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Sunday, April 18, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

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Picture of the Day

Sunset, April 14, 2004
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Today's Picture of the Day is sublime. Its use of colour and light recalls the work by J.M.W. Turner. The play of light and shadow on the clouds, the reflection of the setting sun on the water, suggest the ineffable, the higher world towards which we aspire.

What a beautiful world this could be!

What a rotting and sinister place it has become.

All because of us. Because of Man.

It was said by the persecutors of the early Christians and the Cathars that they hated mankind. Can you blame them? We doubt human nature has changed that much in two thousand years. It is easy enough to hate those, like Bush and Sharon, who lie and manipulate and whose raison d'être appears to be death itself, to sow the stench of decaying flesh and shattered families wherever they walk, all in the name of God.

Is it any wonder that the Cathars wanted nothing whatsoever to do with the God of the Roman Church, that hand-me-down Yahweh of the Frankish invasion, the Crusades, and the Inquisition?

But if it is easy enough to hate Bush and Sharon, what about the millions who acquiesce, who hear the lies and see the bodies ripped apart by made-in-USA missiles and helicopters and machine guns and mortars and yet do nothing in the face of this cold force of entropy. Are they to be hated as well?

Hate. Where is there room for hatred in esoteric work?

Hate is a negative emotion. It comes from the negative half of the emotional centre. It is a warning, a signal being sent to let you know there is danger. Acting upon this hatred would be a serious mistake because the display or expression of the negative emotions are serious setbacks in esoteric work. The energy generated and felt as hatred must be transformed. The intellectual centre must be brought into play to understand the causes of the arising of this feeling of hatred. If necessary, the energy can then be used to DO, not by acting directly on the emotion of hate, but by using the transformed energy, purified by the intellect.

Easier said than done.

It is very easy to take this energy and then build a theory to justify acting upon this hate. We can call ourselves the "Chosen People" or the "Bastion of Freedom," or, as it appears in daily life, simply "know" that we are "right." We find a million excuses and justifications for the hatred rising in our breast. We become this energy of hate.

In reading the news today and seeing the fallout of Bush's meeting with Sharon, it is easy to feel hate for these two apparently less than human political leaders. It is hard work to force this energy into the positive sides of the emotional and intellectual centres in order to produce writing that does not sink to invective, fall into despair, or trail off into rant. And what of all those Americans and Israelis who support this murder and rape by doing nothing? Another kick to the emotional centre. Another shock.

How bad can this world get before people wake up?

And if they aren't meant to wake up?

Is it possible that this torpor in the face of injustice masquerading as its opposite could be calling forth from the cosmos its balance? Can this passivity be calling into being an ACTIVE response on the part of the universe to a cancer eating away at her?

Speaking of active responses to injustice...

Imagine that the US was destroyed suddenly by some sort of cataclysm, manmade or natural. What kind of myths might arise on its embers and ashes? Might the descendants of the survivors be regaled with stories of its might, its beauty, how it represented the epitome of all that was good and noble in human affairs?

Ninety-eight years ago today, the city of San Francisco was destroyed in an earthquake and fire. The following article looks at the myth of "magical San Francisco" that arose on the city's rubble:

Town was smoggy, corrupt and dirty

Carl Nolte, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, April 18, 2004

Today is the 98th anniversary of the earthquake and fire that destroyed San Francisco, a time to tell old stories about what writer Will Irwin called "The City That Was," a magical San Francisco that probably never existed except in memory.

The old San Francisco, Irwin wrote, was "the gayest, most lighthearted, most pleasure-loving city on the western continent ... a city of romance and the gateway to adventure.''

The reality was much different. San Francisco on the eve of the great earthquake was smoggy, dirty and corrupt, a disaster waiting to happen.

Sounds like the US today, doesn't it? The smog, dirt, and corruption have moved from the cities into the minds of its citizens like chemtrails oozing gently through the pores of your skin. America is a cancer, can't you feel it eating away at you, the way it poisons your body and the body politic? The American cancer does not affect only Americans. Through its ideology, economics, and culture, it is slowly expanding across the globe like a black cloud of death, a rancid cesspool of slime bringing bloody films and violence into the homes of everyone on the planet. It is infecting your mind like an evil spirit.

At times you can feel it, reading an article in the newspaper or seeing a piece of American "culture" on TV. You feel dirty, like you've been hit with a bucket of slop or the dregs of a septic tank that has never been emptied.

Are the Yanks the only ones that produce such filth? Of course not. But Yankee culture is the model, the place where this entropic mindset has been taken to its extreme, the place where "culture" is only an "industry," a way to make a buck, and is totally divorced from being a means of expression of man's higher nature. There is no pretence to anything more than a money-making machine, as if the existence of the higher realms is beyond their comprehension or experience.

There is a current in modern American thought that puts the blame for this state of affairs on others, be they Jews or Blacks or some other group. This is accompanied by a romantic notion of US history that is more closely related to Hollywood's picture of the noble settler carving out civilization on the great "virgin" continent than to the reality. America was no more a virgin continent than Palestine was an empty desert awaiting the arrival of the Zionist occupation. The land of the free and home of the brave has been corrupt from the start, representing the interests of a small group under the guise of a democratic revolution.

