Translations from other sites
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
of the Day
| Donald J. Hunt
Signs Economic Observer
I heard an NPR reporter on the
radio this morning back from having
been embedded with the US military in Iraq mention something that
puzzled him. It seems that there have been no abductions of foreigners
in Iraq "in the last couple of months or so."
Let's see, what happened almost two months ago? The US election!
More evidence that these kidnappings and beheadings were false
flag operations. Of course, Rumsfeld did admit that this week when
he said that the same people were beheading hostages in Iraq and
shooting down our planes in Pennsylvania.
PASADENA, California (AP) -- Additional
observations have ruled out the chance that a recently discovered
asteroid, believed to be about 1,300 feet long, could hit Earth
in 2029, NASA scientists said.
Last week, asteroid 2004 MN4 had been given a small chance of impacting
Earth, based on observations in June and again this month. Astronomers
then began independent efforts to find earlier observations of the
The Spacewatch Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., found faint pictures
of the asteroid in archival images dating to March 15, the Near
Earth Object Program Office, located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
said in a statement on its Web site this week.
The pictures from March allowed scientists to refine the asteroid's
projected trajectory, and "an Earth impact on 13 April 2029
can now be ruled out," the program office said.
Scientists also ruled out an impact with the moon.
Spacewatch is associated with the University of Arizona's Lunar
and Planetary Observatory.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
IN OXNARD HAS ISSUED A
* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN LOS ANGELES COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA
INCLUDING PALOS VERDES...SAN PERDO...ROLLING HILLS...
TORRANCE AND CARSON
* UNTIL 1130 PM PST
* AT 1026 PM PST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 22 MILES SOUTH
OF PALOS VERDES ESTATES...OR ABOUT 26 MILES SOUTHWEST OF LONG
BEACH...MOVING NORTH AT 45 MPH.
* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
PALOS VERDES ESTATES BY 1055 PM PST
TORRANCE AND REDONDO BEACH BY 1100 PM PST
MANHATTAN BEACH AND 8 MILES WEST OF COMPTON BY 1105 PM PST
INGLEWOOD BY 1110 PM PST
| WASHINGTON - The Arctic Council's
recent report on the effects of global warming in the far north paints
a grim picture: global floods, extinction of polar bears and other
marine mammals, collapsed fisheries. But it ignored a ticking time
bomb buried in the Arctic tundra.
There are enormous quantities of naturally occurring greenhouse
gasses trapped in ice-like structures in the cold northern muds
and at the bottom of the seas. These ices, called clathrates, contain
3,000 times as much methane as is in the atmosphere. Methane is
more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide.
Now here's the scary part. A temperature increase of merely a few
degrees would cause these gases to volatilize and "burp"
into the atmosphere, which would further raise temperatures, which
would release yet more methane, heating the Earth and seas further,
and so on. There's 400 gigatons of methane locked in the frozen
arctic tundra - enough to start this chain reaction - and the kind
of warming the Arctic Council predicts is sufficient to melt the
clathrates and release these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Once triggered, this cycle could result in runaway global warming
the likes of which even the most pessimistic doomsayers aren't talking
An apocalyptic fantasy concocted by hysterical environmentalists?
Unfortunately, no. Strong geologic evidence suggests something similar
has happened at least twice before.
The most recent of these catastrophes occurred about 55 million
years ago in what geologists call the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
(PETM), when methane burps caused rapid warming and massive die-offs,
disrupting the climate for more than 100,000 years.
The granddaddy of these catastrophes occurred 251 million years
ago, at the end of the Permian period, when a series of methane
burps came close to wiping out all life on Earth.
More than 94 percent of the marine species present in the fossil
record disappeared suddenly as oxygen levels plummeted and life
teetered on the verge of extinction. Over the ensuing 500,000 years,
a few species struggled to gain a foothold in the hostile environment.
It took 20 million to 30 million years for even rudimentary coral
reefs to re-establish themselves and for forests to regrow. In some
areas, it took more than 100 million years for ecosystems to reach
their former healthy diversity.
Geologist Michael J. Benton lays out the scientific evidence for
this epochal tragedy in a recent book, When Life Nearly Died: The
Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time. As with the PETM, greenhouse
gases, mostly carbon dioxide from increased volcanic activity, warmed
the earth and seas enough to release massive amounts of methane
from these sensitive clathrates, setting off a runaway greenhouse
The cause of all this havoc?
In both cases, a temperature increase of about 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit,
about the upper range for the average global increase today's models
predict can be expected from burning fossil fuels by 2100. But these
models could be the tail wagging the dog since they don't add in
the effect of burps from warming gas hydrates. Worse, as the Arctic
Council found, the highest temperature increases from human greenhouse
gas emissions will occur in the arctic regions - an area rich in
these unstable clathrates.
If we trigger this runaway release of methane, there's no turning
back. No do-overs. Once it starts, it's likely to play out all the
Humans appear to be capable of emitting carbon dioxide in quantities
comparable to the volcanic activity that started these chain reactions.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, burning fossil fuels releases
more than 150 times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by volcanoes
- the equivalent of nearly 17,000 additional volcanoes the size
of Hawaii's Kilauea.
And that is the time bomb the Arctic Council ignored.
How likely is it that humans will cause methane burps by burning
fossil fuels? No one knows. But it is somewhere between possible
and likely at this point, and it becomes more likely with each passing
year that we fail to act.
