Travel Log! The
Quantum Future Group Goes to Rennes-le-Chateau
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Publication! 'The Wave' finally in book form!
Wave: 4 Volume Set
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at
the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the
Volumes 1 and 2 now!
Hundreds of people in northwest
China's Gansu Province witnessed an unidentified flying object (UFO)
Saturday night, and local police are searching for what may have
dropped in the area.
woman shows a piece of meteorite dropped onto the earth after
the nightly explosion in Gansu Province Saturday night.
Witnesses in Gansu's capital Lanzhou said that a strange shining
object swept through the sky at about 11:36 p.m. Saturday, following
by earthshaking sounds like bombing. They also reported that an
ensuing tremble was felt within 100 sq km from Lanzhou.
One of them, a driver surnamed Zhang, said that he saw a shining
ball with a three-meter-long trail flying from west to east and
heard two thunders right after, when he was driving from Lanzhou
city to neighboring Yongdeng county.
The local public security department confirmed that they have received
more than 700 reports on the case, some saying it was an earthquake,
and others saying it was an aerolite falling. The department has
sent policemen to search for possible fallen objects but found nothing
Liu Yanan, astronomy professor at the Northwest Normal University,
said that it might be a meteoroid entering the earth's atmosphere.
| At approximately 4.15am, Monday
morning, December 6, a large bright object was seen streaking across
the coastal fringes of the mid-north coast of NSW.
A large number of callers inundated the John Kerr 2UE radio program
with eyewitness reports of a fast moving 'meteor' trailing a greenish-blue
hue passing across the night sky before exploding in a series of
bright flashes. An eerie, constant, low rumbling sound accompanied
Reports came from as far north as Coffs Harbour to Wollongong in
News editor of SKY & SPACE Magazine, and editor of 'Astronomy
Media Services', Dave Reneke of Wauchope fielded over a dozen enquiries
that morning from radio stations across the state who picked up
on the story and gave an educated analysis of the event. He spoke
at length with John Kerr in an interview that morning to encapsule
the information and provide an insight into the reports.
He said it appears a large 'bolide' or meteor entered the atmosphere
in the early morning hours and, moving at roughly 30km/sec, became
extremely hot due to friction, turning into possibly a 'fireball'
before finally exploding and splitting into at least 3 or separate
4 pieces. "The rumbling sounds associated with the event may
have been due to the compression of air from the object's high speed"
The descriptions by some observers of a seeing a "greenish
hue" or 'tail" suggest a mineral content, possibly copper
or some similar element, which tends to categorise it as something
of natural composition, as opposed to man-made space junk.
David said reports as graphic as this are very rare and, due to
the apparent large size of this object, put this incident above
the 'normal' meteorite sighting category. David estimated the size
of the object to be around the size of a suitcase - or even a small
David Finlay, from the Wollongong Amateur Astronomy Club contacted
David to add that an Australian monitoring station, Geoscience,
recorded the acoustic signal from its two bases at Tenant Creek
and Hobart and estimated the yield of the bolide between 200 Tonnes
to 1 Kilotonne. They produced a map showing the hypothesised source
location which they said was fairly close to Kempsey, in the Macleay
area of NSW.
Given that the object was travelling from west to east, it is likely
that any fragments fell into the Pacific, however the source location
is only an estimation and the strewn field could be large for such
a massive object. It is still possible however that some fragments
impacted on land .
(12-14) 17:35 PST GEORGETOWN,
Cayman Islands (AP) --
A strong earthquake struck the Cayman Islands on Tuesday -- the
strongest since 1900 -- rattling windows and sending residents fleeing
into the streets. No serious damage or injuries were reported.
The epicenter of the magnitude 6.7 earthquake was 20 miles south-southeast
of Georgetown, said Kathleen Gohn, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological
Survey based in Golden, Colo.
The initial quake lasted about 10 seconds and small shock waves
were felt for more than 30 minutes, residents said.
"I got out of my house as fast as I could. I thought a plane
was coming at us," said Maxine Drake from Halifax, Nova Scotia,
who lives part time in Grand Cayman.
It was the strongest tremor to hit the Cayman Islands since 1900,
Gohn said. It also was one of several to strike the region in the
Gohn said the tremors were unrelated but activity in the Caribbean
has been high.
A tremor with a magnitude of 5.7 jolted the British Virgin Islands,
the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday. No injuries
were reported and there was little damage.
Another earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4, however, caused at
least 90 aftershocks on Dec. 3 in Trinidad, leaving at least one
woman dead and damaging several buildings and houses.
Last month, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on the Caribbean island
of Dominica caused an estimated $20 million in damages.
The Cayman Islands has been plagued with disaster this year, recently
estimating hurricane damage caused by Hurricane Ivan at more than
The storm tore through the wealthy British territory in September,
destroying 70 percent of buildings and damaging many hotels. Many
residents were forced to move to Grand Cayman's sister islands --
Little Cayman and Cayman Brac -- which received little damage.
I said a couple of days ago
that I regretted that the actions of Israeli hawks in the West Bank,
Gaza and South Lebanon had produced an anti-Israeli and anti-American
backlash in the Middle East and the Muslim world. I pointed out
that that anger appears to have been part of the motive for the
assassination of a US serviceman in Iraq. These rather obvious observations
produced some interesting mail. In part this is because the posting
was awarded Andrew Sullivan's "Sontag Award" or whatever.
But this phenomenon is not new. In fall of 2002, a US serviceman
on a training exercise at Failaka in Kuwait was shot dead by two
angry Kuwaitis. Time
Magazine referred to the fall, 2002, Israeli attack on Palestinians
at Khan Yunis,
when the Israelis fired missiles from a helicopter gunship into
a crowd of unarmed civilians, killing some children along with whomever
they had targeted.:
' Abdullah Kandari described how his brother, just before
he headed to Falaika Island to launch his attack, had become angry
watching the 9pm news on Kuwait TV, which had broadcast footage
of Palestinians killed by an Israeli missile strike in the Gaza
refugee camp of Khan Yunis. According to Abdullah, Anas had jumped
to his feet and cried, "God is generous, O Americans! We shall come
and slaughter you like you have been slaughtering us!" Abdullah
Kandari said that his brother blamed the U.S. more than Israel,
and questioned how the U.S. could protect Kuwait while causing problems
for Arabs. '
Israel is a close ally and friend of the United States, and we should
defend it from its enemies. But when Ariel Sharon sends American-made
helicopter gunships and F-16s to fire missiles into civilian residences
or crowds in steets, as he has done more than once, then he makes
the United States complicit in his war crimes and makes the United
States hated among friends of the Palestinians. And this aggression
and disregard of Arab life on the part of the proto-fascist Israeli
Right has gotten more than one American killed, including American
The negative mail I got on this issue goes like this:
' Oh really, all the times they hated and killed Jews before 1948,
what was the excuse then? They collaborated with the Nazis, was
Israel to blame for that? They have always hated and oppressed the
Jews . . . '
'Current Israeli policy calls for withdrawal
from Gaza and a
These are the Orientalist premises of the Zionist
Right and its American fellow travelers. The reason my comment was
so challenging is that it didn't partake of these premises. The premise
is that there is an "eternal Arab" or "eternal Muslim" that is defined
as essentially fanatical and intolerant and full of hatred toward
Jews. These are universal characteristics of this race, and unvarying
small number of West Bank settlements. How is that expasionist?
If you want to discuss 35 years of policy, well it would be amazing
that an Iraqi who lived in a virtual news-free zone under Sadaam
would really have the ups and downs of Israel-Palestinian history.
Of course, if it were true that "Arabs" or "Muslims" partook of this
eternal character, then it just wouldn't matter what Israeli hawks
do to them. Kill civilian Arab children with helicopter gunship fire?
So what if that upsets the Arabs? They are already fanatical and hate-filled,
so it just doesn't matter. You can't throw a glass of water into the
ocean and thereby cause the tides to rise.
But what if Arabs and Muslims were human beings like everybody else?
Wouldn't it be the case that if you punched one in the nose, he would
try to punch you back? And if you didn't punch him out, he'd be more
likely to greet you politely? And if you tossed his distant cousin
out of his house, wouldn't he mind that? Actions have consequences.
