Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Friday, July 16, 2004
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Sunspot 649 has produced three X-class solar flares: two on July 15th (0141 UT and 1824 UT) and one, so far, on July 16th (0206 UT).
None of these explosions hurled a coronal mass ejection directly toward Earth, so the chances for bright auroras remain low despite the high solar activity.
Strong solar activity should continue for days to come. Sunspot 649 has a tangled "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for more X-class solar flares. Meanwhile, another big sunspot appears to be hidden on the far side of the sun. Solar rotation will carry it over the sun's eastern limb, and into plain view, as soon as July 17th.
MYSTERY METEOR SHOWER?
Sea-rescuers were on alert in Finland on July 12th when reports of emergency flares poured in from the Gulf of Bothnia. They soon realized that no ship was in distress. The flares were "meteors." Johan Geisor was on a photo-expedition in the Gulf; he saw a bright fireball and took this picture of its smoky debris at 9:16 p.m. GMT: (continued below)
News reports of the event (#1, #2, #3, #4) describe a slow-moving fireball, red and sparkling, perhaps shedding fragments. This sounds remarkably like a piece of re-entering space junk--e.g., an old rocket engine or a satellite. Yet no such objects were scheduled to decay over Finland on July 12th. Likewise, no intense meteor showers were due. What was this display? Probably a small space rock disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere.
Comment: There have been two more X class flares today, Friday, including one that clocks in at 3.1. That is five in two days. And they're telling us the solar maximum was three years ago! Look at this graph:
(Hong Kong-AP) -- The Hong Kong Observatory reports a strong offshore earthquake occurred near the South Pacific island nation of Fiji.
It says the epicenter of the magnitude seven-point-one quake was under the sea about 240 miles east of Nadi -- a town in the western part of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu.
ST. LOUIS - A minor earthquake sent trembles over parts of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky on Thursday night.
A preliminary measurement indicated the quake was 3.5 on the Richter scale, according to Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.
[...] The quake occurred at 10:25 p.m. Thursday. The epicenter was about 10 miles south of Cairo, Ill., in Mississippi County, Mo.
This article reports that the Salvadorean authorities are intensifying their surveillance of the Sanata Ana volcano following emanations of gas on Thursday.
Last Updated Fri, 16 Jul 2004 05:10:27 EDT
CALGARY - A massive thunderstorm pummeled southwest Calgary with rain and hail on Thursday night, flooding roads, taking down power lines and spawning lightning strikes that started several small fires.
Some drivers were caught in pools of water a metre deep or stranded under overpasses. Others were involved in fender benders because visibility was so poor.
The force of the flooding was so strong that it washed away heavy manhole covers.
By Paul Rincon
The drops were seen in cumulus congestus clouds
Scientists have observed the biggest raindrops recorded on Earth - which may be a whopping 1cm in size.
The monster water droplets were observed from the air, by atmospheric experts studying clouds.
They were recorded over Brazil and the Marshall Islands, a group of atolls and reefs in the north Pacific Ocean.
US scientists report in Geophysical Research Letters that a large fire may have influenced the formation of the huge raindrops recorded over Brazil.
"They are the biggest raindrops I have seen in 30 years of flying," Professor Peter Hobbs, co-author of the report told BBC News Online.
Professor Hobbs and colleague Arthur Rangno, of the University of Washington, US, recorded the droplets as being about 8.8mm and possibly as large as 1cm. He speculated that some of these giant droplets even reach the ground.
Jul. 16, 2004. 09:20 AM
LONDON—An instrument orbiting Mars may have detected a whiff of life on the Red Planet.
Data from a spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express probe appears to have recorded radiation indicating pungent ammonia gas in Mars' atmosphere, BBC News Online reports.
Since ammonia can survive for only a few hours in the Martian atmosphere before breaking down, it must be constantly replenished from one of two possible sources: active volcanoes — of which none have been found on Mars — or microbes.
"Ammonia could be the key to finding life on Mars," a NASA scientist told the BBC. "There are no known ways for ammonia to be present in the Martian atmosphere that do not involve life."
Ammonia is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. Nitrogen is rare in the Mars environment, and researchers say the presence of ammonia may indicate that Martian microbes may be hoarding it.
Comment: Slowly, step by step, information about life on Mars is being given to the public. What will be the next "revelation"?
With all of this going on in the heavens, today we received an interesting, unsolicited email from a member of the European Space Agency (ESA). The person in question, Philippe Kletzkine, claimed that we were infringing copyright by republishing an article from Rednova.com on the Signs Page of November 6th 2003.
Here is the excerpted article as it appears on the Signs page of 6th November 2003:
Mr Kletzkine's email states:
To which Ark responded:
To which Mr Kletzkine responded:
We were a little perplexed to say the least. We had simply reproduced part of an article that gave the gist of the story with a link to the full article. But we see that Mr. Kletzkine beef is with the fact that the original story began with the words "Allied Signal". What Mr Kletzkine fails to realise is that the words "Allied Signal" appear at the beginning of the article because the article was taken from the Allied Signal website. There was no intent to manipulate or deny credit to the ESA. Allied Signal, now merged and renamed "Honeywell", is a large multi-national company specialising in aerospace, automotive and engineering products and designs. Since the merger the original article on the "Allied Signal" has disappeared.
What is really interesting however, is the fact that this little discourse played out today, of all days - the same day that the following article appears on the UK Guardian newspaper.
So we were contacted by a member of the ESA, who is directly involved in the Rosetta mission, on the same day the some of the biggest X-class flares are buffeting the earth, life on Mars appears, suddenly, to be a real possibility and a story shows up in the Guardian that specifically mentions government projects to divert earth-bound asteroids, including the Rosetta mission.
It's just a little too synchronous for supicious minds like ours.
We find it a little difficult to believe that NASA and the ESA are going to all this bother to find a way to deflect an earth-bound asteroid if there is not some significant and pressing need to actually do so. Which suggests of course that certain people in these agencies know something that the general public does not.
Back in 1986 Laura Knight-Jadczyk wrote the following in her book "The Noah Syndrome" (no longer available) much of which is incorporated into her newly revised, expanded and updated book "Ancient Science".
Experience has taught us to pay attention to these seemingly innocuous synchronicities, because in a world where the truth is closely and jealously guarded by the few, they are often important indicators of what is really going on behind the scenes. Mr Kletzkine has inadvertently renewed our interest in the Rosetta mission and the other NASA and ESA missions which seem extremely interested in possible Earth-bound rocks. In the interest of humanity's right to know, we will of course be watching closely for further developments bringing you all pertinent details as, or rather if, they emerge.
In the meantime, serious 'seekers after truth' can discover for themselves the full story about our past, present, and possible future, by purchasing Laura's excellent 400 page book - "Ancient Science".
Paris (ESA) Jul 15, 2004
On 9 July 2004, the Near-Earth Object Mission Advisory Panel recommended that ESA place a high priority on developing a mission to actually move an asteroid. The conclusion was based on the panel's consideration of six near-Earth object mission studies submitted to the Agency in February 2003.
Of the six studies, three were space-based observatories for detecting NEOs and three were rendezvous missions. All addressed the growing realisation of the threat posed by Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and proposed ways of detecting NEOs or discovering more about them from a close distance.
A panel of six experts, known as the Near-Earth Object Mission Advisory Panel (NEOMAP) assessed the proposals.
Alan Harris, German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Berlin, and Chairman of NEOMAP, says,
"The task has been very difficult because the goalposts have changed. When the studies were commissioned, the discovery business was in no way as advanced as it is now."
"Today, a number of organisations are building large telescopes on Earth that promise to find a very large percentage of the NEO population at even smaller sizes than visible today."
As a result, the panel decided that ESA should leave detection to ground-based telescopes for the time being, until the share of the remaining population not visible from the ground becomes better known.
The need for a space-based observatory will then be re-assessed. The panel placed its highest priority on rendezvous missions, and in particular, the Don Quijote mission concept.
"If you think about the chain of events between detecting a hazardous object and doing something about it, there is one area in which we have no experience at all and that is in directly interacting with an asteroid, trying to alter its orbit," explains Harris.
The Don Quijote mission concept will do this by using two spacecraft, Sancho and Hidalgo. Both are launched at the same time but Sancho takes a faster route.
When it arrives at the target asteroid it will begin a seven-month campaign of observation and physical characterisation during which it will land penetrators and seismometers on the asteroid's surface to understand its internal structure.
Sancho will then watch as Hidalgo arrives and smashes into the asteroid at very high speed. This will provide information about the behaviour of the internal structure of the asteroid during an impact event as well as excavating some of the interior for Sancho to observe.
After the impact, Sancho and telescopes from Earth will monitor the asteroid to see how its orbit and rotation have been affected.
Harris says, "When we do actually find a hazardous asteroid, you could imagine a Don Quijote-type mission as a precursor to a mitigation mission. It will tell us how the target responds to an impact and will help us to develop a much more effective mitigation mission."
On 9 July, the findings were presented to the scientific and industrial community. Representatives of other national space agencies were also invited in the hope that they will be interested in developing a joint mission, based around this concept.
Andrés Galvez, ESA's Advanced Concepts Team and technical officer for the NEOMAP report says, "This report gives us a solid foundation to define programmatic priorities and an implementation strategy, in which I also hope we are joined by international partners".
With international cooperation, a mission could be launched as early as 2010-2015.
Small meteorites impact our planet several times a year, and—despite Hollywood's doomsday scenarios—life on Earth survives. Almost all of these meteorites are from asteroid collisions that occurred 3 to 60 million years ago.
A new study suggests, however, that the violent destruction of an asteroid can create a long-lasting rain of meteorites. The space rocks would be delivered to Earth by a "meteorite express," the study says.
Total travel time to our planet: a mere hundred thousand years.
The research, which is described in tomorrow's edition of the science journal Nature, was conducted by scientists who studied meteorites preserved in 480- million-year-old sediments in southern Sweden.
The scientists found that the meteorites contained gases produced by cosmic rays that suggest the meteorites' transfer to Earth occurred much faster than for more recent ones.
The data led researchers to conclude that a violent collision in our solar system's distant asteroid belt 500 million years ago produced meteorites that traveled to Earth in a relatively scant hundred thousand years.
"It's the first physical confirmation of unusually short transfer times [of meteorites] after a major asteroid collision," said Philipp Reza Heck, the report's lead author. Heck studies cosmochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
His research was partially funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration.
Diverted by Jupiter
The general term "meteor" comes from the Greek meteoron, meaning "phenomenon in the sky." Meteoroids, in particular, are fragments of asteroids produced by collisions.
Meteoroids in our solar system spend most of their time in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, unless they encounter a phenomenon known as orbital resonance and change course.
A meteorite is a meteoroid that reaches the surface of the Earth without being completely vaporized by the Earth's atmosphere.
While most meteoroids are rocky in composition, some are almost pure metal.
Intense meteorite showers can only occur after a very large collision between asteroids. Such events have been rare in the last billion years of the solar system's history.
Scientists say that meteorite showers are also rare because Jupiter's titanic gravitational pull diverts much of the space debris before it has a chance to venture toward Earth.
The phenomenon known as orbital resonance plays a key role in the "meteorite express" described in the new study. Resonance occurs when two orbiting bodies exert a gravitational influence on each other.
As Heck explained: "If a [meteoroid] goes into an important orbital resonance with Jupiter, for example the 3:1 resonance, then while Jupiter goes once around the sun, the [meteoroid] circles the sun three times."
"So the small object experiences periodically a gravitational tug from Jupiter, and its orbit gets changed quite fast," he said.
The efficient transfer of asteroid material into the inner solar system—the basis of the so-called meteorite express—only happens when an asteroid collision occurs close to a resonance, however.
"Once the fragments are injected into the resonance, their orbital shape is changed rather quickly until they become Earth-crossing," Heck said. This is what has happened in the distant past, scientists believe.
Heck and his colleagues studied meteorites that measured several centimeters in diameter. They were found in Thorsberg, a rock quarry in southern Sweden.
Around 500 million years ago the meteorites, of a type known as chondrites, fell into a shallow sea. There, they were covered with fine-grained marine sediments and well preserved.
