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!
Friday, April 23, 2004
New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-JadczykPrinter Friendly Version
Picture of the Day
Belly Up - Dead Frog in the Pyrénées
No, we are not taking down our site. This notice is posted at the Jewish Tribal Review.
The Jewish Tribal Review had massive amounts of data on the Jewish influence in the modern world. It gave data, not analysis, and that is what made it all the more frightening. It was a valuable resource that we used often in our work. It is gone, and it will be missed.
We admit that the farewell note, bitter though it may be, reflects our own feelings on many days as we sort through the news. People are, indeed, mostly sheep, fools, cowards, lazy and/or brainwashed. The truth is a bitter pill, and few are those who do not choke on it. What may be different, then, between our approach and that of the owners of the JTR is that we do not do this for anyone but ourselves. We do not do this to change anyone. We do not do this because we think it will make the slightest difference. In fact, the data gives overwhelmingly the opposite answer: there is nothing to do, nothing to change, and no survival to seek.
We are lost.
It is sunny this afternoon, a glorious spring day. We took a walk along the local canal. The trees are out. The rapeseed flowers are an intense yellow in the fields. The canal is calm. The tourists on their boats have yet to descend upon us. The air is fresh. After weeks of grey and cold and wet, this is as good as it gets.
Sure, it's beautiful, but is it worth the rest? George Bush and Ariel Sharon? The slaughter of innocents and the wealth and power of psychopaths?
Show us the way out.
We want off this blood-stained, power-mad rock.
Survival, if there is such a thing, is not forward or back, or left or right. It is inward. But not inward to return to nothing or some Oneness with Nature. It is inward to know yourself to become fully that person, that REAL person, hidden behind the false personality. The false personality is the one that cares about this world, the one who isn't alive unless shopping or who automatically reaches for a beer on a hot day. The personality is of this world and doesn't want to leave it.
But if things continue at this pace, what will there be left of "this world"? It is getting so bad that even mainstream journalists are starting to sit up with worried expressions in their columns.
No, not in the US.
Scratch the lackeys of the media in the US. Hopeless. Shouldn't even waste your time reading them. They'll be singing praises of the US of A right up until the bomb drop or the comets hit. While Bush berates the rest of the world to American journalists for not "praising" his man Sharon for his courage in annihilating the men, women, and children who are camped in the prison state of the Occupied Territories, journalists elsewhere are starting to get very scared.
A few days ago we ran a cry of despair from Robert Fisk. Today we have a similar take on things from Patrick Seale.
Seale was against the invasion of Iraq from the start. But it seems he didn't think things could get so out of hand. And yet he is incapable of going all the way in his analysis and understand that the whole thing was set up. He writes:
What is the logical conclusion of this? That Bush, or people behind him, are responsible for 9/11. But he can't go there, even with a mountain of circumstantial evidence.
Next is Jihad Al Khazen, the editor of Al-Hayat.
Jihad Al Khazen until now has been willing to thank Bush and the Yanks for overthrowing Saddam. We wonder how much longer he'll continue.
But as angry and despairing as these men are, neither is willing to look at the larger picture. Neither is yet able to admit to themselves that this whole scenario was planned, that it started with the stolen election in 2000, when Bush was installed by a fixed election and a Supreme Court coup. Neither is willing to look at the facts and admit that the intelligence agencies and cabal in the Pentagon and in Israel planned, organised, and carried out the attacks of 9/11 in order to implement the plan for an Israeli dominated Middle East.
Even after everything that has happened, these intelligent men are not willing to truly look the horror in the face.
How much is it going to take?
Probably "too much."
So if we were doing this page for others, we might get as discouraged as the folks at Jewish Tribal Review. We might hang up the "Gone Fishin'" sign and head down to the canal for good.
But we do it for ourselves. And the water's probably polluted and the fish inedible...
Uneasy Truce In The City Of Ghosts
By Rory McCarthy
"He had been standing by the gate looking out. There had been bombing nearby. I don't know whether it was a shell or a sniper that hit him," said Mr Hussain.
