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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan
P I C T U R E   O F  T H E  D A Y
©Pierre-Paul Feyte
SotT Reprise
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate...Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Heroes and heroines are that rare caste of human being who, when faced with oppression or hardship, are unwilling to lie down and submit to the usually formidable forces pitted against them. Of course, heroes need not always be acting in a consciously altruistic way, but it is the spirit of resistance to tyranny and freedom of choice that moves them, or moves through them, that can shine as a light for all those with eyes to see it. One might have thought that the modern world, with all of its injustice and suffering, would provide ample breeding ground for a new breed of heroes and heroines of all types, yet we find that this is not the case.

Perhaps it is our modern, dumbed-down, unimaginative, mechanised civilisation, with its emphasis on career, money and personal gain, that has severely limited the possibilities for their emergence - or perhaps it is more true to say that the oppression has become so complete, so all encompassing, that even those of a heroic disposition are no match for it. Yet the twentieth century has, nevertheless, produced a few notable examples of those people who, finding themselves in a position of influence and with a choice to make, in their own way chose truth over lies, justice over injustice, and heroism over pusillanimity.

Readers will note that we have used the past tense in the preceding sentence, for, sadly in the modern world, heroism, particularly when it is on a grand and public scale, is not appreciated by those who thrive on a lifeless, apathetic population. As a result, the life expectancy of the average modern-day hero or heroine, who, by their example, threaten to awaken the multitudes, is all-too-often sharply curtailed. While we can be forgiven for seeing only the tragedy in such a scenario, and while we might lament the naivety of the heroes, their actions and the process of containing their potentially "negative" effects - even when it involves the ultimate sacrifice - can sometimes expose the face of the anti-hero who, far too often, steals the show here on the BBM. For any readers of a heroic disposition, such knowledge is immeasurably valuable.

Today is the 25 th anniversary of the murder of one such hero who, in life, sought to inspire humanity to greater things, and in death presented the rest of us with a chance to recognise the face of his murderer - the anti-hero that threatens the future of every one of us.

The scene outside New York's spooky old Dakota apartment building on the evening of December 8, 1980, was as surreal as it was horrifying. John Lennon, probably the world's most famous rock star, lay semiconscious, hemorrhaging from four flat-tipped bullets blasted into his back. His wife Yoko Ono held his head in her arms and screamed.

A few yards away a pudgy young man stood eerily still, peering down into a paperback book. Moments earlier he had dropped into a military firing stance - legs spread for maximum balance, two hands gripping his .38 revolver to steady his aim - and blown away the very best Beatle. Now he leafed lazily through the pages of the one novel even the most chronically stoned and voided-out ninth grader will actually read, J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.

The Dakota doorman shouted at the shooter, Mark David Chapman, "Do you know what you've done?"

"I just shot John Lennon," Chapman replied, accurately enough.

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Comment: If he had lived, we can only imagine what John Lennon would have done to face down Bush and his cronies, and it is precisely because of his potential to provide the world's population with another option that he was murdered.

All of the evidence points to the CIA (or some faction within that organisation) as being behind the murder of John Lennon. Why was he killed? Most likely because of his potential positive (from our point of view) future influence on the consciousness of the masses, an influence that was deemed a potential threat to the plans of the global "power brokers", plans that involve the complete control of not only our physical vehicles, but more importantly, our minds and what we understand as "reality". Remember, a noted NeoCon insider confirmed for us that they believe themselves to be history's actors, the creators of the reality, the rest of us doomed to simply stand on the sidelines and analyse what they do, and while we are analysing what they have done, they will have acted again and recreated reality.

Given the decidedly negative turn world events have taken since the NeoCons took power, it would be unwise to dismiss such ideas as the ramblings of a deluded madman. So while there is some truth to the idea that the NeoCons are "creating the reality", there is something that this "Sweet NeoCon" is leaving out.

You see, the only way that the NeoCons or the Bush administration, or any megalomaniacal types, can actually achieve and hold on to power is by following the motto of our favorite intelligence agency - deception.

Think about it.