A chemical analysis showed the meteorites were all of the same class, the so- called L chondrites class. Scientists believe that L chondrites come from a precursor to the Flora family of asteroids, a prominent group of asteroids circling the sun near the inner edge of the asteroid belt.
Most L chondrites experienced a major gas loss 500 million years ago, which is best explained by a violent collision in space.
"The transfer time [of these meteorites] to Earth is around a hundred thousand years, consistent with a long-lasting rain of meteorites after the destruction of an asteroid and the existence of at least one trajectory [in which] material was flung towards the inner solar system," Heck said.
The findings do not contradict present scientific thinking about the rate at which meteoroids can travel. But the short transfer times suggested by the new study are at the very low end of theoretical predictions.
"This analysis shows again what happened hundreds of millions of kilometers away can eventually make for a real bad day on Earth," said Bruce Betts, director of projects at the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California.
SASKATOON - A tornado touched down near the central Saskatchewan community of Conquest, Wednesday afternoon, but there were no reports of any damage.
The twister was spotted a few minutes before 3 p.m., just west of the community, about 75 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.
A Conquest-area farmer, Lloyd Tyler, says he was taking in his hay crop when he saw dark thunderheads begin to rotate a few kilometres away. He says he saw the tail of a funnel cloud touch down briefly, just west of the community.
The area was also hit by intense hail, which Tyler says flattened his wheat crops and stripped the flower heads off his canola. He says he wasn't nervous watching the twister because it was headed away from his farm.
Funnel clouds were also spotted northwest of North Battleford.
Jul 15 2004 04:19 PM EDT
- At least 3,000 people living in the western Quebec town of Témiscaming
are stranded in their community.
Water washed out a beaver dam Thursday morning, causing a huge hole to appear in the middle of Highway 101.
An estimated 200 homes have also sustained flood damage. Businesses including the local Tembec plant have shut down until the weather improves. [...]
CARSON CITY, Nev. - An army of firefighters struggled Thursday to contain an explosive wildfire that destroyed several luxury homes and threatened 550 other houses and businesses on the edge of Nevada's capital.
Five people have been hurt in the wind-whipped blaze, which quickly charred 8,500 acres of dry brush, grass and timber. At one point, flames came within a half-mile of the governor's official residence in Carson City, a town of about 50,000 people.
"It's absolute devastation up there," Sheriff Ken Furlong said.
Authorities said the fire was started by a person early Wednesday in a canyon near upscale homes and a waterfall on a creek popular with children.
Seven of the canyon homes were destroyed, and Assistant Fire Chief Stacey Giomi estimated their value at "several millions of dollars." Judy Staub, who lost her home of 22 years on Wednesday, called the destruction "just unreal" and said "everything was gone but an old antique wagon."
"People say, 'Judy, you have your children and your husband and your dog,' and I say, 'I know that.' But so many memories are gone," she said. "I never dreamed I'd experience something like this."
The fire moved up the slope away from homes, but Giomi said later winds could drive the fire back toward the city.
Authorities estimated that the fire would grow to 10,000 acres. About 800 firefighters, aided by air tankers and helicopters, were fighting the blaze.
"I've never seen a fire as bad as this fire," said Giomi, a 24-year veteran. [...]
The dark abyss of pathological addiction
In an article by John Dean, of which the subject matter was about the 4th amendment and the late Sam Dash, Dash made a comment in semi-jest that was quite interesting. To paraphrase, Dash said that it would be interesting to see how the current Bush administration would react if the USA Patriot acts were used against them, if somehow elements of the Justice Department found it necessary to further any investigations in lieu of information deemed incriminating towards those in the White House. He did not mention anything about the premise of terrorism that's needed to invoke the usage of the USA Patriot acts, but the fact that he mentioned the Bush administration in this context, makes one wonder if others like Dash have also had deep suspicions about Bush and his cohorts. One can only hope that it is so.
The lies told, and that continue to be told, by this administration are incredulous just by their unwavering boldness. The continual blatant and outright untruths uttered by these individuals is clear enough reason for those in our supposed checks and balances system of government, to launch serious, impartial and thorough investigations of the entire time the Bush administration has been in power. Pathological liars never stop lying because they need to continue to lie to cover up past lies. And somehow, we the people seem to be blindly following them into their web of deceit.
Granted, the Bush administration has pushed all the right buttons by cajoling us into a patriotic sense of righteousness, but upon closer inspection of the facts, their warmongering, bellicose actions do not have a moral leg to stand on. If on the other hand we have become so fearful of bucking the systematic tide of false national patriotism, we as a nation, that in the past has prided itself in the principals of truth and justice, have collectively and clearly forfeited our claim to being the worlds moral beacon of light. If fear is the reason for our lockstep complacency, it also gives further reason to believe that we have allowed a subtle coup of our government to have taken place, or it is very close to the final stages of implementation.
There's also another possibility that comes to mind as to why we have become pliably docile. Maybe all we care about is maintaining the status quo. However, that status quo will only change for the worse if we don't compel our Congressmen/women and Senators to get off their butts and challenge these power addicts in the White House and make them accountable for everything they have said and done, while in office, and possibly even before they infiltrated the highest levels of federal government. The status quo has already been deteriorating since 9/11 with the continued assault on the rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution, and the signs of a coming militaristic police state can be found quite readily most anywhere. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, the increased usage of biometrics scanning technologies and active joint exercises between factions of the U.S. military and local police forces are but a few of these Orwellian signs.
There are also other warning signs and red flags that seem to be overlooked concerning the Bush administration. The Neo-con bunch, several of whom have dual citizenship of both the U.S. and Israel, have been nothing short of disastrous for this country, and the world alike. How is it that dual nationals are able to be in foreign policy decision- making positions in the first place? Never mind which other country they have allegiance to, dual citizenship of those in such powerful positions is unconscionable due to the possibility of the breaching of national security concerns. This is quite disconcerting, in light of, in the past the U.S. has tried, convicted and imprisoned spies for passing secrets to Israel. But now, who needs clandestine spies when you have people with the highest security clearances in the U.S. federal government? But then again, apparently clandestine operatives are necessary in view of the many moving company Israeli nationals that have been caught in suspicious activities in the U.S. over the last several years, and deported without having to be subjected to any local, state or federal charges for the laws they violated.
Then there's the suspicious scenario of Dov Zackheim, another with dual U.S./Israeli citizenship and the DOD comptroller appointed by the Bush administration until he recently resigned. During Zackheims' tenure in his position at the DOD, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of money and materials have been unaccounted for, yet no one in any government capacity has seriously challenged Zackheim or the Bush administration to explain these discrepancies. Just by using common sense alone, there appears to be something much deeper going on between the alliance of our executive branch and Israel, and because our tax dollars are involved, we have a right to know just what exactly that relationship truly entails. Our government is supposed to be by the people, for the people and of the people … of this country. Not the wishes and manipulations of any other country, or by those in elected civil servant positions held in our country - or even worse, a global cabal of callous, greedy, aristocratic international corporate misanthropes intent on destroying the sovereignty of this nation in order to further their New World Order agenda.
The Bush administration, with its dual national cronies, seems to think and act otherwise and that should send a clear signal that something is gravely amiss. We, as a country, appear to be moving in a direction that only a corrupt and greedy few want to lead us into. And up till now we have followed that lead automatically. It would be prudent for us to demand the truth about all of the questionable activities of this administration before it becomes too late to do so. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power is an addiction and absolute power is a pathological addiction. Hopefully, it is not too late to demand accountability from the Bush administration for all of its actions. But somehow I get the feeling this bunch will not give up their addiction to power so readily. They've tasted it and now their cravings may push them, and us, even further into the dark abyss of their pathological addiction.
Agence France Presse
KUWAIT CITY, 8 July 2004 — An influential member of Kuwait’s ruling family and former minister yesterday expressed concern the United States may coerce the emirate into making territorial concessions to Iraq as part of a new regional order.
“I am afraid that Iraq’s new order may be arranged at our expense. The Americans may impose it on us,” former Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Sabah told Al-Seyassah daily in an interview.
“I am afraid that someone may come tomorrow to say that the issue of Umm Qasr (port) and Bubiyan and Warba (islands) needs to be reviewed. This time the request will not come from Iraq. It may come from the Americans,” the former official said.
“Now, we should expect the unexpected, because (major) events may take place in this region,” added the pro-American former official who was Kuwait’s ambassador to Washington during the1990 - 91Iraqi invasion and the Gulf War.
Apart from laying claim to Kuwait as part of Iraq, successive Iraqi leaders, including Saddam Hussein, had repeatedly asked the emirate to lease the two uninhabited islands of Warba and Bubiyan to expand Iraq’s coastal area.
The border port of Umm Qasr is divided between Iraq and Kuwait, which was allocated an additional portion of the area when the United Nations demarcated the frontier between the two countries in1993 .
In January, Mudhar Shawkat, vice president of the Iraqi National Congress headed by Ahmad Chalabi, said that the two Gulf islands of Warba and Bubiyan were essential for Iraq’s economic development. “Iraq’s interests first of all lead us to demand that we should have such a water terminal on the Arabian Gulf,” said Shawkat, whose remarks were strongly condemned in Kuwait.
Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990 as Saddam claimed the emirate as part of his country and annexed it, naming it Iraq’s19 th province. A US-led multinational coalition evicted Iraqi troops from Kuwait seven months later.
After serving as Kuwait’s envoy in the United States for a decade, Sheikh Saud was appointed information minister on his return in1992 . He was later moved to the oil portfolio until he resigned in 2001 .
Sheikh Saud also expressed fear that President George W. Bush may lose elections later this year, saying this will be catastrophic for Kuwait.
“If the US administration is changed in November, it will be catastrophic. I personally see it as a catastrophe, because Democrats do not understand foreign policy,” he said.
Comment: Whoa, do you catch that?! Remember back in 199O when Saddam tried the same thing. That brought on the first Gulf War the next year.
However, the article ends with the strange assertion that Sheikh Saud doesn't want the Democrats to win in November. But there is more here than meets the proverbial eye. Sheikh Saud, the former Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, is the father of the young woman, only identified as Nayirah, who recounted the phony story about the Iraqis pulling babies from their incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals. So the credentials of the good Sheikh are very clearly established. So why plant the story above?
By Luke Baker
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's interim prime minister announced the formation of a domestic spy agency Thursday in a bid to uncover insurgents carrying out daily attacks on U.S.-led troops and Iraqi forces.
Speaking at a news conference, amid a surge in violence in Iraq, Iyad Allawi said he was forming the General Security Directorate, a domestic intelligence network, which would attempt to infiltrate and expose those behind the insurgency.
"We are determined to bring down all the hurdles that stand in the way of our democracy ... terrorism will be terminated, God willing," Allawi said.
For many Iraqis a new spy agency may have overtones of the Mukhabarat, Saddam Hussein's feared and powerful domestic intelligence agency which for decades kept tight tabs on the nation, but Allawi said it was for the good of the country.
The prime minister, whose government regained sovereignty from the United States on June 28, said security was gradually improving and said he had been working hard to boost border controls to prevent foreign insurgents entering the country.
Last week, Iraq and Syria agreed to work to tighten controls along their long desert border and Allawi said he would shortly make a tour of neighboring Arab and Islamic states to discuss issues including border security.
Allawi said he would leave on a visit to Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt next week, and afterward make a trip to Iran, Pakistan and Europe. [...]
The announcement of a new domestic spy agency comes days after the government introduced a national security law that allows it to impose emergency measures, such as curfews, anywhere in the country deemed too insecure.
Comment: Allawi's creation of a domestic intelligence agency in Iraq similar to the Mukhabarat shouldn't be too surprising given that Allawi himself appears to be a former Mukhabarat agent himself. As the following article shows, he has the credentials....
By Paul McGeough
Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.
They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.
They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they "deserved worse than death".
The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement to the Herald, saying Dr Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun.
But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence.
Iraq's Interior Minister, Falah al-Naqib, is said to have looked on and congratulated him when the job was done. Mr al-Naqib's office has issued a verbal denial.
The names of three of the alleged victims have been obtained by the Herald.
One of the witnesses claimed that before killing the prisoners Dr Allawi had told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents.