So forget rising sea levels, melting ice caps, more intense storms,
more floods, destruction of habitats and the extinction of polar
bears. Forget warnings that global warming might turn some of the
world's major agricultural areas into deserts and increase the range
of tropical diseases, even though this is the stuff we're pretty
sure will happen.
Instead, let's just get with the Bush administration's policy of
pre-emption. We can't afford to have the first sign of a failed
energy policy be the mass extinction of life on Earth. We have to
John Atcheson, a geologist, has held a variety of policy positions
in several federal government agencies.
KATHMANDU: A mild earthquake measuring 4.2
on the Richter scale shook eastern Nepal in the predawn hours
Tuesday, state-run radio said.
"The earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale shook the
Nagpa area in Dolakha district (east of Kathmandu)" Tuesday morning,
the radio said.
The earthquake, which prompted residents to flee their homes
for safety, occurred two days after a massive quake off Indonesia
led to deadly tidal waves and devastation across Asia.
"So far, no reports of casualties have been received from the
quake-affected areas in Dolakha district," the radio said, quoting
the National Earthquake Centre.
The Nepal earthquake came after another temblor measuring 4.3
on the Richter scale shook the kingdom's far western Bajura district
The Maracaibo daily newspaper Panorama is
reporting a 4.9 degrees (Richter scale) earth tremor in western
Zulia's Machiques, Maracaibo, San Francisco, La Concepcion, Cabimas,
Lagunillas with its epicenter in the Rosario de Perija municipality,some
29 kilometers from La Villa del Rosario at 5:08 a.m. on Christmas
Reports from the scene say the tremors were the worst of three
seismic events in Zulia so far this year; previous 'shakes' have
been in the region of 2.5 on the Richter scale. [...]
A string of Indian islands were rattled by
aftershocks today while emergency aid was rushed to survivors
of the tsunami waves that killed at least 4,300 people along the
nation’s south-eastern coast.
In addition to the confirmed dead, another 3,000 people are
feared to have been killed by Sunday’s killer waves on the Andaman
and Nicobar islands, which were shaken
by seven aftershocks of 4.4 to 5.5 magnitude overnight. [...]
YALA NATIONAL PARK, Sri Lanka - Wildlife officials
in Sri Lanka expressed surprise Wednesday that they found no evidence
of large-scale animal deaths from the weekend's massive tsunami
— indicating that animals may have sensed the wave coming
and fled to higher ground.
An Associated Press photographer who flew over Sri Lanka's Yala
National Park in an air force helicopter saw abundant wildlife,
including elephants, buffalo, deer, and not a single animal corpse.
Floodwaters from the tsunami swept into the park, uprooting trees
and toppling cars onto their roofs — one red car even ended
up on top of a huge tree — but the
animals apparently were not harmed and may have sought out high
ground, said Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, whose Jetwing Eco
Holidays ran a hotel in the park.
"This is very interesting. I am finding
bodies of humans, but I have yet to see a dead animal," said
Wijeyeratne, whose hotel in the park was totally destroyed
in Sunday's tidal surge.
"Maybe what we think is true, that animals have a sixth sense,"
Yala, Sri Lanka's largest wildlife reserve, is home to 200 Asian
Elephants, crocodile, wild boar, water buffalo and gray langur monkeys.
The park also has Asia's highest concentration of leopards. The
Yala reserve covers an area of 391 square miles, but only 56 square
miles are open to tourists.
The human death toll in Sri Lanka surpassed 21,000. Forty foreigners
were among 200 people in Yala who were killed.
This from the Swedish paper Expressen:
Just minutes after the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday
morning, Thailand’s foremost meteorological experts were sitting
together in a crisis meeting. But they decided not to warn about
the tsunami “out of courtesy to the tourist industry,”
writes the Thailand daily newspaper The Nation.
The experts got the news around 8:00 am on Sunday morning local
time. An hour later, the first massive wave struck. But the experts
started to discuss the economic impacts when they discussed if a
tsunami warning should be issued.
The primary argument against such a warning was
that there had not been any floods in 300 years. Also, the experts
believed the Indonesian island Sumatra would be a “cushion”
for the southern coast of Thailand. The experts also had bad information;
they thought the tremor was 8.1. A similar earthquake occurred in
the same area in 2002 with no flooding at all.
One expert The Nation spoke with also noted that the department
had only four earthquake experts among their
900-strong meteorological department. A second told The Nation that
a tsunami warning was discussed but that because of the risk, they
opted not to issue a warning.
“We finally decided not to do anything because the tourist
season was in full swing,” the source said. “The hotels
were 100 percent booked. What if we issued
a warning, which would have led to an evacuation, and nothing had
happened. What would be the outcome? The tourist industry would
be immediately hurt. Our department
would not be able to endure a lawsuit.”
The death toll in the tsunami disaster soared
past 100,000 today - and is set to climb higher.
A total of 50 Britons are now confirmed dead and at least 100
are unaccounted for after tidal waves swept away resorts in Thailand,
Sri Lanka, India and around the Indian Ocean.
Officials in every country today warned the final number of dead
will be even higher as rescue teams reach remote areas.
The UN said there were now strong grounds
to believe that the toll in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the worst
affected area, would be as high as 80,000. The number dead
has now climbed in every country affected, including:
• Thailand: 1,700 confirmed dead, including 43 British tourists.
