And as for the title of this compilation, the reason why a deep depression might be our saving grace is that it will buy us some time - through slowing down a bit the rate of global environmental destruction - to shift away from unsustainable lifestyles and greed-driven economic activities towards a whole new relationship with our sole and greatly weakened planetary life-support system. Much more on this below in my various interspersed comments.
And always remember, no matter how bad things may look, there is ALWAYS hope!...
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STATS for this compilation: Over 50,700 words and 307 links provided.
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"There have been times in human history where weve had the opportunity to make choices that have had far reaching effects on our directions and futures. I believe we are at one such time in our history. I believe we are at quite a major crossroads where we can choose to heal the rifts and separations of the past and carry on in one-ness, or we can choose the other ways, which will only lead to more separation. Indigenous peoples of the world have been waiting for this time. This time has been prophesied by many. It is where the dark times will come to an end and where life will again be treated with reverence and respect. It has not been so for many a year. This change does not come about by some magic force from the outside. This change will come about from each person making that choice to step out of the darkness and into the light."
"Still more important is the implication that the evolution of homo sapiens, with his technological inventiveness and his increasingly subtle communications network, has vastly increased Gaia's range of perception. She is now through us awake and aware of herself. She has seen the reflection of her fair face through the eyes of astronauts and the television cameras of orbiting spacecraft. Our sensations of wonder and pleasure, our capacity for conscious thought and speculation, our restless curiosity and drive are hers to share. This new interrelationship of Gaia with man is by no means fully established; we are not yet a truly collective species, corralled and tamed as an integral part of the biosphere, as we are as individual creatures. It may be that the destiny of mankind is to become tamed, so that the fierce, destructive, and greedy forces of tribalism and nationalism are fused into a compulsive urge to belong to the commonwealth of all creatures which constitutes Gaia."
"Each element, plant, insect, fish and animal represents a certain aspect of Gaia's - and our - being. In a way, we are Gaia's intelligence and awareness - currently lost in self-destructive madness. We must acknowledge, respect and love her for being the Mother she is to us or we deny our very selves. Nurture the Mother as she nurtures us."
"The spirit of our planet is stirring! The Consciousness of Goddess Earth is now rising against all odds, in spite of millennia of suppression, repression and oppression inflicted on Her by a hubristic and misguided humanity. The Earth is a living entity, a biological organism with psychic and spiritual dimensions."
1. Don't Fix Wall Street, Replace It: Why not an economy of real wealth?
2. Davos, Debt & Denial
3. A restaurant with no checks
4. Palm oil: An Environmental Perspective
5. Climate change 'worse than feared'
6. Australian Bushfires
7. Learning From the Past: The Great Transportation Conspiracy
8. Total says oil output near peak
9. Israel Treated Gaza Like Its Own Private Death Laboratory
10. NM Sen Demands FDA Remove Aspartame From Market
11. Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach
12. Sept. 11 widow killed in Buffalo plane crash
13. States May Be Getting Ready To Dissolve Our Federal Government
14. Are you ready for The Proof?
15. The Spiritual Dimensions of Obama's Leadership
16. Change.org Weekly Update
17. The State of The Planet
18. Native American Code of Ethics
19. Obama to send former President Bush to worlds hot spots
20. Ice Cream creativity
DEEPENING GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS
Worst Than The Great Depression?' Worst Economic Collapse Ever' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nJ7LM3iyNg
In 2009 were going to see the worst economic collapse ever, the Greatest Depression, says Gerald Celente, U.S. trend forecaster. He believes its going to be very violent in the U.S., including there being a tax revolt. READ THE MANY RELATED NEWS ON THE GROWING ECONOMIC TSUNAMI ENGULFING THE WORLD. YOU ESPECIALLY NEED TO READ ">September 11th, 2008Americas Economic 9/11? EXCERPTED BELOW!!!
Nearly 5 million Americans drawing jobless benefits (Feb 19, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1949726420090220
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers drawing unemployment aid jumped to a record high of nearly 5 million, the government said on Thursday, as a worsening economy made it increasingly hard to find jobs.The data from early February suggested the 13-month-old U.S. recession was deepening, a conclusion supported by a report that showed factory activity in the country's Mid-Atlantic region contracted sharply in February."The data indicates an accelerated deterioration ... jobs are being lost and the pool of unemployed is growing faster," said Kevin Logan, senior U.S. economist at Dresdner Kleinwort in New York. "People cannot find jobs."U.S. stocks fell as the data reinforced fears the worsening slump would erode company profits, driving the Dow Jones industrial average to 7,465.95, its lowest close since October 2002.Worries about more heavy borrowing to fund the government's efforts to rescue the economy hammered Treasury debt prices. CLIP
Peter Schiff's Predictions on US CRASH - 2002 to 2009 - GETTING IT RIGHT DESPITE ALL THE LAUGHS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdVP_sgCETo&NR=1
Note from Jean: The Obama administration seems to be getting it all wrong (check these other Peter Schiff predictions "Barack Obama's policies will unleash a greater economic crisis than the world is now facing, believes US financial forecaster, Peter Schiff."- check also Gerald Celente on Glenn Beck 10 Feb 09 Economic Apocalypse !!!!!! on Feb 10 and Gerald Celente Was Right !!!!!!) with its emphasis on pumping borrowed money to jumpstart an economic system that is in a terminal state of decay. It's like trying to douse a fire with gasoline! Of course, if their true strategy is to kill the beast for good so everyone sees it needs to be replaced and then dismantle the privately-owned Federal Reserve and build from the bottom up a new truly sustainable economic system that actually serves ordinary people, can no longer be manipulated by greedy people for their sole profit, respect the Earth's limits, allocate the resources to the real basic needs of all and offers everyone an opportunity to contribute to the greater good of all taking out the fear of lack out of the motivational equation so people can finally choose to do their bit our of love instead of out of fear, then it starts to make sense... Fiddling while the planet burns and billions suffer will soon no longer be an option. Only soul-inspired, bold actions and decisions. with an eye trained on the big picture and long term consequences, will see us through what's coming!
Go check the graphics created by long-time ERN subscriber Gwelan (firstname.lastname@example.org) using divinatory dowsing, something he is extremely good at. The first page below (click on the graphic to see the large size version) shows the projected evolution of various currencies. You'll notice that the US dollar is set to take a nose dive starting on June 21, while the Euro will rise a bit, and the Canadian dollar will remain stable. The second link below, shows how bad things are projected to turn from July onward, with a potential for social upheavals and a growing humanitarian crisis in the U.S. (according to Gwelan) due to the economic dislocation that now seems inevitable... just as Celente is predicting. http://www.gwelan.com/fr/tendances/economie/devises http://www.gwelan.com/fr/tendances/pays/usa
How to survive the coming collapse http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2009/02/social-collapse-best-practices.html
This person survived the USSR collapse and offers insight on how we could survive our coming collapse. (...) If there is one thing that I would like to claim as my own, it is the comparative theory of superpower collapse. For now, it remains just a theory, although it is currently being quite thoroughly tested. The theory states that the United States and the Soviet Union will have collapsed for the same reasons, namely: a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil (that magic addictive elixir of industrial economies), a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget, and ballooning foreign debt. I call this particular list of ingredients "The Superpower Collapse Soup." (...) Here is the key insight: you might think that when collapse happens, nothing works. Thats just not the case. The old ways of doing things dont work any more, the old assumptions are all invalidated, conventional goals and measures of success become irrelevant. But a different set of goals, techniques, and measures of success can be brought to bear immediately, and the sooner the better. (...) Right now the Washington economic stimulus team is putting on their Scuba gear and diving down to the engine room to try to invent a way to get a diesel engine to run on seawater. They spoke of change, but in reality they are terrified of change and want to cling with all their might to the status quo. But this game will soon be over, and they dont have any idea what to do next. So, what is there for them to do? Forget growth, forget jobs, forget financial stability. What should their realistic new objectives be? Well, here they are: food, shelter, transportation, and security. Their task is to find a way to provide all of these necessities on an emergency basis, in absence of a functioning economy, with commerce at a standstill, with little or no access to imports, and to make them available to a population that is largely penniless. If successful, society will remain largely intact, and will be able to begin a slow and painful process of cultural transition, and eventually develop a new economy, a gradually de-industrializing economy, at a much lower level of resource expenditure, characterized by a quite a lot of austerity and even poverty, but in conditions that are safe, decent, and dignified. If unsuccessful, society will be gradually destroyed in a series of convulsions that will leave a defunct nation composed of many wretched little fiefdoms. Given its largely depleted resource base, a dysfunctional, collapsing infrastructure, and its history of unresolved social conflicts, the territory of the Former United States will undergo a process of steady degeneration punctuated by natural and man-made cataclysms. CLIP
Soros sees no bottom for world financial "collapse" (Feb 21, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE51K0A920090221
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union. He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system."We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."His comments echoed those made earlier at the same conference by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who is now a top adviser to President Barack Obama. Volcker said industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain. "I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world," Volcker said.
State of Crises (20 February 2009) http://www.truthout.org/022009F
The state of the economy? It is very bad. The global economy has not undergone a shock this violent since 1929. That is first of all the result of deregulation that allowed finance to escape from the surveillance established after the crisis of the 1930s. However, the disorders of finance would not have had such heavy consequences had they not come into play against the backdrop of the colossal imbalances in the real economy and the returning rise of inequalities to levels unknown since the beginning of the Twentieth Century. With, most notably, American households' massive over-indebtedness, the counterpart to the fantastic surpluses run up by China and by the whole group of countries collectively called the "South." In other words, the surpluses secured from the South's production were not used primarily to develop developing economies' educational and health systems or to lift their salary levels. They served above all to single-handedly support American overconsumption through indebtedness. The era now ending will probably appear as a period of exceptional collective blindness to those who will write its history ... (...) Additionally, the environmental crisis comes on top of the economic crisis. And we're no longer talking about "future generations": thirty years from now we will have had to find solutions to the crises of climate change and the exhaustion of fossil energy. May we combine the fights against the economic and the environmental crises? The answer is yes. To change our modes of dwelling, building cities, transport, etc. is, in fact, to carry out a colossal investment effort likely to generate many jobs. But the temptation is also strong to subsidize consumption and employment, of whatever kind and whatever their consequences in environmental terms. That battle is not yet won ...
Brzezinski warns of riots in US (21 Feb 2009) http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=86350§ionid=3510203
Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has warned that the US could witness riots if economy continues its downward spiral. "There's going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!" said Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, in a recent interview with NBC. "In 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets," he added. At least 3.6 million jobs have been wiped out throughout the US since the recession began in December 2007. The jobless rate officially reached a 16-year high of 7.6% (11.6 million people) last month. Earlier this week, a new Federal Reserve report said that US unemployment could increase to 8.8%, causing the economy to contract for a full calendar year for the first time since 1991, when a contraction of 0.2% was registered. The Obama White House has put forward an array of measures, including a $787 billion stimulus package, in the hopes of reviving the flagging economy. Brzezinski, meanwhile, made some recommendations to the young administration. He proposed the creation of a voluntary national solidarity fund, whose contributors would be those who became wealthy in recent times. "Where is the moneyed class today? Why aren't they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I'm sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin [former treasury secretaries]. Why don't they get together, and why don't they organize a national solidarity fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back?" he argued. "I was worrying about it because we're going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we're going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve," said Brzezinski.
100,000 Protest Over Irish Economy http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7903518.stm?lss
About 100,000 people have taken part in protests in Dublin city centre to vent their anger at the Irish government's handling of the country's recession. They oppose plans to impose a pension levy on 350,000 public sector workers. Trade union organisers of the march said workers did not cause the economic crisis but were having to pay for it. In a statement, the Irish government said it recognised that the measures it was taking were "difficult and in some cases painful". The pension levy was "reasonable", the government said.It reflected "the reality that we are not in a position to continue to meet the public service pay bill in the circumstances of declining revenue", it added.Reports say the plan could cost the 350,000 public sector workers between 1,500 euros and 2,800 euros (£2,500) a year. (...) Ireland, which was once one of Europe's fastest-growing economies, has fallen into recession faster than many other members of the European Union. The country officially fell into recession in September 2008, and unemployment has risen sharply in the following months. The numbers of people claiming unemployment benefit in the Irish Republic rose to 326,000 in January, the highest monthly level since records began in 1967.
Court's Rocket Docket Blasts Through Foreclosures (February 19, 2009 ) http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090219/ARTICLE/902190341/2055/NEWS?Title=Court-s-rocket-docket-blasts-through-foreclosures
(...) Modern-day treasure seekers invaded this area during the housing boom, snapping up homes and parcels of land, hoping to flip them to retirees and working families. Millionaire University, an unaccredited program in nearby Cape Coral, taught speculators from around the country how to buy and sell for huge profits. From 2000 to 2005, house prices in Cape Coral more than doubled.Two years ago, Lee's court system had about 1,900 foreclosure cases on the books. That number swelled to 24,000 by the beginning of 2009. "We have to move these cases out of here," Green says. "That's how we get these houses back on the market and get to the bottom faster."Many defendants in Fort Myers are speculators who never lived in the houses and do not bother to show up for hearings. But some homeowners who do come to court are annoyed that they are given only a few seconds to speak to the judge."The judge didn't want to hear from me," said a frustrated Reed Morgan, a self-employed business consultant, wearing loafers and a blue oxford shirt, after Judge Carlin gave him 60 days to work out a modification plan with his lender or vacate his three-bedroom house.Minutes after the bailiff opened the courtroom doors at a recent hearing, every seat was filled with delinquent homeowners: a mechanic with two pierced ears and a goatee, a young woman in a car-rental uniform, a gray-haired landlord who rehearsed his lines with the woman next to him."It's like the Exodus," said Hill Scott, a middle-school teacher who went into default after her monthly payments on her adjustable-rate mortgage reset. She now owes $3,300 per month, up from the $1,600 a year ago. She has not made a mortgage payment since January 2008 and is in negotiations with her lender.During a break in the hearing, lawyers used dollies to wheel in boxes containing hundreds of case files, which they piled onto tables and on the floor.One lawyer, wearing a dark suit and untucked white shirt ran between the judge's bench and the dozens of open boxes on the floor. His colleagues sat cross-legged on the courtroom floor, sorting files. The judge signed dozens of them without discussion and passed them to a row of court employees to process."Case No. 136," the clerk intoned. "Wells Fargo versus Edward Callahan."Judge Carlin asked whether the man was living in the house and was current on his mortgage. He answered no to both questions."Your house will be sold in 45 days," said the judge. "That's all for today."Case time: 15 seconds. CLIP
Family-Plot Food Gardens for a Sustainable Planet -- Declaration in support of immediate creation and promotion of sustainable family-plot permaculture land development http://www.petitiononline.com/SoLMag/
We, the undersigned, represent a movement of over eleven million voices strong. This is the growing number of people world-wide who are joining a brilliant "green" movement originating from Russia. We are all people who have become inspired and convinced of the urgent need for government supported development of family-size sustainably farmed land-plots, ideally located in eco-village settlements in every nation on earth. Robert Muller, Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations for many decades, said with great forethought: "The world of sovereign nations is in disarray. The Earth, our vital air, waters, nature, vegetation and many species which it took millions of years to form, our climate are in jeopardy. All this will end in a global disaster without precedent, if we do not react with urgency, vision and audacity." (...) We, the undersigned, are supporting the vision of acquiring parcels of land, one hectare in size, for the purpose of setting up Family Domains to build a more perfect living environment for ourselves and our families. There, food and forest gardens can be planted in accordance with careful permaculture planning and healthy seeds, so that we can grow food such as fruit, berries, nuts, vegetable crops and might include such additions as ponds stocked with fish, bee colonies or farm animals. As practical experience has shown, the creation of such Family Domains, though developed in different nations and climates, is capable in the very near future of solving the food and living problems of many nations. Ecovillages and agricultural cooperatives around large and small cities that are able to provide the urban population with ecologically pure plant products have proven to be very viable, immediate solutions to the planet-wide problem of availability of wholesome, affordable foods. (...) We posit that a fundamentally new and universally applicable global vision for another way of life for all of Earth's families is of vital and urgent importance. We have several guiding paradigms available, including the aforementioned Ringing Cedars vision for global healing, so as to be able to proceed immediately. There are already several hundred eco-villages flourishing all over the planet and 300 eco-villages in various stages of planning and development which apply the Ringing Cedars ideas for Family Domains. For instance, hundreds of families, having each obtained a hectare of land, are already building their own domains, domains in which children are being born and raised now in a more perfect ecological environment in specific areas in Russia, with many more emerging in other countries. We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Your Excellency, bearer of the highest office of the United Nations, kindly join us in this urgent quest and realistic vision by assembling the relevant UN agencies to proactively pursue the possibility of realistic global healing, one hectare, one eco-village, one nation at a time. First and foremost, we need your powerful support toward the development of official positions and recommendations for the world-wide creation of hectare-size sustainable family-plots for food and forest gardens in all nations. CLIP Recommended by Laurent Pirard (email@example.com) - More on this vision through Food for Hope: A Global Vision for an attainable, sustainable future and Exclusive interview with Vladimir Megre: Mr. Megre talks about pressing subjects and Kin's Domains issues
AP Credits 'First Woman to Swim Atlantic' for Impossible 2,100-mile, 25-day Crossing (February 11, 2009) http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/02/11/ap-credits-atlantic-swimmer-2-100-mile-25-day-crossing
Well, this sports feat is one for the record books. Not as a legitimate accomplishment, mind you. No, this story is a leading candidate to win the "Biggest Sports Hoax Ever Swallowed by a Wire Service" prize. Danica Coto of the Associated Press got duped into believing that 56 year-old Jennifer Figge had completed a 2,100-mile swim across the Atlantic Ocean in a jaw-dropping 25 days: (...) The real issue stemmed from the fact that swimming 2,100 miles in 25 days is impossible. (Some newspapers picked up on this.) It's infinitely more impossible when somebody only spends 21 minutes swimming during one of those 25 days. Michael Phelps swimming his fastest would take about 20 days to cover that distance. And that's his fastest pace, sustained for three weeks, without ever stopping. Impossible. Yet, somehow, the AP ran the story even though a few seconds of thought and a pocket calculator was enough to disprove it. (...) AP issued a correction Tuesday: In stories on Feb. 1, 7 and 8, about Jennifer Figge's long-distance swim in the Atlantic, The Associated Press reported erroneously that she had swum across the ocean. Figge swam only a fraction of the 2,100-mile journey. The rest of the time, she rested on her crew's westward-sailing catamaran. Her spokesman, David Higdon, told The AP on Tuesday that her total swimming distance has not been calculated yet, but that due to ocean hazards including inclement weather, he estimates she swam about 250 miles. NOTE from Jean: I should have suspected this was a hoax but was too mesmerized by the alleged feat to think straight. Which goes to show once again that the bigger the lie, the easier it seems to be for people to fall for it, hook, line and sinker.
Dove evolution - NOTE from Jean: Viewing the following video led me to the many other items below including "Palm oil: An Environmental Perspective" below in this compilation and all its related articles and videos... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
A slick advertising gimmick from Dove, but with a laudable goal: enhancing women's self-esteem - Some took a different tack on this though...
Dove Onslaught(er) (April 21, 2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odI7pQFyjso
Talk to Dove before they destroy Paradise Forests: http://www.greenpeace.org/dove UPDATE: Thanks to the staggering public support for our international Dove campaign in April 2008, Unilever has now agreed to play their part in saving the Paradise Forests of South East Asia. As the biggest single buyer of palm oil in the world, Unilever has a special responsibility to help clean up the industry that's behind so much forest destruction.They have agreed to support the call by Greenpeace for an immediate moratorium on deforestation for palm oil plantations. They have also agreed to urgently contact other major companies calling on them to support the moratorium. This is the first success in a broader campaign to secure real change on the ground in South East Asia -- to stop the palm oil industry from destroying the Paradise Forests.
All Day Every Day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooi5VH9rzfY
Palm Oil plantations are causing the destruction of millions of hectares of Indonesia's rainforests, massively increasing global carbon emissions by burning the forests and directly endangering the orangutans.
How Unilever Palm Oil Suppliers are Burning Up Borneo (21 April 08) THIS WAS BEFORE UNILEVER'S DECISION as explained in Orang-utan protests and customer outcry prompt Unilever forest destruction climb down http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/how-unilever-palm-oil-supplier
New evidence shows expansion by Unilever palm oil suppliers is driving species extinction in Central Kalimantan, and fuelling climate changeIn November 2007, Greenpeace released 'Cooking the Climate', an 82-page report summarising the findings of a two-year investigation that revealed how the world's largest food, cosmetic and biofuel companies were driving the wholesale destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands through growing palm oil consumption. This follow-up report provides further evidence of the expansion of the palm oil sector in Indonesia into remaining rainforests, orang-utan habitat and peatlands in Kalimantan. It links the majority of the largest producers in Indonesia to Unilever, probably the largest palm oil corporate consumer in the world.
Argentina: Remarkable UFO filmed with multiple witnesses (14-2-2009) http://www.allnewsweb.com/page4994991.php
Buenos Aires: Astonished commuters stopped their vehicles to view one of the clearest sightings of a low flying UFO ever near Buenos Aires in Argentina. The event occurred at 8:41 PM on January 24 2009 besides the heavily polluted Cascallares Dam. Stunned witnesses dived into their cars for cell phones and one even was able to pull a pair of binoculars out of his boot. They then watched the most unworldly of objects rise and descend almost to road level while enthusiastically declaring it a UFO. One witness, Mr Christian Soldano, was lucky enough to be carrying a high quality video camera with night vision and was able to capture this curious event. His astonishing film can be seen HERE. Sceptics have already dismissed the film as being a case of ball lightning and insisting that what was filmed was not a UFO, however South American ufologists note that no other film of ball lighting has ever been produced showing an object with similar characteristics. Many have observed that this is simply one in a sequence of many sightings involving UFOs and lakes and dams in Argentina, further strengthening the theory that visiting extra-terrestrials are using these lakes to park and conceal their UFOs and possibly build bases here on earth. Interesting also is the fact that in many ways this sighting resembles the recent and extraordinary sighting over Athens that All News Web reported on late last week.
Canada releases UFO X-Files to the World (February 16, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2383-Honolulu-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2009m2d16-Canada-releases-UFO-XFiles-to-the-World
The Canadian Government has authorized open public access to thousands of federal government documents concerning UFOs. A total of 9500 digitized documents spanning the years 1947 to the early 1980s have been made available through the Library and Archives Canada website. Titled "Canada's UFOs: The Search for the Unknown" the files include correspondence, reports, memos and procedures, some of which specifically deal with UFOs. The files come from Canadas National Defense Department, the Department of Transport, the National Research Council, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Canada's release of its UFO X-Files follows closely upon the release at the end of January of Denmark's UFO files. Britain continues to release thousands of UFO files through a program of gradual releases it began in May 2007 through its national archives with the most recent being on October 2008. The French Space Agency had earlier announced on March 22, 2007, that it was making public its secret UFO files through a government website. The important difference between the released Canadian UFO files with other country releases is the inclusion of departmental analyses rather than simply reports of UFO sightings. According to Victor Viggiani from Exopolitics Toronto, who has been monitoring the Canadian Government UFO website since its inception, "The Canadian files do not simply list UFO sightings; they describe actions, meetings and inter-departmental memoranda generated by Canadian officials that attempt to make sense of the considerable onslaught of UFO sightings as well as referencing American problems with keeping abreast of UFO sightings." CLIP
Google Ocean: Has Atlantis been found off Africa? (20 Feb 2009) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/google/4731313/Google-Ocean-Has-Atlantis-been-found-off-Africa.html
A "grid of streets" on the seabed at one of the proposed locations of the lost city of Atlantis has been spotted on Google Ocean. The perfect rectangle, which is around the size of Wales, was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool. The underwater image can be found at the co-ordinates 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W. Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, allows web users to virtually explore the ocean. The site was launched earlier this month. The legend of Atlantis has excited the public imagination for centuries. The network of criss-cross lines is 620 miles off the coast of north west Africa near the Canary Islands on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect rectangle - which is around the size of Wales - was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool by an aeronautical engineer who claims it looks like an "aerial map" of a city. (...) Last night Atlantis experts said that the unexplained grid is located at one of the possible sites of the legendary island, which was described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. According to his account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC. Dr Charles Orser, curator of historical archaeology at New York State University told The Sun that the find was fascinating and warranted further inspection. "The site is one of the most prominent places for the proposed location of Atlantis, as described by Plato," the Atlantis expert said. "Even if it turns out to be geographical, it definitely deserves a closer look." Bernie Bamford, 38, of Chester who spotted the "city", compared it to the plan of Milton Keynes, the Buckinghamshire town built on a grid design. "It must be man made," he said. Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, allows web users to virtually explore the ocean with thousands of images of underwater landscapes. Launched earlier this month, it lets users swim around underwater volcanoes, watch videos about exotic marine life, read about nearby shipwrecks, contribute photos and watch unseen footage of historic ocean expeditions.
We are not alone: 'trillions' of planets could be supporting life (February 16, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5739563.ece
Almost every star similar to the Sun probably has a life-harbouring planet like the Earth in orbit around it, a leading astronomer said yesterday.The discovery of hundreds of planets around distant stars in our galaxy suggests that most solar systems have a world like ours that is capable of supporting life, and many of them are likely to have evolved it, according to Alan Boss, of the Carnegie Institution in Washington. Nasa's Kepler spacecraft, which will be launched next month to seek Earth-like worlds, is expected to find thousands of rocky planets in the patch of sky it surveys, Dr Boss told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Chicago. "We're on the verge of finding out convincingly how frequently habitable planets occur in the Universe," he said. "A little over 20 years ago we knew of no other planetary system other than our own. We now know of well over 300. I suspect that virtually every star when you look up at the night sky has an Earth-like planet around it. " These "exoplanets" are mainly gas giants like Jupiter, but they do include some "super-Earths" that are a few times larger than our planet. While smaller worlds like ours are invisible to existing telescopes, Kepler will be capable of finding them.
Text of H.R. 645: National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (January 22, 2009) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-645
A BILL To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations. (...) Purpose of National Emergency Centers- The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure-- (...) (4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. (...) There is authorized to be appropriated $180,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to carry out this Act. (...) In this Act, the following definitions apply: (1) CLOSED MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term closed military installation means a military installation, or portion thereof, approved for closure or realignment under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 that meet all, or 2 out of the 3 following requirements: (A) Is located in close proximity to a transportation corridor. (B) Is located in a State with a high level or threat of disaster related activities. (C) Is located near a major metropolitan center.
