The Writing on the Wall Series #60: Building Juggernaut of Traumatic Changes
Wow! another hefty, heavy duty compilation! But before you start exploring it, I have two important announcements to make...
I'll take a break from preparing compilations for the next 3 weeks - approximately - both because of the Holiday period celebrations but most importantly because I must focus more time on the Pathways to the New Earth project. If you are among the 300+ visitors who went to read the 50+ wonderful feedbacks and commitments posted at http://users3.smartgb.com/g/g.php?a=s&i=g35-42717-bc you know that this project is definitely worth cocreating.
So the second announcement is that we have a GO for this and that the 54 interested people now on a separate e-list for this project will soon hear from me with how I propose to set up and develop this far-reaching endeavor. Until it is all set up and running on its own, I will inevitably devote less time to processing incoming emails and researching material for future compilations. So please keep that in mind if and when you are tempted to send me possible compilation material to review or if you send me something that requires a personal reply, especially over the coming month.
There is another fascinating project that is shaping up right now and some of you will hear from me about this in the very near future...
As usual I will continue preparing the Meditation Focuses every 4 week and the next one will be sent in time for Sunday, December 28, while the current one is still good for another 10 days.
I wish you all a happy, Love-filled Holiday Season :-)
NOTE: For those of you who visit the Earth Rainbow Network website, you have certainly noticed (if your speakers were on) that there is now a wonderfully inspiring song playing, Together We Are One, as performed by Delta Goodrem at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. You have also probably noticed it plays non stop which can quickly become annoying. In case you have not seen yet the notice displayed just under the round music player image now appearing near the top of the homepage, it says "To stop the music, click on the lower part of the circle above." ;-)
P.S. To ensure that these compilations are not blocked, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list. Your feedback is as always welcomed and may be included in a coming compilation - unless you prefer it is not. Circulating this compilation (or any part of it) and personally inviting your correspondents to subscribe to this list would also help enlarge the circle of people who have access to this material. Please include the following note and the URL address for the archived copy below along with your forwards, so others may have the opportunity to explore the original copy, if they so choose.
This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2008/WritingWall60.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 44,000 words and 202 links provided
To unsubscribe from the Earth Rainbow Network automated listserver, or change your listing on it when you have a new email address, the simplest way is to do it yourself by sending a blank email at email@example.com -- IMPORTANT: You MUST do it from the email account you wish to unsubscribe otherwise the system won't recognize your request. And then you subscribe your new email address - from your new email account - by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org - And then you'll have to reply to the confirmation email you'll receive.
The long extract from the written interview with James ('The Sovereign Integral' in your latest newsletter) must be one of the most important pieces of information released anywhere on Earth this year - or any year. No wonder films like 'The Great Escape', 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'The Matrix' strike such a resonant chord with the public. Far more people must be aware of our imprisonment on this planet than we realise - and, thanks to your good self for publishing this material, the number of awakening human beings who are determined to 'bust out of here' must be growing every day. The importance of this material is that it reminds us yet again that the means to free ourselves lie within us, not around us."
- Michael Dean (email@example.com)
"In the vast circle of Life the good that you do to one goes around and reaches everyone."
"Traveler there is no path--walking makes the path."
- Antonio Machado
1. Weather Wars
2. Burma Campaign - New Dirty List Launched Today
3. Who is Bernard Madoff?
4. Is 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' fiction, or fact?
5. HAARP & its role in the False Flag Operation of Sept 11, 2001 with Independent Scientist Leuren Moret
6. Good planets are hard to find
7. Dying for A Drink
8. The 10 big energy myths
9. World's hungry 'close to one billion'
10. Study: Did early climate impact divert a new glacial age?
11. Soul in the City
12. The Present of Presence
13. Democratic Socialism Moves Forward in Venezuela
14. It's official: Men really are the weaker sex
15. Microwave Technology: An End to the Human Race
16. The American-Made Insurgency in Afghanistan
SPECIAL INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE
"When I worked for a research institution a couple of years ago, I had a Divisional Head from whom I learned many little jewels of life. He and his wife were always very accommodating, helpful and supporting when I had to deal with a variety of problems. When they moved back to Capetown, South Africa, my wife and I visited them and were rather impressed with their hospitality and they spared no effort to show us around. That was repeated when I visited them again with my parents who were on a visit to Southern Africa from Belgium. We did not know how to make up for their efforts and expenses. It was then that my former Divisional Head told me his story. He said that he understood very well how I feel, as he was very often in Israel on scientific missions and always stayed with the same family there. When he went there the first time, he met with some misfortune in that there were inconsistencies with his hotel booking and an Israeli 'colleague' working in the same field as he did came to the rescue and took him home. There he met the whole family of his Israeli friend, including the grandfather. After the conference the Israeli family took my boss around in Israel for a whole week paying all expenses for him.
He was impressed and did not know how to say thank you for the favours bestowed upon him. Noting his embarrassment it was then that the grandfather told him his story: He was a survivor of the concentration camps and in Israel he came to some degree of wealth. Thinking over all his experiences and developments in the modern world, he decided to travel to Germany to look for some opportunity to show to the people, or to the youth, namely, that he missed his relatives that had died in the camps very much but that he harboured no hatred nor anger. He crossed the whole country and learned about many on-going projects, but he wanted to do something that could involve him, as a person, directly. He returned to Israel and felt sad not to have come up with a project of his own. Being a scientist himself, one day he met some German conference participants and got talking ... he took them around Israel, showing, explaining, and he even took them to some Arab families. It was then that he got his idea. Arriving home he called his family together, told all his wish, his plans and instructed the younger generation to do likewise when meeting with strangers, visitors or colleagues from abroad: take them home, show them the country, accommodate them and give them presents to take home... and accept no money.
That was the message that my boss told me: whenever meeting with foreigners, visitors, etc., invite them home, show them around, and in so doing you pass on the energy you received from hosts that spared no effort to receive you in their midst. Meanwhile my boss has spread this message all around the world. And all his past guests treat their guests likewise. The idea of this one Israeli grandfather has now secretly and quietly spread worldwide. You do not pay for hospitality received, you just pass it on ... We learned to do likewise too.
- Roland Roeis (firstname.lastname@example.org) long-time ERN subscriber from Namibia
Now or Never is a new Documentary for a fund raiser for First Responders (Feal Good). It is very good. Has Barry Jennings, has testimonial about the explosions, has a lot of heart. Grabbed a lot of the history of the Truth Movement. You can watch it here: http://911blogger.com/blog/2956
You can buy (and watch it) here: http://www.truthmovement.com
Stronger than cement - and lighter too (thanks to hemp!) http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/491.html
How would like like a building material that is stronger than cement and SIX TIMES lighter?Better yet, one of its main ingredients in the waste product of a plant that literally grows like a weed. Well, Big Brother says you can't have it because the plant - hemp - is "dangerous to society."Here's the reality about cement:1. The manufacture of traditional cement is incredibly energy intensive, so much so that many cement companies seek and receive legal variances to not only burn coal, but also medical waste and used automobile tires as fuel for their kilns. 2. After oil refineries and chemical plants, cement factories are the most polluting factories in the world, spewing tons of microparticles containing toxins like arsenic and mercury into the air.
Did you know you can make a car body that is stronger than steel and much lighter? http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/490.html
No less an industrial and financial titan than Henry Ford demonstrated that the plant hemp could be transformed into a lightweight material stronger than steel.The perfect material for car bodies. Who needs steel?Maybe the guys who owned all the iron ore and coal fields (the Rockefeller syndicate) needed steel which is why for decades this simple technological possibility has been denied to us.
Fareed Zakaria: Former ISI Head In Pakistan Says 911 Was An Inside Job (4 min 31 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19R9H01IB1s
Fareed Zakaria interviews General Hamid Gul on CNN. At 07:00 in the video Gen Gul lays blame on the Neocons for their part in the 9/11 terrorist false flag. The CFR through their proxy CNN is so desperate to escalate the Mumbai attacks into an all out war between Pakistan and India, I don't think they foresaw Hamid making such a bold statement regarding 9/11.
Civil Society and the Internet (CSI) Survey http://www.newpaltz.edu/anthropology/survey.html
You are invited to fill the Civil Society and the Internet (CSI) Survey, a short online survey for representatives of social movement/civil society organizations in the United States and Canada. Your input will help us better understand how non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and Canada use the Internet to connect to groups elsewhere in the world, and how they view the causes of social inequality around the globe. CLIP Submitted by Benjamin Junge (email@example.com) who wrote: "We plan to present our findings at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil in January 2009. Our survey is entirely anonymous and takes about 20 minutes to complete."
Bear Attack in Churchill. Manitoba http://my.opera.com/scootercats360/blog/show.dml/2269517
These are pictures of an actual polar bear attack in Churchill, Manitoba & were taken while people watched and did nothing to stop it! Reports from the local newspaper say that the victim will make a full recovery .
3rd Annual Global Orgasm for Peace http://www.globalorgasm.org/
This year were synchronizing in the two-hour period around the Solstice, which falls on Sunday December 21 at 12.04 p.m. (four minutes after noon) Greenwich Mean Time. So in the U.K., Global-O time will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ascension: Myth of Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF-d7S9l_Wk
Click on "watch in high quality" to view the text clearly and don't hesitate to pause the video to have more time to read it all at your own pace. Recommended by Carol Lynn Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "This explores the idea that love is not something we must do, but something that we allow to flow through us."
YONAGUNI MONUMENT http://www.altarcheologie.nl/index.html?underwater_ruins/yonaguni/introduction.htm
The Yonaguni monument, sometimes incorrectly called a pyramid, lies in about thirty meters of water, south of the Japanese island of Yonaguni (more on its discovery here); in fact Yonaguni is much more closer to Taiwan than Japan, see the bottom picture. The monument, 150 meters in length, looks like a multi-layered platform, with all kinds of connecting "staircases", that seems to have some ceremonial purpose; around it are many other, smaller constructions that look equally artificial. CLIP - May more links to explore in the left column.
We Are More the Same than Different (December 16, 2008) Includes a review of what solstice means in various cultures around the world http://www.healingourworld.org/
While politicians, hate groups, and religious zealots try to convince the world that cultural differences irreparably separate us from one another and, in fact, are grounds for war, the Earth has quietly, as it has done for billions of years, passed into a Solstice. This important time, when the night is the longest in the Northern Hemisphere and the day is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere, has been recognized and celebrated by every culture on Earth since the dawn of time.On Saturday, December 21, the Winter Solstice will occur at 7:04 AM EST and 12:04 UT (Universal Time). At this time, the Sun will be the farthest from the celestial equator, the imaginary projection of the Earths equator on the heavens above, and the north will experience the longest night of the year.This has been a powerful time throughout the ages. Known as Yule in the pagan cultures of old Europe, the Winter Solstice has been a time of contemplation and celebration for religions and cultures of the world. (...) Feasting was part of the many solstice celebrations, but only after a time of fasting and prayer. In the gluttonous celebrations so popular today, we seemed to have forgotten the fasting and praying. The celebrations many of us get wrapped up in have little to do with honoring the Earth or our culture. Rather, the holidays present a huge challenge to the environment, our pocketbooks, and our health. A recent study by Environmental Defense calculated that 3.6 million tons of paper were used to produce the roughly 59 catalogs mailed to every man, woman, and child in the United States last year.According to the Worldwatch Institute, only three of the countrys 42 leading catalog companies surveyed reported using recycled paper in the body of their mailings, even though by switching to just 10 percent recycled content, the entire catalog industry would save enough wood to stretch a six-foot fence across the U.S. seven times. Americans will spend, on average, $616 this 2008 holiday shopping season, according to a recent Gallup poll. While this is the lowest average spending in nearly ten years, it still could be too much.It feels so hard to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is death and what is life, and whether or not to worry about global warming or deforestation. I think it feels so difficult because for generations, we have been taught not to feel, taught instead to feel apart from the cycles of the Earth. Maybe it's not so hard after all. Maybe it's as simple as noticing the shortest day and night of the year - and knowing that the day will get longer and the darkness will recede.Following the cycles of life can be powerful medicine. Whatever culture you are from and whatever religion you practice, reflect upon its relationship to the Earth and celebrate the common themes we all share.Happy holidays and remember that wanting peace is not being unpatriotic. -- RESOURCES 1. Learn about ways to give responsibly this holiday season from the Worldwatch Institute this year at: http://www.worldwatch.org/alerts/20021211.html 2. Get tips on how to simplify the holiday season from the Center for a New American Dream at: http://www.newdream.org/ CLIP
Author Pieces Together Natural Mosaic (November 22, 2008) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97350121
(...) "I watched prairie dogs every day rise before the sun,stand with their paws pressed together facing the rising sun in total stillness for up to 30 minutes," says Williams."And then I watched them at the end of the day take that same gesture 30 minutes before the sun goes down they would press their palms together in perfect stillness. I don't mean to anthropomorphize, but when you look at a creature that has survived over the millennium begin and end each day in that kind of stance, it causes one to think about one's own life and speed and rapidity in which we live." CLIP
Bolivia's Amazon Riches to Be Plundered for Oil (December 17, 2008) http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=bolivia_rainforest
President Morales must be encouraged to live up to his grand rhetoric, and end his government's hurried measures to decimate massive indigenous rainforest protected areas and their biodiversity and climate values, in a manner eerily reminiscent of the capitalistic system against which he rallies. Bolivia's Madidi National Park and Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve are communal lands containing some of the most biodiverse areas on earth. With the assent of President Evo Morales, the oil giant Petrobas and collaborators have begun an oil exploration assault that threatens not only these remarkable ecosystems, but also the culture and livelihood of the resident indigenous peoples.
THE SHOE THROWER HERO
Video: Iraqi journalist hurls shoes at 'dog' Bush http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RFH7C3vkK4
(...) Soles of shoes are considered the ultimate insult in Arab culture. After Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled in Baghdad in April 2003, many onlookers beat the statue's face with their soles. Here's what the man said as he threw his shoes at Bush: "This is a farewell kiss for you, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans, and those killed in Iraq." CLIP NOTE from Jean: This is a picture that will probably remained etched in people's minds for a long time to come.... that of a US president so despised that a journalist would throw his shoes at him and instantly become a global hero. And when you hear Bush says in "Bush describes 'weirdest' moments", "this is amusing" and "I don't know what his beef is", you see a man so out of touch with reality and so much in denial about the consequences of his decisions - with nearly 1,300,000 deaths due to U.S. invasion - that he cannot fathom why some people would be angry at him.
Peace Activists Take Shoes to White House in Solidarity with Shoe-Throwing Iraqi Journalist (Dec 15, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20081215&articleId=11405
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In solidarity with an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush at a Baghdad press conference Sunday, peace activists will gather outside the White House with bags of shoes representing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers who have died since the Bush Administration's illegal invasion of Iraq.They aim to show support for Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at President Bush while he spoke at the conference on his "surprise" visit to discuss the war. Al-Zaidi is currently being held by Iraqi police and questioned on his actions. The peace activists are calling on the Iraqi government to release al-Zaidi without charges and have set up a fund to support him and his family." "It's outrageous that al-Zaidi could get two years in prison for insulting George Bush, when Bush is directly responsible for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis and 4,200 U.S. troops, and 5 million displaced Iraqis," says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK. "The one who should be in jail is George Bush, and he should be charged with war crimes." CLIP
George W. Bu-Shoes, The US President "Victim" of Iraq's "Weapons of Mass Destruction" by Michel Chossudovsky (December 17, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11419
For the Western media, the Bush-Shoe incident is casually described as a failure of Green Zone security. The substance of the press conference is barely mentioned, namely that Bush had travelled to Baghdad to sign the Strategic Framework Agreement and Security Agreement. The latter allows US troops to remain in Iraq until 2011. The Press Conference was to announce the signing of these far-reaching agreements. (...) Shame on the Globe and Mail, which has failed to report on the atrocities and crimes committed by allied forces in the Iraq war theater, including the targeted assassinations of journalists. Al Zaidi is facing seven years imprisonment. He is accused by the Iraqi government of a "barbaric and ignominious act," ( as if the US led humanitarian invasion was not ignominious). The Western media consensus is a "disgrace to journalism" (...) The BBC also dismisses the protest movement in Iraq, following the arrest of Zaidi, describing it as an initiative of Shiite factionalism (...) The New York Times in a convoluted report points to resentment by Iraqis opposed to Al Qaeda. The insinuation is that al Zaidi is somehow connected to the terrorists. And those who are opposed to Al Qaada, quite rightfully believe that al Zaidi is a "bad journalist": (...) Al-Zaidi has been beaten up, he has a broken hand, broken ribs as well as internal bleeding. On December 16, according to US military sources, he was taken out of police custody and handed over to the Iraqi military command, which is tantamount to handing him over to US "interrogators". The Iraqi Ministry of Defense denies that he is in the hands of the Iraqi military. US intelligence agents together with Iraqi security guards were directly involved in the arrest and beating of al Zaidi, which resulted in serious injuries : The U.S. Secret Service yesterday defended its agents' response to an Iraqi journalist who threw a pair of shoes at President Bush during a Baghdad news conference, saying that they acted with the proper balance of aggressiveness and restraint. (WP, December 16, 2008, emphasis added) (...) The BBC report says that Al Zaidi "appeared before an investigating judge and "admitted the action he carried out", a High Judicial Council spokesman said." Other reports state that an Iraqi judge visited Muntadhar Al-Zeidi in jail. "His brother Durgham Zeidi alleged the reporter must have been too severely injured to appear in the courtroom."
Iraqi Shoe Thrower Captures Mideast Rage at Bush http://www.truthout.org/121608J
(...) The hurling of shoes at US President George W. Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq strikes many in the Middle East as a fittingly furious comment on what they see as his calamitous legacy in the region. Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the clip, sometimes in slow motion, of an Iraqi reporter calling Bush a 'dog' and throwing his shoes at him - the Middle East's tastiest insults - at a Baghdad news conference on Sunday. CLIP
Iraq rally for Bush shoe attacker (15 December 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7783815.stm
Thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of a local TV reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference. Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody.
The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Muntataha Zaidi (who is now probably being tortured - along with 10's of thousands of Iraqis - and beaten in jail...) http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi/index.html
The campaign will proceed in demand of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Montadhar Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush's immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords. We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions. We also hold Al-Maliki's government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.
Afghan reporters keep shoes on for Bush http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gW8jzJYqvqX2y1z6hEgPacSEBUqAD953028G0
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) The Afghan journalists kept their shoes on. A day after an Iraqi reporter hurled a pair of shoes at President George W. Bush, the American leader on Monday again held a news conference before a group of reporters from a country that the U.S. invaded under his watch.Afghan reporters had gathered at the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul, at 6 a.m. on Monday for an 8 a.m. news conference by Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.And that left plenty of time for shoe jokes. Some of the reporters a collegial bunch that sees one another several times a week egged on one of their colleagues, jokingly trying to pressure the television reporter into taking off his shoe and hurling it once the U.S. president arrived. The news conference later concluded with no footgear thrown.Afghan officials, however, appeared concerned the press would not show sufficient respect to the American president. Karzai's deputy spokesman, Saimak Herwai, told Afghan reporters that they had to address Bush as "His Excellency," an honorary title not typically used with U.S. presidents. While one Afghan journalist did address Bush as "His Excellency," another prominent television reporter disagreed with Herwai. And when that reporter got the chance to ask Bush a question, he pointedly said: "I have a question for Mr. President Bush." On Sunday, Bush ducked a pair of shoes hurled at his head in the middle of a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The assailant, a television correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt, also shouted: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."
