The Shift of Ages Series #2: Edging Towards... The Relief Valve!
"On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark. But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground. An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light. It is a silent revolution from the inside out, from the ground up.
It is time for me to reveal myself. I am an embedded agent of an secret, undercover Clandestine Global operation, a spiritual conspiracy. We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet. You won't see us on the T.V. You won't read about us in the newspaper. You won't hear about us on the radio. We don't seek any glory. We don't wear any uniform. We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.
Most of us work anonymously. We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world, cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.
Occasionally we spot each other in the street. We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice. During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs, but behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes place.
Some call us the 'Conscious Army'. We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts. We follow with passion and joy our orders from the Central Command, the Spiritual Intelligence Agency.
We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking ...
Kind words ...
Meditation and prayer ...
Social activism ...
Random acts of kindness ...
We each express ourselves in our own unique ways, with our own unique gifts and talents.
'Be the change you want to see in the world'... That is the motto that fills our hearts. We know it is the only way real transformation takes place. We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined.
Our work is slow and meticulous, like the formation of mountains. It is not even visible at first glance and yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come.
Love is the new religion of the 21st century. You don't have to be a highly educated person or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it. It comes from the intelligence of the heart embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings.
Be the change you want to see in the world...
Nobody else can do it for you. We are now recruiting. Perhaps you will join us or already have...
I cannot find a more appropriate introduction for this first compilation of 2009, a year that will see massive changes on Earth and within every soul, changes that will pave the way for ever more profound transformations in the years to come as we wean ourselves from the Illusion of separation and find our way back to spiritual unity in our splendid diversity.
We are each being called to play a vital, pivotal role in this change of ages and we each came here with a specific, precious mission to fulfill. You know you can count on me to continue with being and doing whatever is being inspired to me as a tiny cog in the Wheels of God, and I know I can count on you to continue being and doing whatever you are being inspired to manifest as part of the growing cohort of the Servers of Divine Light and Love.
Along with the usual fare of diverse news and views and as a complement to the current ongoing Special Peace Vigil for the Middle East, you will find in this compilation a series of news update (quite comprehensive with 5 quotes, 43 excerpts and 8 full-length articles and many more related articles) on the deteriorating situation in Gaza where our Palestinian brothers and sisters are enduring extreme duress under the fear-driven actions of our Israeli brothers and sisters. Although we may have strong feelings sometimes about this situation, it is incumbent upon us to hold them all in the Light of Forgiveness and Love for these souls know not what they are doing to each other and to themselves as they are acting out the drama they've set for themselves to experience, and for us all to monitor with courageous compassion, not taking side, for that would only encourage more of the divisive sense of separation that ails them and so many others around the world, but striving, each in our own unique ways, to help restore a sense of loving brother/sisterhood in the heart of all beings maimed and tortured by the dark logic of revenge and retribution.
It will clearly take miracles to resolve this conflict as well as the mammoth planetary crises engendered by more than a century of greed, thoughtless development and the reign of terror visited upon us all by the minions and servers of the dark forces that, for millennia, have dominated this planet under the choking hold of their aeons-long efforts to distance themselves from the Source of All, as part of Creator's drive to express Its infinite creative potential and experience aspects of Itself through us all.
Well... miracles can and will be accomplished because we are NOW awakening to our true nature as soul emanations from the One Source of Bliss and Love in all.
May we all Be the Love we are and may you all be Blissed into Oneness...
P.S. The following video features a project that is in many ways inspired by the same vision at the origin of the Pathways to a New Earth project. Incidentally, now that the holiday season is over, I'll soon be able to get back to all those who have manifested their interest for this project with my feedbacks on the wonderful 63 comments posted at http://users3.smartgb.com/g/g.php?a=s&i=g35-42717-bc and what our next steps will be.
What is Architects of A New Dawn? (Watch it full screen - quite inspiring!) http://architectsofanewdawn.ning.com/video/what-is-architects-of-a-new
Carlos Santana, Jerry Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione talk about what is Architects of A New Dawn. Recommended by Gus Makreas (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "Its genesis is from a vision of Carlos Santana. We are the ones we have been waiting for!" Architects of a New Dawn is a project to create a new global network, featuring uplifting and positive media content.
One more thing!
"I am advising all State officials around Yellowstone National Park for a potential State of Emergency. In the last week over 300 earthquakes have been observed by the USGS. We have a 3D view on the movement of magma rising underground. We have all of the pre warning signs of a major eruption from a super volcano. - I want everyone to leave Yellowstone National Park and for 200 miles around the volcano caldera."
That could be BIG... To understand why read A Monster Awakens? "In the heart of America lies a monster that could destroy life on earth." (...) The Yellowstone supervolcano was detected in the Sixties when infra-red satellite photographs revealed a magma-filled caldera 85km long and 45km wide. It has been on a regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, so the next is long overdue." (...) "The impact of a Yellowstone eruption is terrifying to comprehend." says Professor McGuire. "Magma would be flung 50 kilometres into the atmosphere. Within a thousand kilometres virtually all life would be killed by falling ash, lava flows and the sheer explosive force of the eruption. One thousand cubic kilometres of lava would pour out of the volcano, enough to coat the whole of the USA with a layer 5 inches thick. The explosion would be the loudest noise heard by man for 75,000 years."
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"Forgiveness is an essential component on the spiritual path. The true reason however, is often misunderstood.
Many people don't want to forgive because they feel the individual in question "does not deserve forgiveness". It is felt that what the person did was too reprehensible and heinous to deserve forgiveness. They were hurt too deeply.
Forgiveness actually has nothing to do with the other person at all. Who they are and what they did is largely irrelevant. It has to do with you, your own inner freedom and desire to move forward in your life.
When someone does something toward you in the past that you didn't feel was right, who carries the anger toward that person? You do.
Who carries the hatred toward that person? You do.
Who carries the negative feelings toward that person? You do.
If you forgive that person, who lets go of that anger? You do.
Who lets go of that hatred? You do.
Who lets go of those negative feelings? You do.
When we continue to hold grudges against others for previous offenses, the person we are really hurting is ourselves. It is a weight we are carrying in our own minds and hearts. Why would you want to give another person that kind of power over you?
Forgiveness creates the space to free ourselves of these old burdens and see life fresh and anew.
There is one person in particular I would like you to start to forgive. You may know their name. This is a person who you have probably verbally abused, and even physically abused, far too much in your life. Once you forgive this person, it will be much easier to forgive and love others once you start by forgiving this person. That person is yourself.
The road to freedom, inner peace and true love lies in forgiveness."
- Brian Piergrossi (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Taken from HERE - More such wisdom from Brian HERE
"The scientific paradigm of the 20th Century was that intelligent life ended at Earth's geo-stationary orbit. The exopolitics model informs us that, in reality, Earth appears to be an isolated planet in the midst of a populated Universe composed of intelligent civilizations subject to Universal law, operating under Universal forms of governance, and mediated by Universe politics."
"It takes deep soul clarity to love without fear. Our unconscious is spotted with childhood and past life sadness. However, when we allow ourselves to FEEL, our hearts open and know the truth. Feeling is the key. The truth is that humanity has the power to change the entire universe - a universe ACHING to free itself from fear. Each one of us has the power to heal the entire universe. Not alone - using our love, as one. The beings who architected this universe know us, feel us and wait for us to choose. They have known for millennia that this time is coming - the choosing to love. Let's be ready!"
- Alicia Power (email@example.com) -- Taken from a note she left in the ERN guestbook
"During this critical period of human history, healing the damage of industrial civilization is the task of our generation. Our response depends on the conscious evolution of our species, and this response could very well save this unique blue planet for future generations."
"Be someone who listens, and you will be heard. Be someone who cares, and you will be loved. Be someone who gives, and you will be blessed. Be someone who comforts, and you will know peace.
Be someone who genuinely seeks to understand, and you will be wise. Be someone kind, someone considerate, and you will be admired. Be someone who values truth, and you will be respected. Be someone who takes action, and you will move life forward.
Be someone who lifts others higher, and your life will be rich. Be someone filled with gratitude, and there will be no end to the things for which you'll be thankful.
Be someone who lives with joy, with purpose, as your own light brightly shines. Be, in every moment, the special someone you are truly meant to be."
-- Ralph Marston
1. Police State 2009: The Holocaust
2. Self-defence: Israels warped self-justification for murder
3. The truth about those Hamas rockets
4. Gazans fight cold and hunger as supplies run dry
5. The IAF, bullies of the clear blue skies
6. On Gaza by Starhawk
7. Israel attacked itself with rockets in 2005 and blamed it on Hezbollah
8. The Lie That Justifies Mass Murder: "Hamas Hit Us First"
9.U.S. debt approaches insolvency; Chinese currency reserves at risk
10. Pentagon to Militarize USA with 20,000 Armed Troops
11. Airborne Laser lets rip on first target
12. The Sound of Silence - The Antithesis of Freedom
13. Corruption Destroys Afghanistan
14. Transcript: Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers, The 11th Hour movie
15. Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists
16. Truth, Forgiveness and Ascension After 2,000 Years?
SPECIAL INSPIRATIONAL FEATURE
From: Harold W. Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: The Divine in 2009
Date: 31 Dec 2008
In every moment and with each breath we take we have choice. We can witness the beauty, grandness and perfection that always surround us, or we can identify with a perception that somehow things are not as they should be. Either way, we get to make the distinction personally. Such is the amazing power each of us wields.
When we choose from our heart and with loving, self conscious awareness of the oneness that connects us all, we fashion reality to its greatest heights. And when we forget this loving connection to ourselves and with each other, we filter and react to our world with anger, hatred, greed and contempt. Each is ultimately just a perspective of a greater whole and merely represents a momentary reflection of how we see ourselves.
Through the simple recognition that our thoughts and feelings are the key to what we choose, we instantly connect with our potential. When we are present in the moment, our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects converge together into a single consciousness, and when we align our awareness with our innate wisdom and combine it with our deepest love, we are powerful beyond measure. This triune activity of love, wisdom and power, held in perfect balance, is what we have come here to express at this time on our wondrous planet it is unconditional love in action.
Never before have so many people simultaneously awakened to realize and remember not only their heritage but also their destiny. We are at a crossroads of reality and before us we have the opportunity to restore our own connection to the divine nature within; the boundless love that flows from our heart.
Against the present backdrop of a reality that appears to be in conflict and chaos, each of us can choose to see beyond the limitation and activate the splendor of love that connects us all. It is our collective moment to accept and be the expression of this love through its many qualities, and to joyfully come from our heart in each moment.
Humanity awaits your courage to be the first to forgive, the first to embody peace, and the first to reveal the potential of love in all things. With dignity, integrity and strength beyond measure, walk this year as if life itself depended upon your love and the divine in 2009 will become a reality for all.
Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
President and Founder The Love Foundation, Inc. Inspiring People to Love Unconditionally
Think: Global Love Day
Feel: Love Begins With Me
Remember: May 1, 2009
UPDATE ON THE SITUATION IN GAZA
"Israel's bombardment of Gaza bears all the hallmarks of war crimes. In the context of total aerial supremacy, in which one side in a conflict deploys lethal aircraft against opponents with no means of defending themselves, the bombardment bears all the hallmarks of war crimes. The attacks would not contribute to the security of Israel. It is a blight not only on the Middle East, but on the entire world - and particularly world leaders who have consistently failed the people of Palestine and Israel over the past 60 years."
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu (December 28. 2008)
"The behavior by Israel in bombarding Gaza is simply the commission of wanton aggression by a very powerful state against a territory that illegally occupies. Time has come to take firm action if the United Nations does not want to be rightly accused of complicity by omission. The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war. Those violations include: Collective punishment - the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants. Targeting civilians - the airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East. Disproportionate military response - the airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university. I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law - regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move expeditiously not only to condemn Israel's serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people."
- H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. On Gaza airstrikes UN Headquarters , New York, 27 December 2008 - Taken from HERE
"I feel horrible as an Israeli when I hear all those reports, when I watch all those horrible pictures. But unlike me, I am afraid that most of the Israelis are quite indifferent. They think that there was a legitimate reason. The attacks on the southern part of Israel was a legitimate reason. Israel has the right to do everything. Unlike them, I think that Israel crossed any line of humanity or morality or even legality. And I think what Israel is doing right now there is horrible and has no justification."
"Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater then the casualties incurred by Israelis. But why should anyone be surprised at your blanket support for Israel's attack given what you have done to a far greater number of civilians in Iraq and now in Afghanistan?Confirmed visual reports show that Israeli warplanes and warships have destroyed or severely damaged police stations, homes, hospitals, pharmacies, mosques, fishing boats, and a range of public facilities providing electricity and other necessities. Why should this trouble you at all? It violates international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter. You too have repeatedly violated international law and committed serious constitutional transgressions.Then there is the matter of the Israeli government blocking imports of critical medicines, equipment such as dialysis machines, fuel, food, water, spare parts and electricity at varying intensities for almost two years. The depleted UN aid mission there has called this illegal blockade a humanitarian crisis especially devastating to children, the aged and the infirm. Chronic malnutrition among children is rising rapidly. UN rations support eighty percent of this impoverished population. How do these incontrovertible facts affect you? Do you have any empathy or what you have called Christian charity? What would a vastly shrunken Texas turned in an encircled Gulag do up against the 4th most powerful military in the world? Would these embattled Texans be spending their time chopping wood?"
"I remembered my father's parting words, "You all will be sitting ducks." Just like the U.S.S. Liberty (More on this HERE). We were engaged in peaceful activity, a harmless pleasure boat, carrying a load of hospital supplies for the people of Gaza, who, too are sitting ducks, currently being bombarded in aerial assault by the Israeli military.It's been a long day for us. The captain was outstanding. Throughout it all, he remained stoic and calm, effective in every way. I didn't know how to put my life jacket on. One of the passengers kindly assisted me. Another of the passengers pointed out that the Israeli motors for those huge, fast boats was U.S. made--a gift to them from the U.S. And now they were using those motors to damage a pleasure boat outfitted with three tons of hospital supplies, one pediatrician, and two surgeons. I have called for President-elect Obama to say something. The Palestinian people in the Gaza strip are seeing the worst violence in 60 years, it is being reported. To date, President-elect Obama has remained silent. The Israelis are using weapons supplied to them by the U.S. government. Strict enforcement of U.S. law would require the cessation of all weapons transfers to Israel. Adherence to international law would require the same. As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, let us remember that he said: 1. The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, and 2. Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter. I implore the President-elect to not send Congress a budget that contains more weapons for Israel. We have so much more to offer. And I implore the Congress to vote "no" on any budget and appropriation bills that provide more weapons transfers, period.Israel is able to carry out these intense military maneuvers because taxpayers in the U.S. give their hard-earned money to our Representatives in Congress and our Congress chooses to spend that money in this way. Let's stop it and stop it now. There's been too much blood shed. And while we still walk among the living, let us not remain silent about the things that matter.We really can promote peace and have it if we demand it of our leaders."
IDF recommends major, but brief Gaza ground offensive (02/01/2009) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051682.html
The Israel Defense Forces recommended a major, but relatively short-term, ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, as military preparations continued on the border. The army was given the green light to forge ahead with Operation Cast Lead, which entered its sixth day Thursday. Detailed briefings have been underway for the past two days at Southern Command, with officers receiving their orders. The General Staff believes that more pressure must be put on Hamas to make it agree to a long-term cease-fire under conditions more favorable to Israel. (...) "Israel cannot agree that the only party responsible for implementing and regulating the cease-fire be Hamas," a senior Israeli diplomatic source said on Wednesdat. According to the source, lack of an external supervisory body was the central reason for the collapse of the calm earlier this month. "The situation in which Hamas didn't have to account for implementing the cease-fire did not prove viable," the source said. Olmert believes that any cease-fire must include the end of rocket and mortar fire, an end to terror attacks on the border fence and the end of arms smuggling and the growth of Hamas power. He strives for an enforcement mechanism that can measure whether Hamas meets its commitments. Senior Hamas official Ayman Taha said Wednesday that his organization was willing to consider a proposal that would end the Israeli attack and end the siege of the Gaza Strip. "As soon as we receive a proposal, we will study it," Taha said. "We support any initiative that would end the aggression and lift the siege." According to Jerusalem sources, Olmert's conditions for a truce were passed on to the United States and other entities in the international community. The U.S. is trying to "sell" Israel's conditions to other groups, including those that talk to Hamas. CLIP
Poll: Most Israelis support continuing Gaza military op (01/01/2009) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051852.html
A decisive majority of respondents support continuing the army's air campaign against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip without endangering the lives of Israel Defense Forces soldiers in a ground offensive, according to a Haaretz-Dialog public opinion poll. Only about 20 percent of respondents support expanding the operation into a ground campaign - about the same proportion that supports an immediate cease-fire. CLIP
Gaza braces for Israeli ground assault (January 2, 2009) http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Gaza_braces_for_Israeli_ground_assault_0102.html
Paper: Invasion may begin 'tonight' -- After a week of airstrikes on Hamas targets, leaving an estimated 420 dead and scores more injured, Israel is poised to launch what's said to be a "major ground offensive" into the Gaza strip. "As for you, the soldiers of the enemy whose leadership are getting you ready to enter Gaza in a ground attack, you need to know that doom will await you and you will be killed, injured and captured," said exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Al Jazeera Friday. "If the enemy got into Gaza, our people will fight from one street to the next, from one house to the other, and on every inch of the land." "All along the border, Israeli tanks and troops have turned fields into makeshift camps from which to launch their offensive into Gaza," reported the Times Online. "The Government has already mobilised more than 6,000 reserve troops and has given the green light to call up almost 3,000 more."Artillery barrages were also being fired into the strip while aircraft dropped bombs on open ground that the army will need to cross, and where Hamas has placed mines and dug tunnels to allow its guerrillas to outflank the invaders." CLIP
Israel lets Palestinians flee; UN warns of crisis (Jan 3) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090103/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians;_ylt=AiK5lJ8a9Ur5WAnUgA8KqKWs0NUE
EREZ CROSSING, Israel Israel allowed several hundred Palestinians with foreign passports to flee Gaza on Friday, even as its warplanes bombed a mosque it said was used to store weapons and destroyed homes of more than a dozen Hamas operatives.The evacuees told of crippling shortages of water, electricity and medicine, echoing a U.N. warning of a deepening humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip in the seven-day-old Israeli campaign. The U.N. estimates at least a quarter of the 400 Palestinians killed by Israeli airstrikes on Hamas militants were civilians. Jawaher Hajji, a 14-year-old U.S. citizen who was allowed to cross into Israel, said her uncle was one of them killed while trying to pick up some medicine for her cancer-stricken father. She said her father later died of his illness. "They are supposed to destroy just the Hamas, but people in their homes are dying too," Hajji, who has relatives in Virginia, said at the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel. CLIP
Hamas warns it is ready to confront Gaza invasion (Jan 2, 2009) http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSLS69391620090103
GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas's top leader warned Israel its army would be defeated if it invaded the Gaza Strip, while the United States said it envisioned a ceasefire with international monitoring that would ensure the Islamist group could not rearm. Israeli armored forces remained poised on the Gaza border for a possible ground operation, a week after Israel launched devastating air strikes with the declared aim of ending rocket attacks on its southern towns. Gaza medical officials put the Palestinian casualty toll at least 429 dead and 2,000 wounded. A United Nations agency said more than a quarter of those killed in the Gaza Strip were civilians. A leading Palestinian human rights group put the figure at 40 percent. Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets since Israel's offensive began, including longer-range weapons that have hit the port of Ashdod and the desert town of Beersheba, forcing schools to shut and residents to scurry for shelter. CLIP
The Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign: Backers, Apologists and Arms Suppliers by James Petras (January 2nd, 2009) http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2009/01/the-politics-of-an-israeli-extermination-campaign-backers-apologists-and-arms-suppliers/
Because of the unconditional support of the entire political class in the US, from the White House to Congress, including both Parties, incoming and outgoing elected officials and all the principle print and electronic mass media, the Israeli Government feels no compunction in publicly proclaiming a detailed and graphic account of its policy of mass extermination of the population of Gaza.Israels sustained and comprehensive bombing campaign of every aspect of governance, civic institutions and society is directed toward destroying civilized life in Gaza. Israels totalitarian vision is driven by the practice of a permanent purge of Arab Palestine informed by Zionism, an ethno-racist ideology, promulgated by the Jewish state and justified, enforced and pursued by its organized backers in the United States.The facts of Israeli extermination have become known: In the first six days of round the clock terror bombing of major and minor populations centers, the Jewish State has murdered and seriously maimed over 2,500 people, mostly dismembered and burned in the open ovens of missile fire. Scores of children and women have been slaughtered as well as defenseless civilians and officials.They have sealed off all access to Gaza and declared it a military, free fire zone, while expanding their target to include the entire population of 1.5 millions semi-starved prisoners. According to the Boston Globe (December 30, 2008): Israeli military officials said their target lists have expanded to include the vast support network on which the Islamist movement relies to stay in power we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel (my emphasis). A top Israeli in its secret police apparatus is quoted saying, Hamas civilian infrastructure is a very sensitive target (ibid). What the Israeli Jewish politicians and military planners designate as Hamas is the entire social service network, the entire government and the vast majority of economic activity, embracing almost the entire 1.5 million imprisoned residents of Gaza.Israels target list thus involves the total population, using the totality of its non-nuclear weaponry and for an unlimited time period (until the bitter end according to the Israeli Prime Minister). Israels defense ministry spokesman has emphatically reiterated the Jewishs states totalitarian war concept emphasizing the targeting of civilians: Hamas has used ostensibly civilian operations as a cover for military activities. Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target. CLIP
Rampage in Gaza for a Bump in the Polls By Mike Whitney (December 31, 2008) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21585.htm
Barak Obama has passed his first test with flying colors. He's made himself disappear so Israel can continue its killing spree in Gaza. The last time a president shrunk this small was when Ariel Sharon took his wrecking-ball through Jenin during the second intifada. Bush slipped down a mouse hole so Israel's "Man of Peace" could finish his dirty work unopposed. Now Obama has taken refuge in that same dark hideaway. What a relief it must be for his critics at AIPAC and the far-right think tanks to know that the next Commander in Chief will be every bit as compliant as the last. That's "continuity they can believe in".Obama has remained serenely detached while American-made F-16's have dumped more than one hundred tons of lethal ordnance on the captive population of Gaza. In fact, the president-elect has spent more time working on his abs at the Semper Fit gym in Honolulu than trying to stop the bloody onslaught which has already resulted in the deaths of over 300 Palestinians, half of who are civilians. (...) When people see the photos of the Palestinian children being extracted from the debris of bombed-out buildings in Gaza; they should ask themselves whether Obama could have saved a few lives by just speaking out. The fact is, he had a chance to defend the people who can't defend themselves, but chose silence and complicity instead.The attack on Gaza was not a spontaneous response to rocket-fire or a defense of Israel's national security. It was all mapped out more than 6 months ago as a way to repair Israel's battered image after its defeat at the hands of Hezbollah in 2006. (...) With all the conspiracy theories swirling around the blog-sites, it's hard to believe that the real motive behind the current siege could be something as mundane as winning an election, but that is the most likely explanation. With Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu solidly ahead in the polls, and the balloting just 6 weeks away; the only hope for Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak is a sudden surge in public approval. War is a reliable way to bathe oneself in glory provided one's enemy is properly vanquished. That should be possible if Barak's legions move swiftly to round up some high-ranking Hamas officials and declare "victory" a week or two before the voting begins. (A poll taken on Sunday in Israel showed that Barak's Labor Party has already gained 50 percent since the bombing began!) But could anyone really be so cynical that they would intentionally slaughter hundreds of people and wreak havoc on an entire society just to improve their chances of being reelected? Author and jazzman Gilad Atzmon summed it up best in his article "Eine Kleine Nacht Murder":"Not many people in the west are aware of the devastating fact that killing Arabs and Palestinians in particular is a very effective Israeli political recipe. The Israelis are indeed confused people. As much as they insist upon seeing themselves as a 'Shalom seeking nation, they also love to be led by politicians with an astonishing record of unlawful murderous activity. Whether it was Sharon, Rabin, Begin, Shamir or Ben Gurion, Israelis love their 'democratically elected leaders to be belligerent hawks with their hands dripping with blood and backed by a solid record of crimes against humanity." Barak and Livni are fighting for their political survival. The carnage in Gaza probably seems like a small price to pay for, what could be, a brilliant career.
