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!
Monday, June 7, 2004
Picture of the Day
Exclusive -June 2
Toronto, May 30 – Intelligence patterns monitored over the US Memorial Day weekend now point conclusively to an imminent new round of ABC (atomic-bacteriological-chemical) terror attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and possibly other nations. These attacks could include nuclear detonations, radiological dirty bombs, poison gas and other chemical weapons, or biological agents, to be unleashed in such urban settings as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, or London.
The goal of these operations would be to produce a worldwide shock several orders of magnitude greater than the original 9-11, with a view to stopping the collapse of the Bush administration, the Wall Street-centered financial structures, and the US-UK strategic position generally. The attacks would be attributed by US/UK intelligence to controlled patsy terrorist groups who would be linked by the media to countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, or North Korea.
The organizers of the attacks would in reality be substantially the same secret command cell in the United States which set up the 9-11 events and its associated networks, which have been able to continue in operation because of the abject failure of all 9-11 investigations to date to identify them....
It is blatently anti-semitic and totally stretches the bounds of believability (note that Arabs are Semites).
It goes something like this:
There is a massive Arab/Semite conspiracy to destabilize the West.
There is a gigantic network of Arab/Semite spies and agents throughout the world, at the beck and call of a BIG Semite called bin Laden.
Controlling this gigantic network of Semite spies and agents from a cave in Afghanistan (while all the time under observation by the CIA and friends (who have produced tapes of this master plotter conversing with his mother)) bin Laden manages to destroy the two largest commercial buildings in the USA and put a significant dent in the Pentagon.
Not only this, but he is cunningly able to stand-down the United States Air Force, thus permitting this immense destruction to occur without airforce interference, which would have otherwise quickly laid waste to his plans. Such an achiever.
And not only this, but in order to sow confusion among his enemies, he publicly, and repeatedly, denies any involvement whatsoever in this amazing achievement. Such a man.
Boggles the mind, doesn't it.
Only the maddest -- probably insane -- conspiracy theorists believe this dribble.
Seriously guys, some people actually believe this crap.
A dentist who claims he met three of the Sept. 11 hijackers in Shreveport one year before the attacks has mysteriously fallen ill and is on life support.
Dr. David Graham was driving back to Shreveport from Houston on Saturday night when he became sick. A friend said Graham began suffering organ failure and medical tests show possible poisoning. He is hospitalized in Houston.
Graham is trying to publish a book that claims meetings with the hijackers and another Middle Eastern man who is a federal fugitive here.
Mike Sledge, a friend of Graham, has a manuscript of Graham's book, "The Graham Report: The true story of three 9-11 hijackers who were reported to the FBI 10 months before 9-11." In it, Graham claims he met the hijackers at a home in Shreveport in September 2000 and thought they were plotting an attack on Barksdale Air Force Base. He said he reported them to the FBI.
"Certainly he was digging into some sensitive areas that may easily have caused some people some consternation," Sledge said.
Houston police referred questions to the FBI office in Houston, which did not return calls for comment.
Federal authorities in Shreveport said they are not involved and don't know if there is anything sinister to Graham's illness or if it was suicide attempt or was connected to Graham's personal or business life.
Graham also knew Jamal Khan, a Bossier City man who was convicted of trying to hide his wiring of $9,999 to his native Pakistan.
In Khan's plea agreement in 2002, federal prosecutors added an unusual caveat: It said that while they had no proof of any connection to terrorism, Khan would get no immunity from possible prosecution in the future for crimes relating to Sept. 11.
Comment: Freedom and Democracy, the right to freedom of speech. These are the truths we hold dear. Just remember, try and exercise them and you're dead!
From "Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9/11 Cover-up in Florida."
As we head
into a hot summer of Presidential campaigning focused on the war in Iraq,
both political parties are assiduously avoiding the "elephant in
the living room."
Results from the FBI's ballyhooed 4000-man investigation have never been revealed. And the Congressional Intelligence Committee investigation met in secret; its report contained the famous 28 page "gap."
And anyone looking to the 9/11 Commission to offer answers will be disillusioned to learn the panel was only charged with identifying what might have prevented the White House, Pentagon, CIA, and FBI from being taken by surprise in a way not seen since Pearl Harbor.
The 9/11 Commission, in other words, will answer only the question of what should have been done differently. There's nothing in the panel's mandate about letting the American people in on the answer to the only question worth asking: what happened?
Try bringing democracy to America first
As the Administration busily attempts to create democratic forms in the Mideast, it is busily subverting them here at home. And the unspoken but looming question facing Americans today is this:
If the current Administration lied to justify its war in Iraq, what horrible truths might lie buried by deception in the official explanation for what happened on September 11?
Just how bizarrely 1984-ish this situation is can be seen in the fact that while preparations proceed to put Zacharias Moussaoui on trail as the alleged 20th hijacker, the U.S. government has not yet presented proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the first 19 with whom Moussaoui is accused of having conspired.
Why should anyone care if Moussaoui is the 20th anything if the guilt of the other 19 hasn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt?
In the face of this monumental and surreal absurdity, the MadCowMorningNews is pleased to offer some startling and still largely unknown facts about alleged terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta, gleaned from our two-year investigation.
The Top Ten Things You Never Knew About Mohamed Atta.
NUMBER 10: Intimidated Witness #1: Atta's American girlfriend.
Mohamed Atta had an American girlfriend with whom he lived for two months in Venice, FL., a lingerie model named Amanda Keller. You haven't heard her story because she was intimidated into silence by the FBI.
In the aftermath of the attack she spoke only a dozen words to the press: "I can't really discuss anything. I'm afraid I'll get in trouble."
NUMBER 9: Mohamed Atta, Beastie Boys fan.
Atta often listened to them non-stop.
"One time I got mad cause he broke one of my knick-knacks, so I snapped his CD's in half," said Amanda Keller, his erstwhile American girlfriend. "I broke all of his CD's, cause they drove me crazy, he played the ‘Beastie Boys' nonstop."
In the aftermath of the argument, Atta told her why he was such a big fan. "He told me about this girl he'd dated in France, that had his son," said Keller. "He didn't tell anyone else about that, for some reason he felt he could spill his guts to me. His son was like nine, he said. He said his son was the reason he liked the Beastie Boys so much, cause they were his son's favorite band."
NUMBER 8. Mohamed Atta, Islamic Party Animal
"Atta and his crew were always flush with lots and lots of money," said Stephanie Frederickson, a 50-year old housewife and foster mother who with her husband lived right next door to Atta's apartment. "Those guys were all really party animals."
During their brief time together, Amanda and Atta went out almost every night, she said, and were part of a social scene at clubs like Margarita Maggie's in Sarasota. "When we went out we would meet pilots from Africa, Germany, and there were always lots of Arabs."
