Eye of The Storm Series #10: Shifting Into High Spiritual Gear
Trying to summarize such a large compilation with so many important topics covered is nearly impossible. So I'll simply recommend the following useful perspective to keep in mind while reading the following material and anything else for that matter...
If you have already seen the movie Avatar and enjoyed the vicarious experience of seeing the exhilarating world of the Na'vis (the blue people living in symbiosis with the planet Pandora) through the technology-mediated interface of a laboratory conceived body of a Na'vi used by Jake Sully, the paraplegic former Marine, to impersonate a Na'vi as part of his job as an avatar operator, you will better understand the analogy I'm about to offer.
We are all just like Jake Sully, operating an avatar our body - through the interface of a personage developed organically through our life experiences starting right in the womb up to our very last breathe on Earth. And this operator of our body is our soul, which is who we really are! But the analogy doesn't stop there. All our souls collectively form the global interface of the cosmic consciousness of Creator Source which uses every sentient instrument, small and large, throughout the universes to directly - not vicariously - experience its infinitely vast Creation. Whether you are aware of this or not, all that you experience enriches the aggregated collective wisdom and knowledge of the Supreme Operator and because of this, your intuitive sense of Self is intricately connected with all that exists through that Central Interface whose nodal points of consciousness are spread fairly evenly throughout all the dimensions of the existing universes.
Now from that perspective, it is easier to not get caught in the ever spiralling vortex of emotional reactivity that is embedded in our very feeling matrix as an automatic guidance system that is more or less in synch with the sense of right and wrong that can best help us make our way safely through the web of often distorted perceptions created by the vagaries of this very intense field of physical experience. In short, keeping alive the awareness of the soul operator in us taking part through us in this very immersive learning experience can make it easier to keep our cool, understand that this is all a big trial and error game set, and that as we become aware of the imperfect choices of other aspects of our collective of souls, we have the ability to enable innerly-prompted self-corrections in our soul kins, wherever they may be on Earth, for the Highest Good of All.
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"Spontaneous Evolution offers you the information, inspiration and invitation to participate in the greatest adventure in human history conscious evolution! Economic meltdown environmental crisis seemingly endless warfare. The world is in critical condition. Weve all heard stories of people who experienced seemingly miraculous recoveries from illness, but can the same thing happen for our world? According to pioneering biologist Bruce H. Lipton, its not only possible, its already happening. We are surrounded by the proof that we are poised to take an incredible step forward in the growth of our species. In Spontaneous Evolution, this world-renowned expert in the emerging science of epigenetics teams up with political philosopher Steve Bhaerman to offer a new and hopeful story about humanitys evolutionary destiny. Spontaneous Evolution reveals how changing our understanding of biology and human history will help us navigate these turbulent times, and invites readers to reconsider: The unquestioned pillars of biology including random evolution, survival of the fittest, and the role of DNA The blueprint for our sustainable, life-affirming future that is literally inside you encoded in each of the trillions of cells comprising your body How our beliefs about nature and human nature shape our politics, culture, and individual lives; and How each of us can become planetary stem cells supporting the health and growth of our world and every individual in it. By releasing the old beliefs that keep the status quo in place, and by building our lives and world on this heartening new story, we can trigger the spontaneous evolution of our species. Infused with intelligence and wit, Spontaneous Evolution is an insightful, playful, and ultimately hopeful look at the unfolding destiny of our speciesand how you can play an active role in birthing the evolution of humanity."
"People will be discussing the Copenhagen climate conference for years to come. Opinions will be mixed as to whether it was a step forward or a failure. Only history will tell whether it was a turning point or a tipping point. (...) The 'Copenhagen Accord' is a cruel blow, a setback for millions around the world who had put their hope in their leaders to deliver on climate protection. Never before had such a constellation of groups and institutions calling for urgent and decisive action on climate change been assembled - from civil society, faith groups, business, investors, scientists, engineers and professional organizations, to the UN itself which ran an unprecedented 'Seal the Deal' campaign. Leaders responded to the call and came - but they did not deliver. This is a failure of historic proportions because an 'encore' will be very difficult. Instead, we have the modern equivalent of the Munich Agreement. In 1938 European powers sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler's aggression thinking this would appease his territorial hunger. The consequences of this gigantic miscalculation became evident with the unfolding horrors of World War II. In 2009, we are making a similar miscalculation by allowing the major emitters to knowingly sacrifice the poor and vulnerable parts of the world for their 'right to pollute'. The consequences of this act at a time when the implications of rising carbon emissions are well-known is unconscionable in the extreme. The Copenhagen Accord is little more than 'greenwash' by a group of countries who have put the world on a highway to 4 degrees and 550ppm. (...) In Europe seventy years ago, the key lesson of Munich was that appeasement is not an option. Today our hopes rest on multilateralism to prevent a cabal of nations assembled in elite fora such as the Major Economies Forum and the G20 making climate triage decisions over the rest of the world. There is a very positive agenda ahead. The post-Copenhagen anger that many are feeling now can perhaps best be channeled into a determination to see a new, more responsible world order emerge. The last two weeks have been deeply disillusioning for many. But we have seen leaders emerge. We must now ensure that those who wish to lead on an equitable and effective climate agenda are not prevented from doing so."
"Times they are a changing. But is there enough time for the big transformation necessary before we reach the point of no return? My honest belief (for the first time in years) is that yes, there is, but at what cost? While the death of the old economy will bring with it unforeseen and unpredictable levels of social, economic and environmental suffering and loss after years of exploitation, the birth of a new era might just bring the healthy, happy and sustainable future weve all been dreaming of. While its going to be a tough road ahead, I salute the brave politicians, activists, business leaders and Hazel Hendersons of this world who remain solid, determined and courageous in working to build the future we all deserve. Time is short, so lets get to it."
Note from Jean: Sofía Aldunate (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Argentina wrote to me on January 29, 2010:
"I am reading right now a book of this author which is incredibly profound and beautiful and decided to look for him on the Internet. I think that what he has to say about the horrifying crisis we are going through should be listened for as many people as possible. Not only because he analyzes what is going on in a very honest and sincere way, but because he is giving us ways to act to put a remedy to it. Some of these ways we already know about, some of them may be new to a lot of people, but in any case I found incredibly useful everything I heard and felt so thankful for his words, that I just want to share them with as many people as I can."
She recommended a Youtube video with Andrew Harvey that I started listening to so as to evaluate it for possible inclusion here and was instantly mesmerized by this soft-talking but deeply inspired and incredibly lucid soul. I also discovered that this was only part one of a 7-part video series which I proceeded to listen to. I then checked what people were saying on Amazon about his latest book The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism and I found 3 of them so enlightening about both this man and his book that I've decided to include them here, in addition to the intro info provided on Youtube for each of this 7-part soulful discourse by Andrew Harvey which I hereby highly recommend to you attention. I believe most of you will deeply resonate to his message as it is so much in line with what this Earth Rainbow Network is all about...
The Great Death - Sacred Activism Part One http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgK_pywP-84
The term "sacred activism" is taking on new meaning as the crisis of our global situation intensifies. Between a massive population explosion all over the planet, and increasing water shortages, how do people sleep at night? Global warming, at this stage, is a reality and concern for millions of people. Mystical scholar, poet, and author of over 30 books, Andrew Harvey defines the various aspects of our current predicament and also a path towards planetary healing. Harvey, in this clip, introduces both his hope for humanity and also what he calls the "birth of the divine feminine" and the challenge it presents humanity to live in a totally new way.
The Great Birth Andrew Harvey Sacred Activism Part Two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM6A7_E-imw&NR=1
In Part Two of the Sacred Activism series, Andrew Harvey explains how a "great birth" is taking place during what he calls humanity's dark night of the soul. In this clip, Harvey describes a range of signs that suggest a "star of radiant hope" is emerging like a "phoenix from the flames." He suggests that millions of individuals are being called to concentrate the "heart mind" so that people everywhere can begin to live in a wholly new way. According to Harvey, there are many paths to our "inner divine nature"he encourages his audience to wake-up to that particular path, whatever it is, so that together, as one, we may co-create a new humanity.
The Sacred Feminine - Sacred Activism Part Three http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIMFZlKpvAI
In Part Three of the Sacred Activism series, Andrew Harvey begins a more in-depth discussion of what he terms "the way through" to a quantum leap in consciousness. He introduces "the return of the sacred feminine" and what it means for humanity at this critical time in history. The Divine wants this birth, Harvey proposesand so is entering wherever possible. The sacred feminine, he explains, is "a force that can save the planet."
A New Humanity - Sacred Activism Part Four http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiKaFyH4F9Q
In Part Four of the Sacred Activism series, Andrew Harvey discusses a "vision of humanity's inner divine nature." Harvey maps steps every person can take to help birth a new humanity. During our dark and at times frightening for some planetary crisis, the sacred feminine is emergingthrough a feast of spiritual practices, from Hinduism to Buddhism, Dance to Yoga, Animal Rights Activism to Vegetarianism. Listen to Harvey outline practical guidelines for this time of great transformation and prepare for "an astounding quantum leap in consciousness."
The Power of Service - Sacred Activism Part Five http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InEVlKs-rWI
In Part Five of the Sacred Activism series, Harvey begins outlining five forms of service each of us can engage in daily to "surrender our will to divine love." He discusses the need for constant shadow work and awareness of parts of oneself we sometimes do not want to face. Harvey exalts the power of the divine to open doors where there were none, and to bring down seemingly insurmountable walls. Find out how to heighten your receptivity to divine transformation and begin to do the necessary work that will heal the planet.
Reverence for Life - Sacred Activism Part Six http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcuQaDNXr8Q
In Part Six of the Sacred Activism series, Harvey touches on the need to identify what breaks your heart to listen to that sadness and grief, and heed the call to action. For some, heartbreak is rooted in the fact that there are polar bears drowning in the arctic, while for others it is the unjust slaughter of children during wartime. Whatever moves your heart at the deepest core, Harvey suggests, can ultimately give rise to both tremendous compassion and "quantum creativity." Together, individuals can build alliances, or "networks of grace" and new worlds will start to arise. Listen to Harvey explain how.
Global Citizenry - Sacred Activism Part Seven http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOLDxci7iRQ
In Part Seven of the Sacred Activism series, Harvey addresses his conviction that the Divine wants humanity to get through a kind of birth canalto a whole new way of being in the universe. In the end, humans always have free willwith that, it is possible we can in fact deny the divine, and, in doing so, destroy all life on the planet. Narcissism of every variety poses a basic threat that cannot be denied. Every act, every gesture counts, and so does reverence for all beings including the animals. Listen to Harvey explain how best to work day-to-day and in every moment with the blessing of the divine so that immense problems can be solved.
Every age has its teachers, who keep the eternal truths alive for all of us, writes Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author of The Age of Miracles. In the case of Andrew Harvey, the light he sheds is like a meteor burst across the inner sky.In The Hope, Andrew Harvey offers not only a guide to discovering your divine purpose but also the blueprint for a better world. It consists of the necessary elements that can inspire greatness in each of us. Based on Harveys concepts of Sacred Activism, a global initiative designed to save the world from its downward spiral of greed, pain, and self-destruction, the book is an enlightening text that reflects our world today, while in turn, shapes our future. There are seven laws of Sacred Activism that have the potential to transform our world. Each law, in its own unique way, promotes love above all other impulses. Sacred Activism is about finding gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion; it is about opening yourself up to the kindness within you, letting go of pain, and making a conscious choice to help heal the world.Learn how to incorporate a spiritual practice into your life, transform anger into positive energy, and take part in a global community. Reclaim a world that for too long has been driven by selfishness and hatred. Discover the infinite joy of giving. Turn away from everything you have been and done and believed, and dive into the consciousness of a divine love that embraces all beings. While the future may appear bleak, The Hope provides practical advice to all those who want positive change.
A Brilliant, Inspiring Vision and Birth of a Movement, September 16, 2009
By Brad Laughlin (Santa Fe, NM USA)
With The Hope, Andrew Harvey has given a name to the path that so many of us are now following and to which many are being called: "Sacred Activism". As he explains, "When...the joy of compassionate service is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social and political institutions, a radical and potentially all-transforming holy force is born. This radical holy force I call Sacred Activism.... My deepest prayer for the vision of Sacred Activism is that it will inspire you to harness the energies of love, both in yourself and with others, and to discover, with wonder and hope, the joy and power of...that fiery passion of compassion that, when allied with grounded wise action, will help us change everything."
Not only does this movement--a fusion of the paths of spiritual awakening, social responsibility and selfless service--now have a name, thankfully, but a brilliant, inspiring, passionate and beautifully articulated vision. We are immensely blessed to have The Hope to guide and inspire us on the way, as we face the daunting and overwhelming task of helping to birth a new paradigm of sustainability and heart-centered consciousness on our beloved planet Earth.
This book is rich with many deeply moving and inspirational stories that will touch your heart and linger in your memory--from Andrew Harvey's personal life, from his personal experiences with illumined souls such as Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, as well as from many others. One of the most memorable stories of Sacred Activism is about an ordinary woman who performed an extraordinary and unimaginable act of forgiveness. It was originally told in Towards a Spirituality by Elaine Prevallet, and took place during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission proceedings in post-Apartheid South Africa. The commission brought an elderly black woman face to face with the white policeman who brutally and savagely murdered her husband and son and who had forced her to witness the crime. When the commission asked her how justice should be served, she said that she had forgiven the man and that she wanted to hold him in her arms so he could know that he was truly forgiven. As she was being led across the courtroom to embrace him, he fainted.
As Andrew Harvey concludes, "You might be deeply moved by this story but think that its relevance to the nitty gritty reality of world affairs is marginal. This is a mistake.... The embrace of unconditional forgiveness is essential to the success of all the major activist adventures in our world." All of us who feel passionate about ending wars, pollution, injustice and the ravaging of the Earth by corrupt forces would do well to heed his wise words and the extraordinary example of this elderly South African woman.
How easy it is in our passion for social justice to blame, project anger and hatred, and seek retribution. And yet, as The Hope so beautifully and lovingly explores, this just perpetuates the very problems we seek to resolve, as when we indulge in these behaviors, we are not taking responsibility and not facing our own unconscious "shadow" side.
A thread of light woven throughout The Hope is the important and urgent message of facing our own unconscious shadow. Although not necessarily a popular topic, it is an utterly essential one if we are to succeed in our quest for change. With great humility and accessibility, Andrew Harvey guides us intimately and tenderly through this challenging subject. Using his own candid, personal example of taking responsibility for his role in the "wrecks" in his life, we learn how doing the shadow clearing work results in breakthrough, empowerment and spiritual awakening. Among the many extraordinary aspects of this luminous book, perhaps the most profound for me is Chapter 13, "The Law of Constant, Humble Shadow Work", which is the most beautifully articulated, inspiring, passionate and hopeful description of how and why to do the shadow work that I have ever read.
The Hope is a very easy read, and you will be tempted to move through it quickly, as it grips you from the very first pages with its deeply touching insights, essential humor and grounded practicality. However, there is much to savor in its exquisitely expressed wisdom, and it is best read slowly.
My hope for The Hope is that its urgent, hopeful and vital message reaches multitudes of potential Sacred Activists right away. Ultimately, the ancient and timeless spiritual truths it presents are what we must rely on if we are to live up to the challenges we face at this pivotal moment in humanity's evolution. May the blessing of this book find its way into the hearts and minds of the masses immediately!
A Passionate, Erudite and Well Reasoned Call to Action, September 9, 2009
Many of us feel that we stand at a critical period in history. We face enormous physical, psychological, social, economic and spiritual challenges. But that is what they are: challenges. We are not impotent passengers on a runaway train; we all have it within our gift to make small changes that will together transform the world. But as Albert Einstein once said, "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them." We cannot simply hope for an intellectual or technological fix for the problems that we have created for ourselves. We need a change of heart, a radical transformation of ourselves, and that is what this book is about.
Although I have never met him, Andrew Harvey - the author of this wonderful work - is evidently a remarkable individual. A prodigy who became a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford when he was only 21 years old, he soon became disillusioned with the academic world and departed for India to begin a spiritual quest that continues to this day. In the course of his quest he must have met and conversed with most of the great spiritual and intellectual figures of our times.
He has come to the realization that any spiritual path worthy of the name must ultimately lead us to do something to bring about positive change in the day-to-day world. It should not simply be source of comfort, but of radical change both in ourselves and in society. We have to evolve beyond navel gazing and worship to become active agents of change, what Andrew calls "Sacred Activism." Andrew has carefully delineated seven "Laws" of Sacred Activism that he believes have the potential to transform each of us and our world. I am absolutely certain that he is correct. Once you really comprehend the inter-connectedness of life and feel compassion, joy, gratitude and forgiveness as real living, breathing entities, you are changed forever.
He is a very fine writer, and it was easy to read the whole book at one sitting. Here is an example of his delightful prose. Amongst the "Laws" that from the structure for the book is the "Law of Sacred Practice." Andrew quotes the Jungian analysts Marion Woodman who said to him, "Continuing to do pioneering sacred work in a world as crazy and painful as ours without constantly grounding yourself in sacred practice would be like running into a forest fire dressed only in a paper tutu."
As with all of Andrew Harvey's books this one is passionate, erudite and well reasoned. I sincerely hope that it is read very widely, and that readers take at least some of the actions that he details.
This is going to be one of my Books of the Year, and I already plan to send out a lot of copies to people ready for this essential Message of Hope.
"The Hope" captures the very heart and soul of Andrew Harvey's lifelong spiritual journey, and seems to be a synthesis of all the passion and wisdom he acquired along the way. The reader is caught up in a kaleidoscopic swirl of prose, poetry and prayers of saints and mystics against the background of Andrew's extraordinary life experiences. The book can move you to tears one moment and overwhelm you the next with the torrent of prose and erudition, but always Andrew's impassioned desire to share his hard-won wisdom shines through. It is filled with diamonds of inspiration for all agents of change wanting to help birth a world of justice and compassion.
Andrew Harvey, one of today's best-known mystics, lays out his new vision for Sacred Activism - an amalgam of the activist's passion for social change with the inner peace and unity consciousness of the grounded mystic or spiritual seeker. He makes a strong case for the need to merge the two into a symbiotic union - a "third flame" - in order for each aspect to compensate for the shadow side of the other:
"The mystic's shadow of narcissism manifests as an addition to transcendence, as an escapism from responsibility from the real, as a sometimes passive and childish belief that the Divine will take care of everything, and as a subtle but devastating denial of the reality of evil and the heartbreaking misery of the world... The activist's shadow of narcissism ...manifests...as a messiah complex, as a dark ego-reinforcing delight in humiliating and destroying one's opponents, and as a depreciation of ordinary life in favor of heroic sacrifice. It also manifests as an addiction to doing for its own sake, with exhaustion, body neglect and burnout seen as signs of authenticity and badges of courage."
He implores activists on the front lines to keep themselves strong in body, mind and spirit to avoid burnout, and gives detailed examples of spiritual and physical practices to help. He warns against being naive about the existence of evil in the world, and points out that what we detest in our adversaries is somehow also present in our own shadow side. Prayer, patience and working through one's shadow issues, however, will make us more understanding of the other side, and more effective, and Divine Grace achieved through earnest spiritual practice is the best protection.
Andrew concludes with a call to action, and calls for readers to set up "Networks of Grace." Using a tactic from terror cells, he suggests turning this sword into a plowshare by coming together in "imaginal cells" of 6 to 12 to provide a support system for each other in the challenging work of Sacred Activism.
In the end, the book describes the path we all travel, with all the zigs and zags of a drunkard's walk. The times we live in, however, with our demonstrated and escalating capacity for destruction, lends an undeniable urgency to the need for powerful agents of change. Andrew's impassioned plea is that we heed the call, but that we avail ourselves of all the help and protection the Universe is just waiting to lavish upon us, if we will only ask for it.
Could Vancouver 2010 be the next 9/11? (January 28, 2010) WORTH A GOOD LOOK INDEED!!! http://dprogram.net/2010/01/25/could-vancouver-2010-could-be-the-next-911/
WARNING: I now believe I have reasonable grounds to suspect there may be a false flag attack carried out during the Olympics in Canada. The games will take place in Vancouver and Whistler from Feb. 12th until Feb. 28th. Below, I have compiled the following suspicious activity by searching and analyzing the news from various media sources and by speaking with citizens in Canada themselves. In my opinion, an attack on the Olympics while it is being highly guarded would be the perfect way to bring in more police state measure and to more fully integrate the US and Canada into a functioning North American Union. But the question remains, is that really what is happening right now? I hope you will look at the information and make up your own mind as to what pattern you see unfolding, any information provided is for analytical and educational purposes only and is meant to raise public awareness of current events and the potential dangers they could present.
WARNING SIGNS: 1. Two tons out of 6,000 tons of Ammonium Nitrate, (a material used in making powerful explosives) have gone missing from a shipment to a storage facility in the Vancouver area from a company that was recently bought out for $22 billion by some of the worlds largest financial companies. These companies are Goldman Sachs, AIG, The Carlye Group and others. The company that was purchased is called Kinder Morgan. Kinder Morgan didnt report the two tons missing for over a month, when they did report it they came back a week later only to say they simply made a clerical error. Soon after the announcement, the RCMP started their investigation and came back saying they cant confirm that it was really accounted for. Kinder Morgan has also tried to point out that they are only one company in the chain that had contact with the shipments. 250 truckloads were reportedly sent to Dyno Nobel (an explosives company) for packaging. There were also trucking companies hired to ship the product that the RCMP is attempting to track down. To put this into perspective, it is claimed that only one ton of this material was used during the Oklahoma City bombing, and now two tons are missing. That amount is more than enough material to cause substantial damage to numerous locations. With all of this said, the question arises, who has the capability and the motive to steal two tons of Ammonium Nitrate?
(...) 4. In a recent development Canadian parliament has been prorogued (A term where they are suspended typically in order to make new legislation and where all governmental power resides within the office of the Prime Minister.) until March 3rd (Remember that date.) after the games. The Prime Minister has also been given the sole responsibility for making the judgment call to shoot down any high jacked aircraft; normally this is not his responsibility.This is strangely the same as before 9/11 where Dick Cheney was given control of the military air defenses for a short time due to war games being conducted, and he denied the request to shoot down the plane approaching the Pentagon. This was testified to by Transportation Secretary, Norman Mineta in front of the 9/11 Commission, though no mention of this was given in the final report you can still watch the video of his testimony. CLIP
UFO DISCLOSURE: HUGE UFOs ORBITING THE SUN **UPDATE IN DESCRIPTION** (January 21, 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8POHkMQg0Dw
These huge spherical UFOs started appearing around January 18, 2010. They are on both the forward and rear images taken by NASA's Stereo Spacecraft in space. They appear to be moving as they are in different positions on many photos. Remember these are huge, possibly at least the size of Earth. Further, if they were planets or some type of huge asteroid comets, they would already have been pulled into the sun by the strong gravity the sun produces as in the case of the recent comet. Notice also that they are reflecting the sun's light just like a metal constructed ship would do. My best guess is that they are huge planet-sized spacecrafts either observing the sun, or could it be that disclosure is now happening. Either way, I await NASA's official explanation. Please help to make this viral so that we can get this out to the world. This could finally be the evidence that NASA can't cover-up or ignore. People asking for links so here's a current and this one shows SIX distinct anomalies. Truly awesome, and kind of puts that hot pixel malfunction theory to rest. Could the recent comets heading into the Sun and now these huge UFO's be the signs spoken of in the bible? Luke Chapter 21 vs 5 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. Breaking News: HUGE UFO"S AROUND OUR SUN, Jan 25, 2010 http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4072092/breaking_news_huge_ufo_s_around_our_sun_jan_25_2010/
These huge spheres started moving around our sun beginning around Jan 18th 2010. I've included links from NASA for you to take a look and enlarge the images for yourselves. CLIP - NOTE from Jean: The pictures of all the links posted there by this guy have been pulled by NASA - all the links now indicate "page not found" ... Now let's see if they will also pull all the links embedded below in my next note below... In What's New, NASA had no choice but to react to the widespread awareness generated by numerous videos posted on the Web about this these past few days and they has posted their attempt to explain away these phenomenons:
Wondering what those odd sphere-like features are in recent STEREO EUVI images? (January 27, 2010)
We have investigated, and determined that these are artifacts caused by an interaction between the high compression factors used for the beacon data, and cosmic ray events on the detector. Our discussion of image artifacts has been updated to include this phenomenon. CLIP
Go at http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/artifacts/artifacts.shtml to read their detailed explanations (many links to click). The cosmic rays "explanation" they offer to account for the images seen in the videos above doesn't hold much water as far as I'm concerned... And none of their other explanatory efforts account for the 2 amazing phenomenons I mention in my note below. At the other end of the explanatory scale, Alfred Lambremont Webre offers in his latest article - Giant UFOs around the Sun? NASA claims malfunction, physicist says giant ET UFOs use Suns star gate - a rather stunning theory indeed. Check it out!
NOTE from Jean: If you go HERE (this January 28, 2010 picture was taken at the end of the day) zoom in (click in the pic and then zoom further - on a Mac you hold the cmd and Cap keys and then you can press 9 times the + sign to reach the maximum magnification) there appears to be at least 2 large objects of different sizes and aspects around the sun. You can access MANY more such January 28 pictures HERE. This one also appears to show several objects... And if you check this January 1st picture, no such object is visible. I've checked several pictures at random from that day and everything looks normal (the sun's activity is beautiful though especially in this picture - caption HERE) Then I checked for January 15, and in this early morning picture, (this is the ahead view now of SOHO) when you go at maximum zoom you can see distinctly a T-shaped VERY large spacecraft stationed right above a spectacular coronal loop. It is still there 6 hours later... I had noticed that same object in this January 1st pic "parked" over the exact same spot but had thought at first it was simply the International Space Station that happened to be visible "by chance" at this moment between the sun and the Earth. But it cannot possibly still be there at the exact same place 15 days later and over the whole day (the International Space Station orbits 15.7 times around the Earth every day as explained HERE and is not geostationary) as you can verify through all the other pics of that day... It is also visible in the blue spectrum like HERE (through an ultraviolet imager sensitive to the ionized state of iron) and it is still there 2 days later (has not "followed" the coronal loop). What is THAT?!! It can be seen only through the STEREO Ahead SOHO observatory, never on the behind one. Then checking during the whole day, on January 22, I noticed there is a VERY large black object that remains stationary over the top of the sun in the corona. It is still visible the next day and in the blue spectrum as well (at full magnification) So I checked a year earlier to see if it was there, and it was indeed. Then I went back as far as I could in the SOHO archives and in January 22, 2007 it cannot be seen at the same spot but more on the top right of this sun's picture. However the T-shaped object was already there (in the stereo ahead view) and was also there over the exact same spot in one of the first SOHO pictures posted on Dec 22, 2006. On January 1st, 2007, the other dark object is however located below the sun's picture and doesn't have the same shape (it looks at full magnification like a star-shaped object with several protruding branches) perhaps because we see it from another angle. Now jumping ahead to today(January 28, 2010) you can clearly see 2 large objects, a dark one in the lower left section and if you look in the upper right section of this same picture, you'll see a mysterious donut-shaped planet-size object... even if this image if of a lower resolution because there is always a 3-day delay before the higher resolution pictures are made available. As for the t-shaped object in the latest ahead view, it is barely discernable because of the low resolution, while in this January 10, 2007 picture, it had slightly moved on the right and towards the top of the sun relatively to its usual location and it can be seen much more clearly than on any other picture I've seen - it looks like a giant bird...