As a general rule, we can say that underpinning every incident of human suffering is the fact that some specific knowledge was lacking that could have prevented the suffering. It follows then that suffering can be inflicted on one person by another if critical information is deliberately withheld or obscured. In the same way, a cruel and inhuman madman can rise to a position of power and authority over millions of others if he can successfully deceive them into supporting him. Of course, millions suffer as a result, but even the cause of their suffering (the madman and their support for him) can be hidden from them, virtually ensuring that the suffering continues indefinitely.

The last five years has shown that, when the NeoCons talk of "creating the reality", they mean a reality that has war, suffering and death as the main products. Yet, alone, a small group of men and women cannot create the reality on a planet of 6 billion people. Clearly they need the consent of the rest of us on the planet, in fact, it could be said that, while the NeoCons may be the architects of the reality, the rest of humanity is the vehicle by which that reality is manifested.

Again, think about it.

Think about what would have happened if, when those planes struck the WTC towers and something hit the Pentagon, the entire population of American and the world simply responded by clearly recognising and voicing the truth - that there were no hijackers on those planes and that the entire operation was the work of a select group of US and Israeli politicians, military personnel and intelligence agents, a plan designed to scare the world public into supporting the idea of a "war on terrorism". The result would have been no support for war, no troops for war, no acceptance of removal of civil liberties and the imposition of a police state. People would simply not have consented to any of it and the sabre-rattling speeches of George Bush and other leaders would have been ridiculed as the inane ramblings of deluded madmen that they are. It would have been exactly the same as if someone had approached us in the street and proceeded to aggressively impress upon you or I that the blue sky above our heads was in fact bright green and that if we did not believe that it was green, our very lives would be in danger. How would you react to such a person? Personally, I would walk off, slightly disturbed by the encounter, but absolutely unconvinced that the sky was anything but blue. The "reality" that the NeoCons claim to be creating is akin to one where the entire population of the planet believes that the sky above their heads is bright green, and the only way they can manifest this reality, is if we, as a global population, allow ourselves to be manipulated by fear into believing the unbelievable.

Getting back to our hero of the day and "belief": there is one high profile US politician who figures prominently in not only Lennon's assassination, but also the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King. If you already know the truth about the circumstances of the deaths of these people, then well done. If not, you can read about it here.

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
08 December 2005
As more details emerged, it seemed all but certain that the entire episode was a tragic accident. According to Ms Gardner the woman saying she was Mr Alpizar's wife said he suffered from bipolar, or manic depressive, disorder and had not taken his medication.

Another witness is said to have described the man as acting if he were "mentally unbalanced". Police later confirmed that no bomb was found, although three other bags were destroyed in controlled explosions on the runway ­ though it did not appear they contained bombs.

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Comment: According to reports, Puerto Rican and US citizen Alpizar claimed he had a bomb in his bag and then reached into the bag, at which point he was shot by an air marshall. A few months ago Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot dead by UK police officers in the wake of the London Bombings. At that time, UK police claimed that Menezes ran from them and was wearing a heavy coat (which supposedly might have concealed a bomb). A few days later, it was revealed that UK police had lied, de Menezes did not run and was not wearing a heavy coat. In short, the police had murdered an innocent man who posed no threat to them and then lied about it.

The problem with today's incident at Miami airport is that the claim that Alpizar stated that he had a bomb in his bag and that he then reached into the bag, comes from James Bauer, the head of the US air marshal service in Miami. Could he be fabricating these details in order to cover up the fact that Alpizar is simply the latest victim in the deliberate psychological war that is being waged on the American and world populations in order to convince them that "terrorists" are real and that their lives are in danger unless they accept the psychopathic dictates of the burgeoning American police state? Time will tell.

BBC News
Investigations have begun after US air marshals on board an American Airlines flight shot and killed a man who started acting suspiciously.

US citizen Rigoberto Alpizar, 44, fled before take-off in Miami, saying he was carrying a bomb, officials said.

It was later confirmed that Alpizar had no explosives in his luggage. Witnesses suggested that the Costa Rican-born man may have suffered from mental illness.

The fatal shooting was the first since more marshals were deployed after 9/11.

James Bauer, head of the US air marshal service in Miami, said that controlled explosions carried out on Alpizar's luggage confirmed he was not carrying a bomb.

