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Sunday, May 30, 2004

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

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13

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Picture of the Day

Saturn passing behind the moon - 3 November 2001
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

It is clear from events following the seizure of power by Bush and the Neocons in the US at the end of 2000 that ever finer forms of control are being put into place in the US. The war on terror was designed to give an excuse to impose similar controls elsewhere in the world. One might attribute this totalitarian course simply to an internal dynamic of fascism -- that is, the corporate control of the state. In such a case, the external enemy is used, not because the threat is real, but merely as an excuse to tighten the screws. The real threat is that the people of a given country take the power back from the hands of the corporatist leaders. Therefore any and all internal opposition is crushed.

This is effectively what has happened in the United States. There is no opposition within the US, in the sense of an organised party, to US imperial claims. Kerry's foreign policy is the same as Bush's foreign policy.

If you look at the players and study the way the pieces have been put into place in the US over the last 100 years, it is hard not to come away with the impression that this was planned.

Look at the data:

The fundamentalist Christian Right. How did this group become the most important political force in the United States? These people have a literal interpretation of the Bible. Many of them believe the world is no more than 6,000 years old. They believe that Jesus is coming back in the near future to rapture them all up to heaven, prior to the tribulations the rest of us will face, "the End Times".

Unbelievably, this is occuring in the supposedly most modern, technologically advanced country in the world.

There are tens of millions of people who have been brainwashed into these beliefs.

The military-industrial complex. When President Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex in his farewell address in 1961, the power of the armaments industry was nothing compared to its power today. It was still an infant, priming the US public with scare stories about the Red Menace, the threat from the Soviet Union and China, and fears of reds under the bed. It was un-American to be a communist. Communism was not simply a political ideology like any other; it was the Other, that dark and forbidding something that was the antithesis of all American values.

The Soviet Union did not want, nor could it afford, the arms race. The military-industrial complex of the US forced it on the world, much to their profit, in order to bankrupt their opponent.

The sixties counter-culture. In reaction to the Puritan, over-organised and repressive society of the 1950s in the US came the cut-loose, free-love, drug haze of the sixties. The Civil Rights movement of the fifties and early sixties, which saw Americans of all classes and colours joining together against the structural racism of US society, was subverted and rerouted. Critical and rational response to the deep problems of post-war America was diverted into a hedonistic counter-culture where individualism was king and thinking gave way to "feeling." "If it feels good, do it!" was the slogan.

The assassination of JFK. We may never know by whom or why Kennedy was killed; however, there is more than enough evidence to show that it was a conspiracy and that Oswald either did not act alone or didn't even fire a shot and was the patsy. What we think is significant is that in spite of the evidence pointing to a conspiracy, nothing was done about it officially. And the American people have accepted that.

The Kennedy assassination opened an era in US politics that is bizarre, to say the least. Johnson got the US deeply involved in Vietnam. Then, rather than run in 1968, he decided to quit. The man who followed him, Richard Nixon, left office in disgrace after the Watergate affair. There are rumours that Nixon was set up because he was starting diplomatic relations with "Red" China. Whether Nixon was set up or was himself responsible, the integrity of the presidency was at an all-time low. Gerald Ford, a man who had been appointed Vice-President when Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace, and a member of the Warren Commission, was named President. Faces at the White House in this period included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

It was during the Nixon/Ford years that the Christian Right began its plan of attack for seizing power from within US governmental structures.

The Carter years were designed to bring respectability to the Presidency. Carter was an "outsider." He was known as a "good man." Under "good man" Carter, the plan for destabilising Afghanistan, leading directly to the current situation in that country, was put into play. Carter lost the 1980 election over the Iran hostage affair, after Bush senior convinced the Iranians to hold the US prisoners until after the US elections in exchange for arms for the Contras-- which later became known as the Iran-Contra affair.

The plausible deniability necessary to safeguard the "moral integrity" of the office was maintained -- that is, do what you want, including torture and murder, just keep it to yourselves.

Under Reagan, US covert operations in Latin America went into overdrive. Given that Reagan was almost senile, it seems that "George the First" was running the show. Rumsfeld went to Baghdad to shake the hand of business partner Saddam Hussein. The CIA continued funding Islamic fundamentalists working in Afghanistan against the Russians, including a man by the name of Osama bin Laden. Reagan was the victim of an assassination attempt early in his term, shot by a young man whose family had close relations to Vice President Bush. Democracy lives on. Not a very pretty picture for a country that claims to be the beacon of liberty.