Shoes for all! (December 17, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11424
When Muntazer al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist, shouted, "It is the farewell kiss, you dog" to Bush and threw him his shoes during a news conference in Baghdad, the curtain of hypocrisy fell and the ugly emperor stood naked in front of the world.Those shoes however were not aimed only to a man who should be - by his own standards - hanged, together with his entire junta of mass murderers; the Iraqi hero hit to the face all those responsible for the Iraq genocide and its ongoing denial; an endless army of politicians, diplomats, generals, businessmen, journalists, intellectuals and pimps who've helped to carry out the crime of the century. Shoes for all! Shoes for the United Nations that instead of protecting one of its members from the supreme international crime that organization has been founded to prevent, collaborated with the occupation and its crimes. Shoes also for the lib-left intelligentsia, the anti-war movement's politburo, the human rights paladins and the court of eunuchs who have worked as gatekeeper of dissent and helped to sell the products of the crime of the century; the supporters of the "political process", of the sectarian Quisling government, of the militias of drillers and all those who rejoiced for the capture and lynching of Saddam Hussein and his government. Shoes for all! Shoes for Human Rights Watch that contributed to the propaganda campaign that made possible the invasion of Iraq, rejoiced and praised the US occupation for the capture of its president and still keep denying the Iraq genocide. Shoes for Iraq Body Count that's made possible the denial of the Iraq genocide by its perpetrators and their propaganda apparatus. CLIP
Bush's Farewell Hallelujah Chorus http://www.truthout.org/121308Z
(...) With all the interviews President Bush has been giving out lately, you'd think he has a new movie coming out for Christmas. ABC, NBC, National Review, Middle East Broadcasting, the Real Clear Politics Web site - even a talk with The Washington Post's NASCAR expert. For a fellow who's sometimes gone for months without a press conference, suddenly, the president's a regular chatterbox, spreading the word in these final days that his eight years in office really, really weren't all that bad. Honest. CLIP
Federal Reserve sets stage for Weimar-style Hyperinflation (December 15, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11401
The Federal Reserve has bluntly refused a request by a major US financial news service to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from US taxpayers and to reveal the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Their lawyers resorted to the bizarre argument that they did so to protect 'trade secrets.' Is the secret that the US financial system is de facto bankrupt? The latest Fed move is further indication of the degree of panic and lack of clear strategy within the highest ranks of the US financial institutions. Unprecedented Federal Reserve expansion of the Monetary Base in recent weeks sets the stage for a future Weimar-style hyperinflation perhaps before 2010. (...) As well, the Federal Reserve's panic actions since September, by their explosive expansion of the monetary base, has set the stage for a Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation. The new money is not being 'sterilized' by offsetting actions by the Fed, a highly unusual move indicating their desperation. Prior to September the Fed's infusions of money were sterilized, making the potential inflation effect 'neutral.' That means once banks begin finally to lend again, perhaps in a year or so, that will flood the US economy with liquidity in the midst of a deflationary depression. At that point or perhaps well before, the dollar will collapse as foreign holders of US Treasury bonds and other assets run. That will not be pleasant as the result would be a sharp appreciation in the Euro and a crippling effect on exports in Germany and elsewhere should the nations of the EU and other non-dollar countries such as Russia, OPEC members and, above all, China not have arranged a new zone of stabilization apart from the dollar. The world faces the greatest financial and economic challenges in history in coming months. The incoming Obama Administration faces a choice of literally nationalizing the credit system to insure a flow of credit to the real economy over the next 5 to 10 years, or face an economic Armageddon that will make the 1930's appear a mild recession by comparison.Leaving aside what appears to have been blatant political manipulation by the present US Administration of key economic data prior to the November election in a vain attempt to downplay the scale of the economic crisis in progress, the figures are unprecedented. For the week ended December 6 initial jobless claims rose to the highest level since November 1982. More than four million workers remained on unemployment, also the most since 1982 and in November US companies cut jobs at the fastest rate in 34 years. Some 1,900,000 US jobs have vanished so far in 2008.As a matter of relevance, 1982, for those with long memories, was the depth of what was then called the Volcker Recession. Paul Volcker, a Chase Manhattan appendage of the Rockefeller family, had been brought down from New York to apply his interest rate 'shock therapy' to the US economy in order as he put it, 'to squeeze inflation out of the economy.' He squeezed far more as the economy went into severe recession, and his high interest rate policy detonated what came to be called the Third World Debt Crisis. The same Paul Volcker has just been named by Barack Obama as chairman-designate of the newly formed President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, hardly grounds for cheer. CLIP
America's Dollar Denominated "Toilet Paper"How to Deflate the US Superpower and Restore Economic Sovereignty (December 17, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11423
It may have made some sense, post-World War II to dollarise international trade when the so-called Free World was supposedly threatened by the Communist Bloc and the Imperial United States was offering protection in exchange for financial dominance. The imperial design for financial dominance was the Bretton Woods dollar reserve currency scheme. Since those days, the US has been abusing its financial power by the use of its greatest invention, the toilet paper printing press (now, the modern electronic printing press) to issue irredeemable fiat money. Now the world is flooded with trillions of this toilet paper, namely US dollars. The US Superpower is at the very precipice of the abyss and a wrong move will plunge it into the black-hole of financial Armageddon. The world will not face Armageddon, only the US. The rest of the world will suffer pain, deservedly so, for being so stupid in believing in the use of US toilet papers as money! To avoid this catastrophe, Ben Bernanke and Paulson as directed by their Shadow Money-Lender masters have devised an insidious scheme. The ultimate con-game!Basically, what they have done is to try to turn a weakness into perceived strength. Let me explain. Countries have been so used to trading in dollars that they cannot think otherwise. They continue to borrow dollars to finance their imports. Their corporations continue to borrow dollars to finance their business expansion. It is as if the world is addicted to dollars, as a drug addict is addicted to cocaine and or crack! The world has been brainwashed into thinking that without the US toilet paper, their global economy would come to a grinding halt. How stupid! Yet this is exactly the state of mind of governments and central banks all over the world. China is a case in point: blind reliance on the US dollar. But fortunately, they have other strengths which will see them through this painful period. Taking advantage of this temporary idiotic global mindset, the Fed and the US Treasury have deliberately triggered a credit crunch for US dollar denominated toilet papers. The major global banks are hoarding the toilet papers and with-holding cross-border financing of every kind. There is an ocean of toilet paper (literally in the trillions) but there is now created, a deliberate shortage of these very same toilet papers. But where is the money? There is no money. It is an illusion! CLIP
IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis (December 16, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11417
The head of the International Monetary Fund urged governments to step up action to stem the global economic crisis or risk delaying a recovery and sparking violent unrest on the streets.Using a speech last night in Madrid to issue his stark warning, Dominique Strauss-Kahn argued that government efforts to tackle the economic downturn so far have been uncertain and largely insufficient, which could lead to severe consequences. He singled out the eurozone nations as he attacked the inadequate global response.His hard-hitting comments came as fears of a prolonged slumped intensified after China showed signs that its economy could be in more trouble than initially expected next year. Factory output in the rapidly growing economy registered the weakest growth in almost a decade last month.The IMF's managing director said such news signalled that a world recovery may not take place until late next year or into 2010 unless swift action is taken. "A lot remains to be done, and if this work is not done it will be difficult to avoid a long-lasting crisis that everyone wants to avoid," he said. Governments in leading economies have been called upon by the IMF to commit a combined 2% of global GDP, equivalent to £1.075bn, to try combat the dangers of a global recession. But the IMF chief blamed governments, saying they were unwilling or unable to use more public funds to jump-start economic activity. "If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries - including advanced economies," Strauss-Kahn said. He added that violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite. CLIP
Unstable Forex Markets: When will the dollar bubble pop? (December 15, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11406
In "The New Bubble: Cash", I argued that there was a bubble in U.S. dollars and treasuries.Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of the worlds largest bond fund, now says: Treasuries have some bubble characteristics . . . . The government and the Fed cannot continue to talk about trillions of dollars of financing and expansion of the Feds balance sheet without the dollar going south. Many others are saying the same thing. But how do we know when the dollar bubble will pop? In other words, when should we get out of dollars? An article in Bloomberg might provide some insight: The biggest foreign-exchange strategists and investors say the best may be over for the dollar after a four-month, 24 percent rally. The dollar will go to new lows as the U.S. attacks its currency, said John Taylor, chairman of New York-based FX Concepts Inc., which manages about $14.5 billion of currencies. CLIP
Dollar No Longer Haven After Fed Moves Rate Near Zero (Dec. 17) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601083&sid=aSmEfH_9_GxE&refer=currency
(Bloomberg) -- The worlds biggest currency-trading firms say the dollars appeal as a haven amid the financial crisis all but evaporated. The U.S. currency slid to a 13-year low against the yen today and had its biggest one-day decline versus the euro after the Federal Reserve reduced its target interest rate yesterday to a range of zero to 0.25 percent, the lowest among the worlds biggest economies. CMC Markets said today the currencys prospects appear ominous. State Street Global markets said the dollars outlook has been undermined. The dollar has been under heavy downward pressure, said Robert Minikin, a senior currency strategist in London at Standard Chartered Bank Plc. This move is very well-justified and has a long way to run. Standard Chartered is preparing to cut its dollar forecasts, Minikin said.
'75% in US bear the brunt of recession' (17 Dec 2008) http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=78781§ionid=3510213
A new poll conducted by The Washington Post indicates that nearly two-thirds in the US have been hurt by the economic meltdown. Almost 63 percent of those surveyed said the recession had hurt them financially, while 66 percent expected their standard of living to decline (up from 51 percent a year earlier). In almost one home in five (18 percent) someone has lost a job in recent months, and in more than a quarter (27 percent) a worker has had his or her pay cut or working hours reduced, the poll found. Half of those surveyed said they did not have money in case they need to help a family member or for health care costs. The poll captures the widening fallout from the faltering economy that policymakers are struggling to contain. CLIP
Homelessness, Hunger on Rise in US Cities: Report http://www.truthout.org/121408C
Agency France-Presse: "Homelessness and hunger increased in an overwhelming majority of 25 US cities in the past year, driven by the foreclosure crisis and rising unemployment, a survey showed Friday. Out of 25 cities across the United States surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors, 83 percent said homelessness in general had increased over the past year while 16 cities, or nearly two-thirds of those polled, cited a rise in the number of families who had been forced out of their homes."
Chrysler Shuts For A Month and Chevy Volt Delayed (December 17) THE BEGINNING OF THE END? http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat/archives/2008/12/chrysler_shuts.html
Chrysler LLC said Wednesday that it will shut down all its North American production for at least one month starting December 19. Both Chrysler and GM are having to cut deeply into expenses as they await news on a government loan package from the White House. GM said today that it will delay completion of the engine factory meant to supply the Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle the automaker hoped to have in showrooms by late 2010. The Volt has been held up as a symbol of GMs future and its innovation. It has run TV ads and bought billboards touting it even though it is two to three years off from being sold to customers. Both companies are cutting to the bone as they try to avoid reaching such a low cash position that they have to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. GM is hoping for an immediate infusion from the Treasury of $4 billion, and a total of $8 billion to $9 billion, while Chrysler is hoping for around $6 billion to $7 billion. Ford is not applying for an immediate loan, though it wants to secure a $9 billion line of credit from the Feds in 2009. CLIP
Foreclosures Soar 76 Percent to Record 1.35 Million http://www.truthout.org/120608Y
Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com: "A record 1.35 million homes were in foreclosure in the third quarter, driving the foreclosure rate up to 2.97%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday. That's a 76% increase from a year ago, according to the group's National Delinquency Survey. At the same time, the number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages rose to a record 6.99%, up from 5.59% a year ago, the association said."
Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks "bankrupt" (Dec 11, 2008) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE4BA5CO20081211
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jim Rogers, one of the world's most prominent international investors, on Thursday called most of the largest U.S. banks "totally bankrupt," and said government efforts to fix the sector are wrongheaded. Speaking by teleconference at the Reuters Investment Outlook 2009 Summit, the co-founder with George Soros of the Quantum Fund, said the government's $700 billion rescue package for the sector doesn't address how banks manage their balance sheets, and instead rewards weaker lenders with new capital. (...) "What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics." CLIP
Citibank's computers down, blocking account info ??? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_bi_ge/citibank_outage_2
NEW YORK - Customers of New York City-based Citibank have lost access to much of their account information because of a computer outage. Many of the troubled bank's clients haven't been able to retrieve account details online or by telephone since Tuesday afternoon. Others can access only parts of their account profiles. Citibank telephone representatives say they don't know what caused the outage but technicians are working to fix it. They've been telling customers to call back after Wednesday morning. A Citibank spokeswoman hasn't replied to a phone message or an e-mail sent after business hours. Citibank is a division of Citigroup Inc., which is struggling to survive the global financial crisis with billions of dollars in aid from the government.
Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity (Dec. 14, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1865467,00.html
Most of us take for granted that those rectangular green slips of paper we keep in our wallets are inviolable: the physical embodiment of value. But alternative forms of money have a long history, and appear to be growing in popularity. It's not merely barter, or primitive means of exchange like, say, seashells or beads. Beneath the financial radar, in hip U.S. towns or South African townships, in shops, markets, and even banks, throughout the world people are exchanging goods and services via thousands of currency types that look nothing like official tender. Alternative means of trade often surface during tough economic times. "When money gets dried up and there are still needs to be met in society, people come up with creative ways to meet those needs," says Peter North, a senior lecturer in geography at the University of Liverpool, author of two books on the subject. He refers to the "scrips" issued in the U.S. and Europe during the Great Depression that kept money flowing, and the massive barter exchanges involving millions of people that emerged amidst runaway inflation in Argentina in 2000. "People were kept from starving [this way]," he says. (Find out 10 things to do with your money.) Closer to home, "Ithaca Hours," with a livable hourly wage as the standard, were launched during the 1991 recession to sustain Ithaca, New York's local economy and stem the loss of jobs. "Hours," which are legal and taxable, circulate within the community, moving from local shop to local artisan and back, rather than "leaking" out into the larger monetary system. The logo on the Hour reads: "In Ithaca We Trust". CLIP
OPEC oil cut deep, but not deep enough (December 18, 2008) http://www.financialpost.com/analysis/story.html?id=6470c020-1eaf-41d6-b39f-1c969353101e
OPEC oil ministers dared the market into raising oil prices yesterday by agreeing to their deepest output cut ever -- 2.2 million barrels a day.What they got was a dare back -- oil fell below US$40 a barrel for the first time in four years. It settled in New York at US$40.06, down US$3.54. Why is oil stuck in reverse? For now, the consumer has replaced OPEC as oil's boss. It'll take a dramatic jump in demand to get the market to reverse course, said Rob Gigiel, energy market specialist with MF Global Canada Co. "This year everyone actually acted upon their musings of the past, and we saw a huge shift in consumer behaviour in terms of more fuel-efficient vehicles, people starting to walk to work, people taking public transit," said Mr. Giegel, based in Calgary. "We have seen demand extinction, because a lot of these people will never go back."The shift is reflected in inventory levels. The U. S. Energy Department said yesterday supplies climbed for the 11th time in 12 weeks, by 525,000 barrels to 321.3 million barrels last week. Storage is so full that more supply is unaccounted for, said Mr. Geigel. Plenty, for example, is stored in tankers. Rates have come down so much they are being rented, filled up and parked, waiting for oil to rebound, he said. CLIP
Survey: Oil may lose top rank as cheapest energy (Dec 10, 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081210/ap_on_bi_ge/finding_oil_costs;_ylt=AsPl26UvVRDtp.sRgDEEOdyr_aF4
THE WOODLANDS, Texas Over the next 20 years or so, oil and natural gas will lose top ranking as the world's most affordable energy sources, according to a survey of energy executives released Wednesday.Deeper wells in more inhospitable places, both political and geological, have altered presumptions of doing business in the oil patch.Nearly three out of four executives and managers surveyed last month by Deloitte LLP said oil and gas are the cheapest available energy sources for now, though only 23 percent believe that will be the case in 25 years. (...) The sampling revealed a growing concern about the sustainability of oil and natural gas in the coming years. Future sources of fossil fuels, the cost of producing them and the price consumers will pay are some of the biggest uncertainties facing the industry."Clearly, the oil and gas professionals involved in our survey are starting to think about the nation's transition to renewable energy and other alternative fuels," said Gary Adams, vice chairman of Deloitte's oil and gas practice. (...) Few question that fossil fuels will be a vital energy source worldwide for many years. And the world's biggest oil and gas companies continue to spend far more trying to find new sources of oil and gas than they do on alternatives such as solar and wind.Just last month, the International Energy Agency said more than a trillion dollars in annual investments to find new fossil fuels will be needed for the next two decades to avoid an energy crisis that could choke the global economy.The Paris-based agency stressed it's essential for the world's energy companies to continue investing in new projects despite crude prices that have tumbled 70 percent since hitting a record high in July.Slightly more than 40 percent who took part in the Deloitte sampling said the U.S. energy situation is better today than it was five years ago, while 50 percent said it was worse. Six percent weren't sure. Three out of four said shifting away from the nation's reliance on fossil fuels for transportation needs is an appropriate goal for the country, yet most think the best alternative right now is natural gas. About 30 percent said electric plug-in vehicles are the most promising alternative. CLIP
World Coal Reserves Could Be a Fraction of Previous Estimates (December 17, 2008) http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/world-coal-rese.html
SAN FRANCISCO, California - A new calculation of the world's coal reserves is much lower than previous estimates. If validated, the new info could have a massive impact on the fate of the planet's climate. That's because coal is responsible for most of the CO2 emissions that drive climate change. If there were actually less coal available for burning, climate modelers would have to rethink their estimates of the level of emissions that humans will produce. The new model, created by Dave Rutledge, chair of Caltech's engineering and applied sciences division, suggests that humans will only pull up a total - including all past mining of 662 billion tons of coal out of the Earth. The best previous estimate, from the World Energy Council, says that the world has almost 850 billion tons of coal still left to be mined. "Every estimate of the ultimate coal resource has been larger," said ecologist Ken Caldeira of Stanford University, who was not involved with the new study. "But if there's much less coal than we think, that's good news for climate."The carbon dioxide emitted when humans burn coal to create usable energy is primarily responsible for global warming. Leading scientists think that the stability of Earth's climate will be dictated by how the world uses or doesn't use its coal resources. And the thinking has been that the world has more than enough coal to wreak catastrophic damage to the climate system, absent major societal or governmental changes.So the new estimate, which opens the slim possibility that humankind could do nothing to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and still escape some of the impacts of climate change, comes as quite a shock. CLIP
Financial Times Editorial Admits Agenda For Dictatorial World Government (December 9, 2008) http://www.prisonplanet.com/financial-times-editorial-admits-agenda-for-dictatorial-world-government.html
Jaw-dropping report concedes that global governance is a euphemism for anti-democratic global government --The Financial Times, one of the most respected and widely read newspapers on the planet, features an editorial today that openly admits the agenda to create a world government based on anti-democratic principles and concedes that the term global governance is merely a euphemism for the move towards a centralized global government. For years we were called paranoid nutcases for warning about the elites plans to centralize global power and destroy American sovereignty. Throughout the 1990s people who talked about the alarming move towards global government were smeared as right-wing lunatics by popular culture and the media. Now the agenda is out in the open and in our faces, the debunkers have no more ammunition with which to deride us. A jaw-dropping editorial written by the Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman entitled And now for a world government lays out the plan for global government and how it is being pushed with deceptive language and euphemisms in order to prevent people from becoming alarmed. CLIP
Change Is Coming (17 December 2008) BUT POSSIBLY NOT THE KIND OF CHANGE PEOPLE HOPE FOR... http://www.truthout.org/121708J
"This is the first time I feel hope for our country's future. I have been so tired of feeling embarrassment and despair. I want to practice doing something about the promise: it's so much more difficult to get up out of your chair and actually do something. I guess if I have to have an issue, it would be 'quality of life.'" "It's Up to Us, Really." On Sunday, December 14, 15 people in Flagstaff, Arizona, responded to the Obama campaign's invitation to attend a "change is coming" house meeting that one woman - with a little help from her friends - agreed to host. It was one of 4,000 such meetings to take place that day. Ten women, six men: 15 whites over 45 - if not 50 - and one younger black woman. Why were they there? (...) "Policy is all very well, but what will touch the lives of people directly? We know the city has a huge budget shortfall; that will mean layoffs. We have neighbors who don't have jobs, who can't pay for heating, who are going hungry. How can we make a concrete difference to people who are struggling through this winter - make a difference in our neighbors' lives right now?" A woman suggested: "What about piggy-backing on NPR's idea of a national day of listening? We need to hear these people's stories before we know what to do next." Another person interjected: "Yes, that way we could mobilize lots of people: we could go to the soup kitchens, the homeless, shelter, the schools, the jail, and hear from people directly." We had a professional facilitator co-hosting the session or we'd probably still be talking. The meeting adjourned only a scant quarter-hour after it was scheduled to do so, with the hostess charged with drafting a statement about the day of action for participants' critique. Behind Barack Obama, I suspect the ghost of Saul Alinsky was smiling on us all.
Change? Obama Inner Circle Filled With Bilderbergers http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/obama_bilderbergers_160.html
FOR TWO YEARS, Americans have heard an unrelenting mantra of change emanating from the campaign trail. But now that President-elect Barack Obama has begun forming his cabinet, were seeing a cadre of more deeply entrenched insiders than any administration that has preceded it.In regard to key foreign policy advisors, all three of Obamas selections either initially supported the Iraq war, or still do. On the economic front, each appointee maintains a close relationship with the Jewish triad of Ben Bernanke, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspanas well as bailout engineer Henry Paulson. Barack Obama himself is a Council on Foreign Relations member, has strong ties to Zbigniew Brzezinski, and participated in a clandestine meeting with Hillary Clinton at Bilderberg member Diane Feinsteins house at the time when 2008 Bilderberg members were congregating only a few miles away. Below is an overview of Obamas top 14 selections to date. When considering their collective histories, a trend becomes clear, proving that the more things change under Obama, the more they stay the same. CLIP
Spying on pacifists, environmentalists and nuns (December 7, 2008) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cop-spy7-2008dec07,0,7348229.story
To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes. Only one thing seemed strange. "At one demonstration, I remember her showing up with a laptop computer and typing away," said Mike Stark, who helped lead the anti-death-penalty march in Baltimore that day. "We all thought that was odd." Not really. The woman was an undercover Maryland State Police trooper who between 2005 and 2007 infiltrated more than two dozen rallies and meetings of nonviolent groups. Maryland officials now concede that, based on information gathered by "Lucy" and others, state police wrongly listed at least 53 Americans as terrorists in a criminal intelligence database -- and shared some information about them with half a dozen state and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency. Among those labeled as terrorists: two Catholic nuns, a former Democratic congressional candidate, a lifelong pacifist and a registered lobbyist. One suspect's file warned that she was "involved in puppet making and allows anarchists to utilize her property for meetings." "There wasn't a scintilla of illegal activity" going on, said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit and in July obtained the first surveillance files. State police have released other heavily redacted documents.Investigators, the files show, targeted groups that advocated against abortion, global warming, nuclear arms, military recruiting in high schools and biodefense research, among other issues. "It was unconscionable conduct," said Democratic state Sen. Brian Frosh, who is backing legislation to ban similar spying in Maryland unless the police superintendent can document a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of criminal activity. The case is the latest to emerge since the Sept. 11 attacks spurred a sharp increase in state and federal surveillance of Americans. Critics say such investigations violate constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and assembly, and serve to inhibit lawful dissent. In the largest known effort, the Pentagon monitored at least 186 lawful protests and meetings -- including church services and silent vigils -- in California and other states. CLIP
It's Official: Total Defeat for U.S. in Iraq (December 15, 2008) !!! http://www.alternet.org/story/112768/
Iraq's parliament came to a major agreement recently: all 150,000 troops are to withdraw from cities by June. -- On November 27 the Iraqi parliament voted by a large majority in favor of a security agreement with the US under which the 150,000 American troops in Iraq will withdraw from cities, towns and villages by June 30, 2009 and from all of Iraq by December 31, 2011. The Iraqi government will take over military responsibility for the Green Zone in Baghdad, the heart of American power in Iraq, in a few weeks time. Private security companies will lose their legal immunity. US military operations and the arrest of Iraqis will only be carried out with Iraqi consent. There will be no US military bases left behind when the last US troops leave in three years time and the US military is banned in the interim from carrying out attacks on other countries from Iraq. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed after eight months of rancorous negotiations, is categorical and unconditional. America's bid to act as the world's only super-power and to establish quasi-colonial control of Iraq, an attempt which began with the invasion of 2003, has ended in failure. There will be a national referendum on the new agreement next July, but the accord is to be implemented immediately so the poll will be largely irrelevant. Even Iran, which had furiously denounced the first drafts of the SOFA saying that they would establish a permanent US presence in Iraq, now says blithely that it will officially back the new security pact after the referendum. This is a sure sign that Iran, as America's main rival in the Middle East, sees the pact as marking the final end of the US occupation and as a launching pad for military assaults on neighbours such as Iran. Astonishingly, this momentous agreement has been greeted with little surprise or interest outside Iraq. On the same day that it was finally passed by the Iraqi parliament international attention was wholly focused on the murderous terrorist attack in Mumbai. For some months polls in the US showed that the economic crisis had replaced the Iraqi war as the main issue facing America in the eyes of voters. So many spurious milestones in Iraq have been declared by President Bush over the years that when a real turning point occurs people are naturally skeptical about its significance. The White House was so keen to limit understanding of what it had agreed in Iraq that it did not even to publish a copy of the SOFA in English. Some senior officials in the Pentagon are privately criticizing President Bush for conceding so much to the Iraqis, but the American media are fixated on the incoming Obama administration and no longer pays much attention to the doings of the expiring Bush administration. CLIP
Official History Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders (December 13, 2008)
[Iraq report reveals Pentagon's massive fraud and waste] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/world/middleeast/14reconstruct.html
BAGHDAD An unpublished 513-page federal history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq depicts an effort crippled before the invasion by Pentagon planners who were hostile to the idea of rebuilding a foreign country, and then molded into a $100 billion failure by bureaucratic turf wars, spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure. The history, the first official account of its kind, is circulating in draft form here and in Washington among a tight circle of technical reviewers, policy experts and senior officials. It also concludes that when the reconstruction began to lag particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures. (...) Among the overarching conclusions of the history is that five years after embarking on its largest foreign reconstruction project since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, the United States government has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program on anything approaching this scale. The bitterest message of all for the reconstruction program may be the way the history ends. The hard figures on basic services and industrial production compiled for the report reveal that for all the money spent and promises made, the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed. By mid-2008, the history says, $117 billion had been spent on the reconstruction of Iraq, including some $50 billion in United States taxpayer money. (...) The United States could soon have reason to consult this cautionary tale of deception, waste and poor planning, as troop levels and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan are likely to be stepped up under the new administration.The incoming Obama administrations rebuilding experts are expected to focus on smaller-scale projects and emphasize political and economic reform. Still, such programs do not address one of the historys main contentions: that the reconstruction effort has failed because no single agency in the United States government has responsibility for the job. CLIP
The Silent Winter of Escalation (9 December 2008) http://www.truthout.org/120908A
(...) But the silence now enveloping the political non response to plans for the Afghanistan war is a message of acquiescence that echoes what happened when the escalation of the Vietnam War gathered momentum. During the mid-1960s, the conventional wisdom was what everyone with a modicum of smarts kept saying: Higher US troop levels in Vietnam were absolutely necessary. Today, the conventional wisdom is that higher US troop levels in Afghanistan are absolutely necessary. Many people who think otherwise - including, I'd guess, quite a few members of Congress - are keeping their thoughts to themselves, heads down and mouths shut, for roughly the same reasons that so many remained quiet as the deployment numbers rolled upward like an odometer of political mileage on the road to death in Vietnam. Right now, the basic ingredients of further Afghan disasters are in place - including, pivotally, a dire lack of wide-ranging debate over Washington's options. In an atmosphere reminiscent of 1965, when almost all of the esteemed public voices concurred with the decision by newly elected President Lyndon Johnson to deploy more troops to Vietnam, the tenet that the United States must send additional troops to Afghanistan is axiomatic in US news media, on Capitol Hill and - as far as can be discerned - at the top of the incoming administration. But the problem with such a foreign-policy "no brainer" is that the parameters of thinking have already been put in the rough equivalent of a lockbox. Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara and Lyndon Johnson approached Vietnam policy options no more rigidly than Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Barack Obama appear poised to pursue Afghanistan policy options. CLIP
UN Confirms Afghan Mass Grave Site Disturbed http://www.truthout.org/121308Y
Heidi Vogt, The Associated Press: "The UN confirmed Friday that a mass grave in northern Afghanistan has been disturbed, raising the possibility that evidence supporting allegations of a massacre seven years ago may have been removed. The Dasht-e-Leili grave site holds as many as 2,000 bodies of Taliban prisoners who died in transit after surrendering during one of the regime's last stands in November 2001, according to a State Department report from 2002." NOTE: Ah! those perennial Pentagon liars! This horrendous massacre was more like 5000 prisoners - see below...
