Eye of The Storm Series #5: Please Press Within The Global Reset Button For Everything
There is just so much to read - once again! - in this compilation (delayed because of other urgent work to do) that I'll simply say - once again! - that despite what looks like a dire and despairing global situation, there is more than a glimmer of hope shining through the drubbing of "bad" news, so much so that soon a radiant Light of loving compassion in all and for all will pierce the dark clouds of the hour and herald the beginning of a bright new era.
Everything is gonna turn OK after a transitional period of deep and far-reaching "adjustments" and some magnificent soul-awakenings and blissful commUnion with All That Is in all.
Oh! And if you want to have a good laugh, make sure to check the very end of this compilation ;-)
P.S. BTW you won't believe this, but to prepare this compilation I barely scratched the surface of the hundreds of new emails I received in the past 2 weeks!
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STATS for this compilation: Over 56,000 words and 238 links provided.
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"Beloved Masters of Light, you know that you have chosen to be on this Earth to be a manifestation of Divine Light in material form. You have chosen to inhabit a material body so that you may shine your Light as part of the Symphony of Light that is All Living Beings on Earth. And so, it is important that you bring the light of Heaven into your material form and that you radiate light from this material form. For indeed, Beloveds, this is what "enlightenment" means, to bring the Light of your Divine Inner Being into manifestation through physical form, and to do so in a conscious and focused way. In this "illumined" state, every choice and decision that you make will be illuminated by the Love of Source, and will be a demonstration of Divine Unconditional Love in action in your life. This is indeed what it means to "ground" the Divine Light into your life through conscious choice and intention. (...) At this Equinox celebration of the 20th March, the Sacred Keepers of the New Earth grids, the Paradise grids, will work closely with you to create this new alignment of Oneness and Harmony on the New Earth grids."
"For several years a gigantic amount of investigation has been going on that ultimately will lead to charges of wrongdoing ranging from corruption to crimes against humanity. This far-reaching effort is being accomplished within legal means that require indisputable evidence, an essential but tedious and time-consuming process, and like all legal matters, progressive developments are not publicly reported. Other information that will come out incrementally includes proof of situations that have been ridiculed by the disparaging label conspiracy theory; insidious mind control programs and methods; deliberately contaminated vaccines and laboratory designed diseases to reduce the worlds population; corruption in justice systems; vast underground areas and what goes on there; the real perpetrators of terrorism and wars; the international web of collusion that has been controlling the global economy and commerce, health care, education and mainstream media; the long-time presence of extraterrestrial beings and their meetings with heads of governments; and the strategic divisiveness of religions. The amount of information is staggering, and revealing it in one fell swoop would be too much for any psyche to handle. As evidence comes forth, emotions will be mixed: shock, disbelief, relief. To the people who believe official reports, the revelations are certain to be shocking."
"During the transitional period until all peoples of Earth are prospering, the spirit of sharing and taking charge of adverse circumstances with a positive outlook is growing exponentially as more and more people are acting upon their inspirations to form neighborhood and community assistance projects, cooperative farming, volunteer help, and exchange of goods and services. This spreading spirit comes from the soul, evidence that the light is magnifying not only negative characteristics and behavior, but equally magnifying individuals goodness, generosity, ingenuity, cooperative spirit and strong will to surmount temporary hardships. The grassroots movement that is spreading will merge with new policies and programs devised at the top, unifying the objectives and goals of the populace and the leadership"
1. Deliverance Day
2. Et in Arcadia Ego
3. Obama Signals 'Bush-Lite' on Liberties
4. The Groundwork Has Already Been Laid for Martial Law
5. America's Fiscal Collapse
6. US labor supports boycott of Israeli cargo
7. Jayyus, a village trapped
8. Suspend Military Aid to Israel, Amnesty Urges Obama after Detailing US Weapons Used in Gaza
9. Erase my grandfather's name at Yad Vashem
10. What The Holocaust Debate Is Really About
11. New World Order
12. Nobody Knows How Dry We Are
13. Silent Armageddon?
14. A planet at the brink?
15. What Next?
16. ECONOMY: Trickle Down Misery
17. U.S. Air Force Study Proposed 2009 Influenza Pandemic in 1996
18. The Emerging Sunspot Cycle 24 and a Weakening Magnetic Field
19. Save Australia!
20. "Miracle" water a low-cost alternative cleaner to harsh chemicals
21. Grandma Tells It Like It Is!!!
Matthew's March 10, 2009 message http://www.matthewbooks.com/mm/anmviewer.asp?a=99&z=2
Importance of collective consciousness; dark forces altered human DNA; signs of cellular changes; ways to ease adjustment to changes, higher frequencies; sending light to dark souls; directing light, love; DNA repair of shattered souls; Obamas administration, changes coming; truths that will come forth; global economy status; grassroots movement; fires in Australia; chanting; fourth and fifth densities
Do these mysterious stones mark the site of the Garden of Eden? (28th February 2009) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1157784/Do-mysterious-stones-mark-site-Garden-Eden.html
(...) Archaeologists worldwide are in rare agreement on the site's importance. 'Gobekli Tepe changes everything,' says Ian Hodder, at Stanford University. David Lewis-Williams, professor of archaeology at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, says: 'Gobekli Tepe is the most important archaeological site in the world.' Some go even further and say the site and its implications are incredible. As Reading University professor Steve Mithen says: 'Gobekli Tepe is too extraordinary for my mind to understand.' So what is it that has energised and astounded the sober world of academia? The site of Gobekli Tepe is simple enough to describe. The oblong stones, unearthed by the shepherd, turned out to be the flat tops of awesome, T-shaped megaliths. Imagine carved and slender versions of the stones of Avebury or Stonehenge. Most of these standing stones are inscribed with bizarre and delicate images - mainly of boars and ducks, of hunting and game. Sinuous serpents are another common motif. Some of the megaliths show crayfish or lions. The stones seem to represent human forms - some have stylised 'arms', which angle down the sides. Functionally, the site appears to be a temple, or ritual site, like the stone circles of Western Europe. To date, 45 of these stones have been dug out - they are arranged in circles from five to ten yards across - but there are indications that much more is to come. Geomagnetic surveys imply that there are hundreds more standing stones, just waiting to be excavated. So far, so remarkable. If Gobekli Tepe was simply this, it would already be a dazzling site - a Turkish Stonehenge. But several unique factors lift Gobekli Tepe into the archaeological stratosphere - and the realms of the fantastical. The first is its staggering age. Carbon-dating shows that the complex is at least 12,000 years old, maybe even 13,000 years old. That means it was built around 10,000 BC. By comparison, Stonehenge was built in 3,000 BC and the pyramids of Giza in 2,500 BC. Gobekli is thus the oldest such site in the world, by a mind-numbing margin. It is so old that it predates settled human life. It is pre-pottery, pre-writing, pre-everything. Gobekli hails from a part of human history that is unimaginably distant, right back in our hunter-gatherer past. How did cavemen build something so ambitious? Schmidt speculates that bands of hunters would have gathered sporadically at the site, through the decades of construction, living in animal-skin tents, slaughtering local game for food. The many flint arrowheads found around Gobekli support this thesis; they also support the dating of the site. This revelation, that Stone Age hunter-gatherers could have built something like Gobekli, is worldchanging, for it shows that the old hunter-gatherer life, in this region of Turkey, was far more advanced than we ever conceived - almost unbelievably sophisticated. (...) In the Book of Genesis, it is indicated that Eden is west of Assyria. Sure enough, this is where Gobekli is sited. Likewise, biblical Eden is by four rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates. And Gobekli lies between both of these. In ancient Assyrian texts, there is mention of a 'Beth Eden' - a house of Eden. This minor kingdom was 50 miles from Gobekli Tepe. (...) A few years ago, archaeologists at nearby Cayonu unearthed a hoard of human skulls. They were found under an altar-like slab, stained with human blood. No one is sure, but this may be the earliest evidence for human sacrifice: one of the most inexplicable of human behaviours and one that could have evolved only in the face of terrible societal stress. Experts may argue over the evidence at Cayonu. But what no one denies is that human sacrifice took place in this region, spreading to Palestine, Canaan and Israel. Archaeological evidence suggests that victims were killed in huge death pits, children were buried alive in jars, others roasted in vast bronze bowls. These are almost incomprehensible acts, unless you understand that the people had learned to fear their gods, having been cast out of paradise. So they sought to propitiate the angry heavens.This savagery may, indeed, hold the key to one final, bewildering mystery. The astonishing stones and friezes of Gobekli Tepe are preserved intact for a bizarre reason.Long ago, the site was deliberately and systematically buried in a feat of labour every bit as remarkable as the stone carvings. (...) Around 8,000 BC, the creators of Gobekli turned on their achievement and entombed their glorious temple under thousands of tons of earth, creating the artificial hills on which that Kurdish shepherd walked in 1994. No one knows why Gobekli was buried. Maybe it was interred as a kind of penance: a sacrifice to the angry gods, who had cast the hunters out of paradise. Perhaps it was for shame at the violence and bloodshed that the stone-worship had helped provoke. Whatever the answer, the parallels with our own era are stark. As we contemplate a new age of ecological turbulence, maybe the silent, sombre, 12,000-year-old stones of Gobekli Tepe are trying to speak to us, to warn us, as they stare across the first Eden we destroyed.
The Beautiful Truth ( excerpts ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQsi777_B1g
You'll see the proof that mercury fillings produces vapor from a 50 year old tooth thus demonstrating the intoxicating effect on anyone with mercury fillings. The worst mercury release happens at dentist clinics and women working there are the most vulnerable to this, leading to infertility problems and malformed babies.
Sir David: Yetis real (28 Feb 2009) with video http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article2281623.ece
SIR David Attenborough said last night he believes there is very convincing evidence Yetis exist. The wildlife expert, 82, said he was baffled by the ape-like Abominable Snowman said to roam the Himalayas. He said: Very convincing footprints have been found at 19,000ft. No one does that for a joke.Sir David also told Jonathan Ross on his Friday Night show that the world could only slow down climate change.
Zimbabwe In Crisis http://www.one.org/international/zimbabweandtheau/
Zimbabwe's new unity government is inheriting a lot of old problems. A devastating cholera outbreak has killed more than 3,000 people, hunger is widespread, and political issues remain unresolved despite months of negotiations. That's why the African Union must do everything it can in its official role as guarantor of the new unity government. Add your name to our petition and ask the African Union to keep its promise to Zimbabwe's new government.
Collectif Sauvons nos enfants des micro-ondes - Avec plusieurs vidéos révélateurs sur les niveaux extrêmes de radiations électromagnétiques auxquelles la population est exposée http://www.dangersemo.com/
Pleins de nouvelles et d'info sur cet important problème au Québec! Ce nouveau collectif a pour but d'informer et de sensibiliser la population du Québec à la réalité de la prolifération des micro-ondes par l'industrie des communications sans-fil. Il propose des modifications aux normes actuelles en vue de mieux protéger la population des effets néfastes des micro-ondes sur la santé. Il propose également d'appliquer le Principe de Précaution pour les enfants, réputés plus vulnérables aux micro-ondes. Les antennes cellulaires, les routeurs internet sans fil, les bases de téléphone émettent continuellement des micro-ondes, le saviez-vous et à quel niveau êtes-vous bombardé ? Pour plus de détails et pour aider à lutter contre ce problème de santé publique de plus en plus grave, mais ignoré par nos gouvernements vendus aux intérêts des compagnies de téléphonie cellulaire, contacter François Therrien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Doctors endorse vegan and vegetarian diets for healthy pregnancies (2 March 2009) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/pcfr-dev030209.php
(...) "Women who follow vegan diets not only have healthy pregnancies, they are often healthier than moms who consume meat," says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., staff dietitian with PCRM. "By eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other healthful vegetarian foods and including breakfast cereals or other foods fortified with vitamin B12, mothers and their children can obtain all the nutrients they need to thrive." Choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet can also help women avoid the unhealthy hormones and environmental toxins found in dairy products, meat, and fish. Analyses of vegetarians' breast milk show that the levels of environmental contaminants in milk are much lower than in non-vegetarians. CLIP
Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts (February 26, 2009) http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=kindness-emotions-psychology
A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat. Why do people do good things? Is kindness hard-wired into the brain, or does this tendency arise via experience? Or is goodness some combination of nature and nurture? (...) I have always felt that our science is only as good as the truthful rendition of reality that it provides and the good that it brings to our species. In summarizing the new science of emotion in Born To Be Good, I was struck by how useful this science is. The ancient approaches to ethics and virtuefor example, found in Aristotle or Confuciusprivileged things such as compassion, gratitude and reverence. A new science of virtue and morality is suggesting that our capacities for virtue and cooperation and our moral sense are old in evolutionary terms, and found in emotions that I write about in Born To Be Good. And a new science of happiness is finding that these emotions can be readily cultivated in familiar ways, bringing out the good in others and in oneself. Here are some recent empirical examples: Meditating on a compassionate approach to others shifts resting brain activation to the left hemisphere, a region associated with happiness, and boosts immune functions. Talking about areas of gratitude, in classrooms, at the dinner table or in the diary, boosts happiness and social well-being and health.Experiences of reverence in nature or around morally inspiring others improves peoples sense of connection to others and sense of purpose. Laughing and playing in the face of trauma gives the person perspective upon lifes inevitable difficulties, and improves resilience and adjustment. Devoting resources to others, rather than indulging a materialist desire, brings about lasting well being. This kind of science gives me many hopes for the future. At the broadest level, I hope that our culture shifts from a consumption-based, materialist culture to one that privileges the social joys (play, caring, touch, mirth) that are our older (in the evolutionary sense) sources of the good life. In more specific terms, I see this new science informing practices in almost every realm of life. Here again are some well-founded examples. Medical doctors are now receiving training in the tools of compassionempathetic listening, warm touchthat almost certainly improve basic health outcomes. Teachers now regularly teach the tools of empathy and respect. Executives are learning the wisdom around the country of emotional intelligencerespect, building trustthat there is more to a companys thriving than profit or the bottom line. In prisons and juvenile detention centers, meditation is being taught. - Related video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHj82otCi7U
Microcredit or Microfinance - Investment Guide to Help End Poverty http://www.wanttoknow.info/051023microcredit
Without donating a penny, you can help end poverty in a very real way. Investing in microcredit or microfinance is not a donation or charity. Like other investments, the money is always yours. You even earn a small amount of interest. Yet for every $1,000 you invest, you can end poverty for several entire families in the developing world every year. That is why the United Nations declared 2005 to be the International Year of Microcredit and why the founders of the microcredit movement were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. CLIP
Electric motor polarizes opinion (Feb. 12, 2009) http://www.thestar.com:80/News/Ontario/article/594471
Ottawa inventor Thane Heins is steadily winning supporters for his electrical motor, which he claims can produce more energy than it consumes. While many are skeptical of the theory, no one has been able to disprove it.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR EUROPE http://www.avaaz.org/en/refrigerator_revolution_video/?cl=192183663&v=2951
Boilers, fridges, TVs and other products in our home produce 50% of all of Europe's carbon pollution! Europe could meet half of its current 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change just through requiring these appliances to meet energy efficiency standards. And that would also save us all money on our electricity bill!Out of sight of the public, EU nations' regulators are about to agree on a new set of standards. But vested industrial interests are pushing hard to water down the proposals. A big public outcry can still defeat the industry lobbyists, but time is short -- sign the petition at the URL above - it will be delivered this week to EU decision-makers in Brussels.
Boycott Kellogg's http://www.organicconsumers.org/kelloggs.cfm
Organic Consumers Association and allies sent a letter to Kellogg's on June 12, requesting that Kellogg's not use sugar from genetically engineered sugar beets in its products or face a consumer boycott. Kellogg's has responded, claiming that US consumers do not care if their food contains Genetically Engineered (GE) food or not. However, poll after poll have demonstrated that Americans want GE foods labeled and restricted. Monsanto Corporation's RoundUp Ready Genetically Engineered Sugar Beet is designed to withstand massive doses of toxic weed killers. Roughly half of all processed foods contain sugar from sugar beets. Monsanto's GE sugar beets will expose millions of consumers to untested and unlabeled "Franken Foods" that threaten human heath, the environment and farmers' rights everywhere. CLIP
2012 movie official teaser trailer doomsday nibiru planet x mayan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ePlE3XoPIQ&NR=1
We know that 2012 is a very controversial topic, and Seeking Closure is not a mindless the world is crumbling movie, but it is based on 2012 and the events that may or may not happen but,the movie follows characters as they come to terms that in three hours they are going to die, and in coming to grips with that, they realize they have to fix some wrongs in their lives before they go. They are Seeking Closure. The main theme is "Don't do anything today you may regret tomorrow, because there may not be one." More through http://www.seekingclosurethemovie.com - Once there search 2012 in the google search engine, you will get a lot of useful information on the 2012 theories.
Fox peddles doomsday - why? (10 min video) Crazy TV show! http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/579.html
Beck warms against "Bubba" -- It's hard to tell what evil Fox is up to now. The "news" network was completely happy to provide daily - make that hourly - support to the first full blown American tyranny (Bush/Cheney & Co.) Now they're devoting regular air time to spinning doomsday scenarios that involve the federal government morphing into a full blown tyranny including the military shooting at US civilians. "Bubba" is being painted at the source of the potential problem. Who is "Bubba?" According to arch slime ball Glen Beck, Bubba is rural man who is: * self-reliant down to making his own bio fuel * uses the Internet to educate himself and communicate with other "Bubbas" * reads, believes in and is willing to defend the Constitution* owns guns and is prepared to use them if provoked* is community minded and does not trust the federal government. That sounds like a good American who has his head screwed on right to me.
DISINFORMATION TACTICS LESSON: "Shocking Expose: Merck's Mercury Whistleblower" http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php/?p=476
Read the whole "expose" by a "vaccine insider", where the scam that mercury causes autism, ADD, etc., has now been widened to mercury causing ASTHMA & CANCER! Of course, the take home message remains that if the mercury is removed, vaccines will be safe. A BIGGER LIE HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD. The act of inoculating viruses into the body, bypassing secretory IgA (as explained in my documents at www.drcarley.com) causes corruption of the immune system leading to ALL auto-immune diseases and cancer. This disinformation is being put out there to further dupe the people; and anyone who promotes this garbage is contributing to the scam. (...) Immediately after we started adding mercury to the vaccines, the number of reports claiming children were developing asthma post vaccine increased several hundred-fold. The current odds are 13 out of every 100 children vaccinated with anything containing mercury will report asthmatic symptoms within thirty days. Once reported, these symptoms rarely remit. One out of eight children being vaccinated for flu will develop asthma, asthma-like symptoms and cystic fibrosis that remains with them for life. CLIP
Economic Stimulus Bill Mandates $954 Million for Vaccinations!!! http://www.naturalnews.com/z025608.html
(...) The issue of whether vaccinations are actually helpful or harmful is hotly debated, of course. The pro-vaccine camp believes that the human immune system is a technological failure and that chemical intervention is the only way to protect children. The anti-vaccine camp believes that exposure to non-fatal infections actually strengthens the immune system, creating stronger protections against future infections. Thus, vaccines actually interfere with normal, healthy immune function while injecting children with dangerous chemicals and substances derived from sick, diseased animals. NaturalNews is against childhood vaccines as explained in this article that completely debunks conventional beliefs about vaccinations. CLIP
Chronic Diseases: Who's killing us, and how? (5 September 2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU12h6lWi9I
Will YOUR doctor tell you about weaponized mycoplasma? About engineered mycoplasma pathogens in vaccines? Or will he or she treat your symptoms, hook you up for life (or death) on high-priced (and often dangerous) drugs? What's the real story of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, AIDS and other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Crohns, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Lupus, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes (type one) and MANY others? (...) GARTH NICOLSON is a whistle-blower. The kind that movies won't be made about because the conspiracy is huge, on-going, and reaches to the top. It reveals a key element (a silent weapon) in the quiet war on the 'lower orders.' CLIP
Wolfram Alpha: Next major search breakthrough? (March 8, 2009)
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! VERY SOON! http://news.cnet.com/8301-13953_3-10191304-80.html
(...) It follows the Google principle, with a simple input box, but takes a different approach to rendering search results. Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, which developed Twine, an ambitious "interest network" Web application based on semantic Web technologies, said that Wolfram Alpha may be as "important for the Web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose."Spivack shared his initial impressions of Wolfram Alpha based on a two-hour conversation with Wolfram."Wolfram Alpha is like plugging into a vast electronic brain. It provides extremely impressive and thorough answers to a wide range of questions asked in many different ways, and it computes answers, it doesn't merely look them up in a big database." "In this respect it is vastly smarter than (and different from) Google. Google simply retrieves documents based on keyword searches. Google doesn't understand the question or the answer, and doesn't compute answers based on models of various fields of human knowledge."Spivack gave some insight as to how the Wolfram's search engine works:Wolfram Alpha is a system for computing the answers to questions. To accomplish this it uses built-in models of fields of knowledge, complete with data and algorithms, that represent real-world knowledge. For example, it contains formal models of much of what we know about science -- massive amounts of data about various physical laws and properties, as well as data about the physical world.Based on this you can ask it scientific questions and it can compute the answers for you. Even if it has not been programmed explicitly to answer each question you might ask it. But science is just one of the domains it knows about--it also knows about technology, geography, weather, cooking, business, travel, people, music, and more.It also has a natural language interface for asking it questions. This interface allows you to ask questions in plain language, or even in various forms of abbreviated notation, and then provides detailed answers. The vision seems to be to create a system which can do for formal knowledge (all the formally definable systems, heuristics, algorithms, rules, methods, theorems, and facts in the world) what search engines have done for informal knowledge (all the text and documents in various forms of media). Wolfram's engine isn't going to replace Google, according to Spivack, although he suggests Google would like to own it. CLIP
Food for Everyone http://www.yesmagazine.org/default.asp?ID=262
Solving todays big problems will take more than a quick fix. These authors offer clarity about the roots of our problems and visions of a better way. Check the latest issue of Yes! Magazine
Roswell Fireman Says it Was A Flying Saucer (March 06, 2009) http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2009/03/roswell-fireman-confesses-it-was-flying.html
A firefighter who was with the Roswell Fire Department in 1947 has confirmed that the mysterious crash in the New Mexico desert that Summer was in fact of an unearthly craft! The firefighter, now age 90, related stunning information to this author in a lengthy interview conducted recently.
Obama team covers up citizen extraterrestrial disclosure input on White House website (March 4, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2912-Seattle-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2009m3d4-Obama-team-coversup-citizen-extraterrestrial-disclosure-input-on-White-House-website
(...) Although extraterrestrial disclosure ranked as one of the highest single public priorities, there is no public reference on the Obama White House website to extraterrestrial disclosure, in violation of the Obama transition teams public rules of engagement. (...) The cover-up of important civilian input in the transition phase of Obama administration priorities does not bode well for overturning the pernicious mandate of the CIA 1953 Robertson Panel. By continuing the cover-up at the White House level of the issue of the extraterrestrial presence as a legitimate subject of discourse, the Obama administration has sent a powerful signal to the war economy that it will continue the policy of an extraterrestrial embargo, support the information war against ethical extraterrestrials, and support the planned colonization of inhabited planets such as Mars.
MONITORING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Obama Tells Powerful Lobbies: Bring It On http://www.truthout.org/022809Y
President Barack Obama challenged the nation's vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo. 'The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long,' Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. 'But I don't. I work for the American people.'
Obama: We'll Be (Sort Of) Out of Iraq in 19 Months http://www.fsrn.org/audio/newscast-friday-february-27-2009/4275
A big day for President Barack Obama, as he announced his plan for Iraq:"As a candidate for President, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to insure that we preserve the gains we've made and to protect our troops. These consultations are now complete, and I've chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months." But is it really a withdrawal? Obama also said that, at the end of those 19 months, the US would still have up to 50,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. "We will retain a transitional force to carry out three distinct functions: training, equipping, and advising Iraqi security forces as long as they remain non-sectarian; conducting targeted counter-terrorism missions; and protecting our ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq. Initially, this force will be made up of 35,000-50,000 troops. The new plan has drawn opposition from anti-war groups seeking an immediate withdrawal, and even drawn public concerns from high-profile democrats. Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking shortly before a congressional briefing on the plan: "I don't know what the justification is for the presence of 50,000 troops in Iraq. I do think that there's the need for some, but I don't think that they all have to be in-country. I think some could be platformed outside .. I'll just be interested to hear what the president has to say." But the plan does have significant support in congress - from republicans. Even Obama's one-time presidential rival, John McCain, has announced his support. Obama Budget Proposal Increases Military Spending -- Meanwhile, the 3-point-6 trillion dollar budget plan Obama released yesterday includes an increase in defense spending. If he gets his way, the new president will spend more on the military than President George W. Bush. CLIP
All Troops Out By 2011? Not So Fast; Why Obama's Iraq Speech Deserves a Second Look (February 28, 2009) http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/129362/all_troops_out_by_2011_not_so_fast%3B_why_obama%27s_iraq_speech_deserves_a_second_look/
Obama's speech promising a full withdrawal from Iraq adopted the long-discredited narrative of the Bush administration. (...) Despite Obama's declarations Friday and the celebrations they have sparked on the liberal blogosphere, the Pentagon certainly seems to believe its forces may well be in Iraq after 2011. NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszeswki reported on Friday that "military commanders, despite this Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government that all U.S. forces would be out by the end of 2011, are already making plans for a significant number of American troops to remain in Iraq beyond that 2011 deadline, assuming that Status of Forces Agreement agreement would be renegotiated. And one senior military commander told us that he expects large numbers of American troops to be in Iraq for the next 15 to 20 years." Some have suggested that such statements from the military are insubordination and contrary to Obama's orders, but they could also reflect discussions between the White House and the Pentagon to which the public is not privy.Then there's the monstrous U.S. embassy unveiled last month in Baghdad, the largest of any nation anywhere in the history of the planet and itself resembling a military base. Maintaining this fortified city will require a sizable armed U.S. presence in Baghdad and will regularly place U.S. diplomats in armed convoys that put Iraqi civilian lives in jeopardy. Whether this job is performed by State Department Diplomatic Security or mercenaries from the company formerly known as Blackwater (or else a corporation more acceptable to the Obama administration), the U.S. will have a substantial paramilitary force regularly escorting U.S. VIPs around Iraq -- a proven recipe for civilian deaths and injuries. Obama's speech on Friday did not even address the question of military contractors -- a crucial omission given that their presence rivals that of U.S. troops by a ratio of over 1-to-1.Finally, the Status of Forces Agreement, which supposedly lays out a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, contains a gaping loophole that leaves open the possibility of a continuation of the occupation and a sustained presence of U.S. forces well beyond 2011, "upon request by the government of Iraq." Article 27 of the SOFA allows the U.S. to undertake military action, "or any other measure," inside Iraq's borders "In the event of any external or internal threat or aggression against Iraq." Could this mean an election where the wrong candidate or party wins? What is the definition of a threat? (...) Following Obama's speech at Camp Lejeune, key Senate Republicans praised Obama's plan as well, while reminding everyone that it was an outgrowth of the Bush administration."It is encouraging to see the Obama administration embrace the plan of Gen. David Petraeus that began with the successful surge in 2007, and continues shifting combat responsibilities to our Iraqi allies," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Adopting the Bush Narrative - Beyond the headline-generating news, Obama's speech at Camp Lejeune delivered a number of lines -- wrapped in laudatory rhetoric -- that could have been delivered by Bush himself."I want to be very clear," Obama told the military audience. "We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein's regime -- and you got the job done." Perhaps it bears remembering that "removing Saddam" was justification two or three offered by the Bush administration after the WMD fraud was exposed. (...) Obama, the candidate, used to riff on these truths on the campaign trail. The contradiction between President Obama's speech at Camp Lejeune and his rhetoric before he was elected should serve as a warning to those who take his words at face value. But more important, combined with his plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Obama's adoption of key lies from Bush's Iraq narrative should be seen as a dangerous indicator of things to come.
US 'not winning in Afghanistan' (8 March 2009) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7930865.stm
US President Barack Obama has said the US is not winning in Afghanistan, saying it is more complex than Iraq.In an interview with the New York Times, he said reaching out to the Taleban could be an option, in the same way outreach had worked in Iraq. However, the "fierce independence among tribes" in Afghanistan presented different challenges, he said. A month into his presidency, Mr Obama authorised the deployment of up to 17,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan. Asked if the US was winning in Afghanistan, Mr Obama replied: "No."Mr Obama and his advisors are reviewing the US strategy on Afghanistan, and have looked at what has worked in Iraq. CLIP
Top U.N. Official Accuses U.S. of Inhuman 'Atrocities' in Iraq, Afghanistan (March 4, 2009) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,504965,00.html
A top U.N. official accused the United States of committing inhuman "atrocities" in Iraq and Afghanistan during a speech Wednesday to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Washington ends its diplomatic embargo on Syria (4 March 2009) http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10371.shtml
WASHINGTON (IPS) - Ending a four-year diplomatic embargo on Damascus, the administration of United States President Barack Obama Tuesday confirmed that it is sending two high-level officials to Syria this week for "preliminary conversations," presumably on improving relations. The trip, which will be undertaken by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Daniel Shapiro, a senior staffer on the National Security Council who also served as one of Obama's top Middle East advisers during his presidential campaign, was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Jerusalem. (...) "The demand that Syria abandon its supporters and friends before entering into full dialogue with the US is no more likely to work under Obama than it did under [former President George W.] Bush," wrote Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma on his much-read blog, Syria Comment, after the announcement. Nonetheless, Landis hailed the decision as long overdue, noting that, even if engagement does not result in major changes in the strategic orientations of either Washington or Damascus, it can lead to "much greater stability in the region over the medium term" and "sustains hope among Arab leaders who had begun to despair after the Gaza war, the economic crisis, and the right's [election] victory in Israel that the promise of change represented by Obama was not going to work out." (...) What seems to be in the air is that there will be some kind of attempt to yank Syria out of Iran's orbit in return for lifting the Syrian Accountability Act, pushing Israel harder on [returning] the Golan, and a guarantee that the international tribunal [in The Hague] will not harm Syria in a significant way," said Haddad. "But my personal opinion is that Assad won't break with Iran because it doesn't believe that the US and the West is committed to the regime's long-term stability, which is what it's primarily concerned with." "Frankly, I think it's going to be very difficult to get very far if US engagement is seen as an attempt to 'flip' Syria away from Iran because it fears that the US will again fail to deliver Israel, as it did under [former US President] Bill Clinton in 2000, and then Syria will be left without a deal and with no friends or regional leverage," said Landis. "More promising would be an effort to engage both of them, rather than trying to split them."
