Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

May 17, 2003

As always, Caveat Lector!
The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom
The Closing of the American Mind

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address

"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease.

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'
Cassiopaea, 09-28-02


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Thailand, Malaysia dismiss terror warnings

BBC News On-Line

Thailand has angrily dismissed travel warnings by Australia and New Zealand, which say the country is at risk of an attack by Islamic militants...

Malaysia has also hit back at its inclusion in a travel warning issued by the US on Wednesday.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that insecurity resulting from the Iraq war had made the United States "afraid of its own shadow".

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra insisted on Friday that there was "nothing to worry about" in Thailand...

Mr Thaskin added: "I would warn Thais visiting Australia to be careful because this country is a target too." ...

Malaysia, for its part, rebuffed US accusations that travel there poses "continuing concern"...

But Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday that US citizens were safe in his country.

"We have security forces adequate enough to maintain peace and security," he said.

He accused the US of paranoia.

"They are afraid of their own shadow, afraid to come here, afraid because they know there are many people in this world hating them," the Malaysian news agency Bernama quoted him as saying.

Palestinian envoy resigns before talks

Saeb Erekat has negotiated with Israel for more than 10 years


JERUSALEM—The chief Palestinian peace negotiator submitted his resignation today, signalling deep divisions within the Palestinian camp as leaders prepare for a major summit with the Israeli prime minister.

Saeb Erekat, who serves as Cabinet minister in charge of negotiations with Israel, sent a letter of resignation late yesterday, a Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity.

The new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, asked Erekat to allow him one week to respond to the resignation letter, the official said.

Erekat has been a leading Palestinian negotiator with Israel since Madrid peace talks in 1992.

The official did not provide a reason for Erekat's resignation, but the Palestinian leadership has been rocked for weeks by a power struggle between Abbas and longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Israel and the United States have refused to negotiate with Arafat and have pressed the Palestinians to give Abbas more power...

Israeli troops continued to patrol the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun today in an effort to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets across the fence with Israel. Despite the military push, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area of Israel's Negev Desert overnight, causing no damage or injuries.

In other violence, a Palestinian was killed in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. An army spokesperson said soldiers shot the man as he ran toward an army post in an off-limits area.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli police were patrolling Jerusalem's Old City to keep order during today's Muslim prayers at a hilltop site holy to Jews and Muslims. Israel barred Palestinian men under the age of 40 from reaching the walled Al Aqsa Mosque compound, fearing crowds of young men would gather there to protest this week's arrest of the leader of Israel's Islamic Movement and 14 of the group's members.

Global Eye -- Language Barrier

Chris Floyd
Moscow Times

"How best to govern the state? First rectify the language." -- Confucius

Last week we learned that the U.S. administration lied about the extent of Halliburton Corp.'s involvement in the "reconstruction" of Iraq. Officials in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush initially claimed that Halliburton -- the oil and defense services conglomerate once headed by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, who still receives an estimated $1 million annually from the company in "deferred compensation" -- had been awarded a relatively small contract to repair Iraqi oilfields.

But in fact, as the Washington Post reports, Halliburton is now pumping and distributing Iraq's vast oil reserves -- a privilege potentially worth billions of dollars. The Bush camp freely admits that this was part of Halliburton's no- bid, open-ended contract all along; they deliberately "failed to mention it" in their first official notices. It was not publicly disclosed until a congressman read the fine print of the contract and began asking questions.

To recap: a firm that pays the vice president of the United States a million dollars a year has now taken over operation of Iraq's oil wealth. There have been times in U.S. history when such an arrangement would have been called by its true name: "corruption." But these are not such times.

Similar pranks are being played by members of the Defense Policy Board, a highly influential group of outside "experts" handpicked by Pentagon boss Donald Rumsfeld to proffer "strategic advice" on military matters...

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity revealed that nine of the board's members are "embedded," as we now say, with arms merchants and military contractors...

This activity -- now known as "entrepreneurship" -- was also once called by a different name: "war profiteering." In ages past, this was considered a heinous crime, worthy of punishment by death and eternal damnation thereafter. But these are not such times.

Indeed, the U.S. administration revealed last month that it intends to "embed" such activity throughout American life. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Gordon England told the nation's top business leaders that "security measures will, over time, likely become embedded in the fabric of our society," the conservative National Journal reports, approvingly. This suffusion of surveillance, secrecy and control into every aspect of existence "will make some businesses more desirable than others in terms of investors and employees and insurance," England said. The government, he says, will impose little or no regulation on these for-profit curtailments of liberty, while providing taxpayer-backed "economic incentives" to make the security industries more appealing...

In another time, in another America, such "business opportunities" would have been given a more accurate name: "blood money."

...In the new America, a feckless multimillionaire takes control of a democracy despite losing the popular vote and proclaims, without shame or subterfuge, that he has the right not only to arrest and detain indefinitely any citizen of that democracy -- indeed, any citizen of the world -- without any legal charges, but also to have them murdered by his secret services, on his sole authority, outside all judicial review or restraint...It's as if no one knows how to describe this extraordinary situation -- although in ages past, its name would be glaringly clear: "tyranny."

Examples like these are now legion; they metastasize like an aggressive cancer of the blood, sending outcroppings of pestilent mutation to the farthest reaches of the body. But it seems we have no words left to convey the full measure of the extremist agenda now engulfing America. We can no longer call things by their right names. Our shopworn language, clappped out by the virulent cliches of advertising, propaganda, professional jargon and, yes, journalism, has become too degraded to describe the political reality -- a reality that has itself become degraded, even hallucinatory, to an almost unfathomable, almost unbearable degree.

