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!
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Picture of the Day
de la Buège
At a first UN conference on anti-Semitism, Mr Annan urged people not to remain silent and tackle the problem.
Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accused some Muslim nations of using Israel's government policies as a pretext to demonise Jews.
The World Jewish Congress is pushing for a UN General Assembly resolution condemning anti-Semitism.
The body will also ask for a special UN representative to report annually on anti-Semitism, which Jewish groups say is increasing around the world.
"It is hard to believe that, 60 years after the tragedy of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is once again rearing its head," Mr Annan said at the conference in New York.
"But it is clear that we are witnessing an alarming resurgence of this phenomenon in new forms and manifestations. This time, the world must not - cannot - be silent," he said.
"When we seek justice for the Palestinians - as we must - let us firmly disavow anyone who tries to use that cause to incite hatred against Jews, in Israel or elsewhere. [...]
Comment: Elie Wiesel (is that name symbolic?) claims that some Muslim nations "use Israel's government policies as a pretext to demonise Jews." Here we have a good example of the way that many "Jewish lobby groups" (which are clearly NOT concerned for the fate of ordinary Jews) accuse others of doing something of which they themselves are guilty (which is a common trait of the psychopath).
If Israel commits barbarous acts of inhumanity against the Palestinian people, and then claims that it does so on behalf of, and in the interest of, the Jewish people, who then is really to blame for any resentment towards ordinary Jews that results?
The point is that the entire world can see that Sharon is waging a slow and brutal campaign of genocide against the Palestinians. Naturally, ordinary Palestinians and Arabs around the world have no way to address these shared grievances to Sharon or the "Zionist" Neocons in Washington. Yet many Arabs around the world share neighborhoods with Jews.
In the case that an ordinary Arab and an ordinary Jew were to discuss Israel's policies, and the ordinary Jew were to express an opinion that supported Sharon, what would you expect the response of the Arab, or ANY right thinking person, to be? Condemnation? For sure, and in supposedly democratic societies every person is entitled to free speech.
But here is the catch.
ANY condemnation of the opinions of Jews or of the state of Israel which claims to act in their name, is immediately counter-condemned as "anti-semitism", or "hatred of Jews simply because they are Jews". Simply stated, if a "goyim" does not at least unconditionally accept and ideally praise the actions of Israel and therefore agree with the opinions of pro-Israeli Jews, then by default, he or she "hates Jews because they are Jews".
The result of this deliberately manufactured "world wide rise in anti-semitism" can only be bad for ordinary Jews around the world, who bear the brunt of Arab anger at the policies of Sharon and the "Zionists" in Washington. At the same time, this manipulated rise in "anti-semitism" can only be good for Sharon and his cohorts, giving them as it does further carte blanche to viciously attack Palestine and its people in the name of protecting the interests and lives of ordinary Jews.
Our conclusion in all of this is that ordinary Jews are being "set up" in some way by their own "leaders", and there is much evidence that it would not be the first time that this has happened.
Clearly, this is the reality of the situation at present, and we find it difficult to believe that Kofi Annan does not understand that this is the case. As such, we must conclude that Annan is a closet supporter of the genocidal policies of Sharon and the Washington "Zionists", regardless of the moderate humanitarian face that Annan, as head of the UN, is compelled to present to the world.
Way To One State
the label of 'witch' in Salem, this word triggers a spasm wave in the
target population. They are ready to forget the ordeal of Palestinians,
Israeli-guided tortures in Iraq, their own increasingly miserable economic
situation, just let the ADL man go away! It
is not a purely imaginary fear, of course. ADL - the 'thought police'
of new unipolar world - has some nuisance value of its own, but its main
strength lays in complacent conformism.
Comment: Increasingly, the parallels between the policies of Sharon and those of Hitler are hard to ignore. Sharon is willing to do whatever it takes (and he understands quite well what it will take) to ensure that he gets his "greater Israel". Hitler too claimed that his expansionist policies which lead to millions being slaughtered were motivated by the need for "Lebensraum" or "living space".
On that note, the below is an excellent article on the real intentions of Sharon and the true reasons why there is no peace (and will be no peace) in Palestine and the broader Middle East.
Irreversible Mental Damage
By URI AVNERY
Two weeks ago, the international community made a shocking declaration.
Giving in to a demand by George Bush, the "Quartet" accepted the "Revised Disengagement Plan" of Ariel Sharon. This means that the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States confirmed this document. I wonder if any one of the honorable diplomats has read the document with their own eyes.
In the first paragraph of the "plan", the following words appear: "Israel has come to the conclusion that at present, there is no Palestinian partner with whom it is possible to make progress on a bilateral peace process."
That is to say, the international community has confirmed that the Palestinian people has no right to take part in the determination of its own fate. Everything will be decided by the Government of Israel alone, with the backing of the United States, whose position will be automatically accepted by the other partners of the "Quartet".
The European Union with its 25 member-states, the government of the Russian Federation and the organization that represents the entire world have humbly accepted the edict of Bush, the dictator of the world, who is himself a captive of Sharon. Sharon decided long ago that the elected president of the Palestinian people is "irrelevant", together with the whole Palestinian leadership.
The Palestinian people have been eliminated from the list of decision-makers, thereby also abolishing in practice all the agreements signed with them, from Oslo to the Road Map.
This is a scandalous step, unprecedented in its dimensions, and it passed without comment. Apart from Sharon and his minions, nobody noticed the implications. The big boot of the international community trod on the Palestinian people without even noticing it, as if on an ant.
That is the culmination of a process that began with the return of the then Prime minister, Ehud Barak, from the 2000 Camp David summit. After the failure of that meeting, he coined the mantra that has since become the cornerstone of the policy of successive Israeli governments: "I have turned every stone on the way to peace / I have offered the Palestinians more generous proposals than any of my predecessors / The Palestinians have rejected all my offers / Arafat wants to throw us into the sea / We have no partner for peace."
This mantra is based on a series of lies that have been exploded long ago. American eye-witnesses like Rober Malley, President Clinton’s advisor at Camp David, as well as some of the Israeli participants and international researchers have published detailed reports that prove that Barak himself was responsible for the failure at least as much as Arafat – in fact, far more.
And as if by coincidence, just when the international community absent-mindedly accepted that the Palestinian people is not a partner for peace, in Israel itself things are happening that turn everything upside down.
The High Priest of the "We Have No Partner" creed is General (res.) Amos Gilad, who at the crucial time was chief of the research section (and as such the No. 2) of the Army Intelligence Department. Since army intelligence is the department solely responsible for the "national security assessment", it has a decisive influence on the formation of national policy.
The army intelligence man reports directly to the Prime Minister and takes part in cabinet meetings. No minister would dare to question his assessments, which are the guiding star of the entire state. The research chief of the intelligence department is supposed to submit a professional summary of the huge amount of data amassed by the intelligence community. Most ministers are forbidden to read the written report, and even the few others are allowed only to glance at it. Therefore, the oral summary presented by the chief of research to the Prime Minister and the cabinet is of paramount importance.
Amos Gilad went even further: he appeared almost daily in the media, commenting on almost every political and security event. He was not only the "national assessor", but also the "national explainer", as he was commonly called in the media.
Who is this man, who has had a greater influence than any other person on the policies of Israel over the last few crucial years, and whose kontsepsia (Hebrew for "conception") is still directing the path of the state? This is the very same Amos Gilad who some days ago claimed for himself the benefits due to disabled army veterans. He was not wounded in battle, God forbid, but claimed that the stress caused by his difficult job has inflicted on him irreversible mental damage.