But to return to San Francisco:

The disaster on this day in 1906 was real enough. "The entire city was relentlessly shaken and twisted," in the words of Malcolm Barker, a historian. The sound was "like the roar of the sea," said police Officer Jesse Cook; "like thunder," said Officer Michael Brady; "the sound as of a snarl," said newspaper reporter James Hopper; "a chorus of terrifying noises," said William Cushing, a guest in a hotel.

When the quake was over, the city was badly damaged. Then it caught fire and burned for three days. When it was over, the heart of the city was a smoking ruin.

It was a terrible shock: San Francisco had 400,000 residents. It was the biggest city on the West Coast and eighth largest in the country, and now, it appeared to be dead. People like Irwin and others wrote the city's obituary, and there is a rule in such matters: De mortuis nil nisi bonum -- "Of the dead, say nothing but good."

And so the great myth sprung up -- the old city was a magical place, where the men were all gents and the women were beautiful and, said Irwin, "life was always gay.'' As time passed, the vanished city became even more mythical, until the reality of those days was paved over with a kind of happy nostalgia.

In a moment, everything can change. The apparently stable dissolves into chaos. The slate is wiped clean. All that is left is the memory...and we know what a shapeshifter memory can be...

This is how the myth was put into place. What was the reality? San Francisco was corrupt and racist.

[...] Chinese could not live outside Chinatown. Selling property to anyone but Caucasians was prohibited by racial covenants in property deeds. Racism was not only widespread, it also was city policy: "We favor the absolute exclusion of all Asiatics -- Japanese as well as Chinese," said the platform of the Workingman's Party, which controlled city government.

Every single elected official was white, and all were male. Women, of course, couldn't vote. Even the reformers had a racist bent. Ex-Mayor James Duval Phelan, who disdained the corrupt politicians, later was elected U.S. senator on an anti-Chinese platform. A street in San Francisco is named for him.

It is easy now to excuse the dated, quaint, or unexceptable views of our ancestors regarding the Chinese and women with a nod to our own enlightened and superior views. Unfortunately, the ideas live on, now coiffed in more sophisticated styles, decked out like the "gents" and "beautiful" women of old San Francisco. The perverted Puritan sexuality of the earliest settlers in New England has morphed into the unbridled sexual display of the American porn market and men's magazines, the hypocritical outrage at Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" and exposed breast while God-fearing Christians watch porn at home and support the bombing of innocent men, women, and children in Iraq.

We mentioned above that there are currents in the US that put the blame for America's troubles on other groups such as the Jews. They decry the high concentration of Jewish ownership of the media, their participation in the porn industry, their closed character and sense of identification with the tribe. While each of these may be true, there are corrupt elements within the white, anglo-saxon, Aryan elite that are as devoid of the higher realities as the corrupt in other ethnic groups. The Bush Administration is an alliance of the most corrupt members of this white elite and the most corrupt elements of Zionism. They each play upon their constituents, be it white Bible thumpers from Middle America or Jewish-American pro-Israel supporters of murder, occupation, and assassination by missile in the Occupied Territories....

And according to the latest out of Israel, the attacks may start again in Damascus:

Rantisi buried as Israel vows more killing

Sunday 18 April 2004, 13:15 Makka Time, 10:15 GMT

Ignoring international condemnation of Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi's assassination, an Israeli cabinet minister has promised similar attacks in the future.

Gideon Ezra named Hamas' political bureau chief Khalid Mishal as the next target on Sunday, barely seconds after Dr al-Rantisi's funeral procession got underway and before he was buried.

The Israeli minister threatened Mishal with "an identical fate" to the Islamist resistance movement's spokesman in the Palestinian territories and the wheel-chair bound Shaikh Ahmad Yasin.

Although Mishal lives in Syria, the Israeli minister vowed that his "fate will be identical to that of al-Rantisi. When the opportunity comes to strike at Damascus, we will do it."

We should not be surprised at this. Israel attacked Damascus last fall. And the US said nothing to condemn this breach of international law. The Israelis and the Americans are above the law. They are God's chosen ones. They make Divine Law.

Israel is the only country to have praised its own assassination and stands in stark contrast to the large number of countries that have condemned the action.

The battle between Creation and Entropy is going on every minute of the day in each of us. Most of us are unaware of this. We want to "stay out of trouble," "lead our own lives, " etc. Unfortunately, this amounts to sticking our heads in the sand, ignoring the horrors and screams of our brothers and sisters around the globe.

If Bush has not yet been impeached after all of his lies, his manipulation of the US people, his blatant disregard for fact and his preference for a dream-reality where he discusses military strategy with God, then the blood of his actions are on the hands of all Americans. And the consequences will be lived and shared by all. America is calling upon its head its own destruction. They only question is how much of the world it will take with it. The unbridled violence of US policy, the dropping of even the mask of neutrality in Israel, the double standard that it applies in Iraq, all of these mark a turning point in the battle.