No Deal on UN Resolution Over Iraq

Christophe de Roquefeuil Agence France Presse

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday failed to convince Russian leaders to support an immediate end to UN sanctions on Iraq, with Moscow insisting that UN weapons inspectors return first to Baghdad...

Moscow's position is broadly backed by France and China, fellow veto-wielding members of the Security Council that also opposed the U.S.-led invasion.

Ivanov, speaking at the same news conference, denied that Russia was blocking much-needed reconstruction of Iraq. "We want to continue to work in a constructive spirit," he said, adding that Moscow was not slowing things down "by creating artificial barriers."

Russia, U.S. Inch Closer on Iraq

By Catherine Belton Staff Writer
Misha Japaridze / AP

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell rounded off a Moscow visit that appeared to help smooth over ruffled relations between Russia and the United States with a hint that the new Iraqi government Washington will help appoint would pay off up to $8 billion in debts to Russia after all.

"I have no doubt that the new Iraqi government will take full account of its debts to Russia," Powell said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy on Thursday morning that wrapped up his visit. "As we move forward we expect that we will have to examine this debt to find out how best to deal with it, either by stretching it out, refinancing it."

Just hours later, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov abandoned normal diplomatic niceties to say Moscow's backing for a UN resolution to lift sanctions against Iraq and hand over control of oil revenues to occupying U.S. and British forces would depend on whether existing contracts worth billions of dollars and Iraq's debt obligations to Russia were met.

"We discussed debts and contracts," Mamedov said, stressing they were a key point of discussion during Powell's talks with Russian officials including Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

"These questions are currently being discussed in New York -- the fate of the resolution depends on it."

The open horse-trading appeared to mark a shift from Russia's ideological opposition to any resolution on lifting sanctions that does not give the United Nations control over rebuilding postwar Iraq to an argument based on defending any remaining economic interests it can...

The shift also comes after former anti-war ally France moved ahead of Moscow to indicate greater willingness to cooperate with the U.S. over Iraq.

Bargaining Over Spoils in Iraq

The Moscow Times
Friday, May. 16, 2003.

Russia's consistent position on Iraq seems to be finally bearing some practical fruit.

During the final hours of his visit to Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell finally uttered what Russian policy-makers have wanted to hear from the Bush administration all along

If translated from the diplomatic language -- which always leaves opportunity for retraction -- what Powell said on Ekho Moskvy radio is that the Iraqi regime will acknowledge the country's Saddam Hussein-era debt to Russia.

Despite Powell's assurance, however, Russia still seems to be "standing firm" on Iraq, and the obvious reason is that in addition to the debt the Kremlin would also like the United States to promise that the nascent Iraqi authority will honor commercial deals that Hussein's regime signed with Russian companies.

Only hours after Powell's comments, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov came out to publicly hint that Russia will still not support the suspension of UN sanctions on Iraq unless not only the debt but also the contracts are honored.

"We discussed debts and contracts" in the talks between Russian diplomats and Powell's team, he said, adding that "this is a legal question, not only an ideological one.

"These questions are currently being discussed in New York -- the fate of the resolution depends on it," he said.

It is amazing, if not outrageous, to have top statesmen of two countries abandon all conventionalities of international diplomacy to publicly bargain over the spoils in a country occupied without a clear UN mandate.

It is also amazing that, while negotiating the spoils, neither side no longer even bothers to mention weapons of mass destruction, which was the reason these sanctions were imposed in the first place.

This public horse-trading makes a mockery of U.S. posturing that the entire military operation was meant to disarm a dangerous regime that possessed weapons of mass destruction. It also makes a mockery of Russia's posturing that the argument with the United States is not about money, but about international mandates for use of force against a sovereign nation and principles of global government in general.

Such horse-trading has always been part and will probably remain an inalienable part of realpolitik, but in the past it was at least done behind closed doors rather than in an open manner that shows the Iraqi people to what extent their new government will be a puppet of a global superpower.

Baghdad pays the postwar price: 242 die in three weeks

By Phil Reeves in Baghdad 16 May 2003
The Independent

Statistics unpublished until today reveal the stark facts: 242 people have died in Baghdad in just over three weeks, almost all from bullet wounds. It is an epidemic, and it is getting worse.

But the late-night scenes in a city hospital tell the real story of the postwar price that the Iraqi capital is paying for the occupying forces' failure to live up to their responsibility to make the streets safe....

This is the mess that Washington has deployed Paul "Jerry" Bremer, a protégé of Henry Kissinger, to sort out. Unlike Jay Garner, the man he replaces as Iraq's chief administrator, he has been assigned full authority over the Allied administration in Iraq.

France faces further strikes after pension talks fail

By John Lichfield in Paris 16 May 2003
The Independent

Talks on pensions reform between the French government and unions collapsed yesterday, raising the threat of a prolonged campaign of public-sector strikes that could tip France into recession...

This Europe: Von Däniken brings pyramids to the Alps

By Clare Nullis in Interlaken 16 May 2003
The Independent

Long before the X Files craze, when man was still preparing his first trip to the Moon, a Swiss hotel manager came up with a theory that earthly civilisation began with visits from aliens thousands of years ago...

Thirty-five years on, the fascination endures. There are plans for a 22-part TV series called Chariots of the Gods – The Mysteries Continue. And von Däniken's ancient astronauts are about to make a permanent landing at a disused airfield near Interlaken, when a theme park opens tomorrow devoted to ancient wonders such as the pyramids of Egypt and future possibilities such as the conquest of Mars....