• Indonesia: more than 42,000 confirmed dead.
• India: nearly 7,000 dead, and many coastal areas including
parts of Kerala still to be searched.
• Sri Lanka: 22,500 are confirmed dead and there are fears
for hundreds of independent British travellers on the east coast.
Aid agencies today warned disease will also cause massive casualties
among the survivors as the biggest relief effort in history began.
BERLIN (AP) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
called on creditor nations Wednesday to suspend debt repayments
from Indonesia and Somalia to help in their recovery from the quake-tsunami
Germany will propose the measure at a meeting of the Paris Club
of creditor countries in January, Schroeder told reporters. Indonesia
and Somalia are the only two nations with debt repayment agreements
with the Paris Club out of the dozen nations ravaged by this week's
With the death toll in southeast Asian and East African coastal
areas soaring in the tens of thousands, Schroeder said relief and
reconstruction would require a massive international effort. "This
is a disaster of truly worldwide dimensions,'' he said.
The Paris Club groups 19 creditor nations, including the United
States, Japan, Russia and several European countries.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Agency for International
Development is adding $20 million to an initial $15 million contribution
for Asian earthquake relief as Secretary of State Colin Powell bristled
at a United Nations official's suggestion the United States has
Confirming the new assistance, Deputy State Department spokesman
Adam Ereli also disclosed Tuesday that a large number of missing
Americans had been found and were safe. But Ereli said hundreds
of others remained unaccounted for and that seven had perished in
Sri Lanka and five in Thailand.
Describing the $20 million as a "line
of credit," Ereli said the money will be made available
to countries devastated by the most powerful earthquake in 40 years.
This new total of $35 million is bound to
be increased, he said.
"We know the needs will grow," Ereli said.
At the Pentagon, meanwhile, the Navy said
the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which had been in port
at Hong Kong, had been ordered to sail for the stricken area to
provide assistance. A five-ship fleet headed by the amphibious
assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard will skip a port call in Guam
to sail for the region.
Supplies of plastic sheltering, food and water bags are on their
way to Indonesia from Dubai in the Persian Gulf.
Powell, irritated by the U.N. official's criticism, toured morning
television talk shows to say the Bush administration will follow
up its contributions with additional large sums. [...]
Initially, the U.S. government pledged $15 million and dispatched
disaster specialists to help the Asian nations devastated by a massive
earthquake and tsunamis that claimed tens of thousands of lives,
including at least 12 Americans. Seven perished in Sri Lanka and
five in Thailand.
Powell chafed at statements that Egeland made at a Monday news
conference, at which the humanitarian aid chief exhorted "rich"
nations to do more.
"We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the
rich countries," Egeland said. "And it is beyond me, why
are we so stingy, really ... even Christmas time should remind many
Western countries at least how rich we have become."
Appearing Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Powell
said: "We will do more. I wish that comment hadn't been made."
"We'll make an assessment as the days go by, to see what more
is needed of us," he said. "It will take us awhile to
make a careful assessment of what is needed ... to see what the
specific needs are and then we will respond to those needs."
Egeland said on Tuesday, however, that his remarks had been misinterpreted.
"It has nothing to do with any particular
country or any particular disaster," he told reporters.
In an interview on NBC's "Today," Powell said Tuesday:
"Clearly, the United States will be a major contributor to
this international effort. And, yes, it will
run into the billions of dollars." [...]
A powerful storm pounded California for a
second day, flooding freeways and desert roads, tossing boats
ashore and triggering a rockslide that blocked the central coast
Two deaths were linked to the storm that roared down from the
Gulf of Alaska and into the nation’s most populous state on Monday.
One victim was apparently killed as he tried to surf big waves
at Montara State Beach south of San Francisco. A lorry driver
died in a crash on an interstate north of Los Angeles.
Downtown Los Angeles got a record 3.98 inches of rain by last
night, topping the 2.09 inches set on December 28, 1931.
More heavy weather was on its way, according to forecasters.
A potentially stronger system was due to enter northern California
tonight, bringing heavy snow and high winds to the Sierra Nevada
and eastern parts of the state through Friday.
Flash-flood warnings were posted in south-eastern California
for parts of San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Authorities reported flooding along highways near Joshua Tree
National Park, and warned motorists to be alert crossing washes
and driving near creeks.
Residents were ordered to evacuate about 50 homes in the San
Bernardino County town of Devore, 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
A flash flood on Christmas Day 2003 killed 16 people near there.
BOSTON - A storm spread sleet, freezing rain
and more than a foot of snow along the Eastern Seaboard, knocking
out power to thousands in the Carolinas and New England, stranding
hundreds of motorists along icy highways and causing airport delays.
At least two traffic deaths were blamed on the weather in North
Fourteen inches of snow had fallen Monday in Virginia and 18
inches fell in eastern Massachusetts as the storm skimmed the
coast on a northeasterly track. Up to 20 inches of snow was possible
in southeastern Massachusetts, the National Weather Service said.
Just over 8 inches fell on the eastern tip of New York's Long
Boston's Logan International Airport was operating a single
runway Monday morning, and substantial delays were expected, airport
spokesman Phil Orlandella said. Rhode Island got up to 10 inches
and T.F. Green Airport in Warwick had flight delays Monday after
shutting down late Sunday night so crews could clear runways.
Slates were ripped off roofs and a lamppost
was uprooted when a mini tornado hit just a handful of streets,
it emerged today.