DOCUMENTING THE MASSACRE IN MAZAR (July 8, 2002) http://www.alternet.org/story/13540/documenting_the_massacre_in_mazar/
A documentary film offers disturbing evidence that almost 5,000 Taliban prisoners were killed by Northern Alliance commanders -- perhaps with the help of U.S. soldiers. (...) the prisoners -- about 7,500 -- were loaded in containers and transported to the Qala-I-Zeini fortress, almost halfway between Mazar-i-Sharif and Sherberghan Prison. Human rights advocates say that close to 5,000 of the original 8,000 are missing. Eyewitnesses in Doran's film claim that many of the prisoners may have suffocated in the nearly airless shipping containers en route to their destinations. Others were shot when Northern Alliance soldiers fired into the containers to create air holes. And their bodies may have been buried in mass graves. (...) there were trucks with containers fixed on them ... Blood was leaking from the containers -- they were full of dead bodies."-- two civilian drivers who say they drove trucks of men to Dasht Leili, "where [the prisoners] were shot." A driver tells Doran that there were American soldiers present at Dasht Leili. "How many Americans were with you?" Doran asks. The driver replies, "30 or 40."-- an Afghan soldier who claims to have been present "when an American soldier broke one prisoner's neck and poured acid on others. The Americans did whatever they wanted. We had no power to stop them." Doran's film -- and the allegations of mass killings -- has received extensive media coverage in Europe, but is getting little attention in the U.S. The lack of reaction, says Doran, puts the safety of the graves in jeopardy with each passing day. The U.S. military is denying any knowledge of or involvement in a massacre. CLIP Much more on this through this LINK - The most damning piece of evidence is in this movie: Afghanistan massacre -- the convoy of death - this should be added to the long list of US sponsored genocides with at least 8 million deaths directly attributable to Bush Sr and Jr....
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Obama Nationality Case http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/12/08/supreme_court_declines_to_hear.html
The Supreme Court this morning unceremoniously declined to hear an emergency appeal from a man who claimed President-elect Barack Obama is not qualified for the presidency because he is not a "natural-born" citizen. The court without comment declined to hear "Donofrio v. Wells," a suit that had attempted to keep Obama off the New Jersey ballot. Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick had claimed Obama had dual nationality at birth, because of his Kansas-born mother and his Kenyan-born father, who was a British subject at the time.Just to be nonpartisan about it, Donofrio also contended that Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero also were not natural-born citizens and should have been kept off the ballot. The case had little chance at the high court, but became the subject of a tremendous amount of speculation and debate on ideological political blogs. Right-wing blogs were outraged when Justice David H. Souter denied Donofrio's petition for an injunction, and left-wing blogs smelled trouble when Justice Clarence Thomas referred the matter to the full court for consideration. In fact, both were routine procedures, as the court's action today shows. There were no recorded dissents to the decision dismissing the case. This hardly means the lawsuits are over. There are two other cases at the Supreme Court, neither of which has been scheduled for consideration. The most celebrated is filed by Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa. There are others still at lower court levels. Berg argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama has said and Hawaii officials confirm. Alternately, Berg argues that Obama may have renounced his citizenship as a boy in Indonesia, where he lived for a time with his mother and stepfather. Those supporting Berg do not believe a birth certificate Obama's campaign has produced.Factcheck.org has done an independent investigation of the controversy." FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate," the group writes. "We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship.... Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said."
Compton, Calif., residents trade guns for food (December 7, 2008) http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/1318845,compton-california-gun-exchange120708.article
LOS ANGELES - A program to exchange guns for gifts has brought in a record number of weapons this year as residents hit hard by the economy look under the bed and in closets to find items to trade for groceries. The annual Gifts for Guns program wound down Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores. Turning in assault rifles yields double that amount. In years past, Target and Best Buy were the cards of choice, with residents wanting presents for the holidays.This year, most asked for the supermarket cards, said sheriff's Sgt. Byron Woods. "People just don't have the money to buy the food these days," he said. Deputies expected to collect about 1,000 weapons this year. Authorities said 590 guns and two hand grenades were handed in during the last weekend in November, more than the total collected in any year and eclipsing last year's 387 guns. CLIP
India's Right Wing Wants Nuclear War (17 December 2008) !!! http://www.truthout.org/121708M
Mumbai's terrorist outrage of November 26 has found a response truly matching it in madness. A call for a nuclear war - and nothing less - has come as the culmination of warped and warlike reactions to the traumatizing tragedy, which has claimed a toll of 200 lives. The demented call, which still cannot, unfortunately, be dismissed as inconsequential, is not only a regional war of the said, scary description. It is also one for a global conflict of the kind. Fittingly, the call has emanated from the real fuehrer of India's far right. He may be relatively unknown to the outside world, and less known even in his country than political leaders of the "parivar," as the far-right "family" labels itself. CLIP
Indian Group - Al QaedaIs CIA-Mossad Front (12-4-8) http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/17121.asp
Al-Qaeda is a front organization of CIA and MOSSAD says Mumbai based group of intellectuals and human rights activists - The Mumbai based group alleged that Al-Qaeda is a front organization of CIA and MOSSAD. "There is enough evidence that the Al-Qaeda is a front organization of the CIA and MOSSAD. The Bush junta has used the bogey of terror and of Al Qaeda to justify his unending and ever expanding Global War on Terror, which is only a means of capturing the resources of the world and of establishing the sole hegemony of Israel in West Asia," said the group of activists and intellectuals. The group is holding a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday to "expose the links between Al-Qaeda and the CIA-MOSSAD". Holding American-Israeli operation accomplices of the 9/11 attack on the WTC, the spokesman of the group said that this has been widely written about in USA and Europe itself and more than 50% of the American people and far more Europeans, now believe and are convinced about this fact. He said that sections of the Indian ruling political and military elite are importing the same Bush-Olmert formula into India. "The increasing terror attacks only serve the cause of the Indian elite and divide the masses along communal lines. It is only the ordinary Indians who are the victims of terror either in temples, mosques, buses or trains," he said adding that practically no political leader suffers a similar fate, where the terrorists are apprehended and killed in "encounters". "Every terror attack is meant to push and drag the Indian masses further into the waiting arms of Uncle Sam and the Israeli Goliath. Every terror attack spreads further hatred for Muslims and Islam and weakens the Indian Muslim community," he said.
Crimes Against Humanity (14 dec 08) http://bruisedearth13.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/crimes-against-humanity/
This has been quite a week in Israel. On Tuesday, The United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur claimed Israels current policies toward the Palestinians are tantamount to crimes against humanity. Citing specifically the deteriorating situation in Gaza, and the ongoing human rights violations of a State army over its own people, UN Envoy Richard Falk claimed the UN must implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity.Falk went on to challenge the international courts to determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.While the words and appeal are indeed encouraging, they will do little to slow the inevitable slide into chaos that Gaza will likely become in coming weeks. Earlier today, exiled Hamas Leader Khaled Mashaal stated the existing 6-month truce between Hamas and Israel is unlikely to be extended - meaning an almost certain return to hostilities - bringing with it an increased chance of a full IDF invasion of the area.It is clear that Defense Minsiter Ehud Barak is preparing for large-scale military action (either in Gaza) or perhaps on a much larger scale. As captured by the InfoTV earlier this week, Barak attended IDF exercises in the Golan Heights before rushing off to Jerusalem to attend a military planning session for a potential invasion of the Gaza Strip. Check out the video below:With Israeli Cabinet Ministers meeting this week to decide the fate of Gaza, the sabre-rattling is reaching its inevitable climax, and I fear in the next few weeks (if not sooner) the UN will be issuing further statements - and perhaps we will see even more evidence of collective punishment and crimes against humanity on a scale much larger than we have witnessed in Gaza for some time.
Gaza blockade a siege in full fury: UN rapporteur (Dec 10, 2008) http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/10/2442672.htm
A United Nations special investigator on human rights says Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is a massive violation of international humanitarian law.Professor Richard Falk says Israel is allowing in barely enough food to avoid famine and disease. The UN rapporteur has aroused Israel's anger before but his latest criticisms are probably his strongest yet. He described the Israeli blockade of Gaza as a "siege in full fury," and said its collective punishment of Palestinians amounted to a crime against humanity. Mr Falk went on to say that the International Criminal Court should consider indicting Israeli leaders for possible violations of international criminal law. There was no immediate comment by Israel, but it has dismissed previous statements by Mr Falk as offensive and unbalanced.
UN attacks Israeli rights 'crimes' (DECEMBER 13, 2008) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/12/20081210551198584.html
(...) The Israeli government has faced a level of criticism by "normally cautious UN officials" not seen since the "the heyday of South African apartheid," Falk said. (...) The Human Rights Council said in its list of 99 recommendations that Israel must completely end its blockade of Gaza, while also calling for it to release Arab detainees. (...) The Israel military allowed dozens of lorries carrying humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and permitted the delivery of diesel to Gaza's main power plant on Tuesday. The Karam Abu Salam crossing allowed about 40 lorries carrying supplies into the territory, while 30 lorries with grain, wheat and bird feed passed through the Karni crossing.The Nahal Oz fuel terminal allowed in some industrial fuel for Gaza's only power plant, as well as cooking gas for the general public and petrol for UN operations.The Erez crossing was also open for journalists and humanitarian workers coming into Gaza.But Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the Palestinian coastal strip, said the amount of supplies allowed into Gaza was of limited quantity and would only probably last for a few days.
Official: IDF prepared for Gaza op (12.11.08) http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3636726,00.html
Security source tells Ynet military is waiting for political echelon to green light operation in Strip, adds various plans already presented to cabinet Eight days before the ceasefire agreement brokered with the militant groups in the Gaza Strip is scheduled to end, and amid non-stop rocket fire, a security source said that "the IDF will execute any operation the political echelon orders." The source further criticized statements made by various cabinet members, saying there was no need for them to publicly call for a Gaza operation, while they choose to take different stands sometimes opposite stands in the practical discussions on the matter. Haber says it may be impossible to end Gaza rocket attacks once and for allFull story The IDF presented the National Security Cabinet, which discussed the ongoing rocket fire on Israel Wednesday night, with various plans of action, meant to paralyze the rocket and mortar shell fire emanating form the Strip. According to the security source, the IDF is ready to launch any of its plans or a combination of them, but for that to happen, the political echelon must make an operational decision. In a meeting which included Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and in light of the sparring between Barak and Livni, the prime minister urged both to leave the IDF and the defense establishment out of the political debate: "The heads of the defense establishment and the IDF must not be attributed with any political considerations," the Prime Minister's Office said. National Security Cabinet member Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, called on the cabinet to halt the discussions on the fortification of the Gaza vicinity communities: "The best defense is a good offense I want to see fortifications in Gaza, not in Israel," he said. Shas Chairman Eli Yishai called for "an immediate surgical operation against Hamas' heads and those carrying out terror attacks and firing Qassam rockets and mortar shells on Israel." Yishai also said Israel should opt for a "financial chokehold" on Gaza. Foreign Minister Livni demanded an immediate Israeli response to the recent rocket fire, saying "fire should be met with fire." "The situation is unbearable," said her office. "Hamas and other terror groups are firing rockets, we close the (Gaza) crossings but we don't launch a military response, and as a result the fire continues. The IDF has to act. As for the extent of the operation, we have to choose from the options laid out before us."
Torture Speaks - Israel Video By Al Jazeera (2 min 55 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13pZHYUrUj8
Since 1967, some 75,000, men and women have been in and out Israelis prison where they had been jailed for long periods of time. A large number of them say have been subjected to severe torture that left many of them physically and mentally handicapped. Some of the old ex-prisoners have kept their stories to themselves and have not shared it with others. Hasan Abed Almajeed and Mohamad Abu Nie open up to Al Jazeera about their torture experience for the first time.
Democracy and accountability are an illusion by Paul Palango (Dec 4, 2008) http://www.straight.com/article-173196/democracy-and-accountability-are-illusion
(...) The official Arar story was that he was an innocent man who was betrayed by incompetent RCMP and CSIS officers and shipped by the Americans to Syria, where he was tortured for a year. The O'Connor Commission held hearings and the Harper government awarded Arar $10.5 million in compensation in February 2007, and another $2 million for legal fees. I had publicly bashed the RCMP for what it had done on numerous occasions on radio, on television, and in print. However, as I researched the book, there was much about the Arar story that did not make sense to me, especially after I began to dig deeper into the official story. An apparent typo in the OConnor Commission report eventually led me back into Arar's past to a convicted arms dealer. The timing and the circumstances of the arrest of the arms dealer, as well as the fact that documents about the case went missing from a Montreal courthouse in 2000, were extremely suspicious. (...) Dispersing the Fog is more than the story of Maher Arar; it is an investigation and analysis of the past 30 years of Canadian politics. It conclusively shows, based upon hard and irrefutable evidence, that we have lost control of our own country. There is an appearance of democracy, but real democracy and accountability are an illusion. There is no will at the highest levels to incorporate checks and balances in the system that would serve to protect us all. I guess that's too dangerous an idea to be discussed openly. I love Canada. I want Canada to be fair, progressive, and governed by the rule of law. It is a battle worth waging for everyone, even if it means in the short term being personally smeared by politicians, police, and members of the media who are all too cognizant of their own culpability. That's the only thing to fear in Canada. You don't get killed for being on the cutting edge in Canada; you either are ignored or shunned, or get heaps of mud thrown at you. Over the past few weeks, I've experienced all three. I was booked to do a number of shows on national televisionCTVs Canada AM, the CBC's Sunday Morningand the CBC radio syndicate, among others. Each cancelled at the last minute. Why? We can't find out. My public-relations person, Pat Cairns, says she has never seen a media response like that. She's astonished. It's clear that not only my well-researched Arar story but everything else in the bookabout the RCMP, Jean Chrétien, Brian Mulroney, Stephen Harper, and the state of Canadais making too many people nervous. Although the media is aware of what I have written, no one, to my knowledge, has bothered to confirm or refute what I report. To do so would only open a can of worms that no onethe government, political parties, or, especially, the mainstream mediawants to touch. Instead, the official Arar story is perpetuated ad nauseam as if I had written nothing. The CBCs Anna Maria Tremonti was almost in tears in early November while interviewing Arar and his wife, Monia Mazigh, about her recently published memoirs. CLIP
More about that Palango book ... and our media (November 23, 2008) http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/2008/11/more-about-that-palango-book-and-our.html
(...) In Dispersing the Fog I deal with a wide range of stories over the past 30 years and more which have served to confuse and confound Canadians. A common thread in each was the curious and often feeble work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The overarching theme of the book is the concentration of unchecked power at the top in Canada. I am not the only one who has said this. Professor Donald Savoie wrote an excellent book on the subject in 2007: Court government and the decline of accountability in Canada and Great Britain. Jeffery Simpson of the Globe and Mail wrote a book in 2001: The Friendly Dictatorship.Many others have commented on the evident dysfunction of Canadas public institutions. A second and even more controversial theme in the book is the explicit and implicit depiction of how the mainstream media has lost its way and is failing to serve the public interest. My original mandate in spring 2007 was to look at the RCMP and attempt to explain why things have gone so wrong for the force. In all three of my books on the RCMP, I have focused on the unholy relationship between government and the police in Canada. (...) However, when I began to look at the Maher Arar case, my head was turned. There are good people serving in the RCMP, even if the force is dysfunctional. It became obvious to me that something else was going on, something I could not easily explain, so I did what any good journalist should do, I asked the basic questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. The more I dug, the clearer the pattern was to me. In his review Mulgrew took aim at my thesis on Ararthat based on the evidence and the abundance of circumstances, it can be inferred that there was more to the Arar story than we were ever told by the government. Mulgrew makes light of the inference that Arar was likely a covert agentlikely for FBI counter-intelligence. CLIP
'Thousands made slaves' in Darfur (17 December 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7786612.stm
Strong evidence has emerged of children and adults being used as slaves in Sudan's Darfur region, a study says. Kidnapped men have been forced to work on farmland controlled by Janjaweed militias, a coalition of African charities says. Eyewitnesses also say the Sudanese army has been involved in abducting women and children to be sex slaves and domestic staff for troops in Khartoum. But Khartoum said the report was "very naive" and called the authors ignorant." The government does not condone abductions and it is not government policy," a government spokesman told the BBC. "We are working hard to stop such violations. The rebel factions are mostly to blame for abductions in Darfur." Up to 300,000 people have died since conflict began in Darfur in 2003 and at least 2.7 million people have fled their homes. Thousands of people from non-Arabic speaking ethnic groups in Darfur have been targeted, says the report, published by the Darfur Consortium on Wednesday. The group of 50 charities says it has around 100 eyewitness accounts from former abductees.Victims have been rounded up during joint attacks on villages by the Arabic-speaking Janjaweed and the Sudanese Armed Forces, according to the study. Civilians are also tortured and killed while their villages are razed to ethnically cleanse areas, which are then repopulated with Arabic-speaking people, including nomads from Chad, Niger, Mali and Cameroon, it says. They were kept telling us that we are not human beings and we are here to serve them. Most of the abductees are women and girls, but there is new evidence in Darfur of kidnappers targeting men and boys for forced agricultural labour, says the report.The abducted women and girls, meanwhile, are raped and forced to marry their captors as well as carry out household chores and sometimes cultivate crops, according to the study. CLIP
Agrofuel Production Threatens the Life of last remaining Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation South from the AmazonianBasin (Dec 11, 2008) http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/biofuelwatch/message/2790
Paraguay--On both November 26 and 28 in the South of Amotocodie (see http://www.iniciativa-amotocodie.org), anthropology and ecology experts of the Union of Native Ayoreo of Paraguay and the NGO Amotocodie Initiative with help from Ayoreo people from the village of Ijnapui hired by the Carlos Casado Company, confirmed the finding of a hut of the Ayoreo living in voluntary isolation. The Ayoreo are the last of such groups living south from the Amazonian Basin. The Ayoreos land is being deforested at a tremendous rate. More than 200 hectares have been clear-cut and another 1,000 hectares are slated to be cut by the end of the year. The deforesters vow that they will meet this deadline "come what may." The lands will be designated for growing 5 species of oleaginous for "bio-diesel" production including Jatrophacurcas. This tragedy is occurring in Paraguay's largest reservoir of carbon and is happening in a department where deforestation is banned by the Department's Law. Meanwhile, in Poznan, representatives of the Paraguay government are reporting to the XIV Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that Paraguay has managed to control rampant deforestation and is eager to negotiate payment for these actions. CLIP - Recommended by Glenn Ashton (email@example.com) who wrote: "This article encapsulates everything that is messed up about our 'civilisation'. Its actually neo-liberal/capitalist anarchy dressed up as orderly development. Crazy!"
Mood mixed as climate summit ends (13 December 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7781022.stm
Poznan - The UN climate summit has ended with delegates taking very different views on how much it has achieved. Western delegates said progress here had been encouraging, but environment groups said rich countries had not shown enough ambition. Developing nations were angry that more money was not put forward to protect against climate impacts. The meeting is the halfway point on a two-year process aimed at reaching a deal in Copenhagen by the end of 2009. CLIP
Climate Change: Chasm Widens Between Science and Policy http://www.truthout.org/121708EA
(...) The roof of our house is on fire while the leaders of our family sit comfortably in the living room below preoccupied with 'political realities' - that was essentially the message from 1,000 scientists from around the world along with northern indigenous leaders gathered in Quebec City for the International Arctic Change conference that concluded last weekend. Presenting data from hundreds of studies and research projects detailing the Arctic region's rapid meltdown and cascading ecological impacts, participants urged governments to take 'immediate measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.' CLIP
Report: Endangered species decisions tainted (Dec 15, 2008)) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081216/ap_on_go_ot/endangered_species
WASHINGTON A high-ranking Interior Department official tainted nearly every decision made on the protection of endangered species over five years, a new inspector general report finds, concluding she exerted improper political interference on many more rulings than previously thought. Julie MacDonald, a former deputy assistant secretary overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service, did pervasive harm to the department's morale and integrity and may have risked the well-being of species with her agenda, Interior Inspector General Earl Devaney said in his report out Monday. The Interior Department last year reversed seven rulings that denied endangered species increased protection, after an investigation found that MacDonald had applied political pressure in those cases. The new report looked at nearly two dozen other endangered species decisions not examined in the earlier report. It found MacDonald directly interfered with at least 13 decisions and indirectly affected at least two more.MacDonald, a civil engineer with no formal training in natural sciences, resigned in May 2007. Department employees reported that they used her name as a verb encountering political interference from senior managers was called "getting MacDonalded." (...) Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said the findings "paint a picture of something akin to a secret society residing within the Interior Department that was colluding to undermine the protection of endangered wildlife and covering for one another's misdeeds." CLIP
Google Wants Its Own Fast Track on the Web (DECEMBER 15, 2008) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122929270127905065.html
The celebrated openness of the Internet -- network providers are not supposed to give preferential treatment to any traffic -- is quietly losing powerful defenders. Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google has traditionally been one of the loudest advocates of equal network access for all content providers.At risk is a principle known as network neutrality: Cable and phone companies that operate the data pipelines are supposed to treat all traffic the same -- nobody is supposed to jump the line.But phone and cable companies argue that Internet content providers should share in their network costs, particularly with Internet traffic growing by more than 50% annually, according to estimates. Carriers say that to keep up with surging traffic, driven mainly by the proliferation of online video, they need to boost revenue to upgrade their networks. Charging companies for fast lanes is one option. CLIP
The artificial radiation of human beings should be considered "a crime" (According to the Nuremberg code) http://www.scribd.com/doc/8673066/The-Artificial-Radiation-of-Human-Beings-Should-Be-Considered-a-Crime
At long last the brochure "Wireless Networks (Wi-Fi) Consumer Health and Safety Advice" and associated links are online at http://www.emfacts.com/wifi/ - "The use of wireless devices by consumers is increasing rapidly, yet there is concern in the scientific community that this technology could have adverse side effects. Download our flyer for the facts and recommended precautions, and follow the links below for more information." Download this pdf brochure from http://www.emfacts.com/wifi/WiFi_A4.pdf see what serious risks you are taking is you let a Wi-fi system run non-stop at home. According to this brochure: "In late 2007, the French National Library removed all Wi-Fi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. In 2005, the Austrian Medical Association published a recommendation to use cables instead of Wi-Fi. The Salzburg Government, the Frankfurt Local Education Authority and the German Teachers Union have also banned or advised against the use of Wi-Fi in schools. In mid-2007, the European Environment Agency released a statement advising precaution regarding exposure to Wi-Fi networks until more is known through science. In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In September 2007, following the Bioinitiative Report,Europes top environmental watchdog, the European Environmental Agency, called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts. It suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in petrol." It also says: "If it is not possible to remove your wireless connections, it is advised that you take other precautions: - do not sit in close proximity to a wireless router (keep it in an unoccupied room if possible); - turn off any wireless devices at night time while you sleep as these devices emit microwaves at all times not just when the device is transmitting data; - avoid using a wireless laptop on your lap for extended periods of time; - take note of the short-term health effects if you notice any symptoms try to remove or reduce your exposure to the wireless device. (...) People may be affected in many different ways. Reported health effects from this type of radiation are one or more of the following: Neurological: headaches, dizziness/nausea, memory and concentration difficulties, insomnia, depression/anxiety, fatigue/weakness, numbness/tingling, muscle and joint pains. Cardiac: heart palpitations, shortness of breath, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure.Eyes: pain/discomfort, pressure in the eyes, deteriorating vision, cataracts. Ears: ringing in the ears, hearing loss. Other: skin problems, digestive problems, dehydration,nosebleeds, impaired sense of smell and light sensitivity. Research has also pointed to an increased likelihood of long-term effects including cancer, neurological diseases, genetic effects such as male sterility, miscarriage and birth defects, as well as asthma, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and bleeding disorders.It is also known that microwave radiation penetrates the body of a younger person more than an adult, so the possible long-term effects on young, developing children are of particular concern."
