April 15, 2001

Miscellaneous Subjects #74: 1. Some Food for Thought and excerpt from IDEAS AND DREAM FOR A BETTER WORLD + 2. Britain and America's pilots are blowing the cover on our so-called "humanitarian" no-fly zone + 3. Truthful Response to the Afghanistan Petition + 4. The water of fear is only a few feet deep + 5. Friendship by Jefferey Doughtie + 6. California wind-farms kept from generating power for public


Hello everyone

I couldn't send yet this 2-week old compilation because there were always more urgent things to circulate before. So I'm sending it as an extra post right away since there is much more to come again this week.

Enjoy!

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


P.S. Chere Rae <heartvisions@earthlink.net> wrote:

"I would like to add appreciation and gratitude for the many hours you spend keeping the light on."

THANKS :-)

and recommended this about Mars:

http://www.metaresearch.org/asom/artifact_html/default.htm




1.

From: mountainsrme@webtv.net (Mark Quire)
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001
Subject: Some Food for Thought

Dear Jean and All

As most of you probably all ready know George Bush wants to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as all public lands here in the states for oil exploration.

I for one am against this. Yes, I use oil products in my daily comings and goings but when I go to work every morning and see some of my fellow employees sitting in their cars with their engines running, headlights turned on (in broad daylight) smoking one cigarette after another for at least twenty minutes before work, its kind of upsetting

When I see my fellow employees during lunch get in their cars anddrive less than 50 yards to the hot dog stand instead of walking...well, that to is kind of upsetting.

When I see cars lined up at least ten deep at the local Burger King drive up window with their engines running when most of these people would be served faster (or better yet GO VEGGIE.. I had to through that in there 8-) ) if they got their lazy selves out of their cars, yep you guessed it, that is upsetting also.

So, when I hear about George wanting to open up whats left of the pristine lands in our country I say "ENOUGH". I for one will do everything I can till my dying breath to protect these places from the GREED and WASTE that is so rampant on our beautiful planet. I hope many others will join me.

Happy Trails

Mark

AND MY COMMENT WAS:

Thanks a lot Mark for expressing your personal commitment to protecting Alaska's wilderness. If it may reassure you, I read a news report yesterday (can't find it right now) saying that Bush is unlikely to succeed in opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to more oil drilling because of the widespread opposition to his proposal. He retorted that if he does not get "his" way, then he will seek to open other places in the US to oil drilling - offshore drilling in California I suppose!...

---

MARK ALSO SENT THIS BEAUTIFUL QUOTE

Robert Muller, Chancellor of the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations recently published a series of books called IDEAS AND DREAM FOR A BETTER WORLD. The following is idea # 99.

EACH HUMAN BEING SHOULD MAKE THIS COMMITMENT TO PEACE

DECIDE TO BE PEACEFUL

RENDER OTHERS PEACEFUL

BE A MODEL FOR PEACE

RADIATE YOUR PEACE

LOVE PASSIONATELY THE PEACE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL PLANET

DO NOT LISTEN TO THE WARMONGERS, HATESEEDERS AND POWERSEEKERS

DREAM ALWAYS OF A PEACEFUL, WARLESS, DISARMED WORLD

WORK ALWAYS FOR A PEACEFUL WORLD

SWITCH ON AND KEEP ON, IN YOURSELF, THE PEACEFUL BUTTONS, THOSE MARKED

LOVE, SERENITY, HAPPINESS, TRUTH, KINDNESS, FRIENDLINESS, UNDERSTANDING AND TOLERANCE

PRAY AND THANK GOD EVERYDAY FOR PEACE

PRAY FOR THE UNITED NATIONS AND ALL PEACEMAKERS

PRAY FOR THE LEADERS OF NATIONS WHO HOLD THE PEACE OF THE WORLD IN THEIR HANDS

PRAY TO GOD TO LET OUR PLANET AT LONG LAST BECOME THE PLANET OF PEACE

AND SING IN UNISON WITH ALL HUMANITY...

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME.




2.

From: "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@islands.vi>

New Statesman (U.K.) 19 March 2001

John Pilger - Britain and America's pilots are blowing the cover on our so-called "humanitarian" no-fly zone

Royal Air Force pilots have protested for the first time about their role in the bombing of Iraq. Pilots patrolling the so-called no-fly zone in the north of the country have spoken angrily about how they have been ordered to return to their base in Turkey in order to allow the Turkish air force to bomb the Kurds in Iraq - the very people the British are meant to be "protecting".

