by Joanna Macy is a powerful statement of what we need to do for planetary well being -- indeed for planetary survival."
CNN: A Working Hospital in Haiti (January 17, 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw6R2UOGN2Q
While the rest of the world is still in the planning stage, Cuba and Spain have staffed and equipped real working field hospitals in Haiti and are treating thousands of injured.
HAARP Weapon Cause Haitian Earthquake, Venezuelan President
Russian TV: According to Venezuelan President Haitian Earthquake was caused by HAARP Weapon. Sent by Alfred Lambremont Webre (email@example.com) who wrote: "Vancouver COOP RADIO will be broadcasting a special science-based program on February 8, 2010 at 102.7 FM, http://www.coopradio.org at Noon- 1 PM PT on how HAARP was used as a seismic weapon to trigger with Haiti earthquake (150,000 dead) about 1 month in advance of the 2010 Olympics, in the same way that the May 13, 2008 China earthquake was a HAARP triggered earthquake (80,000 dead) in advance of the summer '08 Beijing Olympics. One purpose of this seismic warfare by the permanent war economy is to keep the world's population in terror and fear, and to prevent a peak experience by the global mind at the Olympic events. There are other economic and strategic-based purposes to the HAARP seismic and weather warfare program, which this program will explore. Be sure and tune in."
HAARP: Secret Weapon Used For Weather Modification, Electromagnetic Warfare? By Fred Burks http://www.WantToKnow.info/war/haarp_weather_modification_electromagnetic_warfare_weapons
(...) For those who still doubt that such devastating secret weapons have been developed, here is an intriguing quote from an article in New Zealand's leading newspaper, the New Zealand Herald: "Top-secret wartime experiments were conducted off the coast of Auckland to perfect a tidal wave bomb, declassified files reveal. United States defence chiefs said that if the project had been completed before the end of the war, it could have played a role as effective as that of the atom bomb. Details of the tsunami bomb, known as Project Seal, are contained in 53-year-old documents released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade." If the military secretly developed a weapon which could cause a tsunami over half a century ago, what kind of advanced deadly weapons might be available now? And why is it that the general public still doesn't know about secret weapons developed over 50 years ago? To understand why the media isn't covering these highly critical issues, click here. Clearly the military has the capability to cause a tsunami and likely to cause earthquakes and hurricanes, as well. It's time for us to take action to spread the word on this vital topic. CLIP
Strong Aftershock Rattles Haiti as Rescue Efforts Continue (20 January 2010) http://www.truthout.org/strong-aftershock-rattles-haiti-rescue-efforts-continue56229
Port-au-Prince - Authorities in Haiti scrambled to assess the damage caused by a powerful aftershock that rocked Haiti Wednesday morning, shaking unstable buildings and sending panicked people running into the streets only eight days after the country's capital was devastated by a previous, stronger quake. The U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday's 6.1-magnitude temblor hit at 6:03 a.m. about 35 miles west of the capital, near the town of Petit-Goave. It struck at a depth of 13.7 miles but was located too far inland to generate any tidal waves in the Caribbean. Reports of damage in Petit-Goave were unclear, but the aftershock was felt strongly in the capital, where buildings swayed and dropped chunks of concrete. Frightened survivors wailed in terror, many still coping with the cataclysmic aftermath of the 7.0-magnitude quake that struck Jan. 12. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said the Haitian government dispatched a team, including an airplane, to survey the damage in Petit-Goave, a city of 120,000. He urged people to remain calm and to avoid compromised buildings, and said that in his own Port-au-Prince neighborhood, Wednesday's aftershock had crumbled even more homes. CLIP
Help steps up, but so does scale of Haiti tragedy (January 19 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/8904990
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) The staggering scope of Haiti's nightmare came into sharper focus Monday as authorities estimated 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless in the quake-ravaged heart of this tragic land, where injured survivors still died in the streets, doctors pleaded for help and looters slashed at one another in the rubble. The world pledged more money, food, medicine and police. Some 2,000 U.S. Marines steamed into nearby waters. And ex-president Bill Clinton, special U.N. envoy, flew in to offer support. Six days after the earthquake struck, search teams still pulled buried survivors from the ruins. But hour by hour the unmet needs of hundreds of thousands grew. Overwhelmed surgeons appealed for anesthetics, scalpels, saws for cutting off crushed limbs. Uncounted thousands of survivors sought to cram onto buses headed out of town. In downtown streets, others begged for basics."Have we been abandoned? Where is the food?" shouted one man, Jean Michel Jeantet. The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said it expected to boost operations from feeding 67,000 people on Sunday to 97,000 on Monday. But it needs 100 million prepared meals over the next 30 days, and it appealed for more government donations. "I know that aid cannot come soon enough," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in New York after returning from Haiti."Unplug the bottlenecks," he urged.
(...) The latest casualty report, from the European Commission citing Haitian government figures, doubled previous estimates of the dead from the magnitude-7.0 quake, to approximately 200,000, with some 70,000 bodies recovered and trucked off to mass graves. If accurate, that would make Haiti's catastrophe about as deadly as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed an estimated 230,000 people in a dozen countries. European Commission analysts estimate 250,000 were injured and 1.5 million were made homeless. Masses are living under plastic sheets in makeshift camps and in dust-covered automobiles, or had taken to the road seeking out relatives in the safer countryside.On the capital's southern edge, thousands of people struggled to get onto brightly painted "tap-tap" buses heading out of town."We've got no more food and no more house, so leaving is the only thing to do," said Livena Livel, 22, fleeing with her 1-year-old daughter and six other relatives to her father's house in Les Cayes, near Haiti's western tip."At least over there we can farm for food," she said. She said she was spending her last cash on the "insanely expensive" bus fare, jacked up to the equivalent of $7.70, three days' pay for most Haitians, because gasoline prices had doubled.The European Union and its individual governments boosted their aid pledges for Haiti to euro422 million ($606 million) in emergency and long-term aid, on top of at least $100 million pledged by the U.S.A dirt-poor nation long at the bottom of the heap, Haiti will need years or decades of expanded aid to rebuild. After meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval and other international representatives in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez said Haiti would need $10 billion over five years. For the moment, however, front-line relief workers want simply to get food and water to the hungry and thirsty.
(...) Doctors Without Borders said Monday its specialists were 48 hours behind on performing surgery for critically injured patients because three cargo planes loaded with supplies were denied clearance and forced to land almost 200 miles away in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The WFP's Sheeran said things would change. She announced an agreement with the U.S. so that "we now have the coordination mechanism to prioritize the humanitarian flights coming in." At the airport, a U.S. military spokesman said the parking ramp designed for 16 large aircraft at times was holding 40. "That's why there was gridlock," said Navy Cmdr. Chris Lounderman. He said about 100 flights a day were now landing. CLIP
In Haiti, Words Can Kill (January 21, 2010) http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175194/
Just before Haiti was devastated by the most powerful earthquake to hit the island in more than 200 years, when, that is, it was only devastated by the hemispheres worst poverty, there were but one or two full-time foreign correspondents in the country. No longer. Within days, the networks, CNN, and Fox had more or less transferred their news operations (already slimmed down by years of attrition) onto the island. (...) Soon after almost every disaster the crimes begin: ruthless, selfish, indifferent to human suffering, and generating far more suffering. The perpetrators go unpunished and live to commit further crimes against humanity. They care less for human life than for property. They act without regard for consequences.Im talking, of course, about those members of the mass media whose misrepresentation of what goes on in disaster often abets and justifies a second wave of disaster. Im talking about the treatment of sufferers as criminals, both on the ground and in the news, and the endorsement of a shift of resources from rescue to property patrol. They still have blood on their hands from Hurricane Katrina, and they are staining themselves anew in Haiti.Within days of the Haitian earthquake, for example, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of photographs with captions that kept deploying the word looting. One was of a man lying face down on the ground with this caption: A Haitian police officer ties up a suspected looter who was carrying a bag of evaporated milk. The mans sweaty face looks up at the camera, beseeching, anguished. CLIP
Ring of fire: annular solar eclipse over Asia and Africa - with pictures http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/picture-galleries/6995759/Ring-of-fire-annular-solar-eclipse-over-Asia-and-Africa.html
A solar eclipse that reduced the sun to a blazing ring surrounding a sombre disk plunged millions of people in Africa and Asia into an eerie semi-darkness. The spectacle, visible in a 185-mile band running 8,062 miles across the globe, set a record for the longest annular eclipse that will remain unbeaten for more than a thousand years. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun but does not completely obscure it, thus leaving a ring - an annulus - of sunlight flaring around the lunar disk
Ancient Aliens 2009 [1 of 9] - History Channel (19 July 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew74bFURFi8
A simple introduction into the possibility that alien beings from other worlds visited Earth since ancient days, and possibly even were responsible for creating human life and culture as we know it today. UFO's and alien sightings have been around for thousands of years and primitive cultures worshipped them as gods. This documentary presents re-creations, historical artifacts and interviews with leading UFO experts, and questions whether super structures and monuments like Stonehenge, Easter Island, plus ancient advanced knowledge of the solar system and mathematics, are vestiges of ancient alien visitations. Featuring interviews with David Hatcher Childress, Erich von Däniken, Michael Cremo, Jason Martell and others. This is a simple documentary and would be suitable for those just beginning their journey into the realm of possibilities of ancient alien visitations.
STOP MONSANTOSIZING FOOD, SEEDS AND ANIMALS! - Global alert from the No Patents on Seeds! coalition http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=93&Itemid=56&lang=en
Individuals who want to sign this Global Alert against "Monsantosizing" please go to the site of Kein Patent auf Leben ! to sign on-line. Organisations please sign here. Farmers organisations from around the world, breeders, UN institutions as well as development and environmental organisations have repeatedly raised major concerns about the increasing monopolisation of seeds and farm animals via patents over the last few years. The loss of independence and rising indebtedness for farmers, a reduction of plant and animal diversity, and ever higher constraints for breeding and research activities represent some of the most worrying impacts of this trend. But despite these alarming experiences so far no legal measures are in sight to stop this trend. On the contrary, a recent survey of applications filed at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) shows that the big international seed corporations still try to push through their monopoly claims without caring about the consequences for global food security and the livelihoods of farmers around the world. This is becoming obvious by analysing the recent patent applications by the top three global seed companies, Monsanto (US), Dupont (US) and Syngenta (Switzerland). (...) Sign this Alert against Monsantosizing - Recent patent applications on conventional breeding - This alert will be handed over to Governments and patent offices on 26 March 2010 three years after the No Patents on Seeds global coalition was officially started. CLIP - Cliquer ICI pour la version française.
13 Year old boy Has Time Machine plan that works (December 11, 2009) http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-367891
One 13 year old boy , named Gentill Abdulla, has said that he has a time machine plan that is going to work. I have personally met him and he is an extremely bright boy. Gentill says that his ingenious plans can allow time travel to be possible. He told me "I have done a lot of research on the areas of black holes, time travel, wormholes, magnetism, light, and most importantly gravity. I have devised an experiment that if done correctly could allow time travel." Here is the theory. (...) he has also told me that he has all the paperwork and schematics with him at all times. Gentill says that he is working on a new Grand unification theory and perpetual motion machine.
ALL is POSSIBLE -- With original German version - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=211312766967&ref=ts#
ALL is POSSIBLE wishes to reach everyone. Children and adolescents from a socio-economically challenged background are especially dear to our heart due to a sense of hopelessness and a lack of future perspective. We want to support projects and campaigns which provide the feeling of success and bolster courage for children and adolescents. Thereby we wish to build self-confidence and a sense of responsibility for oneself and others. "ALL is POSSIBLE wants to motivate with heart and fun, You have only one life to do and get what YOU want!!! We help you to remind yourself that ALL is POSSIBLE!!! Our Mission is to bring ALL is POSSIBLE around the world, so that ALL Humans believe in themselves that ALL is POSSIBLE. No matter where you come from,no matter who you are, no matter what was in your past, no matter if you are rich or poor, no matter if you are ill or well, no matter if you are young or old... ALL is POSSIBLE!! Listen to your feelings! Trust your intuition! Take care of your thoughts! Use the power of your thoughts! Believe in yourself and very important "Follow your heart "! Remind yourself every day that ALL is POSSIBLE "
Brought to my attention by Uta Gunawardenan (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Sri Lanka
Dérapage extrémiste des autorités judiciaires françaises!!
Perquisition « anti-sectes » au Centre « Terre du ciel » http://www.terre-du-ciel.fr/perquisition.htm
(Voir le lien ci-dessus pour tous les détails de l'opération policière coup de poing contre de purs innocents) Qui sommes-nous? Comité de parrainage : Terre du Ciel n'est relié à aucune structure religieuse, philosophique ou politique. Il associe à son travail les plus grandes figures de la spiritualité de toutes les traditions, ainsi que des personnalités pleinement engagées dans le devenir de notre société. Le comité de parrainage ci-dessous s'inscrit dans cette pluralité et cette diversité. Plusieurs personnalités rejoignent aujourd'hui notre Comité de parrainage. Celui-ci comptait jusque-là 33 personnalités ; ces personnes viennent de tous horizons, professions et religions, mais ont en commun un engagement pour une terre humaine, pénétrée de valeurs de paix, de conscience et d'amour, bien éloignées de la barbarie qui tend à s'installer aujourd'hui, et contre laquelle nous résistons. CLIP - NOTE de Jean: Regardez ICI le genre de formations qu'ils offrent. Ils font un magnifique travail d'éveil qui n'a absolument rien de sectaire. Voir surtout cette Vidéo Terre du Ciel à Chardenoux - Un vrai coin de paradis sur Terre! C'est presque l'équivalent pour la France de Findhorn en Écosse du Nord. La méthode employée par les autorités françaises pour mener cette perquisition me semble relever du plus pur terrorisme étatique, voire se comparer à une véritable chasse aux sorcières. Chose certaine, ce genre d'intervention révèle en fait à quel point le travail d'éveil réalisé par ces gens dérange le gouvernement français dont les autorités policières paraissent encore obsessivement obnubilées par la thèse du pseudo suicide collectif des membres de l'Ordre du Temple solaire en 94-95 qui, selon cet article, auraient plutôt été des meurtres déguisés. Voir ICI les nombreux témoignages de tous ceux et celles qui vantent les louanges de ce Centre « Terre du Ciel ». Faisons en sorte que ce faux pas gouvernemental devienne rapidement un extraordinaire coup de publicité en faveur de ce centre et un mouvement de désaveu généralisé contre l'attitude quasi fanatique, et teintée d'obscurantisme rétrograde, des autorités françaises à l'égard de tous ces groupes en France qui, dans la plupart des cas, mènent un oeuvre humaniste des plus précieuses pour toute la société. -- Signalé à notre attention par Juliette Barmet (email@example.com) qui a écrit: « C'est le temps de réunir nos coeurs et nos esprits dans des pensées et prières pour Terre du Ciel, et de demander que l'ordre divin et le libre arbitre soient rétablis ! »
NOTE de Jean: Un bon ami André Larivière (firstname.lastname@example.org) à qui j'avais envoyé ceci, m'a répondu ce qui suit : "Salut Jean! Je connais un tout petit peu Alain Chevillat et suis passé à Chardenoux pour y tenir un stand antinucléaire lors d'une foire écolo et bio voici 2 ans. Le lieu est beau et harmonieux, tel qu'on le perçoit dans cette vidéo. Et je confirme que ces gens sont dans un excellent esprit d'ouverture spirituelle et absolument pas sectaire. Ils animent aussi un mouvement politique à dimension européenne qui s'intitule "Europe des consciences". C'est leur volet plus politique et ils ont aussi une revue du même titre. Le sarkozysme crée de plus en plus de "descentes" de la sorte ; aussi dans les milieux militants, arnarchistes, gauchistes et libertaires. Ambiance malsaine s'il en est..."
The Calling - Also recommended by Juliette Barmet http://www.kewego.fr/video/iLyROoafMeGr.html
In March 2009 I was approached to create a combined and summarized version of "The Big Picture" "Fight the NWO With Global Non Compliance" and "NWO The Final Solution. The aim was to condense all 3 films into a one hour solution based production that would appeal to a wider audience and be suitable for television. This film is the result. Should some people you know still remain blind to the urgency of the world situation and to their need to be informed and act upon such information, it is my sincere hope that this film may help you to open their eyes.
SPECIAL EXTREME WEATHER FEATURE
After several days of extreme cold in Florida last week (see Frosty Florida sets record low temperatures) now it's going to be the turn of the whole West Coast, and particularly California to be battered with a 2-week bout of extreme weather. This was brought to my attention when reading the following articles - even the US military is moving assets east out of the way ahead of this storm... Check at http://www.weather.com/newscenter/stormwatch/ for the latest in the developing weather.
URGENT - BIG WINTER STORM WARNING
This was forwarded to us from a friend - a retired fireman. I have no idea how true this is or will be, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to warn you to be careful. We certainly can use the rain, let's just hope the storms are not as strong as predicted here............
Some of you may know that climate modeling is a hobby of mine (a terrific challenge for computer hardware and software). Well, we are about to get hit with what may be the strongest storm system in known California history starting Sunday night. If you want full details, you can read the warning below. I'll give you the summary version of several reports here.
The jet stream that is going to hit Southern California is as powerful as has ever been recorded on this planet before, over 230 mph. The jet is at an extremely unusually low altitude, not 30,000 to 60,000 feet, but coming as low as 8,000 feet. This jet will be traveling over the unusually warm El Nino waters of the eastern pacific, and will be carrying freakish amounts of energy and moisture. A huge series of storms is going to slam into Los Angeles and the surrounding areas just one after another for day after day for up to two weeks.
The initial storms will be very cold, with snow levels as low as 3,000 feet. Heavy rain and snow will be hitting California from San Diego to Eureka. Next week, the driest places will see at least 3 inches of rain, the Los Angeles basin and northern parts of the county and Ventura will see 6 to 10 inches. The wettest areas and cells within the system will hit with up to 20 inches of rain. Snowfall in the Sierras will be measured in the TENS of feet. Powerful winds will be associated with this storm--like a powerful Santa Ana but blowing in the opposite direction, west to east. Gusts up to 80 mph are forecast.
[I remember Sierra snowfall around 20 feet once, maybe in the '70's or early '80's - it was very striking when driving to Tahoe...Steve]
But it gets worse. For the first time that I'm aware of, ALL of the various models are in agreement about the second week of the storm. Normally, beyond a week, the models diverge. But due to the extreme strength of the weather producing factors, this time all of the models produce the same results for the 8-14 day period.
For the week of the 24th, we will be hit with a powerful and WARM series of storms, as strong as any we've seen. This heavy warm rainfall will fall onto the newly laid snowpack and what will be totally saturated ground, especially in the burn areas of LA and will produce tremendous melting and runoff, and the potential for record flooding.
Due to the low altitude of the jet stream, 200+ mph winds will slam directly into the Sierras, producing tornado strength winds over a 200 mile wide front. DON'T head to Mammoth for skiing when you hear about the huge snow fall in the first week.
Planes and helicopters are migrating out of the coastal bases and into the interior bases of Arizona and Nevada. They're taking this very seriously. A friend of Scott's is a Navy weather forecaster and he told Scott that the military is moving assets east out of the way ahead of this storm.
This may sound alarmist, but websites I check related to weather modeling are using the word "Biblical" for this system. If you can work from home or commute by train, please plan on doing so. The LA freeway system is going to be a mess for the next week or two.
SO TO BE SURE IT WAS FOR REAL, I CHECKED THE NEWS FOR THE WEST COAST AND THEN, OUT OF CURIOSITY, FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD AND DISCOVERED THAT FREAKISH WEATHER EXTREMES ARE BEING OBSERVED WORLDWIDE, BUT ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTHER HEMISPHERE. SEE FOR YOURSELF...
Very stormy pattern for California; flooding possible http://weatherwest.com/current_weather/?p=396
The long-advertised major shift to a much more active pattern over the far West Coast has arrived. Storms are lining up off the coast, and a powerful 200+ kt zonal jet will slam into California beginning Sunday and persisting for all of the coming week (at least). There are strong indications that precipitation may be very heavy in many places, especially across Central and Southern California. (...) Given such large liquid equivalent, snowfall will be extremely heavy in the high Sierra, with some local areas possibly seeing 10-15 feet of new snow (maybe even more). (...) Flash flooding and earth movements (mudslides) areunfortunatelyessentially unavoidable in Southern California during a pattern such as this one. If the higher end of the rainfall estimates come to fruition, there could even be some mainstem river flooding. There is also a risk of flooding in Northern California, though this may be a little more dependent on higher-end rainfall estimates to occur. All bets are off, however, if the scenario depicted by the ECMWF pans out. And even the GFS solutions would bring an eventual flood risk to all of CA; the risk in NorCal would simply be reduced until the second (and warmer) wave arrives in 10+ days. This is a pattern to watch closely, in any case. Potential impacts may be large, and there are no indications that a significantly drier regime will take over anytime soon. Stay tuned!
Very stormy period developing for all of California; potential for major flooding http://weatherwest.com/current_weather/?p=386
Anyone who ever said that winter weather in California was boring has never experienced a pattern like the one were headed for over the next several weeks. (...) For the first time in at least several years, a powerful southern stream branch of the jet stream over the Pacific is expected to roar across CA for at least the next two weeks, potentially bringing a tremendous amount of precipitation and frequent strong wind events.(...) Between this Sunday and the following Sunday, I expect categorical statewide rainfall totals in excess of 3-4 inches. That is likely to be a huge underestimate for most areas. Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10 inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with perhaps triple that amount in favored areas.This is where things get even more interesting, though. The models are virtually unanimous in reloading the powerful jet stream and forming an additional persistent kink 2000-3000 miles to our southwest after next Sunday. This is a truly ominous pattern, because it implies the potential for a strong Pineapple-type connection to develop. Indeed, the 12z GFS now shows copious warm rains falling between days 12 and 16 across the entire state. Normally, such as scenario out beyond day seven would be dubious at best. Since the models are in such truly remarkable agreement, however, and because of the extremely high potential impact of such an event, its worth mentioning now. Since there will be a massive volume of freshly-fallen snow (even at relatively low elevations between 3000-5000 feet), even a moderately warm storm event would cause very serious flooding. This situation will have to monitored closely. Even if the tropical connection does not develop, expected rains in the coming 7-10 days will likely be sufficient to cause flooding in and of themselves (even in spite of dry antecedent conditions). An ominous Pineapple Express connection, GFS modelIn addition to very heavy precipitation, powerful winds may result from very steep pressure gradients associated with the large and deep low pressure centers expect ed to begin approaching the coast by early next week. Though its not clear at the moment just how powerful these winds may be, there is certainly the potential for a widespread damaging wind event at some point, and the high Sierra peaks are likely to see gusts in the 100-200 mph range (since the 200kt jet at 200-300 mb will essentially run directly into the mountains at some point). The details of this will have to be hashed out as the event(s) draw closer.In short, the next 2-3 weeks (at least) are likely to be more active across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory. The potential exists for a dangerous flood scenario to arise at some point during this interval, especially with the possibility of a heavy rain-on-snow event during late week 2. In some parts of Southern California, a whole seasons worth of rain could fall over the course of 5-10 days. This is likely to be a rather memorable event. Stay tuned.
