Saturday, November 06, 2004
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©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

American sunset
Look dear! Don't the chemtrails look lovely tonight
By John Kaminski
Oh, the gnashing of teeth, the beating of breasts, the wailings of woe.

Bush and the Republicans stole the election! Big surprise, eh? The neocon Nazis have done nothing but break the law since before they ever took office. You were expecting fair play from them, perchance?

Much as I admire many of my friends who are desperately trying to tell everyone that the exit polls matched the election results in all the states with a paper trail, but didn't in states without one — suspiciously and substantially favoring Bush instead — they all are, to put it politely, whizzing into the wind. Perhaps they hope to find a prosecutor aspiring to career suicide, or maybe a judge who wishes to see his family killed in some kind of odd accident, an inexplicable plane crash, perhaps.

Of course, it is of some substantive concern that the American electoral process has been placed in the hands of partisan corporations, guaranteeing about as much integrity as typical government reports saying antidepressants are good for children, or the feds have no idea who committed the anthrax murders, or corporations should not be held liable for their lethal products because it's bad for business.

Your vote didn't count last time. Why would you expect it would now?

And anyway, here's a more important question.

How, in an election year where the central questions should have been about waging wars based on well-known lies and throwing away the lives of American soldiers chasing phantoms who don't exist — as well as questioning the cynical coverup of the greatest crime in American history, which 3,000 Americans were murdered by these same phantoms .... how could these momentous questions be overshadowed on election day by a relatively irrelevant brouhaha about gay marriage?

In fact, it was because the loyal opposition chose not to mention these issues, but instead participated in the media coverup of these crimes, because in fact there is only one party in this country — the party of the banks. On that level this election was a complete sham. There was no real contest. So why are you so upset about the results of an election in which both candidates were saying the same thing? Hell, it’s only too appropriate the results were manipulated, given the insincere similarity of the candidates.

Evil electronic electioneering and deliberately distracting debates are not the top stories of this election.

When all was said and done, your vote didn't really matter because John Kerry essentially agreed with everything Bush had done during his capital- crime-plagued first term. (Capital crimes, as in treason and mass murder.) Kerry promised to INCREASE the war effort in Iraq. He accepts the reality of the cover story of Arab hijackers. He helped write the Patriot Act. Fifteen years ago, he helped cover up the BCCI scandal, another one of the great robberies in American history.

So why are so many so upset that Republican vote-counting executives stole the election for Bush in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, and God knows where else? We know having Kerry, Bush's fraternity brother, in the White House would have made absolutely no difference in terms of government policy.

So why is everyone so upset that Kerry so quickly conceded, getting himself out that contrived dog-and-pony show as fast as possible? Why is anyone upset that Kerry lost? Nothing would have changed!

Why bother working to overturn an election when success would mean installing a candidate who would do nothing different from the man who won? Now that’s what I call a totally futile effort.

No, there is a bigger question than vote fraud, or the manipulation of public opinion by unscrupulous media corporations, or the fact that the two political parties are actually one, and that the loyal opposition seeks only to emulate the party in power rather than oppose it, which means it no longer has a chance of winning anything.

The biggest question of all is about the caliber — and the sanity — of the American people.

The mask is off now.

The lies used to justify the continuing slaughter of innocent people in Iraq fester like an infected scab on the psyche of the American people, who have become so twisted in their pursuit of narcotized tranquility that they are now even cheering the deaths of their own children who come home in boxes we are not allowed to see. How much more insane can it get before blissful blackness will alleviate our misery?

If souls were faces, Americans would gaze into their bathroom mirrors each morning and see their rotting skin covered with oozing sores, putrescent pustules of their suicidal disease caused by their intransigent focus on tormenting trivialities, caused by their willing ignorance of their soldiers — their own children — raping Iraqi children, blowing Iraqi families to bits, then, as their deeds set into their curdled spirits, coming home and hanging themselves in the shattering silence of realizing their own horrified depravity.

Do you have a child in the military?

Chances are fairly good — if he is still alive — he has become a murderer, or a rapist, or that he has become sickened to the point that his life is ruined, which means that your life is ruined, if you have any feelings at all.

This is America 2004. A willing blindness drapes the land like a shroud, where old men beat their war drums and young men say, “hey, this is really cool!” in the millisecond before they lose a limb to a land mine, or frag an unknown family into bleeding bits of twitching protoplasm.

Americans have not only lost their souls into insane religious practices, they’ve lost their brains as well. What other country on Earth can’t even keep track of its own voting process, that offers two candidates who are handpicked androids of the power elite, who both cheerily endorse senseless killing of people already oppressed by enemies invented by the very people who fight them?

I ask again: Do you have a child in the military?

Because if you don’t, you will soon. What will you do when your child is drafted into the military and sent to Iraq to kill innocent people for reasons that you know in your heart are lies?

Will you wave your flag, like most Americans do, just as you have dutifully cast your vote?

The election is over. It didn’t matter who won. What matters is that America has lost, and Americans eagerly helped her lose, just as Americans eagerly kill people all over the world for reasons that they know are lies. Since both candidates were pursuing the same policies in regard to making unjust war, in this election, Americans voted overwhelmingly — almost 100 percent — to kill their own children for reasons that they know are lies. And kill anyone else within convenient shooting distance.

Long live the empire. Let the killing continue.

Stop whining about the vote. You got exactly what you deserved. A homicidal liar with the weaponry — and the willingness — to kill everyone on the planet.

This is the new American dream, and it’s your worst nightmare.

You have only yourself to thank for not paying attention. Have a nice day.

John Kaminski’s essays have appeared on hundreds of websites around the world and have been collected into two anthologies. The latest, titled “The Perfect Enemy,” is available at

Comment: When Kaminski's emotional centre gets fired up, he can write up a storm.

From the messages we have received from Americans, it appears that it is American's image of themselves that has taken a shellacking in this election. Some are worried that the rest of the world will consider the US a staggering drunk with a loaded gun. Others are hurt that America will no longer be respected.

Yes, it hurts to lose an illusion, but this is the point of the work, after all. We need to learn to separate the pain of SEEing from the pain of shattered illusions.

Better to hurt because you see what IS, than to hurt because your illusions were shattered.

