The Moment of Truth Series #20: We are all on Shaky Ground!
There are 2 interesting special feature sections - on 911 and on earthquakes - below that will be of interest to many I think. Plus the usual eclectic mix of news and viewpoints from around the world, much of which is about our dismal stewardship of Nature - but still with some promising developments.
Incidentally, for those of you who may be interested I will participate this Saturday March 13 on the BBS Station 1 to the web radio show of Lance White called A Fireside Chat with Zany Mystic. If you which to listen to it live from 7:00 to 8:00 PM (PST) - 10:00 to 11:00 PM (EST) go at http://www.bbsradio.com/bbc/a_fireside_chat.php. If you miss it, I'll give a link in my next compilation to listen to the archived MP3 file of the show.
To ensure that these compilations are not blocked, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list. If you don't know how to do so, go at http://www.truthout.org/whitelisting where you will find a very comprehensive set of instructions. Your feedback is as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer it is not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2010/MomentTruth20.htm
To share this material with others, click HERE and then click on the icon(s) of the place(s) (like Facebook Blogger, etc.) where you want to share it, log on, etc. and it will be automatically posted there. You can also access the archived copy of this compilation (link shown above) and click on the share button featured under the Google automatic translation button, near the top, and then follow the same steps just mentioned.
STATS for this compilation: Over 46,000 words and 259 links provided
To unsubscribe from the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver, or change your listing on it when you have a new email address, you can do it yourself through sending a blank email at email@example.com from the email account you wish to unsubscribe and then you subscribe your new email address - from your new email account - through sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org - And then you'll have to reply to the confirmation email you'll receive. Or you can also ask me at email@example.com to do it for you.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
Do you see the light from the corner of the eye?
Do you feel the soft touch when no one walks by?
Can you sense the life force in your every pore?
Do you know that you're finally approaching the door?
Are you aware of changes that are sending you reeling?
Well that's good my friends cause you're finally feeling.
There's great things that are coming to set us all free,
The warmth and the love of the power of we.
Embrace what is happening and don't run away,
We are all heading towards a much better day!
- Chris Lewis - Sent by Lisa C. (Aleoray@aol.com)
Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well being of mind and body.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.
"Hi Jean: Just a word to let you know that I am OK. I live in Chile at the beginning of the Cordillera de Los Andes. The earthquake here was horrifying, one of the longest and strongest I have ever lived through, and let me tell you I have already experienced three huge earthquakes during my lifetime. I live in the Central Zone of Chile near Santiago. We are still feeling smaller and bigger earthquakes everyday, so it is difficult to sleep well. The worst is that a lot of people is awaiting another big one, including myself. That is because a new seismic zones seems to be activating in front of Valparaiso, very near Santiago. This is a different fracture and we are having earthquakes now centered in that zone every day. Well, hoping to survive the next one."
- Sofía Aldunate (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Received on March 10, 2010 -- NOTE from Jean: Read below in the Special Earthquake Feature section - under "My experience of the Chilean Earthquake " - Sofia's first-hand account of what she and her family experienced during and after this extraordinary powerful tremor.
OK Go "This Too Shall Pass" (Watch in 1080p super HD - Full screen - Seen by over 7 million people in 10 days!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w
You may remember the band OK Go! from their viral videos -- first the one with the outstanding choreography in their back yard, then the one where they're dancing on treadmills. Well, they have -- unbelievably -- outdone themselves again. This is just expletive expletive expletive fantastic. The song is pretty great, too. NOTE: There is another marching band version of "This Too Shall Pass" HERE
UFO files: MoD documents record mystery illnesses and alien residue (February 18, 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/7254648/UFO-files-MoD-documents-record-mystery-illnesses-and-alien-residue.html
Flying Toblerones, mysterious illnesses and silky-white substances are among hundreds of close encounters described in previously top-secret files released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). More than 6,000 pages of material spanning from 1994 to 2000 holds hundreds of other-worldly experiences with unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and apparent aliens across Britain. Aircraft of all shapes and sizes have been witnessed flying over a wide range of locations. One man told police he was physically sick and developed a ''skin condition'' after an eerie ''tube of light'' enveloped his car in Ebbw Vale, in Wales, at 10.40pm on January 27 1997. Other highlights include: -- A man arrived at his Birmingham home at 4am on March 20, 1997, to discover an illuminated blue triangle hovering over his garden. The craft shot off leaving behind a ''silky-white'' substance on the tree-tops, which he collected in a jam-jar. -- A UFO sighted by Boston and Skegness police, in Lincolnshire, was captured on film. The police reported the sighting to the coastguard, who in turn alerted ships in North Sea - where a crew saw more UFOs. -- A letter from senior MoD official Ralph Noyes in which he describes seeing a film of UFOs captured by RAF fighter pilots in 1956. Mr Noyes claims the footage was shown at a secret underground screening arranged for Air Defence staff at the MoD Main Building in 1970. (...) The files are available to download for free for a month from the website http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ufos
Reverse Obama Administration's Approval of Tongass Logging - for US citizens! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/266674325
In a stunning blow to the environment, the Obama Administration just approved a clearcut of 382 acres of timber in a roadless area of Alaska's Tongass National Forest. The clearcut in the Tongass will involve building 6.9 miles of roads and rebuilding another 1.9 miles of old roads. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack put a temporary halt to timber sales in roadless areas of national forests -- but he approved this timber sale despite the concerns of people who care about this important temperate rainforest, home to numerous endangered species. Vilsack argues it'll provide much-needed jobs for the region -- but even in troubled economic times, we cannot sacrifice the future of our planet! Urge President Obama to reverse this decision and ensure no more clearcutting and roadbuilding occurs in the Tongass.
Government Swine Flu Ad Portrays Vaccine Skeptics As Raving Lunatics (March 4, 2010) http://www.infowars.com/government-swine-flu-ad-portrays-vaccine-skeptics-as-raving-lunatics/
A glib 33 second propaganda ad produced by the Kentucky Department for Public Health portrays skeptics of the swine flu vaccine as raving lunatics, despite the fact that the head of the Council of Europes investigation into the 2009 outbreak labeled it one of the greatest medical scandals of the century.The commercial, which is entitled H1N1 Vaccine Myths, features a group of office workers spewing ridiculous theories about the swine flu vaccine that have never been embraced by any vaccine skeptic, in an attempt to build a classic straw man and smear people who question the necessity for taking the shot as unstable lunatics. CLIP
Lyme Disease: A government mistake, now a cover up? http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/820.html
1. Lyme disease did not start appearing until the mid-1970s.
2. It's one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the US
3. It's first recorded outbreak was in Old Lyme, Connecticut
4. Old Lyme, CT is directly across Long Island sound from Plum Island which for years the US government claimed was an entirely benign livestock disease research center.
5. Characteristically, the federal government lied about the fact that biological warfare experiments were conducted on the island for decades. They were forced to give up this charade in 1993 when a Newsday unearthed documents proving otherwise.
6. Extensive experiments were conducted on Plum Island that involved creating diseases and infecting ticks with them - all in the name of protecting America's livestock
7. Like many clandestine research programs, Plum Island appears to have had former Nazi scientists in the role of advisors, specifically Dr. Erich Traub, who was in charge of the Third Reich's virological and bacteriological warfare program in World War II.
If you have trouble believing that the US would employ Nazi war criminals after World War II, do some basic homework. Nazi scientists received a warm welcome in US aerospace and biological and chemical warfare programs. The US also actively recruited Japanese war criminals for this purpose. For more on the importation of Nazis into the U.S. under Project Paperclip, click HERE
About the new movie: Under Our Skin - Documentary Trailer
The Robin Hood Tax: Turning a crisis for the banks into an opportunity for the world http://www.thersa.org/events/our-events/the-robin-hood-tax-turning-a-crisis-for-the-banks-into-an-opportunity-for-the-world
The unprecedented bailout of the UK banking sector has created a budget deficit that threatens government commitments to end child poverty, fuel poverty, safeguard jobs and front line services. At the same time, the financial crisis has caused a widespread economic downturn, with growing unemployment and increasing demands on public spending. The poorest countries have also been hit hard, massively increasing their budget deficits when they need extra support both to ensure they meet the UNs Millennium Development Goals and to meet the costs of the immediate and future impacts of climate change. As world leaders look for ways to ensure the financial sector contributes to the cost of bank bailouts and the recovery of the global economy, the team behind Make Poverty History has launched the Robin Hood Tax campaign for a Financial Transaction Tax which could raise billions every year.Is the Robin Hood Tax a timely solution that can significantly address the major financing challenges we face? Would such a tax help to renew the social contract between banks and society? Much more through http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/
Rachel Corrie, 23yo American killed by Israeli troops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFWkWib5CTs
A clip from the documentary "Occupation 101", a film which details the Israeli invasion and occupation of the Palestinian lands. If this story of Rachel Corrie, and activist killed while trying to prevent Palestinian homes from being demolished by Israelis, doesn't touch your heart, you're just not human. This girl is a real American hero, I can't believe I've never heard of this before. Many more videos HERE about Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court (26 February 2010) http://www.truthout.org/rachel-corrie-gets-her-day-court57223
On March 10, in the Israeli city of Haifa, American peace activist Rachel Corrie will get her day in court. Corrie's parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, are bringing suit against the Israeli defence ministry for Corrie's killing by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza in March 2003.Four key American and British witnesses who were present at the scene - members of the International Solidarity Movement - will be allowed into Israel to testify, despite having been barred previously by the Israeli authorities from entering the country. This reversal by the Israeli authorities is apparently due to US government pressure, The Guardian reported. CLIP - CHECK also Rachel Corrie Documentary Sparks Uproar at Jewish Film Festival
ELECTROSMOG: NOS TAUX RECORDS DE CANCERS INQUIETENT LES EXPERT http://www.21esiecle.qc.ca/electrosmog-nos-taux-records-de-cancers-inquietent-les-experts
Depuis 1991, le gouvernement du Québec a refusé par trois fois dappliquer les recommandations de ses propres conseillers médicaux en matière de réduction de lexposition aux champs électromagnétiques (CEM) de 60 Hertz. Cette situation est inacceptable puisque nous sommes le peuple le plus exposé en Occident, sinon au monde, aux champs magnétiques dextrêmement basses fréquences (EBF). Nous sommes exposés de la sorte en raison de la prédominance des systèmes de chauffage électrique, des multiples mises à la terre effectuées sur les tuyaux de plomberie métalliques ainsi que des mauvaises pratiques de câblage. Ces facteurs génèrent des champs magnétiques élevés dans les immeubles ainsi que sur le réseau dHydro-Québec.Taux records de cancerLa situation est dautant plus inacceptable que, selon les dernières statistiques de lAgence de santé publique du Canada, les Québécois affichent les taux les plus élevés dincidence de trois cancers soupçonnés dêtre causés par lexposition aux champs magnétiques EBF : les cancers du cerveau et du sein, ainsi que la leucémie lymphocytaire aiguë. Dailleurs, nos enfants de moins de 10 ans présentent également le taux de cancer le plus élevé au Canada. CLIP
Hypersensibilité aux ondes électromagnétiques: dans la tête? (22 février 2010) http://blogue.passeportsante.net/christianlamontagne/2010/02/hypersensibilite_ondes_electromagnetiques_dans_la_tete.html
Bonjour hypersensibilité électromagnétique!Depuis l'invention de la radio et l'électrification des villes, au début du 20e siècle, nous avons de plus en plus saturé notre environnement d'ondes électromagnétiques jadis inconnues sur la planète. La multiplication des antennes relais pour les réseaux de téléphone cellulaire et d'Internet sans fil a fait augmenter la densité de ces ondes de manière astronomique. Et nous en redemandons sans nous poser trop de questions sur l'effet de la soupe électromagnétique dans laquelle nous baignons et que personne ne peut entièrement éviter. Certains ont appelé cette soupe d'ondes l'électrosmog. CLIP
NOTE from Jean: The chorus of voices from around the world is growing every day to demand a new investigation into what really happened on September 11, 2001 and who are those who have actually masterminded this horrible tragedy and treasonous crime against humanity - because of the millions of lives lost and millions of humans beings displaced and still greatly suffering because of the cooked up War of Terror launched after this false flag attack. Because of the world-changing significance of the juggernaut of deep changes to result in the covert power structure that to this day still pull the strings towards devilish ends once the cover up is breached and the public learn the whole truth, I've put together this wrap up of some of the latest developments on this.
Press Release: Cynthia McKinney supports call for a new 9/11 investigation. (March 10, 2010) http://dprogram.net/2010/03/10/press-release-cynthia-mckinney-supports-call-for-a-new-911-investigation/
(Reinvestigate911) Speaking at meeting in the House of Commons and later in a packed public meeting called by Reinvestigate 911, on Monday Cynthia McKinney endorsed the call for a genuinely independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks. The issue has become live again since President Obama cited 9/11 as the reason for escalating the war in Afghanistan and extending it into Pakistan, she said.Tony Blair cited 9/11 as the event that made the subsequent wars possible when he supported calls for military action against Iran at his Chilcot appearance in February. McKinney was the only person in Congress to ask questions about the many exercises which were being conducted by the Pentagon on the morning of the attacks. One was an anti-hijack exercise, which official sources put down to a bizarre coincidence. The existence of the anti-hijack exercise only came to light after the 9/11 Commission seized and reclaimed tapes which the Pentagon thought had been erased. Ian Henshall of Reinvestigate 911 told the meetings that with the war escalating the media should no longer ignore the unanswered 9/11 questions. He reminded his audience that according to the then Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill the invasion of Iraq was being planned in detail by a White House cabal of Cheney Rice and CIA boss George Tenet nine months before the 9/11 attacks took place. They knew they needed what they called a Pearl Harbour type event before they could invade Iraq, so why spend valuable resources on planning for an event which had not yet happened, and they said was a surprise when it did? I hope the media in the UK will join their colleagues abroad and start asking some hard questions about this, he asked. CLIP - Much more to read in this article!
The 9/11 hijackers are alive (March 9, 2010) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9kEwQud4Ek
According to the chief of Japans Democratic Party who says that the 9/11 hijackers are alive and that 9/11 was a complete hoax. Dr. David Ray Griffin is a professor and author who wrote The New Pearl Harbor Revisited and he says that he agrees; the World Trade Center was a hoax.
March 6 & 7, 2010, Valley Forge Convention Center - "Treason in America: 911, the Wars & Our Broken Constitution" Conference http://www.treasoninamericaconference.com/
A two-day non-partisan truth conference with speakers, movie clips & music discussing our current state of affairs and how we got here. From 9/11, the "wars on terror" and the private, not public, Federal Reserve to the undermining of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rightsvia Patriot Acts 1 & 2, to connecting the dots between different events that go unreported (or under-reported), as a whole, in our mainstream media. Calling on left & right truth-seekers to find common ground and work together to help revive our country! Come learn what many do not know, but what many are waking up to. Knowledge is power.
ABC Vs. Loose Change Part I (March 7, 2010) Part 2 HERE - Extremely outspoken guys - MUST WATCH! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p6nSLqpNYQ
At the Treason in America Conference on 3/6/2010, ABC News decided to drop by and "cover" the event.
Japanese Have Washington Post Running Scared over 9/11 http://www.dcdave.com/article5/100308.htm
The issue as framed by the U.S. ruling elites hometown house organ is very simple; a top insider in Japans new government has lost his marbles. The Washington Posts apoplexy over the fact that Councilor Yukihisa Fujita isnt buying the official version of what happened on September 11, 2001, is well reflected in the two headlines it gave to its March 8, 2010 editorial. First we have the print edition: Poisonous Thinking in Japan - Has a conspiratorial view of 9/11 taken hold in the ruling party? Then we have the even more hysterical headline in the electronic version: A Leading Japanese Politician Espouses a 9/11 Fantasy... The two paragraphs below capture the flavor of The Posts screed. CLIP
September 11 attacks on US a 'big lie': Ahmadinejad (March 6, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iO4KHVZRxvNL_RmNazgXFvyBqRTA
TEHRAN Iran's firebrand President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on Saturday dismissed the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States as a "big lie," state media reported. Ahmadinejad has on several occasions questioned the accepted version of the terror strikes on New York and Washington carried out by Al-Qaeda militants which killed nearly 3,000 people. "September 11 was a big lie paving the way for the invasion of Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism," he was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster. Ahmadinejad also described the airborne attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers as a "scenario and a complex act of intelligence" services.His remarks come with Iran locked in a standoff with world powers led by the United States over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, and risking tougher sanctions over its defiance. In January, the hardline president branded the September 11 attacks "a suspicious affair" similar to the Nazi Holocaust, which he dismissed as a "myth" shortly after coming to power in 2005, drawing widespread condemnation. Ahmadinejad has faced months of protests at home against his disputed re-election on June 12 last year, which the opposition charges was massively rigged to keep him in power. MORE on this in Ahmadinejad: 9/11 Attacks a "Big Lie" and Ahmadinejad plugs Truth Jihad!
Citizen's Arrest of Alleged War Criminal George W. Bush in Canada - SPS versus "W" in Court Hearings in Calgary By Carol Brouillet (March 8, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18005
Splitting the Sky, indigenous activist, seized by security forces in Canada last year when he attempted to make a citizen's arrest of George W. Bush will have his day in court on Monday, March 8th. According to Professor Anthony J. Hall, this case will demonstrate whether Canada is ruled by law or fear and highlight the need for new principles, the Calgary Principles to amend the victor's justice of the Nuremberg Principles, in light of the new impunities for high level crimes against humanity and the Earth in this era, and the need to protect and honor civil resistance to those high crimes. Dacajaweiah, John Boncore, or Splitting the Sky, is not a man of few words. If you read his hefty 653-page autobiography, it is very clear that he has lived an extraordinary life and has survived more than his share of violence, to find deep within himself a well of energy and spirit enabling him to not only endure hardships, but to serve his people and the land in the timeless struggle against oppression and tyranny. From the Attica Rebellion to Gustafen Lake to Calgary in 2009, when he attempted a citizen's arrest of George W. Bush, 'Dac' has consciously taken a leadership role to politically challenge the powerful forces that dominate the North American continent. Brutally arrested for his action, he earned his day in court to voice not only his defense, but to highlight the hypocrisy and criminality of the Canadian government for allowing Bush into Canada, and to firmly establish the legal defense of civil resistance, the duty of citizens to act when our governments and their agents are derelict in their duty. This will be very useful in the future to rein these criminals in." Prior to Bush's visit, the Canadian group Lawyers Against the War asked Canadian officials to bar entry or try Bush for his suspected crimes since Canadian Law prohibits people suspected of any involvement in torture or other war crimes and crimes against humanity from entering Canada for any period and for any purpose.
SPECIAL EARTHQUAKE FEATURE
NOTE from Jean: In her poignant testimonial below, Sofia - who is a long-time ERN subscriber - explains she has the gift to feel well ahead of time when big earthquakes are due to happen. I recall there was another subscriber from the State of Oregon who shared with me years ago that she also had the uncanny ability to feel in her body clear signs of imminent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and she always predicted them with great accuracy. So I totally believe Sofia when she says she has a similar gift. I also saw reports of the great under-reporting of deaths by the Chilean authorities. - OTHER NEWS: Chile's earthquake 'may cost insurers up to $7bn' - Chile quake reconstruction 'to take up to four years - Chileans bitter about quake response - Massive Chilean Quake Moved Whole Cities - Quake-stricken Chile needs more aid: Red Cross ("Two million people were affected by the quake and 500,000 houses damaged, according to Chilean figures. ") - Chile Suffers from Monstrous Quake ("A rare side effect of the earthquake was a tiny shift in the Earths axis, according to researcher Richard Gross. The model estimates that each day on Earth will be 1.26 microseconds shorter. While an earthquake in Sumatra had a larger magnitude, the Chilean earthquake was more effective at causing this shift due its location in the mid-latitudes. At the same time, precise GPS measurements reveal that the entire city of Concepcion moved 10 feet west following the cataclysm.") - Chile Earthquake Moved Entire Cities Even some located hundreds of miles away ("The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile on February 27 was recently established to be the fifth-strongest in recorded history, and also one of the most interesting to study, from a geological perspective. It would appear that planetary scientists have a great deal to learn from it, and also from the changes that it caused to the planet. As we were telling you earlier, it apparently nudged our planet's figure axis off-course by a few inches, and experts now reveal that it also shifted entire cities several meters in specific directions." - Quake, tsunami alert hit Chile as new leader sworn in - MORE related news
From: Sofia Aldunate (email@example.com)
Date: 11 Mar 2010
Subject: My experience of the Chilean Earthquake
Today we experienced a strong one here in Santiago close to noon. I am still quite concerned with the possibility that we could have another big earthquake again so I am not sending the kids to school. They have to cross two bridges to get there and if they get broken they have no way to return home.
Regarding this earthquake, I have been feeling it was coming since November last year, you know? And I still feel this is not over. I am expecting another big one (I have some kind of a seismic monitor inside of me......) We had a big earthquake in 1985 and I knew it was going to happen too a year before it's actual occurrence. At that time I tried to prevent people but they got angry at me, so this time I prevented some people, but very few. I was sure also that there was going to be a big tsunami, so I tried to prevent my youngest son from going to the beach on his vacations because I knew it was going to be in the summer but could not get to know the exact date. So, anyway he went away almost the whole summer, and when he was invited to stay longer with his aunt, which would have included the week of the earthquake, I decided to tell him the truth to get him back home as soon as possible. I talked to him on the phone and told him very clearly that I was absolutely sure we were going to face a big earthquake which was going to produce a big catastrophe, and that we had to go through this together, that we could not be separated and that I wanted him home IMMEDIATELY. I have a very strong connection to this son so he decided to return immediately. It was really a relief for me when we were finally all reunited at home .
The night of the earthquake my children were awake playing games at the computer, so they awakened us when they realized that the earthquake was not going to stop. We all run out of the house. The noise coming from the depths of the earth was so loud we could hardly hear each other talk, It was the first time my children were going through an experience like this, so I told them we should hold hands together forming a circle because it was already difficult to stay up due to the violence of the movement. Then I asked them to spread their legs apart for if there were fissures in the earth under our feet. It helps to do that because if a fissure happens under one of you feet you can move it from there to another position and as we were holding hands if any of us was in danger to fall into a possible fissure the other could prevent that holding the person up. I was taught all of this by my father who was a survivor of the 1960 earthquake in Puerto Montt and Valdivia and who organized the aerial bridge to help the people at that time. As I told you the earthquake lasted three long minutes and the earth produced visible waves, like the waves you see in the water, only that they rise some part of the terrain where you are in and at the same time some other parts of the same terrain go down, so it is very difficult no to fall down.
The light went down because in Chile we have a security system that shuts down the light immediately when an earthquake reaches 7.0 magnitude. The shaking was going up and down, and then from right to left, and then in a strange circular movement, honestly I though our house was going down. The noise coming from the earth lasted even after the earthquake subsided. I had never heard such a strong noise in my life before. After the first earthquake we had a lot of other tremors which were pretty strong, so we moved the car near to the exit of the house and got together some water, food and lanterns or flashlights, we hardly had time to make some phone calls before all communications were shut off by the force of the first earthquakes and the secondary ones. So we stayed together in the car trying to get some news, but all the Chilean radios were shut off and only had some news from Argentinean radios, but let me tell you nobody really knew during the first hours till the dawn what had really happened and what was really the extent of the catastrophe.
Regarding the extent, we are still finding today places that we did not know had been horribly affected. It has been forbidden to show death people in our TV, and I know for certain that the number of death people is false, the number is really a lot higher, because there is a whole bunch of people that were taken away by the sea, tourists, old people, small villages that once were there at the beach and that have now completely disappeared, and nobody knew how many people lived there or who they were.
My husband today called me horrified to tell me that he tried to go to some places out of Santiago to do his usual work (he controls plagues like mice and is a veterinarian) and just could not go because the roads were completely destroyed with fissures 2 kilometers long and with one part of the fissure one or two meters higher than the other side. Bridges over the high speed roads have all collapsed (and they were new), as have collapsed gigantic malls where the people went to buy stuff and went to the cinema, these were also new buildings. So he said to me "thanks to god the earthquake was at night, otherwise a LOT of people would have died". Nothing like this had happened before in Santiago or near Santiago in 1985.