What are the facts?
Living as a minority in any society is seldom a picnic, but in fact
Jews before the Napoleonic emancipation were substantially better
off living in Muslim societies than in Europe.
Medieval Christianity had no category for non-Christians in society.
They completely kept Muslims out of Christian-ruled domains for the
most part. Whereas perhaps a third of Egyptians in Egypt in 1400 were
Christians, no British, French, Germans, etc. were Muslims. The Muslim
trading diaspora threw up communities in Hindu Indonesia and Confucian
China, and they were perfectly capable of pursuing opportunities in
Europe had they been allowed to. They were not allowed to, in some
important part because of the Inquisition. (Valencia in medieval Spain;
Russia from Catherine the Great; and some post-Ottoman Balkan principalities
are exceptions here, in allowing more tolerance for, or at least having
to put up with the presence of, Muslims.)
Likewise, for entire centuries in the late medieval period, Jews were
completely excluded from Britain, France, Spain, etc. In contrast,
Jews had thriving mercantile communities in places like Cairo in the
same period. To paraphrase our SecDef: Was it paradise? No. Was it
better than being kicked out altogether or forcibly converted to Catholicism?
So it just isn't true that all Muslims have always hated Jews. In
Islam, Jews were considered a "protected minority." They were not
equal citizens with Muslims, but then there was no idea of citizenship
or of equality in the modern political sense in any medieval society.
Jews were in normal times assured of life and property. There were
episodes of intolerance and even persecution, but they were not the
norm. There was no blood libel in the Muslim Middle East (some Christian
episodes of the libel started occurring under European influence in
the 19th century). References in Arabic by Muslims to the blood libel
as anything but a Western curiosity are as far as I can tell a very
recent phenomenon. The protocols of the elders of Zion, a Tsarist
forgery that posited a Jewish political conspiracy to rule the world,
had no particular resonances in the Muslim world (outside a few radical
Muslim cliques) until the past couple of decades.
With the rise of modern nation-states in the Middle East, new bases
for identity were found that made Jews co-citizens with Christians
and Muslims. Jews in pre-1948 Iraq were numerous
(about a third of Baghdad) and relatively well off. They played an
active social and political role that would have been impossible if
there had been widespread hatred toward them of the sort many rightwing
Zionists apparently now assume. The expulsion of the Palestinians
in 1948 (it was probably mostly expulsion) created a backlash against
Jews throughout the region that caused them to flee to Israel.
This was a tragedy and a great wrong. In my view, the Israelis should
pay compensation to all the Palestinians, and the Arab states should
pay compensation to the Sephardi Jews who lost their property, and
the Palestinians should get to form their state, and then everyone
would be square.
It was, by the way,
quite clear that many powerful forces in North African society were
extremely disturbed by the European-style anti-Jewish bigotry imported
into the region by the Vichy French. The Bey of Tunisia resisted imposition
of harsh measures on Tunisian Jews. The Tunisian nationalist leader
Habib Bourguiba eschewed any cooperation with the Germans. Although
the sultan of Morocco was not in a strong enough position to keep
the French from imposing anti-Jewish legislation, he privately met
with Moroccan Jews and assured them of his support. Many brave Arab
Muslims, including some of the Muslim clerics of Algeria, defied the
European colonial powers under Nazi influence to protect or to offer
succor to Arab Jews.
Israel Gershoni of Tel Aviv University has shown through his scholarship
that the liberal mainstream of Egyptian society roundly condemned
fascism. It simply isn't true that Arabs were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers
in any numbers. Those who did support Germany mostly did so in ignorance
of what Nazism stood for, and mainly as a counterweight to British
imperial power in the Middle East.
Another reader wrote:
' Obviously you are aware that
Arabs have been attacking Israel since the very day it was founded.
Israel's responses may not be perfect, but they are no more harsh
than America's response to 9/11, Russia's actions against Chechnya,
France's action in the Ivory Coast, etc. '
Well, actually, the largest Arab country, Egypt, where a third of
all Arabs live, has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1978. As
far as I can tell, neither Morocco nor Qatar has ever attacked Israel,
anyway. So all "Arabs" are not "attacking Israel."
For the rest, I replied:
Actually, the Israelis are doing things that the US, Russia and France
are not doing. They are stealing other peopleís land and making that
The French havenít put 400,000 French settlers into the Ivory Coast,
thrown farmers off their land, dug deep wells that deprive Cote DíIvoirians
of water, and declared that the capital of Yamoussoukru is off-limits
to Ivoirians in the rest of the country and is now a completely French
city forever. Nor have they built roads through the Ivory Coast that
make it impossible for villagers to get to their markets with their
goods, or to get to a hospital in time during an emergency. They havenít
aimed at creating Ivoirian Bantustans that prevent the Ivory Coast
ever from being a sovereign country.
If the French had acted this way in the Ivory Coast during the past
30 years, France would have been isolated and pilloried by the world
community, and it would have faced substantial violent resistance
from Africans. And I would have condemned France for it.
Look, all the opinion polling and all the
social science research shows without any doubt that knee-jerk US
support for Israeli expansionism is at the root of anti-Americanism
in the Arab world. Maybe everyone is lying to all the pollsters
all the time, but how likely is that? What Camp David showed was that
there was by the late 1970s an increased willingness by the Arabs
to recognize Israel. The price was giving up Egyptian territory captured
in 1967. The main obstacle to a comprehensive peace has been Israel's
refusal to give the Palestinians and the Syrians the same deal they
gave Egypt. David Ben Gurion, by the way, agreed with my position
on the undesirability of Israel trying to keep the West Bank if it
were to survive.
As for the supposed promising policies of Ariel Sharon in the Occupied
Territories, everyone should take a reality check. Uri
Avnery nails it when he points out that Sharon is the bottleneck
in any move toward genuine peace.
fact, the land grab is accelerating. The Israelis promised to
make peace in 1993, and over the next decade they doubled the number
of settlers in the West Bank! And the expansion of settlements continues
as we speak. How can Palestinians make peace with people who are stealing
from them? The Guardian writes,
' Sharif Omar has
been waiting two years for the bulldozers, ever since Israel's steel
and barbed wire "security fence" carved its way between his village
and its land. Last week the excavators and diggers finally arrived
on the outskirts of Jayyous to lay the foundations for an expansion
of the nearby Jewish settlement of Zufim, fulfilling the fears and
warnings of its Palestinian neighbours.
Tel Aviv is worth American lives to protect it. The United Nations
Security Council awarded Tel Aviv to Israel, and Camp David and other
international instruments recognize Israel in its pre-1967 borders.
The bulldozers were preparing the ground for hundreds of new homes,
despite the Israeli government's claim that it is not expanding
Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Like other building work along
the route of the barrier, it seems to be an attempt to ensure that
the land between the fence and the 1967 border remains in Israeli
hands in any final agreement with the Palestinians.
"When they built the fence, we said they would use it to build a
much bigger settlement, and they would take our land to do it,"
said Omar, whose olive and citrus groves are now encircled. "It
is very clear to us, they are planning to confiscate all of our
land and drive us from here. They came and told us to finish harvesting
because they were going to begin building 80 houses. They are beginning
with my neighbour's land but if they do it there they will do it
on mine." . . .
Zufim, where about 200 families live, is built on 136ha of land
confiscated from Jayyous in 1986. An Israeli rights group, Bimkom,
says that developers in Zufim plan to build about 1 200 new homes.
Yehezkel Lein, a researcher for another Israeli human rights group,
B'Tselem, said the military government in the occupied territories
had issued permits for the work.
He added: "In the plan for Zufim there is an extension to the north
of the settlement that was already approved. There is also another
expansion to the east. But there is no territorial contiguity between
Zufim and the new construction, so it is really a new settlement."
The Zufim extension is just grand larceny, and not worth any lives
at all, much less those of brave American soldiers.
Syria blamed Israel's Mossad intelligence
service for a bombing in Damascus which a Palestinian source in
Beirut said was a failed attempt to kill a member of the militant
Three people were slightly hurt in the explosion which destroyed
the silver sports utility vehicle owned by the unidentified Palestinian,
who escaped unhurt.
