December 19, 2001
The Big Brother Files #21: Corruption, Deception and Bush as a TV Pitchman
It is too late and I'm simply too tired for any meaningful comment.
BTW I intend to take a compilation break next week. I'm sure you'll all appreciate it ;-)
Enjoy and share!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
ERRATA: Please note that there was an incorrect time given in the Solstice Meditation Focus for those cities: Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne. The correct time is +5:00 AM and not +6:00 AM
1. Background on the William Tyree case
2. Euro Intel Experts Dismiss 'War On Terrorism' As Deception
3. More pointers from Phil
4. Dead Scientists, Ebola, Anthrax & The Lost Tribes
5. MONSANTO ATTACKS! A Canadian Farmer Takes on a Seed Giant
6. On Flying High And Lowered Expectations
Side-by-side comparison photos of the real Osama bin Laden from previous video and the "Smoking Gun" video, "doctored" and released by the U.S. Government. Plus, a variety of comments and quotes regarding the video's authenticity.
More on this tape in Big Brother Files #22
From: "Donald Stacey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Background on the William Tyree case in which the D. Ferdinand deposition was taken
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001
BACKGROUND: The deposition of Desiree A. Ferdinand was taken as part ot a law suit filed by William Tyree. Here is an article that provides useful information about the suit and the events that surrounded it.
NOTE FROM JEAN: To get the entire deposition of Desiree A. Ferdinand, please request it from Donald Stacey <email@example.com> (several emails long!)
Up Against the Beast - High-level Drug Running
(Published February-March 2000)
An imprisoned former US Green Beret is suing the CIA, George Bush and others, to draw attention to their complicity in government-sanctioned drug-trafficking operations and cover-ups.
PART I. BILL TYREE'S LAWSUIT: DRUG PROFITS ALLEGEDLY FUNDED FEMA
Speculation about the mysterious origin and funding of the so-called US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has continued for decades. Most recently, the history of FEMA as an illegal, unconstitutional entity has been exposed in an unprecedented lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its alleged drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations.
"In the mid-1970s, while serving in Panama, Tyree and other Green Berets were led into Colombia under the command of Green Beret Colonels Cutolo and Baker to plant radio beacons, so that planeloads of cocaine could fly below Colombian and US radar and land undetected in Panama," writes former LAPD officer Mike Ruppert in his newsletter, From the Wilderness (PO Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413, USA, website www.copvcia.com).
"Orders for these missions came from the CIA's Ed Wilson and Tom Clines," continues Ruppert. "Tyree had been a part of many secret missions and was losing his taste for it. His wife was keeping a diary [for which she was presumably murdered, after which the diary was confiscated and later disappeared].
CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.nexusmagazine.com/beast1.html
Euro Intel Experts Dismiss 'War On Terrorism' As Deception
By Christopher Bollyn
American Free Press
European intelligence experts dismiss the Bush "war on terrorism" as deception and reveal the Realpolitik behind the aggression against Afghanistan.
Berlin - In Germany, where war plans for Afghanistan were already being discussed in July and where several of the "Arab hijackers" lived and studied, intelligence experts say the terror attacks of September 11 could not have been carried out without the support of a state secret service.
Eckehardt Werthebach, former president of Germany's domestic intelligence service, Verfassungsschutz, told AFP that "the deadly precision" and "the magnitude of planning" behind the attacks of September 11 would have needed "years of planning."
Such a sophisticated operation, Werthebach said, would require the "fixed frame" of a state intelligence organization, something not found in a "loose group" of terrorists like the one allegedly led by Mohammed Atta while he studied in Hamburg.
Many people would have been involved in the planning of such an operation and Werthebach pointed to the absence of leaks as further indication that the attacks were "state organized actions."
Andreas von B'low served on the parliamentary commission which oversees the three branches of the German secret service while a member of the Bundestag (German parliament) from 1969 to 1994, and wrote a book titled Im Namen des Staates (In the Name of the State) on the criminal activities of secret services, including the CIA.
Von B'low told AFP that he believes that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, is behind the September 11 terror attacks. These attacks, he said, were carried out to turn public opinion against the Arabs, and boost military and security spending.