The Gentle and Forgotten Art of Blessings - Beautiful and inspiring! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BkT6-CDIjw
To bless, says Pierre, means to wish, unconditionally and from the deepest chamber of your heart,unrestricted good for others and events. To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden from material eyes;
Three Little Birds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cmffLlkwxc
The sun-dappled video for 'Three Little Birds' was filmed in Jamaica during the Talbot family's Easter holiday -- the perfect setting for this glorious Marley song, which, through Connie's rendition, zings with the joy of youth on a happy, sunshine drenched day. MANy more videos with Connie through this LINK
Excellent recycling program in Quebec http://www.recyc-frigo.com/en/index.html
Get rid of your old refrigerators and freezers (all those older than 10 years waste much more energy!) and get $60 in return. 95% of their material will be recycled and no ozone-destroying CFCs will escape. Over 75,000 appliances recycled so far. Program effective up to Dec 31, 2010. French version HERE. There are a number of reasons to take part in this important program. When you get rid of your old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer, you save energy and reduce your electricity bill. What's more, you take a positive step for the environment and get $60 in return for each appliance collected (a maximum of two appliances per household). Our qualified team will come to your home and collect your appliance(s) free of charge for environmentally responsible disposal. For similar programs in the US and Canada check http://www.arcainc.com/ - ARCA is one of the nation's largest recyclers of major household appliances for the energy conservation programs of electric utilities. The company currently provides appliance recycling and replacement services for more than twenty electric utility companies and public power authorities in the United States and Canada.
House of Cards! READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW FIRST http://www.adobecards.com
Click on the link below and a playing card will appear on your screen...this takes a while for it to load, then scroll down below the card and you will see a line that has a little red slider bar in it. Move the slider gradually to the right and stop and watch the show take place, then move it a little more to the right and stop and another show will take place and keep doing this till you are to the end. This is soooooo cool. The marvels of technology.
IVAW - Conscience of a Nation - 29:29 - Dec 14, 2008 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7856666995823018225&hl=en
Three days of testimony in 30 minutes. IVAW met in Maryland in March 2008, over 200 veterans in attendance, dozens of cameras, simulcasts and radio hosts. Over 50 veterans testified to what they witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan and invited the world to watch. The event was ignored by the lamestream media. We continue to work with the footage and re-present it to those that missed it. see also the full testimonies at http://www.ivaw.org and excerpts at http://www.snowshoefilms.com
Conversation Cafés 2009 (Jan 31, 2009) http://www.positivenews.org.uk/artman/publish/article_2101.shtml
Celebrating the Power of Conversation to Change the World, Conversation Cafés will be held all over the globe to promote awareness, caring and action. Once a year between March 23rd to 30th, people everywhere are invited to sit down and consider the most important questions in the world. The Café conversations are full of surprise, excitement and infinite possibilities. We may not have all the answers in these challenging and complex times, but together we all hold a piece of the answer. (...) Our intention: to create a platform for respectful listening and to encourage empathic responses to individual and shared values. We can do things on our own quickly. However when we engage willingly with others, we create more sustainable, practical options, which serve the greater good. By agreeing to the Conversation Café democratic form, finding common ground is inevitable. To find our more about Conversation Week http://www.conversationweek.org - Many more positive news through http://www.positivenews.org.uk
MONITORING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Urge President Obama to Say No to Filthy Canadian Tar Sands (February 5, 2009) http://www.climateark.org/shared/alerts/send.aspx?id=obama_tar_sands
Canadian government wants special treatment for the world's dirtiest oil. In first overseas trip, President Obama must stand strong on clean energy and sufficient climate policies. BRIEF BACKGROUND: On February 19, President Obama travels to Canada on his first presidential visit abroad, where he will face pressure from the Government of Canada to support production of Alberta tar sands oil. Called oil sands by proponents, tar sands are the very dirtiest of fossil fuels. Producing oil from tar sands emits three times the global warming pollution as conventional oil, requires excessive amounts of energy and fresh water, and destroys huge swaths of ancient boreal forest. President Barack Obama must be strongly encouraged to stand strong on his new energy economy agenda and commitment to urgently address climate change, and reject entreaties from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to shelter the dirtiest oil on Earth from global warming regulation. Let the President know how seriously you take climate change, urging him to reject tar sands and support further immediate urgent action in pursuit of sufficient climate change policies. TAKE ACTION NOW!
A new era of co-operation (February 20, 2009) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090219.wobamamain0219/BNStory/politics/home
'Threats to the United States are threats to Canada,' Harper says after meeting with U.S. President and agreeing to work together on green technology OTTAWA Barack Obama and Stephen Harper reset Canada-U.S. relations in three hours of meetings Friday, bending over backwards to dispel tension from the George W. Bush era and pledging to co-operate at the border and around the world.Mr. Obama used a visit to a close neighbour to send a message that the U.S. wants to work in concert with allies jumping in at a news conference to say he hadn't pressed for Canadian troops to stay in Afghanistan past 2011, and pledging to consult closely with Ottawa on strategy. (...) On the environment, however, Mr. Obama stepped cautiously around Mr. Harper's calls for a broad, joint pact on greenhouse-gas emissions and energy. The two leaders announced a Clean Energy Dialogue, but it had a limited focus on sharing technology for things like capturing and storing carbon emissions falling far short of launching a drive to a broad North American system for regulating emissions.Mr. Obama said the U.S. has to first work out its own system at home, leaving Mr. Harper to suggest Canada might try to join when that's done. CLIP
Video Part I and II: President Barack Obama | Address on Lincoln's 200th Birthday Springfield, Illinois http://www.truthout.org/021409A
With transcript (...) These are trying days and they will grow tougher in the months to come. There will be moments when our doubts rise and our hopes recede. But let's always remember that we, as a people, have been here before. There were times when our revolution itself seemed altogether improbable, when the union was all but lost, and fascism seemed set to prevail. And yet, what earlier generations discovered - what we must rediscover right now - is that it is precisely when we are in the deepest valley, precisely when the climb is steepest, that Americans relearn how to take the mountaintop. Together. As one nation. As one people. That is how we will beat back our present dangers. That is how we will surpass what trials may come. And that is how we will do what Lincoln called on us to do, and "nobly save the last best hope of earth." Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless America.
Obamas voodoo economics - Deficit Nonchalance (February 13, 2009) http://informationclearinghouse.info/article21977.htm
Who remembers economists hysteria over the Reagan deficits? Wall Street was in panic. Reagans fiscal irresponsibility was bringing the end of the world.The fiscal year 2009 federal budget deficit that Obama is inheriting, and adding to, will be ten times larger in absolute terms than Reagans biggest and a much larger share of GDP in percentage terms. Yet, economists are sending up no alarms. (...) Obamas deficit is problematic. It is a massive deficit, far beyond anything ever before financed on planet earth. It is arriving at a time when pressures on the dollar as reserve currency have mounted from decades of rising trade deficits. The deficit is hitting the financial markets when the rest of the world is in turmoil from ingestion of toxic Wall Street financial instruments. The US must service massive debt when the US economy is hollowed out from the offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs. The Obama deficit is a far more serious deficit than the Reagan deficits. CLIP
Bubble Economy 2.0: The Financial Recovery Plan from Hell (February 11, 2009) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12265
Martin Wolf started off his Financial Times column today (February 11) with the bold question: Has Barack Obamas presidency already failed? The stock market had a similar opinion, plunging 382 points. Having promised change, Mr. Obama is giving us more Clinton-Bush via Robert Rubins protégé, Tim Geithner. Tuesdays $2.5 trillion Financial Stabilization Plan to re-inflate the Bubble Economy is basically an extension of the Bush-Paulson giveaway yet more Rubinomics for financial insiders in the emerging Wall Street trusts. The financial system is to be concentrated into a cartel of just a few giant conglomerates to act as the economys central planners and resource allocators. This makes banks the big winners in the game of chicken theyve been playing with Washington, a shakedown holding the economy hostage. Give us what we want or well plunge the economy into financial crisis. Washington has given them $9 trillion so far, with promises now of another $2 trillion and still counting. (...) How to save the economy from Wall Street - There is an alternative to ward all this off, and it is the classic definition of freedom from debt peonage and predatory credit. The only real solution to todays debt overhang is a debt write-down. Until this occurs, debt service will crowd out spending on goods and services and there will be no recovery. Debt deflation will drag the economy down while assets are transferred further into the hands of the wealthiest 10 percent of the population, operating via the financial sector. If Obama means what he says, he would use his office as a bully pulpit to urge repeal the present harsh creditor-oriented bankruptcy law sponsored by the banks and credit-card companies. He would campaign to restore the long-term trend of laws favoring debtors rather than creditors, and introduce legislation to restore the practice of writing down debts to reflect the debtors ability to pay, imposing market reality to debts that are far in excess of realistic valuations. A second policy would be to restore the power of state attorneys general to bring financial fraud charges against the most egregious mortgage lenders the prosecutions that the Bush Administration got thrown out of court by claiming that under an 1864 National Bank Act clause, the federal government had the right to override state prosecutions of national banks and then appointing a non-prosecutor to this enforcement position. On the basis of reinstated fraud charges, the government might claw back the bank bonuses, salaries and bank earnings that represented the profits from Americas greatest financial and real estate fraud in history. And to prevent repetition of the past decades experience, the Obama Administration might help popularize a new psychology of debt. The government could encourage the poor to act as economically as Donald Trumps or Angelo Mozilos would do, making it clear that debt write-downs are a right. CLIP
The New Deal and the New New Deal http://www.truthout.org/022009U
The stock market reached a six-year low today. Why? Some blame loose talk (including that of former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan) about nationalizing the nation's banks. Others blame Obama's new plan for helping homeowners who may not be able to pay their mortgages. But the real culprit is the accelerating decline in aggregate demand - consumers, businesses, and exports. Companies are losing money because their customers are disappearing. That's precisely why the stimulus is so important - indeed, why many of us fear it's too small.
Video: Obama's Stimulus - Not One In Congress Read It http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvnwOjDjnH4
Leader Boehner speaks before the House after House Democrats push through an 1,100 page, trillion-dollar spending bill with less than 12 hours of public review time.
Obama moves to curb gas emissions (January 27, 2009) Nice start but it will take MUCH more! http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/01/2009126165751957626.html
Barack Obama, the US president, has signed new environmental measures aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions and ending US dependency on foreign energy. On Monday Obama ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider California's request to set its own stricter limits on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to combat global warming. Declaring that the US "will not be held hostage to dwindling resources", Obama also directed the department of transportation to move forward with setting vehicle fuel efficiency standards for 2011 by March this year."The federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Obama said at the White House. "The days of Washington dragging its heels are over. My administration will not deny facts. We will be guided by them." The department of transport must also now produce guidelines to ensure US vehicles reach average fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. CLIP
Obama widens missile strikes inside Pakistan (Feb. 21, 2009) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29310523/
WASHINGTON - With two missile strikes over the past week, the Obama administration has expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan, attacking a militant network seeking to topple the Pakistani government.The missile strikes on training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud represent a broadening of the American campaign inside Pakistan, which has been largely carried out by drone aircraft. Under President Bush, the United States frequently attacked militants from Al Qaeda and the Taliban involved in cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, but had stopped short of raids aimed at Mr. Mehsud and his followers, who have played less of a direct role in attacks on American troops. The strikes are another sign that President Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised to do during his presidential campaign. At the same time, Mr. Obama has begun to scale back some of the Bush policies on the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, which he has criticized as counterproductive. CLIP
Obama Nixed Full Surge After Quizzing Brass http://ipsnews.net/wap/news.asp?idnews=45838
President Barack Obama decided to approve only 17,000 of the 30,000 troops requested by Gen. David McKiernan, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and Gen. David Petraeus, the CENTCOM commander, after McKiernan was unable to tell him how they would be used, according to a White House source.
Now What? A Cautionary Note, and an Invitation, to Progressives (22 February 2009) http://www.truthout.org/022209A
Exploring the psychology of social change reveals warning signs and opportunities for progressives as Obama takes power. Now that progressives have attained their goal of electing Barack Obama president and established the presence of a political mandate for change and, putatively, progressive ideas, what can we expect will happen next? What do we now need to learn to maximize our momentum in the wake of this exceptional, momentous reaffirmation of the democratic tradition in America? Now that we have won the political argument, the next step is to work on creating the cultural and socioeconomic changes that must follow if we are to build a truly progressive society. (...) It is patently obvious that Obama's victory was no ordinary victory; it was a sea change on numerous levels. It was the culmination of a lifetime of work for civil rights activists; an overwhelming statement of agreement with values of the progressive movement by a majority of voters; and a reaffirmation that our electoral system, and our democracy, despite voter fraud and the shredding of our Constitution by the Bush administration, can still function. On top of this, the magnitude of the problems that our nation and the world face at this moment in history is staggering: war, national and energy security, economic meltdown, and a raft of social ills that have festered for eight or more years without balm. That was no ordinary election, and this is no ordinary post-election. We have a mind-boggling array of issues to attend to. Creating the needed changes in our national infrastructure, commerce, and culture will require some heavy lifting indeed. Ask anyone who's ever built a pyramid - some genuine heavy lifting - and they will tell you what's needed is cooperation. We as progressives cannot fix the magnitude of problems in this country on our own, even if we are now putatively the majority. So, the invitation that appears before the progressive movement is to shift our identity not from underdog to victor, but from underdog to, eventually, agent of change. If we are to ultimately do the work that has been set before us, we must shift from being adversarial to cultivating cooperation. We have to learn to work with the people who even recently may have strenuously opposed us. CLIP
Drug violence spins Mexico toward 'civil war' (February 19, 2009) http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/02/18/mexico.drug.violence/index.html
(...) Mexico, a country with a nearly 2,000-mile border with the United States, is undergoing a horrifying wave of violence that some are likening to a civil war. Drug traffickers battle fiercely with each other and Mexican authorities. The homicide rate reached a record level in 2008 and indications are that the carnage could be exceeded this year. Every day, newspapers and the airwaves are filled with stories and images of beheadings and other gruesome killings. Wednesday's front page on Mexico City's La Prensa carried a large banner headline that simply said "Hysteria!" The entire page was devoted to photos of bloody bodies and grim-faced soldiers. One photo shows a man with two young children walking across a street with an army vehicle in the background, with a soldier standing at a turret machine gun.Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, calls it "a sickening vertigo into chaos and plunder."By most accounts, that's not hyperbole." The grisly portrait of the violence is unprecedented and horrific," said Robert Pastor, a Latin America national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. (...) Pastor and Hakim note that the United States helps fuel the violence, not only by providing a ready market for illegal drugs, but also by supplying the vast majority of weapons used by drug gangs.Pastor says there are at least 6,600 U.S. gun shops within 100 miles of the Mexican border and more than 90 percent of weapons in Mexico come from the United States.And it's not just handguns. Drug traffickers used a bazooka in Tuesday's shootout with federal police and army soldiers in Reynosa, Mexico, across the border from McAllen, Texas."The drug gangs are better equipped than the army," Hakim said. Pervasive corruption among public officials is central to the drug cartels' success."There is so much money involved in the drug trade, there is so much fear involved in the drug trade, that no institution can survive unaffected," Birns said."This has really revealed just how corrupt Mexican officeholders are," Hakim said.In one recent instance, Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who was the nation's top anti-drug official from 2006 until August 2008, was arrested on charges that he accepted $450,000 a month in bribes from drug traffickers while in office.Such dire problems call for a new way of looking at the situation, some say."The unthinkable is happening," Birns said. "People are beginning to discuss decriminalization and legalization. ... There's only one thing that can be done: Take the profit out of it." Pastor calls the problem in Mexico "even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era" and said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now. "What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness," he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in 1920s and '30s. "It was the repeal of Prohibition."That viewpoint has picked up some high-level support in Latin America. CLIP
John O'Neill: Assassinated Head Investigator Of The USS Cole Attack http://judicial-inc.biz/Oneill.htm
John ONeill's Background: He had been with the FBI for 20 years, and was involved in investigating a number of terrorist cases, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was considered the FBIs top man on terrorism. In the late 1990s, he became very attuned to Israels involvement in many terror operations. Following the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, he had become the foremost expert on the global threat from terrorism. Abu NidalAbu Nidal was the leader of the infamous Black September terror organization, and spent 30 years hijacking jets and planting bombs for Israel intelligence. O'Neill suspected Abu Nidal was a Mossad operative and talked openly about it with other field agents. O'Neill Was Sent To Investigate the USS Cole AttackHe took a team of FBI agents to Yemen, where his investigation pointed to Israeli involvement. Bodine, who is Jewish, was the Ambassador to Yemen. When the USS Cole was attacked, the FBI sent a team led by John ONeill who immediately suspected Israeli involvement. Bodine started an intense political battle to oust ONeill.Bodine wanted to control the investigation, and resented the fact that suddenly there were hundreds of FBI personnel in the country. Albright provided a handful of State Department personnel to watch the investigation. Albright and Bodine Panic as ONeill Investigation Points to Israel. Albright complains to upper echelons of the FBI about O'Neill.Bodine wanted O'Neill to drop his bodyguards and he became suspicious of Mossad assassination. Bodine and Madeleine Albright finally went to the Zionist Jewish FBI Director, Louis Freeh, to remove John O'Neill from Yemen. Then January 2001 came, and O'Neill wanted to go back to Yemen. But, Ambassador Bodine wouldn't give him clearance. In July 2001, ONeill resigned from the FBI. Larry Silverstein Offered Him a Job In September of 2001, mere days before 9/11, he got a job offer from Larry Silverstein (owner of WTC). Oddly, O'Neill was missing for two days before 9/11 miraculously his body was discovered in tact in the WTC ruins.
Marines Question The Sophistication Of Latest Attacks http://judicial-inc.biz/Mossad_bombs__sophisticated.htm
Marines Suspect Someone Is Placing Electronic Triggers On Vehicles - This smells of Mossad, Israeli mercenaries, and Israeli advisors with access to our troop movements. -- Marines Are Questioning Advanced Weapons. These are highly advanced and powerful weapons. They aren't being made out of old ammunition stockpiles, as the press says. You don't flip a 70-ton battle tank on its back that easy The Attacks On Specific Targets Come Into QuestionThe odd part is that the targets seem to be hand-picked. They range from an SUV with six snipers, to an APC carrying female Marines to a checkpoint. The attack targets seem to be hand-picked, in order to cause maximum psychological effect and angering of the US military, as well as the American people at home. Only the Zionists benefit from such anger. Marine even started a Blog on this episode. (...) Israel put us in Iraq to kill off Iraq's military, leaders, and all possible future resistance. They have assured the provocations, and slaughters like Fallujah, through hand-picked Generals Franks and Natonski, who are both Zionist Jews. When an operation is about to commence, such as Operation Matador, which will secure the Syria border towns, or Haditha, which provides the electrical power for western Iraq, the Mossad will pull a heinous act, that enrages the Marines. In Haditha, Israeli intelligence hit a convoy with six snipers, and two days later, they took out a APC with 14 Marines. The Marines will now hit the town looking for blood, to avenge their fallen.
'US no longer a military threat to Iran' (20 Feb 2009) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=86272§ionid=351020104
"I believe that the threat of waging war as a means to curb Iran's nuclear activities is no longer an option," the IAEA director general said on Friday. ElBaradei, who was speaking in a follow-up to a recently-published report on Tehran's nuclear issue, said that Bush-era plans of striking Iran's nuclear infrastructure no longer exist, even as a last resort. This is while, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, admitted last month a military option against Iran was still being considered as a "last resort." The IAEA chief added that it would be only a matter of time before a diplomatic resolution breaks the stalemate over Iran's uranium enrichment. "Over the past six years, we have never seen US officials sit face to face with their Iranian counterparts and discuss their issues in direct negotiations," he added, welcoming Obama's initiative to break the ice and create conditions for Iranian and US officials to "start sitting across the table" in the coming months. The International Atomic Energy Agency released a new report on Iran's uranium enrichment on Thursday, reconfirming -- for sixteenth consecutive time -- the 'non-diversion' of declared nuclear material in the Islamic Republic. CLIP
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Will Form New Government: Peres http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/20/israels-benjamin-netanyah_n_168488.html
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in a seeming about-face, indicated she might be willing to come on board a Netanyahu government. But Livni, a centrist, would certainly exact a high price: sharing the prime minister's job she so fervently sought with a reluctant Netanyahu. (...) The nationalist and religious parties could both cause Netanyahu problems in the international arena if the U.S. were to pressure him to make territorial concessions to the Palestinians. His first government fell apart in 1999 after Washington leaned on him to grant the Palestinians control of large parts of the biblically significant West Bank town of Hebron.The nationalist camp's commitment to expanding West Bank settlements could put Israel at loggerheads with the U.S., the Jewish state's main ally. President Barack Obama has vowed to make ending 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians a priority, and his new Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, unequivocally favors a halt to all settlement building.
Binyamin Netanyahu targets Iran after he is appointed Prime Minister (February 20, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5774240.ece
Binyamin Netanyahu described Iran as the greatest threat that Israel has ever faced and failed to mention stalled talks with the Palestinians after he was asked to be the country's new Prime Minister today.In a speech made outside the residence of President Shimon Peres, the Likud leader said that protecting Israel would be his greatest responsibility as leader, and condemned "formidable" challenges posed by the Islamic Republic. However, he did not once mention the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process or a two-state solution throughout his address, omissions that will cause concern within an Obama administration determined to advance the peace process. CLIP
'Iran, Syria continuing nuke projects' (Feb 21, 2009) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304834205&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
"Iran and Syria are secretly working on nuclear technology in a manner which risks peace in the region and the world, while bluntly ignoring their international obligations," a statement by the Foreign Ministry said Friday evening.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tours the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Meanwhile, US State Department officials have said they plan to meet with the Syrian ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, to discuss the allegations.The Israeli and American statements were issued following a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which indicated Iran was continuing to enrich uranium. CLIP
The real Israel-Palestine story is in the West Bank (20 February 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/20/israelandthepalestinians-israeli-elections-2009
Israel's targeting of civilian resistance to the separation wall proves the two-state solution is now just a meaningless slogan -- It is quite likely that you have not heard of the most important developments this week in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the West Bank, while it has been "occupation as normal", there have been some events that together should be overshadowing Gaza, Gilad Shalit and Avigdor Lieberman. First, there have been a large number of Israeli raids on Palestinian villages, with dozens of Palestinians abducted. These kinds of raids are, of course, commonplace for the occupied West Bank, but in recent days it appears the Israeli military has targeted sites of particularly strong Palestinian civil resistance to the separation wall.For three consecutive days this week, Israeli forces invaded Jayyous, a village battling for survival as their agricultural land is lost to the wall and neighbouring Jewish colony. The soldiers occupied homes, detained residents, blocked off access roads, vandalised property, beat protestors, and raised the Israeli flag at the top of several buildings. CLIP
Fearing a One-State Solution, Israel's President Serves Pabulum to Washington http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22049.htm
According to a CIA Study currently being shown to selected staff members on the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Israels survival in its present form beyond the next 20 years is doubtful.The Report predicts an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.To President Peres chagrin, the Executive Summary states that during the next fifteen years more than two million Israelis, including some 500,000 Israeli citizens who currently hold US green cards or passports, will move to the United States. Most Israelis not in possession of these documents will receive expedited waivers. The Report claims that, Alongside a decline in Jewish births and a rise in Palestinian fertility, approximately 1.6 million Israelis are likely to return to their forefathers lands in Russia and Eastern and Western Europe with scores of thousands electing to stay, depending on the nature of the transition. CLIP
Mass Starvation of Germans, 1945-1950 http://www.serendipity.li/hr.html#cam
In 1997 James Bacque published his Crimes and Mercies, which showed that more than nine million Germans (mostly civilians) died as a result of Allied starvation and expulsion policies in the first five years after World War II. These deaths were not accidental, but were the result of deliberately genocidal policies instituted by Dwight Eisenhower and Henry Morgenthau. They began planning for this in 1944, before the extent of the atrocities of the death camps became known. (That more Germans did not starve to death or die of illness in the post-war years was due to the humanity of Herbert Hoover and others.) Awareness of this act of genocide has been suppressed for fifty years not only by the Allied governments but also by the German government. (...) Bacque's book is an amazing revelation of some of the worst crimes ever committed in this century the fact that they were covered up for so long only makes it worse. After reading this book you will ask yourself who the 'good guys' really were. The truth is that there were no good guys only amoral manipulators and criminals on both sides. [Well, actually, as Bacque makes clear, there were some good guys: Herbert Hoover, Mackenzie King, Norman Robertson and Victor Gollancz among others.] This is the book the establishment does not want you to read and with good reason! It tells of deliberate allied policy to 'reduce' the German population after the war by mass starvation. Well, they succeeded, by 5.7 million to be precise this in addition to the 1.1 million starved prisoners of war, 2.5 - 3 million murdered ethnic German refugees from Eastern Europe and tens of thousands of civilian forced labourers killed from maltreatement in France. Bacque's other excellent book Other Losses gives more information about this hidden Holocaust. CLIP
Eisenhower's Holocaust: His Slaughter Of 1.7 Million Germans http://www.unitedstatesgovernment.net:80/eisenhowersholocaust.htm
(...) The book, OTHER LOSSES, found its way into the hands of a Canadian news reporter, Peter Worthington, of the OTTAWA SUN. He did his own research through contacts he had in Canada, and reported in his column on September 12,1989 the following, in part: "...it is hard to escape the conclusion that Dwight Eisenhower was a war criminal of epic proportions. His (DEF) policy killed more Germans in peace than were killed in the European Theater." "For years we have blamed the 1.7 million missing German POW's on the Russians. Until now, no one dug too deeply ... Witnesses and survivors have been interviewed by the author; one Allied officer compared the American camps to Buchenwald." It is known, that the Allies had sufficient stockpiles of food and medicine to care for these German soldiers. This was deliberately and intentionally denied them. Many men died of gangrene from frostbite due to deliberate exposure. CLIP
U.S. presidents have vetoed or approved false flag operations against the U.S. homeland (February 12, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner
Part III of a series of investigative articles on the Obama administration, the United Nations, and unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and extraterrestrial lifeIn order to comprehend the full context of a false flag UFO alien extraterrestrial invasion, we should first review recent history on how U.S. Presidents from John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George W. Bush have given executive approval or disapproval to false flag operations undertaken by their Joint Chiefs of Staff or elements of the military-intelligence within their executive command and control structure. False flag operations and international law According to one researcher, the term false flag is derived from the naval warfare concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one's own. In the case of Operation Northwoods, the false flag reference was to the flag of the Republic of Cuba painted on fighter jets and in Cuban terrorist identity tags and false clues on planes and guerillas who were to attack a U.S. ship and east coast cities in 1962. (...) As we shall see in subsequent installments in this series, U.S. presidents and high officials historically have used this false flag operation infrastructure to create the conditions for a UFO alien extraterrestrial invasion and war, for the purposes of anti-extraterrestrial propaganda, colonization of inhabited planets, space weaponization and active warfare, and imposition of a global police state. This trend continues in the Obama administration.