Mystery Cancer Cluster Hits Illinois Community - CELL PHONE TIME-BOMB CONSEQUENCES... http://www.truthout.org/121708HA
CBS News: "An amateur video shows residents in McCullom Lake Village. It is a community of a thousand people - but every person in the video either has a brain tumor, lives with a relative with one or lost someone to brain cancer. There, in a community of about 1,000 people, 14 residents have developed brain cancer. Nationally the rate is roughly seven out of 100,000."
Toxic Toiletries - 15 Baddies to Evict From Your Bathroom and Toilet Bag http://www.canceractive.com/page.php?n=224
Is your bathroom cabinet bulging with toxins? Is your make-up or toilet bag a cocktail of chemicals that could do you harm? Yes is probably the answer to both questions. Check out the ingredients list on your bottles and jars: the higher up the list these 15 come, the greater the concentration. So chuck out the offenders, look before you buy and invest in safer alternatives. CLIP GO check the list. It may save your life...
FDA Urges Pregnant Women to Consume More Mercury-Laced Seafood (December 12, 2008) http://www.ewg.org/node/27427
The Food and Drug Administration is urging the government to amend its advisory that women and children should limit how much fish they eat, saying that the benefits of seafood outweigh the health risks and that most people should eat more fish, even if it contains mercury.If approved by the White House, the FDA's position would reverse the government's current policy that certain groups -- women of childbearing years, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children -- can be harmed by the mercury in fish and should limit their consumption.The FDA's recommendations have alarmed scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, who in internal memos criticized them as "scientifically flawed and inadequate" and said they fell short of the "scientific rigor routinely demonstrated by EPA." (...) In 2004, the two agencies issued their first joint advisory, suggesting that women of childbearing age, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children stop eating four species of fish considered especially high in mercury: swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel. At the same time, the government advised limiting consumption of other mercury-contaminated fish.Mercury can damage the neurological development of fetuses and infants. Recent studies have suggested that mercury may also pose a health risk for adults, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.The two agencies are supposed to work together to regularly review the advisory, but EPA sources said the FDA went ahead with its own proposal earlier this year, not consulting the EPA until the document was nearly finished.The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, wrote yesterday to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and urged him to fight the FDA's recommendations."This is an astonishing, irresponsible document," said Richard Wiles, the environmental group's executive director. "It's a commentary on how low FDA has sunk as an agency. It was once a fierce protector of America's health, and now it's nothing more than a patsy for polluters." CLIP
Faulty DNA Repair May Explain EMF Role in Childhood Leukemia (December 15, 2008) http://www.microwavenews.com/XRCC1.html
This could be a breakthrough, a major breakthrough. It could explain how power lines promote childhood leukemia. It could identify which children are at greatest risk. And it could shed new light on the pivotal role played by EMF-induced DNA breaks. Chinese researchers have found that children who carry a defective version of a gene that would otherwise help repair damaged DNA are much more likely to develop leukemia if they also live near power lines or transformers. Xiaoming Shen and coworkers at the Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai have reported that children with this genetic variant known as a polymorphism or snp (pronounced "snip") and who lived within 100 meters of these sources of EMFs had over four times more leukemia than neighboring children with a fully functional version of the same gene. After so many have spent the last 30 years trying to understand how EMFs could promote childhood leukemia, Shen has come up with a relatively simple explanation: Children exposed to power-line EMFs suffer more DNA breaks, but those who carry this modified gene cannot repair the damaged DNA, making them more susceptible to cancer. Childhood leukemia is now generally believed to be initiated by a chromosomal rearrangement that occurs in the womb, followed by some environmental insult after birth. The power-line-induced DNA breaks could be one of many such possible secondary events. (...) Shen told Microwave News that 4-6% of his study population, who live within 500 km of Shanghai carry the Ex9+16G"> polymorphism. CLIP - Much more on this and other related issues through http://www.microwavenews.com/index.html
Climate change doesn't just cause ecological disasters. A new book by one of our correspondents shows how it is also behind some of the world's nastiest conflicts
In 2007, I flew to Chad and drove east to the 21st century's first war over water. Darfur, a barren, mountainous land just below the Sahara in western Sudan, is one of the world's worst man-made disasters. Four years of fighting has killed 200,000 people and made refugees of 2.5 million more. The immediate cause is well known: the Arab supremacist janjaweed and their backers in the Sudanese government are waging a campaign to exterminate African and Arab settler farmers in Darfur by slaughter, rape and pillage, burning thousands of villages to the ground.
But it was easy to forget that before man added his own catastrophe, life in Darfur was already a gathering natural disaster. To live on the arid soil of the Sahel is an eternal struggle for water, food and shelter. In the past, nomad Arab herders and settled farmers (Arabs and Africans) worked together: the farmers allowed the herders' livestock on their land in exchange for milk and meat. But as good land became scarcer, the two sides began to fight over it. "You might laugh if I say that the main reason of this issue is a camel," said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at his failed attempt at Darfur peace talks in October 2007. "But Africa has thousands of such issues. They are about water, about grass."
Competition is intensifying. The Sahara is advancing steadily south, smothering soil with sand. Added to that - or perhaps explaining it - is global warming. In November 2006, the United Nations Climate Change Conference heard a warmer earth will put at risk the lives of 65 to 95 million Africans over the next quarter of a century, most of them in and around the Sahara. The U.N.'s predictions prompted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to declare Africa "the continent most vulnerable" to global warming.
It's not hard to start a fight in a place like that. As the Sudanese government did, you just find a divide - racial, political, cultural, religious - and promise one side as much land as they can steal. But the immediate spark shouldn't be allowed to detract from the war's underlying cause. Says Michael Klare, director of the Peace and World Security Program at Hampshire College in Massachusetts: "In Darfur, global warming exacerbates divisions along ethnic lines and produces ethnic wars that are, at root, resource conflicts."
Many of Africa's conflicts can be explained as tinderboxes that had long been waiting for a spark. In northern Kenya, Turkana tribes and armed gangs murder and rob each other in a cycle of violence fuelled by eight years of drought. In Rwanda, there is an increasing consensus that Africa's other recent genocide is at least partly understood as a contest between too many people on too little cultivable land. The U.N. Development Program predicted as long ago as November 1999 that one in two Africans would face water shortages by 2025, and said it expected violent flashpoints to erupt along the Nile, and in the Niger Volta and Zambezi deltas.
Around the world, the U.N. is eyeing other ecological disasters for their conflict potential. There is the loss of half the Aral Sea to Soviet-era irrigation, and the melting of the Himalayan glaciers (which feed rivers from which 500 million people draw water); and there are Chinese plans to dam the upper Mekong, halving water flow to 65 million Southeast Asians. In a 2003 report, the U.N. Environment Program said water shortages already affected 400 million people and predicted that number would multiply tenfold by 2050. At that time, more than a sixth of the world's population, 1.1 billion people, had erratic supplies of clean water or none at all. UNEP chief Klaus Toepfer warned in an accompanying statement that "the next war could be a war [over] water."
The notion of weather as war maker has influential backers. On April 16, 2007, 11 former U.S. admirals and generals published a report for the Center for Naval Analyses Corporation that described climate change as a "threat multiplier" in volatile parts of the world. The next day, then British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett hosted a debate on climate change and conflict at the U.N. Security Council in New York City. "What makes wars start?" asked Beckett. "Fights over water. Changing patterns of rainfall. Fights over food production, land use. There are few greater potential threats to our economies, too, but also to peace and security itself." Speaking outside the debate, Philip E. Clapp, former president of the New York City-based National Environmental Trust (who died this year), warned: "Global warming is no longer just an environmental issue. It is a rapidly advancing human crisis threatening millions of people, which could undermine the shaky political stability of countries from Southern Africa to the Middle East and South East Asia."
As long as globalization increases economic activity, climate change will continue. That is why Darfur matters. There is the simple humanitarian imperative - helping refugees - which alone might seem cause enough for action. There is also a moral imperative. If climate change is a root cause of these wars, and the West has caused climate change, then these distant wars become our indirect responsibility. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, whose economy depends on hydropower from a reservoir that is now depleted by drought, is explicit in this regard, describing climate change as "an act of aggression by the rich against the poor."
But even those who reject these arguments, and insist foreign policy be dictated by self-interest, find themselves swayed by a third argument. If weather starts wars, and wars incite terrorists and violent opponents to the West, then it is in the West's self-interest to try to manage the weather. Darfur is a test case of whether our leaders are able to embrace this kind of broad, long-term view over short-term gains. If they can, they may be able to prevent the pattern repeating.
So can Darfur be saved? We already know what needs to be done. The immediate priority is to end the fighting by brokering a truce and sending in peacekeepers. In the longer term, Darfur needs sensible land-use policies and careful water management, while the rest of the world has to cut emissions. But at the Security Council, Beckett faced opposition from China, the U.S. and the two main groups representing developing countries. They complained that the forum was an inappropriate place to discuss climate change. That is, they disputed that climate change leads to war.
Perhaps a visit to northeastern Chad would change their minds. As I drove out to the area in spring 2007, the first sign we were entering a dead zone was the carcass of a camel. Camels can go three weeks without water in the Sahara, so the heap of fur, hair and bleached bones was an ominous sight. We entered a mud-walled, straw-roofed village. Instead of giving the usual smiles and waves, the children ducked away. A few minutes later, we crested a rise in the road and were confronted by nine janjaweed horsemen, rifles over their shoulders, white turbans around their heads. We'd gone before they could react, but we were 100 miles from the Sudanese border inside Chad and their presence on a road in broad daylight showed how invulnerable they felt. Two hours later we were in Iriba, northeastern Chad's logistics base for six refugee camps for families from Darfur. Aid workers in Iriba told me that, as horrific as the suffering was, it was surely going to get worse. "The water is going. The firewood is gone. The land has lost its ability to regenerate," said Palouma Ponlibae, an agriculture and natural-resources officer for the relief agency care. "The refugees are going to have to move. There's going to be nothing here to sustain life."
The camps had concentrated populations beyond what the meager land could support. At one camp, staff were increasingly finding themselves mediating conflicts between refugees and local farmers, who complained the influx from Darfur had ruined their land. At another camp, Haroon Ibra Diar described how, when his people fled to Chad, the janjaweed were already employing their own macabre energy-saving measures. "They beheaded people and used their heads for firewood," he said. I asked him what the future held. "We are farmers," he replied. "But how can we farm here? There's not even enough water to drink. It's a land of death."
While we were talking, a filthy young man in rags approached and started distractedly unpicking the threads of a knitted woollen cap. Diar introduced "Adam," whose entire family had been cut down in front of him in 2004. Something snapped. Adam was convinced another janjaweed onslaught was imminent, and told me he was getting terrible headaches from the janjaweed horsemen galloping around in his head. He asked if I could give him a lift to his home village. "It's the time of mangoes and guavas," he said. Watching him wander off, Diar told me Adam was obsessed by memories of when he was a boy, when the rains were good, the fruit was plentiful and the fighting just an occasional hazard. Sometimes, when the headaches were bad, he disappeared for days. Blinded by visions of plenty, he would run out into the desert and toward the war. Heading home.
Extracted from Falling Off the Edge: Travels Through the Dark Heart of Globalization, by Alex Perry, published by Bloomsbury Press.
From: Arthur Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 12 Dec 2008
Subject: Burma Campaign - New Dirty List Launched Today
From: Burma Campaign UK (email@example.com)
Weve just launched our new edition of the Dirty List. Its the biggest list weve ever produced, containing 170 companies that directly or indirectly fund Burmas brutal regime.
Thanks to your emails over the past year many companies have pulled out of Burma, depriving the regime of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Remember XL insurance? Cotton Traders? Arig insurance? Theyve all pulled out in the past year. So have others like Trailblazer Guides, Jet Gold Corp, CHC and Aquatic.
Every single day foreign companies give millions of dollars to the regime; allowing them to buy the bullets, guns and supplies for the army that keeps them in power. These companies are financing a regime that rapes five-year-old girls, shoots peaceful protestors and leaves storm victims to die.
Was this email forwarded to you by a friend? If you are not already a member of the Burma Campaign UK e-mail network, and would like to receive these updates directly, you can subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bernard Madoff to his sons about his $50 billion "Ponzi" scheme
Fraudster Bernard L. Madoff was national treasurer of the American Jewish Congress and Yeshiva University. So where did the $50 billion go?
The latest massive financial scandal is the giant $50 billion pyramid or "Ponzi" scheme run by a New York Zionist Jew, Bernard Lawrence Madoff. How can anyone lose $50 thousand million? Where did the $50 billion disappear to? Israel?
Madoff told two "senior employees," i.e. his sons, Mark and Andrew, at his apartment the night before his arrest that the Madoff hedge fund and his investment advisory business was "basically, a giant Ponzi scheme," according to court documents. His investment fund business was insolvent, and had been for years.
Many of Madoff's victims were fellow Jews looking for consistent returns on their investment, which his "Ponzi" scheme had been able to provide until a large number of investors tried to withdraw some $7 billion worth of funds in November. As the Wall Street Journal reported:
News of money manager Bernard Madoff's alleged fraud sent shock waves through upscale communities in the New York area and Florida where wealthy individuals had entrusted billions of dollars to Mr. Madoff for decades. Ira Roth, a New Jersey resident, who says his family has about $1 million invested through Mr. Madoff's firm, is "in a state of panic."
"This is going to kill so many people," said a current investor in Mr. Madoff's fund. "It's absolutely awful."
...Many of his clients knew Mr. Madoff personally but had little understanding of his investment strategy, which reported remarkably consistent returns of some 1% per month. They often referred to it as a "black box."
Madoff also allegedly said that the losses from the fraud were at least $50 billion, according to the criminal complaint. He told his sons that he was "finished," and that he had "absolutely nothing" and "it's all just one big lie."
WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?
So who is Bernard L. Madoff? Apart from running his "investment company" and being a former chairman and director of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDAQ), Madoff is a very committed Jewish Zionist who has served as the treasurer of two leading Zionist organizations. Like Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, Sanford Weill of Citibank, and Maurice Greenberg of A.I.G., the major culprits behind the $2 trillion bail-out, Madoff is another New York Zionist Jew who has committed a massive financial fraud and cheated Americans and others out of untold billions of dollars.
Madoff is a former national treasurer of the American Jewish Congress (AJC) of New York City, one of the major fund-raising organizations for the state of Israel. Founded by the Hungarian Zionist rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the AJC claims to be "the first Jewish Defense Agency to support the establishment of a Jewish state" and boycott Germany in the 1930s. Wise was a Zionist who had been trained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, where Michael Chertoff's rabbi father and grandfather also studied and taught.
Madoff is also the treasurer of Yeshiva University, a private Jewish university in New York City, where he is chairman of the board of the university's business school, the Sy Syms School of Business, which he has endowed with large donations, from his "Ponzi" scheme no doubt.
Madoff has been a member of Yeshiva Universitys Board of Trustees since 1996, and was elected chairman of the board of Syms School of Business in 2000. (Yeshiva University is clearly trying to erase traces of Madoff from their website, but the cached versions remain.)
At Syms, where Madoff is the chairman of the board, "Jewish tradition provides the framework for consideration of ethical issues, an integral part of the student's education." Does the "Jewish tradition" taught at Yeshiva U. support giant "Ponzi" schemes like the one run by their chairman? Is this the kind of business they teach the students at Syms? Cheat the "goyim," i.e. non-Jews, and steal their money?
That is exactly what the Talmud teaches, make no mistake about it. It is the main reason that Jews have been despised and expelled from so many nations throughout history.
Anyone familiar with the teachings of the Talmud, i.e. "Jewish tradition," will know that such anti-Christian schemes are at the heart of such an "education." This is why so many of the financial criminals involved in the current Zionist-produced "credit crisis" are Jewish Zionists who have been indoctrinated in such "Jewish traditions." The Zionist criminals involved in 9-11 and the cover-up of the truth are all tied to the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which is a similar Zionist institution.
Yeshiva University has a branch in Israel, as does the American Jewish Congress. Madoff has been the main treasurer of both Zionist institutions during the period he ran his giant "Ponzi" scheme. If Madoff has lost billions of dollars, as is alleged, these institutions should certainly be investigated as possible recipients of stolen money. The Zionist criminal structure relies on its tax-exempt "religious" network of schools and charities. These institutions are the frame of the Zionist criminal and racist network and should be investigated and closed if they are found to be teaching racist ideologies. Jewish racism is no different than any other racism and should not be tolerated in a free and democratic society like America.
Madeoff Scheme result of Swiss banks records exposure (Dec 15, 2008) Madoff moved the money to Israel!!
RATS ARE ESCAPING THE SINKING US ECONOMIC SHIP! http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_%28A_to_Z%29/Stocks_G/threadview?m=te&bn=8089&tid=289931&mid=289931&tof=24&frt=2#289931
As more info comes in regarding the Madeoff scheme, news from several sources say that Madeoff and his clients were the largest bank account holders listed on a computer disk leaked by a Swiss bank worker regarding US persons with hidden Swiss bank accounts. (...) Finally, sources say that the wealth from Madeoff's has been fully transferred to Israel and that "most if not all of the clients have been made aware" that their money is available to them in Israel and that it was felt that this was a necessary measure in protecting certain high level clients in the face of a collapse of the USA. (...) Madeoff's clients are not just in the US. He has moved funds to Israel for clients in Russia, France, England and Swiss in the scheme in which he is involved. Some insiders are saying the amount involved may be closer to $100 Billion.
Wall Street's Latest Downfall: Madoff Charged with Fraud (Dec. 12, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1866154,00.html
(...) Now it looks like Madoff, who went by Bernie, may also have been a crook, and quite possibly one of the largest Wall Street has even seen. According to the U.S. Attorney's office in the southern district of New York, Madoff admitted to defrauding clients for up to $50 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme that was committed over a number of years. CLIP
Is 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' fiction, or fact?
The re-release of The Day the Earth Stood Still, which opens Friday, Dec. 12, and the original version from 1951, could be more factual than you think. For a more mind-blowing experience watching either version of this movie, view it as an historical documentary, and not science fiction.
Be careful though because the current movie trailer indicates a departure from the 1951 script. Instead of portraying extraterrestrial beings as the peaceful emissaries they historically have been in real life, Hollywood again seems determined to impose its addiction to fictional violence on the masses.
Boulder resident, Paola Harris, teaches a course about Hollywoods role in disclosing UFO information. She has proposed that the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still (DESS) may have been the first collaboration between the military and film industry. The goal was to get the public used to the reality that we are not alone.
Many U.S. Presidents have known about UFO's from outer space. On February 22, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote a Double Top Secret memorandum to the "The Special Committee on Non-Terrestrial Science and Technology". He wrote about using "non-terrestrial know-how in atomic energy" and "coming to grips with the reality that our planet is not the only one harboring intelligent life in the universe."
The 1947 crash of a "flying saucer" in Roswell, NM was acknowledged by the Army on one day and denied the next day with a staged photo of some man-made debris. But witnesses reported that there were bodies and debris not from Earth. At the time, Roswell Army Base was the only authorized location to store atomic bombs.
The 1951 DESS movie takes place in Washington, D.C. with an ethical emissary from outer space seeking peaceful relations with Earth and warning world leaders to not use atomic weapons. In real life, the following year in July 1952, numerous UFO's were seen hovering over the U.S. Capitol for hours. Photos of the UFOs were part of front-page stories.
On Feb. 20-21, 1954, President Eisenhower met representatives from another planet. Dr. Michael Salla of the Exopolitics Institute has offered details of this from eyewitnesses. The purpose of the meeting was to negotiate a treaty in which the extraterrestrial people demanded that the U.S. stop exploding atomic bombs. Eisenhower didn't go for it. Nine days later on March 1st, the U.S. exploded its largest nuclear bomb to this day. The author of this article was born the same day.
Since then, many times extraterrestrial craft shut down nuclear missiles beyond the control of base commanders. Some of these commanders have spoken publicly about this on American television during 2008. But there was never any hostile intent by the alien crafts observed.
Are These Extraterrestrials Hostile? http://www.checktheevidence.com/DreamHill/arealiensevil/index.htm
This is simply answered by the fact that we are still alive here on earth. The ETs that have been visiting us far before we have had atomic weaponry could have then, as they could now, with their advanced weaponry, annihilate the human race without a challenge. All of the fear surrounding the stories of abduction and cattle mutilations etc. have more of an actual association with para-military operations right here on earth as testified by witnesses that have been in these operations. Never the less, our view of life from space is filled with haunting images of evil aliens wanting to take over earth and destroy us as portrayed in our movies. Our view of Extraterrestrials through Movies -- Reflecting what may be stored in the sub-conscious minds of millions on Earth of what Extraterrestrial interaction might be like, as portrayed by Hollywood Science Fiction over the years. Is it just human nature to want to see that which is "alien" to us as being something to fear that Hollywood caters to? Are there possibly influences that want the human race to view extraterrestrials in a menacing way, so that at the official government announcement of off planet cultures coming to earth, it will be an easy sell, that we must band together patriotically and almost as a religious war against Satan's demons and fight them, disguising the real threat originating right here on earth? History has shown, though multiple witness accounts, that actual extraterrestrial encounters have been for the most part benign, with the only actions taken against our military forces have been rendering our nuclear weapons inert. When you take into account the extremely advanced technology that these off planet cultures have demonstrated, since the beginning of recorded time, it makes no sense that they are the ones we should be fearing. For if they wanted to destroy us and take over our planet, they could have done it a long time ago. There appears other elements that have a para-military influence, such as abductions and cattle mutilations etc., that originate from more earthly based operations. In any case, do your own research and you be the judge who are the good and bad guys.
