P.S. For those who might be interested, you will find through this LINK the MP3 file of my March 13 radio interview on Lance White radio show - A Fireside Chat with Zany Mystic - which was quite interesting as we both shared freely in a lively conversation touching upon many spiritual topics.
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We will not rest until we build an Earth community that matches all of our love for all of the grandchildren.
1. Everything is at stake.
2. Whatever we do right now, individually and in community, will determine our future.
3. We have the chance to live the most meaningful lives ever lived.
1. Every day, I will take time to remember that everything is at stake.
2. Every day, I will take time to remember what I am grateful for.
3. Every day, I will work to overcome my feelings of separateness and cultivate my feelings of oneness.
4. Every day, I will make intentional choices about how I spend my time and money.
5. Every day, I will take time to build connections to a diverse community that inspires, educates, and empowers action to create a world that works for all.
6. Every day, I will experience the awe of nature that flows from the interconnection of all life.
7. Every day, I will experience the joy and meaning that comes from knowing that what I am doing is making a difference, in my life, in my community and in the world.
SEE the beauty of the present moment...
BE grateful for every breath you take...
FIND joy in the simple things...
BE the change you want to see in this world...
"Let's drop the script that 2012 is bringing the end of the world and understand that it is bringing the end of a great cycle. Rather than passive victims, we are here to be conscious participants of this world age transition process. Let us perceive 2012 as a code signalling us that these planetary moments are summoning us to align with our deepest potential and access the deepest dimensions of who we truly are, knowing that as a whole we are enduring a great initiation process to learn how to live in harmony with each other and with Nature. It seems the fundamental question this prophecy is pointing us to is: How can we live and operate in conscious awareness of our Oneness, our Interdependence? We are being asked to deeply understand that our lives are intimately woven together with All of Life. We must embody this comprehension and let it guide our human efforts. The bottom line is that this world is ours to shepard. This moment lives within us. We are all instruments of culture. We need to focus our attention on our powers of creativity as human players in this planetary equation. Our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical energies are the vivid colors splashing on the canvas of Life. What is the quality of our collective art? How can we refine our contribution? This is no time to try to figure things out with the mind, but rather to learn to listen from the heart. The more conscious we become of our potential to be conscious, the more our potential finds us; our self-reflective awareness deepens and flowers. We need to support ourselves in processing the trauma of these times. Rather than furthering the trauma by numbing out and being indifferent, it is important we face the pain and tragedy of our world that is crying out. The medicine this can offer comes when we let it break our hearts into even deeper compassion, opening the channels for more holistic responses. Ultimately, we can only find a harmonious way through this passage by finding our hearts. That is the message. Why? Because our heart is naturally tuned to the unity of all of life, and therefore lives in respect of it. By finding genuine compassion, we access genuine wisdom. As Jose Arguelles says: "We are the Peacemakers we've been waiting for!"
"Hi, Jean! Thanks so much for this meditation! I am very deeply moved, awed, inspired, and validated. This coincides with my focus of late. Ive been getting messages very clearly, Keep your spirit strong. Ive committed and doing what brings me joy. For so much of my life, one of the most predictable ways for me to bring forth my spirit has been the dance. Usually alone. Now I discover the dance with others (ballroom dancing) as a source of creative expression with others, balance and partnership of male/female energies, and oneness/bliss. It is part of my path that is self-nourishing to help create heaven on Earth. For the first time in my life, I experience moving from living in my head to truly in my body in joy from my heart. Its such an incredible high that carries over into my daily life. I find myself relating to others at so much more of heart-based, authentic manner. Soul connectedness. Each of us needs to find our own source of joy for self-love (and Divine love co-creating with us) to be manifest, shared, and radiated. As I was told several years ago by God, the light of the universe come into to us. Our light is to radiate out back to the universe. Thought and emotions are what determine whether or not our light radiates back out to the universe. Since negative thoughts and emotions are held in our body and energy field, releasing, moving these blocks and cleansing the body-mind are essential for holding the crystalline (Christ)light. Following joy and self-love embodied will aid the release and the freedom, expansion of the heart and soul. In peace, love, transformation, and healing."
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to go away... It is about learning to dance under the rain."
"La vie ce n'est pas d'attendre que les orages passent C'est d'apprendre comment danser sous la pluie."
2010 - THE BE THE CHANGE SYMPOSIUM - Watch their intro video! http://bethechange.org.uk/
The most critical issue, and the greatest opportunity, of our time... and what you can do about it.
Humanity's Team (Info available in 7 other languages) http://humanitysteam.org/
Humanitys Team is a spiritual movement whose purpose is to communicate and implement the belief that we are all one, one with God and one with life, in a shared global state of being, so that the behavior of humanity may shift to reflect this understanding. Dubbed a civil rights movement for the soul, the movement has over 35,000 adherents from more than 90 countries on six continents. (...) Humanitys Team, based in Boulder, Colorado, proposes a New Spirituality that enlarges and enhances humanitys current beliefs about God and about life in ways that could change how we live with each other, bringing peace and harmony to our planet at last. The New Spirituality is not a new religion. Rather, it is an expansion of all our present theologies; an updating of them; a refreshing of them, rendering all of our current sacred teachings even more relevant to our present day and time. Key to the New Spirituality is a belief that God is not separate from anyone or anything and neither are we. Recommended by Juliette Barmet (email@example.com)
The Virtual Revolution: How and when to listen (11 March, 2010) Video http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/2010/03/100311_virtual_revolution_how_and_when.shtml
Twenty years on from the invention of the World Wide Web, Dr Aleks Krotoski looks at how it is reshaping almost every aspect of our lives. Joined by some of the web's biggest names - including the founders of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, and the web's inventor - she explores how far the web has lived up to its early promise.
Object Graveyards: The Afterlife of Everyday Things http://webecoist.com/2009/03/15/object-graveyards-the-afterlife-of-everyday-things/
The world is rife with stuff, and the simple fact is were producing new homes, vehicles, gadgets, gizmos and other designs faster than we can get rid of the old ones. Tires, airplanes, bicycles and cell phones dont just magically disappear once they outlive their usefulness. Sometimes theyre gathered together and turn into recycled urban trash art, photographed as trash or stripped down and recycled, and sometimes theyre just left to sit and rot for decades on end. Much like abandoned buildings and cities, these places can haunt the collective memory. Heres a look at the afterlife of everyday objects, piled into staggering mounds that resemble nothing more than cemeteries for stuff. - Check also 24 Ghost Cities & Abandoned Towns
LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU SEE FIRE - the flaming inferno is mind control http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT-po-tmJRc
Listen to the final moments of the daring rescue efforts of the New York City Fire Department operating in the South Tower of the World Trade Center moments before it suddenly exploded into oblivion. This is the biggest conflict of evidence of all: Either there were emergency teams operating in the building or there was a tremendous raging inferno. The two are mutually exclusive possibilities.
Secret DARPA time travel program may hold key to understanding the deep politics of 9/11 http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2010m3d16-Secret-time-travel-planning-HAARP-weapons-key-to-30year-operations-plan-behind-false-flag-of-911
(...) Mr. Basiago claims that DARPAs secret technical accomplishments go far beyond what it has publicly acknowledged and that by 1970 DARPA had achieved teleportation-based time travel as well as advanced electro-optical means of discerning past and future events via different technologies that provide quantum access. Mr. Basiago has described how while serving in Project Pegasus, he viewed moving images of 9/11 at the secured U.S. defense-technical facility where they were processed after being retrieved from the future (...) Mr. Basiagos eyewitness account that Secretary Rumsfeld and others knew about 9/11 decades in advance because data about it was gathered via DARPAs secret time travel program unlocks several of the more enigmatic facts in the 9/11 literature and may be the key to societys unraveling of the ultimate accountability for the false flag operation that took place on September 11, 2001. CLIP
"We are Not Alone," says NASA Veteran (March 12, 2010) http://www.henrymakow.com/clark_mcclelland.html
(...) In 1991, while monitoring a space shuttle mission, in the secret Mission Control Center, at the Kennedy Space Center, I was flabbergasted to observe an entity that was eight to nine feet in height in the open Space Shuttle Pay Load Bay while it was in earth orbit. The entity was very tall, much taller than the two NASA astronauts floating near it. I could estimate the height due to being familiar with the sizes of the interior of the Pay Load Bay of the shuttle. I was not able to view all facial features, other than thinking I recognized two eyes, a nose and since it had a large helmet on, nothing else was evident. It was in a body tight type uniform space suit. I saw it at a distance on a 27 inch TV monitor. It appeared that the NASA astronauts were familiar with the entity. The entity appeared to be communicating with the two NASA astronauts. (...) I also observed many UFOs flying near the shuttle on many missions, the STS-48, the famous shuttle missions when we took several "shots" at escaping UFOs, I was on duty for that amazing incident. NASA said it was ice crystals. SURE IT WAS! I have a POT LOAD of other data. No one will publish it. Why? Because they KNOW I KNOW the TRUTH. Hell, Buzz Aldrin knows a lot more. That makes me believe WE ARE an ENSLAVED SPECIES on earth. (...) About two months following my incident, I was informed of another report by another aerospace engineer. This person was also involved in the launching of space shuttles. This shuttle engineer observed a similar entity, eight to nine feet tall, INSIDE the space shuttle crew compartment as it orbited earth. Yes, inside the shuttle! It was slouched over to protect its head from hitting the shuttle overhead structure. Again, it was communicating with two much smaller NASA astronauts. Neither the United States Space Program nor any other foreign Space Program known on earth constructs their spacecrafts to accommodate such physically large entities. (...) People of earth, the human race are absolutely NOT ALONE in our Milky Way Galaxy and NOT in the vastness of the Universe. During my numerous years in astronomical science and aerospace exploration, it is very obvious that the human race is controlled by an evil higher shadow government. It is powerful enough that it can override various national political decisions, keep us all in a condition of global slavery and total economic control. Are you aware of the decline we are presently experiencing? CLIP
Origins Odyssey: Following the ancient fragments - World Documentary Project http://www.hiddenhistoryhumanity.com/10%20originsodyssey.html
At the spring equinox 2010, I will be commencing a world trip related to the second volume of The Hidden History of Humanity - subtitled Geography and Giants. Filming will be starting in Britain at the summer solstice, visiting sacred sites, stone circles and crop formations before going to Europe and beyond. (...) The other part of the project is about giants! Humanity has been diminishing in size, in parallel with the reptile kingdom since the ancient days of Lemuria. There is much indirect evidence for this and some direct evidence. The closer that Humanity reaches a point of quantum consciousness about this very real probability, in other words, will be ready to entertain the possibility, then discoveries will be made that will be unambiguous and incontrovertible - e.g. complete giant skeletons. (Not the Photoshop versions on the web!) (...) Yet there have already been many discoveries made that have been ignored or covered up the extent of the evidence is vast when one starts to investigate. I will be travelling to many parts of the world in the next four years, filming areas where discoveries and evidence have been documented already by excellent researchers. These areas range from well known sacred sites in ancient civilisations to far more obscure and lesser known places off the beaten track: from Europe to the Americas, to Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific, no stone will be left unturned, well maybe a few. CLIP
PLANETARIAN RIGHTS DECLARATION http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=eon3#p/u/31/rwui_cdw-6k
British barrister Polly Higgins talks about following the lead of Bolivia and Ecuador and building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a Peoples Declaration of Planetary Rights enshrining the rights of all lifeforms to exist. For more info: http://www.treeshaverightstoo.com/ WHERE YOU CAN FIND:
The Peoples Declaration: Planet Earth is entrusted to Humanity for the benefit of All Beings. The planet is our capital asset and we the people have a responsibility to ensure that this asset is protected, not exploited. We can do that by being trustees for the planet. When humanity becomes the trustee of the planet and holds the asset in perpetuity for use of all beings, as guided by the principles set out below, life is assured for us all. What has been set out below is a Trust, a Planet Earth Trust, in which we the people are Trustees and All Beings are the Beneficiaries. Please join us and sign up to be a Trustee of Planet Earth. We the Peopleare Trustees of Planet Earth. Our purpose is to ensure Life for All Beings. As a Trustee of Planet Earth I honour the values, I accept our responsibilities, and I uphold the natural laws as set out herein.I commit to acting on behalf of Planet Earth each day of my life,at the end of which my trusteeship will pass to others. CLIP CHECK ALSO AT http://pwccc.wordpress.com/ - World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth - Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 19 to 22, 2010 - How to participate in Working Groups online
Crystals + sound + water = clean hydrogen fuel http://www.newscientist.com:80/article/dn18661-crystals--sound--water--clean-hydrogen-fuel.html
Every drop of water is stuffed with the greenest of fuels, hydrogen, but getting it out is a challenge. A new material raises the prospect of doing so using noise pollution from major roads, for example. A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made crystals of zinc oxide that, when immersed in water, absorb vibrations and develop areas of strong negative and positive charge. These charges rip apart nearby water molecules, releasing hydrogen and oxygen gas. "This is like a free lunch," says lead researcher Huifang Xu. "You are getting energy from the environment just like solar cells capture energy from the sun." CLIP
Offset your carbon emissions and contribute to slowing global warming by buying carbon credits from Planetair. Calculate your emissions from driving, flying or your home in a few simple steps, and purchase offsets online to neutralize them. The renewable energy and energy efficiency projects you will be supporting prevent as much greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere as you have released. En Français
Air Travel and Climate Change http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/What_You_Can_Do/air_travel.asp
How much do greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft contribute to climate change? Although aviation is a relatively small industry, it has a disproportionately large impact on the climate system. It presently accounts for 4-9% of the total climate change impact of human activity. But at a time when we urgently need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, emissions from aviation continue to grow. For example, since 1990, CO2 emissions from international aviation have increased 83%. The aviation industry is expanding rapidly in part due to regulatory and taxing policies that do not reflect the true environmental costs of flying. Cheap fares may turn out to be costly in terms of climate change. CLIP
Electromagnetic fields in Quebec: a public health emergency http://groups.google.com/group/mobilfunk_newsletter/browse_thread/thread/7e4d0f9ff5ac066a
I found out Quebecers have the highest rates in Canada for acute lymphocytic leukemia as well as brain and breast cancers. We also have the highest magnetic field exposures north of Mexico. Drs Carpenter, Johansson, Epstein, Havas and Milham all supported the attached editorial with the attached letters. CLIP
French health minister to give evidence on false swine flu pandemic before Senate next week (18 Mars 2010) http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3052%3Afrench-health-minster-to-give-evidence-on-false-swine-flu-pandemic-before-senate-next-week
The French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot is scheduled to give evidence on the mass swine flu vaccination campaign before a Senate inquiry on March 23rd, according to AFP.Francois Autain, the head of the commission, said the inquiry would focus "essentially on the incestuous links" between pharmaceutical companies and government, saying these links "explain the situation in which we are". 5.5 million people in France, or 7% of the population, were given the swine flu jab after an unprecedented campaign by the government and media.At the end of August 2009, plans by Bachelot to vaccinate the entire French population in special swine flu vaccine centres were leaked. Plans to suspend civil rights under the pretext of fighting a pandemic were also leaked. Autain said that the risks of the swine flu virus had been "overestimated" and the subject of a "dramatisation". He said the role of "experts" needed to be investigated, noting that the same experts that advised the government also advised the pharmaceutical companies. Both chambers of the French parliament -- the Senate and the National Assembly -- have announced inquiries into the mass vaccination campaign with the untested swine flu jab.
Vitamin D better than vaccines at preventing flu, report claims (18 Mars 2010) http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3048%3Avitamin-d-better-than-vaccines-at-preventing-flu-report-claims
(The Times) The risk of children suffering from flu can be halved if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccine. Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu. Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be. Altogether 354 children took part in the trial, which took place during the winter of 2008-09, before the swine flu epidemic. Vitamin D was found to protect against influenza A, which caused last years epidemic, but not against the less common influenza B. The trial, which was double blind, randomised, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan. The children were given a daily dose of 1200 IUs (international units) of vitamin D over a period of three months. In the first month children in the group taking the vitamin became ill just as often as those taking the dummy tablet. But by the second month, when the vitamin level in the childrens blood was higher, the advantage of the vitamin was clear. The Japanese scientists, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, say that the anti-viral drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir reduce risk of flu infection by 8 per cent in children who have been exposed to infection, compared with a 50 per cent or greater reduction with vitamin D. Anti-virals are also too expensive, and possibly too toxic, to be given to the population as a whole whereas vitamin D has additional benefits. The sunshine vitamin not only prevents bone fractures but is also believed to reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other illness, including various bacterial as well as viral infections.The Japanese finding supports a theory that low blood levels of the sunshine vitamin occurring in winter explain why flu epidemics generally peak between December and March. CLIP
More deaths from unsafe water than from war: UN (March 22, 2010) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hCV2bsM2r11p0TE30DJ3aATfMWQA
UNITED NATIONS More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in a message to mark World Water Day.The United Nations children's agency UNICEF noted that more than 155 million people, or 39 percent of the population in West and Central Africa, do not have access to potable water, with only eight of 24 countries in the region on track to meet key poverty-reduction targets by 2015."These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential," Ban said as the issue was discussed at a high-level UN General Assembly dialogue."Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural wastes into the world's water systems," he said, noting that clean water has become scarce and would be even scarcer as a result of climate change. CLIP - More related news through this LINK
Défi Climat 2010 http://deficlimat.qc.ca/
Quest-ce que le Défi Climat? Une grande campagne de mobilisation pour la lutte aux changements climatiques; des centaines dentreprises, dinstitutions publiques et dorganismes de toutes les régions du Québec qui participent; plus de 50 000 citoyens et citoyennes qui sengagent à réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre en modifiant leurs habitudes de vie et de déplacement. Pourquoi relever le Défi Climat? pour faire sa part pour lenvironnement; pour participer au mouvement pour une société plus durable; pour réduire sa consommation dénergie; pour respecter les générations futures; pour améliorer sa qualité de vie et sa santé; pour gagner des prix! ÉCOUTEZ LA VIDÉO DES PORTE-PAROLE 2010 - Déjà 751 partenaires Défi Climat 2010! À voir et à mettre en pratique! ... Gestes 2010 Mes habitudes de vie
NOTE de Jean: Voici une copie du courriel que j'ai adressé à André Fauteux (firstname.lastname@example.org - éditeur du magazine La maison du 21e siècle) le 19 mars 2010 au sujet de son entrevue radio (voir ci-dessus):
« Bravo André pour ton excellente entrevue avec Benoit Dutrizac que je viens d'écouter. J'ai été agréablement surpris de constater l'ouverture de Benoît Dutrizac et le fait qu'il t'a vraiment bien laissé expliquer ce que tu avais à dire. C'est une perle rare ce journaliste d'une très grande intégrité et je lui envoie copie de ce courriel via sa page de contact au http://www.985fm.ca/chmp/pages/contacts.php pour qu'il sache toute l'appréciation que j'ai pour son excellente entrevue avec toi sur cet important dossier et aussi sur celui des ondes de cellulaires et de téléphones sans fil qu'il a abordé avec toi en fin d'entrevue.
Espérons que son exemple saura inspirer d'autres journalistes pour que la population soit enfin convenablement informée des mesures que chacun devrait prendre pour limiter leur exposition et celle de leurs enfants aux dangers croissants de l'importante pollution électromagnétique invisible mais bien réelle menaçant la santé de chacun et hypothéquant gravement la qualité de vie de la majorité des Québécois-es.
Bien sûr, on pourrait aussi espérer que le gouvernement québécois "addicté" aux profits d'Hydro-Québec finisse un jour par sortir de sa torpeur pour forcer Hydro-Québec à investir le ridicule $15 million (le coût de quelques kilomètres d'asphaltage!) recommandé par M. Andrew Michrowski - www.pacenet.homestead.com (qui offrira à MONTRÉAL les 26, 27, 28 mars 2010 une formation sur les champs électromagnétiques http://essentia.ca/Workshops/workshopf.htm) afin d'apporter les correctifs à son réseau de distribution d'électricité qui permettront d'économiser les frais d'hospitalisation de $7 millions pour chacun des 60 enfants atteints chaque année au Québec par le cancer de la leucémie clairement lié (selon les experts mentionnés en entrevue) à leur exposition démesurée au champs magnétiques des lignes électriques, et aussi bien sûr de sauver la vie de tous ces enfants sacrifiés sur le bûcher de l'incompétence et de l'insouciance des bonzes grassement payés d'Hydro-Québec. (Désolé du ton satirique, mais fallait que ça sorte!) Bravo encore André pour ta croisade qui fera bien des petits, espérons-le. »
Excellente entrevue de Paul Arcand avec Gilles Parent sur la fluoration (22 Mar 2010) http://mediacorus.corusquebec.com/webcorus/audio/content_Audio/286583.mp3
Commentaire de David (email@example.com): « C'est probablement la meilleure entrevue (radio) que j'ai entendue à date sur la question! Un grand bravo à Gilles qui a été vraiment impeccable : il a vraiment frappé dans le mille! Surtout avec le peu de temps qu'il avait à sa disposition (10 minutes). Paul Arcand était vraiment scandalisé que la santé publique ait refusé de participer au débat. Ils ont été contacté il y a deux semaines, alors on peut pas dire que c'était un conflit d'horaire ou que c'était trop à la dernière minute... Arcand a dit qu'il y a de la résistance à la fluoration dans "à peu près toutes les villes du Québec"... Il aurait dû dire qu'il y a de la résistance dans les principales villes où le débat a été lancé. L'erreur d'Arcand joue en faveur de noter camp! Ça surestime nos forces, mais tant mieux! Il a aussi pris pour acquis ce que disait un conseiller de Saguenay comme quoi il n'y aurait pas de fluoration au moins jusqu'en 2013... Information déniée par le maire, mais c'est bon pour nous de l'affirmer car si tout le monde finit par croire que la fluoration est à l'eau (!) à Saguenay, ça pourrait aider à ce que cette prophétie s'auto-réalise! »
H1N1: autopsie d'une crise sanitaire mondiale À VOIR! Le mensonge de l'OMS exposé! http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/telejournal/2009-2010/Reportage.asp?idDoc=106490
Il y a un an, la grippe H1N1 semait le désarroi au Mexique. On appréhendait une catastrophe planétaire. Ce serait, disaient des experts, la pire épidémie depuis la grippe espagnole du début du siècle dernier. Le Canada a dépensé plus 400 millions en vaccins. L'alerte mondiale s'attire aujourd'hui de sévères critiques, rapportent Anne-Louise Despatie et Christine Campestre. Geneviève Asselin en discute avec le Dr Alain Poirier, directeur national de la Santé publique du Québec. COMMENTAIRE : « Le post-mortem est simple à faire: Québec 55% de la population vaccinée, 80 décès (pour plus de 7 Millions) France 7% de la population: 200 décès (pour plus de 60 millions d'habitants). Conclusion: Elle n'a servi a RIEN. Mis à part a nous faire peur, à nous rendre des petis agneaux bien dociles pour que les différents gouvernements (car cette manipulation n'a pas eu lieu qu'au Québec) puissent aller de l'avant avec leur réformes peu populaires.
Jerusalem's flickering tinder-box (16 March 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8571399.stm
"They are igniting the whole situation," says Amran Dari, 55, as he cranes his neck to see past the line of Israeli soldiers to the clashes beyond. "Will there be a third intifada [uprising]? This is the start of it," the unemployed Palestinian said as young men from his Jerusalem neighbourhood, Issawiya, pelted armed Israeli riot police with stones and fireworks.The numbers involved were not huge - hundreds of Palestinians, not thousands - but the clashes were widespread, with similar scenes played out at several locations across East Jerusalem. Palestinians at the scene gave a range of reasons for their anger, but there was one common theme - a growing feeling that they are being squeezed out of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, where they want the capital of their future state.Call to defendEmotions are running high over the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, which sits on the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, next to the Jewish Western Wall, in Jerusalem's heavily contested walled Old City. Police had halted a plan by a right wing Jewish fringe group to enter the mosque compound, but still the call from Palestinian leaders to "defend al-Aqsa" had gone out. A synagogue was re-opened on Monday in the Old City.It is in the Jewish quarter, several hundred metres from the Muslim holy site, but was still cited as a source of anger. And, Israel enraged both the Palestinians and its own ally, the US, last week, by pushing forward with plans for 1,600 homes in a Jewish neighbourhood in East Jerusalem just as US vice president was visiting to launch indirect peace talks. With tensions high, under a security clampdown, Israel has refused men under 50 access to the al-Aqsa for the past five days, and stopped Palestinians crossing from the West Bank into Jerusalem. "The people here are fed up, they cannot take it anymore," said Mr Dari. "This government is not like any other government that has governed Israel, they want to ignite everything." "Every time they talk about peace, the answer from the Israeli government is more buildings [in East Jerusalem] and more closures," said Rida Zamamiri, 25, also watching the clashes. "If you shut a cat in a room, what will happen? It will fight to get out," he says. CLIP
Report by Physicians for Human rights on the events in Jerusalem, March 16, 2010: Severe violence, injuries, arrests, delays and prevention of medical treatment http://www.phr.org.il/default.asp?PageID=190&ItemID=592
In East Jerusalem on Tuesday, the fieldworkers of Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHR-Israel) took initial testimony from local medical teams regarding the day's events. The following information is based on initial testimonies, some of which were taken via telephone as events occurred, and others given in person. PHR-Israel's staff continues to collect testimony on the events that took place in East Jerusalem, and will provide updates as more complete and accurate information is collected. Following is a summary of the information that has been gathered so far:Number of injuredOver 90 injured persons were documented throughout East Jerusalem, primarily in 'Issawiyeh, Wadi Joz, a-Tur, and the Sho'efat and 'Anata refugee camps. Of these, three suffered severe injuries; the remainder suffered mild or moderate injuries. At least 15 persons were injured by fire of rubber-covered metal bullets at short range. At least one person was injured by live ammunition.Most injuries were caused by rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas grenades, stun grenades and beatings. In addition to tear gas grenades, the police used pepper spray, which causes severe stinging of the eyes and burns the skin. In the Qalandia/Kafr 'Aqeb area, 11 persons with severe and moderate injuries were taken to Alsheikh Zaed Hospital in Ramallah. Fourteen persons who suffered moderate injury from rubber-coated metal bullets and tens of others who suffered injury from gas exposure received on-site medical assistance from the Red Crescent and Medical Relief. In the Beit Omar/Hebron area, three severely injured persons were taken to Alahali and 'Aalia hospitals and tens of persons injured by gas exposure were treated on site. In the Ramallah area, tens of demonstrators were injured by gas exposure at 'Atara checkpoint and treated on site. Treatment of injured persons and transfer to hospitalsThe Palestinian Red Crescent treated 91 persons, of whom 37 were injured by rubber-coated metal bullet fire, 19 by tear gas fire, and 16 suffered severe contusions and/or broken bones resulting from beatings. In the Alsuani, a-Tur and Wadi Joz area alone, some fifty persons were injured in demonstrations. Tens of persons were injured in 'Issawiyeh as well.