The attack was the second one of its kind in the Syrian capital
in less than two months, and it came one day after Hamas and another
armed Palestinian group killed five Israeli soldiers in a carefully
planned attack on their outpost in Gaza.
"The entity behind it is the Mossad; collaborators with the
Mossad or the Mossad in particular," Interior Minister Ghazi
Kanaan told Syrian Satellite Channel when asked about who was suspected
to be behind the explosion that targeted what he described as a
A senior Israeli official called the accusation "nonsense".
"Such nonsense does not warrant a comment. Instead of blaming
Israel, the Syrians should be cracking down on the terrorists in
their midst, as required by the international community," the
official, who requested anonymity, said in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian source in Beirut said the bomb, placed under the
driver's seat, blew up shortly after the unnamed Hamas member and
his daughter parked the car and left.
The blast occurred near a hospital and a petrol station which was
Second attack in three months
In September, Izz el-Deen al-Sheikh Khalil, 42, a Hamas official
was killed in a bomb blast in his car in Damascus and an Israeli
television station, citing unidentified security sources, said Israel
was behind the attack.
Israeli security officials had earlier vowed to hit Hamas leaders
in Palestinian areas and abroad in response to twin bus bombings
in that killed 16 people in southern Israel.
The Islamic militant group, behind a wave of suicide attacks that
has killed scores of Israelis over the past four years, is sworn
to Israel's destruction.
Israel has been demanding that Syria crack down on Palestinian
militants as a condition for resuming peace talks deadlocked since
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said on Monday Syria must
act against Islamic militants on its territory.
"If they (Damascus) would like to make peace, they should
close headquarters there in Damascus, they should shut down the
training camps of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad that are still
open," Shalom told a news briefing after meeting EU officials.
"We believe if we are going to have a real peace we can't
have terrorist attacks by day, funerals afternoon and negotiations
by night in nice hotels. No one will accept it in our public opinion."
Syria denies hosting training camps for Palestinians on its territory
and says it backs Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation.
The official Syrian news agency SANA confirmed the car belonged
to a Palestinian but gave no details on who he was.
The vehicle was quickly removed by security and rescue teams who
were collecting shrapnel scattered on the street in the Mazze area,
"The explosion was so strong that the door blew open in my
house and windows were shattered in the whole building," resident
Issam Abdul Wahid told Reuters.
"There was nobody in the car. I was extinguishing it and there
was nobody in it," he added.
The dominant narrative of the Holocaust arms
Israel to the teeth, demonizes Palestinians and leaves Jews feeling
abandoned, isolated and angry.
I'm in the living room of a family friend, a Jewish woman who emigrated
from Poland. The subject changes from yoga to Israel-Palestine,
and I tell her that I think America needs to change its foreign
policy towards Israel. She says, "In
what way, so that the Arabs will throw the Jews into the sea?"
It takes four minutes of back and forth for the conversation to
further degenerate. She finally says, "Look, what I have to
say isn't pretty, but I'm not afraid. I'm going to say it anyways.
The Palestinians are nothing but vermin. They make trouble in every
country they live in. Even the other Arab countries don't want them."
I take a deep breath. I've heard this before, except
with "Jews" instead of "Palestinians." Jews
are vermin. They make trouble in every country they live in.
Earlier in the evening, while sitting at the dinner table, I had
asked our friend why she left Poland. She said that anti-Semitism
in Poland was extremely severe when she was growing up. She said
that there was another outburst of anti-Semitism in the mid-60s,
and especially after the June 1967 "Six Day" War. Her
husband, also a Polish Jew, looks up from his food and says abruptly,
"Hey, why are you talking about this? Please change the subject."
At dinner, everyone is more than willing to oblige with their Israeli
army stories, about how the Arabs want to "throw the Jews in
to the sea," but no one wants to talk about how they were hurt
by anti-Semitism. My mother has told me only a few stories of what
it was like for her to grow up as a Jew in the Soviet Union. The
most famous is how she took a broom to the head of a guy in school
who persistently called her a "dirty Jew." It's the story
with a happy ending. Justice was done. Less discussed is the story
about how her father, a man who smuggled Jews out of the USSR and
into Israel, was arrested by the KGB and sent to prison for eight
years. Or how she was taken out of class every day for years and
interrogated about her parents' "political activity."
There's a lot of crying and screaming to do. And there ain't a
whole lot of room for it. Despite the enormity of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum in Washington and various monuments to the Holocaust
in the U.S., when you really get down to it, listening to Jews cry
about how their families were annihilated, how they were beaten
and targeted, is not a favorite American past-time. Neither,
for that matter, is it terribly exciting for white folks to listen
to blacks cry about the legacy of slavery, economic exploitation
and racism. Or for straight people to listen to GLBTQ folks cry
about what it feels like to have to lie about your identity to survive,
to live in existential terror.
The Holocaust Museum is the largest in the world and in the center
of Washington, D.C. Many of us think that Americans have heard more
than enough about Jewish suffering. But the truth is that the Holocaust
Museum and other forms of official recognition of Jewish suffering
haven't addressed anti-Jewish oppression at all. It's
Before 1967, it didn't fit into American strategic interests to
talk about Jews or their history of oppression, particularly in
the same sentence as the word "justice." After 1967, when
Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and conquered the West
Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan Heights, the U.S.
government decided that Israel could serve as a surrogate for U.S.
interests in the Middle East. 1967 was the year when the U.S. discovered
Israel, and it was the year when the Holocaust was "remembered."
The discovery of Israel happened as selectively as the remembering
of the Holocaust. The U.S. discovered Israel as a military ally,
not as a country with ordinary people, and so U.S. aid to Israel
reflected that. Most U.S. aid to Israel,
including economic aid, has been spent for expenses related to purchasing
military equipment from the U.S. In order to justify that strategic
relationship in moral terms, a new history of the Holocaust was
The dominant narrative of the Holocaust is that Jews were led,
like sheep to the slaughter, to the gas chambers, that they alone
were murdered, and that the event of their annihilation had no precedent
in history and therefore, no event in the present can compare to
the Holocaust. The logical moral to the story for Jews is that we
are alone in the world – no one understands our suffering
because no one has experienced anything similar; we can only rely
on ourselves for self-defense; we will be ever-vigilant, for danger
lurks around every corner. And the logical
moral to the story for Americans is that Jews need a strong Israel,
and because the Jews were victims of the unspeakable, it's our duty
to arm Israel to the teeth.
The dominant narrative of the Holocaust says very little about
the hundreds of thousands of ordinary acts of resistance of those
who perished, like the rabbi who, as he was shoved into the gas
chamber, took the SS soldier by the lapel and said, "I will
die today, but you will live alone with your guilt for a long time
to come." Or the fact that the Jew who was forced to weld the
sign at the entranceway to Auschwitz reading Arbeit Macht Frei ("Work
Makes One Free") welded the "b" upside down, as a
sign of rebellion and a testament of resistance.
The dominant narrative says very little about
the people who risked their lives and the lives of their families
to save Jews and others who were targeted for deportation and annihilation.
It says very little about the millions of Roma, Poles, homosexuals
and disabled people who were systematically murdered. And it says
very little about genocides that preceded it, like that of the Native
Americans, or that of the Armenians. It's a cheap rendition of a
very complex story. [...]
Americans are listening to the story that they are being sold,
one that serves the interests of a militant U.S. foreign policy
towards Israel. My family friend's comments are nearly the same
as those made on MSNBC's talk radio show, "Imus in the Morning,"
after the death of Yasser Arafat. While Don
Imus said that Palestinians are eating dirt, his guest, sports anchor
Sid Rosenberg, followed up by saying that Palestinians should all
be bombed. It's very likely that Imus,
Rosenberg and our friend couldn't find Ramallah on a map if they
were asked to.
The mainstream American media and other powerful policy-making
institutions push a militaristic pro-Israel line while painting
a simplistic picture of Palestinians as a people whose purpose in
life is to kill Jews. Most Americans never
get to see Palestinians as normal human beings who are struggling
to breathe under the boot of a violent military occupation. In modern
American life, Palestinians have been portrayed as the ultimate
Jew-haters, serving to funnel Jewish anger away from those who have
systematically oppressed us. A character called "the
Palestinian" has been created to be the villain in a story
whose logical ending requires the U.S. to provide Israel with obscene
amounts of military equipment.