"I claim that our forefathers received visits from the universe in the remote past ... that these 'strangers' annihilated part of mankind existing at the time and produced a new, perhaps the first, Homo sapiens," he wrote in the foreword to the book. Von Däniken backed up his ideas with detailed scientific "facts" and archaeological theories based on his study of pyramids and ancient ruins and lost cities....

Berlusconi to be tried alone

BBC News On-Line

A court in Milan has ordered that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi be tried alone, separating his three-year-old corruption trial from that of co-defendants...

The trial arises from the sale of a state-held food conglomerate, SME, in the 1980s.

Texas TV stations pull CBS 'Hitler' TV miniseries

By JEREMY BROWN May 15, 2003

The CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas, has opted not to air a two-part miniseries dramatizing the young life of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Dale Remy, general manager of KZTV Channel 10, said he was concerned that the film could give harmful ideas to white supremacists and disturbed young people.

"The Nazi concept, if you will, is still very real, and I think anything we do to give that particular thinking a venue, a format, is a mistake," Remy said. "More people that are already on the fence on this and have issues might find something in this character to identify with, and that bothers me tremendously."

Comment: Maybe the real reason is that it hits too close to home, to what has ben happening inthe US since the Bush gang stole the election and set about establishing the Bush Reich.

Le jeu de cartes du régime Bush

Le Réseau Voltaire

Les 52 plus dangereux dignitaires américains.

Comment: Remember the playing cards the US issued during the Iraq invasion with the pictures of the leaders of Saddam's regime? These are from the folks that uncovered the Pentagon conspiracy, raising questions about what really happened there on September 11.

Imperial Ambition An Interview with Noam Chomsky by David Barsamian

David Barsamian: What are the regional implications of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq?

Noam Chomsky: I think not only the region but the world in general perceives it correctly as a kind of an easy test case to try to establish a norm for use of military force, which was declared in general terms last September. Last September, the National Security Strategy of the United States of America was issued. It presented a somewhat novel and unusually extreme doctrine on the use of force in the world. And it's hard not to notice that the drumbeat for war in Iraq coincided with that. It also coincided with the onset of the congressional campaign. All these are tied together.

The new doctrine was not one of preemptive war, which arguably falls within some stretching of the U.N. Charter, but rather of something that doesn't even begin to have any grounds in international law, namely, preventive war. The doctrine, you recall, was that the United States would rule the world by force, and that if there is any challenge perceived to its domination, a challenge perceived in the distance, invented, imagined, whatever, then the U.S. will have the right to destroy that challenge before it becomes a threat. That's preventive war, not preemptive war.

And if you want to declare a doctrine, a powerful state has the capacity to create what is called a new norm. So if India invades Pakistan to put an end to monstrous atrocities, that's not a norm. But if the United States bombs Serbia on dubious grounds, that's a norm. That's what power means.

So if you want to establish a new norm, you have to do something. And the easiest way to do it is to select a completely defenseless target, which can be completely overwhelmed by the most massive military force in human history. However, in order to do that credibly, at least to your own population, you have to frighten them. So the defenseless target has to be turned into an awesome threat to survival which was responsible for September 11 and is about to attack us again, and so on and so forth. And that was indeed done. Beginning last September there was a massive effort which substantially succeeded in convincing Americans, alone in the world, that Saddam Hussein is not only a monster but a threat to their existence. That was the content of the October congressional resolution and a lot of things since. And it shows in the polls. And by now about half the population even believes that he was responsible for September 11.

So all this falls together. You have the doctrine pronounced. You have a norm established in a very easy case. The population is driven into a panic and, alone in the world, believes fantasies of this kind and therefore is willing to support military force in self-defense. And if you believe this, then it really is self-defense. So it's kind of like a textbook example of aggression, with the purpose of extending the scope of further aggression. Once the easy case is handled, you can move on to think of harder cases.

End of the World Postponed

Men in white sheets postpone end of the world to next Thursday

By Colin Joyce in Godaishi
UK Telegraph: 16/05/2003

Members of a bizarre Japanese cult were busy draping trees and buildings in white sheets yesterday, apparently unconcerned as their deadline for the end of the world came and went.


The convoy arrived in Godaishi after being chased from one spot to another across Japan by hostile local authorities. The cult has disturbed the country with its claims that the approach of a 10th planet would trigger the destruction of the earth on May 15. A spokesman now says the apocalypse has been postponed until next Thursday.

The cult's dire predictions have brought back bad memories of the apocalyptic Aum Supreme Truth cult, which committed mass murder by releasing sarin gas on the Tokyo underground in 1995. The attack killed 12 and left thousands suffering side-effects.

Tatsuhiko Sato, a local taxi driver, said yesterday: "What Panawave say has no basis in reality so you can only call them a cult. It reminds me of Aum. They seem only one step away from turning into a terrorist group."

Comment: We find it to be extremely curious that a cult is defined above (by virtue of the quote from the 'local taxi driver'), as a group that believes in something that has no basis in reality. And then, of course, that is only one step away from 'turning into a terrorist group.'

Well, maybe they are onto something there. Many Christians claim to hear God, to talk to God, to get answers and directions from God - the God of Judao- Christianity, that is.

The diagnostic manual of mental disorders consulted by psychiatrists, known in the trade as the DSM, defines delusion as “a false belief based on an incorrect inference about external reality.” A delusion is firmly sustained, despite incontrovertible proof to the contrary. The belief that one interacts with "spirits" is defined as a “delusion of being controlled, in which feelings, impulses, thoughts or actions are experienced as being not one's own, as being imposed by some external force.” Sounds like someone who's got religion, right? Well, there's an interesting little exception: "religious context" is excluded from this definition when the manual says: "This does not include the mere conviction that one is acting as an agent of God."

