Friday, November 05, 2004
The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity 

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The Wave: 4 Volume Set
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by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

With a new introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four book set. Each of the four volumes include all of the original illustrations and many NEW illustrations with each copy comprising approximately 300 pages.

The Wave is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the Cassiopaean Experiment.

Pre-order Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!

The Precipice of Madness

Laura Knight-Jadczyk

November 5, 2004 - Two days ago, the SOtT team quoted Gurdjieff on the subject of those periods of history that he described as

"times of mass madness such as wars, revolutions, and so on, when men suddenly seem to lose even the small amount of common sense they had and turn into complete automatons, giving themselves over to wholesale destruction in vast numbers, in other words, even losing the instinct of self-preservation."

Gurdjieff was talking about WW I. He hadn't witnessed WW II yet. That was still in the future. But his description of such times was exact even to the detail of "losing the instinct of self-preservation." I realize that even though we have repeatedly outlined a scenario for the future of the United States that matches, almost exactly, with the history of Hitler and the Third Reich, almost no one will take heed. It will certainly seem, when it is all over, as though everyone had lost all common sense and all instincts for self-preservation.

In 1951, almost half of the citizens of Germany who responded to a public opinion poll, said that the period between 1933 and 1939 was a time during which things had gone best for Germany.

And yet, at the end of WW II, over 65 million human beings were dead and almost one third of the Earth was uninhabitable.

How can it be that half the people of a country that was almost totally destroyed in a war, perceive all the events leading up to that war as "the best there ever was?" How do they perceive - IF they perceive it at all - the deaths of 65 million other human beings? How do they justify the fact that an entire cultural way of being is gone forever? How is it that they have so completely lost their minds that they cannot even see the direction they are going?

Lack of knowledge. Irretrievable loss of Reason.

Gurdjieff was recorded as saying:

"There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning or the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations."

Certainly, the fall of every civilization or culture is not accompanied by geological cataclysms and/or climatic changes; they just "often coincide." But we will come back to that in a moment. Just now, let's consider the idea that such periods are characterized by the "release of a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge."

How can knowledge be "matter?" In my editorial on Hallowe'en I addressed this issue in part as follows:

Our universe seems to be made up of matter/energy and of consciousness.

Matter/energy by itself "prefers", as it seems, a chaotic state.

Matter/energy by itself doesn't even have a concept of "creation" or "organization". It is the consciousness that brings to life these concepts and by its interaction with matter pushes the universe towards chaos and decay or towards order and creation.

This phenomenon can modeled mathematically and simulated on a computer using EEQT (Event Enhanced Quantum Theory). [...]

What we learn from EEQT can be described in simple terms as follows:

Let us call our material universe - or any reality we wish to examine - "the system". The system is characterized by a certain "state". We represent the state of the system as a point on a disc. The central point of the disk, its origin, is the state of chaos. We could also describe it as "Infinite Potential." The points on the boundary represents "pure states" of being, that is states with "pure, non-fuzzy, knowledge". In between the boundary of the circle and the center, there are mixed states. The closer the state is to the boundary, the more pure, more 'organized' it is.

Now, an external "observer", a "consciousness unit", has some idea - maybe accurate, maybe false or anywhere in between - about the "real state" of the system, and observes the system with this "belief" about the state. It can be said that the "state of belief" of the observer is a state itself, that may be more or less pure. We will come back to this. Observation, if prolonged, causes the state of the system to "jump". In this sense, you DO "create your own reality", but the devil, as always, is in the details.

The details are that the resulting state of the system under observation can be more pure, or more chaotic depending on the "direction" of the jump. The direction of the jump depends on how objective - how close to the reality of the actual state - the observation is.

According to EEQT if the expectations of the observer are close to the actual state of the system, the system jumps, more often than not, into more organized, less chaotic state.

If, on the other hand, the expectation of the observer is close to the negation of the actual state (that is when the observer's beliefs are closer to being false than to being true according to the ACTUAL state - the objective reality), then the state of the system, typically, will jump into a state that is more chaotic, less organized. Moreover, it will take, as a rule, much longer time to accomplish such a jump.

In other words, if the observer's knowledge of the actual state is close to the truth, then the very act of observation and verification causes a jump quickly, and the resulting state is more organized. If the observer's knowledge of the actual state is false, then it takes usually a long time to cause a change in the state of the system, and the resulting state is more chaotic.

What this means is that order can be brought out of chaos by observing chaos as it IS and not pretending that it is otherwise.

In short, everyone who "believes" in an attempt to "create reality" that is different from what IS, increases the chaos and entropy. If your beliefs are orthogonal to the truth, no matter how strongly you believe them, you are essentially coming into conflict with how the Universe views itself and I can assure you, you ain't gonna win that contest. You are inviting destruction upon yourself and all who engage in this "staring down the universe" exercise with you.

On the other hand, if you are able to view the Universe as it views itself, objectively, without blinking, and with acceptance, you then become more "aligned" with the Creative energy of the universe and your very consciousness becomes a transducer of order. Your energy of observation, given unconditionally, can bring order to chaos, can create out of infinite potential.

On our October 31 Signs page, we also reported the following article:

Chris Floyd wrote in his piece: Hysterica Passio

Now we come at last to the heart of darkness. Now we know, from their own words, that the Bush Regime is a cult -- a cult whose god is Power, whose adherents believe that they alone control reality, that indeed they create the world anew with each act of their iron will. And the goal of this will -- undergirded by the cult's supreme virtues of war, fury and blind faith -- is likewise openly declared: "Empire."

You think this is an exaggeration? Then heed the words of the White House itself: a "senior adviser" to the president, who, as The New York Times reports, explained the cult to author Ron Suskind in the heady pre-war days of 2002.

First, the top Bush insider mocked the journalist and all those "in what we call the reality-based community," i.e., people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." Suskind's attempt to defend the principles of reason and enlightenment cut no ice with the Bush-man.

"That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Anyone with any knowledge of 20th-century history will know that this same megalomaniacal outburst could have been made by a "senior adviser" to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or Mao. Indeed, as scholar Juan Cole points out, the dogma of the Bush Cult is identical with the "reality-creating" declaration of Mao's "Little Red Book": "It is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever." For Bush, as for Mao, "discernible reality" has no meaning: Political , cultural, economic, scientific truth -- even the fundamental processes of nature, even human nature itself -- must give way to the faith-statements of ideology, ruthlessly applied by unbending zealots.

Now, let's come back to the remark: "It can be said that the "state of belief" of the observer is a state itself, that may be more or less pure." Now, let's consider what Gurdjieff said about the "matter of knowledge." What, exactly, did he mean? If we suggest that experiences bring knowledge to our "being", we might wish to look at a snippet of dialogue with the C's from May 27, 2000:

Q: (L) Moving along to the next question: we have been discussing memories and how memories of, say, past lives are stored, and that leads to the question of what is the structure and composition of the soul? How does the soul remember? How does it carry its memories from lifetime to lifetime, from body to body, whether simultaneous or sequential? How does the soul "store" them?

A: Has to do with atomic principles. These with gravity present the borderland for the material and the nonmaterial. Which theoretical atomic particulates would you think form the basis here? Q: (L) How about tachyons?

A: Maybe neutrons?

Q: (A) Neutrons? Or neutrinos?

A: Neutrinos.