Firefighters were called to repair wind damage to several houses
in Haverfordwest, South Wales, late last night.
Properties in the Priory Estate area were damaged and in Geralds
Way a lamppost was blown over in the high winds.
But neighbouring streets escaped the effects of the freak weather.
“I’ve spoken to neighbours and it took all of 15 minutes. People
in unaffected streets didn’t even hear anything.”
A spokesman for the Met Office said that it was possible for
a tornado to rip through one street while neighbouring
areas did not experience any wind at all.
He said: “They could be so localised they affect one or two
streets. The ones that happen in the US are on a much larger scale
than the ones which happen in the UK. But we do have a few reports
of tornados in Wales and the South West of England each year.”
| NORMAN, Okla., -- The total number of tornadoes
reported in the United States reached a record high during the year
2004, surpassing the previous record by almost
300, according to officials at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center
in Norman, Okla. The findings are based on a preliminary review
of reports filed by NOAA's National Weather Service forecast offices,
and compared to historical records dating back to 1950. NOAA, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of
the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"One tropical storm and
five hurricanes affecting areas from Florida to the mid-Atlantic
states, as well as several outbreaks in four of the last ten days
in May contributed to the year's total number of 1,717 tornado reports
in the U.S" said Dan McCarthy, SPC's warning coordination meteorologist.
This tops the previous record of 1,424 tornadoes in 1998, and the
total of 1,368 in 2003.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Thousands of baby sea turtles
were smothered by excess sand or drowned after a series of tropical
storms hit the beaches of Cape Island this year, biologists say.
Despite efforts to protect the loggerhead turtles, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service found that just 62 percent of the eggs
hatched at the undeveloped barrier island north of Charleston.
In a normal year, about 80 percent of the island's eggs would
hatch, the service said.
Cape Island, in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is
one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in South Carolina.
About one-third of the nests established in the state are built
in the sand dunes of Cape Island.
The loggerhead is the only sea turtle to nest regularly on South
Carolina beaches. The reptile, which can live 75 years and weigh
350 pounds, is listed by the federal government as a threatened
For more than two decades, loggerhead populations have declined
as a result of pollution, overdevelopment of beaches and commercial
An ongoing drought in Vietnam has caused
water shortage for nearly 300,000 hectares of crops and over 500,000
local residents nationwide, local newspaper Pioneer reported Tuesday.
Out of 262,700 hectares of crops affected by the drought, 142,
300 hectares, mainly rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton and coffee,
have already been destroyed. Over 500,000 people now lack water
for domestic use, while around 44,000 others suffer from hunger.
The drought is predicted to last in the coming weeks, causing
total losses of more than 5 trillion Vietnamese dong (US$318.5
|BEIJING: China faces water shortage of 40 billion
cubic meters (1,400 billion cubic feet) every year with severe water
pollution posing a threat to the health of millions of people, state
More than 400 of 669 Chinese cities are facing water shortages,
among which the situation in 110 cities was described as "serious",
said Xinhua news agency, quoting Wang Shucheng, Minister of Water
Some 20 million hectares (49 million acres) of farmland were
affected by drought, reducing grain production by 28 million tons,
Wang told the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress,
China's top legislature.
Severe water pollution in China made water shortages even worse
and threatened the safety of drinking water.
"China's water pollution is very serious," Wang said, adding
that just 38.1 percent of China's river water was drinkable.
China pumped out 68 billion tons of sewage in 2003, double the
amount in 1980, Xinhua said.
In some regions, high levels of metal and organic pollutants
caused cancer and deformity in humans, Wang was quoted as saying.
According to an earlier Xinhua report last week, more than 70
percent of China's rivers and lakes were polluted to different
"Currently, 300 million Chinese people are drinking unsafe water",
Wang said in the report. [...]
NEW YORK - Every time Lourdes Morales watches
the TV news and sees a story on terrorism, she weeps.
Family members have stopped trying to console her, but they, too,
cannot understand why Edgar Morales, the family's youngest son,
will see the new year arrive in prison where he is waiting to be
tried as a terrorist.
"They are comparing my son to (Osama) bin Laden ... and all
those people who used bombs and killed thousands of people at random,"
"They are making him look as if he was this cold-hearted person,
and he is not like that."
Morales, 22, was indicted on murder and other charges as acts of
terror in May, along with 18 other members of the St. James Boys
Gang, a Mexican and Mexican-American street gang.
Morales faces the most serious charge of second-degree
murder as a terrorist act. A New York grand jury returned the charges
against him in connection with the shooting death of 10-year-old
Melanie Mendez, who died from gunshot wounds two years earlier.
Morales plans to plead innocent, said his attorney, Lewis Alperin.
No date has yet been set for his trial.
Morales is the first gang member in New York to
be indicted under the state's terrorism statute, which became law
shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
If the charges did not include the terrorism stipulation, he would
face a sentence of 25 years to life if found guilty. With the stipulation,
he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility
At least 33 states passed laws amending criminal codes related
to acts of terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the
National Conference of State Legislatures. Most
changes focused on money laundering, cyberterrorism, agri-terrorism
and supporting terrorist groups.
New York's use of the statute to prosecute gang-related crime has
sparked disagreement among lawmakers who voted for the legislation.