Well Jean, I do not have any problem if you want to use this letter or the other one I sent you first. It could help people if they are exposed to an event of this magnitude. Anyway the first thing is not to loose control of yourself, otherwise you cannot think clearly and then you are unable to see what you have to do to help yourself and the ones you love. Fortunately, I could hold myself together so I was more of a help than a burden.
In love and light
Seismic Science: Is number of earthquakes on the rise? (March 9, 2010) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/03/08/DI2010030802570.html
Are the recent earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Turkey a coincidence or a sign of increases seismic activity? Dr. Michael Blanpied, associate program coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, took your questions about the causes of the recent quakes, earthquake forecasting and more (...) A lot of people wonder if the rate of earthquakes is increasing, but it does not appear to be. We have good statistics on the numbers of earthquakes going back years, decades and centuries.(...) Some researchers are exploring the idea that melting ice and sea-level rise is changing the weight bearing down on faults, such that they might be more prone to making earthquakes. So far as I have seen this is in the realm of research, and an effect has not been solidly demonstrated. The effects of melting glaciers on volcanoes is also being studied. I am not aware of any way in which geomagnetic storms could affect earthquakes, and they would certainly have no effect on plate movements, as those are driven by slow motions in the earth's deep mantle. CLIP
Recent spate of quakes chalked up to coincidence (03/09/2010) http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14641674?nclick_check=1
Geologists have a logical term for the recent rash of devastating earthquakes around the world: They're called clusters, and scientists recognize that such groupings do occur.For Californians, the cluster seemed to start with a magnitude 6.5 quake outside Eureka on Jan. 9. Then a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12. A similar-size quake struck Japan on Feb. 26, followed the next day by a powerful magnitude 8.8 temblor rocking Chile. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan on March 4 and a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Indonesia the next day. Then, on Monday, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake shook Turkey.Despite the unnerving series of recent quakes, it's not a sign that more seismic havoc is imminent. Although large earthquakes are capable of triggering faraway temblors, the subsequent quakes are typically well under magnitude 4, geologists say. So when major earthquakes occur close in time but thousands of miles apart, it's considered coincidence. (...) This year's earthquake toll may appear higher than normal, experts note, because many struck in heavily populated regions, leading to massive casualties in some areas and billions of dollars in damage. But, in fact, there's nothing unusual about the quake numbers, as on average every year there's one quake somewhere in the world that's at least magnitude 8. And every year on average there are 17 earthquakes from magnitude 7 to 7.9, but most typically receive little coverage because they occur undersea or in sparsely populated areas."That's what counts, the occurrence of large, damaging earthquakes," Stein said.
Chilean earthquake hints at dangers of 'Big One' for USA (3/1/2010) http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2010-03-01-chile-quake-lessons_N.htm
One of the really "Big Ones" to shake the United States was a magnitude-9.0 earthquake along the Pacific Northwest coast more than 300 years ago, before the arrival of huge numbers of people and development, that sent a catastrophic tsunami to Japan. Were something like that 1700 quake to occur today - and it certainly could, seismologists say - enormous destruction and loss of life would result in a region that is home now to big cities and millions of people. The magnitude-8.8 earthquake that rocked Chile and sent tsunami fears across the Pacific on Saturday - nearly seven weeks after the enormously deadly quake that destroyed parts of Haiti- serves as a vivid reminder of the perils posed to the United States by countless fault lines and shifting plates. "It's not a matter of if, only of when an event like this strikes the people of the United States," says Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey. "Shame on us if we don't prepare." CLIP
6.0-magnitude earthquake kills 39 in eastern Turkey http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=120322§ionid=351020204
(...) Deadly earthquakes take place rather frequently in Turkey, which is crossed by several active fault-lines. Two powerful tremors in the heavily populated northwest claimed about 20,000 lives in August and November .
In devastated Chile, survivors mourn quake's dead (8 Mar 2010) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=120325§ionid=351020706
Days after one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history, Chile begins three days of national mourning to remember the hundreds of people killed in the disaster. Flags flew at half-staff across the country beginning Sunday. Religious ceremonies are also being held in open air to remember the dead as the population of 16.8 million showed a wave of solidarity. The official death toll has been revised down to 452 from 802 as those reported missing, included initially among the dead, have turned up alive. The 8.8-magnitude quake struck Chile on February 27 and the ensuing tsunami wiped out buildings and entire communities, particularly in the Maule region along the coast. More than 200 aftershocks rattled the nation which further complicated the rescue efforts. Around half a million homes were destroyed completely or partially. Sanitary conditions for many still living on the streets are a growing concern. CLIP
DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen - Hawk Note: Proof of the existence of weather control weapons, tectonic weapons , and ability to cause volcanoes to erupt via electromagnetic waves http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=674
(...) Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. CLIP
Irazú Volcano Panics Residents With 9 Tremors Monday Night (2 March 2010) http://www.insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2010/march/02/costarica-10030202.htm
The Irazú volcano sent a panic chill in the neighbouring communities last night, as residents report at least 9 tremors from the volcano during a 30 minute period. Residents say the volcano, located north of Cartago, began acting up after 7pm. Juan Segura, director of the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (Ovsicori), said that they got many reports from area residents as the volcano triggered a seismic swarm northeast of Irazu. CLIP
Oarfish omen spells earthquake disaster for Japan (4 March 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/7365076/Oarfish-omen-spells-earthquake-disaster-for-Japan.html
Japan is bracing itself after dozens of rare giant oarfish - traditionally the harbinger of a powerful earthquake - have been washed ashore or caught in fishermen's nets. -- The appearance of the fish follows Saturday's destructive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile and the January 12 tremors in Haiti, which claimed an estimated 200,000 lives. A quake with a magnitude of 6.4 has also struck southern Taiwan. This rash of tectonic movements around the Pacific "Rim of Fire" is heightening concern that Japan - the most earthquake-prone country in the world - is next in line for a major earthquake. Those concerns have been stoked by the unexplained appearance of a fish that is known traditionally as the Messenger from the Sea God's Palace. The giant oarfish can grow up to five metres in length and is usually to be found at depths of 1,000 metres and very rarely above 200 metres from the surface. Long and slender with a dorsal fin the length of its body, the oarfish resembles a snake.In recent weeks, 10 specimens have been found either washed ashore or in fishing nets off Ishikawa Prefecture, half-a-dozen have been caught in nets off Toyama Prefecture and others have been reported in Kyoto, Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures, all on the northern coast. According to traditional Japanese lore, the fish rise to the surface and beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake - and there are scientific theories that bottom-dwelling fish may very well be susceptible to movements in seismic fault lines and act in uncharacteristic ways in advance of an earthquake - but experts here are placing more faith in their constant high-tech monitoring of the tectonic plates beneath the surface. CLIP
Earthquake Fault Under Tokyo Closer Than Expected, Study Fin (July 14, 2005) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/07/0714_050714_tokyoquake.html
Scientists have found that a major, earthquake-producing fault that runs beneath metropolitan Tokyo is closer to the surfaceand potentially more dangerousthan previously thought.The boundary between two key tectonic plates just south of Tokyo was thought to be about 12.5 miles to 25 miles (20 to 40 kilometers) below the surfac But Japanese researchers have found that the fault is no more than 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the surface, and in some places it's only 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) beneath the city. This closer proximity means that Tokyo could be more susceptible to the effects of earthquakes than previously thought. Stronger ground motion is more likely when a quake occurs closer to the surface. (...) The 35 million residents of greater Tokyo feel earthquakes almost every week. Most are small and cause no damage. But some, such as the 1923 Kanto quake and the 1855 Ansei Edo quake, have devastated the Japanese capital. The city is built atop the junction of three tectonic plates: the Eurasian plate, the Philippine Sea plate, and the Pacific plate. CLIP
Big Tokyo quake would cause human gridlock: study (April 3, 2008) http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Big_Tokyo_quake_would_cause_human_gridlock_study_999.html
A big earthquake in Tokyo could create a giant human traffic jam as commuters clog the streets trying to walk home, a government study has revealed. A powerful earthquake during the daytime could force millions of people to walk home, packed into streets in conditions similar to a crowded commuter train if the tremor were to knock out public transportation, the study said. About two million commuters would be forced to cram into densely-packed areas for more than three hours, according to the report from the Cabinet Office's Central Disaster Prevention Council, published Wednesday. Six or more people could be squeezed into an area of one square metre (11 square feet) in Tokyo, the world's largest metropolis. It could take workers 15 hours to trek 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the financial district of Marunouchi to a home in the town of Wako, north of Tokyo -- three times longer than it normally would, the study said. Japan, which lies at the crossing of four tectonic plates, endures about 20 percent of the world's powerful earthquakes, frequently jolting Tokyo and other major cities where buildings are made to be tremor-resistant. A 7.3-magnitude major earthquake in Tokyo would kill 4,700 people, damage 440,000 buildings and leave thousands of others trapped in elevators, according to a study published by the government in 2006. The last major tremor in Tokyo was the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 which left 142,807 people dead or unaccounted for. Japan marks the September 1 anniversary each year with nationwide disaster preparation drills.
Great Hanshin earthquake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hanshin_earthquake
The Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, was an earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST in the southern part of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. (...) The earthquake caused approximately ten trillion yen or $102.5 billion in damage, 2.5% of Japan's GDP at the time. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the "costliest natural disaster to befall any one country." Most of the losses were uninsured, as only 3% of property in the Kobe area was covered by earthquake insurance, compared to 16% in Tokyo. Kobe was one of the world's busiest ports prior to the earthquake, but despite the repair and rebuilding, it has never regained its former status as Japan's principal shipping port. The sheer size of the earthquake caused a major decline in Japanese stock markets, with the Nikkei 225 index plunging by a thousand points in one day following the quake. This financial damage was the immediate cause for the collapse of Barings Bank due to the actions of Nick Leeson, who had speculated vast amounts of money on Japanese and Singaporean derivatives. Discussions of Japan's "Lost Decade" tend towards purely economic analysis and neglect the impact of the earthquake on the Japanese economy which at the time was already suffering from recession. The earthquake and volunteerism - The fact that volunteers from all over Japan converged on Kobe to help victims of the quake was an important event in the history of volunteerism in Japan. The year 1995 is often regarded as a turning point in the emergence of volunteerism as a major form of civic engagement. CLIP
Bolivia, our beacon of hope (8 March 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/08/bolivia-evo-morales-election
If the prospect of the election has you in despair, look to the inspiring example of Evo Morales's Bolivian government -- There's a game I've been playing recently. Any time I read the news and get depressed about the parlous state of our world, I type "Bolivia" into Google news and wait for the results. It's really all you need to brighten up your day.In the last month things such as this have popped up: Bolivian women spearhead Morales revolution, which describes the decision by Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, to stock half his new cabinet with women, nearly half of them indigenous. More recently there was this: Bolivian president donates half pay to victims, which detailed Morales and his vice president Alvaro García's decision to donate half their March salaries to help the victims of the Haiti and Chile earthquakes.What is happening in Bolivia now and has been since MAS, or Movimiento al Socalismo, came to power in 2005 is truly inspiring. There has been a lot of talk about how the left is dead and Francis Fukayama's "End of History" means we all have to accept that a global economic system that creates obscene inequalities and mass starvation is the highest stage of social and economic organisation our species can attain. That might be true for an academic at Johns Hopkins, but for everyone else looking to the future and something to fight for, I ask them to kindly divert their gaze to Bolivia. It is the closest thing we have to real democratic socialism: a government, but more importantly a grassroots movement, committed to economic and gender equality, anti-racism, free speech and every other ideal the left should hold dear. (...) The backbone of Morales's reform programme was the creation of a new Bolivian constitution, which was ratified by a public referendum in 2009. Morales has signalled that he will make the implementation of the new constitution his main legislative priority at the start of his second term. In a country that is often compared to apartheid South Africa, as the stark divisions of poverty and inequality are marked along racial lines, this constitution represents Bolivia's Freedom Charter.The texture of the modern Bolivian revolution is different to that of Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. It is a much more bottom-up revolution, and Morales is kept on a tight leash by the democratic movement that was behind his rise to power in a way Chávez isn't. As you look to our election battle between a Labour government that has been in power for 13 years and allowed inequality to worsen and a Conservative cabinet full of reactionary Old Etonians, it's easy to despair. But when you do, look to Bolivia. The future lies in that small landlocked Latin American country of 9 million people.
Our Dirty Little Secret: Who's Really Poor in America? (March 9, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/economy/145950/our_dirty_little_secret:_who's_really_poor_in_america?page=entire
The problem today for most isn't this recession, it's that except for the top 10 percent, average household income hasn't changed a bit for 10 to 20 years.(...) At least 50 million people are ill-fed -- up from 37 million just a year ago -- including 17 million children. Hunger in America is now at an all-time high, and there are currently entire national geographic regions -- the very large 15-state 'South' being one of them -- where more than half of all public school students are poor and ill-fed. (...) 30% of the nation's 50 million homeowners own a home whose value is below its mortgage balance, and this number could rise to an almost unbelievable 50% by year-end 2011. It would cost about $745 billion, more than the size of the original 2008 bank bailout, to restore these borrowers to the point where they were breaking even, which there is no obvious political will to find right now.Despite the truly dismal 'real unemployment' figures with which most everyone now agrees -- a staggering 30 million workers and 19% of the labor force -- very little attention is being paid to the particularly adverse effects the recession is having on people of color, recent immigrants, and out-of school youth. And almost no one is acknowledging the sad reality that even the nation's 130 million full-time workers have had an average economic loss of 15% just since December 2007 -- an average effective work week of 34 hours rather than 40 -- which means that the number of unemployed workers, measured economically, is actually as high as 50 million. The overwhelming problem today for most workers isn't this recession, as horrible as it is -- it's the fact that for every earned income level except the top 10%, average household income hasn't changed a bit for 10 years, and that for the bottom 60% of wage earners it hasn't changed for more than 20 years. Through economic expansions and recessions -- and bull and bear markets -- alike, 90% of workers in America have been standing still earnings-wise.And 100 million people, fully one-third of the entire U.S. population, are at or below "200% of the federal poverty line of $21,834 for a family of four", which is a needs-measure made lame by the fact that no family of four can actually comfortably live on such a low annual income. (...) The problem with how we have reacted so far to the Great Recession of 2007 is that most of the recovery programs are, as in the '50s and '60s, only for those Americans living in the outer ring: programs such as "cash for clunkers", first-time homebuyer credits, expanded Pell Grants, etc. In 2010, however, after decades of wide-spread wage stagnation, the entire middle class needs help as well, and the simple proof of this is that overall income inequality in America is now the greatest since 1928, when we first began to measure it.Without an immediate all-of-government commitment to creating upwards of 30 million new jobs (not the 9 million that the administration has identified), without stimulus efforts that specifically target the entire struggling middle class, and without very specific initiatives aimed at breaking the back of general wage stagnation, there is not even a medium-term prospect of anything approaching real full employment and healthy economic growth that benefits all Americans.So, the answer to the question of 'who's really poor' now is that we all are in one way or another, because, as FDR would have said if he was here, "some [way too large] fraction of our people is."Addressing this reality -- this now virtual pandemic of poverty -- must be at the core of our current economic recovery efforts, because a vibrant middle class that grows from the bottom up will always be central to the continued health of America's democratic society.
U.S. Taxpayers on Hook for $5 Trillion of Fannie, Freddie Debt ... No Matter What Barney Frank Says (Mar 08, 2010) http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/u.s.-taxpayers-on-hook-for-5-trillion-of-fannie-freddie-debt-...-no-matter-what-barney-frank-says-438124.html
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank caused a bit of an uproar Friday when he suggested the U.S. government does not guarantee the debts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Rep. Frank later recanted and backed a Treasury Department statement reassuring investors that, yes, Fannie and Freddie Mae debt is guaranteed by the U.S. government. "Going forward," he said in a statement, we "will make sure that there are no implicit guarantees, hints, suggestions, or winks and nods...we will be explicit about what is and is not an obligation of the federal government."But after years of winks and nods, there's no doubt that Fannie and Freddie now enjoy an explicit guarantee, according to most observers. The U.S. government placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship in September 2008: "This means that the U.S. Taxpayer now stands behind $5 trillion of GSE debt," according to the Congressional Research Service.The problem is that $5 trillion of so-called agency paper is not treated as if it is a debt of Uncle Sam for accounting purposes, says Richard Suttmeier, chief market strategist at Niagara International Capital and ValueEngine.com."Get it on the balance sheet - that's where it belongs," Suttmeier says. "Add it to the $14.2 trillion in [federal] debt and let's move on." Another Time Bomb Ticking - But $5 trillion is a lot of money - even by government standards -- and moving on may be the problem because of ongoing problems in the housing market, Suttmeier says. CLIP
Collapse of the American Empire: swift, silent, certain (March 9, 2010) http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-rise-and-certain-fall-of-the-american-empire-2010-03-09
Commentary: Historians warning of a sudden 'thief at night,' an 'accelerating car crash' -- ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- "One of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse," warns anthropologist Jared Diamond in "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed." Many "civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society's demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power."Now, Harvard's Niall Ferguson, one of the world's leading financial historians, echoes Diamond's warning: "Imperial collapse may come much more suddenly than many historians imagine. A combination of fiscal deficits and military overstretch suggests that the United States may be the next empire on the precipice." Yes, America is on the edge. Dismiss his warning at your peril. Everything you learned, everything you believe and everything driving our political leaders is based on a misleading, outdated theory of history. The American Empire is at the edge of a dangerous precipice, at risk of a sudden, rapid collapse. CLIP
ANALYSIS: America's Permanent War Agenda - We can't afford this! by Stephen Lendman (1 March 2010) http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/030110Lendman.shtml
Post-9/11, Dick Cheney warned of wars that won't end in our lifetime. Former CIA Director James Woolsey said America "is engaged in World War IV, and it could continue for years.... This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us." GHW Bush called it a "New World Order" in his September 11, 1990 address to a joint session of Congress as he prepared the public for Operation Desert Storm. The Pentagon called it the "long war" in its 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), what past administrations waged every year without exception since the republic's birth, at home and abroad. Obama is just the latest of America's warrior presidents that included Washington, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, and GW Bush preceding him.This article covers WW II and its aftermath history of imperial wars for unchallengeable global dominance throughout a period when America had and still has no enemies. Then why fight them? Read on.
(...) Barack Obama - America's New Warrior President
America glorifies conflicts and the righteousness of waging them, packaged as liberating ones for democracy, freedom, justice, and the best of all possible worlds. Obama is just the latest in a long line of warrior leaders promising peace by waging war, justifying them by bogus threats, and calling pacifism unpatriotic to further an imperial agenda for greater wealth, power, and unchallengeable global dominance. In opposition to his announced Afghanistan surge, peace activists gathered across from the White House on December 12 for an "Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally" organized by "End US Wars"- a new coalition of grassroots anti-war organizations. Speakers included Kathy Kelly, David Swanson, Granny D (age 100 on January 24, 2010) former Senator Mike Gravel (1969 - 1981), and former Representative and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, among others. This writer was asked to prepare a short commentary to be read to the crowd. Updated, it's reproduced below: Obama's Permanent War Strategy
Disingenuously calling Afghanistan a "war of necessity, not choice," Obama ordered 30,000 more troops deployed over the next six months with perhaps many more to follow. In one of his most defining decisions, he's more than doubled the force count since taking office, angered a majority in the country, and continues his permanent war agenda while calling himself a man of peace. Next target, Yemen, and its newest, occupied Haiti for plunder, exploitation, and very likely killing unwanted Haitians by neglect, starvation, disease, and face-to-face confrontations if they resist. As a candidate, Obama campaigned against imperial militarism, promised limited escalation only, and pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by August 31, 2010. That was then. This is now, and consider what he has in mind - the permanent occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and more. Besides the Afghan escalation, he's also destabilizing Pakistan to balkanize both countries, weakening them to control the Caspian Sea's oil and gas riches and their energy routes to secured ports for export. The strategy includes encircling Russia, China, and Iran, obstructing their solidarity and cohesion, defusing a feared geopolitical alliance, weakening the Iranian government, perhaps attacking its nuclear sites, eliminating Israel's main regional rival, and securing unchallenged Eurasian dominance over this resource rich part of the world that includes China, Russia, the Middle East, and Indian subcontinent. Like George Bush, Obama plans permanent war and more military spending than all other nations combined at a time America has no enemies. He promised change and betrayed us. Grassroots activism must stop this madness and make America a nation again to be proud of. The alternative is too grim to imagine. Over 50 years ago, Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970) warned: "Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war" and live in peace, because we have no other choice."
The Rogue Nation (March 11, 2010) http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2010/03/10/the-rogue-nation/
In spite of the fact that the United States faces no enemy anywhere in the world capable of opposing it on a battlefield, the Defense budget for 2011 will go up 7.1 percent from current levels. A lot of the new spending will be on drones, Americas latest contribution to western civilization, capable of surveilling large areas on the ground and delivering death from the skies. It is a peculiarly American vision of warfare, with a "pilot" sitting at a desk half a world away and pressing a button that can kill a target far below. Hygienic and mechanical, it is a bit like a video game with no messy cleanup afterwards. The recently released United States Quadrennial Defense Review reports how the Pentagon will be developing a new generation of super drones that can stay airborne for long periods of time and can strike anywhere in the world and at any time to kill Americas enemies. The super drones will include some that can fly at supersonic speeds and others that will be large enough to carry nuclear weapons. Some of the new drones will be designed for the navy, able to take off from aircraft carriers and project US power to even more distant hot spots. Drones are particularly esteemed by policymakers because as they are unmanned and can fly low to the ground they can violate someones airspace "accidentally" without necessarily resulting in a diplomatic incident. Washingtons embrace of drones as the weapon of choice for international assassination is one major reason why the United States has become the evil empire. Drones are the extended fist of what used to be referred to as the Bush Doctrine. Under the Bush Doctrine Washington asserted that it had a right to use its military force preemptively against anyone in the world at any time if the White House were to determine that such action might be construed as defending the United States. Vice President Dick Cheney defined the policy in percentage terms, asserting that if there was a 1% chance that any development anywhere in the world could endanger Americans, the United States government was obligated to act. It should be noted that President Barack Obama has not repudiated either the Bush doctrine or the 1% solution of Dick Cheney and has actually gone so far as to assert that America is fighting Christianity-approved "just wars," a position disputed by Pope Benedict XVI among others. Far from eschewing war and killing, the number and intensity of drone attacks has increased under Obama, as has the number of civilian casualties, referred to by the splendid bloodless euphemism "collateral damage." Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. It should be noted that the United States is not at war with any of those countries, which should mean in a sane world that the killing is illegal under both international law and the US Constitution. CLIP
Strained US China Relations: Chinas Crucial Role as America's Creditor (March 8, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17994
The Obama Administration has heightened tensions with China through a series of measures which can only be characterized as major provocations designed to undermine relations between the two countries. These provocations include political support for separatist movements, such as the US-funded theocratic-monk led Tibetan secessionists and the Washington-based Uyghur secessionists, as well as through the $6.4 billion-dollar advanced arms sales to Taiwan, a virtual protectorate of the US Navy. President Obama has publicly met with and openly backed these separatist and secessionists groups, flaunting Washington's refusal to recognize China's existing borders. This is part of the US strategy of encouraging the physical break-up of independent nations, which are viewed as 'obstacles' to its program of global military empire building. (...) Ultimately what we have is a conflict between two diametrically opposing political economic systems. On the one hand, a United States military driven empire, which focuses on conquering Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, backs the ambitions of a militarist Israel, seeks marginal client states in Latin America and militarizes Pakistan, Colombia and Mexico. On the other hand, China deepens its economic ties with dynamic Asian countries; increases its oil links with Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Gulf States, Venezuela, Russia and Angola; displaces the US as the leading trading partner of Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile; and increases its trade and investment links with Southern Africa in minerals and related infrastructure projects. The contrast is striking. China's global economic expansion is confronted by US military encirclement, diplomatic provocations and a massive anti-Chinese propaganda campaign designed to deflect US public attention from the extreme imbalances in its domestic economy. Instead of looking inward to understand why the US is declining, the Obama regime encourages the public to blame China's supposedly unfair trade policies, its 'restrictive' investment policies, its manipulated currency rate and its tough response to secessionist movements funded by the US. In the end the US will not resolve its budget deficits and trade imbalances, not to mention its endless imperial wars, by pandering to self-described divine rulers, like the Dali Lama, and provoking a dynamic economic power such as China. Nor can Washington escape its profound economic imbalances by catering to Wall Street speculators and ignoring the decline of America's productive forces. Drones, military surges and surrogate puppet armies engaged in endless wars are no match for the surging investments, robust developing markets and joint ventures linking China with the dynamic emerging economies of the world.