In fact, Atta was a heavy drinker, snorted coke, was a stylish dresser and wore enough expensive gold jewelry that a waitress in Venice thought he might be in the Mob.
NUMBER 7. Mohamed Atta liked pork chops.
"Islamic fundamentalist" Mohamed Atta loved pork chops, according to former girlfriend Amanda Keller. In fact, she said this was 'fanatical Islamo-fascist' Atta's one endearing trait.
Devout Muslims don't eat pork, do they?
NUMBER 6. Mohamed Atta didn't come to the U.S. to learn to fly.
Atta was already a licensed pilot when he arrived in the US., with pilot's licenses from half a dozen countries, and while at Huffman Aviation was not treated like a 'newbie' pilot, but accorded the privileges of a flight instructor.
And instead of attending just one flight school, Huffman Aviation, as the FBI states, his path took him through at least three Florida flight programs, not including his visit to a flight school in Oklahoma and a stint at the first flight school he attended in the U.S., whose name, oddly enough, remains unknown.
If Atta's real reason for being in Florida wasn't to go to flight school... "why then was he here?"
That facts this basic remain unknown illustrates the extent of the official blackout on information about 9/11.
NUMBER 5. Mohamed Atta's email list included people working for U.S. Defense contractors.
One, for instance, worked for Canadian firm Virtual Prototypes, which helped develop the avionics for F-15, F-22 and B-2.. Mohamed Atta's kept an email list, showing him to have been in contact with employee's of US Defense contractors.
Atta's emails are reprinted in "Welcome to Terrorland's 40-page Appendix, filled with never before seen photos and documents about the terrorist conspiracy.
NUMBER 4. Mohamed Atta attended the International Officer's School at Maxwell Air force Base, in Montgomery, Alabama.
Witnesses there recall him having been introduced around at an officers' club party. Mohamed Atta and at least five other of the nineteen terrorists participated in military training at secure military facilities in the United States. A 'Mohamed Atta' attended International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Others of the terrorists studied in exchange programs at US Defense installations like the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, CA.
NUMBER 3. Mohamed Atta got dumped by his American girlfriend.
"The day I stopped liking him," Keller says today, "was when I saw him for the first time out at the pool. He was wearing a lime-green Speedo. He had a flanky ass."
He had also embarrassed her in a night club, which turned out to be the beginning of the end. "We were at Margarita Maggie's in Sarasota near the quay," Amanda stated. "Angelina, Olivia, Timothy, Juergen, Sabrina, Mohamed, Wolfgang…they were all there."
"And Mohamed, like a dumbass was standing on top of a speaker dancing. The man could not dance to save his life, he was real stiff, just kind of shaking, doing the ‘Roxbury head bob' thing. He just embarrassed me instantly when we got there, and I just pretended I didn't know him."
NUMBER 2. Mohamed Atta was in Venice, Florida at least three times during the last six weeks of his life.
The FBI is covering this fact up, perhaps because it will lead to questions about the identities of those who Atta had gone to the retirement community on Florida's Gulf Coast to meet, which included "Magic Dutch Boy" Rudi Dekkers.
And, the NUMBER 1 Thing You Never Knew About Mohamed Atta:
1. Mohamed Atta was a psychopath.
"He told me he'd get even with me," Amanda Keller said, after she threw him out of the apartment they shared. "He said, ‘You will be sorry for this.'"
He revenged himself by disemboweling and dismembering them her pet cat and its half-dozen baby kittens, and then strewing the pieces around her apartment for her to discover when she returned home from work after a long night at the "lingerie model" escort service in Sarasota she worked for to the apartment that was now hers alone.
Amanda kept a pet dog, and several cats as well, one of whom had just had a litter, she informed us haltingly. There were six adorable kittens. But when she flicked on the lights in her apartment, she didn't hear any noises coming from them, and she couldn't see any of the kittens...
Voice cracking with horror, she told us what she saw when she turned on the light: pieces of dead kittens—kitten parts—strewn all over the living room. "She(the mother cat) had had a litter of six. Only one survived…The mother was gutted on my kitchen table. And there were little baby cat parts all over the place."
"The only ones to survive were my little dog that hid under the couch, and my Siamese who sat on top of the fridge behind the cookie jar. My friend Page came in with me, and helped me pick up little kitten parts that were all over the apartment."
Chopping up kittens across from the Venice Airport
In an apartment directly across the street from the Venice Airport, the American girl who had just spurned Atta was on her hands and knees picking up kitten parts. Amanda Keller moved out of the apartment that same day, and never returned.
Numerous descriptions of Atta have painted him as menacing, dark, glaring, sometimes just wooden. We even heard speculation, from people who had been in his presence in Venice, that they suspected he might have been brainwashed.
But after listening to Amanda Keller's story, which we will see fully corroborated by credible witnesses, we can answer one of the open questions about the 9/11 attack: Why was Mohamed Atta chosen to commit one of history's most unspeakable crimes?
Because he could. He was capable of it. Not just capable... he was perfect for the job. He does not deserve the ‘heroic suicide' mantle placed on his shoulders by aggrieved Arab radicals. Any self-respecting Islamic fundamentalist should be ashamed that he sprang from their number. Atta wasn't a hero. He belonged in a psych-ward.
Mohamed Atta was a psychopath. A Kitten Killer. We're in Jeffrey Dahmer territory here
You're not going to like this. You shouldn't speak ill of the dead. But in this case, someone's got to.
Ronald Reagan was a conman. Reagan was a coward. Reagan was a killer.
In 1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people were kind enough, though hungry, except for one surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis.
People don't die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn't like the government that the people there had elected.
Ronnie grinned and cracked jokes while the young woman's lungs filled up and she stopped breathing. Reagan flashed that B-movie grin while they buried the mother of three.
And when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered hundreds of American marines in their sleep in Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped dog … then turned around and invaded Grenada. That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down Cubans building an airport.
I remember Nancy, a skull and crossbones prancing around in designer dresses, some of the "gifts" that flowed to the Reagans -- from hats to million-dollar homes -- from cronies well compensated with government loot. It used to be called bribery.
And all the while, Grandpa grinned, the grandfather who bleated on about "family values" but didn't bother to see his own grandchildren.
The New York Times today, in its canned obit, wrote that Reagan projected, "faith in small town America" and "old-time values." "Values" my ass. It was union busting and a declaration of war on the poor and anyone who couldn't buy designer dresses. It was the New Meanness, bringing starvation back to America so that every millionaire could get another million.
"Small town" values? From the movie star of the Pacific Palisades, the Malibu mogul? I want to throw up.
