The Inconvenient Truths Series #3: Searching The Silver Lining
Once again as I was assembling for you this colossal aggregation of news and information on a very wide assortment of issues, all crying for our attention (the condoning of pedophilia by the catholic hierarchy and their deep denial of any wrongdoing on their part which is merely a reflection of a much wider planet-wide denial, the deepening economic woes now apparently set to implode, the ever-increasing environmental devastation which sometimes makes me feel our beloved planet is slowly dying the death by a billion cuts, the brave efforts of the US administration to curtail the risks of a nuclear Armageddon while continuing their runaway military expansion, the ongoing "collateral" mass murders by the US military bravely revealed by Wikileaks, the many contradictory policies of Barack Obama that fly in the face of the hopes for real change invested in him while we forget to consider that no one of us would probably be able to do any better if we were in his shoes, and so much more!), I was looking for some kind of silver lining to the troubling times we are now immersed into.
It is easy to feel overcome by the glaring evidence that so much is still deeply wrong and that impending consequences are about to hit us all very hard. It is even more easy to nurture pessimism about our future and forget that there has never been so many opportunities beforehand to set things right - first, because the information about what needs to be redressed is now widely available through the Internet, mostly uncensored, although some of it is often twisted and distorted by those with a dark agenda; secondly, because countless NGOs and individual campaigners try their best to enlist us all in repairing the web of life and the frayed fabric of our societies; and thirdly, because the spiritual awakening that has been exponentially gaining strength throughout the world, albeit mostly under the radar of most everyone's attention, is now firing up a deep, keen desire to make the best out of difficult circumstances and leave a decently livable world to our children, even if it still seems like an impossible task.
There are growing pockets of Light where people live according to their heart's callings and values and their influence triggers far-reaching resonance in everyone's heart all over the world. The oppressing dominance of the old dying system of egocentric grabbing, corrupting manipulation and dogmatic brainwashing is quickly losing traction as more and more people are freeing themselves from the disempowering programming of fear, threat and death. True spiritual freedom from the prison of dark thought-forms is on the near horizon.
And that to me is the real silver lining we need to focus on - despite it all...
Please note that you will receive by the end of this week the new Meditation Focus #211: Envisioning Our Future Now which will then be archived HERE. It will offer us an opportunity to use our innate divine creative powers to co-manifest, in alignment with the Higher Will of Life, the Golden Age we came here to collectively midwife.
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Support the 'Realising Rights: Stop Violence Against Street Children' campaign http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Realising-Rights
The police treat us badly. They hit us. Not for any particular reason... just because they feel like it. They have hit me lots of times. They hit with their rifles, or with sticks, on our backs and stomachs. And sometimes they just punch us in the stomach with their hands. They also take our paint thinner and pour it over our heads. They have done that to me five times. It is awful, it hurts really bad. It gets in your eyes and burns; for half an hour you can not see anything. The above testimony is from a 15 year old street child in Guatemala. Street children across the world are subjected to horrendous levels of violence, which often takes place in the hands of agents of the state - the very people who are supposed to protect them and guarantee their rights to a happy, safe and fulfilled life. This year in November the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrates its 20th anniversary. We want to use this opportunity to draw attention to the rights of street children, and put pressure on the world's governments to ensure that street children are no longer subjected to these unacceptable practices - BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please sign the petition and let the world know that this is an issue that people like yourself care about and want to see the world's governments act on. The Consortium for Street Children's 'Realising Rights: Stop Violence Against Street Children' campaign are calling for: 1. Training and sensitisation of police in (street) children's rights, needs and protection issues; 2. Decriminalisation of so-called status offences and review of national security legislation; 3. National zero-tolerance awareness-raising campaigns on violence against street children; 4. Wider justice reforms, including increase pay, more female officers, independent complaints procedures, legal assistance. For more information about the campaign and the Consortium for Street Children visit http://www.streetchildren.org.uk/. Thank you! - Note from Jean: You will find much more on this specific issue HERE and below in this compilation about the horrendous abuse children are subjected to around the world. This petition was recommended by Hunt Henion (email@example.com). Please go sign it as I did. Hunt is also offering a complimentary e-book copy of his new book The Renewal - A Synopsis of the Possible 2102 Changes through http://www.shiftawareness.com/renewel/index.html - He is especially recommending to our attention the chapter one, because it addresses the main concern people have about 2012 - "Is it the end of the world? Are we friggin doomed or what?" Answer: "We're not getting the boot. It's more of a reboot." You can also order a hard copy of this book. All the profits will go support the global relief efforts of The International Rescue Committee ( http://www.theirc.org )
The Earth Day CLIMATE RALLY National Mall April 25, 2010 http://www.earthday.org/climaterally
The 40th anniversary of Earth Day is quickly approaching, but the United States has failed to enact a comprehensive climate bill. Each day, government leaders are perpetuating a system that increases our reliance on foreign oil, drives job loss and threatens the well-being of future generations. On Sunday, April 25, Earth Day Network and partner organizations will organize a massive climate rally on The National Mall to demand Congress enacts climate and clean energy legislation in 2010. The Climate Rally will capstone Earth Day Networksnine-day event on The National Mall with speeches from environmental stewards Reverend Jesse Jackson, film director, James Cameron, AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, Olympic gold medalist, Billy Demong, producer, Trudie Styler and author, Margaret Atwood to bring the issue of climate change to an international stage. Click here to RSVP for The Climate Rally. The Climate Rally will also feature live music from: Sting John Legend The Roots Bob Weir Patrick Stump Mavis Staples Passion PitQ-TipBooker T - It is time to stop protecting polluters and enact comprehensive climate legislation that will create American jobs, cap carbon emissions and secure our nations future. The first Earth Day was a success because 20 million Americans demonstrated their outrage for the state of the environment. Together, we can make Earth Day 2010 a pivotal moment in the environmental movement. Be there when history is made. On April 25, join us on The National Mall and make your voice heard. MUCH MORE in CORE ISSUES and FEATURED CAMPAIGNS
Video: A quick look at what's inside their April 2010 Special Water Issue http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/video/player#/?titleID=april-2010-ngm-preview&catID=1
As a chemical compound, nothing could be simpler than water: two atoms of hydrogen joined to one of oxygen. From a human point of view, simplicity fades. Though water covers our world, more than 97 percent is salty. Two percent is fresh water locked in snow and ice, leaving less than one percent for us. This "precarious molecular edge on which we survive," as Barbara Kingsolver says in this month's special issue, will only grow more precarious. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live where water is scarce. Access the whole issue HERE
California surfer receives whale of an escort during marathon paddle (April 1, 2010) http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/16812/california+surfer+receives+whale+of+an+escort+during+marathon+paddle/
When Southern California surfer Jodie Nelson set out Sunday to standup-paddle nearly 40 miles from Santa Catalina Island to Dana Point, she hoped it'd inspire her best friend, who has been involved in a long and exhausting struggle with breast cancer, to keep fighting.Nelson, 34, whose mother and aunt are cancer survivors, also hoped her nine-hour test of endurance would raise money for two cancer charities and heighten awareness about a plight affecting millions of women.What Nelson could not have known was that a 30-foot minke whale would swim alongside her 14-foot board and accompany the surfer as she stood and paddled for two of those nine hours, thus joining the cause."It was a day that all of us involved will never forget," Nelson said, in reference to Angela Robinson, her best friend, and the rest of a crew aboard an escort boat. Minke whales are not commonly seen off Southern California, and those spotted by boaters are often elusive. So when a mammal Nelson named Larry joined her endeavor to become the first woman to make this long paddle, she took it as a sign. CLIP
Watch Pamela Anderson's Explicit New Video GRAPHICALLY DISTURBING! https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1810&c=kfctsba0410&s_src=padba
You won't find my new release at your local cinema. My latest project is "Kentucky Fried Cruelty," an undercover exposé blowing the whistle on the cruel treatment of animals at KFC's factory farm and slaughterhouse suppliers. The video details just how horribly KFC treats chickensbirds are so crippled that they can't even walk, live birds are forced into tanks of scalding-hot water while completely conscious and able to feel pain, and in Moorefield, West Virginia slaughterhouse workers kill birds by slamming them against the wall and stomping on them!I'm calling on consumers to "Kick the Bucket" and boycott KFC until the company agrees to make some simple improvements in the way it treats animals. Please sign the petition below to join me and other compassionate consumers everywhere in taking your business elsewhere until the company agrees to take animal welfare seriously. Of course, the best thing that you can do to help animals is to stop eating them, so please consider trying a vegetarian dietjust like me. And if you don't think cruelty to animals is a strong enough argument for vegetarianism, you might want to at least read up on how eating meat leads to a higher risk of impotence and of slowing the flow of blood to all the organs, not just to the heart, if you catch my drift. CLIP
The Yes Men Fix The World - Trailer http://theyesmenfixtheworld.com/
The Yes Men are a pair of notorious troublemakers who sneak into corporate events disguised as captains of industry, then use their momentary authority to expose the biggest criminals on the planet. They have gained international acclaim and notoriety for exposing dehumanizing business practices and helping to keep critical issues in the international spotlight. They do this through impersonating representatives of powerful corporations and government organizations such as ExxonMobil, McDonalds, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. THE YES MENs famed hoaxes include a collaboratively produced fake New York Times announcing the end of the Iraq War, a phony George W. Bush website celebrating the unsavory details of the then-Presidential candidate, and the false announcement of the World Trade Organizations dissolution in order to shift focus to helping the poor. All this and more is featured in the Yes Men's new gut-busting, hard-hitting, award-winning documentary film The Yes Men Fix the World (2009). A wake-up call on the dangers of letting the free-market cult rule the world, this screwball action doc follows the two gonzo activists from India, to New Orleans to New York City, as they infiltrate Big Business with the aim of saving civilization from its worst excesses. - MUCH MORE through this LINK
Peter Eigen: How to expose the corrupt - TED talks (April 1, 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkiXXP_hycA
Some of the world's most baffling social problems, says Peter Eigen, can be traced to systematic, pervasive government corruption, hand-in-glove with global companies. At TEDxBerlin, Eigen describes the thrilling counter-attack led by his organization Transparency International.
Tell President Obama: Don't expand offshore oil drilling http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1488/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1522
President Obama recently announced a plan to open 167 million acres of ocean for offshore oil and gas drilling. Obama's plan will deepen America's addiction to oil, and open vast areas of pristine ocean off the Atlantic and Alaskan coasts to the massively polluting oil industry. We need an energy policy that will reduce America's dependence on oil -- not reinforce it. Big Oil and ocean don't mix. Send your email now!
Drunvalo Melchizedek and Birth of a New Humanity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuUuPJSyMms
THE BIRTH OF A NEW HUMANITY broadcast is tentatively set for April 22, 2010, Earth Day - Broadcast information will be available at: http://www.drunvalo.eso.tv/the_birth_of_new_humanity.php -- http://www.drunvalo.net - In this next broadcast we are going to enter into ancient Atlantis because it is where our story begins. And is something that must be done simply because this is exactly where our present-day troubles were created. (...) This is the true story of how certain humans who were exempt from the Fall, rose to the occasion and long ago began to develop massive Earth geomancy to recreate a specific human grid of consciousness that surrounded the Earth so that someday humanity could return to the higher levels of consciousness they had once achieved. Every life form on Earth must have a consciousness grid that completely surrounds the Earth in order for it to exist. Without these grids, there is no awareness.When you understand the science that is behind this story, it will amaze you. And when you understand the results of this 13,000 years experiment, you will be filled with joy. For what has happened is no less than the Birth of a New Humanity. YOU will see, for you are about to live it.Beyond 2012 indeed! We as the human race are just beginning. Again. Recommended by Lise Jacques (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Documentaire Arte Dans l'ombre du ciel (2e partie ICI) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5ftmv_documentaire-arte-dans-l-ombre-du-c_news
Description du phénomène d'obscurcissement planétaire - le voile créé dans l'atmosphère par toute la pollution atmosphérique générée par les activités humaines, ce qui atténue de façon marquée (22% d'énergie solaire en moins) le rayonnement solaire sur toute la planète. Par conséquent, si nous cessions de polluer l'air, la température planétaire augmenterait très rapidement. Note de Jean: Voir aussi la vidéo ci-dessous.
Large scale aluminium, barium and strontium pollution caused by chemtrails (April 5, 2010) MUST SEE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtlOXhSnNw8
This is a documentary Trailer, one of seven parts. This part is about pH levels that have changed due to aluminum aerosol geoengineering (chemtrails) over northern California. The forests are dying, the fish have no food and scientists STILL DENY the existence of this geoengineering program. -- NOTE from Jean: 50,000% increase in test results for aluminium pollution in rainwater and snow since 2006!!! The rain in those US tests is shown to be 10 times more alkaline than it should be, which has serious repercussions for all life!! The massive artificial creation of cloud cover for geoengineering purposes (amongst other things) is wreaking havoc with the planet's ecosystems! The "cure" is turning out to be infinitely worst than the man-made climate change problem which should be seriously addressed instead of being mitigated with these apprentice sorcerers dumb experiments and being ignored by world leaders as they did recently in Copenhagen. As explained in the French video above, this artificial (chemtrails) and man-made (soot pollution from coal and other fossil fuel burning) darkening of the planet's atmosphere has lead to a 22% worldwide decrease in the amount of solar radiation reaching the ground (demonstrated in the French video above by the longer amount of time it now takes worldwide for a given quantity of water to evaporate - a phenomenon not related to higher or lower surface temperatures), thus masking the true extent of the CO2/methane increase-induced global warming.... a "strategy" that is just sooo typical of the allopathic medicine method of fighting the symptoms instead of addressing the causes.
What Are They Spraying Us With? - Pt II (4-11-10) http://www.rense.com/general90/spray.htm
Could Aluminum, Barium and Other Substances - From Stratospheric AerosolGeo-Engineering Programs be Destroying Eco-Systems around the World? What would you do if you were told that toxic substances being sprayed into the sky are falling to the ground and decimating eco-systems around the world? This very claim, made by concerned citizens outside the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting last month in San Diego, sparked my interest to investigate further. (...) When asked what these changes can do to the ecosystem, Wigington replied by saying that it is devastating. He went on to say, "if this continues, we can only expect to see things get much worse. Not only are we seeing our trees dying here, but also a major decline in our wildlife and fish". As a matter of fact, Wigington stated that according to The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the salmon run, once seen in abundance in this area has declined from 769,868 in 2002 to 39,530 in 2009. That is over a 90 percent decline. Amazingly enough, this decline started occurring about the same period of time when residents began to see a dramatic increase in what they believe to be SAG programs. Wigington's efforts to get these issues and test results addressed has been largely ignored by government agencies and officials.
(...) Mengels brought me to several other locations around the town of Mt. Shasta where he tested the soil, rain, water and snow that also yielded tests that revealed the pH to be over ten times the normal alkalinity. He went on to say that these types of changes in soil, water and snow are very uncommon except in other areas around the world where people have been witnessing what many believe to be spraying from SAG programs. Mengels also stated that these changes have produced an "ecological crisis" and will have horrible consequences if continued. Mengels said, "Losses to our economy will be incredible and are on their way as we speak. Tree growth will be decreased which will result in the loss of logging jobs. It is also causing the decline of naturally occurring plant and grass growth that occurs in the normally acidic soils of grazing pastures, resulting in the demise of our grazing industry, fishing industry, and worst of all, basic agriculture in Northern California."What is amazing is that these tests and many others throughout the world are largely being ignored by the very governmental entities that are required to address them. CLIP
CGI's bentenroy: Weatherman includes chemtrails in his report http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=170734
At just after 1-min; this weather man mentions chem trails on radar. TRANSCRIPT: "Here in southern Oregon and northern California we've got a bit of an unusual situation. Now, this first portion of the radar cycle fairly bland and typical, but then you see these bands of very distinct cloud cover moving into the region that is not rain, that is not snow. Believe it or not, military aircraft flying through the region dropping chaff--bits of aluminum, sometimes it's made of plastic or even metalicized paper product. But it's used as an anti-radar issue and not, obviously, they're up there practicing. Now, they won't confirm that, but I was in the Marine Corps for many years and I can tell you that that's what it is." Recommended by Kathy Roberts (email@example.com) who wrote: "Bullsh-t it's "an anti-radar issue"! Just trying to explain-away what people are noticing and get them to accept this so-called military "practicing". VOLUMES OF DATA, LAB TESTS, PHOTOS AND VIDEO FOOTAGE, FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE, MAKE CLEAR THE CONCLUSION THAT AEROSOL SPRAYING HAS BEEN AN ONGOING LETHAL REALITY. Aluminum, Barium and other elements have been found in surface waters, air samples and soil tests, HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF TIMES HIGHER THAN EPA ALLOWABLE LEVELS. Geoengineer David Keith announced at the AAAS meeting in San Diego, On Saturday, Feb. 20th, that the stratospheric AEROSOL geoengineering program is no longer considering using sulfur and NOW WILL BE USING ALUMINUM, over 10 MEGATONS per year. http://metatronics.net/lit/geo2.html
Do you hear the people sing? from Les Misérables http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUCZywEwbvo&NR=1
Recommended by Stephanie Rudd (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "Great music inspires us and this song of the fraternity of humankind and how standing together can change the world inspires me."
Dancing Plague of 1518 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_Plague_of_1518
The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and over the period of about one month, most of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion. CLIP
The Next Susan Boyle http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6372926n
A viral video of Lin Yu Chun, a 23-year-old Taiwanese singer who appeared on a TV talent show, singing Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" bears strong resemblance to the original.
Find the exact location of anyone with a cellphone anywhere in the world http://www.trackapartner.com/
GSM mobile phone tracking system via the GPS-TRACK satellite network - Based on repeater triangulation, the system tracks mobile phones using GPS and GSM technology.
Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German (12 Apr 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/croatia/7583971/Croatian-teenager-wakes-from-coma-speaking-fluent-German.html
The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents. Since waking up from her 24 hourcoma however, she has been unable to speak Croatian, but is able to communicate perfectly in German. Doctors at Split's KB Hospital claim that the case is so unusual, various experts have examined the girl as they try to find out what triggered the change. (...) "There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt CLIP
SPECIAL WIKILEAKS FOCUS ON THE COLLATERAL CRIMES OF THE US MILITARY
Wikileaks Reveals Video Showing US Air Crew Shooting Down Iraqi Civilians (April 5, 2010) VIDEO - Your Tax Dollars At Work! A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE BARBARIC US MILITARY MAYHEM VISITED UPON INNOCENT IRAQI PEOPLE FOR YEARS. SICKENING! http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/04/05-6
Footage of July 2007 attack made public as Pentagon identifies website as threat to national security A secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency, was revealed by Wikileaks today.The footage of the July 2007 attack was made public in a move that will further anger the Pentagon, which has drawn up a report identifying the whistleblower website as a threat to national security. The US defence department was embarrassed when that confidential report appeared on the Wikileaks site last month alongside a slew of military documents. The release of the video from Baghdad also comes shortly after the US military admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killings of three Afghan women in a raid in February by digging the bullets out of their bodies. The newly-released video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007. Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it. (...) Wikileaks says it will shortly release a second secret US military video showing the deaths of civilians in an attack in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has been seeking ways to prevent classified material appearing on Wikileaks, including through "criminal sanctions". Wikileaks has made public classified US army reports on weapons, military units and battle strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon report, reflecting the depth of paranoia about where Wikileaks is obtaining its material, speculates that the CIA may be responsible. But perhaps most embarrassing leak for the US defence department was that of the 2008 report itself which appeared on the Wikileaks site last month. - Recommended by Richard Keber (email@example.com) who wrote: "All in a day's work for our poor bored troops - support them by providing not only all the super high-tech weaponry and equipment they need to kill potential enemies and everyone around them, but some (other) country with all the warm flesh-and-blood living (temporarily) people they need to do their jobs "securing America's freedom", one Human life at a time - or in a bunch." - MUCH MORE THROUGH http://wikileaks.org/ INCLUDING U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks
EXCLUSIVE: One Day After 2007 Attack, Witnesses Describe US Killings of Iraqi Civilians http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/8/exclusive_witnesses_describe_deadly_2007_us
As the US Central Command says it has no plans to reopen an investigation into the July 2007 helicopter attack that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, we play never-before-seen eyewitness interviews filmed the day after the attack. (...) RICK ROWLEY: We asked the crowd of people what might have prompted the attack, and they said that when the journalist arrived, residents quickly gathered around him. WITNESS 2: [translated] The group of civilians had gathered here because people need cooking oil and gas. They wanted to demonstrate in front of the media and show that they need things like oil, gas, water and electricity. The situation here is dramatically deteriorating. The journalists were walking around, and then the Americans started shooting. They started shooting randomly and targeted peaceful civilians from the neighborhood. WITNESS 3: [translated] There were children in the car. Were they carrying weapons? There were two children. WITNESS 2: [translated] Do we help the wounded or kill them? They killed all the wounded and drove over their bodies. Everyone witnessed it. And the journalist was among those who was injured, and the armored vehicle drove over his body. CLIP
Iraq War Vet: "We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us" (7 April 2010) http://www.truthout.org/iraq-war-vet-we-were-told-just-shoot-people-and-officers-would-take-care-us58378
On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh. The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background. As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon. Truthout has spoken with several soldiers who shared equally horrific stories of the slaughtering of innocent Iraqis by US occupation forces. "I remember one woman walking by," said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, "She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces." The hearings provided a platform for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan to share the reality of their occupation experiences with the media in the US. Washburn testified on a panel that discussed the rules of engagement (ROE) in Iraq, and how lax they were, to the point of being virtually nonexistent. CLIP
Iraq slaughter not an aberration BY GLENN GREENWALD (APR 6, 201) http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/06/iraq
I was just on Democracy Now along with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange discussing the Iraq video they released yesterday, and there's one vital point I want to emphasize. Shining light on what our government and military do is so critical precisely because it forces people to see what is really being done and prevents myth and propaganda from distorting those realities. That's why the administration fights so hard to keep torture photos suppressed, why the military fought so hard here to keep this video concealed (and why they did the same with regard to the Afghan massacre), and why whistle-blowers, real journalists, and sites like WikiLeaks are the declared enemy of the government. The discussions many people are having today -- about the brutal reality of what the U.S. does when it engages in war, invasions and occupation -- is exactly the discussion which they most want to avoid. But there's a serious danger when incidents like this Iraq slaughter are exposed in a piecemeal and unusual fashion: namely, the tendency to talk about it as though it is an aberration. It isn't. It's the opposite: it's par for the course, standard operating procedure, what we do in wars, invasions, and occupation. The only thing that's rare about the Apache helicopter killings is that we know about it and are seeing what happened on video. And we're seeing it on video not because it's rare, but because it just so happened (a) to result in the deaths of two Reuters employees, and thus received more attention than the thousands of other similar incidents where nameless Iraqi civilians are killed, and (b) to end up in the hands of WikiLeaks, which then published it. But what is shown is completely common. That includes not only the initial killing of a group of men, the vast majority of whom are clearly unarmed, but also the plainly unjustified killing of a group of unarmed men (with their children) carrying away an unarmed, seriously wounded man to safety -- as though there's something nefarious about human beings in an urban area trying to take an unarmed, wounded photographer to a hospital.A major reason there are hundreds of thousands of dead innocent civilians in Iraq, and thousands more in Afghanistan, is because this is what we do. This is why so many of those civilians are dead. What one sees on that video is how we conduct our wars. CLIP - For more on this, watch the Al-Jazeera report Inside Story - What are the rules of engagement?
Wikileaks 'to release video of US strike on Afghan civilians' (11 Apr 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7579132/Wikileaks-to-release-video-of-US-strike-on-Afghan-civilians.html
Wikileaks, the whistle-blower website, is reportedly preparing to release secret video of a notorious US air strike said to have killed scores of Afghan civilians. - The video apparently shows previously classified footage from US warplanes called in to bomb Taliban fighters during a fire fight in Farah province last year.The Afghan government said at the time that the strikes by F-18 and B1 planes near Granai killed 147 civilians. An independent Afghan inquiry later put the toll at 86. Video footage of the strike could prove highly damaging to the Nato-led coalition if it showed pilots failing to safeguard civilian lives. CLIP
Whistleblowers on US massacre fear CIA stalkers (April 11, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7094234.ece
Activists behind a website dedicated to revealing secret documents have complained of harassment by police and intelligence services as they prepare to release a video showing an American attack in which 97 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.CLIP
US military covering up civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan (April 5, 2010) http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-military-covering-up-ci-by-Stephen-Soldz-100405-295.html
The recent news brought news of two incidents in two countries where US troops killed civilians and then lied to cover up the evidence. These are but the latest of a steady stream of lies from military and Pentagon sources about the killing of civilians. Afghanistan: Killing Pregnant Women and Government Officials In Afghanistan, the military has finally admitted that Special Forces troops killed two pregnant Afghan women and a girl in a February raid in which Afghan government officials were also killed, according to excellent reporting by Jerome Starkey of The Times of London. They have, however, failed so far to account for their falsehoods spanning several months. Previously the military had insisted that they killed "terrorists," and claimed that the women were killed by knife wounds administered several hours before the raid. But now it appears that the knife wounds may have been inflicted by the Special Forces troops excavating their bullets from the dead or dying women's bodies. As The Times' Starkey reported Monday: US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims' bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened, Afghan investigators have told The Times. Military spokespersons went further in attempting to cover up the killing by attacking Starkey, the reporter who challenged the official story. CLIP
Afghan Official Says U.S. Raiders Hid Killings (APRIL 7, 2010)
THE MILITARY BRASS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS COVER UP SHOULD BE COURT-MARTIALED! http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50944
Washington - The head of the Afghan Ministry of Interior investigation said publicly for the first time his investigators had accepted the testimony of family members of the victims of the Feb. 12 raid by U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) that the U.S. troops had dug bullets out of the bodies of their victims in an apparent effort to cover up the killings and that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal had agreed with the team's conclusions. Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, head of the criminal investigation department in the ministry, told IPS in an interview Wednesday that the ministry's investigation had found "evidence of tampering at the scene by the patrol members", which had "confused" NATO investigators about the incident. (...) McChrystal's response to the earlier story had been to issue a denunciation of Starkey's charge of a "cover-up" as "categorically false". The Mar. 13 ISAF statement explained that the initial account of the women's deaths, which had come from the commander on the scene, had been "based on a lack of understanding of local burial practices". The Apr. 4 statement repeated the explanation used in the Mar. 13 statement, signaling McChrystal's readiness to defend the raid against any cover-up charge.
Civilians Killed as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Bus (April 12, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/world/asia/13afghan.html?hp=&pagewanted=all
KABUL, Afghanistan American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing and wounding civilians, and igniting angry anti-American demonstrations in a city where winning over Afghan support is pivotal to the war effort. The shooting, which killed as many as five civilians and wounded 18, occurred on the eve of the most important offensive of the war. In coming weeks thousands of American, NATO and Afghan troops are expected to try to take control of the Kandahar region, the spiritual home of the Taliban. It was the latest case in which NATO or American forces fired on and killed civilians near a checkpoint or military convoy because they were perceived to have come too close or to be approaching too fast. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has made reducing civilian casualties a priority, and they have gone down over the last year. But checkpoint and convoy shootings have not declined, worrying commanders who believe that such killings are turning Afghans against foreign forces. Mondays shooting demonstrated those concerns. Afterward, hundreds of demonstrators poured into the area around a bus station where the damaged bus was taken on the western outskirts of Kandahar. (...) The governor of Kandahar Province, Tooryalai Wesa, called for the commander of the military convoy that opened fire to be prosecuted under military law. If you want to stop the bus, it should be shot in the tires, Mr. Wesa said. Why shoot the people inside? Mr. Karzai, whose relationship with the United States has been particularly fraught in recent weeks, called the shooting unjustifiable and said that firing on a passenger bus is against the NATO commitment to save civilian lives. More than 30 people have been killed and 80 wounded in convoy and checkpoint shootings since last summer, but not one of the people killed was found to have been a threat, military officials say. CLIP
The Great Con - Greenspan defends cause of financial crisis http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/36233217#36233217
NOTE from Jean: $121 billions in bonuses to banking executives in just a few years! Cause enough for ditching them all! Including the US Federal Reserve! On the eve of the financial reform debate in Congress this is a must watch and must share. With over $344 millions in palm-greasing money now directed towards lobbying Congressmen/women so they worsen the problem instead of correct it, one has to pay attention to all the evil corruption going on. The Winners: The FED, The Bankers, The Government. The Result: higher taxes, inflation, default, recession, financial crash as in California and Greece.
Greenspan's Testimony:Two hours of buck-passing (April 09, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25181.htm
(...) It's galling that, after everything that's taken place, Greenspan is still treated like royalty; still given a platform so he can run-circles around his critics and make them look like fools. That's not what the public wanted, another playful sparring-match with Chairman Flim-flam. They wanted to see him grilled, interrogated, badgered, threatened and humiliated. And they want to see some trifling sign of remorse for the ruin he's brought on the country. But there was no remorse; no restless squirming, no flickering look of self-doubt, no sudden outburst of regret. Nothing at all. Just the brazen buck-passing of a self-admiring old man trying to pluck his reputation from the ashheap. No one person is more responsible for the financial crisis than Alan Greenspan. He can say whatever he likes, but the 8.5 million people who spend their days shuffling in unemployment lines, have him to thank. And that's doubly true for the 300,000 families who lose their homes every month or the millions of people now scrimping by on food stamps. They can blame Maestro for the mess they're in. (...) What a shameful, cowardly man. Instead of regret or contrition, all he thinks about is covering his ass.
Largest Money Transfer in Recorded History: $4.6 Trillion Spent on the Bank Bailout to Date (April 3, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18460
Today, the Real Economy Project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released an assessment of the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. CMD concludes that multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in supporting the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding. CMD's assessment demonstrates that while the press has focused its attention on the $700 billion TARP bill passed by Congress, the Federal Reserve has provided by far the bulk of the funding for the bailout in the form of loans amounting to $3.8 trillion. Little information has been disclosed about what collateral taxpayers have received in return for these loans, sparking the Bloomberg News lawsuit covered earlier. CMD also concludes that the bailout is far from over as the government has active programs authorized to cost up to $2.9 trillion and still has $2 trillion in outstanding investments and loans. Learn more about the 35 programs included in the CMD tally by visiting our Total Wall Street Bailout Cost Table, which contains links to pages on each bailout program with details including the current balance sheet for each program. CLIP
The Global Economic Crisis: Riots, Rebellion and Revolution - When Empire Hits Home, Part 3 (April 7, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18529
As nations of the world are thrown into a debt crisis, the likes of which have never been seen before, harsh fiscal austerity measures will be undertaken in a flawed attempt to service the debts. The result will be the elimination of the middle class. When the middle class is absorbed into the labour class the lower class and lose their social, political, and economic foundations, they will riot, rebel, and revolt.Ratings Agency Predicts Civil Unrest Moodys is a major ratings agency, which performs financial research and analysis on governments and commercial entities and ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers. On March 15, Moodys warned that the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten social cohesion. Further, Moodys warned that such austerity measures increase the potential for social unrest: "Growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion," said Pierre Cailleteau, the chief author. "We are not talking about revolution, but the severity of the crisis will force governments to make painful choices that expose weaknesses in society," he said. In other words, due to the massive debt levels of western nations taken on to save the banks from the crisis they caused, the people must now pay through a reduction of their standards of living. Naturally, social unrest would follow. This has not been the first or only warning of social unrest in the west, and it certainly wont be the last. (...) Clearly, the possibility and inevitability of riots in the United States, and in fact in many western nations becomes increasingly apparent. The middle classes will likely become the most angered and mobilized populace, having their social foundations pulled out from under them, and with that, they are overcome with a failure of expectations for their political and economic clout. With no social foundations on which to stand, a class cannot reach high in the political and economic ladder, nationally or internationally. As documented in Part 2 of this series, the middle class, for the past few decades, has been a class living on debt, consuming on debt, surviving on debt and existing only in theory. As nations collapse into a global debt crisis, the middle classes and the college students will be plunged into a world which they have seldom known: poverty. As documented in Part 1 of this series, the global social systems of poverty, race and war are inextricably interrelated and dependent on one another. As the middle class is absorbed into the global poverty class the labour class our nations in the west vastly expand their hegemony over the worlds resources and key strategic points, rapidly accelerating military involvement in every region of the world. As war expands, poverty grows, and racial issues are exacerbated; thus, the government asserts a totalitarian system of control. CLIP
Dollar falls against major currencies (10 April 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122904§ionid=3510213
The US dollar has fallen against all major currencies after the European Union (EU) signaled it was inching closer to salvaging debt-ridden Greece. (...) "Resolving the Greek situation has restored risk appetite, driving the US dollar lower against nearly all of the major currencies," AFP quoted Kathy Lien, an analyst with Global Forex Trading, as saying.