Time for a U.S. Revolution: Fifteen Reasons by Bill Quigley (March 8th, 2010) http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/03/time-for-a-u-s-revolution--fifteen-reasons/
It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people. The 1776 Declaration of Independence stated that when a long train of abuses by those in power evidence a design to reduce the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the peoples right, in fact, their duty to engage in a revolution. Martin Luther King, Jr. said forty-three years ago next month that it was time for a radical revolution of values in the United States. He preached a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. It is clearer than ever that now is the time for radical change. Look at what our current system has brought us and ask if it is time for a revolution? Over 2.8 million people lost their homes in 2009 to foreclosure or bank repossessions nearly 8000 each day higher numbers than the last two years when millions of others also lost their homes. At the same time, the government bailed out Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the auto industry, and enacted the troubled asset (TARP) program with $1.7 trillion of our money. Wall Street then awarded itself over $20 billion in bonuses in 2009 alone, an average bonus on top of pay of $123,000. At the same time, over 17 million people are jobless right now. Millions more are working part-time when they want and need to be working full-time. (...) Forty three years ago next month, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Riverside Church in New York City that a time comes when silence is betrayal. He went on to condemn the Vietnam War and the system which created it and the other injustices clearly apparent. We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing oriented society to a person oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered. It is time.
Calling All Rebels By Chris Hedges (March 8, 2010) http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/calling_all_rebels_20100308/
There are no constraints left to halt Americas slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying. Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as liberals. They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces that destroyed the country will use the information systems they control to mask their culpability. The old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of despotic regimes, will empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence within American society and deflect attention from the corporate vampires that have drained the blood of the country. CLIP - NOTE: Alex Kochkin had on March 10 an interesting comment HERE on this article. As he points out, precious few political commentators understands many key aspects of spirituality one can have when viewing human events through the soul's non-judgmental perspective of equanimity and Oneness inclusiveness.
A Detention Bill You Ought to Read More Carefully http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/print/2010/03/a-detention-bill-you-ought-to-read-more-carefully/37116/
Why is the national security community treating the "Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010," introduced by Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on Thursday as a standard proposal, as a simple response to the administration's choices in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing attempt? A close reading of the bill suggests it would allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on suspected activity. Read the bill here, and then read the summarized points after the jump. According to the summary, the bill sets out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning. (There is no distinction between U.S. persons--visa holders or citizens--and non-U.S. persons.) CLIP
U.S. will determine who can board some Canadian flights (MARCH 5, 2010) Outrageous! http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/will+determine+board+some+Canadian+flights/2640632/story.html
QUEBEC - Starting in December, some passengers on Canadian airlines flying to, from or even over the United States without ever landing there, will only be allowed to board the aircraft once the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined they are not terrorists. Secure Flight, the newest weapon in the U.S. war on terrorism, gives the United States unprecedented power over who can board planes that fly over U.S. airspace. Secure Flight applies to flights to, from or over the United States, from Canada to another country. Flights between two Canadian cities, that travel over U.S. airspace, are excluded, but about 80 per cent of Canadian flights to the Caribbean and other southern points and to Europe fly over the U.S. The program, which is set to take effect globally in December 2010, was created as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, adopted by U.S. Congress in 2004. Parliament never adopted or even discussed the Secure Flight program -- even though Secure Flight transfers the authority of screening passengers, and their personal information, from domestic airlines to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
(...) The European Parliament, on the other hand, has consistently voiced objections to the Secure Flight plan. Canadian airlines already check their flight manifests against the U.S. no-fly list, which is compiled by the FBI and distributed to airlines around the world. It contains the names of about 16,000 people the U.S. government says are suspected of terrorism. The names and why they are on the list are not disclosed for reasons of national security.
(...) The General Accounting Office, an U.S. institution similar to Canadas auditor general, is concerned this sweeping check could cause new problems. More individuals could be misidentified, law enforcement would be put in the position of detaining more individuals until their identities could be resolved, and administrative costs could increase, without knowing what measurable increase in security is achieved, the GAO said in a January presentation to the U.S. House of Representatives committee on Homeland Security.
(...) If the search of U.S. databases, which will also contain data collected in Canada such as police records, turns up no match between and passenger and the watchlist, Homeland Security will inform the airline it can issue a boarding pass. Personal information will be purged from the system after seven days, McCauley said. If you are a potential match, it would be retained for seven years, she said, explaining that a potential match is someone who has been determined not to be an exact match but has the potential to match some of the data elements. If the search returns a positive match, personal information will be kept by Secure Flight for 99 years.
Will Secure Flight make air travel more complicated for Canadians? (MARCH 5, 2010) http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Will+Secure+Flight+make+travel+more+complicated+Canadians/2645092/story.html
Air France flies non-stop to Mexico by the shortest route, over the United States. But at least twice last year, Air France Flight 438, from Paris to Mexico City, was diverted from flying over the United States because one of its passengers was on a U.S. government terrorism watchlist. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security already diverts flights away from U.S. air space for security reasons. But starting in December with the introduction of Secure Flight, the latest U.S anti-terrorism measure, passengers from all over the world - including Canada - whose views raise a flag with U.S. authorities or who share the name of someone on a U.S. watchlist could be barred from boarding flights that fly over the United States. Secure Flight gives the United States unprecedented power over who can board planes that fly over U.S. airspace. It applies to flights to, from or over U.S. territory, from Canada to another country. Flights between two Canadian cities are excluded. But with flights already being diverted from U.S. airspace and passengers held back without ever being told why their name has been flagged, will the introduction of this new security protocol make travelling more complicated for Canadians?
(...) In his annual report for 2009, inspector-general Glenn A. Fine of the U.S. Justice Department disclosed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Terrorist Screening Database contains 1.1 million "terrorist identities." Fine also said that "in certain circumstances," a person's name could be included on the Terrorist Screening Database even if the FBI does not consider them a terrorism suspect. The contents of the list are not made public for reasons of national security.
(...) The basic TSA watchlist, supplied from the larger FBI list, contains 16,000 names from around the world. Among those, 2,500 would be denied boarding and arrested, and 13,500 people would be flagged for secondary security screening. It is not known how many Canadians are on that list. Here's how it might play out for a would-be Canadian traveller whose name is flagged under the Secure Flight system. A passenger with a ticket from Montreal to Varadero, Cuba, would get her first hint of a problem if she could not print out a boarding pass on her home computer or at an airport kiosk. Secure Flight Final Rule, the U.S. government regulation defining the program, states that the "aircraft operator may not issue a boarding pass to the passenger, and the passenger must come to the airport for resolution." And interrogation. Someone designated a "selectee" or a "potential match" on the watchlist will be subjected to enhanced screening by Canadian law enforcement officers. "A potential match is someone who has been determined not to be an exact match but has the potential to match some of the data elements," explained TSA spokesperson Andrea McCauley.
(...) Bruce Schneier, a computer cryptography expert and author of the blog Schneier on Security, dismisses the no-fly list as "counterterrorism silliness."In an email exchange, he said the screening process has captured "zero terrorists." Schneier was a consultant for Secure Flight when it was first proposed in 2004. He found it an improvement on the no-fly list, but "riddled with security holes" and easy to work around with false ID. "Secure Flight is a passive system," Schneier explained in his blog. "It waits for the bad guys to buy an airplane ticket and try to board. If the bad guys don't fly, it's a waste of money."According to the U.S. government, Secure Flight cost $300 million to develop. "If I had some millions of dollars to spend on terrorism security and I had a watchlist of potential terrorists, I would spend that money investigating those people," Schneier said. "I would clear the innocent people and I would go after the guilty."
Hitlers Big Lie reborn: US lies for war with Iran bigger, more Orwellian than war lies with Iraq (MARCH 3, 2010) http://www.examiner.com/x-18425-LA-County-Nonpartisan-Examiner~y2010m3d3-Hitlers-Big-Lie-reborn-US-lies-for-war-with-Iran-bigger-more-Orwellian-than-war-lies-with-Iraq
The American public is being played; duped into one unlawful War of Aggression after another. The criminal perpetrator of these war lies is a controlling faction of our own government. The evidence in this article will prove beyond any doubt that war lies is the accurate term; lies in Orwellian opposite of the verifiable facts, lies that cannot be reasonably construed as misinterpretations or well-intended mistakes.These are what political historians reference as Big Lies; so massive and evil that ordinary citizens initially reject the objective evidence because they cant imagine their leadership being literal psychopaths. Big Lies evoke sufficient cognitive dissonance for the public to embrace the Big Lie but only for a time. That time, now, is over. (...) Its time for our men and women in government and military to choose: either stand with the US Constitution youve sworn to support and defend against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, or remain complicit in ongoing Wars of Aggression, mass murder of our soldiers and our fellow humans in other lands and throwing trillions of our tax dollars to do so, pushing the world ever-closer to an apparently planned and desired nuclear Third World War (and here), and guilty of what Dr. Martin Luther King called Silence is Betrayal before the US government assassinated him according to the only trial conducted for his murder. Its time for our men and women in the military and government to refuse all orders associated with our unlawful wars and preparation for unlawful war with Iran over one gram of medical isotope worth $75,000 in 20% enriched nuclear fuel. It is hard to imagine a more ridiculous case for war. Its time for our men and women in the military and government to refuse all orders associated with our unlawful wars and preparation for unlawful war with Iran and stand with the American public who declare in a ratio of 9 to 1 that our government no longer represents them under the US Constitution. Its time: exercise your 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and press, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Please provide this article to all Americans if you find it helpful to stop current and future unlawful wars. Over 5,000 US soldiers have been killed so far as pawns of the civilian and military brass tyrants. Multiples more have been crippled physically and emotionally. There is no end in sight to current wars; indeed, the US is expanding them into Pakistan and Yemen and threatening more war with Iran. The dead are comforted by God; their families are devastated by the loss of their loved-ones. The crippled and their families face a range of challenges; many so severe that a total of 6,000 US veterans commit suicide every year. One-third of all US homeless men are veterans. CLIP
Pentagon Shooter Dead, Posted Anti-Government Rantings Before Attack http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/pentagon-shooter-dead-cops-hospital/comments?type=story&id=10017089
The gunman who charged into one of the Pentagon's main entrances and opened fire has died from gunshot wounds to the head and authorities are looking into his recent rants against the government as a potential motive. John Patrick Bedell, 36, died at the hospital Thursday night after Pentagon police returned fire. Police told ABC News that the two police officers wounded in the shooting have been released from the hospital after suffering minor injuries. They are now on administrative leave... Full Story MANY COMMENTS ON THIS ONE INCLUDING: "I have to say that I'm not surprised that once again the media is tying to link the peaceful and genuine truth activists to the actions of nutcases. But for them to portray us as potential murderers etc is incredibly out of line. Running titles like "9/11 truth nutcase shoots cops" etc is a blatant smear attempt at a wide range of people that are genuine truth seekers. The 9/11 truth movement has people from many backgrounds and beliefs, psychologists, architects, military, physicists and many others. I hate the fact that all it takes is one person with a disorder to blanket us all as nuts, it's insulting. To many it's obvious that 9/11 amongst other events were inside jobs. To believe people in a cave arranged it all is the "nuts" side of the argument. Please think for yourselves and take 10 mins to look for facts. This guy was allegedly helped near the scene, who was that man? Just like that "pants bomber", they seem to have been handled by someone. The Lone Nut Theory is so old now." CHECK ALSO THE MOST PUZZLING... "JOHN BEDELL AND JOE STACK WERE NOT TERRORISTS, THEY WERE GOOD FRIENDS OF MINE." (...) This is my insurance. They have already kill Joe and John, and in such a way that they made them out to be monsters to the public. They will not do this to me. This is the way it works. If they kill me, abduct me or anything, all evidence including the properly derived Lorrentz transformations are to be automatically posted here. I must be present at my computer at 5:29 a.m. (my timezone) everyday in order to keep this posts from happening because 174 servers spanning the globe are set to ensure that happens automatically unless my password is entered. If the government tries to take this site out or this page, I have created a virus that will spread on a massive scale and automatically upload all the evidence I have against them to the victims PC, so at the very least thousands will know the truth but most likely millions. My password cannot be cracked. It would take longer to crack an 8096 bit RSA encryption key, than my self-made encryption system. My initials are T.S.G. and I am a Mathematics professor. This shall ensure if they kill me and try to slander my name in the media, there will be at least a few people who know the truth I'm not telling everything here because then they would kill me. It's the only bargaining chip I have left. CHECK ALSO Al-Qaeda Video Calling for Attacks On U.S. Arrives Days After Pentagon Shooting
Gun Owners Buy 14 Million Plus Guns In 2009 - More Than 21 of the Worlds Standing Armies (January 13th, 2010) http://www.ammoland.com/2010/01/13/gun-owners-buy-14-million-plus-guns-in-2009/
Data released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for the year reported 14,033,824 NICS Checks for the year of 2009, a 10 percent increase in gun purchases from the 12,709,023 reported in 2008. So far that is roughly 14,000,000+ guns bought last year! The total is probably more as many NICS background checks cover the purchase of more than one gun at a time by individuals.To put it in perspective that is more guns than the combined active armies of the top 21 countries in the world. Of the NICS background checks preformed less than and average .005% were denied, showing, overwhelmingly, that law abiding American citizens are the ones buying guns and that criminals are getting their guns elsewhere. 14,033,824,000 billions rounds of Ammo. Assuming each gun buyer bought 1000 rounds of ammo for each purchase, and you and I know that it is way, way more than that, that would be easily 14,033,824,000+ billions rounds of ammo fired by USA gun owners. CLIP
Spanish exorcist addresses claims of Satanic influence in Vatican (March 3, 2010) http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/spanish_exorcist_addresses_claims_of_satanic_influence_in_vatican/
A renowned exorcist in Rome recently released a book of memoirs in which he declares to know of the existence of Satanic sects in the Vatican where participation reaches all the way to the College of Cardinals. A second demonologist, also residing in Rome, entered the debate this week, clarifying the origins of the information and defending the Vatican's clergy as an "edifying and virtuous" collection of prelates. In a book of memoirs released in February, the noted Italian exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth affirmed that "Yes, also in the Vatican there are members of Satanic sects." When asked if members of the clergy are involved or if this is within the lay community, he responded, "There are priests, monsignors and also cardinals!" CLIP Much more on this through Ritual Abuse and in this Interview of Svali by Greg Szymanski - Transcript HERE - Détails en français ICI
Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa (March 11, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24965.htm
20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era. (...) An Observer investigation estimates that up to 125 million acres of land -- an area more than double the size of the UK -- has been acquired in the last few years or is in the process of being negotiated by governments and wealthy investors working with state subsidies. The data used was collected by Grain, the International Institute for Environment and Development, the International Land Coalition, ActionAid and other non-governmental groups.The land rush, which is still accelerating, has been triggered by the worldwide food shortages which followed the sharp oil price rises in 2008, growing water shortages and the European Union's insistence that 10% of all transport fuel must come from plant-based biofuels by 2015.In many areas the deals have led to evictions, civil unrest and complaints of "land grabbing". (...) "The foreign companies are arriving in large numbers, depriving people of land they have used for centuries. There is no consultation with the indigenous population. The deals are done secretly. The only thing the local people see is people coming with lots of tractors to invade their lands."All the land round my family village of Illia has been taken over and is being cleared. People now have to work for an Indian company. Their land has been compulsorily taken and they have been given no compensation. People cannot believe what is happening. Thousands of people will be affected and people will go hungry." It is not known if the acquisitions will improve or worsen food security in Africa, or if they will stimulate separatist conflicts, but a major World Bank report due to be published this month is expected to warn of both the potential benefits and the immense dangers they represent to people and nature.Leading the rush are international agribusinesses, investment banks, hedge funds, commodity traders, sovereign wealth funds as well as UK pension funds, foundations and individuals attracted by some of the world's cheapest land. Together they are scouring Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana and elsewhere. Ethiopia alone has approved 815 foreign-financed agricultural projects since 2007. Any land there, which investors have not been able to buy, is being leased for approximately $1 per year per 2.5 acres.Saudi Arabia, along with other Middle Eastern emirate states such as Qatar, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, is thought to be the biggest buyer. In 2008 the Saudi government, which was one of the Middle East's largest wheat-growers, announced it was to reduce its domestic cereal production by 12% a year to conserve its water. It earmarked $5-billion to provide loans at preferential rates to Saudi companies which wanted to invest in countries with strong agricultural potential. Meanwhile, the Saudi investment company Foras, backed by the Islamic Development Bank and wealthy Saudi investors, plans to spend $1-billion buying land and growing seven million tonnes of rice for the Saudi market within seven years. The company says it is investigating buying land in Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Uganda. By turning to Africa to grow its staple crops, Saudi Arabia is not just acquiring Africa's land but is securing itself the equivalent of hundreds of millions of gallons of scarce water a year. Water, says the UN, will be the defining resource of the next 100 years. CLIP - CHECK ALSO World's Richest People - Bill Gates No Longer World's Richest Man
How China's taking over Africa, and why the West should be VERY worried (18.07.08) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23517837-how-chinas-taking-over-africa-and-why-the-west-should-be-very-worried.do
(...) With little fanfare, a staggering 750,000 Chinese have settled in Africa over the past decade. More are on the way.The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.The plans appear on track. Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities - oil, platinum, gold and minerals. New embassies and air routes are opening up. The continent's new Chinese elite can be seen everywhere, shopping at their own expensive boutiques, driving Mercedes and BMW limousines, sending their children to exclusive private schools. The pot-holed roads are cluttered with Chinese buses, taking people to markets filled with cheap Chinese goods. More than a thousand miles of new Chinese railroads are crisscrossing the continent, carrying billions of tons of illegally-logged timber, diamonds and gold. The trains are linked to ports dotted around the coast, waiting to carry the goods back to Beijing after unloading cargoes of cheap toys made in China.Confucius Institutes (state-funded Chinese 'cultural centres') have sprung up throughout Africa, as far afield as the tiny land-locked countries of Burundi and Rwanda, teaching baffled local people how to do business in Mandarin and Cantonese. Massive dams are being built, flooding nature reserves. The land is scarred with giant Chinese mines, with 'slave' labourers paid less than £1 a day to extract ore and minerals.Pristine forests are being destroyed, with China taking up to 70 per cent of all timber from Africa.All over this great continent, the Chinese presence is swelling into a flood. Angola has its own 'Chinatown', as do great African cities such as Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Exclusive, gated compounds, serving only Chinese food, and where no blacks are allowed, are being built all over the continent. 'African cloths' sold in markets on the continent are now almost always imported, bearing the legend: 'Made in China'.From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower's long-term survival. CLIP
Cattle thefts sparked deadly Nigerian massacre (March 10, 2010) http://www.smh.com.au/world/cattle-thefts-sparked-deadly-nigerian-massacre-20100309-pvv7.html
JOS, Nigeria: Nigerian troops were patrolling villages near this northern city yesterday after the massacre of more than 500 Christians sparked international shock and outrage. But survivors of the latest wave of violence, in which women and children were hacked to death or burnt alive in their homes, denounced the authorities for failing to intervene in time. Relatives of the dead meanwhile attended funerals on Monday for the victims. Witnesses have blamed the massacre on members of the mainly Muslim Fulani ethnic group. According to media reports, Muslim villagers were warned to flee via text messages two days before the attack on the Berom, the major ethnic group on the Jos Plateau. Security forces said they had detained 95 suspects in the violence. (...) John Onaiyekan, the archbishop of the capital, Abuja, told Vatican Radio that the violence was rooted in social, economic and tribal differences.''It is a classic conflict between pastoralists and farmers, except that all the Fulani are Muslims and all the Berom are Christians,'' he said.Fulani are mainly nomadic cattle rearers while Beroms are traditionally farmers.Locals said Sunday's attacks were the result of a feud ignited by a theft of cattle and fuelled by deadly reprisals. Rights activists also said the slaughter appeared to be revenge for the January attacks, in which mainly Muslims were killed. CLIP
Nigerian army 'ignored warning of massacres' in Jos (9 March 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8558246.stm
The governor of Nigeria's Plateau state has accused military commanders of ignoring warnings of an attack on Sunday near the city of Jos. Hundreds died during attacks on three villages in the area between the mainly Christian south and Muslim north. The massacre is seen as revenge for a previous bout of killings in January. Earlier, a Christian group also accused security forces of failing to stop the clashes. Nigerian police spokesman Yemi Ajayi categorically denied the claims. The army has not yet responded to the accusations but troops are patrolling the area to prevent further clashes. There were fresh reports of gunfire in villages near Jos late on Tuesday, and some villagers have been fleeing the area. Warnings ignored - Governor Jonah Jang said he had warned the army about reports of suspicious people with weapons hours before they attacked, but they failed to take action. "Three hours or so later, I was woken by call that they have started burning the village and people were been hacked to death," he said."I tried to locate the commanders. I couldn't get any of them on the telephone." The head of the northern area of Nigeria's Christian Association said he believed mercenaries were involved.Saidu Dogo told the BBC that fighters from neighbouring Chad and Niger took part in the violence. CLIP
UNAIDS: Funding cuts could lead to HIV 'nightmare' (March 8, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j9xIuPPc3LovwGSJhMI6M5WdM1QwD9EAIBIO0
JOHANNESBURG - Cuts in donor funding could cause an HIV "nightmare," the United Nations' AIDS agency chief warned Monday. Michel Sidibe appealed to government and private donors to keep investing in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international financing institution. He said that cuts in donations will decrease the availability of free or subsidized life-saving drugs to African patients.An estimated 94 percent of patients on anti-retroviral treatment in Africa count on external donor funds to provide their medications, Sidibe said."If we stop now, if we reduce the financing, the people who are on treatment today ... we will transform their hope for universal access into a universal nightmare, because they will start dying," Sidibe told The Associated Press Monday. In South Africa, 920,000 people are currently receiving anti-retroviral treatment, just over half of the 1.7 million who need the drugs. New policies which will expand the reach of the program announced by South African President Jacob Zuma in December 2009 will also require increased financial resources.South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the country's HIV treatment program is heavily dependent on external donor funding. An estimated 5.7 million South Africans are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, more than any other country. CLIP - Check also Britain sends South Africa 42m condoms in HIV fight before World Cup (...) The South African government estimates that up to half a million visitors could travel to the country, raising fears of a rise in prostitution and sex trafficking from neighbouring countries and eastern Europe, and creating a potential HIV time bomb. Last week South Africa's Central Drug Authority warned that 40,000 prostitutes were expected to arrive for the month-long tournament. South Africa is embroiled in a struggle to combat the world's biggest HIV caseload and to convince its population of the importance of safe sex. CLIP
US Congressman pushes for bird-friendly buildings (March 11, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0311-hance_usbirds.html
Birds may see pleasanter skies in the US soon, if Congressman Mike Quigley has his way. Quigley, a democrat from Illinois, has introduced legislation that would require all federal buildings to become bird-friendly, potentially saving the lives of millions of birds every year. "Building collisions are arguably the single greatest man-made killer of birds. From three hundred million to one billion birds or more die each year from collisions with glass on buildingsfrom skyscrapers to homes," said the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) President George Fenwick in a press release. "While this legislation is limited to federal buildings, its a very good start that perhaps can lead to more widespread applications of bird-friendly designs elsewhere." The legislation would require every building constructed, acquired, or altered by the General Services Administration (GSA) to use bird-friendly design and materials to the maximum extent feasible. CLIP
Destabilized subsea permafrost allowing methane to escape (MARCH 5, 2010) http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Destabilized+subsea+permafrost+allowing+methane+escape/2643874/story.html
Large amounts of methane, a potent climate-warming gas, are escaping from a remote swath of the Arctic Ocean that holds vast stores of the gas, say scientists, who suspect the seabed is "destabilizing."An international team reports about seven-million tonnes of methane is venting out of the frigid waters north of Siberia each year, dwarfing marine emissions seen anywhere else on Earth."The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world's oceans," says Natalia Shakhova, at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska. She co-led the team of American, Russian and Swedish scientists who detail the findings Friday, in the journal Science.There has long been concern the release of methane locked in the permafrost could trigger catastrophic and "abrupt" climate change. Methane is more than 20 times more potent at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Shakhova and her colleagues say it is not known if the Siberian venting is a "steadily continuing" process or "signals the start of a more massive" methane release. But they say there is an "urgent need" to find out. Shakhova says her concern is that the subsea permafrost, which formed during the last ice age, is destabilizing and allowing trapped methane to leak out. "If it further destabilizes, the methane emissions may not be tetragrams (millions of tonnes), it would be significantly larger," she says. CLIP
Arctic Seafloor a Big Source of Methane (March 4, 2010) http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/03/04/arctic-seafloor-a-big-source-of-methane.html
Prodigious plumes of planet-warming methane are bubbling from sediments across a broad region of Arctic seafloor previously thought to be sealed by permafrost, new analyses indicate. The resulting increase of methane gas in the atmosphere may accelerate climate warming, scientists say.Though immense amounts of carbon are known to be trapped in the peatlands of Siberia, a larger, often unrecognized carbon reservoir lies hidden just north of that frigid region, says Natalia Shakhova, a biogeochemist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf a 2.1-million-square-kilometer patch of Arctic seafloor that was exposed during the most recent ice age, when sea levels were lower is three times larger than all of todays land-based Siberian wetlands. When the region was above sea level, tundra vegetation pulled carbon dioxide from the air as plants grew. That organic material, much of which didnt decompose in the frigid Arctic, accumulated in the soil and is the source of modern methane.Now, field studies by Shakhova and her colleagues, reported in the March 4 Science, suggest that the submarine reservoir of carbon has begun to leak. (...) Siberian seafloor sediments are spewing much more methane than previously thought, but theyre providing only a small fraction of the estimated 440 million tons of that planet-warming gas emitted to the atmosphere each year, Martin Heimann, a biogeochemist at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, comments in Science. Nevertheless, he notes, release of a sizeable fraction of the carbon trapped in these sediments would lead to warmer atmospheric temperatures, which would in turn cause more methane to be released.
