The Shift of Ages Series #3: Surfing the Wave of Change
OK before anything else, may I suggest you go at http://www.elevateexperience.com/ and click on Genesis on the right and listen to how the creator of this unique, brilliant film festival got the vision for it. You will be mesmerized and touched! The founding vision - of our oneness and how we can accomplish amazing things when we drop our egos and work as One - is exactly where we are goingmost of us anywayall over the world.
Then you may explore the rest of this mind-opening, fact-filled compilation... which you are welcome to share widely ;-)
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This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2009/ShiftAges3.htm
STATS for this compilation: Over 33,400 words and 201 links provided.
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"A few insiders know the truth . . . and are studying the bodies that have been discovered," said Mitchell, who was the sixth man to walk on the moon. Mitchell, who landed on the moon with Alan B. Shepard, said a "cabal" of insiders stopped briefing presidents about extraterrestrials after President Kennedy.
- Astronaut Edgar Mitchell -- Taken from Those Who Know where you'll find several other related quotes
"The Cosmos is a single living creature which contains all living creatures within it."
"Thanks to Richard Hoagland's heroic efforts in sharing such monumental information. Visit his site online at http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm and read all three parts of his article written about Iapetus, the 900 mile wide, alien artifact, a geodesic sphere that strangely resembles the 'Deathstar' featured on George Lucas' movie, Star Wars. I agree with Richard, the resemblance between the fictional 'Death Star', and the factual Saturnian 'moon', Iapetus, is uncanny. Anyone, in their right mind, examining the NASA/JPL imaging from their Cassini spacecraft, as it flew by Iapetus in 07', should see the hard evidence of advanced civilizations having visited our solar system, or at least their relic being captured by Saturn's gravitational pull. Please, share this exciting news with every network you can get this news out to, before the 'powers that be' decide to pull these images off the Web. Save the report by Richard, and distribute it far and wide to schoolteachers, students, colleges, high schools. This is possibly the greatest story never told, but should be NOW. It would be criminal to keep this proof from all nations, and People. Help me spread the word, AFTER you have taken the time, and effort, to see the proof for yourself."
- Greg O'Neill (email@example.com)
"Dear Jean, a few weeks ago I experienced something that I haven't shared and yet I meant to on several occasions and then felt that I didn't know how to describe what I saw in my dream and ended up doing nothing about it until today. The current meditation focus must certainly be a thread running through individuals around the globe! I had several nights of the same dream. It made such an impact on me because I could feel the dream as I was experiencing it and also gave my mind a way to wrap itself around the subject of ascension. As I stood in the dream, my body started to break away from me and through the cracks that became visible a great light came forward. I remember looking at my hands and then down the rest of my body and at first I was stunned as to what was happening until I realized that I still had a body within the body that was falling away and that body was mine just as much as the one that was falling away only the new body was vibrant in shining light! I was absolutely amazed at the transformation. It wasn't painful, it was glorious and I remember my thoughts as I realized that this was ascension, this was what becoming the Light was all about. The dream ended there as a message to my Being and I believe as a directive as to some future event that those of us who are destined to experience Ascension will come to. The meditation focus for today blew me away and once again...Thank you!"
- Suzanna Sjogren (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- Taken from a message she left in the ERN guestbook
"More than one century of industrial development, economic growth and intensive exploitation of nature has led us to a world where we can travel cheaply to anywhere in the world, import food, clothes and materials from any country, yet we are slowly destroying the very earth which keeps us alive. Despite increases in automation, we are working harder and harder, and neglecting our home lives to fulfill the demands of industry. The brave new world promised to us by technology has not arrived. Instead it has led to an increased gap between rich and poor within most countries and between countries. cultures once unique and distinct are slowly merging into variations of Western popular culture. Languages and species are dying out. The outlook is gloomy! We have a very strong responsibility to the future which we will create. If we wish to provide a better environment to our children (and ourselves), we will thus have to modify our ways of life and our manner of consuming. Currently, to provide for his needs, Humanity must call upon the industry of consumption.
- Taken from the Ekopedia Foundation homepage at http://en.ekopedia.org">ttp://en.ekopedia.org - MUCH to discover in this practical encyclopedia about alternative life techniques! If you understand French there is 10 times more material to review in the original French section
"Earths ascensionthe process of world transformation and spiritual renewal that enables her to rise out of third density and continue into the Golden Agehas been ongoing for about seventy years in linear time; and by the end of your calendar year 2012, the darkness that has proliferated for millennia will have disappeared in all its vicious forms. However, this does not mean that after 2012, there will be no further changesthere will indeed be splendid changes in many areas, including spiritual and intellectual growth. Life is a continual process of learning, or more accurately stated, a process of consciously remembering the knowledge within the soul. (...) Earth will NOT be destroyed! On the contrary, she is being restored to her former health, and along her ascension pathway, her Eden beauty will return. There are no specific unmistakable indications that one is ascending with Earth because those are as unique as each of you is. Most succinctly stated, personal ascension is the merging of your consciousness with your soul. Recognizable aspects are the raising of consciousness; strengthening discernment and trusting intuition; ever-increasing awareness of the higher self, the god/goddess self, and true spirituality; the sensation of peacefulness that comes with living in alignment with your soul contractyou feel this as if you are going with the flow instead of bucking the current. (...) Now, as Earth continues her ascension pathway and enters planes of increasingly higher frequencies, everything that is vibrating at a lower level will drop away. All thoughts, feelings and actions based in the negativity of darkness will cease because they cannot exist in the higher vibrations. The collective consciousness of Earths peoples will be purged of all dark thoughts and desires, and light-filled souls can proceed unimpeded to manifest whatever is in their collective thoughts and desires. (...) Of all the changes underway on your planet homeland, the change in the nature of Earths humankind is the most profound. So please dismiss all your doubts as to whether the glories of the Golden Age really are possible and instead, know that in the continuum, that era already IS!"
2. Alaska's killing of wolves by plane
3. Fighting an "Invisible Force"
4. Israeli Spokesman Says We Control Stupid Americans
5. New Attorney General faces UFO diplomacy dilemma
6. Astonishing Incongruities: Is It Time to Bail Out of America?
7. A Professional Run On Banks Has Begun
8. Israeli troops shot and killed zoo animals
9. Obama lets CIA keep controversial renditions tool
10. Parched: Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks In
11. Eating less meat could cut climate costs
12. U.N. Issues Dire Warnings about Global food, and water supplies
13. Why UFO Disclosure Is THE Most Important Issue For Any New President
14. Electromagnetic Load a Hidden Factor in Many Illnesses
15. Dahr Jamail, Iraq from the Inside of an Armored BMW
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
The Four Toltec Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz's code for life http://www.eons.com/blogs/entry/129706-The-Four-Toltec-Agreements
- Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
- Agreement 2: Dont take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you wont be the victim of needless suffering.
- Agreement 3: Dont make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
- Agreement 4: Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Four Agreements was published in 1997. For many, The Four Agreements is a life-changing book, whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were 'people of knowledge' - scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors. The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy - material or ethereal - is derived from and governed by the universe. Don Miguel Ruiz, born and raised in rural Mexico, was brought up to follow his family's Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and grandfather, a Toltec 'nagual', a shaman. (...) The simple ideas of The Four Agreements provide an inspirational code for life; a personal development model, and a template for personal development, behavior, communications and relationships.
Matthew's February 7, 2009 message http://www.matthewbooks.com/mm/anmviewer.asp?a=98&z=2
Description of highly evolved civilization; collective consciousness, Earths and the universes; ascension, individuals and Earths; life mission; light absorption; global economy reforms needed; technologies; whales; stasis; reasons for differences in channeled information.
The Divine In 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SarN25MFWtI
In this message, Harold W. Becker shares that 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. For more please go to http://www.thelovefoundation.com
Sean Penn protests for world's poor (January 30, 2009) http://www.skynews.com.au/showbiz/article.aspx?id=299019
Oscar nominated actor Sean Penn has appeared in a United Nations video to call on leaders at the World Economic Forum to help the world's impoverished out of the financial crisis. The thirty second clip voiced by the 'Milk' star will be released as economic experts and leaders meet in Switzerland. The vide has been released by the World Food Programme - one of the main food agencies working to provide food for the world's hungry - but they say the help of celebrities such as Sean Penn gets their message across much more quickly. Watch Sean Penn's Hunger Appeal at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3CA83pPjM
Microfinance Video http://www.lendtoendpoverty.org/email/video.asp
New video that shows the power of microfinance in action. In less than two minutes, you can see how small loans can truly change the world. There is an urgent need to expand these services. Right now, microfinance is only reaching 10-20% of the estimated 500 million people who would benefit from these life-changing opportunities.
Killing progress - Why GM is broke http://tinyurl.com/cqq7wt
Who killed the electric car? -- In the late 1990s, General Motors sold an electric car that traveled 300 miles on a charge, could be fully charged in an hour, and could be operated for the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon. No oil filters, no oil changes, no emissions, no trips to the gas station. So what did they do? When it became apparent the marketplace actually wanted these cars, it rounded then all up and destroyed them. Not a conspiracy theory. This is what actually happened.
EV1 lives again! The EV1 rides out of EV heaven to vex GM (Dec 07) http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=YCBc8pL1SGc
WWU now keeps this revived EV1 in hiding, "off the streets", in obedience to evil GM. Will they dare to drive or video it?Latest news: GM contacted WWU, which had restored this EV1, and "reminded" them to the effect that they better not do it again. NOTE: GM's CHEVY VOLT is allegedly going to become available next year: http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/ Or wait! Perhaps it will be 2011 instead and it will cost around $40,000.00 and probably will NOT be mass produced...
Life (Mostly) Off the Grid - The Dervaes are living the green life in Pasadena, Calif. (Video - Good example!) http://video.nytimes.com/video/2008/04/18/magazine/1194817108584/life-mostly-off-the-grid.html
They live on one-fifth of an acre in Pasadena, Calif., a block away from a multilane highway. On this tiny sliver of land, they manage to be mostly self-sufficient. Jules Dervaes, 60, and three of his adult children harvest 6,000 pounds and more than 350 separate varieties of fruits, vegetables and edible flowers annually. They brew the biodiesel fuel that powers the family car. Solar panels on their roof reduce energy bills to as little as $12 a month. Goats, chickens, ducks and two rescued cats are in residence. Red wiggler worms turn the kitchen and garden waste into compost, which is then recycled back into the garden. The family generates cash for their limited expenses by selling produce to local restaurants. "This is our form of protest," says Dervaes, "and this is our form of survival." Recommended by Barry Snyder (email@example.com)
Aerobatics Kirby - Extreme Flying http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MixZ6naTre0
Recommended by Kathy Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org - LIKE SO MUCH ELSE in all my compilations!) who wrote: "Up until just a few years ago airplanes physically could not do whatyou will see this one do. It is still hard to believe when you see this in person. This is all real and there is no trick photography.Not only is the airplane unbelievable but the pilot is also taking-forces between about +8 and -4. That hurts."
The eyeballing game http://woodgears.ca/eyeball/
The connection between points in space or time can be simple or complex. It can be between oneself and the environment or between two or more objects outside of oneself. These associations are referred to as spatial relations, and this test is designed to determine your ability to visualize those relationships using geometric objects.
Von Braun at Roswell http://www.stargate-chronicles.com/case_von_braun_at_roswell.html
(...) Did the Roswell Incident in fact happen, was an alien craft recovered along with alien bodies? Did you have a chance to go to the crash site?"Dr von Braun was a cigarette smoker and he lit one up. He thought for a second, then proceeded to talk freely about his inspection of the crashed craft.He trusted me to hear such astonishing events because I vowed to not report it to newspapers, magazines, television, etc. I never broke that vow. Since he is deceased, and the incident happened over fifty years ago, I am now disclosing what I heard. I have a right to speak about anything - even things that, according to certain agencies, "do not exist." Dr. von Braun explained how he and his (unnamed, for now) associates had been taken to the crash site after most of the military were pulled back. They did a quick analysis of what they found. He told me the craft did not appear to be made of metal as we know metal on earth. He said it seemed to be created from something biological, like skin. I was lost as to what he indicated, other than thinking perhaps the craft was "alive." The recovered bodies were temporarily being kept in a nearby medical tent. They were small, very frail and had large heads. Their eyes were large. Their skin was grayish and reptilian in texture. He said it looked similar to the skin texture of rattle snakes he'd seen several times at White Sands. His inspection of the debris had even him puzzled: very thin, aluminum colored, like silvery chewing gum wrappers. Very light and extremely strong. The interior of the craft was nearly bare of equipment, as if the creatures and craft were part of a single unit. CLIP
The Demonstration http://www.stargate-chronicles.com/case_the_demonstration.html
(...) During an earlier interview, Dr. Musgrave stated he attempted to communicate with ET lifeforms during each of his six missions. He actually asked them to take him with them. Now that's an astronaut with a lot of courage. Dr. Musgrave retired after this flight from NASA. Since then he's been spreading his considered opinion that alien life exists. When Musgrave speaks of this, it's no great leap for one to assume he's admitting knowledge of alien life. As the final slide of a "Grey" ET was shown during a recent astronomy presentation by Dr. Musgrave, he made this surprising comment: "These guys are real... I guarantee it!" Dr. Musgrave does know the truth. This author guarantees it! Consider that carefully. These are world renown scientists making statements almost beyond belief. Dr. von Braun and others of his stature have the courage to disclose "sensitive" information, but obviously the leaders of the USA and the world do not. If billions could find a way of coping with the overwhelming threat of atomic annihilation for half a century, it is reasonable to assume we can cope with the knowledge of these "Other Intelligence's" from the stars. We can cope with the fact they are visiting earth, and have been since the beginning of history. We must. Those still asleep must open their eyes. We Are Not Alone.
STOP Chemtrails - Introduction http://worldgathering.net/stop/index.html
'Chemtrails' or 'Chem Trails' is a massive global spraying operation using a large fleet of many hundreds of aircraft which seem to operate over most countries of the world. This outside-of-big-media worldwide aerial discharging operation became severe around the year 2000, and by now must be severely damaging all life on Earth. There are, according to a large number of reports over the past several years, babies, children and adults going to hospital with breathing problems and chronic and acute severe sickness all over the world because of this massive, aerial discharging of bioweapons, chemicals and metals. (...) The other morning from my front porch I watched as several jet aircraft, at least two running parallel, created tic-tac-toe patterns in an otherwise cloudless North Texas sky. I would estimate these craft at somewhere around 20,000 feet. The trails spread outward, blended, and within two hours had created a hazy cloud cover with only occasional patches of blue sky. By afternoon I was wheezing and experiencing a shortness of breath. (...) Last April, samples from these chemtrails were analyzed by a facility in Victoria, British Columbia, which is licensed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and found to contain in addition to JP-8 jet fuel (possibly the carrier medium which contains the additive ethylene dibromide, banned as a pesticide due to causing severe respiratory reactions even at low levels) numerous pathogens, disease causing agents. These included Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, which not only causes respiratory infection but also attacks the immunization system; Serratia Marcescens, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria which causes pneumonia, endocarditis and meningitis; as well as Streptomyces and molds capable of inducing heart disease, upper respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments. Could this covert program be behind the Nile Flu and other respiratory outbreaks which reportedly are resisting normal treatment? And what is it's true purpose? CLIP More on this through this LINK and this other LINK too.
56-year-old becomes first woman to swim Atlantic (Feb 8, 2009) AMAZING!! http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hpmuG7NykAmHlJ-V4_0W6pbtQrNgD967CGLG0
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Jennifer Figge pressed her toes into the Caribbean sand, exhilarated and exhausted as she touched land this week for the first time in almost a month.Reaching a beach in Trinidad, she became the first woman on record to swim across the Atlantic Ocean a dream she'd had since the early 1960s, when a stormy trans-Atlantic flight got her thinking she could don a life vest and swim the rest of the way if needed. The 56-year-old left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa's western coast on Jan. 12, battling waves of up to 30 feet (9 meters) and strong winds. David Higdon, a friend of Figge who kept in touch with her via satellite phone, said she had originally planned to swim to the Bahamas, but inclement weather forced her to veer 1,000 miles (1,610 kms) off course to Trinidad, where she arrived on Feb. 5.Figge plans to continue her odyssey, swimming from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands, where she expects to arrive in late February. The crew won't compute the total distance Figge swam until after she completes the journey, Higdon said.Then it's home to Aspen, Colo. where she trained for months in an outdoor pool amid snowy blizzards to reunite with her Alaskan Malamute."My dog doesn't know where I am," she told The Associated Press on Saturday by phone. "It's time for me to get back home to Hank. "The dog swirled in her thoughts, as did family and friends, as Figge stroked through the chilly Atlantic waters escorted by a sailboat. She saw a pod of pilot whales, several turtles, dozens of dolphins, plenty of Portuguese man-of-war but no sharks."I was never scared," Figge said. "Looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. I can always swim in a pool."Her journey comes a decade after French swimmer Benoit Lecomte made the first known solo trans-Atlantic swim, covering nearly 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) from Massachusetts to France in 73 days. No woman on record has made the crossing. CLIP
KYMATICA - 1:23:56 - 1 Feb. 2009 - Fascinating, fact-filled monologue-movie! http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-6736722752013377089&ei=lGGMSbXYCYrSjgKo8Im5Cw&q=Kymatica
Recommended by Carol Lynn Smith (email@example.com) who wrote: "This is the sequel to Ben Stewart's Esoteric agenda. It's a comprehensive look at how society reflects the status of our psyche." You may listen HERE to filmmaker Ben Stewart's interview done last Oct 23, 2008. Carol also recommended Architects of Control (Also available HER as a single 48 min video) which explores humankind's future and the posthuman world. Will the perfect human be a dumbed down, regimented inhabitant of a cyber purgatory created by unseen elites? Will the children of tomorrow be smiling depressives of a technocratic dystopia? Subjects Include: Mass Control - Mind Control and its History - Radiotronic Weaponry - Psychic Dictatorship - Mass Ritual Killings - The Men in White - Operation Cointelpro - Operation Chaos - Teen Rage - School Shootings - Media Manipulation - Sleeper Assassins - Project Monarch and MK Ultra, etc." She found it "sobering but liberating and hopeful." You can also watch Michael Tsarion Architects of Control Interview with Sonia Barrett This is the interview to remind us all about the hands that play an Invisible part in what takes place in our lives. Mind Manipulation, Human Modification, Globalization and how to free yourself from these underlying enslavements. POWERFUL STUFF!!! BUT CAN BE VERY DISTURBING! If you are interested in these topics, you may want to look into New Auschwitz concentration camp which can be even more disturbing... And if you are willing to be even more disturbed, then read Nazis And The Grays
Secret Nazi Bases http://com2.runboard.com/bcreativecosmosplanetaryforum.f10.t2320
"Shortly before the end of WW2 a large German flotilla consisting of the newest and largest U-boats of the German navy at that time left the north shores of Norwegian at Kristiansund with the destination Antarctica. Being such a large convoy it was naturally detected by the allied forces who came to meet the Germans in the North Sea with a great naval fighting force in order to destroy the German armada. What the allied forces didn't know that the German u-boats were fitted with new engines which were hundreds of years ahead of that time and could virtually run forever and very fast. Those u-boats that Schauberger engines fitted combined with extraterrestrial technology of the Alderbarans and Arrianis. The German armada was also fitted with vril-guns against which the allied forces were no mach. When the battle was over the entire allied force was destroyed, where as the Germans had not a single casualty."