We think that the wealth and freedoms that Americans have enjoyed were in fact based upon the exploitation of others within and outside of the US. If the US was a wealthy country and was able to redistribute some of that wealth downward, it was because it was stealing that wealth elsewhere. This is where we see a continued belief in the illusion among Americans who are upset at Bush's victory.

Early in its history, the US was expanding westward. It wasn't involved in foreign adventures because the "foreign" adventure was happening at home. The lands of other peoples were being stolen, the people killed, and blacks were held in slavery. After the continent was conquered, the Native people exterminated and subdued, and the blacks "freed", then the US had to set its sights elsewhere to get its wealth. At the end of the 19th century, it started intervening elsewhere. The US imposed its will on others, be it economically or culturally. It gradually became the centre of an empire. While the empire is "healthy", that is, while it is able to dominate with little opposition, the money flows in and the population of the centre lives well. When the empire starts to crumble, the funds dry up. But luxury -- be it economic or social -- in the empire depends upon that domination.

Yes, the rights and freedoms that were won came because people on the bottom in the US were fighting hard to get them, to get more of the pie, but there was more to go around and it was therefore easier for the PTB to dole out the goodies to keep the population quiet.

However, while things were "improving" in the US, they were deteriorating for people in Latin America, Vietnam, etc. There is a direct connection between these two events in our opinion.

We are not arguing a reversed sort of American exceptionalism and are not claiming that the US was worse in doing this than any previous empire. We think the same thing would have happened anywhere, to any country that was the centre. But the American standard of living, and here we include whatever political freedoms they have or had, has come at the expense of great suffering for others. It is the same in France. France had a large number of colonies in Africa. If there is a problem with the integration of Arabs in France today, it is the result of their exploitation of these countries. France in some way is paying a karmic debt. If they had left these lands alone, they would not be facing the issues today.

So that is how we see the reality behind the "improvements" in the US through its history.

What does seem to be different in the American mentality in our opinion is that there is a thick layer of "We are special" that is not so strong in other countries. Yes, there can be a national or cultural pride, but it does not go to the degree that it does in the US where it has been beaten into everyone from the time they are born. Bush, with his pampered upbringing, feels that everything is his due. I think that this is true to some extent for the population of the US as a whole in their relations with the rest of the world. Identification with being "American" carries with it a whole set of beliefs that are never questioned.

What possible "specialness" can be conferred on someone from having been born somewhere -- given that there was no choice involved? What personal responsibility do any of us have for where we were born? So how can we claim any "credit"?

Americans think that they won WWI and WWII. However, WWI was close to a negotiated settlement prior to the US entry until the Zionists convinced the Brits to hold on. The Zionists would deliver the US in exchange for getting Palestine at the end of the war. In WWII, the US was not the site of any battles, did not have its infrastructure and population decimated, while the European countries were turned into rubble. The US waited until after the Russians had defeated the Germans at Stalingrad before launching the Second Front. Yet this summer, we had to suffer through the propaganda about the Americans, liberators of Europe, and many Americans still believe it. More than that, they bask in it, even those who weren't born and had no role.

Yes, the US played a role, but given that it had had no fighting on its territory, that its factories weren't destroyed, its homes not in ruin, and its civilian population protected, isn't it normal that they would have had the means to do so?

One reader wrote and said, regarding the illusion, that "A lot can be handled if you think things are getting better."

What if it is an illusion that things will get better? What if the difficult period gets worse? It is likely that refusing to admit that fact will only get one into more trouble. Eventually, the illusion will be shattered, the pain will be enormous, and your situation will be worse off than if you had seen through the illusion earlier and been able to deal with the reality.

Seeing that reality will certainly also be painful. We had no illusions about the US to lose in the elections, but we are deeply pained by what we see. We SEE not only what happened on November 2, we see what is going to happen, but at least we can prepare, we can shine the light of truth so that others who have lost their illusions can learn to see clearly.

There is no political solution, but, maybe, just maybe, what the Cs are saying is correct, and there is another way out if we can look this reality in the face without flinching.

Better to hurt because you see what IS, than to hurt because your illusions were shattered.

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Killed Like Caesar of Old?
With Arafat Gone Israel Prepares to Move Toward End Game
MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 6 Nov:

He may not yet be 'clinically dead', or the more important reality for some may be 'legally dead' as all the secret bank accounts and properties are grabbed by those around him...but even the President of the United States has already addressed his death saying 'God Bless His Soul'.

But how is he dead? The circumstances, the timing, the method, the exiled 'wife' wisking him off to Paris; all extraordinarily suspicious when the pieces are all put together. Just an old man who caught the flu and quickly deteriorated despite teams of doctors and the best medical care? Or like Caesar of old -- done in by his long-time enemies and some insiders he thought to be his friends?

We're not dealing here with casual and easily discredited 'conspiracy theories'. Rather we're dealing with a great deal of historical and circumstantial evidence few remember as well as some crucial factual clues unknown beyond Palestinian circles.

Arafat was assassinated by blood poisoning by the Israelis working with some insiders is the conclusion of Professor Hisham Ahmed.

Professor Ahmed lives in Ramallah near the headquarters where Arafat was under house imprisonment for nearly three years. He teaches Political Science at Bir Zeit University and has his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has taught at a number of American Universities and been a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Ahmed was born in Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and he is an astute observer of Palestinian affairs and indeed of international affairs.

The interview late yesterday with Professor Ahmed is being prepared and will be available here from MER very soon.

Comment: The interview can be found here.

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US blasts Falluja before expected showdown
Saturday 06 November 2004, 10:55 Makka Time, 7:55 GMT

US war planes have struck parts of the Iraqi cities of Falluja and Ramadi for more than 24 hours, the military has said, as the threat of all-out action loomed.

The aerial bombardment accompanied increased ground fire on Falluja in a bid to turn up the heat on the anti-American forces the US believes are holed up inside.

"First Marine Expeditionary Force conducted coordinated offensive operations in and around the Falluja-Ramadi area," the military said in a statement on Saturday, without specifying where the strikes occurred.

It "destroyed three barricaded fighting positions, an anti-aircraft weapon and a weapons cache".

The latest wave of four air raids, in support of ground troops, began at 3.30am (0030 GMT) on Friday and finished at 12.20am on Saturday.