NWO Admits Weather Control (Video - 21 Feb 2009) http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread439159/pg1
Senator Claiborne Pell has told us that the United States used Weather as a Weapon during the Vietnam War. We fought the Vietnam War from 1965-74 in a large capacity. Using Weather Weapons in the early 1970's would fit the time frame with which we are familiar. The U.N. treaty was passed one year after this article appeared quoting Senator Pell. Now some more from Senator Pell: "We need a treaty now to prevent such actions -- before the military leaders of the world start directing storms, manipulating climates, and inducing earthquakes against their enemies. The basic idea of environmental warfare is simple -- if a nation can learn to trigger natural events it can inflict terrible damage on an enemy through rainfall, flooding, tidal waves, earthquakes, and even climate changes that could devastate an enemy nation's agriculture." In one single paragraph, Senator Pell has confirmed that weather control is a reality and that it can be used as a weapon against an enemy. Now, we need to clarify a very necessary element required for a capability to be changed into an effective weapon -- the ability needs to strike the target precisely. Video: http://media.abovetopsecret.com/media/566/NWO_Admits_Weather_Control/
Pentagon sets sights on public opinion (February 5, 2009) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29040299
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations almost as many as the total 30,000 person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds about $1.6 billion goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations. Staffing across all these areas costs about $2.1 billion, as calculated by the number of full-time employees and the military's average cost per service member. That's double the staffing costs for 2003. Recruitment and advertising are the only two areas where Congress has authorized the military to influence the American public. Far more controversial is public affairs, because of the prohibition on propaganda to the American public.
Unredacted documents reveal prisoners tortured to death (February 12, 2009) http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Unredacted_documents_reveal_prisoners_tortured_to_0212.html
Human rights groups accuse Pentagon of running secret prisons, cooperating with CIA "ghost detention" program. -- The American Civil Liberties Union has released previously classified excerpts of a government report on harsh interrogation techniques used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. These previously unreported pages detail repeated use of "abusive" behavior, even to the point of prisoner deaths. The documents, obtained by the ACLU under a Freedom of Information Act request, contain a report by Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, who was tapped to conduct a comprehensive review of Defense Department interrogation operations. Church specifically calls out interrogations at Bagram Air base in Afghanistan as "clearly abusive, and clearly not in keeping with any approved interrogation policy or guidance." The two unredacted pages from the Church report may be found here. (...) "A large portion of the torture, maiming, and murder of detainees occurred under authority issued under secret rules of engagement in the Pentagon," wrote Scott Horton, a contributing editor with Harper's magazine. "Much of this flowed through Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone, a figure who has so far evaded scrutiny in the torture scandal and now serves as vice president for strategy of QinetiQ North America, a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based defense contractor QinetiQ. Even the Senate Armed Services Committee review fails to get to the bottom of Dr. Cambone, his interrogations ROEs for special operations units he controlled, and the death, disfigurement and torture of prisoners they handled. This is one of many reasons why a comprehensive investigation with subpoena power is urgently needed. But full airing of the internal investigations already conducted by the Department of Defense is an essential next step." The ACLU's catalog of documents relating to torture under the Bush administration may be found here.
A Torture Report Could Spell Big Trouble for Bush Lawyers http://www.truthout.org/021509Z
An internal Justice Department report on the conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics is causing anxiety among former Bush administration officials. CLIP
Investigating Bush's Crimes http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/02/20
Obama's problem is that a growing number of Americans are concerned about what the Bush administration did and are eager to press the issue. The extent of public concern has been reflected in several recent public opinion polls, including one in February by USA Today showing that nearly two-thirds of Americans support investigations of the Bush administration's use of torture and warrantless wiretapping; roughly 40 percent support criminal investigations.
Jailing Kids for Cash http://www.truthout.org/021909J
Amy Goodman, Truthdig.com: "As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United
Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans (2008-10-22) HAIR-RAISING NIGHTMARE SCENARIO! http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2008/10/packs-of-robots-will-hunt-down.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=specrt10_head_Pack%20hunting%20robots
The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. They are looking for contractors to provide a "Multi-Robot Pursuit System" that will let packs of robots "search for and detect a non-cooperative human". Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? (...) Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. "The giveaway here is the phrase 'a non-cooperative human subject'," he told me: "What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed."Another commentator often in the news for his views on military robot autonomy is Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield. He says he can understand why the military want such technology, but also worries it will be used irresponsibly. "This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army's Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner." CLIP
Reporter's notebook: TED 2009 (February 7, 2009) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/07/BULG15OVGP.DTL
Some ... favorite gee-whiz moments from this year's TED conference: -- UC Berkeley biologist Robert Full blew everyone's mind by outlining his efforts to create the perfect robotic "distributed foot." He studies the feet and legs of geckos and cockroaches and transfers their design to robots, enabling them to scale walls. One such machine, the Spinybot, can climb glass walls. -- P.W. Singer, an academic who studies war, terrified the crowd with a detailed look at modern, robotic warfare. Something I didn't know: You can sit in a room in New Mexico and pilot armed drone airplanes in Iraq and kill people. Then you go home and have dinner with your kids. Somewhere, Aldous Huxley weeps. -- Stanford's Catherine Mohr displayed the robotic surgical arm she's working on that could change medicine. Among the amazing possibilities are surgeons in the United States performing advanced surgeries in remote parts of the world. These are just a handful of the amazing innovations and disclosures made at TED this year. In the coming weeks and months, videos of all of these talks will be made available to the public at www.ted.com. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, is a 25-year-old annual conference attended by many of the world's leading scientists, academics and business leaders. The agenda consists of a series of talks, during which big thinkers discuss big ideas.
Latin American Panel Calls U.S. Drug War a Failure (FEBRUARY 12, 2009) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123439889394275215.html
MEXICO CITY -- As drug violence spirals out of control in Mexico, a commission led by three former Latin American heads of state blasted the U.S.-led drug war as a failure that is pushing Latin American societies to the breaking point. "The available evidence indicates that the war on drugs is a failed war," said former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, in a conference call with reporters from Rio de Janeiro. "We have to move from this approach to another one."The commission, headed by Mr. Cardoso and former presidents Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and César Gaviria of Colombia, says Latin American governments as well as the U.S. must break what they say is a policy "taboo" and re-examine U.S.-inspired antidrugs efforts. The panel recommends that governments consider measures including decriminalizing the use of marijuana. Mexico has been besieged by drug violence amid a two-year government crackdown. The report, by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, is the latest to question the U.S.'s emphasis on punitive measures to deal with illegal drug use and the criminal violence that accompanies it. A recent Brookings Institution study concluded that despite interdiction and eradication efforts, the world's governments haven't been able to significantly decrease the supply of drugs, while punitive methods haven't succeeded in lowering drug use. (...) The report warned that the U.S.-style antidrug strategy was putting the region's fragile democratic institutions at risk and corrupting "judicial systems, governments, the political system and especially the police forces."The report comes as drug violence is engulfing Mexico, which has become the key transit point for cocaine traffic to the U.S. Decapitation of rival drug traffickers has become common as cartels try to intimidate one another. (...) In Colombia, billions of dollars in U.S. aid have helped the military regain control from the hands of drug-financed communist guerrillas and lower crime, but the help hasn't dented the amount of drugs flowing from Colombia.In the conference call, Mr. Gaviria said the U.S. approach to narcotics -- based on treating drug consumption as a crime -- had failed. Latin America, he said, should adapt a more European approach, based on treating drug addiction as a health problem.
The Lynx effect: One woman's quest to save a species (13 February 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/the-lynx-effect-one-womans-quest-to-save-a-species-1608239.html
Europe's most endangered mammal has been pulled back from the brink of extinction and it's all thanks to one woman, as Elizabeth Nash reports from El Acebuche, Andalusia (...) By the late Nineties, numbers had dropped below 150 and the Iberian lynx (lynx pardinus) was declared the world's most endangered feline, at imminent risk of dying out. Electric fences, farmers' traps, heedless hunters, forest fires, careless drivers, intensive farming, fatal disease among rabbits, and uncontrolled road-building and urban development combined to drive this unique and beautiful Iberian feline, symbol of a complex interdependent ecosystem, to the brink of extinction. "If the lynx does become extinct, it will be the first cat to die out since the sabre-toothed tiger 10,000 years ago," warned Peter Jackson, the World Conservation Union's cat specialist.The decline was halted at the turn of the millennium, in a rare spasm of concerted action by national and regional authorities, boosted by conservancy campaigns such as that of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, WWF, amid mounting public awareness of the treasure that would be irrevocably lost. (...) Astrid Vargas, a vivacious, fast-talking Puerto Rican, quit the US for Spain in 2003 to join the Coto Doñana's biological station, and direct the breeding of lynxes in captivity. "The lynx was in a downward spiral; it would have died out without urgent action," Dr Vargas, 43, said this week in the modest, single-storey monitoring centre. "I really do believe it's possible to save the lynx, but it's a huge challenge. It's time-consuming, extremely intensive work." (...) "Captive breeding is a tool, not the solution," Dr Vargas says. "We can't keep animals in cages for ever. We have to prepare them for the wild, and prepare a habitat where they can survives. It's no good breeding all these lynxes, then releasing them to their death. Our priority is to prepare areas for their reintroduction into the wild. We need 10,000 hectares of good Mediterranean scrubland with a good supply of wild rabbits, and the threats removed: no big roads, and no big towns. This doesn't exist yet, but we can prepare it."Time is pressing. The first lynxes are due to be freed into the wild next year, with between 20 and 40 young animals available for release every year from 2011. They cannot be kept captive because of the risk of genetic weakening in future generations through inbreeding."I came here because of my commitment to the lynx; it's a jewel among animals," Dr Vargas says. "I'm optimistic that if we get help from everyone involved we can save it."
Newly Discovered Comet Lulin Lights Up Winter Skies (Feb 9, 2009) http://www.dailytech.com/Newly+Discovered+Comet+Lulin+Lights+Up+Winter+Skies/article14210.htm
Comet discovered by China should be celestial attraction of the new year -- A new comet has been discovered, which should be gracing our skies for the next few weeks and be bright enough to see with binoculars or even with the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. The comet was named Comet Lulin after the Lulin Observatory at Nantou, Taiwan. (...) The new comet will be the brightest in 15 months. The comet will be a magnitude 5 or 6 in brightness. It is rather large in size with an "atmosphere" of emitted particles (called a coma) three times the diameter of Jupiter. The atmosphere consists of cyanogen (CN) and diatomic carbon (C2), gases that glow green when exposed to the light of the sun. In good weather, the comet is expected to be visible by the naked eye in dark, rural, skies. (...) Having past the perihelion point of its orbit (its closest approach to the sun) on January 10, the comet is now on an approach towards Earth in its orbit. It will reach a minimum of 38 million miles from Earth on February 24, meaning that its brightest week will be the last week of February. (...) There's a possibility that the comet may even spawn two tails -- a main tail and an "antitail" a rare phenomenon occasionally observed. For sky observers, this new comet is likely to prove to be the celestial viewing event of the New Year.
RCMPs Taser policy not restrictive enough (feb 19, 2009) http://www.cpheraldleader.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1440925
The RCMP has revised its policy that restricts how officers can use Tasers and has formally recognized that stun guns can cause death, especially when they are used on acutely agitated individuals. This may be a small comfort to Matthew Gray, a Portage la Prairie resident who has been Tasered in the past by the RCMP. Gray is disappointed by how Tasers have been used by Mounties, and he is currently in the grips of a legal battle with the Portage detachment. On Feb. 12, RCMP Commissioner William Elliot told the House of Commons public safety committee the Mounties had been introduced to a new policy on conductive energy weapons (CEWs) in June 2008. The RCMPs revised CEW policy underscores that there are risks associated with the deployment of the device and emphasizes that those risks include the risk of death, Elliot stated before the parliamentary committee.Under the amended policy, Mounties can no longer shock people who are actively resistant to an officers orders. Now the device can only be used in a situation where the officer is in physical danger or if the public is in danger. However, Gray is still dissatisfied with the amendment. The veteran of the Canadian Forces has been diagnosed with both bipolar and post traumatic stress disorder. It is his belief the Taser policies that are in place are insufficient and dont account for mental disorders.
Taser use report out next week (Feb 21) http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1443724
Owen Sound Police Chief Tom Kaye says a national report on Taser use will be released early next week and will include recommendations and guidelines for police forces across the country to consider.Kaye, who was appointed head of the conductive energy weapons committee last August, says the report won't be delayed by the fact that RCMP Commissioner William Elliott acknowledged last week before a House of Commons public safety committee that Tasers can kill, especially those who are "acutely agitated" -- a rare admission from the head of a police force. (...) "The RCMP's policy on the use of Tasers was considerably different than all of the provinces -- they were using the Taser in cases of non-compliance up until June of last year," he said."In Ontario, assaultive, combative behaviour has to be present, there has to be a threat in order for you to be Tasered. The RCMP raised the bar on when they can use conductive energy weapons."In Ontario, only supervisors and tactical team members carry Tasers, while in the RCMP front-line officers are authorized to carry them. CLIP
Should tasers be used on children? (February 20 2009) http://www.caledonenterprise.com/editorial/article/65332
Whether or not police should have the authority to zap a young person with a weapon that can produce 50,000 electrical volts would seem to be quite obvious, wouldnt it? But controversy about the electrical weapons, which cause an uncontrollable contraction of muscle tissue after discharge, being holstered on the hips of officers is a debate that is far reaching.Numerous cases have made headlines, sparking concerns from advocates about their safety, and has raised questions about police forces use of the devices. (...) This comes after a 14-year-old girl from a remote Ontario First Nation was reportedly stunned by Ontario Provincial Police officers as she picked paint off a jail cell wall in Sioux Lookout. CLIP
Suit: Autistic boy was Tased (February 19, 2009) http://www.indystar.com/article/20090219/LOCAL0101/302190003
A middle-school student with autism was Tased twice by a Carmel police officer, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy's parents against the Police Department, one of its officers and a local school district. According to the suit, the electrical bursts temporarily knocked the 90-pound boy unconscious during a confrontation at Creekside Middle School. The boy, who was 14 at the time, was taken to a local hospital before being released to his mother. The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, seeks damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering and mental anguish. CLIP
Dozens March to Ban Tasers in Santa Rosa (Feb 19th, 2009) http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/19/18572007.php
On Friday, February 13th, about 75 people took to the streets of Santa Rosa for an unpermitted demonstration to demand that the Sonoma County Sheriffs Department end their use of Tasers. Tasers killed two people in Sonoma County near the end of 2008, and have killed 5 people in the County in the last 2 years. The October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality has recently announced a campaign to ban Tasers in the county. CLIP
Grim Statistics - Taser Deaths Keep Rising (August 12, 2008) MORE THAN 400 DEATHS SO FAR IN THE U.S.! http://fivehusbands.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/grim-statistics-taser-deaths/
This week brought yet another death after tasering of an unarmed person. On August 10th, Kiethedric Hines, 31, of Rockford Illinois died after being tasered by police. His death is the 2nd death after tasering in the City of Rockford in less that two months* and that has some people (finally) questioning the citys use of tasers. (...) In the future, in lieu of a boarding pass you may be given, and required to wear, a safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device... Yes you read that correctly - you, your child, your elderly parent, your teenager may be required to wear a stun device to fly. Have you, or someone you love, ever been agitated or upset or frustrated at the airport? Consider the newly released TSA guidelines on search of electronic devices without cause for suspicion and consider that some TSA person could, without cause, grab your laptop, phone or ipod, and NEVER give it back. You would be upset yes? Maybe you would start walking towards them in an angry upset manner.Before you do think.There is, on average, a death a week in North America related to the use of tasers/stun devices. Given the potential that you may have to wear one to fly - are you really comfortable that they are safe, excuse me, less lethal? Im not.* Ernest Graves, 29, died on June 2 (less than 2 months ago) after he was tasered by police responding to a domestic disturbance.
Want some torture with your peanuts? (July 01 2008) http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/aviation-security/2008/Jul/01/want-some-torture-with-your-peanuts/
Just when you thought youve heard it all... A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).This bracelet would: Take the place of an airline boarding pass Contain personal information about the traveler Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes. The Electronic ID Bracelet, as its referred to, would be worn by every traveler until they disembark the flight at their destination. Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line. Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes. So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Apparently so. CLIP
Warning Against Adverse Health Effects from the Operation of Digital Broadcast Television Stations (DVB-T) http://www.scribd.com/doc/12548638/Warning-Against-Adverse-Health-Effects-From-the-Operation-of-Digital-Broadcast
In the US, digital broadcast television is scheduled to start operating on February 17, 2009. We write to you today because we wish to save you from the significant negative health consequences that have occurred here in Germany.In Germany, analog broadcast television stations have gradually been switching to digital broadcast signals since 2003. This switchover first took place in metropolitan areas. In those areas, however, the RF exposures in public places as well as at home continued to increase at the same time. As a result, the continuing declining health status of children, adolescents, and adults in urban areas could not be attributed to any single cause. On May 20, 2006, two digital broadcast television stations went on the air in the Hessian Rhoenarea (Heidelstein, Kreuzberg), which until recently had enjoyed rather low mobile phone radiation exposure levels. Within a radius of more than 20 km, the following symptoms that occurred abruptly were reported: constant headaches, pressure in the head, drowsiness, sleep problems, inability to think clearly,forgetfulness, nervous tensions, irritability, tightness in the chest, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, depressive mood, total apathy, loss of empathy, burning skin, inner burning, leg weakness, pain in the limbs, stabbing pain in various organs, weight increase. Birds had fled the area. Cats had turned phlegmatic and hardly ever went into the garden. One child committed suicide; a second child tried doing it. Over time the same unbearable symptoms showed up in other locationsmost recently in Bamberg and Aschaffenburg on November 25, 2008. Physicians accompanied affected people to areas where there was no DVB-T reception (valleys, behind mountain ranges) and witnessed how these people became symptom-free only after a short period of time. (...) In Germany, DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial) uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex Modulation. The fundamental principle of this type of modulation works by spreading
the information across several thousand carrier frequencies directly adjacent to each other. A channel is 7.8 MHz wide. The amplitude also changes constantly. (...) In Germany, we see strong evidence of a direct
temporal association between the start-up of terrestrial digital broadcast television and the occurrence of severe health symptoms. (...) Satellites and cable provide the US population with television services. By contrast, the risk associated with terrestrial digital broadcast television transmitters is unacceptable. We, therefore, ask you, dear Mr. President, who has the wellbeing of his citizens at heart, to stop the scheduled introduction of this new technology in the United States of America and to save the people from the negative health consequences that have occurred in our country. (Signed by 3 German physicians)
Cell Phone Technology Killing Songbirds, Too (11-30-1999) http://www.rense.com/politics5/songbirds.htm
Millions of the migratory birds, which yearly travel through Chicago from as far north as Canada to as far south as Peru, are being killed off by rapidly rising cellular telephone towers and new digital television antennas blocking their paths, wildlife experts say. High-definition television towers can climb to heights of 1,000 feet and are the latest threat to songbirds, which typically fly at 5,000 feet but descend to much lower levels during overcast evenings, said Albert Manville, a wildlife biologist with the office of migratory bird management for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ``We're looking at an impact of between 4 [million] to 5 million birds killed each year just from the cellular telephone towers; we know that towers are going up at an unprecedented rate,'' Manville said. ``HDTV towers are a train wreck we want to avoid. ... The concern is it's yet another impact [on birds].'' (...) According to the Federal Communications Commission, 48,642 cellular telephone towers at least 200 feet in height were in operation last year. Digital towers recently went up as television stations prepared for the advent of HDTV broadcasts. The antennas went up this month, at the end of the birds' second migration.
The Future Is Here, and It's Ugly; A Spreading Techno-blight of Wires, Cables and Towers Sparks a Revolt (September 7, 2000) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9807E2DF1439F934A3575AC0A9669C8B63
More than 73,000 cell phone towers with heights of at least 200 feet are scattered across the American landscape, according to the Federal Communications Commission. But that does not include myriad other cellular transmitters and receivers, called cell sites, that are placed on lower towers or on poles and buildings. Some experts estimate that more than 100,000 cell sites are now in place. Ted Kreines, a consultant in Tiburon, Calif., who advises local governments on doing business with telecommunications companies, said that the growth of such technology is just beginning. He estimated that as many as one million cell sites would be installed by the time technology companies reached their desired capacity for wireless data and voice transmissions. Utility poles and wires are even more common. According to the F.C.C., more than 180 million telephone cables stretch across the country. The country has more than three million miles of overhead power lines, according to the Edison Electric Institute, an association of utility companies. CLIP
Mobile Phones: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late http://www.next-up.org/pdf/Pratical_Health_France_Dr_Paul_Dupont_Mobile_phones_15042008_Add_WHO_Repacholi.pdf
In spite of the dithering by the Ministry of Health and the delaying tactics of the phone operating companies, it is now becoming clear that the mobile phone is a virulent pathogen with damaging effects that we are only vaguely aware of. Recently it was scientifically proved that there is a connection between certain types of tumour and the intensive use of a mobile phone. Most in evidence are cases of acoustic neurinoma, a tumour that develops on the acoustic nerve, as well as malignant brain tumours. According to this study the risk is multiplied by two or more on the side where the phone is held. Are the health authorities worried about these results? Not in the least since, according to the official experts, the risk concerns only "intensive" phone users, and, as they add with a certain touch of cynicism, nothing proves that using a mobile phone always causes a tumour to develop. They are right, but when we know that a tumour usually takes 15-20 years to develop, it would seem logical to conclude that the appearance of tumours after 4-5 years in these intensive phone users is a sure sign of a health catastrophe to come in 10 years' time. 10 years! For those who have children, it's nothing, but for the people that sell telephones it must seem a long way off. The worst thing in this situation is that it is the younger generation that is the most in danger. It is children and teenagers who use mobile phones the most. And it is at precisely this age that the brain is the most exposed: in a child's brain almost two thirds of it are affected by the radiation while in the adult it reaches only one third of the brain, which is already far too much! Even more worrying, the radiation increases in intensity as reception becomes more difficult. So when you use the phone in a train or a car, or when you are in a zone with weaker coverage and the phone has to keep searching for new signals, the intensity of the microwaves is considerably higher. And with every day that passes we find more electromagnetic radiation in our daily surroundings: TV screens and computer monitors, cordless phones and wi-fi systems. All of which is horrifying. All this radiation is non-ionising, that's to say it is capable of upsetting the function of our cells, particularly in our DNA, and the functioning of our glands. Among these it is the pineal, the source of the sleep hormone and of the resistance to cancer, that is the most easily disturbed. We could weep over this tragedy that awaits us, which everyone sees coming and which nobody is doing anything about. But wait there are millions of mobile phones in use nowadays. . And one day, for lack of the will to face up to this problem, we will inevitably be faced with a terrible choice: your mobile or your life! At that point we will have to give up this magic tool, resign ourselves to taking a step backwards, draw a line through all that it has brought us will we dare? . It's at that moment that we'll see if humanity still has a will to live or not.
- Dr Paul Dupont
Don't Fix Wall Street, Replace It: Why not an economy of real wealth?
by David Korten - February 13, 2009
The current economic debate centers on how best to revive our existing economic system through some combination of a Wall Street bailout and a job-creating economic stimulus package. That amounts to trying to revive an economic system that has failed in every dimension: financial, social, and environmental. Rather than prop up a failed system, we should use the current financial crisis as the opportunity to create a system that works. Trying to solve the crisis with the same tools that caused it is the definition of insanity.
As individuals, we humans appear to be an intelligent species. Collectively, however, our behavior ranges from supremely wise to suicidal. Our current collective economic insanity is the product of an illusion-a belief, cultivated by the prevailing economic orthodoxy, that money is wealth and that making money is the equivalent of creating wealth.
Money is merely an accounting chit with no intrinsic value-it is useless until we exchange it for something of real value. Wall Street's specialty is creating money for rich people without the exertion of producing anything of corresponding real value. They increase their claims against real wealth without increasing the supply of goods, making it harder for the rest of us to meet our needs.
Real wealth is, first of all, the tangible things that support life-food, shelter, clothing. Of course, the most valuable forms of real wealth are those that are beyond price: love; a healthy, happy child; a job that provides a sense of self-worth and contribution; membership in a strong, caring community; a healthy vibrant natural environment; peace. Our Wall-Street-driven economic system makes fantastic amounts of money and actively destroys all these many forms of real wealth.
We have been in thrall to a pervasive cultural story, continuously reinforced by academics, government officials, and corporate media, which led us to believe our economy was functioning splendidly even when it was quite literally killing us. You have heard this story many times:
"Economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product, creates the wealth needed to provide material abundance for all, increase human happiness, end poverty, and heal the environment. The faster we consume, the faster the economy grows and the wealthier we become as the rising tide lifts all boats."
The logical conclusion from this story is that the faster we convert useful resources to toxic garbage, the richer we are. The only true beneficiaries of this obviously stupid idea are a few very rich people who reap financial gains from every economic transaction-whether the transaction cures a disease or clearcuts a rainforest. It is a system that deifies money and dilutes wealth.
In contrast, the Main Street economy is comprised of local businesses and working people who produce real goods and services to meet the real wealth needs of their communities. It has been battered and tattered by the predatory intrusions of Wall Street corporations, but it is the logical foundation on which to build a new, real wealth economy of green jobs and green manufacturing, responsible community-oriented businesses, and sound environmental practices.
Let Wall Street corporations and their phantom wealth machine slip into the abyss of their own making. Devote our public resources to building and strengthening Main Street businesses and financial institutions devoted to creating real wealth in service to their local communities.
"Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it! The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However,since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each." The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars. They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys! Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WILL WORK !!!! It doesn't get much clearer than this..." - Forwarded by Len Satov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Forwarded by David Creighton (email@example.com)
In an age of illusion, the guise of truth is often heresy
By Darryl Schoon
February 15, 2009 "Financial Sense" -- -The gathering of the worlds economic elites in Davos, Switzerland is a reflection of the reigning power dynamic of the modern world. Officially titled, the World Economic Forum, Davos is sponsored by the worlds most powerful and wealthy corporations and presents itself as a not-for-profit entity.
However, if you believe the annual gathering in Davos is not-for-profit, you probably also believe that JFK died of natural causes while sightseeing in Dallas. Those who attend Davosthe Davotees of Mammonare the winners in the game of capitalism, a game based on debt controlled by bankers through their issuance of credit.
Investment bankers by virtue of their privileged position at the spigots of credit have over the years garnered for themselves a disproportionate slice of the worlds wealth. The best description of their wealth is from a banker himself, Sir Josiah Stamp, at the time in1927 the 2nd richest man in England and former head of The Bank of England:
Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.
The fact that in 2008 bankers became victims in the game they created has profound implications for capitalism itself. Capitalism, which began in 1694 with the issuance of debt-based money from The Bank of England, has now over three hundred years later reached its last and final stage.
Capitalism is not ending because those enslaved by bankers revolted. Capitalism is ending because the bankers insatiable greed destroyed the mechanism by which bankers indebt others. The sad truth is that those enslaved by debt still wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of [their] own slavery [and] let them [the bankers] continue to create money.
Although debtors fervently hope the bankers system of debt will continue, they will not have a say in the matter. Neither will the bankers. Davos will never again be the same.
