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 30, 2004
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Picture of the Day
The S.O.T.T. Team is away today hiking and exploring in the Pyrenees. Since they went with Pierre-Paul, there is no new Picture of the day today either and I have had to improvise. I hope they will approve. Meanwhile, Yours Truly is holding down the fort and I think I'll take advantage of the situation to slip in a few comments here at the top of the page.
I frequently tell visitors here at Signs Central that living in this area of France reminds me of "home." I mean that in the sense that the social, ethical, and spiritual "atmosphere" is much like it was when I was growing up in the deepest South, the Gulf Coast of Florida, in the 50s and 60s. The difference is, of course, that all the high-tech stuff is available and cars are small, tight and very fast.
As I grew up, sheltered within the vibrant green canopy of my grandparents' farm, sheltered in its turn within a primeval landscape, a time that has now passed by forever held me in a timeless state that still evokes in me an almost inexpressible poignancy. I think back to cruising Florida coast roads during endless summer nights, driving down the center line on two lane blacktop in my brother's '57 Chevy with the top down; our headlights were the only lights in the onrushing wind and darkness. We drove on, enchanted by this salty and balmy air, the fields of brilliant stars above us, nothing on either side of the road for miles but salt marsh and the Gulf of Mexico in the distance. This fragile time was not to last. Our original family home is gone with that time, when the world seemed simpler and the constellations shining above our heads were the only lights in the velvet blackness of the night.
When I think of "home" - of the US when I was a child growing up - of course I realize now that even if Small Town was still a reality and most Americans were ambitious, hard-working, ethical and decent, there were maneuvers behind the scenes from those in positions of power to take all that away from us, to shape America into the Apocalyptic Beast it has become.
I was 33 years old when I first stumbled on what are commonly called "Conspiracy Theories." I was not just shocked by such ideas, I was outraged that there were people who could think ill of our American Leaders who were certainly doing the best they could in an unstable world plagued by Communists and Socialists. Thank God the cream of American Manhood had been there to crush the Fascist Threat to humanity!
I was so incensed by "conspiracy theories" that I decided to research it to find out why anybody would say such awful things. If nothing else, I was going to prove to myself that such ideas were not only wrong, they were evil. But that isn't what happened. I started pulling on that thread and, to paraphrase J. Allen Hynek:
We who have worked in the Conspiracy Theory field are somewhat in the position of Einstein who wrote to Arnold Sommerfeld in response to Sommerfelds' skepticism of the General Theory of Relativity:
Today's first two articles discuss Conspiracy Theory in terms that I think everyone can understand. However, I will have a comment or two to make as we proceed with today's Signs of the Times.
January 10, 2004 Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power."
Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning their business deals with the Nazis. In his end-of-life despair, Angleton assumed that he would see all his old companions again "in hell."
The transformation of James Jesus Angleton from an enthusiastic, Ivy League cold warrior, to a bitter old man, is an extreme example of a phenomenon I call a "paranoid shift." I recognize the phenomenon, because something similar happened to me.
Although I don't remember ever meeting James Jesus Angleton, I worked at the CIA myself as a low-level clerk as a teenager in the '60s. This was at the same time I was beginning to question the government's actions in Vietnam. In fact, my personal "paranoid shift" probably began with the disillusionment I felt when I realized that the story of American foreign policy was, at the very least, more complicated and darker than I had hitherto been led to believe.
But for most of the next 30 years, even though I was a radical, I nevertheless held faith in the basic integrity of a system where power ultimately resided in the people, and whereby if enough people got together and voted, real and fundamental change could happen.
What constitutes my personal paranoid shift is that I no longer believe this to be necessarily true.
In his book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, William Blum warns of how the media will make anything that smacks of "conspiracy theory" an immediate "object of ridicule." This prevents the media from ever having to investigate the many strange interconnections among the ruling class - for example, the relationship between the boards of directors of media giants, and the energy, banking and defense industries. These unmentionable topics are usually treated with what Blum calls "the media's most effective tool - silence." But in case somebody's asking questions, all you have to do is say, "conspiracy theory," and any allegation instantly becomes too frivolous to merit serious attention.
On the other hand, since my paranoid shift, whenever I hear the words "conspiracy theory" (which seems more often, lately) it usually means someone is getting too close to the truth.
Take September 11 - which I identify as the date my paranoia actually shifted, though I didn't know it at the time.
Unless I'm paranoid, it doesn't make any sense at all that George W. Bush, commander-in-chief, sat in a second-grade classroom for 20 minutes after he was informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, listening to children read a story about a goat. Nor does it make sense that the Number 2 man, Dick Cheney - even knowing that "the commander" was on a mission in Florida - nevertheless sat at his desk in the White House, watching TV, until the Secret Service dragged him out by the armpits.
Unless I'm paranoid, it makes no sense that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sat at his desk until Flight 77 hit the Pentagon - well over an hour after the military had learned about the multiple hijacking in progress. It also makes no sense that the brand-new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sat in a Senate office for two hours while the 9/11 attacks took place, after leaving explicit instructions that he not be disturbed - which he wasn't.
In other words, while the 9/11 attacks were occurring, the entire top of the chain of command of the most powerful military in the world sat at various desks, inert. Why weren't they in the "Situation Room?" Don't any of them ever watch "West Wing?"
In a sane world, this would be an object of major scandal. But here on this side of the paranoid shift, it's business as usual.
Years, even decades before 9/11, plans had been drawn up for American forces to take control of the oil interests of the Middle East, for various imperialist reasons. And these plans were only contingent upon "a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor," to gain the majority support of the American public to set the plans into motion. When the opportunity presented itself, the guards looked the other way . . . and presto, the path to global domination was open.
Simple, as long as the media played along. And there is voluminous evidence that the media play along. Number one on Project Censored's annual list of underreported stories in 2002 was the Project for a New American Century (now the infrastructure of the Bush Regime), whose report, published in 2000, contains the above "Pearl Harbor" quote.
Why is it so hard to believe serious people who have repeatedly warned us that powerful ruling elites are out to dominate "the masses?"
Did we think Dwight Eisenhower was exaggerating when he warned of the extreme "danger" to democracy of "the military industrial complex?"
Was Barry Goldwater just being a quaint old-fashioned John Bircher when he said that the Trilateral Commission was "David Rockefeller's latest scheme to take over the world, by taking over the government of the United States?"
Were Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt or Joseph Kennedy just being class traitors when they talked about a small group of wealthy elites who operate as a hidden government behind the government?
Especially after he died so mysteriously, why shouldn't we believe the late CIA Director William Colby, who bragged about how the CIA "owns everyone of any major significance in the major media?"
Why can't we believe James Jesus Angleton - a man staring eternal judgment in the face - when he says that the founders of the Cold War national security state were only interested in "absolute power?" Especially when the descendant of a very good friend of Allen Dulles now holds power in the White House.
Prescott Bush, the late, aristocratic senator from Connecticut, and grandfather of George W Bush, was not only a good friend of Allen Dulles, CIA director, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and international business lawyer. He was also a client of Dulles' law firm. As such, he was the beneficiary of Dulles' miraculous ability to scrub the story of Bush's treasonous investments in the Third Reich out of the news media, where it might have interfered with Bush's political career . . . not to mention the presidential careers of his son and grandson.
Recently declassified US government documents, unearthed last October by investigative journalist John Buchanan at the New Hampshire Gazette, reveal that Prescott Bush's involvement in financing and arming the Nazis was more extensive than previously known. Not only was Bush managing director of the Union Banking Corporation, the American branch of Hitler's chief financier's banking network; but among the other companies where Bush was a director - and which were seized by the American government in 1942, under the Trading With the Enemy Act - were a shipping line which imported German spies; an energy company that supplied the Luftwaffe with high-ethyl fuel; and a steel company that employed Jewish slave labor from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Like all the other Bush scandals that have been swept under the rug in the privatized censorship of the corporate media, these revelations have been largely ignored, with the exception of a single article in the Associated Press. And there are those, even on the left, who question the current relevance of this information.
But Prescott Bush's dealings with the Nazis do more than illustrate a family pattern of genteel treason and war profiteering - from George Senior's sale of TOW missiles to Iran at the same time he was selling biological and chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein, to Junior's zany misadventures in crony capitalism in present-day Iraq.
More disturbing by far are the many eerie parallels between Adolph Hitler and George W. Bush:
A conservative, authoritarian style, with public appearances in military uniform (which no previous American president has ever done while in office). Government by secrecy, propaganda and deception. Open assaults on labor unions and workers' rights. Preemptive war and militant nationalism. Contempt for international law and treaties. Suspiciously convenient "terrorist" attacks, to justify a police state and the suspension of liberties. A carefully manufactured image of "The Leader," who's still just a "regular guy" and a "moderate." "Freedom" as the rationale for every action. Fantasy economic growth, based on unprecedented budget deficits and massive military spending.
And a cold, pragmatic ideology of fascism - including the violent suppression of dissent and other human rights; the use of torture, assassination and concentration camps; and most important, Benito Mussolini's preferred definition of "fascism" as "corporatism, because it binds together the interests of corporations and the state."
By their fruits, you shall know them.
What perplexes me most is probably the same question that plagues most paranoiacs: why don't other people see these connections?
Oh, sure, there may be millions of us, lurking at websites like Online Journal, From the Wilderness, Center for Cooperative Research, and the Center for Research on Globalization, checking out right-wing conspiracists and the galaxy of 9/11 sites, and reading columnists like Chris Floyd at the Moscow Times, and Maureen Farrell at Buzzflash. But we know we are only a furtive minority, the human remnant among the pod people in the live-action, 21st-century version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
And being paranoid, we have to figure out, with an answer that fits into our system, why more people don't see the connections we do. Fortunately, there are a number of possible explanations.
First on the list would have to be what Marshal McLuhan called the "cave art of the electronic age:" advertising. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Karl Rove, gave credit for most of his ideas on how to manipulate mass opinion to American commercial advertising, and to the then-new science of "public relations." But the public relations universe available to the corporate empire that rules the world today makes the Goebbels operation look primitive. The precision of communications technology and graphics; the century of research on human psychology and emotion; and the uniquely centralized control of triumphant post-Cold War monopoly capitalism, have combined to the point where "the manufacture of consent" can be set on automatic pilot.
A second major reason people won't make the paranoid shift is that they are too fundamentally decent. They can't believe that the elected leaders of our country, the people they've been taught through 12 years of public school to admire and trust, are capable of sending young American soldiers to their deaths and slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, just to satisfy their greed - especially when they're so rich in the first place. Besides, America is good, and the media are liberal and overly critical.
Third, people don't want to look like fools. Being a "conspiracy theorist" is like being a creationist. The educated opinion of eminent experts on every TV and radio network is that any discussion of "oil" being a motivation for the US invasion of Iraq is just out of bounds, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
We can trust the integrity of our 'no-bid" contracting in Iraq, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
Of course, people sometimes make mistakes, but our military and intelligence community did the best they could on and before September 11, and anybody who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
Perhaps the biggest hidden reason people don't make the paranoid shift is that knowledge brings responsibility.
If we acknowledge that an inner circle of ruling elites controls the world's most powerful military and intelligence system; controls the international banking system; controls the most effective and far-reaching propaganda network in history; controls all three branches of government in the world's only superpower; and controls the technology that counts the people's votes, we might be then forced to conclude that we don't live in a particularly democratic system. And then voting and making contributions and trying to stay informed wouldn't be enough. Because then the duty of citizenship would go beyond serving as a loyal opposition, to serving as a "loyal resistance" - like the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, except that in this case the resistance to fascism would be on the side of the national ideals, rather than the government; and a violent insurgency would not only play into the empire's hands, it would be doomed from the start.
Forming a nonviolent resistance movement, on the other hand, might mean forsaking some middle class comfort, and it would doubtless require a lot of work. It would mean educating ourselves and others about the nature of the truly apocalyptic beast we face. It would mean organizing at the most basic neighborhood level, face to face. (We cannot put our trust in the empire's technology.) It would mean reaching across turf lines and transcending single-issue politics, forming coalitions and sharing data and names and strategies, and applying energy at every level of government, local to global. It would also probably mean civil disobedience, at a time when the Bush regime is starting to classify that action as "terrorism." In the end, it may mean organizing a progressive confederacy to govern ourselves, just as our revolutionary founders formed the Continental Congress. It would mean being wise as serpents, and gentle as doves.
It would be a lot of work. It would also require critical mass. A paradigm shift.
But as a paranoid, I'm ready to join the resistance. And the main reason is I no longer think that the "conspiracy" is much of a "theory."
That the US House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was "probably" the result of "a conspiracy," and that 70 percent of Americans agree with this conclusion, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the Bay of Pigs fiasco, "Operation Zapata," was organized by members of Skull and Bones, the ghoulish and powerful secret society at Yale University whose membership also included Prescott, George Herbert Walker and George W Bush; that two of the ships that carried the Cuban counterrevolutionaries to their appointment with absurdity were named the "Barbara" and the "Houston" - George HW Bush's city of residence at the time - and that the oil company Bush owned, then operating in the Caribbean area, was named "Zapata," is not "theory." It's fact.
That George Bush was the CIA director who kept the names of what were estimated to be hundreds of American journalists, considered to be CIA "assets," from the Church Committee, the US Senate Intelligence Committe chaired by Senator Frank Church that investigated the CIA in the 1970s; that a 1971 University of Michigan study concluded that, in America, the more TV you watched, the less you knew; and that a recent survey by international scholars found that Americans were the most "ignorant" of world affairs out of all the populations they studied, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the Council on Foreign Relations has a history of influence on official US government foreign policy; that the protection of US supplies of Middle East oil has been a central element of American foreign policy since the Second World War; and that global oil production has been in decline since its peak year, 2000, is not "theory." It's fact.