More than 1000 US and Iraqi troops have gathered around the fringes of Falluja, 50km west of Baghdad, since mid-October, while the US military is doubling its manpower in Ramadi to 2000 amid expectations of a two-pronged show-down to crush Iraq's nerve centres of anti-US action.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said on Friday from Brussels that the chance for a peaceful resolution to the standoff was dimming.

Mass evacuation

Many of Falluja's 300,000 inhabitants are thought to have already fled to makeshift camps to the west or sought refuge in Baghdad, while US planes have been dropping leaflets urging those few remaining to leave.

All roads in and out of the city have been closed except for possibly one rural road through the towns of Khan Dhari and Amiryat al-Falluja west of the Iraqi capital, which was last reported to be open on Thursday.

A government-backed delegation of four members of the interim parliament has been negotiating with leaders from Falluja, but hopes for a peaceful settlement are fading fast.

"The encircling of the city has increased. Things are getting worse," said one member of the negotiating team from the national council.

Despite the desperate need for talks, the Falluja officials, who first went to Baghdad on 27 October in the latest round of discussions, had not been in touch for three days, the mediator said.

"We are trying to get in touch. We'll try again," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Talks collapse

Earlier discussions between Baghdad and Falluja delegates collapsed in mid-October after Allawi threatened them with invasion if they did not surrender Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other suspected Muslim fighters believed to be using the city as an operating base.

City leaders insist that the Jordanian-born al-Zarqawi, wanted for a string of deadly attacks and beheading of hostages, does not reside there.

In a sign of an intensified effort to crush pockets of resistance before national elections promised by January, US marines south of Baghdad, with help from Iraq's fledgling security forces, claimed to have captured 41 suspected anti-US forces in a series of raids.

'Captured or killed'

The American troops "are going to make the terrorists taste defeat. The more bitter, the better," declared Colonel Ron Johnson in a separate statement.

The fighters "will be captured or they will be killed. Either way, they will be ushered off the Iraqi stage."

The Friday raids took place in northern Babil, which spans through Mahmudiya, Latifiya and Iskandariya the "triangle of death" and is believed to have strong ties to Falluja and Ramadi to the west.

A British battle group arrived in the region late last month from the relative calm of southern Iraq to free up US troops for the expected Falluja assault.

Comment: The result of the destruction of Falluja will be an increase in the resistance. Bush is using his "political capital" to justify his war crimes.

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No Ways Tired
Global Eye
By Chris Floyd
November 5, 2004

Well, that's it. The great American electoral agon is over at last. Now George W. Bush -- the duly elected, finally legitimate president of the United States -- can get back to doing what he does best: killing people for corporate profit and personal aggrandizement.

Yes, it's a hard blow for the world. Yes, it's a deep shame for American democracy, poisoned by lies, fear, greed and hysteria. Yes, it means that tens of thousands of innocent people will now be killed -- by more war, more neglect, more ignorance, more repression, more brutality, more hatred, more fanaticism. Yes, it means that the planet will be gashed with more wounds, smeared with more filth, left to wither and die. Yes, it's a giant step backward for the human spirit, back to the muck of arbitrary rule by vicious elites and their ham-fisted goons, their well-wadded courtiers, their yapping sycophants. Yes, it means that somewhere out there, in the blood-dimmed haze of a dark age falling, Lucifer and bin Laden are lighting cigars and raising a glass to toast the victory of their good friend George.

These are the facts, and they can't be altered. But how to respond to this catastrophe? Shall we weep, moan, rend our garments, cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes? Shall we sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of republics? Shall we cower in the shadows and sing glamorous dirges for the Lost Cause, for vanished glories and broken dreams?

Or shall we come out fighting, unbowed, heads high, laughing fools to scorn, rejecting at every turn the moral authority of murderers and thieves to rule our lives, determine our reality, act in our name? Let's dispense with lamentation -- give not a single moment to that emotional indulgence -- and get right back to work, more determined than ever to bear down harder, dig deeper and excavate the radioactive nuggets of truth still glowing beneath the slag-heap of ruin that Bush and his terrorist partners have made of the world.

Let's fight, let's reject, let's resist -- without violence, the weapon of the stupid, the hormonal secretion of evolutionary backsliders in thrall to the chemical soup in their heads, dull primitives dressing up their ape-lust for power with scraps of religion, philosophy and cant. Let's fight these pathetic, malfunctioning wretches who lay their hands on our world and rape it like beasts in a mindless rut. Fight them with the truths we find, exposing their crimes and deadly hypocrisies to the people they've suckered, perverted and betrayed.

This is not an insurmountable task, no matter how impervious the Bush Machine -- that monstrous conglomeration of judicial bagmen, Congressional rubber stamps, hard-right media moguls, dopehead radio ranters, sex-crazed theocrats, neo-conservatives, neo-Confederates, war profiteers, think-tank bleaters, Wall Street sharks, oilmen, Moonies, gun nuts and woman-haters -- might appear at the moment. Let's look at the facts. Despite four years of the most relentless barrage of propaganda, deceit, misinformation and fearmongering ever hurled against a free society, more than 55 million people voted to reject Bush and all his works: his Hitlerite policy of aggressive war; his gulag system of torture and lawless detention; his savage assault on civil rights, the environment, working people and the poor; his systematic destruction of social programs; his transfer of sovereignty from individuals and communities to the iron grip of his corporate donors; his trashing of hard-won international agreements on nuclear weapons, conventional arms, war crimes, global warming, the rights of women and the protection of children; his unleashing of rabid religious zealots into the bowels of government to set policies on science, health, education, welfare, while sucking up billions in public money to fund their sectarian causes.

Such mass dissent -- even in "wartime," in the face of the Machine -- is surely cause for hope. Moreover, recent academic studies show that a large majority of Bush supporters actually disagree with him on everything from the Kyoto Protocol to missile defense to international law to workers' rights -- but somehow believe that he shares their views. Most Bush-backers also still believe that Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida colluded in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- yet this same majority says that the conquest of Iraq would be illegitimate if there were no WMD and no 9/11 connection. Thus more than half of the Bush voters on Tuesday oppose his actual policies, including the criminal war in Iraq -- they just don't know it yet, because they're mired in carefully cultivated delusion.