Heavy rain, possible flooding forecast for West Coast (January 18, 2010) http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/weather/01/18/west.coast.storms/index.html
(CNN) -- Heavy rain and snow were falling over California on Monday, the first round in a series of storms poised to pummel the West Coast this week, bringing potential flooding and mudslides. The El Niño-type storms forecast for the West could dump up to 6 inches of rain in some areas, according to CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano. Rain began falling Sunday night and was continuing Monday. A second round was expected later Monday night and Tuesday, with a third coming late Tuesday and into Wednesday. CLIP
Flood warnings issued as heavy rains forecast (Jan. 16, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/flood-warnings-issued-as-heavy-rains-forecast/article1431853/
It was a soggy day along the southwest coast of British Columbia, with flood warnings issued for central and eastern Vancouver Island, and severe rain warnings. The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a formal flood warning for the Port Alberni area yesterday afternoon - the highest of a three-stage flood-alert system. Environment Canada also issued a severe-rain warning for the region, forecasting up to 150 millimetres of rain in 24 hours."We are barricading certain localized areas that typically flood in heavy rains," said Guy Cicon, a city engineer in Port Alberni. Adding to the already swollen rivers, the highest tide since November will hit the east coast of Vancouver Island at 7 a.m. today.Environment Canada also issued a severe rain warning for metro Vancouver yesterday, forecasting 60 to 80 millimetres of rain in a 24-hour period."Typically for the month of January, Vancouver gets 140 millimetres of rain for the entire month," said Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada."This is an El Nino year, and we're experiencing another Pineapple Express. The jet stream is dragging moisture and heat from the tropics and dumping it onto the southwest coast of B.C.," he said.
Flood warnings: be prepared (18 January 2010) http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_184214
Flood warnings were in place today in nine areas of England and Wales. The Met Office has also warned of widespread rain or snow due to fall in England and Wales on Wednesday. Read on to find out how you can plan ahead to cope with flooding in your area.
Flood warnings issued after heavy rain and snow thaws (17 January 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8463887.stm
Melting snow, heavy rain and frozen ground have caused flooding in much of England, Scotland and Wales. There are no severe flood warnings in force in the UK. There are 21 flood warnings in England and two in Wales. CLIP
Storms in Mideast kill British tourist, 6 others http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100118/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_mideast_weather
CAIRO Rare torrential rains across the Middle East swept away homes, marooned resort towns and killed seven people Monday, including a British tourist, in what officials are calling the worst flooding in at least a decade. The flooding along Egypt's Red Sea coast, the border with Israel and in the south left six people dead. It also damaged the roads leading to the resorts in the Sinai desert and brought down telephone and power lines. Israel temporarily closed its southern border crossings with Egypt and Jordan, while Jordanians were warned off the streets after nearly a dozen accidents in one area. Rains of this magnitude, which began Sunday night, are rare in this largely arid region and where heavy precipitation can result in sudden and deadly flash floods.
Major Flooding Concerns in the Middle East (Jan 18, 2010) http://www.wifr.com/weather/headlines/82010097.html
Palestinians hit by flash floods are evacuated from their homes in the blockaded Gaza Strip. -- Heavy rains across the Middle East on Monday (January 18) flooded some areas of the central Gaza Strip, forcing residents out of their homes. Rescue services gathered at the site making their way through the flooded streets toward people stranded in the water.Hussein Assuboh, a resident, said he saw no major injuries, but some people in the area did lose much of their livestock. CLIP
Rains cause flooding and mayhem in Tabuk - Arab News (19 January 2010) http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=131455&d=19&m=1&y=2010
JEDDAH: Civil Defense teams in Tabuk rescued over 75 people stranded in a number of valleys across the region following heavy rains and floods on Monday. Around 27 people were injured as a result of the rains, which caused schools to close and delayed commuters from reaching work. There were also power outages in several areas across the province. Gen. Suleiman Al-Huwaiti, head of the Civil Defense in Tabuk, said heavy rains flooded all of the provinces valleys. The Civil Defense rescued over 75 people and rescue operations are ongoing. The Civil Defense issued warnings on Sunday asking people to be careful. Many people did not take the warnings seriously. I wish people would take heed in the future, he added. CLIP
Two more districts struck by floods in Sabah (January 19, 2010) IN MALAYSIA http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/1/19/nation/5500272&sec=nation
KOTA KINABALU: Continuous heavy rain overnight has resulted in more widespread flooding around Sabah with six districts now reported to be inundated. The number of evacuees rose from about 2,600 to over 3,300 on Monday as two more districts - Pitas and Beluran - reporting widespread flooding.A total of 159 people were placed at flood evacuation centres in Pitas as of late Sunday as another 126 villagers in Beluran were moved to relief centres.The largest number of flood evacuees was, however, in the northern Kota Marudu district where some 1,671 villagers remained at relief centres. CLIP
Kilosa floods: Humanitarian challenge and life-changing experience (18TH JAN 2010) http://www.thisday.co.tz/?l=10565
FOR thousands of Kilosa District residents it was a rude Boxing Day awakening. It had not rained from the sky, but devastative flash floods abruptly brought a long spell of drought to an end.Village after village, everything was awash. Everybody was running to nowhere looking for protection. Even adults sought somebody to take them under their wing. They lost most of their possessions in the mud flow as their shelters tumbled.Downpours in the distant Ukaguru Mountain range had overfilled upstreams feeding into River Mkondoa which then burst its banks on Kilosa plains. The floodwater not only inundated the crop fields and pasture land but also washed away everything on its way, turning thousands of people destitute. Two weeks later, at about noon, a group of journalists from Dar es Salaam made it to the floodplains of Kilosa. Under the scorching sun, hundreds of flood victims were camped and crammed in the small buildings of Kilosa Town Primary School. Literally speaking, nature had turned against mankind and forced these people into an intolerable situation as internally displaced persons. The sight brought to mind the images of conflict victims frequently shown by the media from war-torn and disaster-struck countries around the world. CLIP
China's Red Cross Offers Donation to Flood-hit Albania (2010-01-18) http://english.cri.cn/6909/2010/01/18/2001s543426.htm
China's Red Cross on Monday donated 30,000 U.S. dollars to Albania to support relief work in the country's flooded northwestern region. After being notified about widespread flooding in northwest Albania, the Chinese Red Cross decided to extend a helping hand to the victims, Chinese Ambassador to Albania Wang Junling said. (...) The floods, caused by heavy rainfall, have forced about 5,000 people to flee their homes.Government statistics show that some 10,000 hectares of farmland and 2,400 houses have been flooded.
North Qld on alert for possible cyclone (January 19, 2010) http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/north-qld-on-alert-for-possible-cyclone-20100119-mh95.html
Heavy rain is expected in Queensland's far north from a low pressure system that could develop into the state's first cyclone of the season. Rain associated with the system has already fallen across the north of Cape York Peninsula. And heavy falls are likely to continue to develop in the Cairns area over the next 24 hours as the low moves offshore. CLIP
Disaster funding extended to flooded Qld (January 13, 2010) http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/disaster-funding-extended-to-flooded-qld-20100113-m6og.html
Disaster funding is now being offered to 22 Queensland communities after flooding rain that cut off towns and damaged infrastructure. Joint state and federal-funded natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements were extended to eight more communities on Wednesday. Acting Emergency Services Minister Andrew Fraser said the money could now be accessed to help rebuild damaged public infrastructure at Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Diamantina, Doomadgee, McKinlay, Mornington and Mount Isa. The 22 local governments now included in the arrangements cover 984,085 square kilometres - comparable in size to South Australia.
Flooding rains bring rare waterfalls to Australia's Uluru (Jan 16, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100116/wl_asia_afp/australiatourismenvironmentuluru
SYDNEY (AFP) Heavy rains which flooded parts of Australia's vast desert centre have brought rare waterfalls spilling from the iconic monolith Uluru, or Ayers Rocks, officials said Saturday. The deluge, which swept across much of the continent's east after a tropical cyclone last month, prompted a wave of green in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, home to the giant red rock. CLIP
Three dead following flooding in south-central Andes (January 18, 2010) http://www.peruviantimes.com/three-dead-following-flooding-in-south-central-andes/184592
Strong rains in Perus south-central Andes have left three people dead, two missing and 150 people homeless after the flooding of the Huayanay river, located in the Acobamba province in Huancavelica. The president of Huancavelica, Federico Salas, told Radio Programas Peru that some residents had built homes in unsuitable areas, making them more susceptible to flooding. Salas adds that his administration is coordinating with civil defense, or Indeci, to provide shelter, lamps and other materials for families affected by the flooding. They have also contacted the National Food Assistance Program, or Pronaa, to receive aid for the population. Rains and storms over the weekend have caused damage to other communities in Perus southern Andean highlands. On Saturday, Radio Programas Peru reported that one person was killed and another 10 injured from a rock and mudslide caused by rains in Huancavelica city. Regional President Salas recommended travelers postpone trips to the area highways in and out of the city were flooded. In Cusco, 50 houses were flooded when a rain and hail storm on Sunday flooded the Sipaspuqllo river.
Severe Snow Storm Hits China (January 17, 2010) http://www.keyc.com/node/32658
Meteorologists in northwest china are urging people to stay at home after another snow storm hits. Although there were warnings of severe snow and freezing temperatures, Residents still were out on the streets this weekend. The area was hit hard by a previous storm just last week.And the extreme weather is affecting coal and gas supplies.... Many fearing another blackout. Authorities ordered hundreds of factories in central china to shut down to ensure sufficient power to heat homes.
China sends disaster-relief teams to snow storm hit regions (2010-01-14) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2010-01/14/content_12805609.htm
BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities started to quickly deploy disaster relief teams to regions hit hard by snow storms, the civil affairs ministry said late Wednesday. The ministry and the National Disaster Reduction Commission decided to immediately begin the level-IV national disaster emergency response to assist local relief work, as heavy snows and cold snap continue to grip the northern regions. Across 12 regions including Beijing, Inner Magnolia and northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 4.67 million people have been affected, six died, and 13,000 were relocated, shows the latest statistics. The storms brought down 4,000 homes and damaged another 27,000, causing economic losses estimated at 1.4 billion yuan (205 million U.S. dollars). CLIP
Extreme Cold Affects Millions in Northwest China (January 19, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/19/world/AP-AS-China-Snow-Deaths.html
BEIJING (AP) -- Closed roads and delayed flights left thousands of travelers stranded Tuesday following blizzards and extreme cold that killed four people and affected 1.6 million others in northwestern China, a government spokesman said. Snowstorms delayed 122 flights in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang region, on Monday, leaving more than 4,000 passengers stranded, and blocked roads from nine avalanches stranded more than 1,000 passengers in the region, according to a Urumqi government spokesman surnamed Wang. Like many Chinese officials he declined to give his full name. Four people had died because of the bad weather, Wang said Tuesday. He did not give details. Rescue workers were evacuating thousands of rural residents to safer ground at lower altitudes because of the latest storm front, expected to last through Wednesday and plunge temperatures to minus 45 degrees (minus 43 Celsius), Wang said. In neighboring Mongolia, an official appealed for help from the international community as his country battles the most severe winter it has seen in three decades. Storms in China's far western Xinjiang flattened or damaged about 100,000 homes, and more than 15,000 head of livestock were killed by the cold front that began on Sunday night, according to Xinjiang Meteorological Station forecaster Wei Rongqing. Snow was falling in the region's Altay district, where accumulations had already risen to 3 feet (94 centimeters), Wei said. Altay lies in China's extreme northwestern corner, 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers) northwest of Beijing, the capital.''Livestock raising has been hit hard. Both wild animals and livestock haven't been able to find food, but now forage has been allocated by the central government,'' Wei said. Some 1.6 million people in total were affected by the harsh weather, according to Wang CLIP
Ice and snow storm creates havoc in central France (January 13th, 2010) http://www.self-catering-breaks.com/news/68221545.html
Paris was braced for an epic snow storm on Wednesday. The conditions forced authorities to ban trucks from motorways and numerous flight cancellations were expected as some of the worst weather experienced in northern Europe in decades translated into treacherous travel. The authorities operating the road networks in France road issued a formal ban for all heavy commercial road traffic beginning at midnight until noon on Wednesday in eight departments surrounding the French capital because of a fresh storm threatening the city. Icy sheets were causing concern due to their hazardousness. In both northern and central France, fifty-eight departments received the orange alert from Meteo France. CLIP
Weather: Rising degree of separation (Jan 19, 2010) http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Weather--Rising-degree-of-separation/569024 If India is seeing one of its severest winters ever, we are not the only ones. Countries across the world are experiencing extreme weather this season:EUROPEIndications that this winter wasnt really going to be pleasant for Europeans came early. English experienced their wettest November, with an average of 217.4 mm of rain, since 1951. Their cousins up north, the Scots, were soaked deeper. They got 256.7 mm of rain, more than the 244.8 mm recorded in November 1938. On the other end of the continent, in Russia, thermometers seemed to have forgotten that winter had arrived. On the second afternoon of December, thermometers in Moscow read 8.5 degrees Celsius, 1.4 degrees higher than the previous record set in 1898. Usually at this time of the year, Alexey Lyakhov, director of the citys weather bureau, told the ABC, the average temperature was -6.1 degrees C. The weather in the rest of the continental Europe wasnt much different. And just when it appeared Europeans wouldnt get to make snowmen on Christmas, the skies opened up. Heavy snow blanketed the ground, halted trains and flights and turned cars into snails. The accompanying cold wave sent people shivering inside their homes and killed several people, including 80 in Poland alone. Avalanches and skiing accidents, AFP reported, killed at least 10 more in the Alps. In January, Russia was 4-5 degrees C colder than the January average of the past 30 years. Floods caused extensive damage in Italy and southern Spain.
AND THEN TO ADD THE ICING ON THE CAKE, HERE IS WHAT I ALSO FOUND
Larger Magnitude Quakes Trend Up (January 17, 2010) http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Earth_Changes/100117.EQs.up.html
Over the last nearly four decades, the number of larger magnitude earthquake events has increased. To be objective in this count, we use only higher magnitude quakes. (...) Either Earth is flushing out seismic tension early, or it's going to be a busy year. It will be interesting to see if quake activity kicks up in California after the "unrelenting rain" forecast for next week. Not only does massive moisture promote landslides, it's also known to "lubricate' earthquake faults and add weight on underlying rock.
- Los Angeles - Earthquakes have always been part of Los Angeles' past and its future. In 1994 a 6.7-magnitude quake hit the Northridge area of the city, badly damaging freeways, killing more than 70 people and causing $20 billion in damages. But those numbers could be dwarfed by a major quake in the future. The geologic record indicates that huge quakes occur roughly every 150 years in the region Los Angeles lies along the southern end of the San Andreas Fault and the last big quake, which registered a magnitude 7.9, happened in 1857. Los Angeles has done a lot to beef up its building codes and emergency response in the 15 years since the Northridge quake and may be better prepared than any other major U.S. city, but its sheer size ensures that the next Big One will be bloody.
- Tokyo - Roughly the same size as California, Japan shares the Golden State's precarious plate tectonics. The nation's four main islands get hit regularly with earthquakes of varying strength. But while California has about 36 million people, Japan's population is nearly 4.5 times as large, and most Japanese live in extraordinarily dense cities. That puts more people squarely in a danger zone nowhere more so than in the capital of Tokyo, which has a population of 13 million. A major quake struck the city and its surroundings in 1923, killing as many as 150,000 people. Although Japan has vastly improved its infrastructure since then and has the strictest building codes in the world, a similar temblor which seismologists believe is almost inevitable could kill more than 10,000 people and cause more than $1 trillion in damages.
- Tehran - All of Iran lies within a major earthquake zone, and the country has suffered terrible temblors before most recently in 2003, when a 6.8-magnitude quake leveled the ancient city of Bam and killed more than 30,000 people. But a similar quake in the congested capital of Tehran where more than 7 million people live would be a shattering catastrophe. Unlike building codes in other endangered cities such as San Francisco and Tokyo, Tehran's are relatively lax, and many residents live in the sort of unreinforced-concrete houses that turn into death traps in the event of a strong quake. The Iranian Health Ministry once estimated that a 7-magnitude quake would destroy 90% of the city's hospitals. Tehran is so threatened that there has been periodic talk about moving the capital.
- Pacific Northwest - The rain-drenched residents of the Cascadia region roughly from Oregon to southern British Columbia probably assume that earthquakes are something for their neighbors in California to worry about. But Cascadia sits on top of major faults, and although it doesn't get hit very often, the region has seen massive quakes before. The most recent one was in 1700, when a megathrust earthquake that may have been as severe as 9.2 on the Richter scale struck the region. The geologic record indicates that a catastrophic quake hits Cascadia only about every 500 years, but the cities of the Pacific Northwest, like Seattle and Vancouver, are far less prepared than San Francisco and Los Angeles for a major earthquake, so when the next powerful temblor comes around, the region could suffer.
- Indonesia - It's called the Ring of Fire, a semicircle of violently shifting plates and volcanoes that runs along the edges of the Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand to Chile. The most seismically active region on the planet, the Ring of Fire has triggered countless quakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, mostly in Southeast Asia. That tsunami was set off by a 9.3-magnitude quake near the northern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, a region that has been hit repeatedly by massive temblors, most recently a 7.6 earthquake in September that killed more than 1,000 people. Sadly that's a relatively small quake death toll by Indonesian standards and seismologists expect more to come in the future.
Tsunami-generating quake possible off Indonesia: scientists (Jan 17, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100117/sc_afp/sciencequaketsunamiindonesia
PARIS (AFP) A huge wave-generating quake capable of killing as many people as in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami could strike off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the city of Padang is in the firing line, a team of seismologists said on Sunday.The group -- led by a prominent scientist who predicted a 2005 Sumatran quake with uncanny accuracy -- issued the warning in a letter to the journal Nature Geoscience. The peril comes from a relentless buildup of pressure over the last two centuries on a section of the Sunda Trench, one of the world's most notorious earthquake zones, which runs parallel to the western Sumatra coast, they said. This section, named after the Mentawai islands, "is near failure," the letter warned bluntly."The threat of a great tsunamigenic earthquake with a magnitude of more than 8.5 on the Mentawai patch is unabated. (...) There is potential for loss of life on the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami." The letter gave no timeframe for this event but warned starkly of the danger for Padang, a city of 850,000 people that lies broadside to the risky segment. "The threat from such an event is clear and the need for urgent mitigating action remains extremely high," it said.
Barack Obama declares war on Wall Street (January 22, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6997741.ece
Barack Obama declared war on Wall Street last night as he unveiled a sweeping series of measures aimed at checking the behaviour of banks and clamping down on risky deals.The proposals, regarded as the biggest regulatory crackdown on banks since the 1930s, would limit the size of institutions and bar them from the most cavalier trading practices. Mr Obama hopes that the move will reset his flagging presidency.We should no longer allow banks to stray too far from their central mission of serving their customers, he said. My resolve to reform the system is only strengthened when I see record profits at some of the very firms claiming that they cannot lend more to small business, cannot keep credit card rates low and cannot refund taxpayers for the bailout. If these folks want a fight, its a fight Im ready to have. Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail. (...) In Britain, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pounced on the Presidents words, claiming that they had been calling for similar measures for some time. The Treasury said that it would study his moves carefully.Mr Obamas comments prompted heavy falls in stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic. The FTSE100 fell 85.70 points to 5335.1 a fall of 1.6 per cent while on Wall Street share prices fell by more than 2 per cent at one stage.Among those with the biggest share price falls on Wall Street were the banks seen as being most wounded by Mr Obamas proposals. Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America each fell by more than 6 per cent, while Citigroup shares fell by more than 5 per cent and Goldman Sachs shares by more than 3 per cent. CLIP
Why Obama is Now (finally) Getting Tough on Wall Street (JANUARY 21, 2010) http://robertreich.org/post/346072544/why-obama-is-now-finally-getting-tough-on-wall-street
President Obama is now, finally, getting tough on Wall Street. Today hes giving his support to two measures critically important for making sure the Street doesnt relapse into another financial crisis: (1) separating the functions of investment banking from commercial banking (basically, resurrecting the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act) so investment banks cant gamble with insured commerial deposits, and (2) giving regulatory authorities power to limit the size of big banks so they dont become too big to fail, as antitrust laws do with every other capitalist entity. A few days ago the White House demanded that the biggest banks repay the $120 billion or so still owed the government from the bailout.All good, all correct, all important. The President deserves at least two cheers. Why not three? It took him over a year to finally get here. The House has already completed its work on financial reform and may be reluctant to start over. The Senate is in disarray since Chris Dodd, chair of the Banking Committee, announced recently he wouldnt seek reelection, and is poised to compromise with Wall Street on a number of big issues. Neither chamber has shown any interest whatsoever in resurrecting Glass-Steagall or limiting the size and risk of big banks. In other words, much of the game is over.Its possible, of course, that Congress could go along with Obamas new proposals. A populist backlash against the big banks is growing among Americans who cant understand why Wall Street is back to its old ways even though most Americans are worried about losing their jobs and homes as a result of Wall Streets massive implosion in 2008. And theyve never been able to understand why taxpayers bailed out Wall Street while Main Street still languishes.A cynic might conclude that Obamas born-again populism is for the cameras. Scott Browns upset victory in Massachusetts revealed the strength of Im-mad-as-hell populism in the electorate right now. Add in the $150 billion of bonuses the Street is about to bestow on itself and the outrage meter could blow. With sky-high unemployment and surly voters, Democrats have to show theyre on the side of the people, not the powerful, as Al Gore put it in the last days of the 2000 election (too late to help himself). CLIP
Obama's Record on Civil Liberties Garners Mixed Results (21 January 2010) http://www.truthout.org/obamas-record-civil-liberties-garners-mixed-results56264
While the Obama administration has made progress in its first year on some civil liberties and civil rights issues, its record on others such as privacy and surveillance is mixed, according to a report prepared this week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Out of 142 recommendations made, the administration acted on just over one-third of them, sometimes leaving previous policies it inherited from the Bush administration relatively intact.The Obama administration, however, carried out seven of the nine highest-priority "Day One" recommendations the ACLU made, such as ending the use of torture, closing the CIA's "black site" prisons and shutting down Guantánamo Bay. They were addressed in executive orders issued days after President Obama was sworn into office. However, the administration still has not explicitly prohibited extraordinary renditions, and also lacks the eagerness for a full review of possible detainee-abuse cases or investigation of the Bush administration officials who authorized so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Regarding Guantánamo, Obama signed an executive order last year that called for the prison to be shut down this month and some of the detainees to be incarcerated at supermax prisons in the US. But Congress has been reluctant to help the president facilitate the closure due, in part, to fears of political repercussions come November's midterm elections. CLIP
One year since Obamas inauguration (20 January 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/pers-j20.shtml
One year ago today, on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The event was greeted with enthusiasm in the US, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. Many millions around the world hoped the long period of political reaction in the US was finally ending. A year later, this wishful thinking has turned into disillusionment, anger and opposition. Some 2 million people gathered in Washington on Inauguration Day to celebrate the end of the Bush years. From the opening words of his address, however, Obama indicated that he would continue the policies of his Republican predecessor that had been repudiated by the American people.Before making any reference to the economic and social crisis gripping America, Obama declared, Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. This was an unmistakable olive branch to the Republicans and a declaration that his administration would uphold the bogus war on terrorism in order to justify militarism and attacks on democratic rights.He went on to assert that the American people themselves shared the blame for the financial disaster, cynically foisting responsibility on the victims of a catastrophe entirely the making of the ruling class. The president who ran as the candidate of change has continued the right-wing policies of Bush. In foreign policy, he has maintained the occupation of Iraq, increased US troop levels in Afghanistan, and expanded the war into Pakistan. Obama has explicitly upheld the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, by which the US arrogates to itself the right to wage war against any target it deems a present or potential danger to its interests. Yemen has become the latest target of US threats, along with Iran, while the tragedy in Haiti has been used to carry out a military occupation and strengthen the stranglehold of US imperialism on that impoverished country. The American gulag in Guantanamo remains open, renditions and torture continue, and the administration has insisted that no one from the Bush administration or the CIA be held accountable for war crimes and violations of international law. CLIP
Massachusetts vote: Barack Obama facing crisis as Republican Scott Brown wins senate seat (20 Jan 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7032991/Massachusetts-vote-Barack-Obama-facing-crisis-as-Republican-Scott-Brown-wins-senate-seat.html
President Barack Obama is facing the biggest crisis of his presidency after Scott Brown, a little known Republican, took the senate seat of the late Senator Edward Kennedy -- In what is being called the most momentous political shock in the United States for a generation, the victory of Mr Brown, a state senator and property lawyer, means that the Democrats have lost the 60-seat majority in the senate that enables them to close debate on legislation.The president's cherished health care reform is now in grave danger of failing or being forced back to the drawing board, along with plans to tax carbon emissions and other ambitious items on his agenda. Mr Brown won by 52 per cent to 47 per cent over Democrat Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general who ran an unexciting campaign, took Christmas week off and misspelled the state's name in an advertisement. The vote was however seen chiefly as a referendum on health care and Barack Obama's first year in office, the anniversary of which falls today. CLIP
Coakley Pollster Defends Campaign Against White House (January 19, 2010) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/19-9
The blame game is fully underway. A top pollster to Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley told HuffPost on Tuesday that the White House, in attempting to blame the Coakley campaign for a potential defeat today in Massachusetts, underestimates the wave of populist fury among Massachusetts voters.Pollster Celinda Lake said Coakley was hampered by the failure of the White House and Congress to confront Wall Street. That failure, she said, means that Democrats are being blamed by angry independent voters worried about the state of the economy. "If Scott Brown wins tonight he'll win because he became the change-oriented candidate. Voters are still voting for the change they voted for in 2008, but they want to see it. And right now they think they've got economic policies for Washington that are delivering more for banks than Main Street." CLIP
Disillusion among Liberal Supporters: Obama's Foreign / Military Policy (January 19, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17065
A year has gone by since Sen. Barack Obama assumed the presidency, replacing George W. Bush, who was among the worst chief executives in American history. The election of an African American to the White House is an historically positive development. And his first year in office has shown his superiority to Bush and his defeated opponent, rightist Sen. John McCain, in several areas. At the same time, in terms of foreign/military policy, President Obama has essentially continued many of the Bush Administration's initiatives first and foremost his predecessor's "global war on terrorism," but in other international endeavors as well. Democrats of the political center and center right have remained uncritical of President Obama some to the extent of keeping quiet about, or supporting, his administration's expanding wars, although they may have opposed the wars during Bush's reign. But a number of liberal Obama supporters who identify with the party's center left are expressing serious disappointment. Center right governance, continual compromise with the right wing Republicans, and more wars are not the changes they expected from a candidate some believed to harbor progressive intentions. In this article we will explore the first year of President Obama's foreign/military policies a principal source of progressive dissatisfaction. CLIP
Obama and the Permanent War Budget (29 December 2009) http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/1808/1/
It's been a good decade for the Pentagon. The most recent numbers from Capitol Hill indicate that Pentagon spending (counting Iraq and Afghanistan) will reach over $630 billion in 2010. And that doesnt even include the billions set aside for building new military facilities and sustaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal. But even without counting the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense budget has been moving relentlessly upward since 2001. Pentagon budget authority has jumped from $296 billion in 2001 to $513 billion in 2009, a 73% increase. And again, that's not even counting the over $1 trillion in taxpayer money that has been thrown at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if those wars had never happened, the Pentagon would still be racking up huge increases year after year after year.And perhaps most disturbing of all, the Pentagon budget increased for every year of the first decade of the 21st century, an unprecedented run that didn't even happen in the World War II era, much less during Korea or Vietnam. And if the government's current plans are carried out, there will be yearly increases in military spending for at least another decade. We have a permanent war budget, and most of it isn't even being used to fight wars it's mostly a giveaway to the Pentagon and its favorite contractors. CLIP - More articles related to Obama's one year in power HERE
Obama staffer wants cognitive infiltration of 9/11 conspiracy groups (JANUARY 12, 2010) http://rawstory.com/2010/01/obama-staffer-infiltration-911-groups/
In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama's appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated "cognitive infiltration" of groups that advocate "conspiracy theories" like the ones surrounding 9/11. Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures," in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine" those groups.As head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein is in charge of "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs," according to the White House Web site. (...) Sunstein has been the target of numerous "conspiracy theories" himself, mostly from the right wing political echo chamber, with conservative talking heads claiming he favors enacting "a second Bill of Rights" that would do away with the Second Amendment. Sunstein's recent book, On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done, was criticized by some on the right as "a blueprint for online censorship." Sunstein "wants to hold blogs and web hosting services accountable for the remarks of commenters on websites while altering libel laws to make it easier to sue for spreading 'rumors,'" wrote Ed Lasky at American Thinker.
Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal BY GLENN GREENWALD (January 15, 2010) http://salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/15/sunstein/index.html
Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs." In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper's abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here. Sunstein advocates that the Government's stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into "chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups." He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called "independent" credible voices to bolster the Government's messaging (on the ground that those who don't believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false "conspiracy theories," which they define to mean: "an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role." Sunstein's 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story's Daniel Tencer. (see above)
(...) Covert government propaganda is exactly what Sunstein craves. His mentality is indistinguishable from the Bush mindset that led to these abuses, and he hardly tries to claim otherwise. Indeed, he favorably cites both the covert Lincoln Park program as well as Paul Bremer's closing of Iraqi newspapers which published stories the U.S. Government disliked, and justifies them as arguably necessary to combat "false conspiracy theories" in Iraq -- the same goal Sunstein has for the U.S.Sunstein's response to these criticisms is easy to find in what he writes, and is as telling as the proposal itself. He acknowledges that some "conspiracy theories" previously dismissed as insane and fringe have turned out to be entirely true (his examples: the CIA really did secretly administer LSD in "mind control" experiments; the DOD really did plot the commission of terrorist acts inside the U.S. with the intent to blame Castro; the Nixon White House really did bug the DNC headquarters). Given that history, how could it possibly be justified for the U.S. Government to institute covert programs designed to undermine anti-government "conspiracy theories," discredit government critics, and increase faith and trust in government pronouncements? Because, says Sunstein, such powers are warranted only when wielded by truly well-intentioned government officials who want to spread The Truth and Do Good -- i.e., when used by people like Cass Sunstein and Barack Obama:Throughout, we assume a well-motivated government that aims to eliminate conspiracy theories, or draw their poison, if and only if social welfare is improved by doing so.But it's precisely because the Government is so often not "well-motivated" that such powers are so dangerous. Advocating them on the ground that "we will use them well" is every authoritarian's claim. More than anything else, this is the toxic mentality that consumes our political culture: when our side does X, X is Good, because we're Good and are working for Good outcomes. That was what led hordes of Bush followers to endorse the same large-government surveillance programs they long claimed to oppose, and what leads so many Obama supporters now to justify actions that they spent the last eight years opposing. CLIP
Doomsday clock: countdown to nuclear destruction shifted back one minute (15 Jan 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6991055/Doomsday-clock-countdown-to-nuclear-destruction-shifted-back-one-minute.html
The Doomsday Clock, a timepiece measuring how close humanity is to nuclear destruction, has shifted back one minute -- Anti-nuclear campaigners welcomed forecasts by the symbolic clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, that the current threat had lessened. The gimmick was built in New York two years after the US dropped the first atom bombs on Japan in World War Two and was first set at seven minutes to midnight. In 2007 it was wound on to five minutes to midnight, to reflect the failure to solve problems posed by nuclear weapons. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said the hands on the clock were now being moved back to six minutes to midnight. Kate Hudson, from CND, said: ''This shift reflects the significant improvement since the end of the Bush era. Both Presidents Obama and Medvedev are committed to nuclear abolition and have put the issue firmly at the centre of the international political agenda.'' From the aggressive escalation of the Bush years we have seen a significant change in the US administration's approach to nuclear weapons. Now almost all states are pushing in a more sane direction. ''The progress towards major US-Russian reductions in warheads is creating an improved international climate ahead of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May but now we need to translate aspirations into results."
Japan hit by invasion of giant Nomura's jellyfish (21 Jul 2009) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5876499/Japan-hit-by-invasion-of-giant-Nomuras-jellyfish.html
The massive sea creatures, called Echizen kurage in Japanese, measure up to six feet (1.83 meters) in diameter and weigh more than 450 pounds (204 kilos). For the past four summers, they have mysteriously materialised in the Yellow Sea off China and the Korean peninsula before drifting across into the Sea of Japan. They are expected to be at their most populous in the coming months. The arrival is inevitable, Professor Shinichi Ue, from Hiroshima University, told the Yomiuri newspaper. A huge jellyfish typhoon will hit the country.The vicious creatures, which would not be out of place in a sci-fi adventure, poison fish, sting humans and have even been known to disabling nuclear power stations by blocking the seawater pumps used to cool the reactors.Nomura's jellyfish first arrived in Japanese waters in 2005 when fisherman out looking for anchovies, salmon and yellowtail began finding large numbers of the gelatinous creatures in their nets. The larger specimens would destroy the nets while the fish caught alongside them would be left slimy and inedible.In a country where fish is one of the economy's mainstays, the result was disaster. Fishermen in some areas of the country stopped going out altogether and many cited an 80 per cent drop in their income.The jellyfish armada has prompted a series of studies by the Japanese government into the animal's little-understood mating and migration habits. Scientists believe the influx could be caused by overfishing, pollution or rising ocean temperatures which have depleted the kinds of fish that normally prey on Nomura's jellyfish at the polyp stage, thereby keeping down numbers. Another theory suggests that seas heated by global warming are better suited for breeding, multiplying the creature's numbers. CLIP
Will You Be a Victim of Killer Coal? (21 January 2010) http://www.truthout.org/will-you-be-a-victim-killer-coal56250
So, you thought inhaling glue or driving without a seatbelt was bad for your health? Try living next to a coal-fired power plant. That's the diagnosis that Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) relayed to the public in a comprehensive medical study released on November 18, 2009, called "Coal's Assault of Human Health." In it, the organization, comprised of physicians and public health experts, claimed that coal pollutants damage every major organ in the human body and contribute to four of the top five leading causes of death in the United States."The findings of this report are clear: while the U.S. relies heavily on coal for its energy needs, the consequences of that reliance for our health are grave," said Dr. Alan H. Lockwood, a principal author of the report and a professor of neurology at the University at Buffalo. It is not simply about cleaning up the coal process; it is about halting its production altogether in order to immediately save lives - an estimated 24,000 every single year. At every stage in its life cycle, coal can negatively impact human health, from mining operations, cleaning, transportation to burning and disposing of the combustion waste. PSR reported that many Americans are being affected daily by coal and the exposure is contributing to horrible health problems; heart attacks, lung cancer, strokes and asthma, among others.Recently, CoalSwarm*, an environmental group that monitors coal issues, released a list of 126 coal-fired power plants that are surrounded by 10,000 people or more living within a three-mile radius. Most of these hundreds of thousands of Americans are being exposed to deadly coal particulates without even knowing it. Not since NASA's James Hansen rang the global warming alarm about coal's major contribution to climate change has there been a more dire call to shut down coal operations in the United States. The majority of the plants are not equipped with the most up-to-date sulfur dioxide reduction equipment, which contributes to lung and heart disease. However, instead of upgrading this technology on coal burners, which can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, a growing number of activists are pushing for facilities to be closed instead, for the upgrades are essentially prolonging the life of plants that are still polluting in many other ways. (...) The PSR report is a boisterous call that our current addiction to dirty coal is not only unsustainable and a major source of global warming pollution, it is also extremely deadly to human life. No matter how much money the coal industry throws at the issue, either in an attempt to mitigate coal's contribution to health problems or to have us believe that coal can be "clean", people are dying. "These stark conclusions leave no room for doubt or delay," said Kristen Welker-Hood, PSR's director of environment and health programs. "The time has come for our nation to establish a health-driven energy policy that replaces our dependence on coal with clean, safe alternatives. Business as usual is extracting a deadly price on our health. Coal is no longer an option."
Why the 'peak oil' debate is irrelevant http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17943-why-the-peak-oil-debate-is-irrelevant.html
The debate over exactly when we will reach "peak oil" is irrelevant. No matter what new oil fields we discover, global oil production will start declining in 2030 at the very latest. That's the conclusion of the most comprehensive report to date on global oil production, published on 7 October by the UK Energy Research Centre. The report, which reviewed over 500 research studies, suggests that global oil production could peak any time from right now to as late as 2030. "Either way, our research shows that the difference between even the most pessimistic and optimistic claims is just 15 to 20 years," says Steve Sorrell, the report's lead author, who is based at Sussex University in the UK. This is a problem, says Sorrell, because 20 years isn't long enough for governments to prepare well-thought-out policies that would tackle the economic chaos likely to occur when oil production begins to decline. Research in 2005 by the US Department of Energy suggests that policies to reduce the demand for oil while developing large-scale alternatives will take at least two decades to bear fruit, he says. Global production of oil is declining at a rate of 4 per cent per year in existing oil fields and we have very little to replace it with, says Sorrell: "If we want to maintain global oil production at today's level we would need to discover the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every 3 years." Yet discoveries of new oil fields are in decline. Even the "giant" Tiber field recently found by BP in the Gulf of Mexico "will only serve to delay peak oil by a matter of days", he says. "Of the 70,000 oil fields on Earth, just 100 giant fields account for 50 per cent of the oil we use," says Sorrell. "Most of these giant fields are quite old and past their peak of production, and we're not going to find many new ones. "The International Energy Agency's latest estimate is that that oil production will not peak until after 2030, but that "is conservative to say the least", Sorrell warns.
Confucius says no to subversive blockbuster Avatar (January 19, 2010) http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6992685.ece
The state-run China Film Group has instructed cinemas nationwide to stop showing the ordinary version of Avatar from January 23 - Here is the choice: a blockbuster involving noble aliens, evil humans and stunning effects that is breaking cinematic records all over the world. Or a patriotic film featuring the life of Confucius.In China the public may not be given the choice at all. Despite long queues for tickets to see Avatar which was expected to earn more than 500 million yuan (£45 million) at the Chinese box office reports claim that the film will be removed from screens for being subversive.Hong Kongs Apple Daily reported that the state-run China Film Group had instructed cinemas nationwide to stop showing the 2-D version of Avatar from January 23 on orders from Beijings propaganda chiefs.It is not just the desire to entertain the masses with a Chinese movie that has prompted the censors to step in and pull James Camerons hit from 2-D screens. The Government fears that too many citizens might be making a link between the plight of Avatars Navi people as they are thrown off their land and the numerous, often brutal, evictions endured closer to home by residents who get in the way of property developers.The newspaper said: Reportedly, the authorities have two reasons for this check on Avatar: first, it has taken in too much money and has seized market share from domestic films, and second, it may lead audiences to think about forced removal, and may possibly incite violence.Chinas favourite blogger, Han Han, a twentysomething writer and racing-car driver, was among those who quickly spotted the similarity between the films plot and real life. He wrote: For audiences in other countries, such brutal eviction is something beyond their imagination. It could only take place on another planet or in China.Popular views of the film as an allegory for predatory property developers across China will not have gone down well with the Propaganda Department in Beijing. Blogs are buzzing with the news of Avatars imminent disappearance. The film opened on January 4 and soon drew lengthy queues despite one of the coldest winters in years. Box-office takings hit a record 56 million yuan for a single day and IMAX cinemas which show the full 3-D version are booked up for weeks. The film had been due to play until February 28, well past the Chinese new year holiday, which begins on February 14. CLIP
What's really at stake in Google vs. China (January 21, 2010) http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/21/zakaria.google.china/
New York (CNN) -- Google's threat to shut down its operations in China might seem like just a dispute between a private company and a government, but the implications are huge for the world's fastest-growing economy, for the United States and for global relations, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.With the dispute in the background, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the U.S. is committed to freedom of speech online and to freedom from the fear of cyber-attacks. The Google-China dispute surfaced January 12 when the search engine company said it and other companies were the target of cyber-attacks originating in China aimed at gaining access to the e-mail of Chinese advocates for human rights. Google announced that it is no longer willing to comply with China's requirements that it censor the results of searches in that country. The State Department has told China it is concerned about the issue. Zakaria, author and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria: GPS" spoke to CNN Wednesday. (...) CNN: What gives you the feeling that China might be turning inward?Zakaria: It's not just the problems they've had with Google. Over the last few years, there's been the rise in China of what the Chinese call "The new right," a group of people, fairly influential in the establishment, who argue that China should be more aggressive toward the West, more aggressive toward America, that it doesn't need the U.S. as much as it did. There is also the reality that China's economy, as it has grown, is becoming large enough that China doesn't depend as much on the rest of the world for exports. It has accumulated huge surpluses of capital. All of this is producing a China that is more parochial, more inward-looking and potentially more adversarial in its relationships with the West. If you look at the way it handled the Copenhagen summit, it's really quite striking. The Chinese are usually protocol-obsessed. And here they had a situation where Obama wanted to meet with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese leader who was there. Now Obama technically outranks Wen Jiabao because he is a head of state. Wen Jiabao is the premier, the prime minister. Ordinarily that would mean that Wen Jiabao would go to see Obama. The reverse happened and Obama attended the meetings. Chinese officials scolded him. All of this is very unusual.(...) By the way there's a national security component for this for the United States and other countries. Cyber-spying is clearly an effort by the Chinese to move into the information age and adopt a kind of asymmetrical warfare. China is not matching the U.S. military, ship for ship, but if it develops a very sophisticated capability to destroy command and control systems, computer systems, that's a very potent weapon in any kind of conflict, military or otherwise. CLIP
Google may not be evil, but it isnt angelic (21 JAN 2010) http://www.thebruns.ca/content/2010-01/google-may-not-be-evil-it-isn't-angelic
(...) I love Google. I like their products and their philosophy. In Googles corporate philosophy, the first of their core principles is Focus on the user and all else will follow. This people-centred approach to technology has been leading the pack since Google first saw daylight in 1998. All of this information, however, is horrendously out of context without a key piece of information Google is a corporation, a very, very large, very, very rich corporation. Its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are worth $18.5 billion each; their combined net worth would rank 78th of 179 countries if listed as GDP. Google, as a company, has a market capitalization (number of shares multiplied by a single shares worth) of $184 billion as of Monday Jan. 18, 2010. If Google bought an island today and claimed status as a country, they would have the 44th largest nominal GDP in the world.Google is not a social enterprise they are as focused on capital and share prices like any other corporation, perhaps even more so as their market capitalization continues to climb. The people who believe that Google is considering leaving the Chinese market because of issues of human rights and freedom are forgetting this crucial piece of information: Google really likes to make money. Sure, human rights and freedom may be issues in Googles corporate community; maybe those issues were even the driving force behind the idea of leaving China altogether. But, we can be damn sure that if Google thought leaving China would harm the companys income, they would never even consider it.So, is this a bad thing? No, not really, its just normal; to think of Google as a morally exceptional corporation is simply naïve and fallacious. Googles bottom line is its bottom line. Like in any other company, no one at Google is saying, Ok guys, we have enough money, lets eschew capitalism and do really good social stuff for free.Where Google really shines, in my opinion, is in its ability to market itself as a socially beneficial corporation while making obscene quantities of money. The spin Google is putting on the China debacle is truly astounding no one in the West likes Chinas human rights track record or technologically restrictive policies, so Google is performing for an adoring, capitalist crowd. CLIP
Google%20quarterly%20net%20profit%20up%20five-fold%20(Jan%2021,%202010)%20 Google quarterly net profit up five-fold (Jan 21, 2010) http://www.naturalnews.com/027980_synthetic_chemicals_exposure.html
(NaturalNews) A recent biomonitoring study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, has revealed that out of 212 chemicals tested, all 212 were found to be in the blood and urine of most Americans. Six chemicals in particular, found in virtually every person, were identified by the CDC as probable health hazards.Every two years the CDC conducts the chemical study which identifies human exposure to toxic chemicals. This year 75 new chemicals were added to the assay that had never before been studied in the U.S. population. Every chemical tested in the study, including the 75 new ones, was found to be present in most or all of the study participants.The six most widespread chemicals identified, all of which are also highly dangerous, include polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDEs), bisphenol A (BPA), Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), acrylamide, mercury, and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Flame retardant PDEs are chemicals added to all sorts consumer products that are meant to decrease fire risk. They are known to build up in human fat tissue, causing damage to the nervous system, liver and kidneys. Studies also implicate PDEs in causing sexual dysfunction, thyroid problems and brain disorders. Bisphenol A, a chemical that has received much attention recently, is another toxin added primarily to plastic products and can linings that contributes to many of the same problems that PDEs do. More than 90 percent of those tested in the CDC study were found to have BPA in their bodies. Perfluorooctanoic acid, a chemical first developed by 3M and later used by DuPont, is used in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant clothing, certain food packaging and other heat-resistant products. Studies verify that PFOA contributes to infertility and other reproductive problems. Liver and immune system dysfunction are also associated with the use of PFOAs. Acrylamide is a chemical carcinogen that forms when carbohydrate foods are cooked at high temperatures. French fries, fried chicken, and even coffee are all examples of foods that have high acrylamide content. The chemical is also used in plastics, cosmetics and water treatment products. Perpetual exposure to acrylamides is responsible for causing cancer and neurological dysfunction. Most people are aware of the dangers of mercury, another common toxin found in most Americans. Mercury can cause permanent brain damage. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a gasoline additive that is not used today, however it has been detected in water supplies as well as in most Americans' bodies. Second-hand cigarette smoke also releases MTBE which caused neurological and reproductive problems. The report indicates suggestions to help avoid these chemicals and the products that contain them. Cleansing and detoxification regimens are highly effective at continually ridding the body of toxic build-up. Sources for this story include: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/cdc-body-burden-47121501http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/Dirty-Dozen-Foods
Check out the latest list of the most important foods to buy organic, in order to minimize your exposure to toxic pesticides and enjoy safer meals. Not all of us can afford to go 100% organic every time we shop. The solution? Focus on those foods that come with the heaviest burden of pesticides, additives and hormones. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating only the cleanest. If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily. CLIP
How to Purify the Air in Your Home http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/indoor-air-quality-47020101
Use these 25 indoor air quality tips from the American Lung Association to help reduce the risk factors for asthma and other lung illness in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend 90% of their time indoors, but that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution can threaten the health -- and the lives -- of everyone in your family. The single most effective way to keep the air in your home healthy is to keep things out of your home that cause air pollution, including cigarette smoke, excess moisture and chemicals.The second most important strategy is to ventilate to pull dangerous pollutants out of the house. Run the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen. Open your windows. Make sure you have a good exhaust system in place for appliances and stoves. CLIP
From: Birgitta Svahnström (BIRGITTASVAHNSTROM@aland.net)
Subject: The children of Haiti
Date: 20 Jan 2010
Hello dear soul,
I have a query which bothers me so much I simply have to ask your help. I read daily 'The Light Circle Ezine' which i really enjoy as well as some other channelling sites. When it comes to the catastrophes happening on earth such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, they all rant about the sacrifice of the souls who made their transition (died). They are all well met and lovingly taken are of in Nirvana.
Never do they say anything about those that don't die, whose lives have been completely shattered,who have been made invalids and in dire need of all necessities. The unspeakable horror of the small orphaned children left roaming the streets and that have to succumb to whatever comes to them as a result of the catastrophe. My heart breaks when I think of them and their destiny. Is this also a sacrifice by these souls that they have chosen to experience? In that case a far greater one than dying.
Please could you ask Susanne Ward to ask what Matthew has to say on this.