DAVOS & THE LAST GASP OF CAPITALISM
The World Economic Forum in Davos was founded in 1971, the same year in which all currencies became fiat, sic not backed by gold or silver. Perhaps this is coincidence. Perhaps not.
Nonetheless, Davos will be always associated with the end of capitalism where the charade of the bankers paper money was revealed to be what it was, a confidence game where in the end everyone would lose everythingincluding the bankers.
The charade/con-game actually began in 1694 when the Bank of England was granted the right to issue Englands coinage in the form of paper money. This paper money was declared to be as good as gold or silver coins. Of course, it wasnt; but in the beginning it was much better than it was to be later.
Previous to 1694 the bankers were known as goldsmiths who profited by charging interest on the loaning of gold and silver coins. After 1694, the goldsmiths, now called bankers, profited by charging interest on the loaning of paper money, and thus the true alchemy of modern finance was born.
The substitution of paper money for gold and the charging of interest on such money is the secret of the bankers wealth. It is also the secret of capitalism as it is the process whereby bankers indebt others (businesses, consumers, governments, etc.) through the loaning of paper money created by central banks resulting in paper IOUs, IOUs which are then resold as investments to savers, savers being all who need to protect the value of their paper money from eroding because of the constant inflation of the paper money supply by bankers.
That such a system has lasted over three hundred years is extraordinary; but it was not until the 20th century when the linkage between paper money and gold began to fail that the problems inherent in paper money systems became more apparent.
England, the major recipient and beneficiary of the bankers paper money for the previous two hundred years, had been very careful to maintain the fiction that paper money was as good as gold or silver. But in the next century, the 20th, the US the surrogate successor to England, was to be far less considerate of the considerable and questionable gift bequeathed to it by Englands bankers.
In 1933, the US government by executive order confiscated the gold of all Americans thus ending the belief that paper money was interchangeable with gold and silver and was therefore a trustworthy medium of exchange.
This confiscation of gold by the US was to be later repeated on an international level. But instead of only forcing Americans to abandon gold as it had in 1933, in 1971 the US would force the entire world to do so.
CONFIDENCE IN PAPER MONEY BECOMES A CON
By the end of WWII, the US had accumulated the largest amount of monetary gold reserves in history; and under the 1944 Bretton-Woods Agreement, the US dollar was to be convertible upon demand to gold and all currencies were to be tied to the US dollar. Thus, through the gold-convertible US dollar, the international monetary system was stable and anchored to gold.
But by 1971, the US had overspent its entire hoard of gold. In 1958 alone, US gold reserves fell by 10 %. The reason is between 1949 and 1971 US overseas military expenditures and US overseas corporate expansion had left far more dollars in the hands of foreign nations than the US had gold to exchange.
In their book, The Commanding Heights (1997 ed., pp. 60-64), Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw explain what happened next:
But the growing U.S. balance-of-payments deficit meant that foreign governments were accumulating large amounts of dollars -- in aggregate volume far exceeding the U.S. government's stock of gold. These governments, or their central banks, could show up at any time at the "gold window" of the U.S. Treasury and insist on trading in their dollars for gold, which would precipitate a run. The issue was not theoretical. In the second week of August 1971, the British ambassador turned up at the Treasury Department to request that $3 billion be converted into gold.
The gold window was to be closed. Arthur Burns argued vociferously against it, warning, "Pravda would write that this was a sign of the collapse of capitalism." Burns was overruled. The gold window would be closed. But this would accentuate the need to fight inflation; for shutting the gold window would weaken the dollar against other currencies, thus adding to inflation by driving up the price of imported goods. Going off the gold standard and giving up fixed exchange rates constituted a momentous step in the history of international economics.
The previous sentence bears repeating; Going off the gold standard and giving up fixed exchange rates constituted a momentous step in the history of international economics.
Yergin and Stanislaw were right. It was to be a momentousand ultimately fatalstep for as a result of the US default on its international gold obligations, all currencies in the world instantly became fiat.
The security that gold and silver afforded the use of paper money would be no moreand when a con game is being run, nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than confidence.
The last and most critical piece in the bankers carefully constructed charade was eliminated by the US when it overspent it entire gold reserves leaving the international monetary system bereft of any intrinsic value. Only monetary momentum and residual confidence has allowed paper-based capitalist economies to function since the last vestige of gold was removed in 1971.
Now, the postponed but inevitable destructive consequences of 1971 are about to make the demolition of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 look like a spring day in Paris. A collapse of world economies caused by the default on trillions of dollars of paper debts and obligations has never before happened. Soon, it will.
The consequences will be as devastating as they will be widespread as personal savings will be wiped out. Personal savings entrusted to banks have been invested in the same paper IOUs, sic bonds, owned by pension funds, investment funds, and insurance companies all over the world.
Savers forced by the constant depreciation of paper money have given their savings to banks, pension funds, insurance companies and investment funds in the hopes of salvaging the value of those savings. But those hopes will prove to be false as the escalating financial collapse reveals such investments, e.g. corporate, government and consumer IOUs, to be increasingly worthless.
Governments that allowed this crisis to occur will then be forced to indemnify such losses in order to maintain civil and social order. But, when done, the indemnification of trillions of dollars of lost savings will cause what remains of the international monetary system to collapse.
Paper money is but a paper tiger and when exposed to the twin disasters of economic deflation and central bank hyperinflation, fiat money will ultimately revert to its intrinsic valuezero.
PANDORAS BOX AND THE RISE AND FALL OF DAVOS
Economies built on credit and debt are by nature unstable. Caught between cycles of expansion and contraction, they are also vulnerable to the vagaries of man and the dictates of nature, i.e. war, famine, greed, drought, etc.
When the backing of gold was finally removed from paper money, it was the final straw that was to bring down the bankers house of cards. But before the house of cards collapsed, capitalism was to erupt in one last display of shameless glory.
The 25 years between 1982 and 2007 was the longest expansion in capitalisms history. It was, however, to be its last; for the expansion was built on misallocated and historically excessive amounts of creditand Davos occupied center stage in the display of this excessive achievement.
It is natural that at the end of the bankers system, bankers would have garnered the largest share of the spoils and so it was, at least for a short while. The greatest spectacle of Davos was in 2007, the momentary triumph of bankers standing atop the world of global commerce whose profits and productivity they had increasingly purloined as their own.
The triumph of the bankers, however, was to be as short as it was spectacular. The era of billion dollar bonuses paid to bankers was to occur at the apogee of their triumph, a triumph that was to be as short as it was lucrative, for soon after, both banks and the capital markets would collapse.
DAVOS THEN AND NOW
In January 2008 when I wrote Davos, Debt & Systemic Failure, the August credit contraction was but six months old. But that year, the escalating effects of the credit contraction were to sweep through Wall Street, the City, and the worlds financial centers with the same destructive ferocity as the recent wildfires in Melbourne, Australia.
In the previous year, 2007, it had appeared the endless liquidity provided by central banks would ensure endless profits for investment bankers. How wrong they were. But, at the time, they didnt know it. Soon, they would.
This is an excerpt from my 2008 article Davos, Debt & Systemic Failure which explains why it would be only a matter of time before the foundations of capital markets would fail:
September 11th, 2008 - America's Economic 9/11? MUST READ!!!! http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/september-11th-2008-america%E2%80%99s-economic-911/
In an admission stunning for its frankness (and particularly given the fact it originated with a politician whose country is held prisoner by foreign, criminal interests) Rep. Paul Kanjorski, (D, Penn) Chairman of the Houses Capitol Markets Subcommittee recently admitted on C-SPAN that the current economic problems faced bynot just the United States, but indeed the entire worldwere the result of an electronic run on the bank that resulted in the hemorrhaging of $550 billion dollars in just an hour or 2. (...) Put in less gentle terms, the 2-hour/half-a trillion dollar/$4.6 billion-per-minute event Kanjorski described was the equivalent of having a major economic artery Jack-the-Rippered in a way that threatened the very existence of not only the US but the entire world whose economies and political stability are intrinsically tied to the monetary good mood of the land of the free and home of the brave. According to some of the economic experts interviewed for this piece (who insisted upon anonymity, due to the sensitive nature of the topic) it is one of the largestif not THE largestsingular transfer of money in history in such a short time frame. Furthermore, the general consensus of those interviewed is that had the bloodletting been permitted to run its coursemeaning the evaporation of 5.5 trillion dollarsit would have resulted in the elimination of 90% of Americas liquidity (again the blood that keeps the economic body alive) in the span of just 5 hours.In a word, unprecedented Based upon the unnerving words of the Congressman in this very short television exchange, what is known is as followsFirst, that the potentially-apocalyptic events leading up to the bailout of Americas banks are not talked about, something to remember when President Obama or his monetary magicians are promising this and that with regards to curing Americas economic ills. By the very words of Rep. Paul Vallachi Kanjorski, a code of silence exists amongst the made members of the political and financial elite preventing them from telling the truth, the whole truth and nothin but the truth, so help them G-d. The fact that it took close to 5 months for this information concerning a deliberate run on the banks to be made public is proof positive that the Captain and crew of the Titanic have decided to allow the passengers to go about their lives unencumbered while they try and find a way to deal with the current situation.Second, that on September 15, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Shalom Bernanke testified before Congress that on the previous Thursday, September 11th, an electronic run on the US banking system took place between the hours of 9 and 11 am That had stop-gaps not been executed, by 2 pm that afternoon (again, on September 11th) the hemorrhaging of 5.5 trillion dollars would have taken place, resulting in the collapse of not only the entire economy of the United States but as well of the world within just 24 hours, leading to the end of our economic and political system as we know it. And, last but not least, eliminating the possibility that the event was all part of some fluke or market correction, the honorable Congressman (who one day will doubtless dearly regret his recent honesty with the American people on C-SPAN that morning) ended his comments by saying someone was responsible for the slashing of that financial jugular that nearly bled America to death, as well as indicating the worries on the part of the power elite in Washington DC as to whether or not at the end of the day America will survive it, despite the unprecedented transfusions she is currently receiving.Of the many things in Kanjorskis comments sticking out like the proverbial whore-in-a-red-dress-at-a-1st-communion-ceremony, obviously the most prominent is the date on which the hemorrhaging is said to have taken place, none other than on September 11th, the same date Americas financial headquarters (and by extension, the financial headquarters of the world) were attacked 7 years earlier and the starting gun as it were for the current war on terror benefiting a certain ethno-theocratic state in the Middle East. The other thing equally important (and yet hiding in plain sight) is the time frame this monetary hemorrhaging is said to have taken placebetween 9 and 11 am, which also coincides closely with the time frame of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, with the first tower being struck by an airliner shortly before 9 am and the 2nd tower collapsing at roughly 10:30 am.Realizing in an instant the immense implications in all of this, some of the see no evil/hear no evil/speak no evil variety of todays freedom-lovin merkins will doubtless prefer to put their landing gear down on terra firma in this case, maintaining that the economic crisis faced both by the US and the world is all the result of market corrections no more sinister in their nature than a person sneezing when catching a cold.However, other persons (and particularly those who note the hundreds of odd items dealing with 9/11, including but not limited to the arrest of hundreds of Israeli intelligence operatives, some seen cheering as the Twin Towers were crumbling) will see with good reason that the current financial crisisrather than being an accidentmay very well be an act of sabotage on the part of certain interested parties who stand to benefit from it all, and that out of all the possible players most likely to pull off an economic 9/11 such as thisit is none other than Israel that may have done the dirty deed in order to maneuver the US into fighting those deemed enemies of the Jewish state.The idea that Israel would do such a thingwhether it be the terror attacks on 9/11/2001 or the financial attacks on 9/11/2008should be no surprise to those even vaguely familiar with the Jewish states well-documented history of false flag attacks in creating certain pre-desired political outcomes. CLIP - Read the rest at http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/september-11th-2008-america's-economic-911/ where you'll find some pretty, nasty, vitriolic comments against the alleged masterminds behind this economic 9-11. Personally I'd say the inflammatory nature of this article pinning the blame on the Jews/Israel without any shred of evidence is designed (or perhaps it is unintentional?) to further inflame anger against the state of Israel. The true puppet masters are the Rockefeller-RothschildIlluminati for only them were able to pull that kind of trick last Sept 11 2008...
World Trade Is Falling Off a Cliff (February 17, 2009) http://ednews.org/articles/33971/1/World-Trade-Is-Falling-Off-a-Cliff/Page1.html
Let's start with some charts from my friend Simon Hunt, out of London. The following chart shows World Merchandise Export Values and World Industrial Production falling off a cliff. This is the worst such period since the end of World War II. And as the data we will examine next indicates, it is likely to get worse. Simon notes that consumer spending is about 60% of world GDP, and it is not just in the US that spending is slowing down. Consumers all over the developed world are in shock, as assets such as stocks and houses, real estate, and commodities fall in value. Unemployment is rising.We think that almost 2,000,000 lost jobs in the last three months in the US is a catastrophe. China lost a reported 20,000,000 jobs in the last quarter, and migrant workers came back to the cities after Chinese New Year to find factories and jobs simply gone. Unemployment is rising rapidly in Europe, as the demand for goods has clearly been falling since last October. This means that inventories are too high, not just in the US but in factories all over the world, and that production is slowing down. (...) European banks may be in far worse shape. Bruno Waterfield of the London Daily Telegraph reports to have seen an eyes-only document prepared by the European Commission for the finance ministers of the various EU member countries. The problem revealed in the report is an estimated write-down by European banks in the range of 16 trillion pounds, or about $25 trillion dollars! The concern is that bailing out the various national banks for such an unbelievable amount would push the cost of government borrowing to much higher levels than we see today. CLIP
RED ALERT: FX Dislocation In Process (16 Feb 2009) http://market-ticker.org/archives/801-RED-ALERT-FX-Dislocation-In-Process.html
CTI do not know what is going on here, and I don't think I want to.Someone, apparently someone in Asia, wants dollars. A LOT of dollars. There is a forced-liquidation event underway that is massive, it is against all asset classes and it is spreading. It originated at approximately 7:15 CT this evening and originated out of Asia somewhere. All of the primary currency crosses got hit at once - Euro, Pound, Yen - all weakened dramatically against the dollar and it is still going on. The Asian stock markets got walloped at the same time in coordinated waves of forced selling.At the same time the US futures markets got nailed as well, down some six handles on the /ES in a near-vertical drop. While this sounds "not that big" to move these markets in a coordinated fashion like this is a trillion-dollar enterprise - this is not some small company that went bankrupt, or even a large company. There is no news coverage at the present time identifying the source of this but it is not small and contrary to some reports it is not "automatic selling"; this is forced liquidation. Folks, if this translates into Eastern Europe where there are severe instabilities already brewing literally everything in the financial world could come apart "all at once." CLIP
JUST SO WONDERFUL!!! THIS IS WHAT OUR FUTURE WILL LOOK LIKE, EXCEPT THERE WON'T BE ANY NEED FOR MONEY ANYMORE... THE OFFERING TO ALL OF THIS FREE NETWORKING SERVICE IS IN THE SAME SPIRIT...
At the Karma Kitchen in Berkeley, Calif., customers pay what they want including nothing for a meal.
By Paul Van Slambrouck | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 25, 2007 edition
Berkeley, Calif. - Patrons of Karma Kitchen don't need to fight for the check at the end of a meal. There isn't one. Instead, the "guests" of this restaurant are handed a gold envelope with a handwritten note on the outside that says, "Have a lovely evening." Inside a bookmarker-sized card states: "In the spirit of generosity, someone who came before you made a gift of this meal. We hope you will continue the circle of giving in your own way!"
On a sun-splashed, late-summer evening along Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue, the street musicians are in full flight, students laden with books hunt for cafes with seats and Internet access, and strollers have that aimless Saturday-evening gait.
Here at Karma Kitchen, though, things are starting to buzz. By 6 p.m., most of the seats in the small, yellow-walled restaurant are taken, and the noise level is rising above the background sitar music. But some of the most interesting conversations are taking place at the doorway as the maitre d' greets customers.
"Have you been here before or heard about Karma Kitchen?" asks Viral Mehta, one of the restaurant founders and greeter for the evening. Two young professional women say they've heard about it, but invite further explanation. Mr. Mehta obliges: "Your meal has in effect been paid for by someone before you, and you are free to leave whatever you like when you are done. All of us working here are volunteers and are providing this in the spirit of service."
One of the women, a gerontologist who works with the disabled, is visibly moved. The other woman nods. "OK, so we either volunteer or we make a donation, right?" "Well," pauses Mehta, "actually you could do both or neither. It is all up to you."
Ground rules set, the two take a table, blending into a mix of young families with children, students, and a surprising number of out-of-towners, many of whom have heard of the restaurant by word of mouth. What they all have in common is that they are taking part in an experiment, one particularly fitting for this antiestablishment university town.
The sound bite for this restaurant is that meals cost whatever you want to pay, starting at zero. But the real idea beneath it runs deeper than the cost of a dinner. "This is about creating a shift in perspective," says Mehta. "It's a very simple shift but the shift is fundamental. It is a shift from transaction to trust. From a contract to a compact. From being separate to creating community."
While too puny to regard as any serious challenge to Western economics, this restaurant fits loosely into a smattering of activities across the country and abroad that operate under the principles of the "gift economy." They range from fledgling filmmakers like Smooth Feather Productions in New York (which uses volunteer artists to make films free for individuals and groups) to meditation camps to new forms of music distribution (Radiohead this month offered its latest music as a digital download on the Internet, priced at whatever the customer wants to pay).
The common principles are volunteerism, no pleas for funds, and a view that these activities are not about changing the world. Rather, as Smooth Feather founder Silas Haggerty notes on his website: "We do small things, change ourselves not the world."
The ethos behind "gift economy" activities is to offer goods in the spirit of service with the conviction that the act, if genuine and without strings, will be self-sustaining. Put simply, a service or product is offered with the assumption that the act of giving is its own reward, and that it is likely to generate more giving in an ever-enriching circle.
The economics of this can work in mysterious ways, or not at all. None of Karma Kitchen's founders, for instance, would have bet on support from a cab driver who brought a group of out-of-towners to the restaurant's door a few weeks ago. After hearing about Karma's credo from his passengers, the cabbie gave them money to pass along to the restaurant.
Nor was anyone expecting a $100 donation from a woman in a supermarket line who was so moved when she heard about the restaurant from one of its founder that she later handed him a $100 bill in the parking lot.
The idea behind Karma Kitchen began percolating in March among Mehta, wife Pavi, and a network of young people who have been doing charity and volunteer work in Silicon Valley for several years. Rather than start from scratch, which was not feasible, since the eatery was going to be operated by volunteers who have day jobs, the group decided to approach successful Berkeley restaurant owner Rajen Thapa.
As Pavi Mehta recalls: "He said, 'I am a man of action not words. Tell me what you need and when you want to start.' "
So much for lots of careful planning. Within a month, Karma Kitchen had opened, taking over the premises each Saturday night of Thapa's Telegraph Avenue restaurant.
It was a joining of like minds. Mr. Thapa has used his Berkeley restaurants to support a school for poor children in Nepal. "I myself started from poverty and hunger and was only able to move ahead when someone gave me a scholarship to attend school," he says.
While Karma pays Thapa a small fee for use of the restaurant on Saturday nights to cover the salary of chefs and some food ingredients, the fee pales in comparison to what he'd normally make on the highest volume night of the week. "We are all experiencing the satisfaction one gets when serving other people," says Thapa.
The volunteer staff is central to Karma Kitchen and distinguishes it from other restaurants that have sprung up across the country with no fixed pricing. Indeed, for those behind Karma Kitchen, the volunteer component is every bit as important as the food experience for guests. "The act of service, whatever it is, transforms you," says Mehta.
The biggest challenge to Karma Kitchen is sustaining an operation that requires such a heavy dose of volunteer spirit and muscle. But the restaurant has been operating for over six months with no lack of servers.
An hour before opening, the night's volunteers gather for an orientation. "Lately we have been very busy, and it can be high volume for five hours," says Pavi Mehta to the group. "But don't forget the generosity. In thought, word, and action, be in the space of generosity."
The volunteers weigh in. "For me this is about giving and putting aside my ego," says one. Adds another, half of a husband and wife team, "we heard about it from a friend, and we wondered should we eat here or volunteer. We decided to volunteer."
So far, the restaurant has routinely taken in more revenue than the fee it pays to the owner. The net profits are turned over to Charityfocus.org, an umbrella group that funnels funds to other "gift economy" activities.
It doesn't hurt that the food is very good. Put together by chef Chatra Lamichaney, who has cooked in restaurants in Cyprus, Iraq, India, and Vietnam, the menu is a full course vegetarian and mostly Indian meal. It starts with a salad, followed by steamed dumplings, cauliflower and potato curry, rice, lentil soup, and baskets of freshly baked flat bread. No alcohol or meat is served. "You know I'm from Michigan, and frankly I think some people will be sort of suspicious of this whole California, tofu, squishy thing," says first-time visitor Megan Hulce of Los Altos. "But I have to say I love it. I'll be back to volunteer."
Just the sort of circle of giving the founders had in mind.
Vast swathes of tropical rainforest are being cleared to grow palm oil, especially in Kalimantan, where it is estimated that an area the size of three football pitches is cleared every minute. This deforestation is avoidable millions of hectares of degraded land stand empty or unused in |ndonesia but the potential profits from selling the timber reduces the costs of setting up a plantation by around 40%. Often, unscrupulous companies acquire land for the sole purpose of selling the valuable timber harvested from the hardwood forests in many places the cleared land is not then developed for palm oil, with companies declaring bankruptcy in order to fulfil their contractual obligations. Even companies that do establish palm oil plantations sometimes choose to convert forested land because of the profit from the timber this provides an immediate cash injection into the company when they must wait 3 to 4 years to harvest a profitable crop from young oil palms.
World-leading orangutan experts have now identified the clearance of rainforest for palm oil expansion as the single greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan in the wild. Current estimates are that each year 5,000 orangutans are dying in Borneo, and 1,000 a year in Sumatra that means 15 orangutans are dying every single day. This is catatrophic for the orangutan, but also reflects the loss of a wider rich and unique biodiversity within the Indonesian rainforest. For example, Sumatran lowland forest is 2.5 times richer in terms of biodiversity of species than the very best Amazonian rainforest, and 1.8 times richer than the best Central African rainforest. This means that unsustainable palm oil production is destroying the most species-rich rainforests in the world. Orangutans, Asian elephants, sun bears, clouded leopards, Sumatran tigers, hornbills these are just some of the better-known species losing their habitat and their lives due to unsustainable palm oil expansion.
Forest conversion for palm oil almost always impacts negatively on local people who are often reliant on natural forest for their livelihood. Whilst an estimated 2% of the Indonesian population make their living from the palm oil industry, almost 44% are reliant on natural forest resources. In Kalimantan, jobs on the plantations often go to migrant labourers from elsewhere in Indonesia, leaving a disenfranchised and dispossessed local population. On occasions when local people were employed by the plantation we discovered the household income for the family was still often reduced by up to 50%. In Indonesia, pollution from chemical spraying at plantations, and unprocessed effluent from mills from less scrupulous companies is getting into local water supplies causing illness, particularly in children, and killing off fish stock, that in some areas was the focus of the local economy.
On a global scale, Indonesian deforestation for palm oil is also inextricable from climate change. There are widespread environmental and economical threats, not to mention human health risks, posed by the ever-growing problem of smog and smoke stretching as far as Kuala Lumpur caused by huge forest fires during the dry season each year. Furthermore, the topside clearance of peat-swamp forests is one of the most worrying environmental threats of our time. The subsequent release of CO2 and methane from peat reserves in Kalimantan and Sumatra (which in some places reach 60 metres in depth) is already impacting upon greenhouse gas levels and global climate change.
The devastating forest fires of 1997 made up 30% of global CO2 emissions that year. This was the greatest single anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases on record. The palm oil crisis is evidently a matter of critical importance, not only for Asian conservation, but globally. Perversely, the proposed development of palm oil for biofuel initially provoked by the desire for a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels will amplify the current problem unimaginably.
Before and After: Central Kalimantan, Indonesia 2006 - 2007 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cockroach/1238239567/
The total devastation of peat swamp forest clearance is quickly disguised by the burning of felled timber followed by the planting of oil palm seedlings. Many orangutans have been rescued from this area of clearance. We have observed orangutans, gibbons and even a clouded leopard in this clearance area.
Paradise Forests http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/asia-pacific
Only 20 percent of the world's ancient forests remain in large, intact tracts. Some of the ancient forests under greatest threat are the Paradise Forests. They stretch from South East Asia, across the islands of Indonesia, on to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. (View larger map of Paradise Forests. - of what is left of it!) This wonderfully diverse region supports hundreds of indigenous cultures and creatures found nowhere else in the world. The island of New Guinea, the worlds second biggest island, has the largest continuous tracts of ancient forest in the Asia Pacific region. The island is divided into two regions: the Indonesian territory of Papua in the west and the nation of Papua New Guinea in the east. The Paradise Forests consist of tropical rainforests, mangrove, coastal and swamp forests. Monsoon and deciduous forests flourish in the drier and more mountainous regions. They shelter an amazingly rich number of plant and animal species, many of which occur nowhere else on earth. The Orang Utan, Sumatran Tiger and the world's largest flower, the one metre wide rafflesia all call the Paradise Forests home.People also live in the Paradise Forests. Their deep connection to the forest for their cultural, spiritual and physical wellbeing has been unbroken for thousands of years. The diversity of these cultures is extraordinary. More than 1000 languages are spoken on the island of New Guinea alone. That is around one sixth of all the living languages on Earth today.
The orangutan population decreases (02/11/2009) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/02/11/the-orangutan-population-decreases.html
Environmentalists report the population of Sumatran orangutans in the wild is only about 6.500, as their numbers are decreasing year by year due to deforestation for palm oil plantations, hunting and trafficking. Your comments: "It is not a surprising statistic as the reasons are clearly stated: Loss of habitat, hunting and the illegal pet trade. Unless the Indonesian government acts quickly and effectively to stop these practices - and severely punish transgressors - then it will continue to have the blood of the orangutan on its hands." Maureen Ridley "With respect to Indonesia and the Indonesian people, it is so sad to see a once-beautiful part of the world be degraded by the palm oil industry and the illegal loggers. What was once a place one just had to see is now a mere shadow of its former glory. And the saddest part is to see the mighty orangutan bought to its knees through no fault of its own. Ecotourism could turn the tables as eventually the timber will run out and the palm trees that blight Indonesians landscape can in time be replaced by something more beneficial to all. We are only here on this earth for a short period of time and we have to stand before our maker and justify what we have done. I am sure that if the government of Indonesia wanted to change this sad state of affairs, governments worldwide would join them, along with countless animal and environmental organizations so that Indonesia could bloom again. It would be fantastic if Indonesia could lead by example, then maybe Africa could follow in protecting their gorillas, elephants etc." - Janelle Tuero "I urge the Indonesian government to put a moratorium on the clearing of forests for palm oil plantations. Without it, the orangutan has very little hope of survival." - Michelle Desilets
Save orangutan in Indonesia (02/14/2009) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/02/14/save-orangutan-indonesia.html
Save orangutan: Activists dressed in orangutan costumes take part in a campaign for orangutan protection in Jakarta on Saturday. Orangutan populations in Indonesia's Borneo and Sumatera island are facing severe threats from habitat loss, illegal logging, fires and poaching. Conservationists predicted that without immediate action, orangutans are likely to be the first great ape to become extinct in the wild. A banner in the background reads: "Save orangutans from cruelty and crimes."
