Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Following the dictates
of Hegelian dialectic, the Globalists have created two antagonizing
forces, the "Liberal-Democratic" West, against Terrorism,
or "political Islam", to force us into the acceptance
of their final alternative, a New World Order.
The West and Islam have had a long era of compatibility,
but this history has been denied to foster the myth of a "Clash
of Civilizations". In order to inflame the sentiments of
the West against Islam, our attention has been focused on the
specter of fanatical Wahhabism, and more specifically, its most
notorious exponent, Osama bin Laden.
However, as outlined in an excellent article by Peter Goodgame,
Globalists and the Islamists", that the Globalists have
had a hand in shaping and financing all the terrorist organizations
of the twentieth century, including the Muslim Brotherhood of
Egypt, the Hamas of Palestine, and the Afghan Mujahideen. But
the history of their duplicity dates farther back still, to the
eighteenth century, when British Freemason created the Wahhabi
sect of Saudi Arabia itself, to further their imperialistic objectives.
That a British spy by the name of Hempher was responsible for
shaping of the extreme tenets of Wahhabism was mentioned in a
Turkish work, Mir'at al-Haramain , by Ayyub Sabri Pasha between
1933-1938. British policy in its colonies often involved the creation
of deviant sects, in order to Divide and Conquer, as was the case
with the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in India in the nineteenth century.
The details of this conspiracy are outlined in a little known
document by the name of The Memoirs of Mr. Hempher published in
series (episodes) in the German paper Spiegel, and later on in
a prominent French paper. A Lebanese doctor translated the document
to the Arabic language and from there on it was translated to
English and other languages.
The document is a first-hand account by Hempher of his mission
for his government, who sent him to the Middle East to discover
ways to undermine the Ottoman Empire. Among the vices the British
were to promote were racism and nationalism, alcohol, gambling,
fornication, and tempting Muslim women to uncover themselves.
But most important was the strategy to "insert heresies
into Muslims' creedal tenets and then criticize Islam for being
a religion of terror." To this purpose, Hempher located a
particularly corrupt individual by the name of Mohammed Ibn Adbul
To understand the brand of fanaticism that Wahhabism inculcated,
it is first necessary to recognize that Islam called upon all
Muslims, regardless of their race or nationality, to see themselves
as brothers in faith. The killing of another Muslim was strictly
However, as part of their strategy of Divide and Conquer, the
British hoped to pit the Arab Muslims against their Turkish brothers.
The only way to do so was to find a loophole in Islamic law whereby
the Arabs could declare the Turks as apostates.
Abdul Wahhab was the instrument by which the British were able
to insinuate this vile idea into the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula.
Basically, Wahhab contrived the idea that, simply by the trivial
act of offering prayers to saints, that their Turkish brethren
had forfeited their faith, and therefore, that it was permitted
to kill all who refused to adhere to his reforms, and enslave
their women and children. But, that included the entire Muslim
world, expect for his small misguided band of followers.
But, the Wahabbi movement was insignificant without the allegiance
of the Saudi family, who, despite claims otherwise, were descended
from a Jewish
merchant from Iraq . Orthodox jurists of the time branded
the Wahhabis as heretics, and condemned their fanaticism and intolerance.
Nevertheless, the Wahhabis then demonstrated their contempt for
their pretended faith by indiscriminately slaughtering Muslims
and non-Muslims alike. The Wahhabis then set about destroying
all the holy tombs and burial grounds. They stole the Prophet's
treasure, which included holy books, works of art and innumerable
priceless gifts sent to the city during the previous thousand
years. The leather and gilt bindings of the Islamic holy books
they had destroyed were used to make sandals for the Wahhabi criminals.
The Ottoman Sultan brought an end to the first Wahhabi rebellion
in 1818, but the sect revived under the leadership of the Saudi
Faysal I. The movement was then somewhat restored until once again
destroyed at the end of the nineteenth century.
After WWI, the former regions of the Ottoman Empire were divided
into varying puppets regimes. For aiding to undermine the Ottoman
authority in the region, Ibn Saud was duly rewarded with the creation
of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 1932. One year later, in 1933,
the Saudis granted oil concessions to California Arabian Standard
Oil Company (Casoc), affiliate of Standard Oil of California (Socal,
today's Chevron), headed by Rothschild agent, and chief among
Illuminati families, Rockefeller. Since that time, Saudi Arabia
has been the most important ally to the West in the Middle East,
not only providing ready access to its plentiful oil reserves,
but also in tempering Arab aggression against Israel. Due to the
evident hypocrisy of the regime, it has been necessary to suppress
the ensuing dissent with brutality. Another important aspect has
been preventing scholars from speaking of "politics",
that is, to criticize the regime.
In The Two Faces of Islam, writes Schwartz, "Their tastes
led them to taverns, casinos, brothels. . . . They bought fleets
of automobiles, private jets, and yachts the size of warships.
They invested in valuable Western art they did not understand
or like and which often offended the sensitivities of Wahhabi
clerics. They spent as they wished, becoming patrons of international
sexual enslavement and the exploitation of children."
The result has been that, in order to nonetheless appear to be
espousing Islam, the Saudi regime and its puppet scholars have
evolved a version of Islam that emphasizes ceremonial details
of the religion, at the expense of helping to understand broader
political realities. Their manner has encouraged a literal interpretation
of Islamic law, permitting the likes of bin Laden to exploit the
Koran to justify the killing of innocents.
Ultimately, the profusion of Rothschild financed petro-dollars
in the coffers of the Saudi family has made it possible to for
them to then propagandize their bastardized version of Islam to
other parts of the world, most notably to America, where they
purportedly subsidize up to 80 percent of the mosques in the country,
a version of Islam that substitutes political awareness for dogmatic
insistence of ritualistic fanaticism.
In 1999, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia attended the Bildeberg meeting,
presumably to discuss his role in furthering the interests of
world government, along with other such luminaries as Yasser Arafat
and the Pope. Evidently, the Saudi family are part of the deceptive
ploys of the Illuminati network. Their complicity in the accumulation
of petro-dollars has gone into the financing of Global terrorism,
from Afghanistan to Bosnia, merely for the purpose of fomenting
the necessary animosity of the world against Islam.
| Many Catholics, Jews, and Christians —
George W. Bush, for one — actually worship the devil
How can a man who claims he gets his orders from God preside
over the senseless slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent
civilians after lying to the nation he leads about the reasons
he ordered the mass murder to begin with?
Is that man simply insane? Or is the God he pretends to talk
to insane? (The larger question — how is that millions of
otherwise ordinary people can pretend he's normal? — will
be addressed a little later.)
A quick glimpse into the commentaries of Gnostic Christianity
provides some perspective on the matter.
