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!
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
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Does the objective truth really exist or is human civilization a colossal collection of lies?
By John Kaminski
Yeah, I know.
Love is a cheap word, one that is thrown around with more disdain for
reality, with more ulterior motives, than perhaps any other. I love Entenmann's
chocolate chip cookies. I love "freedom," a word larded with
control mechanisms if there ever was one. And of course, I love the Orwellian
word "peace," right up there with "democracy" as a
meaningless utterance of thoroughly deflated connotation, constantly kicked
around in the dirt by such rabid butchers as Nixon, Reagan, and Bush.
[...] Here is my check list for fascism: Simply ask these questions and if your society (in any place or time) answers 7 or more "yes", then your society has a critical mass of individual fascists to have become a fascist society.
the "Masculine" principle dominate?
3) Are "Family values" used as a propaganda tool to reinforce absolute hierarchy within the society?
4) Is there a class structure that dehumanizes the servant and subservient classes or deifies the ruling class?
5) Is a
military or a warrior class in top control in society with militarism
used as a paradigm for problem-solving?
7) Does "salvation" (the answers to ultimate questions) come from outside rather than from within, from the group rather than the individual?
8) Is form preferred over substance, slogan over content, symbol or sign over acts expressing the values the symbol represents?
9) Is "patriotism" to one's race or nation used to cement class structure and power within the lower classes subjected to that power?
10) Is religion used as a tool of the State to homogenize and control opposition?
Comment: Does this describe any countries you recognise? Take a look at the next article...
By: Tina Staik - 03/26/03
Recent writings, such as those by Thomas Hartmann, are MUST READs for those who love democracy and peace, and want to keep them alive. In particular, Hartmann's book "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and Theft of Human Rights", is a primer on restoring democracy from the clutches of what U.S./British industrialists (among others) have been peddling since WWII: fascism, merely scientifically packaged as democracy. http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0316-08.htm
A recent best seller, "The Silent Takeover," by socio-economist Noreena Hertz also reveals how corporations across the world manipulate and pressure governments by means both legal and illegal. Hertz presents a startling report on who really governs us, and how corporations have become more powerful than governments. National sovereignty, it seems, has become an illusion fostered by coalitions of "the willing" (bought?) puppets.
In an article published recently in The Guardian, journalist John Pilger (who has also put together a book and film documentary, both entitled "The New Rulers of the World" refers to the 'war on terror' as the "great charade," a "smokescreen created by the ultimate terrorist...America itself."
(As the story unfolds, we may discover that it is not so much America that is the terrorist, but an international cabal of plutocrats [or what Bill Moyers, in a 1987 PBS documentary referred to as the "secret world government"; see documentary by Dorrel ] who are the real culprits, having have decided that, after using Japan, Italy, Germany, in their previous attempts at world takeover, this time around, it would be America's turn to be their pawn. If the extreme decisions made by current administration are critically examined, for example, couldn't one reasonably conclude that these are made by persons who hate Americans, want others to hate and destroy them...?)
In any case, connecting the dots makes clear that it is fascism, and most definitely not "democracy," that the United States (and its "allies") have been promoting this last century, and especially since WWII. The seemingly natural association between "capitalism" and "democracy," which most Americans, and much of the world, have come to take for granted as unquestionable truth, is little more than a lie--perhaps the biggest lie in history--contrived by corporate sponsors to deceive, dupe the public into participating in their own oppression. It is also proof of the extent to which we have been brainwashed, big time.
Truth be told, left on its own, unregulated, capitalism instinctively morphs into fascism, which, in turn, by its very nature, IS a conspiracy--one zealously aimed at annihilating its primary enemy: democracy and rule of the people.
Many of our presidents have sounded warnings. Addressing Congress, President Andrew Jackson said, "In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages [votes] or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions."
Also to Congress, President Van Buren stated, "I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiased exercise of political opinion - the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government - would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities."
President Abraham Lincoln, nearing the end of the Civil War, wrote, "We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. The best blood of the flower of American youth has been freely offered upon our country's altar that the nation might live. It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."
President Woodrow Wilson, during WWI, stated, "We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world - no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men."
Anything that smacks of rule of, by, for the people, anything that hints of support for equality, civil and human rights, anything that suggests that all people, rather than just a self-appointed few, are worthy and deserving of liberty and the pursuit of happiness, anything that considers all of life and creation of infinite value and worth, anything of this nature is abhorrent to fascism--and thought to deserve destruction, degradation.
Fascism at its core, after all, is based on an extremely radical conservative ideology that idealizes classism, racism, sexism as highly desirable social goals, thus, making the structuring of this "ideal" society its ultimate mission, and, its highest goal, the development and perfection of science-based methods of totalitarian control over the dissemination of truth and all aspects of life, from birth to death (by any and all means, including lies, misinformation, staged attacks, wars, terrorism, pharmacology, etc.). Genocide, mass deaths, suicides are all part of the secret oaths the inner circle members take in swearing loyalty unto death--not to any country or nation--but, to the mission.
Americans have been kept in the dark, as Jackson said, "secretly," nevertheless, intentionally. Few realize that the rise of the Third Reich and popularity of Hitler were financed by plutocrats, mostly U.S. and British. Even fewer know about the central role Prescott Bush, George W.'s grandfather, played in financing the rise of Hitler, or how available the involvement of the Bush family is detailed. If this were not a conspiracy to overthrow the free world and impose a fascist world order, wouldn't the media have capitalized on this in the past when any member of the Bush family tried to run for political office?
A glance back at archived articles, such as the one printed in the New York Times in August 1934, reveals how hard Hitler's corporate media fans worked to shape Hitler into "der Fuhrer" (the Leader)--seemingly the sole decision maker, who had godlike capacities to make everyone fall in line--all the while selling the public on the idea that it is a good thing to follow leaders, without question. (Keep this in mind when considering how hard corporate media, speech writers, etc., have worked--to their shame--to build an "image" of George W. as a strong, decisive "leader," even though, this time, most are not fooled, knowing Cheney and others run things!). The self-appointed architects of public opinion went even further with Mussolini, attempting to cloak him as the "infallible leader," imagine that, to get people in step with fascists' agenda. Chances are, peace friends, the real decision makers then, just as today, work under cover behind the scenes, having bought the "right" to do so, or proven themselves in some secret initiation.
Thus, the history of U.S. fascism is little known to the world because plutocrats, having the power and means to do so, covered their tracks, focusing world blame instead on, i.e., the "German people" and "European leaders" who supposedly deserved the shame that was showered upon them for having "appeased" Hitler. Nonsense. The people then, as many people today, were duped, drugged, terrorized by big money campaigns into participating with the atrocities committed under the guise of "protecting" them from terrorism. The real appeasers were the big time supporters, financiers!
As Hartmann points out, even publishing houses taken over by corporations became part of the conspiracy to keep creeping fascism in the United States under cover. He notes, for example, that "Back in 1983, before its publisher was acquired by a multinational corporation, the American Heritage Dictionary left us this definition of the form of government the democracies of Spain, Italy, and Germany had morphed into during the 1930s: “fas-cism (fâsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. [Ital. fascio, group.]” In contrast, today's dictionaries--and school textbooks--give rather abstract definitions of fascism, i.e., as autocratic form of government based on anti-Semitism, totally omitting the KEY characteristic of fascism as the "merging" of government and business, as well as radical idealizing of extreme forms of classism (slavery), racism (white supremacy), and sexism (women in Nazi Germany were relegated to serving as incubators for making white Aryan babies, to fight in perpetual wars).
One of the best definitions for fascism, however, was given by a fascist dictator himself, Benito Mussolini, who said "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism as it is a merger of state and corporate power." Of course, if this definition were in our dictionaries and school texts, fascist plans for world domination would have been foiled long ago, and the world would not have bought the lie that the threat of fascism was eradicated by U.S. and British forces, ending with the Nuremberg trials, and so on.
[...] In all likelihood, left versus right debates may themselves be contrived, spawned to serve the interests of self-appointed rulers in achieving science based control of the public mind, on the one hand, by uniting them against a common "enemy," and, on the other, orchestrating false illusions of democracy to appease the public will.
A recent report by votefraud.org notes that "false opposition" may well be a main contributor to the lack of progressive reforms, more specifically, explaining why certain organizations--how about the Democratic Party itself--have followed a "defeatist" course over the last quarter century. The report speculates that false opposition is "the major reason why the vote counting process has been able to be taken out of the hands of the American people without so much as a peep from the organizations that Americans thought they were depending on to protect our freedoms. And also the reason why concerned Americans have not been told about how to use the precinct system to take back the government."
This does not mean that all democrats in office are frauds, but it does mean those in top leadership positions within the party understand the game plan. Shame.
[...] Fascists hold particular disdain for peace activists, in particular, and much energy and tax dollars have been used to dismantle, discredit them. Of course. They oppose the very tool--war--that is used to keep people under control, living in fear, oppressed, demoralized, hungry. Make no mistake. War, especially that of the 20th century, has been a fascist racket, explicitly designed to protect "freedom" of corporate profiteers while simultaneously inviting citizens to participate in their own oppression, curtailment of civil rights. President John F. Kennedy said it all, when he said, "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." http://www.commondreams.org/views02/1011-05.htm
All justifications for war are lies. As Thomas Hartmann points out, war is a "trick" to dismantle democracy.
Fascism's very best, most dependable helpmate is terrorism. Terrorism provides the necessary justifications for "defending" and "protecting" people. Why else would the U.S. have terrorist training schools like the School of the Americas?
From the members of Ku Klux Klan in the deep South who were paid after the Civil War to keep newly emancipated African Americans "in their place" to the gangsters who were hired to dismantle union activism, from FBI programs like COINTELPRO that worked to dismantle/discredit civil rights/peace activism to suicide assassins, the best kept secret of fascism, is that without terrorism it could not conduct its charades. Without building and training bin Laden's, al-Qaeda networks, Saddams, fascists would not be able to divide-and-conquer, orchestrate civil wars, restructure societies to have access to slave labor. (Quoting the most highly respected defense journal, Jane's Defence Weekly, "In 1988, with US knowledge, bin Laden created Al-Qaeda (The Base); a conglomerate of quasi-independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across 26 or so countries. Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda." )
In fact, you may say, terrorism is fascism's raison d'etre.