Thank you so much,
AND MY REPLY WAS:
I can certainly understand your sense of horror and despair at the sight of all those newly orphaned souls lost in the middle of this epic tragedy. There are apparently an estimated half a million kids in this situation -- "Before the quake, Haiti had about 380,000 children in orphanages and now the U.S. State Department is estimating there could be tens of thousands more children left without parents"... Incidentally this number pales in comparison to the number of orphaned children in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic that killed millions of adults there, many of them parents. Just to put things back into some perspective... meaning that there is an untold number of other similarly dire situations on an ongoing basis around the world, most of which never reach our awareness because the media have no interest in mentioning these situations. Think about the 30,000 children under the age of 5 who die of malaria, malnutrition and a number of other preventable health problems every year... they die in fact because the rest of the world and the corrupted politicians of their own country let them and their parents linger into utter poverty. Just visit http://cozay.com/ to have a better idea about this equally horrible situation. Here are a couple of telling excerpts:
ABOUT 20% OF AFRICA'S CHILDREN DIE BEFORE THE AGE OF FIVE
"Every day 30,000 children die from a combination of disease-infested water and malnutrition," the report continued. "Water-borne diseases are claiming one child every three seconds. These diseases are the major killers of small children in Africa."
POVERTY IN AFRICA: FACTS - HUNGER AND HIV/AIDS IN AFRICA
"As a consequence of the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa," one report stated, "it is estimated that more than 18 million people have died to date, of which over 3 million were children. Additionally, more than 25 million adults are currently infected which will result in the continued increase in the number of orphaned children. To date, more than 15 million children have already been orphaned as a result of the epidemic. Another 1 million children are currently infected with the disease.
More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day, 300 million are children. Of these 300 million children, only eight percent are victims of famine or other emergency situations. More than 90 percent are suffering long-term malnourishment and micronutrient deficiency.
Action for Global Health - fact Sheet #4
Every year almost 11 million children 30,000 a day die before they are five years old. The majority of these deaths could easily be prevented if developing countries had well-functioning health systems.
The level of suffering - in Haiti and elsewhere - is indeed extreme and unfortunately I'm afraid more is to come... because of a number of factors : increasing poverty, more climate change-triggered weather extremes leading to diminished food supply and thus more hunger, increasing lack of clean water and thus more water-borne diseases, more conflicts over diminishing resources, etc. Our planetary life support system is weakening and until human and all natural life's needs are put ahead of the profits of the power-hungry men of this world, that's what will continue.
As to your query, I sincerely doubt all those souls have chosen to be exposed to such a difficult situation when they came here - although some certainly did for various karmic reasons.
I know that Suzy wrote that Matthew will address this terrible tragedy in his next message. I don't intend to convey your request to her as I know she is already completely overwhelmed with the number of emails she receives and I trust that Matthew will touch on this matter as he did in the past.
I don't mean to increase your level of distress through reminding you of the global picture as I did above. It is unlikely any of the deeply rooted causes of human suffering will go away until we address them properly and persist in working towards implementing sensible, balanced solutions with a holistic and spiritual perspective in mind. There is a good reason why we are increasingly being faced with the consequences of the causes that led to many of these human tragedies. That's simply the effect of universal karmic laws working to bring back balance.
On the other hand, as is always the case with any such crises, they constitute excellent opportunities to put into practise the basic human and spiritual quality of compassion, which is simply love in action. The more we apply ourselves to be compassionate, the more others will pick on this innate quality of all souls and have an easier time to likewise apply it in their lives and around themselves. Conversely, the more we isolate ourselves in our own bubble of complacency and obliviousness to the circumstances of our kin souls and other life forms around us, the more those circumstances will bear on us to break our bubble and get us moving again into the flow of universal compassion, selfless service and true unconditional Love.
As is indicated in the title of my next compilation where your email and this reply will be featured, all together we CAN make a difference... no situation is so desperate and no challenge is so overwhelming that there is nothing that can be done about them. If we empower ourselves and each other with the deeply held conviction that co-creating a much better world based on love, peace and harmony for all is within our reach and just a matter of each of us doing our part towards this goal, then inevitably the momentum of our shared belief will soon enough overcome and dissipate all obstacles and a New Light will dawn in everyone's heart and soul, and the world will be made anew.
It is all a matter of what you choose to believe in and where you want to focus your attention on.
And I'd say in conclusion we continuously have to remind ourselves of this choice, once it is firmly and solemnly made in the deepest recess of our soul, and stick with it no matter what, trusting in every single moment that, in willful alignment with the Omniversal Force that lives in each one of us, we are being guided, step by step, to our ultimate victory over the illusions of this physical realm of experience and to our emergence back into the all-pervading sense of Oneness with All That Is, which is the ONLY tangible Reality that matters.
And THAT is our saving grace.
NOTE: I highly recommend listening to Joanna Macy's speech that Al recommended above.
Agricultural Apocalypse 2010 http://imva.info/index.php/2010/01/agricultural-apocalypse-2010/
When a large segment of the population is facing a drastic cut in income in the face of escalating food prices we have a catastrophic problem in the making. Today we have the simultaneous events of income deflation and food inflation; two high-speed express trains coming down that tracks at each other, a financial crisis colliding with staggering crop losses, which are cutting deeply into available planetary food reserves. Prices of food are beginning to sore again just as millions are losing the ability to afford a reasonable diet though little of this is being observed or reported but soon even the blind will see. From corn to crude, prices for a wide range of commodities are on the rise across the globe. In recent months, global food prices have been growing at a rate that rivals some of the wildest months of 2008, when food riots erupted across the developing world. - January 9th Wall Street Journal
(...) Very few people in the US have given any serious consideration to the question of food security. This essay should convince people that its time to start. For the most part, were not aware of the problem but if we look hard at the hidden news we see that the handwriting is on the wall for an unimaginable crisis that will come on us as early as this year.More than 2.1 million hectares of grain have been destroyed by drought in 2009 in Russia, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said. A total of 616,000 hectares have been destroyed in the region, or 70% of the total amount planted. The world is blissful unaware that the greatest economic, financial and political crisis ever is a few months away. It takes only the tiniest bit of research to realize something is going critically wrong in agricultural market. All someone needs to do to know the world is headed is for food crisis is to stop reading USDAs crop reports predicting a record soybean and corn harvests and listen to what else the USDA saying.Specifically, the USDA has declared half the counties in the Midwest to be primary disaster areas, including 274 counties in the last 30 days alone. These designations are based on the criteria of a minimum of 30 percent loss in the value of at least one crop in the county, continues de Carbonnel.
(...) With a suddenness that will take us all by surprise,the era of cheap and abundant food will draw to a close.We will begin to learn the real meaning of the word scarcity and it will be a long hard lesson for humanity.I am afraid that rocketing food prices and hundreds of millions more starving people will be part of humanitys grim future. The number of hungry people already passed 1 billion in 2009 for the first time, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said, adding that it is facing a serious budget shortfall. To date the WFP has confirmed $2.6 billion in funding for its 2009 budget of $6.7 billion. "This comes at a time of great vulnerability for the hungry," the WFP said in a statement. "Millions have been buffeted by the global financial down turn, their ability to buy food is limited by stubbornly high prices. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns are causing more weather-related hunger," the WFP said. According to Lester Brown, The number of hungry people, which was declining for several decades, bottomed out in the mid-1990s at 825 million. In 2009 it jumped to over one billion. With world food prices projected to continue rising, so too will the number of hungry people. We know from studying earlier civilisations such as the Sumerians, Mayans, and many others, that more often than not it was food shortages that led to their demise. It now appears that food may be the weak link in our early twenty-first century civilisation as well. The news of continued global cooling is combining with drought conditions, water shortages, credit problems, reductions in fertilizer purchases and the use of food for energy to threaten us with dramatic food shortages. CLIP
PS Note from Jean: Here is what I wrote to the subscriber who recommended this article above to my attention:
"In the next 3 years the wheat will be separated from the chaff. Those who will not think of themselves first but will strive to help others amidst the growing calamities are those who will have the best chance to make the vibrational cut into higher dimensional ground past 2012.
It will sure be a most extraordinary global learning experience for every soul. The pangs of birth into the promised Land of a planetary Golden Age are the only way to expurgate from this world the dross of crude selfishness, willful ignorance of our Oneness and all dogmatic falsities that keep souls entrapped into a delusionary sense of being apart from everything else.
We will learn to L-O-V-E or die to be reborn elsewhere, some other time, for further incremental evolutionary adjustments to What is Reality."
Now this STEC concept is sounding pretty exciting with what I've read below and your previous email/s!
I read with great interest an email from Al who stated 'but where we seem to have the most difficulty with anything is in the practical applications of what we can do in our day to day lives'. I'm really excited to read this b/c I seem to have been placed in a position by the Universe over the last 2 years of 'transitioning' our Household away from Old Grid Practises and into New Grid Practises..... and when its done slowly, without fuss, and keeping everything simple its actually really, really simple and effortless! I'm willing to share my 'domestic' experiences with others (because I believe this is where it needs to start - in the Home) who are also keen to 'transition' and teach them what I have learnt (remembering!!). Here in Warburton where I live, I feel that there will be a surge of people who are searching for the same thing as Al. I feel that I am ready to start sharing the 'how to' with others. The best bit for me is that we Inspire each other when in this form of synergy energy exchange, working from a Soul level, and that's where I experience the Magic of it all! I am and always will be a Student (learning, learning and learning!) however I feel at times I will also be a Teacher to others. Perhaps if there are people who wish to link up in a region in which their Village is found and have some 'workshops' learning about adapting day to day living practises, I'd be keen to support this.
Keep the wonderful emails coming Jean! You are doing a wonderful job! Thank you!
Real Living - The Holistic Way
Landline: (03) 5966 9190
"Creatively use & respond to change" - Permaculture Principle
"There is a difference between responsibility and accountability: responsibility is the obligation to act; accountability is the obligation to answer for an action."
UPON RECEIVING A COPY OF KATE'S EMAIL ABOVE, AL MAGNIFICENTLY REPLIED WITH THIS STIRRING SOUL-OPENING LETTER:
From: "Al Farthing" (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: UPDATE #1 on the 'Save the Earth Convention' proposal
Date: 18 Jan 2010
Dear Kate (and All)
I appreciate what you wrote about practical ideas--- but after I wrote this it seemed to me that I put the cart ahead of the horse!
Practical suggestions are deeply important and needed, but the fact is we are overflowing right now with such, and they are still being poorly chosen and implemented by both governments and citizens.
But that part of the equation is still the cart...
I think you put your finger on the pulse of what the horse is, and that would be signified by your chosen words synergy, soul-level, magic and inspiration.
If this quality does not exist in the consciousness and hearts of humans, there is little motivation to be careful with our planet except for perhaps the monetary savings that people are attracted to!
Jean often refers to "remembering who we are" as critical ---- citizens , caretakers and lovers of a planet which is a living part of a living universe , without boundaries and exquisite beyond imagination. (And other images of equal power.)
Now to me -- this is the "horse", and how to reach the tenderness in the hearts and souls of our beloved brothers and sisters is the principle challenge and need in making a heaven of our now fractious earth.
A powerful voice on the current scene is the movie Avatar, created and directed by James Cameron.
For me the most powerful aspect of this artwork is the powerful mythic themes throughout --- the late Joseph Campbell would surely be bouncing with enthusiasm over this!
And the most powerful of all the many mythical themes is that which portrays in dramatic fashion the erotic-electric-ecstatic connection that throbs in the unity between the plants, the trees, the Na'vi, the humans, the strange and powerful animals ---and how interwoven and critical that is for the whole chain of being.
Historically speaking there is nothing new about this insight -- the timeless myths and poems of every civilization known are filled with the same message.
"Do this and thrive --- if you do not do this there will be enormous suffering and despair throughout creation" -- that is the stern warning of most mythology.
I just finished the marvellous little book by Don Miguel Ruiz and his son Don Jose Ruiz, "The Fifth Agreement."
He makes the astonishing affirmation that what we think of as reality is really a dream -- and that what we as humans are constantly doing is "dreaming into being that which we think is real." He goes on to call this a work of artistry, and that our artwork is an act of continual creativity.
Thought of in this way, it is not only the work of the myth-creators of history, such as James Cameron and his team of artists --- it is true of each one of us.
We are dreaming the lives we live -- the Earth - the heavens -- the families and communities we live in -- and as on Pandora, it is all one seamless united whole, filled with the magic, synergy and soul of which Kate speaks .
How are we to go about Caring for Our Home -- the Earth?
I think the details of that are to be found in our artistry, our personal and collective dreams.
So we must do our best to make of them a heaven on Earth and not a living nightmare which it often seems to resemble now...
And we must fashion them from our deepest places, but especially our hearts.
Blessings to all,
NOTE from Jean: Curious to find out more about the Fifth Agreement book Al is referring to above, I googled it and found the following from the author's blog at http://www.thefifthagreement.com/index.php/blog to be mightily enlightening:
The Fifth Agreement with Miguel Ruiz
Written by Peter Roth
Peter Roth interviews Miguel Ruiz, the son of Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love. Miguel talks about the impact of this work and the ongoing writing and teaching he and his family are doing. He also gives us a peek at the Fifth Agreement which will be the subject of a new book.
Listen to the interview
Last Updated (Friday, 04 December 2009)
The Fifth Agreement
Written by Ray Dodd & Susan Marshall
Think back to the last argument you had. Was getting your point across, being listened to, or coming to a clear understanding more challenging than it had to be? There is a solution. It begins with an awareness of how we (yes, that means you too) innocently muddle the most ordinary communication - listening, talking, and writing.
Heres what often happens: If you listen closely to the things you say everyday to yourself and others Im willing to bet you will discover a few distinct stories. Your stories. The human mind makes up stories in an attempt to explain and understand what is going on in each moment. These stories are neither good, bad, right, nor wrong. These stories do however make up what you perceive as reality.
Your reality is often not about what is actually happening but instead what you have decided it means. Closely examine the stories you tell about yourself, and everyone else, and you just might discover a few things (perhaps many things) that are simply not true.
The next time you get upset a good question to ask yourself is this: Is what Im saying true? Is it REALLY TRUE?
My mentor, don Miguel Ruiz, had a saying he repeated over and over.
Dont believe yourself, and dont believe anyone else.
This very powerful advice - a corollary to his famous Four Agreements. A Fifth Agreement if you will.
Dont believe yourself
Don Miguels term for the unconscious seemingly unstoppable chatter of the mind was Mitote. Its a common term in Spanish with its roots in the word myth. Your Mitote, the chatter of the mind, is your personal myth - a myth repeated in your mind comprised of all your experiences, opinions, beliefs and agreements about everything that has ever happened to you or around you.
I often suggest to people that they take the time to notice: What stories does my myth contain and how does that make me feel? Do you notice a theme to your myth? Worry? Anxiety? Suspicion? Anger? Frustration? Judgment? If getting swept up in your own personal myth is keeping you stuck or like pushing a button labeled pain perhaps it is wise not to believe everything you tell yourself.
and dont believe anyone else.
This bit of advice, dont believe anyone else, was his way of saying that the person we are listening to has modified their own reality through their filter of beliefs and agreements. Miguel would admit to having his own story about what he perceived. Its my story, and I have a right to my story, hed say. He was joking and serious at the same time. He knew that every story even his own - was inaccurate, filled with distortion, bias and assumptions. His advice, dont believe anyone else (which included himself), was his way of saying, Never accept what you hear as completely true.
Other peoples opinions are like seeds. Heard often enough you begin to believe it. But everyone perceives through a filter, a lens of all their beliefs and agreements. Every word others say is in someway modified by their personal myth. Like all myths, much of it is simply not true. We dont see the world as it is we see the world as we are.
So, apply this to the last argument you had. They said something to you about what you said, distorting it based on their beliefs and agreements. You heard what they said about what you said and filtered it through your personal reality distorting their distortion of you. Whew! All within a couple of seconds. Are you beginning to get the picture?
If you want in BETTER communication with your co-workers, spouse, family or children, you can start today by noticing how the most mundane exchanges of communication are distorted by everyone we deal with (and by ourselves) based on the invisible structure of what we believe. Don Miguels Fifth Agreement, Dont believe yourself, and dont believe anyone else, is excellent advice for seeing the world with new eyes and fostering the possibility of clear, peaceful, and positive communication.
The Fifth Agreement
Written by Gypsy Ladee
I'm on a number of mailing lists related to Toltec and recently received one entitled, Don Miguel's Fifth Agreement. I did a bit of research and found this interview in which he states:
What I am giving you right now is the first half of the Toltec Mastery of Transformation, which is the destruction of an old dream or belief system.
The Fifth Agreement is being quoted as, Don't believe me, don't believe yourself, don't believe anyone else, and is really a combination of three rules he gave his students. Ruiz says, Open your ears and your mind, listen and make choices. If you follow these three simple rules, you can go anywhere in the world and still protect your new dream of love and heaven in your mind. You have to be aware of what it is that you believe. You have to listen to that voice and make choices.
One of the basic premises of Toltec, as it was originally taught to me, is that the entire purpose of the Toltec knowledge is to learn to eliminate belief systems, including itself. That was a tough one for me to wrap my brain around for a long time. But, essentially it came down to this: We are inundated from the moment we draw a breath (and some would say before that) to conform to a world of belief systems. Think about it when we cry, we get attention (or don't, for some of us), there is(n't) a god, the world is round (but only until about 600 years ago when that concept was challenged) and it goes on and on and on.
The only way to achieve Personal Freedom is to get beyond beliefs and their systems that tie us to the Consensual Reality, and have personal experiences that teach us what we KNOW.
This topic, in other forums, has led to some of the most stimulating (and sometimes frightening) conversations. While contemplating your contribution here, I'd like us to remember a couple of things: Don't assume, don't take it personally and don't use someone else's words to describe your experience.
Please share with us your personal knowledge (not your belief)
What did it take for you to realize that much of what you know a is simply an implanted belief? How much do you think you know about your world? about yourself? www.Gaia.com
NOTE from Jean: This below is a most interesting and timely movement which deserves our full support. I've been aware for over 25 years of the ongoing efforts to draft an Earth Constitution (full text HERE) and I'm happy to see that an Earth Federation movement now exists to support this brilliant idea. Only such a grass-root endeavor, not under the control of any nation nor any shadow group, can ultimately lead us toward a unified planet that will be freed from the scourge of narrow national self-interest, occult scheming and widespread corruption that has so far prevented from reaching fruition the noble efforts of those who have first envisioned the United Nations Organization as the medium through which humanity could co-create a peaceful, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world. Its various agencies have indeed done much good, but the UN itself, although essential for a while, was just a stepping-stone towards a higher degree of harmonization, integration and constructive, mutually beneficial collaboration between all human beings. Something new is ready to emerge and we are the ones who can assist its birthing process. Please take a couple minutes to explore their site and see if you feel you can be of any assistance.
Check also the coalition of groups supporting this vision at http://www.cdwg.org/home.htm -- if you read through the descriptions of the many groups listed there, you'll see the great diversity of approaches that have been taken over the last 60+ years to strive to conceptualize, define, formalize and promote the vision of an unifying Earth Constitution designed to address the many ills of this world. "The Constitution for the Federation of Earth was drafted by many world citizens and international lawyers over a period of 33 years from 1958-1991. It has been created through the work of thousands of world citizens in three Constituent Assemblies and to date has held seven Provisional World Parliaments. All faculty and trustees of the Institute have personally ratified the Earth Constitution."
There is a constellation of groups and individuals who are actively involved in that field of human endeavor and yet the public rarely, if ever, hear about them and their hope-stirring, global citizen-empowering vision of a people-centered, decentralized global system of democratic governance that would gradually replace the nation states and the giant transnational corporations as the main forum where the life-defining decisions affecting the entire human race will be taken. It is likely that the new path of global, decentralized self-governance advocated by those who support the Earth Constitution will grow around the world, alongside the existing nation-centered and corporate profit-oriented system, gaining legitimacy and ever more credibility until a new world consensus emerges to politically retool our planet so we may be able to face the challenges of a fast changing world and fast awakening humanity, within the greater context of the galaxy-spanning civilizationone among many, may othersthat will one day emerge from the fertile ground of this magnificent jewel of Life called Earth.
From: Roger Kotila (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 16 Jan 2010
Subject: Earth Federation Movement
Dear Jean Hudon,
I find the information that you select to share with activists like myself very helpful and extremely relevant. I also very much respect and appreciate that you also include analyses regarding the "deep politics" of the corrupt system which we are trying to fix.
The Earth Federation Movement (see http://www.earthfederation.info) has as its goal to develop a new world body parallel to and independent from, the United Nations. We feel the UN is undemocratic and part of a global war system. Although some UN agencies are beneficial to the public and need to be preserved, the obsolete UN Charter itself guarantees that the UN cannot control the "new world order" (shadow world government) nor save the world.
The Earth Constitution, drafted over a period of 30 years by visionaries from the World Constitution and Parliament Association, is designed to return democracy to "we, the people" and could be the key to an emerging worldwide peace, environmental, and human rights movement.
Activists such as myself have started to realize that we need more than worldwide networking, we need a worldwide movement with real authority -- and we need "something bigger" than multinational corporations, international investment bankers, and corrupted nation-states. That's where the authority of the Earth Constitution enters the picture.
That "something bigger" leads to the strategy of an emerging Earth Federation under the Earth Constitution -- a gift to humanity from true visionaries who many years ago anticipated the crises we now face.
Thanks again for your important work and dedication on behalf of mother earth and the world public interest.
West Coast Coordinator
Note from Jean: I was mentioning the influence of a shadow group above. The following will shed some much needed light on this topic. It has been compiled in 1997 by George Porter (email@example.com) from new Zealand, as well as the other item below (AN ETHICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS FOR HUMAN CONDUCT) providing a great wealth of excellent ideas that, if implemented one day, would definitely set us on a path towards a much better future. Here is an introduction from http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/ :
A PLANET IN PERIL - LAST CHANCE - ONE WORLD - ONE PEOPLE
- A selection of writings on the global crisis - How to move quickly towards a just, sustainable and democratic global society, living in harmony with the natural world.
A unique collection of authoritative writings about the growing global crisis and how best to deal with it. Compiled by George Porter on behalf of the Pacific Institute of Resource Management Inc. (PIRM) PIRM is a New Zealand based NGO working on issues of global concern impacting on human development, environmental sustainability, and the future of humankind and the natural world.It adopts an holistic approach that recognises the interdependence of all life, and the need for ethical principles to guide human conduct. This Website is about people and the planet - our common future. It's about our own failure as a race to live together in peace and harmony, and to share the once bountiful natural world we inhabit with other living creatures. It's about the positive changes we need to make if we are to move to a path of universal justice, social democracy, sustainability and human fulfilment. The site seeks to reveal and record the truth about what is occurring around us - failure of human stewardship of the planet; the marginalisation of an increasing number of the world's people; the growing power of the rich and powerful, who are exerting a growing influence on the world economy by directing wealth into their own hands. And above all, the catastrophic effects of the assault on the natural world and its resources upon which all life depends. The intent of this website is to bring together the major issues of common global concern and advanced thinking on them; As such, this site is best read from top to bottom like an ordinary book. It is also designed as a reference source for information on the state of the world and ways and means for effective action. This web site identifies the vital need amongst civil society for : - Consensus - Combined Action - Coordination - Commitment. This site brings together the thinking of leading writers and analysts on the major issues of concern. Together they represent an overview of the developing world situation which records NGO consensus, so crucial to joint civil action.
A small number of extremely wealthy people, descendants of wealthy families in Europe and the U.S, own a major part of the material wealth of the world. This power is concentrated in London which is the centre of the world banking system. The control they exercise is kept within the original families and passed down from generation to generation. They are highly organised, operating in secret through a web of 'private' organisations.
This group is known as the Global Elite.
Their wealth is accumulating on a compound basis. They determine the course of history, through virtual control of the world economy.
They are working to a 'grand plan' which is now well-advanced.
The common reaction of people when first hearing of the global elite and their operations is one of disbelief and a refusal to give the claim credibility as it appears so outrageous. But during the last few years there has been an increasing volume of books, articles and essays, all with the same story. All are based on well-documented research. The information revealed is consistent with the events of recent history, leaving no room for doubt. It is the "New World Order" taking shape - the Global Elite strategy.