Call to 'Resist and Deter' Nuclear Iran Gains Key Support (March 7, 2009) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/03/07-4
WASHINGTON - A new report on how the United States should "resist and deter" Iran's alleged ambitions to acquire a nuclear-weapons capability by a think tank closely tied to the so-called "Israel Lobby" has been endorsed by two key officials who are expected to exercise major influence on Iran policy in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.The 10-page report, which was released here Wednesday by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), argues that the United States should engage with Iran diplomatically but at the same time ratchet up pressure on many other fronts if it fails to heed demands to suspend and eventually abandon its uranium enrichment program. Among the carrots Washington should be prepared to offer Tehran for that goal are co-operation on "shared problems, such as piracy and smuggling in the Persian Gulf," and "participation in a regional security dialogue," according to the report. At the same time, however, the report stressed that failure to stop Iran's nuclear progress may well result in a decision by Israel to carry out a military attack within the next two years. Such a decision, it warned, could be hastened if Russia goes through with the sale and delivery of sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile systems which "are seen by Israel as seriously limiting its military options." "Whatever Americans may think, Israeli leaders seem convinced that at least for now, they have a military option," the report asserts, adding that if Tehran deploys such systems, Washington "should promptly provide Israel with the capabilities to continue to threaten high-value Iranian targets - for instance, with more modern aircraft." CLIP
Intelligence official: US-China sea spat serious (March 10, 2009) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jLGjotiM5K34OisyYCFafERRGJ7wD96RBFB00
WASHINGTON (AP) A senior U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday the South China Sea incident involving a Navy surveillance ship and five Chinese vessels was the most serious episode between the two nations since 2001, when tensions rose over a mid-air collision.U.S. National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the confrontation Sunday between the USNS Impeccable and five Chinese ships indicated that China is willing to flex its military might. "They seem to be more militarily aggressive," Blair said. "I think the debate is still on in China whether as their military power increases they will be used for good or for pushing people around." (...) U.S. Defense officials had said the Chinese boats veered so close to the Impeccable that the U.S. civilian crew had to spray one Chinese vessel with a high-pressure stream of water. Stripped to drenched underwear, the Chinese crew came within 25 feet. When the Impeccable tried to withdraw, U.S. officials claimed, Chinese boats veered in its path and dropped wood in the water to impede its progress.
China navy officers harangue U.S. over ocean spat (Mar 10, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSPEK369112
BEIJING, March 11 (Reuters) - Senior Chinese navy officers poured scorn on the United States in the wake of a weekend naval confrontation, with one saying the "Americans are villains", as fallout over the incident between the two giants simmered.In comments carried by the official China News Service, Chinese officers repeated their government's view that a U.S. naval ship had violated the country's sovereignty during an encounter with Chinese ships in the South China Sea on Sunday. (...) The United States accused China of harassing the U.S. ship, the Impeccable, in international waters off Hainan, site of a Chinese submarine base and other naval installations. CLIP They don't like the US Navy snooping around their new submarine base!
'Secret' Chinese Submarine Base on Hainan Island (May 03, 2008) http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/192573.php
The communist Chinese People's Liberation Army is building an underground nuclear submarine base near Sanya on Hainan Island. It is reported to be a "vast, James Bond-style edifice capable of concealing up to 20 nuclear-powered submarines, which will enable China to project its power across the region." Upper right image shows two tunnel entrances to the mountain. Upper left are four moored destroyer-sized warships. Middle left is a ballistic missile submarine, moored. Lower left image was taken in 2005 and it shows construction operations of the entrance to the underground base. Lower right image shows the entrance as of December 2007. sAlthough military insiders globally are most likely quite familiar with the 'secret' facility, the Chinese government is presumably less than pleased that the existence of the base has been exposed to the public.
Obama will use spring summit to bring Cuba in from the cold (8 March 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/08/cuba-obama-administration
US companies are queuing up as the president moves to ease restrictions on travel and trade, raising hopes of warmer relations and an end to the embargo -- President Barack Obama is poised to offer an olive branch to Cuba in an effort to repair the US's tattered reputation in Latin America. The White House has moved to ease some travel and trade restrictions as a cautious first step towards better ties with Havana, raising hopes of an eventual lifting of the four-decade-old economic embargo. Several Bush-era controls are expected to be relaxed in the run-up to next month's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago to gild the president's regional debut and signal a new era of "Yankee" cooperation. The administration has moved to ease draconian travel controls and lift limits on cash remittances that Cuban-Americans can send to the island, a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of families. "The effect on ordinary Cubans will be fairly significant. It will improve things and be very welcome," said a western diplomat in Havana. The changes would reverse hardline Bush policies but not fundamentally alter relations between the superpower and the island, he added. "It just takes us back to the 1990s." CLIP
The Costs of the Embargo (March 7, 2009) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0309pepper.html
The 47-year-old blockade now costs the United States far more than it costs C -- On January 1, Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of the revolution against the U.S.-backed Batista regime. For 47 of those years, Cuba has suffered under what U.S. officials call an "embargo" against the Caribbean nation. Cubans' name for the embargo-el bloqueo (the blockade)-is arguably more apt, given that the U.S. policy also aims to restrict other countries from engaging in business with Cuba.What's surprising is that while the blockade continues to take a considerable toll on the Cuban people, it costs the United States far more, and the gap is widening. Given the economic meltdown, it is only fitting that a growing chorus of diverse voices is calling for an end to the costly vendetta.The original justification for the embargo was Cuba's expropriation of "some $1.8 billion worth of U.S.-owned property," according to the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. In turn, Cubans argue that early in the century, the United States had seized control of 70% of Cuban land and three-quarters of Cuba's primary industry. By the 1950s, as a result of U.S. colonialism and preceding Spanish rule, five out of six Cubans lived in shacks or were homeless, 80% of Havana suffered from hunger and unemployment, and two out of three Cuban children didn't attend school. Cubans say such conditions left them no recourse but to expel the Yanquis, just as the Yankees had expelled the British in 1776. Today, U.S. public opinion is turning against the embargo. A majority-52%-wants the embargo to be lifted, with 67% favoring an immediate end to the travel restrictions, according to the Cuba Policy Foundation (CPF), a nonprofit run by a former U.S. ambassador. Recent polls have even shown that a majority of Miami Cubans now support lifting the embargo.These percentages might be even higher if the U.S. public were aware that the blockade is actually costing them more than the Cubans, something that is finally beginning to dawn on the U.S. business community. Representatives of a dozen leading U.S. business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, signed a letter in December urging Barack Obama to scrap the embargo. The letter pegs the cost to the U.S. economy at $1.2 billion per year. The CPF's estimates are much higher: up to $4.84 billion annually in lost sales and exports. The Cuban government estimates the loss to Cuba at about $685 million annually. Thus the blockade costs the United States up to $4.155 billion more a year than it costs Cuba. CLIP
It's about to get nasty: time for Obama's movement to get moving (2 March 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/02/obama-administration-ambitions
He has plans to stop the war, save the planet and redistribute wealth. If he's to overcome the lobbyists he'll need a new coalition -- Last week was a busy one for Barack Obama. On Monday he held a bipartisan fiscal summit where he pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. On Tuesday he addressed both houses of Congress for the first time, promising the nation: "We will recover, we will rebuild." On Thursday he produced a budget that set out to redistribute wealth, heal the sick and save the planet. On Friday he stopped the war. On Saturday he threw down the gauntlet to special interests and lobbyists. And on the seventh day he rested. In the course of a regular presidency, any one of these might be seen as a bold project. To tackle them all in one term seems ambitious to the point of foolhardiness. To announce them all in one week lies somewhere between the audacity of hope and the pugnacity of hubris.But then this is no regular presidency - a function not just of the man but the times. "You never let a serious crisis go to waste," his chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, told reporters after the election. And this crisis is serious. Comparisons with the 1930s are premature, but each release of data has the economy straining for historical comparison.February was the worst month on the stockmarket for 76 years, and saw the worst contraction of GDP since 1982, while California's unemployment is the highest since 1983. More often than not there is no comparison, because things have not been this bad since records began. Last week's flurry of activity marks an attempt to seize this moment, and in so doing reveals both the potential of the Obama administration at home and its limits abroad. (...) Obama's budget is a different matter entirely. Its signature elements involve tax increases on families earning more than $250,000 (£175,000), the introduction of a universal healthcare system, an economy-wide carbon-trading system, and grants for low-income students. In short, it intends to address the growing inequalities in American society.It is already clear this will unleash a political battle that will test the strength and scope of the president's support. Lobbyists in the financial, health and oil industries, not to mention Republicans, have promised to do everything they can to neuter or nix the budget as it makes its way through Congress. If Obama really did create a movement during his campaign, as his supporters claim, then now would be the time for it to get moving. This battle started and will end in Washington. But it won't be won there. Having built an electoral coalition to win power, he now needs to cohere a political one to defend it. CLIP
FDIC warns US bank deposit insurance fund could tank (March 5, 2009) http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090305/bs_afp/financeeconomyusbankinggovernment
WASHINGTON (AFP) The US government is warning banks that its deposit insurance fund could go broke this year as bank failures mount.The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair, in a letter to bank chief executives dated March 2, defended the FDIC's plan to raise fees on banks and assess an emergency fee to shore up the fund and maintain investor confidence.Bair acknowledged the new fees, announced Friday, would put additional pressure on banks at time of financial crisis and a deepening recession, but insisted they were critical to keep the insurance fund solvent and protect."Without these assessments, the deposit insurance fund could become insolvent this year," Bair wrote.The FDIC chief said in the letter that the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions raised the prospects of "a large number" of bank failures through 2010. CLIP
Bill Seeks to Let FDIC Borrow up to $500 Billion (MARCH 6, 2009) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123630125365247061.htm
WASHINGTON -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is moving to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to temporarily borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department.The Connecticut Democrat's effort -- which comes in response to urging from FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- would give the FDIC access to more money to rebuild its fund that insures consumers' deposits, which have been hard hit by a string of bank failures. Last week, the FDIC proposed raising fees on banks in order to build up its deposit insurance fund, which had just $19 billion at the end of 2008. That idea provoked protests from banks, which said such a burden would worsen their already shaken condition. The Dodd bill, if it becomes law, would represent an alternative source of funding. Mr. Dodd's bill could also give the FDIC more firepower to help address "systemic risks" in the economy, potentially creating another source of bailout funds in addition to the $700 billion already appropriated by Congress. Mr. Bernanke said in a Feb. 2 letter to Mr. Dodd that such a "mechanism would allow the FDIC to respond expeditiously to emergency situations that may involve substantial risk to the financial system."The FDIC would be able to borrow as much as $500 billion until the end of 2010 if the FDIC, Fed, Treasury secretary and White House agree such money is warranted. The bill would allow it to borrow $100 billion absent that approval. Currently, its line of credit with the Treasury is $30 billion. CLIP
Kucinich: Nationalize the Fed - BUT WILL ANYBODY LISTEN? (1 min 27 sec) http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/580.html
It all happened at once: * The US was railroaded into taking the side of Britain in WW I * The draft was instituted * Federal taxation of work people's incomes began * US citizens began to be conditioned to invest their money in Wall Street creations instead of local enterprises...and * The so-called Federal Reserve, a consortium of PRIVATELY owned banks that was given complete control over the country's money supply, was created. For the first time in many decades, a US Congressman is calling for the Fed to be taken back by the US government. Why is the US money supply controlled by a consortium of privately owned banks? That's been the case since the creation of the so called "Federal Reserve" Bank, which is neither federal nor a reserve. Dennis Kucinich proposes something that some historians believe have gotten past politicians assassinated: take the money supply and control over it back from the bankers. NOTE: The U.S. should do just like in Canada where the Bank of Canada is entirely owned by the Canadian government... http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/en/about/are.html
How to Fix Our Economy (February 19, 2009) http://www.opednews.com/articles/HOW-TO-FIX-OUR-ECONOMY-by-J-Nayer-Hardin-090217-570.html
(...) Hemp champion and Congressman Dennis Kucinich has proposed that the Federal Reserve be returned to the federal government. Once again Kucinich has shown himself as a man of wise, workable solutions in a congress that has made nature illegal and refuses to take its financial power back. Wisdom demands we stop pretending not to know that we have the ability to fix our economy by changing the way we look at it. It begins by replacing confusion with wisdom. The Greenback currency system is money issued by the government instead of the way its done now. In THE WEB OF DEBT Hodgson explains how banks, not the government, create money on their computer screens then overcharge us for money they authorized. From this great page tearing book I learned that Abraham Lincolns greenback monetary system allows for the expansion of currency to fit the needs of the nation and if done right, the world. The time has come to put away childish Ponzi schemes. The 300 year old fractional-reserve Ponzi scheme has reached its mathematical end-point. The bankers chickens have come home to roost, and only a radical overhaul will save the system. (pg. 400) CLIP
The Federal Reserve caused the 700 billion dollar bailout and economic crash (18 octobre 2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV9yDLhKbjg
The federal reserve caused the 700 billion dollar bailout. The Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York. The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn,Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference The Federal Reserve was created with no constitutional authority in 1913, the Fed prints money out of thin air and loans it to the U.S. treasury at interest. This can only lead to one outcome: debt. Currently, the Federal Reserve is printing billions of dollars to bail out Wall Street while destroying the middle class and the dollar with inflation. If our country wants a sound and transparent monetary system, we need to abolish the Federal Reserve. Watch PART 2 HERE - much more in Zeitgeist - The Movie: Federal Reserve
Man has economic crisis solution (2/26/2009) http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/ama-meeting-022609
Distelhorst promotes American Monetary Act. (...) The gist of the actual act -- expected to be introduced in the U.S. House by Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich next month -- is simple: Stop the Federal Reserve from printing money and have the federal government take on the responsibility itself. The logic behind that, and what it'd mean to the deficit, gets much more complicated. The first problem with the current system, according to Distelhorst and American Monetary Institute supporters, is the Federal Reserve creates money "out of thin air" and loans it to big banks to get credit flowing. Those big banks, and later smaller banks, use a fractional reserve banking system, which means they're only required to keep 3 percent of people's money on hand. This all leads to debt levels well above the national debt. Distelhorst puts it at about $52 trillion. Solving the never-ending debt increase means, "We just replace it with non-interest-bearing money," Distelhorst said. "We don't have money. All we have is debt, which we circulate like it's money," he said. CLIP
The Last Picture Show: President Barack Obamas Fiscal Year 2009 Budget (March 2, 2009) http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2009/03/the-last-picture-show/
(...) President Barack Obamas economic recovery program, along with the budget just released, is an attempt to substitute a federal government bubble for the failed private sector ones. Like the private sector bubbles, this one is also based on debt. This is because debt is the only way anyone in the U.S. can any longer think of when it comes to creating a national money supply. It includes the presidents proposed $5 billion federal infrastructure bank for lending to state and local governments. This bank will probably offer better interest rates than the bond markets, but its still debt.There was a time in U.S. history when other ways were known to create money; for instance, during the Civil War, when Congress authorized the Lincoln administration to spend Greenbacks directly into existence. The banks hated the Greenbacks, of course, so they got Congress to pass the National Banking Acts of 1863-64, which were the prelude to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Today, Greenback-type funding for the federal government is one of the chief provisions of the American Monetary Act drafted by the American Monetary Institute. CLIP
Scandal at Treasury: Official Quits Amidst Fraud Scandal (March 5, 2009) http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Economy/story?id=7009596&page=1
The man at the center of a fraud scandal at the Treasury Department has been allowed to quietly quit and retire from his job as a government regulator, despite allegations that he allowed a bank to falsify financial records and amidst outcries from investigators who say the case shows how cozy government regulators have become with the banks and savings and loans they are supposed to be checking on. (...) Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson announced in November his office would probe how Doc allowed the IndyMac bank to essentially cook its books, making it appear in government filings that the bank had more deposits than it really did. But Thorson's aides now say IndyMac wasn't the only institution to get such cozy assistance from the official who should have been the cop on the beat.
The $700 trillion elephant (March 6, 2009) http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/The-700-trillion-elephant-room/story.asp
There's a $700 trillion elephant in the room and it's time we found out how much it really weighs on the economy. Derivative contracts total about three-quarters of a quadrillion dollars in "notional" amounts, according to the Bank for International Settlements. These contracts are tallied in notional values because no one really can say how much they are worth. But valuing them correctly is exactly what we should be doing because these comprise the viral disease that has infected the financial markets and the economies of the world. Try as we might to salvage the residential real estate market, it's at best worth $23 trillion in the U.S. We're struggling to save the stock market, but that's valued at less than $15 trillion. And we hope to keep the entire U.S. economy from collapsing, yet gross domestic product stands at $14.2 trillion. Compare any of these to the derivatives market and you can easily see that we are just closing the windows as a tsunami crashes to shore. The total value of all the stock markets in the world amounts to less than $50 trillion, according to the World Federation of Exchanges. To be sure, the derivatives market is international. But much of the trouble we're in began with contracts "derived" from the values associated with U.S. residential real estate market. These contracts were engineered based on the various assumptions tied to those values. Few know what derivatives are worth. I spoke with one derivatives trader who manages billions of dollars and she said she couldn't even value her portfolio because "no one knows anymore who is on the other side of the trade." Note: Banks and financial firms deemed "too big to fail" are being bailed out worldwide at taxpayers' expense. But what will happen if losses in the derivatives market skyrocket? No government in the world has the resources to save financial corporations from a collapse in their derivatives trading. For lots more on the realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
Obama Restoring Endangered Species Act Provision (03.03.09) http://www.truthout.org/030309R
Today President Obama will restore rules requiring US agencies to consult with independent federal experts to determine if their actions might harm threatened and endangered species, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified, marking yet another reversal of President Bush's environmental legacy.
CNBC Anchors Mortified That Ron Paul Was Allowed Air Time http://www.prisonplanet.com/cnbc-anchors-mortified-that-ron-paul-was-allowed-air-time.html
CNBC anchors were left dumbfounded and acted overtly cantankerous yesterday after Congressman Ron Paul's opening statement at the House Financial Services Committee was broadcast live to an audience of millions. CNBC went live to the House, clearly without knowing that the Texas Congressman had the initial Republican statement at the hearing of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. After the Congressman spent two and a half minutes lecturing Bernanke on sound money principles, warning that the financial crisis cannot be solved by merely creating credit out of thin air, CNBC cut back to the studio. Anchors Erin Burnett and Mark Haines were so perturbed by what they had just heard that they immediately cut to a commercial break: (...) The Congressman's speech was powerful and eye opening: "This is the end of an era," said Paul, "we can't reinflate the bubble. If we think that we can reinflate this bubble by artificially creating credit out of thin air and calling it capital, believe me we don't have a prayer of solving these problems - we have a total misunderstanding of what credit is versus capital." Of course, in the eyes of the corporate media shills for the Fed, the Treasury, and Wall Street Paul's words were "out of control". How dare he speak such sense and actively question the logic of the almighty ones, our only hope, our saviors (who also happen to be the very same set of criminals that led us down the path to economic ruin in the first instance). Then again, how could we expect anything else from the likes of CNBC's Burnett and Haines, who have previously demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the underlying causes of the financial crisis, even commenting that gold has "no inherent value".
New 'Iron Curtain' will split EU's rich and poor (March 2, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5828323.ece
Eastern European countries gave an apocalyptic warning yesterday of hordes of unemployed workers heading west as a new Iron Curtain divides rich from poor inside Europe.Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders were told yesterday that five million jobs could be lost in the new European Union countries of the East unless radical action were taken to bail them out.The spectacular collapse of some of the post-communist tiger economies led to demands at an EU summit in Brussels for a rescue fund of ¤190 billion (£170 billion) to stop social collapse in the Eastern nations spilling over into the rest of Europe.The plea, led by Hungary, was rejected in a bad-tempered meeting of the 27 European leaders, dominated by fears that Western EU countries would rather prop up their own large industries and jobs at the expense of the East. CLIP
Tidal wave' of homeless students hits schools (March. 2, 2009) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29356160/
School districts across U.S. struggling to pay for needs of uprooted kids (...) Under federal law, schools are charged with keeping homeless students like Daniel from falling behind their peers academically. This can mean providing a wide range of services, including transportation, free lunches, immunizations and referrals to family services. But with insufficient federal funding and budgets that are severely strained, many schools are struggling to meet the rising need. In Vista, Calif., about 35 miles north of San Diego, the population of homeless kids in the local school district reached 2,542 this year - about 9 percent of the student body and nearly 10 times the number just two years ago, said Rebecca Benner, the district's homeless liaison. "It's like a tidal wave this school year," she said. Benner's role as homeless liaison - only part of her job providing student services - is now full time, as she scrambles to register homeless students for free lunches, arrange for transportation, provide P.E. uniforms, line up counseling and cover SAT fees. "It was supposed to be one small piece of my day," she said. ". Now it's almost insurmountable to get to the bottom of the phone messages." The number of homeless people in the U.S. is the subject of much debate and disagreement. An annual one-night count, performed by social service organizations and volunteers who then report to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, attempts to tally the number of people living on the street, in cars or makeshift tents and in emergency shelters. The most recent survey - conducted in January 2008, before the full brunt of the recession hit - tallied 759,101 homeless Americans. Roughly 40 percent of them - or about 300,000 - were families with minor children, according to the survey. Advocates for the homeless say a more reliable picture of what is taking place comes through a separate count conducted in public schools, in which the definition of "homeless" is broader. Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, "homeless" includes not just children who live on the streets, but "any individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence." In addition to those living in shelters or cars or sleeping on the street, that figure includes children whose families are doubled up with other families or living in trailers due to economic hardship, those who live in substandard housing and kids awaiting foster care placement. In 2007-2008 - the last school year for which data is available - the nation's 14,000 public school districts counted more than 780,000 homeless students, a 15 percent increase from the previous year. "I think that was the beginning of seeing the foreclosure crisis impact," said Barbara Duffield, policy director of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
1 in 50 children in US is homeless http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22186.htm
Homelessness is "very, very difficult on children," said Burke. "They have lost their whole known world. They no longer have their neighborhood friends. They may have left a pet behind. Their parents are very stressed. They're in a new school. It's overwhelming for them."
Food stamp enrollment jumps to record 31.8 million (March 5, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE52478R20090305?sp=true
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A record 31.8 million Americans received food stamps at the latest count, an increase of 700,000 people in one month with the United States in recession, government figures showed on Thursday. Food stamps, which help poor people buy groceries, are the major U.S. anti-hunger program, forecast to cost at least $51 billion in this fiscal year ending September 30, up $10 billion from fiscal 2008. "A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/food stamps," said the Food Research and Action Center. Last summer food stamps were renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.The average food stamp benefit is $115 a month for individuals and $255 a month per household.Enrollment for food stamps in December was up 2.2 percent from the previous month with increases in all but three states. Ohio had the largest increase among large states, up 3.4 percent, to 1.26 million people. Texas had the largest enrollment, 3.05 million, up 1.8 percent.The previous record for food stamp enrollment was 31.6 million last September, which included "disaster" stamps for states hit by hurricanes and floods. In April, food stamp benefits will increase temporarily by 13 percent under provisions of the recently enacted economic stimulus law. Ellen Vollenger of the Food Research and Action Center said some families will see increases of $80 a month.
A shattering moment in America's fall from power (28 September 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/28/usforeignpolicy.useconomicgrowth
The global financial crisis will see the US falter in the same way the Soviet Union did when the Berlin Wall came down. The era of American dominance is over. Our gaze might be on the markets melting down, but the upheaval we are experiencing is more than a financial crisis, however large. Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over.You can see it in the way America's dominion has slipped away in its own backyard, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez taunting and ridiculing the superpower with impunity. Yet the setback of America's standing at the global level is even more striking. With the nationalisation of crucial parts of the financial system, the American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated. In a change as far-reaching in its implications as the fall of the Soviet Union, an entire model of government and the economy has collapsed. CLIP
Russian Professor Says U.S. Will Break Up After Economic Crisis (Nov 24, 2008) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a3sayDZz.QKc&refer=us
A professor at the diplomatic academy of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the U.S. will break into six parts because of the nation's financial crisis. "The dollar isn't secured by anything," Igor Panarin said in an interview transcribed by Russian newspaper Izvestia today. "The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche; this is a pyramid, which has to collapse." Panarin said in the interview that the financial crisis will worsen, unemployment will rise and people will lose their savings -- factors that will cause the country's break-up. CLIP
The U.S. Financial System Is Effectively Insolvent (March 5, 2009) http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/04/global-recession-insolvent-opinions-columnists-roubini-economy.html
For those who argue that the rate of growth of economic activity is turning positive--that economies are contracting but at a slower rate than in the fourth quarter of 2008--the latest data don't confirm this relative optimism. In 2008's fourth quarter, gross domestic product fell by about 6% in the U.S., 6% in the euro zone, 8% in Germany, 12% in Japan, 16% in Singapore and 20% in South Korea. So things are even more awful in Europe and Asia than in the U.S.There is, in fact, a rising risk of a global L-shaped depression that would be even worse than the current, painful U-shaped global recession. Here's why: (...) Even with the $2 trillion of government support, most of these financial institutions are insolvent, as delinquency and charge-off rates are now rising at a rate--given the macro outlook--that means expected credit losses for U.S. financial firms will peak at $3.6 trillion. So, in simple words, the U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent.
This Is What A Financial Collapse Looks Like: Argentina's Economic Collapse - Video: MUST WATCH - at least the first 6 min segment to have an idea of what's probably coming http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22169.htm
Documentary on the events that led to the economic collapse of Argentina in 2001 which wiped out the middle class and raised the level of poverty to 57.5%. Central to the collapse was the implementation of neo-liberal policies which enabled the swindle of billions of dollars by foreign banks and corporations. Many of Argentina's assets and resources were shamefully plundered. Its financial system was even used for money laundering by Citibank, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan. The net result was massive wealth transfers and the impoverishment of society which culminated in many deaths due to oppression and malnutrition.
Oil producers running out of storage space (March 3, 2009) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29495753
Supertankers that once raced around the world to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for oil are now parked offshore, fully loaded, anchors down, their crews killing time. In the United States, vast storage farms for oil are almost out of room. As demand for crude has plummeted, the world suddenly finds itself awash in oil that has nowhere to go. Its been less than a year since oil prices hit record highs. But now producers and traders are struggling with the new reality: The world wants less oil, not more. And turning off the spigot is about as easy as turning around one of those tankers. So oil companies and investors are stashing crude, waiting for demand to rise and the bear market to end so they can turn a profit later. Meanwhile, oil-producing countries such as Iran have pumped millions of barrels of their own crude into idle tankers, effectively taking crude off the market to halt declining prices that are devastating their economies. Traders have always played a game of store and sell, bringing oil to market when it can fetch the best price. They say this time is different because of how fast the bottom fell out of the oil market. Nobody expected this, said Antoine Halff, an analyst with Newedge. The majority of people out there thought the market would keep rising to $200, even $250, a barrel. They were tripping over each other to pick a higher forecast. Now the strategy is storage. Anyone who can buy cheap oil and store it might be able to sell it at a premium later, when the global economy ramps up again.
Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid (March 3, 2009) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html
One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study. Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to [a new report] by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years. The increases in the number of people in some form of correctional control occurred as crime rates declined by about 25 percent in the past two decades. As states face huge budget shortfalls, prisons, which hold 1.5 million adults, are driving the spending increases. Pew researchers say that as states trim services like education and health care, prison budgets are growing. Those priorities are misguided, the study says. States are looking to make cuts that will have long-term harmful effects, said Sue Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States. Corrections is one area they can cut and still have good or better outcomes than what they are doing now. About $9 out of $10 spent on corrections goes to prison financing (that includes money spent to house 780,000 people in local jails). One in 11 African-Americans, or 9.2 percent, are under correctional control, compared with one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent) and one in 45 whites (2.2 percent).
The proliferation of space warfare technology (11 DECEMBER 2008) http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/the-proliferation-of-space-warfare-technology
Given how easily information can spread about the globe today, it's inevitable that space warfare technology will proliferate. And once one country sets its sights on space domination, other countries are sure to follow, spurring a second arms race of sorts. That's why the international community and U.S. policy makers need to begin discussing the ramifications of pursuing military space immediately. (...) For its part, the United States continues to strive for technologies that will keep its soldiers safe, support bloodless wars, and allow war to be waged from air-conditioned control rooms--all of which can be achieved only if Washington has a dominant role in the development of advanced technologies that allow for the evolution of current space capabilities. Technologies such as nanotechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence PDF are seen as the leading candidates for facilitating such an evolution. A new U.S. Air Force television ad campaign that shows young men and women combating cyber warfare from the comfort of a computer terminal makes this evident. Such images serve as a tool to win over public opinion, enabling national consensus in favor of the weaponization of space. Will a similar sentiment resonate with the international community? Is it possible that in the future we will witness the international community embrace and employ nondestructive methods to disrupt or degrade the space systems of hostile nations in support of peacekeeping and casualty reductions? And once the space warfare threshold is crossed, will a nation on the verge of defeat be left with no choice but to attack the space assets that are decimating its forces or the ground stations that are critical to a space-based weapons functionality and operational integrity? CLIP To find out more on this issue, explore http://www.spacetransparency.org/
Russia officially enters space arms race (March 6, 2009) http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200910/3144/Russia-officially-enters-space-arms-race
Its been a busy 24 hours when it comes to talk of advances in space weaponry. Following a retired Russian generals suggestion that Februarys satellite collision was engineered by the United States, a deputy defence minister for the Russian government has revealed the country is developing an anti-satellite weapons system. According to an Associated Press report, General Valentin Popovkin has said the weapons array is being created as a way for Russia to push the modernisation of its nuclear capabilities and maintain momentum alongside similar technology held by other nations.Gen. Popovkin, former chief of Russian Military Space Forces, also insisted that Russia is opposed to entering into a space arms race, but its current and future responses are in direct relation to activity made by other countries.For example, the Chinese military destroyed one of its orbiting satellites with a surface-launched test missile in 2007. And, in February of 2008, the U.S. successfully stuck one of its own defunct spy satellites with a defence system missile. Although now actively seeking to bolster their own positions with individual missile defence systems, both the Chinese and Russian governments have previously opposed the U.S. for pushing the development of space-based missiles and ground lasers, unsuccessfully seeking an international ban on such technology in the process. CLIP
Russia paves way for US nuclear deal (8 March 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/08/russia-us-nuclear-weapons
Russia yesterday set out its demands for a comprehensive new nuclear weapons agreement with the US to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start I) of 1991.A day after meeting US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Geneva - where Clinton expressed America's desire to "reset" relations between Washington and Moscow - Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov insisted that a new arms treaty was the first step in mending the two countries' relations. Addressing the 65-nation United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Lavrov said: "The right moment has come, for the first time after the end of the Cold War, for making real progress in resuming the global disarmament process on a broad agenda. I am convinced that we should not miss this opportunity." The last few days of diplomacy mark the most visible signs of effort to break a decade-long stalemate in advancing nuclear disarmament. Lavrov was speaking after Clinton announced that Washington and Moscow had agreed to a plan aimed at renewing the Start treaty which is due to expire by 5 December. The original agreement committed both parties to reduce their nuclear arsenals, reducing missiles to a maximum of 1,600 and warheads to no more than 6,000. (...) Setting out Russia's vision for the future, Lavrov read out a statement from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev calling for far-reaching agreements that would go beyond nuclear warheads and would include strategic delivery systems. Russia wants a prohibition on the "weaponisation of outer space", deployment of weapons outside national territories, and is also calling for moves to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East by way of a nuclear weapons-free zone. Clinton, speaking on Friday, also saw a new strategic arms treaty as a priority. She said that the two countries wanted to present a plan to Obama and Medvedev before they meet at the G20 summit in London on 2 April.