Papua New Guinea Rainforests Deeply Threatened (February 22, 2009) http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/2009/02/release_papua_new_guinea_rainf.asp
The nation's future carbon payments for avoided deforestation in doubt. As a global leader in promoting such payments, the PNG government would be well advised to focus upon better protecting its rainforests, if it wants to fully access carbon monies based upon their continued carbon storage -- Seattle, WA) -- An important new study in the journal "Biotropica" finds that between 1972 and 2002, a net 15 percent of Papua New Guineas (PNG) rainforests [search] were cleared and 8.8 percent were degraded through logging. The clearance rate of 1.1 to 3.4 percent/yr in commercially accessible forests is much higher than reported previously by the FAO.PNG -- located in the South Pacific, northeast of Australia -- holds some of the world's largest and most important intact and contiguous forests. Their fate has important implications for local livelihoods and biodiversity, and both local and global climate change. The new study quantifies forest loss in PNG for the first time with a high degree of accuracy. And the findings are not good. CLIP
Papua New Guinea rainforest 'all gone by 2021' ( June 3, 2008) http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=101004
Thirty years of satellite imagery of Papua New Guinea's rainforests has revealed destruction on such a rapid scale that by 2021 most accessible forest will be destroyed or degraded, says a study made public yesterday. Papua New Guinea has the world's third-largest tropical rainforest, after the Amazon and the Congo, and its Government is seeking compensation for conserving its forests as carbon-traps to help reduce global greenhouse gases. Papua New Guinea has allowed widespread logging of its forests, and the report, by the University of Papua New Guinea and the Australian National University, questions its commitment to saving rainforests in the mountainous South Pacific nation. CLIP
World map of last intact forest landscapes http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/our-disappearing-forests/intact-forest-landscapes
The proportion of the remaining intact forest landscapes of the world are located in the following areas:
-35 percent in Latin America. The Amazon rainforest is mainly located in Brazil, which clears a larger area of forest annually than any other country in the world.
- 28 percent in North America. North America destroys 10,000 square kilometres of ancient forests every year. Many of the fragmented forests of southern Canada and the US lack adequate animal travel corridors and functioning ecosystems for large mammals.
- 19 percent in Northern Asia. Northern Asia is home to the second largest boreal forest in the world. The Siberian tiger once roamed across huge areas of Northern Asia but today it can only be found in a small area of intact forest near the Sea of Japan. Only 400 remain in the wild, with twice as many in zoos.
- 7 percent in South Asia Pacific. The Paradise Forests of Asia Pacific are being destroyed faster than any other forest on Earth. Much of the large intact forest landscapes have already been cut down, 72 percent in Indonesia and 60 percent in Papua New Guinea.
- 8 percent in Africa. Africa has lost most of its intact forest landscapes in the last 30 years. The timber industry is responsible for destroying huge areas of intact forest landscapes and continues to be the single largest threat to these areas.
- Less than 3 percent in Europe. In Europe, more than 150 square kilometres of intact forest landscapes fall victim to the chainsaw every year and the last areas of the regions intact forest landscapes in European Russia are shrinking rapidly.
WHAT POOR STEWARDS OF EARTH'S VAST NATURAL WEALTH WE'VE BEEN SO FAR!!! ALL THAT DESTRUCTION BEING DRIVEN PRIMARILY BY GREEDY CAPITALISTS AND UNSUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES (like slash-and-burn farming methods)
Rainforest Destruction and Human Apathy (20 August 2007) 10 minutes - MUST WATCH!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNqoo2pdg4k
Most of us have chosen NOT to act - now it looks like our grandchildren will suffer the consequences. Global Apathy towards deforestation is rife, and as always, we've done far too little, much too late. In 40 years time - there will be NO suitable rainforests left. We will all be trying to live in a "low oxygen" environment. This will cause massive problems including increased disease and failing Human Health on a global scale. We MIGHT be able to stave off this catastrophe IF ENOUGH PEOPLE ACT RIGHT NOW! But there is no more time left! IT'S NOW OR NEVER FOLKS! You can do your bit right now! Arrange the planting of a tree on your behalf by going to any of the sites below... http://www.plant-trees.orgor -- http://www.la-reserva.org
Holocene extinction event http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction_event
The Holocene extinction event is the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. The large number of extinctions span numerous families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods; a sizeable fraction of these extinctions are occurring in the rainforests. This extinction event is sometimes referred to as the sixth extinction following the previous five extinction events. Between 1500 and 2006 CE, 784 extinctions have been documented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. However, since most extinctions are likely to go undocumented, scientists estimate that during the 20th century, between 20,000 and two million species became extinct, but the precise total cannot be determined more accurately within the limits of present knowledge. Up to 140,000 species per year (based on Species-area theory) may be the present rate of extinction based upon upper bound estimating. (...) The observed rate of extinction has accelerated dramatically since the 1950s. There is no general agreement on whether to consider more recent extinctions as a distinct event or merely part of a single escalating process. Only during these most recent parts of the extinction have plants also suffered large losses. Overall, the Holocene extinction event is most significantly characterised by the presence of human-made driving factors and its very short geological timescale (tens to thousands of years) compared to most other extinction events.
MORE OMINOUS SIGNS THAT WE HAVE UNLEASHED A JUGGERNAUT OF SPIRALLING GLOBAL CHANGES THAT CAN ONLY SPELL DISASTER ON A MASSIVE SCALE AND AT AN UNPRECEDENTED SPEED IN THE EARTH'S HISTORY. IT WILL BE REALLY HARD TO PUT THIS GENIE BACK IN THE BOTTLE AND WE MIGHT THEREFORE NEED TO DEPLOY SOME KIND OF SHIELD IN SPACE TO SHADE EARTH FROM THE SUN. But right now the priority MUST be to stop destroying the fragile web of life even if it means lowering our standard of living in the most developed countries. Thank God, the global economic crash may help slow us down a bit and give us all a good push to shift to truly sustainable path of existence on Earth. But we will need more forceful advocacy of the real deep changes needed and long term planning unbiased by short term political concerns and expediencies
A leading climate scientist has warned that the earth is heating up faster than previous reports had indicated.
Chris Field, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says predicted global temperature rises of between 1.1C and 6.4C in the group's 2007 report had been underestimated.
"We are basically looking now at a future climate that is beyond anything that we've considered seriously in climate policy," he told a meeting of the the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Saturday.
The IPCC's 2007 report had warned of rising sea levels, expanding deserts, more intense storms and the extinction of up to 30 per cent of plant and animal species.
Field, however, said that report had failed to take into account new coal-fired power stations in developing countries like China and India, and the huge increase in carbon emissions they would create.
"Without aggressive attention, societies will continue to focus on the energy sources that are cheapest, and that means coal"
Predictions of a decrease in carbon emissions had also been too optimistic, he said, as no part of the world has seen such a decline between 2000 and 2008.
Bolstering Field's arguments, Anny Cazenave of France's National Centre for Space Studies, told the meeting that new satellite measurements show that sea levels are rising at an increased rate, due to warming waters and melting ice sheets.
Field further said that there was a "real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years."
That could raise temperatures even more and create "a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control by the end of the century," he said.
Several recent climate models have estimated that the loss of tropical rainforests to wildfires, deforestation and other causes could increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 10 to 100 parts per million by the end of the 21st century.
Climate Could Cross Critical Threshold by 2100, Expert Warns MUST READ - Unless there is soon a BIG miracle, we/the Earth are toast! http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2009/2009-02-16-01.asp
CHICAGO, Illinois, February 16, 2009 (ENS) - Without decisive action by governments, corporations and individuals, global warming in the 21st century is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than predicted, warns a leading member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.In a business-as-usual world, higher temperatures could ignite tropical forests and melt the Arctic tundra, releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gas that could raise global temperatures even more - a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control by the end of the century, said IPCC scientist Chris Field of Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science. (...) This is a crucial year in the international effort to address climate change. Intergovernmental negotiations will be taking place all year, culminating in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 7-18. There, governments are expected to finalize a treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions that will take effect when the current Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. In their negotiations, governments rely on the facts presented in the assessment reports published by the IPCC.Established by the United Nations in 1988, the IPCC brings together thousands of experts from around the world to assess the science and policy implications of climate change. The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide concerning the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.In 2007, the IPCC and Al Gore were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Field was among 25 IPCC scientists who attended the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. In September 2008, Field was elected co-chair of Working Group 2, which is charged with assessing the impacts of climate change on social, economic and natural systems. One of his major responsibilities is to oversee the writing and editing of the "Working Group 2 Report" for the IPCC fifth assessment, slated for publication in 2014. (...) New studies are revealing potentially dangerous feedbacks in the climate system that could convert current carbon sinks into carbon sources. Field points to tropical forests as a prime example. Vast amounts of carbon are stored in the vegetation of moist tropical forests, which are resistant to wildfires because of their wetness. But warming temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns threaten to dry the forests, making them less fireproof. Researchers estimate that loss of forests through wildfires and other causes during the next century could boost atmospheric concentration of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by up to 100 parts per million over the current 386 ppm, with possibly devastating consequences for global climate. Warming in the Arctic is expected to speed up the decay of plant matter that has been in cold storage in permafrost for thousands of years. "There is about 1,000 billion tons of carbon in these soils," says Field. "When you consider that the total amount of carbon released from fossil fuels since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution is around 350 billion tons, the implications for global climate are staggering." "One thing that seems to be certain," he said, "is that as a society we are facing a climate crisis that is larger and harder to deal with than any of us thought. The sooner we take decisive action, the better our chances are of leaving a sustainable world to future generations." CLIP
The Zero Carbon Caravan (Jan 31, 2009) http://www.positivenews.org.uk/artman/publish/article_2100.shtml
In a bid to get the world's leaders to 'fight climate change not war', environmentalists will be using carbon neutral travel to promote a pollution free world. The Zero Carbon Caravan (Caravan meaning a group travelling together and not a mobile holiday home) will be making their way to the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December, without using fossil fuel. The hope is that the group will be able to persuade the negotiators to kick the carbon habit as soon as possible. The Caravan is a relay, so people will not have to travel all the way to Copenhagen, but instead can just join for a few days. A baton will be carried, containing information on how a zero carbon world can be achieved, through lifestyle changes, renewable energy and energy efficiency. More solutions will be added to the 'baton' as the Caravan journeys to Copenhagen, as well as being placed on the Caravan's website http://www.zerocarboncaravan.net. "The hope is that we will arrive at the talks with solutions for a Zero Carbon World, that the negotiators will not be able to refuse," says organiser, Chris Keene. CLIP
Old-Growth Carbon Findings Cause Forest Protection Schism (September 11, 2008) http://forests.org/blog/2008/09/feature-old-growth-carbon-find.asp
A new study in the journal Nature [ark] finds old-growth forests are "carbon sinks" [search] and continually absorb carbon dioxide . Australian researchers recently found logging primary forests releases 40 percent of their carbon . These findings discredit decades of thought that primary forests are carbon neutral, they can or should be "sustainably" logged, and only young forests continue to remove carbon.The Earth's remaining ancient forests need to be fully protected not just because destroying them will release huge stores of greenhouse gases while destroying biodiversity -- but because science now knows what many of us intuited -- they continue in perpetuity to absorb massive amounts of new carbon dioxide. The environmental movement must respond accordingly.This causes discomfort for groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that actively support ancient forest logging. They campaign for certified industrial first-time harvest of primary forests, and to establish some protected areas, while acquiescing to ancient forest logging elsewhere. They work to end coal use, but not ancient forest logging. New ecological science indicates their discredited forest campaigns cause climate change and block ecologically sufficient policies.Thirty percent of global forests are unmanaged primary forests or regenerating old-growth forests. These ancient forests in Canada, Russia and Alaska alone absorb 1.3 gigatonnes of carbon annually, about ten percent of global emissions. Much of their carbon, including in the soil, "will move back to the atmosphere if these forests are disturbed... Carbon accounting rules for forests should give credit for leaving old-growth forest intact," conclude Oregon State University researchers in Nature. CLIP
One-fifth Of Fossil-fuel Emissions Absorbed By Threatened Forests (Feb. 19, 2009) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218135031.htm
Globally, tropical trees in undisturbed forest are absorbing nearly a fifth of the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels The researchers show that remaining tropical forests remove a massive 4.8 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere each year. This includes a previously unknown carbon sink in Africa, mopping up 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 each year. Published today in Nature, the 40 year study of African tropical forestsone third of the world's total tropical forestshows that for at least the last few decades each hectare of intact African forest has trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon per year. CLIP
Climate change: 'Feedback' triggers could amplify peril (Feb 15, 2009) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jSNt_lHYXJe_qFDI4kbvz1LlMI6w
PARIS (AFP) New studies have warned of triggers in the natural environment, including a greenhouse-gas timebomb in Siberia and Canada, that could viciously amplify global warming.Thawing subarctic tundra could unleash billions of tonnes of gases that have been safely stored in frosty soil, while oceans and forests are becoming less able to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere, according to papers presented this weekend. Together, these phenomena mean that more heat-trapping gases will enter the atmosphere, which in turn will stoke global warming, thrusting the machinery of climate change into higher gear.Researchers in Finland and Russia discovered that nitrous oxide is leaking into the air from so-called "peat circle" ecosystems found throughout the tundra, a vast expanse of territory in higher latitudes.CO2 and methane account for the lion's share of the gases that have driven global temperatures inexorably higher over the last century.Nitrous oxide, or N2O, is far less plentiful in volume, but 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. It accounts for about six percent of total global warming, mainly due to a shift toward chemical-intensive agriculture. In experiments near the Russian city of Vorkuta, Pertti Martikainen of the University of Kuopio in Finland and colleagues found that N2O leaked as a result of cryoturbation, a process that occurs when frozen soil is thawed and then refreezes."There is evidence that warming of the Arctic will accelerate cryoturbation, which would lead to an increased abundance of peat circles in the future," said their paper, published on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. (...) Meanwhile, new research on the Southern Ocean surrounded Antarctica suggest that the sea, a vital "carbon sink," is sucking up less CO2 than before.Nicolas Metzl, a researcher at the French National Research Institute, said fierce winds -- aggravated by climate change and gaps in the ozone layer -- were churning the sea, which brought CO2 to the surface and released it into the air.This adds to previous research that points to the sea's drooping effectiveness as a carbon sponge, he said."Today, human activity injects about 10 billion tonnes of CO2 per year into the atmosphere, compared to around six billion in the early 1990s," said Metzl."Before we had an ocean that captured some two billion tonnes -- about a third. Today we are below two billion tonnes," less than a fifth of the total, he added.
Climate Change Erodes Marine Reserves (February 16, 2009) http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=climate-change-erodes-marine-preserves
CHICAGO Climate change has undermined fundamental assumptions about oceanic conservation, challenging the notion that todays sanctuaries will protect tomorrows fish.Conservationists have long assumed fish harvested at a sustainable rate will forever be available for future generations. Instead, scientists now find that a warming ocean is mobilizing fish populations, sending them to the poles with little regard for marine preserve boundaries. Many of the areas set aside for fish protection are the most vulnerable to climate change, scientists say. This basic belief behind conservation is no longer the case, said Emily Pidgeon of Conservation International, speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Conservationists must adapt their management plans to that poleward shift, Pidgeon said. On average, fish are expected to migrate 25 miles per decade, according to a new study led by William Cheung of the University of East Anglia."Our research shows that the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity and fisheries is going to be huge," Cheung said. "We must act now to adapt our fisheries management and conservation policies to minimize harm to marine life and to our society. The oceans are suffering from a pretty significant overdose of temperature, acidification and nutrients, said Patrick Halpin, director of the Geospatial Analysis Program at Duke University. Worse, climate models predict that the areas where marine preserves are most prevalent coastal regions in the northern hemisphere will see greater increases in temperature than the oceans as a whole, Halpin said. Those same areas are also especially susceptible to other environmental disturbances, like nutrients from agricultural runoff, which can create oxygen-depleted dead zones where most marine life cant survive. According to Pidgeon, inflexible political boundaries are ill-suited to protecting fish in our rapidly changing seas, and conservationists must find a way to include species migration in their strategies.This stuffs critical to conservation in the future, she said.
Study finds climate change, malaria spread link (Feb 16, 2009 ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/16/2492693.htm?section=world
Scientists have produced more evidence of a strong link between climate change and the spread of malaria. A study in the highland parts of Kenya has identified a significant increase in cases of malaria over a 30-year period, apparently caused by a rise in temperature of just half-a-degree Celsius.Professor Mercedes Pascual from the University of Michigan says the results are conclusive. "We have asked whether climate change could explain the pattern of increased risk in the size and frequency of epidemics. The answer is yes it can," she said. "Warmer temperatures can explain an eight-fold increase of cases during epidemic months according to our models." The scientists say the findings show that highland areas of eastern and central Africa are likely to see a rapid rise in the number of malaria cases as temperatures rise and mosquitos become more abundant.
Possible Fix For Global Warming?Environmental Engineers Use Algae To Capture Carbon Dioxide (April 1, 07 ) http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0407-possible_fix_for_global_warming.htm
Engineers have designed a simple, sustainable and natural carbon sequestration solution using algae. A team at Ohio University created a photo bioreactor that uses photosynthesis to grow algae, passing carbon dioxide over large membranes, placed vertically to save space. The carbon dioxide produced by the algae is harvested by dissolving into the surrounding water. The algae can be harvested and made into biodiesel fuel and feed for animals. A reactor with 1.25 million square meters of algae screens could be up and running by 2010. CLIP
New report urges us to adapt to inevitable climate change (February 16, 2009 ) http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2009/02/16/new-report-urges-us-to-adapt-to-inevitable-climate-change/
The effects of climate change are unstoppable and CO2 reduction treaties are near useless, a new report suggests. The report: Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable, published by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) predicts the effects of climate change in three regions; the UK, Botswana and Shangai. The new research undertaken by IMechE in partnership with Arup and the University of East Anglia, explores the role of failing Kyoto type agreements and ongoing political debates in combating climate change and explores whether the impending Copenhagen conference in November to agree a new CO2 treaty to replace the Kyoto agreement which expires in 2012; will make any difference in the enormous challenge faced by the human race. Climate modelling in the report shows the UK suffering from increased flooding, volatile storms, droughts and intense heat and areas including London and the Norfolk Broads could eventually, literally, be wiped off the map. Whilst not being against attempts to reduce emissions, the reports authors call for government to be more realistic about what we can achieve through this method and calls for us to plan to adapt to climate change as well as to attempt to mitigate the change. Dr Tim Fox, Head of Environment and Climate Change at the IMechE said: This report is being launched at a crucial time. Nations will converge on Copenhagen for yet more talks on emission reductions, whilst it has almost become a catchphrase to blame weather incidents, such as unprecedented flooding and heatwaves, on climate change. CLIP
Drought To Cut Off Federal Water To CA Farms (Feb 20, 2009) http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090220/D96FI4R85.html
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Federal water managers said Friday that they plan to cut off water, at least temporarily, to thousands of California farms as a result of the deepening drought gripping the state. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said parched reservoirs and patchy rainfall this year were forcing them to completely stop surface water deliveries for at least a two-week period beginning March 1. Authorities said they haven't had to take such a drastic move for more than 15 years. The situation could improve slightly if more rain falls over the next few weeks, and officials will know by mid-March if they can release more irrigation supplies to growers. Farmers in the nation's No. 1 agriculture state predicted it would cause consumers to pay more for their fruits and vegetables, which would have to be grown using expensive well water."Water is our life - it's our jobs and it's our food," said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the farm bureau in Fresno County. "Without a reliable water supply, Fresno County's No. 1 employer - agriculture - is at great risk."The drought would cause an estimated $1.15 billion dollar loss in agriculture-related wages and eliminate as many as 40,000 jobs in farm-related industries in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of the nation's produce and nut crops are grown, said Lester Snow, director of the Department of Water Resources.California's agricultural industry typically receives 80 percent of all the water supplies managed by the federal government - everything from far-off mountain streams and suburban reservoirs. The state supplies drinking water to 23 million residents and 755,000 acres of irrigated farmland. CLIP
Adapting to engineer societys survival (16/2/2009) http://www.tcetoday.com/tcetoday/NewsDetail.aspx?nid=11468
Long-term view required to meet climate challenges -- EMISSION MITIGATION HAS FAILED, flooding is inevitable, storm systems are worsening, and desertification is spreading. The implications for society as we know it reads like a horror story: London abandoned and nuclear plants flooded. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) says this is the reality that societies face and governments must engage with experts to devise long-term plans for adapting our engineering infrastructure if mankind is to survive and prosper in the face of climate change. In its report Climate change: adapting to the inevitable IMechE refers to the near-total failure of emission reduction policies, noting that levels continue to rise substantially. CO2 emissions have grown more than 30% since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was agreed in 1992. CLIP
Bigger trees helping fight against climate change (19 February 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/19/forests-carbon-emissions
Trees across the tropics are getting bigger and offering help in the fight against climate change, scientists have discovered.A laborious study of the girth of 70,000 trees across Africa has shown that tropical forests are soaking up more carbon dioxide pollution than originally thought. Almost one-fifth of our fossil fuel emissions are absorbed by forests across Africa, Amazonia and Asia, the research suggests. Simon Lewis, climate expert at the University of Leeds, who led the study, said: "We are receiving a free subsidy from nature. Tropical forests are absorbing 18% of the CO2 added to the atmosphere each year from burning fossil fuels." The study, published tomorrow in Nature, measured trees in 79 areas of intact forest across 10 African countries from Liberia to Tanzania, and compared records going back 40 years. "On average the trees are getting bigger," Lewis said. Compared to the 1960s, each hectare of intact African forest has trapped an extra 0.6 tonnes of carbon a year. Over the world's tropical forests, this extra "carbon sink" effect adds up to 4.8bn tonnes of CO2 removed each year - close to the total carbon dioxide emissions from the US. CLIP
Sun-powered Device Converts CO2 into Fuel (18 February 2009) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16621-sunpowered-device-converts-co2-into-fuel.html
Powered only by natural sunlight, an array of nanotubes is able to convert a mixture of carbon dioxide and water vapour into natural gas at unprecedented rates. Such devices offer a new way to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into fuel or other chemicals to cut the effect of fossil fuel emissions on global climate, says Craig Grimes, from Pennsylvania State University, whose team came up with the device. Although other research groups have developed methods for converting carbon dioxide into organic compounds like methane, often using titanium-dioxide nanoparticles as catalysts, they have needed ultraviolet light to power the reactions. The researchers' breakthrough has been to develop a method that works with the wider range of visible frequencies within sunlight. CLIP
A FIRSTHAND DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRE TSUNAMI THAT HIT PARTS OF SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND A FORETASTE OF THE CATASTROPHIC LEVEL OF UPHEAVALS TO BE EXPECTED GLOBALLY BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Sent by Magaer Lennox (firstname.lastname@example.org) with this note: "I wrote this article for inclusion in your next mailout."Australia has a long history of recurring bushfires as you can see HERE
I am writing this because I feel very connected to the events that occurred recently just to the north of Melbourne. I was staying in Melbourne at the time with a friend who knew many in the areas affected by the bushfires. We had been up there 2 days previous taking a walk along the river. And we were planning on going up again for the markets on Saturday morning. As it became clear that the weather was going to be hot and windy, and because the weather bureau was warning people not to go out unless they had to, we changed our minds.
My friend spent the day keeping track on the Internet of where the bushfires were and on the phone to her friends checking where they were. The night before I had been on Google maps checking out exactly where all these places were because my friend had talked of them so often.
It was hot in Melbourne on Saturday. The maximum temperature forecasted was 43ºC (110ºF) with gusty northerly winds. This was surpassed and it reached 47ºC (117ºF) by 3.30pm. This temperature is measured in the shade and out of the wind. A cool change came through between 5.00pm and 6.00pm. Before this change however were cyclonic winds with gusts measuring up to 100 km/hour (60 miles/hour). I have been in heat like that before because I lived in Central Australia, but I have never been in that heat with that wind. It was scary even in Melbourne
In the week previous to this there were several days where the maximum temperatures were well up over 40ºC. Added to this the region has been in drought for the past 12 years. On Saturday, February 7, 60% of the continent recorded maximum temperatures of over 37ºC (100ºF) - 90% was above 30ºC (86ºF). To the north, 10% of the continent was in flood - some parts going under water for the second time in a month. These were the worst floods in the history of the country.
Most will have seen the news on the fires themselves and probably have some idea of their severity. Some fires travelled at speeds which made it impossible to outrun and escape them - often reaching 100km/hr. Most people were prepared for bushfires because there has been a public education campaign on how to defend yourselves and your homes in bushfires. This campaign has been very successful in reducing loss of life and property in the bushfires. People who live in high-risk areas all have their fire plans, which they activate when the warnings come through.
But these fires were totally outside the box. Flames were estimated to be up to 50 meters (150 feet) high. The radiant heat was enough to kill. The 'survivability' distance of Saturday's heat was about four times its height - so a 35-metre-high fire would directly imperil those within 140 meters. The body would get over-stressed, the core temperature would get too high and the metabolism would break down. The body would dehydrate quickly.
People spoke of fire falling like rain, great fireballs exploding above them, houses spontaneously catching alight, a darkness so pervasive that you couldn't see past your own hands - terms like holocaust, Armageddon were used frequently to describe it. And the noise - a roar so fierce that some were deafened temporarily by it. To me it seems a miracle that so many survived the ordeal.
People were prepared for a high tide and got a tsunami instead.
This event has touched many people worldwide. Apart from the obvious reasons, I feel the underlying ones are about grief for the world we have left behind. It is obvious to most that these fires and the conditions that created them are a direct result of global warming - and that this global warming is a direct result of human activity. This acceptance of responsibility is an important step in moving into the future.
I feel the threshold of denial has shifted significantly and more than ever before there is a critical mass of aware humans that can act consciously to minimise the destruction on the planet. Whilst we can't turn back the clock, by acting now, we can choose how severe these changes will be.
As I write this smoke drifts in my window on the easterly breeze from the fires still burning 300 km away.