For our purposes. the concentration of control over financial resources started with the Industrial Revolution. The 18th century saw the emergence and rapid rise of the House of Rothschild - the largest and most powerful financial empire - built on money embezzled by Mayer Amschel Bauer (later Rothschild) from William IV, who had stolen it from the soldiers he had hired out to the British government to fight Napoleon's armies. Rothschild sent the money to England, bought vast quantities of gold from the East Indian Company, used this to finance the Duke of Wellington's exploits and, working through the Brotherhood network, manipulated governments and created wars and revolutions. He lent money to both sides of the conflicts in what became a standard practice of the banking elite. Rothschild's influence can hardly be overstated, for it was the precursor of today's vast transnational corporations and banking empires which have extended their control to the four corners of Earth in the long-term agenda of the Brotherhood. As Historian John Reeves puts it:
Little could Mayer Amschel have anticipated that his sons would in after years come to exercise such an unbounded sway that the peace of nations would depend upon their nod; that the powerful control they exercised on the European money markets would enable them to pose as the arbiters of peace and war, since they could at their pleasure withhold or furnish the percuniary [sic] means required to carry on a campaign.
But this, incredible as it may seem, was what their vast influence, combined with their enormous wealth and unlimited credit, enabled them to do, for no firms existed strong enough to oppose them for any length of time, or rash enough to take up a business which the Rothschilds had refused. To reach this exulted position, Mayer Amschel and his sons required the cooperation of the states, but, when once he had climbed over their banks and reached the height of his ambition, he was independent of all aid and could act with the greatest freedom, whilst the states remained in a suppliant attitude at his feet.
The Rothschild approach was reportedly summed up by Mayer Amschel himself: "Give me control of a nation's currency and I care not who makes the laws." When Rothschild's son Nathan died, his eldest son, Lionel, took over, making massive loans to the British and American governments and others, including some $80 million to Britain to finance the Crimea War. Lionel was succeeded by the second Nathan, the first Lord Rothschild, who took his seat in the House of Lords in 1885. He became the governor of the Bank of England (the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street) with unlimited power over the world's financial system. That power has not diminished - far from it - it has simply expanded with new empires like that of Morgan and Rockefeller, so that in the closing decade of this century the power and the control of the world's financial system behind its many 'fronts' is completely in the hands of the Global Elite and is enormous.
But to return to the start of the Industrial Revolution. At its beginning, the ruling powers in Great Britain embarked on one of the most sustained efforts to destroy community life ever undertaken. From 1770 to 1830 some 3,280 enclosure bills were passed putting into private hands for private gain more than six million acres of commonly-held lands. By 1830 not a single country had more than three percent of its land open to public use. According to historian George Sturt:
To the enclosure of the commons more than to any other cause, may be traced all the changes which have subsequently passed over the village. It was like knocking the keystone out of an arch.
This control of finite resources, and with it the diminution of democracy, was well advanced by 1901 when Morgan and Rockefeller, who headed the two main financial groups in America, amalgamated 112 corporate directorates, combining $22.2 billion in assets - a massive sum in those days. In 1910 eight financiers, including the host, met in absolute secrecy at the private hunting club of J.P Morgan - the Jekyll Island Club off the coast of Georgia - "to shoot ducks". News of this meeting did not leak for six years, but from then on snippets of information were made public. For example, on 18 January 1920, The New York Times made a most revealing statement about the Federal Reserve System, the basic plan for which those secretive bankers had proceeded to draft back in 1910: "The Federal Reserve is the fount of credit, not of capital." This meant that Reserve notes, instead of being backed by precious metal or other suitable commodity which would provide capital funds for the betterment of industry and commerce, are backed by paper loaned at interest.
On 25 July 1921, Senator Owen stated in the same paper: "The Federal Reserve Board is the most gigantic financial power in the world. Instead of using this great power as the Federal Reserve Act intended that it should, the board ....delegated this power to the banks,...." In 1931 on 3 May, when commenting on the death of one of J.P Morgan's closest associates, The New York Times remarked: "One-sixth of the total wealth of the world was represented by members of the Jekyll Island Club." This reference was to just those men who were part of Morgan's group and members of his Club. It excluded the Rockefeller group and the European financiers. Among those "duck shooters" present back in November 1910 were Benjamin Strong, head of J.P Morgan's Bankers Trust Company and from 1914 till his death in 1928 Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank, and Paul Warburg, who not knowing one end of a gun from the other had carried a borrowed shotgun onto the train that night at Hoboken, New Jersey. Warburg, who had exceptionally powerful banking connections in New York, England, France, Germany and the Netherlands, was the real power behind the Federal Reserve throne. His brother Max was head of the German Secret Service during World War I.
J.P Morgan and his "duck shooters" proceeded to draft the basic plan for the Federal Reserve System with five objectives:
- Stop the growing competition from the nation's newer banks.
- Obtain a franchise to create money out of nothing, for the purpose of lending.
- Get control of the reserves of all the banks.
- Get the taxpayer to pick up the cartel's inevitable losses.
- Convince Congress that the purpose of the FRS was to protect the public.
It succeeded brilliantly. As Anthony Sutton remarks about one of the more blatant scams in history: "The Federal Reserve System is a legal private monopoly of the money supply operated for the benefit of the few under the guise of protecting and promoting the public interest."
Space does not permit any exploration of the secret machinations and malfeasance, including the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, organised by Montague Norman, Governor of the Bank of England from 1916 to 1944, and Benjamin Strong, with a little help from their friends. Nor is there room to examine the wider implications of the actions of these Robber Barons and their support for Germany in the First World War (Nurse Edith Cavell was shot by the Germans upon the insistence of the British authorities for her "inconvenient" exposure that "Belgian Relief" supplies were being shipped to Germany to feed its army), and for Hitler's subsequent rise to power.
Prior to assuming real power, Montague Norman had had a nervous breakdown in 1912 and, as was fashionable, had gone to Switzerland to be treated by Jung.
When people of this class are stricken by guilt feelings while plotting world wars and economic depressions which will bring misery, suffering and death to millions of the world's inhabitants; they sometimes have qualms. These qualms are jeered at by their peers as "a failure of nerve". After a bout with their psychiatrists, they return to their work with renewed gusto, with no further digression of pity for "the little people" who are to be their victims.
It should be noted, according to Eustace Mullins, that the same all-powerful names, the same closed shop responsible for the foundation of the Federal Reserve System, still manage the world's closely interlinked finances, "with profits for themselves but with disastrous results for everyone else".
Next we jump to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, 1944, and the first United Nations International Monetary Conference. It hammered out the final agreement for the post-war New World Order under which in due course there would be a further massive shift in power out of the hands of nation states and democratic governments and into the hands of banks and transnational corporations. William Pitt, more than two centuries ago, summarised what has taken place: "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" - a dictum which is more generally known from Lord Acton's statement of 1887; "power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The Bretton Woods conference also structured Anglo-American hegemony over world oil supplies and led to the creation of the all-powerful International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) which, under the control of the US Federal Reserve System, since then, deliberately and ruthlessly, have put most of the so-called Third World into extreme debt. It has been said that the WB and IMF "have arguably done more harm to more people than any other non-military institutions in history." As Jesse Jackson put it in 1993: "They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the World Bank and the IMF." Between 1982 and 1990, debtor countries paid back more than $1,300 billion but began the nineties 61 percent more in debt than they were in 1992. Sub-Saharan African debt alone increased by 113 percent." In 1993, for every one pound given in aid, rich nations took back 3 pounds in debt payments. Nigerian writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, roundly condemned the World Bank's position:
The World Bank has to accept that its real instrument of torture is its insistence on growth, its economic theorising at the expense of human welfare...
The sooner debtor nations realise the political nature of the World Bank, the sooner they will be able to face the bogus economic theories of the Bank with an equivalent weapon -people's power.
Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists were hanged on 10 November 1995 by Nigeria's dictator, General Abacha. In case the message is not clear, the 1988 registration of former senior IMF economist Davison Budhoo, should leave no doubt. Budhoo resigned in disgust, hoping, he said, to "wash my hands of the blood of millions of poor and starving people."
The IMF was never designed to help the Third World or end poverty. It was established by the Bretton Woods conference of 1944 to restore economic and financial order to the Western world. There was no element of compassion for humanity in its formulation. The Fund's aim is first and foremost to assure the interests of developed countries. We make or break human life every day of every year as probably no other force has ever done in the past or will ever do again.
Coupled with these two exceptionally powerful organisations are the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), formulated shortly after the WB and IMF, and finally signed in 1993, and the new World Trade Organisation (WTO) of 1995. This quadruplet is now able to enforce throughout the world the doctrine of corporate libertarianism - a transnational corporate bill of rights - and God help any country that gets in the way.
The Secret Agenda
David Icke's book "...and the Truth Shall Set You Free" lists a summary of the basic themes of the Elite's plan following World War II:
- To introduce a world authority called the United Nations (with associated bodies like the World Health Organisation), which could evolve into a world government with powers to control the lives of everyone on the planet.
- To continue to cause conflicts across the world and to use the fear of the Soviet Union to massively increase spending on nuclear weapons and 'conventional' weapons, thus adding to the terror of nuclear war and demands for global security. To set up an American-European defence alliance (which was called the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)) and a United Nations 'peace'keeping force, which, through the engineering of conflicts, would eventually be fused together to form the world army.
- To create three 'free trade' regions in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, which would be sold to people initially as merely economic groupings. Gradually, however, these would be evolved into a centralised political unions, with one central bank and one currency. These would be stepping-stones to the introduction of the same institutions on a global scale. The European Economic Community, now the European Union, was the first of these, but the other two are now underway also.
- To advance the control of public opinion and to research and expand the understanding of how to manipulate the human psyche, individually and collectively. Today this agenda includes the microchipping of people and their permanent connection to a global computer.
- To create a welfare state while destroying alternatives to the economic system and, when the desired dependency had been achieved, to dismantle that state welfare support, so creating a vast underclass without help or hope.
- To make fantastic amounts of money in the course of realising all these ambitions via the Elite-controlled companies and banks.
- To continually add to the debt burden of people, business, and state, thus increasing the control exerted over them.
The approach which was followed to hoodwink public thinking was painfully predictable, but highly effective: Discredit the nation state. This was laid out during the War by the German economist and refugee, Hans Heymann, who produced his Plan for Permanent Peace using funds given by... the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
To continue, now read...
THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/fr_paul.htm
(...) The US Federal Reserve system has facilitated control over the world economy by an 'Elite'. In the process, through causing inflation and the oversupply of money, there has been, and will continue to be, a massive transfer of 'wealth' to those who are already rich at the expense of the rest of society. The gap between the excessively wealthy and the poor is escalating and will continue to do so while the current economic 'system' continues. The world economy is, accordingly, unstable and at risk.
MECHANISMS OF CORPORATE RULE http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/mechcorp.htm
(...) Citizens Manifesto -- In order to build social movements in the North and South who are committed to the task of taking democratic control over TNCs in this new age of corporate tyranny, a common platform and agenda needs to be developed. This could take the form of a common manifest for citizens of the world which would include:a declaration of the fundamental rights of people to determine their own economic, social, and ecological future;the sovereign rights of peoples over that of transnational corporations and banks;the demand that TNCs meet certain basic economic, social, and environmental conditions;the insistence that governments develop and enact new regulatory measures for exercising democratic control over TNCs; and the responsibility of social movements to take whatever forms of action are needed to see that people's basic rights are upheld and that democratic control over the operations of TNCs is maintained. The core of this citizen's manifesto would be the spirit and practice of popular sovereignty. Its prime purpose would be to provide social movements, both in the North and South, with a common platform for action in dismantling the corporate state and challenging the operations of transnational enterprises at local, national, regional, and international levels. CLIP
While the US establishment is pushing for reduction of welfare for the poor and for developing countries to cut government subsidies, the US government is giving hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies and tax breaks to its companies and individuals. CLIP
LIBERALISATION AND GLOBALISATION: The Great Deception http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/g77.htm
(...) The most recent report from the Centre "Liberalisation and Globalisation - the Issues at Stake for the South and for UNCTAD" reveals in considerable detail the fallacies embodied in conventional wisdom regarding the benefits of economic liberalisation and globalisation. The truth is that the growth rates predicted from economic liberalisation are not being attained. Rather, increased social, environmental and cultural degeneration is the outcome. Were these factors included in economic analysis, the world balance sheet would show substantial and unsustainable deficits. The 60 page report contains detailed information of this great deception. The World Bank, representing the interests of the owners of international capital, is the main protagonist of globalisation and neo-liberal economics centred on free trade, a minimal role for the state and removal of restraints on direct foreign investment flows. CLIP
GLOBAL INTERDEPENDENCE - by David C. Korten http://www.converge.org.nz/pirm/global.htm
Modern communications technologies have created awareness nearly everywhere that all people share one fragile planetary ecosystem and are suffering in similar ways from the failure of the mega-institutions. This awareness, along with the ability for instantaneous communication through phone, fax and computer, has created a foundation for co-operation and solidarity among the world's people wholly without precedent in human history. A sense that the well-being of each increasingly depends on the well-being of all is beginning to take hold as the foundation of grassroots alliances aimed at strengthening local control and the rights and well-being of ordinary citizens everywhere. The emergent social forces find expression in local initiatives aimed at regenerating local economies, ecosystems and communities. As people reclaim responsibility, they are also reclaiming their sovereignty, reasserting their basic rights over local resources, challenging the abuses of absentee corporations, and telling non-performing governments to reduce their tax burden. They are also beginning to reach out in search of new alliances, both nationally and internationally, with those engaged in similar self-help initiatives. These countless initiatives and the co-operative networks that are melding them into a growing political force are the building blocks of a process of globalization-from-below that may well result in a bottom-up reconstruction of our dominant political and economic institutions. As this process unfolds, it will become increasingly clear that the mega institutions that have broken free from their own roots cannot long survive. Floating in space they can only consume themselves while the people they have abandoned work to fill the gap left in the social ecology with new institutions rooted in place and community.
The Secret Government: Part 1 of 8 (3 Sept 09) A Bill Moyers documentary EXCELLENT COMPLEMENT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qdg9j2MPh4
If you take time to watch this engaging documentary and further explore some of the vast amount of reliable, verifiable information, you will very likely come to the conclusion that there is a powerful shadow or secret government which manipulates global politics behind the scenes. Government bureaucracies are known for their inefficiency, yet it is their very well-organized and hierarchical military and intelligence services through which those involved with the secret government are able to implement their secret plans. Although it was originally broadcasted in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government. Recommended by Carol Lynn Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "As relevant today as then, in case someone thinks the public was offered these facts just in the past few years!" -- For a bit more on this topic, check Grievance 2 - Secret Government
AN ETHICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS FOR HUMAN CONDUCT
By George Porter
1. GENERAL STATEMENT: Historical perspective - past, present and future
2. A CONCEPTUAL BASIS FOR POLICY AND ACTION
3. VALUES AND PRINCIPLES: To guide actions and relationships and provide a basis for judgements.
4. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: To determine human performance in meeting individual and collective responsibilities towards one another and our common habitat
5. A COMMON VISION: Perceptions of a good society
1. GENERAL STATEMENT - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
A growing gap between rich and poor combined with accelerating environmental and social disintegration offers powerful testimony to the failure of conventional development practice in countries of both South and North. This failure has given birth to global effort to build commitment to an alternative citizens' vision of human progress grounded in commitment to just, inclusive and sustainable human societies. This effort has been handicapped in its confrontation with the forces of the status quo by its lack of an alternative theory and practice.
Humanity has arrived at a moment of critical choice that presents a unique challenge to its collective intelligence and the technical and social advances it has so far achieved. A choice for status quo solutions will almost certainly lead to accelerating social and ecological disintegration. It could lead to the end of human civilisation and even the extinction of our own species. The alternative, a choice for transformational change, can be more than an act of collective survival. It may also set the stage for the next step in life's evolutionary journey.
The major hope for mobilising social forces behind the affirmative choice is found within an awakened global civil society; an awakening already taking place. The energies unleashed by this awakening are coalescing around a people-centred citizens' vision of just, inclusive and sustainable human societies dedicated to enhancing the social, intellectual and spiritual growth of all people, celebrating the unity and diversity of life and maintaining a sustainable balance between the human uses of natural wealth and the regenerative limits of Earth's living ecosystem. This vision calls for an end to social and environmental exploitation by the powerful at the expense of the powerless. In their place it envisions societies that empower people through economic and political decentralisation to regenerate the local communities and ecologies that such exploitation has devastated.
The status quo solutions are backed not only by powerful institutional interests, but also by supporting economic theories operationalised in a system of national income accounting widely accepted as the authoritative measure of human progress and well-being. Most of human society has become so culturally conditioned by these theories and measurement practices that even those of us who espouse the need for alternatives easily slip into the embrace of their underlying assumptions. Those who call for transformational changes will remain severely handicapped within the larger development debate until they are able to counter mainstream thinking from a strong theoretical footing and offer an alternative operational measurement practice.
The following pages offer an ethical foundation for the awakened society.
2. A CONCEPTUAL BASIS FOR POLICY AND ACTION
a. Adoption of a global perspective in examining issues and situations.
b. Acceptance that the increasing interdependence of nations and emergence of worldwide problems pose predicaments beyond the capacity of individual countries to solve.
c. Recognition of the interdependence of, and interrelationships between, the components of the natural world and of human communities.
d. Thinking holistically and seeking a deep understanding of interactions within the tangle of contemporary problems.
e. Focusing on issues in a longer term perspective than seems possible by governments preoccupied by a desire to stay in power.
f. Recognition of the finite nature of the planet and the need to achieve a state of equilibrium in which the resources of planet Earth and the needs of non-human life forms are in harmony with human demands.
3. VALUES AND PRINCIPLES
- Reverence for life and the integrity of the natural world.
- Cooperation towards common goals
- Peace and harmony in daily living.
- Equal opportunities for all.
- Honesty in all human relationships.
- Satisfaction of human needs and aspirations.
- Long-term human and environmental security, including freedom from personal threats and the maintenance of law and order.
- Sustainability as the overriding principle underpinning the continuity of life.
- Recognition of the finite nature of natural resources and ecosystems and their intrinsic value.
- Acceptance that the current rate of natural resource extraction, its processing and use, and absorption of wastes back into the environment is currently approaching, and in some cases already exceeds the capacity of natural systems to sustain.
Notes: New studies make it clear that world food production will not be able to provide sufficient sustenance for the numbers anticipated in the next century without major changes in human thinking and the structures of world governance and current economic policy and directions.
Equilibrium is a state in which the components of the natural world and the needs of humankind are in permanent balance. Such a state requires management of the global economy and the allocation of resources for the common good.
Development to be seen as a movement towards improvement of the human condition, including increasing quality and efficiency in meeting long-term human needs.
Equitable Decision Making
Subsidiarity - the devolution of decision-making to the lowest practicable level, should be followed, though not at the expense of the public good.
Processes, structures and institutions involving people and their interrelationships shall be democratic, participatory and transparent.
The peaceful settlement of disputes, from personal to global, shall be settled according to accepted modes of behaviour, and to the law.
Self-reliance at all levels - personal, local, regional, national and global, while accepting the need for interactions between systems and their interdependence.
Self-reliance requires the breaking down of oversized social, economic and political structures and is related to subsidiarity.
The preservation of diversity of all life forms and human cultures and traditions.
Conservation and Preservation
Whenever possible, preservation of the natural world as close to its natural state as possible so as to ensure the conservation of ecosystems and preservation of habitat for non-human life forms.
The inclusion in financial assessments, valuations, pricing and indicators of wealth involving natural resources and ecosystems, of the true value of those resources.
Access to Land
As the common heritage of humankind and other creatures, the sharing of land and its resources, according to the needs of all.
Equitable Public Revenue and Collection Management
The State as the representative of all people in their respective countries, should seek revenue in accordance with the capacity of each person, household, and firm in such a way that encourages individual enterprise but discourages the unnecessary use of resources, and health harming processes.
Accountability of decision makers including politicians and public institutions and individuals for their policies and actions individually and collectively.
4. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Rights and responsibilities are complementary. A right carries with it a corresponding responsibility. A responsibility, in turn, confers a corresponding right. Rights are held by individuals and other life forms, and private institutions. People and institutions also have responsibilities to one another and to nature. Government, as representative of people, and corporations have only responsibilities (Note: The US Supreme Court ruling several decades ago that corporations have the rights of an individual, has been responsible for the power of corporations getting out of hand).
Specific rights and responsibilities are enshrined in the following declarations and charters.
- The United Nations Charter
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights
- The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child
Responsibilities of Governments and their agencies are to:
- act in the interests of their people and the mandates imposed on them through the democratic process.
- co-operate with other governments in matters of common interest and concern.
- avoid conflict and use of arms.
- accept responsibility for their actions and policies affecting communities and the natural environment and resources.
- uphold international law and agreements.
- support the United Nations and contribute to its work to ensure sustainable human security.
- adhere to the other provisions of this document.
Responsibilities of individuals and private organisations shall be to recognise, support and adhere to the other provisions of his document.
Rights reinforcing the UN Charter and UN declarations are:
1. Equal rights for all citizens including the dispossessed, the disadvantaged and the needy.
2. Special protection of human rights of indigenous people living on tribal land in accordance with traditional cultures and life-styles.
3. Democratically elected governments and democratically operated institutions.
4. Equal opportunities, consistent with corresponding responsibilities.
5. People to be consulted on issues of major importance affecting communities and the environment.
6. Access for all peoples to the global commons, as the common property of humankind - including the oceans, seas and rivers, space, the polar regions, primary forest reserves and wilderness areas, subject to the overall need for the preservation of natural ecosystems and indigenous people's habitats.
7. Adequate opportunities for relaxation, exercise and contemplation including contact with nature.
8. Equitable treatment before the law.
9. Equal access to legal services.
10. Free access to public information.
11. Entitlement to an adequate reward for labour and contribution to society, but not to income or goods not earned or resulting from the labour of others or the appropriation of property.
12. To share Earth's natural gifts.
13. Ample employment, just rewards for human labour, and care in times of need.
14. To take action against any government, institution, private company, agency or individual without exception, that creates or causes, social, environmental, health or other problems having significant negative international or regional consequences, through procedures that facilitate this process, including access to information.
5. COMMON VISIONS
- In which sustainability, efficiency, sufficiency, justice, equity and community are high social values.
- Consisting of mutually caring and supportive societies - based on trust, co-operation, understanding and mutual respect rather than on competition and self-assertion.
- Of democratic governments at all levels of society and of institutions, both public and private, accountable to the citizens of each community and nation.
- With a system of world governance dealing with issues of common interest in which political boundaries recognise common ethnic and cultural traditions and interests and the need for sharing of vital resources.
- With a global economy based on the principle of distributive equity, sustainable management of resources, freedom from the threat of armed conflict.
- In which international corporations and institutions and individuals are subject to Codes of Conduct and International Law preventing the accumulation of excessive or monopolistic wealth, power or influence.
- In which print and broadcast media reflect the world's diversity and at the same time bind together the cultures of the world with relevant, timely, accurate and intelligent information set into its historic and whole-system context.
- In which the application of science and technology serve the human community and the health of the planet, rather than individual and corporate profit.
- In which armaments are outlawed.
- In which international trust and co-operation replace suspicion and conflict.
- In which nuclear technology is severely circumscribed .
- Which outlaws the use of animals for research purposes.
- In which human society and nature are in balance - that is in state of economic equilibrium - and in which needs and aspirations of people are in harmony with the natural world and recognise this dependence in using resources wisely and fairly to ensure humans and other species can live satisfying and full lives.
Societies that ensure:
- The prime concern of government is to ensure material sufficiency, conditions for personal fulfilment; the practice of human rights; law and order and personal security for all.