Google Maps to look closer through new GeoEye satellite (Sept 1, 2008) http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200836/1910/Google-Maps-to-look-closer-through-new-GeoEye-satellite
Google Inc.s massively popular online mapping tool Google Maps is about to increase its worth as a navigational service following a deal with Virginia-based commercial satellite imagery company GeoEye that will provide Google with enhanced imagery direct from its latest orbiting satellite. Due to blast into orbit in September, resulting map images captured by the GeoEye-1 satellite will be used exclusively by Google, which marks the strengthening of an existing content deal the California-based search giant already has in place with GeoEye via its IKONOS satellite. Notably, although Google already uses imagery from IKONOS, and other contributors, the content sourced from GeoEyes new $500 million USD satellite is expected to see Google Maps taking receipt of the highest resolution images currently being gathered by orbiting satellite systems. (...) The satellite will be able to see an object the size of home plate on a baseball diamond but also map the location of an object that size to within about nine feet (three meters) of its true location on the surface of the Earth without need for ground control points, outlined GeoEye in its official release. CLIP
The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon - How Taxpayers Finance Fantasy Wars By Chalmers Johnson (February 02, 2009) http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175029
Like much of the rest of the world, Americans know that the U.S. automotive industry is in the grips of what may be a fatal decline. Unless it receives emergency financing and undergoes significant reform, it is undoubtedly headed for the graveyard in which many American industries are already buried, including those that made televisions and other consumer electronics, many types of scientific and medical equipment, machine tools, textiles, and much earth-moving equipment -- and that's to name only the most obvious candidates. They all lost their competitiveness to newly emerging economies that were able to outpace them in innovative design, price, quality, service, and fuel economy, among other things. A similar, if far less well known, crisis exists when it comes to the military-industrial complex. That crisis has its roots in the corrupt and deceitful practices that have long characterized the high command of the Armed Forces, civilian executives of the armaments industries, and Congressional opportunists and criminals looking for pork-barrel projects, defense installations for their districts, or even bribes for votes.Given our economic crisis, the estimated trillion dollars we spend each year on the military and its weaponry is simply unsustainable. Even if present fiscal constraints no longer existed, we would still have misspent too much of our tax revenues on too few, overly expensive, overly complex weapons systems that leave us ill-prepared to defend the country in a real military emergency. We face a double crisis at the Pentagon: we can no longer afford the pretense of being the Earth's sole superpower, and we cannot afford to perpetuate a system in which the military-industrial complex makes its fortune off inferior, poorly designed weapons. This self-destructive system of bloated budgets and purchases of the wrong weapons has persisted for so long thanks to the aura of invincibility surrounding the Armed Forces and a mistaken belief that jobs in the arms industry are as valuable to the economy as jobs in the civilian sector. Recently, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen began to advocate nothing less than protecting the Pentagon budget by pegging defense spending to a fixed percentage of gross domestic product (GDP, the total value of goods and services produced by the economy). This would, of course, mean simply throwing out serious strategic analysis of what is actually needed for national defense. Mullen wants, instead, to raise the annual defense budget in the worst of times to at least 4% of GDP. Such a policy is clearly designed to deceive the public about ludicrously wasteful spending on weapons systems which has gone on for decades. It is hard to imagine any sector of the American economy more driven by ideology, delusion, and propaganda than the armed services. Many people believe that our military is the largest, best equipped, and most invincible among the world's armed forces. None of these things is true, but our military is, without a doubt, the most expensive to maintain. Each year, we Americans account for nearly half of all global military spending, an amount larger than the next 45 nations together spend on their militaries annually. (...) The inevitable day of reckoning, long predicted by Pentagon critics, has, I believe, finally arrived. Our problems are those of a very rich country which has become accustomed over the years to defense budgets that are actually jobs programs and also a major source of pork for the use of politicians in their reelection campaigns.Given the present major recession, whose depths remain unknown, the United States has better things to spend its money on than Nimitz-class aircraft carriers at a price of $6.2 billion each (the cost of the USS George H. W. Bush, launched in January 2009, our tenth such ship) or aircraft that can cruise at a speed of Mach 2 (1,352 miles per hour).However, don't wait for the Pentagon to sort out such matters. If it has proven one thing over the last decades, it's that it is thoroughly incapable of reforming itself. CLIP
Pop Superstar Sting Supports Pentagon Hacker, Condemns U.S. (March 03, 2009) http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/03/pop-superstar-s.html
International pop star Sting is the latest British celebrity to throw his weight behind 9/11 truther and admitted Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon, the U.K. man who's still fighting tooth and nail to avoid a U.S. trial on computer hacking charges."It's a travesty of human rights that Gary McKinnon finds himself in this dreadful situation," the former Police front man told the Mail on Sunday."The U.S. response in relation to the true nature of Gary's crime is disproportionate in the extreme," Sting said, referring to the extremely disproportionate response of charging a 43-year-old man with computer intrusion, when all he did was intrude into some computers.Prosecutors say McKinnon broke into more than 90 unclassified Pentagon systems in 2001 and 2002, allegedly crashing some of them. He has said he was looking for proof of a UFO cover-up, though he left this message in an Army computer in 2002: "U.S. foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days ... It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year ... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels." (...) Instead, McKinnon has garnered massive support in the U.K. in a years-long legal battle to avoid extradition. Several prominent British lawmakers joined his side after his lawyer announced last August that McKinnon had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. It's not clear, though, if any of them have the foggiest idea what they're talking about, since they're often heard grumbling about McKinnon's "70-year" sentencing exposure on "terrorism charges."Even Sting worries that the hacker might take his own life rather than go to jail "as a terrorist." He also complains: "The British Government is prepared to hand over this vulnerable man without reviewing the evidence." CLIP
Almost $4.5B in new aid pledged for Gaza reconstruction (March 2, 2009) http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/03/02/gaza-summit.html
The international community has promised $4.48 billion in new funding to help rebuild the Gaza strip, said Egypt's Foreign Minister Monday at a conference focused on reconstructing the battered territory.Saying the figure was beyond expectations, Ahmed Aboul Gheit confirmed that donor countries will recommit themselves to giving past aid money that was promised but never delivered, bringing the total aid figure to approximately $5.2 billion.The Palestinian Authority had asked donors at the conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to fund a $2.8-billion reconstruction and recovery plan. Rival Hamas was not invited.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the funding, but said a political solution was needed to achieve peace.Saudi Arabia pledged $1 billion in aid, and the United States said it would give $900 million.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave no breakdown of the funds, but her spokesman, Robert A. Wood, said on Sunday that it included $300 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza and about $600 million in budget and development aid to the Palestinian Authority, which is based in the West Bank. (...) Another complication is the status of the tightly controlled Israeli-Gaza border. Currently, Israel only allows essential humanitarian aid to go through the border. That policy has drawn criticism from a number of international parties, including the United States, the United Nations and Britain. "No matter how many billions of dollars are pledged, if they can't get concrete and steel and construction supplies into Gaza, they're simply not able to rebuild," said Armstrong.Canada gave $4 million in aid in January immediately after the cessation of hostilies in Gaza on Jan. 18. In 2006, Canada committed $300 million in aid to Gaza over five years. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, in attendance at the conference, has said the question of border openness is one best answered by the Israeli government. Israel has offered no assurances that it would open border crossings to Gaza in order to facilitate large scale reconstruction. CLIP
Gaza donor conference: conspiracy wrapped up as compassion (March 5, 2009) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12556
The donor conference Monday at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt had nothing to do with alleviating the appalling humanitarian crisis in Gaza and rebuilding the homes, factories, infrastructure and schools destroyed by Israel-its ostensible purpose. This stated goal was a cover for furthering Washington's geopolitical interests in the oil-rich Middle East, by overthrowing Hamas and restoring the discredited Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas to power in Gaza so as to help police the region in American and Israel's interests. (...) The essential purpose of the gathering was to demand that the Palestinians "break the cycle of rejection and resistance" and submit to Israeli demands. This means accepting a bifurcated state made up of Gaza and several non-contiguous enclaves in the West Bank, ruled by the Fatah-dominated PA. This entity would be dominated by Israel with the help of Egypt and Jordan, while Israel continues to expand its settlements in the West Bank. Just last week, the Israeli PeaceNow movement announced that Israel had drawn up plans to build 70,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.The conference was attended by diplomats from 45 countries, but not by Israel. Hamas, despite being the elected government, was not invited, as Israel, the US and European Union regard it as a terrorist organisation. Instead the Palestinians were represented by Washington's puppet PA regime, headed by Abbas, even though his term of office expired last January. CLIP
The pasta, paper and hearing aids that could threaten Israeli security (2 March 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-pasta-paper-and-hearing-aids-that-could-threaten-israeli-security-1635143.html
Members of the highest-ranking American delegation to tour Gaza were shocked to discover that the Israeli blockade against the Hamas-ruled territory included such food staples as lentils, macaroni and tomato paste. "When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?" asked Congressman Brian Laird. It was only after Senator John Kerry, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, raised the issue with Defence Minister Ehud Barak after their trip last month that Israel allowed the pasta in. Macaroni was considered a luxury item, not a humanitarian necessity, they were told. The total number of products blacklisted by Israel remains a mystery for UN officials and the relief agencies which face long delays in bringing in supplies. For security reasons such items as cement and steel rods are banned as they could be used by Hamas to build bunkers or the rockets used to target Israeli civilians. Hearing aids have been banned in case the mercury in their batteries could be used to produce chemical weapons. Yet since the end of the war in January, according to non-government organisations, five truckloads of school notebooks were turned back at the crossing at Kerem Shalom where goods are subject to a $1,000 (£700) per truck "handling fee". Paper to print new textbooks for Palestinian schools was stopped, as were freezer appliances, generators and water pumps, cooking gas and chickpeas. And the French government was incensed when an entire water purification system was denied entry. Christopher Gunness, the spokesman for the UN agency UNRWA responsible for Palestinian refugees, said: "One of the big problems is that the 'banned list' is a moving target so we discover things are banned on a 'case by case', 'day by day' basis." Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said: "Israel's blockade policy can be summed up in one word and it is punishment, not security."
Amazon Teetering on the Edge (February 26, 2009) http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/02/26-6
RIO DE JANEIRO - The Amazon Basin captures 12,000 to 16,000 square kilometres of water per year, and just 40 percent of that flows through the rivers. The rest returns to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration of the forests and is distributed throughout South America.Deforestation is reducing the humidity that, carried by the winds, contributes to the water equilibrium of vast parts of the continent. Deforestation also intensifies erosion and surface drainage, which diverts water not only away from the natural irrigation of the Amazon, but also from faraway farmland. Unbridled economic development fuelled by globalisation is devastating large swathes of the Amazonian basin, the United Nations warned in a major study released Wednesday. In 2026, an Amazon converted into "the world's last grain reserve," criss-crossed by new highways and megaprojects for energy and regional integration, will attract billion-dollar investments, but with less forest and clean water, leading to serious environmental degradation that is accentuated by the impacts of climate change. That description is the "Inching Along the Precipice" scenario of the GEO Amazon report, drafted over the last two years with contributions from 150 scientists from the eight countries of the Amazon region, coordinated by the Lima-based Research Centre of the University of the Pacific. (...) In fact, deforestation in Brazil has been on the decline since before the outbreak of the current global economic crisis, when soybean and beef prices were still very high - factors traditionally behind the expansion of the farming frontier in the Amazon, he explained.The portrait painted in the report does not lead to much optimism. Beef cattle, one of the main causes of deforestation, jumped from 34.7 million head in 1994 to 73.7 million in 2006 in the Brazilian Amazon, and continue to expand quickly as well in the Bolivian and Colombian parts of the basin. Soy, lumber and mining, as well as major hydroelectric projects in Brazil and others carried out under the South American Regional Infrastructure Integration Initiative (IIRSA), which the Brazilian government has made a priority, are other economic pressures on the Amazon forest and biodiversity. And demographic pressure is evident in a population growing faster than the national average. The just over five million residents of the Amazon in 1970 have increased six-fold, reaching 33.5 million in 2007 - that is, 11 percent of the total population of the eight Amazon Basin countries. CLIP
Brazil Agrees to Protect Rainforests http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=3308&utm_source=feb09grace&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=15_Brazil
The Brazilian government made its first-ever serious commitment to Amazon rainforest protection this December, pledging to reduce the rate of deforestation by 70 percent over the next decade. If the target is met, it will keep 4.8 billion tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. The announcement came just before the most recent international climate meeting in Poznan, Poland, where negotiators debated how to reward countries that reduce deforestation. Brazils plan seeks international funding. Norway has pledged $1 billion over seven years to the effort. CLIP
Alp-sized peaks found entombed in Antarctic ice (Feb 24, 2009) http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKTRE51N37S20090224?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0
OSLO (Reuters) - Jagged mountains the size of the Alps have been found entombed in Antarctica's ice, giving new clues about the vast ice sheet that will raise world sea levels if even a fraction of it melts, scientists said on Tuesday. Using radar and gravity sensors, the experts made the first detailed maps of the Gamburtsev subglacial mountains, originally detected by Russian scientists 50 years ago at the heart of the East Antarctic ice sheet. "The surprising thing was that not only is this mountain range the size of the Alps, but it looks quite similar to the (European) Alps, with high peaks and valleys," said Fausto Ferraccioli, a geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey who took part in the research.He told Reuters that the mountains would probably have been ground down almost flat if the ice sheet had formed slowly. But the presence of jagged peaks might mean the ice formed quickly, burying a landscape under up to 4 km (2.5 miles) of ice. Ferraccioli said the maps were "the first page of a new book" of understanding how ice sheets behave, which in turn could help predict how the ice will react to global warming.Antarctica, bigger than the United States, has been swathed in ice for about 35 million years, and contains enough of it to raise world sea levels by about 57 metres (187 feet) if it ever all melted. So even a fractional melt would affect coasts around the globe. CLIP
Spain Withdraws Gardasil After Illnesses http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/24/Spain-Withdraws-Gardasil-After-Illnesses.aspx
Spanish health authorities have withdrawn tens of thousands of doses of Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), after two teenagers who received the shots were hospitalized. The two girls were vaccinated last week as part of a vast government program targeting adolescents. A batch of nearly 76,000 doses of the vaccine has been withdrawn from the market. The vaccine has been available since 2006. (...) I dont know what more health officials from all over the world could be waiting for to let them know how potentially dangerous this vaccine actually is.Over 10,000 adverse reactions, including 29 deaths, have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in relation to Gardasil -- and that is just from the United States. Although Merck, which manufactures Gardasil, has reported a 16 percent decline in quarterly sales of the vaccine, and said it expects sales this year to be lower than expected, a massive campaign is still underway urging young girls to get vaccinated and become one less victim to cervical cancer. This is going on in many parts of the world, including in Sweden, which recently announced all primary school girls will be able to be vaccinated with Gardasil for free starting in 2010. Merck has also been pushing for an expansion of uses for Gardasil. In the U.S., the vaccine can also be promoted to prevent two rare vaginal and vulvar cancers, and Merck just recently filed for FDA approval to use Gardasil for boys! What Types of Risks Does Gardasil Pose? Side effects including paralysis and death have been reported in relation to Gardasil, among many, many others. Yet, on October 21, 2008 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in association with the FDA released a report alleging that the vast majority, or even ALL, of the 10,000+ adverse reactions reported are not related to the vaccine. Therefore, they say, Gardasil is safe. How did they come to this conclusion? Only the investigators know, and the information is not being made public so independent researchers can make their own decisions. CLIP
The Government and the phone masts: "An unforeseen crisis" (6 March 2009) http://www.next-up.org/France/Bouygues_Telecom.php#1
The two recent court judgments that compel the mobile phone companies to take down existing phone masts have set off a real shock wave, invisible like the waves but very real in the microcosm of the pro-mobile establishment. ..Martin Bouygues PDG Bouygues Telecom.. (photo AFP)Since apparently nobody saw it coming, the surprise looks more like panic, judging by the comments made this Wednesday by Martin Bouygues, head of Bouygues Telecom, who exclaimed: "The government has got to make a choice: do they want us to go on using mobile phones or not?" Is he exaggerating? Not necessarily. If Martin Bouygues can see anything of the future, he must have grasped that the whole issue might soon shift to another register; in fact it may soon be the criminal law that takes the place of civil law, as was clearly hinted in the grounds for the decision in the Nanterre case. [judgement extract]It seems that the regulations issued by the WHO and by their in-house fixer Repacholi are also beginning to come apart at the seams, and that the whole system set up to present these network-friendly standards as adequate is crumbling in the face of the evidence.Might not these WHO recommendations, which are always quoted by the politicians and by the phone companies, one day come back to hit them in the face like a boomerang? In spite of the shameless efforts to prevent them from being tampered with, which do no credit to the WHO, and to deny everything, as always in the face of real evidence the truth will eventually triumph. CLIP
Mobile calls under threat in Brussels? (05/03/2009) http://www.expatica.com/be/news/local_news/Mobile-calls-under-threat-in-Brussels__50199.html
From 15 March radiation from a mobile phone mast will not be allowed to exceed 3 volts. Belgium's three mobile phone operators are up in arms as a result of the plans of the Brussels Government to limit the radiation norms of mobile phone masts in the capital. From 15 March radiation from a mobile phone mast will not be allowed to exceed 3 volts. Because of health concerns, the Region is lowering the power mobile phone masts are allowed to use. To maintain their network the mobile phone operators say that they will have to put up more masts. If not, they say, phone calls will be interrupted half way through. The Brussels Environment Minister Evelyne Huytebroeck (Francophone Green), who was instrumental in bringing about the change, doesn't understand what the problem is. The same norms are applied in Paris, she says. CLIP
Cell Phone Towers Emit Harmful Microwave Radiation (March 5, 2009) http://www.westallisnow.com/userstoriessubmitted/40808987.html
Microwave radiation from cell phone towers increase oxidative stress, lowers GSH and impairs immune function.The adverse effects of cell phone towers have not been getting the media scrutiny they have long deserved. Most of the studies funded by the telecommunications industry are carefully structured and are limited to the short terms effects of cell phones, a strategy to feed the grist-mill of favorable publicity. They spend nothing to study the long term effects or to measure specific biological and immunological markers. A few studies that have measured the biological effects of microwave radio emissions from cell phone towers find that they increase free radicals and oxidative stress, lower glutathione (GSH) and lower cortisol levels. Photographs of red blood cells exposed to cell phone signals show red blood cell aggregation, an abnormal condition. The distorted red blood cells impair oxygen delivery and the removal of CO2 and this alone has vast consequences for cardiovascular health. Currently, there are no investigations on the effects of cell phone signals on impairing the bodys immune response against viral, fungal and bacterial infections while empirical evidence grows that cell phone radiation may be degrading and impairing the immune system of millions of people worldwide. From the common cold to the flu, infections are lasting much longer than they use to from 10 days to several weeks or even months. Microwave radiation weakens the integrity of cell membranes and accelerates the aging process. Millions of people exposed 24/7 to microwave radiation from cell phone towers are being slowly cooked. The long term damage may be irreversible. Internet sources report over 100,000 cell phone relay towers in the US alone and they grow daily. The following research done on rats exposed to the microwave frequencies of cell phones and cell phone towers demonstrates serious health implications for the human race. CLIP
How to locate cell phone towers in your neighborhood
Go to http://www.antennasearch.com and enter your address, city, state and zip code. This web site provides nationwide information on the height and owners of these towers. The sheer number of sources of microwave radiation are mind boggling and the threat is real.
A long-time subscriber to the Earth Rainbow Network, who wishes to remain anonymous, has asked me to share the following dream with you all, as he believes that the more people who focus on, or even visualize the promised Moment, the more likely and maybe the sooner it will happen.
A dream, March 2009:
I am sitting on a shelf of rock, overlooking a vast plain, when I hear someone approaching. He is about fourteen but dont let that fool you, I think to myself.
Hi, he says, and hunkers down beside me.
I wait for him to speak, and eventually he does so:
I have been asked to give you some news, he says, gazing out over the plain. The day you have been longing for, working for, all your life and many previous lifetimes is almost here.
Alle-bloody-luiah! springs to mind and thats the cleaned up version - but I dont say it out loud. Thats very good news, I reply. But weve been hearing that for at least thirty years and still nothing has happened. I immediately regret my churlish- ness, but the lad just smiles.
Sorry, but I dont live in your time frame, he replies. Thirty, even a hundred Earth years are but a moment where I come from.
And where do you come from? I ask.
I work as a synthesizer in the IP centre. He senses that Im about to ask him what the IP centre is, and forestalls me: Incoming Prayer centre. All human prayers are downloaded onto a central computer, and my department is responsible for organizing them into topics and degrees of relevance and urgency taking into account the hundreds of different languages in which they are transmitted, and the many degrees of precision of thought and visualization with which they have been expressed.
The prayer that now outnumbers almost all the others put together is:
During the last few years in your time critical mass has been reached, so this simple, one-word prayer, which is often spoken aloud, or whispered, or uttered silently - but is far more often sent subconsciously, even by those who dont believe in prayer! - has earned the rare and almost unprecedented status of 'a prayer from all mankind'. Such a prayer merits a response and the response is on its way.
This news restores my good humour and my good manners somewhat. Alleluiah, I say with a smile.
The lad gets to his feet. Tell your friends and fellow workers that D Day is now very close.
D Day? I enquire.
You tell me, says the news-bearer. You who have spent so many years searching, identifying, defining and refining precisely what is required.
I get to my feet. Deliverance Day.
The boy nods. Deliverance Day. He lifts a hand in an informal salute and goes on his way.
Actually I am not sure anymore about the Arcadia or, for that matter, the Ego either, there, in Arcadia or anywhere else in the future. I seem with ageing (evolving?) to be dropping beliefs like drops off a shaking puppy regaining its original integrity. It is unsettling, but also rewarding for I seem to come closer to truth, of sorts.
I was educated at a church school with its once a day and twice on Sunday certainties so I look back with some nostalgia at the lost convictions and feel a pang when, in films, I see communities gathering (as I stopped doing) with all that convivial, family/friendly certainty at a church on Sundays, especially at Christmas.
As far as a personal God that cares about me, my behaviour or my welfare I am pretty much an atheist. I do regret that, partly because the word has such overlays of total disapproval, something dirty, beyond the pale, like a contagious disease contracted through some perversion. It seems the ultimate insult, like queer of bygone times. But the shades of sexual mixing we now live with havent caused divine lightning or turned offenders into pillars of salt. Not yet, I hear the die hard (emphasis on die it seems) fundamentalists cry.
But I believe in angels, indeed would claim to have been visited by one who beat energy into my heart centre with wings. So where does that place me? Believing in the messenger but not in the existence of the One who sent them!
I also believe in nature spirits, fairies, ghosts; over the years some repeated direct experience of one in my home, and the magnificent play of subtle energies.
If I dont believe in heaven why is it I look forward to dying? Not merely as an escape from the terrible things humans do on earth, but because I feel it will be a holiday, a change, on to some other adventure in a realm where love and harmony is the gentle, fragrant zephyr and where the body doesnt age as it does here and need so much disciplined daily maintenance. I dont look forward to annihilation in death, but that is often acceptable, when the worlds weight is felt, oh too keenly!
When I started TM I embraced the concepts of Cosmic Consciousness, God Consciousness and Unity Consciousness, Enlightenment. But now I see the insistent predilection of humans to have and to possess. "I am or want CC, GC and UC and thus own them."
I am nearer to the understanding that there is no I. When I meditate deeply I dont find any I, just even, eternal Being, devoid of personality. All waves have subsided and there is just the ocean, One and always One and nothing else, no me.
But that is a slippery truth and hard to grasp and even harder to live while there is an individual identity with all its my/mine and grasping desires. It is our individual perspectives, our identities that give our lives any zip, whether perspective of pain, fear, longing, obsessions, etc.
On the one hand, I know that nothing matters and on the other hand everything does. I feel the pain of all the suffering, so so much of it that I wonder what I am doing on such a confused, sad planet. It is as if finding I am living unexpectedly in the pages of a violent story in a bizarre supermarket tabloid. I feel, too, such joy in babies, puppies, kittens, elderly couples holding hands and the delicious taste of my corn in summer. Life is contradictions and paradox.
I am not sure of reincarnation any more either. I see the trap of the I clinging to wanting to continue.. But why then do I often see myself, after death, meeting my first girlfriend, Lilla from Stellenbosch University, long dead, embracing her, laughing and melting in joy? It is now 50 years and I still feel love for her. Is it just the projection of the anima on ones first love as the Jungian therapist Marion Woodman explained to me, and the inability or the refusal to reclaim ones soul back from its projection because that is to end the dream, the fantasy? We experience our souls in that projection and mistaking that for love are sold out ever more to be in love with oneself.
But there you are, I still look forward to holding her, and et in Arcadia Ego.
Humans need signposts, milestones and a map of directions, characters for us to inhabit, clothes to put on and to take off at death. Because we are untrusting we need to feel there is a purpose and so find it, or impose it. Impose it on what? On that magnificent flow of life, of energy that comes from where? And goes to where?
The I is a temporary illusion that gives form to the formless. We make I important. It is important. It gives a meaning to life for each one of us. Without I what meaning does life hold?
When I shut my eyes and go into that silent realm inside that meaning vanishes. It could be a trick of brain chemistry, a self induced state where I sit drunk with the joy of Nothing nothing to do, nothing to fear, nothing to gain. Just me, no not me, that cant be, because me is David Fiske and there is none of him there. He has been totally dropped, discarded, flung aside like the likeable, eccentric illusion he is and for those precious moments, he exists only as a body that continues its natural processes while the body possessor lies with and knows the Universe, pulsed by Its Pulse and so has become the Universe or the Universe has become him.
The Sea of Energy in which we live, that laps at our feet that roars in that Silence is there before, during and after every little action of ours. And when all actions cease in meditation or death we become what we always were: Impersonal and Universal. This energy is intelligent, so vast and intelligence that I must call it Wisdom, so creative, a Whole, so unknowable by a part that the part must become Whole in an act of total surrender to know It. Surrender... to the Divine? I shrink from the word God but we seem to be back in a loop. That Mystery, not to be explained in sermons or moral guidance, not to be worshipped or feared, or prayed to. The Mystery that was before and will be after, that enfolds us always is here and for evermore..
When, at death, I drop the illusion of David Fiske, it is possible that in the illusion there will be other identities, other worlds and other experiences. Life Energy is rich enough and creative enough to permit my acceptance of that. These other realms make the story better. Flying saucers taking us to another, happier planet, that sort of thing. Even if fiction, they will allow me to go into death calmly, for if they are fiction I will never know that, if no consciousness to know that survives. Nothing to lose then, as long as the fictions dont prevent me living fully and joyfully.
But if true, what a grand adventure and isnt it wonderful? And arent we lucky?
Finally, it seems possible that all illusions will drop. With a huge sigh the last completing breath will be exhaled by all creation and all the individual breaths luxuriously inhaled into the One. The Mysterious Nothing will be again Alone. With that last exhalation becoming surrenders to Being, all lovers become One, the drop disappears in the Ocean. Just Nothing.
To me that seems, without the I like Arcadia, Heaven.
Long may it last.
Until the next mighty quivering, magnificent exhalation from the One; a collective individual inbreath from us and It starts again.
Better get ready!
* "And in Arcadia I exist" - http://www.parnasse.com/etpnt.htm - Latin phrase found in Virgil's fifth eclogue that translates literally as "Even in Arcady, there am I. The popular term "Arcadian," describes a utopian garden paradise where serene pastoral folk drink, dance and lounge around in an endless summer. It is here in this untroubled land that Nicolas Poussin's shepherds first encounter the solemn reality that all things must pass." I used the phrase, learned from Evelyn Waughs book Brideshead Revisited as an indication that I will continue to exist in a Heaven. I read this wonderful book in 1957 in my first year at Stellenbosch University and for which I have had a nostalgic love ever since as it encapsulates my first University years as a son of pleasure in love with boozy conversations, fine dining and beauty. I have understood the phrase to imply the joy (in heaven) Charles Ryder felt to be in love with Sebastian and the new exciting experiences of University life. It implies that I (ego) can be in Arcadia (heaven).
Editor's Note: Barack Obama ran on a platform rejecting many of George W. Bush's imperial notions about the presidency, and initially President Obama showed signs of living up to his word.
However, as the Independent Institute's Ivan Eland notes in this guest essay, there have been troubling indications over the past month that Obama doesn't want to - or doesn't dare to - roll back some of Bush's egregious assaults on the Constitution and due process:
Barack Obama entered the presidency as one of the most rhetorically pro-civil liberties politicians in recent memory.
And shortly after taking office, he drew applause from friends of liberty for promulgating executive orders closing Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons, ending CIA torture, suspending kangaroo proceedings at military tribunals, and pledging more openness than the secretive Bush administration.