"I gave my thanks to God, for he was a martyr. And then we buried him in the cemetery."
When they returned to the house later that afternoon they found Wisam's cousin Thair Ahmed, 18, was also missing. He had left that morning to cross town to check on his fiancee's family. Hours later the family retrieved the young man's body from where it lay in the street. He had been hit once, by a sniper's bullet through the heart, and he too died where he fell. By then it was too dangerous to reach the cemetery.
"We buried him in a patch of dirt ground. There was no choice. Later we will take out his body and bury him properly," said Mr Hussain, 41.
They were not the only deaths he saw that week. From his driveway he saw a girl aged 18 standing at the gate of a house opposite shot dead by a sniper's bullet. Her brother-in-law rushed to help her, and he too was shot dead, Mr Hussain said.
At another time a house at the end of his street suffered a direct hit from a powerful bomb. "We ran to the house because they were my friends. In the garden I saw three men had been sitting on a bench. They were all dead, they had been cut in half by the bomb. My wife went crazy," he said.
A few days later, Mr Hussain fled Falluja with his wife and four surviving children and dozens of other families. They now live under canvas in an Iraqi Red Crescent camp in al-Khadra, western Baghdad.
"We are peaceful people and they came and bombed us," Mr Hussain said yesterday. "From the start of the war it was just like hell. Why did they come and kill our sons?"
Ferocious For the past three weeks, around 2,000 troops from the US 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, supported by jet fighters and attack helicopters, have carried out the most ferocious urban street fighting in Iraq since the start of the war last year.
The battle has taken a horrific toll. Doctors in Falluja say up to 600 people have died. The US military says more than 100 of its troops have been killed in combat in Iraq since April 1, many in the battle for Falluja. More American soldiers have died in Iraq this month than in the war against Saddam Hussein a year ago.
Inside Falluja, a city of 300,000, the marines prevented access to the city's only hospital for more than two weeks. Dozens of houses were destroyed, mosques were bombed and clerics turned a football ground beside the Euphrates into a crude cemetery.
Three weeks on, it is still almost impossible to get an independent account of the fighting. Access to the city is severely restricted: the marines still hold a cordon around Falluja, and much of the city and many surrounding villages are crawling with Iraqi resistance fighters.
But in interviews with the Guardian in Baghdad, more than a dozen civilians, doctors, clerics and politicians have begun to piece together the US military's bloodiest battle in Iraq.
On the day that Wisam and Thair died, a US general in Baghdad said the aim of the new combat in Falluja, codenamed Operation Vigilant Resolve, was to "take the fight to the enemy".
Over the past few days all major, and most of the alternative, news sites have been reporting on the recently released pictures of star spangled banner draped coffins, supposedly containing the remains of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Somehow these pictures have come under the vacant-eyed gaze of the American and world public, much to the delight of anti Bush commentators. Many are heralding it as a coup for the anti -war campaign and a serious blow to the election hopes of the Bush regime. Headlines such as "The pictures the US government don't want you to see" or "The images turning Americans against Bush" suggest that finally the truth is out and there will be hell to pay.
We have one word for such ideas - horse hockey.
The point that is being missed, and which has always been missed is that, for images of US flag draped coffins, or any other so called 'provocative' images to provoke any kind of reaction in people that might lead to their awakening would first require that the general public have a capacity to think for themselves. Clearly they do not.
The public have always been told what they think, and never more so than in the present world climate, the seal on any form of independent thought is hermetic. Ask anyone for an opinion on anything and you will soon realise that you are listening to little more than a mind programmed drone, mouthing the same lies and disinformation channeled to them down their 'boob tube' from the all powerful government owned media.
The other point that is repeatedly being missed or rejected (because it is too uncomfortable to accept) is the fact that there is no hope that we can win against the powers that be on this planet. They are in control, 100%. There is no such thing as exposés of information that "they do not want us to see". If something appears in the media, it appears because they want it to appear.