Comment: A PM who takes things into his own hands, so to speak. One imagines George Jr. dreaming of having the "liberty" to do the same. It's been a long time since he had the chance to blow up frogs. As governor of Texas, and as Chief of the Armed Forces, he kills people by proxy. Maybe Allawi will let George pull the trigger on his next visit to Iraq.
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
[...] The White House has yet to deal with Allawi’s past. His credentials as a neurologist, and his involvement during the past two decades in anti-Saddam activities, as the founder of the British-based Iraqi National Accord, have been widely reported. But his role as a Baath Party operative while Saddam struggled for control in the nineteen-sixties and seventies—Saddam became President in 1979—is much less well known. “Allawi helped Saddam get to power,” an American intelligence officer told me. “He was a very effective operator and a true believer.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. case officer who served in the Middle East, added, “Two facts stand out about Allawi. One, he likes to think of himself as a man of ideas; and, two, his strongest virtue is that he’s a thug.”
Early this year, one of Allawi’s former medical-school classmates, Dr. Haifa al-Azawi, published an essay in an Arabic newspaper in London raising questions about his character and his medical bona fides. She depicted Allawi as a “big husky man . . . who carried a gun on his belt and frequently brandished it, terrorizing the medical students.” Allawi’s medical degree, she wrote, “was conferred upon him by the Baath party.” Allawi moved to London in 1971, ostensibly to continue his medical education; there he was in charge of the European operations of the Baath Party organization and the local activities of the Mukhabarat, its intelligence agency, until 1975.
“If you’re asking me if Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London, the answer is yes, he does,” Vincent Cannistraro, the former C.I.A. officer, said. “He was a paid Mukhabarat agent for the Iraqis, and he was involved in dirty stuff.” A cabinet-level Middle East diplomat, who was rankled by the U.S. indifference to Allawi’s personal history, told me early this month that Allawi was involved with a Mukhabarat “hit team” that sought out and killed Baath Party dissenters throughout Europe. (Allawi’s office did not respond to a request for comment.) At some point, for reasons that are not clear, Allawi fell from favor, and the Baathists organized a series of attempts on his life. The third attempt, by an axe-wielding assassin who broke into his home near London in 1978, resulted in a year-long hospital stay.
Arthur, Technology Editor
Young male prisoners were filmed being sodomised by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to the journalist who first revealed the abuses there.
Seymour Hersh, who reported on the torture of the prisoners in New Yorker magazine in May, told an audience in San Francisco that "it's worse". But he added that he would reveal the extent of the abuses: "I'm not done reporting on all this," he told a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union.
He said: "The boys were sodomised with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war."
He accused the US administration, and all but accused President George Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney of complicity in covering up what he called "war crimes".
In an exclusive fictitious interview, Mossad Director Meir Dagan talks frankly to 'Ideal World News' reporter Ignacius O' Reilly.
World News for SOTT
Mossad Chief Meir Dagan today admitted that the Israeli intelligence and covert operations agency was the driving force behind much of the attacks that have lead to the US "war on terror". He also revealed the motivations for doing so.
Speaking from his plush Negev desert ranch home, Dagan claimed that the Mossad created phony Arab terrorist groups such as "al-Qaeda" and carried out attacks in their name.
"Our most daring black operation to date was the attack on the twin towers in September 2001" he stated. "It took at lot of effort and resources to pull that one off. The [9/11] operation was in the planning for years beforehand. We had to inflitrate many government, civilian and military organisations in the US to get the job done satisfactorily" he told us.
Dagan calimed that it was the scope and level of deception involved in the 9/11 attacks that necessitated so much prior planning. He claimed however that the Mossad had help not only from Israeli sympathisers within the US government and military but also from members of a shadowy supra governmental group of people that he referred to only as 'them'.
"In one way 'they' are a sick twisted bunch you know, but then if I had the information they have, I can't say I would do anything different." Dagan told us
Dagan also pointed to US NeoCons like Wolofowitz, Feith and Perle as the most ardent supporters of the 'Zionist' cause which includes the establishment of a biblical "greater Israel".
"Zionist" is just a phrase used to cover up the fact that these just are a bunch of elitist Aryans", said Dagan. When asked to comment further on this he reiterated that the 'Zionists' were not Israeli or semitic, but of Aryan origin.
"The guys at the very top are much closer in physical appearance to the average German or Nordic than to the average Israeli who is genetically almost identical to the Palestinian Arabs." he said. They have their public representatives but no one knows who the top guys are, they never show their faces". he claimed.
Dagan asserted that these people have been working in secret for centuries, passing on their knowledge and aims to each succesive generation of their "kin". Their goal, as crazy as it sounds, is, according to Dagan, to bring on the biblical "Armageddon".
"Of course, they don't really see it in those terms" - he said - "they are much smarter than that. Religion and belief is their tool, they use it to keep the masses distracted. They are quite happy that people believe all the bogus religious crap. The key point that they keep to themselves is that there is something big coming down the pipe in the near future.
They know that the planet goes through cyclical catastrophes, and they think that they can survive the next one. But to survive they realise that they have to control just about everything of any importance on the planet. They realised a long time ago that war was the best way to resolve the divisions among countries and peoples. They also understand the need to reduce the population significantly. They don't want to rely completely on the upcoming catastrophic earth changes to do that.
That's were we come in" - said the Mossad chief.
"We just follow their orders. Most of our agents are hand picked. If they have any compassion when they arrive at Mossad it's gone by the time they graduate. We more or less turn them in emotionless machines, but we teach them how to look human" - he laughed.
Dagan also claimed that the secret of the Mossad's success is their use of "Sayanim". These are Jewish people around the world who have been co-opted to provide much needed cover and help to actual Mossad agents.
"We just feed them some BS patriotic line about Israel and the 'chosen people', that's how we get them to work for us."
When asked about the need for the creation of "al-Qaeda" and other phony Arab terrorist groups, Dagan said that they were needed to create "the right global enviornment".
"We were given the task of creating an enemy that would terrorise the world, not only to allow the US to wage war with whoever it chose, but also to clamp down on civil lliberties in the US and around the world. In a way it was really easy, we use our contacts in each country and in the halls of power in the US to get access to whatever we need to carry out an attack. Before we carry out the attack, we also create an entire scenario which makes it look like the Arabs did it. We leave nothing to chance, we use Arab petty criminals and activists and feed them a story, we leave evidence, we produce videos and speeches by "terrorist leaders" - it's like a big film production.
All of this effort is required so that "they" can be sure to control the entire global sitaution and come out on top when the dust settles." - Dagan noted.
We asked the Mossad chief about the Middle East and why so much seemed to be centered on that area:
"Well, first of all there is the oil, but it is also a very central location, it allows "them" and their representatives in the US government and Israel easy access to Eastern Africa and Eastern Europe. 'They' can also get our noses into the former Russian states and East Asia" - Dagan informed us
"These people are not joking, they are in the process of herding the entire world's population to a much finer order of control."
Dagan added that in the Middle East 'they' are using crazed fundametalists like Sharon to further their aims.
"He will be dispensed with soon enough, just as soon as he starts the war in Israel and Palestine, which will then spread further afield. That's the job he was given to do" - he said of Sharon.
On a final note, we asked Dagan about the recent botched Mossad operation in New Zealand.
"Sloppy work" - he opined - "Some of those guys were getting too old anyway. But did you notice the picture of Mossad agent "Eli Cara" in court in New Zealand? - Dagan asked - "Now tell me, who does he look more like - Wolfowitz, or your average swarthy skinned Jew in Israel? Right there is one of the biggest secrets that 'they' don't want anyone to know. Ask yourself, why is Sharon gathering so many Jews back to Israel when the entire region is set to go up in flames? Answer that one, and you might have the answer to some questions about the Jews in WWII aswell."
Friday, 16 July, 2004
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark says she is not satisfied with Israel's response to a diplomatic row between the two counties.
Two Israeli men, who Ms Clark insists are spies, were jailed for passport fraud in Auckland on Thursday.
The Israeli foreign ministry said that it would do everything in its power to restore relations.
Ms Clark said this response did not amount to the full apology she was demanding.
at a cemetery in Wellington have been vandalised. Swastikas and Nazi slogans
were gouged into and around 16 Jewish graves.
"I think there is a direct connection between the very strong expressions against Israel and people here feeling they can take it out on Jews," Mr Zwartz said.
"It seems to me Israel-bashing one day, Jew-bashing the next day."
'Violation of sovereignty'
On Thursday, New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel over the activities of Uriel Zosha Kelman and Eli Cara.
The men deny that they are members of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, but pleaded guilty to attempting to gain New Zealand passports illegally and working with organised criminal gangs.
They were sentenced to six months in prison for trying to obtain New Zealand passports illegally.
Prime Minister Helen Clark said that such acts were a violation of New Zealand sovereignty.
She said she had no doubt the two men were Israeli intelligence agents and that the case was "far more than simple criminal behaviour by two individuals".
The New Zealand government suspended official visits to Israel. Israeli officials now need visas to enter New Zealand and foreign ministry contacts have been suspended.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said he was sure that Israel could repair the diplomatic damage and re-establish good relations with New Zealand, but did not specify how the Israeli government would go about it.
Ms Clark is insisting on a formal "government to government" apology or explanation.
"The ball is in Israel's court as to where it wants to move from here," Ms Clark said. "Three months ago we asked for an apology and an explanation. That has not been forthcoming."
The two Israelis were arrested in March after they tried to collect a passport in the name of a New Zealand national who is a wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy victim.
Steinberg and Hussein Askary
The United States government has been provided with concrete evidence that the Israeli Mossad and other Israeli intelligence services have been involved in a 13-month effort to "recruit" an Israeli-run, phony "al-Qaeda cell" among Palestinians, so that Israel could achieve a frontline position in the U.S. war against terrorism and get a green light for a worldwide "revenge without borders" policy. The question: Does the United States have the moral fiber to investigate?
Evidence of the Israeli dirty tricks burst onto the public scene on Dec. 6, when Col. Rashid Abu Shbak, head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Services in the Gaza Strip, held a press conference revealing the details of the alleged plot, as his agency had put the pieces together. The revelations undermine the "big lie" that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has used to justify new brutal attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and other occupied areas. Sharon claimed on Dec. 4 that Israeli intelligence had "hard evidence" of al-Qaeda operations in the Gaza Strip. Now, the top Palestinian leadership has shown the United States and other nations how Israeli intelligence entities were creating that al-Qaeda link!
American leader Lyndon LaRouche, a Democratic Presidential pre-candidate in 2004, commented that these revelations, if confirmed, could be "of strategic importance" in stopping the American, British, and Israeli warhawks pushing for a Middle East war, beginning with an invasion of Iraq. A war would justify the Sharon government's plan to annihilate the very idea of a Palestinian state. LaRouche warned that if institutions of the American Presidency and the international community successfully block an American pre-emptive war on Iraq, the biggest danger would be that a "mega-terror" attack, blamed on Palestinians, or an "Iraqi-linked" al-Qaeda, would be staged by Israel's ruling Jabotinskyite fanatics, to put the war back on the agenda. [...]
Paul Joseph Watson for Alex Jones Prison Planet | July 11 2004
An Islamic website has had to publicly dissasociate itself from comments attributed to it by the Korea Herald. The Herald carried an article which stated Al-Qaeda militants had threatened to attack ships exporting US goods on the website Al-Basrah.
However, in a message posted on its main page, the website states,
A South Korean government said that Al Basrah network published a message from a radical Islamic group planning to attack a fleet, which cooperates with America. Other newspapers forwarded this message saying it comes from AL-Basrah network.
On our part we solemnly declare to the whole world that we never published such a report neither we ever have heard of it
The well declared policy of albasrah.net is as clear as its goal which can be summarized in the following:
1) Transmit the true news about Iraq and clarify any ambiguous event that took place inside Iraq and convey as truly as it is possible to the whole world.
2) Unmasks the actual motives that lay behind the invasion of Iraq and let the world know the actual perpetrators of all the lies.
3) The Basrah. Net and the whole population of Iraq are well aware of the fact that there exists no Al-Qaaida members neither the legendary Al-Zarqawi on its soil.