"You don't get the higher echelons," von B'low said, referring to the "architectural structure" which masterminds such terror attacks. At this level, he said, the organization doing the planning, such as Mossad, is primarily interested in affecting public opinion.
The architectural level planners use corrupt "guns for hire" such as Abu Nidal, the Palestinian terrorist who von B'low called "an instrument of Mossad," high-ranking Stasi (former East German secret service) operatives, or Libyan agents who organize terror attacks using dedicated people, for example Palestinian and Arab "freedom fighters."
The terrorists who actually commit the crimes are what von B'low calls "the working level," such as the 19 Arabs who allegedly hijacked the planes on September 11. "The working level is part of the deception," he said.
"Ninety-five percent of the work of the intelligence agencies around the world is deception and disinformation," von B'low said, which is widely propagated in the mainstream media creating an accepted version of events. "Journalists don't even raise the simplest questions," he said adding, "those who differ are labeled as crazy."
Both Werthebach and von B'low said the lack of an open and official investigation, such as congressional hearings, into the events of September 11 was incomprehensible.
AFP asked von B'low about the Taliban's ban on opium production: "Seventy percent of the drug trade is licensed by the intelligence agencies," von B'low said, and they are interested in keeping the drug traffic "running through their mills."
"The BND (German secret service) is steered by the CIA and the CIA is steered by Mossad," von B'low said.
Horst Ehmke, who coordinated the German secret services directly under German prime minister Willi Brandt in the 70s, predicted a similar terrorist attack in his novel, Torches of Heaven, published last year, in which Turkish terrorists crash hijacked planes into Berlin.
Although Ehmke had long expected "fundamentalist attacks," when he saw the televised images from September 11, he said it looked like a "Hollywood production."
"Terrorists could not have carried out such an operation with 4 hijacked planes without the support of a secret service," Ehmke said, although he did not want to point to any particular agency.
"The most important thing in the struggle against terrorists, who are abusing religion, is the battle for the soul of the people and the nations," Ehmke said. "If this isn't resolved successfully, the 21st Century could be bloodier than the last."
A former Stasi agent who had warned the German secret service of terror attacks in America between September 10-20 told AFP that a high ranking Stasi chief named J'rgen Rogalla, who is "an airplane terror specialist," was probably involved in the attacks of September 11 along with Abu Nidal.
Both Nidal and Rogalla work with the Mossad, the former agent told AFP. Nidal, was said to be in Baghdad, and is a "leading officer for some Mossad agents." The agent said that Nidal was "involved directly" in the events of September 11.
September 11 was preparation for a larger attack on the United States, which is part of "an old plan," the agent said. Based on prior knowledge of this plan, the agent said that more attacks are imminent and that aircraft carriers may be targeted next. Rogalla is also strongly anti-religious and attacks on cathedrals or places of religious significance before Christmas are likely.
Rogalla was responsible for "turning NATO men" to spy for the East. One of the East's NATO spies, Reiner Rupp, known as "Topaz," provided Stasi and the Russians with the organization's highest secrets until he was discovered in 1993 by the BND. A CIA agent known as "Frank Lindsey" worked with Rogalla, according to the former Stasi agent.
TERROR INVESTIGATION BLOCKED
Under the influence of U.S. oil companies, the administration of George W. Bush blocked U.S. secret service investigations on terrorism, while it bargained with the Taliban to turn over Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, two French intelligence analysts claim.
In a recently published book, Bin Laden, la verite interdite (Bin Laden, the forbidden truth), the authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's deputy director John O'Neill resigned in July in protest due to official obstruction of his investigation of terrorism.
O'Neill had been in charge of national security in New York. While with the FBI, O'Neill led an investigation of Osama bin Laden and had forecast the possibility of an organized attack by terrorists operating from within the country.
O'Neill had investigated the USS Cole bombing in Yemen, the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1995, FBI agents working under O'Neill captured Ramzi Yousef, a suspected lieutenant of bin Laden, who later was among those convicted for the World Trade Center bombing.