HAARP & its role in the False Flag Operation of September 11, 2001
THIS INTERVIEW ADDRESSES THE ENERGY BUDGET AS THE CONSTRAINTS AND METHOD FOR ANALYSIS OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE USE OF HAARP AND BEAM WEAPONS AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER SITE ON 9/11
IN TERMS OF THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR HAARP/BEAM WEAPONS USED AT THE WTC, THE ENERGY BUDGET IS THE MOST CRITICAL FACTOR TO USE AS AN APPROACH FOR SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE WTC DESTRUCTION. THE ENERGY REQUIRED TO TAKE DOWN THE BUILDINGS, AND TO CREATE THE VERY SMALL SIZE OF THE PARTICLES OF THE DUST, MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR. CHEMICAL EXPLOSIVES DO NOT PROVIDE THE ENERGY NEEDED TO PRODUCE THE LARGE VOLUME OF VERY SMALL NANOSIZED PARTICLES PRODUCED FROM THE COLLAPSE OF THE WTC BUILDINGS. YOU CANT GET MORE ENERGY OUT OF IT THAN YOU PUT INTO IT.
Seismic Record: the energy budget recorded in the seismic record on the day of 9/11 and the collapse of the buildings did not reflect the mass of building materials involved in the collapse, nor the nearly freefall of the collapsing buildings. The seismic record demonstrates an event on the scale of a quarry blast. WHERE WAS THE THUD?
Kinetic Energy: two robust buildings with very robust steel beam reinforcement would release a sizeable amount of kinetic energy from the buildings falling that would be all of the energy that went into the construction of the buildings. The release of that amount of kinetic energy is not reflected in the physical evidence on the seismic record. Into what physical process did that kinetic energy go?
Molecular Dissociation: the collapse of the buildings produced the highest mass per volume of very fine particles (nanoparticles) ever measured in an air sample in the United States. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to dissociate or break the molecular bonds of steel, concrete and other building materials that were powdered into very fine particles during the collapse of the buildings. The largest mass per volume of METALS ever measured in an air sample in the US were reported by Dr. Thomas Cahill who did air monitoring for 5 months. Metal is used in buildings because it is very strong and would require large amounts of energy to reduce it to nanoparticles. Chemical explosives do not release enough energy to produce that volume of very fine particles. A much more energetic process was involved such as laser or beam energy which releases focused and concentrated energy as complex waveforms necessary to cause molecular dissociation.
Physical Evidence of Buildings Collapsing: in videos of the collapses on 9/11 the WTC buildings erupted into emulsion like a drinking fountain, and the rubble did not hit the ground. Even on tape huge pieces of aluminum building siding vaporized as they were free-falling, and never hit the ground.
Controlled Demolition: this was not a controlled demolition. Detritus Pile: should be 1/3 the height of the building. The 100+ story buildings were about 1 story high when the collapse of the buildings ended. A fireman on one of the news videos said the antenna that had been on the of B. 1 was on the top of a pile of rubble about one story high. The rubble pile should have been 35 stories if it was a conventional controlled demolition.
Rubble Never Hit the Ground this defies gravity, where did the rubble go?
Footprints - Geometrically Round Holes: contiguous round holes 24 in diameter were in the footprints of the WTC buildings 1 and 2, and a 60 deep geometrically round hole was in the middle of Liberty Street near the WTC. This is evidence of beam weapons. There was NO debris inside the footprints of the two WTC buildings only bare dirt with circles in the dirt.
Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab Beam Weapon Demo: in 1955 the microwave oven was invented and was a concept for a beam weapon.
In the summer of 1990, I observed a demonstration of the Livermore Shiva laser facility in the middle of the night. A 16 diameter amber colored beam was shot straight up into the sky from the lab and all air traffic was diverted for a 5 mile radius during the demonstration. When I asked a grad student working at the laser facility what they were trying to do, he said Make a star. I knew that could not be true because lasers are used to molecularly dissociate materials by releasing tremendous amounts of energy as very advanced and complex waveforms. Livermore had long been involved in development of HAARP since 1978 in secret collaboration with the Soviet Union, AND advanced beam weapons.
Dust: in videos of the collapse larger particles fell and cascaded
down from the buildings under the forces of gravity, but before they hit the ground they vaporized and suddenly went up into the atmosphere like an antigravity demonstration. Nanoparticles are so tiny that they are not
subject to the forces of gravity, so molecular dissociation occurred on the larger particles as they were freefalling, reducing them into nano-particles (0.1 microns in diameter and smaller) which suddenly obeyed other physical laws quantum mechanics. More evidence of HAARP/beam weapon technology applied during collapse.
Satellite photos: showed dust going into upper atmosphere which had to be nanoparticles and may have been enhanced by other technology because most very fine particles/dust would stay in the Troposphere and be rained out in 2 months as we know from depleted uranium particulate releases from battlefield already.
1400 Toasted Cars: located blocks from the WTC buildings, with door handles missing, engine blocks missing, blistering on some parts of the car finish, strange rust patterns on the bodies of the cars.
Paper Around Cars Not Burned: whatever vaporized the engine blocks and the door handles on 1400 cars did not ignite fragile and flammable paper lying all over the ground around the cars. If engine blocks and door handles selectively vaporized, why didnt body of car vaporize?
Pile of Cars Spontaneously Combusted: in a news video, the entire pile of cars started burning spontaneously at the same time with no visible cause, it was not a fire that started in one car and spread to others.
Rust Occurred Immediately: on cars and trucks, and in FEMA photos there was heavy rust on STEEL beams steel does not rust, and it is a slow oxidation process that results in rusting of iron. This rusting happened immediately.
Basements Of WTC Buildings Undamaged: stuffed mannequins in the basement with clothing on were carried out of the basement undamaged. If a 100+-story building collapsed into its basement and left a 35-story rubble pile, there would be nothing left in the basement. Even streetcars underground at the WTC were pulled out after the collapse and had no damage.
Prof. Cahill Air Monitoring Samples: the hardest and most durable materials vaporized (steel, concrete etc), and the most fragile materials (paper) cascading out of windows and all over the ground for blocks were undamaged
Truckloads of Potting Soil: right after the WTC disaster, the ground was fuming, and sequential FEMA aerial photos show 130 dumptrucks FULL of soil (filled almost to the top of the dumptruck space) covered with tarps so that the dirt in the trucks was not visible to onlookers on the street, coming INTO the WTC area, dumping the soil and going out for more. This happened even before the rescues or cleanup started and it continued for some time. The piles of soil were left for a week and got higher each day in sequential photos. The soil fuming lasted until March 2002 (8 months).
Where Were All the WTC Bodies?: Emergency Room MDs Dr. Tony Daher and Dr. Lincoln Cleaver were interviewed on TV on 9/11 about the casualties. They said there werent any after about noon on 9/11, no more casualties came to the ER. Firemen saw NO BODIES but talked about the antenna on top of building 1 that was at ground level on top of about one story of rubble.
Boots Disintegrated: on emergency responders after 2 hours. They had to get new boots every 2 hours molecular dissociation. It was not from burning, their skin would have been damaged.
NO FIRES IN BUILDINGS: William Rodriguez, Senior Janitor at WTC said there were no fires in the buildings. He conducted rescue efforts, saved injured workers and had keys to every lock in both buildings.
No Ground Fuming During Rain: For 99 days the burning (fuming) continued at the WTC site, but when it rained there was no fuming. If it had been fires burning, the rain would have caused steam from heating rainwater.
USGS: Iron versus Steel: the USGS analyzed the mineral form
of the rust on steel beams and iron objects at the WTC. They did not address the steel does not rust issue, but dodged it by referring to the rusted steel beams in the rubble pile as iron beams and gave mineral analyses of IRON minerals produced by oxidation.
Official Sample Data Not Reliable: spectral absorption images at the WTC indicated average particle size was about 1 micron, which is subjected to gravity and would have fallen with the collapsed buildings. USGS did not collect many dust samples and collecting samples by other different agencies did not agree with each other. No samples were taken at the toasted cars.
Beam Weapon Evidence: was present at the top of the WTC buildings as lathering up started before buildings started coming down. Lathering up in videos preceded the collapse of all buildings, even Building 7 which supposedly Larry Silverstein when he said Pull it to firefighters meant controlled demolition. Color alteration and modification in news videos compared to other photos/videos at tops of buildings indicates doctoring of images.
When the Seattle Dome was destroyed with controlled demolition, the dust created by the destruction did not get any higher than the top of the building. The WTC dust got into the upper atmosphere almost immediately which indicates VERY TINY atmospheric dust sized particles (0.1 micron and smaller), in fact smaller than atmospheric dust which stays mainly in the Troposphere.
Lathering Up Incriminating: Building 7 lathered up even before B. 2 went down. B7 not damaged at all by B. 2 going down right next to each other.
Freon tanks very odd, large tanks removed from WTC building and OSHA made bogus statement about what and why they were removed. Was freon used in takedown? A NYC cop I met with Cindy Sheehan said he was injured in B. 7 and removed on a gurney, but his eyes were covered so he could not see anything as they left the building. He reported he was able to see dead bodies lying all over the floor as he was being carried out BEFORE building 7 had collapsed. Was this due to Freon asphyxiation put through ventilation system like in recent Russian submarine disaster?
Minneapolis Bridge Collapse: similarities to WTC disaster, every bridge segment failed at exactly the same time instead of domino effect after first collapse. This defies the laws of engineering. It should have been one place failed and sequential domino-like failures followed for a normal engineering collapse.
911 Blog Forum Comment: We stand at the beginning of a new age. Our government has in its hands a method of disrupting the molecular basis for matter [HAARP/beam weapons], and its first impulse was to weaponize it. Is this so hard to understand? Like splitting atoms to create destruction was it hard to understand in 1945? [HAARP - the new and improved model]
Of course this new invention came when the United States ruled supreme. A weapon system of vast new power comes in time and we dont have an enemy worthy of it, so naturally we use it on ourselves, Wag the Dog.
COOP RADIO: HAARP Series of Radio Programs with Independent Scientist Leuren Moret
HAARP as a Space-Based Weapon of Mass Destruction
Part I: Monday June 2, 2008 @ Noon-1 PM PDT
WHERE: Vancouver Coop Radio CFRO 102.7 FM
LISTEN LIVE: http://www.coopradio.org
Host: Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd
Global warming sparks a scramble for black gold under retreating ice (18 April 2006) http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/apr/18/environment.oilandpetrol
(...) The melting of Arctic sea ice has made the region more accessible to shipping, and oil and gas companies keen to prospect for natural resources. Some estimates suggest that one quarter of the planet's untapped fossil fuels, including 375bn barrels of oil, lie beneath the Arctic, and industry experts talk of a "black gold rush" as companies clamour to exploit the reserves. Off Norway's north coast, the state oil company, Statoil, is engaged in project Snow White, which workers believe will generate £34bn in liquefied natural gas over the next 30 years. CLIPl
10. The September 11, 2001 Attacks -- Like many buildings built in the 1970s, the twin towers were constructed with vast quantities of cancer-causing asbestos. The cost of removing the Twin Tower asbestos? A year's worth of revenues at a minimum; possibly as much as the value of the buildings themselves. The cost to disassemble the Twin Towers floor by floor would have run into the double-digit billions. In addition, the Port Authority was prohibited from demolishing the towers because the resulting asbestos dust would cover the entire city, which it did when they collapsed, resulting in many cancers with a confirmed link to the WTC dust.
Despite its questionable status, in January of 2001, Larry Silverstein made a $3.2 billion bid for the World Trade Center. On July 24, the Port Authority accepted the offer. Silverstein then took out an insurance policy that, understandably, covered terrorist attacks, which happened seven weeks later. To date, Silverstein has been awarded almost $5 billion from nine different insurance companies. What was an asbestos nightmare turned into a $1.8 billion profit within seven weeks.
Donald Rumsfeld said about the Pentagon on the morning of September 10, 2001: "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." That bombshell was pretty much forgotten by the next morning. So, as a reward for losing $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in America, taxpayers patriotically forked over another $370 billion and counting to invade Iraq. True to form, the Pentagon promptly lost $9 billion of that money, too.
Eight days after the attacks, the 342-page Patriot Act was given to Congress. That same week, letters armed with anthrax from a US military lab entered the mail. Subsequently, while Congressional offices were evacuated, examined, cleaned and nasal cavities swabbed, the Patriot Act remained largely unread. Then, with little debate, the Patriot Act became law, giving the Bush administration unprecedented power to access people's medical records, tax records, information about the books they bought or borrowed and the power to conduct secret residential searches without notifying owners that their homes had been searched.
In early 2001, executives from Shell, BP, and Exxon met with Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force while it was developing its new national energy policy. Later, the companies freely admitted interest in profiting from Iraq's oil fields, even before the US invaded Iraq. And now? A new Iraq hydrocarbon law expected to pass in March 2007 will open the door for international investors, led by BP, Exxon and Shell, to siphon off 75 percent of Iraq oil wealth for the next thirty years.
According to statements by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a Bronze Star recipient with 22 years of experience in intelligence operations, a classified intelligence program codenamed Able Danger had uncovered two of the three 9/11 terrorist cells a year before the attacks and had identified four of the hijackers. Shaffer alerted the FBI in September of 2000, but the meetings he tried to set up with bureau officials were repeatedly blocked by military lawyers. Four credible witnesses have come forward to verify Shaffer's claims.
In August 2001, a Pan Am International Flight Academy instructor warned the FBI that a student (Zacarias Moussaoui) might use a commercial plane loaded with fuel as a weapon. The instructor asked "Do you realize that a 747 loaded with fuel can be used as a bomb?" Moussaoui was then arrested on immigration charges, but despite the repeated urging of the school and local agents, FBI headquarters refused a deeper investigation. The US also received dozens of detailed warnings (names, locations, dates) from the intelligence agencies of Indonesia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, India, Argentina, Morocco, Russia, Israel, France and even the Taliban. It would seem that the entire world was onto the bungling Saudi hijackers and somewhat perplexed that the US wasn't taking preventative actions. But in each case the US, as if by design, chose not to investigate. Instead. Condoleezza Rice, on May 16, 2002, stated: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon."
We also know that on the morning of 9/11, multiple Air Force war games and drills were in progress. The hijackers would have never made it to their targets without these war games: Operation Northern Vigilance ensured that many jet fighters that would have normally been patrolling the east coast were flying over Alaska and northern Canada in a drill that simulated a Russian air attack, complete with false radar blips.Remarkably, operation Vigilant Guardian simulated hijacked planes in the north eastern sector, while real hijackers were in the same airspace. This drill had NORAD and the Air Force reacting to false blips on FAA radar screens. Some of these blips corresponded to real military aircraft in the air posing as hijacked aircraft. That's why when NORAD's airborne control officer, Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, heard Boston claim it had a hijacked airliner, her first words were, "It must be part of the exercise."
If you follow the money, you can see that the people with the most to gain occupied the key military and civilian positions to help 9/11 happen, as well as to cover up the crime. Such is the hallmark of false flag operations throughout history. But the incredible scale of the 9/11 sham, and the sheer number of people who still refuse to see the mountain of truth in front of their eyes... that's what makes the September 11, 2001 attacks the greatest false flag operation of all time. CLIP
Key Reasons Why Earth Needs the Space Preservation Treaty Signed Now! http://peaceinspace.blogs.com/peaceinspaceorg/2007/04/key_reasons_why.html
The current U.S. Administration plans to deploy space-based weapons. One main purpose is to dominate and control space, as the actor who dominates and controls space, dominates and control all on earth. Space-based weapons are dangerous, destabilizing, too costly, and unnecessary, as they would not protect anyone or anything and there is a better choice. Fortunately, a U.N. Space Preservation Treaty is ready to be signed into law. This is the one moment in time when space-based weapons can be banned before deployment under the guise of research or tests of missile defense, and/or before the accelerated momentum of funding, vested interests and technology gets put into place that would make this impossible to stop. Plans are in motion to convene a U.N. Space Preservation Treaty Signing.The U.N. Space Preservation Treaty to ban all space-based weapons will: CLIP
Editor's Note: Larry Schweiger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation. The federation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect wildlife habitats and advocate for solutions to global warming.
Larry Schweiger says global warming is the defining issue of the 21st century.
(CNN) -- Nature can be amazingly resilient, capable of adapting to constantly changing ecological conditions. And yet, this resiliency is limited and rapidly reaching the breaking point.
In the lifetime of a child born today, 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's plant and animal species will be on the brink of extinction -- in part because of global warming -- if we fail to act.
Like it or not, global warming is the defining issue of the 21st Century. Climate scientists have issued warnings that we must act now to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases that cause global warming.
Dr. James Hansen of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that the next two years are a "last chance" to act before we tip our climate system too far out of balance, creating a fundamentally "different planet."
Unchecked, we are heading to a full-blown climate crisis as the planet encounters several key tipping points including:
Planet in Peril: Battle Lines
Widespread damage to forests caused by expanded wildfire and insect infestation. A four-fold increase in the number of forest fires and a six-fold expansion of acres burned in the Western United States has been linked to global warming and drier conditions. Fires in Russia last summer consumed 29 million acres. Insect infestations have killed millions of acres of forests in North America as larvae increasingly survive warmer winters.
Persistent drought. By the 2020s, 75 to 250 million people in Africa risk losing access to clean water, and some African countries are expected to see a 50 percent decline in crop yields.
Flooding caused by rising sea levels will put hundreds of millions of people, including many Americans, at risk.
The acceleration of the Arctic ice melt is a powerful warning that we are rapidly running out of time. The last two summers have seen dramatic, record-shattering declines in the Arctic ice cap.
Not too long ago, scientists were concerned that global warming could completely melt the Arctic ice cap within a century. Today, some scientists are predicting that this may happen in five years. Polar bears are drowning and other sea life is struggling with the decline of Arctic ice.
Arctic ice melt presents multiple dangers, including the release of methane. Vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, are stored in permafrost.
Melting of even a small fraction of this permafrost -- on land or the ocean floor -- and the subsequent release of methane could cause a runaway greenhouse effect. Scientists recently documented openings in the Arctic Ocean sea floor off the Siberian coast where millions of tons of methane are escaping.
This rapid ice melt is now creating an international fight for the oil that lies beneath the ice. The irony of this should not be lost. Oil is a top culprit in polluting our atmosphere with heat-trapping gases. Rather than fighting for more of the very resource that has created this climate crisis, countries should be working together to do everything possible to prevent further melting.
Fortunately, America is ready to act. President-elect Barack Obama has stated that we are entering "a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change." He recognizes the economic opportunity to create jobs and reduce our dependency on oil by investing in the clean energy technologies that will safeguard our planet.
We need a green shovel to dig our way out of our economic hole. The investments in clean energy that forestall a climate meltdown will aid our recovery from the global financial meltdown.
Overwhelming numbers of Americans are ready. According to election polling, more than three-quarters of voters are demanding a shift toward clean energy in order to revitalize America's economy.
And yet, the clean energy revolution will not be a sufficient response to the climate crisis. We must also protect the nature of tomorrow in the face of this threat. Safeguarding wildlife and protecting natural resources in a warming world requires bold approaches to natural resource management that will transform the way we approach wildlife conservation.
The eyes of the world are upon America and what we do this coming year. In 2009, we need to enact a federal program to promptly cap and reduce the pollution causing global warming at the pace scientists tell us is needed. We must use the financial resources from this program to invest in clean energy technologies, safeguard America's natural resources and protect communities from the threats of a destabilized climate.
With renewed U.S. leadership, we can secure an effective global agreement on climate change that engages every nation around the world in the effort to protect our planet, and ourselves.
Conflicts over natural resources are accelerating, and we must address the imperative of balancing human needs with the natural world. We can no longer afford to separate the two -- we all depend on healthy natural resources for the food we eat, the water we drink, the houses we build -- no matter where we live.
After all, we have only one planet. And good planets are hard to find.
When the planners of Las Vegas peered into the future in 1950, they projected that the desert city's population--then 25,000--would be lucky to break 100,000 by the end of the century. As it turned out, they were off by a factor of 19, and as you leave the sizzling Strip--the iconic center of this metropolis of 1.9 million people--for the Lake Mead reservoir, 65 miles to the northwest, you can see the source of all that growth. In a city that receives just 4 in. of rain a year, residents in the sprawling housing developments where much of the Las Vegas population lives use an average of 165 gal. of water a day--and 90% of that comes from Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam in 1935. Lake Mead holds Nevada's 130 billion gal. share of the Colorado River's flow, split with six other states in the West--and for decades, says Pat Mulroy, head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, "we'd assumed it was virtually drought-proof."
It's not. Through air that shimmers in the blast furnace of a July day, you can see how far Mead's water level has fallen. White bathtub rings of mineral deposits, measuring high-water marks that grow less high every year, circle the edges of the reservoir. Today Mead's water level is 1,108 ft., down from more than 1,200 ft. in 2000. (The official drought level is 1,125 ft.) If the water continues to decline, says marine geophysicist Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, "buckle up." Barnett co-authored a study estimating a 50% chance that a combination of climate change and increased demand could render Mead effectively dry by 2021. Mulroy doubts Barnett's dire conclusion, but she knows Las Vegas--and the world beyond--faces an existential crisis over water. "This is about being able to survive as a human being," she says.
The reason for the world's growing water woes is evident in the numbers. The planet fairly sloshes with water--326 quintillion gal. of it--but only 0.014% of that is available for human use. The rest is nonpotable ocean water or inaccessible freshwater, most of it frozen in polar caps. And the available water we do have is far from evenly distributed. About 1.1 billion people have no access to clean water, and half the planet lacks the same quality of water that the ancient Romans enjoyed. And while the amount of water on the planet remains fixed, the number of people drawing on it does not. The world's population could grow from 6.7 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, according to U.N. projections. Much of that growth will be in countries that are already water poor. Not only will those extra billions need to drink, they will also need to eat--and agriculture sucks up two-thirds of the world's water. They will need electricity too, and in the U.S., nearly half the water withdrawn on a daily basis is used for energy production--to turn the steam turbines in coal plants, for instance.
What's more, none of that includes a new X factor: global warming. Some areas of the world will grow wetter as a result of climate change, but others will grow dryer, and so far the drying is winning. The area of the earth's land surface classified as very dry has doubled since the 1970s; by 2050, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes, that trend will worsen. "You do the math, and it gets a little scary," says Stuart Minchin, a water expert with the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization.
If the amount of water on the planet can't be changed, the way we use it has to. Water is wasted in rich countries and poor ones, in irrigation and industry, in bottles and pipes. "We're waking up," says Peter Gleick, head of the Pacific Institute, an environmental group based in Oakland, Calif. "But not fast enough."
In Australia, the wake-up call can no longer be ignored. Since 2002, the world's dryest inhabited continent has been in the grip of the worst drought in its recorded history. In Melbourne, you're no longer allowed to fill your swimming pool, and in bone-dry Brisbane, residents aren't allowed any external water use without a permit. But the real pain has been borne in the Murray-Darling River Basin in southern Australia, the heart of the country's $30 billion agricultural economy. Even in good times, Murray-Darling receives as little as 10 in. of rain a year, but 70% of the country's irrigation resources flow to the basin, creating a fertile desert able to produce 1.2 million metric tons of water-thirsty rice, among other crops
The good times, however, are gone. Last year the government allocated zero irrigation to the basin's farmers, and they produced just 18,000 metric tons of rice, the lowest yield since 1927. "No one around here has ever seen conditions like this," says rice grower Les Gordon, standing on the cracked ground of his 4,000-acre farm near the town of Barham.