Australian firefighters close to containing blazes (Feb 13, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLD233923
SYDNEY, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Australian firefighters said on Saturday they were making progress putting out the last of the bushfires that killed at least 181 people, and hoped to bring all the blazes under control soon.Some 12 fires were still burning as of Saturday morning in the fire-ravaged southern state of Victoria, compared with more than 20 early on Friday, a spokeswoman for the state's Country Fire Authority told Reuters. "We made some good progress overnight and there's been some good containment lines made around the fires. At the moment we have 12 fires burning but they are working well to get them under control," the spokeswoman said. No emergency bushfire alerts were out on Saturday, she said. At least 181 people were killed in the fires, the worst natural disaster to hit Australia in more than a century. These figures are expected to rise once a fuller assessment is made.On Friday a man was charged with "arson causing death" and "intentionally or recklessly" lighting a fire near the town of Churchill last weekend.Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called the disaster "mass murder". Researchers believe about half of the bushfires in Australia are lit deliberately. The disaster area, more than twice the size of London and encompassing more than 20 towns, has been declared a crime zone. The fires have burnt 1,831 homes and left 7,000 people homeless.
Australian Bushfires Burn as U.S. Sends Assistance (Feb. 14) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aTVJfS7Sepac&refer=asia
Twelve bushfires remain burning throughout Australias Victoria state as the U.S. said it will send 60 experienced wilderness firefighters to help tackle Australias deadliest blazes on record.Two or three blazes are burning out of control, while cooler temperatures and lighter winds have enabled good progress in other regions, said Sally Bateman, a spokeswoman at the Country Fire Authority. The U.S. is sending firefighters in response to a request from the Victorian government, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement.The death toll from the fires, which started a week ago, stands at 181 and the coroner is prepared for as many as 300 bodies, according to Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Feb. 12 promised to introduce an early warning system for bushfires that would send alerts to mobile phones and landlines in threatened areas.Australia is experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season due to record high temperatures, drought, high wind and low humidity, Salazar said in the statement.The U.S. firefighters will be deployed for up to 35 days, Salazar said. They will join about 4,200 already battling the fires, including some from Canada and New Zealand, Bateman said.More than 450,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) of land has been destroyed, according to the Country Fire Authority. Damage from the blazes may total more than A$2 billion ($1.3 billion) CLIP
Fires and climate change prompt soul-searching in Australia (February 16, 2009) http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/16/asia/climate.php
SYDNEY: Scientists say that Australia can expect more of the scorching conditions that fanned the firestorms that killed at least 181 people this month, prompting a nationwide debate about how to prepare for a hotter, more fire-prone future.As investigators pick through the tangled wreckage left by Australia's deadliest wildfires, which flattened townships and destroyed more than 1,000 homes starting Feb. 7, a wide-ranging discussion has begun about the way the country handles wildfires - from greenhouse-gas emissions standards to planning codes to an emergency protocol that encourages people to stay and defend their properties. Wildfires have been a feature of the Australian landscape for centuries; thousands of fires burn across the continent each year. But scientists warn that the "Black Saturday" disaster is a sign of things to come as climate change brings hotter weather and less rain. The governmental Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization concluded in 2007 that average temperatures in Australia would increase by as much as 2 degrees Celsius by 2030 and 6 degrees Celsius by 2070 unless greenhouse emissions are drastically cut. That would be a difference of 3.6 degrees and 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit.Days of high or extreme fire danger are forecast to increase by 5 percent to 25 percent if the effects of climate change are low and by 15 percent to 65 percent if they are high, the report said. CLIP
UNDERSTANDING HOW MUCH THE AUTO INDUSTRY IN AMERICA - THE MODEL FOLLOWED BY MUCH OF THE WORLD - IS HISTORICALLY A CENTRAL CULPRIT IN THE RUNAWAY CLIMATE CHANGE WE EXPERIENCE RIGHT NOW, IT IS AMAZING TO CONSIDER THAT, LIKE THE BANKERS WHO BEAR A PIVOTAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE DEMISE OF THEIR OWN INDUSTRY, TAXPAYERS AND GENERATIONS TO COME ARE TO BEAR THE BURDEN OF SAVING THIS INDUSTRY FROM A WELL DESERVED BANKRUPTCY. Of course, I understand that the fear of a domino effect of their collapse on the rest of the economy as well as pressures from unions are driving governments to save these shortsighted companies and their greedy CEOs, but then governments should nationalize them and force them to produce true environmentally benign means of transportation...
Learning From the Past: The Great Transportation Conspiracy
Our national dependency on the automobile has contributed to air pollution, the national trade imbalance, inflations, the deaths of 50,000 Americans annually, disabling injuries to millions more, and billions of dollars annually in lost wages and medical expenses. It also destroyed a mass transit system that was relatively clean, energy efficient, reliable and low-cost.
Americans long-running love affair with the automobile was not arranged in heaven. Rather, it was cold-bloodedly arranged in Detroit, Michigan. It was a massive criminal corporate conspiracy that directed our national transportation policy away from mass transit and into the automobile.
Some of the biggest corporations in the country conspired from the mid-1930s through the 1940s. Electrified-rail mass-transit systems, which carried millions of riders, were bought and junked. Tracks literally were torn out of the ground, sometimes overnight. Overhead power lines were dismantled and valuable off-street rights of way were sold. Transit officials who remember the earlier systems say, if left intact, they could have formed the nucleus for a modern American transit system.
The conspirators, led by General Motors, included Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Manufacturing, Firestone Tire & Rubber, and others. In a little-remembered trial in Chicago, in 1949, they were convicted of criminal antitrust violations for their part in the demise of mass transit. Guilty corporations were fined up to $5000 each while individuals paid fines of exactly $1 each.
This extraordinary conspiracy, from which we are still suffering, was revealed by investigative writer Jonathan Kwitny based on his review of the original trial transcripts, other evidence from the case, and personal interviews.
The story is dated which possibly explains why the media didn't widely publicize it. However, the case clearly demonstrates what happens when important matters of public policy are abandoned by government to the self-interest of corporations. What was good for General Motors was not good for the country. Wider exposure of the story might have helped us learn from the past and be more aware of how current corporate interests may be manipulating national policy such as in the energy field.
The continuing failure of the media to alert the public to the extraordinary power of big business qualifies this story for nomination as one of the "best censored" of 1981.
THE GREAT TRANSPORTATION CONSPIRACY: A juggernaut named desire by Jonathan Kwitny http://www.harpers.org/archive/1981/02/0024497
What's good for General Motors is good for the country. -Charles Wilson, 1953
WHEN CHARLIE Wilson was toiling in the General Motors executive suite, earning his future Cabinet appointment as secretary of defense, GM, along with some of the oil companies, was steering the country toward its current energy predicament. Few remember it, but before the automobile companies became predominant, the country relied on centrally generated electricity for city transportation. It was relatively clean and energy-efficient. There were streetcars and off-street railways. There were also trackless trolleys-electric buses powered by overhead wires and able to maneuver through traffic. Without realizing, much less debating the consequences, the country turned its transportation policy over to GM and its automotive allies. What followed was the destruction of mass transit; the country became almost totally reliant on the private automobile, with its necessary consumption of foreign oil. Of course, most people would consider it unfair to blame the demise of mass transit on several big corporations. They just manufactured the car and the bus-to the delight of millions. But it wasn't that simple. When GM and a few other big companies created a transportation oligopoly for the internal-combustion engine - so convenient until the cheap gasoline ran out - they did not rely just on the obvious sales pitch. They conspired. They broke the law. This was all proved at a little-remembered trial in a federal court in Chicago, in 1949. After more than a month of sworn testimony, a jury convicted the corporations and several executives of criminal antitrust violations for their part in the demise of mass transit. The convictions were upheld on appeal. In many places, mass transit didn't just die - it was murdered. No doubt the mass availability of the automobile inevitably would have changed travel habits to a great degree, but it will never be known to what extent electrified transport would have died on its own. The big conspirator companies were unwilling to entrust their fates to the market. Instead, they methodically removed the competition. In knowing violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, they used their economic power to take over a small bus company and, through it, acquired and dismantled one electrified mass-transit system after another, replacing them with buses. The buses, besides being built and supplied by GM and the oil companies, never had the same appeal for riders that the electrified transit systems did, and merely added to the allure of the private car. Then the big companies that orchestrated the demise of the trolley tried to cover over their own tracks as surely as they covered over the tracks of many a rail line. The GM conspiracy case is a fine example of what can happen when important matters of public policy are abandoned by government to the self-interest of corporations - something that is occurring right now in the realm of energy. CLIP
Paving the Way for BusesThe Great GM Streetcar Conspiracy Part I The Villains http://www.baycrossings.org/Archives/2003/03_April/paving_the_way_for_buses_the_great_gm_streetcar_conspiracy.htm
Almost everyone accepts that GM plotted to buy up some transit companies and replace streetcars with new GM buses. This is considered the "Great Transportation Conspiracy" that finally ended up as a subplot in the cartoon hit "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (and the main plot of a PBS docu-fictional entitled "Taken For A Ride"). Did GM actually buy electric traction companies and replace streetcars with buses? You betcha. Was it an illegal conspiracy to destroy streetcars? The United States government said no and acquitted the participants on that charge.So who were the real heroes and villains in this story? One of the most recent villains is Bradford C. Snell, a researcher whose delusions of paranoia seem nearly limitless (at least in print). His 1974 report to the U.S. government was entitled "American Ground TransportA Proposal for Restructuring the Automobile, Truck, Bus and Rail Industries." In it, he says his report " demonstrates General Motors to be a sovereign economic state whose common control of auto, truck, bus and locomotive production was a major factor in the displacement of rail and bus transportation with cars and trucks." (...) Competent scholars are outraged at the abuses in Snells report and are happy to expose its nature. Once arguing against Snell, they find themselves firmly in the non-conspiracy camp. Pro-conspiracy theorists rely on Snell and look like idiots. Thus it appears as if Snells work is more effective at polarizing opinions (generating heat) than it is in adding any light. If someone wants a real conspiracy theory, how about Bradford Snell in the pay of GM to make up preposterous stories so a real conspiracy would be overlooked?
Conspiracy theory doesn't match up to reality (April 29, 1997) http://dailybruin.ucla.edu/archives/id/9323/
Tuesday, 4/29/97 Conspiracy theory doesn't match up to reality Truth about streetcar decline more prosaic, complex than commonly held
Great American streetcar scandal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy
The Great American streetcar scandal (also known as the General Motors streetcar conspiracy and the National City Lines conspiracy) is a conspiracy in which streetcar systems throughout the United States were dismantled and replaced with buses in the mid-20th century as a result of illegal actions by a number of prominent companies CLIP
The world will never be able to produce more than 89m barrels a day of oil, the head of Europes third largest energy group has warned, citing high costs in areas such as Canada and political restrictions in countries like Iran and Iraq.
Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, the French oil and gas company, said he had revised his forecast for 2015 oil production downward by at least 4m barrels a day because of the current economic crisis and the collapse in oil prices.
He noted that national oil companies, which control the vast majority of the worlds oil, and independent producers, which play a key role in finding new sources, were substantially limited in their ability to fund investments in the current [financial] environment.
Oil prices have fallen from a record $147 a barrel in July to about $35 a barrel on Monday, with the world consuming 84m barrels of oil a day. This year oil consumption is expected to fall from 2008 levels.
Mr de Margerie warned that the glut of oil caused by the dramatic reduction in demand would be short-lived and that, in spite of the economic crisis, in the long-term demand would remain constrained by supply. Three years ago, the International Energy Agency expected consumption and production to hit 130m b/d by 2025. It has since dropped its forecast to a little more than 100m b/d by 2030.
Delays and cancellations in projects to extract oil from Albertas tar sands and Venezuelas Orinoco belt both expensive and environmentally difficult operations in which Total is active will cut 1.5m b/d of supply that would have come on stream had oil prices remained strong. The rest of the revisions from Totals mid-2008 estimates came from the more pessimistic view of the political situation in Iran and Iraq, which hold the worlds second and third largest oil reserves.
Meanwhile, Mr de Margerie now expects a faster decline in production at older fields, such as those in the North Sea. At lower price levels, companies will find it harder to justify the greater cost of keeping such fields pumping.
Totals chief executive has long been an outspoken advocate of maintaining investment, rather than repeating the mistakes of previous cycles by cutting costs so much that the industry is unable to meet global demand when economies recover. But he is also in the midst of trying to renegotiate contracts in Canada and is considering further investments in Venezuela.
Der Spiegel Exposes the Brazilian Ethanol Madness: Why the Promise of Biofuels is a Lie (February 19, 2009) http://www.counterpunch.org/bryce02192009.html
For years, the US has been inundated with claims that it should follow Brazils lead on biofuels. These arguments have largely been made by a small, but influential group of neoconservatives who claim that the US should quit using oil altogether. They claim that using more ethanol produced from sugar cane, or corn, or some other substance will impoverish OPEC and America will once again be returned to prosperity.But these claims wither in the face of a story by Clemens Hoges in the January 22 issue of the German magazine Der Spiegel. Hoges writes that sugar cane is considered an effective antidote to climate change, but hundreds of thousands of Brazilian plantation workers harvest the cane at slave wages. The story is one of several published in recent years that have exposed the brutality of the Brazilian sugar cane fields. CLIP
Israel Treated Gaza Like Its Own Private Death Laboratory
By Conn Hallinan - February 13, 2009
Erik Fosse, a Norwegian cardiologist, worked in Gaza hospitals during the recent war."It was as if they had stepped on a mine," he says of certain Palestinian patients he treated. "But there was no shrapnel in the wound. Some had lost their legs. It looked as though they had been sliced off. I have been to war zones for 30 years, but I have never seen such injuries before."
Dr. Fosse was describing the effects of a U.S. "focused lethality" weapon that minimizes explosive damage to structures while inflicting catastrophic wounds on its victims. But where did the Israelis get this weapon? And was their widespread use in the attack on Gaza a field test for a new generation of explosives?
DIMEd to Death
The specific weapon is called a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). In 2000, the U.S. Air Force teamed up with the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The weapon wraps high explosives with a tungsten alloy and other metals like cobalt, nickel, or iron in a carbon fiber/epoxy container. When the bomb explodes the container evaporates, and the tungsten turns into micro-shrapnel that is extremely lethal within a 13-foot radius. Tungsten is inert, so it doesn't react chemically with the explosive. While a non-inert metal like aluminum would increase the blast, tungsten actually contains the explosion to a limited area.
Within the weapon's range, however, it's inordinately lethal. According to Norwegian doctor Mad Gilbert, the blast results in multiple amputations and "very severe fractures. The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose, and you also have quite severe burns." Most of those who survive the initial blast quickly succumb to septicemia and organ collapse. "Initially, everything seems in order but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all their organs," says Dr. Jam Brommundt, a German doctor working in Kham Younis, a city in southern Gaza. "It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically." According to Brommundt, the particles cause multiple organ failures.
If by some miracle victims resist those conditions, they are almost certain to develop rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a particularly deadly cancer that deeply embeds itself into tissue and is almost impossible to treat. A 2005 U.S. Department of health study found that tungsten stimulated RMS cancers even in very low doses. All of the 92 rats tested developed the cancer.
While DIMEs were originally designed to avoid "collateral" damage generated by standard high-explosive bombs, the weapon's lethality and profound long-term toxicity hardly seem like an improvement.
Dr. Gilbert told the Oslo Gardermoen, "there is a strong suspicion that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons."
DIME is a U.S. invention. Did the Israelis get the weapons from the United States, or did they design similar ones themselves? Given the close relations between the two militaries, it isn't unlikely that the U.S. Air Force supplied the weapons or, at least, the specifications on how to construct them. And since the United States has yet to use the device in a war, it would certainly benefit from seeing how these new "focused lethality" weapons worked under battlefield conditions.
Marc Garlasco, Human Rights Watch's senior military advisor, says "it remains to be seen how Israel has acquired the technology, whether they purchased weapons from the United States under some agreement, or if they in fact licensed or developed their own type of munitions."
DIME weapons aren't banned under the Geneva Conventions because they have never been officially tested. However, any weapon capable of inflicting such horrendous damage is normally barred from use, particularly in one of the most densely populated regions in the world.
For one thing, no one knows how long the tungsten remains in the environment or how it could affect people who return to homes attacked by a DIME. University of Arizona cancer researcher Dr. Mark Witten, who investigates links between tungsten and leukemia, says that in his opinion "there needs to be much more research on the health effects of tungsten before the military increases its usage."
DIMEs weren't the only controversial weapons used in Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also made generous use of white phosphorus, a chemical that burns with intense heat and inflicts terrible burns on victims. In its vapor form it also damages breathing passages. International law prohibits the weapon's use near population areas and requires that "all reasonable precautions" be taken to avoid civilians.
Israel initially denied using the chemical. "The IDF acts only in accordance with what is permitted by international law and does not use white phosphorus," said Israel's Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on January 13.
But eyewitness accounts in Gaza and Israel soon forced the IDF to admit that they were, indeed, using the substance. On January 20, the IDF confessed to using phosphorus artillery shells as smokescreens, as well as 200 U.S.-made M825A1 phosphorus mortar shells on "Hamas fighters and rocket launching crews in northern Gaza."
Three of those shells hit the UN Works and Relief Agency compound on January 15, igniting a fire that destroyed hundreds of tons of humanitarian supplies. A phosphorus shell also hit Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City. The Israelis say there were Hamas fighters near the two targets, a charge that witnesses adamantly deny.
Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International said: "Such extensive use of this weapon in Gaza's densely-populated residential neighborhoods and its toll on civilians is a war crime."
Israel is also accused of using depleted uranium ammunition (DUA), which a UN sub-commission in 2002 found in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the International Convention Against Torture, the Conventional Weapons Convention, and the Hague Conventions against the use of poison weapons.
DUA isn't highly radioactive, but after exploding, some of it turns into a gas that can easily be inhaled. The dense shrapnel that survives also tends to bury itself deeply, leaching low-level radioactivity into water-tables.
Other human-rights groups, including B'Tselem, Gisha, and Physicians for Human Rights, charge that the IDF intentionally targeted medical personal, killing over a dozen, including paramedics and ambulance drivers.
Although the Israelis dismiss the war-crimes charges, the fact that the Israeli cabinet held a special meeting on January 25 to discuss the issue suggests they're concerned about being charged with "disproportionate" use of force. The Geneva Conventions require belligerents to at "all times" distinguish between combatants and civilians and to avoid "disproportionate force" in seeking military gains.
Hamas' use of unguided missiles fired at Israel would also be a war crime under the Conventions.
"The one-sidedness of casualty figures is one measure of disproportion," says Richard Falk, the UN's human rights envoy for the occupied territories. A total of 14 Israelis have been killed in the fighting, three of them civilians killed by rockets, 11 of them soldiers, four of the latter by "friendly fire." Some 50 IDF soldiers were also wounded.
"This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare, which we ask to be investigated by the Commission of War Crimes," a coalition of Israeli human rights groups and Amnesty International said in a joint statement. "The responsibility of the state of Israel is beyond doubt."
Enter the Hague?
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann would coordinate the defense of any soldier or commander charged with a war crime. In any case, the United States would veto any effort by the UN Security Council to refer Israelis to the International Court at The Hague.
But, as the Financial Timespoints out, "all countries have an obligation to search out those accused of 'grave' breaches of the rules of war and to put them on trial or extradite them to a country that will."
That was the basis under which the British police arrested Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
"We're in a seismic shift in international law," Amnesty International legal advisor Christopher Hall told the Financial Times, who says Israel's foreign ministry is already examining the risk to Israelis who travel abroad.
"It's like walking across the street against a red light," he says. "The risk may be low, but you're going to think twice before committing a crime or traveling if you have committed one."
Hampshire College First in US to Divest from Israeli Occupation (02/12/2009) AT LONG LAST IT BEGINS!!! http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/301
Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, has become the first of any college or university in the U.S. to divest from companies on the grounds of their involvement in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This landmark move is a direct result of a two-year intensive campaign by the campus group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The group pressured Hampshire Colleges Board of Trustees to divest from six specific companies due to human rights concerns in occupied Palestine. Over 800 students, professors, and alumni have signed SJPs institutional statement calling for the divestment. The proposal put forth by SJP was approved on Saturday, 7 Feb 2009 by the board. By divesting from these companies, SJP believes that Hampshire has distanced itself from complicity in the illegal occupation and war crimes of Israel. Meeting minutes from a committee of Hampshires Board of Trustees confirm that President Hexter acknowledged that it was the good work of SJP that brought this issue to the attention of the committee. This ground-breaking decision follows in Hampshires history of being the first college in the country to divest from apartheid South Africa thirty-two years ago, a decision based on similar human rights concerns. This divestment was also a direct result of student pressure. The divestment has so far been endorsed by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Rashid Khalidi, Vice President of the EU Parliament Luisa Morganitini, Cynthia McKinney, former member of the African National Congress Ronnie Kasrils, Mustafa Barghouti, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, John Berger, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, among others. The six corporations, all of which provide the Israeli military withequipment and services in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza are: Caterpillar, United Technologies, General Electric, ITT Corporation, Motorola, and Terex. Furthermore, our policy prevents the reinvestment in any company involved in the illegal occupation. CLIP
Boycott and Disinvest in Israel, in Solidarity and Self-Defense (February 18th, 2009) http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2009/02/boycott-and-disinvest-in-israel-in-solidarity-and-self-defense/
African Americans must take a leadership role in the movement to boycott and disinvest in Israel, both for reasons of elemental justice and to defend our own people from the raging right-wing, corporate assault, of which the pro-Israel lobby is an integral component. If solidarity with Palestinians who suffer the aggressions of a regime as fundamentally racist as apartheid South Africa is not a compelling enough reason and it surely is then self-defense against Zionist subversion of domestic Black politics should move us to action. There can be no prospect of global peace or domestic progress while Israel runs amok in the Mid-East and its operatives wreak havoc in the African American political arena.The moral imperative to answer the call to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, is overwhelming so much so that failure to act amounts to a kind of self-mutilation, a defiling of ones legacy. Every iota of African American past and present existence tells us that no people can be allowed to superimpose themselves, their history, their supra-national rights on another people and their land, thus negating the Others humanity the essential facts of Zionism.1948 saw the creation of civilizations greatest document to date - possibly the founding document of the truly modern era the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The year also witnessed the founding of a state based on the antithesis of those values: Israel. (...) 2002 was the beginning of a joint corporate/pro-Israel offensive to subdue or eject unreliable Black Democrats. The dramatic deterioration of the Congressional Black Caucus, as an agent for progress on Capitol Hill, dates from that year. The corporate Right and the Israel lobby act in tandem. Their purge of Black politicians has been so successful, theyre running out of live targets. Maxine Waters and Gwen Moore are the last two righteous sisters standing on Capitol Hill where Black manhood is extinct. Down the street at the White House, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel stands guard although President Obama appears to be an entirely voluntary captive of Israel.So we see that the tentacles that strangle Gaza and once helped South Africa build nuclear weapons, are throttling the life out of independent Black politics in the United States. Boycott and disinvest in Israel! If not in solidarity, in self-defense.
New Mexico Senate
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Honorable Frank Torti, M.D. February 12, 2009
Acting Commissioner, United States Food and Drug Administration
5400 Fisher's Lane
Dear Dr. Torti:
I am the New Mexico sponsor of the enclosed Senate Memorial 9, 2009, asking the Food and Drug Administration to rescind its approval for the artificial sweetener, aspartame.
You may know that the FDA, to its credit, turned down G.D. Searle's application for aspartame's approval from 1966 to 1981, at which point, approval was forced through the FDA at the insistence fo Searle's CEO, Donald Rumsfeld.
Numerous physicians' petitions as well as many private petitions have been filed with FDA since 1981 asking for the rescinding of aspartame's approval. These have all been routinely ignored and responded to with industry assurance about how many industry financed "tests" aspartame has been through, all of which showed "aspartame to be safe."
FDA used to keep records on consumer complaints on aspartame, accruing a minimum of 92 alleged symptoms from ingesting aspartame, ranging from headaches, blurred vision, skin rashes, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis to that ultimate symptom, DEATH.
Dr. Torti, this chemical has produced a massive mountain of medical and neurodengenerative evidence, which I believe would lead you to order it removed from the market. While it is too late to do this now as a "precaution"; it is even more imperative to do this as a means of preventing further medical harm to future victims.
This Memorial is advancing in the New Mexico Senate, after being cosponsored by ten of my colleagues. A similar version of the Memorial has also been introduced by Hawaii Senator Chun Oakland, and is cosponsored by ten members of the Hawaii Senate. That resolution will create an evidentiary repository for Hawaii victims, especially those with diabetes and epileptic seizures, now statistically epidemic in Hawaii, with links to aspartame.
In January 2009, Hawaii Senator Kalani English introduced SB576 in that state. It would ban aspartame entirely in Hawaii. This bill is cosponsored by an astonishing 14 members of the 25 member Hawaii Senate. At the same time, Representative Mele Carroll has introduced HB669, also banning aspartame's sale and use in Hawaii.
I realize a permanent FDA Commissioner has not yet been selected by the Obama Administration, but when one is appointed, I will send a similar letter to him/her to again request this action in order to protect the American public from further harm from a chemical that the FDA has known for 43 years is metabolized as methanol, formaldehyde, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and the proven carcinogen, diketopiperazine.
This regulatory failure of epic proportions entirely resulted from the actions of Donald Rumsfeld when he was with the original patent holder for aspartame. There is sufficient evidence to warrant such a rescinding, a situation not unlike that in 1969 when President Richard Nixon similarly ordered the FDA to take away the approval for another group of carcinogens, cyclamates, which occurred very quickly.
Our concern must be the overarching concerns of preventing further neurodengenerative and carcinogenic damage to hundreds of millions of Americans, who have no other government entity to trust and depend on than the United State Food and drug Administration!
I believe that President Obama, Congressman Bart Stupak, and Congresswoman Rosa Delauro all want to see the rebuilding of an FDA that merits the restored trust of the American people. I certainly want to see this come about, and I hope you do as well.
Rescinding aspartame's FDA approval would be a major credible first step in the right direction.
Gerald Ortiz y Pino
New Mexico State Senator
THE GMO SCAMS DESCRIBED BELOW AND IN THE RELATED ARTICLE ARE SHEER SUICIDAL MADNESS!
Note: Please go at the URL below to access all the links embedded in this article.
Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach
by Linn Cohen-Cole -- February 14, 2009
People say if farmers dont want problems from Monsanto, just dont buy their GMO seeds.
Not so simple. Where are farmers supposed to get normal seed these days? How are they supposed to avoid contamination of their fields from GM-crops? How are they supposed to stop Monsanto detectives from trespassing or Monsanto from using helicopters to fly over spying on them?
Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples and if they find any GMO plants growing there (or say they have), they then sue, saying they own the crop. Its a way to make money since farmers cant fight back and court and they settle because they have no choice.
And they have done and are doing a bucket load of things to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of NORMAL seeds.
1. Theyve bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.
2. Theyve written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork and testing and tracking every variety and being subject to fines, that having normal seed becomes almost impossible (an NAIS approach to wiping out normal seeds). Does your state have such a seed law? Before they existed, farmers just collected the seeds and put them in sacks in the shed and used them the next year, sharing whatever they wished with friends and neighbors, selling some if they wanted. Thats been killed.
In Illinois, which has such a seed law, Madigan, the Speaker of the House, his staff is Monsanto lobbyists.