One has to wonder why "mental health" professionals believe it is acceptable to be deluded by religion - most particularly Christianity - but that it is pathological in any other context?

After all, George Bush and his gang promote belief in the "dead man on a stick" religion - and believe firmly that Jesus was crucified, died, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven by the power and will of the Creator of the Universe.

Sheesh! I think that a belief in EM waves is more reasonable.

Patterns from Nowhere

Natural forces bring order to untouched ground

Sid Perkins
Science News Week of May 17, 2003;
Vol. 163, No. 20

In remote regions of the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Australian outback, an explorer can trek across bleak, uninhabited landscapes only to suddenly stumble upon ground decorated with weird patterns. These lonely sites feature ankle- high and meter-wide donuts of gravel; mazes, stripes, and polygonal networks of pebbles, sand, or ice; and sometimes ice crevasses in perfect geometric patterns. The enigmatic configurations, seemingly created without human influence, call to mind the mysterious phenomenon of crop circles, except that the puzzling structures are made of rocks or ice instead of trampled corn or wheat.

Scientists studying so-called patterned grounds have developed geological models for how some of these varied landforms have arisen from the influence of only soil, water, and sunlight. Although such simulations do a good job of reproducing Earth's variety of patterned ground, one of them may also go much farther: It could explain the hundreds of patterned regions that spacecraft have spied on the surface of Mars.

Western countries on edge amid spike in al-Qaeda terror "chatter"

AFP Saturday May 17, 10:28 AM

Alarmed by a huge increase in intercepted communications indicating that al- Qaeda-related terrorist attacks may be imminent, western countries have put their citizens on alert in the Middle East, East Africa and Southeast Asia.

The United States, Australia and Britain -- which have stepped up their intelligence cooperation since the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington -- have issued a flurry of terrorism warnings in recent days.

Other nations -- including Germany, Canada and Denmark -- have followed suit.

The fears have been made all the more real by late Friday's bombings in Casablanca, Morocco killing dozens, and Monday's triple suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, blamed on al-Qaeda, which killed 34 people at compounds housing western nationals.

"We are very concerned about possible attacks," said a US official.

"I don't know if I could characterize them as 'imminent' in the sense of the next hour or day, but there are a lot of signs that something or some things are being planned and are coming, coming soon," the official said.

The officials said the intercepts were gathered not only from suspected al- Qaeda operatives but also from people believed to be affiliated with the network who either operate on their own or as part of a group that shares Osama bin Laden's anti-West agenda.

Comment: Just note that this "news" is coming down to us from the same gang that declared that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The same gang that produced a fake Osama bin Laden tape and video, the same gang that was hanging out in Florida on September 11, 2001 - one of whom was having breakfast with the man who paid Mohammed Atta - the leader of the so-called 9- 11 terrorists. This is the same gang that faked a strike on the Pentagon to cover their complicity in the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, and the same gang that - as a result of their complicity - has begun to take America apart piece by piece. So yeah, I would be afraid - VERY afraid. If they are warning us about terrorist attacks, they know of what they speak in a most personal way. They know because they ARE the masterminds behind the terrorism.

At least 24 perish in wave of suicide bomb attacks in Casablanca

AFP Saturday May 17, 1:07 PM

At least 24 people, including 10 suicide bombers, died in a string of terrorist attacks in Morocco's business capital Casablanca, officials said.

The blasts and car bombings in the city centre targeted restaurants and hotels frequented by foreigners. However most of the victims were locals, Moroccan Interior Minister Mostafa Sahel said early Saturday.

"These attacks bear the hallmarks of international terrorism," Sahel told a hastily arranged press conference, adding that three Moroccan suspects, including an injured suicide bomber, had been arrested.

He said there were similarities between the attacks in Casablanca and those in Saudi Arabia on Monday, in which 34 people were killed. [...]

Sahel said the terrorists' goal was to attack Morocco's democratic process and its political pluralism.

"Morocco will not be intimidated by those who choose to kill innocent people," he vowed.

A leader of the Islamist Justice and Development Party condemned the bombings as "a savage terrorist crime".

"We condemn it as we condemn the perpetrators and their commanders," the group's parliamentary president Mustapha Ramid told AFP.

Fears grow that US economy faces deflation

By Jenny Wiggins in New York,
Peronet Despeignes in Washington
and David Pilling in Tokyo
Published: May 16 2003

Fears of deflation in the US rose on Friday as stock prices fell and government bond yields dipped to 45-year lows after a key measure of inflation dropped to its lowest level in 37 years. [...]

Paul Sheard, economist at Lehman Brothers, said: "If you look at the chart it looks horrible. It looks as though deflation is going through the floor." However, the headline figure exaggerated the picture, because the GDP deflator in the first quarter of 2002, when Japan began pulling out of recession, was positive, he noted. "It's something of a statistical fluke, though deflation is deflation and it is not a good sign." Most economists in the US have dismissed deflationary risks as marginal. But the Fed said recently that odds of an "unwelcome substantial" slowdown in inflation were now stronger than that of a rebound. "We continue to believe that inflationary pressures are building," said Brian Wesbury, an economist with Chicago-based, bond-trading firm Griffith Kubik, Stepehens and Thomson, but "it is getting harder and harder to argue against the deflation story".

Sleaze Journalism? It's an Old Story

By Adam Goodheart
February 20, 1998, NY TIMES

The American press is once again at risk grave risk! -- of abandoning its proud tradition of sobriety, fairness and impartiality. Or so say most of the people who are paid to fill air time and column inches with that sort of pronouncement.