The pilots say that, whenever the Turkish air force wants to launch attacks on the Kurds, the Turks are recalled to base and their radar is switched so that the targets will not be visible. One British pilot reported seeing the devastation caused by the attacks when he resumed his patrol.

The pilots agreed to speak, on a non-attributable basis, to Dr Eric Herring, the Iraq sanctions specialist at Bristol University. "They were all very unhappy about what they had been ordered to do, and what they had seen," he said, "especially as there had been no official explanation."

While British government ministers have repeatedly described the no-fly-zones as "humanitarian cover" for the Kurds, the pilots' unease has become an open secret in the United States. Last October, the Washington Post reported: "On more than one occasion [US pilots who fly in tandem with the British] have received a radio message that 'there is a TSM inbound' - that is, a 'Turkish Special Mission' heading into Iraq. Following standard orders, the Americans turned their planes around and flew back to Turkey. 'You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound, loaded to the gills with munitions,' [pilot Mike Horn] said. 'Then they'd come out half an hour later with their munitions expended.' When the Americans flew back into Iraqi air space, he recalled, they would see 'burning villages, lots of smoke and fire'."

Last December, more than 10,000 Turkish troops invaded northern Iraq, killing untold numbers of civilians and fighters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK. British and American aircraft "protecting" the Kurds did nothing to prevent the invasion; indeed, most patrols were suspended to allow the Turks to get on with the killing. Inside Turkey, the Ankara regime has destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages, displaced more than three million people and killed tens of thousands. Racist laws prevent Turkish Kurds from speaking their language; parliamentarians and journalists who speak out end up in prison, or assassinated.

The Blair government has said nothing about this, because Turkey is a member of Nato. Almost all Kurds applying for asylum in Britain - from Turkey and Iraq - have been refused. Jack Straw's new Terrorism Act bans the PKK, which has no history of violence in this country. This means that Kurdish activists resident in Britain are now at risk of being sent back to Turkey: to prison, or worse. In the past few weeks more than 1,000 political prisoners on hunger strike in Turkish jails have been attacked by the authorities, leaving 33 people dead. Again, Whitehall's response has been silence.

RAF pilots are gradually becoming aware of the dishonest power game of which they are a part, and that the no-fly zones have no basis in international law and provide no "humanitarian cover" for the Kurds in the north and the Shi'a in the south. Concern for these people was always a sham. In 1991, when President Bush Sr called for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, he was really inviting Saddam's generals to stage a military coup and install a more malleable dictator. The last thing he wanted was the ensuing popular uprising by the Shi'a in March of that year - which Saddam crushed with helicopter gunships that the US allowed him to fly, and while American commanders denied weapons and equipment to the rebels. An estimated 30,000 people were slaughtered. "We clearly would have preferred a coup. There's no question about that," said Bush's national security adviser Brent Scowcroft in 1997. The British commander in the Gulf war, General Sir Peter de la Billiere, said, apparently with a straight face "The Iraqis were responsible for establishing law and order."

Eric Herring wrote to me: "Perhaps the most repulsive thing about the whole policy is that US and British decision-makers have exploited popular humanitarian sentiment for the most cynical Realpolitik reasons. They have no desire for the Shi'ite majority to take control or for the Kurds to gain independence. Their policy is to keep them strong enough to cause trouble for Saddam Hussein while ensuring that Saddam Hussein is strong enough to keep repressing them. This is a direct descendant of British imperial policy from the First World War onwards [and is about the control] of Iraqi oil . . . Divide and rule was and is the policy."

Recently, Richard Norton-Taylor disclosed in the Guardian that Britain's military establishment was concerned about the proposed new international criminal court. The generals complained that rules made in Brussels might "prevent British peacekeepers from carrying out their tasks effectively". Their real concern, and that of western politicians, was put by Michael Caplan, the former lawyer to General Pinochet, who questioned how Tony Blair would be able to defend himself were he charged with bombing targets in Kosovo knowing that civilians would be killed.

When he was the Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq, Peter Hain wrote to the New Statesman, describing as preposterous the very suggestion that he, and other British ministers directly complicit in the atrocious embargo against Iraq, might be summoned to appear before the new court.

We shall see.




3.

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT COMES FROM A VERY PROFOUND AND SPIRITUALLY ACCURATE PERSPECTIVE. AND BY THE WAY, THE SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN ARE NOT COLLECTED BY ANYONE,

From: "Randy Mitchell" <therandje@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: the Afghanistan Petition
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001

I've been receiving numerous copies of this petition lately, and wished to share my thoughts about it with your readers. I thank you for the work you do.