Fact Or Fiction? Where America Stands: World Power http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25182.htm
Video Where America Stands: World Power "CBS" - TRANSCRIPT - "The mystique of American power I think is gone," said Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The United States is no longer the sole power towering over the post-Cold War era."It's not so much we're declining, other countries are coming up," said James Baker, Former U.S. treasury secretary, and U.S. secretary of state. The report card shows America's foundation is in peril. Most alarming? Deficits are projected to average over $900 billion a year through 2020. The average? $976 billion. The nation's debt is the largest in history: $12 trillion and counting. That's over $80,000 for every American worker. China is now the largest holder of U.S. debt. It's also the largest exporter and within the next five to seven years, it's expected to surpass the U.S. as the largest manufacturer in the world. CLIP
Nine Myths About Socialism in the US (12 April 2010) http://www.truthout.org/nine-myths-about-socialism-us58513
Glenn Beck and other far right multi-millionaires are claiming that the US is hot on the path toward socialism. Part of their claim is that the US is much more generous and supportive of our working and poor people than other countries. People may wish it was so, but it is not. As Sen. Patrick Moynihan used to say "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But everyone is not entitled to their own facts." The fact is that the US is not really all that generous to our working and poor people compared to other countries. Consider the US in comparison to the rest of the 30 countries that join the US in making up the OECD - the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These 30 countries include Canada and most comparable European countries, but also include some struggling countries like Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Slovak Republic and Turkey. When you look at how the US compares to these 30 countries, the hot air myths about the US government going all out toward socialism sort of disappear into thin air. Here are some examples of myths that do not hold up. CLIP - EXTREMELY REVEALING!!
Calm before the Storm? The Dollar versus the Yuan: America and China Engage in a Currency War http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18503
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithners recent announcement that the US is postponing its official report on Chinas currency is being hailed in the mainstream western media as a diplomatic reprieve to entice Beijing to revalue its yuan (renminbi) and normalise bilateral trade. The US currency appraisal was due on the 15 April and was expected to confirm months of increasingly strident accusations in the US media that China is a chronic currency manipulator. Allegedly, Beijng is undervaluing the yuan by as much as 20 per cent of its real value against the US dollar, which is giving Chinese exports to the US an unfair advantage. This, in turn, is hampering US exports and adding to Americas burgeoning trade deficit and sluggish economic recovery allegedly. As Bloomberg News put it: Geithner is betting international diplomacy will work better than US pressure to get China to strengthen the yuan. Elsewhere in the mainstream US media, there seems to be now an outbreak of diplomatic peace, with talk of relations calming down between Washington and Beijing after a series of bitter disputes disputes, it has to be said, that were sparked by unilateral US actions, such as a massive military sales deal with Taiwan, trade tariffs against Chinese goods and a diplomatic smack in the face when President Barack Obama received the Tibetan dissident leader, the Dalai Lama. CLIP
Inside China's Runaway Building Boom (April 5, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1975336,00.html
No question keeps more economists, investors, hedge-fund managers and bankers up at night than this one: Is China's property market a bubble? The reason for their angst is clear: A property meltdown in China would imperil the whole world's fledgling economic recovery. Throughout the most severe global downturn in decades, China's economic growth has remained remarkably buoyant. This year, for example, China's GDP will likely rise 9% or more, in contrast to a merely subpar rebound in the U.S. and Europe. And nothing has driven China's growth more than real estate investment. Last year, fixed-asset investment accounted for more than 90% of China's overall growth, and residential and commercial real estate investment made up nearly a quarter of that. For years, regional governments across China have been building massive real estate projects that have attracted both private and corporate buyers. As prices have continued to rise (residential values in 70 large and medium-size cities across China soared in 2009, according to real estate consultancy Colliers International), more investors have become speculators, buying brand-new properties with the sole intention of flipping them. But since a huge real estate bust in the U.S. in 2008 was the catalyst for the still lingering global recession, many analysts fear a replay in China could prove disastrous.Indeed, evidence of property oversupply is everywhere. In Beijing, vast swaths of commercial space sit vacant - including floors of retail space right next to the iconic Water Cube, the 2008 Olympics swimming venue. But throughout the Chinese interior, there are even eerier monuments to an as yet unrealized optimism: entire cities built for millions of inhabitants that stand all but empty. Perhaps the most stark ghost city is Kangbashi, in Inner Mongolia. Built in just five years, Kangbashi was designed to be the showcase urban center of Ordos City, a relatively wealthy coal-mining hub that's home to 1.5 million people. A public-works project worthy of Kubla Khan's "stately pleasure-dome," Kangbashi is filled with office towers, administrative centers, government buildings, museums, theaters and sports fields - not to mention acre on acre of subdivisions overflowing with middle-class duplexes and bungalows. The only problem: the district was originally designed to house, support and entertain 1 million people, yet hardly anyone lives there. Only a handful of cars drive down Kangbashi's multilane highways, a few government offices are open during the day and an occasional pedestrian, appearing like a hallucination, can be seen trudging down a sidewalk, like a lone survivor of some horror-movie apocalypse. When bubbles burst, they tend to do so with a bang. With the rest of the world still trying to regain its economic footing, authorities in Beijing - and Ordos, for that matter - are hoping they can deflate their housing bubble without a pop. And it's not just the Chinese who should be praying that they can pull it off.
The Coming European Debt Wars - EU Countries sinking into Depression (April 9, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18545
Government debt in Greece is just the first in a series of European debt bombs that are set to explode. The mortgage debts in post-Soviet economies and Iceland are more explosive. Although these countries are not in the Eurozone, most of their debts are denominated in euros. Some 87% of Latvia's debts are in euros or other foreign currencies, and are owed mainly to Swedish banks, while Hungary and Romania owe euro-debts mainly to Austrian banks. So their government borrowing by non-euro members has been to support exchange rates to pay these private-sector debts to foreign banks, not to finance a domestic budget deficit as in Greece. All these debts are unpayably high because most of these countries are running deepening trade deficits and are sinking into depression. Now that real estate prices are plunging, trade deficits are no longer financed by an inflow of foreign-currency mortgage lending and property buyouts. There is no visible means of support to stabilize currencies (e.g., healthy economies). For the past year these countries have supported their exchange rates by borrowing from the EU and IMF. The terms of this borrowing are politically unsustainable: sharp public sector budget cuts, higher tax rates on already over-taxed labor, and austerity plans that shrink economies and drive more labor to emigrate. Bankers in Sweden and Austria, Germany and Britain are about to discover that extending credit to nations that can't (or won't) pay may be their problem, not that of their debtors. No one wants to accept the fact that debts that can't be paid, won't be. Someone must bear the cost as debts go into default or are written down, to be paid in sharply depreciated currencies, but many legal experts find debt agreements calling for repayment in euros unenforceable. Every sovereign nation has the right to legislate its own debt terms, and the coming currency re-alignments and debt write-downs will be much more than mere "haircuts." CLIP
Risk of Japan going bankrupt is real, analysts say (April 11th, 2010) http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0411/risk-japan-bankrupt-real-analysts/
TOKYO Greece's debt problems may currently be in the spotlight but Japan is walking its own financial tightrope, analysts say, with a public debt mountain bigger than that of any other industrialised nation.Public debt is expected to hit 200 percent of GDP in the next year as the government tries to spend its way out of the economic doldrums despite plummeting tax revenues and soaring welfare costs for its ageing population.Based on fiscal 2010's nominal GDP of 475 trillion yen, Japan's debt is estimated to reach around 950 trillion yen -- or roughly 7.5 million yen per person. Japan "can't finance" its record trillion-dollar budget passed in March for the coming year as it tries to stimulate its fragile economy, said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute."Japan's revenue is roughly 37 trillion yen and debt is 44 trillion yen in fiscal 2010, " he said. "Its debt to budget ratio is more than 50 percent." Without issuing more government bonds, Japan "would go bankrupt by 2011", he added. (...) Since 2001 Japan's annual growth rate has peaked at 2.7 percent in 2004.The economy shrank 1.2 percent in 2008 and 5.2 percent last year.
Canada to Surrender its Sovereignty to NWO under proposed law http://moneyteachers.org/Canada.htm
Now that the Canadian Parliament is back in session, the rebirth of Bill C-6 looms large on the horizon, bringing with it a threat that belies its benign- sounding formal name, "The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act". The bill, pushed hard by the government in its last session, but abandoned when Parliament was prorogued, is due to be reintroduced within weeks. C-6's language is a constitutional nightmare: within it are eight blatant violations, ranging from warrantless search and seizure to being guilty until proven innocent, in a complete diversion from due process of law, all based on the opinion of a Health Canada inspector, and adjudicated by the Health Minister. However, as dire the portents of these breaches of the Constitution are, they pale in comparison to the catastrophic effects of Sections 2 and 14, which make Canadians "subject to the dictates of foreign authorities" authorities which are unnamed and undefined, but may include governments and associations. (Read trade groups, WTO, WHO, NAFTA, etc.) What that means, in plain English, is that if a group to which Canada is signatory decides to adopt a standard which violates Canadian law, that standard must be adopted, regardless of existing law, because these groups are not social clubs, as the WTO says on its website: CLIP
Olbermann on Obama's assassination program (April 8, 2010) OUTRAGEOUS!! http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/08/olbermann/index.html http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25174.htm
There are many legitimate criticisms voiced about Keith Olbermann, but he deserves substantial credit for his coverage last night of a story that is as self-evidently significant as it is under-covered: Barack Obama's assassination program aimed at American citizens. He not only led off his show with this story, but devoted the first two segments to it, and made many of the key observations and asked virtually all of the right questions. The videos of those two segments, worth watching, are below. What's most striking to me about all of this is that -- as I noted yesterday (and as Olbermann stressed) -- George Bush's decision merely to eavesdrop on American citizens without oversight, or to detain without due process Americans such as Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, provoked years of vehement, vocal and intense complaints from Democrats and progressives. All of that was disparaged as Bush claiming the powers of a King, a vicious attack on the Constitution, a violation of Our Values, the trampling on the Rule of Law. Yet here you have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping on or detaining Americans without oversight, but ordering them killed with no oversight and no due process of any kind. And the reaction among leading Democrats and progressives is largely non-existent, which is why Olbermann's extensive coverage of it is important. Just imagine what the reaction would have been among progressive editorial pages, liberal opinion-makers and Democratic politicians if this story had been about George Bush and Dick Cheney targeting American citizens for due-process-free and oversight-less CIA assassinations. CLIP
Murder Replaces Torture, Brilliant! (April 8, 2010) http://consortiumnews.com/2010/040810a.html
(...) The goals of torture that the CIA has advanced for decades of eliminating a person's entire consciousness and identity, the mission of placing barbarians completely under control of the empire, what accomplishes this better than murder? Look at all the hassle our government has been through trying to legalize and justify torture, not to mention the kidnappings and imprisonments necessary to engage in torture. We've seen CIA agents indicted in Italy and prosecutions of high-level Americans opened in Spain. Former officials are facing civil suits in the United States for damages. Who needs the headaches? The Director of National Intelligence legalized the assassination of Americans abroad, and by implication any non-Americans as well, by going to Congress in February and announcing that such crimes would henceforth be legal. Easy peasey. No fuss, no muss. And if you want some future al-Libi to tell you that some future Iraq has scary scary weapons, don't torture him; announce that he manages the stockpile and then put a bullet in his head.President Obama has ordered the murder of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. Like the innocent but tortured Abu Zubayda (innocent at least of any of the crimes he was accused of), Awlaki is now the mastermind terrorist of the universe. And once he's dead, who's to say he wasn't? Who can demand a trail or access to documents? He'll be dead. See the beauty of it? If the top mastermind is in Yemen, what the hell are we doing building a quagmire in Afghanistan? Don't ask. But notice this: we have dramatically increased the use of missile strikes to assassinate in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we have increased the use of murderous night-time raids to such an extent that we now kill more civilians in that way than we do with drones. They're the "wrong people," or neighbors who came to help, or family members clinging to loved ones. Sometimes they're young students with their hands tied behind their backs. Accidents will happen. But no U.S. officials' future book tours are going to be interrupted by protesters, since there's no torture involved. Civilization is on the march!
Polish President Lech Kaczynski plane crash death could strain Poland-Russia ties (April 10, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0410/Polish-President-Lech-Kaczynski-plane-crash-death-could-strain-Poland-Russia-ties
The commemoration of the Katyn massacre was meant to be a key 'forgive and forget' moment for Poland and Russia. It may now be overshadowed by the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, riding in a Russian-built aircraft. (...) Russian news agencies said President Kaczynski's plane made four attempts to land in thick fog at the Smolensk airbase, which is near the Katyn Forest mass grave site. To complicate matters, Smolensk, a Russian city, is covered by air traffic controllers in next door Belarus, whose officials said Saturday they had urged the pilot to divert to Minsk or Moscow due to the poor visibility. Eyewitness reports said the plane clipped the top of trees while it was making its final approach, hit the edge of the airfield and burst into flames. Russian investigators said there were no survivors, though it remained unclear exactly how many people were aboard the aircraft. A passenger list provided by Polish authorities contains 89 names, but Russian sources said as many as 132 people may have been on board. Russia's official RIA-Novosti news agency quoted an anonymous Smolensk security official as saying that "human error" was to blame for the crash. CLIP
'VIP passenger syndrome' may have contributed to Polish plane crash (12 April 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/7583134/VIP-passenger-syndrome-may-have-contributed-to-Polish-plane-crash.html
The role of the Polish president in the air crash in which he and 95 others died has been called into question amid suggestions he many have put pressure on the pilot to land despite bad weather warnings -- Russian aviation experts claimed that "VIP passenger syndrome" could have played a part in causing of the tragedy, as it was disclosed that Lech Kaczynski had previously tried to sack a pilot who refused to land a plane for him in dangerous circumstances.Black box recordings have confirmed that the pilot, Arkadiusz Protasiuk, an experience airman serving with the Polish air force, had ignored warnings to divert to another airport because of heavy fog. However, it has been suggested that Mr Kaczynski did not want to miss a ceremony for the 22,000 Poles massacred by Soviet forces in the Second World War and may have urged the air crew to continue trying to land the plane.Viktor Timoshkin, an aviation expert, said: "It was quite obviously 'VIP passenger syndrome'. Controllers suggested that the aircraft's crew divert the plane to an alternate route. I am sure that the commander of the crew reported this to the president. But in response, for whatever reasons, he had a clear order to land."In August 2008, Mr Kaczynski "shouted furiously" at a pilot who had disobeyed his order to land his plane in then war-torn Georgia for safety reasons. He later tried to have Captain Grzegorz Pietuczak removed from his post with the Polish air force for insubordination, however, Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister intervened. Captain Pietuczak was later awarded a medal for carrying out his duties conscientiously for his refusal to land having judged the risks. CLIP
US 'Anubis' stealth assassin robo-missile nearly ready (4th March 2010) http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/04/anubis_switchblade_phase_iii/
Manhunting suitcase kamikaze to put snipers out of work -- The US military is continuing work on a portable, robotic drone/missile which could be used to kill individual human beings from afar. The weapon, codenamed "Anubis", has now moved into the final stages of development. (...) The modern-day assassin needs simply to get within a few miles of his victim and pop off a Switchblade/Anubis programmed to head for the rough coordinates of the relevant hotel, road or whatever. Soon the silent, winged messenger of death is circling above the killing zone, while the assassin - or perhaps his shadowy masters in some distant country - view the remote imagery in comfort. Once the hapless target comes into view the stealthy droid assassin swoops down and snuffs him out in a small, relatively clinical blast - probably no more devastating than a grenade or a single autocannon shell. Another victim has been claimed by Anubis, guardian of the dead. CLIP
US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015 (11 April 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply
The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel."By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day," says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis. (...) Future fuel supplies are of acute importance to the US army because it is believed to be the biggest single user of petrol in the world. BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, said recently that there was little chance of crude from the carbon-heavy Canadian tar sands being banned in America because the US military like to have local supplies rather than rely on the politically unstable Middle East. (...) The Joint Operating Environment report paints a bleak picture of what can happen on occasions when there is serious economic upheaval. "One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest," it points out.
Civil Liberties Groups Condemn Sinister New Plan For Police Forces To Spy On Ordinary Citizens Using Unmanned Surveillance Drones (April 4, 2010) http://revolutionradio.org/?p=29995
(...) There are two types of the military-designed drones that are being looked at by police. The first is a remote-controlled helicopter with CCTV cameras and infra red imaging built in. Flying up to 300 feet at 30mph, they are being tested by Merseyside Police.But it is the second type that is causing the most concern - flying at 20,000 feet it is invisible to the human eye. Patrick Harvie, leader of the Scottish Green Party, said: "Some people in the Home Office won't be happy until they have everyone under 24-hour surveillance and every step towards that should be resisted." Yesterday Tory justice spokesman Bill Aitken backed the plans, adding: "There are perhaps civil liberties questions, but basic and more important questions are whether or not we want to cut crime."Arms manufacturer BAE Systems is adapting the planes - currently used by the Army in Afghanistan - for the police forces to test. A spokesman for ACPOS yesterday said: "The steering group was set up to consider the implications for policing of such technology."
Ruling OK's Tasering Pregnant Woman Three Times (April 2, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/rights/146273/ruling_oks_tasering_pregnant_woman_three_times
Seven-months-pregnant Malaika Brooks suffered repeated 50,000 volt shocks for refusing to sign a speeding ticket, and a federal court of appeals ruled it justified. -- You are a police officer on traffic patrol and you pull over an irate driver who refuses to admit she was doing 32 mph in a 20-mph zone. She won't sign the speeding ticket, not even when you call for backup. Also, she is pregnant. What do you do? a) Finish writing the ticket, making note of the fact that the driver refused to sign, and send her on her way, perhaps admonishing her in the process. b) Grab the keys from the ignition, tase her three times, force her out of her car, and arrest her.In the minds of three Seattle police officers in 2004, the latter was the reasonable course of action when they stopped seven-months-pregnant Malaika Brooks -- and last week, a federal appeals court agreed. CLIP
America's Nuclear Nazis And The Radiation State (APRIL 6, 2010) http://nwoobserver.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/americas-nuclear-nazis-and-the-radiation-state/
Despotic governments throughout the ages have often forced their subjugated masses to strip naked since forcing a captive population to nakedness is the ultimate physical and psychological degradation. With equal barbarism, the U.S. government is organizing a campaign to obtain naked images of millions of Americans traveling through U.S. airports. Even young children will be trained to think it normal for adult strangers wearing badges to demand a probing view of our bodies under clothing. (...) NAKED-BODY SCANNING = CARCINOGENIC RADIATION There are two types of "strip off" machines which have been, or will soon be installed at airport gauntlets: The backscatter scanners, used to create ghost-like images of the human body under clothing, emit ionizing x-radiation to penetrate human flesh at least a quarter inch deep. Airport procedure requires at least two scans to cover front and back, with each scan lasting up to 8 seconds. Additional lateral scans can also be administered.Ionizing x-radiation is a proven carcinogen. It breaks molecular bonds and damages DNA. Strip scanners use even higher ionizing energy than medical x-rays. The millimeter scanners, used to create a three-dimensional holographic image of the body under clothing, bombard human flesh with ultra short radio frequency waves that lie on the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and x-rays. Millimeter waves, propagated in the very high gigahertz range, are documented to damage DNA. This elevates millimeter waves to carcinogen status. (...) Americans, as a group, are not immensely healthy these days. They are cancer-ridden, Alzheimer's afflicted, prone to high rates of heart disease and diabetes, chronically fatigued, stunned by carcinogenic wireless devices and drubbed by continuous exposure to MRIs, CAT scans, dental panograms, Wi-Fi and cell tower microwaves. Additional doses of airport ionizing and millimeter radiation will only add to public health deterioration. Medical experts agree that cancers begin with damaged DNA. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains: "When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells. However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material of a cell (DNA) can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth or division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor." Even a single DNA mutation can lay the groundwork for development of any of over 200 types of tumors and blood cancers. This means that full-body scanning, administered by non-medical airport personnel, is a treacherous assault against the public health. The American Cancer Society (ACS) confirms, "Ionizing radiation has been shown to induce (cause) cancer in many different species of animals and in almost all parts of the body. It is one of the few scientifically proven carcinogens." CLIP
How Elites Keep Their Private Planes Off the Radar (April 10, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/rights/146395/how_elites_keep_their_private_planes_off_the_radar_
A little-known program lets private plane owners block their flights from view in the government's system for tracking air traffic. -- Televangelist Kenneth Copeland faced a congressional inquiry after flying his ministry's tax-exempt jet to Maui and the Fiji Islands. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has been questioned about his use of state planes for political and personal trips. And after getting a $180 billion federal bailout, the insurance giant AIG caught flak for its fleet of corporate jets. To prevent the public from seeing where they fly, all have over the years turned to a little-known program that lets private plane owners block their flights from view in the government's system for tracking air traffic.The owners don't have to meet any test to keep their flights secret. They merely submit a request to the National Business Aviation Association , a trade group that lobbied to set up the program on the grounds that secrecy is justified to protect business deals and the security of executives. But in at least some cases, the program has also served as a refuge for plane owners who've faced bad publicity, according to a review by ProPublica of 1,100 blocked planes in the program. The list was obtained after a 15-month public records battle in which the business aviation group sued  the FAA to keep it confidential.After a federal judge ruled  that the records are public, the FAA provided the list this week. It includes aircraft registered to Fortune 500 companies such as 3M and Tyson Foods, private real estate developers, government agencies and evangelical churches. There are 62 Gulfstream IVs and Vs, which cost tens of millions of dollars each, 36 Learjets and two Boeing 737s. CLIP
Hundreds of G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity (Mar. 31, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/hundreds-of-g20-delegates-granted-diplomatic-immunity/article1519006/
Foreign envoys and their entourages will be exempt from detention and customs searches -- Ottawa is granting formal diplomatic immunity to the extensive foreign entourages who will take part in the G20 summit in Toronto in June. That means hundreds, if not thousands, of government aides and advisers, as well as their spouses, can enter Canada without having their bags checked. They can't be arrested or detained and there are no restrictions on the papers and documents they bring with them. Experts accompanying the delegations have also been granted many of the same benefits.The immunity is good from now until July 4, and covers travel to preparatory G20 meetings in Calgary in May, says a government notice in the Canada Gazette posted on Wednesday. CLIP
Small army to protect Toronto during G20 summit (Apr. 07, 2010) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/small-army-to-protect-toronto-during-g20-summit/article1525511/
Police forces have entered into an alliance to deal with the threat of violent protest at Toronto's G20 summit with as many as 10,000 uniformed officers and 1,000 private security guards teaming up to protect world leaders.Federal contract tenders obtained by The Globe indicate a small army will descend on Canada's largest city this June, exceeding the estimated 6,000-police-officer presence at Vancouver's 2010 Olympics. The police security will come at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, although police officials would not confirm deployment numbers. Yet federal contract tenders posted online indicate how things are shaping up. CLIP
'Israel may drag US into new war' (12 Apr 2010) http://presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=123095§ionid=351020203
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed fears that Israel may attempt to involve the US in a new aggression against Lebanon or the Gaza Strip. "Because of Israel's current disagreements with the US, the Israeli side could get the US involved in what is a 'crazy move,'" Berri was quoted as saying by Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat . He added that there were no guarantees that Israel would not start another war in the region. In 2006, Israel fought a 33-day war against Lebanon, aimed at destroying Hezbollah's military power but eventually left the battle scene without achieving any of its objectives. In August 2006, the United Nations Security Counsel passed Resolution 1701, which called on Israel to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. The Lebanese resistance movement has reportedly doubled its military might since its victory over Tel Aviv in the war.
Former Def. Minister: Israel Will Attack Iran by Nov. (02 Apr 2010) ONGOING PROPAGANDA WAR... http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/Timmerman-Israel-Iran-nuclear/2010/04/02/id/354614
Israel will be compelled to attack Iran's nuclear weapons facilities by this November unless the U.S. and its allies enact "crippling sanctions that will undermine the regime in Tehran," former deputy defense minister Brig. Gen. Ephraim Sneh said on Wednesday in Tel Aviv.The sanctions currently being discussed with Russia, China, and other major powers at the United Nations are likely to be a slightly-enhanced version of the U.N. sanctions already in place, which have had no impact on the Iranian regime. And despite unanimous passage of the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act in January, the Obama administration continues to resist efforts by Congress to impose mandatory sanctions on companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran.In an Op-Ed in the Israeli left-wing daily, Haaretz, Sneh argues that Iran will probably have "a nuclear bomb or two" by 2011."An Israeli military campaign against Iran's nuclear installations is likely to cripple that country's nuclear project for a number of years. The retaliation against Israel would be painful, but bearable." Sneh believes that the "acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran during Obama's term would do him a great deal of political damage," but that the damage to Obama resulting from an Israeli strike on Iran "would be devastating." Nevertheless, he writes, "for practical reasons, in the absence of genuine sanctions, Israel will not be able to wait until the end of next winter, which means it would have to act around the congressional elections in November, thereby sealing Obama's fate as president."Sneh does not foresee any U.S. military strikes on Iran, an analysis that is shared by most observers in Washington, who see the Obama administration moving toward containment as opposed to confrontation with Iran.In a recent report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), military analyst Anthony Cordesman concluded that Israel will have to use low-yield earth-penetrating nuclear weapons if it wants to take out deeply-buried nuclear sites in Iran."Israel is reported to possess a 200 kilogram nuclear warhead containing 6 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium that could be mounted on the sea launched cruise missiles and producing a Yield of 20 kilo tons," Cordesman writes in the CSIS study he co-authored by Abdullah Toukan.Israel would be most likely to launch these missiles from its Dolphin-class submarines, he added. While Sneh is no longer in the Israeli government, his revelation of a drop-dead date for an Israeli military strike on Iran must be taken seriously, Israel-watchers in the U.S. tell Newsmax. CLIP
Iran vows to strike Israel immediately if attacked (06/04/2010) AND THE EXPECTED REPLY... http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1161130.html
A senior cleric within Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard on Tuesday reiterated warnings that Tehran would strike Tel Aviv immediately if Israel and its Western allies attacked Iran. "The enemies know if they fire a missile toward Iran, the dust from explosions by Iranian missiles will rise in Tel Aviv even as their missile is still in the air," a report by the semiofficial Fars news agency on Tuesday quoted cleric Mojtaba Zolnour as saying. The cleric issued a similar warning in October, when he said Iran would blow up the heart of Israel if the United States or the Jewish state attacked it first. His comments are not unusual. CLIP
Iran will not beg to avoid sanctions: Ahmadinejad (April 8, 2010) http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100408/world/international_us_iran_usa
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president said on Thursday he would not plead with opponents of Tehran's nuclear program in order to avoid sanctions as Russia and the United States said new measures might be necessary. (...) While dismissing the sanctions threat, Iran has also warned against any military steps against its nuclear program. After several warnings that it would hit back at Israel if attacked from there, Iran's military chief said Thursday he would target U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East if Washington attacked. "If America presents Iran with a serious threat and undertakes any measure against Iran, none of the American soldiers who are currently in the region would go back to America alive," Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency. U.S. troops are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which border Iran. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a military ceremony, Firouzabadi said a strike on Iran would also put oil supplies at risk. CLIP
Why Mexicali earthquake damage is nothing compared to Haiti (April 5, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2010/0405/Why-Mexicali-earthquake-damage-is-nothing-compared-to-Haiti
Sunday's 7.2-magnitude Mexicali earthquake killed only two, despite being stronger than the Jan. 12 Haiti quake that killed more than 200,000 and made 1 million homeless. Why? -- Sunday's 7.2 Mexicali earthquake was the third major quake to rattle the western hemisphere in less than three months. The quake was more powerful than the 7.0 earthquake that left more than 200,000 dead and more than 1 million homeless in Haiti on Jan.12. It was also a relatively shallow earthquake, at six miles underground, meaning there was less earth to absorb the shaking.But with only two reported dead, the damage is far more contained than the quake that destroyed Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, and the massive 8.8-magnitude quake that left 700 dead in Chile on Feb. 27. One reason for the lower death toll and damage is that the epicenter of Sunday's quake was in an agricultural belt with few buildings 38 miles from the city of Mexicali in northern Mexico. The Haiti quake was only 18 miles from its densely populated capital of 2.5 million people."Just a little bit of distance can make a huge difference," says Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey."The secondary factor would be seismic codes," says Eduardo Miranda, a civil engineer specialized in earthquakes at Stanford University, who has studied earthquakes in the Mexicali region and is heading there this week. "Both in Mexico and the US we have seismic codes that in general are being enforced. There is a culture of earthquakes."Felt by 20 million people - The earthquake that struck at about 3:40 p.m. local time on Easter Sunday was one of the biggest in the region in years, and was felt by an estimated 20 million people, as far away as Las Vegas. Final reports are not in, with communications down and reports of residents still trapped in rubble. But an earthquake that could have wrought enormous damage appears to have killed few and injured about 100 people, mostly by objects falling from shelves and counters in Mexicali. CLIP - Check also "IDIOTS CHASING EASY CASH CAUSE EARTHQUAKE - EPICENTER OF BAJA EARTHQUAKE CENTERED AT SEMPRA'S CERRO PRIETA GEOTHERMAL ELECTRIC GENERATING PLANT IN BAJA where they have drilled over 150 geothermal wells, some of them over 3 miles deep, into which they pump millions of gallons of waste sewage treatment plant water at HIGH PRESSURE. They are responsible for these earthquakes. If you pump liquid down a well hole at high pressure, you cause earthquakes. They are suppressing the information now. You just need the latitude and longitude of the two places, epicenter of 7.2 quake, location of geothermal field of the cerro prieta geothermal electric generating station, 32.128N by 115.303W." NOTE: YOU CAN FIND DETAILS ON THIS STUPID SCHEME IN THIS 2002 DOCUMENT http://scerp.org/BESC.pdf : (...) In the arid Mexicali region, however, where most of the new power plant construction is taking place, water use for cooling is an important issue. As currently designed, the two main power plant complexes near Mexicali plan to use approximately 8.5 million gallons per day (MM gpd) of water derived from Mexicalis wastewater treatment system. The full significance to Mexicali of utilizing these large quantities of wastewater for power plant cooling purposes have not been fully examined, nor have cross border effects been studied sufficiently. CLIP
Did U.S. Cause Haiti Earthquake By Weapons Testing? (January 25, 2010) http://nabnyc.blogspot.com/2010/01/did-us-cause-haiti-earthquake-by.html
Here is an interesting story. The day before the Haiti earthquake, Washington officials from D.C. were in Florida for a U.S. government "test" of our ability to respond in the event of a disaster in Haiti. Among other things, we know that when the Haiti earthquake occurred the U.S. military went into the country and took control of the airport and restricted who could come in and what aid could come in, and also set up a boat blockade to prevent Haitians from fleeing their country to the U.S. Was it just lucky timing that the "practice for Haitian disaster" took place exactly the day before the earthquake? Or did those officials know that there would be a disaster in Haiti the next day, because the U.S. was going to do something to cause it. Some people are saying that the Haitian earthquake was the result of weapons testing by the U.S. of a system named HAARP. The U.S. has a facility in Alaska and a weapons program named HAARP which reportedly can alter the weather, cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and shoot a hole through the atmosphere by a concentration of energy in a new, futuristic system of weapons of mass destruction.Sounds pretty bizarre, right? I have no opinion about it, other than to say that our government spends way too much money researching and developing weapons of mass destruction. So the idea that our government is trying to develop weapons that could control the weather, cause hurricanes or earthquakes, or shoot a hole in the atmosphere over some country, does unfortunately not sound all that far-fetched to me. Here are a few links to some articles discussing these claims. CLIP - WITH REVEALING VIDEO ON THE HAARP CAPABILITIES
Haiti's earthquake victims in peril (March 30, 2010) http://www.sfbayview.com/2010/haiti's-earthquake-victims-in-peril/
The Partners In Health agency estimates some 1.3 million people were left without shelter by the earthquake. The majority of those people still do not have adequate emergency shelter nor access to potable water, food and medical attention. According to U.S. AID, there are approximately 600,000 displaced people living in 416 makeshift camps in Port-au-Prince. Sanitation conditions in the camps remain a grave concern. With heavy seasonal rains fast approaching, the population is extremely vulnerable to exposure and water-borne disease.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert on March 4 about another deadly danger that lurks: malaria. It said, "Displaced persons living outdoors or in temporary shelters and thousands of emergency responders in Haiti are at substantial risk for malaria." Each year, Haiti has 30,000 confirmed cases of malaria. Officials believe the actual number is closer to 200,000.Partners In Health says it has established clinics in five of the makeshift settlements in Port au Prince, serving some 80,000 to 100,000 people. A 'broadly insufficient' relief effort - Two leading directors of Doctors Without Borders have called the relief effort to date "broadly insufficient." In a March 5 interview, they say, "The lack of shelter and the hygiene conditions represent a danger not only in terms of public health, but they are also an intolerable breach of the human dignity of all these people." They call conditions in the makeshift refugee camps where many survivors still struggle to survive "shocking" and "shameful." CLIP
Red Cross under fire! Where's the money for Haiti? (March 30, 2010) http://www.sfbayview.com/2010/red-cross-under-fire-where's-the-money-for-haiti/
As the Haitian people brace themselves for the hurricane and rainy season with no shelter and no supplies for millions, the United States, France, Canada and other nations are attending the United Nations Donors Conference on Wednesday, March 31. At the conference, these wealthy nations will "donate" funds to over 3,000 non-governmental organizations, most of them headquartered in their own countries. They are in effect paying themselves.The American Red Cross has already admitted to financing its own debt with donations given for Haiti relief. According to its official report on the first two months since the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, they collected over $354 million for Haiti but have spent only $106 million. Yet only half of the 1.3 million people made homeless by the quake have even a tarp as the rainy season begins. CLIP
Social Fault Lines: The Disaster of Poverty in Haiti (Part 1 (April 7, 2010) http://www.truthout.org/social-fault-lines-the-disaster-poverty-haiti-part-158359
Laura Wagner, a US anthropologist who survived - barely - Haiti's earthquake in January, writes, "Social scientists who study catastrophes say there are no natural disasters. In every calamity, it is inevitably the poor who suffer more, die more and will continue to suffer and die after the cameras turn their gaze elsewhere. Do not be deceived by claims that everyone was affected equally - fault lines are social as well as geological."It is doubtful that anyone of any class was spared the horror of the 7.3-scale earthquake. In a country where one in every 18 to 30 people died (no one knows the fatality figure), everyone knows someone no longer among the living. No one is sheltered from the jarring public visuals of catastrophe: rampant displays of wounds and freshly amputated legs, mountains of rubble on every city block, tents and improvised shelters clogging streets, houses and walls looming ominously over sidewalks. No conversation appears to veer long from the earthquake and its aftermath.But the direct impact of the earthquake varies markedly among classes.