If we consider the images in question, what do we see? You see US flags, rows and rows of US flags. This is the first level of programming of the unconscious masses. Below that there is the nebulous notion that there are dead US soldiers under those US flags. There are no images of torn limbs, shattered skulls, bloodied faces, just the idea that someone killed our glorious "ultimate sacrifice" heroes, wrapped poignantly in the symbol of American freedom.
These images do not present the horror of war, they are not an opportunity for the truth to shine through. They present an opportunity for powers that be to further enslave, mind body and soul (where present) the vast rabble of the American population.
As such, these images and the media response to them (mainstream and alternative), are merely an example of how easily duped humanity really is, including the so-called 'liberal thinkers', and how far they are from accepting just how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
Most people are essentially useless to life and creation, they serve no purpose other than to reflect lies and illusions and to be the lifeless pawns of their taskmasters who manipulate them at their will. To be in some way useful to life we must strive to Be. To Be we must first throw off the shackles on our mind that have been imposed since birth. ALL of our lives, our beliefs, our wishes, our wants, ALL are the product this world of lies and illusion and the people that reap the benefits of our continued apathetic subservience to same.
Let those that have eyes to see, see, and those that have ears to hear, hear.
By Alistair Lyon
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - With U.S. troops threatening Sunni insurgents in Falluja and Shi'ite rebels in Najaf, a U.N. envoy says force can not solve Iraq's problems.
"I think that there is always a better solution than shooting your way into anywhere," Lakhdar Brahimi said of the standoffs in Iraq's flashpoint cities.
A few families who had fled fierce fighting in Falluja earlier this month walked back into the battle-scarred city on Saturday, hours after Iraq's U.S. administrator warned that "major hostilities could resume at short notice".
Paul Bremer said "armed bands" in Falluja must give up their weapons and "submit to national authority" if a shaky ceasefire negotiated with civic leaders was to last. [...]
Comment: That's funny. According to the following article, the "armed bands" seemed to have left Falluja...
By Michael Georgy
CAMP FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Frustrated U.S. Marines itching for a new offensive in the flashpoint Iraqi town of Falluja are hoping to find plenty of what they couldn't elsewhere for the past two weeks -- guerrillas.
Marines of the 3rd platoon, 2nd battalion, 7th Marine regiment have scoured five Iraqi towns in the volatile Anbar province but the enemy was nowhere in sight, baffling soldiers eager to fight in Falluja, the region's hotspot.
"If we find them, we kill them. The more they run the longer we may be here -- two months, five months, two years, 10 years," said Lance Corporal Don Gray of Huntsville, Texas. [...]
Waiting for the Camp Falluja PX to open on a break from operations just outside the town, 21-year-old Gray and his dusty comrades said raids into towns in Iraq's guerrilla heartland produced no results because the enemy had left.
What they did find in the town of al-Karma, just north of Falluja, was six roadside bombs planted under dirt designed to cripple a convoy, kill its troops and expose survivors to a nearby machinegun -- what the Marines call a daisy chain. [...]
Comment: US soldiers, the bringers of freedom and democracy, can't wait to kill more Iraqis. Many of them are having so much fun murdering Arabs, they've signed up for more:
By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Despite the shrapnel wounds Staff Sgt. William Pinkley suffered during his tour in Iraq, the 26-year-old is joining other soldiers who are re-enlisting at rates that exceed the retention goals set by the Pentagon.
As of March 31 — halfway through the Army's fiscal year — 28,406 soldiers had signed on for another tour of duty, topping the six-month goal of 28,377. The Army's goal is to re-enlist 56,100 soldiers by the end of September. [...]
However, Childress cautioned that factors such as an improved economy and the Pentagon's decision to keep about 20,000 troops in Iraq for longer than a year to help quell the violence could change the picture.
The Marines, which along with the Army have borne the brunt of combat in Iraq, said they have already fulfilled 90 percent of their retention goal for the fiscal year for getting Marines to re-up after their initial commitment. The Air Force and the Navy said they, too, are exceeding goals for getting airmen and sailors to re-enlist.
Some contend a poor job market and re-enlistment bonuses worth thousands of dollars are keeping soldiers in the Army. Col. Joseph Anderson, commander of the 101st's 2nd Brigade, said it is more about camaraderie, patriotism and duty. [...]