Canada's permafrost retreats amid warming trend (Feb 17, 2010) http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCATRE61G5BG20100217
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The permanently frozen ground known as permafrost is retreating northward in the area around Canada's James Bay, a sign of a decades-long regional warming trend, a climate scientist said on Wednesday. When permafrost melts, it can liberate the powerful greenhouse gas methane that is locked in the frozen soil. The amount of methane contained in permafrost around James Bay is slight compared to the vast stores of the chemical found in ancient, deep permafrost in the Yukon, Alaska and Siberia. The southern edge of permafrost in the James Bay area has moved about 80 miles north of where it was 50 years ago, Serge Payette of Laval University in Quebec City said in a telephone interview. CLIP
Global warming doubts could hamper climate legislation (March 8, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0308/Global-warming-doubts-could-hamper-climate-legislation
With more people expressing doubts about global warming, passing climate legislation in Congress will be more difficult. -- A recent poll suggests that high-profile controversies regarding climate science are weakening public confidence in the validity of global warming, And that could endanger congressional efforts to pass climate legislation. In 2008, 71 percent of respondents said they thought global warming was happening, while 10 percent thought it wasn't. This year, only 57 percent thought global warming was a reality, and the number of doubters increased to 20 percent, according to a poll conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "We've seen some pretty significant changes over the past year," says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change. "We found a very significant drop in the percentage of Americans who think global warming is happening, and a significant drop in those who think humans are responsible. Generally speaking, we've seen a drop in public concern about the issue."The poll also asked respondents whether they think global warming is caused by human activities, natural environmental changes, or both. In 2008, 57 percent said it was caused by human activities. This year, only 47 percent think so. That changing public opinion about climate change could affect current efforts to pass a bipartisan climate bill being sponsored by Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Ind.), of Connecticut, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina. Ahead of the vote, Texas, Virginia, and Alabama officials have filed challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that man-made greenhouse gases threaten public health. And Republican senators have cited controversial hacked e-mails from climate scientists and mistakes in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as reasons to oppose a climate bill that would limit carbon dioxide emissions. CLIP
A Strong Climate Bill Can Save Lives (March 5, 2010) http://www.good.is/post/a-strong-climate-bill-can-save-lives/
Why we should pass the climate legislation that's right for America, not easy for the Senate.If theres any Democrat in Congress who never struggles to find his spine, its freshman Congressman Tom Perriello from Virginia. Despite winning a narrow election in a Republican-leaning district in 2008, he has cast tough votes in favor of both health care reform and clean energy legislation. And as Washington starts to rumble with the possibility of a new push for climate change legislation, hes calling on the Senate do to the same. Im sick of starting with what can we get through the Senate; lets start with what solves the damn problem. Until the Senate gets its head out of its rear end and starts to see the crisis were in, our country is literally at risk. Our economy is at risk, because these jobs are being created overseas. It should have the same urgency with this problem that it had bailing out Wall Street. We are swearing an oath to do whats necessary to protect this country, not do whats necessary to get a bill through the Senate.Perriellos call to protect America through clean energy is timely, and it has a cadre of unlikely supportersveterans. Im one of them. As part of Operation Free, Im working with hundreds of veterans around the country to deliver a message to the U.S. Senate: If you want to break Americas oil addiction and reduce the flow of petrodollars to unfriendly countries and deadly extremists, then its time to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation. And if you want to know why veterans are taking the lead in pushing for clean energy, watch the video below:
Lewis Gordon Pugh - Extreme Environmental Activist! http://www.lewispugh.com/
Forget about future generations. This is about us. For many years, I've been known as a swimmer and an environmentalist. I've used my skills in the water to draw attention to disturbing changes in our oceans. In 2007 I undertook the first swim across an open patch of sea at the North Pole to raise awareness about the melting of the Arctic sea ice. It is happening quicker than anyone predicted. I don't observe the Arctic from satellite images, or from the comfort of a boat. I get into the deadly cold water and ice. And from what I've experienced it is no longer simply about saving polar bears or eco-systems for future generations. It is about saving ourselves. With the current pace of sea ice melting, climate change threatens world peace, economic stability and our way of life across the globe. I don't think this. I know this. So, what to do? Well, I've changed gears. Now I am off to Mount Everest. But bear with me. I'm neither an "adventurer" nor a tree hugger. I am a new breed of hands-on, act-now activist. As a maritime lawyer, I have decided to combine my legal skills with a deep commitment to get my message through to decision makers and the media to achieve change within our lifetime. Because I'm not sure there will be another chance. Next step - Mt Everest - So in May I will be undertaking a swim across a glacial lake under the summit of Mount Everest. As a result of global warming, temperatures in the Himalayas have risen by 1 degree Celsius and glaciers in the Himalayas are receding fast These glaciers are not just ice. They are a lifeline - they provide water to a fifth of the world's population. It's essential that politicians put aside their differences and agree a bold strategy to reduce climate change to below current levels. We can not delay. Explore this site for further details, and follow our blog during the upcoming expedition, talk to friends, spread the word. Get involved. Take care. Together we can make a difference.
Avatar Opens a Pandora's Box Reminiscent of Papua (03/10/2010) http://www.fpcn-global.org/en/content/Avatar-Opens-Pandoras-Box-Reminiscent-Papua
"The smell was of death and dying. Everywhere was black and my people were crying. Our sacred trees were falling, brutal alien men were driving massive yellow machines through our land and waters, taking our trees, we were being herded out... Soldiers were firing at anything that moved, as helicopters were flying over what was left of our home, sending sheets of fire to burn everything... My mother died, my father died. All I have left is a memory of my home, and my sister alongside me today in this limbo... So of course I must go back and fight. I was born as a warrior, even if I die early as one, I am still fighting for my peoples grandchildren. These Garudas will eat every last one of us unless our poison arrows go for the heart of their greed. We must drive those aliens out, and remind them that THIS IS OUR LAND. Is this a key scene James Camerons much talked about epic Avatar? No, it is a description from a refugee student (lets call him Melkias for his safety), of the situation that forced his flight from the Pandora of this planet, West Papua. Interviewing him in a PNG border camp in May 2006, Melkias was describing to me what happened when a logging company, backed and run by the Indonesian military, started clearing out local people from the Boven Digul border area. They destroyed their Earth, so now they are coming destroy ours, Melkias said in an eerie allegory to the undercurrent to the Avatar story. Papua was one of the last areas of paradise forest left on our planet, but just like Pandora it is home to natural resources that those who want it will stop at nothing to get. Not vastly different from the meme of unobtanium, the new energy source of plantation oil palm is being heralded as the green saviour for the over consuming West, but ironically, chopping down the forest to grow it may be the last straw that destroys it. Looking at the damage of oil palm on the ground, or even from Google Earth, it doesnt leave any observer with too much hope. So seeing Avatar was for me intensely powerful and inspiring, grounded in my personal experience working alongside indigenous Papuans in resisting human rights and environmental abuses.
(...) It will be interesting to see how the Indonesian government will react to Avatars reception in West Papua. There is a strong danger for the Indonesian military in allowing this film to go ahead in West Papua, as it can easily and quickly inspired indigenous people to rise up. It is with great pleasure that the most technologically advanced film to be made so far is at its core anti-colonial and tribal peoples activist film CLIP
NOTE from Jean: Greg O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org) who recommended this to me has posted this comment below at the end of this excellent article above: "Rains asked me to offer my comment in response to this horror being visited upon the Papuan People by the occupational force of Indonesian military. The Indonesian government obviously is insane, more so for not knowing what is going on now in the area of biofuels. They are killing innocent people, tearing down their primal forest homelands, destroying villages and sacred trees, for absolutely no reason. -- Palm oil to make biofuels is already obsolete, as the new algae biofuels systems coming online will generate hydrocarbons to produce biogasoline, biodiesel, and biojet fuel, and they can be setup in urban areas, as well as rural. -- Wastewater streams from towns and cities can be used to provide nutrients to algae ponds, the algae biomass is then processed to make 'green' crude, and those hydrocarbons can be made into anything that crude oil makes now. -- Algae capture CO2 and Nitrogen in the atmosphere, and produce Oxygen, gaining carbon credits along the way. -- We must take action now to educate the general public, globally, as well as the Indonesians guilty of ethnicide. --- Peace, Greg
Then Greg added this in an email to me: "The timing is right, this real world horror is going on, as audiences watch the fictional reflection in 'Avatar', not realizing this corporate savagery is going on in real world, real time circumstances. Many indigenous peoples are under siege as their homelands are clearcut of old growth trees, and species our grandchildren will never know about, think of the terrible consequences to all of us as precious indigenous knowledge of our living world, Her plants and animals, is extinguished along with these ancient cultures. Public interest in this wonderful movie, Avatar, should be channeled into an awareness of the real world butchery going on in the name of corporate, and national greed."
U.S. and Brazil sign deforestation agreement (March 07, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0307-brazil_us_mou.html
Brazil and the United States have signed an agreement to worth together to reduce deforestation as part of an effort to slow climate change. The memorandum of understanding signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Brasilia last Wednesday comes as talks on REDD, a proposed climate change mitigation mechanism that would pay tropical countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, move forward despite the lack of a formal climate treaty. CLIP
French President Calls for Stronger Forest Preservation Effort (March 11, 2010) http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/environment/French-President-Calls-for-Stronger-Forest-Preservation-Effort-87354697.html
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for rich nations to contribute more to fighting deforestation, particularly in the Congo and Amazon River basins in Africa and Latin America. The French government hosted an international forest conference in Paris.President Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing that 20 percent of the $30 billion in climate change funds pledged by rich countries during the next three years go to fighting deforestation. Opening a day-long forest meeting that gathered ministers from about 40 countries, the French president said forests are a world heritage and that all nations must contribute to financing their survival. He outlined a goal to reduce deforestation by a quarter by 2015, and altogether by 2030. Forests play a key role in fighting climate change and in conserving a rich diversity of species. Andrei Muggiati is Amazon campaigner for Greenpeace International, in Amsterdam. "The tropical forests store large amounts of carbon and are huge biodiversity spots, so they have a crucial role in [keeping] the planet's climate stable. And also for our future in terms of developing new medicines, new cosmetics, new uses of biodiversity," he said. Muggiati says burning and clearing the Amazon for ranching and farming is responsible for 80 percent of the greenhouse gasses that Brazil, the world's fourth-largest carbon emitter, sends into the atmosphere. In the vast Congo forest basin in central Africa, he says irresponsible logging is a prime culprit of deforestation. CLIP
Progress seen on forest scheme, Germany to join (March 11, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hpJ429DaMsuFNYAvFf9QmDSDoktw
PARIS Around 60 countries pushed ahead on Thursday with a multi-billion-dollar scheme to reduce climate-changing emissions from deforestation, to which Germany added its support, British minister Joan Ruddock said on Thursday."There was a tremendous mood of determination to get things done. I regard this as quite a breakthrough, actually," Ruddock, who is secretary of state for energy and climate change, told AFP in a phone interview. Around 60 countries, gathering donor economies and poor countries with large tropical forests, met for the one-day conference in Paris. It aimed at fleshing out an initiative launched on the sidelines of the UN climate summit in December. Between 12-20 percent of worldwide carbon emissions come from loss of trees and conversion of forest land to agriculture. The scheme was launched in Copenhagen by Australia, Britain, France, Japan, Norway and the United States, which pledged a total of 3.5 billion dollars from 2010 to 2012. Under it, poor tropical countries would be financially rewarded for preserving their forests, rather than chopping them down for logging or farming. The Paris talks were the first step towards deciding how to disburse the money -- a process fraught with questions as to how to determine which forests deserved to be protected, how they would be conserved and how to enforce transparency, help indigenous forest dwellers and battle corruption. Countries agreed on Thursday to set up a steering committee of four developing and four developed countries and establish a "very slim" secretariat, said Ruddock.They also determined to get an overview of what is already happening in this realm to avoid overlap with existing bilateral or multilateral help. CLIP
Meeting on deforestation boosts morale, budget (March 11, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNcYn41DoIUhLYsvgKUqhKotngRQD9ECKU180
PARIS A conference bringing together more than 60 nations Thursday added $1 billion to the fight against deforestation and boosted the morale of those hoping to save the world's forests a key defense against global warming.Three months after a morose ending to climate change talks in Copenhagen, the one-day ministerial meeting in Paris attended by heavily forested countries such as Indonesia and those in the Amazon and Congo basins amounted to a confidence-builder for nations wondering what comes next in the battle against deforestation, many delegates said."We entered the meeting with $3.5 billion. It went to $4.5 billion (here) and we want to arrive in Oslo with $6 billion," Brazilian Environment Minister Carlos Minc said after the closed-door talks. A follow-up to the Paris meeting is planned in Oslo, Norway, in May. CLIP
NoMix toilets get thumbs-up in 7 European countries http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/acs-ntg031010.php
People in seven European countries have positive attitudes toward a new eco-friendly toilet that could substantially reduce pollution problems and conserve water and nutrients, scientists in Switzerland are reporting. Their article, which calls on authorities to give wider support for the innovative toilet technology, is in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.Judit Lienert and Tove Larsen note in the article that the so-called NoMix toilet collects urine separately instead of mixing it together with feces as in conventional toilets. Urine contains 80 percent of the nitrogen and 50 percent of the phosphorus arriving at wastewater treatment plants. Separating it in advance could have a number of advantages. This includes a reduction in the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients that trigger algae blooms and in pharmaceutical residues, which can enter waterways and pose a threat to fish. Separating urine also allows its use as an agricultural fertilizer, the scientists note. However, scientists have not widely explored public attitudes about using this promising technology until now.The scientists reviewed surveys on acceptance and use of NoMix toilets among seven European countries with responses from 2700 people. Those countries were Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. The researchers found that the technology is well-accepted, with about 80 percent of users expressing support of the idea, with many willing to use it at work or at home. Between 75 to 85 percent of the users found that the design, hygiene, smell and seating comfort of the NoMix toilets equals that of conventional toilets. About 85 percent of users were open to the idea of using stored urine as fertilizer. "No Mix-technology deserves more support by authorities and mainstream research," the article notes. CLIP
Beijingers get back on their bikes (11 March 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8538221.stm
Office worker David Dai is one of a growing army of Beijing residents returning to two-wheeled transport. But the 28-year-old does not rely on his own pedal power - like hundreds of thousands of others, he has bought an electric bike. These battery-powered, and virtually silent, machines have become increasingly common on the streets of the Chinese capital. With roads often clogged with cars - there are now four million vehicles in Beijing - they offer a speedy way to get around. But not everyone seems to like them: government officials are unsure about how to deal with this explosion of electric bicycles. CLIP
In China, Pollution Causes Two Birth Defects a Minute: Official http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/china-birth-defects-pollution.php
We know that China's pollution isn't good for its newborns. Recently, a government official announced that birth defects are "constantly increasing," and that every 30 seconds, a baby is born with physical defects in China.The statistic isn't new. But the official made clear something the government has long been reluctant to say: a major cause is pollution. CLIP
Antarctic Glacier Has Five-story Blood-red Waterfall of Primordial Ooze (FEB 24, 2010) http://www.good.is/post/science-rules-antarctic-glacier-has-five-story-blood-red-waterfall-of-primodial-ooze/
There is a five-story, blood-red waterfall pouring slowly from the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valley. Its back story, at Atlas Obscura, is simply remarkable: Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within. One takeaway here is that life possible in extreme conditions. That said, in the absence of ideal conditions, life can evolve without begetting plants or birds or cuddly mammals or sentient beings who write blogs on the internet; it just begets a glob of ooze.
Press conference: Microwaves, health and cell towers in Canada (March 8, 2010) http://www.dangersemo.com/communiqu%E9%20ottawa%2011%20mars%2010%20english.pdf
(...) On March 11, 2010, Mr. Luc Malo, MP (Bloc Québécois), member of the Health Committee, will present in the House of Commons the SEMO petition with 1100 signatures asking to protect the population from microwaves coming from cell towers and wireless technology.In the following days, the Bloc Québécois will ask the Health Committee to create a special committee to examine microwave exposure, the health risk and the law in Canada. MPs from the Liberal and New Democratic parties will support this proposition. And the Green Party, too.In the last month, more than 5,600 people in the Montreal area have signed various petitions against cell towers built near daycares, schools or homes.A declaration, signed by many leaders of groups similar to the SEMO collective from across Canada (Ontario, B.C., PEI, etc.), will support the SEMO petition and the Bloc Québécois proposition to create a committee on microwaves.As with tobacco, this is now less a scientific debate on the dangers of microwaves, than a question of politics and serious public health risk versus the money at stake.Will be present at the press conference: Pascale Clauzier, now electrohypersensitive after working near a cell transmitter, as well as various members of the opposition parties. CLIP
EMF-Omega-News 6. March 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/417/70/
ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (EMF) INCREASE TOXINS QUITE SIGNIFICANTLY - Our homeland and our world has been invaded - Mobile: A huge biological experiment - Maine panel weighs cell phone cancer warning - Electrosensitivity: a first person perspective - San Francisco Cell-Phone Resolution - Are We Expecting Too Much of Ofcom? - Does the Government Adequately Protect Public Health? - EMF Radiation Poses Significant Emerging Risk for Insurers - TV watching may cause eye strain, but not myopia - Campaigners claim victory after Brierley Hill mast plan is refused - City Council Fined US000 a Day - O2 hangs up on phone mast proposal - Electronic problems that can cause car troubles - Cell phones and electromagnetic radiation a growing concern - Cancer expert tells how treatment can be problem -- To subscribe to the EMF-Omega Newsletter go at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/emf-omega-news/
Note from Jean: This is worth reading through to the end. What is proposed is a totally original approach to resisting the Powers That Be. It takes quite some guts though to deny power over us to governments and their minions. Some refuse to pay the portion of their income taxes that goes to support the military - see Tax resistance at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_resistance then http://www.nwtrcc.org/ and these Google search results with "Tax resister" - while these British "total freedom advocates" - The Peoples United Community - go all the way in that they have launched what Phylipa calls a "peaceful revolution" and are officially withdrawing their allegiance to the Queen of England and much much more. I'm not attracted personally to Phylipa's Human Design genetic-based approach and categorization of individuals that she describes at first, but perhaps some of you will want to dig this and report back.
From: Phylipa Dinnen (email@example.com)
Subject: Freedom information
Date: 6 Mar 2010
I have been reading your compilations since 2001 when I was exploring events around 9/11. I subscribed for some years and now check your website every two weeks which I find easier. You included something I sent in once when someone complained that nothing was changing because people are still eating meat! (I was Phylipa Deglyn (still official name) then but now use Phylipa Dinnen which is my real name (!).
Also on that date, 9/11/2001, I discovered the most amazing system of knowing ourselves. It is the Human Design system and it is a genetic map of who we are. It takes seven years to change every cell in the body, so after seven years of understanding who we are the body has had time to heal from the old ways and we can become our true selves. Now in my 9th year I am a trained Human Design analyst and run small workshops so that people can learn about themselves and those around them. This information is transformational. By transforming ourselves and saving ourselves we are saving the planet as well. That is where we need to start. People stop taking things personally and stop making judgments about others because we understand each other. We are all unique and yet we live in a world that tries to make us the same. We spend hundreds of millions going to psychiatrists trying to heal ourselves so that we can become a nicer or better person. There is only one way to live and that is when we live our true genetic selves. Something happens when other people know they are with an authentic human being. On an inner level they know they can trust that authenticity. People who are authentic have an aura that feels safe. In Human Design there are four auric types. 70% fall into one particular type and they are known as Generators. They are here to work, but to only work at what they love. They cannot initiate but they have a inner, body response mechanism which teaches them what to respond yes to and what to respond no to. Most people do not use this body response, because we are trained to make decisions from the head. The head decision can only ever be 50% correct, but the body response is always correct. I am one of 21% of the population known as a Projector. We are not energy or doing people but we are here to guide and advise and wake up the Generators so that they can do the work that is needed right now. I push and prod but only when I am invited to do so. Right now you are putting out a call to action. Until people know who they are they cannot take the correct action. Most people will stay in the fear and struggle of their wounded place.
My husband, Graeme Dinnen, is an awake Generator. He is involved with a group in the UK who are following the Magna Carta, which is the common law of the land. They have started by sending affidavits to the Queen because our government has committed treason by sending troops to Iraq without the consent of the people. We are withdrawing our allegiance to the Queen as British citizens, because this is her government. If the affidavit is not rebutted within a certain time period it stands and statute law does not apply to us anymore. There are groups of people doing this work around the UK and possibly in the US, Canada and Australia but I only know of what is going on here. This is the peaceful revolution that is quietly taking place. The people involved have no fear. They (we) are not intimidated by those who believe they are in authority. We go into court with people who have decided not to pay taxes and challenge the authority of the judges! We no longer wish to be tried in court by laws that are applicable to the sea and not the land. We question the jurisdiction of the court! We also go in as real human beings instead of the legal fiction that has been created through registering us at birth. The birth certificate then becomes our legal entity which becomes a corporate identity using our national insurance number or social security number in the USA. We are traded on the bond market! If we are asked Are you John Smith? we hold up the birth certificate and say No, if you want John Smith here he is.... You do need to know what you are doing and we are training people to help those who want to be involved.
Canadian, US and Australian law are all based on British law. If you follow these websites you can watch the progress of what is going on here. We have some very strong leaders.