What seems to be the problem is something referred to as "the 24-hour news cycle" or "the feeding frenzy" or, more simply, "Matt Drudge." Reporters and editors, we're told, care less about being right than about being first, scandalmongers spread rumors and falsehoods, any crackpot with a strong opinion and a little money can make himself heard, and no one in the press exhibits the slightest respect for the dignity of high public office. Thanks to the Internet, round-the-clock television news and other new media, such wild anarchy may represent the future of American journalism, the pundits warn.

Their prediction could well come true. But if it does, it will represent not a break from the traditions of American journalism, but a return to them.

For most of our history, Americans didn't get their news from the David Brinkleys and the Walter Lippmanns. They got it from the Matt Drudges.

When Alexis de Tocqueville toured the United States in 1831 and 1832, he had high praise for the role of newspapers in sustaining democratic government. "We should underrate their importance if we thought they just guaranteed liberty," he wrote. "They maintain civilization."

What sort of press was it that impressed Tocqueville so favorably? It was the press of the Jacksonian era, a time when politicians' sex lives (real or fictitious) were regularly exposed by the partisan opposition, when one newspaper assured its readers that the President's mother "was a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers," and when the President, like several of his predecessors, responded by bribing editors to support him.

[...] Journalism didn't truly become a respectable profession until after World War II, when political journalism came to be dominated by a few big newspapers, networks and news services. These outlets cultivated an impartiality that, in a market with few rivals, makes good sales sense. They also cultivated the myth that the American press had always (with a few deplorable exceptions, of course) been a model of decorum.

But it wasn't this sort of press that the framers of the Bill of Rights set out to protect. It was, rather, a press that called Washington an incompetent, Adams a tyrant and Jefferson a fornicator. And it was that rambunctious sort of press that, in contrast to the more genteel European periodicals of the day, came to be seen as proof of America's republican vitality. [...]

For better or for worse, we now seem to be returning to the brickbat days of journalism. It will all be quite Dickensian, to be sure -- but perhaps a bit Tocquevillean as well.

JFK Intern Affair Shows Cultural Change

The Associated Press Friday, May 16, 2003; 3:33 PM

NEW YORK - The author who revealed former President John F. Kennedy's affair with a 19-year-old intern said Friday that the media's interest in the liaison underscores an extraordinary change in American culture.

"In the 1960s, John Kennedy was not going to be found out," author Robert Dallek said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"Lots of journalists, reporters, knew about the womanizing, and if they didn't they had strong suspicions, but they weren't going to publish it in their newspapers. It just was not part of the culture of the times," Dallek said. "Now, of course, it's so different."

Tornadoes, Strong Winds Batter Oklahoma

The Associated Press Friday, May 16, 2003; 10:11 PM

Tornadoes and strong wind battered Oklahoma for the second week, damaging homes, airports and a school and causing at least one minor injury, authorities said Friday.

Power outages were scattered after the storms late Thursday and early Friday in Oklahoma. In southwest Kansas late Thursday, at least two tornadoes caused widespread damage and flooding that washed out rural roads. There were no reports of injuries.

Earlier Thursday in Tennessee, wind gusted to 100 mph in Knoxville and hail as large as tennis balls fell in Loudon County, injuring at least four people.

Iraqi POWs were tortured, claims Amnesty

(SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2003 - AP)

LONDON: Amnesty International said Friday it is investigating claims that British and US troops tortured prisoners of war in Iraq.

The human rights organisation said it had gathered statements from 20 former detainees who said they had been kicked and beaten by soldiers while being interrogated.

Some were civilians who were detained on suspicion of being Iraqi militia, Amnesty told a news conference in London. One Saudi Arabian national claimed he was tortured with electric shocks.

Britain's Ministry of Defense said it had not been contacted by Amnesty about the allegations and insisted prisoners were not mistreated.

"Those who were detained by British forces were treated in line with the Geneva Conventions and we had regular visits by the International Committee for the Red Cross," it said in a statement. "If there are allegations then we will have to look at them and see if we can investigate."

There was no comment from the US. Amnesty researcher Said Boumedouha, who returned to UK on Thursday after a month in Iraq, said the group planned to present a dossier of its findings to British and US authorities.

Boumedouha said the detainees had been arrested in the Basra area, and complained of protracted beatings while being held at Basra air base or a military base in Nassiriyah which he referred to as the "Imam Ali" base, before being moved to Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.

Some of the men said they were blindfolded or hooded and were kicked and beaten with fists or weapons throughout the night. Coalition soldiers had interrogated them with the help of Kuwaiti interpreters, he added.

Some were arrested while combat continued but others were detained later, he said. They were held for up to four days before being moved to a detention center in Umm Qasr. All had subsequently been released.

ISM Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize - Letter of Nomination

To: The Norwegian Nobel Committee Drammensveien 19 0255 Oslo Norway

Dear Committee Members,

AS a member of the House of Commons of Canada, and as the International Human Rights advocate for the New Democratic Party of Canada, it is my pleasure to nominate the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

The contribution of the ISM to advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East, to defending human rights, and to upholding international law is without parallel. This organization's selfless efforts to promote peace and protect the lives of innocent civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clearly merit international recognition.

Although this nomination is for the ISM as a whole, three young individuals merit particular recognition for the courage and resolve they displayed in their acts of non-violent civil disobedience in defence of peace and human rights in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

These individuals are Brian Avery and Tom Hurndall, who miraculously survived sniper shots to the head by Israeli forces while they were defending Palestinian civilians from Israeli troops, and Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli Defence Force bulldozer while attempting to prevent the demolition of the home of an innocent Palestinian family.

A Nobel Peace Prize for the ISM would be a fitting testament to the fortitude and principle exemplified by the members of this organization and these three individuals in particular.