(...) Arrests of injured persons and preventing medical treatment from detaineesMany cases are known of the arrests of injured persons and subsequent prevention of medical teams from providing them with medical assistance. PHR-Israel recieved an official information that some of the detainees who had been transferred by police to Jerusalem's detention facility were severely injured, therefore the detention center refused to take them in and they were transferred to the hospital.Following is the testimony of M., a Mount of Olives paramedic, regarding the assault of two young men, as was told to PHR-Israel;"At about 10:00 a.m. today, March 16, 2010, near Bab al-Asabat in East Jerusalem, a group of about 15 policemen grabbed S. and A. and began hitting them, especially in the head, and kicking them. Both of them bled profusely, especially from the nose and head. I was with the ambulance in paramedic uniform, my team and another paramedic team. I asked the policemen to let us administer first aid, at least bandage their heads to stop the bleeding, but when I approached the policemen threatened to hit my friends and me as well, if we came closer. They told us that when they finished with him they would call Zaka (Disaster Victim Identification). There was no one around but the two of them, and they stood and watched until the policemen jumped on them. They didn't resist or try to escape. They tried to explain that they were only standing there, but despite this they were hit without mercy. Then some others crowded around and tried to intervene, to prevent the two young men from getting hurt. It was the policemen who had provoked and started the disturbance."
(...) In view of the testimony, PHR-Israel intends to examine:
1. Why injured persons were taken to detention facilities despite the fact that their medical condition required that they be taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
2. The nature of the security forces' rules for dispersing demonstrations and rules of engagement and the relationship between these instructions and the large number of injured persons, particularly those injured by beating and rubber-coated metal bullets fired at short range.
3. Why an ambulance carrying an injured man from Abu Dis was held at the checkpoint for fifteen minutes although the man was bleeding and required immediate transfer to the hospital, even without prior coordination.
4. Why members of the Yasam Special Patrol Unit prevented medical treatment from being administered on-site by local medical teams.
5. Why firefighting teams were not allowed to enter the Old City.
Palestinians, Israeli forces clash in West Bank, Jerusalem (March 19, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100319/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictwestbank
JERUSALEM (AFP) Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and east Jerusalem during anti-settlement protests after the Muslim Friday prayers. In Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, troubles broke out in the Shuafat Palestinian refugee camp, where AFP photographers saw youths throw stones at police who responded with massive volleys of tear-gas grenades. Witnesses saw plainclothes policemen grab six youngsters and remove them from the scene. There were also skirmishes in the city's Issawiya neighbourhood. Some of the fiercest confrontations were at Qalandia, the main crossing point between Jerusalem and the city of Ramallah where the Palestinian Authority has its headquarters. Staff at a Ramallah hospital said six Palestinians were injured in those clashes, one of them in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest. (...) Many Palestinians view Israeli projects near the mosque compound -- a site holy both to Jews and Muslims -- as an assault on its status quo. Friday's biggest rallies were in the Gaza Strip, where there had been calls for protests by the militant Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the territory, and by Islamic Jihad. More than 10,000 people, among them about 400 masked but unarmed activists, demonstrated in the strip's central area and another 2,000 in the southern town of Rafah, according to an AFP journalist.
Middle East Quartet urges Israeli settlement freeze (19 March 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8575723.stm
The international Quartet of Middle East peace mediators has urged Israel to freeze all settlement activity. Speaking for the Quartet, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel's announcement of plans to build new homes in disputed East Jerusalem. That move undermined efforts to restart indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks. Speaking to the BBC, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that hardening the tone with Israel had paid off, with talks now back in prospect. CLIP - MUCH MORE on this below in this compilation.
Nader on Israeli nukes (March 21, 2010) http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/nader-attacks-israel-for-eluding-npt/
Veteran liberal, citizens rights campaigner and former US presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, has criticized Israel for possessing nuclear weapons and refusing to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Israel has 250 nuclear bombs and they dont belong to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, so they arent even part of international law, Nader told Press TV during an anti-war demonstration in Washington DC on Saturday. [...] Nader further pointed to the contrast between the treatment Israel is receiving from its Western allies over its nuclear program and the pressure Iran is under for its civilian atomic activities. Israel has invaded its neighbors repeatedly. Iran hasnt invaded anybody in 250 years, he said. Despite Tel Avivs refusal to renounce nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, Israel and its Western allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program a charge strongly denied by Tehran. [...] via Nader attacks Israel for eluding NPT see An appeal to anti-war organizations & activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran
Preparations for a Hit against Iran: Stopping Israel's Next War (March 20, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18235
"A new war in the region is inevitable." This is the pronouncement made by Mohammad Seyyed Selim, political scientist and professor at the universities of Cairo and Kuweit. Prof. Selim delivered his forecast on February 13, in a program on Nile TV's "Cairo Watch," in which I also participated. The moderator, Mohamed Abdel-Rahim, started off by asking what crisis situations in the region were most acute; Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict were the obvious answers. That war is on the agenda, Selim noted, is beyond doubt. Israeli political and military leaders have been broadcasting such bellicose intentions loudly enough for the deaf to hear. Yossi Peled said he thought conflict with Hezbollah was inevitable. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned the Syrian government that if it were to intervene in an Israeli-Lebanese conflict, it would disintegrate. As if that were not sufficient, the Israeli Mossad had staged a Hollywood-style extravaganza to murder Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 20. Four days later, Netanyahu declared that Israel would maintain control over parts of the West Bank for all eternity. He followed up with the announcement that Israel would designate three sites on the West Bank as part of Israel's national heritage. These were all deliberately crafted provocations, aimed solely at eliciting a violent response from the other side: perhaps that Hezbollah would kidnap an Israeli soldier, or that Hamas would lob a few rockets across the border to Israel. Fortunately, to date, their response has been measured. Whenever Israel threatens military action against Hamas, Hezbollah, and/or Syria, it is certain that the actual target is Iran. This was the case in the 2006 war in Lebanon, and in the 2008 year-end aggression against Gaza. (See: "The Target is Iran: Israel's Latest Gamble May Backfire"). As a preparation for a hit against the Islamic Republic in both cases, Tel Aviv was attempting to remove from the scene, or at least weaken, those factors in the region which could respond militarily and politically. Israel lost both wars, albeit at a heavy price for the civilians of the targeted populations. Now it is gearing up for renewed attacks, in tandem with an artfully orchestrated international campaign around Iran's alleged nuclear bomb program. CLIP
The Financial System in America is on the Edge of Default (March 14, 2010) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18105
The financial system in America is on the edge of default. A recent poll found that 92% of those surveyed wanted to unseat their current representative or Senator in Washington and only 21% believed that government enjoyed the consent of the governed. Its very obvious people are not happy with the political, economic and financial situation presently. Eighty percent believe that government is enmeshed in partisan infighting. Not only between parties, but within parties as well. Politicians are very aware of these numbers and are frantic to get reelected. The public has recoiled in disgust. People are demanding that the power of government be curbed. People are sick and tired of paid off corrupt politicians, more than half of whom have been in office for more than ten years. It is not healthy for a nation to have $3.3 trillion in Treasury bonds held by foreigners. China holds about $900 billion and Japan about $800 billion. We also understand that hedge funds and others also are fronting both countries, so the figures are not really reflective in their total positions. These nations for the most part are rolling their positions, but have not injected new capital into US Treasuries. That is why the Fed had to fund 80% of new Treasury debt last year. Presently the Fed is fighting and pulling out all stops to halt legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, a private corporation, which has managed our monetary policy since 1913, under the Federal Reserve Act. On Monday the Treasury held a media conference for financial reporters and bloggers in which the Fed was discussed. The meeting had some very strange conditions. CLIP
A disaster of incalculable proportions http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/824.html
Two simple things about the financial crisis: 1. Few people have any idea about its true size
and scope - 2. The catastrophe was created by deliberate systemic fraud while the US government looked on If you want to know where the US is headed financially, watch this.
Beyond Orwell: The Electronic Police State, 2010 By Tom Burghardt (MARCH 14, 2010) http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2010/03/beyond-orwell-electronic-police-state.html
(...) In France, the German newsmagazine Spiegel reported that a new law passed by the lower house of Parliament in February "conjures up the specter of Big Brother and the surveillance state." Similar to legislation signed into law by German president Horst Köhler last month, police and security forces in France would be granted authority to surreptitiously install malware known as a "Trojan horse" to spy on private computers. Remote access to a user's personal data would be made possible under a judge's supervision. While French parliamentarians aligned with right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy insist the measure is intended to filter and block web sites with criminal content or to halt allegedly "illegal" file sharing, civil libertarians have denounced the legislation. Sandrine Béllier, a member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, said that "when it comes to restrictions, this text is preparing us for hell." Additionally, the new law will include measures that will further integrate police files and private data kept by banks and other financial institutions. French securocrats cynically insist this is a wholly innocent move to "maintain the level and quality of service provided by domestic security forces," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux told Spiegel. Generalized political measures such as these that hinder free speech and expression, whilst enhancing the surveillance capabilities of the state, also indicate that so-called "Western democracies" are not far behind beacons of freedom such as China, North Korea, Belarus and Russia when it comes to repressive police measures. Indeed, Cryptohippie's rankings place the United States a mere 2/100ths of a point behind Russia when it comes to Internet and other forms of electronic spying. The top ten scofflaws in 2010 are: 1. North Korea; 2. China; 3. Belarus; 4. Russia; 5. United States; 6. United Kingdom; 7. France; 8. Israel; 9. Singapore and, 10. Germany. CLIP
Revealed: Ashcroft, Tenet, Rumsfeld warned 9/11 Commission about line it should not cross (March 17th, 2010) http://rawstory.com/2010/03/revealed-ashcroft-tenet-rumsfeld-warned-911-commission-line-should-cross/
Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a document recently obtained by the ACLU. The notification came in a letter dated January 6, 2004, addressed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet. The ACLU described it as a fax sent by David Addington, then-counsel to former vice president Dick Cheney.In the message, the officials denied the bipartisan commission's request to question terrorist detainees, informing its two senior-most members that doing so would "cross" a "line" and obstruct the administration's ability to protect the nation. CLIP
Tourist Couple Jailed For Kissing In Dubai (March 14, 2010) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/15/tourist-couple-jailed-for_n_498980.html
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A British couple is appealing a jail sentence after being accused of sharing a passionate kiss in a Dubai restaurant. Cosmopolitan Dubai has the most lenient social codes in the Gulf, but authorities can still crack down on people charged with pushing the limits. Ayman Najifi, a Briton working in Dubai, and a female tourist were arrested in November after a complaint about public kissing. They were convicted of inappropriate behavior and other charges - bringing a month in jail.The couple says it was just a "peck on the cheek." A court Sunday set the appeal for April 4.
Full Body Scans To Be Mandatory At US Airports (18 Mars 2010) http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3051%3Afull-body-scans-to-be-mandatory-at-us-airports
In a new attempt to curb terrorism on airplanes and in airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced this week that they plan on making full body scanners mandatory. The full body scanners, which produce an image and show any object carried by an individual, are already in use at several airports across the country. (...) With a bunch of eugenicists behind the scenes, one can only wonder if these X-ray scanners are only to profit their manufacturers while teaching us submission, or the radiation might be used differently against chosen individuals.Of course, they don't prevent government false flag attacks, i.e. the underwear bomber last Christmas was brought on the plane by CIA agent omitting any security screening.Throughout history, radiation has been used for sterilization of unexpecting humans on ethnic basis. Also, such machines might be faulty increasing the dosage, too high anyway. Not to mention that they are being calibrated by inspecting folds on passengers genital skin.
Full-Body Scanners to Fry Travelers With Radiation (December 31, 2009) http://noworldsystem.com/2009/12/31/full-body-scanners-to-fry-travelers-with-radiation/
(...) A leading U.S. expert on the biological effects of X-radiation is Dr. John Gofman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Gofmans exhaustive research leads him to conclude that there is NO SAFE DOSE-LEVEL of ionizing radiation. His studies indicate that radiation from medical diagnostics and treatment is a causal co-factor in 50 percent of Americas cancers and 60 percent of our ischemic (blood flow blockage) heart disease. He stresses that the frequency with which Americans are medically X-rayed makes for a significant radiological impact. This highly credentialed nuclear physicist states: The fact, that X-ray doses are so seldom measured, reflects the false assumption that doses do not matter [but] they do matter enormously. And each bit of additional dose matters, because any X-ray photon may be the one which sets in motion the high-speed, high energy electron which causes a carcinogenic or atherogenic [smooth muscle] mutation. Such mutations rarely disappear. The higher their accumulated number in a population, the higher will be the populations mortality rates from radiation-induced cancer and ischemic heart disease. A report in the British medical journal Lancet noted that after breast mammograms were introduced in 1983, the incidence of ductal carcinoma (12 percent of breast cancer) increased by 328 percent, of which 200 percent was due to the use of mammography itself. A Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study has demonstrated that breast tissue is extremely susceptible to radiation-induced cancer, confirming warnings by numerous experts that mammograms can initiate the very cancers they may later identify. Dr. Gofman believes that medical radiation is a co-factor in 75 percent of breast cancer cases. So why would girls and women want their breast tissues irradiated every time they take a commercial flight? Cancer is number two cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease. CLIP
The amazing true story of Zeitoun (11 March 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/11/dave-eggers-zeitoun-hurricane-katrina
(...) The book, entitled Zeitoun, is, as its name suggests, a very personal telling of a national tragedy. It explores what happens when the entire fabric of society collapses, plunging a city into a parallel universe where there is no justice, no government, no protection, no respect. It does so exclusively through the eyes of the http://www.zeitounfoundation.org/ Zeitouns. Eggers spent three years on and off interviewing the family, then translating their memories into his trademark vivid yet restrained prose. At the centre of the book is Kathy's husband, Abdulrahman, or Zeitoun as he is universally known, a New Orleans building contractor who has attained almost mythical status. Not only is he the dominant character in the 339 pages of Eggers's book, but in the US press he has been dubbed an "all-American hero" for the phlegmatic way he conducted himself in the midst of catastrophe. (...) All in all, Zeitoun reckons he must have helped to save or rescue more than 10 neighbours. "The way I thought of it was, anything you can do to help. God left me here for a reason. I did what I was brought up to do - to help people." At this point, our journey begins its descent to a much darker place. (...) Zeitoun was on the phone to his brother in Syria when six unidentified police officers and National Guardsmen burst through the front door dressed in military fatigues and bullet-proof vests and carrying M16s and pistols. Zeitoun explained he was the landlord, but the only response was a demand from one of the National Guardsmen for his identity card. "All he did was look at my ID," Zeitoun says, "and that was enough. Nothing else. No other questions. The moment he saw my name he said, 'Get into the boat!'" (...) He was kept penned up at the bus station for three days and nights, and interviewed by officers from homeland security who seemed to think they had caught a big fish. He says now that whenever he drives by the Greyhound station - or Camp Greyhound as it was dubbed - dark thoughts enter his mind. What dark thoughts? "Being called those terrible names. The memory of people refusing to help. Imagine you see a doctor and you shout at him, 'Can you help me?', because your foot is infected and hurting badly, and he's wearing a green medical gown and a stethoscope around his neck, and he says, 'I'm not a doctor,' and walks on. How would you feel?" (...) Zeitoun was detained for almost a month before he was released on $75,000 (£50,000) bail for having looted his own house. The others fared worse: Dayoob, Gambino and Ronnie spent five, six and eight months in prison respectively, despite Zeitoun's efforts to prise them out. Eventually, the charges against all four of them were dropped. Their experiences were just a blip in the civil rights catastrophe that was Katrina. Camp Greyhound held a total of 1,200 detainees in the aftermath of the hurricane, most of whom were African-Americans and all of whom suffered the indignity of having their right to habeas corpus removed. CLIP
Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/12/c_13208219.htm
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China's Information Office of the State Council published a report titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009" here Friday. Following is the full text:The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 on March 11, 2010, posing as "the world judge of human rights" again. As in previous years, the reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States.I. On Life, Property and Personal SecurityWidespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people.In 2008, U.S. residents experienced 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes and 137,000 personal thefts, and the violent crime rate was 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or over, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2009 (Criminal Victimization 2008, U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov). In 2008, over 14 million arrests occurred for all offenses (except traffic violations) in the country, and the arrest rate for violent crime was 198.2 per 100,000 inhabitants (Crime in the United States, 2008, http://www.fbi.gov). In 2009, a total of 35 domestic homicides occurred in Philadelphia, a 67 percent increase from 2008 (The New York Times, December 30, 2009). In New York City, 461 murders were reported in 2009, and the crime rate was 1,151 cases per 100,000 people. San Antonio in Texas was deemed as the most dangerous among 25 U.S. large cities with 2,538 crimes recorded per 100,000 people (The China Press, December 30, 2009). The murder rate rose 5.5 percent in towns with a population of 10,000 or fewer in 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com - June 1, 2009). Most of the United States' 15,000 annual murders occur in cities where they are concentrated in poorer neighborhoods (http://www.reuters.com - October 7, 2009).The United States ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns. According to the data from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), American gun owners, out of 309 million in total population, have more than 250 million guns, while a substantial proportion of U.S. gun owners had more than one weapon. Americans usually buy 7 billion rounds of ammunition a year, but in 2008 the figure jumped to about 9 billion (The China Press, September 25, 2009). In the United States, airline passengers are allowed to take unloaded weapons after declaration. In the United States, about 30,000 people die from gun-related incidents each year (The China Press, April 6, 2009).
(...) In major U.S. cities, police stop, question and frisk more than a million people each year - a sharply higher number than just a few years ago. Prisons in the United State are packed with inmates. According to a report released by the U.S. Justice Department on Dec. 8, 2009, more than 7.3 million people were under the authority of the U.S. corrections system at the end of 2008. The correctional system population increased by 0.5 percent in 2008 compared with the previous year (http://www.wsws.org). About 2.3 million were held in custody of prisons and jails, the equivalent of about one in every 198 persons in the country. CLIP - Check also China strikes back with report on U.S. human rights record (2010-03-12)
See no evil? (March 17, 2010) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/16/DDAL1CG7F9.DTL
The scandal in Germany is blowing up, and more and more it begins to resemble Watergate. There's lots of stonewalling - over a much longer period than the Nixon debacle took to unfold - and lots of quiet "reassignments," and an enormous amount of energy devoted to protecting the top guy. And still the question is: What did the pope know and when did he know it? The scandal, of course, involves the molesting of children by priests. This is not a new problem; a decade ago in this country, the cases grew so numerous and the behavior by church officials so callous that some churches were forced to close and many dioceses were forced to contract. (...) If the Roman Catholic Church is so firm in its commitment to protect innocent fetuses from harm, how come it's not quite so firm in its commitments to protect innocent children from the predations of its priests? Pope Benedict is famous for his stern lectures on morality and his disdain for homosexuality - plus, of course, his absolute refusal to consider women for the priesthood. How would it appear if he were looking the other way when sexual behavior far worse than consensual sex before marriage or homosexual relations was running rampant in his own church, under the seal and protection of the papacy itself? The current pope is on record in several instances as minimizing the pedophilia scandal. He is on record as preferring these matters to be dealt with in secrecy, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. And it does seem to be true that "secret" penalties for ecclesiastical pedophiles are a lot less harsh than those meted out in civilian courts to civilian pedophiles. CLIP - MUCH MORE through this LINK
Conspiracy of Silence: Child Sex Abuse Ring Revealed In Free Discovery Channel Documentary http://www.wanttoknow.info/060501conspiracyofsilence
Conspiracy of Silence is a powerful, disturbing documentary revealing a U.S. child sex abuse and pedophilia ring that leads to the highest levels of government. Featuring intrepid investigator John DeCamp, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and 16-year Nebraska state senator, Conspiracy of Silence reveals how rogue elements at all levels of government have been involved in systematic child sex abuse and pedophilia to feed the base desires of key politicians. (...) Conspiracy of Silence (55 minutes) is available for free viewing at http://personalgrowthcourses.net/video/conspiracy_of_silence CLIP
Defection from the Roman Catholic Church
If you have stopped going to the Roman Catholic Church and no longer consider yourself a Catholic you are a "lapsed Catholic" and the church still considers you a Catholic. Even if you have not gone to church for decades you are still on the church rolls and you are counted when the church claims to have a billion followers. The church rarely excommunicates anyone. There is a simple process that requires that you send a letter to the bishop of the parish in which you were baptized to remove you. It is called Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica and is the formal removal of a person from church rolls. You will no longer be able to participate in any of the church's sacraments. You can read more about this at http://www.atheistactivist.org/Defect.html and see a sample cover letter, http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=977386 and get a form to complete for the formal declaration at http://www.countmeout.ie/ an Irish site that has loads of info and has started a movement of people defecting from the church because of the anger from the scandals there. You can also find info about defecting from other religions as well even if your religion doesn't protect pedophiles. MUCH MORE through this LINK
How Fundraising Helped Shape Obama's Green Agenda (Mrch 15, 2010) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1969740,00.html
(...) In his first year in office, Obama released White House visitor records, banned most lobbyists from working in his Administration and passed up campaign contributions from registered influence brokers. But as Obama has charted a new energy policy that moves away from the fossil fuels favored by George W. Bush, the White House has retained some of the traditional practices for courting politically important industries and interests. In 2001 an energy task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney hosted dozens of conversations with representatives of the oil, natural-gas and coal industries before producing an energy blueprint loaded with tax breaks and regulatory changes that benefited many of the companies that helped draft the policies. Similarly, Obama's energy gurus rely on advice from campaign donors, lobbyists, corporations, think tanks, unions and environmentalists to help shape policies. Once again, there are questions about whether a new President's approach to energy is a product of Washington's unchanged, pay-to-play culture in which political supporters are offered special access to the policymaking process. "When you have campaign donors on these advisory boards," says Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, "it has the appearance of being an inside special-interest opportunity." Cheney's task force, which operated almost entirely in secret, produced $14 billion largely for drillers and miners in 2005. Obama's greener advisers have helped produce six times that amount, much of it for the comparatively smaller reusable-energy industry. "The dog finally caught the car," said Dan Reicher, who worked on the Obama transition and helps lead green-technology investments at Google. "We've never seen anything like that from the federal government." And Doerr has done O.K. too. In the past year, his green-energy companies have received loan guarantees from the Department of Energy, smart-grid contracts funded by stimulus spending and, in the case of one solar firm, more than $100 million in federal research tax credits. At a forum in November, Doerr, who generally casts his interest in clean energy as altruistic, did not shade his opinion. "God bless the Obama Administration and the U.S. government," he said. "We have really got the A-team now working on green innovation in our country." CLIP
Obama's Regulatory Czar Deliberately Stalling Toxic Coal Waste Regulation (17 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/obamas-regulatory-czar-deliberately-stalling-toxic-coal-waste-regulation57770
It may be unsettling to some that the man most responsible for overseeing coal ash regulation within the Obama administration has a track record of siding with polluters instead of the people most affected by toxic waste. His name is Cass Sunstein and he serves as the little known, yet powerful administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs - aka Obama's "regulatory czar." A long-time friend of the president, Sunstein's law and academic career, which include stints at Harvard and University of Chicago, has focused largely on regulatory policy and behavioral economics. Sunstein, who has written extensively on such matters, has challenged workplace safety laws and even the constitutionality of the Clean Air Act. One might wonder how such a bureaucrat found his way into the Obama administration. However, for those that have kept a watchful eye on Sunstein, they are not surprised by his latest actions that are holding up the regulation of toxic coal waste. (...) During a recent talk at the Brookings Institute on March 10, Sunstein faced criticism for abandoning the open-door, transparent policy the Obama administration has allegedly embraced. After being questioned by an audience member for refusing to allow the talks about coal ash to be open to the public, Sunstein replied, "The question suggests the limits of openness," and went on to argue why his office was justified in their embracing a secret process, citing national security as a reason to abandon the democratic process. The video of the exchange can be viewed here. [Many revealing related videos in the right-hand column] The coal industry has been fighting regulation for fear that it will raise their operating costs by imposing stricter disposal methods on waste that is generated from coal-fired power plants. At the same time, the EPA reports that coal ash is polluting groundwater supplies and threatening public and environmental health in dozens of locations across the country. As it looks now, President Obama's White House is refusing to allow the EPA to put a little sound science back into our nation's failing environmental laws. CLIP
Money spent on tar sands projects could decarbonise western economies (15 March 2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/15/bp-shell-tar-sands-green-energy
The £250bn cost of developing Canada's controversial tar sands between now and 2025 could be used to decarbonise the western economy by funding ambitious solar power schemes in the Sahara or a European wide shift to electric vehicles, according to a new report released today.The same amount of investment would also help the world to hit half of the Millennium Development Goals in the 50 least-developed countries, says the research from The Co-operative and conservation group, WWF, which is released to coincide with a new film, Dirty Oil, being premiered in 25 cinemas around the UK today. It is a hard-hitting documentary narrated by Canadian actor, Neve Campbell. The moves are all part of a concerted effort to put shareholder and public pressure on BP and Shell which are at the forefront of extracting oil from the carbon-intensive tar sands of Alberta.The Co-op claims its task has gained urgency by BP unveiling plans last week to speed up new tar sands projects through a tie-up with Devon Energy. "The sums of money being invested in tar sands developments are enormous and difficult for the average person to grasp," says Paul Monaghan, head of social goals at the Co-op. "This report (The Opportunity of the Tar Sands) puts things into perspective and demonstrates not only the scale of the problem, which could take us to the brink of runaway climate change, but also the opportunity being lost. It is literally a matter of life and death that these enormous oil titans are re-steered to much more sustainable paths," he adds. The production of tar sands is estimated by critics to emit three times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production. It is estimated that tar sands production will increase from its 1.3m barrels a day to at least 4m barrels by 2025. A resolution has been put down by the Co-op and other shareholders to be taken at the BP annual general meeting next month alongside a similar one for Shell asking for a review of the economics and environmental impact of tar sands. The Co-op and WWF say the combined cost of all tar sands - £250bn - could be used for clean power projects such as the Desertec scheme linking solar plants in North Africa to a "supergrid" which could produce 15% of Europe's electricity by 2050.