For us and them all, it is a big lie as similar as the other lies which are perpetrated by the occupation forces to kill the Iraqi and vilify the valiant Resistance Freedom Fighter. The Korian press together with other dubious world media is bit another desperate campaign to silence the free press which expose their undervalued evil schemes. Albarah.net will fight all the evil doers and those who propagate to silence the free press all over the world.
This is another example of how threats of violence and claims of responsibility for events are falsely being attributed to Muslims in order to reinforce the myth that Al-Qaeda and the false flag US intelligence operative Al-Zarqawi are behind the uprising in Iraq. If all the resistance fighters can be labelled as terrorists then there can be no debate as to what they are actually fighting for and the coalition of the killing can continue blanket bombing Fallujah and killing innocent people.
Many of the websites that have taken credit for violence and beheadings are not based in the Middle East at all, they are based in places like Houston Texas.
In another case, it was proven that one of the websites uploading videos of beheadings was based in London.
Early last week, another Islamic website, Ansar al-Sunna, had to distance itself from the claim that it had carried a message from an Al-Qaeda group claiming responsibility for beheading US marine Cpl Wassef Ali Hassoun. For at least an hour mainstream media networks were reporting that Hassoun had been killed when in fact he was still alive and was later released. As I stated at the time,
This is now proof of what we suspected all along. Phony 'Al-Qaeda' groups with websites based in the US are claiming responsibility or acting as patsies for numerous different events. This has psy-ops written all over it.
The Al-Qaeda threat is being maintained and promulgated by the same intelligence agencies that created Al-Qaeda in the first place. Did you know that 'Al-Qaeda' in some Arab dialects means 'I'm going to the toilet'? This is a complete joke.
Dangerous conspiracy theorists will continue to peddle their ridiculous notions of 'weapons of mass destruction' and 'Al-Qaeda groups' while presenting no evidence of their existence. That is why we have to be watchful of the artificial creation of this evidence and its impact on the mass psyche.
Comment: As we have said before, it can de difficult keeping track of all those lies. There is also the danger that you might eventually expose yourself...
Review by William Hughes
History can be deceptive. It’s fair to say that some of the sensational never-published-before documents, in this book, will shock those who have accepted Zionism and its supposed history, at face value, as a political movement that was the hope of the Jews. Lenni Brenner, the intrepid author of “Zionism in the Age of Dictators,” reveals disturbing new evidence in his latest effort, that suggest just the opposite. In fact, he makes a compelling case that the Zionist record was “dishonorable.” You can consider this excellent tome as a worthy sequel to his first expose’ on the myopic Zionist zealots of that bygone era.
For openers, Brenner showed how the Zionists had a long history of shameless cooperation with the Nazis, especially after the dictator Adolph Hitler had came to power in 1933. The Zionists were also in bed, to some extent, with the other members of what later became known as WWII’s “Axis of Evil,” that included Benito Mussolini’s Italy, and Tojo Hideki’s Japan. For example, on March 29,1936, Zionists praised Il Duce, and his regime, at the opening of a maritime school, funded by the Fascist government, at Civitavecchia. This is where a Zionist youth group, the “Betar,” trained its sailors for the future Revisionist state. The speakers ignored the fact that on Oct. 3, 1935, Italian troops had invaded Abyssinia.
On another front, the “Third Congress of the Jewish Community of the Far East,” was held in Jan., 1940, in Harbin, Manchuria, then reeling under a brutal military occupation by the Japanese imperial forces. At that time, too, Tokyo was already aligned with Hitler and Italy’s Mussolini, in the notorious Anti-Comintern Pact. Also, keep in mind, that the Japanese’s murderous “Rape of Nanking,” had occurred in Dec., 1937, and the "Crystal Night" incident on Nov. 9, 1938. Nevertheless, the Zionist confab went out of its way to legitimize the Japanese occupation by certifying it as a guarantor of the “equality of all citizens,” in that beleaguered land.
The Zionist also had a trade plan with the Berlin government by which German Jews could redeem their property in Nazi goods exported to then British-occupied Palestine. And to top it all off, the infamous SS-Hptscharf. Adolf Eichmann, had visited Palestine, in October, 1937, as the guest of the Zionists. He also met, in Egypt, with Feivel Polkes, a Zionist operative, whom Eichmann described as a “leading Haganah functionary.” The chain-smoking Polkes was also on the Nazis’ payroll “as an informer.”
Brenner isn’t the first writer to address the mostly taboo subject of how the Zionist leadership cooperated with the Nazis. Rolf Hilberg’s seminal “The Destruction of European Jews”; Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem”; Ben Hecht’s “Perfidy”; Edwin Black’s “The Transfer Agreement”; Francis R. Nicosia’s “The Third Reich and the Palestine Question”; Rudolf Vrba and Alan Bestic’s “I Cannot Forgive”; and Rafael Medoff’s “The Deadening Silence: American Jews and the Holocaust,” also dared, with varying public success.
After the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann dealt regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew, whom he considered a “fanatical Zionist.” Kastner was later assassinated in Israel as a Nazi collaborator. At issue then, however, was the bargaining over the eventual fate of Hungary’s Jews, who were slated for liquidation in the Nazi-run death camps. Eichmann said this about Kastner, the Zionist representative, “I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. ‘You can have the others,’ he would say, ‘but let me have this group here.’ And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape.”
Readers, too, will be surprised to learn, that after the Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in Sept., 1935, that there were only two flags that were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany. One was Hitler’s favorite, the Swastika. The other was the blue and white banner of Zionism. The Zionists were also allowed to publish their own newspaper. The reasons for this Reich-sponsored favoritism was, according to the author: The Zionists and the Nazis had a common interest, making German Jews emigrate to Palestine.
As early as June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation was sending a secret memorandum to the Nazis, which said, in part:
“It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state [German Reich] can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims as a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry- -indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions..
Flashback: Israel-Idi Amin nexus revealed
When Radio Uganda announced at dawn on 25 January 1971 that Idi Amin was Uganda’s new ruler, many people suspected that Britain had a hand in the coup. However, Foreign Office papers released last year point towards Israel in this regard.
The first telegrams to London from the British High Commissioner in Kampala, Richard Slater, show a man shocked and bewildered by the coup.
But he quickly turned to the man who he thought might know what was going on; Colonel Bar-Lev, the Israeli defence attaché. He found the Israeli colonel with Amin. They had spent the morning of the coup together. Slater’s next telegram says that according to Colonel Bar-Lev, "In the course of last night General Amin caused to be arrested all officers in the armed forces sympathetic to Obote ... Amin is now firmly in control of all elements of (the) army which controls vital points in Uganda ... the Israeli defence attache discounts any possibility of moves against Amin."
The Israelis moved quickly to consolidate the coup. In the following days Bar-Lev was in constant contact with Amin and giving him advice. Slater told London that Bar-Lev had explained in considerable detail (how) all potential foci of resistance, both up country and in Kampala, had been eliminated.
Shortly afterwards Amin made his first foreign trip; a state visit to Israel. Golda Meir, the Prime Minister, was reportedly shocked at his 'shopping list' for arms.
But why was Israel so interested in a landlocked country in Central Africa? The reason is spelt out by Slater in a later telegram.
Israel was backing rebellion in southern Sudan to punish Sudan for supporting the Arab cause in the Six-Day War. "They do not want the rebels to win. They want to keep them fighting."
The Israelis had helped train the new Uganda army in the 1960s. Shortly after independence Amin was sent to Israel on a training course. When he became chief of staff of the new army Amin also ran a sideline operation for the Israelis, supplying arms and ammunition to the rebels in southern Sudan. Amin had his own motive for helping them: many of his own people, the Kakwa, live in southern Sudan.
Obote, however, wanted peace in southern Sudan. That worried the Israelis and they were even more worried when, in November 1970 Obote sacked Amin. Their stick for beating Sudan was suddenly taken away.
The British may have had little to do with the coup but they welcomed it enthusiastically. "General Amin has certainly removed from the African scene one of our most implacable enemies in matters affecting Southern Africa," wrote an enthusiastic Foreign Office official in London. The man who argued most vehemently for Britain to back Amin with arms was Bruce McKenzie, a former RAF pilot turned MI6 agent. (Amin murdered him seven years later.)
He flew to Israel shortly after the coup and, as if getting permission to back Amin, he reported to Douglas-Home: "The way is now clear for our High Commission in Kampala to get close to Amin."
But the cautious Mr Slater in Kampala remained reluctant. Urged on by McKenzie, Douglas-Home gave Slater his orders: "The PM will be watching this and will, I am sure, want us to take quick advantage of any opportunity of selling arms. Don’t overdo the caution."
Shortly afterwards Amin was invited for a state visit to London and dinner at Buckingham Palace.
Comment: In the 7 years of his brutal reign from 1972-79, Amin slaughtered up to half a million people.
says workers were warned of attack
Odigo, the instant messaging service, says that two of its workers received messages two hours before the Twin Towers attack on September 11 predicting the attack would happen, and the company has been cooperating with Israeli and American law enforcement, including the FBI, in trying to find the original sender of the message predicting the attack.
Micha Macover, CEO of the company, said the two workers received the messages and immediately after the terror attack informed the company's management, which immediately contacted the Israeli security services, which brought in the FBI.
"I have no idea why the message was sent to these two workers, who don't know the sender. It may just have been someone who was joking and turned out they accidentally got it right. And I don't know if our information was useful in any of the arrests the FBI has made," said Macover. Odigo is a U.S.-based company whose headquarters are in New York, with offices in Herzliya.
As an instant messaging service, Odigo users are not limited to sending messages only to people on their "buddy" list, as is the case with ICQ, the other well-known Israeli instant messaging application.
Odigo usually zealously protects the privacy of its registered users, said Macover, but in this case the company took the initiative to provide the law enforcement services with the originating Internet Presence address of the message, so the FBI could track down the Internet Service Provider, and the actual sender of the original message.
Comment: The above was reposted today in Herratz. This is the third time the story has appeared in this paper since 9/11. It is an extremely important report and has significant implications for the 9/11 inquiry, yet it has never appeared in any US mainstream newspaper. Ask yourself why...
That is the
highly provocative question being asked in "Bush on the Couch,"
a new book in which psychoanalyst and George Washington University professor
Dr. Justin Frank uses the president's public pronouncements and behavior,
along with biographical data, to craft a comprehensive psychological profile
of Bush 43.
Comment: Freudian Projection, or psychopathy?
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Trespassing charges against two people who wore anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's July 4 rally at the West Virginia Capitol were dropped Thursday because a city ordinance did not cover trespassing on Statehouse grounds.
Nicole and Jeff Rank of Corpus Christi, Texas, were removed from the event in restraints after taking off an outer layer of clothes to reveal homemade T-shirts that had President Bush's name with a slash through it and the words "Love America, Hate Bush" on the back.
The Ranks were given summonses to appear in Charleston Municipal Court and released.
Charleston Municipal Judge Carole Bloom dismissed the charges on the motion of Assistant City Attorney Deloris Martin.
Nicole Rank, 30, who was doing environmental work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of Memorial Day flooding in the state, was released from her position after her arrest without getting another assignment. She remains employed with FEMA.
Jeff Rank, 28, who is an unemployed oceanographer, was in West Virginia to be with her. [...]
Jeff Rank said the couple did not go the Capitol with the intention of being arrested. They are supporters of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry, but wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to see Bush and "give him a fair hearing." [...]
Law enforcement officers told the couple to take the shirts off, cover them or get out. When they refused and sat down, they were arrested. They then stood and accompanied the police, said Charleston Mayor Danny Jones.
The Ranks said they have not protested at other political events and do not have any immediate plans to do so again.
"We'll continue to exercise our right to free expression when we see fit. We're not professional protesters," Jeff Rank said. "We're going to get on with our lives and go back to Texas and get jobs."
Jones said, "I don't think this was just about a T-shirt issue. There were other things going on there. The officers, quite frankly, feared for the safety of the Ranks." [...]
Comment: Of course, when police officers fear for the safety of a citizen, the first thing they do is arrest the citizen and charge them with trespassing. If the Ranks actually did have to fear for their own safety, then we are left to conclude that Bush and his supporters are a bunch of violent and fanatical loonies. We do have to agree with Mayor Jones that "there were other things going on there" - yeah, like the continued blossoming of fascism.