And all the while, in the White House basement, as his brain boiled away, his last conscious act was to condone a coup d'etat against our elected Congress. Reagan's Defense Secretary Casper the Ghost Weinberger with the crazed Colonel, Ollie North, plotted to give guns to the Monster of the Mideast, Ayatolla Khomeini.
Reagan's boys called Jimmy Carter a weanie and a wuss although Carter wouldn't give an inch to the Ayatolla. Reagan, with that film-fantasy tough-guy con in front of cameras, went begging like a coward cockroach to Khomeini pleading on bended knee for the release of our hostages.
Ollie North flew into Iran with a birthday cake for the maniac mullah -- no kidding --in the shape of a key. The key to Ronnie's heart.
Then the Reagan roaches mixed their cowardice with crime: taking cash from the hostage-takers to buy guns for the "contras" - the drug-runners of Nicaragua posing as freedom fighters.
I remember as a student in Berkeley the words screeching out of the bullhorn, "The Governor of the State of California, Ronald Reagan, hereby orders this demonstration to disperse" … and then came the teargas and the truncheons. And all the while, that fang-hiding grin from the Gipper.
In Chaguitillo, all night long, the farmers stayed awake to guard their kids from attack from Reagan's Contra terrorists. The farmers weren't even Sandinistas, those 'Commies' that our cracked-brained President told us were 'only a 48-hour drive from Texas.' What the hell would they want with Texas, anyway?
Nevertheless, the farmers, and their families, were Ronnie's targets.
In the deserted darkness of Chaguitillo, a TV blared. Weirdly, it was that third-rate gangster movie, "Brother Rat." Starring Ronald Reagan.
Well, my friends, you can rest easier tonight: the Rat is dead.
Killer, coward, conman. Ronald Reagan, good-bye and good riddance.
Ronnie or George Junior? You decide....
By Bob Bankard
Perhaps it's just age, but I'm starting to yearn for the good old days. Back when a nobler, kinder, more sensitive man, full of goodwill and introspection, governed the country. A peacemaker, a visionary.
I'm talking, of course, about Ronald Reagan.
You scoff? Sure, there are still Internet sites that dub him "the Insane Anglo Warlord," and some call his term of office "The Bonzo Years." Back in the day, the editorial cartoons used the characterize him as Darth Vader, while the right-wing John Birch-types hailed him as the second coming of John Wayne and Moses with a rocket-launcher combined.
But there's a lot to be said for perspective.
We're not stifled; we're protected. "The times" require us to give up some eensy-weensy freedoms, so we can duct tape our houses and our mouths and worry about that Code Yellow which followed 8 useless months of Code Orange. Code Red is right around the corner. Be prepared to give even more away.
Ronald Reagan described to us the Republican ideals of what an "Evil Empire" is. I guess the last vestages of the Old Republic has been swept away. Because we have met the Evil Empire Reagan described...
...and it is us
06/06/04 "ICH" -- We're inclined in this country to glamorize and idolize those that have passed on. A marriage may have been horrible for the last twenty-five years, but the surviving spouse will undoubtedly remember only the good times - even if they were thirty years ago. But it's not just spouses we glorify once they've gone to the great unknown.
Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, died on Saturday, June 5th, and the airwaves and newspapers covered little else. I found the astounding collective mindset to revere this past president while forgetting or foregoing any of his past that was remotely negative, very disturbing. After all, doing so is a blatant disregard of history.
There was no mention of the humanitarian programs President Reagan dismantled; no mention that he did away with birth control services to the poor, or that he stopped all federal and international funding that supported family planning. We did hear or read the stories about what a good man he was, about how he cared for the American citizen, and how he single-handedly tore down the Berlin Wall. Depending on which news story you heard, the attempt on his life by lovelorn madman, John W. Hinkley, Jr., changed his life considerably. According to the account I heard, this incident was responsible for his fatalistic point of view – or Nancy's interest in the occult.
None of the articles or all-day eulogies mentioned the Iran-Contra crimes, the Savings and Loan scandals, the insider trading and leveraged buy-outs that ruined many an everyday folk, or his "trickle down" economics that coincidentally never trickled to the citizens that actually needed a trickle. Gosh, that sounds ominously familiar.
There was no mention of his admiration and support for the Sandinista's, Osama Bin Laden, and the Mujaheddin, all of whom I recall quite vividly he referred to as "The moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers of America". Hmm, I wonder why not? But who can forget the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign?
No one spoke of our record deficit. But, then again, compared to our present-day president's deficit, Reagan's was a mere drop in the bucket. When President Bill Clinton was asked what he remembers most about President Reagan, he replied without missing a beat, "He was a lot a fun to be with." Dan Rather's explanation to why the populace connected so well with him was, "He epitomized the thin line between fantasy and reality."
There was no mention of the AIDS epidemic and the role he didn't play, or his poor handling of the air traffic controllers strike. No one credited him for his enterprising concept of free-trade, the nemesis of the nearly twenty-million unemployed American workers. Not a word about his position on the environment. Apparently, his dismissal of acid rain proposals as burdensome to industry was too trivial to recall.
Not a word of negativity, instead he will be remembered as a patriot, a scholar, a great communicator, the emancipator, and none of what he didn't do, or ignored, or allowed to happen under his watch. There will be no mention or recollection of anything that resonates poorly upon his image. That's what we do in this country. We sweep what we don't like under the carpet. We whitewash reality. Perhaps that's why we find ourselves repeating and repeating our same mistakes.
Reagan is also the source of many of the relationships in Iran and Iraq that have troubled the United States since. Kevin Phillips' recent book "American Dynasty" does a good job of summarizing the strong evidence that Bill Casey and George H.W. Bush made a deal with the Iranians not to release the hostages until after the 1980 U.S. presidential election. This would mean that Reagan's election was illegal, that the trading during the Iran-Contra scandal had a precedent, that Reagan and G.H.W. Bush's buildup of Saddam Hussein's military was motivated in part by a desire to counter weaponry and money that the United States had given Iran in exchange for Reagan's election, that our media has completely fallen down on the job, and that we're all a bunch of suckers. That just can't be right. Please forget I mentioned it.
A RETIRED Adelaide physicist has been dragged into an Internet hysteria – about a comet hitting Earth – by an imposter who has cast him as a doomsayer.
The drama has been unfolding around the world for a month, but has only just come to the attention of an angry Dr Grant Gartrell, a victim of identity theft and, as a result, the man credited with the end-of-the-world predictions.
"I am very displeased to be caught up in a hoax," he said.
Dr Gartrell's name has been widely published on the Internet as the originator of a prediction that comets were heading for Earth.
The 60-year-old, who now runs a blueberry farm at Mt Compass, has written a thesis on comets, but says that's where the connection ends.