Ever since fascist totalitarianism emerged as a force to subvert citizen activism in the mid 1800s, it has systematically lied, bought, bribed, terrorized its way into the hearts and/or minds human beings in pivotal positions, many of whom are trapped, duped, bedazzled, locked by its stranglehold. It makes gangsters, thugs, terrorists out of the jobless, demoralized masses, who are more easily bribed, bought. According to Amnesty International ("United States of America - Rights for All" Oct 1998) "The U.S.A. has supplied arms, security equipment and training to governments and armed groups that have committed torture, political killings and other human rights abuses in countries around the world."
Yes, we have been kept in the dark this last century. Better late than never, millions are awakening to "see" America for what it really is. The "dream of America" has been little more than a cover for world domination, a scheme to reinstitute slavery in the U.S. and around the world. In order to understand the extent of this conspiracy to shape a topsy-turvy world, ponder on what Adolf Hitler, in "Mein Kampf," 1923, proposed, that "Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."
Fascism has brought the world no less than the most shameful, bloodiest century in the history of humankind. As fascism is a destructive force, however, it and all those who support it, or have bought its lies and promises, are in self-destruct mode. The Golden Rule is a spiritual Principle just as real as the Law of Gravity. All of Creation and Life sing a liberating song of love and peace.
It is for lovers of democracy and peace to remember that the crime has not been our blind following of these lies and schemes, though we may want to hold ourselves responsible to remain awake from here on out. As the Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950, concluded, "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
The real crimes, nonetheless, are those committed by leaders who have conspired, knowingly, to thwart democracy, overturn the free world under the pretense of spreading freedom and democracy, utilizing science based methodology to package fascism as "democracy." Self-appointed rulers, criminals, thugs, gangsters, front men, con artists--they are the real criminals. "The greatest crime since World War II," according to Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, "has been U.S. foreign policy."
It's time the world knows the truth, openly. It's time for apologies, accountability, tears, reconciliation. These domestic and foreign policy leaders, and not the kept-in-the-dark masses, must be held accountable for wasting precious energy and vast amounts of tax payers' money in this conspiracy to control and dupe public will. Leaders must be held accountable for compromising of science and research, rather using it as a force for the building of healthier communities, as means of oppression, control of human mind, distortion of "truth," perversion of democracy, restructuring our languages, religious beliefs, all for political gain. [...]
Comment: Well, it may not be news to most Americans, but the rest of the world does know. It's the Americans themselves who have been hornswoggled. And it seems to us that it is too late. What can be done now to stop the slide into fascism and martial law in the US?. Bush and his gang are openly looking for ways to cancel the election, due to the threat of "terror", of course. Things have come so far since that fateful day in September three years ago.
Try going back to that time. Imagine yourself prior to September 11, 2001. Imagine it is the evening of September 10, 2001. You're out with friends. Imagine you had started talking about alternate futures, imagining the most outrageous scenarios for a drift towards fascism in the US? Could you have imagined what has transpired?
Do you see, even now when it is plain as the smirk on the chimp-president's face, what is going down?
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. ~~ Ayn Rand
By Sheila Samples
07/13/04 "ICH" -- On July 4th, Bush told a meticulously selected right-wing crowd in Charleston, W.Va. that war brings security at home. He said it's his duty as our Leader to keep seizing opportunities to make us safer and safer. In fact, eternal safety for the American people is his goal. His will is strong, Bush says. He will not be deterred. He is resolved. Relentless. Won't quit trashing and smashing until he has personally delivered God's gift of freedom to every single man and woman on the face of the earth, or until he is reselected, whichever comes first. No matter how many body bags it takes.
This was no Independence Day tribute to a still-young nation on its 228th birthday. It was a blatant attempt by Bush to rally the faithful into a stampede to endless war with his embarrassingly repetitive and increasingly shrill mantra of long-ago discredited ideological claptrap. I looked out across that sea of fluttering red-white-and-blue plastic flags; recoiled at the mindless chant of "four more years!...four more years!" and instinctively knew the eyes of all in that bewildering crowd were hypnotically spinning like targets.
What's going on here, America? What's it going to take to get your attention? Is there anything more morally horrifying than a hubris-infected fool who dares to recreate God in his own image, who forces upon the world a brutal doctrine of killing all who do not agree with him, claiming to liberate those who do -- yet destroying both groups in the process? Think about it, America. That's our hubris-infected fool I'm talking about. Our fool who refuses to explain to us the lies, the deceit and cover ups that have resulted in the sands of Iraq soaking up the blood of nearly 900 of our loved ones, more than 100 coalition troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens.
America...? Yeah -- it's me -- over here. I'm not going away, so listen up. Look at Bush. What do you see? Of course! That kid on the bridge in Deliverance! With a vacuous smirk, Bush began his spin on the way to war with a bit of innocent strumming -- immediately picked up and echoed by the media and neocon think-tank pundits. The Veep and his Project for a New American Century (PNAC) war hawks joined in, the New World Order guys, Bush's National Security Adviser and, finally, his Secretary of State. What a performance! We were mesmerized by gathering dangers, smoking guns, mushroom clouds, sudden horrors, nuclear bombs, links to Al Qaeda -- all interspersed with dire, multi-colored warnings of terrorists climbing through bedroom windows here in the homeland -- and all hitting us relentlessly from every direction in a strident Dueling Banjos cacophony...
Does it matter? Does it matter that we were forced to accept answers for going on a killing rampage without being given time to ask the questions? Does it really matter if the last things our sons and daughters see are the fireworks of exploding metal -- the last things they hear are their own screams as they fall amidst the dead and the dying? It's as if the entire nation is playing a deadly game of Jeopardy. The answer is -- "All of us who continue to remain silent." The question is -- "Whose fingerprints are all over each individual flag-draped coffin in the steady stream of American dead shuttled back to their grieving families in the dead of night?"
Was it not Gandhi who said, "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
I can't believe we're having this conversation. I thought you would surely "catch on" to the grim absurdity of it all by now. We already have all the answers. Bush says "time is not on our side," but we need to start hooking those answers up to their questions anyway. There's no doubt that Americans will finally see -- in one shock of recognition -- the terrible destruction Bush has wrought at home and abroad. When this happens, there will be a universal "John F. Kennedy" moment -- no individual will ever forget where he was at the moment he was jerked violently awake to realize that evil moves freely among us.
We know why Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Lewis Libby and the rest of the Vulcan gang are here. They published their road map to global empire, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," for all the world to see in September 2000, and Bush immediately adopted it as his national security strategy. Have you read it, America? I thought not...
Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, and a host of other signatories were more explicit in their goals. In a January 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton they demanded that he remove Saddam Hussein. When Clinton rejected them, they then wrote on May 29, 1998 to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, h bemoaning Clinton's "failed leadership," and demanding that Congress go to war without the President's consent.
Still nothing. So, in early April 2002, Kristol and his PNAC gang penned a letter to Bush, laying out the real reasons they are here. Parroting Cheney's "sudden horror" and bogus "Saddam links to Al-Qaeda" syndrome, Kristol urged Bush to "accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."
Kristol's bottom line was that "...Saddam, along with Iran, funded and supported terrorism against Israel." He reminded Bush that "Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight. Israel’s victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism."
Kristol and 33 other proud Americans signed that letter, including former presidential hopeful Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Ken Adelman, Linda Chevez, Eliot Cohen, Rich Lowry, Clifford May, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz and James Woolsey...
So, why is Bush here? A guy who's never accomplished anything on his own, doesn't read, makes snap "gut" decisions that destroy whole cultures and societies, including his own -- why is he here? What could those five Supreme Court judges have been thinking -- or smoking -- in 2000 to anoint such a dangerously ignorant and hollow paranoid schizophrenic as the most powerful man in the world?
I hate to say this, but it looks as if Bush is only here for the killing. He's finally found something he's good at and so far -- thanks to target-eyed flag-waving Americans -- destroying all those who are either with us or with the enemy has been as easy as sticking firecrackers in a frog's mouth.
It took me a while to come to grips with that. My own "JFK moment" came in November 2002 with the Israeli-type Hellfire missile assassination of six men -- one of them an American citizen -- in Yemen. Nothing has happened since then to change the impact of that moment. The media barely mentioned we were engaging in cold-blooded murder, nor that President Ford had signed a 1976 executive order banning assassinations that was, and is, still in force. The media giggled and nodded when defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld regaled them with the surprise "hit," saying he hoped it was the first of many such successful operations. No charges, no trial, no evidence, just murder -- the handiwork of a dictator or a tyrant -- surely not that of an American president. And it's been downhill from there -- abuse, torture, daily spilling of innocent blood, maimed and slaughtered American citizens, orchestrated terror alerts for political gain, total international chaos... Evil truly moves freely among us.
World domination. Support for Israel. Controlling the world's resources. That's why they are here. And -- watch my lips -- they have no more intention of leaving in November 2004 than Hitler did in 1933. What kind of spell are we under that few of us can remember history before 2000? It might behoove us to take a peek at history since Bush, who openly admits he longs to be a dictator, rags on and on about being "called by history" to seize opportunities to destroy anything in his path. Might be prudent.
Don't make me walk you through this. Read the Decrees of 1933 for yourselves -- the repressive February 28 Decree that suspended civil liberties in the wake of the false crisis created by the Reichstag fire...the Enabling Act which trashed the Reich constitution and gave Hitler total power to enact laws that were effective on the day they were published...and the Law Against the Establishment of Parties, which established Hitler's Socialist Party as the only political party in Germany. Read about the people who had misgivings about these decrees, but -- what the heck -- the state was in danger, Hitler was seizing opportunities to make them safer, and he gave a killer "God" speech...Inexplicably, the people raised little objection to Hitler assuming full dictatorial power. They trusted him, even loved him. What could go wrong?
The resulting New World Order, or Third Reich, that descended upon Germany in all its crushing devastation is a long read and really really boring for those of us who would rather go to a Spiderman movie. For those who prefer more recent history, why not take a quick look at the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism," otherwise known as the USA PATRIOT ACT -- 342 pages of civil liberty offenses that was rammed -- unread -- through the Congress in October 2001.
Hey -- come back here America! I'm not through with you yet! While we still can, every one of us should be required to read Bernard Weiner's June 2003 article, "Germany in 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism." Weiner, a co-editor of The Crisis Papers, writes that, of course, George Bush is not Adolph Hitler, but he points out the "disquieting similarities" between the two eras. Weiner describes what I perceive as our current "national madness," and says, "...it becomes easier to simply permit oneself to sink, ever so slowly into this collective illness, into accommodation with the ruling party, even though the police-state is constantly violating citizens' privacy."
Okay. That's it. You're free to go. Isn't freedom great?
Oh, and one more answer -- in a June 1992 interview with the late, great Sarah McClendon, Poppy Bush confided, "If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched."
What do you think the question to that one is?