It was the second time in less than two months that Spiers had been questioned about taking pictures of a landmark that attracts hundreds of tourists a day, many of them snapping photos of the ships passing between Lake Union and Elliott Bay.
A growing number of photographers around the country have been similarly rousted in recent years as they've tried to take pictures of federal buildings and other major public works, said Donald Winslow, editor of the National Press Photographers Association's magazine.
"We've seen the constant erosion of our civil liberties amid this cry for homeland security by doing things that have an appearance of making us safe, but in reality it's a sham,'' Winslow said. "No one showed up at the World Trade Center and took photographs from nine different angles before they flew planes into it.''
That morning back on May 26, Spiers explained he was a photography student at a local community college, showed a copy of his assignment, then asked the officer if he was legally obligated to show his ID.
The officer said no and walked away. But soon after, several armed officers approached him, including three from the Seattle Police Department and three from the federal Homeland Security Department.
"I was trying to be calm, but the truth was I was scared out of my mind,'' Spiers said, standing on a sidewalk not far from where it all went down.
This time, Spiers said, a Seattle police officer told him he had no choice but to show his ID. A Homeland Security agent who flashed his badge told him he had broken a law by taking pictures of a federal facility.
"We've never seen such a law,'' said Doug Honig, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union in Seattle.
Spiers said he spent a half-hour answering questions and let a Homeland Security agent photograph him after being told he had no choice.
The ACLU has written the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns and runs the locks, asking for the agency's assurance that Spiers will not be arrested if he returns to the locks.
Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser said her agency had no involvement in the incident and questioned an order Spiers said a homeland security agent gave him - that he could not return to the locks with his camera without getting permission in advance.
"Everyone - all members of the public - are welcome on the locks property, and photographs are allowed, and there's no need to get prior permission,'' Graesser said.
Without commenting on the specifics of the case, Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said the department has a duty to respond to reports of suspicious activity.
Calls to the Homeland Security Department were not immediately returned.
In an interview, Spiers kept his distance from the spot where he was questioned, and wore a button on his camera bag that said: "Annoying but harmless photography student. Do not bend.'' He made it in early April, after two police officers showed up at his door, saying they were responding to a report about a suspicious man taking pictures at the locks.
Spiers stopped short of suggesting that he was a victim of racial profiling, but said he'd like to hear one of the officers who questioned him say if they hassled him because his mocha-colored skin and short black hair made him look like a terrorist.
"I'm trying to figure out how not to attract attention,'' said Spiers, 36. "So far the only thing I can think of is that I can never ever pick up a camera.''
The National Press Photographers Association has gotten numerous reports from members who say they've been hassled by police more frequently since Sept. 11, 2001.
In early June, about 100 photographers crowded onto Manhattan subway trains and snapped pictures of each other in protest of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed ban on photography in subways and otherpublic transit.
In Yakima, Wash., Brian Fitzgerald, chief photographer at the Yakima Herald-Republic, said a uniformed security officer tried to prevent him from taking a picture of a local immigration office, citing a "law,'' then calling it a "directive'' that gave the officer the right to confiscate any film with pictures of a federal facility.
An officer in charge eventually let him take his photos, and he's since been told there's no reason he can't take them.
"It's frustrating mostly,'' Fitzgerald said. "I'm not outraged because I didn't get to the point where I didn't get my photos. It just reminds me again how much disinformation there is, even in these agencies that are supposed to know.''
10:40 PM EDT Jul 15
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to strike a Florida representative's words from the congressional record after she said Republicans stole the closely fought 2000 U.S. election.
The verbal battle broke out after Representative Steve Buyer, an Indiana Republican, proposed a measure barring any U.S. official from requesting the United Nations formally observe the U.S. election Nov. 2.
Representative Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat, and several other House Democrats have made that suggestion. They argue some black voters were disenfranchised in 2000 and problems could occur again this fall.
"We welcome America to observe the integrity of our electoral process and we do not ask, though, for the United Nations to come as monitors at our polling stations," Buyer said.
"I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat," Brown said.
"We need to make sure it doesn't happen again. Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said: 'Get over it."'
"No, we're not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world."
At that point, Buyer demanded Brown's words be "taken down," or removed the debate's permanent record.
The House's presiding officer, Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, ruled Brown's words violated a House rule.
"Members should not accuse other members of committing a crime such as, quote, stealing, end quote, an election," Thornberry said.
When Brown objected to his ruling, the House voted 219-187 to strike her words.
Comment: It doesn't matter if representative Brown's comments are accurate, it is a 'House rule' that you can't "accuse other members of committing a crime", even when they are guilty. Once again, truth gets officially stricken from the record.
WASHINGTON - Enough new-generation anthrax vaccine to dose 25 million people: That's first on the government's shopping list under a massive new program to develop and stockpile antidotes to biological and chemical weapons.
Called Project BioShield, the $5.6 billion program passed the House on a 414-2 vote Wednesday. The Senate passed it in May and President Bush's signature is guaranteed.
Federal health officials have their wish-list ready: antidotes for botulism and anthrax, a safer smallpox vaccine, and a long-awaited children's version of an anti-radiation pill.
"The passage of Project Bioshield is a watershed in our mission to defend America against bioterrorism, establishing a first line of defense against biological weapons," said Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Bush said in a statement that he looked forward to signing the bill, which would help protect the homeland and "break new ground in the search for treatments and cures while strengthening our overall biotechnology infrastructure." [...]
By ERIC J.
In an unprecedented victory for pro-Palestinian activists, leaders of the largest Presbyterian denomination officially equated the Jewish state with apartheid South Africa and have voted to stop investing in Israel.
With the decision, approved in a 431-62 vote at the 216th annual General Assembly of Presbyterian Church (USA), the church, boasting nearly 3 million members, is believed to be the largest organization or institution to join the divestment campaign against Israel. It is the first Christian denomination to do so, according to Sister Patricia Wolfe, executive director of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of 275 Christian denominations.
"This now raises the issue," Wolfe said, "and will cause ICCR to have a discussion."
In 2001 the combined value of the church's foundation and pension fund was estimated at $7 billion.
Leaders of Presbyterian Church (USA), a mainline Protestant church, approved several other anti-Israel resolutions at their gathering in Richmond, Va., and also refused to halt funding for "messianic congregations" that target Jews for conversion.
The Presbyterian resolutions came just as Jewish organizations were hailing the results of a historic international interfaith meeting in Buenos Aires last week, where Roman Catholic officials for the first time signed on to a document equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism.
GAZA, July6 , 2004 (IPC Agencies) - - Nearly 70 cancer cases and the sterile rate soared to62 % among males and females in the villages south of Hebron was mainly caused by the nuclear waste buried by Israel in Hebron's mountains.
Many physicians and officials south of Hebron City, adjacent to the Negev Desert, warned of the growing number of people afflicted with cancer and attributed the cause to the nuclear radioactive wind the region.
The Palestinian villages located south of Hebron's mountains witnessed a growing number of cancer cases and unprecedented mutation rates as most of the specialists said that it is likely due to environmental pollution.
The professor (Y.A) of physics and a specialist of atomic science said that the air in southern Hebron is contaminated by the nuclear radioactive leakage as the area is very close to the Israeli Dimona reactor and to the nuclear waste dumps in the area.
There are no cement blocks around the reactor operating to lower the hazardous impacts of such high radioactivity.
The professor recited the case of his mother who died of visceral cancer, and after a check up, the cause was mainly due the high rates of radioactive elements.
The radioactivity has a tremendous power that could penetrates to the genes of the human, affecting the chromosome that are inherited generation after generation.
Dr. Mahmoud Sa’ada, the co-founder of the Palestinian Medical Relief, was quoted by the Al Nakab daily as saying, “I am a general physician who has been working for 30 years in Al Thaheryia adjacent to Hebron and I could ascertain that during the last years most of the cancer cases has no other diagnosis but nuclear radioactivity.”
He added, “now there are 70 cancer cases in Al Thaheryia admitted to Beit Jala hospital. Recently, a baby was born with red colored half face, and after examining each case it’s hardly to attribute the case to inherited deformations.”
Meanwhile, the rate of sterility has been notably increased to62 % in the villages south of Hebron due to the radioactivity.
Israel has always had a policy of nuclear ambiguity, saying only that it will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the region.
Late of last June, the Israeli cabinet approved to distribute iodine-based tablets to people living near the Israeli nuclear reactors to give them some protection in case of radioactive leakage.
The pills were to be given to people living near the Dimona reactor, in the southern Negev Desert and those close to the Nahal Sorek nuclear plant, southwest of Jerusalem, officials said on condition of anonymity.
Israel has had nuclear technology for decades but refused to comment on reports of obtaining nuclear weapons.
18 September 2003, 10:45 pm
[...] Dimona's Hazards
In a study requested by the Palestinian Ministry of Environment Quality from the Jordanian authorities, it was revealed that the average manifestation of cancer in the Al Tafila governorate, south of Jordan, is higher than the other Jordanian governorates and surrounding Arab countries.
According to Dr. Abu Safiya, high cancer rates were recorded in all the southern Jordanian governorates, which confirmed the possible direction of nuclear dust that might be leaking from Dimona.
It was recently revealed that five Israeli families lost their sons who worked in Dimona reactor, and they filed charges in the Central Court in Tel Aviv against the Israeli government and the reactor's administration, demanding compensations for the cancer that killed those workers due to radiation exposure.
According to the lawsuit, the prosecutors are relatives to five Israelis who worked for a long time in the nuclear "village": Ze'eiv Schforn, born in 1931 and started working in Dimona in 1962 as the head of the supply crew. He was diagnosed with abdominal caner in 1966 and died in 1967. The second employee was Simon Dray, born in 1942 and worked in Dimona from 1966 until 1992 in the cleaning and decontamination unit. In 1996 he was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer, and died in 1998. The third was Moshe Zegori, born in 1947, and worked in the reactor from 1965 until 1985, also in cleaning and decontamination. Before he left his job he found out that he had a malignant tumor in his head, and died in 1987. The fourth employee was Yousif Cohen, born in 1938, and worked in the reactor from 1970 until 1995, in maintenance. In 1997 he was diagnosed with several malignant tumors, and died in 1998.
The fifth employee is still suffering from cancer in his body, and is constantly under treatment. He worked in the reactor from 1969 until 1996, in maintenance and mechanical engineering.
The prosecutors of those victims are demanding the Israeli government to take responsibility for their deaths, due to the radiation exposure they suffered inside the reactor, which caused fatal malignant tumors. At the same time, they claim that the reactor's administration didn't take enough precaution measures and never warned the employees about the radiation hazard.
As reports indicate, the reactor has become old now, as its isolation walls have worn-out, which might cause the leakage of some radiation from the reactor, a thing that will lead to devastating health and ecological damages to the surrounding area.
According to the reports also, the reactor suffers from a dangerous crack caused by "neutron" radiation, which caused structural damage, as neutrons cause small gas bubbles inside the concrete support, making it fragile and susceptible to cracking.
Israel's Secret Weapon was broadcast on BBC Two on Monday, 17 March, 2003 at 2320 GMT.
Ariel Spieler, a holocaust survivor and a loyal Dimona worker for 27 years, described how he had been told to prepare the site for the Minister’s visit by removing contaminated waste from a deep crater.
He said he’d replaced it with fresh soil and planted trees to cover the hole as though it had never happened. Then he said they brought the minister and the press to prove that everything was okay.
Five Dimona workers appeared on the programme. They’d given their lives for Dimona, they said, and now they felt betrayed.
They broke no secrets. Only the code of silence.
They said they’d worked with uranium. There were fires, spills, and explosions of toxic gas.
Now they were sick, they said, the plant didn’t want to know. The management was denying they’d worked with radioactive materials, and because they were bound to secrecy they couldn't fight for their rights.
The programme listed more than a hundred Dimona workers who’d developed cancer and whose claims were being ignored.
A doctor and two lawyers backed their story. [...]