Returning on Saturday from a caving conference in Tasmania, he found his telephone message bank and his e-mail crammed with messages from overseas – including one from a US journalist keen to break the comet story.
The person posing as Dr Gartrell first posted messages on Internet sites from "Aussie Bloke". He then identified himself as Dr Gartrell.
According to the hoaxer, the world does not have long to go and, tomorrow ,"the first dust cloud reaches earth", with a "darkening of skies".
The first comet impact is supposedly scheduled for June 18-20, with second and third impacts a few days later. "I have no idea who is posing as me and making predictions of imminent cataclysmic cometary impacts," Dr Gartrell said.
"I am one of the authors of an article on meteors which appeared in the Australian Journal of Physics in 1975 but, although still interested in it, I have not actively worked in that field much since that time."
Hundreds of Internet pages have been devoted to claims that comets are approaching Earth. Some tell people to go to a remote place with supplies and wait for the end.
"There is more chance of winning the lottery than of a comet striking earth," Dr Gartrell said.
"There is always a finite possibility of the impact of space debris and I am certainly in favour of the work being done on early-warning systems, but I have no knowledge whatsoever of any ... imminent threat. I have never met any of the people who are making such claims on the Internet and, for my own part, I am planning travel arrangements for conferences I expect to attend in several years time."
Monday 07 June 2004, 11:58 Makka Time, 8:58 GMT
US efforts to put the finishing touches on a draft UN resolution on the 30 June handover of power in Iraq appear to have hit a snag with Russia maintaining it still has reservations.
Washington wants the UN Security Council to vote on Tuesday, according to US ambassador John Negroponte who said a final version of the draft would be put forward late on Monday.
But although Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov acknowledged "intensive diplomatic consultations, including on Saturday and Sunday, have led to further positive changes in the Anglo-American draft resolution," he added that "nevertheless, there are still some issues to be agreed further."
The US resolution marks virtually the final piece in the puzzle for the transfer of power more than a year after the invasion began that ousted Saddam Hussein.
The council on Sunday discussed letters from US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi pledging that Baghdad and the multinational force will cooperate on any military actions.
The relationship between the force and the government in Baghdad had been a sticking point in earlier council talks on the resolution, which is co-sponsored by Britain.
Powell, in separate letters, called for broad Iraqi control over its own
security and pledged to reach agreement over sensitive military operations.
The letters from Allawi and Powell will be attached to the resolution that would endorse an interim Iraqi government to take office on 30 June and authorise a US-led multinational force to "use all necessary means" to keep the peace.
But France proposed an amendment that gives Iraq a virtual veto over US-led "sensitive offensive operations" during a closed-door special council session on Sunday.
[...] Powell said in his letter the US command would "work to reach agreement on the full range of fundamental security and policy issues, including policy on sensitive offensive operations" in partnership with the Iraqis.
US Ambassador Negroponte said the letters clearly showed "the full sovereignty" of Iraq was being respected.
He said they established a mechanism "to include the fullest possible coordination between Iraqi government on one hand and multinational force on the other, including on policy towards sensitive offensive operations."
Comment: The US hasn't been in Iraq for over a year to give back control of the country to the Iraqis. They'll use whatever weasel-words they need to to present the façade of Iraqi "sovereignty", but when push comes to shove, The US has over 130,000 troops in the country under US command.
June 7, 2004
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's prime minister Iyad Allawi announced a deal to disband the ethnically divided country's powerful militias, in a move seen as key to guaranteeing a stable transition after the handover of sovereignty later this month.
Meanwhile an explosion rocked the Great Mosque in the Shiite shrine town of Kufa, highlighting the fragility of a de-facto truce between radical militiamen and US troops which had appeared to be taking hold.
"I am happy to announce today the successful completion of negotiations on the nationwide transition and reintegration of militias and other armed forces previously outside of state control," Allawi said in a statement.
The deal announced by the premier marks the enaction of a clause in the transitional law drafted with the US-led coalition after nine armed organisations, including the Kurdish peshmerga and the Shiite Badr Brigades, gave their consent.
"Just under 60 percent will pass into the Iraqi security services and the rest will be reintegrated back into civil society" by January 2005, the statement said.
But the deal does not mention the Mehdi Army, the militia of Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr which has been waging the largest post-war uprising against US troops. Nor does it cover the Sunni Muslim insurgency in hotspots north and west from the capital, like Fallujah. [...]
Comment: In other words, those Iraqis that are fighting against the occupation haven't agreed to any deal.
Sir Cyril Townsend Al-Hayat 2004/06/5
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book The Gulag Archipelago likened the former Soviet Union's secret system of detention camps to a chain of islands strung out through the USSR. In a recent edition of the New Statesman Stephen Grey likened America's secret system of detention camps world wide, for those whom America claims are international terrorists, to a modern American Gulag.
This concept has been taken up by others in the United Kingdom and the United States. On the 19th May BBC TV's Panorama Special spent an hour, at prime time, carefully exploring the known facts of the abuse and torture of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. The programme was fronted by Jane Corbin, a good friend of the Arab world, who is the wife of a previous Shadow Foreign Secretary, John Maples, MP.
The Bush Administration believes that the world was drastically changed by the tragic events of 11th September 2001 - heinous crimes. Certainly it was changed, but not to the extent that Administration suggests. Thus international law, morality and responsibility, and the crucial role of the United Nations, were not flicked aside in the twinkling of an eye; on the contrary it can be argued they have all become more important. President George Bush chose to launch a war on international terrorism, for which other nations were invited to sign up, and it was to be the Americans who would decide the new rules for international action in the context of that war.
Pincus and Bradley Graham
Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi politician suspected by U.S. authorities of having told Iran this spring that its secret communications code had been broken, was involved in an intercept episode nine years ago, according to senior administration officials.
Officials yesterday recounted an incident in early 1995 when Chalabi's name turned up in an encrypted Iranian cable reporting a purported CIA-backed plan to assassinate Saddam Hussein, then Iraq's president. The message was intercepted by U.S. intelligence and caused a major political stir in Washington.
Similarly, it was an intercept several weeks ago of another Iranian message -- this one from an agent in Baghdad to his superiors in Tehran saying Chalabi had told him that U.S. intelligence was able to read Iran's secret cables -- that has triggered a major counterintelligence probe and concern about Washington's future ability to monitor Iranian developments. [...]
FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman said the investigation is still at its early stage. Noting that Chalabi is a British citizen, she said law enforcement officials are trying to determine "to what extent he is covered by U.S. law barring disclosure of U.S. classified information."
Chalabi, whose exile group -- the Iraqi National Congress -- has received more than $40 million in U.S. payments over the years, has denied that he disclosed secrets to Iran and demanded that the Bush administration investigate the source of the leak about the investigation of him.