This claim involves a considerable amount of Chutzpah, if not worse. But it also raises the question: This mental damage, when did it start? When were the first symptoms observed? Was it when he started endlessly repeating that Arafat wants to throw us into the sea? Or was this declaration, perhaps, itself a symptom of his mental problem? And how can he continue to fulfil his present duties?
The last two weeks, Israel witnessed a stormy debate that should have shaken the very foundations of the state.
The former chief of Army Intelligence, General (res.) Amos Malka, who was the direct superior of Gilad, broke his silence of many years and published a thunderous accusation: that Amos Gilad arrived at his "kontseptsia" without any intelligence basis whatsoever. On the contrary, the huge amount of information collected by the intelligence department indicated the very opposite. That is to say, Gilad freely invented his intelligence reports, based on his political views and/or on the desire to please his political bosses, Barak and Sharon.
This grave accusation raised a storm in professional circles. Intelligence operatives of undoubted integrity emerged from their anonymity in order to support Malka publicly. They were headed by the man who, at the relevant time, was in charge of the Army Intelligence section for Palestinian affairs, Colonel Ephraim Lavie, who was then responsible for the collection of all intelligence material about the Palestinian leadership. There is no doubt that in the professional confrontation between Amos and Amos, Amos Malka emerged as the victor.
This means, in simple words: there was no intelligence material at all backing the assertion that Arafat is working for the destruction of the State of Israel, that Arafat had broken off the peace process in order to start a terror campaign, that Arafat is not ready for a reasonable compromise. All these assertions, uttered by diverse Israeli politicians and generals, were based on the "assessment" of one man who, while appearing to represent the intelligence department, was actually suppressing the considered professional reports of his own department, as well as of the General Security Service (Shabak).
When the debate heated up, the orientalist Matti Steinberg, a former advisor on Palestinian affairs to the chief of the Shabak, joined the fray. Steinberg not only confirmed that Gilad’s "kontseptsia" was completely false and contradicted the intelligence material assembled by his own people, but he also asserted that Gilad’s conception "fulfilled its own prophecy".
Since Israel is immeasurably stronger than the Palestinians, its actions create reality. The acts guided by Gilad’s "kontseptsia" created results that suited it. Much as the "kontseptsia" of Eli Za’ira, the intelligence chief at the time of the Yom Kippur war, resulted in catastrophe, thus the "kontseptsia" of Amos Gilad caused – and is still causing – the disasters of the present intifada.
(The 1973 intelligence conception was that Egypt would not dare to attack Israel, causing all the glaringly obvious signs to the contrary to be ignored, thus preventing adequate preparations and resulting in the death of 3000 Israeli soldiers. Since than the Hebrew word "kontseptsia" has assumed an almost obscene connotation in Israel.)
As of now, Gilad’s immediate superior (Malka) and his immediate subordinate (Lavie) both accuse him of presenting his personal opinions, which were unsupported by any intelligence backing, as if they were the official assessment of the intelligence services.
Gilad has caused irreversible damage. His mantra was accepted by the vast majority of Israelis, as well as a large part of international public opinion. Its exposure in professional circles will not alter this fact. Indeed, the recent decision of the "Quartet" shows how deeply entrenched this lie has become throughout the world.
By the way, these revelations show that the secret assessment of the highest professional echelons of the Army Intelligence Department and Shabak were practically identical with the assessments published at the time by Gush Shalom, which were met with total disbelief by the media and the public, including a large part of the "peace camp". To wit, that the Palestinian leadership, headed by Arafat, has never wavered from its readiness to make peace with Israel based on the creation of a Palestinian state on 97% of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (which together make 22% of historic Palestine), with territorial compensation for the remaining 3% and sovereignty over East Jerusalem and the Haram-al-Sharif ("Temple Mount"). The refugee problem would be solved by agreement with Israel (meaning: Israel will have a veto on any solution).
The experts of army intelligence and the security service, too, agree that Arafat has not wavered from this position. On this basis, peace can be achieved even now, as Arafat himself confirmed this week in a fascinating interview with the new editor of Haaretz, David Landau.
Ariel Sharon denies this, of course, because he is not ready for peace on these terms. He wants to annex at least 55% of the West Bank, hoping that the life of the Palestinians in the remaining 45% will become so impossible that they will leave the country of their own accord. Shimon Peres is eager to help him in the realization of this design.
For that, Sharon needs the "We Have No Partner" mantra. Amos Gilad delivered the goods. Now the "Quartet" has accepted it, bringing shame on itself and obstructing the search for peace.
Comment: We recommend that our readers do a little research into the current geography of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Many years ago, the borders of both Israel and Palestine were defined and officially recognised by the international community. They are as legitimate as the borders of any other country in the world. One might ask then, why is there a problem? To answer such a question ask yourself why there was a problem that lead to Hitler invading Poland and everything that resulted. The answer, it seems, is that it was planned that way. Wars and suffering seem to be the raison d'etre of the human race. They are its defining quality, and there are certain people, working behind the scenes, who are determined to ensure that it remains that way.
Beattie, Evening Standard Political Correspondent
The threat of a terrorist attack using nuclear weapons is "real and imminent", the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog said today.
Mohammed al Baradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it was a "race against time" to prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear materials.
His words echo repeated warnings by Tony Blair of the danger posed by an alliance between rogue states and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda.
Mr Baradei raised the spectre of terrorists being able to assemble a "dirty bomb". He said there was a real risk of uranium or plutonium falling into the wrong hands.
"We are actually having a race against time which I don't think we can afford," he told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference in Washington. "The danger is so imminent... so the sooner that we start, the better for everybody involved."
In a separate intervention, US Senator Sam Nunn urged President Bush to raise concerns about the safety of nuclear material in Russia when he next meets President Putin.
Eight British sailors held by Iran for crossing into its territorial waters are to face prosecution, Iranian state-run television reported today.
Showing what it said was footage of the detained men after questioning, al-Alam television said they had confessed to being a kilometre inside its borders [...]
Tuesday 22 June 2004
"This morning, three British boats with eight people on board entered Iranian territorial waters. The Iranian navy, in accordance with their duties, seized these boats and arrested the crew," spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement.
"Currently they are being interrogated and an investigation is underway," he added. Official sources said the small patrol boats were armed with heavy machine-guns, and identified the detained Britons as "Royal Navy commandos".
A British military spokesman in Iraq said: "We can confirm three small Royal Navy patrol boats and eight crew have been out of communication since the early hours of this morning.
"Their last known indication was to be in the Shatt al-Arab area which is not unusual. There are no further details at present."
River patrol service
Iranian state television's Arabic-language channel, Al-Alam, said Iranian forces had also seized GPS devices, assault rifles, pistols, cameras and detailed maps of the Iran-Iraq border area. [...]
Tuesday June 22, 12:49 PM
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A car bomb has exploded in a Baghdad street as a convoy of U.S. troops and Iraqi police drove past, killing two Iraqi bystanders, police say.
They said a bodyguard of Iraqi minister of state Adnan al-Janabi was killed in the blast along with a six-year-old boy. Janabi himself was not in the area.
CAIRO, 22 June 2004 — Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has appointed a ministerial panel to study whether Iraqis should be subjected to curfews and bans on public demonstrations after the June 30 handover. If Iraqis wake up to emergency law on July 1, instead of the promised and much vaunted "freedom and democracy", the move will surely symbolize America's failed policies in the region like no other.