Can you imagine the technological prowess it represents to be able to hold for so many years in a stationary position (despite the sun's rotation) such a planet-size spacecraft so close above the sun which is about one million times the size of the Earth, hot like hell and with a crushing gravitational pull at this close distance? For how many years (thousands, millions) has this been there? For what purpose? Could this be some sort of trans-galactic way station, a transit point or a giant stargate portal built and placed there by one or several ancient civilization(s) to enable instantaneous, trans-dimensional travel over billions of light years? Could it draw its energy from our star to operate, hence the need for such close proximity? What other functions can this have? Thanks to NASA, we have had these evidence staring at us in the face for over 4 years. No one else seems to have noticed those 2 gigantic objects - at least I couldn't find any reference about them on the Web... Does anyone have a plausible explanation?
The book of Hillary (January 23rd, 2010) http://devoid.blogs.heraldtribune.com/10548/the-book-of-hillary/
(...) Fifteen years later, from his home in Kerrville, Tex., Jones says Obamas White House is too besieged to contemplate working the locks on Americas UFO vaults. The most powerful man in the world cant do what he wants to do on a lot of things, says Jones, who now runs a non-profit peace activist site at http://www.peaceroom.com. He has to take a centrist position.Yet Jones insists the disclosure strategy is underway. How does he know? Other foreign governments in South America, Canada, the UK, are putting a lot of UFO material out there. Its pretty low-grade ore, theyre saving their best stuff. But theyre setting the stage. Along with? What the Vatican has said and done recently gives us a big clue.Last November, after declaring in 2008 that the extraterrestrial is my brother, Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, convened a five-day conference of nearly three dozen multi-national scientists to discuss ET life. Once confronted, Funes said, the implications for our self-image will be profound.Were not 62 years into this, Jones says, alluding to the alleged 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, N.M. Were centuries into this. The Vatican knows it. Things are starting to happen and were beginning to find out who the players really are.For now, the only thing we can can take to the bank is that Hillary Clinton was photographed with a book about ET life. And heres a pattern thats chiseled in granite: Nobody will ask her about it.
The Real Jim Carrey - He talks very candidly about his spiritual awakening. Refreshing!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsQJyKhmqkQ
Jim Carrey as you have never seen him before. His honest, candid, humble self discussing openly his life-long pursuit for meaning and purpose, his encounters with Awakening and his optimistic view of the emerging "New Earth." Recorded at the 2009 Inaugural GATE Event (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment) Video was Shot and Produced by Eckhart Tolle TV. Eckhart Tolle TV is an online video network offering of transformational video content featuring Eckhart Tolle & Kim Eng. Check also Jim Carrey Introduces Eckhart Tolle
A Visual Tour Of The Vatican - Stunning picture quality! http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_giovanni/vr_tour/index-en.html
Instructions: Select an image and it appears. Then hold down the left mouse button and slowly move the cursor around. Scroll the mouse button to zoom or hold the + sign at the bottom left.You can move more slowly by keeping the pointer close to centerline. Move the pointer up or down to look up or down.
Bande-annonce du film (Trailer with English subtitles) "Nos enfants nous accuseront" À VOIR! MUST SEE! http://nosenfantsnousaccuseront-lefilm.com/bande-annonce.html
The horribly tragic epidemic of children dying from cancer because of poisoned, pesticide-laden agri-chemical-food and overall environmental pollution. Their death is on our conscience... Bleak future unless we act to stop profit-driven exploitation of all Life on Earth. Go organic! "Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, they are the only ones who ever have." - Margaret Mead
The Ground Truth Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLjKtLnetK4
"The Ground Truth" on DVD (7 min 11 sec): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Wk6iol7Jk
From Amazon Editorial review: Shocking and heartbreaking, The Ground Truth is an Iraq war documentary that is truly essential viewing. A story of the U.S. battle against an often-phantom insurgency, told from the perspective of ordinary Americans who found themselves participating in a daily slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians, The Ground Truth is the view kept off American televisions since 2003. The bombings, shootings, scenes of mistreatment of civilians, and countless, bloodied bodies of children, women, and unarmed men specifically targeted by U.S. troops, should rattle anyone with eyes to see. But the films many interviews with veterans, in which they describe an American war machine that chews up young people and abandons them to their physical and psychological wounds, are also stunning in their emotional clarity and intensity.
Recommended by Michael Wong (Veterans for Peace, chapter 69) who wrote: "This war veteran's speech [featured in your last compilation] may seem amazing to many in America, but to us in the veterans' peace movement, it is sadly a very typical speech that many of us have given time and again. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace (VFP), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and other organizations have had veterans all over the country speaking out at countless events and delivering speeches just like this one. The only reason so many in America think this is amazing is because the mainstream media blocks us out, so most Americans are unaware of how often so many vets are speaking out in exactly this fashion. In this case, this speech is from IVAW's "Winter Soldier Investigation." Go to: http://www.ivaw.org/ and click on "Winter Soldier" to hear many other vets speaking out against the war. I also recommend the movie, "The Ground Truth" in which the soldiers speak frankly about the Iraq war."
Protest against Harper Proroguing Parliament - Ottawa, January 23, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UobGDecP73s
Layton and Ignatieff address thousands outside parliament in Ottawa today - protesting Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament until March 3rd. Harper claims this allows time to create an economic action plan, but the real reason may be more about avoiding awkward inquiries into decisions around Afghan detainees which could find Harper a war criminal. In the outcry, 200,000 have joined a facebook group.
Yes Men :: Vivoleum http://www.yesmagazine.org/multimedia/yes-video/yes-men-vivoleum
Yes Men take on Exxon Mobil, highlighting plans to turn climate change victims into a new type of fuel called Vivoleum. - On June 14, 2007, the Yes Men showed up at Canada's largest oil conference in Calgary, Alberta, posing as ExxonMobil and National Petroleum Council representatives.The NPC rep announced that current U.S. and Canadian energy policies are increasing the chances of huge global calamities. But he reassured the audience that in the worst case scenario, the oil industry could keep fuel flowing by transforming the billions of people who would die into oil. The project, called Vivoleum, would work in perfect synergy with the continued expansion of fossil fuel production. The oilmen listened to the lecture with attention, and then lit commemorative candles supposedly made of Vivoleum obtained from the flesh of an Exxon janitor who died as a result of cleaning a toxic spill. The audience only reacted when the janitor, in a video tribute, announced that he wished to be transformed into candles after his death.
A Presence of Love http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/a-presence-of-love/1119727516
(...) You matter with each breath you breathe and step you take. Every action and interaction, thought, word and feeling makes a difference to everyone. No one could ever take your place and what you bring to this amazing tapestry of life is invaluable and cherished. This is the way of love. This is you an amazing presence of love.
Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveil the revolutionary new iPad http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1001q3f8hhr/event/index.html
Really amazing new tool! Another paradigm shifter from Apple! Until they manage to create a computer interface that connects directly into our brain, this is the next best gadget around for a least a couple years to come...
Doctors Flowers and Paris Arrested, Re: Obama and Medicare for All http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53RbYauyv_8
On Jan. 29, 2010, Doctors Margaret Flowers and Carol Paris were arrested outside a hotel, at the Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, MD, where President Barack Obama was to give a speech. They were on a sidewalk outside the Renaissance hotel holding a banner. The doctors had a letter that they wanted to give to the President and/or one of his aides, re: Medicare for All. They were arrested for trespassing, according to a police officer at the scene. Later after getting into a police car, this reporter was advised, the two doctors were released, without going to the local lockup. Each was then given "a citation" for trespassing. For background on this issue, check out Dr. Flowers visit to the White House, on Jan. 28, 2010, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxziSRM6fdo - Go HERE to find out more about Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris and read Dr. Flowers's open letter to Obama on health care reform.
SPECIAL TRANSITION TOWNS & WORLD SOCIAL FORUM FEATURE
What is a Transition Town (or village / city / forest / island)?
Here's how it all appears to be evolving...
It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?
They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model (explained here at length, and in bits here and here) with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative.
A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:
"for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"
After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:
- awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
- connecting with existing groups in the community
- building bridges to local government
- connecting with other transition initiatives
- forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
- kicking off projects aimed at building people's understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
- eventually launching a community defined, community implemented "Energy Descent Action Plan" over a 15 to 20 year timescale
This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community's carbon emissions drastically.
The community also recognises two crucial points:
- that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there's no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
- if we collectively plan and act early enough there's every likelihood that we can create a way of living that's significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.
Why Transition Culture? http://transitionculture.org/essential-info/why-transition-culture/
We live at a fascinating point in history. The convergence of challenges, most particularly global warming and peak oil, have brought us to a point where we are profoundly challenged to act. We are surrounded by what poet Gary Snyder, in his classic poem For the Children called The rising hills, the slopes, of statistics and by individuals telling us that this means the end, that we have gone too far, that it is inevitable that life as we know it will collapse catastrophically and very soon. Yet, at the same time, something very powerful is stirring and is taking root the world over. People are choosing life and are manifesting that in their lives and their communities. People are starting to see peak oil as the Great Opportunity, the chance to build the world they always dreamt of. As one man said during a group discussion at the end of a screening of The End of Suburbia that I organised in Clonakilty, weve just seen that the end of the Oil Age will bring about the collapse of industrial society bring it on!. The scale of the challenge is huge, and the obstacles are plenty, but there is an emerging energy to succeed, a sense of quickening and an exhilaration in talking and listening to each other once again, to visioning what we want and then rolling up our sleeves and starting to co-create it. This is not a denial of the scale of the challenges we face, rather a practical and instinctual response to it. In towns and cities all over the world people are asking each other what can we do about this?. CLIP
Transition Towns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transition_Towns
(...) The number of communities involved in the project is increasing with many localities in the process of becoming "official" transition towns. Transition Towns has even featured in the plot line of the long-running BBC Radio 4 series The Archers, which illustrates the media attention and rapid growth the movement is generating. As of 2009, many in the Transition Town movement are including the global financial meltdown and global food crisis as a third aspect beside peak oil and climate change. This has been linked to the creation of a series of local currencies in Transition Towns including Totnes Totnes pound, Lewes Lewes pound, Stroud Stroud Pound and Brixton Brixton Pound in London. CLIP
Villes en transition http://villesentransition.net/
Le mouvement Villes en transition est la branche francophone des Transition Towns, lancées en Angleterre par Rob Hopkins.
Cul-de-sac consumériste (4 janvier 2010)
Le Worldwatch Institute dresse un bilan inquiétant pour l'avenir de l'environnement http://lephoenix.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/cul-de-sac-consumeriste/
LeDevoir Barack Obama et la plupart des dirigeants occidentaux comptaient sur le coup de pouce des achats de Noël pour consolider la relance de léconomie mondiale. Mais le Worldwatch Institute, un des premiers organismes scientifiques à prendre le pouls de la planète dès 1974, sinscrit en faux contre la fuite en avant dune économie jugée de plus en plus meurtrière pour la planète. Sans un changement culturel radical qui ferait de la surconsommation un interdit, voire un tabou, les politiques écologiques et les changements technologiques en cours mènent lhumanité tout droit à un cul-de-sac écologique et économique, estime le Worldwatch Institute de Washington, dans son «état du monde» pour 2010. Ce bilan annuel, signé par 60 experts, sintitule cette année Transformer la culture: du consumérisme à la viabilité. Il définit la tendance dominante à la consommation en Occident comme «une orientation qui conduit les gens à trouver du sens, de la satisfaction et de la reconnaissance en priorité à travers ce quils consomment».
Selon Erik Assadourian, directeur de ce bilan de la consommation en regard de lenvironnement, il y a bien eu quelques progrès à certains endroits mais, dit-il en substance, amorcer des politiques vertes et des changements technologiques tout en maintenant le rythme de consommation actuel est un véritable cul-de-sac, car on accélère notre rendez-vous mondial avec les grandes pénuries de ressources. Rien ne changera substantiellement, écrit-il, «si les sociétés humaines ne changent pas leurs valeurs culturelles au point que la viabilité écologique deviendra la norme et la consommation excessive, un tabou».
Des exemples de changement, il y en a pourtant de fort intéressants.Les menus scolaires en Italie et en particulier à Rome sont désormais composés de produits biologiques, locaux de préférence, un changement de régime alimentaire majeur aussi pour les enfants. À Vauban, en Allemagne, les pistes cyclables, les éoliennes et le marché des produits locaux ont tellement imprégné la vie sociale que sen démarquer devient un problème. Aux États-Unis, lentreprise de tapis Interface Inc sest donné pour règle de nutiliser que des matériaux que la nature remplace en permanence. En Équateur, on a même inscrit les droits de la Terre mère la Pachamama dans la Constitution. Mais, globalement, la réalité est moins rose.
Quelque 7 % des humains, soit les 500 millions de personnes les plus riches, sont responsables de 50 % des émissions de gaz à effet de serre, alors que les 3 milliards les plus pauvres ne rejettent ensemble que 6 % des émissions anthropiques. Et les gouvernements en remettent: des 2800 milliards investis par les gouvernements pour contrer la crise économique, quelques points de pourcentage à peine, selon le Worldwatch, ont été investis dans de véritables initiatives vertes. Pire, la performance de 2006 en matière de consommation est presque devenue un idéal: on avait consommé pour 30 500 milliards de biens et services cette année-là, soit 28 % de plus que 10 ans auparavant! La production de ces biens impose une extraction de ressources quotidienne qui équivaut à 112 fois le volume de lEmpire State Building. Si tous les humains consommaient autant, la Terre, selon la dernière évaluation du Worldwatch, ne pourrait soutenir de façon viable que 1,4 milliard dhabitants, soit le cinquième de son actuelle population. Les bases culturelles de ce consumérisme inquiètent. CLIP Pour lire la suite, il faut être abonné au Devoir
State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures http://www.worldwatch.org/sow10
"Worldwatch has taken on an ambitious agenda in this volume. No generation in history has achieved a cultural transformation as sweeping as the one called for here it is hard not to be impressed with the books boldness "Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank
"If we continue to think of ourselves mostly as consumers, its going to be very hard to bring our environmental troubles under control. But its also going to be very hard to live the rounded and joyful lives that could be ours. This is a subversive volume in all the best ways!"Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"This years State of the World report is a cultural mindbomb exploding with devastating force. I hope it wakes a few people up ." Kalle Lasn, Editor of Adbusters magazine
World Social Forum - Day 5: "The Fight Will Go On"
by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil on 01.29.10
After a week of meetings to discuss a wide range of global issues, the World Social Forum ended this afternoon with a commitment to move forward with their far-left agenda. Among the topics discussed, namely the various "crises of civilization and collective rights," an ant-capitalist sentiment reigned supreme--particularly in regards to environmental issues. The solutions put forward to resolve these looming dilemmas would likely be considered quite radical in most developed countries, but their was no shortage of intellectuals and politicians to endorse a dramatic restructuring of the world's economic and political machinery. Whatever the overall result of the Forum is, participants believe the items they've discussed this week will become increasingly relevant in years to come.
A Diverse Forum
The events of the 10th annual World Social Forum were attended by roughly 35 thousand people from 39 countries. The Forum's panelists and speakers were made up of sociologists, economists, intellectuals, and politicians from around the globe participating in 915 different conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the five day event.
Anti-Capitalism Sentiments Throughout
As with previous Forums, capitalism and consumerism were held responsible for much of the world's economic, cultural, and environmental woes. The capitalist fueled global economy, it was said, is an unsustainable system. Because capitalism is based on continual growth, it will one day collapse, either by an orderly deconstruction from the world's governments--or by a chaotic upheaval once sustaining natural resources have been depleted.
In addition to the environmental troubles caused by the requirement for growth through capitalism, many speakers at the Forum saw the world's cultures under threat. Just as economic growth requires resources to continue, it also needs an ever-expanding consumer base. In the process, previously self-sustained communities become indoctrinated with the tenants of consumerism--diminishing their heritage, quality of life, and ability to maintain a sustainable existence--which, in turn, further exacerbates the environmental impact.
But Does it Add Up?
From a logical standpoint, it may be difficult to object to the reality of the economic climate outlined in the various discussions no matter how disturbing or radical they may come across as. After all, the capitalist system in its current form demands unending growth in closed-system. The question that then remains is whether the pursuit of monetary gain supersedes the survival instinct--or, whether the planet will be habitable by the time that question is answered.
Despite radical ideas discussed at the Forum, which are likely to generate some strong responses, the speakers weren't terribly radical themselves. Certainly there was energy and vigor and urgency to the anti-capitalist remarks which pervaded the Forum, but the tone was a bit short of a revolutionary's battle-cry.
Rather, it was a bit more unnerving--like a doctor soberly delivering the bad news of a terminal illness--even though you may feel fine today.
Some might shake their heads and block such notions from their mind; others may carry on normally and hope for the best. Forum organizers are hoping people will take a different approach:
All organizations are leaving here with a proposal to fight.
Social forum ends with vows to fight capitalism (January 29, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012902614.html
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- Leftists who converged in Brazil to protest what they view as uncontrolled capitalism ended the World Social Forum on Friday with vows to take advantage of the financial crisis to promote a global socialist agenda. Activists at the annual countercultural gathering against the World Economic Forum under way at the Swiss ski resort of Davos said the meltdown proves the business titans attending the economic forum shouldn't be permitted to help reshape the global economy. About 30,000 people attended the 10th annual social forum over the last five days in this city near the border with Uruguay, some 500 of whom braved a sweltering conference room to close the event Friday. They railed against unfettered capitalism they claimed is responsible for corporate greed that saps natural resources and destroys the environment while virtually enslaving the poor in developing nations. The social forum "projects another vision of the world, not the Washington consensus or the Davos view that free markets are the solution," said Leonardo Dahmer, a member of Brazil's governing Workers Party and a city councilman in the city of Esteio near Porto Alegre. CLIP
Social forum activists: Companies conspiring with govt's to profit from global warming market (JANUARY 28, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jlawE2VpUQ8B3TAszQ6ptEcItgzQ
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil Leftist activists protesting capitalism at the World Social Forum claimed Wednesday that multinational corporations in cahoots with governments are trying to take control of a new multibillion-dollar market for reducing emissions that cause global warming. They made the accusation on the third day of the gathering of leftists that serves as an annual counterweight to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "The companies that caused the problems are saying, 'Trust us, we'll get you out of this problem,"' said Pat Mooney, a Canadian expert on biotechnology and biodiversity. "They're saying, 'Don't worry, because we have a new technology that you will pay for to control the world's thermostat."'Activists who converged on the city of Porto Alegre, near the border with Uruguay, said the World Economic Forum - which got under way Wednesday - should focus on bettering global conditions for the poor and the environment instead of debating whether global financial reforms must be enacted or abandoned because of concerns about over-regulation. CLIP
Yet Another Reason to Make 2010 a Year of Activism: Climate Change Creates Refugees (Jan 10, 2010) By Mickey Z http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/climate-change-creates-refugees.html?campaign=daylife-article
Connect with your inner radical and with your comrades in the Third World -- The issue of climate refugees was once again broached by the mainstream media. In the most recent instance, it was the New York Times that found the subject fit to print on January 3, 2010 with "Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home."For those unfamiliar with the term, an environmental or climate refugee is commonly defined as follows: "Where would you go if, say, a flood devastated the city you live in? Millions of people around the world have been forced to answer this question, and extreme weather disasters and deteriorating ecological conditions will force nearly a billion more to face the same question in the next 50 years. These people are climate refugees." Anthony Oliver-Smith is a University of Florida anthropologist and a member the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), "More and more people live in more and more vulnerable circumstances," he told National Geographic. "When disaster hits, their ability to rebuild will be minimal, and they are forced to leave."Such "disasters" include desertification and drought, deforestation, land degradation, rising sea levels, floods, more frequent and more extreme storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, and famine. -- WATCH VIDEO: A wave of refugees in Jordan -- According to the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), in 2008 alone, more than 20 million people were displaced by climate-related natural disasters, including 800,000 people by cyclone Nargis in Asia, and almost 80,000 by heavy floods and rains in Brazil." Climate change impacts on homes and infrastructure, food and water and human health. It will bring about a forced migration on an unprecedented scale," said the EJF director, Steve Trent. "We must take immediate steps to reduce our impact on global climate, and we must also recognize the need to protect those already suffering along with those most at risk."
China and US in angry clash over Taiwan arms sale (30 Jan 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/taiwan/7114372/China-and-US-in-angry-clash-over-Taiwan-arms-sale.html
China has cancelled all military exchanges with the US in a furious response to the proposed $6.4 billion sale of advanced missiles and helicopters to Taiwan by Washington. -- Beijing has also imposed sanctions on the companies selling the arms and threatened to review co-operation on other issues.The US responded defiantly, insisting that the sales would contribute to regional security. The angry row sharply escalates existing frictions between Beijing and Washington, who are already at odds over trade, internet censorship and climate change.It is a further blow to President Barack Obamas hopes of securing Chinese support for tougher measures against Iran over the Islamic regimes illicit nuclear programme.The State Department insisted that arms sale contributed to "security and stability" between Taiwan and China."Such sales contribute to maintaining security and stability across the Taiwan Strait," said US State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler. The US is the leading arms supplier to Taiwan and, under a 1979 Act of Congress, is legally obliged to help Taiwan defend itself."China earlier warned the US that the sale will have a "serious negative impact" on ties between the two countries. Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province that is still part of its territory.Announcing its retaliation, Defence Ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said: We made the decision out of considerations on the severe harm of the US arms sales to Taiwan. The US plan will definitely seriously disturb the relations between the two countries.Vice foreign minister He Yafei said the US arms deal with Taiwan would lead to an "aftermath both sides would not prefer" and called on Washington to reverse its "erroneous" decision. Mr He said China was "strongly indignant" about the package of weapons, which includes 114 Patriot anti-missile missiles, 60 Blackhawk helicopters and two minesweepers, which was submitted to the US Congress for approval on Friday. (...) Taiwan has been ruled by its own government since the Chinese Communist Party took control of mainland China in 1949. Taipei says it needs the latest US military technology to counter the threat posed by the estimated 1000-1500 missiles aimed at the island by China.While relations between Taiwan and China have warmed over recent years, with increasingly strong economic links between the two, Beijing continues to demand that Taiwan accept unification with the mainland.Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou told reporters the weapons would give "Taiwan more confidence and a sense of security to go forward in developing cross-Strait relations". CLIP - MUCH MORE BELOW ON THIS IN U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
U.S. Starts to Push Back Against China in Growing Rift (January 31, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/world/asia/01china.html
WASHINGTON For the past year, China has struck an increasingly muscular position with the United States, berating American officials for the global economic crisis, stage-managing President Obamas visit to China last November, refusing to back a tougher climate change agreement in Copenhagen and standing fast against American demands for tough new Security Council sanctions against Iran. Now, the Obama administration has started to push back. In announcing an arms sales package to Taiwan worth $6 billion on Friday, the United States leveled a direct strike at the heart of the most sensitive diplomatic issue that has existed between the two countries since America affirmed the one-China policy in 1972. The arms package was doubly infuriating to Beijing, coming so soon after President Bush announced a similar arms package to Taiwan in 2008, and right as Beijing and Taipei are in the middle of a détente of sorts in their own relations. Chinas immediate, and outraged, reactioncanceling some military-to-military exchanges and announcing punitive sanctions against American companies demonstrates, China experts said, that Beijing is feeling a little burned, particularly because the Taiwan arms announcement came on the same day that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton publicly berated China for not taking a stronger position on holding Iran accountable for its nuclear program. While administration officials sounded a uniform public note cautioning Beijing not to allow this latest tiff to damage overall relations, some administration officials suggested privately that the timing of the arms sales and the tougher language on Iran was calculated to send a message to Beijing to avoid assumptions that President Obama would be deferential to China over American security concerns and existing agreements. CLIP
Iran Dissidents Pay a High Price (31 January 2010) http://www.truthout.org/government-executes-protesters-iran56545
Iran hanged two opposition protesters on Thursday and sentenced nine more to death for taking part in widespread rallies against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following last June's presidential election.It is a stark reminder to members of the Iranian political opposition and social activists - for whom exile is not an option due to financial or other constraints - of the risks of voicing dissent in the Islamic Republic.While the executions prove the extreme measures the state is willing to take to suppress the opposition movement, many of those accused of dissident behavior have experienced retribution by other means. Factory workers, school teachers and university professors have been fired from their jobs as a direct result of expressing dissenting opinions. CLIP
Drug firms 'drove swine flu pandemic warning to recoup £billions spent on research' (27th January 2010)
A CLEAR VINDICATION OF WHAT WE SUSPECTED ALL ALONG!... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246370/Drug-firms-drove-swine-flu-pandemic-warning-recoup-billions-spent-research.html
Drug companies manipulated the World Health Organisation into downgrading its definition of a pandemic so they could cash in on a swine flu outbreak, it is claimed.An inquiry heard yesterday that the WHO allegedly softened its criteria for declaring a H1N1 flu pandemic last spring - just weeks before announcing there was a worldwide outbreak. Critics said the decision was driven by pharmaceutical companies desperate to recoup the billions of pounds they had invested in researching and developing pandemic vaccines after the bird flu scares in 2006 and 2007. As a result, millions of people have been vaccinated against a mild illness, and money that could have been used to prevent and treat major killers such as heart disease has been squandered. The claims, which emerged during the first of several Council of Europe hearings into the handling of the swine flu pandemic, were strongly rejected by the WHO. Following the organisation's declaration of a pandemic, the Department of Health warned of 65,000 deaths, set up a special advice line and website, and suspended normal rules so anti-flu drugs could be given without prescription. But with just 250 or so deaths in Britain and 14,000 worldwide, the WHO is being asked to account for its actions. The Government is now trying to off-load millions of jabs it ordered at the height of the scare. Sources say it is even considering giving some doses away for free. Wolfgang Wodarg, former head of health at the Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based 'senate'responsible for the European Court of Human Rights, said vaccine contracts were put in place in 2007, when it was feared the more lethal bird flu virus would mutate into human form. Drug companies, which spent up to £2.5billion developing a vaccine, then pushed their interests within the WHO, leading to the definition of a pandemic being softened and an outbreak declared. He told the hearing: 'It was stated in panic- stricken terms that this was a flu that could threaten humanity and a great number of humans could fall ill.' This is why billions of dollars of medications were bought. Dr Wodarg, an expert on the spread of disease, said that the change in definition made it possible for a worldwide pandemic to be declared and for the pharmaceutical companies to cash in. Also giving evidence, Professor Ulrich Keil, a WHO adviser on heart disease, said the decision had led to a 'gigantic misallocation' of health budgets. 'We know the great killers are hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, high body mass index, physical inactivity and low fruit and vegetable intake,' he said. 'In spite of all these facts, governments instead wasted huge amounts of money by investing in pandemic scenarios whose evidence base is weak.' CHECK ALSO Swine Flu Experts under the influence of laboratories: Several researchers and doctors within WHO are paid by pharmaceutical companies. The number two of the organization has to explain this on Tuesday before the Council of Europe. - H1N1 swine flu hoax falls apart at the seams: The great swine flu hoax of 2009 is now falling apart at the seams as one country after another unloads hundreds of millions of doses of unused swine flu vaccines. No informed person wants the injection anymore, and the entire fear-based campaign to promote the vaccines has now been exposed as outright quackery and propaganda. Even doctors are now calling the pandemic a complete hoax. - Council of Europe investigation into a fake pandemic amounts to a "whitewash"
Media Democracy in Action: The Importance of Including Truth Emergency Inside the Progressive Media Reform Movement (January 20, 2010)
IMPORTANT COMPREHENSIVE ARTICLE ON A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TOPIC http://mickeyhuff.com/media-democracy-in-action-the-importance-of-including-truth-emergency-inside-the-progressive-media-reform-movement/
The Corporate News Media: Not in the Business of News -- The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, We are the best entertained least informed society in the world. That was twenty-five years ago and after two-plus decades of more deregulation and the growth of conglomerates in the media, that trend has continued. From Tyra Banks shifting figure and the Balloon Boy hoax, to the celebrity death of Michael Jackson and the Obama Beer Summit, Americans are fed a steady news diet of tabloidized, trivialized, and outright useless information laden with personal anecdotes, scandals, and gossip.Topics and in-depth reports that matter little to most people in any meaningful way are given massive amounts of attention in the corporate media. In recent years, this has only become more obvious. (...) The US is not only becoming a nation of obese people, but is on the verge of another phenomenon the equivalent of cultural and mental obesity. We, in America, are a nation awash in a sea of information yet we have a paucity of understanding. We are a country where over a quarter of the population know the names of all five members of the fictitious family from The Simpsons yet only one in a thousand can name all the rights protected under the first amendment to the US Constitution. Journalistic values have been sold out to commercial interests and not even our core, national and constitutionally protected values are sacred. Far too often, important news stories are underreported or ignored entirely by corporate news outlets, especially on television, where over seventy percent of Americans get their news, even though only an astounding twenty-nine percent say it is accurate. In short, Americans are living in a state of Truth Emergency. (...) If a failing corporate media system ensconced in hyper-reality creates an excited delirium of knowinglessness, that system must be declared incapable of accurately informing the citizenry. The public must turn to independent journalism based in muckraking traditions, with transparent fact-based reporting that asks the tough and critical questions of itself and its leaders. An actual free press would provide factual knowledge and encourage us to engage with each other in our local communities on a daily basis in the quest to solve societal problems. This is possible with our collective efforts, so long as we simultaneously reject the projected imaginings of the corporate media profiteers and their industry of illusion. This must be the crucial focal point of media reform, which actually is more of a media revolution. The health and meaningfulness of our cultural dialogue, as well as the future of our republic, may well depend upon how swiftly and significantly we address the current Truth Emergency and what we do about it. CLIP
The Sharp Dressed Man Who Aided Mutallab Onto Flight 253 Was U.S. Government Agent (January 30, 2010) http://www.infowars.com/the-sharp-dressed-man-who-aided-mutallab-onto-flight-253-was-u-s-government-agent/
Since our flight landed on Christmas Day, Lori and I have been doing everything in our power to uncover the truth about why we were almost blown up in the air over Detroit. The truth is now finally out after the publication of the following Detroit News article: Let me quote from the article: Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallabs visa wasnt taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial wouldve foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States. Revocation action wouldve disclosed what they were doing, Kennedy said in testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security. Allowing Adbulmutallab to keep the visa increased chances federal investigators would be able to get closer to apprehending the terror network he is accused of working with, rather than simply knocking out one solider in that effort.Now it all becomes apparent. Let me detail everything we know about the Sharp Dressed Man (SDM). CLIP
Oliver Stone Says Banksters Enabled Hitler and the Nazis (January 26, 2010) http://www.infowars.com/oliver-stone-says-banksters-enabled-hitler-and-the-nazis/
Filmmaker Oliver Stone has told The Canadian Press that international bankers enabled Hitler and the Nazis. Adolf Hitler was a psychopath and a monster but rose to power thanks to big business leaders and other supporters who appreciated his vow to destroy communism and control workers, Hollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone said Monday, in Bangkok, Thailand, writes Michael Casey. Stone left out a few important details. Not only did the banksters support and encourage Hitler and the Nazis, they also created from scratch the communism the German dictator vowed to destroy.Without the support of the German industrial cartel I.G. Farben, Hitler would have remained an obscure historical footnote and millions of people would not have perished during the Second World War.Farben, however, was not alone in its effort to empower Hitler and the Nazis. Without the capital supplied by Wall Street, there would have been no I.G. Farben in the first place, and almost certainly no Adolf Hitler and World War II, writes Antony C. Sutton in Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler. CLIP
South Africa's New Slave Trade and the Campaign to Stop It (Jan. 18, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952335-1,00.html
(...) It is unclear if Sindiswa contracted HIV before or after she was sold, but some of her clients didn't use condoms. She was diagnosed with the virus only a week before I met her. When she was too sick to stand and thus useless as a slave, Jude had thrown her onto the street. Nurses expected her to die within days.Despite more than a dozen international conventions banning slavery in the past 150 years, there are more slaves today than at any point in human history. Slaves are those forced to perform services for no pay beyond subsistence and for the profit of others who hold them through fraud and violence. While most are held in debt bondage in the poorest regions of South Asia, some are trafficked in the midst of thriving development. Such is the case here in Africa's wealthiest country, the host of this year's World Cup. While South Africa invests billions to prepare its infrastructure for the half-million visitors expected to attend, tens of thousands of children have become ensnared in sexual slavery, and those who profit from their abuse are also preparing for the tournament. During a three-week investigation into human-trafficking syndicates operating near two stadiums, I found a lucrative trade in child sex. The children, sold for as little as $45, can earn more than $600 per night for their captors. "I'm really looking forward to doing more business during the World Cup," said a trafficker. We were speaking at his base overlooking Port Elizabeth's new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Already, he had done brisk business among the stadium's construction workers. CLIP
Nearly 1,800 Interests Vying To Influence New Transportation Bill, Center Report Finds http://www.publicintegrity.org/news/entry/1671/
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2009 Almost 1,800 special interest groups of all kinds are trying to influence Congress, as it races against time to enact a giant new transportation bill, according to The Transportation Lobby, a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. Notorious for earmarks like Alaskas Bridge to Nowhere, Congresss funding of transportation has become a broken process influenced by special interests, according to the investigation. Interest groups employed 2,100 lobbyists and spent an estimated $45 million to lobby lawmakers on transportation in the first half of 2009 a spending pace on par with the amount spent lobbying on climate change, the Center found. CLIP
U.S. Feeds One Quarter of its Grain to Cars While Hunger is on the Rise http://www.earthpolicy.org/index.php?/press_room/C68/2010_datarelease6
The amount of grain needed to fill the tank of an SUV with ethanol just once can feed one person for an entire year. The average income of the owners of the worlds 940 million automobiles is at least ten times larger than that of the worlds 2 billion hungriest people. In the competition between cars and hungry people for the worlds harvest, the car is destined to win. --- --- Continuing to divert more food to fuel, as is now mandated by the U.S. federal government in its Renewable Fuel Standard, will likely only reinforce the disturbing rise in hunger. By subsidizing the production of ethanol, now to the tune of some $6 billion each year, U.S. taxpayers are in effect subsidizing rising food bills at home and around the world. --- --- For more information on the competition between cars and people for grain, see Chapter 2 in Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), on-line for free downloading with supporting datasets.