Randje

---

You wish me to decry the darkness.

I would rather offer you my Truth.

It is not real. Only the Light is real. All upon this place are experiencing exactly what they came to experience. However incomprehensible that may seem to you, trust in the possibility that there is a Higher Power in place, and that the drama of good vs evil has a foreordained conclusion. I applaud and encourage your outrage, and your desire to address and rectify evil in the world. I would ask that you look within yourself for a moment, for clarity: Do you honestly believe that those in the delusional grip of a homicidal righteous fervor care what the western world--who represents "Satan" in their insane paradigm--thinks of their zealotry? Of course, they do not. They are in the throes of a progressive mental disorder, and efforts such as these are likely to strengthen their twisted resolve into even more violence. It is themselves they are struggling against, and their own dysfunctional sexual impulses, manifesting (they believe) through their women. I assure you that the men are also suffering, in abject terror and bewilderment at the energies coursing through them. The dark forces are using them for their own purposes, of course.

I entreat all those who are affected by this petition to please make the effort to understand more than is offered in a few provocative paragraphs. It is easy enough to pity the victims. Can you find it within you to feel compassion for their tormentors? Without such, healing cannot possibly penetrate from outside the conflict. It is separation that has created the conditions for it in the first place.

Throughout numerous lifetimes, we embody the flesh and delve headlong into the full spectrum of the human experience, that we may, upon graduation, know it fully for all its horror, and magnificence. Do we live in dark times? Undoubtedly. Did we choose to be here, and have we all equally participated in creating our world? Of course we have. We can also recreate it. But not, as Einstein observed, from the state of mind it was created.

A pervasive and insidious virus has permeated Mankind's programming and afflicts every culture on Earth, to varying degrees and in different ways. It is the contagion known as fear. Does this change or mitigate the fact that we are All One, and negate the Light that, without exception, each one of us is? Not in my reality. I have effectively installed one central Truth that enables me to understand and accept the epidemic madness and suffering taking place on Classroom Earth: We each create our own experience.

Choosing to live fearlessly means not being pulled into the collective hallucination taking place all around us--however seemingly justified and "righteous" the cause--and maintaining at all times personal equilibrium and emotional balance. If we are sincere about elevating the collective consciousness above the lower vibratory patterns that hold us to self-destructive behavior, then we have a reponsibility to hold to this in the face of all the reasons to perpetuate separation. Good guys and bad guys. Them and us. If signing a petition makes you feel as though you are doing something concrete to change the fearful state of humankind, I bless your efforts. But realize the current situation in Afghanistan is a symptom only. This horrendous state of affairs is just the current offering of this season's programming. Is the Taliban consummately evil, and are the women who presently find themselves at its mercy quintessential helpless victim/martyrs? I do not choose to believe so.

Without exception, we each create our own reality. And there are no victims. This truth comes from the Highest Authority, and is not sometimes true, and sometimes not. We are all little splinters of God--even Adolph Hitler and Charles Manson--sprung off to experience Creation from inside it. It is no small or inconsequential undertaking. It is an extended project that entails studying the darkness as well as the Light. As pieces of Infinity, micro gods and goddesses, our experience cannot be considered complete unless they encompass fully both sides of the Cosmic Coin. Up and down. Sickness and health. Ecstacy and suffering. Pain and delight. Joy and sorrow. The Soul learns equally from both perspectives, and (as I have been given to understand) does not have a preference. It is content to enjoy the drama as we script it.

We have written this script, and, as has been noted many times, there is only one of us here.

A higher-than-usual ratio of perverse and twisted stories are being played out now, as the window of opportunity on Earth closes for this great Separation Play. I do not presume to think that it is not a necessary part of the lesson chosen by these players, however horrific and mind-boggling it appears from our protected vantage point. Consider that you and I are not in the best position to evaluate or comprehend it. Our emotional response to suffering makes objectivity well-nigh impossible. That which makes us fearful, we call Evil. That is our standard. It is well to feel compassion and open our hearts, even to express our outrage. Take what steps you think will assist those engaged in this particular struggle. My life has taught me that love is allowing, and staying in non-judgement. I decline to take part in the condemnation that furthers the Great Split which is the core cause of all the tragedies and anguish that ever took place here. I see a larger picture. I offer it to you.