Of course, many Bush voters are willfully deluded, glad to be suckered and betrayed. They love the ludicrous puppet-show of his supposed greatness, his all-seeing wisdom, his mandate from God. They get teary-eyed at the thought of his honesty and goodness -- while he kills 100,000 innocent people in Iraq, as a new medical study shows, with a brutally stupid military aggression based on lies and fantasies, fomenting more terrorism with each new barbarity and gorging his cronies on blood money. This hard core will never respond to the truth.

But if we can enlighten even the smallest percentage of Bush's razor-thin majority, then support for his murderous folly and waste will quickly erode. One by one, the puppet-strings will snap, and America's headlong plunge into tyranny, bigotry and endless imperial war can perhaps -- perhaps -- be halted, even reversed.

It's worth the fight. Let's take it on, let's take them down. In the words of the old spiritual, let us be in no ways tired. The road back to sanity and justice starts now.

Comment: Chris Floyd's articles often appear on the Signs pages, as he is a very good writer, whose insightful, often controversial articles for the Moscow Times reach a large audience, with an "eye-for-truth" perspective not often shared by other mainstream media columnists.

Unfortunately, the second last paragraph above betrays a certain wishful thinking on the writer's part, that is not shared by the Signs of the Times. We harbour no illusions that "America's headlong plunge into tyranny, bigotry and endless imperial war can perhaps -- perhaps -- be halted, even reversed."

The United States started down the slippery slope towards fascism a long time ago. In fact, it could be said that as a country, the U.S. was "designed" that way from the very beginning. For many Americans brainwashed since birth with the notion of a free and democratic society, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

No, there is no turning back now. The U.S. is like a runaway freight train, the Armageddon Express careening out of control, with a momentum that is virtually unstoppable. Even with opposition from most of the world, and half of it's own citizens, Bush has been given a very specious "mandate" to impose his version of apocalyptic reality onto the rest of humanity.

The wheels have been set in motion, and all we can do is grab a front-row seat, and with megaphone in hand, hopefully continue to give voice to the truth, before the plug gets pulled and the lights go out.

Nazi Germany was a "trial run" for present day America.

Stay tuned.

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Suicide by Ballot
By Charles Cutter
Nov 4, 2004, 16:21

Police officers are familiar with the phenomenon whereby an individual - through despair, desperation, and/or insanity - orchestrates an event that forces the police to end their life. The technical term is "victim precipitated homicide."

The police call it "suicide by cop."

Examining the results of the presidential race, we're now faced with an electorate - motivated by a combination of fear, hatred, and religious/cultural intolerance - that seek to destroy the very heart of our democracy through the voting booth.

Let's call it "suicide by ballot."

Fifty-nine million Americans - a slight but sufficient majority - will not have the luxury to claim retroactive ignorance in the years to come. George W. Bush, in his first term as president, showed us his vision of America - where capitalism means corporate welfare and unbridled greed, where U.S. soldiers are handmaidens to Halliburton, where the anti-abortion candidate slaughters Iraqi children. With another term in office - coupled with Republican gains in the House and Senate, and the attendant freedom to replace retiring Supreme Court justices with radical activists - Americaís dark fate has been sealed for decades to come.

It's the will of the slim majority. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes, the Bush supporters "don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."

Who are these people?

They support the separation of church and state in matters of taxation, but believe we should have Christian prayers and the Ten Commandments in public schools and courtrooms. They believe in God and Jesus and a blissful afterlife in Heaven, but are irrationally afraid of facing death in a terrorist attack.

They believe the government has no business keeping track of gun purchases, but itís okay for the Justice Department to monitor your medical history and check your library interests, to search your house without your knowledge. They argue for "less government interference" in peopleís lives, while simultaneously arguing that women should be legally forced to endure a full-term pregnancy, and that gay Americans should be denied their civil rights. [...]

The so-called "cultural divide" may, in fact, be unbridgeable.

A Kerry campaign worker in West Virginia, working door-to-door, reported an encounter with a six year old girl. Upon seeing the "Kerry for President" literature, the child said, "He's the man that kills babies," a reference to Mr. Kerry's pro-choice stance. Obviously indoctrinated by her parents, this illustrates the enormity of the challenge: How do you reason with people who embrace both Mr. Bushís pro-life rhetoric and his "bring-it-on" bloodlust?

In Ray Bradburyís prescient short story, "A Sound of Thunder," several time travelers take a trip to the age of dinosaurs. They depart just after a presidential election, celebrating the loss of an extreme right-wing candidate: "If Deutscher had gotten in, we'd have the worst kind of dictatorship. Thereís an anti-everything man for you, a militarist, anti-human, anti-intellectual." While in the past, one man inadvertently steps on an insect, setting forth a chain of events over millions of years. When the men return to the present, they find an altered world, an America leaning toward fascism. Asking who won the election, theyíre told, "You know damn well. Deutscher, of course! Who else? Not that damn weakling Keith. We got an iron man now, a man with guts, by God!"

Mr. Bradbury suggests that humanitys core of decency is a fragile thing, that seemingly minor events create opportunities for catastrophic change.

In his story, it all begins with the death of an insect.

Specifically, a butterfly.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, in 2000, candidate Pat Buchanan received an unexpected 3,407 votes. Even he admitted it was a mistake, the result of a confusing ballot; most of the votes were obviously intended for Al Gore.

Those votes were far more than needed to tip the election away from George W. Bush.

And this would have meant no war with Iraq, which would have meant thousands of people still living who have since been brutally killed. Its reasonable to speculate that we would have seen the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden. Certainly - barring the Iraq war and Mr. Bushís tax cuts for the wealthy - we would not be facing record budget deficits as far as the eye can see.

All resulting from a clumsy ballot layout.

Specifically, the infamous "butterfly" ballot.

A seemingly small thing, but the impact is immeasurable - and itís only starting.

And it didnít take millions of years.

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Boulder High students end post-election protest
By P. Solomon Banda
The Associated Press

Boulder - At least 70 students worried about war, a return of the draft and the future of the environment staged an overnight protest in the Boulder High School library before leaving peacefully this morning.

The students said they wanted assurances from political leaders about the direction of the country.

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., met with some of the students for about an hour after they left the library at 7 a.m.