O'Neill was considered a top-notch investigator and was known for his pugnacity. He was barred by U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine from that country. That dispute reportedly involved a struggle between the State Department, which sought to preserve relations with Yemen, and the FBI, represented by O'Neill, who wanted access to Yemeni suspects.
O'Neill, 49, was hired as chief of security at the World Trade Center following a 25-year career with the FBI and died on Sept. 11, the first day of his new job. O'Neill reportedly died after reentering the building to assist others.
Brisard said O'Neill told them that "the main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it."
Osama bin Laden and the Taliban received threats of possible American military strikes against them two months before the terrorist assaults on New York and Washington, according to The Guardian (UK).
The warnings to the Taliban originated at a four-day meeting of senior Americans, Russians, Iranians and Pakistanis at a hotel in Berlin in mid-July. The meetings took place under the arbitration of Francesc Vendrell, personal representative of UN secretary general Kofi Annan, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
The three Americans at the Berlin meeting were Tom Simons, former US ambassador to Pakistan, Karl "Rick" Inderfurth, a former assistant secretary of state for south Asian affairs, and Lee Coldren, who headed the office of Pakistan, Afghan and Bangladesh affairs in the state department until 1997.
There were other meetings arranged by Vendrell in which "representatives of the U.S. government and Russia, and the six countries that border with Afghanistan were present," according to the French authors. "Sometimes, representatives of the Taliban also sat around the table."
The Berlin conference was the third meeting since November 2000 arranged by Mr. Vendrell. As a UN meeting, its official agenda was supposedly confined to trying to find a negotiated solution to the civil war in Afghanistan, ending terrorism and heroin trafficking, and discussing humanitarian aid.
CARPET OF GOLD--OR BOMBS
The U.S. government's primary objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime in order to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia, the French authors wrote.
Until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime "as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia," from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean, they said.
"The oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that," the book says. When the Taliban refused to accept U.S. conditions, "this rationale of energy security changed into a military one."
"The Americans indicated to us that in case the Taliban does not behave and in case Pakistan also doesn't help us to influence the Taliban, then the United States would be left with no option but to take an overt action against Afghanistan," said Niaz Naik, a former foreign minister of Pakistan, who attended the meetings.
On French television, Naik said during the "6+2" meeting in Berlin in July, the discussions turned around "the formation of a government of national unity. If the Taliban had accepted this coalition, they would have immediately received international economic aid."
"And the pipe lines from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan would have come," he added.
Naik also claimed that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan.
"Simons said, 'either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons used were 'a military operation'," Naik said.
"At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs'," Brisard said in an interview in Paris.
According to the book, the government of Bush began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power in February. U.S. and Taliban diplomatic representatives met several times in Washington, Berlin and Islamabad.
To polish their image in the United States, the Taliban even employed a U.S. expert on public relations, Laila Helms. The authors claim that Helms is also an expert in the works of U.S. secret services, for her uncle, Richard Helms, is a former director of the CIA.
THERE WERE MANY MORE RECOMMENDED ARTICLES BELOW - I KEPT A SELECTION FOR YOU
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001
From: "Sasha (Alex) Lessin, Ph.D." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: More pointers from Phil
From: Phil Agre <email@example.com>
RRE home page: http://dlis.gseis.ucla.edu/people/pagre/rre.html
WAR IN AFGHANISTAN
US in Secret Move to Widen War on Terror
Fear of US Strikes Grips Somalia
Kabul Deal Promotes Regional Stability?
US Ties to Saudi Elite May Be Hurting War on Terrorism
Engineers Study WTC Destruction
Massport to Test High-Tech ID Check
Review of new biometric products
Antivirus Firms: FBI Is Out of Line
McCarthyism Watch (everyone please grow up!)