This travesty is but one of countless Dark Scenarios in production here at this time, and it will play out as Spirit wills it. All we need do is foster peace and healing WITHIN OURSELVES, to correct the imbalances and injustices within the Larger Human Body. The world only changes from within us, one person at a time. I ask you to consider not feeding the illusion by allowing it to throw your emotional body out of balance and send you spiralling into the abyss of fear and rage, for in doing so you play into the hands of the Dark Forces who gain their nourishment from such.

In the Love/Light of Infinite Creator

Randje




4.

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001
From: "Lennon, David" <posi-art@tpgi.com.au>
Subject: The water of fear is only a few feet deep

The time has come to leave the corporate world (at least in the 8-5pm sense). I've jumped! And the thermal that was patiently waiting has caught me and I'm soaring, the view has never been so good. My focus immediately is in the studio getting a demo done of the True Balance song for Earth Day in April. It's a call to action. Many very good things happening here in Australia. We can think love all we want, but at the end of the day, we really make a difference when we put love into action. And its happening. And by seeing it, and acknowledging it, we give it light and the respect it deserves. The circle is then completed, and the path is illuminated and so the momentum grows. Mt Everest was unconquerable challenge. Until one day someone climbed it. It just took that one to show the way, to look up, not down. The mountain is still the same, and yes we do have new gear that makes it easier, but the biggest hurdle was the initial change in human belief.

While typing this I've been shown a scene with a group of people at sea in a life raft. They are incredibly depressed, staunch faces and in despair due to the months at sea. Finally one of them gives in and takes action and jumps overboard. And to everyone's amazement he can stand. The water is only a few feet deep! Because he was able to tell the good news to the others, they all followed. Good news is good, and can help clear the paralysing fear by helping us all realise the water of fear is only a few feet deep.

CLIP

Keep up the good work and I will continue to look forward to your compilations at the posi-art address above.

Thanks
Blessings,
dAvE
http://www.sharedspirit.com.au/TrueBalance/default.htm




5.

AS WE GO ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES OR AS WE ENJOY ALL THOSE MAGICAL MOMENTS WHEN WE TRULY FEEL BLESSED TO BE ALIVE AND FREE, WE SELDOM KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE IS AN UNTOLD NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHOSE CURRENT SITUATION - MOST OFTEN DUE TO THEIR OWN UNIQUE SET OF KARMIC CIRCUMSTANCES - MAKES IT VERY HARD, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE, TO EXPERIENCE THE SAME FEELINGS OF HAPPINESS AS WE DO. THIS LETTER BELOW IS A REMINDER THAT THERE ARE INDEED MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE IN SUCH A SITUATION AND THAT, NO MATTER WHETHER THEY DESERVE IT OR NOT, WE SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE FRAGMENTS OF GOD, JUST LIKE YOU AND ME, EXPERIENCING INCARNATION IN A PHYSICAL BODY, AND THAT AS SUCH THEY DESERVE TO BE SEEN AND TREATED AS YOU AND I WOULD LIKE TO BE SEEN AND TREATED IF WE WERE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION.

From: "Leti Guerra" <letiguerra@hotmail.com>
Subject: Friendship by Jefferey Doughtie
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001

Hi Jean,

I received this the other day. It is a writing on the topic of frienship by a human being who has learned the true meaning of what friendship is and means. His name is Jeffrey Doughtie and he is currently on death row in Texas.

I think that many times we get so busy trying to save the world, or save ourselves from the world, that we forget that there are individuals out there that are not so concerned that rainforests are being torn down or that there are Buddhist statues being destroyed somewhere on this earth (though it should be stopped) but concerned about the present and everyday minute-to-minute life that they experience and live. Individuals who are considered to be worthless, evil, unreadeamable, and disposable. Individuals, who are supposed to be tough, and mean, and nasty, but who actually feel and love and cry. Individuals, who may not be cute and cuddly like an endangered animal, or sweet and innocent like an abused child, but who are none the less human beings. And as living, breathing, sentiant human beings, they deserve (whether innocent or not) to be treated as such.

In my life, I have fought for the environment, and for animal rights, and for an end to slavery in Sudan among other things. Sometimes people agree with what I do and sometimes they don't, but never am I so much attacked as when I stand up for the life of a "guilty" person.

We, as a society, need to learn to respect all that lives and not torture and degrade someone who has committed a mistake, no matter how painful that mistake may heve been. We need to learn to teach with love, not punish with fear and death.