A spokeswoman for state Sen. Michael Balboni, who sponsored the
bill, said he does not mind that prosecutors have decided gang violence
is a form of domestic terrorism and are using the statute to prosecute
"Gangs are a forum to promote terrorism,"
said Balboni spokeswoman Lisa Angerame. "Therefore, the anti-terrorism
statue would be applicable against them, even if the original intent
for this law was not exactly to prosecute them."
Others say the law is not being used as intended.
"It is not that I want to defend gangs," said state Rep.
Jeffrey Dinowitz. "But it should never be justifiable to use
laws with purposes other than their original intent.
"We already have the appropriate laws
to prosecute gang members for their crimes," he added.
Although it pains me to no end, I may finally
have to give George W. Bush (or at least his handlers) some positive
credit for the first time in his presidency. Call me slow, but
I just realized why he plays the "religion" card so often, and
how he plays it so effectively. To echo a popular slogan: it's
the fear factor, stupid.
Fear is one of the most powerful tools
available for manipulating a group of people to do your bidding.
This has been proven throughout military history, used brilliantly
by everyone from the leaders of ancient Rome to the political
leaders of today. Whether there is an actual enemy or not, a fearful
populace is a willing populace. Therefore, in the absence of a
real enemy, one needs simply to create a convincing alternative.
Keep the people in fear, and they will
support your agenda - it's very simple, really, and it works.
An unbiased look at Christianity also proves the effectiveness
of fear in manipulating a group of people. Whether they admit
it or not, at the core of every Christian's faith is the fear
of burning in eternal fire if they don't believe. Sure, they have
the standard list of recitable reasons for their faith, but once
you run them through the list they are eventually left alone with
this trembling fear of eternal damnation.
It has been quite possibly the most effective psychological exercise
in all of history. It has also been extremely lucrative for those
who know how to exploit it.
Combine the proven effectiveness of fear
in garnering support for military campaigns, and the proven success
of the fear inherent in religious doctrine, and your power knows
no end. Any group of people who fear an enemy, whether
that enemy be real or created, and this same group can be convinced
that this God who holds the key to eternal damnation supports
a military campaign against this enemy, is a group of people who
have surrendered their last thought of dissent. Your will is now
their will, and it is obvious to me that George W. Bush's handlers
have discovered this.
We have seen time and again how immorality can be made supportable
with a wave of a Bible and a few selective quotes from the same.
Christians in America number in the millions. It is already known
that these millions, at their core, fear this particular God over
all else, because he will roast them if they don't. Logic and
reason, as out of place as they are in a discussion of religion,
expose an enormous advantage for anyone requiring the use of fear
to pursue an agenda involving this group of people.
Here is a large segment of the population which enters the arena
with an unshakable fear already instilled. Additionally, due to
the fact that they willingly believe what they do, manipulation
is no longer doubtable. The concept is brilliant
in its simplicity - use this group's fear of their God against
them by proclaiming to fear the same, while proclaiming the support
of this God-to-be-feared in whatever your agenda may be.
The mantra becomes, "God dictates my agenda, so you better support
it, or you'll burn in eternity". Those who write the scripts for
George W. Bush have applied this concept with impressive results.
Many Christians in America not only believe that 9-11 was a Saddam/Osama
team effort, but they also believe that Bush really won the latest
election fairly, that the economy is doing great, that Israel
is just a poor victim of those mean Arabs, and that George W.
Bush is really a Christian just like them.
Shortly after the latest election, George W. Bush laid claim
to a mandate for his agenda, presumably in no small part coming
from the Christian version of God himself. Even though the seperation
of church and state was an important ideal in the minds of America's
founders, the combination of church and state has proven to be
much more successful for George W. Bush - and that's a genuine
enemy the rest of us should fear. However, the rest of us should
use the fear of this genuine enemy not to cower and submit, but
to organize, plan, and fight. Bush's handlers have successfully
(if sadly) reduced his supporters to a submissive herd of followers.
In contrast, a well-organized opposition with a clear plan and
a continual pro-active agenda will restore hope for those to whom
we leave this nation.
The time for talk is over; the time for
action is here. With effective leadership, organization,
and active participation, change will come. Fear is indeed a powerful
motivator - until it meets the power of dissent.
SAMARRA, Iraq : At least 43 people were killed
as insurgents launched a string of attacks on the Iraqi security
forces raising questions about their readiness to secure landmark
elections next month.
The flurry of assaults followed the airing on Arabic television
of a purported voice recording of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden
naming fugitive Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi his Iraqi
"emir" and calling for a boycott of the January 30 poll.
Outgoing US Secretary of State Colin Powell warned the deadly
insurgency would rage on, no matter what the outcome of the election.
The latest bloodshed came even as a US general in Baghdad announced
Iraqi forces would play the lead role in protecting polling stations
Once more overwhelming Iraqi security forces, rebels stormed
a police station in Dijla, between Tikrit and Samarra, and executed
12 policemen before dynamiting the building, one police
Just outside Tikrit, the hometown of ousted president Saddam
Hussein, three policemen were killed in
an attack on a checkpoint, police said.
Another four policemen and a national
guardsman were shot dead at a police station in Ishaki,
south of the formerly rebel-held city of Samarra, they added.
Three guardsmen and
three civilians were killed in a
car bomb attack targeting a joint US-Iraqi convoy in Samarra
itself, hospital sources said.
The US military said four US soldiers
and three civilians
were wounded in the blast.