Bats dying from white nose syndrome; means trouble for farmers http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_14243648
Bats have lived down their vampire mythology - just in time to disappear.White nose syndrome threatens to wipe out five of Pennsylvania's six bat species, according to bat biologist DeeAnn M. Reeder of Bucknell University, Lewisburg. Bats are dying by the hundreds in Pennsylvania outside caves where they hibernate. A white fungus is the suspect. Reeder and Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Greg Turner confirmed white-nose syndrome in Pennsylvania a year ago at a Mifflin County cave. They counted six live bats. The cave usually has 1,000.Turner is keeping an eye on caves across the state, including one in Franklin County and another in Bedford County, but the fungus hasn't showed up there yet."Presumably it will get there within the next year," Reeder said. Biologist Jim Hart said a devastated bat population will cost farmers and impact water quality. Bats sometimes eat their own weight in insects in a single day. That's about 2,000 mosquito-sized bugs."They are worth their weight in gold," said Hart, a mammalogist with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. "They take an enormous toll on agricultural pests. If they all disappear, that's going to be a pretty bad scenario."Birds won't immediately eat all of the extra bugs, according to Hart. Populations of farm pests will increase quickly and farmers will respond by applying more pesticides, some of which will find their way to streams.
(...) Wildlife biologists estimate that the disorder has killed 750,000 bats in the Northeast since it was first discovered in 2006 in New York. An estimated one million bats overwinter in hundreds of hibernacula across Pennsylvania.Science is ill-prepared for the crisis.
(...) The bat disorder has interesting parallels to Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees, according to Reeder. Infected bats fly out of their winter shelters and die. Whole colonies of worker bees abandon their hives. Reeder said white nose syndrome may have been introduced to the U.S. from Europe by cavers. The infection has been found in European bat populations without devastating results. Pennsylvanians routinely see big brown bats and little brown bats flying around bat boxes or in their attics, Reeder said. The fungus wipes out the little browns, but the big brown species may fare OK."There's always a hope there will be survivors," Reeder said, "but the numbers may be so small it's not genetically viable. It may not be sufficient to rebuild the species."A bat may live 30 years. A female has one pup a year. Recovery might take a decade.Reeder is testing a drug that kills the fungus to evaluate its effectiveness on captive bats. Applying any treatment successfully in the wild would be another obstacle for scientists. "The loss of one species is a big deal," Hart said. "The loss of a whole suite of species is a catastrophe. It scares biologists." CLIP
BPA in plastics & canned foods: What you need to know http://www.greenerchoices.org/products.cfm?product=bpapress
Of 19 name-brand canned foods Consumer Reports recently tested for Bisphenol A (BPA), widely varying levels of the chemical were found across all products, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans. For more information on our findings, read Concern over canned foods. Following the study, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, sent a letter to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, with detailed results of our findings, reiterating our request that the agency ban the use of BPA in food- and beverage-contact materials. BPA & YOUR HEALTH Scientific studies suggest that BPAa chemical widely used in food and beverage can linings, as well as in hard clear plastic bottles and food-storage containersmay cause harmful health effects from even common, low-dose exposures. Health effects BPA has been linked to include reproductive abnorbalities, a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. BPA BANS Consumers Union has repeatedly called on the FDA to ban BPA in childrens products and food and beverage containers. While the agency announced in January 2010 that it now believes there is cause for concern over BPA's potential effect on children, and supports efforts to produce BPA-free baby bottles and find alternatives to BPA for can linings, it fell short of calling for a ban of the chemical in food contact substances. Meanwhile, in May 2009, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to ban BPA from plastic baby bottles and sippy cups beginning in 2011. Connecticut, Chicago, Suffolk County, NY, and other areas have imposed similar bans. At the same time, several plastic bottle manufacturers and retailers have vowed to stop selling BPA-containing products, and at least one BPA manufacturer has cut its production of the chemical in response to lessening demand. MUCH more through http://greenerchoices.org/
GoodGuide - healthy and green product ratings at your fingertips (January 29, 2010) http://www.care2.com/causes/trailblazers/blog/goodguide-review/
One of the holy grails for consumer advocates is to make the social and eco implications of purchases more transparent. If we know that a toy has lead in it, the sunscreen contains toxins, or the shirt was made in a sweat shop, fewer people would buy these products and consumer demand would shift to healthy/better alternatives.GoodGuide is a product ratings company, with an innovative mobile app, that aims to make it easy for you to make these more informed purchase decisions.I've been using the app on my iphone since its first version, and have followed the green product review space for some time, so here are my thoughts on the prospects of this social venture startup: The App - The concept is simple: use your mobile phone to scan a product's barcode, and the app will show you health, environment and social-impact ratings for the product. It only takes a minute or two, and the accuracy with barcodes is unmatched. It's straight forward to use if you're in the supermarket aisle. As far as ease of use, it's by far the easiest way I've found to look up healthy and green product information while shopping. CLIP
Responsible Shopper http://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/responsibleshopper/
Green America's Responsible Shopper provides you with the real story about abuses by well-known companies, gives you actions to promote corporate responsibility, and helps you green your life and world. Search hundreds of company profiles by name or by industry and quickly compare the corporate responsibility records of companies within industries. Act to change corporate behavior: choose from dozens of campaigns to help curb corporate abuse. Green your shopping, your home, and your world. Find out ...what company was sued for doing business with terrorists. Act now ...to get your supermarket to stock fair trade bananas. Go Green ...learn how to make your own household cleaners.
Project Label Shows Corporate Social Responsibility In Easily Digestible Format (July 13, 2009) https://www.projectlabel.org/index.php?content=reviews_review1
Corporate social responsibility has been all the rage - among consumers, at least - for a good long minute already. And a rash of new sites are competing to offer scoring mechanisms for companies.Last week, we reviewed Scryve, a CSR site that combined user feedback along with researched data in a wiki-like system. Today, we're taking a look at Project Label, a site with a quite different approach and a novel presentation. The site gives each corporation a label much like those you'd see on most packaged foods (at least in the States). The folks at Project Label feel this will lead to more "comparison shopping" and, with any luck, more socially responsible corporations. According to their site, "As with food nutrition labels, social nutrition labels will motivate consumers to learn about social issues in order to make more informed decisions when choosing between product A and product B. The result will be a high demand for socially nutritious products, and thus a greater supply." Project Label gathers the data to create these labels from consumers, businesses, and organizations, all of which can contribute, comment on, and vote on articles and research items. Data is parsed for information on topics ranging from product safety and worker treatment to resource management and overall impact on the community. Articles referenced for these scores are included in each company's profile, along with recent tweets, a general barometer of the tone of sentiments expressed, ratings from a variet of organizations, and a group of related companies for comparison. The site also allows users to see a transparent breakdown of how each label was created based on available information. The articles and data are also viewable on their own, independent of a company's profile. They can be sorted by topic, date, overall sentiment, and number of user votes; and they can be searched by keyword. The folks at Project Label plan to bring custom reports into their stable of offerings, as well. We don't know yet if a portable/embeddable widget is in the works, but it might be a good idea to make such a tool available to users. Of course, as with any young site with a primary offering reliant on UGC, Project Label will need a core group of dedicated users who really, really care about CSR to build out the site's content enough to make it a valuable resource - and one that ranks high for natural search.
United Nations Global Compact http://www.unglobalcompact.org/
What is the Global Compact? The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Learn more...
Transparency International http://www.transparency.org/
Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. TIs mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption. Transparency International challenges the inevitability of corruption, and offers hope to its victims. Since its founding in 1993, TI has played a lead role in improving the lives of millions around the world by building momentum for the anti-corruption movement. TI raises awareness and diminishes apathy and tolerance of corruption, and devises and implements practical actions to address it.
How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet (Jan. 25, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1953692,00.html
(...) Ever since the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released a 2006 report that attributed 18% of the world's man-made greenhouse-gas emissions to livestock more, the report noted, than what's produced by transportation livestock has taken an increasingly hard rap. At first, it was just vegetarian groups that used the U.N.'s findings as evidence for the superiority of an all-plant diet. But since then, a broader range of environmentalists has taken up the cause. At a recent European Parliament hearing titled "Global Warming and Food Policy: Less Meat = Less Heat," Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argued that reducing meat consumption is a "simple, effective and short-term delivery measure in which everybody could contribute" to emissions reductions. And of all the animals that humans eat, none are held more responsible for climate change than the ones that moo. Cows not only consume more energy-intensive feed than other livestock; they also produce more methane a powerful greenhouse gas than other animals do. "If your primary concern is to curb emissions, you shouldn't be eating beef," says Nathan Pelletier, an ecological economist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., noting that cows produce 13 to 30 lb. of carbon dioxide per pound of meat. (See where cows eat and what it means for the environment.) So how can Coleman and Damrosch believe that adding livestock to their farm will help the planet? CLIP
Concern as China clamps down on rare earth exports (January 2, 2010) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/concern-as-china-clamps-down-on-rare-earth-exports-1855387.html
Neodymium is one of 17 metals crucial to green technology. There's only one snag - China produces 97% of the world's supply. And they're not selling. Britain and other Western countries risk running out of supplies of certain highly sought-after rare metals that are vital to a host of green technologies, amid growing evidence that China, which has a monopoly on global production, is set to choke off exports of valuable compounds.Failure to secure alternative long-term sources of rare earth elements (REEs) would affect the manufacturing and development of low-carbon technology, which relies on the unique properties of the 17 metals to mass-produce eco-friendly innovations such as wind turbines and low-energy lightbulbs. China, whose mines account for 97 per cent of global supplies, is trying to ensure that all raw REE materials are processed within its borders. During the past seven years it has reduced by 40 per cent the amount of rare earths available for export. Industry sources have told The Independent that China could halt shipments of at least two metals as early as next year, and that by 2012 it is likely to be producing only enough REE ore to satisfy its own booming domestic demand, creating a potential crisis as Western countries rush to find alternative supplies, and companies open new mines in locations from South Africa to Greenland to satisfy international demand. CLIP
A Fluoride-Free Pineal Gland is More Important than Ever (June 02, 2009) http://www.naturalnews.com/026364_fluoride_pineal_gland_sodium.html
There has been some controversy over the activity of adding synthetic fluoride to municipal water supplies and elsewhere, but not enough. The seriousness of this issue is more than what most realize. Fluoridation ranks with GMO's and tainted, forced vaccinations among the great crimes against humanity. (...) Generally, most fluoride entering the body is not easily eliminated. It tends to accumulate in the body's bones and teeth. Recently, it has been discovered to accumulate even more in the pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain. (...) The flood of sodium fluoride in water and food also creates other more serious health problems that are not widely publicized, even suppressed. Nevertheless, in addition to fluorosis, independent labs and reputable researchers have linked the following health issues with daily long term intake of sodium fluoride: *Cancer *Genetic DNA Damage *Thyroid Disruption - affecting the complete endocrine system and leading to obesity *Neurological - diminished IQ and inability to focus, lethargy and weariness. *Alzheimer's Disease *Melatonin Disruption, lowers immunity to cancer, accelerates aging, sleep disorders. *Pineal Gland, calcification, which clogs this gland located in the middle of the brain. CLIP
La Terre vue de la Terre, documentaire de Coline Serreau http://www.aboneobio.com/blog/post/2009/02/10/959-la-terre-vue-de-la-terre-documentaire-de-coline-serreau
Coline Serreau prépare un film La terre vue de la Terre, des solutions locales pour un désordre global, qui sortira dans le courant 2009. Il s'agit de 6 films de 1h30 permettant de traiter les solutions à la crise de notre système. Coline Serreau a rencontré dans de nombreux pays à la fois des paysans, des hommes de terrain et des penseurs, des théoriciens (Maroc, Inde, Brésil, Ukraine...). Selon Coline Serreau, la société future est là, latente, même si elle n'a pas encore créé ses liens. Après son premier documentaire "mais qu'est ce qu'elle veut ?" et son film la "Belle Verte", il y a 15 ans, Coline Serreau née avec l'écologie s'intéresse à l'humus, à ce qui nous nourrit, à savoir les semences et la Terre. Elle explique comment Monsanto a mis la main sur les semences et comment l'industrie pétrolière s'est emparée de la Terre, par les pesticides et autres.
Le Bloc Québecois et le SEMO en accord pour demander au Comité de santé du Parlement d'Ottawa d'examiner la problématique des micro-ondes au Canada http://www.dangersemo.com/semo_018.htm
Les représentants du Bloc ont reconnu l'importance des questionnements sur les effets sur la Santé des micro-ondes soulevé par le Collectif SEMO. Le Bloc va déposer la pétition du SEMO au Parlement et demander au Comité de santé de créer un nouveau comité pour examiner cette problématique. Les parlementaires du Parlement européen ont déja voté pour un révision des normes en vigueur en Europe. Les sénateurs français ont voté l'interdiction des téléphones portables pour les enfants au nom du Principe de Précaution. Les sénateurs américains on fait des auditions (hearings) sur ce sujet en septembre 2009. Comment cela se fait-il qu'au Canada rien n'ait encore été fait dans ce dossier majeur de santé publique ?
Cell Phones the New Cigarettes? (23.01.2010) MUST READ! http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/cell-phones-the-new-cigarettes-gq-thinks-so/
(...) The story of industry and government squashing research showing harm from electromagnetic fields, and attempting to discredit the researchers themselves, goes on, and it is good reading. I hope after you read Ketchams GQ article, Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health, you will ponder the question Ketcham raised after learning all the dark history on this subject. The pressing question, he says, is The evidence is starting to pour in, and its not pretty. So why isnt anyone in America doing anything about it? Louis Slesin, Editor of Microwave News, told Ketcham, Much of the comfort in our modern life relies on not caring, on refusing to recognize the dangers of microwave radiation. Ive wondered deeply about the subject of caring, too. In the new sci-fi movie, Avatar, the indigenous people, the Navihumanoids indigenous to the moonmake clear how humans need remedial training in feeling, and in understanding our interconnectedness with the natural world. Indeed, modern man (and woman) seems to be highly oriented to ego and power and greed, to an achievement mindset derived in many cases by a need to feel worthy by winning the approval of others, or the need to be in control. This encourages a mindbody disconnect, making it difficult to appreciate the body as a living system, or our own exquisite, though fragile, electromagnetic makeup. Its easier in this place to dismiss potential biological effects of artificial electromagnetic fields, arrogantly denying this possibility from a place of ego, and being right. People are like this all around us and it is astounding. The result of this state of mind is people cant truly care for others, the planet or even themselves. Many pretend to care. They put their names on committees and boards of do-good organizations, but how may people do you know who actually allow themselves to care? Who do you know who has an active hearta heart that is not already frozen? We know it when someone cares. There is a visceral feeling we get, a comforting depth of connection with them and also a strong attraction. Same goes for nature. When we are alive within ourselves, we feel we are a part of the natural world and we feel a strong attraction to it, a sense of belonging, and we want to spend time there enjoying our connection with the bigger whole. It would be absolutely impossible in this state to support polluting our habitat with disrupting electromagnetic radiation, or any other pollutant for that matter, no matter what the justification. And we wouldnt sit idly by for decades as scientists are suppressed, and their funding cut, knowing full well the truth of radiations harm is not getting out to the people whose health is impacted. From the sounds of the science on cell phone radiation in the GQ article, wed better start learning to CARE soon, or many grave consequences to our health and the future of the species may soon be upon us! CLIP - MAKE SURE TO READ Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health BELOW
Compact Fluorescent Lights Dumping Mercury Directly into Landfills (January 27, 2010) http://www.naturalnews.com/028034_mercury_compact_fluorescent_lights.html
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs have become all the rage over the past several years, touted by many as the preferable "green" way to light a home, save energy, and promote environmental responsibility. While they may use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs are filled with toxic mercury that, when disposed of, contaminates landfills and the environment. A report released in 2008 from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection revealed that when a CFL bulb is broken, it can release dangerously high levels of mercury into the air. Mercury-vapor standards generally allow for 300 nanograms of mercury per cubic meter of air, however a broken CFL bulb can emit upwards of 50,000 nanograms per cubic meter, or more than 166 times the safe upper threshold.In Toronto, city officials require people to dispose of CFL bulbs at special hazardous waste facilities because they don't want the city's landfills to become contaminated with mercury. While used CFL bulbs are not legally recognized as hazardous waste, they are treated as such because they pose serious environmental threats when broken and released into the environment.Waste runoff and ground seepage from landfills can contaminate rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, and underground water tables. Even though landfills are generally designed to minimize this kind of contamination, the rapidly growing usage of CFL bulbs could have disastrous environmental consequences if they are not disposed of properly. CFL bulbs also emit high levels of radiation, causing migraine headaches, sleep abnormalities, fatigue, and other health problems. Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs emit excessive "dirty energy," or electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), a fact that has received little attention from those on the mainstream "green" bandwagon who continue to endorse CFLs as the solution to the alleged climate change crisis. The voltage reduction technology in CFL bulbs causes high amounts of EMF pollution to be emitted. Similar to the kind released from mobile phone antennas and food irradiation machinery, EMF radiation poses serious health threats to humans who are exposed to excessive amounts of it. CFL bulbs have been found to greatly increase EMF exposure as they are often the most significant EMF polluters in homes that use them. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, on the other hand, are a much safer alternative to CFL bulbs. Those who wish to transition from traditional incandescent bulbs to something that uses less energy would do well to investigate LED alternatives. Although they are typically more expensive than the other technologies due to limited acceptance in the mainstream, they are better for the environment than CFLs and emit far less EMF pollution.
Date: 23 Jan 2010
From: Lynn Nelson (email@example.com)
Subject: A dream about 2012
I would like to share a dream I had this month with your readers. I do so not only to alleviate any fears that may exist but in hopes of bringing forth The Light within all of us.
Recently, I watched an interview with a NASA scientist who was discussing an unusual increase in solar flare activity leading up to 2012. His words were grim and left no doubt that NASA believed that these solar flares would, at the very least, cause world-wide catastrophic events, and at the most, an extinction of most species on the planet. I went to bed that night with deep discouragement in my heart. How could something this great be prevented? Maybe, like the dinosaurs, we'd had our time of supremacy and now it was done.
That night I was given what I call a "real dream." I was told that we, the people of all nations, had the power to protect Mother Earth and all the relatives upon her. I was shown that over the last 20 years, the Light had been developed within many of us. Unknown to us, this Light had been growing, expanding all over the world. Even the animals had felt it. As the time of the great solar flares neared, I was shown many parts of the world where people stood with their eyes towards the skies and their arms uplifted. Some were praying. Some were meditating. Some were chanting or singing. A Light...a brilliant and vivid Light... started to grow and surround the Earth. As it grew, the Light grew in brilliance and depth. Eventually, the Light completely surrounded Mother Earth and extended for many miles out into space. There was a great resonance and hum to this Light. Suddenly, tremendous flares leapt from the Sun. With my eyes, I could see these "fires" hurtling towards Earth. As they hit this Light with tremendous force, it looked as if the flares were hitting some kind of 'force field'. I had a sensation of a crackling and sputtering as if hitting a high-powered electric fence. All on Mother Earth were safe and well and none suffered. I was told that after this a "New Way" would begin on Mother Earth... the way of Spirit.
Related article and video:
NASA publishes article debunking 2012 theories (17 NOV 2009) http://www.3news.co.nz/NASA-publishes-article-debunking-2012-theories/tabid/412/articleID/130057/Default.aspx
NASA scientists are sick of being asked if the world is going to end in 2012 so much in fact, they've published an article on their website explaining just why it's a load of rubbish.The release of Roland Emmerich's blockbuster film 2012, in which John Cusack's character Jackson Curtis has to deal with the end of the world, has only made matters worse. (...) Lastly, solar activity is expected to rise from 2012 to 2014, but only as part of the usual 11-year cycle. "Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms," NASA writes.
Another dire warning for 2012 (June 13, 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZswFpzmrGY
Michio Kaku, a somewhat regular on Coast to Coast A.M., especially during the Art Bell years, appears on Fox News, predicting a cataclysmic event coming in the year 2012.
DAN IS ONTO SOMETHING QUITE TRUE I FEEL...
From: Daniel Stafford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 22 Jan 2010
Subject: In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti - A re-iteration of the Ping-Pong Theory...
I have been holding back from writing about this for a couple of days, because it is just so large and horrible I haven't been able to find the words. I have my own theory about where these earthquakes and volcanoes and such are coming from, and if it's right, things are NOT pretty.