The crisis is more than just Australia's problem. The collapse of the country's harvest contributed to a doubling of the price of rice this past spring, which in turn led to food riots in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Egypt. And that's the real impact of water scarcity--food scarcity. It takes 150 gal. of water to grow a pound of wheat, up to 650 gal. for a pound of rice and 3,000 gal. to raise the equivalent of a quarter-pound of beef.
With even the most aggressive plans to reverse global warming likely to take years to produce effects and population growth not likely to slow appreciably soon, the only answer is vastly improved water efficiency. That's where dry Australia is leading the way. In northern Victoria state, the government has launched a five-year, $1.3 billion project that will overhaul the region's century-old irrigation system, using computer-controlled channels that should significantly cut down on water waste, which today can reach 30%. "It's extracting the most benefit we can from the water we have," says Murray Smith, who heads the Northern Victoria Infrastructure Renewal Project.
Still, for all Australia's water worries, citizens there don't yet need to fear that when they turn on the tap nothing will come out. That's not the case in India, even in the capital of New Delhi, which supplies about 200 million gal. a day less than its population requires. Water is a worry, not just for poor Indians but also for middle-class ones, like R.K. Sachdev, a retired civil servant who lives with his wife in an upscale development in the city's southwest. "Every morning when I get up, my main worry is water," his wife Kusum says. Near the entrance to their flat, they keep a 265-gal. storage tank--locked to prevent theft. The couple are awake by 6:30 a.m. to ensure that the municipal supply is running, and they use an ultraviolet filter to purify water intended for drinking or cooking because contamination is constant.
In New Delhi's bursting slums, residents are often left to fight for buckets of water delivered via trucks, a process that is time consuming and expensive. The Sachdevs pay less than 2¢ per 26 gal. of water; the poor might pay that for a single quart from a private truck or even more for bottled water. "The rich end up paying just a fraction of the price to water their lawn than the poor do just to stay alive," says William Fellows, the regional water, sanitation and health adviser for UNICEF/South Asia. Worse, waste of the little water that is available is rampant. New Delhi loses as much as 50% of its water through leakage and other forms of inefficiency. It is a pattern repeated throughout the ill-planned urban areas of the developing world. "These cities are leaking buckets," says Junaid Ahmad of the World Bank.
The probable increase in yearly monsoons related to global warming should provide at least some new water, though out-of-control flooding will pose its own dangers. But the only other alternative comes from underground--and here India may be digging its own grave. There are now 23 million wells across India, up from 2 million 30 years ago, and those wells are draining the country's deep groundwater, or aquifer. Wells that once hit water at 20 ft. now need to go 80 ft. or deeper. New Delhi groundwater levels have declined 15% to 20% over the past several years. With almost no connection between the amount of water used and its cost, there is little incentive for rural farmers to stop drilling wells or for urban residents to conserve. "The price of water is a very important mechanism," says Ahmad.
In parched Las Vegas, Mulroy knows price is one of the best tools at her disposal to control the city's growing thirst. In the spring, officials approved a staggered rate hike that increased prices for low-volume users 17% and for the highest-volume users more than 30%. The city has also unleashed its water cops--officials like Dennis Walker who ride around sprawling new housing developments looking for violations of outdoor-water-use laws. Sprinklers are illegal during the daylight hours, and homeowners have to use a misting system rather than simply hose down the grass. Through ignorance or obtuseness, however, not everyone has gotten the message. At one house, Walker catches a sprinkler spraying a rock garden, the water leaking onto the boiling hot asphalt street. "That's pretty egregious," he notes laconically. He films the incident, with the time and date, and checks the address online to see if there are any prior violations. Fines can exceed $1,000 for multiple infractions.
All these policies are having an effect. From being one of the most wasteful cities in the U.S.--in the 1980s, Las Vegas used almost twice as much water per capita as did far wetter New York--Vegas may now get more economic bang for its water than any other place on earth. Though the city has grown by 300,000 people since 2002, it uses less water today than it did six years ago, and leakage is below 5%. "Failure is not an option," says Mulroy.
The same is true for the rest of us. In the past century, we treated water as if it were inexhaustible. But that illusion has dried up. The only way to thrive in a warmer, thirstier world will be to learn to get more out of less. "We have the time to change," says Scripps' marine geophysicist Barnett. "Do we have the will to change? I don't know."
Drought parches much of the U.S., may get worse (December 11, 2008) http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/12/11/drought.problem/index.html
(...) Now a new generation of Americans is again anxiously looking to the sky. Drought has returned to the United States, and some warn that more tough days are ahead. The value of water is starting to become apparent in America. Over the past three years a drought has affected large swaths of the country, and conflicts over water usage may become commonplace in the future, climatologists say. "Our focus is oil, but the critical need for water is going to make water the most significant natural resource that we're going to have to worry about in the future," says Larry Fillmer, executive director of the Natural Resources Management & Development Institute at Auburn University in Alabama. At least 36 states expect to face water shortages within the next five years, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, several regions in particular have been hit hard: the Southeast, Southwest and the West. Texas, Georgia and South Carolina have suffered the worst droughts this year, the agency said.Yet most people don't need a federal agency to tell them there's a water shortage. Plenty of cities have implemented water bans while state squabbles over water usage are common in some regions. What may surprise people, though, are the causes for the recent drought. It's not global warming, some climatologists say. The droughts are caused by rapid population growth and unwise agricultural choices. John R. Christy, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, says the last three years have been drier than usual in many parts of the United States, but overall there's been no shortage of rainfall. He says the U.S. mainland experienced worse droughts in the 12th and 16th centuries."The demand for water has gone up," Christy says. "The demand has skyrocketed in places like California and New Mexico because they've tried to grow crops in deserts."Even drought conditions in the Southeast can't be blamed on a shortage of rainfall, Christy says. The region's water delivery systems can't keep pace with the growth, he says. CLIP
Farm Workers Hungry Due To Central Valley Drought (Dec 12, 2008) http://cbs5.com/local/farm.workers.hunger.2.886509.html
MENDOTA (AP) Idled farm workers are searching for food in the nation's most prolific agricultural region, where a double blow of drought and a court-ordered cutback of water supplies has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. This bedraggled town is struggling with an unemployment rate that city officials say is 40 percent and rising. This month, 600 farm families depleted the cupboards of the local food bank, which turned away familiesmore than 100 of themfor the first time."We're supposed to supply the world" said Mendota Mayor Robert Silva, "and people are starving."The state's most dire water shortage in three decades is expected to erase more than 55,000 jobs across the fertile San Joaquin Valley by summer and drive up food prices across the nation, university economists predict."People being thrown out of work are the ones who can least afford it," said Richard Howitt, a professor of agriculture economics at the University of California-Davis, who estimates that $1.6 billion in agriculture-related wages across the valley will be lost in the coming months because of dwindling water. CLI
There has never been a more important time to invest in green technologies, yet many of us believe these efforts are doomed to failure. What nonsense, writes Chris Goodall
Chris Goodall -- 27 November 2008
Myth 1: solar power is too expensive to be of much use
In reality, today's bulky and expensive solar panels capture only 10% or so of the sun's energy, but rapid innovation in the US means that the next generation of panels will be much thinner, capture far more of the energy in the sun's light and cost a fraction of what they do today. They may not even be made of silicon. First Solar, the largest manufacturer of thin panels, claims that its products will generate electricity in sunny countries as cheaply as large power stations by 2012.
Other companies are investigating even more efficient ways of capturing the sun's energy, for example the use of long parabolic mirrors to focus light on to a thin tube carrying a liquid, which gets hot enough to drive a steam turbine and generate electricity. Spanish and German companies are installing large-scale solar power plants of this type in North Africa, Spain and the south-west of America; on hot summer afternoons in California, solar power stations are probably already financially competitive with coal. Europe, meanwhile, could get most of its electricity from plants in the Sahara desert. We would need new long-distance power transmission but the technology for providing this is advancing fast, and the countries of North Africa would get a valuable new source of income.
Myth 2: wind power is too unreliable
Actually, during some periods earlier this year the wind provided almost 40% of Spanish power. Parts of northern Germany generate more electricity from wind than they actually need. Northern Scotland, blessed with some of the best wind speeds in Europe, could easily generate 10% or even 15% of the UK's electricity needs at a cost that would comfortably match today's fossil fuel prices.
The intermittency of wind power does mean that we would need to run our electricity grids in a very different way. To provide the most reliable electricity, Europe needs to build better connections between regions and countries; those generating a surplus of wind energy should be able to export it easily to places where the air is still. The UK must invest in transmission cables, probably offshore, that bring Scottish wind-generated electricity to the power-hungry south-east and then continue on to Holland and France. The electricity distribution system must be Europe-wide if we are to get the maximum security of supply.
We will also need to invest in energy storage. At the moment we do this by
pumping water uphill at times of surplus and letting it flow back down the mountain when power is scarce. Other countries are talking of developing "smart grids" that provide users with incentives to consume less electricity when wind speeds are low. Wind power is financially viable today in many countries, and it will become cheaper as turbines continue to grow in size, and manufacturers drive down costs. Some projections see more than 30% of the world's electricity eventually coming from the wind. Turbine manufacture and installation are also set to become major sources of employment, with one trade body predicting that the sector will generate 2m jobs worldwide by 2020.
Myth 3: marine energy is a dead-end
The thin channel of water between the north-east tip of Scotland and Orkney contains some of the most concentrated tidal power in the world. The energy from the peak flows may well be greater than the electricity needs of London. Similarly, the waves off the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal are strong, consistent and able to provide a substantial fraction of the region's power. Designing and building machines that can survive the harsh conditions of fast-flowing ocean waters has been challenging and the past decades have seen repeated disappointments here and abroad. This year we have seen the installation of the first tidal turbine to be successfully connected to the UK electricity grid in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, and the first group of large-scale wave power generators 5km off the coast of Portugal, constructed by a Scottish company.
But even though the UK shares with Canada, South Africa and parts of South America some of the best marine energy resources in the world, financial support has been trifling. The London opera houses have had more taxpayer money than the British marine power industry over the past few years. Danish support for wind power helped that country establish worldwide leadership in the building of turbines; the UK could do the same with wave and tidal power.
Myth 4: nuclear power is cheaper than other low-carbon sources of electricity
If we believe that the world energy and environmental crises are as severe as is said, nuclear power stations must be considered as a possible option. But although the disposal of waste and the proliferation of nuclear weapons are profoundly important issues, the most severe problem may be the high and unpredictable cost of nuclear plants.
The new nuclear power station on the island of Olkiluoto in western Finland is a clear example. Electricity production was originally supposed to start this year, but the latest news is that the power station will not start generating until 2012. The impact on the cost of the project has been dramatic. When the contracts were signed, the plant was supposed to cost ¤3bn (£2.5bn). The final cost is likely to be more than twice this figure and the construction process is fast turning into a nightmare. A second new plant in Normandy appears to be experiencing similar problems. In the US, power companies are backing away from nuclear because of fears over uncontrollable costs.
Unless we can find a new way to build nuclear power stations, it looks as though CO2 capture at coal-fired plants will be a cheaper way of producing low-carbon electricity. A sustained research effort around the world might also mean that cost-effective carbon capture is available before the next generation of nuclear plants is ready, and that it will be possible to fit carbon-capture equipment on existing coal-fired power stations. Finding a way to roll out CO2 capture is the single most important research challenge the world faces today. The current leader, the Swedish power company Vattenfall, is using an innovative technology that burns the coal in pure oxygen rather than air, producing pure carbon dioxide from its chimneys, rather than expensively separating the CO2 from other exhaust gases. It hopes to be operating huge coal-fired power stations with minimal CO2 emissions by 2020.
Myth 5: electric cars are slow and ugly
We tend to think that electric cars are all like the G Wiz vehicle, with a limited range, poor acceleration and an unprepossessing appearance. Actually, we are already very close to developing electric cars that match the performance of petrol vehicles. The Tesla electric sports car, sold in America but designed by Lotus in Norfolk, amazes all those who experience its awesome acceleration. With a price tag of more than $100,000, late 2008 probably wasn't a good time to launch a luxury electric car, but the Tesla has demonstrated to everybody that electric cars can be exciting and desirable. The crucial advance in electric car technology has been in batteries: the latest lithium batteries - similar to the ones in your laptop - can provide large amounts of power for acceleration and a long enough range for almost all journeys.
Batteries still need to become cheaper and quicker to charge, but the UK's largest manufacturer of electric vehicles says that advances are happening faster than ever before. Its urban delivery van has a range of over 100 miles, accelerates to 70mph and has running costs of just over 1p per mile. The cost of the diesel equivalent is probably 20 times as much. Denmark and Israel have committed to develop the full infrastructure for a switch to an all-electric car fleet. Danish cars will be powered by the spare electricity from the copious resources of wind power; the Israelis will provide solar power harvested from the desert.
Myth 6: biofuels are always destructive to the environment
Making some of our motor fuel from food has been an almost unmitigated disaster. It has caused hunger and increased the rate of forest loss, as farmers have sought extra land on which to grow their crops. However the failure of the first generation of biofuels should not mean that we should reject the use of biological materials forever. Within a few years we will be able to turn agricultural wastes into liquid fuels by splitting cellulose, the most abundant molecule in plants and trees, into simple hydrocarbons. Chemists have struggled to find a way of breaking down this tough compound cheaply, but huge amounts of new capital have flowed into US companies that are working on making a petrol substitute from low-value agricultural wastes. In the lead is Range Fuels, a business funded by the venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, which is now building its first commercial cellulose cracking plant in Georgia using waste wood from managed forests as its feedstock.
We shouldn't be under any illusion that making petrol from cellulose is a solution to all the problems of the first generation of biofuels. Although cellulose is abundant, our voracious needs for liquid fuel mean we will have to devote a significant fraction of the world's land to growing the grasses and wood we need for cellulose refineries. Managing cellulose production so that it doesn't reduce the amount of food produced is one of the most important issues we face.
Myth 7: climate change means we need more organic agriculture
The uncomfortable reality is that we already struggle to feed six billion people. Population numbers will rise to more than nine billion by 2050. Although food production is increasing slowly, the growth rate in agricultural productivity is likely to decline below population increases within a few years. The richer half of the world's population will also be eating more meat. Since animals need large amounts of land for every unit of meat they produce, this further threatens food production for the poor. So we need to ensure that as much food as possible is produced on the limited resources of good farmland. Most studies show that yields under organic cultivation are little more than half what can be achieved elsewhere. Unless this figure can be hugely improved, the implication is clear: the world cannot feed its people and produce huge amounts of cellulose for fuels if large acreages are converted to organic cultivation.
Myth 8: zero carbon homes are the best way of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
Buildings are responsible for about half the world's emissions; domestic housing is the most important single source of greenhouse gases. The UK's insistence that all new homes are "zero carbon" by 2016 sounds like a good idea, but there are two problems. In most countries, only about 1% of the housing stock is newly built each year. Tighter building regulations have no effect on the remaining 99%. Second, making a building genuinely zero carbon is extremely expensive. The few prototype UK homes that have recently reached this standard have cost twice as much as conventional houses.
Just focusing on new homes and demanding that housebuilders meet extremely high targets is not the right way to cut emissions. Instead, we should take a lesson from Germany. A mixture of subsidies, cheap loans and exhortation is succeeding in getting hundreds of thousands of older properties eco-renovated each year to very impressive standards and at reasonable cost. German renovators are learning lessons from the PassivHaus movement, which has focused not on reducing carbon emissions to zero, but on using painstaking methods to cut emissions to 10 or 20% of conventional levels, at a manageable cost, in both renovations and new homes. The PassivHaus pioneers have focused on improving insulation, providing far better air-tightness and warming incoming air in winter, with the hotter stale air extracted from the house. Careful attention to detail in both design and building work has produced unexpectedly large cuts in total energy use. The small extra price paid by householders is easily outweighed by the savings in electricity and gas. Rather than demanding totally carbon-neutral housing, the UK should push a massive programme of eco-renovation and cost-effective techniques for new construction.
Myth 9: the most efficient power stations are big
Large, modern gas-fired power stations can turn about 60% of the energy in fuel into electricity. The rest is lost as waste heat.
Even though 5-10% of the electricity will be lost in transmission to the user, efficiency has still been far better than small-scale local generation of power. This is changing fast.
New types of tiny combined heat and power plants are able to turn about half the energy in fuel into electricity, almost matching the efficiency of huge generators. These are now small enough to be easily installed in ordinary homes. Not only will they generate electricity but the surplus heat can be used to heat the house, meaning that all the energy in gas is productively used. Some types of air conditioning can even use the heat to power their chillers in summer.
We think that microgeneration means wind turbines or solar panels on the roof, but efficient combined heat and power plants are a far better prospect for the UK and elsewhere. Within a few years, we will see these small power plants, perhaps using cellulose-based renewable fuels and not just gas, in many buildings. Korea is leading the way by heavily subsidising the early installation of fuel cells at office buildings and other large electricity users.
Myth 10: all proposed solutions to climate change need to be hi-tech
The advanced economies are obsessed with finding hi-tech solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these are expensive and may create as many problems as they solve. Nuclear power is a good example. But it may be cheaper and more effective to look for simple solutions that reduce emissions, or even extract existing carbon dioxide from the air. There are many viable proposals to do this cheaply around the world, which also often help feed the world's poorest people. One outstanding example is to use a substance known as biochar to sequester carbon and increase food yields at the same time.
Biochar is an astonishing idea. Burning agricultural wastes in the absence of air leaves a charcoal composed of almost pure carbon, which can then be crushed and dug into the soil. Biochar is extremely stable and the carbon will stay in the soil unchanged for hundreds of years. The original agricultural wastes had captured CO2 from the air through the photosynthesis process; biochar is a low-tech way of sequestering carbon, effectively for ever. As importantly, biochar improves fertility in a wide variety of tropical soils. Beneficial micro-organisms seem to crowd into the pores of the small pieces of crushed charcoal. A network of practical engineers around the tropical world is developing the simple stoves needed to make the charcoal. A few million dollars of support would allow their research to benefit hundreds of millions of small farmers at the same time as extracting large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Chris Goodall's new book, Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, is published by Profile books, priced £9.99.
The food crisis has pushed the number of hungry people in the world to almost 1bn, in what the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation described on Tuesday as a "serious setback" to global efforts to reduce mass starvation.
"The ongoing financial and economic crisis could tip even more people into hunger and poverty," the FAO added.
The Rome-based organisation said that a preliminary estimate showed the number of undernourished people rose this year by 40m to about 963m people, after rising 75m in 2007. Before the food crisis, there were about 848m chronically hungry people in 2003-05.
"High food prices are driving millions of people into food insecurity, worsening conditions for many who were already food-insecure, and threatening long-term global food security," the FAO said in its report The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008.
Prices of agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn and rice jumped to record levels earlier this year, triggering food riots in countries ranging from Haiti to Egypt to Bangladesh and prompting appeals for food aid for more than 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Although food commodity prices have fallen about 50 per cent from this summer's all-time highs, they remain well above pre-crisis levels. The cost of rice, for example, has halved since July, but it still trades at prices that are 95 per cent above 2005 levels.
In addition, the weakening of some emerging countries' currencies against the US dollar has partially erased gains from the drop in commodity prices.
The new FAO estimates also show the food crisis has thrown into reverse a decline over a quarter-century in the proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the world's population. The percentage has risen now to about 17 per cent, up from a record low of 16 per cent in 2003-05 period, but still below the 20 per cent of 1990-92.
"Soaring food prices have reversed some of the gain and successes in hunger reduction, making the mission of achieving the internationally agreed goal on hunger reduction more difficult," the FAO said.
Almost a decade ago, world leaders agreed in New York to the UN Millennium Development Goals, calling among other targets for a halving between 1990 and 2015 in the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Jacques Diouf, FAO director-general, said in a foreword for the report that the task of achieving the UN's hunger reduction targets in the remaining several years to 2015 will "require an enormous and resolute global effort and concrete actions".
However, with leaders' attention firmly focused on the global financial crisis and its economic ramifications, many observers now believe that the hunger and poverty reduction targets are no longer achievable by 2015.
The vast majority of the world's undernourished people - more than 90m - live in developing countries, according to FAO estimates. Of these, 65 per cent live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
In sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people - or almost 240m - are chronically hungry, the highest proportion of undernourished people in the total population.
Study: Did early climate impact divert a new glacial age?
Contact: Steve Vavrus (email@example.com) University of Wisconsin-Madison
17 Dec 2008
SAN FRANCISCO The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate.
But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world's most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe.
What's more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.
"This challenges the paradigm that things began changing with the Industrial Revolution," says Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Climatic Research and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. "If you think about even a small rate of increase over a long period of time, it becomes important."
Addressing scientists here today (Dec. 17) at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Vavrus and colleagues John Kutzbach and Gwenaëlle Philippon provided detailed evidence in support of a controversial idea first put forward by climatologist William F. Ruddiman of the University of Virginia. That idea, debated for the past several years by climate scientists, holds that the introduction of large-scale rice agriculture in Asia, coupled with extensive deforestation in Europe began to alter world climate by pumping significant amounts of greenhouse gases methane from terraced rice paddies and carbon dioxide from burning forests into the atmosphere. In turn, a warmer atmosphere heated the oceans making them much less efficient storehouses of carbon dioxide and reinforcing global warming.
That one-two punch, say Kutzbach and Vavrus, was enough to set human-induced climate change in motion.
"No one disputes the large rate of increase in greenhouse gases with the Industrial Revolution," Kutzbach notes. "The large-scale burning of coal for industry has swamped everything else" in the record.
But looking farther back in time, using climatic archives such as 850,000-year-old ice core records from Antarctica, scientists are teasing out evidence of past greenhouse gases in the form of fossil air trapped in the ice. That ancient air, say Vavrus and Kutzbach, contains the unmistakable signature of increased levels of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide beginning thousands of years before the industrial age.
"Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend, unlike during previous interglacial periods," explains Kutzbach. Indeed, Ruddiman has shown that during the latter stages of six previous interglacials, greenhouse gases trended downward, not upward. Thus, the accumulation of greenhouse gases over the past few thousands of years, the Wisconsin-Virginia team argue, is very likely forestalling the onset of a new glacial cycle, such as have occurred at regular 100,000-year intervals during the last million years. Each glacial period has been paced by regular and predictable changes in the orbit of the Earth known as Milankovitch cycles, a mechanism thought to kick start glacial cycles.
"We're at a very favorable state right now for increased glaciation," says Kutzbach. "Nature is favoring it at this time in orbital cycles, and if humans weren't in the picture it would probably be happening today."
Importantly, the new research underscores the key role of greenhouse gases in influencing Earth's climate. Whereas decreasing greenhouse gases in the past helped initiate glaciations, the early agricultural and recent industrial increases in greenhouse gases may be forestalling them, say Kutzbach and Vavrus.
Using three different climate models and removing the amount of greenhouse gases humans have injected into the atmosphere during the past 5,000 to 8,000 years, Vavrus and Kutzbach observed more permanent snow and ice cover in regions of Canada, Siberia, Greenland and the Rocky Mountains, all known to be seed regions for glaciers from previous ice ages. Vavrus notes: "With every feedback we've included, it seems to support the hypothesis (of a forestalled ice age) even more. We keep getting the same answer."
Downtown living got you down? Kick urban angst to the curb, take your brain out of gear and make way for a better, more blissed-out you
By Summer Bowen
In the so-called "conscious community," alarm bells are plentiful: BPA-laden baby bottles are poisoning your toddler! Soy foods are slashing your sperm count! Your old yoga mat will leach PVC into the landfill for all eternity! It's enough to make you want to swap your fair trade coffee for Kahlúa and crawl straight back to your toxic mattress.