There was no indication of any link to terrorism, but federal air marshals were deployed in airports around the US as a precaution, Mr Bauer added.


Alpizar had arrived in Miami, Florida, from Ecuador on a flight that had originated in Colombia. He was boarding a flight to Orlando at about 1410 local time (1910 GMT).

"He didn't look stable," fellow passenger John McAlhany told the Miami Herald.

As he ran down the aisle of the plane, a woman assumed to be his wife shouted for him to stop.

Witnesses interviewed after the shooting described how Alpizar's companion tried to tell fellow passengers or air marshals that he suffered from bipolar disorder, or manic depression.

"I did hear the lady say her husband was bipolar and had not had his medication," said Mary Gardner, another passenger.

"I saw the woman... she was hysterical."


After storming up the aisle of the plane Alpizar reached the aircraft boarding gate, where he was challenged by undercover marshals travelling among the passengers, Mr Bauer said.

At some point Alpizar reportedly suggested that he was carrying a bomb in his backpack, before moving his hand towards the bag.

"The threat escalated," Mr Bauer added, explaining why the marshals then opened fire, killing Alpizar.

Police boarded the plane and ordered fellow passengers to brace themselves against their seats with their hands on their heads.

Sniffer dogs checked passenger luggage on the airport tarmac.

"They put a gun to the back of my head and said: 'Put your hands on the seat'. That was more scary than anything else," passenger John McAlhany said.

In a statement, American Airlines described the shooting as an "isolated incident", adding that none of the other passengers were affected or were ever in danger.

"'I don't know if they shot an innocent man or not. I don't think he was armed or had a bomb. I think he had a mental illness," Mr McAlhany added.

"I don't think they really had to shoot him, but I hope he didn't holler something stupid.''

Nancy Levant
December 8, 2005
In spite of the fact that monkeys continue to cover their eyes, ears, and mouths, they are still glued to their TV sets, and you can bet these Darwinian primates are getting nervous along with the rest of us. Martial law is being heavily practiced in the United States.

It has now been decided that being forced to show your bags, purses, and ID’s upon command is not unconstitutional. You can be arrested, as an American citizen, for failure to do so. The line between police, military, FEMA, eco-dictators, and Homeland Security personnel has blurred, and we are vulnerable to the powers of them all. But why?

If we listen to the media, which is, of course, the orchestrated and desired state of affairs, we are told of impending economic disaster, impending terrorist threats to the homeland, impending pandemics, impending eco-weather super storms, and impending mass power grid failures. Hmmm…and all in step with the Martial Law system that has been fully set into place and stone via many, many Executive Orders. Hmmm… Looks like all that’s needed to release that beast is another good catastrophe and, according to our media, a good many are in the wings. [...]

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Comment: This article constitutes a clarion call to Americans, and people around the world, to sit up and take notice. No one can reasonably claim that world events since 9/11 have been the product of mere coincidence. The reconfiguring of the world map and the quickly shifting balance of power around the world, coupled with significant changes in social norms and laws have all occurred with absolutely no input or informed consent from the populations that they are designed to affect. Clearly a plan is unfolding that we the people are not privy to. Clearly the relatively small group of people who are implementing this plan are acting in their own interests, interests which, due to the fact that they are being deliberately concealed, are unlikely to serve the general good - quite the opposite.

The author of the above article makes reference to the "socialist takeover of the US education system" and the "replacement of the Constitution by a Communist form of government. While it is not clear if the author is falling into the age-old hegelian dialectic deception of a periodic swing between two opposing systems that are "opposing" only in appearance, it is quite possible that part of the elite's plan is to push the the current Western Capitalist system to its logical corrupt extreme, stage manage its breakdown and then suggest that it be replaced with a more "equitable" "Socialist" or "Communist" system.

If such a scenario transpires, then we would do well to remember that such apparent paradigm shifts have been effected throughout the course of modern history and have never lived up to their, at the time, much-touted expectations, all of them ultimately failing to deliver because their stewards are generally of the psychopathic sort and cannot but impose their own conscienceless nature on whatever system of government the decide to impose on their subjects.

by James Ridgeway
December 6th, 2005
9-11 Commission dealt with several issues by simply ignoring them.