Big Brother and the Hidden Hand of the "Free Market" - "Managing" Data and Dissent in America (APRIL 4, 2010) http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2010/04/managing-data-and-dissent-where-big.html
Repression doesn't come cheap, just ask the FBI. As the securitization of daily life increase at near exponential rates (all to keep us "safe," mind you) the dark contours of an American police state, like a pilot's last glimpse of an icy peak before a plane crash, wobbles into view.In the main, such programs include, but are by no means limited to the following: electronic surveillance (call records, internet usage, social media); covert hacking by state operatives; GPS tracking; CCTV cameras linked-in to state databases; "smart" cards; RFID chipped commodities and the spooky "internet of things;" biometrics, and yes, the Pentagon has just stood up a Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA); data-mining; watch listing; on and on it goes. Pity our poor political minders, snowed-under by a blizzard of data-sets crying out for proper "management"! Or, as sycophantic armchair warrior and New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, would have it, "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist--McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15."So true; yet neither can an aggregate of repressive police and intelligence agencies function without an army of corporate grifters who guide that "hidden hand" and not-so-hidden fist into highly profitable safe harbors. Call it Big Brother meets market fundamentalism. And so, the heat is on as America's premier political police agency struggles to "modernize" their case file management system. (...) As the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General revealed in a heavily-redacted report in January, with all semblance of a legal process out the window, the FBI were caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar, repeatedly violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Fear not, Obama administration legal eagles cobbled together a new theory justifying the practice and have created, yet another, accountability free zone for agents who violated the rules. Neatly, seamlessly and silently Obama's Office of Legal Counsel (John Yoo and Judge Bybee's old stomping grounds) granted them, wait!, retroactive immunity for such lawbreaking. The trouble is, the OLC's ruling is classified so we haven't a clue what it entails or how far-reaching is its purview. So much for the new era of "openness" and "transparency." CLIP
Ashtabula County: Judge tells residents to "Arm themselves" (4/8/2010) http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/news_article.aspx?storyid=133951&catid=3
JEFFERSON -- In the ongoing financial crisis in Ashtabula County, the Sheriff's Department has been cut from 112 to 49 deputies. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners, serve warrants and other duties, only one patrol car is assigned to patrol the entire county of 720 square miles. (...) Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey was asked what residents should do to protect themselves and their families with the severe cutback in law enforcement."Arm themselves," the judge said. "Be very careful, be vigilant, get in touch with your neighbors, because we're going to have to look after each other."Ashtabula County gun dealers and firearms instructors tell WKYC their business has really picked up since the Sheriff's Department cutbacks began some months ago. "That's exactly why they are coming, so that they can protect themselves," says Tracy Williams, a certified firearms instructor in Jefferson. "They don't feel that they are protected. They want to be able to protect themselves."Williams says interest in his classes has doubled recently, and many of those coming are people who he would not normally expect to have interest in obtaining a concealed carry permit. "And as far as him (Judge Mackey) telling you to arm yourselves and protect yourselves, you don't have any other option," Williams told WKYC. "We don't have the law enforcement out here to handle it right now." CLIP
MICROCHIPPING INCLUDED IN HEALTHCARE BILL - BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE HEALTH BILLS REQUIRE THE MICRO CHIPPING OF AMERICANS (March 28, 2010) http://nyc.indymedia.org/es/2010/03/110134.html
Buried deep within the over 1,000 pages of the massive US Health Care Bill (PDF) in a section titled: Subtitle C-11 Sec. 2521, National Medical Device Registry, and which states its purpose as: "The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the registry, to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that; (A) is or has been used in or on a patient; (B) is a class III device; or a class II device that is implantable." In real world speak, according to this report, this new law, when fully implemented, provides the framework for making the United States the first Nation in the World to require each and every one of its citizens to have implanted in them a radio-frequency identification (RFID) microchip for the purpose of controlling who is, or isn't, allowed medical care in their country. Source: Via 'Daily Ron Paul' - member of the U.S. Congress. - "Microchipping included in Healthcare Bill?" - Url.: http://www.dailypaul.com/node/105079 NOTE: many interesting comments at this dailypaul.com webpage.
The Pentagon is using Haiti as a Training Ground for Afghanistan (March 28, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18118
A recent report in Stars and Stripes reveals the nature of the US military operation in Haiti. Combat units from Iraq and Afghanistan have been deployed in Haiti under the banner of a humanitarian operation. Conversely, Haiti is also being used as a military training ground for forces without in-theater combat experience. According to the Stars and Stripes report (March 14, 2010): "Marines deployed to Haiti to render emergency aid following January's devastating earthquake are already training for the fight in Afghanistan." Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit who were dispatched to Haiti in the immediate wake of the earthquake are now being deployed in Afghanistan. In fact, the decision to send them to Afghanistan was taken prior to their deployment in Haiti: "A small group of Marines stormed several small concrete buildings inside the wire at their seashore camp while their comrades played the roles of Afghan insurgents, shouting "bang" as they engaged their opponents in a mock attack. The day before, when Lt Gen Dennis J. Hejlik, commanding general of the II Marine Expeditionary Force visited the Marines on shore, he praised their good work in Haiti and asked them, "What's next for you when you get home?" "Afghanistan," came the reply. As Huey helicopters buzzed overhead, Hejlik talked about the recent Marjah offensive, adding that there would be 20,000 Marines in Afghanistan by summer. "You will join them next spring," he told the Marines at Carrefour. One of them, Sgt. Timothy Kelly, 23, of Johnston City, Ill., said members of his unit learned about the Afghan mission just before they got orders to head for Haiti."The training in Haiti "is geared towards close-quarters battle tactics": "Only a couple [of Marines in Kelly's squad] have experience in Iraq or Afghanistan," he said. ...We have a lot of guys that aren't going to be here for that Afghan deployment. The ones who are, we might as well get them in the mind-set. CLIP
U.N.: Afghanistan 'world's biggest producer of hashish' (March 31, 2010) http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/03/31/afghan.cannabis/
A U.N. report says Afghanistan, the world's biggest producer of opium, is also a "major producer of cannabis" and "the world's biggest producer of hashish." The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime issued its Afghanistan Cannabis Survey on [March 31], documenting large-scale cannabis cultivation in half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. "While other countries have even larger cannabis cultivation, the astonishing yield of the Afghan cannabis crop -- 145 kilograms per hectare of hashish, the resin produced from cannabis, as compared to around 40 kilograms per hectare in Morocco -- makes Afghanistan the world's biggest producer of hashish, estimated at between 1,500 and 3,500 tons a year," said Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC's executive director. The report says money "is one of the main reasons" for large-scale cannabis cultivation. "The gross income per hectare of cannabis (US $3,900) is higher than from opium (US$ 3,600)."
Afghan farmers reap cannabis harvest worth £61m (11 April 2010) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/afghan-farmers-reap-cannabis-harvest-worth-16361m-1941431.html
New UN report shows corruption is lubricating Afghanistan's latest lucrative drugs industry -- Afghanistan, already the world's top opium supplier, is now the world's biggest producer of cannabis, according to United Nations drug experts. There is large-scale cultivation of the drug in half of the country, resulting in 3,500 tons of hashish worth an estimated £61m annually, according to the first assessment of cannabis in Afghanistan by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It warns that the threat from the drug needs to be dealt with to deny the Taliban the millions they make in protection taxes paid by farmers and drug smugglers. (...) There are close links with the heroin trade, with more than 67 per cent of cannabis farmers also growing opium, according to the report, which is based on a survey of more than 1,600 villages across the country. UN experts estimate that 60,000 households are now growing cannabis. Although cheaper than opium, cannabis can potentially earn a farmer more because it yields twice the quantity of drug per hectare and is cheaper and less labour-intensive to cultivate. Farmers can earn £2,173 per hectare more than the £1,304 they get from opium. (...) But efforts are hampered by high levels of corruption and drug use among police, with 68 per cent testing positive for cannabis. Slamming the Afghan government as "pretty rotten", Mr Costa added: "Corruption has been a major lubricant of the very prosperous drug industry... it's throughout the system."
Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia (April 08, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25171.htm
"Stop NATO" -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed five years after and in the same manner as he came to power, in a bloody uprising.Elected president two months after the so-called Tulip Revolution of 2005 he helped engineer, he was since then head of state of the main transit nation for the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan.The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, "More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs."Currently, around 1,000 U.S. troops, along with a few hundred from Spain and France, are assigned to the base." The White House's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke paid his first visit in his current position to Kyrgyzstan - and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics which border it, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - in February and said "35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan."  At the rate he mentioned, 420,000 troops annually.The U.S. and NATO also established military bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the war in South Asia, but on a smaller scale. (U.S. military forces were ordered out of the second country following what the government claimed was a Tulip Revolution-type armed uprising in its province of Andijan less than two months after the Kyrgyz precedent. Germany maintains a base near the Uzbek city of Termez to transit troops and military equipment to Afghanistan's Kunduz province where the bulk of its 4,300 forces is concentrated.)In February of 2009 the Kyrgyz government announced that it was also evicting U.S. and NATO forces from its country, but relented in June when Washington offered it $60 million to reverse its decision. Kyrgyzstan borders China. It not only borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but is only separated from Russia by a single nation, Kazakhstan. To gain an appreciation of Russian and Chinese concerns over hundreds of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops passing through Kyrgyzstan, imagine a comparable amount of Chinese and Russian soldiers regularly passing through Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. For almost nine years and at an accelerating rate. CLIP
At the Geopolitical Crossroads of China and Russia: Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia (April 8, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18547
(...) Which direction the next Kyrgyz government takes will have repercussions far beyond the nation's small size and population (slightly over five million).It could affect U.S. and NATO plans for the largest military offensive of the Afghan war scheduled to begin in two months in Kandahar province.It could determine the future of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the two major potential barriers to Western military penetration of vast tracts of Eurasia.The stakes could hardly be higher.
Blowback in Kyrgyzstan (8 April 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/apr/08/kyrgyzstan-us-democratisation
The turmoil in a small Central Asian country speaks volumes about US 'democratisation' efforts in the region (...) It is a curious picture a nation literally at the crossroads of the US "democratisation" project in Afghanistan violently erupting to eject a government that had benefited handsomely from US aid and lucrative insider contracts despite a drumbeat of reports over the last few years of the ruling party's increasingly anti-democratic nature. But the American government's laissez-faire attitude towards the human rights situation in Kyrgyzstan isn't very hard to fathom. The strategic location of the country is a lynchpin in the US armed forces' movement of troops and supplies in and out of Afghanistan, via the massive American military air base just outside of the capital city of Bishkek. In fact when the government threatened to cancel the lease to the base last summer, the Obama administration wooed the president with a private letter, and eventually agreed to triple rent payments on the lease. In the meantime most people in Kyrgyzstan saw little benefit from this "strategic relationship.""The human rights situation has deteriorated in the last two to three years, and especially in the last six months," Dr Andrea Berg tells me, a Berlin-based Central Asia researcher with Human Rights Watch. "There have been physical attacks and murders of journalists, closures of newspapers, trials against high-ranking opposition members. (...) Kyrgyzstan, like Bolivia at one time, is hardly the only such small, democracy-deficient, country with some manner of "strategic relationship" that fits in to larger US geopolitical concerns in fact it may be the rule. But the unexpected swiftness with which an unpopular regime was swept aside, and the potentially seismic impact it has on the US war effort in Afghanistan is a good reminder of the inevitable breaking point produced by a US foreign policy semantically dedicated to human rights that looks the other way while "strategic allies" loot their countries' assets, murder their journalists, and send troops out to gun people down in the streets.In central Asia this groaning contradiction is louder than usual. While the war and occupation in Afghanistan was framed by President Obama recently as an effort at protecting "America's vital interests" in the region, there is at least periodic lip service paid to democracy enhancement and institution building in that country. But when democratic norms are trampled left and right in a neighbouring country, and the US looks the other way because it happens to be sitting on some prime real estate, we shouldn't be too surprised when things blow up and "strategic allies" fall before a storm of popular outrage. CLIP
US suspends Kyrgyzstan troop flights at Manas (10 April 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122909§ionid=351020406
The US has stopped all troop flights to Afghanistan from its controversial air base in Kyrgyzstan, a day after the country's new leadership said it would close the key military base in the country. No reason was given for the decision taken by the US commanders at the Transit Center at Manas (formerly Manas Air Base), a crucial hub for the US-led operations in Afghanistan. The US military in Kyrgyzstan decided late Friday "to temporarily divert military passenger transport flights," Major John Redfield, a spokesman for US Central Command said. Decisions on continuing other military flights "will be made on a case-by-case basis," he said. (...) On Saturday, members of Kyrgyzstan's self-proclaimed new leadership have announced their plans to shorten the Pentagon's lease on the base at Manas International Airport near the capital Bishkek. This comes as mourners in Bishkek are to say their last farewells to some 75 people killed in the uprising in recent days. The unrest has also left more than 1,500 wounded.
Kyrgyzstan: The Revolution's Leaders Cozy Up to Russia (April 09, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1979060,00.html
(...) It seems clear now that Kyrgyzstan will quickly return to Moscow's sphere of influence after months of strained relations with Russia, making the U.S. military presence in the country all the more precarious.
A Massacre Prompts New Debate Over India's War With Maoist Rebels (April 11, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1981122,00.html
The undulating hills and thick vegetation of Dandakaranya forest - nearly 50,000 square kilometers of jungle straddling parts of central Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh - has for decades been a forsaken, off-the-map region frequented only by corporate India looking to make a killing from the iron ore reserves of the land. Indeed, for close to 10 years now, the area has remained off limits for the Indian government and its agencies, including the police and the military. It is one of the few pockets of India that has not been topographically surveyed. No good maps exist of the region. The only "government" the tribal people of these forests are acquainted with is provided by a fearsome band of insurgents: "Janatana Sarkar," the people's government run by the guerrillas of the Communist Party of India-Maoists (CPI-Maoists), for whom most of the forest is a de facto military headquarters.(...) It has been the most significant government setback in the undeclared war between the two Indias. The Maoists thrive in the 'other' India - the India which is impoverished, left behind as one-fifth of the country's populace has begun to thrive, while the other 800 million suffer with growing resentment from chronic poverty, live without electricity, roads, hospitals, proper sanitation or clean water - the classic breeding ground for left-wing extremist violence. As Mao himself prescribed in 1927, "It's necessary to bring about a brief reign of terror in every rural area... To right a wrong it is necessary to exceed the proper limit." Naxalism, as Indian Maoism is also called - after a village named Naxalbari at the movement's origins - has rapidly outstripped the insurgencies in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India. Maoists have a presence in at least 16 of India's 28 states, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described Naxalism as the "biggest internal security challenge" that faces the country.India today is groping for answers on how to respond to the Maoist attack.(...) Those in India who perceive Chidambaram to be a "warmonger" argue that growing social disparities thrown up by India's economic growth have been a major factor behind the rebels' expansion. They say the government needs to provide a more equitable distribution of its growing wealth. "Let's not forget the killing of more than a hundred tribal villagers by the security forces since June 2009 ... It's time the nation starts to work towards ceasefire and cessation of hostilities so as to help initiate dialogue with the Maoists, and to address the real issues affecting the people like forced corporate or state acquisition of land, displacement, tribal rights and the lack of governance," says Dr. Ranabir Samaddar, Director of Calcutta Research Group. CLIP
The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World's Worst Polluters (March 09, 2010) http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/9/the_real_climategate_conservation_groups_align
Major environmental groups are coming under criticism from within their own ranks for taking positions that some say are antithetical to their stated missions of saving the planet. In the latest issue of The Nation magazine, the British journalist Johann Hari writes, "As we confront the biggest ecological crisis in human history, many of the green organizations meant to be leading the fight are busy shoveling up hard cash from the world's worst polluters-and burying science-based environmentalism in return In the middle of a swirl of bogus climate scandals trumped up by deniers, here is the real Climategate." [includes rush transcript]
(...) And I knew that Conservation International worked with corporations before I started working there. And I thought, just like many, many members of the public, that this was a wonderful idea, that environmentalists could help influence corporations to do the right thing and to improve their track record. But quickly, I mean, within weeks, within days of arriving there, I realized that it seems that the corporations have had more of an influence on these nonprofit groups than they have had on the corporations. For instance, the public-you know, if you look at opinion polls, people have a high degree of respect for environmental groups and really think of these groups as grassroots organizations that are representing the public. But many of these organizations operate more like corporations today than they do nonprofit, grassroots organizations. Their presidents-their leaders are called president and CEO, and they make tremendously good salaries that put them in the top one percent of US taxpayers. The average salary for a CEO in many of these organizations is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year.
(...) AMY GOODMAN: And how do you see it affecting their work? How do you see it compromising their environmental work? CHRISTINE MacDONALD: Oh, in many ways, these environmental groups run satellite PR offices for these corporations. So, oftentimes the corporations cozy up to environmental groups because either they've had-there's been some kind of accident or tragedy, and they need to repair their reputation, or they're going for a big contract or they want to build a project. For instance, in Bolivia several years ago, there was-BP was looking to build a pipeline that would go straight through virgin rainforest. And of course there was a lot of opposition on the ground and from other environmental groups. And a lot of large environmental groups, such as World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy, first came out against this plan to build the pipeline. But then BP came up with a plan to provide several million dollars in funding for conservation projects, and World Wildlife Fund and several of the other groups changed their position and backed the BP pipeline in order to obtain these funds.
(...) JOHANN HARI: I think we need to, first of all, stress something really important: we are not talking about all American environmental groups. It is really important for people to know, if they want to know where to give money to, where to campaign with. Greenpeace, 350.org, Friends of the Earth do not accept corporate donations and, as a result, do not have a compromised position on the climate science. Now, Lumumba was absolutely right that the behavior of the big corporate green groups-Conservation International, TNC, and, I'm afraid, to a lesser but still significant degree, the Sierra Club-is very compromised in terms of their approach to policy. CLIP
US Oil Company Donated Millions to Climate Sceptic Groups, Says Greenpeace (March 30, 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/30/us-oil-donated-millions-climate-sceptics
A Greenpeace investigation has identified a little-known, privately owned US oil company as the paymaster of global warming sceptics in the US and Europe. Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (£31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels. Greenpeace accuses the funded groups of "spreading inaccurate and misleading information" about climate science and clean energy companies. "The company's network of lobbyists, former executives and organisations has created a forceful stream of misinformation that Koch-funded entities produce and disseminate. The propaganda is then replicated, repackaged and echoed many times throughout the Koch-funded web of political front groups and thinktanks," said Greenpeace. The groups include many of the best-known conservative thinktanks in the US, like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for research on economics and the environment.
CLIP - To read the complete Greenpeace investigative report, click HERE.
Iceland Leads Environmental Index as U.S. Falls (January 27, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/science/earth/27index.html
A new ranking of the worlds nations by environmental performance puts some of the globes largest economies far down the list, with the United States sinking to 61st and China to 121st. In the previous version of the Environmental Performance Index, compiled every two years by Yale and Columbia University researchers, the United States ranked 39th, and China 105th. The top performer this year is Iceland, which gets virtually all of its power from renewable sources hydropower and geothermal energy. It was joined in the top tier by a cluster of European countries known for their green efforts, including Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Countries that take seriously the environment as a policy challenge do improve, and those that dont deteriorate, said Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, who oversees the index project. Both the U.S. and China are suffering because theyre industrial and havent been paying much attention to environmental policy. The index, viewable online at epi.yale.edu, assigns each country a cumulative score based on its performance in areas that include environmental health, preservation of habitat and reductions in greenhouse gases, air pollution and waste. Costa Rica and Colombia remained in the top ranks. Costa Rica has made important efforts to conserve its rain forest, and Colombia has led the way in shifting to fuel-efficient mass transit. CLIP
Barack Obama aims to drive gas guzzlers off the road with greener laws (April 3, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7086362.ece
For decades they have thundered along America's highways and choked up parking lots, a symbol of extravagance unchallenged by politicians, emissions standards or common sense.They are the four-wheel-drive behemoths known to the US Government as "light trucks" and to consumers as SUVs (sport utility vehicles) - but their easy ride as the world's most conspicuous mobile polluters ended this week.In a coup that achieves something President Clinton promised but never delivered, President Obama has forced the big three US carmakers, and their unions, to accept tough mileage rules for cars and SUVs. The rules will cut emissions from vehicles by more than a third over the next four years. Whether the new rules end America's love affair with huge cars remains to be seen. But they are being introduced at a time when SUV sales are at a fraction of their peak level five years ago. Their demise coincides with the country's first mass-produced "plug-in" electric car, which finally rolled off a Michigan production line this week. From 2016, new cars and SUVs will have to deliver an average of 35.5 miles per gallon (42.6 miles per British gallon), comparable for the first time with European and Japanese requirements. SUV mileage under the new regime is expected to average 28.8mpg (34.5mpg in Britain), or nearly three times that of the Hummer H1 that Arnold Schwarzenegger once drove into Times Square in New York to begin the vehicle's transition from armoured personnel carrier into celebrity runabout. The new rules end a notorious loophole in US law by which SUVs were exempt from emissions standards that applied to cars. This made them so much more profitable that at the peak of the sport utility boom, a single Ford plant was generating up to $15 million (£9.8 million) a day in pre-tax profits. The rules were welcomed yesterday by the industry and environmentalists. The US Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which had little choice but to accept the standards after the $25 billion bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, said they gave the industry "a clear road map" instead of a patchwork of differing state rules.The Natural Resources Defense Council said they were "good for consumers, companies, the country and the planet". Ray LaHood, Mr Obama's Transportation Secretary, called them "historic", claiming they would save consumers $3,000 per new vehicle and cut emissions by 1 billion tons. The Big Three producers will have to spend about $52 billion to upgrade engines, power trains and air-conditioning systems to meet the requirements. The average cost of a new car or SUV is expected to rise by $1,000 as a result, meaning that the future of American motoring depends on consumers' willingness to pay a modest premium for old-fashioned cars - or a larger one for something very different. CLIP
EPA may try to use Clean Water Act to regulate carbon dioxide (April 4, 2010) http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/04/91486/clean-water-act-might-be-used.html
WASHINGTON The Environmental Protection Agency is exploring whether to use the Clean Water Act to control greenhouse gas emissions, which are turning the oceans acidic at a rate that's alarmed some scientists.With climate change legislation stalled in Congress, the Clean Water Act would serve as a second front, as the Obama administration has sought to use the Clean Air Act to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases administratively. Since the dawn of the industrial age, acid levels in the oceans have increased 30 percent. Currently, the oceans are absorbing 22 million tons of carbon dioxide a day.Among other things, scientists worry that the increase in acidity could interrupt the delicate marine food chain, which ranges from microscopic plankton to whales."There are all sorts of evils associated with this," said Robert Paine, an emeritus professor of biology at the University of Washington.The situation is especially acute along the West Coast. Northwest winds during the summer cause upwelling, which brings deep water to the surface along the continental shelf from Queen Charlotte Sound in British Columbia to Baja California. The water in the deep Pacific Ocean is already more acidic than shallower water is because it's absorbed the carbon dioxide that's produced as animals and plants decompose. Some of the deep water in the Pacific hasn't been to the surface for 1,000 or more years.By the end of the century, that deep water is expected to be 150 percent more acidic than it is now, and as it's brought to the surface by upwelling, it's exposed to even more carbon dioxide."The immensity of the problem on the West Coast is of serious concern," said Richard Feely, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. Scientists suspect that acidic water connected with upwelling killed several billion oyster, clam and mussel larvae that were being raised at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery near Tillamook on the Oregon coast in the summer of 2008. The hatchery provides baby shellfish to growers up and down the West Coast. CLIP
US Eastern forests suffer "substantial" decline: 3.7 million hectares gone http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0407-hance_us_east.html
The United States' Eastern forests have suffered a "substantial and sustained net loss" over the past few decades, according to a detailed study appearing in BioScience. From 1973 to 2000, Eastern have declined by 4.1 percent or 3.7 million hectares. Deforestation occurred in all Eastern regions, but the loss was most concentrated in the southeastern plains. The loss overturns a trend of increasing forest that was sustained for about half a century. CLIP
Our oceans are choking with trash - Global Ocean Protection Measures Have Failed (02.08.2010) http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=5573
Thousands of tons of trash are thrown into the sea each year, endangering humans and wildlife. A classified German government report obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE indicates that efforts by the United Nations and the European Union to clean up our oceans have failed entirely. Since the world's oceans are so massive, few people seem to have a problem with dumping waste into them. But plastics degrade at very a slow rate, and huge amounts of them are sloshing around in our oceans. Wildlife consumes small pieces causing many of them to die, since the plastics are full of poisons. And, as experts warn, we've reached a point where it's even getting dangerous for humans to consume seafood. Given these conditions, the international community has been pushing for four decades for massive bureaucratic efforts aimed at clearing the oceans of waste. In 1973, the United Nations sponsored a pact for protecting the oceans from dumping. Additional provisions have been added to the so-called Marpol Convention -- short for "marine pollution" -- on six different occasions. And nine years ago, the European Union put directives on the books that forbid any dumping of maritime waste into the ocean while in ports. Still, according to a classified German government strategy paper obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, if you add up all the good such measures have done, you still end up with zero. In fact, according to the confidential paper, international efforts aimed at protecting the oceans have failed across the board. Our oceans have devolved into vast garbage dumps.