"We're worried that in four years we're going to be at war with five countries and we're going to have no trees," senior Cameron Ely-Murdock said. "I know that's an extreme position, but I'm really worried about the draft."

[...] The sit-in began after school Thursday. The students, who brought sleeping bags and food, said they were not protesting Bush's re-election but were worried about the national debt, Iraq and other issues.

"People are deciding stuff that's going to affect us, and we didn't have a say in it," said Maisie Salinger, 15, a freshman with a peace sign painted on her face.

The students said they wanted to talk to representatives of GOP Gov. Bill Owens and U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo. Musgrave sponsored the failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

It was not clear whether either received a request or responded, but Boulder County Republican Party vice chairman Bill Eckert met with some students.

"They have every right to have their voices heard," he said.

"But their views are based on a lack of information and knowledge, and I think we owe it to them to help alleviate their fears."

Comment: How very "adult-like" of the GOP vice-chairman to take the legitimate concerns of protesting students and easily dismiss them as being "based on a lack of information and knowledge". No point in addressing their grievances directly, just blame it on baseless fears, and do all you can to "alleviate" them. We have a word for this practice; "self-calming", and it is a mechanical response to the feelings of terror resulting from perceiving reality objectively.

Those students have a right to be concerned. They are SEEing what their so-called "elders" refuse to acknowledge. Ironically, when the draft does get reinstated, it won't be the vice-chairman who is called up to sacrifice himself for God and country.

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Voting machine error in Columbus, Ohio, gave Bush 3,893 extra votes
10:03 PM EST Nov 05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An error with an electronic voting system gave President George W. Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

Bush actually received 365 votes in the precinct, Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, told The Columbus Dispatch.

State and county election officials did not immediately respond to requests by The Associated Press for more details about the voting system and its vendor, and whether the error, if repeated elsewhere in Ohio, could have affected the outcome.

Bush won the state by more than 136,000 votes, according to unofficial results, and Kerry conceded the election on Wednesday after acknowledging that 155,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted in Ohio would not change the result.

The Secretary of State's Office said Friday it could not revise Bush's total until the county reported the error.

The Ohio glitch is among a handful of computer troubles that have emerged since Tuesday's elections.

In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. And in San Francisco, a malfunction with custom voting software could delay efforts to declare the winners of four races for county supervisor.

In the Ohio precinct in question, the votes are recorded onto a cartridge. On one of the three machines at that precinct, a malfunction occurred in the recording process, Damschroder said. He could not explain how the malfunction occurred.

Damschroder said people who had seen poll results on the election board's website called to point out the discrepancy. The error would have been discovered when the official count for the election is performed later this month, he said.

The reader also recorded zero votes in a county commissioner race on the machine.

Workers checked the cartridge against memory banks in the voting machine and each showed that 115 people voted for Bush on that machine. With the other machines, the total for Bush in the precinct added up to 365 votes. [...]

Comment: More evidence to add to the ever-expanding pile of voting machine errors and irregularities. Funny how, whenever there is an error discovered, it most always seems to favour Bush.

It couldn't have anything to do with the head of Diebold rigging the machines to do this on purpose, right? Just because he was quoted as saying he would personally deliver the vote to Bush in Ohio, it doesn't mean anything, right?

That sounds too much like a conspiracy, and we all know that conspiracies don't exist, right?

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Gambling vote glitch mars tally
Posted on Fri, Nov. 05, 2004

Broward County corrected a computer glitch Thursday that had miscounted thousands of absentee votes, instantly turning a slot-machine measure from loser to winner and reinforcing concerns about the accuracy of electronic election returns.

The bug, discovered two years ago but never fixed, began subtracting votes after the absentee tally hit 32,500 -- a ceiling put in place by the software makers.

''Clearly it's a concern about the integrity of the voting system,'' said Broward County Mayor Ilene Lieberman, a canvassing board member who was overseeing the count. ``This glitch needs to be fixed immediately.'' [...]

Florida's election chief, Secretary of State Glenda Hood, downplayed the significance of a miscount she blamed on ''inadvertent human error'' in the Broward elections office. Hood stressed that double-checking procedures had caught what she described as an isolated error.

Hood maintained that the incident shows the system worked. ``It's not a problem. . . . They made the correction.''

[...] Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, said such errors can undermine public confidence.

''The bigger picture is that it cast doubt on the accuracy of the elections,'' she said. To resolve any concerns, Rodriguez-Taseff said Broward should recount everything -- not just absentees.

The miscounted votes were the second major flaw in Broward's election, which was also marred when thousands said they didn't get their absentee ballots in the mail.

''I wish it hadn't happened, in that we're trying to regain credibility for this office,'' Snipes said. ``But people will have to look at the whole issue and put it in perspective.''

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Hundreds of people in San Francisco protest Bush's re-election, 57 arrested
Thursday, November 4, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Police arrested 57 people Wednesday as nearly 2,000 protesters decried the re-election of George W. Bush and the continuing war in Iraq.

San Francisco police said the large demonstration that started around 5 p.m. was peaceful, but a smaller group of about 150 later splintered and marched through Civic Center and the Tenderloin.

Fifty six were cited and released and one protester was arrested for assaulting an officer.

Officer Maria Oropeza said the protester was seen throwing a glass bottle at officers. Shards of glass from the shattered bottle flew at officers but did not cause any injuries, she said.

Raucous demonstrators chanted "We're going to beat back the Bush attack, get the troops out of Iraq."

Anti-Bush signs were in abundance, proclaiming "Nov. 2, 2004 -- a sad day" and "Overthrow King Bush." One man held a sign that said "Stop mad cowboy disease."

"I want Bush to know that just because he won the election he doesn't have a mandate and needs to listen to other perspectives," Liz Farinella, 35 of Oakland, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

A large truck carrying drummers in orange T-shirts led the procession down the Market Street.

About a dozen Bush supporters, wielding signs that read "The silent majority has spoken" also showed up and marched behind the crowd.

"I'm in this to promote the fact that we won," said Victor Tracey, 20, a San Francisco State University student.

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Disenchanted Americans flood immigration website
Last Updated Thu, 04 Nov 2004 20:08:17 EST

OTTAWA - Canada is starting to look like a pretty good place to live for thousands of Americans who are unhappy about George W. Bush winning the presidential election.