Israeli electioneering with bombs - Livni and Barak pin their hopes on Gaza rampage (December 30, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=COO20081230&articleId=11523
Of the three politicians who announced the military assault on Gaza to the world on Saturday, perhaps only the outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert has little to lose -- or gain -- from its outcome. Flanking the Israeli prime minister were two of the main contenders for his job: Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister and the new leader of Mr Olmerts centrist party, Kadima, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister and leader of the left-wing Labor Party. The attack on Gaza may make or break this pairs political fortunes as they jostle for position against Benjamin Netanyahus right-wing party, Likud, before a general election little more than a month away. Until now Ms Livni and Mr Barak have been facing the imminent demise of their ruling coalition as Mr Netanyahu and the far Right have surged in the polls and looked set to form the next government. Both have strenuously denied that the election has any bearing on the timing of the Gaza operation. But equally they hope a successful strike against Hamas may yet save them from electoral humiliation. In the run-up to the election, observed Michael Warschawski, a founder of the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem, all Israeli leaders are competing over who is the toughest and who is ready to kill more. CLIP
THE REAL GOAL OF THE SLAUGHTER IN GAZA (1 January 2009) http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10091.shtml
Israel's deadly air campaign is paring down Hamas's ability to function effectively as the ruler of Gaza. It is undermining Hamas's political power bases. The lesson is not that Hamas can be destroyed militarily but that it that can be weakened domestically. Israel apparently hopes to persuade the Hamas leadership, as it did Arafat for a while, that its best interests are served by cooperating with Israel. The message is: forget about your popular mandate to resist the occupation and concentrate instead on remaining in power with our help.
Protesters worldwide express anger at Israel (2008-12-31) http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=29463
Demonstrations around world denounce Israel's deadly bombardment of Gaza Strip. PARIS - Protesters denouncing Israel's deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip returned to the streets Tuesday in demonstrations around the world to keep up the pressure for an end to the violence. As Israel, under increasing diplomatic pressure, mulled a proposed 48-hour truce and the death toll from its onslaught rose to at least 373 Palestinians, the protesters made their voices heard again.In France, more than 7,000 protesters marched in a dozen cities across the country to denounce the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which continued for the fourth day running Tuesday. In Paris, around 3,500 people according to police -- 5,000 according to the organisers -- marched towards the French foreign ministry on the Quai D'Orsay by the River Seine, shouting slogans and carrying banners denouncing Israel. Police said another 700 marched in the western city of Nantes, while demonstrations in at least a dozen cities and towns across the country each attracted hundreds of protesters.In London, between 200 and 300 demonstrators protested peacefully outside the Israeli embassy, after the two previous days' rallies had descended into violence. CLIP
Fifth day of bombing in Gaza (31 December 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7805662.stm
A concerted diplomatic drive is under way to try to end Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militant rocket attacks. But raids have continued into the fifth day, as Gaza City and Rafah awoke to more damaged buildings. Israeli targets included a Gaza City mosque, which the Israeli military says Hamas used as a missile base. Hamas rockets have also continued to hit southern Israel.
The Reality In Gaza - Dec 31 (4 min 33 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDjthFt6EZg
Israel is apparently using new very lethal weapons against the population in Gaza! "Among the killed 21% Are women and children which means every 5th person is a women or a child that has died. Among the 2000 injured 40% are women and children."
UN fails to make progress on Gaza (1 January 2009) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7806684.stm
The UN Security Council has discussed a draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire to halt the Israeli-Palestinian violence. But the meeting failed to vote on the Libyan draft after ambassadors from the US and UK said it contained nothing about Palestinian attacks on Israel. The draft condemned Israel's military action and called on it to cease. Earlier, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert rejected calls for a 48-hour truce to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza. In New York, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Rijad Mansour, demanded a binding resolution to secure an immediate truce. But the Israeli ambassador, Gabriela Shalev, said her country would continue to do whatever necessary to protect itself against what she called terrorism. The US ambassador at the UN - who as one of the permanent Security Council members can veto any resolution - said that he believed it was up to Israel and Hamas themselves to agree to a ceasefire, and that the UN should not impose one. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he would visit the region in a bid to end the crisis, which has seen five days of Israeli raids and Hamas rocket fire. CLIP
Israel rejects truce with Hamas as rockets rain deeper (January 1, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5426145.ece
Israel rejected mounting international pressure for a pause in its barrage of Gaza and stepped up preparations yesterday for a ground offensive.Hamas said that its fighters had had their first skirmish with Israeli ground troops in the southern Gaza Strip. The claims of a clash with a unit of special forces were denied by the Israeli army.Israeli bombers and artillery pounded buildings for a fifth straight day, as Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets ever deeper into the Jewish state. Almost 400 Palestinians have been killed, a quarter of them civilians, according to the United Nations.Israel has authorised the call-up of 2,000 more reservists in preparation for a large-scale incursion. CLIP
Israel sends more troops to Gaza border (31 December 2008) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians;_ylt=AjpCx2outIxMNO2sBBe94Ous0NUE
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Israel sent more troops to the Gaza border Wednesday, rapidly moving forward with preparations for a possible ground offensive as the next stage of its military assault on the coastal territory's Hamas rulers (...) Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu said that although Hamas leaders had been driven underground, the Gaza government was functioning and had met in the past few days."What our people want is clear: an immediate stop to all kinds of aggression, the end of the siege by all means, the opening of all border crossings, and international guarantees that the occupation will not renew this terrorist war again," Nunu said. Israel's latest airstrikes concentrated on crushing the many smuggling tunnels under Gaza's southern border with Egypt. They provide a crucial lifeline, not just for Hamas rulers, but also for bringing in food and fuel for Gaza's people. Holmes, the U.N. humanitarian chief, expressed concern about the fighting's impact on civilians. He said hospitals were struggling to cope with casualties and the lack of fuel deliveries had forced Gaza's power plant to shut down Tuesday. But U.N. officials said the major need was grain and other food. Holmes said the Kerem Shalom crossing remained open and 55 trucks got through Tuesday and about 60 on Wednesday, mainly carrying food. He said Israel had been "cooperative in principle about these supplies, but we need to see more results." White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said U.S. officials were seeing "a good flow" of medical and food supplies into Gaza. Israel and Egypt blockaded Gaza after Hamas fighters violently seized control of the territory in 2007 and the two nations have opened their borders only to let in limited humanitarian aid. CLIP
Israeli Attacks Kill Over 310 in Gaza in One of Israels Bloodiest Attacks on Palestinians Since 1948 (December 29, 2008)
PLEASE READ THIS AND IMAGINE THE WORLDWIDE REACTION IF ANY MAJOR WESTERN CITY WAS UNDER A SIMILAR MASSIVE ATTACK. WHY ARE SO MANY TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THIS ABOMINATION? http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/29/israeli_attacks_kill_over_310_in
Amidst worldwide protests, Israel is continuing its bombing campaign against Gaza for the third consecutive day and preparing to launch a possible ground invasion. Following months of a crippling blockade, this has been described as one of Israels bloodiest attacks on Palestinians since 1948. Latest reports indicate that 310 people have been killed and 1,400 injured in the aerial strikes across the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning. The latest targets of the air strikes include the Hamas Interior Ministry building and the Islamic University. Israels Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced today that Israel is in an all-out war with Hamas and its proxies in Gaza. Fears of a ground invasion are growing after Israel declared a military buffer zone around Gaza, closing off the strip and its 1.5 million residents to journalists and civilians.We speak to Dr. Moussa El-Haddad and Fida Qishta in Gaza, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti in Ramallah, Gideon Levy in Tel Aviv and Ali Abunimah in the US. [includes rush transcript] (...) DR. MOUSSA EL-HADDAD: Well, I am in the middle of Gaza City, in the heart of Gaza City, and the situation is indescribable. If this is not a holocaust, I dont know what holocaust is. According to the news, they say almost 318 people are dead. The majority of those are civilians. At least 300 of them are civilians. And they say about 1,500 are injured, but a lot of them are seriously injured. The hospitals lack a lot of the necessary staff, instruments, even gauze and medicines, and everything is lacking. Physicians and nursing staff are working around the clock. People cannot find a place in the hospitals for treatment, injuries. And I am sure there will be a lot more of the dead under the rubbles of those buildings that were attacked and demolished. Every now and then, we hear a rocket attack or two. So, there are warplanes in the sky flying all over the time. As I speak to you now, I can hear them up in the sky, the pilotless jets and the warplanes, F-16s and God knows what. The warships in the sea are also attacking from the sea. And attacking who? Hamas? They are not attacking Hamas; they are attacking the people, the civilians. (...) people dont have electricity about 75 percent of the time, no cooking gas, no gas for the cars. So fuel is also lacking. And the only source of, like, food and fuel lately was through Egypt, through those tunnels, and these were attacked last night. At least forty tunnels were demolished last night. I dont know. This iscan you tell me if any of this is against Hamas? Theres nothing against Hamas. This is a clear-cut genocide and holocaust against civilians, civilians who are helpless. They dont have warplanes. They dont have warships. They donteven the rockets that they talk about are homemade. And I justI cannotand I really lost the words, because the situation is so bad. And we are in the twenty-first century. We are not in tenth or fifteenth century. Everybody in the world can see and hear. But who acts? Who is doing anything? Now, they say the killer and the killed are the same. They are putting Israel, with all its military power, [inaudible] level like Hamas and people of Gaza. CLIP
US Military Aid Underpins Gaza Offensive (1 min 24 sec - 31 Dec 08) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F91XF6bSDRQ
Israel receives billions of dollars in military aid from the US each year, much of it spent on American weaponry which US law says must only be used in self-defence.But experts say there is little chance of cuts in aid to Israel despite its military operation in Gaza.Jan 01, 2008
Gaza: the logic of colonial power (29 December 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/29/gaza-hamas-israel/print
As so often, the term 'terrorism' has proved a rhetorical smokescreen under cover of which the strong crush the weak (...) Once again, the Israelis bomb the starving and imprisoned population of Gaza. The world watches the plight of 1.5 million Gazans live on TV and online; the western media largely justify the Israeli action. Even some Arab outlets try to equate the Palestinian resistance with the might of the Israeli military machine. And none of this is a surprise. The Israelis just concluded a round-the-world public relations campaign to gather support for their assault, even gaining the collaboration of Arab states like Egypt. The international community is directly guilty for this latest massacre. Will it remain immune from the wrath of a desperate people? So far, there have been large demonstrations in Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. The people of the Arab world will not forget. The Palestinians will not forget. (...) Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful whether Israel, America, Russia or China will always describe their victims' struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose. CLIP
Video: McKinney Tells of Israeli Attack on Boat, "Dignity" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZeNdIGI8os
Former Congresswoman Cynthia Mckinney tried to bring medical supplies to Gaza. The boat was in international waters as it got rammed 3 times by an Israeli patrol boat. "I would like to ask my former colleagues in the United States Congress, to stop sending weapons of mass destruction around the world." A boat carrying international peace activists, including former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip sailed back into a Lebanese port on Tuesday after being turned back and damaged by the Israeli navy, organizers of the trip said. The boat, which set off from Cyprus Monday wanted to make a statement and deliver medical supplies to embattled Gaza. The trips organizers said the boat was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza, at the time of its close encounter with the Israeli navy. Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side, McKinney told CNN Tuesday morning. Our mission was a peaceful mission. Our mission was thwarted by the aggressiveness of the Israeli military. Much more on this in McKinney relief boat hit by Israeli ship and Israeli Navy Attacking Civilian Mercy Ship!
ISRAELI NAVY ARE THE PIRATES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN (DECEMBER 31, 2008) http://chet-justice.blogspot.com/2008/12/pirates-of-mediterranean.html
NOT content with committing war crimes and human rights atrocities in full view of the world, Israel has now confirmed itself as a rogue state by launching into international piracy.Dawn had not yet broken over the Mediterranean waters in which the SS Dignity was sailing when an Israeli naval gunboat appeared from the inky black and rammed the aid-bearing ship. The act of aggression on a peace mission was launched in international waters 90 miles off Gaza, without any warning to the captain of the Dignity or the crew. (...) While today's continued military slaughter - and now piracy - underlines the fact that leaders in the international community seem unwilling or unable to halt the Zionist War Machine, there are international lawyers who think otherwise.And that is why one by one, those responsible will one day be charged with war crimes ... the evidence is stacking up - Nuremberg would be quite a fitting arena to try the guilty but London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam or Madrid will do. CLIP
MIDEAST: Civilians Are Paying the Price in Gaza http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45265
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 30 (IPS) - International aid groups, including several United Nations agencies, are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza if Israel does not stop its military action there immediately. "The consequences of [further] military action by Israel would be disastrous," said Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International, a London-based aid organisation that is providing food and water for Palestinians affected by the Israeli blockade. Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza depend on Oxfam and other international aid agencies for the basics of life -- clean water, food and sanitation. Before the recent Israeli bombing campaign, Gaza had been cut off from the outside world for 19 months. CLIP
Palestine Bleeds; the World Shudders http://www.indymedia.org/pt/2008/12/918545.shtml
A comprehensive view of censored and under-reported realities from the battle zone, front lines and the global scene - In this report: - Israeli navy attacks humanitarian aid ship from Cyprus to Gaza; ship rammed and fired upon. - Overview of the global protests against the Israeli attacks on Palestine. - Summary of the military situation, including views of the Resistance and civil society. - Gaza has run out of medicines; How you can help with humanitarian aid. - Legal and Diplomatic developments. As hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe are protesting the US-armed and funded Israeli acts of war and zionist genocide against the Palestinian population of Gaza, the slaughter continues with more bombings, siege and a blockade, plus a threatened ground war. CLIP
A Hundred Eyes for an Eye (30 December 2008) http://www.truthout.org/123008A
Even if you set aside the magnitude of Israel's violations of the Geneva conventions and the long terrible history of its methodical collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, consider the vastly disproportionate carnage in the conflict. "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," Gandhi said. What about a hundred eyes for an eye? It makes some of the world ill with rage. And it turns much of the United States numb with silence. Routinely, the politicians and pundits of Washington can't summon minimal decency in themselves or each other on the subject of Israel and Palestinians. While officialdom inside the Beltway seems frozen in fear of risking "anti-Semitism" charges by actually standing up for the human rights of Palestinian people, some progress at the grassroots level has been noticeable. It includes the growth of groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Tikkun and The Shalom Center, where activists have worked to refute the false claims that American Jews are united behind Israeli policies. CLIP
Six months of secret planning - then Israel moves against Hamas (29 December 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/29/israel-attack-hamas-preparations-repercussions
Even as Israel's F16s were aiming their first deadly salvoes at Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, questions were being asked at home and abroad, about what this "shock and awe" campaign was intended to achieve - and what Israel's exit strategy would be.PreparationsUnlike the confused and improvised Israeli response as the war against Hizbullah in Lebanon unfolded in 2006, Operation Cast Lead appears to have been carefully prepared over a long period.Israeli media reports, by usually well-informed correspondents and analysts, alluded yesterday to six months of intelligence-gathering to pinpoint Hamas targets including bases, weapon silos, training camps and the homes of senior officials. The cabinet spent five hours discussing the plan in detail on December 19 and left the timing up to Ehud Olmert, the caretaker prime minister, and his defence minister Ehud Barak. Preparations involved disinformation and deception which kept Israel's media in the dark. According to Ha'aretz, that also lulled Hamas into a sense of false security and allowed the initial aerial onslaught to achieve tactical surprise - and kill many of the 290 victims counted so far. CLIP
US veto blocks UN anti-Israel resolution (28 Dec 2008) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=79727§ionid=351020202
The UN Security Council has been unable to force an end to Israeli attacks against Gaza due to the intervention of the United States. Washington once again used its veto powers on Sunday to block a resolution calling for an end to the massive ongoing Israeli attacks against the Gaza Strip. The council has only been able to issue a 'non-binding' statement that calls on Israel to voluntarily bring all its military activities in the besieged region to an immediate end. CLIP
Pro-Palestinian protesters at Obama's Hawaii house (Dec 31, 2008) http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE4BT4EQ20081231?virtualBrandChannel=10112
KAILUA, Hawaii (Reuters) - A small group of placard-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered near U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's vacation retreat in Hawaii on Tuesday to protest against the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.Obama has made no public comment on the strikes, which Israel launched on Saturday. Aides have repeatedly said he is monitoring the situation and continues to receive intelligence briefings but that there is only one U.S. president at a time.Some critics, however, say Obama did choose to speak out after the attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in November in which gunmen killed nearly 180 people, condemning them as acts of terrorism.Obama, who takes office on January 20 from outgoing Republican President George W. Bush, has also spoken out on economic issues facing the United States."He is talking about how many jobs he is going to create but he is refusing to speak about this," said one of the protesters, Carolyn Hadfield, 66.Hadfield was one of eight protesters standing with placards reading "No U.S. support for Israel" and "Gazans need food and medicine, not war" near Obama's rented vacation home in Kailua, an upmarket suburb on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where Obama is in the second week of a vacation with his family.Obama had not left the compound on Tuesday morning and did not see the protest.Obama has in the past called Israel one of the United States' greatest allies and has vowed to ensure the security of the Jewish state.He has also said he would make a sustained push to achieve the goal of two states -- a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state. CLIP
An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI) May be the Only Deterrent to a Global War - by Francis A. Boyle (December 31, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11541
The United Nations General Assembly must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a "subsidiary organ" under U.N. Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine. The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign Minister Livni, Defense Minister Barak, Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and Israel's other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians. Without such a deterrent, Israel might be emboldened to attack Syria with the full support of the Likhudnik Bush Jr. Neoconservatives, who have always viewed Syria as "low-hanging fruit" ready to be taken out by means of their joint aggression. If Israel attacks Syria as it did when it invaded Lebanon in 1982, Iran has vowed to come to Syria's defense. And of course Israel and the Bush Jr administration very much want a pretext to attack Iran. This scenario could readily degenerate into World War III. For the U.N. General Assembly to establish ICTI could stop the further development of this momentum towards a regional if not global catastrophe.
Israel's onslaught on Gaza is a crime that cannot succeed (30 December 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/30/israel-and-the-palestinians-middle-east
The US-backed attempt to bring Hamas to heel by overwhelming force is in fact more likely to boost the movement's appeal -- Israel's decision to launch its devastating attack on Gaza on a Saturday was a "stroke of brilliance", the country's biggest selling paper Yediot Aharonot crowed: "the element of surprise increased the number of people who were killed". The daily Ma'ariv agreed: "We left them in shock and awe".Of the ferocity of the assault on one of the most overcrowded and destitute corners of the earth, there is at least no question. In the bloodiest onslaught on blockaded Gaza since it was captured and occupied by Israel 41 years ago, at least 310 people were killed and more than a thousand reported injured in the first 48 hours alone.As well as scores of ordinary police officers incinerated in a passing-out parade, at least 56 civilians were said by the UN to have died as Israel used American-supplied F-16s and Apache helicopters to attack a string of civilian targets it linked to Hamas, including a mosque, private homes and the Islamic university. Hamas military and political facilities were mostly deserted, while police stations in residential areas were teeming as they were pulverised. As Israeli journalist Amos Harel wrote in Ha'aretz at the weekend, "little or no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians", as in US operations in Iraq. Among those killed in the first wave of strikes were eight teenage students waiting for a bus and four girls from the same family in Jabaliya, aged one to 12 years old. Anyone who doubts the impact of these atrocities among Arabs and Muslims worldwide should switch on the satellite television stations that are watched avidly across the Middle East and which - unlike their western counterparts - do not habitually sanitise the barbarity meted out in the name of multiple wars on terror. Then, having seen a child dying in her parent's arms live on TV, consider what sort of western response there would have been to an attack on Israel, or the US or Britain for that matter, which left more than 300 dead in a couple of days. You can be certain it would be met with the most sweeping condemnation, that the US president-elect would do a great deal more than "monitor" the situation and the British prime minister go much further than simply call for "restraint" on both sides. But that is in fact all they did do, though the British government has since joined the call for a ceasefire. There has, of course, been no western denunciation of the Israeli slaughter - such aerial destruction is, after all, routinely called in by the US and Britain in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. CLIP
Harm to civilians during the fighting in Gaza and Southern Israel http://gazaeng.blogspot.com/
In light of the fighting in Gaza and in Southern Israel, Israeli human rights groups are sending out ongoing updates about the impact on civilians. Our aim is to inform the Israeli public of events that are not being covered by the media.
PHR-Israel to Israeli Minister of Defense: Stop Attacks on Medical Insfrustucture and personnel in Gaza http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=657&catid=55&pcat=-1&lang=ENG
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has obtained reports that medical infrastructure and personnel working to evacuate injured persons have been damaged or hit as a result of Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Details are as follows: (...) At approximately 2 am on 31.12.08 Dr. Ahab al Madhun, age 35, and Mr. Muhamad Abu Khasideh, a paramedic, age 20, were killed in an IDF bombing while attempting to evacuate injured persons around the area of Tel a-Ris, east of Gaza City. The ambulance called to the scene was also hit and damaged in the attack. Mr. Abu Hatzidah was killed on the scene. Dr. Almadhun died several hours later at Kamal Adwan Hospital. PHR-Israel has also been monitoring the Israeli media regarding reports by the Head of the General Security Services (GSS; Shabac) that Hamas military operatives are utilizing medical equipment from Shifaa Hospital for use in attacks. In a phone conversation with PHR-Israel staff, hospital administrators staunchly denied these allegations. PHR-Israel is concerned over the continued shelling of residential areas around Gaza, exposing the civilian population and infrastructure- civilians and doctors as one in the same, to attacks. CLIP
If Gaza falls . . . (1 January 2009) http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n01/roy_01_.html
(...) On 5 November the Israeli government sealed all the ways into and out of Gaza. Food, medicine, fuel, parts for water and sanitation systems, fertiliser, plastic sheeting, phones, paper, glue, shoes and even teacups are no longer getting through in sufficient quantities or at all. According to Oxfam only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza in November. This means that an average of 4.6 trucks per day entered the strip compared to an average of 123 in October this year and 564 in December 2005.(...) The breakdown of an entire society is happening in front of us, but there is little international response beyond UN warnings which are ignored. The European Union announced recently that it wanted to strengthen its relationship with Israel while the Israeli leadership openly calls for a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip and continues its economic stranglehold over the territory with, it appears, the not-so-tacit support of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah which has been co-operating with Israel on a number of measures. On 19 December Hamas officially ended its truce with Israel, which Israel said it wanted to renew, because of Israels failure to ease the blockade. How can keeping food and medicine from the people of Gaza protect the people of Israel? How can the impoverishment and suffering of Gazas children more than 50 per cent of the population benefit anyone? International law as well as human decency demands their protection. If Gaza falls, the West Bank will be next.