POSTED: 6:31 a.m. EDT April 23, 2004
TACOMA, Wash. -- An Army sergeant recently back from a year in Iraq is accused of drowning his wife in a bathtub at her apartment near Fort Lewis, Wash.
James Pitts pleaded not guilty and turned himself in to military authorities. Bail is set at $250,000.
His father and brother said Pitts returned from Iraq a changed man. The father said Pitts called him and confessed to the killing. In the father's words -- "He's not my son anymore. I feel my son is still in Iraq. You can thank George W. Bush for this."
The Army beefed up its postwar counseling programs in 2002 after three Afghan combat veterans from commando units at Fort Bragg, N.C., were accused of killing their wives.
Comment: And most troops are still overseas...
Chomsky: What's striking is that this view is accepted without coercion. If you're living in a dictatorship or under kings and princes or in a place run by murderous bishops, you'd better take that view or you're in deep trouble. You get burned at the stake or thrown into the gulag or something.
In the West, you don't get in any trouble if you tell the truth, but you still can't do it. Not only can't you tell the truth, you can't think the truth. It's just so deeply embedded, deeply instilled, that without any meaningful coercion it comes out the same way it does in a totalitarian state.
Orwell had some words about this in his unpublished introduction to Animal Farm. He says straight, look, in England what comes out in a free country is not very different from this totalitarian monster that I'm describing in the book. It's more or less the same. How come in a free country? He has two sentences, which are pretty accurate. One, he says, the press is owned by wealthy men who have every reason not to want certain ideas to be expressed. And second--and I think this is much more important--a good education instills in you the intuitive understanding that there are certain things it just wouldn't do to say.
I don't think he goes far enough. I'd say there are certain things it wouldn't do to think. A good education instills in you the intuitive comprehension--it becomes unconscious and reflexive--that you just don't think certain things, things that are threatening to power interests.
Not everyone accepts this. But most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, can look back at our own personal history. For those of us who got into good colleges or the professions, did we stand up to that high school history teacher who told us some ridiculous lie about American history and say, "That's a ridiculous lie. You're an idiot"? No. We said, "All right, I'll keep quiet, and I'll write it in the exam and I'll think, yes, he's an idiot." And it's easy to say and believe things that improve your self-image and your career and that are in other ways beneficial to yourselves.
It's very hard to look in the mirror. We all know this. It's much easier to have illusions about yourself. And in particular, when you think, well, I'm going to believe what I like, but I'll say what the powerful want, you do that over time, and you believe what you say.
07:32 AM EDT Apr 24
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. officials and insurance companies representing victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks are locked in an unusual legal standoff, stemming from the government's refusal to admit it has the alleged mastermind of the attacks in custody.
The insurance companies want the U.S. Justice Department to serve summonses and complaints on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other militants named as defendants in a lawsuit in federal court in New York City.
But U.S. authorities said they have never officially acknowledged holding the men. They also have argued such a disclosure could hurt the government's battle against terrorism.
The insurers insist the government cannot prevent them from pursuing valid claims against terrorist organizations and have proposed a plan to keep information about them under seal. A judge has yet to rule on the plan.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-24 06:52:55
JERUSALEM, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a TV interview aired Friday that he is no longer bound by a promise to Washington not to harm Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
In the interview with Israel TV's Channel 2, Sharon said he told US President George W. Bush about his change of position on Arafat in a meeting in Washington last week.
"I told the president the following: during our first meeting about three years ago, I accepted your request not to harm Arafat physically," Sharon said.
"But I am released from this committment," he said. "I release myself from the commitment regarding Arafat."
Sharon declined to elaborate on how Bush had reacted to his remarks. He also refused to comment on the significance of his statement and would not say whether Israel might expel Arafat or physically harm him.
WASHINGTON, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon against harming Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat during their meeting at the White House on April 14, National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement on Friday.
"We have made it entirely clear to the Israeli government that we would oppose any such action. The president was pretty clear," McCormack said.