What A Difference Ten Days Make (January 30th, 2009) http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009010530/what-difference-ten-days-make
Consider how far we've come since January 20. On Thursday, the Senate followed the House in passing a reauthorization of a child health insurance bill that will mean 4 million more children will have access to health insurance. When the Congress passed similar legislation last year, then-President Bush vetoed the legislation - twice. This time, President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law next week. Increasing the number of working-class families who have health insurance for their children is just one of the significant victories progressives can lay claim to in just the first 10 days of the Obama administration. (...) Then there is the economic recovery bill that dominated the news this week, a bill that my colleague Bernie Horn calls "the biggest and boldest progressive legislation in 40 years," even with its concessions to business interests and conservative whiners. This bill makes a significant down payment toward addressing both the short- and long-term challenges of rebuilding the economy and assuring that prosperity is more broadly spread than it was under President Bush.Yes, Obama administration proposals have had to be nudged in a more progressive direction by allies in Congress and by activist groups, and that will continue to be the case. But let's also appreciate how much change is already beginning to happen. CLIP Much more though http://www.ourfuture.org/ such as...
The 4.6% Truth: How Absurdly Small Stimulus Spending Really Is (February 9th, 2009) http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009020709/46-truth-how-absurdly-small-stimulus-spending-really
(...) Now, as the debate over the economic stimulus has intensified, these same conservatives have simply updated their argument, insisting that our government is too focused on spending money on social programs. But a look at the numbers shows just how idiotic that claim really is.Bloomberg News today reports that if/when the stimulus bill passes, the federal government will, in sum, be on the hook for $9.7 trillion in total financial commitments to solve the economic crisis. Out of that, roughly $450 billion of that is the direct spending in the stimulus bill (58% of the $780 billion stimulus is spending - ie. $450 billion - while the other 42% is tax cuts). The rest is a mix of cash given to the banks (TARP money), FDIC guarantees for losses, and Federal Reserve Bank loans/swaps. In other words, out of the $9.7 trillion our government is putting on the line to deal with the economic emergency, just 4.6% of it is actually being allocated to direct spending on social programs. The other 95.4% is going to either tax cuts (many of which tilt to the rich) or directly to the financial industry. CLIP
Job Losses Continue at Accelerated Pace (February 6, 2009) http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/02/job_losses_continue.html
January was a dismal month for U.S. workers: Employers shed 598,000 jobs and the unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 percent. The economy has lost 3.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 and 1.8 million jobs just over the past three months. The United States has not seen job losses of this magnitude over a three-month period since 1945.The spike in unemployment in January brings the total number of people out of work to 11.6 million4.1 million more than a year ago. The unemployment rate has not risen this fast over a three-month period since the recession of the early 1980s, and there have only been two months since 1948 when there were more unemployed workers in the United States, both during the recession of the early 1980s. CLIP
How Grim the Economic Downturn (February 7, 2009) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/020709b.html
Like the United States, the nations of Europe are suffering from the dramatic drop-off in economic activity. Political economist William Engdahl says Italy is experiencing the worst economic crisis it has seen in 30 years, and the British economy is falling off a cliff. But the European situation is differentiated, depending on the exposure to the American toxic assets. In Europe, he says, it is more an indirect knock-on effect of the United States financial meltdown. He says the question now is whether the European Union is going to try and decouple its dependency on the U.S. dollar and begin to form regional currency blocks like many nations around the world are starting to do.
Obama Meets Press, Nation Head On http://www.truthout.org/021009J
In his first press conference, President Barack Obama focused on the disintegrating economy and defended his plan for prompt and expansive spending by the federal government to stem rising unemployment. Obama walked to the podium in the plush East Room of the White House and spoke for ten minutes before taking 50 minutes of questions from the press. He faced the American public in prime time and he faced the global economy. But his message targeted the 535 members of the US Congress who control the government checkbook.
The GOP's Jihad on Obama By Robert Parry (February 10, 2009) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/021009.html
Only a few weeks into Barack Obamas presidency, a threatening political and media dynamic has rushed to the fore cutting short a very brief honeymoon. The Republicans and their right-wing media allies are doing whatever they can to strangle the Obama phenomenon in its cradle; the mainstream media pundits are stressing the negative so they dont get called in the tank for Obama; and the Democrats are shying away from holding the Bush-Cheney administration accountable for its crimes.None of these developments is particularly surprising. Indeed, they track closely to the political-media pattern that took shape the last time a young Democrat won the White House, when Bill Clinton became President in 1993. (...) So far, however, the key difference-maker in the economic debate has been the President himself. Despite all the TV jibber-jabber about Obamas stumbles, he demonstrated his ability to reach past the Washington chatter and connect with an American public that, according to polls, wishes him well and desperately wants him to succeed. Obamas town-hall meetings in the hard-hit communities of Elkhart, Indiana, on Monday and Fort Myers, Florida, on Tuesday as well as his strong performance in a televised news conference on Monday night left millions of Americans delighted to have a President who could both speak in paragraphs and cite down-home examples of how his stimulus package would help common folk.People in the audiences nodded at his explanations about money to winterize homes or to modernize schools or to build a first-class infrastructure. A refrain also kept popping up in questions, references to for the first time in eight years, an implicit contrast to Bushs inarticulate oratory.Obamas speaking skill and personal charm may go a long way toward blunting Republican hopes for a repeat of the nasty partisan fights of 1993-94 which ended up with the GOP winning both chambers of Congress, Rush Limbaugh becoming an honorary member of the new House majority, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich launching his Republican Revolution.But except for Obamas prodigious abilities -- and an American public that may have lost its patience for some of the Washington gamesmanship -- there are eerie parallels to the start of the last Democratic presidency 16 years ago.
Iranian President Says Talks With US Possible (Feb 10, 2009) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090210/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran
TEHRAN, Iran Iran's hard-line president told crowds celebrating the Islamic revolution's anniversary Tuesday that the country is ready for talks with the United States, the strongest signal yet that Tehran welcomes President Barack Obama's calls for dialogue.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments in a speech to hundreds of thousands celebrating the 30th anniversary of the revolution, which ousted the U.S-backed shah and installed rule by hard-line Muslim clerics. The event led to a collapse in relations between the two countries and years of enmity.As usual at such gatherings, there were chants of "Death to America," along with the burning of U.S. and Israeli flags. But the chanting stopped as Ahmadinejad spoke of dialogue with the United States, and the firebrand president refrained from the denunciations of America that often mark his speeches. Since Obama's election, Iranian leaders have struck a cautious tone over his campaign promises to open a dialogue with Tehran, signaling that the government was undecided on how to respond. On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad made it clear Iran is prepared to talk, citing terrorism, the elimination of nuclear weapons, restructuring the U.N. Security Council and fighting drug trafficking as possible areas for discussion. "The Iranian nation is ready for talks (with the U.S.), but in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect," Ahmadinejad told the crowds in Tehran's Freedom Square. His comments came the day after Obama said his administration was looking for opportunities to engage Iran and pledged to rethink Washington's relationship with Tehran. But Ahmadinejad also declared that Iran is now a "superpower" pointing to the recent launch of the first locally made satellite into space and made clear it expects to be treated as an equal. CLIP
Obama seeks nuclear disarmament deal with Russia (6 February 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/06/nuclear-disarmament-russia-us
Hillary Clinton to head US efforts to reduce warheads to about 1,000 -- The Obama administration is looking for a quick deal between the US and Russia to more than halve their nuclear weapons stockpiles, reversing the Bush White House's refusal to be bound by international treaties. Diplomats and officials say they are optimistic Washington and Moscow can quickly agree to cut warheads to about 1,000. Robert Wood, a US state department spokesman, told reporters in Washington that the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, wanted to launch a new initiative with the Russians, who are keen to revive the arms control agenda that languished under George Bush.Barack Obama is reported to have quietly sent Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and security policy guru, to Moscow last month to test the waters. The 1991 Start treaty on strategic nuclear weapons between the former superpower foes comes up for renewal at the end of this year. Wood said the US effort to replace Start would be "put on a fast track". It is understood Russia would welcome this because its nuclear weapons are decaying and upgrading them is costly; and because nuclear talks with the US satisfy the Kremlin's desire to be treated as a great power. CLIP NOTE from Jean: How about denuclearizing the whole planet and putting the genie back in its bottle? At least all nukes should be put off hair-trigger alert immediately and most of them decommissioned!
Russia welcomes disarmament co-op with U.S.: Kremlin (2009-02-11) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/11/content_10797396.htm
MOSCOW, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Russia welcomes the intention of United States President Barack Obama to cooperate in disarmament and other spheres, said a Kremlin spokesperson on Tuesday. "The Kremlin responds positively to the latest comments of U.S. administration members on the future of U.S.-Russia relations," said the spokesperson Natalia Timakova. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "is prepared for the most thorough joint work on the entire bilateral agenda, including disarmament," Itar-Tass and Interfax quoted her as saying. Obama vowed on Monday to prevent nuclear proliferation during his presidency and urged the United States and Russia to lead the way.
Russia Urges Ban on Weapons in Space http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/02/07/Russia_urges_ban_on_weapons_in_space/UPI-32381234036023/
MOSCOW, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Russian officials say a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the United States must include a ban on militarization of space. The new pact should build on the principles of the first START agreement, and ban space weapons and the deployment of nuclear weapons on land, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov told the 45th Munich Security Conference Friday. The current START pact expires Dec. 5. Russia also supports the United Nations playing a larger security role in the world to encourage international stability and the reduction of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Ivanov said. The final implementation of the current START pact in 2001 resulted in the removal of nearly 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons inthe United States and Russia. The former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine disarmed all of their nuclear weapons under the treaty.
Obama Backs Off a Reversal on Secrets (February 9, 2009) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/us/10torture.html
SAN FRANCISCO In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.In the case, Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian native, and four other detainees filed suit against a subsidiary of Boeing for arranging flights for the Bush administrations extraordinary rendition program, in which terrorism suspects were secretly taken to other countries, where they say they were tortured. The Bush administration argued that the case should be dismissed because even discussing it in court could threaten national security and relations with other nations. During the campaign, Mr. Obama harshly criticized the Bush administrations treatment of detainees, and he has broken with that administration on questions like whether to keep open the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But a government lawyer, Douglas N. Letter, made the same state-secrets argument on Monday, startling several judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.Is there anything material that has happened that might have caused the Justice Department to shift its views, asked Judge Mary M. Schroeder, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter, coyly referring to the recent election.No, your honor, Mr. Letter replied.Judge Schroeder asked, The change in administration has no bearing? Once more, he said, No, Your Honor. The position he was taking in court on behalf of the government had been thoroughly vetted with the appropriate officials within the new administration, and these are the authorized positions, he said. That produced an angry response from Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the plaintiffs.This is not change, he said in a statement. This is definitely more of the same. Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obamas Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue. If this is a harbinger of things to come, it will be a long and arduous road to give us back an America we can be proud of again. CLIP
A Call to End All Renditions http://www.truthout.org/021109A
Marjorie Cohn, in an article for Jurist, presents legal background and analysis on the United States's practice of rendition under the Bush administration, and examines the legal opinions offered so far by the Justice Department under President Barack Obama.
NASA-Derived Technology Captures Unique Inaugural Image
(AMAZING! NASA Technology Allows You to Zoom in Real Close) http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NASA_Derived_Technology_Captures_Unique_Inaugural_Image_999.html Full size image Washington DC (SPX) Jan 29, 2009 NASA spinoff technology from the Mars exploration rovers was used to capture a unique panoramic image of President Obama's inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20. A photographer at the inauguration, David Bergman, used the Gigapan camera system to generate an image from a press platform.The resulting picture is a combination of 220 images with an overall size of 1,474 megapixels. The Gigapan system is a NASA spinoff technology that can capture thousands of digital images and weave them into a uniform high-resolution picture of more than a billion pixels.The technology is based on the panoramic camera system that the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have used to explore the Red Planet for more than five years. CLIP
Whales of Hawai'i Celebrate for Obama's Inauguration!! (23 Jan 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUJPgaPUE40
*watch in high quality* - Just minutes before a traditional Hawaiian blessing to honor Barak Obama's Inauguration, a pod of joyful whales began gathering by the temple where the event was taking place. People at the gathering who have lived on the Big Island their whole lives, have never seen anything like what took place on this special day. This happy pod of whales began with 3 white belly breaches, followed by spyhopping, slapping their fins and tails and a new behavior we have never seen before that we nicknamed the full body slap... for a full 30 minutes! The voice you will hear in the background is Haleaka Iolani Pule Dooley, known locally as "Aunty Aka" and you can hear the excitement in her voice as the whales celebrate wildly in front of her and those gathering for the special blessing. The instrument you in the background is a bamboo pu 'ohe - For more spectacular footage from the Big Island of Hawai'i click HERE
The Story of Barack Obama's Mother (April 09, 2008) http://aolsvc.timeforkids.kol.aol.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1729524.html
Recommended by Fred Burks (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: " If you want to understand more about Barack Obama, it's quite fascinating and revealing." NOTE from Jean: You'll also learn a bit about his father and Barack Obama's own diversified experience and background as he grew and lived in various places until he decided at 14 to have some stability and live with his grand parents in Hawaii.
The Hyper-Dimensional Election of Barack Obama and 2012 [1/17] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wxqIwOjvm0
Based on Hyperdimensional Physics, Hoagland successfully predicted the historic results of this election almost two years ago! In this production, based on further application of this HD Model, Hoagland now presents never-before-seen clues to what America and the world may expect from this incoming, unique "Hyperdimensional Obama Administration" including, what Barack Obama may finally do with NASA's decades of classified data on intelligent artifacts discovered on the Moon and Mars, as well as what could be in store for all of us at the end of Obama's first term in 2012. NOTE: I recommend you jump to PART 17 of this videotaped conference to see the amazing robotic head photograph by the US astronauts on the moon
European bank bail-out could push EU into crisis (11 Feb 2009) 'Toxic' EU bank assets total £16.3 trillion!! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/4590512/European-banks-may-need-16.3-trillion-bail-out-EC-dcoument-warns.html
A bail-out of the toxic assets held by European banks' could plunge the European Union into crisis, according to a confidential Brussels document. -- Estimates of total expected asset write-downs suggest that the budgetary costs actual and contingent - of asset relief could be very large both in absolute terms and relative to GDP in member states, the EC document, seen by The Daily Telegraph, cautioned."It is essential that government support through asset relief should not be on a scale that raises concern about over-indebtedness or financing problems.The secret 17-page paper was discussed by finance ministers, including the Chancellor Alistair Darling on Tuesday.National leaders and EU officials share fears that a second bank bail-out in Europe will raise government borrowing at a time when investors - particularly those who lend money to European governments - have growing doubts over the ability of countries such as Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Britain to pay it back.
Rep. Kanjorski: $550 Billion Disappeared in "Electronic Run On the Banks" (February 9, 2009) http://www.boingboing.net:80/2009/02/09/rep-kanjorski-550-bi.html
The Capital Markets Subcommittee Chair, Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, tells C-Span how the world economy almost collapsed in a matter of hours last September 15. (video) At 2 minutes, 20 seconds into this C-Span video clip, Kanjorski reports on a "tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars." According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occured over the period of an hour or two. Kanjorski: "The Treasury opened its window to help. They pumped a hundred and five billion dollars into the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic and there. And that's what actually happened. If they had not done that their estimation was that by two o'clock that afternoon, five-and-a-half trillion dollars would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed." "It would have been the end of our political system and our economic systems as we know it." WORTH listening till the end. VERY sobering economic reality check!