- An economy that serves people and society in general; that distributes income and wealth according to need, skills, enterprise and effort, rather than one in which economic and material growth and the accumulation of personal and corporate wealth is the main objective.
- Recognition of the integrity of ecosystems and natural processes and the essential diversity of both nature and culture; and the essential relationships and interdependence between component parts of the natural world.
- The environment and its resources are cared for and used on a sustainable basis, by achieving a balance between the level of resource extraction; the capacity of sinks to absorb waste; and the regenerative capacity of ecosystems.
- Individual and collective responsibility to strive for the sustainable use and distribution of Earth's resources.
- Education at all levels is available to all, and that recognises the need to understand and operate the democratic process to protect and respect the natural world.
- That people accept responsibility to make social choices; to have a high life expectation; low birth rates and stable population.
- There is an absence of crime and other antisocial behaviour.
- No one possesses natural resources beyond their reasonable needs. The environment is free from advertising and promotion techniques that are aggressive, strident, untruthful or likely to cause offence or visual disharmony.
- That work dignifies people; is available to all; and provides incentives to people to give of their best.
- A high value is placed on conservation that encourages efficiency, avoidance of waste, the reuse of materials, avoidance of unnecessary production, and discourages promotion of obsolescence and changing fashion aimed at increasing production levels. Freedom to pursue technical and other forms of innovation and creative skills for social purposes other than the pursuit of financial gain.
- Adequate opportunities for relaxation, exercise and contemplation, including contact with nature.
Prepared by the Pacific Institute of Resource of Management.
THOSE who know a little of Haitis history might have watched the news last night and thought, as I did for a moment: An earthquake? What next? Poor Haiti is cursed.
But while earthquakes are acts of nature, extreme vulnerability to earthquakes is manmade. And the history of Haitis vulnerability to natural disasters to floods and famine and disease as well as to this terrible earthquake is long and complex, but the essence of it seems clear enough.
Haiti is a country created by former slaves, kidnapped West Africans, who, in 1804, when slavery still flourished in the United States and the Caribbean, threw off their cruel French masters and created their own republic. Haitians have been punished ever since for claiming their freedom: by the French who, in the 1820s, demanded and received payment from the Haitians for the slave colony, impoverishing the country for years to come; by an often brutal American occupation from 1915 to 1934; by indigenous misrule that the American government aided and abetted. (In more recent years American administrations fell into a pattern of promoting and then undermining Haitian constitutional democracy.)
Hence the current state of affairs: at least 10,000 private organizations perform supposedly humanitarian missions in Haiti, yet it remains one of the worlds poorest countries. Some of the money that private aid organizations rely on comes from the United States government, which has insisted that a great deal of the aid return to American pockets a larger percentage than that of any other industrialized country.
But that is only part of the problem. In the arena of international aid, a great many efforts, past and present, appear to have been doomed from the start. There are the many projects that seem designed to serve not impoverished Haitians but the interests of the people administering the projects. Most important, a lot of organizations seem to be unable and some appear to be unwilling to create partnerships with each other or, and this is crucial, with the public sector of the society theyre supposed to serve.
The usual excuse, that a government like Haitis is weak and suffers from corruption, doesnt hold all the more reason, indeed, to work with the government. The ultimate goal of all aid to Haiti ought to be the strengthening of Haitian institutions, infrastructure and expertise.
This week, the list of things that Haiti needs, things like jobs and food and reforestation, has suddenly grown a great deal longer. The earthquake struck mainly the capital and its environs, the most densely populated part of the country, where organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations have their headquarters. A lot of the places that could have been used for disaster relief including the central hospital, such as it was are now themselves disaster areas.
But there are effective aid organizations working in Haiti. At least one has not been crippled by the earthquake. Partners in Health, or in Haitian Creole Zanmi Lasante, has been the largest health care provider in rural Haiti. (I serve on this organizations development committee.) It operates, in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, some 10 hospitals and clinics, all far from the capital and all still intact. As a result of this calamity, Partners in Health probably just became the largest health care provider still standing in all Haiti.
Fortunately, it also offers a solid model for independence a model where only a handful of Americans are involved in day-to-day operations, and Haitians run the show. Efforts like this could provide one way for Haiti, as it rebuilds, to renew the promise of its revolution.
Tracy Kidder is the author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, about Haiti, and Strength in What Remains.
Is Pentagons Haiti Mission a Model for a New Security Role?
By ANDREW C. REVKIN -- January 14, 2010
In tonnage, the United States Navy says its battle fleet is larger than those of the worlds next 13 biggest navies combined. One of the largest vessels, the Carl Vinson, is seen below in Navy footage in its first deployment in nearly five years to the earthquake zone in Haiti instead of a war zone.
I predict youll see a lot more scenes like this in years to come, as the developed world increasingly realizes that anyone interested in national security has to act to foster global resilience, particularly in places where natural hazards and deep poverty are superimposed. Haiti is a prime example just look at the shake map for this quake but its just one of dozens. With or without any added push from global warming, sub-Saharan Africa is now known to be prone to astonishing super-droughts, and the population is projected to double by 2050. Military planners have expressed concern that climate change adds another layer of risk in many such regions.
In 2007, when the Navy rolled out new strategic goals, General James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, explained the idea this way in congressional testimony:
The basic premise of our newly published maritime strategy is that the United States is a force for good in the world that while we are capable of launching a clenched fist when we must, offering the hand of friendship is also an essential and prominent tool in our kit. That premise flows from the belief that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.
In my first post after the election of President Obama, I proposed four priorities for the most important leader of the human species that could be carried out on a tight budget (and then Dot Earth readers identified 10 more). The first two on my list related to the Pentagon, which has some of the most massive resources on the planet and by far the worlds biggest research budget.
Can you identify any down side should Mr. Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pentagon leaders continue deploying military might in ways that could foster health, trust, cooperation and prosperity?
Some researchers do worry that if the Pentagon activities simply displace efforts previously carried out by other agencies, there could be substantial risks. Read this Center for Global Development paper, The Pentagon and Global Development, for some background.
Postscript: Heres a fascinating video freshly shot by filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud for The New York Times on the environmental damage that has made Haiti particularly prone to flooding and other natural hazards:
"The issue is not whether we should also employ the military for emergency humanitarian aid. Who would object to that? Rather, we should stop sending our aircraft carriers and men to kill and die to protect pipelines (Afghanistan) and to sit on major oil reserves (Iraq). We have seen how much good that did, although President Obama remains dazzled by our failed commanders. I have experience as a principal in post disaster housing aid, in Japan, America, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela, as well as social housing in the Dominican Republic, Romania, and Mexico, with varying degrees of success. If we or other nations are going to do any good in Haiti, here's what needs to happen:
1. Fast track land clearing, infrastructure repair, and land title and permitting issues. Sounds obvious, but usually doesn't get done (see Sri Lanka and Venezuela). Governments are often paralyzed by the scale of disasters, allowing time for inner circle maneuvering over rebuilding contracts, creating further delays.
2. When a site for emergency but permanent replacement housing has been set aside, allow the foreign donor to manage construction, even while using local subcontractors. There are many reasons for this, too detailed to go into here, but the primary one is that this will enable desperately needed housing to actually get built.
3. It's OK to use local architectural plans, but engineering specifications in an earthquake or hurricane area should be left to the overseas builder.
4. When possible, use local materials. Even though there is likely to be a shortage due to the disaster, the shipping and related costs to import commodity items is just too high except when necessary (eg plumbing and electrical items). As a side benefit, the devastated local economy will be stimulated for suppliers as well as laborers.
5. Don't worry about putting up a lot of signs and taking credit. Word travels fast in countries like Haiti. Doing good is its own reward, of course, but humility increases the positive impacts.
6. Avoid dealing with the local government and even NGO's from overseas except for minimum issues, such as land entitlements and building permits. This is to make the operation cost effective, but also, again, to see that it gets built."
- Mike Roddy (Yucca Valley)
"The USS Carl Vinson can provide electricity for an entire city like Port au Prince. It can also provide fresh water through it's desalinization plant. It's flight deck can accommodate Relief and medivac helicopters. It can also provide food rations for a lot of people. The hospital ship USNS Comfort is a full fledged floating state of the art hospital. These assets are the best things to send to Haiti at this time. But US Navy Supply and Repair ships should be deployed soon thereafter. The supply ships already have a lot of food in its holds. they can alleviate hunger and malnutrition. The repair ships can repair any heavy machinery that might break down. The US military is uniquely qualified to respond quickly to these types of emergencies. They train for it and have experience with it. Plus they like to do these humanitarian stuff because like any other human being it makes them feel good. I know because I retired from the military."
by Cynthia McKinney - January 19, 2010 - Please read in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_McKinney about Cynthia McKinney's most impressive accomplishments and you'll see how credible this soul is in her pronouncements below...
President Obama's response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers. Sadly, President Obama is dispatching Presidents Bush and Clinton, and thousands of Marines and U.S. soldiers. By contrast, Cuba has over 400 doctors on the ground and is sending in more; Cubans, Argentinians, Icelanders, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and many others are already on the ground working -- saving lives and treating the injured. Senegal has offered land to Haitians willing to relocate to Africa.
The United States, on the day after the tragedy struck, confirmed that an entire Marine Expeditionary Force was being considered "to help restore order," when the "disorder" had been caused by an earthquake striking Haiti; not since 1751, 1770, 1842, 1860, and 1887 had Haiti experienced an earthquake. But, I remember the bogus reports of chaos and violence the led to the deployment of military assets, including Blackwater, in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One Katrina survivor noted that the people needed food and shelter and the U.S. government sent men with guns. Much to my disquiet, it seems, here we go again. From the very beginning, U.S. assistance to Haiti has looked to me more like an invasion than a humanitarian relief operation.
On Day Two of the tragedy, a C-130 plane with a military assessment team landed in Haiti, with the rest of the team expected to land soon thereafter. The stated purpose of this team was to determine what military resources were needed.
An Air Force special operations team was also expected to land to provide air traffic control. Now, the reports are that the U.S. is not allowing assistance in, shades of Hurricane Katrina, all over again.
On President Obama's orders military aircraft "flew over the island, mapping the destruction." So, the first U.S. contribution to the humanitarian relief needed in Haiti were reconnaissance drones whose staffing are more accustomed to looking for hidden weapon sites and surface-to-air missile batteries than wrecked infrastructure. The scope of the U.S. response soon became clear: aircraft carrer, Marine transport ship, four C-140 airlifts, and evacuations to Guantanamo. By the end of Day Two, according to the Washington Post report, the United States had evacuated to Guantanamo Bay about eight  severely injured patients, in addition to U.S. Embassy staffers, who had been "designated as priorities by the U.S. Ambassador and his staff."
On Day Three we learned that other U.S. ships, including destroyers, were moving toward Haiti. Interestingly, the Washington Post reported that the standing task force that coordinates the U.S. response to mass migration events from Cuba or Haiti was monitoring events, but had not yet ramped up its operations. That tidbit was interesting in and of itself, that those two countries are attended to by a standing task force, but the treatment of their nationals is vastly different, with Cubans being awarded immediate acceptance from the U.S. government, and by contrast, internment for Haitian nationals.
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson IV reassured Americans, "Our focus right now is to prevent that, and we are going to work with the Defense Department, the State Department, FEMA and all the agencies of the federal government to minimize the risk of Haitians who want to flee their country," Watson said. "We want to provide them those releif supplies so they can live in Haiti."
By the end of Day Four, the U.S. reportedly had evacuated over 800 U.S. nationals.
For those of us who have been following events in Haiti before the tragic earthquake, it is worth noting that several items have caused deep concern:
1. the continued exile of Haiti's democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide;
2. the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for "security" (I've personally seen them on the roads that only lead to Haiti's sparsely-populated areas teeming with beautiful beaches);
3. U.S. construction of its fifth-largest embassy in the world in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;
4. mining and port licenses and contracts, including the privatization of Haiti's deep water ports, because certain off-shore oil and transshipment arrangements would not be possible inside the U.S. for environmental and other considerations; and
5. Extensive foreign NGO presence in Haiti that could be rendered unnecessary if, instead, appropriate U.S. and other government policy allowed the Haitian people some modicum of political and economic self-determination.
Therefore, we note here the writings of Ms. Marguerite Laurent, whom I met in her capacity as attorney for ousted President of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ms. Laurent reminds us of Haiti's offshore oil and other mineral riches and recent revivial of an old idea to use Haiti and an oil refinery to be built there as a transshipment terminal for U.S. supertankers. Ms. Laurent, also known as Ezili Danto of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), writes:
"There is evidence that the United States found oil in Haiti decades ago and due to the geopolitical circumstances and big business interests of that era made the decision to keep Haitian oil in reserve for when Middle Eastern oil had dried up. This is detailed by Dr. Georges Michel in an article dated March 27, 2004 outlining the history of oil explorations and oil reserves in Haiti and in the research of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin.
"There is also good evidence that these very same big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to use Haiti's deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve U.S. and Caribbean ports. This is detailed in a paper about the Dunn Plantation at Fort Liberte in Haiti.
"Ezili's HLLN underlines these two papers on Haiti's oil resources and the works of Dr. Ginette and Daniel Mathurin in order to provide a view one will not find in the mainstream media nor anywhere else as to the economic and strategic reasons the US has constructed its fifth largest embassy in the world - fifth only besides the US embassy in China, Iraq, Iran and Germany - in tiny Haiti, post the 2004 Haiti Bush regime change."
Unfortunately, before the tragedy struck, and despite pleading to the Administration by Haiti activists inside the United States, President Obama failed to stop the deportation of Haitians inside the United States and failed to grant TPS, temporary protected status, to Haitians inside the U.S. in peril of being deported due to visa expirations. That was corrected on Day Three of Haiti's earthquake tragedy with the January 15, 2010 announcement that Haiti would join Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, El Salvador, and Sudan as a country granted TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
President Obama's appointment of President Bush to the Haiti relief effort is a swift left jab to the face, in my opinion. After President Bush's performance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the fact that still today, Hurricane Katrina survivors who want to return still have not been provided a way back home, the appointment might augur well for fundraising activities, but I doubt that it bodes well for the Haitian people. Afterall, the coup against and the kidnapping of President Aristide occurred under the watch of a Bush Presidency.
Finally, those with an appreciation of French literature know that among France's most beloved authors are Alexandre Dumas, son of a Haitian slave, and Victor Hugo who wrote: "Haiti est une lumiere." [Haiti is a light.] Indeed, Haiti for millions is a light: light into the methodology and evil of slavery; light into a successful slave rebellion, light into nationhood and notions of liberty, the rights of man, and of human dignity. Haiti is a light. And an example that makes the enemies of black liberation tremble. It is precisely because of Haiti's light into the evil genius of some individuals who wield power over others, and man's ability, through unity and purpose, to overcome that evil, that some segments of the world have been at war with Haiti ever since 1804, the year of Haiti's creation as a Republic.
I'm not surprised at "Reverend" Pat Robertson's racist vitriol. Robertson's comments mirror, exactly, statements made by Napoleon's Cabinet when the Haitians defeated them. But in 2010, Robertson's statements reveal much more: Haitians are not the only ones who know their importance to the struggle against hatred, imperialism, and European domination.
This pesky, persistent, stubbornly non-Western, proudly African people of this piece of land that we call Haiti know their history and they know that they militarily defeated the ruling world empire of the day, Napoleon's France, and the global elite at that time who supported him. They know that they defeated the armies of England and Spain.
Haitians know that they used their status as a free state to help liberate Latin Americans from Spain, by funding and fighting alongside Simon Bolivar; their example inspired their still-enslaved African brothers and sisters on the American mainland; and before Haitians were even free, they fought against the British inside the U.S. during its war of independence and won a decisive battle in Savannah, Georgia, where I have visited the statue commemorating that victory.
Haitians know that France imposed reparations on them for being free, and Haiti paid them in full, but that President Aristide called for France to give that money back ($21 billion in 2003 dollars).
Haitians know that their "brother," then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to the world upon the kidnapping and second ouster of their President. (Sadly, it wouldn't be the last time that Secretary of State Colin Powell would lie to the world.) Haitians know, all-too-well, that high-ranking blacks in the United States are capable of helping them and of betraying them.
Haitians know, too, that the United States has installed its political proxies and even its own soldiers onto Haitian soil when the U.S. felt it was necessary. All in an effort to control the indomitable Haitian spirit that directs much-needed light to the rest of the oppressed world.
While the tears of the people of Haiti swell in my own eyes, and I remember their tremendous capacity for love, my broken heart and wet eyes don't dampen my ability to understand the grave danger that now faces my friends in Haiti.
I shudder to think that the "rollback" policies believed in by some foreign policy advisors to President Obama could use a prolonged U.S. military presence in Haiti as a springboard for rollback of areas in Latin America that have liberated themselves from U.S. neo-colonial domination. I would hate to think that this would even be attempted under the Presidency of Barack Obama. All of us must have our eyes wide open on Haiti and other parts of the world now dripping in blood as a result of the relentless onward march of the U.S. military machine.
So, on this remembrance of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I note that it was the U.S. government's own illegal Operation Lantern Spike that snuffed out the promise and light of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Every plane of humanitarian assistance that is turned away by the U.S. military (so far from CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, Médecins Sans Frontieres, Brazil, France, Italy, and even the U.S. Red Cross) -- as was done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- and the expected arrival on this very day of up to 10,000 U.S. troops, are lasting reminders of the existential threat that now looms over the valiant, proud people and the Republic of Haiti.
Washington shuts door on Haitian refugees (20 January 2010) APPALLING! http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/hait-j20.shtml
The Obama administration has taken extraordinary measures to prevent desperate Haitians from entering the US since a January 12 earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation, killing an estimated 200,000, making at least 1.5 million homeless, and orphaning 1 million children. The effort to bar Haitians from entering the USincluding the wounded seeking medical treatmentillustrates that the priority of the US-led intervention is not to save lives, but to establish military control over the population. Five US Coast Guard ships have joined US Navy vessels deployed off Haitis coastnot to deliver food, water, and medicine to the sick and dying, but to stop any Haitians who might attempt to escape. Coast Guard commander Chris ONeil told the New York Times that anyone fleeing Haiti would be seized and sent back, but that so far his units have witnessed no attempts. None, zero, ONeil said, and no indication of anyone making preparations to do so. US officials say there is little evidence of Haitians leaving for the US, but they worry that in the coming weeks, worsening conditions in Haiti could spur an exodus. That US officials are planning for worsening conditions in Haiti over the coming weeksbeyond the desperate situation that prevails there nowis a damning admission that Washington has no intention to make available widespread relief, much less rebuild Haiti.The Obama administration is also making plans to incarcerate Haitians who might attempt the dangerous sea voyage to the US, which every year claims the lives of hundreds. Officials told the Times they are laying plans to scoop up any boats carrying illegal immigrants and send them to Guantánamo Baythe US military base in Cuba notorious for the abuse of terror suspects. The Department of Homeland Security has announced it will clear out space in its south Florida deportation prison, the Krome Service Processing Center, in case of an influx of Haitians. State Department spokesman Noel Clay announced the US would not relax its visa requirements for Haitians. The strict visa policy extends to the earthquakes estimated one million orphans10 percent of Haitis population. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday that the US will take a handful of orphans on humanitarian parole. The policy applies to those who were documented orphans before the earthquake and who were already slated to be adopted by US families. On Monday, about 50 Haitian children already cleared for adoption in the US arrived at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Childrens Hospital, after their orphanage collapsed in the earthquake. The State Department has gone so far as to refuse visas for sick and dying Haitians seeking treatment at an emergency field hospital adjacent to Miamis airport. Dr. William ONeill, dean of the University of Miami medical school, which established the hospital, called the callous policy beyond insane. The State Department is headed by Secretary Hillary Clinton, who, along with her husband former President Bill Clinton, has postured as a friend to Haitis earthquake survivors. The measures to stop Haitians from seeking refuge in the US border on the sadistic. CLIP
The Disaster Within The Disaster: Its Time To Investigate the Aid Fiasco (January 19, 2010) http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17085
Haiti remains a death trap, with an aid program that has sat by and watched thousands die without relief. The International Red Cross describes the situation there as a catastrophe while the American Red Cross reports raising more than $100 million dollars thanks to texting technologies and backing from the White House. Raising money is their specialty; delivering aid is not. The New York Times noted: The contributions come despite well-publicized controversies over the Red Crosss performance and financial accountability after other major disasters.After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, representatives from the British, German, Colombian, Dutch and other international Red Cross organizations criticized their American counterpart for inadequate planning, poor management of supplies and faulty record-keeping and logistics. And after the Sept. 11 attacks the organization struggled to deploy some $1 billion in donations. These are the people we are trusting with our money! Meanwhile, Haitians are trying to get out of the apocalypse in Port au Prince while the US Navy warns that anyone trying to flee this hellhole will be caught and returned. Thanks a lot! (...) Many Americans are not compassionate at all, and not just Rush Limbaugh. Bill OReilly polled his viewers on whether they would donate to Haiti. A majority58%--defiantly said they would not! This type of callous insensitivity is cultivated and reinforced by media outlets and smarmy, know it all, self-righteous TV personalities. Others assuage their guilt by texting ten bucks and feel as if they are helping. How much money supported the suffering children of Haiti BEFORE this recent disaster. How many Americans even know the history of our yeara of beneficent military interventions into Haiti or sweat shop development projects since. How many knew that many kids were surviving by eating mud pies? Even as TV correspondent after correspondent reports on crippling aid shortages, the overall frame of the coverage remains upbeat. There will be a celebrity telethon on Friday night but no one seems to be investigating how this all went so badly and who is responsible. Who will get the reconstruction contracts? My guess: big American companies. How much are the executives for relief agencies paying themselves? There has been criminal negligence here, not just mistakes. It is worse than bottlenecks. Who will blow the whistle? Who will condemn it? Already this debacle is being compared to the great job President Bush did after Katrina devastated New Orleans. It is time to speak up and speak out about a charade that promised so much and delivered so little, at all the preventable deaths and suffering caused by a massive screw-up. Could it have been deliberate? Our good intentions are now being buried in a mass grave in Haiti.