Orders to Purge Records Have Librarians Worried
Conservatives Set Sights on Senator Leahy (this is so vile)
Here is one of the alerts (you wouldn't know from it that they've already given him massive authority)
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Recent Safety Hazards at Aging Nuclear Plants
DOE Amends Rules on Nevada Nuclear Waste Site
United States Lawmakers Set to Strike Out at Global Tribunal
Public Information Network
(resources for environmental activists)
More on "The Skeptical Environmentalist"
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS WHOLE LOST TRIBE BUSINESS EXPLAINED BELOW BUT THE SUDDEN DEATH OF SEVERAL SCIENTISTS ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN ADVANCED BIOWEAPON RESEARCH IS CERTAINLY A CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Sent by "Boudewijn Wegerif" <Boudewijn@whatmatters.nu>
DEAD SCIENTISTS, EBOLA, ANTHRAX & THE LOST TRIBES
Date: 13 December 2001,
From Dr. Patricia Doyle
Over the past few weeks several world acclaimed researchers specializing in infectious diseases, as well as DNA sequencing have been found dead or missing. I believe that these scientists were unaware of their participation in the developing of a genetic bioweapon that will wipe out as much as one third of the population on planet earth.
In November, Dr. Benito Que, cell biologist working on infectious diseases like HIV was found comatose outside of his lab at the Miami Medical School. Within a week of Dr. Que's assault, Dr. Don C Wiley, foremost infectious disease researcher was declared missing. His rental car was found with a full tank of gas and the keys in the ignition. His disappearance made to look like a suicide.
According to colleagues and Dr. Wiley's family, the Harvard Scientist associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Inst. would NEVER commit suicide. Associates who attended the St. Jude's Children Research Advisory Dinner with Dr. Wiley, just hours before he disappeared, said that he was in good spirits and not depressed.
On Nov. 23rd, Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, foremost Soviet Biopreparat scientist who was responsible for aerosolizing plague and successful developer of binary weapons known as the Novichok group of weapons was found dead. Dr. Pasechnik defected from the Soviet Union in 1989 while visiting the UK where he lived until his death in November. There were NO media reports of his death for one week. At that time an official from the UK Intel community announced that Dr. Pasechnik had a stroke. No autopsy or further details were forthcoming.
On Dec. 10th Dr. Robert M. Schwartz was found murdered in his secluded farmhouse in Leesberg, Va. Dr. Schwartz was a well known DNA sequencing researcher. He founded the Virginia Biotechnology Association where he worked on DNA sequencing in his lab for 15 years.
Halfway around the world in December, a microbiologist killed at CSIRO's animal diseases facility in Geelong had logged 15 years' experience with the unit.
Victoria Police said Set Van Nguyen, 44, appeared to have died year after entering an airlock into a storage laboratory filled with nitrogen. His body was found when his wife became worried after he failed to return from work.
I believe that there is a cabal in the US, responsible for the anthrax hoax mailings of 1998 and the recent anthrax mailings of 2001. This cabal exists in the highest levels of Government, Military and Biotech Industry.
Note from Jean: See "U.S. Recently Produced Anthrax in a Highly Lethal Powder Form"
There is a clandestine plan to develop a virulent infectious disease and quite possibly a 21st century version of the 1918 Spanish flu or other virus. This pathogen is going to be genetically altered to only infect a certain group of people. I believe that Dr. Wiley's research of immunity factors of viruses, bacterias and mycoplasmas will be used to create a pathogen that will NOT infect a designate genetic type. This portion of the genetic target weapon was no doubt developed with research from Dr. Schwartz. In essence, a doomsday bioweapon can be released with guarantee that the genetic code of certain individuals and the virus itself, will protect these individuals from infection.
If an unaltered pathogen were released, such as a virulent strain of Ebola or other level 4 bioweapon, those who release it would also fall victim to the pathogen. A type of MAD, mutually assured destruction that has prevented, thus far, release of level 4 pathogens. However, if there was a bioweapon that would NOT kill those who release it, then we would see a worldwide pandemic with a target group unaffected by the pandemic or "plague."
It has been stated throughout the Bible that when the lost 10 tribes of Israel return to their homeland to fight and win the battle of Armadeddon and Solomon's temple is rebuilt, the return of the Messiah and end of the world as we know it will be at hand.
9 of the 10 tribes have been found. They have been found in areas of the world now involved in the Afghan war. One of the missing tribes is thought to be Pathan peoples of Afghanistan. Other tribes have been found in Uzbekistan, in India on the border of Burma as well as in Pakistan on the border of Afghanistan. A tribe that consists only of direct descendants of Biblical priests has been found on an island off the coast of Tunisia. There is but one tribe to be found, that is the tribe of Asher.