Last Updated Fri, 16 Jul 2004 09:07:57 EDT
GAZA CITY - The abducted Palestinian Authority police chief Ghazi Jabali has been released or is about to be released, according to reports.
Palestinian officials said Friday they had reached an agreement for his release and were about to pick him up, according to the Associated Press.
Agence France Press, meanwhile, reported Jabali had already been freed by late afternoon Friday.
The news came only hours after gunmen kidnapped the police chief for Gaza and the West Bank earlier on Friday.
Jabali and his bodyguards were ambushed as they travelled in a three-car
convoy just south of Gaza City, according to witnesses.
Unconfirmed reports said Jabali had been taken to Bureji refugee camp in the Gaza strip.
People in Bureji were quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the abductors were members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee, a group of militants based in Gaza.
But another report said the Jenin Martyrs' Brigade, part of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility.
There's speculation that the abduction of Jabali is part of an internal Palestinian power struggle ahead of the expected withdrawal of Israelis and their security forces from the Gaza Strip.
Jabali is also on Israel's wanted list over alleged involvement in attacks on Israelis. There was no comment from the Israeli army, but Israeli radio reported the perpetrators were Palestinians.
PARIS, July 15 (AFP) - France's upper house of parliament late Thursday passed legislation that would allow authorities to expel foreigners who have called for discrimination against women.
Under the legislation, which was approved by the lower house last month, foreigners can be expelled for "inciting discrimination, hatred or violence against a specific person or group of persons," notably women.
The measure follows a case in which a radical Islamic cleric, Abdelkader Bouziane, was deported to his native Algeria after he publicly justified wife-beating in an article in a French magazine.
Fire officials say ten people have been overcome by fumes aboard a plane that sat on the runway Thursday night at BWI.
Officials told a local television station that four people were transported from the scene in critical condition, and six others were in serious condition.
Others aboard the plane reportedly complained of upset stomach and lightheadedness.
Fire crews from Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties were on the scene Thursday night as well.
The plane reportedly was a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston that arrived around 10:45 pm with 125 people aboard.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal plan to collect personal data about airline passengers to block potential terrorists from boarding aircraft has been abandoned, a government source familiar with its development said Thursday.
Privacy advocates had opposed the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System -- or CAPPS II -- because it would have required the airlines to share a passenger's full name, home address, home telephone number, birth date and some information about that passenger's itinerary with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
That information would have been checked against commercial data bases to verify the person's identity or whether an alias was being used.
Thus far, $40 million dollars of the appropriated $100 million has been spent on the development of CAPPS II, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The department is developing an alternate method to screen passengers. Calling the new program a "high priority for the department," the department is "reconfiguring the way in which the system works," according to Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
The new system, which is in development, would check passengers' names and additional information against a significantly expanded terrorist watch-list.
No date has been set for implementation of a new plan.
TOKYO - The United States plans to pursue a case against accused Army deserter Charles Jenkins, but might not demand he be turned over immediately to American custody if he comes to Japan, the U.S. ambassador said Thursday.
Ambassador Howard Baker's comments came as Japanese officials — including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi — said the 64-year-old American, who allegedly fled his post to communist North Korea in 1960s, should be taken to Japan for medical treatment.
"I'm told his condition is not good," Koizumi said. "He should get treated (at a Japanese hospital) as soon as possible. We're making arrangements for that, but no date has been set."
Japanese media, however, reported that Jenkins could come to Japan as soon as Sunday.
"We are still trying to make final arrangements" for Jenkins' visit, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda. Asked how soon Tokyo would reach a decision, Hosoda said: "It will be soon."
North Korean officials on Thursday apparently were trying to block Jenkins from leaving Jakarta, Indonesia, where he is meeting with his Japanese wife. The North Koreans said they wouldn't allow him to go to Japan unless they can meet with him, according to the Kyodo News agency, which quoted an unidentified Japanese official.
Baker, speaking to a small group of journalists at the U.S. Embassy, said the U.S. government was "sympathetic" to Jenkins' unspecified health problems and Washington was not insisting he be treated at a hospital at a U.S. military base if he came to Japan.
"If and when he comes to Japan we will ask for custody — exactly when remains to be seen," Baker said.
"It's certainly possible he could come to Japan, that the United States would insist on its rights, but that actual custody would not be sought or consummated under some circumstances," the ambassador added.
Jenkins, a North Carolina native, is accused of abandoning his U.S. Army unit on the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea in 1965 and defecting to the North. He has lived in the communist state since then and has appeared in Northern propaganda films.
Since last week, Jenkins has been in Jakarta meeting with his Japanese wife, Hitomi Soga. Soga was kidnapped by Northern agents in 1978 and the two were married in North Korea, but Soga was allowed to return to Japan in 2002. Jenkins and his two daughters remained in North Korea for fear of U.S. prosecution.
Jenkins apparently has never been processed out of the military and presumably would be subject to U.S. military arrest and court-martial were he to return to Japan.
The Japanese government, eager to have Soga's family reunited in Japan, has urged the United States for leniency in Jenkins' case so he could come to Japan without being arrested.
The case has been complicated by Jenkins' health troubles.
He was being examined by Japanese doctors in Indonesia — which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. They have recommended he be sent to Japan for further care.
National broadcaster NHK reported Thursday that Jenkins suffers from peritonitis, an inflammation of the walls of the abdomen that can become serious if not properly treated. [...]
Comment: Doesn't the US have better things to do than prosecuting an ill, elderly deserter?
Thu, 15 Jul 2004 09:37:18 EDT
NEW YORK - Foreign workers face abuse, torture and forced confessions in Saudi Arabia, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
Its 135-page report is called, Bad Dreams: Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia.
"The abuses we found against foreign workers demonstrate appalling flaws in the kingdom's criminal justice system," said Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch.
Whitson pointed to the sexual abuse of female domestic workers, some of whom were serving sentences for "illegal pregnancies."
The New York-based group visited the kingdom in January 2003 after an invitation from Saudi officials. It then interviewed workers who had returned to their homes in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
The report said many workers who had been detained were forced to make confessions under duress and signed Arabic-language statements they could not understand. Some were executed without prior notice to their embassies or their families.
The report supports the story of Canadian William Sampson, who spent 31 months in a Saudi jail. Sampson was convicted of carrying out car bombings that killed a British man and injured several others. Sampson and five accused British citizens were released from prison last year.
Sampson said he was kept in solitary confinement most of the time, tortured repeatedly and forced to sign a guilty plea. He and six other men held in the prison are looking to sue the Saudi interior minister, the deputy governor of the jail where they were held and two guards they say tortured them.
Nayef bin Hashem al-De'is, a member of the country's Human Rights Committee in the Consultative Council, said his committee is reviewing new human rights laws.
Saudi Arabia has about six million foreign workers, most of whom work in the oil and service industries.
By Emma Graham-Harrison
MADRID, Spain (Reuters) - A huge fire at a Madrid power substation triggered explosions and led authorities to shut down the center of the city including the famed Prado museum, jangling nerves four months after train bombings killed 191 people.
Billowing smoke thick enough to block out the sun rose over the Paseo del Prado, Madrid's main thoroughfare. Eleven people were treated for smoke inhalation, an official said.
Police and firefighters cordoned off streets, and the wail of sirens returned to the neighborhood around the Atocha station where two of four commuter trains were attacked by suspected Islamic militants on March 11.
"My first reaction was fear, because you don't know what it is," said Montse Sanchez, a 34-year old administrator whose trip home was interrupted by the fire.
"I thought 'Oh my God, we cannot cope with another thing like the March 11 bombs."'
The doors of the city's Prado museum were closed to visitors as an acrid chemical smell permeated the area and several buildings were evacuated.
Police said the cause of the fire was unknown.
The blaze at the substation, which belongs to Spanish utility Union Fenosa, had been largely brought under control by mid-afternoon, some two hours after it began, said a spokesman for Madrid's firefighters.
But some 8,000 people remained without electricity, Esperanza Aguirre, head of the Madrid regional government, told state radio.
"There are 11 people suffering from smoke inhalation," she added.
A brief power cut affected floor trade at the Spanish stock exchange, although there was no impact on electronic trade, which makes up the vast majority of deals.
(KRT) - Madonna's doing it. Britney's doing it. And a host of other celebrities are doing it.
They're studying Kabbalah.
Delving into the topic of Jewish mysticism brought warnings from scholars: Kabbalah is complex and only for the spiritually mature. But with celebrities like Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow flocking to Kabbalah centers and sporting red-string bracelets as a sign of their newfound interest, the question is a natural: What is Kabbalah?
Traditionally the study of Kabbalah has been reserved for the most learned and pious, not the masses. Jews could not even begin studying it until they were 40 years old.
"There is no simple definition of Kabbalah," said Elliot Wolfson, professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University and a leading scholar of Kabbalah. "The word means 'tradition,' and from some time in the Middle Ages, the term began to be used to refer to secrets about the divine nature, the cosmos and the human soul or, principally, the soul of the Jew.
"Kabbalah relates both to esoteric wisdom and contemplative practices that facilitate communion and sometimes even union of the individual and God."
Kabbalah literally means "reception," which is synonymous with the word "tradition" in Hebrew, said professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson of Arizona State University, who studies the relationship between philosophy and Kabbalah. It refers to receiving the inner, hidden or esoteric meaning of divine revelation, she said.
It is closely aligned with the traditional, Orthodox form of Judaism, said Pinchas Giller, professor of Jewish thought at the University of Judaism in Bel- Air, Calif., and an expert in Kabbalah.
"There are meditative and magical practices, but the main application is to provide a layer of deeper meaning for observing the traditional Jewish commandments," he said.
Practices also include special focus when reciting prayers on colors that correspond to specific potencies of the divine, Wolfson said.
The ideas and teachings of Kabbalah go back 2,000 years and were orally transmitted, Giller said.
"It became a written tradition in the late 12th century and flourished in the 13th century in Spain," Tirosh-Samuelson said. "Several Kabbalistic schools developed concurrently, but the most influential one was the school that produced the magnum opus of Kabbalah, Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Enlightenment)."
The Zohar can be described as a mystical commentary on many sections of the Torah, or the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. It deals with five theological issues, said Jim Wallis in "The Religion Book": the nature of God, the creation of the Universe, the destiny of humanity, the nature of evil and the meaning of the Bible.
To study Kabbalah involves primarily to study the Zohar, Tirosh-Samuelson said.
"Torah deals with the physical and with this world," said Rabbi Mendy Wineberg of Chabad House Center. "It does not generally discuss things that don't apply to our daily service of God in the here and now. Kabbalah, on the other hand, looks at the spiritual reasons and outcomes of our actions.
"Torah is called the 'body,' and Kabbalah is called the 'soul'. Kabbalah also teaches us about God and creation as well as our souls and our connection to God. By learning about our spiritual side we can affect our physical side."
While some are perplexed by celebrities' attraction to Kabbalah, some scholars interviewed believe the attraction is rooted in the celebrities' needs and the teachings they receive from the Los Angeles center.
"I think that performing artists are attracted to the Kabbalah's images of struggle, the overcoming of impediments and the underlying instability of present-day existence," Giller said. "These anxieties are at the root of much traditional Kabbalistic writing and inform the popular writings of the Kabbalah Centre."
The flourishing of Kabbalah today has little to do with the tradition, but rather reflects the needs of spiritual seekers today, both Jews and non-Jews, Tirosh-Samuelson said. She sees three reasons for Kabbalah's present popularity:
1. It consists of a strong psychological emphasis since it concerns the pursuit of perfection and with the spiritual transformation of the individual.
2. It is highly visual and employs the power of the imaginative. Kabbalah is highly artistic, and its teachings can be viewed as a kind of Jewish art, which takes place not in space, as Christian art, but in the privacy of the person's mind who practices Kabbalah.
3. It has much to say about sexuality, both human and divine.
"The combination of the emotional, the imaginative and the sexual makes Kabbalah extremely attractive to artists, who are seeking new imagery or who are displeased with the shallowness and emptiness of American consumerist culture," she said.
Jewish scholars expressed strong feelings about the spotlight on Kabbalah that is reflected from the celebrities. Numerous reports express the concern of some Jewish leaders over what they see as distortions of Kabbalah. A California rabbi blasted the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles for allowing Madonna to become its "principal spokesperson."