Israel and the Palestinian territories - Israel ordered to let international media into Gaza (31 December 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/31/israelandthepalestinians-middleeast2
Israel's supreme court today ordered the government to allow the international media into Gaza to report on the effect of the air strikes on Palestinians. Over the past two months, foreign journalists and representatives have increasingly been restricted from entering Gaza. Israel has closed the border completely since it began bombing the besieged Palestinian territory on Saturday. However, the supreme court told the government it must allow up to 12 journalists to enter whenever it opens the Erez crossing, a passenger gateway, for humanitarian reasons. The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents foreign journalists and began a legal battle to open the crossing to the media last month, said it had been "left with no other choice" than to accept what is a limited victory. "The state's prohibition on journalists violates two fundamental rights the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press," the FPA's lawyer, Gilead Sher, said."There are several countries in this world, such as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Burma, that ban press coverage in conflict zones. Israel is a democracy with a free liberal press and it should stay so, even in times of crisis and danger." The government has until 10am tomorrow to respond to the court ruling as it faces growing pressure to open the crossing with increasing numbers of journalists flying in to cover the conflict. CLIP
Israel Is Foolishly Breeding the Next Generation of Islamic Militants in Gaza (December 31, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/story/116393/israel_is_foolishly_breeding_the_next_generation_of_islamic_militants_in_gaza/
Israel is using hunger and terror to break a hostile population -- it will pay a huge price down the road. -- Can anyone who is following the Israeli air attacks on Gaza-the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, the hospitals so overburdened and out of supplies they cannot treat the wounded, and our studied, callous indifference to this widespread human suffering-wonder why we are hated? Our self-righteous celebration of ourselves and our supposed virtue is as false as that of Israel. We have become monsters, militarized bullies, heartless and savage. We are a party to human slaughter, a flagrant war crime, and do nothing. We forget that the innocents who suffer and die in Gaza are a reflection of ourselves, of how we might have been should fate and time and geography have made the circumstances of our birth different. We forget that we are all absurd and vulnerable creatures. We all have the capacity to fear and hate and love. "Expose thyself to what wretches feel," King Lear said, entering the mud and straw hovel of Poor Tom, "and show the heavens more just." Privilege and power, especially military power, is a dangerous narcotic. Violence destroys those who bear the brunt of its force, but also those who try to use it to become gods. Over 350 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians, and over 1,000 have been wounded since the air attacks began on Saturday. Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, said Israel is engaged in a "war to the bitter end" against Hamas in Gaza. A war? Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely crowded refugee camps and slums, to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command and control, no army, and calls it a war. It is not a war. It is murder. CLIP
Israel, US Policies Aided Hamas Rise http://www.truthout.org/010209K
Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Gaza Strip wasn't supposed to be like this. In August 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the narrow coastal territory, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised it would make Israel safer. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hailed the move as 'historic.' Israel had left behind a political vacuum, however. That, along with decisions by Israel, the U.S. and Palestinian rivals inadvertently boosted the militant Islamic group Hamas into power."
Can We Afford to Look Away? (12/31/08) http://www.marchforjustice.com/showdetails.php?id=31662
In only three days, over 2000 Palestinians were killed in one of Israels deadliest assaults. The indiscriminate attacks targeted government buildings, police stations, mosques, hospitals, schools, civilian homes, infrastructure, and economic installations. The bombing also spread to a neighboring country with which Israel has a peace treaty. Israel has pledged to widen, extend, and further its assault.Israeli officials, in their usual delusion, claim to commit their war crimes in a morally superior fashion in reference to deliberately bombing hospitals, schools, and little girls escaping the bombing on their familys donkey cart. Official American response so far has been one that is typical of the shoe-stricken, politically-inadequate, morally-deficient, but all-incompetent US administration of blaming the dead and the injured. Israels attacks have stirred outrage and anger across nations worldwide, including within borders of the Israeli occupying state. In keeping up with its tradition, Israel has become subject of condemnation by world governments, international organizations and people the world over. CLIP
GAZA: STOP THE BLOODSHED, TIME FOR PEACE http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/98.php?cl_tf_sign=1
With already 370 dead and continued shelling of civilians in southern Israel, now is the time to issue a demand to world leaders that the spiralling violence that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must come to an end.
How Not to Make Peace in the Middle East http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22230
Foreign affairs had no more than a small part in Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and the Middle East peace process only a fraction of that. Yet the sorry prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians make a break with past US policy on this matter imperative, regardless of the new administration's priorities. (...) President Obama will need to make a change, of that there can be little doubt. But it will take more than turning the page on the worst of the Bush years. It will mean writing an entirely different script. Recent books by veteran US policymakers attempt to shed light on the mistakes of the past and offer guidance for the future. CLIP
In case you have not yet watch The 11th Hour documentary - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! http://wip.warnerbros.com/11thhour/
You can watch various related videos HERE including the entire movie now available on YouTube tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhjJ7DvwNcA">starting HERE
The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary, created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, on the state of the natural environment. With contributions from over 50 of the world's most prominent thinkers and activists, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet's life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans' habitats are all addressed. The film's premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy. The film offers hope and potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation. Scientists and environmental advocates such as David Orr, David Suzuki, Paul Stamets, and Gloria Flora paint a portrait for a radically new and different future in which it is not humanity's intent to dominate the planet's life systems, but to mimic and coexist with them. À voir aussi en français: Le réchauffement climatique - La 11ème heure ET La 11ème heure - Montage complet, comment agir - Read also Transcript: Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers, The 11th Hour movie below and watch their previous 2005 movie: Water Planet
50 Million Trees and Counting: Trees for the Future - Dave Deppner: an amazing environmental hero!!
STUNNING EXAMPLE OF HOW TO COCREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR ALL!! MUST WATCH!!! MOVING! INSPIRING! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdoe_gI_fSs
This 9 minute video documents the work of Dave Deppner and Trees for the Future. Communities around the world turn to Trees for the Future for technical knowledge and planting materials so that they can bring degraded lands and struggling farmlands back to sustainable productivity. Since 1988, Trees for the Future (TFTF) has helped thousands of communities in Central America, Africa, and Asia improve their livelihoods and their environment by planting nearly 50 million trees in agroforestry and reforestation projects. Each year these trees remove over one million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. More through http://www.plant-trees.org
Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009 http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/category/y-2009/
Between 700 and 1000 stories are submitted to Project Censored each year from journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world. With the help of more than 200 Sonoma State University faculty, students, and community members, Project Censored reviews the story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance. The university community selects 25 stories to submit to the Project Censored panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance.
- Story #1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
- Story #2: Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
- Story #3: InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
- Story #4: ILEA- Is the U.S. Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America
- Story #5: Seizing War Protesters' Assets
- Story #6: The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
- Story #7: Guest Workers, Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
- Story #8: Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly
- Story #9: Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
- Story #10: APA Complicit in CIA Torture
- Story #11: El Salvador's Water Privatization and the Global War on Terror
- Story #12: Profiteers Collect Billions from No Child Left Behind
- Story #13: Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq
- Story #14: Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste
- Story #15: Worldwide Slavery Spreads
- Story #16: Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights
- Story #17: UN's Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
- Story #18: Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers
- Story #19: Indigenous Herders & Small Farmers Fight Livestock Extinction
- Story #20: Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
- Story #21: NATO Considers "First Strike" Nuclear Option
- Story #22: CARE Rejects U.S. Food Aid
- Story #23: FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs
- Story #24: Japan Questions 9/11, Global War on Terror
- Story #25: G. W. Bush's Real Problem with Eliot Spitzer
Develop & Implement a National Strategy for Sustainability http://www.change.org/ideas/view/develop_implement_a_national_strategy_for_sustainability
The Obama Administration should adopt Sustainable Change as an Organizing Principle for the federal government. CLIP - NOTE from Jean: I've already brought this to your attention several weeks ago. If you've not yet go at this webpage and click to vote in support of this excellent initiative, I recommend you do so. Check also the NUMEROUS comments this initiative has elicited including this one: "Dear Rob,You are the right person to lead this 'National Strategy for Sustainability' effort. Via another e-mail list you just sent an article which beautifully clarifies a few points in a nutshell. Allow me to cite part of it here:"A National Strategy could include programs and activities to ensure that: -All consumer goods and products are manufactured so that they can be recycled, composted, or reused. -All new buildings are constructed, or older ones retrofitted, using LEED Green Building Standards. -Steps are taken to fully protect and restore biodiversity and the natural environment. -We reduce and move towards phasing out the use of toxic chemicals and materials. -We reduce our use of water and prevent soil loss, particularly in agriculture and energy production. -Education for Sustainability is integrated throughout the curriculum in all of our schools.-We prevent global warming by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. -We develop and implement economic and tax policies to support all of the above. Etcetera" Thank you! Your decades of diligent work in transnational organizations on the forefront of different causes is invaluable and adds to the worldwide scope that is so much needed now." Posted by Freed Schmitter
Painting horse gets own exhibition http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3127418.html
A horse whose abstract paintings sell for more than £2,000 is to have his own exhibition in Venice. Cholla - pronounced Choyah after a desert cactus - uses his mouth to hold a brush and paints on an easel-mounted canvas in his paddock. Owner Renee Chambers, 51, of Reno, Nevada, said she first noticed Cholla's hidden talent four years ago when she painted the fence of his paddock. She said: "He seemed really interested in what I was doing then one day my husband Robert joked to me that I should give Cholla a brush."He hasn't looked back since then, I give him the canvas and the paint and he just makes these wonderful pictures."She said she squeezes the paint out of the tube for him, puts the paint on the brush and hands it to him, but insists that is the extent of her involvement. "I have thought he might be the reincarnation of a famous artist, maybe Monet or someone, but the one thing he is definitely is a horse who loves to paint."Rosalba Giorcelli, from Galleria d'arte Giudecca in Venice, which is to show an exhibition of his work in the spring, said she did not initially realise Cholla's work was painted by a horse.She said: "We exhibited it at a recent art fair, and the reactions by the public and the artists were enthusiastic. "They all understood we did not want to diminish any human artist's artwork, but we wish to contribute to a debate about contemporary art."
Case Tape 347 (3 min 54 sec) WARNING!! EXTREMELY DISTURBING FOOTAGE! See it first if you dare! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0BifYPQQJE
A young couple on a routine mountain outing on February 14, 2005 suddenly sees something black come smoking out of large single cloud in the sky. They get closer to investigate. The woman operating the camera screams then drops the camera. If you roll the last part again and pause frequently you will clearly see an alien life form - which looks like a very large green spider with extra large fiery eyes (as seen just before it jumps on the woman) bursting out of the cracked "rock" (landing pod) and attacking and quickly killing or incapacitating the man. Its face can be seen (on pause and you tilt your head on the left) near the end. Then it jumps on the woman and the camera stops working at that precise moment. This couple is still missing! It is hard to imagine how such a harrowing thing could have been faked... There is even a Sheriff report webpage HERE... And yet this is a clever "mockumentary" as you can see HERE! Great acting! and amazing special effects! And as explained HERE, there is no such thing as Tacoma County Sheriff's Office. Tacoma is in Pierce County. Red Rock State Park is near Vegas.
Oppose Tom Vilsack's Confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/642/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1783
Despite a massive public outcry, including over 20,000 emails from the Organic Consumers Association, President-Elect Obama has chosen former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to be the next Secretary of Agriculture.While Vilsack has promoted respectable policies with respect to restraining livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting genetically engineered crops and animal cloning. Equally troubling is Vilsack's support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production, which has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world. The Organic Consumers Association is calling on organic consumers and all concerned citizens to join our call to action and block Vilsack's confirmation as the next Secretary of Agriculture. Please help us reach our goal of 100,000 petition signatures against Vilsack' nomination. Sign today! Recommended by Larry Morningstar (email@example.com)
"Surplus - Terrorized Into Being Consumer" (for download .avi / 700 Mo ) http://www.theyliewedie.org/ressources/videos/videos-en.php#surplus
Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers is a 2003 Swedish documentary film on consumerism and globalization, created by director Erik Gandini and editor Johan Söderberg. It's form is highly original: SURPLUS is an intense visual odyssey filmed for over three years in eight different countries. A must see.
Enhancing Solar Cells With Nanoparticle (Dec. 26, 2008) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223172705.htm
Deriving plentiful electricity from sunlight at a modest cost is a challenge with immense implications for energy, technology, and climate policy. Scientists are developing a relatively new approach to solar cells: lacing them with nanoscopic metal particles. As the authors describe in a new article, this approach has the potential to greatly improve the ability of solar cells to harvest light efficiently.
The Gold Ring: Game of Enlightenment & Abundance - AMAZING GAME! http://goldring.wetpaint.com/
It is a continuing process of Role Playing into Becoming an Ascended Master, Teacher, Wayshower and Follower of the Higher Path. This Game involves using the Mind to Overcome Reaction and move into Creation. Each Player is Moving from a Limited Reactive Third Dimensional Body with a Fourth Dimensional Drama to a Fifth-Dimensional Spirit Engaged in a Multi-Dimensional Reality. You begin the game where you are and the Game of Enlightenment never ends as it is joy, expansion, health, wealth, wisdom and love all rolled into one exciting and powerful creative life. (See below an example of the videos they offer...)
GoldRing Game: Truth, History & Economics, Planetary Changes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h81oooaHUQ0
As Wayshowers you are here to enlighten the masses with the Truth each is ready to hear. Each one on the path must be treated kindly and given the right words which will awaken them from the nightmare that the negative economic system has become. The change is about bringing forth the Truth that this is an expanding universe, that resources are abundant and we can have clean, clear and wonderful lives.
Ubuntu (video) A wonderful concept... and reality! http://www.globalonenessproject.org/videos/ubuntu
Ubuntu, a traditional African philosophy, recognizes how we are inextricably bound in each others humanity. Translated as, I am because you are, Ubuntu describes a sense of unity between people through which we each discover our own strengths and virtues. Featuring healer Credo Mutwa, GreenHouse Project director Dorah Lebelo, and former Deputy Minister of Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, this glimpse of South Africa shows compassion as a way of life. MANY more such inspiring videos through this LINK such as ...
Interview with Don Alverto Taxo (video) In Spanish with English subtitles http://www.globalonenessproject.org/videos/donalvertotaxocomplete
Don Alverto Taxo, a Quichua elder and Iachak (community leader/healer), shares his indigenous Andean perspective on the crises and potential of the current pachacuti (thousand-year cycle). Recalling the ancient prophecy of the eagle and the condor, Don Alverto outlines a vision of a new society based on harmony, the honoring of diversity, and a shared evolution toward wisdom and the "subtleness of life." He also describes Pacha Mama, Her relationship to God, the earth and humanity, as well as the serious consequences of disrupting Her natural equilibrium.
Fireworks as world welcomes 2009 (1 January 2009) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7806219.stm
Celebrations are taking place around the world to mark the end of 2008 and usher in the new year.From Sydney to New York and Auckland to London, revellers greeted 2009 with pyrotechnic shows and street parties. Some 400,000 people braved freezing temperatures in London for a fireworks display beside the Thames. In New York, meanwhile, thousands packed a frigid Times Square as the famous Waterford crystal ball descended to cheers at midnight. Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, soon to become the new US secretary of state, helped New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg lower the ball for the midnight countdown. A number of Arab nations - including Egypt, Jordan and Syria - cancelled their planned celebrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after a fifth day of Israeli air-strikes on the coastal enclave. CLIP
Mid-Tunnel Glimmerings (30 December 2008) http://www.truthout.org/123108F
What a year! Wherever one turns: vertigo. Financial massacre, destruction of value unprecedented in human history, the unanticipated become an everyday occurrence, the most learned predictions trampled by phenomena deemed unthinkable just twelve months ago ... If the essential purpose of crises is to incite us to think from scratch, this one should, by virtue of its scale, soon deliver a totally new world. But for the moment, it's the absence of visibility that strikes the mind. A brutal, but short, fever, or durable chaos, soon to be matched by more serious disorders? We are en route to the unknown. No alternative is ready to replace the foundations of capitalism. No theory has appeared to clothe the disillusions provoked by the all-powerful market's turmoil with Utopias. (...) There's another reason to be gladdened in the short term. For this debacle will have at least defeated one fraud: that of a cupidity that had become insane, erecting its obscene fatuousness as a universal totem. We'll never be altogether done with it, of course, but will do at least two retakes before making it a cardinal value. In the tunnel we have entered, that's a glimmer at least as strong as the promises of concerted action on our common destiny. So let us bet on the light: Happy New Year!
David Ignatius: In Bailout Nation, denial is lifestyle (January 2, 2009) http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jan/02/david-ignatius-in-bailout-nation-denial-is/
We'll likely need a new recovery program from the Obama administration, and it should talk of shared sacrifice, not rescue -- The Great Depression seared some life lessons into my parents' generation. My father hasn't had a mortgage in decades, even though his children keep telling him about the tax advantages. He buys store-label brands, clips the "sale" coupons out of the newspaper, and wears well-mended suits he bought 50 years ago. Frugality is a lifestyle for his generation. Their pleasure isn't consuming, but in creating and saving, and their abiding conviction is that you have to take care of yourself, because no one else is going to bail you out. What lessons, I wonder, will the great downturn of 2008 teach our children? Obviously, the answer depends on how bad things get. This is a global cataclysm that is more vivid in the headlines than in most people's pocketbooks. Unemployment remains below 7 percent, and gas prices and mortgage rates are down. The crisis is still more like a dark thundercloud than a pelting hurricane. CLIP
The Global Shipping Halt: Is The Great Unwind Disrupting The Freight Market? (2 Dec 2008) http://www.searates.com/news/1289/
Freight shipping prices for transporting dry raw materials have collapsed in November 2008. The Great Unwind is like a Tsunami that is engulfing and halting the shipping world at an accelerating rate. The Baltic Dry Index sounds like a weather report, but what it really does is track the price of shipping bulk cargo such as coal, iron ore, cotton and grain. Recently, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen through the floor. It has slumped by nearly 95% over the past five months. In real dollar terms, at the peak of the market in June, a 170,000-tonne Capesize bulk carrier cost USD 233,988 to rent. Recently, it was available for USD 4,793 - that is a crash of 98% and is below the cost of paying for crew, insurance, maintenance and lubricants. Why?1. Of the USD 13.6 trillion of goods and materials traded worldwide per annum, 90% rely on letters of credit or related forms of financing and guarantees such as trade credit insurance. International shipping works on letters of credit. These financial guarantees are issued to buyers of bulk cargo by their banks. This system has greased the wheels of global trade for the last 400 years by transferring payments internationally from buyer to seller once shipments have been delivered. With the collapse of the credit market - and banks now sitting on their hands, refusing to lend - the fast-moving wheels of global shipping have come close to halt.
2. There is a collapsing demand for credit driven expensive product purchases like cars and as a consequence, the transport of associated raw materials and sub-assemblies. Auto sales are falling in double digit percentages across most of the G7, ie, the US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada. The pace of car sales growth is slowing down across most of the remaining G20 nations as well, including China and India.This is a massive disruption in the freight market with asymmetric consequences for world trade, which poses systemic risk for many nation states. Liquidity has to return because if there is insufficient money to provide standard finance, world trade is being sharply cut back and economic growth is not only stalling but likely to implode. If cargo trade stops, a whole lot of supply chain disruptions start. For example, if the iron ore does not go to the refinery, there is no plate steel. If the plate steel does not get shipped, there is nothing to fabricate into components. If there are no components, there is nothing to assemble in the factory. If the factory closes the assembly line, there are no finished goods. If there are no finished goods, there is nothing to restock the shelves of the shops. If there is nothing in the shops, the consumers cannot buy. If the consumers cannot buy, there can be no sales!
On a more sobering note, if bulk shippers cannot buy cargoes, then a lot of US and world grain could end up rotting in warehouses while big portions of the world go hungry. For example, the Saudis are the biggest importers of food in the Middle East. They probably have the money to pay cash for their food shipments and may not therefore need letters of credit. But for the approximately 2.7 billion people in the world who spend 80% of their income on food, a disruption in the global shipping trade could mean the difference between quiet poverty and going hungry day-in, day-out. That will not last for long before there is social disorder on a massive scale. CLIP
Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret (December 22, 2008) A BAILOUT TO NOWHERE! http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081222/meltdown_secrets.html?.v=8
Where'd the bailout money go? $350 billion later, banks won't say how they're spending it -- WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it. "We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest? None of the banks provided specific answers. (...) Most banks wouldn't say why they were keeping the details secret. (...) Warren, the congressional watchdog appointed by Democrats, said her oversight panel will try to force the banks to say where they've spent the money. "It would take a lot of nerve not to give answers," she said. But Warren said she's surprised she even has to ask. "If the appropriate restrictions were put on the money to begin with, if the appropriate transparency was in place, then we wouldn't be in a position where you're trying to call every recipient and get the basic information that should already be in public documents," she said. Garrett, the New Jersey congressman, said the nation might never get a clear answer on where hundreds of billions of dollars went. "A year or two ago, when we talked about spending $100 million for a bridge to nowhere, that was considered a scandal," he said.
The Size of Derivatives Bubble = $190K Per Person on Planet (October 16, 2008) A REMINDER... http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/10/the_size_of_der.php
According to various distinguished sources including the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland -- the central bankers' bank -- the amount of outstanding derivatives worldwide as of December 2007 crossed USD 1.144 Quadrillion, ie, USD 1,144 Trillion. (...) Unless there is government action in concert, this could ignite a chain-reaction which would swiftly purge trillions and trillions of dollars in over-leveraged risky bets. Within the context of over-leverage, the biggest problem of all is to do with "Derivatives", of which CDSs are a minor subset. Warren Buffett has said the derivatives neutron bomb has the potential to destroy the entire world economy, and is a "disaster waiting to happen." He has also referred to derivatives as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Counting one dollar per second, it would take 32 million years to count to one Quadrillion. The numbers we are dealing with are absolutely astronomical and from the realms of super computing we have stepped into global economics. There is a sense of no sustainability and lack of longevity in the "Invisible One Quadrillion Dollar Equation" of the derivatives market especially with attendant Black Swan variables causing multiple implosions amongst financial institutions and counterparties! The only way out, albeit painful, is via discretionary case-by-case government intervention on an unprecedented scale. Securing the savings and assets of ordinary citizens ought to be the number one concern in directing such policy.