The Most Destructive Project on Earth: Alberta's Tar Sands http://www.celsias.com/article/the-most-destructive-project-on-earth-albertas-tar/
The Athabasca tar sands, in Alberta, may be the world's largest oil reserve. Only the surface sands are accessible at the moment, but if the technology develops a little more, there's potentially six times more oil there than the whole of Saudi Arabia - enough to last 200 years, say the champions of the project. But, it's not liquid oil, and extracting the crude from the sand takes vast reserves of water, a quarter of Alberta's fresh water. This water is so polluted at the end of the process that it is simply left to stand in huge tailing pools that altogether cover some 50 square kilometres. It's so toxic that birds landing on the ponds would die. Some places use propane cannons to scare the ducks away; others just rake the dead birds off the surface. As the ponds aren't lined, waste water leaks into the Athabasca River, polluting everything downstream - lakes, deltas, and the Mackenzie River. It also destroys the land. Huge areas of the boreal forest ecosystem have been felled and the underlying peat bogs cleared away to expose the sands. At the end of the processing there is nothing but a 'toxic moonscape' of earthworks, ponds, and 80 foot high piles of pure sulphur. 5,000 hectares have been destroyed already, and David Schindler of the University of Alberta estimates that in ten years time they will have cleared an area the size of Florida .The air is not spared either. It takes enormous amounts of heat to extract the oil, approximately a barrel of gas for every two of crude. The total emissions of the tar sands project will soon be equivalent to the whole of Denmark. Acid rain falls all across Alberta and now Saskatchewan too. In the summer, the tailing ponds release carcinogenic benzene. "If the wind is from the north-west," writes Aida Edemariam of the nearby boomtown of Fort McMurray, "you can smell oil on the air: heavy, slightly sour, unmistakable."All of this makes the tar sands 'the most destructive project on earth' (pdf), according to last week's report by Environmental Defence. Having read last week that the site was visible from space, I tracked it down on Google. It's right here if you want to explore it and see for yourself.
The Most Destructive Project on Earth http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/TarSands_TheReport.pdf
Few Canadians know that Canada is home to one of the world's largest dams and it is built to hold toxic waste from just one Tar Sands operation. Everything about the Tar Sands happens on a massive scale. The enormous toxics problems go hand-in-hand with massive global warming pollution and the impending destruction of a boreal forest the size of Florida.Because of sheer scale, all Canadians are impacted by the Tar Sands, no matter where they live. If you live downstream, your water is being polluted and your fish and wildlife may be dangerous to eat. If you live in Saskatchewan you are a victim of acid rain. If you live in BC, "supertankers" may soon be plying your shoreline carrying Tar Sands oil to Asia. If you live in Ontario, you are exposed to harmful emissions from the refining of Tar Sands Oil. And the impacts do not stop at Canada's border - US refineries are re-tooling to handle the dirty oil from Alberta. Moreover, no matter where you live in Canada, your desire to tackle global warming is being held hostage to the Tar Sands. Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Canada is quickly increasing them, and fully half of that emissions growth is projected to come from the Tar Sands.1 Because Canada's elected officials refuse to clamp down on Tar Sands operators, they also refuse to clamp down on industry across Canada for fear of a double standard. And it is just beginning. Approvals have already been given that will double the size of existing operations, and our leaders have been talking with the US government to grow the Tar Sands five-fold in a "short time span."2 The Tar Sands are now the biggest capital project anywhere on Earth and the biggest energy undertaking anywhere. Already, Canada is the largest foreign supplier of US oil. With the Tar Sands, Canada has become the world's dirty energy superpower.In the service of growing the Tar Sands, the Canadian government gives tax breaks to the worst polluters; it fails to enforce its own environmental laws; and it is even engaging in cover-up when people blow the whistle on how the Tar Sands have harmed our health and our environment.It doesn't need to be this way. Technologies are available to curb the damage, yet the Canadian government so far refuses to force industry to clean up.
(...) A Giant Slow Motion Oil Spill - Toxic pollution from the Tar Sands has created what amounts to a slow motion oil spill in the region's river systems. According to leading experts, the Tar Sands may be worse in many respects than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.5 Scientists are worried since the levels of notorious carcinogens in sediments and waterways are steadily rising. First Nations downstream see the impacts first hand: "There's deformed pickerel in Lake Athabasca... Pushed in faces, bulging eyes, humped back, crooked tails... never used to see that. Great big lumps on them... you poke that, it sprays water..."6 Fish and game animals are being found covered with tumours and mutations. Some First Nations describe how fish frying in a pan smell like burning plastic. One study by a Tar Sands company concluded that arsenic could be as much as 453 times the acceptable levels in moose meat from the region.7 The Alberta government responded with an assessment that arsenic levels are "only" 17 to 33 times the acceptable levels.8 Both reports' estimates were well beyond the "acceptable" rate of additional cancers of 1 per 100,000 people.The levels of toxic chemicals are already dangerously high and they are rising as Tar Sands development booms.
(...) Not only animals and boreal ecosystems are being poisoned. Communities living downstream from the Tar Sands have seen unusual cancer clusters. A recent report for the Health Authority of one downstream community - Fort Chipewyan - found serious flaws in the monitoring programs and went on to discover dangerous and rising levels of mercury and arsenic, and raised disturbing questions about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).10These chemicals could help explain the unusual cancers that have been cropping up in the community. For years, Dr. John O'Connor, the family doctor for Fort Chipewyan, has been growing increasingly worried about the number of cases of bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinomas), colon cancers, lymphomas, leukemia, autoimmune diseases such as lupus, as well as thyroid cancers, overactive thyroid, and skin rashes.
(...) Threatening Canada's Boreal - The pollution pouring into the Athabasca River is already being found far downstream in the enormous Peace- Athabasca Delta. This delta is one of the largest freshwater deltas in the world, a region of incredible biodiversity. Lake Athabasca then flows north to Canada's largest lakes and on into Canada's longest river, the MacKenzie, ultimately flowing into the Mackenzie Delta and Arctic Ocean. More than 1/6 of Canada drains into this water- shed, which is home to many human communities as well as being one of the most important areas anywhere in the world for migratory birds and animal habitat.The Mackenzie River Basin Board (consisting of representatives from the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories) concluded in 2003 that "an accident related to the failure of one of the oil sands tailings ponds could have catastrophic impact on the aquatic ecosystem of the Mackenzie River Basin due to the size of these ponds and their proximity to the Athabasca River."18But the Boreal need not wait for a tragic accident. The Exxon Valdez experts have alerted us: the giant slow motion oil spill is already in the waterways. And it is getting worse. CLIP
The good, the bad, and the tar sands http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/02/the_good_the_bad__the_tarsands.html
The party in Northern Alberta is over - (it wasn't much of a party to begin with - unless you like the smell of steaming bitumen and the sound of cannons) - and there must be some long, sad faces in the boardrooms of the tar sands industry and their investors. 2010 has not been kind to the tar sands so far and things are not looking up. Companies are slowing their developments, shareholders are getting restless, oil pipeline fights are erupting, US retailers are distancing themselves from being associated with dirty oil - and the bad news just keeps rolling on. CLIP
Meat and Climate Change: It's Even Worse Than We Imagined (Mar 12, 2010) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/meat-climate-change-worse.html
The good news is that we can all make a difference right now -- I got some great responses to a my recent post, "Why Won't Al Gore Talk About Meat?" The best came from Hope Bohanec, Grassroots Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. After first thanking me for "calling out" Gore on this issue, she informed me: "The 18 percent number is now out-dated." She was referring to the 2006 report "Livestock's Long Shadow, compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Committee" which states animal agriculture accounts for 18 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.Hope Bohanec promptly set the record (and me) straight: "According to a new report from World Watch, animal byproducts are responsible for 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide human caused greenhouse gas. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, are the co-authors of a new report called Livestock and Climate Change. In their study, they discuss how the widely cited UN FAO estimates grossly undervalues that sector's impact. Goodland, who was the lead environmental adviser for the World Bank for 23 years, and Anhang, also an affiliate of the World Bank as a research officer and environmental specialist, find that previous,calculations have misjudged and ignored certain emissions sources as well as assigned emissions they deem to be livestock-related to the wrong sectors. The authors bring to light these inconsistencies through analysis of livestock respiration, land use, and methane emissions." Animal byproducts are responsible for 51 percent of annual worldwide human-caused greenhouse gas. Is your jaw dropping yet? "Based on their research," continued Bohanec, "Goodland and Anhang conclude that replacing animal products with soy-based and other alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. The report states, 'This approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations-and thus, on the rate the climate is warming-than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.' They argue that food producers should mount a major campaign to promote the consumption of plant-based foods, including meat analogs."Hope sums up: "This is now one of the sharpest tools in our toolbox."2 Steps You Can Take Right Now - 1. Spread the Word: Send this post out far and wide and save the link to use as a retort to all those who believe what they eat is merely a "personal choice." - 2. Go Vegan: Just say no to animal products and yes to plant-based life. It's good for you, the animals will thank you, and Planet Earth will breathe a tiny sigh of relief.
Climate Legislation: The CLEAR Choice (18 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/climate-legislation-the-clear-choice57727
It is a very unfortunate fact that what the US Senate does about the climate crisis, and when, is decisive when it comes to the possibility of an eventual solution to that absolutely critical issue. If the Senate does nothing, or very little, this year or for the next few years, the odds of staying this side of climate tipping points and avoiding climate catastrophe are definitely worsened, and they're not so good right now. The conventional wisdom among the inside-the-beltway, established, environmental groups is that the hope for action lies with the legislation-writing process currently taking place under the leadership of Sens. John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. But two of the most significant political developments last week as far as Senate climate legislation took place elsewhere. (...) Our destabilized climate, and people in the countries most under the gun because of it, will not be helped by knowing that there are people in the belly of the beast who are speaking up in support of strong, science-based government action, but who are having little success getting political traction for such action on Capitol Hill.Passage of the CLEAR Act would be a victory for the climate movement worldwide. It would not be the end game; much more is needed in the USA (and worldwide), especially a much more visible popular movement taking action in the streets, demonstrating for what the climate science and climate justice calls for. We need to stop mountaintop removal, prevent new plants from being built and build the power-past-coal movement. We need more people engaging in strategic and creative nonviolent direct action. We need a movement made up of people who, every day, use their energy and intelligence to advance the clean energy revolution. The art of social change is the difficult process of understanding the most that can be accomplished right now, while continuing to build toward what justice and survival calls for, no matter what the odds.
Norway doomsday seed vault hits 1/2 million mark (March 10, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100311/ap_on_re_eu/eu_norway_doomsday_vault
OSLO, Norway - Two years after receiving its first deposits, a "doomsday" seed vault on an Arctic island has amassed half a million seed samples, making it the world's most diverse repository of crop seeds, the vault's operators announced Thursday. Cary Fowler - who heads the trust that oversees the seed collection, which is 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the North Pole, said the facility now houses at least one-third of the world's crop seeds."In my lifetime, I don't think we'll go over 1.5 million. I'd be rather surprised if we go over a million," Fowler told The Associated Press. "At that point, we'd have all the diversity in the world ... and the most secure samples."Located in Norway's remote Svalbard archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe. It was opened in 2008 as a master backup to the world's other 1,400 seed banks, in case their deposits are lost.War wiped out seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and another bank in the Philippines was flooded in the wake of a typhoon in 2006. The Svalbard bank is designed to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes. Despite the rapid progress, Fowler said the bank still has significant holes in its collection. "There are a few unique collections that we don't have up there yet - Ethiopia and some of the Indian materials and some of the Chinese materials," he said. The most recent additions include a mold-resistant bean from Colombia and a collection of nearly every agricultural soybean species developed in the U.S. in the last century.
Inside Norway's 'Doomsday Vault' (March 11, 2010) http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/11/inside-norways-doomsday-vault/
(...) Reaching the half-million mark brings mixed emotions, because while it shows that the vault at Svalbard is now the gold standard for diversity, it comes at a time when our agriculture systems are really sitting on a knife's edge," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which partners with the Norwegian government and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center in Sweden in operating the vault. Fowler added, "If crops and agriculture don't adapt to climate change, neither will humanity."Like all seeds coming to the vault, the new ones are duplicates of those from other collections. Material directly acquired by plant breeders to develop disease-resistant and "climate-ready" crops, and to meet the challenge of rapidly growing populations, is maintained by genebanks, not the seed vault. "Svalbard is a fail-safe backup to be used whenever a depositing seed bank loses part or all of its collection, but we should focus equally on averting the disasters in the first place," Fowler said. CLIP
Canada Having Driest, Warmest Winter Since 1948 (March 11, 2010) http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Earth_Changes/100311.CAN.warmest.since.1948.html
TORONTO - Environment Canada says the winter we just experienced was one of the warmest and driest across the country since 1948. (...) Senior climatologist David Phillips says the weather was "quite spectacular,'' adding, "we've never seen a winter like this.''He says records were shattered from B.C. to Baffin Island to the Great Lakes and it was the warmest winter on record in the Arctic. Environment Canada also says that of the 10 warmest years, four have occurred within the last decade. Eleven of the last 20 winters are listed among the warmest. The reason for this year's warmer and drier winter is El Nino, a shift in the winds and ocean currents in the Pacific and a thinning of the polar ice cap."In the last three to four years the ice in the Arctic has thinned,'' Phillips said."And that means the refrigeration at the top of the world is not cooling like it did in the past.''
Hurricane season forecast: seven storms to reach land (March 10, 2010) http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0310/Hurricane-season-forecast-seven-storms-to-reach-land
In the upcoming hurricane season, two or three storms will be major events along the coastal US, according to AccuWeather.com. -- America may have already had a "snowicane" this year, but now some weather forecasters are focusing on the real thing - you know, those monster storms with names like Donna or Andrew that pelt the coast with 100-mile-per-hour winds, massive amounts of rain, and tidal surges. Joe Bastardi, the first private weather forecaster to look this year at the 2010 hurricane season, thinks it will be a rough one. "This year has the chance to be an extreme season," says Mr. Bastardi, AccuWeather.com's chief long-range meteorologist in State College, Pa. "There will be a major bounce back of activity." CLIP
El Nino could whip up more active tornado season http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/tornadoes/2010-03-09-tornado_N.htm
Weather forecasters say the wetter-than-usual El Niño winter that has blasted much of the United States could be followed by an active tornado season. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at The Weather Channel, said Tuesday that comparable past winters suggest there could be an above-average number of tornadoes this year. "The average was 9% more tornadoes than a typical year," he said. CLIP
48 Hawaii-only species given endangered listing (March 11, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100311/ap_on_re_us/us_kauai_endangered_species
HONOLULU - Wildlife officials lauded Washington's "holistic approach" to conservation in Hawaii after the Obama administration declared 48 species as endangered and announced plans to set aside more than 40 square miles on Kauai as critical habitat to allow the plants and animals to flourish.Two Honeycreeper birds, a fly and 45 ferns, trees and shrubs found only on the island of Kauai were among the species named Wednesday, boosting the number of such classifications by the Obama administration from two to 50.Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the government would also be declaring more than 40 square miles on Kauai as critical habitat, a move that would help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopt a new approach to protecting imperiled species by restoring health to the broad ecosystems they inhabit."This is more of holistic approach", said Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Ken Foote. CLIP
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment (11 Mar 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7415082/French-bread-spiked-with-LSD-in-CIA-experiment.html
A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment. -- In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted. For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War. The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France. On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire. One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets. Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead." CLIP
Red Menace: Stop the Ug99 Fungus Before Its Spores Bring Starvation (February 22, 2010) BIG THREAT!!! http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_ug99_fungus
(...) Stem rust is the polio of agriculture, a plague that was brought under control nearly half a century ago as part of the celebrated Green Revolution. After years of trial and error, scientists managed to breed wheat that contained genes capable of repelling the assaults of Puccinia graminis, the formal name of the fungus. But now it's clear: The triumph didn't last. While languishing in the Ugandan highlands, a small population of P. graminis evolved the means to overcome mankind's most ingenious genetic defenses. This distinct new race of P. graminis, dubbed Ug99 after its country of origin (Uganda) and year of christening (1999), is storming east, working its way through Africa and the Middle East and threatening India and China. More than a billion lives are at stake. "It's an absolute game-changer," says Brian Steffenson, a cereal-disease expert at the University of Minnesota who travels to Njoro regularly to observe the enemy in the wild. "The pathogen takes out pretty much everything we have." Indeed, 90 percent of the world's wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm - from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe - as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories. China and India, the world's biggest wheat consumers, will once again face the threat of mass starvation, especially among their rural poor. The situation will be particularly grim in Pakistan and Afghanistan, two nations that rely heavily on wheat for sustenance and are in no position to bear added woe. Their fragile governments may not be able to survive the onslaught of Ug99 and its attendant turmoil. The pathogen has already been detected in Iran and may now be headed for South Asia's most important breadbasket, the Punjab, which nourishes hundreds of millions of Indians and Pakistanis. What's more, Ug99 could easily make the transoceanic leap to the United States. All it would take is for a single spore, barely bigger than a red blood cell, to latch onto the shirt of an oblivious traveler. The toll from that would be ruinous; the US Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 40 million acres of wheat would be at serious risk if Ug99 came to these shores, where the grain is the third most valuable crop, trailing only corn and soybeans. The economic loss might easily exceed $10 billion; a simple loaf of bread could become a luxury. "If this stuff gets into the Western Hemisphere," Steffenson says, "God help us." He and his fellow scientists around the world are scrambling to halt the pathogen. To do so, they must figure out a way to reach deep within the wheat genome and create genetic barriers that Ug99 cannot overcome. And they must do so quickly, before the pestilence moves on to the next continent, and then the one after that - wreaking havoc on the world's food supply.
NK Famine Becoming Widespread Following Currency Reform ( 0 3 - 1 2 - 2 0 1 0 ) http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/03/113_62283.html
The food situation in North Korea appears to be worsening this year. According to Good Friends, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to helping North Koreans, Tuesday, the area of Sinuiju, a special region in the west bordering with China, has had more than 300 deaths during the first two months of 2010, and another 1,000 are on the verge of starving to death. This came only a few days after a Yonhap report that a homeless girl was spotted in Pyongyang, the capital, which is believed to be the most affluent area in the country. The Good Friends' news letter quoted an anonymous official of the North Korean city saying, "Nothing like this has happened before ? not even during the hardest starvation period in the middle of the 1990s. The situation in my city indicates that it's even worse in other provinces." The cause for the dire food-shortage is multifold. (...) The famine worsened due to a fall in foreign aid. South Korea stopped its food assistance after conservative Lee Myung-bak arrived at Cheong Wa Dae. The number of vessels with U.S. flags have also dropped after its leader Kim Jong-il's nuclear stunt. Ambassador Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, did not mention anything on Washington's food assistance during his recent trip to Pyongyang. International organizations also have a shortage of food to give to the North. The World Food Program's officer in Pyongyang recently told the Financial Times that without new emerging donors, it will have to stop its food distribution after June. Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile have played a negative role in securing North Korea's food supply, as North Korea now takes a back seat in priority. According to the Korea Rural Economic Institute, without assistance from the international community, North Korea will fall short on food demand worth $1 million to $2 million. Observers also say that it isn't just ordinary people who are becoming poor and struggling to feed themselves. The regime living on the edge of bankruptcy has come up with schemes to rake in foreign cash. Tourism promotion is one of the pronounced efforts. Not only has the regime lifted restrictions on Chinese tourists, it also lifted a ban on U.S. tourists' entry for the first time.
Inside the cat and dog meat market in China 90 (March 9, 2010) http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/03/09/china.animals/index.html
(...) The Chinese government has signaled a willingness to take the meat off the market. To avoid upsetting international visitors during the Beijing Olympics, officials ordered dog meat off the menus at local markets. Officials in Guangzhou have warned vendors to stop selling it ahead of the Asian Games which will be held there later this year. The ban on eating dog and cat meat is part of a larger proposal to toughen laws on animal welfare. Individual violators could face up to 15 days in prison and a small fine. Businesses found guilty of selling the meat risk fines up to 500,000 yuan ($73,500.) The legislation is gaining support from China's growing number of pet owners. With living standards rising and disposable income growing, more Guangzhou residents are investing in house pets. "I would never eat dog meat," said Louisa Yong, as she clutches her pet cocker spaniel. "It's so cruel!" CLIP
Critically Endangered bluefin tuna receives no reprieve from CITES (March 18, 2010) SAD NEWS! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0318-hance_bluefin_cites.html
A proposal to totally ban the trade in the Critically Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna failed at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), surprising many who saw positive signs leading up to the meeting of a successful ban. "Todays CITES committee vote not to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna is an unfortunate step backwards. This deeply disappointing and irresponsible vote signals a bleak future for this iconic fish," Susan Lierberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group, said following the vote. Despite the fact that the Atlantic bluefin population has plummeted 80 percent since 1970, only 20 nations voted for a ban. Sixty eight countries voted against a banincluding Japan and Canadawhile 30 abstained. The Atlantic bluefin tuna is currently classified by the IUCN red list as Critically Endangered, and an all-out ban has repeatedly received the support of international scientists. "This meeting presented a golden opportunity for governments to take a stand against overfishing, and too many governments failed to do so. The Atlantic bluefin tuna will not receive the protections of a suspension in international trade that it so desperately needs. The market for this fish is just too lucrative and the pressure from fishing interests too great, for enough governments to support a truly sustainable future for the fish," Lierberman says. Japan, which consumes three-quarters of the bluefin trade, lobbied hard against the ban. Bluefin tuna is lucrative business: estimated at 7.2 billion US dollars a year. In fact, a single fish can sometimes sell for over 100,000 US dollars at the Tokyo Market. Protection of the Atlantic bluefin tuna now goes back to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which has faced fierce criticism for its continuing unwillingness to place more strident measures on the trade. Last year, ICCAT scientists called for a total suspension of fishing stating that the Atlantic bluefin tuna's spawning biomass is less than 15 percent of its original stock before industrial fishing. Instead of following their scientists' advice, ICCAT set a quota of 13,500 tons. "Todays vote puts the fate of Atlantic bluefin tuna back in the hands of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the very body that drove the species to the disastrous state it is now in," Lierberman says. According to The Economist, the evening before the vote, meeting members took part in a reception at the Japanese embassy where bluefin tuna sushi was conspicuously served.
Sharks lose out at UN meeting (March 17, 2010)
LIFE ON EARTH STANDS NO CHANCE IN THE FACE OF THE GREED, BLINDNESS AND SHEER STUPIDITY OF MAN! http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0317-hance_un_sharks.html
An effort to bolster conservation measures for plummeting shark populations was defeated yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), according to the AP. The nonbinding measure would have increased transparency in the shark trade and produced research on illegal fishing for sharks. The measure was taken down largely by China, Japan and Russia who argued that shark populations weren't in trouble, despite a decline in some shark populations of 90 percent. Currently the IUCN Red List estimates that 32 percent of open ocean sharks are threatened with extinction. As the ocean's top predators, research has shown that a decline in sharks sparks a trophic cascade whereby many other species all down the food chain are impacted. Shark populations have suffered in part due to the shark fin trade for the growing consumption of shark fin soup, a delicacy in parts of Asia, especially China. Sharks are caught, de-finned (their fins cut off), and then thrown back into the ocean to die. It has been estimated that 26 to 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins. Sharks are also often caught as bycatch. China, Japan, and Russia further argued that the measure would hurt poor countries. Libya and Morocco concurred arguing that the measure would hurt poor fishermen. The AP says that the decline of this measurewhich was expected to pass easilymay be a bad sign for the meeting's other proposals to aid endangered species such as elephants and bluefin tuna.
Dark Magnetic Filament Curling over Sun (March 9, 2010) http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Space/100309.long.filament.html
DARK FILAMENT: For the 4th day in a row, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is tracking a dark magnetic filament curling over the sun's northeastern limb. The massive, plasma-filled filament has been remarkably stable since SOHO first spotted it on March 5th. However, filaments like this have been known to collapse. If this one does and hits the stellar surface, the impact could produce a powerful Hyder flare.
Sun Begins New Solar Cycle, Flinging Radiation at the Earth http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Space/100310.Sun.flings.radiation.html
As a new solar cycle of activity begins this year, the Earth will once again be bombarded with increased radiation from the sun. This effect may damage satellites and interfere with GPS, television and communications. CLIP
Darpa Looks to Tap Nature's Quantum Effects (March 12, 2010) http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/03/darpa-looks-to-tap-natures-quantum-effects/
For years, some scientists have suspected that quantum mechanics might have a little something to do with biological processes. Now, over a year after they first announced plans to look into quantum effects in biology, the Pentagon's far-out research arm is asking for research and prototypes that may help harness that knowledge. Researchers have already established several biological realms that seem governed by quantum mechanics. For example, they already know that photosynthesis, one example of nature's incredible efficiency, is ruled by quantum energy transfers. Energy "simultaneously samples" potential routes, and opts for the most efficient one to get the job done. Now, Darpa wants even more examples that demonstrate "tantalizing evidence" of biological systems that "operate using 'manifestly' quantum effects." That's part one. Darpa also wants developers to develop a prototype of a biomimetic sensor that mimics some of biology's most impressive quantum phenomena. CLIP
Video: no sunlight, no food, frozen conditions, but NASA finds complex life (March 16, 2010) http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0316-hance_life.html
In a discovery at the bottom of the world that could have implications on the search for extraterrestrial life, researchers were astounded to find an amphipod swimming beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet. The amphipoda shrimp-like creaturewas caught on video swimming 600 feet below the ice, where the NASA team expected to find no higher life form than some microbes. "We were operating on the presumption that nothing's there," NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler told the Associated Press. "It was a shrimp you'd enjoy having on your plate [ ] We were just gaga over it," The bright orange 3-inch Lyssianasid amphipod was precocious enough to land on the NASA camera's cable. The team also pulled up a tentacle which they believed belonged to a foot-long jellyfishanother animal they never expected to find in the hostile environment. One of the questions related to this discovery is where do these species find food to survive on? Whatever the answer turns out of be, researchers say that if higher life forms such as amphipods and jellyfish are capable of surviving in this hostile environment, it bodes well for discoveries on distant worlds.
250,000 Swedes allergic to mobile phone radiation http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/250000-swedes-allergic-to-mobile-phone-radiation/4845/
Some 250,000 people in Sweden are allergic to the radio waves that are emitted when someone makes a call with a cellular mobile phone, according to a new report. Called electro-hypersensitivity, the condition means the afflicted have severe physical reactions from dizziness, nausea and headaches to breathing problems, heart palpitations and flat-out fainting to the electromagnetic radiation produced by consumer electronics such as computers, televisions and cell phones. According to a stunning new article in Popular Science, Sweden is the only country in the world to recognize EHS as a functional impairment. The article explains the plight of Per Segerbäck, one of the three percent of Swedes with the condition. Once, while on a sailboat with friends, he recalls, he was on the front deck when, unknown to him, someone made a call belowdecks. Headache, nausea, unconsciousness. When Segerbäck is within range of an active cellphone (safe distances vary because different makes and models produce different radiation levels), he experiences the feeling that there is not enough room in my skull for my brain. In Sweden, EHS sufferers are entitled to similar rights and services as the blind and deaf, and can have metal shielding installed in their homes free of charge from the local government. CLIP
EMF-Omega-News 13. March 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/419/70/
Cell Phones and Brain Tumors - Dr. Charlie Teo: Explosion in Brain Tumours - Health Impacts of Wireless Technology and Electromagnetic Fields - 250,000 Swedes allergic to mobile phone radiation - South Africa: 45 neighbours harmed by cell phone mast - Cell Phones: Read the Fine Print - Green your phone, save your brain - National Worker RF Safety Crisis - Rapid Rise of Children With Cell Phones Concerns Researchers - The effort to legislate a warning label on cell phones in Maine - 8 to kill the bill for warning label in Maine - Melton gives advice on phone mast protests - Base stations to increase dramatically - More On EMR/ELF Radiation - Boycott threat as 32ft mast gets nod - Villagers fight on against phone masts - Danger ahead: Cell phone in operation - Mast slashed home value by 25% - Group wants microwave regulation tightened - Strong signal on cell tower hazard
EMF-Omega-News 20. March 2010 http://www.buergerwelle.de/cms/content/view/422/70/
Important Medical Hypotheses - Cell Phones: Our Kids At Risk? - What you should know about cellphone and brain tumors - Shame in Maine - Electromagnetic fields in Quebec: a public health emergency - Parents raise alarm over wireless microwave transmitter in school - How Safe Is Your Cell Phone? - Adverse health effects blamed on Wi-Fi in Simcoe County schools - Why don't cell phones carry warnings? - Electric shock for mast campaigners - Anger as inspector supports mast plan - Concerned parents fight cell tower proposal - Bill to regulate erection of telecom masts in the offing - Residents fight phone mast bid - Petition: Proposed Mobile Phone Mast (Stourbridge) - Fight continues to halt phone mast permission - Opposing phone mast - Next-up News - News from Mast Sanity
MUCH MORE in How Safe Is Your Cell Phone? below
From: "Charlotte King" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: More on the report from Sofia regarding the Chile Earthquake
Date: 13 Mar 2010
Jean I just read your posting of the first hand report from Sofia regarding the Chile Earthquake.