On the one hand we read that "It is impossible for God
to lie", and on the other hand we read of the god Jehovah
deceiving and lying. On the one hand we read that "God
is love" and "love is not jealous", and on the
other hand we read that Jehovah is a jealous god. On the one
hand, we read the Sermon on the Mount and its call to pacifism,
gentleness, altruism, and that we should "be perfect as
the Heavenly Father is perfect", and on the other hand
we read of the savage, vile, bloodthirsty, and murderous acts
of the god Jehovah. On the one had we are told "God is
Love" and we have Love clearly defined for us in 1 Corinthians
13:4-8, and on the other hand we see the god Jehovah behaving
in a truly Satanic fashion of undiluted evil. Are we really
reading of only one God here? Or is it obvious to you by now
we are reading of two deities, one a pretender and one the Supreme
— Stephen A. Hoeller
My good friend, the noted spiritualist and health and nutrition
Sparrowdancer, and I share a perspective on religious teachings
that has profoundly bothered us both for many years — namely,
that the bountiful and sublime spirit most of us generally regard
as the supreme being who created the universe is depicted as a
beastly psychopath by many written descriptions in the Old Testament
of the Bible.
How can the venal, small-minded killer featured in such cruel
rants as Leviticus and Deuteronomy turn into the compassionate
and loving holy father who inspired millions to follow the gentle
teachings of Jesus to live kind and compassionate lives?
"I have been working to reveal this information for sixteen
years," Mary wrote, "but the writer whose link is below
seems to have summed everything up quite nicely, so I am passing
it along to you. It is accurate, including his Hebrew, and I have
written small articles in the past making similar points being
made here. This is important. It answers a lot of questions. This
is the god of George W. Bush ... revealed."
Now, if you have two or three hours to intensely contemplate
this revealing exegesis of the difference between the Old and
New Testament Gods, I strongly recommend you undertake it. But
if you like me are trapped in the frantic pace of contemporary
reality, please permit me this brief analysis of some of the important
ideas contained in this enlightening mini-book.
The extended essay in question is "Jehovah Unmasked"
by Nathaniel J. Merritt, a religious refugee who after a long
and disturbing quest found his spiritual home in Gnostic Christianity.
Merritt recounts his harrowing journey through a bizarre sequence
of disturbing religious experiences: from "the spiritual
darkness" of being a Jehovah's Witnesses ("Never has
there been a more disturbed, Orwellian, mentally and spiritually
oppressed group of people on this planet."), and his escape
into the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s ("Though the Witnesses
are incredibly negative, at least they do not teach that unbelievers
will be roasted for eternity in a hell of fire. However, Catholic,
Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and Pentecostal
Christians do teach such a hideous, evil doctrine.")
Then he escaped into Buddhism's "calm, clear rationality"
before discovering the emptiness of its philosophy stressing people
have "no self, no spirit, no soul, but are merely biological
machines." Ultimately he discovered his spiritual satisfaction
comfort in Gnostic Christianity, but on the way discovered "that
the universe is fundamentally flawed, and that a malevolent intelligence
or intelligences lurk behind the flawed nature of the cosmos."
Point by point Merritt examines the fundamental questions that
all religiously oriented minds eventually ask, beginning with
this conundrum: "If God is all-powerful, then God is not
all good. If God is all good, then God is not all-powerful."
Quickly he jumps into the suspicious nature of the creation
of the New Testament, constructed by a politicized vote process
at various conclaves over time. "Bible-believing fundamentalists
... are willfully ignorant of the historically verifiable process
by which the canon was selected."
According to Merritt and other Gnostic writers, the discovery
in 1945 of the Nag Hammadi gospels in Egypt provided an invaluable
litmus for determining which of the Scriptures were politically
inspired by smallminded powerseekers and which genuinely pertain
to altruistic teachings about a divine being.
Merritt's explanation is the typical Gnostic perspective.
"The solution to the problem of evil which the Scriptures
of the Gnostic (Knowing) Christians explain, and which the Catholic
church violently rejected, is simply this: The spiritual realms
were made by our Heavenly Father, the all-good and loving Father
of whom Jesus spoke. This material universe is the creation of
a lesser god, a very distant descendant of the Absolute God. This
lesser god was unable or unwilling to create a universe free of
suffering and death. The True God, however, has been active through
the Holy Spirit and various divinities such as Wisdom (Sophia),
Life (Zoe) and Grace (Charis), to bring us a direct Knowing of
the Divine. This activity culminated in Jesus Christ."
The original question of this essay has two parts: first, why
can so many people worship an entity whose track record of emotional
behavior throughout the Old Testament is, when not downright criminal,
a complete embarrassment to all those who call themselves religious?
And second, how does this faulty behavioral conditioning pertain
to the contemporary troubles of the world?
I mean, take a close look at these psychotic pronouncements,
as Merritt describes them:
Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every
one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. THEIR
CHILDREN ALSO SHALL BE DASHED TO PIECES BEFORE THEIR EYES; their
houses shall be spoiled, AND THEIR WIVES RAPED." Isaiah
13:15-16. (Here Jehovah/Satan not only commands the murder of
children, but also commands the rape of women! Is this the behavior
of a God of Love? Or is this clearly the behavior of Satan?)
In the chapter titled "The Fable of Jewish Monotheism,"
Merritt offers a valuable tip for those who attempt to read the
"... whenever you see LORD or GOD in all capitals in
the Old Testament, the original Hebrew is Jehovah/Yahweh, and
it occurs well over six thousand times. The name Jehovah is
normally covered up by LORD and GOD because of a Jewish superstition
that regards the name as too sacred to pronounce. This superstition
was carried over into Christianity. However, Jehovah was simply
considered the Chief God among many gods by the ancient Hebrews,
not the only god ...."
But beyond questions about identification are questions of intent,
and the deity who emerges from the pages of the Old Testament
is simply nothing to write home about. Again, Merritt is devastatingly
As you can see, the god that emerges from the pages of the
Old Testament is a terrifying insane thug, far worse than Adolph
Hitler. It is a truly satanic god. Torturing and killing multitudes
in fits of rage, ordering the slaughter of millions (even babies
and infants) over and over again. Losing its temper constantly,
always angry and destroying and frightful. Jehovah is an egomaniacal
murderous despot. That is why Jehovah uses the title "LORD
of hosts". The church language of English translations
often covers up the actual meaning of the underlying Hebrew
words. Such is the case with the term "LORD of hosts"
which is actually "Jehovah of armies!" The Old Testament
even says "Jehovah is a Man of War, Jehovah is his name."
(Exodus 15:3, American Standard Version of 1901) Contrast "Jehovah
is a Man of War" with the words of Jesus in the Sermon
on the Mount: "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall
be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9) I gave an
early draft of this booklet to a fundamentalist friend, and
after he read this section detailing the evil vicious insane
murderous acts of Jehovah god, he began to spout nonsense about
Jehovah's satanic behavior being a demonstration of "holiness".