Under George the First, Saddam moved from friend to enemy. The first Gulf War lit up the screens of CNN. George lost to "Slick Willy" Clinton in 1992, and the right wing started doing anything and everything to discredit the man - which in Clinton's case was very easily done. Partisan politics descended to new levels. But looking back at Clinton, all he ever lied about was his sex life, surely a matter of importance in his marriage, but hardly a matter of national importance -- except in the US, where the fundamentalists, holier than thou, have real problems with sex. This is obvious in the double discourse seen in the US where Puritanism reigns with its shadow, pornography. Do as we say, not as we do.

By the time the Republicans stole the 2000 election, there was no real political life left in the US. There were no real debates. People were told what to think through the media. Critical thought had been eliminated from the national scene through the debasement of the education system where metal detectors checking for guns replaced books on the budget sheets.

The scene was set for morally indignant and self-righteous fundamentalists to be led by the nose by the Neocon lobby, a lobby whose first allegiance was to Israel, not the US. This is all the more curious when one remembers the 1960 election when one of the arguments used against Kennedy was that, as a Catholic, his first allegiance would be to the Pope in Rome, not to the electors!

The United Sates has been sliding down a very slippery slope since the end of World War II, and yet, it has happened so carefully and gradually that the US public thinks that they are still living in paradise.

The attack of 9/11, the new Pearl Harbor, permitted the Neocon cabal to orient US foreign policy completely and openly towards the needs of Israel. Just don't say it out loud or you'll be denounced as 'anti-Semitic.' 9/11 justified repressive laws at home and the ignoring of international law abroad. In the three years since, similar laws have been passed in other countries.

Air travel within the US is a constant stream of humiliations. Xenophobia is on the rise, especially against Arabs.

We said above that this might simply be due to the internal logic of fascism. But what if there is an external reason, a real external threat, not only to one country, but to the planet as a whole?

There has been an increase recently in discussion on the internet, including on sites devoted to Bush and Jesus, about an impending storm of meteorites. Readers of this page know that we have done considerable research into this question. One then must ask whether this recent outcry is confirmation of what we have been saying, or whether it is more disinfo, designed for other reasons than to make people aware of the danger.

We think it is the latter.

Looking at the world, it is clear that the leaders of any and all countries do not have the best interests of their populations at heart. Different countries and political systems give different reasons for what they do, but it usually boils down to "we know what's good for you" and you - the people - aren't capable of understanding the complex world of politics, economics, or social relations. If this is true, it is not difficult to imagine the global elite's reaction to news that the earth would sometime soon go through a shower of space objects that might greatly damage or destroy large parts of the globe. They would look for ways of saving themselves. But they would also have to insure that the angry populations left out to face the menace head on would have no room to strike back.

One way for the powers that be to ensure that people don't revolt would be for them to sow the seeds to set brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. We see this happening today with blame for internal problems in the Western countries being blamed on immigrants, with the polarisation in the US between Republican and Democrat, between defenders of the federal government and those who are heading to the hills armed to the teeth to fight federal encroachment on the Constitution, etc.

When the essentials for survival become scarce, human beings have a choice: work together for the good of all, or create hierarchies of inclusion and exclusion.

Our world is a world of people going it alone. This is how we have been programmed. How many people will be able to overcome this programming when and if things deteriorate?

A recent report for the US Defence Department on climate change speculated that a new ice age would throw "civilisation" back to a period of wars of survival. There would be continuous fighting over ever scarcer resources. How much easier for the elite if the plebes kill each other off. But to be on the safe side, they are putting in ever stricter forms of control over the population to weed out the potential "terrorists", that is, people who will be willing to stand up against the powers that be, cowing the public into believing that there is no hope, that they can do nothing, that they are powerless. Such a population will be dealt with either by armies or bands of marauding vigilantes. Another part of the population is being turned into psychopaths, trained to think like killers, filling their heads with violence on TV and the movies where nothing is ever resolved except with a gun.

If such a scenario is possible, and if the powers that be are aware of the threat facing our planet, we think that there is little possibility of the heavens falling upon us until such measures are in place. If this is true, then the recent upsurge in talk of comets and meteors may be designed to turn the whole idea to ridicule: if thousands or millions are expecting catastrophe this summer, outside of the cinemas where The Day After Tomorrow is showing, and nothing happens, a very real threat could be turned into this year's Planet X.

Rummy gleefully announces that there's plenty of murder and mayhem to come.

Rumsfeld Says 'War on Terror' Just Beginning

By Larry Fine
Sat May 29,12:36 PM ET

WEST POINT, New York (Reuters) - The United States' declared war on terror is closer to the beginning than the end, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told graduates of the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday.

Rumsfeld told the 2004 graduating class of 935 cadets that in the three years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, the U.S.-led coalition had "overthrown two vicious regimes and liberated 50 million people, disrupted terrorist cells across the globe and thwarted many terrorist attacks."