This is what is needed right now. We need to be very grounded and body oriented. Otherwise we are more connected to spirit than we are to our planet earth. When we feel safe and grounded we can connect to our spirit awareness. In Chinese medicine this means we need to have a strong spleen, the organ of the Earth Element. Most of us in the Western so-called civilised world have very weak spleens and are not grounded. Our website is dedicated to the health of the body, which in turn heals the mind and opens us up to a strong spirit awareness.
You are doing a wonderful job, Jean. I look forward to your inspiring compilations which keep us all so well oriented to what is going on. Thank you for all the work you are doing in bringing all this together and keeping us looking in the right direction with our eyes wide open.
TPUC - The Peoples United Community http://www.tpuc.org/content/about-us
We all have an undeniable urge to be free. Free in our thoughts, feelings, and daily affairs. It is becoming increasingly obvious to some of us that in reality whilst it appears on a basic level that we are free, the reigns of control seek to guide us, tax us and manipulate us into working ever harder, and submitting ever more to authority. How we come to this conclusion is different for us all and ultimately this is not important. What is important is what we peacefully do about it. TPUC was created as a community for people across the world to communicate with and join other men and women who feel the same. It is not about politics, it is not about religion, it is not about money. Nor is it against them. Those who wish to pursue these things are free to do so. TPUC is only concerned with two very similar principles - the truth of love, and the love of truth. The truth knows no boundaries, and so we seek only to show people actual, factual information about the world around them. The world is a complicated place, this is true, but it is built on a very simple foundation each and every time. We have discovered some very powerful information which hopefully you will see in a positive light, and perhaps you will seek to further what we know. TPUC has a small dedicated team which run the website and produce DVDs and T-Shirts. We have been amazed by the research, contributions and visitors to the site and are always keen to hear of your suggestions. The past has gone, the future has not happened yet. All we have is now - so let's make it the best now we can. Feel free to browse our articles and videos. Much love to all
The Marijuana Conspiracy (March 20th, 2009) http://www.tpuc.org/content/marijuana-conspiracy
The reason hemp is illegal - They say marijuana is dangerous. pot is not harmful to the human body or mind. marijuana does not pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people. The truth is, if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about the plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies. CLIP - Very enlightening read!
HERE IS SOMETHING WORTH FIGHTING FOR: DISMANTLING THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX AND SHUTTING DOWN THE PENTAGON FOR GOOD.
Use as many low-energy light bulbs as you like, turn down the thermostat and drive a hybrid car, but whatever you do as an individual -- indeed, the sum of what we all do for the environment --does almost nothing to alleviate the U.S. military's destruction of the earth.
In The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, Barry Sanders writes that like other capitalist institutions, "each military branch ... must grow larger and fatter each year; expansion is the life blood of imperialism." Further, Sanders asserts, "The military can brook limits of no kind whatsoever. ... The Pentagon conducts its business behind very thick and very closed doors. It writes its own rules and either follows them or violates them, depending on the situation."
Almost all "military numbers remain off of official reports, secret and out of sight." Sanders obtained the information he cites in the book by gleaning what he could from "arcane reports" and obscure Web sites belonging to the Department of Defense and Government Accounting Office, plus books and articles.
Sanders describes, in horrifying detail, how the military is "the largest single source of pollution in this country and in the world: the United States military -- in particular the military in its most ferocious and stepped-up mode -- namely, the military at war." He goes on to say, "When we declare war on a foreign nation, we now also declare war on the Earth, on the soil and plants and animals, the water and wind and people in the most far-reaching and deeply infecting ways."
One way the military pollutes is through its staggering use of fuel, from which it creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases. For example, the military's use of armored vehicles, planes and luxury aircraft alone consumes close to 2 million gallons of oil every day. Sanders dramatizes that point by noting that the Pentagon "uses enough oil in one year to run all of the transit systems in the United States for 14 to 22 years." Taxpayers pay an average of $300 a gallon for this fuel.
"Sanders describes, in horrifying detail, how the military is 'the largest single source of pollution in this country and in the world.'" One Abrams tank gets 0.2 miles to the gallon. One aircraft carrier consumes 100,000 gallons a day when stationed on a coast. Half of that fuel goes to the aircraft on the ship. The B-52 Stratocruiser, a bomber, uses 500 gallons per minute, whereas the average driver consumes about 600 gallons a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The construction of military bases uses a vast amount of fuel, and operating them requires powerful air conditioners that spew out massive amounts of CO2 and other pollutants. The military pollution for one year "equals that which some 14.6 million cars produce driving for one year," according to Sanders.
All the reports and proposals on lessening global warming, however, ignore the militarys contribution and are therefore fatally flawed. Then there are the bombs. They have contaminated much of Iraq with depleted uranium (DU). In the first two days of "Shock and Awe" the military bombed Iraq with 320 tons of DU, which has a half-life of 4.7 billion years. Just one of many types of bombs, a single GBU produces 1.5 metric tons of aerosolized DU particles that can cause genetic mutations and death for all those years.
Not to mention the pollution of U.S. residents with perchlorate, a toxic material used in bomb making, and the wartime use of white phosphorus (banned by several international treaties), cluster bombs, and a new and more "effective" version of napalm. Afghanistan receives a whole chapter of its own in the book. Sanders point outs that "over half of the total munitions dropped by the United states over the last three years fell on the Afghanistan countryside in 2006." According to a Human Rights Watch report, only two of Afganistan's 29 provinces are thought to be free of landmines.
"War is so deeply embedded in the democratic system -- in fact, in many ways it is the system -- that we may need to grab it where it lives, and dies, and that's at the level of money," Sanders writes. And, he argues passionately, eliminating its funding is necessary to halt the military's omnicide, killing all things living, using our tax dollars.
As of Feb. 15, Tom Hayden reported for Peace and Justice Resource Center, the Obama administration is requesting $159 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, plus $33 billion for the recent troop escalation. The Congressional Budget Office says that the overall cost of the wars now reaches $1.08 trillion, including $748 billion for Iraq, $340 billion for Afghanistan and $29 billion for "enhanced security."
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., has written HR 3699, a bill that cuts $33 billion in funding for the troop escalation in Afghanistan. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has put forward a "privileged resolution" to force a congressional vote on the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as the War Powers Act mandates.
"In the 21st century," he says, "given the precarious state of this planet, we must begin to see war as an outmoded method of solving political problems. ... The anti-war movement must become a No-War movement working alongside those who believe that, if we act now and with determination and without equivocation, it may still be possible to live on this planet for decades and even centuries from today."
"Sanders has a solution to the environmental devastation the military causes: banning war." This goal, Sanders says, can be achieved if "our efforts ... expand exponentially, in a communitarian movement around the globe the likes of which no one has ever witnessed, one that refuses to make compromises about a basic respect for life." As Sanders writes, "In the 21st century the military is the most sacrosanct institution in our country." So far, almost no one has dared to criticize its policies and practices, let alone its budget. That silence, Sanders insists, must end.
Sanders asserts that "very few people ... will speak out for the voiceless, defenseless planet." One of those rare people is Sanders himself, who writes, persuasively and eloquently, on the urgent need to stop the military and warmaking if the biosphere is going to survive.
Linda Greene is an activist and writer in Bloomington, IN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related videos and articles:
Kucinich Announces Introduction of Privileged Resolution to End Afghan War http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwQKfwAGgEA
Kucinich Announces Introduction of Privileged Resolution to End Afghan War. Launches an on-line petition requesting the U.S. Congress to stop funding additional troops in Afghanistan. US citizens can sign this petition at http://kucinich.us/
Kucinich Forces Congress to Debate Afghanistan (6 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/kucinich-forces-congress-debate-afghanistan57433
On Thursday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced H. Com Res. 248, a privileged resolution with 16 original cosponsors that will require the House of Representatives to debate whether to continue the war in Afghanistan. Debate on the resolution is expected early next week. (...) The Pentagon doesn't want Congress to debate Afghanistan. The Pentagon wants Congress to fork over $33 billion more to pay for the current military escalation, no questions asked, no restrictions imposed for a withdrawal timetable or an exit strategy. Ideally, from the point of view of the Pentagon, Congress would fork over that money right away, before the coming Kandahar offensive that the $33 billion is supposed to pay for, because you can expect a lot of bad news out of Afghanistan in the form of deaths of American soldiers and Afghan civilians once the Kandahar offensive starts, and it would sure be awkward if all that bad news reached Washington while the $33 billion was hanging fire. So it's a great thing that Kucinich and his 16 allies are forcing Congress to debate the issue, and it would be even better if more Members of Congress would be urged by their constituents to support Kucinich's resolution. That would be a signal to the House leadership that continuation of the open-ended war and occupation is controversial in the House, and the House leadership should not try to ram through $33 billion more for the war on a fast-track without ample opportunity for debate and amendment. CLIP
House Afghanistan Debate: What Kucinich Accomplished (11 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/house-afghanistan-debate-what-kucinich-accomplished57588
Yesterday, at long last, there was a vigorous debate about the war in Afghanistan on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. The legislative vehicle was a resolution introduced by Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich calling for US troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the year. But House critics of the war have long been agitating for a real debate.This is the debate that should have been held - at least - last fall when the administration was considering sending more US troops to Afghanistan, or - at least - when the administration announced its plans to send more troops. If the House had held this debate while the administration was mulling its decision, the Congressional airing of arguments against military escalation and in favor of political and diplomatic solutions would have attracted a lot more attention, and could have affected the decision. No doubt, the possibility that a Congressional debate then might have affected the policy was a key motivation for some in the House leadership not to allow this debate to occur then. (...) The measure ended up losing, 356 to 65, a margin that had been expected. Nonetheless, antiwar lawmakers welcomed the debate as a chance to express pent-up frustration with the continued troop buildup in Afghanistan, and to express their view that the original mission of US forces, defeating al-Qaeda, had been lost. CLIP
The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism
Environmentalismits the word on everyones tongue. Reusable shopping bags, hybrid cars, and green home energy solutions allow us to reduce our carbon footprint, but its only the tip of the quickly melting iceberg. In the midst of the movement to save the earth, The Green Zone presents a sobering revelation: until we address the attack that the US military is waging on the global environment, the things we do at home wont change a thing. This new investigation by author and journalist Barry Sanders examines in detail the environmental impact of US military interventions overseas. In a period of unprecedented scrutiny surrounding the social and economic impacts of the defense policies of the US government, Sanders explores a completely different aspect of the situation and positions military activity as the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis, looking at everything from fuel emissions to radioactive waste to defoliation campaigns. Based primarily on research culled from documents released or leaked by the military itself, The Green Zone is the first book to provide a comprehensive examination of the relationship between militarism and ecological destruction. Includes a powerhouse introduction by urban theorist Mike Davis.
By John Simpson - BBC News, Fallujah - 4 March 2010
Many parents blame the American attacks
Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Fallujah between US forces and Sunni insurgents, there is a disturbingly large number of cases of birth defects in the town.
Fallujah is less than 40 miles (65km) from Baghdad, but it can still be dangerous to get to.
As a result, there has been no authoritative medical investigation, certainly by any Western team, into the allegations that the weapons used by the Americans are still causing serious problems.
The Iraqi government line is that there are only one or two extra cases of birth defects per year in Fallujah, compared with the national average.
But in the impressive new Fallujah General Hospital, built with American aid, we found a paediatric specialist, Dr Samira al-Ani, who told us that she saw two or three new cases every day. Most of them, she said, exhibited cardiac problems.
Fallujah General Hospital
When asked what the cause was, she said: "I am a doctor. I have to be scientific in my talk. I have nothing documented. But I can tell you that year by year, the number [is] increasing."
The specialist, like other medical staff at the hospital, seemed nervous about talking too openly about the problem.
They were well aware that what they said went against the government version, and we were told privately that the Iraqi authorities are anxious not to embarrass the Americans over the issue.
There are no official figures for the incidence of birth defects in Fallujah.
The US military authorities are absolutely correct when they say they are not aware of any official reports indicating an increase in birth defects in Fallujah - no official reports exist.
But it is impossible, as a visitor, not to be struck by the terrible number of cases of birth defects there.
We heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children.
We went to a clinic for the disabled, and were given details of dozens upon dozens of cases of children with serious birth defects.
Dozens of children were being treated at a clinic for the disabled
One photograph I saw showed a newborn baby with three heads.
While we were at the clinic, people kept arriving with children who were suffering major problems - a little girl with only one arm, several children who were paralysed, and another girl with a spinal condition so bad I asked my cameraman not to film her.
At the clinic we were told that the worst problems were to be found in the neighbourhood of al-Julan, near the river.
This was the heart of the resistance to the Americans during the two major offensives of April and September 2004, and was hit constantly by bombs and shells.
We went to a house where three children, all under six, were suffering from birth defects.
Two boys were partially paralysed, and their sister clearly had serious brain damage.
Like all the other parents we spoke to, their mother had no doubt that the American attacks were responsible.
Outside, a man who had heard we were there had brought his four-year-old daughter to show us. She had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot.
She was also suffering from a number of other serious health problems. The father told us that the house where they still lived had been hit by an American shell during the fighting in 2004.
There may well be a link with drinking-water, especially in al-Julan.
After the fighting was over, the rubble from the town was bulldozed into the river bank, and most people in this area get their water from the river.
The true causes of the problem, and the question of the effects of the weapons the Americans used, can be resolved only by a proper independent inquiry by medical experts.
And until the security situation in and around Fallujah improves, it will be difficult to carry that out.
NOTE from Jean: When will someone finally produce a documentary on the true extent of the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the US military in Iraq and around the world , especially when it comes to the never-ending genotoxic radioactive pollution created the thousands of tons of depleted uranium used in all their wars in the past 10+ years?...
Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242351/
Depleted uranium is being used increasingly often as a component of munitions in military conflicts. Military personnel, civilians and the DU munitions producers are being exposed to the DU aerosols that are generated. (...) Conclusion - In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.
Fallujah Birth Defects (Video) http://planetgreen.stage.discovery.com/videos/planet-100-uranium-weapons-causing-birth-defects-3-9.html
Doctors in Fallujah are reporting birth defects at a rate, they say, is 13 times higher than normal. They believe this shocking increase is related to the environmental pollution caused by the United States' use of depleted-uranium weapons.A spokesperson from the United States Army commented that they take these concerns "very seriously" before adding that "no studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues."
From Jack Williams (email@example.com)
If You Wanna Lose Your Soul, Blindly Support Your Government - Right or Wrong
A soul-less being has no empathy for others. Lose your empathy, and you've lost your soul.
There is a "great divide" forming amongst mankind, and it's often war that most often triggers that divide.
An infantry soldier's life in combat is hard and dangerous; and everything irritates them, from their sergeant, to their platoon leader, to their fellow soldiers. In such a frame of mind, blowing away an innocent civilian comes rather easy at times.
And once a combat soldier kills a defenseless non-combatant, he either likes it or feels remorse. If he likes it, he kills more non-combatants, many more. If he feels remorse, he's still likely to kill more non-combatants to anesthetized or deaden his feelings of moral anguish for having initially killed an innocent human being. In either case, such wanton killing is encouraged by "command intention," from above, for a variety of reasons; but mainly, it's done to spread the contagion of universal madness: a people without empathy. And once a soldier kills enough old women and children, he has no more empathy for life; he'd shoot a stray dog for kicks.
And soon enough the mad soldier's reality becomes a consensus reality that hops broad oceans, and non-combat zones become insane themselves.
In such mad societies, Israeli citizens justify burning alive Palestinian children, while US republicans still support Bush's torture and murder of about two million innocents, and Democrats overlook Obama's expanded wars and tortures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan.
Soon our madness - absence of empathy - spreads even further, throughout the Middle East, and then around the world, in the form of justifying or overlooking all governmental crimes as we are now emotionally invested in them, with our lack of empathy.
A lack of empathy blinds human beings to justice, liberty, decency, and personal discernment, rendering them soulless - a major reason for all wars, as soulless beings are already enslaved.
The World's Sickest Warrior State By Paul J. Balles (March 08, 2010) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24931.htm
(...) But the most extremes - the real horrors - of this war come with the primitive killer mentality developed in our youth. I've now seen a half dozen documentary films and read eyewitness accounts that reveal troops or pilots gloating over the massacres of civilians who just happened to be available targets.Without doubt, the US has not only become the world's major power, it has become the world's sickest warrior state. Neither conscience nor empathy for others defines the qualities of the sociopath.It's past time for humanitarians to reject the double standards set by warmongers and supported by arms-makers and the mainstream media. The clergy needs to stop preaching sanctimonious sermons. Finally, educators should adopt and teach a zero tolerance policy for self-righteous warriors.And yes, those who would dismiss my criticism as vitriolic should join a chorus with a conscience.
Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came home with sweaty palms from his mid-February visit to Israel. Ever since, he has been worrying aloud that Israel might mousetrap the U.S. into war with Iran.
This is especially worrying, because Mullen has had considerable experience in putting the brakes on such Israeli plans in the past. This time, he appears convinced that the Israeli leaders did not take his earlier warnings seriously - notwithstanding the unusually strong language he put into play.
Upon arrival in Jerusalem on Feb. 14, Mullen wasted no time in making clear why he had come. He insisted publicly that an attack on Iran would be "a big, big, big problem for all of us, and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences."
After his return, at a Pentagon press conference on Feb. 22, Mullen drove home the same point - with some of the same language. After reciting the usual boilerplate about Iran being "on the path to achieve nuclear weaponization" and about its "desire to dominate its neighbors," he included this in his prepared remarks:
"I worry a lot about the unintended consequences of any sort of military action. For now, the diplomatic and the economic levers of international power are and ought to be the levers first pulled. Indeed, I would hope they are always and consistently pulled. No strike, however effective, will be, in and of itself, decisive."
In answer to a question about the "efficacy" of military strikes on Iran's nuclear program, Mullen said such strikes "would delay it for one to three years." Underscoring the point, he added that this is what he meant "about a military strike not being decisive."
Unlike younger generals, such as David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, Adm. Mullen served in the Vietnam War. It seems likely that this experience prompted his philosophical aside about the war in Afghanistan:
"I would remind everyone of an essential truth: War is bloody and uneven. It's messy and ugly and incredibly wasteful, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth the cost."
Though the immediate context for that remark was Afghanistan, Mullen has underscored time and again that war with Iran would be a far larger disaster. Those with a modicum of familiarity with the military, strategic and economic equities at stake know he is right.
Clearly, those pressures have not disappeared during the first 13 months of the Obama administration. Today, it appears that Mullen has replaced Fallon as the principal military obstacle to exercising the war option against Iran.
">From his recent demeanor, as well as his many statements since he became the country's most senior officer, it is apparent that Mullen does not believe that a "preventive war" against Iran would be worth the horrendous cost.
Washington rhetoric, echoed by the many stenographers of the Fawning Corporate Media over the past eight years, has brought a veneer of respectability to the international crime of aggressive war, as long as done or sanctioned by the United States.
With nodding approval from the FCM, Bush and Cheney sold the notion that such attacks can be justified to "prevent" some future hypothetical threat to the United States or its allies, the supposed rationale for invading Iraq in 2003.
Clearly, the Obama administration has not fully backed away from such thinking.
While in Qatar on Feb. 14, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern over what she called "accumulating evidence" of an Iranian attempt to pursue a nuclear weapon, not because it "directly threaten[s] the United States, but [because] it directly threatens a lot of our friends" - read Israel.
Mullen, for his part, seems acutely aware that the Constitution he has sworn to defend makes no provision for the kind of war he might be sucked into to defend Israel. When he studied at the Naval Academy, his professors apparently were still teaching that the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that treaties ratified by the Senate become the "supreme law of the land."
It would be, pure and simple, a flagrant violation of a supreme law of the land, the Senate-ratified United Nations Charter, for the United States to join in an unprovoked assault on Iran without the approval of the U.N. Security Council, which surely would not go along.
Adm. Mullen also appears to be one of the few Americans aware that there is no mutual defense treaty between the United States and Israel and, thus, the U.S. has no legal obligation to jump to Israel's defense if it ignites war with Iran.
Now you may scoff. "Everyone knows," you will say, that political realities in America dictate that the U.S. military must defend Israel no matter who started a conflict.
Still, there was a time - after the 1967 Israeli-Arab war when Israel first occupied the Palestinian territories - that the U.S. did take soundings regarding the possibility of a mutual defense treaty, in the expectation that this might introduce more calm into the area by giving the Israelis a greater sense of security.
But the Israelis turned the overture down cold. Such treaties, you see, require internationally recognized boundaries and Israel did not want any part of parting with the territories it had just seized militarily.
Besides, mutual defense treaties usually impose on both parties an obligation to inform the other if one decides to attack a third country. Israel wanted no part of that either.
This virtually unknown background helps to explain why the lack of a treaty of mutual defense is more than a picayune academic point.
Why Is Mullen Worried?
Yet, if Adm. Mullen is an old hand at reining in the Israelis, why is he so visibly worried at present? He's had experience in reading the riot act to the Israelis. So what could be so different now?
Last time, in mid-2008, Cheney and Abrams were arguing for an aggressive military posture toward Iran but lost the argument to Mullen and his senior commanders, who - in the final days of the Bush administration - won the backing of President Bush.
When former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seemed intent on starting hostilities with Iran before Bush and Cheney left office, Bush ordered Adm. Mullen to Israel to tell the Israelis, in no uncertain terms, don't do it. Mullen gladly rose to the occasion; actually, he outdid himself.
With Bush's full support, Mullen told the Israelis to disabuse themselves of the notion that U.S. military support would be knee-jerk automatic if Israel somehow provoked open hostilities with Iran.
We also learned from the Israeli press that Mullen went so far as to warn the Israelis not to even think about another incident at sea like the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, which left 34 American crew killed and more than 170 wounded.
Never before had a senior U.S. official braced Israel so blatantly about the Liberty incident, which was covered up unconscionably by Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, the Congress, and by the Navy itself. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Navy Vet Honored, Foiled Israeli Attack."]
The lesson the Israelis took away from the Liberty incident was that they could get away with murder, literally, and walk free because of political realities in the United States. Never again, said Mullen. He could not have raised a more neuralgic issue.
So, again, what's different about today? How to account for Mullen's decision to keep expressing his worries about "unintended consequences"?
I believe the admiral fears that things are about to spin out of control. Whether there will be war does not depend on Mullen - or even Obama. It depends on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And Mullen does well to be worried.
Netanyahu's Impression of Obama
It is altogether likely that Netanyahu has concluded that Barack Obama is - in the vernacular - a wuss. Why, for example, does the President keep sending an endless procession of the most senior U.S. officials to Tel Aviv to plead with their Israeli counterparts: Please, pretty please, don't start a war with Iran.
Loose-cannon Vice President Joe Biden arrives on Monday, hopefully with clearer instructions than when he blithely told ABC on July 4, 2009, that Israel is a "sovereign nation" and thus "entitled" to launch a military strike against Iran, adding that Washington would make no effort to dissuade the Israeli government.
Will Biden manage to keep his foot out of his mouth this time, or will his nearly four decades of experience in the U.S. Senate - learning how to position himself politically in regards to Israel - again reassert itself?
It is a safe bet that Netanyahu is wryly amused at such obsequious buffoonery. But his impression of Obama's backbone - or lack thereof - is key.
The Israeli Prime Minister must be drawing some lessons from Obama's aversion to leveraging the $3 billion a year the U.S. gives to Israel. Why doesn't he simply pick up the phone and warn me himself, Netanyahu might be asking himself.
Is Obama so deathly afraid of the powerful Likud Lobby that he cannot bring himself to call me? Is the President afraid his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, might listen in and leak it to neoconservative pundits like the Washington Post's Dana Milbank?
Netanyahu has had ample time to size up the President. Their initial encounter in May 2009 reminded me very much of the disastrous meeting in Vienna between another young American president and Nikita Khrushchev in early June 1961.
The Soviets took the measure of President John Kennedy, and a result was the Cuban missile crisis which brought the world as close as it has ever come, before or since, to nuclear destruction.