'Here's the problem... people really hate you,' (12 February 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/heres-the-problem-people-really-hate-you-us-bankers-told-1607262.html
US bankers toldWall Street's most powerful figures yesterday faced Congress to explain why taxpayers' money is being spent on bonuses, jets and junkets. -- It took lawmakers three hours to hear the word that the US public has been demanding for months, but it came first out of the mouth of John Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley."If we could play the clock over again, we would do it differently," he said. "I'm especially sorry for what has happened to shareholders, and as a knock-on effect of that, what has happened to the American people. I take that responsibility for my firm."Mr Mack and seven other of the most powerful men on Wall Street had been summoned to Washington to face lawmakers who, channelling public fury, assailed them over their bonuses and the recklessness that had brought the financial system to the edge of collapse.What exactly, Republicans and Democrats alike demanded, did the US taxpayer have to show for the $176bn (£123bn) in bailout money that has been pumped into their eight firms since last October, without causing a notable increase in lending and alleviating the squeeze on businesses and consumers who need credit?Announcing the hearings last week, Barney Frank, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said that public patience with Wall Street bailouts had worn thin."As I've said to a couple of the bankers, 'Here's this problem: People really hate you, and they're starting to hate us because we're hanging out with you,'" Mr Frank said.Yesterday, he urged them to be "cooperative, not grudgingly, not doing the minimum" as the US government seeks to impose a new culture of responsibility on an industry that has become known for its enormous pay packets, corporate jets and lavish junkets. CLIP
The Fallacies of a 'Truth Commission' (February 10, 2009) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/021009b.html
Editors Note: Just as Democratic leaders shied away from talk of impeaching George W. Bush in his final years in office, they are now averting their eyes from the compelling evidence that the former President committed felonies in torturing detainees, waging aggressive war and conducting warrantless wiretaps.As a way to head off public pressure for prosecutions, several senior Democrats are floating the option of a bipartisan fact-finding body that would ask some questions but make sure no one went to jail. In this guest essay, author David Swanson dissects the weakness of that recommendation:Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has now joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers in proposing some sort of "truth and reconciliation" commission for the crimes of Bush and Cheney, as if Bush and Cheney have multiplied into a whole population that simply cannot be processed by our judicial system. CLIP
A Government of Laws, Not of Men (February 10, 2009) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/021009a.html
Editors Note: Washington insiders are divided into two basic groups over what to do about the sordid history of the Bush administration: one side wants a truth commission but no jail time, and the other side says do nothing beyond thanking George W. Bush and his aides for a job well done.But there is a grassroots movement out there that battled the Bush administrations crimes as they were happening often in the face of disdain from the insiders and that group believes serious accountability must be achieved if the health of the American Republic is to be restored, a position shared by journalist Peter Dyer: Now that the unprecedented lawlessness of the Bush administration is history, we have an equally unprecedented opportunity to reaffirm the foundation of American democracy: the rule of law. Restoring the rule of law is as urgent as restoring the economy. Indeed, the problems are closely related and best addressed together. (...) We must repair the Bush administrations legal vandalism and ensure that we fulfill our obligation to deliver intact to the next generation the precious and fragile treasure entrusted to us by Adams and the other architects of the Constitution.It is precisely the magnitude of Bush administration criminality that provides the unparalleled opportunity to do this. Justice and the rule of law demand of us now that we enforce the law. Justice demands as well that we reverse the Abu Ghraib approach, which punished only some lowly prison guards, and begin at the very top where policy was formed. At Nuremberg, Justice Jackson said: The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.Harry Truman said of the Presidents desk: The buck stops here. He was right.We should begin with the arrest and fair trial of citizen George W. Bush. CLIP
Why Not Cut Military Spending? (February 5, 2009) http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/020509a.html
Editors Note: Though many of the Bush-Cheney neoconservatives are now out of government, neocons remain a dominant force in Washington media, especially in the Washington Posts editorial section and one of their new themes is that military spending must not be cut.For instance, on Feb. 3, neocon columnist Robert Kagan lambasted the idea of a 10 percent reduction in military spending. However, in this guest essay, David Swanson writes that the Pentagons bloated spending should not be exempt from the budget knife: In the ordinary course of things in Washington, D.C., and on television, there are two separate conversations. In one conversation, everything that the government spends money on (schools, transportation, police, etc.) must be trimmed back to save money. In the other conversation, the expenses of wars and the military must be unquestioned. CLIP
Livni may win Israel poll, but not power (11 February 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/livni-may-win-israel-poll-but-not-power-1606308.html
Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was on the brink of leading the biggest single party in the Israeli parliament after exit polls showed she had overtaken Benjamin Netanyahu in yesterday's election.If replicated by the actual results, the Kadima leader would be in sight of becoming Israel's first woman Prime minister since Golda Meir, with her party netting two seats ahead of Mr Netanyahu's Likud, the main right- wing opposition party. But this may not be enough to allow her to form a government because the polls suggested the right-wing bloc would be bigger than the centre and centre-left. Right-wing nationalist Avigdor Lieberman also seemed to have improved his vote, according to the exit polls, pushing the once-dominant Labour Party into fourth place for the first time in its history but not by as much as some had expected. Channel Two showed Kadima at 29, Likud at 27 and Mr Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu Party at 15. Channel One put the results as 30, 18, 14 and Labour at 13.Voting yesterday was brisk despite the rainstorms through much of Israel, with around half the electorate having voted by 6pm. The strong turnout had appeared to reflect the closeness of the race for the premiership between foreign minister Tzipi Livni and the front-runner from the beginning of the campaign, Mr Netanyahu. CLIP
Hamas: Zionist voters have elected a 'troika of terrorism' http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1063349.html
"This troika, this trio of terrorism of Lieberman, Livni and Netanyahu chose the dramatic development in Israeli society towards terror."
Palestinians: No talks without settlement freeze (Feb 10, 2009) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iOSQOFQOKu0OltgI0o5SFx_c6UEAD968VFI01
JERUSALEM (AP) No matter who leads Israel's new government, the Israelis will have to commit to a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank before peace talks can resume, Palestinian officials said Tuesday. They spoke as exit polls predicted Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima Party would edge out Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line Likud Party in Israel's national election. But it wasn't clear she would be able to put together a governing coalition, as Likud and other right-wing parties were doing well." Kadima winning doesn't mean it will be able to form a government," said Rafiq Husseini, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu has said he would expand West Bank settlements. Livni, meanwhile, was Israel's chief negotiator in a year of inconclusive peace talks with the Palestinians that saw settlement construction continued and even accelerated under the outgoing Kadima-led government. Abbas, whose administration has been confined to the West Bank since Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in June 2007, made the creation of a Palestinian state the cornerstone of his policies, but he has nothing to show for the year of talks. Reflecting the growing frustration of Palestinian moderates, Husseini said Abbas would resume peace talks with Israel only if the next government agrees to freeze the settlements."We now have clear conditions for whoever heads the Israeli government," Husseini said. "The conditions begin with the halt of settlement activities immediately ... for negotiations to start again." The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank as part of a future state and say the settlements, home to nearly 300,000 Jews, will make it impossible to establish an independent homeland. CLIP MUCH more on the Elections through this LINK
Recep Erdogan storms out of Davos after clash with Israeli president over Gaza (30 January 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/30/turkish-prime-minister-gaza-davos
Turkish prime minister in angry clash with Israeli president Shimon Peres over 'very wrong' offensive against Palestinian territory Link to this video - Recep Erdogan today received a hero's welcome when he returned home after storming out of a World Economic Forum debate following a clash with the Israeli president over Israel's offensive against Gaza. Thousands of people gathered at Ataturk airport, in Istanbul, to greet the Turkish prime minister, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting: "Turkey is proud of you." In a heated exchange, Erdogan told Shimon Peres the Israeli air strikes and invasion of the Palestinian territory were "very wrong" and said "many people have been killed". The incident came after a lengthy debate at the Davos forum about the Israeli offensive, in which at least 1,300 Palestinians were killed. CLIP
Swedish City Cancels Holocaust Event Over Gaza http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232643759716&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
A northern Swedish city has decided to cancel a planned Holocaust Memorial Day torchlight procession due to the recent IDF offensive in Gaza, it was reported Tuesday. The official reason given for the decision, made by the municipal board and local church in Lulea, was safety concerns, but Bo Nordin, a clergyman and spokesman for the church, cited the war in Gaza. "It feels uneasy to have a torchlight procession to remember the victims of the Holocaust at this time," Nordin told Swedish National Radio. "We have been preoccupied and grief-stricken by the war in Gaza and it would feel just feel odd with a large ceremony about the Holocaust." CLIP
Gaza war crimes probe mulled (February 3, 2009) http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2009/02/03/europe/OUKWD-UK-ISRAEL-GAZA.php
The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in The Hague has launched a "preliminary analysis" to establish whether Israel committed war crimes in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, the prosecutor said on Tuesday. Documents also showed that the Palestinian National Authority has recognised the jurisdiction of the ICC, in a move designed to allow investigations of alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. The ICC prosecutor's office said it had received 210 communications from individuals and non-governmental organisations regarding events in Gaza. "The office of the prosecutor will carefully examine all relevant issues, including on jurisdiction," the prosecutor said in a statement. CLIP
Iran summons world on Israel war crimes (5 Feb 2009) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=84804§ionid=351020101
The case for Israeli war crimes in Gaza has gathered momentum as international attorneys have filed charges against senior echelons in Tel Aviv.Representatives from various countries will convene in Tehran to help lodge a case for war crimes committed by Israel in its war on Gaza.Iranian Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi said Thursday that legal authorities from nearly 55 countries are expected to come to a summit in Tehran in early March to defend their case against Israel. "The summit will explore legal and judicial ways for an international investigation into the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity that Israel committed in the Gaza Strip," said Mortazavi. The official said a high commission has been launched within the Iranian Judiciary to take legal action against the architects of Israel's three-week long offensive on the Palestinian territory."As a signatory to the Geneva Convention, the Islamic Republic reserves the right to prosecute Israel as culpable for war crimes," he added. The summit announcement comes only two days after the Palestinian Authority recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Israel's alleged violations of humanitarian law. Calls for an international probe into Tel Aviv war crimes intensified after Israeli soldiers asserted that they pounded the Palestinian coast with at least twenty phosphorus bombs during their operations.Israel initially denied using the controversial weapon, which burns the flesh to the bone, but was forced later, in the face of mounting evidence, to admit to having used it.Other charges brought against Israel include the "reckless and indiscriminate" shelling of residential areas, the use of Palestinian families as human shields by Israeli soldiers and the unrelenting attacks on several medical facilities and UN compounds in the area. CLIP
UN moves to charge Israel with war crimes (10 Feb 2009) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=85224§ionid=351020202
(...) The committee -- comprised of four French and Norwegian lawyers -- intended to collect evidence and testimonials on Operation Cast Lead to present to the International Court. Amid reports of profound human sufferings, Israel continues to reject the fact that it has imposed a humanitarian crisis among the battle-hardened 1.5 million population of Gaza and denies committing war crimes in the embattled Strip.
Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland (1 February 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/01/gaza-food-crisis
Officials warn of 'destruction of all means of life' after the three-week conflict leaves agriculture in the region in ruins - Gaza's 1.5 million people are facing a food crisis as a result of the destruction of great areas of farmland during the Israeli invasion. According to the World Food Programme, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege. Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Programme's country director, said: "We are hearing that 60% of the land in the north - where the farming was most intensive - may not be exploitable again. It looks to me like a disaster. It is not just farmland, but poultry as well."When we have given a food ration in Gaza, it was never a full ration but to complement the diet. Now it is going to be almost impossible for Gaza to produce the food it needs for the next six to eight months, assuming that the agriculture can be rehabilitated. We will give people a full ration." The FAO estimates that 13,000 families who depend directly on herding, farming and fishing have suffered significant damage. "Before the blockade and the attack," said Ahmad Sourani, director of the Agricultural Development Association of Gaza, which runs programmes with charities such as Britain's Christian Aid, "Gaza produced half of its own food. Now that has declined by 25%. In addition, a quarter of the population depends on agriculture for income. What we have seen in large areas of farmland is the destruction of all means of life. CLIP
Video: Gaza farmers devastated by war (29 Jan 2009 - Video) http://imeu.net/news/article0015554.shtml
The scale of the damage caused by Israel's war on Gaza continues to emerge. Palestinian agriculture officials estimate the cost to the strip's farming sector will be more than 200 million dollars. Al Jazeera's Mike Kirsch reports from Gaza, where many farmers are devastated at having to start again from scratch.
Israel expels Gaza aid ship crew (February 06, 2009) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/02/20092611429906394.html
Al Jazeera's Salam Khoder, who was on board the ship, said Israeli soldiers beat those on board - Israel has expelled 10 activists and journalists after detaining them for hours and seizing their cargo ship that was trying to deliver aid to Gaza. Al Jazeera's Salam Khoder, who was among the group, said she and some of the others on board were beaten by Israeli forces before being taken to a police station and interrogated.Minutes after being escorted across the Israeli border to southern Lebanon on Friday, Khoder reported on her capture."At about 11pm last night... the Israeli ship intercepted the ship, fired at the ship and more than 30 soldiers came on to the boat and started beating the passengers," she said. "They blinded our eyes, bounded our hands, kept us in uncomfortable conditions for one hour ... they also told us not to communicate with each other in Arabic." She added that the whereabouts of some of the 18 people who were on board the ship was unknown. The Al-Ikhwa was carrying 60 tonnes of medical supplies, food, books and toys to Gaza, where a more than year-long Israeli blockade along with its devastating offensive last month have left residents struggling to get basic necessities.
The Crucifixion of Bishop Williamson http://truthisbeauty.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/the-crucifixion-of-bishop-williamson/
As I observe the vilification of Bishop Williamson occurring in the Catholic blogosphere, I can't help but recall the gospel account of the crucifixion of Christ Himself. For with the exception of the Blessed Mother and St. John, the rest of His apostles had abandoned Him, quaking in their boots "for fear of the Jews" (John 19:38). Fast forward 20 centuries and something eerily similar seems to be happening again. Only this time, the person being abandoned and crucified is Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St. Pius X. And what was his crime, pray tell? It seems His Excellency has a penchant for speaking the truth to power, something Our Lord Himself was not afraid to do, right to the Pharisees faces (John 8:44) (...) And this is the man theyre persecuting! A man who for the last 20 years has brought the Traditional Latin Mass to millions of the faithful, baptized their children, heard their confessions, and maintained tradition, while staying faithful to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. To those traditional Catholics who are now throwing Bishop Williamson under the bus, I say, shame, shame, shame! They would probably throw Christ Himself under the bus if He dared to question the Holocaust. I don't know definitively how many Jews died in concentration camps during World War II. But I do find it awfully suspicious that people are thrown in jail for questioning an historical event. (And even more disturbing that so many Americans dont seem to have a problem with that, as we brag about our freedom of speech.) The Holocaust has become like a secular dogma that cannot be questioned on pain of imprisonment or shunning. But if six million Jews really were killed in concentration camps, you would think that professional investigations would be welcomed, using the latest forensic technology to verify the event. After all, I don't know of any other group of genocide victims that refuses to allow investigations. But when even the Auschwitz museum has lowered the number of Jews killed there from 4 million to 1.5 million, and Red Cross records reveal far fewer than 1 million deaths, it does not bode well for the number six million. Unless there's a new kind of math where six million minus any sum must always equal six million. CLIP
Top Jews Tell Vatican Holocaust Denial Is A Crime (10 Feb 2009_) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1062797.html
World Jewish leaders told Vatican officials that denying the Holocaust was "not an opinion but a crime" when they met on Monday to discuss a bishop they accuse of being anti-Semitic. The meetings, the first since the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the Holocaust, began last month, took place three days before Pope Benedict is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders. Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast in January: "I believe there were no gas chambers." He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps."Today we strongly reaffirmed that the denial of the Shoah is not an opinion, but a crime," said Richard Prasquier, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust. CLIP
For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel (29/01/2009) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1059775.html
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, a group of American university professors has for the first time launched a national campaign calling for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.While Israeli academics have grown used to such news from Great Britain, where anti-Israel groups several times attempted to establish academic boycotts, the formation of the United States movement marks the first time that a national academic boycott movement has come out of America. Israeli professors are not sure yet how big of an impact the one-week-old movement will have, but started discussing the significance of and possible counteractions against the campaign."As educators of conscience, we have been unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel's indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions," the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel stated in its inaugural press release last Thursday. Speaking in its mission statement of the "censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in U.S. universities, as well as U.S. society at large," the group follows the usual pattern of such boycotts, calling for "non-violent punitive measures" against Israel, such as the implementation of divestment initiatives, "similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." CLIP
Israel says Spain to amend 'war crimes' law (January 30, 2009) http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0130/breaking81.htm
"Israel said today the Spanish government had said it would work to amend a law under which a Madrid court is to consider trying seven Israelis over the killing of Palestinians. Spain's High Court announced this week it would launch a war crimes investigation into a Israeli ex-defence minister and six other top security officials for their role in a 2002 attack that killed a Hamas commander and 14 civilians in Gaza."
1 of 2 CBS: Israeli settlers trying to prevent peace deal (26 January 2009) PART II HERE http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=S_UwGgLdmdI
CBS: Israeli settlers trying to prevent peace deal - By David Edwards CBS 60 Minutes featured a report on the status of a two-state Middle East peace deal that would create a Palestinian state along side Israel. CBS reported that Israel settlers have moved to the West Bank in an attempt to prevent a two state solution. CLIP 60 Minutes under attack for balanced reporting - Easy Action
U.N. crime chief says drug money flowed into banks (January 25, 2009) http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2009/01/25/europe/OUKWD-UK-FINANCIAL-UN-DRUGS.php
The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday. Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year. "In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor." The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way." Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved.