In previous issues, we carried comments from a reporter assigned to the White House press corps. Some of these remarks, most especially one about Bush’s physical and mental problems, drew an enormous number of viewers and hundreds of inquiries, most especially from foreign press entities. The reporter advised us by email that there was rampant fury in the White House and security was becoming very tight. As a result of this, he decided to lay low for a few weeks and see how the wind was blowing. Yesterday, he sent us the following material which we are now posting. Some of it is outrageous in the extreme but to date, no one has proven him wrong.
July 10, 2004: “Several bits of info your readers might find interesting. Firstly, I saw a purloined briefing in which it states that US Special Forces and other groups are not, repeat not, to nail Osama bin Laden! The Bush people want him alive and threatening us so they can use these threats to clamp down on this country! Because of faked threats of terrorist “actions”, elections will be cancelled until further notice, the military will go to a National Internal Crisis mode and we will, for certain, have martial law.
Also, a number of lower level staffers are quitting the Monkey Palace because they are getting afraid of what our Prez and his bully boys are up to.
Also some comments here about the CIA faking material. The CIA did not fake material. The Bush people, Rice and others, ordered them to produce certain supportive reports for Bush to use as an excuse for attacking Iraq. Bush was not mislead by a boneheaded CIA as he and his allies in Congress want you to believe.
Cheney is dying of heart trouble and his dope popping doctor is off the case. I would bet five to ten that Dick gets off the ticket and they put Frist on. That one is a nasty piece of work. He once got nailed for torturing and killing stray cats and is a real dyed-in-the-wool sadistic Jesus freak. (Is there any other kind?)
We are heading into big trouble, kids, believe me. Some people think Ashcroft is a nut but he does just what Bush wants him to. The Moore movie is keeping the rest rooms full here, believe me. This movie has the capability of destroying Bush come November, that is if the Fuhrer doesn’t declare a national emergency and have himself appointed Dictator for Life. He won’t get the black vote because he does not like them and Ashcroft positively hates the “Sons of Ham” as he calls them. The Mexicans don’t vote and we hear daily that Bush is not vicious enough for the Christian right and they might decide to support an Ashcroft presidency. Ashcroft is a man who thinks calico cats are Satan himself and a friend at Justice says they view him there as a first class wacko who would be better for everyone if he were out in St. Elisabeth’s nut house in a rubber room.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Attorney General John Ashcroft took yet another step last week to deep-six the Sibel Edmonds case by classifying the report of an investigation into her allegations of FBI wrongdoing so the public will never know what it says. Meanwhile, Justice Department officials met in secret with a federal judge in Washington, following which he dismissed her suit charging the FBI with wrongfully firing her.
Edmonds is the translator hired by the FBI after 9-11 to help its woefully inadequate staff translate documents and wiretaps pertaining to the attacks in languages such as Farsi and Turkish. As she has told the Voice in past and recent interviews, she was given a top secret security clearance. She soon discovered that there were what she describes as two enemy moles with possible connections to 9-11 working both in the FBI and with the Air Force in weapons procurement for Central Asia, at one point. These were the Dickersons: Douglas with the Air Force and his Turkish-born wife, Melek Can Dickerson, with the FBI as a translator monitor. After they were subpoenaed for a court hearing, they left for Belgium in September 2002 and have not been heard from since.
[...] To shut her up, Ashcroft invoked the States Secrets Act, classifying everything she had said or was about to say, down to the most absurd detail: "She speaks languages which the FBI says are classified," explained Mark Zaid, her attorney, at a press conference in Washington last week. "But if anybody checks her résumé, they are of course listed. . . . She was born in Iran and grew up in Turkey. So you can guess what languages she speaks—and English, which, I guess, is a classified fact as well." Edmonds is not allowed to answer any substantive questions that might reveal, for instance, where she worked.
Then, on July 6, Reggie Walton, a federal district judge in D.C., dismissed Edmonds's case challenging the FBI for firing her. Around the same time, he ruled in another lawsuit, in which attorneys had wanted to depose Edmonds, by setting forth in detail what Edmonds could and could not say. Judge Walton said it was OK for her to answer when asked, "Please state your name." But she must not answer "When and where were you born?" She could respond to "When did you come to the United States?" as well as "Are you a resident of the United States?" But she was not to answer "Where did you go to school?"
Finally after two years, the Justice Department's Inspector General last week released his report on the Edmonds case—and it was immediately classified.
WASHINGTON -- Gary Rosenblatt, editor and publisher of the New York Jewish Week, consulted a high-profile rabbi before publishing his investigative report about Rabbi Baruch Lanner's abuse of teenagers last year. His concern was whether the publicity of it would be considered lashon hara, slander according to Hebrew law.
"Jews are like everyone else but more so," said Rosenblatt, quoting an old Jewish saying.
Do Jewish journalists have more obligations than others? Are they responsible first to their communities, and do they need to represent Israel in their newspapers?
These questions and others were raised by the 50 participants of "Do the Write Thing," a special program for student journalists sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization at the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities held here last week.
"There are different kinds of Jewish journalists," said Rosenblatt. "Some advocate about cause. It's difficult to say I'm objective and to show two sides, and on the other hand to be passionate about the cause."
Rosenblatt said the "role is to be as objective as possible but also understand you are part of the community."
"The truth is our most powerful tool, and we must engage young people with facts before expecting them to take up the cause," he wrote in his weekly editorial.
Rosenblatt's readers are his community, but other speakers asked for the loyalty of Jewish writers in the regular media.
"In order to come to a very wide public we need a medium, a mediator," said Ephraim Lapid, the Jewish Agency spokesperson. "It's the most effective way we have to bring information to many."
Lapid was convinced of the duty of young journalists. "We need presence in the media, either by interviews or by initiative covers or letters to the editor," he said.
He urged the audience to use Israeli consulates and Jewish Agency for Israel representatives to help the Israeli hasbarah, or public relations.
Some young journalists didn't see any problem with Lapid's offers.
"On campus there is already so much anti-Israeli sentiment that we have to be careful about any additional criticism against Israel," said Marita Gringaus, who used to write for Arizona State University's newspaper. "This is our responsibility as Jews, which obviously contradicts our responsibilities as journalists." Gringaus explained her position by saying that in the campus media, "groups are set against each other rather than as objective views."
Uzi Safanov, a writer at the Seawanhaka newspaper of Long Island University in New York, agreed.
"I'm a Jew before being a journalist, before someone pays me to write," he said. "If I find a negative thing about Israel, I will not print it and I will sink into why did it happen and what can I do to change it." Safanov said that even if he eventually wrote about negative incidents that happen in Israel, he would try to find the way "to shift the blame."
Others among the participants felt uncomfortable with these suggestions.
"I personally don't agree with him [Lapid]," said Daniel Treiman, editor of New Voices magazine. "There is a mixture here between journalism and propaganda. Journalists have to realize the importance of unbiased reporting, the fairness of portraying both sides. They are not supposed to be agencies."
Deborah Meyers, who is originally from Marin County and used to work for the Jerusalem Report, agreed.
"They reinforce that, as Jews in the media, you have responsibly to help Israel. This is not reporting; this is PR," she said. "I am Zionist, but it doesn't mean you can't be critical of what happens in Israel."
Still, Meyers feels a loyalty to Jewish values. "It doesn't matter if you are a journalist or in another profession," she said. "Our Jewish values influence every aspect of our lives. Nobody can be totally objective because we all come with our own perspective, our own biases, and that is going to come through in the writing."
Leni Reiss, the American Jewish Press Association liaison to the conference, said one can never be 100 percent objective, "but (as a Jew) you can bring your unique knowledge, your unique sensitivity to the job that you do, and it's not necessarily a bad thing." [...]
Comment: Do not each people and culture have "unique knowledge" and "unique sensitivity"? But what do you call it when Jewish journalists consider Palestinians to be dogs or subhuman? Will this uniquely sensitive take on the subject been "balanced"? When you stand aside and see children being shot, and you excuse it because they had it coming, after all they were throwing stones at the tanks, is this "uniquely sensitive"?
no topic elicits so much bitter criticism as coverage of the Middle East.
As hard-line supporters of Israel and the Palestinians wage a proxy war
via e-mail, threatening phone calls and demonstrations, correspondents
and news organizations find themselves the targets of condemnation, often
The Zionist Organization of America didn't wait long before declaring war on the Philadelphia Inquirer's new editor. The leaders of the ZOA's local chapter were polite when they called on Amanda Bennett last year, less than three months after she took over, but the message they delivered was blunt. Bennett says the chairman, Michael Goldblatt, told her the organization was going to continue its efforts to hurt the Inquirer economically, while the president, Leonard Getz, laid down the terms for ending the ZOA's boycott. "He said Israel was the victim, and that we should approach all stories from this perspective," Bennett says. "And if we did this, they would call off the boycott, and our circulation would rise."
The delegation also presented Bennett with a scathing report on her brief tenure titled "New Era but the Same Errors: The Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of the Middle East in the first 60 days of the Amanda Bennett Era."
"We concluded that things have been at least as bad, if not worse, than they were under Walker Lundy, the previous editor," Steve Feldman, executive director of the local chapter, said in an interview. "The Philadelphia Inquirer is poisoning hundreds of thousands of people every day. If the surgeon general had newspapers under his bailiwick, they would come with the same warning, that reading the Inquirer could be dangerous to your health."
Bennett hardly shares that view. "We spend a ton of time making sure we are as fair, balanced and informative as we possibly can be," she says. "And it is my belief, based on my contacts with the larger community, that very few people in the wider community would agree with Mr. Feldman."
Bennett came to the Inquirer from Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader, where she confronted a strong Christian community that cared passionately about the issues of homosexuality and abortion. But that experience didn't quite prepare her for the intensity of the advocates on both sides of the Middle East conflict. "Since becoming editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, I've talked to a lot of my fellow editors around the country," she says, "and I have to say that in major cities across the United States, my colleagues agree that is the most vexing issue that faces them in the sense of an issue that's difficult, time-consuming and important to deal with."
As Bennett and others covering the conflict have discovered, they have been plunged into a kind of proxy war for the one raging between Israel and the Palestinians. The American version is fought with e-mails, threatening phone calls, demonstrations and pressure on advertisers, but to the people on the receiving end, the struggle seems as toxic and never-ending as the real thing.
"Most of the e-mails are not interested in balanced coverage," says Margaret Coker, who is based in Jerusalem for Cox Newspapers. "They only want coverage that reflects their own political views. When you get one that says, 'You shouldn't call yourself a concerned human being, you're a supporter of mass murder,' and when it comes to using your first name and accusing you of things like that, it takes a strong person for it not to get under your skin."