Unfortunately, instead of prosecuting Bush administration officials, including George W. Bush, for violating criminal statutes against torture, illegal wiretapping of Americans, and other misdeeds - thus avoiding the bad precedent of giving a President a free pass on illegal acts - Obama appears ready to vindicate the prior administration's anti-terrorism program by adopting Bush Lite.
Warning signs that Obama was softer on civil liberties than advertised came even before he took office, when as a senator, he voted for blatantly unconstitutional legislation that allowed federal snooping into some e-mail messages and phone calls without a warrant.
The Constitution implies that all government searches and seizures of private property require a judicially-approved warrant based on probable cause that a crime has been committed - with no exceptions mentioned, including for national security.
Politicians love symbolic acts and Obama's rapid pledge to shutter the high profile prison at Guantanamo and secret CIA prisons was widely praised. But if civil liberties continue to be violated elsewhere, have we made much progress?
Obama's nominees have said the administration will continue the CIA's policy of "extraordinary rendition" of terrorism suspects - a euphemism for secret kidnapping without the legal nicety of extradition or any other procedural due process rights.
Prior to the Bush administration, such government-sanctioned kidnapping was authorized only to return the suspects to their home countries. The Bush administration began using such renditions to abduct suspects and send them to third-party nations that practiced harsh torture - presumably to keep U.S. hands (relatively) clean.
Leon Panetta, Obama's CIA director, has said that the new administration will continue the Bush administration's practice of rendition to third-party countries and relying on those countries' suspect diplomatic promises not to torture.
Also, Obama supposedly banned CIA torture by executive order, but such orders are not laws and can be reversed with the stroke of a pen.
What's worse, although CIA director Panetta has admitted that waterboarding (simulated drowning) is torture, he has also asserted publicly that if regular interrogation techniques did not produce information from a prisoner suspected of being involved in an imminent attack, he would request the authority to use harsher methods.
In perhaps the most important of the civil liberties waffling, Elena Kagan, the administration's nominee for solicitor general at the Justice Department, pledged to continue detaining indefinitely prisoners without trial, even if they were noncombatant terrorist financiers arrested far from a combat zone.
Ominously, the Obama administration is stalling on taking a position on the even more important Bush-era policy of perpetually incarcerating "enemy combatants" without trial on U.S. territory.
To stay within the U.S. Constitution, such vital habeas corpus rights, one of the pillars of the rule of law, should only be suspended by Congress in areas where combat has rendered the civilian courts inoperable - hardly the case in the United States during the never-ending "war on terror."
Although Obama's executive order suspended the Bush administration's kangaroo military tribunals, which have insufficient legal procedural safeguards, it has kept its options open on their resumption.
Finally, the new administration has mimicked the Bush administration's use of the "state secrets" doctrine to try to nix lawsuits by former CIA detainees and, for the same reason, pressured another country's court not to release information about U.S. torture of a prisoner.
Traditionally, the doctrine was usually used to withhold specific evidence in a legal proceeding, not to nix entire cases against the government for malfeasance. So much for a more open government.
The Obama administration is new and should be given a chance to do the right thing. Although certainly better than the lawless Bush administration, the new boss unsurprisingly resembles the old boss.
Historically, party label has been a less good indicator about actual presidential policies than the era in which the chief executive served. For example, in terms of actual programs, Richard Nixon was the last liberal president, a chief executive who largely continued Lyndon Johnson's government penetration into American society and even further expanded it.
Similarly, Jimmy Carter started the move back to the right and Ronald Reagan continued it (but in practice he really wasn't all that conservative). Civil liberties follow the general trend.
After the first Word Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the Oklahoma City and Tokyo subway attacks in 1995, Bill Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which augmented the government's powers of surveillance on Americans and paved the way for the further vast expansion of such authority (and other aforementioned dramatic civil liberties violations of the Bush administration) after 9/11.
Typically in American history, any crisis - such as 9/11 - causes an expansion of government power. After the crisis recedes, a public reaction to government excesses usually ensues - as now exists with Bush policies.
Yet government power never quite recedes to its pre-crisis level.
Unfortunately, what we are likely to see from a post-9/11 Obama presidency is that same historical phenomenon playing out.
The Groundwork Has Already Been Laid for Martial Law
By John W. Whitehead -- March 4, 2009
During his two terms in office, George W. Bush stepped outside the boundaries of the Constitution and assembled an amazing toolbox of powers that greatly increased the authority of the Executive branch and the reach of the federal government.
Bush expanded presidential power to, among other things, allow government agents to secretly open the private mail of American citizens; authorize government agents to secretly, and illegally, listen in on the phone calls of American citizens and read our e-mails; assume control of the federal government following a "catastrophic event"; and declare martial law.
Thus, the groundwork was laid for an imperial presidency and a potentially totalitarian government--a state of affairs that has not ended with Barack Obama's ascension to the Oval Office, despite hopes to the contrary that President Obama would fully restore the balance between government and its citizens to a pre-Bush status quo. As Charlie Savage reports in the New York Times, "Signs suggest that the administration's changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared--prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies."
The fact is that the problem is bigger than Obama or any individual who occupies the White House. Indeed, once the government assumes expansive powers and crosses certain constitutional lines, it's almost impossible to pull back.
Just consider some of the lines that have already been crossed.
The local police have, in many regards, already evolved into de facto extensions of the military. Dressed like Darth Vader look-alikes, the police have opted for the SWAT-team dress formally adopted by the federal agencies. Congressional legislation allows the U.S. military, by way of the Pentagon, to train civilian police. The Pentagon has also provided local police with military equipment such as M-16 rifles, bayonets, boats, vehicles, surveillance equipment, chemical suits and flak jackets, among other items. Thus, they are armed to the teeth.
We already have a federal police force comprised of Secret Service agents who are authorized to "carry firearms; make arrests without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence." A recent incident demonstrates the increased and immediate involvement of federal agents in local matters with the assistance of local police. Chip Harrison, a construction worker in Oklahoma, was pulled over by local police because of an anti-Obama sign proclaiming "Abort Obama, not the unborn" in his pickup truck window. The sign was confiscated by local police, and Harrison was informed that the sign could be considered a threat to the president. The local police contacted the Secret Service, who, within a matter of hours, came to Harrison's home and investigated the matter. So much for the freedom of expression.
According to the Army Times, we now have at least 20,000 U.S. military troops deployed within our borders to "help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack." I am not alone in believing that we are just one incident--be it a terrorist attack, a major financial blowout or a widespread natural disaster--away from martial law being declared in this country. And once that happens, the Constitution and Bill of Rights will be suspended and what government officials believe and do, no matter how arbitrary, will become law.
Our methods of communication are already being monitored--and, in some instances, shut down, abetted by the telecommunications giants, which act as extensions of the government. Thus, not only does the government have the ability to open and read our mail, it can also listen in on our phone calls and jam our cell phone calls. As the Washington Post reports, federal authorities already have the ability to jam cell phones and other wireless devices. Unbeknownst to the nearly two million people who attended the Obama Inauguration festivities, federal authorities jammed cell phone signals at specific locations. Such disruptions simply appear to be a dropped call or lost signal. Of course, such jamming could be conducted on a more extensive basis nationwide. This would prevent citizens from being able to communicate with one another or make appeals to their government representatives. Although jamming is technically illegal for state and local agencies, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) plans to introduce legislation to allow local police to "selectively" jam cell phones.
We already live in a surveillance state. There was a time when people could flee when the government got out of control. Now, with our every movement monitored by cameras on sidewalks, streets, ATMs, and in shops, offices, schools and parks, there truly is nowhere to hide. Moreover, equipped with high-powered satellites and massive databases, the government can track us using our cell phones, cars, credit cards, driver's licenses and passports.
For those who have been paying attention, such as former war correspondent Chris Hedges in his Truthdig article, "Bad News ">From America's Top Spy," it's clear that the groundwork for a seamless transition into martial law under a totalitarian state of government has been laid. And local law enforcement, which has already been serving as a de facto military force, will be the key to maintaining martial law under a police state. Given the interconnectedness of our federal, state and local agencies, you can be sure that all of this will happen quickly.
All that is needed is another threat to national security--a so-called "catastrophic event." Under the Bush administration, the danger was terrorism. Under the Obama administration, the economy is being posed as the greatest threat to national security.
This danger was made clear in a U.S. Army War College report issued last fall. As Hedges reports, "The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a 'violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,' which could be provoked by 'unforeseen economic collapse,' 'purposeful domestic resistance,' 'pervasive public health emergencies' or 'loss of functioning political and legal order.' The 'widespread civil violence,' the document said, 'would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.'"
What does all this mean for you and me, the average citizen? When and if martial law is declared, freedom, as we have known it, will be obsolete. And don't expect much in the way of warning or help from the corporate media. As the war in Iraq showed, they are all too willing to be co-opted by the military for the sake of access and ratings. And there will be many Americans who won't know what's happening. They'll be too busy watching the latest entertainment spectacle and trying to guess the next American Idol.
Thankfully, we have not yet reached the point of no hope. But it must be acknowledged that the average American simply does not have the ability to withstand a totalitarian government.
Right now, all we can do is sound the alarm. Become educated. Form local citizens groups in your community. Educate your neighbors on their rights and inform them about the grave possibilities we face in the event of a government-declared emergency. Keep in almost near-constant contact with your representatives in Congress and voice your discontent. Most of all, stay informed and exercise your right to redress your grievances with the government while you still can.
As abolitionist Wendell Phillips once proclaimed:
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty--power is ever stealing from the many to the few.... The hand entrusted with power becomes ... the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot.
The most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history, leading to social havoc and the potential impoverishment of millions of people.
"Strong economic medicine" with a "human face"
"Promise amid peril." The stated priorities of the Obama economic package are health, education, renewable energy, investment in infrastructure and transportation. "Quality education" is at the forefront. Obama has also promised to "make health care more affordable and accessible", for every American.
At first sight, the budget proposal has all the appearances of an expansionary program, a demand oriented "Second New Deal" geared towards creating employment, rebuilding shattered social programs and reviving the real economy.
The realities are otherwise. Obama's promise is based on a mammoth austerity program. The entire fiscal structure is shattered, turned upside down.
To reach these stated objectives, a significant hike in public spending on social programs (health, education, housing, social security) would be required as well as the implementation of a large scale public investment program. Major shifts in the composition of public expenditure would also be required: i.e. a move out of a war economy, requiring a movement out of military related spending in favour of civilian programs.
In actuality, what we are dealing with is the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history, leading to social havoc and the potential impoverishment of millions of people.
The Obama promise largely serves the interests of Wall Street, the defence contractors and the oil conglomerates. In turn, the Bush-Obama bank "bailouts" are leading America into a spiralling public debt crisis. The economic and social dislocations are potentially devastating.
Obama's budget submitted to Congress on February 26, 2009 envisages outlays for the 2010 fiscal year (commencing October 1st 2009) of $3.94 trillion, an increase of 32 percent. Total government revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, according to preliminary estimates by the Bureau of Budget, are of the order of $2.381 trillion.
The predicted budget deficit (according to the president's speech) is of the order of $1.75 trillion, almost 12 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
War and Wall Street
This is a "War Budget". The austerity measures hit all major federal spending programs with the exception of: 1. Defence and the Middle East War: 2. the Wall Street bank bailout, 3. Interest payments on a staggering public debt.
The budget diverts tax revenues into financing the war. It legitimizes the fraudulent transfers of tax dollars to the financial elites under the "bank bailouts".
The pattern of deficit spending is not expansionary. We are not dealing with a Keynesian style deficit, which stimulates investment and consumer demand, leading to an expansion of production and employment.
The "bank bailouts" (involving several initiatives financed by tax dollars) constitute a component of government expenditure. Both the Bush and Obama bank bailouts are hand outs to major financial institutions. They do not not constitute a positive spending injection into the real economy. Quite the opposite. The bailouts contribute to financing the restructuring of the banking system leading to a massive concentration of wealth and centralization of banking power.
A large part of the bailout money granted by the Us government will be transferred electronically to various affiliated accounts including the hedge funds. The largest banks in the US will also use this windfall cash to buy out their weaker competitors, thereby consolidating their position. The tendency, therefore, is towards a new wave of corporate buyouts, mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry.
In turn, the financial elites will use these large amounts of liquid assets (paper wealth), together with the hundreds of billions acquired through speculative trade, to buy out real economy corporations (airlines, the automobile industry, Telecoms, media, etc ), whose quoted value on the stock markets has tumbled.
In essence, a budget deficit ( combined with massive cuts in social programs) is required to fund the handouts to the banks as well as finance defence spending and the military surge in the Middle East war. Obama's budget envisages:
1. defense spending of $534 billion for 2010, a supplemental 130 billion dollar appropriation for fiscal 2010 for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a supplemental $75.5 billion emergency war funding for the rest of the 2009 fiscal year. Defence spending and the Middle East war, with various supplemental budgets, is (officially) of the order of 739.5 billion. Some estimates place aggregate defence and military related spending at $ 1 trillion+.
2. A bank bailout of the order of $750 billion announced by Obama, which is added on to the 700 billion dollar bailout money already allocated by the outgoing Bush administration under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). The total of both programs is a staggering 1.45 trillion dollars to be financed by the Treasury. It should be understood that the actual amount of cash financial "aid" to the banks is significantly larger than $1.45 trillion. (See Table 2 below).
3. Net Interest on the outstanding public debt is estimated by the Bureau of the Budget) at $164 billion in 2010.
The order of magnitude of these allocations is staggering. Under a "balanced budget" criterion --which has been a priority of government economic policy since the Reagan era--, almost all the revenues of the federal government amounting to $2.381 trillion would be used to finance the bank bailout (1.45 trillion), the war ($739 billion) and interest payments on the public debt ($164 billion). In other words, no money would be left over for other categories of public expenditure.
The U.S. Economy: Designed to Fail (February 28, 2009) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12493
(...) But neither President Obama, nor his Democratic supporters or Republican antagonists, should feel badly about what is happening. This is because the system they have been given to work with was designed to fail. The U.S. was saddled long ago with a debt-based monetary system, whereby the only way money can be introduced into circulation is through bank lending. It was the system that was instituted in 1913 when Congress gave away its constitutional power over money creation to the private banking industry by passing the Federal Reserve Act.It was then that the catastrophe we are now facing became inevitable. It took nearly a century to get here but it finally happened. We should have known it was coming when Federal Reserve-created bubbles replaced economic growth from our disappearing heavy industry, starting with the recession of 1979-83. We could have seen it coming when the dot.com bubble collapsed in 2000-2001, and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan worked with the George W. Bush administration to substitute the housing bubble for a real recovery. The day of reckoning is here. So don't worry, Mr. President. It's not your fault. When the collapse takes place the international bankers who will take over might even let you keep your job.
'Run on UK' sees foreign investors pull $1 trillion out of the City (March 7, 2009) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12599
A silent $1 trillion "Run on Britain" by foreign investors was revealed yesterday in the latest statistical releases from the Bank of England. The external liabilities of banks operating in the UK - that is monies held in the UK on behalf of foreign investors - fell by $1 trillion (£700bn) between the spring and the end of 2008, representing a huge loss of funds and of confidence in the City of London.Some $597.5bn was lost to the banks in the last quarter of last year alone, after a modest positive inflow in the summer, but a massive $682.5bn haemorrhaged in the second quarter of 2008 - a record. About 15 per cent of the monies held by foreigners in the UK were withdrawn over the period, leaving about $6 trillion. This is by far the largest withdrawal of foreign funds from the UK in recent decades - about 10 times what might flow out during a "normal" quarter.The revelation will fuel fears that the UK's reputation as a safe place to hold funds is being fatally comp-romised by the acute crisis in the banking system and a general trend to financial protectionism internat- ionally. This week, Lloyds became the latest bank to approach the Government for more assistance. A deal was agreed last night for the Government to insure about £260bn of assets in return for a stake of up to 75 per cent in the bank. The slide in sterling - it has shed a quarter of its value since mid-2007 - has been both cause and effect of the run on London, seemingly becoming a self-fulfilling phenomenon. The danger is that the heavy depreciation of the pound could become a rout if confidence completely evaporates. CLIP
The following statement was issued by Labor for Palestine on 17 February 2009:
"For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent."
-- Martin Luther King Jr., 4 April 1967
We salute the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in Durban, and Western Australian dock worker members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), for refusing to handle Israeli cargo.
Theirs is a courageous response to Israel's attack on Palestinians in Gaza that, since 27 December alone, have left some 1,400 dead and 5,000 wounded -- nearly all of them civilians.
This action is in the best tradition of dock workers in Denmark and Sweden (1963), the San Francisco Bay area (1984) and Liverpool (1988), who refused to handle shipping for apartheid South Africa; Oakland dock workers' refusal to load bombs for the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1978); and West Coast dock workers' strike against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2008).
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) rightly "calls on other workers and unions to follow suit and to do all that is necessary to ensure that they boycott all goods to and from Israel until Palestine is free."
COSATU's appeal is particularly relevant for workers in the United States, whose government stands behind Israel's war against the Palestinians, and without which Israeli apartheid cannot continue.
In the past 10 years alone, US military aid to Israel was $17 billion; over the next decade, it will be $30 billion. As in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is US aircraft, white phosphorous and bullets that kill and maim on behalf of the occupiers. Both the Democratic and Republican parties condone the slaughter in Gaza.
Such support bolsters Israel's longstanding role as watchdog and junior partner for US domination over the oil-rich Middle East -- and beyond. In that capacity, Israel was apartheid South Africa's closest ally.
As with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, workers in the US pay a staggering human and financial price, including deepening economic crisis, for US-Israeli war and occupation.
Yet, in contrast to trade union bodies in South Africa, Australia, Denmark, Britain, Canada and elsewhere, most of labor officialdom in this country -- often without the knowledge or consent of union members -- is a main accomplice of Israeli apartheid.
For more than 60 years, it has closely collaborated with the Histadrut, the Zionist labor federation that has spearheaded -- and whitewashed -- apartheid, dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since the 1920s.
US labor leaders have plowed at least $5 billion of our union pension funds and retirement plans into State of Israel Bonds.
In April 2002, while Israel butchered Palestinian refugees at Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney was a featured speaker at a belligerent "National Solidarity Rally for Israel."
In July 2007, the Jewish Labor Committee, a Histadrut mouthpiece, enlisted top officials of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to condemn British union support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Now, by their silence, these same leaders are complicit in Israel's massacre in Gaza.
These policies echo infamous "AFL-CIA" support for US war and dictatorship in Vietnam, Latin America, Gulf War I, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
It strengthens the US-Israel war machine and labor's corporate enemies, reinforces racism and Islamophobia, and makes a mockery of international solidarity.
For all these reasons, we join COSATU in supporting the growing international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions, which demands Palestinian self-determination, including an end to Israeli military occupation, the right of Palestinian refugees to return, and elimination of apartheid throughout historic Palestine.
Join us in publicizing the example of South African and Australian dock workers, and working toward the same kind of labor solidarity here at home.
Join us in demanding immediate and total:
1 End to US aid for Israel.
2 Divestment of business and labor investments in Israel.
3 Labor boycott of Israel.
4 Withdrawal of US and allied forces from the Middle East.
Israel boycott movement gains momentum (4 March 2009) http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10368.shtml
RAMALLAH (IPS) - "Standing United with the People of Gaza" is the theme of this week's Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which kicked off in Toronto and another 39 cities across the globe Sunday.A movement to boycott Israeli goods, culture and academic institutions is gaining momentum as Geneva prepares to host the UN's Anti-Racism Conference, Durban II next month amidst swirling controversy. Both Canada and the US are boycotting the Durban II conference in protest over what they perceive as a strongly anti-Israel agenda. The first UN Anti-Racism conference, held in the South African city Durban in 2001, saw the Israeli and US delegates storm out of the conference, accusing other delegates of focusing too strongly on Israel. United States and Canadian support might have offered some comfort for Israel. However, international criticism of Israel's three-week bloody offensive into Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands more wounded, most of them civilian, has breathed fresh life into a boycott, divest, sanctions (BDS) campaign. The BDS campaign followed a 2005 appeal from more than 170 Palestinian civil society groups to launch a divestment campaign "as a way of bringing nonviolent pressure to bear on the state of Israel to end its violations of international law." In the wake of the BDS campaign, critics of Israel have lashed out at what they see as parallels between South Africa's former apartheid system and Israeli racism. They point to Israel's discriminatory treatment of ethnic Palestinians within Israel who hold Israeli passports, and the extensive human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied territories by Israeli security forces.During the apartheid era, ties between Israel and South Africa were extremely strong, with Israel helping to train South Africa's security forces as well as supplying the regime in Pretoria with weapons. CLIP
The Ultimate Earmark: U.S. Military Aid to Israel (March 5 , 2009) http://www.counterpunch.org/christison03052009.html
In these days of economic crisis, budget overruns, earmarks, and multi-billion dollar bailouts, when Americans are being forced to tighten their own belts, one of the most automatic earmarksa bailout by any measuregoes to a foreign government but is little understood by most Americans. U.S. military aid to Israel is doled out in annual increments of billions of dollars but remains virtually unchallenged while other fiscal outlays are drastically cut.The United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2007 committing the U.S. to give Israel $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. This is grant aid, given in cash at the start of each fiscal year. The only stipulation imposed on Israels use of this cash gift is that it spend 74 per cent to purchase U.S. military goods and services.The first grant under this agreement was made in October 2008, for FY2009, in the amount of $2.55 billion. To bring the total 10-year amount to $30 billion, amounts in future years will gradually increase until an annual level of $3.1 billion is reached in FY2013. This will continue through FY2018.Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Since 1949, the United States has provided Israel with $101 billion in total aid, of which $53 billion has been military aid. For the last 20-plus years, Israel has received an average of $3 billion annually in grant aid;, until now the grant has been a mix of economic and military aid. CLIP
Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 1 March 2009
RAMALLAH (IPS) - "They started smashing down doors at 2am last Wednesday before moving through homes and destroying property," says the mayor of Jayyus, Muhammed Taher Shamasni.
"Residents were assaulted, money was stolen, computers confiscated, over 60 young men arrested and the village placed under curfew. The Israeli soldiers came into my home and threw the contents of cupboards and closets on to the floor," Shamasni told IPS. Jayyus, an agricultural community of 3,500 inhabitants, located in the Qalqiliya district of the northern Palestinian West Bank, was invaded by Israeli soldiers using police dogs and backed by military helicopters.
The village has been the scene of frequent clashes between local youths, their Israeli supporters and international sympathizers on the one hand, and the Israeli army on the other. Dozens protesting Israel's continued expropriation of village land were injured last Friday by Israeli soldiers firing live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Israel started building a separation barrier (a combination of walls, ditches and fences), most of it on Palestinian land, in 2002 to separate the Jewish state from the West Bank. This followed a wave of suicide bombings carried out by Palestinian militants, some of them originating from the West Bank.
While Israel has argued that the wall is primarily for security reasons, Palestinians and human rights organizations accuse Israel of using security as a pretext for both a massive land grab for the benefit of illegal Israeli settlements, and continual human rights abuses.
The route of the barrier deviates significantly from the internationally recognized green line marking the boundary between Israel and the West Bank, veering off repeatedly into the West Bank where it has swallowed enormous swathes of fertile Palestinian land.
The barrier's total length is 725 km, more than twice the length of the green line. When completed, approximately 14 percent of the barrier will be constructed on the green line or in Israel, and 86 percent inside the West Bank.
Prior to the building of the wall approximately 30 percent of the West Bank was expropriated for Israeli settlements, military zones and nature reserves. Another 10 percent was confiscated and declared a closed military zone in 2002 as construction on the barrier began.
Approximately 10,000 Palestinians are trapped in the pockets of territory between the Green Line and the separation barrier. Most Palestinians are unable to cross the Green Line to enter Israel where thousands used to earn a living as well as sell their produce.
Furthermore, many Palestinians in the enclaves are either unable, or have great difficulty, accessing the rest of the West Bank for educational, business, medical or family reasons. They are also required to get permits from the Israelis in order to stay in their homes.
Additionally, the majority of farmers to the east of the barrier are unable to access their agricultural lands in the enclaves between the green line and the barrier as the Israelis have refused to issue the requisite permits, on security grounds, needed to reach the land.
The economy of Jayyus has been decimated. Most of the villagers are dependent on the tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, bell peppers, avocados, guavas, olives and citrus produce grown there for their livelihoods.
The barrier near Jayyus deviates six kilometers from the green line. During its construction the Israelis uprooted 4,000 olive and citrus trees and expropriated 8,600 dunams of land (1 dunam = 0.1 hectares) belonging to Jayyus.
The village's farmers are separated from 50,000 fruit and olive trees, most of its greenhouses and six ground water wells used for irrigation, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"Seventy-five percent of our farm land has been confiscated. Only 18 percent of farmers in Jayyus have been given permits to cross the barrier and reach their land near the green line. The others were denied permits," Sharif Khalid, a farmers' representative, told IPS.
"Prior to the building of the barrier there were 136 greenhouses in the village. Today there are only 72. Millions of dollars have been lost and many farmers have been forced into bankruptcy," said Khalid.
Abdul Karim Khalid, a relative of Sharif Khalid, lost both of his greenhouses. With three children to support the family have been dependent on his wife's salary as a teacher. Women in Jayyus like elsewhere in the Palestinian territories have been forced to earn money in whatever capacity possible.
"The security situation, high rates of unemployment and poverty have forced many women to become the bread winners for their families due to many Palestinian men being killed, imprisoned for political offenses or losing their jobs," said Reem Abboushi, executive director of The Palestinian Business Women's Association.
The Israeli settlement Zufin was constructed on land belonging to Jayyus in 1989. Another Israeli settlement Nofei Zufin is being expanded on land confiscated from the village.
According to Israeli rights organization, B'Tselem, the routing of the separation barrier so far from the Green Line was primarily to "leave areas planned for the settlement's expansion and for a nearby industrial zone on the Israeli side of the barrier."
In June 2006, in response to a petition to the Israeli high court, the state admitted that plans for an industrial zone for Zufin had been taken into consideration in planning the route. The court subsequently ordered a revision of the south-east section of the current barrier route.
However, only 2,500 of the 8,600 dunams of land will be returned to Jayyus, and the re-routing of the wall will again destroy more agricultural land and orchards.
In 2003, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Israel to stop construction of the barrier. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ruled in 2004 that "the infringements resulting from that route cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of security or public order."
Suspend Military Aid to Israel, Amnesty Urges Obama after Detailing US Weapons Used in Gaza
by Rory McCarthy -- February 23, 2009
JERUSALEM - Detailed evidence has emerged of Israel's extensive use of US-made weaponry during its war in Gaza last month, including white phosphorus artillery shells, 500lb bombs and Hellfire missiles.
In a report released today, Amnesty International detailed the weapons used and called for an immediate arms embargo on Israel and all Palestinian armed groups. It called on the Obama administration to suspend military aid to Israel.
The human rights group said that those arming both sides in the conflict "will have been well aware of a pattern of repeated misuse of weapons by both parties and must therefore take responsibility for the violations perpetrated".
The US has long been the largest arms supplier to Israel; under a current 10-year agreement negotiated by the Bush administration the US will provide $30bn (£21bn) in military aid to Israel.
"As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights," said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program director. "To a large extent, Israel's military offensive in Gaza was carried out with weapons, munitions and military equipment supplied by the USA and paid for with US taxpayers' money."
For their part, Palestinian militants in Gaza were arming themselves with "unsophisticated weapons" including rockets made in Russia, Iran and China and bought from "clandestine sources", it said. About 1,300 Palestinians were killed and more than 4,000 injured during the three-week conflict. On the Israeli side 13 were killed, including three civilians. Amnesty said Israel's armed forces carried out "direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects in Gaza, and attacks which were disproportionate or indiscriminate". The Israeli military declined to comment yesterday.
Palestinian militants also fired "indiscriminate rockets" at civilians, Amnesty said. It called for an independent investigation into violations of international humanitarian law by both sides.
Amnesty researchers in Gaza found several weapon fragments after the fighting. One came from a 500lb (227kg) Mark-82 fin guided bomb, which had markings indicating parts were made by the US company Raytheon. They also found fragments of US-made white phosphorus artillery shells, marked M825 A1.
On 15 January, several white phosphorus shells fired by the Israeli military hit the headquarters of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza City, destroying medicine, food and aid. One fragment found at the scene had markings indicating it was made by the Pine Bluff Arsenal, based in Arkansas, in October 1991.
The human rights group said the Israeli military had used white phosphorus in densely populated civilian areas, which it said was an indiscriminate form of attack and a war crime. Its researchers found white phosphorus still burning in residential areas days after the ceasefire.
At the scene of an Israeli attack that killed three Palestinian paramedics and a boy in Gaza City on 4 January, Amnesty found fragments of an AGM114 Hellfire missile, made by Hellfire Systems of Orlando, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The missile is often fired from Apache helicopters.
Amnesty said it also found evidence of a new type of missile, apparently fired from unmanned drones, which exploded into many pieces of shrapnel that were "tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2 and 4mm square in size".
"They appear designed to cause maximum injury," Amnesty said. Many civilians were killed by this weapon, including several children, it said.
Rockets fired by Palestinian militants were either 122mm Grad missiles or short-range Qassam rockets, a locally made, improvised artillery weapon. Warheads were either smuggled in or made from fertilizer.
The arsenal of weapons was on a "very small scale compared to Israel", it said, adding that the scale of rocket arsenal deployed by Hizbullah in the 2006 Lebanese war was "beyond the reach of Palestinian militant groups".
Armed for war
Israelis Missiles launched from helicopters and unmanned drones, including 20mm cannon and Hellfire missiles. Larger laser-guided and other bombs dropped by F-16 warplanes. Extensive use of US-made 155mm white phosphorus artillery shells and Israeli-made 155mm illuminating shells that eject phosphorus canisters by parachute. Several deaths caused by flechettes, 4cm-long metal darts packed into 120mm tank shells, and fragments of US-made 120mm tank shells.
Palestinians Militants fired rockets into southern Israel including 122mm Grad rockets of either Russian, Chinese or Iranian manufacture, and smaller, improvised Qassam rockets often made inside Gaza and usually holding 5kg of explosives and shrapnel.