I believe that I am the one who you referred to in your post who predicted quakes and volcanic eruptions here in Oregon.
For your information I did predict Chile and I had also predicted Haiti and the recent quakes in Chile a couple of days ago
I predicted them as well. The small ones in S CA today and the small ones off shore Oregon were also known before hand.
I made the call on Chile to the ABC TV Station KATU Channel 2 in Portland Oregon. I called and left the message on voice mail
For the news anchor 4 hours to the minute before the quake hit. They had me on video on the 11 PM news broadcast and then they put
Me up on their website and someone linked it to UTube. This is the link for the TV Station: http://www.katu.com/ Then when it comes up, on the left upper side is a search block type in woman who predicted chile earthquake. This will take you to a video and below that one, is the UTube Video.
This is good confirmation that I made the accurate prediction before the fact. Unfortunately, its difficult at best to know what to do before these quakes or who to make the reports to anymore. For some reason its not as easy as it was in the early 80s, and the news teams who were in charge then have all gone on to other things or retired, and the ones who are there now, most were not even alive when St Helens erupted
30 years ago this coming May 18th.
Thanks for remembering me and for the support.
I love reading your posts too.
AND MY REPLY WAS:
What a joy to hear from you! Yes my comment was about you but unfortunately I couldn't remember your name. It had been too many years since we last connected.
Why am I not surprised that you had felt and predicted the incoming Chile earthquake!... ;-)
You should get in touch with Sofia (Cced on this) as I'm sure she would love to connect with another person with a gift similar to hers.
Thanks for pointing me to the Katu report (copied below). And of course you were right about the imminent small earthquake you predicted near the coast of Oregon in the video. As I found out at...
...on MARCH 6, 2010 at 08:46:24 there was a magnitude 4.6 one NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN CALIF. (so not far from Oregon) then there were 4 others quakes on the 12 and 13 of March OFF COAST OF OREGON
If you'd like to let many people know when you'll sense a Big one is coming - like those of Haiti and Chile - feel free to let me know by email and I may very well include this information in my next compilation if it is possible for me to do so in a timely fashion.
Glad also to learn you are still subscribed to the ERN list after all these years :-)
Much Love to you!
Salem woman uses foghorns and ants to detect earthquakes (2010-03-02) With a video of Charlotte http://salem.katu.com/content/salem-woman-uses-foghorns-and-ants-detect-earthquakes
SALEM, Ore. - For the rest of us, finding nesting ants in our home would mean only one thing: time to call the exterminator. But for Salem resident Charlotte King, it set off alarms within her "biological earthquake detector."King contacted KATU's Steve Dunn prior to Chile's devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake, with her accurate predictions of the natural disaster that was just on the horizon for the South American country.Her voicemail, left for Dunn at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, was just a few hours before the earthquake hit. King explains that her predictions are based on several factors - some she admits are quite strange - including ants nesting in her home and the sound of foghorns waking her out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night. She maintains that certain people on earth can "sense" when earthquakes are coming and King experiences this phenomenon in the form of bodily aches and pains.Interestingly, King believes that recent events in our area - including the deadly MAX accident this past week - foreshadowed the Chilean disaster thousands of miles away. While it is understandable to look at this skeptically, King claims she has a proven track record of successful predictions, including being just 12 minutes off on her prediction of a Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. The key to earthquake predictions, King said, is that "people who are 'sensitive' to the ques crave popcorn before an earthquake." Food for thought for Oregonians across the state: King says she has been experiencing blurry vision, which according to her indicates that a small earthquake will happen off the Oregon coast in the next couple of days. Explains King: "When you walk into a room and you bump into furniture or you go to put sugar in your coffee and it hits the rim and it spills, you might think, 'Oh, I'm just clumsy,' but really that is a depth perception issue that comes with Oregon earthquakes." Note the areas just off of Oregon's coast are hit by a number of earthquakes each year, without damage to homes on land. However, here are some ways to prepare for the inevitability of an earthquake down the road: CLIP
Seventeen Indonesia volcanoes on alert (March. 19, 2010) http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/03/19/Seventeen-Indonesia-volcanoes-on-alert/UPI-37171269007967/
BANDUNG, Indonesia, March 19 (UPI) -- Seventeen of 18 volcanoes in Indonesia are on alert status and emitting toxic gas, a federal monitoring agency said. The mountains are safe to visit as long as tourists stay at least a half-mile away from the gas-producing craters, Indonesia's Volcanology and Geology Hazard Mitigation Center said. The alert status is the second level of a three-level system of warning. The Ibu volcano in West Halmahera is the only one of the 18 volcanoes at the lower No. 3 standby level, Antara news reported. Mount Talang in Sumatra and Mount Karangetang in Sulawesi are the most recent volcanos to have their status raised to alert. Other Indonesian volcanoes on alert include Krakatoa, Bromo, Kaba, Anak, Slamet and Lokon. In 1883, Krakatoa erupted in an explosion equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT -- about 13,000 times the force of the U.S. bomb that devastated Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II.
Global Volcanism Program (10 March-16 March 2010) http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/
New Activity/Unrest: Concepción, Nicaragua - Stromboli, Aeolian Islands (Italy) - Turrialba, Costa Rica - Villarrica, Central Chile - Yasur, Vanuatu (SW Pacific) Ongoing Activity: - Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia) - Chaitén, Southern Chile - Dukono, Halmahera - Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka - Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) - Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) - Sakura-jima, Kyushu - Sarychev Peak, Matua Island - Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) - Soufrière Hills, Montserrat - Tungurahua, Ecuador - Check also Current Alerts for U.S. Volcanoes and Volcanoes of the World - Over 2000 volcanoes
Indonesia Earthquake 7.0 (Mar 14, 2010) http://www.newsopi.com/world/indonesia-earthquake-7-0/141/
Indonesia was hit early Sunday by an earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. There has been a bit of debate as to how large the quake actually was, because the US Geological survey actually measured the quake at around a 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale. This quake happened at around 10 in the morning, and the epicenter of the quake was said to be around the Maluku islands. Immediately after the quake occurred it was announced that there would be no tsunami warning issued, although other institutions had said that there was a small possibility that a tsunami could strike the coastlines closest to the epicenter of the quake. Luckily, it was reported that there have been no injuries or death from the massive 7.0 earthquake. The region was also rocked by a quake the day before that measured a 6.5 magnitude on the Richter scale. CLIP
Japan earthquake (March 15, 2010) http://www.breakingnewsandsport.com/japan-earthquake/6192234/
The news of a Japan earthquake has once again spread shock and fear across Asia and the world. The earthquake hit just off the coast of Japan, with a large number of towns and cities across the country feeling the effects of the seismic shift. The gravity of the earthquake was 6.6 on the Richter scale - which in some places would have caused widespread devastation. In the largely 'earthquake-proof' country of Japan, however, there was very little damage and no reports of injuries. CLIP
Blackout leaves millions of Chileans in darkness (March 14, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100315/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_chile_blackout
SANTIAGO, Chile - A power failure plunged nearly the entire Chilean population into darkness Sunday night, rattling a country already anxious after last month's 8.8-magnitude quake. The outage struck around nightfall and affected a 1,200-mile (2,000-kilometer) stretch from Taltal in the north to Chiloe in the south, according to the Interior Ministry's emergency office. Officials blamed a transformer failure that caused a ripple effect and ultimately a total collapse of the Central Interconnected System grid. An hour after the blackout began, lights began to come back on in some cities - including sporadically in greater Santiago, which is home to 7 million people. Officials there initially reported having just 8 percent of the supply needed to meet demand for a normal Sunday evening. CLIP
Forwarded by Mark Graffis (email@example.com) with the following comment by the antiwar.com webmaster:
"Netanyahu just might use this episode to "justify" an attack against Iran, declaring that the US is "too weak" to neutralize Israel's most existential threat in the region. However, if he does this, he may well taking his country to war against Iran without the benefit of US military and/or intelligence assistance. The fastest way to stop a dog from chasing cars is to let him catch one. And a note to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: Russia has very strongly hinted that if there is a military confrontation against Iran, Russia will come in militarily on the side of Iran. And Prime Minister, as does Israel, Russia has nukes."
The crisis touched off by last weeks announcement of Israels plans to build 1,600 new homes for Jews in Arab East Jerusalem during a high-profile visit by U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden appears to be escalating rapidly.
Michael Oren, Israels ambassador to Washington and a historian who has written widely on ties between the two nations, called the growing contretemps "the worst [bilateral] crisis in 35 years" in a teleconference with other U.S.-based Israeli diplomats Saturday night, according to a number of published accounts.
Twenty-four hours later, the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which advertises itself as "the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill," issued a statement declaring the administrations condemnations of Israels behavior "a matter of serious concern."
"The administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel," warned the group, which issued its statement shortly before 9:00 Sunday night. The timing served to underline the sense of alarm that has taken hold among supporters of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is expected to keynote AIPACs annual meeting next weekend.
Other voices of the so-called Israel Lobby issued their own broadsides.
The neoconservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal accused President Barack Obama of having deliberately "chosen this occasion to spark a full-blown diplomatic crisis with its most reliable Middle Eastern ally." It also warned that Israel will be more likely to attack Iran unilaterally if it "senses that the administration is looking for any pretext to blow up relations."
At the same time, the Israel Project mobilized its membership to write Congress and media demanding that the administration, in the words of one letter received by IPS, "BACK OFF!!!" Christian Zionists, including former presidential Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer, also joined the fray.
But the Obama administration appeared determined to stand its ground Monday, as State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that Washington is waiting for a "formal response by the Israeli government" to "specific" requests made by Clinton to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during what all parties described as a tense, 45-minute phone call reportedly made at Obamas direction Friday afternoon.
While Washington has not yet commented on what those requests are, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said they included reversing the East Jerusalem announcement; offering a major gesture to the Palestinians, such as a prisoner release; and agreement to peace talks that include final-status issues, including the fate of Palestinian refugees and East Jerusalem, as well as borders.
While Crowley insisted that Obamas special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace, former Sen. George Mitchell, still intended to fly to the region this week to launch U.S.-mediated "proximity talks" on which both parties had agreed two weeks ago, he refused to set a specific date, describing the current situation as "fluid."
For his part, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who apologized to Biden and reportedly to Clinton, too, in their Friday conversation for the timing of the East Jerusalem announcement but not for the actual building plans themselves, appeared unrepentant during a meeting of his right-wing Likud Party MPs Monday.
"Building in Jerusalem and in all other places will continue in the same way that has been accepted in the last 42 years," he said, in a reference to Israels "annexation" never recognized by the U.S. or any other major power of East Jerusalem after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
While the ongoing public crisis was clearly sparked by the coincidence of Bidens visit and the East Jerusalem housing announcement almost universally described by the mainstream U.S. media as a "slap in the face" at the vice president and by extension at Obama himself its seriousness appears to be rooted in what Biden told Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials in private.
According to an account in Israels mass-circulation Yediot Ahronoth newspaper, Biden "warned his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israels actions and U.S. policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism."
"This is starting to get dangerous for us," Biden reportedly said. "What youre doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace."
In an important elaboration on these remarks posted on the ForeignPolicy.com Web site Saturday, Mark Perry, a writer with long-standing and close ties to the military brass, reported that Bidens private comments reflected the collective view of top U.S. military commanders throughout the Middle East region.
They had been tasked in December by the chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to submit reports to him about the impact of Washingtons failure to make progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace on the perceptions of Arab leaders on U.S. standing and influence.
The result was a briefing presented to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, in January and subsequently communicated to the White House that underlined the growing conviction in the region that "the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOMs mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region, and that Mitchell himself was too old, too slow and too late."
A subsequent trip by Mullen to Israel whose purpose was described in the media as designed to coordinate strategy on Iran was aimed more at persuading the Israeli brass of the importance to the U.S. of achieving progress on peace talks, according to Perry.
But it became apparent with last weeks housing announcement that the message did not get through, according to Perry, so the administration responded first with Bidens public condemnation, followed by Clintons phone call to Netanyahu, the summoning of Oren for what the ambassador described as an "extremely harsh" dressing down by Clintons deputy, James Steinberg, and now the demand for a "formal response" to her suggestions to Netanyahu.
"There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA [National Rifle Association], the American Medical Association, the lawyers and the Israeli lobby," wrote Perry. "But no lobby is as important, or as powerful as the U.S. military."
It is likely for this reason rather than the more-superficial tiff over one settlement in East Jerusalem that a plainly worried Oren told his colleagues that the current crisis is "very serious, and we are facing a very difficult period in relations," according to reports in the Israeli media.
The fact that Oren referred all the way back to 1975, when then-President Gerald Ford ordered a "reassessment" of relations with Israel in light of the latters rejection of U.S. proposals to move toward peace with Egypt, reinforced the growing conviction that the crisis is unlikely to be easily papered over in the absence of major concessions by Netanyahu.
At the time, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defended the reassessment as necessary "in order to prevent an increasing radicalization in the area and an increasing tension and, above all, in order to avoid a war in which inevitably the United States would be involved at least indirectly, given the international circumstances."
Israeli settlement action 'an insult': Obama aide (March 14, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100314/ts_afp/mideastdiplomacyusisraelaxelrod
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Israel's announcement of plans to build 1,600 settler homes in east Jerusalem was not only an "insult" to the United States but "destructive" of the Middle East peace process, a top White House official said Sunday. "This was an affront, it was an insult but most importantly it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region," said David Axelrod, one of President Barack Obama's closest advisers. "We have just started proximity talks, that is shuttle diplomacy, between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and for this announcement to come at that time was very destructive," he said on NBC television's Meet the Press show. Israel's announcement of plans to build the 1,600 housing units in mostly Arab east Jerusalem came March 10 during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden that had aimed to encourage the first indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks since Israel's 2008-2009 offensive in Gaza. Axelrod's comments were further evidence of the Obama administration's growing frustration with conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden himself condemned the east Jerusalem building plan in a sharp statement issued in Jerusalem and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Netanyahu directly in a 43-minute phone call that the announcement sent a "deeply negative" signal about Israel's approach to relations with Washington. Axelrod said both Biden's and Clinton's words reflected Obama's thinking, and he said he believed Netanyahu had received the message. CLIP
US To Israel: Cancel Controversial Settlement Plan (03-15-10) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/15/us-to-israel-cancel-contr_n_498870.html
JERUSALEM (AP) -- The U.S. is pressing Israel to scrap a contentious east Jerusalem building project whose approval has touched off the most serious diplomatic feud with Washington in years, said Israeli officials Monday. Tensions in the city at the center of the spat were high, with police out in large numbers in Jerusalem's volatile Old City in expectation of renewed clashes and Palestinian shopkeepers shuttering their stores for several hours to protest Israel's actions in the city. Top U.S. officials have lined up in recent days to condemn the Israeli plan to build 1,600 apartments in east Jerusalem, the sector of the city that the Palestinians claim for their future capital. The project was announced during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region last week, badly embarrassing the U.S. and complicating its efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. U.S. officials have not disclosed what steps they want Israel to take to defuse the crisis, and Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev refused to comment Monday. But Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because no official decision has been made public, said Washington wants the construction project canceled. Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apologized for the timing of the project's approval, he has not said he will cancel it. Israel does not stand to benefit from antagonizing its most important ally, but Netanyahu has historically taken a hard line against territorial concessions to the Palestinians, and a curb on east Jerusalem construction would threaten to fracture his hawkish coalition.
UnPACking AIPACs White House Slam, Israeli Style (March 15th, 2010) http://www.lobelog.com/fact-checking-aipacs-white-house-slam/
(...) A behind-the-scenes statement being circulated by AIPAC publicist Josh Block, places all blame for the disdain shown for US peace efforts in general, and the contemptuous affront to Biden during his Israel visit last week in particular, exclusively on the Obama administration: (...) In other words, according to AIPAC, all responsibility for the disharmony between Israel and the US lies with the misguided American administration, and none with any of the politicians on the Israeli side.Ironically, as is so often the case, many Israeli journalists are much less reluctant than AIPAC to fault their own politicians for malfeasance and outright stupidity in their handling of Bidens visit. (...) Todays editorial on the English language site of Israeli news daily Haaretz, Netanyahus Rhetoric over Policy is Jeopardizing Israel, dares to bluntly state the obvious in a way that no American politician seeking AIPAC support could ever dare: "Israel is not Americas strategic asset, but America is the source of Israels strength, and it is essential to rein in the lunacy that threatens to shatter the link between the two countries." Calling the Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu a strategic threat, the editorial offers implicit dig not only at Netanyahu and his ministers, but, deliberate or not, at exactly the sort of marketing of the Israeli-American relationship in which AIPAC takes such pride CLIP
US Department of Justice Asked to Regulate AIPAC as a Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-department-of-justice-asked-to-regulate-aipac-as-a-foreign-agent-of-the-israeli-government-88190712.html
WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Department of Justice has been formally asked to begin regulating the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A 392 page legal filing presented by a four person IRmep delegation in a two hour meeting with top officials of the Internal Security Section substantiated the following case for AIPAC's immediate registration: (...) AIPAC's executive committee consists of the original member organizations of the AZC in addition to newer members. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the umbrella group of AIPAC's executive committee, is housed in the same New York office as the World Zionist Organization American Section, a registered foreign agent that is heavily involved in illegal settlement expansion according to Israeli prosecutor Thalia Sasson.According to Grant F. Smith, director of IRmep, the case for reregulating AIPAC as a foreign agent immediately is compelling. "AIPAC was designed to supplant the American Zionist Council as the arm of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the United States after the DOJ ordered the AZC to register as a foreign agent. As such, Americans should have full public access to biannual FARA registrations detailing AIPAC's publicity campaigns, lobbying expenditures, funding flows, activities of its offices in Israel and internal consultations with its foreign principals - particularly over such controversial issues as illegal settlements and US foreign aid." MORE THROUGH http://www.irmep.org/
US says Israeli bond 'unshakeable' - AIPAC WHIPPING THEIR PUPPETS BACK IN LINE?... http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/03/201031705437262786.html
The US has affirmed its "unshakeable" and "unbreakable" bond with Israel amid the allies' most public spat in years over Israel's announcement that it would build 1,600 new settler homes."We have an absolute commitment to Israel's security. We have a close, unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel," Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said in Washington on Tuesday. Her comments appeared to be much softer in tone following days of tough rhetoric after Israel announced last week that it would approve construction of a Jewish housing project in East Jerusalem, infuriating the Palestinians and jeopardising newly agreed indirect talks. Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, echoed Clinton's conciliatory tone, saying "mature bilateral relationships can have disagreements and this is one of those disagreements - it does not break the unbreakable bond we have" with Israel. The White House has been criticised by US legislators and pro-Israel lobby groups for its harsh stance towards Israel, which analysts said was very likely one reason for its softer tone on Tuesday. CLIP
Israeli ambassador: Bond with US unbreakable (03.18.10) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3864559,00.html
In another effort to ease tensions over Jerusalem's announcement of a plan to build 1,600 additional apartments in east Jerusalem, Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren said, "Israel and America enjoy a deep and multi-layered friendship, but even the closest allies can sometimes disagree." The announcement, made during US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region, was harshly criticized by the Obama administration, which considers construction in east Jerusalem an obstruction to peace efforts. In an op-ed published by the New York Times on Thursday, Oren said the discord was "unfortunate" but "not a historic low point in United States-Israel relations". The ambassador wrote, "We should not, however, allow peace efforts, or the America-Israel alliance, to be compromised by Israels policy on Jerusalem. That policy is not (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahus alone but was also that of former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Golda Meir in fact of every Israeli government going back to the citys reunification in 1967. Consistently, Israel has held that Jerusalem should remain its undivided capital and that both Jews and Arabs have the right to build anywhere in the city. "This policy certainly applies to neighborhoods like Ramat Shlomo, which, though on land incorporated into Israel in 1967, are home to nearly half of the citys Jewish population. Isolated from Arab neighborhoods and within a couple of miles of downtown Jerusalem, these Jewish neighborhoods will surely remain a part of Israel after any peace agreement with the Palestinians. Israelis across the political spectrum are opposed to restrictions on building in these neighborhoods, and even more opposed to the idea of uprooting hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens," Oren said in the article. CLIP
Israels Lobby Imposes Crippling Sanctions on America Again (March 12, 2010) http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2010/03/11/israels-lobby-imposes-crippling-sanctions-on-america-again/
The Israel lobbys campaign against US and international corporations doing business with Iran is gearing up this week. The tip of the spear is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee sponsored expansion of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. If signed into law by president Obama, the legislation would institute onerous new monitoring to ensure exports never enter Iran, along with mandatory divestment from and penalties for any corporations discovered doing business in Iran. A new type of "office of special plans" at the Treasury Department that AIPAC and its think tank lobbied to create by executive order in 2004 is also on the warpath. (...) What should Americans make of this drive to label all companies doing business with Iran unpatriotic smugglers? First, they should consider the source of the multi-tiered Iran sanctions drive. Then, they should start getting angry. The proto Israel lobby was born in the cradle of a real arms theft and smuggling operation [pdf] that relentlessly preyed on the United States in the 1940s. Violating US arms export controls and bans on weapons transfers to the Middle East, this network certainly did "betray national security" but managed to establish a small state in Palestine. The Director of US Central Intelligence judged that "U.S. national security is unfavorably affected by these developments and that it could be seriously jeopardized by continued illicit traffic in the implements of war." That was an understatement, but none of the financiers of the arms smuggling network ever faced any consequences. When The Pledge, a tell-all book about the smuggling network, was published in 1970 the Department of Justice received public protests about the vast unpunished arms smuggling. The Internal Security Section duly wrote and internally circulated a 9-page book report about the people, dates, and crimes committed. The Chief of the Foreign Agents Registration Unit then responded to one protester that any arms smuggling prosecutions would be barred by the statute of limitations, though he did forward complaints to the FBI and State Department. The Israel lobby further developed the ethos that "no crime for Israel would be punished in the US" when it allegedly stole and smuggled US weapons grade uranium from NUMEC, "an Israeli operation from the beginning" according to CIA Tel Aviv station chief John Hadden. A secret nuclear arsenal would allow Israel to initiate "The Samson Option" pulling down the entire world if it were ever threatened a capability judged worth all the stealing and law breaking.
Rupert Cornwell: Obama won't restrain Israel - he can't (18 March 2010) http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/rupert-cornwell/rupert-cornwell-obama-wont-restrain-israel--he-cant-1922958.html
All you can say is, we've been here before. "Who the **** does he think he is? Who's the ******* superpower here?" Bill Clinton spluttered in fury to his aides back in 1996. The "he" in question was Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now the Prime Minister of Israel. Barack Obama, a cooler character than the last Democrat to be president, may not have used quite such salty language about the behaviour of the current Netanyahu government that has so incensed the US. One thing though may safely be predicted. Mr Netanyahu will get away with it. (...) Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Mr Obama is more sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians than any recent president. In his Cairo speech last June, he spoke movingly of the daily humiliations faced by a people living under occupation: the situation for the Palestinian people, he said, was "intolerable." He followed up by demanding a total freeze on settlements, as proof the Israelis were serious about a peace deal. But Mr Netanyahu said no, and the Obama administration, essentially folded. It was forced to content itself with a limited and partial freeze, from which East Jerusalem was excluded. When Hillary Clinton praised this modest step as "unprecedented," disappointed Palestinians and Arabs concluded that for all the fine words in Cairo, it was business as usual in Washington. When push came to shove, the proclaimed "honest broker" tilted invariably and irretrievably in favour of the Israelis. Mr Obama's defenders now say that if he misplayed his hand, it was because he had too much on his plate, obliged to corral up crucial healthcare votes one moment, plot the future of the US banking system the next, and then make a flawless move in the three-dimensional chess game that is Middle East policy. In fact, his greatest error was not to think through the clout of America's pro-Israel lobby.When the university professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt published The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy in 2007, some intitial reaction was scornful. Critics dismissed the book's thesis as exaggeration at best, sheer fantasy at worst. There was no sinister lobby, only the instinctive collective sympathy felt towards Israel by ordinary Americans. But power lies in the perception of power, and no organisation in Washington is perceived to wield more power than AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee. For proof, look no further than January 2009, when most of the rest of the world was horrified at the Israeli offensive in Gaza. At that moment the US House of Representatives, by a vote of 390 to five, chose to blame the entire crisis on Hamas. Now the lobby is working to defuse the present row, naturally on Israel's terms. CLIP
Arab world says hopes in Obama are dwindling (03.18.10) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3864531,00.html
Amid Israel-US spat over east Jerusalem construction, director of Middle East Center in Beirut says Arab countries less likely to engage with US on Iran if Washington won't press Israel to make concessions they deem necessary for peace deal. Egyptian columnist: Extremists ruling Israel know they are outside range of being punished by sanctions -- Arabs across the Middle East are unconvinced the United States will stand up to Israel despite Washington's rare public outrage over plans to build new Jewish homes in a traditionally Arab part of Jerusalem. The skepticism is eroding Arab hopes that President Barack Obama will push hard for a long-sought peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians to end a conflict that has fueled anti-US sentiment in the region. America's dwindling credibility could also jeopardize another major Mideast goal - uniting the Arab world against Iran. CLIP
PM approves NIS 800M plan for Arab sector (03.18.10) WONDERFUL! ISRAEL PLANNING TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT FOR ITS ARAB POPULATION! LET'S HOPE THERE WILL BE MORE SUCH GOOD NEWS SOON TO REPORT! http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3864462,00.html
Amid warnings of a third intifada outbreak, the Ministry for Minority Affairs on Wednesday announced a government plan to invest NIS 800 million (about $215 million) in Israel's minority population, as part of a perennial project. The plan, signed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister for Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman, will invest the funds in 10 selected towns during the next five years. The investment will focus on four main realms: Occupational development, infrastructure, upgrading the transportation network and preparing plots of land for construction. Minister Braverman said the plan "proved that Israel's government sees the importance of giving equal civil rights to Israeli Arabs." The plan was developed over the course of nine months and was done in accordance with Ayman Sayaf, administrator of the minority sector's authority of financial development and a number of ministries, including the Ministry for Minority Affairs, the Treasury Ministry, the Ministry of Industry, trade & Labor. The towns that were selected to take part in the project are Nazareth, Shfaram, Sakhnin, Umm al-Fahm, Qalansuwa, Maghar, Tamra, Tira, Kfar Kassem and Rahat. Strengthen ties between community, police - As part of the plan, some NIS 220 million ($60 million) will be invested in occupational development, which will also include investments in local economic infrastructures and upgrading transportation networks in and outside of the towns. NIS 100 million ($27 million) will go toward preparing public land plots for construction and an additional NIS 316 million ($85 million) will be invested into private plots. Another NIS 150 million ($40 million) will be used to promote anti violence programs in the selected towns. "The aim is to improve the service we give to citizens, and strengthen ties between the community, the police and law enforcement," said a source in Braverman's office. The ten towns were selected based on their population size, the stability of local government and residents' socio-economic situation. Over 300,000 citizens live in these towns, constituting approximately 25% of Israel's minority population. CLIP - IMAGINE IF ISRAELI AND PALESTINIANS LEADERS COULD PUT BEHIND THE ACRIMONY AND DISTRUST THAT KEEPS THEM AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER AND WORK HAND IN HAND TO IMPROVE THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF EVERYONE NOT ONLY IN ISRAEL BUT ALSO IN THE WEST BANK, AND FOR THE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF GAZA... SOON TRUST, PEACE, FREEDOM AND FRIENDSHIP WOULD BREAK OUT FOR ALL AND A NEW DAY FOR THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST AND THE ENTIRE WORLD WOULD DAWN...