That, in the early 1970s, the newly-formed Trilateral Commission published a report which recommended that, in order for "globalization" to succeed, American manufacturing jobs had to be exported, and American wages had to decline, which is exactly what happened over the next three decades; and that, during that same period, the richest one percent of Americans doubled their share of the national wealth, is not "theory." It's fact.
That, beyond their quasi-public role as agents of the US Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Banks are profit-making corporations, whose beneficiaries include some of America's wealthiest families; and that the United States has a virtual controlling interest in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, the three dominant global financial institutions, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That - whether it's heroin from Southeast Asia in the '60s and '70s, or cocaine from Central America and heroin from Afghanistan in the '80s, or cocaine from Colombia in the '90s, or heroin from Afghanistan today - no major CIA covert operation has ever lacked a drug smuggling component, and that the CIA has hired Nazis, fascists, drug dealers, arms smugglers, mass murderers, perverts, sadists, terrorists and the Mafia, is not "theory." It's fact.
That the international oil industry is the dominant player in the global economy; that the Bush family has a decades-long business relationship with the Saudi royal family, Saudi oil money, and the family of Osama bin Laden; that, as president, both George Bushes have favored the interests of oil companies over the public interest; that both George Bushes have personally profited financially from Middle East oil; and that American oil companies doubled their records for quarterly profits in the months just preceding the invasion of Iraq, is not "theory." It's fact.
That the 2000 presidential election was deliberately stolen; that the pro-Bush/anti-Gore bias in the corporate media had spiked markedly in the last three weeks of the campaign; that corporate media were then virtually silent about the Florida recount; and that the Bush 2000 team had planned to challenge the legitimacy of the election if George W had won the popular, but lost the electoral vote - exactly what happened to Gore - is not "theory." It's fact.
That the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was deceptively "cooked" by the Bush administration; that anybody paying attention to people like former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, knew before the invasion that the weapons were a hoax; and that American forces in Iraq today are applying the same brutal counterinsurgency tactics pioneered in Central America in the 1980s, under the direct supervision of then-Vice President George HW Bush, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That "Rebuilding America's Defenses," the Project for a New American Century's 2000 report, and "The Grand Chessboard," a book published a few years earlier by Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, both recommended a more robust and imperial US military presence in the oil basin of the Middle East and the Caspian region; and that both also suggested that American public support for this energy crusade would depend on public response to a new "Pearl Harbor," is not "theory." It's fact.
That, in the 1960s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously approved a plan called "Operation Northwoods," to stage terrorist attacks on American soil that could be used to justify an invasion of Cuba; and that there is currently an office in the Pentagon whose function is to instigate terrorist attacks that could be used to justify future strategically-desired military responses, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That neither the accusation by former British Environmental Minister Michael Meacher, Tony Blair's longest-serving cabinet minister, that George W Bush allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify an oil war in the Middle East; nor the RICO lawsuit filed by 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Council on Foreign Relations (among others), on the grounds that they conspired to let the attacks happen to cash in on the ensuing war profiteering, has captured the slightest attention from American corporate media is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the FBI has completely exonerated - though never identified - the speculators who purchased, a few days before the attacks (through a bank whose previous director is now the CIA executive director), an unusual number of "put" options, and who made millions betting that the stocks in American and United Airlines would crash, is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the US intelligence community received numerous warnings, from multiple sources, throughout the summer of 2001, that a major terrorist attack on American interests was imminent; that, according to the chair of the "independent" 9/11 commission, the attacks "could have and should have been prevented," and according to a Senate Intelligence Committee member, "All the dots were connected;" that the White House has verified George W Bush's personal knowledge, as of August 6, 2001, that these terrorist attacks might be domestic and might involve hijacked airliners; that, in the summer of 2001, at the insistence of the American Secret Service, anti-aircraft ordnance was installed around the city of Genoa, Italy, to defend against a possible terrorist suicide attack, by aircraft, against George W Bush, who was attending the economic summit there; and that George W Bush has nevertheless regaled audiences with his first thought upon seeing the "first" plane hit the World Trade Center, which was: "What a terrible pilot," is not "theory." It's fact.
That, on the morning of September 11, 2001: standard procedures and policies at the nation's air defense and aviation bureaucracies were ignored, and communications were delayed; the black boxes of the planes that hit the WTC were destroyed, but hijacker Mohammed Atta's passport was found in pristine condition; high-ranking Pentagon officers had cancelled their commercial flight plans for that morning; George H.W. Bush was meeting in Washington with representatives of Osama bin Laden's family, and other investors in the world's largest private equity firm, the Carlyle Group; the CIA was conducting a previously-scheduled mock exercise of an airliner hitting the Pentagon; the chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees were having breakfast with the chief of Pakistan's intelligence agency, who resigned a week later on suspicion of involvement in the 9/11 attacks; and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States sat in a second grade classroom for 20 minutes after hearing that a second plane had struck the towers, listening to children read a story about a goat, is not "theoretical." These are facts.
That the Bush administration has desperately fought every attempt to independently investigate the events of 9/11, is not a "theory."
Nor, finally, is it in any way a "theory" that the one, single name that can be directly linked to the Third Reich, the US military industrial complex, Skull and Bones, Eastern Establishment good ol' boys, the Illuminati, Big Texas Oil, the Bay of Pigs, the Miami Cubans, the Mafia, the FBI, the JFK assassination, the New World Order, Watergate, the Republican National Committee, Eastern European fascists, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the United Nations, CIA headquarters, the October Surprise, the Iran/Contra scandal, Inslaw, the Christic Institute, Manuel Noriega, drug-running "freedom fighters" and death squads, Iraqgate, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction, the blood of innocents, the savings and loan crash, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the "Octopus," the "Enterprise," the Afghan mujaheddin, the War on Drugs, Mena (Arkansas), Whitewater, Sun Myung Moon, the Carlyle Group, Osama bin Laden and the Saudi royal family, David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States, is: George Herbert Walker Bush.
"Theory?" To the contrary.
It is a well-documented, tragic and - especially if you're paranoid - terrifying fact.
Michael Hasty is a writer, activist, musician, carpenter and farmer. His award-winning column, "Thinking Locally," appeared for seven years in the Hampshire Review, West Virginia's oldest newspaper. His writing has also appeared in the Highlands Voice, the Washington Peace Letter, the Takoma Park Newsletter, the German magazine Generational Justice, and the Washington Post; and at the websites Common Dreams and Democrats.com. In January 1989, he was the media spokesperson for the counter-inaugural coalition at George Bush's Counter-Inaugural Banquet, which fed hundreds of DC's homeless in front of Union Station, where the official inaugural dinner was being held.
Comment: Now, there is another level of Conspiracy Theory that goes hand-in-glove with political manipulations. Dr. J. Allen Hynek addressed the United Nations on the subject of UFOs on November 27, 1978 in the following way:
I would like to draw your attention to particular remarks made by Dr. Hynek in the passage quoted above before we move on to our next article:
UFOs and the Media: Puncturing a Myth
July 28, 2004
Some people in the UFO field have an idea that the government” is planning open disclosure ever so slowly, ever so gradually, and that a key method for doing this is through the media. One hears this quite a lot.
According to this belief, movies by Steven Spielberg, or television shows like The X-Files are part of the plan to accustom us to the idea that aliens are among us.
I find this unpersuasive for several reasons, not least of which has to do with my own assessment of what the media itself actually is.
What we call the media is essentially a sophisticated technology under centralized control that sells information and entertainment to the public. The public, as everyone knows, is diverse culturally and stratified economically. Thus, to be effective, The Media” must show a different face, depending on whomever it is trying to reach – that is, whatever market segment being targeted by its advertisers.
With that in mind, let’s look at America today. A complete, comprehensive sociological breakdown is rather beyond my capabilities this afternoon, so let’s just look at the money.
No matter how you slice and dice the data, the inescapable conclusion is that American society is incredibly stratified (of course, the same applies to most of the world, but that’s another story for another day). You can look at income patterns, or you can look at net worth, and either way the unavoidable conclusion is that America is a society broken into distinct economic classes.
Look at income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the share of national income going to the top fifth of wage earners rose from 44% in 1973 to 50% in 2000. The share going to the top 1% rose to 15% in 1998. This is the highest it has been since World War Two.  [...]
Income is important, but wealth even more so. After all, if your living expenses match your income, you won’t be saving and investing very much, and you won’t generate wealth. It is wealth, not income, that matters when it comes to wielding power and influence.
Looking at patterns of wealth ownership, America’s classes are shockingly easy to see. Essentially, we have four classes in our society. I call them the:
You can think of America as a room. In this room are 100 people who collectively own $100. If this were a communist utopia, each person would have one dollar, and they would all be holding hands, singing Kumbaya.
But in our little room, one person owns 33 of those dollars. Some analysts put this figure at $38, and they may be right, but let’s just say $33. Either way, it’s quite a lot.
The next 19 wealthiest people get to share 51 more of those precious dollars. That’s $2.68 each. It doesn’t seem like much compared to our fellow at the top, but it’s quite good compared with the remaining 80 people.
That is because there’s now only $16 left. In fact, 18 of these people get nothing at all. The other 62 people get to keep some small change, averaging about twenty-five cents each.
Aside from the issue of whether such a breakdown is fair – you can leave that to your private ethical ruminations – remember that this room has many interesting things that make it go. For instance, it has a legal system, an economy, a political system, and so on.
We may ask, who is in the best position to manipulate these things for his own benefit? The question answers itself: that person with the $33, whom we may with full justice label as the practical owner” of the society.
The owner likes his position, but can’t run things entirely by himself, so he enlists allies. These are in the top quintile. They are the managers. They supervise the great many people who have a few pennies to their name – the worker bees.
At the bottom are those 18 with nothing – absolutely no net worth at all. These are the expendables. As far as the guy at the top are concerned, they could drop dead and he wouldn’t care, except that their presence helps to keep the worker bees nervously occupied and distracted from that most fundamental of all social and political questions: Who Owns What.
Actually, if you look at the numbers more precisely, you can break down the social groups more accurately. The expendables remain at the bottom, of course. Then, up to around the 60th percentile of the population, you have essentially the lower half of the worker bee population. Then, from the 60th to approximately the 90th percentile, you still have worker bees, but they’re better off. Many would call this the American middle class. So in fact, the American management class comprises not the top 20 percent, but more like the top 10 percent of the population. This also conforms more closely with the observed reality of most workplaces.
Things become interesting starting at around the 90th percentile. A dramatic expansion of wealth begins at this point, and you can discern roughly two stratifications within the 90th to 99th percentiles. Of course the Fat Guy at the top percent still sits happily above the rest. (And to go even further, if you were to break down that top 1% of wealth owners you would find the same continued levels of stratification continuing within it). 
With economic stratification comes cultural stratification, which takes us back to the media, which is an important part of our little American room. Leading executives know this far better than I do, but it’s pretty obvious that certain types of news and entertainment are designed for people in different economic classes. Indeed, since media organizations make their money through advertising revenues, the right demographic analysis can affect billions of dollars, and you can be sure that media executives have among the most sophisticated demographic data in the world.
While it isn’t true that all people of a certain class will slavishly follow their cultural expectations, it’s generally true that, say, someone of the upper management class will be more likely to sit down to watch Tom Brokaw and read the Wall Street Journal than the watch his local FOX affiliate and read the New York Post.
That’s because NBC News and the Journal are designed for the management class, or at least management class trainees and wannabees. If you doubt this, then look at the commercials and ads, most of which are geared toward conspicuous consumption of the affluent kind.
And while I don’t have demographic information pertaining to the Wall Street Journal newspaper, I do have information pertaining to the Journal’s website, WSJ.com, as well as for some other pillars of the cyber-establishment, NYTimes.com and CNN.com. At WSJ.com, the average household income for its readers is $215,600, placing it easily within the top 5 percent of income earners in the U.S. The NYTimes.com readers fared not quite as well, with a mean income of only $86,150 (still placing most of its readers in the top quintile). The same applies to CNN.com, whose readers have an average household income exceeding $80,000. 
It’s not all that complicated. There are certain very obvious outlets of the media that cater to the management class and above, which makes perfect sense since that’s where the money is.
Regarding the belief in UFO disclosure through the media, my point is this: when you look at the obvious management and above” media outlets, you find nothing of a serious nature relating to UFOs. This is because management classes historically have relatively narrow ranges of acceptable beliefs. The first requisite of a successful ruling elite is that it share important foundational assumptions about its society and interests.
If you are born into the American Management Class, for instance, certain assumptions become second-nature, like believing in the corporate American style of capitalism as the best solution to humanity’s problems, or in the inherent goodness of American intentions around the world. Members of this class must share its belief structure, else they become marginalized from real power.
As far as UFOs are concerned, all you have to do is study the management-oriented media to understand that believing in the existence of unexplained, highly advanced technology traversing the skies and oceans of this world is simply not acceptable. Not if you are a member of the management class.
To say the least, this is an idea that could be unsettling to the stability of those who rule. How to admit that UFOs are real after almost 60 years of incessant denial, without compromising the very political system upon which you’ve relied to keep things moving smoothly and profitably? Especially if (speaking hypothetically, here) certain of your members reap incredible profits from ground-floor investments in technologies that were adapted from sources that aren’t supposed to exist?
On the other hand, from the perspective of power, it doesn’t really matter what the bottom 80 or even 90 percent think. If they want to believe in aliens, or bigfoot, or conspiracy notions pertaining to the Kennedy assassination (another verboten topic for our management class), then by all means they can. Better yet, turn all that stuff into cheesy entertainment, keeping the rabble happily distracted while at the same time you disable these topics from entering the realm of serious” discussion.
Of course, some of the media coverage discussing UFOs is rational and intelligent. After all, there are many rational and intelligent people in the bottom 90 percent. And no doubt there are management-types who enjoy slumming it, and who will catch the occasional UFO documentary. Perhaps such people enjoy a naughty and illicit feeling that comes with such a secret pleasure.