Needless to say, anyone who equates such vile evil with "holiness"
is a few bricks shy of a load. Completely hopelessly brainwashed.
Holy beings do not throw temper tantrums and destroy things
and murder people.
"The most telling verse of all as to the real identity
of the god Jehovah is Isaiah 45:7," Merritt writes.
"I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and
create evil. I the LORD (Jehovah) do all these things." (Modern
translations of the Bible change "evil" to "calamity"
or some other word in an attempt to cover this revealing verse
up. The Hebrew word is "ra" and means evil)
Who but Satan could be the creator of evil and darkness? Well?
Tell me! As Acts 26:18 says "To OPEN THEIR EYES, and to turn
them from DARKNESS to LIGHT, and from the power of SATAN unto
How much more obvious can it be? "Jehovah" is SATAN!
Another powerful contrast is found in one of the best known,
best loved sections of the New Testament: the "Love Chapter",
chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians.
Starting with verse 4 and ending with verse 8 we read: "Love
suffers long and is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not parade
itself. Love is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely. Love
does not seek it's own glory. Love is not provoked. Love thinks
no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the
truth. Love bears all things. Love hopes all things. Love endures
all things. Love never fails."
Since the Apostle John tells us that "He that loveth not
knoweth not God, for GOD IS LOVE" (1 John 4:8), let's read
the above verses again: "God suffers long and is kind. God
is not jealous. God does not parade Himself. God is not puffed
up. God does not behave rudely. God does not seek his own glory.
God is not provoked. God thinks no evil. God does not rejoice
in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. God bears all things.
God hopes all things. God endures all things. God never fails."
Yet, the god Jehovah says "I, JEHOVAH THY GOD, am a JEALOUS
GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto
the third and fourth generation of them that hate me...JEHOVAH,
whose name is JEALOUS, is a JEALOUS GOD!" (Exodus 20:5, 34:14,
American Standard Version of 1901, emphasis mine) Some modern
translations, in an attempt to rehabilitate Jehovah, change the
highly accurate translation "jealous" to some less repugnant
Unlike the God of Love, Jehovah does not suffer anything for
long, and is rarely if ever kind. Jehovah is puffed up, and constantly
parades himself and seeks his own glory. Jehovah behaves very
rudely indeed! Demanding that humans debase themselves before
him and quake in fear before him. (Deuteronomy 6:24) Jehovah is
easily provoked, and not only thinks evil, but is the very creator
of evil. (Isaiah 45:7) Jehovah orders helpless innocent babies
be slaughtered, and their blood spilled before him for his bloodthirsty
rage to be placated. That is iniquity and Jehovah rejoices in
it. Jehovah endures or bears very little, instead demanding that
the Israelites obey him blindly and explicitly or suffer a hideous
death at his hands. Jehovah fails miserably to live up to the
True God of Love described in I Corinthians chapter 13:4-8.
Jehovah is very easily provoked to fits of rage and destruction
as chapter nine of this book has shown you. Jehovah orders the
slaughter of millions, and even murders vast multitudes of people
directly. I ask again, how much more obvious can it be as to Jehovah/Yahweh's
real identity? Jehovah is manifestly and clearly none other than
SATAN! It is Satan that calls himself Jehovah, and who created
this miserable material world of pain, suffering, violence, disease,
malfunction, old age, and death. He has trapped us here.
Merritt is adamant that long ago, Christian
believers were duped.
Clearly, something terrible happened early on to the Christian
faith, to its teachings, to its scriptures, as the early Catholic
church took root and enforced its grisly, monstrous god and horrible
version of the gospel on the Christian people. As Thomas Jefferson
said "The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus
into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial
constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power for
themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."
At the point of a sword, in its pursuit of earthly power and riches,
it used the methods of its god Jehovah/Satan to enforce its doctrines
of devils upon the people of God. The light of the gospel was
nearly extinguished by the darkness of Catholicism. The false
god Jehovah took the place of the True God as the Great Apostasy
began. The Reformation was a good start, but the reforming process
must continue as we strive to recover the original Christian message,
and the True God revealed by Jesus.
In my superficial and random meanderings through readings in
ancient history, I have come to the personal conclusion that Jesus
is a fictional, composite character created by politicians of
ancient times to create typical religious mind-control propaganda
aimed at calming and regimenting the unruly masses. However, let
me differentiate between two concepts.
While I believe that all the sayings of Jesus were culled from
statements and events of other personages both historical and
legendary, this is not to say I do not believe in the power of
the idea of Jesus, nor can I deny the beneficial effect it has
had in millions of people over the many centuries both before
and since its creation. The ideas of loving one's neighbor as
oneself and being as kind to the poor as you are to the rich are
universal concepts of compassion enjoyed and practiced by all
peoples at all times, and the concept of loving hope invested
in the prodigal son who will redeem mankind by his noble acts
have inspired followers from time immemorial, whether the object
of that hopeful affection has been named Tammuz or Osiris or Marduk
But what about all those people who go
to church on Sunday and believe what they are told without digging
any deeper? Certainly they are stupid and gullible. But are they
insane? What are we to make of America's
evangelical Christians, who support President Bush's campaign
of mass murder throughout the world based on the twisted logic
their preachers tell them that comes straight from the sociopathic
drivel uttered by the mad god Jehovah in the pages of the Old
In Merritt's view (and mine, as well), these demented people
are worshipping the devil, and that's a principal reason why for
the last 1700 years we have had righteous warriors butchering
the less fortunate and claiming they're doing it in the name of
Here's an extra-credit question. Where does this leave Torah-true
Let me explain a bit. Devotees of Judaism follow the teachings
of two holy books, the Torah and the Talmud. The Torah is the
same as the Pentateuch, which are the first five books of the
Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Compared to the Old Testament (or Torah) which
we have just been discussing, the Talmud is much worse. It depicts
Jesus as forever hanging upside down in a cauldron of excrement,
and generally provides repeated excuses for Jews to regard all
non-Jews as subhuman, stressing that there is never a penalty
when Jew kills or robs a non-Jew because non-Jews are merely cattle.
So, when I hear Jewish excuses for Israel's genocide against
Palestinians or their lying about everything to everyone else
(remind me to tell you someday about the Kol Nidre oath), and
then I hear that some "Torah-true" Jews oppose Israel's
murderous policies of deceit and destruction, I'm not exactly
overwhelmed with a warm and fuzzy feeling of security, because
the "Torah-true" or "good" Jews base their
philosophies upon this Old Testament material which Merritt has
just finished describing as the teachings of Jehovah who is really
Satan. Just thought I'd mention this. Much more on this in future
In the enclosed link listed above, Nathaniel Merritt has constructed
a very clear and compelling description of the true intent of
the Old Testament, which is to rule people by fear and threats,
and urge the killing, robbing, and raping of all those who oppose
what he says. This is not the consensus conception of God in the
minds of any compassionate and conscious human being.