"There's no place in the world that causes as much misery for a journalist," says syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer, who writes frequently about the Middle East. "The Arabs get extremely angry if you're not on their side. The Israelis get enraged if you're not 1,000 percent on their side. You just can't please anyone."
Pro-Israeli Web sites, which are better staffed and funded, generate about 10 times as much mail as pro-Arab sites, editors say. They note, too, that the volume waxes and wanes depending on the level of violence. (See "Days of Rage," July/August 2002.) After an event like the March assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the founder of Hamas, monitoring sites go into overdrive.
HonestReporting.com, a pro-Israeli pressure group, lambasted news outlets for calling the sheikh a spiritual leader rather than a terrorist, while Palestine Media Watch (pmwatch.com) put out an "action call" headed "Don't let U.S. media whitewash Sheikh's assassination."
Even when violence tapers off, journalists covering the story can expect hostile mail, often couched in the most personal, vituperative terms. The subject is so sensitive, in fact, that a number of those interviewed did not want to be quoted by name, including one columnist who fumed, "Look, there's no placating these people. It's endless and there's no rationality involved. I want to write about the Middle East, and I will never stop writing about the Middle East, but there's a limit to how much shit you're going to take. And I don't need an extra load of shit" from being quoted.
Another journalist, a political cartoonist, said the criticism directed at him is so intense it has started to affect his family. "My kids are teenagers," he says. "Their friends had been to a lecture at a synagogue where they were told I was an anti-Semite. So they came back and told my kids, 'We still like you, but your dad's an anti-Semite.' " A third, a reporter based in Jerusalem, speaks of dreading the nasty e-mails she finds on her computer every day. "I would rather not be quoted for fear of encouraging more complaints, but it really eats at you. We all want to be fair. It's not that I mind hearing from people, but the accusation of unfairness is one I take very seriously. It's definitely one of the more stressful aspects of the job."
Occasionally, the personal nature of the attacks has its comic side. The Los Angeles Times' Laura King, who is based in Jerusalem, found that out when she went to Baghdad at the height of the Iraqi war. "I got e-mails saying, 'Oh, I see you are in Baghdad. I hope nothing bad happens to you,' " she says. "The writers were very friendly and expressing concern for my welfare, which is pretty funny in light of the fact that they're extremely critical when I'm in Jerusalem."
Reporters and editors say that some of the complaints they receive come from thoughtful individuals who are genuinely concerned about what they see as bias, and that they take such criticism seriously. And sometimes, they admit, even the most intemperate critic can make a valid point or find a mistake. More often, though, news outlets are subjected to organized campaigns based on half-truths or picayune points.
As evidence of National Public Radio's supposed pro-Palestinian sympathies, for example, CAMERA, the Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America, cited one report in which "Palestinians or other Arabs were described by NPR reporters or guest speakers as 'frustrated' 16 times, while Israelis were only said to have such feelings four times."
Frequently, these so-called media monitors, who say they are only interested in fairness and balance, will seize on a word or a phrase and leave out the context. Take the case of a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial that called both PLO leader Yassir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "pigheaded and destructive." In a communiqué urging readers to complain to the Inquirer, HonestReporting.com omitted the reference to Arafat to make the editorial sound like a one-sided attack on Sharon.
Pro-Israeli sites have no monopoly on distortion or twisted logic. In January, Palestine Media Watch, which advocates for Palestinians, blasted the Los Angeles Times for publishing an opinion piece in which Israeli historian Benny Morris defended the decision to expel Arabs from Israel in 1948. ("Los Angeles Times dignifies call for ethnic cleansing with op-ed space!") In the same release, it took note of an op-ed piece the previous day by a Palestinian academic arguing for a one-state solution. "It is clear now why the Los Angeles Times dared publish that op-ed," the Web site said. "It was part of a one-two package deal, where the editors and the Los Angeles Times clearly hoped to play the two sides of the divide against one another."
In other words, you can't win.
News organizations sometimes point to the fact that they are criticized by groups on both sides of the Middle East issue as proof of their fairness. But that hardly satisfies the critics. "I know that some people in journalism think that if you upset both sides, you're doing your job," says the Philadelphia ZOA's Steve Feldman. "Well, journalists are not in the business of upsetting people. They should be enlightening people."
But how do you mollify critics whose views are so far apart that about the only thing they agree on is that the news media are biased against them?
"Reporters in this country have adopted a narrative that is inherently flawed," says Ahmed Bouzid, the founder of Palestine Media Watch. "It stems from the notion that the number one problem is terrorism, that it's Israel that's under threat, and that no progress can be made until the violence stops. We are trying to change that mind-set to make people realize that the basic narrative is that this is an occupation and that it's the Palestinian people who are being humiliated and oppressed."
Michael Weinstein, executive director of HonestReporting.com, has a radically different critique. "Generally speaking, the dominant narrative in the American media has been one of presenting Israel as the aggressor in the conflict and the Palestinians as victims," he says. "There's an occasional change after horrific terror attacks, when there tends to be a lot of sympathy for the Israeli people, but that tends to fade after a week or so."
Lately, though, Weinstein says, he sees more of what he calls "cycle of violence" coverage. "In this view, you have two people locked in a vicious battle in which neither side is justified. There's no right or wrong. Just two people killing each other and two piles of bodies. This leads to the moral equivalence problem, where a terrorist blowing up a bus in Jerusalem and an Israeli Defense Force strike against terrorist leaders are the same thing."
[...] One problem reporters and editors face is the long-running, repetitive nature of the conflict. There is a sense among the journalists I talked to that they have already explained the roots of the problem, that the public has tired of the situation, figuring, as one editor said, "If they want to keep on killing each other, let 'em."
"No one wants to keep running the same story again and again," says the Chicago Tribune's McNulty. "The Arab-Israeli story is still a key element and factor in American foreign policy, and it is not something we slight in terms of the number of stories, but we are always looking for fresher stories than 'The Israelis shoot three in Gaza' or 'West Bank settler is killed.' "
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman also sees fatigue with the story setting in. "I don't think the American press is biased," he says. "I've had both sides come up to me and say, 'The press never reports what the Palestinians do to us,' or, 'You never report what the Israeli bulldozers have done to us,' and I tell them, 'It's all been there. I can point to it in the paper. What you're really mad about is that nobody cared. I'm sorry about that, but it's out of my control that the public doesn't care, that they're tired and fed up with the whole story.' That's what neither side gets. They think that after each news broadcast, people are going to vote, and if it goes against them, they're finished. Well, people do have a little box next to the TV, and it's a clicker, and they turn it off."
Comment: The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, their planned genocide of the Palestinian people, and the outright one-sided support of the United States for this policy of murder are the reasons the US is hated in the Middle East. On the one side stand an army backed by billions of dollars of US support, a strong and vocal Jewish population in the US, and a media that is in a large part owned by people who are on the side of Israel, not to mention and administration populated with many people who have Israeli as well as American citizenship. On the other hand stand the Palestinians, with the support of who? Armed by who? Living in refugee camps where generations of children have been born and raised. The Israelis throw the Palestinians off of their lands, detroy their crops and olive groves, divert the water they need to irrigate, in order to maintain the illegal Israeli settlements so that the settlers can keep their lawns green.
And then the US press talks about needing to be "balanced".
What balanced? When someone enters your house at night with a gun, do you want "balanced" in the news?
Israel ignores international law. Israel ignores international opinion, and then hollers "anti-Semitism" whens its crimes are brought to light!
But the US papers want "balance".
Like "balance" in covering 9/11 -- that is, it was "Islamic terrorists" even though no piece of conclusive evidence has ever been brought forward to prove that claim. Do the US media cover the holes in the Bush gang's story? Never.
For more "balance" in American reprting, see the following:
The Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Maryland-based media company whose holdings include sixty-two TV stations, did the country a favor when it refused to air the April 30 special edition of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read the names and showed the faces of the 721 US soldiers who had died in Iraq to that point. By insisting that Koppel, the most respected commercial broadcaster in America, was seeking to undermine the war effort, Sinclair demonstrated the dangers to democratic discourse of allowing too much media power to be concentrated in too few hands, and it revealed as laughable the equation between reporters' alleged liberal bias and the content of the news.
Sinclair is owned by and for right-wingers. Its top executives contribute generously to conservative Republicans, and it instructs its stations to slant the news in their favor. If Sinclair is willing to censor Koppel merely for honoring America's war dead and for reminding Americans of this sacrifice, it hardly matters what the bias of any individual reporter employed by the company might be. When it comes to media ownership, money doesn't merely talk, as the bard of Hibbing sang, "it swears."
Comment: As we were saying...balance.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The terrorist threat against the United States in the run-up to the November election is as serious as at any time since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, acting CIA Director John McLaughlin said on Tuesday.
"This is about as serious a threat environment as I have seen since 9/11," said McLaughlin, the deputy director who took over on Sunday pending appointment of a permanent successor to Director George Tenet who resigned amid criticism of the agency's performance.
"The quality of the information we have now is such that we have high confidence that the nation needs to be on guard," McLaughlin told Reuters in a telephone interview.
He said the threats were not pinned specifically to the Democratic and Republican political conventions this summer but to the whole period before the November presidential election.
"It's related to this period during which the country is exercising its democracy, it's this period particularly in the run-up to the election, but it's always a mistake in the counterterrorism business to focus uniquely on a date," McLaughlin said. The attackers would strike when they are ready and not because of a specific date, he said.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, earlier on Tuesday told reporters that "the chatter and the texture of the chatter is the highest it's been since 9/11." Chatter refers to communications among terrorism suspects.
"There's a lot of members taking second thoughts about attending conventions," Roberts said, but added that he planned to attend.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge renewed public warnings last week of possible attacks by al Qaeda in the United States this year, but offered no details and said there were no plans to raise the terror threat level.
"Credible reporting now indicates that al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process," Ridge said. [...]
IT IS a political party that presided over some of the most heinous war crimes of the modern age including the gassing of more than 5,000 innocent Kurds, institutionalised torture, murder and rape.
Now the party that acted as the wheels of the repressive regime that was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is being invited into the fold, as the US has allowed the former dictator’s Ba’ath party to join the country’s new assembly.
When a national conference of Iraq’s "great and the good" meets later this month to map out the country’s democratic future there will be party members among them who until recently were treated as pariahs by the US-led invasion forces.
In a remarkable U-turn the new Iraqi provisional government will allow the Ba’ath party to take their seats in the 1,000-member assembly. [...]