War against Taliban 'will be lost by autumn: US military expert http://tinyurl.com/atnebt The assessment of Col John Nagl, who is consultant to the US government as it conducts four policy reviews on Afghanistan, comes amid fears that unless the insurgents' advance is halted, Afghanistan will become the new president's Vietnam.
UN Demands Truce in Sri Lanka, Says Civilian Deaths an Outrage (Feb. 11, 2009) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=a5ptLDGKZ6Tg&refer=india
The United Nations called for a cease-fire in Sri Lanka, saying it is outraged by the deaths of civilians caught in the militarys drive to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.We are outraged by the unnecessary loss of hundreds of lives and the continued suffering of innocent people inside the LTTE-controlled areas, Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said yesterday. We are calling on both the government and the LTTE to halt indiscriminate fighting near civilians.At least 16 people were killed when shells hit a hospital in the north two days ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday. An evacuation of the hospital is planned for today, it said.Sri Lankas military has driven the Tamil Tigers from their main bases and into an area of less than 200 square kilometers (80 square miles) in the northeastern district of Mullaitivu. The government accuses the LTTE of bringing artillery into safe zones declared for civilians while Tamils say the army is carrying out indiscriminate shelling of the civilian population.The UN and Amnesty International led appeals for civilians to be protected after a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up at a refugee camp two days ago, killing 30 people. The female attacker triggered the bomb when soldiers were checking people entering the camp in Mullaitivu, the Defense Ministry said. Twenty soldiers and 10 civilians were killed, it said.Trapped in NorthInternational aid agencies estimate as many as 250,000 civilians are caught in conflict zones in the northern Wanni region. More than 13,000 are being sheltered at camps in Vavuniya district and the city of Jaffna in the north, Redmond said in his statement. CLIP
46 Of 50 States Could File Bankruptcy In 2009-2010 http://freedomarizona.org/2009/01/30/46-of-50-states-could-file-bankruptcy-in-2009-2010/
There is a high chance a majority of the States within the United States of America could file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. There are currently 46 states with high budget deficits, Arizona being one of them. In fact, Jan Brewer, the newly appointed Governor of Arizona has a major crisis on her hands, one that Arizona and national media isn't covering. The alarming news is the State of Arizona has 90 to 120 days before they completely run out of money. After that, all bills and tax refunds owed to the citizens will go unpaid. Before Janet Napolitano left for her new Homeland secretary position, she had a stand-off with Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin. The AZ Treasurer forewarned Napolitano about Arizona's financial crisis, but she refused to heed his words. With neighboring California on the verge of bankruptcy this year, many States will follow in their steps. Many States are already scurrying to cut unwanted costs, cut State-funded programs, raise taxes, not issue tax refunds to their citizens, and borrow money just to survive in 2009. Unfortunately, many banks - the same banks the Fed bailed out - are refusing to loan money to the States and their Treasury agencies. The article, State Budget Troubles Worsen, at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities website is an excellent piece to read. It shows where each State currently stands in these challenging economic times, and you see 46 of the 50 States are clearly in the financial red. It's very possible you'll see the end of the United States as we know it. If the Fed doesn't bailout the States when their cash dries up and the banks don't loan them money, then our States will be left in financial ruin. This would be a tragic and unprecedented event never experienced in the United States. No State has ever filed bankruptcy, but it could be coming to a State near you this year. We are on the brink of something far worse than the Great Depression.
The Dark Knights
mailto:email@example.com">From: Ben Noyes - I went here which led to... The Knights of Malta are the militia of the Pope, and are sworn to total obedience by a blood oath which is taken extremely seriously and to the death. The Pope as the head of the Vatican is also the head of a foreign national power.- Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences by Albert G. Mackey 33rd degree Mason, published by the Masonic History Company, Chicago, New York, & London, 1925: (Volume One, pp. 392-95) Blackwater is more than just a private army, much more than just another capitalist war-profiteering business operation. It is an army operating outside all laws, outside and above the US Constitution and yet is controlled by people within and outside our government whose allegiance is primarily to the foreign Vatican state Which ended up here - Stand by for a shock when you see this info...
Great bright hope to end battle of the light bulbs (29th January 2009) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1131183/Scientists-invent-2-bulb-60-years--theyre-greener-eco-bulbs.html
A lighting revolution is on the way that could end at the flick of a switch the battle between supporters of conventional bulbs and the eco-friendly variety.Cambridge University researchers have developed cheap, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that produce brilliant light but use very little electricity. They will cost £2 and last up to 60 years. Despite being smaller than a penny, they are 12 times more efficient than conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than the unpopular fluorescent low-energy versions.Cambridge University professor Colin Humphreys with his newly developed LED that has a lifespan of 60 years and costs just £2Even better, the bulbs fully illuminate instantly, unlike the current generation of eco-bulbs.It is reckoned the bulbs, which were funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, could slash household lighting bills by three-quarters.If installed in every home and office, they could cut the proportion of electricity used for lights from 20 per cent to 5 per cent a year. As well as lasting 100,000 hours, ten times as long as today's eco-bulbs, the LED bulbs do not contain mercury, so disposal is less damaging to the environment, and they do not flicker - a problem that has been blamed for migraines and epileptic fits. CLIP
Studies Report Mercury Levels In Popular Food Sweetener (January 28, 2009) http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013866786
Miami, FL (AHN) - Mercury was found in nine of 20 samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup tested by a Food and Drug Administration researcher, and a separate study by a public health group found mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brand named food and beverages where the sweetener was listed as the first or second ingredient. High fructose corn syrup has replaced sugar in many processed foods, including beverages, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of high fructose corn syrup. Consumption by teenagers and other high consumers can be up to 80 percent above average levels, according to the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy -- the group responsible for the second report. "Mercury is toxic in all its forms," the IATP's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author in both studies, said in a statement. "Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply."The original FDA study was conducted in 2005, and Wallinga is accusing the agency of not informing the public of the mercury findings. CLIP
Co-op bans eight pesticides after worldwide beehive collapse http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/28/bees-coop-pesticide
First UK supermarket chain - and Britain's biggest farmer - to prohibit chemicals implicated in the death of over one-third of British bees -- The Co-op today became the first UK supermarket to ban the use of a group of pesticides implicated in billions of honeybee deaths worldwide. It is prohibiting suppliers of its own-brand fresh produce from using eight pesticides that have been connected to honeybee colony collapse disorder and are already restricted in some parts of Europe. The Co-op said it will eliminate the usage of the neonicotinoid family of chemicals where possible and until they are shown to be safe. The Co-op has over 70,000 acres of land under cultivation in England and Scotland, making it the largest farmer in the UK. Since 2001, it has already prohibited the use of 98 pesticides under its pesticide policy. Simon Press, senior technical manager at the Co-op group said: "We believe that the recent losses in bee populations need definitive action, and as a result are temporarily prohibiting the eight neonicotinoid pesticides until we have evidence that refutes their involvement in the decline." Laboratory tests suggest that one of the banned chemicals, imidacloprid, can impede honeybees' sophisticated communication and navigation systems. It has been banned in France for a decade as a seed dressing on sunflowers. Italy, Slovenia and Germany banned neonicotinoids last year after the loss of millions of honeybees. And the European Parliament voted earlier this month for tougher controls on bee-toxic chemicals. CLIP
Urge Congress on EMF Safety - Petition Now! http://groups.google.com/group/omeganews/browse_thread/thread/7b45edb55292384e?hl=de
Let's band together and create change! Exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields are obsolete, and we are asking you to take action so our health, and the health of our children and unborn children, is no longer subject to the biological effects of excessive levels electromagnetic fields. Please Sign Electromagnetic Health's Petition to Congress - Known biological effects of radiofrequency radiation and low frequency fields include genetic effects, cancer, cellular/molecular effects, behavioral changes, nervous system dysfunction, blood-brain barrier permeability, calcium efflux, cardiovascular changes, sleeping disorders, hormonal disturbance, immune system changes, metabolic effects, fertility impairment and the interpersonal effects related to a constant background of stress. The wireless telecommunications industry must be held to a higher standard for human health. Urge Congress on EMF Safety, FCC Must Change Exposure Guidelines for Microwave Radiation Exposure
Storms batter France, Britain and Switzerland (Feb 10, 2009) http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUKLA54352220090210
PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A storm swept across northern France on Tuesday, leaving some 400,000 homes without power, after high winds and gales hit Britain and Switzerland.It was the second big storm to hit France in less than three weeks after gale force winds killed four people and left close to 2 million homes without power on Jan. 24 in the southwest.In an unusual precautionary measure, authorities halted all air traffic in the Paris region on Monday evening. Planes started flying again from around 0900 (0800 GMT) on Tuesday, with delays expected for a number of flights.Meteo France, the weather forecast agency, said winds of up to 140 kph (87 mph) had buffeted the northwestern coast, while inland gusts of up to 120 kph had been recorded. CLIP
Homeland Security chief vists storm-weary Kentucky (February 10, 2009) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gbiV_b5AN7d61bqp3IxV24vLX_wAD9690L080
WEST PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday the federal government would deviate from normal practice and reimburse Kentucky for 75 percent of the cost of activating its National Guard in last month's crippling winter storm. At a news conference in Frankfort, Napolitano called the storm that began Jan. 27 Kentucky's worst in more than a century, blanketing the region with snow and ice and knocking out power to about 769,000 customers. (...) Kentucky officials have attributed 33 deaths to the storm. About 39,000 customers were still without power on Tuesday, officials said. Some 101 counties and 75 cities have declared states of emergency, and President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for the state. CLIP
Antarctic ice melt could shift Earth's rotation: Study (February 05, 2009) http://www2.canada.com/topics/technology/science/story.html?id=1261393
Scientists say the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would have such profound effects it would shift the planet's rotation, sending a bulge of water into the Northern Hemisphere. The enormous ice sheet, which many experts believe could collapse as the climate warms, is so heavy that as it melts it "will actually cause the Earth's rotation axis to shift rather dramatically," reports a team led by geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica, at the University of Toronto. The scientists say the North and South poles would move about half a kilometre if the entire ice sheet collapses and shifts more water north. A nearly collapsing, 20 metre-high ice cliff forms the edge of the Wilkins Ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. Coastal regions from Washington to Vancouver could expect sea levels to rise at least six metres, Mitrovica and his colleagues report Friday in the journal Science. Much of Florida would be drowned as would low-lying areas in Maritime Canada, the Arctic and along the Pacific coast.There is nowhere on the coast of Canada or the U.S. that the sea level won't rise to at least six metres, Mitrovica said in an interview.He and his colleagues stress that the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, while a big concern, is not imminent and may not occur for centuries. "But these findings do suggest that if you are planning for sea level rise, you had better plan a little higher," says co-author Peter Clark at Oregon State University. CLIP
Global warming changing birds' habits (Feb. 10, 2009) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29104238/
WASHINGTON - When it comes to global warming, the canary in the coal mine isn't a canary at all. It's a purple finch.As the temperature across the U.S. has gotten warmer, the purple finch has been spending its winters more than 400 miles farther north than it used to.And it's not alone. An Audubon Society study released Tuesday found that more than half of 305 birds species in North America, a hodgepodge that includes robins, gulls, chickadees and owls, are spending the winter about 35 miles farther north than they did 40 years ago. (...) Over the 40 years covered by the study, the average January temperature in the United States climbed by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. That warming was most pronounced in northern states, which have already recorded an influx of more southern species and could see some northern species retreat into Canada as ranges shift."This is as close as science at this scale gets to proof," said Greg Butcher, the lead scientist on the study and the director of bird conservation at the Audubon Society. "It is not what each of these individual birds did. It is the wide diversity of birds that suggests it has something to do with temperature, rather than ecology." CLIP
Global Warming Is Irreversible, Study Says (January 26, 2009) !!!! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99888903
Climate change is essentially irreversible, according to a sobering new scientific study.As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, the world will experience more and more long-term environmental disruption. The damage will persist even when, and if, emissions are brought under control, says study author Susan Solomon, who is among the world's top climate scientists. (...) "People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide that the climate would go back to normal in 100 years or 200 years. What we're showing here is that's not right. It's essentially an irreversible change that will last for more than a thousand years," Solomon says. This is because the oceans are currently soaking up a lot of the planet's excess heat and a lot of the carbon dioxide put into the air. The carbon dioxide and heat will eventually start coming out of the ocean. And that will take place for many hundreds of years. Solomon is a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her new study looked at the consequences of this long-term effect in terms of sea level rise and drought. If we continue with business as usual for even a few more decades, she says, those emissions could be enough to create permanent dust-bowl conditions in the U.S. Southwest and around the Mediterranean. CLIP
Many glaciers will disappear by middle of century and add to rising sea levels, expert warns (19 Jan 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/19/glacier-rising-sea-levels
Melt rates for 2007 fall but still third worst on record - Threat to livelihoods of 2bn dependent on rivers -- Most of the planet's glaciers are melting so fast that many will disappear by the middle of the century, a leading expert has warned. Figures from the World Glacier Monitoring Service show that although melt rates for 2007 fell substantially from record levels the previous year, the loss of ice was still the third worst on record.The total mass left in the glaciers is now thought to be at the lowest level for "thousands of years".Even under moderate predictions of global warming, the small glaciers, which make up the majority by number, will not recover, said Prof Wilfried Haeberli, the organisation's director.The warning will raise concern among those who say that glacier melting is one of the greatest threats of climate change because it raises the risk of sudden avalanches of rocks and soil released from the ice, threatening the livelihoods of more than 2 billion people who depend on melt-water to feed rivers in summer. Glacier melting will also add to rising global sea levels."If the climate is not really cooling dramatically, they'll retreat and disintegrate," said Haeberli. "This means many will simply be lost in the next decades - 10, 20, 30, 40 years. CLIP
Russian scientist: Cell phone use linked to brain tumors (05/ 02/ 2009) http://omega.twoday.net/stories/5495710/
MOSCOW, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - A leading Russian scientist said on Thursday, citing a Swedish study, that the use of cell phones from an early age could lead to brain tumors. "We have a very cautious attitude as regards children, our future generation. There is data suggesting that brain tumors could develop," Yury Grigoryev, a leading scientist at the Burnazyan medical biophysical center, told a RIA Novosti press conference. Grigoryev cited Swedish research data, which he said showed that if a child uses a cell phone from 8 to 12, then the risk of developing a brain tumor by the age of 21 increases fivefold.
This is only the second time I have taken the opportunity to make a comment on the issues you bring to the forefront of the readers of your mailing list but I believe it is time, for those of us who feel the call to the light, not to get fooled by the manipulations of those in power to reduce mankind to poverty so that they may be controlled and think about the change in direction that must come if we are to transcend this age.
The Financial Bailout is a path to disaster a rescue of the very rich group of people who put us in trouble so that they can continue to manipulate us.
I continue to be amused by the reaction of people to the current economic crisis and their view that recovery will be around the corner, next year. Unfortunately, this is mere fantasy which will prevail for perhaps another 2 years, at which time the world will wake up and realize they have been deceived.
If the stimulus plans of the various governments is to simply plow more money into a world economic structure based on the old technologies of pharmaceuticals, oil and gas guzzling cars and its spin offs, we will see only temporary relief in income stability and within a very short period, a return to crisis but with no available resources to create the change needed to provide the means necessary for the world to live in harmony. The lack of new wealth creation will lead to one group fighting to control access to scarce resources, as prevails now.
What is needed is a re-direction of our world resources to green technologies, management of the available human resources into productive work that creates a co-operative world environment that does not compete but complement the actions of each other. We continue to live a world rich in resources, with plenty for all, provided a few individuals do not want to keep it all for themselves.
We have indeed, within the last ten years, spent more on wars and will do so over the next three four years that was ever needed to eradicate the ills of this world (poverty, hunger). I have seen the misuse of educated people in the developed world (Australia, Canada, UK & USA), who lie idle because we have a system that promotes educational regional standard controls but claims a global vision of world commerce. (Certifications acquired in one part of the world not accepted in another a form of control).
All of the Governments to date have initiated stimulus packages or financial assistance in one form or another that have sought to sustain an unsustainable economic path for fear of the alternative a population backlash of unemployed people.
They lack the foresight and will to use the financial resources currently available to make a radical change in the structure of how the world currently operates even though we are on the brink of world financial collapse.
There are cheap alternatives available in energy, green technologies for sustainable living and natural cures available in Nature for the eradication of disease but we suppress the knowledge and promote the use of costly mainstream technologies that have proven to be unsustainable for the future.
Those who feel the connection to the source of all life need to focus our thoughts on manifesting the use of all our resources, human and otherwise to a co-operative lifestyle that promotes the concept that all life is valuable and has a role to play in our environment.
We need in our everyday life to promote around us that concept and hopefully we will effect change through our individual actions and interfacing with those around us. The alternative is too grim to contemplate.
We who live in the developed world are too shielded by the comforts we take for granted, to hunger for the change that is coming whether we like it or not.
A peaceful co-operative existence to all.
May God bless us with the vision and the insight to move us to the light.