May Peace Prevail,

Leti

---

Friendship by Jefferey Doughtie

I have chosen the topic of friendship on Death Row to share with you this time. I have always strove to achieve the goal of allowing the public to see the Death Row that me and my brothers' here see. Instead of the contrary version the media would have one believe exists. If you listened to them you would think we're always trying to hurt one another, having intercourse with each other, or just sitting back eating good - - watching HBO. When in reality, this isn't the case. Most men on death row are studying law to find a way to save their lives or prove their innocence, or either making their personal mends with God in preparation for what lay ahead.

Some men here talk from cell to cell, but a large percentage you never even hear a peep from. As far as the food is concerned; the last five days we've received sack lunches: Breakfast: two small prunes, a pancake-peanut butter sandwich, milk and 1-oz cereal; Lunch: a pancake-tuna sandwich, a peanut butter sandwich on a hot dog bun, and two prunes for desert; and Dinner: a pancake-peanut butter sandwich, two prunes, and tuna in a hot dog bun.

These people are fascinated with pancakes if you ask me. I personally don't want to see another pancake, and I'm sure you don't want to hear about another anytime soon. Also, when they hand over the bag, it leaves grease in the palm of your hand. The grease smells like pork chops, fish and only God knows what else. If you're wondering where the grease is coming from - it's the pancakes! :o)

When guys lay back talking, they reflect back on their good ole' days. We laugh, kid each other, but most of all - a nice amount of us are there for one another. Regardless of who it is, whether it be bad news from home or from the courts, the majority is there for one another. And I'm speaking of human-beings from many different backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities, finding a way to come together. To sit around waiting for someone to kill you drives one to keep searching until something is found of mutual interest.

Friendship is something I learned the true meaning of since I've been on Death Row. I have cried and broken down like a child, when I've been forced to watch men that I had bonded with, be carried away and murdered in the name of "Justice."

When I first arrived here, I just knew I would be so alone and isolated until the day my number appeared on their screens for my execution. However, overall I've received a friendly love from the men around me. I've also found a sincere friendship from many anti-death penalty organizations that reaches out to men in my position.

Every man don't carry the desire to live anymore. Some see no visual reason. There's men on Death Row whom never received a letter or visit from friends or family. Most can't even afford the basic necessities in here. Truth be told, the State don't give out clean underwear or socks everyday. And "Joe Public" out there seem to think that everything we need is provided for us: which is simply not true. Sure they give away free soap, but unfortunately it's not soap that lathers or actually cleans skin. Toothpaste is provided, oops, the name of it is toothpowder and if you have high blood pressure you're in serious trouble, because of the salt in it. If you didn't have a problem with high blood pressure, once you get behind these walls, the diet they put on you will give it, along with many other problems you never knew existed.

Let's face it, after a while there isn't too many people that would be interested in living like this day after day. Friendship, that's where the drive and purpose begins. Some people simply need to feel that there is someone that care about them in the world. Someone that isn't solely concerned with the circumstances that may have brought them to their current position. But someone that's interested in knowing who it is they're speaking with today - in the present. Yeah you have it, I'm asking you to reach out to someone on Death Row, that is if you don't already write someone.

I don't know how much longer I'll be with you here on Earth. The federal courts recently turned down my federal habeas writ, and when they turn a man down, he's certainly on the downside of the fight. I don't know exactly know how many days or months I have left, but they definitely aren't many to count at this point. I've decided that I must focus on the final things I would like to do in this world, and just leave it at that. In my opinion there's no use in me crying over spilt milk. One thing I know that is important to me personally; and that's sharing whatever I can about Death Row to the public. So that I can maybe offer someone some sincere insight on the matter. It still urks me to this day, when I pick up the newspaper and see some politician bragging about my suitable living conditions, the edible food I'm served and the competent court appointed counsel given to me. It just don't work that way. True enough that's how it's being publicized and sold, but it's just not happening. That's why many of us have decided to share what we experience with you, and just keep hoping and praying for a change someday. Even if it's not for us directly, we just hope to be a part of making that change someday!

If you would like to hear more from Jefferey Doughtie his information is as follows:

Jeffrey C. Doughtie Terrell
999106 12002 FM 350 South Livingston, TX 77351 or http://marionssong.tripod.com/prisonpenpals/id8.html

Shared by, April marionssong@aol.com
http://marionssong.tripod.com/prisonpenpals


"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

- Henry Ward Beecher




6.

From: "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@islands.vi>
Subject: California wind-farms kept from generating power for public

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday, March 31, 2001

http://www.smh.com.au/news/0103/31/world/world3.html

It looks like a scene from The War of the Worlds. Hundreds of creatures with fans for heads stand at the edge of the Tehachapi Range, staring at the uninviting landscape of the Mojave Desert below.