Doctors group complains Haiti supplies diverted (Jan 19, 2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60I5TA20100119
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Doctors Without Borders (MSF) complained on Tuesday that a fifth planeload of its emergency medical aid for earthquake survivors was denied permission to land at the U.S.-run airport in Haiti's capital. The Paris-based medical humanitarian organization said the cargo plane carrying 12 tons of drugs, surgical supplies and two dialysis machines was turned away three times and diverted to the neighboring Dominican Republic. More than 30 countries have rushed relief to Haiti since Tuesday's devastating earthquake, choking the small airfield operated by U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers. "We cannot accept that planes carrying lifesaving medical supplies and equipment continue to be turned away while our patients die," said Rosa Crestani, a MSF medical coordinator at a Port-au-Prince hospital, said in a news release. (...) "I have never seen anything like this," said Loris de Filippi, emergency coordinator at another Haitian hospital." Today, there are 12 people who need lifesaving amputations at Choscal Hospital. We were forced to buy a saw in the market to continue amputations," she said. CLIP
US accused of 'occupying' Haiti as troops flood in (18 Jan 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/haiti/7020908/US-accused-of-occupying-Haiti-as-troops-flood-in.html
France accused the US of "occupying" Haiti on Monday as thousands of American troops flooded into the country to take charge of aid efforts and security. -- The French minister in charge of humanitarian relief called on the UN to "clarify" the American role amid claims the military build up was hampering aid efforts.Alain Joyandet admitted he had been involved in a scuffle with a US commander in the airport's control tower over the flight plan for a French evacuation flight. "This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti," Mr Joyandet said.Geneva-based charity Medecins Sans Frontieres backed his calls saying hundreds of lives were being put at risk as planes carrying vital medical supplies were being turned away by American air traffic controllers. But US commanders insisted their forces' focus was on humanitarian work and last night agreed to prioritise aid arrivals to the airport over military flights, after the intervention of the UN. The diplomatic row came amid heightened frustrations that hundreds of tons of aid was still not getting through. Charities reported violence was also worsening as desperate Haitians took matters into their own hands.The death toll is now estimated at up to 200,000 lives. Around three million Haitians a third of the country's population have been affected by Tuesday's earthquake and two million require food assistance. CLIP
US military to enforce state of emergency in Haiti (19 January 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/hait-j19.shtml
The Haitian government declared a state of emergency on Monday, six days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake laid waste to much of the nation and its capital, Port-au-Prince, killing at least 200,000, according to the latest estimate.The state of emergency creates martial law conditions that will be enforced by the US military. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had demanded the imposition of the emergency decree during her visit to Haiti on Saturday. The decree would give the government an enormous amount of authority, which in practice they would delegate to us, Clinton declared. CLIP
Chavez Says U.S. Occupying Haiti in Name of Aid (2010-01-17) http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE60G2DW20100117
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the United States of using the earthquake in Haiti as a pretext to occupy the devastated Caribbean country and offered to send fuel from his OPEC nation. "I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send," Chavez said on his weekly television show. "They are occupying Haiti undercover." "On top of that, you don't see them in the streets. Are they picking up bodies? ... Are they looking for the injured? You don't see them. I haven't seen them. Where are they?" Chavez promised to send as much gasoline as Haiti needs for electricity generation and transport. A perennial foe of U.S. "imperialism," Chavez said he did not wish to diminish the humanitarian effort made by the United States and was only questioning the need for so many troops. The United States is sending more than 5,000 Marines and soldiers to Haiti, and a hospital ship is due to arrive later this week. The country's president said U.S. troops would help keep order on Haiti's increasingly lawless streets. Venezuela has sent several planes to Haiti with doctors, aid and some soldiers. A Russia-Venezuela mission was set to leave Venezuela on Monday carrying aid on Russian planes. Chavez said Venezuela's planes were the first to land in Haiti after Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which wrecked the capital Port-Au-Prince and killed as many as 200,000 people.
Disaster Profiteering: US 'Security' Companies Offer 'Services' in Haiti (January 18, 2010) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/18-7
The Orwellian-named mercenary trade group, the International Peace Operations Association, didnt waste much time in offering the services of its member companies to swoop down on Haiti for some old fashioned humanitarian assistance disaster profiteering. Within hours of the massive earthquake in Haiti, the IPOA created a special web page for prospective clients, saying: In the wake of the tragic events in Haiti, a number of IPOAs member companies are available and prepared to provide a wide variety of critical relief services to the earthquakes victims. While some of the companies specialize in rapid housing construction, emergency relief shelters and transportation, others are private security companies that operate in Iraq and Afghanistan like Triple Canopy, the company that took over Blackwaters massive State Department contract in Iraq. For years, Blackwater played a major role in IPOA until it left the group following the 2007 Nisour Square massacre. CLIP
The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?
by Michel Chossudovsky (January 15, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17000
Haiti has a long-standing history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti's national economy and the impoverishment of its population. The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country's predicament. A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair. Haiti's history, its colonial past have been erased. The US military has come to the rescue of an impoverished Nation. What is its Mandate?Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion? (...) While presidents Obama and Préval spoke on the phone, there were no reports of negotiations between the two governments regarding the entry and deployment of US troops on Haitian soil. The decision was taken and imposed unilaterally by Washington. The total lack of a functioning government in Haiti was used to legitimize, on humanitarian grounds, the sending in of a powerful military force, which has de facto taken over several governmental functions. CLIP
The history that binds the US and Haiti (15 January 2010) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/pers-j15.shtml
In his statement on the Haitian earthquake Wednesday, President Barack Obama referred to the long history that binds us together. Neither he nor the US media, however, have shown any inclination to probe the history of US-Haiti relations and its bearing on present catastrophe confronting the Haitian people.Rather, the backwardness and poverty that have played a substantial role in driving the death toll into the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands are presented as a natural state of affairs, if not the fault of the Haitians themselves. The United States is portrayed as a selfless benefactor, ready to come to the aid of Haiti with donations, rescue teams, warships and Marines. (...) What is deliberately obscured by this comparison is the real relationship, which has evolved over more than a century, between wealth generation in the United States and poverty in Haiti. It is a relationship built on the use of force to pursue US imperialisms predatory interests in a historically oppressed country. If the Obama administration and the Pentagon carry through with reported plans to deploy a Marine expeditionary force in Haiti, it will mark the fourth time in the past 95 years that the US armed forces have occupied the impoverished Caribbean nation. This time, as in the past, rather than aiding the Haitian people, the essential purpose of such a military action will be to defend US interests and guard against what the Times refers to as the proclivity for insurrection. CLIP
Profiting From Haitis Crisis (18 January 2010) http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/1827/1/
US corporations, private mercenaries, Washington and the International Monetary Fund are using the crisis in Haiti to make a profit, promote unpopular neoliberal policies, and extend military and economic control over the Haitian people. In the aftermath of the earthquake, with much of the infrastructure and government services destroyed, Haitians have relied on each other for the relief efforts, working together to pull their neighbors, friends and loved ones from the rubble. One report from IPS News in Haiti explained, "In the day following the quake, there was no widespread violence. Guns, knives and theft weren't seen on the streets, lined only with family after family carrying their belongings. They voiced their anger and frustration with sad songs that echoed throughout the night, not their fists."Bob Moliere, an organizer within the popular political party Fanmi Lavalas was killed in the earthquake. His wife, Marianne Moliere, told IPS News after burying her husband, "There is no life for me because Bob was everything to me. I lost everything. Everything is destroyed," she said. "I'm sleeping in the street now because I'm homeless. But when I get some water, I share with others. Or if someone gives some spaghetti, I share with my family and others."It is not this type of solidarity that has emerged in the wake of the crisis and the delayed and muddled response from the international community that most corporate media in the US have focused on. Instead, echoing the coverage and calls for militarization of New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, major media outlets talk about the looting, and need for security to protect private property.One request from Erwin Berthold, the owner of Big Star Market in Petionville, Haiti, reflects this concern for profit over people. Berthold told the Washington Post about his supermarket, "We have everything cleaned up inside. We are ready to open. We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay? "That militarization is already underway. (...) While international leaders and institutions are speaking about how many soldiers and dollars they are committing to Haiti, it is important to note that what Haiti needs is doctors not soldiers, grants not loans, a stronger public sector rather than a wholesale privatization, and critical solidarity with grassroots organizations and people to support the self-determination of the country. "We dont need soldiers," Patrick Elie, the former Defense Minister under the Aristide government told Al Jazeera. "There is no war here." In addition to critiquing the presence of the soldiers, he commented on the US-control of the main airport. "The choice of what lands and what doesnt land, the priorities of the flight[s], should be determined by the Haitians. Otherwise, its a takeover and what might happen is that the needs of Haitians are not taken into account, but only either the way a foreign country defines the need of Haiti, or try to push its own agenda."***For more information and suggestions on acting in solidarity with the Haitian people, read this article.
Haiti's Elite Spared From Much of the Devastation (January 18, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/17/AR2010011702941.html
PETIONVILLE, HAITI -- Through decades of coups, hurricanes, embargoes and economic collapse, members of the wily and powerful business elite of Haiti have learned the art of survival in one of the most chaotic countries on Earth -- and they might come out on top again. Although Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed many buildings in Port-au-Prince, it mostly spared homes and businesses up the mountain in the cool, green suburb of Petionville, home to former presidents and senators. A palace built atop a mountain by the man who runs one of Haiti's biggest lottery games is still standing. New-car dealers, the big importers, the families that control the port -- they all drove through town with their drivers and security men this past weekend. Only a few homes here were destroyed."All the nation is feeling this earthquake -- the poor, the middle class and the richest ones," said Erwin Berthold, owner of the Big Star Market in Petionville. "But we did okay here. We have everything cleaned up inside. We are ready to open. We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay?" As Berthold stood outside his two-story market, stocked with fine wines and imported food from Miami and Paris, his customers cruised by and asked when he would reopen. "Maybe Monday!" he shouted, then held up his hand to his ear, for customers to call his cellphone. So little aid has been distributed that there is not much difference between what the rich have received and what the poor have received. The poor started with little and now have less; the rich simply have supplies to last. But search-and-rescue operations have been intensely focused on buildings with international aid workers, such as the crushed U.N. headquarters, and on large hotels with international clientele. Some international rescue workers said they are being sent to find foreign nationals first. There is an extreme, almost feudal divide between rich and poor in Haiti. The gated and privately guarded neighborhoods resemble a Haitian version of Beverly Hills, but with razor wire. (...) The police are operating out of a well-supplied station in Petionville, where the parking lot was filled with idle police trucks. There have been few reports of looting here, even though the town has banks on every corner. Hervé Delorme, executive marketing director of Sogebank, stood outside a branch and said the building was safe and sound. "Only because of the electricity and communications we do not have the technology available to open," he said. Across the street, one of the few pharmacies in the area was open. It was guarded by three Haitian police officers with rifles who let one customer in at a time. Down at the General Hospital, families wandered through the courtyard filled with patients with amputated limbs and open wounds, begging foreigners for medicine. For better or worse, it will likely be the residents of Petionville who through their government connections, trading companies and interconnected family businesses will receive a large portion of U.S. and international aid and reconstruction money. CLIP
Bush, Clinton and the crimes of US imperialism in Haiti
By Patrick Martin -- 18 January 2010
The Obama administration has announced that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will head the fundraising for relief efforts in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. In his radio speech Saturday, Obama declared: These two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and the world. In a moment of need, the United States stands united.
The message of the Clinton-Bush appointment is indeed significant, but hardly what the White House and the American media have suggested. In selecting his two immediate predecessors, those who have set US policy in the Caribbean since 1993, Obama demonstrates that the devastating human tragedy in Haiti will not bring any alteration in the rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.
For eight years apiece, Clinton and Bush were directly and deeply involved in a series of political machinations and military interventions that have played a major role in perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti that have vastly compounded by the disaster that struck that country last Tuesday. Both men have the blood of Haitian workers and peasants on their hands.
Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haitis first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bushs father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.
The new Democratic Party administration undertook a tactical shift in policy. Clinton imposed economic sanctions on the Haitian junta, which destroyed Haitis fledgling export industries, then dispatched the Marines to Haitifor the third time in the 20th centuryto compel Gen. Raoul Cedras, the junta leader, to depart. The US restored Aristide to the presidency, after he had given assurances that he would do nothing to challenge the domination of either Washington or the native Haitian elite, and that he would leave office in 1996 without seeking reelection.
After Aristide obediently left office on schedule, he was succeeded by René Préval, who served the first of his two terms as president from 1996 to 2001, carrying out the dictates of an International Monetary Fund structural adjustment program that slashed employment, cut public services, and ruined domestic rice farmers.
When Aristides Fanmi Lavalas party won a clear victory in May 2000 legislative elections, the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress refused to accept the election and cut off US aid. Aristide himself returned to the presidency after winning a landslide election victory in November 2000, only to face an implacable enemy in the incoming Bush administration.
For three years, Haiti was systematically starved by the US aid cutoff and measures taken by the Bush administration to block international aid and isolate the Aristide government. Finally, in February 2004, amid protests fomented by the Haitian ruling elite with covert American backing, the US military again intervened in the country, seizing Aristide and shipping him out of the country to exile.
The Marines turned over effective control of the country to a United Nations peacekeeping force, with Brazil providing the biggest troop contingent, propping up a series of unelected Haitian prime ministers until elections in 2006, from which candidates of Fanmi Lavalas were largely excluded. René Préval was elected president for the second time, in a term scheduled to end late this year. Once a supporter and professed political twin of Aristide, Préval has long since made his peace with both Washington and the Haitian ruling elite, and his second term has been characterized by slavish subservience to the economic prescriptions of Wall Street and the International Monetary Fund.
Throughout the Clinton and Bush administrations, US demands for adherence to IMF austerity policies were combined with a vicious program of repression against Haitians fleeing the country of their birth to seek refuge and a better life in the United States. In his first campaign for the presidency, in 1992, Clinton criticized the persecution and forced repatriation of Haitian refugees, only to reverse himself and continue those policies unaltered. For the next 17 yearsand continuing with no change from Obamahundreds of refugees have died in small boats seeking to evade the US Coast Guard blockade.
Most recently, Clinton has been the official UN envoy for Haiti, backing the corrupt Préval regime and seeking to develop Haiti as a base for a profitable US-run garment industry founded on near-starvation wages. Food riots swept the country in April 2008, but that did not stop Préval from blocking legislation that would have raised the minimum wage of $1.72 a day for workers in the garment factories.
As for George W. Bush, his selection as co-leader of a supposed humanitarian campaign is an insult to the people of both Haiti and the United States. His appointment by Obama is in keeping with the Democratic presidents unflagging efforts since his election, the result of popular hatred of Bush and his party, to rehabilitate the Republicans.
An unapologetic war criminal who is responsible for the slaughter of a million Iraqis, Bushs signature domestic achievement was the abject failure of the US government either to prevent the devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in Hurricane Katrina, or to mount an effective relief and recovery effort afterwards.
This is the record of the two men whom Barack Obama has selected as the public face of the latest US initiative in Haiti. Bush and Clinton made a series of media appearances over the weekend, including interviews on all five Sunday television news programs, during which they emphasized the need to restore stability to Haiti, and the important role that the United States would have to play in that effort.
Bush and Clinton personify the pernicious and reactionary role that American imperialism has played in Haiti for the last century. It is no exaggeration to say that the policies of their administrations have caused as much death and devastation in that country as last Tuesdays earthquake.
I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I can feel was shame. The racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. There were people, these were human beings. I've since been plagued by guilt every time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn't walk, who we rolled out on a stretcher and told the Iraqi Police to take him away. I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically and screaming that we are worst than Saddam, as we forced her from her home.
I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street. We are told we are fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is in this occupation.
Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. It's long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people.
Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government. It's a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship. It's more destructive than an artillery shell or a bunker buster, or a Tomahawk Missile.
While all those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them.
Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger, or lob a mortal round. They do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm's way.
They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question. They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon when the ranks in the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on Earth, but there'll only be a war, if soldiers are willing to fight.
And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering, care only about expending their wealth, controlling the world economy. They understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country.
And, convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior.
Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation.
In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose wings, and bear trauma and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag-draped coffins lowered into the earth. Millions in this country without health care, jobs or access to education, must watch this government squander over 450 million dollars a day in this occupation.
Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer. And without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more common with the Iraq people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.
I threw families onto the street in Iraq, only to come home and find families frozen in the streets of this country and this tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis.
We need to wake up and realize that our real enemy is not the ones living in a distant land, the people whose names we don't know and cultures we don't understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify. The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable. The enemy is the CEO who lays us off our jobs when it's profitable, it's the insurance companies who deny us health care when it's profitable, it's the banks that take away our homes when it's profitable.
Our enemies are not five thousands miles away, they are right here home. But if we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government and we can create a better world.
Q+A: Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan tops $1 trillion (January 15, 2010) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60E0M220100115
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The cost to U.S. taxpayers of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 has topped $1 trillion, and President Barack Obama is expected to request another $33 billion to fund more troops this year. Over two-thirds of the money has been spent on the conflict in Iraq since 2003. This year is the first in which more funds are being spent in Afghanistan than Iraq, as the pace of U.S. military operations slows in Iraq and quickens in Afghanistan. HOW MUCH HAS BEEN SPENT ALREADY?Congress has approved $1.05 trillion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan budget research group that has a continuously running war cost counter on its website. The tally topped $1 trillion last month, when U.S. lawmakers approved the fiscal 2010 defense spending bill that included $128 billion to be spent on the two conflicts through September 30. The trillion-dollar total includes war-related costs incurred by the State Department, like embassy security. HOW MUCH WENT FOR IRAQ AND HOW MUCH FOR AFGHANISTAN? The lion's share of the spending -- $747.3 billion -- has been allocated to the war in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion there in 2003. The other $299 billion has been for Afghanistan, where the United States invaded to fight al Qaeda and topple the Taliban after the September 11 attacks in 2001. CLIP
UN Report: Afghan Heroin Killed 90,000 in 2009 (January 18, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17047
According to a report by the UN's anti-drug department, in 2009, Afghan heroin killed more than 90,000 people, Russia's Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov told a press conference Monday. He said he is not happy with the results of the anti-drug measures taken by NATO in the country, calling the situation in Afghanistan catastrophic. Ivanov reiterated that since the US sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, the country has become the world leader in opium production and has outrun Morocco in terms of hashish production.
A GLOBAL BOYCOTT MOVEMENT TO PUNISH ISRAEL FOR ITS HORRIFIC HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND KILLING OF INNOCENT CHILDREN, WOMEN AND MEN IS FINALLY UNDERWAY. LET THE WHOLE WORLD HELP THEM REALIZE THAT THE ONLY WAY TOWARDS PEACE AND SECURITY IS THE WAY OF LOVE, OF OPENING ONE'S HEART TO THE SUFFERING AND PLIGHT OF OTHER HUMAN BEINGS, AS WE ALL DO TOWARDS HAITIANS. LET US ENVISION TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION BETWEEN OUR ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS, JUST LIKE BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE DID IN SOUTH AFRICA.
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the growing boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. Based on the anti-apartheid campaign that helped bring down the racist regime in South Africa, BDS is becoming a catch-cry for freedom in countries whose governments continue to ignore the Palestinians' struggle against another form of apartheid and which Nelson Mandela has described as "the greatest moral issue of our time".
The farce of the climate change summit in Copenhagen affirmed a world war waged by the rich against most of humanity. It also illuminated a resistance growing perhaps as never before: an internationalism linking justice for the planet earth with universal human rights, and criminal justice for those who invade and dispossess with impunity. And the best news comes from Palestine.
Palestinian resistance to the theft of their country reached a critical moment in 2001 when Israel was identified as an apartheid state at a United Nations conference on racism in Durban, South Africa. To Nelson Mandela, justice for the Palestinians is the greatest moral issue of our time. The Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS), was issued on 9 July 2005, effectively reconvening the great non-violent movement that swept the world and brought the scaffolding of African apartheid crashing down. Through decades of occupation and dispossession, wrote Mustafa Barghouti, a wise voice of Palestinian politics, 90 per cent of the Palestinian struggle has been non-violent... A new generation of Palestinian leaders [now speaks] to the world precisely as Martin Luther King did. The same world that rejects all use of Palestinian violence, even clear self-defence, surely ought not begrudge us the non-violence employed by men such as King and Gandhi."
In the United States and Europe, trade unions, academic associations and mainstream churches have brought back the strategies and tactics that were used against apartheid South African. In a resolution adopted by 431 votes to 62, the US Presbyterian Church voted for a process of phased selective disinvestment in multinational corporations doing business with Israel. This followed the opinion of the International Court of Justice that Israels wall and its settler colonies were illegal. A similar declaration by the court in 1971, denouncing South Africas occupation of Namibia, ignited the international boycott.
Like the South Africa campaign, the issue of law is central. No state is allowed to flout international law as willfully as Israel. In 1990, a UN Security Council resolution demanding that Saddam Hussein get out of Kuwait was the same, almost word for word, as that demanding Israel get out of the West Bank. The United States and its allies attacked and drove out Iraq while Israel has been repeatedly rewarded. On 11 December, President Obama announced $2.75 billion aid for Israel, a down payment on the $30 billion American taxpayers will gift from their stricken economy during this decade.
The hypocrisy is now well understood in the US, where consumer boycott campaigns are becoming commonplace. A stolen beauty campaign pursues Ahava beauty products which are made in illegal West Bank settlements, forcing the company to drop its ballyhooed celebrity ambassador, Kristin Davis, a star of Sex and the City. In Britain, Sainsburys and Tesco are under pressure to identify settlement products, whose sale contravenes the human rights clause in the EU trade agreement with Israel.
In Australia, a consortium including the French company Veolia has lost its bid for a billion-dollar desalination plant following a campaign highlighting Veolias plan to build a light rail connecting Jerusalem to the settlements. In Norway, the government has withdrawn its support for the Israeli hi-tech company Elbit, which helped build the wall across Palestine. This is the first official boycott by a western country. We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law, said the Norwegian finance minister.
In 2005, the Association of University Teachers in Britain (AUT) voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. The AUT campaign was forced to retreat when the Israel lobby unleashed a blizzard of character assassination and charges of anti-Semitism. The Palestinian writer and activist Omar Baghouti called this intellectual terror: a perversion of morality and logic that says to be against racism towards Palestinians makes one anti-Semitic. However, the Israeli assault on Gaza on 27 December, 2008 changed almost everything. The first US Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was formed, with Desmond Tutu on its board. At its 2009 conference, Britains Trade Union Council voted for a consumer boycott. The Israel taboo is no more.
Complementing this is the rapid development of international criminal law since the Pinochet case in 1999 when the former Chilean dictator was placed under house arrest in Britain. Israeli warmongers now face similar prosecution in countries which have universal jurisdiction laws. In Britain, the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957 is fortified by the UN report on Gaza by Judge Richard Goldstone, which in December obliged a London magistrate to issue a warrant for the arrest of Tzini Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister wanted for crimes against humanity. In September, only contrived diplomatic immunity rescued Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister during the assault on Gaza, from arrest by Scotland Yard.
Just over a year ago, 1400 defenceless people in Gaza were murdered by the Israelis. On 29 December, Mohamed Jassier became the 367th Gazan to die because people needing life-saving medical treatment are not allowed out. Keep that in mind when you next watch the BBC balance such suffering with the weasel protestations of the oppressors.
There is a clear momentum now. To mark the first anniversary of the Gaza atrocity, a great humanitarian procession from 42 countries Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists, old and young, trade unionists, writers, artists, musicians and those leading convoys of food and medicine converged on Egypt, and even though the American bribed dictatorship in Cairo prevented most from proceeding to Gaza, the people in that open prison knew they were not alone, and children climbed on walls and raised the Palestinian flag. And this is just a beginning.
A lot of aging leftists invite us to march in the streets. Some say, Mass action will defeat the empire. Will protesting stop war? Everyone who has been paying attention probably already knows that marching on Washington will not even disturb President Obamas breakfast.
In fact, by causing havoc on the streets we actually distract the publics attention from the real crimes taking place like AIPACs lobbying of Congress to bomb this or that country or like Haliburtons pocketing of our tax money. Americans and their politicians need to understand that invading other countries hurts America. This approach is the only way to get the anti-war movement into the mainstream and away from the fringes of society.
The Israel Lobby has made sure the Zionist perspective permeates American discourse from grammar school through the highest levels of government. No child is too young for brainwashing.
An official diverging one iota gets
his knees shot metaphorically. Holocaust Studies in the public school curriculum can start as early as Pre-K. Anyone that wants to discuss the role the Holocaust plays in US policy-making is an insane Holocaust denier. The Israel Lobby makes no distinction between national, transnational, and international politics.
Obama told AIPAC, ... the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and
forever. As long as Zionist subver-sives dictate to Obama, patriotic Americans will not make much headway in attempting a direct effort to change US policy. Activists need to change tactics by focusing on the danger that
the Israel Lobby represents to the American political system and by attack-
ing the discourse on which the Israel Lobby stands.