In an article on its Web site, the Bnei Baruch World Center for Kabbalah Studies said: "Today, many well-known celebrities have popularized a New Age pop-psychology distortion of Kabbalah that has more in common with the writings of Deepak Chopra than with any authentic Jewish source."
Many traditional Jewish stories from the Talmud and other sources even discourage the pursuit of mystical experiences "as dangerous and irresponsible," according to the Bnei Baruch article.
Tirosh-Samuelson said she believes its popularity is based on reinterpretation of Jewish mysticism for today but also on misinterpretation of the tradition.
"The main danger in the popularization of Kabbalah is the belief that it has nothing to do with traditional Judaism or that one does not need to live as a Jew in order to engage in Kabbalah," she said. "Kabbalah is an integral part of Judaism and cannot and should not be wrested from its Jewish moorings."
Wolfson thinks Madonna and other celebrities have been misled. "I suspect the celebrities are attracted because of the emptiness of American materialism," he said. A repackaged Kabbalah is treated "as if it is a spiritual quick-fix. It is demeaning and does not honor the complexity of the tradition. It is like a sixth-grade teacher trying to make Einstein's theory of general relativity understandable to his or her students."
Rabbi David Fine of Congregation Beth Israel Abraham & Voliner, an Orthodox synagogue, said the popular version "has nothing to do with genuine Kabbalah." Jumping right into a study of Kabbalah "would be like trying to study advanced calculus without knowing basic arithmetic," he said. "Kabbalah is part of a very traditional and conservative system.
"... There are very strict guidelines to practicing Kabbalah, and very few people in the world today actually practice Kabbalah as it was traditionally practiced, although many study it. It is very demanding, and it requi res a purity of soul and personality that Madonna just doesn't have."
This interest in "pseudo-Kabbalah" "dumbs down" Kabbalah until it is no longer recognizable, Fine said. But he concedes it has raised awareness, both among Jews and non-Jews, of traditional Judaism and certain Jewish prac tices.
Giller also doesn't see the attention as all bad.
"Every time in Jewish history that outbreaks of Judeaophilia have occurred, the Jews have gratefully accepted a few crumbs of positive attention," he said.
But he sees what is happening as indicative of what has gone on within Judaism since the end of World War II. He said Jews have been preoccupied with their role in history and with Israel and the Holocaust, and they have neglected "the traditional emphasis of Judaism, which includes an interest in God, the soul and spiritual practice."
"So in many ways," Giller said, "there is an irruption of interest in overtly spiritual things, to which the synagogue world and mainstream Jewish institutions are not always prepared to respond."
Kabbalah has always been a crossover phenomenon, with kabbalists teaching gentiles in the third, 12th, 16th and 18th centuries, he said.
"So scholars shouldn't be surprised when it happens again," he said. "People can't choose their relatives, and scholars can't dictate the history of their chosen fields. However, being nearby during this present-day irruption of interest is good for me. I prefer living traditions."
But to Wolfson, what is being offered today is not the tradition but a distorted "pop version that is far more a form of New Age occult astrology and magic than a genuine expression of Kabbalah."
Comment: In other words, COINTELPRO...
cracks black hole paradox
The about-turn might cost Hawking, a physicist at the University of Cambridge, an encyclopaedia because of a bet he made in 1997. More importantly, it might solve one of the long-standing puzzles in modern physics, known as the black hole information paradox.
It was Hawking's own work that created the paradox. In 1976, he calculated that once a black hole forms, it starts losing mass by radiating energy. This "Hawking radiation" contains no information about the matter inside the black hole and once the black hole evaporates, all information is lost.
But this conflicts with the laws of quantum physics, which say that such information can never be completely wiped out. Hawking's argument was that the intense gravitational fields of black holes somehow unravel the laws of quantum physics.
Other physicists have tried to chip away at this paradox. Earlier in 2004, Samir Mathur of Ohio State University in Columbus and his colleagues showed that if a black hole is modelled according to string theory - in which the universe is made of tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles - then the black hole becomes a giant tangle of strings. And the Hawking radiation emitted by this "fuzzball" does contain information about the insides of a black hole (New Scientist print edition, 13 March).
Now, it seems that Hawking too has an answer to the conundrum and the physics community is abuzz with the news. Hawking requested at the last minute that he be allowed to present his findings at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin, Ireland.
"He sent a note saying 'I have solved the black hole information paradox and I want to talk about it'," says Curt Cutler, a physicist at the Albert Einstein Institute in Golm, Germany, who is chairing the conference's scientific committee. "I haven't seen a preprint [of the paper]. To be quite honest, I went on Hawking's reputation."
Though Hawking has not yet revealed the detailed maths behind his finding, sketchy details have emerged from a seminar Hawking gave at Cambridge. According to Cambridge colleague Gary Gibbons, an expert on the physics of black holes who was at the seminar, Hawking's black holes, unlike classic black holes, do not have a well-defined event horizon that hides everything within them from the outside world.
In essence, his new black holes now never quite become the kind that gobble up everything. Instead, they keep emitting radiation for a long time, and eventually open up to reveal the information within. "It's possible that what he presented in the seminar is a solution," says Gibbons. "But I think you have to say the jury is still out." Forever hidden
At the conference, Hawking will have an hour on 21 July to make his case. If he succeeds, then, ironically, he will lose a bet that he and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena made with John Preskill, also of Caltech.
They argued that "information swallowed by a black hole is forever hidden, and can never be revealed".
"Since Stephen has changed his view and now believes that black holes do not destroy information, I expect him [and Kip] to concede the bet," Preskill told New Scientist. The duo are expected to present Preskill with an encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at will".
Corvallis OR (SPX) Jul 15, 2004
The gradual subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath the North American plate puts tremendous stress on the seafloor, creating cracks and fissures, hydrothermal vents, seafloor spreading, and literally hundreds of small earthquakes on a near-daily basis.
Now a North American team of scientists has documented for the first time a new phenomenon - the creation of a void in the seafloor that draws in - rather than expels - surrounding seawater.
They report their discovery in the July 15 issue of the journal Nature.
Oregon State University oceanographer Robert Dziak said the discovery is important because it adds a new wrinkle to scientific understanding of seafloor spreading, the fundamental process of plate tectonics and the creation of ocean crust.
Dziak has a dual appointment with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.
"Just when you think you're beginning to understand how the process works, there's a new twist," Dziak said.
"There was an episode of seafloor spreading on a portion of the Juan de Fuca Ridge that was covered with about a hundred meters of sediment and what usually happens in that case is that lava erupts onto the ocean floor and hot fluid is expelled into the water."
"In this case, though, it actually drew water down into the subsurface, which is something scientists have never before observed," he said.
The research team included Earl Davis, of the Geological Survey of Canada's Pacific Geoscience Centre; Keir Becker, from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Florida; Dziak; and John Cassidy, Kelin Wang and Marvin Lilley of the University of Washington.
Dziak said the researchers think the seafloor spreading caused the ocean crust to dilate, increasing the pore space much like a sponge.
"It's like an anti-plume," he said. "Instead of sending materials from within the Earth to the ocean floor, it simply sucks down the surrounding seawater."
The researchers aren't sure exactly what causes the dilation, but it has multiple implications. First, it changes how scientists view seafloor spreading since there isn't an automatic outpouring of lava, or hot liquid via hydrothermal vents previously associated with tectonic plate theory.
The size of these potential "voids" also intrigues scientists, who wonder how much seawater can be subsumed. If large, or frequent, they could affect surrounding water temperatures and chemical composition, Dziak said.
Finally, water migrating downward through the Earth may be enough to trigger the growth of bacteria at startling depths. Last year, in an unrelated study, OSU oceanographer Martin Fisk and a team of researchers found bacteria in a hole drilled 4,000 feet through volcanic rock.
Basalt rocks have all of the elements required for life, Fisk pointed out, including carbon, phosphorous and nitrogen. Only water is needed to complete the formula.
Dziak is able to monitor offshore activities from his laboratory at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, where he uses an array of undersea hydrophones through a unique arrangement with the U.S. Navy.
During the past dozen years, Dziak and his research team have recorded more than 30,000 earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean off the Northwest coast – few of which have ever shown up on land-based seismic equipment.
The earthquakes, most having a magnitude of 2.0 to 4.0, originate along the Juan de Fuca Ridge, a submarine mountain range 300 miles west of the Oregon coast that was formed by seafloor spreading or the movement of oceani c plates away from one another.
"It is the only real-time hydrophone system in the world available for civilian research," Dziak said.
"It allows us to listen to the earthquakes as they occur and when something unusual happens, we can send out a group of scientists to study the events as they unfold."
The hydrophone system – called the Sound Surveillance System, or SOSUS – was used during the decades of the Cold War to monitor submarine activity in the northern Pacific Ocean.
As the Cold War ebbed, these and other unique military assets were offered to civilian researchers performing environmental studies, Dziak said.
SOSUS also pointed the researchers to the activities leading to the "anti-plume" discovery outlined in Nature.
The number of earthquakes offshore initially stunned researchers because they weren't being detected on land – even by the most sensitive seismometers. The scientists also discovered that these quakes occurred daily, but every so often there would be a "swarm" of as many as a thousand quakes in a three-week period.
"In the last 10 years, I've seen seven of these swarms," Dziak said.
"The plate doesn't move in a continuous manner and some parts move faster than others. Every four years or so, a section of the Juan de Fuca Ridge exhibits a large earthquake swarm and lava breaks through onto the seafloor."
"Usually, the plate moves at about the rate a fingernail might grow - say three centimeters a year. But when these swarms take place, the movement may be more like a meter in a two-week period."
On Monday, July 12, the region was jolted by a 4.9 magnitude quake just offshore from Dziak's Newport lab – one that was felt more than 50 miles inland at the main OSU campus.
"There's a lot of activity going on out there," Dziak said of the offshore quakes.
"That was one of the few that did show up on conventional seismic equipment and drew the attention of the public. There are hundreds, even thousands more that do not."
Whooping Cough Resurgence Prompts Search for Booster Vaccine
By Ishani Ganguli
July 14, 2004 — No longer a distant memory from the Great Depression, whooping cough has made an alarming resurgence in the United States.
Current infant vaccinations may no longer be enough, since immunity against the disease seems to wear off at adolescence, and the government is now considering a booster shot to help fight the often deadly illness.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection characterized by violent coughing fits, gasps for air that resemble "whoop" sounds, and vomiting.
The symptoms can last for up to two months, and while an antibiotic is available to prevent spread of the disease, "it won't shorten the illness in the person already infected," says Trudy Murphy, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Complications from the disease can include pneumonia, hernia and physical lung damage.
While incidence of the disease plunged following development of the vaccine in the 1940s, numbers have been steadily increasing since the 1970s. A preliminary CDC count estimated more than 11,000 pertussis cases in the past year, an increase of more than 2,000 from the previous year and the highest count recorded in 30 years.
Regional outbreaks have been reported across the country, from New Hampshire and Vermont to Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Whooping cough is often fatal to young babies. While older patients generally recover, they are the major source of infection for vulnerable infants. According to the CDC, the number of infants younger than 5 months reported with whooping cough grew from about 600 a year in the early 1980s to about 1,700 a year at the end of the 1990s.
Children are supposed to begin an immunization series against pertussis at 2, 4, and 6 months to confer protection, with two additional doses until their 6th birthdays. But Dr. Stephen Aronoff, chair of pediatrics at Temple University School of Medicine, says that he sees "a large number" of children above 6 months with the disease, a sign of "decreased acceptance of the vaccine by parents." [...]
However, "whooping cough is the only vaccine-preventable disease that has not been completely controlled by routine childhood immunization," according to Dr. John Modlin, chair of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School. And officials now realize the need for added measures against the disease.
Researchers have found that immunity against pertussis declines five to 10 years after the vaccine series.
For the fourth year in a row, the United Nations has ranked Norway as having the highest standard of living in the world. Sweden, Australia and Canada are next in line, while the United States is further down the scale.
The annual ranking is based largely on average levels of education and income, combined with expected length of lifetime.