But the sampling of pro-UFO information that makes it to the Worker Bee culture doesn’t mean very much as long as the management-oriented media refuses to take the subject seriously.
When we hear Tom Brokaw talking seriously about UFOs as real,” then we’ll all know something is afoot. Until then, don’t hold your breath waiting for disclosure.
 see The Economist Fisks Paul Krugman” at http://ambit.typepad.com/ambit/2003/09/the_economist_f.html]
 See Inequality Matters,” at http://inequality.org/facts.html. Source from data is Edward N. Wolff, Changes in Household Wealth in the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S.,” Jerome Levy Economics Institute, May, 2004.
 See Good News for Marketers, Thursday, June 10, 2004, By Cheryl Pruett, iMedia Connection, http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/3618.asp]
Richard Dolan is Senior Editor for Phenomena Magazine, and author of UFOs and the National Security State. Visit his webpage at http://keyholepublishing.com.
Comment: Let me repeat a crucial point in the article above:
Now, did you notice that the average American Citizen is obviously held in extreme contempt by the Powers That Be. This leads us to one of the tools of the Powers That Be:
At the start of WWII millions of men showed up at registration offices to take low-level academic tests before being inducted. The years of maximum mobilization were 1942 to1944; the fighting force had been mostly schooled in the 1930s, both those inducted and those turned away. Of the 18 million men were tested, 17,280,000 of them were judged to have the minimum competence in reading required to be a soldier, a 96 percent literacy rate. Although this was a 2 percent fall-off from the 98 percent rate among voluntary military applicants ten years earlier, the dip was so small it didn’t worry anybody.
WWII was over in 1945. Six years later another war began in Korea. Several million men were tested for military service but this time 600,000 were rejected. Literacy in the draft pool had dropped to 81 percent, even though all that was needed to classify a soldier as literate was fourth- grade reading proficiency. In the few short years from the beginning of WWII to Korea, a terrifying problem of adult illiteracy had appeared. The Korean War group received most of its schooling in the 1940s, and it had more years in school with more professionally trained personnel and more scientifically selected textbooks than the WWII men, yet it could not read, write, count, speak, or think as well as the earlier, less-schooled contingent.
A third American war began in the mid-1960s. By its end in 1973 the number of men found noninductible by reason of inability to read safety instructions, interpret road signs, decipher orders, and so on—in other words, the number found illiterate—had reached 27 percent of the total pool. Vietnam-era young men had been schooled in the 1950s and the 1960s—much better schooled than either of the two earlier groups—but the 4 percent illiteracy of 1941 which had transmuted into the 19 percent illiteracy of 1952 had now had grown into the 27 percent illiteracy of 1970. Not only had the fraction of competent readers dropped to 73 percent but a substantial chunk of even those were only barely adequate; they could not keep abreast of developments by reading a newspaper, they could not read for pleasure, they could not sustain a thought or an argument, they could not write well enough to manage their own affairs without assistance.
Consider how much more compelling this steady progression of intellectual blindness is when we track it through army admissions tests rather than college admissions scores and standardized reading tests, which inflate apparent proficiency by frequently changing the way the tests are scored. [...]
In their famous bestseller, The Bell Curve, prominent social analysts Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein say that what we’re seeing are the results of selective breeding in society. Smart people naturally get together with smart people, dumb people with dumb people. As they have children generation after generation, the differences between the groups gets larger and larger. That sounds plausible and the authors produce impressive mathematics to prove their case, but their documentation shows they are entirely ignorant of the military data available to challenge their contention. The terrifying drop in literacy between World War II and Korea happened in a decade, and even the brashest survival-of-the-fittest theorist wouldn’t argue evolution unfolds that way. The Bell Curve writers say black illiteracy (and violence) is genetically programmed, but like many academics they ignore contradictory evidence. [...]
If not heredity, what then? Well, one change is indisputable, well-documented and easy to track. During WWII, American public schools massively converted to non-phonetic ways of teaching reading. On the matter of violence alone this would seem to have impact: according to the Justice Department, 80 percent of the incarcerated violent criminal population is illiterate or nearly so (and 67 percent of all criminals locked up). There seems to be a direct connection between the humiliation poor readers experience and the life of angry criminals.
As reading ability plummeted in America after WWII, crime soared, so did out-of- wedlock births, which doubled in the 1950s and doubled again in the ’60s, when bizarre violence for the first time became commonplace in daily life.
When literacy was first abandoned as a primary goal by schools, white people were in a better position than black people because they inherited a three- hundred-year-old American tradition of learning to read at home by matching spoken sound with letters, thus home assistance was able to correct the deficiencies of dumbed-down schools for whites. But black people had been forbidden to learn to read under slavery, and as late as 1930 only averaged three to four years of schooling, so they were helpless when teachers suddenly stopped teaching children to read, since they had no fall-back position. Not helpless because of genetic inferiority but because they had to trust school authorities to a much greater extent than white people.
Back in 1952 the Army quietly began hiring hundreds of psychologists to find out how 600,000 high school graduates had successfully faked illiteracy. Regna Wood sums up the episode this way:
In 1882, fifth graders read these authors in their Appleton School Reader: William Shakespeare, Henry Thoreau, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Bunyan, Daniel Webster, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others like them.
In 1995, a student teacher of fifth graders in Minneapolis wrote to the local newspaper, "I was told children are not to be expected to spell the following words correctly: back, big, call, came, can, day, did, dog, down, get, good, have, he, home, if, in, is, it, like, little, man, morning, mother, my, night, off, out, over, people, play, ran, said, saw, she, some, soon, their, them, there, time, two, too, up, us, very, water, we, went, where, when, will, would, etc.
Is this nuts?"
Comment: No, just Fiendishly Clever. Remember:
So now that most of America has become a Sheep Class, they are softened up to be fleeced. The next article tells us just how bad it has gotten:
By Tom Fenton
In a new study of media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a group of American college students was asked, "Who is occupying the occupied territories, and what nationality are the settlers?” Fairly simple questions, but only 29 percent knew the correct answers. The Israelis are both the occupiers and the settlers.
Some thought the Palestinians occupy the occupied territories, but the Israelis are the settlers. Others thought the Israelis occupy the occupied territories, but the Palestinians are the settlers. A smaller number thought the Palestinians were both the settlers and the occupiers. The rest simply could not answer.
The study points out that the Americans questioned were journalism and media students and some had even done projects on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. So their answers clearly overstated the public’s level of knowledge about the Middle East.
As a journalist who has spent almost four decades reporting on world affairs and especially the Middle East, I was not surprised. I learned long ago that you cannot underestimate the level of understanding of the general public.
The study(*) by the Glasgow University Media Group examines coverage of the Middle East conflict and its impact on public opinion. It includes audience samples of over 800 people, most of them British, and large samples of television news reports from September 2000 to April 2002. It claims to be the largest study ever undertaken in this area.
The focus is not on the public confusion and ignorance about the Middle East, but on where the fault lies. The researchers believe the media, and primarily television news, are at fault.
They point to the way Israeli and Palestinian combatants are labelled in television reports. Palestinians are "activists," "militants," "extremists," "assailants," "gunmen," "bombers," "terrorists," "killers," "assassins," "fundamentalist groups," "attackers," "self-styled Palestinian martyrs" and "fanatics."
Israelis are "soldiers" or "troops," and even when an Israeli group tried to bomb a Palestinian school, they were not "terrorists" but "vigilantes."
The report also found that there is significantly more coverage of Israelis casualties than Palestinian, even though Palestinians consistently have two or three times as many casualties.
Also, in the spiral of Palestinian-Israeli violence, Palestinians are frequently described as "starting" the trouble, while the Israelis "retaliate."
The researchers say television has largely denied its audience an explanation of the background and origins of the conflict. "It is clear," they say, "that the fact of military occupation and its consequences are crucial to an understanding of the rationale of Palestinian action."
Many in the audience sample did not understand that there is a military occupation and that it is widely seen as illegal.
A BBC journalist even told the researchers his boss had instructed him not to do "explainers." So his reports were "all bang bang stuff." And the BBC is widely thought to be better on foreign news coverage than American TV.
The authors conclude that the lack of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict leads to a lack of interest. One British viewer complained, "Every time it comes on, it never actually explains it so I don’t see the point in watching it. I just turn it off and go and make a cup of tea or something."
In both Britain and America, television news is still the main source of information on world affairs for most of the public. So it is not surprising that most of the public hasn’t got a clue about what is behind the depressing news from the Middle East. It’s mostly "bang bang" and very little context.
©MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
By John Kaminski
6.7 million Americans are in jail, but Kean panel refused to investigate the crime; worse, alternative explanations fail to convince public that coverup happened
In a country that spends billions of dollars on its prisons, babbles incessantly about law and order, and now has 6.7 million of its citizens behind bars, in the case of the greatest crime in its history - the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington - the official panel appointed by the president to investigate this catastrophic caper decided that finding out who really did it was unimportant, and devoted no time to pursuing the matter.
Let me say it again. Every politician in America campaigns using rabid law-and-order, anti-terror rhetoric, and applauds the pathetic fact that the U.S. spends much more money on jails than it does on schools. Putting criminals in jail is a top priority for all aspiring political candidates. Yet when it came to conducting a competent investigation of the greatest crime in American history, the panel, which was appointed by the very thugs who many consider to be the real perpetrators of the entire tragedy, made no effort to find out who the guilty parties actually were. Instead, a seedy group of compromised political functionaries relied on baseless and unsubstantiated fictions by the patrician powermongers who run the U.S., and conducted no real investigation at all.
What is wrong with this picture?
OK, for you TV-ized dullards out there, I'm going to run through this wretched riddle one more time.
Because of the profits now being exploited by conducting legitimate businesses but using prison labor at 11 cents an hour, America's prison population is the largest in the world. The central issue in the upcoming presidential election is national security, and as a result, tens of thousands of innocent people are incarcerated as a result of this consciously constructed paranoid phobia of pre-emptive (and selective) justice.
And yet, the very men who preach these law and order mantras are the same manipulators who ordered the Kean commission NOT to look for the real culprits of 9/11. They were told to declare at the outset of their so-called deliberations that Arabs in caves did it, that there was plenty of evidence, but that this evidence couldn't be revealed because of national security issues.
This contemporary brand of unconstitutional vigilante justice, a result of this very crime, had recently been legalized when the contrived passage of the Patriot Act destroyed virtually all the Constitutional legal protections Americans had previously enjoyed, including the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, the right to confront one's accusers, and the right to a lawyer.
With the basic freedoms Americans have always counted on lying in tiny pieces in a dumpster in Washington, it was easy - it followed naturally - for President Bush and his snide accomplices to command the panel investigating the crime that was used as a pretense to destroy America's legal system to ignore any pursuit of those who might have been involved in the grand 9/11 deception and simply declare, on the basis of so-called evidence that these crooks themselves provided, that they knew who the guilty parties were. And the panel did just that. You have seen its final report. No one is to blame for 9/11. It's no one's fault. Muslims did it. And that's that.
Tell it to the 6.7 million people in American jails.
Tell them that a majority of Americans accept the silly notion that 19 Arabs took command of four airliners and killed more than 3,000 people, even though no fewer than eight of these 19 alleged mass murders have been found to be alive - content, breathing and happily living in various countries overseas, and yet the FBI brazenly refuses to revise its list of perpetrators. People serving time for identity theft ought to get a big kick of out that one.
Tell the convicted arsonists you find languishing in the American gulag that jetliner fuel (kerosene) fires can completely demolish three steel-frame skyscrapers in a single day, even though it had never happened before in history to even one building. That ought to light up their day.
Especially tell the thousands of Muslims still incarcerated on bogus charges - possibly some of whom have had relatives blown to bits in Iraq for no other reason than profits for Halliburton and Bechtel - that devout Islamic hijackers always go to strip clubs, snort cocaine, and consort with prostitutes shortly before they kill themselves for Allah in a jihad against those whose freedom they hate.
And for those thugs doing time for battery, tell them the story that five desperadoes with boxcutters (BOXCUTTERS, you know, those little utility knives you use to open UPS packages) paralyzed with fear all the passengers on an airliner (on four different planes!) to the point where the timid travelers were willing to give up their lives because of those little blades. Puh-leeze tell them that!
All right. Enough of that. What an indictment of the American educational system that a majority (apparently) has accepted the clumsy lies mouthed by the neocons and now most people believe the hollow report dutifully churned out by the Kean commission. But plenty of investigative analysts brighter than me have already commented on that.
You know what's turning out to be the real joke? The inept attempts of so-called 9/11 researchers like me to articulately and convincingly rebuke and disprove propaganda that is so blatantly bogus. After almost three years, and despite the profound clumsiness and transparency of the outright lies that have been told about the reasons for war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the so-called 9/11 truth movement has spectacularly failed to convince the American people their government is lying to them about almost everything, especially everything concerning 9/11.
Sure, most of the researchers are as broke as me, and have had to cobble together their facts and refutations while trying to stay alive and support families. And also for sure, too few people have even attempted to ask the right questions, analyze the false stories, or question the obvious coverups like the carting away of the evidence without proper forensic examination.
Absolutely for sure, no one with any serious money has made an attempt to join the 9/11 truth movement, only tens of thousands of little people, who with ten or a hundred bucks at a time have tried to support those trying to ferret out the real story, the actual facts.
Considering the millions being squandered on that superficial and ultimately meaningless Democratic National Convention this week, we could have predicted the outcome - the coverup always wins, because the coverup always has the real money on its side.
But beyond that traditional excuse, and despite dozens of superlative and heroic efforts by mostly unfinanced individuals - and a few Jews willing to put the spotlight on Israel figure valiantly in this group - the effort to convince the public that 9/11 was an inside job has failed. The malignant media mindlock has prevailed.
With the essentially unopposed publication of the Kean coverup report and those who continue to protest the dishonest superficiality of the major parties locked in cages far from the scenes of so-called democratic debate, the game appears to be over with regard to 9/11, and the U.S. can continue on its path to endless war accompanied by the cheers of just about the entire American population, or so the TV wags would tell us.