The pro-Israel lobby operates on every level of American society. Holocaust propaganda serves to shield the most privileged group in America from just criticism of many of its members and of its collective conductespecially in relation to the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people and the destruction of Americas Constitutional liberties.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was one of the main proponents of the Patriot Act, which monitors the reading history of library patrons. Zionist organisations are heavily involved with Homeland Security and they use book banning and far worse methods to squelch criticism of Israel. While there is no limit to the amount of hate speech against Muslims or Christians that is tolerated now in the western world, the mere suggestion that Muslims and Christians should have equal rights with Jews in the Holy Land, or that the Hollywood version of the Holocaust is not entirely accurate, have in recent times resulted in the deportation, imprisonment, and even assassination of the speakers, writers, or publishers, and in the banning of their books or films because of Zionist pressure on western governments to abandon the principle of freedom of expression.
How about a turn-around in rhetoric? Instead of trying to make Americans care about Arabstoo hardwe need to increase their awareness that Jewish Lobby is undermining American democracy and costing taxpayers money. Since activists can destroy a movement if they dwell upon who the good guys are (there are various opinions), we should concentrate on what we can all agree on: The Lobby needs to be stopped. Thats the only way to stop war and war taxes. The Israel Lobby is the enemy of all Americans. I would suggest a public rhetoric campaign against all Israel lobbyists suggesting prison. It should be social suicide to participate with Hillel or other pro-Israel organizations training future lobbyists.
There are plenty of ways to address this issue in town meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and other mundane ways. Causing a huge stir at a Martin Luther King school assembly or sending a mass mailing to all the high school students will create a lot more word-of-mouth grassroots pressure than a protest in DC, which doesnt even get discussed. We are at war because we allowed our country and our minds to be taken over by Zionists and other opportunists. We refused to take responsibility for our country or for our childrens education.
Every town has a web of pro-Israel groups that work together to undermine American democracy to promote their personal interests. Pro-peace advocates need to identify the Zionist individuals who are pushing their agenda in the local school system. As soon as you start engaging in anti-Israel activism, all the Israel lobbyists will come crawling out of the woodwork to try and discredit or stop you.
Once you know who these individuals are, then you will be able to protest directly to the local leadership and law enforcement specifically about those who are personally responsible for pushing Americans to die for Israeli interests. You probably know where they live. If Americans started talking to their neighbours we could probably stop this insanity.
Karin Friedemann is a Boston-based writer on Middle East affairs and US politics. She is Director of the Division on Muslim Civil Rights and Liberties for the National Association of Muslim American Women
In The Age of Stupid, a frightening jeremiad about the effects of climate change, the craggy-faced British actor Pete Postlethwaite plays the Archivist, a finger-pointing, futuristic voice of doom in 2055. Peering into a retrospective crystal ball that shows scenes from the early 21st century, he scolds the human race for having committed suicide.
The curator of the Global Archive, a storage site of human knowledge in what is now a melted Arctic, the Archivist presses a rewind button on a touch screen to show documentary scenes related to climate change that were shot when there was still time for humanity to save itself. At the end of The Age of Stupid, which uses crude animation that depicts London underwater, Sydney burning and Las Vegas buried in sand, the Archive is sent into space.
A much sterner and more alarming polemic than An Inconvenient Truth, The Age of Stupid, directed by Franny Armstrong, will be taken by some as an emergency wake-up call to do everything possible to avert impending catastrophe. In the film Mark Lynas, the British environmental activist and author of Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, warns of a tipping point around 2015 if the world doesnt immediately act to reduce carbon emissions. Once global temperatures warm more than two degrees, he says, all will be lost.
Others may find the challenges to humanity posed by the documentary so daunting that The Age of Stupid (the Archivists sarcastic nickname for our time) may convince viewers that, practically speaking, it is already too late to act. Cynics may assume that the ethic of consumerism is too deeply instilled in us to be changed, as is the faith in capitalism, which depends on continuous growth. If so, we might as well put the coming horrors out of our minds and live for the moment, while hoping for a miracle.
The personal stories among which the film hopscotches examine specific situations. Two involve big oil. We meet a retired paleontologist, who worked for Shell Oil, discovering new resources off the coast of New Orleans, but who also helped rescue more than 100 people after Hurricane Katrina. This was a disaster that the Archivist, looking back, says was only the first of many similar meteorological catastrophes related to climate change.
A young woman who dreams of becoming a doctor lives in an impoverished Nigerian village where Shell operates a drilling operation. She fishes in the oil-polluted waters to raise money for her education. She laments the paradox of the resource curse, in which oil wealth contributes to a countrys poverty by putting riches in the hands of a greedy, corrupt few who neglect the education and health of a country while contaminating the environment.
An octogenarian mountaineer in the French Alps observes how the melting of glaciers has necessitated the construction of longer ladders for climbers to reach them. Another vignette revolves around Iraqi children who hate the United States and blame the American lust for oil for the war.
The two stories that best exemplify the difficulties faced by environmentalists have to do with a fledgling Indian airline and a proposed wind farm in the English countryside. Jeh Wadia, an entrepreneur in Mumbai who is starting a low-cost airline, believes he is doing good by helping the economy in India. But as Piers Guy, a wind-farm developer in England who carefully measures his carbon footprint, says, air travel is a major contributor to global warming. Mr. Guys campaign to build turbines that would produce wind energy in Bedfordshire is vehemently opposed by residents because it will spoil their views and lower their property values.
A thread of needling gallows humor runs through The Age of Stupid. Near the end of the film the Archivist wonders: Why didnt we save ourselves? Was the answer that we werent sure we were worth saving? He may have a point.
SOME OF THE COMMENTS POSTED THERE:
"Great to see this movie has finally reached our shores. If predicting climate trends was as easy as predicting the reaction of global warming pseudoskeptics there wouldn't be any deniers left. When I came across a new study in Nature Geoscience on the cause of the massive shift in the climate 55 million years ago, my first reaction was, "How long will it take before someone completely misrepresents this paper as evidence that undermines anthropogenic global warming?"' (cited in richly informative blog in item about new info on climate 55 million years ago) http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2009/07/james-hrynyshyn-gaps-in-climate.html
I have been rereading Spencer Weart's History of Global Warming and am struck that most denialist points were asked in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and began to be seriously addressed during that time. Despite the best efforts of the Reagan era and beyond to suppress science and promote industry agendas, scientists in a wide variety of disciplines have continually addressed the need to collect improved information, analyze it, and take into account the complexities of climate and earth's biological, chemical, geological, physical (etc.) and social history. Scientists are not simple-minded, and there is no grand conspiracy to avoid truth and bury facts, though as humans they each have their preferences - science is one huge debate but survives because it is premised on the idea that the truth must be told and conclusions must be verifiable.
I suggest a visit to the NYTimes DotEarth blog (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/) which provides a fascinating and deep array of varied information about climate and the issues of an expanding population on a finite planet. Though you will find Andy Revkin quite tolerant of some level of pseudo-skepticism, an in-depth reading of his various postings and links will provide a much richer basis for understanding than resources which will inevitably be labeled as biased if they don't confirm the bias of the reader."
Susan Anderson , Boston
"I feel like this can exacerbate the entire debate surrounding climate change and give those who find global warming as only a "theory" some ammunition. The movie sort of fictionalizes global warming and has a tone of exaggeration that always distances people from the cause. Its worst crime is its failure to bring forth the complexities of earth science. Sure, there may be evidence to support that the earth has been cooling *after record-breaking heat might I add, but global warming can initiate feedback mechanisms that could cause the planet to cool and have other parallel consequences as a result. And although the earth is cooling, it still has a higher average temperature in the context and span of centuries. We have to remember that the planet has its own variations and fluctuations. It is not a stagnant place, even though there is a larger trend at work. Climate change, especially the one we most consider, is that of long-term, not average differences from year to year. This movie is unnecessary fuel to the fire and will not have the affect of changing minds, as much as I find it necessary for us to take the subject seriously. Although, I did find the movie well-made and good-intentioned."
Kennedy , California
"It seems that if you offer an emotional appeal to save humanity from the devastating effects of climate change, you are criticized for not offering enough facts. But if you offer facts, such as those in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, you are ignored because your material is too dry and inaccessible. I don't see how some people will ever be helped to overcome their unwillingness to understand the very real future we face. It is a tragedy that these same deniers will be the last to suffer from climate change - the first victims are always the poor and marginalized. Only much later will the climate change deniers see first-hand the problems in their own communities."
polli schildge , rumson, nj
"Yes, we do have to do something about global warming. This might be overly alarmist, but if this is what it takes to motivate people to support an effort to reduce fossil fuel use, then that's great. The problem of global warming (or, more precisely, climate change) is real and very scary."
The Essential Role of Cultural Pioneers http://blogs.worldwatch.org/transformingcultures/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/SOW2010-Box2-Pioneers.pdf
Considering that consumerism is such a powerful force and that the majority of resources and wealth are still overwhelmingly being used to stimulate it, how realistic is it to think that the pattern can shift? James Davison Hunters analysis of how cultures change is instructive. As Hunter, the Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, explains, cultural change can best be understood not through the Great Man approach (whereby heroic individuals redirect the course of history), but through the Great Network approach. The key actor in history is not individual genius but rather the network. When networks come together, they can change history. But not always. Change depends on overlapping networks of leaders of similar orientation and with complementary resources (whether cultural clout, money, political power, or other assets) acting in common purpose. Networks can spread many ideas, whether consumption patterns, habits, political views, or even a new cultural paradigm. But as Hunter notes, as culture is driven by institutions, success will depend on pulling ideas of sustainability into the center of these institutions, not allowing them to remain on the periphery. This means that as individuals internalize new norms and values personally, they also need to actively spread these ideas along their networks. They need to bring these ideas directly to the center of leading human institutionsspreading them through all available vehiclesso that others adopt this orientation and use their own leadership capacities to spread it even further. Like brand agents who now volunteer to surreptitiously promote the newest consumer product, individuals who recognize the dangerous ecological and social disruptions arising from unsustainable consumerism need to mobilize their networks to help spread a new paradigm. These networks, tapping whatever resources they havefinancial, cultural, political, or familialwill play essential roles in pioneering a new cultural orientation. The story of the documentary The Age of Stupid illustrates this point. The filmmakers raised funds from small investments by friends and supporters, and they marketed the film and organized 600 showings in over 60 countries by tapping into a global network of concerned individuals. They then channeled the momentum of the film to build a climate change campaign. This campaign, 10:10, encourages people to commit to reduce their carbon emissions by 10 percent in 2010 and to mobilize policymakers to do the same. By October 2009, some 900 businesses, 220 schools, 330 organizations, and 21,000 individuals had signed the 10:10 pledge. And if all these networks of pioneers fail? As scientist James Lovelock notes, Civilization in its present form hasnt got long. Consumerismdue to its ecological impossibilitycannot continue much longer. The more seeds sown by cultural pioneers now, the higher the probability that the political, social, and cultural vacuum created by the decline of consumerism will be filled with ideas of sustainability as opposed to other less humanistic ideologies.
Despite Disappointment, Climate Summit Marks High Point for Activist Movement (December 28, 2009) http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6355
Media audiences across the world took notice as Copenhagen police arrested hundreds of activists at the peak of the United Nations climate conference that ended last Saturday.The variety of non-violent actions, from candlelight vigils to hunger strikes, as well as the sheer size of the demonstrations, served as constant reminders that a concerned public expected the conference to result in dramatic action to confront climate change."The standard way of doing activism is not working. We need dramatic action and personal action and to do what we can as individuals," said Anna Keenan, an Australian Youth Climate Coalition organizer. "Writing one more petition is not going to change the world."The two-week U.N. conference may have ended in disappointment for most climate activists, who travelled from nearly every continent, but the gathering marked a historic high point for a movement that has swelled in strength and recognition in recent years. An estimated 45,000 people attended the climate negotiations. This included greater participation from government delegations, business groups, and academics, in addition to larger turnout from campaigners. The "youth" delegation, representatives of the below-30 age group, increased its presence at forums that were once attended only by bureaucrats and scientists. (...) "We've felt a lot of disappointment, but within a few years we've mobilized world leaders - 110 heads of state sitting at a table talking about climate change - that is incredible," said Deepa Gupta, co-founder of the Indian Youth Climate Network. "As long as there is hope in the world, there is inspiration. As long as there is inspiration in the world, there is change. And we will defeat climate change."In addition to the crowd of demonstrators who filled the streets of Copenhagen during the riot protests - estimates range from 25,000 to 100,000 protestors, according to organizers - some 5,000 people worldwide volunteered to join the climate fasters for a day without food, and 12 million people signed a petition by TckTckTck, a partnership of several environmental and social welfare groups at the Copenhagen summit, to demand a legally binding treaty." XThe result has not been the treaty we need, but we were never so naïve to think we would get it," said McKibben, organizer of the 350 movement, which coordinated 5,200 rallies in 181 countries in October to demand climate action, at the vigil. "Power does not surrender power easily. Privilege does not surrender privilege easily. It takes people like you who press."
Eye on Earth: 2009 Year in Review (December 29, 2009) http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6356
Worldwatch looks back at this year in environmental news, picking the most notable stories posted to Eye on Earth over the past 12 months.
State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability http://www.worldwatch.org/sow10
See the Table of Contents for more information. -- Like a tsunami, consumerism has engulfed human cultures and Earths ecosystems. Left unaddressed, we risk global disaster. But if we channel this wave, intentionally transforming our cultures to center on sustainability, we will not only prevent catastrophe, but may usher in an era of sustainabilityone that allows all people to thrive while protecting, even restoring, Earth.In State of the World 2010, sixty renowned researchers and practitioners describe how we can harness the worlds leading institutionseducation, the media, business, governments, traditions, and social movementsto reorient cultures toward sustainability.
Whiplash in the Greenhouse (January 13, 2010) http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/climate-whiplash-in-the-greenhouse/#more-13191
There are a variety of debates under way over the merits or perils of focusing on particular climate (and sea level) findings, or a particular seasons conditions, in discussing human-driven global warming.Journalists sometimes do this, lured by the pull of the front-page thought amid momentous, but complicated science. Campaigners pressing the case for action (or inaction) on greenhouse gas emissions tend to be particularly keen to pick out findings that suit one of these agendas and ignore or attack those that dont.While a short-term benefit might be an attention-grabbing headline, one result, of course, can be a sense of climate whiplash on the part of the public, and eventual disengagement or distrust as a result, if the finding proves to be an overstatement. Over all, this process of fighting for attention seems to favor those advocating stasis. For one thing, they already have it far easier in what really amounts to a titanic battle over energy choices and policies. An object at rest (a public reliant on fossil fuels) tends to stay at rest. A little distrust, doubt, confusion or disengagement goes a long way toward moving a looming issue to a back burner, or entirely off the stove. CLIP
Hansen and Watts Agree: Cold Weather, Warm Climate (January 17, 2010) http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/hansen-and-watts-agree-cold-weather-isnt-climate/
In the last few days, a notable conjunction occurred when these two men essentially agreed on something: that the planet despite a lot of very cold patches is unusually warm. On his nongovernmental Web site, Dr. Hansen posted If Its That Warm, How Come Its So Damned Cold? (pdf) a draft article, written with several colleagues, setting the current cold conditions in global (warming) context. Mr. Watts posted a piece in what he called the weather is not climate department, highlighting satellite measurements showing that January, and particularly Jan. 13, were unusually warm (for the 30-year satellite period). It centered on Lubos Motls analysis of satellite temperature data by the University of Alabama, Huntsville, hardly a hotbed of global warming alarm. Some critics said this was simply Mr. Wattss trying to cover for his earlier posts on unusual cold and to appear moderate amid all the strident charges that global warming is an outright hoax. But to my mind, given the depth of the gulf between the perception of climate held by many people and the scientific realities, this is a moment of accord worth noting.
There are certain newspaper headlines that catch your eye and stop you in your tracks. Like the New York Post's famous "Headless Body in Topless Bar." Or such tabloid greats as "Evil Cows Ate My Garden," "Double Decker Bus Found on Moon," and my personal favorite, "Proof of Reincarnation: Baby Born with Wooden Leg."
Along similar lines, I was startled this week when London's Daily Mail published an article headlined, "Could we be in for 30 years of global COOLING?" Triggered by the unusual cold and snow in the United Kingdom over the last few weeks, the article began, "Britain's big freeze is the start of a worldwide trend towards colder weather that seriously challenges global warming theories, eminent scientists claimed yesterday."
The story went on to reference various researchers and their institutions, including the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which reported, according to the Mail, that, "The warming of the Earth since 1900 is due to natural oceanic cycles, and not man-made greenhouse gases."
This was followed by an article on the Fox News Web site with the headline, "30 Years of Global Cooling Are Coming, Leading Scientist Says."
There are only two small problems, as was pointed out by Steve Benen on Washington Monthly magazine's "Political Animal" blog: "First, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said no such thing. The director of the NSIDC said, 'This is completely false. NSIDC has never made such a statement and we were never contacted by anyone from the Daily Mail.'" (Subsequently, both Fox and the Mail removed the reference to the NSIDC in their articles.)
Second, as proof of global cooling, both stories cited research conducted by Mojib Latif, a prominent climate modeler with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Latif's response to their reporting? "I don't know what to do," he said. "They just make these things up."
Latif's work on climatology is complex and often difficult to understand, which is why the Fox and Daily Mail reporters may have his story mixed up -- it wouldn't be the first time journalists have been confused by his findings. But as cogently interpreted by the physicist and climate expert Dr. Joseph Romm of the liberal Center for American Progress, "Latif has NOT predicted a cooling trend -- or a 'decades-long deep freeze' -- but rather a short-time span where human-caused warming might be partly offset by ocean cycles, staying at current record levels, but then followed by 'accelerated' warming where you catch up to the long-term human-caused trend. He does NOT forecast 2 or 3 decades of cooling."
In fact, as Latif told the British newspaper the Guardian, "I believe in manmade global warming... There is no doubt within the scientific community that we are affecting the climate, that the climate is changing and responding to our emissions of greenhouse gases."
And if you don't believe him, ask the jellyfish.
Jellyfish don't lie. Well, sometimes they lie -- deceased and desiccated along the beach, which from strolling along various Eastern Seaboard shores is about the extent of my knowledge of them. That, and that Ogden Nash couplet, the one that goes, "Who wants my jellyfish? I am not sellyfish!"
But according to the Associated Press, the jellyfish population is rising. The news service reports, "Scientists believe climate change -- the warming of oceans -- has allowed some of the almost 2,000 jellyfish species to expand their ranges, appear earlier in the year and increase overall numbers, much as warming has helped ticks, bark beetles and other pests to spread to new latitudes."
This has led to all manner of consequences, some you would expect, others not. A 2008 National Science Foundation study found populations growing along the East Coast -- in the Chesapeake Bay area, people are stung about half a million times a year. In the Middle East and Africa, swarms have jammed hydroelectric and desalination plants, forcing them to shut down. In Japan, the fishing industry is losing up to $332 million a year because jellyfish swarms fill the nets, crowding out mackerel, sea bass and other fish.
The AP reports that in October, off the eastern coast of Japan, "Jelly-filled nets capsized a 10-ton trawler as its crew tried to pull them up. The three fishermen were rescued." I know this all sounds like something out of a Godzilla movie, but it's serious stuff.
And speaking of jellyfish, here's a headline you may not see anytime soon: "Senate Passes Sweeping Climate Bill."
Although in a January 14 speech to the Energy Finance Forum, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "Taking on the clean-energy challenge... may be the most important policy we will ever pass. And we cannot afford to wait any longer to act," the cap-and-trade climate bill that narrowly passed the House of Representatives back in June malingers in the purgatory of the Senate.
And next week, Senator Reid will allow a vote on an amendment to the legislation lifting the Federal debt ceiling. Proposed by Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, it would block the enforcement funding of the Environmental Protection Agency, giving free rein to the coal industry and other big polluters to ignore the Clean Air Act.
The activist group Credo Action, part of the company Working Assets, warns, "You would think this would be easy to stop, but the vote is predicted to be close with many Democrats considering voting for the bill... The coal industry has been working furiously to close deals with senators across the political spectrum, including those who say they want to protect the environment."
Michael Winship is senior writer of the weekly public affairs program Bill Moyers Journal, which airs Friday nights on PBS.
From: Eleanore Dunn (email@example.com)
Date: 17 Jan 2010
Subject: Holistic Healing
I am doing a Ph.D. in holistic healing and have discovered a very disturbing scenario with regard to the future safety of our planet. I have attempted to alert the agencies which are responsible for protecting the public but have received nothing back but auto responses. Everything uncovered can be proven scientifically.
There is also a safe and effective means of reversing the damage that has been caused. This is a global issue as the degeneration has spread as indicated in the National Geographic booklet mentioned in the attached document.
I personally just cured Lyme Disease in less then two months and the related osteoarthrits, bone on bone and that has taken more then a year and have the necessary documentation to support it. My Masters Thesis is: Digestive Failure as the Basis of all Disease. I have personally experienced all of the elements that restore these much needed systems and teach how to restore them. I am having difficulty with publishing the work and getting people to want to do it as it is an entirely new approach to wellness and we know how much mankind fears change even though it is the only constant.
There is more and right now I need help for all of us as we do not have another planet to go to. I do not want to get involved in fixing the blame as it is time-consuming and I do not see that we have much more, interestingly enough about 3 years.
I look forward to working with like-minded people like yourself.
I just read your essay entitled "Hope" and I must say that your title is somewhat of a misnomer. What a dispiriting picture you paint of the state of things on this planet. I know from what I read elsewhere that much of what you mention is true (regarding the man-made pollution of all of nature) and the situation is even worse than what you describe, like the growing depleted uranium contamination. Being on the ERN list, I'm sure you are aware of this if you do read the stuff I network. One thing that strikes me in your text is the risk that plants are equally affected by all the environmental pollution, something rarely mentioned. The same thing can be said of what all animals must also endure. As for the lack of response of governmental agencies, they are often the least responsive people when it comes to doing something about such problems because the bureaucrats working there just follow the orders given by their bosses and take few initiatives of their own to tackle such widespread problems. And frankly I can understand them. These problems are systemic in that our entire economic system is designed to put profits ahead of any such concerns for the consequences of "progress" on Nature. There is a good reason why our planet is in such a dire strait... Most human beings feel powerless to address such vast challenges and prefer to bury their head in the sand for the sake of maintaining their sanity and being able to sleep at night. Fortunately, many NGOs such as Greenpeace have mounted successful campaigns over the years to force the politicians to regulate the polluters, although it is often the taxpayers who end up footing the bill and not the polluters, who, when they have to pay it, simply pass on the costs to the consumers to avoid reducing their margin of profit. Same old story!
Now as for your unique approach to personally do something to protect one's health through paying attention to what one eats - which you don't directly mention but I believe that's what your essay leads to as indicated by the title of your master thesis "Digestive Failure as the Basis of all Disease" - this is indeed a good way to tackle individual health problems. Eating organic foods, avoiding as best as possible everything that can impair our body's immune system and general well-being, in short, trying to live a good life without too much negative stress, is a lifestyle being practiced by a growing number of individuals who, like you, went through some form of health challenge and learned the hard way that what you put into your body - through your mouth, a syringe or otherwise - can have extreme consequences. I'd suggest to you that, to succeed in getting people interested in what you propose, you should perhaps focus a bit less on describing what's wrong and more on what anyone can do to actually help oneself and also assist the society as a whole to shift away from consuming products that are bad for us and for the environment. Just discoursing about how things are bad without quickly proposing simple, common sense choices to take a better direction can just leave the readers feeling powerless, despondent and prone to denial to avoid being further disturbed by the difficult situation we are all in.
I hope this feedback is useful to you and that it will help you fine-tune your efforts, which I encourage you to continue as this is what we all need to pull ourselves out of the difficulties we experience, never forgetting that, in the process, we can derive vital life lessons which are the real goal of our presence, as souls, in this earthly cauldron of experience one of them being to learn to always strive to be of service to others, because what we do to others, and to the planet, we, in fact, do to ourselves, for All is One and, as such, deeply interconnected, intertwined and interdependent.
Much love and Light in your heart
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