Q: (A) Well, first they say neutrons, then neutrinos. Or "maybe neutrons." I say "neutrinos" and they say "yes." So a "maybe" is only a pointer. Neutrinos are funny particles because they are massless. But, some people don't believe that neutrinos exist. My guess would be neutrinos. Do they exist?

A: Okay, we are going to throw caution to the "winds," and say yes. [Laughter.]

Q: (L) In terms of these neutrinos and soul composition, how are memories formed or held or patterned with these neutrinos?

A: Contained within for release when and if suitable.

Q: (L) Memories are contained within the neutrinos?

A: Sort of.

Q: (L) Are they contained within patterns formed by the neutrinos?

A: Closer.

Q: (L) So, that means that if one "consciousness unit," or soul, has more memories or experiences than another consciousness unit, it would have more neutrinos?

A: No.

Q: (B) Different patterns?

A: No.

Q: (L) What's the difference?

A: More data per unit, sort of.

Q: (L) Does that mean that an individual neutrino can be, in and of itself, more "dense" in data, so to speak?

A: So to speak.

Q: (L) Does this increased density of data change the nature or function of the individual neutrino?

A: Maybe it changes the function of the awareness, thus the environs.

Q: (L) Is there a specific number of neutrinos that constitutes a consciousness unit, or soul?

A: Number is not quite the right concept. Orientation is closer.

Q: (L) What are the orientational options?

A: Vibrational frequencies.

Q: (L) Do the vibrational frequencies increase or decrease with density of data?

A: Change; better not to quantify.

Now, remember what Gurdjieff said?

Such periods of mass madness... release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost.

And the C's have said that memories/experiences are Contained within neutrinos - More data per unit, sort of - for release when and if suitable.

Then, of course, we come to this:

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future."

Adolf Hitler was an individual whose mandate was to "re-create" the world in exactly the same way George Bush seeks to create a new reality.

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

The Bush Insider who enunciated the above doctrine ridiculed the idea of judiciously studying reality and attempting to determine how the Universe sees itself. In short, they believe that the world exists for them to overcome, ignore or shut out. This is at the root of the Bush Administration attitude toward science. Certainly it seems that they have "used" science when it serves their own purposes, but there is something very important to learn about how they go about "creating" their own reality.

Over the past 50 years or so, scientists have discovered that biofeedback techniques can teach people to control their own bodies in various ways. It is known that there is a connection between the mind and the immune system. Many physical problems are now understood to be psychosomatic, and the placebo effect has been demonstrated time and again. It seems pretty obvious that if you can convince your subconscious mind of something, your body will consider it to be true and it will "manifest" as true.

Steve Mizrach tells us about lamas in Tibet who can:

"survive through freezing cold, go without food or water for amazing periods of time, suspend vital functions (such as heartbeat) for hours, or stop bleeding or injury. Islamic religious mystics can be so "enraptured" that they pierce their flesh with hooks and lie on sword blades; "possessed" Haitian voodoo houngans chew glass and razor blades; "ecstatic" Fijians walk across blazing hot coals; and all do this without pain or injury. Christian mystics have a long history of self-inflicted pain, but a much lesser record of avoiding injury or death (hence the high number of Christian martyrs.) Some, like the Welsh Revivalists of 1905, have done some amazing things, like slam each other with sledgehammers or mauls, to little effect.

"When the mystics are asked how they perform such feats, they claim that they empty their mind of all thoughts except one, which is usually their key concept of the Divine or sacred. Sufi dervishes dance endlessly without fatigue, claiming they are so "filled with G-d" that they cannot feel anything, not even exhaustion.

"Martial artists in the Orient fill their mind with their characteristic yell, which allows them to focus ch'i to do the unthinkable, such as shattering brick. The Tibetan lamas claim that when the mind concentrates properly on its own Buddha-nature (mantras, yantras, mandalas, breathing, and yoga are all important techniques), all the Siddhas are possible, including the creation of thought-forms (tulpas) with a reality of their own."

But here, it is extremely important to understand that we are only talking about an individual's control over their own body or their own perception of reality. That says nothing at all about controlling the external reality. Indeed, our cognitive structure - personality, attitudes, preconceptions, worldview, socialization, enlanguagement, etc. - shapes our perception of reality but, so far, the evidence for being able to actually construct, create, and/or transform the external, consensus reality is severely lacking. I discussed this in Ancient Science:

The evidence of "advanced spirituality" in our world is severely lacking in spite of the New Age claims that "light workers" can "help bring forth the ascension for the masses before physical death, before totally wearing out the physical body in resistance to evolution. Much more energy can be expended on the positive and much less wasted on the negative."

Again, we note that objective reality does not support such a claim. If anything, since the inception of the New Age "movement," if it can be so called, things have gotten a lot worse.

This leads to another point: it seems that we must accept the objective fact that attempts to change the world spiritually, or to regulate large scale events, simply do not work.

Yes, there does seem to be evidence that individuals or small groups of individuals can make small changes or produce effects with a limited range of influence. But for some reason, the world as it is, seems to operate based on rules or laws that we do not understand. The fundamental nature of the physical world seems to be antithetical to this "spiritualization."

One recent work that attempts to provide a scientific explanation for this ability to influence the world, Conscious Acts of Creation, tells us:

This book marks a sharp dividing line between old ways of scientific thought and old experimental protocols, wherein human qualities of consciousness, intention, emotion, mind and spirit cannot significantly affect physical reality, and a new paradigm wherein they can robustly do so!

The book, written by three mainstream scientists, goes on to tell us that:

…utilizing a unique experimental protocol on both inanimate and animate systems, that the human quality of focused intention can be made to act as a true thermodynamic potential and strongly influence experimental measurements for a variety of specific target experiments.

After almost 400 pages of math and speculation and descriptions of experiments we are told:

Under some conditions, it is indeed possible to attach an aspect of human consciousness, a specific intention, to a simple electrical device and have that device, when activated, robustly influence an experiment conducted in its vicinity in complete accord with the attached intention. Thus, if they do it right, humans can influence their environment via specific, sustained intentions. […]

Some new field appears to be involved in the information passage that occurs between conditioned locales that are widely separated from each other in physical space. Even with transmitters and receivers located inside electrically grounded Faraday cages, highly correlated patterns of information appeared in the remotely located locales.[…]

Although we don't fully understand them, we now have some new tools with which to probe the deeper structures of the universe and a new adventure is underway for humanity. [Tiller, William A., Ph.D., Dibble, Walter E., Ph.D., Kohane, Michael J., Ph.D., Conscious Acts of Creation (Walnut Creek: Pavior 2001) (]

It is important to note that the "intenders" of the experiments were long-time practitioners of Siddha Yoga and could thus be considered metaphysically "in tune" to some considerable extent. The question is: What did they accomplish? Based on the descriptions, it sounds pretty earth shaking, right?

Well, as noted, after almost 400 pages we find that the most significant result seems to have been changing the pH of a small sample of water.

Yup. That's it.

Let's go back to Mizrach's remark: "Christian mystics have a long history of self-inflicted pain, but a much lesser record of avoiding injury or death (hence the high number of Christian martyrs.)"

This should give us some pause to consider carefully just how likely it is that Bush and Co will accomplish what they wish no matter how hard they "wishfully think." All we have to do is look at Hitler's attempt to do the same thing to realize that such hubris inevitably leads to a clash with the universe itself. We could also cite many other historical attempts of similar nature that ended equally disastrously.