And that story isn't my story, and it isn't my family's story,
or my family's friend's story. In my story,
there is no moral to the story of the annihilation of six million
Jews and the millions of Roma, Poles, homosexuals, disabled, and
others who perished. Our story isn't one with the happy endings
of Hollywood Holocaust blockbusters, where we all end up in Israel,
protecting ourselves with our very own machine guns. The history
of the Holocaust in my family isn't over yet. As a grandchild of
four Holocaust survivors, I am still living that history. Even though
the Holocaust or my family's experience of anti-Semitism was hardly
mentioned, I grew up in a house with the ghosts of my murdered family,
with parents and grandparents who lived in absolute fear.
Before and after my family's friend told me that she thought that
Palestinians are vermin and that she would poison their wells if
she could, she showered me with affection (and food). She's
an incredibly loving person who I believe would never intentionally
hurt a single person. But she's very angry. And her wrath is misdirected
at people who had nothing to do with her suffering, people whose
history was stolen from them and re-written by the West.
Her wrath should have a comfortable resting place here in the United
States, where the legacy of anti-Jewish oppression has never been
addressed in any kind of meaningful framework that doesn't end in
"and then they all lived happily-ever-after in Israel."
To say that we will be safe when Israel is armed to the teeth is
a sacrilege and a lie. I don't have any easy answers to the Holocaust.
And anyone who does is trying to sell you something, like military
Liat Weingart is co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace and
is based in San Francisco, Calif.
| BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's defence minister
on Wednesday accused neighbouring Iran and Syria of supporting terrorists
in his country and charged that a senior Iraqi Shiite was leading
a "pro-Iranian" coalition into next month's national elections.
(CBS) South Carolina Sen. Fritz
Hollings has long been known as the tartest tongue in the Senate.
But now, this feisty senator is giving up his seat. He didn't lose
it, and a younger Republican didn't defeat him. But after 38 years,
he just decided enough's enough.
He says the Senate has changed – and not for the better.
"I'm sick of raising money to get re-elected, so I'm going
home to Charleston," says Hollings.
And that's where Correspondent Mike Wallace sat down with Hollings
to let him fire a few final barbs about what's wrong with Congress.
These are insights from an insider who knows better than anyone
the unhappy differences between then and now – especially
when it comes to money.
"When I got up there, it was hardly a breakfast or an evening
reception. Now there are three breakfasts, three receptions,"
says Hollings. "Now, we don’t work here on Fridays. We're
back home doing fundraisers. You gotta collect money."
He says it's all about money. "There ain't no question. At
my last campaign six years ago, it was $8.5 million. That factors
out to about $30,000 a week, each week, every week for six years,"
says Hollings. "So if I miss a week this time, Christmas week,
or New Year's week, I’m $60,000 in the hole. I gotta hurry
up and start playing catch-up ball."
Hollings says senators spend hours a day, almost every day, just
working the phones to raise cash. What's in it for him? "A
good government," he says, laughing. "And Russell Long
said, 'Those who give the money are getting more than good government.'"
"In other words, I'll get access," says Wallace.
"There ain't any question about that," says Hollings.
"We say it's otherwise, but it's sort of adulterated us in
a sense that we can't see everybody. … So you're bound to
see those who are the big givers."
But does access mean his vote? "Not only the vote. Wait a
minute, it's all those K Street lawyers now and lobbyists and interests
making up the legislation, and they work with staffs and everything
else. The bills, and the special interests overwhelm us with submitted
legislation," says Hollings.
"Communications, defense, you got them all – farms,
agriculture people and everything else like that … They get
their piece of the pie. That's our problem. Today, you can't find
the real interests of the country."
Hollings won his first campaign at 26 for a seat in the South Carolina
House of Representatives. And there, surprisingly, he helped pass
an anti-lynching law and became the state's youngest governor at
36. He managed the peaceful integration of Clemson University back
when other Southern governors were fighting to keep their universities
But in the Senate, the one vote he cast that he knew was wrong,
and that he's always felt guilty about, was voting against putting
Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court. Why did he do that?
"I couldn't get re-elected. That’s the honest answer,"
says Hollings. "And if I had voted for him, I might as well
withdraw from the race. It, I mean, it was political."
But the political landscape changed on his watch. And he saw the
South switch from a Democratic bloc to a Republican stronghold.
"We had a sweetheart deal with the National Democratic Party.
'We’ll go along with all your programs, if you’ll go
along with our segregation.' But once that Civil Rights Bill passed
in 1964, then Lyndon friend became Lyndon the enemy," says
"And now, the Republican party is white, and the Democratic
party is the majority black, I would say [in South Carolina]. And
in Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia. You can just go right across
"What are you saying? That all of these folks that keep voting
Republican are racist," asks Wallace.
"Not quite. They are conservative. They honestly don't believe
in government, like we do in the Democratic Party," says Hollings,
"We believe in feeding the hungry, and housing the homeless,
and educating the uninformed and everything else like that. They
believe in private education, a privatized Social Security, privatized
energy policy -- privatize, privatize. They don’t believe
in 'We the people' in order to form a more perfect union.”
Then why are Republicans so successful? "Because we ran a
lousy campaign," says Hollings. "He [Sen. John Kerry]
was a good fellow; he's still one of the finest. But he got over-coached.
He had too many consultants, too many pollsters, and really too
many in that they call it 'Noah’s Ark.' He had two or three
of everything. And he never could make up his mind."
Hollings has a richly deserved reputation for blunt, refreshing
honesty, especially when referring to Republicans like Condoleezza
Rice and Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist.
"He's the finest physician in the world. There ain't no doubt
about that. If I had a heart transplant needed, I'd go to Dr. Frist,"
says Hollings of Frist. "He's now running for president. He's
out of his element. Come on, he ought to be back in the operating
He says Rice is a real mistake: "She ought to go back to teaching
Russian or whatever it was. I've been in security, I've been working
on intelligence. And for her to come on to the television, and saying
on 9/11 there was nothing specific. Nothing specific. You don't
say that. You don't ever get a call and say we're gonna bomb you
tomorrow morning. I mean, that's piecing together. That's intelligence
He also told Wallace that neither Kerry, nor President Bush, could
begin to compare with his hero, Jack Kennedy. Hollings ran JFK's
presidential campaign in the South.
"The world loved him, the most popular president of the United
States ever. And he’s the most unpopular president, George
W, whether it’s in Europe, whether it’s in the Mideast.
Whether it’s out on the Pacific Rim or whatever it is,"
"Oh no, they like America still. They don’t jeehaw with
George W, I can tell you, because of his policy. You know, 'I'm
gonna do it on my own. You're either with me or against me.' You've
got to work with people in things. Leading is not fussing and cussing'
them out and insulting them."
Hollings wishes this President Bush had learned a lesson from his
father's war in the Gulf, when George Bush Sr. stayed out of Baghdad.
"Papa Bush said, 'Never lead American troops into an urban
guerrilla warfare and bog down in a quagmire and turn the Arab world
against us,'" says Hollings.
"I mean, he was against going into Baghdad. But I think George
W. wanted to say, 'I can do what Daddy can’t. I’m gonna
show him that he should have gone on and everything else of that
kind.' And it wasn’t a problem. And of course he had the cheerleaders:
Pearl and Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld and everything saying,
Hollings voted for the Iraq war, but he believes the war has been
a colossal mistake. He also believes that getting out of Iraq won't
be easy. He blames Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for mismanaging
the war, and trying to do too much with too few. He also blames
President Bush for huge budget deficits, saying that Mr. Bush fought
for tax cuts instead of raising taxes to help pay for the war.
With a pension of $124,000 a year, we're not going to hold a tag
sale for Hollings, who's been married to his wife, Petsey, for 33
years. They had four children, and seven grandchildren.
"They talk about couples in Washington. We get along better
than any. And one fella that knows me says that’s easily explained,"
says Hollings. He said, 'They’re both in love with the same
Hollings may be 83, but he doesn't act like it – and he believes
it's the Senate that has kept him young. But he says Congress is
not as convivial as it used to be. When he made his farewell speech
to the Senate, no senators were on the floor. In fact, senators
watch live pictures from the Senate floor on TV, and they rarely
come to the floor, except to cast a quick vote.