The 9/11 truth movement must now be content with rented meeting halls in cheap hotels, just down the hall from the JFK group, to discuss their theories and vent their spleens, as truth and justice are left for dead by the side of the road, just like they always have been throughout American history.
Among the things you might want to mention to those occupants of American prisons - a group many of us are likely to join in the coming years if current trends toward suppression of free speech continue - are certain events in the attempt to expose the 9/11 coverup that were curious in the extreme
Convicted embezzlers from Danbury to San Quentin would chuckle at the story about the most famous of 9/11 investigators, Mike Ruppert himself, who says that we should stop looking for the real perpetrators of the greatest crime in American history - the rich psychos who made millions off pre-9/11 stock trades - because they can't be pursued due to international banking laws which don't permit revealing their names, and there's no sense beating our heads against the wall.
Ironically, it was Ruppert's story that got us started on this path of suspicion, but now he's saying don't pursue it because it's against the law, in spite of the fact that the names of these despicable people - who knew what was going to happen on 9/11 in advance - are most likely to lead us to the real criminals who planned and executed this horror. It seems to me that laws like this - laws that allow criminals to hide behind convenient screens in the name of profit - are simply made to be broken, in the overriding interest of justice. Screw the bankers. They're the enemies of all humanity.
This isn't the only flaw in Ruppert's recent efforts, as he has effectively hijacked a large segment of the 9/11 truth movement into a discussion of peak oil concerns, and his message, often indistinguishable from oil company propaganda, sounds more like an excuse for war than it does an indictment of those waging these unjustifiable wars against innocent countries.
The remainder of the 9/11 truth movement - or at least that part of it that aspires toward serious analysis as opposed to that segment opportunistically trying to acquire political influence - has pretty much split down the middle - between empirical and seemingly provable observations and fantastic analyses of various videos of the tragedies.
Most recently Phil Jayhan's letsroll911.org has issued some astounding assertions about replacement planes with no windows firing missiles at the South Tower just before it hit that has attracted a lot of attention. Jayhan's offerings are similar to the earlier hologram conclusions offered by The Webfairy, and the topper in this category is Scott Loughrey's recent articulation of his no-planes theory that asserts 9/11 was all done with mirrors (and explosives in the buildings; that part, nobody I know disagrees with).
It is not my intention to agree or disagree with these highly improbable theories, because I will not pretend to possess the technical expertise in film analysis that they claim to possess. In addition, each of them has made valuable contributions in other aspects of the 9/11 myth debunking that has earned the respect of many. That also goes for a number of people who support their conclusions, particularly Gerard Holmgren and Leonard Spencer, and other very reputable analysts of the collective body of evidence that has been gathered refuting the government's falsehood-riddled version of what happened on that fateful day.
But it is my intention to say these fanciful speculations have destroyed the 9/11 truth movement, and ruined any opportunity for the public to unite behind a consensus alternative version of what really happened, which is surely not what the government said happened.
The higher goal of disproving the lies we have been told has been betrayed and squandered by those who value the novel shock value of their own suspect pet theories and questionable high-tech revelations.
The real purpose of researching 9/11 is to find out who really did it, and to that end, what was needed was a coherent, consensus description that would convince the public mind to effectively protest and overturn the government's false story.
With the publication of the Kean report, and its general acceptance by the public, the best chance for discovering the truth about 9/11 has been lost. We have all failed. And everyone loses. Everyone except those who made the big money, the political parasites who profit from suffering and prosecute those merely trying to discover the truth in a world made mad by money and made completely dishonest by fear of telling the truth and standing together against this senseless insanity.
What we have to look forward to because of all this I'd rather not think about right now.
John Kaminski is the author of "America's Autopsy Report," a collection of his Internet essays seen on hundreds of websites around the world, and also "The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn't Believe the Official Version of What Happened on September 11, 2001," a 48-booklet written for those who still believe what the U.S. government says about 9/11. For more information about both, go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/
Comment: But ALL is not lost! At least, not yet! Recent news reports tell us that the numbers of people getting their news from mainstream journalists are dropping drastically. I think that many Americans DO realize they are being lied to incessantly. More and more of them are turning to the Internet for the truth:
Ten to 20 popular web loggers--"bloggers" as we are more widely known--have been invited to report the Republican National Convention at the end of August. Meanwhile, about three-dozen bloggers are covering the Democratic National Convention this week. This marks the first time bloggers have officially been recognized as members of the media, providing them with credentials giving them the same insider access as traditional journalists from major media sources like the Wall Street Journal.
A historic turning point is occuring, that is, as the growing wave of people turning to the ultra-convenience and timeliness of blogs like this one for information that matters to them cannot be ignored. Bloggers "are an emerging community that has a role to play as the media landscape evolves over time," says Republican convention spokesman Leonardo Alcivar who goes on to compare the blogging medium to the emergence of CNN in the 80s and talk radio in the 90s.
Comment: Now, what do WE think is among the most important News out there that is being hidden by the Powers That Be? Well certainly, things are happening to our planet that seem to be a bit out of the ordinary:
DALLAS (AP) - Fierce overnight storms dropped up to 13 inches of rain in the Dallas area, flooding highways and homes, knocking out power to thousands and collapsing the roof of a 911 call center.
Authorities had more than 80 calls for high-water rescues, and rain washed out the dirt beneath a stretch of railroad track. [...]
Wind gusts of 58 mph were measured at Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines delayed some flights and canceled others at Love Field, and flights were also delayed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
McCarthy Environment Editor
Hundreds of thousands of Scottish seabirds have failed to breed this summer in a wildlife catastrophe which is being linked by scientists directly to global warming.
The massive unprecedented collapse of nesting attempts by several seabird species in Orkney and Shetland is likely to prove the first major impact of climate change on Britain.
In what could be a sub-plot from the recent disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow, a rise in sea temperature is believed to have led to the mysterious disappearance of a key part of the marine food chain - the sandeel, the small fish whose great teeming shoals have hitherto sustained larger fish, marine mammals and seabirds in their millions. [...]
This is being seen in the North Sea in particular, where the water temperature has risen by 2C in the past 20 years, and where the whole ecosystem is thought to be undergoing a "regime shift", or a fundamental alteration in the interaction of its component species. "Think of the North Sea as an engine, and plankton as the fuel driving it," said Euan Dunn of the RSPB, one of the world's leading experts on the interaction of fish and seabirds. "The fuel mix has changed so radically in the past 20 years, as a result of climate change, that the whole engine is now spluttering and starting to malfunction. All of the animals in the food web above the plankton, first the sandeels, then the larger fish like cod, and ultimately the seabirds, are starting to be affected." [...]
"This is an incredible event," said Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth. "The catastrophe [of these] seabirds is just a foretaste of what lies ahead.
"It shows that climate change is happening now, [with] devastating consequences here in Britain, and it shows that reducing the pollution causing changes to the earth's climate should now be the global number one political priority."
First you hear a savage cracking sound, next the rolling crash of thunder.
Then as the icebergs rip away from the margin of the ice-sheet they plunge into the grey waters of the Atlantic with a roar that echoes around the mountains.
Nothing prepares you for the sheer scale and drama of events in this forbidding terrain and all the signs are that the changes at work here are gathering pace. [...]
In 2001 NASA scientists published a major study based on observations by satellite and aircraft. It concluded that the margins of the Greenland ice-sheet were dropping in height at a rate of roughly one metre a year.
Now, amid some of the most hostile conditions anywhere on the planet, Carl Boggild and his team have recorded falls as dramatic as 10 metres a year - in places the ice is dropping at a rate of one metre a month. [...]
The latest data shows the melting picking up even more speed. [...]
Dr Boggild is all too aware of how easily he could be accused of jumping onto a climate change bandwagon. But he is adamant that the results he has gathered so far are reliable.
"We can say for certain that the rate of melting has increased and we can say for certain that the height of the ice-sheet is falling, even allowing for increased ice-flow.
"There is no doubt that something very major is happening here." [...]
Just before we leave, there is another roar as more icebergs crash into the ocean
Many more icebergs falling into the sea will cause two things to happen - the sea-level will rise and the injection of freshwater could disrupt the ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream.
What happens in this remote barren land has the potential to affect us all.
A heavy snowfall in South Africa's eastern KwaZulu-Natal province has wreaked havoc on roads, causing accidents and power outages in the usually warm sub-tropical area, local officials said Thursday.
Two people were killed and another injured in car crashes on Wednesday, police said.
While snow in the southern hemisphere winter is common in the province's Drakensberg mountain area, the local weather bureau said it is usually confined to the upper slopes and that it rarely falls further down.
More snow was expected to roll in over the province early next week. [...]
Nine mostly elderly people have died in a heatwave in the Canary Islands, Spanish officials said Thursday, taking the country's death toll in four days of extremely hot weather to 19. [...]
More than 100 people have been hospitalized in the Canary Islands, located to the southwest of Spain as the country grapples with a major heatwave.
Flooding that has left millions of Bangladeshis without adequate food or fresh water will continue for weeks, experts said Thursday as the death toll rose to more than 450. [...]
The flooding which at one point submerged two-thirds of Bangladesh was now affecting about half the country, with the death toll now at 452, the agency said. [...]
Low-lying Bangladesh which is criss-crossed by a network of 230 rivers suffers annual flooding caused by monsoon rains and melting ice from the Himalayas.
Since July 10, the flooding has also claimed hundreds of lives across other parts of south Asia including northeastern India and Nepal.
Three people were killed and about 2,000 left stranded by major flooding that cut off roads and railway lines in northern and central Romania, the envuironment ministry said Thursday. [...]
Summer has brought unusual contrasts in the weather here, with 14 people struck down by lightning and 27 others killed by heatstroke since the beginning of July. [...]
Portuguese officials were on Thursday evacuating residents of a village in the touristic Algarve province as a fire that has been blazing out of control for three days started advancing on their homes. [...]
Dozens of homes and thousands of hectares (acres) of land have been destroyed by flames in a wave of wildfires that has swept Portugal since the weekend when temperatures soared above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in much of the country.
Its famously tepid and wet weather has been the butt of jokes for generations, yet even Britain is now taking global warming seriously, with the publication Friday of emergency plans to deal with heatwaves.
The national heatwave plan has been drawn up by the government's Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson in response to sweltering temperatures across much of Europe last year which killed an estimated 15,000 people.
The bulk of those who died that summer, notably in France, where the death rates became something of a national scandal, were old or otherwise vulnerable. [...]
Britain's summers have grown decidedly hotter in recent years, notably in the south of the country, which last summer saw temperatures climb above the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark (37.8 Celsius) for the first time in recorded history.
China is facing a "very grave" situation as the death toll from rains and floods jumped to 439, with more than 20,000 people injured and massive losses to property and farmland, the government said Wednesday.
Disaster relief officials said 1.46 million people had been forced to flee their homes and no let up was in sight.
"The flood situation is very grave, especially in Hunan, Henan, Hubei and Yunnan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region," said Wang Zhenyao, director of the Ministry of Civil Affair's Disaster Relief Department.
He said this year's floods were the worst in decades.
While the annual rains and floods usually strike hardest in rural areas, this year big cities like Beijing and Shanghai have felt the effects with both experiencing freak weather.
"The country has witnessed extreme weather recently in big cities, such as Beijing's unprecedented rainstorm earlier this month, which paralyzed local transportation," Wang was quoted as saying by China Daily.
"The rainstorm in Shanghai on July 12 can be said to be a very rare disaster which happens only once a century." The storm claimed seven lives.
Since late June incessant heavy rains have been pounding large swathes of China, sparking severe mountain torrents, mud-rock flows and landslides.
The inclement weather has claimed 439 lives so far this year, with 21,600 injured, the majority over the summer months, according to figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Natural disasters in general, including earthquakes and heavy snow, have killed 659 people.
Landslides caused by floods have led to 275,000 houses collapsing while another one million have been damaged, forcing 1.46 million people to flee to safety, the statistics show.
At least 5.16 million hectares (12.74 million acres) of farmland has been ruined by the rains, mostly in Hunan, Henan and Hubei provinces in central China and Yunnan and Guangxi in the south.
Total economic losses so far are pegged at 21.95 billion yuan (2.65 billion dollars).
"Disasters like torrential rain, typhoons, mountain torrents and storm tides are likely to occur throughout China at any moment in the days ahead since the entire country is now in its major flood season," the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters warned. [...]
Last year, floods claimed more than 1,900 lives and left millions homeless. The worst floods in recent years happened in 1998 when more than 4,000 people died.
While central and southern China are awash with water, northern and eastern regions are suffering severe drought or scorching temperatures. [...] the cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou in the east and Chongqing and Chengdu in the southwest are sizzling in temperatures of up to 38 degrees
[...] A new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has shed new light on significant changes in the deep sea over a 14-year period.
Scripps Institution's Henry Ruhl and Ken Smith show in the new issue of the journal Science that changes in climate at the surface of the ocean may be impacting communities of larger animals more than 13,400 feet below the ocean surface.
Important climatic changes such as El Nino and La Nina events are well known to affect regional and local areas, but Ruhl and Smith describe how such changes also can extend to the deep ocean, one of Earth's most remote environments. [...]
"The ocean is a source of food for human populations, but it's also a place of waste disposal," said Smith. "It's important to consider how you impact the deep sea. In that view it's puzzling that we don't study the deep sea in more detail."
Comment: Geez! Doesn't all of that leave you just a bit nervous, considering all the other anomalies going on all over the BBM? Certainly it makes a person wonder just what is going on in the heads of our leaders who are duking it out like kids in the sandbox while the Planet is Falling Apart.
Islamists claiming links to al Qaeda issued another threat Friday against European countries for supporting the policies of President Bush.
"We will not hesitate to shed blood in all parts of Europe, in Rome and other places, as long as countries move in the orbit of the pinnacle of unbelief, America," the statement by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades said.