(...) Eating Plastic to Death - Birds often have a hard time distinguishing between little pieces of plastic and food. According to a study conducted in 2002, 80 percent of the birds examined along the North Sea had plastic particles in their mouths. Likewise, researchers at the Research and Technology Center Westcoast based in the northwestern German town of Büsum have recently determined that almost all (93 percent) diving birds on the North Sea have pieces of plastic in their stomachs.Yet another study found an average of 32 pieces of plastic in the stomachs of northern fulmars, a relative of the petral. With all these pieces in their stomach, the birds always feel full, so they consume less, get fewer nutrients and, in many cases, die. A panel of experts told the EU that migratory birds feed pieces of plastic they find in the Atlantic Ocean to their young in Antarctica.According to the United Nations Environment Program, there are, on average, some 18,000 visible bits of plastic floating on every square kilometer of sea. Some knots of floating trash are even visible on satellite photos. Researchers from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation tested 11 randomly chosen sites in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and found that the mass of plastic was six times greater than the mass of plankton. Plastic does, over time, disintegrate into ever smaller pieces. But it takes centuries to break down completely. The North Sea Floor Is Saturated with Plastic CLIP
New report finds millions of marine turtles killed by fisheries, not thousands (April 06, 2010)
WITH REVEALING PICTURES! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0406-hance_marineturtles.html
Humankind's appetite for seafood has had a bigger impact on the world's marine turtles than long thought. A new report by Conservation International (CI) in partnership with Duke Universitys Project GloBAL (Global By-catch Assessment of Long-lived Species) finds that in the past eighteen years it is likely millions of marine turtles have been killed as bycatch by the world's fisheries. Revealing the true extent of fisheries' role in collapsing marine turtle populations, the first ever global survey of sea turtle bycatch found that from 1990-2008 approximately 85,000 marine turtles were officially reported killed as bycatch, yet a staggering amount of unreported mortalities likely raise that total into the millions. "Because the reports we reviewed typically covered less than one percent of all fleets, with little or no information from small-scale fisheries around the world, we conservatively estimate that the true total is probably not in tens of thousands, but in the millions of turtles taken as bycatch in the past two decades," explains Dr. Bryan Wallace, the Science Advisor for CIs Sea Turtle Flagship Program and one of the reports lead authors, in a press release. CLIP
Seed dispersal in the face of climate change (April 05, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0405-hance_hampe.html
Without seed dispersal plants could not survive. Seed dispersali.e. birds spreading seeds or wind carrying seedsmeans the mechanism by which a seed is moved from its parent tree to a new area; if fortunate the seed will sprout in its new resting place, produce a plant which will eventually seed, and the process will begin anew. But in the face of vast human changesincluding deforestation, urbanization, agriculture, and pasture landsas well as the rising specter of climate change, researchers wonder how plants will survive, let alone thrive, in the future? Seed dispersal research, a rather new discipline, is vitally important since the process underpins all the ecological interactions of a forest. CLIP
Far-reaching consequences of CITES decisions (7 April 2010) http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/campaigning/one_planet_mobility/index.cfm?3828
More than 100 national governments were represented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in Qatar in March. The decisions made by member countries can have far-reaching consequences for many at-risk creatures and although there were some high-profile disappointments in Qatar, there were several positive results to bring away. CLIP
History repeats itself: the path to extinction is still paved with greed and waste (April 05, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0405-hance_bison_bluefin.html
(...) Since 1970 the Atlantic bluefin tuna's population has dropped by 80 percent due, like the bison, to one reason: overharvesting. Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, the 'management' of the tuna has long been in the hands of an organization known as ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), yet the organization has continuously ignored the advice of its own scientists. For years, when researchers would come up with a fishing quota based on population estimates, ICCAT would double it. On top of that widespread illegal fishing year-after-year worsened the fish's situation. Last year, ICCAT's scientists for the first time recommended a total ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing. But again, ICCAT ignored their own advice and instead set a quota of 13,500 tons. After ICCAT's repeated failuresand the tuna's continuing declinethe duty now fell to world nations, through the organization CITES, to bring sense to the free-of-all, which, if allowed to continue, would lead to complete a population crash and quite possible extinction for the embattled fish. But last month CITES failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to pass the ban: the vote lost soundly with 20 voting for a ban, 68 voting against, and 30 nations abstaining. The reason? Greed. The fish is worth a lot, at least to one country. Three-fourths of the catch is shipped to Japan for sushi, and the scarcer the Atlantic bluefin tuna becomesi.e. the closer it is to the brink of existencethe more money a single fish is worth. Currently, the Atlantic bluefin tuna trade is estimated at 7 billion US dollars a year with just one fish fetching up to 100,000 US dollars on the market. The CITES vote shows that when greed demands extinction, we have yet to stifle its siren sound. (...) The interesting thing about Japan's behavior is that its government is fully aware that one day soon it will no longer be able to fish (or eat) Atlantic bluefin tuna. Either a ban will actually go through or, more likely, there simply will be no more fish to catch. Given the situation it would be a far wiser move for Japan's economy to protect the fish now, so that in coming decades it can still consume the Atlantic bluefin tuna in small amounts, charging consumers a premium. However, instead of a sustainable environment producing a sustainable economy, Japan has chosen greed, and greed by definition knows no future, only the present. Waste is no different. CLIP
Vegetarians 'get fewer cancers' (16 March 2009) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7942479.stm
A vegetarian diet may help to protect against cancer, a UK study suggests. Analysis of data from 52,700 men and women shows that those who did not eat meat had significantly fewer cancers overall than those who did. But surprisingly, the researchers also found a higher rate of colorectal cancer - a disease linked with eating red meat - among the vegetarians. CLIP
Bottled Water Hysteria do you know what comes out of that tap? (March 31, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-7048-Seattle-Green-Business-Examiner~y2010m3d31-Bottled-Water-Hysteria--do-you-know-what-comes-out-of-that-tap
(...) For the last few years, I have watched agencies and organizations around the world get hysterical over the supposed evils of bottled water. Even environmental groups that were among my most treasured information assets have jumped on this bandwagon. Municipal water companies are delighted over the trend, since people were reducing their use of tap water, driving down the revenues of city water companies. But the concerns over bottled water are failing to take into account that the alternative - tap water - is one of the most polluted resources in our world. Cheap water filters give only a false sense of security and as a result, many, especially children, are ingesting significant quantities of deadly substances. (...) Tap water is contaminated by many sources during its journey to your faucet. Sediments carrying naturally occurring toxins are carried by rainwater into water supplies along with pollutants from mining operations, pesticides and fertilizers from agriculture, industrial waste from factories, livestock wastes, and urban runoff containing every type of pollutant from daily life. Urban runoff is a toxic mix of motor oil, gasoline and other fuels, pesticides, and a host of other chemicals. Conventional water filtration methods used by municipal water systems do not remove many of these contaminants and chemical disinfection does nothing about them.But no matter how pure the water is when it enters your house, unless you have shinny new copper pipes, your water will be contaminated by your plumbing especially if your home was built before 1986 when lead solder was no longer used in plumbing. Filtering tap water is not the total solution. There are all kinds of filters and only very expensive ones filter the nastier pollutants like lead and other metals. And if filters, even expensive ones, arent kept clean and replaced regularly, they are of little value. CLIP
Gram-negative bacteria are drug-resistant superbugs to watch out for (February 20, 2009) http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/dailydose/02/20/gram.negative.bacteria/index.html
A new crop of drug-resistant superbugs is in our midst, and experts believe that they could rival the deadly superbug MRSA. A new report from the Infectious Diseases Society of America says these superbugs are creeping onto the radar in hospitals across the country, and our ability to fight them is next to none. CLIP
Scientists Say F.D.A. Ignored Radiation Warnings (March 28, 2010) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/health/policy/29fda.html
Urgent warnings by government experts about the risks of routinely using powerful CT scans to screen patients for colon cancer were brushed aside by the Food and Drug Administration, according to agency documents and interviews with agency scientists. Such scans can deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays. An estimated 70 million CT scans are performed in the United States every year, up from three million in the early 1980s. As many as 14,000 people may die every year of radiation-induced cancers as a result, researchers estimate. The use of CT scans to screen healthy patients for cancer is particularly controversial. The internal dispute [at the FDA] has grown so heated that a group of agency scientists who are concerned about the risks of CT scans say they will testify ... that F.D.A. managers ignored or suppressed their concerns, and that the resulting delay in making these concerns public may have led hundreds of patients to be endangered needlessly. Scores of internal agency documents made available to The New York Times show that agency managers sought to approve an application by General Electric to allow the use of CT scans for colon cancer screenings over the repeated objections of agency scientists, who wanted the application rejected.
The Torture of Canadians (March 29, 2010) http://groups.google.com/group/mobilfunk_newsletter/browse_thread/thread/e9274de07358a489
The torture of Canadian citizens in foreign lands and the torture of detained persons in Afghanistan has been a cause for major controversy involving the Government of Canada. While that situation is about actions taking place thousands of miles away, many persons 'at home' in Canada, are daily enduring a form of torture yet their plight is being largely ignored. There is urgent need for the Government to assist these victims here in Canada. The Government of Canada receives billions of dollars in license fees from companies that use wireless frequencies for cell phones and communication systems. Unfortunately, exposure to those frequencies has caused many Canadians to develop severe environmental and electro magnetic sensitivities. This is causing serious health and financial difficulties for those affected and their families. Electro hypersensitivity can be a torturous experience. Victims may suffer severely from exposure to electro magnetic radiation, at levels, which the Government deems safe and which is regulated by the Federal Government. Victims constantly have to avoid exposure from electro magnetic fields, electrical fields and electro magnetic radiation to avoid further harm. This is becoming very difficult, as wireless communications and wireless devices are being used everywhere. Many persons, who suffer from electro hyper-sensitivity (EHS), also suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). This combination of EHS and MCS leaves victims in extreme peril. EHS and MCS are environmental sensitivities as recognized by the human rights commission. Some victims consider suicide, instead of enduring the continued torture of their existence. While little research has been done to discover why people become electrically sensitive, most victims can relate their illness to exposure from wireless or electrical sources. Some MCS cases may be caused or significantly affected by electrical and electro magnetic radiation. I have suffered many of the known symptoms of electro hypersensitivity, which may also be known as microwave illness. Six years ago I retired from the Toronto Police Service and moved to a home where I was unknowingly exposed to dangerous electro magnetic radiation. For many months I experienced the agony associated with electro hypersensitivity. My symptoms included: not being able to sleep, not being able to think clearly, constant headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, joint aches, constant feeling of being unwell and cancer. It was like being tortured by dangerous and invisible forces within my own home and within Canada, yet receiving no help or advice from local and federal government departments. After suffering from many harmful and unpleasant symptoms for a year and developing cancer, I made the difficult decision to leave my home. Within days my health improved, my electro hypersensitivity stabilized. It remains manageable as long as I avoid further strong exposure to electro magnetic fields and electro magnetic radiation. Many electro hypersensitive victims, do not have the financial ability to move from their homes to safety because they cannot work and have very limited income. There are several people whose lives are in great danger and their suffering is immense. I ask that your government put aside a small percentage of the wireless licensing fees to assist those who are suffering. These victims must be protected from further exposure to electro magnetic radiation. Through no fault of their own and because of a failure of the government to properly protect them, these persons are enduring a 'living hell' of torture in Canada. These people can be found in every geographic area of Canada and they all need assistance as soon as possible.Money is needed immediately for safe housing, special treatment clinics, special protective clothing, monitoring equipment and special EMF mitigating equipment. CLIP
EMF-Omega-News 3. April 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/427/70/
Low level EMFs reduce melatonin's protective effect - Be Mobile Without Risk? - Tumour risks from mobile phones - March 2010: Science Update - The Torture of Canadians - A New Advocacy Crisis: Radio Frequency Sickness - Cell-ing Out Our Health? - Mobile phone towers threaten honey bees - Stapeley phone mast bid could be revived in a new location - Vodafone lose Styvechale mobile phone mast bid - Rail telecoms mast will be 'an eyesore' - New, giant power-line towers will soon dot northern New Jersey - In the Cold Light of Day: Energy-Saving Lamps - Study warns of green light bulb electrosmog - A Magnetic Field Applied to the Brain Can Alter People's Sense of Morality - SECRETS OF MICROWAVE COOKING REVEALED - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity
EMF-Omega-News 10. April 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/430/70/
Microwaves Imitate Pesticides - Potential Health Impacts of Wireless Facilities - Mobile mast blamed for cancer cluster - New EMF Dangers: Type 3 Diabetes and Heart Disease - This App Might Cause You To Swear Off Cell Phones - WiFi at NZ school - Cellphone tower: there has to be a better way - Motorcycle Cancer Risk ELF EMF Magnetic Field Safety Proclamation to Gov. Schwarzenegger - Health Canada Dismisses Cell Phone Dangers - The iPad, internet, climate change link in the spotlight - The Chemical mechanisms leading to EMF Sensitivity - The World's Largest-ever Human Experiment - Professor killed in home invasion - Cell tower near grade school riles Gilbert parents - Chorley phone mast turned down - Mobile mast blocked - Hands-free phones 'as risky as drink-driving' - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity
Where is This Story? 4.7 Million at Risk of Starvation
Four point seven million people are at risk of starvation in Northern Africa due to a harvest failure caused by scares rainfall in 2009, yet the story, as well as the funds, are nowhere to be seen in an international media worried about Tiger Woods personal life.
The United Nations Organizations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched an urgent appeal for more funds (133 million USD) from aid agencies and partners to finance the distribution of food aid in Niger, where 5.7 million people are affected by malnutrition and food shortages after last years harvest failed in vast areas of the country due to insufficient rainfall.
The situation is sufficiently bad to merit the use of the term emergency humanitarian action plan to describe the calamitous position faced by these people, who are in urgent need of food security, food aid, safe water, sanitation and hygiene networks and infrastructures, according to OCHA.
The UNO office has issued the following statement on the crisis in Niger: Inadequate or poor distribution of rainfall has caused large deficits in Nigers agricultural and fodder production. Poor harvests have created a cereals deficit of more than 410,000 metric tons, while fodder shortfalls have been estimated at more than 16 million metric tons or 67 per cent of the national livestock needs. Many water sources have also dried up, adding to the hardship pastoralists are facing.
For Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the situation in Mali has become a major humanitarian challenge despite the fact that her Programme has doubled food aid to Niger in recent months.
The ruling authorities in Niger, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), which came to power after a coup detat on February 18, have appealed for international assistance.
This is not the first time that the people of Mali have been let down by the international community following a disastrous crop, due to lack of rainfall or to the scourge of swarms of locusts. Yet the same international community turns a blind eye, because Mali is in Africa and because Africa has been stamped as a disaster area. Period.
Where is Mali and anyway, who the Hell cares? is the unspoken soundbite from the first decade of the new millennium, in which trillions of dollars are spent on wars to kill people and a paltry 133 million USD cannot be raised to feed hungry kids.
As you read these lines, spare a thought for NATO and question yourself exactly what has this Organization done to develop the world? Why does this Organization control its member states foreign policy? And why does it siphon off cash which the majority of informed and thinking citizens of its member states would rather donate to a cause such as Mali than to bombing Serbia or wedding parties in the Hindu Kush?
Is this really the world we are happy to live in? And what role does the international press play, mis- and disinforming people, shaping public opinion away from the truth and focussing on banalities and trivia such as the private life of Tiger Woods?
U.N. seeks $133 million to combat Niger food crisis (April 7, 201) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040702840.html
DAKAR (Reuters) - The United Nations needs an extra $133 million to tackle food shortages and malnutrition in Niger that have already triggered massive displacements of people from their villages, the world body said on Wednesday. Some 7.8 million people, or nearly 60 percent of the West African country's population, are running out of food after erratic rainfall last year caused crops to fail, according to a national survey conducted in December. Relief groups say Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is the center of a wider food crisis in the sub-Saharan Sahel region that could be the worst in at least five years. "It is more than the right time to take serious humanitarian action," Khardiata Lo N'Diaye, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Niger said in a statement. The United Nations said it needs the cash to reach a target of $190 million for the Niger crisis. The world body forecasts more than 1.5 million cases of malnutrition in children under five in the next year unless urgent action is taken. Another 35,000 cases of malnutrition are expected among pregnant and lactating women, it said. The requested funds would support emergency distribution of food, water, and medical treatment after the government of Niger called for international help with the crisis in March.Food shortages have already drive masses of people to flee rural areas into towns and neighboring countries and emptied schools in the severely affected southeastern regions of Zinder and Diffa, according to U.N. officials.Food shortages have also hit neighboring Chad, where authorities said 2 million people were at risk. Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria are also facing food shortages.UNICEF says more than 850,000 children under five will need to be treated for severe acute malnutrition in the Sahel requiring $50 million in aid, of half of which is available. The Sahel region has been plagued by cyclical droughts and severe food shortages since the 1970s. The most serious food crisis in the last decade occurred in 2005, affecting millions in Niger, Nigeria, and Mali.
Aid agencies seek 190 million in food aid for Niger (07/04/2010) http://www.expatica.com/ch/news/swiss-rss-news/aid-agencies-seek-190-million-in-food-aid-for-niger_35720.html
Relief agencies on Wednesday appealed for 190 million dollars (142.3 million euros) to help Niger fight an acute food crisis which threatens half of the country's population amid a serious drought.Some 6,000 Niger villages have been hit by "a very acute food crisis" while part of the country is already suffering from malnutrition, said Khardiata Lo N'Diaye, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the country."Some 7.8 million people, or over half of the population, are in a food insecure situation," added N'Diaye, underlining the scale of the problem. The funds sought by nine non-governmental groups and five UN agencies are expected mostly to go towards food supplies for the rest of the year.Part of the financing would also go towards seed distribution as well as therapeutic feeding centres for malnourished children. (...) On Tuesday, the international Red Cross said it was nearly tripling its aid effort in Niger and Mali, with the additional 22 million dollar programme going towards food and farming supplies.
Only a morally bankrupt Pope could call news of his role in a child abuse cover-up 'petty gossip
Andrew Sullivan - April 4, 2010
We know two things about Pope Benedict XVI this Easter that we didn't know last Easter. We know that he was implicated in covering up two cases of multiple child rapes and molestations, one in Germany and one in the United States. His record on this makes it hard to distinguish his career from that of many other bishops and cardinals who were indirectly but clearly guilty of ignoring or covering up their underlings' violation of the bodies and souls of the young and the vulnerable.
The Vatican has spent Holy Week fighting back against those facts, but it cannot abolish or undo them. The German case is the most clear-cut - because it was so glaring and so directly connected to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as the Pope was then known. The facts are these: a priest, Peter Hullermann, was found guilty of raping children in at least three families under Ratzinger's authority in the late 1970s. The local priest indicated that the families would "not file charges under the current circumstances", and the case went to Ratzinger, who decided not to report the priest to the criminal authorities, nor to strip him of his office, but to send him for therapy and retain him as an active priest, capable of molesting again. The priest subsequently raped many more children; he was found guilty in 1986 and was given a suspended sentence.
The Pope's first defence was that he knew nothing about it and that his subordinate at the time, Gerhard Gruber, took full responsibility. We then discovered that the psychiatrist in the case had contacted Ratzinger's office on several occasions, warning him of the "danger" the priest represented. "I said, 'For God's sake, he desperately has to be kept away from working with children'," the psychiatrist told The New York Times.
We also discovered that the future pontiff was copied on a memo about the reasons for transferring the child-rapist for therapy, which also indicated that the priest would return to pastoral work almost immediately: ie, he would still be allowed to interact with children. In the dry words of The New York Times: "Neither the Vatican nor the German archdiocese had previously mentioned in their statements that Cardinal Ratzinger was sent a memo relating to the reassignment of Father Hullermann." We also know Ratzinger chaired the meeting at which the therapy was decided upon.
The Pope has responded to the news by having surrogates disparage The New York Times and publicly referring to "petty gossip" in an apparent allusion to these new facts.
The US case is more complicated. It involved the abuse of 200 deaf boys by one Father Lawrence Murphy in Wisconsin. The rapes, molestations and abuse continued for decades, and the hierarchy refused to take action. Many of the children had been sent to the school because their parents couldn't cope; Murphy, according to reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "would come into their dorm at night, take them into a closet and molest them. [One victim, Arthur Budzinski,] said he told Archbishop William E Cousins and other officials about the abuse in 1974 when he was 26. The archbishop yelled at Budzinski, he said. He left the meeting crying".
By 1996 - two decades later, with Murphy's victims now at the 200 mark - the case went to Rome. Because some of the abuse had happened within the confessional itself, Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), had responsibility. The bulk of the blame for this abuse lies with the local archbishops, who sat on the case for decades, but when it did come to Ratzinger's attention in 1996, the CDF dragged its feet, did not defrock the priest and, as the priest neared his death, encouraged an end to a canonical trial.
In this case, Ratzinger could more credibly argue he was out of the loop. But you wonder: if you were responsible for handling the case of a priest who you knew had abused, raped and molested up to 200 deaf children for decades, would you not believe it was your business to resolve it swiftly? Would you be concerned, as the documents from the case reveal he was, about the risk of "increasing scandal" and the "need for secrecy"? Would you encourage the archbishop to drop the trial in view of the priest's ailing health and imminent death?
I can only speak for myself - a wayward Catholic sinner, a married homosexual who still clings to the truth of the Gospels and the sacredness of the church. I wouldn't do any of those things. Full stop. If I knew I had any role - witting or unwitting - in allowing children to be raped by someone I could have stopped, by someone over whom I had authority, I would not be able to sleep at night. I would be haunted for the rest of my life. The thought of covering up for someone who forced sex on deaf children in closets at night is incomprehensible to me. Allowing someone who had raped three children to go elsewhere and rape many more, when you were explicitly warned that this man was a walking danger to children? I don't want to sound self-righteous, but: no. Never. Under any circumstances; in any period of time; for whatever reason. Even if my failure were mere negligence, my conscience would be racked.
So, why, to ask the obvious question, isn't the Pope's? Even criminals in prison treat child molesters as the lowest of the low, the darkest manifestation of human evil. How can the Pope have any moral authority on any subject until and unless he has explained this series of events, held himself accountable and repented, if not resigned? Instead he carries on as if nothing has changed, as if nothing in these revelations about his life really matters.
It has to matter. A pope with no moral authority simply cannot function as a pope. Yes, he has ecclesiastical power. But ecclesiastical power without moral authority merely exposes the hollowness of an unaccountable, self-perpetuating clerisy. Does he think we don't know? Does he understand that any parent of any child will be unable to imagine themselves in the same moral universe as this man?
He will not quit, of course. And he will not personally repent for these personal failings in public. This is all "petty gossip" fomented by enemies of the church. It's old news. He has reformed things. He has, in the words of the Vatican, "nonresponsibility". Others will take the fall for those crimes of the past. And the broken souls and bodies that remain out there - the scarred victims of this abuse of power - where are they this Easter? What place do they have on this, our holiest day?
They will have to seek justice from the state and healing from God. If they retain the hope of Easter, that good can eventually outlast evil, that darkness can cede to light, I pray they can cling to the faith that is still ours in a church that is increasingly alien. Peter denied Jesus three times. But Easter still came.
That is what many of us still cling to, through the incomprehension and betrayal. We still have our faith even if we can no longer trust the hierarchy of our church. Its moral authority is over. Our moral struggle never ends - until we find salvation in the God who loves children and doesn't rape them.
Another pedophilia scandal rocks Vatican (10 Apr 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122905§ionid=351020606
Following a series of pedophilia scandals, a new document has come to light showing that Pope Benedict XVI resisted defrocking a US pedophile priest in 1985. Former Cardinal Joseph Radzinger had signed a letter which defied calls to defrock California priest Stephen Kiesle over children abuse charges, letters released by the victims' attorney Jeff Anderson showed Friday. While Radzinger admitted the gravity of Kiesle's case, he stated he was reluctant to take immediate action on the grounds that the case needed careful consideration, which would take a longer period of time than usual. Kiesle was finally defrocked in 1987. He later worked as a youth coordinator at a parish in Pinole, north California for eight months, a statement released by Anderson said. CLIP
Pope Has it Ass Backwards: He and his Bishops are Perps not Victims in Catholic Holocaust (April 3, 2010) http://blogs.alternet.org/cityofangelsonalternet/2010/04/03/pope-has-it-ass-backwards-he-and-his-priests-are-perps-not-victims-in-catholic-holocaust/
When his own pastor slips it out in a Vatican sermon, you know the Pope and his colleagues are likely saying the same thing when they get together behind the curtains, that they are the victims of the pedophile priest crisis in the Catholic Church.Consider this: The expression "soul murder" to describe the global experience of pedophile priest victims was first used by Catholic advocacy groups like Voice of the Faithful and A Call to Action. Suicide rates are high among the survivors of pedo-priest sex crimes. Many of the victims who do make it to adulthood are unemployable because of behavior, anger, and sexual problems. Family members of the adult victims feel the brunt of the crimes as well.Yet among survivors, the closest analogy made to the WWII Holocaust concerns a museum. Often among ourselves it comes up, we should put together a museum someday, like the Holocaust Museum, a collection of documents, photos, films. Then in the years since 2002 Bishop Accountability out of Boston has sort of become our Holocaust Museum online, so no one has really run with the idea to put it in a building.The Pope and the Bishops have got it ass backwards. They are the Perpetrators in this Catholic Holocaust, not the victims. "Epidemic Disease" that causes mass destruction, such as sexually deviant priests who rape hundreds of thousands of children, can be termed a Holocaust. GOOD FRIDAY VATICAN QUOTE:"They [Jews] know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms," and a Jewish friend said accusations against the Pope are like the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism."Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said it in a Good Friday homily in front of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Basilica, April 2, 2010, and was quoted in news media all over the world. You have to stop and think a minute before you realize, he is referring to the Pope and Church hierarchy, when it should be the tens of thousands of crime victims who are the Jews in the analogy. (...) So the "victims of collective violence" most like the Jews or "holocaust survivors" in this analogy are actually the adult victims and our families, not the Pope who conducted the coverup and all the bishops who went along with it. But thank you, Rev. Cantalamessa, for opening the door for us to point out that, yes, this was a holocaust, a sexual disease epidemic that affected hundreds of thousands of people in catastrophic ways.
Experts offer opinions on whether the pope should be held responsible (April 3, 2010) http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/world/stories/DN-popepanel_03int.ART.State.Edition1.4d1c70e.html
(...) John Shelby Spong, former bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J.: Of course he should be held accountable. He approved moving Cardinal Bernard Law to the Vatican to keep him from having to answer questions under oath. ... Child abuse is a crime. Covering up a crime is also a crime. Ordination and a position in the Roman Catholic hierarchy does not make one immune to the consequences of criminal behavior. (...) Donna Freitas, assistant professor of religion, Boston University: Though the thought of the pope resigning still boggles my mind, what a powerful statement it would be to all Catholics and people everywhere! Perhaps the Catholic Church would not crumble but instead emerge as a stronger tradition. Embattled yes, but embattled in the service of being a force for good, and no longer for enabling criminal behavior.
UN judge calls for prosecution of Pope Benedict (10 Apr 2010) http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0410/judge-calls-prosecution-pope-benedict/
Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned human rights lawyer and United Nations jurist, wants to see Pope Benedict put on trial for allegedly protecting predator priests. In a Guardian UK piece making its rounds this week in Catholic circles, Robertson demanded the pope be "put in the dock" so that the church might "feel the full weight of international law" over its thousands of pedophilia scandals. The pope's conduct, he said, "amounted to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors," making Benedict a justifiable target for either the International Criminal Court or a British court acting under the legal principal of universal jurisdiction. (...) "The UN at its inception refused membership to the Vatican but has allowed it a unique 'observer status', permitting it to become signatory to treaties such as the Law of the Sea and (ironically) the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to speak and vote at UN conferences where it promotes its controversial dogmas on abortion, contraception and homosexuality. This has involved the UN in blatant discrimination on grounds of religion: other faiths are unofficially represented, if at all, by NGOs. But it has encouraged the Vatican to claim statehood and immunity from liability." "Robertson insisted that the ICC could be used as long as the Pope's sovereign immunity was waived and as long as jurists can show that the sex abuse scandal was carried out on a 'widespread or systematic scale,' the way that child soldiers were used in the wars in Sierra Leone and the way CLIP
Priest Worked As 'Fixer' to Cover Up Church Abuse: Audio (21 minutes) http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/404/enemy-camp-2010
Patrick Wall was a special kind of monk. He was a fixer. The Catholic church sent him to problem parishes where priests had been removed because of scandal. His job was to come in, keep events from going public and smooth things over until a permanent replacement priest was found. But after four different churches in four years, after covering up for pedophiles and adulterers and liars and embezzlers he decided to make a change. Carl Marziali tells his story. Patrick refers to the Vatican's "Secret Archives" of offending priests kept to assist coverups. http://www.manlystewart.com/victims/attorney/patrick-j-wall - After working as a "fixer" in the church, dealing with the aftermath of sexual abusive priests in parishes and schools, Patrick left the priesthood, finding that the only way that abuse survivors would get the help and healing they needed was outside of the church hierarchy. Now married and a father, Wall has consulted on more than 200 cases of clergy abuse in the United States and has become a leading advocate and expert on the causes and cover-up involved in the worldwide crisis. He is an author of "Sex, Priests and Secret Codes," a leading book on the 2000-year history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and co-authored the upcoming "New Book of Gomorrah."">
Pedophilia in the Catholic Church: Coverup Operation at the Vatican? Pope Ratzinger's Swan Song - By Mike Whitney (March 31, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18408
Pope Benedict should do everyone a favor and resign. By hanging on, he's just making matters worse. Who does he think he's fooling anyway? Everyone knows that he was involved in the sex-scandal cover up. Does he really think that a few papal apologies will make a difference? He was in charge and knew everything that was going on. That makes him responsible. His best option now is to "man up" and face the consequences. He needs to arrange a press conference, tell the truth, and resign. End of story. It's clear that the problem isn't going to go away. In the last week, three more incidents have surfaced adding more fuel to the fire. (...) Naturally, the Vatican has circled the wagons and is lashing out at the media. But it's a hopeless cause. As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger (as Benedict was known at the time) took steps to silence priests who wanted to reveal what they knew. In a 2001 letter to the bishops, Benedict "ordered them to keep sexual abuse allegations secret under threat of excommunication - updating a noxious church policy... that both priests accused of sex crimes and their victims "observe the strictest secret" and be "restrained by a perpetual silence." (Washington Post) This is obstruction of justice, and Benedict should be prosecuted. No man is above the law; not even the pope. Religious freedom isn't license to rape children. Benedict's letter helps to illustrate a larger point, too. It shows that the sex abuse scandal isn't really about sex abuse at all. It's about the people in positions of authority who violated the public's trust. That's the real story. It's about people who pretend to be "spiritual advisers", but don't even do the right thing when a child is sexually molested. And, these are the people who are giving advice on issues like homosexuality and birth control? CLIP
John Paul 'ignored abuse of 2,000 boys' (April 4, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7086738.ece
(...) "There is no question that Ratzinger knew all the details of reports on abuse within the church, as there is no doubt that John Paul, his superior, took part in a massive and systematic cover-up," Tfirst said. John Paul also faced criticism last week from Poland for protecting Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, who was accused of abusing trainee priests. Letters detailing the charges were sent to John Paul's office and to Ratzinger in 2000 but were ignored. Paetz resigned in 2002 when the allegations became public. Stanislaw Obirek, a Polish theologian and a former Jesuit priest, said: "I believe John Paul is the key person responsible for the cover-up of abuse cases because most of it occurred during his papacy. How can someone who is to blame for this be beatified?" In America critics pointed out that although Benedict has borne the brunt of criticism over ignoring the scandal of Father Lawrence Murphy, accused of molesting 200 deaf boys at a special school in Wisconsin, Ratzinger had acted on the authority of John Paul.
(...) In Europe there are signs of the faithful turning their backs on the church in large numbers. In Austria alone more than 20,000 Catholics left the church in March. CLIP
AMONG THE COMMENTS THERE... "The whole issue of child abuse generates deeply contradictory emotions in modern Britain. The sad truth is that child abuse - both sexual and emotional - in incredibly common. A recent UNICEF report stated that the United States and the United Kingdom ranked lowest among industrial nations with respect to the wellbeing of children. It also found that child neglect and abuse were far more common in single-parent families than in families where both parents are present. An unpleasant fact given the widespread breakdown of the family in the UK.The statistics on sexual abuse are horrifying. In 1997 Channel 4 commissioned a research paper entitled "Child sexual abuse: A study of prevalence in Great Britain". The paper was written by two top-of-the-shelf psychologists called Baker and Duncan. They found that out of a sample of 2019 men and women (aged 15 years and over), 10% reported that they had been sexually abused before the age of 16 (12% of females; 8% of males). More importantly, there was no increased risk associated with specific social class categories or area of residence. BTW, these results are typical, countless other papers, both here, and in the US, and in Europe, have produced similar results.So why are the press digging up abuse stories of long dead priests? (Lets face it, these abuse accusations arise from events that occurred decades ago). The bulk of the "outrage" reflects a deep seated desire to engage in blame displacement. In our daily lives, many of us are aware of incidences of child abuse - sexual, physical and emotional. Rather than confront it, we cover it up. These tired old accusations about the church allow us to vent our guilty feelings. Afterall it is so much easier to attack a long dead priest than confront members of our own families."