For example, the Crusade against the Cathars was supposed to eradicate heresy. This crusade symbolized Western Civilization in a profound way: a particular view of God and the Universe was going to be forced on all peoples. The church sought to outlaw ancient beliefs whether Roman or Celtic, or to take them over and turn it to profitable use. The result was twofold: First, the creative energy of the West was almost wholly canalized into a religious life that was quite simply paganism with a thin veneer of something called "Christianity." Second: far from eradicating the Catharist heresy, the Crusade against it actually renewed and redoubled its strength so that, in the end, the only way to achieve the goal was to obliterate everything which made up the living tradition of the Languedoc. The unintended result of this crusade was that the moral authority of the Catholic Church was destroyed forever, and the foundations on which that authority rested was broken giving way to the Protestant Reformation.

Yes, it took hundreds of years; the wheels of Cosmic Justice grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine. And it seems that the rate of grinding is accelerating.

In our present time, we are still experiencing the repercussions of this frantic urge to incarnate the divine, to give it concrete shape, to make it material, to "create your own reality" at the expense of other human beings. The result is always and inevitably, a standoff against the Universe, and that's a staring contest that no one has won yet.

Steve Mizrach writes:

Belief systems have often been created to shape the mind into narrow reality-tunnels that exclude other modes of perception. If you can control what people believe - as Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators realized - you have a method of coercion better than a thousand tanks or the death penalty. The so-called holy wars of religion and the Inquisition were waged in the name of belief, the idea being that either you believed in the True Religion or you were deserving of death. As Robert Anton Wilson points out, convictions make convicts - rigidity of belief and ideological dogmatism ("there is only one true way") have restrained and distorted the human spirit for thousands of years. People will do things they wouldn't otherwise - such as suicide bombings or kamikaze dives - in the name of religious or nationalistic beliefs.

The problem of the human race has not been a lack of belief, it has been a surplus of it.

He who can get us to believe in an ideology has us under his power.

And this is certainly where the danger comes in: if we believe someone whose beliefs are orthogonal to the reality of the Universe, then we, too, get sucked into the maelstrom of chaos... slowly. As EEQT suggests:

If, on the other hand, the expectation of the observer is close to the negation of the actual state (that is when the observer's beliefs are closer to being false than to being true according to the ACTUAL state - the objective reality), then the state of the system, typically, will jump into a state that is more chaotic, less organized. Moreover, it will take, as a rule, much longer time to accomplish such a jump.

Yet, it does seem on the surface that those who control ideological apparatuses can therefore control reality. But if we take the example of the Crusades and the Catholic Church, or WW II and Hitler, we can see that such attempts to control reality always result in disaster for those who dare such hubris. As it says in the Apocalypse of Saint John:

13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

For over 50 years, the American people have been being slowly guided into that narrow reality tunnel. At the present moment, the Bush administration seems to be able to control what America believes to such an extent that America actually believes that Bush won the election. What is worse is that the rest of the world believes that Bush won the election - that he was actually elected in a fair and democratic process. And yet, anyone who takes the time to carefully examine the charade of John Kerry "running against" George Bush can easily see that it was just a drama staged to give the impression of a "free election."

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

We stand upon the precipice.

Air Force investigates inadvertent firing on New Jersey school

Thu, Nov. 04, 2004
Knight Ridder Newspapers

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. - (KRT) - The custodians at Little Egg Harbor Township Intermediate School heard a strange noise Wednesday night - as if someone were running across the roof - that could not be explained even when police officers investigated.

In the morning, the mystery grew when school staff found hunks of metal that had punctured ceiling tiles in several classrooms and scuffed the floors.

The metal, it turned out, had come from an altitude of 7,000 feet. An Air National Guard fighter plane had strafed the school on a training mission.

By Thursday morning, police had roped off the school, the military had begun an investigation and the township rumor mill had spun a story that the school had been bombed.

Military officials called the firing an accident and said they had no idea why the plane's Vulcan cannon blasted 1.5-inch-long 20 mm training rounds at the school. No one was injured.

They would not give the pilot's name or rank, saying that was the policy during an investigation. They also would not say what discipline the pilot could face.

The pilot was flying one of two F-16s from the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard that took off Wednesday night from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. They were headed for Warren Grove, a bombing range in Ocean County, N.J., where they were supposed to fire their nonexplosive rounds. The range is about 3 1/2 miles from the school.

"He inadvertently discharged the weapon. He was not in the act of aiming the gun at anything," said Col. Brian Webster, commander of the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard, of the incident. "We do not know exactly why the gun fired."

The New Jersey Air National Guard operates the range.

The warplanes returned to Andrews Air Force Base as scheduled.

Comment: From a symbolic point of view, the firing on an American school by an American F-16 on the same day that George Bush is confirmed as "Commander in Chief" is rather alarming. A portent of things to come?

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Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases Institute Dies


John R. La Montagne, Ph.D., deputy director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), died suddenly in Mexico City on November 2, 2004. He was 61.

“All of us are profoundly saddened by the loss of John La Montagne,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Personally, he was a dear friend and one of the finest people I have ever known. Professionally, in an NIH career spanning nearly 30 years, his leadership and commitment to improving global health were remarkable. His generosity, wit, even-handedness and kindness made him a friend to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed.”

Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of NIH, said, "We mourn the passing of John La Montagne, a true public health hero whose leadership, especially in the realm of infectious diseases, left the world a healthier place. His passing is a tremendous loss for all of us."

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., NIH Director, said, “John La Montagne devoted his life to improving the health of children and adults here and abroad. His leadership and counsel have been invaluable in NIH research efforts to fight emerging and re-emerging diseases, including biodefense research activities. I count myself lucky to have known and worked with John.”

Dr. La Montagne, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, received his Ph.D. from Tulane University in 1971. In 1976, he came to NIH as the Influenza Program Officer at the NIAID. He became the Program Officer for the Viral Vaccines Program in 1983, and the Influenza and Viral Respiratory Diseases Program Officer in 1984. Beginning in 1986, Dr. La Montagne assumed the role of Director of the AIDS Program. In 1987 he was appointed Director of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Program, which became a Division in 1988. Dr. La Montagne was appointed Deputy Director of the NIAID in February 1998.

Dr. La Montagne made significant contributions to the national and international effort against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, including biodefense-related activities, and has been recognized internationally for his leadership in this area.

He chaired the WHO Task Force on Strategic Planning for the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, advised the Pan American Health Organization on their programs in vaccine research implementation, and served as a member of the board of the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development. Dr. La Montagne also served as a member of the Biomedical Research Confederation Executive Steering Committee at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, and as co-chair of the Research and Development Gaps Working Group, a component of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. His outstanding administrative leadership at NIH included membership on the NIH Community Advisory Board for Security and the recently formed NIH Ethics Advisory Committee.

As an influential contributor to the field of infectious diseases, Dr. La Montagne delivered numerous major lectures all over the world. He received many prestigious awards for his scientific accomplishments, including the PHS Special Recognition Award for leadership in childhood vaccine research programs, the Surgeon General’s Certificate of Appreciation, the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award, the Distinguished Executive Award for his work in the areas of infectious diseases research of global health relevance, the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for leadership of acellular pertussis vaccine trials, and most recently the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for design and implementation of critically important biodefense strategies.