From: Barbara Villemez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Alaska's killing of wolves by plane
Date: 11 Feb 2009
I read all your blogs from end to end and know that you advocate for the downtrodden and the ones who need justice. You also blog for the truth. I support many wildlife organizations and other worthwhile causes. Only with small amounts of money as I am retired and on fixed income. But I do sign petitions, but again only after I have researched the information. I recently received a video about the killing of wolves by plane in Alaska. Needless to say it was appalling and sickening. I decided to write to the Governor's office to request some information. Also wrote to the Alaska legislature. No one of course answered my email from the governor's office, but I did get an email from a democratic representative, Richard Foster. He was kind enough to give me his reasons for the wolf killings. The reasons were that the wolves were killing the caribou and moose so that the people who live in the wilderness and rural areas were having food taken from their families. I gave this explanation to my husband who is a former hunter and he said it was false reasoning. He said that one moose or a full grown caribou could feed a family of four for a year. He knew as he had done the same with elk when living in Wyoming. Since he is a retired scientist he said that I should ask for further information, such as the wolf population as compared to the moose and caribou population and the amount of people living in rural areas. The State would have this data and the data should tell the truth. so far I have been unable to get anyone to give me the data or show me where I can find it in the Alaskan government. As a result I have been frustrated at every step of the way. also my husband says that the State makes a lot of money on out of state licenses for hunting and fishing and the wolves could be cutting down on some of that money. If possible could you add some of this to your blog and publicize the website for this video.
These are the ones that will show the video. www.eyeonpalin.org and Defenders of Wildlife Action fund (mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org) I think that if enough negative publicity is generated by this, then maybe the Alaskan legislature will make some changes as to their wolf policies.
Thank you for taking some time to read this.
Barb Villemez, Las Cruces, NM
Note from Jean: According to the site Barbara recommended (see above) 878 wolves have been slaughtered since 2003. They also state HERE that...
Governor Palin is an active promoter of Alaska's aerial hunting program whereby wolves are shot from the air or chased by airplanes to the point of exhaustion before the pilot lands the plane and a gunner shoots the animals point blank. The program also targets bears.
- Palin offered a $150 bounty for wolves to entice hunters to kill more wolves in certain parts of the state, with hunters having to present a wolf's foreleg to collect the bounty.
- She actively opposed a ballot measure campaign seeking to end the aerial hunting of wolves by private hunters and approved a $400,000 state-funded campaign aimed at swaying people's votes on the issue.
- She also introduced legislation to make it easier to kill wolves and bears and which would have also removed the aerial hunting initiative from the ballot and block the ability of citizens to vote on the issue.
- The Board of Game, which she appoints, has approved the killing of black bear sows with cubs as part of the program and expanded the aerial control programs.
- The media and state officials are currently looking into reports that state officials implementing one of the aerial wolf killing programs illegally killed five-week old wolf pups just outside their dens. CLIP
MUCH more on this issue through this LINK - You may also sign HERE an online petition against this Petition
Imagine if she and McCain had managed to stole the November elections the irreparable damage they would have brought upon the US and much of the world... Sadly people and all of nature in Alaska are stuck with her....
I CONCUR WITH MUCH OF WHAT MAKOW WROTE (except his reference to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which appear to be a forgery according to Wikipedia - more on this HERE). THE ONLY MISSING ELEMENT IN HIS DENUNCIATION OF THE INVISIBLE HAND (the owners of the private "national" banks, like the Federal Reserve, issuing money around the world) THAT CONTROLS ALL THROUGH DEBT SLAVERY AND IN HIS SOLUTION OUT OF THIS EXTORTIONIST GLOBAL FINANCIAL DICTATORSHIP IS THAT LOVE FOR, FROM AND AS ALL THAT IS IS THE ONLY MEANS THROUGH WHICH REDRESS CAN BE ACHIEVED. THE SYSTEMIC PROBLEM HE REFERS TO GOES EVEN MORE DEEPER. THE PRIME SYSTEMIC FLAW IN OUR MENTAL VIEW IS THE SELF-DECEIVING ILLUSION OF OUR SEPARATION FROM SOURCE AND FROM ALL THAT IS, AND HENCE OUR SELF-REJECTION FROM THE LOVE THAT PERMEATES ALL UNIVERSES AND ALL DIMENSIONS IN THE CONTINUUM. FIX THIS FLAW - OPEN AND SURRENDER YOUR WHOLE BEING TO THE INFINITELY HEALING POWER OF LOVE - AND ALL DISSONANT "REALITIES" ARE GONE. YOU RETURN HOME AND KNOW ONCE AGAIN WHAT LIVING-BEING THE PERFECTION OF DIVINE ORDER IS. AND THEREFORE THERE IS NO LONGER ANY NEED TO FIGHT ANYTHING. YOU REINTEGRATE ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR SELF - INCLUDING DERELICT ELEMENTS SUCH AS THOSE BRED BY THE ZIONIST IDEOLOGY - BACK INTO ONENESS AND "BOOM", PERFECT LOVE, PEACE AND HARMONY PREVAIL ONCE AGAIN. Just like that! ;-) (Sorry for the all CAPS comment. I got carried away and I'm too lazy to retype it...)
"Who and what is in a position to overthrow an invisible force? And this is precisely what our force is." (Protocols of Zion, IV)
Roger, an "angry American," "patriot" and "fighter," wrote to say he is in touch with many other men who want to do something but don't know what. Do I have any ideas?
Roger is like the man who asked how much does the yacht cost and was told, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."
Individuals take the initiative. That's what the enemy is most afraid of. People only do what they "own" i.e. conceive themselves (unless of course they are paid or propagandized by paid agents.)
In any conflict, it is necessary to understand who the enemy is. As Pogo said,"the enemy is us."
The enemy has so permeated the social fabric that society is complicit in its own destruction. Let me explain:
Every day we hear about governments "borrowing" billions in order to stimulate the economy. Do we ever hear who is lending us this money, and where it is coming from? You'd think that would be pertinent.
This "money" is created out of nothing by the Rothschilds and their henchmen in the central banking cartel. Like the homeless man's dog on an endless walk, this is something our governments could do themselves. Then we would not become debt slaves of the Rothschilds and they would not need a totalitarian New World Order to collect this "debt."
The Protocols of Zion marveled at how stupid gentiles are: "How clear is the undeveloped power of thought of the purely brute brains of the goyim in the fact that they have been borrowing from us...without ever thinking that these moneys [plus interest] must be got by them from their own state pockets in order to settle up with us. What could have been more simple than to take the money they wanted from their own people?" (XX)
You won't hear about this in the mass media but occasionally something will pop up in the Comment sections. This observation by a "Nick Rothschild" appeared recently on Marketwatch.com
"Hate to tell you guys, but all these "currencies" are the smoke screen. We get you to focus on the money while the real "currency" is the debt and the fact that we have enslaved all generations in the future to the servicing thereof... Those who control the debt, we Rothschilds, will never have to work AS LONG AS YOU CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN THE MONEY. IT IS NOT THE MONEY THAT YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON .... IT'S THE DEBT, STUPID!"
We never hear about this because everyone in positions of influence has a stake in the Rothschild's fraud. Organized Jewry and Freemasonry are but the most prominent stakeholders in this scam but it includes every government, religion, corporation or organization of significance. Take universities for example. People go to the money, like ants find jam.
In other words, our civilization is leaderless and committed to its own destruction.This is portrayed as "progress" (which it is for the Illuminati.)
If anyone speaks out, he is accused of "anti-Semitism" and ostracized. This is a devious but effective strategy to dismiss concern about the most pressing economic, political and spiritual crisis facing civilization as mere racial prejudice. Proof of the "brute brains of the goyim" is that they fall for this simple ruse, hook, line and sinker. Poor dears, they won't even read the Illuminati Jewish blueprint, the Protocols of Zion, because it is "anti-Semitic." (In fact, it is a hate-filled anti-human blueprint for world government tyranny inspired by the Talmud. The USSR was a direct outcome of this document.)
Society is being led like lemmings over a cliff. We only believe what the banking cartel and its minions tell us. Again, its all in "The Protocols": The masses are "accustomed to listen to us only who pay it for obedience and attention. In this way, we shall create a blind mighty force which will never be in a position to move in any direction without the guidance of our agents...The people will submit to this regime because it will know that upon these leaders will depend its earnings, gratification and the receipt of all kinds of benefits." ("Protocols of Zion" X)
In the movie "The Matrix," Morpheus says the same thing:
"The Matrix is a system, Neo, and that system is our enemy. When you are inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters, the very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are part of that system and that makes them our enemies. You have to understand most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many are so...hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
Thus, our problem is systemic and can't be solved as long as our political and cultural leaders are creatures of the system. Our focus must be on changing the system, i.e. nationalizing the Fed and renouncing that portion of the debt created out of thin air. Any person, politician or pundit who disagrees with this program is part of the system and must be denounced as a traitor.
The system provided widespread prosperity in order to consolidate its power. Now, it's moving to the next stage: absorbing all wealth and enslaving the masses (under the pretext of the credit crises and war on terror.) It may look like the State owns all the banks and all the property, but the State today is merely a surrogate for the central bankers (i.e. Rothschilds etc.)
As I have said before, the arc of Western Civilization has been from worship of God (rise) to worship of Satan (decline.) It's been downhill since the Enlightenment. The Rothschilds and their cabalistic lackeys are Luciferians or Satanists. This is characterized by the fact that they recognize the existence of God but rebel against His natural and spiritual order and redefine His Good as Evil. They wish to usurp His role and redefine human reality in terms of their own perverse agenda. Money creation has been used by the Illuminati to enslave mankind to Satan.
The Achilles's heel of the system is its dependence on unwitting agents and dupes. Our role now is to educate these dupes and detach more people from Illuminati ranks. As things get worse, more people will become disillusioned with the system and look for explanations.
Any mass organization we set up up will be infiltrated and subverted. Thus, we must form myriad informal groups to spread the message and resist in many different ways. One 78-year-old pensioner has been getting my book, Illuminati, at cost and giving them away to influential people. This is a small example of personal initiative and self-sacrifice.
Israeli Spokesman Says We Control Stupid Americans
01 FEBRUARY 2009
"Another Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora Menache, stated that she was not worried about negative ramifications the Israeli onslaught on Gaza might have on the way the Obama administration would view Israel. She said 'You know very well, and the stupid Americans know equally well, that we control their government, irrespective of who sits in the White House. You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can't criticize Israel."
Commenting on the latest Israeli one-directional onslaught against the Palestinians of Gaza Strip, the Israeli 10th TV channel has disclosed that the Israeli genocidal forces had used half of its air force and had launched at least 2500 air raids against Gaza Strip.
The television military correspondent stated that the Israeli warplanes had dropped more than a thousand tons of explosives, including white phosphorous and DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) bombs, during three weeks on the virtually unarmed densely populated 360 square Kilometers Strip.
He added that the shells fired by tanks, artillery, gunboats, and infantry were not included in those fired by the air force.
After a whole week of continuous air bombardments Israel sent in its elite foot soldiers; 30,000 of them, and called in 10,000 of its reservists. Armed with the latest weapons of mass murder, covered with an umbrella of free reigning air force, and accompanied with raining shells of heavy artilleries, they drove their tanks into the civilian towns murdering civilians and destroying every structure in their path.
Living outside of Gaza one cannot fully understand the barbarity of this genocide especially when the Western media had barely covered any of its atrocity. To gain a slight idea of its enormity one should remember that, during the 6-days war of 1967, this same Israeli army was distributed on four fronts; Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese, and it was fighting regular armies. Now the whole brunt of this army is concentrated on a small strip against unarmed and untrained civilian population.
Latest official count was 1350 murdered, 40% of them were children, and 5300 were injured; mutilated and amputated. It was reported that 80% of the injured were the victims of burning phosphorous bombs. More dead are being discovered under the rebels, and many seriously injured are expected later on to die.
Israeli tanks had left several city blocks completely destroyed without any homes or structure standing. The tanks shelled homes and apartment towers. Due to the small size of Gaza Strip Palestinians had to build vertically. Many apartment towers went up 15-20 stories high with each story containing 6-8 apartments.
A total of 20,000 buildings were completely or partially burnt and damaged. The UN has reported that more than 50,000 Palestinians are left homeless and are now crowded into 50 emergency shelters.
An estimated of 50,000 more are living with relatives and in tents they erected on the ruins of their homes.
The Israeli bombardment targeted everything in Gaza including government buildings, police headquarters, banks and business offices, the main university, 67 schools sheltering civilians, shopping centers and market places, factories, water, sewer, and electricity infrastructures, private homes and apartment towers and charity organizations.
Farms, including their animals, were also targeted and hundreds of acres of crops and fruit groves were incinerated. Religious buildings, where civilians usually seek shelter, were specifically targeted. Israeli fighter planes had completely destroyed 41 mosques, and partially damaged 51 others. One church was also targeted. Even cemeteries were not spared; 5 of them were bombed.
Although the Israeli army was given the exact GPS co-ordinates of every UN structure, as asserted by Christopher Gunness, the UNRWA spokesman, Israeli F-16 planes had repeatedly dropped phosphorous bombed on UN schools knowing very well that hundreds of civilians had taken shelter there. At least 45 children and women were burnt and murdered there.
The UN headquarters in Gaza City was also hit with three, not just one, phosphorous bombs burning tons of humanitarian aid and food stuff. The fire kept on burning for three days. UN-flagged humanitarian convoy was also shelled killing one driver.
Medical centers and paramedics were not spared. The Red Crescent Al-Quds hospital in Tal el-Hawa neighborhood was hit by Israeli shells and caught on fire. Other two hospitals; Al-Wafa and Al-Fata hospitals, were also shelled, leading the World Health Organization to express its deep concern about the serious implications of such bombardments. 16 other smaller health clinics and 16 ambulances were also damaged. Medics were targeted and prevented from helping the injured. Ten of them, including two doctors, were murdered.
Media centers were particularly targeted. Local and international news reporters were prevented from entering Gaza. Those, who were able to enter, were directly targeted. The Al-Shuruq office tower housing several international and Arab media outlets was directly hit. Two cameramen working for Abu Dhabi TV were injured, while the offices of Reuters News Agency, Fox TV, Sky, and Al-Arabiya TV offices were damaged. Another raid had damaged the headquarter offices of Al-Resala newspaper.
Similar to all their previous wars the Israeli soldiers had committed massacres against Palestinian unarmed civilians. They have used internationally banned weapons such as phosphorous bombs, DIME, and depleted uranium, as reported by international physicians, eyewitnesses, and military experts. Israeli soldiers had mutilated the bodies of their victims to instill terror in the hearts of people hoping they will leave Gaza. Israeli soldiers herded many families in one building using them as human shield, and then later on bombed the building on top of them. They shot civilians, mainly children, directly and at point blank. The bodies of some children were found shot several times; as many as 18 bullets in the body of a 12 years old girl, and 12 bullets in the body of her 2 years old sister.
Israeli soldiers had wiped off whole Palestinian families. Al-Samuni family lost 11 members, Abu Aisha family lost 6, Batran family lost 6, al-Rayyan family lost 15 and al-Balousha family lost 5 sisters. Other families, too many to mention here, were either murdered or incinerated by the phosphorous bombs. The Israeli army has been carrying out a deliberate indiscriminate mass murder. During the first Intifada, 1987 1993, they murdered 1162 Palestinians. During the second Intifada, 2001- 2006, they murdered 5500 Palestinians. Now, in a short period of three weeks, they murdered 1350 Palestinians.
This onslaught is a holocaust since the many tons of phosphorous bombs, dropped on Gaza cities, had burnt civilians to the bones, burnt their homes and buildings, and burnt their fields and crops. This is the holocaust that the Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnai, had threatened Palestinians with when he stated: "the more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah (holocaust) because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."
One cannot help but wonder how could a group of people, who claim to be the victims of a holocaust, commit another holocaust against another nation. What is it that feeds, perpetuates and intensifies this Judaic genocidal spirit although all Arabs, including Palestinians, had offered these Zionist Jews many agreements of coexistence, peace and security? The answer comes through their media outlets, through the words of their scholarly educators, and through the teachings of their Rabbis.
"All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts" cries the religious opinion of Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, the director of the long-established Tsomet Religious Institute. He wrote that Palestinians are like the nation of Amalekites, who attacked the Israelite tribes led by Moses on their way to Jerusalem. He stated that the Lord sent down in the Torah a ruling that allowed the Jews to kill the Amalekites, and that this ruling is known in Jewish jurisprudence.
The Torah states: "Annihilate the Amalekites from the beginning to the end. Kill them and wrest them from their possessions. Show them no mercy. Kill continuously, one after the other. Leave no child, plant, or tree. Kill their beasts, from camels to donkeys." Rosen stated that Amalekites are not a particular race, but rather all those who hate and oppose the Jews; Christians and Muslims.
Many leading Israeli Rabbis support Rosens views. Israels former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu advocated carpet bombing of Gaza stating that "there is absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during massive military offensive on Gaza" (The Jerusalem Post, 30 May, 2007). His son Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu amplified his fathers genocidal call stating: "if they dont stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand, then we must kill 10,000 and even a million"
Many Rabbis had argued that Palestinians in Gaza are not innocent civilians and that during war time it is not individuals but nations the Israelis are fighting. (It seems that Hitler had adopted this Telmudic teaching when he persecuted all European Jews)
Israeli educators, scholars, and politicians, openly, advocate the annihilation of all Palestinians. Dr. Nachum Rakover, a legal scholar, opined "They voted for killers and sent them to kill us. To call them (civilians) innocent is a tragic comedy civilians are partners of the killers" Eli Yeshai, Israeli official in the Orthodox Shas party argued that "extermination of the enemy is sanctioned by the Torah" Many other politicians called for the need for "wiping off Gaza from the face of earth", and "annihilating of every moving thing there." The right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman proposed nuking Gaza following the US example when it dropped the atomic bomb on Japan during WWII.
This "ideology of annihilation" is by no means a minority opinion in Israel, but represents a mainstream in the Jews of Israel as well as Jews in the West (US). The popular attitude is "if it was right by God to order us to commit genocide during Biblical time, why cant it be right to commit genocide now. Has God changed his mind?" Indeed Judaic god is a racist genocidal god.