In Mexico, Catholic order is haunted by past (March 28, 2010) http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-mexico-priest28-2010mar28,0,3498830,full.story
He hobnobbed with Mexico's rich and famous, cut lucrative real estate deals and was rumored to travel on occasion with a briefcase full of cash. He fathered at least one child, molested seminarians and boys and is said to have boasted that he had the pope's permission to get massages from young nuns. And all the while the conservative priest was building one of the most influential organizations in the Roman Catholic Church. Two years after the death of the Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexico native, scandals continue to unfold. Buffeted by the string of revelations, Maciel's powerful Legion of Christ is fighting for its survival in Rome, the headquarters of the church. But here in Mexico, where the Legion has long-standing ties with the ruling class and an expansive network of elite schools, the organization remains strong. Rather than the desertions that some branches of the Legion have experienced in the United States and elsewhere, student enrollment in Legionary schools in Mexico grew by 6% to 8% last year, spokesman Javier Bravo said. The order's assets are estimated by some to be worth $20 billion. CLIP
Why Are Pedophilia-Hiding, Child-Abusing Church Fathers Allowed to Write Laws About Women's Bodies? (April 3, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/story/146287/why_are_pedophilia-hiding%2C_child-abusing_church_fathers_allowed_to_write_laws_about_women%27s_bodies
My favorite moment of the whole child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was when Father Klaus Malangré suggested that Peter Hullermann, the redoubtable German pedophile priest, might be sent to work in a girls' school. No boys, no molestation. Or, in churchly language, no occasion of sin. Problem solved! Plus, the good father would spend his life warding off female cooties. Malangré must not have heard about priests -- and they do exist -- who abused both male and female children. Nor had he learned the lesson of Watergate: the cover-up is worse than the crime.The church has yet to learn that lesson. There is a positively Nixonian smarmy truculence in the response of church hierarchs to the ongoing scandal, which now involves Pope Benedict XVI himself. On Palm Sunday, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan urged worshipers at St. Patrick's Cathedral to show "love and solidarity for our earthly shepherd now suffering some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob and scourging at the pillar, as did Jesus." On his blog, Dolan explains that what gets Catholics angry is not just the molestations themselves but also that "the sexual abuse of minors is presented as a tragedy unique to the Church alone." Oh, really? Does the name Mary Kay Letourneau mean nothing to him? This man needs to read the tabloids, which have for years featured an endless parade of molesting teachers, doctors, dentists, therapists and scout leaders. To go by the news, looking at child pornography on one's office computer is so common, it's a wonder anyone finds the time to abuse real kids. At this late date I doubt anyone is unaware that the sexual abuse of children is a widespread phenomenon.The difference is, when other professionals who work with children are caught out, justice takes its course. People are fired. Licenses are lost. Reputations are ruined. Sometimes jail is involved. No human institution is perfect, and it would be foolish to suggest that incidents are always investigated and that abusers who don't happen to be priests are never protected by colleagues or superiors. Still, it's probably safe to say that if a principal was accused of overlooking a child molester in his classrooms or recycling him to other schools, nobody would compare his suffering to Christ's.And nobody would be asking for his views about sex, reproduction, women, homosexuality or healthcare either. The moral authority granted the Catholic Church in the secular world is for me the most repellent aspect of the current crisis. In the succinct words of Jodi Jacobson, editor of RHRealityCheck.org, "Why is a pedophilia-ridden, pedophilia-hiding, child-abusing Church allowed to write laws controlling women's rights?" To which one might add: what gives a church in which celibacy is equated with holiness, in which males have almost all the power, the right to a place at the table where laws are made about women's bodies? The same institution that has dealt so indulgently with its ordained pedophiles had no problem excommunicating a Brazilian mother who sought an abortion for her 9-year-old daughter, raped and impregnated with twins by her stepfather, or pushing for laws in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Chile banning abortion even to save the woman's life.
Sexual and other abuse by clergy: A "perfect panic" http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex.htm
This section deals mainly with sexual abuse of youths and younger children by Roman Catholic clergy. Little information is available on the frequency of abuse among clergy in other Christian denominations and in other religions.What little hard information that is available seems to indicate that: Pedophilia (sexual abuse by adults of pre-pubertal children) is lower among Catholic clergy than among the general male population. Hebephilia, a.k.a. ephebophilia, (the sexual abuse by adults of post-pubertal children) is much more common among Catholic clergy than in the general population; it is a major concern. Sexual abuse of children could probably be almost halved if women were allowed to be ordained in the church. Whenever detailed studies are made, massive levels of physical and sexual abuse in church-run residential schools is uncovered.
Pointer.org "is a non-profit school for journalists, focused on helping journalists get better at what they do." They maintain a Clergy Abuse Tracker at http://www.poynter.org/
It consists mainly of articles on clergy abuse extracted from newspapers and news services from around the world. An amazing resource.
Reformation.com maintains a list of hundreds of instances of alleged sexual molestation scandals among Protestant denominations. As of 2002-SEP-3, these included 147 by Baptist ministers, 251 by other Fundamentalist / Evangelical leaders, 140 by Episcopal, 38 by Lutheran, 46 by Methodist, 19 by Presbyterian, and 198 by other church leaders. See: http://www.reformation.com
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) "is a self-help organization of men and women who were sexually abused by spiritual elders (Catholic priests, brothers, nuns, ministers, teachers, etc)....SNAP was founded by Barbara Blaine of Chicago in 1991." It has "several local chapters in the United States and Canada." See: http://www.survivorsnetwork.org
Kevin Annett: Eye Witnesses of Murder and Torture on Canada's West Coast (January 14, 2010) http://censored-news.blogspot.com/2010/01/kevin-annett-eye-witnesses-of-murder.html
(...) This system is decades-old and has been supplied for many years with women and children from aboriginal reserves and residential schools, with the paid collusion of lawyers, clergy and officials of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada, along with state-funded aboriginal leaders and officials of the Department of Indian Affairs. CLIP - I have no idea if those allegations are reliable...
WARNING! Eye-opening information and some very graphic descriptions. Some of the statistics below are utterly mind-boggling...
The following speech was given at the National Parenting Conference in Boulder, Colorado, on September 25, 1997.
During the past three decades, I have spent much of my scholarly life examining primary sources such as diaries, autobiographies, doctor's reports, ethnographic reports and other documents that document what it must have felt like to have been a child--yesterday and today, in the East and the West, in literate and preliterate cultures.
In several hundred studies published by myself and my associates in The Journal of Psychohistory, we have provided extensive evidence that the history of childhood has been a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes--and the further away from the West one gets--the more massive the neglect and cruelty one finds and the more likely children are to have been killed, rejected, beaten, terrorized and sexually abused by their caretakers.
Indeed, my conclusion from a lifetime of psychohistorical study of childhood and society is that the history of humanity is founded upon the abuse of children. Just as family therapists today find that child abuse often functions to hold families together as a way of solving their emotional problems, so, too, the routine assault of children has been society's most effective way of maintaining its collective emotional homeostasis. Most historical families once practiced infanticide, erotic beating and incest. Most states sacrificed and mutilated their children to relieve the guilt of adults. Even today, we continue to arrange the daily killing, maiming, molestation and starvation of children through our social, military and economic activities. I would like to summarize here some of the evidence I have found as to why child abuse has been humanity's most powerful and most successful ritual, why it has been the cause of war and social violence, and why the eradication of child abuse and neglect is the most important social task we face today.
THE CHILD AS POISON CONTAINER
The main psychological mechanism that operates in all child abuse involves using children as what I have termed poison containers--receptacles into which adults project disowned parts of their psyches, so they can control these feelings in another body without danger to themselves. In good parenting, the child uses the caretaker as a poison container, much as it earlier used the mother's placenta as a poison container for cleansing its polluted blood. A good mother reacts with calming actions to the cries of a baby and helps it "detoxify? its dangerous emotions. But when an immature mother's baby cries, she cannot stand the screaming, and strikes out at the child. As one battering mother put it, "I have never felt loved all my life. When the baby was born, I thought he would love me. When he cried, it meant he didn't love me. So I hit him.? Rather than the child being able to use the parent to detoxify its fears and anger, the parent instead injects his or her bad feelings into the child and uses it to cleanse his or herself of depression and anger.
Consider a typical infanticidal, incestuous culture, the Bimin-Kuskusmin of New Guinea. As is so often true in pre-literate cultures, the mothers have long post-partum taboos against sex with their husbands, sleep naked against their children until they are about four years old, have orgasms while nursing them and regularly masturbate them. One three-year-old boy describes how whenever his mother was sad or angry she masturbated him so roughly that it hurt him, and he struggled to get away, complaining of a pain in his penis. "It hurts inside,? he told the ethnologist. "It goes koong, koong, koong' inside. I think it bleeds in there I don't like to touch it anymore. It hurts when I pee...? Sometimes, after his mother hurt him while masturbating him, he wounds himself in the thigh and abdomen with a sharp stick and draws blood, looking at his penis and saying, "Now it hurts here, outside, not in penis. Look, blood. Feels good...? Although he is only three years old, he understands quite well that he is being used as a poison container by his mother to relieve her depression. He says, "Mother twist penis, tight...Hurt inside...Mother angry, hurt Buuktiin's penis. Mother sad, hurt Buuktiin's penis...Mother not like Buuktiin's penis, want to cut off..."
Maternal incest and pederasty by men are quite common in pre-literate groups and were common in earlier historical times. Boys in many New Guinea groups today, for instance, are so traumatized by the early erotic experiences, neglect and assaults on their bodies that they need to prove their masculinity when they grow up and become fierce warriors and cannibals, with a third of them dying in raids and wars. In fact, I have found that rather than the incest taboo being universal--as anthropologists claim--it is incest itself that has been universal for most children in most cultures in most times. A childhood more or less free from adult sexual use is in fact a very late historical achievement, limited to a few fortunate children in a few modern nations. To give you some idea of the extensive evidence I have gathered for such an unlikely conclusion, I would like to begin by summarizing the evidence which exists for the sexual abuse of children around the world today.
THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN TODAY
In America, the most accurate scientific studies, based on lengthy interviews, report that 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women remember having been sexually molested during childhood---defining "molestation" as actual genital contact, not just exposure. About half of these are directly incestuous, with the family members, the other half usually being with others, but with the complicity of caretakers in at least 80 percent of the cases. These experiences of seduction are not just pieced together from fragmentary memories, but are remembered in detail, are usually for an extended period of time and have been confirmed by follow-up reliability studies in 83 percent of the cases, so they are unlikely to have been fantasies. The seductions occurred at much earlier ages than had been previously assumed, with 81 percent occurring before puberty and an astonishing 42 percent under age 7. As high as these molestation rates seem, however, they represent only a portion of the true rates, not only because those interviewed do not include populations that have been shown to have extremely high rates---such as criminals, prostitutes, juveniles in shelters, psychotics, etc.--but also because only conscious memories were counted, and the earliest seductions of children are almost never remembered except during psychotherapy. Adjusting statistically for what is known about these additional factors, I have concluded that the real sexual abuse rate for America is 60 percent for girls and 45 percent for boys, about half of these directly incestuous.
Other Western nations have made fewer careful studies. A recent Canadian study by Gallup of 2,000 adults has produced incidence rates almost exactly the same as those found in the United States. Latin American family sexual activity--particularly widespread pederasty as part of macho sexuality--is considered even more widespread. In England, a recent BBC "ChildWatch" program asked its female listeners--a large though admittedly biased sample--if they remembered sexual molestation, and, of the 2,530 replies analyzed, 83 percent remembered someone touching their genitals, 62 percent recalling actual intercourse. In Germany, the Institut für Kindheit has recently concluded a survey asking West Berlin schoolchildren about their sexual experiences, and 80 percent reported having been molested.
Outside the West, the sexual molestation of children is a routine practice in most families. Childhood in India begins, according to observers, with the child being regularly masturbated by the mother, the girl "to make her sleep well," the boy "to make him manly." The child sleeps in the family bed, witnesses and most likely takes part in sexual intercourse between the parents. The child is often "borrowed" to sleep with other members of the extended household, leading to the Indian proverb that "For a girl to be a virgin at ten years old, she must have neither brothers nor cousin nor father." Childhood is so eroticized that, as one Western observer put it, "The little Hindu girls are deflowered by the little boys with whom they play, and repeat together the erotic lessons which their parents have unwittingly taught them on account of the general promiscuity of family life throughout India. In all the little girls of less than ten years of age the complete hymen is wanting...Incest is often the rule rather than the exception."
Child marriage was, of course, a long-standing Indian practice. When laws were passed in 1929 trying to outlaw it, the government was overwhelmed by men insisting that early marriage was an absolute necessity, since little girls were naturally very sexual and must be married early if they are to be restrained from seducing adults. "Cupid overtakes the hearts of girls...at an early age," they said. "A girl's desire for sexual intercourse is eight times greater than that of males." Indian mothers also often supported early marriage, frankly admitting it was necessary in order to protect their little girls against rape in the family, saying that "they were afraid to leave their daughters at home, even for one afternoon, without a mother's eye and accessible to the men of the family."
The Indian subcontinent, in fact, still has many groups, such as the Baiga, where actual incestuous marriage is practiced, between fathers and daughters, between mothers and sons, between siblings and even between grandparents and their grandchildren--thus disproving the oft-repeated anthropological truism that "no known tribe has ever permitted incest" because if it were allowed society would surely cease functioning. In many of these villages, the children move at the age of 5 or 6 from the incestuous activities of the family bed to spend the rest of their childhood in sex dormitories, where they are initiated by older youth and men into intercourse with a succession of other children, none for longer than three days at a time, under threat of gang rape.
Childhood in China has historically had the same institutionalized rape rituals as in India, including the pederasty of boys, child concubinage, the castration of boys to be used sexually as eunuchs, marriage of young girls to a number of brothers, widespread boy and girl prostitution and the regular sexual use of child servants and slaves. So prevalent was the rape of little girls that Western doctors found that, as in India, few girls entering puberty had intact hymens. Even the universal practice of foot binding was for sexual purposes, with a girl undergoing extremely painful crushing of the bones of her feet for years in order that men could make love to her big toe as a fetish, a penis-substitute.
Childhood in contemporary Japan, although somewhat more Western than that of other Eastern nations, still includes masturbation by mothers "to put them to sleep." Parents often have intercourse with their children in bed with them, and "co-sleeping," with parents physically embracing the child, often continues until the child is ten or fifteen. One recent Japanese study found daughters sleeping with their fathers over 20 percent of the time after age 16. Recent sex surveys report memories of sexual abuse even higher than comparable American studies, and "hot lines" of sexual abuse report mother-son incest in almost a third of the calls, the mother saying to her teenage son, "It's not good to do it alone. Your IQ becomes lower. I will help you, " or "You cannot study if you cannot have sex. You may use my body," or "I don't want you to get into trouble with a girl. Have sex with me instead." Historically, Japan has been one of the most endogamous societies in the world, with incestuous marriages in court circles being approved even in historical times and preferred sibling, cousin, uncle-niece and aunt-nephew marriages having been so extensive that genetics experts have discovered that the incestuous inbreeding has affected the size and health of the Japanese. Even today, there are rural areas in Japan where fathers marry their daughters when the mother has died or is incapacitated, "in accordance with feudal family traditions."
The sexual use of children in the Near East is as widespread as in the Far East. Historically, all the institutionalized forms of pedophilia which were customary in the Far East are documented extensively for the Near East, including child marriage, child concubinage, temple prostitution of both boys and girls, parent-child marriage (among the Zoroastrians), sibling marriage (quite common among Egyptians), sex slavery, ritualized pederasty and child prostitution. Masturbation in infancy is said to be necessary "to increase the size" of the penis, and older siblings are reported to play with the genitals of babies for hours at a time. Mutual masturbation, fellatio and anal intercourse are also said to be common among children, particularly with the older boys using younger children as sex objects. The nude public baths (hammam) are particularly eroticized in many areas, being especially notorious as a place of homosexual acts, both male and female.
Girls are used incestuously even more often than boys, since females are valued so little. One report found 80 percent of Near Eastern women surveyed recalled having been forced into fellatio between the ages of 3 and 6 by older brothers, cousins, uncles and teachers. The girls rarely complain, since "if there is any punishment to be meted out, it will always end up by being inflicted on her." Arab women know that their spouses are pedophiles and prefer having sex with children to having sex with them. Their retribution comes as follows. When the girl is about 6 years old, the women of the house grab her, pull her thighs apart and cut off her clitoris and often also her labia with a razor, thus usually ending her ability to feel sexual pleasure forever. One Egyptian woman relates her memory of how it happened to her. After being used sexually by the men in her family during her early childhood, she says:
I was six years old that night when I lay in my bed, warm and peaceful...I felt something move under the blankets, something like a huge hand...another hand was clapped over my mouth to prevent me from screaming.
They carried me to the bathroom...I remember...a rasping metallic sound which reminded me of the butcher when he used to sharpen his knife...My blood was frozen in my veins...my thighs had been pulled wide apart...I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body.
I screamed with pain despite the tight hand held over my mouth, for the pain was not just a pain, it was like a searing flame that went through my whole body. After a few moments, I saw a red pool of blood around my hips. I did not know what they had cut off from my body, and did not try to find out. I just wept, and called out to my mother for help. But the worst shock of all was when I looked around and found her standing by my side. Yes, it was her, I could not be mistaken, in flesh and blood, right in the midst of these strangers, talking to them and smiling at them.
A recent survey of Egyptian girls and women showed 97 percent of uneducated families and 66 percent of educated families still practiced clitoridectomy. Nor is the practice decreasing--UN reports estimate that more than 74 million females have been mutilated, with "more female children mutilated today than throughout history."
Clitoridectomy, like all sexual mutilations, is, I believe, an act of incest. If it is incest when a father rapes a daughter, it is also incest when parents assault their children by cutting off, sewing up, burning, flaying or gashing their genitals. In all these cases, the child is being used for the sadistic sexual pleasure of the parent. In fact, circumcision ceremonies are often followed by drinking parties that end in intercourse, so sexually arousing is the circumcision---in some areas, the traveling circumcizer is actually accompanied by some prostitutes, who know how sexually excited villages become after the ceremony. Therefore, the practice of sexually mutilating children's genitals---one of the most widespread rituals in the world--by itself makes incest a near-universal trait.
That all social violence--whether by war, revolution or economic exploitation--is ultimately a consequence of child abuse should not surprise us. The propensity to reinflict childhood traumas upon others in socially-approved violence is actually far more able to explain and predict the actual outbreak of wars than the usual economic motivations, and we are likely to continue to undergo our periodic sacrificial rituals of war if the infliction of childhood trauma continues. Clear evidence has been published in The Journal of Psychohistory that the more traumatic one's childhood, the more one is likely to be in favor of military solutions to social problems. Technologically, the human race is now quite able to satisfy its needs--if we can live together without violence. But unless we now employ our social resources toward consciously assisting the evolution of childrearing, we will be doomed to the periodic destruction of our resources, both material and human. To Selma Freiberg's dicta that "Trauma demands repetition" I would only add "repetition in social behavior." We cannot be content to only continue to do endless repair work on damaged adults, with more jails and police and therapists and political movements. Our task now must be to create an entirely new profession of "child helpers" who can reach out to every new child born on earth and help its parents give it love and independence.
Such a parent outreach movement is already under way in a few cities, and special issues of The Journal of Psychohistory have been published to document its operation. A special issue on "Changing Childhood" is the most recent to be published, showing the success of parent outreach projects in several states. The success of parenting centers such as the one pioneered in Boulder, Colorado, for instance, has been astonishing. Through parenting classes and home visiting by paraprofessionals, they have measurably reduced child abuse, as shown by careful followup studies and by reduced police reports and hospital entrance rates. All this has been accomplished with very small monetary outlays, since these parent outreach centers operate mainly with volunteer labor, while it has the potential to save trillions of dollars annually in the costs of social violence, police enforcement, jails and other consequences of the widespread child abuse of today.
Such a parent support movement would resemble the universal education movement of over a century ago. People then objected to providing universal education, by saying, "Well, yes, perhaps free education is useful for all children--but that would require hiring millions of teachers. How can we afford it?" We, too, admit that we will eventually need millions of parent helpers to teach parents how to bring up children and produce non-violent adults. But the teaching of parenting is just the unfinished half--the most important half--of the free education movement of the past, with its goal the empowerment of children to realize their innate capacities for love and work.
Changing childhood is a communal task. And it works. In 1979, Sweden passed a law saying that hitting children was as unlawful as hitting adults! Imagine the audacity! Children were people, just like adults! Parents who hit their children weren't put into jail--that would just deprive the children of their caretakers. But the parents were taught how to bring up children without hitting them. And at the same time, high school students were taught how to bring up children without violence. By now, 20 years later, these high school students have their own children, and...surprise! They don't hit them! To those who object to the cost of communities helping all parents, we can only reply: Can we afford not to teach parenting? What more important task can we devote our resources to? Do we really want to have massive armies and jails and emotionally crippled adults forever? Must each generation continue to torture and neglect its children so they repeat the violence and economic exploitation of previous generations? Why not achieve meaningful political and social revolution by first achieving a parenting revolution? If war, social violence, class domination and economic destruction of wealth are really revenge rituals for childhood trauma, how else can we remove the source of these rituals? How else end child abuse and neglect? How else increase the real wealth of nations, our next generation? How else achieve a world of love and laughter of which we are truly capable?
Child Abuse: Statistics, Research, and Resources for Recovery http://www.jimhopper.com/abstats/
(...) The report includes the following overview statistics (section II. B., pp. 9-10, with references to specific studies provided for each): Almost 53,000 children died worldwide in 2002 as a result of homicide. Up to 80 to 98% of children suffer physical punishment in their homes, with a third or more experiencing severe physical punishment resulting from the use of implements. 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence during 2002. Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world have undergone some form of female genital mutilation/cutting. In sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt and the Sudan, 3 million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting every year. In 2004, 218 million children were involved in child labour, of whom 126 million were in hazardous work. Estimates from 2000 suggest that 1.8 million children were forced into prostitution and pornography, and 1.2 million were victims of trafficking.
(...) "Surveys of child sexual abuse in large nonclinical populations of adults have been conducted in at least 19 countries in addition to the United States and Canada, including 10 national probability samples. All studies have found rates in line with comparable North American research, ranging from 7% to 36% for women and 3% to 29% for men. Most studies found females to be abused at 1.5 to 3 times the rate for males. Few comparisons among countries are possible because of methodological and definitional differences. However, they clearly confirm sexual abuse to be an international problem."
World Day for the Prevention of Child AbuseCreating a culture of prevention http://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/resources/spotlight/112006_child_abuse_prevention.cfm
Abuse of children and adolescents is a complex international problem that seems to defy simple analysis and easy answers. To understand child abuse and exploitation, and to make an impact on the outcomes of these children, the NICHD is joining the American Psychological Association in marking the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse on November 19.The World Day, initiated by the Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF) in 2000, aims to create a culture of prevention around the world by encouraging governments and community/society organizations to play more active roles in protecting children. To focus attention on this difficult problem, the partners in World Day host activities to increase awareness and education about child abuse and violence toward children, to promote respect for the Rights of the Child, and to make preventing child abuse a top priority. CLIP
Researches and studies reveal the statistic of child abuse. The menace has devastating effects which are disturbing and compelling to introspect ourselves
Every year, millions of children across the world are becoming innocent helpless targets of atrocities. They are the sufferers of ill-treatment, exploitation, and brutality. They are part of human trafficking to induce into prostitution rackets. In terror prone regions, they are kidnapped from their homes and schools and their innocent childhood is forced into the army to witness the brunt of cruelty. They are enforced into debt repression or other kinds of slavery.
The consequences of child abuse are overwhelmingly disturbing! It denies a child its basic right-education. While violence and abuse pose a threat to their life, it also offers more devastating adverse effects on their mental and physical health. Often it leads to homelessness, resulting in increased number of cases of vagrancy giving birth to a feeling of depression. To worsen the scenario, these victims are more likely to abuse their own children in future, thanks to the deep impact on their mind! And the cycle will continue for ever!!
Though the agony and the plight of these children remain suppressed in silence, the brunt of their exploitation is very real. Although, the whole world is morally fuming at the abuse children endure. Yet, protection laws against child abuse commonly meet with confrontation at all strata of society. The reason behind this is simple. Most forms of Child abuse take place in private and are linked with crime and corruption. It is simply observed as "secretly endured and openly denied".
Several international standards and laws have been created and enforced for protection of child from abuse. However, massive loop holes are still there in their practical implementation. The situation has sadly remained status quo. Of late, UNICEF has identified and concentrated its focus on six special conditions in which children get abused.
Forced or Bonded Labor
International Labor Organization (ILO) has carried a survey that revealed a shocking statistic. An estimated 300 million children are exploited regularly as child labor. To worsen the fact, around 200 million children are compelled to work in perilous environments with least safety norms like mines or factories, or in the vicinity of dangerous substances such as chemicals and agricultural pesticides. There are some 6 million children working under particularly terrible conditions, including the virtual slavery of bonded labor.
The use of children as a service for the purpose of cheap labor or sex has become a rewarding trade around the world since ages. Every year, an estimated 1.2 million children are illegally trafficked for these heinous purposes. It is difficult to identify and locate as it is associated with isolated, underground activity like other forms of criminal activity. It is also related with the poverty of parents and often they are not aware of its hazards, believing that their children might have the chance for a better life outside their own poverty ridden lives. Frequently, trafficked children are detained and treated as unlawful aliens. In Asia and Eastern Europe, young girls from the age of 12 are trafficked in western Asia as 'potential brides' to satisfy the lures of few. Many girls are lured and then compelled to work in flesh industry every coming day.
Although it is hard to enumerate, around 1 million children including significant number of boys are exploited every year in the multibillion-dollar flesh trade. Commercial sexual abuse of children is often initiated and encouraged by local elements. Statistically, sexual tourism plays very minor role, contrary to the earlier perception. However, The Internet is emerging as the potential stimulator to promote child pornography globally and this has become a cause of concern. Studies have revealed that children are most often sexually abused by their closed ones.
Children who are used as soldiers
Reports of UNICEF studies have shown that around 2 million children have died as a direct result of war, armed conflict over the last decade. At least 6 million children are suffering from serious injuries or they are permanently disabled. At present, over 300,000 child soldiers, some as young as eight, are exploited in armed conflicts in more than 30 countries around the world.
Separation from parents
They are deprived of their primary means of protection. This category includes children who have lost their parents or care takers temporary or permanently due to varied reasons like outcome of war, orphanage, boarding schools, and psychiatric units. Separation from parents and family is usually detrimental factor to the overall physical and mental development of a child. In addition, induction in such institutions is quite risky. Involuntary separation from both family and community protection, greatly increases a child's risk of exposure to violence, physical abuse and even death.
From schools to homes, various forms of punishments and torture are a common thing to locate. It occurs in every strata of community. The results are more disturbing. They carry this pain and burnt throughout their life. This type also carries the risk of life in certain cases along with permanent injuries.
Child Abuse is a curse, a menace ever happened to humanity. Let us join hands to curb this
Wow - $400,000 donated in the last two days! If enough of us come together, we can stop this horror. Read below and join the fight:
Amita was a sweet 9 year old girl who loved her family. One day, she was kidnapped, taken to a city far away and put in a cage. She was forced to have sex with dozens of men per day, and brutally beaten when she cried or refused. 5 terror-filled years later, suffering from sexually transmitted disease, she died from a beating at age 14.
Amita's story is about the worst nightmare imaginable, but millions of women and girls are traded for rape every year -- one of the most evil problems in our world today. The best way to tackle it is to expose the rape traders and kill their profits. In January Avaaz members voted to make this a top priority this year, so we're beginning work across the world with expert teams, local campaigners and investigators to shut down these brutal and shadowy businesses.
Every minute this problem continues is too long. We can't bring Amita back, but every minute, two more Amitas are sold into horror. Let's stop it now -- click to donate:
In the annual Avaaz poll, almost 90% of our community voted for tackling the rape trade as a top campaigning priority for 2010. Here are the actions we are developing:
* Supporting a team of expert sting operators to pose as sex customers, working with local law enforcement to expose the rape trade one location at a time, breaking trafficking rings, freeing the women and girls and hurting the profits of the rape traders.
* Publicly shaming complicit officials and politicians in countries where official corruption is part of the rape trade. The ads would name and shame individuals and campaign for their removal and reform.
* Running a global day of action outside slave houses - exposing locations across the world where trade victims are being sold and raped This shocking violence is often going on just down the road from our homes and schools.
* Lobbying elected leaders to make this issue a priority and use the full resources of our governments to stop it, including passing better legislation to protect and provide for the women caught in the rape trade.
* Partnering with sex work activists, who have deep understanding of the business, to expose the violence and take on the traffickers.
* Tracking key trade routes and blocking ships carrying kidnapped girls and women in key transit ports.
* Going after rape traders directly by publicly exposing them with WANTED billboards in their communities.
Avaaz emails like this one have generated millions for other causes like Burma, climate change and Haiti. That's what it will take to stop this trade. It's not about how much we give, but how many of us do. Right now, a girl's life is being transformed into an unimaginable horror, and we can do something to stop it:
The conditions under which the United States will use nuclear weapons, even for self-defence, will be dramatically narrowed in America's re-written nuclear policy, which President Obama will unveil today.
In an interview with the New York Times before the White House reveals the revamped strategy, Mr Obama said an exception would be made for "outliers like Iran and North Korea" that have violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But in a striking departure from the position taken by his predecessors, he said the US would explicitly commit for the first time to not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that adher to the nuclear treaty even if they attack with biological or chemical weapons.
After a review of the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal that has involved, among others, the Pentagon, the Department of Energy and the intelligence services, as well as the White House, Mr Obama's much anticipated policy revamp comes as he prepares to fly to Prague on Thursday to sign the landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with President Medvedev of Russia.
The Obama Administration has come under pressure from arms control analysts to redefine the circumstances in which the US might consider using nuclear weapons, and to state beyond doubt that the justification for keeping them is purely as a deterrent.
In the interview, he stopped short of the hoped-for blanket declaration that the US would never be the first to use nuclear weapons - no first-use, as it is called. Arguing instead for a slower course of action, he said: "We are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons, to make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances."
But he went further than expected in other areas, saying that the new strategy would renounce the development of any new nuclear weapons to set an example for moving the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete.
He said threats such as biological or chemical attacks could be deterred with "a series of graded options," a combination of old and newly designed conventional weapons. "I'm going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure," he said in the interview, which took place in the Oval Office.
Asked asbout the threats posed by Iran and North Korea, Mr Obama said he was convinced the course Iran was on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities, and added that it was clear that North Korea had moved from being simply a nuclear capable state to being a self-professed nuclear states.
"Rather than splitting hairs on this, I think that the international community has a strong sense of what it means to pursue civilian nuclear energy for peaceful purposes versus a weaponizing capability," he said.
He also said he hoped to use the treaty signing with Russia as a stepping stone toward more ambitious reductions in nuclear arsenals.
"We are going to pursue opportunities for further reductions in our nuclear posture, working in tandem with Russia but also working in tandem with NATO as a whole," he said.