Was the 'Credit Crunch' a Myth Used to Sell a Trillion-Dollar Scam? (December 29, 2008) http://www.alternet.org/workplace/115768/was_the_%27credit_crunch%27_a_myth_used_to_sell_a_trillion-dollar_scam/
Even as the media continue to repeat the claim that credit has frozen up, evidence has emerged suggesting the entire story is wrong. -- There is something approaching a consensus that the Paulson Plan -- also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP -- was a boondoggle of an intervention that's flailed from one approach to the next, with little oversight and less effect on the financial meltdown.But perhaps even more troubling than the ad hoc nature of its implementation is the suspicion that has recently emerged that TARP -- hundreds of billions of dollars worth so far -- was sold to Congress and the public based on a Big Lie. CLIP
The Economist: U.S. In Depression, Not Recession (January 2, 2008) http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-economist-us-in-depression-not-recession.html
Publication admits that characteristics of economic slowdown resembles 1930s -- Renowned financial publication The Economist reports that, based on the characteristics of the current financial crisis, the U.S. is in a depression, not a recession. The admission marks the first time that a major international financial news outlet has acknowledged that the scale of the economic mess is unlike anything seen in recent decades. Under the headline, Diagnosing depression, the article asks, What is the difference between a recession and a depression?A depression is characterized by falling asset prices, a credit crunch and deflation, according to the article, all factors that we see unfolding in the current crisis. A depression is the result of a bursting asset and credit bubble, a contraction in credit, and a decline in the general price level, according to the article. In the Great Depression average prices in America fell by one-quarter, and nominal GDP ended up shrinking by almost half.Fast forward to the start of 2009 and house prices have fallen by at least 17 per cent over the last two years with that number only set to plunge further over the coming 18 months. Overall, American homeowners have lost $2 trillion of equity during what has become the worst housing slump since World War II. U.S. GDP in the fourth quarter last year fell an estimated six per cent, but that number is expected to accelerate through 2009. The piece also states that assurances from economists who say that a repeat of the 1930s is impossible because policymakers are unlikely to repeat the mistakes of the past, are coming from the same people who confidently predicted that a nationwide fall in American house prices was impossible and that financial innovation had made the financial system more resilient. The Economist piece makes the argument that the current crisis is far closer to a depression than a recession and that the only question remaining is how deep the downturn will be.
As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html
In Moscow, Igor Panarin's Forecasts Are All the Rage; America 'Disintegrates' in 2010 (...) He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia. CLIP
The Novel That Predicted Portland (December 14, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/fashion/14ecotopia.html
Sometimes a book, or an idea, can be obscure and widely influential at the same time. Thats the case with Ecotopia, a 1970s cult novel, originally self-published by its author, Ernest Callenbach, that has seeped into the American groundwater without becoming well known. The novel, now being rediscovered, speaks to our ecological present: in the flush of a financial crisis, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the United States, and its citizens establish a sustainable economy, a cross between Scandinavian socialism and Northern California back-to-the-landism, with the custom ... to eat local. In the 70s, the book, with a blurb from Ralph Nader, was a hit, selling 400,000 or so copies in the United States, and more worldwide. Today, Ecotopia is increasingly assigned in college courses on the environment, sociology and urban planning, and its cult following has begun to reach an unlikely readership: Mr. Callenbach, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., and calls himself a fringe, 60s person, has been finding himself invited to speak at many small religious colleges. This month, the books publisher, Bantam, is reissuing it. For a while it seemed sort of antique to people, said Mr. Callenbach, a balding and eerily fit man of 79. But now that you go out into America and young society, it apparently doesnt seem that weird to them at all. "It is so hard to imagine anything fundamentally different from what we have now, he said. But without these alternate visions, we get stuck on dead center. And wed better get ready, he added. We need to know where wed like to go.
The Madoff Double Bluff (December 24, 2008) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11488
At first sight it was extremely refreshing. A white-collar financial crook raising his hands and pleading guilty to his financial crime. This has to be almost a first. Usually financial criminals when caught in the most obvious of wrong-doing plead 'not guilty'. The criminal can be caught boarding the plane, with a suitcase containing US$100mn of someone elses cash, with his mistress holding on to his arm, he will look into the camera with his most genuine 'Tony Blair look of sincerity' and say "What we have here is a misunderstanding.... " You make up the rest of the excuse, there is a million of them. So yes, an outright confession, "It was me, I chopped down the apple tree" is so against the current socio-political culture it was almost too good to be true. Especially given the pedigree of this perp, the CEO of one of the busiest and most prominent financial exchanges in the world. (...) So why plead guilty? The answer is simple. Look on the net and you will see that because this case is being labelled a fraud, it would appear that investors are going to be able to claim their investment back under the US government's financial fraud protection scheme. A judge has already given his approval in principle for compensation, without any evidence having been presented and financial fraud being demonstrated in a court of law. And it would appear that there will never be such a demonstration in a court of law. Why? It would appear that all the funds financial records are mostly "missing" (rather like Dov Zakheim's US$1.4tn) and those few records that do survive are in a terrible mess. However, since the guy has pleaded guilty we do not need to demonstrate the fraud, because he says he is guilty. And look further on the net and you will see that these "victims" have also been told by the US tax authorities that they will probably also be entitled to claim back some taxes on these defrauded sums. Rather than saying this hedge fund has gone bust, due to its choice of investment assets and investment methologies, a scenario which is highly probable in the current financial paradigm, since all the professionals are predicting that at least 30% of all hedge funds are about to fail, more than 700 of them, the CEO chooses to fess up to fraud. If the CEO admits the fund has gone bust, then all those wealthy members of the Jewish community get nothing, but if the CEO admits to fraud they get their money back as compensation from the US tax payer, just as they are also drawing money back from the tax payers with the other hand. And, as can be seen at the Daily Mail link above, the investors in this fund only get to litigate the fund directors against Lloyds insurers in London for even more compensation. Done properly the compensation could end up paying out far more than the original fund returns (yes this is sarcasm, it was bound to creep in eventually in yet another swindle like this). Would that I could believe that Madoff were a good guy who slipped and then became repentant. But given the facts, this simply cannot be true.
Execs of bailed-out banks got $1.6B last year, AP finds (12/21/2008) http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2008-12-21-bank-execs-bailout_N.htm
Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals.The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executive compensation due to lagging bank performance, but still forked over multimillion-dollar executive pay packages.Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management, the AP review of federal securities documents found.The total amount given to nearly 600 executives would cover bailout costs for many of the 116 banks that have so far accepted tax dollars to boost their bottom lines. CLIP
Linda Bilmes: The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the Price for Eight Years of Bush (December 22, 2008) http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/linda_bilmes_the_10_trillion_hangover
In a new article in Harpers Magazine, Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz estimate that the cost of undoing the Bush administrations economic choices, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the collapse of the financial system, soaring debt, and new commitments to interest payments and Medicare, all add up to over $10 trillion. (...) I think that if you go back to 2001, when the President took office, you can remember there was a surplus, a budget surplus of about $150 billion and the congressional budget office at the time was projecting that that surplus would continue over the next several years. And since then, things have unraveled in every possible dimension that you can measure and certainly across every metric that economists measure. The budget deficit has disappeared. Our national debt has gone from about $5.5 trillion to between $10 and $15 trillion, depending on how much of the bailout you count. Inflation is higher. Unemployment is higher. Four million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Five million people have lost their health insurance. And the more you look into it, the more you see the very severe economic consequences that have been the result of errors and poor judgment during the past eight years. AMY GOODMAN: And you also look at just peoples personal debt, the increase in credit card, automobile, mortgage and other forms of personal debt from around $8 trillion in 2000 to more than $14 trillion today, also, you write, looming behind the implosion of our financial system. LINDA BILMES: Thats right. There is government debt, and there is household debt, you know, such as cars and mortgages and credit card debt, and this has also skyrocketed during the past eight years. So, the result is a kind of a mountain of debt, which has been one of the main drivers of the current economic virtual meltdown that we are experiencing. CLIP
More economic pain seen in 2009, but some hope too (Dec 31, 2008) http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE4B70ME20081231
SINGAPORE/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many investors said good riddance on Wednesday to one of the worst years on record and prayed that government rescue plans will pull the global economy out of its fierce tailspin later in the new year.More pain is expected in the near-term as bleak economic reports roll in, flagging more bankruptcies, bad debts and layoffs through at least early 2009, and more sleepless nights for everyone from central bankers to consumers struggling to pay off mortgages and credit card bills.The biggest financial crisis in 80 years, sparked by a U.S. mortgage meltdown, made this year one of the worst ever for investors as recession stalked the global economy."It has been a shocking year, hardly anything was spared in the market carnage," said Michael Heffernan, senior client adviser and strategist at Austock Group in Australia.The slump wiped out nearly $14 trillion in market value, according to the benchmark MSCI world index of larger companies. CLIP
Give Obama a Chance http://www.truthout.org/121808R
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout: "It has not taken long for the criticism, skepticism and second-guessing to begin. Barack Obama has not even been sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, and his critics on the so-called progressive left are angry that his cabinet selections suggest a shift to the center or to the right. Meanwhile, critics on the right claim that his actions in response to disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are politically motivated."
Obama team plans biggest boost in history to save American economy(Dec 22, 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/22/obama-white-house-us-economy
Barack Obama's administration in waiting signalled yesterday that it was preparing the biggest economic stimulus in US history to avert mass unemployment in a stuttering economy that could face the toughest recession in half a century.In a programme tinged with environmentally friendly initiatives, the US president-elect has set a new target of creating or safeguarding 3m jobs, up from a previous aim of 2.5m, by unleashing an avalanche of government spending and offering widespread tax rebates. The Obama camp indicated that the package would be worth between $675bn and $775bn, easily eclipsing other packages unveiled in China, Japan and Britain. The cash will include programmes to transmit wind and solar energy across America and to put millions of medical records into digital format. Obama's vice-president elect, Joe Biden, yesterday said the stimulus was the "single most important thing" facing the new administration and warned that action was needed to prevent the economy from "absolutely tanking". "The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in," Biden told ABC television. "We've got to begin to stem this bleeding, stop the loss of jobs and create new jobs." Some 1.9m US jobs have been lost this year and Obama's aides have briefed him that as many as 4m could be at risk, which would take the unemployment rate to 9%. Quoting transition officials, the New York Times said Obama's team feared that the downturn could eclipse anything in the last 50 years. CLIP
9 Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year By Deepak Chopra -- January 1, 2009 http://www.alternet.org/environment/116640/9_steps_to_peace_for_obama_in_the_new_year/
Steps the incoming president can take to build a peace-based economy. The following is a memo to Barack Obama from Deepak Chopra - You have been elected by the first anti-war constituency since 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected after promising to end the Korean War. But ending a war isn't the same as bringing peace. America has been on a war footing since the day after Pearl Harbor, 67 years ago. We spend more on our military than the next 16 countries combined. If you have a vision of change that goes to the heart of this country's deep problems, ending our dependence on war is far more important than ending our dependency on foreign oil. CLIP Check all the related comments HERE and HERE
The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere. It's time to stop the mission creep (December 21, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/19/AR2008121902748.html
We no longer have a civilian-led government. The most unnerving legacy of the Bush administration is the encroachment of the Department of Defense into a striking number of aspects of civilian government. Our Constitution is at risk. President-elect Barack Obama's selections of James L. Jones, a retired four-star Marine general, to be his national security adviser and, it appears, retired Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair to be his director of national intelligence ... could complete the silent military coup d'etat that has been steadily gaining ground below the radar screen of most Americans and the media. While serving the State Department in several senior capacities over the past four years, I witnessed firsthand the quiet, de facto military takeover of much of the U.S. government. The first assault on civilian government occurred in faraway places -- Iraq and Afghanistan. As military officers sought to take over the role played by civilian development experts abroad, Pentagon bureaucrats quietly populated the National Security Council and the State Department with their own personnel ... to ensure that the Defense Department could keep an eye on its rival agencies. The encroachment within America's borders continued with the military's increased involvement in domestic surveillance and its attempts to usurp the role of the federal courts in reviewing detainee cases. The Pentagon also resisted ceding any authority over its extensive intelligence operations to the ... director of national intelligence. Now the Pentagon has drawn up plans to deploy 20,000 U.S. soldiers inside our borders by 2011.
Known Unknowns: Unconventional "Strategic Shocks" in Defense Strategy Development (November 2008) http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB890.pdf
Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security. Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock. An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home. Already predisposed to defer to the primacy of civilian authorities in instances of domestic security and divest all but the most extreme demands in areas like civil support and consequence management, DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance. Note: For an analysis which deconstructs the opaque military jargon in which this revealing strategic document is written, click here. Use of military forces to maintain domestic order has been forbidden since 1878 by the Posse Comitatus Act. The Pentagon appears to be planning to abrogate this key support of civil liberties. -- As mentioned HERE "Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the U.S. military operations to liberate Iraq, said in a 2003 interview that if the U.S. is attacked with a weapon of mass destruction, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government."...
Cheney Throws Down Gauntlet http://www.truthout.org/121908J
(...) Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, 'I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared.' He also said he still believes waterboarding was an appropriate method to use on terrorism suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that the agency waterboarded three al-Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003. US courts have long held that waterboarding, where water is poured into someone's nose and mouth until he nearly drowns, constitutes torture. Our federal War Crimes Act defines torture as a war crime punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty if the victim dies."
Justice after Bush: Prosecuting an outlaw administration (December 2008) http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/12/0082303
I. The Crimes -- Americans may wish to avoid what is necessary. We may believe that concerns about presidential lawbreaking are naive. That all presidents commit crimes. We may pretend that George W. Bush and his senior officers could not have committed crimes significantly worse than those of their predecessors. We may fear what it would mean to acknowledge such crimes, much less to punish them. But avoiding this task, simply moving on, is not possible.This administration did more than commit crimes. It waged war against the law itself. It transformed the Justice Department into a vehicle for voter suppression, and it also summarily dismissed the U.S. attorneys who attempted to investigate its wrongdoing. It issued wartime contracts to substandard vendors with inside connections, and it also defunded efforts to police their performance. It spied on church groups and political protesters, and it also introduced a sweeping surveillance program that was so clearly illegal that virtually the entire senior echelon of the Justice Department threatened to (but did not in fact) tender their resignations over it. It waged an illegal and disastrous war, and it did so by falsely representing to Congress and to the American public nearly every piece of intelligence it had on Iraq. And through it all, as if to underscore its contempt for any authority but its own, the administration issued more than a hundred carefully crafted signing statements that raised pervasive doubt about whether the president would even accede to bills that he himself had signed into law.No prior administration has been so systematically or so brazenly lawless. Yet it is no simple matter to prosecute a former president or his senior officers. There is no precedent for such a prosecution, and even if there was, the very breadth and audacity of the administrations activities would make the process so complex as to defy systems of justice far less fragmented than our own. But that only means choices must be made. Indeed, in weighing the enormity of the administrations transgressions against the realistic prospect of justice, it is possible to determine not only the crime that calls most clearly for prosecution but also the crime that is most likely to be successfully prosecuted. In both cases, that crime is torture. CLIP - Long article, but highly recommended!
There Is No 'Al Qaeda' says Ex UK Foreign Secretary (24 December 2008) http://www.daily.pk/world/europe/8714-there-is-no-al-qaeda-says-ex-uk-foreign-secretary.html
"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US. "Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook
Rove's Threat Against Connell (Dec 24, 2008) http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6214/p
(...) In his email to Mukasey today, Arnebeck writes: "We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to 'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations." "This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform," the Ohio attorney writes, before going on to link to The BRAD BLOG's coverage of his press conference last week and requesting "protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness." The complete, short email, sent today from Arnebeck to AG Mukasey, follows in full below... CLIP
Republican IT Specialist Dies in Plane Crash (December 22, 2008) http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/republican_it_specialist_dies_in_plane
A top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Michael Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. Michael Connell was deposed one day before the election this year by attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis about his actions during the 2004 vote count in Ohio and his access to Karl Roves email files and how they went missing. (...) AMY GOODMAN: So, explain what this case is all about and exactly what Mike Connell has been doing over these last years. What does it mean to be Karl Roves IT guru? MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, the lawyers in the case refer to him as a high-IQ Forrest Gump, by which they mean that he seems to have been present at the scene of every dubious election of the last eight years. Were talking about Florida in 2000. Were talking about Ohio in 2004. Were talking about Alabama in 2002. He seems to have been involved in the theft of Don Siegelmans re-election for governor. Theres some evidence that links him with the Saxby Chambliss-Max Cleland Senate race in Georgia in 2002. To be Karl Roves IT guru seems to have meant basically setting it up so that votes could be electronically shaved to the disadvantage of the Democrats and the advantage of Republicans. (...) AMY GOODMAN: So why did he fly inwhy did he pilot his own plane when he was so afraid? MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, thats a good question. We cant ask him, unfortunately. I mean, this is kind of a grisly thought, but, I mean, I think we should be asking where the body is? Were told that a trooper on the scene immediately identified Connell. But then we read elsewhere that there was nothing left but debris and that the fireball was enormous. So maybe he wasnt on the plane. I mean, who knows, when youre dealing with people as deep as these? But the point isI cant stress this strongly enoughwere dealing not just with a shocking accident, if thats what it was, and a convenient one. Were dealing not even just with a particular lawsuit that, you know, really requires vigorous promotion. The important point here is that this is all about our elections. Thats what this is about. This is about democratic self-government. The fact that Obama won so handily has caused a lot of us to sit back and relax. Theres been a lot of popping of champagne corks and people drawing the conclusion that the system must work, because our guy won. Well, this is not a sports event. This is self-government. In fact, the evidence strongly suggestsand we havent had a chance to talk about this since Election Daythat Obama probably won by twice as many votes as we think. Probably a good seven million votes for Obama were undone through vote suppression and fraud, because the stuff was extensive and pervasive, in places where you wouldnt expect it. CLIP
Pakistan Moves Troops Toward Indian Border http://www.truthout.org/122608A
Sebastian Abbot, The Associated Press: "Pakistan began moving thousands of troops to the Indian border Friday, intelligence officials said, sharply raising tensions triggered by the Mumbai terror attacks."
Pakistan will defend itself against aggression: Haqqani (December 28, 2008) http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C12%5C28%5Cstory_28-12-2008_pg7_27
* Islamabads envoy to Washington says Pakistani troop movement does not signal escalating situation * Says Pakistan has arrested many suspects but needs evidenceWASHINGTON: Due to Indias war rhetoric and potentially dangerous military moves, Pakistanis must be reassured that the country, though committed to fighting terrorism, is prepared to defend itself against any aggression, Islamabads envoy in Washington told CNN on Saturday.Hussain Haqqani said Pakistan wanted to pursue terrorists in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan rather than go to war with India, adding the country also wanted to work with New Delhi to capture terrorists who were responsible for the Mumbai attacks.That said, over the last few days, we have reason to believe that there has been an escalation of rhetoric in India, which is accompanied by certain moves that we consider to be potentially dangerous, Haqqani said.He told the channel that he could not reveal the intelligence Pakistan had about Indian moves but we are willing to share that with our friends around the world. And we have attempted to do that.Troop movement: He rejected the suggestion that the movement of Pakistani troops signalled an escalating situation.There is no bravado. Pakistan is not trying to make a show of might. All we are trying to do is to reassure our people that we do not want to go to war, but in case there are aggressive moves from the other side, then certainly we will take defensive positions, Haqqani said. CLIP
J. Sri Raman: Anniversary of an Assassination http://www.truthout.org/122708Z
J. Sri Raman, Truthout: "'It is impossible for even a rigged election to take place now. It will have to be postponed, and the military high command is no doubt contemplating another dose of army rule if the situation gets worse, which could easily happen.' So wrote Tariq Ali, the British historian of Pakistani origin who has never lost his close interest in his homeland. He was writing in the wake of a terrible tragedy, whose first anniversary a tense Pakistan is witnessing today."
Pakistan remembers Bhutto as tension with India mounts (28 December 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/28/pakistan-india-bhutto
Crowds gather at the former leader's grave a year after her murder amid concerns that new troop deployments on the border mean the two countries are edging towards war. (...) The Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday accused Pakistan of whipping up a "sort of war hysteria". Mukherjee said: "I appeal to Pakistan and Pakistani leaders: do not unnecessarily try to create tension. Do not try to deflect the issue. A problem has to be tackled face to face."The United States has been trying to ease the burgeoning crisis while at the same time pressing Pakistan to crack down on militants Washington says are likely to be responsible for the Mumbai attacks. But the Indian position towards Pakistan has notably hardened over the last few days, with the air force refusing to rule out strikes inside its neighbour's borders. Air Marshal PK Barbora, chief of India's western air command, said that the air force had identified 5,000 terrorist targets inside Pakistani territory. He said diplomacy should be given a chance, but added that if that failed, "war is the last resort". Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947 - two over Kashmir, a majority Muslim region in the Himalayan mountains that is claimed by both countries. CLIP
Christmas massacres 'killed 400' (30 December 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7804470.stm
More than 400 people have been killed by Ugandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo in attacks since Christmas day, aid agency Caritas says. The head of Caritas in DR Congo told the BBC some 20,000 people had fled to the mountains from the rebels, who have denied carrying out the attacks. CLIP
No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in Passive Houses (December 26, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/world/europe/27house.html?em=&pagewanted=all
(...) Architects in many countries, in attempts to meet new energy efficiency standards like the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design standard in the United States, are designing homes with better insulation and high-efficiency appliances, as well as tapping into alternative sources of power, like solar panels and wind turbines.The concept of the passive house, pioneered in this city of 140,000 outside Frankfurt, approaches the challenge from a different angle. Using ultrathick insulation and complex doors and windows, the architect engineers a home encased in an airtight shell, so that barely any heat escapes and barely any cold seeps in. That means a passive house can be warmed not only by the sun, but also by the heat from appliances and even from occupants bodies. And in Germany, passive houses cost only about 5 to 7 percent more to build than conventional houses. Decades ago, attempts at creating sealed solar-heated homes failed, because of stagnant air and mold. But new passive houses use an ingenious central ventilation system. The warm air going out passes side by side with clean, cold air coming in, exchanging heat with 90 percent efficiency. The myth before was that to be warm you had to have heating. Our goal is to create a warm house without energy demand, said Wolfgang Hasper, an engineer at the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt. This is not about wearing thick pullovers, turning the thermostat down and putting up with drafts. Its about being comfortable with less energy input, and we do this by recycling heating. There are now an estimated 15,000 passive houses around the world, the vast majority built in the past few years in German-speaking countries or Scandinavia. CLIP
Smoking ban leads to major drop in heart attacks http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isVjqLbvrd8KOzD5ti4kFqnze4GgD95DSUMG0
ATLANTA (AP) A smoking ban in one Colorado city led to a dramatic drop in heart attack hospitalizations within three years, a sign of just how serious a health threat secondhand smoke is, government researchers said Wednesday. The study, the longest-running of its kind, showed the rate of hospitalized cases dropped 41 percent in the three years after the ban of workplace smoking in Pueblo, Colo., took effect. There was no such drop in two neighboring areas, and researchers believe it's a clear sign the ban was responsible. The study suggests that secondhand smoke may be a terrible and under-recognized cause of heart attack deaths in this country, said one of its authors, Terry Pechacek of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CLIP
Processed People http://www.processedpeople.com/
The statistics are terrifying. Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese. More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. 24 million people are diabetic. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers. Obesity has overtaken tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Over 50% of bankruptcies are caused by what has become known as medical debt. Fast food, fast medicine, fast news and fast lives have turned many Americans into a sick, uninformed, indebted, processed people. Processed People features insightful interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the processed people cycle. Processed People - Promo trailer (Must watch!)