The 1995 incident arose at a time when Chalabi was in northern Iraq, working with CIA backing against Hussein. The CIA case officer working with Chalabi at the time was Robert Baer.
Exactly who came up with the assassination idea is subject to some dispute. One U.S. official interviewed yesterday, who was familiar with the event, credited Baer with pushing the plan.
Baer has denied this. In his book "See No Evil: the True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism," published in 2001, he wrote that the plot to kill Hussein was phony, concocted by Chalabi in hopes of enticing Iranian support for his Iraqi opposition efforts.
To prove to the Iranians he had Washington's support to go after Hussein, Chalabi forged a letter on U.S. National Security Council stationery that asked him to contact the Iranian government for help, Baer wrote. The letter said Washington had dispatched to northern Iraq an "NSC team" headed by Robert Pope, a fictitious name.
In a meeting with Iranian intelligence officers, Chalabi left the letter on his desk while he took a phone call in another room, knowing the Iranians would read it, Baer wrote.
What happened next has not been previously reported. [...]
Shortly after the intercept, Chalabi's militia forces and Kurdish fighters went ahead with an attempted coup, launching a three-city strike against Hussein's troops. But the offensive quickly foundered.
The White House, having warned Chalabi not to proceed because Iraqi intelligence had learned of the operation, declined to provide air power to help him. Hussein's troops crushed the attackers, leaving the CIA angry that it had funded such a fiasco and infuriating top officials in the Clinton administration. [...]
THE WHITE House's Iraq fib factory went into overdrive last week, ballyhooing claims that the new "caretaker government" the UN had supposedly just installed in Baghdad was "fully sovereign" and "totally independent."
We would like to believe American president George Bush. But this latest claim comes from the same truth-deficient people who concocted Iraq's imminent threat to destroy the U.S. with nuclear and germ weapons, Saddam Hussein's vans and drones of death, Saddam's tryst with Osama bin Laden, and a slew of other preposterous whoppers that would have made the Nazis' propagandist, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, blush deep crimson.
A political charade
The latest U.S.-authored regime change in Iraq was a political charade designed to soothe uneasy American voters who are increasingly alarmed by the aimlessness, mounting casualties and $186-billion US cost -- as much as the Vietnam War at its height-- of the Iraq misadventure.
The White House dreads the oncoming national uproar when the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq hits 1,000. It desperately needs to show some light at the end of the Iraq tunnel before November's elections.
So it arm-twisted the UN's weak secretary general, Kofi Annan, into allowing his organization to be crudely misused to legitimize continuing U.S.-British occupation of Iraq by supposedly selecting candidates for the new "sovereign" regime.
In the end, Washington chose its own men and simply ignored the UN after it provided the required fig leaf.
The result: Iraq's new regime, installed under the guns of U.S. tanks, makes the former Soviet Union's Eastern European satellite states look like paragons of unfettered independence.
Off-the-shelf CIA "asset" Iyad Allawi was made strongman/prime minister -- just like Afghanistan's U.S.-installed figurehead Hamid Karzai, another CIA stock item. Iraq's defence and interior ministries will also be run by other U.S. "assets." Some 160 senior American "advisers" will supervise all key ministries, notably defence, police, finance, communications and a new, CIA-trained secret police.
All the U.S. billions presently funding Iraq, and overall control of oil revenues, will be managed by a special U.S. "advisory and monitoring board."
France once ran its nominally independent West African colonies in a similar manner.
Guns make the law
By comparison, after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, they left the newly installed regime considerably more independence of action than the U.S. is giving its Iraqi satraps. The supreme law of the Arab world: The men with the guns make the law. Iraq's new Quisling regime has no soldiers, only some useless police. Real power will, of course, be held by 140,000 U.S. troops who will stay on, Washington says, to "guarantee security" and "fight terrorism."
The administration suggests its troops will be withdrawn in 2006, unless the next U.S.-engineered Iraqi regime, due to be "elected" next year, "invites" them to stay on.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is building six, and as many as 14, permanent military bases in Iraq, while major U.S. firms are being encouraged to buy up Iraqi industrial assets on the cheap.
Next year's Iraq elections, if held, will hardly reflect the nation's will.
Islamic, pro-Iranian, Nasserite and Baathist parties will be banned. Only pro-U.S. groups need apply.
This means today's bunch of collaborating exiles, nobodies and Kurds are likely to form Iraq's next "elected" regime. In short, a shadow regime whose independence and sovereignty may be limited to garbage collection and goat catching -- the same Bantustan-type formula Israel offered Palestinians.
U.S. real government
The big decisions -- military, internal security, oil, banking, industry, foreign relations, bases -- will be decided by the real government, the U.S. Embassy and Iraq's American "advisers."
Some members of Iraq's new, American-engineered regime will eventually seek more independence from U.S. control. But they will vividly recall how the last puppet rulers of British-controlled Iraq, King Faisal and strongman Nuri as-Said, were overthrown in 1958, and hanged from lampposts.
The moment Iraq's Quisling "rulers" start showing too much independence, they will be quietly replaced, or threatened by denial of U.S. security protection, leaving them to face their hostile, angry people.
Two acid tests will determine whether any Iraqi regime is truly sovereign and independent of U.S. control: The ability to order all U.S. forces out of Iraq; and reaffirmation of Iraq's active support of the Palestinian cause.
Anything less means Iraq remains an American colony, the administration's fancy double-talk notwithstanding.
Mon Jun 7,
4:12 AM ET
"Frank is in a critical but stable condition in intensive care after surgery," an embassy spokesperson told AFP.
Briton Gardner, aged 42, underwent an operation at the capital's Al-Iman Hospital before being transferred to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
He came under fire Sunday evening along with Irish cameraman Simon Cumbers on a street outside the home of a top wanted militant in a slum area of southern Riyadh known as a hotbed of hardliners. [...]
The deadly attack came barely a week after gunmen killed 22 people, including several Westerners, in a rampage and hostage-taking drama in the eastern oil city of Al-Khobar. [...]
The extremists' campaign, which has left more than 85 people dead and hundreds injured in Saudi Arabia since May 2003, is blamed on Al-Qaeda gunmen. [...]
June 04, 2004
The guy is driving me nuts. Where on earth does this blithering christian idiot get off saying this:
know Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction... What we know also
is that we haven't yet found them. We need to resolve what has happened
Also this statement reveals a catastrophic error in judgement:
no doubt about the strategic intent of Saddam Hussein or the threat that
he posed. ... In the end I had to take a decision. ... Do you allow him
to stay there or do you remove him? And I took the view ultimately it
was better for the security of the world to remove him.
Blair might also want to explain why he is a junior coalition partner in a country that now has, he believes, stockpiles of chemical weapons that 12 months after the invasion they haven't secured? No wonder the Iraqi people don't believe in democracy, look at the idiot the British system has produced.