Brazil President in West Bank: I dream of a free Palestine (17/03/2010) http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1157087.html
Brazil President meets with Abbas, lays wreath at Arafat's grave after row over refusal to visit Herzl's tomb. Several days into a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived Wednesday in Ramallah, where he expressed his support for Palestinian independence and for the creation of a Palestinian state. "I dream of an independent and free Palestine living in peace in the Middle East," Lula said during a visit to the West Bank. "I believe the Palestinians and Israelis are going to share the land of their forefathers." (...) Both U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Abbas are now demanding that Israel cancel the Ramat Shlomo construction plan. "The U.S. today is in disagreement and conflict with Israel. It was never expected to see these two allies in such a disagreement. We do not know if this is the missing magic that was needed to reach an agreement," Silva said. CLIP
PA politicians choose state building over struggle, for now (03.16.10) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3863714,00.html
The alert declared Tuesday among Palestinian security forces, especially among the police forces deployed throughout Palestinian Authority cities, sends a clear message. The PA is not interested as of now in a conflict of any sort with Israel not a "rock intifada," not "popular resistance," and certainly not armed conflict. Indeed, the "day of rage" riots were concentrated mainly in Jerusalem and were accompanied by support rallies in the Gaza Strip as the streets of the West Bank remained quiet. Though voices in the Palestinian camp calling for a wide-scale national struggle in the territories based on the model of the clashes that take place every Friday in Naalin and Bilin or the one currently underway in Jerusalem, PA leadership still remains cautious, preferring to first exhaust the political route. There should be no mistake. When the Palestinians say "political route," they don't mean the negotiations with Israel slated to get started in the "proximity talks" on which there is a broad Palestinian consensus that they will lead nowhere. They mean building PA institutions in a move that will ultimately, they hope, show their accomplishments to the international community in order to receive recognition of an independent Palestinian state. This way, the Palestinians presume, world powers will lead the fight over the borders of such a state, and not its mere existence. 'No one wants to suffer'As for now, no one in the upper echelons of the PA is willing to start a new armed intifada like the al-Aqsa Intifada that broke out in September 2000. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas himself has spoken out on a number of occasions against the option of armed intifada, and this is the opinion currently prevailing among PA leaders not another armed struggle. The PA is also successfully dealing with Hamas' badgering on this matter by pointing out that in actuality Hamas, too, is not giving the go ahead for an armed struggle or rocket firings from the Strip. CLIP
Israel - addicted to the occupation, and showing symptoms of overdose and accumulated damage - has finally found a savior to rescue it from its plight. Israel's redeemer hasn't just stood idly by for 40 years, but has even facilitated the habit. However, it seems that change may at last be in the air.
It's still too early to celebrate sobriety, and successful rehabilitation is by no means certain. This is a long, painful process, and the addict and its savior have yet to show adequate determination. The user is still dependent, kicking and screaming so much that the friend is likely to surrender in despair, to simply give in to pressure, having lost both interest and patience in the rehabilitation. But the measures taken by the Obama administration over the past few days prove that change is possible. Now the loyal friend must be encouraged not to give up, not to quit until the junkie is clean.
"Now they're coming?" Aluf Benn wrote of the Americans last week. Indeed, they could and should have come earlier. That applies not just to all the previous administrations, none of which did enough to end the occupation, but also to the Obama administration itself. So promising at first, the administration began on the left foot - that is, the right foot, at the heel of the Jewish and Israeli right, which continues to believe that an alliance with Israel is an alliance with the occupation, that friendship between two nations means giving Israel carte blanche to cause as much trouble as it likes. Those same people believe friendship means continuing the flow of massive aid without conditions, that it means not only funding the occupation but also cleaning up after its perpetrators by providing firm diplomatic support, and that friendship must be blind and automatic - to the point that it seems like Israel is the superpower and America is under its protection.
The facts are clear: Israel has no real intention of quitting the territories or allowing the Palestinian people to exercise their rights. Israel does not truly intend to pursue peace, because life here seems to be good even without it. The continuation of the occupation doesn't just endanger Israel's future, it also poses the greatest risk to world peace, serving as a pretext for Israel's most dangerous enemies.
No change will come to pass in the complacent, belligerent and condescending Israel of today. That's why this difficult, thankless task has fallen on the shoulders of an ally, as only it has the power to get things started. No agreement will come out of another endless series of futile diplomatic trips or peace plans to which no one intends to adhere. We have tried this enough in the past, and all for naught. This is the time to come up with a rehabilitation program for Israel. The entire world, and ultimately Israel too, will applaud Barack Obama if he succeeds.
Expressing offense at "poor timing" and giving Israel's prime minister the cold shoulder are not enough. This is the time for action, comprehensive and unwavering. America must now decide where it is heading and where it aims to lead Israel, the Middle East and the world. At issue is not just the future of 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo, but that of Israel itself. What is required is not merely extending the settlement construction freeze - whether or not it includes the occupied areas of Jerusalem - but applying pressure on Israel to begin withdrawing to its own borders. The means at Washington's disposal - including assistance on security and economic issues, the campaign against Iran's nuclear program and diplomatic support of Israel - can all be conditioned on an end to the occupation.
America must now decide whether it's for us or against us. Will it make do with easing the sting of the insult to the vice president? Will it continue to give in to its powerful Jewish lobby? Will it keep passing itself off as a friend while acting as a foe? Or are we really playing by different rules now? Yes, it's likely to hurt Israel, and even many Americans, but this is the opportunity. There will be no other.
U.S. TELLS ISRAEL: YOU ARE UNDERMINING AMERICA, ENDANGERING TROOPS
March 16, 2010 by Gordon Duff
THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP IS DEAD
LEARN SOME OF THE WHY BEING KEPT FROM YOU
Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen have all recently visited Israel on two issues, reliable information that Israel was planning an attack on Iran, a plan designed to push America into a war our leaders believe is both wrong and likely to risk a global nuclear confrontation with Russia and the building of a massive housing project on the Arab side of Jerusalem in violation of numerous agreements, a project that is likely to cause a spike in world terrorism and send thousands of new fighters to Afghanistan to face American forces there.
This is the worst point in the history of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel since the founding of that nation in 1948 but these are not the only reasons, not these and the arrogant and intractable attitude of Israels leaders nor being caught in lie after lie, lies told to their financial backer and closest ally, the United States. Here is some background on CENTOM Commander, General Petraeus shocking briefing:
On Jan. 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide, 45-minute PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOMs mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region
Everywhere they went, the message was pretty humbling, a Pentagon officer familiar with the briefing says. America was not only viewed as weak, but its military posture in the region was eroding. But Petraeus wasnt finished: two days after the Mullen briefing, Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with Israel, is a part of the European Command or EUCOM), be made a part of his area of operations. The Mullen briefing and Petraeuss request hit the White House like a bombshell pressing Israel once again on the settlements issue, sending Mitchell on a visit to a number of Arab capitals and dispatching Mullen for a carefully arranged meeting with the chief of the Israeli General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the message.
Israel didnt. When Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed by an Israeli announcement that the Netanyahu government was building 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, the administration reacted. But no one was more outraged than Biden who, according to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, engaged in a private, and angry, exchange with the Israeli Prime Minister:
This is starting to get dangerous for us, Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. What youre doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace. Yedioth Ahronoth went on to report: The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israels actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism. The message couldnt be plainer: Israels intransigence could cost American lives.
The deterioration started long before this and can be tracked by changing perceptions in the Obama administration whose leaders are heavily pro-Israel but lack the extremist convictions of the Zionist/extremist group that surrounded President Bush. When Obama took office, even Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, one of the most prominent Israeli proponents in the country, had become aware of the extent of Israeli involvement in areas that had taken the special relationship into an area of disaster for the United States. This is what was discovered:
- The military and intelligence organizations in the United States had been penetrated by Israel, not only through our normal broad partnership but the planting of moles, many from the Christian Zionist community who were taking direction from Israel and not the United States. The result wasnt just limited to falsification of intelligence, both leading to endless phony terror alerts and non-existent enemies but to skewing operations in a manner to guarantee their failure with significant American cost in both lives and money.
- The massive spy network uncovered by Sibel Edmonds had been tracked, almost entirely to Israel. Edmonds had been silenced by National Security Letters issued by John Ashcroft, leading Christian Zionist in the Bush Administration and constant private visitor to Israel. After 6 years of spying at the highest levels of the White House, Department of State, Congress and the Pentagon, the network grew even more, accessing nearly all top US intelligence and selling it on the open market.
- Most disastrous of the stolen intelligence was the data on the new JSF, the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. All data on this new $300 billion dollar project fell into Israeli hands in 2008, information that may have turned the air superiority fighter meant to rule the skies for the next 30 years into a target sled. This is the biggest intelligence attack on the US since the Pollard/Israeli scandal. Pollard, an American Jew reputedly associated with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, stole Americas battle plans for the defense of NATO, our entire spy/surveillance network plans and full ultra-top secret detailed plans that could have negated Americas nuclear deterrent during the most dangerous times of the Cold War. Pollards information was sold to the Soviets by Israel, information that could have let Russia win World War III.
- The Israeli attack on Gaza was timed to an American change of administration and done without consultation. Broad intelligence sources indicate that the attacks were not in retaliation to any terrorist activity but are spoken of behind closed doors by top US officials as ethnic cleansing not unlike the issues that brought NATO into conflict with Serbia. The systematic nature of the attack, destroying water-treatment, schools, hospitals, food storage, power generation and the massive loss of life, especially among children, has soured many in the Obama camp on Israel
- Israels use of the Jewish lobby in the US to hold up President Obamas domestic agenda and their use of Jewish controlled media to embarrass the President has caused more bitterness. With Jewish controlled/owned Fox, CNN (Wolf Blitzer, formerly of the Jerusalem Post), ABC, CBS, NBC networks and other major news sources all working in concert against, particularly President Obamas health care initiative, Israel is seen as flexing its muscle even more. The believed rationale is the removal of all non-Jews from Israel, dead or alive, with a powerless US government paying the bills and fighting the massive terrorist backlash for generations.
- The Israeli agenda of working with India to destabilize Pakistan, organize terror attacks there and, less publicly known, in Afghanistan and Iraq, some against American targets, can no longer be ignored by the current administration, Secretary Gates, Generals Mullen and Petraeus. Israelis dynamic duo, Senators McCain and Lieberman, though still holding important committee assignments on the hill, are being held increasingly in disrepute in the United States. When Israel sends these two on errands, it no longer carries the weight and power of the United States as it had during the Bush administation.
- Re-examination of a number of terrorist attacks during the Bush administation, particularly in Europe, show a clear Mossad footprint, something adding credence to the hypothesis that the war on terror and intelligence failures in Iraq had been heavily influenced by Israeli sources, many of the same individuals tied to the Edmonds spy affair, many close to, not only Israel but President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Recently a secret El Al/Israel flight from JFK in New York has been discovered, a flight authorized by top Bush officials, one previously kept secret and now being tied covering up 9/11 intelligence failures. The El Al Boeing 747 left only hours after the 9/11 attack, at a time all air traffic in the United States was grounded.
With nearly all Arab/Muslim governments aligned behind the US, including a softening of tensions with Iran, Israel feels it must act quickly. However, the US no longer has any strategic requirement for a relationship with Israel. What had been seen as a potential ally, perhaps now wrongly so, in the region is now generally perceived as a runaway train that the United States can no longer go to the United Nations time after time to protect from sanctions, 32 times thus far. Israel clearly feels it has the United States over a barrel with control of media, a massive AIPAC lobby working against American policy and huge new financial influence over the upcoming Congressional elections handed over to them by the highly controversial 5/4 Supreme Court free speech election funding decision clearly meant to aid Israel further in her ability to intimidate Congress.
Unofficially, Israel has moved to the top of Americas terrorist watch list and is now drifting toward evildoer status, not only by the White House but, more broadly, through top defense officials who now perceive Israel as a threat to the United States.
"Rather than risk a global nuclear confrontation, it could read carrying forward the plan decided upon by their elders to subject the human race to an all out general nuclear war.Thats the plan.Theyre not risking a conflagration, they want us finished off before the people wake up to what the plan has been all along; To kill us all. USS Liberty was a staged event designed to do just that. If that ship would have gone down, Egypt would have received 2 nuclear weapons, designed to trigger a general nuclear war. This tribe has a one track Mind."
"ISRAEL has been using America externally and internally since 1948. They own us via congress and senate campaign donations. They own the banks, Wall St, Hollywood and just about every form of media. They have cried about how much they have suffered more than any other culture when in fact they have caused much suffering to many others worldwide. They have been using American assets to their advantage for decades. They have always made it a point to use their lobby in Washington DC to get the people elected they want in place, they use their media to present the stories they want read, and they use Hollywood images to create visuals for those who dont read. It has all worked out rather well for them since 1948. In my view they are the true terrorist of our time. They thrive on creating chaos and the greed of American politicians. That decision by the US Supreme Court was a benefit for the voice of Israel to keep them in control of Washington DC, to keep Americans more under their control. Their latest victory in having every major airport using their radiation spewing scanners, which they own through their American corporations, will in my opinion cause cancer and DNA damage on Americans over a period of time. America needs to cut our loses and let Israel be on its own. The Israel lobby has destroyed what was a good American way of life."
"I think we should do a hostile financial takeover of a Zionist controlled television network, lets say ABC so this article and other can be read to Americans. We should all donate are original Picasso paintings for the cause. Here is an extensive and shocking list which shows that indeed the major media is controlled by Jewish Zionists. We are getting distorted, misleading Zionist news: http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/jewsconfirmbigmedia.html
This list is stunning but also hilarious. Its like a movie and not real life.People have to realize that due to the Internet, television, newspapers and magazines have been loosing viewers and money. TIVO has also contributed to lost revenues for television stations. However Jewish Zionists have been buying up and holding on to these bad investments. Why are they doing this? To hide the truth about the Palestinian genocide, Iraq war via Jewish Zionists, national security and economically damaging Israeli espionage, the Israeli control of our politicians, Israeli government being a major terrorist organization, Mossad false flags to blame the Muslims etc. If Americans knew about all the lousy things the Israeli government has done that have hurt the United States, people would be shouting Oh the Horror! The Horror!"
"By the way the United Nations Special rapporteur Richard Falk strongly denounced Israels recent Operation Cast Lead aka murder and terrorize Palestinian civilians and made some strong, insightful, comments:From the article: Falk said Israels actions against the besieged Gazans are reminiscent of the worst kind of international memories of the Warsaw Ghetto which included the starvation and murder of Polish Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two. Falk, who was denied entry to Israel in December, said Gazans may have been mentally scarred for life because Israel made no effort to allow civilians to escape. Falk dismissed Israels argument that the assault was for self-defense, saying that the UN charter, and international law, does not give Israel the legal foundation for claiming self-defense. How about this: Human rights group Amnesty International has also touched on the issue, saying that Tel Aviv used white phosphorus munitions indiscriminately and illegally in overcrowded areas of Gaza. This rogue, racist, inhumane Likud party in Israel needs to be shutdown. By the way, did the Israeli government intentionally blow up the drinking water and sewage systems in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in hopes of causing a deadly pandemic as part of their ethnic cleansing?"
"I dont think this is much of anything, its just the same old BS between the Master, Israel and her favorite bitch, the USA. This wont go anywhere and will probably wind up costing us some more money, as Im sure the LOBBY is in full attack mode, getting their Zionist traitors in Congress to go to bat for Israel, probably even send some more welfare money to Apartheid Israel to smooth over any hurts. Why should Israel get all shot up, blowing the hell out of Iran when their #1 private Army, Uncle Sucker, is on call 24/7? Hundreds of powerful US bunker-buster bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 Blu bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures. Yep, those Hellfire missiles red glare and the smart bombs bursting in the air ought to distract Americans from their country getting ransacked by Wall Street gangsters and sucked dry by vultures. And shut up those who got suckered into voting for Change. When were fighting and dying for Israel, youd best STFU or else youre un-American and if your one of those, then youre also a vile anti-Semite. So dont put too much stock in this huff between Israel and the USA, nothing positive will come out of this for the USA. Until Obama grows a spine and tells Israel to knock off stealing more of the West Bank and stop blockading Gaza or well stop sending those monthly welfare checks, it will be BAU."
Israel is empowering al Qaeda, Petraeus warns (MARCH 16, 2010) http://warincontext.org/2010/03/16/israel-is-empowering-al-qaeda-petraeus-warns/
As erupting violence in Jerusalem suggests a third intifada may soon take hold, the CENTCOM commander Gen David Petraeus, testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee today, gave a grave warning about the wider impact of a conflict that has been the epicenter of Middle East hostilities ever since the creation of Israel. In issuing his warning, Petraeus arguably the most influential even if not the highest ranking member of the US military was reiterating a statement he made almost a year ago. The only difference between what he said in April 2009 and what he said today, was that he now acknowledges al Qaeda is being strengthened by the conflict. He now says: "The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [CENTCOM's area of responsibility]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas." If such a statement was being made outside the American political arena, it could be regarded as a rather bland expression of what has long been utterly obvious. Yet from the lips of a celebrated general, regarded by many as a potential future president, these words come as a bombshell. Neoconservatives and the Israel lobby have worked hard and long to obscure the deeply corrosive regional impact of a conflict that successive Israeli leaders have either been unwilling or seemingly incapable of resolving. Others, who earlier said what Petraeus now says, have either been dismissed as poorly informed or worse, branded as anti-Israeli or by insinuation, anti-Semitic.No such charge will stick to Petraeus. Indeed, if the Israel lobby was so foolhardy as to try and go after an American general who sometimes gets treated like a latterday Eisenhower, the lobby will be at dire risk of being visited by its own greatest fear: being branded as anti-American.
Operation Enduring Occupation by Dahr Jamail (18 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/operation-enduring-occupation57789
(...) In light of such clear objectives, it is highly unlikely that the US government will allow a truly sovereign Iraq, unfettered by US troops either within its borders or monitoring it from abroad, anytime soon. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the Iraqi and US governments indicate an ongoing US presence past both the August 2010 deadline to remove all combat troops, and the 2011 deadline to remove the remaining troops.According to all variations of the SOFA the US uses to provide a legal mandate for it's nearly 1,000 bases across the planet, technically, no US base in any foreign country is "permanent." Thus, the US bases in Japan, South Korea and Germany that have existed for decades are not "permanent." Technically. Most analysts agree that the US plans to maintain at least five "enduring" bases in Iraq.Noted US writer, linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky, said, "Bases [abroad] are the empire. They are the point of projection of power and expansion of power."Chalmers Johnson, author and professor emeritus of UC San Diego commented, "In a symbolic sense [bases] are a way of showing that America stands there watching."Longtime defense analyst from George Washington University, Gordon Adams, told The Associated Press that in the broader context of reinforcing US presence in the oil-rich Middle East, bases in Iraq are preferable to aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. "Carriers don't have the punch. There's a huge advantage to land-based infrastructure. At the level of strategy it makes total sense to have Iraq bases."According to Professor Zoltan Grossman of The Evergreen State College, who has been researching military bases and participating in the global network against foreign bases for several years, the US has no intention of releasing control of its bases in Iraq. The Pentagon, he believes, has many old tricks to mask a military presence and armed pressure.In an interview with Truthout he observed: Since the Gulf War, the US has not just been building the bases to wage wars, but has been waging wars to leave behind the bases. The effect has been to create a new US military sphere of influence wedged in the strategic region between the E.U., Russia and China. The Pentagon has not been building these sprawling, permanent bases just to hand them over to client governments. CLIP
Antiwar Protesters: "Bombs Don't Bring Democracy" (19 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/antiwar-protesters-bombs-dont-bring-democracy57804
Two days before the seventh anniversary of the occupation of Iraq, more than a thousand antiwar protesters marched Thursday in downtown Chicago to chants of "Obama, don't lie to me. Bombs don't bring democracy!" and "Money for jobs and education, not for wars and occupation!" The rally is one of many antiwar events being held across the country in places ranging from New York to Utah to Georgia to protest the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. CLIP
Disturbing story of Falluja's birth defects (4 March 2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8548961.stm
Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Falluja 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. CLIP
PDD 51 & New Executive Order Give Obama Dictator Power
Paul Joseph Watson - January 18, 2010
An Obama executive order that creates a council of state governors who will work with the feds to expand military involvement in domestic security, together with PDD 51, a Bush era executive order that gives the President dictatorial power in times of national emergency, eliminate the last roadblocks to declaring martial law in the United States.
The new order, which is entitled Establishment of the Council of Governors (PDF), creates a body of ten state governors directly appointed by Obama who will work with the federal government to help advance the "synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States".
The governors will liaise with officials from Northcom, Homeland Security, the National Guard as well as DoD officials from the Pentagon "in order to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments," according to the executive order.
The exective order combines seamlessly with Presidential Decision Directive 51 to hand Obama dictator status in times of declared, and not necessarily genuine, national emergency.
In May 2007, former President George W. Bush sparked much alarm by openly declaring himself to be a dictator in the event of a national emergency under provisions that effectively nullify the U.S. constitution, but such an infrastructure has been in place for over 70 years and this merely represented a re-authorization of martial law powers.
Legislation signed on May 9, 2007, declares that in the event of a "catastrophic event", the President can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power.
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, which also places the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic "security", was signed earlier without the approval or oversight of Congress and seemingly supercedes the National Emergency Act which allows the president to declare a national emergency but also requires that Congress have the authority to "modify, rescind, or render dormant" such emergency authority if it believes the president has acted inappropriately.
Journalist Jerome Corsi, who studied the directive, also states that it makes no reference to Congress and "its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists."
In July 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D - OR) was asked by his constituents to see what was contained within the classified portion of the White House's plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
Since DeFazio also sits on the Homeland Security Committee and has clearance to view classified material, the request would have appeared to be routine, but the Congressman was unceremoniously denied all access to view the documents, and the White House wouldn't even give an excuse as to why he was barred.
"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio told the Oregonian.
"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America," DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee."
"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio concluded.
These new powers have now been handed over to President Obama, allowing him, along with a body of councillors personally selected by him, to declare martial law without there necessarily being a genuine national emergency, greasing the skids for U.S. troops and National Guard to conduct domestic policing of the American people.
In October 2008, Northcom, a Unified Combatant Command of the United States military based out of Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, was assigned the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team returning from Iraq. An alarming September 8 Army Times report which was later denied after it sparked controversy stated that the troops would be used by Northcom to deal with "civil unrest and crowd control" in the aftermath of a national emergency.
The Obama executive order states that governors will help advise the feds on National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.
The fact that the order further blurs the lines between state and federal power, as well as greasing the skids for more military involvement in domestic affairs has stoked fears that Obama may be laying the groundwork for his promised "national civilian security force".
Conservatives and libertarians responded to the announcement by expressing their suspicion that Obama is preparing to give governors their marching orders in targeting "anti-government" types that have long been characterized as a terrorist threat by the feds in numerous reports stretching back over a decade.
"There is a definite purpose to this," wrote one commenter on the popular Free Republic website, "The initial steps toward a domestic "Civilian Security Force" in each state, as called for by the fascisti during the campaign. It will be coordinated at the state level, under the authority of DHS and DoD and assorted agencies. The provision will be made for it to be "federalized" in an emergency, as is the National Guard."
"This is a concrete step toward eliminating the independent authority and dissolving the sovereignty of the several States. It lays the groundwork for the end of the United States as a Republic," she adds.
Others warn that Obama could be preparing to cancel elections under the justification of a national emergency, a fear that was often expressed when Bush was in office but one that never materialized.
However, the executive order clearly represents another assault on Posse Comitatus, the 1878 law that bars the military from exercising domestic police powers, which was temporarily annulled by the 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act before parts of it were later repealed.
New Executive Order Signed by Obama Effectively Creates Structure of Military Governors for Martial Law (January 12, 2010) http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/08_Hawk/100112.Obama.EO.html
One must read this one closely but when it dawns on you that the 10 Governors to be appointed by the President will perhaps soon correspond to the 10 FEMA REGIONS and effectively will be under the Secretary of Defense and hence the President in a system of Regional Military Governors over all States, not just the States they might be from, you might just experience a chill up your spine. Note that then all States in essence have been taken over at least on paper by the President and will be administered Militarily. Read carefully Section -2 Functions, of this Executive Order and you will clearly see how inclusive these functions can be....... especially Item e which has language sufficiently broad and loose that a Tank Battalion could be driven through it. Americans had better understand that this Executive Order along with all of those previously signed, and with Presidential Decision Directive 51 and others will be used to destroy the Constitution and Bill of Rights and to render each American effectively into nothing more than a member of a work gang subject to control of the Regional Military Governor who is under the Secdef who is under the President. Posse Comitatus then is dead, Habeas Corpus is dead, Bill of Rights is dead, and only the whims and subjective decisions of the Regional Military Governor, as directed by the President via the Secretary of Defense and executed by Northcom troopers who now include U.S., Canadian, Mexican, and other Foreign troops as well as Mercenaries and the States' National Guards, Militias, and Police agencies will be the Iron Fist Rule of the Land.Is this what the Founding Fathers would be proud of or would they say we have come full circle and that now We the People should invoke the Declaration of Independence once again and be ready on Lexington Green and prepositioned at Concord Bridge ? I think I know what Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, and old "Swamp Fox" would say. Here is the link to the PDF of the Executive Order. Read it and weep for America.