Admittedly, Allawi has a lot on his plate. Disgruntled Kurdish commandos are said to be training with Israelis to counteract Iranian influence on the country via Shiite militias. Many Kurds feel that the US, reluctant to upset the influential Grand Ayotallah Ali Al-Sistani, has essentially sold them out when rubber-stamping the new constitution, which deprives them of various powers of veto. They further maintain they were initially promised the ministries of defense and foreign affairs, but were only afforded the latter — the defense portfolio going to Allawi's cousin Ali Allawi.
At the same time, Iyad Allawi — an ex-CIA man with close links to the US and a relative of the convicted embezzler and alleged Iranian-paid spook Ahmad Chalabi — has a credibility problem. Eager to prove himself no mere marionette, Allawi is re-assembling the Iraqi Army and encouraging firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr to engage in the political process instead of insurgency. Moreover, Allawi is welcoming former Baathists into the fold and attempting to wrest back Saddam's main Baghdad palace from comfortably ensconced US head honchos who want it as an annex to the biggest and most fortified American Embassy in the world. [...]
If emergency laws are introduced, the invasion will surely go down in history as a black period for the US. All the pretexts have been blown wide open, including the WMD red herring, Saddam's purported links to Osama Bin Laden, and the bringing of democracy and freedom to the Iraqis. And yet Bush, Cheney and Blair still sing from the same flawed hymn sheet. Blair and Cheney say they still expect to find a pot marked WMD at the end of the rainbow; all three insist Iraq had meaningful links with Al-Qaeda despite the findings of the 9-11 Commission to the contrary. If we fall for such orchestrated mendacity then more fool us.
If Saddam ever gets a fair and transparent trial, this might blow the lid off those claims, not to mention expose the CIA's role in the dictator's rise to power and America's supply to Iraq of WMD in the 1980s. With Salem Chalabi in charge of proceedings, we might as well whistle down the wind. America's boy, currently clamoring to re-institute the death penalty, will never allow his masters' secrets to be divulged. What's the betting Saddam will "go mad", come down with a mysterious illness or sign a confession letting the US off the hook in return for life imprisonment? Get ready for the next installment!
By GINA HOLLAND,
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that people who refuse to give their names to police can be arrested, even if they've done nothing wrong.
The court previously had said police may briefly detain people they suspect of wrongdoing, without any proof. But until now, the justices had never held that during those encounters a person must reveal their identity.
The court's 5-4 decision upholds laws in at least 21 states giving police the right to ask people their name and jail those who don't cooperate. Law enforcement officials say identification requests are a routine part of detective work.
Privacy advocates say the decision gives police too much power. Once officers have a name, they can use computer databases to learn all kinds of personal information about the person.
The loser in Monday's decision was Nevada cattle rancher Larry "Dudley" Hiibel, who was arrested and convicted of a misdemeanor after he told a deputy that he didn't have to give out his name or show an ID.
The encounter happened after someone called police to report arguing between Hiibel and his daughter in a truck parked along a road. An officer asked him 11 times for his identification or his name.
Hiibel repeatedly refused, at one point saying, "If you've got something, take me to jail" and "I don't want to talk. I've done nothing. I've broken no laws."
In fighting the arrest, Hiibel became an unlikely constitutional privacy rights crusader. He wore a cowboy hat, boots and a bolo tie to the court this year when justices heard arguments in his appeal.
"A Nevada cowboy courageously fought for his right to be left alone, but lost," said his attorney, Harriet Cummings.
The court ruled that forcing someone to give police their name does not violate their Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches. The court also said name requests do not violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, except in rare cases.
"One's identity is, by definition, unique; yet it is, in another sense, a universal characteristic. Answering a request to disclose a name is likely to be so insignificant in the scheme of things as to be incriminating only in unusual circumstances," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.
The ruling stopped short of allowing police to demand identification, like driver's licenses, but Justice John Paul Stevens said requiring people to divulge their name still goes too far. [...]
Crime-fighting and justice groups had argued that a ruling the other way would have protected terrorists and encouraged people to refuse to cooperate with police. [...]
Justices had been told that at least 20 states have similar laws to the Nevada statute: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
The ruling was a follow up to a 1968 decision that said police may briefly detain someone on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, without the stronger standard of probable cause, to get more information. Justices said that during such brief detentions, known as Terry stops after the 1968 ruling, people must answer questions about their identities.
Marc Rotenberg, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said America is different 36 years after the Terry decision. "In a modern era, when the police get your identification, they are getting an extraordinary look at your private life."
The case is Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada, 03-5554.
Comment: This ruling is simply yet another step towards, "Papers, please"...
George W. Bush has betrayed America. And he has betrayed the world. And he has betrayed himself.
There are degrees of wrongdoing, shades of darkness, and George W. Bush has now surpassed even the evil darkness of people like Osama Bin Laden. In nearly every society the use of violence to repay a wrong is sanctioned in some circumstances. A "blood debt" may be repaid with money, or "an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth". The price of a life is greater than the price of an eye, or a sheep. This is called "justice", or "the law".
Taking the blood of an innocent, or simply harming an innocent, is more evil than violence in self defense. The taking of life in general is condemned by civilized society, except in self defense. And the offense is aggravated when the objective is to take what belongs to another by force.
And to torture a person, especially an innocent person is viewed as particularly heinous evil by civilized societies everywhere.
All of these deeds -- murder, harming innocents, and torture -- are against human laws, both international and American. They are also against religious laws, particularly Christian doctrines of right and wrong and the "philosophy" of Bush's favorite philosopher...
It is time for people in America of the religious persuasion to acknowledge that the United States is not an "innocent" without sin; and that we are presently engaged in the doing of evil deeds, and the harming of innocents. These are the facts that true patriots and believers cannot, if truly honest about it, ignore any longer.
George W. Bush has incurred a mountain of blood debt since 9/11. He claimed to be going after Osama Bin Laden, to bring the man to "justice" but instead has killed many thousands of innocents. And he has directed that hundreds or thousands of persons be tortured during interrogations so that he could more easily win his wars. And on top of all that, he started a war against Iraq, killing many women and children.
Bush claims to have started the Iraq was because of a "threat", not because Iraq had harmed America.
But it is also clear that Bush and the American Military Industrial Complex are primarily interested in gaining control of the oil of Iraq and the Middle East. We are not there to "bring democracy to the region". That is a lie, and it is the other wrongdoing I wished to mention here: we are starting wars and committing acts of violence to obtain what belongs to others. In other words, "Grand Theft, Country".
These many acts of violence against, and murder of innocents are precisely what terrorists like Osama Bin Laden hope to provoke with their attacks. George W. Bush's response to the murder of 3,000 innocents in New York was to kill 10,000 innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq . He did precisely what Osama would have wanted him to do: self-defeating behavior that creates blood enemies of America.
Osama Bin Laden has thus revealed a Truth about George W. Bush and about America itself. We too kill innocents! And we torture! And we kill in order to steal!
Iraq and Afghanistan are not isolated incidents. The history of America's growth and increasing prosperity is not just a story of "Christian" prosperity, of "doing well by doing good." Recall what we did to the Native Americans, just for starters. Then Mexico. Etc., etc., until the present day.