However, the new Iraqi government’s softer stance towards Ba’athists is being accompanied by sweeping new emergency powers to declare martial law, impose curfews and freeze the assets of suspected insurgents.
Comment: You see, it's like this. Remember all that stuff that you were told about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and Saddam and his cohorts being the epitome of evil? Well, that was all BS. You see, we were just told that so that we would support the US government in their land grab of Iraq and the killing of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. You just have to remember that black is sometimes white, and the people are not in a position to think or know for themselves. We should all just believe what we are told to believe and leave it at that. Ok?
WMD speech 'based on lies'
Despite that warning, the CIA did not change Powell's speech, which was designed to persuade the UN Security Council to vote in favour of the invasion of Iraq in February last year. The CIA Iraq officer who received the warning placated his colleague in an email before Powell spoke.
By CURT ANDERSON
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department on Tuesday gave Congress nearly three dozen examples of how the Patriot Act has been used to prosecute terrorists and other criminals, part of an administration effort to counter criticism that the law does more to harm civil liberties than to protect the nation.
Attorney General John Ashcroft presented a 29-page report outlining the examples to members of the House Judiciary Committee, telling reporters after the private briefing that the report provided "a mountain of evidence" of the law's benefits.
"The Patriot Act is al-Qaida's worst nightmare when it comes to disrupting and disabling their operations here in America," he said.
The Bush administration has been trying to squelch criticism that the law, enacted a few weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, gave the FBI and other law enforcement agencies too much power to spy on people and dig into private lives. Key sections of the law expire in 2005. President Bush has urged Congress to renew those sections.
The report did not mention some more controversial powers, such as the FBI's ability to obtain library and bookstore records in terrorism cases or the so-called "sneak and peek" search warrants in which agents need not immediately tell suspects their home or business had been searched.
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, accused the department of selectively releasing information and refusing to address civil liberties concerns.
"Coupled with the department's consistent record of exaggerating their record about terrorism, this entire report is suspect," Conyers said. [...]
Comment: The pressure on the Bush regime continues to mount...
By TOM STUCKEY,
Associated Press Writer
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A coalition of activists around the nation held rallies in state capitals to publicize their fears about paperless voting systems.
In Maryland, more than 100 activists demonstrated Tuesday outside the State House demanding that voting machines be equipped with printers before the November election.
Participants in the "Computer Ate My Vote" campaign said paperless voting systems are poorly programmed and prone to hackers, fraud and software bugs.
VerifiedVoting.org, which organized the campaign, said rallies were held in 19 states.
"We want a paper trail now, this November," Linda Schade, of TrueVoteMD.org, said at the Annapolis rally.
Donna Duncan, manager of the election management division for the State Election Board, said the machines used in Maryland have undergone more security testing than any other election system in the country.
In Tallahassee, Fla., about 20 activists rallied outside the state Capitol and delivered about 20,000 petitions to the Division of Elections.
"Computers don't work very well," said Tom Baxter, one of the rally organizers. "If you want to have something you can count, you need paper." [...]
Comment: If the populace is wisening up a little to the Patriot Act and the electronic voting scam, perhaps the rumors of a terrorist attack before the election will prove to be highly accurate. If you can't steal the election, call it off!
WASHINGTON - States are beginning to receive long-awaited federal shipments of antidotes against chemical weapons, under a program that aims to have stocks in every state within two years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began quietly shipping the so-called chem-packs four months ago. New York City and Boston, sites of the upcoming national political conventions, were among the early recipients.
The program provides "a quick way for hospitals to know they'll have the antidotes they need," Donna Knutson, CDC's deputy director of terrorism preparedness, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
It was prompted in part because there has been "an uneven level of protection across the country," added Steve Adams, deputy director of the Strategic National Stockpile Program.
Much of the nation's ongoing efforts to prepare for terrorism have focused on biological attacks. For example, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile contains tons of drugs, vaccines and other medical supplies in storage around the country, so that any U.S. city can receive a needed shipment within 12 hours.
That may be enough time to react to an incubating infection like anthrax, but the ability to survive a chemical attack depends on immediate decontamination and rapid administration of appropriate antidotes.
Yet those antidotes are expensive and have fairly short shelf-lives, making them hard for many states to keep stocked.
Enter the chem-packs, which CDC began shipping four months ago.
The packs come with a variety of chemical antidotes, such as atropine to fight nerve agents. Some are in autoinjectors for attack-site use; others are packaged for emergency-room use.
For security reasons, CDC officials wouldn't say which states had received chem-packs so far, naming only New York and Boston.
New York received its first packs under a pilot program a year ago, said Jared Bernstein of the city's Office of Emergency Management. Now, looking toward next month's Republican convention, the city has received updated supplies.
The initial pilot program stalled when it was shuffled among federal agencies, said former Health and Human Services public health preparedness chief Jerry Hauer. "It's about time" the program was restarted, he said.
The number distributed depends on each state's population, and state health departments decide which hospitals will store the chem-packs. But the hospitals decide when it's time to break one out and use the contents.
"When minutes matter, if they need it to save lives, they have the authority to break the seals and go do the right thing," Adams said.
The CDC invested $56 million last year in creating the chem-packs, and has budgeted about $34 million this year as the distribution begins, officials said.
"It's the next logical step," said Dr. Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association, which long urged the federal government to prepare for chemical attacks.
The chem-packs will ensure "you have a ready cache of supplies if you have a large number of chemical victims," he said. Plus, "the right doses will be there, and hopefully you don't have to worry about people making up medications and overdosing or underdosing patients." [...]
The Indian government had decided to remain silent about the "strip-search" of former Defence Minister George Fernandes in the US last July because it feared that a protest would spoil bilateral ties. This was despite advice from senior MEA officials who wanted a note verbale protesting against the incident to be issued to the US government.
The incident was first reported by the Hindustan Times last September. Later investigations revealed that Fernandes had told then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee of the rough treatment, but the matter was never raised.
Yashwant Sinha, who was then the minister for external affairs, his deputy Digvijay Singh and Kanwal Sibal, who was foreign secretary at that time, were also informed about the incident by senior ministry officials who had accompanied Fernandes.
"We were told that Fernandes was given very rough treatment despite the fact that the US officials were informed that he was the Indian defence minister. It was a shameful incident and we wanted to protest and seek an apology, but we didn't get any instructions from the political leadership to take up the issue with the US," a senior MEA official told the Hindustan Times.
The incident had occurred at the John F. Kennedy airport when Fernandes was transiting the US on his way to Brazil, despite the fact that the Indian consulate in New York had informed the US protocol department about the visit.
Fernandes was so angry that he changed his schedule and returned to India via Europe.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A massive car bomb exploded Wednesday at a checkpoint near the area housing the U.S. Embassy and offices of the interim Iraqi government in Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 40, including one U.S. soldier, authorities said.
The car was packed with 1,000 pounds of explosives, said Iraqi police Col. Majid Abdel Hamid. It exploded before it was searched at a checkpoint leading to the parking lot, sending clouds of thick, black smoke pouring into the air.
"We were gathering outside the convention center seeking jobs," said one witness, Alla Hassan. "We were thrown on the ground. Then I saw many dead people."
The area, formerly known as the Green Zone, was once the headquarters of the U.S. occupation authorities. Now renamed the International Zone, it houses the U.S. and British Embassies, as well as the offices of the interim Iraqi government.
Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi later toured the site to assess the damage. He said the bombing came in retaliation for arrests of terrorism suspects, though he offered no details on who the suspects were or when they were arrested.
"This is a new crime that shows that the forces of evil are trying to harm the Iraqi people," Allawi said. "The civilians who met martyrdom today were jobseekers. The government will do its best to arrest those criminals."
He said 10 people were killed and 40 were injured. Touring the site in a gray suit, Allawi gathered a handful of reporters around him and promised that those responsible would be caught.
"We will crush those terrorists soon," Allawi said. [...]
WASHINGTON (AFP) Jul 14, 2004
US troops have launched a new operation in Afghanistan to help create secure conditions for elections amid fears of attacks by Taliban insurgents to derail the vote, a US defense official said Tuesday.
Dubbed "Lightning Resolve," the operation comes just days after the government set an October 9 date for presidential elections but delayed parliamentary election until 2005 because of the security situation outside Kabul.
"The purpose of this particular operation is to ensure the security of the election processes, set conditions for continued voter registration and election and provide a stable and secure environment for continued reconstruction efforts," a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Few details were available here on where and how the military will carry out the operation, the latest in a series by US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.
So far 6.5 million of Afghanistan's estimated 10.5 million eligible voters have registered to vote but in 19 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces less than 50 percent of population have so far put their names on electoral lists.
The US force in Afghanistan numbers around 20,000 troops.
NATO has agreed to expand an international peacekeeping force beyond Kabul to several other towns in northern and western Afghanistan but France raised objections to a US bid to deploy NATO's rapid response force for the elections.
Comment: First Iraq, then Afghanistan... It seems Bush wants to "democratize" the whole Middle East before the election.
Suspect's uncle slain after cop apparently mistakes soda can for gun
By Sean Kelly,
George Merritt, and Howard Pankratz
A Denver police officer likely mistook a soda can for a weapon before shooting and killing a 63-year-old man in his bed, Police Chief Gerry Whitman said Monday.
Frank Lobato was shot once in the chest Sunday night during a police search for a domestic-violence suspect. Lobato, a career criminal and formerly homeless man whom neighbors said was disabled, was not involved in the domestic dispute.
Instead, officers were searching the home at 1234 W. 10th Ave. for Lobato's nephew Vincent Martinez, who was wanted on suspicion of domestic violence, assault and false imprisonment. Martinez, 42, was captured Monday evening.
Some neighbors and community members called the shooting questionable - and worse.
"I think it is disgraceful," neighbor Rose Salaz said. "I don't see how they can just go into people's houses shooting people. ... They are supposed to protect us."
The shooting comes weeks after the city and police announced reforms to the department's use-of-force policy in the wake of controversy surrounding police shootings. [...]
Comment: Yes indeedy, they hate us because of our freedoms!
July 14, 2004
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon invited the United Torah Judaism ultra-orthodox party to join a new coalition government which he is seeking to put together with the main opposition Labour party.
Sharon telephoned two of the leaders of the party which has five deputies in the 120-seat Israeli parliament, according to an official statement.
Labour leader Shimon Peres was given the green light by his party's political bureau on Tuesday to start negotiations with Sharon about the formation of a national unity government which is needed to push through parliament the premier's plan to pull troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip.