From: IndictBushNow.org (ImpeachBush@VoteToImpeach.org)
Subject: A historic step
Date: March 12, 2010
**Please circulate widely to friends and on social-networking sites**
A historic step - Donald Rumsfeld learns a lesson on the Constitution: NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW
Never before in history has a U.S. court allowed a torture suit to proceed against a current or former Cabinet Secretary.
That is, until now.
Federal Judge Wayne R. Andersen is allowing a lawsuit charging former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with authorizing the use of torture. Navy veteran Donald Vance has accused U.S. forces in Iraq of subjecting him to severe sleep deprivation and extremely cold temperatures, and denying him food and water for extended periods during the three months he was held in prison.
The court flatly rejected a request for dismissal filed on the grounds that Rumsfeld was immune from suit as high-placed governmental official. This decision echoes the fundamental constitutional principles that our movement has fiercely fought for: Torture is not just wrong, it is illegal. No one is above the law.
This is only the beginning. A torture lawsuit against Rumsfeld in a U.S. court could open the floodgates for similar legal actions against other top-level officials of the Bush administration. We must all give determined political support to this legal struggle. It is time to redouble our efforts.
On March 20, IndictBushNow will join thousands of others in the streets of Washington, D.C. at the National March on Washington against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars initiated by the Bush administration. We will continue to take to the streets in defense of justice, accountability, and the Constitution. Our fight is not over.
Please stand with thousands of others on March 20. Spread the word to others. If you cant attend but want to show your support, you can make a donation so that others can come. To donate, click here.
Action Alert: Let Rainforest Action Network Know Global Ecological Sustainability Depends Upon Ending Old Forest Logging
Rainforest Action Network is a key supporter of failed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) efforts to sustainably log tens of millions of hectares of primary and old-growth forests for lawn furniture, toilet paper and other throw-away consumer items. As RAN celebrates its 25th anniversary, let them know old forests will never be fully protected as long as they and others unquestioningly support certified yet ecologically unsustainable first-time industrial primary rainforest logging. Demand RAN vigorously defend their support for first-time primary rainforest logging over an area two times as large as Texas, or resign from FSC immediately. Encourage RAN to spend the next 25 years working to protect and expand old forests to maintain a habitable Earth.
NOTE: This is a protest, not a petition, sending emails to many real decision makers on matters vital to the Earth.
Old forests including tropical rainforests are the ultimate expression of life, evolution and ecology. The term old forests is used to describe primary unlogged forests, regenerating late successional natural old-growth, and planted mixed-species forests regaining old-growth characteristics. Here untold co-evolved species and genetic diversity exist and interact with each other and their environment to provide ecosystem services water, nutrient and energy cycling required for a habitable Earth. Forests logged industrially for the first time are permanently ecologically damaged in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics. When primary forests are lost or diminished, it is inevitable that local ecological and social conditions deteriorate, regional weather and species distributions deviate, and the global biosphere and its ability to maintain conditions for life are weakened.
The forest protection movement, like many social justice movements before it, is at a crossroads. The slavery abolitionists had to choose between improving conditions for slaves or pursuing their freedom. American revolutionaries chose between greater autonomy under continued British colonialism or to fight for full freedom and liberty. Similarly, the forest movement has to decide whether we want to work to fully protect and restore old carbon and species rich forests as a keystone response to achieve global ecological sustainability, or continue to log in only a slightly better manner 500 year old trees in 60 million year old ecosystems for disposable consumer products. By definition, primary forests are destroyed.
Since 1993 best estimates are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has sanctioned the logging of sixty million hectares of primary and old-growth forests, and an equal amount is threatened in coming years. But no one really knows the full extent of the problem as FSC does not compile how many old forests it certifies for first time heavy industrial logging. This means FSC and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) are responsible for the past and threatened loss of about 460,000 square miles of primary and other old forests an area the size of South Africa, or nearly two times the size of Texas. FSC has not responded to numerous requests to gather more accurate figures, when directly questioned FSC board members say they do not know, and even RAN who is a member was not provided this information.
In light of current and emerging ecosystem, biodiversity and climate science; as well as evident abrupt climate change and the ongoing biodiversity extinction crises, it is clear that FSC certification for primary and old-growth logging except under specific circumstances such as small scale community eco-forestry practiced by local peoples is one of the primary threats to old forests. This is particularly true when many other certification schemes and business as usual industrial rainforest logging make competing claims of sustainability. Internationally, forest carbon efforts such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) build upon the falsehood that logging primary forests, even establishing plantations where they once stood, is a desired outcome. In most countries it is impossible to suggest old forest logging end and development be based upon standing old forests, as the response is they are to be sustainably logged. It is becoming abundantly clear that ending industrial diminishment and working for the full protection and restoration of old forests are keystone responses to the climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem, water and poverty crises.
If RAN can target others for damaging the environment, then clearly their own involvement in such massive and unexplained logging of ancient forests is worthy of a campaign and deserves a reasoned response. Past protests have been shrugged off and twice RAN reneged on promises to get FSC to address the problem. RANs former executive director who never thought it necessary to publicly defend their position now heads the Sierra Club, another FSC supporter, and the controversy follows him there. Both organizations are already taking a strong and successful ecological position on coal, why not old forests? Sierra Club founder John Muir who long defended a preservationist ethic against utilitarian conservationist approaches is assuredly rolling in his grave. There is no chance old forest logging will ever end until otherwise ecologically attuned groups like RAN and the Sierra Club discontinue their FSC membership. Please demand these leading organizations vigorously defend their positions and resign from FSC immediately.
CLIP - Note from Jean: Please go at http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=ran_ancient_forest_logging to signify your vigorous protest against the Rainforest Action Network's unconscionable blind endorsement of the wholesale destruction of critically vital and still undisturbed old-growth rainforests under the fallacious and uncertifiable label of "sustainable logging" which is an utter SHAM! Tell them to TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ACTUALLY PROTECT THE RAINFOREST! No more compromising!
From: Ecological Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: RAINFOREST RELEASE: French President Sarkozys Dangerous Deforestation Doublespeak
Date: 15 Mar 2010
French President Sarkozy's Dangerous Deforestation Doublespeak
Pledges to work to end deforestation as French company prepares to ship illegal logs from Madagascar
March 15, 2010
(Paris, France) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week said rich nations must do more to help fight deforestation, as he hosted a Paris conference on saving the world's forests. Sarkozy stated defending the world's forests demanded more aggressive funding. "Those who don't want to do anything are those who don't want to pay," he said in an opening address. He reiterated his appeal for a tax on financial market transactions worldwide that could be earmarked for a global climate fund. These are good ideas, yet President Sarkozy is guilty of dangerous hypocrisy as a French company continues to threaten Madagascar's rainforests.
As Sarkozy argued the need to stop deforestation, shipments of illegal rosewood are being readied for export in Madagascar by a French company with the tacit approval of the French government. Some 4,000-5,000 tons of rosewood will be shipped under the auspices of Delmas, according to Derek Schuurman, who has published papers on the illegal logging crisis for the Madagascar Conservation Journal and TRAFFIC. "An estimated 200-270 containers are likely to be exported in March," says Schuurman. The French and mainstream media worldwide has largely been silent on the crisis even though it threatens Madagascar's rainforest, people, and wildlife. Ecological Internet's global network has already delayed, though not permanently stopped, these illegal rosewood shipments.
The logging crisis began in March of 2009 when destabilization following a government coup allowed loggers to enter several of Madagascar's world-renowned parks and illegally log rosewood and other valuable trees. Tens of thousands of hectares were logged in Madagascar's most biodiverse rainforests, which also sparked a rise in bushmeat trafficking of lemurs. Since the coup, donor nations have drastically cut their aid to Madagascar. The transitional government has turned to the illegal trade in rosewood from its national parks to retain its grip on power. The shipment is expected to leave the port of Vohemar in Madagascar on March 16-17th. Schuurman says that the ship is likely bound for China, which does not have regulations like Europe and the US against trading in illegally logged woods.
"While we hail growing realization regarding the importance of old forests, and the number of initiatives to protect forests, very few seek to end the industrial development including industrial 1st time primary forest logging which is not only deforesting and diminishing these forests, but is also causing damage to climate, biodiversity and the biosphere, says EI President Dr. Glen Barry. "We are deeply disappointed in all groups and countries proposing 'sustainable forest management' of primary forests as a remedy to the climate and biodiversity crises. By definition, primary forests logged for the first time are destroyed. This is almost as bad as the Rainforest Action Network ongoing greenwashing of primary forest logging in an area two times the size of Texas. "
Report: The Case for Global Warming Stronger Than Ever
By Michael D. Lemonick -- March 12, 2010
One of the many crimes that climate scientists have been accused of lately is that they claim absolute certainty in a field of research fraught with uncertainty. Sure, the planet is warming, say skeptics, but that's happened throughout Earth's history, long before humans were burning fossil fuels. So, how can we be sure this isn't just a natural phenomenon?
Yet a search through the much vilified Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports shows that absolute certainty is notably absent. In the most recent document, for example, published in 2007, the authors write: "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [that is, human-generated greenhouse gas] concentrations."
If that doesn't sound definitive, it's because, as the authors freely admit, it isn't: climate science continues to evolve as new evidence comes in. Indeed, back in 2006, even before the latest IPCC report was complete, researchers in Britain were already planning to launch an update. Helmed by the U.K.'s Met Office (formerly known as the Meteorological Office), the update, published March 5 in the journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, is based on more than 100 peer-reviewed post-IPCC studies. The new data may shift the evidence for climate change, but none of it weakens what the IPCC said three years ago.
By looking at a wide range of observations from all over the world, the Met Office study concludes that the fingerprint of human influence on climate is stronger than ever. "We can say with a very high significance level that the effects we see in the climate cannot be attributed to any other forcings [factors that push the climate in one direction or another]," says study co-author Gabriele Hegerl of the University of Edinburgh.
Plenty of these climate effects had already been observed at the time of the 2007 IPCC report, including warming temperatures, shifts in rainfall (wet regions getting wetter, dry regions getting drier) and the increase in summer meltback of Arctic sea ice. Those patterns have continued, and in some cases gotten worse.
Some entirely new observations have been recorded as well. In its 2007 report, the IPCC did not include the impact of Greenland's or Antarctica's melting glaciers in its estimate of future sea-level rise, saying it lacked sufficient data. But now the speed-up of flow from these glaciers has been documented. And while the IPCC noted in 2007 that every continent had warmed throughout the 20th century except Antarctica, that continent has now been shown to be warming as well - very likely due to man-made influences, says Hegerl.
There's plenty more evidence in the Met Office report to support global warming. But the question from critics remains: how can we be sure this isn't just a natural phenomenon? Scientists haven't done a good enough job of communicating how they distinguish human versus natural influences, says Hegerl. The answer lies in climate models - massive computer simulations that allow the scientists to project climate effects in various scenarios, including those in which humans do not emit any greenhouses at all. "We go out of our way to check out other explanations - by assuming it's all explained by solar activity, or by solar activity plus volcanoes, or by combinations of any of the other natural forcings known to affect climate," says Hegerl.
According to the models, none of those combinations can produce the climate patterns currently being observed in the real world. Add the greenhouse gases that we know humans are generating (and which we've known since the 1800s tend to warm the Earth, all other things being equal), and the simulations finally come close to matching the real world. Its possible, albeit far-fetched, that the simulations are defective. It is even less possible that all of them (and there are many) are defective in the direction of overstating humanity's contribution to warming.
Again, none of the evidence adds up to absolute certainty, a rare commodity in any field of science. On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that an independent panel of scientists, representing national science academies from around the world, would review the IPCC's research procedures - an effort to account for the 2007 report's mistakes, for which the IPCC has come under hard criticism. But while the U.N. group may benefit publicly from more transparency, it won't change the fact that more than 99% of the scientific details in the 2007 report have already withstood the most intense scrutiny. The fact that climate change evidence that was "very likely" a few years ago has now been declared likelier still by the comprehensive Met Office report suggests that the evidence for human-caused climate change is getting better all the time.
Lemonick is the senior science writer for Climate Central.
The world's rubbish dump: a tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan
By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent, and Daniel Howden -- 5 February 2008
A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.
The vast expanse of debris - in effect the world's largest rubbish dump - is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.
Charles Moore, an American oceanographer who discovered the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" or "trash vortex", believes that about 100 million tons of flotsam are circulating in the region. Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which Mr Moore founded, said yesterday: "The original idea that people had was that it was an island of plastic garbage that you could almost walk on. It is not quite like that. It is almost like a plastic soup. It is endless for an area that is maybe twice the size as continental United States."
Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer and leading authority on flotsam, has tracked the build-up of plastics in the seas for more than 15 years and compares the trash vortex to a living entity: "It moves around like a big animal without a leash." When that animal comes close to land, as it does at the Hawaiian archipelago, the results are dramatic. "The garbage patch barfs, and you get a beach covered with this confetti of plastic," he added.
The "soup" is actually two linked areas, either side of the islands of Hawaii, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches. About one-fifth of the junk - which includes everything from footballs and kayaks to Lego blocks and carrier bags - is thrown off ships or oil platforms. The rest comes from land.
Mr Moore, a former sailor, came across the sea of waste by chance in 1997, while taking a short cut home from a Los Angeles to Hawaii yacht race. He had steered his craft into the "North Pacific gyre" - a vortex where the ocean circulates slowly because of little wind and extreme high pressure systems. Usually sailors avoid it.
He was astonished to find himself surrounded by rubbish, day after day, thousands of miles from land. "Every time I came on deck, there was trash floating by," he said in an interview. "How could we have fouled such a huge area? How could this go on for a week?"
Mr Moore, the heir to a family fortune from the oil industry, subsequently sold his business interests and became an environmental activist. He warned yesterday that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, the plastic stew would double in size over the next decade.
Professor David Karl, an oceanographer at the University of Hawaii, said more research was needed to establish the size and nature of the plastic soup but that there was "no reason to doubt" Algalita's findings.
"After all, the plastic trash is going somewhere and it is about time we get a full accounting of the distribution of plastic in the marine ecosystem and especially its fate and impact on marine ecosystems."
Professor Karl is co-ordinating an expedition with Algalita in search of the garbage patch later this year and believes the expanse of junk actually represents a new habitat. Historically, rubbish that ends up in oceanic gyres has biodegraded. But modern plastics are so durable that objects half-a-century old have been found in the north Pacific dump. "Every little piece of plastic manufactured in the past 50 years that made it into the ocean is still out there somewhere," said Tony Andrady, a chemist with the US-based Research Triangle Institute.
Mr Moore said that because the sea of rubbish is translucent and lies just below the water's surface, it is not detectable in satellite photographs. "You only see it from the bows of ships," he said.
According to the UN Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds, which mistake them for food.
Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the oceans. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.
Dr Eriksen said the slowly rotating mass of rubbish-laden water poses a risk to human health, too. Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles - the raw materials for the plastic industry - are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. "What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It's that simple," said Dr Eriksen.
Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastics (20 August 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-uncover-new-ocean-threat-from-plastics-1774337.html
Scientists have identified a new source of chemical pollution released by the huge amounts of plastic rubbish found floating in the oceans of the world. A study has found that as plastics break down in the sea they release potentially toxic substances not found in nature and which could affect the growth and development of marine organisms.Until now it was thought that plastic rubbish is relatively stable chemically and, apart from being unsightly, its principle threat to living creatures came from its ability to choke or strangle any animals that either got caught in it or ingested it thinking it was food.But the latest research suggests that plastic is also a source of dissolved substances that can easily become widely dispersed in the marine environment. Many of these chemicals are believed to toxic to humans and animals, the scientists said.
(...) The scientists found that when plastics decompose in the ocean they release a range of chemicals, such as bisphenol A and substances known as polystyrene-based (PS) oligomers, which are not found naturally. Bisphenol A has been implicated in disrupting the hormonal system of animals.A common form of plastic rubbish is styrofoam, which soon gets crushed into small pieces in the sea. However, it also releases substantial quantities of a toxic substances called styrene monomer, which is known to cause cancer, as well as styrene dimers and trimer, which are suspected of being carcinogenic. The trimer also breaks down into the toxic monomer form.Findings from the study were released yesterday at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington. Dr Saido said that samples of seawater collected from the Pacific Ocean were found to be contaminated with up to 150 parts per million of some of these components of plastic decomposition."This study clearly shows new micro-pollution by compounds generated by plastic decomposition to be taking place out of sight in the ocean. Thus, marine debris plastics in the ocean will certainly give rise to new sources of global contamination that will persist long into the future," he said.It is estimated that there could be hundreds of millions of tons of plastic rubbish floating in the world's oceans. In Japan alone, it is calculated that 150,000 tons of plastic is washed up on its shores each year.
Why plastic is the scourge of sea life (5 February 2008) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/steve-connor-why-plastic-is-the-scourge-of-sea-life-778017.html
One cigarette lighter, a toothbrush, a toy robot and a tampon applicator. The list of plastic items recovered from the stomach of a Laysan albatross chick that died on a remote Pacific island reads like a random assortment of everyday household objects.It is now clear this chick is among many thousands of seabirds that have died from ingesting plastic debris, and nowhere in the world seems to be too isolated for this deadly form of marine pollution.Dutch scientists have found that more than nine out of 10 European fulmars - seabirds that eat at sea - die with plastic rubbish in their stomachs. A study of 560 fulmars from eight countries revealed they had ingested an average of 44 plastic items. The stomach of one fulmar that died in Belgium contained 1,603 separate scraps of plastic. Birds are not the only ones to suffer. Turtles, whales, seals and sea lions have all eaten plastic. But the most sinister problem may be a hidden one at the other end of the food chain.Small sand-hoppers, barnacles and lugworms have also been found to have ingested tiny fragments of plastic, some of which are thinner than a human hair. Apart from the physical damage these particles cause, they may also transfer toxic chemicals to creatures at the base of the marine food web.It is fairly well established that certain toxins in the ocean, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the pesticide DDT and other potentially dangerous substances, can become concentrated on the surface of plastic debris. CLIP
The GP2 Project http://www.thegp2project.org/
The GP2 Project is a multi-million dollar project that has two intentions: To clean up the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" and to create a healthy and vibrant Ocean and Planet right now.
It takes a little extra work to get in touch with Andrea Boland. The Maine state representative answers e-mails and lists her business and home phone numbers on the Web. But unlike many politicians surgically attached to their BlackBerrys, she keeps her cell switched off unless she's expecting a call. And if she has her way, everyone in Maine - and perhaps, eventually, the rest of the U.S. - will similarly think twice before jabbering away on their mobiles.
In March, Maine's legislature will begin debating a bill she submitted that would require manufacturers to put a warning label on every cell phone sold in the state declaring, "This device emits electromagnetic radiation, exposure to which may cause brain cancer." Her warning would continue, "Users, especially children and pregnant women, should keep this device away from the head and body."
For those of you now eyeing your cell phones suspiciously, it's worth noting that both the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organization say there isn't evidence to support the assertion that cell phones are a public-health threat. But a number of scientists are worried that there has been a dangerous rush to declare cell phones safe, using studies they feel are inadequate and too often weighted toward the wireless industry's interests. An analysis published by University of Washington neurologist Henry Lai determined that far more independent studies than industry-funded studies have found at least some type of biological effect from cell-phone exposure.
Several countries - including Finland, Israel and France - have issued guidelines for cell-phone use. And San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who began researching the issue when his wife was expecting their first child, is hoping his city will adopt legislation that would have manufacturers print radiation information on cell-phone packaging and manuals and require retailers to display the data on the sales floor.
With 270 million Americans and 4 billion people around the world using cell phones - and more signing up every day - a strong link between mobiles and cancer could have major public-health implications. As cell phones make and take calls, they emit low-level radio-frequency (RF) radiation. Stronger than FM radio signals, these RF waves are still a billionth the intensity of known carcinogenic radiation like X-rays.
The wireless industry contends that RF radiation lacks the strength to alter molecules in the human body; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maximum for cell-phone-signal exposure is intended to prevent RF radiation from heating tissue to the point that cells are damaged. Cell-phone RF radiation's "effect on the body, at least at this time, appears to be insufficient to produce genetic damage typically associated with developing cancer," Dr. Robert Hoover, director of the National Cancer Institute's Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, testified at a 2008 congressional hearing.
But the body of research is far from conclusive. In 1995, Lai co-wrote a study showing that a single two-hour exposure of RF radiation - at levels considered safe by U.S. standards - produced the sort of genetic damage in rats' brain cells that can lead to cancer. Though subsequent researchers - often funded in part by the wireless industry - failed to replicate Lai's results, a 2004 European Union - funded study reported similar findings.
Dariusz Leszczynski, a research professor at Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Helsinki, has done studies indicating that RF radiation may create a stress reaction in the cells that line blood vessels, leading to a dangerous breach in the blood-brain barrier. "Mobile-phone radiation may be able to indirectly hurt cells, perhaps by interfering with their ability to repair normal DNA damage," he says. "Given the scientific uncertainty, it's premature to say the use of cell phones is safe."
If RF radiation increases the chances of developing brain cancer, it should show up in long-term studies of cell-phone users. But many epidemiological studies have found no clear connection, including a 2007 Danish Cancer Society study of 421,000 cell-phone users, which led many in the media to conclude that mobiles are harmless. To date, "peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a risk," says John Walls, a spokesman for CTIA, a global wireless association.
There are problems with many of these studies, however. For starters, the Danish one - which reviewed the medical records of people who had signed up for cell phones from 1982 to 1995 - didn't include all the business users, who were among the earliest adopters and most intensive users, because they were not billed directly.
Also, the study looked only at tumors that were diagnosed by 2002 - not long after daily use of cell phones became widespread. Brain cancers can take several decades to develop, so it might be many years before a measurable bump in cancer rates shows up. "The latency period we have is far too short," says Dr. Siegal Sadetzki, a cancer researcher at Israel's Gertner Institute whose epidemiological studies have found some connections between cell-phone use and salivary-gland tumors. "And today, people are using the phone much more heavily."
Sadetzki served as Israel's principal investigator in the Interphone study, which was conducted over the past several years by 13 countries, most of them European. The Interphone results initially were to be published in 2006, but the final report has been postponed repeatedly, and the study investigators are reportedly deeply divided. In the U.S., which isn't one of the Interphone countries, the National Toxicology Program is launching studies of the health effects of cell phones. But peer-reviewed results won't be available until at least 2014.
That's a long time to wait for definitive data. The good news is that there are easy ways for those concerned about RF radiation to cut down on exposure. Using your cell phone's speaker or connecting a wired headset - while keeping the handset away from your body - drastically reduces RF exposure. (Bluetooth headsets help too, but they still emit some radiation.) And given the potentially more serious risks for children, who have thinner skulls than adults, parents might want to wait before handing teens their first phone - or at least ensure they use it mostly for texting.
Meanwhile, a start-up, Pong Research, is selling cell-phone cases that significantly reduce radiation exposure by channeling waves away from the head. Says Alfred Wong, Pong's chief scientist and a professor emeritus of physics at UCLA: "I think it's best to avoid as much of the risk as possible until the verdict is in."
That's exactly what Boland and other advocates of warning labels are arguing. It's true that cell-phone use has yet to be linked to cancer risk. "Scientifically speaking, we don't have the proof yet," says Sadetzki. "But as a public-health concern, I'm saying we definitely should adopt precautions."
Shame in Maine - Will the Maine Legislature come to its senses before the crucial Cell Phone Vote? http://groups.google.com/group/mobilfunk_newsletter/browse_thread/thread/27076e70cecade8e
(...) There was quite a bit of media there and one reporter got hold of me while I was at the Portland airport and asked how I felt about the way I was treated. I said I had been met with ignorance, close-mindedness and rudeness the likes of which I have never experienced. I truly felt like the rape victim in the courtroom with the rapist and the jury and judge accusing me of wearing clothing that enticed him!! Allow me to explain. My husband has a malignant glioma from his long term cell phone use. He had a grand mal seizure and his death sentence 10 days prior to Senator Kennedy. Ironically, our son had interned for the Senator not long before this. When we heard reports that the Kennedy family felt his glioma may be linked to his cell phone use my research began. Alan used one for 20 years and the tumor is in his right frontal lobe; he always held the phone to his right ear. He used it 1.2 hours daily (10,000 lifetime hours). We have confirmation from Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Elihu Richter in writing that Alans tumor is related to his cell phone use. There is no doubt.I have studied this extensively for the past 21 months. I have testified to Congress, been on the Dr. Oz show, CBS evening news with Katie Couric, FOX news with Shepard Smith, CNNs Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and more. Since going public with this I have been contacted by hundreds who know their brain cancer or that of their deceased loved ones brain cancer was a result of their cell phone use. I have attended expert conferences and learned more than I ever wanted to know. I attended the Senate hearing held by Senators Harkin and Specter on this issue in September, 2009. That hearing made for a change to the FCC guidelines website. They still do not admit there is a link, but they advise of precautionary measures (just in case?). I know the science, I know of the corruption between industry and our government agencies and I know of many deaths already attributed to this- some in their 20s- most in their 30s and 40s. It is possibly the biggest cover-up in world history. What a blatant disregard for human lives!
Cancerphone (9 Feb 2010) https://www.adbusters.org/blogs/blackspot-blog/cancerphone.html
We are in the early stages of industry denial. - The first study linking cigarettes to cancer was published in 1939, but it took two decades of further medical research before the World Health Organization recognized this fact in 1960. And despite the unanimous consensus that cigarettes kill, Philip Morris the worlds largest tobacco company continued its campaign of denial until October, 1999, when it finally admitted on its website that cigarettes are deadly. It took 60 years for the cigarette/cancer connection to become an irrefutable fact. We are now beginning to repeat the same pattern, only this time with cell phones. A recent article in GQ magazine, which should be required reading for all cell phone users, suggests that we are in the early stages of industry denial. A smattering of research indicates a connection between cell phones and cancer, but well-funded industry-backed studies refute this evidence. When I share this article with friends they often respond with a shrug of indifference, thereby indicating that cell phones have passed from luxury to necessity. Any risk of cancer has been relegated to the same category we accept when we drive a car or board a plane. Its disturbing that its easier for us to agree that the cell phone/cancer connection poses an acceptable risk than it is to imagine a world where cell phones have been banned. Perhaps this is because cell phones and smart phones are still considered cool like cigarettes were in the 1950s. We envied the rebels pack of smokes just as we now lust after our neighbors iPhone.It is time culture jammers launched a campaign to uncool the cancerphone. Only then will our society be able to have an honest discussion about the risks of wireless devices.