The proof of what I say is in the extent of America's military bases around the world, presently estimated to be located in some 100 different countries. That is an empire, not of legally justified self defense, but of conquest and of the use of force to obtain economic and political objectives.
George W. Bush's so-called "War on Terror" is doomed to failure for as long as America remains outside of international and human laws. We are, and have been, an "outlaw" country, using violent means to obtain property and wealth outside our borders. We cannot end the "war" until we acknowledge our own wrongdoing and make amends with those we have harmed.
Until then, we and our outlaw President, will continue to make new enemies faster than our armies, assassins, death squads and concentration camp torturers can kill our existing enemies. Therefore, this is not only wrong and evil, but it is stupid and counter-productive. [...]
Comment: Yes indeed, Bush did exactly what Osama would have wanted him to do. Of course, bad guys like Osama and Saddam were armed, funded, and trained by elements of the US government, such as the CIA. As such, America - or more accurately, those who control America - started the vicious cycle of violence in which it is currently immersed. If we consider that the cycle moved into high gear with the events of 9/11, and that the Zionists and Mossad seemed to have played a much bigger role on September 11th than the US media and government will admit, the picture becomes a bit more clear.
And yet, upon reviewing the bloody history of US intervention in countries around the world, one may realize that the whole game began long before 9/11. America has a long history of "stupid and counter-productive" actions - so stupid and counterproductive, in fact, that one must conclude that either US leaders are consistently incompetent, or there is a reason for their seemingly ridiculous actions.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-22 13:48:29
WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhuanet) -- The number of Americans approving US President George W. Bush's handling of terrorism, a central issue for his reelection campaign, has declined, a poll released Monday showed.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that approval of Bush's handling of terrorism has dropped to 50 percent, with 48 percent disapproving, down eight percentage points in May.
The poll also found that for the first time, more than half of Americans - 52 percent - believed the Iraq war was not worth fighting.
Moreover, Democratic Senator John Kerry, Bush's major rival in his reelection bid for the White House, now runs even with Bush intrust to handle this issue. Bush led Kerry by 13 points on this issue last month and by 21 points the month before. The poll showed Kerry led Bush by 48-47.
Less than half of Americans - 47 percent - approved Bush's overall job performance, with 51 percent disapproving.
If the presidential elections were held now, the poll showed, Kerry would receive support from 48 percent registered voters, against 44 percent for Bush and 6 percent for independent Ralph Nader. In a two-man race, Kerry would lead Bush by 53-45.
The poll with a margin of sampling error of three percentage points was conducted of 1,201 adults on June 17-20, after the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks issued reports last week that showed the administration's shortcomings inresponse to the attacks and said there were no collaborative relationship between prewar Iraq and al Qaida.
"I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure me out," George Bush once said. "I'm just not into psychobabble."
The president will not need a shrink, then, to tell him he is unlikely to enjoy Bush on the Couch, a new book by a Washington psychiatrist and Democrat, who tries to explain his subject's quirks and policies by examining his personal history, and comes up with some unflattering conclusions.
Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, argues that the president's inclination to see the world in black-and-white, good-versus-evil terms, and his tendency to repeat favourite words and phrases under pressure, are not simply politics as usual, but classic symptoms of untreated alcoholism.
Mr Bush was a heavy drinker from his youth but stopped at 40, becoming a born-again Christian. But Professor Frank, who has never met the president, argues he never treated the underlying cause of his alcohol dependence.
"He reminded me of my more disturbed patients," the psychiatrist said. "Being on the wagon is not the same thing as having alcoholism treated. That means taking responsibility, and making amends to the people you've damaged.
"Bush switched from alcoholism to religion. It takes responsibility out of his hands. Being born again is a way of denying the past," Prof Frank said.
Comment: How nice it must be for Americans, and the rest of us around the world, to realise that the President of the most militarily powerful nation on earth is essentially a psychotic drunkard. Ok, so he is just a puppet and knows little of what is really happening anyway, but we still shudder to think of the psychological profile of those unknown elements that are directing US policy from behind the scenes. Perhaps it would not show that they are in any way psychotic, but rather that they are extremely conscious of what they are doing and realise that there is little that anyone can do to stop them.
Having said that, perhaps there is some benefit to having a drunk at the wheel? For all Bush's faults, he is eminently suited to determining whether or not his own mental condition might be spreading to the population...
Bush To Screen
Everyone For 'Mental Illness'
-- A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George
W Bush in July. The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully
into the community by providing "services in the community, rather
than institutions," according to a March
2004 progress report entitled New Freedom Initiative.
While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects the
profits of drug companies at the expense of the public.
Comment: What have drugs got to do with "homeland security"?? Perhaps the truth is that "homeland security" has nothing to do with protecting Americans against phony "terrorists" and much more to do with ensuring that the US population are herded to a much finer order of control...mind, body, and soul (if present).
points out that the companies that helped to start up the Texas project
have been, and still are, big contributors to the election funds of George
W Bush. In addition, some members of the New Freedom Commission
have served on advisory boards for these same companies, while others
have direct ties to the Texas Medication Algorithm Project.
Comment: So is it too late for George??
President Losing His Grip
DETROIT -- The lies, delusions and deceptions of George W. Bush have reached a point where the "dry drunk" madness and the "stinking thinking" in his frighteningly flawed mind are what drives all his remarks on the bogus al-Qaida-Iraq connection and the president's rigid, judgmental world view.
In the best of times, George W. can be impatient, self-important and prone to irrational, contorted rationalization. Now that his crazy, unnecessary war in Iraq and grandiose plans to change the Middle East with more violence have clearly failed and he fears that he might get bounced from the White House like his daddy, our president's mental pathology is gaining more control over his behavior.
The commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks set off the president's panic attack. The commission -- which Bush first opposed and then ostensibly supported, while his minions thwarted its work -- arrived at a conclusion that sent the White House into white heat.
In vividly clear language, the commission reported, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaida cooperated on attacks against the United States." That fact is well known to anyone who takes time to pursue the truth and is not blinded by partisan fanaticism.
Even Bush said as much himself in one of the most under-reported stories of our times. Last Sept. 17, the president admitted publicly for the first time that there was "no evidence Hussein was involved" with the Sept. 11 attacks.
The admission got little play in the media. The Wall Street Journal and New York Post didn't even bother to mention it, and many other papers buried it far away from the front page.
But the commission rekindled the issue. Since the panel did exhaustive research and its chairman and half of its members were named by the president, the panel's refutation of the Saddam-al-Qaida connection enraged Bush, and the emperor struck back.
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al-Qaida is because there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida," Bush told reporters at the White House after the commission's findings were announced.
Bush said his most significant evidence of this link is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist the president claimed worked with the Iraqi government as a "senior al-Qaida terrorist planner." He failed to mention that then-CIA Director George Tenet testified before the Senate that Zarqawi is a rogue operative who doesn't work with al-Qaida and was not associated with the Saddam regime.
Comment: If there was ever a clear example of the fact that the American public is asleep, we see it in the above example. God himself could proclaim that Saddam had no WMD's, yet Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld could simply appear on national television, state the opposite, and the public would believe them. Why is this? How can it be so?
The average person is worthless to creativity and life. They contribute nothing. They merely assimilate the lies and illusions of their leaders, thus allowing themselves to reject any responsibility they might have to think and be for themselves. It is utterly pathetic. Such people merely feed the entropic decline of this world and will surely share in the "rewards".