"Yet despite our successes, we are closer to the beginning of this struggle with global insurgency than to its end," he said. [...]

He said on the latest front, in Iraq where the Bush administration is facing continued fighting that is undermining efforts to end the U.S. occupation, "We are facing a test of wills, with an enemy that seeks to derail the Iraqi people's path to self-governance."

Comment: So let's see if we have this straight: The Iraqi freedom fighters - who Rummy calls the "enemy" - are trying to end the occupation of their country, which is undermining US efforts to end the occupation. The obvious solution is to slaughter entire wedding parties while they sleep. Of course, Rummy wants Americans to believe that the "enemy" is actually some al-Qaeda related terrorist group. Even if this was indeed the case, it is obvious from Rumsfeld's comments that the US intends to end its occupation of Iraq on terms that are the most favorable to the Homeland. Either way, it is clear that America's intentions have nothing to do with freedom or democracy.

"The extremists know the rise of a free, self-governing Iraq, respectful of all religions - would deal the terrorists a decisive blow," Rumsfeld said. "Its success depends on encouraging friends and allies with whom we are so interdependent to not be terrorized by threats or isolated by fear." [...]

Comment: Since 9/11, it seems that Americans are the only ones who have isolated themselves due to fear and manufactured threats of terrorism. When the US found itself alone in the world regarding the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration decided to buy a coalition.

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Terror alert for three cites retracted

May 29, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC, May. 29 (UPI) -- The FBI issued an urgent terror alert to several cities Friday, warning of the prospect of an imminent terrorist attack, but then retracted it hours later.

The New York Times reported Saturday FBI officials decided to retract the warning after their intelligence proved unfounded. [...]

Comment: A taste of things to come. Let's see, when was teh last time they got it right? Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Finding bin Laden? Don't think so. How about 9/11... No, they organised that themselves...

Feeling safe?

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Saudi troops free 25 hostages, kidnappers cut throats of nine

May 30, 2004

AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Elite Saudi security forces rescued 25 hostages held by four suspected Al-Qaeda extremists but nine others were murdered during a violent overnight standoff with police, a survivor said.

Jordanian computer engineer Nijar Hijazin said he was among the hostages who were pulled from the ceiling of the residential compound after helicopter-borne troops raided the building to end the 24-hour siege.

He said seven Asians, a Swede and an Italian had their throats slit during the night, after the extremist kidnappers earlier killed at least 10 people including foreigners in an armed rampage through this Saudi oil city.

"The nine had their throats cut by the kidnappers when they tried to escape at night by the stairs," said Hijazin, who added that he was pulled from the roof of the compound after the Saudi troops attacked around dawn.

The Saudi ambassador in Washington said seven US hostages had been rescued. "Two are wounded and five are all right," Prince Bandar bin Sultan told Fox television. [...]

Security forces killed two hostages-takers and captured the other two during the rescue, an employee at The Oasis housing compound told AFP, in the absence of any official toll from the authorities. [...]

A statement purported to be from Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Al-Khobar carnage, although its authenticity could not be confirmed.

The assailants initially attacked the building of the Arab Petroleum Investment Corp (Apicorp) and a "Petroleum Center" where oil firms have offices on Saturday.

An American was among the estimated 10 dead, prompting the US embassy to renew a call it made in mid-April for US citizens to leave Saudi Arabia. [...]

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U.S. Forced Allawi On U.N., Iraqis: NY Times

WASHINGTON , May 29 ( & News Agencies) – The choice of Iyad Allawi as the prime minister of the upcoming Iraqi provisional government was forced by the United States as a fait accompli on the United Nations and the Iraqi people, a mass-circulation U.S. paper said Saturday, May29 .

"The United States ended up Friday with a choice for prime minister certain to be seen more as an American candidate than one of the United Nations or the Iraqis themselves," The New York Times said.

A senior State Department official told the daily, on condition of anonymity, that the U.S.-handpicked Iraqi body had merely ratified the U.S. selection in order to make it seem that the council had the final saying.

The Times said Allawi’s choice and his close ties with the United States came "in a country where public opinion has grown almost universally hostile to the Americans".

Allawi is the secretary general of the Iraqi National Accord, an exile group that has received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) to topple former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. [...]

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U.S. holds hostages in Iraq

by Mohamad Bazzi,
Newsday [Long Island, NY]
May 25, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. troops wanted Jeanan Moayad's father. When they couldn't find him, they took her husband in his place.

Dhafir Ibrahim has been in U.S. custody for nearly four months. Moayad insists that he is being held as a bargaining chip, and military officials have told her that he will be released when her father surrenders. Her father is a scientist and former Baath party member who fled to Jordan soon after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

"My husband is a hostage," said Moayad, 35, an architect who carries a small portrait of Ibrahim in her purse. "He didn't commit any crime."