Comment: From another report we learn:

"Henderson also announced the untimely death of Dr. John R. La Montagne, assistant director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who suffered an apparent heart attack last night upon his arrival in Mexico to participate in the meeting. Henderson asked the participants to observe a minute of silence for La Montagne, who he called "a distinguished member of this group who knew more about vaccines and immunization than anyone in the world."

Over the past few years the world has witnessed the mysterious and untimely deaths of many scientists involved in chemical and biological research, most if not all were involved in research into chemical or biological weapons or the research into and development of vaccines for various human illnesses. Given his area of expertise and coming as it does at the beginning of the flu season, the untimely death of Dr La Montagne, is worrying.

The following article, published today by the LA Times, informs us that Dr. Montagne had been involved in the development and promotion of a technique to minimise the dose of flu vaccine while maintaining its effectiveness. Could this have had anything to do with his demise?

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Changing Shot Technique May Extend Flu Vaccine

November 4, 2004
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer

Supplies of the influenza vaccine could be expanded by up to five times by changing how the shot is given — administering a small dose under the skin rather than a larger dose into muscle, two teams of researchers reported Wednesday.

The new technique, which is already used for some other types of vaccines, produces just as strong an immune response as the conventional approach, studies in a relatively small number of humans have shown.

The findings probably come too late to have much effect on this year's flu vaccine shortage, experts said, but should provide increased flexibility in handling future outbreaks.

Using a reduced dosage could have "important public health implications," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Myron J. Levin of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, chairman of the government's vaccine advisory panel, cautioned that the studies show only that recipients developed antibodies against the flu virus, not that they were protected from infection.

He said more studies would be needed before the government could officially recommend the technique.

Dr. Gregory Glenn of biotech company Iomai Corp., co-author of one of the studies, urged that the studies begin soon in case Chiron Corp. — whose vaccine plant closure in Liverpool, England, was responsible for the current shortage — is unable to produce vaccine next year as well.

"We could, if we get going soon, expand this to enough people that we could recommend the approach with confidence for next year," he said.

Iomai, located in Gaithersburg, Md., is developing new ways to administer vaccines under the skin. Because the skin is normally in contact with the hostile world of germs, he said, it has a much more competent immune system than the muscles, where vaccines are traditionally administered. As a result, smaller doses can be used.

The second study was conducted by Dr. Robert B. Belshe and his colleagues at Saint Louis University and the University of Rochester. The two papers, plus an editorial by Fauci and Dr. John R. La Montagne of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, are scheduled for publication in the Nov. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, but were published online Wednesday because of the current flu vaccine shortage.

Comment: We urge all of our readers to carefully consider the information in our Signs Flu Supplement for the facts on the Flu, the poisonous Flu vaccine and US government efforts to resucitate the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918. Consider also our Supplement on Ethnic Specific Weapons.

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On this day in history...

1995: Israeli PM shot dead

BBC News
Nov 4, 1995

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has been assassinated.

Mr Rabin was shot three times at close range in the stomach and chest by an assailant as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv earlier on Saturday.

He was taken to hospital in Tel Aviv where he later died.

The gunman, named as Yigal Amir, was rapidly overpowered and arrested.

He is believed to be one of the founders of an illegal Jewish settlement on the West Bank and a member of an extreme right-wing organisation.

The rally at which Mr Rabin was shot was attended by about 100,000 Israelis who back the Rabin government's peace initiatives with the Palestinians.

Security was tight but police allowed right-wing groups, who oppose any peace deal, to protest nearby.

Israel TV said Yigal Amir, 27, had confessed to shooting the prime minister and had told investigators that he did not regret his actions. [...]

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Flashback: Shabak Elements Eliminated Rabin Argues Ostrovsky

A DESIP Special by Ronald Bleier
August, 1998

Has the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995 been adequately closed by the arrest, conviction and life sentence now being served by Yigal Amir for the killing? Not according to some observers both inside and outside of Israel. Many of the unresolved issues are summarized and contextualized in an article on the affair by Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad case officer now based in Canada, who claims that "Rabin was murdered in a well-orchestrated assassination carried out by extremist right-wing officers of the Shabak. The man sitting in jail is only a puppet triggerman, the kind a clever agitator could get to do just about anything."

In his article, ("Commission Report Leaks Make Strong Case for Complicity of Shabak Officers in Rabin Assassination," The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 1998, Pages 30, 111-112) Ostrovsky combines his own expert understanding about intelligence procedures along with disturbing information reported in the media in the wake of the assassination. In addition, explains Ostrovsky, in November 1997, the Netanyahu government unexpectedly made available "astounding" details about the assassination from portions of the Shamgar Commission report, the official government investigation into the assassination. Ostrovsky believes that the Netanyahu government released the secret information in the wake of its own intelligence fiasco in Amman, Jordan in September 1997, "in order to prove the responsibility of the Shabak for the murder" [of Rabin].

Perhaps the most troubling intelligence lapse of the affair is the question of how Yigal Amir was able to penetrate the safe zone where Rabin's bulletproof car was parked. No doubt the security services were embarrassed when an amateur videotape later revealed a clearly nervous Yigal Amir pacing about in the safe zone before the assassination. Amir's presence there was no security lapse, argues Ostrovsky. He believes that Amir must have been deliberately allowed into the area with the express permission of the Shabak authorities.

Ostrovsky points to several other well known disquieting facts about the case. Rabin had only one bodyguard the night he was killed. That man left his side supposedly to go to Leah Rabin. According to Ostrovsky, standing orders strictly forbid a bodyguard to leave the Prime Minister. Also, many people, including Leah Rabin, heard someone shout "blank, blank" just after the shots were fired. Right after the shots, Avishai Raviv, a Shabak informer revealed to be an associate of Amir, sent a wireless message to the media saying, "We failed this time, we will succeed next time".

According to Ostrovsky, portions of the Shamgar Commission report released by Netanyahu detail Raviv's undercover activities inciting hatred and opposition against Rabin. It was informer Raviv and his group who printed and distributed the infamous poster of Rabin in an SS uniform. They also were the ones who carried the mock coffin with Rabin's name on it during the Likud rallies.

The key to understanding the assassination, Ostrovsky explains, lies in the technique that the Shabak has long employed of allowing a "controlled release of hostile energy," to deal with potential terrorists. "The assumption is that there is a subcurrent in the population that is militant in its nature and that, sooner or later, will produce an act of terror. As there is no way for the security services to be everywhere at all times, they infiltrate the movement and then bring about the anticipated terrorist action when and where it is most convenient for the security services to act."

"As they are `in on the act,' the security service, i.e. the Shabak, can replace the real bullets with blanks or, as in the case of the Jewish underground, replace live explosives with duds. The Shabak believes that in doing so it creates the cause for an arrest while preventing an actual act of terrorism."

Ostrovsky believes that a plot was hatched by the Shabak for "a controlled release of hostility." The Shabak planned that Amir would believe he was going to kill Rabin, but would instead be given blank bullets. Ostrovsky believes that an as yet unexposed Shabak official decided to use real bullets in order to eliminate Rabin.

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Israelis to meet over Arafat
From correspondents in Jerusalem
November 4, 2004

ISRAELI intelligence officers were called to a meeting today to discuss reports that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's health had sharply deteriorated, security sources said.

Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz called the meeting of top officials from Mossad, its domestic security counterpart Shin Beth and army intelligence.