Would hunt for subs kill whales? (December 22, 2008) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-whales2208dec22,0,6938912.story
The U.S. Navy wants to teach sailors how to hunt submarines off the coast of Jacksonville, but it's trying to prove its proposed undersea-warfare-training range won't hurt the world's most endangered whale.Concern about harm to the North Atlantic right whale from military sonar, vessels and torpedoes might pose a stumbling block to the proposed $100 million training range, which could be built near the whale's protected calving area. The U.S. Navy announced earlier this year that it wants to build the undersea-warfare-training range in a 662-square-mile zone nearly 58 miles off Jacksonville. The proximity to Mayport Naval Station, water depths and the climate make it an ideal location over three alternate sites, according to a draft Navy environmental report.The military complex would feature a network of 300 sonar sensors buried in the ocean floor that would monitor the fighting scenarios among submarines, ships and helicopters. Nonexplosive torpedoes and sonar would be used during 470 military exercises each year. (...) Federal officials have protected the right whale by prohibiting vessels from approaching the whales too closely. Several teams of whale watchers fly over the ocean, and a network of beachfront volunteers survey from land to spot whales and warn boaters. This year, the National Marine Fisheries Service instituted a 10-knot speed limit for vessels in the habitat zone. Ship strikes kill at least one or two right whales a year. Scientists say the species can't sustain that kind of death toll. Federal reports say the death of even one pregnant female could risk the species' survival. That's why more than a dozen conservation groups have opposed a permanent range for the sonar-based warfare training near the calving grounds. Military sonar, broadcasting an active midfrequency signal at 235 decibels, has a lethal history, with a dozen cases worldwide of mass whale and dolphin strandings and evidence of damage to their hearing after underwater exercises. (...)Navy vows protections - The Navy plans to set up lookouts and monitor the whales. Officials also promise to lower or shut down active sonar as whales get close. According to the Navy's environmental analysis, the whales won't suffer hearing damage. But the study estimated there might be as many as 48 times a year when migrating right whales will be near military exercises and could hear enough sonar to affect their behavior.
Report: Toyota developing solar powered green car (1 January 2009) http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_read.asp?id=93943112009
Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy in an effort to turn around its struggling business with a futuristic ecological car, a top business daily reported Thursday. The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market. Toyota's offices were closed Thursday and officials were not immediately available for comment.According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.The solar car is part of efforts by Japan's top automaker to grow during hard times, The Nikkei said. CLIP
Barrier Reef coral growth 'will stop' (January 2, 2009) http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/38989
Scientists fear the already declining growth rate of the Great Barrier Reef's corals will stop completely by 2050, killing off the reef and making way for algae.A new report shows the most robust corals on the reef have slowed in growth by more than 14 per cent since the "tipping point" in 1990. The paper, published in the international journal Science and written by scientists Dr Glenn De'ath, Dr Janice Lough and Dr Katharina Fabricius, shows evidence of a decline in the calcification rates in the Great Barrier Reef corals. The Australian Institute of Science paper claims the decline has been caused by a combination of rising sea surface temperatures and ocean CLIP
Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979 (January 1, 2009) http://www.dailytech.com/Sea%2BIce%2BEnds%2BYear%2Bat%2BSame%2BLevel%2Bas%2B1979/article13834.htm
Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards. The data is being reported by the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions. Each year, millions of square kilometers of sea ice melt and refreeze. However, the mean ice anomaly -- defined as the seasonally-adjusted difference between the current value and the average from 1979-2000, varies much more slowly. That anomaly now stands at just under zero, a value identical to one recorded at the end of 1979, the year satellite record-keeping began.Sea ice is floating and, unlike the massive ice sheets anchored to bedrock in Greenland and Antarctica, doesn't affect ocean levels. However, due to its transient nature, sea ice responds much faster to changes in temperature or precipitation and is therefore a useful barometer of changing conditions. Earlier this year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery. Bill Chapman, a researcher with the UIUC's Arctic Center, tells DailyTech this was due in part to colder temperatures in the region. Chapman says wind patterns have also been weaker this year. Strong winds can slow ice formation as well as forcing ice into warmer waters where it will melt. Why were predictions so wrong? Researchers had expected the newer sea ice, which is thinner, to be less resilient and melt easier. Instead, the thinner ice had less snow cover to insulate it from the bitterly cold air, and therefore grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. In May, concerns over disappearing sea ice led the U.S. to officially list the polar bear a threatened species, over objections from experts who claimed the animal's numbers were increasing.
The big melt: 2 trillion tons of ice since 2003 (16 December 2008) http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_read.asp?id=5064512162008
More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming. More than half of the loss of landlocked ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland, based on measurements of ice weight by NASA's GRACE satellite, said NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke. The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, he said, and the Greenland melt seems to be accelerating. (...) Scientists studying sea ice will announce that parts of the Arctic north of Alaska were 9 to 10 degrees warmer this past fall, a strong early indication of what researchers call the Arctic amplification effect. That's when the Arctic warms faster than predicted, and warming there is accelerating faster than elsewhere on the globe. As sea ice melts, the Arctic waters absorb more heat in the summer, having lost the reflective powers of vast packs of white ice. That absorbed heat is released into the air in the fall. That has led to autumn temperatures in the last several years that are six to 10 degrees warmer than they were in the 1980s, said research scientist Julienne Stroeve at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. (...) Two other studies coming out at the conference assess how Arctic thawing is releasing methane the second most potent greenhouse gas. One study shows that the loss of sea ice warms the water, which warms the permafrost on nearby land in Alaska, thus producing methane, Stroeve says. A second study suggests even larger amounts of frozen methane are trapped in lakebeds and sea bottoms around Siberia and they are starting to bubble to the surface in some spots in alarming amounts, said Igor Semiletov, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. In late summer, Semiletov found methane bubbling up from parts of the East Siberian Sea and Laptev Sea at levels that were 10 times higher than they were in the mid-1990s, he said based on a study this summer. The amounts of methane in the region could dramatically increase global warming if they get released, he said. That, Semiletov said, "should alarm people."
Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic. But Im not talking about World War II, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, or Ashkenazi Jews. What Im referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the last 60 years. By definition, a holocaust is a mass slaughter of people or a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life, especially through fire. There isnt a more accurate description of the hell that US-armed and funded Israeli Occupation Forces are unleashing on the people of Gaza at this moment. Since Arabs are Semites, US-Israeli policy doesnt get more anti-Semitic than this.
If you think Im being grandiose, let us look at the words of Matan Vilnai, Israels Deputy Defense [sic] Minister, from February of this year: "The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves. In Hebrew, shoah refers to the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940's. But massive airstrikes are not self-defense if you are the aggressor. That goes for the whole stupid so-called War on Terror, in which not a single one of its victims had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001. That goes for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan; that goes for Israel in Palestine.
And that goes for Germany in Poland. In 1940, the Germans began massing Polish Jews into ghettoes prior to their deportation to extermination camps. The largest one was the Warsaw Ghetto, where an uprisinga Jewish insurgencybegan in 1943. Today, Gaza is essentially a large ghetto, with a population of around 1.5 million living on about 139 square miles. Israel controls Gazas land border, airspace, water, maritime access, and the flow of goods including food and medical supplies. Since June 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on the people of Gaza, slowly starving them to death, slowly killing them by denial of medical care amidst intermittent gunship airstrikes. These crimes against humanity are, of course, in violation of the Geneva Conventionsinternational law established after World War II in the spirit of never again. Unlike in Warsaw, Gaza is not the staging area for the extermination camps; Gaza IS the extermination camp.
Qassam rockets fired from Gaza as retaliation for Israeli F-16 airstrikes are the equivalent of the Molotov cocktails used by the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. Like the small arms of the Polish Jews, they are no match for the sophisticated weaponry of the invading army. This is why the death toll is so high for the people on the ground in Gaza, and minimal for Israelis. The mainstream media is depicting this as an all-out war, as it depicts the illegal occupation of Iraq. But in both cases, you have a starving, essentially unarmed people being assaulted with F-15s/F-16s, cruise missiles, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, tanks, and artillery. This is not war; this is mass murder; this is genocide. And it is American military, financial, and political support that makes this bloodletting possible.
From North America to Germany to Cambodia to Rwanda to Palestine to Iraq, mass murder is wrong. When Americans are looking for whom to blame, we cannot blame the victims. Yes, there are many players involved and many governments turning a blind eye to genocide, but dont we brag about how much better we are than that? Shouldnt we stop being complicit in these supreme crimes against humanity? All we have to do is abide by our own laws, which include all signed international treaties and agreements. We must end our illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop funding and providing armaments for the illegal occupation and stealth of Palestinian land. In the words of Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American college student who was murdered in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Forces on March 16, 2003:
Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.
Let us heed her brave wisdom, and end illegal occupation. If we fail to act, then the next time someone flies airplanes into American buildings, let us not ask ignorantly, Why do they hate us?
Dahlia Wasfi was born in the United States in 1971 to an American Jewish mother and an Iraqi Muslim father. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Dr. Wasfi speaks out in support of immediate, unconditional withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and the need to end the occupation from the Nile to the Euphrates. Her website is http://www.liberatethis.com
Self-defence: Israels warped self-justification for murder
By Paul J. Balles
31 December 2008
Paul J. Balles exposes Israels warped definition of self-defence, which it uses as a cover for its murder of innocent Palestinians, including women and children, and its destruction of universities, mosques and other civilian infrastructure in the occupied Gaza Strip.
Israel brazenly lies, saying that Hamas broke the cease-fire when it was Israel that broke the cease-fire in November.
In Haaretz, Zvi Barel writes: "Six months ago Israel asked and received a cease-fire from Hamas. It unilaterally violated it when it blew up a tunnel, while still asking Egypt to get the Islamic group to hold its fire."
Israel continues its propaganda, claiming that its attack on Gaza is in self-defence.
The Huffington Post reports, "A mother whose three school-age children were killed, and are piled one on top of the other in the morgue, screams and then cries, screams again and then is silent."
The New York Times reported: "At Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, women wailed as they searched for relatives among bodies that lay strewn on the hospital floor."
While the world is busy attempting to assess the damage from the financial crisis, Israel decides that it's a fitting time to massacre 350 and injure another 1500 in Gaza.
In its propaganda dissemination, Israelis have been getting instruction on how to paint Israel as angels and Hamas as devils. What makes Hamas Beelzebubs? They have sent 1000 rockets into Israel, killing four Israelis altogether.
The Israeli navy attacked and rammed a humanitarian boat in international waters off the coast of Gaza, preventing it from delivering desperately needed medical supplies and treatment.
Eva Bartlett (Canadian), International Solidarity Movement, reported from inside Gaza on 27 December: "Israeli missiles tore through a children's playground and busy market in Diyar Balah. We saw the aftermath many were injured and some reportedly killed.
Ewa Jasiewicz (Polish and British), Free Gaza Movement, observed: "The morgue at the Shifa Hospital has no more room for dead bodies, so bodies and body parts are strewn all over the hospital."
Sharon Lock (Australian), International Solidarity Movement, writing from Gaza: "This massacre is not going to bring security for the State of Israel or allow it to be part of the Middle East. Now calls of revenge are everywhere."
Jenny Linnel (British), International Solidarity Movement, reporting from Gaza: "In front of our house we found the bodies of two little girls under a car, completely burnt. They were coming home from school."
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Flashpoints Radio, says: "The people [in Gaza] are filled with panic and terror and this comes after a prolonged siege that deprives them of needed food, medicine, clean water, electricity the basics of life."
Laila El-Haddad, a mother from Gaza, writes: "My father just called to inform me he was OK after warplanes bombed the Islamic University there, considered to be the Strip's premier academic institution." They also bombed a mosque. Why would the Israeli Air Force bomb a place of learning and one of prayer?
Justin Alexander, writing for the Economist, notes: "Israel's past military responses to the rocket threat, although massively disproportionate, have ... been largely ineffective. It demolished buildings and levelled large areas of farmland in the northern part of Gaza to reduce the cover available for rocket crews. It fired over 14,000 artillery shells in 2006, killing 59 Palestinian civilians in the process, in what was framed as a preventive tactic to make it more difficult for rocket crews to operate.
Haaretz ran an article by Gideon Levy reporting: Within the span of a few hours on a Saturday [27 December] afternoon, the IDF sowed death and destruction on a scale that the Qassam rockets never approached in all their years, and Operation 'Cast Lead' is only in its infancy."
Self-defence? Not on your life! Or death!
Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. For more information, see http://www.pballes.com.
Five years ago, the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction to dupe us into supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq.
A few days ago, Israel trotted out only an infinitesimally more credible excuse -- the Hamas rockets case -- as justification for its own murderous shock and awe in Gaza, a long-planned campaign perniciously aimed at ousting a regime that came to power via popular, democratic vote.
Yes, such rockets exist, but theyre little more than slingshots against Israels incredible military might, and theyre used out of desperation by Palestinians whove never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances.
Israeli apologists have presented absurd propaganda about those devices.
Weve been asked, for instance, what would we do if rockets were being launched on our homes in New York or Texas, from Canada or Mexico?
The proper answer is that, if those two nations had been unlawfully occupied or embargoed by the United States for 60 years of relentless oppression and repression, and if all attempts at peaceful change had been forcefully prevented or scuttled by the U.S., then such attacks would be an understandable, indeed a justifiable attempt at gaining intolerably deferred liberty.
Our appropriate response wouldnt be to bomb the hell out of the nearest Canadian or Mexican city, but to collectively look into mirrors and earnestly ask ourselves, What have we done wrong to incur their wrath?
And then act to correct the situation.
Conscientious Israelis acknowledge that the Hamas rockets rationale is fraudulent. For instance, Jerusalem Post writer Larry Derfner has noted, We dont want to see how people in Gaza are living, we block it out of our minds -- which, I suppose, is natural for a society at war, but which also keeps that war going longer than it might if we would recognize that Gaza is getting so much the worst of it.
The [Palestinian] Kassam [rockets] have terrorized the 25,000 people in Sderot and its environs, but have caused very, very few deaths or serious wounds. By contrast, Israel has terrorized 1.5 million Gazans, locked them inside their awfully narrow borders, throttled their economy, and killed and seriously wounded thousands of them . . .
This is crazy. Israel is the superpower of the Middle East, but because we still think were the Jews of Europe in the 1930s, or the Israelites under Pharaoh, we spend a lot more time fighting our enemies than we might if we looked at the whole picture, not just our half of it . . .
As Gazan hospitals and morgues fill beyond capacity because of an ongoing air assault that cruelly began at precisely the hour when countless children were heading home from school, were expected to believe that small craters mostly in empty Israeli fields constitute this terrible episodes chief sin.
Bugs bothered by sporadically impacting, glorified fireworks cobbled together in backyard garages are ludicrously supposed to be the primary problem, not human limbs and lives shattered by the most destructive weapons that military science can produce!
At any point during the past six decades, Israel could have had peace, simply by assenting to the great moral imperative of our time, namely the Palestinians right to their own, unitary, sovereign homeland.
Something which Israel continues to resist tooth and nail.
Two years ago, in Southern Lebanon, Israel engaged in similar bombings in civilian areas. Then, too, it maintained that only terrorist targets were being hit. As impartial observers finally ascertained the truth, clear evidence of enormous civilian carnage surfaced.
The Israeli leadership lied then, and its lying now.
Theres a veritable holocaust occurring in densely packed Gaza. Think Guernica, or the Warsaw Ghetto, with all the searing irony that comparison involves.
Apart from being an ethical travesty offending all decent hearts, its an unpardonable outrage to especially Arab/Islamic peoples around the world.
Witness the angry demonstrations in cities across the planet.
It takes no extraordinary analytical prowess to appreciate that, when the White House ridiculously blames whats currently happening on thugs in Gaza, and when moderate Arab states adopt an accommodationist position pleasing the U.S. and Israel, a profound Arab/Islamic radicalization billows and swells.
New Osama bin Ladens are being born as innocents in Gaza are getting ripped to death by American-made Hellfire missiles, dispatched toward fleshly targets by Israeli pilots.
In fact, the almost certain, counterproductive outcome of Israels action makes us necessarily suspect that secret motives mistakenly judged by Tel Aviv to be worth the risk are actually at play.
Three possibilities spring immediately to mind:
1) Obscenely using de facto genocide to give the present Israeli government a tough image before upcoming national elections.
2) Roping Barack Obama into a harder pro-Israeli stance than Tel Aviv fears hed otherwise take.
3) Creating a manipulated, intensely propagandized situation that would enable a desired Israeli attack on Iran.
Whatever the most deeply hidden reality, Israels gargantuan crime must be universally condemned in the strongest possible terms . . . and halted at once!
Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the 60s.
Azmi Keshawi in Bureij, Gaza Strip - January 1, 2009
Their windows smashed in the dead of winter by bomb blasts, Jihad Hamed, his wife and seven children huddle together every night in one bedroom of their freezing house, trying to keep warm and as far away as possible from the next explosion, wherever it might come from.
Aside from the terror of the Israeli bombs, Gazans also have to contend with more insidious enemies: cold, hunger, and the risk of falling ill when almost all medical supplies have run out.
There has been no electricity for days, causing pumps to fail and water supplies to run dry. Toilets and showers are a forgotten luxury for a population merely trying to stay alive in a withering aerial blitz that has shocked even war-hardened Gazans.
Now the situation is tragic for me and the kids, said Mr Hatem, a 45-year-old caretaker, whose family survives on his meager salary of 900 shekels (£164) a month. Im sure my kids will get sick from the cold and I dont have the money to buy any medicine, and the hospitals can only take seriously wounded people. Even before the onslaught started, Mr Hamed struggled to get by, often having to rely on the charity of richer neighbours. Now the rich and poor are the same, you cant buy electricity, because for those lucky enough to have generators, almost no fuel can get into the blockaded territory. Rich and poor are in the same boat, he said.
Hatem Baana, the manager of a medical supply store, said many of his medical products spoiled because without electricity his storage fridges no longer work. Desperate aid groups supporting Gazas overwhelmed hospitals have contacted him to buy whatever he might have, but he cannot help them.
And Hatem al-Shurab, an aid worker for the British charity Islamic Relief, said that some people had been reduced to foraging for wild mallow plants as their emergency food stocks dwindled to nothing. People are finding it hard to feed their families, he said.
Even in her cold homes, Gazans do not feel safe, since they do not know what constitutes a target for the Israeli bombers which have broadened their mission to include mosques, sport centres, and even money changers transferring funds for Hamas.
Recorded phone messages warn people their buildings will be blown up if there are Hamas members there: the problem is that nobody really knows if their neighbour might be a member of Hamass shadowy military wing.
Nobody knows what the next target will be, said Mr al-Shurab.
Police are still patrolling important areas such as markets and hospitals to prevent looting or robberies, but to avoid being hit they wear civilian clothes and keep their pistols tucked down the back of the trousers. They have vowed to track down anyone daring to exploit the chaos to loot or rob.
Cold, hungry and afraid, Gazans are directing their anger at their neighbours. I blame the Arab countries first and foremost, said Mr Hamed. They are the once who have left us to our fate without any support. We are civilians, we have no hand in political disputes. We are the victims of both the siege and of politics.
Our finest young men are attacking Gaza now. Good boys from good homes are doing bad things. Most of them are eloquent, impressive, self-confident, often even highly principled in their own eyes, and on Black Saturday dozens of them set out to bomb some of the targets in our "target bank" for the Gaza Strip.
They set out to bomb the graduation ceremony for young police officers who had found that rare Gaza commodity, a job, massacring them by the dozen. They bombed a mosque, killing five sisters of the Balousha family, the youngest of whom was 4. They bombed a police station, hitting a doctor nearby; she lies in a vegetative state in Shifa Hospital, which is bursting with wounded and dead. They bombed a university that we in Israel call the Palestinian Rafael, the equivalent of Israel's weapons developer, and destroyed student dormitories. They dropped hundreds of bombs out of blue skies free of all resistance.
In four days they killed 375 people. They did not, and could not, distinguish between a Hamas official and his children, between a traffic cop and a Qassam launch operator, between a weapons cache and a health clinic, between the first and second floors of a densely populated apartment building with dozens of children inside. According to reports, about half of the people killed were innocent civilians. We're not complaining about the pilots' accuracy, it cannot be otherwise when the weapon is a plane and the objective is a tiny, crowded strip of land. Our excellent pilots are effectively bullies now. As in training flights, they bomb undisturbed, facing neither an air force nor defense system.
It is hard to judge what they are thinking, how they feel. It's unlikely to be relevant, anyway. They are measured by their actions. In any event, from an altitude of thousands of feet the picture looks as sterile as a Rorschach inkblot. Lock onto the target, press the button and then a black column of smoke. Another "successful hit." None see the effects on the ground of their actions. Their heads must surely be filled with Gaza horror stories - they themselves have never been there - as if there aren't a million and a half people living there who only want to live with a minimum of honor, some of them young like themselves, with dreams of studying, working, raising a family but who have no chance to fulfill their dreams with or without the bombing.
Do the pilots think about them, the children of refugees whose parents and grandparents have already been driven from their lives? Do they think about the thousands of people they have left permanently disabled in a place without a single hospital worthy of the name and no rehabilitation centers at all? Do they think about the burning hatred they are planting not only in Gaza but in other corners of the world amid the horrific images on television?
It was not the pilots who decided to go to war, but they are the subcontractors. The real accounting must be with the decision makers, but the pilots are their partners. When they return home they will be welcomed with all the respect and honor we reserve for them. It appears that not only will no one try to provoke moral questioning among them, but that they are considered the real heroes of this cursed war. The Israel Defense Forces spokesman is already going over the top with praise in his daily briefings for the "wonderful work" they are doing. He too, of course, completely ignores the images from Gaza. After all, these are not sadistic Border Police officers beating up Arabs in the alleys of Nablus and the center of Hebron, or cruel undercover soldiers who shoot their targets point-blank in cold blood. These, as we have said, are our finest young men.
Maybe if they were to confront the results of their "wonderful work" even once they would regret their decisions, they would reconsider the effects of their actions. If they were to go just once to Jerusalem's Alyn Hospital Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center, where for nearly three years Marya Aman, 7, has been hospitalized - she is a quadriplegic who runs her wheelchair, and her life, with her chin - they would be shocked. This adorable little girl was hit by a missile in Gaza that killed almost her entire family, the handiwork of our pilots.