I believe that we are going to see the prophecy of the return of lost tribes to Israel fulfilled this year. At that time, there will be a release of the genetic bioweapon created in the US under the auspices of a cabal who take orders from the Antichrist.
Before the year 2001 ends, there will be more leading scientists murdered as well as those who try to bring public attention to this plot. The year 2002 will usher in the year of "Asher." The last lost tribe will be found, and the progeny of the 10 lost tribes will return to Israel to fulfill biblical prophecy.
I am not a visionary, but, I do recognize the situation at hand. The deaths of world acclaimed scientists in the field of infectious diseases is a warning that the last days are here. By connecting the dots, so to speak, with regard to each scientists specialized field, we can conclude that a major bioweapon is in the process of development and will soon be unleashed upon the world.
Furthermore, I believe that the anthrax (hoax) mailings of 1998 as well as the anthrax mailings of 2001 were perpetrated by the cabal working on the ultimate genetic bioweapon. The purpose of the mailings was not to kill people, at this time. The purpose was twofold. The mailings were intended to panic the public into allowing the Government to subvert the constitution and take away many of our freedoms. Additionally, it also created a way to force mass vaccinations of the public.
Moreover, the mailings were intended to create an influx of monetary recompense to the biotech industry that was needed to develop the ultimate bioweapon.
The panic caused by the anthrax mailings also inculcated in the Government, Congress, Military as well as the public, a relaxed attitude regarding our involvement in offensive bioweapons research. It enabled the bioweaponeers to proceed with their plans to create a genetic bioweapon without large outcry.
There is still time, and we, the public, can stop those who plot against humanity and God. We can contact our representatives in Congress and demand some answers regarding the source of the anthrax mailings, as well as demand an investigation into the recent deaths of major infectious disease researchers. It was obvious that the supply of anthrax used in the recent mailings originated in Ft. Detrick's biowar lab. I believe that the anthrax was actually part of the "destroyed" bioweapons store that should have been destroyed in the 1970s. Becton Dickinson Co. was hired as an outside contractor by Ft. Detick and given the responsibility of destroying our stores of bioweapons. It is my opinion that some of the bioweapons had been diverted to other agencies.
Please write to your representatives and demand some answers to the above theory.
JOIN THE CIVILIAN INFECTIOUS DISEASE SURVEILLANCE NETWORK http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CIDSNetwork//a>
We are starting a civilian infectious disease surveillance network. We need to get people monitoring for anomalous diseases as part of bioterrorism preparedness. We cannot wait until the Government or health care professionals recognize an event.
Patricia Doyle, PhD Investigator of Emerging Diseases
READ THE MESSAGES: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CIDSNetwork/messages
THIS IS RELATED:
In [tapa-chemtrails] Digest Number 278
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001
From: "nicolajmolloy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: 911 Part 2 - Arosolized EBOLA
Ken Alibek reported during recent Congressional testimony that a Russian General had successfully aerosolized ebola shortly before his death.
Note the sudden rash of deaths worldwide of bioresearchers knowledgeable about ebola that has occurred during the last two weeks
There are now 140 quarantined Ebola camps and 39 field hospitals set up along the Pakistan-Afganistan Border. The odds are that any bioattack against the US will be mounted by releasing arosolized ebola. Any outbreak will go national within days.
Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola - Nature, Accident or Intentional?
Ebola May Spread From Gabon, Health Officials Warn (Reuters)
Texas Observer, November 9
A Canadian Farmer Takes on a Seed Giant
(Percy Schmeiser interview) By Chris Womack
In 1998, Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto, the multinational agribusiness company, for illegally growing a genetically engineered variety of canola that Monsanto has been aggressively marketing for the past five years. The plant, known as Roundup Ready Canola, is resistant to Roundup, Monsanto's popular herbicide. Monsanto argued, successfully, that Schmeiser had violated the company's patent on the product by obtaining and growing the seed without its permission. In fact, Schmeiser claimed, it was Monsanto who was in the wrong. Either through cross-pollination or via wind-borne seeds, a neighbor's Roundup Ready Canola crop had invaded his own canola fields, genetically contaminating his own carefully bred variety of canola, which Schmeiser had personally developed through natural methods. Schmeiser is appealing Monsanto's first-round victory.