One US soldier and five interior ministry
commandos were also wounded when a bomb blew up by their
convoy in Samarra Tuesday evening, the US military said.
In Baquba, 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of the capital,
six national guardsmen were killed in a suicide bombing,
South of the main northern city of Mosul, two
policemen were killed in the town of Shorgat, an officer
In the same area, an Iraqi interpreter
for the US army was killed and an Iraqi businessman travelling
with him kidnapped, another officer said.
Further south, near the refinery town of Baiji, a
roadside bomb killed one Iraqi civilian
and wounded another on a route frequented by US convoys,
a hospital official said.
At Suleyman Beg, northeast of Samarra, three
Iraqi businessmen working with the US army were killed and
a curfew imposed on the town, an officer said.
An Iraqi police officer was shot and
wounded by insurgents in Ad Dawr, just south of Tikrit,
the US military said.
In Baghdad, six people were wounded in
a suicide attack on the convoy of a senior national guard
commander, General Modher Abud, in which the bomber died, the
interior ministry said.
Another policeman was killed in
Balad, north of the capital, when insurgents opened fire on security
forces guarding a voter registration centre, police said.
And west of Baghdad, in the rebel bastion of Ramadi, the
body of deputy provincial deputy governor Muyad Marwan al-Ithawi
was found riddled with bullets hours after his kidnapping
by unknown gunmen.
The bloodshed brought the death toll in
Iraq since Sunday evening to at least 75, including two US soldiers.
BEIJING, Dec 23 (IPS) - As a year of subtle
but significant geopolitical shifts draws to an end, China looms
ever larger in a world unable to decide whether its rise is an
opportunity or a threat.
For better or worse, every ripple from this giant economy, which
is driven by the fast-expanding needs of 1.3 billion consumers,
can now be felt across the world. The country's frenetic construction
is driving up world prices of nearly every commodity, while large-scale
foreign investment is powering a flood of exports, which is bringing
down global prices for manufactured goods.
Without China, even the mighty United States could not run its
huge trade and budget deficits. China is
the world's second largest buyer of U.S. government debt, as it
recycles a 124 billion U.S. dollar trade surplus with the United
Not less significant, a series of recent multibillion-dollar
acquisitions announced by Chinese companies around the world show
that Beijing is aiming for even a bigger role on the global stage.
China has long been the world's strongest magnet for foreign investment
and is now sitting on a near 540 billion dollar pile of hard currency,
which it seems anxious to spend as the dollar plunges.
Intended buy-offs are in industries that include car manufacturing,
minerals, airlines, banks, consumer electronics, oil and telecommunications.
Not all of them have taken off. A reported
five billion dollar bid to buy Noranda, Canada's largest mineral
company, faltered this autumn amid concerns about Beijing's potential
use of leverage in the North American country.
Nevertheless, the announcements are causing a buzz of excitement
around the world.
Officially, China represents less than four percent of the world's
economy. But its spectacular rate of industrial production - which
grew by 16.3 percent last year alone - is making its effects felt
all over the world. Last year, China accounted
for seven percent of global oil consumption, 27 percent of steel,
31 percent of coal and 40 percent of cement.
And just as optimists are busy making plans on how to make money
by satisfying China's growing demand for raw materials -- everything
from timber to grain --others are looking at China with a feeling
of impending gloom. [...]
Similar hesitation marks the EU's protracted decision-making
process whether to lift the arms embargo imposed on Beijing after
1989 Tiananmen massacre of unarmed students and demonstrators.
EU members seem torn between the lure of China's market and moral
scruples, which back in 1989 dictated that China should be treated
as a giant rogue state for murdering its youth.
Supporters of lifting the ban like France and Germany are confident
that China is moving in the right direction. But the evidence
Detractors argue Beijing is blocking democracy
in Hong Kong and is threatening to use military force against
Chinese leaders have just announced their intention to enact
an anti-secession legislation - the sign of a dramatic hardening
of Beijing's stance towards Taiwan's independent movement, which
may provide the legal ground for launching a war against the island.
Taiwan and China have been governed separately since 1949, and
Taiwan remains the only functioning democracy in Chinese history.
This year China said it had its first ever peaceful transfer
of power. Jiang Zemin unexpectedly stepped down from his post
as head of the military after 15 years in power. But hopes that
his successor -- president and party chief Hu Jintao -- will allow
more freedom of expression, initiate negotiations with Taiwan
and advocate political reforms, have been upset by Beijing's latest
campaign to stifle dissent.
In recent months, the Communist party
has rounded and threatened at least half a dozen intellectuals
who had been vocal on the Internet and in the media about the
country's growing gap between rich and poor, pervasive unemployment
and the increase of big protests in the provinces.
And Beijing is now trying hard to silence the remainder - those
that say its growing economic power is propped up beneath a shaky
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia and China will hold
unprecedented joint military manoeuvres on Chinese territory next
year involving both nations' air forces and navies, Russia's defence
minister said Monday.
Sergei Ivanov, speaking at a cabinet session chaired by President
Vladimir Putin, said the exercise would involve submarines and
possibly strategic bombers, the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies
"For the first time in history, we have agreed to hold quite
a large military exercise together with China on Chinese territory
in the second half of the year," Ivanov said, according to ITAR-Tass.