"That's why I stopped. I wanted to get into Iraq. I wanted
to get into several other subjects. But I was boring me," says
And now, he returns home a hero to many, but not all. And that's
just fine with him.
"The newspaper had, in my hometown, one of the Letters to
the Editor ended, 'We hope Hollings enjoys his retirement, because
we sure as hell will,'" says Hollings, laughing.
| HAGERSTOWN, MD. - Retail giant Wal-Mart
is being sued for selling an album by Evanescence that includes the
The suit, filed in a Maryland court, alleges that Wal-Mart sold
the CD – which did not have a parental-advisory sticker –
knowing the profanity is used in one of the songs.
Wal-Mart has cultivated an image, derided by some as being overly
intrusive, of being a family friendly retailer by not selling albums
with the warnings.
According to the suit, filed by Maryland resident Trevin Skeens,
Wal-Mart censored the song in question, Thoughtless, when it offered
a free sample of the tune on its website.
Skeens and his wife allowed their 13-year-old daughter to purchase
the album, called Anywhere but Home, for her 13th birthday and were
shocked when they listened to it on the drive home from the store.
"I don't want any other families to get this, expecting it
to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent
other children from hearing it," the Associated Press reported
The suit seeks $74,500 U.S. in damages for each
person who bought the album without knowing about the profanity.
Skeens is also suing Wind-up Records, the company that recorded
the music and did not apply a warning label, as well as distributor
"While Wal-Mart sets high standards, it would not be possible
to eliminate every image, word or topic that an individual might
find objectionable," Guy Whitcomb, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said
in response to the suit.
Whitcomb said the company is investigating the matter.
He also said the online sample of Thoughtless was censored by Wal-Mart's
web arm, which is a separate division.
In October, Wal-Mart banned the Jon Stewart faux textbook America
(The Book) because it included a fake picture of the members of
the U.S. Supreme Court in the nude.
The New York-based Center for
Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Berlin's Republican Lawyers' Association
has filed suit in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of 4
Iraqis who allege they were mistreated by American troops. A number
of other high-ranking US officials are also named. AFP writes:
' The groups that filed the complaint said they had chosen Germany
because of its Code of Crimes Against International Law, introduced
in 2002, which grants German courts universal jurisdiction in
cases involving war crimes or crimes against humanity. It also
makes military or civilian commanders who fail to prevent their
subordinates from committing such acts liable. '
What is interesting about the Pentagon reaction to this suit is
how frantic the Department of Defense seems. Although spokesman
Larry DiRita dismissed it as "frivolous," he threatened
Germany with dire consequences if the suit goes forward. DiRita
'"Generally speaking, as is true anywhere, if these kinds
of lawsuits take place with American servicemen in the cross-hairs,
you bet it's something we take seriously . . . I
think every government in the world, particularly a NATO ally,
understands the potential effect on relations with the United
States if these kinds of frivolous lawsuits were ever to see the
light of day." '
These remarks raise several questions. Why is DiRita hiding behind
the fact that American servicemen are "in the cross-hairs?
What have Rumsfeld's policies or legal problems got to do with grunts
on the front line? You think they like Rumsfeld? Look what happened
when he let them ask him questions.
Then, if the lawsuit is frivolous, why should it produce grave
consequences for Germany? It should produce frivolity and hilarity
if it is frivolous. It seems actually to be taken very seriously.
Is the real threat the damage to Rumsfeld's public image, or the
danger that the lawsuit may prompt a discovery process?
Finally, surely DiRita is not suggesting that the Federal government
actively interfere with a legal process? Wouldn't that be the Executive
squelching the Judiciary? Isn't that contrary to the separation
of Powers? Or is the new monarchism to be imposed on Germany as
well, now that it is the model in Washington?
| For nearly two years, U.S. farmers
and ranchers watched as the second shoe grew bigger and bigger.
On Nov. 22, it officially dropped. According to U.S. Department
of Agriculture Economic Research Service estimates released that
day, 2005 will be the first year in nearly
50 that America will not turn an agricultural trade surplus.
The dubious milestone was met with odd silence at USDA. Odd because
throughout the fall presidential campaign, Secretary of Agriculture
Ann Veneman talked herself hoarse each time some farm community
in a swing state dedicated a new, USDA-sponsored street light.
Now, as America is about to become a net food importer for the
first time in generations, Veneman has no
explanation of how Bush administration economic and trade policies
have taken American agriculture from a $13.6 billion trade surplus
in 2001 to a flat line in four short years.
Who can blame her? Would you want to be the first secretary of
the last 11 to report such death-in-the-family news?
The news is made worse by the speed in which ag imports overtook
ag exports. In August, ERS predicted a $2.5 billion ag trade surplus
for 2005, the skinniest since 1972 but still a surplus.
Three months later, though, ERS lowered 2005 exports by $1.5 billion,
raised imports by $1 billion (in a curious coincidence, both now
are pegged at $56 billion) and the thin margin was gone.
In reporting the change, ERS chose language more suitable to politics
than economics. Yes, 2005 ag imports will rise by $3.3 billion over
2004. "But, this 6 percent gain in import value," it noted,
"is less than half the 15 percent import pace in 2004 import
Translation: While both of your shoes were on fire in 2004, only
one will be on fire in 2005.
Ironically, the very thing farmers have been told
for years would be their savior - a cheaper dollar - is worsening
the ag trade balance. Despite the dollar now falling to new lows
against most of the world's major currencies, 2005 ag exports will
be $6.3 billion less than in 2004.
Simultaneously, the fast-cracking dollar has not
slowed more expensive imports. Indeed, says ERS, the 2005 "import
volume (will be) unchanged," but "their higher prices
will continue to push the total U.S. import bill up."
Wow, and all this occurred while the U.S.-Canadian border remained
closed to live cattle imports (the White House promises to open
the border soon) and quotas limited Aussie beef exports to the U.S.
Imagine the flood to hit when the World Trade Organization kicks
the American door open even more.
On second thought, little imagination is necessary. Three news
items - all tied to Brazil and combined with the trade report -
paint a clear picture of where U.S. farmers and ranchers will find
themselves in a more open global food market: further behind.
Brazil recently noted it exported more soy and soy products in
the first 10 months of 2004 than the U.S. will export in the entire
year - $9.3 billion for them, $8.83 billion for us.
Also, in mid-November Brazil and China formalized an ambitious
trading relationship. The deal opens China to Brazilian beef, soy
and minerals and commits China to invest $5 to $7 billion in Brazilian
roads, ports and railways.
Additionally, the Chicago Board of Trade recently confirmed it
will launch a Brazilian soybean futures contract in mid-2005. The
contract "is a historical change," notes a CBOT spokesman.
These latter news items suggest the ERS trade report wasn't the
proverbial second shoe to drop. It was the first; and more are coming.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade gap
widened nearly 9 percent in October to a record $55.5 billion as
sky-high oil prices helped propel imports into new territory, the
government said on Tuesday, while a second report showed industrial
output rose in November, as expected.
October's unexpectedly large shortfall pushed
the deficit tally for the first 10 months of 2004 to $500.5 billion,
surpassing the record $496.5 billion for all of 2003, the Commerce
Despite a persistent slide in the value of the dollar since 2002
-- making U.S. exports a better deal for foreign buyers and boosting
the cost of imports for the United States -- the trade gap grew
8.9 percent in October from a revised $50.9 billion in September.
The trade data, and a separate report showing factory output grew
0.3 percent in November, were the last pieces of major economic
data for Federal Reserve policy-makers to consider before they voted
unanimously to raise interest rates a quarter-percentage point for
the fifth time this year.
The widely expected move boosted the benchmark federal funds rate
-- which affects credit costs throughout the economy -- to 2.25
percent from 2 percent.
News of the wider trade gap renewed pressure
on the dollar and was expected to lead economists to trim estimates
of U.S. economic growth. [...]
Ala. - A judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney
objected to his wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments
embroidered on the front in gold.
Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan showed up Monday at his Covington
County courtroom in southern Alabama wearing the robe. Attorneys
who try cases at the courthouse said they had not seen him wearing
it before. The commandments were described as being big enough to
read by anyone near the judge.