One senses we are building to a culmination. It is double or nothing for the Bush gang. They sense that they are cornered, and they no longer care if they are caught out. In fact, they have been caught out and it doesn't matter. They can get away with it: no WMD in Iraq, no solid evidence linking al Qaeda to 9/11, no evidence linking Saddam to Osama, a fifteen foot hole in the façade of the Pentagon supposedly made by a commercial airliner, insider trading on American and United Airlines the days before the attack and no investigation, Condi Rice notifying the mayor of San Francisco not to fly on September 11, the air force ordered to stand down, a Patriot Act already drawn up prior to 9/11, passing in 45 days with no possibility to read it all through, Israeli 'art students' following the alleged hijackers around the US and Israeli "movers" doing the happy dance on the rooftops overlooking the WTC as it fell, plans for an invasion of Iraq, orders to tie 9/11 into Saddam, and on and on and on.

And the official explanation: intelligence failures.

Yes, the intelligence failure of the American people who don't care as long as they can continue living their lives as before.

All that matters now to Bush and his friends is accomplishing their task.

The consequences are war - constant, total war. What else could the "war on terrorism" be? The terrorists are everywhere, and so we must fight everywhere to defeat them. However, the worst terrorists are Arabs, so let us turn the Middle East into a slaughterhouse.

The US is threatening to invade Najaf, one of the holiest sites in Islam. If Najaf explodes, if the US treats this holy city as they treated Fullaja, then many commentators think the holy war uniting Sunni and Shi'ite against the occupying forces will begin in earnest. More American soldiers will be killed as the Iraqi people rise up cut out the cancer infecting their country.

Rantisi and Najaf

The Sunday Herald correctly points out that the Israeli murder of Abdul Aziz Rantisi, the head of the political wing of the Hamas party, on Saturday, will cause further trouble in Iraq.

With al-Anbar province tense and US troops surrounding Najaf, one could not imagine a worse time for Bush to give a green light to Sharon for further provocations. One can only conclude that neither Ariel Sharon nor Bush and his Neocon advisers give a fig about the lives of US and Coalition servicemen in Iraq. Otherwise, they'd stop with the theatrics. If the Israelis had wanted to arrest Rantisi, they could have. They pulled off Entebbe. This extra-judicial murder of political opponents is just showing off, and it is of course ethically despicable and a war crime for which one only wishes Sharon could be made to stand trial in the Hague. If Rantisi could have been proved to have committed an act of terrorism, he should have been arrested and tried in Gaza for murder. I condemn violence by Palestinian leaders just as I do that done by Israeli ones, and do not have a problem with terrorists being punished for killing innocent people. I do have a problem with political rivals whacking one another unnecessarily, especially when it is likely to get some of my friends killed.

I feel like something of a fool for bothering to say all this, since it is obvious that Sharon is behaving like a Mafia don--Arik Soprano--not a head of state. But the commentary I saw on US cable television was all about who could fall over themselves more quickly to praise this 'decisive action against terrorism.' The state of public discourse in the US (and Israel) is deplorable when it is not even possible publicly to criticize extra-judicial killing in the mass media.

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Najaf tense as US threaten al-Sadr

Sunday 18 April 2004, 13:25 Makka Time, 10:25 GMT

Tension remained high in Najaf, where 2500 US troops are poised nearby with orders to kill or capture Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

A spokesman for al-Sadr said on Saturday that negotiations were at a dead end. A US spokesman denied any direct talks had taken place, although he said Iraq's US-led administration was keen to avoid bloodshed in Najaf.

Caught in the face-off between US troops and al-Sadr's Mahdi army militia, Najaf residents complained their lives and livelihoods were at risk with shops closed and streets around the city's shrines crowded with gunmen instead of pilgrims.

Al-Sadr's supporters say Iraq's top Shia clerics back the uprising they staged this month against the US-led occupiers.

"We know that any assault from the Americans on the holy city of Najaf will be the zero hour for the revolution all over Iraq," said al-Sadr's spokesman, Qays al-Khazali. "The religious authority has a clear stand in providing us with moral support."

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Will an attack on Najaf really set off the "revolution"? Time will tell. But rest assured that if that does not do it, there are many more matches ready to set many other tinderboxes aflame.

The United States and Israel have denounced Syria and Iran as members of the "Axis of Evil." If Israel bombs Damascus, as they threatened above, the chances of drawing Syria into the conflict are very real. But this appears to be what the Neocons and likudnicks want. This is their openly stated goal: war throughout the region to replace the existing governments with US/Israel compliant regimes, a series of Governing Councils made up of US-trained exiles.

Iran won't be far behind on the hit list. Iran was involved with negotiations this week between the occupation authority in Iraq and Sadr over his future.

But after the death of Rantisi, the open alliance between Bush and Sharon, the threats on Najaf, the humiliation of Arafat, and the humiliation of the Arab people, who could blame them for lashing out at the real "Axis of Evil", the Americans and the Israelis? Aren't they being provoked into such a response in order to justify the new "final solution"? Isn't it clear that this is what Bush and Sharon want, an excuse to drop a few more bombs and maybe provoke a nuclear holocaust in the Mid East?