"The Russian side will not bring big numbers of servicemen,
but mostly state-of-the art weapons - navy, air, long-range aviation,
submarines to practice interaction with China in different forms
of military manoeuvres," he reported.
After decades of bitter rivalry, Moscow and Beijing have developed
what they describe as a strategic partnership in the years since
the Soviet collapse. China has become the
No. 1 customer for Russia's struggling defence industry, purchasing
billions of dollars worth of fighters, missiles, submarines and
Officials with Russia's state arms-trading company, Rosoboronexport,
said last week that China is expected to sign new contracts for
the purchase of Russia's most advanced fighter jets.
Both nations have frequently spoken about their adherence to
a "multi-polar world," a term that refers to their opposition
to a perceived U.S. domination in global affairs.
Some observers have speculated that Russia,
which has had a falling out with the West over Ukraine's presidential
election, could respond by trying to forge a closer partnership
Russia has staunchly backed Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych, fearing that his rival, Viktor Yushchenko would bring
the nation closer to the West and away from the Russian orbit.
Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst who has long
followed Russian-Chinese military co-operation, said the announced
exercise was clearly intended to show Moscow's irritation with
BEIJING: China issued a national defence
policy for the first time since President Hu Jintao became military
chief, with crushing "the vicious rise" of Taiwan independence
forces at its core.
An 85-page white paper outlined a list of security threats,
including nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula and Japan's constitutional
changes, but its main thrust was on its strained relations with
It described then as "grim" and made clear any
attempt at independence would be harshly dealt with.
"Should the Taiwan authorities go so
far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident
of Taiwan independence, the Chinese people and armed forces will
resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost." it said.
"The Taiwan authorities under (President) Chen Shui-bian have
recklessly challenged the status quo ... and markedly escalated
the Taiwan independence activities designed to split China."
The document said it was the "sacred responsibility" of the
Chinese armed forces to stop Taiwan independence forces from splitting
It accused Chen and his Democratic Progressive
Party of inciting anti-China sentiment and also slammed US arms
sales to the island, which China considers part of its territory.
"(The United States) continues to increase, quantitatively and
qualitatively, its arms sales to Taiwan, sending a wrong signal
to the Taiwan authorities," it said.
"The US action does not serve a stable situation across the
The policy paper came as China's legislature deliberated a proposed
"anti-secession law" aimed at preventing Taiwan from declaring
China sees Taiwan as part of its territory even though it broke
with the mainland in 1949 after a civil war.
|BEIJING: China issued a "strong protest" against
a visit by former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to Japan, saying
it "severely disturbed" relations between Beijing and Tokyo, state
"The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction," foreign
ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as saying on the People's
"The Chinese foreign ministry has lodged a strong protest with
the Japanese government," he said.
Lee Teng-hui, who was president of Taiwan until 2000, on Monday
began a week-long visit to Japan despite protests by China which
was furious that Tokyo allowed the trip by the pro-independence
"Lee Teng-hui is the chief representative of radical separatist
forces on Taiwan," Liu was quoted as saying. "On the global stage,
he is every inch a trouble maker."
He said allowing Lee to visit Japan sent the wrong signal to
Taiwan's pro-independence forces and a step that "severely disturbed
the political foundation of Sino-Japanese ties."
As the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovich,
refused to concede defeat in the nation's presidential run-off,
his Transport Minister was found shot dead at his dacha.
It is not yet clear whether Heorhiy Kyrpa, 58, who is one of
Ukraine's most prominent businessmen, killed himself or was murdered.
A gun was reportedly found near the body. [...]
WASHINGTON - Three decades after the end
of the Vietnam War, the United States is increasing aid to help
remove unexploded ordnance that continues to kill people in the
former war zone, especially in Laos where 2 million tons of bombs
During the war, the United States bombed Laos relentlessly for
a decade in an effort to cut off North Vietnamese supply lines.
Though the war ended 30 years ago, the carnage from those bombings
Nearly a third of the bombs failed to explode, lying in wait
as "de facto anti-personnel mines," according to a Human Rights
Watch report. The bombs have killed roughly
6,000 Laotians since the end of fighting.
"Every time I go to Laos I meet fresh bomb victims who have
lost an eye or a leg or two," said Jim Harris, a retired Wisconsin
school principal who helps educate people about the experience
of Laotian refugees in his state.
U.S. pilots dropped 2 million tons of
bombs on Laos from 1964-1973, double the amount dropped on Germany
in World War II. [...]
A massive explosion razed a Minnesota office
building, killing three women employees and critically injuring
The blast in Ramsey, a suburb of Minneapolis, caved the single-storey
building into its empty basement, sheriff’s Capt Robert Aldrich
said. The site was strewn with concrete chunks, cinderblocks and
shreds of office furniture.
A gas leak was the most likely cause of the explosion, but nothing
was immediately ruled out, Aldrich said.
The building housed a property developer’s business and bank
A man angry that he got no presents for Christmas
burned down his parents’ house early the next morning, police
in the US said.
Steven Murray, 21, was charged with arson and risking a catastrophe
in the blaze that broke out early on Sunday in Feasterville, Pennsylvania.
No one was injured.
Police said Murray had himself committed to a hospital on Christmas
Day, but then signed himself out and walked eight miles home.
Later he told police he saw the flames in the distance.
But officers said his jacket smelled of smoke and they found
a lighter in his pocket and a petrol can near the front door.
“He was irritated that his family gave him no presents for Christmas,”
a police spokesman said.