A major producer of genetically engineered crops (often called GE crops or GMOs, for genetically modified organisms), Monsanto has become the second-largest seed supplier in the world through rapid purchase of smaller seed companies. As the controversy over genetic contamination grows, Schmeiser's case is being carefully watched by all sides in the worldwide fight over the spread of genetically modified food and, ultimately, control of the food supply.
I RECOMMEND YOU GO READ THIS MOST REVEALING INTERVIEW AT THE URL ABOVE.
Sent by EdElkin@aol.com
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001
From: email@example.com (Arianna Huffington)
On Flying High And Lowered Expectations
By Arianna Huffington
Skip the appointment with Madge the Manicurist. Put the squeeze on Mr. Whipple. Say good-bye to the Budweiser Frogs. Who needs those guys when you've got the 43rd president of the United States as your TV pitchman? He's got high name-recognition, comes with his own wardrobe, and, best of all, he's willing.
Making like a star-spangled version of Paul Hogan, the president can now be seen shilling for the U.S. travel and tourism industry in a new TV commercial. Uncle George wants you to enlist in a home-front battle against terrorism by shipping out on vacation. And bring the kids and charge cards, soldier!
The 30-second spot, part of a $20 million media blitz, features excerpts from a rousing speech the president gave in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, intercut with shots of travel industry employees speaking the impassioned words along with him.
"Greatness is found," the president, a waiter and a rental car agent inform us, "when American character and American courage can overcome American challenges." Challenges like enduring the endless lines at Disney World's Space Mountain ride, I suppose.
So a patriotic presidential speech has now been repackaged as a commercial come-on. Imagine FDR's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" being used to tout home security systems or Winston Churchill's "Blood, toil, tears and sweat" to sell Handi Wipes.
But it's not the unseemly blending of the political with the profitable that's the real problem, it's the message being sent: That the truest manifestation of patriotism is -- as the president and his new kitchen cabinet put it in the ad -- to "enjoy America's great destination spots."
In previous wars, sacrifice meant, well, sacrifice. Maybe even the willingness to die for one's country. Now we're being called on to show our willingness to fly for our country. To relax our way out of this recession even as we are told that we must remain on "high alert."
The president -- and the rental car agent and the waiter -- are right when they say greatness can be found in overcoming challenges. But we must challenge ourselves to overcome more than our reluctance to fly. Indeed, isn't it irresponsible to encourage people to take non-essential flights when the vast majority of suitcases are still not being inspected and the vast majority of airport security workers are still hazardously unskilled?
The truest expression of American character has always been found in our ability to give of ourselves -- not to amuse ourselves.
I was reminded of this last week when I saw a video of "Pay It Forward," the film featuring Haley Joel Osment as a kid who tries to change the world by encouraging people to respond to good deeds by "paying them forward," thereby creating a human chain letter of compassion and service to others.
Since the film was released in October 2000, thousands of people have taken up the "pay it forward" philosophy. "I was afraid," "Pay it Forward" author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, told me, "that after Sept. 11, people wouldn't want to embrace optimism. But it's been just the opposite. People are saying we need this now more than ever." In fact, Hyde has been on a whirlwind speaking tour, meeting thousands of students who are longing to respond to the challenge of 9-11 with something more substantive and lasting than a vacation or a shopping spree.
This same spirit is evident in the Call to Service Act, introduced in the Senate last month by Sens. John McCain and Evan Bayh. The measure would make it possible for 250,000 volunteers a year to become part of the AmeriCorps program -- half would assist with civil defense needs, half would provide social services.
More than anything, though, McCain and Bayh are aiming to inspire a generation to look beyond their narrow self-interests, much like John Kennedy did when he proposed the Peace Corps. JFK didn't say he was going to make it easier on us. He said it was going to be harder.
President Bush should keep that in mind the next time he takes a commercial gig. "Ask not what your travel agent can do for you, ask what you can do for your travel agent" isn't exactly a sentiment for the ages.
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