On 9-11 the U.S. government faced a terrible decision: Should the military be ordered to shoot down other commercial airplanes full of civilian passengers, so that they, too, would not be used as missiles? Vice President Dick Cheney, although not part of the National Command Authority, gave the orders, although under the Constitution the vice president has no authority to command the military. The 9-11 Commission dealt with this fundamental issue by ignoring it.

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December 6, 2005
The 'disgusting' Pentagon-financed campaign to implant positive news into the Iraqi media is, 'yet another stigma of disgrace on the forehead of the U.S. occupation.' According to this op-ed article from Iraq's Azzaman newspaper, the scheme is, 'an insult to the Iraqi people, Iraqi media and the future of the country.'

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by Jarrett Murphy
December 5th, 2005
Four years later, we still have ten big questions.

On Monday, December 5, the 9-11 Public Discourse Project—a private group formed by 9-11 Commission members after their official mandate lapsed in 2004—held a wrap-up press briefing in Washington, signaling the last gasp of official inquiries into the attacks four years ago. The National Institute of Standards and Technology also recently completed its final report on the twin towers. Already gathering dust are a Federal Emergency Management Agency study, the joint inquiry by Congress, the McKinsey reports on New York City's emergency response, probes by federal inspectors general, and other efforts to resolve the myriad doubts about the hijackings.

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by Sherlock Google
Daily Kos
Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 11:07:57 AM PDT
Mama D gives em hell!Update [2005-12-7 16:31:9 by Sherlock Google]: Video Up at There's Part 1 and 2. Part 1, the first panelist is not so hot, but the next 4 are powerful and Mama D is the fifth and final panelist of Part 1.

Part 1 is the one to watch, but skip the first panelist and speeches if you can.

This was the most amazing hearing. If you didn't see it yesterday look for it to repeat. The Congressmen tried to get Mama D to not go overtime and she scolded them, saying she came up from N'awlins with a list of complaints from fellow victims and she is going to read ALL of them.

Then she accused Chris Shays of accusing the victims of lying about police pointing M-16s at 5 year olds, of perfectly fine housing projects that Bush had steel-plated and closed, of a LEVEE BOMB (and she went "BA-BOOOOOM! right in the hearing room), of concentration camp tactics on the I-10 Causeway, of outright Ethnic Cleansing.

One chagrinned Repuke said "Could you please refrain from calling it a Concentration Camp", to which eveacuee Leah Hodges exclaimed "No I will not! They separated children from families, did not feed us or give us water, they let people die, a woman lost her baby. And all the while trucks are going past--with no supplies--just full of soldiers with M-16s. It was like Hitler."

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Comment: No doubt Babs-"I don't like them colored folks"-Bush has totally erased this story from her "beautiful mind".

Amy Goodman
6 Dec 2005
Amy Goodman interviews members of the international community who are increasingly concerned about how the Bush administration treats suspected terrorists.

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Last Updated Wed, 07 Dec 2005 17:39:09 EST
CBC News
The United States has made a clear, direct, unequivocal statement about the use of torture. Its official policy now is to honour the United Nations ban on cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, not just at home, but around the world as well.

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Comment: Look carefully at what the quick brown fox actually said. The rules apply to "U.S. personnel". So US prisoners being tortured by others doesn't count. Israeli personnel seen in the prisons of Iraq, for example, doing the dirty work while the US personnel are out of the room are excluded, not to mention US flying prisoners to third countries.

Once more, the lazy dog gets jumped over.

Thursday, 8 December 2005, 02:56 GMT
BBC News
Washington has rebuked UN human rights commissioner Louise Arbour for criticising its anti-terror tactics as the alleged secret jails row goes on.

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Comment: John Bolton, the US ambassador, says that Arbour shouldn't make statements with evidence she reads in newspapers. That is, no doubt, why the Bush administration has its cronies who own those papers ensure that there is no real news to be found in their pages.

December 8, 2005
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - Stunned by the acquittal of a former Florida professor on terrorism charges, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they might seek to have him deported to the Middle East.