The self-assessment pages most popular Canada's official immigration website is receiving a record number of visits since Bush won a second term, and most of the hits are from the U.S.

Within hours of Bush's acceptance speech Wednesday, six times more Americans than usual surfed the site.

There were about 179,000 visitors to the site Wednesday, almost twice the previous one-day record set last year. About 64 per cent of those visitors were Americans. [...]

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Hi-tech scans eyed at border

A North American travel card and hi-tech scanners are being looked at by U.S. officials to nab terrorists and beef up border security. The card, which would be for use by Canadian, Mexican and U.S. citizens for travel in North America, could help curb the use of phony documents, said Robert Mocny, the deputy director of U.S. homeland security.

"Fraudulent documents are a huge concern," Mocny has said. He said no decision has been made on the use of the cards.

His officials are also testing cutting-edge technology to scan information from travellers as they leave the U.S. The system is to be operational by June, when travellers will be required to report to border agents as they exit the U.S.

A document given on entry will be automatically scanned as the person leaves. "We are working to digitize the border," he said at a downtown Toronto hotel. "We want to know who is knocking at our door."

Mocny and his officials were visiting Toronto and Montreal yesterday to talk to trade and trucking groups about the U.S.-VISIT program, which requires everyone except Canadian citizens to be photographed and finger-scanned before they're allowed into the United States.

"This applies to anyone who requires a visa," he said. "It is a simple process that enhances the security of the U.S."

He said nationals of 27 countries who wouldn't normally need visas for the U.S. will have to undergo the finger-scan and mugshot.

Mocny said U.S.-VISIT is being tested next week at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia. It will be installed by Dec. 31 at 17 crossings along the Canada-U.S. border.

The new measures will not cause delays at the border because they take only about 15 seconds, officials said. The fingerprints will be compared against 1.2 million in U.S. police databases, Mocny said.

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Two killed, two wounded, hostage taken in suburban Milwaukee hotel
November 5, 2004 

OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) - A man shot and killed his girlfriend and another person at a suburban Milwaukee hotel Friday, then sprayed a hallway with bullets, wounding two others, authorities said.

The gunman - who was wearing body armour and had a fully automatic weapon and a handgun - then took another guest hostage before releasing him unharmed a 30 minutes later, Police Chief Thomas Bauer said. The suspect was then arrested.

The gunman fired 30 to 40 rounds in the rampage, Bauer said. His name was not immediately released.

Two victims were taken to hospitals, and Bauer said he believed they were seriously wounded.

Investigators believe the shooting started in the middle of the night after the gunman had a fight with his girlfriend in their room at the Comfort Suites and she called relatives to pick her up.

The man killed his girlfriend, then shot to death a hotel guest who stepped into the hallway after hearing the noise, Bauer said.

The gunman then fired down two hallways, took another guest hostage and called Milwaukee TV station WITI, which transferred the call to police, Bauer said.

Robin Martin, 41, said he woke up and opened his door on the third floor to investigate a noise.

"Half a dozen guys in SWAT outfits, automatic weapons and sidearms were in the hall. It scared the hell out of me," Martin said. "One of the men said, 'Sir, shut the door.' I did so immediately."

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Trade Towers Rescue Hero Files 9-11 RICO Suit

By Pat Shannan – American Free Press October 29, 2004

Another lawsuit has been filed against top officials in the Bush administration, accusing them of complicity in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

William Rodriguez, a former maintenance worker at the World Trade Center, has filed suit in a Philadelphia federal court naming George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others as being complicit in the 9-11 attacks. Rodriguez claims that top officials either planned the attacks or had foreknowledge of the attacks and permitted them to succeed for the purpose of exploiting a “New Pearl Harbor” in order to launch wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.

The lawsuit—Rodriguez v. Bush, et al., Civil Action No. 04 CV 4952—was filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Oct. 22.

The phrase "new Pearl Harbor" comes from a declaration of principles by the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century. In it, the neo-cons proposed that an event is needed to propel American public opinion toward supporting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and U.S. military domination of the Middle East.

"The official story of what actually took place on 9-11 is a lie," Philip Berg, Rodriguez’s attorney, told Margaret Atheling Rowe of, an Internet news site. “We do not pretend to have put together a full and definitive account of how, and by whom, the attacks were carried out. But information reported in the mainstream media, and viewed in the light of common sense and the laws of physics, demonstrates that the official story, examined closely, is not credible.

Berg is also the attorney for Ellen Mariani, the wife of Louis Neil Mariani, who died when United Air Lines flight 175 was flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9-11.

The official story contains an alarming number of inconsistencies and implausibilities, said Berg.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican-born maintenance worker at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, rescued 15 people.

Rodriguez, who had the master key to the North Tower staircases, unlocked doors and led firefighters up the stairwell, aiding in the evacuation of hundreds of additional people who might have otherwise perished.

Rodriguez re-entered the building three times after the first plane struck, and was the last person to exit the North Tower alive except for those few survivors later pulled from the rubble. He survived the collapse of the North Tower by diving beneath a fire truck to avoid the avalanche of concrete and steel. After on-site treatment for his injuries, Rodriguez plunged right back into the rescue efforts. The next morning, Rodriguez returned to the site to continue to aid in rescue efforts.

Later, Rodriguez became an unofficial spokesman for survivors and helped in the creation of the World Trade Center Memorial Fund.

Berg, a former deputy attorney general in Pennsylvania, maintains that many prominent figures in politics, the military and the mass media consider the official story of 9-11 to be untrue.

But while the truth is emerging bit by bit, thanks to anonymous whistleblowers and independent researchers, “to date no one with the stake in being a senator, a presidential candidate, or a media celebrity has found the courage to risk being ridiculed as a ‘tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist.’ ”

Berg points out that the only senator who has dared to publicly question even parts of the official story, Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), has received threats ominous enough to compel him to shut down his Washington office until after the coming election.

In his interview with, Berg continues:

Some facts cannot be denied. Clearly, 9-11 was carried out by more than one person. Therefore, by definition, there was a conspiracy. What we’re arguing is that the true conspirators have abused their enormous power and the trust of the American people to concoct and to sell to the world a false conspiracy theory, to justify war and mass murder for economic and political gain.