If you don't cut out a cancer, you have to nuke it with intense radiation. Is nuclear war the planet's answer to chemotherapy?

Until the chemotherapy starts on the planet as a whole, what is one to do to remain sane? Why not try anti-depressants?

Why millions of women are hooked on the happy pills

Sunday April 18, 2004
The Observer

Death and taxes used to be the only certainties in life. For British women, we can now add another one: depression. Statistics may show that one in four women becomes depressed at some time, but a magazine survey this week claims that more than half of British women have taken antidepressants.

It wasn't reported whether this increase in depression was in response to Tony Blair's support for Bush. Unfortunately, according to the article:

Unofficially at least, depression is an expected life experience for women, slipped in somewhere between having children, looking after elderly parents and either divorce or retirement. Is life now so difficult for women that it's normal to be depressed?

Apparently so. Not only do they have to hold down a job, but when they return home, they have to shop, to cook, to clean, etc. The Creative in woman must be brought to the ground and trampled upon. It must be spent in the mundane, wasted so that it has no time to rest, to recuperate, to BECOME.

'People tend to forget that being depressed is part of being human. Its normal to have emotions, they are built into the brain. They reveal to us that all is not well and if we didn't get depressed we wouldn't know that. It's like pain - the body's way of saying something is not right. If you went through life without pain you wouldn't know if you had injured yourself or not.'

Sound good? Well, researchers have linked anti-depressants to suicide. The FDA in the US, the organisation that is supposed to be the federal watchdog over the pharmaceutical companies, isn't buying the threat. No surprise there.

And so the drama continues. More and more Americans are dancing to the new tune played by the corporate-owned and controlled media. As they dance, they sing, "Bush is bad, Kerry is good". This tune should be familiar, of course - the singing and dancing are just an encore performance from before Bush was elected - er, stole the election. It seems that few people in the US are waking up to reality. It seems media outlets such as The Baltimore Sun would have us believe otherwise:

A proud Army parent believes Bush misled us about Iraq war

Dan Rodricks
The Baltimore Sun
April 15, 2004

I STEPPED briefly into a discussion between a father in suburban Baltimore and his only son, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. The discussion took place by e-mail, cell phone and Nextel. The subject was war in Iraq. It was a surprising e-mail from the dad -- "The proud parent of a member of the elite 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army" -- that got things started.

"I hate to call the president of the United States a liar," the father said, but that's exactly what David Robinette thinks of George W. Bush. He thinks Bush deceived us on the reasons for war and that the mission there is terribly flawed. He's not voting for Bush again in November.

Stop for a moment and carefully consider the father's statement. He hates to have to call the president of the US a liar. And yet, why should George Bush be treated any differently than any other citizen? If we are to believe that the US democratic system actually works as we are told it does, then that means that any citizen who is old enough could be elected president. Therefore, if one has no problem calling one's neighbor on a lie, why hesitate to call the president a liar when he, in fact, lies? This strange behavior among people, especially Americans, seems to be indicative of the social programming that is so much a part of life in so-called democracies.

There appears to be a deep-seated need among most people to believe that their leaders are infallible. It may be useful to consider why we would believe something so ridiculous. In our daily lives, we are reminded over and over again just how imperfect we are. Yet when it comes to our leaders, we want to believe so badly that they are in their roles in this world because they are better than us. What if they aren't? What if our leaders are no better than the average person? Furthermore, what if it is our leaders who desire to maintain the status quo because they know that the masses view them as infallible, and this provides them with a sort of unspoken permission to do what they please with the country and its citizens. In that case, citizens such as Mr. Robinette really have nothing to complain about. Sure, Bush is a liar, but he got away with his crimes because he was allowed to do so by the blissfully unaware public.

Then again, perhaps Robinette is simply afraid of speaking out against George Bush. His son certainly is:

The son, Spc. Daniel Robinette, doesn't go there; he won't state a political view or a judgment about his commander in chief. "I have opinions," he says, "and I'm sure a lot of people in the military had negative opinions about the war when we went over there. But it's not my job [to question the reasons for the war]. When they say, 'Go up the hill,' it's, 'Roger,' and up the hill."

Isn't that the crux of the matter? "It's not my job to question"... Then whose job is it? Whatever happened to the idea of the Land of the Free? "Free" implies the ability to do what one wishes without being held back by anything or anyone, for any reason. There is obviously little freedom in the idea that one should not question authority, whether the idea is imposed on oneself or by the authorities.

In his everyday life, a soldier may never dream of harming another if approached by someone and asked to kill. Along comes a politician or a commanding officer in a fancy outfit, declaring, "So-and-so is the enemy! Kill for your country!" And off the soldier marches, even if he disagrees with the motives for the war. It is his "duty". What about one's duty to remain true to oneself? The idea of duty is again ridiculous in the context of a "free" country. No one should have to do anything against their will if they are truly free. Of course, if one signs up for the military, then one must be prepared to deal with the consequences of one's actions. But what of those individuals who have been drafted into military service in the past? It seems that the concepts of "freedom" and "will" have been horribly disfigured to the extent that the masses believe they have both when, in fact, they have neither.