The Israeli Prime Minister has found it possible to thumb his nose at Obama's repeated pleas for a halt in illegal construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories - without consequence. Moreover, Netanyahu has watched Obama cave in time after time - on domestic, as well as international issues.
Netanyahu styles himself as sitting in the catbird's seat of the relationship, largely because of the Likud Lobby's unparalleled influence with U.S. lawmakers and opinion makers - not to mention the entrée the Israelis enjoy to the chief executive himself by having one of their staunchest allies, Rahm Emanuel, in position as White House chief of staff. In the intelligence business, we might call that an "agent of influence."
Emanuel's father, Benjamin Emanuel, was born in Jerusalem and served in the Irgun, the pre-independence Zionist guerrilla organization. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel, then in his early 30s, traveled to Israel as a civilian volunteer to work with the Israeli Defense Forces. He served in one of the IDF's northern bases.
So, Netanyahu is supremely confident of the solidity of his position with the movers and shakers in Congress, Washington opinion makers, and even within the Obama administration, and he gives off signs of being singularly underwhelmed by the President.
These factors enhance the possibility Netanyahu will opt for the kind of provocation that would confront Obama with a Hobson's choice of either joining an Israeli attack on Iran or facing dire political consequences at home.
And so Mullen continues to worry - not only about "unintended consequences," but about what might be accurately described as intended consequences, as well. The most immediate of these could involve mouse-trapping Obama into committing U.S. forces to war provoked with Iran.
And for those fond of saying that "everything is on the table," be advised that this would go in spades in this context.
Very little seems outlandish these days. Remember Seymour Hersh's report about Cheney's office conjuring up plots as to how best to trigger a war with Iran? Hersh said:
"The one that interested me [Hersh] the most was why don't we build - we in our shipyard - build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy Seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up."
In other words, another Tonkin Gulf incident, like the one that President Johnson used to justify a massive escalation in Vietnam.
Only a modern-day Gulf of Tonkin in the Strait of Hormuz could be even more problematic, given the waterway's vital role as a supply route for oil tankers necessary for maintaining the world's economy.
The navigable part of the Strait of Hormuz is narrow, and things often go bump in the night without trying. For example:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - On the evening of Jan. 8, 2007, a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine collided with a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world's oil supplies travel, officials said. The collision between the USS Newport News and the Japanese-flagged motor vessel Mogamigawa occurred at approximately 10:15 in the evening (local time) in the Strait of Hormuz while the submarine was transiting submerged.
AP, March 20, 2009: "The USS Hartford nuclear submarine and the amphibious USS New Orleans collided in the waters between Iran and the Arabian peninsula today. Fifteen sailors were slightly injured aboard the Hartford the New Orleans suffered a ruptured fuel tank, spilling 25,000 gallons of diesel .The ships were on routine security patrols in a busy shipping route."
The Persian Gulf would be an ideal locale for Israel to mount a provocation eliciting Iranian retaliation that could, in turn, lead to a full-scale Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear-related sites.
Painfully aware of that possible scenario, Adm. Mullen noted at a July 2, 2008, press conference, that military-to-military dialogue could "add to a better understanding" between the U.S. and Iran.
If Mullen's worries are to be taken as genuine (and I believe they are), it would behoove him to resurrect that idea and formally propose such dialogue to the Iranians.
He is the U.S. government's senior military officer and should not let himself be stymied by neoconservative partisans more interested in regime change in Tehran than in working out a modus vivendi and reduction of tension.
The following two modest proposals could go a long way toward avoiding an armed confrontation with Iran - whether accidental, or provoked by those who may actually wish to precipitate hostilities and involve the U.S.
1 - Establish a direct communications link between top military officials in Washington and Tehran, in order to reduce the danger of accident, miscalculation or covert attack.
2 - Launch immediate negotiations by top Iranian and American naval officers to conclude an incidents-at-sea protocol.
A communications link has historically proven its merit during times of high tension. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 underscored the need for instantaneous communications at senior levels, and a "hot line" between Washington and Moscow was established the following year.
That direct link played a crucial role, for example, in preventing the spread of war in the Middle East during the Six-Day War in early June 1967.
Another useful precedent is the "Incidents-at-Sea" agreement between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, signed in Moscow in May 1972. That period was another time of considerable tension between the two countries, including several inadvertent naval encounters that could well have escalated. The agreement sharply reduced the likelihood of such incidents.
I believe it would be difficult for American and Iranian leaders alike to oppose measures that make such good sense. Press reports show that top U.S. commanders in the Persian Gulf have favored such steps. And, as indicated above, Adm. Mullen has already appealed for military-to-military dialogue.
In the present circumstances, it has become increasingly urgent to discuss seriously how the United States and Iran might avoid a conflict started by accident, miscalculation or provocation. Neither the U.S. nor Iran can afford to allow an avoidable incident at sea to spin out of control.
With a modicum of mutual trust, these common-sense actions might be able to win wide and prompt acceptance by leaders in both countries.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing ministry of the Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was in Moscow in 1972 during President Richard Nixon's first visit to Russia, when the U.S.-Soviet Incidents-at-Sea agreement was signed together with several key arms control agreements. A 27-year veteran analyst at the CIA, he is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
Israel cannot abandon military option on Iran (March 10, 2010) VILE WAR PROPAGANDA - PATENTLY FALSE! http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155115.html
(...) Iran is the only country in the world that belongs to the United Nations yet publicly declares its intention to destroy the Jewish state. We are facing a lunatic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who repeatedly and publicly declares that the Holocaust never happened, and has now "discovered" that the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers were perpetrated by the Americans to give them an excuse for the war on terror. This is a country whose leaders seek to turn all the moderate states in the Middle East into an unbroken stretch of Sharia extremism. CLIP
Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12790.htm
To raze Israel to the ground, to batter down, to destroy, to annihilate, to liquidate, to erase Israel, to wipe it off the map - this is what Iran's President demanded - at least this is what we read about or heard of at the end of October 2005. Spreading the news was very effective. This is a declaration of war they said. Obviously government and media were at one with their indignation. It goes around the world. But let's take a closer look at what Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. It is a merit of the 'New York Times' that they placed the complete speech at our disposal. Here's an excerpt from the publication dated 2005-10-30: (...) It's becoming clear. The statements of the Iranian President have been reflected by the media in a manipulated way. Iran's President betokens the removal of the regimes, that are in power in Israel and in the USA, to be possible aim for the future. This is correct. But he never demands the elimination or annihilation of Israel. (...) Does Iran's President deny the Holocaust? (...) What Ahmadinejad does is not denying the Holocaust. No! It is dealing out criticism against the mendacity of the imperialistic powers who use the Holocaust to muzzle critical voices and to achieve advantages concerning the legitimization of a planned war. This is criticism against the exploitation of the Holocaust. CNN (2005-12-15) renders as follows: "If you have burned the Jews why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel. Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?" The Washingtonian ''Middle East Media Research Institute' (MEMRI) renders Ahmadinejad's statements from 2005-12-14 as follows: "...we ask you: if you indeed committed this great crime, why should the oppressed people of Palestine be punished for it? * [...] If you committed a crime, you yourselves should pay for it. Our offer was and remains as follows: If you committed a crime, it is only appropriate that you place a piece of your land at their disposal - a piece of Europe, of America, of Canada, or of Alaska - so they can establish their own state. Rest assured that if you do so, the Iranian people will voice no objection." (...) In spite of the variability referring to the rendering of the statements of Iran's President we should nevertheless note down: the reproach of denying the Holocaust cannot be sustained if Ahmadinejad speaks of a great and huge crime that has been done to the Jews. CLIP CLIP
Biden: East Jerusalem plan undermines peace talks (10/03/2010) BIBI THUMBING HIS NOSE AT OBAMA THE WUSSY http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155171.html
Israel's decision to approve 1,600 new homes in an ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood is undermining Middle East peace talks, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Earlier Tuesday, the Interior Ministry approved the building of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, with a ministry official saying the plan will expand the ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood to the east and to the south. "I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem," Biden said. AdvertisementThe American vice president added that the "substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I?ve had here in Israel." "We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them," Biden said adding that the "announcement underscores the need to get negotiations under way that can resolve all the outstanding issues of the conflict," Biden said.
Benjamin Netanyahu to Obama Butt out of Israels internal affairs! http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2009/05/24/benjamin-netanyahu-rebuffs-obama-butt-out/
Cant say Im surprised. Bibi isnt a wussy like Obama, and isnt going to bow to him as if it was Obama bowing to the Saudi King. With the White House demanding an end to Israels settlement growth and expansion of Israeli areas of Jerusalem and adherence to the so called road map long abandoned by both the Israelis and Palestinians, the Israeli Prime Minister told the American President to butt out of Israels internal affairs. More from Yahoo:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed U.S. calls for a full settlement freeze in the occupied West Bank and vowed not to accept limits on building of Jewish enclaves within Jerusalem. Netanyahus defiant stance set the stage for a possible showdown with President Barack Obama, who, in talks with the new Israeli prime minister in Washington last week, pressed for a halt to all settlement activity, including natural growth, as called for under a long-stalled peace road map. The demand for a total stop to building is not something that can be justified and I dont think that anyone here at this table accepts it, Netanyahu told his cabinet, referring to Jewish settlements in the West Bank, according to an official. CLIP
Analysis: Netanyahu outwits Obama again (10 Mar 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7414760/Analysis-Netanyahu-outwits-Obama-again.html
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, basked in the glow of great praise on Tuesday morning from Joseph Biden, the US vice-president and the man a heartbeat away from the most powerful job in world. By the time the two men sat down to dinner with their radiant wives in Jerusalem, the goodwill had turned to ashes in their mouths.There can scarely have been a sharper change in tone in the diplomatic history of two close allies over the course of a single day. Mr Biden had begun declaiming America's "absolute" support for Israel.Minutes later there was an announcement that 1,600 new homes would be built in an Ultra-Orthodox enclave of Arab East Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu pleaded ignorance and spun that he had been blindsided by extremists in his coalition, who control the interior ministry. American officials exploded with range. The vice-president arrived 90 minutes late for dinner. A statement said the decision was calculated to destroy the indirect proximity talks Washington was about to launch between Israel and the Palestinians.Mr Biden is famously loqucacious but even so the volte face was astounding. Arab newspapers proclaimed America's humiliation. The National in Abu Dhabi said Mr Biden had suffered a slap in the face. CLIP
Israel planning 50,000 housing units in East Jerusalem (11/03/2010) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155639.html
Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem. Most of the housing units will be built in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, while a smaller number of them will be built in Arab neighborhoods. The plans for some 20,000 of the apartments are already in advanced stages of approval and implementation, while plans for the remainder have yet to be submitted to the planning committees. The planned construction includes the 1,600 homes in the ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo that were approved Tuesday. Saying the decision undermines peace talks, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has publicly condemned the move, which the Interior Ministry announced during his visit to Israel. CLIP
Two humiliations Can Obama live with a third? (March 10, 2010) http://intifada-palestine.com/2010/03/10/two-humiliations--can-obama-live-with-a-third/
Amazing! While in Israel, an American vice president explicitly condemns an Israeli decision to build yet more homes, 1,600 apartments, in occupied Arab East Jerusalem. I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem, Joe Biden said. Its the kind of step that undermines the trust we need. Yes, but They were only words. And they call to mind a comment made by Uri Avnery, the grandfather of the Israeli peace movement, in a piece he wrote for Tikkun on 23 September 2009, after President Obamas call for a complete freeze had been rejected by Prime Minister Netanyahu.Theres no point in denying it, Avnery wrote. In the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The President of the United States has stumbled. And Netanyahu had won in a big way. Not only did he survive, not only has he shown that he is no sucker (a word he uses all the time), he has proven to his people and to the public at large that there is nothing to fear: Obama is nothing but a paper tiger. The settlements can go on expanding without hindrance. Any negotiations that start, if they start at all, can go on until the coming of the Messiah. Nothing will come out of them.Whether or not Netanyahu himself had advance knowledge of the decision to humiliate Biden is not the point. It is that Biden and so Obama were humiliated, the president for a second time. And that begs my headline question Can he, Obama, live with a third humiliation? CLIP
Shell No Longer Selling Gasoline to Iran (March 10, 2010) http://www.industryweek.com/articles/shell_no_longer_selling_gasoline_to_iran_21312.aspx
Becomes the latest major oil company to stop trading with Iran -- Shell said on March 10 it had stopped selling petrol to Iran, becoming the latest major oil company to stop trading with the Islamic Republic."Shell is not currently selling gasoline to Iran," a Shell spokesman said. The company declined to say if the decision was linked to sanctions on Iran imposed over its nuclear ambitions.The largest oil trader in the world, Vitol, said on March 8 it had stopped dealing with Iran. The Financial Times newspaper reported that Vitol and its fellow oil trading giants Glencore and Trafigura had ceased supplies of petrol to Iran.Although Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, it is forced to import petrol because its refineries are dilapidated after years of sanctions.
European Parliament endorses Goldstone Gaza report (10/03/2010 ) http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1155507.html
The European Parliament on Wednesday urged its 27-member states to monitor the Israeli and Palestinian probes into alleged war crimes committed during last year's late-winter conflict in Gaza. The resolution backed the findings of a UN-appointed expert panel chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, which concluded that both sides committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the war that began in December 2008 and ended in January 2009. The parliamentary move, which would give the EU an unprecedented role in evaluating the progress of Israel's war crimes probe, was sharply criticized by Israel. (...) MEP Kyriacos Triantaphyllides from the group said: "For the first time, a resolution voted in the European Parliament acknowledges Israeli's violations of international humanitarian law." The party called "for the immediate adoption of its findings by EU Member States and the implementation of its recommendations," demanding, "that no upgrading of EU - Israel Association Agreement is conceded given the violations committed by Israel.
What would you say if you were told that airplanes were regularly spraying toxic aerosols in the skies above every major region of the world? That is exactly what a group of protestors were claiming outside of the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting that was held in San Diego from February 18-22. However, inside the convention center was a different story. The scientists gathered to discuss the plausibility of implementing various Geo-engineering campaigns throughout the world, all under the guise that the Earth has a man-made global warming problem that can be solved in-part by spraying aerosol aluminum and other particles into the sky to block the sun. When these scientists were asked about the possibility of existing aerosol programs; they stated that no aerosol spraying programs have been implemented to date. A little confused? Why would protestors gather outside of a meeting making claims that world-wide aerosol programs were under way if scientist were only now discussing the possibility of implementing these programs? Could it be that one of these groups is being deceived?
Mauro Oliveira, the Webmaster of Geoengineeringwatch.org, was one of the protestors. He claimed that the program for Stratospheric Aerosol Geo-engineering (SAG), AKA chemtrails, has been well under way around the world. As a matter of fact, Oliveira stated that witnesses from around the globe claim that heavy aerosol spraying is occurring almost every day over just about every city. He went on to explain the difference between a contrail and a chemtrail. He stated that when a jet airplane flies at a certain altitude, a visible trail of streaks of condensed water vapor sometimes form in the wake of the aircraft. This is called a contrail. Contrails are normal and usually dissipate in a few seconds. They are very similar to when we breathe in cold weather. According to Oliveira, what occurs behind a SAG plane spraying aerosols is quite different. What can be seen is a thick white line also called a chemtrail that lingers in the sky for several hours. The SAG lines are sprayed into the upper atmosphere and then spread out forming what then appear to be clouds. The particles from these aerosols then fall to the ground where they enter our soil and water and can also be inhaled.
Another group of protestors had traveled over 10 hours from a small Shasta County community in Northern California. They became concerned about SAG when many from this community began to see dramatic changes not only in the sky, but also on the ground. Trees were dying, grass was not growing and many farmers were having difficulty getting any crops to grow on their farms. The crisis prompted biologists from the community to take action by testing the soil. The results were shocking. Aluminum, barium and other elements were found to be up to thousands of times higher than normal limits. Such high quantities lead to unhealthy PH levels in the soil which can be deadly to ecological life systems. These shocking results led to additional testing of Lake Shasta with samples from the Pit River arm tributary that tested over 4,610 times the maximum contamination level of aluminum allowed in drinking water in the state of California. Also, peer reviewed scientific studies conclude that bio-available aluminum, now found in huge quantities in rain world-wide, is very harmful to flora and thus the eco-system. Ironically, these are the same substances the scientists are considering implementing in the various potential future aerosol spraying campaigns that were being discussed at the meeting.
A large number of other protesters became interested in SAG after experiencing burning eyes, migraine headaches, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and other health problems on days that airplanes were allegedly witnessed spraying aerosols in the sky. Deborah Whitman, Founder and President of the non-profit environmental organization Environmental Voices and also Producer of the documentary Sky Lines is no stranger to these symptoms. She has been hospitalized over 51 times on what she calls heavy spraying days. Whitman has committed her life to helping people who claim to be experiencing similar problems resulting from aerosol spraying and gets calls from all over the U.S. in response to her website and documentary. Her recommended health tips can be found at http://www.environmentalvoices.org. Other indicators that possibly validate the claim that SAG is connected to health problems are the respiratory mortality rate, which has risen from eight on the list of mortality to third in the past five years, and the fact that Alzheimers and other illnesses linked to aluminum have continued to rise around the globe at astronomical rates since the inception of the alleged spraying.
The AAAS meeting hosted some of the worlds leading geo-engineering scientists. With years of education and even more experience in their respected fields, the scientists looked at geo-engineering issues from many angles. Workshop subjects ranged from, the effectiveness of geo-engineering to potential problems and even touched upon the issue of ethics. According to independent reporter Stewart Howe of Los Angeles, all of the scientists seemed to be looking for solutions to what they believe is the problem of global warming. Howe stated that the scientists appeared to be carefully weighing both the pros and cons of SAG when presenting potential campaigns to address the man-made global warming theory. Many were actually advocating alternative methods to combat this issue due to the potential risks of SAG that include droughts, ozone depletion, less solar power, decimated weather patterns, military use of technology and other various environmental impacts. Howe said, after witnessing the aerosol spraying for years, I was surprised by the discourse among scientists. Stewart went on to say that he believes that most of the scientists attending seemed to be separated from the knowledge of any current SAG deployment. As a matter of fact when asked about current SAG operations, leading geo-engineering scientist Ken Caldiera replied that he was unaware of any current aerosol spraying operations and when prompted to explain the long lingering trails left behind planes, he stated that they are simply normal contrails from jets.
David Keith, another leading scientist and expert in the field of geo-engineering, discussed the well-funded studies that have been conducted to predict potential future risks as well as benefits associated with geo-engineering. Some of the potential benefits include a cooler planet, and the reduction of melting sea ice and rising sea levels. Keith discussed what aerosol particles would be most effective in achieving the stated goals of the SAG program. He went on to say that initially sulfur was considered, however, aluminum is more effective and can be used by adding ten to twenty mega-tons per year into the stratosphere. When asked about health related studies that have been conducted to predict the potential risks of adding the particles in our air, Keith stated that many studies have been completed and indicate few risks. However, when asked specifically about the use of aluminum as an aerosol, he said we havent done anything serious on aluminum, so there could be something terrible that we will find tomorrow that we haven't looked at." After the meeting, Keith showed consideration to the protesters by initiating a discussion about the SAG program outside where the protestors were standing. When confronted with concerns about SAG deployment from the group, he went on to say that he shared similar views and is against any deployment until proper research is completed to determine potential risks of aerosol spraying. He also went on to say that he is unaware of any current SAG operations, but, would be willing to look at any scientific proof if presented to him.
As the skies around our world continue to change, there is strong evidence that points toward current deployment of massive aerosol operations. Could it be that scientific data and studies are being used to implement pre-mature full-scale SAG programs with-out the knowledge of the top scientists who are involved with the research? If so, what kind of ethical considerations can we expect from the geo-engineering community in the future? It is hard to believe that the strange white lines in the skies witnessed around the world and the toxic elements found in the soil, water and air are from an unrelated source. We the people, in partnership with the scientific community need to challenge not only the environmental and health risks associated with SAG but also the numerous world-wide allegations about current deployment. It is imperative that we become educated and involved in uncovering the truth of this alleged crime against both nature and humanity. The future of our planet depends on it. As concerns continue to grow around the world about this issue, additional information including meet-up groups can be found on various chemtrail and geo-engineering websites.
Star of Oscar Winning 'The Cove' Recaps His On-Stage Political Action and the Academy's Censorship
Ric O'Barry make the best of his few moments on stage at the Oscars to make a brave gesture in defense of dolphins.
March 8, 2010
It's axiomatic that any time the powers-that-be try to censor political speech they just end up drawing more attention to the message they wanted to squelch.
Evidence of that truth was on display last night during the 82 Annual Academy Awards, when Ric O'Barry - protagonist of the film, The Cove, which took home the trophy for Best Documentary - tried to use his 15 seconds of screen time to jolt new energy into the campaign to halt the dolphin capture and slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
As soon as he got on stage, co-director Fisher Stevens rattled off the obligatory Thank-Yous then included, "My hero, Ric O'Barry, who is not only a hero to this species but to all species." That's when O'Barry unfurled a small, plain, black-and-white banner reading, "Text DOLPHIN to 44144."
That was enough to get the Oscar censors' attention. Before the other co-director, Louie Psihoyos, could get in more than his own single Thank You, the camera cut to the audience and then the orchestra started in on its "exit-the-stage-now" theme.
But the Oscar producers' shoddy treatment of O'Barry and company only succeeded in getting even more attention to the cause to protect Japan dolphins. This morning's LA Times gave O'Barry a thumbs up, and the Seattle Post Intelligencer also offered a nod, as did all sorts of bloggers.
"I didn't know until this morning that holding up the sign was the right thing to do," O'Barry told me this morning as he prepped for an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper that will take place later today. "People are taking action because of it. But the Academy doesn't like that. And I thought I was screwing up Louie's speech when they turned on the exit music."
Psihoyos got a chance to get say his piece backstage, telling reporters that, "The biggest thing will be when dolphins are no longer slaughtered for meat" and "If people take action, [they] can solve this problem." As of this morning, about 40,000 people have sent the "dolphin" texts, which connects them to an online petition sponsored by Care2.
Far more important, though, is that the Oscar award will open the way for a widespread theatrical release in Japan. As O'Barry wrote in an email to supporters at 2 am this morning:
"Japan has 126 million people; only 600 have seen The Cove so far. Those who saw it were shocked and dismayed that this slaughter was happening in their country. We need to enlist their help and the help of millions of their fellow citizens to stop the Japanese government from issuing 23,000 permits annually to slaughter dolphins."
As I came to learn when I traveled to Japan with O'Barry last September to write a profile of him for the Journal, the only way the dolphin slaughter will stop is if ordinary Japanese come to oppose it. The movie will have to be a key part of generating that opposition, since many Japanese are unaware of the annual hunt. "It's really all about Japan for us," O'Barry said to me this morning. "It guarantees there is interest in seeing this, even if the government doesn't want people to see it. People will see it now."
He said, "If another documentary had won, we would have gotten bumped. It's a major breakthrough in the campaign. It guarantees a theatrical release in Japan. The distributor was struggling. But a movie that has won the Academy Awards will get into theaters."
O'Barry said he was extremely nervous as he and the filmmakers walked on stage, but he knew that he had to unfurl his banner message: "I had butterflies in my stomach. I wanted to throw up on my shoes. But I knew that one billion people were watching, and I had to do it."
O'Barry is no stranger to the movie making business, having spent years as a stuntman and animal trainer on the Flipper series and number of other television shows and films. Still, he said that being at the Oscars made him feel a bit like an odd fish. "I felt different than everyone else in the room," he said, recalling his emotions in the moments before the award was announced. "I'm not in the industry. I am out of time and out of place. I don't belong there at all. I am thinking what this will mean to the camping if The Cove is mentioned."
O'Barry said that it was great that James Cameron shook his hand as he walked down the aisle, and that backstage George Clooney told Psihoyos that it was lame he didn't get a chance to talk. Oh, and that "the guy" who gave them the Oscar trophies was very encouraging and complimentary and said he had seen The Cove twice. O'Barry might not have recognized him, but "the guy" was, well, Matt Damon.