Jewish Leaders Blast Clinton Over Israel Criticism (February 27, 2009) http://wcbstv.com/national/hillary.clinton.israel.2.945238.html
Zuckerman, Lawmakers, Local Jews Say Secretary of State Not the Hillary Clinton They Used to Know; Hillary Pressuring Israel to Speed up Aid to Gaza -- NEW YORK - In a swift about face from her views as New York's senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now hammering Israel over its treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. (...) Clinton's decision to hammer Israel comes as the Clintons and President Barack Obama are planning to give the Palestinians $900 million toward the rebuilding of Gaza in the wake of the Israeli offensive that was sparked by Hamas rocket fire. "We are working across the government to see what our approach will be," Clinton said. "I don't believe that we should be in a position at this point to do anything to strengthen Hamas," Zuckerman said. "We surely know what Hamas stands for as I say they are the forward battalions of Iran." For some, Clinton's change of position is upsetting. "I feel it's unfortunate that they don't continue the policy of the Bush administration, which was much more pro-Israel," said Akiva Homnick of Jerusalem. (...) All this could lead to a chilly reception when Mrs. Clinton arrives in the Middle East next week. The new U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, arrived in Israel on Thursday with a mission to inject new life into peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Obama Administration Sacrifices Israel (02.22.09) http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/22/obama-israel-holocaust-durban-opinions-contributors_united_nations.html
The cover-up on Durban II's anti-Semitic agenda.The Obama administration's decision to join the planning of the U.N.'s Durban II "anti-racism" conference has just taken a new twist: cover-up. On Friday, State Department officials and a member of the American Durban II delegation claimed the United States had worked actively to oppose efforts to brand Israel as racist in the committee drafting a Durban II declaration. The trouble is that they didn't. The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva "outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document" and in particular "our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism." One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: "The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference." In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims. Getting involved in activities intended to implement the 2001 Durban Declaration--after seven and a half years of refusing to lend the anti-Israel agenda any credibility--was controversial to be sure. But late on Saturday Feb. 14, the State Department slithered out a press release justifying the move. It claimed that "the intent of our participation is to work to try to change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading."Following what was clearly a planned public relations exercise, Washington Post columnist Colum Lynch championed the U.S. bravado in an article based on the story orchestrated by the American delegates. In his Feb. 20 article entitled: "U.S. Holds Firm on Reparations, Israel in U.N. Racism Talks," he fawned: "The Obama administration on Thursday concluded its first round of politically charged U.N. negotiations on racism, pressing foreign governments ... to desist from singling out Israel for criticism in a draft declaration to be presented at a U.N. conference in April."The reality, however, was nothing of the sort. Instead, Obama's Durban II team slipped easily into the U.N.'s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish environs, taking the approach that "fitting in" was best accomplished by staying silent. CLIP -
NOTE from Jean: This is worth reading entirely to better understand possible signals that the new Obama administration might be inching towards taking a more critical stance towards Israel. It will be interesting to see if they will resist the Israeli lobby's efforts to corral them back into their usual unconditional, blind approval of anything Israel's arch-neocons want... Well!... guess what according to the following Jewish source, they (allegedly) couldn't resist!
U.S. pulling out of Durban II conference (February 27, 2009) http://jta.org/news/article/2009/02/27/1003341/us-pulling-out-of-durban
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration has decided to boycott the so-called Durban II conference out of concerns for anti-Semitism. Multiple sources on a conference call with the White House on Friday told JTA that the Obama administration had opted not to attend any further preparatory meetings ahead of the planned U.N. conference against racism in Geneva in April. The conference reprises the 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa that devolved into an anti-Jewish free-for-all. Canada and Israel have opted not to attend the conference, and some U.S. Jewish groups had been pressing the United States to do the same. CLIP
Recommended by Claudette Falatakis (email@example.com)
Mr. President of the State of Israel, I am writing to you to intervene with the appropriate authorities to withdraw, from the Yad Vashem memorial dedicated to the memory of Jewish victims of Nazism, the name of my grandfather, Moshe Brajtberg, gassed at Treblinka in 1943, and those of other members of my who family died during deportation to various Nazi camps during World War II. I ask you to honor my request, Mr. Chairman, because what took place in Gaza, and more generally, the injustices to the Arab people of Palestine for sixty years, disqualifies Israel to be the center of the memory of the harm done to Jews, and thus to all humanity.
You see, since my childhood, I lived in amongst survivors of the death camps. I saw the numbers tattooed on their arms, I heard the story of torture; I knew the impossible grief and I shared their nightmares. I was taught that these crimes must never happen again, that never again must man, because of ethnicity or religion despise other man, mock his Human Rights of living a safe, dignified life, without barriers, and hope, so remote be it, of a future of peace and prosperity.
Yet Mr. President, I note that despite dozens of resolutions adopted by the international community, despite the glaring evidence of the injustices done to the Palestinian people since 1948, despite the hopes raised in Oslo, and despite the recognition of the right of Israeli Jews to live in peace and security, repeatedly reaffirmed by the Palestinian Authority, the only answers given by successive governments of your country have been violence, bloodshed, confinement, incessant controls, colonization, deprivations.
Youll tell me Mr. President, that Israel has the right to defend itself against people launching rockets into Israel, or suicide bombers that destroy innocent Israeli lives. My response to that is that my humanism doesnt vary according to the nationality of the victims.
Yet you, Mr. President, you lead the destiny of a country which claims not only to represent the Jews as a whole, but also the memory of those who were victims of Nazism. This is what concerns me and that I find unacceptable.
By displaying the names of my family members at the Yad Vashem Memorial, in the heart of the state of Israel, your state imprisons my family memories behind the barbed wires of zionism, and makes it hostage of a so-called moral authority which commits every day the abomination of denying justice.
So, please, remove the name of my grandfather from the shrine dedicated to cruelty against Jews so that it no longer justifies the injustice being done to the Palestinians.
Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my respectful consideration.
To the President of the State of Israel and the Director of the Yad Vashem Memorial
Remove Our Grandmother's Name from the Wall at Yad Vashem
By MICHAEL NEUMANN and OSHA NEUMANN -- February 20 / 22, 2009
Following the example of Jean-Moise Braitberg, we ask that our grandmother's name be removed from the wall at Yad Vashem. Her name is Gertrud Neumann. Your records state that she was born in Kattowitz on June 6, 1875 and died in Theresienstadt.
M. Braitberg delivers his request with excellent reasons and eloquent personal testimony. His words are inspiring, but they give you and those who stand with you - too much credit. I will instead be brief. Please take this as an expression of my disgust and contempt for your state and all it represents.
Our grandmother was a victim of that very ideal of ethnic sovereignty in whose cause Israel has shed so much blood for so long. I was among the many Jews who thought nothing of embracing that ideal, despite the sufferings it had inflicted on our own race. It took thousands of Palestinian lives before, finally, I realized how foolish we had been.
Our complicity was despicable. I do not believe that the Jewish people, in whose name you have committed so many crimes with such outrageous complacency, can ever rid itself of the shame you have brought upon us. Nazi propaganda, for all its calumnies, never disgraced and corrupted the Jews; you have succeeded in this. You haven't the courage to take responsibility for your own sadistic acts: with unparalleled insolence, you set yourself up as spokesmen for an entire race, as if our very existence endorsed your conduct. And you blacken our names not only by your acts, but by the lies, the coy evasions, the smirking arrogance and the infantile self-righteousness with which you embroider our history.
In the end, you will give the Palestinians some scrap of a state. You will never pay for your crimes and you will continue to preen yourself, to bask in your illusions of moral ascendancy. But between now and the end, you will kill and kill and kill, gaining nothing by your spoilt-brat brutality. In life, our grandmother suffered enough. Stop making her a party to this horror in her death.
I join my brother, Michael Neumann, in asking that any reference to our grandmother be removed from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial.
I have been to this memorial. Its buildings, paved courtyards and plazas spread themselves authoritatively over many landscaped acres. It frames the Holocaust as a prelude to the creation of the state of Israel. It embalms memorabilia of the death camps and preserves them as national treasures. That treasure does not belong to Israel. It is a treasure only if it serves as a reminder never to permit any nation to claim an exemption for its chosen people from the bounds of morality and decency.
Israel has twisted the Holocaust into an excuse for perpetrating more holocausts. It has spent the treasure of the world's sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust on a fruitless effort to shield itself from all criticism as it massacres and tortures Palestinians and suffocates them under a brutal occupation. I do not wish to have the memory of my grandmother enlisted in this misbegotten project.
I grew up believing that Jews were that ethnic group whose historical mission was to transcend ethnicity in a united front against Fascism. To be Jewish was to be anti-Fascist. Israel long ago woke me from my dogmatic slumber about the immutable relationship of Jews to Fascists. It has engineered a merger between the image of Jewish torturers and war criminals and that of emaciated concentration camp victims. I find this merger obscene. I want no part of it. You have forfeited the right to be the custodian of my grandmothers memory. I do not wish Yad Vashem to be her memorial.
Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at a Canadian university. He is the author of What's Left: Radical Politics and the Radical Psyche and The Case Against Israel. He also contributed the essay, "What is Anti-Semitism", to CounterPunch's book, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The recent attempted defrocking of a Catholic Bishop on a charge of "Holocaust denial" brings to the fore once again the need to review the history of World War II in a properly detached fashion. A horrible truth is that more than 55 million people died in that war and the overwhelming majority of them were not Jews. That is the holocaust we must all remember. In addition to those deaths, World War II caused the virtual destruction of Western Europe, and gave newborn communism, the invention of Jewish politicians in Russia, its chance to prove it did not work. The victory went to the best and most determined killers, and various victims tell their stories in their own ways. That is a dubious privilege of all those who suffered greatly. It gave no one the right to a story that cannot be examined in the pursuit of truth and honest scholarship.
Yet, examining the official story of the Holocaust is a crime in Germany. It is not a crime in the United States as such, but one historian, Ernst Zundel, married to an American citizen, was summarily picked up in the United States, sent to Canada and imprisoned without conviction of any crime. He was then bundled up and sent to Germany, but moved covertly, not through normal legal processes of extradition.
In Germany Zundel has been tried in a German court and imprisoned, but he has not been allowed to present arguments in his own defense, and in fact his attorney has been imprisoned for attempting to enter such defenses in the court record. Zundel shares this fate with two others who have been sent to Germany from other European countries, and a move is now afoot to make Holocaust denial a crime throughout the European Community. If that is accomplished, the European Community will have prohibited any scholar to examine any part of the official Holocaust story. To do so will result in imprisonment with a trial in which the defendant can submit no evidence of the history explored and the findings made, regardless of how factually demonstrable they may be.
Much of the controversy stems from the fact that some elements of the story have simply been proven false. For example, the gruesome tale of human skin having been used to make leather was dropped after it proved impossible to provide any evidence. It is also reasonably clear that there were no gas furnaces for extermination at Auschwitz, and that part of the story has been dropped. General George S. Patton, then in charge of occupied Germany, disbelieved several aspects of the story and may have been killed because of his outspoken comments. Disturbing stories have emerged that confessions at Nuremberg were obtained by torture. The Red Cross, which had access to the camps in question, has been circumspect in its comments, but has yet to bless the official version of the Holocaust.
The numbers really need to be reexamined: The six million figure commonly used in the official story first appeared as the number of displaced Jews in 1919, before Hitler came along, and before the carnage of World War II. The plaques at Auschwitz tell an evolving story. As reported by observers, the first plaque at Auschwitz said 4 million dead. That was replaced by one that said 3 million dead. That was replaced by a plaque that said 2 million dead. The plaque now reads 1 million dead. Those changes reduce the number of victims at all reported sites to less than 3 million. Serious scholarly research obviously is needed to confirm the number, if that indeed is possible. _See Endnote_
The problem with the debate as pursued is that it does not honor the dead. Over fifty million innocent people died in this carnage. Concentration camps in Germany, Poland, the Ukraine and elsewhere do credit to neither the Hitler government in Germany nor the Stalin government in Russia, or their numerous local collaborators. US and allied carpet bombing of German cities such as Dresden deserve equal opprobrium. Millions of young men and women in uniform died or were wounded in those engagements, and many parts of the story have yet to be accurately chronicled.
The history of Jewish migration to Palestine needs to be understood to have a complete picture of what happened to Jews at the end of World War II. Many were bundled by occupying authorities into former concentration camps and other facilities, some taken by expelling German residents. Then many Jews were "offered" the take- it-or-leave-it chance to migrate to Palestine.
There is no question that, as chronicled by Jewish writers, the official Holocaust story has been used and abused by the Zionists to justify their establishment of a Jewish national home in already fully occupied Palestine. The story has been used continuously ever since World War II to justify or thwart criticism of their continuing confiscation of Palestinian lands and their systematic killing, imprisonment, harassment and confinement of the Palestinian people. Even a prominent Jewish historian, Ilan Pappe, has described this entire process as ethnic cleansing that in international law is a war crime.
It has become increasingly clear that doubts about the official Holocaust story will not go away and, in fact, are growing. The reactions are perhaps a worst case version of "Methinks thou dost protest too much," generated in part by the fact that the official version of the Holocaust is the only story in human history that cannot be examined. Very questionable "hate crime" laws are being pursued in Europe, Canada and the United States in a primary effort to quash discussion of the Holocaust and to hush criticism of Israeli behavior in Palestine.
The matter has reached a point where the truth must out to stop the destructive behavior of concealment. Key elements of the story are inescapably true. Many Jews and many more other people were picked up and confined to stifle dissent or outright rebellion against the Nazi cause. Those travesties were mirrored in Russia and neighboring states as Stalin tried to suppress resistance to the emergent system of communism. Many of the would-be victims took what they could and left, enduring unimaginable hardships that brought them to remote places such as Shanghai, and eventually to the United States.
Both history and humanity will be better served by an open, honest examination of all events of World War II and its aftermath. The lessons we should all take from that gruesome history are badly distorted by singular focus on the story of a group of people who represent only a minority of the victims. No one wants to deny the cruel realities of that experience. Yet, as aptly expressed by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but no one is entitled to his own facts."
For solid background on the diminishing death count at Auschwitz, readers should read
The writer is the author of the recently published work, A World Less Safe, now available on Amazon, and he is a regular columnist on rense.com. He is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer of the US Department of State whose overseas service included tours in Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Brazil. His immediate pre-retirement positions were as Chairman of the Department of International Studies of the National War College and as Deputy Director of the State Office of Counter Terrorism and Emergency Planning. He will welcome comment at email@example.com
Germany may arrest Holocaust-denying bishop for hate crime (27/02/2009) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1067496.html
Germany is considering issuing an arrest warrant on hate crime charges against a Holocaust-denying bishop, the country's justice minister said Friday. It is a crime to deny the Holocaust in Germany and in several other European Union countries. German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, speaking on the sidelines of EU justice ministers' talks in Brussels, said German officials were considering issuing an EU-wide warrant because the ultraconservative clergyman Richard Williamson denied the Holocaust in a Swedish television interview that was recorded in Germany. Williamson lives in Britain. CLIP
Bishop Williamson and 'Holocaust Denial: Why the Uproar? http://www.ihr.org/williamson_march09.html
The furor over the Holocaust denial remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson is not a controversy about historical truth, the role of history in society, anti-Semitism or hate. This affair is really about power -- about those who really wield it in our culture, as well as about how and why that power is used. (...) Bishop Williamson holds unconventional views on a range of issues. He has repeatedly said that Nine-Eleven was an inside job, and believes that the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks were organized by the US government. But no one is demanding that Williamson apologize for charging that high-level US officials carried out mass murder of their own fellow citizens. Indeed, if the US government were to insist on such an apology, it would rightly be regarded as an act of arrogant effrontery.Whereas Williamsons non-conformist views about crimes committed seven years ago are considered strange but inconsequential, his dissident views about the treatment of Europes Jews more than half a century ago are treated as thought crimes. CLIP - NOTE: to have some useful perspectives on Mark Weber, Director of the Institute for Historical Review, who wrote this article above, check this Wikipedia entry...
THIS DIDN'T ACTUALLY COME FROM YOUTUBE - IT LOOKS LIKE A VERY CLEVER SPOOF! - BUT THE CHANNEL RECOMMENDED IS WORTH LOOKING INTO.
From: "YouTube Service" firstname.lastname@example.org">
Subject: New World Order
Date: 23 Feb 2009
We at youtube take accusations very seriously. In the past we've been accused of censoring our viewers' content, especially concerning information surrounding 9/11, 7/7 and The New World Order.
I work for YouTube and I'm aware of third parties puppeteering Google, and Google affiliated companies, I'd like to add that we've been contacted by governmental bodies urging the censorship of particular 'truth' videos, especially during the presidential inauguration time-frame. I'm both mortified and astonished by your complacency... you've allowed your government to be hijacked by international bankers and global elite.
Please for yourselves and future generations resist the New World Order, I urge you to conduct your own investigations in the place of slapping a 'conspiracy theorist' label on anyone capable of critical thought. You know deep in your heart that the government doesn't have your best interests in mind. People actually fear the wrath of their government; this shouldn't be the case and you know it. The government should represent the voice of the people unified, they should listen to us and act for the majority. When you think of the word 'Government' what comes to mind? Let your inner voice guide you.
This is happening whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.
Below is a channel I discovered last month and it will hopefully assist you with your investigation, the information provided is highly accurate and thought-invoking. Watch each and every video however time-consuming, because knowledge is our one true uniting power!
Note from Jean: This Youtube channel is the creation of Matthew Ellis (SSJ4ELLIS@MSN.COM) who also offers much information through his website http://www.apoff.com/mattinchains/. Yet as I wrote to an ERN subscriber about this: "There seems to be lots of good videos on this new channel - none it seems at first glance with any kind of encouraging tone though as it can all be just so disempowering/discouraging for newcomers to this like so much of what David Icke, Alex Jones and their ilks spread - which is probably why they've been "allowed" to continue spreading fear under the guise of warning people against all kinds of terribly frightening things. I know there is certainly a place for that kind of waking up calls denouncing the shenanigans of the Cabal, but to me unless such efforts are balanced with an empowering Love/Light nurturing/balancing emphasis - like what I strive to do (but not always manage to achieve) or what Fred Burks does through his excellent http://www.wanttoknow.info website and what many others do in the New Consciousness movement, it can all end up doing more harm than good, especially if people are not shown how to take up their destiny in their own soul-guided hands and become proactive, Love-driven agents of change, for the highest good of all."
Forwarded by David Creighton (email@example.com)
It turns out that you don't want to be a former city dweller in rural parts of southernmost Australia, a stalk of wheat in China or Iraq, a soybean in Argentina, an almond or grape in northern California, a cow in Texas, or almost anything in parts of east Africa right now. Let me explain.
As anyone who has turned on the prime-time TV news these last weeks knows, southeastern Australia has been burning up. It's already dry climate has been growing ever hotter. "The great drying," Australian environmental scientist Tim Flannery calls it. At its epicenter, Melbourne recorded its hottest day ever this month at a sweltering 115.5 degrees, while temperatures soared even higher in the surrounding countryside. After more than a decade of drought, followed by the lowest rainfall on record, the eucalyptus forests are now burning. To be exact, they are now pouring vast quantities of stored carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas considered largely responsible for global warming, into the atmosphere.
In fact, everything's been burning there. Huge sheets of flame, possibly aided and abetted by arsonists, tore through whole towns. More than 180 people are dead and thousands homeless. Flannery, who has written eloquently about global warming, drove through the fire belt, and reported:
"It was as if a great cremation had taken place. I was born in Victoria, and over five decades I've watched as the state has changed. The long, wet and cold winters that seemed insufferable to me as a boy vanished decades ago, and for the past 12 years a new, drier climate has established itself.· I had not appreciated the difference a degree or two of extra heat and a dry soil can make to the ferocity of a fire. This fire was different from anything seen before."
Australia, by the way, is a wheat-growing breadbasket for the world and its wheat crops have been hurt in recent years by continued drought.
Meanwhile, central China is experiencing the worst drought in half a century. Temperatures have been unseasonably high and rainfall, in some areas, 80% below normal; more than half the country's provinces have been affected by drought, leaving millions of Chinese and their livestock without adequate access to water. In the region which raises 95% of the country's winter wheat, crop production has already been impaired and is in further danger without imminent rain. All of this represents a potential financial catastrophe for Chinese farmers at a moment when about 20 million migrant workers are estimated to have lost their jobs in the global economic meltdown. Many of those workers, who left the countryside for China's booming cities (and remitted parts of their pay cheques to rural areas), may now be headed home jobless to potential disaster. A Wall Street Journal report concludes, "Some scientists warn China could face more frequent droughts as a result of global warming and changes in farming patterns."
Globe-jumping to the Middle East, Iraq, which makes the news these days mainly for spectacular suicide bombings or the politics of American withdrawal, turns out to be another country in severe drought. Americans may think of Iraq as largely desert, but (as we were all taught in high school) the lands between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the "fertile crescent," are considered the homeland of agriculture, not to speak of human civilization.
Well, not so fertile these days, it seems. The worst drought in at least a decade and possibly a farming lifetime is expected to reduce wheat production by at least half; while the country's vast marshlands, once believed to be the location of the Garden of Eden, have been turned into endless expanses of baked mud. That region, purposely drained by dictator Saddam Hussein to tame rebellious "Marsh Arabs," is now experiencing the draining power of nature.
Nor is Iraq's drought a localized event. Serious drought conditions extend across the Middle East, threatening to exacerbate local conflicts from Cyprus and Lebanon to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel where this January was reported to have been the hottest and driest in 60 years. "With less than 2 months of winter left," Daniel Pedersen has written at the environmental website Green Prophet, "the region has received only 6%-50% of the annual average rainfall, with the desert areas getting 30% or less."
Leaping continents, in Latin America, Argentina is experiencing "the most intense, prolonged and expensive drought in the past 50 years," according to Hugo Luis Biolcati, the president of the Argentine Rural Society. One of the world's largest grain exporters, it has already lost five billion dollars to the drought. Its soybeans--the country is the third largest producer of them--are wilting in the fields; its corn--Argentina is the world's second largest producer--and wheat crops are in trouble; and its famed grass-fed herds of cattle are dying--1.5 million head of them since October with no end in sight.
Dust Bowl Economics
In our own backyard, much of the state of Texas--97.4% to be exact--is now gripped by drought, and parts of it by the worst drought in almost a century. According to the New York Times, "Winter wheat crops have failed. Ponds have dried up. Ranchers are spending heavily on hay and feed pellets to get their cattle through the winter. Some wonder if they will have to slaughter their herds come summer. Farmers say the soil is too dry for seeds to germinate and are considering not planting." Since 2004, in fact, the state has yoyo-ed between the extremities of flood and drought.
Meanwhile, scientists predict that, as global warming strengthens, the American southwest, parts of which have struggled with varying levels of drought conditions for years, could fall into "a possibly permanent state of drought." We're talking potential future "dust bowl" here. A December 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report warns: "In the Southwest, for example, the models project a permanent drying by the mid-21st century that reaches the level of aridity seen in historical droughts, and a quarter of the projections may reach this level of aridity much earlier."
And talking about drought gripping breadbasket regions, don't forget northern California which "produces 50 percent of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables, and a majority of [U.S.] salad, strawberries and premium wine grapes." Its agriculturally vital Central Valley, in particular, is in the third year of an already monumental drought in which the state has been forced to cut water deliveries to farms by up to 85%.
Observers are predicting that it may prove to be the worst drought in the history of a region "already reeling from housing foreclosures, the credit crisis, and a plunge in construction and manufacturing jobs." January, normally California's wettest month, has been wretchedly dry and the snowpack in the northern Sierra Mountains, crucial to the state's water supplies and its agricultural health, is at less than half normal levels.
Northern California, in fact, offers a glimpse of the havoc that the extreme weather conditions scientists associate with climate change could cause, especially when combined with other crises. In a Los Angeles Times interview, new Secretary of Energy Steven Chu offered an eye-popping warning (of a sort top government officials simply don't give) about what a global-warming future might hold in store for California, his home state. Interviewer Jim Tankersley summed up Chu's thoughts this way:
"California's farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming... In a worst case... up to 90% of the Sierra snowpack could disappear, all but eliminating a natural storage system for water vital to agriculture. 'I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,' [Chu] said. 'We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California.' And, he added, 'I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going' either."
As for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, under the pressure of rising temperatures, drought has become a tenacious long-term visitor. For East Africa, the drought years of 2005-2006 were particularly horrific and now Kenya, with the region's biggest economy, a country recently wracked by political disorder and ethnic violence, is experiencing crop failures. An estimated 10 million Kenyans may face hunger, even starvation, this year in the wake of a poor harvest, lack of rainfall, and rising food prices; if you include the drought-plagued Horn of Africa, 20 million people may be endangered, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Recently, climatologist David Battisti and Rosamond Naylor, director of Stanford University's Program on Food Security and the Environment, published a study in Science magazine on the effect of extreme heat on crops. They concluded, based on recent climate models and a study of past extreme heat waves, that there was "a 90% chance that, by the end of the century, the coolest temperatures in the tropics during the crop growing season would exceed the hottest temperatures recorded between 1900 and 2006." According to the British Guardian, under such circumstances Battisti and Naylor believe "[h]alf of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops... Harvests of staple food crops such as rice and maize could fall by between 20% and 40% as a result of higher temperatures during the growing season in the tropics and subtropics."
Not surprisingly, it's hard to imagine--perhaps I mean swallow--such an extreme world, and so most of us, the mainstream media included, don't bother to. That means certain potentially burning questions go not just unanswered but unasked.
The Grapes of Wrath (Updated)
Mind you, what you've read thus far represents an amateur's eye view of drought on our planet at this moment. It's hardly comprehensive. To give but one example, Afghanistan has only recently begun to emerge from an eight-year drought involving severe food shortage--and, as journalist Christian Parenti writes, it would need another "five years worth of regular snowfall just to replenish its aquifers." Parenti adds: "As snow packs in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ranges continue to recede, the rivers flowing from them will diminish and the economic situation in all of Central Asia will deteriorate badly."
Nor is this piece meant to be authoritative, exactly because I know so relatively little. Think of it as a reflection of my own frustration with work not done elsewhere--and, by the way, thank heavens for Google University. Yes, Googling leaves you on your own, can be time-consuming, and tends to lead to cul-de-sacs ("Nuggets end 17-year drought in Orlando"), but what would we do without it? Thanks to good ol' G.U., anyone can, for instance, check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Drought Information Center or its U.S. Drought Monitor, or the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center and begin a self-education.
Now let me explain why I even bothered to write this piece. It's true that, if you're reading the mainstream press, each of the droughts mentioned above has gotten at least some attention, several of them a fair amount of attention (as well as some fine reporting), and the Australian firestorms have been headlines globally for weeks. The problem is that (the professional literature, the science magazines, and a few environmental websites and blogs aside) no one in the mainstream media seems to have thought to connect these dots or blots of aridity in any way. And yet it seems a no-brainer that mainstream reporters should be doing just that.
After all, cumulatively these drought hotspots, places now experiencing record or near-record aridity, could be thought of as representing so many burning questions for our planet. And yet you can search far and wide without stumbling across a mainstream American overview of drought in our world at this moment. This seems, politely put, puzzling, especially at a time when University College London's Global Drought Monitor claims that 104 million people are now living under "exceptional drought conditions."
Scientists generally agree that, as climate change accelerates throughout this century (and no matter what happens from here on in, nothing will evidently stop some form of acceleration), extreme weather of every sort, including drought, will become ever more the planetary norm. In fact, experts are suggesting that, as the Washington Post reported recently, "The pace of global warming is likely to be much faster than recent predictions, because industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected and higher temperatures are triggering self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems."
Now, no one can claim beyond all doubt that global warming is the cause of any specific drought, or certainly the only cause anyway. As with the Texas drought, a La Niña weather pattern in the Pacific is often mentioned as a key causal factor right now. But the crucial point is what the present can tell us about the impact of a global pattern of extreme weather, especially extreme drought, on what will surely be a more extreme planet in the relatively near future.
If global temperatures are on the rise and more heat means lower crop yields, then you're talking about more Kenyas, and not just in Africa either. You're probably also talking about desperation, upheaval, resource conflicts, and mass out-migrations of populations, even--if scientists are right--from the American Southwest. (And in case you don't think such a thing can happen here, remember Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath or think of any of Dorothea Lange's iconic photos of the "Okies" fleeing the American dustbowl of the 1930s.)
Right now, the global economic meltdown has massively depressed fuel prices (key to farming, processing, and transporting most crops to market) and commodity prices have generally fallen as well, including food prices. Whatever the future economic weather, however, that is not likely to last.
So here's a burning question on my mind:
We're now experiencing the extreme effects of economic bad "weather" in the wake of the near collapse of the global financial system. Nonetheless, from the White House to the media, speculation about "the road to recovery" is already underway. The stimulus package, for instance, had been dubbed the "recovery bill," aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the question of when we'll hit bottom and when--2010, 2011, 2012--a real recovery will begin is certainly in the air.
Recently, in a speech in Singapore, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, suggested that the "world's advanced economies"--the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan--were "already in depression," and the "worst cannot be ruled out." This got little attention here, but President Obama's comment at his first press conference that delay on his stimulus package could lead to a "lost decade," as in Japan in the 1990s (or, though it went unmentioned, the U.S. in the 1930s), made the headlines.
If, indeed, this is "the big one," and does result in a "lost decade" or more, here's what I wonder: Could the sort of "recovery" that everyone assumes lies just over a recessive or depressive horizon not be there? What if our lost decade lasts long enough to meet an environmental crisis involving extreme weather--drought and flood, hurricanes, typhoons, and firestorms of unprecedented magnitude--possibly in some of the breadbasket regions of the planet? What will happen if the rising fuel prices likely to come with the beginning of any economic "recovery" were to meet the soaring food prices of environmental disaster? What kind of human tsunami might that result in?
Once we start connecting some of today's drought dots, wouldn't it make sense to try to connect a few of the prospective dots as well? After all, if you begin to imagine what the worst might look like, you can also begin to think about what might be done to mitigate it. Isn't that more sensible than looking the other way?
If the kinds of hits regional agriculture is now taking from record-setting drought became the future norm, wouldn't we then be bereft of our most reassuring formulations in bad times? For example, the [USA] president spoke at that press conference of our present moment as "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." On an extreme planet, no such comforting "since the..." would be available, nor would there be any historical road map for what was coming at us, not if we had already run out of history.