Think about a rubber ball - say one of those Super Balls from when we were kids, the ones that were the size of a ping pong ball, but would bounce way higher than your house.
If you squeeze the top and the bottom, the sides bulge out, right? If you stop squeezing the top and bottom and you squeeze around the middle, the whole surface of the ball changes shape, doesn't it?
Now picture the whole Earth as a giant rubber ball. The squeezing at the top and the bottom are the weight of trillions and trillions of tons of ice at the North & South poles. Now all that ice is melting, and the water is moving toward the equator, changing where all that water weight is pressing on the surface of the Earth - so now the whole surface of the Earth is changing shape.
I actually stumped the scientists on Earth Talk with this about 3-4 years ago, and then a year later I saw a scientific paper published outlining the basic theory.
Now, what exactly effect on fault lines and volcanoes do you think it will have if the polar tectonic plates are rebounding upward while the oceanic plates are being depressed by having more water on top of them? Not a pretty thought.
We'd best get our act together with regard to making changes in the global climate and natural systems, because otherwise, we ain't seen nothing yet. Check out the Google search terms "">Yellowstone super volcano". Mother Nature can spank a LOT harder than we can stand.
My heart absolutely goes out to the people of Haiti. It is like Banda Aceh and the Tsunami, or hurricane Katrina on steroids all over again. And as much of a jerk as Pat Robertson has been about it, it is quite possible that the hand of Humanity's collective insanity is involved.
We must do better. We CAN do better.
Thank you for your consideration and dedication.
Climate change: melting ice will trigger wave of natural disasters (6 September 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/06/global-warming-natural-disasters-conference
Scientists at a London conference next week will warn of earthquakes, avalanches and volcanic eruptions as the atmosphere heats up and geology is altered. Even Britain could face being struck by tsunamis -- Scientists are to outline dramatic evidence that global warming threatens the planet in a new and unexpected way by triggering earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches and volcanic eruptions. Reports by international groups of researchers to be presented at a London conference next week will show that climate change, caused by rising outputs of carbon dioxide from vehicles, factories and power stations, will not only affect the atmosphere and the sea but will alter the geology of the Earth. Melting glaciers will set off avalanches, floods and mud flows in the Alps and other mountain ranges; torrential rainfall in the UK is likely to cause widespread erosion; while disappearing Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets threaten to let loose underwater landslides, triggering tsunamis that could even strike the seas around Britain. At the same time the disappearance of ice caps will change the pressures acting on the Earth's crust and set off volcanic eruptions across the globe. Life on Earth faces a warm future and a fiery one. "Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too," said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL)."Maybe the Earth is trying to tell us something," added McGuire, who is one of the organisers of UCL's Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards conference, which will open on 15 September. Some of the key evidence to be presented at the conference will come from studies of past volcanic activity. These indicate that when ice sheets disappear the number of eruptions increases, said Professor David Pyle, of Oxford University's earth sciences department.
(...) Last week scientists from Northern Arizona University reported in the journal Science that temperatures in the Arctic were now higher than at any time in the past 2,000 years. Ice sheets are disappearing at a dramatic rate and these could have other, unexpected impacts on the planet's geology.According to Professor Mark Maslin of UCL, one is likely to be the release of the planet's methane hydrate deposits. These ice-like deposits are found on the seabed and in the permafrost regions of Siberia and the far north."These permafrost deposits are now melting and releasing their methane," said Maslin. "You can see the methane bubbling out of lakes in Siberia. And that is a concern, for the impact of methane in the atmosphere is considerable. It is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas."A build-up of permafrost methane in the atmosphere would produce a further jump in global warming and accelerate the process of climate change. Even more worrying, however, is the impact of rising sea temperatures on the far greater reserves of methane hydrates that are found on the sea floor.It was not just the warming of the sea that was the problem, added Maslin. As the ice around Greenland and Antarctica melted, sediments would pour off land masses and cliffs would crumble, triggering underwater landslides that would break open more hydrate reserves on the sea-bed. Again there would be a jump in global warming. "These are key issues that we will have to investigate over the next few years," he said. There is also a danger of earthquakes, triggered by disintegrating glaciers, causing tsunamis off Chile, New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada, Nasa scientist Tony Song will tell the conference. The last on this list could even send a tsunami across the Atlantic, one that might reach British shores. CLIP
Can Rapid Climatic Change Cause Volcanic Eruptions? (16 November 1979) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/206/4420/826
Many major volcanic eruptions coincide with cooling trends of decadal or longer duration that began significantly before the eruptions. Dust veils provide positive feedback for short-term (less than 10 year) global cooling, but seem unlikely to trigger glaciations or even minor climate fluctuations in the 10-to 100-year range. On the contrary, variations in climate lead to stress changes on the earth's crustfor instance, by loading and unloading of ice and water masses and by axial and spin-rate changes that might augment volcanic (and seismic) potential.
Earthquakes EMF Induced http://freepage.twoday.net/stories/6151442/
Common knowledge ascertains that earthquakes are natural phenomena and are not man made. Currently there are technologies which have the power to impart huge amounts of energy into the atmosphere at specific wavelengths. In essence these devices act to produce silent sonic booms, which resonant with earth structures. Of note refer to the article below. There is a monitor of the continuous output of this technology in the us. Refer to the address below. http://184.108.40.206/cgi-bin/scmag/disp-scmag.cgi?date=20100112&Bx=on
If one checks the list of major earthquakes against the activity of the magnetometer a curious relationship occurs. There seems to be a strong correlation between the occurrence of earthquakes and the activity of this technology. Of note the frequency range seems to correlate best with the induction frequency that is normally found with earthquakes. Note the red band at approximately 1.8 to 2.0 hertz frequency. This band relates to the maximal discharge that is consistent with earthquake production. Of note this technology acts as a giant silent boom box, which can be generated anywhere on the planet. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/2010/ http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2009/
Coincidence?... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tihygYupVaw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfEc2Gy18tM
Ask yourself if this reflects the activity of a beneficent Creator or the genocidal activities of man. Pray for it to end, enough is enough!!!!
What Now? Seen on radar by thousands today over Australia. http://www.abundanthope.net/pages/Environment_Science_69/What_Now_Seen_on_radar_by_thousands_today_over_Australia_What_is_going_on.shtml
I have received E-mails from all over Australia today reporting this rather extraordinary feature captured on the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology radar site. This follows a series of so far unexplained features seen on Australian national radars since the 15th. For a while radar from the Melbourne Airport facility was out of action ( see below). Another strange ring appeared today over the South East of the country as seen below. Today has been very lively surrounding this debate over what some are suggesting are weather modification experiments now under way over huge country. I have received data also today that shows the HAARP facility has been ramped up (see their own monitoring data below). CLIP
Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase? http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/increase_in_earthquakes.php
We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant. A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. CLIP
NOTE: Those 2000-2009 stats above come from HERE - note the marked decrease in 2009!! They states: "The USGS estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. The NEIC now locates about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year. As more and more seismographs are installed in the world, more earthquakes can be and have been located. However, the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) has stayed relatively constant. "
Note from Jean: Now that Haiti is gradually fading away from most news headlines and that most everyone's attention has turned elsewhere, the vultures that have been waiting for the world's attention to fade away are doing their dirty business - the US military "has assumed effective control of the country", lots of hungry children are swiftly abducted "for sale, either in sexual trafficking, for illegal adoptions or as slaves for wealthy Haitians" or "to be harvested for human organs"... And hardly any newsmedia is reporting this... To have further evidence of the in-your-face take over of Haiti by the US military under the guise of a truly orwellian humanitarian relief "intervention", please make sure to also read the next article below by John Pilger who definitely do not mince words... I also recommend reading Drifting Toward Catastrophe: A Seven-Headed Beast to better grasp to what extent Barack Obama is failing so far to implement his many unfulfilled campaign promises.
Haitis President René Préval told a press conference Wednesday that some 170,000 bodies have been recovered since the January 12 earthquake. Many bodies still remain in the rubble, while many others have been buried without being counted by the government. Estimates of the total number of dead range as high as 300,000.
More than two weeks after the disaster, the majority of its surviving victims have yet to receive any significant aid.
Préval was virtually invisible, as far as the Haitian population was concerned, in the first two weeks following the earthquake and has become the object of popular contempt because of his apparent impotence and irrelevance, even as the US military has assumed effective control of the country.
The Wednesday press conference appeared to be aimed at countering this image. He dismissed a question as to whether Washington has imposed what amounts to a protectorate over Haiti, claiming improbably that the presence of over 15,000 US military personnel and their unilateral assumption of control over the countrys airports and port facilities had had no effect on Haitian sovereignty.
He said that he was transferring his offices, which had been set up in a police station on the edge of the US-occupied airport, to the grounds of the collapsed National Palace, a site that has also been secured by US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, but which is nearer to one of the biggest makeshift encampments formed by homeless Port-au-Prince residents.
The president also announced that the government was postponing indefinitely national legislative elections that had been set for February 28. Prior to the earthquake, the government had banned from participation in the vote the Fanmi Lavalas party, which supports former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 CIA-backed coup and forced into exile.
Préval also appeared to be attempting to give timid expression to the mounting frustration of the Haitian people over the agonizingly slow distribution of food, water and medical supplies, even as tons of aid cargo are piling up at the US-controlled airport and even larger stockpiles bound for Haiti have been held back because of the seeming inability to distribute what has already arrived.
I am not in a position to criticize anybody, not in the least people who have come here to help me, Préval said at the press conference. What I am saying is, what everybody is saying is, that we need a better coordination.
The inadequacy of the aid effort has led to mounting tension in Port-au-Prince. United Nations troops have responded at recent distributions, where supplies were woefully inadequate to feed the throngs that turned out, by dispersing hungry and homeless people with tear gas and pepper spray.
The United Nations admits that it has so far provided food to barely 25 percent of the earthquakes victims. Part of the problem is that UN troops assigned to distribute the aid do so in a haphazard manner, choosing distribution sites on the basis of security considerations and providing no advance notice on the grounds that it would draw so many people that there would be rioting. As it is, these surprise distributions end up sending many people away with nothing.
Meanwhile, there are reports that food supplies clearly marked as donated are being sold at elevated prices in the citys markets.
In the poorest neighborhoods of the city, people are still sorely lacking shelter, food, health care and sanitation, Riccardo Conti, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Haiti, told Radio Metropole in Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian radio station described the appalling conditions facing hundreds of thousands in the makeshift camps. Men, women and children wash and defecate wherever they can. Many sleep on the ground, others are lucky enough to have a mat or mattress. The ground is littered with trash. The days of the survivors are spent seeking food and water; some cannot even find enough to eat. Some camps are better off than others; they have mobile toilets.
Health experts and Haitian authorities have warned that these conditions are threatening to unleash another catastrophe of infectious diseases, particularly if there is a heavy rainfall. Outbreaks of cholera, malaria, typhus and dengue can claim many thousands of more victims.
Préval and other officials have pleaded for 200,000 tents to be rushed to Haiti to help stave off this disaster. As of Wednesday night, however, UN agencies in Haiti had obtained just 3,500 tents, according to Radio Metropole, and no more than 10,000 are in the pipeline.
There is also growing concern over the fate of Haitis children. According to a United Nations estimate, at least a million of them are now orphans or have lost at least one parent in the earthquake.
Time magazine carried a report Thursday citing Mia Pean, a Haitian-American consultant for the Andrew Young Foundation, who witnessed men in pickup trucks taking away children from the homeless encampments.
Each time the driver saw a childespecially a young teenhe would stick his head out of the window and shout, Manje, manje, Creole for eat. Pean says she watched the hungry kids, four or five at a time, hop into the back of the pickup, which then disappeared.
Pean said that most of the children picked up in this way were being taken for sale, either in sexual trafficking, for illegal adoptions or as slaves for wealthy Haitians.
Haitis Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Wednesday that children were being abducted for an even more sinister purpose: to be harvested for human organs.
A lot of organizations, they come and they say there were children on the streets. They're going to bring them to the US. And we have already reports of a lot of trafficking. Even of organ trafficking, Bellerive told CNN. There is trafficking for children and adults also because they need all types of organs.
A statistical study carried out by the Los Angeles Childrens Hospital and the University of Southern California found that close to half of those injured in the earthquake are children and adolescents under the age of 18.
The results of the study have major implications for relief supplies, given the need for thinner hypodermic needles and childrens doses for antibiotics and other drugs used in pediatric care. Emergency medical teams in Haiti have lacked such supplies and have been forced in most cases to improvise, using regular needles and halving adult doses.
Those injured in the January 12 disaster, the study says, are likely to include an extraordinarily high number of children, more than 110,000, nearly half of the estimated total.
The study estimated that at least 1,000 children between the ages of six and eight had suffered crush injuries, which, because of the lack of adequate and timely medical care, have in many cases resulted in amputations.
The elevated number of child victims is a function of Haitis demographics. Fully 25 percent of the countrys population is made up of children under the age of 15.
At a news conference in Washington Wednesday, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell indicated that the US military is contemplating a protracted occupation of Haiti and that security remained its primary concern.
Morrell described the security situation in Haiti as stable, but fragile, terms that frequently have been used to portray conditions in Iraq.
We have to be mindful of the security climate there, he said. We have to provide the kind of security that will facilitate a safe, secure flow of food, water, medicine, whatever it may be to the population.
A number of civilian aid agencies have charged that the US obsession with security and the militarization of the relief operation has hindered efforts to assist the earthquake victims and cost lives. This has extended from the US militarys assumption of unilateral control over the airport and giving top priority to bringing in armed troops, to the insistence that both rescue and aid operations could not be carried out in poorer areas of the cityso-called red zoneswithout military escorts.
We envision that there will be a role for the United States military for some time to come in Haiti, said the Pentagon press secretary, adding that the presence of US troops in the country demonstrated that the military is a force for good, working to provide assistance to those who need it around the world.
The US militarys aggressive intervention in the Haitian disaster has continued to generate international criticism. In addition to governments regularly at odds with Washington, such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua, which have condemned the intervention as a military occupation, the ambassador to Haiti from Chile, which has enjoyed close relations with the US, also condemned the character of the US military operation.
The Chilean ambassador, Marcel Young, told the daily El Mercurio that the US military was unnecessarily aggressive in carrying out the Haitian intervention.
They forget that this is a sovereign country and have been unnecessarily aggressive, said the ambassador.
After taking control of the Port-au-Prince airport, he said, the US forces set their own criteriafirst their planes land, and then all the rest.
He continued: The arrival of those troops was overly imposing. Even if it was positive that they reestablished air traffic control, judging by the level of military presence their demonstration of force has been excessive.
UNICEF DENOUNCES ABDUCTION OF HAITIAN CHILDREN (Jan 23, 2010) http://news.brunei.fm/2010/01/23/unicef-denounces-abduction-of-haitian-children/
GENEVA: The United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) has denounced the disappearance of Haitian children from hospitals in Puerto Principe, following the earthquake. The international body announced it had found the rape of at least 15 children in Haiti and came under suspicion of human trafficking networks through Santo Domingo. The security of Haitian children is at stake as the impoverished Caribbean nation faces the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of the past few decades, said Jean Claude Legrand, protection adviser at UNICEF. CLIP
Are Haiti's children being flown out to paedophiliacs with the knowledge and help of the UN and USA? http://tinyurl.com/yc8hv93
Last week, Austria's ORF reported that planes with small children on board leave Haiti every day with the permission of the UN and the USA even though, as John Pilger notes in a report (below), the US military and UN have taken control of all airports, ports and roads in Haiti.One airplane with 106 children aged between six months and seven years old from Haiti's capital was reported to have landed in Eindhoven in The Netherlands. The adoption agency, which organised the flight, told reporters that all the children apart from nine had new parents in the Netherlands and Luxemburg.Haitian children are also being flown out in large numbers for adoption to to people in the US and Germany under the eyes of US and UN personnel. But the Austrian government said that no one in Austria had applied for adoption, thereby underlining that adopting children has to follow a formal and lengthy procedure in normal cases? Why is this procedure not being followed now? How can children be taken from Haiti before a thorough effort has been made to find any suriviving parents or relatives, something that could take months given the scale of the earthquake disaster. How can they be sent flown through airports guarded by the US and UN to people whose background has not been adequately checked and without an adequate monitoring system? Why are these children not being given safe shelter in Haiti?The extent to which the "power elites" indulge in paedophilia has been well documented by the case of Marc Dutroux in Belgium. Recently the French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterand described in his autobiography paying Asian boys for sex.The scale of paedophila today is well known. The UN and WHO are not only vehicles of the climate change and swine flu scam. They have also become vehicles to supply the "elite" with helpless children for their paedophilic practises. There should be an immediate prohibition on flying any children out of Haiti. The adoption agencies who are engaged in this business should be investigated by the police as should the people who have adopted children, and the children should be returned to Haiti. CLIP
Haiti child protection teams on guard to stop trafficking (25.01.10) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23798778-haiti-child-protection-teams-work-to-stop-trafficking.do
Child protection teams have been posted at Haiti's borders to stop orphans and other young earthquake victims being smuggled out of the country.The specialist squads are working at the land crossing into the Dominican Republic and at the airport of Port-au-Prince in response to fears that traffickers are exploiting the disruption to seize children and send them abroad.In a further move to protect the thousands left without parents or separated from their families, child brigades are also patrolling the streets of the Haitian capital in a bid to find unaccompanied young people. CLIP
Haiti Deforestation - Worst case of deforestation the world... http://www1.voanews.com/english/video-audio/going-green/
Even before a magnitude seven earthquake left Port au Prince in near ruin, Haiti was a country in crisis, fiscally and environmentally -- as those two issues are not mutually exclusive. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It has also nearly been stripped bare of trees.
Haiti's 'ghost' tent villages (30 January 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8488728.stm
(...) Despite repeated calls from everyone - from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Haitian President Rene Preval - only a few thousand tents have so far arrived in Haiti. Mr Gascon says there are simply not enough tents. The priority for flights has been given to bringing in food and medical supplies," says Christopher Gascon from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He is in charge of building the mushroom tent camp. He has 40,000 more tents on their way from Panama, but by ship, not by air. And even when those do arrive, they will not be nearly enough.It seems extraordinary, but so vast are Haiti's needs that there are simply not enough of the right sort of tents in the world right now to house all the refugees. "We are talking about a huge number of tents," says Mr Gascon. "These sort of tents are not widely available. They will have to be made, ordered from China. If you want 200,000 tents now its not going to happen, they are not there." (...) Despite the massive response from the outside world these people are still waiting for help to arrive. And for nearly a million Haitians the coming night will be another night spent in the open.
Hundreds of thousands flee Haitis capital (January 22, 2010) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34928950/
Survivors cram into buses, nearly swamp ferries and even escape on foot -- PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haitians are fleeing their quake-ravaged capital by the hundreds of thousands, aid officials said Friday, as their government promised to help nearly a half-million more move from squalid camps on curbsides and vacant lots into safer, cleaner tent cities. Aid officials said some 200,000 people have crammed into buses, nearly swamped ferries and set out even on foot to escape the ruined capital. For those who stay, foreign engineers have started leveling land on the fringes of the city for tent cities, supposedly temporary, that are meant to house 400,000 people.The goal is to halt the spread of disease at hundreds of impromptu settlements that have no water and no place for sewage. Homeless families have erected tarps and tents, cardboard and scrap as shelter from the sun, but they will be useless once the summer rainy season hits. (...) With much of Port-au-Prince in ruins, there are about 600 impromptu settlements with a population of about 1 million scattered around Haiti, said Dr. Jon Angrus, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization. Longchamp said he expects buses to start moving quake refugees to the first of the planned camps by the end of the month, but aid agencies were cautious about that timetable."These settlements cannot be built overnight. There are standards that have to be designed by experts. There is the leveling of the land, procurement and delivery of tents, as well as water and sanitation," said Vincent Houver, the IOM's mission chief in Haiti. The move will be voluntary and temporary, according to Elisabeth Byrs, the spokeswoman for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva."It's to help them in a first move. After, the people will decide if they want to stay," she said. Many people are just trying to get out of the capital, often back to the farms or provincial homes of their parents or relatives.The U.S. Agency for International Development said Friday that as many as 200,000 Haitians have fled the capital and many more are trying to do so. CLIP
Haiti's Few Trees At Risk as Survivors Flee to Rural Areas (January 26, 2010) http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2010/2010-01-26-01.html
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, (ENS) - The number of people leaving Haiti's earthquake-ravaged cities for rural areas could reach one million, putting pressure on already vulnerable communities in those areas, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization warned Monday. The NGO Trees for the Future says these internally displaced people need help to keep them from cutting Haiti's few remaining trees for fuel and shelter. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has released figures showing that an increasing number of people are leaving Port-au-Prince. More than 130,000 people had taken advantage of the government's offer of free transportation to cities in the north and southwest. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital and other cities claimed more than 150,000 lives, according to the latest figures released Monday by Ambassador Louis Lucke, U.S. Special Coordinator for Relief and Reconstruction. "Many Haitians have felt the need to leave the Port-au-Prince, area with government encouragement in some cases," he said. "Some of the folks will be returning to their home villages. Some are fleeing the area." "We estimate, and it's just an estimate, that there's approximately 800,000 homeless in Port-au-Prince. Some of these folks are flowing out of the city to spontaneous camps, if you will. They're settling in open areas, and we're scrambling to be able to provide them essential services - food, water and so forth. Medical care," Lucke told reporters on a conference call Monday. CLIP
Children missing from Haiti hospitals (22 Jan 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116790
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday children have gone missing from hospitals in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in the country, raising fears they are being trafficked for adoption abroad. "We have documented around 15 cases of children disappearing from hospitals and not with their own family at the time," said UNICEF adviser Jean Luc Legrand. "UNICEF has been working in Haiti for many years and we knew the problem with the trade of children in Haiti that existed already beforehand," he said. "Unfortunately, many of these trade networks have links with the international adoption market." The UN agency said it has warned countries around the world during the past week not to step up adoptions from Haiti in the immediate wake of the quake, ABC News reported. Despite the warning, many fast-tracking adoption procedures are already under way in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said child enslavement and trafficking in Haiti was "an existing problem and could easily emerge as a serious issue over the coming weeks and months." CLIP
Searing accusation alleging that Barack Obama is merely a servile servant of the Pentagon doing the bidding of the global oligarchy of death and destruction...
With US troops in control of their country, the outlook for the people of Haiti is bleak.
The theft of Haiti has been swift and crude. On 22 January, the United States secured "formal approval" from the United Nations to take over all air and sea ports in Haiti, and to "secure" roads. No Haitian signed the agreement, which has no basis in law. Power rules in a US naval blockade and the arrival of 13,000 marines, special forces, spooks and mercenaries, none with humanitarian relief training.
The airport in the capital, Port-au-Prince, is now a US military base and relief flights have been rerouted to the Dominican Republic. All flights stopped for three hours for the arrival of Hillary Clinton. Critically injured Haitians waited unaided as 800 American residents in Haiti were fed, watered and evacuated.. Six days passed before the US air force dropped bottled water to people suffering dehydration.
A very American coup
The first TV reports played a critical role, giving the impression of widespread criminal mayhem. Matt Frei, the BBC reporter despatched from Washington, seemed on the point of hyperventilating as he brayed about the "violence" and need for "security". In spite of the demonstrable dignity of the earthquake victims, and evidence of citizens' groups toiling unaided to rescue people, and even a US general's assessment that the violence in Haiti was considerably less than before the earthquake, Frei claimed that "looting is the only industry" and "the dignity of Haiti's past is long forgotten"..
Thus, a history of unerring US violence and exploitation in Haiti was consigned to the victims. "There's no doubt," reported Frei in the aftermath of America's bloody invasion of Iraq in 2003, "that the desire to bring good, to bring American values to the rest of the world, and especially now to the Middle East . . . is now increasingly tied up with military power."
For the people of Haiti the implications are clear, if grotesque. With US troops in control of their country, Obama has appointed Bush to the "relief effort": a parody lifted from Graham Greene's The Comedians, set in Papa Doc's Haiti. Bush's relief effort following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 amounted to an ethnic cleansing of many of New Orleans's black population. In 2004, he ordered the kidnapping of the democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and exiled him to Africa. The popular Aristide had had the temerity to legislate modest reforms, such as a minimum wage for those who toil in Haiti's sweatshops.
When I was last in Haiti, I watched very young girls stooped in front of whirring, hissing binding machines at the Superior baseball plant in Port-au-Prince. Many had swollen eyes and lacerated arms. I produced a camera and was thrown out.. Haiti is where America makes the equipment for its hallowed national game, for next to nothing. Haiti is where Walt Disney contractors make Mickey Mouse pyjamas, for next to nothing. The US controls Haiti's sugar, bauxite and sisal. Rice-growing was replaced by imported American rice, driving people into the town and jerry-built housing. Year after year, Haiti was invaded by US marines, infamous for atrocities that have been their speciality from the Philippines to Afghanistan. Bill Clinton is another comedian, having got himself appointed the UN's man in Haiti. Once fawned upon by the BBC as "Mr Nice Guy . . . bringing democracy back to a sad and troubled land", Clinton is Haiti's most notorious privateer, demanding deregulation that benefits the sweatshop barons. Lately, he has been promoting a $55m deal to turn the north of Haiti into an American-annexed "tourist playground".
Not for tourists is the US building its fifth-biggest embassy. Oil was found in Haiti's waters decades ago and the US has kept it in reserve until the Middle East begins to run dry. More urgently, an occupied Haiti has a strategic importance in Washington's "rollback" plans for Latin America. The goal is the overthrow of the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, control of Venezuela's abundant petroleum reserves, and sabotage of the growing regional co-operation long denied by US-sponsored regimes.
Obama's next war?
The first rollback success came last year with the coup against the Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya, who also dared advocate a minimum wage and that the rich pay tax. Obama's secret support for the illegal regime in Honduras carries a clear warning to vulnerable governments in central America. Last October, the regime in Colombia, long bankrolled by Washington and supported by death squads, handed the Americans seven military bases to "combat anti-US governments in the region".
Media propaganda has laid the ground for what may well be Obama's next war. In December, researchers at the University of the West of England published first findings of a ten-year study of BBC reporting on Venezuela. Of 304 BBC reports, only three mentioned any of the historic reforms of Hugo Chávez's government, while the majority denigrated his extraordinary democratic record, at one point comparing him to Hitler.
Such distortion and servitude to western power are rife across the Anglo-American media. People who struggle for a better life, or for life itself, from Venezuela to Honduras to Haiti, deserve our support.
- John Pilger, renowned investigative journalist and documentary film-maker, is one of only two to have twice won British journalism's top award; his documentaries have won academy awards in both the UK and the US. In a New Statesman survey of the 50 heroes of our time, Pilger came fourth behind Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. "John Pilger," wrote Harold Pinter, "unearths, with steely attention facts, the filthy truth. I salute him."
Note: This article has elicited some pretty heated comments at the bottom of this webpage
Obama's lies over the Afghanistan war remind us of the lessons of Nineteen Eighty-Four
by John Pilger -- 30 December 2009
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that "passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'."
Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that "extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan" to "disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies". He called this "global security" and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the US has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: "We have no interest in occupying your country."
In Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorised by the United Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said that "the world" supported the invasion in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks. In truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded Afghanistan "only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden". In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over Bin Laden for trial, Pakistan's military regime reported, and they were ignored.