Watch and listen here to an example of how Israeli Jews are brainwashed and indoctrinated into the ideology of annihilation by their rabbis and scholars through Israeli media. Watch Max Blumenthals videotape of a group of messianic Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch exhibit this ideology in NYC in January 11, 2009.
The Israeli spokesman, Nachman Abramovic demonized Palestinian children stating "They may look young to you, but these people are terrorists at heart. Dont look at their deceptively innocent faces, try to think of the demons inside each of them I am absolutely certain these people would grow to be evil terrorists if we allowed them to grow would you allow them to grow to kill your children or finish them off right now? honost and moral people ought to differentiate between true humans and human animals. We do kill human animals and we do so unapologetically. Besides who in the West is in a position to lecture us on killing human animals. After all, whose hands are clean?"
Human animal mentioned by Abramovic refers to the Judaic religious belief that Jews are Gods chosen people; the elite and the pure-blooded, while all others (non-Jews, Goyims, gentiles) are animal souls incarnated into human bodies to serve the Jews. Killing a human animal is just a sport like hunting deer or birds.
by Michael Salla, Ph.D., Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner -- January 29, 2009
Eric Holder is very likely to be confirmed on Monday as Attorney General by the full U.S. Senate after yesterday gaining approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 17-2 vote. He will be the first African American to head the Department of Justice in U.S. history. Holder will be the top legal official responsible for dealing with a variety of complex legal issues that confront the Obama administration. He will have to hit the ground running when he starts his new job due to a highly unusual request from the Mayor of London. On January 26, Mayor Boris Johnson publicly requested President Obama drop all charges by the Department of Justice against a British computer hacker seeking UFO files.
In 2002, Gary McKinnon was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for hacking into a series of computers in the Pentagon, NASA, and other sensitive military locations. McKinnon claimed he was seeking information on UFOs and says he found files dealing with "non-terrestrial officers" and "fleet-to-fleet transfers" involving ships not on any U.S. Navy registry. Not impressed by McKinnon's internet snooping for UFOs or alleged discoveries of classified information concerning non-terrestrial affairs, the U.S. Department of Justice began extradition proceedings. After a series of unsuccessful legal appeals McKinnon stands on the verge of being extradited to the U.S.
During his seven year battle against extradition, McKinnon gained increasing public sympathy in Britain. Mayor Boris Johnson wrote on behalf of his infamous London constituent in a manner that must have seemed manna from Heaven for the increasingly anxious McKinnon. Mayor Johnson demonstrated his intent clearly enough with his article's title: "Gary McKinnon believes in little green men - but it doesn't make him a terrorist."
After first congratulating President Obama on his stunning inauguration ceremony and overturning a number of diplomatic faux pas of the Bush administration policies, Johnson went on to describe the charges against McKinnon as "one more thing in his diplomatic in-tray." In colorful terms, Johnson described the charges as a form of dementia orchestrated from neo-conservatives embedded in the Department of Justice:
There is one last piece of neocon lunacy that needs to be addressed, and Mr Obama could sort it out at the stroke of a pen. In a legal nightmare that has lasted seven years, and cost untold millions to taxpayers both here and in America, the US Justice Department is persisting in its demented quest to extradite 43-year-old Londoner, Gary McKinnon.
Johnson's main rationale is that many believe that what McKinnon did was understandable enough given the common belief of a U.S. conspiracy to hide the truth about UFOs.
Mr McKinnon believes in UFOs, and he is one of the large number of people who think that there is a gigantic conspiracy to conceal their existence from the rest of us, and that this conspiracy is organised by the US government.
In resolving the diplomatic dilemma confronting the Justice Department over the McKinnon case, Attorney General Holder might be advised to consult with fellow cabinet member, Hillary Clinton over at the Department of State. Holder will soon discover that the idea of a conspiracy to withhold the truth about UFOs is not just a bizarre belief held by many on the other side of the Atlantic. While McKinnon is prepared to plead guilty to escape extradition, many on both sides of the Atlantic have great sympathy for his hacking efforts to uncover the truth about UFOs and extraterrestrial life.
NASA agent spills UFO beans - McKinnon defender says the truth is out there (29 January 2009) http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/681/1050681/nasa-agent-spills-ufo-beans
A VETERAN NASA agent who says he processed the real X-Files has come clean with the inside story on the Roswell aliens. Joseph Richard Gutheinz Jr, a practising criminal lawyer and decorated former NASA special agent, spoke out in defence of UFO hacker Gary Mckinnon last week. Having also spent the last four years on the Texas Criminal Justice Advisory Committee on Medical and Mental Impairments, he felt qualified to call on the US government to cease its unfair hounding of the UFO hacker. But Gutheinz, it turns out, is himself a poster-boy for UFO conspiracists, just like McKinnon: he is famous for telling a mysterious tale of dead Roswell aliens being kept in Building 265 at NASA's Johnson Space Centre where he used to work in Houston, and of a sinister government cover up. CLIP
Secret UFO archives opened (29 January 2009) http://www.cphpost.dk/news/national/article/88-national/44602-secret-ufo-archives-opened.html
The Danish Air Force has opened its UFO archives, providing information on over 15,000 reported extraterrestrial sightings to the publicUFO archives are now readily available to the public, detailing sightings from over the last 30 years. The Danish Air Force published the archive online yesterday because it felt that "there was nothing secret in the files." The Air Force said that most of the sightings remained 'unidentified' because the details were not precise enough. However, some of the reports contained enough description to rule out the UFOs as aircraft, weather phenomenon or paper lanterns. Not all of the sightings were centred over Denmark and one event over Greenland is attracting attention.
Astonishing Incongruities: Is It Time to Bail Out of America?
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS -- January 29, 2009
California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California's bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.
Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.
California is often identified as the world's eighth largest economy, and it is broke.
A person might think that California's plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.
Obama has retained the Republican warmongers in the Pentagon, and the US continues to illegally bomb Pakistan and to murder its civilians. At the World Economic Forum at Davos this week, Pakistan's prime minister, Y. R. Gilani, said that the American attacks on Pakistan are counterproductive and done without Pakistan's permission. In an interview with CNN, Gilani said: "I want to put on record that we do not have any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Pakistan."
How long before Washington will be printing money?
On January 28 Obama announced his $825 billion bailout plan. This comes on top of President Bush's $700 billion bailout of just a few months ago.
Obama says his plan will be more transparent than Bush's and will do more good for the economy.
As large as the bailouts are--a total of $1.5 trillion in four months--the amount is small in relation to the reported size of troubled assets that are in the tens of trillions of dollars. How do we know that by June there won't be another bailout, say $950 billion?
Where will the money come from?
Obama's bailout plan, added to the FY 2009 budget deficit he has inherited from Bush, opens a gaping expenditure hole of about $3 trillion. Who is going to purchase $3 trillion of US Treasury bonds?
Not the US consumer. The consumer is out of work and out of money. Private sector credit market debt is 174% of GDP. The personal savings rate is 2 percent. Ten percent of households are in foreclosure or arrears. Household debt-service ratio is at an all-time high. Household net worth has declined at a record rate. Housing inventories are at record highs.
Not America's foreign creditors. At best, the Chinese, Japanese, and Saudis can recycle their trade surpluses with the US into Treasury bonds, but the combined surplus does not approach the size of the US budget deficit.
Perhaps another drop in the stock market will drive Americans remaining wealth into "safe" US Treasury bonds. If not, there's only the printing press.
The printing press would turn a deflationary depression into an inflationary depression.
Unemployment combined with rising prices would be a killer.
Inflation would kill the dollar as well, leaving the US unable to pay for its imports.
All the Obama regime sees is a "credit problem." But the crisis goes far beyond banks bad investments. The United States is busted. Many of the state governments are busted. Homeowners are busted. Consumers are busted. Jobs are busted. Companies are busted.
And Obama thinks he has the money to fight wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Except for the superrich and those banksters and CEOs who stole wealth from investors and shareholders, Americans have suffered enormous losses in wealth and income.
The stock market decline has destroyed about 45% of their IRAs, 401Ks, and other equity investments. On top of this comes the decline in home prices, lost jobs and health care, lost customers. The realized gains in mutual funds and investment partnerships, on which Americans paid taxes, have been wiped out.
The government should give those taxes back.
Americans who have seen their retirement savings devastated by complicity of government regulators and lawmakers with financial gangsters should not have to pay any income tax when they draw on their pensions.
The financial damage inflicted on Americans by their own government is as great as would be expected from foreign conquest. While Washington "protected" us from terrorists by fighting pointless wars abroad, the US economy collapsed.
How can President Obama even think about fighting wars half way around the world while California cannot pay its bills, while Americans are being turned out of their homes, while, as Business Week reports, retirees will work throughout their retirement (which assumes that there will be jobs), while careers are being destroyed and stores and factories shuttered.
Americans are facing tremendous unemployment and hardship. Obama doesn't have another dollar to spend on Bush's wars.
Taxpayers are busted. They cannot stand another day of being milked by the military-security complex. The US government is paying private mercenaries more by the day than the monthly checks it is providing to Social Security retirees.
This is insanity.
The banksters robbed us twice. First it was our home and stock values. Then the government rewarded the banksters for their misdeeds by bailing out the banksters, not their victims, and putting the cost on the taxpayers books.
The government has also robbed the taxpayers of $3 trillion dollars to fight its wars. About $600 billion are out of pocket costs, and the rest is on the taxpayers books.
When foreign creditors look at the debt piled on the taxpayers books, they don't see a good credit risk.
Washington is so accustomed to ripping off the taxpayers for the benefit of special interests that the practice is now in the DNA. While bailouts are being piled upon bailouts, wars are being piled upon wars.
Before Obama gets in any deeper, he must ask his economic team where the money is coming from. When he finds out, he needs to tell the rest of us.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
By Bob Chapman - The International Forecaster - 1-29-2009
"If you have CDs or funds in banks that exceed six months of operating expenses remove them immediately."
The following are some snippets from the most recent issue of the International Forecaster. For the full 37 page issue, please see subscription information below. US MARKETS ... We are not going to belabor this point but it is deadly important. Private equity investors and professionals are pulling their money out of banks. A professional run on banks has begun. If you have CDs or funds in banks that exceed six months of operating expenses remove them immediately. Your alternative is gold and silver related assets or Swiss franc Treasuries. If you need help email me or call 1-800-375-4188.
Our Treasury is going to have to raise over $2 trillion to fund fiscal needs in the next six months, which will be no easy feat. Will foreigners continue to fund such massive reckless spending? We do not know. We do not believe they want too, but do they have much choice? They are holding 64.5% of their foreign reserves in US dollars.
The US Treasury's needs for funds are enormous and fulfilling those needs will be very difficult. Are US Treasuries still the world's safest investment? We do not believe they are. Today this is a false perception, as it has been several times in our history. History is replete with other major nations defaulting on their bonds and arbitrarily devaluing their currencies in the last 150 years. The bottom line is there are no safe bonds or currency from any nation. Gold always has been and always will be the only safe option.
Today we have zero interest rates or for that matter negative rates if you consider the loss via real inflation. Owners of US debt are losing at least 10% annually on their investment. Our unprecedented expansionary monetary policy can only end in disaster via hyperinflation and default and devaluation. Even a 10% yield in today's market cannot compensate for the loss in buying power.
The creation of American debt is totally out of control and there will come a time when foreigners will be forced to say no - no more. They will be under enormous pressure from their own constituents. Besides, who is capable of funding such debt? China and Japan are loaded up. Oil producers are in a bind. England is on the edge of bankruptcy, as are Ireland and Spain. Perhaps Germany and France can help. We do not know who'll attempt to help, but more than $2 trillion in a year is a lot of money. We do not think it can be done and that means the Fed buys the Treasury's bonds, bills and notes by creating more fiat money monetizing the debt and sending inflation straight into the stratosphere. That means much higher gold prices are in our future.
There is no flight to the dollar. There has been a flight from other currencies to the dollar for several reasons and those reasons are now history. We could see the dollar again test the upper limits on the USDX at about 88, but that should be it. We expect the dollar to firmly put in a double top. In fact, we may well never get to 88, which often happens in situations like this. The dollar has gone up as much as it is going too.
Can you imagine what a dollar at this level will do to exports? It will probably cut GDP % to 1%, and at this stage that would be most unwelcome. The dollar is going lower versus other major currencies, which have all just fallen versus the dollar over the past five months. Next all the currencies will take a bath versus gold.
As an aside, events in Europe are horrible. England and Europe are trapped in depression and England is bankrupt. In Greece and in the Baltics and South Balkans they are having the worst riots in almost 20 years. S&P has cut Greek debt to near junk and the bonds of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are on negative watch.
As we told you before this is a worldwide catastrophe. There will be no decoupling. Ireland has nationalized the Anglo Irish Bank, the biggest bank in the country. The social fabric is being torn as it soon also will be in the US and other countries. The entire world is entrapped in a web created to bring about world government.
Latvia's streets look like a war zone, but little of this carnage reaches us via the US media. This is important, as are the riots in Greece. They were all about economic and financial failure and no jobs. This is going to happen worldwide.
As we've said, the major financial institutions in the US are broke. The Fed and Treasury know and a few in Congress. The rest of our legislators do not understand or want to understand. Congress is only interested in payoffs and pedophilia. These are the same people who allowed $350 billion in TARP funds to be stolen.
There is no question now but Bank of America and Citigroup are broke. Plus banks in Canada and Europe. You can add JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. They went a bridge too far. These are banks and investment banks owned or controlled by the Illuminist Black Nobility. The connections in these stocks and others are just the prelude to oblivion. Wait until the derivative bomb explodes.
As the Baltic Dry Index falls 95%, oil and gas prices are decimated. Oil falls from $147 to $35.00 a barrel in order to destroy OPEC in another power play. In the end Russia will emerge as a winner. This is how fascism works. Our new President tells us he is committed to pressing China on its currency practices. Don't hold your breath. Just more political posturing.
President Obama is freezing salaries for top White House aides and will put in place new stricter ethics and lobbying rules.
He also said he will change the way the FOIA (Freedom of Intermation Act) is interpreted. There will be more transparency. He will err on the information release side.
The CBO says only $136 billion of the $355 billion that House leaders want to allocate to infrastructure programs will be spent by October 1, 2010. The rest will be spent after the recession/depression is projected to have ended. The report does not analyze the entire $825 billion stimulus package.
Building industry economists who have been perpetually wrong, see a deepening correction this year - see no recovery until 2010. We say more wishful thinking. Inventory of unsold homes is 11.5 months. That won't be reduced anytime soon.
The ISM Index of factory activity was 32.9 versus 32.4 originally reported for December. The non-manufacturing index was 40.1 in December versus 40.6 previously reported. What poor reporting.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index was 8 in January, down from 9 in December. Chairman Sandy Dunn says, "Clearly conditions in the nation's housing market are not getting any better until the federal government takes substantial action to encourage qualified buyers to get back into the market."
The gauge of current single-family homes sales fell to 6 from 8. The index of sales for the next six months increased to 17 from 16. The prospective-buyer traffic measure also climbed to 8 from 7.
They say through the end of 2009 housing prices will have fallen 45%, a broad countrywide number.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index fell 25.3% from March 2006 to October 2008. The expectation is for a 29% fall in 2009. Houses are going to fall to 1995 levels and we could see 1981 levels.
Phillips Van Husen will fire 400 workers and shut 175 stores.
Intel will stop production at five US and Asian plants and lay off 6,000. Top Oppenheimer bank analyst Meredith Whitney says banks are going to have to sell their crown jewels.
In commercial real estate delinquency rates are rising very quickly nationwide. Office and retail space are getting hit hardest.
The delinquency rate on retail mortgages was under 0.4% a year and a half ago and is now rising past 1.0%. Currently another service has the 60-day delinquency rate at 1.71%.
As both the above transpire banks are becoming more and more reticent to lend to anyone. Loans are being lifted from developers who have met every payment.
Mortgage applications fell 9.0% last week.
The American Council of Life Insurance has been pleading with regulators to adopt a variety of changes in capital and reserve requirements before companies must file their annual reports for 2008. They believe the reports will spook policyholders into dropping coverage and liquidating policies. These changes would mask real problems in the life insurance industry.
Insurers have to maintain prescribed levels of capital. If they fall below these levels, state regulators are required to intervene. When a company's capital sinks to 35% of the required level, regulators are required to take it over.
The meltdown in the financial markets has reduced the value of insurance companies' investments, leaving them with a thin cushion. You all know what will happen when the Dow falls from 8,000 to 4,000, they'll be out of business and you will lose lots of money.
In 2007 they had about four times required capital. In 2008 that dropped to about three times. If we may reflect back to 2003 when the Dow hit 7268 that ratio was 3.25%. Do you get the picture? 2009 will be a dangerous year for life insurers and 2010 will be worse.
Do not stand by as regulators paper over insurers problems. It could well mean a disaster for you later. There is a serious problem and the insurers and regulators do not want you to know about it. Consumer protection is getting thrown out the window just as protection in banking has.
Proposals are being considered that range from allowing insurers to assume certain policyholders will live longer to allow them to account potentially unusable tax credits toward their capital requirements. One would put an artificial floor under calculations related to declines in the value of commercial mortgages. This is to avoid unrealized losses, or mark-to-market as has been avoided in stock and bond investments. We see insurers and policyholders on a collusion course with reality. You should start selling insurance. If you need help let us know.
THE INTERNATIONAL FORECASTER
SATURDAY, January 24, 2009 P. O. Box 510518, Punta Gorda, FL 33951-0518 An international financial, economic, political and social commentary. Published and Edited by: Bob Chapman
A month ago, it was attracting families - he says the zoo drew up to 1,000 visitors each day. He points at the foot-long hole in the camel in one of the enclosures.