Maybe the world we knew but scarce months ago is already, in some sense, long gone. What if, after a lost decade, we were to find ourselves living on another planet?
Feel free, of course, to ignore my burning questions. After all, I'm only an amateur with the flimsiest of credentials from Google U. Still, I do keep wondering when the media pros will finally pitch in, and what they'll tell us is on that distant horizon, the one with the red glow.
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. He is the author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of the American Age of Denial. He also edited The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), a collection of some of the best pieces from his site and an alternative history of the mad Bush years.
Save the planet? Let's try saving ourselves (February 23, 2009) http://adjix.com/cu6b
WE NEED a game-changing relationship with the planet. Our current relationship is not working, either for us or for the planet. We are on track to heat up the earth 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century as a result of burning fossil fuels. Drought will prevail in many regions. The rising sea level will displace tens of millions of people around the world. Wars will be fought over water, not oil, because there won't be any oil. Our current economic crisis will pale in comparison with what we are queuing up for our children. The good news is that it doesn't have to play out this way. But to avoid this scenario, we need a new paradigm.Global warming is not the issue of our time. Sustainability is the issue. Global warming is just one symptom of many unsustainable behaviors. On a shorter time frame, the subprime mortgage crisis, which precipitated the current global economic recession and the loss of millions of jobs in the United States, is another symptom of unsustainable human behavior. Homo sapiens are apparently hell-bent on not living sustainably. With our high intelligence, we can actually consume ourselves out of existence. For the last 50 years, environmentalists have focused on "saving the environment." The problem with this approach is that we can't save the environment by trying to save the environment; we can't build a large enough force to accomplish that mission. We need a larger army. The way to build the army is to recast the goal. Instead of focusing on "saving the environment," we need to focus on "sustaining human well-being." Everyone is interested in his or her own well-being. If we can sustain it, the environment will be saved as a consequence. For some environmentalists it will seem counter-intuitive, or outright heresy, to focus on human well-being instead of the environment. But there is a subtle and critical difference between human greed and well-being. Talk about safe communities, energy security and affordability, human health, safe food, open space, clean water, spiritual enrichment, the welfare of our children, and quality human relationships, and you have everyone's attention. As it turns out, all of these things people value are inextricably dependent on "saving the environment." CLIP
How to survive the coming century (5 February 2009) http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126971.700-how-to-survive-the-coming-century.html?full=true
ALLIGATORS basking off the English coast; a vast Brazilian desert; the mythical lost cities of Saigon, New Orleans, Venice and Mumbai; and 90 per cent of humanity vanished. Welcome to the world warmed by 4 °C. Clearly this is a vision of the future that no one wants, but it might happen. Fearing that the best efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions may fail, or that planetary climate feedback mechanisms will accelerate warming, some scientists and economists are considering not only what this world of the future might be like, but how it could sustain a growing human population. They argue that surviving in the kinds of numbers that exist today, or even more, will be possible, but only if we use our uniquely human ingenuity to cooperate as a species to radically reorganise our world.The good news is that the survival of humankind itself is not at stake: the species could continue if only a couple of hundred individuals remained. But maintaining the current global population of nearly 7 billion, or more, is going to require serious planning. (...) The only places we will be guaranteed enough water will be in the high latitudes. "Everything in that region will be growing like mad. That's where all the life will be," says former NASA scientist James Lovelock, who developed the "Gaia" theory, which describes the Earth as a self-regulating entity. "The rest of the world will be largely desert with a few oases."So if only a fraction of the planet will be habitable, how will our vast population survive? Some, like Lovelock, are less than optimistic. "Humans are in a pretty difficult position and I don't think they are clever enough to handle what's ahead. I think they'll survive as a species all right, but the cull during this century is going to be huge," he says. "The number remaining at the end of the century will probably be a billion or less." CLIP
Editor's note: Written especially for Culture Change readers, this solid analysis asks "At what point do we recognize that expensive technologies meant to maintain a 'sustainable' consumer society among the world's wealthiest people are utterly divorced from any reasonable moral coherence? Are we ever going to provide plug in hybrids to the citizens of Darfur?"
The greatest danger of the ecological collapse of civilization is that we might not notice. There are a few taboos in political and academic discussion that serve to make our leaders look important and moral. We are not supposed to admit that our minds are directly influenced by the Earth on which we walk, or the degree to which we benefit from the exploitation of the global underclass. Our failure to recognize these things hides the impacts of ecological collapse.
As much as those in the progressive environmental community are striving to have a realistic discussion of the combined impacts of peak oil, global warming, the breaching of other environmental limits, we seem to be largely ignoring the most obvious scenarios. The most likely future, at least in the medium to near term, is a simple extrapolation of current trends. We seem to talk as if ecological limits are going to disrupt all of modern society, and transform our lives. The reality is that both in the U.S. and the world, incomes have been polarizing rapidly, especially since the early 1980s. (For a number of decades before that, the income gap in the U.S. was actually growing smaller owing to progressive taxation and other factors.)
A simple extrapolation of current trends would indicate that those in power are going to try to stay in power, try to maintain their privilege, and will be willing to use many different schemes, overt and covert, to do so. They are going to try to shuffle the distress downward. This will likely require a greater centralization of state power. A brutal reality of the modern environmental crisis is that for much of humanity it is already here. The number of malnourished people in the world has increased by about 20% in the last decade, from 800 million to near a billion people. That's the number of starving people, not the number of poor people. The increase in poverty is much higher, owing to the efforts of neoliberal economic adjustment in the 1990s and oil price spikes in the 2000s.
These increases in poverty and hunger are not merely coincidental with the "war on terror." Now that the global energy pie is stalled in growth or shrinking, the only way the U.S. can continue to eat gluttonously (literally and figuratively) is to eat an ever larger share of the remaining pie. The only way the U.S. and the other wealthy nations can continue to expand their claim on a shrinking resource pie is to maintain an aggressive foreign policy, and that in turn demands a greater concentration of state power. If one simply extrapolates these current trends into the future, the picture seems both dire and very different from most of what is painted regarding environmental limits.
It is highly likely that environmental limits will be manifest as a series of economic shocks that will be noticed by everyone, but the greater brunt of these shocks are going to be borne by the very poor. The problem is that the entire process is likely to be so hidden and politicized that we are likely to be fighting the "barbarians at the gates" for a long time to come without any open recognition of the ecological linkages between their well being and political change in our own society. Specifically, although oil prices have fallen dramatically with the current economic downturn, grain as traded on world markets has not fallen nearly as much. Why is that? There are three reasons. First, global warming is already making itself felt in the drying out of grain producing areas in Australia, China, Africa, and arguably the American west. Second, because of the global polarization of wealth, the upper classes are eating more meat, thus putting greater strain on global grain supplies. Meat production has in the last few decades increased about twice as fast as population itself. And thirdly, the competition for agricultural outputs for biofuel is supporting global food prices at higher levels, again with a direct linkage to the consumption of the wealthier classes.
In short, a simple extrapolation of current trends indicates increasing prices in general, as the world becomes more crowded as resources of all kinds become more scarce. As prices go up, those with less money are going to grow hungrier, and more restless. We can expect to see both an increase in state power and conflict over resources, except these trends are likely to be shrouded in religion and ideology. The bottom line is that the global upper class is likely to remain largely shielded and purposefully unaware for quite some time to come of the ecological roots of political conflict.
The reality is that the industrial powers, the U.S. in particular, have the power to debt their way out of extraordinary problems. Other countries do not have the privilege to act like that. We get away with it because we print the global trade currency, and we have a great deal of military and economic power to back up our profligacy.
We may be able to debt our way out of the current crisis, or it may be that so much purchasing power has now been cornered by the upper class that the economy itself, apart from ecological concerns, has been undermined by removing the capacity of the middle and lower classes to generate consumer demand. That, in a nutshell, is one way to describe the Great Depression. Class conflict is often played out as a battle over the supply of money. Rich people want to keep that supply limited, and controlled. That is why the Great Depression lasted so long, because of the tendency of wealthy conservatives to maintain a tight fiscal policy. The problem now is not so much tight fiscal policy per se, but the fact that so much of the money supply is simply being soaked up by the wealthy that our consumer, demand-driven economy is being undermined.
In as much as the concentration of state power is a predictable response to ecological constraints, don't expect anyone to announce that on the evening news. The various convulsions through which we travel will always be cast in immediate, political terms, and our understanding of history tends to get whitewashed beyond recognition.
The root of the problem is that our ecological overshoot is changing much faster than our thinking about it. By various measures, we are in overshoot, meaning we are already consuming more resources than the Earth can sustain by any reasonable measure. The further we progress into overshoot, the more divorced our "solutions" to the ecological crisis become. Ever since the 1970s, we have been advocating for "alternative energy" and more efficiency. Let us extrapolate this trend into the future. Suppose current trends continue (which is likely), and the consumer society goes through various economic convulsions, but remains essentially intact. Meanwhile, starvation across the world continues to grow. Are we going to continue to advocate plug-in hybrid cars and other expensive technologies as the "solution" to the environmental crises when two billion people are severely malnourished? When there are three billion? Four? At what point do we recognize that expensive technologies meant to maintain a "sustainable" consumer society among the world's wealthiest people are utterly divorced from any reasonable moral coherence?
The history of Nazi propaganda is interesting in this context. The Nazis had very active charity programs, collecting money on the street to feed the poor. This program was accompanied by heart-rending posters exhorting good Germans to give to the less fortunate, and workers who collected funds on the street for that purpose did so in the name of the Nazi party. The Nazis also had some rather progressive environmental polices, not the least of which was an aggressive anti-smoking campaign. The Supreme Aryan Race was supposed to be freed of such polluting influences. The Nazis are easy to pick on because they have become such an archetype of evil that one does not have to explain that there was something fundamentally astray in their social order. One does not have to expand upon the extremely cynical nature of collecting funds to feed the poor while simultaneously building an efficient industrial genocide machine.
If we transpose this historical lesson onto the modern world, the lessons are a bit more sobering. The number of hungry people in the modern world is growing, and that growth is accelerating upward on a parabolic (geometric) curve. The rate of increase in the number of hungry people is increasing. Because of the aforementioned factors (global warming, increased meat consumption, and biofuel) this trend is likely to continue. Given this rapid acceleration of poverty and starvation, is trying to solve the modern environmental crisis with plug-in hybrids and other expensive technologies that are ultimately intended to simply pad the lifestyles of the world's wealthy the moral equivalent of Nazi "charity"? If not now, will the comparison become more appropriate when there are two billion malnourished? Three billion? Are we ever going to provide plug in hybrids and a "hydrogen economy" to the citizens of Darfur?
Based on an extrapolation of current trends we can predict that the supplying of expensive alternative energy technologies to the poorest of the world's peoples can be described on a timetable that might be surmised as "never." The problem is changing much faster than our thinking is changing. One could perhaps plausibly argue in 1972 that improving the efficiency of the consumer society would ramp down consumption among the rich even as we developed efficient technologies that might "trickle down" to everyone else. Without debating the finer points of what was true in 1972, that approach becomes less and less morally viable as we move further into overshoot. When we are down to naked mass genocide, which is the mature state of a market economy operating on a contracting energy supply, are we still going to be advocating expensive techno-toys for the rich as a solution to the environmental crisis? How many billions equals "naked mass genocide"?
It is my contention that we are already over that line. What may have made sense in 1972 does not now make sense. Improving efficiency of the consumer society with no recognition of the blood flowing through our fuel lines puts us in unsavory company. The problem is that we have gotten to the point where the easy answers are wrong and the right answers are difficult, at least from a political perspective.
The reality is that the modern economy is going to undergo some enormous changes in the next few decades whether we like it or not. A simple extrapolation of current trends, including the success of most of the conservation and alternative energy aspirations of the mainstream environmental movement, leads us to a world where a few live in the sustainable techno-bubble while billions die.
The political distress generated by the demise of so many people from "natural causes" will be manifest as a decline of democracy and civil liberty and the rise of authoritarian government. As much as we have a highly flattering and mental notion of modern democracy as being a triumph of social progress, the reality for ancient states and ourselves is that democracy is the process by which economically empowered persons express that power in the political forum. Inasmuch as a general decline in resources, or an increase in prices, results in a decline in the number of economically empowered persons, democracy will decline. But the process will be, as it always has been, highly politicized. The speeches from the late Roman Empire are most instructive on this regard. They hearken back to a golden age when men were virtuous, the barbarian terrorists were not to be found, and prosperity reigned. I suppose we will be dusting those off soon.
A lack of efficiency is not the driving force behind our ecological predicament. It is a red herring that allows us to ignore the realities of the division of class power. The reality is that the western industrial economy is driven by throughput. If we leave the coal in the ground and the trees standing in the forest, nothing much happens economically. If we dig up the coal, cut down the trees, and then sell, buy, and burn these "resources," we generate economic activity. Particularly given that the U.S. prints the global trade currency (the U.S. dollar), and given that we can issue debt seemingly at will (perhaps we will find a limit to that soon), we are a consumption driven society. The more we consume, the more we stimulate the economy, the more powerful we become. The consumption of cars and houses has historically driven our economy, notably the great booms of the "roaring twenties," the post World War II boom, and all the growth period since then, not the least of which was the most recent housing bubble. In a consumption-driven economy, the more we consume, the more powerful we become. That is the reason why Americans drive SUVs while people starve in Darfur. That's why, when we hit hard times, our political leaders tell us to go shopping.
Efficiency cannot touch throughput. The reality is that, if current trends continue and the market economy remains intact, then the throughput economy will remain functional, eating up unfathomable volumes of "resources" to feed the lifestyles of the rich and famous, even as we slide down the scale of global decline. We may paint a green veneer of efficiency or "alternative" energy over these consumption habits, but that does not change the basic equation. The upper class maintains its power, in part, by consuming so much. The power to consume means that great resources, financial and otherwise, can also be diverted to such police and military endeavors will serve to maintain the social order under conditions of energy decline.
The bitter irony is that we are almost certain to hesitate just long enough in embracing real solutions as to ensure the destruction of countless millions of people and our civil society, to arrive only slightly later at the same material circumstance, but under very different political conditions, than if we had embraced these real solutions much sooner. One hundred years from now, our descendants will not be living in a consumption-driven economy. They will not be propping up the economy by buying cars they cannot afford and building spacious private houses they cannot pay for even in the course of decades. They will be doing what they have to do -- sharing meager technologies that actually work. Our children's children will be living cooperatively, growing food locally and without chemical inputs, not because of some higher ideological calling, but rather because they are compelled to do so. The difference will be political. If we can create a movement now that downscales faster than we are compelled to do so, a movement that creates a conscious culture that undermines the power of the ruling elite by building a localized economy from the bottom up, then we can arrive at the future cooperative society with some measure of democracy and civil liberty left in place. If we wait until we are forced to scale down by actual scarcity, then our children's children will arrive at their cooperative future under an ecofascist boot.
Nationalism is so deeply and profoundly embedded in American culture that we easily fall under its persuasion without even noticing. Nationalism has overtaken the environmental movement. We have become focused on "alternative" energy production, in spite of the fact that these technologies are not a real solution. The real solutions are actually fairly easy. They simply involve doing what we will be doing in the future -- using resources cooperatively -- a little sooner than we are compelled to do so. Unwinding the throughput economy cannot and will not be achieved by enlightened social policy. The throughput economy can only be changed by a bottom-up movement that seeks fundamental structural change in our society.
Phrases like "culture change" or "conscious culture" seem to evoke the image that we should all play nice -- liberal utopianism. A real understanding of culture leads us to the conclusion that the ecological and economic foundations of a society have a dominating influence over the social structure and belief system over time. A sustainable future does not mean we teach everyone to be tolerant. Though there is no harm in such lessons here and now, to achieve real "culture change" means rebuilding society from the bottom up, building a truly localized and sustainable society. You might imagine that is unlikely, but that is precisely what is going to happen, either by plan or by default. The latter would be much messier, and lead to a society that is neither equitable nor conscious. By getting ahead of the curve, we could arrive at the same point, but in a society that is conscious of its own process of social evolution. That society will not be a liberal utopia. It will be a sustainable society where power is devolved to the community level so people are empowered to defend themselves, and to create the future they want. It will not happen by policy, nor will it ever be announced on the evening news. It will happen as the minority movement of people who want to see it happen grows through the coming waves of change. See you in the street.
Alexis Zeigler is a self-educated activist, green builder, and orchardist living in central Virginia. He has organized numerous campaigns around environmental and social justice issues, built super-insulated buildings and alternative energy systems, and has lived in intentional community all of his adult life. More information, including articles, interviews, and downloadable books, can be found at his website, conev.org or by contacting him by email: tradelocal "at" yahoo "dot" com.
The global economic meltdown has already caused bank failures, bankruptcies, plant closings, and foreclosures and will, in the coming year, leave many tens of millions unemployed across the planet. But another perilous consequence of the crash of 2008 has only recently made its appearance: increased civil unrest and ethnic strife. Someday, perhaps, war may follow.
As people lose confidence in the ability of markets and governments to solve the global crisis, they are likely to erupt into violent protests or to assault others they deem responsible for their plight, including government officials, plant managers,
landlords, immigrants, and ethnic minorities. (The list could, in the future, prove long and unnerving.) If the present economic disaster turns into what President Barack Obama has referred to as a "lost decade", the result could be a global landscape filled with economically-fueled upheavals.
Indeed, if you want to be grimly impressed, hang a world map on your wall and start inserting red pins where violent episodes have already occurred. Athens (Greece), Longnan (China), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Riga (Latvia), Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Vilnius (Lithuania), and Vladivostok (Russia) would be a start. Many other cities from Reykjavik, Paris, Rome, and Zaragoza to Moscow and Dublin have witnessed huge protests over rising unemployment and falling wages that remained orderly thanks in part to the presence of vast numbers of riot police. If you inserted orange pins at these locations - none as yet in the United States - your map would already look aflame with activity. And if you're a gambling man or woman, it's a safe bet that this map will soon be far better populated with red and orange pins.
For the most part, such upheavals, even when violent, are likely to remain localized in nature, and disorganized enough that government forces will be able to bring them under control within days or weeks, even if - as with Athens for six days last December - urban paralysis sets in due to rioting, tear gas, and police cordons. That, at least, has been the case so far. It is entirely possible, however, that, as the economic crisis worsens, some of these incidents will metastasize into far more intense and long-lasting events: armed rebellions, military takeovers, civil conflicts, even economically fueled wars between states.
Every outbreak of violence has its own distinctive origins and characteristics. All, however, are driven by a similar combination of anxiety about the future and lack of confidence in the ability of established institutions to deal with the problems at hand. And just as the economic crisis has proven global in ways not seen before, so local incidents - especially given the almost instantaneous nature of modern communications - have a potential to spark others in far-off places, linked only in a virtual sense.
A pandemic of economically driven violence The riots that erupted in the spring of 2008 in response to rising food prices suggested the speed with which economically-related violence can spread. It is unlikely that Western news sources captured all such incidents, but among those recorded in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were riots in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, and Senegal.
In Haiti, for example, thousands of protesters stormed the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince and demanded food handouts, only to be repelled by government troops and United Nation (UN) peacekeepers. Other countries, including Pakistan and Thailand, quickly sought to deter such assaults by deploying troops at farms and warehouses throughout the country.
The riots only abated at summer's end when falling energy costs brought food prices crashing down as well. (The cost of food is now closely tied to the price of oil and natural gas because petrochemicals are so widely and heavily used in the cultivation of grains.) Ominously, however, this is sure to prove but a temporary respite, given the epic droughts now gripping breadbasket regions of the United States, Argentina, Australia, China, the Middle East, and Africa. Look for the prices of wheat, soybeans, and possibly rice to rise in the coming months - just when billions of people in the developing world are sure to see their already marginal incomes plunging due to the global economic collapse.
Food riots were but one form of economic violence that made its bloody appearance in 2008. As economic conditions worsened, protests against rising unemployment, government ineptitude, and the unaddressed needs of the poor erupted as well. In India, for example, violent protests threatened stability in many key areas. Although usually described as ethnic, religious, or caste disputes, these outbursts were typically driven by economic anxiety and a pervasive feeling that someone else's group was faring better than yours - and at your expense.
In April, for example, six days of intense rioting in Indian-controlled Kashmir were largely blamed on religious animosity between the majority Muslim population and the Hindu-dominated Indian government; equally important, however, was a deep resentment over what many Kashmiri Muslims experienced as discrimination in jobs, housing, and land use. Then, in May, thousands of nomadic shepherds known as Gujjars shut down roads and trains leading to the city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, in a drive to be awarded special economic rights; more than 30 people were killed when the police fired into crowds. In October, economically-related violence erupted in Assam in the country's far northeast, where impoverished locals are resisting an influx of even poorer, mostly illegal immigrants from nearby Bangladesh.
Economically driven clashes also erupted across much of eastern China in 2008. Such events, labeled "mass incidents" by Chinese authorities, usually involve protests by workers over sudden plant shutdowns, lost pay, or illegal land seizures. More often than not, protestors demanded compensation from company managers or government authorities, only to be greeted by club-wielding police.
Needless to say, the leaders of China's Communist Party have been reluctant to acknowledge such incidents. This January, however, the magazine Liaowang (Outlook Weekly) reported that layoffs and wage disputes had triggered a sharp increase in such "mass incidents," particularly along the country's eastern seaboard, where much of its manufacturing capacity is located.
By December, the epicenter of such sporadic incidents of violence had moved from the developing world to Western Europe and the former Soviet Union. Here, the protests have largely been driven by fears of prolonged unemployment, disgust at government malfeasance and ineptitude, and a sense that "the system," however defined, is incapable of satisfying the future aspirations of large groups of citizens.
One of the earliest of this new wave of upheavals occurred in Athens, Greece, on December 6, 2008, after police shot and killed a 15-year-old schoolboy during an altercation in a crowded downtown neighborhood. As news of the killing spread throughout the city, hundreds of students and young people surged into the city center and engaged in pitched battles with riot police, throwing stones and firebombs.
Although government officials later apologized for the killing and charged the police officer involved with manslaughter, riots broke out repeatedly in the following days in Athens and other Greek cities. Angry youths attacked the police - widely viewed as agents of the establishment - as well as luxury shops and hotels, some of which were set on fire. By one estimate, the six days of riots caused $1.3 billion in damage to businesses at the height of the Christmas shopping season.
Russia also experienced a spate of violent protests in December, triggered by the imposition of high tariffs on imported automobiles. Instituted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to protect an endangered domestic auto industry (whose sales were expected to shrink by up to 50% in 2009), the tariffs were a blow to merchants in the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok who benefited from a nationwide commerce in used Japanese vehicles. When local police refused to crack down on anti-tariff protests, the authorities were evidently worried enough to fly in units of special forces from Moscow, 3,700 miles away.
In January, incidents of this sort seemed to be spreading through Eastern Europe. Between January 13th and 16th, anti-government protests involving violent clashes with the police erupted in the Latvian capital of Riga, the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. It is already essentially impossible to keep track of all such episodes, suggesting that we are on the verge of a global pandemic of economically driven violence.
A perfect recipe for instability While most such incidents are triggered by an immediate event - a tariff, the closure of local factory, the announcement of government austerity measures - there are systemic factors at work as well. While economists now agree that we are in the midst of a recession deeper than any since the Great Depression of the 1930s, they generally assume that this downturn - like all others since World War II - will be followed in a year, or two, or three, by the beginning of a typical recovery.
There are good reasons to suspect that this might not be the case - that poorer countries (along with many people in the richer countries) will have to wait far longer for such a recovery, or may see none at all. Even in the United States, 54% of Americans now believe that "the worst" is "yet to come" and only 7% that the economy has "turned the corner", according to a recent Ipsos/McClatchy poll. A quarter of the population also think the crisis will last more than four years. Whether in the US, Russia, China, or Bangladesh, it is this underlying anxiety - this suspicion that things are far worse than just about anyone is saying - which is helping to fuel the global epidemic of violence.
The World Bank's most recent status report, Global Economic Prospects 2009, fulfills those anxieties in two ways. It refuses to state the worst, even while managing to hint, in terms too clear to be ignored, at the prospect of a long-term, or even permanent, decline in economic conditions for many in the world. Nominally upbeat - as are so many media pundits - regarding the likelihood of an economic recovery in the not-too-distant future, the report remains full of warnings about the potential for lasting damage in the developing world if things don't go exactly right.
Two worries, in particular, dominate Global Economic Prospects 2009: that banks and corporations in the wealthier countries will cease making investments in the developing world, choking off whatever growth possibilities remain; and that food costs will rise uncomfortably, while the use of farmlands for increased biofuels production will result in diminished food availability to hundreds of millions.
Despite its Pollyanna-ish passages on an economic rebound, the report does not mince words when discussing what the almost certain coming decline in First World investment in Third World countries would mean: Should credit markets fail to respond to the robust policy interventions taken so far, the consequences for developing countries could be very serious. Such a scenario would be characterized by ... substantial disruption and turmoil, including bank failures and currency crises, in a wide range of developing countries. Sharply negative growth in a number of developing countries and all of the attendant repercussions, including increased poverty and unemployment, would be inevitable. In the autumn of 2008, when the report was written, this was considered a "worst-case scenario." Since then, the situation has obviously worsened radically, with financial analysts reporting a virtual freeze in worldwide investment. Equally troubling, newly industrialized countries that rely on exporting manufactured goods to richer countries for much of their national income have reported stomach-wrenching plunges in sales, producing massive plant closings and layoffs.
The World Bank's 2008 survey also contains troubling data about the future availability of food. Although insisting that the planet is capable of producing enough foodstuffs to meet the needs of a growing world population, its analysts were far less confident that sufficient food would be available at prices people could afford, especially once hydrocarbon prices begin to rise again. With ever more farmland being set aside for biofuels production and efforts to increase crop yields through the use of "miracle seeds" losing steam, the Bank's analysts balanced their generally hopeful outlook with a caveat: "If biofuels-related demand for crops is much stronger or productivity performance disappoints, future food supplies may be much more expensive than in the past."
Combine these two World Bank findings - zero economic growth in the developing world and rising food prices - and you have a perfect recipe for unrelenting civil unrest and violence. The eruptions seen in 2008 and early 2009 will then be mere harbingers of a grim future in which, in a given week, any number of cities reel from riots and civil disturbances which could spread like multiple brushfires in a drought.
Mapping a world at the brink Survey the present world, and it's all too easy to spot a plethora of potential sites for such multiple eruptions - or far worse. Take China. So far, the authorities have managed to control individual "mass incidents", preventing them from coalescing into something larger. But in a country with a more than 2,000 history of vast millenarian uprisings, the risk of such escalation has to be on the minds of every Chinese leader.
On February 2, a top Chinese Party official, Chen Xiwen, announced that, in the last few months of 2008 alone, a staggering 20 million migrant workers, who left rural areas for the country's booming cities in recent years, had lost their jobs. Worse yet, they had little prospect of regaining them in 2009. If many of these workers return to the countryside, they may find nothing there either, not even land to work.
Under such circumstances, and with further millions likely to be shut out of coastal factories in the coming year, the prospect of mass unrest is high. No wonder the government announced a $585 billion stimulus plan aimed at generating rural employment and, at the same time, called on security forces to exercise discipline and restraint when dealing with protesters. Many analysts now believe that, as exports continue to dry up, rising unemployment could lead to nationwide strikes and protests that might overwhelm ordinary police capabilities and require full-scale intervention by the military (as occurred in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989).
Or take many of the Third World petro-states that experienced heady boosts in income when oil prices were high, allowing governments to buy off dissident groups or finance powerful internal security forces. With oil prices plunging from $147 per barrel of crude oil to less than $40 dollars, such countries, from Angola to shaky Iraq, now face severe instability.
Nigeria is a typical case in point: When oil prices were high, the central government in Abuja raked in billions every year, enough to enrich elites in key parts of the country and subsidize a large military establishment; now that prices are low, the government will have a hard time satisfying all these previously well-fed competing obligations, which means the risk of internal disequilibrium will escalate. An insurgency in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, fueled by popular discontent with the failure of oil wealth to trickle down from the capital, is already gaining momentum and is likely to grow stronger as government revenues shrivel; other regions, equally disadvantaged by national revenue-sharing policies, will be open to disruptions of all sorts, including heightened levels of internecine warfare.
Bolivia is another energy producer that seems poised at the brink of an escalation in economic violence. One of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, it harbors substantial oil and natural gas reserves in its eastern, lowland regions. A majority of the population - many of Indian descent - supports President Evo Morales, who seeks to exercise strong state control over the reserves and use the proceeds to uplift the nation's poor. But a majority of those in the eastern part of the country, largely controlled by a European-descended elite, resent central government interference and seek to control the reserves themselves. Their efforts to achieve greater autonomy have led to repeated clashes with government troops and, in deteriorating times, could set the stage for a full-scale civil war.
Given a global situation in which one startling, often unexpected development follows another, prediction is perilous. At a popular level, however, the basic picture is clear enough: continued economic decline combined with a pervasive sense that existing systems and institutions are incapable of setting things right is already producing a potentially lethal brew of anxiety, fear, and rage. Popular explosions of one sort or another are inevitable.
Some sense of this new reality appears to have percolated up to the highest reaches of the US intelligence community. In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 12th, Admiral Dennis C Blair, the new Director of National Intelligence, declared, "The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications ... Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one to two year period" - certain to be the case in the present situation.
Blair did not specify which countries he had in mind when he spoke of "regime-threatening instability" - a new term in the American intelligence lexicon, at least when associated with economic crises - but it is clear from his testimony that US officials are closely watching dozens of shaky nations in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central Asia.
Now go back to that map on your wall with all those red and orange pins in it and proceed to color in appropriate countries in various shades of red and orange to indicate recent striking declines in gross national product and rises in unemployment rates. Without 16 intelligence agencies under you, you'll still have a pretty good idea of the places that Blair and his associates are eyeing in terms of instability as the future darkens on a planet at the brink.
Michael T Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Metropolitan Books).