Most importantly to us contemporary humans,
what kind of light does this put on our current debate, with a
murderous president establishing all these "faith-based initiatives,"
with millions of evangelical so-called Christians clamoring for
the death and destruction of dark-skinned Muslims, and allying
themselves with Jews, who in their holy books claim Jesus resides
forever hung upside down in a dung-filled pit?
Isn't it obvious that this God so many use to justify their
evil deeds is exactly the opposite, and is instead the hateful
beast Jesus supposedly preached against.
One need only look out into the world and see the dead innocents
bleeding in the radioactive dust of Iraq to know that the God
used to justify these wanton acts of pure evil is certainly not
the supreme being we all turn to in times of stress, and who showers
his love on all life in the universe.
Jehovah, the Old Testament maniac upon whom so many Catholics,
Christians and Jews base their whole lives, is clearly Satan.
This is why our beautiful world has remained so ugly all these
many centuries, and why we are in such profound danger now at
this very moment.
If you try to deny this assertion, may God — the real
one, not the ancient sociopath — forgive you.
John Kaminski, whose essays are seen on hundreds of websites
around the world, is the author of "America's Autopsy Report,"
"The Day America Died," and his newest collection,"The
Perfect Enemy," all of which are available at http://www.johnkaminski.com/
President Bush's repeated claim that his
"resolve" helps to protect America does not pass basic
scrutiny. The consequences on the Bush administration's approach
to terrorism are clear: the president "resolved"
not to focus on terrorism before 9/11; he "resolved"
not to finish off al Qaeda after 9/11; he "resolved"
to shift focus to Iraq with no plan for the aftermath; and his
"resolve" continues to ignore problems in Iraq, the
regrouping of al Qaeda, and the growing nuclear dangers in Iran
and North Korea.
• The Bush administration failed
to protect the country before 9/11. We now know terrorism
was simply not a priority for the administration pre-9/11. Administration
officials were focused on missile defense, China, and other issues
– not al Qaeda and global terrorism. Even after the
president was explicitly warned about impending al Qaeda attacks
in August 2001, his administration did nothing to heighten our
awareness or increase our domestic vigilance in stopping the plot.
• The administration failed to finish
off al Qaeda after 9/11. With the world solidly behind
America's efforts to lead a coalition against al Qaeda and the
Taliban in Afghanistan, President Bush should have sought to finish
the job. Instead, he diverted necessary resources and focus
from Afghanistan to Iraq. Bin Laden remains free in the region,
and American troops are bogged down in Iraq.
• The administration drove us into
a hole in Iraq and allowed global terrorist and nuclear threats
to grow. The administration's single-minded obsession
with Saddam alleviated one problem but created an even bigger
security nightmare. Terrorists are pouring into Iraq; the
insurgency is growing; and al Qaeda has been free to regroup and
multiply, while Iran and North Korea have expanded their nuclear
Daily Talking Points is a product of the American Progress Action
From: Malcolm Donald firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Democratically yours
As an avid surfer of the internet I find your website one of
the most informative with regard the support of democratic principles.
I watched in awe the Irish journalists live portrayal of the
oppositions attempted coup. This film should be shown to all teenage
children worldwide before they finish their secondary education
so that they become more aware of the political world in which
• It is my observation that to attain
high office in any field of life one must forsake compassion and
democratic principles and adopt the role of a psychopath.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Perle,
the Jewish/American Washington lobbyists, the US military generals
and the UK's Blair all appear to me to be just that ... psychopaths.
I personally know a psychopath and as any medical dictionary will
tell you, one should run away from their immediate vicinity otherwise
you will be dragged into their environment and become immersed
in their ways and attitudes.
The most important thing to understand
about a psychopath is that they are compulsive liars. Once
you understand that you are able to communicate with them and
adopt policies that enable you to bypass them and construct a
This to me is Chavez' principle weapon in his fight for Venezuelan
democracy ... he understands people for he is an egalitarian.
Psychopaths cannot be anything else but individuals.
Therefore may I finish this brief letter by voicing my congratulations
to the Venezuelan people for adopting the humanity of egalitarianism
over that of individualism.
Our political system is starting to resemble
the kind of banana republic authoritarianism we claim to despise.
There is nothing quite as hypocritical as a politician preaching
the virtues of democracy while doing everything he can to destroy
it. But as Election Day approaches, that is exactly what is happening.
President Bush is traveling the country bragging about supposedly
bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan while waging a stealth
campaign far different from his rhetoric here at home. Unwilling
to wage a fight within legal bounds and undeterred by the odious
stench of the 2000 debacle, the president has deployed his operatives
to rig the outcome on November 2.
Before you call this conspiracy theory, read on:
* In August 2003, the head of one of the biggest manufacturers
of voting machines wrote a fundraising letter saying he is "committed
to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next
year." According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Walden O'Dell,
CEO of Diebold INC., also "attended a strategy pow-wow with
wealthy Bush benefactors—known as Rangers and Pioneers—at
the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month."
The next week, he invited guests to a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser
for the Ohio GOP at his mansion in the Cleveland suburbs. This
is the man whose machines have no paper trail and will be used
by at least 8 million voters in the upcoming election.
* In June 2004, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his political appointees
used the guise of clearing felons off voter rolls to hide an attempt
to disenfranchise 48,000 traditionally Democratic voters. The
list, which was disproportionately African-American, was rife
with inaccuracies. Additionally, in a state with a heavily Republican
Cuban population, a technical error caused the names of thousands
of Hispanic felons to be excluded from the list.The U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights has asked the Department of Justice to investigate.
* In July, a top GOP official in Michigan gave voice to Republican
efforts to squelch minority voter turnout. State Rep. John Pappageorge
said, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going
to have a tough time in this election." What did he mean?
While Michigan is predominantly white (78 percent), Detroit has
an overwhelmingly minority population (88 percent). This strategy
is no accident: Polls show that more than four in five blacks
believe Bush did not legitimately win the election and two-thirds
think deliberate attempts were made to prevent black voters' ballots
from being counted.
* Also in July, the Miami Herald found the Republican Party staking
out naturalization ceremonies for new immigrants to trick them
into registering Republican. Specifically, GOP operatives have
been handing out voter registration forms to new citizens just
moments after being sworn in by the U.S. government with the party
affiliation box already checked Republican. Once registered, the
GOP can target mailing and other campaign outreach to those voters.
* In August, Jeb Bush was at it again—this time having
his political appointees at a key county election board hire a
law firm with direct connections to the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Though the Broward County Elections Board is supposed to be nonpartisan,
Bush's official there hired the law firm Blosser & Sayfie.