Federal prosecutors said they might still decide to retry the former professor, Sami al-Arian, on some or all of the nine criminal counts on which a federal jury in Tampa deadlocked on Tuesday.

But if the government opts not to retry him, officials said, they would probably bring separate immigration charges that could result in Mr. Arian's deportation - and which would require the government to meet a lower burden of proof against him.

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Comment: "Federal law enforcement officials were still trying to figure out Wednesday what went wrong in a case that was more than a decade in the making."

Did it ever occur to them that maybe they didn't HAVE a case? That "normal" people don't see things the same way psychopaths do?

3 Dec 2005
Source: Military autopsy reports provide indisputable proof that detainees are being tortured to death while in US military custody. Yet the corporate media of the United States (US) is covering it with the seriousness of a garage sale for the local Baptist Church, media research organisation Project Censored has said.

According to Prof Peter Phillips, director, Project Censored, a press release on these deaths by torture was issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on October 25, 2005 and was immediately picked up by Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) wire services, making the story available to the US corporate media. A thorough check of Nexus-Lexus and Proquest electronic data bases, using the keywords ACLU and autopsy, showed that at least 95 per cent of the daily papers in the US didn't bother to pick up the story.

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By: Chris Marsden
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has responded to Europe’s appeals for information regarding Washington’s illegal practice of rendition by making clear that the practice will continue.

Renditions involve the moving of alleged terrorists, without any judicial process, to countries where, according to the US government, American law does not apply. Washington routinely sends these prisoners to countries which have been cited by the US State Department for practicing torture. “Extraordinary rendition” refers to the kidnapping of terrorist suspects on foreign soil before they are spirited away to detention centres overseas.

In an attempt to turn the tables on European critics, she has implied that should Europe continue to make such demands, Washington will expose the complicity of the European governments, which allowed their airports to be used by CIA planes transporting prisoners to third countries and secret CIA-run prisons.

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Comment: The obvious goal of Rice and the Bush gang is to get European leaders to parrot the US leaders' claims that torture was and is not used in the war on terror. If the truth were to be widely known, governments across the world would be in big trouble. But then, maybe that's the whole idea...

David Fickling and agencies
Wednesday December 7, 2005
Tony Blair told parliament today he knows nothing about alleged torture going on in CIA detention camps in eastern Europe, speaking during his first prime minister's questions opposite the new Tory leader, David Cameron.

"In respect of the allegations of so-called torture facilities or detention facilities across Europe, I really know nothing about them at all. I clearly know there aren't any such here," he said in response to a question from the Labour backbencher David Winnick.

He said that extraordinary rendition - in which terror suspects are flown from the countries where they were arrested to ones where rules on prisoner rights are more lax - was different from torture.

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Comment: If there is no torture being planned when prisoners are "rendered," then why "rendition" at all? This is the most illogical and pathetic "explanation" that has ever been manufactured for public consumption. Andrew Lobaczewski writes:
The conviction that moral values exist but that some actions violate moral rules is so common and ancient a phenomenon that it seems to have some substratum at man’s instinctive endowment level, and is not just a representation of centuries of experience, culture, religions, and socialization. Thus, any insinuation enclosed in a “moral slogan” is always suggestive even if the “moral” criteria used are just an ad hoc invention. Any act can thus be proved to be immoral or moral by means of using “paramoralisms” through active suggestion and people who will succumb to this manipulation are plentiful.

Paramoralistic statements and suggestions so often accompany various kinds of evil that they seem quite irreplaceable. Unfortunately, it has become a frequent phenomenon for individuals, oppressive groups, or patho-political systems to invent ever-new moral criteria for someone’s convenience. Such suggestions deprive people of their moral reasoning and deform its development in children. Paramoralism factories have been founded worldwide, and a ponerologist finds it hard to believe that they are managed by psychologically normal people.

The conversive features in the genesis of paramoralisms seem to prove they are derived from mostly subconscious rejection (and repression from the field of consciousness) of something completely different which we call the “voice of conscience.” … Like all conversive phenomena, the tendency to use paramoralisms is psychologically contagious.