Economy moving in reverse faster than predicted (February 27, 2009) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Economy-shrinks-at-worst-pace-apf-14491202.html
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is moving in reverse faster than the government can measure. The contraction for the fourth quarter of 2008 had been estimated at 3.8 percent just a month ago. Then the Commerce Department raised it to an astonishing 6.2 percent Friday -- the largest revision since the government started keeping records in 1976. That was the economy's worst showing in a quarter-century and raised the prospect that the nation could suffer its worst year since 1946."Consumers are just hunkering down and saying 'game over,' and businesses in response are cutting back on investment and employment," said Brian Bethune, economist at IHS Global Insight. "It's a negative feedback loop." Now in its second year, the recession is expected to stretch at least through the first six months of 2009, as shoppers slash spending in the shadow of hard times at home and aboard. Companies, in turn, are being forced to cut jobs and production while resorting to other cost-saving measures to survive. CLIP
World's economies tumbling like dominoes (Feb 23, 2009) http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/ContrarianChronicles/worlds-economies-fall-like-dominoes.aspx
Almost everybody now realizes how grave the crisis has become. But we won't be able to escape from this dark place until we understand how we got here. -- Lately, I have been struck by how bleak and black the newspapers have been in their coverage of the economy. Not that I've been surprised, but one can never know when events in the economy will coalesce into the news that causes the masses to realize how difficult the environ (...) What we are now dealing with is roughly 20 years' worth of massive speculation and excess leverage, championed by the United States and mimicked by other countries around the globe. It appears the potential for the newest round of financial weakness is being precipitated by economic problems in Eastern Europe, which are impacting the European banks, especially German ones.We are at the stage now where economic weakness is feeding back into everything, making the situation more difficult for banks everywhere. And, it's becoming clear to nearly everyone that many banks are not just illiquid but insolvent. (...) The one surprising outcome thus far is that the dollar has been able to stay as strong as it has (which I believe is a temporary phenomenon). It is becoming clearer to everyone that currencies -- the dollar included -- have no intrinsic value, as they are just pieces of paper. That's one big reason gold has been so strong recently. CLIP
UK "could experience a crash similar to Iceland" (Feb 18, 2009) http://www.hedgeweek.com/articles/detail.jsp?content_id=294300
The global financial crisis could be entering a 'new and more treacherous phase', which could push international countries to the brink of failure and further hinder the global economic recovery, according to Hennessee Group.Charles Gradante, co-founder of the Hennessee Group, points out that Iceland had one of the highest standards of living in the world just a few months ago, but after experiencing the fastest economic collapse in history, it is suffering from soaring unemployment as well as double digit interest rates and inflation.Hennessee Group says there are other countries that share some of the same characteristics as Iceland, particularly with regards to its debt to economic output, and could be vulnerable to the same devastating effects of the financial crisis. (...) One particular statistic of concern is the large amounts of external debt certain countries are currently carrying relative to the size of their economy (GDP) and will continue to build as they battle the economic slowdown.While the there has been a lot of discussion regarding the mounting debt of the US due to recently implemented bailout programs and stimulus packages, Hennessee Group Research believes the US appears relatively stable in comparison to their international counterparts. Currently, the US debt to GDP ratio is approximately 100 per cent with the bulk of its external debt mostly in dollars. The Netherlands currently has a ratio of approximately 328 per cent, while Ireland has built a debt to GDP ratio of 900 per cent.However, the two countries that appear most susceptible to an economic collapse are the UK and Switzerland. The UK's debt to GDP ratio is currently 456 per cent while Switzerland's is 433 per cent. Gradante says: 'While these countries are much bigger than Iceland, they do share certain characteristics that make them vulnerable to further economic hardship. Both countries have developed into major financial intermediaries over time, and have grown sizeable external debts that are denominated in foreign currencies.' The Hennessee Group believes if either country were to experience a crisis of confidence whereby investors flee the country for safer havens, their currencies could experience a crash similar to that of Iceland's and leaving them potentially insolvent.
U.S. Army To Buy $6 Million Of Riot Equipment (02-25-2009) http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-3454-0-8-8--.html
The U.S. Army is to invest $6 million in riot equipment, a fact that has furthered fears that troops will be used inside the U.S. in order to quell any civil unrest resulting from the ongoing economic crisis. (...) In our article yesterday we highlighted the fact that Urban warfare training drills are taking place across the country as top analysts as well as officials predict a potential "summer of rage" across Europe and America as civil unrest from the economic fallout builds.Are such drills really for the purpose of preparing troops for foreign combat zones? Undoubtedly - but other factors indicate that the drills may very well also be aimed at preparing troops for dealing with mass civil unrest as the economic crisis worsens. There's no question that U.S. authorities have been closely observing riots that have toppled governments in Iceland and Latvia and also threatened to do so in several other European countries. The fact that they have contingency plans in place to deal with such scenarios should they unfold in America cannot be disputed. Indeed, before a media exposé forced them into a denial, Northcom revealed that one of the duties of at least 20,000 active duty troops that are being placed inside the United States would be dealing with "civil unrest and crowd control". The U.S. Army War College in November released a white paper called Known Unknowns: Unconventional 'Strategic Shocks' in Defense Strategy Development. The report warned that the military must be prepared for a "violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States," which could be provoked by "unforeseen economic collapse," "purposeful domestic resistance," "pervasive public health emergencies" or "loss of functioning political and legal order." The "widespread civil violence," the document said, "would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security."
THINGS ARE GETTING REALLY BAD FOR THE POOREST 1.5 BILLION OF HUMANITY
WASHINGTON, March 4 (IPS) - The world's poorest people had nothing to do with the financial gimmickry that has brought the global economy to its knees but they are paying a heavy price for it and relief seems a long way off.
Poverty is increasing and the spectre of political upheaval looms over developing countries whose export earnings have dwindled amid tumbling commodity prices and sluggish global trade. Foreign investment and aid budgets are being cut. The resilience of remittances from migrant workers is being tested by a deep and still-unfolding recession.
As Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), puts it: "After hitting first the advanced economies and then the emerging economies, a third wave from the global financial crisis is now hitting the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries."
In jeopardy, he adds, are "the major achievements of higher growth, lower poverty, and greater political stability that many low-income countries have made over the past decade."
Soaring food and fuel prices pushed 130 million to 155 million people in developing countries into poverty in 2008 and the World Bank reckons another 53 million people could join them this year. This would bring the total of those living at or below the international poverty line of two dollars a day to more than 1.5 billion people.
In Africa south of the Sahara this year, the crisis will rob 18 billion dollars from 390 million people who eke out a living below the international extreme-poverty line of one dollar a day. At 46 dollars per person the figure seems small but it represents fully one-fifth of their annual earnings, says the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
An additional 200,000-400,000 children will die every year that the crisis persists, says the World Bank. By 2015, the additional death toll could rise to 2.8 million people. Those who survive will face cognitive damage inflicted by malnutrition as more go hungry. Yet, according to UNESCO, 43 of the world's 48 low-income countries lack the money to provide a "pro-poor fiscal stimulus".
Worse still, says the IMF, at least 22 of these countries could go bankrupt this year. Depending on just how bad things get, the cash-strapped governments will need an extra 25 billion to 140 billion dollars in grants and cheap loans to keep their external reserves at a "safe" level of around three to four months of imports. Even at its smallest, the sum represents about 80 percent of annual aid to all low-income countries in recent years.
Despite the additional need, the fund expects donors to cut their giving this year to 30 percent less than in 2008. The European Union (EU) has promised to provide 0.56 percent of national income in aid by 2010. Even if it keeps its word, the actual financial value of this commitment will shrink as member economies stall.
If current trends do not worsen in the interim, the EU commitment will have shrunk by 4.6 billion dollars, according to UNESCO. Kevin Watkins, the agency's top expert on education financing, says donors "could clearly do more to protect the world's poorest people from a crisis manufactured by the world's richest financiers".
Banks in rich countries lapped up 380 billion dollars of public money in the last three months of 2008 alone, he says. By contrast, seven billion dollars in extra aid would enable low-income countries to meet key education goals agreed by the international community.
Nor are global investors likely to be of use. Net flows of private capital to emerging markets - the wealthiest of the developing countries - plunged by nearly 50 percent from 929 billion dollars in 2007 to 466 billion dollars in 2008, according to the Institute of International Finance. The global banking lobby expects this year's total to fall to 165 billion dollars.
In many cases, critical financing will have to come not from donors or investors but from migrant workers who send money to their families back home. In good times and bad, these remittances have eclipsed official aid to countries ranging from Jamaica to Pakistan and the Philippines, in some cases generating up to one-fifth of national income.
Migrant workers sent home 305 billion dollars in 2008, up from 281 billion dollars in 2007, even as private investment in the developing world collapsed, the World Bank reckons. Unlike donors, almost all of which have yet to honour 1970s promises to allot less than one percent of national income for aid, migrants typically remit around five percent of their earnings.
Here, too, the outlook is worrying. Remittances grew last year but at a slower rate. In Mexico, they actually fell by 3.6 percent. No one seems to know what impact a severe global recession would have but the bank expects remittances to fall by about six percent this year before recovering in 2010.
The bank's prediction could prove overly optimistic. Jobs are evaporating everywhere as businesses fold or announce cuts in posts and plant. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) expects the global unemployment rate to reach 6.5 percent this year, with 30 million more people out of work than in 2007. The rate could rise further, to 7.1 percent for a loss of 50 million jobs since 2007, it says. Official figures tend to understate the problem.
Even those with jobs will find themselves increasingly vulnerable. Over the course of this year, says the ILO, 53 percent of people in formal employment could find themselves walking a high wire with no safety net to catch them if they suddenly lose their income.
If migrants lose their jobs and return home in significant numbers, remittances will swell as they repatriate their savings but then fall dramatically as a longstanding source of economic lifeblood dries up.
The next collapse? Farming. The decline continues to keep coming back to the issue of food security.
The Peak Oil story was never about running out of oil. It was about the collapse of complex systems in a world economy faced by the prospect of no further oil-fueled growth. It was something of a shock to many that the first complex system to fail would be banking, but the process is obvious: no more growth means no more ability to pay interest on credit... end of story, as Tony Soprano used to say.
There was a popular theory among Peak Oilers the last decade that the world would enter a "bumpy plateau" period when the global economy would get beaten down by peak oil, would then revive as "demand destruction" drove down oil prices, and would be beaten down again as oil prices shot up in response -- with serial repetitions of the cycle, each beat-down taking economies lower -- the only imaginable outcome being some sort of quiet homeostasis. This scenario did not play out as expected. It was predicated on a mistaken assumption that all systems would retain some kind of operational resilience while ratcheting down. Anyway, the banking system was mortally wounded in the first go-round and the behemoth is dying hard.
The last desperate act of the banking system in the face of Peak Oil's no-more-growth equation was to engineer species of tradable securities that could produce wealth out of thin air rather than productive activity. This was the alphabet soup of algorithm-derived frauds with vague and confounding names such as credit default swaps (CDSs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), structured investment vehicles (SIVs), and, of course, the basic filler, mortgage backed securities. The banking system is now choking to death on these delicacies.
The trouble is that the EMT squad brought in to rescue the banking system -- that is, governments -- can't remove these obstructions from the patient's craw. They don't want to drown in a mighty upchuck of the alphabet soup.
The collapse of complex systems is actually predicated on the idea that the systems would mutually reinforce each other's failures. This is now plain to see as the collapse of banking (that is, of both lending and debt service), has led to the collapse of commerce and manufacturing. The next systems to go will probably be farming, transportation, and the oil markets themselves (which constitute the system for allocating and distributing world energy resources). As these things seize up, the final system to go will be governance, at least at the highest levels.
If we're really lucky, human affairs will eventually reorganize at a lower scale of activity, governance, civility, and economy. Every week, the failure to recognize the nature of our predicament thrusts us further into the uncharted territory of hardship. The task of government right now is not to prop up doomed systems at their current scales of failure, but to prepare the public to rebuild our systems at smaller scales.
The net effect of the failures in banking is that a lot of people have less money than they expected they would have a year ago. This is bad enough, given our habits and practices of modern life. But what happens when farming collapses? The prospect for that is closer than most of us might realize. The way we produce our food has been organized at a scale that has ruinous consequences, not least its addiction to capital. Now that banking is in collapse, capital will be extremely scarce. Nobody in the cities reads farm news, or listens to farm reports on the radio. Guess what, though: we are entering the planting season. It will be interesting to learn how many farmers "out there" in the Cheez Doodle belt are not able to secure loans for this year's crop.
My guess is that the disorder in agriculture will be pretty severe this year, especially since some of the world's most productive places -- California, northern China, Argentina, the Australian grain belt -- are caught in extremes of drought on top of capital shortages. If the US government is going to try to make remedial policy for anything, it better start with agriculture, to promote local, smaller-scaled farming using methods that are much less dependent on oil byproducts and capital injections.
This will, of course, require a re-allocation of lands suitable for growing food. Our real estate market mechanisms could conceivably enable this to happen, but not without a coherent consensus that it is imperative to do so. If agri-business as currently practiced doesn't founder on capital shortages, it will surely collapse on disruptions in the oil markets. President Obama at least made a start in the right direction by proposing to eliminate further subsidies to farmers above the $250,000 level. But the situation is really more acute. Surely the US Department of Agriculture already knows about it, but the public may not be interested until the shelves in the Piggly-Wiggly are bare -- and then, of course, they'll go apeshit.
The recent huge drop in oil prices has left the public once again convinced that the world is drowning in oil -- if only the scoundrelly oil companies were forced to deliver it at reasonable prices. The public has been consistently deluded about this for decades. What's missing so far is for the president of the US to lay out the reality of the situation in a dedicated TV address. I know a lot of you think that Jimmy Carter already tried this and failed to make an impression (and ruined his presidency in the process). I guarantee you that Mr. Obama will have to do this sometime in the next few years whether he likes or not, and he'd be well-advised to get it done sooner rather than later. And by this I don't mean just vague allusions to "energy independence" or "renewables" in speeches devoted to many other issues. I mean telling the public the plain truth that we'll never offset oil depletion and the intelligent response is to do everything possible to transition to walkable towns and public transit, not to sustain the unsustainable.
The alternatives -- i.e. what we're trying now -- is to further delude ourselves into thinking that we can run WalMart and the suburbs by some other means than oil. Despite all our investments in these things, we won't be able to run them by other means, and the news about this had better get out before enormous disappointment turns into titanic rage. If Americans think they've been grifted by Goldman Sachs and Bernie Madoff, wait until they find out what a swindle the so-called "American Dream" of suburban life turns out to be.
On this blizzardy Monday in the power centers of America, attention is fixed on the never-ending fiasco of AIG -- a company whose main product turned out to be credit default swaps, and is now choking on them. Kibitzers on the sidelines of finance are forecasting a king-hell bear market suckers' rally in the stock markets followed by a belly flop to Dow 4000 or lower. I myself called for Dow 4000 two years ago -- and was obviously a bit off on my timing. All this is surely trouble enough. But while your attention is focused on Rick Santelli in the Chicago trader's pit, or Larry Kudlow desperately seeking "mustard seeds" of new growth in financials, try to let one eye stray to the horizon where these other complex systems are working out their next moves. Farming. The oil markets. These are the coming theaters of alarm and distress.
U.S. Air Force Study Proposed 2009 Influenza Pandemic in 1996
March 5, 2009
On June 17, 1996, the U.S. Air Force released Air Force 2025, a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the future. In the unclassified study, the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama posed several fictional representations of future situations/scenarios likely to arise.
In 2009, according to a figure in the Air Force 2025 report, influenza kills 30 million people.
In Chapter 5, the authors present a timeline figure representing plausible history. In 2009, according to the figure, influenza will kill 30 million people. A similar influenza pandemic occurred in the past, a footnote explains, making a reference to the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919, described as one of the worst human catastrophes on record. It has been estimated that more than 20 million people around the world died during the epidemic, and of the 20 million people who suffered from the illness in the United States, approximately 850,000 died.
The influenza virus is unique among viruses in being able to undergo so much antigenic change that an antigenically novel virus can sweep around the world in a year or two, giving rise to significant morbidity and mortality, another footnote states.
It is interesting to note that the source of the Air Forces fictional pandemic is described as unknown and it is not determined if the virus was a natural mutation or bioengineered. Many feared the latter.
Is it merely a coincidence the Pentagon would propose in 1996 a deadly flu pandemic for 2009 when live H5N1 avian flu viruses are discovered in vaccines produced by a Baxter International plant in Austria?
The fact that Baxter mixed the deadly H5N1 virus with a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses is the smoking gun, writes Paul Joseph Watson. The H5N1 virus on its own has killed hundreds of people, but it is less airborne and more restricted in the ease with which it can spread. However, when combined with seasonal flu viruses, which as everyone knows are super-airborne and easily spread, the effect is a potent, super-airborne, super deadly biological weapon of the sort proposed in Air Force 2025.
Last year, author and researcher F. William Engdahl revealed a Pentagon effort to weaponize avian flu. If the reports are accurate, this could unleash a new pandemic on the planet that could be more devastating than the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic which killed an estimated 30 million people worldwide before it eventually died out, writes Engdahl.
Engdahl then suggests that sections of the international pharmaceutical industry cartel are acting in concert with the US Government to develop a genetically modified H5N1 virus substance that could unleash a man-made pandemic. He cites Rima E. Laibow, MD, head of the Natural Solutions Foundation, a citizen watchdog group monitoring the pharmaceutical industry, who states:
Our best intelligence estimate is that pandemic Avian Flu has already been created through genetic engineering in the United States, fusing the deadly genome of the 1918 Pandemic, misnamed the Spanish Flu, with the DNA of the innocuous H5N1 virus in a growth medium of human kidney cells, according to the National Institutes of Health and the vaccines manufacturer. Some virologists believe that this would insure that the man-made mutant virus recognizes human cells and knows how to invade them.
Finally, it should be noted that Walter E. Boomer, a retired former four-star General and Assistant Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, sits on the board of directors of Baxter International. Of course, this is not definitive evidence the military controls Baxter or is behind the accidental contamination of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses with the H5N1 virus at its laboratory in Austria. It is highly suspicious, however.
Baxter International has had a relationship with the military since 1941, when its blood-collection devices were the only ones that met the specifications of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Research related links
CLIP - LOTS of links and over 147 comments already there!
Related video and articles:
'Accidental' Contamination Of Vaccine With Live Avian Flu Virus Virtually Impossible (March 5, 2009) http://www.prisonplanet.com/accidental-contamination-of-vaccine-with-live-avian-flu-virus-virtually-impossible.html
Czech Papers Question Whether Contaminated Baxter Vaccine Was an Attempt to Provoke Pandemic - Czech newspapers are questioning if the shocking discovery of vaccines contaminated with the deadly avian flu virus which were distributed to 18 countries by the American company Baxter were part of a conspiracy to provoke a pandemic. The claim holds weight because, according to the very laboratory protocols that are routine for vaccine makers, mixing a live virus biological weapon with vaccine material by accident is virtually impossible. "The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses," reports the Canadian Press. Baxter flu vaccines contaminated with H5N1 - otherwise known as the human form of avian flu, one of the most deadly biological weapons on earth with a 60% kill rate - were received by labs in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovenia. Initially, Baxter attempted to stonewall questions by invoking "trade secrets" and refused to reveal how the vaccines were contaminated with H5N1. After increased pressure they then claimed that pure H5N1 batches were sent by accident. This was seemingly an attempt to quickly change the story and hide the fact that the accidental contamination of a vaccine with a deadly biological agent like avian flu is virtually impossible and the only way it could have happened was by willful gross criminal negligence. According to a compiled translation from Czech newspaper stories, the media over there is asking tough questions about whether the contamination was part of a deliberate attempt to start a pandemic. "Was this just a criminal negligence or it was an attempt to provoke pandemia using vaccination against flu to spread the disease - as happened with the anti-B hepatitis vaccination with vaccines containing the HIV virus in US? - and then cash for the vaccines against H5N1 which Baxter develops? How could on Earth a virus as H5N1 come to the ordinary flu vaccines? Don't they follow even basic precautions in the American pharma companies?" states the translation. The fact that Baxter mixed the deadly H5N1 virus with a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses is the smoking gun. The H5N1 virus on its own has killed hundreds of people, but it is less airborne and more restricted in the ease with which it can spread. However, when combined with seasonal flu viruses, which as everyone knows are super-airborne and easily spread, the effect is a potent, super-airbone, super deadly biological weapon. (...) The other motivation, as we have exhaustively documented on this website for years, is the fact that elites throughout history have openly stated that they want to see a world population reduction of around 80 per cent. Shocking stories like this take the plausibility of that narrative out of the realms of conspiracy theory and into the dangerous reality of conspiracy fact. "Baxter is acting a whole lot like a biological terrorism organization these days, sending deadly viral samples around the world. If you mail an envelope full of anthrax to your Senator, you get arrested as a terrorist. So why is Baxter - which mailed samples of a far more deadly viral strain to labs around the world - getting away with saying, essentially, "Oops?", Adams concludes. This is not the first time that vaccine companies have been caught distributing vaccines contaminated with deadly viruses. In 2006 it was revealed that Bayer Corporation had discovered that their injection drug, which was used by hemophiliacs, was contaminated with the HIV virus. Internal documents prove that after they positively knew that the drug was contaminated, they took it off the U.S. market only to dump it on the European, Asian and Latin American markets, knowingly exposing thousands, most of them children, to the live HIV virus. Government officials in France went to prison for allowing the drug to be distributed. The documents show that the FDA colluded with Bayer to cover-up the scandal and allowed the deadly drug to be distributed globally. No Bayer executives ever faced arrest or prosecution in the United States.
Baxter: Product contained live bird flu virus (February 27, 2009) http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/02/27/8560781.html
The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses. (...) On Friday, the companys director of global bioscience communications confirmed what scientists have suspected. It was live, Christopher Bona said in an email. Accidental release of a mixture of live H5N1 and H3N2 viruses could have resulted in dire consequences. Note: How on earth did the avian flu virus ever get into vaccines? Could it be that this was planned? For a powerful book by a Harvard-trained dentist suggesting there may be a hidden force behind the spread of deadly infectious diseases, click here.
Discovery Yields Cure for the Common Cold and the Flu (March 3, 2009) - Note: this could save your life in a flu pandemic... if this alleged cure is for real! http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/03-03-2009/0004981852&EDATE=
(...) Unlike all of the competing cold and flu products on the market today that just treat symptoms, GlycoMeds' product actually kills cold and flu virus within a few hours, which automatically eliminates all symptoms. In independent testing these products have been shown to be hundreds of times more effective at killing cold and flu virus then the most potent anti-viral prescription medications known. These products are called Broad Spectrum Anti-Viral agents by the firm's CEO, Dr. Roger Brown. When asked what Broad Spectrum meant he said, "Our product has been shown to be extremely effective against killing most Group 5 virus within a few hours. Group 5 virus includes the Common Cold, Influenza Types A and B, RSV and other ssRNA virus." Dr. Brown said that their product works so fast that it required a whole new definition of "getting well" to understand what is going on. Dr. Brown explained that even though their product kills all of the virus within a few hours it takes the body a day or longer to repair all of the damage the virus did and to remove all of the waste products from the body before you are back to normal and feel fine. During this time the body is spending most of its resources in repair and so one feels a bit listless or tired out until the body's repair and clean-up phase is finished. These new products have no known side effects or any adverse long-term effects and they can be taken by anyone. Human testing has shown that one small capsule can kill a whole body viral infection in four to six hours.When asked if he took these products himself, Dr. Brown replied, "Yes, I do. As a matter of fact my entire family and I have been taking these for the last year and none of us get sick any longer, and I am not getting my yearly flu shots anymore either -- and I never felt better." Editor's note: Dr. Brown is 68. CLIP
Scientists are inching closer to a cure for the common cold (February 13, 2009) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-cold-virus-13-feb13,0,5953474.story
Genetic code cracked for all types of the virus -- Scientists announced Thursday that they have cracked the genetic code of all known species of the common cold virus, a major step forward in the effort to develop a cure-and perhaps even a vaccine-or the common cold.The findings, published this week in the journal Science, highlighted why researchers have found it so difficult to build effective drugs to combat the virus, which sickens millions each year and sends thousands of children with asthma to the hospital."We have never known what [the viruses] all look like, and if you want to go after them, you need to know that," said Ann Palmenberg, co-author of the study and a molecular virologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. "So we decided to go after the whole thing."The genetic code of each organism, from viruses to people, is life's instruction manual for building organisms and making them work. For years, it would have been too costly and time-consuming to unravel instructions for each cold virus. But a new technology, polymerase chain reaction, made it possible to essentially speed-read the genomes of all 99 strains of cold virus in three years. CLIP
Hollywood Does Chemtrails - Starring Anne Heche http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SImFeCy-gPk
Toxic Skies. Starring - Anne Heche & James Tupper - Synopsis: For years the government has been involved in a secret operation involving contrails - the visible lines of condensed water vapor that jets leave in the sky. If you asked them, they would suggest that this is done in the name of environmental protection a safeguard that will alleviate global warming by reflecting sunlight back into the atmosphere. The real truth: these contrails are actually a toxic substance, or virus, deliberately sprayed upon an unsuspecting populace in order to "weed out the old and the sick". As Seattle's hospitals begin filling up with patients suffering from a deadly sickness, Dr. Tess Martin, a specialist from the Global Health Association, embarks on a mission to find the truth. Before long, the virus spreads like wildfire and becomes a full-on epidemic, with Tess own 10 year old son now among the infected. With over 70 percent of Seattle dying from the virus, Tess and her son's only chance of survival is to get out of the city and find a cure, but the President has declared a national emergency and quarantined all of Seattle -- nobody is allowed out, and nobody is allowed in. When the President passes a bill allowing the use of military force to keep Seattle from spreading the virus, it's up to Tess to find a way to break free of the city in order to find a cure and expose the government's deadly conspiracy.
Vaccines as Biological Weapons? Live Avian Flu Virus Placed in Baxter Vaccine Materials Sent to 18 Countries (March 03, 2009) http://www.naturalnews.com/025760.html
There's a popular medical thriller novel in which a global pandemic is intentionally set off by an evil plot designed to reduce the human population. In the book, a nefarious drug company inserts live avian flu viruses into vaccine materials that are distributed to countries around the world to be injected into patients as "flu shots." Those patients then become carriers for these highly-virulent strains of avian flu which go on to infect the world population and cause widespread death.There's only one problem with this story: It's not fiction. Or, at least, the part about live avian flu viruses being inserted into vaccine materials isn't fiction. It's happening right now. Deerfield, Illinois-based pharmaceutical company Baxter International Inc. has just been caught shipping live avian flu viruses mixed with vaccine material to medical distributors in 18 countries. The "mistake" (if you can call it that, see below...) was discovered by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada. The World Health Organization was alerted and panic spread throughout the vaccine community as health experts asked the obvious question: How could this have happened? (...) If you put the pieces together on this, its not too difficult to suspect that influenza could potentially be used as a tool of control by governments or drug companies to catalyze outrageous profit-taking or power grabbing agendas. A desperate, infected population will gladly give up anything or pay anything for the promise of being cured. Or was it just an innocent mistake? Oops! But for the skeptics who dismiss any such talk of conspiracy theories, lets examine the other possibility: That a global avian flu pandemic was nearly unleashed unintentionally due to the outrageous incompetence of the companies handling these viral strains.As we just saw, this is a very real possibility. Had this live bird flu virus not been detected, it could have very easily found its way into vaccines that were injected into human beings. And this, in turn, could have unleashed a global avian flu pandemic.If the drug companies making and handling these materials are so careless, then it seems like its only a matter of time before something slips through the safety precautions again and gets unleashed into the wild. And that leads to essentially the same scenario: A global pandemic, widespread death, health care failures and a desperate population begging for vaccines. So either way whether its intentional or not you essentially get the same result. Why a global pandemic is only a matter of time? I am on the record stating that a global pandemic is only a matter of time. The living conditions under which humans have placed themselves (crowded cities, suppressed immune systems, etc.) are ideal for the spread of infectious disease. But I never dreamed drug companies could actually be accelerating the pandemic timeline by contaminating vaccine materials with live avian flu viruses known to be highly infectious to humans. This, it seems, is a whole new cause for concern. CLIP
DEATH FROM ABOVE? - HOLLYWOOD DOES CHEMTRAILS (March 3, 2009) http://deadlinelive.info/?p=233
(...) Over the many years, I have done extensive research on Chemtrails or as I refer to it in its profession vernacular, Aerosol Spraying. I have also gotten myself in a world of shite for doing so. In 2005 we encountered several incidents that may have been related to our investigative reports on the subject. We were set upon by an organized group of internet stalkers that attempted to smear my name, and shut down my radio show, and websites, while attacking our sponsors. My people helped me fend off this attack, but the result was a paid google ad smear piece - titled: The Shame of Jack BloodOn of these people, whos name I will not reprint, was connected to the late Bill Cooper and possibly NASA Chemtrail debunker / scientist Patrick Minnis, from the NASA Langley Research Center, home base ofthe same individual who said that anyone believing in chemtrails are conspiracy theorists. (Usual ad hominem attack strategy.) NASA is fully locked and loaded to attack anyone who researches the spraying, and allegedly has a crew to search the web for those exposing it.During this time my family survived a mysterious house fire in Round Rock, TX which nearly did us in. We also witnessed increased spraying, residual webbing, and extremely low flying jets over our home. (I know, sounds paranoid right? Admittedly it could have all been big a coincidence ) My researchers and I uncovered a wealth of information about aerosol spraying and the secrecy involved in the many projects. This included some revealing US Patents. You can read one of our many reports here: http://www.chemtrail.de/html/jack_blood.html
Clifford Carnicoms film aerosol Crimes is also an excellent starter course on the subject, and Will Thomas has been doing fantastic research for many years as well (See Will Thomass well written expose, PROBING THE CHEMTRAIL CONUNDRUM about the bio-war were all being exposed to ) But With all of this research, I am afraid that we have yet to fully understand the complex military program progressing in our skies. (...) Other theories have been bandied about over the years. The Spraying is part of HAARP, and the heavy metals and barium used in the trials is accomplished to create some kind of conductivity with a radar device. Others have suggested that this system could be used for Mind Control (get your tin foil on). The biggest, and most popular conspiracy theory seems to concern the content of the fictional film Toxic Skies. That is The spraying is part of a covert global depopulation operation. While there is no direct evidence of this, its easy to understand why people fear this probability. There are MANY documented reports pertaining to elite wanting to cull the herd. By about 80% according to their own words. CNN founder, UN supporter, and global warmer Ted Turner has made such statements. Prince Phillip, (hubby of Queen Liz, papa of Prince Charles - both of whom are key players in building the global environmental foundation grids in control today ) once said in his book, If I were an Animal That he would like to be reincarnated as a particularly deadly disease to depopulate the earth of useless eaters. Maybe he didnt have to wait for reincarnation? The recently defaced Georgia Guidestones (Americas Stonehenge) also makes mention of a perfect world population of around 500,000,000. What concerns me the most is the extensive disaster chatter about a coming Global Pandemic. As if the PTB is preparing for the inevitable. (Read my last blog about that here): http://deadlinelive.info/?p=39 (...) To conclude . I believe that this film should be a warning. Maybe on a deeper level a conscience clearing act by the PTB. (A cremation of Care of sorts This is a common edict in Freemasonry. Before doing something unconscionable to the uninitiated They have to give warning.)Of course, by releasing the truth in a fictional film Ala the Matrix etc The elite can always come back with, Oh, you must be a nut like Ann Heshe. Do you believe that The Terminator is real as well? Mickey Mouse? (Dont get me started on the Carlyle Groups robot soldiers, or robo cop in Dearborn Michigan affectionately called the Beast (Which also happens to be the name of Obamas new limo) So it could very well be that Toxic Skies, is nothing but a; per usual Psy Op. True or not true, real or fiction, I look forward to seeing it.