"This camel was pregnant, a missile went into her back," he tells us. "Look, look at her face. She was in pain when she died."
Around every corner, inside almost every cage are dead animals, who have been lying in their cages since the Israeli incursion.
Qasim doesn't understand why they chose to destroy his zoo. And it's difficult to disagree with him. Most of them have been shot at point blank range.
"The first thing the Israelis did was shoot at the lions - the animals ran out of their cage and into the office building. Actually they hid there."
The two lions are back in their enclosure. The female is pregnant, and lies heavily on the ground, occasionally swishing her tail. Qasim stands unusually close to them, but they don't seem bothered by his presence.
As he takes us around, he is obviously appalled at the state of the animals. The few animals that have survived appear weak and disturbed.
"The foxes ate each other because we couldn't get to them in time. We had many here." There are carcasses everywhere and the last surviving fox is quivering in the corner.
The zoo opened in late 2005, with money from local and international NGOs. There were 40 types of animals, a children's library, a playground and cultural centre housed at the facility.
Inside the main building, soldiers defaced the walls, ripped out one of the toilets and removed all of the hard drives from the office computers. We asked him why they targeted the zoo. He laughs. "I don't know. You have to go and ask the Israelis. This is a place where people come to relax and enjoy themselves. It's not a place of politics."
Israel has accused Hamas of firing rockets from civilian areas. Qasim reacts angrily when we raise the subject.
"Let me answer that with a question. We are under attack. There was not a single person in this zoo. Just the animals. We all fled before they came. What purpose does it serve to walk around shooting animals and destroying the place?"
Inside one cage lie three dead monkeys and another two in the cage beside them. Two more escaped and have yet to return. He points to a clay pot. "They tried to hide", he says of a mother and baby half-tucked inside.
Qasim says that his main two priorities at the moment are rebuilding the zoo and taking the Israeli army to court. For the first, he says he will need close to $200,000(Dh734,000) to return the zoo to its former state - and he wants the Israelis to cover the costs. "They have to pay me for all this damage."
We ask him why it's so important for Gaza to have a zoo. "During the past four years it was the most popular place for kids. They came from all over the Gaza Strip. There was nowhere else for people to go."
Has Israel gone berserk and lost all sense of reasoning? Should it be tried for war crimes at The Hague?
WASHINGTON The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.
But even while dismantling these discredited programs, President Barack Obama left an equally controversial counterterrorism tool intact.
Under executive orders issued by Obama last week, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, or the secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the U.S.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said the rendition program is poised to play an expanded role because it is the main remaining mechanismaside from Predator missile strikesfor taking suspected terrorists off the street.
The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.
The European Parliament condemned renditions as an "illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a subsidiary of Boeing Corp., which is accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.
But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.
The decision underscores the fact that the battle with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is far from over and that even if the U.S. is shutting down the prisons, it is not done taking prisoners.
"Obviously you need to preserve some tools, you still have to go after the bad guys," said an Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing legal reasoning behind the decision. "The legal advisers working on this looked at rendition. It is controversial in some circles and kicked up a big storm in Europe. But if done within certain parameters, it is an acceptable practice."
One provision in one of Obama's orders appears to preserve the CIA's ability to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects as long as they are not held long-term. The little-noticed provision states that the instructions to close the CIA's secret prison sites "do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis."
Obama's decision to preserve the program did not draw major protests, even among human-rights groups. Leaders of such organizations said that reflects a sense, even among advocates, that the United States and other nations need certain tools to combat terrorism.
"Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place" for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "What I heard loud and clear from the president's order was that they want to design a system that doesn't result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured."
In his executive order on lawful interrogations, Obama created a task force to re-examine renditions to make sure that they "do not result in the transfer of individuals to other nations to face torture" or otherwise circumvent human-rights laws and treaties.
Top US lawyer warns of deaths at Guantánamo (February 8, 2009) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/binyam-mohamed-torture-guantanamo-bay
Lieutenant-Colonel Yvonne Bradley, an American military lawyer, will step through the grand entrance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London tomorrow and demand the release of her client - a British resident who claims he was repeatedly tortured at the behest of US intelligence officials - from Guantánamo Bay. Bradley will also request the disclosure of 42 secret documents that allegedly chronicle not only how Binyam Mohamed was tortured, but may also corroborate claims that Britain was complicit in his treatment.But first, Bradley, a US military attorney for 20 years, will reveal that Mohamed, 31, is dying in his Guantánamo cell and that conditions inside the Cuban prison camp have deteriorated badly since Barack Obama took office. Fifty of its 260 detainees are on hunger strike and, say witnesses, are being strapped to chairs and force-fed, with those who resist being beaten. At least 20 are described as being so unhealthy they are on a "critical list", according to Bradley.Mohamed, who is suffering dramatic weight loss after a month-long hunger strike, has told Bradley, 45, that he is "very scared" of being attacked by guards, after witnessing a savage beating for a detainee who refused to be strapped down and have a feeding tube forced into his mouth. It is the first account Bradley has personally received of a detainee being physically assaulted in Guantánamo.Bradley recently met Mohamed in Camp Delta's sparse visiting room and was shaken by his account of the state of affairs inside the notorious prison.She said: "At least 50 people are on hunger strike, with 20 on the critical list, according to Binyam. The JTF [the Joint Task Force running Guantánamo] are not commenting because they do not want the public to know what is going on."Binyam has witnessed people being forcibly extracted from their cell. Swat teams in police gear come in and take the person out; if they resist, they are force-fed and then beaten. Binyam has seen this and has not witnessed this before. Guantánamo Bay is in the grip of a mass hunger strike and the numbers are growing; things are worsening. CLIP
Gitmo Detainee's 'Genitals Were Sliced With A Scalpel,' Waterboarding 'Far Down The List Of Things They Did': British Paper (February 9, 2009) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/09/gitmo-detainees-genitals_n_165237.html
Material in a CIA dossier on Mr Mohamed that was blacked out by High Court judges contained details of how British intelligence officers supplied information to his captors and contributed questions while he was brutally tortured, The Sunday Telegraph has learned. Intelligence sources have revealed that spy chiefs put pressure on Mr Miliband to do nothing that would leave serving MI6 officers open to prosecution, or to jeopardise relations with the CIA, which is passing them "top notch" information on British terrorist suspects from its own informers in Britain. Read the whole story here.
Parched: Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks In
by Geoffrey Lean and Kathy Marks -- February 1, 2009
Leaves are falling off trees in the height of summer, railway tracks are buckling, and people are retiring to their beds with deep-frozen hot-water bottles, as much of Australia swelters in its worst-ever heatwave.
On Friday, Melbourne thermometers topped 43C (109.4F) on a third successive day for the first time on record, while even normally mild Tasmania suffered its second-hottest day in a row, as temperatures reached 42.2C. Two days before, Adelaide hit a staggering 45.6C. After a weekend respite, more records are expected to be broken this week.
Ministers are blaming the heat - which follows a record drought - on global warming. Experts worry that Australia, which emits more carbon dioxide per head than any nation on earth, may also be the first to implode under the impact of climate change.
At times last week it seemed as if that was happening already. Chaos ruled in Melbourne on Friday after an electricity substation exploded, shutting down the city's entire train service, trapping people in lifts, and blocking roads as traffic lights failed. Half a million homes and businesses were blacked out, and patients were turned away from hospitals.
More than 20 people have died from the heat, mainly in Adelaide. Trees in Melbourne's parks are dropping leaves to survive, and residents at one of the city's nursing homes have started putting their clothes in the freezer.
"All of this is consistent with climate change, and with what scientists told us would happen," said climate change minister Penny Wong.
Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth, is regarded as highly vulnerable. A study by the country's blue-chip Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation identified its ecosystems as "potentially the most fragile" on earth in the face of the threat.
Many factors put Australia especially at risk. Its climate is already hot, dry and variable. Its vulnerable agriculture plays an unusually important part in the economy. And most people and industry are concentrated on the coast, making it vulnerable to the rising seas and ferocious storms that come with a warmer world.
Most of the south of the country is gripped by unprecedented 12-year drought. The Australian Alps have had their driest three years ever, and the water from the vast Murray-Darling river system now fails to reach the sea 40 per cent of the time. Harvests have fallen sharply.
It will get worse as global warming increases. Even modest temperature rises, now seen as unavoidable, are expected to increase drought by 70 per cent in New South Wales, cut Melbourne's water supplies by more than a third, and dry up the Murray-Darling system by another 25 per cent.
As Professor David Karoly, of the University of Melbourne, said last week: "The heat is unusual, but it will become much more like the normal experience in 10 to 20 years."
Australia wildfire deaths pass 100 (February 09, 2009 ) http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/02/20092820441492106.html
At least 108 people are now known to have been killed in the deadliest wildfires ever to sweep Australia, officials have said. Police and a Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman in the state of Victoria gave the latest death toll early on Monday, but there were fears it could rise as emergency crews search more than 700 houses destroyed in the flames.Many people are believed to have died in their cars as they tried to escape the fires. Arsonists are being held responsible for starting some of the blazes, which are sweeping across an area of about 3,000 sq km across three states. (...) The southeastern Australian states have been gripped in a heatwave for the past two weeks. Fierce winds were fanning the fires and pushing them in unpredictable directions in Victoria on Sunday, after temperatures reached a state record of 47 degrees Celsius. Forecasters said hot and uncertain weather conditions would continue through the day on Sunday. Blair Trewin, a climatologist with the National Climate Centre in Melbourne, told Al Jazeera: "They are the most extreme conditions that we have ever seen in historic record in parts of southeastern Australia. "We are seeing an upward trend in temperatures in Australia, as elsewhere in the world."
Australia fears more than 200 dead in bushfires (10 February 2009) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/australia-fears-more-than-200-dead-in-bushfires-1605553.html
Australian police combed through a blackened landscape searching for clues in the hunt for possible arsonists today as the death toll from the nation's worst bushfires looked likely to top 200. Victoria state Police Commissioner Christine Nixon launched the nation's biggest arson investigation, dubbed "Operation Phoenix", vowing to catch anyone who started a blaze. The bushfires which swept through Victoria on Saturday night were "suspicious" because there were no natural events such as lightning which would have sparked the blazes, police said. Authorities said anyone found guilty could face manslaughter or murder charges."The laws of the state provide that they can be put away and put away for life," said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. "My own personal view is they should be allowed to rot in jail. This is unspeakable murder on a mass scale."The disaster area, more than twice the size of London and encompassing more than 20 towns north of Melbourne, has been declared a crime zone by officials. Police tape flutters around charred houses where bodies have been found. At least 181 people have been confirmed killed in the fires, but officials say the toll will rise. "There are still a large number of people, in excess of 50 ... who the coroner believes are already deceased, but are not yet identified," Victorian Premier John Brumby told reporters."This is going to be a significant number, it will exceed 200 deaths." About 25 fires were still burning in Victoria today, with a dozen towns placed on alert as strong winds flared. "The fires are nowhere near controlled for people to let their guard down," said emergency official Kevin Monk. The fires have increased pressure on the prime minister to take firm action on climate change. Scientists blamed global warming for conditions that fuelled the disaster."This week's tragedy shows that we are now dealing with a changed climate in Australia and it is now apparent to all just how much we stand to lose," Greenpeace campaigner Trish Harrup said in a statement. (...) Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its hot, dry environment, but is dependent on coal-fired power. Rudd has set a target to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by only five per cent by 2020. (...) Australia is the most fire-prone country on earth, say scientists, and most of its bushfires are ignited by lightning. Fire officials monitor lightning strikes and any fire that does not correspond with a strike is assumed to be started by people, either accidentally or deliberately.The bushfire tragedy is the worst natural disaster in Australia in 110 years. The previous worst bushfire was the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 which killed 75 people.
Cutting back on beefburgers and bacon could wipe $20 trillion off the cost of fighting climate change. That's the dramatic conclusion of a study that totted up the economic costs of modern meat-heavy diets.
The researchers involved say that reducing our intake of beef and pork would lead to the creation of a huge new carbon sink, as vegetation would thrive on unused farmland.
The model takes into account farmland that is used to grow extra food to make up for the lost meat, but that requires less area, so some will be abandoned. Millions of tonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, would also be saved every year due to reduced emissions from farms.
These impacts would lessen the need for expensive carbon-saving technologies, such as "clean coal" power plants, and so save huge sums, say Elke Stehfest of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and colleagues.
Beef is particularly damaging. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is released from flatulent cows and by manure as it decays. Furthermore, to produce a kilogram of beef (2.2 pounds), farmers also have to feed a cow 15 kg of grain and 30 kg of forage. Grain requires fertiliser, which is energy intensive to produce.
Stehfest has now weighed the economic impact of beef and other meats against the cost of stabilising carbon dioxide levels at 450 parts per million a level that some scientists say is needed to help prevent dangerous droughts and sea level rises.
If eating habits do not change, Stehfest estimates that emissions would have to be cut by two-thirds by 2050, which is likely to cost around $40 trillion.
If, however, the global population shifted to a low-meat diet defined as 70 grams of beef and 325 grams of chicken and eggs per week around 15 million square kilometres of farmland would be freed up. Vegetation growing on this land would mop up carbon dioxide. It could alternatively be used to grow bioenergy crops, which would displace fossil fuels.
Greenhouse gas emissions would also fall by 10% due to the drop in livestock numbers, she calculates. Together, these impacts would halve the costs of dealing with climate change by 2050.
To help consumers, the environmental cost of meat, in terms of carbon emissions per portion, could also be included in the purchase price, says Stehfest.
U.N. Issues Dire Warnings about Global food, and water supplies
W.V. Fitzgerald -- Feb 11, 2009
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization the worlds farmers must begin to move away from conventional intensive farming and begin the transition to what is known as conservation agriculture if they intend to produce enough food and cope with climate change.
By the year 2030 agricultural production is expected to drop by 1.9 percent and an additional .09 percent by 2050 however we will need to double our food production if we hope to feed nine billion people by 2050.
Conventional farming methods often result in environmental damage as a result of over-ploughing, over-fertilizing, over-irrigating, and extensive use of pesticides. These efforts, all in the name of increased production, effect the ecosystem and eventually result in lower production rates, conservation agriculture on the other-hand focuses on a minimal amount of soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. This method can support profitable farming and addresses environmental concerns and sustainability. Conservation agriculture has been tested and proven to work in a wide variety of agro-ecological zones and farming systems.
At the Fourth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in New Delhi, India, Shivaji Pandey, Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said,
The world has no alternative to pursuing sustainable crop production intensification to meet the growing food and feed demand, to alleviate poverty and to protect its natural resources, Conservation agriculture is an essential element of that intensification.
The U.N. is also predicting that as many as 1.8 billion people could be facing a water shortage by 2025 and an estimated two-thirds of the global population could be facing some form of water stress in less than 20 years if current trends in population growth, climate change and consumption continue.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told a high-level symposium on water security at UN Headquarters that More than 1.4 billion people live in river basins where their use of water exceeds minimum recharge levels, leading to desiccation of rivers and the depletion of groundwater." She went on to say that insuring water security would require effective water management, It means ensuring the integrity of ecosystems, and it means promoting peaceful collaboration in the sharing of water resources, particularly in the case of boundary and transboundary water resources.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the United States, China, India and the European Union to show "global leadership" in combating climate change at a news conference in New York saying, We have no time to lose, The United States, China, India and the European Union all must show the way. We must provide for those least able to adapt.
Why UFO Disclosure Is THE Most Important Issue For Any New President
by Bill Cain - February 5, 2009
Let's get the easy part out of the way first. UFO's, some of which are of extraterrestrial origin, exist, and have been engaging earth for decades, if not millennia. Anyone who doubts that statement is either seriously uninformed about the mountain of UFO/ET evidence that keeps surfacing daily, or is in deep denial.
Anyone who immerses themselves in this topic, and thinks about it critically on their own, can only come to one informed conclusion. Those of us who have taken the time to do this are way beyond the debate of whether UFO's, in the popular vernacular, are real or not. We understand, first and foremost, that these things are neither unidentified by those in the know, nor do they "fly" in the traditional sense of the word.
But why, some may ask, even if the phenomenon is real, is it considered such a big deal? So what, they may argue, if aliens are buzzing around our skies and compromising sovereign air space over countries in every part of the world? They aren't causing any damage; aren't threatening us in any perceivable way, dont appear to want to get involved in earthly affairs, and generally stay at arms length minding their own business. Let's get on with more important things, right? WRONG. Dead wrong.
"The evidence regarding this phenomenon is clear and overwhelming: It has not been difficult to make a compelling case for the reality of UFO's per se. What is a greater challenge is elucidating the architecture of secrecy related to UFO's. But the greatest challenge is explaining the 'why'. Why all the secrecy? Why a black or unacknowledged government within the government? Why hide the UFO/ET subject from public view?"
Unknown to many people who DO understand UFO reality is the connection of this phenomenon to the geo-political power structure of the world, particularly as it applies to the energy situation, and that how acknowledging this reality stands to disrupt the status quo, the 5 trillion dollar per year fossil fuels industry and decades of control by the power elite. The above article is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to connect the dots about the nature of the cover-up, its history and the implications of continued UFO secrecy.
UFO's have crashed on terra firma. This is also well documented. Their wreckage, as well as their humanoid occupants in a few cases, have been scooped up, taken to secret locations, studied extensively, and back engineered - meaning that their energy generating technology as well as their anti-gravity technology were figured out a long time ago. But instead of sharing this wondrous knowledge, which would free humanity from its dependence on fossil fuels and the misery that accompanies it, with the rest of the world for peaceful purposes, it was militarized behind 17 layers of secrecy, and seen as a way for those in the rising military industrial complex in the 50's and 60's to further their growing globalization aspirations.