From: David Creighton (email@example.com)
Subject: FWD Announcing the Top 10 Ideas for Change
Date: 16 Mar 2010
Here's a wonderful reflection of the values that actually move people, rather than the ones that sell newspapers or support elite agendas.
Announcing the Top 10 Ideas for Change in America
After the submission of 2505 ideas and 209,950 votes, we're happy to announce the 10 winners of the Ideas for Change in America competition.
The winning ideas illustrate that the issues important to people across the country are much broader than those few that consistently dominate debate in Washington. Because they challenge the status quo, these ideas will face resistance from many in power. This is why citizen-driven initiatives like Ideas for Change are so important; by connecting more than one hundred thousand people from all 50 states around ideas that do not always gain national attention, we're taking an important step toward building a powerful movement for change on these issues. And we've only just begun.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Ideas for Change in America:
Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana by Spencer Pearson and Larry Talley. Spencer is a sophomore at the University of Missouri where he's focusing his studies on the impact of drugs and drug policies on society, having been inspired by the positive impact of medical marijuana on the health a family member. Larry, a retired member of the US Navy from Flower Mound, TX with over 20 years of service, spent much of his military career working to eradicate drugs both domestically and in South America. But, after observing the futility of his efforts and the violence endemic to the black market drug trade, he became an active member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Move to Amend: Constitutional Rights for People, Not for Corporations - Abolish Corporate Personhood by Move to Amend, a grassroots coalition in Madison, WI fighting to end the legal doctrines that advantage corporations over the American people in the electoral process, including most recently the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. "Every day America knows that a deep injury has been done to our democracy, and that only constitutional reform can repair the damage," said Ben Manski, executive director of the Liberty Tree Foundation, and a spokesperson for Move to Amend.
Increase Federal Good Time Allowances by FedCURE of Plantation, FL, who are working to pass legislation that would return the US Federal prison system to an earlier system of good time allowances that would not only create more humane conditions for those who are incarcerated, but also relieve American taxpayers of the tax burden of unnecessarily long prison sentences. A mere 10 percent reduction of prison populations through good time allowances would save the US taxpayers a minimum of $1.2 billion.
Send the Tobacco Treaty to the Senate for Ratification by LIVESTRONG, an Austin, TX based organization founded by Lance Armstrong, whose idea aims to reduce the millions of deaths each year around the world resulting from tobacco. "Cancer became the leading cause of death worldwide this year; at LIVESTRONG we are calling for transformational results rather than simply incremental ones," said Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Create 1.5 Million American Jobs by Fixing Our Crumbling Schools by USAction of Washington, DC, whose idea hopes to solve the dual problems of unemployment in the construction industry and poor conditions in our schools. According to USAction, if we invest $180 billion in our schools over the next few years - a fraction of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - we can put 1.5 million Americans back to work and improve education for every public school student in America.
No Farm No Food: Save the Land that Sustains Us by American Farmland Trust from Washington, DC, whose idea focuses on America's quickly disappearing farmland. Every minute of every day, we lose two acres of agricultural land to development. AFT's idea seeks to protect farmland in order to strengthen the national economy and world food security, protect the environment, bring fiscal stability to local governments and provide fresh, healthy food for all Americans.
Good Food For All Kids: A Garden at Every School by Ethan Genauer who worked with sustainable community farms and led activities to increase youth engagement with sustainable food systems in New Mexico before moving to DC in 2009. Today, he is a volunteer with Washington Youth Garden, helping to bring garden science into DC classrooms. His work with third grade students in DC is what first inspired his national call for Universal School Gardens.
End Chimpanzee Experiments, Pass the Great Ape Protection Act by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, DC based organization that aims to phase out the use of chimpanzees in research. "People may be shocked to learn that laboratories in the United States are permitted to keep chimpanzees in cages about the size of a kitchen table, sometimes for decades," says PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D. "It's time for us to join the growing list of countries that ban invasive experiments on these amazing animals."
Establish a U.S. Department of Peace-building by Ted Nunn, a peace activist from Columbia, Maryland, in partnership with the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for a culture of peace through civic engagement. Through their idea, Ted and the Peace Alliance seek to raise overall awareness around non-violent solutions to international and domestic conflicts in order to bring about a more stable and peaceful world and reaffirm our right to independence from violence.
25 Million+, It is Time to Care About Rare Disease by Catherine Calhoun from Saint Francisville, Louisiana, who was inspired to start advocating on behalf of those with rare diseases after attending a January 2010 conference at the National Institutes of Health hosted by the Office of Rare Disease Research. She has dedicated herself to fighting on behalf of the almost 30 million people in America who have such diseases, with the aim of encouraging knowledge sharing between doctors in hopes of finding cures.
Now that the voting has concluded, the hard work of real change begins. We will be presenting these ideas to relevant members of the Obama Administration and Congress, and subsequently helping to initiate national campaigns behind each winning idea.
For those of you whose favorite ideas aren't among the winners, we also want to send a message: we're here to help. One of the things we're dedicated to at Change.org is supporting grassroots campaigns for change regardless of their size. To enable this, we recently launched a powerful free petition tool that enables you to easily start online campaigns to pressure Congress, government agencies, local officials, or companies on any issue. You can find out more about how to start a petition on Change.org here: http://www.change.org/petition.
Thanks for being the most important part of Ideas for Change in America 2010. This initiative is successful because of people like you, and we hope to continue to have you as an active member of the Change.org community as we work together to transform these ideas, and others, into real change in the weeks and months ahead.
Doris Haddock made her voice heard. She embodied the national yearning for democratic reform and rallied a movement.
By Jim Hightower -- March 17, 2010
It read like just another obituary written about someone who'd lived a very long time: "Doris Haddock died peacefully in her family home," it began. "Born in 1910, she lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. She is survived by her son, eight grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren."
Oh, and one other thing: "She walked across the United States at age 90 to rally public support for campaign finance reform."
Doris Haddock -- better known as "Granny D" -- was not your usual elderly lady, living her last years in quiet repose. She had always been that finest of the American species: a "Citizen" -- with a capital C -- one who stayed engaged in the public issues of her time.
She was small in size, gentle by nature and soft-spoken, but she had the heart of Sojourner Truth, Ida Tarbell, Mother Jones and Rachel Carson beating within her, and she was neither afraid to speak out nor hesitant to take what actions she could.
In her late 80s, Doris took note of the ever-spreading scourge of the corrupt cash that's choking the very life out of our democratic political system. She was outraged that she would be leaving such a foul political inheritance to her grandchildren. Rather than sit and seethe, she wanted to make a statement, todo something. But how could just one person with no connections or clout make her voice heard, much less make a difference?
"I'll walk," she decided. Not down to town hall. Across America. The full length of it! Her grandchildren feared their Granny D had finally lost her grip on reality. But she was the very voice of calm reason, and she was resolute.
On New Year's Day 1999, this petite, unknown lady donned her emblematic straw hat, unfurled her banner calling for publicly financed clean elections and headed east from Pasadena, Calif. Destination: Washington, D.C.
For the next 14 months, Granny D traversed our country, walking 10 miles a day, lifting hearts all along the way. She weathered 105-degree deserts and a blinding snowstorm, but she kept going. She encountered a rattlesnake in Texas and Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, but she kept going. She had to have her feet taped sometimes and had to wear a steel corset to help her back, but she kept going.
The national political cognoscenti had been claiming that ordinary Americans didn't care about the arcane issue of campaign finance reform, but Doris proved them liars. Hundreds of people of all political stripes would turn out as she approached every town or city, greeting her and cheering her on. They simply loved her, loved both the anger and hope she represented, loved her message and mission -- and they signed on to join her rebellion against the moneyed powers controlling American politics and government.
Thousands (including me) joined her as she entered Washington on Feb. 29, 2000. We walked with her across the Potomac, past the Lincoln Memorial, right up the K Street corridor where corporate lobbyists roost and on to the Capitol itself.
From the east steps of this edifice of American democracy, she addressed the throng with a moving portrayal of her 3,000-mile journey through the heart of our country: "The people I met along my way have given me messages to deliver here. The messages are many, written with old and young hands of every color, and yet the messages are the same. They are this: 'Shame on you, senators and congressmen, who have turned the headquarters of a great and self-governing people into a bawdyhouse.'"
Doris Haddock made her voice heard. Throughout the last decade of her life, she embodied the national yearning for democratic reform and rallied a movement that has successfully pushed for local and state clean-election laws that give our "people's voice" real strength against the moneyed interests.
Granny D, 100 years old, died March 9, but her strong heart beats in everyone who dares to confront the corporate corrupters of our democratic system. To keep that beat going, connect with others engaged in this essential effort: www.grannyd.com.
That is the cover of Newsweek from the first week of March, the month in which we will mark the seventh anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was 2,555 days ago this Saturday, in fact, when televisions all across America lit up with the pyrotechnic images of "Shock and Awe," when explosions and fire roared over the city of Baghdad, when men, women and children were incinerated, when we all became war criminals whether we liked it or not.
The article behind that triumphalist cover argued that this last election in Iraq is proof positive our war has at long last borne the fruits of true democracy in that nation, wiping the bloody slate clean and expunging all the grievous errors and tragedies which preceded it. A nice storyline, that, but it's one we've heard a number of times before. Remember the ink-stained fingers held up by Iraqis after one such election? Those who pushed for war declared that to be Victory at Last, too. It wasn't. Neither is this.
A lot of people have a great deal invested in rewriting the history of our attack on Iraq. The media, of course, would like the whole thing to go away; their for this bloody debacle ("Navy SEALS rawk!" saith Katie Couric; "We're all neo-cons now!" saith Chris Matthews) was the lubrication that made this death machine hum so efficiently for so long. Were they in it for the money? MSNBC is owned by General Electric, one of the defense contractors that profited wildly from the war.
The motivation to change the storyline for those in power who pushed this war upon us all is no less transparent than the media's. Recall how we got here. As the now-infamous Downing Street Memo clearly indicated, the Bush administration was in collusion with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, almost a year before the invasion of Iraq was undertaken, to "fix the facts around the policy" of invasion based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction in order to fabricate a pretense for war. This fact was confirmed by none other than Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in a May 2003 interview with Vanity Fair, in which he said, "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."
The final nail in Iraq's coffin was hammered in by George W. Bush during his State of the Union address on January 20, 2003. This was a presidential act of terrorism against the American people, make no mistake, for its purpose was to frighten the citizens of this nation into following a course of action that was against their best interests and would come to no good end for anyone except the few who would prosper financially from the war to come. Mr. Bush, in the most ominous tones, told the American people that Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax; 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin; 500 tons - which is one million pounds - of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent; 30,000 missiles to deliver the stuff; mobile biological weapons labs; al-Qaeda connections and uranium from Niger for use in a robust nuclear weapons program.
This monstrous, outrageous lie was followed and preceded by many like it:
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, vice president
Speech to VFW National Convention, 8/26/2002
"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
- Condoleezza Rice, US national security adviser
CNN "Late Edition," 9/8/2002
"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, president
Speech to the UN General Assembly, 9/12/2002
"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
- George W. Bush, president
Speech, Cincinnati, Ohio, 10/7/2002
"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
- Ari Fleischer, press secretary
Press briefing, 12/2/2002
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
- Ari Fleischer, press secretary
Press briefing, 1/9/2003
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
- George W. Bush, president
Address to the nation, 3/17/2003
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
- Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense
ABC interview, 3/30/2003
"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."
- Colin Powell, secretary of state
Remarks to reporters, 5/4/2003
"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
- George W. Bush, president
Interview with TVP Poland, 5/30/2003
"No one ever said that we knew precisely where all of these agents were, where they were stored."
- Condoleezza Rice, US national security adviser
"Meet the Press," 6/8/2003
"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."
- Ari Fleischer, press secretary
Press briefing, 7/9/2003
The best estimates, seven years later, put the cost of this war into the hundreds of billions of dollars, a sum that nobody in the media will tell you might have come in handy during this recession. The financial side of this disaster, however, is nothing compared to the human cost. Nearly 5,000 American soldiers have been killed, and tens of thousands more have been wounded and maimed. Tens of thousands more suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other war-related maladies. Thousands of families have been destroyed by repeated deployments. More than a million Iraqi civilians have been killed and wounded, but we will never know the exact toll because, as one Bush administration official so coldly put it, we don't do body counts.
Investigators looking into corruption involving reconstruction in Iraq say they have opened more than 50 new cases in six months by scrutinizing large cash transactions - involving banks, land deals, loan payments, casinos and even plastic surgery - made by some of the Americans involved in the nearly $150 billion program.
Some of the cases involve people who are suspected of having mailed tens of thousands of dollars to themselves from Iraq, or of having stuffed the money into duffel bags and suitcases when leaving the country, the federal investigators said. In other cases, millions of dollars were moved through wire transfers. Suspects then used cash to buy BMWs, Humvees and expensive jewelry, or to pay off enormous casino debts.
Some suspects also tried to conceal foreign bank accounts in Ghana, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain, the investigators said, while in other cases, cash was simply found stacked in home safes.
There have already been dozens of indictments and convictions for corruption since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But the new cases seem to confirm what investigators have long speculated: that the chaos, weak oversight and wide use of cash payments in the reconstruction program in Iraq allowed many more Americans who took bribes or stole money to get off scot-free.
One of the central Bush administration arguments for the invasion hinged upon America's national security. To wit, we had to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. Even a cursory examination of the impact the war has had on our national security, however, exposes that rationale to be yet another lie. For one thing, the US military has been shredded by this conflict in combination with the ongoing war in Afghanistan. The dire financial straits we find ourselves in, thanks in no small part to the spending for these wars, undermine our national security in any number of ways. In order to cover up the lies they told to make this war happen, Bush administration officials deliberately outed a deep-cover CIA agent named Valerie Plame, and, in doing so, destroyed the intelligence network she ran to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our invasion delivered Iraq into the controlling hands of Shiite Iran; the most powerful political parties in Iraq are allied with Iranian groups that were centrally responsible for the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.
Since this past weekend, a bomb exploded in Ninevah and killed three people. Bombs exploded in various parts of Baghdad, killing several. Gunmen murdered Iraqi policemen all over the country. A US soldier was killed, and two others were wounded, during an attack on their base in Diyala.
There is no victory here. There never will be. There is only shame and disgrace and blood and death. This war will haunt us for the remainder of our lives, and will haunt our children and their children to come. We are the lucky ones, however. We are here, far from the killing fields of Iraq. We have the soothing voices of the media and the politicians telling us it was all for the best, that it was a good and noble thing we did, that we won.
NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option
Miles Mogulescu -- March 16, 2010
For months I've been reporting in The Huffington Post that President Obama made a backroom deal last summer with the for-profit hospital lobby that he would make sure there would be no national public option in the final health reform legislation. (See here, here and here). I've been increasingly frustrated that except for an initial story last August in the New York Times, no major media outlet has picked up this important story and investigated further.
Hopefully, that's changing. On Monday, Ed Shultz interviewed New York Times Washington reporter David Kirkpatrick on his MSNBC TV show, and Kirkpatrick confirmed the existence of the deal. Shultz quoted Chip Kahn, chief lobbyist for the for-profit hospital industry on Kahn's confidence that the White House would honor the no public option deal, and Kirkpatrick responded:
"That's a lobbyist for the hospital industry and he's talking about the hospital industry's specific deal with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee and, yeah, I think the hospital industry's got a deal here. There really were only two deals, meaning quid pro quo handshake deals on both sides, one with the hospitals and the other with the drug industry. And I think what you're interested in is that in the background of these deals was the presumption, shared on behalf of the lobbyists on the one side and the White House on the other, that the public option was not going to be in the final product."
Kirkpatrick also acknowledged that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina had confirmed the existence of the deal to him.
This should be big news. Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one, he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill.
The media should be digging deeper into this story. Washington reporters should be asking Robert Gibbs if President Obama is still honoring this deal. They should be calling Jim Messina and hospital lobbyist Chip Kahn to confirm the specifics of the deal. They should be asking Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leaders Dick Durbin and Harry Reid the extent of their knowledge of this deal. They should be asking Pelosi if the reason she's refusing to include a public option in the House reconciliation bill to be sent to the Senate is that there are at least 51 Senate Democrats who would vote for it and she needs to insure that a final bill with a public option does not end up on President Obama's desk where he would then have to break his deal with the hospital lobbyists and sign it, or veto it to honor his deal.
More deeply, there are serious questions about the extent to which Obama, with the help of Rahm Emanuel, used a K Street strategy to pursue health care reform. The strategy seems to have been to make backroom deals to protect the interests of the likes of the drug industry and the for-profit hospital industry in exchange for campaign cash, even if this meant reversing campaign promises to include a public option to put competitive pressure on private insurance premiums, and to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and Americans to buy cheaper drugs from Canada. The result is a health care bill that is generally unpopular with voters. Questions need to be asked, too, about the extent to which the White House is following a similar K Street strategy with Wall Street financiers when it comes to shaping financial reform and new regulations to reign in the banks who brought the economy to its knees.
Voters viscerally sense that the White House and Congressional Democrats may be as concerned with protecting special interests -- whether it's drug companies, private hospitals, or Wall Street bank -- than they are with protecting the people, and this is feeding a populist backlash against Democrats that resulted in Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts and is making a Democratic bloodbath in the fall elections increasingly likely.
Polls indicate that about 60% of voters support a public option while only about 1/3 support the overall Democratic healthcare bill. There still time -- very little time -- for Democrats to shift course and include a public option in the final bill, even if it means going back on the White House's backroom deal with the hospital industry. If the media picks up on this story, perhaps the White House and Congressional Democrats can be embarrassed into changing course. If, on the other hand, Democrats continue to honor these special interest deals, then passing an unpopular health care bill may just be walking into a Republican trap.
RESPONSE TO COMMENTS: Whenever I write blogs which are critical of Obama and Congressional Democrats for making corporatist deals, I get numerous comments from people who believe they are progressive but say they will never vote for Obama or Democrats again, that they will stay home at the next election, or that they will vote for small third parties who have no chance of winning. It's not my intent to encourage those views. Do people making these comments really think bringing Republicans back to power would make things better?
My goal is to shine a light on these backroom deals in order to embarrass Obama and Congressional Democrats to put the interests of the voters over the interests of special interests so that Republicans can't play at being faux populists and use that to take back Congress in order to enact even worse corporatist policies.
Progressives need to have a sophisticated and nuanced relationship with elected Democrats. After the 2008 elections, too many progressive organizations demobilized believing their job was simply to take orders from the White House to support Obama's agenda, whatever it was. That was a mistake. It's equally a mistake for progressives to overreact in the opposite direction and think they can abandon electoral politics and do nothing to prevent the Republicans from regaining power. What's needed is a powerful grassroots progressive movement to force elected officials to do the right thing more often and to counter-balance the power of big money in politics. The periods of progressive change in American politics, like the Progressive Era, The New Deal, and the Great Society, have come when strong progressive movements have forced elites and elected officials to enact somewhat progressive legislation.
House Democrats pass historic health overhaul, 219 to 212 (March 21, 2010) http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/03/21/90780/stupak-says-hell-vote-yes-assuring.html
WASHINGTON The House of Representatives Sunday passed by a 219 to 212 vote the biggest overhaul of the nation's health care system in more than four decades, sweeping changes expected to make coverage easier and cheaper to obtain.The largely party-line vote 219 Democrats voted "yea" while all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voted no meant President Barack Obama's biggest domestic initiative neared the end of its year-long political and legislative odyssey."We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things," Obama said late Sunday from the White House. (...) The lengthy executive order, negotiated over several days, resolves several thorny problems it removes from the legislation any changes to abortion policy, which would have required the difficult prospect of getting Senate approval. It also assures the support of the last big bloc of holdout Democrats. (...) The debate Sunday began as the Capitol buzzed with an electric atmosphere. Outside in warm early spring weather, crowds protesting the health care bill and others supporting it rallied. "Things are colliding today," said Maria Robalino, 35, of Washington, carrying a purple "Catholics for Healthcare Reform" sign. Inside the Capitol, the mood could be tense. Particularly after a protester jumped up during the debate and shouted "kill the bill." Police quickly pounced and escorted him out of the chamber. The debate on the House floor was a rerun of sorts, as Republicans and Democrats took turns offering well-rehearsed talking points. CLIP - NOTE from Jean: It is far from the universal 'free' healthcare system we have in Canada, but at least it seems to be a step in that direction. But what acrimony on the part of the opponents!... This US nation needs a LOT of spiritual healing it seems...
The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means (21 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/robert-reich-the-final-health-care-vote-and-what-it-really-means57882
It's not nearly as momentous as the passage of Medicare in 1965 and won't fundamentally alter how Americans think about social safety nets. But the likely passage of Obama's health care reform bill is the biggest thing Congress has done in decades, and has enormous political significance for the future.Medicare directly changed the life of every senior in America, giving them health security and dramatically reducing their rates of poverty. By contrast, most Americans won't be affected by Obama's health care legislation. Most of us will continue to receive health insurance through our employers. (Only a comparatively small minority will be required to buy insurance who don't want it, or be subsidized in order to afford it. Only a relatively few companies will be required to provide it who don't now.) CLIP
Health Care Whip Count Live Updates: Will Reform Bill Have The Votes? (03-19-10) A REAL CLINCHER! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/19/health-care-whip-count-li_n_505709.html
Ahead of this weekend's vote on health care reform, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives have been engaged in fierce behind-the-scenes lobbying of undecided lawmakers whose support will be crucial to final passage of the bill.The magic number that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats are working toward is 216. On Thursday and Friday her prospects brightened as several fence-sitting lawmakers came out in favor of the bill. Still, there are holdouts and they will be the focus of the Democratic arm-twisting between now and Sunday's vote.Check here for the Huffington Post's breaking updates of the health care whip count in Congress.10 votes shy of health care. According to the vote count being kept by the New York Times, Democrats now have 206 declared or strongly expected 'yes' votes for health care reform, leaving them in need of just 10 additional votes to ensure the bill's passage.Of course, many of the undeclared members of Congress have likely already privately communicated their positions to Democratic leaders. But every member who announces their position publicly gives extra assurance that their vote is solid.
A Guide for Those Traumatized by Right-Wing, Fear-Mongering Lies on Health Care Reform (March 20, 2010) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitchell-bard/a-guide-for-those-traumat_b_507034.html
With an historic vote on health care reform set for tomorrow, this is how far the right has stooped: Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives:"If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that's in people's pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the War Between The States - the Great War of Yankee Aggression."With the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finding that the health care bill under consideration in the House would reduce both health care costs and the deficit over the next ten years, the right is running out of legitimate arguments against the bill. Not that Republicans ever really offered legitimate criticisms, relying almost entirely on lies and fear mongering (Death panels! Government takeover!) to scare off support.Health care is a complicated issue that has components that are moral (Should people in one of the wealthiest countries in the world be allowed to die or go bankrupt because they can't afford care?), ideological (How should an important need like health care be provided to the people?), and economic (What are we going to do about spiraling health care costs that are taking up more and more of the budgets of American families, as well as those of the states and the federal government?) in nature. To reduce this nuanced issue to short, sound-bite size proclamations is ridiculously over-simplified. But since the right has had no trouble doing so in an effort to scare Americans away from supporting reform, I figure I have no choice but to provide more accurate characterizations than some of the common themes being pushed on the right. CLIP
by: Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com - 22 March 2010
To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:
Thanks to last night's vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.
Thanks to last night's vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.
Thanks to last night's vote, after your cancer returns for the third time -- racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive -- your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.
Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we've made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you're upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that's a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I'm sure he could make that into a movie for you.
But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can -- and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.
If it's any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They'll also get to cap an individual's annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they'll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren't poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It's truly a banner day for these corporations.
So don't feel too bad. We're a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered -- and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won't be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that's ok with you.
If you don't mind, we're now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business -- because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, "How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?"
Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We're doing better. And we're doing it for you, too.
P.S. I'll have more to say on this tonight, live on CNN, at 9pm ET. I'll be talking with Larry King about the health care bill and where we go from here, considering we still don't have universal health care.
P.P.S. In case you missed these photos in yesterday's NY Times Sunday Magazine... That's the results of seven years of madness. The Iraq War began its 8th year this weekend. How can we remove more of those responsible for this tragedy in November?
What's in the Obamacare Bill? Who Knows?
Millions of Americans want "free" health care, never knowing what such "care" would really offer. And, What does Obama's new health care bill offer us? Who knows? Even the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee doesn't know.
Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) questioned the sense of reading Obama's 1,990 page health care bill: "I love these members, they get up and say, 'Read the bill.'" remarked Conyers.
"What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" said Conyers, a representative of the kind of democracy the USA has become.
"Ah ... Congressman, a question or two before you go: If you do not have the time to write or read proposed legislation, nor would you understand it if you did read it ... er ... how are you able to vote on any bills before Congress? One more question, Sir: Where do you and your colleagues get the "talking points" given to the public regarding legislation, none of you wrote, read or understand?"
"Ah ... Congressman ... don't run away."
Well, he went anyway; but fortunately, the New York Times has answered my questions. On rare occasions, the Times slips up and prints something other than Banking Cartel propaganda.
According to the New York Times, in an article by Robert Pear, published on November 14, 2009, the statements made by some lawmakers regarding Obama's health care bill were written by lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world's largest biotechnology companies.
Now get this: These very same lobbyists wrote statements made by both democratic and republican lawmakers, that on the surface seemed to be in conflict, but were actually pushing the agendas of the Monetary/Banking Cartel's biotech, pharmaceutical, and insurance corporations. Well so much for the much promoted left/right paradigm, that our poor acting democratic and republican lawmakers pretend to play.
It's comical when a portion of the corrupt system in Washington gets exposed; but what is not funny is the above model is how all federal laws are enacted. In fascistic governments, the Cartel's corporate lobbyists, think-tanks, and tax-free foundations write and ensure the passage of all legislation, with senators and congressmen pretending to be in disagreement, but always passing laws that are favorable to the financial oligarchs of the Monetary/Banking Cartel, and disastrous to the American people.
One wonders what real purpose US congress-persons and senators actually perform for their heavy salaries and retirement funds. The evidence points to the fact that these poor actors give us the spotty illusion of a US federal government that is a representative democracy.
Anyone for returning to our roots, our Constitutional Republic?
The United Nations will host a Haiti donors' conference at the end of March.
This conference will be quite different from last year's event, of course, coming as it does on the heels of the worst earthquake to strike Haiti in two centuries. An agenda has already begun to take shape: It's already clear that a future Haiti must be populated with environmentally sustainable, earthquake-resistant buildings, for example, and it's also clear that the international community must do something to ease Haiti's massive debt burden.
Former President Bill Clinton, currently serving as the UN's envoy to Haiti, and economist Paul Collier have another idea that could prove disastrous. They think Haiti needs to leverage its "cheap labor."
In other words, they think Haiti will solve its problems by opening up more sweatshops.