In a little-noticed development amid Iraq's prison abuse scandal, the U.S. military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender, according to human rights groups. These detainees are not accused of any crimes, and experts say their detention violates the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. The practice also risks associating the United States with the tactics of countries that it has long criticized for arbitrary arrests. [...]

Comment: The US is already associated with quite a few of these countries. Agencies such as the CIA have financed and instructed militant and terrorist types - and even arranged for the overthrow of democratic governments - for decades.

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A Saddam Souvenir: President Bush keeps the former dictator's pistol at arm's reach

Saturday, May. 29, 2004

When Saddam Hussein was rousted from his spider hole in Dawr, a town near Tikrit, by U.S. soldiers last December, Iraq's fallen dictator was clutching a pistol. He is now in detention at an undisclosed location, being questioned by American authorities and awaiting charges for war atrocities and crimes against humanity. But what ever happened to the pistol?

The sidearm has made its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sources say that the military had the pistol mounted after the soldiers seized it from Saddam and that it was then presented to the President privately by some of the troops who played a key role in ferreting out the old tyrant. Though it was widely reported at the time that the pistol was loaded when they grabbed Saddam, Bush has told visitors that the gun was empty—and that it is still empty and safe to touch. "He really liked showing it off," says a recent visitor to the White House who has seen the gun. "He was really proud of it."

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US troops killed in Afghanistan

Four US soldiers have been killed in action in southern Afghanistan, the US military says.

[...] The deaths represent one of the biggest losses for American forces since they began operations in Afghanistan more than two years ago.

The attacks have been blamed on remnants of the former Taleban regime.

The US military acknowledges that an insurgency in the south and east of the country has gathered pace - more than 700 people are said to have died in violence in Afghanistan since last August.

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Turkey considers sending extra troops to Afghanistan: Turkish PM 2004-05-30 06:09:07

LONDON, May 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said here on Saturday that his country was considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.

"There is a NATO request to send troops to Afghanistan, and we are now thinking of sending troops to Afghanistan," Erdogan told reporters in London.

"As a NATO member we have the opportunity to renew the mission we carried out for ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force). We are aware of our duties as a member of this international organization," said Erdogan, whose country is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and held the rotating command of the ISAF in 2002 after a US-led war oustedthe Taliban in Afghanistan.

About 6,000 ISAF peacekeeping troops were currently deployed inthe Afghan capital city of Kabul and earlier reports said NATO members were reluctant to provide more soldiers and equipment for a plan to expand the ISAF role beyond Kabul.

Fighting flares in key Iraqi city

Shooting has broken out in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf where gunmen loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr agreed a truce with US forces on Thursday.

A battle began when US jeeps approached the city's vast cemetery and Mehdi Army fighters drove them back with rockets, a spokesman for Mr Sadr said.

Hospital sources said four Iraqis had been wounded in the clash.

US officials have not commented on the incident which comes after two days of clashes in Najaf's twin city of Kufa.

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Israeli missiles kill senior Hamas man, two others 2004-05-30 13:31:19

BEIJING, May 30, (Xinhuanet) -- Two missiles fired by an Israeli helicopter killed a high-profile Hamas militant commander on his motorcycle and two comrades in Gaza City early on Sunday, Palestinian witnesses said.

Hamas sources identified the commander as Wael Nassar and said he and one of the other slain militants masterminded a May 11 ambush in which six Israeli soldiers were blown up when their troop carrier rolled over a mine during a raid into Gaza City.

Palestinian medics said seven civilians, including a woman and two children, were wounded in the missile strike into Gaza City's Zeitoun district, an Islamist militant hotbed and target of the recent army incursion.

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Sharon puts off vote on Gaza plan 2004-05-30 19:45:21

JERUSALEM, May 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has postponed the vote on his Gaza pullback plan until next week's cabinet meeting, public radio reported Sunday.

"There will be a full and open discussions within the government on the plan. We will start this process today and continue it next week," Sharon said in comments broadcast by the radio.

The Israeli premier submitted the revised disengagement plan to a government debate on Sunday and warned that he is ready to take "unprecedented political steps," including the dismissal of ministers, in order to make his plan be passed.

"I am determined to pass this plan, even if I am forced to change the make-up of the government or to take unprecedented political steps," he was quoted by the Israel Radio as saying.

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Israeli army forces raid Rafah refugee camp 2004-05-30 17:20:34

GAZA, May 30 (Xinhuanet) -- A number of Israeli military forces raided Sunday morning the Al-Sh'ut refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, demolishing eight Palestinian houses, Palestinian sources reported.