Since the neo-cons, allied with the president, said in almost so many words that they wished for a new Pearl Harbor, why dismiss out of hand an allegation that they used their undeniably sufficient power to actually bring it about? Why has there been no full and transparent investigation? Isn’t it shocking that the federal government grabbed up all of the physical evidence, and that no police authority has conducted a true criminal investigation into 3,000 homicides?

Instead of due process of law, government officials and the mass media convicted Osama bin Laden, and had names and photos of his 19 accomplices on the Internet, literally within hours of the attacks.

Asked why he decided to bring this controversial lawsuit, Rodriguez said that having survived the World Trade Center disaster when so many did not, he feels he must learn the truth of what happened on that day.

"If what the government has told us about 9-11 is a lie," said Rodriguez, "somebody has to take action to reveal the truth. If suing President Bush is what I have to do to accomplish that, so be it."

Comment: Given the "bought and paid for" nature of the American judicial system, court cases like the above are simply laughed at by government officials who stand accused of horrendous crimes.

There might be some value in bringing such cases before the courts if the major media outlets would cover the stories, but sadly, given the "bought and paid for" nature of the American media, there is no chance of this ever happening.

Try it yourself. Look for this story anywhere on any of the major newspapers or magazines. You won't find it.

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Falluja: City of rebellion

BBC News
Once a thriving city, Fallujah has been reduced to rubble and hundreds of its inhabitants murdered by the US military
Falluja - a predominantly Sunni Muslim town 50km (30 miles) west of Baghdad - has emerged as one of the main obstacles to the US and Iraqi governments as they attempt to pacify Iraq.

The town has gained a reputation as the heart of the resistance, where the most wanted man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is said to be hiding out with his bands of suicide bombers and hostage-takers.

It is also a stronghold of Saddam Hussein loyalists.

"Falluja is a cancer," said US Maj Gen Richard Natonski, whose 1st Marine Division have massed on the outskirts of the city.

"We can't have a sanctuary for the enemy and expect to make progress," he said last week.

"It's a rats' nest but if we have to go in and clear it out we will," he added. [...]

Comment: A "cancer", a "rat's nest". These are the terms in which the US military command and government view the resistance in Iraq. The "resistance" in this case comprises ordinary Iraqi people attempting to fight for their lives.

Soon there may be a "resistance" in the US also, made up of ordinary American citizens. When the time comes, have no doubt that they too will be seen as "vermin" to be summarily exterminated.

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Zarqawi Group Urges UK Hostage Release-Web Site

Fri Nov 5, 2004

DUBAI (Reuters) - A group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appealed on Friday to Iraqi militants holding an Iraqi-British aid worker to free her unless she was proven to be a spy, a message posted on an Islamic Web site said.

The unknown militant group holding Margaret Hassan, director of Care International's now halted operations in Iraq, has threatened to turn her over to Zarqawi's group unless British troops quit Iraq.

"We call on those responsible for her abduction to free her ... unless there is proof of her being an agent," Zarqawi's group said in the message.

It said the captors were obligated to publish any evidence they might hold against her. The message could not be immediately authenticated.

"Those who use this hostage like a playing card have not understood our religion well," the message said.

"We announce to the whole world that if they hand over this hostage to us we would release her immediately unless it is proven that she plotted against Muslims," it added.

Comment: A "playing card" indeed.

Public support is essential for the bogus "war on terror". Without it there exists the possibility of widespread civil unrest and public awakening to the true nature of government. "Evidence" that the war on terror is justified must therefore be created.

Kidnappings and beheadings carried out on the orders of US and Israeli intelligence agencies, which are then blamed on "terrorists", provide just such evidence. It's simple Machiavelli.

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Children killed in Gaza explosion

BBC News

Two Palestinian children have been killed in an explosion in south Gaza.

Hospital sources said seven-year-old Ahmed al-Smari and his eight-year-old cousin, Mohammed, died when a tank shell hit their home in Khan Younis.

An Israeli army spokesman has categorically denied that the Israeli forces were operating in the area at the time of the explosion.

The Israeli spokesman speculated that the explosion was caused by a roadside device intended for Israeli forces.

Two Israeli soldiers suffered minor injuries on Friday when explosive devises went off during an operation near the Gaza-Egyptian border.

Reports say three Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in Gaza on Thursday in the Bureij refugee camp. According to an Israeli army statement, a tank had targeted four Palestinians carrying an explosive device.

The Gaza Strip has been occupied by Israel since it captured the territory in the 1967 war.

Comment: Hmmm... so who are going to believe here. An oppressed and downtrodden people with little or no recourse to defense - or a brutal murderous force of occupation inclined to gleefully fill 10 year old schoolgirls full of bullets?

We will let you decide.

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MissCo Records Earthquake
NOVEMBER 5, 2004 - Posted at 7:26 a.m. CST

LEMSFORD, AR - So slight residents in Mississippi County didn't even feel it, but experts say there was an earthquake there on Wednesday.

The University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information in Tennessee reported the 1.9 magnitude earthquake.  Researchers said it was about 2.5 miles west of Lemsford in northeast Arkansas.  A geologist said residents probably wouldn't have even felt it.

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Quake hits northeastern Iranian city of Nahbandan

Tehran, Nov 5, IRNA -- An earthquake measuring 3.8 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the city of Nahbandan in the Southern Khorassan province on Friday.

According to the seismological base of Tehran University's Geophysics Institute, the tremor occurred at 10:28 hours a.m local time (0658 GMT).

There were no reports of any casualty or damage to property caused by the quake.

Iran is situated on some of the world's most active seismic fault lines and quakes of varying magnitudes are of usual occurrence.

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Mt. St. Helens Lava Dome Grows 300 Feet Taller In 9 Days
November 5, 2004
By KOMO Staff & News Services

MT. ST. HELENS - Still going up...

Scientists say the lava dome in the crater of Mount St. Helens has risen more than 300 feet in the past nine days.

The magma pushing up inside the volcano is making the lava dome grow vertically. It has grown outward about only 90 feet in places.

The U.S. Geological Survey says even though the new rock is about 1,000 degrees it has not yet melted the crater glacier.

The lava dome is steaming and the plume occasionally reaches an altitude of 11,000 feet -- about 2,600 feet above the crater rim. The steam has dropped a small amount of ash on the south flanks of the mountain.