Blair is just a living embarassment to Britain now. Someone please put us out of our misery.
The United States has proposed withdrawing 12,500 of its 37,000 troops stationed in South Korea by 2006.
US officials told South Korean counterparts of the plans ahead of talks in Seoul on troop movements.
The reduction would include 3,600 troops which Washington has already earmarked for redeployment to Iraq.
The US has said it needs to modernise its forces, but the proposed speed and scale of the move may leave the South feeling vulnerable to North Korea.
Mon Jun 7,
2:28 AM ET
Australian Defense Minister Robert Hill said he discussed the project with his US counterpart, Donald Rumsfeld, during a security conference in Singapore over the weekend and an agreement could be signed as early as next month.
Under the plan, first mooted last year, Washington would spend tens of millions of dollars upgrading a military base in Queensland or the Northern Territory for joint land, air and sea exercises with Australian forces, Hill said.
"It's to enhance mutual capability, ensure inter-operability and to assist a critically important ally," Hill said on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
Hill said an agreement in principle on setting up the training facility could be reached at annual bilateral defense talks to be held in Washington next month.
Australia has long been one of Washington's closest military allies, fighting alongside US troops in both World Wars, Vietnam and more recently Afghanistan and Iraq.
The decision by Prime Minister John Howard to contribute troops to the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq has become a controversial issue ahead of national elections due later this year.
The leader of the main opposition Labor Party, Mark Latham, has vowed to pull the troops out of Iraq and follow a foreign policy more independent of the United States if he wins the election.
A major enhancement of the US military presence in Australia could also upset neighboring states like Indonesia, which has in the past bristled at suggestions Australia serves as Washington's "deputy sheriff" in the region.
Hill stressed that in the training proposal currently under consideration, no US forces or military equipment would be permanently based in Australia.
"The confusion in Australia has been that people have therefore assumed that the Americans would want to be basing forces in Australia," he said.
"But we are not actually very conveniently located for any potential theatre," he said. [...]
Comment: Horse hockey! Remember the next article?
June 4, 2004
SINGAPORE (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he hoped US forces would be hunting terrorists in Southeast Asia "pretty soon," warning that Islamic extremists are targeting moderate Muslim states the world over.
Rumsfeld made the remarks as he visited marines and sailors aboard the helicopter carrier USS Essex against a backdrop of oil tankers and freighters that ply the Strait of Malacca, gateway for a third of the world's trade.
"When are we going to start hunting some terrorists in this theater?" a marine asked Rumsfeld.
"Well, I would hope pretty soon," the secretary replied.
"We simply cannot wait for another attack and expect to defend against it. We have to go out and find those terrorist networks and the people financing them, and countries providing a safe haven for them."
"It is a tough thing to do."
Rumsfeld offered no details but the comment comes amid US and Singaporean efforts to improve maritime security in the strait, mainly through better intelligence sharing.
About half the world's oil supplies move through the narrow channel on the way to markets in Japan, China and South Korea, making it a tempting target for Islamic militants seeking to destabilize the industrialized world. [...]
Comment: Nope, there's no potential theatre anywhere near the northern Australian facility... except for one little strait that happens to be the channel through which half the world's oil supplies are transported.
Last Updated Mon, 07 Jun 2004 7:16:37
CAIRO - Israel wants Egypt to help police the Gaza Strip and reform Palestinian security forces as part of its withdrawal from the region.
Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is in Cairo Monday for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on security in the Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, Israel's cabinet approved a plan for a Gaza pullout but delayed a final decision on the evacuation of settlements for several months.
Sharon is facing criticism from members of his own governing coalition who don't support the disengagement plan. One of the governing partners, the National Religious Party, has threatened to resign from the coalition.
The Israeli prime minister is expected to face a parliamentary no confidence motion on Monday.
Israel is hoping Egyptian pressure will convince Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to reform his security forces and surrender control of them to his prime minister, Ahmed Qureia.
Israel Defense Forces troops shot dead a Palestinian youth at the Farun village south of the West Bank city of Tul Karm on Monday during a protest in the area.
He was identified as Omar Farah, aged 19.
In the Gaza Strip, IDF troops shot dead a 17-year-old Mohammed Nabahan in Khan Yunis, close to the Neveh Dekalim settlement late Sunday night.
According to the IDF, troops in the area saw a "suspicious looking" figure at the Khan Yunis cemetery, and opened fire at him.
Earlier Sunday, troops shot dead a wheelchair-bound Palestinian at the Qalandiyah checkpoint, north of Jerusalem.
Military sources said that the troops tried to disperse a violent protest in the area, which was disrupting repair work at the Atarot airport. According to the sources, the troops fired warning shots, which hit the wheelchair-bound Palestinian.
The Binyamin brigade was investigating the incident.
Palestinian sources identified the man as Arafat Ibrahim Yakub, who was wounded in the first intifada and had been confined to a wheelchair since 1987.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-07 18:44:21
GAZA, June 7 (Xinhuanet) -- A Palestinian official said Monday that Israel has thrown huge quantities of toxic wastes into the Mediterranean Sea, which might cause an environmental catastrophe.
"This procedure will lead to a serious environmental problem and will disturb the environmental balance in addition to polluting the water and spreading diseases," said Yussef Abu Safeya, head of the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority.
According to him, the Israeli toxic wastes thrown into the sea were estimated at 15,000 cubic meters of hard wastes in addition to60,000 tons of other toxic wastes.
Israel threw thousands of landmines into the sea in 2003 despiteits approval on the Barcelona agreement signed in 1976 which bars any intoxication of the Mediterranean Sea, he added.
Monday June 7, 04:00 PM
DUBAI (Reuters) - A statement purportedly from al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia has warned of new attacks on U.S. and Western airlines, installations and areas frequented by Westerners.
"All compounds, bases and means of transport, especially Western and American airlines, will be a direct target for our coming operations in the near future," said the statement, posted on a pro-al Qaeda site on the Internet on Monday. It asked Muslims to keep away from Americans and Westerners and these locations.
Sun, 06 Jun 2004
VANCOUVER - A border crossing south of Vancouver reopened early Sunday after a six-hour closure, ordered because of security concerns.
U.S. authorities at the Peace Arch crossing stopped a car late Saturday and found what they called a suspicious package.
A bomb-sniffing dog had picked up a scent, they said.
A police bomb squad checked out the car using a robotic device but found nothing out of the ordinary.
The vehicle was rented in the U.S. and driven by a Canadian man whose hometown was not made available to reporters.
Traffic was rerouted to the Pacific Highway border crossing during the closure. The Peace Arch crossing, linking Vancouver with Blaine, Wash., reopened at 1:30 a.m.