They said more than 15 Israeli military tanks and bulldozers under the cover of Apache helicopters stormed into the refugee camplocated near the borderline with Egypt.

Witnesses said Israeli soldiers threatened some residents with weapons and forces them to evacuate their house before implanting explosives and dynamiting them.

They added that the Israeli military bulldozers then started leveling the dynamited houses, while Apache helicopters were still hovering over the area.

Local residents said they were afraid that the Israeli military incursion into the area would lead to wider house-demolition campaigns.

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Over 2,000 Palestinians left homeless in latest Israeli raid, UN reports

26 May 2004 – Israel's recent weeklong military raid into the Gaza Strip town of Rafah left more than 2,000 Palestinians homeless, bringing to nearly 3,500 the total of those whose residences were demolished or rendered uninhabitable since the beginning of the month, according to a full United Nations assessment released today.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said it had now completed its evaluation of the raid from 18 to 24 May, in which 167 buildings housing 379 families, or 2,066 people, were destroyed or damaged beyond repair in the Tel Sultan, Brazil and Salam quarters of Rafah.

The latest destruction comes on top of what had already been one of the worst months in the Palestinian uprising. Since 1 May, 277 buildings housing 641 families, or 3,451 people, have been demolished in Rafah, the Agency said. Since the uprising started in September 2000, 1,476 buildings have been demolished in Rafah, affecting 14,666 people.

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American Airlines flight attendant charged in bomb threat that diverted plane

Sunday, May 30, 2004

NASHVILLE (AP) - An American Airlines flight attendant who told authorities she found a note saying there was a bomb in a jet's cargo hold was charged Friday for writing the threatening letter, which caused the plane to be diverted.

Gay Wilson, 37, of Arlington, Texas, was charged with unlawful interference with an airline, a federal charge that carries up to a 20-year prison sentence, said Doug Riggin of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The jet flying Thursday from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Boston was diverted to Nashville after Wilson said she found the note in one of the plane's lavatories.

The note read, "There is a bomb onboard this flt to Boston in cargo. Live Saddaam!" according to Nashville television station WSMV.

"She was one of the people we interviewed, and our investigation revealed that she was indeed the person responsible for the note," Riggin said.

Riggin declined to discuss the motive for the bomb threat, citing the upcoming legal proceedings. [...]

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U.S. agencies collect, examine personal data on Americans

By Audrey Hudson
May 28, 2004

Numerous federal government agencies are collecting and sifting through massive amounts of personal information, including credit reports, credit-card purchases and other financial data, posing new privacy concerns, according to the General Accounting Office (GAO).

The GAO surveyed 128 federal departments and agencies and found that 52 are using, or planning to implement, 199 data-mining programs, with 131 already operational.

The Education, Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Interior, Labor, Justice, and Treasury departments are among those that use the contentious new technology to detect criminal or terrorist activity; manage human resources; gauge scientific research; detect fraud, waste and abuse; and monitor tax compliance.

The audit released yesterday shows 36 data-mining programs collect and analyze personal information that is purchased from the private sector, including credit reports and credit-card transactions. Additionally, 46 federal agencies share personal information that includes student-loan application data, bank-account numbers, credit-card information and taxpayer-identification numbers.

The Defense Department is the largest user of data-mining technology, followed by the Education Department, which uses private information to track the life of student direct loans and to monitor loan repayments. [...]

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Officer's Taser is used on girl, 9

By C.J. Karamargin
May 25, 2004

A veteran South Tucson police sergeant is under investigation for firing his stun gun to subdue a handcuffed 9-year-old girl.

At the request of Chief Sixto Molina, the Pima County Sheriff's Department is trying to determine if the sergeant committed a crime when he sent a jolt through the child's body.

The police officer used a Taser on the girl at about 5:30 p.m. May 8, Molina said. The nonlethal weapon uses a pulsating electrical charge to immobilize a person for several seconds.

"I'll be the first to admit, you've got a veteran sergeant Tasing a 9-year-old girl, it doesn't look good," said Molina.

The sergeant was one of at least two officers who responded to a call from the Arizona Children's Home, a school for special needs children, on South Eighth Avenue, he said.

"It had to do with a runaway from the institution," the chief said. He declined to provide further details. [...]

Molina said one officer initially responded to the call from the school. That officer requested assistance from another officer and specifically asked that the second officer bring a Taser. [...]

The sergeant who used the hand-held Taser remains on duty. His name is not being released while the investigation is under way.

"It didn't involve an integrity issue," Molina said. "The officer made a decision to do what he thought he needed to do." [...]