But all of this is well hidden from the pilots' eyes. They are only doing their job, as the saying goes, only following orders like bombing machines. In the past few days they have excelled at this, and the results are there for the entire world to see. Gaza is licking its wounds, just like Lebanon before it, and almost no one pauses for a moment to ask whether all this is necessary, or unavoidable, or whether it contributes to Israel's security and moral image. Is it really the case that our pilots return safely to base, or are they in fact returning to them as callous, cruel and blind people?
A short path, from Gaza to Somalia By Daniel Levy (19/12/2008) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1048067.html
(...)The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is beginning to approximate that of Somalia, where 77 percent of the population requires emergency humanitarian support, and the rate of malnutrition is the world's highest. Food insecurity in Gaza currently runs at 56 percent and is deteriorating rapidly, 42 percent of the Strip's population is unemployed and 76 percent is receiving humanitarian assistance (all UN figures). Harsh closures have effectively led to Gaza becoming deindustrialized, and Israeli reluctance even to replenish tattered banknotes is demonetizing the economy. There is a slippery slope from an entrenched humanitarian crisis into bloody anarchy and ungovernable chaos - especially when arms are ubiquitous and there is an open wound of unresolved national grievance. One thing that can prevent a descent into the abyss is the existence of recognized and accepted political leadership. At the very least, Hamas today is an address for possible deals and decision-making, but Israel's assassinations and imprisonment of its leaders take their toll. An Israeli military escalation would likely accelerate the splintering of Hamas' leadership and the emergence of more radical alternatives; that was the effect of Ethiopia's intervention in its backyard. Both Somalia and Palestine are in need of broad and inclusive power-sharing arrangements, brokered internationally and insulated from neighborhood vetoes. CLIP
Talk with Hamas By Gideon Levy http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1048368.html
The situation in the south is depressing. Qassam rockets are being fired out of a territory beset by boycott, siege and intolerable conditions at Israeli communities whose situation is no more tolerable, and the Israeli defense establishment admits it has no real response. With the exception of a few loud-mouthed politicians including Kadima head Tzipi Livni who have elections in mind, most level-headed politicians know the truth: There is no military solution. No wide-scale or small operation; no targeted killing or bombing will help, nor is there a military solution for the situation of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. So what's left to do but shrug? Gaza is banished and impoverished, Sderot is threatened and despaired and no one dares try to break the vicious cycle. Even outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who in the twilight of his political career has excelled by making some blunt and courageous remarks, has done nothing. If any debate is held over what course of action to pursue it is either for or against a "wide-scale operation." Meanwhile, analysts sit in news studios and dispatch advice, all of it belligerent and militaristic. Politicians, generals and the public all know that any substantial incursion into the Gaza Strip will be a catastrophe. Still, no one dares ask why, for heaven's sake, not try to talk directly with Hamas? Gaza has an established authority that seized power democratically and then forcibly, and proved it has the power to control the territory. That, in itself, isn't bad news after a period of anarchy. But Israel and the world don't like Hamas. They want to overthrow it, but their diabolical scheme isn't working out. The two-year siege and boycott that included starvation, blackouts and bombardments have produced no sign that Hamas is weaker. On the contrary: The ceasefire was violated first by Israel with its unnecessary operation of blowing up a tunnel. What everybody already knew to be false - that the political choice of a people could be changed through violence, that the Gazans could be made into Zionists by being abused - was tried anyway. Now we have to finally change direction, to do what nobody has tried before, if only because we have no other choice. CLIP
All day Ive been thinking about Gaza, listening to reports on NPR, following the news on the internet when I can spare a moment. Ive been thinking about the friends I made there four years ago, and wondering how they are faring, and imagining their terror as the bombs fall on that giant, open-air prison.
The Israeli ambassador speaks movingly of the terror felt by Israeli children as Hamas rockets explode in the night. I agree with him that no child should have her sleep menaced by rocket fire, or wake in the night fearing death.
But I cant help but remember one night on the Rafah border, sleeping in a house close to the line, watching the children dive for cover as bullets thudded into the walls. There was a shell-hole in the back room they liked to jump through into the garden, which at that time still held fruit trees and chickens. Their mother fed me eggs, and their grandmother stuffed oranges into my pockets with the shy pride every gardener shares.
That house is gone, now, along with all of its neighbors. Those children wake in the night, every night of their lives, in terror. I dont know if they have survived the hunger, the lack of medical supplies, the bombs. I only know that they are children, too.
Ive ridden on busses in Israel. I understand that gnawing fear, the squirrely feeling in the pit or your stomach, how you eye your fellow passengers wondering if any of them are too thick around the middle. Could that portly fellow be wearing a suicide belt, or just too many late night snacks of hummus? Thats no way to live.
But Ive also walked the pock-marked streets of Rafah, where every house bears the scars of Israeli snipers, where tanks prowled the border every night, where children played in the rubble, sometimes under fire, and this was all four years ago, when things were much, much better there.
And I just dont get it. I mean, I get why suicide bombs and homemade rockets that kill innocent civilians are wrong. I just dont get why bombs from F16s that kill far more innocent civilians are right. Why a kid from the ghetto who shoots a cop is a criminal, but a pilot who bombs a police station from the air is a hero.
Is it a distance thing? Does the air or the altitude confer a purifying effect? Or is it a matter of scale? Individual murder is vile, but mass murder, carried out by a state as an aspect of national policy, thats a fine and noble thing?
I dont get how my own people can be doing this. Or rather, I do get it. I am a Jew, by birth and upbringing, born six years after the Holocaust ended, raised on the myth and hope of Israel. The myth goes like this:
For two thousand years we wandered in exile, homeless and persecuted, nearly destroyed utterly by the Nazis. But out of that suffering was born one good thing the homeland that we have come back to, our own land at last, where we can be safe, and proud, and strong.
Thats a powerful story, a moving story. Theres only one problem with it it leaves the Palestinians out. It has to leave them out, for if we were to admit that the homeland belonged to another people, well, that spoils the story.
The result is a kind of psychic blind spot where the Palestinians are concerned. If you are truly invested in Israel as the Jewish homeland, the Jewish state, then you cant let the Palestinians be real to you. Its like you cant really focus on them. Golda Meir said, The Palestinians, who are they? They dont exist. We hear, There is no partner for peace, There is no one to talk to.
And so Israel, a modern state with high standards of hygiene, a state rooted in a religion that requires washing your hands before you eat and regular, ritual baths, builds settlements that dont bother to construct sewage treatment plants. They just dump raw sewage onto the Palestinian fields across the fence, somewhat like a spaceship ejecting its wastes into the void. I am truly not making this up Ive seen it, smelled it, and its a known though shameful fact. But if the Palestinians arent really real who are they? They dont exist! then the land they inhabit becomes a kind of void in the psyche, and it isnt really real, either. At times, in those border villages, walking the fencelines of settlements, you feel like you have slipped into a science fiction movie, where parallel universes exist in the same space, but in different strands of reality, that never touch.
When I was on the West Bank, during Israeli incursions the Israeli military would often take over a Palestinian house to billet their soldiers. Many times, they would simply lock the family who owned it into one room, and keep them there, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days parents, grandparents, kids and all. Ive sat with a family, singing to the children while soldiers trashed their house, and Ive been detained by a group of soldiers playing cards in the kitchen with a family locked in the other room. (I got out of that one but thats another story.)
Its a kind of uneasy feeling, having something locked away in a room in your house that you cant look at. Ever caught a mouse in a glue trap? And you cant bear to watch it suffer, so you leave the room and close the door and dont come back until its really, really dead.
Like a horrific fractal, the locked room repeats on different scales. The Israelis have built a wall to lock away the West Bank. And Gaza itself is one huge, locked room. Close the borders, keep food and medical supplies and necessities from getting through, and perhaps they will just quietly fade out of existence and stop spoiling our story.
All we want is a return to calm, the Israeli ambassador says. All we want is peace.
One way to get peace is to exterminate what threatens you. In fact, that may be the prime directive of the last few thousand years.
But attempts to exterminate pests breed resistance, whether youre dealing with insects or bacteria or people. The more insecticides you pour on a field, the more pests you have to deal with because insecticides are always more potent at killing the beneficial bugs than the pesky ones.
The harshness, the crackdowns, the border closings, the checkpoints, the assassinations, the incursions, the building of settlements deep into Palestinian territory, all the daily frustrations and humiliations of occupation, have been breeding the conditions for Hamas, or something like it, to thrive. If Israel truly wants peace, theres a more subtle, a more intelligent and more effective strategy to pursue than simply trying to kill the enemy and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity.
Its this instead of killing what threatens you, feed what you want to grow. Consider in what conditions peace can thrive, and create them, just as you would prepare the bed for the crops you want to plant. Find those among your opponents who also want peace, and support them. Make alliances. Offer your enemies incentives to change, and reward your friends.
Of course, to follow such a strategy, you must actually see and know your enemy. If they are nothing to you but cartoon characters of terrorists, you will not be able to tell one from another, to discern the religious fanatic from the guy muttering under his breath, F-ing Hammas, they closed the cinema again!
And you must be willing to give something up. No one gets peace if your basic bargaining position is, I get everything I want, and you eat my shit. You might get a temporary victory, but it will never be a peaceful one.
To know and see the enemy, you must let them into the story. They must become real to you, nuanced, distinctive as individuals.
But when we let the Palestinians into the story, it changes. Oh, how painfully it changes! For there is no way to tell a new story, one that includes both peoples of the land, without starting like this:
In our yearning for a homeland, in our attempts as a threatened and traumatized people to find safety and power, we have done a great wrong to another people, and now we must atone.
Just try saying it. If you, like me, were raised on that other story, just try this one out. Say it three times. It hurts, yes, but it might also bring a great, liberating sense of relief with it.
And if youre not Jewish, if youre American, if youre white, if youre German, if youre a thousand other things, really, if youre a human being, theres probably some version of that story that is true for you.
Out of our own great need and fear and pain, we have often done great harm, and we are called to atone. To atone is to be at one to stop drawing a circle that includes our tribe and excludes the other, and start drawing a larger circle that takes everyone in.
How do we atone? Open your eyes. Look into the face of the enemy, and see a human being, flawed, distinct, unique and precious. Stop killing. Start talking. Compost the shit and the rot and feed the olive trees.
Act. Cross the line. There are Israelis who do it all the time, joining with Palestinians on the West Bank to protest the wall, watching at checkpoints, refusing to serve in the occupying army, standing for peace. Thousands have demonstrated this week in Tel Aviv.
There are Palestinians who advocate nonviolent resistance, who have organized their villages to protest the wall, who face tear gas, beatings, arrests, rubber bullets and real bullets to make their stand.
There are internationals who have put themselves on the line like the boatload of human rights activists, journalists and doctors on board the Dignity, the ship from the Free Gaza movement that was rammed and fired on by the Israeli navy yesterday as it attempted to reach Gaza with humanitarian aid.
Maybe we cant all do that. But we can all write a letter, make a phone call, send an email. We can make the Palestinian people visible to us, and to the world. When we do so, we make a world that is safer for every child.
Below is a good summary of some of the actions we can take.
Please feel free to repost this. In fact, send it to someone you think will disagree with it.
Updated Action Alert on Gaza:
We Need "Sustained, Determined Political Action"December 29, 2008
As of this writing, a third consecutive day of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed an estimated 315 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400. According to the UN, at least 51 of the victims were civilians and 8 were children. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has vowed ominously "a war to the bitter end."
Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip are being carried out with F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and naval gunboats all given to Israel by the United States with our tax dollars.
From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16's and more than $100 million worth of helicopter spare parts for its fleet of Apaches. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and signed a contract to transfer an addition $1.9 billion worth of littoral combat ships to the Israeli navy. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and "bunker buster" missiles.
Make no mistake about it-Israel's war on the Gaza Strip would not be possible without the jets, helicopters, ships, missiles, and fuel provided by the United States.
Information for action -- you can go directly to two websites:
Ali Abunimah, of The Electronic Intifada, wrote, "Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action." In light of our country's enabling role in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip, it is the least we can do. Here's how:
Ali Abunimah, of The Electronic Intifada, wrote, "Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action." In light of our country's enabling role in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip, it is the least we can do. Here's how:
1. Attend a protest or vigil, or organize one yourself.
2. Contact the White House, the State Department, your Representative and Senators, and the Obama Transition Team to protest Israel's war on Gaza and demand an immediate cease-fire.
White House: 202-456-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
State Department: 202-647-6575
3. Make your voice heard in the media. Contact your local media by phoning into a talk show or writing a letter to the editor.
4. Tell President-Elect Barack Obama that we need a change in Israel/Palestine policy.
5. Sign up to organize people in your community to end U.S. military aid to Israel.
6. Come to Washington, DC for Inauguration Day on January 20. Upwards of 4 million people are expected in Washington, DC for President-Elect Obama's inauguration. This is a perfect time for us to reach out to and educate our fellow citizens about U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel.
7. Join Democracy in Action in Washington, DC for a Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day on February 1-2.
Interfaith Peace-Builders and the US Campaign are organizing this exciting two-day event, featuring interactive, skills-building workshops and the chance to meet with your Representative and Senators to discuss U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. Spaces are filling up fast.
8. Forward this email to everyone you know and ask them to take action.
This is an announce-only listserve that allows Starhawk to post her writings occasionally to those who wish to receive them.
To subscribe to this list, send an email to mailto:Starhawk-subscribe%40lists.riseup.net">Starhawkemail@example.com.
Starhawk is a lifelong activist in peace and global justice movements, a leader in the feminist and earth-based spirituality movements, author or coauthor of ten books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, and her latest, The Earth Path.
Starhawk's website is http://www.starhawk.org, and more of her writings and information on her schedule and activities can be found there.
From: "Mark Graffis" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Israel attacked itself with rockets in 2005 and blamed it on Hezbollah
Date: 30 Dec 2008
1. Peace summit arranged in Egypt between Sharon and Abbas.
2. On the morning of February 7, a day before the summit is to start, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told Israel Army Radio that he had received intelligence warnings that some militants, including Hezbollah, may try to disrupt the summit.
3. Due to the intelligence warnings, Israel Police moved to a level III heightened alert status, one level below a state-of-emergency.
4. Like clockwork, on the afternoon of February 7, rockets rained down on the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, and were immediately described by Israeli police as Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
Later in the same day, the attack was described as the result of 'human error' involvinga">failed test by an Israeli weapons manufacturer in the area. It was made clear - some might say too clear - that although the failed test took place on an IDF firing range and was by a weapons company closely associated with the IDF, the IDF had nothing to do with it.
Obviously, the IDF attempted to disrupt the summit, or even provide a reason to call it off, by faking a rocket attack by Hezbollah. It wasn't a coincidence that the Israeli Defense Minister announced the possibility of an attack in the morning, and a faked attack occurred in the afternoon. This is the usual Israeli terrorist bullshit. On times too numerous to mention, whenever Sharon needs political cover to hide some outrage he is committing a convenient 'Palestinian' attack pops up to distract the press and make the poor, poor Israelis look like victims again. This time they were caught red handed, and had to come up with the laughable excuse of 'human error' in rocket testing (you've got to be kidding!). But here's the good part, and the aspect of this whole sordid matter that inspires some optimism. They were busted, and they were busted by IDF insiders. People in the IDF was so disgusted by the trickery that they spilled the beans, resulting in the necessity of the ridiculous cover story to explain the inconvenient fact that rockets coming from an IDF firing range were landing on an Israeli town. It wouldn't do for people to find out that crazies in the IDF were willing to murder Israelis in order to stop the peace process. The good news is that there are Israelis, including Israelis in the IDF, who wouldn't let them get away with it. If Israel is ever to have peace, we need to see more of this whistleblowing.
Hamas unveils arsenal of long-range missiles (January 1, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5425659.ece
Hamas has unveiled an arsenal of missiles capable of penetrating more than 30 miles into Israel, forcing the countrys home front command to expand its rocket-warning system. (...) Hamas insists that it still has surprises in store for Israel and continued to file a barrage of weapons at southern Israeli communities lining the Gaza Strip. Israeli security experts said that Hamas was trying to acquire the Iranian made Fajr-5, which would put the major metropolitan cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem within rocket range.
Note from Jean: The very suspicious last part of this article above depicts a highly implausible feat: with all possible access routes blocked by Israel and all their tunnels destroyed, how could Hamas possibly acquire such missiles? Yet, a potential scenario can be easily imagined whereby Israeli black ops themselves fire several long-range missiles at Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem with deadly accuracy, killing 100's of people, blame Iran for providing these missiles to Hamas. Then Israel could use this as an excuse to launch a full scale attack against Iran with the backing and military involvement of the U.S. running to Israel's defense... If the dark souls behind the current pogrom have done that before as illustrated in the 2005 above, what could prevent them from doing it again? Hopefully our galactic allies will take care of preventing any such thing from happening...
Gaza rockets put Israels nuclear plant in battle zone (January 2, 2009) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5430133.ece
Growing concern over Hamass new arsenal -- There were growing fears in Israel last night that Hamas missiles could threaten its top-secret nuclear facility at Dimona.Rocket attacks from Gaza have forced Israelis to flee in ever greater numbers and military chiefs have been shaken by the size and sophistication of the militant groups arsenal.In Beersheba, until a few days ago a sleepy desert town in southern Israel, there is little sign of the 186,000 inhabitants. Schools are closed and the streets of shuttered shops echo with the howl of sirens warning of incoming rockets. (...) Israeli officials say that Hamas has also acquired dozens of Iranian-made Fajr-3 missiles with an even longer range. Many fear that as the group acquires ever more sophisticated weaponry it is only a matter of time before the nuclear installation at Dimona, 20 miles east of Beersheba, falls within its sights. Dimona houses Israels only nuclear reactor and is believed to be where nuclear warheads are stored. Maybe Hamas will get a big present from Iran or Hezbollah, a few good long-range missiles and theyll use it, said Limor Brina, 40, a jeweller who is learning the lessons of life under rocket threat: she sleeps with her clothes on and heads to a shelter whenever the siren sounds.Israels worst nightmare is that soon all its cities will be within range either of the Hezbollah Katyushas arrayed on the Lebanese border to the north or the increasingly sophisticated missiles stockpiled by Hamas to the south. Both groups have links to Israels archenemy Iran. CLIP
JINSA Blames Iran for Hamas Glorified Bottle Rocket by Kurt Nimmo (January 1, 2009) http://www.infowars.com/?p=6921
On December 29, Yahoo Finance posted a JINSA press release making the absurd claim that Iran is facilitating Hamas rocket attacks on Israel. The role of Iran in the training and buildup of the Hamas arsenal has been regrettably overlooked by the worlds media and many of its political leaders, said Tom Neumann, executive director of JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Hamass rocket attacks have become longer range and more lethal as a result of Iranian assistance and training, he said. As William O. Beeman argued on December 29, this claim is nothing short of preposterous. No one promulgating the theory that Hamass attacks on Israel are directed by Iran bothers to think much about geography. Hamas has been effectively sealed off from the world by Israel, and by Egypt, writes Beeman. The Israelis have essentially controlled the import of food and medical supplies. The idea of Iran shipping arms to Hamas under these conditions is patently absurd. The rockets launched against Israel that started the current conflict were clearly homemade, low-level weapons, not sophisticated arms.Hamas rockets are little more than slingshots against Israels incredible military might, and theyre used out of desperation by Palestinians whove never been accorded the democratic space within which to gain redress of their eminently just grievances, explains Dennis Rahkonen.
Israel Warns America Yet AgainTheres Hell To Pay For Not Attacking Iran http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/israel-warns-america-yet-again-theres-hell-to-pay-for-not-attacking-iran/
To most, the language appears all-too-familiar and not unlike the childhood story of the boy who cried wolf. Indeed, it has all the hallmarks of the typical fear-mongering all have come to know all-too-well in recent years featuring a paranoid Zionist military commander working for a notoriously paranoid nation and warning of the next holocaust if everyone does not immediately stop what they are doing, pay strict attention and follow the prescribed course of action as laid down by the Jewish state. Speaking recently at a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israels Minister of Defense Ehud Barak sternly warned his audience (and the world at large) that If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, it could try to attack the United States, specifying that if the Islamic Republic built even a primitive nuclear weapon similar to the one used in destroying Hiroshima that she would not hesitate to load it on a ship, arm it with a detonator operated by GPS and sail it into a vital port on the east coast of North America.The first thing in his statement sticking out like a sore thumb is his confidence, stating UNEQUIVOCALLY that Iran Would not hesitate in detonating a nuclear weapon against the worlds most powerful nation. This is the same United States by the way that presently has enough firepower parked off Irans coast to destroy her 1,000 times over. This in itself begs the following questionIs this yet another case of the organically unstable Zionist mindset that has become all-too-familiar these days or is there something else? In other wordsWhat does he know that othersincluding the most sophisticated intelligence agencies working for the US governmentdont know? CLIP
The Lie That Justifies Mass Murder: "Hamas Hit Us First"
Charles E. Carlson -- Jan 01, 2008
The White House's press release is exactly the same as the Zionist Israel position, blaming the victims. It is imperative that we know why. Here is the official Israeli line, directly from Washington:
'It was "completely unacceptable" for Hamas, which controls Gaza, to launch attacks on Israel after a truce lasting several months, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council. "These people are nothing but thugs, so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people."
The reason the US Administration parrots Zionist Israel's story is that there is a common agenda that calls for more war in the Middle East. As we have written for some years, ours is a war-based economy, and Israel plays a large part in it because the USA's targeted enemy is Islam.
War, to those who direct our course from above and beyond presidential politics, is not about religion, but is a vehicle to force economic growth where there is now stagnation. Broader, bigger and more permanent wars is a part or the 'Dilution Solution' planned to save our economy, much as World War II was thought by many to be a planned solution to the 'Great Depression.'
We Hold These Truths opposes this policy, which will end only when citizens demand it.
The USA, also, uses Israel to further the war agenda. Israeli politicians willingly play their part in the US war schemes, that necessitates many secret meetings between the two. Israeli citizens will eventually be blamed for wars in the Middle East and could one day become the victims.
Zionist politicians have their own political reasons for the unreasonable brutality which has been discussed in the Arab press. Israel wants to regain political control over the Philistines, so to their way of thinking, Hamas must go. This writer uses the biblical 'Philistine' in place of the popular 'Palestinian' to emphasize that Arabs are the historic occupants of the land, and they presently do not even have a state. Paradoxically, they are like the unarmed David, a stateless people wondering in the land of the Philistines, but with the slingshot, versus Israel, the militarist Goliath.
As a practical matter, Israel cannot kill all three or four million Philistines, although it has been officially considered. And, Likud politicians will do it if they can. Past Prime Minister Ariel Sharon actually stated he was capable and willing to kill all Palestinian Arabs if the Zionists could handle the world heat it would generate. Israel's objective, instead, is to eliminate Hamas, so they can once again control the Philistines, as they have in the past, by controlling its leaders.
Israel with the help of the USA, trained Yassar Arafat to be its kind of Arab leader and helped him to become a billionaire. In exchange Arafat created a terrorist image for his peace-seeking people, but he never attacked Israeli political figures, as he would have done if he was their enemy.