Army chief of staff Moshe Yaalon was also to convene a meeting of Israeli military commanders based in the Palestinian territories, the sources said.

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On this day in history...

Publisher Robert Maxwell dies at sea

BBC News

The body of the millionaire newspaper publisher, Robert Maxwell, has been found in the sea off the coast of Tenerife.

Mr Maxwell's body was discovered at approximately 1800 local time (1700 GMT) and flown to Gran Canaria for identification.

The publisher had been cruising in the Canary Isles aboard his luxury yacht, the Ghislaine.

He is thought to have gone overboard early this morning but was not reported missing until about 1100 local time (1000 GMT) when he failed to answer a telephone call.

Two helicopters, rescue launches and a dozen ships were then sent to the area to assist in the search.

It is not yet known how Mr Maxwell ended up overboard.

After Robert Maxwell's death it emerged that the Mirror Group's debts vastly outweighed its assets and £440m was missing from the company's pension funds.

In 1996, after an eight-month trial, Kevin and Ian Maxwell and another man, Larry Trachtenberg, were cleared of conspiracy to defraud Mirror Group pensioners.

In 2001 the Department of Trade and Industry released a report into the Maxwell affair which said "primary responsibility" for the collapse of the Maxwell business empire lay with its founder.

Comment: While much of the world believes the official version, sanitised for public brainwashing, that Maxwell simply fell overboard and drowned, the truth is rather different and gives us an insight into the way in which big politics and big money really work here on the BBM.

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How Mossad Murdered Robert Maxwell

Excerpted from "The Other Side of Deception" Victor Ostrovsky

Robert Maxwell's contact was not in the best of moods when he received a call on a special secure line at the Israeli embassy in Madrid. Maxwell was phoning from London, saying it was imperative that a meeting be set up. He was willing to come to Madrid.
The ties between Maxwell and the Mossad went back a long way.

Elements within the Mossad had offered to finance Maxwell's first big business ventures, and in later years Maxwell received inside information on global matters from the Office. Maxwell was originally codenamed "the Little Czech," and the sobriquet stuck. Only a handful of people in the Israeli intelligence community knew who the Little Czech was, yet he provided an unending supply of slush money for the organization whenever it ran low.

For years, Maxwell would hit financial lows whenever the Mossad was in the midst of expensive operations that could not be funded legitimately and when other less legitimate sources were unavailable, as was the case after the American invasion of Panama in 1990, which dried up the Mossad's income from drug trafficking and forced Maxwell to dig deep into his corporate pockets.

But the Mossad had used its ace in the hole one time too many. Asking Maxwell to get involved in a matter of secondary importance (namely, the Vanunu affair) had been a big mistake, for which the media mogul would be made to pay the price.

That involvement caused suspicion in the British Parliament that there was no smoke without fire, particularly after the publication of a book by an American reporter claiming Maxwll was a Mossad agent. Maxwell retaliated in a lawsuit, but the ground was starting to burn under his feet. The Mossad was late in giving him back his money, and the usual last-minute rescue of his financial empire was looking less and less feasible.

For Maxwell, what was already bad was about to get worse. His call couldn't have been more poorly timed. Israel was participating in a peace negotiation process that the Mossad top clique believed would be detrimental to the country's security. At the same time, news was reaching the Office of a growing scandal caused by Mossad involvement in Germany. This scandal was a result of Uri's having made a call to the Hamburg River Police informing them that a shipment of arms was about to be loaded onto an Israeli ship.

The arms consisted of Soviet tanks and antiaircraft equipment, concealed in large crates marked agricultural equipment. The shipment had been arranged with the help of the BND, without the knowledge of the German government or the Ministry of Defense. It was exactly the same equipment that the Ministry of Defense had refused to send to Israel in March of the same year, because they believed the shipment would defy the German law forbidding the shipment of war materiel to a conflict zone.

The Mossad's right-wing element wasn't sure to what extent this scandal would grow. They remembered very well the scandal that had occurred in 1978 when the German police had allowed Mossad officers posing as German intelligence officers to interrogate Palestinians in German prisons. If the German government could contain the situation, things would be fine. But once the story was in the hands of the media, there was no telling where it would go.

And then came this call from Maxwell, insisting he must meet his contact on a matter of great urgency. The mogul was rebuffed at first, but then he issued a veiled threat: Now that he was being investigated by Parliament and the British media, if he wasn't able to straighten out his financial affairs, he wasn't sure he could keep the Kryuchkov meeting a secret.

What he was referring to (and in doing so, he sealed his fate) was a meeting that he'd helped arrange between the Mossad liaison and the former head of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov, who was now jailed in Number Four Remand Center in Moscow for his role in the Soviet Union's August coup to oust Mikhail Gorbachev.

At that meeting, which took place on Maxwell's yacht at anchor in Yugoslav waters, Mossad support for the plot to oust Gorbachev was discussed. The Mossad promised to bring about, through its politlcal connections, an early recognition of the new regime, as well as other logistical assistance for the cop. In exchange, it requested that all Soviet Jews be released, or rather expelled, which would create a massive exodus of people that would be too large to be absorbed by other countries and would therefore go to Israel.

Certain right-wingers within the government had believed this meeting with the coup plotters was a necessity. They knew that if the Soviet Union were to stop being the enemy, there'd no longer be a threat from the East, and the strategic value of Israel to its greatest ally, the United States, would diminish. Alliances between the United States and the Arab nations in the region would then be a realistic prospect.

It was Maxwell who'd helped create the ties with the now-defunct KGB. The right-wingers realized it would be a devastating blow to Israel's standing in the West if the world were to learn that the Mossad had participated in any way, as minute as that participation might be, in the attempted coup to stop the democratization of the Soviet Union. It would be perceived as treason against the West. Maxwell was now using the Mossad's participation as a threat, however veiled, to force an immediate burst of aid to his ailing empire. His contact asked him to call back in a few hours.

A small meeting of right-wingers at Mossad headquarters resulted in a consensus to terminate Maxwell. At first, the participants thought it would take several weeks to put together a plan, but then someone pointed out that the process could be accelerated if the Little Czech could be made to travel to a rendezvous where the Mossad would be waiting to strike.

Maxwell was asked to come to Spain the following day. His contact promised that things would be worked out and that there was no need to panic. The mogul was asked to sail on his yacht to Madeira and wait there for a message.

Maxwell arrived in Gibraltar on October 31, 1991, boarded his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, and set sail for Madeira, as instructed. There he waited for directions. Meanwhile, the Mossad was getting read to strike. On Friday, November 1, a special Mossad troubleshooting team that was in Spain to cover the peace talks was dispatched. The team flew to Morocco, where they were met by a confederate who'd already taken care of all the necessary equipment and other arrangements.

At first, Maxwell was told that the meeting would take place in Madeira and that he'd receive as much money as he needed to calm the situation. Additional moneys would be advanced to him later. All this was to be kept completely quiet, since there was no point in providing more fodder for his enemies, who would have liked nothing better than to show his direct connection to the Mossad.

On November 2, the Mossad learned that Maxwell had called his son in England and scheduled a meeting with him on the island. Maxwell was told to cancel the meeting. He was also told that the meeting with the money people would now take place on the island of Tenerife.

When he reached Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife, he headed for a meeting in the Hotel Mency. As he dined alone in the hotel restaurant, someone walked over to him and gave him a message indicating that he should be in Los Cristos on the other side of the island the next morning. He was to make his way there in his yacht, sailing around the island of Grand Canary.