Bush likes his enemies evil and simple. Since Saddam was a personal irritant for Bush and sat on the world's second-largest oil reserves, he was going to be the target no matter what. [...]
But George W. Bush is an unyielding, inflexible and extreme man, who, by his own admission, follows the dictates of his "gut" rather than careful thought and reflection. Bush may be showing more signs of being a "dry drunk," according to Katherine van Wormer, co-author of "Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective." In an article in "Counterpunch" magazine, she writes, "Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes."
She also observes that Bush's obsessions, tunnel vision, single-mindedness and grandiosity point to the "stinking thinking" commonly found in dry drunks. Bush will claim forever that Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qaida, that there were weapons of mass destruction, and that his war with Iraq is all about doing God's work and spreading freedom. That's how his damaged mind is programmed.
Dick Cheney is another case. He sets his own course and says what he pleases. The vice president -- or enabler in chief -- has nurtured Bush's obsessions. Cheney is the most strident propagator of the al-Qaida-Iraq-link lie and is sticking with his story in a futile attempt to save his fallen reputation and in the hope that continuing the deception for five more months will salvage the Bush administration's chances for another term in office. His clinging to power and his addiction to his discredited reasons for war drive Cheney.
Two days before the 9/11 Commission debunked the al-Qaida-Iraq connection, Cheney, who surely was tipped off, made a pre-emptive strike, claiming Saddam Hussein "had long established ties with al-Qaida."
Cheney was so enraged with media reports about the commission's findings, he ventured from his usual protected forum, the Rush Limbaugh show, to CNBC, territory where he might even be asked a question.
Asked if Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, Cheney said, in his oh-so-solemn tones, "We don't know." And then, with a smugness that goes with power addiction, Cheney was asked if he knows information the 9/11 Commission does not know. He crowed, "Probably."
Well, if he does, why didn't he share it with the commission? Why doesn't he tell the American people about the previously unknown smoking gun on the al-Qaida-Iraq connection? Will Cheney provide new evidence? Probably not.
With the power-drunk Cheney navigating and the dry-drunk Bush at the helm, our ship of state is in distress. We should throw them both overboard.
By Matt Kelley,
Associated Press Writer
Between January and March 2003, 14 prisoners at Guantanamo tried to kill themselves. That's more than 40 percent of the 34 suicide attempts by 21 inmates since the prison was opened in January 2002. "Our concern is that the totality of the conditions at Guantanamo -- starting with the prolonged detention without trial, combined with the frequent interrogation that may have included problematic methods -- may have contributed to an atmosphere that pushed people to attempt suicide," said Alistair Hodgett of the human rights group Amnesty International
Flashback: Most Guantanamo detainees pose no threat
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bush administration and U.S. military officials have repeatedly exaggerated the intelligence value of detainees at Guantanamo Bay as well as the danger they pose, The New York Times has reported.
Contrary to the repeated assertions of senior administration officials, none of the detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba ranked as leaders or senior operatives of al Qaeda, the newspaper reported on Monday, citing interviews with high-level military, intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. [...]
While some Guantanamo intelligence has aided terrorism investigations, it has not enabled intelligence or law-enforcement services to foil imminent attacks, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials.
HAVANA - Tens of thousands of Cubans rallied yesterday, as Fidel Castro warned President Bush against launching a military attack on Cuba, saying it would provoke a mass exodus and an all-out ground war.
Washington has repeatedly denied it is planning any military action against Havana.
But an increased tightening of sanctions against the island, along with the Bush administration's pre-emptive strike on Iraq, has convinced the Cuban leadership that a military attack is not impossible.
"Do not try crazy adventures such as surgical strikes or wars of attrition using sophisticated techniques because you could lose control of the situation," Castro said in a speech addressed specifically to Bush.
"You could shatter the immigration agreement and provoke a mass exodus that we would not be in a position to prevent, and you could bring about an all-out war between young American soldiers and the Cuban people," he said. "That would be very sad."
"You would never be able to win that war," the Cuban leader said. "Here you will not find a divided people."
In May, a U.S. presidential commission delivered to Bush what amounts to a policy of regime change in Cuba. The panel recommended that the United States subvert the planned succession in Cuba under which power would pass from Castro to his younger brother, Raul.
The release of the report coincided with a round of tough new measures that will further limit travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens - including Cuban Americans.
Comment: Perhaps Fidel is getting a little senile, how else can we explain his comments above? Does he really think that the prospect of an exodus from Cuba to the US and a protracted guerilla war in Cuba, with large numbers of US casualties, presents a deterrent to people like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz? We would have thought that Fidel, of all people, should understand the ease with which the US population can be convinced to believe even the most outrageous lies of their leaders.
CHERMEN, Russia (AP) - Thousands of troops streamed into a southern Russian city on Tuesday in pursuit of suspected Chechen rebels who set fire to police and government buildings and killed 48 people, three of them high-ranking regional officials, in a series of brazen overnight attacks.
The militants' foray into the province of Ingushetia underscored the Russian military's failure to defeat separatists in neighboring Chechnya after five years of fighting, and raised new fears that violence could spread to other parts of southern Russia.
The attacks also came amid preparations for an August election to replace Kremlin-backed Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was killed last month in a bomb attack that was seen as a significant blow to President Vladimir Putin's efforts to bring some stability to warring Chechnya.
Shortly before midnight Monday, about 100 fighters armed with grenades and rocket launchers seized the regional Interior Ministry in Nazran, the largest city in Ingushetia, and attacked border guard posts there and in two villages near the border with Chechnya, Karabulak and Yandare, regional emergency officials said.
Russian authorities sent in reinforcements shortly after dawn Tuesday. The anti-terrorism troops and soldiers moved into Nazran through the border village of Chermen in neighboring North Ossetia, in a long column of armored personnel carriers and army trucks.
By midmorning, most of the militants had already fled into the thick forests on the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya, authorities said. Ingush President Murat Zyazikov told Interfax news agency that a large number of weapons and ammunition were also missing from police depots.
The Russian media reported only two militant deaths. An Associated Press reporter also saw the body of one militant near Yandare. At least one group of rebels was caught by police as they retreated through Galashki, near the Chechen border, and a firefight was under way, said Yakhya Khadziyev, spokesman for Ingushetia's Interior Ministry.
Maj. Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the Russian forces in Chechnya, blamed Chechen rebels for planning the attacks, but said the raids were carried out by fighters recruited from both Chechnya and Ingushetia, the Interfax-Military News Agency reported.
"The attacks were clearly saber rattling, aimed to demonstrate the rebels' effectiveness to attract funding from foreign terrorist networks,'' he was quoted as saying.
Although Chechnya is a largely Muslim region in overwhelmingly Christian Russia, the first of Chechnya's two wars was an essentially secular conflict. However, after Russian troops pulled out when Chechen rebels fought them to a standstill, the separatists increasingly took on a specifically Islamic mantle.
Comment: More evidence of a concerted effort to polarise the world, using the ubiquitous bane of humanity - religion. But to what end? Is the plan to foment an increasingly violent global religious war that will ultimately necessitate a new world religion?
www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-22 11:11:49
BRUSSELS, June 21 (Xinhuanet) -- France and Germany had insisted that the next European Commission (EC) president should come from a "core" European Union (EU) state.
The move came as Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern continued the search for a consensus candidate on Monday.
The EU summit held last week in Brussels failed to agree on the candidate for the next EC boss.