Attorney Riley Powell, defending a client charged with DUI, filed
a motion objecting to the robe and asking that the case be continued.
He said McKathan denied both motions.
"I feel this creates a distraction that affects my client,"
McKathan told The Associated Press that he believes
the Ten Commandments represent the truth "and you can't divorce
the law from the truth. ... The Ten Commandments can help a judge
know the difference between right and wrong."
He said he doesn't believe the commandments on his robe would have
an adverse effect on jurors.
"I had a choice of several sizes of letters. I purposely chose
a size that would not be in anybody's face," he said.
The case raised comparisons to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy
Moore, who was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove
a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial
Building in Montgomery.
Moore said Tuesday he supports McKathan's decision to wear the
Ten Commandments robe.
"I applaud Judge McKathan. It is time for
our judiciary to recognize the moral basis of our law," Moore
Powell said if he loses his case, he expects the judge's wearing
of the Ten Commandments robe to be part of an appeal.
Judith Reisman believes sex researcher
Alfred Kinsey is responsible for all the cultural decay and sexual
permisiveness that she sees. And she's got the ear of the Christian
right and the White House.
Bill Condon's new movie, "Kinsey" may have reawakened
America's interest in the largely forgotten but influential post-War
era sex researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey, but for Judith Reisman, he
has been a singular obsession for decades. Reisman has cast herself
as the anti-Kinsey, a self-styled moral monger in an existential
– and admittedly personal – battle with the forces of
cultural decay and sexual permissiveness. In her writings and lectures,
Reisman conjures a dark world in which Playboy magazine insidiously
pushes kiddie-porn, where homosexuals crusade for the hearts and
behinds of America's youth and "erotoxins" as powerful
as crack cocaine fill the somatasensory cortexes of porn watchers.
From Reisman's writings and lectures, one could get the impression
that this world is entirely the creation of Kinsey, the Master of
While Reisman's ideas have naturally endeared her to a Who's Who
of ornery theocrats and survivalist militia types, in recent years
she has found herself kibitzing with the likes of GOP senators and
Bush administration officials. Though the
"Dr." that precedes her name on her book and her web site
is practically cosmetic, earned with a degree in communications,
this November she provided expert testimony on Capitol Hill for
Republican Sen. Sam Brownback on the scientific perils of pornography.
There, she also lobbied for the reintroduction of a bill that would
mandate an investigation into her claim that Kinsey sexually abused
children during his research. Through friends in the Justice Department,
Reisman has helped push for an increased focus on prosecuting porn.
And she is a favorite speaker at conferences of the Abstinence Clearinghouse,
a federally funded non-profit which provides technical assistance
to controversial abstinence-only programs in public schools. As
Reisman gathers influence in Republican-dominated Washington, her
work is bearing an increasingly apparent mark on the Christian right's
political agenda and by extension, on the White House's social policy.
"As president and founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse,
Judith Reisman has affected my life personally through the enormous
amount of scientific research she's done – and without Judith's
impact on my life, I don't believe the abstinence community would
have been impacted," Abstinence Clearinghouse founder, Leslee
Unruh, told me. The Abstinence Clearinghouse, advised by members
of conservative Christian groups like Focus on the Family, Concerned
Women for America and Coral Ridge Ministries, is funded in part
by the Department of Health and Human Services. As the spearhead
of the abstinence-only movement, its primary task is to design and
disseminate curricula to public schools which administer abstinence-only
Unruh is a retired businesswoman and anti-abortion activist who
says she "has a common sense background" in the sexual
health field. Thanks to her friend Reisman, she says, she has come
to understand that "Kinsey is very responsible for the destruction
of my parents' generation." Through Abstinence Clearinghouse,
Unruh sells Reisman's book, "Kinsey:
Crimes and Consequences," which accuses Kinsey of everything
from pedophilia to Nazism, and publishes a pamphlet, "Casualties
of Kinsey," supporting the theory that Kinsey molested child
research volunteers. Reisman is also a featured speaker at
"I think Judith Reisman is starting to have an impact with
people in the abstinence community because I've pushed to have her
at our conferences, and they just love her," said Unruh.
So how did a little old Jewish lady like
Reisman earn rock-star status on the right? How did a red diaper
baby active in the Labor Youth League in the 1940's come to blame
Kinsey for all of America's social ills? And how did the daughter
of Yiddish-speaking immigrants begin equating Kinsey with the Nazis
who liquidated much of her extended family in Europe? The
answer, or at least, hints of it, lies in her personal history,
a story with no shortage of startling twists, turns and tragedies.
Though she refused to tell her tale to me, rejecting e-mail and
phone requests for an interview, Reisman has recorded it in a self-published
1998 essay, "A Personal Odyssey to the Truth."
Her story begins in pre-World War II Newark, N.J., a haven for
Jewish immigrants that also serves as the setting for Phillip Roth's
best selling novel about a covert Nazi conspiracy to seize control
of the United States, "The Plot Against America." Like
Roth, Reisman portrays Newark as a garden of innocence, a redoubt
from the storm of cultural tumult gathering around her. Her mother
was a Yiddish theatre actress and her father, a folk singer; both
passed their musical talents on to her. "I lived at a wonderful
time," Reisman recalled. "I felt safe with neighbors,
uncles or cousins as was the custom of that time." It was morning
Even when the 1960s arrived, Reisman claimed she was still a naif.
"I married, and the hedge of protection about my life was not
breached until 1966 when my 10-year-old daughter was molested by
a 13-year-old adored and trusted family friend," she wrote.
"He knew she would like it, he said, he knew from his father's
magazines." According to Reisman, the boy slipped out of the
country with his family while her daughter slipped into a deep depression
which Reisman suggested may have contributed to her death from a
brain aneurysm 15 years later.
After the incident, Reisman sought solace in a college friend living
in the liberal mecca, Berkeley. She claims her friend told her that
"children are sexual from birth." "I did not know
it then," Reisman recounted, "but as a young mother, I
had entered the world according to Kinsey." But before Reisman
set her sights on Kinsey, her career as a songwriter would have
to collapse under the weight of the liberal media.
In 1973, after earning a name as a pioneering music video producer
for various local children's shows, her talents were recognized
by the producer of "Captain Kangaroo." Soon after he hired
her, however, she says he informed her that she would need to adapt
her songwriting style to the changing tastes of American kids, who
were tuning into cartoons at increasing rates. "I would have
to speed up my tempo to compete with the fast-action and the increasing
violence of the cartoons on other stations ... I found myself unwilling
or unable to write for children that way," Reisman recalled.
Reisman spent her royalties from "Kangaroo" to put herself
through graduate school at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, where
she says she studied mass media's effects on the minds of children.
She emerged from her studies convinced that
images of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and other cuddly characters
that appeared "in Playboy/Penthouse would cause sexual acting
out on children." After she delivered a lecture on the
Playboy/kiddie porn conspiracy at a conference on "Love and
Attraction" at Swansea University in Wales in 1977, Reisman
claims she was taken aside by a "Canadian professor" who
informed her there was only one man responsible for the "global
child sex abuse epidemic": Alfred Kinsey.
"Now I finally knew there was a source authority for children
increasingly being viewed sexually," Reisman wrote. "...
[M]y friend Carole had ... gotten the idea that 'children were sexual
from birth' from Kinsey." Suddenly, the boy who molested Reisman's
daughter became a mere extension of Kinsey. And while the boy had
dissapeared, Reisman saw Kinsey living on in the mounting women's
liberation and gay rights movements.
Interestingly, in her "Personal Odyssey," Reisman cites
nearly everyone who influenced her ideological formation, from her
father to her enemies in the "international academic pedophile
movement" – everyone, that is, except her husband. In
a 1996 profile of Reisman by Miss Poppy Dixon (on her web site,
AdultChristianity.com), wrote that Reisman was, "Intimidated
by her husband, a university professor ..." One wonders why
Reisman omitted him from her tale.
The onset of the Reagan Revolution presented
Reisman with a wealth of opportunities. In 1984, Justice Department
official Alfred Regnery, now a prominent conservative publisher,
granted Reisman $734,371 to analyze the content of Playboy magazines
between 1954 and 1984. When she turned
in her findings at American University, where she was based, the
university refused to publish them. Even Regnery confessed the grant
was a mistake. "This is not science, it's vigilantism: paranoid,
pseudoscientific hyperbole with a thinly veiled, hidden agenda.