James Blosser is a top fundraiser for the Bush-Cheney campaign,
and Justin Sayfie is co-chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in
Broward County. The firm, which was fired after public outrage,
was to represent the county in legal challenges should another
election debacle occur.
Outrageous, certainly, but at least we have our ability to freely
protest against them without being harassed, right? Wrong. The
New York Times reports that the FBI has "contacted"
a number of people who have organized political demonstrations,
forcing some to appear before a grand jury to disclose what they
know of protest plans. Want to take your complaint to the top?
Think again. The Albuquerque Journal reports that those who wanted
to attend a speech by Cheney were refused at the door unless they
signed a pledge to vote GOP in November. Meanwhile, the Washington
Post reported that the Secret Service, led by the president's
top personal aide, accosted peaceful AIDS demonstrators during
a Bush speech last month. Demonstrators were "shoved and
pulled from the room—some by their hair, one by her bra
straps—and then arrested for disorderly conduct and detained."
Our political system is starting to resemble
the kind of banana republic authoritarianism we claim to despise.
The only things missing are government-sponsored mural portraits
of George W. Bush splashed on sides of buildings and state-run
Who knows? With Bush's aircraft carrier stunt, Fox News' incessant
propaganda, and the White House now telling journalists it has
a "different set of rules" for those who give too much
coverage to the president's opponents, anything is possible.
TALLAHASSEE - Election officials in several
Florida counties have found the names of dead voters on petitions
that helped get proposed constitutional amendments on the Nov.
Pasco County Elections Supervisor Kurt Browning, who found a
half-dozen petitions signed with the names of dead voters, is
referring the matter to Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney Bernie McCabe.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials acknowledged
Monday they are investigating petition drives in South Florida.
Some of the signatures of dead voters' names were used to qualify
Amendment 4, which seeks to allow slot machines at parimutuels
in Broward and Miami-Dade counties if local voters agree.
The Humane Society of the United States and an antigambling group
say an investigation, conducted by the national law firm Reed
Smith, found thousands of fraudulent signatures filed by contractors
for ARNO Consulting, a California firm.
In Broward County, 33 petitions bore the signatures of the names
of dead voters, the groups say. [...]
YORK -- For the first time in its history, Fox News Channel beat
the combined competition in primetime during the third quarter
of 2004, with major headlines of the summer including the national
political conventions and a brutal string of hurricanes.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox
News averaged 1.8 million viewers, while CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and
Headline News averaged a combined total of 1.7 million.
The quarter ended Sunday.
CNN came in a distant second, averaging 882,000 viewers, while
MSNBC drew 421,000. Headline News averaged 226,000 in primetime,
and CNBC attracted a paltry 133,000. [...]
Headline News averaged 75,000 viewers in the demo, up only 6%
from the same frame last year. CNBC improved its performance in
the demo, averaging 53,000 viewers, a 36% jump.
Fox News' third-quarter performance further solidified its dominance
in the field of cable news, as well as its increasing strength
against even the broadcast nets. During
the Republican National Convention in late August, Fox News won
out over ABC News, CBS News and NBC News, also a first for a cable
Earlier this week, Bill O'Reilly's interview
with President Bush on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor"
drew a whopping 4.6 million viewers.
Fox News had nine of the 10 top programs during the third quarter,
with O'Reilly remaining at No. 1, averaging 2.4 million viewers.
The one exception was CNN's "Larry King Live," which
was No. 6, averaging 1.3 million viewers.
A Colorado congresswoman called Monday for
an investigation into allegations that Iraqi war veterans near
the end of their duty were given a choice between re-enlisting
or being sent back to Iraq.
Democratic Rep. Diana Degette, in a letter to House Armed Services
Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., asked him to look
into whether the "White House or civilian
Pentagon officials are pressuring the military to use coercive
tactics to get soldiers to re-enlist in order to maintain the
force levels necessary to fight the war in Iraq and war on terror."
DeGette, at a news conference in Denver, cited reports in two
Denver newspapers and calls she has received from several soldiers
at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.
"They can't meet re-enlistment goals, so they're putting
this hammer over their head, which is just wrong," DeGette
said. "In the long term, the integrity of our military is
going to suffer."
According to reports in the Rocky Mountain
News and The Denver Post, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat
Team were told they faced reassignment to units expected to be
deployed to Iraq or Korea if they did not either re-enlist by
the end of the month or extend their duty until the end of 2007.
Those who re-enlisted or extended would stay with the 3rd Brigade,
which already was deployed for a year in Iraq.
Pentagon officials deferred comment to Fort Carson, which denied
any effort to coerce soldiers into re-enlisting.
Fort Carson spokesman Lt. Justin Journeay said soldiers recently
were given a form with three options; the third - neither extending
nor re-enlisting - came with the understanding they could be reassigned.
Fort Carson officials said soldiers are being asked to record
their choices so the Army can determine the strength of the force.
The Army's goal is to have units that stick together for several
years with little turnover, Journeay said. He said Fort Carson
was exceeding re-enlistment goals.
The adequacy of military manpower has become a volatile political
issue. Democrats say the Bush administration, to satisfy personnel
needs in Iraq and Afghanistan, is delaying troop rotations unwisely
and making extensive use of Reserve and National Guard troops.
Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry recently said
President Bush has a secret plan to call up more National Guard
and Reserve troops immediately after the election. The president's
campaign called that allegation "false and ridiculous."
Two alleged Israeli secret agents were released
from jail after serving terms for fraudulently trying to obtain
a New Zealand passport and being part of an organised crime gang.
Israelis Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara left Mount Eden prison
in two cars shortly after 5:00 am, according to the domestic NZPA
They were believed to flying out of the country shortly after
Prime Minister Helen Clark refused to comment on the pair whose
arrest caused a diplomatic furore.
Ms Clark said when they were jailed that she had "no doubt"
the two were agents and suspended high-level contacts with Israel,
including an August visit by Israeli President Moshe Katsav.
Kelman and Cara pleaded guilty in June in the Auckland High
Court and were sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to
pay $46,000 each to the Cerebral Palsy Society for using the name
of a disabled man to try to obtain a false passport.
They had their sentences cut for time served
in remand and for good behaviour, but the money has yet to be
paid to the society pending a legal appeal.
SHANNON, Ireland (AP) -- A Greek airliner
bound for New York made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport
in Ireland on Tuesday because of a bomb threat -- the
second such incident involving the airline in three days.
The Olympic Airlines plane, carrying 295 passengers and 12 crew
from Athens to New York, landed safely at Shannon Airport shortly
after 5 p.m., Ireland's airport operating company Aer Rianta said.
A spokeswoman for Aer Rianta said passengers were being evacuated
from the plane and would be taken to a secure area for questioning.
Emergency personnel, an army bomb disposal team and local hospitals
were put on standby.