But the son will give this much -- he thinks U.S. combat troops no longer belong in Iraq; what's needed is a peacekeeping force. [...]

Which means we couldn't "stay the course," as President Bush keeps saying, but would need to let someone else -- the very international community we dissed when the whole thing started -- take the point. [...]

"I want to assure you that it is not un-American, and definitely not disrespectful of military members or families, to question the government's decision to prosecute a war on foreign soil," David Robinette wrote. "In fact, it is your duty as a citizen to do exactly that. The citizens of this country are entitled to some answers about the war." [...]

It is indescribably depressing that Robinette has to remind his fellow citizens of their supposed freedoms and responsibilities. Obviously, most citizens do not understand what it means to be truly free. When the father of a soldier has to defend himself for disagreeing with the president because he fears he will be shouted down and criticized, something is certainly wrong with the whole system. Yet few people want to look deeper into their governments, its institutions, or their leaders. What is even more absurd is that this type of charade has happened before - but it seems the people as a whole have little or no long-term memory. They are satisfied by investigative commissions, such as the 9/11 commission, whose only purpose is to make the public think that justice is being done. That is all it takes to lull the masses back to sleep because, ever in denial of reality, sleep is what they desire most.

"If the members of the Congress could set aside politics for just one moment, and simply represent the people who elected them, they would impeach the president and remove him from office. They would end funding for this occupation."

Of course, it's an election year. No need to raise impeachment when everyone gets to vote in November.

"At least this year," David Robinette closed, "I will have a new experience in my old life. For the first time, I will vote for the Democrat candidate for president of the United States. And if the current president is taking for granted the votes of the military community, he just may wake up on November 3 as a lame duck."

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Yes, indeed. Robinette will have a new experience - not because he chose it himself, but because - like his son - he is simply following the orders issued to him by his leaders and their masters. What is most peculiar is that Dubya doesn't seem to be repeating any good lines from his advisers. It is almost as if he thinks he doesn't need to go on the offensive like Kerry. Perhaps Shrubby's advisers feel he won't be able to steal two elections in a row, so they have something else planned... Speaking of Bush and his handlers:

Bush Adviser Regrets 'Mission Accomplished' Banner

Sat Apr 17, 1:03 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A controversial "Mission Accomplished" banner used as a backdrop to President Bush's speech aboard an aircraft carrier last May was a mistake, Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, told a newspaper.

"I wish the banner was not up there," Rove told the Columbus, Ohio Post-Dispatch. "I'll acknowledge the fact that it has become one of those convenient symbols." [...]

Rove said the phrase referred to the carrier's crew completion of a long mission, not the U.S. mission in Iraq.

The White House at first said it had nothing to do with the banner but later conceded it had helped with it.

The White House had also initially said Bush needed to fly to the carrier on a jet because the vessel would be hundreds of miles offshore. But the administration later acknowledged that Bush decided on flying by jet, even though the carrier was within easy helicopter range, because he wanted to share in the pilots' experience.

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We're not sure what is more disturbing - that the Bush administration's lies are so obvious, or that so few people in the US see them or care about them. Take Bush's recent declarations about renewing the Patriot Act:

Bush Urges Renewal of Patriot Act

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
April 18, 2004

WASHINGTON - Declaring the Patriot Act a vital tool in the war on terror, President Bush says Congress would place the nation at greater risk of attack if it fails to renew the law's wide-ranging law enforcement powers. [...]

Several conservative Republicans have joined liberal Democrats in saying that portions of the law are too intrusive on Americans' lives. They are threatening to allow the provisions to die at the end of next year.

Some want to impose more judicial oversight of how police and prosecutors conduct investigations.

"Our government's first duty is to protect the American people" and the Patriot Act "fulfills that duty in a way that is fully consistent with constitutional protections," Bush said. [...]

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The following information from the American Civil Liberties Union web site outlines some of the measures and results of the Patriot Act:

  • Expands terrorism laws to include “domestic terrorism” which could subject political organizations to surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, and criminal action for political advocacy.
  • Expands the ability of law enforcement to conduct secret searches, gives them wide powers of phone and Internet surveillance, and access to highly personal medical, financial, mental health, and student records with minimal judicial oversight.
  • Allows FBI Agents to investigate American citizens for criminal matters without probable cause of crime if they say it is for “intelligence purposes.”
  • Permits non-citizens to be jailed based on mere suspicion and to be denied re-admission to the US for engaging in free speech.
  • Suspects convicted of no crime may be detained indefinitely in six month increments without meaningful judicial review.
  • 8,000 Arab and South Asian immigrants have been interrogated because of their religion or ethnic background, not because of actual wrongdoing.
  • Thousands of men, mostly of Arab and South Asian origin, have been held in secretive federal custody for weeks and months, sometimes without any charges filed against them. The government has refused to publish their names and whereabouts, even when ordered to do so by the courts.
  • The government is allowed to monitor communications between federal detainees and their lawyers, destroying the attorney-client privilege and threatening the right to counsel.
  • New Attorney General Guidelines allow FBI spying on religious and political organizations and individuals without having evidence of wrongdoing.
  • President Bush has ordered military commissions to be set up to try suspected terrorists who are not citizens. They can convict based on hearsay and secret evidence by only two-thirds vote.
  • American citizens suspected of terrorism are being held indefinitely in military custody without being charged and without access to lawyers.