Scientists continue to monitor the volcano, taking rock and gas samples and measuring its changing shape.

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Chilling Mystery Hits Kent
November 5, 2004
By Terry Travis

KENT - Its a "chilling" mystery -- how did chunks of ice wind up in an 8-year-old's bed in Kent?

Troy Hualte and his family came home Thursday night around 6 p.m. from their daughter's ballet practice and weren't prepared for what they saw.

"I tucked my ballet shoes under my bed," 8-year-old Breeze Haulte. "Then I saw a big hole in the ceiling. I turned the light on immediately... and ran out and got my dad."

"My daughter went into her room to put her things away and came out quickly and said 'Dad, there's something silver hanging over my bed,'" her father Troy added.

That "something silver" was insulation. There was a hole in the ceiling. On her bed were grapefruit-sized ice balls.

"I climbed up on the roof and noticed that there was one very large hole and must have busted whatever it was up on impact," Troy said.

Understandably, it left Breeze a little uneasy.

"She was frightened last night," her mom Rachel said. "She didn't want to come and get her pajamas out of her dresser and she slept in her brother's room (Thursday) night and then she came into our room last night scared that it might happen again."

Troy called the FAA and was told the ice probably did not come from a plane. The ice in his daughter's room was clear. Ice chunks that fall from passing planes are blue. But the FAA will investigate.

In the meantime, the mystery continues.

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Snowfall of up to 13 inches hits Lone Star State
Thu, Nov. 04, 2004

LUBBOCK, Texas — Wet snow blanketed parts of Texas, closing roads and cutting power to thousands.

The heaviest accumulation Tuesday was more than a foot in the Lubbock area, where the storm closed four roads and left 10,000 to 15,000 homes without electricity.

The Texas Panhandle saw as many as 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

“The snow is extremely wet and heavy, and it came with bad wind,” National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Ellis said.

Many of the outages came when wind gusts up to 45 mph caused tree limbs to break and knock out power lines, Ellis said. [...]

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Driest October in 13 years
Friday, 5 November 2004

(Australia) - THE DRIEST October since 1991 will leave many of the district's farmers with yields barley high enough to cover their input costs.

Most towns have registered at least 20 millimetres of rainfall less than their averages, a figure that will no doubt raise the blood pressure of farmers heading in to harvest.

In 1991 Murray Bridge received 1.8mm, Kar-oonda 2mm and Meningie 0.8mm.

This season's dry spell may mean yields for many farmers will reach only 25 per cent of those in 2003.

Not only has the region missed out on vital rain, but it has also experienced extremely hot weather, including the hottest October day ever recorded (records date back to 1966), on October 12, when it reached 39.7 degrees.

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New Anthrax Vaccine

California firm will make recombinant drug for strategic national stockpile

Chemical & Engineering News
November 5, 2004

Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services Tommy G. Thompson has announced an $877.5 million contract to VaxGen to produce 75 million doses of a new recombinant anthrax vaccine. VaxGen—a spin-off of the biotech firm Genentech—is receiving the first contract under the 2004 Project Bioshield Act. To prevent cost overruns, HHS has negotiated a fixed-price award with the company.

The vaccine, a purified recombinant protective antigen (rPA) against anthrax toxins, will be delivered within two years to the strategic national stockpile. The stockpile was set up under Project Bioshield.

According to HHS, the vaccine has undergone animal testing that demonstrates that it is effective in protecting against aerosol exposure to anthrax spores. Clinical trials have shown it to be safe in humans.

The Food & Drug Administration, however, has not reviewed safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, and probably won’t for several years. Bioshield allows the vaccine to be used before FDA approval if the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention declares an emergency.

Unlike the current anthrax vaccine, which requires a series of six shots, the new vaccine is being evaluated as a three-dose vaccination series. The contract for 75 million doses thus translates to sufficient vaccine to protect 25 million people.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., conducted initial work on the rPA vaccine. In 2002, VaxGen licensed the Army’s product and NIH’s National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of HHS, funded the company’s efforts to develop a manufacturing process. This funding under Project Bioshield is part of the government’s effort to speed up research on new medical countermeasures against potential bioterror attacks.

In a press release announcing the award, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci said, “In an exceptionally short period of time, we have dramatically accelerated our research capacity to develop a new medical countermeasure against one of the most deadly agents of bioterrorism.”

Comment: It doesn't matter that this new vaccine is only experimentally effective in lab animals, nor that it may take years before it gains FDA approval. Under the Project Bioshield Act, all it takes is "if the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention declares an emergency", and the U.S. government could mass-administer this product to humans.

With all these warnings, it seems like the government knows something we don't. Perhaps they are conspiring to release a form of deadly anthrax onto the population sometime soon, and they will be needing the vaccine to counter it.

They could be releasing this information now as a subtle way of "warning the people" for a future attack they themselves plan to carry out. This will give them an excuse to say "I warned you about this already", thereby absolving themselves of blame.

It should be quite easy for them to set up a middle-eastern group to serve as pasty and take the blame. They could use a mind-controlled slave perhaps, a "Manchurian Candidate" to release to spores on cue, and even have a few sayanim dress up as Arabs for greater effect.

Whatever the case, seeing how the previous anthrax scare was initially blamed on Al Qaeda and then revealed to have come from within the U.S. biodefense program, should give us pause and food for thought.

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Mars rover gets mystery power boost
19:55 AEST Fri Nov 5 2004

AP - As NASA's Mars rovers keep rolling past all expectations of their useful lives, scientists have a happy mystery: For some reason one of the vehicles has actually gained power recently.

The rover Opportunity recently experienced an unexplained rejuvenation from what can so far be described only as two or three significant "cleaning events," said Jim Erickson, the rover project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

"Now we're assuming they're cleaning, but all we can really say is that overnight the solar panels produced between two and five per cent additional power immediately," he said.

"We're surmising that for some reason dust is being removed from the solar panel and that's increasing the efficiency of the sunlight being converted to electricity."

The rover team has been bandying theories about, but has not yet worked out the cause.

"One favourite is that a dust devil happened to pick the vehicle to go through and go over the surface of it and clean it off a little bit," Erickson said. [...]

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