CHEMTRAILS: Are You Becoming A Conspiracy Theorist? (March 06, 2009) http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977616057
George has guests come on and talk a lot about chemtrails. These are singular lines that form in the sky behind jets, but they are not normal jet contrails. Those dissipate rather quickly. These trails linger and expand. They're interconnected with other nearby trails that all expand together, until they form a somewhat natural looking cloud -- or so the theory goes. They're also loaded with pathogens and other harmful substances used for weather manipulation -- according to George. So, I start watching the sky over my home -- lo and behold I notice jets leaving heavy trails behind them. Sometimes there are two working together that spray the trails in parallel then perpendicular lines to form a tic-tac-toe. There is no way these could be regular commercial airliners. This happens every 2 or 3 days now over my neighborhood.It appears to be true. Our government is deliberately polluting our skies over our nation, Mexico, Canada, and Europe, if you look at all the different sites with photographic evidence. The why is hard to imagine, but you have to be a fool to believe there is a benevolent purpose behind it. This realization prompted me to do more research, and the more you dig, the more the evidence is clear that very powerful and often sinister forces manipulate and attempt to control us, and the chemtrails are just one example. Do your own research and take my challenge. Watch the skies twice a day for 7 days over your city. I'm willing to bet you will see long puffy trails laid out in lines over your house where your children sleep, paid for by your taxpayer dollars and mine at an astronomical cost to us. When you see this very obvious sign overhead, you too will become a conspiracy theorist.
THIS IS A LONG BUT FASCINATING SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE THAT HELPS SHED SOME LIGHT ON WHAT IS SET TO HAPPEN IN 2012 and beyond...
The Emerging Sunspot Cycle 24 and a Weakening Magnetic Field
What does this mean for our planet and species?
By Alex Ansary (With pictures and graphics at the URL above)
February 25, 2009
If you were thinking that the only things we have to be concerned about include wars, famines, and economic crashes, think again.
New scientific discoveries are indicating that this next solar flare cycle could potentially be powerful enough to disrupt our planet's entire electric grid. In this report, I will document the number of changes taking place with our magnetic field, the sun and our solar system while explaining some of the concerns that today's leading scientists have voiced. I will also be examining how humankind may also be affected energically.
What is Electromagnetic Pollution?
TV, cell phone towers, power lines, and house applianceswhile they make lives more convenient for some, they also contribute to polluting our electromagnetic atmosphere. A growing number of scientists, health care professionals, and concerned citizens argue that these invisible frequencies are responsible for a host of various health problems. Meanwhile, the largest polluter has gone unnoticed: the sun. And it's about to fire up again.
Our Plant's Magnetic Field
The magnetosphere is a bubble of magnetism that surrounds Earth and protects us from solar wind. Fortunately, our planet's magnetic field diverts most particles into a circular path around the Earth. Like weather patterns found on Earth, solar wind patterns can change rapidly.
Luckily, our planet's magnetosphere quickly responds to the threat and absorbs the impact, wiggling and jiggling in the process. Geophysicists call this reaction a geomagnetic storm, but because of how it disrupts the Earth's magnetic field, it could also be called electromagnetic pollution. This is when we see the Aurora Borealis in our night skies.
But strange things are happening in both outer and inner space
The Earth's magnetic field has been decreasing. This decrease actually began 2000 years ago, but the rate of decrease suddenly became much more rapid 500 years ago. Now, in the last 20 years or so, the magnetic field has become erratic. Aeronautical maps of the world which are used to allow airplanes to land using automatic pilot systems have had to be revised worldwide in order for the automatic pilot systems to work.
Late last year, the Arctic ice cap on the exact spot of the North Pole completely melted for the first time in known history. Green Peace reported that, relative to the winter ice pattern, the cap had previously melted over 300 miles toward the pole, and that late last year both military and civilian ships were able to actually pass directly over the North Pole. It was water. Until now, as far as we know, there has never been a time where the ice was less than ten feet thick. In contrast, the South Pole has an ice cap that is about three miles deep, and yet huge pieces of ice continue to break off and melt.
There is a now a Giant Breach in the Earth's Magnetic Field
NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. When this happens, solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. Exploring the mystery is a key goal of the THEMIS mission, launched in February 2007.
The big discovery came on June 3, 2007, when the five probes serendipitously flew through the breach just as it was opening. Onboard sensors recorded a torrent of solar wind particles streaming into the magnetosphere, signaling an event of unexpected size and importance. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed and baffled at the unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics.
"At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction." "The opening was hugefour times wider than Earth itself," says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing the data. Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says "1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetospherethat's a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible."
The size of the breach shocked researchers. "We've seen things like this before," says Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, "but never on such a large scale. The entire day-side of the magnetosphere was open to the solar wind.
This is changing our understanding of the universe. Space physicists have long believed that holes in Earth's magnetosphere open only in response to solar magnetic fields that point south. The great breach of June 2007, however, opened in response to a solar magnetic field that pointed north.
To the lay person, this may sound like a quibble, but to a space physicist, it is almost seismic. It means that something is happening out there that they didn't predict and that is what has them frightened.
Unexpected Shield Drop
Here is where the scientific understanding our how magnetic field is changing: What is understood today in the scientific community is that the solar wind presses against the Earth's magnetosphere almost directly above the equator where our planet's magnetic field points north. Scientists previously believed that if a bundle of solar magnetism came along, and points north, too, the two fields should reinforce one another strengthening Earth's magnetic defenses and slamming the door shut on the solar wind. In the language of space physics, a north-pointing solar magnetic field is called a "northern IMF" and it is synonymous with shields up.
The big surprise is that when a northern IMF came along, the shields went down. This is completely overturning many scientists understanding of things. As Researchers investigated the tear in the magnetic field, they discovered that twenty times more solar wind passed into the Earth's protective shield when the magnetic fields were aligned. Northern IMF events don't actually trigger geomagnetic storms, notes Raeder, but they do set the stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras, power outages, and other disturbances that can result when a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.
This means the impact of solar flares are twenty times as strong with the magnetic lines are aligned. Earth's and the sun's magnetic fields will be in sync at the solar cycle's peak, expected in 2012. This will cause an influx of solar particles. What the scientists didnt discuss is the impact on the human bioelectrical system.
The earth's magnetic field impacts climate
The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published in January 2009 that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.
"Our results show a strong correlation between the strength of the earth's magnetic field and the amount of precipitation in the tropics," one of the two Danish geophysicists behind the study, Mads Faurschou Knudsen of the geology department at Aarhus University in western Denmark, told the Videnskab journal.
The results of the study, which has also been published in US scientific journal Geology, lend support to a controversial theory published a decade ago by Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark, who claimed the climate was highly influenced by galactic cosmic ray (GCR) particles penetrating the earth's atmosphere.
Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth's liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet's surface, a new study says
"What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth's magnetic field," said study co-author Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.
The findings suggest similarly quick changes are simultaneously occurring in the liquid metal, 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) below the surface, he said. Fluctuations in the magnetic field have occurred in several far-flung regions of Earth, the researchers found.
The changes "may suggest the possibility of an upcoming reversal of the geomagnetic field," said study co-author Mioara Mandea, a scientist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. Earth's magnetic field has reversed hundreds of times over the past billion years, and the process could take thousands of years to complete.
The decline in the magnetic field also is opening Earth's upper atmosphere to intense charged particle radiation, scientists say.
Cosmic Rays are slamming Earth
An international team of researchers has discovered a puzzling surplus of high-energy electrons bombarding Earth from space. The source of these cosmic rays is unknown, but it must be close to the solar system and it could be made of dark matter. Their results are being reported in the Nov. 20th issue of the journal Nature.
"This is a big discovery," says co-author John Wefel of Louisiana State University. "It's the first time we've seen a discrete source of accelerated cosmic rays standing out from the general galactic background." To study the most powerful and interesting cosmic rays, Wefel and colleagues have spent the last eight years flying a series of balloons through the stratosphere over Antarctica.
Their NASA-funded cosmic ray detector found an significant surplus of high-energy electrons. "The source of these exotic electrons must be relatively close to the solar systemno more than a kiloparsec away," says co-author Jim Adams of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Galactic cosmic rays are subatomic particles accelerated to almost light speed by distant supernova explosions and other violent events. They swarm through the Milky Way, forming a haze of high energy particles that enter the solar system from all directions.
Cosmic rays consist mostly of protons and heavier atomic nuclei with a dash of electrons and photons spicing the mix. Why must the source be nearby? Adams explains: "High-energy electrons lose energy rapidly as they fly through the galaxy.
They give up energy in two main ways: (1) when they collide with lower-energy photons, a process called inverse Compton scattering, and (2) when they radiate away some of their energy by spiraling through the galaxy's magnetic field." High-energy electrons are therefore local but the researches cannot pinpoint the source in the sky.
The sun is a massive electromagnetic broadcaster which floods the planets of the solar system with heat, light, UV radiation, and electrically charged particles. The Sun itself has a magnetic field, and that magnetic field creates an "egg" around the Solar System that is known as the "heliosphere." The heliosphere is shaped like a teardrop, with the long, thin end of the drop pointing away from the direction in which we're traveling.
The Sun is the center of our Solar System, and all life that is on this Earth came from the Sun. If there were no Sun, we would not be alive. This is simply scientific fact. And so any changes that occur in or on the Sun will eventually affect every person alive. The solar activity during this last sunspot cycle was greater than anything ever seen before.
The Sun's magnetic field has changed in the last 100 years
One recent study by Dr. Mike Lockwood from Rutherford Appleton National Laboratories in California has been investigating the Sun activity for the last hundred years. He reports that since 1901 the overall magnetic field of the Sun has become stronger by 230 percent. Scientists do not understand what that means for us.
Some of the sunspot activity in this last cycle was greater than anything ever recorded before in history. But scientists claim that they don't understand what that means either. "Obviously, the sun is Earth's life blood," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics division at NASA. "To mitigate possible public safety issues, it is vital that we better understand extreme space weather events caused by the sun's activity."
According to NASA, it is beginning another 11-year cycle of activity
The Sun flips its Magnetic Poles every eleven years. Considering that the Sun is to blame for some unfavorable climate changes on the Earth, the coming decade could spell more trouble for our planet. The years ahead could be intense.
Raeder explains: "We're entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME (coronal mass ejection) should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It's the perfect sequence for a really big event."
Every 1011 years, the number of sunspots found on our closest star rise from 0 (as it is currently in 2008) to a high of over 400. While the sunspots themselves don't affect Earth, the solar flares and other disturbances emanating from our sun during increased sunspot activity result in an increased number of particles (electrons and protons) and harmful light radiation (ultraviolet and x-rays), known as solar wind. If it weren't for Earth's protective magnetic field and atmosphere, this bombardment of particles would burn us to a crisp.
Sunspot Cycle 24 peaking around 2012 could be one of the strongest in centuries
The next sunspot cycle will be 30-50% stronger than the last one and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Predicting the Sun's cycles accurately, years in advance, will help societies plan for active bouts of solar storms, which can slow satellite orbits, disrupt communications, and bring down power systems.
The scientists have confidence in the forecast because, in a series of test runs, the newly developed model simulated the strength of the past eight solar cycles with more than 98% accuracy. The forecasts are generated, in part, by tracking the subsurface movements of the sunspot remnants of the previous two solar cycles. The team is publishing its forecast in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries
The Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to perform one complete circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle, and that's why the slowdown is important.
"Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per secondwalking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."
According to theory and observation, the speed of the belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future. A slow belt means lower solar activity; a fast belt means stronger activity. "The slowdown we see now means that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries," says Hathaway.
History of measuring solar flare activity
The first measuring instruments made their appearance 440 years ago. They showed that our nearest star treats the Earth to more than just solar eclipses. Sunspots, solar flares, faculae and other phenomena affect everything on the Earth: from atmospheric events to human behavior. These phenomena are known collectively as solar activity. This activity, expressing itself through bursts of solar radiation, magnetic storms or fiery flares, can vary in intensity, from very low to very strong. It is the storms that pose the greatest danger to civilization.
History of solar activity affecting the grid
On August 28, 1859, polar lights glowed and shimmered all over the American continent as darkness fell. Many people thought their city was aflame. The instruments used to record this magnetic fluctuation across the world went off their scales. Telegraph systems malfunctioned, hit by a massive surge in voltage. It was perhaps the worst in the past 200 years and with the advent of modern power grids and satellites, much more is at risk.
This was an actual solar storm. Its results for humankind were small, because civilization had not yet entered a hi-tech phase of development. Had something similar happen in our nuclear space age, destruction would have been catastrophic. Meanwhile, according to scientific data, storms of such size occur relatively seldom: once in five centuries. But events with half the intensity happen every 50 years.
The last one took place on November 13, 1960 and disturbed the Earth's geomagnetic fields, upsetting the operation of radio stations.
How this could impact our grid today
Now our dependence on radio electronic devices is so immense that increased solar activity could disable life-support systems all over the world, and not only on the surface. Poor space weather makes all orbital systems malfunction. A heavy solar storm can cause disruption to space-based navigation systems.
NASA is now sounding an alarm because our continent is so close to the northern magnetic pole and is the most vulnerable to solar activity. A study by the MetaTech Corporation revealed that an impact similar to that of 1859 would incapacitate the entire electricity grid in North America. Even the relatively weak magnetic storm of 1989, provoked by solar activity, caused an accident at a Canadian hydro-electric power plant that left 6 million people in the U.S. and Canada without electric power for nine hours.
A new study from the National Academy of Sciences also outlines grim possibilities on Earth for a worst-case scenario solar storm. Modern power grids are so interconnected that a big space storm the type expected to occur about once a century could cause a cascade of failures that would sweep across the United States, cutting power to 130 million people or more in this country alone, the new report concludes. Such widespread power outages, though expected to be a rare possibility, would affect other vital systems.
"Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states.
Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt. "Emergency services would be strained, and command and control might be lost," write the researchers, led by Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Could cycles of war and peace be tied to cycles of the sun?
Some researchers claim that geomagnetic storms affect brain waves and hormone levels, causing a number of different reactions, predominately in males. While a few women may also experience changes during these storms, they generally seem less affected by the sun's behavior. Reacting to changing hormone levels, some men may become increasingly irritable and aggressive, while others may instead become more creative.
An increase in solar activity is found to increase psychotic episodes in individuals who already suffer from unstable psychological states. While we might relate such behavior to a full moon, in 1963, Dr. Robert Becker and his colleague, Dr.Freedman, demonstrated that solar changes also lead to a noticeable increase in psychotic activity. Yet these reactions are not simply isolated to a few particularly sensitive or unlucky individuals.
Evidence indicates that wars and international conflicts most often break out when sunspots are rapidly forming or rapidly decaying, as these are times when there are more intense geomagnetic storms. In addition, this increase in solar activity also correlates to periods of more accidents and illness, as well as an increase of crimes and murders. The entire biosphere is affected by this electromagnetic pollution, and human behavior seems to react accordingly.
Not all geomagnetic storms are disruptive. But over time, these extremes in solar activity may also affect periods of earthly conflict. The data on cycles of war and peace extend back at least 2,500 years. (Some believe that they may be traced even further, but the records are not as reliable.) Although some may argue that it seems as if there is always war somewhere, records show that periods of conflict increase and decrease in nearly regular cycles.
The atmospheres of five of the planets and the Earth's moon are changing. The earth's atmosphere in the upper levels is forming HO gas that didn't exist in the quantity that it does now. The Scientists from the Russian National Academy of Science say it's not related to global warming, CFCs or fluorocarbon emissions. They claim the atmospheres of Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are also are changing. The Martian atmosphere is getting sizably thicker than it was before.
The Mars Observer probe in 1997 lost one of its mirrors, which caused it to crash. This happened because the atmosphere was about twice as dense as NASA had calculated.
The brightness and magnetic field of the planets is changing
Venus is showing marked increases in its overall brightness. Jupiter's energetic charge has risen so high that there is actually a visible tube of ionizing radiation that's formed between the surface of Jupiter and its moon Io. You can actually see the luminous energy tube in photographs that have been taken recently.
Uranus and Neptune also are becoming brighter. The magnetic fields of Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are changing. Jupiter's magnetic field has more than doubled and Neptune's magnetic field is increasing. All three of these planets are becoming brighter, and their atmospheric qualities, say the Russians, are changing but they do not explain what is meant by this.
The Russians report that Uranus and Neptune appear to have had recent pole shifts. When the Voyager II space probe flew past Uranus and Neptune, the apparent north and south magnetic poles were sizably offset from where the rotational pole was in earlier recordings. In one case, it was 50 degrees off, and in the other case the difference was around 40 degrees.
What Is Going On?
Since 1900 we have gone from riding horses to launching satellites into space. From sending letters by horseback to firing them off with instantaneous email, cell phones, and faxes. On the other hand, we have gone from warring with primitive weapons to atomic bombs and bioterrorism.
And perhaps even more significantly, in 1900 the Earth had 30 million species, species which took billions of years to create. Now, we have less than half that number fewer than 15 million species. And this all happened in 100 years: a geological blink of an eye. Disturbingly, we may be at the brink of World War Three following an economic crash of the world economy.
This new information about the changes in our solar system comes at an interesting time for our planet. It could be possible that for some time celestial events may have been playing their part in shaping our way of life on the planet, and that these changes that we are now seeing with our sun, magnetic field, and solar system may be the very thing that changes our world as we know it into something new.
Only time will tell, but it appears that the future may already be here....
Possibly related transcript:
A letter from a Norwegian politician (March 2008) THIS IS REALLY HARD TO BELIEVE BTW! http://www.projectcamelot.org/norway.html
I am a Norwegian politician. I would like to say that difficult things will happen from the year 2008 till the year 2012.The Norwegian government is building more and more underground bases and bunkers. When asked, they simply say that it is for the protection of the people of Norway. When I enquire when they are due to be finished, they reply before 2011. Israel is also doing the same and many other countries too. My proof that what I am saying is true is in the photographs I have sent of myself and all the Prime Ministers and ministers I tend to meet and am acquainted with. They know all of this, but they dont want to alarm the people or create mass panic.Planet X is coming, and Norway has begun with storage of food and seeds in the Svalbard area and in the arctic north with the help of the US and EU and all around in Norway. They will only save those that are in the elite of power and those that can build up again: doctors, scientists, and so on.As for me, I already know that I am going to leave before 2012 to go the area of Mosjøen where we have a deep underground military facility. There we are divided into sectors, red, blue and green. The signs of the Norwegian military are already given to them and the camps have already been built a long time ago. The people that are going to be left on the surface and die with along the others will get no help whatsoever. The plan is that 2,000,000 Norwegians are going to be safe, and the rest will die. That means 2,600,000 will perish into the night not knowing what to do. All the sectors and arks are connected with tunnels and have railcars that can take you from one ark to the other. This is so that they can be in contact with each other. Only the large doors separate them so that the sectors are not compromised in any matter. (...) When we came outside we were given goggles and asked to go through a security check. This is where it all gets weird.There were guards with weapons all over the place... and remember I told you about the energy fields that one has to go through. I was thinking I should not be here at this place, and I was a little scared. Then we got through this energy field and came to another room. I saw that there was a screen on the side of the wall that said HUMAN - NOT HUMAN - PURE - NOT PURE. After I saw this I was thinking: Are there 'NOT HUMANS' too ?? (...) What I found out was that these bases were Arks for the government and some of the people and military to survive inside. There was a threat from outside that was going to be in the year 2012 and that the human species had to survive. The 'Planet X' I learned about is from all what I have seen till now. The government knows this and are keeping it from the public. They have been tracking this object for a long time now and were given the first warnings from the USA. I know that 18 bases exist in Norway. I don't know what many of the dangers are because I am not a scientist. But what I know is that before 2012 the different governments are going to leave for the bases that they have built for the last 40 or 50 years. If this object goes by, there will be a lot of problems on the surface of the Earth. That is all I know. This is why they go underground.If such an event comes, they have made sure that five years or more underground is going to be what they need to avoid this. When they know it's safe to surface, they will rebuild again. We were just told that we have to leave before 2012 and that there is something in space that is going to cause much destruction.
More on these secret underground bases through this LINK
WITH THE CONTINUING FIRES IN AUSTRALIA, THIS LAGGARD GOVERNMENT IS NOW MORE LIKELY TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING CALL FOR REAL ACTION TO HELP SLOW DOWN CLIMATE CHANGE
By Graeme Taylor - December 2008
Will Australians allow global warming to destroy our children's future? Not likely. In the Second World War our parents and grandparents were willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to save civilization-we must, can and will act with the same courage and commitment now.
Our government has chosen a path that will do little to stop global temperatures from rising. The logic behind this is that climate change is a global problem and it would be too expensive and possibly useless for Australia to take the lead in cutting pollution.
This approach starts us down the road to disaster, since weak pollution reduction targets will not be enough to keep temperatures from rising to deadly levels. Our government's strategy is to begin with easy goals and hope that the nations of the world will reach future agreement on much higher standards. But in negotiations people rarely get more than they ask for.
We are not playing cricket. When you lose in sports, there is always another game. But if we let global temperatures get out of control, it will be game over for human civilizations-possibly forever.
We can't afford to gamble with climate change because we can't afford to lose. And it is not our own lives and fortunes that are at risk, but our children's futures. Our refusal to make small sacrifices now will force our children to make enormous sacrifices later.
Australians will only agree to this desperate gamble if they aren't told the facts. Climate change is a real and growing threat. Average global temperatures are now less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels, but even this small increase is proving devastating. Twenty percent of the world's coral reefs are already dead, glaciers and polar ice are melting, storms are strengthening, deserts are expanding and droughts and floods are more frequent and intense.
If the Australian government's plan-and the Kyoto accords- are followed average global temperatures are likely to rise by 3° or 4°. This will destroy most of our coral reefs and tropical rainforests and dry out the Murray-Darling. Increasing ocean acidity will kill off most marine life. Around the world one-third to one-half of all species alive today will probably go extinct.
But this will only be the opening scene of an endless nightmare. Increasing temperatures will create an irreversible cycle in which the weather will get hotter year after year, eventually making most of our planet uninhabitable.
The planet is now facing a global emergency. If the world continues on its present path, greenhouse gases will reach dangerous levels (450 ppm of CO_e) by 2016.
Creating a sustainable global economy is not a matter of choice, but of survival. Because we live in a hot, dry country, we will be one of the first to suffer from global warming. And because we have so many sources of renewable energy-sun, wind, waves, geothermal-we also stand to benefit more than most from the development of new technologies.
While the government's weak recommendations are a first step, additional measures are urgently required. Australia also needs to put a pollution tax on all goods, so that the more pollution that is caused in producing a product, the higher the tax. As Al Gore says, We need to tax what we burn, not what we earn. This approach would allow Australia to lead the world in developing a sustainable economy without having to worry about investment moving to countries with lower environmental standards.
Creating a sustainable economy will be difficult and expensive. But Australians have not always taken the easiest path. In September, 1939 Australia joined Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth in the war against fascism. Then Australians didn't ask whether the war would cost too much, or wait for the United States and other countries to join the fight. Then Australians simply agreed that losing the war was not an option, no matter what sacrifices needed to be made.
In 1939 Australians made the right choice-to take the hard path. If our children are to have a future, we have to once more make the right choice. Now is a time for truth, not fables. Now is a time for courage, not despair. Now is the time for Australians to stand up and save our country and our world.
Graeme Taylor is the coordinator of BEST Futures (http://www.bestfutures.org) and the author of Evolution's Edge: the Coming Collapse and Transformation of Our World. He is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the Griffith School of Environment and an Honorary Research Adviser to the Australian Peace and Conflict Centre.
"Miracle" water a low-cost alternative cleaner to harsh chemicals
By Marla Dickerson
Los Angeles Times -- February 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES It's a kitchen degreaser. It's a window cleaner. It kills athlete's foot. Oh, and you can drink it.
Sounds like the old "Saturday Night Live" gag for Shimmer, the faux floor polish plugged by Gilda Radner. But the elixir is real. U.S. regulators have approved it. And it's starting to replace the toxic chemicals Americans use at home and on the job.
The stuff is a simple mixture of table salt and tap water whose ions have been scrambled with an electric current. Researchers have dubbed it electrolyzed water, not as catchy as Mr. Clean. But at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, Calif., some hotel workers are calling it "el liquido milagroso," the miracle liquid.
That's as good a name as any for a substance that scientists said is powerful enough to kill anthrax spores without harming people or the environment.
Used as a sanitizer for decades in Russia and Japan, it's slowly winning acceptance in the United States. A New York poultry processor uses it to kill salmonella on chicken carcasses. Minnesota grocery clerks spray sticky conveyors in the checkout lanes. Michigan jailers mop with electrolyzed water to keep potentially lethal cleaners out of the hands of inmates.
In Santa Monica, the once-skeptical Sheraton housekeeping staff has ditched skin-chapping bleach and pungent ammonia for spray bottles filled with electrolyzed water to clean toilets and sinks.
"I didn't believe in it at first because it didn't have foam or any scent," housekeeper Flor Corona said. "But I can tell you it works. My rooms are clean."
Safe and inexpensive
Management likes it, too. The mixture costs less than a penny a gallon. It cuts down on employee injuries from chemicals. It reduces shipping costs and waste because hotel employees prepare the elixir on site. And it's helping the Sheraton Delfina tout its environmental credentials to guests.
The hotel's kitchen staff recently began disinfecting produce with electrolyzed water. They say the lettuce lasts longer. They're hoping to replace detergent in the dishwasher. Management figures the payback time for the $10,000 electrolysis machine will be less than a year.
"It's green. It saves money. And it's the right thing to do," said Glenn Epstein, executive assistant at the Sheraton Delfina. "It's almost like fantasy."
Actually, it's chemistry. For more than 200 years, scientists have tinkered with electrolysis, the use of an electric current to bring about a chemical reaction (not the hair-removal technique of the same name). That's how we got metal electroplating and large-scale production of chlorine, used to bleach and sanitize.
It turns out that zapping saltwater with low-voltage electricity creates a couple of powerful, nontoxic cleaning agents. Sodium ions are converted into sodium hydroxide, an alkaline liquid that cleans and degreases like detergent, but without the scrubbing bubbles. Chloride ions become hypochlorous acid, a potent disinfectant known as acid water.
"It's 10 times more effective than bleach in killing bacteria," said Yen-Con Hung, a professor of food science at the University of Georgia, Griffin, who has been researching electrolyzed water for more than a decade. "And it's safe."
There are drawbacks.
Electrolyzed water loses its potency fairly quickly, so it can't be stored long. Machines are pricey and geared mainly for industrial use. The process also needs to be monitored frequently for the right strength.
Then there's the "magic water" hype that has accompanied electrolyzed drinking water. A number of companies sell so-called ionizers for home use that can range from about $600 to more than $3,000. The alkaline water, proponents say, provides health benefits.
But Richard Wullaert, a Santa Barbara, Calif., consultant, said consumers should be careful.
"Some of these people are making claims that will get everybody in trouble," said Wullaert, whose nonprofit Functional Water Society is spreading the word about electrolyzed water.
Most of the growth has happened outside the U.S.
Russians put electrolyzed water down oil wells to kill pesky microbes. Europeans use it to treat burn victims. Electrolyzing equipment is helping sanitize drinking water in parts of Latin American and Africa.
It's big in Japan. People there spray it on sushi to kill bacteria and fill their swimming pools with it, eliminating the need for harsh chlorine. Doctors use it to sterilize equipment and treat foot fungus and bedsores. It's the secret weapon in Sanyo's "soap-less" washing machine.
In the United States, the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have approved electrolyzed water for a variety of uses.
PuriCore of Malvern, Pa., and Oculus Innovative Sciences of Petaluma, Calif., have developed treatments for chronic wounds. Albuquerque, N.M.-based MIOX sells municipal water-purifying systems. EAU Technologies of Kennesaw, Ga., caters to both ends of a dairy cow, with alkaline water to aid the animal's digestion and acid water to clean up its manure.
Integrated Environmental Technologies of Little River, S.C., is working with oil companies to keep wells free of bacteria, and with high schools to sanitize athletic equipment.
Electrolyzer of Woburn, Mass., is going after the hospitality market. The Sheraton Delfina purchased one of its machines. So has the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Trump International Beach Resort near Miami.
Rebecca Jimenez, director of housekeeping, heard grumbling when the Santa Monica hotel got the machine last fall. Housekeepers doubted the flat, virtually odorless liquids were doing the job. Some poured shampoo into their bottles to work up a lather.
"If it doesn't suds up, it doesn't work," Jimenez said. "That's the mentality."
Still, she said, most have come around and are enjoying working without fumes and peeling skin.
Minnesota food scientist Joellen Feirtag said she was skeptical when she installed an electrolysis unit in her laboratory. She found the acid water killed E. coli, salmonella, listeria and other nasty pathogens. Yet it was gentle enough to soothe her children's sunburns and acne.
She now encourages food processors to consider electrolyzed water to help combat disease outbreaks.
Most are dubious.
"This sounds too good to be true, which is really the biggest problem," said Feirtag, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. "But it's only a matter of time before this becomes mainstream."
Forwarded by Fred Burks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grandma Tells It Like It Is!!!
Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.
In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?'
She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'
She again replied, ' Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'
The defense attorney nearly died.
The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.'
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