Hearts and minds"
Even Obama's mystification of the 9/11 attacks as justification for his war is false. More than two months before the twin towers were attacked, the former Pakistani diplomat Niaz Naik was told by the Bush administration that a US military assault would take place by mid-October. The Taliban regime in Kabul, which the Clinton administration had secretly supported, was no longer regarded as "stable" enough to ensure US control over oil and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea. It had to go.
Obama's most audacious lie is that Afghanistan today is a "safe haven" for al-Qaeda's attacks on the west. His own national security adviser, James Jones, said in October that there were "fewer than 100" al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. According to US intelligence, 90 per cent of the Taliban are hardly Taliban at all, but "a tribal localised insurgency [who] see themselves as opposing the US because it is an occupying power". The war is a fraud. Only the terminally gormless remain true to the Obama brand of "world peace".
Beneath the surface, however, there is serious purpose. Under the disturbing General Stanley McChrystal, who gained distinction for his assassination squads in Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan is a model for those "disorderly regions" of the world still beyond Oceania's reach. This is known as Coin (counter- insurgency), and draws together the military, aid organisations, psychologists, anthropologists, the media and public relations hirelings. Covered in jargon about winning hearts and minds, it aims to incite civil war: Tajiks and Uzbeks against Pashtuns.
The Americans did this in Iraq and destroyed a multi-ethnic society. They built walls between communities which had once intermarried, ethnically cleansing the Sunnis and driving millions out of the country. Embedded media reported this as "peace"; American academics bought by Washington and "security experts" briefed by the Pentagon appeared on the BBC to spread the good news. As in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the opposite was true.
Something similar is planned for Afghanistan. People are to be forced into "target areas" controlled by warlords, bankrolled by the CIA and the opium trade. That these warlords are barbaric is irrelevant. "We can live with that," a Clinton-era diplomat once said of the return of oppressive sharia law in a "stable", Taliban-run Afghanistan. Favoured western relief agencies, engineers and agricultural specialists will attend to the "humanitarian crisis" and so "secure" the subjugated tribal lands.
That is the theory. It worked after a fashion in Yugoslavia, where ethnic-sectarian partition wiped out a once-peaceful society, but it failed in Vietnam, where the CIA's "Strategic Hamlet Program" was designed to corral and divide the southern population and so defeat the Vietcong - the Americans' catch-all term for the resistance, similar to "Taliban".
Behind much of this are the Israelis, who have long advised the Americans in both the Iraq and the Afghanistan adventures. Ethnic cleansing, wall-building, checkpoints, collective punishment and constant surveillance - these are claimed as Israeli innovations that have succeeded in stealing most of Palestine from its native people. And yet, for all their suffering, the Palestinians have not been divided irrevocably and they endure as a nation against all odds.
HERE IS THE BIGGEST NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF AN AGONIZING US DEMOCRACY - AND MOST OF THE US MEDIA HAS TURNED A BLIND EYE TO THIS IGNOMINIOUS RULING , IN GREAT PART THANKS TO THE OPPORTUNE SMOKE SCREEN COVER OF THE DISASTROUS (HUMAN-ENGINEERED?) EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI ...
Date: 22 Jan 2010
From: Willig (email@example.com)
Subject: US Democracy screwed - Supreme Court is allowing unfettered corporate campaign spending
We should have Tshirts made with 'SUPREME CORPORATOCRACY' with a red slash symbol through corporatocracy and below it COURT.
The New American Corporatocracy! A Special Comment by Keith Olbermann, MSNBC - Part 1 MUST WATCH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPgIudSA00
Part 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL-_pGYwIvU
Full transcript HERE - Here is a significant excerpt:
"In short, there are now no checks on the ability of corporations or unions or other giant aggregations of power to decide our elections. None. They can spend all the money they want. And if they can spend all the money they want sooner, rather than later they will implant the legislators of their choice in every office from President to head of the Visiting Nurse Service. And if senators and congressmen and governors and mayors and councilmen and everyone in between are entirely beholden to the corporations for election and re-election to office soon they will erase whatever checks there might still exist to just slow down the ability of corporations to decide the laws. It is almost literally true that any political science fiction nightmare you can now dream up, no matter whether you are conservative or liberal, it is now legal. Because the people who can make it legal, can now be entirely bought and sold, no actual citizens required in the campaign-fund-raising process. And the entirely bought and sold politicians, can change any laws. And any legal defense you can structure now, can be undone by the politicians who will be bought and sold into office this November, or two years from now. And any legal defense which honest politicians can somehow wedge up against them this November, or two years from now, can be undone by the next even larger set of politicians who will be bought and sold into office in 2014, or 2016, or 2018. Mentioning Lincoln's supposed ruminations about arresting Roger B. Tawney, he didn't say the original of this, but what the hell! Right now, you can prostitute all of the politicians some of the time, and prostitute some of the politicians all the time, but you cannot prostitute all the politicians all the time. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts this will change. Unless this mortal blow is somehow undone, within ten years, every politician in this country will be a prostitute.
(...) Be prepared for the end of what you're watching now. I don't just mean me, or this program, or this network. I mean all the independent news organizations, and the propagandists like Fox for that matter, because Fox inflames people against the state, and after today's ruling, the corporations will only need a few more years of inflaming people, before the message suddenly shifts to "everything's great." Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh don't even realize it: today, John Roberts just cut their throats too. So, with critics silenced or bought off, and even the town assessor who lives next door to you elected to office with campaign funds 99.9 percent drawn from corporate coffers what are you going to do about it? The Internet! The Internet? Ask them about the Internet in China. Kiss net neutrality goodbye. Kiss whatever right to privacy you think you currently have, goodbye. And anyway, what are you going to complain about, if you don't even know it happened? In the new world unveiled this morning by John Roberts, who stops Rupert Murdoch from buying the Associated Press? This decision, which in mythology would rank somewhere between "The Bottomless Pit" and "The Opening Of Pandora's Box," got next to no coverage in the right-wing media today, almost nothing in the middle, and a lot less than necessary on the left. The right wing won't even tell their constituents that they are being sold into bondage alongside the rest of us. And why should they? For them, the start of this will be wonderful."
KEITH OLBERMAN SAID IT RIGHT, & We see "Worst Media Coverage on the newest Supreme Court DECISION in USA ever" (January 24, 2010) http://www.opednews.com/articles/KEITH-OLBERMAN-SAID-IT-RIG-by-ALONE-100123-356.html
(...) However, with Haiti all over the news, the momentous story of Supreme court's activism in changing American democracy has been ignored by too many USA media giants and small-town wannabee media conglomerates.However, Keith Olberman of MSNBC's Countdown gave an outstanding talk on TV today stating that if the Supreme Court had thrown out all spending caps in professional football, all the Sports media would be up in arms and wondering what would become of the smaller NFL franchises once players and teams had the right to gather and spend as much as they want from any source. Yet, as Olberman noted, "The [USA] political press greeted it [Supreme Court Decision] with a Yawn. "Earlier, in the same program, Olberman had warned the USA rightwing pundits to note that the Roberts' US Supreme Court--America's most activist supposedly conservative court ever--had opened the door to Venezuelan-owned owned CITGO throwing its money around in USA elections. WORST SUPREME COURT DECISION EVER -- Similarly, like in the USA football parable noted above--Olberman added that whereby the Green Bay Packers would be forever-bankrupted by such Supreme Court activists if the Court chose to meddle in NFL football agreements the way it has in American election regulations, almost all USA political parties may be wiped from the map:Good-bye Republicans, Good-bye Democrats, Good-by any hoped-for progressive third party. Bob Edgar of Common Cause added, "We have to immediately press Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act -- public financing of campaigns. It's the only way ordinary people can have a fighting chance that we won't be completely overwhelmed by special interests. We also must make it clear that corporations, unions, or anyone else exploiting the Roberts Court's indefensible ruling will be exposed to public scrutiny. We'll have to act fast if we want to prevent the 2010 elections from becoming a special interest-driven tragedy. With spending limits thrown out, corporations and unions could spend as much as $6 billion to directly influence the election of candidates in 2010. And that's just if they match what they spend lobbying Congress in an election cycle. As massive corporate spending goes flying into campaigns, the opportunity to make progress on critical issues like health care and energy will go flying out the window. We can't let that happen." http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4741359
With a stroke of a pen, American history has been transformed with no justification for reversals.
Bob Edgar Discusses Citizens United Case with Keith Olbermann (January 22, 2010) http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4741359
Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Friday evening to discuss the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, and solutions like the Fair Elections Now Act. Watch Bob's segment below.
Obama condemns court ruling on corporate donations (January 24, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/24/AR2010012402240.html
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday strongly criticized a Supreme Court ruling removing limits on corporate donations for political campaigns, saying it was a major victory for banks and oil and health insurance companies. "With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said in a statement. "We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less."
Obama Blasts Supreme Court's Decision on Spending Limits (Jan 24, 2010) http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/28561/
President Obama is vowing to fight last weeks 5-4 Supreme Court vote to lift limits on campaign spending by corporations, unions, and other organizations.In his weekly address, Obama dedicated several minutes to express his reaction to the decision. He said one reason he ran for president was that the voices of everyday Americans werent being heard over powerful special interests in Washington. He also emphasized progress his administration has already made. In my first year in office, we pushed back on that power by implementing historic reforms to get rid of the influence of those special interests, said Obama in his weekly address. On my first day in office, we closed the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government so that no one in my administration would make decisions based on the interests of former or future employers. Obama added that his administration has also barred gifts from federal lobbyists to executive branch officials, imposed restrictions to prevent the loss of economic recovery funds, and publicly disclosed the names of lobbyists and non-lobbyists alike who visit the White House. But he said the Supreme Courts decision is a step in the wrong direction. This ruling strikes at our democracy itself, he said. The Court overturned more than a century of lawincluding a bipartisan campaign finance law written by Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold that had barred corporations from using their financial clout to directly interfere with elections by running advertisements for or against candidates in the crucial closing weeks. Obama said the ruling opens the floodgates for unlimited special interest money to flow into our democracy. He says that it gives special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their wayor to punish those who dont. Even foreign corporations may now get into the act, said Obama. I cant think of anything more devastating to the public interest. He added that it will also make it more difficult to pass common-sense laws to promote energy independence because even foreign entities would be allowed to mix in our elections. The final note of Obamas comments on the ruling was his reiteration of a previous statement that his administration will begin working with Congress immediately to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision, and they have already begun.
Shed a Tear for Democracy: Supreme Courts Citizens United Will Unleash Flood of Corporate Money in Elections; Public Citizen Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Decision
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
This is nothing short of a massive assault on the very foundation of American democracy!
Just hours ago, the Supreme Court gave Corporate America a green light to use its immense wealth to buy elected officials.
The court's shocking decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down 60 years of legal precedent prohibiting corporations from making campaign expenditures to attack or support political candidates.
The court ruled that the First Amendment - designed to protect the speech of real, live humans - guarantees for-profit corporations the right to influence elections.
This is nothing short of a massive assault on the very foundation of American democracy.
We must fight back. The lines are clearly drawn. People v. corporations.
That's why Public Citizen is launching a historic campaign to pass a constitutional amendment on behalf of human beings. To restore human beings to the center of the political process. To say no to unfettered corporate power. And we need your help.
In the wake of the court's decision, corporations can pour virtually unlimited amounts of cash into political campaigns. If candidates challenge the corporate agenda, they will be buried under mountains of corporate cash. If candidates do the bidding of a corporation, they will be rewarded from corporate America's bottomless treasury.
The only surefire solution to a corporate takeover of American democracy is a constitutional amendment re-establishing that First Amendment protections (except for freedom of the press) do not apply to for-profit corporations.
Corporations are not human beings. Corporations should not be free to use their massive concentrations of financial power to drown out the voices of real people.
Please watch this special video on what Public Citizen is doing in response to the Supreme Court's decision...
And I need you to forward my email to your friends and family. Urge them to watch the video and sign the Citizen's Free Speech Petition, too.
In the coming weeks and months, you will be hearing more about Public Citizen's nationwide mobilization to protect the speech of human beings. You will be asked to participate, agitate and organize. The framers of the Constitution did not intend for the First Amendment to apply to for-profit corporations, and it shouldn't. We are not now going to surrender our democratic institutions to the control of powerful corporations.
Help us fight back.
Join Public Citizen's grassroots mobilization. Help us take back our democracy.
Join the campaign!
Robert Weissman, President
FREE SPEECH FOR PEOPLE AMENDMENT PETITION:
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations;
WHEREAS, for the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has transformed the First Amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to evade and invalidate democratically-enacted reforms;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Courts ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections;
WHEREAS, this corporate takeover of the First Amendment has reached its extreme conclusion in the United States Supreme Courts recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Courts ruling in Citizens United v. FEC will now unleash a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in United States history;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Courts ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy;
WHEREAS, the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our democracy and self-government;
Now hereby be it resolved that we the undersigned voters of the United States call upon the United States Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people.
- The Problem
(...) How Much New Corporate Money in Elections Might We See? It is impossible to predict how much corporate and union money will flood into our elections in an unregulated system, but it is reasonable to assume it would be very substantial indeed-and possibly overwhelming in selected races of particular interest to the business or labor communities. Special interest groups primarily funded by corporate money spent conservatively about $50 million on TV ads promoting or attacking federal candidates just in the last two months of the 2000 election, up from $11 million just two years earlier. Corporations and unions chipped in another $500 million in soft money contributions in each of the 2000 and 2002 election cycles, due to a loophole in federal election law.These loopholes were largely closed with passage of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law, which added two powerful pillars to the campaign finance law: first, broadcast ads that mention a candidate, target the candidates voting constituency and air within 60 days of a general election cannot be paid for by corporate or union funds; and second, soft money contributions to parties and federal candidates are prohibited.Although the McCain-Feingold law was upheld almost in its entirety by the Rehnquist Court in its 2003 decision, McConnell v. FEC, todays Roberts Court began to whittle away at the law in its 2007 decision, FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life. The new loophole caused by the Roberts Court immediately resulted in another $100 million in corporate spending on TV electioneering ads in the last two months of the 2008 election.This is just the tip of the iceberg. Corporations have long shown a willingness to spend and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars each election through loopholes in the law. Now that the Court has invalidated restrictions on corporate political spending, expect a flood of new money into the 2010 congressional campaigns, state candidate campaigns, judicial elections, and the 2012 presidential election. CLIP
More members of Congress oppose Supreme Court decision (January 21, 2010) http://citizenvox.org/2010/01/21/more-members-of-congress-oppose-supreme-court-decision/
Members of Congress are coming up out of the woodwork to join the call to action to combat the Supreme Courts disatrous decision in Citizens United v. FEC. In Politico, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to is saying :The Roberts Court has turned back the clock on our democracy by a century. [...] He called the decision disastrous and scandalous. He portrayed the decision as a victory for Wall Street. Now robber barons can act like parasites, attacking the roots of our democracy, Schumer said. Schumers metaphor may be unappetizing, but it is accurate. In a statement, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is showing support for the solutions: Congress must move to make it clear that free speech is meant for individuals and not for corporations, he said. Congress must address the incongruous and undemocratic outcome of this inflation of corporate power, starting with passage of the Fair Elections Now Act, in order to begin to return the electoral process back to the American people. Well said, Rep. Grijalva. Lets hope your colleagues are listening.
John McCain, Russ Feingold diverge on court ruling (1/21/10) http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31810.html
Russ Feingold is seething mad. John McCain is giving more of a disappointed shrug. These senators whose names were associated with the landmark campaign finance bill that was partially overturned by the Supreme Court on Thursday had divergent reactions. Their positions reflect the impact the ruling may have on each of their partiesand House Democrats have already introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution and reverse the decision. This decision was a terrible mistake, said Feingold, echoing sentiment among Democrats that the ruling would open the floodgates for corporate money in elections. Presented with a relatively narrow legal issue, the Supreme Court chose to roll back laws that have limited the role of corporate money in federal elections since Teddy Roosevelt was president.McCain, whose party leaders praised the court decision, wasnt as tough as Feingold. I am disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court and the lifting of the limits on corporate and union contributions, he said. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) introduced the constitutional amendment, which would prohibit corporations and labor unions from using general treasury funds in connection with a federal election campaign. The Supreme Courts ruling today strikes at the very core of democracy in the United States by inflating the speech rights of large, faceless corporations to the same level of hard-working, every day Americans, Boswell said in a statement. Democratic leaders vowed to try to use legislation to roll back as much of the decision as possible before Novembers midterm elections. But that would add another controversial item to a stalled Senate agenda already stacked with big ticket items like climate changeand the ruling was written so tightly its unlikely legislation can make a significant dent. The decision could not have been clearer, said Michael Zolandz, who directs the political practice at K Streets Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP. The ability to restrict independent expenditures is rendered very, very, very limitedif nonexistentby the courts decision today. Most Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who fought the bill from the beginning, are celebrating. For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. With todays monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups, McConnell said.
(... Continued HERE) Connecticut Rep. John Larson, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus, introduced legislation to create a new system of public financing for candidates. That bill would not change any aspect of the ruling, but would create a system of government matching funds for candidates funded by large numbers of small donors. A new coalition is already calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to change the ruling. In this decision, a handful of unelected judges have revealed their agenda to expand the influence of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals, and it will not stand the test of time, said Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy and former chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Will the Citizens United Ruling Let Hugo Chavez and King Abdullah Buy U.S. Elections? (January 22, 2010) http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/1913/
While political observers have dissected much of yesterdays 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, one potentially huge (and probably unintended) consequence has gotten little notice: the impact the decision could have on foreign government spending on federal campaigns.The ruling essentially gives corporations the same rights as individuals in their ability to spend freely on political advertising, even if those advertisements explicitly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate. This means that candidates who support, say, increased restrictions on tobacco products could find themselves up against the corporate treasury of say, a major American tobacco company. And even the fear of $10 million in attack ads blanketing the airways come re-election time may give sitting legislators pause before taking on moneyed industries.But its one thing for U.S. firms to have their say. What about foreign companies that operate U.S. subsidiaries? Many of these, like American businesses, are owned by ordinary shareholders but a host of others are owned, in whole or in part, by the foreign governments themselves.One prominent examples is CITGO Petroleum Company once the American-born Cities Services Company, but purchased in 1990 by the Venezuelan government-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. The Citizens United ruling could conceivably allow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has sharply criticized both of the past two U.S. presidents, to spend government funds to defeat an American political candidate, just by having CITGO buy TV ads bashing his target.And its not just Chavez. The Saudi government owns Houstons Saudi Refining Company and half of Motiva Enterprises. Lenovo, which bought IBMs PC assets in 2004, is partially owned by the Chinese governments Chinese Academy of Sciences. And Singapores APL Limited operates several U.S. port operations. A weakening of the limit on corporate giving could mean China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and any other country that owns companies that operate in the U.S. could also have significant sway in American electioneering.
The Supreme Court Just Handed Anyone, Including bin Laden or the Chinese Govt., Control of Our Democracy (January 22, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/politics/145354/the_supreme_court_just_handed_anyone%2C_including_bin_laden_or_the_chinese_govt.%2C_control_of_our_democracy
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations should be treated the same as "natural persons", i.e. humans. Well, in that case, expect the Supreme Court to next rule that Wal-Mart can run for President.The ruling, which junks federal laws that now bar corporations from stuffing campaign coffers, will not, as progressives fear, cause an avalanche of corporate cash into politics. Sadly, that's already happened: we have been snowed under by tens of millions of dollars given through corporate PACs and "bundling" of individual contributions from corporate pay-rollers.The Court's decision is far, far more dangerous to U.S. democracy. Think: Manchurian candidates.I'm losing sleep over the millions or billions of dollars that could flood into our elections from ARAMCO, the Saudi Oil corporation's U.S. unit; or from the maker of "New Order" fashions, the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Or from Bin Laden Construction corporation. Or Bin Laden Destruction Corporation.Right now, corporations can give loads of loot through PACs. While this money stinks (Barack Obama took none of it), anyone can go through a PAC's federal disclosure filing and see the name of every individual who put money into it. And every contributor must be a citizen of the USA. But under today's Supreme Court ruling that corporations can support candidates without limit, there is nothing that stops, say, a Delaware-incorporated handmaiden of the Burmese junta from picking a Congressman or two with a cache of loot masked by a corporate alias.Candidate Barack Obama was one sharp speaker, but he would not have been heard, and certainly would not have won, without the astonishing outpouring of donations from two million Americans. It was an unprecedented uprising-by-PayPal, overwhelming the old fat-cat sources of funding.Well, kiss that small-donor revolution goodbye. Under the Court's new rules, progressive list serves won't stand a chance against the resources of new "citizens" such as CNOOC, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Maybe UBS (United Bank of Switzerland), which faces U.S. criminal prosecution and a billion-dollar fine for fraud, might be tempted to invest in a few Senate seats. As would XYZ Corporation, whose owners remain hidden by "street names." CLIP
"Todays decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that corporations already attempt to influence or bribe our political candidates through their political action committees (PACs), which solicit employees and shareholders for donations. With this decision, corporations can now also draw on their corporate treasuries and pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars. This corporatist, anti-voter decision is so extreme that it should galvanize a grassroots effort to enact a Constitutional Amendment to once and for all end corporate personhood and curtail the corrosive impact of big money on politics. It is indeed time for a Constitutional amendment to prevent corporate campaign contributions from commercializing our elections and drowning out the civic and political voices and values of citizens and voters. It is way overdue to overthrow King Corporation and restore the sovereignty of We the People! "
In responded to Ralph Nader's statement above, Ron wrote: "The three fundamental underpinnings for the global slave matrix in which we live are: 1. Allowing private individuals to create money out of nothing and charge interest (usury) on that imaginary money. 2. Allowing private individuals to create fictional persons (ie corporations) which are then given the rights and privileges of sovereign human beings PLUS rights unavailable to sovereign human beings, namely: - Immortality - the right to legally exist forever;- Omni-presence - the right to be legally everywhere at once via agents; - Protection from imprisonment - because corporations are not corporeal they cannot be incarcerated; nor are they spirits and hence they are amoral and not 'personally' responsible for actions done in their name; - Owners of corporations are generally exempt from personal liability for crimes committed by agents of the corporations they own, and are ordinarily NOT responsible for financial losses and/or debts created by the so-called corporate personalities they own. 3. Allowing private individuals elected or appointed to RE-PRESENT the views and interests of those who appoint or elect them, to secretly establish and operate corporations that are then touted as being "governments" with so-called legal powers and rights to coerce, tax and incarcerate the sovereign human beings who have elected or appointed them to RE-PRESENT their views. ALL of these situations are absurd. Ralph Nader only goes half way towards advocating the correction of one of these absurdities. His solution is not enough since the very Congress he relies on and the associated US "government"are corporations and he not only fails to address that but assumes their continuation. The system must be eradicated, root and branch. Tinkering with it is a waste of time."
"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 - (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) - Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)
"They (corporations) cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls."
- Lord Edward Coke
"Criminal, n. A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation."
- Howard Scott
"Corporations are businesses run solely for profit, greed, power, control."
- Henriette Matthijssen
"This is a totally egregious ruling by the Supreme Court. When is an intelligent Supreme Court going to understand the distinction between a person and a corporation regarding many issues? This is not a free speech issue, it is just a pass to pursue grossly unjust "bought & paid for candidates". Obviously big money interests are just licking their chops. We lost Paul Wellstone, an advocate for fair campaigns. Doris Haddock, AKA "Granny D" walked across America at the age of 90, ten years ago, raising grassroots awareness about the importance in a democracy, (not a corpocracy), for individuals to be heard. By the way "Granny D"'s 100th birthday is on January 31st. A celebration is being held in Dublin, NH where she lives. She is a patriot and a heroine. Where will you be that day and what will you be doing? "
- Carlos Nunez
"Even the illusion of democracy in our country died yesterday. It's time to repeal the ridiculous notion that Corporations are people and deserve to be protected by the Constitution!"
- Guy Zahller
"The momentum for Justice for the citizens (not the wealthy) of these United States, is faltering. If we don't act now, it will be too late and we will doom our children to the world of our nightmares."
- April Lee
"It is unethical to put corporations in the same legal status as human beings: corporations are enormously wealthy and powerful, capable of wielding power no citizen could aspire to. Corporations never die. Indeed, they are not alive. Thus to construe corporations as persons is absurd. Ban this unjust, inequitable, illogical privilege that should never have been extended to corporations in the first place."
- Marthe Reed
"Allowing corporations to spend unlimited money on campaigns is contrary to democracy itself, enabling corporations to buy our government. This clearly goes against the best interests of the public and the country. We need more, not fewer, reasonable controls on corporate power."
- Diane H Fabian
- Constance St-Jean
"It is we the people not we the corporation. Heaven help us now."
- Arthur Deckard
"The founding fathers did not intend to provide international or national corporations the right to dictate public policy to American citizens. The egregious behavior of the Supreme Court is large scale treason and they should be tried as traitors. They have negated the popular vote and their intent seems to be clear: The Supreme Court has shown they hate the Constitution and all the non-rich Americans. If there was ever a reason to impeach Supreme Court justices, now is the time."
CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST OF 5 SUPREME COURT JUSTICES FOR TREASON
January 22, 2010
THE FIVE THAT STAND AGAINST ALL AMERICANS, THE MAFIA JUDGES
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
Five members of the Supreme Court declared that a corporation is a person, not a regular person but one above all natural laws, subject to no God, no moral code but one with unlimited power over our lives, a power awarded by judges who seem themselves as grand inquisitors in an meant to hunt down all hertics who fail to serve their god, the god of money.
Their ruling has made it legal for foreign controlled corporations to flush unlimited money into our bloated political system to further corrupt something none of us trust and most of us fear. The corporation/person that the 5 judges, the neocon purists, have turned the United States over to isnt even American. Our corporations, especially since our economic meltdown are owned by China, Russia and the oil sheiks along with a few foreign banks. They dont vote, pay taxes, fight in wars, need dental care, breathe air, drive cars or send children to school. Anyone who thinks these things are people is insane. Anyone who would sell our government to them is a criminal and belongs in prison. There is nothing in the Constitution that makes this gang of five bribe sucking clowns above the law. There is nothing in the Constitution that even mentions corporations much less gives them status equal to or greater than the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.
The Supreme Court of the United States has no right to breathe human life into investment groups owned by terrorist sympathizers, foreign arms dealers or groups working for the downfall of the United States and everything we believe in, but 5 justices have done just that. We now have a new government above our government, above our people, one above any law. Five judges have created institutionalized gangsterism as the new form of government for the United States.
No American soldier can ever go to war fighting for a Chinese hedge fund, a German bank or a Saudi Arabian fertilizer company. Will our new debates in Congress be between members representing the opium warlords against the Columbian cartels? Their cash, which long ago has infiltrated one major corporation or bank after another is now heading for your local representative. How important do you think secure borders for America are for these new policial influencers?
For years we complained about AIPAC, the Sierra Club, the NRA, trial lawyers, trade unions, NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) and the churches that got involved in politics. Behind all of these were people, American citizens, and, on some occasions, Americans who fought for their country, raised kids here and were invested in the survival of America although they didnt always act that way. This was an American problem. Now we arent even sure we have an America anymore.