French President Jacques Chirac said last week the successful contender should come from a country with long EU experience that is in all the main European policy initiatives.
Meanwhile, Britain said the next EC boss could come from any of the 25 members of the EU, thus escalating a war of words in the bloc.
If Ahern could not find a consensus candidate, he would leave the task to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country will take over the EU presidency on July 1.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-22 16:52:08
BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhuanet) -- China Merchants Bank began to release gold bars to investors here Tuesday on a trial basis, becoming China's first banking institution to offer the product that first began trading again last year after half a century, Beijing Star Daily reported Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted Liu Dong, an assistant to the general manager of the personal banking department of the bank, as saying the trading will be done manually at first as its Internet-based automatic trading system will not be available until two days later.
A total of 5 million yuan (609,000 US dollars) worth of gold bars will be up for grabs at the bank's Beijing Branch Office, thenewspaper reported.
GENEVA (AP) - A Swiss court has cleared the way for Gypsies to sue IBM over allegations that the computer company's expertise helped the Nazis commit mass murder more efficiently, the plaintiffs' lawyer said Tuesday.
The Geneva appeals court disagreed with a lower court that refused to hear the case last year on grounds it lacked jurisdiction, said the Gypsies' lawyer, Henri-Philippe Sambuc.
A Gypsy group filed the lawsuit in Geneva because IBM's wartime European headquarters were in the city. They claim the office was IBM's hub for trade with the Nazis.
"IBM's complicity through material or intellectual assistance to the criminal acts of the Nazis during World War II via its Geneva office cannot be ruled out,'' said the appeals court ruling. It cited ``a significant body of evidence indicating that the Geneva office could have been aware that it was assisting these acts.''
In its June 2003 ruling, the lower court said IBM only had an "antenna'' in the Swiss city. City archives, however, show that in 1936 IBM opened an office under the name "International Business Machines Corporation New York, European Headquarters.'' [...]
The campaigners began planning the lawsuit after U.S. author Edwin Black claimed in a book published in February 2001 that IBM punch-card machines enabled the Nazis to make their killing operations more efficient.
Black said the punch-card machines were used to codify information about people sent to concentration camps. The number 12 represented a Gypsy inmate, while Jews were recorded with the number 8. The code D4 meant a prisoner had been killed.
The Nazis are believed to have killed around 600,000 Gypsies, although Gypsy groups say the number could have been as high as 1.5 million.
"It does not appear inconsistent to conclude that the respondent (IBM) facilitated the task of the Nazis in their committing of crimes against humanity - acts which were counted and codified by IBM machines,'' the ruling said.
Mon Jun 21,12:07
The 30-minute hail storm on Sunday also caused a blackout in the city in Hebei province, the Xinhua news agency said Monday.
It caused an estimated 105 million yuan (12.7 million US dollars) in damage and affected some 640,000 people.
The 32 people who were injured were in a stable condition, Xinhua said.
Officials were sent to the area to coordinate rescue efforts and the government was allocating funds to help the city, it said.
FRANKLIN, Associated Press Writer
AMARILLO, Texas - Wind gusting to 70 mph and hail the size of baseballs pounded the Texas Panhandle, smashing almost all of the windows on one end of a six-story hospital, where one patient was injured by flying glass.
"It blew out the lobby. The windows are shattered. They blew in on the patients," said Mary Barlow, a spokeswoman for Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital. [...]
Damage estimates were not yet available Tuesday, but were expected to total millions of dollars, authorities said.
Homes and vehicles were damaged by hail up to baseball size. [...]
Heavy rain flooded some underpasses and rural roads, and Hartley County Sheriff Franky Scott said water was up to 4 feet deep in some areas.
"It had the barbed wire fence covered up," Scott said.
Storm spotters reported several twisters in the Amarillo area, including one along Interstate 40.
Two moderate earthquakes rattled Southcentral Alaska today. The first quake was below 4.0 in magnitude, the second registered 4.6 in magnitude and was felt strongly in the Alaska towns of Palmer and Wasilla.
The quake's epicenter was located near the two communities, 62 miles deep.
TOKYO -- A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 shook northern Japan on Tuesday. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The 11:17 a.m. quake was centered about 20 miles beneath the sea bed, to the southeast of Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, Japan's Meteorological Agency said.
The quake was not felt on Japan's main island of Honshu. There was no danger of tsunami, the powerful ocean waves caused by seismic activity, the agency said.
An earthquake of magnitude 5 or higher can cause damage to homes and buildings if it hits a populated area.
GENEVA, June 22 (AFP) - A small earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale shook parts of northern Switzerland and eastern France early on Tuesday, without causing any damage, authorities said.
About 40 calls were received by emergency services less than an hour after the tremor struck at about 1:10 am, police in the Swiss city of Basel said.
An observatory based in the eastern French city of Strasbourg said it measured the quake at 3.7 on the Richter scale in the city of Mulhouse.
There were no reports of damage but emergency services said they received about 15 calls from worried residents.
Meteor Shower Possible Tonight
Meteor enthusiasts will likely be out in force in the coming nights, hoping to catch a glimpse of an on-again, off-again meteor display. Special emphasis will be placed on two specific nights: June 22-23 and June 26-27.
Ironically, the month of June is usually not noteworthy for any major meteor showers.
Yet six years ago, during the final weekend of June 1998, sky watchers worldwide were caught off guard by an unexpected shower of bright meteors and fireballs.
From Japan, for instance, came reports of meteors that were visible even through heavily overcast skies. Reports from visual observers in other regions suggested that this surprise meteor display produced meteor rates of anywhere from 50 to 100 per hour and lasted more than half a day.
Similar bursts of June meteor activity were noted many decades ago, in 1916, 1921 and again in 1927. Because the meteors seemed to fan-out from a region of the sky near the northern border of the constellation of Bootes, the Herdsman, they became popularly known as the "June Bootids."
It was also in 1916 that the legendary British meteor observer, William Denning, first suggested that these meteors were bits and pieces shed by the Comet Pons-Winnecke, a rather small, dim object and a member of the Jupiter family of comets. Such comets are so-named because they have their aphelia the point in their elongated orbits that place them farthest from the Sun at roughly the same distance of the planet Jupiter.
The orbits of the Earth and the comet were relatively close to each other during the early 20th Century.
In fact, Pons-Winnecke's closest point to the Sun its perihelion slowly shifted from just inside the Earth's orbit in 1916 to just outside it during 1921 and 1927. Astronomers assumed that it was this close proximity between the two orbits that accounted for the enhanced meteor activity seen in those three years.
But since then, due to a series of relatively close encounters with Jupiter's powerful gravitational field, the orbit of the comet has significantly changed.
Since 1921, the gap between the orbits of the Earth and the comet has been gradually increasing, becoming more than 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) by 1998. Because of this large gulf between the two orbits, it seemed logical to believe that any future enhanced meteor activity from Comet Pons-Winnecke would be all but impossible. That argument certainly held up until June 1998. How then, could that meteor shower have taken place with the two orbits so widely spaced?
The answer came from astronomers David Asher of Armagh Observatory in Ireland and Vacheslav Emel'yanenko, of South Ural University, Chelyabinsk, Russia. Their studies showed that the 1998 meteors were the result of meteoroids released from Comet Pons-Winnecke back in the year 1825.