'The Cove:' Japan Has a Dark Secret It Hopes the World Will Never See (August 6, 2009 ) http://www.alternet.org/story/141767/%27the_cove%3A%27_japan_has_a_dark_secret_it_hopes_the_world_will_never_see/
Suspenseful and shocking film exposes the slaughter of tens of thousands of dolphins and the billion-dollar industry that profits from selling them. -- Ric O'Barry almost looks crazy. He is driving a car, with a mask over his mouth, crouching low in his seat, hoping not to be recognized.If the authorities catch him, there's no telling what will happen to him. He's cruising through the misty streets of Taiji, Japan, a small town with a really big secret, he says. And it's a secret that the town's fishermen want to hide from the rest of the world at all costs.This is how the documentary, The Cove, opens. And it turns out O'Barry is not crazy, he's on a mission -- probably one of the most important in the history of conservation. And it's personal. He used to be a world-famous dolphin trainer. He captured and trained the five dolphins who played Flipper in the hit TV show of the same name. The show's popularity sparked a dolphin craze that has continued since the 1960s and has grown into $2 billion industry in the U.S. alone. But while places like Sea World might be raking in the cash, O'Barry has spend the last 35 years trying to end dolphin captivity -- having had a change of heart after the tragic suicide of one of the main dolphins in Flipper. (If you want to know how a dolphin can commit suicide, you'll have to see The Cove.)It turns out these intelligent and charismatic creatures don't do well in captivity -- half of all captive dolphins die within two years. They're used to swimming 40 miles a day, diving hundreds of feet deep and hanging out with their close-knit pod. Apparently jumping through hoops and swimming with tourists in a pool just isn't an adequate substitute. But that hasn't stopped the plethora of marine theme parks and the horrific industry that has grown to support it. It has, however, inspired O'Barry to expose some of the worst of it, which is why he's hiding out in Taiji. In this quaint fishing village, each fall, tens of thousands of migrating dolphins are captured, some of which are sold into captivity (for up to $150,000 a piece), and the rest are taken to a secret cove and slaughtered (to be sold for their meat -- sometimes falsely described as whale meat). O'Barry wants the world to see what's happening in Taiji, and that means staying out of reach of the authorities and the local fishermen, who would very much like him arrested, deported, or worse. It also means trying to get into the secret cove with a camera. CLIP
Help Save Japan's Dolphins http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/724210624
In The Cove, a team of activists and filmmakers infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this remote village they witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: More than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often times labeled as whale meat. The majority of the world is not aware this is happening. The Taiji cove is blocked off from the public. Cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story. It's critical that we get the word out in Japan. Once the Japanese people know we believe they will demand change. Send a letter to President Obama, Vice President Biden and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki urging them to address this issue. Everyone who signs the letter will be able to have their name displayed in a widget that will be posted on top social networks, web sites and blogs in Japan. The widget will link to actions people there can take to make a difference. CLIP
Watch YouTube videos on The Cove HERE including...
Franz Weber to the Queen of Denmark: Stop the dolphin slaughters on the Faroe Islands! http://typo3.ffw.ch/communiques-de-presse/avis-de-detail/period/1225494000/2591999/1/article/93/machen-sie-s.html?no_cache=1&L=1&cHash=476c46db23
After having been flooded with unbearable pictures of pilot whales (black dolphins) slaughtered on the Faroe Islands and received distress calls from all over Europe, the Franz Weber Foundation addressed the following letter to Queen Margret II of Denmark, via the Royal Danish Embassy in Bern: Montreux, November 5th, 2008 Majesty, Like many Europeans, you are certainly aware of the odious mass slaughters of black dolphins committed year after year by inhabitants of the Faroe Islands. Pictures of these absurd massacres, staged as if it was a popular sport, are currently spreading all over Europe, provoking everyone's total disgust, indignation and sadness. It seems to be beyond comprehension that such an openly barbarian "tradition" can still live on in our century. Not only the Faroe Islands, but all Denmark is sullied by these crimes perpetrated against the biological world heritage. In the name of millions of European citizens, we present Your Majesty the urgent request to exert your full authority in order to stop these indefensible slaughters immediately. We put all our confidence in your salutary intervention and remain, Majesty, faithfully yours
FRANZ WEBER FOUNDATION Franz Weber, President
Facts that have lead Franz Weber to lodge a protest to the Queen of Denmark:
We are on the Faroe Islands. Fishing boats encircle a school of innocent pilot whales (black dolphins) that do not recognize the threat. Bloodthirsty native hunters are shrieking, making hellish noise, and swinging their spears and whips at the surface of the sea, in order to drive the pacific marine mammals - maybe hundreds of them - into a bay that has no outcome. It is a fatal trap. In the bloody waters of an absurd and bestial carnage, all the animals are killed with harpoons, hooks, spears, and whaling knives, even the young or pregnant ones. "It is unbearable to hear these injured and dying whales moan like completely despaired children", witnesses report. One third of the females are pregnant. The shock of the events makes some of them go into labour. While giving birth, they keep being beaten with spears and hooks. While giving birth, their bodies are being in tatters. They are tortured, panic-stricken, and eventually, babies and mothers are ripped open without mercy amid an excited, cheering crowd. It is incomprehensible that such crimes are recorded on islands belonging to a civilized EU country. It is equally intolerable that young inhabitants of the Faroe Islands believe that they can gain their "manhood" by wildly slaughtering sea mammals that yet count among man's oldest friends... (Version française disponible sur la même page Web - Voir aussi... Tribunal des Animaux - Les massacres de baleines et de dauphins devant la COUR INTERNATIONALE DE JUSTICE DES DROITS DE L'ANIMAL
The TH Interview: Jean-Michel Cousteau (03.20.08) http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/the-th-interview-jm-cousteau.php?campaign=TH_sbl_radio
It took three years and 600 underwater hours to film, but Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean has reached its stunning, multi-dimensional completion. Here in our interview with the films ambassador, ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau explains the painstaking search for these cetaceans, which include some of the worlds largest and most ancient dwellers. CLIP - With full transcript
Australia's death-row camels offered Saudi sanctuary (22 Jan 2010) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/305129,australias-death-row-camels-offered-saudi-sanctuary.html
Sydney - The feral camels roaming the Outback that Australians consider pests and have condemned to death have been offered a safe haven in Saudi Arabia. A massive internet campaign in the Middle East is generating outrage at the proposed slaughter of 1 million unwanted animals, Arab News, the region's largest English-language daily, reported Friday. Camel owners in Saudi Arabia have been urged to provide sanctuary for a wild herd that sharpshooters working from helicopters are busy culling. Camels imported from India were let loose in the Outback in the 1900s when vehicles took over the work of moving goods. Now they compete for food and water not just with farmed animals like cattle and sheep but even with people.Last month, a thirst-maddened herd of 6,000 camels besieged the far-north town of Docker River, ripping out water pipes and wrenching air-conditioners from walls in their desperation for a drink. Many of the Docker River camels have now been shot and their bodies left to rot."I own more than 80 camels, but I am quite willing to receive as many more from Australia," Salim al-Hajjaji told the Arab News. Another distressed camel owner, Khalifa al-Bigaili, said Arabs revered camels for their milk, meat and racing. "We can buy them cheap or get them for free since Australians do not want them," he said, proposing donations to a fund that could arrange their transfer. Australians don't like eating camel meat. Keeping camels for export is difficult because they are big, wilful animals that smash through fences put up to contain them. Around 25,000 head a year are exported, mostly to the Middle East, where there are no longer big herds of wild camels. But shipments don't keep up with population increases with Australia's national herd doubling every seven years. The web-based Saudi campaign makes much of references to camels in the Koran as living proof of divine creation."Do they not look at camels and how they are made?" the relevant Koranic verse asks. Oddly enough, camels are also revered in Docker River and other Aboriginal communities where Christian missionaries made converts of indigenous Australians. Aborigines said camels are sacred to them and should not be shot because they appear in the Bible. The Three Wise Men, who visited Jesus after his birth, carrying gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, rode on camels.
Humans driving extinction faster than species can evolve, say experts (7 March 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/07/extinction-species-evolve
Conservationists say rate of new species slower than diversity loss caused by the destruction of habitats and climate change -- For the first time since the dinosaurs disappeared, humans are driving animals and plants to extinction faster than new species can evolve, one of the world's experts on biodiversity has warned.Conservation experts have already signalled that the world is in the grip of the "sixth great extinction" of species, driven by the destruction of natural habitats, hunting, the spread of alien predators and disease, and climate change. (...) Extinction is part of the constant evolution of life, and only 2-4% of the species that have ever lived on Earth are thought to be alive today. However fossil records suggest that for most of the planet's 3.5bn year history the steady rate of loss of species is thought to be about one in every million species each year.Only 869 extinctions have been formally recorded since 1500, however, because scientists have only "described" nearly 2 millions of an estimated 5-30 millions species around the world, and only assessed the conservation status of 3% of those, the global rate of extinction is extrapolated from the rate of loss among species which are known. In this way the IUCN calculated in 2004 that the rate of loss had risen to 100-1,000 per millions species annually a situation comparable to the five previous "mass extinctions" the last of which was when the dinosaurs were wiped out about 65m years ago.(...) In addition to extinctions, the IUCN has listed 208 species as "possibly extinct", some of which have not been seen for decades. Nearly 17,300 species are considered under threat, some in such small populations that only successful conservation action can stop them from becoming extinct in future. This includes one-in-five mammals assessed, one-in-eight birds, one-in-three amphibians, and one-in-four corals.Later this year the Convention on Biological Diversity is expected to formally declare that the pledge by world leaders in 2002 to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met, and to agree new, stronger targets.Despite the worsening problem, and the increasing threat of climate change, experts stress that understanding of the problems which drive plants and animals to extinction has improved greatly, and that targeted conservation can be successful in saving species from likely extinction in the wild.This year has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity and it is also hoped that a major UN report this summer, on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity, will encourage governments to devote more funds to conservation. CLIP
NOTE from Jean: As climate change accelerates, untold number of animals around the world won't be able to adapt to their rapidly changing environment and will die. As mentioned above, a sixth global extinction episode is already underway on Earth, the first one ever triggered by a single species... Us!
Sharks swim safe around the Maldives (March 11, 2010) GOOD NEWS! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0311-hance_maldives.html
Sharks that dwell in the Maldives can breathe a sigh of relief: the island nation has declared 90,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean a safe-haven for sharks, banning shark fishing as well as any trade in shark fins. "The Maldives were one of the first countries to recognize that sharks were a key reason tourists went to dive there," said Matt Rand, director of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group. "Todays announcement protects the Maldives tourism industrythe largest segment of their economyfrom the ravages of the shark fin trade. It is a bold and farsighted move on the part of the government of the Maldives." The protected waters are home to thirty species of shark, including the scalloped hammerhead and the oceanic whitetip, both of which are up for protection at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The IUCN Red List classifies the scalloped hammerhead as Endangered, and the oceanic whitetip as Vulnerable to extinction. The Maldives, a popular tourist location, depends on its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and marine wildlife, such as sharks, for much of its tourism industry. Globally tourism focused on seeing sharks in the wild is a growing business. "Countries are beginning to recognize just how important vibrant shark populations are to healthy ocean ecosystems, and to their ecotourism industries," explains Rand. The trade for shark fin soup has devastated shark populations worldwide: sharks are caught, finned (whereby fishermen cuts off their fins), and then tossed overboard into the ocean to perish. It is estimated that 73 million sharks are killed every year for their fins alone. Currently, 32 percent of open ocean shark species are threatened with extinction. - Checl also: UN to protect seven migratory sharks, but Australia opts out
VERDICT of the 22nd February 2010 in the case of the slaughter of whales and dolphins practiced by Japan, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands
the ministers of the ministries of fisheries of the incriminated countries :
M. Hirotaka Akamatsu, Japan
Mme. Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Norway
M. Jón Bjarnason, Iceland
Mme. Ane Hansen, Groenland
M. Jacob Vestergaard, Feroe Island
THE COURT FINDS
Wide areas of the oceans, whose riches were not so long ago considered to be inexhaustible, are dead spaces today, while the last of the oceans' large mammals - whales and dolphins - continue to be systematically hunted and bestially killed despite the moratorium put into place by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and in force since 1986. Over 2,000 large whales and tens of thousands of smaller whales and dolphins are killed every year.
The cruelty involved in the whale and dolphin hunt is beyond imagination. As whales have no natural enemies, their nervous system is not structured to respond to an assault or to severe pain by fainting or going into shock. They will endure their own slaughtering fully conscious up to their last breath. Thousands of dolphins are brutally captured and ill treated with the purpose of stocking and restocking dolphin fun parks which are becoming more popular and numerous every day.
While most countries have never hunted whales, or have respected the IWC moratorium, Japan, Norway, Iceland and Greenland continue to hunt whales despite the moratorium. In addition, Japan and the Faroe Islands hunt dolphins intensively.
But dolphins and whales are threatened and decimated by a great many other perils such as contamination by heavy metals and other pollutants, over-fishing and over use of the oceans by man. Their food is becoming scarce through over-fishing while thousands of kilometres of nets drifting in the seas cause an enormous amount of additional victims. Every year innumerable dolphins and whales lose their sense of orientation and get stranded on beaches or cliffs. Scientists believe this phenomenon to be a result of the increasing sound pollution in the oceans and of physiological damage caused by chemical pollutants.
Notwithstanding the high toxicity of whale meat, responsible authorities of the indicted countries continue to permit and even promote its consumption, thus putting the health and physical integrity of their citizens at risk.
Having become rare, the great whales have more and more difficulty in finding partners for procreation. The same destiny awaits the dolphins. The climate change added to all the other perils will have devastating effects on all whale and dolphin populations.
The accused having been duly convened, the Prosecutor having presented his case and the appointed attorney for the defence having made his plea, the International Court of Justice for Animal Rights composed of a jury of seven members and three judges, based on the today's hearings and the testimonies and evidence brought, accede to the plaintiffs in their petitions and
- declare the accused guilty
- of violations of international laws
- of complicity in and of encouragement of the slaughter of whales and dolphins
- of plundering a natural living heritage which belongs to the whole world
- of major responsibility and complicity in the torture and the destruction of tens of thousands of whales and dolphins per year
- of acts of cruelty committed on wild animals of species protected on a world wide level
- of non application of the principle of precaution with regard to the preservation of marine life
- of deliberately endangering marine ecosystems already severely weakened by human activities
- of deliberately endangering the lives of others by distributing food products issued from whales and dolphins whales and dolphins whose flesh is impregnated with toxic substances, without informing the public of the dangers incurred
- The Court is appealing to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to extend the moratorium in force for large whales to all cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and orcas).
- The Court requires that all costal nations declare sanctuary their exclusive economic zone (up to 200 miles) where all hunting and capture of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises and orcas) are banned.
- The Court requests that the World Health Organisation (WHO) issue a recommendation to ban the sale of all products derived from cetaceans destined for human consumption (for food or any other use) and to officially inform governments and public opinion of the dangers these products involve for human health.
- The Court appeals to all governments to support Australia in her planned legal action with the International Court of Justice of The Hague against the Japanese who blatantly violate international law by their whaling expeditions in international waters of the Antarctic.
The complete verdict will be notified to the International Court of Justice of The Hague and to the guilty parties. It will also be sent to the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council of Europe, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the President of the European Commission, the UN, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the International Whaling Commission.
Geneva, 22nd February 2010
THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS
- International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling of 2/12/1946 completed by the protocol 19/11/1956
- Convention on Biological Diversity in Rio of 5/6/1992
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora in Washington
D.C. of 3/3/1973 · Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals in Bonn of 23/6/1979
- Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Berne of
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora in Washington
D.C. of 3/3/1973
Whales losing blubber, claims controversial Japanese study (26 August 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/aug/26/whaling.conservation
Data from Japan's widely condemned scientific whaling programme suggests a loss of fat over the past 20 years may be due to climate change, but some claim the research is unethical -- Over two decades, Japanese ships have butchered thousands of whales taken from the icy waters around the Antarctic in the name of research. Campaigners and politicians condemn the practice as unethical and unnecessary, and say Japan's "scientific" whaling programme is commercial whaling by another name.Now, Japan's scientists claim their controversial whaling programme has produced a key finding. Measurements taken from more than 4,500 minke whales slaughtered since the late 1980s reveal the animals have lost significant amounts of blubber, and are getting thinner at a worrying speed. The team says its study offers the first evidence that global warming could be harming whales, because it restricts their food supplies. And they say the discovery could only have been made by killing the animals.Crucially for the Japanese, the results have been published in a mainstream western scientific journal - a move that has dismayed campaigners, who say it could offer scientific whaling a veneer of respectability, and bolster Japan's efforts to hunt more whales.They fear Japan could use the results to support efforts to hunt endangered humpback whales for the first time in 50 years. The study claims the recovering humpback population in the Southern Ocean could also be hurting the minkes because of "interference" between the two species as they compete for food. Lars Walloe, a Norwegian whale expert at the University of Oslo, who helped the Japanese team analyse the data, and is listed as an author on the new study, said: "This is a big change in blubber and if it continues it could make it more difficult for the whales to survive. It indicates there have been some big changes in their ecosystem." CLIP
Deal could be struck to protect bluefin tuna and African elephant
Ben Webster, Environment Editor - March 6, 2010
The African elephant is already protected under trade rules but black market prices are fuelling an increase in poaching.
Two of the world's most iconic endangered species, the bluefin tuna and African elephant, could be protected under a backroom deal being negotiated between Europe and Africa.
New rules restricting international trade in endangered species will be debated at a meeting of 175 countries beginning next week in Doha, Qatar. Europe wants to protect dwindling stocks of bluefin tuna and most African states want to prevent the sale of stockpiles of ivory to Japan and China.
The proposals will need a two-thirds majority to be approved at the conference on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), from March 13 to 25. Delegates will be trying to secure enough votes to overcome opposition from nations that either profit from the trade in the species or import them.
Japan consumes three quarters of the world's bluefin tuna and a single fish can sell for as much as $110,000 (£72,600) at Tokyo's fish market. Stocks of bluefin have fallen by 80 per cent in the past 30 years and wildlife groups and many nations, including Britain, believe the remaining populations are close to collapsing.
The African elephant is already protected under trade rules but black market prices of $1,200 (£790) a kilo (2.2lb) are fuelling an increase in poaching. The elephant population in the Zakouma National Park in Chad has fallen from 3,885 in 2006 to 617 in 2009 because of poaching.
A coalition of 23 African states has written to Britain and other EU members asking for their help in blocking a proposal from Tanzania and Zambia to sell 110 tonnes of ivory. Some of the 23 states sold ivory in 2008 but are unable to sell any more. A loophole in international rules could permit Tanzania and Zambia to make a one-off sale.
Britain believes that selling the stockpiled ivory would fuel demand in the Far East and lead to more poaching. Other EU states are considering supporting the sale because it could raise money for conservation in Tanzania and Zambia.
The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by The Times, hints that the African nations would support the EU's proposal for a ban on trade in bluefin tuna in return for the 27 EU members voting against the ivory sale.
The letter requests a meeting on the sidelines of the Doha meeting so that the African countries can "learn of the issues that may be of a high priority for you at the conference".
It also contains a veiled threat that the 23 African countries would block proposals for protecting other endangered species unless the EU supports their position on the ivory sale.
It says a "successful conservation outcome" for ivory would "allow Cites to address other issues and other species".
Tigers, polar bears and sharks are the other high-profile species on which the EU and the US are seeking to tighten the trade rules at Doha.
Britain is seeking a ban on so-called "tiger farms", where the animals are intensively bred in captivity. The concern is that the existence of the farms in China, Vietnam and Thailand is encouraging demand for tiger to be used in medicines. This in turn results in poaching, threatening the dwindling wild tiger population.
The US is calling for polar bears to be listed on appendix I of at the convention, which would ban all international trade in the animals except for conservation purposes. While Britain supports the US proposal, other EU members believe a trade ban would anger indigenous communities in the Arctic that depend on the trade in polar bear skins and trophies. These communities currently co-operate with conservation programmes.
The EU has proposed that porbeagle sharks and the spiny dogfish (rock salmon) are listed on appendix II. Species in this category can still be traded but permits must be obtained.
The EU will vote as a bloc on each of the proposals after using qualified majority voting to agree its position.
Some European countries that profit from the bluefin tuna trade, including Spain, France, Italy and Malta, want small-scale fishing to be exempt from the proposed ban. Britain opposes this because it would allow up to 40 per cent of the trade to continue, only delaying the collapse of tuna stocks.
Related petition and articles:
Time to choose: Elephants or Ivory https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_more_bloody_ivory_gg/
In 5 days, 2 African governments will try to pry open the worldwide ban on ivory trading -- a decision that could wipe out whole elephant populations and bring these magnificent animals closer to extinction.Tanzania and Zambia are lobbying the UN for special exemptions from the ban, but this would send a clear signal to the ivory crime syndicates that international protection is weakening and it's open-season on elephants. Another group of African states have countered by calling to extend the trade ban for 20 years.Our best chance to save the continent's remaining elephants is to support African conservationists. We only have 5 days left and the UN Endangered Species body only meets every 3 years. Click below to sign our urgent petition to protect elephants, and forward this email widely -- the petition will be delivered to the UN meeting in Doha. Over 20 years ago, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed a worldwide ban on ivory trading. Poaching fell, and ivory prices slumped. But poor enforcement coupled with'experimental one-off sales', like the one Tanzania and Zambia are seeking, drove poaching up and turned illegal trade into a lucrative business -- poachers can launder their illegal ivory with the legal stockpiles.Now, despite the worldwide ban, each year over 30,000 elephants are gunned down and their tusks hacked off by poachers with axes and chainsaws. If Tanzania and Zambia are successful in exploiting the loophole, this awful trade could get much worse.We have a one off chance this week to extend the worldwide ban and repress poaching and trade prices before we lose even more elephant populations -- sign the petition now and then forward it widely. Across the world's cultures and throughout our history elephants have been revered in religions and have captured our imagination -- Babar, Dumbo, Ganesh, Airavata, Erawan. But today these beautiful and highly intelligent creatures are being annihilated. As long as there is demand for ivory, poaching and smuggling will happen, but this week we have a chance to protect them and crush the ivory criminals' profits. As long as there is demand for ivory, elephants are at risk from poaching and smuggling -- but this week we have a chance to protect them and crush the ivory criminals' profits -- sign the petition now!
Elephants: Is EU giving green light for new massacres? (Feb 18, 2010) http://typo3.ffw.ch/communiques-de-presse/avis-de-detail/period/1225494000/2591999/1/article/93/unterschrift.html?no_cache=1&L=1&cHash=f41b73df69
Despite overwhelming opposition from the European Parliament against the resumption of elephant ivory trade, the European Commission now looks increasingly likely to support overturning the 1989 global ban at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), 13th - 25th March in Doha. On 10th February, the Parliament adopted a strongly-worded Resolution calling on the EU, negotiating as a bloc at CITES, not to support ivory trade resumption and to respect the nine-year ivory moratorium agreement, reached at the 14th CITES meeting in The Hague in 2007. The Commission and EU member states are now highly likely to ignore Parliament and support moves by Tanzania and Zambia to resume ivory trade. "It is really the last call for elephants in Africa. The devastating poaching of the 1980s which was first controlled through CITES is now so prevalent again that the African elephant is all but extinct in some countries where once they roamed," says Bourama Niagaté, Director of Parks and Natural Reserves in Mali, co-chair of the 23-government African Elephant Coalition. "The EU should demonstrate again the leadership it showed when, under the German EU Presidency in 2007, it brokered an eleventh-hour deal on a nine-year ivory moratorium at the last CITES negotiations. It is incomprehensible that the EU is even considering resuming ivory trade. One must wonder just how much international pressure has been brought to bear," " said Vera Weber, Director of the Fondation Franz Weber. "We would urge the Commission to change its position before it is too late for the African elephant," she added.