Before the spasms of violence by Philistine youths in the 1980s called 'Intifada,' the Arab population of some three million was in effect a low cost labor pool for Israel. Philistines did the menial labor and farming, commuting from gulags called refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel could and did build industry around this desperate labor force much as Germany provided its war materials from slave labor camps populated by prisoners, many of whom were European Jews. This writer wonders if Zionists did not borrow the idea from the National Socialists (NAZI). South Africa was criticized and embargoed for using its black labor pool to build its industry, called Apartheid, but it never bombed the slums where the laborers lived.
Israel's forced la bor pool declined with the Intifada from the early 1980's on. The youth uprising started with Philistine children throwing rocks and the subsequent Israeli Defense Force policy of deliberate bone-breaking of children. Eventually the desperation led to human bombs.
The PLO's role was that of a controlled terrorist...controlled in that it made lots of press, but never really gained any constructive ground for the Philistines. The PLO made everyone think Philistines were terrorists, but it never really harmed the government of Israel. As an example, the PLO killed members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich, which only helped the Zionists with world sympathy.
Had the PLO desired to use its ample resources to hurt Zionists it could have organized general strikes, peaceful sit and other non violent methods of revolt. It had lots of people who needed a way to participate, but it did not. The PLO could also have been affective as a terror group b y assassinating Zionist political and military leaders, or intimidated wealthy donors to the Zionist cause in New York, Paris, and London. This would have had an impact. Instead the PLO killed an aged couple on a cruse ship, slaughtered 20- year old Olympic athletes, and hijacked airlines from other countries making enemies out of them, and damaging the reputation of every Arab from every land. Arafat was left alone to live a lavish lifestyle in Paris, married a young wife there, and amassed an unknown personal fortune. Affectively he was an Israeli agent.
The Philistines knew all this, but the PLO had no competition until Hamas came along . Israel's stated agenda is to get Mahmoud Abbas back in power as the Philistine leader. According to reliable members of the Arab Press Abbas's term runs out on January 9. This gives Israel and the USA but one week to destroy Hamas so they can keep Abbas in power.
It should surprise no one that Bush has praised Abbas as a fine leader for the Palestinians.
On the first day of 2009 Israel bombed a 4 story apartment building in Gaza to kill one Hamas leader. They were willing to kill eight members of his family, all women and children, plus four more non-family members who lived in the same building! The USA networks did not report the event. And, the US Administration supports these Zionist acts of terrorism, as the President's press release indicates. Unfortunately many Americans, especially evangelical Christians, choose to believe him.
Those who have been inside Gaza know Israel struck first, and Hamas's response is only a token for lack of serious armaments. On December 29, 2008, on CNN, A united Nations official in Gaza, an English woman named Karen, stated she has lived in Gaza for six years, and whose job it is to organize distribution of UN purchased food. She set a Zionist friendly reporter straight. His loaded question was, 'do the Gazans know that only Hamas is to blame for their sufferings?'
Answering from her office in Gaza, Karen, the UN official, stated that her assistant, a Gazan, was killed that very day by an Israeli bomb while doing his job delivering food, and that it was Israel, not Hamas, who broke the six-month peace truce by keeping the border entrances sealed for months after the "truce" began.
She put the reporter in his place about who bombed first, noting she was in Gaza under attack several hours before Hamas retaliated with some sixty homemade rockets. She affirmed that Israel has destroyed Gaza hospitals, mosques, schools, police stations, and private homes, all based on the excuse of one lone homemade rocket the week before that hit no one, and did no damage. Our leaders know all this but the truth does not further their agenda. The 'Hamas hit us first' lie does.
Israelis often refer to Palestinians as 'animals' in private conversation. Israel's military started the slaughter by starving the Gazans in hopes the victims would blame and reject Hamas. When this did not work Israel trumped up a homemade, one rocket excuse to start bombing the Gaza City, and is still trying to blame Hamas. In summary, there are a few simple truths that Israel cannot stand, and that US politicians and the press never recognize:
1. Hamas is the lawfully elected government of Gaza and the West Bank as well. It still has the respect of the people. It not only has the right to lead but has the responsibility, which Hamas recognizes.
2. Israeli and American officials lie about Hamas routinely, it's strictly business to lie, and they are not ashamed when they are caught. A recent official Israeli statement claimed "Hamas came to power in a bloody coup." In fact, the Palestinian election was supervised and certified to be fair and free by an international team lead by a former US President, James Earle Carter.
3. Gazans do not train their childr en to be suicide bombers anymore than Americans do; "Human Bombs" are the product of lost dreams and the frustrations of 40 years of occupation. Some children who grow up without hope become dangerous adults. Anyone who goes to Gaza, as I did, will learn they are not trained to hate us, nor to carry bombs. They learn to hate by being bombed.
4. Gaza children are considered a blessing. Most families have lots of them and half the population is sixteen or under. As an example, abortion is practically unknown in Gaza; but in Israel it is a government provided utility. It is fair to say the Gazans practice a life culture; Israelis practice a death culture.
5. Gazans co-exist side by side, race and religion, Muslim and Christian, church beside mosque. Their Children often go to the same school, Hamas and Muslim kids with Catholic, Orthodox, and a few Baptists, until Israel bombs the school with US weapons. I have seen it and talked to the parents. A mas sive USA/Israeli propaganda campaign has the objective of convincing Christians that Muslims hate them.
The United States Agenda:
The annihilation of the Gazans is a step in a general war plan often referred to as the Neo-Con plan of Richard Bruce (Dick) Cheney, and Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and others. The war plan is called the Project For the New American Century (PFNAC), which seeks to engulf the entire Arab world into permanent wars of mass occupation. PFNAC postulates that more wars will bail out our staggering economy.
History shows serial wars always destroy the morality and the currency of the aggressor. Your writer described this agenda in 1994, in a magazine feature story, Attacking Islam1. Gaza is viewed as a trigger to spread World War III against Islam everywhere. The Bush Administration wants Israel to pull the trigger on the Philistines and set the Islamic world off to violent retaliation in which the USA will quickly be 'forced' to be involved.
We Hold These Truths appeals to those who consider themselves moral and spiritual to speak out, making the cause of the Philistines a moral issue. Many of us want to be involved but are frustrated about finding an effective venue. We have chosen America's churches as our target because theirs is the biggest block of voters. The Philistines are not allowed to choose their leaders; we are, and there is no excuse for or silence or assent.
Christian Zionists, not corrupted politicians, are the biggest obstacle to peace in the USA. America has an almost uncountable number of churches that meet regularly, but most do not fulfill the role that Christ gave them, to stand for decency.
Our general rule is, go after World Zionist's base of support. We for our part have taken on well over sixty churches and national religious groups. The Roots of Christian Zionism DVD explains our program from top to bottom. 2
Don't forget our own children and families...our total influence is required. That means your children's' war and kill games that always seem to make the enemy to look like an Arab, should go. Tough job?...it does not get easier. Jesus Christ never said it would. If you don't know what to do, help us.3
U.S. debt approaches insolvency; Chinese currency reserves at risk
by Maurizio d'Orlando -- 12/19/2008
In a few months, America's public debt has grown to more than 100% of GDP. Fear of a valuation crisis for the dollar, with tremendous consequences for Asian countries, major exporters to the United States.
Milan (AsiaNews) - In the United States, the danger of debt insolvency is growing, putting at risk the currency reserves of foreign countries, China chief among them. According to new figures published by Bloomberg in recent days (Nov. 25, 2008 ), the American government has employed a total of 8.549 trillion dollars to stop the financial crisis. This means a total of about 24-25.4 trillion dollars of direct or indirect public debt weighing on American taxpayers. The complete tally must also include the debt - about 5-6 trillion dollars - of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now quasi-public companies, because 79.9% of their capital is controlled by a public entity, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which manages them as a public conservatorship.
In 2007, public debt in the United States was 10.6 trillion dollars, compared to a GDP (gross domestic product) of 13.811 trillion dollars. Public debt in 2007 was therefore 76.75% of GDP. In just one year, direct and indirect public debt have grown to more than 100% of GDP, reaching 176.9% to 184.2%. These percentages exclude the debt guaranteed by policies underwritten by AIG, also nationalized, and liabilities for health spending (Medicaid and Medicare) and pensions (Social Security). By way of comparison, the Maastricht accords require member states of the European Union (EU) to reduce their public debt to no more than 60% of GDP. Again by way of comparison, in one of the EU countries with the largest public debt, Italy, public debt in 2007 was equal to 104% of GDP.
In 2007, 61.82%  of America's public debt was held by foreign investors, most of them Asian. So the U.S. public debt held by nonresident foreigners is equal to about 109.39% (113.86%) of GDP. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, countries with more than 60% of their public debt held by nonresident foreigners run a high risk of currency crisis and insolvency, or debt default. On the historical level, there are no recent examples of countries with currencies valued at reserve status that have lapsed into public debt insolvency. There are also few or no precedents of such a vast and rapid expansion of public debt.
The United States also runs large deficits in its public balance sheet and balance of trade. Families and businesses are also deeply in debt: in 2007, American private debt was equal to a little more than 100% of GDP. At the moment, it is not clear how much of America's private debt has been "nationalized" with the recent bailouts.
In the early months of next year, when the official data are published, the United States will run a serious risk of insolvency. This would involve, in the first place, a valuation crisis for the dollar. After this, the United States could face a social crisis like that in Argentina in 2001. A crisis in U.S. public debt would likely have a severe impact on the Asian countries that are the main exporters to the United States, China first among them. Chinese monetary authorities, thanks to a steeply undervalued artificial exchange rate, by about 55%, have limited imports (including food) and have achieved an export surplus. This has allowed them to accumulate a large stockpile of dollar reserves. In a currency crisis, China risks losing much of the value of its accumulated currency reserves. At the same time, pressure on imports (wheat, other grains, and meat) have led to inflation in the prices of food, the most important expenditure for more than 900 million Chinese. This is nothing more than a small confirmation of the recent statements of the pope, in his message for the World Day for Peace, where the pontiff calls the current financial system and its methods "based upon very short-term thinking," without depth and breadth (nos. 10-12), preoccupied with creating wealth from nothing and leading the planet to its current disaster.
Police State 2009: Pentagon to Militarize USA with 20,000 Armed Troops
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, December 1, 2008
In direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military troops from playing a role in domestic law enforcement, the Pentagon has announced plans to station 20,000 armed, uniformed troops inside the United States where they will walk the streets, ready to "respond to terrorism events," says the Pentagon.
It's against the law, but since when did the Bush Administration or the Pentagon pay any attention to law in the first place?
Here at NaturalNews, we've warned about the coming police state for many years. Now it is upon us, with the mass militarization of our cities and streets. It won't be long before we'll start hearing "papers please" as we try to move about our own cities in a nation many people foolishly believe to still be "free."
This recent push, of course, stems from the New York subway threat, which for all we know was entirely made up by the U.S. government for precisely this purpose -- to scare the population into accepting 20,000 troops on the streets. It's a lesson the Bush Administration learned well with the 9/11 terrorist attacks: People will gladly give up their freedoms if you scare them to death with real (or engineered) terrorist events first.
Oh, and don't forget what the terrorist hate us for. "They hate America because it's free," say the war apologists. So their plan, it seems, is to take away America's freedoms before the terrorists do!
So now, with 20,000 troops walking the streets brandishing military weapons, it is the U.S. population that will be terrorized by the aggressive military presence. Think about it: When you walk into an area with lots of military personnel sporting assault rifles, do you feel comfort, or do you feel fear? Normal people feel more fear. They intuitively think, "Gee, there must be something dangerous here, or there wouldn't be armed military personnel standing guard," and they feel a sense of apprehension.
The real reason for 20,000 troops?
It's ridiculous to think that 20,000 troops can offer any meaningful response to a terrorism event. If a dirty bomb goes off, or a chemical weapons attack takes place, the only thing left to do will be to clean up the bodies, and you don't need 20,000 military troops to do that (National Guard troops can handle it just fine).
20,000 troops also aren't going to prevent a terrorist attack. Do you think the terrorists walk around in orange jumpsuits with the word "terrorist" painted on the back? No, they blend in like everybody else. They easily got by airport security in 2001, and they can easily make their way through the streets of the USA in 2009, regardless of a military presence.
So what's the REAL reason for stationing 20,000 military troops in the U.S.?
Think about it. Historically, during what times have military troops ever been used to protect the centralization of power?
If you've read much history -- especially European history -- you probably suspect, as I do, that the real purpose of the 20,000 troops is to have a military force to prevent the breakup of the United States of America.
You see, a financial collapse in Washington is imminent. This Federal Reserve bailout is just short-term cover that accomplishes nothing. You can't save an economy from endless bad debt by creating yet more bad debt. With the derivatives market hovering somewhere beyond $500 trillion, it will be impossible for the Fed to bail out all the failures without bankrupting the U.S. taxpayers and destroying the U.S. currency first.
With a defunct currency and the inevitable riots and social unrest that always follows the massive theft of money from the people, the U.S. will be ripe for Balkanization, or the breaking up of regions that will declare their own sovereignty. One Russian analyst famously predicted several weeks ago that the United States would break into seven new nations, each with its own laws, its own military and its own political power.
What's the best way to prevent such a breakup? Show up with 20,000 troops and force the member states to back down at gunpoint.
But you might ask why wouldn't the federal government just use the National Guard to accomplish this? Why does it need Pentagon troops? The answer is simple: Because the National Guard troops are controlled by the STATES.. It is, in fact, the National Guard troops that will be fighting for the freedom of their regions, fighting to break off from the tyrannical federal government that has already engineered the greatest financial swindle in history and now wants to maintain power over all the states, too.
This is the new civil war that will be shaping up: National Guard troops vs. the Pentagon's troops. And that is why the Pentagon is calling 20,000 troops into the homeland right now: It's preparing for a civil war and the potential breakup of the nation.
There will be a time when Washington is so bankrupt (both financially and morally), so corrupt and so far beyond saving that intelligent states like California will simply declare themselves to be sovereign nations. Although there may be the threat of military force to prevent such actions in the short term, ultimately Washington will be powerless to stop it because it will be unable to fund the military effort with worthless U.S. dollars. And if just one state successfully breaks away from the union, it will set a precedent that other states will follow.
Even today, Hawaii and Vermont are already talking secession. Many regions of Oregon and Texas are also in the same discussions. If Washington becomes weak, you can expect to see the fragmentation of the nation. It will likely be a bloody event, complete with Martial Law, food shortages, money supply problems and the works.
He's been predicting this for many years, and although his radio show might be described by some as "inflammatory," he's been right on the money on issues like this one, and he has accurately predicted the mass militarization of the United States by the Pentagon. Check out his daily radio show to learn more about what's really happening with the coming civil war in the United States.
His show starts at 11:00 central time, each weekday.
Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security (December 1, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113002217_pf.html
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement. But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. CLIP
NEW LETHAL WEAPONS THAT COULD LEAD TO EVER MORE DESTRUCTION
IMAGINE swarms of aircraft patrolling the skies, zapping missiles, aircraft or even satellites in low Earth orbit with invisible, ultrapowerful laser beams.
Such laser battles in the sky may not be such a long way off, after a megawatt laser weapon was fired from an aircraft for the first time.
Although the Airborne Laser (ABL) was fired from a stationary plane at a target on the ground just a few metres away, the test marked a milestone for the weapon, developed by aerospace firms Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
The laser was 12 years in the making and cost $4.3 billion, putting it vastly over budget. The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) calls it the answer to "rogue states" or terror groups who equip themselves with intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as Scuds.
Yet the ABL may soon be used to shoot down a much wider range of devices - including aircraft - and is just one of a number of laser weapons now being readied for military use.
The idea behind the ABL programme is that at times of international tension, the airborne weapons will patrol the skies within hundreds of kilometres of the missile silos or launchers of a region of interest. Then, if the heat signature of a rocket launch is detected via satellite or an early warning aircraft, the ABL will track it and fire its laser at the missile while the latter is still getting off the ground and beginning to accelerate. In theory, the heat from what Boeing calls the "megawatt class" laser beam - the precise power level is classified - should cause the pressurised part of the missile to warp, bend and buckle, resulting in the missile's complete disintegration.
The beam should cause a missile to warp, bend and disintegrate above its launch site
That's a tall order by any standards, and many sceptics have questioned whether the weapon will ever get off the ground at all. But over the last few years, various aspects of the ABL's operation have been proven to work. For instance, both the twin low-power target-tracking lasers and the main laser beam's control optics have been successfully tested, while the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) weapon has produced a beam in the lab. But until the test on 24 November at Edwards Air Force Base in California, the laser had not been fired from inside a Boeing 747.
That was a challenge because the COIL's six chemical modules - which rely on the reaction between oxygen molecules in an excited state and iodine to produce a light-emitting gas - are each the size of a large sports utility vehicle and collectively take up the rear half of the plane. The beam-forming and fire control system takes up the front half. This system ensures that the laser beam is accurately aligned so it does not damage or destroy the plane, and that it shoots where the target-tracker tells it to.
In two test firings, a laser beam was fired at a target for 1 second. The team now plan to test fire laser beams for longer, before preparing the aircraft for flight tests next year. "We remain on track to complete a lethal demonstration in 2009," says Rinn. "There's nothing like flaming missile wreckage to show the world the system is viable and that it works."
Until now the weapon had been pitched by the Pentagon, the MDA and its contractors as a defensive device, for destroying incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). But it now appears the laser is being readied for other uses. "The ABL is not just for missile defense," says Rinn. "We're optimised for ballistic missiles but there are modifications that could be made that would give us capabilities for countering aircraft, surface-to-air missiles and cruise missiles."
The ABL's contractors have already begun simulation work to show how modifications would allow the weapon to be used to shoot down aircraft, raising the possibility that dogfights of the future could be laser battles.
Military analysts have also pointed out that the ABL's laser could be used as an anti-satellite weapon - it is thought to have a range of hundreds of kilometres. It could either heat a satellite's fuel tanks to destruction or simply blind orbiting spy cameras. Rinn says the team is not investigating this at the moment: "The design of our sensors and our particular system is for bright [heat-emitting] ballistic missiles, so we haven't looked at that one yet."
With US President-Elect Barack Obama's transitional team poring over the Pentagon's accounts, the ABL may yet be axed. Indeed, the team's talk of other military uses for the weapon may simply be an attempt to make the programme look more attractive by showing it can do more than destroy ICBMs.
Whatever happens to the ABL, the move to high-power laser weapons that use an invisible infrared beam to attack targets is already under way. Top among the early "directed energy" devices expected to be fielded is the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL), developed by the US air force and Boeing, which uses a smaller chemical laser than the ABL and is carried in a military transport plane or large helicopter.
A mirrored turret beneath the plane fires a 0.5-metre-wide beam of up to 300 kilowatts, according to a recent report on directed energy weapons technology for the German Foundation for Peace Research in Osnabrück. The ATL is ostensibly designed for attacking infrastructure from distances of around 10 kilometres - disabling vehicles by melting their tyres, for example, or destroying communications lines, phone masts, TV antennas and satellite dishes. The Pentagon's claims that the ATL is non-lethal don't hold water, says Jürgen Altmann at the Technical University of Dortmund, who wrote the German report. "With 30 to 100 times the heating power of a stove plate, applied to a spot of the same size, the weapon can kill people, set combustible objects on fire or explode munitions. It is clearly a lethal weapon," he says.
Some laser weapons are already being used by the military. In Iraq and Afghanistan a laser system called Zeus, developed by the US navy, is being tested by coalition forces for detonating the improvised explosive devices of insurgents. The 10-kilowatt laser is pointed at the device from a few hundred metres away, to heat the explosive until it detonates. It can take between 4 seconds to 15 minutes to destroy an explosive device - but the advantage is that no soldiers' lives are risked. And last month Northrop Grumman launched Firestrike, an electrically powered 15-kilowatt battlefield laser that can be multiplied in power by adding more units.
The use of such weapons in armed conflict would represent "a new means of warfare", says Altmann, yet the weapons are being introduced with little public debate. He believes laser weapons should be banned. Despite the fact they are likely to be used against combatants, it does not appear that the UN's Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons will prevent their proliferation. That is because the treaty only covers lasers solely designed to blind.
And they are unlikely to be outlawed on the grounds of causing unnecessary suffering, either, as there is a precedent, Altmann warns. "Applying heat and burning humans or material - by flame-throwers at close range - is an accepted method of warfare under international law."
Video: Air Force's Killer Bugbots Attack (December 12, 2008) http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/12/video-air-force.html
The U.S. military has been working for a while on tiny, buglike drones to serve as miniature flying spies, Defense Department robot-makers say. But this video, from the Air Force Research Laboratory, shows that the military is also interested in turning these "Micro Air Vehicles," or MAVs, into biomorphic weapons that can lie in secret for weeks at a time and then strike an adversary with lethal accuracy."Individual MAVs may perform direct-attack missions," says the video's gravelly voiced narrator. "They can be equipped with incapacitation chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision-targeting capability."
NOTE from Jean: Before sharing the following material with you I wanted to verify its validity and turned to Fred Burks, whom I consider a most reliable, knowledgeable and balanced person, to find out his take on this material. Here is what he replied - and I totally concur with him!...
From: Fred Burks (email@example.com)
Date: 19 Dec 2008
I've had a number of email exchanges with A. True Ott. I've received some good and valuable info from this person, though I find he/she is a bit on the paranoid side for me.
Yes, SSSS is true and was used quite successfully in Iraq from my research, as were a number of other "nonlethal" weapons. Is digital TV going to be more effective than the old TVs in brainwashing the public? I don't know. I doubt Stubblebine is the deep operative the person suspects, though yes, there are strange things going on there. If you haven't read "Them" by Jon Ronson, it is a must for all serious researchers. You'll get to know Stubblebine there.
What I mostly don't like about Ott's writings is the excessive focus on everything that's going wrong without mentioning all of the amazing things happening to transform all of this. There has already been a huge shift on our planet. Have you felt it? Strange and disempowering things continue to happen, but for those who choose to step out of it, a new world is being birthed as we speak. Pretty exciting!!!
[Editor's Note: This is an extremely timely and important essay. It overviews a secret Pentagon psychotronics technology known as Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (SSSS) that has been fully operational since the early 1990s. I first found out about the use of this technology from Al Bielek in a 1992 video he made with Vladimir Terziski. This technology was used against battle-hardened Iraqi troops fortified in deep underground bunkers in Kuwait and Iraq in the first Gulf War in January of 1991.
The physical, emotional, and psychological effects of this technology were so severe that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi troops surrendered en masse without firing even a single shot against U.S. led coalition forces. The numbers reported in the news were staggering: 75,000 and then another 125,000 (or more) Iraqi troops would come out of their deep desert bunkers waving white flags and falling to their knees before approaching U.S. troops and literally kiss their captor's boots or hands if given the opportunity. Why would eight year veterans of Middle Eastern warfare (with Iran 1980-1988) behave this way? Simple. They were subjected to a technology that was so extreme and incomprehensible that they were suddenly reduced to the level of compliant children and felt grateful to still be alive in the wake of their mind-wrenching experience.
This technology is about to be used, albeit in a more subtle fashion, against American citizens in a highly classified and covert operation to mind control and manipulate the entire population into 'compliance' with our New World order overlords. The technology will utilize a combination of HAARP transmitters, GWEN towers, microwave cell phone towers, and the soon-to-be-mandatory High Definition DIGITAL TV that will enter your home via A) Cable, B) Satellite, C) HD TVs, or D) those oh-so-easy -to-obtain "Digital Converter boxes" that the government is so anxious to help you obtain and underwrite most of the cost on your behalf.