I learned all this in a phone conversation with Ephraim. He had no idea how the Kidon team had managed to get to Maxwell at sea while the yacht was cruising at fifteen knots, but making it look impossible was part of the Kidon magic. Some time during the night of November 4-5, the Mossad's problem was laid to rest in the salty waters of the Atlantic.

After an autopsy that raised more questions than it answered, a second autopsy was held in Israel under the watchful eye of the security apparatus. Whatever was not detected then was buried forever on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation's most revered heroes.

"He had done more for Israel than can today be said," Prime Minister Shamir eulogized at Maxwell's burial

Comment: Read some of the bolded paragraphs above again and understand that way that the Mossad works. Then, think about Israeli interests and the events of 9/11.

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Israeli army on high alert as Arafat lapses into coma

Yasser Arafat has lapsed into a coma, a senior Palestinian official said today after the ailing leader was rushed into intensive care at a French military hospital following a sharp deterioration in his health.

The Israeli military was placed on high alert, and was following the developments closely, security sources said.

The Israeli army has a contingency plan, called New Leaf, to deal with any fallout from Arafat’s death, including possible Palestinian riots.

The military has not yet moved forces to anticipated problem areas, but commanders were told to be on standby.

There was some confusion over the state of Arafat’s health. Two Arafat aides denied he was in a coma, and French hospital and military officials would not comment on the ailing Arafat’s health.

The 75-year-old Palestinian leader was rushed for emergency treatment to the Percy Military Training Hospital outside Paris last Friday. Since then, his condition has largely remained a mystery, with Palestinians issuing conflicting reports about his health.

A senior Palestinian with close access to the French medical team insisted today Arafat was comatose – but would not say when he lost consciousness.

But Mohammed Rashid, Arafat’s financial adviser, strongly denied reports that Arafat had slipped into a coma. [...]

But Israeli media, citing Israeli intelligence officials, said Arafat suffered organ failure and that he had lost consciousness several times. The Maariv newspaper said Arafat’s condition was "very critical."

But some of Arafat’s top aides denied there had been any setback and accused Israel of spreading rumours.

"These unfounded reports are not coming from French medical teams, these are leaks from the Israeli side," said Mohammed Dahlan, a former Palestinian security chief. [...]

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel is tracking Arafat’s health "very carefully.

"Our goal is to prepare for the day after, if and when he dies," he said.

Israeli intelligence was widely criticised after it was caught off guard last week by the sudden deterioration in Arafat’s health.

Shalom said his condition "is very serious", but gave no details. At the same time, he said: "it is too soon to eulogise Yasser Arafat."

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'The day after' Arafat dies - not just an IDF game

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
05/03/2004 14:35

The Israel Defense Forces recently conducted a simulation "war game" about what would happen the day after Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat passes away.

The exercise examined several possible scenarios and how Arafat's death - by natural causes - would influence the domestic situation in the Palestinian Authority and its relations with Israel. The Central Command exercises involved senior officers; apparently, the General Staff will continue where the Central Command officers left off.

Security sources told Haaretz that the exercise was not the result of any new information about the state of Arafat's health.

Last fall there was speculation about the 75-year-old's health after he appeared to be fatigued and gaunt, but after medical treatment he seemed to be feeling fine.

The army regards "the day after" as a "new chapter" in PA - and Palestinian - history. The assumption is that everything that will take place - the funeral, the mass demonstrations, power struggles for the leadership - will lead to a change in the Palestinians' strategic relationship with Israel.

The exercise included issues like where the funeral would be held, the route it would travel, the possibility of violent demonstrations, loss of control by the PA, and attempts by the Hamas to forcibly grab power in Gaza.

There is also growing speculation in the PA about what happens on the day after. Channel 2 reported this week that Arafat wants a crypt for himself on the Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount, where there are graves of many past Palestinian leaders.

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U.S. in for dark times ahead
Julian Aynsley, Barrrie, Ont.
Nov. 4, 2004. 01:00 AM

Once again, the United States has shot itself in the foot and managed to damage the rest of the world in the process. The consequences that will ensue from Tuesday's presidential election will reach clear around the world.

At home, Americans will see a continued trend of wealth concentration with those at the very top of the income scale, further job losses, the continuation of a slave-labour minimum wage and a greater number of the homeless and those without health care. There will be continued restriction of cheaper drugs for seniors and completely inequitable tax cuts for the super-rich. Fringe issues will be routinely used as distractions, promoting an agenda of division and deception. The insane weaponization of space will proceed.

There's almost certain to be a Supreme Court packed with conservative judges, thereby threatening the Roe v. Wade decision, slowing medical advances that would have resulted from stem cell research and continuing the oppression of the country's gay citizens.

In the Middle East, innocent young Americans who wanted to serve their country will continue to be tossed into a meat grinder for the sole purpose of enriching corporations like Halliburton. Who knows? With his doctrine of "pre-emptive war," George W. Bush may decide to expand the conflict to Iran, North Korea, etc. The gap between the Islamic world and the West will mirror the division of the "two Americas," for while there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq in the beginning, it will now most certainly become a rich source of recruitment for Osama bin Laden and his ilk. Continuing U.S. resistance to international law, combined with this administration's open contempt for the United Nations, will further erode the emerging world order. Around the globe, respect for America will continue to degrade into contempt and resentment, as even moderate former allies become ever more mistrustful of an increasingly rogue state.

Bush's victory was largely due to two groups, demonstrating two truly appalling ironies: The most corrupt administration in recent years has been returned to office, in part, by evangelical Christians citing "moral" values. And those frightened about national security and the so-called "war on terror" have given a second term to the very man who has so dramatically escalated the tensions in an already dangerous world.

Given the swaggering arrogance exhibited by Bush when operating on a razor-thin and arbitrary mandate, it is truly horrifying to contemplate his future behaviour, with a genuine election win behind him. My sincere condolences, America; you, (and Canada and the rest of the world) are in for very dark times ahead.

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The United States of Canada and Jesusland
November 4, 2004

Maybe we should be seriously thinking about this:

I bet if we got this on the ballot in all 50 states that even the jesus states would vote to let us go. We'll tell 'em its a moral values issue.


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The Red Zone
Published: November 4, 2004

WASHINGTON - With the Democratic Party splattered at his feet in little blue puddles, John Kerry told the crushed crowd at Faneuil Hall in Boston about his concession call to President Bush.

"We had a good conversation," the senator said. "And we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need, the desperate need, for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together. Today I hope that we can begin the healing."

Democrat: Heal thyself.

W. doesn't see division as a danger. He sees it as a wingman.

The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?

While Mr. Bush was making his little speech about reaching out, Republicans said they had "the green light" to pursue their conservative agenda, like drilling in Alaska's wilderness and rewriting the tax code.

"He'll be a lot more aggressive in Iraq now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version of the war." Never mind that the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create.

Just listen to Dick (Oh, lordy, is this cuckoo clock still vice president?) Cheney, introducing the Man for his victory speech: "This has been a consequential presidency which has revitalized our economy and reasserted a confident American role in the world." Well, it has revitalized the Halliburton segment of the economy, anyhow. And "confident" is not the first word that comes to mind for the foreign policy of a country that has alienated everyone except Fiji.