Sharon has been keen to keep a religious element within his government after the departure of three ultra-orthodox ministers in recent weeks but the invitation to the United Torah Judaism is likely to upset the secular Shinui party which is the second largest partner of the current coalition.
The move came as a poll showed more than 70 percent of Israelis favour the Labour party joining a new coalition government under Sharon.
The poll in the Maariv daily showed Wednesday a total of 71 percent of those questioned said they were in favour of Sharon forming a national unity government with Labour while only 29 percent wanted the premier to form a new alliance with the religious right at the expense of Labour and the secular Shinui party. [...]
The Israeli occupying forces stepped up their military offensive on the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, demolishing several houses there, including one over the head of its elderly dweller.
IPC reported that the Israeli forces invaded early Monday morning Al Nemsawi residential project, west of Khan Younis City, backed by a number of tanks and armored bulldozers.
Eyewitnesses said that the armored bulldozers were tearing down houses there. They added that an Israeli tank shelled the house of Mahmoud Khalafallah, 75, an elderly man, while he was inside, then bulldozers advanced and completed the demolition by burying him under the rubble of his own house. Medical sources asserted that Khalafallah was not able to leave the house on time due to his incapacity.
Attempting to justify their crime, Israeli military sources claimed they thought Khalfallah's house was abandoned when they started demolishing it.
Meanwhile, occupation troops arrested four Palestinians late Sunday. Two men were arrested in Hebron, one was nabbed in Doha, east of Bethlehem, and a Hamas operative was arrested near Ramallah.
Palestinian National Authority
HEBRON, Palestine, July 13, 2004 -- Israeli occupying forces (IOF) invaded yesterday night the West Bank City of Hebron, storming its various neighborhoods with tanks and armored vehicles, while hundreds of Israeli soldiers were reportedly deployed in its streets.
At 8:00 pm yesterday night, hundreds of Israeli soldiers have been patrolling different streets in Hebron, breaking into a large number of houses, stores and shops, local sources and eyewitnesses confirmed.
The eyewitnesses further said that the breaking into houses was concentrated at the Ras Aljoura, Kizoun and the Haram Al-Ram neighborhoods as well as in the vicinity of the Transport Department. No more details were reported.
In the meantime, IOF stormed the Kufer Qadoum Village in the West Bank City of Qalqilia and began patrolling the area, IPC correspondent reported.
Eyewitnesses told IPC’s that the IOF were stationed in the middle of the village and began provoking the local inhabitants and arresting Mohammad Salim, 19, who works as a police officer.
Also, IOF launched late on yesterday night a large-scale search campaign among houses in the West Bank city of Albiera, WAFA News Agency reported.
An IOF contingent composed of six military jeeps, accompanied by a military van, swept into the city, then IOF soldiers began an arrest campaign by breaking into locals’ houses.
In the West Bank province of Nablus, IOF swept into the Deir Sharaf Town and the Balata refugee camp of Nablus City, leading to the arrest of two brothers of the Halawa family, IPC’s said.
The Israeli incursion into these areas was concentrated in the Balata camp, where a number of houses were occupied and turned into military outposts by the IOF soldiers, the IPC’s added.
In the Gaza Strip, IOF shelled early on Tuesday dawn the Faraheen neighborhood, east of Kahn Younis City, eyewitnesses reported.
The Israeli troops, stationed at the eastern borderline in Khan Younis, opened their heavy fire randomly at the nearby houses, causing the damage of some of them. No injuries were reported.
Concurrently, IOF beefed up presence in the eastern part of the southern Gaza Strip town of Al-Qarrara, occupying four houses owned by the citizens Yehya Al-Farra, Fawzi Al-Farra, Ala’ Al-Farra and Ayed Abu Haddaf, disallowing all those inside to get out, local sources said.
In the Gaza City, mainly at the coastal road which connects the northern and southern parts of the Strip, IOF, stationed around the illegitimate Israeli settlement of "Nitsarim", shot heavy live ammunition towards the Shaikh Ejleen Palestinian national security outpost. No causalities were reported.
EDT Jul 14
JERUSALEM (AP) - If Yasser Arafat dies, Israel must make sure he is not buried in Jerusalem and prepare for swift, harsh action if militant groups try to take control in the Palestinian territories, according to a new Israeli contingency plan.
The document, obtained by The Associated Press, lays out Israel's best predictions about the consequences that may follow the death of Arafat, 75, who wields enormous power and has said little about who might succeed him - or what to do with his body.
The contingency plan paints a dire picture: Arafat's Palestinian Authority will collapse and armed resistance groups, led by Hamas, could rise up out of the refugee camps where they have strong support and try to take control of the Palestinian government.
It says Israel must be prepared to launch a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip should that occur.
Comment: Notice this remark. In it, the Israelis are admitting that the Palestinian Authority is a brake on military operations, something they would never admit publicly where they portray Arafat as a "terrorist".
www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-14 17:41:38
GAZA, July 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli troops opened fire on Wednesday at a crew of United Nations Relief and Working Agency (UNRWA) that intended to deliver food supplies to the residents ofthe besieged northern Gaza Strip village of Beit Hanoun, said alocal UNRWA spokesman.
Adnan Abu Hasna told reporters that UNRWA commissioner General Peter Hansen was leading a convoy of 16 trucks loaded with food supplies to the village when they were attacked by the Israeli troops.
He added that as soon as the UNRWA crew reached al Sekka neighborhood in the village, Israeli troops rained the area with gunfire from heavy machine guns.
The UNRWA crew immediately took refuge into one of the nearby houses in the village, and the Israeli soldiers had opened fire at every direction for about 45 minutes, Abu Hasna said.
www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-14 18:52:16
GAZA, July 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Abdel-Razaq Majayda, Palestinian national security chief in the Gaza Strip, accused Wednesday Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of committing massacres in Gazain order to sabotage any chances of establishing a Palestinian state.
Majayda described the large-scale Israeli military operations inBeit Hanoun and Khan Younis as "massacres," saying that they are part of Sharon's plan.
He told the London-based "Al-Quds Al-Arabi" daily that "these massacres are perpetrated as part of Sharon's plan to drive Palestinians out of the territories and obstruct the establishment of their state."
By: Sheikh Muhammad Khurasani
TEHRAN, Iran: As the threat of execution hung over a Filipino hostage in Iraq and the UN appointed a veteran Pakistani Muslim diplomat to be ambassador to Baghdad, Iran's Supreme Leader said Tuesday he believed the US and Israel were behind the kidnapping and beheading of foreign nationals in Iraq.
"We seriously suspect the agents Americans and Israelis in conducting such horrendous terrorist moves," the official IRNA news agency quoted Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei as saying in a meeting with visiting Singaporean Premier Goh Chok Tong.
"(We) cannot believe that the people who kidnap Philippine nationals, for instance, or beheaded US nationals are Muslims."
He said: "Terrorism is a loathsome, horrible phenomenon and the Islamic Republic of Iran has deeply felt its consequences ever since many years ago and that is the reason why we consider the campaign against terrorism not only essential but also of great importance."
Comment: We could keep on saying it, but it seems that more and more people in a position to know are saying it for us. Yet, the above report is NOT from CNN or any other government controlled media outlet, as we need not expect to see reports like this appearing there any time soon. Just like the recent comments by Arafat that Israel carried out the bombing in Tel Aviv the day after the World Court ruling on the illegal wall, which appeared on only two websites - al-Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post (surprisingly), western media ignores the truth at every opportunity.
Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel likes to say that it is "fair and balanced." But four people who used to work for the channel said yesterday that executives directed them to slant their coverage to the mogul's conservative liking.
At a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Murdoch's former employees - Fox News terrorism expert Larry Johnson, Fox News Washington reporter Alexander Kippen, Fox News booker Clara Frenk and Fox News freelance writer David Korb - stood with Robert Greenwald, the director of "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," a documentary on FNC that screens tonight at the New School University downtown.
Johnson said his appearances on Fox News ceased last year when he questioned the war in Iraq. "They never asked me back again," Johnson told The News' Brian Harmon.
Korb said he received orders to "make protesters look stupid and use footage of small crowds where the protesters look like pot-smoking liberals."
For his film, Greenwald obtained internal FNC memos in which execs order newswriters to describe events in a Republican-friendly way.
A Fox spokeswoman released a statement at the press conference that called the four ex-staffer's concerns "hardly worth addressing," adding that "some left due to incompetence."
Elsewhere yesterday, a former New York Post reporter claimed that Murdoch tried to dictate his stories on the media.
In a posting on Jim Romenesko's media Web site, Dan Cox said that when he was the Post's media reporter in 2002, "barely a day went by when Murdoch didn't force-feed items about his rival media moguls ...
"Not only were we not allowed to ask Murdoch any specific questions about these 'tips,' we were not allowed to check their veracity - anywhere."
Cox added, "Murdoch expected us to use them wholesale, unattributed, of course."
'decisive and arrogant' - poll
President George Bush is viewed by more American voters as decisive and arrogant than Democratic rival John Kerry, according to a new poll. Voters are more likely to see Kerry as intelligent.
Asked who makes them feel more optimistic about the future, slightly more voters chose Bush than Kerry, the poll conducted for the Associated Press by Ipsos-Public Affairs found. Both candidates are viewed as wealthy by nearly all voters.
Two-thirds in the poll think the US president is decisive, the biggest character advantage he has over Kerry. But a majority, 52%, also said they think Bush is arrogant.
The poll asked voters whether they would or would not use each of seven words - likeable, intelligent, decisive, compassionate, honest, arrogant and wealthy - to describe Bush and then Kerry.
Kerry and Bush are evenly matched on qualities like compassion, honesty and likeability. But Bush has a 22-point edge over Kerry on the question of who is decisive. Two-thirds said Bush is decisive and fewer than half said that of Kerry. Only two-thirds of Democrats said Kerry is decisive.
Comment: A good example of the uselessness of polls. A more indicitive set of "qualities" to ask the public to use to describe Bush and Kerry would have been; psychopathic, ignorant, megalomaniac, narcissist, war criminal, etc.
Samuel in Paris
A woman who
claimed to have been the victim of an anti-semitic attack that shocked
France admitted yesterday that she had made up the incident.
The 23-year-old confessed after being arrested amid growing suspicion about her account. She is said to have a record of reporting alleged crimes for which no culprit could be traced.
President Jacques Chirac will be embarrassed by the development after moving so swiftly to condemn Friday's alleged assault before any corroborating evidence was found.
The woman, identified only as Marie-Leonie L claimed that a gang of six youths of North African Arab appearance attacked her on a Paris suburban train, slashing her clothes and drawing swastikas on her stomach, after mistaking her for a Jew.