Comment: Horse hockey. We have received a few e-mails in the past related to articles such as this one in which a police officer used excessive force to "subdue" someone. The comments from these readers usually take the side of the police officers. The reasoning is that the police deal with a lot of crazy people, and they must do whatever it takes to ensure their own safety first and foremost.

While that line of reasoning certainly sounds good, there seems to be a certain fascist trend in American law enforcement. The police are excused for any abuse of power because they have to keep everyone safe. Recent events in Iraq have illustrated that there is another problem in the US prison system - torture. The question is, how far will we go in excusing the actions of those charged with protecting us when they abuse their power? And what exactly will we do when we are the people being abused?

In any case, let's face it - a handcuffed 9-year-old special needs child is not a threat to at least two armed and well-trained officers. If the girl needed to be subdued for some reason, why not ask someone at the Arizona Children's Home for help?

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Welcome to the Hundred Year Quagmire

Get Ready for Kerry's War

May 29, 2004

Interviewed at the new WWII monument as Memorial Day Weekend 2004 got underway, former Senator Bob Dole told CNN that "young men and young women make great sacrifices." Funny how the unintended truth comes right out of Washington mouths, if you listen for it and hear it from the right angle, whether hitching a ride on bromides or wrapping itself around the spin cycle like a double helix.

Sometime during the weekend, while the bands played and the commemorative speeches echoed on the mall, and political "enemies" who remained in town for the ceremonies mingled at Georgetown cocktail parties and backyard barbecues, the 800th young man or woman wearing the U.S. uniform, probably someone from the small-town ranks of the poor, became a "great sacrifice" in Bush's War, preceding in death the thousands of maimed and blinded troops of whom little is heard.

Iraqi civilians, evidently, do not make great sacrifices. They are "unfortunate inevitabilities," examples of the fact that "things happen" in war, like the deaths of seven musicians at an event a military spokesperson says we would be "naive" to call a wedding party.

Whatever one calls it, it is all happening in Bush's War now, one bloody disgrace after another, and when he appears in public to talk about it, the look on the Boy Emperor's face is a wonder to behold. Not that you and I will ever behold it up close. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an ordinary American to get into a Bush event.

It is harder and harder for Bush to find a safe audience, no matter how tight the screening. How will he campaign if he dare not appear in public? Will he speak exclusively at fund-raisers or before military audiences ordered to applaud him? The networks didn't bother to carry his most recent speech on Iraq. This fact, plus recent polls and Senator John Kerry's pronouncements on national security (he will bring the troops home "with honor"), all suggest that the shift is already happening. Iraq is fast becoming Kerry's War.

Just as LBJ's War became Nixon's War.

Kerry has already made it clear that he intends to "stay the course." He will do the same thing, but better, he vows. He will do it on a grander scale. He will do a better job of pronouncing the names of the cities we bomb. He will rebuild alliances and get other nations to do it with us. The young men and women of these rebuilt alliances will make great sacrifices, too.

Kerry's election is by no means a foregone conclusion. Should he win, however, the joys of beating Bush, however intensely felt, could be short-lived. For one thing, whoever takes the oath in January 2005, all signs indicate that the draft is on its way back, meaning that many of the best and brightest, who would have otherwise made "great" sacrifices, will be heading for Canada again. [...]

Comment: Indeed, young men and women do make good sacrifices. But just as the powers that be love sacrificing the youth of America, the young soldiers themselves willingly give up their lives for a lie. The responsibility for the soldiers' actions cannot be entirely placed on their commanders. At some point, we must each stand up and take responsibility for ourselves and pay our debts, so to speak.

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Woman who displayed art inspired by Iraq prisoner abuse in gallery beaten up

07:31 AM EDT May 30

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A San Francisco gallery owner bears a painful reminder of the atrocities at the Abu Ghraib prison - a black eye delivered by an unknown assailant who apparently objected to a painting that depicts U.S. soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners.

The assault outside the Capobianco gallery in the city's North Beach district Thursday night was the worst in a string of verbal and physical attacks directed at Lori Haigh since the artwork was installed at her gallery May 16.

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Bush dynasty ex-wife set to spill the beans

By Steve Bloomfield and Sophie Goodchild
30 May 2004

A new book on the Bush dynasty is set for release just six weeks before November's knife-edge presidential election. The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty by Kitty Kelley will have an initial print run of 500,000, and the main source is believed to be Sharon Bush, the ex-wife of Neil, President George W Bush's wayward brother.

Kelley, whose unauthorised biographies of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis and the British Royal Family have told tales of affairs, electric-shock treatment and more affairs, has turned her attention to America's first family.

The book could be the most damaging yet for the President, with the publishers, Random House, promising it will "cause controversy".