The report measured standards of living in 177 countries around the world. Other Nordic countries also ranked high, with Iceland in 7th place, Finland 13th and Denmark 17th.
Norway's gross national product per person amounted to USD 36,600, beaten only by Luxembourg. Its men and women are expected to live to an age of 78.9 years and Norway is one of 19 countries in the world with no measurable rates of illiteracy.
Researchers for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) also weighed countries' degrees of cultural freedom in their analysis. They called cultural freedom a "basic human right," and awarded high scores in this year's UN Human Development Report to countries that accept immigrant cultures in addition to their own.
Norway's cultural diversity has blossomed in recent years, and public policies are aimed at integrating various ethnic groups and promoting tolerance.
Norway also was lauded for its high literacy rate in addition to educational levels and material wealth. Norwegians themselves generally point to their country's scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, clean water and fresh air.
The United States landed in eighth place on the list, while France, for example, was 16th.
The worst countries in which to live are all in Africa, according to the UN report. All 23 nations at the bottom of the list were African, with war-torn Sierra Leone in last place.
SASKATOON - The executive director of the Saskatoon Food Bank, Bob Pringle, says hunger has become a crisis in the city. He says the number of people coming to the food bank has gone up by close to 25 per cent.
Pringle says the province has to take some kind of action right away, or face a famine among the very poor.
The food bank hands out hampers to more than 6,000 people a month. That's an increase of 23 per cent over last year. But the amount of food donated has only risen by half that much, and, Pringle says, the result is less food per hamper, and what food there is in the hamper is less nutritious.
Pringle says the food bank is desperate for canned vegetables and fruit, pasta, flour, juice and rice. He says there's a sense of desperation among people using the food bank that he hasn't seen before.
In the short term, the food bank is making an emergency appeal for more donations. In the long term, Pringle says, people on welfare need more money for food. He says the food allowance hasn't risen in 24 years.
Pringle says the inequity is very clear when you compare the "freeze" on welfare rates to the wages paid to members of the legislature.
"So, in 1988, eight years later than the last food-allowance increase, an MLA's salary was $39,000. They are around $70,000 today. People on assistance — the poorest of the poor — have had nothing for 24 budgets. That's a shame; that's a crisis; that's indefensible by anyone," Pringle says.
Pringle says there's evidence an increase in food-allowance money would help. He says a rise in the minimum wage saw a 60-per-cent drop in the number of working-poor families using the food bank.
Pringle says he's met with both government and Opposition MLAs, to tell them that, without a raise in welfare rates this fall, by winter the province will be in the midst of a famine among the poorest people.
Comment: And this comes a day after the U.N. rates Canada as the fourth best country to live in.
Moore may face charges in Canada
TORONTO -- A young Conservative supporter's one-man campaign against Michael Moore got a boost yesterday as the right-wing National Citizens Coalition urged Elections Canada to pursue charges against the controversial U.S. filmmaker.
Kasra Nejatian, president of Ontario's Campus Conservatives, says Moore broke the Canada Elections Act when he urged Canadian voters to reject Tory Leader Stephen Harper in the days before last month's hotly contested federal election.
"We're interested in the whole question of free speech during elections," said coalition vice-president Gerry Nicholls.
"There's a question of Michael Moore violating a gag law. What we're saying is if Michael Moore broke an election gag law, then he should be charged."
Moore, well-known for films that promote his left-of-centre political views, was promoting his latest effort, Fahrenheit 9/11 -- a scathing indictment of U.S. President George W. Bush's handling of the 2001 terrorist attacks and subsequent war in Iraq -- when he urged voters to reject the Conservatives.
"For you to go backwards would be a horrible thing to see happen," Moore said.
Nejatian, a 21-year-old Queen's University student, maintains that Moore's comments violated the Canada Elections Act, which forbids people from outside Canada from influencing election results. [...]
Last Updated Thu, 15 Jul 2004 18:53:01 EDT
LONDON - Children who consistently watch more than two hours of TV a day are more likely to become overweight, smoke and suffer from high cholesterol as adults, according to a new study.
previous short-term studies, researchers in New Zealand studied 1,000
children; 73 of them were tracked from birth into adulthood.
The researchers found watching an average of one to two hours of TV on weeknights between the ages of five and 15 was linked to:
Robert Hancox of University of Otago and his team factored out influences such as mom and dad's smoking habits and weight, family income and the children's size at age five.
Blanchard, Jonathan Martin and Ray Rivera
BUCKLEY — "He did this on purpose," the young woman — lungs scorched and skin charred — screamed in her final hours of life yesterday. "He poured gas on me and my babies."
A day earlier, Antigone "Mona" Allen had decided to give her estranged boyfriend, Genaro Remigio Garcia, one more chance. She'd left him a month before, tired of the bruises and his controlling ways.
So when he pulled up at her mother's house in Parkland, Pierce County, late Tuesday night, 18-year-old Allen packed their three sleeping children in the back of his Lincoln Town Car, expecting to go home.
Garcia, 24, had another plan. As Allen nodded off, he stopped to fill up a gas can. He took a back road near Bonney Lake away from the Puyallup apartment they shared.
to see him snorting coke, something she'd never seen him do before. He
pulled a .45-caliber pistol and pointed it at her head. He grabbed the
gas can and splashed himself, Allen and their children — Christine,
2 1⁄2, Kristian, 18 months, and Adam, 6 months — and flicked
Allen, who would have been 19 Saturday, died eight hours later, also at Harborview, after telling her story to rescuers and family, and giving funeral instructions for her children and Garcia. [...]
Hookers Love Republicans
By Mark Morford,
SF Gate Columnist
"BoBo? It's Syndee. You ready, girl? The convention starts in an hour, and the senators are salivating!"
"Hi, Syn! Almost ready! Just finishing my makeup. Hey, which outfit you think I should wear tonight? My red, white, and blue glitter spandex halter with the peekaboo panties, or the red vinyl skirt with the Velcro tear-away crotch and the big picture of the M-1 tank on the butt?"
"Oooh, I'd go with the tank, Bo. This is the GOP convention, girl! These Republicans love their war, you know? It's all about big phallic missiles and manly howitzers and 'weapons of ass destruction.' Be sure to use that line, too -- they eat that stuff up. Hurry up! The cab's waiting!"
"Howitz-what? Hang on one more minute, Syn -- I wanna look my best. After all, I hear we got a lot of competition this week."
"Bo, there's so many strippers and hookers in town to play 'hide the WMD' with these conservatives, it would make Larry Flynt proud. They flew in from London, Seattle, L.A., all over, just for this, because demand is so high."
"Wow! Wait wait wait, I'm confused. Aren't the Republicans supposed to be the 'moral,' sex-hating, anti-women, Bible-quoting ones? I don't get it."
"Worst-kept secret in all of politics, Bo. It's a fact: Demand for sex workers is at an all-time high when the GOP convention's in town. Hell, there was even a New York Daily News article about it a while back. These Repubs are such a desperately horny, repressed bunch, they just can't get enough of paying for 'amoral' sex. So ironic. If Middle America only knew how this group is so fulla perverts and horndogs, they'd have a fit."
"I bet they already know, and just don't wanna 'fess up to it? I mean, I even heard that little Johnny Ashcroft has a secret fetish for tequila and handcuffs."
"So true! It's funny, people think the GOP convention must be all about square dancing and white-wine spritzers and bow ties and wistful Reaganomics. Ha! Remember, BoBo, this is the party of guns and corporate money and repressed homosexuality and big oil, misogyny and Xanax addictions and war war war. These GOP boys have some good issues. Deep-seated anxieties and fears and the most extensive secret gay-porn collections you've ever seen! Cut these boys loose among their own and it's like putting a priest in a schoolyard."
"Mysog-what? Wow, you sure know a lot, Syn! Are you, like, psychic or something?"
"Girl, I've seen enough Repubs sneak out on their wives to make Jerry Falwell quiver. Working this convention is like giving candy to starving children. Plus, I was a speechwriter for Bush the Elder back in '92. I worked the convention floor as a delegate."
"What? You? No way! You mean to say you wasn't always in the sex biz? You was one of these weird GOP people? What happened?"
"Simple, Bo. I realized I'd make a helluva lot more money sucking terrified corporate GOP donors than I ever would sucking their party's hateful, anti-everything policy. What, you think there's really a difference between sellin' yourself for sex and sellin' yourself for some conservative senator's store-bought hypocritical stance on gun control? In this game, Bo, we're all whores for a cause. We're all gettin' screwed. I'm just turning the tables."
"Damn, Syn. Now you're depressing me. And I'm still confused. You tellin' me these Republicans, they ain't got high values? It's all a bulls-- game? They don't really believe in anything?"
"Oh, they believe, all right. It's what they believe in that's the scary part. Most of these johns long ago sacrificed their creativity, their sexuality, their individual identities for some vaguely totalitarian, self-flagellating thing they think gives their lives meaning and virtue, when it actually does the exact opposite. Sorta like born-again Christians, but with a lot more alcoholism and nightmares about flesh-eating leeches."
"OK, that is just so, like, gross."
"Remember, Bo, when the Catholic Church flew us to Boston to go work that priests' conference? And they told us to dress up as nuns so the media wouldn't catch on? Remember that desperate look in the eyes of those sad, lost pastors as they gave us "communion"? Same thing here, except these boys pay cash. Lots of cash. Funny thing about repression and guilt: It makes you a great tipper."
"Are they really all that bad? I mean, I always sorta liked that Bill O'Reilly guy on TV. Isn't he all conservative? Gettin' all red-faced and frothy about gays and liberals, while you just know he's got a thing for ball gags and latex."
"Got that right, Bo. All's I'm sayin' is, there may be a lot of "escorts" here this week, but demand is so high you won't be hurtin' for business. And don't worry about looking all that spectacular, neither. These boys haven't seen much by way of hot sex since they logged off AOL's Hot Lonely Teens chat room at RNC HQ. They're so desperate for nookie, they'll giggle like schoolgirls if you let them see your thigh."
"Don't sound all that different than those other ones, the Democrats, right? I heard they're just as lonely and horny. And uptight."
"True, but at least they can still look you in the eye when they pay you. Sad thing is, the Dems ain't been the same since Clinton left. They used to have it so together. I mean, how great was it to have a president who was so appreciative of the female form, so unashamed of having an active libido? Sure, he was a little sleazy about it, but, damn, I'd take that in a heartbeat over these dead-fish Viagra-poppin' GOP hypocrites, thumping their Bibles with one hand while the other is sliding up my skirt."
"Ha! You nailed it, Syn. Hell, the best customer I ever had was some guy who claimed he was a Clinton adviser. Man, could that guy work the Hitachi. Said he learned it all from playing poker with Bill. Or was it Hillary?"
"That reminds me: Remember what I told you about these Repubs, BoBo. Never, ever use their real names, or look 'em straight in the eye. Makes 'em all jumpy. Just pretend you don't know they're Paul Wolfowitz, or whatever.
"Wolfowitz. Deputy defense guy. Very slimy."
"Wolfo ... yuck. Sounds like some sort of mangy dog."
"Oh, trust me, he is. Three little words about what he likes: cold, cooked spaghetti. And one guess as to where."
"You got the notes I gave you?"
"Yep, right here: Mr. DeLay likes to be called "Thumper," Mr. Lott loves it if you pretend to be a naughty 13-year-old Amish girl, Mr. Santorum loves to be tied up and spanked with a dead salmon and they all love it if you pretend to be Hillary Clinton and carry a whip."
"You got it. And don't forget Lynne Cheney and her lesbian-fantasy thing. She'll pay extra."
"Martha Stewart wig, check."
"I'm tellin' ya, you can never go wrong with the gay-fantasy thing for these people. For the men, just dress up as a schoolboy or a Greek towel boy and sit on their lap and whisper about how you really, really love the feel of the Patriot Act rubbed up against your cheeks. They'll melt in your hand."
"Schoolboy uniform, check."
"You about ready now? Damn, that tank miniskirt looks hot, Bo! You're gonna have to peel 'em off you."
"And check this out! Little American flags painted over my nipples! Wolfo-whateverhisnameis can count the stripes!
"Perfect! I love it! Raise the flag and see who salutes, girl! Let's roll!"
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