Iran says US nukes endanger intl. community (9 Apr 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122854§ionid=351020101
Tehran says the controversial declaration by the Obama administration, which gives Washington the green light to use nuclear weapons against certain countries, is a step in the wrong direction. Earlier in the week, US President Barack Obama unveiled the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a 22,000-word policy document under which the United States promises not to use nuclear weapons against states that do not possess nuclear warhead, but excludes Iran. The NPR has provoked a tidal wave of criticism and condemnation in Iran, which has been a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1968, and yet was excluded from the list of non-atomic states that the use of US nukes is banned against. In a statement released on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Washington as the possessor of "one of the largest atomic arsenals in the world has put the international community at danger. Moreover, threatening other state with these weapons has escalated insecurity in the international community." The United States is the first country to use these weapons and has perished hundreds of thousands of live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki [during the final days of World War II]," said the statement. The Iranian foreign minister called on the US to set a deadline for a complete nuclear disarmament. Mottaki further added that the bedrock of Washington's new nuclear policy, which allows the application of nukes in some cases, is clearly an extension to the doctrines of the previous administrations and in fact defies US disarmament commitments under article VI of the NPT. "Reassurances that the US will not use its nuclear weapons [against some countries] are not enough for states that have been repeatedly subjected to double standards and the deceitful policies of US officials," said the Iranian foreign minister in the statement.
Obama and Medvedev seal the deal on nuclear arms by phone (March 27, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7078003.ece
It took no more than 15 minutes yesterday for President Obama and President Medvedev to agree on the final wording of a treaty that will lead to significant cuts in American and Russian strategic nuclear warheads. The hard work had already been carried out by US and Russian negotiators in Geneva, but the two leaders spoke to each other on the telephone briefly to seal the agreement that will cut nuclear arsenals on each side to 1,550 warheads - down from 2,200 - and reduce stockpiles of missiles and launch systems. Within minutes of Mr Obama making an announcement at the White House, Moscow claimed that the treaty would establish a legally binding link between strategic weapons and missile defence systems, hinting that it might impose restrictions on America's anti-missile programme, which the Russians oppose. However, Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, who attended the announcement ceremony at the White House yesterday, insisted that the treaty would not prevent the US from "improving and deploying" missile defence systems in Europe and elsewhere. The deal, to be signed by Mr Obama and Mr Medvedev in Prague on April 8, marks the American President's most significant foreign policy achievement since taking office. CLIP
Mistrust between Russia and America: New START Seen Facing Political, Technical Challenges in Russia (April 2, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18454
(...) Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved the final terms of a follow-on agreement to the 1991 arms control agreement. The new accord requires the former Cold War adversaries to lower their respective strategic arsenals to 1,550 deployed warheads (see GSN, March 26). That represents a nearly 30 percent reduction from a 2,200-weapon limit the states were to meet by the end of 2012 under the 2002 Moscow Treaty. Some experts, though, have questioned the size of the cut because of an apparent loophole that would count a nuclear bomber as a single warhead despite each aircraft's ability to carry multiple weapons (see GSN, March 31). Both countries would also cap their deployed nuclear delivery vehicles -- missiles, submarines and bombers -- at 700, with another 100 held in reserve. Obama and Medvedev are slated to sign the new accord April 8 in Prague, but there has already been significant debate on whether the administration can muster the required 67 votes needed for ratification in the U.S. Senate. That process could prove difficult, with Republicans opposed to any language that would constrict the U.S. missile defense activities and possibly looking to link support for the treaty to updates to the nation's nuclear arsenal. In addition, work must still be finished on the technical annexes to the compact that lay out details of inspection and verification regimes, Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, told reporters this week (see GSN, March 30). "It is clear that the signing of the Prague agreement will only be the first in a very long series of steps that the entire governments of the United States and Russia -- not just their presidents -- will have to take if they are to move further along the 'road to zero' [nuclear weapons] and to improve U.S.-Russian strategic relations," according to Miles Pomper, a senior research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who attended the Carnegie event. Yesterday, Arbatov said the main argument against the new treaty in Moscow is that it would not place limits on U.S. ballistic missile defenses while instituting stringent restrictions on Russia strategic forces for at least the next 10 years. CLIP
U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent (April 8, 2010)
THE PENTAGON JUST DOESN'T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704920.html
As the White House pushes for cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon is developing a weapon to help fill the gap: missiles armed with conventional warheads that could strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour. U.S. military officials say the intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Prompt Global Strike weapons, are a necessary new form of deterrence against terrorist networks and other adversaries. As envisioned, the conventional missiles would give the White House a fresh military option to consider in a crisis that would not result in a radioactive mushroom cloud. The Prompt Global Strike program, which the Pentagon has been developing for several years, is already raising hackles in Moscow, where Russian officials predict it could trigger a nonnuclear arms race and complicate President Obama's long-term vision of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. U.S. military officials are also struggling to solve a separate major obstacle: the risk that Russia or China could mistake the launch of a conventional Prompt Global Strike missile for a nuclear one."World states will hardly accept a situation in which nuclear weapons disappear, but weapons that are no less destabilizing emerge in the hands of certain members of the international community," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Tuesday in Moscow. CLIP
Globa Zero - A World Without Nuclear Weapons http://www.globalzero.org/
ADD YOUR VOICE! Let's seize this historic moment. Join us in the effort to eliminate nuclear weapons globally.
Thumbs Up for bender Nuclear Documentary http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1004/thumbs_up_for_bender_nuclear_doc.html
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently viewed producer Lawrence Benders latest documentary, Countdown to Zero, she gave it two thumbs up. Bender who produced Good Will Hunting and many, many films by Quentin Tarantino, among other projects predicts this documentary, about the nuclear arms race, will be as big as his Oscar-winning film about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.I think it has that kind of capability, he says. If the movie is a success, the issue will pop.Only Bender could go from Inglourious Basterds to talking about nuclear war.Its terrifying, he told POLITICO of his subject. Basically, its about the urgent threat posed by proliferation, terrorism and the actual use of nuclear weapons. Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev and many CIA folks all have turns on the screen.Its [educating] people on a subject matter that most of us didnt know was an issue, Bender says. Most people when they see the movie, they say they had no idea that this was part of their life. This is the legacy of the generation before them.If the threat of nuclear disaster is so terrifying, how does he sleep at night?Bender laughs. Well, I sleep at night because I know I'm trying to do something about it I think thats the only way.
Demand Zero - Get involved on this issue through this website! http://www.takepart.com/countdowntozero
When the Iron Curtain fell, the bomb became a symbol of another era. But in recent years, the threat of nuclear proliferation has grown more urgent, and the political will to eliminate nuclear weapons is greater than ever. The Social Action Campaign for Countdown to Zero will provide the tools and actions for becoming part of the global movement to demand total nuclear disarmament.
Countdown to Zero http://sundance.bside.com/2010/films/countdowntozero_sundance2010
During the cold war, public consciousness fixated on the atomic bomb. Then the cold war ended, and we retreated into denial. In fact, the danger of nuclear annihilation never disappeared; it only swelled. Countdown to Zero sweeps us into a scorching, hypnotic journey around the world to reveal the palpable possibility of nuclear disaster and frame an issue on which human survival itself hangs.Scientists, world leaders, and security expertsincluding Valerie Plame herselfexpose the absurdities and alarming realities of the situation. The 1990s heralded a second nuclear age. Many countries and terrorist groups are now actively acquiring fissile materials and construction blueprints. The possibility of an accident or miscalculation looms even larger. As the film projects a startling vision, interviews with Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, and Pervez Musharraf yield a unified message: our only option is to eradicate every-last nuclear missile. Luckily for us, getting to zero is possiblestep by step. Lets jump-start the change. - And in the REVIEWS: "I would argue this movie has the potential to be the next Inconvenient Truth. Very impressive list of interviewees. Broad in focus yet still clear and crystalized." -- "A very informative and clever view of the abysmal nuclear weapon situation that the world has entrenched itself in over the years. The director provides an insightful view of the potential effects of nuclear war and presents a plausible resolution to the problem."
Russia stresses importance of creating Global Zero - Lavrov http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=14991926&PageNum=0
MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia and the United States have long fulfilled and overfulfilled the tasks of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) of 1991 and the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT). He also noted that the main principle of the talks preceding the signing of the START between Russia and the United States was the equal and indivisible security of the sides, the minister stated on Tuesday. According to him, the attained balance of interests determines the strategic stability balance. Everybody will benefit from predictability, Lavrov stressed.Russia considers important to achieve the goal of Global Zero, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.This idea will be fixed in the preamble to the Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty.We consider it very important to create a world free from nuclear weapons, he said. However, he stressed that it is impossible to move towards this goal in the vacuum abstracting away from what is happening in the sphere of security. Lavrov noted that the emergence of weapons in space in the future can be such a threat to the global security. A second factor of destabilization is the build-up of non-nuclear strategic offensive arms, the diplomat said.
Depleted Uranium Radiation resulting from NATO Bombings in Serbia : High Incidence of Cancer (2010-03-23) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18432
A leading Serbian expert in the field says the NATO's use of depleted uranium ammunition in it's aggression on Serbia has caused enormous increase in cancer rates and number of newborns with genetic malformations. Silent killer"Depleted uranium is not only radioactive, it is very toxic as well," says doctor Radomir Kovacevic, an expert of the Institute for radiology protection "Dr. Dragomir Karajovic" in Belgrade. In an interview for VJ Movement, he explains "Primary it is nephrotoxic, so it affects kidneys, then liver and spleen. Actually, the whole organism is affected from the aspect of toxicity, it is poisoned." Four studies conducted so far, on both civilians and those who worked on the spots'decontamination, have shown that the DU exposure causes typical and specific changes on genetic material." DNA molecule is very sensitive on aggression - in this case it is radioactivity. Experimental oncology has shown 18 years ago that in the etiopathogenesis of malignity precedes one genotoxic stadium and that is exactly what is visible on those chromosomes," tells doctor Kovacevic, stating that the information obtained so far is enough to link the DU contamination to increase in cancer rates. Threat to newborn lives - In Vranje area, which is surrounded by four known DU contaminated locations, there has been an enormous increase in cancer rates and number of newborns with genetic malformations. "In 1998, 21 children have been born with deformities. In 2008 there were 73," says Nela Cvetkovic, a Member of the Vranje City Council, in a statement for VJM. The number of newborn didn't change, it is about 800-1000 babies per year. At the same time, in a six year period after the NATO bombing a number of newly registered cancer cases has more than doubled - from 185 in the year 2000 to 398 new diagnosis in 2006. Permanent consequences - "The half-life of uranium 238 is very long - 4,5 billion years," reminds nuclear physicist Miroslav Simic, stating that "this way of throwing away the nuclear waste on civil, but also military targets, is not human as the consequences are permanent." Traces of uranium 236 and some plutonium isotopes found on bombed locations suggest that at least a part of the material in the projectiles had originated from reprocessing nuclear fuel. "Plutonium is one million times more toxic than uranium," says Mr Simic in an interview for VJM, and explains that "one particle of plutonium which would enter a human body is enough to cause fatal consequences". At the same time in Kosovo, doctor Nebojsa Srbljak, who researches the health consequences of the bombing on civil population, accuses NATO of using so-called dirty bombs. "We first started researching when we found traces of Iodine 131 in the tissue extracted from one patient," he says, adding that Iodine 131, also known as radio iodine, is well known as a major factor in health consequences of nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. Price for Kosovo independence - In Kosovo, none of more than a hundred known DU contaminated locations has been cleaned. Foreign personnel has been warned to stay clear of those areas unless with full radiological protective clothing. But no one warned civilians. "We, the doctors know what it is, politicians are silent to please their mentors. But the people are in the worst position as there are new cancer cases among young persons every day," says doctor Srbljak, adding that the data on health statistics of Albanian population is completely unavailable.
The United States takes the matter of three-headed babies very seriously (2010-04-06) http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/51247
The BBC reported last month that doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the United States during its fierce onslaughts of 2004 and subsequently, which left much of the city in ruins. "It was like an earthquake," a local engineer who was running for a national assembly seat told the Washington Post in 2005. "After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah." Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.The BBC correspondent also saw children in the city who were suffering from paralysis or brain damage, and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads. He added that he heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children. One doctor in the city had compared data about birth defects from before 2003 when she saw about one case every two months with the situation now, when she saw cases every day. "I've seen footage of babies born with an eye in the middle of the forehead, the nose on the forehead," she said. A spokesman for the US military, Michael Kilpatrick, said it always took public health concerns "very seriously", but that "No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues." 1One could fill many large volumes with the details of the environmental and human horrors the United States has brought to Fallujah and other parts of Iraq during seven years of using white phosphorous shells, depleted uranium, napalm, cluster bombs, neutron bombs, laser weapons, weapons using directed energy, weapons using high-powered microwave technology, and other marvelous inventions in the Pentagon's science-fiction arsenal ... the list of abominations and grotesque ways of dying is long, the wanton cruelty of American policy shocking. In November 2004, the US military targeted a Fallujah hospital "because the American military believed that it was the source of rumors about heavy casualties." 2 That's on a par with the classic line from the equally glorious American war in Vietnam: "We had to destroy the city to save it."How can the world deal with such inhumane behavior? (And the above of course scarcely scratches the surface of the US international record.) For this the International Criminal Court (ICC) was founded in Rome in 1998 (entering into force July 1, 2002) under the aegis of the United Nations. The Court was established in The Hague, Netherlands to investigate and indict individuals, not states, for "The crime of genocide; Crimes against humanity; War crimes; or The crime of aggression." (Article 5 of the Rome Statute) From the very beginning, the United States was opposed to joining the ICC, and has never ratified it, because of the alleged danger of the Court using its powers to "frivolously" indict Americans. CLIP
The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa (April 7, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18540
(...) The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives. From the outset of the Rwandan civil war in 1990, Washington's hidden agenda consisted in establishing an American sphere of influence in a region historically dominated by France and Belgium. America's design was to displace France by supporting the Rwandan Patriotic Front and by arming and equipping its military arm, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) (...) The civil war in Rwanda was a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led Habyarimana government supported by France and the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) backed financially and militarily by Washington. Ethnic rivalries were used deliberately in the pursuit of geopolitical objectives. Both the CIA and French intelligence were involved. In the words of former Cooperation Minister Bernard Debré in the government of Prime Minister Henri Balladur: "What one forgets to say is that, if France was on one side, the Americans were on the other, arming the Tutsis who armed the Ugandans. I don't want to portray a showdown between the French and the Anglo-Saxons, but the truth must be told."(...) The decision of Paul Kagame to shoot Pres. Habyarimana's aircraft was the catalyst of an unprecedented drama in Rwandan history, and Major-General Paul Kagame took that decision with all awareness. Kagame's ambition caused the extermination of all of our families: Tutsis, Hutus and Twas. We all lost. Kagame's take-over took away the lives of a large number of Tutsis and caused the unnecessary exodus of millions of Hutus, many of whom were innocent under the hands of the genocide ringleaders. Some naive Rwandans proclaimed Kagame as their savior, but time has demonstrated that it was he who caused our suffering and misfortunes... Can Kagame explain to the Rwandan people why he sent Claude Dusaidi and Charles Muligande to New York and Washington to stop the UN military intervention which was supposed to be sent and protect the Rwandan people from the genocide? The reason behind avoiding that military intervention was to allow the RPF leadership the takeover of the Kigali Government and to show the world that they - the RPF - were the ones who stopped the genocide. CLIP
War Games: Israel gets ready to Strike at Iran's Nuclear Sites (March 29, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18380
Israeli air force have practiced simulated strikes at Iran's nuclear facilities using airspace of at least two unidentified Arab countries, a newspaper published in east Jerusalem reported. According to Al Manar paper, several Israeli combat jets carried out in late February bombing drills "targeting" known Iranian nuclear sites "in two Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, which are close territorially with the Islamic republic and cooperate with Israel on this issue." Al Manar said Israel had received the permission to use the airspace from the top leadership of these countries and Washington "gave a blessing" to Tel Aviv to conduct these exercises. Despite broad international efforts to persuade Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment, both the United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. Iran, which is currently under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity, while Western powers suspect it of pursuing an atomic weapons program. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently called for the international community to impose a new set of 'crippling' sanctions on Iran to make the Islamic republic scrap its controversial nuclear program.
It is 72 pages long and filled with arcane deterrence language, but there's arguably no more important document in the world right now than the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that President Obama released on Tuesday. After all, the text spells out how many nuclear weapons the U.S. will continue to deploy around the world and the conditions under which it would be prepared to use those weapons - no small thing considering that its arsenal is big enough to threaten the survival of the species. Here are five ways in which Obama has shifted - or not shifted - U.S. nuclear policy from the George W. Bush years.
1. It's still MAD
In a historic speech in Prague last April, Obama pledged to "end Cold War thinking." Yet the U.S. still has a cache of land- and sea-based missiles and long-range bombers. The reason? The idea of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is still central to America's nuclear standoff with Russia. With thousands of weapons ready to launch at a moment's notice and with both sides retaining the option to "launch on warning" of an incoming attack, Obama said during the presidential campaign that the U.S. was unnecessarily exposing itself to accidental nuclear war, in the event of faulty radar alerts or computer glitches. (Long-range missiles do not have a self-destruct button and cannot be rerouted mid-flight.) While it is highly unlikely that the U.S. and Russia would ever intentionally engage in nuclear war, the NPR does nothing to carry out Obama's pledge to lessen the chance of accidental nuclear war by taking U.S. missiles off hair-trigger alert.
2. The U.S. won't start a nuclear war (against friendly nations at least)
The NPR says the U.S. would not threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states - as long as they are not seen to be developing nuclear weapons. This is both a carrot and a stick for countries with suspected weapons aspirations such as Iran and Syria, as well as those with confirmed nuclear programs, like North Korea. The carrot? A guarantee of security if they fall in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The stick? The possibility, however remote, of nuclear war if they don't. In an interview before the NPR's release, Obama said that, in a change from the past, the U.S. would no longer threaten nuclear war in retaliation for a biological- or chemical-weapons attack. But look closely at the text, says Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, which monitors nuclear weapons policies, and you'll see that's not quite true. For instance, the document states that there "remains a narrow range of contingencies in which U.S. nuclear weapons may still play a role in deterring a conventional, chemical or biological attack against the U.S. or its allies." Says Kristensen: "Basically, there is no restriction on how the U.S. can use its weapons in this document."
3. The U.S. won't develop new nuclear weapons - maybe
Last December, Senate Republicans sent a letter to Obama saying they would fight the ratification of arms-control treaties unless the President guaranteed the longevity of aging U.S. nuclear weapons - code for building new nukes. In interviews this week, Administration officials said they would not develop new weapons. But, says Stephen I. Schwartz, a nonproliferation expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, that depends on how you define new. The document states that a warhead introduced into the stockpile will not be considered new if it is based on a previously tested - but never deployed - design. "The United States conducted 1,030 nuclear weapons tests from 1946 to 1992," he says. "We developed and deployed 65 warhead types. Another 25 types were tested but canceled before production. Some of those 25 nukes are presumably now available for revival."
4. There's still a deterrent against nuclear terrorism
The NPR keeps in place an ambiguous declaration from the Bush years that the U.S. "will hold fully accountable" any state that "supports or enables" terrorists in their mission to use weapons of mass destruction. That implies that the U.S. would use nuclear weapons against any state that gave a nuclear weapon or weapons-grade material to terrorists. Some nuclear terrorism experts - most noticeably Graham Allison of Harvard University - had hoped the U.S. would go further and threaten nuclear war against any nation from which terrorists had obtained nuclear material - even if it was stolen. This, Allison said, would give urgency to the task of securing weapons and weapons-grade material. But there are obvious problems with that. Would the U.S. really bomb Russia if terrorists stole material from a factory there? With a nuclear security summit planned for next week in Washington aimed at reaching international agreement on efforts to secure vulnerable fissile materials, Obama obviously felt it more sensible to focus on intentional transfers rather than the potential for stolen weapons.
5. Belgium, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands remain de facto nuclear powers
Yes, that's right. The mighty Belgian air force is nuclear-armed. Although none of the four countries have their own nuclear weapons, there are an estimated 200 B-61 thermonuclear-gravity bombs scattered across their land. And under a NATO agreement that was struck during the Cold War, the bombs, which are owned by the U.S., can be transferred to the control of a host nation's air force in times of conflict. The NPR declares that these weapons "contribute to Alliance cohesion and provide reassurance to allies." Again, that's arguable: a 2006 poll found that almost 70% of people in the four countries want the U.S. nukes withdrawn, and many non-nuclear states say the weapons violate a clause in the NPT that prevents nuclear powers from arming allies. But while retention of "nuclear-burden sharing" may cause Obama problems internationally, it is part of a raft of compromises in the review meant to appease critics in the Senate, who may be needed to ratify international arms-control treaties, according to George Perkovich, director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Senate ratification is required to take even some of the earliest, easiest steps on the long road toward global nuclear disarmament," he says. "Obama could have offered a righteous posture review - but then had nothing concrete to show for it in terms of actual treaties."
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Can We Achieve a World Without Wars
Mayors for Peace - World without Wars - 2010-04-05
May 2010 sees once again the 5-yearly review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty taking place in New York. It is now 40 years ago since this treaty came into force and although currently there are 189 party states to the treaty, India, Pakistan and Israel are non-signatories and North Korea, first ratified, later violated and finally withdrew from the treaty in 2003.
The treaty is frequently talked of in terms of its 3 pillars of: disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear technology as if all had equal importance whereas the treaty was designed for non-proliferation. The treaty also gives special recognition to the 5 nuclear weapon states somehow giving them the right to have these weapons.
In 1996, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion ruling that the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons would violate various articles of international law, including the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, the UN Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the light of the above, World without Wars and without Violence:
1 - Denounces the hypocrisy of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council who believe they have some kind of inalienable right to possess nuclear weapons and who since the end of the Cold War have made little or no attempts to fulfill their obligations to disarm under article 6 of the treaty.
2 - In particular denounces the USA and her allies who threaten countries they declare as rogue states with war and the use of nuclear weapons.
3 - Denounces Pakistan, India and North Korea for spending billions of dollars of their countries meager income on developing nuclear technology at the expense of the suffering of their peoples.
4 - Denounces Israel for destabilizing the whole of the Middle East region by possessing nuclear weapons, and denounces the US for having supplied them the knowledge to develop them in violation of article 1 of the treaty.
5 - Denounces NATO countries for deploying US nuclear weapons on foreign soil in violation of articles 1 and 2 of the treaty.
In addition, World without Wars and without Violence:
1 - Declares the NPT to be a failed treaty, having failed to produce the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation required by the planets population.
2 - Calls on all States to start immediate negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, making the failed NPT redundant.
3 - Calls on those NATO countries that host US nuclear weapons to have them returned.
4 - Pledges to work side by side with all other organizations working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons who share the methodology of nonviolence and non-discrimination.
5 - Calls on the people of the planet to join in massive mobilizations between the 1st of May and the 9th of May 2010 to raise awareness of the NPT conference in the worlds media and to pressure their national politicians and diplomats to work in the conference in New York with a real willingness to negotiate in good faith to finally do what public opinion demands and that is: to disarm now. This message was vividly manifested during October 2nd 2009 and January 2nd 2010 when in 100 countries the World March for Peace and Nonviolence took the message of disarmament around the world.
There have been wars throughout human history. But today, as technological advances let those who are violent develop weapons that are ever more destructive, the stakes have risen to a critical point. The nuclear threat has brought humanity to the brink of the abyss.
Military spending absorbs budgets that should go toward education, health, culture and improving life. Wars and the arms buildup hurt our economies. Yet the arms industry makes sure this situation will continue. Hiding their greed behind theories that war is inevitable, necessary, and even a ray of sunshine, they pressure governments and influence society to keep conflicts alive. And the world keeps buying, using, and experimenting with the weapons they build.
Today, at the beginning of the third millennium, instead of peace, conflicts of all kinds economic, ethnic, and religious are on the rise. The same is true of terrorism. Whats more, violence in civil society has reached a level unimaginable only a few years ago, and is still increasing. All this should come as no surprise, since competition and domination are the driving social values everywhere. If we do not change direction, the future holds nothing but larger and more violent conflicts in every arena, all over the world.
It has been amply demonstrated that with only 10 percent of what is spent on arms we can end world hunger. Imagine if 30-50 percent of the arms budget went to improve peoples lives instead of destruction.
Of course, after centuries of violence its hard to imagine peace. But why not work in that direction? Why not dare to launch a new intention, one that will change the direction of human history and open a truly peaceful and non-violent future?
We are convinced that this is our responsibility as human beings. Given the direction things are moving in the world today, taking a stand against war is meaningful, ethical, coherent and urgent.
We freely take this responsibility. We carry it forward together with all who reject violence and choose coexistence, shared development, real democracy, technology at the service of science, and science at the service of peace and the human being.
It is our task to denounce, isolate and pressure the violent few so that they redirect their warlike policies in favor of human development..
A world without wars is something previously unknown on the planet Earth. Eliminating wars means leaving human pre-history behind and taking a giant step forward in the evolution of our species.
A World Without Wars is a proposal that opens the future and seeks to become reality in every corner of the planet, as violence gives way to dialog.
We are accompanied in this aspiration by the voices of the thousands of war-ravaged generations that came before us. The echo of their voices still resounds throughout the world, wherever armed conflict leaves its sinister memorial to the dead, missing, disabled and displaced.
The moment has come for the voiceless to be heard! Out of anguished and urgent need, millions of human beings are crying out for an end to war and violence. We can bring an end to violence by uniting all the forces of pacifism and active nonviolence worldwide.
We call on individuals, representatives, and members of organizations of all kinds -- institutions, collectives, groups, political parties, and businesses -- to join and support this great World March for Peace and Nonviolence. We invite everyone to work in their own area, joining together in platforms, action fronts and forums, to generate a great movement to end war and violence of all kinds on the Earth.
Let us work together today to guarantee a better future and safeguard the generations yet to come.
German Peaceniks Demand That US Remove Nukes (April 5, 2010) http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18493
Easter peace pickets outside an American airbase in Rhineland-Palatinate have called for the removal of all American nukes from German territory. They said they believed the Americans are illegally storing 20 thermonuclear devices at the base. On the 26th of March, the German Bundestag overwhelmingly sided with a pronouncement by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that the Americans must withdraw nuclear weapons from Germany and also do more to bring forward universal nuclear disarmament. CLIP
Netanyahu refusal to attend summit understandable: US (09 Apr 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122894§ionid=351020202
(...) Netanyahu cancelled his planned visit to Washington after receiving reports that Egypt and Turkey had planned to raise Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenals and to demand the regime's signatory to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). CLIP
Israel must denuclearize, Erdogan says (12 Apr 2010) SPELLING OUT THE OBVIOUS TRUTH! http://presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=123061§ionid=351020204
The Turkish premier says the international community should take action to disarm Israel as part of the efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free zone. Speaking to reporters on Sunday before leaving for the nuclear security summit in Washington, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel's nuclear program. Pointing out that Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Erdogan said, "Until now, we haven't seen any request or intent from the international community with regards to Israel's (armament). We are going to ask the international community: why haven't you addressed this issue?" The Turkish premier announced that he would raise the issue at the Washington summit and call on all 47 countries attending the forum to pressure Tel Aviv to relinquish its nuclear arsenal. Erdogan said Iran's nuclear program has come under scrutiny as a result of its membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency whereas Israel, which has not signed the NPT, is "free to do what it wants." Israel reportedly possesses 250 to 300 nuclear warheads. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to cancel plans to attend the Washington summit after learning that Cairo and Ankara would demand that Tel Aviv sign the NPT at the meeting.
The world's nuclear system is breaking down. A small, exclusive club of nuclear powers is proving impossible to defend, and as technology spreads, a new global nuclear arms race is beginning.
For decades nuclear powers have allowed their friends (like Israel and India) to go nuclear while preventing their enemies. Those enemies, like Iraq and Iran, face regime change if they don't have nukes, but get negotiations and incentives if they do - like North Korea.
It's a perverse system that must end. Experts are agreed that the only answer is for all countries to finally comply with the grand bargain in the nuclear proliferation treaty: countries without nukes must agree not to build them, and countries with them must agree to disarm. The US and Russia are taking initial steps, but it will take a massive public movement to push all our leaders to "Global Zero" nuclear weapons. Click here to sign the petition for Global Zero to be delivered directly to the Nuclear Security Summit in 4 days:
There are over 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and as many as 13 countries are on the edge of building them. Experts say we cant maintain the status quo -- the risks of regional nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, or catastrophic accidents are rising daily. It's sounds unrealistic to some, but experts agree that the only workable solution is for all countries to give these weapons up.
Avaaz is helping to build the Global Zero campaign, backed by hundreds of former heads of state, foreign ministers, national security advisers, and thousands of grassroots activists across the world. It's already having an impact, with many world leaders, including the US and Russian Presidents, signed up at least rhetorically to the goal of zero.
The hard part is getting them to do it in practice. The Washington summit in 4 days is a major chance to hold leaders to their word. Let's greet them with stacks of petition signatures calling for the only safe solution to the world's nuclear proliferation crisis: Global Zero. Click below to sign the petition:
By Valerie Plame Wilson, Special to CNN -- April 8, 2010
Editor's note: Valerie Plame Wilson is a former covert CIA operations officer who now works at the Sante Fe Institute, a nonprofit science research think tank.
(CNN) -- The story of how I became a national figure in the media is widely known, but few people know what I actually did for the CIA.
I was a covert operations officer specializing in nuclear counter proliferation -- essentially, making sure the bad guys didn't get the bomb.
My job was to create and run operations that sought to peer into the procurement networks and acquisition chains of rogue nations. It was intense, tactical, creative and demanding. I believed that there was no more important work to be done.
I resigned from the CIA in 2006 because it was no longer possible to do the covert work for which I was highly trained and which I loved. This happened because in 2003, my covert identity was revealed in retaliation against my husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, who wrote an op-ed piece in which he accused the White House of distorting the intelligence that was used to draw us into the Iraq war.
But I did not lose my belief that the danger of nuclear terrorism was the most urgent threat we face. Nor did I lose my passion for working, albeit in a new way, to address that threat. I am working on this issue now as part of the international Global Zero movement, in which political, military and faith leaders, experts and activists strive for the worldwide elimination of all nuclear weapons.
We know that terrorist groups have been trying to buy, build or steal a bomb.
In the past two decades, there have been at least 25 instances of nuclear explosive materials being lost or stolen. There is enough highly enriched uranium, or HEU, in the world today to build more than 100,000 bombs.
Terrorists looking to buy or steal HEU could look to the approximately 40 countries with nuclear weapons materials. And then there are rogue individuals out there who are running black markets selling nuclear materials and technology.
Pakistan's Dr. A. Q. Khan did it for years before my group at the CIA brought him down in December 2003 after catching him red-handed selling a full-scale nuclear bomb to Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya.
If terrorists manage to get their hands on enough HEU, they could smuggle it into a target city, build a bomb and explode it. A hundred pounds of highly enriched uranium could fit in a shoebox, and 100,000 shipping containers come into the United States every day.
The nuclear threat is not limited to terrorism.
There are also the dangers of proliferation and accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch. Today, nine countries have more than 23,000 nuclear weapons, and the U.S. and Russia still maintain thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, poised for launch within a few minutes.
The only way to eliminate the danger that nuclear weapons will be used by countries in conflict, by accident or by terrorists is to lock down all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons in all countries: global zero.