Vice continued, "Now we move forward to serve and to guard the country we love." Only Dick Cheney can make "to serve and to guard" sound like "to rape and to pillage."

He's creating the sort of "democracy" he likes. One party controls all power in the country. One network serves as state TV. One nation dominates the world as a hyperpower. One firm controls contracts in Iraq.

Just as Zell Miller was so over the top at the G.O.P. convention that he made Mr. Cheney seem reasonable, so several new members of Congress will make W. seem moderate.

Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.

Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach my third-grade children."

John Thune, who toppled Tom Daschle, is an anti-abortion Christian conservative - or "servant leader," as he was hailed in a campaign ad - who supports constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage.

Seeing the exit polls, the Democrats immediately started talking about values and religion. Their sudden passion for wooing Southern white Christian soldiers may put a crimp in Hillary's 2008 campaign (nothing but a wooden stake would stop it). Meanwhile, the blue puddle is comforting itself with the expectation that this loony bunch will fatally overreach, just as Newt Gingrich did in the 90's.

But with this crowd, it's hard to imagine what would constitute overreaching.

Invading France?

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Doctors Without Borders shuts clinics in Iraq
Last Updated Thu, 04 Nov 2004 15:17:18 EST

BRUSSELS - An international medical aid group that once won the Nobel Peace Prize is pulling out of Iraq, citing the recent targeting of aid workers by militant groups.

Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said on Thursday that it has decided with "a great degree of regret and sadness" to shut down its three aid centres in Baghdad and to cancel plans to open a fourth in Fallujah.

"It has become impossible for MSF as an organization to guarantee an acceptable level of security for our staff, be they foreign or Iraqi ," said Gorik Ooms, the general director of the Belgium-based group.

The three medical aid centres in Baghdad, being run by about 90 Iraqi nationals in the mainly Shia Muslim neighbourhood of Sadr City, had seen more than 100,000 patients since January.

Last month, CARE International ended its operations in Iraq after militants kidnapped its director in the country, Margaret Hassan. Her captors have threatened to kill her unless Britain pulls its troops out of Iraq.

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US terror warning on Uzbekistan
From correspondents in Washington
November 5, 2004

TERRORIST attacks against US interests in Uzbekistan might be imminent, the United States said. It warned US citizens in the country "to exercise extreme caution".

"The United States Government has received information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks against US interests in Uzbekistan in the near future," the State Department said .

"We remind all Americans that terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets," it said.

"The Department of State urges Americans in Uzbekistan to exercise extreme caution, including avoiding large crowds, celebrations, and places where Westerners generally congregate," it said. [...]

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Quit bashing Bush, Martin tells caucus
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Ottawa — Prime Minister Paul Martin moved immediately yesterday to begin fixing stubborn trade irritants with a reinvigorated George W. Bush as he warned his MPs behind closed doors to use restraint when passing judgment on Mr. Bush's election victory.

But even as he raised his concerns, one of his more outspoken MPs continued to criticize the U.S. leader, referring to him yesterday as a "war-like" man.

"He has been reconfirmed as their commander-in-chief, and he is a war-like man," Carolyn Parrish said.

Ms. Parrish, who also said Mr. Bush's re-election demonstrates that Americans are "out of step" with the rest of the world, made the remarks after the Prime Minister told caucus members they should refrain from commenting on who they thought should have won. [...]

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Bomb scare clears NAIT building
Web Posted   Nov 4 2004 10:10 AM MST

Edmonton - Hundreds of NAIT students and employees were forced to evacuate a building Wednesday, after a bomb scare.

Police say about 2:30 p.m. someone called the parking office with a bomb threat, which led to the main road through the campus being closed. An explosives-sniffing dog was used, and police determined the call was a hoax.

However, fire Capt. Jim Galellis says despite the fact the bomb wasn't real, those leaving the building didn't know that and didn't take the situation seriously enough.

"This day and age we really can't afford to treat these sorts of things casually," he said. "I'm going to talk with security at NAIT and we're going to have a talk and see if we can get this a little bit more organized."

Police are investigating a possible suspect.

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Threats and attacks hit Thai south
Nov 4, 2004

Schools in region forced to close amid warnings of kidnappings

Bangkok - WARNINGS that Muslim insurgents may try to abduct Buddhist teachers and students prompted most schools in the violence-wracked southern provinces of Thailand to close yesterday, education officials said.

Education Minister Adisai Bodharamik said he had warned Buddhist teachers in the three Muslim-majority provinces that they might be targets of attacks and hostage-taking by the militants.

An official in Narathiwat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said only 41 of the province's 351 schools remained open yesterday, a day after a Buddhist local leader in the province was beheaded by suspected rebels.

Most schools in Yala province and some in Pattani were also shut, the official said.

The situation also prompted the United Nations to send out a warning to its staff in Thailand [...]

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Danish fireworks factory explodes
Associated Press

Copenhagen — Hundreds of firefighters contained a huge blaze at a fireworks factory Thursday, a day after it broke out, setting off at least one explosion as powerful as an earthquake. One firefighter was killed and at least 20 homes were destroyed.

As many as 350 buildings, including private homes and small businesses, may have been damaged by the fire at the N.P. Johnsens fireworks factory in Kolding in western Denmark, 200 kilometres west of the Danish capital.

The blaze was thought to have started Wednesday when two containers of fireworks were being loaded onto a truck, police said. It quickly spread to a nearby building and led to a chain reaction of explosions.

One of the explosions was the equivalent of a magnitude-2 earthquake, according to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

It was unclear what caused the container to combust.

About 2,000 people living near the factory were evacuated as authorities set up a security perimeter. It might take days before people can return, police spokeswoman Gitte Schou said as firefighters worked to cool the containers.

Although the plant has a licence to store 330 tonnes of fireworks, as much as 2,200 tonnes was stockpiled, police said.

A 33-year-old firefighter was killed and 17 people, including firemen, rescue workers and police officers were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation, Ms. Schou said.

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More rumblings off West Coast
WebPosted Nov 4 2004 10:53 AM PST

VICTORIA - Four more earthquakes were recorded off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday.

The four quakes all had a magnitude of 3.2 or higher, with one registering a magnitude of 3.9.

There had been a series of quakes rocked the area on Tuesday, with one measuring up to 6.6 that was felt in Port Alice, Bamfield and Alert Bay.

Seismologists say they were centred in an area about 200 kilometres off the west coast of the Island.

No damage or injuries have been reported.

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Small earthquake rattles Western Montana
Gazette Staff
November 4, 2004 - 11:46 am

A magnitude 3 earthquake struck Western Montana just after 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was recorded at 6:08 a.m. near Augusta, about 25 miles south of Choteau and 65 miles west of Great Falls, according to a preliminary report from USGS.

Montana earthquake officials had not received any calls as of Thursday morning from anyone who felt the quake. Typically, a magnitude 3 earthquake will be more likely to be heard rather than felt - creating sounds similar to distant rumbling or a large truck passing by.

“Unless you're very close to the epicenter, you'd barely notice the event,” said Mike Stickney, director of the earthquake studies office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.

Earthquakes can be common in Western Montana, especially along the Rocky Mountain Front. A magnitude 3.9 earthquake was recorded in that area in July 2000.

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South Australians urged to prepare for earthquake
Thursday, November 4, 2004. 12:41pm (AEDT)

The president of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society has warned South Australians should be prepared for another large earthquake.