"From here from Italy, from Britain, from Bulgaria and all European countries we call on all our units to prepare themselves to enter the battle," said the message, posted on an Internet Web site and dated July 30.
"You will not enjoy security while you remain in the shadow of the despicable Bush," it added. Bush faces an election battle in November to retain the U.S. presidency.
The message made reference to a three-month truce issued to European states by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
That truce, which ended on July 15, gave countries three months to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim states or face attacks like the Madrid train bombings in March.
The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified. The message said other statements had been falsely attributed to the Abu Hafs al-Masri group in the past two days.
A statement signed in the name of the same group appeared on Islamist Web sites Wednesday, but its content was similar. It warned of a "bloody war" in Europe after the expiry of bin Laden's truce.
Previous claims of responsibility by the group for attacks in Turkey and Iraq have been greeted with skepticism. U.S. officials have said its links with al Qaeda are unclear.
Comment: Well, yeah - speaking of Al Qaeda...
Pakistan has arrested a senior Al-Qaeda figure wanted by the United States over the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people, the interior minister told AFP.
Tanzanian Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists and has a five-million-dollar bounty on his head, was arrested on Sunday, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said. [...]
Ghailani is believed to have bought the truck used to blow up the Dar-es-Salaam embassy, as well as oxygen and acetylene tanks used to intensify the blast. Eleven people were killed in the Dar-es-Salaam attack, and some 213 in the Nairobi blast.
But his name surfaced much more recently on the radar screens of Al-Qaeda hunters and anti-terrorism authorities.
The FBI was so sure that Ghailani and six of his accomplices were actively plotting fresh terror attacks that it issued a fresh warning in May accompanied by a photo list of him and six others. [...]
Ghailani's arrest was hailed as a major coup for Al-Qaeda hunters.
"It is yet another crowning success of Pakistan's security apparatus in the fight against terrorism," the interior minister said. [...]
Pakistan became a key US ally in the fight against terrorism launched in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, blamed by Washington on Al-Qaeda network chief Osama bin Laden.
Ghailani is the fourth top Al-Qaeda man arrested in Pakistan since the capture of a key bin Laden aide, Abu Zubaydah, who was pinned down in the central city of Faisalabad in March 2002.
Another senior Al-Qaeda member, Ramzi bin al-Shaiba, was arrested in the southern port city of Karachi on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Al-Qaeda number three and chief planner of the September 11 attacks, was arrested in March last year in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad.
Pakistan has arrested more than 500 Al-Qaeda suspects, with the majority of them handed over to US custody.
Comment: That's all fine and good, yes? Good ole Pakistan helping out the US, right? Gonna git those bad ole terrorists and make the world safe for Dubya and his Daddy... But wait - those darned ole Conspiracy Theorists have to spoil everything:
FLASHBACK! The Pakistan connection
There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers. Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?
Omar Sheikh, a British-born Islamist militant, is waiting to be hanged in Pakistan for a murder he almost certainly didn't commit - of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Both the US government and Pearl's wife have since acknowledged that Sheikh was not responsible. Yet the Pakistani government is refusing to try other suspects newly implicated in Pearl's kidnap and murder for fear the evidence they produce in court might acquit Sheikh and reveal too much.
Significantly, Sheikh is also the man who, on the instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmed, the then head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired $100,000 before the 9/11 attacks to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker. It is extraordinary that neither Ahmed nor Sheikh have been charged and brought to trial on this count. Why not?
Ahmed, the paymaster for the hijackers, was actually in Washington on 9/11, and had a series of pre-9/11 top-level meetings in the White House, the Pentagon, the national security council, and with George Tenet, then head of the CIA, and Marc Grossman, the under-secretary of state for political affairs. When Ahmed was exposed by the Wall Street Journal as having sent the money to the hijackers, he was forced to "retire" by President Pervez Musharraf. Why hasn't the US demanded that he be questioned and tried in court?
Another person who must know a great deal about what led up to 9/11 is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly arrested in Rawalpindi on March 1 2003. A joint Senate-House intelligence select committee inquiry in July 2003 stated: "KSM appears to be one of Bin Laden's most trusted lieutenants and was active in recruiting people to travel outside Afghanistan, including to the US, on behalf of Bin Laden." According to the report, the clear implication was that they would be engaged in planning terrorist-related activities.
The report was sent from the CIA to the FBI, but neither agency apparently recognised the significance of a Bin Laden lieutenant sending terrorists to the US and asking them to establish contacts with colleagues already there. Yet the New York Times has since noted that "American officials said that KSM, once al-Qaida's top operational commander, personally executed Daniel Pearl ... but he was unlikely to be accused of the crime in an American criminal court because of the risk of divulging classified information". Indeed, he may never be brought to trial.
A fourth witness is Sibel Edmonds. She is a 33-year-old Turkish-American former FBI translator of intelligence, fluent in Farsi, the language spoken mainly in Iran and Afghanistan, who had top-secret security clearance. She tried to blow the whistle on the cover-up of intelligence that names some of the culprits who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, but is now under two gagging orders that forbid her from testifying in court or mentioning the names of the people or the countries involved. She has been quoted as saying: "My translations of the 9/11 intercepts included [terrorist] money laundering, detailed and date-specific information ... if they were to do real investigations, we would see several significant high-level criminal prosecutions in this country [the US] ... and believe me, they will do everything to cover this up".
Furthermore, the trial in the US of Zacharias Moussaoui (allegedly the 20th hijacker) is in danger of collapse apparently because of "the CIA's reluctance to allow key lieutenants of Osama bin Laden to testify at the trial". Two of the alleged conspirators have already been set free in Germany for the same reason.
The FBI, illegally, continues to refuse the to release of their agent Robert Wright's 500-page manuscript Fatal Betrayals of the Intelligence Mission, and has even refused to turn the manuscript over to Senator Shelby, vice-chairman of the joint intelligence committee charged with investigating America's 9/11 intelligence failures. And the US government still refuses to declassify 28 secret pages of a recent report on 9/11.
It has been rumoured that Pearl was especially interested in any role played by the US in training or backing the ISI. Daniel Ellsberg, the former US defence department whistleblower who has accompanied Edmonds in court, has stated: "It seems to me quite plausible that Pakistan was quite involved in this ... To say Pakistan is, to me, to say CIA because ... it's hard to say that the ISI knew something that the CIA had no knowledge of." Ahmed's close relations with the CIA would seem to confirm this. For years the CIA used the ISI as a conduit to pump billions of dollars into militant Islamist groups in Afghanistan, both before and after the Soviet invasion of 1979.
With CIA backing, the ISI has developed, since the early 1980s, into a parallel structure, a state within a state, with staff and informers estimated by some at 150,000. It wields enormous power over all aspects of government. The case of Ahmed confirms that parts of the ISI directly supported and financed al-Qaida, and it has long been established that the ISI has acted as go-between in intelligence operations on behalf of the CIA.
Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate select committee on intelligence, has said: "I think there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted, not just in financing ... by a sovereign foreign government." In that context, Horst Ehmke, former coordinator of the West German secret services, observed: "Terrorists could not have carried out such an operation with four hijacked planes without the support of a secret service."
That might give meaning to the reaction on 9/11 of Richard Clarke, the White House counter-terrorism chief, when he saw the passenger lists later on the day itself: "I was stunned ... that there were al-Qaida operatives on board using names that the FBI knew were al-Qaida." It was just that, as Dale Watson, head of counter-terrorism at the FBI told him, the "CIA forgot to tell us about them".
Comment: Again, if Foreign secret services know how Atta got the money, if millions of internet readers know how he got the money, if the rest of the world knows how he got the money, then how come the 9-11 commission doesn't know how he got the money? It's sort of like the fact that the whole rest of the world knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction, but it is now claimed that the US secret services didn't know, and most especially, George and the warmongers didn't know - so what's up with that? The only conclusion to draw is that either the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth are so stupid that they need a keeper, or they are lying. Perhaps both of these conclusions are true in a way - see our special report about Mossad and moving companies, which sheds more light on the events of 9/11.
by Seymour Hersh
These Israeli citizens came into Iraq disguised as Arab or Kurdish civilians, businessmen. Maybe "contractors"? Under contract with the Pentagon's neocon office? Your tax dollars at work?
How much of their work is blamed on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? How much of Israel's terrorism is blamed on "Al-Qaeda"?
I have investigated the development of the "mujahideen" and here is my conclusion:
In the 80's, Israel supervised the recruitment of Arab Afghan "mujahideen" supposedly to fight against Russia. They became cannon fodder and refugees before they ended up in Guantanamo.
THEIR REAL PURPOSE WAS TO HELP ISRAEL CREATE A USEFUL MYTH: AL-QAEDA.
The Arab mujahideen were rather harmless as recent revelations from Guantanamo have shown.
Israeli and Jewish-American intelligence specialists were trusted by the CIA--Israelis being "allies" and experts on the Middle East--to recruit the Arab "mujahideen" to be used by the US against Russia. Israelis disguised as Arab or Pakistani missionaries (tablighis) even ran the recruitment centers. Israelis playing Muslim missionaries (tablighis) were caught in India and Israel rushed to retrieve them.
The Arab "mujahideen" themselves were inefficient and almost useless. I have heard from the relatives of many who died in vain in clumsy incidents in Afghanistan.
All the Zionists wanted was a story, a myth that would enable them to create another myth: "Al-Qaeda." The Zionists needed this myth as an excuse for their long-term plans for the "war on terror," a war to destabilze the Middle East and pit the world against Muslims.
Neither Bin Laden nor the Arab refugees he took care of were of any military significance. The Afghans themselves were the real efficient mujahideen because they knew the territory and the tribal structure. The Afghans actually saw the Arabs as nuisance.
Arabs say "nothing comes out of a pot except what's in it." When the neocon liars speak about Arab/Islamic terrorism and Al-Qaeda, they are in fact talking about what they themselves are doing. They are talking about Israeli covert activities.
No Arabs are involved. Israeli commandos move around using forged or stolen Arab ID's and--if necessary--they wear masks to hide their real identities, such as in beheading videos.
Israelis continue to fake whatever it takes to prove that the "war on terror," i.e. the war on Arabs has to continue.
Listen to them more carefully, folks. The Zionists in our midst have been telling us the truth all along. Just replace "Arab" with "Israeli," replace "Al-Qaeda" with "Mossad," etc.
At a Massachusetts political rally, Michael Moore leveled some well-deserved zingers at the media, while ducking a key question [...]
DOUBLE STANDARD. As already observed, the man has a zinging wit. And mostly he's right about the media drinking the Administration Kool-Aid on Iraq and being afraid to ask the tough questions. Many in the media were shameful weenies on Iraq, and maybe we do have tunnel vision about the electorate.
But Moore has a double standard about being duped about weapons of mass destruction. He defends John Kerry's vote to invade Iraq because the Democratic about-to-be-nominee like so many other Americans believed in the Commander-in-Chief. The press doesn't get that same pathetic pass.
And despite Moore's brilliant use of humor and pathos to deliver a political broadside, Fahrenheit is seriously flawed. A critic as tough as Michael Moore could make the case that the great auteur has foisted on the country an argument against U.S. involvement in Iraq that avoids the central reason behind the invasion. Talk about being chicken-hearted and missing the big story.
The film goes on about filial revenge and oil, but it never ventures onto really touchy turf -- namely the role of fiercely pro-Israel neocon hawks in convincing Bush to go to war. The elephantine Mr. Moore conveniently fails to mention that other pachyderm in the Democratic room. Why didn't Fahrenheit go there, Mr. Moore?
Comment: Getting back to the subject of Pakistan... What's up with those Pakis who are such bosom buddies of Dubya and his Daddy cozying up to the dreaded Red Menace in China???
Pakistan's top economic body has approved the installation of a second nuclear power plant to be supplied by China, prime minister-in-waiting Shaukat Aziz said Wednesday.
The national economic council "has approved phase two of the Chashma Nuclear Power Project which is about 51 billion rupees (about 880 million dollars) in expenditure," Aziz, currently finance minister, told national television.
The plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity.
A statement issued by the Executive Committee on the National Economic Council said it had approved installation of a nuclear power plant at Chashma, Mianwali, some 280 kilometres (174 miles) south of Islamabad.
It will be constructed next to an existing plant, also supplied by China and operational since 1999.
The second plant will be ready to generate electricity in seven years.
The project comprises a nuclear steam supply system, a turbine generator set and auxiliary equipment including electrical, mechanical and civil work, the statement said.
It also envisages technology transfer, with the ultimate aim that Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission would be self-sufficient in all aspects of designing, installation, construction and operation, it said.
The agreement to set up the plant was signed in May by China National Nuclear Corporation president Kang Rixin and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission chairman Pervez Butt in Islamabad.
Pakistan has relied heavily on long-time friend and ally China for its defence needs since 1990 when the United States stopped supplying it with military hardware over its nuclear program.
Pakistan confirmed it had nuclear weapons in May 1998 when it matched tests conducted by India.
Comment: What is UP with that? After all, isn't that what the US and Israel are going after Iran over? Isn't that what they went after Iraq over? I mean, is it just me or is there some kind of really STRANGE double standard here?
WASHINGTON — With Iran warning that it will "overthrow the entire Zionist entity" if Israel strikes its nuclear facilities, American officials are seeking assurances that Jerusalem has no plans to launch a unilateral strike, the Forward has learned. [...]
But recent reports in American and British publications, quoting unnamed sources, contended that Israel is conducting military exercises for a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear power facilities. In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear power plant, eliciting worldwide criticism.
According to media reports, Iran has recently resumed tests aimed at completing the uranium enrichment process — a key step in the development of nuclear weapons — and is months away of completing that process. Iran has denied accusations that it is using a civilian atomic program to hide efforts to develop nuclear arms. It argues that its atomic ambitions are limited to generating electricity and that developing the bomb would violate Islamic law.