Anyone who believes that a massive flood of corporate money into politics wont throw control of both houses of Congress into the hands of the wealthy nations that are also our primary strategic enemies, you know the ones, the ones loaded with oil cash, the ones with 10 cent an hour labor and legal systems that shoot first and ask questions later. They just were told they can buy the United States, not just our government, but our military, and the lives of our soldiers. They can now make our laws, raise our taxes, decide on our civil rights, where we can live, if we can own guns, how late we stay up, where and what we drive and, eventually, how we think. The Supreme Court has given foreign owned corporations the eventual power to silence us all.
When a corporation commits a crime, nobody goes to jail. When wars come, they dont fight, they simply rake in cash. When children are poisoned or workers are killed, they seldom even pay a fine. However, when they want something, billions in tax money for bail outs or fat contracts or special laws, they have always gotten it. It has been a battle to control corporations for 140 years. Sometimes the American people have lost, sometimes they have won. Our greatest presidents are the ones who reined in corporate power and kept the influence of money over humanity in check. Think of Theordore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy.
Without them we would be living in work camps, stuck at machines all day, our children at our sides. We would be paid in beans and salt pork, dying at 40 in filth like people around the world who live in countries controlled by corporations.
Based on the justices that we want prosecuted being Reagan/Bush conservatives you would think this is a liberal/conservative issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing less conservative has ever been done by a branch of our government. There is nothing conservative about our Supreme Court going insane and abandoning our Constitution and making medical decisions, not to give life to a fetus, but to a bank account.
This is nothing but an extremely unAmerican and unpatriotic group of thieves believing that Americans had given up so many of their civil liberties in silence during the Global War on Terror scam that opening the Pandoras Box of class conflict could now be done with nobody saying a word. Their corporate person is now a Baron or Duke, the great landlords of the medieval period. Americans are now destined for serfdom. Their political and economic theories, what are they? Is it conservatism or feudalism?
We are already burdened with a representative government that has tied itself to the money spigot because of the incredible cost of media exposure in campaigns. People running for office in ancient Rome would purchase thousands of animals for slaughter in the arena. Mass executions were staged as media events for political campaigns. In fact, the arenas in every Roman city were built for that purpose, today replaced by television and the internet. We thought we had changed since that time. We were wrong.
The framers of the Constitution created the Supreme Court, the Electoral College and originally had Senators appointed, not elected, to protect the wealthy from having their money and land seized by the masses who would otherwise have controlled the government. This was the 1780s. The only democracy we knew about was ancient Athens, where the majority of the people living there were slaves. 27 Amendments later, including the Bill of Rights, we have worked to define justice and decency. Generations have fought and died to keep life in our imperfect system from 1780. Who would have thought that 5 people could destroy it all?
Political debate in America is sometimes extreme, often bordering on violence. Feelings are high. How many times have you heard people threaten to leave the country because their America no longer exists. We know that few really mean it. When faced with a real threat, no people on earth are to be feared like Americans. When help is needed, no people on earth are to be trusted and relied on like Americans. This is the pride we have in our country and ourselves. We never agree on anything. We arent supposed to, we are Americans.
Everything we built has been based on a balance, race, religion, ethnicity, social standing, political beliefs, regional interests, all striving and compromising to build something we are all secretly very proud of, something all of us are willing to fight for and many are. Americans all agree on one thing, that our government in Washington is out of control and has been for some time. We all have different ideas on this but agree on the fact itself. We wonder where the politicians come from, men too often less great than those of the past, in fact, less great than average. Decisions are continually made that most find puzzling and, in fact, are driven by a rotten underbelly of corruption and self interest.
Now, 5 members of the Supreme Court, people none of us voted for, a group that is answerable to no authority and, seemingly, no law or moral code, a group famous for immoderation, poor judgement and low personal integrity has, either through blindness, avarice or insanity clearly done something so malicious, so unjust and so utterly inconsistent with our Constitution that they, themselves, have become an enemy of the people.
What is their power? What they have done is not within the scope of the authority given through the Constitution. Their acts are outside the law, their acts are those of a conspiracy, their acts are meant to diminish our freedoms, our sacred institutions and even endanger our lives. Typically, such acts are called crimes and those who commit them are criminals.
What could drive judges, albeit judges appointed with little thought as part of a cheap political ploy, to abandon any American constituency? Corporations have no religion. They care nothing for the unborn. They have no allegiance to a flag, a family or any moral ethic. They serve no person, owe no loyalty other that to stockholders, shadowy groups of Russian oligarchs, Chinese banks, corrupt dictators grown fat on the spoils of their people or the international consortiums of bond and currency speculators who have, for decades, abandoned any economic law to build the etherial house of cards we call the world economy.
The control of the American electoral process has been given to them. No serving politician can survive now standing against them. Years ago they bought our newspapers and our television networks. Fact and truth became whatever they wanted us to believe. They gained control of what many thought and what almost all of us see and hear. That wasnt enough. They wanted it all. As their control has grown, so has terrorism, continual war, economic poverty for millions Americans and insensitivity to justice and humanity. Who would expect anything else from a corporation with no blood, no heart and no face?
The Founding Fathers led America on the path to freedom and eventual democracy. The Federalists limited the ability of an impetuous electorate to seize power and reform America into chaos and anarchy. This system of government was predicated on the belief that love of country would always burn brightly in America and with progress, freedom and bounty was the inevitable reward of our industry. It is only now too obvious that so much has happened that was unforeseen. It is not a denial of our traditions to correct wrongs when we find them. This was how America was created. We are drowning in wrongs, we all finally agree on this.
The time is now. Party politics have failed. Political theories are little more than empty rhetoric meant to mislead and misinform. State has become church and church has become state. State is less just and church less godly. All we have left is we, the People. This is how we began and it is now all we have to move forward. It is time for the states to call for a Constitutional Convention to establish, not just a Republic, but a Democracy, by and for the people, the American people, rich and poor, a nation loyal to itself, not tied to corporations, a vast military industrial complex or endless foreign alliances.
If it is to be a genuinely conservative nation, one with individual freedoms, a small government, fewer taxes and more opportunity, a nation as intended, then we will all have to live with it. The bloated corpse we are creating in Washington is emitting a stench we can no longer abide. We will be saying goodbye to our Supreme Court, our seniority system in Congress and our political machines pretending to be parties and hello to paper ballots, a free press, term limits and the ability to yank a scoundrel out of office when we catch one.
EITHER HE IS UTTERLY COURAGEOUS OR COMPLETELY FOOLISH... See the comments on the site to discover the stormy controversy it triggered. Nearly $15,000 US have been donated within 24 hours for the bounty!
Wanted: Tony Blair for war crimes. Arrest him and claim your reward
Chilcot and the courts won't do it, so it is up to us to show that we won't let an illegal act of mass murder go unpunished
George Monbiot -- 25 January 2010 -- Comments (1097)
The only question that counts is the one that the Chilcot inquiry won't address: was the war with Iraq illegal? If the answer is yes, everything changes. The war is no longer a political matter, but a criminal one, and those who commissioned it should be committed for trial for what the Nuremberg tribunal called "the supreme international crime": the crime of aggression.
But there's a problem with official inquiries in the United Kingdom: the government appoints their members and sets their terms of reference. It's the equivalent of a criminal suspect being allowed to choose what the charges should be, who should judge his case and who should sit on the jury. As a senior judge told the Guardian in November: "Looking into the legality of the war is the last thing the government wants. And actually, it's the last thing the opposition wants either because they voted for the war. There simply is not the political pressure to explore the question of legality they have not asked because they don't want the answer."
Others have explored it, however. Two weeks ago a Dutch inquiry, led by a former supreme court judge, found that the invasion had "no sound mandate in international law". Last month Lord Steyn, a former law lord, said that "in the absence of a second UN resolution authorising invasion, it was illegal". In November Lord Bingham, the former lord chief justice, stated that, without the blessing of the UN, the Iraq war was "a serious violation of international law and the rule of law".
Under the United Nations charter, two conditions must be met before a war can legally be waged. The parties to a dispute must first "seek a solution by negotiation" (article 33). They can take up arms without an explicit mandate from the UN security council only "if an armed attack occurs against [them]" (article 51). Neither of these conditions applied. The US and UK governments rejected Iraq's attempts to negotiate. At one point the US state department even announced that it would "go into thwart mode" to prevent the Iraqis from resuming talks on weapons inspection (all references are on my website). Iraq had launched no armed attack against either nation.
We also know that the UK government was aware that the war it intended to launch was illegal. In March 2002, the Cabinet Office explained that "a legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to law officers' advice, none currently exists." In July 2002, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, told the prime minister that there were only "three possible legal bases" for launching a war "self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC [security council] authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case." Bush and Blair later failed to obtain security council authorisation.
As the resignation letter on the eve of the war from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, then deputy legal adviser to the Foreign Office, revealed, her office had "consistently" advised that an invasion would be unlawful without a new UN resolution. She explained that "an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression". Both Wilmshurst and her former boss, Sir Michael Wood, will testify before the Chilcot inquiry tomorrow. Expect fireworks.
Without legal justification, the war with Iraq was an act of mass murder: those who died were unlawfully killed by the people who commissioned it. Crimes of aggression (also known as crimes against peace) are defined by the Nuremberg principles as "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties". They have been recognised in international law since 1945. The Rome statute, which established the international criminal court (ICC) and which was ratified by Blair's government in 2001, provides for the court to "exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression", once it has decided how the crime should be defined and prosecuted.
There are two problems. The first is that neither the government nor the opposition has any interest in pursuing these crimes, for the obvious reason that in doing so they would expose themselves to prosecution. The second is that the required legal mechanisms don't yet exist. The governments that ratified the Rome statute have been filibustering furiously to delay the point at which the crime can be prosecuted by the ICC: after eight years of discussions, the necessary provision still has not been adopted.
Some countries, mostly in eastern Europe and central Asia, have incorporated the crime of aggression into their own laws, though it is not yet clear which of them would be willing to try a foreign national for acts committed abroad. In the UK, where it remains illegal to wear an offensive T-shirt, you cannot yet be prosecuted for mass murder commissioned overseas.
All those who believe in justice should campaign for their governments to stop messing about and allow the international criminal court to start prosecuting the crime of aggression. We should also press for its adoption into national law. But I believe that the people of this nation, who re-elected a government that had launched an illegal war, have a duty to do more than that. We must show that we have not, as Blair requested, "moved on" from Iraq, that we are not prepared to allow his crime to remain unpunished, or to allow future leaders to believe that they can safely repeat it.
But how? As I found when I tried to apprehend John Bolton, one of the architects of the war in George Bush's government, at the Hay festival in 2008, and as Peter Tatchell found when he tried to detain Robert Mugabe, nothing focuses attention on these issues more than an attempted citizen's arrest. In October I mooted the idea of a bounty to which the public could contribute, payable to anyone who tried to arrest Tony Blair if he became president of the European Union. He didn't of course, but I asked those who had pledged money whether we should go ahead anyway. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
So today I am launching a website http://www.arrestblair.org whose purpose is to raise money as a reward for people attempting a peaceful citizen's arrest of the former prime minister. I have put up the first £100, and I encourage you to match it. Anyone meeting the rules I've laid down will be entitled to one quarter of the total pot: the bounties will remain available until Blair faces a court of law. The higher the reward, the greater the number of people who are likely to try.
At this stage the arrests will be largely symbolic, though they are likely to have great political resonance. But I hope that as pressure builds up and the crime of aggression is adopted by the courts, these attempts will help to press governments to prosecute. There must be no hiding place for those who have committed crimes against peace. No civilised country can allow mass murderers to move on.
Related court action and articles:
Crimes Against Humanity: Complaint Filed Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al International Arrest Warrants Requested (January 20, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24447.htm
Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the Accused) for their criminal policy and practice of extraordinary rendition perpetrated upon about 100 human beings. This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture. This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C. The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute. Nevertheless the Accused have ordered and been responsible for the commission of I.C.C. statutory crimes within the respective territories of many I.C.C. member states, including several in Europe. Consequently, the I.C.C. has jurisdiction to prosecute the Accused for their I.C.C. statutory crimes under Rome Statute article 12(2)(a) that affords the I.C.C. jurisdiction to prosecute for I.C.C. statutory crimes committed in I.C.C. member states. CLIP
Flight 253 Cover-Up: "No Smoking Gun" Claims Undercut by New Disclosures
"Relevant questions begging for answers include: Who made the decision not to "connect the dots"? Are right-wing elements and holdovers from the previous administration actively conspiring to destabilize the Obama government? Was the attempted bombing a planned provocation meant to incite new conflicts in the Middle East and restrict democratic rights at home?
As with the 9/11 attacks, these questions go unasked by corporate media. Indeed, such lines of inquiry are entirely off the table and are further signs that a cover-up is in full-swing, not a hard-hitting investigation.
In truth, what we are dealing with here as we stagger into the second decade of the 21st century, is not a "conspiracy" per se but a modus operandi as theWorld Socialist Web Site has argued, rooted in a bankrupt system quickly reaching the end of the line."
Nearly one month after passengers foiled an attempted suicide bomb attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day, new information reveals that the White House and U.S. security agencies had specific intelligence on accused terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, far earlier than previously acknowledged.
Along with new reports, evidence suggests that the administration's cover-up of the affair has very little to do with a failure by the intelligence apparatus to "connect the dots" and may have far more serious political implications for the Obama administration, and what little remains of a functioning democracy in the United States, than a botched bombing.
What the White House and security officials have previously described only as "vague" intercepts regarding "a Nigerian" has now morphed into a clear picture of the suspect--and the plot.
The New York Times revealed January 18 that the National Security Agency "learned from a communications intercept of Qaeda followers in Yemen that a man named "Umar Farouk"--the first two names of the jetliner suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab--had volunteered for a coming operation."
According to Times' journalists Eric Lipton, Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, "the American intelligence network was clearly listening in Yemen and sharing that information." Indeed, additional NSA intercepts in December "mentioned the date of Dec. 25, and suggested that they were 'looking for ways to get somebody out' or 'for ways to move people to the West,' one senior administration official said."
Clearly, the administration was "worried about possible terrorist attacks over the Christmas holiday." These concerns led President Obama to meet December 22 "with top officials of the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security, who ticked off a list of possible plots against the United States and how their agencies were working to disrupt them," the Times reports.
"In a separate White House meeting that day" the Times disclosed, "Mr. Obama's homeland security adviser, John O. Brennan, led talks on Yemen, where a stream of disturbing intelligence had suggested that Qaeda operatives were preparing for some action, perhaps a strike on an American target, on Christmas Day."
In mid-January, Newsweek reported that the "White House report on the foiled Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing provided only the sketchiest of details about what may have been the most politically sensitive of its findings: how the White House itself was repeatedly warned about the prospect of an attack on the U.S.," Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff disclosed.
According to the newsmagazine, "intelligence analysts had 'highlighted' an evolving 'strategic threat,'" and that "'some of the improvised explosive device tactics AQAP might use against U.S. interests were highlighted' in other 'finished intelligence products'."
However, the real bombshell came last Wednesday during hearings before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee when Bushist embed, and current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Michael E. Leiter, made a startling admission.
CongressDaily reported on January 22 that intelligence officials "have acknowledged the government knowingly allows foreigners whose names are on terrorist watch lists to enter the country in order to track their movement and activities."
Leiter told the Committee: "I will tell you, that when people come to the country and they are on the watch list, it is because we have generally made the choice that we want them here in the country for some reason or another."
CongressDaily reporter Chris Strohm, citing an unnamed "intelligence official" confirmed that Leiter's statement reflected government policy and told the publication, "in certain situations it's to our advantage to be able to track individuals who might be on a terrorist watch list because you can learn something from their activities and their contacts."
An alternative explanation fully in line with well-documented inaction, or worse, by U.S. security agencies prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and now, Christmas Day's aborted airline bombing, offer clear evidence that a ruthless "choice" which facilitates the murder of American citizens are cynical pretexts in a wider game: advancing imperialism's geostrategic goals abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home.
Leiter's revelation in an of itself should demolish continued government claims that the accused terror suspect succeeded in boarding NW Flight 253 due to a failure to "connect the dots."
However, as far as Antifascist Calling can determine, no other media outlet has either reported or followed-up CongressDaily's disclosure; a clear sign that its explosive nature, and where a further investigation might lead, are strictly off-limits.
Taking into account testimony by a high-level national security official that terrorists are allowed to enter the country for intelligence purposes, one can only conclude that the alleged "failure" to stop Abdulmutallab was neither a casual omission nor the result of bureaucratic incompetence but rather, a highly-charged political calculation.
Bushist Embeds: Destabilizing the Obama Administration?
One subject barely explored by corporate media throughout the Flight 253 affair, is the unsettling notion that the aborted Christmas day bombing may have been a move by rightist elements within the security apparatus to destabilize the Obama administration, a course of action facilitated by the Obama government itself as we will explore below.
Administration officials announced last night that the President, in tomorrow's State of the Union address, will propose a multi-year freeze on certain domestic discretionary spending programs. This is an "initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit," officials told The New York Times.
But the freeze is more notable for what it excludes than what it includes. For now, it does not include the largest domestic spending programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And all "security-related programs" are also exempted from the freeze, which means it does not apply to military spending, the intelligence budget, the Surveillance State, or foreign military aid. As always, the notion of decreasing the deficit and national debt through reductions in military spending is one of the most absolute Washington taboos. What possible rationale is there for that?
The facts about America's bloated, excessive, always-increasing military spending are now well-known. The U.S. spends almost as much on military spending as the entire rest of the world combined, and spends roughly six times more than the second-largest spender, China. Even as the U.S. sunk under increasingly crippling levels of debt over the last decade, defense spending rose steadily, sometimes precipitously. That explosion occurred even as overall military spending in the rest of the world decreased, thus expanding the already-vast gap between our expenditures and the world's. As one "defense" spending watchdog group put it: "The US military budget was almost 29 times as large as the combined spending of the six 'rogue' states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) who spent $14.65 billion." To get a sense for how thoroughly military spending dominates our national budget, consider this chart showing where Americans' tax revenue goes:
Since much of that overall spending is mandatory, military spending -- all of which is discretionary -- accounts for over 50% of discretionary government spending. Yet it's absolutely forbidden to even contemplate reducing it as a means of reducing our debt or deficit. To the contrary, Obama ran on a platform of increasing military spending, and that is one of the few pledges he is faithfully and enthusiastically filling (while violating his pledge not to use deceitful budgetary tricks to fund our wars):
President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned.
In sum, as we cite our debtor status to freeze funding for things such as "air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks" -- all programs included in Obama's spending freeze -- our military and other "security-related" spending habits become more bloated every year, completely shielded from any constraints or reality. This, despite the fact that it is virtually impossible for the U.S. to make meaningful progress in debt reduction without serious reductions in our military programs.
Public opinion is not a legitimate excuse for this utterly irrational conduct, as large percentages of Americans are receptive to reducing -- or at least freezing -- defense spending. A June, 2009 Pew Research poll asked Americans what they would do about defense spending, and 55% said they would either decrease it (18%) or keep it the same (37%); only 40% wanted it to increase. Even more notably, a 2007 Gallup poll found that "the public's view that the federal government is spending too much on the military has increased substantially this year, to its highest level in more than 15 years." In that poll, 58% of Democrats and 47% of Independents said that military spending "is too high" -- and the percentages who believe that increased steadily over the last decade for every group.
The clear fact is that, no matter how severe are our budgetary constraints, military spending and all so-called "security-related programs" are off-limits for any freezes, let alone decreases. Moreover, the modest spending freeze to be announced by Obama tomorrow is just the start; the Washington consensus has solidified and is clearly gearing up for major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the dirty work to be done by an independent "deficit commission." It's time for "everyone" to sacrifice and suffer some more -- as long as "everyone" excludes our vast military industry, the permanent power factions inside the Pentagon and intelligence community, our Surveillance and National Security State, and the imperial policies of perpetual war which feed them while further draining the lifeblood out of the country.
UPDATE: I just saw this scary headline on MSNBC, became very frightened, and have changed my mind, as I now realize we need to massively increase our military spending to Stay Safe!!!
The Washington Post is hyping the same report. Apparently, it's breaking news -- meriting screaming red-alert headlines -- that Al Qaeda would like to ("aims to") acquire WMDs and use them against the U.S. But we should all try to remain a little calm, at least. I'm sure if we just buy some more fighter jets, create some better underground bombs, invade a few more Muslim countries, keep more Muslims imprisoned forever with no charges, give the Pentagon, the CIA and their private contractors a lot more unaccounted-for cash and stay out of their way, expand our domestic spying networks even further through private sector telecom contracts, pour tens of billions of dollars more into the coffers of our Middle East client states, and kill a few more civilians with drones, this problem will be handled. It's just a matter of making sure we bulk up our military budget -- and Look Forward, not Backward to what was done in the past -- and we'll be able to Stay Safe from this Terrorist-WMD menace.
As for the deficit, no need to worry about that. We can just freeze programs for national parks and cut Social Security and Medicare.
UPDATE II: Thankfully, some among us will be spared the pain of these budgetary freezes and imminent cuts:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates hosted a meeting with the nation's top defense company executives Wednesday, stressing the need for a closer partnership with them and pledging to work with the White House to secure steady growth in the Pentagon's budgets over time, according to his spokesman. . . .
Gates's meeting was part of a day-long session between Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter and the Aerospace Industries Association, the top trade group for American aerospace firms. The heads of the nation's top two defense firms -- Lockheed Martin and Boeing -- attended, said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.
Did they mention that Al Qaeda aims to get WMDs and attack the U.S. with them?
What Should We Make of Obama's "Spending Freeze" (January 27, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17218
The big news today is Obama's proposed "spending freeze". Fiscal liberals say this cuts spending at the exact time that we most need to increase it. See this and this. Fiscal conservatives say this doesn't go nearly far enough. See this, this and this. But I think there's a bigger issue that deserves some inquiry: is America being turned into a third world country? As I wrote last June: When the International Monetary Fund or World Bank offer to lend money to a struggling third-world country (or "emerging market"), they demand "austerity measures". (...) And as former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker said: People seem to think the [American] government has money. The government doesn't have any money. Indeed, the IMF has already performed a complete audit of the whole US financial system, something which they have only previously done to broke third world nations. Al Martin - former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors and retired naval intelligence officer - observed in an April 2005 newsletter that the ratio of total U.S. debt to gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 78 percent in 2000 to 308 percent in April 2005. The International Monetary Fund considers a nation-state with a total debt-to-GDP ratio of 200 percent or more to be a "de-constructed Third World nation-state." Martin explained: What "de-constructed" actually means is that a political regime in that country, or series of political regimes, have, through a long period of fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and mismanagement, effectively collapsed the economy of that country. What Does It Mean? Some have asked questions like, "Is the goal to force the US into the same kinds of IMF austerity programs that have caused riots in so many other nations?" Some predicted years ago that the "international bankers" would bring down the American economy. (...) And given that experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve have said the U.S. has become a third world banana republic (and see this and this), maybe the process of turning first world into the third world is already complete.
AWOL From the State of the Union: Peace, Reconciliation and Debt (29 January 2010) http://www.truthout.org/awol-from-state-union-peace-reconciliation-and-debt56490
On foreign policy, while the president said some good things, he missed key opportunities to say better things. In particular, he missed key opportunities to promote reconciliation as an essential way of ending our wars and promoting peace. In speaking about US domestic politics, the president is eloquent in his efforts to promote reconciliation, but he seems to have lost his voice in applying these ideas to our foreign policy.The president renewed his promise to end the war in Iraq, including his promise to have all US combat troops out by August, and to bring all of our troops home from Iraq. He also said we will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and partner with Iraqis to promote peace and prosperity. But there was a key omission here: the word "reconciliation." CLIP
Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aaIuE.W8RAuU
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this weeks congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all. Wednesdays hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials. Were talking about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose role as the most influential part of the federal-reserve system -- apart from the matter of AIGs bailout -- deserves further congressional scrutiny. CLIP
CIA black sites may amount to crime against humanity (2010-01-27) http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=36881
GENEVA - UN human rights experts warned on Wednesday that "widespread and systematic" secret detention of terror suspects could pave the way for charges of crimes against humanity.In their first in-depth global study on the practice, the experts said the practice had spread to almost all regions of the world and was continuing.The study, which is due to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in March, listed 66 states that have been involved in secret detentions, mainly over the past nine years.In spite of international norms protecting individual rights, "secret detention continues to be used in the name of countering terrorism around the world," the report added."If resorted to in a widespread and systematic manner, secret detention might reach the threshold of a crime against humanity," the authors cautioned in their executive summary.
Forwarded by Lawrence Schumacher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Democrats' Shocking Discovery: Voters Can Tell Difference Between Change and Chump Change!
By Steve Bhaerman - January 21, 2010
"Political rhetoric is the hopiate of the masses."
-- Swami Beyondananda
Shortly after last year's election, I wrote a piece entitled, "The Two-Party System: One Down and One to Go." The point was that in our current binary, bipolar system, all voters can really do is vote "yes" or "no" for the lesser of two weasels. Consequently, the political task of a burgeoning evolutionary upwising would be to dislodge first one, then the other political party that had long outlived its uselessness. The election of Obama -- and particularly the swing voters swinging in his direction -- was an indication of understandable displeasure with 8 years of Bush-Cheney rule. Had the Democrats played their cards right and moved into the people's center instead of the corporate center, the Republicans would have gone the way of the Whigs. But a lad and a lack. Our lad lacked either the power or the will to lead from a truly new paradigm. His early appointments were largely disappointments, the most ominous one being Rahm Emmanuel. From there it was one inside-the-corporate-box move after another as the Obama Administration bailed out Wall Street and bailed out on Main Street. By choice or by coercion, Obama settled into his role as CEO of the American Empire, following the orders of his "Board of Directors" (i.e., the banking industry, military industrial complex, big pharma and agribusiness) rather than the shareholders of our commonwealth (i.e., you and me).
The Hopium Has Worn Off
A year later, the hopium high has worn off and voters in the safest of Democratic states gave a seat warmed by an iconic Democrat for nearly 50 years to a Republican. Both Blue Dog and Progressive Democrats are likely to read this one wrong. The Blue Dogs will insist the Democrats must move even further to the corporate center, in spite of the obvious (to us) fact that the reason voters were rejecting the Health Care Plan is that it was so corporate.
Progressives, while closer to the mark in recognizing that Obama seemingly betrayed progressive principles (see Rabbi Michael Lerner's excellent piece here) are likely to miss something else. The Tea Party movement, instrumental in organizing against the Democrats in Massachusetts and nationally, has been portrayed both by mainstream and liberal press as reactionary, racist yahoos. In truth, it's an expression of the very populist sentiment that Michael Moore reflects in his most recent movie, Capitalism: A Love Story.
Wave the Red Cape -- and the "Bull" Wins
The problem is, saying the name "Michael Moore" in front of a populist conservative is like, well like saying the name "Sarah Palin" in front of a progressive. Waving these "red capes" paradoxically make "fighting the bull" more difficult. In fact, if we give in to "ooga booga, Michael Moore" and "ooga booga, Sarah Palin," as our tribes rally us for the next useless battle, the bull will be victorious.
In fact, it's guaranteed. If the political discourse continues to take it's current course, the 2010 midterm elections will be the same ol' "Shoot Out At the I'm OK, You're Not OK Corral," with we the people (whether red-identified or blue-identified) lying crumpled in the dust, and the bad guys marching off into the sunset with their grip on the commonwealth secure.
Now, was victorious candidate Scott Brown supported by the very corporate interests the Tea Party partiers are railing against? Of course. Was Martha Coakley aided by the same insurance industry that stands to benefit from this new "Health Care" plan? You betcha.