Almost as disturbing as the detail of the assault was her claim that 20 other passengers had done nothing to help her. Despite government pleas for witnesses, no one came forward. Yesterday, the woman changed her story to say she had been assaulted outside the train before finally admitting that she invented the entire incident.
Police said she told them that she had drawn the swastikas on her own stomach with the help of her boyfriend.
State prosecutors said she had been placed in preventive detention for "falsely reporting a crime". Her boyfriend was also detained. The woman had originally claimed that her "assailants" stole her bag and toppled a pram carrying her 13-month-old child before fleeing.
But investigators said closed-circuit television cameras at the station north of Paris where the woman said the attackers boarded the train did not reveal the presence of six youths.
Last week, Mr Chirac pledged to crack down hard on perpetrators of anti-semitic, racist and homophobic acts. He has refused to grant presidential pardons to perpetrators of race-hate crimes.
France's Socialist former finance minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said that even if the incident proved to be untrue, there had undoubtedly been dozens of case this year in a worrying rise in anti-semitism.
Comment: This is pure and utter hogwash. The agenda of Sharon and his maniacal friends in Washington is to convince the world that they hate Jews and in doing so prevent anyone from criticising the genocide being waged against Palestinians in the name of ordinary Jews. Naturally this makes us wonder how many other so called "anti-semitic" attacks are nothing more than twisted perverse Zionist propaganda.
ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered an olive branch to his fractious allies on Wednesday, indicating he was ready to modify his reform program in order to keep his government together.
Speaking before the Senate, Berlusconi predicted that his center-right administration would survive to the end of the legislature in 2006, and urged his coalition partners to overcome deep divisions that have paralyzed his cabinet.
His most severe coalition critic, the Democratic Union of the Center party (UDC), welcomed the speech, which covered a raft of policy proposals but did not touch on the sensitive issue of who should replace Giulio Tremonti as economy minister.
Tremonti was forced to quit earlier this month after falling foul of cabinet feuding and finding a substitute has pushed relations within the coalition to breaking point. [...]
However, Berlusconi made few firm promises during his 20-minute speech, and his closest cabinet ally, the Northern League, said the government could still collapse.
"The risk of early elections has by no means been overcome," senior League politician Roberto Calderoli told reporters.
The crisis battering the government was unleashed by last month's European and local elections in which Berlusconi's Forza Italia party lost ground to its three main partners, who immediately demanded greater power.
The most pressing problem facing the prime minister is to find a new economy minister.
Berlusconi has taken over the powerful portfolio on an interim basis and earlier this week offered the post to Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini, who is head of the conservative National Alliance (AN) and was instrumental in ousting Tremonti. [...]
Center-left opposition politicians, replying to Berlusconi in the Senate, said the coalition was in shreds and incapable of keeping the economy under control.
"You have become a problem for the country, but the country will resolve this problem at the next elections," said Gavino Angius, head of the largest opposition party in the Senate, the Democrats of the Left.
An umbrella organization of 51 citizens' groups that has staged peace marches in Tokyo lodged a protest Tuesday over the arrests of three participants in one such walk in Shibuya Ward earlier this month, displaying video footage of one of them being repeatedly beaten by police.
During a news conference, Ken Takada, head of World Peace Now, denounced the trio's July 4 arrest for allegedly obstructing justice during a rally held near JR Shibuya Station, saying the action was aimed at scaring away peace activists and suppressing civic activism.
Showing video footage of one of the trio being repeatedly beaten by more than a dozen police officers, lawyer Masatoshi Uchida, who heads the trio's defense, said they plan to file a criminal complaint against the officers, alleging abuse of power.
Takada said 200 police officers, mainly riot cops, showed up at the rally, in which 1,200 people took part.
It was the seventh rally organized in Shibuya by the group over the past two years to protest the U.S.-led war on Iraq and the subsequent dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops there, Takada said.
Each time, organizers obtained permission from police to use part of a public park and streets. Officers are often mobilized to regulate traffic during such events.
On that day, the participants called out to passersby to vote for candidates opposing the SDF dispatch in the July 11 House of Councilors election.
Shortly after the July 4 rally started at Miyamae Park, east of the station, police shoved a participant who was walking at the very end of the procession with their shields.
After the participant pushed back, police arrested him on charges of obstruction and similarly held another who protested the first arrest.
Another participant, identified as a member of a peace group in his 40s, was arrested shortly after the end of the rally after pushing officers' shields several times to protest the pair's arrest.
Police later searched the trio's homes and the office of World Peace Now. The three are still being held at Shibuya Police Station.
In the video footage, shot by a participant at the rally, dozens of Metropolitan Police Department riot officers appear to repeatedly strike the third man.
After the man pushed against the shields, more than a dozen of officers pounced on him, held him to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stomped on him. The video shows how the officers handcuffed him, stripped off his shirt and dragged him on the asphalt sidewalk for about 10 meters.
Failing to heed their commander's repeated orders to stop, the officers continued to assault the man even after he apparently lost consciousness. They finally lifted him waist high and smashed him to the ground.
The man sustained bruises all over his body, lawyer Uchida said.
The MPD declined comment on either the arrests or the assault on the man, saying an investigation is pending.
May 18, 2004 10:26 IST
China's largest city and the communist giant's gleaming business hub, Shanghai has decided to build a 60,000-square-metre multipurpose 'underground city'.
The multi-level 'underground city', four-storeyed in some places, will be equipped with stores, garages, restaurants and all kinds of entertainment centres and facilities, a Shanghai-based newspaper said.
It is scheduled to be completed in 2006 and has been listed as a major scientific and technological programme by the Shanghai municipality, the Jiefang Daily reported.
The construction of the 'underground city' will comprehensively utilise the underground room of and around the existing subway pivots as well as their ground facilities.
The reports quoting experts from the Shanghai municipal government said due to lesser and lesser ground space in big cities, city dwellers have now begun to favour underground stores and garages.
They also said that they will build a sound ventilation system in the 'underground city' and introduce sunlight to build a greenbelt system in places where conditions permit.
Shanghai is China's largest city with a population of over 17 million.
By JEFF LINKOUS,
Associated Press Writer
MEDFORD, N.J. - Residents in the Northeast braced for more heavy rain and flooding after some towns were hit with what meteorologists called once-in-a-lifetime storms.
Severe storms with the potential for more heavy downpours were forecast in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland on Wednesday. Rainfall could reach more than 2 inches per hour, the National Weather Service said.
"That's up to Mother Nature," said Glenn Nickerson, who assisted with flood plan coordination in Burlington County. "All we can do is make sure Emergency Services is prepared."
On Tuesday, Gov. James E. McGreevey called a state of emergency in two counties and lawmakers asked President Bush to declare portions of southern New Jersey a federal disaster area.
No serious injuries were reported, but the rains damaged hundreds of houses, stranded cars, breached small dams and forced untold numbers of road closings.
The storm dumped over 13 inches of rain in a 12-hour period in Burlington County, located in southern New Jersey. It was classified as a 1,000 year storm, the National Weather Service said.
About 100 people who fled the rising waters in New Jersey remained homeless.
"We left with the clothes on our backs," said Sandy Tams, who was taken with her husband and children by boat from their Mount Laurel home after midnight.
Smyrna, Del., received over 11 inches of rain, possibly making it a 500-year storm, the weather service said.
In Maryland, flood waters damaged about 80 homes, and road flooding and bridge damage closed major highways and secondary roads, tying up traffic through much of the day. Crews worked to clear more than 100 trees downed in Elk Neck State Park and the nearby state forest.
Tammy Spiese was trying to clear debris on her property near Reading, Pa., when rising water carried her into a drainage pipe. She had to be pulled out by her husband and a police officer.
"I was in the water up to my neck," Spiese said. "It was very powerful and I had to hold onto the rocks above."
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 at 04:22 JST
NIIGATA — Heavy rain hit Niigata and Fukushima prefectures on Tuesday, leaving three people dead and two others missing, police and local officials said early Wednesday.
About 18,000 households in Niigata and Fukushima were ordered or advised to evacuate, while ground troops were sent in for disaster prevention efforts.
Two quakes hit this Tuesday. The first, measuring four-point-one, shook the Central Coast at 4:45 pm. It was centered nine miles northeast of San Simeon, near where a deadly quake struck in December.
A separate 4.0 magnitude quake also was reported in Riverside County.
Preliminary information from the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 5:53 pm ten miles north of Mecca.
There are no reports of damage or injury from either quake.
The brunt of the rainfall came between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m, said Alexei Lyakhov, head of the Federal Meteorological Monitoring Service.
Hardest hit was the Timiryazevskaya Akademia district in northern Moscow, which received 45.6 millimeters of rain during the three-hour period, or a little over 40 percent of its July average, he said.
The center also saw a heavy downpour, Lyakhov said, noting that the area around the Baltschug Hotel, just across the Moscow River from the Kremlin, received 45.2 millimeters of rain, also around 40 percent of its July average. [...]
Jul 13 2004 03:02 PM CDT
WINNIPEG - An act of God tore the Turtle Mountain Bible Camp apart on Monday, but camp organizers say it was also an act of God that no one was hurt.
The camp was hit by a brutal storm just after 1 a.m. Monday. Strong winds ripped trees out of the ground and even twisted canoes around tree trunks.
More than 100 children and 55 staff members were at the camp, near Boissevain, at the time of the storm. Camp director Kathy Weir is amazed none of the buildings were destroyed.
"It looked like a bomb had just gone off. It was devastating," she says.
"First of all, our first thought was hand of God, was protection, because despite all of the debris and the trees that were down – and there were so many, there was just such a mess – but every cabin was spared. There [were] no buildings destroyed. We have damage to buildings, but everything is operational, we're able to use them all."
Weir says the community came out in droves Monday and all of the debris has been cleaned up.
The storm also hit farms in the area. Scott Day, with Manitoba Agriculture in Boissevain, says the storm dumped up to 15 centimetres of rain in two or three hours, flooding ditches and culverts.
"This has been a crazy year once again, and it is critical because of the staging of the crop," says Day.
"This is the time when the crop becomes susceptible to disease. A lot of wet weather has completely saturated the soil, leads to an increased risk, and hopefully we'll have some clear weather in the next few days."
The extended forecast is calling for hot, dry weather in the next few days. Day says that's exactly what hay crops need to survive. In fact, he says, if it doesn't rain again for the rest of the summer, crops have already received enough moisture to make it though to harvest.
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55m years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities like London, New York and New Orleans, Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser has warned.