Comment: "Pretty clear"? And the US would oppose it? Since when has the US ever opposed anything Israel has done? Sharon made his public statement AFTER his meeting with Bush, that is, after Bush was "pretty clear" about US opposition to killing Arafat. Sure sounds like Bush imposed himself on Sharon, doesn't it?
Saturday 24 April 2004, 12:01 Makka Time, 9:01 GMT
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has distanced himself from his own special envoy for speaking of Israel's "poison in the region".
Annan's spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi was expressing his own personal views when he said Tel Aviv was complicating the search for an interim Iraqi government.
"The secretary-general's views, as expressed over the last seven years, do not contain the word 'poison'", Eckhard said.
Israel's UN mission said it was "disturbed" by al-Ibrahimi's statements, saying a UN official should not voice personal opinions - especially when they contradicted UN policy.
[...] Al-Akhdar al-Ibrahimi told French radio there was a link between Israeli actions and the recent upsurge of violence in Iraq.
He said the handover of power in Iraq was being complicated by Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza.
Al-Ibrahimi said his job was made more difficult by Israel's "violent and repressive security policy" and its "determination to occupy more and more Palestinian territory".
He added that people's perception in the region was of the "injustice" of Israeli policy compounded by the "thoughtless support" of the US.
Message to America
Al-Ibrahimi also urged the US to start negotiating with Annan about the UN's role after the 30 June handover to a new US-approved Iraqi goverment.
He said the US had to learn how to live with a world in which it was the only superpower.
"There are lots of other people on this planet," he said. "They [the US] should make an effort to learn how to live with them."
Comment: We wonder how much longer Al-Ibrahimi will keep his job. Blurting out the truth isn't a good career move, especially when it concerns Israel. Ask Mordecai Vanunu. God forbid that any member of the UN's motivation might be to tell the truth about the barbarity of the Israeli government as it continues to carry out acts of inhuman cruelty and barbarity.
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
A photograph of a Palestinian boy tied to an Israeli police jeep has been handed to justice officials charged with investigating complaints over the use of "human shields" against demonstrators.
The boy, 13-year-old Mohammed Bedwan, and three adult protesters were tied to border police vehicles last week during one of what have become almost daily demonstrations against the routing of the Israeli government's barrier through Palestinian land.
The photograph, taken by human rights activists in the village of Biddo, north-west of Jerusalem, shows Mohammed tied by an arm to a mesh on the jeep windscreen - a mesh intended to protect the vehicle and its driver against stones and rocks. Police said last night that the Justice Ministry's police complaints unit was investigating the case.
At least four Palestinians have been shot dead in Biddo this year in rock-throwing protests against the barrier. An elderly man also died of heart failure after inhaling tear gas. Palestinian activists say border police had in two separate instances this month used villagers as shields to prevent stone-throwing, and that forces had also repeatedly used both rubber and live bullets to disperse protesters.
Comment: Of course, it is more horse hockey that the boy was being used to protect the Israeli driver from stick and stones. The jeeps already have a strong wire mesh that protect the driver. Clearly the IDF did this either for fun or because they were annoyed that the Palestinians would even attempt to fight back, even with sticks and stones. When a cruel owner beats a dog, if the dog retaliates in any way, the cruel owner will become incensed and beat the dog even more furiously for contesting his will. The IDF soldiers are taught by their religious and military leaders to see the Palestinians (and all "non Jews") as animals. Nothing more, and often a lot less.
Palestinian Death Toll Hits 20 In A Week
World Owes 'Thank You' To Sharon: Bush
Comment: "The world" certainly owes Sharon something. It is, however, not a "thank you".
by Frank Scott
Following the most disastrous intelligence error in history, which completely missed the plans and execution for 911, our government has recklessly destroyed lives, our international reputation, and our state of mind, with actions that should mean prison for those responsible. This assumes a democracy, which we have in theory but are nowhere near in practice .
Still, given our material status , we ought to be capable of a much better governing class. Ours is incredibly ignorant, fanatically obsessive and rabidly destructive. [...]