Thank you for accepting this nomination.

Sincerely yours,

Svend J Robinson, MP

Comment: The ISM and the three noted individuals would be far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than George Bush or Tony Blair (See 'Reject Nomination of Bush and Blair for Nobel Prize')

Some Questions for Dick Cheney

by Andrew Rice
Thursday, May 15, 2003

It looks like another crime against humanity has been perpetrated by the political extremists who killed my brother David on Sept.11th, 2001. What makes these brutal and unjustifiable murders even more tragic is that those in power, who have the ability go to great lengths to prevent such attacks, refuse to do so because of their own obsession with war and violence as a "solution". As a hopeless and sad attempt to prevent terrorism, they would rather initiate and threaten wars of aggression against regimes with no known partnership with Al Qaeda (Iraq, Syria, Iran), while refusing to reform our relations with our allies that clearly breed Al-Qaeda terrorists by the hundreds (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Qatar).

In response to the tragedy in Riyadh, Dick Cheney had the following to say about terrorism: "The only way to deal with this threat ultimately is to destroy it."

Anyone who has been even partially conscious over the last 20 months knows that when Bush, Rumsfeld or Cheney talk about "destroying" terrorism, they mean by using smart bombs and American soldiers, and not the taboo project of actually making America a less hated government in the middle east and therefore making Bin Laden's recruiting campaigns much harder to pull off. Even a quick glance at the history of terrorist conflicts in other regions of the world confirms that using bombs and guns to end terrorism does not actually work, while the massacre of civilians that is endemic to war emboldens the terrorist's resolve to fight back, therefore making worse the problem your hoping to rectify.

So, I have some questions for our vice-president concerning his idea of "destroying" terrorism.

1- Please explain - and please use logic, not the idealism of Leo Strauss - how our military is going to "destroy" terrorism?...

2- Most criminals have motives behind their crimes. How do you square your and President Bush's long-held claims that Al-Qaeda are a bunch of "freedom haters" with the reality that they just attacked people on Saudi soil - a nation that is no friend of freedom?...

Shooting to Kill

New York Times - Op-Ed
May 15, 2003

The cover of the July 28, 1967, issue of Life magazine was one of the grimmest I'd ever seen. It showed a 12-year-old black kid in filthy sneakers and worn-out jeans sprawled on the filthy pavement of a street in Newark.

His left arm was bent at a gruesome angle. Blood was pooling beneath his body. He looked dead.

The article was about the Newark riots, one of the most violent outbursts of the 1960's....

I opened the magazine, still thinking about the kid on the cover. He was like zillions of kids I had grown up with. It was sad, depressing. Then I got to Pages 20 and 21. They are still shocking to me.

There, in a sequence of photos that would go on for four pages, was a guy I had known in my hometown of Montclair, N.J., a casual friend named Billy Furr.

The sequence starts with Billy looting beer from a liquor store. Then a squad car pulls up and police officers with shotguns jump out. Billy takes off, the tails of his light-colored shirt flapping. A uniformed cop in a yellow hard hat lifts his shotgun to his shoulder, aims and fires.

In a photo that covers two-thirds of Page 22, Billy lies on the blood-stained sidewalk, dead. On the next page was another photo of the 12-year-old boy. He was a bystander who was hit in the neck and thigh. Although seriously wounded, he would recover.

This all came back to me yesterday with the news report out of Baghdad that U.S. military forces would be authorized to shoot looters on sight. The first thing I thought was that Billy Furr had been dead these 36 years because he stole some beer. It was wrong, but the barbaric punishment in no way fit the crime.

Now, in the dawn of the 21st century, when this nation above all others is supposed to be a model of progress and fairness and justice and due process, the U.S. military was to be given the high sign to start shooting Iraqis like dogs in the street...

Americans should take a long, honest look in the mirror. We'll find that it's impossible to look good in the ugly garb of a colonial power.

Comment: How many more men, women, and children must be injured, maimed, and killed before enough people wake up and put a stop to Bush's War Machine? How bad will it have to get before enough Americans wake up to this madness?

Ari & I

White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 12:30 PM
by Russell Mokhiber

Mokhiber: Ari, you said on April 10th, about weapons of mass destruction, "That is what this war was about." On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that the group directing U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms.

Ari Fleischer: Efforts aren't winding down, efforts are cranking up. As Dr. Rice said in an exclusive interview with Reuters, we are sending in additional teams of people and increasing the amount of inspectors, the amount of people who go through documentation, people who are more expert, to continue to go in. And nothing has changed from what I said on April.

Mokhiber: If I could follow up on that. Let's -- hypothetically, these weapons are --

Ari Fleischer: You're beginning a sentence with the wrong word. (Laughter.) You just hurt your cause.

Mokhiber: If The Washington Post report is correct, and weapons that Secretary Powell said are there, are not there, I'm wondering if -- what are the chances that you were misled?

Ari Fleischer: No, I think that you've heard it from enough officials to know that you should not begin a sentence with a hypothetical. We remain confident in all the statements we've made about it.

Mass grave of Kuwaiti PoWs found in Iraq

(Friday 16th May 2003)

A mass grave of about 600 missing Kuwaiti prisoners of war has reportedly been discovered in Iraq.

It is believed the prisoners were taken from Kuwait during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Workers from the Iraqi National Congress say they made the grim find at an airbase in the town of Habbaniyah, north-west of Baghdad.

The Congress members were exiles opposed to Saddam Hussein, but have now returned to Iraq to help restore normality to the country.