Reread the last item above. American citizens suspected of terrorism are being held indefinitely in military custody without charge or legal recourse. Sounds crazy, right? After all, only fascist dictatorships - instituted and funded by the US government - in other countries have such draconian laws. But wait - it gets better! The Domestic Security Enhancement Act, better known as Patriot Act 2, adds the following goodies to the US government's sack of completely legal fascist tricks:

  • Further dismantles court review of surveillance, such as by terminating court-approved limits on police spying on religious and political activity (sec. 312), allowing the government to obtain credit records and library records secretly and without judicial oversight (secs. 126, 128, 129), and by allowing wiretaps without a court order for up to 15 days following a terrorist attack (sec. 103);
  • Allows government to operate in secret by authorizing secret arrests (sec. 201), and imposing severe restrictions on the release of information about the hazards to the community posed by chemical and other plants (sec. 202);
  • Further expands the reach of an already overbroad definition of terrorism so that organizations engaged in civil disobedience are at risk of government wiretapping (secs. 120, 121) asset seizure (secs. 428, 428), and their supporters could even risk losing their citizenship (sec. 501);
  • Gives foreign dictatorships the power to seek searches and seizures in the United States (sec. 321), and to extradite American citizens to face trial in foreign courts (sec. 322), even if the United States Senate has not approved a treaty with that government; and
  • Unfairly targets immigrants under the pretext of fighting terrorism by stripping even lawful immigrants of the right to a fair deportation hearing and stripping the federal courts of their power to correct unlawful actions by the immigration authorities (secs. 503, 504).

Sounds like a big joke, right? Imagine that, secret arrests in the good old US of A. Besides, Bush said the Patriot Act is fully consistent with constitutional protections. The president of the Greatest Country on Earth would never lie, right? After all, when has Bush ever lied before?

For those readers outside the US, it may be comforting to be able to breath a sigh of relief that you are not living in America amidst the stripping away of civil liberties. Yet we have seen in recent days the spread of the "Al-Qaeda" threat to European countries. If a "terrorist" event the same magnitude as September 11 occurs inside Europe, will the response be the same as in the US? It seems that the powers that be know something is up. The push for "security" is simply a thinly veiled mechanism for removing as many freedoms as possible. Whatever is coming, the puppetmasters appear to want to have complete control of the population of every country. They will not hesitate to mow down entire racial or ethnic groups to achieve their nefarious goals. Of course, the purging of certain racial or ethnic groups would tend to lead one to think that perhaps someone is trying to create a "Master Race". Sound familiar? Consider that "time" is not linear - it is cyclic. Then do the math.

Nightline Sells Martial Law


Will the US be under martial law by June, 2004? That is the impression some are expressing after witnessing a recent episode of Nightline (4/7/2004), with Ted Koppel. On this particular program Koppel is host to Richard Clarke, former Reagan officials Edwin Meese III and Kenneth M. Duberstein; former Clinton official Sally Katzen, author James Mann, and former Bush official Richard Clarke. The subject matter is named The Armageddon Plan.

Because many US citizens hold favorable views of Richard Clarke he was playing a key role. His affability enables him to convey the dark plans of the Bush Regime to critical observers without alarming the unconcious masses. On this program Clarke was on to inform elite audiences that they better get used to the idea the Bush Regime will sponsor a cataclysmic event in order to plunge the US under martial law.

Richard Clarke is already a legend in the world of propaganda. So far the Bush Regime has parlayed his "defection" from them with great success. As Karl Rove probably surmised, The Left Gatekeepers (e.g., Democracy Now! and Counterpunch, etc.) have been only very eager to treat Clarke's mild disagreements with the Bush Regime as their outer limit of permissible dialogue. With the liberal US media regarding Clarke's thesis that the Bush Regime was merely negligent about 9-11 as if it were the only idea possible the White House sailed through the 9-11 Commission/Coverup proceedings.

Now that the 9-11 Commission/Coverup has been safely wrapped for the Bush Regime the mainstream media is now giving some focus to James Mann’s curiously-timed book (Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, Viking Press, 2004)). Vulcans concerns the efforts of present and past White House officials to establish a set of procedures for the highest-levels of government to follow should a catastrophic attack occur on US soil.

(Note that Nightline has dropped the moniker Rise of the Vulcans for the more Regime-friendly The Armageddon Plan. The latter conveys a greater sense of a Regime reacting to a stimulus, not being the source of it.)