Fingerprinting visitors when they enter Japan must be considered as an option in the fight against terrorism, a Liberal Democratic Party panel proposed Friday.
The recommendation is expected to touch off intense debate centering on the issue of human rights.
In January, the United States began requiring all foreigners entering the country with a visa to submit to electronic fingerprinting.
The fingerprinting proposal was part of a seven-point package by the LDP Special Committee on Public Safety on ways to strengthen the nation's security.
The panel said it will call on immigration and other authorities to study the measures as a means to counter an increase in the number of crimes committed by non-Japanese and to prevent terrorism.
"Thorough control at point of entry is necessary," the panel report said, noting the recent revelation that a member of the al-Qaida terrorist organization had repeatedly entered Japan using a fake passport.
The report also noted that an estimated 250,000 foreigners currently reside illegally in Japan.
Specifically, the panel report called for the use of biometric data, such as facial features, for identification purposes. This information would be embedded in passports.
It also proposed increasing the number of immigration officials in each screening booth to two and conducting secondary screenings of anyone who appears suspicious.
Some of these measures are already in use on an experimental basis.
The panel also suggested looking into using fingerprints in background checks.
The panel's proposals have already met with resistance.
Toshiyuki Munesue, a professor of public law at Hokkaido University, criticized the fingerprinting proposal as an "exclusionist measure that views non-Japanese with a suspicious eye" and "a symptomatic treatment with strong side effects."
"It's mistaking the means for the end to put a lid on such values as democracy and freedom because of excessive concern about terrorism," he said. "That's exactly what terrorists, who want to destroy values and systems, aim for."
Sat Jun 5,11:18
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Big Brother is getting a whole lot of little siblings.
New surveillance cameras allow anyone with a broadband Internet connection to keep a 24-hour watch on nearly anything from anywhere.
Want to monitor your house from the office? Connect one of the cameras to an Ethernet or wireless computer network at home, then navigate your browser to a Web site linked to an Internet address assigned to the camera. [...]
Systems ran the range from simple configurations allowing parents to check on their children, to 16-camera networks providing multi-point remote surveillance of office buildings.
Extra bells and whistles included cameras controlled via the Internet to scan a room, systems that trigger remote alarms when motion is detected, and ones whose views are accessible over cellphones and wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs). [...]
Comment: Now everyone can emulate their favourite government spy agency, and set up their own personal 'homeland security' system. Good for snooping on rebellious teenagers who, despite being on Prozac, are still opposed to the war.
June 7, 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas - Thunderstorms battered northern Texas with heavy rain and wind up to 70 mph during the night, flooding streets and homes and knocking out power in areas where some people were still in the dark because of last week's violent weather.
An estimated 6 inches of rain fell through early Monday in parts of Fort Worth, Denton and communities along Interstate 35, which was blocked by high water in places. Three to 5 inches of rain fell in an area from Jacksboro toward Decatur.
People had to be rescued from stalled cars and from homes flooded by water 3 to 6 feet deep in Fort Worth and Tarrant County late Sunday, authorities said.
Wind gusted to as high as 70 mph at Saginaw late Sunday, the National Weather Service (news - web sites) said.
The storms knocked out electrical service for large areas of the Fort Worth suburbs of White Settlement and Benbrook, authorities reported.
Last week, about 500,000 customers were blacked out by severe storms Tuesday and Wednesday in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Fewer than 500 of those homes and businesses were still without power Monday in Tarrant County, Grand Prairie and DeSoto, said Scott Withers, spokesman for TXU Electric Delivery.
Just over 5 inches of rain fell in adjacent areas of southern Oklahoma, but there were no immediate reports of flooding or damage, state and local officials said.
Indonesian authorities have started evacuating homes around the slopes of Mount Awu, an active volcano in northern Indonesia, after declaring a heightened state of alert.
Officials have not given any figures for the number of homes evacuated, but say some of the refugees will be sheltered in Tahuna, a town some 15 kilometres to the southeast.
They say the volcano warning level has been raised to "beware" - the top level of alert, meaning people residing in a volcano's danger zone have to be evacuated from their homes.
Volcanologists say the mountain has shown significantly increased volcanic activity in the past 48 hours.
In 1966 Mount Awu erupted killing 39 people and causing 11,000 to flee the area surrounding the mountain.
160% increase from March
Specilists analysing activated fault lines near capital San Jose.
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR — The Central West Health Corporation is asking visitors to stay away from two more of its health facilities because of a stomach virus.
The corporation says symptoms of a the virus have now turned up in Springdale at the Valley Vista Senior Citizens Home, and the Green Bay Community Health Centre.
Visitor restrictions are already in place at Carmelite House and the hospital in Grand Falls-Windsor, as well as at the Baie Verte Peninsula Health Centre.
Tests from the Grand Falls-Windsor area have comeback positive for the Norwalk virus.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever and usually last 24 to 48 hours.
REGINA - Saskatchewan's Health Department says preliminary tests show a dead crow found in Regina was infected with the West Nile virus.
Last year, 935 human cases of the disease were diagnosed in the province, and the virus was considered a contributing factor in six deaths.
In May, the province announced it will hold its prevention budget at $1.5 million – the same as 2003.
Mosquito control will be targeted in southern areas where West Nile is most prevalent.
Sun 6 June, 2004 12:49
LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline may face prosecution for allegedly not informing health authorities about suicide risks associated with its antidepressant Seroxat, The Sunday Times has reported.
Europe's largest drugmaker is already facing charges by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over the use of the drug, sold in the United States as Paxil, on children.
The Sunday Times said the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had begun an investigation because of fears that Glaxo held back important information from clinical trials.
The information indicated that Seroxat may cause a greater risk of suicide and "self-harm" if given to depressed teenagers, the paper said. [...]
A space rock the size of a large mountain hit 1.8 billion years ago and dredged up part of Earth's lower crust, essentially turning a bit of the planet inside out, a new study concludes.
Earth's upper crust is about 22 miles (35 kilometers) thick. Scientists have debated how deeply into the crust the shock wave from a large asteroid could penetrate. All the way to the next layer, it appears.
The evidence comes from a crater in Sudbury, Ontario. Most of the crater was long ago folded into the planet or eroded away. But a section is exposed, revealing minerals and other features that can be compared to more recent craters that are more intact. From all this, scientists gleaned clues to the catastrophic impact.
It appears an asteroid about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide hit the planet at more than 89,000 mph (40 kilometers per second).
"The impact punched a hole to the very base of the crust and the meteorite itself was probably vaporized," said University of Toronto geologist James Mungall, who led the study. Much of the heating and damage is done by a shock wave that compresses material ahead of the impacting object.