This kind of thing doesn't help children at all," Dr. Loretta
Haroian, a leading expert on childhood sexuality, said of Reisman's
Ostracized by mainstream academia, within 10 years, Reisman had
found a more receptive audience for her ideas. At a May, 1994 conference
of Christian right leadership in Colorado Springs described by the
Washington Times as "top secret," Reisman introduced her
theory of a proselytizing homosexual movement. "I would suggest
to you," she told the conference, "that while the homosexual
population may right now be one to two percent, hold your breath,
people, because the recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere.
You'll be seeing, I would say, 20 percent or more, probably 30 percent,
or even more than that, of the young population will be moving into
homosexual activity." The notion of a surreptitious homosexual
recruitment campaign is now casually advanced by conservative Christian
leaders as they rally for a constitutional amendment to ban gay
While winning friends among the Christian
right, Reisman was also seeking to influence people on Capitol Hill
in her push for an investigation into whether Kinsey had sexually
abused children during his research. She presented this accusation
in her essay, "Kinsey and The Homosexual Revolution."
As Poppy Dixon wrote of the essay, "The
bulk of [Reisman's] tirade is comprised of 31 complex and leading
questions designed to prejudice the reader." Indeed, Reisman
does not offer any conclusive answer to her question, "What
if [Kinsey's work] reflects unethical scientists committing unprosecuted
criminal acts?" or anything else she asks. She simply posits
Kinsey's alleged criminality as a "possibility," one which
none of Kinsey's four biographers have found any evidence to entertain.
Yet the Bush administration's entry into the White House in 2000
was a rising tide that promised to lift the boats of Reisman and
her fellow culture warriors. Reisman's anti-porn crusade gained
steam with the February, 2003 appointment of her longtime friend
Bruce Taylor to senior counsel to the assistant attorney general.
Taylor has prosecuted over 700 obscenity cases in his career, including
the famed 1981 Ohio vs. Larry Flynt trial. With a $5 million budget
earmarked for 2005, Taylor is in charge of a beefed-up FBI task
force dedicated to cracking down on porn. And like Unruh, his work
is inspired by Reisman. "We should probably call her Detective
Reisman for finding the hidden clue to Kinsey's crimes against children
and families," Taylor said in a quote Reisman published on
her personal web site. "'Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences' is
a blueprint for justice for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse."
This November, Reisman spent a week on the
Hill at the invitation of Sen. Brownback, the evangelical Kansas
Republican, to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Science,
Technology and Space on "The Science Behind Pornography Addiction."
In her testimony, Reisman presented her discredited
Playboy/kiddie-porn report to reinforce her contention that,
"Pornography triggers myriad kinds of internal, natural drugs
that mimic the 'high' from a street drug. Addiction to pornography
is addiction to what I dub 'erotoxins' – mind-altering drugs
produced by the viewer's own brain." She added, "A basic
science research team employing a cautiously protective methodology
should study 'erotoxins' and the brain/body." Her
call for a research team was both a tacit admission that her presentation
was bereft of any scientific evidence, and yet another plea for
federal grant money for her studies.
Though Reisman has cultivated a wealth of
connections within government, her deepest wellspring of influence
remains the Christian right, which is certain to enjoy unprecendented
access to the White House in a second Bush term. Reisman
is a longtime consultant to Washington-based lobbying powerhouses
like Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association.
And she has enlisted her friend Eunice Ray, founder of Restoring
Social Virtue and Purity to America (RSVP America) to campaign full
time for the reintroduction of HR 2749. [...]
Reisman's research on Kinsey isn't the only thing that makes her
an asset to the Christian right. She also plays a critical PR role
as its House Hebrew. In 1995, when leaders of the right-wing Catholic
anti-abortion group, Human Life International (HLI), came under
fire for fingering Jews as the primary promoters of abortion, Reisman
stepped in as the group's spokesperson to declare, "Everyone
knows Jews do lead the abortion industry, and I'll thank B'nai B'rith
from the bottom of my heart if they can prove otherwise." Similarly,
when Concerned Women's Family and Culture Institute director Robert
Knight was lambasted for comparing Kinsey to the sinister Nazi doctor,
Joseph Mengele, he defended himself by penning an op-ed quoting
Reisman – "the Jewish woman who first exposed Kinsey's
vile 'reseach'" – making the same comparison.
In fact, equating homosexuals, abortion doctors
and secular humanists with the Nazis who massacred so much of her
family in Europe is a staple of Reisman's rhetoric. "Idealistic
'gay youth' groups are being formed and staffed in classrooms nationwide
by recruiters too similar to those who formed the original 'Hitler
youth,'" Reisman was quoted as saying in the New Yorker last
month. And her book, "Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences,"
is replete with comparisons of Kinsey to Nazi scientists, including
insinuations that his involvement in the Boy Scouts as a teenager
was on par with membership in the Hitler Youth.
Last June, Reisman was a guest at the Abstinence Clearinghouse's
annual leadership conference in Nashville, Tenn. There, she rubbed
shoulders with White House public liaison Tim Goeglein before taking
the stage alongside Eunice Ray to declare, "pornography is
training all your sex educators." According to Unruh, Reisman
received several standing ovations and "everyone just loved
Later in the evening, conference attendees were
addressed on a video link-up by Bush, who pledged to double federal
funding for abstinence-only programs – $168 million is allocated
for 2005 – and stated, "Through your educational programs,
you reach out to countless young people to give them the support
they need to make that responsible choice." Finally, Reisman
was honored with an "Abstie Lifetime Achievement Award."
Given the impact of Reisman's agenda-driven research
on the abstinence-only movement, it's perhaps no surprise that the
credibility of abstinence-only curricula has been widely questioned.
A recent report by California Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman revealed
that Abstinence Clearinghouse-reviewed programs teach teens that,
for instance, genital touching can cause pregnancy and that HIV
can be transmitted through tears and sweat. Another Clearinghouse-reviewed
textbook informs them, "Women gauge their happiness and judge
their success on their relationships. Men's happiness and success
hinge on their accomplishments." According to Waxman's report,
80 percent of data about reproductive health in abstinence-only
programs is false, misleading or distorted.
In a retort to Waxman, Unruh borrowed Reisman's
signature strawman tactic, comparing the pointy-headed Waxman not
to a Nazi, but to the oversexed basketball legend, Wilt "the
Stilt" Chamberlain. "It can all be summed up with Wilt
Chamberlain," Unruh said. "He wrote a book and said he
had thousands of sex partners, and he said, 'I never had one true
intimate relationship.' What a tragedy. And that can sum up Waxman
and every other person that's out there teaching the mechanics of
WARSAW (AFP) - Poland plans to cut the size
of its force in the US-led coalition in Iraq from 2,400 troops to
1,700 in mid-February, Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski announced.
However, he said another 700 troops based in Poland would be on
standby to be deployed to the war-torn country if needed.
Poland was a key US ally in the war which toppled Saddam Hussein
and is now the third largest contributor of soldiers to Iraq after
the United States and Britain, commanding a multinational division
of some 6,500 troops, including 2,400 Poles, within the US-led coalition.
Seventeen Poles -- 13 military and four civilians -- have been
killed there since the Polish deployment in August 2003. A Polish
woman also spent three weeks as a hostage in Iraq before being freed
Polish officials have indicated they want to end the unpopular
troop deployment, starting at the end of January after the Iraqi
"The presence of Polish soldiers during the election campaign
and during the elections in Iraq will be maintained at the current
level of 2,400," Szmajdzinski said.
"The withdrawal and the arrival of the new replacement troops
will take place only during the first half of February," he
He said that after the elections, Warsaw would reassess the situation
and would determine long-term prospects for its presence in Iraq.
FALLUJAH, Iraq - US marines say they are facing "fanatics"
as they clear the last fighters from Fallujah, but the mostly foreign
rebels still in the flashpoint Iraq city are proving harder to fight
"Sometimes it's more difficult than orginally planned,"
said marine captain Paul Batty.
"What's happening now is to the credit of these (rebels) and
their will to fight. They are here to die.