Mich. Gov. Declares Emergency After Flood

By MIKE TYREE, Associated Press Writer
Fri May 16, 2003

MARQUETTE, Mich. - Two dams failed as a churning, sediment-laden Dead River uprooted trees and destroyed bridges, forcing some 1,800 people from their homes in the Upper Peninsula's largest city.

Flooding began to ebb late Thursday. It began Wednesday afternoon, when an earthen dike disintegrated about 30 miles upstream; two dams on the Dead River system failed, but two key dams held, saving the community from massive flooding, authorities said.

"This is the worst in anybody's memory that I've talked to," Fire Chief Tom Belt said Thursday afternoon as he peered over the ruins of a two-lane bridge.

"Miraculously, no one was hurt," he said.

Saddam Fit Enough to Stay Hiding for Years-Doctors

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
Fri May 16, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein was in excellent health while he was Iraqi president and has the experience and brains to remain in hiding for years, according to his most trusted doctors.

The doctors, who refused to be identified, told Reuters that Saddam, who was born in 1937, expected to live over 90 years and was not the sort who would contemplate suicide, even if he was about to be captured.

"I have not seen Saddam for a while, but he is fit enough to live in a bunker for a long time. He was never treated for anything major," one doctor said...

The U.S. government, which launched a war against Iraq in March, does not know whether Saddam and his two sons were killed or survived two bombings which targeted them.

Another Iraqi doctor said Saddam had the experience and brains to deal with life underground and avoid U.S. forces hunting for him.

"Saddam is intelligent and bright. He must be to have ruled Iraq for 35 years," the doctor said...

"I would not be surprised if he shows up again," one of his doctors added.

Comment: It appears Saddam Hussein has joined Osama under the bed.

Tornadoes Touch Down in Oklahoma Again

(May 16, 2003 - AP) -- One minor injury is reported in Bartlesville after tornadoes and storms hit Oklahoma again overnight.

Small tornadoes were reported shortly after noon today in the Edmond area, but no injuries or damage is reported.S

Bush campaign files papers for 2004 re-election bid

Move clears the way for fund-raising

Friday, May 16, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush launched his re-election bid Friday, formally filing papers to seek a second term with his postwar popularity soaring despite a sluggish economy...

[...] The move is not a surprise; the White House has been planning his re-election bid for months, and Bush has said Vice President Dick Cheney would be on the 2004 ticket. Filing with the FEC is a legal step required when a candidate plans to raise more than $5,000.

Comment: Bush will definitely need more than $5,000 if he hopes to win in '04. Rigging elections, like the one in 2000, isn't cheap.

...The president narrowly won the 2000 election against Democrat Al Gore, who captured a slim majority of the popular vote but lost to Bush on the state-by-state electoral race when the Supreme Court stopped Gore's bid for a recount in Florida.

Comment: Isn't American democracy wonderful? Where else can a candidate win the approval of the people and subsequently be thrown out by his corrupt, psychopathic opponent? The Iraqis must be thrilled that their country will be modeled after such a marvelous system.

[...] Recent polls show that 65 percent to 70 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, and slightly more say he has strong qualities of leadership. Bush and his political team believe the leadership trait will trump any concerns voters have about the president's policies, which Democrats assert are far too conservative for mainstream America.

[...] Oliver played a similar role in the 2000 campaign as he helped Bush raise more than $100 million, shattering all records.

Republicans say Bush could double that total under the new campaign finance law, although the Supreme Court is expected to have the final say on those rules, and is almost certain to raise more money than the Democratic nominee. Fliescher said Bush will not take federal campaign money, meaning he will not have to abide by government spending limits.

Comment: When you're rich, you live under a different set of laws. When you supply the war machine with warbucks, they'll be happy to fill your campaign coffers.

U.S. Says al-Qaida Still Poses Threat

Associated Press Writer

Al-Qaida is out to prove it is still a force, U.S. counterterrorism officials said Friday, suggesting the bombings in Saudi Arabia and terrorist threats in Africa and Asia are part of a coordinated effort to strike lightly defended targets.

At this point, those targets do not appear to include places within the United States, officials said. While acknowledging the network is capable of U.S. strikes, they said intelligence points toward attacks overseas, where al-Qaida operatives are more numerous and security measures less effective.

"We have no credible, specific intelligence information that indicates similar attacks are planned to take place in this country," said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse. "We will not raise the threat level at home at this time."

Mossad's Killing Machine Comes To Britain

By Gordon Thomas

A killing war between Israel's Mossad and Islamic fanatics came closer this weekend in Britain. The Israeli intelligence agency has sent four members of its kidon assassination squad to this country, to join fifteen other handpicked katsas, its relentless field agents.

Their brief is to "disable" any of the "close to 50" British Muslims that the extremist Islamic group, Al-Muhajiroun, last week boasted were ready to carry out suicide missions similar to the one in Tel Aviv.

Al-Muhajiroun spokesman, Asif Butt, said the 50 were "primed and ready to go". The threat was sufficient for Mossad to send its own termination squad to head off any further threat to Israel or to synagogues and other Jewish institutions in this country.

"In Mossad-speak 'disable' means taking them out permanently", said an MI5 source grimly. "We know from past experience that the kidon can make murder look like an accident. It is their speciality". Two of the kidon are women. They have been trained to be ready to sleep with someone to obtain vital information.

Former Mossad chief Meir Amit said that "sex is a woman's weapon. Pillow talk is not a problem for her. But it takes a special kind of courage - to sleep with the enemy".

Mossad often operates outside the law of this country - or any country.

In the past, it has killed terrorists in the streets of Paris, Frankfurt and other European cities. In turn, it has lost over 100 agents in the past 50 years. Their memorial is a monument shaped like a human brain in a suburb of Tel Aviv.