Britain, France and Germany are pursuing talks aimed at convincing Iran to abandon its nuclear program.
Ya'alon said Israel was concerned about Israeli intelligence assessments that Iran could build an atomic bomb by 2007.
A report issued earlier this month by the Council on Foreign Relations asserted that America should not let Israel act unilaterally against Iran. The report, authored by former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Central Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, said: "Given the potential threat that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons could pose, the full range of alternatives — including military options — for confronting Tehran must be examined. Yet the use of military force would be extremely problematic, given the dispersal of Iran's program at sites throughout the country and their proximity to urban centers.
"Since Washington would be blamed for any unilateral Israeli military strike, the United States should, in any case, make it quite clear to Israel that U.S. interests would be adversely affected by such a move."
Britain's Sunday Times quoted Israeli sources this week as saying that Israel is worried that a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities could provoke "a ferocious response," which could involve terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad, as well as Lebanese-based rocket attacks on northern Israel.
Israel's chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, told the Cabinet on Sunday that Iran has supplied hundreds of Iranian-made missiles to Hezbollah, which can hit all of northern Israel and territory as far south as Tel Aviv, in addition to several dozen missiles that can reach the southern city of Beersheva.
With reporting in Israel from Ha'aretz.
Shakir Husain, Arab News
There is always something extraordinary about Israel’s deceitful behavior. When the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Mohamed El-Baradei visited Tel Aviv recently to talk about Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, he ended up discussing Iran’s nuclear program.
What was the point in letting the Israelis distract attention from their own nuclear weapons? With more than 200 ready-to-use nuclear bombs, Israel poses the single gravest threat to Middle East and North Africa. Americans and Europeans do not even call Israeli bombs weapons of mass destruction.”
The Western obsession with WMDs is fundamentally flawed and outrageously racist. Non-Western countries need weapons of defense and have every right to protect themselves. China and India have shown great foresightedness in developing strong defense systems.
The hypocrisy of big Western powers has encouraged Israel to threaten Arab and other Islamic countries with its nuclear ambiguity.” The Zionist state has shown for more than 50 years that it can live as a lawless entity, thumbing its nose at every international rule of behavior.
Iran and Syria were supposed to be the next target in the American crusade for making Middle East devoid of any country that could stand up to Israel. Talk of threats to Israel’s security is pure fantasy that thrives in the minds of American and Israeli warmongers. Not surprisingly, these elements see Iran’s nuclear program as an issue that helps the Israeli policies of military domination in the Middle East. Ask Americans for one reason why Iran should not work on a peaceful program to develop atomic energy and they tell you that Iran is a nation rich in hydrocarbons.
The United States has huge petroleum reserves, too. Why does the US use nuclear power? It keeps its own petrol safe for future use and fights wars in every corner of the world for oil.
Iran is not a tiny nation. It has a population of 70 million with big industrial and consumer energy demand. The oil is not going to last forever. Iran must harness atomic power technology for the future of coming generations. [...]
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who talked about Iran’s nuclear program with his US counterpart Colin Powell this month in Washington, made an interesting statement: Iran is the country that has announced that one missile toward Israel will destroy the Jewish state. So we should be concerned about the Iranians’ efforts to develop nuclear weapons.” Scare-mongering again.
Powell pitched in by saying Washington would make sure the international community stands unified behind the effort to stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons development, or worse, acquiring a nuclear weapon.” One can forgive Powell for confusing Tony Blair with the international community.”
Today Israeli warplanes can fly unhindered to any Mideastern city and drop bombs. Lebanon has been a victim of Israeli madness for almost 30 years now. Syria’s Golan Heights remain under Israeli occupation. Millions of Palestinians continue to be humiliated and terrorized by Israeli fascism. But the helpful Western media continues to preserve Israeli as the victims. [...]
Comment: Meanwhile, let's just think about that problem with Pakistan and it's nukey relations with China... which reminds me of Dubya again. Today would not be complete without a peek at our good ole boy Commander in Chief ... Brace yourself for this next one and put that pretzel down!
By Nick Anderson
BOSTON — In a new campaign speech that presages an August advertising blitz, President Bush asserts that America has "turned the corner" and depicts himself — in contrast to Democratic nominee John F. Kerry — as a leader who delivers.
"When it comes to choosing a president, results matter," Bush will declare today when he unveils the speech, according to his campaign. [...]
Comment: Yes, Results Matter! Dubya DOES have a way with RESULTS, doesn't he now?
By ADAM GORLICK,
BOSTON - After three days of calm, protests turned ugly at the Democratic National Convention as demonstrators burned a two-faced effigy depicting President Bush on one side and Sen. John Kerry on the other.
One protester wearing a black hood was dragged from the crowd and detained by police. It was not immediately clear whether he was being arrested or what he had done. Streets near the FleetCenter were being barricaded by police.
Police and protesters alike worked to keep the demonstrations peaceful Thursday, despite warnings that some groups might use violence to capture the attention of the large audience on the last day of the convention.
After four problem-free days, police prepared for a surge in spontaneous street protests. The Boston-area Bl(A)ck Tea Society, an ad hoc group of self-described anarchists and anti-authority activists that formed a year ago to stage protests at the convention, called for "decentralized direct action" Thursday.
The group does not advocate violence but encourages demonstrators to hold street protests regardless of whether they have secured permits from the city.
Bl(A)ck Tea members joined with anti-war groups in a march that began in Copley Square shortly after noon and quickly grew into the largest demonstration since thousands of anti-war and anti-abortion protesters greeted delegates on Sunday as they arrived in the city.
The crowd, estimated at around 400 people, looped through the city's Financial District before heading toward the FleetCenter. They were accompanied by about 100 police officers wearing helmets and carrying shields. Seven protesters with hoods tied themselves to a police barricade.
When they arrived outside the fenced-in demonstration zone near the FleetCenter, the protesters set fire to a two-faced effigy — one side showing Bush, the other Kerry. As it burned, the protesters stomped on the puppet, while others burned copies of Bush's autobiography.
Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole ordered police tactical teams out in force Thursday, as they have been throughout the week.
State police Lt. Col. Jack Kelly said Thursday's police deployment was the biggest in recent Boston history.
As Teresa Heinz Kerry gave her prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK: Women for Peace attempted to bring an anti-war message onto the convention floor. She unfurled a pink banner that read End the Occupation of Iraq” a sentiment that is shared by the majority of Americans and vast majority of Democrats and was promptly dragged out of the Fleet Center by the police.
Inside the convention, the DNC has banned anything but officially printed” banners and signs from the convention floor, and several anti-war delegates from the Kucinich campaign have been told to take off scarves that say ”delegate for peace.” Outside the convention, those who oppose the Democratic Party position on Iraq are relegated to a protest pen”, which is actually a cage surrounded by fencing and barbed wire. On Saturday, CODEPINK objected to the protest pen by having some of its activists dress as pink statues of liberty with tape over their mouths.
We are supposed to have free speech all over the United States, not just inside a pen that looks like a Guantanamo Bay detention camp,” Benjamin said.
Thu Jul 29
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.
"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.
The comment was apparently directed to a colleague who was transferring a phone call from a reporter asking about job quality, and who overheard the remark.
When told the Prozac comment had been overheard, Sheybani said: "Oh, I was just kidding." [...]
Nearly 1.1 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office in January 2001.
The son of the fortieth president of the United States takes a hard look at the son of the forty-first and does not like what he sees
It may have been the guy in the hood teetering on the stool, electrodes clamped to his genitals. Or smirking Lynndie England and her leash. Maybe it was the smarmy memos tapped out by soft-fingered lawyers itching to justify such barbarism. The grudging, lunatic retreat of the neocons from their long-standing assertion that Saddam was in cahoots with Osama didn't hurt. Even the Enron audiotapes and their celebration of craven sociopathy likely played a part.
As a result of all these displays and countless smaller ones, you could feel, a couple of months back, as summer spread across the country, the ground shifting beneath your feet. Not unlike that scene in The Day After Tomorrow, then in theaters, in which the giant ice shelf splits asunder, this was more a paradigm shift than anything strictly tectonic. No cataclysmic ice age, admittedly, yet something was in the air, and people were inhaling deeply.
I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, "but not this time." There was the staid Zbigniew Brzezinski on the staid NewsHour with Jim Lehrer sneering at the "Orwellian language" flowing out of the Pentagon. Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq. Suddenly, everywhere you went, a surprising number of folks seemed to have had just about enough of what the Bush administration was dishing out.
A fresh age appeared on the horizon, accompanied by the sound of scales falling from people's eyes. It felt something like a demonstration of that highest of American prerogatives and the most deeply cherished American freedom: dissent. [...]
If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it. Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term. [...]
Fortunately, we still live in a democratic republic. The Bush team cannot expect a cabal of right-wing justices to once again deliver the White House. Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT.
Copyright © 2004 by the Hearst Corporation
Comment: Dream on, Ron Jr. Just like your dad did... Fact is, we have a very different problem here...
HAMPTON & WILLIAM D. McTAVISH
A sullen President George W. Bush is withdrawing more and more from aides and senior staff, retreating into a private, paranoid world where only the ardent loyalists are welcome.
Cabinet officials, senior White House aides and leaders on Capitol Hill complain privately about the increasing lack of face time” with the President and campaign advisors are worried the depressed President may not be up to the rigors of a tough re-election campaign.
are concerns,” a top Republican political advisor admitted privately Wednesday.
The George W. Bush we see today is not the same, gregarious, back-slapping
President of old. He’s moody, distrustful and withdrawn.”
Bush’s erratic behavior and sharp mood swings led White House physician Col. Richard J. Tubb to put the President on powerful anti-depressant drugs after he stormed off stage rather than answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay, but White House insiders say the strong, prescription medications seem to increase Bush’s sullen behavior towards those around him.
This is a President known for his ability to charm people one-on-one,” says a staff member to House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert. Not any more.”
White House aides say Bush has retreated into a tightly-controlled environment where only top political advisors like Karl Rove and Karen Hughes are allowed. Even White House chief of staff Andrew Card complains he has less and less access to the President.
Among cabinet members, only Attorney General John Ashcroft, a fundamentalist who shares many of Bush’s strict religious convictions, remains part of the inner circle. White House aides call Bush and Ashcroft the Blue Brothers” because, like the mythical movie characters, both believe they are on a mission from God.”
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the man most responsible for waging America’s war on terrorism, complains to staff that he gets very little time with the President and gets most of his marching orders lately from Ashcroft. Some on Ridge’s staff gripe privately that Ashcroft is Bush’s Himmler,” a reference to Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS (the German Police) under Adolph Hitler.
Too many make the mistake of thinking Dick Cheney is the real power in the Bush administration,” says one senior Homeland Security aide. They’re wrong. It’s Ashcroft and that is reason enough for all of us to be very, very afraid.”
While Vice President Cheney remains part of Bush’s tight, inner circle, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has fallen out of favor and tells his staff that no matter what happens in November, I’m outta here.”
White House aides say the West Wing has been overtaken by a siege mentality,” where phone calls and emails are monitored and everyone is under suspicion for disloyalty to the crown.”
I was questioned about an email I sent out on my personal email account from home,” says one staffer. When I asked how they got access to my personal email account, I was told that when I came to work at the White House I gave up any rights to privacy.”
Another staffer was questioned on why she once dated a registered Democrat.
He voted for Bush in 2000,” she said, but that didn’t seem to matter. Mary Matalin is married to James Carville and that’s all right but suddenly my loyalty is questioned because a former boyfriend was a Democrat?” Matalin, a Republican political operative and advisor to the Bush campaign, is the wife of former Bill Clinton political strategist James Carville.
Psychiatrists say the increasing paranoia at the White House is symptomatic of Bush’s paranoid, delusional personality.”
Dr. Justin Frank, a prominent Washington psychiatrist and author of the book, Bush on the Couch, Inside the Mind of the President, says the President suffers from character pathology,” including grandiosity” and megalomania” – viewing himself, America and God as interchangeable.
Dr. Frank also concludes that Bush’s years of heavy drinking may have affected his brain function – and his decision to quit drinking without the help of a 12-step programs puts him at a far higher risk of relapse.”
Whatever the cause for the President’s increasing paranoia and delusions, veteran White House watchers see a strong parallel with another Republican president from 30 years ago.
From what people who work there now tell me, this White House looks more and more like the White House of Richard M. Nixon,” says retired political science professor George Harleigh, who worked in the Nixon White House. It may be 2004 but it is starting to seem more like 1974 (the year Nixon resigned in disgrace).”
© Copyright 2004 by Capitol Hill Blue
by Nicholas Von Hoffman
Some people are saying with apprehension that after George W. Bush is re-elected, he will bring back the draft. Those people usually have draft-age children. Others are saying it with approval. Those people don’t have draft-age loved ones, unless they assume, perhaps unconsciously, that like the shirker Presidents—Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton—their kids will be able to leave the military service to somebody else.
As a little of the starch and swagger has gone out of Donald Rumsfeld and his neocon-Likudnik collaborators, we are getting half-admissions that their planning misfired and they failed to send enough troops to Iraq, perhaps because they didn’t have enough troops to send. More soldiers are needed, according to nearly everybody who knows about staffing wars, but scaring them up is a problem. [...]
There is less talk just now of Mr. Bush playing Alexander the Great and pouring molten democracy down the throats of 200 million Arabs. Faced with a shortage of ready cannon fodder, Mr. Bush may have to change his foreign policy and abandon the conquest of the Middle East. But will that stop those who are determined to bring back conscription? Even if plans for invading Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are put on hold, there will still be those who want to reinstate the draft, claiming the need for more troopers in the war against terrorism, that strange struggle against an ill-defined, invisible enemy whose strength in numbers, money and backup are unknown and unknowable.