Speaking on his return from Moscow, where he has been acting as the prime minister's "unofficial envoy" to persuade the Russians to ratify the Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, Sir David said the most recent science bore out the worst predictions.
An ice core 3km deep from the Antarctic had a record of the climate for 800,000 years and showed the direct relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warm and cold periods for the planet.
Critical in climate records is the quantity of ice at the poles and in glaciers. Records show that at the peak of the ice age 12,000 years ago, the sea was 150 metres below where it is now. "You might think it is not wise, since we are currently melting ice so fast, to have built our big cities on the edge of the sea where it is now obvious they cannot remain.
"On current trends, cities like London, New York and New Orleans will be among the first to go.
"Ice melting is a relatively slow process but is speeding up. When the Greenland ice cap goes, the sea level will rise six to seven metres, when Antarctica melts it will be another 110 metres," he said.
Records of the 3km deep Antarctic ice core showed that during ice ages the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 200 parts per million (ppm), and during warm periods reached around 270 ppm, before sinking back down again for another ice age. That pattern had been repeated many times in that period but had now been broken because of the intervention of man.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached 360 ppm in the 1990s and now was up to 379 ppm and increasing at the rate of 3 ppm a year - reaching a level not seen for 55m years when there was no ice on the planet because the atmosphere was too warm.
"I am sure that climate change is the biggest problem that civilisation has had to face in 5,000 years," he concluded. [...]
Comment: Perhaps the recent strange weather around the planet is an indicator of some drastic global changes that are occurring right now...not 5,000 years in a future none of us will see.
All of Athens and much of Greece was struck by a power failure yesterday, throwing the country and the government into chaos a month before the Olympic Games.
Officials scrambled to restore the network as the blackout, described as the worst in 10 years, left millions sweltering in sizzling temperatures and emergency services working overtime.
The failure, which cut off electricity supplies for five hours in some areas, was blamed on human error by embarrassed officials. A surge in air conditioner use during a heatwave which has gripped Greece since last week was also suspected.
The development minister, Dimitris Soufias, said: "From what we know, the stoppage was the fault of mismanagement at the main grid."
Generators were pressed into service at hospitals and the failure caused big traffic jams and brought the Athens metro to a standstill.
Officials were at pains yesterday to stress the games could not be disrupted, given the number of back-up generators.
Experts hail elaborately carved cave ceiling
With its drooping bill and beady eye, the ancient bird looks like a cross between a podgy curlew and a dodo.
The strikingly realistic image was etched into the soft limestone roof a Nottinghamshire cave by a paleolithic artist around 13,000 years ago.
He or she (or some contemporary colleague) also carved a menagerie of birds, bison, deer and bears on the same roof in a gallery that has caused the jaws of experts to drop with amazement.
These relics of a land still shivering in climatic change came to light in the bright sun of a spring morning in the 21st century and are now hailed collectively as "the world's most elaborately carved cave ceiling ... the Sistine Chapel of the ice age".
Discoveries last year of images of animals, dancing girls and female sexual parts at Creswell Crags near Worksop showed conclusively that ancient Britons were part of, rather than excluded from, a continent-wide culture.
But this year's finds are seen as sensational, proving that Britain was up there at the top of the cave art league.
"We thought that last year we had a big discovery with 12 figures," Sergio Ripoll, a Spanish expert on cave art. "Now we have found 96 figures - it is a very, very great discovery.
"We think this is the most elaborately carved cave ceiling in the world. This is one of the biggest discoveries I have ever made and I think we will have many more surprises in the next months," Dr Ripoll said.
"We were shocked, excited - almost disbelieving," added Paul Pettitt, lecturer in human origins at the University of Sheffield. "There was such a notion that cave art just would not be found in Britain. When we did the initial survey, if I was betting man, I would have had money on the fact that we wouldn't find anything."
The team, funded by English Heritage, had previously used high-powered torches and lamps to examine the caves. "But what we found this time is that natural light is the best way to see these figures," said Dr Ripoll. "It was crazy - suddenly images came out of the wall. It was incredible."
Dr Pettitt said he and his colleagues had begun work early simply because they had a lot to do. "We noticed that the low morning sun penetrated the cave and that the stark light really brought it to life. We began to wonder whether much of the art was undertaken in the morning or was deliberately of a nature that it would be visible at that time.
"Not only did it reveal to us a lot more art than was visible under artificial light, but it gave us a shadowy glimpse of perhaps the time of day when the images were made."
The pictures are not drawings, but modification of the rock. The artists saw something that looked like a bison's head and then added an eye, muzzle and ear to produce a realistic head. This year's investigations have also produced antlers to show that that an animal previously thought to be an ibex is definitely a red deer.
"These are masterpieces," said Dr Ripoll. "These people had a very good knowledge of the animals they hunted. They had looked at them for many hours and knew their shapes very well. So they could represent them exactly on the walls of caves."
But why did they produce their pictures?
"Ah, that is the big problem. Many colleagues think the purpose is shamanic. But personally I do not agree. Perhaps these images are telling us something - but we do not know what it is. We have lost the code." [...]
Comment: In other words, the purpose of the pictures could very well be shamanic, but Ripoll refuses to consider this possibility since it doesn't fit nicely into his view of world history.
Jul 13 2004 08:34 AM NDT
ST. JOHN'S — The head of a California seminary says the church will not hand over a Franciscan friar wanted on sex abuse charges in this province.
Brother Gerald Chumik, 69, has been living in California since 1990 when charges were laid against him in St. John's for sex crimes dating back to the early seventies.
Father Mel Jurisich, head of the Franciscan order in Santa Barbara, says Chumik is not running or hiding from Canadian authorities.
"And we are not hiding him, the authorities in Canada know where he is," he says.
The Dallas Morning News says Chumik is one of dozens of Catholic priests and brothers running from sex abuse charges.
Jurisich says as late as last October, Newfoundland authorities were told of Chumik's condition.
"He is in our infirmary in Santa Barbara where which is where we take care of the dying members of our order. He's got cancer and diabetes," he says.
As for the victim who was 12 years old when Chumik allegedly enticed him into oral sex, Jurisich says justice may not come from the courts.
"I'm truly sorry for that. I think that Brother is now paying, not in the civil sense but certainly in the moral sense, now paying for his own sins and his own crime by being isolated," he says.
Prosecutors, who did not pursue extradition of Chumik's case in the 1990s, are now reconsidering the decision.
12 de Julio
Juan Acuña claimed that the artists image of the "Chupacabras" is idential to the creatures that attacked him last week.
Juan's wife stated that he does not sleept at night, and when he is able to, he suffers nightmares and delirium. Sometimes he awakens shouting "They're attacking they're attacking!"
It is hoped that he can be helped by a specialist, but after the night that he was attacked Juan does not dare leave his house after dark, not even to go to the toilet. He spends all of his time accompanied by his brother or brother in law.
Blood Drained Dog
Juan Acuña told us that he found out from a friend that a blood drained dog had turned up dead in a field. When the owners opened the door of their house to see what was happening thier other dogs ran into the house and hid under the chairs. They were visbly shaken and did not want to leave the house
Diario EL CENTRO talked with Susana Soto Yáñez, the woman that gave first aid to Juan Acuña on the night he was attacked. The woman, who is the wife of teh victims brother in law remebered that the attack by the "critters" was at about 1am in the morning. Her relative (Juan Acuña) came running to her for help from the bridge along a bank of the canal, at this time she was asleep in her house.
niether undestood nor believed Juan's story that two flying dogs had attacked
him After tending to Juan's injuries and giving him a change of clother,
as he came to the house almost naked, she went out to look for a mobile
phone to call an ambulance but was unable to do so.
He shouted and was able to shake the creature off. He stated that “it grabbed me by the foot and I pulled back, it was just as well I was wearing leather boots, there were two of them. They were small and they dissappeared, I didn't see if they were flying or not. If I hadn't shouted I would have died there, I don't doubt that for a second" he said.
"The Federal government does not have any information about extraterrestrial life to conceal, and there are no secret projects for me to investigate." (July 7, 2004)
In April 2004, Senator Hatch's DC office received two visitors with an unusual request.
Sterling Allan, a constituent from Utah, and his associate, Harry Dschaak, from Idaho, a few weeks earlier had a covertly-arranged, in-person visit with Area 51 microbiologist, Dr. Dan Burisch.
Burisch had told Allan and Dschaak that he wished to have a congressional hearing in which he might testify about some of the black op projects in which he had been involved, including the creation of designer viruses in which he had inserted an identifying signature sequence to prove the laboratory origin of the virus. Burisch also has laboratory ties to the Gulf War Syndrome which has turned out to be a friendly-fire weapon of mass destruction.
The testimony would include Burisch disclosing his experience for nearly a year of working on a daily basis with an extraterrestrial at Area 51, taking tissue samples, and communicating telepathically with the being.
Included with the briefing material that the pair left with Hatch's office was a book by the well-respected research and field specialist, Dr. Steven Greer, called Disclosure. The book contains "over five dozen top-secret military, government, intelligence and corporate witnesses to secret projects tell their true stories which disclose the greatest covert program in world history. This explosive testimony by actual government insiders proves that UFOs are real, that some are of extraterrestrial origin."
Within a few days, Hatch's office responded that there would never be any congressional hearings on the subject of ETs or UFOs.
Allan then composed an open letter to Senator Hatch, itemizing a number of relevant questions, and requesting that the Sentator put his response in writing for public record.
Finally, on July 7, the Senator mailed a reply in which he said: "As you, I find the possibility of intelligent life on other planets intriguing; however, there is not sufficient evidence to determine whether such life exists. I have reviewed the information you recommended to me, and I can assure you that your concerns are unnecessary. The Federal government does not have any information about extraterrestrial life to conceal, and there are no secret projects for me to investigate."
The full text of the letter is posted for review by the public.
According to the Sept. 2002 scientifically conducted Roper poll, roughly seven in ten adults in the U.S. think that the government does not tell everything it knows about extraterrestrial life and UFOs. One in seven adults in the U.S. say they have had a close encounter of some kind with Unidentified Flying Objects.
Extrapolated to the U.S population in general that amounts to tens of millions of people who will have a hard time believing the Senator's statement, based on their first-hand experience.
Baku Today 12/07/2004
An unidentified flying object (UFO) resembling a huge star hanged over the Azeri capital Baku early Monday, witnesses said.
The object appeared at about a quarter passed six, and it stayed there until the sunrise. Witnesses said the UFO was so bright that one could hardly observe it via bare eyes.
The UFO could be easily seen particularly in Baku’s outlying Akhmadli and Bakikhanov settlements.
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