So we approach an election in November, and what is the status of our thought-free, court appointed president? Despite his staggering ignorance and treachery, he is still in power, still
making policy, and still screwing up the world, our economy and our future. And he remains free of anything but wimpy criticism from the opposition, which can wait until the election before making stylistic changes, if that, in the disaster that is the
The unholy alliance of Christian loonies in Washington and Jewish crackpots in Tel Aviv, make the global threat of deviate Judeo-Christianity more dangerous than ever. Many here are still blissfully unaware that we are perceived as one country by millions in the arab world who see us led by forces unified in their racist , religious and supremacist belief systems.
But it is for the people of that nation - USrael - to do something about their regimes before the rest of the world has to do it for them. And terrorism is the only weapon possessed by the
aggrieved, at least in the short run.
Hatred for USrael in the arab-muslim world has never been greater, as the Judeo-Christian pretenders shout “civilization” while conducting their new crusade of slaughter and
disregard for millions deemed a lower and less civilized species. The very notion of a court appointed U.S. madman initiating democracy in iraq, and a criminal Israeli butcher creating fairness in Palestine, would be hysterically funny, if it
weren’t so dreadfully stupid.
It is not the creation of democratic government in the arab world, but its absence in our world, that is the problem.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-24 09:09:08
STOCKHOLM, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said on Friday his country has rejected US call to stay on in Iraq after a planned pullout in June, Norwegian news agency reported.
Norwegian troops will be pulled out before the June 30 sovereignty transfer and would not continue to stay in Iraq thereafter, said the minister after holding talks in Washington with US Secretary of State Colin Powell who expressed hopes that Norway might reconsider its plan to pull out in June.
Comment: It seems that after the transfer of "sovereignty" to the Iraqis, only the US and Britain may be keeping their troops in occupied Iraq.
07:32 AM EDT Apr 24
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Six U.S. legislators said Friday they will push for some U.S. marines to remain in Haiti after a three-month mission to stabilize the country, as requested by the Caribbean country's new U.S.-backed interim leaders.
[...] "We are hopeful that this will not be just a few short months that we will be here. We want to be part of helping Haiti in the long term," Foley said.
National Radio Host Michael Savage Calls For Newspaper Editors to be Arrested For
A Warning to Those Who Dare to Criticize Israel in the Land of Free Speech
Isn't that a little bit anti-Israeli? [...]
I love the "due diligence" bit. But seriously, how can you allow this twisted version of your integrity to go unpunished?
When The Explosives Were Placed: WTC South Tower Upper Floors Closed on 9/8 &
By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Forgent Networks, which two years ago said it would pursue royalties on its JPEG patent, has renewed its offensive.
The compression patent used in the popular image format, (USPTO 4,698,672, or '672), was filed by Compression Labs in October 1986. This dormant company was acquired by Forgent Networks in 1997. In June 2002, Forgent announced that it had "sole and exclusive right to use and license all the claims" of '672 in all fields except satellite broadcasting. Widespread alarm and dismay accompanied the news that Forgent had persuaded Sony Corporation to pay $15 million for use of the fees.
Comment: This lawsuit is an example of the psychopath at work. Rather than produce a product that could benefit clients, the owners of Forgent bought a dormant company that owned an important patent. This patent is used in the JPEG image compression format so popular now. It has become a standard because no one was charging royalties for it. So along comes Forgent, buying the patent from a dormant company, and now going around like a Mafia don putting the squeeze on the heavy-hitters in the computer business. They claim they have extorted $90 million dollars to date! And they have done absolutely nothing productive!
By Troy Anderson
While some experts find credible a Russian seismologist's prediction that a major earthquake will rock the Mojave Desert by Sept. 5, state and local governments are taking no additional precautions.
[...] "They are watching carefully to see if the predicted earthquake happens, but at this point they are not willing to take any steps for public safety," said John Vidale, a colleague of Keilis-Borok and interim director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Keilis-Borok is recommending that officials lower the water level in dams and hold training exercises at hospitals and with local police and fire departments.