Big city living, it seems, only fans the flames. In a recent issue, Forbes magazine scrutinized six key quality of life indicators - housing affordability, unemployment rates, gas prices, air quality, number of sunny days and population density - to narrow down the top ten most stressful communities in America. With its skyrocketing unemployment rates and high gas prices, Chicago edged out New York for the number one slot (leading miffed Windy City-zens to inundate the Forbes comment boxes, claiming the creators of the study were "smoking something"). The Big Apple was a close second (thanks to untenable population density and unaffordable housing), followed closely by Detroit (9.4 percent unemployment rate and high pollution), Los Angeles (the most polluted city with expensive homes and low income) and San Francisco (high gas prices and even higher housing expenses).
So what's an enlightenment-seeking urbanite like yourself to do? Quit the evil capitalist job, buy a healing drum and run naked to the sticks while clutching energy crystals? Going AWOL (or OM-WOL as the case may be) is not the answer, says American Zen master Genpo Roshi, author of Big Mind Big Heart: Finding Your Way. In fact, being too om'd-out can lead to a dysfunctional lifestyle. While we need inner peace and balance in order to be integrated functional human beings, we also need the competitive side that gets the job done. "If you can't be calm and tranquil in the middle of the city," says Genpo, "then what good is it if you can only do it beside a river?" The process of struggling to maintain your balance amidst urban angst, he adds, can be good mind/body training.
But how? We lined up a range of experts from across the country - everyone from yogis to psychologists, spiritual teachers to our friendly local bartenders - for their strategies on how to maintain balance in the face of whatever chaos city life throws your way.
City Stressor No. 1: Overcrowding is driving me up the wall
Forbes had it right that the sardine-like density in big cities foments stress. "The lack of parking, having to deal with street sweeping and living in a 480-square-foot apartment," were some of the main reasons green business owner Katherine Racine-Jones recently fled San Francisco (home to the ninth highest population density in the country, according to Forbes) for the outskirts of Portland. Racine-Jones certainly doesn't miss the hassles of shoulder-to-shoulder living. She describes her friends who still live there as high intensity people who don't have time for balance.
Beyond just the physical discomforts, living closely among stressed-out friends and neighbors takes its psychic and emotional toll too, says Asha Praver, disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and co-director of the Ananda meditation and yoga center in Palo Alto. "If you cut onions all day, your hands will smell of onions," she explains. "Most people tend to accept what's going on around them, and when the collective gets more tense, they become vulnerable."
RX: Make time to chill. Schedule it into your CrackBerry, if that's what it takes!
Praver recommends city dwellers seek regular doses of solitude in nature. Head right to the nearest body of water or hiking trail, any place where there's more birdsong than traffic noises. A consistent meditation practice can be an even more effective stress-buster - as long as it's done the right way. (Apparently, even meditation can cause anxiety for the beginner.) Says Praver, "Most people find it unbearable to sit down and shut your eyes in a quiet room. If 'meditation' is a word that sends you running for the hills, it may be beneficial to get some instruction."
As a nice entry point for the meditation-curious, Roshi recommends putting the go-getter mind aside every once in a while and saying aloud to yourself, "I am the mind that is non-seeking and non-craving." Our brains are like cars, explains Roshi, always in gear, always seeking and craving. Pausing for this type of mindful meditation serves to enhance your awareness, allowing you to respond wisely instead of hastily to stressors. "Instead of checking the BlackBerry, or reading the newspaper," he advises, "take a couple minutes to take the brain out of gear."
Just as tight living quarters and elevated psychic energy of others can adversely affect our stress levels, seeking and achieving a healthy emotional balance can ease the stress levels of those around us. A better, more blissful you will resonate positively throughout your relationships, your friends, your family, your business - even people you don't even know, says Eugene Cash, a teacher at the Bay Area's Spirit Rock meditation center. "Life is short," Cash asserts. "We are the stewards of our own lives; how do we want to live them?"
City Stressor No. 2: The economy is plummeting, and it's taking me down with it
Jay Michaels, a bartender at Monsoon Bar & Café in Santa Monica, CA, says that in these days of rising unemployment and faltering economy, money worries are topping the list of typical bar woes. "Bartenders for the most part feel like financial advisors; the focus has moved away from meaning or esteem needs having to do with relationships to more economic or safety needs."
Gabriel Scheer, Executive Director of Seattle's popular Green Drinks social networking events, notes the same. But in the Emerald City (which escaped Forbes' top ten list) people are looking at the economic crisis as a chance to put ideals into practice. "A lot of people see it as an opportunity to change how the current systems operate," says Scheer. "The financial crisis is a chance for us to reassess and look at new opportunities to do things differently, a time to rethink our energy use, the banking system (where do I put my money, what is it used for?) pretty much everything."
RX: Act to avoid reacting
In this economy, says Los Angeles-based eco-broker Jeffrey Fritz, it pays to have a financial plan in place for any kind of "just in case" scenario. Fritz sees countless clients in foreclosure situations behaving like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. "They don't really want to deal with what's happening in their life because it is extremely stressful," Fritz explains. In the case of economic emergencies, Fritz recommends facing the music by seeking help from a trusted financial planner and methodically, logically strategizing your steps for getting back on track.
Even if you're not in the red, staying on top of finances in a rocky economy requires a lot of situational awareness, long-term budgeting and saving. When it comes to housing, Fritz gives the plain and simple advice not to spend to your limit, but instead live below your means and save the rest. Avoid stressful surprises by knowing what your house is worth, or when and how much your rent is going up.
Of course, as our bartender Jay notes, "understanding that dark muddy line between the things you want and the things you need" is easier said than done. For guidance, Roshi points to the teachings of Buddha: "In Buddha's final teaching, he made eight points and the first two are very important: Have few desires, and know how to be satisfied with what we have."
City Stressor No. 3: The J-O-B is G-O-N-E
Los Angeles, with a whopping 7.5 percent unemployment rate, clocked in as the 4th most stressful city in America. Henry Cong, owner of organic coffee spot Infuzion Café in Santa Monica, sees a direct correlation between unemployment rates and the stress levels of his customer base. So does Bay Area-based career coach Britt Bravo. Says Bravo, even the laid-off CEO who is rolling in severance package dough "can still experience stress if the majority of her self-esteem came from her work."
RX: Develop a game plan and stick to it
Unless you have a sloth-like fight or flight response, it's nearly impossible not to stress out after losing a job. There are ways, however, to maintain your sanity while hunting for the next gig. Bravo suggests the following steps:
1) Get advice from a career counselor, or create your own support network with friends.
2) Break everything down into small tasks. "Part of the fear people experience when looking for new work comes from being overwhelmed. For example, if 'update my resume' has been on your to-do list forever, break it down into smaller steps, so it feels easy to achieve."
3) Make a strict schedule. Decide how much time you are going to spend each day looking for work, and stick to it.
4) Make a fun to-do list of the things you've been wanting to do but haven't had time; once you've completed your looking-for-work day, go enjoy yourself.
5) Network, network, network. The best way to get your resume to the top of the pile is by knowing someone at the place you want to work. Go to networking parties and join social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
City Stressor No. 4: Dirty, smelly, smoggy city living is skeeving me out
Some of the worst air quality in the country shot LA to the top of Forbes' top ten list. But no city is free from pollution's perils, which in and of themselves are major contributors to the stress of city living.
RX: Do what you can, and let the rest be water off a duck's back
While significant policy changes are needed to decrease urban pollution, you can reduce your exposure to environmental toxins by using eco-cleaners and nontoxic interiors in your home, eating organic food and filling your home with potted plants that improve indoor air quality.
When noise pollution gets to be too much, celebrated yogini Cyndi Lee, founder of Om Yoga in New York City, likes to sit and relax her senses, so that noise moves by as if in a soundscape. "Sit quietly and go through each sensory organ, breathing, imaging your skin softening, relaxing the inner ear, jaw and temples, relaxing all of the muscles around your eyes," instructs Lee. "We need to take sensory organs out of acquisition mode."
City Stressor No. 5: I'm multitasking my way to mental breakdown
Pile money woes on top of our jobs, family and social life, mix in iPhones, IMs and email, and top it off with the holidays, war, the economy, global warming and the rush to make it to yoga class on time, and you're left with a surefire recipe for multitasking misery. But shoveling everything on your plate into your mouth at once is guaranteed to give you mental indigestion. Not being present in the moment puts you at risk of being caught off guard when an unexpected situation arises.
RX: Practice the art of single-tasking
Dr. Jonathan Ellerby, Spiritual Program Director for Canyon Ranch Health Resorts, suggests that we "let go of the idea of always being productive, or the guilt that says you don't deserve to rest. A better you makes a better world."
Spirit Rock's Cash jokes that he teaches the art of single-tasking at his meditation center. While he agrees that multitasking can be helpful at times, it can be more beneficial to slow down, gather oneself, and just do one thing in order to bring back the simplicity of life.
"If we're stressed out all the time," says Cash, "we can't be our best. If we are more here, then we can react appropriately." He recommends taking time for activities that allow you to breathe deeply, concentrate and relax all at once, such as yoga, meditation or swimming.
When you're feeling overwhelmed, notes Lee, it's easy to bump "find balance" right off the list, just as you need it most. Don't. "When the shit hits the fan," says Lee, "come to yoga."
Summer Bowen strives to stay centered as a green business owner (btcelements.com) and writer living in the fabulously smoggy City of Angels.
Most people have not yet fully processed the magnitude of the economic crisis that will continue to deepen in the next years. Our lives may depend upon working through the causes and logical consequences of this disaster, which can be blamed on the greed and ineptitude of our ruling elite. The short-term prognosis is devastating. The hundreds of billions - potentially trillions - of dollars created by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve for bailouts should lead to hyperinflation and a sharp rise in the price of basic goods. At the same time, some analysts are predicting the U.S. government will be insolvent by next summer and forced to declare bankruptcy.
One consequence of the credit freeze has been that many farmers around the world, who often live on narrow margins and depend upon loans to see them through the annual harvest, have not been able to get credit. This could lead to diminished production of food at a time when climate change is reducing the amount of arable land. Last year, there were already hunger riots in a number of countries, and by next summer we may see famine on a larger scale.
Hunger may also become a problem in the U.S. While layoffs and mass foreclosures continue and our economy contracts, a large segment of our populace (who have no savings and much debt) could become a new pauper class. We have already seen over a million homes turned over to banks. One can only wonder where those people - and the millions more soon to join them - are going to end up.
Meanwhile, the turmoil in the markets will continue, potentially getting much worse. Apparently, hundreds of trillions of virtual dollars spin in the roulette machine of the derivatives market, which is beginning to disintegrate. The collapse of the housing market may be followed by mass waves of credit card defaults. Our economy was a house of cards, based on the extraordinary premise that ever-expanding debt was a desirable product, and it is now falling down upon us.
We are facing a time of great change and spiritual challenge. Those of us who have undergone a process of awakening and initiation during the last decades will be called upon to act as truth-tellers, leaders and compassionate caretakers for the multitudes that have been duped and deluded by the system. We may have to abandon our comfort zones and personal ambitions to be of service to the situation as it unfolds.
In the time available to us before the situation becomes critical, priorities include strengthening local communities and disseminating techniques of self-sufficiency, such as getting many more people to grow their own food. It is tragic that our mass media continues to act as a mechanism of distraction. The media could be used to explain to people how our world is changing, to teach them the basic life skills that we forfeited a few generations ago, and to imprint new behavior patterns based on sustainable life-ways. Perhaps public broadcasting, at least, can be repurposed for this necessary effort.
The partial nationalization of financial institutions around the world reveals the failure of capitalism - the end of capitalism in its old form. In the future, it should be obvious that capitalism was a transitional system for our global community. Capitalism meshed the world together through networks of trade and communication, while maintaining monstrous inequities and irrational misuse of resources.
The question that faces us now is: what comes after capitalism, and how do we get there? In the short term, we may see dangerous efforts at authoritarian control. The longer-term answer may be a collapse of centralized structures of authority and the blossoming of a new form of global direct democracy - what the anthropologist Pierre Clastres called "society without a state." By necessity, our future system will be collaborative rather than competitive.
If the crisis now confronting the human community is mishandled, vast populations will experience untold suffering and starvation in the next few years. If "we the people" can rise to the occasion, we may be able to radically change the direction of human society, along with the basic paradigms and underlying operating systems of our culture, in a rapid timeframe. This appears to be the message of many prophetic traditions - as the Hopi say, "We are the ones we have been waiting for" - which have anticipated this climactic passage in human affairs.
As we approach the holiday season and the Gregorian New Year, we can give thanks for having been born into this extraordinary, precious time. Our actions over the next few years could have tremendous consequences for humanity's future on this planet. At such a juncture, the best present we can give to the people around us is our authentic presence - our willingness to listen, learn and remain open to transformation, as the pace of change quickens around us.
"My personal hypothesis is that our consciousness is co-creating reality, therefore we want to be increasingly careful about the kind of thoughts we are allowing to absorb our awareness. If we spend too much time worrying about surveillance and Grey Alien predation and the HAARP Project, it is like we are attracting negative energy and negative vibrations towards us. We are substantiating that kind of material. I don't mean that one should become polyannaish - one should stay grounded, but one should realize that one is better off practicing an inner ecology on the level of thought, or you will end up in a frothing state of apocalyptic terror, which is what much of our culture seems to be trying to induce. (...) If our consciousness and therefore our intention is embedded in the structure of reality - as quantum physics, for instance, tells us - then how we focus our thoughts could catalyze certain possibilities and support more or less desirable outcomes. In that case, logically, we should use our psychic energy to support the best, most compassionate and generous future conceivable for ourselves, the world, and humanity."
Sent by Peter Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Dec 3, 2008
Democratic Socialism Moves Forward in Venezuela
By Peter Phillips
Democracy from the bottom is evolving as a ten-year social revolution in Venezuela. Led by President Hugo Chavez, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela ((PSUV) gained over 1 million voters in the most recent elections November 23, 2008. It was a wonderful victory, said Professor Carmen Carrero with the communications studies department of the Bolivarian University in Caracas. We won 81 percent of the city mayor positions and seventeen of twenty-three of the state governors, Carrero reported.
The Bolivarian University is housed in the former oil ministry building and now serves 8,000 students throughout Venezuela. The University (Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela), is symbolic of the democratic socialist changes occurring throughout the country. Before the election of Hugo Chavez as president in 1998, college attendance was primarily for the rich in Venezuela. Today over one million, eight hundred thousand students attend college, three times the rate ten years ago. Our university was established to resist domination and imperialism, reported Principal (president) Marlene Yadira Cordova in an interview November 10, We are a university where we have a vision of life that the oppressed people have a place on this planet. The enthusiasm for learning and serious-thoughtful questions asked by students I saw that day was certainly representative of a belief in the potential of positive social change for human betterment. The University offers a fully-staffed free healthcare clinic, zero tuition, and basic no-cost food for students in the cafeteria, all paid for by the oil revenues now being democratically shared by the people.
Bottom up democracy in Venezuela starts with the 25,000 community councils elected in every neighborhood in the country. We establish the priority needs of our area, reported community council spokesperson Carmon Aponte, with the neighborhood council in the barrio Bombilla area of western Caracas. I interviewed Carmon while visiting the Patare Community TV and radio stationone of thirty-four locally controlled community television stations and four hundred radio stations now in the barrios throughout Venezuela. Community radio, TV and newspapers are the voice of the people, where they describe the viewers/listeners as the users of media instead of the passive audiences.
Democratic socialism means healthcare, jobs, food, and security, in neighborhoods where in many cases nothing but absolute poverty existed ten years ago. With unemployment down to a US level, sharing the wealth has taken real meaning in Venezuela. Despite a 50 percent increase in the price of food last year, local Mercals offer government subsidized cooking oil, corn meal, meat, and powered milk at 30-50 percent off market price. Additionally, there are now 3,500 local communal banks with a $1.6 billion dollar budget offering neighborhood-based micro-financing loans for home improvements, small businesses, and personal emergencies.
We have moved from a time of distain [pre-revolutionwhen the upper classes saw working people as less than human] to a time of adjustment, proclaimed Ecuadors minister of Culture, Gallo Mora Witt at the opening ceremonies of the Fourth International Book Fair in Caracas November 7. Venezuelas Minister of Culture, Hector Soto added, We try not to leave anyone out before the revolution the elites published only 60-80 books a year, we will publish 1,200 Venezuelan authors this year the book will never stop being the important tool for cultural feelings. In fact, some twenty-five million booksclassics by Victor Hugo and Miguel de Cervantes along with Cindy Sheehans Letter to George Bushwere published in 2008 and are being distributed to the community councils nationwide. The theme of the International Book Fair was books as cultural support to the construction of the Bolivarian revolution and building socialism for the 21st century.
In Venezuela the corporate media are still owned by the elites. The five major TV networks, and nine of ten of the major newspapers maintain a continuing media effort to undermine Chavez and the socialist revolution. But despite the corporate media and continuing US taxpayer financial support to the anti-Chavez opposition institutions from USAID and National Endowment for Democracy ($20 million annually) two-thirds of the people in Venezuela continue to support President Hugo Chavez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The democracies of South America are realizing that the neo-liberal formulas for capitalism are not working for the people and that new forms of resource allocation are necessary for human betterment. It is a learning process for all involved and certainly a democratic effort from the bottom up.
Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored. The Censored 2009 yearbook has just been released in Spanish at the 2008 International book fair in Caracas.
YET MORE OMINOUS SIGNS THAT WE HAVE FOOLED OUR PLANETARY NEST BEYOND LONG-TERM SURVIVAL THRESHOLDS
Evolution is being distorted by pollution, which damages genitals and the ability to father offspring, says new study. Geoffrey Lean reports
Sunday, 7 December 2008
The male gender is in danger, with incalculable consequences for both humans and wildlife, startling scientific research from around the world reveals.
The research to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published shows that a host of common chemicals is feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people.
Backed by some of the world's leading scientists, who say that it "waves a red flag" for humanity and shows that evolution itself is being disrupted, the report comes out at a particularly sensitive time for ministers. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to have "gender-bending" effects.
It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminised genitals.
"This research shows that the basic male tool kit is under threat," says Gwynne Lyons, a former government adviser on the health effects of chemicals, who wrote the report.
Wildlife and people have been exposed to more than 100,000 new chemicals in recent years, and the European Commission has admitted that 99 per cent of them are not adequately regulated. There is not even proper safety information on 85 per cent of them.
Many have been identified as "endocrine disrupters" or gender-benders because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides.
The report published by the charity CHEMTrust and drawing on more than 250 scientific studies from around the world concentrates mainly on wildlife, identifying effects in species ranging from the polar bears of the Arctic to the eland of the South African plains, and from whales in the depths of the oceans to high-flying falcons and eagles.
It concludes: "Males of species from each of the main classes of vertebrate animals (including bony fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been affected by chemicals in the environment.
"Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence. All vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors, which have been conserved in evolution. Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans."
Fish, it says, are particularly affected by pollutants as they are immersed in them when they swim in contaminated water, taking them in not just in their food but through their gills and skin. They were among the first to show widespread gender-bending effects.
Half the male fish in British lowland rivers have been found to be developing eggs in their testes; in some stretches all male roaches have been found to be changing sex in this way. Female hormones largely from the contraceptive pills which pass unaltered through sewage treatment are partly responsible, while more than three-quarters of sewage works have been found also to be discharging demasculinising man-made chemicals. Feminising effects have now been discovered in a host of freshwater fish species as far away as Japan and Benin, in Africa, and in sea fish in the North Sea, the Mediterranean, Osaka Bay in Japan and Puget Sound on the US west coast.
Research at the University of Florida earlier this year found that 40 per cent of the male cane toads a species so indestructible that it has become a plague in Australia had become hermaphrodites in a heavily farmed part of the state, with another 20 per cent undergoing lesser feminisation. A similar link between farming and sex changes in northern leopard frogs has been revealed by Canadian research, adding to suspicions that pesticides may be to blame.
Male alligators exposed to pesticides in Florida have suffered from lower testosterone and higher oestrogen levels, abnormal testes, smaller penises and reproductive failures. Male snapping turtles have been found with female characteristics in the same state and around the Great Lakes, where wildlife has been found to be contaminated with more than 400 different chemicals. Male herring gulls and peregrine falcons have produced the female protein used to make egg yolks, while bald eagles have had difficulty reproducing in areas highly contaminated with chemicals.
Scientists at Cardiff University have found that the brains of male starlings who ate worms contaminated by female hormones at a sewage works in south-west England were subtly changed so that they sang at greater length and with increased virtuosity.
Even more ominously for humanity, mammals have also been found to be widely affected.
Two-thirds of male Sitka black-tailed deer in Alaska have been found to have undescended testes and deformed antler growth, and roughly the same proportion of white-tailed deer in Montana were discovered to have genital abnormalities.
In South Africa, eland have been revealed to have damaged testicles while being contaminated by high levels of gender-bender chemicals, and striped mice from one polluted nature reserved were discovered to be producing no sperm at all.
At the other end of the world, hermaphrodite polar bears with penises and vaginas have been discovered and gender-benders have been found to reduce sperm counts and penis lengths in those that remained male. Many of the small, endangered populations of Florida panthers have been found to have abnormal sperm.
Other research has revealed otters from polluted areas with smaller testicles and mink exposed to PCBs with shorter penises. Beluga whales in Canada's St Lawrence estuary and killer whales off its north-west coast two of the wildlife populations most contaminated by PCBs are reproducing poorly, as are exposed porpoises, seals and dolphins.
Scientists warned yesterday that the mass of evidence added up to a grave warning for both wildlife and humans. Professor Charles Tyler, an expert on endocrine disrupters at the University of Exeter, says that the evidence in the report "set off alarm bells". Whole wildlife populations could be at risk, he said, because their gene pool would be reduced, making them less able to withstand disease and putting them at risk from hazards such as global warming.
Dr Pete Myers, chief scientist at Environmental Health Sciences, one of the world's foremost authorities on gender-bender chemicals, added: "We have thrown 100, 000 chemicals against a finely balanced hormone system, so it's not surprising that we are seeing some serious results. It is leading to the most rapid pace of evolution in the history of the world.
Professor Lou Gillette of Florida University, one of the most respected academics in the field, warned that the report waved "a large red flag" at humanity. He said: "If we are seeing problems in wildlife, we can be concerned that something similar is happening to a proportion of human males"
Indeed, new research at the University of Rochester in New York state shows that boys born to mothers with raised levels of phthalates were more likely to have smaller penises and undescended testicles. They also had a shorter distance between their anus and genitalia, a classic sign of feminisation. And a study at Rotterdam's Erasmus University showed that boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.
Communities heavily polluted with gender-benders in Canada, Russia and Italy have given birth to twice as many girls than boys, which may offer a clue to the reason for a mysterious shift in sex ratios worldwide. Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls, but the ratio is slipping. It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone.
And sperm counts are dropping precipitously. Studies in more than 20 countries have shown that they have dropped from 150 million per millilitre of sperm fluid to 60 million over 50 years. (Hamsters produce nearly three times as much, at 160 million.) Professor Nil Basu of Michigan University says that this adds up to "pretty compelling evidence for effects in humans".
But Britain has long sought to water down EU attempts to control gender-bender chemicals and has been leading opposition to a new regulation that would ban pesticides shown to have endocrine-disrupting effects. Almost all the other European countries back it, but ministers backed by their counterparts from Ireland and Romania are intent on continuing their resistance at a crucial meeting on Wednesday. They say the regulation would cause a collapse of agriculture in the UK, but environmentalists retort that this is nonsense because the regulation has get-out clauses that could be used by British farmers.