Today we have a real opportunity to set the course to global zero. U.S. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose countries have 22,000 nuclear weapons or 96 percent of the world's stockpile, are signing an agreement to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals by a third each. This is the most significant arms reduction treaty in two decades and a crucial first step.
Next week, Obama is hosting the leaders of 48 countries at a summit in Washington to address the global nuclear threat and initiate programs to secure all nuclear materials worldwide. With the U.S. and Russia leading the way, 2010 could mark the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.
But achieving global zero will take years, a realistic plan of action and tremendous amounts of political will. In February, leaders of the Global Zero movement met in Paris, France, and outlined a step-by-step plan to eliminate all remaining nuclear weapons.
The plan, backed by hundreds of former heads-of-state, foreign ministers, national security advisers and military commanders, calls in its first phase for the U.S. and Russia to cut their arsenals to 1,000 total warheads each. All other countries with nuclear weapons would freeze their arsenals, and the international community would conduct an all-out global effort to block the further spread of nuclear weapons and to secure all nuclear materials.
Locking down nuclear bomb-making materials involves building secure facilities for storage, accounting for all stockpiles, guarding materials in transit (transportation being the most vulnerable to terrorist attack and seizure), regulating exports, interdicting smuggling operations, ending production of new bomb materials and ultimately eliminating existing stockpiles.
These steps would be followed by the first multilateral negotiations in history for reductions by all nuclear weapons countries.
I'm proud to be working with the Global Zero movement and its team of world leaders and grass-roots organizers, presidents and college kids. I want to do everything I can to raise public and political support for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
And that is why I said yes when Lawrence Bender, producer of "An Inconvenient Truth," "Good Will Hunting" and "Inglorious Basterds," asked me to be in an extraordinary and chilling documentary film, "Countdown to Zero," which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and will be released in U.S. theaters in July.
The film will be a stunning wake-up call to citizens and our political leaders about the urgent threats posed by nuclear weapons, including proliferation, nuclear terrorism and accidental nuclear launch. It will build awareness and support for the Global Zero movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Based on my experience in the field, I believe that if governments don't act now to begin eliminating all remaining nuclear weapons, we will witness in our lifetime the use of the bomb by a country or terrorist group.
To get governments to act, everyone needs to get involved, to make their voices heard, to bring this issue to the top of the political agenda, to everyone's kitchen table and to the front pages of every blog and every newspaper.
There is still time to change direction and set our course to global zero, but the clock is ticking. To learn more about the issue and get involved in the growing movement, go to globalzero.org and sign the declaration.
Obama: Al-Qaida Would Use Nuke if it Could (April 11, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1981137,00.html
(WASHINGTON) - If al-Qaida acquired nuclear weapons it "would have no compunction at using them," President Barack Obama said Sunday on the eve of a summit aimed at finding ways to secure the world's nuclear stockpile.(...) The Nuclear Security Summit of more than 40 world leaders in Washington this week is aimed at securing "loose nuclear material," Obama said. He was holding one-on-one meetings Sunday with several of those leaders.He said other world leaders have offered "very specific approaches to how we can solve this profound international problem." Obama singled out South Africa for giving up its nuclear program, and said it "has been a strong, effective leader in the international community on nonproliferation issues. South Africa has special standing in being a moral leader on this issue."South African President Jacob Zuma was among the leaders Obama met with Sunday at Blair House, across from the White House. Others included Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev."I feel very good at this stage in the degree of commitment and a sense of urgency that I have seen from the world leaders so far on this issue," Obama said. "We think we can make enormous progress on this, and this then becomes part and parcel of the broader focus that we've had over the last several weeks." CLIP
Peace for Israelis and Palestinians? Not without America's tough love.
An Israeli student explains why the US should act on moral outrage over Israels discriminatory policies before its too late.
By Jonathan Ben-Artzi / April 1, 2010
More than 20 years ago, many Americans decided they could no longer watch as racial segregation divided South Africa. Compelled by an injustice thousands of miles away, they demanded that their communities, their colleges, their municipalities, and their government take a stand.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Today, a similar discussion is taking place on campuses across the United States. Increasingly, students are questioning the morality of the ties US institutions have with the unjust practices being carried out in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories. Students are seeing that these practices are often more than merely unjust. They are racist. Humiliating. Inhumane. Savage.
Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue.
A legitimate question is, Why should I care? Americans are heavily involved in the conflict: from funding (the US provides Israel with roughly $3 billion annually in military aid) to corporate investments (Microsoft has one of its major facilities in Israel) to diplomatic support (the US has vetoed 32 United Nations Security Council resolutions unsavory to Israel between 1982 and 2006).
Why do I care? I am an Israeli. Both my parents were born in Israel. Both my grandmothers were born in Palestine (when there was no Israel yet). In fact, I am a ninth-generation native of Palestine. My ancestors were among the founders of todays modern Jerusalem.
Both my grandfathers fled the Nazis and came to Palestine. Both were subsequently injured in the 1948 Arab-Israli War. My mothers only brother was a paratrooper killed in combat in 1968. All of my relatives served in the Israeli military for extensive periods of time, some of them in units most people dont even know exist.
In Israel, military service for both men and women is compulsory. When my time to serve came, I refused, because I realized I was obliged to do something about these acts of segregation. I was denied conscientious objector status, like the majority of 18-year-old males who seek this status. Because I refused to serve, I spent a year and a half in military prison.
Some of the acts of segregation that I saw while growing up in Israel include towns for Jews only, immigration laws that allow Jews from around the world to immigrate but deny displaced indigenous Palestinians that same right, and national healthcare and school systems that receive significantly more funding in Jewish towns than in Arab towns.
As former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in 2008: We have not yet overcome the barrier of discrimination, which is a deliberate discrimination and the gap is insufferable.... Governments have denied [Arab Israelis] their rights to improve their quality of life.
The situation in the occupied territories is even worse. Nearly 4 million Palestinians have been living under Israeli occupation for over 40 years without the most basic human and civil rights.
One example is segregation on roads in the West Bank, where settlers travel on roads that are for Jews only, while Palestinians are stopped at checkpoints, and a 10-mile commute might take seven hours.
Another example is discrimination in water supply: Israel pumps drinking water from occupied territory (in violation of international law). Israelis use as much as four times more water than Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and must rely on Israeli supply.
Civil freedom is no better: In an effort to break the spirit of Palestinians, Israel conducts sporadic arrests and detentions with no judicial supervision. According to one prisoner support and human rights association, roughly 4 in 10 Palestinian males have spent some time in Israeli prisons. Thats 40 percent of all Palestinian males!
And finally, perhaps one of the greatest injustices takes place in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is collectively punishing more than 1.5 million Palestinians by sealing them off in the largest open-air prison on earth.
Because of the USs relationship with Israel, it is important for all Americans to educate themselves about the realities of the conflict. When they do, they will realize that just as much as support for South Africa decades ago was mostly damaging for South Africa itself, contemporary blind support for Israel hurts us Israelis.
We must lift the ruthless siege of Gaza, which only breeds more anger and frustration among Gazans, who respond by hurling primitive, homemade rockets at Israeli towns.
We must remove travel restrictions from West Bank Palestinians. How can we live in peace with a population where most children cannot visit their grandparents living in the neighboring village, without being stopped and harassed at military checkpoints for hours?
Finally, we must give equal rights to all. Regardless of what the final resolution will be the so-called one state solution, the two state solution, or any other form of governance.
Israel governs the lives of 5.5 million Israeli Jews, 1.5 million Israeli Palestinians, and 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. As long as Israel is responsible for all of these people, it must ensure that all have equal rights, the same access to resources, and the same opportunities in education and healthcare. Only through such a platform of basic human rights for all humans can a resolution come to the region.
If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.
Jonathan Ben-Artzi was one of the spokespeople for the Hadash party in the Israeli general elections in 2006. His parents are professors in Israel, and his extended family includes uncle Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Ben-Artzi is a PhD student at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Related ARTICLES information and videos:
World Health Day - 7 April 2010 - Inequality Costs us our Health! - PHR-Israel - with pictures http://www.phr.org.il/default.asp?PageID=222&ItemID=613
Eliminating Disparities in Israel and the Occupied Territories is Critical to the Future of Health in this Country. Socio-economic gaps in Israel and the Occupied Territories are widenening, exacting a high toll on our lives. On World Health Day, join us in calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu to declare closing the gaps a top priority and to allocate funds accordingly. (...) In October 2009, the Ministry of Health shut down three Mother- Child Medical clinics in the Bedouin Villages of Abu Talul, Kasr el Sar, and Wadi Naam in the Negev. All together, the clinics provided treatment and services to over 18,000 citizens. As a result, the lives of women and children have been placed in grave danger. Closure of the clinics represents a direct affront to Israel's Founding Laws gaurunteeing the right to life and physical wellness to all citizens, as well as the provision of minimum standards of respect and health (...) Israel controls the water systems that serve both Israelis and Palestinians. 80% of the supply is allocated to Israeli use, while Palestinians in the West Bank are allowed only 20%. This discriminatory division has caused a chronic water crisis for many Palestinian villages. In addition, Palestinians are forced to make do with two thirds less than the average minimum alottment per person as indicated by the World Health Organization (100 liters a day), while in the Settlements and in Israel, the average consumption per person rests at 350 liters per day.
Gaza in blackout as Israeli blockade continues (9 Apr 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=122855§ionid=351020202
The only power plant in the blockaded Gaza Strip has shut down as a crippling Israeli closure keeps the impoverished region stripped of much needed fuel. The facility was forces to close on Friday, following a week of limited fuel imports and Israeli authorities' refusal to open any border-crossings. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh confirmed the closure of all crossings and that they were expected to remain closed for Saturday as well. That would mean the populated enclave will dip in a blackout for the next three days until fuel supplies are allowed and transported to the power plant. (...) The Gaza Strip has been under a paralyzing Israeli siege since 2007 when the democratically elected Hamas-led Palestinian government had to limit its rule to the coastal sliver, while the Western-backed Fatah mounted its own government in the West Bank. Israel maintained the blockade during and after its devastating military offensive on the Gaza Strip which left more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, killed and thousands of others injured. Three weeks of relentless aerial bombardments and ground incursions devastated much of the region's infrastructure and leveled scores of residential and office buildings. Gaza still lies in ruin as Israel prevents the delivery of the materials needed for the reconstruction into the Palestinian territory. CHECK ALSO Youth despair as Gaza jobless rate hits 60 per cent
New law could deport of thousands of West Bank Palestinians (12/04/2010) http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=172917
New legislation is due to go into effect on Tuesday granting the army authority to deport thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip or Arab countries from which they originally hailed, even if they entered the area legally and have lived there for many years, Israeli human rights organizations warned Sunday. The new order makes it a criminal act for anyone to live in the West Bank without a permit. Violators can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.In a letter addressed to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the organizations demanded that he revoke two military orders or at least postpone them as they are unlawful and allow extreme and arbitrary injury to a vast number of people. The letter was signed by Hamoked Defense of the Individual, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Bimkom, Planners for Planning Rights, BTselem, Gisha, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel, Yesh Din, Adalah, Rabbis for Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights. The key new military order is and amendment to the Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration, which was originally legislated in 1969 to prevent and punish infiltration from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, all of which were enemy countries at the time. The amendment, however, is aimed at anyone living in the West Bank who does not have a legal permit or certificate issued either by the West Bank military commander or the Interior Ministry. According to an attorney for Hamoked, Elad Cahana, the military commander of the West Bank has never issued such permits so that even Palestinians who were born in the West Bank do not have them. Nevertheless, according to the amendment, an infiltrator is defined as anyone who enters the Area [i.e. the West Bank] illegally after the date established by this law or who is [already] residing in the Area and does not have a permit in accordance with the law.Cahana told The Jerusalem Post that based on recent Israeli policy, the main target of the legislation are Palestinians who moved from Gaza to the West Bank, the overwhelming majority of which did so in order to marry. CLIP
Chris Hedges on the Gaza massacre (Part 1) PART 2 HERE MUST WATCH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YA28Pfuvtg
Chris Hedges, author, spoke at a Revolution Books Town Hall Meeting at Ethical Culture Society January 13, 2009 condemning Israel and US complicity in Israel's murderous destruction of Gaza. Gaza West Bank Palestine Gaza massacre war crimes occupation Zionism Israel Palestinian holocaust ethnic cleansing genocide. Among the comments posted there: "I have no words to describe the horror that the Palestinians go through on a daily basis. I'm glad for people like Chris Hedges who speak out and loud and clear. Can ANYONE who knows the plight of the Palestinian people imagine just for ONE moment what they go through. Have you drank any water today? Ate breakfast? Taken medicine? Have warm clothes? Not buried your newborn that was murdered for simply NOT being an Israeli baby? Or your grandmother for simply walking in the street?"
Facts on the Ground (9 APRIL 2010) http://paldywan.blogspot.com/2010/04/facts-on-ground.html
(..) the fact on the ground for Palestinians is that they are hemmed in by concrete walls and wire fences, overlooked by watchtowers and controlled by permits and checkpoints. They exist by the grace of the Israelis, with no open border with other countries, limited control of their lives, continuing loss of land and property and dependency on foreign aid. Yet there is something strange with all this. The Palestinians are noticeably quite a happy people, even now. They bear their hardships with spirit and, though politically divided, as a society they have more communal, mutual supportiveness than most societies, even by comparison to neighbouring Arabic countries. They are highly educated, and a proportion do well as beneficiaries of foreign grants, bodies and companies, as do some refugees and exiles abroad. The disadvantaged dont do well, but their families and clans provide strong support networks.Meanwhile, the Israelis, though mostly consumerist Westerners in lifestyle, seem more divided and less satisfied with their lives, and inequality between them is marked. They share with the West a creeping loss of direction, an alienation which has professionalised the care of the old, young and sick, and a hidden questioning of the meaning of life, lurking beneath the rhetorical hasbarah (explanation) which officially makes them feel as if this is the best it gets. Though technically a democracy, Israel is dominated by a forceful minority and, bizarrely, the population of greater Israel is almost 50% Palestinian.As with the Western way of life, something is unravelling in Israel, past its peak, and it has a sad and rather lost atmosphere. Every adult, male and female, serves in the army except Orthodox Jews who, as a minority, nevertheless to a large extent push the Israeli agenda. Israelis experience an awkward silence when they travel the world, whenever they announce their nationality. After the devastating bombardments of southern Lebanon in 2006 and of Gaza in early 2009, and the repeated dogged assertion that Israelis are right and the world fails to understand them, they have reached a state of creeping nemesis and hubris. CLIP
Amid Nanotech's Dazzling Promise, Health Risks Grow
First in a Three-Part Series
(March 24) -- For almost two years, molecular biologist Bénédicte Trouiller doused the drinking water of scores of lab mice with nano-titanium dioxide, the most common nanomaterial used in consumer products today.
She knew that earlier studies conducted in test tubes and petri dishes had shown the same particle could cause disease. But her tests at a lab at UCLA's School of Public Health were in vivo -- conducted in living organisms -- and thus regarded by some scientists as more relevant in assessing potential human harm.
Halfway through, Trouiller became alarmed: Consuming the nano-titanium dioxide was damaging or destroying the animals' DNA and chromosomes. The biological havoc continued as she repeated the studies again and again. It was a significant finding: The degrees of DNA damage and genetic instability that the 32-year-old investigator documented can be "linked to all the big killers of man, namely cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and aging," says Professor Robert Schiestl, a genetic toxicologist who ran the lab at UCLA's School of Public Health where Trouiller did her research.
Nano-titanium dioxide is so pervasive that the Environmental Working Group says it has calculated that close to 10,000 over-the-counter products use it in one form or another. Other public health specialists put the number even higher. It's "in everything from medicine capsules and nutritional supplements, to food icing and additives, to skin creams, oils and toothpaste," Schiestl says. He adds that at least 2 million pounds of nanosized titanium dioxide are produced and used in the U.S. each year.
What's more, the particles Trouiller gave the mice to drink are just one of an endless number of engineered, atom-size structures that have been or can be made. And a number of those nanomaterials have also been shown in published, peer-reviewed studies (more than 170 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health alone) to potentially cause harm as well. Researchers have found, for instance, that carbon nanotubes -- widely used in many industrial applications -- can penetrate the lungs more deeply than asbestos and appear to cause asbestos-like, often-fatal damage more rapidly. Other nanoparticles, especially those composed of metal-chemical combinations, can cause cancer and birth defects; lead to harmful buildups in the circulatory system; and damage the heart, liver and other organs of lab animals.
Yet despite those findings, most federal agencies are doing little to nothing to ensure public safety. Consumers have virtually no way of knowing whether the products they purchase contain nanomaterials, as under current U.S. laws it is completely up to manufacturers what to put on their labels. And hundreds of interviews conducted by AOL News' senior public health correspondent over the past 15 months make it clear that movement in the government's efforts to institute safety rules and regulations for use of nanomaterials is often as flat as the read-out on a snowman's heart monitor.
"How long should the public have to wait before the government takes protective action?" says Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety. "Must the bodies stack up first?"
Big Promise Comes With Potential Perils
"Nano" comes from the Greek word for dwarf, though that falls short of conveying the true scale of this new world: Draw a line 1 inch long, and 25 million nanoparticles can fit between its beginning and end.
Apart from the materials' size, everything about nanotechnology is huge. According to the federal government and investment analysts, more than 1,300 U.S. businesses and universities are involved in related research and development. The National Science Foundation says that $60 billion to $70 billion of nano-containing products are sold in this country annually, with the majority going to the energy and electronics industries.
Despite the speed bump of the recession, a global market for nano-containing products that stood at $254 billion in 2005 is projected to grow to $2.5 trillion over the next four years, says Michael Holman, research director of Boston-based Lux Research. Another projection, this one from National Science Foundation senior nanotechnology adviser Mihail Roco, says that nanotech will create at least 1 million jobs worldwide by 2015.
By deconstructing and then reassembling atoms into previously unknown material -- the delicate process at the heart of nanotechnology -- scientists have achieved medical advancements that even staunch critics admit are miraculous. Think of a medical smart bomb: payloads of cancer-fighting drugs loaded into nanoscale delivery systems and targeted against a specific tumor.
Carbon nanotubes, rod-shaped and rigid with a strength that surpasses steel at a mere fraction of the weight, were touted by commentators at the Vancouver Olympics as helmets, skis and bobsleds made from nanocomposites flashed by. Those innovations follow ultralight bicycles used in the Tour de France, longer-lasting tennis balls, and golf balls touted to fly straighter and roll farther.
Food scientists, meanwhile, are almost gleeful over the ability to create nanostructures that can enhance food's flavor, shelf life and appearance -- and to one day potentially use the engineered particles to craft food without ever involving a farm or ranch.
Yet for all the technology's promise and relentless progress, major questions remain about nanomaterials' effects on human health. A bumper sticker spotted near the sprawling Food and Drug Administration complex in Rockville, Md., puts it well: "Nanotech -- wondrous, horrendous, and unknown."
Adds Jim Alwood, nanotechnology coordinator in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics: "There is so much uncertainty about the questions of safety. We can't tell you how safe or unsafe nanomaterials are. There is just too much that we don't yet know."
What is known is by turns fascinating and sobering.
Nanoparticles can heal, but they can also kill. Thanks to their size, researchers have found, they can enter the body by almost every pathway. They can be inhaled, ingested, absorbed through skin and eyes. They can invade the brain through the olfactory nerves in the nose.
After penetrating the body, nanoparticles can enter cells, move from organ to organ and even cross the protective blood-brain barrier. They can also get into the bloodstream, bone marrow, nerves, ovaries, muscles and lymph nodes.
The toxicity of a specific nanoparticle depends, in part, on its shape and chemical composition. Many are shaped roughly like a soccer ball, with multiple panels that can increase reactivity, thus exacerbating their potential hazards.
Some nanoparticles can cause a condition called oxidative stress, which can inflame and eventually kill cells. A potential blessing in controlled clinical applications, this ability also carries potentially disastrous consequences.
"Scientists have engineered nanoparticles to target some types of cancer cells, and this is truly wonderful," says Dr. Michael Harbut, director of the Environmental Cancer Initiative at Michigan's Karmanos Cancer Institute. "But until we have sufficient knowledge of, and experience with, this 21st-century version of the surgical scalpel, we run a very real risk of simultaneously destroying healthy cells."
When incorporated into food products, nanomaterials raise other troubling vagaries. In a report issued in January, the science committee of the British House of Lords, following a lengthy review, concluded that there was too little research looking at the toxicological impact of eating nanomaterials. The committee recommended that such "products will simply be denied regulatory approval until further information is available," and also raised the concern that while the amount of nanomaterial in food may be small, the particles can accumulate from repeated consumption.
"It is chronic exposure to nanomaterials that is arguably more relevant to food science applications," says Bernadene Magnuson, a food scientist and toxicologist with Cantox Health Sciences International. "Prolonged exposure studies must be conducted."
Given the potential hazards, public health advocates are calling for greater restraint on the part of those rushing nano-products to market. "The danger is there today in the hundreds of nano-containing consumer products being sold," says Jennifer Sass, senior scientist and nano expert for the nonpartisan Natural Resources Defense Council. "Things that are in the nanoscale that are intentionally designed to be put into consumer products should be instantly required to be tested, and until proper risk assessments are done, they shouldn't be allowed to be sold."
David Hobson, chief scientific officer for international risk assessment firm nanoTox, adds that the questions raised by the growing body of research "are significant enough that we should begin to be concerned. We should not wait until we see visible health effects in humans before we take steps to protect ourselves or to redesign these particles so that they're safer."
Hobson says that when he talks to university and industry nano scientists, he sometimes feels as if he's talking with Marie Curie when she first was playing around with radium.
"It's an exciting advancement they're working with," he says. "But no one even thinks that it could be harmful."
Many government investigators join civilian public health specialists in denouncing the scant money that goes to exploring nanomaterials' possibly wicked side effects. The 2011 federal budget proposes spending $1.8 billion on nanotechnology, but just $117 million, or 6.6 percent, of that total was earmarked for the study of safety issues.
The Obama administration says it is being appropriately vigilant about nanotech. "This administration takes nanotechnology-related environment, health and safety very seriously. It is a significant priority," says Travis Earles, assistant director for nanotechnology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. After taking office, he adds, "We were able to immediately increase the spending in those areas."
But Earles, in what has become standard federal practice, is more fixated on nanotech's upsides. "We are talking about new jobs, new markets, economic and societal benefits so broad they stretch the imagination," he says. Yes, "absolutely," there are reasons for caution, he says. "But you can't refer to nanotechnology as a monolithic entity. Risk assessment depends fundamentally on context -- it depends on the specific application and the specific material."
There's some scientific basis for this emphasize-the-positive position. "Every time you find a hazardous response in a test tube, that should not necessarily be construed as a guarantee of a real-life adverse outcome," notes Dr. Andre Nel, chief of the division of nanomedicine at the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA.
But there are two ways to proceed in the face of such uncertainty. One is to forge ahead, assuming the best -- that this will be one of those times where the lab results don't correlate to real-world experiences. Another is to hit pause and do the additional testing necessary to be sure that sickened lab animals do not portend human harm.
For advocates of more precautions for nanotech, the latter is the only responsible course.
"From cosmetics to cookware to food, nanoparticles are making their way into every facet of consumer life with little to no oversight from government regulators," says Lovera from Food & Water Watch. "There are too many unanswered questions and common-sense demands that these products be kept off the market until their safety is assured."
With a moratorium not a realistic option, the U.S. government, along with its counterparts abroad, is left to tread gingerly in responding to the emerging evidence of nanotechnology's potential hazards.
"They don't want to cause either a collapse in the industry or generate any kind of public backlash of any sort," says Pat Mooney, executive director of ETC Group, an international safety and environmental watchdog. "So they're in the background talking about how they're going to tweak regulations -- where in fact a lot more than tweaking is required.
"They've got literally thousands of [nano] products in the marketplace, and they don't have any safety regulations in place," Mooney continues. "These are things that we're rubbing in our skin, spraying in our fields, eating and wearing. And that's a mistake, and they're trying to figure out what to do about it all."
Farmers and Consumers Demand Prohibition of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa
By The National Organic Coalition - 2010-03-03
Resulting contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa hay and seed would devastate livelihoods and organic industry
The National Organic Coalition (NOC) today announced that more than 200,000 people submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) critiquing the substance and conclusions of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Genetically Engineered (GE) Alfalfa. Groups, including NOC, Center for Food Safety (CFS), Organic Consumers Association, Food & Water Watch, CREDO Action and Food Democracy Now, mobilized their communities to help generate the unprecedented number of comments.
In addition, more than 300 public interest organizations, farmers, dairies, retailers and organic food producers from the U.S. and Canada delivered a strongly worded letter to USDA, calling upon it to deny approval of Monsantos genetically engineered, Roundup Ready alfalfa (GE alfalfa). The letter cites the inevitable contamination of organic and non-GE alfalfa hay and seeds and threats to the viability of organic dairies, livestock, and meat and dairy producers as reasons for urging the denial. NOC, Organic Valley, Whole Foods, National Cooperative Grocers Association, CFS and others agree that it would be irresponsible government policy to approve GE alfalfa in the absence of legal requirements holding companies accountable for GE contamination, as is currently the case.
In 2006, CFS sued USDA for its illegal approval of Monsantos GE alfalfa. USDA failed to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS), as required by law, before deregulating the crop. The federal courts sided with CFS and banned GE alfalfa plantings until USDA analyzed the impacts of GE alfalfa on the environment, farmers and the public. Today marks the deadline for submitting public comments on the draft EIS, which recommends approving Monsantos GE alfalfa.
USDAs EIS claims that organic consumers do not care about GE contamination of their food, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Consumer surveys show that 75 percent or more of respondents repeatedly say that they do not want to eat GE contaminated food and cite their desire to avoid GE food as one of the top five reasons for buying organic.
GE alfalfa threatens the very fabric of the organic industry, adds George Siemon, one of the founding farmers and CEO of Organic Valley. Organic consumers want seeds and products to remain unpolluted by GE.
Independent, empirical studies and past experience show that containment of GE pollen and seeds is not possible GE alfalfa pollen can travel six miles or more in the air, via bees or other pollinators. Seeds can also travel long distances on harvesting equipment and on the boots and in the trucks of people who work in fields and transport hay and seeds. More than 200 known cases of GE contamination have been documented within the last decade. The most serious and immediate cases of contamination are in canola (rapeseed) crops. Due to widespread contamination, canola crops and oil can no longer be marketed as organic or non-GE in Western Canada.
The continued deregulation of GE crops threatens our food supply and the diverse organic and conventional farming systems that have fed the worlds growing population for centuries, said Lisa J. Bunin, Ph.D., Organic Policy Coordinator at Center for Food Safety. It is unconscionable for USDA to increasingly allow the concentration of our nations seed supply in the hands of a few GE companies that produce a limited number of novel, pesticide-promoting seed varieties.
Despite the inevitable contamination from GE alfalfa, the EIS disavows this harm and places the entire burden for preventing contamination on non-GE farmers, with no protections for food producers, consumers and exporters. If Roundup Ready Alfalfa is permitted to be sold commercially, the ripple effect would wipe out many organic and non-GE businesses, from organic seed and forage growers to organic dairy farmers and retailers, said Liana Hoodes, Director, National Organic Coalition. Every Americans right to cultivate, sell and eat non-GE and organic food would no longer exist.
Even though the EIS acknowledges that GE alfalfa would increase Roundup herbicide use, since the vast majority of alfalfa farmers do not use any herbicides at all (93 percent), it omits the fact that planting GE alfalfa would require many farmers to use Roundup for the very first time. This would result in the spread of toxic chemicals in regions where such toxins were previously non-existent. Over the past 13 years, the planting of GE crops has significantly increased herbicide use on corn, soybeans and cotton by 383 million pounds. GE alfalfa deregulation would markedly add to that high toxic burden on the environment.
Our genetic gene pool is extremely valuable, and we cant afford to destroy it by handing it over to the biotech companies, warns Conventional South Dakota alfalfa seed and hay grower, Chuck Noble. If weve learned anything from Europes potato famines when millions starved to death, humans need seed variety to protect against blight and famine. Genetic engineering severely compromises that diversity.
Read the letter from farmers, organic producers and NGOs opposing the deregulation of GE alfalfa
Read the Center for Food Safetys comments to USDA
Obama Gives Key Agriculture Post to Monsanto Man (April 5, 2010) ONE MORE PATENT EXAMPLE OF BARACK OBAMA'S TREACHEROUS SELLING OUT AND SUBSERVIENCE TO THE WORST POSSIBLE CORPORATE OFFENDERS AND ENEMIES OF ALL OF HUMANITY AND ALL LIFE ON EARTH http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=5713
Today, President Obama announced that he will recess appoint Islam A. Siddiqui to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Siddiqui is a pesticide lobbyist and Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, an agribusiness lobbying group that represents Monsanto. Following is a letter sent by 98 organizations to U.S. Senators in opposition to Siddiqui's appointment, and a fact sheet about him. (...) SIDDIQUI AN APOLOGIST FOR AGRICHEMICAL AND BIOTECH INDUSTRIES: Siddiqui Claimed EU Rejection of GMOs was Denying Food to Starving People - Siddiqui Compared GMO Acceptance to Accepting Microwave Ovens - Siddiqui Criticized EU for Insisting On Precautionary Principle On GMOs - Siddiqui Called for New Biotech Green Revolution - Siddiqui Rejected Consumer Labeling of GMOs While Working at USDA - Siddiqui is a Former Registered Lobbyist - CropLife Americas Regional Partner Targeted Michelle Obama Organic Garden - Siddiqui Admitted USDA Overruled Organics Board Recommendations - CropLife Spent $500,000 to Defeat County Ballot Banning GMOs - Siddiqui Said Pleased by Defeat of Ballot Measures - CropLife Lobbied to Allow Children to be Used for Pesticide Experiments - Supported Use of Human Test Subjects - CropLife America Secured Continued Use Of Banned Ozone-Depleting Pesticide, Methyl Bromide - Croplife America Resistant to International Regulations Over Toxic Chemicals - CropLife America Argues for Allowing Usage of Toxic Endosulfans - CropLife Upset Industry Viewpoint Not Allowed to Dictate Findings
Note from Jean: Here is an important Press Release (available only in French) about the upcoming April 27 to 29 hearings of the Health Subcommittee on wireless and health in Ottawa - Some details in Group wants microwave regulation tightened but aside from that the Canadian media are keeping a tight lid on these important hearings where international experts will brief the subcommittee members on the dangerous effects of microwave radiations from cell towers as well as Wi-Fi and Wi-Max systems.
From: François Therrien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Ottawa: Comité santé/micro-ondes
Date: 8 April 2010
Communiqué de presse du Collectif SEMO - Sauvons nos Enfants des Micro-ondes - 9 avril 2010
Grosse nouvelle !
Des experts internationaux sont invités au Parlement dOttawa pour témoigner des effets néfastes des micro-ondes provenant des antennes relais cellulaires et des systèmes Wi-Fi et Wi-Max.
Audition sur les micro-ondes - Comité permanent de la santé à Ottawa, 27 et 29 avril 2010
Les députés de tous les partis politiques fédéraux membres du comité de santé ont décidé dentendre des arguments différents des discours officiels dIndustrie Canada et de Santé Canada qui ne reconnaissent aucun effet biologique néfaste sur la santé provenant des micro-ondes.
Au Canada, lapplication du principe de précaution est totalement ignoré concernant lexposition aux micro-ondes de la population alors quelle est au cur de lactualité dans de nombreux pays, dont la France. Les députés du parlement européen et du sénat français ont voté en grande majorité pour revoir les normes dexpositions aux micro-ondes tels que nous les avons au Canada.