This, in a nut shell, is what drives UFO secrecy - Fear but not in the sense of whether or not the world population at large can "handle the truth" about UFO reality, but rather as it applies to the age-old quest for control and the desire for world domination.
Every time a new president takes the oath of office, there is a flurry of anticipation and hope among those in the UFO awareness community that this finally will be the "disclosure president" - the one who will understand the phenomenon enough to end the decades-long truth embargo that has hijacked human evolution, and caused untold indirect suffering to millions of people worldwide. And every four or eight years hopes are dashed when it becomes clear that the new president, just like those before him, is out of the loop, and doesn't have the "need to know" authority to penetrate the black world of UFO secrecy.
As important as 9-11 Truth is, UFO Disclosure is even more so. For while both of these important hidden truths would expose the ruling elite for who, and what they are, and lead to the end of evil control by these monsters going back hundreds of years to powerful European families, UFO Disclosure would take things a few steps further.
Peaceful cooperation and exchange among our space visitors, and full acknowledgement of their technologies, which are estimated to be millions, and in some cases billions, of years more advanced than our own, would be possible. Some contactees have already reported that these beings, from as many as several hundred different civilizations throughout the cosmos, are here to assist us through the self-destructive adolescent stage of our evolutionary development. Though these contactees maintain that extra-terrestrials regard this world as our responsibility, and that they are not here to interfere or to save us from ourselves, the answers to some of our most pressing problems like ending war and disease, and saving the biosphere from pollution, would most likely emerge from full and open engagement with the space visitors.
Additionally, honest UFO Disclosure would short circuit the elites' plan for their own form of Disclosure one wrapped in xenophobia for the purpose of furthering their own sick agenda of global control. According to Dr. Greer, there is also ample evidence gathered for his Disclosure Project http://www.disclosureproject.org/ of a planned false flag alien attack from outer space to be rolled out at just the right time when the people of earth need to be rallied behind those ready to protect them and thwart such an attack. If 9-11 worked so well in providing a pretext for a phony "war on terror", think of what could happen with a phony "war on the aliens".
The Obama administration, though already perceived by some to be controlled by the same anti-Disclosure forces that have existed since the time of Truman, has shown a reason for a glimmer of hope. His Jan 21, 2009 memorandum clearly supports the Freedom of Information Act, with more transparency and less secrecy in government, which some see as an indication he could force this issue. John Podesta, who has already played a role in the Obama administration's selection of key people, was an outspoken advocate for UFO Disclosure under Clinton, and is on public record for saying as much.
Obama administration to clash with corporations over UFO files (January 31, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2383-Honolulu-Exopolitics-Examiner%7Ey2009m1d31-Obama-to-clash-with-corporate-control-of-UFO-files
President Obamas January 21 Memoranda to promote Open Government and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are intended to release unnecessarily classified national security files. Among the many millions of classified files to ultimately be released, some will concern UFOs and extraterrestrial life. From these releases, UFO enthusiasts and exopolitical researchers hope to find clues into how government policy has been developed. More importantly, FOIA releases will point to where the bulk of the nations UFO files are located. Thats when the Obama administration will run up against corporate control of UFO files and policy.Testimonial evidence exists that corporations have become the ultimate repository of the nations UFO secrets. A number of whistleblowers have emerged revealing how corporate control has been achieved. A recently deceased corporate whistleblower revealed how during the mid-1980s, he worked for six months as an archivist for a large aerospace defense contractor based in California. It was a temporary assignment with his employer at an obscure office building. The archivist found many files dealing with flying saucers and extraterrestrial life. The files contained: Reports, photos, media materials (tapes, films, video cassettes) and material from crashed saucers. When asked where the files came from he revealed the materials came from everywhere. CIA, Air Force, Navy, Army, DARPA, NORAD, DoD, FBI, and government officials to name most. CLIP - Check also Real X-files hidden as trade secrets
55th anniversary of Eisenhower nuclear diplomacy with ET? (February 6, 2009) http://www.examiner.com/x-2383-Honolulu-Exopolitics-Examiner~y2009m2d6-55th-anniversary-of-Eisenhower-nuclear-diplomacy-with-extraterrestrials
Did President Eisenhower have a meeting with extraterrestrial ambassadors on the evening of Feb 20, 1954 to discuss the impending test of the largest U.S. hydrogen bomb ever detonated? Rumors have circulated for years that President Eisenhower was secretly whisked away from his family holiday at Palm Springs, California to Edwards Air Force base for a rendezvous with ambassadors from another world. Alleged whistleblowers claiming to have seen photos or documents concerning the meeting, or having actually attended the meeting itself, have over the years surfaced to tell their astounding story. With the passage of time, many have passed away. Some told family members who have revealed what they were told of Eisenhowers remarkable meeting. February 20, 2009 marks the 55th anniversary of this alleged meeting and the nuclear diplomacy with extraterrestrial visitors that secretly occurred 9 days before the Bravo Hydrogen bomb test on March 1, 1954. CLIP
India to announce UFO's are REAL http://www.ancientx.com/nm/anmviewer.asp?a=66&z=1
New Delhi is in the middle of a big secret internal debate. On one side the largest democracy of the world is eager to explain to its citizens and to the world about the ongoing contacts with the UFOs and extra-terrestrials. On the other hand there are invisible untold international protocols that prohibit doing anything that may cause worldwide fear and panic. It is well accepted between the UFO and extra-terrestrial experts that all the five nuclear powers are in contact with the beings from other stars for quite some time. Recently India has seen enormous news on UFO contacts and secret UFO bases in Himalayas near the Chinese bases. In Ladak, for example the locals clearly point out the everyday phenomenon of large triangular spacecrafts coming out below the ground and Indian security forces protecting them. Military officials and politicians have confessed the fact that India has been contacted. India has been told the rules of the Universe. The current debate is on whether to keep it secret like other countries are doing or in tradition of a total transparent society come out and tell the truth. India is so open and democratic; it is very difficult to keep a secret for long. The biggest concern of the Government today is that unlike in other countries, it will be very difficult to keep it secret for long. (...) When all these factors are added together and analyzed, it seems like India is being told by the world to abide by the hidden protocols and in exchange be recognized as a major emerging superpower. The debate the country is facing internally is whether to abide by the laws of the world and the Universe to be recognized as a superpower or be truthful to its citizens and the world. CLIP - NOTE Actually these "triangular spacecrafts" are US-made hardware. As is mentioned in Underground UFO bases in China ... "The other alternative is that it is an underground strategic Air Force base of some one. Then why will either country allow the base on the official no mans land in the highly sensitive disputed border areas? " ... Simply because "This is the region where the Eurasian plate and the Indian plate have created convergent plate boundaries. (...) The double thick earth crust allows the creation of underground bases deep into the tectonic plates."
Electromagnetic Load a Hidden Factor in Many Illnesses
February 10th, 2009
Dr. Thomas Rau, Medical Director of the world renowned Paracelsus Clinic in Lustmühle, Switzerland says he is convinced electromagnetic loads lead to cancer, concentration problems, ADD, tinnitus, migraines, insomnia, arrhythmia, Parkinsons and even back pain. At Paracelsus (http://www.paracelsus.ch/), cancer patients are now routinely educated in electromagnetic field remediation strategies and inspectors from the Geopathological Institute of Switzerland are sent to patients homes to assess electromagnetic field exposures.
Of note, Dr. Rau says a strategy to consider for those experiencing electrical sensitivity symptoms is to remove the electromagnetic hot spot in the head created by the presence of metal fillings. Concern is thus not only for the neurotoxic aspect of mercury in fillings, an increasingly understood hazard, but because fillings themselves act as antennas in the presence of electromagnetic fields from cell phones and cell towers, wi-fi networks, portable phones, and other sources of radiofrequency radiation.
Rau says the removal of dental fillings can be an important early step in reducing electrical sensitivity, allowing some people to live in homes they otherwise could not tolerate.
Cultures have shown beneficial bacteria grows more slowly in the presence of electromagnetic fields, says Rau, allowing pathological organisms to dominate. Thus, a strategy with electrically sensitive patients, or with those facing chronic conditions, is the aggressive supplementation with probiotics and other Biological Medicine approaches to balance intestinal flora. Many people with chronic infections likely linked to EMF exposures, such as Lyme Disease, are symptom- free after an aggressive microorganism rebalancing program.
Electrical sensitivityoriginally known as radio wave sicknessis a sometimes debilitating experience created by these and other disregulating effects of electromagnetic fields. Linked to many acute and chronic illness conditions, electrical sensitivity is a serious emerging public health issue globally and a subject in which most doctors have no training.
A Petition to Congress, created by http://www.Electromagnetichealth.org is now circulating on the internet, requesting Congress 1) mandate the FCC lower exposure guidelines to reflect the large body of science showing biological effects at exposures much lower than current standards, 2) repeal Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which rescinded state and local governments right to resist towers on health or environmental grounds, 3)stop the roll out of the Wi-Max network until Congress better understands the potential health consequences, and 4)accommodate citizens unable to function adequately in high EMF environments, including forbidding cell towers on school properties.
Exposing children in schools to radiation, known to impair brain function and learning, Rau describes as criminal. He says, It is unethical to expose children to electromagnetic load in this way. We know that power stations for electromagnetic waves like mobile phones are hurting the brains of children, so to put such stations into schools is really very, very, very bad. Rau says, the question is, Does the school, or does the society, really want to have intelligent, well-educated children, or not? He says, If you install mobile phone towers, which radiate to the children, their intelligence, their brain capacity, decreases. You will have more ADD children, you will have less function of the brain, which in the long term reflects on the intelligence of the children, of the possibility to really teach children, and in the long term, the more this overcomes society, the more we will have dumb children.
The reality of the health consequences of electromagnetic radiation eventually will have to be faced, and this will only happen with active pressure on Congress. It is estimated that 3-8% of populations in developed countries experience serious electrohypersensitivity symptoms today, and 35% experience mild symptoms. With increasing electromagnetic field exposures, these numbers, along with the suffering involved for people who are impacted, and the health care costs involved, are bound to go up.
W.E.E.P. note: One possible cause does not appear to have been considered by the researchers - Electro Magnetic Radiation(EMR) and its many adverse health effects. We already know that depression is caused by EMR and the study notes the link between depression and back pain. We also know how EMR causes severe sleep problems and can cause people to have arthritis type symptoms. In addition we know that EMR exposure has increased drastically during the time that chronic back pain has doubled.
EMR must be considered as a contributing factor to chronic back pain.
Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, Iraq from the Inside of an Armored BMW
February 12, 2009
Already it's begun -- the endless non-departure from Iraq. The Obama plan, restated many times during the presidential campaign, involved a 16-month schedule for withdrawing not all U.S. forces, but only U.S. "combat troops." Now, his (and, of course, George W. Bush's) generals are showing visible evidence of dragging their combat boots in the sand on the subject. We were given fair warning. Over the last two years, numerous military figures have claimed that, as fast as they got into Iraq, it would be hell just getting all the U.S. stuff now embedded there out -- and that's without even taking into account the political situation in that country. Recently, according to military leaks to the media, "U.S. military planners" have come up with two alternate scenarios to Obama's 16-month plan. One is reportedly 19 months long, the other 23 months long, and -- here's a shock -- the two top generals in charge, Centcom commander David Petraeus and U.S. commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, favor the 23-month approach.
"Odierno and Petraeus have said that we really need 23 months to do this without jeopardizing the security gains that we've secured," was the way one typical anonymous official put it. President Obama has yet to show any sign of agreeing to this, but the pressure is evidently only beginning. Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service indicates that a "network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama's [16-month plan] If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his withdrawal policy for the collapse' they expect in an Iraq without U.S. troops." Stab in the back, anyone?
Oh, and in the bargain, the generals are evidently also planning to re-label some of those withdrawable combat forces among the still staggering 144,000 troops in Iraq -- the American invasion force of 2003 was only about 130,000 strong -- as non-combat "support troops" or advisors. They would, Robert Burns of the Associated Press writes, be "redesigned and reconfigured as multipurpose units to provide training and advising for Iraqi security force" and so would "be considered noncombat outfits." What's in a name, after all?
In the end, according to the New York Times, the generals hope to leave one third of American troops, almost 50,000 of them, in Iraq for an undetermined period (and that number, of course, doesn't including private security contractors) after the combat troops are withdrawn.
Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone and TomDispatch regular, is now back in Iraq and, in his typical, incisive way, he offers another view of just what "success" has meant for Americans, at least in Iraq's Sunni heartland. So slip into a well armored BMW with him and check out the scene for yourself. It's the only way a "tourist" is likely to be welcomed in this part of Iraq. Tom
Iraq's "Teflon Don" - The New Fallujah Up Close and Still in Ruins
By Dahr Jamail
Fallujah, Iraq -- Driving through Fallujah, once the most rebellious Sunni city in this country, I saw little evidence of any kind of reconstruction underway. At least 70% of that city's structures were destroyed during massive U.S. military assaults in April, and again in November 2004, and more than four years later, in the "new Iraq," the city continues to languish.
The shells of buildings pulverized by U.S. bombs, artillery, or mortar fire back then still line Fallujah's main street, or rather, what's left of it. As one of the few visible signs of reconstruction in the city, that street -- largely destroyed during the November 2004 siege -- is slowly being torn up in order to be repaved.
Unemployment is rampant here, the infrastructure remains largely in ruins, and tens of thousands of residents who fled in 2004 are still refugees. How could it be otherwise, given the amount of effort that went into its destruction and not, subsequently, into rebuilding it? It's a place where a resident must still carry around a U.S.-issued personal biometric ID card, which must also be shown any time you enter or exit the city if you are local. Such a card can only be obtained after U.S. military personnel have scanned your retinas and taken your fingerprints.
The trauma from the 2004 attacks remains visible everywhere. Given the countless still-bullet-pocked walls of restaurants, stores, and homes, it is impossible to view the city from any vantage point, or look in any direction, without observing signs of those sieges.
Everything in Fallujah, and everyone there, has been touched to the core by the experience, but not everyone is experiencing the aftermath of the city's devastation in the same way. In fact, for much of my "tour" of Fallajah, I was inside a heavily armored, custom-built, $420,000 BMW with all the accessories needed in twenty-first century Iraq, including a liquor compartment and bulletproof windows.
One of the last times I had been driven through Fallujah -- in April 2004 -- I was with a small group of journalists and activists. We had made our way into the city, then under siege, on a rickety bus carrying humanitarian aid supplies. After watching in horror as U.S. F-16's dropped bombs inside Fallujah while we wound our way toward it through rural farmlands, we arrived to find its streets completely empty, save for mujahideen checkpoints.
To say that my newest mode of transportation was an upgrade that left me a bit disoriented would be (mildly put) an understatement. The BMW belonged to Sheik Aifan Sadun, head of the Awakening Council of Fallujah. Thanks to the Awakening movement that began forming in 2006 in al-Anbar Province, then the hotbed of the Sunni insurgency -- into which American occupation forces quickly poured significant amounts of money, arms, and other kinds of support -- violence across most of that province is now at an all-time low. This is strikingly evident in Fallujah, once known as the city of resistance, since the fiercest fighting of the American occupation years took place there.
Today, 34-year-old Sheik Aifan may be the richest man in town, thanks to his alliance of self-interest with the U.S. occupation forces. Aifan's good fortune was this: He was the right sheik in the right place at the right time when the Americans, desperate over their failures in Iraq, decided to throw their support behind the reconstitution of a tribal elite in the province where the Sunni insurgency raged with particular fierceness from 2004-2006.
In the "Construction Business"
Don't misunderstand. This wasn't a careful, strategically laid, made-in-the-USA plan. It was a seat-of-the-pants, spur-of-the-moment quick fix. After all, by the time U.S. planners decided to throw their weight behind the Awakening Movement, it was already something of a done deal.
In late 2006, roughly speaking, months before George W. Bush's "surge" strategy sent 30,000 more American troops into Baghdad and surrounding areas, the U.S. began making down-payments on the cooperation of local al-Anbar tribal sheiks and started funding and arming the Sunni militias they were then organizing. As a result, the number of insurgent attacks quickly began to drop, and so the Americans widened the program to other provinces. It grew to include nearly 100,000 Sunni fighters, most of whom were paid $300 a month -- a sizeable income in a devastated city like Fallujah with sky-high unemployment rates.
The program was soon hailed as a success, and the groups were dubbed anything from The Awakening, to Sons of Iraq (al-Sahwa), or as the U.S. military preferred for a time, Concerned Local Citizens. Whatever the name, most of their members were former resistance fighters; many were also former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party; and significant numbers were -- and, of course, remain -- both.
There was an even deeper history to the path the Americans finally chose in order to tame the insurgency and the home-grown al-Qaeda-in-Iraq (AQI) groups that had spun off from it. In an interview with David Enders and Richard Rowley, colleagues of mine, in the summer of 2007, Sheikh Aifan laid this out quite clearly: "Saddam Hussein supported some tribes and some sheiks. Some of those sheiks, he used their power in their areas. The first support came by money. He supported them by big projects, by money, and he made them very rich. So you see, they can deal with anyone in Iraq with money. The Americans, they made the same plan with all the sheiks."
The main goal of the Americans was never the reconstruction of devastated al-Anbar Province. That was just the label given to a project whose objective -- from the U.S. point of view -- was to save American lives and to tamp down violence in Iraq before the U.S. presidential election of 2008.
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