Chemical Used on Crops could Make You Fat (December 8 2008) http://www.naturalnews.com/z025022.html
Many people who eat organic food and use natural products are trying to avoid pesticides that are linked to cancer and other diseases. Now Japanese researchers say there is another advantage to "going green" and avoiding toxins and chemical additives in the environment. A common pollutant has been found to have a potent effect on gene activity and could be contributing to the obesity epidemic. According to an article published in the December issue of the journal Bioscience, the chemical tributyltin affects sensitive receptors in the cells of a host of animals, ranging from water fleas to people. What's more, tributyltin has an impact at extremely low levels -- a thousand times lower than pollutants that are known to interfere with the sexual development of wildlife species, for example. The chemical is known to be damaging to the liver as well as the nervous and immune systems in mammals . But what has just been recognized is that tributyltin also has powerful effects on the cellular components known as retinoid X receptors (RXRs) in a range of species. That's important because RXRs can move into the nuclei of cells and turn on genes that cause the growth of fat storage cells and regulate whole body metabolism. This raises a disturbing possibility: The pollutant could be harming humans by causing slowed metabolism and weight gain. Scientists Taisen Iguchi and Yoshinao Katsu of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies in Japan, who wrote the BioScience article, point out that effects of tributyltin on RXR-like nuclear receptors could be widespread throughout the animal kingdom, including the human species. And they note that the enormous rise in obesity over the past four decades coincides with the increased use of industrial chemicals over the same period. Several other ubiquitous pollutants with strong biological effects, including environmental estrogens such as bisphenol A and nonylphenol, also have been found to stimulate the growth of fat storage cells in mice. In a statement to the mediam Iguchi and Katsu said it is "plausible and provocative" to associate the obesity epidemic to chemical triggers found in our modern, polluted environment.Unfortunately, it isn't easy to avoid tributyltin -- it is frequently used as a preservative in paints for boats, wood and textiles and it is also used as a pesticide on high-value food crops. And if you are expecting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make sure you are protected from this potentially dangerous chemical , think again.A new report just released by the National Research Council warns the EPA's process of generating risk assessments of the adverse effects posed by harmful chemicals found in the environment is bogged down. The EPA is rarely able to connect available scientific data with the information officials need for an accurate risk assessment. The reports states the EPA is struggling to keep up with demands for hazard and dose-response information and doesn't have enough resources to adequately cope. The risk assessment for trichloroethylene is an example cited by the report. A chemical used to remove grease from metal parts and an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers, trichloroethylene has been associated with cancer, heart problems and liver and lung damage for decades. However, although a risk assessment for trichloroethylene has been under development since the 1980s, official EPA risk management decisions about the chemical is not expected until 2010.
AS IF THAT NEWS ABOVE WAS NOT ENOUGH, HERE IS SOMETHING EVEN MORE DISTURBING... ANYONE READING THIS COMPREHENSIVE ARTICLE (25 page-long - only 8 are included below!) AND TAKING SERIOUSLY ITS DIRE WARNINGS WOULD BE COMPLETELY DUMB TO CONTINUE USING THESE STEALTHILY DANGEROUS DEVICES AND ALLOWING THEIR KIDS TO DO LIKEWISE...
Babies born to GENERATION X-RAY may be on the fast track to humanity's genetic DEAD END. The term "Generation X-ray" refers to youth addicted to communicating and recreating with wireless devicescell phones, PDAs, WiFi computers and music/gaming equipment. These wireless devices emit high-frequency microwave radiation, recently demonstrated by European researchers to efficiently inflict the same horrific damage on human cells as X-radiation. Surveys reveal that the average American child under 18 now spends several hours a day irradiating himself with his cell phone "toy." Meantime, Swedish scientists report that children and teens who use cell phones are up to five times more likely than non-users to suffer glioma brain cancer. Gliomas are among the most difficult to treat and deadly of human cancers. Children who use cordless household phones have over four times the risk of developing brain tumors. The far-reaching health hazards to children and teens from wireless technology are well-documented in part one of this Idaho Observer series: Generation X-ray: Child Victims of Technological Abuse. While the European Parliament and governments around the world are calling for stricter limits on wireless exposure for kids, Gen X-ray continues to ride the down escalator towards disintegrating health and premature death.Most tragically, because our young people have received no official warning from U.S health agencies, they unknowingly micro-cook their sperm, ova and fetuses with a radiation known to be just as mutagenic and teratogenic as gamma wave radiation from nuclear fallout. The science is clear. Babies born to the hard-core wireless generation will suffer a high probability of genetic corruption from their very seed. Scientists warn that a pregnant woman using a cell phone, with or without a headset or bluetooth device, could cause her to place the transmitting phone near her abdomen, exposing her baby to dangerous levels of microwave radiation. Both the pelvic structure and amniotic fluids promote the deep penetration of microwaves, which can be easily absorbed by the fetus.
We see them everywhere now. Armies of American women of childbearing age roam dazed through shopping centers with transmitting cell phones pressed firmly to their heads. Often with forlorn pre-schoolers traipsing behind, these gals wander the aisles getting "stoned" on microwaves. The opiod-like "high" they glean from skull-piercing phone radiation is documented in animal studies to habituate like nicotine.1 No one has told them that an extended cell phone "fix" enshrouds their bodies in high-frequency electromagnetic energy with potential to unleash devastating effects on both their living and future offspring.
Across America, young, uninsured, low-paid retail and service employees are required to wear powerful "push-to-talk" radios equipped with large, cackling antennas. Capable of propagating high frequency energy for miles at the speed of light, these devices are worn just millimeters away from delicate reproductive cells. Mega and gigahertz microwaves are documented to damage both sperm and ova. Yet, employers are not required by law to warn these exploited youngsters of possible reproductive damage.
Myriad office workers are encumbered with wireless blue tooth regalia, including headsets and remotes worn in pockets or on belt clips. Wireless "Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)" computer systems and "bluetooth" charging bases are part of the mix. Office blue tooth systems allow connectivity and freedom of movement, but for hours each day, workers swim in an invisible miasma of microwave frequencies. No law requires that workers be provided with up-to-date information on the possibility that this continuous exposure puts them at risk for miscarriages or deformed offspring.
Tower and rooftop antennas now heavily bombard college campuses, schools and playgrounds with modulating communications microwaves. Many classrooms and libraries are degraded with mind-numbing WiFi frequencies documented to short-circuit the nervous system, disrupt learning ability and impair sleep patterns. Wireless systems emit not only microwaves, but also a smorgasbord of extremely low frequencies (ELFs), shown in numerous studies to raise the risk of childhood leukemia and tumors later in life.2 Educators teach kids the platitudes of the day, but never discuss how years of captivity in radiation-toxic classrooms may make them sterile, or encumber their future with genetically damaged progeny.
DNA is the crux of the matter
For the sake of human survival, mankind must quickly master this critical fact: modern wireless technology is capable of causing the genetic destruction of humans as a species. Microwave radiation used for wireless communications and surveillance is extremely injurious to human DNA. It is therefore also destructive to both the human genome and the epigenetic chemical switches which control expression of the genes. Below is visual proof, as determined by the "REFLEX" studies, published in 2004 by the European Commission.
An estimated one in 20 babies born in the U.S. each year has an obvious birth defect. That equates to about 200,000 babies per about four million live births annually. Many additional childhood defects and impairments can be subtle, requiring years to become apparent. Millions of parents now cope with often inexplicable child health problems, including severe allergies, diabetes, body weight abnormalities, plus serious eye, ear and skin conditions.
Perhaps the most alarming epidemic among our younger generations involves the increasing incidence of neurological and developmental delay disorders. The 2003 National Survey of Childrens Health found that one in five American children has a learning disability or attention deficit disorder. Studies through decades link these conditions to toxic environmental conditions, including microwave radiation exposure.41
A recent study of over 13,000 Danish women confirms that women who had used cell phones during pregnancy produced children who were 54 percent more likely to manifest hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct and emotion by the time they entered school. Coordinated by American and Danish scientists, this survey found that if children exposed to cell phone radiation in the womb later used cell phones themselves, they were 80 percent more likely to suffer behavior and emotional problems than children who were not exposed.42
In 2000, Dr. Ross Adey working at the University of California, Riverside, showed that pregnant rats exposed to Iridium cell phone radiation produced fetuses with significantly decreased brain activity, compared to non-exposed fetuses.43 The incidence of human autism, a complex affliction manifesting a broad spectrum of brain abnormalities, has increased dramatically since the wireless age began. Scientists say clues are accumulating that RF/microwave exposure could be an important but overlooked factor in the autism epidemic.44
There is also indication that the synergy between RF/microwave radiation and chemicals/metals may be involved in autistic disorders. A 2007 report on autistic children and electromagnetic exposure concluded that the impact of this radiation "could be direct by facilitating early clinical onset of symptoms or indirect, including trapping heavy metals in cells and both accelerating the onset of symptoms caused by heavy metal toxicity as well as impeding therapeutic clearing [of these metals]."45
In 2008, researchers announced that missing DNA snippets on chromosome 16 is a mutation that raises the risk of autism by 100 times. Some suspect that this aberration is the tip of the iceberg concerning genetic errors involved in the syndrome.46 It is generally agreed that such chromosome aberrations can occur before fertilization, which brings us back to chemical and/or radiation-damaged sperm and ova.
The powers-that-be dont want this information made public
Greek researchers at the University of Athens confirmed in 2006 that GSM 900 and 1800 (digital) megahertz radiation has a radical impact on the ability of living creatures to reproduce. These frequencies are within the realm of wireless radiation being broadcast across America for mobile services. The drosophila (fruit fly) was chosen for this study because the insects cellular processes are identical to those of humans. Only a few minutes of exposure to this cell phone radiation per dayat power intensities now common in our environmentcut the insects ability to reproduce by 60 percent. Both sexes were affected.
Of great importance was the finding that exposed male flies suffered DNA fragmentation in their gonadal cells and the females showed induced cell death in a large number of their ovarian egg chambers. The researchers warned, " Digital mobile telephony radiation nowadays exert an intense biological action able to kill cells, damage DNA or decrease dramatically the reproductive capacity of living organisms."75
Chilling is the possibility that there might exist a mindset among ruling elites that humans who make it through the gauntlet of pre-conception radiation and radiation-induced spontaneous abortion should have their lives drastically shortened to spare societies the economic burden of elderly people.
Governments and the wireless communications industry stampeding humanity into compulsory and continuous wireless exposure are undoubtedly apprised of the hundreds of medical studies demonstrating that low level communications microwaves not only initiate, but also nourish and promote human cancers.76 The perpetrators must also be aware of the widespread circulatory and cardiac damage being unleashed by the wireless revolution. Cell phone radiation quickly causes red blood cells to clump together and also to leak hemoglobin. These abnormal blood conditions can precipitate heart disease, kidney stones and strokes.77
A recent medical study found that both fetuses and newborns exposed to cell phone radiation while their mothers conversed for 10 minutes experienced significant increases in heart rate and worrisome decreases in cardiac output.78 Thus we see that the wireless age endangers the life blood, even the very hearts of the tiny ones fated to be born as "Generation Xd Out."
What can we do to save the babies?
An amoral and ravenous congressional-military-industrial complex has groomed the youngsters of Generation X-ray to become hard-core patriots of wireless technology in the same ruthless way the asbestos and tobacco industries seduced and murdered generations past. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) boasts on its website that teenagers, defined as a "huge consumer market segment," are currently pumping $100 billion a year into the industrys coffers.79
Deceived and used as pawns, our youngsters are left utterly ignorant concerning the devastating wireless radiation hazards to themselves and their posterity. When young people are told about the hazards of anything, they traditionally discard the facts and pursue their chosen avenues of self gratification as predictable acts of rebellion.
Generation X-ray is no different in its obsession with wireless conveniences; it seems content to live in a self-absorbed universe devoid of logic, critical thinking and accountability. Many youth appear incapable of caring about future generations. We are no longer a nation of healthy free-thinkers, but a nation of obsessive, sickly phone button punchers, virtual game players and compulsive text messengers.
Given the science, such ignorance and apathy ensures that millions of new and innocent lives are destined for cruel suffering and impairment. Thanks to a silent but violent electromagnetic enemy that is destroying their fragile DNA, newborns tumbling into our barbaric wireless age are creatures of a zillion possibilities of chromosomal disarray, including nervous system damage, deformed limbs, endocrine disruption and unhinged metabolic function.
Yet, hopefully, some of our young people planning to bear children are still morally and intellectually able to comprehend and act upon the latest scientific information gathered for this paper. We can also hope that older parents and grandparents apprised of these facts will exert their influence to protect the genetics of their progeny. Those who want healthy babies must take the minimal following steps:
1. Accept the well-documented fact that microwave radiation from wireless devices is as mutagenic, teratogenic and dangerous to fetuses and infants as ionizing X-radiation and gamma waves.
2. Never wear or use any wireless device near reproductive organs. If you are female and have been exposing your ovaries to years of near-field wireless radiation, think carefully before you decide to become pregnant. If you are a male, and plan to father children, make sure that you stop using wireless devices well in advance of fertilization to reduce the chance of procreation with damaged sperm.
3. Learn to test your personal environment for wireless microwave contamination. If you are pregnant or plan to be, remove yourself from microwave-contaminated areas at any cost. Never stand near a microwave oven when pregnant, as all such ovens leak radiation and can affect a large area.
4. Prudent avoidance of routine pregnancy ultrasound scans is the best policy, says Internet health advisor Dr. Joseph Mercola. These scans should be used only in the event of medical necessity, he advises.
5. Refuse to have your newborn radio-tagged by your birthing hospital. Since a tracking system requires a fog of ambient RF/microwave radiation which could affect even non-tagged infants, it is prudent to choose a hospital which does not employ wireless systems in the maternity ward, or have your baby at home.
6. Make sure that your infant is nurtured in a microwave-free home. Remove all DECT cordless phones, wireless security systems, wLAN wireless communications systems and microwave ovens. Never microwave-heat infant formulas or food.
7. Make sure that cell tower or roof top communications antennas are not poisoning your home. If you discover that your neighborhood lies in the down beam of microwave antennas, which are saturating the interior of your home with a dangerous carcinogen, either take steps to apply expensive radiation barrier materials, or move to a radiation-free zone.
8. Never use any wireless device while near an infant or young child. Drastically reduce the use of all personal wireless devices, and reserve their use for emergency communication. The more people use cell phones in their homes, the more transmitters will be placed in our neighborhoods.
9. Retain your home and office landlines. Telecom companies are using pricing incentives to encourage the elimination of landline connections because air interface is more profitable. Unless we can educate enough people in time, our options for safe landline communications may vanish, leaving our kids at even more risk.
The scientific evidence is massive and irrefutable. Our little ones face a lifetime of disability, pain and deprivation from ever-increasing torrents of man-made, commercial radiation capable of destroying human genetic integrity. If you believe that humanity should NOT be reduced to a species of genetic freaks on the way to extinction, assist the radiation awareness movement by doing your own research and then sharing with others the documented information on wireless hazards to human DNA.
There is no time to waste while confronted with the life-and-death issues associated with the brazen wireless radiation assault upon our kids. Our mission requires persistence, patience and sacrifice. It is high time that we speak up and take action nowfor the sake of the helpless and the unborn. What we do and say today will hugely affect generations to come.
Notes for Generation Xd Out
Note: For the latest report from Professor Lennart Hardell concerning the 5-fold risk of brain tumors in kids who begin using mobile phones in childhood see: "Mobile Phone Use 'Raises Children's Risk of Brain Cancer Fivefold'," The Independent, UK, 9-21-2008. Hardell is with the Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden. For the latest cancer statistics on American kids, see CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, published bi-monthly by the American Cancer Society.
The "Good War" in Afghanistan the Bush-launched war that Barack Obama tells us we must fight and win continues to deteriorate before our eyes. Just like every other operation in the so-called "War on Terror" (another Bush-launched campaign that Obama has fully embraced as his own), the Afghan war, now in its seventh year, has proven entirely counter-productive to its stated aims. Instead of stabilizing a volatile region and denying it as a base for violent extremism, it has of course done the opposite. The shock waves of the heavy-handed American-led invasion of Afghanistan a country that no foreign power has ever conquered and held have spread across Central Asia, most dangerously into Pakistan.
Afghanistan itself is in a desperate condition, laden with a weak, foreign-installed government dominated by warlords and riddled with corruption. The illegal opium trade, quashed by the Taliban, has now surged to historic levels, and is flooding the streets of Europe and the West with cut-rate heroin not to mention fuelling an astonishing rise in drug addiction among Afghans, Pakistanis and Iranians. At every turn, the iron hand of American militarism is producing more suffering, more chaos, more corruption, more extremism, more slaughter, both directly and as blowback from people maddened into wanton violence by the relentless stream of atrocities.
And no, to comprehend an origin of violence is not to condone it; but reality compels acknowledgement of the fact that state-terror atrocity breeds "asymmetrical" atrocity in turn. It also teaches by example. The state militarists of empire say: Violence works. Violence is honorable. Violence is the most effective way to accomplish your goals. And you must not blench at killing innocent people in your violent operations. Is it any wonder that others adopt these methods, which are championed and celebrated by our most respected and legitimatized elites? Recall the words of one of America's own home-grown "asymmetricals," Timothy McVeigh, who at his sentencing for the Oklahoma City bombing quoted Justice Louis Brandeis: "Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example."
McVeigh of course was schooled in death and violence as a soldier in the first Iraq War, where he had been appalled to find himself killing people who wished America no harm, and to see the wholesale slaughter of innocent people in a conflict that need never have been fought. A peaceful settlement of the complex financial and territorial dispute between Iraq and Kuwait had been brokered by the Arab League; but although Iraq accepted the deal, at the last minute, the Kuwaiti royals long-time business partners of then-President George H.W. Bush reneged and declared, "We will call in the Americans." Then the regional squabble between Iran and Kuwait was deceitfully turned into a "global threat" by the false claim that Iraq's invading forces were massing on the borders of Saudi Arabia. Pentagon chief Dick Cheney claimed secret satellite imagery showed vast Iraqi armies preparing to swoop down on the Saudi oilfields, the lifeline of the American economy. Bush Family capo James Baker, then Secretary of State, went before Congress and declared that the imminent war was all about saving American jobs. But commercial imagery obtained by a US newspaper at the time showed there were no Iraqi forces on the Saudi border. It was all a knowing lie as were the claims paraded before Congress that Iraqi soldiers were flinging infants from their incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals. This bearing of false witness had been arranged by a prominent Bush-connected PR firm. The first Iraq War was just as falsely based and pointless as the second.
Unfortunately for the innocents in Oklahoma City, McVeigh too fully absorbed the lessons of the omnipresent teacher, even as he came to reject the teacher's authority. But his greatest crime in the imperial system was not that he killed innocent people in furtherance of political aims, but that he did it free-lance, without the "legitimacy" of a militarist government which slaughters innocent people by the hundreds of thousands in furtherance of its political aims.
Now in Afghanistan, the atrocities of the "legitimate" forces are fueling a prodigious growth in the "illegitimate" insurgency, transforming thousands of people who once opposed the Taliban into fighters under its banner. (Of course, "Taliban" has become a generic term for an array of opponents to the Western presence in Afghanistan). But these atrocities are an inevitable by-product of the very presence of foreign armies, which require "force protection" and close air cover and missile strikes to maintain and protect their operations. This inevitably produces large amounts of "collateral damage" (i.e., dead, maimed, ruined and dispossessed civilians.) The larger the foreign force, the more "force protection" it needs, which produces more atrocities, which fuels more resistance and more extremism. This is virtually a mathematical law. But of course, the very essence of a militarist state is that is feels unbounded by any law not even the laws of human nature. Thus Washington is now increasing its military presence in Afghanistan, with Obama promising even more.
What will be the results of this policy? Do the math.
II. The Guardian provides an illuminating look at the fruits of American policy in Afghanistan today. This is what Barack Obama wants to see more of:
It was 7.30 on a hot July morning when the plane came swooping low over the remote ravine. Below, a bridal party was making its way to the groom's village in an area called Kamala, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, to prepare for the celebrations later that day.
The first bomb hit a large group of children who had run on ahead of the main procession. It killed most of them instantly.
A few minutes later, the plane returned and dropped another bomb, right in the centre of the group. This time the victims were almost all women. Somehow the bride and two girls survived but as they scrambled down the hillside, desperately trying to get away from the plane, a third bomb caught them. Hajj Khan was one of four elderly men escorting the bride's party that day.
"We were walking, I was holding my grandson's hand, then there was a loud noise and everything went white. When I opened my eyes, everybody was screaming. I was lying metres from where I had been, I was still holding my grandson's hand but the rest of him was gone. I looked around and saw pieces of bodies everywhere. I couldn't make out which part was which."
Relatives from the groom's village said it was impossible to identify the remains. They buried the 47 victims in 28 graves.
Stories like this are relatively common in today's Afghanistan. More than 600 civilians have died in Nato and US air strikes this year. The number of innocents killed this way has almost doubled from last year, and tripled from the year before that. These attacks are weakening support for the Afghan government and turning more and more people against the foreign occupation of the country...
The latest figures from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, taken a month ago, suggest about 750 civilians have been killed by foreign forces this year. Most were killed in air strikes. The remainder were shot by jumpy soldiers, who often open fire in crowded public places after an attack on one of their convoys.
Humanitarian aid agencies say privately that they believe the figure is significantly higher, as many victims classed as "insurgents" are actually non-combatants...
Nato and US spokesmen say their forces go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. But all too often after an air strike, they deny civilians are among the dead or claim far fewer were killed.
A recent Human Rights Watch report said US investigations, when launched, have been "unilateral, ponderous, and lacking in transparency, undercutting rather than improving relations with local populations and the Afghan government".
The routine denials and hands-off attitude are contributing to a growing sense among Afghans that their lives are cheap in the eyes of the foreigners.
"We know they don't intend to kill the civilians but we don't believe they care enough not to," said Ahmad Zia, a jeweller in Kabul's busy bazaar. "If it continues we will see a lot more people joining the fight against the foreigners. It's inevitable."...
Sharif Hassanyar, a former interpreter with US Special Forces who is now working as a journalist, described how decisions were taken to bomb areas based on flimsy intelligence.
"I remember when I was working with a group of Rangers and a spy in the area told them the Taliban were training in a garden of a house so they bombed the house, without checking the information. Afterwards they found out that there had not been any Taliban there, only civilians were killed by the bombs," he said.
Informants for the foreign forces often give bad information either accidentally or because they are pursuing tribal or personal vendettas against individuals in neighbouring villages, he added...
It is not just the deaths from air strikes that are poisoning the hearts of Afghans. In the capital, Kabul, each day, terrified drivers swerve out of the way as foreign troops hurtle through the streets in their armoured convoys training their rifles on the drivers and pedestrians and shouting obscenities: "Stay the fuck back!"
The Afghans know to keep out of the way. Last year a US military convoy ploughed into several vehicles, killing seven people including a family. The incident sparked a riot involving thousands of angry Kabul residents. It was suppressed only after the security forces started shooting protesters on the streets. At least 15 people were killed.
"The anti-American feelings in Afghanistan are not just coming from conservative or religious elements," said Shukria Barakzai, a female MP.
"These feelings stem from the actions and military operations of the foreign troops. The anti-western sentiment is directly because of the military actions, the civilian casualties, and the lack of respect by foreign troops for Afghan culture."
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