"Right now we are fighting fanatics
-- it's way beyond the money question. You would need millions of
dollars to get an ordinary person to live this life."
At least 30 suspected insurgents were killed in fighting over the
weekend, Batty said, but he added that marines also took heavy casualties
with more than a dozen wounded.
"We had to call in tanks and air support to finish them off,"
Despite the massive amount of firepower unleashed on Fallujah during
last month's assault which began November 8 and lasted about a week,
insurgents in the city have proven wily opponents as marines try
to police up the city in the aftermath of the initial attack.
"This is a smart enemy, even though
their fighting technique is average with little discipline.
They are incredibly skilled with IEDs (improvised bombs) and booby
traps," Batty said.
He said at least 60 percent of the fighters his units has encountered
"There are people from Egypt, Syria,
Saudi Arabia, we even had Chechens," he said. [...]
WASHINGTON - Michael Leavitt, President Bush's
choice to be secretary of Health and Human Services, may have to
cut billions of dollars from the government's mammoth health programs
for the elderly, poor and disabled to pare the budget deficit.
The Medicare and Medicaid programs, consuming nearly $500 billion
a year and growing quickly, could be vulnerable in the context of
last year's $413 billion budget deficit, the ongoing war in Iraq,
costly domestic security commitments and administration plans to
revamp Social Security without raising taxes. [...]
The HHS secretary also oversees the Food and Drug Administration,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes
of Health and the Indian Health Service. In all, the agency has
a budget of more than $500 billion and 67,000 employees.
If Congress undertakes serious budget cutting
next year, Medicare and Medicaid would be unlikely to escape, senior
Republican congressional aides said last week.
Ron Pollack, executive director of the consumer group Families
USA and an administration critic, said the costs of Bush's second-term
agenda coupled with his opposition to tax increases "points
to Medicaid potentially taking a very large hit." [...]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first test in nearly
two years of a multibillion-dollar U.S. anti-missile shield failed
on Wednesday when the interceptor missile shut down as it prepared
to launch in the central Pacific, the Pentagon said.
About 16 minutes earlier, a target missile carrying a mock warhead
had been successfully fired from Kodiak Island, Alaska, according
to a statement from the Missile Defense Agency.
The aborted $85 million test appeared likely to set back plans
for activation of a rudimentary bulwark against long-range ballistic
missiles that could be fired by countries like North Korea.
In 2002, President Bush pledged to have initial elements of the
program up and running by the end of this year while testing and
An "anomaly" of unknown origin caused the interceptor
to shut down automatically in its silo at the Kwajalein Test Range
in the Marshall Islands, said Richard Lehner, a spokesman for the
Pentagon's missile agency.
The test followed a week of delays caused by weather and technical
glitches, including malfunction of an internal battery aboard the
target missile on Tuesday, he said.
"This is a serious setback for a program that had not attempted
a flight intercept test for two years," Philip Coyle, the Pentagon's
chief weapons tester under late President Ronald Reagan, said in
an e-mail exchange. [...]
When a shootdown has been the chief test objective, the
system so far has succeeded five of eight times in
highly scripted conditions.
The last test, in December 2002, misfired when the warhead -- a
120-pound "kill vehicle" of sensors, chips and thrusters
designed to pulverize its target on collision -- failed to separate
from its booster rocket.
Boeing Co., as prime contractor, put together the ground-based
shield, which is to be folded into a system involving airborne,
sea- and space-based elements. All told, the
Pentagon is spending $10 billion a year on the project. [...]
PARIS - Passengers on an Air France flight
from Paris to Kinshasa prevented police from deporting three bound
illegal immigrants Tuesday by refusing to allow the plane to take
The officers were forced to get off the aircraft, flight AF898
bound for the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with
the three detainees - two men and a women - who had their wrists
and feet chained together.
French police often use commercial flights to repatriate illegal
immigrants to Africa, despite occasional protests from passengers
who consider the way the prisoners are handled inhumane and degrading.
| A stark warning of the probable
effects of global warming in Europe has been given by a UK climate
Scientists at the Met Office's Hadley Centre say the 2003 European
heatwave, the hottest ever recorded, could within just 60 years
pass as "unusually cool".
They cannot yet reliably estimate the risk of a Gulf Stream collapse,
but say it would mean "significant" cooling.
The researchers say 2003 was the third warmest year on record,
about 0.8C hotter than just over a century ago.
The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is one of
the world's leading scientific groups studying what a warming world
will be like.
Into the heat
Its report, Uncertainty, Risk And Dangerous Climate Change, is
published as the countries which have signed the Kyoto Protocol,
the global climate treaty, meet in Argentina.
The report says last year's European heatwave, the most intense
since records began, caused more than 15,000 extra deaths.
The authors say they estimate man-made climate change has already
doubled the risk of such heatwaves.
They investigate one scenario prepared by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, which envisages medium to high emissions
of greenhouse gases.
On that basis, they predict that by the 2040s more than half of
all European summers are likely to be warmer than 2003's. They add:
"By the 2060s, a 2003-type summer would be unusually cool."
But the report says things could turn out very differently: "While
climate is expected to change gradually over the course of the century,
there are some components of the climate system which could change
"There are also concerns that some processes may have a trigger
point which, once exceeded, will make the changes inevitable, no
matter how much we reduce the emissions subsequently."
It looks at the thermohaline circulation, the system of ocean
currents that carries heat from the tropics to higher latitudes
to keep them warmer than they would otherwise be.
If this circulation, which influences a largely wind-driven North
Atlantic surface current known as the Gulf Stream, shuts down, the
report says, the whole of the northern hemisphere is predicted to
cool, "leading to large impacts".
It says there is "a significant possibility" that the
melting of the Greenland ice sheet could be triggered in the next
The report adds that there is concern that the ice might never
return to its present volume, even if atmospheric carbon dioxide
were reduced to pre-industrial levels.
The authors say 2003's global average surface temperature was nearly
0.8C above that at the end of the 19th Century, making it the third
warmest since instrumental records began 143 years ago.
They write: "The 10 warmest years have occurred since 1990,
including each year since 1997. Since 1975, the land has warmed
at approximately twice the rate of the oceans."
In a separate study, UK and US astronomers have again raised the
possibility that the Sun's indirect effects may have had a bigger
impact on the Earth's climate than is generally recognised.
|COSMIC RAYS AND CLOUDS
The Sun's magnetic field and solar wind shield the Solar System
from cosmic rays (very energetic particles and radiation from
Changes in solar activity will affect the performance of the
shield and how many cosmic rays get through to Earth
Theory suggests cosmic rays can "seed" clouds. Some
satellite data have shown a close match between the amount of
cloud cover over Earth and the changing flux in cosmic rays
reaching the planet
Their analysis suggests there is a strong link between low-level
cloud formation and changes in the amount of cosmic rays - high-energy
space particles - hitting the atmosphere.
Solar activity is very directly correlated to this cosmic ray flux,
and some scientists suspect the impacts can somehow seed clouds,
altering the Earth's ability to either reflect or retain the Sun's
radiation (although the actual mechanism is not known).
The UK-US team tell the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial
Physics that a simple model constructed to investigate the cloud
and cosmic ray link could "explain a significant part of the
global warming over the past century, but not all".
It is a controversial idea, with many climate scientists arguing
that greenhouse gases have been by far the dominant force pushing
the Earth on to a sharp warming trend over the past 150 years.
Enric Pallé, John Butler and Keran O'Brien say emissions
of gases such as carbon dioxide may be responsible for the significant
warming for which their model cannot account.
ITHACA, N.Y. - As the first signs of winter
push into the Northeast, researchers have some good news for fair
weather fans — spring is coming earlier than it used to.
The lilacs say so.
In one of the most comprehensive studies that plants in the Northeast
are responding to the global warming trend, Cornell scientists and
their colleagues at the University of Wisconsin found lilacs are
blooming about four days earlier than they did in 1965.
David Wolfe, a plant ecology professor at Cornell whose research
will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal
of Biometeorology, said nature's calendar is changing due to an
increase in greenhouse gases.
"It's not just the weather data telling us there is a warming
trend going on. We are now seeing the living world responding to
the climate change as well," Wolfe said Tuesday. [...]
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