3. Monsanto is pushing anti-democracy laws (Vilsacks brainchild, actually) that remove community control over their own counties so farmers and citizens cant block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops. So if you dont want a GM-crop that grows industrial chemicals or drugs or a rice growing with human DNA in it, in your area and mixing with your crops, tough luck.
Check the map of just where the Monsanto/Vilsack laws are and see if your state is still a democracy or is Monsantos. A farmer in Illinois told me he heard that Bush had pushed through some regulation that made this true in every state. People need to check on that.
4. For sure there are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA right now that make a farmers seed cleaning equipment illegal (another way to leave nothing but GM-seeds) because its now considered a source of seed contamination. Farmer can still seed clean but the equipment now has to be certified and a farmer said it would require a million to a million and half dollar building and equipment for EACH line of seed. Seed storage facilities are also listed (another million?) and harvesting and transport equipment. And manure. Something that can contaminate seed. Notice that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not mentioned.
You could eat manure and be okay (a little grossed out but okay). Try that with pesticides and fertilizers. Indian farmers have. Their top choice for how to commit suicide to escape the debt they have been left in is to drink Monsanto pesticides.
5. Monsanto is picking off seed cleaners across the Midwest. In Pilot Grove, Missouri, in Indiana (Maurice Parr), and now in southern Illinois (Steve Hixon). And they are using US marshals and state troopers and county police to show up in three cars to serve the poor farmers who had used Hixon as their seed cleaner, telling them that he or their neighbors turned them in, so across that 6 county areas, no one talking to neighbors and people are living in fear and those farming communities are falling apart from the suspicion Monsanto sowed. Hixons office got broken into and he thinks someone put a GPS tracking device on his equipment and thats how Monsanto found between 200-400 customers in very scattered and remote areas, and threatened them all and destroyed his business within 2 days.
So, after demanding that seed cleaners somehow be able to tell one seed from another (or be sued to kingdom come) or corrupting legislatures to put in laws about labeling of seeds that are so onerous no one can cope with them, what is Monsantos attitude about labeling their own stuff? You guessed it - theyre out there pushing laws against ANY labeling of their own GM-food and animals and of any exports to other countries. Why?
We know and they know why.
As Norman Braksick, the president of Asgrow Seed Co. (now owned by Monsanto) predicted in the Kansas City Star (3/7/94) seven years ago, If you put a label on a genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.
And theyve sued dairy farmers for telling the truth about their milk being rBGH-free, though rBGH is associated with an increased risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers.
I just heard that some seed dealers urge farmers to buy the seed under the seed dealers name, telling the farmers it helps the dealer get a discount on seed to buy a lot under their own name. Then Monsanto sues the poor farmer for buying their seed without a contract and extorts huge sums from them.
Heres a youtube video that is worth your time. Vandana Shiva is one of the leading anti-Monsanto people in the world. In this video, she says (and this video is old), Monsanto had sued 1500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM-crops. Listen to all the ways Monsanto goes after farmers.
Do you know the story of Gandhi in India and how the British had salt laws that taxed salt? The British claimed it as theirs. Gandhi had what was called a Salt Satyagraha, in which people were asked to break the laws and march to the sea and collect the salt without paying the British. A kind of Boston tea party, I guess.
Thousands of people marched 240 miles to the ocean where the British were waiting. As people moved forward to collect the salt, the British soldiers clubbed them but the people kept coming. The non-violent protest exposed the British behavior, which was so revolting to the world that it helped end British control in India.
Vandana Shiva has started a Seed Satyagraha - nonviolent non-cooperation around seed laws - has gotten millions of farmers to sign a pledge to break those laws.
American farmers and cattlemen might appreciate what Gandhi fought for and what Shiva is bringing back and how much it is about what we are all so angry about - loss of basic freedoms. [The highlighting is mine.]
The Seed Satyagraha is the name for the nonviolent, noncooperative movement that Dr. Shiva has organized to stand against seed monopolies. According to Dr. Shiva, the name was inspired by Gandhis famous walk to the Dandi Beach, where he picked up salt and said, You cant monopolize this which we need for life. But its not just the noncooperation aspect of the movement that is influenced by Gandhi. The creative side saving seeds, trading seeds, farming without corporate dependencewithout their chemicals, without their seed.
All this is talked about in the language that Gandhi left us as a legacy. We work with three key concepts.
(One) Swadeshi which means the capacity to do your own thingproduce your own food, produce your own goods .
(Two) Swarajto govern yourself. And we fight on three frontswater, food, and seed. JalSwaraj is water independencewater freedom and water sovereignty. Anna Swaraj is food freedom, food sovereignty. And Bija Swaraj is seed freedom and seed sovereignty. Swa means selfthat which rises from the self and is very, very much a deep notion of freedom.
I believe that these concepts, which are deep, deep, deep in Indian civilization, Gandhi resurrected them to fight for freedom. They are very important for todays world because so far what weve had is centralized state rule, giving way now to centralized corporate control, and we need a third alternate. That third alternate is, in part, citizens being able to tell their state, This is what your function is. This is what your obligations are, and being able to have their states act on corporations to say, This is something you cannot do.
(Three) Satyagraha, non-cooperation, basically saying, We will do our thing and any law that tries to say that (our freedom) is illegal we will have to not cooperate with it. We will defend our freedoms to have access to water, access to seed, access to food, access to medicine.
Related website and articles:
True Food Network http://www.truefoodnow.org
This Greenpeace website lists companies and their products which are genetically engineered.
Myths & Realities of GE Crops http://truefoodnow.org/genetically-engineered-foods/ge-crops/myths-realities-of-ge-crops/
Right now a debate is raging in the United States about Genetically Engineered (GE) ingredients in our food. The biotech industry claims that GE food crops will save the environment and solve the hunger crisis. But a growing number of scientists, doctors and consumers consider them a threat to the planet, and organizations like Christian Aid and the Institute for Food and Development Policy say GE food crops are likely to increase world hunger. How can you make sense of this tricky subject? Read on to find out the truth behind the genetic engineering myths. CLIP
GE Fish http://truefoodnow.org/genetically-engineered-foods/ge-fish/
The rapid development of genetically engineered fish is posing irreparable impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Researchers already are developing more than 35 species of genetically engineered fish. At least one company, A/F Protein, has requested approval from the FDA to market as food an engineered salmon that grows 10 to 30 times faster than normal salmon.The release of genetically engineered fish can cause potentially devastating environmental and human health impacts. A 2001 National Academy of Sciences report states that the release of genetically engineered fish into the environment may threaten the survival of wild species. Furthermore, a 2004 Purdue University research study contains new experimental data that strengthens the plausibility of the Trojan gene effect first demonstrated in a 1998 study. By incorporating more biological data into a population model, researchers showed that growth-enhanced genetically engineered fish could lead to the extinction or replacement of wild fish populations. As with the growing of non-native fish, the use and sale of genetically engineered fish in offshore and ornamental aquaculture facilities poses serious threats to the diversity and well being of native fish. Already the majority of non-native tropical fish invading Floridas waters are from releases of ornamental fish farms and releases by pet owners. The development of a Florida-based, genetically engineered pet fish trade makes it highly likely that genetically engineered fish will escape or be released, and Floridas environment, including endangered species, will be affected by these genetically engineered organisms. CLIP
FDA to Approve Genetically Engineered Animals; Treat Them as Corporate Intellectual Property (January 30, 2009) http://www.naturalnews.com/025481.html
The FDA has adopted new rules allowing companies to sell genetically modified animals and their products on the market, and affirming that the DNA of such animals is private property that can be held under patent.To be approved, any genetically modified animal product must be proven to the FDA's satisfaction to be safe for human use in a process similar to that undergone by new drugs. Clinical trials like those needed for drugs will not be required, however. The FDA must also show that any genetically modified animal is healthy. No FDA approval will be required for cloned animals or those intended only for research or as pets. The new rules immediately drew harsh criticism from a wide spectrum of opponents. Experts objected to the FDA's decision to allow the approval process to remain secret in order to protect the financial interests of companies that hold patents on genetically modified animals and their DNA. Environmental and consumer advocates also criticized the rules for ignoring the potential environmental impacts of genetically modified animals."Drugs don't go out and breed with each other. When a drug gets loose, you figure you can control it. When a bull gets loose, it would be harder to corral," said Jaydee Hanson from the Center for Food Safety. Others criticized the FDA's decision to not require labeling of genetically modified animal products as long as there is no change in composition in the final product. "Consumers have the right to know if the ham, bacon or pork chops they are buying have been engineered with mouse genes," said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union. Already, companies are lining up to introduce a wide variety of modified animals, from salmon that grow twice as fast as normal to pigs with meat high in omega-3 fatty acids, cows resistant to mad cow disease and animals that produce pharmaceutical products such as insulin in their milk. Researchers have also expressed interest in engineering animals that grow human organs for transplant.
Monsanto bills being rushed through Congress, set to destroy organic farming (2/17/09) MUST READ! http://www.opednews.com/articles/Monsanto-bills-being-rushe-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090217-758.html
(...) I have written here many times about NAIS and now the Obama government, having promised people would have 60 days to comment, having promised transparency, having promised it was in support of small farmers, is pushing through as rapidly as humanly possible, bills that will mean the end of organic farming.How? By Monsanto entering into the body of organic farming like a disease and morphing organic farms into industrial facilities, the farmer being forced to "treat" the land with chemicals and the animals with drugs, trapped into paying for what is unwanted, unsafe, unneeded, unconstitutional. This is monopoly at the most extreme degree - not just unfair competition but total control of every aspect of the competition to the degree of making them laborers for the monopoly. (...) One of the largest components of Smart Grid is already being implemented by the USDA; it's called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) it requires farmers to implant a RFID tag into the body of all of their livestockcows, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, all livestock. The NAIS threatens to destroy small-scale family farms. If you're not familiar with the NAIS, here are a couple of resources: Downsize DC, NAIS: Too little too late? and NAIS: Let's do some fuzzy math. Coupled with Smart Grid, the NAIS strengthens the ability of Government officials to control rural Americans as completely as they control people in the cities.President Obama believes implementing Smart Grid is urgent. He wants the program to expand quickly, with all of us on the thinking grid by 2011. All of us. Notice the great rush to do this. The great and unjust and non-transparent and immensely UNDEMOCRATIC rush - to force on the entire country something they know nothing about. We are talking about one of the most massively controlling laws in the history of this country and one affecting the health and thus existence of every single person. We are talking about the take over of the US food supply by industrial forces and the contamination and thus death of organic farming through stealth. Everything green, healthy, anti-global warming, local, decent, environmental, community building, independent, free thing that organic farming is, we need. But the corruption of our government and politicians by Monsanto and especially the Clinton influence on behalf of Monsanto, is bringing us horror. Obama must be held accountable. The bum's rush is not grassroots anything. The implementation of plans laid during Bush's regime is not change. This, no matter how you cut is, is fascist."Food and nourishment are right at the point where human rights and the environment intersect."Alice Waters CLIP COMMENT: "Monsanto is the War Criminal of Food, and must be stopped.I want no part of Monsanto or the dangerous food they produce seeds for. Any bill that would give Monsanto advantages should be opposed. Organic farming is the way to go, and must be primary to food production."
Most Common Source of Calories in U.S. is LOADED With Mercury! MORE TOXIC "FOOD" http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/14/Most-Common-Source-of-Calories-in-US-is-LOADED-With-Mercury.aspx
Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, according to a new study. Mercury was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient. HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods. A high consumer can take in about 20 teaspoons of HFCS per day. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common.
NOTE: Key 9/11 Truth Activist Dies in "Accidental Plane Crash" After Talking With Obama. Hmmm...
WASHINGTON Up until the very last moments of her life, Sept. 11 widow Beverly Eckert poured her grief into action pushing presidents, lawmakers and even herself to do more to make the country safer.
Eckert was on a commuter plane approaching the Buffalo airport Thursday night when it nose-dived into the ground, killing all aboard and one person on the ground.
President Barack Obama, speaking in the White House's East Room Friday, said Eckert "was an inspiration to me and to so many others, and I pray that her family finds peace and comfort in the hard days ahead."
Just a week before her death, Eckert met with Obama at the White House as part of a group of 9/11 families and relatives of those killed in the bombing of the USS Cole, discussing how the new administration would handle terror suspects.
Eckert was traveling to Buffalo to celebrate what would have been her late husband Sean Rooney's 58th birthday.
Former 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer said her passing was "a profound loss for the country."
The grim circumstances of her death were hard to accept, particularly for those who lost loved ones in the 2001 terror attacks.
"The fact that it was a plane crash, it was fire, it was reminiscent of 9/11 that way, that's just very difficult," said Carol Ashley, a retired schoolteacher from Long Island whose daughter died at the World Trade Center.
The women met after the 2001 attacks, and became active together on 9/11 family issues. Eckert's husband who was also her high school sweetheart had been at work on the 98th floor of the south tower.
Eckert , 57, cried often when telling others about how her husband called her that morning from the burning building and said he loved her.
All of the women were grieving, but Eckert seemed unable or uninterested in holding back her tears.
She carried that grief to Congress as she advocated for better anti-terror efforts, part of a small group of widows, mothers, and children who played the roles of lobbyists.
She pushed for a 9/11 Commission. She pushed the Bush administration to provide more information to the commission. And when the commission's work was over, she pushed Congress to adopt their recommendations.
Together, they forced lawmakers in 2004 to pass sweeping reforms of the U.S. intelligence apparatus.
"I did all of this for Sean's memory, I did it for him," she said, crying once more. "There is a euphoria in knowing that we reached the top of the hill. ... I just wanted Sean to come home from work. Maybe now, someone else's Sean will get to come home."
For Eckert, the public role was not easy.
One night after a long day at Congress, she found herself stuck in the New York City, without a connecting train to her home in Stamford, Connecticut.
"We slept in the train station," she told The Associated Press in 2004. "We had no place else to go. That's when you look at yourself and say, 'What am I doing? How can we possibly get this done?'."
As Congress hemmed and hawed on the reform bill, Eckert said she'd sleep there, too, if necessary.
After the law passed, she turned her energies to Habitat for Humanity, helping build homes for low-income families.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, one of Eckert's allies in Congress, called her "one of the most wonderful people I have ever known."
A look at some of those killed in NY plane crash http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/plane_into_home_victims;_ylt=AktanqXPGzlhPFCAxe2YU7JH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTE2NTNobjlrBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bi1yLWItbGVmdARzbGsDLWFsb29rYXRzb21l
Alison Des Forges: Des Forges, of Buffalo, was senior adviser for Human Rights Watch's Africa division. Considered one of the world's leading experts on the genocide in Rwanda, Des Forges testified at 11 trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as an expert witness. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.Des Forges was returning home to Buffalo after a trip to Europe, where she briefed diplomats on the situation in Rwanda and Africa's Great Lakes region, said Emma Daly, spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch. She sent an e-mail to colleagues from the airport before boarding the plane."She was working till the end," Daly said. Des Forges had a "tremendous commitment to human rights and her tremendous principles," Daly said."She made herself very unpopular with the Rwandan government by insisting that they be held responsible for the crimes they committed before the genocide," Daly said. Daly called Des Forges "a thorn in everyone's side, which is a testament to her integrity." CLIP
Continental Flight 3407 reported 'significant icing' before crash that killed 50 (02/13/09) http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/577959.html
"The crew discussed significant ice build-up ice on the windshield and leading edges of the wings," said the NTSB's Steven R. Chealander. While he stressed no conclusion has been reached as to whether the ice build-up played a role in the crash, Chealander confirmed ice can play havoc with aircraft. "Significant ice build-up is an aerodynamic impediment. Airplanes are built with wings that are shaped a certain way and ice can change the shape," Chealander said. The NTSB's preliminary analysis of the plane's so-called "black box" and flight crew conversations also noted that the Bombardier Dash-8's anti-icing system had been activated. However, at this time there is no indication as to whether the system was functioning properly. The recorders also detected the plane's landing gear were engaged one minute before the crash. Approximately 20 seconds later, when the plane was 2,200 feet off the ground, it aircraft experienced "severe pitch and roll" violent sideways and up and down motions. The flight recorders were removed from the wreckage of the plane this morning and flown to the NTSB's laboratory in Washington, D.C. More detailed information is expected to be gleaned from the equipment as it undergoes more intensive analysis. (...) Chealander said despite early determinations the flight faced weather challenges, the NTSB has not ruled out criminal or terrorism activity in the crash."Nothing has been ruled in, nothing has been ruled out," Chealander said. CLIP
Continental Crash 3407 - A Conspiracy? - 9/11 Widow - met w/ Obama Dead onboard http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread436754/pg1
(...) Probably a coincidence, BUT, could be a warning to Obama, to go easy on any investigation of 911, and Iraq related crimes. Recall, many believe the Reagan assassination attempt was a warning to him, in that it occurred relatively early in his administration. Also recall he had talked about not putting Trilateral and CFR members in his administration. (...) Buffalo plane Crash: A convenient Crash? Beverley Eckert who waived her compensation right to pursue a Government investigation over the death of her Husband Sean Rooney into the 911 attacks is dead, she died in the Buffalo Plane crash. She set up the website 911voices (http://www.voicesofsept11.org/dev/index.php) to pursue Government reforms and a FULL investigation into the Terror attacks of 911. She said before the crash "Her silence could not be bought."
Conspiracy? Continental Connection flight 3407 Crash http://www.dailynewscaster.com/forum/martial-law-the-police-state/conspiracy-continental-connection-flight-3407-crash/#p134
It is feasible that the dark side of our government could of brought flight 3407 down. The NTSB found that the autopilot was on during final approach. This Is something a student pilot would never do. One thing I question. With a Pilot and Co-pilot in control of the aircraft, why would they leave the autopilot on? They wouldn't. But what if the autopilot was activated from an outside source and it executed a pre-programmed routine to bring the plane down. Possible? Yes. If you remember last year all planes were grounded for a week to perform an FAA inspection of a so-called critical part failure. This was the only time in FAA history that they grounded all the planes at once. A lot of profitable small airlines failed but the large airlines, running in the red and getting subsidies from the government did not complain and was not finically affected. Is it possible to install changes to the firmware on the, airplane, to interface the radio communications to the autopilot? Yes. Beverly Eckert was a threat by opening up a can of worms. A civil trial would expose information that would link the Bush administration to the planning of the 911 attract on the towers. By visiting Obama and exposing some of the 911 conspiracies she signed her death warrant. We live in two Unites States. The one shown to the public and the Dark U.S. run by the private sector and willing to kill large numbers of people is just a means to end. After working a short time for a US security agency I have seen the Dark U.S. They practice redirection, and media manipulation like a magician. What you see and hear is not real.
States May Be Getting Ready To Dissolve Our Federal Government
February 19, 2009
Could this be an ominous shadow drawing on the end of the United States of America? For years the Federal Government has presumed to be the all-powerful force governing our country, but it just could be that the Federal Government only exists at the pleasure of the state governments and the citizens thereof. States declaring sovereignty sounds like an act of secession and revolution. However the federal government can apparently be dissolved and another one formed anew at the discretion of the states. The existing Federal government may not leave willingly like so many European governments that are replaced routinely and it may engage a military effort with our own soldiers or the likes of a Black Water illegal military invasion to retain total control over us.
United States Federal Government laws are often in violation of the Tenth Amendment, which is perturbing, these events. This is predicated on an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation, which states that, Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation [now Federation] expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
A growing number of states are declaring their sovereignty afforded under the U S Constitutions Tenth Amendment however the conventional news media are not telling you about what is happening. The State of Washington on Wednesday - 11 February 2009 and most recently, New Hampshire , Montana , Hawaii , Michigan , Missouri , Arizona , Oklahoma , Georgia , and California  all of which have introduced bills and resolutions declaring and reaffirming their sovereignty. Some other states have done this in the past but then let the issue go. Additionally, the states of Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are considering similar measures. More well may follow, such as Wyoming and Mississippi.
The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791 and states, The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Historically, this was done to reassert the assignment of the remaining rights to the states and the people of our country if they were not specifically delegated by our Constitution to the United States Government. Further, Amendment Nine on the Construction of the Constitution, Ratified on 15 December 1791 states, The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Arizona State Legislature is currently formulating a bill that declares their state sovereignty. Their bill further asserts their states right during martial law to call back servicemen to protect Arizona state, " if the President or any other federal entity attempts to institute martial law or its equivalent without an official declaration in one or more of the states without the consent of that state There is more near the end of this article.
A lot of this recent activity has come about due to the reckless demise of the banking system now and also in memory of the past during the great depression that fomented during 1929. There is a Russian academic, Igor Panarin who recently predicted that the United States would break apart into about six separate regions by 2010. Predictions of similar persuasion have been made before, rather they are right or not some big problems may soon ensue.
Much of the presidential character of the cabinet assembled by President Obama is representative of that of the previous administration. Obama perhaps is keeping the Adage, keep your friends close and keep your enemies even closer. A disrespect for our so-called leaders is met from our so-called leaders disrespect for us the citizens of our country. Should this be the case yet again, this would establish further reason for the states course of recent action
It may seem ironic that as we have a President from the land of Lincoln, and one who admires Lincoln, that another civil war could be brewing. Its further ironic that states are beginning to fight back.
Recommended by Jaiia Earthschild (email@example.com) who wrote: "I just read an intro written by the Dalai Lama to a book called Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy From A Buddhist Perspective. He starts: "The purpose of life is to be happy." Then I read about the ongoing rape of the Congo women - The Invisible War - ... it reminded me of the inquisition years (400 of them) that completely dehumanized Europe enough to bring about what happened to south America... and Africa... and I amidst the trials of the feminine, like the Dalai lama amidst the trials of the Tibetans, must stand amidst the paradox in awe of the eternal. Amazingly able to love and laugh and sing. Perhaps you, also are able to live life to the fullest, knowing all that you do and wondering about all the unknowable that comes your way, fine messenger..."
Perhaps weve heard so little about them because the crimes are so unspeakable, the evil so profound.
For years now, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, marauding bands of soldiers and militias have been waging a war of rape and destruction against women. This sustained campaign of mind-bending atrocities, mostly in the eastern part of the country, has been one of the strategic tools in a wider war that has continued, with varying degrees of intensity, since the 1990s. Millions have been killed.
Women and girls of all ages, from old women to very young children, have been gang-raped, and in many cases their sexual organs have been mutilated. The victims number in the hundreds of thousands. But the world, for the most part, has remained indifferent to their suffering.
These women are raped in front of their husbands, in front of their children, in front of their parents, in front of their neighbors, said Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist who runs a hospital in Bukavu that treats only the women who have sustained the most severe injuries.
In some cases, the rapists have violated their victims with loaded guns and pulled the triggers. Other women have had their organs deliberately destroyed by knives or other weapons. Sons have been forced at gunpoint to rape their mothers. Many women and girls have been abducted and sexually enslaved.
It is as if, in these particular instances, some window to what we think of as our common humanity had been closed. As The Timess Jeffrey Gettleman, on assignment in Congo, wrote last fall:
Many of these rapes have been marked by a level of brutality that is shocking even by the twisted standards of a place riven by civil war and haunted by warlords and drug-crazed child soldiers.
Dr. Mukwege visited me at The Times last week. He was accompanied by the playwright, Eve Ensler, who has been passionate in her efforts to bring attention and assistance to the women of Congo.
I asked Dr. Mukwege to explain how it was in the strategic interest of the various armed groups to rape and otherwise brutalize women. He described some of the ramifications of such atrocities and the ways in which they undermine the entire society in which the women live.
Once they have raped these women in such a public way, he said, sometimes maiming them, destroying their sexual organs and with everybody watching the women themselves are destroyed, or virtually destroyed. They are traumatized and humiliated on every level, physical and psychological. Thats the first consequence.
The second consequence is that the whole family and the entire neighborhood is traumatized by what they have seen. The ordinary sense of family and community is lost after a man has been forced to watch his wife being raped, or parents are forced to watch the rape of their daughters, or children see their mothers raped.
Neighbors are witnesses to this. Many flee. Families are dislocated. Social relationships are lost. There is no more social network, village network. Not only the victims have been destroyed; the whole village is destroyed.
The devastating injuries treated by Dr. Mukwege at his hospital can all but stun the imagination. There is no need to detail them further here. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are commonplace. Often the ability to bear children is destroyed. In many other cases, women end up giving birth to the children of their rapists.
The hospital can take care of 3,600 women every year, said Dr. Mukwege. That is our maximum capacity. We cant take any more.
He spoke of ambulance teams that would drive into villages and be besieged by rape victims desperately seeking treatment. It is awful to see 300 women in need of help, he said, and you have to take 10 because the ambulance can only take 10.
Ms. Ensler spoke of her encounter with an 8-year-old girl during one of her trips to Congo. The girls father had been killed in an attack, her mother was raped, and the girl herself was abducted. The child was raped by groups of soldiers over a two-week period and then abandoned.
The girl felt too ashamed to allow herself to be held, Ms. Ensler said, because her injuries had left her incontinent. After explaining how she persuaded the child to accept an embrace, to be hugged, Ms. Ensler said, If were living in a century when an 8-year-old girl is incontinent because that many soldiers have raped her, then something has gone terribly wrong.
Despite the presence in the region of the largest U.N. peacekeeping mission in the world, no one has been able to stop the systematic rape of the Congolese women.
If these are not war crimes, crimes against humanity, then nothing is.
Rape Victims Words Help Jolt Congo Into Change (October 17, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/18/world/africa/18congo.html
(...) After years of denial and shame, the silence is being broken. Because of stepped-up efforts in the past nine months by international organizations and the Congolese government, rapists are no longer able to count on a culture of impunity. Of course, countless men still get away with assaulting women. But more and more are getting caught, prosecuted and put behind bars. European aid agencies are spending tens of millions of dollars building new courthouses and prisons across eastern Congo, in part to punish rapists. Mobile courts are holding rape trials in villages deep in the forest that have not seen a black-robed magistrate since the Belgians ruled the country decades ago. CLIP
From: James Twyman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: February 17, 2009
Subject: Are you ready for The Proof?
In April a revolutionary film will be released with actual PROOF that we are not separate and alone, but ONE. An experiment has been conducted that will open new possibilities, reveal ancient mysteries and answer questions that have been asked since the beginning of time. Are we really as isolated as we seem, or is it possible that the mystics and saints were correct when they said that separation is an illusion?
It's time to find out!
Best of all, the film is FREE. Starting on April 15th you can watch a free download of THE PROOF, then experience it for yourself through an Internet course offered by Hay House.
Spread the word -- THE PROOF is on the way. Be part of the evolution.
What if an object was hidden somewhere in the Continental US, and the only person who knows where it is is the person who hid it? Now imagine that there's a technique that can be used, simply through the person thinking about the spot where the object is hidden, to find the chosen location.
Anywhere in the Continental US...
Up a tree in Chicago...
Under a rock in Nevada...
It could be anywhere!!!
This will be one of the most entertaining spiritual projects in history. No one has ever attempted it before, but on April 15th you'll be able to see it for yourself, then learn how you can also experience THE PROOF!