Of course Clinton and Collier don't call them sweatshops. They talk about "garment factories" or "manufacturing centers" or simply "workshops," but they are sweatshops and nothing more.
For Haiti to join the ranks of developed nations, they argue, Haitians must first work as many hours as possible for paltry wages so that their economy can grow.
Congress seems to agree. It has passed several bills that provide Haitian garment-makers preferential access to American consumers. According to conventional knowledge, Haiti was on the road to economic success as a result of these legislative reforms before the earthquake. Now, the logic goes, Haitians must rebuild their collapsed "workshops" and produce as many cheap T-shirts as possible.
All this ignores the most important point: sweatshop labor's inherent inhumanity. Sweatshop labor proponents have never worked in the conditions they so enthusiastically endorse for others. When advocating such solutions, they often offer compelling numbers as proof of their effectiveness. But what about the human costs: the extra hours workers spend away from their families, the risk of injury that accompanies repetitive movements, and the loss of morale as some boss demands that you produce even more?
In Haiti, there are a few plausible alternatives to sweatshop labor. In the lead-up to last year's donors' conference, progressive Haitian civil society organizations suggested a development program that focuses on local production and agriculture. They argued, convincingly, that the benefits from sweatshop labor often end up somewhere else, since the clothes are constructed on-site; the material for the clothes are shipped in, and the clothes are shipped out upon completion.
A focus on locally produced goods, however, would have the opposite effect. Haitian entrepreneurs would produce according to Haitian needs, and every part of the manufacturing process--from the development of materials to the production of goods--would take place in Haiti and benefit Haitians.
In addition, building up the capacity of Haitian farmers is crucial in the coming months and years. Haiti has been dependent on food aid for many years now, and a national program that focused on sustainable agriculture would not only have the effect of providing a livelihood and locally produced food for countless Haitians, it would also allow Haiti to address the environmental degradation that has crippled its economy for generations.
The link between these two suggestions is infrastructure development. Better roads and better transportation generally mean a much more stable and efficient economy.
All three of these proposals would require funding from the international community and expertise from abroad as well. All three proposals, if enacted, would benefit Haitians enormously.
The upcoming donors' conference is an incredibly important forum. We have an opportunity to help Haitians rebuild in a manner that simultaneously respects their humanity and enables them to become more productive.
We have an opportunity to heed the voices of concerned and knowledgeable Haitians. Now isn't the time to subsidize foreign investors' sweatshops.
Heavy rains swamp camps holding Haiti's homeless (March 19, 2010) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100319/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_earthquake
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti One of the heaviest rainfalls since Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake swamped homeless camps Friday, sweeping screaming residents into eddies of water, overflowing latrines and panicking thousands. The overnight downpour sent water coursing down the slopes of a former golf course that now serves as a temporary home for about 45,000 people. There were no reports of deaths in the camp, a town-size maze of blue, orange and silver tarps located behind the country club used by the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne as a forward-operating base. But the deluge terrified families who just two months ago survived the collapse of their homes in the magnitude-7 earthquake and are now struggling to make do in tent-and-tarp camps that officials have repeatedly said must be relocated. "I was on one side (of the tarp), the children were on the other side and I was trying to push the water out," Jackquine Exama, a 34-year-old mother of seven, said through tears. "I'm not used to this," she said. Aid workers said people were swept screaming into eddies of water and flows ripped down tents an Israeli aid group is using to teach school."They were crying. There was just fear down there. It was chaos," said Jim Wilson of the aid group Praecipio, who came running from his own shelter up the hill when he heard the screams. After the sun rose Friday, people used sticks and their bare hands to dig drainage ditches around their tarps and shanties. Marie Elba Sylvie, 50, could not decide whether it was worth repairing damage to her lean-to of scrap wood and plastic."It could be fixed but when it rains again it will be the same problem," said the 50-year-old mother of four. Standing water and mud also pervaded a tarp-and-tent city on the outskirts of Cite Soleil, several miles away. Residents waded through the shallow flood collecting their belongings. Officials know they must move many of the 1.3 million people displaced by the earthquake before the rainy season starts in earnest in April. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters at the golf-course camp Sunday that the people living there were in particular danger. But after two months of searching and wrangling with landowners, the government has still not opened any of the five promised relocation sites that are better able to withstand rain and aftershocks on the capital's northeastern outskirts. Aid groups are also struggling to open their own camps. "It's been frustrating to us because we need to have those sites in order to build something ... better. Until we can do that people have no incentive to move," U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told The Associated Press during Ban's visit."We're running out of time, honestly," Holmes said.
Iran's Natural Gas Riches: US Knife to the Heart of World Future Energy
By Finian Cunningham -- March 18, 2010
The scheduled start of drilling this month by China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) in Iran's South Pars gas field could be both a harbinger and explanation of much wider geopolitical developments.
First of all, the $5 billion project signed last year after years of foot dragging by western energy giants Total and Shell under the shadow of US-led sanctions reveals the main arterial system for future world energy supply and demand.
Critics have long suspected that the real reason for US and other western military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is to control the Central Asian energy corridor. So far, the focus seems to be mainly on oil. For example, there have been claims that a planned oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea via Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea is the main prize behind the US's seemingly futile military campaign in those countries.
But what the CNPC-Iranian partnership shows is that natural gas is the bigger prize that will be pivotal to the world economy, and specifically the dual flow of this fuel westwards and eastwards from Central Asia to Europe and China.
Michael Economides, editor of the Huston-based Energy Tribune, is one of a growing number of industry observers who is convinced that natural gas will supplant oil as the primary energy source, not only in the coming decades but over the next several centuries.
He points to the recent forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA), based in Paris, which has dramatically revised its estimates of recoverable global natural gas reserves by 100 per cent. Economides ascribes this huge upgrade to rapid technological improvements in tapping hitherto inaccessible gas fields. He says that the IEA estimates of natural gas amount to 300 years of supply at current world demand. "If one only just fantasises any future contributions from the orders-of-magnitude larger resource in the form of natural gas hydrates, it is easy to see how natural gas is almost certainly to evolve into the premier fuel of the world economy," he adds.
The rising importance of natural gas as an energy source has been steady and inexorable over many years. Between 1973 and 2007, oil's contribution to world energy supply dropped from 46.1 per cent to 34.0 per cent, with the increasing use of natural gas accounting for that decline, according to the IEA. Other sources, such as the US-based Energy Information Administration (EIA), predict that global natural gas consumption will treble between 1980 and 2030, by which date it will mostly likely become the primary energy source of choice for industrial and public needs.
There are sound scientific reasons why natural gas (methane) is becoming the kingpin of fossil fuels. Firstly, it has a much greater calorific value than either oil or coal. That is, more heat is produced per unit of fuel. Secondly, it is a cleaner fuel, emitting 30 per cent less carbon dioxide when burned compared with oil and 45 per cent less compared with coal. Thirdly, gas is more efficient for transport, both as a raw material in compressed form along land-based pipelines, and as a fuel to drive transport.
All energy industry agencies recognize that far and above the premier sources of future natural gas are the Middle East and Eurasia, including Russia. The US-based EIA puts the natural gas reserves in these regions as nine and seven times those of North America's total the latter itself being one of the world's top sources for that fuel.
Within the Middle East, Iran is the undisputed top holder of gas reserves. Its South Pars gas field is the world's largest. If converted to barrel-of-oil equivalents, Iran's South Pars would dwarf the reserves of Saudi Arabia's giant Ghawar oilfield. The latter is the world's largest oilfield and since it came into operation in 1948, Ghawar has effectively been the world's beating heart for raw energy supply. In the soon-to-come era of natural gas dominance over oil, Iran will oust Saudi Arabia as the world's beating heart for energy.
Both Europe and China stand to be arterial routes for Iranian and Central Asian gas generally. Already, the infrastructure is shaping up to reflect this. The Nabucco pipeline is planned to supply gas from Iran (and Azerbaijan) via Turkey and Bulgaria all the way to Western Europe (signaling an end to Russian dominance). Iran also exports gas via pipelines separately to Turkey and Armenia and it is also following up export deals with other Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Another major arterial route is the so-called peace pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and on to India, through which Iran will export this fuel to two of the region's most populous countries. But perhaps the most tantalizing prospect for Iran is the 1,865-kilometre pipeline that supplies natural gas from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan into China and is due to operate at full capacity in 2012. Turkmenistan shares a 300-kilometre border with Iran to its south and already has a gas export deal with Tehran. If the Iranian-Chinese South Pars gas field development can be incorporated into the above transnational pipelines that would confirm Iran as the beating heart of a world economy in which gas is the primary energy source. This is amplified further by rapidly growing demand for gas by China which the EIA predicts could be dependent on imports for over a third of its natural gas consumption by 2030.
In this context of a major realignment in the world's energy economy one where there will be a continuing diminished role for the US Washington's blustering rhetoric about democracy and peace and war on terror or alleged Iranian nuclear weapons can be seen as a desperate attempt to conceal its fear that it stands to be a big loser. Encircling Iran with wars and threatening gas supplies to possibly the world's top future gas customer China is the real deal. US actions are more accurately seen as putting a knife to the energy arteries of a world economy that it will no longer be able to dominate.
A further twist in this tale is the position of Russia. With its own vast reserves of natural gas, it can be seen as a competitor to Iran. Arguably less well positioned than Iran to supply both Europe and China, Russia is nevertheless a major player and has been assiduously courting China with an export deal since 2006. However, as Economides observes, "negotiations between the two countries have been on and off and, especially, the pipeline construction has been painfully slow".
But Russia's ambitions to expand its natural gas exports may explain why it has shown itself to be such a mercurial ally to Iran. Moscow's ambivalent position towards US-led sanctions against Iran, suggests that Russia has its own agenda for hampering the Islamic republic as a regional energy rival.
Expect a False Flag Terror Attack To Precede Invasion Of Iran
Paul Craig Roberts -- March 18, 2010
According to news reports, the U.S. military is shipping bunker-buster bombs to the U.S. Air Force base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Herald Scotland reports that experts say the bombs are being assembled for an attack on Irans nuclear facilities.
The newspaper quotes Dan Piesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London: They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran.
The next step will be a staged terrorist attack, a false flag operation as per Operation Northwoods, for which Iran will be blamed. As Iran and its leadership have already been demonized, the false flag attack will suffice to obtain US and European public support for bombing Iran. The bombing will include more than the nuclear facilities and will continue until the Iranians agree to regime change and the installation of a puppet government. The corrupt American media will present the new puppet as freedom and democracy.
If the past is a guide, Americans will fall for the deception. In the February issue of the American Behavioral Scientist, a scholarly journal, Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith writes that state crimes against democracy (SCAD) involve government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities in order to implement an agenda. Examples include McCarthyism or the fabrication of evidence of communist infiltration, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution based on false claims of President Johnson and Pentagon chief McNamara that North Vietnam attacked a U.S. naval vessel, the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsbergs psychiatrist in order to discredit Ellsberg (the Pentagon Papers) as disturbed, and the falsified intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
There are many other examples. I have always regarded the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City as a SCAD. Allegedly, a disturbed Tim McVeigh used a fertilizer bomb in a truck parked outside the building. More likely, McVeigh was a patsy, whose fertilizer bomb was a cover for explosives planted inside the building.
A number of experts dismissed the possibility of McVeighs bomb producing such structural damage. For example, General Benton K. Partin, who was in charge of U.S. Air Force munitions design and testing, produced a thick report on the Murrah building bombing which concluded that the building blew up from the inside out. Gen. Partin concluded that the pattern of damage would have been technically impossible without supplementary demolition charges at some of the reinforced concrete bases inside the building, a standard demolition technique. For a simplistic blast truck bomb, of the size and composition reported, to be able to reach out on the order of 60 feet and collapse a reinforced column base the size of column A7 is beyond credulity.Gen. Partin dismissed the official report as a massive cover-up of immense proportions.
Of course, the generals unquestionable expertise had no bearing on the outcome. One reason is that his and other expert voices were drowned out by media pumping the official story. Another reason is that public beliefs in a democracy run counter to suspicion of government as a terrorist agent. Professor Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph says that false flag operations have the advantage over truth: research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs. Professor Steven Hoffman agrees: Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as motivated reasoning, which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. In fact, for the most part people completely ignore contrary information. Even when hard evidence turns up, it can be discredited as a conspiracy theory.
All that is necessary for success of false flag or black ops events is for the government to have its story ready and to have a reliable and compliant media. Once an official story is in place, thought and investigation are precluded. Any formal inquiry that is convened serves to buttress the already provided explanation.
An explanation ready-at-hand is almost a give-away that an incident is a black ops event. Notice how quickly the U.S. government, allegedly so totally deceived by al Qaida, provided the explanation for 9/11. When President Kennedy was assassinated, the government produced the culprit immediately. The alleged culprit was conveniently shot inside a jail by a civilian before he could be questioned. But the official story was ready, and it held.
Professors Manwell and Hoffmans research resonates with me. I remember reading in my graduate studies that the Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to create excuses to arrest their targets. My inclination was to dismiss the accounts as anti-Czarist propaganda by pro-communist historians. It was only later when Robert Conquest confirmed to me that this was indeed the practice of the Czarist secret police that the scales fell from my eyes.
Former CIA official Philip Giraldi in his article, The Rogue Nation, makes it clear that the U.S. government has a hegemonic agenda that it is pursuing without congressional or public awareness. The agenda unfolds piecemeal as a response to terrorism, and the big picture is not understood by the public or by most in Congress. Giraldi protests that the agenda is illegal under both U.S. and international law, but that the illegality of the agenda does not serve as a barrier. Only a naif could believe that such a government would not employ false flag operations that advance the agenda.
The U.S. population, it seems, is comprised of naifs whose lack of comprehension is bringing ruin to other lands.
Report: Saudis may allow Israel's use of air space (17 Mar 2010) SHORTSIGHTED STUPIDITY! http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=121027§ionid=351020205
Western security sources believe Saudi Arabia will readily let Israel use the country's airspace to strike neighboring Iran if a war breaks out between the archenemies. Prominent German news magazine SPIEGEL claimed in a Tuesday article that there exists a strong unity between Israel and Persian Gulf's Arab states against Iran. The periodical noted that Riyadh has gone so far with the idea as to speak openly to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the potential need for a military option against the Islamic Republic. SPIEGEl also cited Western intelligence agencies who believe that the Saudis would even open up their air space to Israeli jets for an attack on Iran. This is while the United States has been reported intent on not allowing Israeli warplanes to fly over Iraq, it added.The report also referred to an Arab League ministerial summit where they unanimously called on the Palestinians to start a new round of US-sponsored "proximity talks" with Israel. Observers reiterate that SPIEGEl is greatly influenced by the Israeli regime and has previously published reports that were meant to serve as an Israeli propaganda campaign ore psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic.
Report: US shipping arms ahead of strike on Iran (03.17.10) SABER RATTLING OF REAL PREPARATIONS? http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3863920,00.html
Hundreds of powerful US bunker-buster bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean ahead of a possible attack on Iran, The Herald reported Wednesday. The Scottish newspaper said the American government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 Blu bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures, The Herald reported. The report quoted experts as saying that the bombs are being put in place for an assault on Irans nuclear facilities. According to the newspaper, although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The report said Superior Maritime Services, a shipping company based in Florida, , will be paid $699,500 to transport many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia. The cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs, said The Herald. Dan Plesch, director of the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London and co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran was quoted by the Scottish newspaper as saying, They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran. US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours." According to Plesch, US President Barack Obama may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel. The US is not publicizing the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely, he was quoted by The Herald as saying. The US ... is using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Irans actions. CLIP
While We Were Sleeping... GM Food and the Brink of No Return
April Scott -- March 1, 2010
Monsanto's patented genes are inserted into roughly 95 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn crops grown in the US.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in April, for the first time, about the safety of genetically engineered (GE) crops and their potential for contamination of nearby conventional crops in Geertson Seed Farms V. USDA and Monsanto.
Owner of Geertson Seed Farms, Idaho farmer Phil Geertson is the lead plaintiff in the case. The 2006 lawsuit was filed by the Center for Food Safety on behalf of Geertson and other farmers who worry about GE crop contamination of their conventionally grown alfalfa.
Only now are millions of Americans waking up to the fact that an estimated seventy-five percent of our processed foods contain some form of genetically modified (GM) ingredients according to the Center for Food Safety.
Many consumers dont understand the process used to develop these GM foods that have been deemed substantially equivalent to other foods by executive order, and therefore bypassed with little regulation to the public without their knowledge or consent.
The process behind genetically modified food involves a careful re-configuration of genes combining e-coli bacteria, soil bacteria and the cauliflower mosaic virus that causes tumors in plants. They add an antibiotic and then artificially force it into plant cells with a gene invasion technique. (Watch the process below). All this is so farmers can douse nearly unlimited amounts of Roundup Herbicide on the crops and the plants wont die.
They dont even know how their practices will affect the environment. Out of eight hundred reviewed GE food applications submitted to the USDA, no environmental impact statements (EIS) were conducted. USDA just released a draft of its first EIS on December 14, 2009. A 60-day comment period is open until March 3, 2010. Their final decision will have broad implications for all GE crops.
Monsanto started in 1901 as a chemical company. Their first product was saccharine, a coal tar product, otherwise known as SweetN Low. Monsantos past also embraces some of the world's most controversial developments like agent orange, aspartame, dioxin, sulphuric acid, Astroturf, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), plastics and synthetic fabrics, research on uranium for the Manhattan Project that led to the construction of nuclear bombs, styrene monomer, an endless line of pesticides and herbicides (Roundup), rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), genetically engineered crops (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, soy beans, cotton and much more).
In January 2010, The U.S. Department of Justice began investigating charges against Monsanto for violations of anti-trust and monopoly laws stemming from their GE Soybean product. Public hearings will be held this spring. Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona confirmed antitrust regulators have begun a formal investigation of the seed industry.
Several million acres of GE soybeans and cotton are purportedly now infested with glyphosate-resistant and tolerant weeds. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, which by design destroys all pests and invasive plants that come in contact with the crop. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of glyphosate applications by farmers has risen considerably. It is shown that the more resistant the weeds become to the herbicide, the more chemicals the farmers will have to apply to crops to get the same effects.
Many scientists have expressed concern that the developers have no idea what new genealogical traits may come of this massive genetic experiment, because genes tend to elicit multiple and sometimes unexpected characteristics. And since no official human testing of possible health effects have been scientifically published, can we logically conclude that their lack of product testing, safety regulations and resistance to labeling means they're hiding something, a giant human biological experiment perhaps?
What has science revealed about the health effects in animals?
Believing in the potential of GM foods, UC Berkeley's Ignacio Chapela and Arpad Pusztai, a plant genetic modification expert from Scotland Rowett Research Institute, were fired after they were commissioned to conduct the first independent study of GM foods.
Arpad Pusztai and other scientists were shocked at their results of animals fed GM foods. Other independent studies showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality as well.
Rob Edwards, Environment editor of Scotlands Sunday Herald wrote of another study genetically modified (GM) food could give you cancer. That is the stark warning today from one of Scotland's leading experts in tissue diseases. Dr Stanley Ewen, a consultant histopathologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, says that a cauliflower [mosaic] virus used in GM foods could increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers.
How can they be trusted with our food?
The Washington Post already exposed some of Monsantos prior deceptive practices in January 2002, when staff writer Michael Grunwald published Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution - PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told.
Grumwald explains that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a community creek in Anniston, Alabama and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills. He also published some of what was thousands of pages of Monsanto documents -- many with warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy". They show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.
Grumwald states that documents reveal that in the fall of 1966, Monsanto hired a Mississippi State University biologist named Denzel Ferguson to conduct some studies around its Anniston plant. He arrived with tanks full of bluegill fish. This is what he reported to Monsanto about the results in Snow Creek: "All 25 fish lost equilibrium and turned on their sides in 10 seconds and all were dead in 3 1/2 minutes."
"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Mack Finley, another former Ferguson graduate student, now an aquatic biologist at Austin Peay State University. "Their skin would literally slough off, like a blood blister on the bottom of your foot." "It was like dunking the fish in battery acid," recalled George Murphy, another one of Ferguson's graduate students.
The problem, Ferguson concluded, was the "extremely toxic" wastewater flowing directly from the Monsanto plant into Snow Creek, and then into the larger Choccolocco Creek, where he noted similar "die-offs." The outflow, he calculated, "would probably kill fish when diluted 1,000 times or so."
He warned Monsanto: "Since this is a surface stream that passes through residential areas, it may represent a potential source of danger to children." He urged Monsanto to clean up Snow Creek, and to stop dumping untreated waste there. Monsanto did not do that -- even though warnings continued.
An Associated Press investigation revealed contracts detailing Monsanto, the world's biggest seed developer, is squeezing out competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its control over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops.
Monsanto's patented genes are inserted into roughly 95 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn crops grown in the US, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.
Frankly, I cant understand why people arent rising up in arms and screaming from rooftops about the bio-technical creation of genetically modified foods and the cavalier attitude in which it has been thrust upon an unknowing public. Even now, it appears to remain unquestioned by Americans as a whole and deliberately unregulated because of a few fancy marketing techniques, high dollar lobbies and a quite possibly a handful of ego-driven politicians and executives with delusions of world domination dancing in their heads.
They have undermined our freedom of choice by refusing to label their products. Are you a bit uncomfortable that Monsanto, a former chemical company / now agricultural company (by all appearances) is controlling the safety reins of our food supply? Can they be trusted to make sound decisions affecting worldwide public health with a past full of deception affecting public safety? Does this not have catastrophe written all over it?
The Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture are charged with overseeing and monitoring the safety of our food supply, but as history shows many former Monsanto executives have become high ranking appointees and top ranking officials in these agencies. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.
Has the public safety of Americans been sold out to mad scientists for cash and promises of controlling the world? He who controls the food controls the world.
Can you imagine them sitting behind their ivory tower/power structures, laughing like Count Dracula from Sesame Street counting the cookies of cash the Monsanto Monster left behind?
With a new president and a new agenda, those fighting against Monsanto looked to President Obama for hope. The Center for Food Safety asked the United States to re-assess its previous decision in light of the change in administration. In March 2009, The United States filed a response in California District Court stating that its position has not changed.
Apparently, this has been the policy of our last four administrations. Crossing political party lines, whether we have voted democrat or republican we also elected a supporter of GE food products. Worse yet, to date they have all agreed that the public does not have the right to knowingly choose non-GMO foods. Hows that for transparency?
The upcoming Supreme Court decision may well bring a sense of finality and looming consequences. As I see it, we are on the verge of permanently losing just about every biological right we have. They own multiple patents on life. Where is the line to be drawn?
If and when the US Supreme Court (like our government) sides with the big boys, there will be no turning back. Will this moment go down as the biggest biological disaster in history?
It seems, under the circumstances, that Mrs. Obamas Childhood Obesity program could be undermined by the company she keeps, since her husbands administration apparently dances to the beat of the GM biotech drum.
Tell us Mrs. Obama, what foods do you think our children should avoid? In truth, wouldnt many of those products contain some of Monsantos most notoriously unhealthy products, like aspartame? Perhaps your organic garden reveals what you choose to feed your own children? Should we not follow your example?
Beneath public radar, there has been a silent infiltration of GMOs into our food supply with minimal testing and misrepresented results. This company has reorganized nature on a genetic level and then, by all appearances, conspired with our own government to saturate it into our food supply without the public input or opinion, much less Environmental Impact Statements, labeling or regulations?
How, by any stretch of the imagination, is this not a serious human rights violation?
What about the thousands of unhappy farmers who have been sued by Monsanto after their GE seeds made their way onto the farmers land? The Judge concluded in short that it ultimately didnt matter how the genetically altered seeds got onto to their land. Whether they blew off a truck, were carried by the wind or brought in by birds or wildlife the farmers had still infringed upon Monsantos patent rights. Those poor farmers were forced to destroy all of their crops and seed storage. See The Future of Food by Deborah Koons Garcia.
Monsanto has contaminated and pursued the destruction of millions of seeds from whence our forefathers bore from the sweat of their brows. For generations, our nations great farmers nurtured and even risked their lives to cultivate, maintain and safeguard the quality and purity our agricultural heritage. This is a blatant travesty to every farmer that has tilled the earth of this fine country!
We live in the United States of America. Frankly, as a US citizen, I feel scammed and outraged that I have been made an unwilling participant in this giant biological experiment. I feel raped on a genetic level and traumatized at the thought of feeding GE food products to my children. Wheres my lawyer? Does this not violate my constitutional rights?
Our United States Bill of Rights prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Wikipedia defines Liberty as a concept of political philosophy and it identifies the condition in which an individual has the right to act according to his or her own willl. Has this not taken place against our will?
From Monsantos Web Site: Our Human Rights Policy is guided by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which provides the most widely recognized definition of human rights Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world; Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people; Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law
Author's note: Little of this information that Im sharing with you is new. This debate has gone on for at least two decades. In mainstream media it has received very little coverage, because typically they are guided by advertising dollars. Food manufacturers have plenty of that. This article was written using a compilation of the research, which is diligently noted below. As a consumer, there is something you can do about it. Your dollar says it all. Think about what you buy. Below is a shopping list put out by the Center for Food Safety to help you determine what may or may not contain genetically modified foods products or ingredients?
Recent Victories - Center for Food Safety Victories
Silent Spring Has Sprung (19 March 2010) http://www.truthout.org/silent-spring-has-sprung57796
Seasons change, yet some things remain the same. Nearly half a century ago, Rachel Carson debuted the first serial installment of what would eventually become one of the landmark works of the 20th century, "Silent Spring." In that book, Carson famously argued that the pesticide DDT was responsible for negative impacts on the environment, animals and humans alike, despite disinformation spread by industry and government officials about its purported safety and utility in agribusiness. "Silent Spring" is often credited with starting the modern environmental movement, yet today we are facing equivalent challenges and similar campaigns to conceal the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in our midst.In particular, the pervasive use of the herbicide atrazine raises a host of ecological and political questions that are strikingly reminiscent of those confronted by Carson. Perhaps coincidentally, the widespread use of atrazine in American agriculture dates to almost precisely the time that "Silent Spring" was beginning to take shape as a withering indictment of the chemical industry's blatant disregard for emerging health warnings and its concomitant influence over politicians and regulators. While DDT was eventually banned for use as a pesticide in 1972, atrazine has enjoyed decades of unfettered use as (according to its maker, Syngenta) "one of the most effective, affordable and trusted products in agriculture." This promotional Web site includes personal testimonials from farmers as well as press releases intended to debunk "baseless activist claims" about atrazine's safety.Interestingly, a similar pattern was evident in the early days of Carson's work to expose the dangers of DDT, in which her perspective was considered so "heretical and controversial" that she couldn't readily find a willing publisher to bring the story to light. When "Silent Spring" was finally published in 1962, there was an immediate backlash from the chemical industry and its proponents in the Department of Agriculture, equal parts of which were aimed at debunking Carson's science and attacking her personally in an attempt to discredit her views. CLIP
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