Greek police and Olympic Airways officials said the decision
to divert the plane was taken following an anonymous call to an
Athens newspaper saying a bomb was on the plane.
"The newspaper got a call ... saying a bomb was on board
and would explode in an hour. Nothing has happened," said
airline spokeswoman Melina Pitta. "After a meeting it was
decided the plane would make an emergency landing at Shannon as
it was the nearest airport."
In Athens, the Greek Public Order Ministry said it doesn't consider
the threat credible. "All the baggage on the plane has been
thoroughly screened and the security checks at Athens International
Airport are exhaustive. The Olympic Airlines flight was diverted
as a precaution. The ministry is investigating the source of the
telephone call," the ministry said.
Police said the threat was made in English,
but did not say what the caller said.
It was the second time in three days a flight by the carrier
from Athens to New York was diverted because of a bomb threat.
On Sunday, an Olympic plane also bound
for New York landed at Stansted airport, near London, following
a similar threat. Nothing suspicious was found and the
plane left for New York on Monday.
The British Royal Air Force, which sent two Tornado jets to
escort Sunday's plane to Stansted, said that it was not involved
in Monday's incident.
Security in Athens was heightened for the Olympics, which took
place Aug. 13-29, and the Paralympics, which end Tuesday.
Self-employed diamond diggers have killed
19 street urchins in the central Democratic Republic of Congo
town of Mbuji-Mayi, allegedly in revenge for theft, press reports
in Kinshasa said on Monday.
The attacks took place in the DRC diamond capital on Saturday
after people who make a living searching for the stones hunted
down the youths who allegedly stole part of their haul, the daily
La Tempete des Tropiques reported.
The trouble began when a gang of urchins locally known as "Bana
ba mu tshisalu" (children who live in the market) attacked
diamond dealers panning the Lubilanji river and allegedly stole
some of their pickings, according to Le Potentiel daily.
Witnesses reached in Mbuji-Mayi by telephone confirmed the reports
of the killings.
"There were street kids who were
clubbed to death, others burned alive or stoned by the diamond
diggers, who had had enough of their aggressive behaviour,"
said a local journalist who asked not to be named.
The attack on the diamond hunters was not the first, said the
journalist, who added that the market urchins "behave like
real outlaws and defy the authorities".
The governor of Kasai Orientale province, Dominique Kanku, cut
short a mission to Kinshasa to go back to Mbuji-Mayi. In a local
radio broadcast, he condemned the killings, saying the diamond
hunters should not take the law into their hands.
He also urged parents in the city to find their children and
take them in.
Mbuji-Mayi has the largest number of homeless children in DRC
after the capital Kinshasa.
DETROIT - A man opened fire at an in-home
day-care centre today, killing a three-year-old and critically
wounding two adults, officials said.
Police spokesman James Tate said the child died after being
taken to hospital in critical condition.
Police were searching for the shooter, who they said came to
the door of the house, exchanged words with someone, entered and
"It appears as though this was not
random," Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said.
A four-month-old also was injured, possibly from being dropped,
and was taken to a hospital, Bully-Cummings said. Two other children,
apparently uninjured, were taken to hospital as a precaution,
The Family Independence Agency, which oversees day-care facilities
in Michigan, said the site of the shooting is a licensed facility
serving up to 12 infants, toddlers or school-aged children.
Police cordoned off a stretch of the leafy residential street
in Detroit. Neighbours sat watching on porches and stoops as officials
went in and out of the beige house.
Buenos Aires — A 15-year-old student
pulled out a handgun and opened fire in a classroom in southern
Argentina on Tuesday, killing three students and wounding six
others, authorities said.
Police said the shooting occurred minutes before the start of
classes in the Islas Malvinas public school in Carmen de Patagones,
a city some 1,000 kilometres south of Buenos Aires.
The suspected student was detained and is being questioned by
police, state television Canal 7 reported. There was no immediate
word on the motive for the shooting.
Reports said the shooting began in a classroom around 7:30 a.m..
Students outside the classroom said they thought they heard firecrackers
going off, then saw bloodied students screaming as they fled the
The independent news agency Diarios y Noticias said the shooter
entered the room without saying a word and began firing rounds
from a 9-millimetre handgun. Two girls and a boy, aged 14 to 15,
were killed, the agency said.
Mario Oporto, Education Minister for vast Buenos Aires province,
that includes Carmen de Patagones, said the three dead and six
injured were all students, but he gave no further details. The
official news agency Telam said two of the injured were in hospital
in critical condition.
The bloody episode touched off immediate debate on national
television about rising violence in public schools in Argentina,
a country of 36 million people long considered one of the safest
in South America.
Stabbings and beatings of students and teachers have been reported
in recent weeks, raising public debate before the shooting about
bringing more control to the nation's schools.
Before travelling to the scene, Mr. Oporto told local radio
that Argentines were grieved by the tragedy.
"Three children killed in a school is cause for great sadness,"
he said. "This is a case of violence that has exceeded all
Authorities said they were making preparations to take the teenage
suspect to a juvenile court in Bahia Blanca in southern Buenos
Security at the University of Miami tightened
Monday as the presidential debate loomed: Barricades and fences
appeared. Police cars prowled back roads. Students
were warned to wear IDs around their necks -- or face being booted
And, yet, there was undergrad Amy Pearlman, at the lip of a
campus lake, sitting on a blue towel in her bathing suit, brow
furrowed, studying a psychology textbook.
Her student ID? It was in her purse.
''I didn't want to get a tan line,'' she said, shrugging.
Even in a time of terrorism fears, with federal agents swarming
the campus in preparation for the candidates' Thursday showdown,
the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus retains a leafy,
laid-back feel. Monday was no exception, despite extensive preparations.
Officials have handed out more than 20,000 free lanyards (that's
a fancy way of describing those dangly things you use to hang
IDs from your neck) to make sure IDs are visible on everyone.
Bus routes have been modified; no overnight guests in the dorms.
Portions of campus near the Convocation Center, where the debate
will be held, are being closed off. The campus gym -- er, ''Wellness
Center'' -- has been converted into a media room.
Officials asked students and staff to think
of the campus like one big airport.
No stupid bomb jokes, please. Don't leave backpacks lying around,
and don't accept bags from strangers.
''It's just another security precautionary measure,'' said Sarah
Artecona, a university spokeswoman. "If things are left unattended,
they may be picked up by security personnel.''
On Monday, as stages were erected around campus for a Rock The
Vote rally and a debate-watching party, the reality of the big
event still hadn't sunk in for some. Many students didn't bother
wearing their IDs.
And neither did some faculty members, who were being held to
the same requirement.
''It's safely tucked away in my desk,'' said law professor John
Dellagloria, "because if I'm stopped and arrested, I could
use the vacation.''
By the campus bookstore, Stephanie Fenimore, 19, sat at an outdoor
table, reading a textbook. The sophomore kept her ID next to two
packs of cigarettes.