Their blades whirr furiously as the wind screams off the desert plains and rushes over the mountains at gusts of up to 90km/h.

From a distance, it seems as if these propeller-headed aliens are advancing in rows, crawling down from the hills in battle formation to invade the sparsely populated plains below.

"It's quite a sight, isn't it?" asks Ed Duggan, as he battles to stay upright against the ferocity of the wind. "We'll be able to make plenty of power today."

Mr Duggan is the aliens' master - project manager at Oak Creek wind farm, one of California's largest "green" energy suppliers.

The creatures are his wind turbines - modern windmills that form part of a renewable energy system providing about 30per cent of California's electricity.

They are the sort of operations that could help keep the United States well within the goals of the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gas emissions if they were able to operate at, or near their capacity.

But, even as California suffers its most disastrous power shortage, the Mojave wind farms are prevented from generating anything like their maximum outputs because of a combination of bureaucratic cock-ups and big business conspiracies.

"You see those turbines over there," says Mr Duggan's mechanical specialist, Michael Burns, motioning towards a row of turbines that are not spinning.

"They aren't broken. They are turned off. We had to shut them off because Edison [the utility company] doesn't have the transmission capacity to take all our power."

Mr Burns does a quick mental calculation and says the farm could produce about 10 megawatts more per hour if it were allowed to operate to capacity.

"That is 240 megawatts a day, which is enough power generated every day on this farm alone to supply about a half a million homes with electricity to last them a month," he says.

The transmission lines connecting the eight wind farms in this part of the Mojave to the local power grid were built in the 1970s and '80s, at a time when the utility companies thought these alternatives to California's belching, gas-fired power plants were just another foolish environmentalist fad.

Southern California Edison and the other big power utilities did not see the use in spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the lines. As far as they were concerned, the wind farms would all be blown over within a few years.

They were wrong. Quantum leaps in wind turbine technology and handsome tax credits offered by the State Government to encourage investment in alternative energy sources inspired a rush of wind farm development, bringing online bigger, more sophisticated and significantly more efficient operations.

By the early 1990s, the Mojave operations were generating more electricity than the Edison lines could carry. Plans were formulated to increase transmission capacity, but utilities would always balk when it came to putting up the capital to get work started.

Until a few months ago, Southern California Edison was paying the farms what it called "curtailment fees" not to run a certain number of turbines. The wind farmers were happy because the amounts they were paid not to generate electricity were the same as they would have received if the turbines were feeding power into the system.

Edison flicked the switch on the deal in November, when the energy crisis first peaked. Suddenly, the utilities stopped paying the turbine operators for making electricity and stopped paying them for not making electricity.

Oak Creek wind farm is continuing to operate by drawing on its own cash reserves and it estimates that it will be able to remain in business for about another eight months, if the power crisis lasts that long. Other, smaller operations are already beginning to close because they cannot meet running costs.

This week, California's Public Utilities Commission approved a record 46 per cent rise in electricity charges to customers to help cover the estimated $US14billion ($28 billion) debt racked up by Southern California Edison and its main rival, Pacific Gas & Electric, because they have been forced to buy wildly expensive power from neighbouring grids to make up their own shortfalls.

The State Governor, Gray Davis, a Democrat who once had illusions of seeking the US presidency, ran a mile from the price rise this week, leaving it to his bureaucracy to break the bad news.

The utilities commission has tried to sell the price increase as a necessary evil, arguing that it is the only way to keep the utilities afloat and to avert more frequent and more disruptive enforced black-outs.

Not surprisingly, it has been a tough sell.

Angry consumers have organised rallies in the streets of several big Californian cities, including the State capital, Sacramento, to voice their outrage over the action.

That unrest, though, could play directly into the hands of the consumers' political targets - including Governor Davis and President George Bush.

Mr Bush came to power with a platform of increasing significantly America's ability to produce its own energy sources, including oil and electricity.

Under the long-held political verity of "tough times demand tough measures", Mr Bush is now using the popular dissent over California's power problems and the threat, whether real or politically contrived, of such a crisis spreading nationally to justify his decision to turn his back on Kyoto and side with his big business allies in the oil, gas and electricity industries.

Meanwhile, back on the edge of the Mojave Desert, hundreds of fan-headed aliens are sitting idle when they could be spinning out enough power to carry California out of its crisis.

"If people knew there wouldn't be a power shortage if all the wind farms could work at capacity, then something might just happen to get the lines built to carry our power," Michael Burns says.

"The way things are, it just don't make any sense."







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