But why is the government so anxious to help American citizens experience a clearer and more highly defined television picture? Does that make sense to you? Since when is the government so concerned about the visual quality of our televised entertainment that congress would pass an undebated statutory proclamation which mandated that the HD conversion take place on Feb. 17, 2009 and and then subsidize about 90% of the associated cost? I'm only guessing, but if there are 200 million "regular" televisions in America to be converted into HD, then that $40 in government subsidy per TV x 200,000,000 = 8 billion dollars. Why is the government so anxious to spend $8 billion dollars on her citizens to improve the clarity of a TV picture? Or is the recently touted "additional bandwidth" cover story that supposedly is to be gained with the HD technology the only and genuine reason for spending so much taxpayer dollars on HD conversion?
The second service that this author performs is to "out" two of our more deceptive CIA/Pentagon 'assets' masquerading under the rubric of natural health advocates. Their names are Rima Laibow and her husband, "former" Major General Albert Stubblebine. If your e-mail Inbox has been filling with warnings and articles in recent months about the coming Codex regulations and the "wonderful" job that Rima and her retired Army husband have been doing to try and stem the tide, then you know who I'm talking about.
Folks, is it time to wake up yet? Or should we just resume our slumber and wait for them to take us away in those spiffy Gunderson prisoner train cars that Phil Schneider warned us about in 1995 (you know, the ones with the built in shackles and manacles)? ...Ken Adachi]
Aluminium, Heavy Metals and Chemtrails http://www.nogw.com/aluminum.html
JP8 jet fuel is laced with Ethylene Dibromide (EDB), a chemical pesticide banned by the EPA as a definite carcinogen and chemical toxin. In addition, chemtrails contain Aluminum (a metal associated with Alzheimer's Disease) and Barium (a radioactive substance). Fox News reports green lightning in storms. Barium aerosol ionizes green as it electrically conducts from ground to sky. The Chemtrail Ops program is run by the ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence). The overall scope and agenda behind Chemtrails (Operation Clover Leaf, Operation Red Sky, Operation Rain Dance, the code names for these ops, BTW) intertwines several overall objectives deemed imperative by the real power in DC, which is the NSA. It is believed that Barium ionized clouds are used by the HAARP program to alter the climate, set off earthquakes and volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves Research shows the amount of Barium in our atmosphere exceeds by 8 times the level deemed safe for humans to breathe. The toxicity of Barium is comparable to Arsenic. (...) ALUMINUM AND MIND CONTROL --- According to Dr. Omura,Aluminum and heavy metals in the brain act as a micro antennae concentrating damaging electro smog in the brain. (To look into this further, do a search on "Omura heavy metals" on Google) In 1998, James C. Lin wrote Electromagnetic Interaction With Biological Systems which dealt with transmitting ideas and words via electromagnetic waves.Naval Intelligence and other groups have conducted research into ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) waves upon the human body and mind. Some of the many things that can be done to the human body and mind with ELF waves include: a. put a person to sleep. b. make a person tired or depressed. c. create a feeling of fear in a person. d. create a zombie state.e. create a violent state. f. create a state of being sexually aggressive. g. change cellular chemistry. h. change hormone levels.i. inhibit or enhance M(RNA) synthesis/processes j. control the DNA transaction process.k. control biological spin and proton coupling constants in DNA, RNA & RNA transferases. Unfortunately for us humans, ELF waves can penetrate almost anything. The U.S. military has built a Gound-Wave Emergency Network (GWEN) all over the U.S. with several hundred 300-500' GWEN towers that broadcast a very-low frequency wave (VLF) for mind-control of the American public. A single GWEN tower can broadcast up to 300 miles in a 360° circle. Plus 8 secret powerful transmitters have been established and 3 of them operate on the west coast. Mind control suggestions emanating from these GWEN towers can be used to affect the control of the population. For example, suggestions can be broadcast that say Resident Bush is an honest and descent man, support Bush and his staff. Some of the Monarch mind control slaves are receiving Prozac. Prozac (fluoxetine hydrocloride-a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) is dangerous for everyone. Prozac is now the second most used drug in the world. Certain brain activities trigger people on prozac to become homicidal or suicidal. Thanks to research by Illuminati controlled companies, the Network knows exactly how to use ELF waves vectored on a particular person by 3 separate towers to stimulate the Prozac controlled brain to murder. This is being used to increase acts of anarchy and violence in order to help insure anti-gun legislation.
Just when you've finally gotten your mind around the enormous $700 billion financial bailout - even if none of us are really sure where all that money's going - there comes an even greater, breathtaking price tag.
The amount is $904 billion - that's how much we've spent on American military operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan, since the 9/11 attacks; 50 percent more than what was spent in Vietnam, reports the non-partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment. Their study does not include the inestimable toll in human life.
Of that money, nearly 200 billion has gone to Afghanistan, where 31,000 American troops are nearly 60 percent of the NATO peacekeeping force. When he becomes president, as promised during his campaign, Barack Obama will oversee the deployment of at least another 20,000 troops there.
This has been the deadliest year for American forces in Afghanistan since the war began. Our military faces a resurgent Taliban and al-Qaeda, better trained, better armed and supported from sanctuaries in Pakistan. But in an op-ed piece in last Sunday's Washington Post, Sarah Chayes - the former National Public Radio reporter who has lived in Kandahar province since shortly after 9/11 - argued that America's and Afghanistan's biggest problem comes from within - our continuing support of a corrupt and abusive Afghan government that's driving its people back into the arms of the fundamentalists.
Chayes, who organized a co-op of Afghan men and women making skin care products from herbs and botanicals as an alternative to the opium poppy trade, wrote, "I hear from Westerners that corruption is intrinsic to Afghan culture, that we should not hold Afghans up to our standards. I hear that Afghanistan is a tribal place, that it has never been, and can't be, governed. But that's not what I hear from Afghans."
Chayes followed up that article with an interview conducted by my colleague Bill Moyers on the latest edition of Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. She told him that the United States and its NATO allies have had to convince themselves and public opinion in each of their countries that, "this is a democratically elected representative government [in] Afghanistan in order to justify the sacrifices in money and troops. But the Afghans see it differently."
What they see instead, she said, is a restoration to power under President Hamid Karzai of the gunslinging, crooked warlords who were repudiated when the Taliban first started taking over vast parts of the country a few years after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. The "appalling behavior" of officials in the current government, including rampant bribery, extortion and violence, is a serious factor in the Taliban resurgence - it's estimated that they now have a "permanent presence" in 72 percent of the country, according to one think tank, the International Council on Security and Development.
Chayes said, "There are people who don't like the Taliban but may kind of knuckle under to them because, on the one hand, the government isn't doing anything better for them. And the Taliban are going to kill them if they don't visibly divide themselves away from the government."
An Afghan woman in her cooperative compared it to "a man trying to stand on two watermelons. The Taliban shake us down at night, and the government shakes us down in the daytime."
The Taliban are aided and abetted by Pakistan, Chayes continued: "It has been obvious to me that the Pakistani military intelligence agency [ISI] has been basically creating, orchestrating, this so-called Taliban resurgence since the end of 2001. So why are we paying Pakistan $1 billion a year?
"... We need to realign our policy ... What you have in Pakistan is a fledgling civilian government that's kind of fighting for its life. And it's not in a position to be able to challenge this military intelligence agency very powerfully. We need to get with that government and figure out and scheme with it how do we reign in this state within the state that is the military intelligence agency, which has been manipulating and instrumentalizing religious extremism for the past 20, 30 years ... in a very myopic way, to forward its regional agenda both in Kashmir and in Afghanistan?"
Additional American troops are important now, Chayes said, and suggested that NATO allies who face opposition at home to sending additional combat forces could instead send a corps of experienced officials - from retired mayors to agriculture experts - who could rigorously mentor Afghan public officials and potentially reform their ways. Reconstructing infrastructure is important, she said, "But you don't get infrastructure if you're passing it through corrupt channels."
So if nothing changes, Bill Moyers asked, should American men and women continue to give their lives in support of a government overrun by Afghanistan's criminal class? Chayes rephrased the question: "If we are not willing to even begin to challenge President Karzai ... then why are we sending people to die?"
In his tour of Iraq and Afghanistan this past week, President Bush told Karzai that he could count on us no matter who's in the White House: "It's in our interest that Afghanistan's democracy flourish."
To which Sarah Chayes' friends in Kandahar would reply, "What democracy?"
Michael Winship is senior writer of the weekly public affairs program Bill Moyers Journal, which airs Friday night on PBS. Check local airtimes or comment at The Moyers Blog at http://www.pbs.org/moyers
Some of the comments posted there:
Sun, 12/21/2008 - 20:32 Blue (not verified)
We have no business being in Afghanistan. It is absolutely ludicrous to expect the Afghan people to welcome or trust any of the western nations any more than they welcomed the 'attention' of the former USSR. We have created a state of perpetual war with those we pretend to want to help...and then moan and cry foul when these people dare fight back against a foreign invasion force who insist they are there to promote democracy and freedom...while dropping bombs and slaughtering innocent people. Shame on the whole bloody lot of us. Bush moved the bulk of the American military force in Afghanistan to start an immoral and illegal war against Iraq...Now that Iraq has been destroyed..and no one can claim victory...America has decided to run back to Afghanistan to finish what they started. And we wonder why these people hate us.
Sun, 12/21/2008 - 14:28 David Brookbank (not verified)
Thanks to Sarah Chayes for her response here. Perhaps, Sarah, you could comment on the Economist article which is being reprinted around the world today laying out the strategy (See "The Next Surge: Can more American troops and a new strategy beat the Taliban") And I would ask, can the world community -- not national governments but people in the streets around the world as in 2003 -- stand up again en masse and say no to the U.S. war machine. As much is suggested in this Richard Tanter article in which he suggests correctly that the war in Afghanistan remains the "good war for Americans". Without any domestic pressure at home in the U.S. to avoid what will inevitably produce thousands upon thousands of collateral victims (dead civilian children, women, and men), the inertia of current policy and and the cowardice of any potential dissenting voices within the ruling class assure us of continued murderous military blundering. Tanter states, "What is needed, as ever, is the slow build-up of peace movements in all coalition countries, limiting the political freedom of action of the war-makers." I agree completely but would replace the world 'slow' with 'urgent and immediate'.
The Aimless War (Dec. 11, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1865730,00.html
A trip to the front lines in Afghanistan shows why a surge of U.S. troops won't be enough to end the conflict. -- (...) We know what the mission used to be to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and destroy his al-Qaeda command. But once bin Laden slipped away, the mission morphed into a vast, messy nation building effort to support the allegedly democratic Karzai government. There was a certain logic to that. The Taliban and al-Qaeda can't base themselves in Afghanistan if something resembling a stable, secure nation-state exists there. But the mission was also historically implausible: Afghanistan has never had a strong central government. It has been governed for thousands of years by local and regional tribal coalitions. The tribes have often been at one another's throats a good part of the current "Taliban" uprising is nothing more than standard tribal rivalries juiced by Western arms and opium profits except when foreigners have invaded the area, in which case the Afghans have united and slowly humiliated conquerors from Alexander the Great to the Soviets. (...) the first step toward resolving the war in Afghanistan is to lay down the law in both Islamabad and Kabul. The message should be the same in both cases: The unsupervised splurge of American aid is over. The Pakistanis will have to stop giving tacit support and protection to terrorists, especially the Afghan Taliban. The Karzai government will have to end its corruption and close down the drug trade. There are plenty of other reforms necessary the international humanitarian effort is a shabby, self-righteous mess; some of our NATO allies aren't carrying their share of the military burden but the war will remain a bloody stalemate at best as long as jihadis come across the border from Pakistan and the drug trade flourishes. CLIP
Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan (December 26, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/25/AR2008122500931.html
The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.Four blue pills. Viagra."Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam. The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations. In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said. CLIP
Transcript: Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers, The 11th Hour movie
Aug 27 2007
Kenny Ausubel is co-founder of Bioneers and also appeared in the film the 11th Hour.
Thom Hartmann talks with Kenny Ausubel, 27 August 2007
[Thom]: Leonardo DiCaprio has a new movie out, the 11th Hour. I remember when Bill O'Reilly was relentlessly flogging "The Passion of the Christ" on his TV show for the better part of half a year and it later turned out that he was a major investor in it and made a pile of money on that movie. I am not an investor in the 11th Hour and don't make a penny off it. In fact, quite to the contrary; I've been doing a lot of travelling and what not on my own nickel. And the same is true of Kenny Ausubel, our next guest with Bioneers. In fact, really this is Leo's effort and I have a feeling it's a labor of love as much as anything else, and we're talking about it not because we have hopes of great financial returns like Bill O'Reilly was, but rather because we have hopes that we can save this world before it goes down in flames.
Kenny, welcome to the program.
[Ausubel]: Hey Thom, how are you?
[Thom]: I'm just great. Kenny Ausubel is the co-founder, along with his wife Nina, of Bioneers. bioneers.org is the web site. Bioneers is an extraordinary conference that happens every fall in San Rafael, is it, Kenny?
[Ausubel]: Yes, San Rafael, just north of San Francisco, Oct. 19 to the 21st.
[Thom]: ... and gets broadcast by satellite to secondary sites all over the world, literally, and I've spoken there at, what, two out of the last three? Two or three times, I forget how many, but it's just an extraordinary conference. And you're one of the major players, one of the major stars in this movie. You set it up, and you wrap it up.
And I wanted to get you on the line and just get your thinking, particularly since at Bioneers, which is where the movie started, the movie began, I guess this is where the idea for the movie began, was at Bioneers, that you guys have in your conference the people who are doing some of the very best jobs of identifying the problems, and some of the very best jobs of solving the problems. So lets start out with identifying the problems. This goes way beyond global warming.
[Ausubel]: Well, sure. I mean, the litany is well known to many of us, but you know the crash of biological diversity, the very web of life, on which our own life depends. You know, the great micro-biologist Lynn Margulis has said that she studies microbes and bacteria, and she says that perhaps the real purpose of human life on Earth is that we're such great hosts for the bacteria, you know, that they were here long before us, they'll be here long after us. You know we face massive fresh water shortages, the crash of oceans and marine life, and, I mean, the list goes on and on and people are too familiar with the litany, so...
[Thom]: Yeah, in the movie, well a lot of people aren't, actually, and I think it's worth revisiting. One of the points made in the movie was that 90% of the cells in our bodies are not human cells. They are things that we are hosting?
[Ausubel]: Yeah, that's exactly right, and one day, I believe, Lynn Margulis, the microbiologist will probably win a Nobel Prize for her work. But where she has the theory of endosymbiosis, and basically, her proposition is that billions of years ago, there were these warring tribes of two kinds of bacteria and neither was able to exterminate the other one; so they surrendered to the urge to merge, and learned instead to cooperate, and that's where multi-cellular life came about, as we know it, which of course led up, eventually, to human beings who are fantastically complex organisms that harbor all the life of the planet going back to the origins.
[Thom]: Right, and we are full of fungi and bacteria and viruses, and all kinds of, you know, hundreds of millions of other organisms, probably the vast majority of which we havent even begun to identify. I mean, I saw a statistic the other day that there are over four hundred and fifty known bacteria in the gut, of which fewer than a hundred are even named so far.
[Ausubel]: We know so little, Thom, about the tree of life, the web of life. We are clueless, to be honest, so we have a lot to discover. But what we do know is that after four billion years of R&D, life works and there are no recalls in nature. If it doesnt work, it's gone, you know...
[Thom]: Well, which brings us directly to the E-word, which is used in this movie, The Eleventh Hour, Leonard DeCaprios new movie, and that is the extinction of human life on Earth. This is, I think I once this movie picks up where Al Gores Inconvenient Truth leaves off. The extinction of human life on Earth?
[Ausubel]: Well, it is entirely possible. This is what is known as the sixth great era of extinctions, and there were five previously, and about 99.9% of the species that lived before us are gone. This is not uncommon. What is different in the sixth great extinction crisis is that for the first time it is actually caused by human beings, and that's a very different proposition, and the truth is that the Earth will survive just fine, it is just not on a human time frame. It would take about ... a 100 million years to re-institute the scale of diversity that we know in the world today. So, it will happen, it just wont be on our time frame. And you know, human beings are incredibly adaptable. So my dear friend and teacher, the late John Mohawk has said, "You know, people will survive, one way or another, it is a question of what kind of world we are going to survive in." It could be, you know even less 'Road Warrior'.
[Thom]: Right, and the kind of society we are going to have as well. One of the fascinating things that I learned when I was doing the research for Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, a book I wrote on these topics back about a decade ago, was in reading Peter Farbs brilliant ethnography of the first contact with Native American societies. And he chronicles dozens of individual societies across the United States. And that over and over and over again, what he and others since then have found is that many of the most egalitarian, peaceful and ecologically appropriate societies on Earth got that way because they had experienced crashes; they had experienced the absolute destruction of their own environments at their own hands.
[Ausubel]: It doesnt really solve the problem if you slow down to fifty-five. We need to change directions; and we need to do it immediately. Some people give us five years, some people give us ten, we dont know. You know, in this next five years, I think, we are going to see all kinds of serial collapse of one sort or another. And, you know, the point is, we know we need to change, why wait? We need to stop and turn around now.
[Thom]: So, in the two minutes or so that we have left here, what are the changes that need to be taken? This is more than just replacing the light bulbs in your house.
[Ausubel]: Well, I think part of what I appreciate so much about the film is that they really dont pull punches. They recognize that government policy is pivotal. You know, you look at most of the great fortunes in the world, and they were made directly because of government policies and subsidies, and all of those kinds of things. So why spend thirty billion dollars a year on the oil, gas and nuclear industries, which are mature industries? If they cant make it without corporate welfare at this point, then let them fold, you know? But we should be subsidizing the transition to renewables immediately, on a very large scale. And we need to create green collar justice. I mean, poverty is one of the main causes of environmental destruction in the world today, a world where half the people live on two dollars a day or less. So, we need to create a huge job creation engine that's going to also bring about justice, you know, and reduce, I mean, the only Gulf War we should be focused on is to end the gulf between rich and poor.
So all these issues, a lot of what Bioneers talks about is that it is all connected. It is not just the web of life that is infinitely interconnected; it is all the issues are interconnected. That was probably the biggest influence we had on the film was to tip it in the direction of solutions, so the latter third of the movie really focuses on the kinds of solutions that the Bioneers are promoting, which work. I mean, in 90% of the problems that we face, we know what to do right now, with state of the shelf solutions; things that we already have. So there's things we need to figure out and things we still need to invent. And there's tremendous prosperity that resides there, but, hey, we already know what to do. It's a matter of having the, you know, we have intention-deficit disorder, that's the main thing.
[Thom]: There you go. There you go. Bioneers.org is Kenny Ausubel's organization. The 11th Hour, 11thhourfilm.com and 11thhouraction.com two great web sites. Kenny, thanks for being with us today.
A BRILLIANT NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT SHOULD BE QUICKLY AND MASSIVELY IMPLEMENTED
Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists
A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.
By Jasper Copping -- 29 Nov 2008
The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.
Existing technologies which use water power, relying on the action of waves, tides or faster currents created by dams, are far more limited in where they can be used, and also cause greater obstructions when they are built in rivers or the sea. Turbines and water mills need an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth's currents are slower than three knots.
The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.
As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity.
Cylinders arranged over a cubic metre of the sea or river bed in a flow of three knots can produce 51 watts. This is more efficient than similar-sized turbines or wave generators, and the amount of power produced can increase sharply if the flow is faster or if more cylinders are added.
A "field" of cylinders built on the sea bed over a 1km by 1.5km area, and the height of a two-storey house, with a flow of just three knots, could generate enough power for around 100,000 homes. Just a few of the cylinders, stacked in a short ladder, could power an anchored ship or a lighthouse.
Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would potentially cost only around 3.5p per kilowatt hour, compared to about 4.5p for wind energy and between 10p and 31p for solar power. They say the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation.
The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or "vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy".
Michael Bernitsas, a professor of naval architecture at the university, said it was based on the changes in water speed that are caused when a current flows past an obstruction. Eddies or vortices, formed in the water flow, can move objects up and down or left and right.
"This is a totally new method of extracting energy from water flow," said Mr Bernitsas. "Fish curve their bodies to glide between the vortices shed by the bodies of the fish in front of them. Their muscle power alone could not propel them through the water at the speed they go, so they ride in each other's wake."
Such vibrations, which were first observed 500 years ago by Leonardo DaVinci in the form of "Aeolian Tones", can cause damage to structures built in water, like docks and oil rigs. But Mr Bernitsas added: "We enhance the vibrations and harness this powerful and destructive force in nature.
"If we could harness 0.1 per cent of the energy in the ocean, we could support the energy needs of 15 billion people. In the English Channel, for example, there is a very strong current, so you produce a lot of power."
Because the parts only oscillate slowly, the technology is likely to be less harmful to aquatic wildlife than dams or water turbines. And as the installations can be positioned far below the surface of the sea, there would be less interference with shipping, recreational boat users, fishing and tourism.
The engineers are now deploying a prototype device in the Detroit River, which has a flow of less than two knots. Their work, funded by the US Department of Energy and the US Office of Naval Research, is published in the current issue of the quarterly Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering.
From: "Sustainable Lifestyle Solutions" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 30 Dec 2008
Subject: TRUTH, FORGIVENESS AND ASCENSION AFTER 2000 YEARS ?
Hi Jean, it's been a long while since I posted anything with earthrainbownetwork. I always admire your total unwavering commitment to get truth into the open and pave the way for global unity. I offer this to you with love + highest wishes for all our humanity in 2009.
TRUTH, FORGIVENESS AND ASCENSION AFTER 2000 YEARS ?
A REMARKABLE new documentary movie just out is revealing a truth that has to be told. Truth brings to the world new freedoms of choice that liberates our free will. Please watch this movie and share and bring a fundamental truth now out into the open.
Our society is built on some fundamental untruths - in politics, religious faith and economics. Little by little the illusions and controls over peoples lives are being broken down, a veil is being lifted. This particular movie is one that will help reveal as fact the sacred divinity of true love underlying man and woman, in the male + female relationships.
It will help remove religious frontiers for those who relate to Christ and to the story of Jesus and Mary in particular, for those who seek to free others or themselves from a fundamental illusion perpetrated by the orthodox Church for two millennia.
This is a documentary finally revealing undeniable evidence that Jesus survived the crucifixion, that Mary was his beloved wife and that, ultimately, the true ascension is through the sacred male + female balance in each of us and recognised between partners: our essential divine birthright.
This wont come as a surprise to you who know by intuition what is true from false, same as you see through the scams of global political or economic controls and manipulations. For many it will cause confusion. But we must know that humanity cannot move into global unity of consciousness - the heart's unified field necessary for our evolution, the quantum leap of life now occurring, until such truths are revealed and brought into the open for all to know and fundamental untruths imposed and warred upon for centuries - are forgiven.
With heartfelt love
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