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Stupid U: College of Criminal Arts

Why Yale Should Be Banned from Politics Forever

by Douglas Herman

[...] “Look at the track record," says Arnold, "It was a mistake to lie to the American people and the world about US reasons for attacking Iraq; a mistake to go to war without international backing; a mistake to permit unrestrained looting in the aftermath of initial conflict; a mistake to reject well developed plans for post-war reconstruction; a mistake to fire the first US Administrator, Garner, for wanting to hold early and free elections; a mistake to blackball the Baath; a mistake to send the Iraqi army home; a mistake to promise democracy and then balk at the idea of having the majority (the Shiia Muslims) get a chance to rule; a mistake to give the Kurds too much wiggle room; a mistake to close the Shia newspaper run by Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr; a mistake to attack Falluja in force including destroying mosques; a mistake to put a former Saddam Hussein general in charge of Iraqi troops to fight other Iraqis.”

Gee, given the disastrous track record from these former alums or professors of Yale Law School (pictured), shouldn't we draft a resolution that says: henceforth no candidate for elected office in the continental United States should be eligible for office if connected in any way, shape or form, to Yale University? I mean, if you or I had "accomplished" the above in such a short period of time, we might be liable to criminal charges and prosecution. But this, of course, isn't tiny Alma College or equally unpretentious Olivet we're talking about. This is Yale University of Connecticut, home state of Senator Joe Lieberman, former Yale grad and ardent defender of all things Israel, and former home to the mighty CIA. Need I say more?

HIV/AIDS Rapists Stalk Women In A Trinidadian Village

SANGRE GRANDE, Trinidad, Fri. May 28: A gang of men and a woman, believed to be HIV positive, are traveling around Trinidad spreading the virus by force.

The gang have struck in the village of Sangre Grande, getting into the homes of some residents by playing the sound of a baby crying and asking for help, Trinidad Guardian reports indicate.

The residents said the woman approaches villagers’ homes asking for help for her crying "child" and when the unsuspecting resident opens the door, the men, wearing black hats and dressed in dark clothes, burst into the house and rape the women of the household.

After the assault they inject their victims with blood drawn from their bodies. [...]

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Dinosaur fossil seen as evidence continental drift more recent than thought

07:32 AM EDT May 30

CHICAGO (AP) - The fossil skull of a peculiar, wrinkle-faced dinosaur unearthed four years ago in the Sahara is providing new evidence Africa split from the other southern continents more recently than previously thought, scientists said.

[...] The skull, found amid a wealth of dinosaur bones from the late cretaceous period, came from a dinosaur Sereno named Rugops primus, or "first wrinkle face." The meat-eater, believed to be about nine metres long and 95 million years old, belonged to a group of southern dinosaurs called abelisaurids.

Before the discoveries, abelisaurids from that period had been found in South America, Madagascar and India but none had been confirmed in Africa, supporting a theory Africa split off first from the southern super-continent of Gondwana 120 million or more years ago. The new fossil, however, and its close relation to a South American abelisaurid, indicate Africa was still connected to the other southern land masses, at least by land bridge, 100 million years ago, Sereno and his co-authors said.

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Saudi commandos rescue hostages

Dozens of foreign hostages have been freed after Saudi commandos stormed a luxury compound where they were being held, Saudi officials have said.

About 40 commandos jumped from helicopters onto the roof of the building in the eastern city of Khobar.

Two militants were killed and others arrested, including the group's leader security sources said.

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Earthquake hits off Japan's eastern coast

TOKYO (AP): A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck off Japan's eastern coast on Sunday, but the tremors that reached the archipelago could hardly be felt. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The quake, which struck at 6:04 a.m. (2104 GMT Saturday), was centered about 20 kilometres (12 miles) beneath the sea floor in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan's capital, Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said.

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Strong Earthquake Shakes Peninsula

By Kim Rahn
Staff Reporter

A strong earthquake broke out with a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale in South Korea at 7:14 p.m. on Saturday. Its epicenter was 80 kilometers east off Uljin, North Kyongsang Province. No damage or casualties were reported.

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Earthquake adds to flooded Hispaniola's woes

A small earthquake has rattled the southern border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic but there are no reports of further deaths or destruction in the area, which has been devastated by floods and mudslides this week.

The floods have killed about 2,000 people.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 4.4, was felt in the hard-hit Dominican border town of Jimani, where more than 350 people were killed in the flooding.

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91 tornadoes touch down; more could follow

Sunday, May 30, 2004 Posted: 12:30 PM EDT (1630 GMT)

(CNN) -- America's midsection braced Sunday for another day of damaging wind and thunderstorms, a day after 91 tornadoes touched down across the region, killing three people.