Rich Eisner, manager of the state's Earthquake Preparedness Program, said the council believes Keilis-Borok's research is promising but not yet precise enough to be an earthquake prediction model.
"You can understand that over the last 30 to 40 years, we've had earthquake predictions from everyone, from Nostradamus to Eban Browning to people who count missing cats," Eisner said. "The assessment of the scientists is that they'd like a track record of predicting 10 earthquakes before his methodology is used to determine government decision making."
Keilis-Borok has given 50-50 odds to his prediction that a magnitude 6.4 or larger earthquake will occur in a 12,440-square-mile area of the southeastern portion of the Mojave Desert by Sept. 5.
In a recent report on the prediction, Lucy Jones, scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey, said Keilis-Borok's prediction is based on statistical analysis of recorded small earthquakes.
"The two successful predictions suggest that this technique may have some validity, but we are still looking at too small a sample to be able to make any definitive statements," Jones said.
Comment: Hmmm. Let's assess the pros and cons of implementing some precautionary measures. If we do nothing and there is a quake, there might be hundreds or thousands of additional deaths, millions of dollars of extra damage, and a lot more to clean up. If we implement some precautionary measures and nothing happens, then we look like fools for believing him.... What to do? Obviously, nothing. We don't want to look like fools....
A series of seven earthquakes ranging from magnitude 4.8 to 5.9 hit Vanuatu on Thursday and Friday this week. The shallow earthquakes had epicenters located about 25-50 km west of Port
Saturday April 24, 09:06 AM
PADANG, Indonesia (Reuters) - At least 38 people have been killed and more are still trapped after a landslide covered a bus in Indonesia's Sumatra island, a police officer says.
"We're still trying to uncover more victims which were trapped underneath the bus," a local police officer said.
The landslide occurred in Pasaman regency West Sumatra, about 1,000 kilometres (625 miles) from Jakarta, as the bus carrying 50 passengers was heading to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, said regional government spokesman Surya Budhi.
Landslides are common in the rainy season in Indonesia -- which runs from October to April -- as large areas of forests have been cleared.
Fri Apr 23, 3:01 PM ET
The tornado destroyed some 2,430 homes and 1,106 hectares of crops, and the area was left in darkness when power lines were damaged, Xinhua said. [...]
By Roberta Rampton
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Fields in the Canadian Prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are dry and need rain for crops to grow and survive, an Environment Canada soil moisture model confirmed on Thursday.
A large swatch of southern Alberta and south central Saskatchewan has less than 45 percent of the moisture that soils can hold, said Rick Raddatz, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
"Once you get down to ... 50 percent, the plant has difficult pulling that moisture away from the soil," Raddatz told Reuters. [...]
By Robert Roy Britt
Jupiter is undergoing major climate change and could lose many of its large spots over the next seven years, only to make way for the creation of fresh spots in a decades-long cycle, according to a new explanation of old mysteries.
While the analysis remains to be proven, it is seen by other researchers as interesting and, importantly, testable even with large backyard telescopes.
Philip Marcus, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley who came up with the idea is an expert in fluid and atmospheric dynamics. He has never seen Jupiter through a telescope.
But his computer modeling, reported in the April 22 issue of the journal Nature, accounts for previously noted disappearances of large white spots, and it makes predictions that can easily be verified or refuted. [...]
"The Red Spot is very odd, because it's not in a row of vortices," he said. "It's all by itself. So the Red Spot just goes around eating its neighbors no matter what happens." [...]
Cornell University News Service
ARECIBO, P.R.. -- The Arecibo Observatory telescope, the largest and most sensitive single dish radio telescope in the world, is about to get a good deal more sensitive.
Today (Wednesday, April 21) the telescope got a new "eye on the sky" that will turn the huge dish, operated by Cornell University for the National Science Foundation, into the equivalent of a seven-pixel radio camera. [...]
The new instrument is called ALFA (for Arecibo L-Band Feed Array) and is essentially a camera for making radio pictures of the sky. ALFA will conduct large-scale sky surveys with unprecedented sensitivity, enabling astronomers to collect data about seven times faster than at present, giving the telescope an even broader appeal to astronomers. [...]