In the short term, even conscription cannot help Mr. Bush in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It takes six months plus to train someone to be a reasonably efficient soldier. So short of "cutting and running"—the chesty imperialists’ phrase for leaving the unholy rat’s nest they have made of the place—he can do little to conjure up enough military personnel to eradicate the guerrillas. Save in token numbers, our NATO allies have told Mr. Bush that they are not going to risk their young people’s death and disfigurement to rescue him. He and his pals are left with the troops they have now and a bunch of mercenaries. (There are supposed to be 20,000 to 30,000 of the latter bopping around Iraq, doing God knows what.) Lots of luck, guys. Whether or not they can pacify the ungrateful Iraqis with the troops at their disposal remains to be seen, but it looks like an Afghanistan rerun: Pretend all is quiet, send out press releases about a new school and girls without head kerchiefs, and let these former nations stagger down the road of time half-dismembered in a sort of perpetual low-grade civil war.
Even in the long term, if Mr. Bush does go for conscription, he’ll be creating more problems than he solves. The spirit of the times is such that resurrecting the Selective Service System would be too politically costly. Selective Service allowed for exemptions for people in college or holding important jobs—excuses used by the well-connected to get out of going into the military. It was this system which enabled Bill Clinton and George Bush to get out of Vietnam and many another to stay home by simply staying in college. This time the draft will be for universal military service—that is, all young people, male, female, being called for two years.
According to the Census Bureau, there are four million 18-year-olds and four million 19-year olds. Hence, once the system is cranked up, the military establishment will find itself with eight million more bodies than it has now. That is not quite the force level of World War II, but it’s getting up there. When the Pentagon says it has no need for anything like that many people, no reason exists to doubt them. Even a man like Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense who dreams of nothing but new conquests, might have trouble finding enough countries to invade to keep so many soldiers occupied.
If there is a draft again, the costs involved will make you sick. Bases and barracks will need building; the supplementary services and the equipment should add handsomely to the debt and to inflation, as the United States goes into retrograde motion and retreats from a 21st-century capital-intensive, modern military establishment to a 19th- and mid-20th-century labor-intensive one. There will also be the hidden but very high costs of postponing by two years the entry into the labor force of millions of people.
It is not inconceivable that the administration would ask Congress for a new draft law and that it will be passed. A majority could be formed to support this wickedness by joining together the militarist reactionaries and the liberal, invasive social uplifters. The uplifters believe that all young people "owe" service to their country—if not by shouldering a gun, then by lifting a nursing-home bedpan or working in a national forest or a blighted public school.
The uplifters believe that forcing young people of every stripe and background to serve together in beneficent labor battalions encourages democracy. Let’s have a big hoo-hah for diversity here. Plus think of how much better children, old people, the handicapped and sick persons will be served when the institutions they depend on are infused with so many new willing (or maybe not-so-willing) hands.
Heretofore, the rationale for conscription has been that the nation is in dire peril. If you think terrorism has the country by the throat, you can offer that as a reason for conscripting people to fight terrorism, but not for using the power of the government to make somebody work in an orphanage or a day-care center or on a pollution-reclamation project. The latter are meritorious endeavors—but at the cost of snatching a person off the street and making him or her do it?
National service is a form of slavery, though some may argue that it’s really not since the conscriptees get paid, get college money, medical insurance and perhaps other bennies. But it’s not a wage which distinguishes a free person from a slave; slaves have often been paid in the past. The difference between a slave and a free man is that a free man is free—free to work at whatever wages he can get, free not to work. He’s free to go, free to come, free to talk, free to be silent and free to refuse to serve.
dirty tricks undermined Al Gore and are now slandering John Kerry. Will
Republican lies and distortions give Bush another victory”?
A Republican dirty tricks campaign last February to embarrass the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry backfired when it came out that a widely circulated photograph had been faked. Still, the political effect was real.
Republicans falsely credited to the Associated Press a photo making Kerry appear to share a stage with Hanoi Jane” at a 1970s anti-Vietnam war rally. Without checking the facts, the mainstream media simply ran the Fonda-Kerry story and the Republican dirty trick was disseminated throughout the country.
There are going to be a lot of dirty tricks in the [presidential] campaign,” said John Hurley, the Kerry campaign’s organizer of military veterans.
Do you recall the flap about Naomi Wolf telling Al Gore to wear earth tones?” The media frenzy about Gore inventing the Internet?” Gore claiming to have inspired the movie Love Story? Gore discovering” Love Canal?
All of those lies were invented by the dirty tricks division of the Republican National Committee and came out of its attack faxes.” From the fax machine these fabrications went directly and uncritically into print and were broadcast on mainstream radio and television as facts. These were not paid political commercials, but made-up stories that were printed and broadcast as news” to a trusting public. And when these news” stories were disseminated, they were more persuasive than any political commercial.
Republican dirty tricks helped by media complicity let George W. Bush steal the election from Al Gore in 2000. Data from the journalism resource service, Nexus-Lexus, strongly suggest that if the mainstream media had covered George Bush’s actual lies with the same frequency and depth that they carried the RNC lies manufactured to discredit Al Gore, then Gore would have won by a landslide. Never underestimate the power of Republican dirty tricks.
Remember Adam Clymer and what Bush called him? Remember what Clymer wrote that brought on Bush’s blast and Cheney’s big time” remark? The lone reporter dared report on something negative that Bush had done in the Lone Star State. But Clymer’s truth telling in Texas was so anomalous that Bush attacked him with profanity. The reporter became the story, and the real story--Bush’s poor record in Texas--simply disappeared. [...]
Why Is the American Media an Instrument for Republican Lies?
What are American Citizens Who Insist on the Truth Supposed to Do about This Injustice?
Every time the media report an inaccurate fact, every time they issue a dishonest report, every time they bend over backwards to smooth over Bush’s foibles and mistakes, every time they go overboard to embarrass Kerry by exaggerating his errors and assassinating his character, scream:
• in letters
to the editor
Scream louder and louder until the truth breaks through the Republican National Committee lies and intimidates the complicit media into truth telling. That’s the only way to stop Republican dirty tricks from reaching the living rooms of America. Their lies must be challenged at every stage from now until the November 2nd election. Their lies must be challenged until all the ballots are fairly counted. Their lies must be challenged until John Kerry has become the President of the United States. And then we must continue to challenge their lies. That is what truth telling is all about in America.
Frederick Sweet is Professor of Reproductive Biology in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Comment: Nice try, but we see that the above writer is just in a different class and has received different programming. Electing John Kerry - assuming that Dubya and Daddy will even allow it to happen - won't change a thing.
Although a recent poll shows 95 percent of Democratic delegates oppose the Iraq war, Edwards vows in a prime-time address to double the number of special forces in Iraq and to increase funding for military research.
By Les Blough
Let there be no misunderstanding. We are of course, in full agreement with many people around the world regarding the criminal behavior of the George Walker Bush regime committed both, here in the United States and internationally. If justice were served he and Vice President Dick Cheney would be tried for high crimes and imprisoned. Likewise, some members of his family and the neoconconservatives behind him would be tried under the RICO Act (America’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) and imprisoned. Evidence of that simple assessment is so rich and such common knowledge that it barely needs to be repeated. I am at a loss to understand how anyone who can condone the cowardly bludgeoning of children, women and men in other countries and turn away from the needs of the citizens of this country.
Under the Republicans during the last 4 years, the beast of empire has fully raised its head above ground for the first time in my 61 years. Empire has used Bush and Cheney as a ramrod to bludgeon the world into "shock and awe". They have rammed immoral wars, killing with impunity and an all-out war on civil liberties through the doors of honesty, fairness, decency and all universal human values. Through Bush, they have numbed out and dumbed down the American people. Bush has been their bull in the china shop and has left people everywhere staring at the mess with feelings of impotence and futility. Now they expect us to stand by and watch a new Kerry regime sweep the broken glass out the door and bring an even more powerful order to the continuing wars and occupation in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the world.
But this editorial is not written to rehearse the infamy of the Bush Regime. Rather it is directed at a new regime scheduled to provide a new face for corporate power under the banner of the Democratic Party in the United States. Many U.S. citizens believe the Democratic Party, John Kerry and John Edwards will save us and the world from the Neocon/Bush regime. Because of the atrocities of the current regime, others have adopted a less enthusiastic view of Kerry with the "Any Body But Bush" doctrine. Our mission is to find "clarity", regardless of where that takes us. We have studied at length, John Kerry, his voting record and the positions he has taken throughout his political career. In this article, I will spend considerable time and space to defend the conclusions we have reached.
Our view of the United States role in the world community is radically different from the positions articulated by John Kerry. Perhaps more to the point - at bottom, we do not identify the problems of this nation with any one man or either political party. Rather, we see the United States government reduced to an economic system and at the head of a corporate global empire; one committed to world domination for a long time. Some Americans see no problem with a world dominated by and for U.S. corporate interests. Our disagreement with that view is based at once upon morality and pragmatism. We view support for hegemony and empire as non-democratic, oppressive and deadly. By its nature, the empire is not interested in the people, but rather, in the profits of multinational corporations. Theft, greed, competition, colonization, injustice and oppression are the pillars of the religion of capitalism. These have been most visible in the corporate scandals that have rocked the economy in the last few years. However, this also is not the subject of our discussion.
We view John Kerry to be the next choice of empire to continue the wars on the innocent, occupation of their land and theft of their resources - but to be done in a more palatable way for citizens who disagree with the current regime. There is a lot of evidence for this view.
Destroy You, Kerry's Right-Hand Man Tells Al Qaida
Senator John Edwards also told the pre-election Democratic National Convention that with Democrats in the White House, America would restore relations with allies around the world.
Mr Edwards addressed delegates hours after the presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, arrived in Boston, where the convention is being held.
Mr Edwards lauded Massachusetts senator Mr Kerry as "decisive, strong" and asked, to applause: "Is this not what we need in a commander in chief?"
The married father of three, a youthful looking lawyer from North Carolina, had tough words for al Qaida.
He and Mr Kerry had "one clear message for al Qaida – you cannot run, you cannot hide, we will destroy you".
He added: "We will always use our military might to keep the American people safe."
Comment: Well, that makes a nice change from the lying, warmongering psychopaths we have in the White House at present, doesn't it....
July 27, 2004
Whichever candidate clinches the U.S. presidential election, Ariel Sharon wins. George W. Bush (for whatever mix of political and - scary - religious reasons) has basically taken a what-Ariel-wants-Ariel-gets approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And John Kerry isn't about to tick off the influential lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), by allowing much daylight between his position and Bush's. Both men support the construction of the wall running along and into the West Bank (Kerry recently agreed with Bush that the International Court of Justice, which recently ruled the barrier illegal, had no authority to tackle the matter); both say Palestinian refugees do not have the "right of return"; both say Jerusalem must not be divided; and both say that Israel will hold on to some of the land seized in the 1967 War. [...]
July 28, 2004
When seven officials of the Dallas area-based Islamic charity The Holy Land Foundation were charged yesterday with funneling money to Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, it was John Ashcroft who went before reporters to stress once again that terrorism has ties close to home.
In his efforts to keep Americans very, very afraid of the threat of terrorism, Bush’s man at Justice really is becoming the boy who cried terrorist." And, as usual with John-boy’s press-appearance pronouncements, the timing of arrests in this 10-year-old investigation is far from incidental.
A New York Times article today quotes John Boyd, a lawyer for Holy Land, as saying, These arrests are a sound bite for this administration in its war on terror.” He accused the administration of timing the announcement of the arrests—which grew out of an FBI investigation into Holy Land dating to 1993—to distract attention from the Democratic convention in Boston. The timing has also been tied to respond to the 9/11 Commission report finding that efforts to track the financing of terrorist groups has not been effective.
Pre-empting Ashcroft’s accusations, the shuttered Islamic charity filed a formal complaint Monday against the FBI, saying the agency falsified evidence and fabricated a case” against it in an effort to show that it financed Palestinian suicide bombers. The foundation made the complaint with the Justice Department’s inspector general and requested an investigation.
In their complaint the foundation charged that the FBI used as the crux of its case a distorted” and erroneous translation of sensitive Israeli intelligence material. The Holy Land group said it hired an independent translating service in Oregon, which cited 67 discrepencies or errors in translation in a four-page F.B.I. document used in the case. (7/29 postscript: see related story in today’s New York Times.)
Ashcroft’s penchant for timing announcements of the terrorists-apprehended” sort to offset partisan political disadvantages is increasingly transparent. It’s interesting to note that these sensitive terror-in-America cases—like that of José Padilla or Nuradin Abdi won’t see the light of full judicial process until Ashcroft has been electorally ejected from the halls of Justice, where his presence has been a travesty of justice.
Comment: All of the above just brings us back around to where we started... Conspiracy Theory... only it's not Theory, it's FACT.Living in Constant Fear and Constant Hope - Psyops –USA
For the better part of four years the United States of America has been conditioned to expect fear. Not just any small fear, but fear of total devastation and destruction. This fear” has become contagious as it spreads throughout the planet.
If one were to look at the history of humankind, they will realize that terrorism, war and murder has been a constant. Much worse events have taken place than the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 yet did NOT start World War Three, nor suppress collective human rights.
Yet, in an effort to create mass confusion and panic to cover up an illegal government, a stolen election, dropping poll numbers, a sour economy 9/11 was used to finish up and cover up old alliances, friendships, business dealings and hatreds between the fat cats on all sides of the ocean. Instead of comforting the people of the United States of America, Mr. Bush enraged them. Mr. Bush egged them on to retaliate. While the world offered their sympathy, the war lords offered revenge. As is always the case, the overworked, under-read American public fell for the lies connecting Saddam Hussein to the incident of 9/11. Afghanistan was blamed for it. Then Iraq. Will Iran be next? After all there is now an axis of evil” created like a ghost figure under your bed, to keep you living in constant fear.