A plume of superheated rock from deep down surged upward and landed on top of the impact site, creating the melt layer visible today. [...]
By Joe Rao
Venus has just finished up an excellent appearance in the evening sky that began in November. Now the planet disappeared into the twilight, but it will make a brief and dramatic return appearance Tuesday, June 8.
On that day, more than half the world will get to see an exceedingly rare even, Venus crossing the face of the Sun at what astronomers call inferior conjunction. Observers located over parts of eastern, central and far-northern sections of North America will be able to observe at least the closing stages of this striking celestial phenomenon with either their unaided eyes or with binoculars and small telescopes.
The entire transit, as it is called, will be an east-to-west passage taking just over 6 hours and 12 minutes.
The Sun will be above the horizon for the entire transit for most of Europe and Asia, as well as from the eastern two-thirds of Africa. The Sun sets with Venus still on its disk for Indonesia, Japan and Australia. [...]
What you'll see
Depending upon where one is located, Venus' transit will begin within several minutes of 5:13 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) at every site from which it is visible. That corresponds to about 1:13 a.m. in the Eastern time zone of the United States. It will end approximately within several minutes of 11:26 GMT, or about 7:26 a.m. ET.
For the central and eastern United States, as well as for much of northern and eastern Canada, the Sun rises with Venus already on its disk. As soon as they have come above the east-northeast horizon, the planet should be recognizable near to the Sun's right limb as a small, black, sharp-edged spot.
As you watch, the gradual travel of this dot will bring it to the Sun's right edge. This will be an especially interesting time. The moment when the two disks become internally tangent – that is, when the black disk of Venus first touches the Sun's outer limb – is known as Contact III. For most U.S. and Canadian locations where the transit will be visible, Contact III should occur within about a minute of 7:05 a.m. EDT (subtract one hour for Central and two hours for Mountain Time, or, add one hour for Atlantic and 1½ hours for Newfoundland Time).
Egress then lasts about 20 minutes; that's how long it will take for the black disk of Venus to move completely off the Sun's face.
Finally, the last notch in the Sun's limb disappears, marking Contact IV, which should occur within a minute of 7:25 a.m. EDT. With a large, filtered telescope at high power (see the important warning below for how to do this safely), see if you can time when Venus' edges cross the limb of the Sun.
At egress, when Venus has partially moved off the Sun's disk, a thin circle of light around the planet may appear. This is a well-known effect of Venus' atmosphere, which was observed as long ago as the 1761 transit by the Russian scientist M.V. Lomonosov.
And just moments before interior contact actually takes place, viewers may see the silhouette of Venus become suddenly connected to the Sun's limb by a dark ligament – like a drop of water just before separating from a faucet. Another way to describe it is that the planet will seem attached to the Sun's limb by a thin black column or thread. [...]
Contrarily to the transits of Mercury, those of Venus are visible with the unaided eye; the planet appears as a distinct, albeit tiny, black spot with a diameter just 1/32 that of the Sun. This size is large enough to readily perceive with the naked eye.
But prospective observers are warned to take special precautions (as with a solar eclipse) in attempting to view the silhouette of Venus against the brilliant disc of the Sun. [...]
Much for Civility
Remember the great Lesley Gore tune, "It's my Party"?
In the song, the birthday girl's boyfriend, Johnny, and a party guest, Judy, leave the party at the same time, and Judy comes back wearing Johnny's ring. And so, sings Gore, "I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to. ...you would cry too if it happened to you."
Well, tears were not how one 13-year-old Baltimore girl handled such a "betrayal" at her recent birthday party.
According to the Associated Press, when the birthday girl's "boyfriend" kissed a 12-year-old guest on the cheek at the party, the birthday girl's mother was furious, and ordered her daughter to "handle your business." At which point the unfortunate guest, Nicole Ashley Townes, was savagely beaten by six women and girls, including the mother, and sent into a coma.
It's tough imagining a Lesley Gore tune coming out of that story.
But, it does seem to fit with the "girls gone wild" phenomenon spreading across American culture. According to AP, "Around the country school police and teachers are seeing a growing tendency for girls to settle disputes with their fists ..." It's still true that violence among boys is a much bigger problem than violence among girls, as measured by arrest statistics. But, AP reports, while it used to be the ratio was 10 to 1, now it's 4 to 1.
While the surge of violence among girls has been seen primarily at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, it's by no means exclusively there. Just flash back to the news about the violent "powder puff" girls football game in an affluent Chicago suburb where one group of girls brutalized another group of girls huddled helplessly on the ground, even to the point of breaking bones.
So, what's going on? There are about 100 different theories, everything from a more coarse and violent culture in general, to violent women portrayed in movies -- think "Terminator 3" -- to less religious influence, to more broken homes and fewer moms at home most of the day.
Who knows for sure? No one.
What we can know is this: When the virtue of women as a group degenerates in a culture, it weakens the culture as a whole and it's a dangerous thing.
In every successful society, women are the ultimate keepers of virtue. They are the civilizing influence on the men and the culture around them. They tame the worst appetites of men, whether it be toward violence, sexual aggressiveness and promiscuity, or even just things like laziness or coarseness.
The extent to which women degenerate, whatever the reason, is the extent to which a powerful and wholesome check on the culture at large is lost.
We've seen this with the sexual revolution, where women have been encouraged to behave as sexually aggressive as men do, even if they lack the same sexual appetite. But, it's the woman who is then left hurting and wondering why she is not married, or at least why some man could have sex with her without loving her or being committed to her (duh).
Throughout our culture, as sex has been belittled and cheapened instead of rightly honored, it's coarsened our culture as a whole, and hurt countless hearts of both sexes.
Is this all the fault of women? Of course not. And many women do maintain their virtue. But there are enough women no longer meeting their role of being a civilizing influence on the culture that the culture is suffering for it.
We may be seeing a similar trend when it comes to violence and young women. If they are truly becoming more "like men" in this area, the culture is being weakened along with becoming even more dangerous.
Of course, arguing that women are traditionally the keepers of virtue makes feminists wince. But, they actually argue something vaguely similar, yet wholly wrong. They maintain that if men were more like women, our culture would be a better place.
If more men shared their feelings and changed diapers, that would be the answer to our problems, they say.
Look, I'm into my husband sharing feelings and changing diapers. But, ironically, it seems instead of men becoming more like women in a sort of feminist panacea, we've seen women becoming more like men to the detriment of all.
At any rate, we as women don't need to feminize men. We do need to civilize men.
To walk away from that mission is, in fact, to deny our nature. And our culture, including little girls like Nicole Ashley Townes, will suffer for it.
Remember, we need your help to collect information on what is going on in your part of the world!
We also need help to keep the Signs of the Times online.
Check out the Signs of the Times Archives
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org