The segment began with congenial chatter between the past and present government officials. As if he is hosting a dinner party Koppel smoothly has his guests reminisce fondly about past drills performed by high-level government officials to test their emergency preparedness. Koppel then imagines an attack that decimates the US Congress. They break for a timely commercial. After the break Koppel immediately launches into the key part of their script:

“…aren't [we] left for at least the foreseeable future with some sort of martial law anyway?”

Duberstein agrees with Koppel, adding “You have to suspend rights.”

Koppel continues by saying: “…And during that period, then, and given the sense of panic that is inevitable under circumstances like this, the executive branch of government takes on extraordinary power, doesn't it?”

Clarke agrees by saying: “I think in any war where Washington were [sic] destroyed, inevitably, there would be a period of, for lack of a better term, something like martial law. The key here is, though, that the plans all call for going back to a normal three-branch system, as rapidly as possible.”

Koppel reacts to Clarke's ideas by suggesting what he has said is a new idea to many leaders in Washington. Sure it is, Ted. The conversation quickly winds down.

Nightline's very efficient use of Richard Clarke to prepare elite viewers for martial law is leading other observers on the Net to reluctantly conclude the merciless Bush Regime is actively planning the catalyst for their own Armagaddon Plan. In a different world perhaps, the journalist leading a nationally-televised discussion about the prospects of the US government under martial law would look Clarke in the eye and ask him if the Bush Regime isn't planning to set off some nukes shortly in some city close to Washington DC (e.g., Baltimore). It really isn't that hard to imagine that the prospect of ruling planet Earth from a secret, underground bunker would gladden Dick Cheney’s venal heart. He's been practicing in secret locations for decades in gleeful anticipation for such a moment.

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ASIO hunts Israeli cell

By Lincoln Wright
April 18, 2004

THE nation's spy-catchers are investigating a suspected Israeli spy ring in Australia.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has been investigating the suspected cell for up to a month. Two Israeli citizens appeared in an Auckland court on Friday charged with passport fraud.

One of them, Eli Cara, claimed to be a Sydney travel agent. He has travelled to New Zealand 24 times since October 2000. Cara, 50, and Zoshe Kelman, 30, faced three charges after being arrested in a police sting operation late last March.

Another Israeli, Zev William Barkan, 37, escaped from NZ. A fourth man is believed to be in hiding. The men are suspected of being Mossad agents, who allegedly were gathering fake NZ passports.

Fake passports are used by intelligence bodies to help their agents travel undercover. Mossad, the Israeli secret service, has been accused previously of illegally using Canadian passports.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock confirmed yesterday that ASIO had been investigating the matter. [...]

A former Israeli Defence Force officer expressed surprise at the clumsiness of the operation, but added authorities could not be sure the charged men's names were real if they were Mossad agents.

"Israel has spies everywhere, but Mossad is usually more professional than that," the IDF officer said.

Mossad generally was quite careful about whom it sent undercover, preferring people with links to the country they were spying upon.

"The aim is to blend into the local community," the officer said. "These agents have layers and layers of false identities."

A search of Australian company and title records revealed that Cara has no listed business or property interests in NSW or Victoria

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Report: Spain to Offer U.S. Non-Military Aid in Iraq

April 18, 2004

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, sworn into office Sunday, will offer to replace Spanish troops in Iraq with non-military assistance when he visits Washington this week, newspaper El Pais reported. [...]

Moratinos will tell Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday that Spain is committed to helping the reconstruction of Iraq and helping it on the way to stability and democracy, the paper said. [...]

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Record poppy crop makes mockery of Afghanistan's 'jihad' on opium

By Nick Jackson in Kabul
The Independent
18 April 2004

Blossoms of ripe opium poppies blanket the valleys of Nangarhar province - colourful proof that another war is not working: Afghanistan's "jihad" against opium production.

President Hamid Karzai's promise that 25 per cent of the opium harvest in Afghanistan would be destroyed is no closer to being realised. Last year, the harvest provided three quarters of the world's heroin, and 95 per cent of Europe's.

This year a record harvest is expected. Robert Charles, a narcotics expert from the US State Department, says that 300,000 acres of opium poppies will be harvested, 30 per cent more than the previous highest. [...]

Comment: Isn't it fascinating that after the US "liberates" Afghanistan, not much has changed in the country - except that opium production is now booming. Hey, creating terrorism with the Mossad is expensive for the CIA, so they needed to boost their income somehow... See our timeline for more on the twisted history of groups like the CIA.

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A new window to the cosmos opens in Chile

By Ignacio Badal
Sunday April 18, 05:38 AM

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Astronomers have opened a new window to the cosmos by inaugurating a powerful U.S.-Brazilian telescope under northern Chile's famously clear skies.

The $30 million (21 million pounds) Southern Astrophysical Research, or SOAR, telescope sits at 8,800 feet (2,700 meters) above sea level on Cerro Pachon mountain above the unpolluted Elqui Valley, 300 miles (500 km) north of Santiago.

Builders broke ground on the telescope project six years ago. It was financed by the U.S. government's Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the government of Brazil, and the U.S. universities of Michigan and North Carolina. [...]