The flip side of the psychological operation on Americans is constant hope. The lies and distortions we are told on a daily basis about how much safer we are, how much better the economy is, and of course, how good outsourcing is for America. The other eternal hope” tossed to the peasants is the upcoming s-election of 2004. Everyone is picking sides for the person that will make it all better. Bush or Kerry. Kerry or Bush. I personally would like to see a third box on the ballot none of the above”. Then we as a nation could say neither of these elite, millionaire, Skull & Bones secret society members, friends of Israel above our own safety, Pro War, Signers of the death warrant for our Constitution –USA Patriot Act” is good enough to lead.
Of course, too many Americans FEAR that would be a bad thing. Too many Americans FEAR imprisonment as they should. Our prison population is higher now than ever before for minor offenses such as drug abuse. Yet, the big time criminals have no FEAR, because the Corporate Government and Corporate Constitution will protect them. Not much of a chance of them getting any serious prison time for breaking our country. For stealing pensions. For lying and cheating the American public out of millions of dollars. They don’t have any fear. They own the Candidates, the Congress and huge chunks of the revolving door Corporations that are all traitors to the United States and it’s citizens.
We have a treasure called America. It is a beautiful country. It is a rich country. It is abundant in natural beauty and resources. The people of America are hardworking, good and mostly fair minded people. Look in your own neighborhood. How much care your neighbors and yourself put into the beauty all around you. How natural it is to stop and help a stranger in distress. The joy of being happy for a stranger meeting a loved one at an airport. The people who help others in need. Smiling at a beautiful baby. Sharing a good laugh or cry in a movie theatre with your neighbors. Yet, our media tells us to be afraid of each other. Fear someone that’s different. Fear someone of a different color or sexual persuasion. Fear someone who may have an Arab sounding name. Why? Because fear is about control. In order for people to think they need a government or policing they must have fear! Without it, there would only be love and that isn’t a good thing for those who truly hate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – for all. Not just a select few. Not just for rich white men who hide behind large fences and walls. When we realize we have nothing to fear except those who mean to control us, we will then be free. Not a moment before.
How does a country with so much to give to the planet end up with such rotten, lazy, inept leaders? Men who are so far removed from real life” they couldn’t relate to the average person’s life on any level? How do these men get chosen to lead”? They have led us down a very dangerous, dark path. Yet, many people live in the hope” that one of them will be their new hero and savior. Why have we settled for people that we did not choose to run for our leader? Who indeed does pick these candied-dates? Surely not you and I. In the book David” by William Hoffman, it is abundantly clear that we have not had a President in the United States that didn’t have to meet privately with a retired banker before getting the nomination. Yes, a banker. David Rockefeller. Without the blessing” of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, G8, Bilderberger’s a candidate doesn’t stand a chance. These people pick the candidate of both parties. To them it’s a matter of which one will wear the suit”? They know and have known for a long time that it is they, the Secret Government behind the government that runs things (as Bill Moyers exposed years ago), and places the democrat/republican figureheads in office. Their agenda is always pushed ahead. Globalization, the new word for New World Order (George HW Bush’s phrase) or the One World Order. If their idea is order, I’ll take chaos instead.
Now with all the fear being thrown around by the attack on three buildings in America, people are rushing to stockpile antidotes for biochemical diseases (made in the U.S.A., perhaps the only thing left that is); put micro-chips in their kids, pets, arms, clothes, cars; spy on their neighbors; give up their god given rights; give up their rights under the Bill of Rights and the Constitution; allow themselves to be caged at protests; avoid venturing outdoors on high alert days (more fear) and not speaking their dissatisfaction. All because of fear. Thanks to the mass media for a wonderful job of constantly reinforcing fear all day long on radio, television, newspapers and billboards.
If the average American didn’t have to work constantly to try and exist perhaps they would have the time to educate themselves about our country, it’s laws, and how it’s all supposed to work. They would know that we have a right to a new government granted us by our forefathers when the present government no longer serves the people. When’s the last time the government did anything good for the people? I’m not speaking of CEO’s or corporations or their cronies – I mean you and me? Aside from taxing us to death, sending our children off to fight their imperial/personal wars; cutting benefits to those in need whether they be elderly, children or our veterans? Must I continue?
How does one get out of fear and control? First you must get to the point where you realize you’ve been lied to pretty much your whole life. You must educate yourself as to the foreign policy of America for over fifty years, or which we’ve been told very little truth. 10 million people killed in peacetime covert actions by the U.S. since the cold war ended. Attempted coups in foreign lands. Plundering other nations resources with a sense of entitlement. Read Rogue Nation by William Blum. Demand candidates, not a fair vote. There is no such thing as a fair vote, and probably hasn’t been since the fifties. Read Charles Lewis’ book The Buying of the Presidency 2004” for an eye opening experience. Everyone is hoping” for a receipt for their vote in 2004. Hoping for an honest count. Hoping for supervisors to observe the election. Hoping to get back on the voter rolls. Hoping for people to come out and vote. An effort in futility, because we cannot hope for a people’s candidate. As the Collier Brothers wrote in their book Votescam” – We can’t vote the bastards out, because we didn’t vote them in”. I would go further and say we didn’t nominate or select them either. It’s all been a charade for so very long.
Now we hear talk of possible cancellation of the election in 2004 due a terrorist act. The terrorist act already happened openly, it was the stolen election of 2000 and the reign of terror that has ensued every day since. Imagine if we the people cancelled the election? If we just said none of the above”. If no one showed up and voted. Vote tossed for lack of interest. I can feel you squirm with that sentence, there’s that fear again. What’s the worse that could happen? The two Yalie cousins would have to duke it out? Co-rule over the peasants? Or worse, face the people as they throw them out and say we want OUR party”?
I’ve got a real fear for you. If we don’t rise and say no more” this war will continue. The war will escalate. Many have already called Iraq the beginning of World War 3. Our country will face more devastating attacks from within and without. Millions more will die.
While the wars are going on, water is getting poisoned. Food isn’t being produced. The air is becoming dangerous. The climate is upset. The Earth is shaking. The depleted uranium of Iraq has seeped into Israels’ water (not that they will admit that). Radioactive waste is going to be dumped close to 160 cities in the United States alone and will remain radioactive for millenniums. Our rights are going out the window. What you read and the books you buy are no longer private knowledge. Your home is no longer a police free” zone. You can be held without charge as a suspected terrorist although a citizen of the United States indefinitely. Our country will become one with Canada, Latin America and Mexico in the American Union slated for 2005. Gone will be all we love about America. Our sovereignty like the sovereignty of the European Union countries will be gone as will our constitution.
The micro-chipping of the work force humans has already begun in Japan, Mexico and some third world countries. Fear sells. Think of Adoux Huxley’s Brave New World” or George Orwells 1984” because we are THERE. It’s no longer a future far away or fiction it is real.
If you want hope, real hope then put faith in yourself. Put your faith and trust in the god given rights for all people on this Earth. Put your faith and hope in the Superpower of Peace that has become a permanent fixture on this planet due to the warmongering of the current administration. Put your faith and hope in your neighbors, your family, your local leaders and let it spread outward into the rest of the world. Let go of the fear, and get out there and do something. Print a flyer. Hand out information. Share books. Read a book. Give a speech locally. Write your local representatives who are still available and interested in we the people”. Form a think tank group. Form a plan of action. Save resources. Think of the other person. Share and spread smiles and love. Send help to those in need overseas. Pray for an end to killing on all levels. Petition your leaders” to stand for peace. Remind them what America is supposed to stand for and tell them you won’t stand for anything less. Always think globally and act locally. Support your local grocer/farm stand. Support independent shops, restaurants, newspapers, news sites. Cancel your pay television and tell them why. Cancel your subscriptions and tell them why. Put your money in local banks and let the multi-nationals know why you’re leaving them. As Beverly Conover of Online Journal and I would agree starve a corporation and feed democracy”. You want to vote? Then vote with your dollars, it’s the only real vote we have. Know where your money is going and what exactly it’s supporting. Say no to war. Say no to the draft. Say no to bad leadership. Demand accountability.
Once you let go of fear it’s gives others hope. Never give up. This world belongs to all of us, not just a select elite few. It’s time to stand with the rest of the world and insist of life, liberty, happiness and real freedom from fear for everyone.
Comment: Everyone in the family called it The Farm with capital letters. An old Florida Cracker style farmhouse already a century old when my grandparents bought it in the Great Depression of the 1930s, it came with eleven acres, a tidal spring or "bayhead," and half a dozen huge pecan trees of several varieties.
The Farm was situated nearly three miles from the nearest neighbor, on a stretch of the Old Dixie Highway, bypassed when the new Highway 19 was built a mile or so to the east. The house faced the Gulf of Mexico with a shaded front porch a hundred yards back from the limerock road. On the opposite side of the road, a broad expanse of tidal flats stretched away to the Gulf for about a mile, dotted by little islets of cabbage palms and cedar trees and palmettos. It was a setting entirely appropriate for a brontosaurus to graze.
The bootleggers of Prohibition times ran their illicit trade along the Old Dixie Highway. About five miles to the north of The Farm was a little town called Aripeka, named (supposedly) after a semi-legendary Indian chief. A little bit north of Aripeka once stood an elegant resort, raised up in the middle of nowhere, which extended regular hospitality to such luminaries as the great Babe Ruth and Scarface Al Capone.
The Farm was the greenest and lushest place I have ever seen. Along with pecan trees, there were tall cedar trees, cabbage palms, a camphor tree, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, fig, plum and pear trees, grape vines, and a wide variety of semi-tropical shrubs scattered over three acres of thick green lawn. Climbing roses and honeysuckle grew up a big trellis on one side of the porch, and wisteria meandered on another trellis to the north of the house.
The house itself had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there was an outhouse to the back of the barn, and a big iron hand pump in the backyard. The whole place, except for the long front drive, was surrounded by pine woods.
It was, quite literally, paradise.
My grandparents bought the house as a vacation home, and it was furnished with no longer stylish, too-treasured-to-be-thrown-away antiques and cast off furniture from various family households. The cupboards were stocked with stacks of odd dishes from many times and places, and a special shelf held the row of kerosene lamps always ready for duty.
The key was hidden on a rafter on the back porch, and if you used anything in the house, you replaced it and you always left it cleaner than when you arrived.
For years, various relatives and friends of the family had enjoyed the use of The Farm, and with all the coming and going, and an occasional hired helper, a large garden was kept year after year in the black muck adjacent to the bay head in the back. When the tide came in out in the Gulf, it pushed through the porous lime-rock against the shallow aquifer, and fresh groundwater rose and watered the garden faithfully twice a day. Grandpa kept his garden like his mind, carefully planned and geometric, growing excruciatingly straight beds of highly prolific things like okra and squash. Rutabagas grew big as pumpkins and collards big as palm fronds. Grandma was able to indulge her obsession for "putting food by" and canned endless bushels of pickles, corn, peas, beans, beets and more.
The bay head was a slow freshwater spring which rose and descended with the tides also. When Grandpa waded in to clean it out, intending to make a fish pool and lily pond, he found an old polished chunk of limestone with a name and two dates carved into it. It was obviously a gravestone. The bay head was thereafter allowed to grow wild. This became for the kids, my brother, cousins and myself, a challenge to our courage, a place of mystery and foreboding known as "The Spring!" The gravestone was placed as a curio on the hearth in front of the fireplace, joining a gigantic turtle shell big enough to cover the entire fireplace opening.
Rattlesnake skins from "big ones" killed by Grandpa hung on either side of the door to the dining room. The still attached rattles rustled slightly every time you walked through that door, whispering softly "danger!"
There were, of course, some little drawbacks to the place: the above-mentioned rattlesnakes, cottonmouth moccasins, and mosquitoes. Grandpa solved the mosquito problem to some extent by installing screens on all the windows, and screening in the porch, but life with mosquitoes is just something that a person learns to deal with in Florida. The snake problem was a bit more difficult. We were taught from our earliest years to never put our foot down without looking where we were walking. I wasn't taking this too seriously until one day I was crossing the front yard to pick some flowers at the edge of the clearing. Suddenly my grandfather shouted at me to "freeze! Don’t' move!" Something about his tone made me instantly obey. As I stood there, motionless, wondering what the fuss was about, I looked a few feet ahead of me, and there, coiled and motionless except for the flicking tongue, was one of the biggest rattlesnakes I have ever seen. Two or three more steps and I would have been right on top of the creature. As soon as I saw it, being motionless was no longer a problem: I was petrified. My grandfather was in a bit of a quandary because he knew if he approached and startled the snake, it would strike. If I moved suddenly, it would startle the snake and it would strike. The only solution was for him to get close enough to get a good shot. But even then, the snake might strike after being shot. He solved the problem by blowing its head clean off. I learned to be acutely aware of my physical environment.
Sitting on the front porch in the expansive shade of those massive old pecan trees, listening to the rustling of the cabbage palms and the droning of mosquitoes outside the screen, watching the sun descend the last quadrant of the sky to set behind the distant, silhouetted bay heads, is a memory of inexpressible poignancy. Sometimes an entire day would pass without the sound of a single automobile. And if we heard a car in the distance, it was usually someone we knew on their way to The Farm.
I was forced to sell The Farm in 1989. It broke my heart. But, it's just as well. Nowadays, the sunset view from the porch is blocked by nearly a mile of identical houses built on man-made canals carved out of the prehistoric salt marsh. The constant traffic, honking of horns and squealing of tires, have replaced the rustle of cabbage palm, buzz of insects and silence of that clean, balmy air we breathed so long ago. Even the "greenness" of the place has faded. But, for the time we were there, it seemed to have the same effect on me that it had on all the other living things there: growth.
The Old Dixie Highway was, for a while, a time warp - frozen by the spirits of bygone days - some gracious and beautiful - some violent and twisted - some narrow, like the road where they lived and moved. The whippoorwill no longer sings at my grandfather's Farm and the woods where we once hiked and hunted is a golf course now. Highway19 is the world's longest parking lot. Take a number and get in line. Time flows on.
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