For one week, she said, extra security is OK.
''I don't think its overblown at all. It is the president that's
coming here, and the candidate for president,'' she said. "It
kind of sucks I have to wear my Cane Card around my neck but whatever.
The school's got to look good.''
Wearing ID around your neck might not be as aggravating as trying
to find parking, which is a daunting mission on the best days.
Last week's appearance by the Dalai Lama caused enough parking
Though the university has opened up makeshift parking lots around
campus, officials want it known: Arrive early or face a lot of
''You're going to have to park in a tree,'' said senior Maegan
Of course, the specter of parking headaches leads to the inevitable
-- any excuse is a good excuse to skip class. Naturally,
UM is warning students not to play hooky.
Dellagloria, the law professor, plans to give an exam at 8 a.m.
''It'll be easier to get to the top of Mount Everest than it
will be to park at UM this week,'' he said.
'I imagine on Thursday, when it becomes a four-ring circus,
a lot of people will say, 'You know what, I can't deal with this.'
Tokyo — Cutting class just got harder
but schools are safer thanks to computer chips that help track
students, Japanese officials say.
Some schools here this month began trial runs
in which students carry chips that have tiny antennae and can
be traced by radio, with some of the kids attaching the tags to
The chips send signals to receivers at school gates. A computer
in the system shows when a student enters or leaves.
School officials say rising concerns about student safety prompted
"More than 70 per cent of parents supported the trials,
indicating there is wide appreciation for this kind of effort,"
said Ichiro Ishihara, a teacher at a public elementary school
in Iwamura town, Gifu prefecture, about 275 kilometres west of
"And the kids love it — they
think it's cool," he added.
Violent crimes such as murder, assault and robbery are still
relatively rare in Japan. But minor crimes and juvenile delinquency
have pushed total crime numbers to record highs amid a long economic
slowdown. A recent survey showed that more than half of Japanese
believe their country has become unsafe.
Mr. Ishihara said 72 of his school's 334 students have been
carrying the tags since the trials were launched in early September.
On Monday, electronic giant Fujitsu teamed up with suburban
Tokyo's private Rikkyo Elementary School to launch a trial in
which the tracking chips were attached to 40 students' backpacks,
a school official said.
In Rikkyo's system, messages can be sent to parents' cellphones
so they know what time their children left the school, the Asahi
Shimbun newspaper said Tuesday.
The school hopes to have all 717 of its students using the system
by next April, the newspaper reported.
WHEATON, Md. (AP) -- A pregnant woman said
she was handcuffed by transit police and forced onto her stomach
during an arrest that began with her talking too loudly on her
Sakinah Aaron, 23, said she feared her
unborn baby would be harmed when the officer forced her to the
ground and put his knee in her back at a bus stop earlier this
month. A doctor later said her five-month-old fetus was
"I'm thinking between the ground and his knee, my water
is going to break and I'm going to have a miscarriage or something,"
she said of the Sept. 9 incident.
Deputy Chief Timothy Gronau said Monday that officer George
Saoutis followed police procedure after Aaron refused to stop
cursing loudly during a cellphone conversation and became abusive
Aaron said the officer approached her as she walked to catch
a bus, telling her to keep her voice down. She twice tried to
break away, but he caught her arm, then placed her face down,
handcuffed her, and charged her with disorderly conduct and resisting
Aaron was scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 21.
HALIFAX - Passengers from a cruise ship
that docked in Halifax Tuesday told a harrowing tale of furniture
flying and people breaking bones when the ship lost power near
the edges of hurricane Karl.
The Atlantic Ocean was rough, with swells reaching 10 to 15
metres, when all four engines aboard ms Rotterdam failed at about
6 p.m. Friday, three passengers told the CBC.
The loss of the Holland America Line ship's electrical systems
and stabilizers sent the 237-metre-long vessel tilting at 35-
to 40-degree angles on its North Atlantic trip from Ireland to
"It was more or less the cruise from hell," said passenger
Herman Veder of Boca Raton, Fla. "Furniture was flying all
over the place. Pianos were not bolted down. In the gym, which
is an extensive gym, all the weights came loose and started rolling
In one onboard restaurant that had 1,000 plates on hand, 800
came loose and crashed to the floor, he said. "In the cabins,
refrigerators came loose, TV sets were flying through the rooms."
Passengers grew more terrified as a message
came over the intercom that stretcher teams were needed, Veder
said. An unknown number of people suffered broken collarbones,
gashes and bruises.
None of the injuries was life-threatening, the cruise line said.
A Holland America spokesperson said the ship is structurally sound,
and promised an investigation into what caused the engines to
"Some of us were concerned that the boat was going to tip
over because it was rocking and swaying so hard that things were
flying across the cabins," said Rachel Youngman, a California
resident making the trip with her husband Richard.
"And the captain – it took him about an hour to come
on and say, 'This is very uncomfortable but the ship is in no
danger.' And at that point I think we all relaxed a little bit."
Up until then, she said, many passengers had
grabbed a lifejacket and were ready to abandon ship.
The 62,000-ton Rotterdam, built in 1997, can accommodate 1,316
passengers with 593 crew members on board.
TOKYO -- A group of Japanese researchers
has found that carbon dioxide levels over the Antarctica rose
by over 2.6 percent from six years ago - the first such detection
of an increase in a "greenhouse" gas above the southern
continent, group members said Tuesday.
Many scientists fear carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil
fuels and other industrial processes, may be causing global warming
by trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.
Takashi Yamanouchi, a professor at the National Institute of
Polar Research, said carbon dioxide from populated continents
was apparently making its way down to the atmosphere above Antartica.
"Everywhere on earth is now being polluted by carbon dioxide,"
Yamanouchi said. "That may be contributing to the expansion
of global warming although we must check whether temperatures
in the atmosphere are in fact rising,"
Antarctica, with well-preserved ice averaging 6,000 feet thick,
is one of the few places where scientists can examine climate
change over time because chemicals from the air have been frozen
in layers of ice year after year for centuries. Air
above Antarctica should be among the cleanest on earth.
To date, researchers in countries including
Japan and the United States had confirmed that the density of
carbon dioxide on Antactica's ground had increased but hadn't
proved the same for the atmosphere, he said.
Yamanouchi's team sent a balloon with a monitoring device 9
to 19 miles into the air above Japan's research base in Antarctica
in January to collect data.
It showed the atmosphere had an average 367.9
parts per million of carbon dioxide, up 9.4 ppm, or 2.6 percent,
from levels in a similar survey conducted in 1998, Yamanouchi
About 60 Japanese scientists currently stationed at Japan's
Showa Base are studying ozone holes, sea life and world climate
and weather patterns. More than a dozen
other countries, including the United States and Russia, have
scientific teams working there.