Other films have been released over the last several years: What the Bleep, Indigo, Conversations With God, The Moses Code and The Secret to just name a few. All of them have had a major impact, but THE PROOF will be a very different experience. It's the only film that will be released as a free gift to millions of people around the world, and it's the first time that anyone will attempt such an amazing feat. On April 15th you'll be able to see for yourself if we can prove that we really are ONE!!!
Mark your calendar -- APRIL 15TH
A MOST EXCELLENT ARTICLE EMPHASIZING ALL WE NEED TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIS SOUL WHO REPRESENTS ONE OF THE GREATEST HOPES IN POLITIC FOR OUR TROUBLED TIMES. IT WILL BE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO REMIND OURSELVES AS THE AUTHOR POINT OUT THAT IS IS WE WHO WILL HAVE A CRUCIAL ROLE TO PLAY IN MAKING POSSIBLE THE ACHIEVEMENTS WE ALL KNOW WE CAN CO-MANIFEST ONCE WE SURRENDER TO THE HIGHER SPIRITUAL PURPOSE OF OUR PRESENCE, HERE AND NOW, AND ACCEPT TO LET OURSELVES BE USED AS INSTRUMENTS OF THE HIGHER WILL OF THE UNIVERSE AND SELFLESSLY BE AND DO ALL WE CAN BE AND DO.
There has always been a higher, spiritual hand active in the life of the United States, beginning with its founding in 1776 by one of the greatest gatherings of political geniuses ever seen on the planet. And throughout its 212 year life, at each moment of agonizing need, the United States has seen an inspired leader emerge to meet the crises of the times with vision, strength and the gifts required. Abraham Lincoln saved the Union and ended slavery, Franklin D. Roosevelt acted boldly to help end the Great Depression and defeat the Axis Powers. And now, in this moment of historical crisis, another great leader, uniquely qualified to meet the needs of our nation and the world, has come forth, overlighted by Spirit, as an expression of the soul of the American people.
A Spiritual Catalyst
Obama signifies more than the emergence of an inspired, gifted leader. He is like a catalyst dropped into a supersaturated solution, that builds a crystalline structure around itself based on its innate pattern, and then transforms the whole solution. The supersaturated solution is the collective spiritual awakening that has for years been calling out for a leader to unite our nation and establish right relations with the world. Suddenly, it has crystallized around Obama. His ideas and presence among us, speaking to the "better angels of our nature" as Lincoln did, has crystallized a movement that says, "Yes we can!" We can be better than who we have been, both as individuals and as a nation.
With his gifts of oratory, his self reflective spiritual awareness, and his proven commitment and effectiveness in serving people, Obama is a major catalyst for change. He has come with great spiritual support behind him, not only from the spiritual powers who always guide and support true, inspired leaders, but also with precipitating power. He catalyzes into action all that we the people of the U.S. and the world have achieved in our inner spiritual unfoldment at this time. He recognizes this when he says, "We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek." He affirms us and we affirm him in a mutually empowering circle.
Obama has come forth as part of a large inner group, larger than the group working on his campaign or his transition team. All over the world, tens of thousands of people were praying and meditating, asking for spiritual help and support for Obama to be president. This vast network of organized, meditating groups is also part of his group, and one of the reasons he was able to be elected.
A leader of Obama's stature comes into the world with a destiny that is assisted by the spiritual forces who guide and guard human evolution, actualized by the radiation of his own soul and by the collective consciousness of the people who call him forth and prepare his way. The Divine hand can open many doors, which is why so many seemingly uncanny events aided his easy election to the U.S. Senate--in addition to all his hard work. As he mentions in The Audacity of Hope, "Later, some reporters would declare me the luckiest politician in the entire fifty states."
All that has occurred in the life of the U.S. since the Kennedy era, and especially the last eight years, could be seen as building a portal for Obama to enter into national prominence. A great leader emerges as the right person, at the right place, at the right time. This is a result of the interaction of spiritual energies descending on the planet, humanity's awakening consciousness, and our free choices as citizens.
Obama's election has been heralded as the beginning of a new era because he is our first black president. However, this new era is actually an interaction between a steadily more enlightened citizenry and the leaders they call forth. Obama is part of a wave of wiser, more enlightened political leaders who have long been predicted in many spiritual teachings. Such leaders are emerging steadily in every field of human endeavor, and Obama now brings this emerging light into the U.S. political realm.
Setting a New Spiritual Tone
Through their presence, the words they speak and what they do, every leader sets a tone for all within an organization or a nation. The reason people have supported Obama with such fervor is that they sense a new vibration, a new tone that he is resonating. America and the world knows this is needed. He sounds the note of unity within diversity, respect for all, honesty, plain speaking and fulfilling the highest we know we are capable of. After his election, a palpable shift took place throughout the U.S., as everyone recognizes that a new vibration, a new tone is being sounded for our nation and our people.
Spiritually advanced leaders like Obama follow an inner, spiritual compass and they lead from the inside out. Obama has been very open about his inner spiritual life, as quoted in a remarkable 2004 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times before he was elected Senator. He told the interviewer, "The biggest challenge, I think, is always maintaining your moral compass. Those are the conversations I'm having internally. I'm measuring my actions against that inner voice that for me is audible, is active. It tells me where I think I'm on track and where I'm off track." He continually asks himself, "How does this connect with a larger sense of purpose?"
He also said in the interview, "The most powerful political moments for me come when I feel like my actions are aligned with a certain truth. I can feel it. When I'm talking to a group and I'm saying something truthful, I can feel a power that comes out of those statements that is different than when I'm just being glib or clever."
Obama is comfortable reflecting on his inner life and choices, yet he's also detached and cool, not responding with fear or anger to attacks. He adds, "I think Gandhi is a great example of a profoundly spiritual man who acted and risked everything on behalf of those values but never slipped into intolerance or dogma. He seemed to always maintain an air of doubt about him. I also think of Dr. King, and Lincoln. Those three are good examples for me of people who applied their faith to a larger canvas without allowing that faith to metastasize into something that is hurtful."
Lincoln has been a major inspiration for Obama, as he reads many books on Lincoln and quotes him often. When he was a U.S. senator, he'd often take a run in the evening to the Lincoln Memorial, sitting and reflecting there. He seems to have many of the same spiritual qualities as Lincoln, such as practical wisdom, humility, and a dedication to healing divisions and uniting people.
Obama is attractive to people because of his unaffected, direct manner. He called himself the "improbable candidate with the funny name," yet he is a gifted orator. The creative power of his lighted, inspired words sounds an inner note that people recognize and respond to. Intelligent and visionary, he brings deep change, as revealed in his birthchart. Aquarius is his rising sign, the sign of his soul, so he is naturally identified with the people collectively and resonant with universal brother/sisterhood. He says, "My politics are informed by a belief that we're all connected I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper, we are all children of God. Or I can express it in secular terms." What is most captivating about him is that he models a new way of being: self-reflective and relaxed, yet focused, disciplined and organized.
Obama's spiritual nature is recognized by leaders on the right as well as the left. For example, Frank Schaeffer, one of the founders of the Religious Right, wrote that Obama will be one of "our greatest and most beloved presidents," by virtue of his quiet reason and wisdom, personal humility and spirit of service. "Speaking as a believing Christian, I see the hand of a merciful God in Obama's candidacy," he said.
Obama's generosity years ago to a perfect stranger in the airport, giving her $100 to pay for extra baggage weight, when he barely had money himself, speaks volumes about him. And when it was discovered that his opponent's 18 year old unmarried daughter was having a baby, he didn't see this as an opportunity to attack, but rather graciously pointed out that his own mother had him when she was only 18.
The Significance of Obama's Name
For those who understand how to read the Book of Life, formulations of names are no coincidence. Obama's name carries great potency and good within it. Barack is derived from the African Kiswahili word baraka, which means blessing. In Arab influenced languages, baraka also means "spiritual wisdom, or a blessing transmitted from God." His last name begins with an "O", a circle, that is the symbol of wholeness or completeness, and it also includes the two syllables "ba," and "ma." In multiple cultures "ba" signifies father, and "ma" mother. His middle name, Hussein, generally means in Arabic, "good, or good looking." Thus we have a name that means a good and handsome man, carrying spiritual wisdom and blessings from God -- empowering wholeness and balance as father and mother, or masculine and feminine energies.
An immediate impact of his name is seen in the Arab/Muslim world, and its relationship with the West, which is arguably the most significant political/military issue of our times. The very fact that he has a Muslim middle name, and a first name of Arabic derivation, has already had a large impact on Muslims the world over, who thought the U.S. would never elect a black man with a Muslim name. The Iraqis have already said they would trust Obama to keep U.S. agreements with them more than Bush, and some Taliban leaders were quoted in a Pakistani newspaper saying they would be more willing to negotiate with an Obama - led administration. This is a result of more than his name, but it very much adds to the openness that the Muslim world now has to the U.S. and soon to be President Obama.
These are additional indications of a higher power at work, strengthening and supporting Obama's appearance out of seeming nowhere in a few short years, as the right man, in the right place, at the right time, and even with the right name, all of which is extraordinary.
Transforming Adversarial Relationships and Creating Empowerment
One of the more subtle, yet very transformational aspects of Obama is how he is creating a new type of relationship with the American people, as well as the people of the world. He treats people as adults, assumes their intelligence and speaks to it, by explaining complex issues in relatively straightforward language. He speaks at a deeper level than usual to complex and emotionally difficult issues like race, which he did brilliantly during the campaign. He draws out the best in people by speaking to the highest in us, and refusing to play to fear and anger. He doesn't create separation with those he disagrees with, because he listens to their point of view, and is clear about the distinction between the person and their ideas.
He recently thanked the people of Illinois, saying "It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised; and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst." He is a very disciplined and focused leader who expects results. He has created a "no drama Obama" group culture-- meaning that big egos, drama queens and leakers will not be welcomed in his administration.
He refuses to fall into the trap of polarities, but rather emphasizes what unites us, rather than what divides us as a people. One of the keynotes of his campaign was "Respect, empower, include." This is a message that the American people were hungering for, and the election showed that he has a vision that we know in our hearts we need. He doesn't gloss over differences, but acknowledges divisions, affirming he will be the president for all the people. He said we have to "admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have point." He has the capacity to listen to the truth on all sides, and find a higher truth that includes us all.
Obama doesn't promise to do everything for us, but rather helps us organize ourselves and invites us to do great things together. He promotes a partnership approach with his staff and with the American people, building a team spirit. When he was mobilizing voters with his famous "fired up, ready to go" speech, he often would end with the statement, "Together we will heal the nation and transform the world." People described this as a bolt of electricity going through the crowd.
And with millions of hours of volunteer time and focused dedication to the vision and purpose, ordinary people did indeed change the world. In his Berlin speech, attended by over 100,000 people, he said, "I'm an American who views myself as a fellow citizen of the world." He seems destined to lead the world through the sheer power of his vision, oratory and practical, common sense approach to issues.
Opening the Door to a Multicultural World
Obama has been recognized by the younger generation, as well as by people of all races and cultures worldwide, because they sense he is a leader who will further open the doorway into a more harmonious and beautiful multi-cultural world. This world where cultural and racial differences are enjoyed and celebrated is already emerging, and Obama's ascendancy stabilizes and affirms this new world for all of us to see.
There is also a deeper subconscious level of world relief that his ascendancy has brought. For people of color all around the world, who have been exploited and oppressed by the white race for a very long time, there is a new psychological feeling of safety in the world. They now have less to fear and even something to hope for from a person of color in the White House.
The emergence into young adulthood of the Millennial generation, the largest in U.S. history, and their demand for real solutions to the multitude of problems we face, is a potent spiritual energy which has been crucial to the success of Obama's campaign, and will be for his presidency. The dozens of music videos created by young grassroots activists as well as major stars, chanting Obama's name like a spiritual mantra, symbolized the call of the younger generation for a truly inspired leader.
Even up to the final hours before the election, many people could not believe that a black man could be elected. Many were holding their breath to see if the election process would be tampered with again as in previous elections. Others thought that when people got into the privacy of the voting booths, some hidden, subconscious racism would rise up and prevent them from voting for Obama. But Obama believed that white Americans were ready to go beyond racism, and vote based on the "content of his character, not the color of his skin," as Dr. Martin Luther King said. And in one, great collective act of mass redemption, white America did so, to the seeming amazement of itself and the entire world.
Obama's belief in the best in us, offering the opportunity to transcend ourselves and be greater than we have been, is the sign of an inspired and even a transcendental leader. We have heard much about what this election has meant for black people, and all who love humanity are rejoicing for them. Yet Obama has also brought a great gift to white America, and we all stand taller and feel better about ourselves because "we have overcome." After the election, many people remarked how people of different races were making more eye contact and smiling at each other, as if seeing each other for the first time. African Americans feel seen by whites in a new way, because one of their own has been recognized and accepted by the larger society.
A Practical Visionary and Brilliant Organizer
Obama has emerged as a brilliant and inspired orator, gifted strategic thinker and champion organizer. It is interesting to note that in the early days, when people would ask, "Well, how do we know you are competent to be president?" he would say, "Watch how I run my campaign." The world has watched and been awed by what he has accomplished, starting with nothing but a clear vision of what he wanted to share with the American people, and then building the most innovative and powerful campaign in modern political history. He brought millions into the electoral process, and was supported by small donations from millions of people. He said he began with "little more than faith in the American people, and that faith has been justified."
A brilliant organizing ability is one of the signatures of the new, spiritual energy that is flowing into the world in this cycle, which grounds idealism in practical solutions. This energy, calling forth Spirit from within matter, reorders the world to allow for a greater circulation of resources, love and creativity to every part of the planet. The economic cleansing currently underway paves the way for an eventual reordering with greater integrity and fairness in our financial systems. As a prime example of a "practical visionary," Obama is the one most qualified to carry this forward because he thinks outside the box, sees whole systems, and is pro-active, focusing on opportunities as they arise.
How We Can Help Obama
As Obama says, this will be a long journey, and it will not be easy. Like all of us, he has personal flaws to overcome. But we can all help him by supporting his initiatives when they are moving in the right direction. As President Franklin Roosevelt famously told labor leaders who were trying to convince him to support the Lehman act, "Gentlemen, you have totally convinced me that you are right. Now go out there into the world and force me to do it." Obama needs the movement that elected him to stay supportive and keep up popular pressure so he can enact his agenda.
We need to continue to meditate and pray for him, seeing him, his family and all of his team surrounded in light and protected. We can ask that he align more fully with the Soul of our nation so that his work will express the spiritual purpose of The United States and fulfill its higher destiny as a beacon of wisdom and compassion to the world.
Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson are co-authors of Spiritual Politics (Foreword by the Dalai Lama), and Builders of the Dawn and co-founders of The Center for Visionary Leadership, based in California and North Carolina. Corinne coordinated a national task force for President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development and Gordon was formerly the Executive Director of the Social Investment Forum and of The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES). They are both Fellows of The World Business Academy and The Findhorn Foundation. (http://www.visionarylead.org) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
A MOST VIBRANT COMMUNITY BEING PART OF THE SOLUTIONS
Date: 20 Feb 2009
From: Change.org Weekly (email@example.com)
Subject: Rebuilding New Orleans; More Generic Drugs; Challenging Creationists
The Era of the Stimulus Package is upon us, and thanks to an injection of more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars into the economy, we'll be seeing job growth to the tune of a million jobs a month and a double-digit economic expansion in no time. Right?
And that's just the beginning. Our Ideas for Change in America project also features 10 social-action campaigns, each of which is working hard to make the country more equal, more just, and more fair. Meanwhile our bloggers aren't just reporting the news, they're making it. Whether it's telling Hershey, Mars, and Nestle to stop child labor or becoming an ACORN Home Defender, our blogs are chock full of action.
Here's an overview of the best of Change.org this week:
CEO and chief organizer for ACORN Bertha Lewis writes a guest post on the Poverty in America blog, explaining that families suffering from foreclosures cannot wait for the protection of Obama's homeowner bail-out program. In response, ACORN has assembled a team of "Home Defenders" who will protect those most at risk of losing their homes. (Read more)
More Generic Drugs
The pharmaceutical industry might not like it, but the fact is that generic drugs saved New York counties $369 million in 2008. Health Care blogger Tim Foley wants that figure to stick in your mind -- remember it! -- as fear-mongering drugmakers spend millions trying to keep you on brand-name drugs and out of cash. (Read more)
It takes courage for a politician in Texas to speak out against the creationists who currently dominate the Texas State Board of Education. But last week two brave Texas state representatives did just that by proposing legislation to ensure that educators and scientists periodically review the activities of the Board. Education blogger Clay Burell asks lovers of science everywhere to thank them for their efforts. (Read more)
Once again, Animal Rights blogger Stephanie Ernst has entered the bizarre land of hunting and "wildlife management," otherwise known as WTF? 101. This time, Nevada announced a plan to kill mountain lions to increase the deer population, so that hunters can... kill the deer population. Interesting logic! (Read more)
Sympathy for a Pimp
When rappers Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar for their song "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp" in 2005, it further diluted the ugly reality of pimps, turning them into a pop-culture phenomenon, writes Human Trafficking guest blogger Michele Clark. It might seem funny, but glorifying pimps at parties and awards ceremonies endorses the modern slave trade, and we should be fighting rather than emulating pimp culture. (Read more)
That does it for this week's update on the road to change. As always you can read a complete summary at Blog for Change.
1. Rise with the sun to pray.
The Great Spirit will listen, if only you speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path.
Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul.
Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself.
Do not allow others to make your path for you.
It is your road, and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration.
Serve them the best food, give them the best bed
and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community,
the wilderness or from a culture.
It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth -
whether it be people or plants. 7. Honor other people's thoughts, wishes and words.
Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them.
Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way.
The negative energy that you put out into the universe
will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes.
And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit.
11. Nature is not for us, it is a part of us.
They are part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future.
Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life's lessons.
When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others.
The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times.
Honesty is the test of one's will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced.
Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self,
all need to be strong, pure and healthy.
Work out the body to strengthen the mind.
Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ills.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react.
Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others.
Do not touch the personal property of others,
especially sacred and religious objects.
This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first.
You cannot nurture and help others
if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others' religious beliefs.
Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others.
Participate in charity.
The spirit of our planet is stirring! The Consciousness of Goddess Earth is now rising against all odds, in spite of millennia of suppression, repression and oppression inflicted on her by a hubristic and misguided humanity.
The Earth is a living entity, a biological organism with psychic and spiritual dimensions. There were many dawns during the planetary evolution, when this awareness of the living Earth flowered, only to get covered up eventually by the periodic outbreaks of materialist or otherworldly spiritualist outlooks. Evolution progresses both in linear and non-linear ways, in the form of successive cycles where the knowledge of ancients is forgotten and later revived and evolved further, seamlessly integrating what came before with newly evolving aspects.
With the expansion of the patriarchal religions that focused on a male God majestically stationed in Heaven ruling over the Earth and the Universe, the memory of our planets innate Divinity was repressed and banished into the collective unconscious of humanity. Everything related to Earth got denigrated, demonized and dismissed as profane and a drag on the aspiration towards Heaven or as mere tools to be exploited and left behind for the delusional progress of a materialistic commercial civilization.
On the one side, there is the spiritualist denial. Even some eastern spiritual traditions that endeavoured to go beyond ritualistic and dogmatic religion, to some extent, inherited the Earth-weariness of the patriarchal religious discourse and strived to escape from earthly life, which they saw as illusion or maya, to a transcendental reality. Many New Agists see the Earth plane as a mere school of learning and strive to ascend to non-material realms. Religious fundamentalists hope to escape into a Heaven of Rapture leaving Earth behind.
On the other side, there is the techno-materialist denial. It is now fashionable to say that Space exploration is the final frontier. Scientific rationalists and transhumanists see Earth as a mere cradle for humanity, which they can misuse and throw away later to invade other planets for transplanting unsustainable materialist lifestyles on to these space colonies. They will take their separative attitude to other planets they colonise and will trash those planets too with their use and throw mentality. Such exploration of outer space without integrating the vast inner space of Consciousness will only lead to the disaster of destructive materialist imperialism spreading to the rest of the Universe. In a curious hybrid of New Age spiritualist and scientific materialist denials, some UFO cultists dream of being rescued by space brothers for escaping into alien extraterrestrial techno-heavens or ethereal dimensions.
Such limited dogmatic perspectives fail to see that humans are not rulers or users of the Earth, but parts of her dynamic, self-regulating and co-creative web of life made of so many forms of life. We are not living on the surface of a lifeless rock orbiting the Sun in space, which we can trash after making a miserable mess of it. We are living inside Earth since even the envelope of life-sustaining air we breathe is also a part of the living planet. The very biological rhythms of our mind/body system keep us alive through continuous dynamic interaction with other living creatures and the biosphere of Earth. The collective consciousness of humanity is an integral aspect of Earth. Earth, in turn, is an integral aspect of a Galactic consciousness, a living Universal consciousness and Transcendental Spirit.
Even space travel will serve its true purpose only when it is done by a human species that exists as an integral part of a completely manifested Earth consciousness. Then they will realize Earth, other planets, galaxies, the Universe and other Universes as alive and as one unified multidimensional integral continuum of consciousness. Scientific rationalism, illusionist spirituality, otherworldly religions and New Agist ascensionism constitute an adolescent phase in human evolution where they try to separate from Earth. True adulthood of humanity will dawn when we realize that humanity is an integral aspect of Earth consciousness and we can integrate into the Universal consciousness only if humanity first integrates itself collectively into a full-fledged Earth consciousness!
The spirit of the living planet cannot be suppressed forever. Despite the continuing dominance of leaving the Earth behind dogma of several powerful sections of humanity, the threat to the very survival of Earth due to human meddling has triggered an increasing awareness of Earth as a living being, among at least some conscious humans whose numbers are growing. The name Gaia is making a mark in the human consciousness now. Gaia was the name of the Goddess of Earth in Greek mythology. The scientist James Lovelock with his famous Gaia hypothesis, which described Earth as a self-regulating system, re-introduced the idea of Gaia to mainstream discourse.
However, even Lovelocks Gaia hypothesis is only a scientific theory made within the limited framework of mainstream science, and does not acknowledge the ancient realization of Earth as an entity with a psychic and spiritual Consciousness of its own. In his recent book Revenge of Gaia Lovelock surprisingly betrayed a lack of awareness of the essence of Gaia by advocating use of nuclear energy as the main fuel, which has long-term hazardous effects on the biosphere of the planet. Such devolutionary attitudes advocated by even individuals like Lovelock, who claim to stand for the Earth, point to the reluctance of the mainstream of humanity to dissolve economic, technological and religious belief systems that harm the Earth.
Many ancient traditions recognized Earth as a living Conscious entity with even an energy body with chakras similar to the seven chakras of the human body. The Earth consciousness is evolving continuously. At the turning of a new millennium, we are facing perils like runaway global warming or out-of-control technology destroying not only humanity, but also the whole living planet. What we need to prevent this disaster is a revolution in the evolution of Consciousness, individual and collective, integrating the realizations of the past and also transcending them to evolve an integral and multidimensional planetary consciousness.
In spite of the inability of the majority of humanity to fathom it, the planetary Consciousness of Gaia is emerging in myriad forms such as the environmental movement, the re-emergence of Goddess spirituality, eco-feminism, the urge to find unity in diversity irrespective of the religious, ideological, ethnic and national differences on the surface, the emergence of the internet as a tool that bridges geographical and temporal boundaries, and a new holistic synthesis of science and spirituality, to mention a few.
THE MANIFESTATION OF GAIA CONSCIOUSNESS ON THE INTERNET
The internet has created a revolution by making it possible for people living in far flung parts of the planet to gather information and knowledge rapidly and also interact with one another through email and chat. The mushrooming of all sorts of web sites has turned cyber space into a kind of electronic brain of Earth. Any technology is a double-edged sword. It can be used for good or bad according to the level of consciousness of those who use it. So the internet too is being misused for spreading crime, pornography, soulless commercialism, terrorism, religious fanaticism and what not.
However, the relatively free nature of the internet makes it an effective tool that we can use for intensifying the constructive evolution of collective and individual consciousness through focused co-creation and co-evolution. Since humanity is an integral part of the Consciousness of Gaia, the human creation of internet too can turn into an expression of Gaia consciousness if evolved properly.
The Envision Earth web site aims to transform the internet into a channel for intensifying the emergence of planetary consciousness through integral and innovative ways of co-creation and co-evolution. This web site also serves as the online platform for facilitating the manifestation of the network EARTH (Evolutionary Action for the Revolutionary Transformation of Humanity) that will pave the way for a full-fledged integral and multidimensional Gaia consciousness on Earth in tune with the Universe and Transcendental Spirit.
Obama to send former President Bush to worlds hot spots
By Editors, The Skunk ("Tasteless American Satire for the Ill-Informed") - February 18, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC In an apparent sign of reconciliation with his predecessor, President Obama said today he will be sending former president George W. Bush on peace missions to some of the most dangerous parts of the world.
These are places where terrorists are set upon killing anyone with an American passport, said Obama. They are ruthless butchers who will torture and behead those who disagree with them. Roadside bombings are everyday occurrences. I feel these are the perfect situations in which to send President Bush, with one hand extending an olive branch and the other waving the Red, White and Blue.
The itinerary for the former president includes diverse areas such as Darfur, Gaza, Bogota, Congo and other world hot spots taken straight from the U.S. State Departments Current Travel Warnings page.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Bush would maintain high visibility in these regions to demonstrate the willingness of the United States to target international conflict, head-on. President Bush will face our enemies front and center, she said, confronting these perilous situations directly and openly.
Clinton called it a perfectly-suited challenge for someone of Bushs intellect and esteem, saying it would be an opportunity to give back to the former president what hes given to the American people over the past eight years.
The proposed mission has received overwhelming bi-partisan support from Congress.
Sources close to Bush said that while he is honored to be called upon for service by the Obama administration, he feels the undertaking is much more suited for someone with Dick Cheneys background and temperament, and will be recommending the former Vice President for the job.
Forwarded by Mark Graffis (firstname.lastname@example.org_)
Ice Cream creativity
Ben & Jerry have created "Yes Pecan!" ice cream flavor for Obama.
For George W. they asked for suggestions from the public.
Here are some of their favorite responses:
- Grape Depression
- The Housing Crunch
- Abu Grape
- Cluster Fudge
- Nut'n Accomplished
- Iraqi Road
- Chock 'n Awe
- Impeach Cobbler
- Heck of a Job, Brownie!
- Neocon Politan
- RockyRoad to Fascism
- The Reese's-cession
- Cookie D'oh!
- Nougalar Proliferation
- Death by Chocolate... and Torture
- Freedom Vanilla Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip On My Shoulder
- Credit Crunch
- Mission Pecanplished
- Country Pumpkin
- Chunky Monkey in Chief
- Chocolate Chimp
- Bloody Sundae
- Caramel Preemptive Stripe
- I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of thousands . . . with nuts
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