In Britain, they are banned from using guns or explosives. But they are equipped with long and short-blade knives and piano wire to strangle. They are also trained in the art of melting into a hostile community.

If Bush Was Popular, We Wouldn't Need Polls to Convince Us
by Matt Peiken

If 67 percent of the population agreed about something, you'd think we'd all know it. We wouldn't need polls to inform us two out of three people are of one mind. We could just walk down the street, make eye contact and nod, or maybe throw each other that two-handed finger point that says "Hey, bud, I'm with you."

The truth is, we're not of one mind. Few individuals are even of one mind with themselves.

The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows 67 percent of Americans approve of President Bush's job performance. Yet the same poll showed ambivalence with Bush on nearly every indicator of governmental leadership.

Only half believe the Bush administration has at all improved the nation's economy, only 42 percent believe public schools have improved under Bush, just 35 percent believe Bush has ensured the existence of Social Security and Medicare for future generations, only 36 percent say he's helped create new jobs and just 19 percent believe Bush has helped reduce the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly.

In late April, a New York Times/CBS poll touting overwhelming support for President Bush and the war with Iraq also showed only 38 percent thought the U.S. should attack other countries it perceives as threats. Only 29 percent said the U.S. should continue trying to change dictatorships into democracies wherever it can.

These polls only illustrate Americans are confused. How are people measuring their satisfaction? Can anyone among the supposed satisfied articulate and detail for us unsatisfied souls why they believe George W. Bush is doing his job at a satisfactory level or better? Can someone point out one significant area of national life that hasn't nose-dived since Bush took office?

People aren't wealthier, happier, healthier, safer or more hopeful, and they don't care to address that. They're holding fast to the Titanic, keeping their eyes peeled for evil outside the gaping hole in the bow, impervious to the water rushing up to their collarbones.

Kerry made his Bones in secret club - like Bush

Boston Herald
by Andrew Miga

WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry expounds on many issues in his presidential campaign, but he's completely silent on one topic: his membership in Skull and Bones, Yale's infamous secret society.

[...] There's also another high-profile member of the club: President Bush.

Bonesmen already are buzzing over the prospect of the first Bones vs. Bones presidential race should Kerry win his party's nomination and face Bush in 2004.

"Bones don't care who wins," said author Alexandra Robbins, whose book "Secrets of the Tomb" pierced the secrecy shrouding the 171-year-old society. "If Kerry wins, it's still a Bones presidency."

Robbins calls the group "probably the most secretive and successful club in America," and adds, "It's also pretty bizarre."

Every year, 15 Yale juniors are tapped for the club, which holds meetings twice a week in a crypt-like building known as the "Tomb."

Robbins described the interior, replete with skulls and skeletons, as a cross between the "Addams Family" and a slightly shabby English men's club.

There are bizarre initiation rites, including a ceremony where new members must spend an evening before a roaring fire in the Tomb recounting details of their sexual history to fellow members.

Comment: Maybe the "Bones" don't care who becomes president because it doesn't matter since they all take orders from the same place. Being a puppet is not all bad; they do have the advantage of going out to play dress-up in the woods once in a while.

Airwaves Abuzz with Hollywood Blacklist; No Secrets This Time

Detroit News
Laura Berman

In his TV commercials for telephone giant MCI, actor Danny Glover is appealing and likable. He's honed to perfection the character of a trustworthy buddy, a genuine guy.

But Danny Glover's image is under revision. It's being revamped on cable TV and talk shows that portray him as an un-American creep who deserves to lose his job for speaking out against the Bush administration.

His is the latest name on the new Hollywood blacklist that's being compiled by high-tech bullies trying to work a two-fer: drum up ratings and drown out dissent.

Round 'em up: Sean Penn, for doing Saddam Hussein's PR in the month before the war broke out. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, whose anti-war comments got a Baseball Hall of Fame event in honor of Bull Durham's 15th anniversary canceled.

And please don't forget the Dixie Chicks.

All of a sudden, making contrary or outre political comments isn't only not OK, it's a punishable offense.

[...]Scarborough characterized Sean Penn and Glover as "anti-Bush." And so far as I know, being opposed to the president -- any U.S. president -- has never been considered cause for an American to get fired.

Bugs Bunny to warn about land mines

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will be used in public service messages educating Cambodians about land mines, the State Department said Wednesday.

The State Department selected Bugs Bunny because "the rabbit is considered a kind and intelligent creature in Cambodian culture."

Bilderberg secret meeting in France

by jdb Friday May 16, 2003 at 07:23 PM
Indy Media

Taxpayers will pay the travel cost for U.S. officials and lawmakers. It is against federal law for administration officials to hold secret meetings with non-officials to plan public policy. American officials will again ignore this law.

Comment: To understand what really goes on at these conferences check out Kissinger's remarks at a previous one back in 1992:

"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." -- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting.

For an excellent analysis of the US security state and its mind control programs, as well as a good analysis of why you shouldn't shy away from the notion of "conspiracy", we suggest Richard Dolan's book UFO's and the National Security State. Here is an excerpt from Dolan quotes in a past Signs article:

Some will dismiss this as one of the many conspiracy theories dotting America's landscape. The very label serves as an automatic dismissal, as though no one ever acts in secret. Let us bring some perspective and common sense to this issue.

The United States comprises large organizations - corporations, bureaucracies, "interest groups," and the like - which are conspiratorial by nature. That is, they are hierarchical, their important decisions are made in secret by a few key decision-makers, and they are not above lying about their activities. Such is the nature of organizational behavior. "Conspiracy," in this key sense, is a way of life around the globe.

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