Parkfield, Calif. — A moderate earthquake
struck Central California on Tuesday that was felt from San Francisco
to the Los Angeles area. There was no immediate report of injuries.
The quake, which struck at 10:15 a.m. PDT, had a preliminary
magnitude of 5.9 and was centred 15 kilometres south of Parkfield,
according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The area is about 27
kilometres northeast of Paso Robles, scene of an earthquake that
killed two people in December.
A series of aftershocks quickly rattled the area, one with a
preliminary 5.0 magnitude four minutes after the main earthquake
and three others 4.1 or above.
Paso Robles police said there were no immediate reports of damage
"It rattled everything hanging on the walls and the chandelier
was swinging. It didn't do any damage to our house. There were
two shakers, one right after the other," said Ben Brown,
who lives in Paso Robles.
The quake was felt along a 560-kilometre
stretch, as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Santa
Ana, southeast of Los Angeles, the geological survey said.
Parkfield, population 37, is known as the earthquake capital
of California. Located on the San Andreas fault, it has experienced
six similar, magnitude 6.0 earthquakes with apparent regularity
– one approximately every 22 years.
The USGS even named its major long-term earthquake research
project the Parkfield Experiment.
"This is earthquake country. It's
a larger earthquake than what usually occurs, but it's not unprecedented,"
said USGS spokeswoman Stephanie Hanna. "We expect big earthquakes
in this area, but don't know when they'll occur."
The Dec. 22, 2003, earthquake collapsed old downtown buildings
in Paso Robles, pitching an 1892 clock tower building onto the
street and crushing a row of parked cars. Two people were killed
in the state's first fatal quake since the 6.7-magnitude quake
that hit the Northridge area of Los Angeles in 1994.
A magnitude 5 quake can cause considerable damage and a magnitude
6 quake severe damage, although problems are generally far less
severe in remote areas and in areas with strong building codes.
6.4 - SOUTH OF AFRICA
A strong earthquake occurred at 15:29:53 (UTC) on Tuesday, September
28, 2004. The magnitude 6.4 event has been located SOUTH OF AFRICA.
5.6 - NEAR THE COAST OF PERU
A moderate earthquake occurred at 21:32:19 (UTC) on Tuesday,
September 28, 2004. The magnitude 5.6 event has been located in
NEAR THE COAST OF PERU. The hypocentral depth was estimated to
be 36 km (22 miles).
Double 5.0 quake in the Izu Islands:
5.0 - IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
A moderate earthquake occurred at 10:41:50
(UTC) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004. The magnitude 5.0 event
has been located in the IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION. The hypocentral
depth was estimated to be 46 km
5.0 - IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
A moderate earthquake occurred at 10:43:42
(UTC) on Tuesday, September 28, 2004. The magnitude 5.0 event
has been located in the IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION. The hypocentral
depth was estimated to be 40 km
This is preliminary information; a statement
from the family is forthcoming.
At this time we must with great sorrow confirm that Dr John Mack
has passed away in London, England.
Dr Mack was one of several speakers discussing British officer
T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") at the T. E. Lawrence
Society Symposium, in Oxford on Sunday. Dr Mack's 1977 biography
of T.E. Lawrence, A Prince of Our Disorder, received the Pulitzer
Prize in biography (see complete bio below). Dr Mack's presentation
at an afternoon panel was so warmly received that he was asked
to stay and present an additional evening talk, which again met
with positive response.
On Monday, he spent time in London and went to dinner with friends.
On his return to the home at which he was
staying while in London, traveling on foot on Totteridge Road,
he was struck by a vehicle being driven by an intoxicated driver.
Dr Mack was in a crosswalk. Dr Mack was pronounced dead on the
scene by London police and is believed to have died on impact.
This information will be revised as needed and will be replaced
by a statement from Dr Mack's family when available. Information
will be posted to the John E Mack Institute website, www.johnemackinstitute.org
A pilot flying a Delta Air Lines jet was
injured by a laser that illuminated the cockpit of the aircraft
as it approached Salt Lake City International Airport last week,
U.S. officials said.
The plane's two pilots reported that
the Boeing 737 had been five miles from the airport when they
saw a laser beam inside the cockpit, said officials familiar
with government reports of the Sept. 22 incident. The flight,
which originated in Dallas, landed without further incident at
about 9:30 p.m. local time.
A short while later, however, the first officer felt a stinging
sensation in one eye. A doctor who examined the pilot determined
that he had suffered a burned retina from exposure to a laser
device, the officials said.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman Yolanda
Clark confirmed the incident, but declined to provide details.
"TSA is aware of the incident, and we are working with the
airline in conducting an investigation to try and determine the
cause of the incident," Miss Clark said.
She would not say whether TSA considers the
incident a possible security threat to commercial aircraft. Other
officials said the incident was serious enough that the pilot
will be unable to fly for at least a week.
"So far, it doesn't sound like there will be permanent [eye]
damage," one official said.
The identity of the pilot could not be learned, and Delta spokesman
Anthony Black declined to comment.
Officials were unsure of the source of the laser and could not
determine whether the exposure was deliberate or accidental.
John Mazor, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, said
commercial pilots have been exposed to laser illumination.
"The Air Line Pilots Association has received
reports in the past of incidents where lasers penetrated cockpits
and, in at least one case, caused injury," Mr. Mazor said.
Several years ago, a pilot flying into a Western
airport was hit by a light from a laser light show. The
causes of the other incidents are not known, he said.
Asked whether a laser aimed at pilots could cause a plane to
crash, Mr. Mazor said: "I think that's highly improbable.
In every case in the past, the flights landed safely."
Military personnel also have suffered eye damage
from laser illumination.
In one case, Naval Lt. Cmdr. Jack Daly and Canadian helicopter
pilot Capt. Pat Barnes suffered eye injuries hours after an aerial
surveillance mission to photograph a Russian merchant ship that
had been shadowing the ballistic-missile submarine USS Ohio in
Washington state's Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Navy recently turned down an appeal from the Defense Department
inspector general to award Cmdr. Daly a Purple Heart for the incident.
Cmdr. Daly, who retired from the service last year, continues
to suffer eye pain and deteriorating vision. During congressional
testimony in 1999, he warned of laser threats to pilots.
"Numerous documented cases regarding the use of lasers against
aircraft, civilians and military personnel exist, as well as does
an all-too-lengthy list of the injuries that have resulted from
the accidental and intentional misuse of these devices,"
Cmdr. Daly told a House Armed Services subcommittee.
He noted that incidents of lasers being directed
at commercial airliners during takeoff and landings have raised
fears that "this in fact may be a new form of terrorism."
"Lasers are easily obtainable and can be self-manufactured
weapons in the terrorist arsenal, which essentially can effect
a soft-kill solution and leave virtually no detectable evidence,"
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