Are we beginning to see a pattern here? Each side gets manipulated into voting for tweedledweeb or tweedledumb, and the same powers stay in power. Progressives are dumbfounded and outraged by the lies on Faux News, conservatives are outraged by centralized power and metastasized debt. Each -- when push comes to shove -- falls back with their red or blue tribe. Anger intensifies on both sides ... and nothing substantial changes for the better.
And the Good News Is ... ?
So ... as the black hats ride off with our pot of gold, where is the pony in the horse manure? Where's the good news?
Well, the good news and the bad news are one and the same: If we want good news, we have to make it ourselves.
So ... first of all, let us celebrate the Massachusetts election as the fall of the other useless Party, and a stake in the heart of the failed and obsolete ideology of "Liberalism." Now here I am not talking about social justice, cultural diversity, and the recognition of the evolutionary principle of "we're all in this together" as opposed to the devolutionary one, "it's every man for himself."
In that broader sense, as Thom Hartmann points out, Jesus was a "liberal."
No, what I mean by liberal here is the "good cop" that seeks to mitigate the excesses of empire as part of the "good cop, bad cop" scam the empire has been running for most of the past half century. The "liberal" offers the kinder, gentler face of empire ... while still retaining its big, fat ass.
Just as surely as ideological conservatives cling to "market fundamentalism" that has ended up rewarding predators, liberals tend to support untenable bureaucratic systems that seem like they would work -- but actually don't. Meanwhile, mainstream liberals have consistently failed to address the foundational issue -- that we the people have been almost completely disenfranchised by our own government. They have sidestepped the darker issues of American politics -- including the JFK assassination, the King assassination, provable election fraud, and the dubious official 9/11 story. (Note: While individuals like Dennis Kucinich most definitely understand the empire stands in the way of true popular rule, Kucinich's positions on the above-mentioned four issues are no different from Joseph Lieberman's.)
Likewise, liberals have failed to confront directly the predatory nature of our banking system. After all, it's been libertarian conservatives that have a keener analysis of the Federal Reserve system, the influence of elites like the Trilateral Commission, and the nationalization of local police forces.
Fortunately, there is a growing grassroots up-wising to overgrow the current system. It moves forward tentatively, as with November's dialogue in the San Francisco Bay Area between leaders of the progressive Move On, and the conservative Tea Parties. Watch for these conversations to accelerate, as citizen outrage mounts over the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to let "corporate persons" have far more financial clout in elections than flesh-and-blood ones.
We are living in the most transformational period in American history since the Declaration of Independence. May we have the love and courage to awaken, may we use our intelligence intelligently, and may Good bless us all.
Viva la up-wising!
Steve Bhaerman's work can be found online at http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/. On the serious side, he is co-author with Bruce Lipton of Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here. He is also author of a recent e-book on transformational humor, Wake Up Laughing: An Insider's Guide to the Cosmic Comedy
Note from Jean: You'll find that the comment I made at the top of the next article below, also by Rick Rozoff, is pretty much relevant to this excellent article below as well...
Dangerous Crossroads: U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border
Nuclear and Conventional Arms Pacts Stalled
By Rick Rozoff
Global Research, January 23, 2010
2010 is proceeding in a manner more befitting the third month of the year, named after the Roman god of war, than the first whose name is derived from a pacific deity.
On January 13 the Associated Press reported that the White House will submit its Quadrennial Defense Review to Congress on February 1 and request a record-high $708 billion for the Pentagon. That figure is the highest in absolute and in inflation-adjusted, constant (for any year) dollars since 1946, the year after the Second World War ended. Adding non-Pentagon defense-related spending, the total may exceed $1 trillion.
The $708 billion includes for the first time monies for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which in prior years were in part funded by periodic supplemental requests, but excludes what the above-mentioned report adds is the first in the new administration's emergency requests for the same purpose: A purported $33 billion.
Already this month several NATO nations have pledged more troops, even before the January 28 London conference on Afghanistan when several thousand additional forces may be assigned for the war there, in addition to over 150,000 already serving or soon to serve under U.S. and NATO command.
Washington has increased lethal drone missile attacks in Pakistan, and calls for that model to be replicated in Yemen have been made recently, most notably by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who on January 13 also advocated air strikes and special forces operations in the country. 
The Pentagon will begin the deployment of 1,400 personnel to Colombia to man seven new bases under a 10-year military agreement signed last October 30. 
This year the U.S. will also complete the $110 million dollar construction of new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania to house at least 4,000 American troops. 
The Pentagon's newest regional command, Africa Command, will expand its activities on and off the coasts of that continent beyond current counterinsurgency operations in Somalia, Mali and Uganda and drone flights from a newly acquired site in Seychelles. 
But this month has brought even more dramatic and dangerous news. The Pentagon has authorized the completion of a $6.5 billion arms deal with Taiwan with an agreement to deliver 200 Patriot Advanced Capability anti-ballistic missiles. The People's Republic of China is infuriated, as Washington would be if the situation were reversed and Beijing provided a comparable arsenal of weapons to, for example, an independent Puerto Rico. 
As though that action was not provocative enough however, on January 20 the Polish Defense Ministry announced that a U.S. Patriot missile battery, and the 100 American soldiers who will operate it, would not be based on the outskirts of the capital of Warsaw as previously announced but in the Baltic Sea city of Morag, 35 miles  from Poland's border with Russia.
The missile battery and troops are scheduled to arrive in March or April. As part of the Obama administration's new missile shield project, one which will be integrated with NATO to take in all of Europe and extend into the Middle East and the Caucasus, the Patriots will be followed by Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor deployments on warships in the Baltic Sea and, for the first time ever, a land-based version of the same. "The Pentagon will deploy command posts of SM-3 missiles, which can intercept both short- and mid-range missiles..."  An SM-3 was used by the Pentagon to shoot a satellite out of orbit in February of 2008 to give an indication of its range.
Further deployments will follow.
The new, post-George W. Bush administration, interceptor missile system will employ "existing missile systems based on land and at sea... Deployment of the revised missile defense would extend through 2020. The first step is to put existing sea-based weapons systems on Aegis-class destroyers and cruisers. 
"Subsequently, a mobile radar system would be deployed in a European nation... More advanced, mobile systems would be put in place later elsewhere in Europe. Their centerpiece would be... Lockheed's Terminal High Altitude Defense interceptor missiles and improved Standard Missile-3 IB missiles made by... Raytheon." 
Last December Washington signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that formalizes plans for "the United States military to station American troops and military equipment on Polish territory" and "opens the way for the promised Patriot missiles and US troops to be stationed in Poland... as part of an upgrading of NATO air defences in Europe." 
In October, shortly after U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden visited Warsaw to finalize the plan, Polish Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski met with his opposite number from the U.S., Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Alexander Vershbow, and announced that the American missiles "will be combat-ready, not dummy varieties as Washington earlier suggested." The same report added that "Earlier, Ukrainian and American officials stated that Ukrainian territory may be used in some way in the new antimissile shield."  Poland borders Russia's Kaliningrad enclave, but Ukraine has a 1,576 kilometer (979 mile) border with Russia.
The State Department issued a press release on the agreement to deploy American troops to Poland, the first foreign forces to be based there since the end of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, which stated "The agreement will facilitate a range of mutually agreed activities including joint training and exercises, deployments of U.S. military personnel, and prospective Ballistic Missile Defense deployments." 
A Pentagon spokesperson said "U.S. Army Europe will help the Polish Armed Forces develop their air and missile defense capabilities. Considering the cooperative training we already do with the Polish Armed Forces, this Patriot training program is just another extension of that effort." 
If earlier plans to deploy ground-based midcourse missiles to Poland evoked, however implausibly, an alleged Iranian missile threat, the Patriots can only be meant for Russia.
Russian Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev, former commander of the United Air Defense System of the Commonwealth of Independent States, told one of his nation's main news agencies:
"It's completely unclear why the air defense group of the northern flank of NATO needed strengthening NATO has manifold superiority over Russian conventional armaments as it is.
"It can't be ruled out that the stationing of the Patriots in Poland may be followed by other actions in building up the American military infrastructure in Eastern Europe..." 
The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms expired on December 5 and has been extended, but no agreement has been reached on a new pact, 48 days later.
At the end of last year Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was asked about the delay and identified the main impediment to resolving it: "What is the problem? The problem is that our American partners are building an anti-missile shield and we are not building one."
He further defined the problem: "If we are not developing an anti-missile shield, then there is a danger that our partners, by creating such an umbrella,' will feel completely secure and thus can allow themselves to do what they want, disrupting the balance, and aggressiveness will rise immediately."
In respect to how prospects for the reduction, much less elimination, of nuclear arms in Europe and North America were faring, Putin added, "In order to preserve balance... we need to develop offensive weapons systems,"  reiterating a statement by his nation's president, Dmitry Medvedev, a week before. The timing of the announcement that the Pentagon will soon station Patriot missiles so close to Russian territory will not help matters. Nor was the State Department's contention that "the START follow-on agreement is not the appropriate vehicle for addressing" the issue of "missile offense and defense." 
A month before, Russian news media revealed that "Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), the land-based component of the nuclear triad, will put on combat duty a second regiment equipped with Topol-M mobile missile systems by the end of 2009.
"The Topol-M missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and future U.S. ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] defense. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors [for example Patriot missiles], and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys." 
Just as supplying Taiwan with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) theater anti-ballistic missiles led China to conduct a ground-based, midcourse missile interception on January 11, so moving U.S. military hardware and troops nearer Russia bodes poorly for a nuclear arms reduction agreement.
On the non-strategic front, the 1990 Treaty On Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) limiting the amount and expansion of major armaments on the continent is also seriously jeopardized by U.S. and NATO missile shield plans. The adapted CFE (Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) of 1999 has not been ratified by any member of NATO, which has linked it with so-called frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. The August 2008 Georgia-Russia war was a consequence of that obstructionist and belligerent policy. The establishment of permanent U.S. and NATO military bases in Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and now Poland is a gross violation of and may prove the death knell for the CFE.
Russia suspended the observance of its treaty obligations under the CFE on July 14, 2007 because of "extraordinary circumstances... which affect the security of the Russian Federation and require immediate measures." 
The circumstances alluded to were the U.S. project of establishing missile interception facilities in Eastern Europe and the general movement of NATO bases and forces to the Baltic and Black Sea regions.
On November 29 of last year Russia "released a draft of a proposal for a new European security agreement the Kremlin says should replace outdated institutions such as NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)." 
Chinese analysts Yu Maofeng and Lu Jingli contend that Moscow was motivated by its concerns over U.S. and NATO missile plans, NATO's eastward expansion to its borders, the 1999 war against Yugoslavia, Western-sponsored "color revolutions" in other former Soviet states and NATO members' non-ratification of the Treaty On Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. 
For the past thirty years each successive American president has unveiled an ostensible plan to eliminate nuclear weapons, if none before now has received the Nobel Peace Prize while in office . Each in turn then escalated reckless arms buildups and armed aggression abroad in an effort to achieve global military dominance. The current U.S. commander-in-chief with his foreign policy entourage of Robert Gates, James Jones and Hillary Clinton is no exception. 
21) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009 http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/obama-doctrine-eternal-war-for-imperfect-mankind
Do words still have a meaning? There is room for doubt after President Obamas speech yesterday in Oslo. The man who is pursuing two wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan at the helm of the most powerful military complex in history, afforded himself the luxury of posing as a pacifist as he received the Nobel Peace prize. Making impudent use of references and religious rhetoric, he defended a fatalistic view of war and glossed over the crimes being committed in the Middle East under his command. CLIP
Obama makes clear that Missile Shield is about Russia, not Iran (January 30th, 2010) http://www.thecommentfactory.com/obama-makes-clear-that-missile-shield-is-about-russia-not-iran-2645
(...) With these words in his State of the Union Address, Obama last night made clear what the missile shield in Eastern Europe is really about. While the Bush administration claimed that the missile shield was about dealing with a threat from Iran, Obama has made it clear that it is about a threat from Russia, or at least a perceived threat. Having scrapped the plan for a missile shield in Eastern Europe last September, it is now back on the table with missiles set to be deployed in Poland as early as March or April of this year. The missiles will be within 35 miles of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which makes clear that this is geographically about dealing with a perceived Russian threat to Eastern Europe, rather than an Iranian threat to the West. This is not about Iran, this is about Russia, and the Cold War lives on.
Bases, Missiles, Wars: U.S. Consolidates Global Military Network By Rick Rozoff (January 27, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17221
Afghanistan is occupying center stage at the moment, but in the wings are complementary maneuvers to expand a string of new military bases and missile shield facilities throughout Eurasia and the Middle East. The advanced Patriot theater anti-ballistic missile batteries in place or soon to be in Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates describe an arc stretching from the Baltic Sea through Southeast Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus and beyond to East Asia. A semicircle that begins on Russia's northwest and ends on China's northeast. Over the past decade the United States has steadily (though to much of the world imperceptibly) extended its military reach to most all parts of the world. From subordinating almost all of Europe to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization through the latter's expansion into Eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union, to arbitrarily setting up a regional command that takes in the African continent (and all but one of its 53 nations). From invading and establishing military bases in the Middle East and Central and South Asia to operating a satellite surveillance base in Australia and taking charge of seven military installations in South America. In the vacuum left in much of the world by the demise of the Cold War and the former bipolar world, the U.S. rushed in to insert its military in various parts of the world that had been off limits to it before. And this while Washington cannot even credibly pretend that it is threatened by any other nation on Earth. CLIP
Note from Jean: This long article below by Rick Rozoff offers an eye-opening perspective on the growing tensions that the military-industrial complex-led US expansionist military policies around the world are causing in China (as well as in Russia - see article above). Rozoff's very comprehensive review of this continuation and, in many respects, expansion of the ever-growing hydra of American superpower's reach, meddling and inevitable slaughtering - err... I mean - "collateral damage" inflicted upon countless innocent civilians has actually accelerated under Barack Obama's administration despite his pre-election promises that he would quickly steer US policies in a new, more benign direction. Either, as some allege, continuing insider efforts are succeeding at shepherding him towards fulfilling the goals of the neocon agenda and of the powerful shadow lobbying by the pervasive military industrial complex -- or even at sabotaging and destroying his presidency -- or in his desire to surround himself with seasoned people to compensate for his lack of experience in this presidential job and out of fear of being accused of all kinds of things by the vitriolic opposition of those he had evicted from power, he has allowed wolves in sheep's clothing at the helm of his administration and thus made himself an hostage of their manipulations and the figurehead/scapegoat for their evildoing. One way or another, the fact of the matter is that because of Barack Obama's continuing siding with the "war on terror" cooked up rhetoric and the warmongering ways of his predecessor, George W Bush, he is fast losing the glamorous shine of the hero who was supposed to bring many positive changes in domestic and foreign US policies. If he does not want to end up being responsible for enabling a new global armed conflict that could spell the end of this civilization, he must very soon shift his presidency away from the bloody grip of the professional killers at the Pentagon, fire all the leftover staff from the Bush and Clinton administrations that epitomize all that is wrong with the US militaristic dominance and over-reaching arrogance, and do what is right for the people of this planet instead of doing what is profitable for the ruthless elite of this world.
Even though the U.S. military budget is almost ten times that of China's (with a population more than four times as large) and Washington plans a record $708 billion defense budget for next year compared to Russia spending less than $40 billion last year for the same, China and Russia are portrayed as threats to the U.S. and its allies.
China has no troops outside its borders; Russia has a small handful in its former territories in Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia and Transdniester. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in six continents.
While Gates was in charge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and responsible for almost half of international military spending he was offended that the world's most populous nation might desire to "deny others countries the ability to threaten it."
On December 23 of last year Raytheon Company announced that it had received a $1.1 billion contract with Taiwan for the purchase of 200 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles. In early January the U.S. Defense Department cleared the transaction "despite opposition from rival China, where a military official proposed sanctioning U.S. firms that sell arms to the island." 
The sale completes a $6.5 billion weapons package approved by the previous George W. Bush administration at the end of 2008. In the words of the Asia bureau chief of Defense News, "This is the last piece that Taiwan has been waiting on." 
Defense News first reported on the agreement and reminded its readers that "Raytheon already won smaller contracts for Taiwan in January 2009 and in 2008 for upgrades to the Patriot systems the country already had. Those contracts were to upgrade the systems to Configuration 3, the same upgrade the company is completing for the U.S. Army."
The source also described what the enhanced Patriot capacity consisted of: "Configuration 3 is Raytheon's most advanced Patriot system and allows the use of Lockheed Martin's Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles [and] Raytheon's Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical [Patriot-2 upgrade] missiles...." 
The PAC-3 is the latest, most advanced Patriot missile design and the first capable of shooting down tactical ballistic missiles. It is the initial tier of a layered missile shield system which also includes Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Ground Based Interceptor (GBI), Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense equipped with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors, Forward Based X-Band Radar (FBXB) and Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) components. An integrated network that ranges from the battlefield to the heavens.
The system is modular and highly mobile and its batteries are thus more easily able to evade detection and attack. It also extends the range of previous Patriot versions several fold.
"[T]he PAC-3 interceptors, enhanced by [an] advanced radar and command center, are capable of protecting an area approximately seven times greater than the original Patriot system." 
If like the rest of the world Chinese authorities anticipated a reduction if not halt in the pace of American global military expansion with the advent of a new administration in Washington a year ago, like everyone they else have been rudely disabused of the notion.
Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei urged the United States to reconsider the Taiwan arms package in the sixth official Chinese warning in a week earlier this month, telling his nation's Xinhua News Agency that "China had strongly protested the U.S. government's recent decision to allow Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell weapons to Taiwan" and "The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan undermine China's national security." 
Later information added to the inventory and to China's ire when it was revealed that "the Obama Administration would soon announce the sale to Taiwan of a package worth billions of U.S. dollars including Black Hawk helicopters, anti-missile systems and plans for diesel-powered submarines in a move likely to anger China." 
In addition, the China Times reported that Taiwan was to obtain eight second-hand Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates from the U.S. in addition to the 200 Patriot missiles. The warships were designed in the 1970s as comparatively inexpensive alternatives to World War II-era destroyers. The new deal will double the amount of U.S. Perry-class frigates that Taiwan already possesses to 16.
They will also factor into missile defense and at a higher level, as "The island hopes to arm them with a version of the advanced Aegis Combat System (see above), which uses computers and radar to take out multiple targets, as well as sophisticated missile launch technology...." 
While both Washington and Taipei will present the weapons transactions as strictly defensive in nature, it is worth recalling that last autumn Taiwan conducted its "largest-ever missile test...launched from a secretive and tightly guarded base in southern Taiwan" with missiles "capable of reaching major Chinese cities." 
President Ma Ying-jeou observed the missile launches which "included the test-firing of a top secret, newly developed medium-range surface-to-surface missile with a range of 3,000 kilometres, capable of striking major cities in central, northern and southern China." 
The Patriot Advanced Capability and SM-3 interceptor missiles the U.S. is providing Taiwan could well be employed to counter a mainland Chinese counterattack or at the least protect the launch sites of Taiwanese medium range missiles which, as noted above, are capable of hitting most of China's major cities.
Beijing responded on January 11 by conducting a ground-based midcourse interceptor missile test over its territory.
Professor Tan Kaijia of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) National Defense University told Xinhua "If the ballistic missile is regarded as a spear, now we have succeeded in building a shield for self-defense." 
Time Magazine characterized the significance of the test in writing: "There's no chance China's gambit will deter the U.S. from backing Taiwan....But the test does signal a ratcheting up of tensions between Beijing and Washington...." 
Both China and the U.S., the first in 2007 and the second the following year, with a Standard Missile-3 fired from an Aegis-class frigate in the Pacific Ocean in the American case, destroyed satellites in orbit. The dawn of space war had begun.
A January 15 feature on a Russian website titled "Possible space wars in the near future" provided background information. "It is hard to overestimate the role played by military satellite systems. Since the 1970s, an increasingly greater number of troop-control, telecommunications, target-acquisition, navigation and other processes depend on spacecraft which are therefore becoming more important...The space echelon's role is directly proportional to the development level of any given nation and its armed forces." 
China and Russia for years have been advocating a ban on the use of space for military purposes, annually raising the issue in the United Nations. The U.S. has just as persistently opposed the initiatives.
To comprehend the context in which recent developments have occurred, Washington has for three years increasingly and tenaciously included China and Russia with Iran and North Korea as belligerents in prospective future conflicts.
The campaign began in earnest in February of 2007 when then and still Pentagon chief Robert Gates testified before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Department Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request and said among other matters:
"In addition to fighting the global war on terror, we also face the danger posed by Iran and North Korea's nuclear ambitions and the threat they pose not only to their neighbors, but globally because of their record of proliferation; the uncertain paths of China and Russia, which are both pursuing sophisticated military modernization programs; and a range of other flashpoints and challenges....We need both the ability for regular force-on-force conflicts because we don't know what's going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere." 
If it be objected that Gates was only alluding to general contingency plans, ones that could apply to any major nation, neither his comments nor any by U.S. defense officials since have mentioned fellow nuclear powers Britain, France, India and Israel in a similar vein, but have reiterated concerns about Russia and China with an alarming consistency. In fact China and Russia have been substituted for Iraq in the former axis of evil category.
Even though the U.S. military budget is almost ten times that of China's (with a population more than four times as large) and Washington plans a record $708 billion defense budget for next year compared to Russia spending less than $40 billion last year for the same, China and Russia are portrayed as threats to the U.S. and its allies. China has no troops outside its borders; Russia has a small handful in its former territories in Abkhazia, Armenia, South Ossetia and Transdniester. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed in six continents.
Russia and China both reacted harshly to Gates' statements in February of 2007 and only three days afterward, with Gates in the audience, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the annual Munich Security Conference in which he warned:
"[W]hat is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.
"It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."
"Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished....And no less people perish in these conflicts - even more are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!
"Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force - military force - in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts."
"One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations...." 
The warning was not heeded in Washington.
Three months later the Pentagon chief resumed his earlier accusations. In May of 2007 the Defense Department issued its annual report on Chinas military capability, citing "continuing efforts to project Chinese power beyond its immediate region and to develop high-technology systems that can challenge the best in the world."
"U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says some of Chinas efforts cause him concern."
The report said "China is pursuing long-term, comprehensive transformation of its military forces to "enable it to project power and deny other countries the ability to threaten it."  While Gates was in charge of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and responsible for almost half of international military spending he was offended that the world's most populous nation might desire to "deny others countries the ability to threaten it."
A year after Gates linked China and Russia with surviving "axis of evil" suspects Iran and North Korea, National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell singled out China, Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as the main threats to the United States, even more than al-Qaeda.
The Voice of Russia responded to McDonnell's accusations in a commentary that included these excerpts:
"Russia has demanded an explanation from America over a report by the Director of American national intelligence in which Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and al-Qaida are described as sources of strategic threats to the U.S....Quite possibly, the report by the U.S intelligence community amounts to accounting for the staggering sums of money that is allocated yearly for its upkeep. There could be other reasons to explain why Russia has been included among states posing a threat to America." 
Gates has remained as defense secretary for the new American administration and so has the anti-Chinese and anti-Russian rhetoric.
On May 1 of last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that "The Obama administration is working to improve deteriorating U.S. relations with a number of Latin American nations to counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere...."  The month after she spoke those words a military coup was staged in Honduras and two weeks after that the U.S. secured the use of seven military bases in Colombia.
In September Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair issued the U.S.'s quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report which said "Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest challenges to the United States' national interests. 
Agence France-Presse said that "The United States on [September 15] put emerging superpower China and former Cold War foe Russia alongside Iran and North Korea on a list of the four main nations challenging American interests" and quoted from Blair's report:
China was fingered for its "increasing natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernization."
"Russia is a US partner in important initiatives such as securing fissile material and combating nuclear terrorism, but it may continue to seek avenues for reasserting power and influence in ways that complicate US interests." 
China is not allowed to deny other nations the ability to threaten it and Russia is not permitted to complicate U.S. interests.
The trend, ominous in its relentlessness, continues into this year.
The vice president of Lockheed Martin's Missile Defense Systems, John Holly, touted his company's role in the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System - components of which are being delivered to Taiwan - as "the shining star" of Lockheed's interceptor missile portfolio, and according to a newspaper in the city which hosts the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency "Pointing to missile programs in North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, Holly said, 'the world is not a very safe world ... and it is incumbent upon us in industry to provide [the Pentagon] with the best capabilities.'" 
Three days afterward the Pentagon's Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wallace Gregson "voiced doubts about China's insistence that its use of space is for peaceful means" and stated "The Chinese have stated that they oppose the militarization of space. Their actions seem to indicate the contrary intention." 
The next day Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, stated in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee that China's "powerful economic engine is also funding a military modernization program that has raised concerns in the region a concern also shared by the U.S. Pacific Command." 
The U.S. Navy has six fleets and eleven aircraft carrier strike groups in or available for deployment to all parts of the world, but China with only a "brown water" navy off its own coast is a cause for concern to the U.S.
As Alan Mackinnon, the chairman of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, wrote last September:
"The world of war is today dominated by a single superpower. In military terms the United States sits astride the world like a giant Colossus. As a country with only five per cent of the world's population it accounts for almost 50 per cent of global arms spending.
"Its 11 naval carrier fleets patrol every ocean and its 909 military bases are scattered strategically across every continent. No other country has reciprocal bases on US territory - it would be unthinkable and unconstitutional. It is 20 years since the end of the Cold War and the United States and its allies face no significant military threat today. Why then have we not had the hoped-for peace dividend?
Why does the world's most powerful nation continue to increase its military budget, now over $1.2 trillion a year in real terms?
What threat is all this supposed to counter?
"The US response has been largely military - the expansion of NATO and the encirclement of Russia and China in a ring of hostile bases and alliances. And continuing pressure to isolate and weaken Iran." 
Observations to be kept in the forefront of people's minds as China is increasingly presented as a security challenge - and a strategic threat - to the world's sole military superpower.
Author%20Rick%20Rozoff Author Rick Rozoff http://www.voltairenet.org/article163577.html#article163577
Chicago (USA) The interests of the U.S., the E.U. and Israel which since 2005 has held a de facto membership in NATO are interlocked within the Atlantic military alliance. Perceived as an outpost of the West in the Middle East, Israels stated diplomatic and security goal has been to join the European Union and to achieve full NATO membership by 2010. Israel and her supporters have been busy paving the way, and success might finally lie on Israels doorstep. It does not, however, augur well for peace in the world. (...) Other NATO states are also assisting the missile and general military buildup for a potential catastrophe in the Middle East, most notably Germany, which will double the amount of Dolphin submarines it has provided Israel. Dolphins are considered capable of carrying Israeli nuclear cruise missiles for any future conflict with Iran. A bigger Dolphin fleet could allow Israel the option of basing some in its Red Sea port of Eilat, providing a short-cut to the Gulf. An Israeli submarine crossed the Suez Canal for an exercise off Eilat last July, the first such deployment. On January 11 Haaretz wrote that The U.S. Army will double the value of emergency military equipment it stockpiles on Israeli soil, and Israel will be allowed to use the U.S. ordnance in the event of a military emergency . Citing the U.S.-based Defense News, the Israeli newspaper added, an agreement reached between Washington and Jerusalem last month will bring the value of the military gear to $800 million. This is the final phase of a process that began over a year ago to determine the type and amount of U.S. weapons and ammunition to be stored in Israel, part of an overarching American effort to stockpile weapons in areas in which its army may need to operate while allowing American allies to make use of the ordnance in emergencies.It also revealed that The deal allows Israel access to a wider spectrum of military ordnance, and the U.S. [is] considering which forms of military supplies would be added to stores in Israel. Missiles, armored vehicles, aerial ammunition and artillery ordnance are already stockpiled in the country. The U.S., Israel and NATO are preparing for momentous events in the Middle East. They will not be peaceful ones.