By Jeremy Laurance
Now a leading professor has been sacked for daring to suggest that the sun has some benefits for health. In a challenge to the dermatologists who view sunshine as an enemy, Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, dermatology and physiology at Boston University Medical Centre, has written a book arguing that sunlight can help prevent cancer and heart disease, strengthen the bones and alleviate depression.
In The UV Advantage, to be published next month in the United States, Professor Holick recommends people spend a few minutes, two to three times a week depending on skin type, exposed to the sun or lying under a sun lamp without sun cream to ensure they get enough vitamin D.
He says he does not advocate tanning or sun worship but "moderate" exposure, sufficient to gain its benefits. "I am advocating common sense, something often in short supply in America's approach to health," he said. "Our society doesn't seem to believe in a happy medium, only in extremes. The notion that we have to protect ourselves from the sun all the time is misguided and unhealthy."
He cites evidence suggesting that vitamin D has a role in preventing a range of diseases including breast, bowel and prostate cancers, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and that production of the vitamin is reduced by more than 97 per cent in skin protected by sunscreens. Sunlight is also an effective cure for depression, he says.
But his theories have infuriated his superiors and he has been disowned by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). He has been forced to resign from the department of dermatology at Boston University, although he remains head of the bone health care clinic and director of the general clinical research centre. [...]
The AAD said Professor Holick was irresponsible and compared his advice on the benefits of the sun to suggesting that smoking might be used to combat anxiety. [...]
Professor Holick's approach to sun exposure has been welcomed by some medical experts in Britain. Neil Walker, the chairman of the UK Skin Cancer Prevention Working Party, believes it is draconian to tell sunbathers there is "no such thing as a safe tan". He said: "If dermatologists say 'never go in the sun' people are going to look at us as idiots. We have to find a way of putting the message across about the most damaging behaviour which is why I tell my patients not to bake or burn.
"There are lots of people who have this almost religious conviction about the dangers of the sun. My view is that we have got to look at things practically."
April 24, 2004
ILLIOPOLIS, Ill. - A series of explosions rocked a plastics plant in central Illinois, killing at least two people and injuring a number of others, authorities said.
Four more people were missing early Saturday, believed to be in sections of the plant where fires were still raging, said Sheriff Neil Williamson.
The explosion happened at about 10:45 p.m. Friday in a chemical reactor at the Formosa Plastics plant, said Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson. [...]
Some see image of Virgin Mother in tree
By Thomas E. Franklin
There is a leap of faith at the corner of Madison Street and Hope Avenue in the city of Passaic, N.J., in the shape of a splintered tree. Locals call it "La Aparicion de la Virgen" -- the Apparition of the Virgin -- where some think the vision of the Virgin Mother can be seen in the stump of a sawed-off tree.
If an apparition is a sudden or unusual sight, then this certainly meets the criteria. What's less certain is whether you can actually see the image of the Virgin Mother. It takes a hard look and a lot of faith, but most visitors seem to see something.
"I see it! I believe it," says Juan Burtaron, during his first trip.
NewScientist.com news service
A widespread resurrection, orgies on a biblical scale, and births and deaths numbering in the billions will all soon be on display in the eastern US as a uniquely enormous population of insects known as 17-year cicadas bubble up from the ground.
As their name suggests, these insects are famous for emerging from their subterranean nurseries on a predictable, but oddly-spaced schedule. Some species have a 13-year life cycle, others appear every 17-years.
Different broods of the insects emerge almost every year in some part of the US. But 2004's crop of red-eyed, winged insects, ominously referred to as Brood X, is special, says Michael Schauff of the Agricultural Research Service's Systematic Entomology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.
"Brood X is the largest single emergence of the species," he says. "When they come out they are literally everywhere. It's impossible to ignore."
Comment: We're certain that if there is a people on the planet who are capable of ignoring this invasion, it is the American people, squarely ensconced in front of their TVs, mindlessly shopping in their malls.
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