SOAR is the sixth observatory in northern Chile and fifth on hills above the Elqui Valley, an area prized by astronomers because it is far from man-made light sources, with gentle winds and scarce rain that allow observation 300 days a year. [...]

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New Growth at Old Avebury Crop Circle

On August 9, 2003, a crop circle was discovered by Avebury Stone Avenue near West Kennett, Wiltshire. It seems that new plant growth has now been observed in the exact shape of the original formation.

The original crop circle discovered in 2003.

New growth observed recently.

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Alien life, what a concept. It is surely a testimony to the complete dumbing down of the human race and its impressive capacity for believing the unbelievable, that the idea that there is no intelligent life in all the vastness of our universe sits quite well with most people. Indeed, many people, if challenged on the topic, will argue strenuously against the idea that infinity might include things that we are unaware of.

All of that may be about to change however. Since the launch of the Mars Rover experiment, there have been various press releases which were clearly designed to begin the process of preparing the public for some ground breaking "revelations" with far reaching implications. However, as with all other commonly held beliefs among the masses, the people themselves do not determine the meaning of any new knowledge that enters their reality, they are simply "led by the nose" to eat at the trough of pre-prepared pre-packaged truth that is tailor made to keep them in docile servitude.

Biology Hanging By A Thread?

The Knoll Criterion on Mars
by Astrobiology Magazine staffwriter

One engineering obstacle to overcome when landing on Mars is the treacherous descent and landing. From start to finish, this mission phase can last six minutes. Because of its nail-biting drama, it is often referred to as the six minutes of hell.

If horizontal winds blow the rover's parachute sideways during descent, the precious payload might scrape rather than bounce. That possibility of shear against sandpaper-like soil prompted a relatively late addition to the mission planning. Stabilizing horizontal thrusters were added to compensate if any wind started to tilt the otherwise vertical path. This attention to detail proved invaluable during the first landing attempt. When the Spirit rover descended towards Gusev crater, just such unpredictable winds had to be corrected for. If all had not gone according to plans, the airbag fabric might have ripped catastrophically.

On February 12th, the nineteenth day on the other side of the planet for the Opportunity rover, one curious image stood out. The picture was downloaded in the daily batch from a microscopic imager peering onto the pebbly surface. On Sol 19, a long, thin feature surprised the science team.

Measuring 6 millimeters long and 60 micrometers across, this thread was smaller than the size of an average human hair. At first glance, many speculated whether the thread might point towards some strange biological origin.

The lack of another microscopic image capturing such a thread in view, however, made the science and engineering team's detective work difficult. But using their expertise from so many landing simulations, the rover team set out to test if they could reproduce this feature in the JPL sandbox. [...]

The threads of this mystery seemed not to show martian biology in microscopic view, but another kind of throw-away terrestrial biology at work: the airbags had shed fabric and the camera showed human engineering in action.

Comment: In the above we see an example of the extreme subtlety with which the "powers that be" program the minds of the masses. As we have been saying now for quite some time, with the launch of NASA's Hollywoood-esque M2K4 mission, we are witnessing the beginning of an process that will eventually lead to "revelations" of life on Mars. Indeed, the similarity in presentation to a Hollywood blockbuster movie was probably recognised by the NASA folks as the most effective form of mass mind programming.

In the initial reports from the Mars Rover, we heard talk of an "ancient sea" on the surface of the "red" planet, evoking a subconscious link between water and life. The above report of the Mars Rover photographing something which might actually be a threadlike form of microbial life, constitutes the next stage of the disclosure. Later of course, the statement was retracted and it has been revealed that the "life form" is in fact something altogether more mundane - in this case a piece of vectran thread from the Rover's airbag.

Despite the disappointment, the seed idea of life on Mars has been planted, signifying the latest step in acclimatising the public to the idea that we are not alone after all. Sneaky, eh? And it is not just NASA that has been given the task of prepping the public, the Brits are getting in on the act too:

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British scientists seek alien worlds

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

A hunt for new worlds was launched yesterday by a British-led project that aims to uncover thousands of alien planets, providing a massive boost for the search for extraterrestrial life.

The idea that myriad alien worlds and life might exist throughout the universe seems increasingly plausible to many scientists.

To date, the search for these so called "extrasolar planets" has been dominated by a team led by Prof Geoff Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley. So far, the tally is 123, all "gas giants" similar to our own Jupiter.

Yesterday Europe launched a new planet hunt with the inauguration of SuperWASP at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands. [...]

Earlier this week, astronomers announced the first definitive discovery of a planet around a star beyond Earth's solar system using gravitational microlensing. The newly discovered star-planet system is 17,000 light years away, in the constellation Sagittarius.

Comment: And of course, where would we be without good old SETI, who are now discussing whether or not alien life will be carbon based. Note, they are no longer discussing if alien life exists, that idea, it seems, is already a foregone conclusion. Perhaps they have been reading NASA's Mars Rover news updates also.

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Exploring the Idea of Alien Chemistry

By Seth Shostak
Senior Astronomer, Project Phoenix
15 April 2004

It’s a question as common as brown dogs: will alien life be carbon-based? [...]

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