Afghanistan: NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War by Rick Rozoff (15 January 2010) http://www.voltairenet.org/article163557.html#article163557
US military power has spread-eagled over all six inhabited continents. It also is in charge of the worlds first global military bloc, NATO, which is participating in the expanding Afghanistan war with forces from over a quarter of the worlds nations under its command. Not until Obama have soldiers from so many states served in the same war theater, much less the same country. Under Obamas watch, NATO has, among other things, welcomed France back to the fold, seen Germany return to the world military stage and even urged Muslim nations to contribute troops to fight against another Muslim nation. With former Joint Special Operations Command chief General Stanley McChrystal in charge of what will soon be over 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, Washington will conduct its largest counterinsurgency operations since those in Indochina in the 1960s and early 1970s. NATO, established in 1949 supposedly to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe, is waging its first land war almost 3,000 miles east of its former border with the Warsaw Pact. The worlds sole military superpower is extending its troop deployments, bases, missile shield components, warplanes and warships to all six inhabited continents, over the past decade to Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, the Philippines, Poland, Romania and Seychelles.
(...) What reinforcements from NATO member and partner states will encounter was indicated by retired U.S. general Barry McCaffrey, who earlier this month projected that US forces in Afghanistan should brace themselves for up to 500 casualties a month this year. The Times of London added The anticipated increase would produce around 3,000 American casualties this year, and a total for Western forces in Afghanistan of around 5,000 killed and wounded the equivalent of seven infantry battalions.
(...) The New Year has begun with NATO announcing the deaths of over a dozen soldiers, including six in attacks on January 11. The pace of combat deaths this year already promises a total exceeding the previous high in 2009. The main victims of the expansion of the war in South Asia by the U.S. and NATO will remain Afghan civilians and their opposite numbers in Pakistan, but Western military occupation forces will not fare much better. As deployments increase so will casualties, and both are growing steadily. CLIP
U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean by Rick Rozoff (8 January 2010) http://www.voltairenet.org/article163490.html#article163490
The orchestrated stunt of the Christmas pseudo-bomber cropped up right on cue to provide an alibi for the military attacks against Yemen that had started months earlier. As always, ubiquitous Al Qaeda and the synthetic "war on terror" serve as Washingtons trump cards to promote its global geopolitical ambitions. In parallel with the escalation of the war in South Asia counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and drone missile attacks in Pakistan the United States and its NATO allies have laid the groundwork for increased naval, air and ground operations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. During the past month the U.S. has carried out deadly military strikes in Yemen: Bombing raids in the north and cruise missile attacks in the south of the nation. Washington has been accused of killing scores of civilians in the attacks in both parts of the country, executed before the December 25 Northwest Airlines incident that has been used to justify the earlier U.S. actions ex post facto. And, ominously, that has been exploited to pound a steady drumbeat of demands for expanded and even more direct military intervention. The Pentagons publicly disclosed military and security program for Yemen grew from $4.6 million in 2006 to $67 million last year. That figure does not include covert, classified assistance that the United States has provided. In addition, Under a new classified cooperation agreement, the U.S. would be able to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets or unmanned armed drones against targets in the country, but would remain publicly silent on its role in the airstrikes.
(...) In Western news reports, or rather rumor peddling, Yemeni rebels are accused of supplying weapons to Somali opposite numbers and the second are reported to have offered fighters to the former.In short the officially discarded but in fact revived and expanded global war on terrorism is now to be fought in a single theater of war that extends from the Red Sea to Pakistan. A joint endeavor by the Pentagons Central and Africa Commands and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to build upon the consolidation of almost the entire European continent under NATO and Pentagon control and the ceding of the African continent to the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). (Except for Egypt, an individual Pentagon asset and NATO Mediterranean Dialogue partner.)
(...) Last month an American military newspaper reported that A 1,000-strong Marine combat task force capable of rapidly deploying to hot spots could soon be at the disposal of the new U.S. Africa Command, which announcement came just a few months after U.S. Special Forces staged a daring daylight raid deep inside southern Somalia and after another Marine force had already deployed in support of training missions in Uganda and Mali.
(...) A Middle Eastern news source reported on this development as follows: The United States is taking its military venture in Africa to new levels amid suspicions that Washington could be advancing yet another hidden agenda.American operatives are expected to fly pilot-less surveillance aircraft over the Seychellois [Seychelles] territory from US ships off its coast, in what Washington claims are [deployments] meant to spy on Somali pirates . Similar pretexts were used to justify the US invasion of Afghanistan, the missile attacks in Pakistan, and its waning military operations in Iraq .Washington has also started to equip Mali with USD 4.5 million worth of military vehicles and communications equipment, in what is reported to be an increasing US involvement in Africa.
(...) U.S., British and other Western officials have been straining to establish (the most) tenuous connection between the so-called AfPak war front and the need for direct military intervention in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, as was seen earlier with the British prime ministers risible claim that NATO has been so successful in expelling alleged al-Qaeda elements from Pakistan that they have sought refuge in Somalia and Yemen. Rather than, more logically, in locations like Kashmir, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Similarly, Western governments are sparing no effort to fabricate or exaggerate links between the numerous armed conflicts in the Horn of Africa. Somali rebels are accused of supporting the government of Eritrea in its border conflict with Djibouti; they are also accused of offering fighters for the internal conflict in southern Yemen.In return, Yemeni rebels are accused of providing arms for Somalias al-Shabaab fighters and hovering over it all is the implication that Iran is sponsoring Arab Shia forces in Yemens north.There is a plethora of evidence, however, documenting genuine foreign intervention in the region: U.S. missile, bombing, helicopter and special forces attacks in Somalia and Yemen and coordination with the armies of Djibouti and Ethiopia in conflicts inside Somalia and with Eritrea. Saudi air and land assaults in Yemen with the resultant deaths of hundreds and displacement of thousands of civilians. French commando operations in Somalia and combat training in Djibouti for warfare in the area and beyond. The true outside forces engaged in military actions are ignored in the West in favor of unsubstantiated contentions that the region is being inflamed by the same adversaries the U.S. and NATO are waging war against on the Indian subcontinent and that the villains in and near the Horn of Africa are, in addition to being the local al-Qaeda franchise, inextricably linked and moreover somehow tied with piracy operations. Such are the tortured logic and far-fetched subterfuges used to prepare Western publics for an escalation of military intervention over 3,000 kilometers across the Indian Ocean from the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater. In parallel with the escalation of the war in South Asia counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and drone missile attacks in Pakistan the United States and its NATO allies have laid the groundwork for increased naval, air and ground operations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. CLIP
Humanitarian crisis deepens in Yemen as more flee (29 January 2010) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/January/middleeast_January618.xml§ion=middleeast&col=
GENEVA - Fighting in northern Yemen is spreading and the five-year conflict has now driven 250,000 people from their homes, deepening the humanitarian crisis, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.The number of displaced in the Arab worlds poorest country has doubled since August when the latest round of fighting between the government and Houthi rebels erupted, it said.The fighting has gradually moved from Saada city and its surroundings towards the northwest, Andrej Mahecic, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told a news briefing. (...) Many displaced Yemenis are in makeshift sites which have mushroomed along the roads leading to the camps, Mahecic said, adding that the situation was also difficult in Amran province.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at an international conference on Yemen in London on Wednesday, said that the country of 23 million must act to push through reforms to tackle the root causes of poverty and instability fuelling militancy in the country.Yemeni rebels involved in a cross-border conflict with Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that Saudi air and artillery attacks had continued despite a truce offer by the dissidents to the kingdom. Riyadh declared victory over the rebels on Wednesday following the ceasefire offer from the insurgents, who said they had withdrawn from Saudi territory.
Israel:%20Forging%20NATO%20Missile%20Shield,%20Rehearsing%20War%20With%20Iran%20by%20Rick%20Rozoff%20(6%20November%202009) Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran by Rick Rozoff (6 November 2009)
NATO and Israel have just concluded joint military maneuvers. Their purpose was to test the Jewish States integration in the U.S. Ballistic Missile-Shield in such a way as to brace Israel for an attack against Iran without fear of reprisals for the US. In exchange, Israel will become part of the naval control system in the Mediterranean. It remains to be seen, however, just how efficient the anti-missile shield will actually be. (...) Along with escalation of troop deployments to Irans eastern neighbor, Afghanistan, NATOs expansion into the Persian Gulf is an integral component of the encirclement of Iran preparatory to any future military attack on that country.Another aspect of the campaign to neutralize Iranian military capabilities and thus prevent retaliation in the event of a first strike assault on it was started in September.
Rumors Of Coups And War: U.S., NATO Target Latin America by Rick Rozoff (20 November 2009) http://www.voltairenet.org/article162980.html#article162980
The United States are back in Latin America. The military coup in Honduras marked the beginning of Washingtons renewed grip on that continent. While another coup was thwarted in Paraguay, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have been deploying new forces to encircle the ALBA countries with a view to attacking Nicaragua, Ecuador and Venezuela. Readying for the gathering storm, Chile has embraced the North-American camp and stockpiled a powerful arsenal. (...) On November 8 Bolivian President Evo Morales said that "the use of Colombian military bases by U.S. troops meant a provocation to the Latin American peoples, mainly to the members of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA)."He specified that "With the excuse of fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism, thousands of U.S. soldiers will be deployed in Colombia." ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, consists of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras (until the coup), Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda, the last three nations joining this June.Washington using Colombia as the nucleus of a new Latin American military bloc to counteract ALBA has been explored in a previous article in this series. Other prospective candidates include post-coup Honduras, Panama, Peru and Chile, with pressure placed on Brazil, Guyana and Suriname to either supply bases or in other ways augment American and European military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. The seven new U.S. military bases in Colombia allow the Pentagon far more scope than is required merely for alleged drug interdiction surveillance and even for the counterinsurgency war against the FARC. CLIP
Ron Paul: US Foreign Politics Continues to be Led in the Neocon http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/CC_2009_04.pdf
US Foreign Politics Continues to be Led in the Neocon Spirit. An interview with the Republican Congressman Ron Paul about the forthcoming bankruptcy of the US and the threatening Iran war, by Jihan Hafiz -- As long as the link to the string pullers of the disastrous financial system is not cut, the economies of the peoples are kept on the leash of the string pullers. The other possibility already happening here and there is to start ignoring this system of centralistic welfare teachings and to develop ones own alternatives. A man who very early lifted the warning finger, is US congressman Ron Paul. He describes the whole fraud basis of what calls it- self the world financial system, which is at the same time the cause of devastating un- fairness and disastrous wars. His suggestion to dissolve the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) would equal a release and offer a possible approach to a new financial and economic system. In the following we reprint the interview with Ron Paul done by Press TV. Although it was broadcast as early as 27 December 2008, it did not suffer a loss in topicality. In the introductory remarks Press TV presents Paul as a unique conservative politician who wants an end to US military presence on foreign soil, advocates US withdrawal from the UN, NATO and NAFTA (North Ameri- can Free Trade between the USA, Canada and Mexico) and opposes the IRS (Internal Revenue Service, i.e. the federal tax authority of the USA). Ron Paul, House Representative of the 14th district of Texas, believes that US foreign policy must be reformed to avoid conflicts around the world. CLIP CONTINUED IN http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/CC_2009_04.pdf - OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE OF Current Concerns : The Revolutionary Plan to Make the American Society Work for Wall Street / Venezuela Is About to Free Itself From Neo-Liberalism. President Hugo Chávez has achieved a lot in the course of the past years. An interview with Walter Suter / What Can We All Do to Stop This Imminent Slaughter of People? / Organizing Medical Evacuations by Sea, by International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka / Bolivians Adopt a New Constitution / It Seemed Gaza Was Stalingrad. Posturing and laughter as victims rot, by Robert Fisk / Merkels Disgraceful War Course Must Be Stopped / We care, you too?. Project Writing Tables for grade one in Gambia.
Like Dubai at the beginning of last year, China is now reaching the peak of a bubble.
By Gordon G. Chang / January 21, 2010
Has the global economy recovered? Forecasters say there will be an uptick this year of 2.4 percent, but theyre forgetting something. China could fail soon, and, if it does, the worlds most populous state will drag the rest of us down.
At this moment, a Chinese crisis seems like the last thing we should be worried about. After all, last year China overtook America as the planets largest car market and passed Germany as the biggest exporter.
On Thursday, Beijing announced that growth for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 10.7 percent and 8.7 percent for the entire year. Some analysts said the numbers were so strong that the country zoomed past Japan to become the worlds second-largest economy. Stock markets, property prices, you name it: Everything Chinese is soaring.
Dubai was once soaring, too. Global markets therefore, shuddered in November at the news that Dubai World, Dubais state investment firm and biggest corporate debtor, had asked for an extension on its $59 billion of obligations. Troubles in the booming emirate had been evident for some time, but stock investors were nonetheless caught unawares, apparently thinking a default would not occur.
They were obviously wrong. Global markets, for the time being, got past the shock, in part because the emirate is small. China, on the other hand, is not. Legendary short-seller James Chanos, who predicted the failures of Enron and Tyco, calls the country Dubai times 1,000 or worse.
Like Dubai at the beginning of last year, China is now reaching the peak of a bubble. At first glance, there is not much that connects the tiny city-state with the continent-sized nation. Yet both of them suffer from overexpansion.
Chinas export-led economic model delivered spectacular growth in the post-cold-war period of seemingly never ending globalization and economic development. Yet global trade is now stagnant after dropping significantly last year. As a result of troubles abroad, Chinese exports declined 16.0 percent in 2009. There is little prospect for a sustained recovery this year.
Beijing, ignoring advice from Washington and other capitals, did not in the boom times try to restructure its economy to favor consumption. Instead, the Chinese government sought to take maximum advantage of then-surging foreign demand. The role of consumption, therefore declined falling from a historical average of 60 percent of the economy to about 30 percent last year. No country has a lower rate.
To make up for slumping demand abroad and sluggish consumer spending at home, the State Council, the central governments cabinet, announced a stimulus plan in November 2008. Beijing originally said it would spend $586 billion through 2010. In the first full year of the program however, it has directly and through state banks disbursed about $1.1 trillion in stimulus funds.
The plan, not surprisingly, is creating gross domestic product, but growth is an artificial sugar high. For one thing, Beijings stimulus spending last year was around a quarter of the total economy. Now, perhaps as much as 95 percent of Chinas growth is attributable to state investment, as a Chinese analyst noted recently.
Despite the massive state spending, the countrys economy is not particularly robust. Power consumption statistics, a crucial indicator of economic activity, show the economy expanding at only two-thirds the announced rate.
Moreover, essentially flat consumer prices last year belie official reports of roaring retail sales. So does the full-year 11.2 percent decline in imports, another sign of sluggish domestic demand. And if the economy is really growing by double digits, why is Beijing insisting on continuing its stimulus?
Yet however fast the economy is growing, Chinas policies are unsustainable. First, the central government will be hard pressed to find the money to continue the spending spree. Budget deficits are going up fast, a constraint on additional expenditures. More important, Beijings regulators are concerned that the state banks, the primary source of stimulus funds, are overextending themselves and accumulating bad loans.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, however, thinks none of this will be a problem. Arguing that China is not the next Enron, he gives this advice to Mr. Chanos: Never short a country with $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves.
Yet Beijings record-setting reserves now $2.4 trillion are essentially unusable for this purpose. Why? Chinas leaders need local currency, the renminbi, to deal with domestic needs. If they convert reserves into renminbi, they will cause the currency to zoom up in value and choke off the critical export sector. Foreign reserves have only limited uses in domestic crises.
Second, the states stimulus plan is taking the nation in the wrong direction. It is favoring large state enterprises over small and medium-sized private firms, and state financial institutions are diverting credit to state-sponsored infrastructure. Over the past three decades, Chinas economy has expanded at an average annual rate of 9.9 percent because of the private sector, but now Beijing is renationalizing the economy with state cash.
Third, Beijings flooding of state enterprises with government cash will undermine their competitiveness, as a similar tide of money severely damaged Japans corporations during the bubble years.
Japanese managers discovered they could make more money managing cash than from anything else, and they therefore neglected their underlying businesses. Essentially the same thing is happening in China.
About a fifth of state bank loans have found their way into the countrys climbing stock markets, and another large portion is fueling property market bubbles. Worst of all, Macau casinos have enjoyed a recent boom, apparently attracting high-rolling Chinese cadres betting diverted stimulus money.
Finally, stimulus spending, as time goes on, becomes less effective in creating growth. The country already has one empty new city Ordos in Inner Mongolia and thousands of vacant facilities, especially shopping malls. New factories are underutilized.
For all its faults, the State Councils spending program is just about the only thing generating growth at this moment. Unfortunately for the government, its plan is also creating imbalances and dislocations that will be difficult to handle this year.
Chinese officials, working in a state-led economy, once had the ability to defer problems. Yet the challenges they face have grown over time as they have pursued pro-growth policies instead of implementing structural change.
And that is why, when their growth policies run out of steam as they soon will China will become the next Dubai. Only bigger.
Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World.
Of all the relationships between the United States and its adversaries, the rift with Iran appears to be particularly long, deep, and difficult to repair. Irans seizure of U.S. diplomats just after the 1979 revolution, its attempted export of Islamic fundamentalism, and its sponsorship of global terrorism inevitably brought the new Islamic republic into conflict with Washington. A member of what George W. Bush called the axis of evil, Iran has also been accused of meddling behind the scenes in Iraq and building a secret nuclear weapons program. If that werent enough, the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad manipulated last Junes elections and has cracked down hard on pro-democracy advocates.
However, Iran and the United States do not have to remain eternal enemies. So argues Ray Takeyh, an Iranian-born scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, in his useful and engaging new book, Guardians of the Revolution. Over its 30-year history, the Islamic Republic has reached out to the United States as part of a larger, pragmatic shift in foreign policy. America, for its part, has consistently failed to respond. The result, Takeyh argues, has been a tragedy for Iran, the region, and the United States.
Guardians of the Revolution traces the development of the Islamic Republic from its birth in the 1979 revolution to the rise of the reformers and eventually to their eclipse by new conservatives like Ahmadinejad. As happens with revolutionary states, Iran inevitably moved toward greater pragmatism. It built close relations with Russia and China and eventually buried the hatchet with the Sunni-led governments of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
But the best example of diplomatic pragmatism has involved the United States. Under the reformist administration of Muhammad Khatami, Tehran played a constructive role during the first Gulf War and helped win the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Later, Khatami was one of the first world leaders to send condolences after 9/11. Subsequently, Tehran sided with Washington in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In return, Iran received little more than harsh rhetoric and a flawed containment policy. Washington remained too focused on Iran as an avowed enemy of Israel and supporter of Islamic insurgents in the region. As Takeyh points out, however, a more imaginative U.S. policy of engagement, through dialogue, compromise, and commerce could provide Iran incentives to commit to regional stability.
Instead of containing Iran, the United States should acknowledge the countrys influence and work to channel it in peaceful and stabilizing ways. Takeyh notes that Iran is key to any plan to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, a future regional security framework will require the kind of cooperation between Iran and Iraq that Germany and France, also once dire enemies, provide for Europe. The United States helped bring Germany and France together. With an avowed pragmatist in the White House, the United States could play the same matchmaking role in the Middle Eastif it listens to the advice of Ray Takeyh.
THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ, WHETHER YOU HAVE A CELL PHONE OR NOT... YOU IGNORE THIS AT YOUR AND YOUR CHILDREN'S OWN PERIL...
Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health
BY CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM - February 2010
Ever worry that that gadget you spend hours holding next to your head might be damaging your brain? Well, the evidence is starting to pour in, and it's not pretty. So why isn't anyone in America doing anything about it?
EARLIER THIS WINTER, I met an investment banker who was diagnosed with a brain tumor five years ago. He's a managing director at a top Wall Street firm, and I was put in touch with him through a colleague who knew I was writing a story about the potential dangers of cell-phone radiation. He agreed to talk with me only if his name wasn't used, so I'll call him Jim. He explained that the tumor was located just behind his right ear and was not immediately fatalthe five-year survival rate is about 70 percent. He was 35 years old at the time of his diagnosis and immediately suspected it was the result of his intense cell-phone usage. "Not for nothing," he said, "but in investment banking we've been using cell phones since 1992, back when they were the Gordon-Gekko-on-the-beach kind of phone." When Jim asked his neurosurgeon, who was on the staff of a major medical center in Manhattan, about the possibility of a cell-phone-induced tumor, the doctor responded that in fact he was seeing more and more of such casesyoung, relatively healthy businessmen who had long used their phones obsessively. He said he believed the industry had discredited studies showing there is a risk from cell phones. "I got a sense that he was pissed off," Jim told me. A handful of Jim's colleagues had already died from brain cancer; the more reports he encountered of young finance guys developing tumors, the more certain he felt that it wasn't a coincidence. "I knew four or five people just at my firm who got tumors," Jim says. "Each time, people ask the question. I hear it in the hallways."
It's hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. This is especially true in the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place, and where our lives have been so thoroughly integrated with wireless technology that to suggest it might be a problemmaybe, eventually, a very big public-health problemis like saying our shoes might be killing us.
Except our shoes don't send microwaves directly into our brains. And cell phones doa fact that has increasingly alarmed the rest of the world. Consider, for instance, the following headlines that have appeared in highly reputable international newspapers and journals over the past few years. From summer 2006, in the Hamburg Morgenpost: ARE WE TELEPHONING OURSELVES TO DEATH? That fall, in the Danish journal Dagens Medicin: MOBILE PHONES AFFECT THE BRAIN'S METABOLISM. December 2007, from Agence France-Presse: ISRAELI STUDY SAYS REGULAR MOBILE USE INCREASES TUMOUR RISK. January 2008, in London's Independent: MOBILE PHONE RADIATION WRECKS YOUR SLEEP. September 2008, in Australia's The Age: SCIENTISTS WARN OF MOBILE PHONE CANCER RISK.
Though the scientific debate is heated and far from resolved, there are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip). In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol."
Perhaps most worrisome, though, are the preliminary results of the multinational Interphone study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France. (Scientists from thirteen countries took part in the study, the United States conspicuously not among them.) Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumorspecifically on the side of the head where you use the phonegoes up as much as 40 percent for adults. Interphone researchers in Israel have found that cell phones can cause tumors of the parotid gland (the salivary gland in the cheek), and an independent study in Sweden last year concluded that people who started using a cell phone before the age of 20 were five times as likely to develop a brain tumor. Another Interphone study reported a nearly 300 percent increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the acoustic nerve.
As more results of the Interphone study trickled out, I called Louis Slesin, who has a doctorate in environmental policy from MIT and in 1980 founded an investigative newsletter called Microwave News. "No one in this country cared!" Slesin said of the findings. "It wasn't news!" He suggested that much of the comfort of our modern lives depends on not caring, on refusing to recognize the dangers of microwave radiation. "We love our cell phones. The paradigm that there's no danger here is part of a worldview that had to be put into place," he said. "Americans are not asking the questions, maybe because they don't want the answers. So what will it take?"
TO UNDERSTAND HOW radiation from cell phones and wireless transmitters affects the human brain, and to get some sense of why the concerns raised in so many studies outside the U.S. are not being seriously raised here, it's necessary to go back fifty years, long before the advent of the cell phone, to the research of a young neuroscientist named Allan Frey.
International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety http://www.icems.eu/
The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) is a non-profit organization that promotes research to protect public health from electromagnetic fields and develops the scientific basis and strategies for assessment, prevention, management and communication of risk, based on the precautionary principle. The Precautionary Principle states, when there are indications of possible adverse effects, though they remain uncertain, the risks from doing nothing may be far greater than the risks of taking action to control these exposures. The Precautionary Principle shifts the burden of proof from those suspecting a risk to those who discount it. The Venice Resolution, initiated June 6, 2008, follows the Benevento Resolution, first issued September 19, 2006. These Resolutions are signed by scientists, engineers and medical doctors who have been doing EMF research and working internationally on electromagnetic fields health and safety. The combination of their training, experience and the many contributions they have made in conducting and publishing, represents hundreds of years of expertise and places them at the forefront of knowledge about EMF. These resolutions and information on how those interested in signing the Venice Resolution could apply to do so, may be reviewed by going to RESOLUTION section. CLIP
Message from my Guides: The Pleiadian Councils of Light
by Solara An-Ra Warrior of the Light
This is a great and sacred time period that you are entering into, Earthlings! You are chosen ones. You have been chosen to stay in your biological physical bodies while transmuting your cellular nature into LIGHT! This is not possible for most beings on planets.
Firstly, we remind you that your physicality is greatly coveted and envied by the Star races by those who are less physical ! than you. They remind you we remind you - to enjoy your physicality while you have it! And we do not imply that it will be lost, it will simply be optional as you transcend into the higher dimensional frequency. This is happening already you do know this, most of you, through your experience.
It is true that the Winter Solstice of 2012 is a time of great, inestimatable power. It involves the synchronisation and alignment of your planet; your solar system - with the star of Maya, from which the calendar has come. We remind you that the Mayan nation, which transcribed this great calendar and the coded information in it, in the lands of the Maya - this great nation was inhabited by Pleiadians!
They were not only influenced by the Star nation,! but the Pleiadian tribe from this Star within the Pleiadian system, f rom Maya, which is one of the 7 sisters, were on the Earth at this time. Knowing that you would come to this point in your evolution, and seeding this in the stone tablets, that you would discover it in time, and play the game of ...
Look at the future date in order to create your present reality!
This is what has been spoken of regarding manifesting that you, with your imaginations and intentions, will create pictures of what you desire in the future in order to bring them into your reality in the present. This is magic! Magic is what you humans are all about, and yet you have forgotten!
The children do not forget so easily they understand magic, and their imaginations are ! still wild and free. We ask you to look to them rather than attempting to control them. Look at the results of the taming of you dear people by your parents, by your schools, by your religions, by your governments, by your societies at large. you have been tamed, you have been dumbed down, you have been like sheep!
And in your awakening now, do not do this to your dear little ones treat them as the precious jewels that they are, and listen to their stories, and let your imagination run free with them! And indeed, follow them as they tumble down hills and scream in joy! Allow yourselves to be more like children.
In every way it is the movement towards a life more simple that is desirable. More like the children. More like the indigenous ones! - these who were connected with your great Sun-star, with the stars a bove and the systems. These who were intimately connected with Gaia and her energies. These who were connected with each other as a tribe. It is because of this that we use this term through Solara An-Ra tribe.
Gaia-and-tribe connection. This is the business at hand!
We wish you love and great joy in your journeys dear ones! We feel your joy your opening at our words and our energies! The Pleiadian Councils of Light wish you Namaste.
TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell crocodile?
TEACHER: No, thats wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said its H to O
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didnt have ten years ago.
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, Im a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with I.
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie.always say, I am
MILLIE: All right I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his fathers cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie,do you know why his father didnt punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I dont have to, my Mum is a good cook.
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on My Dog is exactly the same as your brothers. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. Its the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher
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