The National Weather Service said the worst weather was likely to hit central and southern Illinois, south and east Missouri and Arkansas -- with "a moderate risk" surrounding that area, stretching into Texas and the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.

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Australians warned crisis looms unless water usage dries up

Sunday May 30, 12:32 PM

Australians have been warned they face an environmental crisis unless they stop squandering scarce water resources in the world's most arid inhabited continent.

Australians have done little to curb water usage despite the worst drought in living memory, with households in the desert-dominated country still using water at a rate 30 percent higher than the OECD average.

The problem is most acute in large cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, which account for well over two-thirds of Australia's 20 million population.

With reservoir levels below 50 percent in all of Australia's major cities except Brisbane, experts have warned something must be done. [...]

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Ghosthunters to scour Devonport naval base

28.05.04 11:16

A team of top-notch ghosthunters will be roaming Devonport Naval Base over the weekend as a team of experts in paranormal activities look into reports of strange events in parts of the historic South Yard.

The Paranormal Research Investigators will be particularly keen to bring their skills to bear on the 18th century Ropemaker’s House and the Hangman’s Cell.

The Master Ropemaker’s House, a Grade II Listed historic building, was built in the late 18th century as part of the great South Yard Roper.

This facility was a major producer of rope and cordage for the whole of the Royal Navy until March 191, when all production ceased because of bomb damage.

The person in charge of the Roper lived in the Master Ropemaker’s House until World War II, at which point it was used as a residence for dockyard officials.

It has lain empty for four years, and is in an area designated as part of the site for the development of the Naval Base Visitor Centre.

Over a number of years the house has built up a reputation as one of the most haunted houses in Plymouth, with a number of former residents reporting paranormal activities – and guards patrolling the area have confirmed strange happenings at the house. [...]

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Exposed: conman's role in prayer-power IVF 'miracle'

One of the authors of a university report on infertility has admitted a multi-million-dollar fraud, reports Paul Harris in New York

Sunday May 30, 2004
The Observer

It was a miracle that created headlines around the world. Doctors at one of the world's top medical schools claimed to have scientifically proved the power of prayer.

Many Americans took the Columbia University research - announced in October 2001 after the terror attacks on New York and Washington - as a sign from God. It seemed to prove that praying helped infertile women to conceive.

But The Observer can reveal a story of fraud and cover-up behind the research. One of the study's authors is a conman obsessed with the paranormal who has admitted to a multi-million-dollar scam. Daniel Wirth, now under house arrest in California awaiting sentencing, has used a series of false identities for several decades, including that of a dead child.

Wirth is at the centre of a network of bizarre scientific research, often working with co-researcher Joseph Horvath. Horvath has pleaded guilty to fraud, has used a series of false names and is accused of burning down his house for insurance money.

[...] The study claimed to show that a woman's chances of conceiving through IVF treatment doubled when someone prayed for them. 'IVF is a very difficult procedure. Increasing the success rate by 100 per cent would be a huge breakthrough, a revolution,' said Flamm.

The study was based on an IVF programme in Korea. Prayer groups in the United States, Canada and Australia were shown anonymous pictures of women on the programme and asked to pray. The subjects were not told they were part of a study, but the results claimed to show that the group had double the success rate of a group not being prayed for.

[...] Wirth and Horvath have co-authored numerous pieces of research claiming to prove paranormal activities. Many of them are linked to a body called Healing Sciences Research International, which Wirth heads. However, the institute appears to be only a mail box with no telephone number.

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Republican singles hunt for Mr Right

Paul Harris in New York
Sunday May 30, 2004
The Observer

In America's battle-scarred political landscape, there is only one thing on which Republicans and Democrats agree: that the country has never been so divided.

Even the world of dating has become polarised, as thousands of lovelorn Americans flock to websites exclusively for one party or the other. No one is buying the notion that opposites attract .

Out go typical first-date questions such as 'what's your job' and 'are you looking for a serious relationship?'. In come chat-up lines like 'what's your stance on abortion?' or 'how do you feel about the Bush tax cuts?'. In short, ideological compatibility is becoming more important than a gym-toned body or well-paid career.

Comment: What a joke. Differences between Republicans and Democrats! Of course, there are differences. What is the joke is that these minute points are blown way out of proportion to make the US people think that there is real political debate!

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And finally...

George W., please take note:

Do you come here often?

Zöe A. L. Green
Sunday May 30, 2004
The Observer

O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm
by Jonathan Margolis
Century £14.99, pp395

[...] Speaking of testicles, Margolis offers up a wealth of etymological information for the verbally licentious. The word testify actually comes from the biblical habit of placing one's hand on one's balls when taking a vow.

Comment: Hallelujah!

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