Nos enfants sont-ils plus résistants que les enfants européens? Ou bien le lobby de lindustrie des micro-ondes (sans-fil) est-il trop fort au Canada?
Les experts vont témoigner de la réalité des personnes devenues électrosensibles qui souffrent datteinte à leur intégrité physique et de limites réelles dans leur intégration dans la société. Maux de tête, insomnie, vertige, difficulté de concentration, perte de mémoire, fatigue chronique ( ) Lutilisation intensive des technologies avec micro-ondes sur une longue période augmente significativement les risques de cancer. Des recherches de létude internationale Interphone (financé par lindustrie des micro-ondes) lont prouvé, mais le Canada bloque la publication des résultats depuis 4 ans!
Linstitut de recherche en santé du Canada refuse de financer une recherche indépendante sur le cancer et les micro-ondes portant sur des voisins dantennes-relais.
Le collectif SEMO -Sauvons nos Enfants des Micro-Ondes- ainsi que des représentants concernés de lOntario et de la Colombie-Britannique participeront à ces auditions afin dexprimer lopinion et les inquiétudes de la population canadienne.
Les citoyens qui veulent sexprimer sur cette problématique peuvent le faire en écrivant un mémoire pour les députés membres du Comité de la Santé. Ces mémoires doivent être adressés à la greffière du Comité.
La liste des experts invités par le comité nest pas finalisée.
Vous pouvez contacter le secrétariat du Comité permanent de la santé au numéro de téléphone suivant : 613 996 1065 ou par courriel : HESA@parl.gc.ca
Enseignant en Électricité
Porte-parole du Collectif S.E.M.O.
Sauvons nos Enfants des Micro-Ondes
450 471 8371
As prelude to meeting (pre-)arrangement, please consider these sample quotes, some from experts who might be invited before HESA next Apr. 27/29:
Sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation is the emerging health problem of the 21st century. It is imperative health practitioners, governments, schools and parents learn more about it. The human health stakes are significant.
- W. Rea, American Academy of Environmental Medicine
"The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate, and that we must protect ourselves from exposure to EMF due to power lines, cell phones and the like, or risk the known consequences. The science is very strong and we should sit up and pay attention."
- M. Blank. Columbia U.
"It is clear something serious has happened and is happening [...] I strongly advise all governments to take the issue of electromagnetic health hazards seriously and to take action while there is still time. There is too great a risk that the ever increasing RF-based communications technologies represent a real danger to humans, especially because of their exponential, ongoing and unchecked growth.."
- O. Johansson, Karolinska Inst., Sweden
"Based on the existing science, many public health experts believe it is possible we will face an epidemic of cancers in the future resulting from uncontrolled use of cell phones and increased population exposure to WiFi and other wireless devices. Thus it is important that all of us, and especially children, restrict our use of cell phones, limit exposure to background levels of Wi-Fi, and that government and industry discover ways in which to allow use of wireless devices without such elevated risk of serious disease. We need to educate decision-makers that business as usual is unacceptable. The importance of this public health issue can not be underestimated"
- D. Carpenter, State U. of N.Y. (Albany)
"In the case of telecommunications equipment, such as cell phones, wireless networks, cell phone antennas, PDAs, and portable phones, the science is being ignored. Current guidelines urgently need to be re-examined by government and reduced to reflect the state of the science. There is an emerging public health crisis at hand and time is of the essence."
- M. Havas, Trent U.
"Electromagnetic radiation is a very serious human and environmental health issue that needs immediate attention"
- W.N.Seymour, Natural Resources Defense Council
"Ambient man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs), across a range of frequencies, are a serious environmental issue. Yet most environmentalists know little about it [...]It turns out that most living things are fantastically sensitive to vanishingly small EMF exposures [...] Humans are not the only species being affected. The health of our planet may be in jeopardy from this newest environmental concernadded to all the others. Citizens need to call upon government to fund appropriate research and to get industry influence out of the dialogue. We ignore this at our own peril now."
- B.B. Levitt, former N.Y. Times journalist
"There is no question EMFs have a major effect on neurological functioning. They slow our brain waves and affect our long-term mental clarity. We should minimize exposures as much as possible to optimize neurotransmitter levels and prevent deterioration of health."
- E. Braverman, MD
"The key point about electromagnetic pollution that the public has to realize is that it is not necessary that the intensity be large for a biological interaction to occur. There is now considerable evidence that extremely weak signals can have physiological consequences. These interactive intensities are about 1000 times smaller than the threshold values formerly estimated by otherwise knowledgeable theoreticians, who, in their vainglorious approach to science, rejected all evidence to the contrary as inconsistent with their magnificent calculations. These faulty estimated thresholds are yet to be corrected by both regulators and the media.
Here the publics continuing exposure to electromagnetic radiation is largely connected to money. Indeed the tens of billions of dollars in sales one finds in the cell phone industry makes it mandatory to corporate leaders that they deny, in knee-jerk fashion, any indication of hazard."
- A.R. Liboff, Florida Atlantic U.
"There is an urgent need for governments and individuals to take steps to minimize community and personal EMF exposures."
- S. Milham, MD
"As wireless technology evolves, ambient background levels increase, creating electrical pollution conditions which are becoming ubiquitous and more invasive. We strongly encourage consumers, manufacturers, utility providers and policymakers to reduce, eliminate and mitigate EMR exposure conditions and to support biologically based standards."
- L. Kelley, Council on Wireless Technology Impacts
"The public needs to wake up politicians and public officials to the need for updating the decades old EMF public health standards."
- J.S. Turner, attorney
"I grieve for people who needlessly suffer these illnesses and hold out the hope that our government leaders will become more cognizant of the role electromagnetic factors are playing in disease, health care costs and the erosion of quality of life and productivity"
- C. Rees, Wide Angle Health
"There is every indication that cell phones cause brain tumors, salivary gland tumors and eye cancer. Yet, because the cell phone industry provides a substantial proportion of research funding, this reality is hidden from the general public. The Interphone Study, a 13-country research project, substantially funded by the cell phone industry has consistently shown that use of a cell phone protects the user from risk of a brain tumor! Does anything more need to be said? It is time that fully independent studies be funded by those governmental agencies whose charter is to protect its citizens so that the truth about the very damaging health hazards of microwave radiation becomes clear and well known."
- L.L. Morgan, Central Brain Tumor Registry
"A federal research strategy to address these very serious inadequacies in the science on which our government is basing health policy is sorely needed now."
- J. Newton, EMR Policy Inst.
"we call upon governments to apply the Precautionary Principle as an interim measure while more biologically relevant exposure standards are developed"
- L.Giuliani, Camerino U., Italy
"There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments. Appropriate, precautionary and proportionate actions taken now to avoid plausible and potentially serious threats to health from EMF are likely to be seen as prudent and wise from future perspectives."
- J. McGlade, European Environmental Agency
"numerous research reports have confirmed that non thermal fields from cell phones, tower transmitters, power lines, and other man made sources can significantly affect various tissues and physiologic functions [...] All communication in the body eventually takes place via very subtle electromagnetic signaling between cells that is now being disrupted by artificial electropollution we have not had time to adapt to[...] This gigantic experiment on our children and grandchildren could result in massive damage to mind and body with the potential to produce a disaster of unprecedented proportions, unless proper precautions are immediately implemented."
Urge Congress on EMF Safety, FCC Must Change - NOTE from Jean: This important petition was initiated 2 years ago with a 1 million signatures goal. So far it has a shamefully low 2,335 signatures! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/958259295
If you still need some convincing to understand and agree that this is a VERY important issue that requires an urgent massive mobilization, please, by all means, check the following...
Campaign for Safer Cell Phones Launches (14.03.2010) http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/campaign-for-safer-cell-phones-launches/
A new campaign addressing cell phone safety has been launched by a collaboration of leading health advocacy organizations with the support of eminent scientists and physicians from the U.S. and Europe. The Campaign for Safer Cell Phones seeks to educate the public on cell phone safety; advocate for safer phones; revise cell phone radiation exposure guidelines; support major, long-term, multidisciplinary independent research on cell phones and health; and require both pre-market health and safety testing and post-market surveillance. (...) A Briefing Book has been prepared on this topic for government officials, communities, physicians, parents and other interested parties. It can be download at: http://snipr.com/us1gw . The Campaign for Safer Cell Phones Briefing Book documents the known cell phone health risks, with links to the science, as well as legislation and warnings from other countries. It includes recommendations from the report Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone” [The exposé discusses research on cellphones and brain tumors and concludes: There is a risk of brain tumors from cellphone use; Telecom funded studies underestimate the risk of brain tumors, and; Children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors. This report, sent to government leaders and media today, details eleven design flaws of the 13-country, Telecom-funded Interphone study. The Interphone study, begun in 1999, was intended to determine the risks of brain tumors, but its full publication has been held up for years. Components of this study published to date reveal what the authors call a 'systemic-skew', greatly underestimating brain tumor risk. The design flaws include categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cellphones,) as 'unexposed'; exclusion of many types of brain tumors; exclusion of people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed, as a consequence of their brain tumor; and exclusion of children and young adults, who are more vulnerable. Download the report HERE. Watch the following 2 min video on this report]. CLIP
Dect Phones and Microwave Radiation on the Electrosensitive (23.03.2010) STUNNINGLY CONCLUSIVE! IF YOU HAVE A CORDLESS PHONE AT HOME, YOU CAN BE SURE YOU'LL GET RID OF IT AFTER WATCHING THIS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EI9fZX4iww
Study shows, unequivocally, that microwave radiation from a cordless DECT phone immediately affects the heart causing arrhythmia and tachycardia (irregular and rapid heart rate) at non-thermal levels well below federal guidelines. This video by Dr. Magda Havas, Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, Canada, presents evidence validating electrohypersensitivity, specifically the impact of electromagnetic radiation from portable phones on the heart. Havas 25-person study, which took place in Boulder and Golden, CO in October 2008, is part of a 100-person study examining the hearts reactivity to microwave radiation emitted by common DECT cordless phones. This is the first time such striking effects from microwave radiation being emitted by wireless phones has been documented scientifically in a double blind study and it is important information for health practitioners to know.Patients today experiencing electrohypersensitivity symptoms, such as effects on the heart, are commonly put on drugs for other conditions with similar symptoms, instead of being taught how to create an electromagnetically clean environment to eliminate symptoms. Symptoms of electrohypersensitivity include headaches, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, heart irregularities and much more. (See EHS Quiz at www.magdahavas.com or electrohypersensitivity questionnaire in Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution at http://sn.im/szxq8. ) Radiation emitted from DECT portable phones is the same microwave radiation as emitted by cell phones. Havas study adds to the growing interest in the health effects of cell phones, broadening the focus beyond cell phones association with brain tumors to their effect on other systems, including the heart. CLIP Watch also Diabetes and Electrosensitivity (diabetes resulting from dirty electricity) also by Dr. Magda Havas and Multimedia Presentation on Wireless Health Hazards
In a world where a drug cannot be launched without proof that it is safe, where the use of herbs and natural compounds available to all since early Egyptian times are now questioned, their safety subjected to the deepest scrutiny, where a new food cannot be launched without prior approval, the idea that we can use mobile telephony, including masts, and introduce WiFi and mobile phones without restrictions around our 5 year olds is double-standards gone mad. I speak, not just as an editor and scientist that has looked in depth at all the research, but as a father that lost his beloved daughter to a brain tumour.
"The largest health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, has some 4 billion participants enrolled. To date science papers have shown an increased risk of brain tumors, eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and leukemia from cellphone use. The public must be informed"
"If cell phones use is not curtailed or made significantly safer, particularly for children, we may be facing and unprecedented disaster that is preventable, The 15 reasons listed to support this is the tip of the iceberg. A very recent Australian report in men who wear cell phones below their waist confirms the striking adverse effect on sperm and fertility previously suggested by animal studies."
"The scientific data show, with a high degree of confidence, that mobile phone exposure is associated with an increased brain tumor risk. The age group below 20 years is facing the greatest risk, for malignant (deadly) brain tumors, of about 400 percent, compared to non exposed. When we take the long latency period of up to some decades into account, and the fact that large parts of our society and especially more and more teenagers and even children are using mobile phones on a daily basis, we may well expect a brain tumor epidemic. From a public health perspective there is an urgent need not only for a wake-up call for our society, but for measures that are able to combat this public health threat effective now. "
- Alvaro Augusto A. de Salles, PhD, Professor, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul UFRGS; Brazil
Health danger - BBC report on growing wifi radiation in UK schools part 1 (April 1, 2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu94lTfhZK8
Part 2 HERE- Part 3 HERE - All 3 parts worth listening to... The Swedish government has formally recognized electrohypersensitivity since 2003 as a genuine disability and is providing for free to its affected citizens the necessary protection (through costly radiation-shielding paint and fabric) to shield them in their homes from harmful electromagnetic exposure. Now that's a responsible government!
Inform the public about known and suspected health impacts of electromagnetic radiation, especially on children.
Some studies have found that after a decade of heavy cell phone use, brain tumor risks double in adults and quadruple in those who started to use cell phones as teenagers.
Advise that phones should not be held at the head or on the body when in standby mode or used at all when the signal strength is weak.
Require that manufacturers sell cell phones with earpieces, speakerphone option, and WARNING LABELS.
Review and revise safety standards with state of the art independent science with head and body models for persons of different ages and genders.
Support major, long-term, multidisciplinary independent research and training programs on cell phones and health (funded by manufacturers providing fees currently placed on cell phone bills).
Require pre-market health and safety testing and post-market safety surveillance.
More than a dozen countries restrict the use of cell phones by children and advise precautions regarding their use. The National Academy of Sciences (2008), the European Environment Agency (2008; 2009), and the U.S. Senate hearing and Environmental Health Trust Expert Conference On Cell Phones and Health (September 1315, 2009) identified major gaps in our understanding of cell phone science and the need for precautionary policies to prevent future harm. Nearly all studies of those who have used cell phones for a decade or more have found doubled risks of brain tumors.
When first introduced in the 1980s, cell phones were exempted from regulation and were intended for short use by working adults. Over the past decade, millions of children and young people have become regular users. We do not believe in abandoning this revolutionary technology but in promoting safer use and designs. We applaud efforts to ban the use of cell phones while driving in order to reduce traffic fatalities. We support efforts to promote safer cell phone use and designs to reduce potential long-term chronic health impacts.
CHILDREN, whose brains are more vulnerable than those of adults, may well be at higher risk than adults from lifelong use. EXPOSURE models used to set standards today rest on the head of a tall, heavy man and do not take into account the greater vulnerability of a mans sperm, or the smaller and more vulnerable skulls, skin, bone marrow, and brains of children and the fetus.
DOCUMENTED RISKS *
- For children, those who began using mobile phones as teenagers have four to five times greater risk of developing malignant brain tumors compared to those who did not use phones at these ages.
- For men who wish to become fathers, those who use their cell phones 4 hours per day have been found to have half the sperm count of non-users.
- For the developing fetus, prolonged cell phone use or placing the cell phone in standby mode near the fetus significantly increases the risk of learning problems in children and may present other dangers to child development.
- Those who regularly use cell phones with higher radiated power, such as people living in rural areas or using phones in moving cars, face significantly greater risks of brain tumors and other chronic health problems.
- Other serious health problems significantly associated with regular cell phone usage include: short-term memory loss, sleep and attention disturbances, headache, hearing loss, cognitive impairments, dementia and possibly Alzheimers Disease.
- Experimental studies find that cell phone radiation damages DNA, increases abnormal proteins, alters memory, behavior and brain chemistry, and increases the uptake of pollutants up into the brain.
Five out of every six people alive today use cell phones. The majority is under age 30. Children are growing up with exposures to cell phone radiation that did not exist five years ago. Standards for todays phones were set more than a decade ago. Brain tumors can take 10 or more years to develop. Most published studies of brain tumors and cell phone use have not found a risk, and have studied people for periods of less than 10 years. One half of the budget of the EMF project of the World Health Organization (WHO) was funded by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF). The $30 million 13 country WHO Interphone Study of brain tumors and cell phone use has been heavily funded by industry for the past decade. Results were promised in 2005 and have still not been released. Preliminary reports from some of the study countries in 2008 indicated a doubled risk of brain tumors in long-term cell phone users a decade after their use first began. Over the past three years, researchers from participating countries of Denmark, France, Israel, and Finland have confirmed increased brain tumor risk in long-term users and have issued warnings about the need to take precautions to lower exposures. The long-delayed release of final Interphone results is subject to approval by the industry sponsors.
Ronald Herberman, former Director Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, now Medical Director of Intrexon:
Based on my extensive scientific experience as a leader in basic research and director of a comprehensive cancer center for the National Cancer Institute, I believe that we have ample evidence for questioning the long-term impacts of cell phones on health and solid grounds for concerns about the long-term implications of their use.
(...) To read the missing part that contains loads of important information click HERE
I have been a patient at UCSF since November 2007 when I was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme at age 37. I am now 40. I have had two craniotomies thus far and continue treatment every two weeks. The tumor has been stable through 2009. It is my strong opinion that cellular phone usage was the cause of my disease. I used a cell phone for the past 18 years with extremely high usage due to my work in commercial real estate. I used approximately 8 different phones over the years (some even looked like military radios). My tumor was located in my left occipital lobe and was approximately 8 cm x 6 cm in size. In the past I only talked on my cell phone held to my left earmy tumor is there, also at my left ear area. I have met several patients and friends afflicted with the same disease. The common denominator is that each of our tumors is located at the area where we hold our cell phones whether it be left or right. Seems like a stretch to call our commonality a coincidence.
My husband was a healthy brilliant man. He used a cell phone for over 20 years with over 10,000 lifetime hours of use for business. At 56 he had a grand mal seizure while asleep (10 days prior to Senator Kennedy) and was immediately diagnosed with a cancerous mass (oligodendroglioma) in his right frontal lobe. He always held his phone to his right ear. After hearing the Kennedy family suspected that the Senators tumor may be connected to his cell phone use, we researched extensively. We sent my husbands medical records and cell phone records to international experts who confirmed our suspicions that my husband is the unfortunate poster-boy for the glioma/cell phone link. Had there been a warning or pre-safety testing this could have been avoided. He is the tip of the icebergI am advocating so others do not have to suffer as my family has. I have met scores of others with brain tumors who feel they are attributable to their cell phone use. Some, in their 30s and 40s, have already died. My husband is 57 and may only live a few more years. The right frontal lobe where his tumor originated is the core of empathy for loved ones, knowing the difference between right and wrong, and many other personality and cognitive functions. His cell phone use and subsequent tumor transformed our family life. This slow-growing tumor destroyed his soul and destroyed our family long before the diagnosis. We now live with the after-effects of the craniotomy (brain injury) and in fear of his death and our financial ruin.
Expert Opinion on this case:
It is more probable than not that this mans glioma was caused by his long-term mobile phone use according to current literature. The risk for glioma for ipsilateral (same side of the head) use of mobile phone use during 10 years or more is significantly increased, odds ratio (OR) -1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.4-2.4 (Hardell et al 2009, Khurana et al 2009). Since Patient X used mobile phone at least 20 years and 10,000 hours his probability would even be higher than the 95%. Signed: Lennart Hardell, MD, Phd, Professor and Director of Oncology, Orebro, Sweden
Until he was 48, my husband was a healthy, brilliant and vibrant man. He was a football coach at a California State University, who constantly used his cell phone. When he was recruiting, he would often speak on his cell phone for the entire 4-hour trip to his recruiting area in Southern California. There was one phone in particular that he complained would make his head and ear hurt when he spoke on it for more than several minutes. His right ear would be bright red where he had held his phone. He complained so much about his cell phone that I took it to Sprint to trade it for a different model, but because it was assigned to the university I was unable to do so. It is not surprising that his first symptom (a seizure) occurred while he was talking on his cell phone. Over the next few years my beautiful husband underwent two brain surgeries, ceaseless rounds of experimental chemotherapy and dangerous radiation, all with the knowledge that there was no cure for his stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme tumor. Within a few months my husband went from knocking 250-pound linebackers on their rear ends during practice drills to patting them on their heads to console them as they knelt by his deathbed. My love died on March 13, 2009. He was only 48 when diagnosed and died at age 50. We both knew his disease came about because of his cell phone use. The saddest part about this story is that if there had been a label on his cell phone (or the packaging) warning us that cell phones might cause brain tumors, he would be alive today. I am 100% certain of that. But instead, we are asked to believe cellular phones are safe and my six children and I are left to pick up the pieces. How many more must die?
I was a healthy active mother of three children who spent much of my time driving my children to and from school, soccer and other activities. For every hour of the waking day for 5 years I kept my cell phone in my bra and used a Bluetooth device which only worked if the phone was close to the device. At age 39, I was diagnosed with an unusual breast tumor that appeared precisely under the area where the phone radiation was transmitted. My physicians believe that this tumor arose because of the unusual direct exposure to the breast tissue from the phone.
"How DARE YOU allow my LIFE and BODY to be interfered with by greed-driven corporations!! The government is FOR the people...CORPORATIONS are profit-driven entities and do NOT have the general welfare in focus...they are mindless GREED MACHINES. The founders of this nation gave us all the RIGHT and DIRECTIVE to change governments which do NOT SERVE US."
"I'm outraged that there is no environmental or personal limits set for wireless industries! Insane!!! No wonder so many millions are having severe health effects! I suspect those involved in the wireless industry, know without a doubt, of these effects! I see many, many law-suits in the near future aimed at these wireless Corporations!"
"I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend. He was 42 years old, and died from chondra sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer which began in his hip, part of which had to be removed, and then metastasized to other parts of his body. Having worked as a dept manager at Walmart for 21 years, I wonder if the cell or mobile phone he had to carry around with him, contributed to the initial weakening of his hip."
"Much like the debate in the 60's against tobacco & its links to cancer, the EMF/radiation debate will follow suit. Early on, naysayers & those backed by big tobacco with deep pockets preached that those claiming that tobacco caused cancer were "Chicken Littles" with other hidden agendas. We now know the truth. This radiation debate is in its infancy but with more studies & research, we will definitely know one day, just like with tobacco, that it causes MANY dangerous health effects. The unfortunate fact remains that while those with deep pockets defend putting up larger radio & cell towers & other radiation emitting structures, many will get sick & die."
"There are 55 cell towers within a four mile radius of my address--39 are unregistered. This is a lot of radiation saturation for any residential area. This is overkill! Please take steps to regulate the Corporations who put these towers up!! Repeal Section 704 of the T.A. of 1996. Declare the moratorium on more wireless infrastructures!! Please help "we the people" to live in less polluted environments!"
"Known biological effects of radiofrequency radiation and low frequency fields include genetic effects, cancer, cellular/molecular effects, behavioral changes, nervous system dysfunction, blood-brain barrier permeability, calcium efflux, cardiovascular changes, sleeping disorders, hormonal disturbance, immune system changes, metabolic effects, fertility impairment and the interpersonal effects related to a constant background of stress."
"I analyze homes and offices for Radio Frequency, Magnetic Frequency and Electrical Fields; I use fine German instruments. I have NEVER found even a ROOM that didn't read off the chart on my instruments! FURTHER, I have NEVER corrected an area without fabulous follow up from the occupants about how they FELT so much better! SOMETIMES folks feel better before I am even through with my corrections! If we look at the health, well being and robustness of American people and the quality and health of her soils PRIOR TO the Industrial Age and then look at it NOW, what do we see? What about the ASTRONOMICALLY high cost of health care? Health care that treats SYMPTOMS that we would not have if we took a few steps back. We have POISONED ourselves with chemicals in the air, in our clothing, in our building supplies, in our soils AND we have poisoned ourselves with the unseen--the invisible EMF waves that are also polluting us! An MD, Environmental Specialist friend of mine told me that over ONE-FOURTH of his practice consists of NEWBORNS WITH TOXIC AMOUNTS OF environmental toxins in their little bodies. According to one report I read, there is NO newborn cord blood that is NOT contaminated! This wonderful, this gorgeous Planet of ours will go on. But WE are ruining her ability to support LIFE. PLEASE BEGIN TO EXAMINE THE ALREADY-EXISTING EVIDENCE AND YEARS-OLD RESEARCH AND SUPPORT AMERICA IN BEING A MODEL TO THE WORLD. If not for US, if not for the FUTURE GENERATIONS, then please do it for yourselves and your very own families."
"I find it increasingly impossible to enter the university campus, especially the library with its "hot spot", where I'm finishing a Ph.D. I am also unable to enter places like bookstores, coffee houses, etc., which have wireless internet capability. On entering such places, I get a headache (I never get headaches otherwise), burning in my face, inability to focus or think clearly. K-12 schools should absolutely NOT have wireless for the children's sake as well as the teachers. I would never be able to work as a substitute teacher in any school with wireless capability. Since I turned in the cellphone I had, paying the obscene fee of $100 to preserve my health, I have had a great decrease in brain fog, face burning, etc."
"This is not only a major health issue; it is a serious environmental problem. The Europeans have recognized its magnitude, along with Russia, Israel and other countries. The scientific evidence is compelling. The FCC must regulate the telecommunications industry, rather that giving it carte blanche to saturate the planet with ever-increasing levels of these harmful microwaves. If you are unconvinced, educate yourselves. The truth is shocking"
""Dirty electricity" provided by our utility company caused me to experience life-threatening symptoms. We spent $18,000 on medical tests before we finally found out what was causing the symptoms. Even then, the utility company would do nothing, We had to pay for the remediation ourselves. Water utility companies are not allowed to sell polluted water. Electric utility companies should not be allowed to sell electricity polluted with harmful frequencies. Nor should they be allowed to use the ground (terra firma) to return over 70% of the current to their substations. Again, no other company would be allowed to pollute the ground on people's private property. Electric companies should not be allowed to, either. Even the codes we do have are not being enforced."
"I am one of the cofounders of the EMR Network in 1998. I am a retired physicist with 48 years experience, and I have been active in expressing concern about the health effects of RF radiation since 1997. I have testified in several hearings on this subject and have also been an expert witness twice. The FCC's slavish devotion to its advisers from the IEEE and other engineering societies have prevented overwhelming evidence of the dangerous potential of nonthermal biological effects from being taken into consideration when setting RF safety standards for the general public."
AND FINALLY... HERE IS THE COMMENT I LEFT WHEN I SIGNED IT:
"The debate in North America about the deadly health risks posed by the onslaught of micro-wave radiations most everyone is exposed to is a travesty of the most elementary democratic principles. In the mainstream media there is hardly any mention of this fast-growing problem. Governments officials ignore it. Cell phone industry's lobbying and deliberately skewed studies are stimying any serious examination of the evidence proving how dangerous this continuous exposure is. Most everyone is hooked on their wireless electronic tether to the Internet and phone network, so utterly addicted to their gizmos and so impaired by the deleterious effects of their radiations that they sleepwalk into this death trap. In short, the outlook for progress on this issue is so bleak that it will probably take some radical, non-violent actions to finally trigger the paradigm revolution that will tilt the balance towards environmental and health sanity and nail down some stringent regulations with long claws to repel the invasion spurred by the multi-billion wireless industry and abetted by corrupt politicians and brainwashed regulators."
MEANWHILE IN THE U.S. AND CANADA... Wimax is the real total full-blast horror spreading like a cancer across North America and the whole planet. 24/7 mind-bending, cancer-causing torture by wireless microwave radiations - total spectrum dominance in Pentagon speak!
TV broadcasters prepare for spectrum battle (March 17, 2010) http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20000586-266.html
A fight is brewing in Washington, D.C., and this one's not the much-publicized battle over health care reform. No, the brawl that is just getting started is much quieter and could drag on for years. In one corner of the ring is the Federal Communications Commission, which wants to reclaim wireless spectrum for new broadband services. In the other corner are TV broadcasters, which sit on the spectrum the FCC wants to take back. The FCC's new National Broadband Plan, officially introduced this week, proposes that government shrink the overall spectrum that is allocated to TV broadcasters in the U.S. by about 40 percent. The plan (PDF) calls for the FCC to reclaim about 120MHz of spectrum from broadcasters in the next five years that would be used by cell phone operators and other wireless entrepreneurs to deliver new broadband services. Today, about 300MHz of spectrum has been set aside for free over-the-air TV broadcast. For people who watch broadcast TV, reclaiming this spectrum could mean a loss of some channels. For everyone, it could mean more wireless capacity and fewer dropped calls on smartphones like the iPhone. And it could encourage the development of new wireless broadband competitors. CLIP
WiMax more effective in achieving 100-mn broadband base (APRIL 09, 2010) http://www.governancenow.com/gov-next/egov/wimax-more-effective-achieving-100-mn-broadband-base
The WiMax Forum, a lobby promoting WiMax (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) technology, today said it is more effective than other competing technologies in helping the country achieve its goal of having 100 million broadband users by 2014. The forum said the WiMax, which is a telecommunication technology that provides fixed and fully mobile Internet access, will help the country to achieve its broadband target faster as competing technologies are yet not ready." WiMax can add 50-60 million subscribers in the next 24 months. CLIP
WIMAX, 4G TO POWER FUTURE FOR UTILITIES COMPANIES (08 APRIL ) http://www.goingwimax.com/wimax-4g-to-power-future-for-utilities-companies-10110/
Emerging 4G technologies like WiMAX and LTE contribute to building out smart grids for municipalities, power companies and governments. Smart grids enable cost effective processes that means smart meters, live video surveillance for police and highway departments. Smart grids are being set up all over and being used for all different types of applications. The Indiana Department of Transportation installed live surveillance that can update passengers immediately by transmitting messages to traffic signs using WiMAX and other wireless broadband technology. A utilities company in San Diego has established smart meters to read water, power and electricity usage. This means that companies would cut costs of having somebody go door to door to read each meter. The measurements would be more accurate and less dependent on humans. Wide spread adoption of the technology wont take effect for a number of years because of the mistrust and security concerns over broadcasting a wireless signal. They can be intercepted and vital information could be hacked and stolen. Its a risk that operators, base station builders and software companies take when launching broadband wireless services. CLIP
CRAIG WIRELESS TO LAUNCH WIMAX IN WESTERN CANADA IN 2Q (25 FEBRUARY 2010) http://www.goingwimax.com/craig-wireless-to-launch-wimax-in-western-canada-in-2q-8979/
Network World Canada reported that once a commercial WiMAX network is set up in Vancouver, Craig Wireless will expand services to other parts of British Columbia and Manitoba. Service in Vancouver is set to begin in the second quarter of 2010. Using fixed outdoor antennas, users will be able to access high speed broadband internet with WiMAX-enabled handsets, USB modems by the end of 2010. WiMAX is capable of 21 Mbps download speeds. WiMAX networks are set to launch in other Canadian cities, including Winnipeg by the end of this year.
Bell Canada Picks LTE For 4G Despite Investments In WiMax And Clearwire (Oct 10, 2008) http://moconews.net/article/419-bell-canada-picks-lte-for-4g-despite-invstmnts-in-wimax-and-clearwire/
Bell Canada said today that it will use LTE to build out its 4G network, an unexpected move for a company which has many close ties to the competing WiMax standard. For instance, the operator currently offers a WiMax-like network in 178 cities in Canada, and in March 2005, it partnered with Clearwire (NSDQ: CLWR) and invested $100 million into the U.S. WiMax operator. (...) Mobile WiMax is a next generation technology thats commercialized today and its based on an official standard established in 2005. Theres a robust ecosystem for mobile WiMax, which includes 407 deployments in 133 countries. CLIP
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