Thailand Makes Record Bust of Illegal Ivory (25 February 2010) http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Thailand-Makes-Record-Bust-of-Illegal-Ivory-85339652.html
Thailand has intercepted a record two tons of elephant tusks that authorities say were smuggled into the country from Africa. Thailand is seeking to be removed from a blacklist of countries involved in the illegal ivory trade. Thai customs authorities say they seized 239 elephant tusks at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, worth an estimated $3.6 million, late Wednesday. The officials say the haul weighed more than two tons and was the largest bust in Thailand's recent history. The seizure followed a tip that illegal ivory from South Africa arrived on a plane from Dubai. The ivory was labeled as telecommunication parts destined for Laos. But Tanat Suvattanametakul, director of the airport's cargo clearance customs bureau, says the cargo declaration was false. "They need to import to Thailand but they just declare the transit to Laos," said Tanat. Thailand is a major transit point for trafficking wildlife products, much of which goes to markets in China. Thailand is hoping to be removed from a blacklist of countries involved in the illegal trade at a March conference of parties to CITES, the convention on international trade in endangered species. CLIP
Great white shark outnumbered by the tiger (February 20, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7033216.ece
The World Wildlife Fund currently estimates that fewer than 3,200 tigers remain in the wild. The number of great white sharks may now be fewer -- The great white shark has become so threatened that it is now outnumbered by the tiger, a leading marine scientist claimed yesterday. New research has suggested that population numbers for the ocean's most feared predator have been overestimated because many great whites have been double-counted, according to Ronald O'Dor, of Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Canada, the senior scientist at the Census of Marine Life project. CLIP
Bluefin tuna fished to the brink of extinction (January 19, 2010) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6992932.ece
The EU must not let Malta destroy the king of fish -- Two weeks ago a single bluefin tuna sold in Japan for a surreal £111,000. The price of this fish, which ends up in the best sushi restaurants, will carry on rocketing so long as the tuna population keeps plummeting. The Mediterranean tuna industry, which has taken tens of millions of euros in subsidies, has fished the bluefin to the brink - stocks are within three years of total collapse.Europe could ban trade in the bluefin - but the nationalistic fervour of one man, Joe Borg, the EU Fisheries Commissioner, is a huge obstacle. So why Mr Borg's opposition to a ban? Could it be that he is from Malta, where the economy earns ¤100 million a year from the bluefin?Apparently it could. Commenting on his five-year tenure, he told The Times of Malta that "it is thanks to a lot of hard work at my level and at my staff's level that many of the proposals that are agreed by the commission took into account Maltese sensitivities". The short-sightedness of helping an important industry to cause its own collapse is staggering. Stavros Dimas, the EU Environment Commissioner, who has been trying to point this out, hails from Greece, another nation with a tuna industry. Unfortunately for him - and the bluefin - once the Maltese have taken a position they don't give it up. CLIP
One in five mammals threatened with extinction (November 4, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6901077.ece
A fifth of the world's known mammals, a third of amphibians and reptiles and more than two thirds of plants are threatened with extinction, according to the latest "Red List" of endangered species. Of the 5,490 mammal species that have been identified by scientists, 79 are extinct or extinct in the wild, 188 are critically endangered, 449 are endangered and 505 are classed as vulnerable, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said. The annual Red List, published yesterday, also shows that 70 per cent of identified plants, 35 per cent of invertebrates, 37 per cent of freshwater fish, 30 per cent of amphibians, 28 per cent of reptiles and 12 per cent of birds are under threat. The survival of a total of 17,921 species is in jeopardy."This year's IUCN Red List makes for sobering reading," Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the IUCN Red List Unit, said. "These results are just the tip of the iceberg. We have only managed to assess 47,663 species so far; there are many more millions out there which could be under serious threat. CLIP
Life on Earth is under serious threat, despite the commitment by world leaders to reverse the trend, according to a detailed analysis of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The IUCN analysis, which is published every four years, comes just before the deadline governments set themselves to evaluate how successful they were in achieving the 2010 target to reduce biodiversity loss. The IUCN report, Wildlife in a Changing World, shows the 2010 target will not be met.
"When governments take action to reduce biodiversity loss there are some conservation successes, but we are still a long way from reversing the trend," says Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Head of IUCN's Species Programme and senior editor of the publication. "It's time to recognize that nature is the largest company on Earth working for the benefit of 100 percent of humankind - and it's doing it for free. Governments should put as much effort, if not more, into saving nature as they do into saving economic and financial sectors."
The report analyses 44,838 species on the IUCN Red List and presents results by groups of species, geographical regions, and different habitats, such as marine, freshwater and terrestrial.
It shows 869 species are Extinct or Extinct the Wild and this figure rises to 1,159 if the 290 Critically Endangered species tagged as Possibly Extinct are included. Overall, a minimum of 16,928 species are threatened with extinction. Considering that only 2.7 percent of the 1.8 million described species have been analyzed, this number is a gross underestimate, but it does provide a useful snapshot of what is happening to all forms of life on Earth.
An increased number of freshwater species have now been assessed, giving a better picture of the dire situation they face. In Europe, for example, 38 percent of all fishes are threatened and 28 percent in Eastern Africa. The high degree of connectivity in freshwater systems, allowing pollution or invasive species to spread rapidly, and the development of water resources with scant regard for the species that live in them, are behind the high level of threat.
In the oceans, the picture is similarly bleak. The report shows that a broad range of marine species are experiencing potentially irreversible loss due to over-fishing, climate change, invasive species, coastal development and pollution. At least 17 percent of the 1,045 shark and ray species, 12.4 percent of groupers and six of the seven marine turtle species are threatened with extinction. Most noticeably, 27 percent of the 845 species of reef building corals are threatened, 20 percent are Near Threatened and there is not enough data for 17 percent to be assessed. Marine birds are much more threatened that terrestrial ones with 27.5 percent in danger of extinction, compared with 11.8 percent of terrestrial birds.
"Think of fisheries without fishes, logging without trees, tourism without coral reefs or other wildlife, crops without pollinators," says Vié. "Imagine the damage to our economies and societies if they were lost. All the plants and animals that make up Earth's amazing wildlife have a specific role and contribute to essentials like food, medicine, oxygen, pure water, crop pollination, carbon storage and soil fertilization. Economies are utterly dependent on species diversity. We need them all, in large numbers. We quite literally cannot afford to lose them."
The report shows nearly one third of amphibians, more than one in eight birds and nearly a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction. For some plant groups, such as conifers and cycads, the situation is even more serious, with 28 percent and 52 percent threatened respectively. For all these groups, habitat destruction, through agriculture, logging and development, is the main threat and occurs worldwide.
In the case of amphibians, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis is seriously affecting an increasing number of species, complicating conservation efforts. For birds, the highest number of threatened species is found in Brazil and Indonesia, but the highest proportion of threatened or extinct birds is found on oceanic islands. Invasive species and hunting are the main threats. For mammals, unsustainable hunting is the greatest threat after habitat loss. This is having a major impact in Asia, where deforestation is also occurring at a very rapid rate.
"The report makes for depressing reading," says Craig Hilton Taylor, Manager of the IUCN Red List Unit and co-editor. "It tells us that the extinction crisis is as bad, or even worse, than we believed. But it also shows the trends these species are following and is therefore an essential part of decision-making processes. In the run-up to 2010, the global community should use this report wisely to address the situation."
Climate change is not currently the main threat to wildlife, but this may soon change, according to the report. After examining the biological characteristics of 17,000 species of birds, amphibians and reef building corals, the report found that a significant proportion of species that are currently not threatened with extinction are susceptible to climate change. This includes 30 percent of non-threatened birds, 51 percent of non-threatened corals and 41 percent of non-threatened amphibians, which all have traits that make them susceptible to climate change.
Red List Indices make it possible to track trends of extinction risk in groups of species. New indices have been calculated and provide some interesting results. Birds, mammals, amphibians and corals all show a continuing deterioration, with a particularly rapid decline for corals. Red List Indices have also been calculated for amphibian, mammal and bird species used for food and medicine. The results show that bird and mammal species used for food and medicine are much more threatened. The diminishing availability of these resources has an impact on the health and well-being of the people who depend on them directly.
"The IUCN Red List provides a window on many of the major global issues of our day, including climate change, loss of freshwater ecosystems and over-fishing," says Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and co-editor. "Unless we address the fundamental causes of unsustainability on our planet, the lofty of goals of governments to reduce extinction rates will count for nothing."
To read the full report, Wildlife in a Changing World - an analysis of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, please click here: http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/RL-2009-001.pdf
Al Gore penned a lengthy New York Times op-ed entitled, "We Can't Wish Away Climate Change," on February 28, 2010. As expected, Gore was wordy, made no effort to discuss the planet's top polluter (US Department of Defense), and, most of all, the former vice president once again opted to ignore the No. 1 cause of climate change: the meat-based diet. In fact, I ran a search on the nearly 2,000 words, but none of the following terms were found: meat, cow, livestock, methane, farm, diet or vegan.
Accepting the (unfortunate) reality that Al Gore is the planet's best-known climate change spokesperson, he has yet again squandered an ideal opportunity to educate, inform and provoke real change. Just as they served burgers and hot dogs at the Gore-inspired Live Earth concerts in 2007, the high-profile, green crowd simply refused to accept the convenient truth: According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, "the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent - 18 percent - than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation."
Yes, it's much more than just climate change. What about the aforementioned water degradation? As the Sierra Club explained, groundwater is "frequently contaminated by factory farm pollution, generally in the form of nitrates. Nitrate pollution, which can cause serious human health problems, seeps out of manure lagoons and into community sources of drinking water."
Let's consider deforestation. "In the Amazon the cattle sector is the largest driver of rainforest destruction, accounting for 60 to 70 percent of deforestation," wrote Nikolas Kozloff, author of "No Rain in the Amazon: How South America's Climate Change Affects the Entire Planet." "To put it in concrete terms: every eighteen seconds on average one hectare of Amazon rainforest is being lost to cattle ranchers. As if the carbon emissions resulting from cattle deforestation were not enough, consider bovine methane emissions."
As a result, the meat-based diet also plays a role in habitat destruction, animal and plant extinctions, world hunger and corporate welfare. Still, since climate change is the eco-topic most familiar to the general public, it may be the ideal place for Al Gore to start this discussion.
As vegan musician Moby explained, omitting the role of animals raised for food from efforts to address climate change is "like talking about lung cancer without talking about cigarettes."
How much longer can the world's best known environmentalist ignore such an issue?
We're changing our light bulbs. We're buying high-mileage cars. We're dreaming up new green businesses to reduce the shoe-size of our ecological footprint. But even if we do all of this, a silent trend is working in the background that surely will wipe out all of our gains. We're eating too much meat - meat that from a health standpoint is far in excess. And the world is on a trajectory to double its consumption of meat by mid-century. Indeed, all of our efforts to cut greenhouse emissions will be wiped out if we don't reduce our meat consumption. And people need to hear this from you, Mr. Gore, as the person with the most credibility to get this fact out there. If they hear it from you, they will listen. It is an environmental imperative for humans to reduce their consumption of animal-based foods.
President Barack Obama is going nuclear. He announced the initial $8 billion in loan guarantees for construction of the first new nuclear power plants in the United States in close to three decades. Obama is making good on a campaign pledge, like his promises to escalate the war in Afghanistan and to unilaterally attack in Pakistan. And like his Af-Pak war strategy, Obamas publicly financed resuscitation of the nuclear power industry in the U.S. is bound to fail, another taxpayer bailout waiting to happen.
Opponents of the plan, which includes a tripling of existing nuclear plant construction-loan guarantees to $54.5 billion, span the ideological spectrum. On its most basic level, the economics of nuclear power generation simply doesnt make sense. The cost to construct these behemoths is so huge, and the risks are so great, that no sensible investor, no banks, no hedge funds will invest in their construction.
No one will loan a power company the money to build a power plant, and the power companies refuse to spend their own money. Obama himself professes a passion for the free market, telling Bloomberg BusinessWeek, We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market. Well, the free market long ago abandoned nuclear power. The right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation remarked, Expansive loan guarantee programs ... are wrought with problems. At a minimum, they create taxpayer liabilities, give recipients preferential treatment, and distort capital markets.
Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a longtime critic of the nuclear power industry, told me, If you buy more nuclear plants, youre going to get about two to 10 times less climate solution per dollar, and youll get it about 20 to 40 times slower, than if you buy instead the cheaper, faster stuff that is walloping nuclear and coal and gas.
In his 2008 report The Nuclear Illusion, Lovins writes, Nuclear power is continuing its decades-long collapse in the global marketplace because its grossly uncompetitive, unneeded, and obsoleteso hopelessly uneconomic that one neednt debate whether its clean and safe; it weakens electric reliability and national security; and it worsens climate change compared with devoting the same money and time to more effective options.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, in the same statement announcing the $54.5 billion for nuclear power, also listed a credit subsidy funding of $500 million to support $3 [billion] to $5 billion of loan guarantees for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Thus, just one-tenth the amount for nuclear is being dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. At the same time, the Obama administration plans to cancel funding for the hugely unpopular Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility. Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists told The Christian Science Monitor the Obama administration doesnt have a plan for [storing] radioactive waste from a new generation of nuclear power plants. That is irresponsible.
The waste from nuclear power plants is not only an ecological nightmare, but also increases the threats of nuclear proliferation. Obama said in his recent State of the Union address, Were also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American peoplethe threat of nuclear weapons. Despite this, plans that accompany what Obama has proposed, his new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants, include increased commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing, which the Union of Concerned Scientists calls dangerous, dirty and expensive, and which it says would increase the global risks of both nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
Both Lovins and the Union of Concerned Scientists debunk the myth that nuclear energy is essential to combat global warming. Lovins writes, Every dollar invested in nuclear expansion will worsen climate change by buying less solution per dollar. Obama said that this first tranche of public funding, which will benefit the energy giant Southern Co., will create thousands of construction jobs in the next few years, and some 800 permanent jobs. Yet investment in solar, wind and cogeneration technologies could do the same thing, quickly creating industries here in the U.S. that are thriving in Europe. Whats more, the risks of failure of a windmill or a solar panel are minute when compared with nuclear power plant disasters like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
From economics, to the environment, to the prevention of nuclear threats, Obamas nuclear loan guarantees fail on all counts.
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.
Amy Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of Breaking the Sound Barrier, recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.
Obama's Nuclear Dreams: Resurrecting a Noxious Industry (9 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/obamas-nuclear-dreams-resurrecting-a-noxious-industry57507
He may soon be called the nuclear industry's Golden Child. No president in the last three decades has put more taxpayer dollars behind atom power than Barack Obama. And there may be good reason why the president is salivating over the prospect of building new nuclear power plants around the country.It was one of the most important issues of the 2008 presidential campaign. The perceived threat of global warming began to make even the most skeptical of politicians a bit nervous. Both the Democrats and Republicans proposed searching for more domestic oil supplies, promising to drill up and down the spine of the Rocky Mountains and even off the fragile coastlines of Florida and California. The future of planet Earth, they claimed, is more perilous than ever.Al Gore made his impact. Too bad the Gore effect is like a bad hangover: all headache and no buzz. The purported solution the Obama administration has heaved at the imminent warming crisis, nuclear technology, is just as hazardous as our current methods of energy procurement. Yet, Obama isn't the first Democrat in recent years to tout nuclear virtues. CLIP
A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants Are Leaking a Radioactive Material Linked to Cancer (February 12, 2010) http://www.alternet.org/health/145663/a_quarter_of_u.s._nuclear_plants_are_leaking_a_radioactive_material_linked_to_cancer_?page=entire
At least 27 of America's 104 aging atomic reactors are known to be leaking radioactive tritium, which is linked to cancer if inhaled or ingested through the throat or skin -- Like a decayed flotilla of rickety steamers, at least 27 of America's 104 aging atomic reactors are known to be leaking radioactive tritium, which is linked to cancer if inhaled or ingested through the throat or skin. The fallout has been fiercest at Vermont Yankee, where a flood of cover-ups has infuriated and terrified near neighbors who say the reactor was never meant to operate more than 30 years, and must now shut. In 2007 one of Yankee's 22 cooling towers simply collapsed due to rot. Now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has confirmed tritium levels in a monitoring well at Vernon to be 3.5 times the federal safety standard. The leaks apparently came from underground pipes whose very existence was recently denied by VY officials in under-oath testimony at a public hearing. Vermont's pro-nuclear Republican Governor Jim Douglas has termed the event "a breach of trust that cannot be tolerated." Yankee is owned by Entergy, a Mississippi-based consortium that also owns New York's Indian Point reactor, which suffered an internal gusher of radioactive water in May, 2009. Another leak has just been found at Oconee in South Carolina. Illinois' Braidwood leaked so many millions of gallons of tritium-laced water that its owner, Exelon, was forced to buy a new municipal water system for a nearby town. (...) Indeed, a desperate national industry now pushing for massive federal subsidies to build new reactors may not survive a flood of elderly clunkers being forced to close by the weight of their own contamination. "This is an industry trying to build a new fleet of Titanics while the old ones are sinking," says Katz. Amidst the gusher of tritium leaks, Governor Douglas wants to postpone the legislature's vote on VY's license extension. But his term expires in November, and all five Democratic gubernatorial candidates are pledged to a Yankee shutdown. What happens next will be defined by fierce grassroots activism crashing into a flood of corporate money in support of a rickety old reactor being operated with increasing recklessness. The highly hyped "reactor renaissance"---and much more---may hang in the balance. Stay tuned.
A Telegraph competition to see what messages Earthlings want to send to extraterrestrials has produced some shocking results, says Robert Colvile.
By Robert Colvile - 09 Mar 2010
Over the years, there have been many explanations for why alien life forms if they exist have failed to make contact with the Earth. But after extensive research, The Daily Telegraph can unveil the real reason: they have far too much good sense.
A month ago, we helped launch a competition to find the best messages to be sent hurtling into space, in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) programme and the publication of The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe?, a new book by the astrophysicist, Paul Davies. The winning entries will be announced this Friday (the first day of National Science and Engineering Week), and then beamed out into the stars from BT's Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall.
We were vaguely expecting the entries to be uplifting and spiritual messages of interstellar peace and love, that sort of thing. But how wrong we were! Almost 1,000 suggestions came flooding in from all over the globe, but they painted a picture of a planet that is such a miserable place to be that you wouldn't blame ET for legging it back to his distant star.
For what would he learn about mankind? First, that we are vicious, creatures who have already done a great job of wrecking our home. "Please kill us now have no mercy," urged a gentleman from Indiana. "We are evil and you must defend yourself."
"Keep away from this planet," agreed Pamela from Sicily. "Mankind is only intent on depleting, abusing and destroying [it]. They will do the same to yours should they find it. Mankind is the worst virus in the universe. You have been warned."
Nick from Calne was equally blunt: "If you manage to work out how to travel to us, don't bother, as well probably probe you, try to blow you up or worse still, steal your technology and invade Have a nice day."
Rob from Georgia, meanwhile, was prepared to throw the rest of mankind to the lions: "Dearest Aliens, If you choose to conquer Earth, please do not kill or enslave those of us who can name all 12 men to have walked on the Moon. We are the ones worth keeping around."
Seema from Elgin had a compelling reason for ET not to bother with us: "If youre planning to visit our planet, please know you will need to remove all metal from your person, take your shoes off and submit to a full body scan, carry all liquids/gels/aerosols in clear plastic bottles no bigger than 3.4oz, surrender all cigarette lighters and batteries, pack all jams and jellies (but pies can be carried on) Oh, yes. Welcome to the Earth!"
As if all that negativity wasn't off-putting enough, another theme came through loud and clear from the entries: even those elements of humanity that aren't genocidal are terrifically needy. "Come and say hello!" begged Doug from Dublin. "You have already made our mistakes ages ago, come and tip us off and save us a lot more grief!"
"There are billions of us, yet we feel utterly alone," lamented Stacey from Calgary. "We strive to find the meaning in our lonely lives, and maybe you can help us. Call soon."
A more practical approach was taken by Gary from Dagenham: "Sorry to drop this on you, but weve kinda wrecked our planet. Any chance we could come live with you? Weve got beer."
Strangely, even those who could see the good in humanity wanted to warn our extraterrestrial neighbours about one particular element within it. "Whatever our governments may have done on behalf of human beings," said Joshua from California, "we common humans deeply apologise."
"Whatever you do," agreed Richard from Texas, "stay away from Washington DC. No intelligent life there."
Michael from Hawaii was equally firm: "Save yourself! Stay away! We have politicians!" And Marianne from Devon put a British slant on this theme: "I am a pacifist, but if the Tories win the election then please launch a violent attack
with immediate effect. Itd be for our own good."
Is humanity a lost cause, then? Perhaps not. Certainly, our entrepreneurial spirit remains. One correspondent was keen to get his hands on a faster-than-light spacecraft: "Must be free, in excellent condition, lifetime warranty and lifetime supply of fuel, maintenance and life-sustaining essentials. English-language manual a must." "For sale or trade," Andrew from Alberta was hustling hard. "Several billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. All reasonable offers considered! Must pick up, cannot ship."
Karen from Nailsea was thinking slightly bigger: "Beautiful, blue planet, teeming with life, located on the edge of the Milky Way. Fantastic views of the Andromeda Galaxy and beyond into infinity. Perhaps the best location in the Universe. One trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion ONO. Must be prepared to look after current resident flora and fauna."
Still, the prize for ingenuity went to Thomas from Abu Dhabi, who is no doubt hoping that aliens are unfamiliar with spam email: "My purpose of contacting you is to seek your help in transferring the sum of five million United States dollars ($5,000,000) to a trusted bank on your planet."
And throughout all of the entries there was a yearning for an answer to the great questions of life and the universe. "Is this the only universe?" asked one entry. "Did you think YOU were alone in the universe?" queried Mrs Munro from Nottingham.
Religion, too, was a popular topic. "Please get in touch," begged Dennis from London. "And if you could confirm that the universe was not created by God, it would answer a lot of arguments down here." John from Preston turned the question round: "Two thousand years ago, we had a very enlightening visit from the Creator's Son. Has he been to visit you yet?"
Above all, the messages confirmed that, how ever many alien species there may be out there, humanity can match them for diversity of imagination and interests. "Do you have crop circles on your planet?" inquired Kelvin from Telford. Michael from West Sussex was sure that they did: "Kindly stop tagging our planet with cryptic crop designs. Interplanetary graffiti is not the best introduction, so please express yourself with a bit more decorum and less like a disgruntled teenager wielding a spray can."
One entrant wanted photos of alien celebrities; another issued an invitation to dinner ("Let me know your dietary requirements"). Pete from Westcliff-on-Sea confessed his love of the 4-4-2 formation and asked what approach the alien equivalents of Fabio Capello favoured. Andrew from Manchester wanted to apologise for the quality of TV that we've been beaming into space or rather, "everything before and after Carl Sagan's Cosmos" while Gavin from Eastbourne was more blunt: "OK, 'fess up' What have you done with Elvis?"
In other words, the entries to our competition blended some of the best and worst elements of humanity hospitality, aggression and curiosity. The first was typified by Suzanne from Chigwell: "Greetings from the pupils of GGSK College, Chigwell, Essex. Why don't you visit us one day there is ample landing space for one spacecraft on the roof. Please come on Friday, when we have chana and puri for school dinners. It is especially tasty." The second, by Chris from Brisbane: "My inconsiderate neighbours all-night partying and littering is intolerable. Please come and take them away. Im confident that they would prove worthy experimental subjects." And the third by Jeremy from Borehamwood, who was looking forward to the aliens arrival for one simple reason: "There has to be something out there better than my mother-in-law."
* The 50 winners of the competition will be announced on Friday, at an event for National Science and Engineering Week at 'The Big Bang, Manchester Central Conference Centre.
SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EARTH RAINBOW NETWORK E-LIST
If you are not yet a subcriber to the Earth Rainbow Network emailing list and would like to subscribe to its automated listserver and regularly receive similar compilations covering a broad range of subjects, including each new Meditation Focus issued on a regular basis, simply send a blank email at firstname.lastname@example.org from the email account to which you want to receive the material compiled and networked by the Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator. Subscription is FREE!