Asher and Emel'yanenko pointed out that the planet Jupiter completes one orbit around the Sun in the same time that it takes the meteoroids shed from Comet Pons-Winnecke to complete two. In other words, while Jupiter takes 12 years to go around the Sun, the meteoroids from Pons-Winnecke take 6 years; a 2 to 1 ratio. So instead of spreading around the whole orbit, the meteoroids were kept clustered closely together by Jupiter's gravitation.
Computer simulations by Asher and Emel'yanenko also demonstrated that the comet and its ejected particles from 1825 were apparently disturbed by Jupiter in different ways, so that in the ensuing years the comet and the particles that it shed became widely separated from each other.
Ultimately, however, in June 1998, the meteoroids ended up cutting right through the Earth's orbit, producing the unexpected bevy of bright meteors.
Another good shower?
So if the meteoroids that produced the bright 1998 display are still basically moving around the Sun in a 6-year orbit, does that mean that we'll be in for a repeat performance in 2004? Viewpoints are mixed.
president of the International Meteor Organization, believes that 2004
could be another good year to look for the June Bootids.
That time would be the middle of the peak activity seen in 1998, but since that display lasted for many hours, observers worldwide should stay alert through Saturday night on into Sunday morning for any unusual or enhanced meteor activity.
On the other hand, David Asher's belief is that little or nothing will be observed, based primarily on the simple argument that unusual numbers of bright meteors should also have been seen in 1992 and 1986, but nothing apparently occurred.
In recent days, a different forecast for the June Bootids has been issued by Jerimie Vaubaillon of the Institut de Mcanique Cleste et de Calcul des phmrides, in Paris, France and Russians Sergey Dubrovsky and Sergey Shanov.
Their calculations suggest that the Earth will interact with a swarm of meteoroids that were ejected by Comet Pons-Winnecke at not just one, but several of its past visits to the Sun, most notably in 1819, 1825, 1830, 1836 and perhaps 1875. In addition, the predicted peak for this activity comes several days earlier than Rendtel's suggestion: Wednesday, June 23 at 11h GMT (7 a.m. EDT).
Western North America and the Pacific Ocean will still be in darkness at that time, and are favored with the best possible views. But should the activity last for many hours, then it could be worthwhile to carefully watch the sky from Tuesday night, the 22nd, on until the first light of dawn on Wednesday, the 23rd.
Whether you plan to look for the June Bootids on the night of June 22-23 or again on the night of June 26-27, keep in mind that the constellation of Bootes will be excellently positioned as darkness falls. It will appear nearly overhead and high up in the northern sky and will remain in view through the night as it descends toward the northwest.
Finding killer asteroids may sound like the plot of a cheap science fiction movie, but as astronomer Ken Chambers knows it is a very real possibility in the near future.
Los Alamos native Chambers and his colleague, Nicholas Kaiser, presented abstracts on their project, the Pan-STARR Optical Survey Telescope Project, at the American Astronomical Society 204th meeting, which met May 30 through June 3 in Denver.
Chambers is an associate professor at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy and the chief scientist of the Pan-STARRS Telescope #1, which is the prototype telescope for the project.
The prototype will be the first of four planned telescopes that have a very large field of view through which to survey the visible sky every four days. By surveying it over and over, the researchers will be able to detect any potentially dangerous asteroids movement, according to the abstract. The purpose is to identify any asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth, in order to be able to do something to change the orbit of the asteroid before it hits.
The project incorporates the telescope and its data, a camera and a computer.
Chambers said the difference about this project is that they are trying to predict the future.
He explained that telescopes are time machines because they all look back in time. "You are looking into the past because of the speed of light," Chambers said. "When you see the sun, you see it as it was eight minutes ago; Jupiter, as it was 40 minutes ago; Alpha Centauri as it was four years ago."
The colliding of asteroids with Earth can have catastrophic results.
"Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid that was only a few kilometers in size hit the earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, which opened the door to evolution and let humans in," Chambers said.
"Every 65 million years, an impact will happen that is big. If it hits tomorrow, there is nothing we can do. But, if we can find one that will hit 100 years from now, you have more warning and you only have to make it change orbit a tiny bit in order to not hit the earth."
Scientists are still discussing different ways to change the orbit. [...]
Oil Chief Admits Grave Fears For The Planet
The head of one of the world's biggest oil companies has admitted that
the threat of climate change makes him "really very worried for the
By Alex Kirby
A worldwide experiment to test the plausibility of the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow starts on 22 June.
Computer users across the world are being invited to download and run a climate model of what may happen this century.
The test will see how predictions may change if the behaviour of the Gulf Stream is affected, as the film shows.
is the work of climateprediction.net, a consortium of UK universities
and the Met Office.
Visitors to its website were able to download a unique version of the Met Office's climate model, simulating several decades of global climate at a time.
That experiment has recruited 49,000 participants in 130 countries, but the new one aims to go further.
Dr David Frame, the project coordinator, said: "So far we have been asking people to simulate how the climate could respond to rising carbon dioxide levels.
"Now we are extending the project to investigate how predictions might change if the thermo-haline circulation in the oceans were to slow down, altering the flow of the Gulf Stream."
Dr Mat Collins of the Met Office said: "Extreme scenarios make great films, but for practical planning we need to know how likely it is that such events will actually happen."
The University of Oxford scientist leading the experiment is Nick Faull. He said: "We are not trying to predict the odds on a shut-down of the thermo-haline circulation, but we are asking: 'If it did happen, what are the chances it would offset the warming due to rising greenhouse gases and cause a cooling?
What consequences would it have for the atmosphere and oceans?'" Anyone wanting to join the experiment can download a secure software package, including a version of the Met Office's state-of-the-art climate model, from the climateprediction.net site.
Each model, the organisers say, is a slightly different but "physically plausible" representation of processes going on in the atmosphere, land and near-surface ocean.
June 17, 2004
Long before a Hollywood blockbuster about catastrophic climate change packed cinema multiplexes this spring, researchers at the top of the world, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), were using an array of scientific tools to build a comprehensive scientific picture of environmental change in the Arctic and what it may mean for the rest of the globe.
Led by oceanographer James Morison, of the University of Washington, NSF- supported scientists from Oregon State University, as well as others supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Naval Post-graduate School, and the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, are conducting an array of experiments at the North Pole to understand this little-known, but extremely important region.
The Polar regions, scientists believe, will sound the earliest warnings that changes in global climate are underway and, in recent years, the Arctic has experienced a well-documented warming trend. Whether this change is permanent or part of a cycle and what the potential effects of a warmer Arctic Ocean could be are questions the team hopes to answer. [...]
Wise, Va. -- While local amateur astronomers gathered to watch the recent Venus Transit at The University of Virginia's College at Wise observatory, not-a-one of them realized that spectacular transit of Venus across the face of the Sun may lead to disastrous flooding along China's Yellow River or other more Earthly inclement weather conditions.
Geng Guoqing, an expert on natural calamities in The People's Republic of China, was more worried about the consequences for China's second-longest river, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Geng has compared historical records reaching 2,187 years back and found a clear correlation between Venus transits and serious floods along the river's middle and lower reaches, reports Xinhua.
Geng, a researcher at the Special Committee on Natural Calamities Forecasting under the China Geophysics Society, says that flooding could be that Venus blocks part of the Sun's radiation that should have been transmitted to Earth.
The Venus Transit causes climatic disturbances across the globe, he argues to skeptics.
Dr. Mitchell Gordon, an astrophysicist at The University of Virginia's College at Wise, recently conducted a lecture the evening prior to the transit but made no note or passing observation of any correlation between a transit of Venus and natural disasters on Earth in a review of its history.