Murray was jailed on 1 million US dollars (£516,000) bail. It
was not immediately known whether he had a lawyer.
IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A small plane crashed
Tuesday near the airport in this northern Michigan town, killing
all five people on board, authorities said.
The victims in the twin-engine Piper were the pilot, his wife and
three children, Deputy Sheriff Jay Kangas said. The
weather was clear at the time of the crash, Kangas said.
"The pilot reported an engine problem followed by a landing
gear problem, and was circling the airport at the time of the crash,"
said Ted Lopatkiewicz, a spokesman for the National Transportation
Mike Ruotsala said he heard the crash and looked out the window
of his parents' home. The plane was nose down amid trees between
the house and a nearby pond, he said.
Ironwood Township is on Michigan's Upper Peninsula near the Wisconsin
The sophistication of the human
brain is not simply the result of steady evolution, according to
new research. Instead, humans are truly privileged animals with
brains that have developed in a type of extraordinarily fast evolution
that is unique to the species.
"Simply put, evolution has been working very hard to produce
us humans," said Bruce Lahn, an assistant professor of human
genetics at the University of Chicago and an investigator at the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
"Our study offers the first genetic evidence that humans occupy
a unique position in the tree of life."
Professor Lahn's research, published this week in the journal Cell,
suggests that humans evolved their cognitive abilities not owing
to a few sporadic and accidental genetic mutations - as is the usual
way with traits in living things - but rather from an
enormous number of mutations in a short period of time, acquired
though an intense selection process favouring complex cognitive
Evolutionary biologists generally argue that humans have evolved
in much the same way as all other life on Earth. Mutations in genes
from one generation to the next sometimes give rise to new adaptations
to a creature's environment.
Those best adapted to their environment are more likely to survive
and pass on their genes to the next generation.
The evolution of a large brain in humans, then, can be seen as
similar to the process that leads to longer tusks or bigger antlers.
In general terms, and after scaling for body size, brains get bigger
and more complex as animals get bigger.
But with humans, the relative size of the brain does not fit the
trend - our brains are disproportionately big, much bigger even
than the brains of other non-human primates, including our closest
Prof Lahn's team examined the DNA of 214 genes involved in brain
development in humans, macaques, rats and mice.
By comparing mutations that had no effect on the function of the
genes with those mutations that did, they came up with a measure
of the pressure of natural selection on those genes.
The scientists found that the human brain's genes
had gone through an intense amount of evolution in a short amount
of time - a process that far outstripped the evolution of the genes
of other animals.
"We've proven that there is a big distinction," Prof
Lahn said. "Human evolution is, in fact, a privileged process
because it involves a large number of mutations in a large number
"To accomplish so much in so little evolutionary
time - a few tens of millions of years - requires a selective process
that is perhaps categorically different from the typical processes
of acquiring new biological traits."
As for how all of this happened, the professor suggests that the
development of human society may be the reason.
In an increasingly social environment, greater cognitive abilities
probably became more of an advantage.
"As humans become more social, differences in intelligence
will translate into much greater differences in fitness, because
you can manipulate your social structure to your advantage,"
"Even devoid of the social context, as humans become more
intelligent, it might create a situation where being a little smarter
matters a lot.
"The making of the large human brain is not just the neurological
equivalent of making a large antler. Rather, it required a level
of selection that's unprecedented."
| A Tunisian astrologer who reportedly
predicted the deaths of Princess Diana, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed
Yassin and Yasser Arafat says President Bush will be killed by an
assassin's bullet in 2005.
So seriously are Hassan al-Sharibi's predictions taken in the Arab
world that a similar prophecy about Palestinian Liberation Organization
leader Mahmoud Abbas has resulted in increased security around the
candidate to replace Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas' aides put a "great deal of credence" in the prediction,
according to a source quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
However, the paper tempered its report by saying critics label
Sharibi "a quack with flair who relies on logic and wishful
thinking. After all, predicting Yassin's assassination – he
was Israel's 'public enemy No. 1' – and the death of an already
ailing Arafat are hardly major feats."
Soothsaying is not unusual, nor forbidden, in Islam – as
it is in Christianity and Judaism. Muslim caliphs relied on court
astrologers as early as the eighth century, according to the report
in the Jerusalem Post.
Sharibi also predicted the sudden death of Saddam Hussein before
his trial begins.
"The Middle East region will be sitting on a volcano in 2005,
and the situation in Iraq will get even more dramatic as Saddam
Hussein is expected to die suddenly before his trial even starts,"
Sharibi said, according to a report by United Press International.
SPRINGDALE, Ark. - Michael Henson left the
auto parts store with more problems than when he arrived. For that,
he can thank his dog.
Henson, whose truck had a sticking throttle, brought his dog along
for company when he drove to O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Springdale
"He'd left the truck running — I guess to show the people
at O'Reilly's — and the dog jumped over and knocked the truck
into gear," Springdale police Sgt. Billy Turnbough said.
The truck raced into the building, stunning Henson and clerk Josh
"The guy said he was standing there, looked up, and saw his
dog driving his truck through the building," Turnbough said.
Hopper said he heard the crash and looked up from the transaction.
"His truck was in the window," Hopper said. "I thought,
'Oh no.' Everybody was fine. His front left tire just made it onto
the brick wall."
No one was hurt and no humans or animals were cited, police said.
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