The society's annual conference begins in Mount Gambier in the state's south-east tomorrow.

The city has been chosen because it was the site of one earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale back in 1897.

Professor Mike Griffith says the scientific community is predicting another big quake in the future. [...]

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Awesome power of Iceland volcano
BBC News
Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 13:02 GMT

A spectacular volcanic eruption under an Iceland glacier has forced airlines to divert flights to avoid flying through gas emissions from the blast.

The volcano first erupted on Monday, sending thick black smoke and ash heading towards continental Europe.

Since then, Grímsvötn volcano has produced a steady stream of ash and lava, with explosions sending ash up to 12,000m (40,000 feet) in the air.

It is thought to have been caused by drainage of a lake under the glacier.

Officials say people or homes are not at risk from the eruption of Grímsvötn, which is in an unpopulated area of the island.

But ash from the eruption under Vatnajökull glacier - Iceland's biggest - has landed in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The eruption was also violent enough to set off earth tremors.

The ashfall in Iceland has caused some problems for wildlife in the area. For instance, farmers have brought their sheep inside to prevent them from grazing on land covered with shards of abrasive "glass-like" material deposited by the eruption.

Oli Thor Arnarsson of the Icelandic Meteorological Office said a change in the wind could send the cloud toward central Europe.

"We are speculating that the eruption should be clear tomorrow. But if there are more eruptions, we may have ash over central Europe," he said.

Cancelled flights

Trans-Atlantic flights had been diverted south of Iceland to avoid the ash cloud, and domestic flights to the northeast of Iceland were cancelled.

Dutch airline KLM said it had cancelled 59 flights, stranding hundreds of passengers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, because of the cloud of ash hanging above Europe.

"Because of company rules we can't fly below it and we can't fly above it," said airport spokesman Frank Houben.

In addition to visibility problems, abrasive particles released into the air by the volcano can get inside aircraft engines.

"It's the equivalent of sandblasting an aircraft engine with grit," Dr Matthew J Roberts of the Icelandic Meteorological Office in Reykjavik, Iceland, told the BBC News website.

"As the aeroplane draws in large quantities of air, suspended particles cause abrasion inside the engine that can result in the aircraft stalling."

This happened once in 1989, when a 747 flew through an ash cloud from an eruption of the Redoubt volcano in Alaska, US. The engines stopped, causing the plane to lose several hundred feet in altitude.

Luckily, the pilots managed to restart the engines after several attempts, averting a catastrophe.

Warning issued

Over the last few weeks, increased earthquake activity below the Vatnajökull ice cap warned scientists that an eruption was likely.

At 2010 GMT on Monday evening, scientists detected a series of earthquakes from the Grímsvötn volcano beneath Vatnajökull, prompting monitors to issue a public warning.

The earthquakes were followed at 2150 GMT by a sequence of volcanic tremors that confirmed an eruption was underway. Shortly after, doppler radar detected the first volcanic plume breaking through the ice.

"The volcano was maintained under pressure by the weight of a lake above it. As the lake drained, this pressure was released, allowing magma to rise to the surface," Dr Roberts explained.

"It was like lifting the lid off a pressure cooker."

Grímsvötn last erupted six years ago and before that in 1995 and 1993, causing flooding.

The volcano lies on the Atlantic Rift, the meeting of the Euro and American continental plates.

The three major volcanoes of Iceland - Hekla, Katla and Grímsvötn - lie on the same fault line.

During the late 18th century, continuous volcanic eruptions in Iceland heavily damaged a quarter of the island nation, and blotted out the sun's light for several years.

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Supernova debris found on Earth

02 November 2004
Mark Peplow

Ancient explosion may have affected climate and, possibly, human evolution.

Cosmic fallout from an exploding star dusted the Earth about 2.8 million years ago, and may have triggered a change in climate that affected the course of human evolution. The evidence comes from an unusual form of iron that was blasted through space by a supernova before eventually settling into the rocky crust beneath the Pacific Ocean.

Gunther Korschinek, a physicist from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, leads a team who in 1999 found the first deposits of supernova matter on Earth. But it was impossible to date the supernova accurately from those samples, because the material was distributed through several different layers of rock.

The team has now analysed a different piece of ocean crust, where the supernova detritus is concentrated into a clear band of rock that can be accurately dated. The researchers found small but significant amounts of an isotope called iron-60 in the rock, which could only have come from a supernova.

"We've looked at all the possibilities and we can't find anything else that could produce such quantities," Korschinek says. The researchers report their results in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters.

"It represents an experimental triumph and a milestone in this field," says Brian Fields, an astrophysicist from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He argues that the result marks the birth of a completely new area of research, which he calls "supernova archaeology".

When the iron-60 arrived from space, it was evenly distributed all over the Earth. But the signatures are only detectable in crust that has lain undisturbed for millions of years, such as certain parts of the Pacific Ocean floor. This particular crust was taken from an area a few hundred kilometres southeast of the Hawaiian Islands in 1980. It was collected by oceanographers who were investigating the rocks as a potential source of rare mineral ores.

Korschinek estimates that the supernova was between about 100 and 200 light years away and happened 2.8 million years ago, give or take 300,000 years. The explosion can't have been too close to Earth, or it would have delivered enough radiation to cause mass extinctions. Conversely, if the supernova was any further away, more of the iron-60 would have been filtered out by the thin wisps of matter drifting between the stars.

Cooling rays

This means the supernova would have been at the right distance to spray out a stream of cosmic rays that could have increased the cloud cover on Earth. Korschinek calculates that there may have been 15% more cosmic rays arriving on Earth than normal for at least 100,000 years. This is not enough to actually kill anything, but was perhaps sufficient to change the Earth's climate.

The increase in cloudiness would have cooled the surface, tying up water as ice at the poles and leading to a dryer climate in Africa. Climate records in rock cores match the dates of the supernova event.

"Some people believe this climate change in Africa was a driving force in our own evolution," adds Korschinek. The argument is that a drier climate in the continent would have forced humans to adapt4, and to spread out to other, wetter areas.

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Endangered species list grows at alarming rate
5:01 a.m. November 2, 2004
BANGKOK – The world's list of endangered species is growing at an alarming and unprecedented rate as governments pay less and less attention to green issues, a major global environmental body said on Tuesday. The World Conservation Union, which also goes under the acronym IUCN, said it would release a 'red list' of more than 12,000 threatened species at the World Conservation Congress in Thailand, which starts on November 17.

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Singaporean driver feared dead after being swept into river in Johor

JOHOR BAHARU : A Singaporean driver is feared dead after he was swept away by strong currents into a river during a flood.

Bernama news agency said Yong Poh Hong, in his 40s, and his friend Ivan Ho, were traversing the flooded Jalan Tampoi Lama when the car stalled at 4.32pm.

An Indonesian worker at a nearby petrol station, Mohd Khalid Abu, 24, told reporters the car stalled due to the flood waters.

He said both of them managed to get out of the car but the driver was swept away by the rushing flood waters into the swelling Sungai Kempas.

He said he then rushed to a nearby bridge with another Indonesian worker Zakaria Satung, 25, hoping to save the victim who was popping up and down in the water.

"At one point, Zakaria managed to grasp the victim's hand but the strong currents pulled him away. There was nothing we could do," said Mohd Khalid.

Johor Baharu Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Rashid Hassan Murad said a search and rescue operations had been mounted to locate the missing driver.

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