One Venus Transit observer, tongue-in-check, noted that "here in Wise it did rain almost immediately following the Venus Transit June 8 and almost every day two-weeks thereafter!"
Scientists have discovered a similarity between certain ocean currents on Earth and the bands that characterize the surface of large planets like Jupiter. Jupiter's banded structure of has long been a subject of fascination and research. The energy spectrum of Earth's oceanic jets obeys a power law that fits the spectra of zonal flows on the outer planets, the researchers say. This begs the question of whether these phenomena are rooted in similar physical forces.
June 22, 2004
LONDON — Farmers of the world must shift quickly to growing plants for industrial uses such as oils and plastics to replace petrochemicals as the climate warms and crude supplies run out, British scientists said Monday.
"In the next 20 to 50 years we have to reverse our dependency on fossil fuels," said Alison Smith of Britain's John Innes plant research center. "We must breed for sustainability."
At a news conference, she complained that in the past there had been a lack of coherent thinking, but that was now changing in the face of the looming crisis.
Ian Crute, director of the Rothamsted plant-breeding center in Hertfordshire, said it was not a matter of switching wholesale out of growing crops for food but of correcting the balance.
"We have an opportunity here ... to substitute our dependency on fossil fuels," he added at the introduction of a report by private scientists on nonfood crops titled "Growing the Future."
Not only is oil running out, but the world's population is predicted to grow sharply over the next half-century and has to be fed. This will put huge strains on the world's economy.
"We have to get more productivity out of less land," he said.
The report noted that plants could produce plastics, fuels, oils, medicinal drugs, insulators, fibers, and fabrics, many of which are currently made from crude oil.
Most beautiful science images of the year released
Today the Institute of Physics releases some of the most beautiful science images of the year so far, a collection of photomicrographs of tiny "flowers" and "trees" less than one thousandth the width of a human hair. The images are published in the Institute journal Nanotechnology.
These stunning images were taken by Ghim Wei Ho, a PhD student studying nanotechnology at Cambridge University. She has named some of her best photographs nanobouquet, nanotrees, and nanoflower because of their curious similarity to familiar organic structures such as flower-heads and tiny growing trees.
Ghim Wei's work involves making new types of materials based on nanotechnology and these flowers are an example of such a new material. Here, nanometre scale wires (about one thousandth the diameter of a human hair) of a silicon-carbon material (silicon carbide) are grown from tiny droplets of a liquid metal (Gallium) on a silicon surface, like the chips inside our home computers.
The wires grow as a gas containing methane flows over the surface. The gas reacts at the surface of the droplets and condenses to form the wires. By changing the temperature and pressure of the growth process the wires can be controllably fused together in a natural process to form a range of new structures including these flower-like materials. [...]
June 22, 2004
SYDNEY — Koalas, an iconic symbol of Australia, face extinction as rapid urbanization along the eastern seaboard destroys their fragile habitat, environmental activists have warned. [...]
www.chinaview.cn 2004-06-22 15:08:03
AMMAN, June 22 (Xinhuanet) -- The earliest known Christian church in Jordan was discovered, if the preliminary dating of the remains as first to second century A.D. proves correct, the local newspaperJordan Times reported Tuesday.
Director of Jordanian Department of Antiquities, Adnan Hadidi, told the newspaper that the church was found during the third season of excavations at Artemis Temple and its vicinity in Jerash,about 50 km south of Amman.
Local man's odd find has experts perplexed
Brye Butler / Reporter-News Staff Writer
Kevin Oliver said he's sure he doesn't have rocks in his head.
He does, however, have a big one in his living room. It's brown, weighs some 40 pounds and is hollow in a few places. Oliver said he thinks it's worth big bucks.
''This is no ordinary rock,'' he said.
At a glance, local geology buffs haven't been able to identify the rock Oliver came across while clearing underbrush on property in north Abilene.
''It's about to drive me crazy,'' Oliver said. ''I want to find out what it is.''
Months ago, ''I picked this thing on up and I thought, 'What the ... ''' Oliver said.
Because the rock looked so odd, Oliver said, he took it home and hosed it off. It's smooth but not perfectly round and about a foot and a half in diameter.
Oliver said he took it to the geology departments at Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.
Professor Richard Schofield said that in his 22 years with McMurry's geology department, he's never seen anything like it.
In looking at the rock, he couldn't determine its composition, age or origin. Its partial hollowness could be from weathering, Schofield said.
As for its value, Schofield said, ''It could be nothing, but I can't say with any certainty.''
He suggested Oliver send the rock to Texas A&M University, where staff could cut a sample to study.
Charles Lightfoot, a longtime member of the Central Texas Gem and Mineral Society, said the most common rocks in the Abilene area are fossils and agate, a striped gemstone.
''It's hard to say what he found,'' Lightfoot said without having seen Oliver's rock.
near Bourne can't explain black splatter
gray splatter is baffling Bourne residents.
In the meantime, the Cape Cod Times reports that neighbors are using everything from paint thinner to glass cleaner to try to get rid of the smudges. One man said he'll have to replace the vinyl siding on his house.He's hoping to find the source of the problem so he recover his costs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three inmates, two with artificial limbs, escaped from jail by squeezing through an 8-inch gap onto the roof and using bed sheets to descend three stories. Two were captured Monday.
William Clay Bohanan, 40, Berl Keith McKinnie, 38, and Billy Leo Potts Jr., 39, fled Saturday night from a special needs cell at the medium- and maximum-security jail in Nashville.
Left behind in the inmates' beds were dummies made by stuffing newspapers into jail-issued orange jumpsuits, authorities said.
McKinnie has a prosthetic foot and Potts a prosthetic leg. He was caught by the U.S. Marshals Service in north Nashville late Monday night about two miles from the jail.
Bohanan -- awaiting trial on homicide and arson related to a 1993 fire in which two children died -- was captured about 15 miles east of the jail, officials said.
Potts remained at large.
McKinnie faced charges related to a police pursuit in a stolen car. He also is a suspect in a homicide case and wanted for an aggravated sexual assault in Chicago. Potts faced charges including robbery and theft.
June 22, 2004
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - A man who tried to hold up a pharmacy with a needle he said was contaminated with AIDS gave up after the nervous clerk struggled to open the cash register, and he fled with just a chocolate bar, police said.
A spokesman for the Munich police department said on Tuesday that the thief, aged about 18, waved the syringe at the clerk and demanded she turn over the money in her cash drawer.
Police said the woman was so frightened that she fumbled with the cash drawer.
"It was all too slow for the thief so he just grabbed a chocolate bar and fled," the spokesman added.
USA: June 22, 2004
BERLIN - Scientists have developed a serum to reduce methane gas in burping sheep, cows and other ruminants to combat global warming, a German magazine reported yesterday.
The Hanover-based monthly Technology Review will report in its July issue that Andre-Denis Wright, a molecular biologist at Australia's CSIRO Institute, has found a vaccine that reduced the methane emissions of sheep by eight percent.
The magazine said that scientists believe the amounts can be reduced even further and more testing is planned.
Sheep produce 20 grams of methane each day, or seven kg per year, the magazine with 80,000 subscribers reported. Cows produce about 114 kg per year of methane (CH4) - a gas 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for driving up temperatures.
Much of the methane gas comes from agriculture, such as livestock emissions from cows and sheep, and waste dumps.
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