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
08 December 2005
In a new attempt to defuse the row over US treatment of terror suspects, Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, has declared that the CIA and the US military are forbidden to use torture both in America and around the world. ...

"We need to know whether they are defining torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in the way that most people have defined it for many, many years," Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said. "My impression is that, for them, only something that leaves physical scars counts as torture."

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By David Crossland in Berlin
If US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meant to herald a new era of trans-Atlantic harmony, it has failed. Merkel angered US officials with her public statement that Washington admitted it had made a "mistake" by kidnapping a German national There are possible implications for a suit filed this week by the civil rights group ACLU.

Monday's meeting between the two most powerful women in the world resulted in a diplomatic spat and highlighted a growing rift between Europe and America over whether the end always justifies the means in the war on terror.

Rice's trip was meant to signal a new start for trans-Atlantic ties, but if anything, relations are worse now. Merkel irritated US officials by telling journalists after their meeting that the Washington had admitted making a mistake in the case of Khaled al-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen who was abducted by the CIA and claims that he was tortured while held in secret custody.

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By Colin Brown Deputy Political Editor
08 December 2005
The governments of Tony Blair and George Bush have been charged with war crimes by a distinguished group of anti-war campaigners, who are calling for an investigation by the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, into breaches of international law.

Harold Pinter, the playwright, Tony Benn, the former Labour MP, Michael Mansfield QC and Professor Richard Dawkins were among the signatories to 28 charges against the Blair and Bush administrations, covering ministers, officials and generals who were a party to the decisions that led to war on Iraq and the chaos in its aftermath.

The charges were sent to Mr Annan and the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, last night, with a demand that the investigation should go beyond the Prime Minister and the US President to all those involved in setting the policy decisions that led to abuses including the ill-treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

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The British American Project (BAP) was founded in 1985 to encourage 'transatlantic friendship' between 'future leaders' of Britain and the United States. It is funded by donations from large corporations and was originally known as the 'British-American Project for the Successor Generation'. Each year BAP invites 24 American and 24 British delegates to take part in four days of dinners, parties and discussions.

The aim is to "create, at a time of growing international strains and stresses, a closer rapport between Britain and the United States among people likely to become influential decision-makers during the next two decades". Delegates are nominated by existing fellows. They include George Robertson, Chris Smith, Mo Mowlem, Peter Mandelson, Jonathan Powell, Trevor Phillips, Charles Moore, James Naughtie and Evan Davis. Critics of BAP, such as John Pilger, have suggested that it constitutes a type of right-wing "casual freemasonry".

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December 7, 2005
FRANKLIN, Ohio -- A 68-year-old woman was hit with a Taser gun by police in an Ohio city five times.

The police officer in the case, a lieutenant with the Franklin Police Department, claims he is the victim in the case, NBC 4's Mike Bowersock reported.

Beverly Kidwell, 68, was in the waiting room of the police department in suburban Dayton when the incident occurred.

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"Kidwell said she was in a fetal position and unable to move when the lieutenant ordered her to get up and continued to shock her."
Police officers undergo training in which they are subjected to the painful effects of the taser. Aside from the obvious absurdity of tasering a 68-year-old woman who voluntarily turned herself in for hitting her granddaughter, Officer Friendly knew darn well that after being shocked by a taser, the victim is unable to move. So why did he shock her four more times? Perhaps his claim that he is the victim is a clue...

Mathew Kristin Kiel
August 31, 2005
It also seems that tasers remove all empathy from the officers who use them. It may be that most officers have been so thoroughly convinced of the taser's benign nature they simply fail to understand that it can harm anyone, not even a small child. It is nearly certain that they do not consider it a weapon of last or next to the last resort, but of first and only choice in conflicts with even minimally recalcitrant members of the public. They do not hesitate to use tasers immediately and repeatedly. This is insanity. It would be immediately recognized as insane behaviour if the weapon being used so frequently, arbitrarily and dangerously by police officers were a cudgel or a whip, for example. But there is a peculiar and lethal blind spot in the public's attention and consciousness regarding tasers. Yet tasers are frightening technological devices that deliver a massive dose of artificial lightning to the victim's body and brain.

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Associated Press Writer
Dec 07, 2005
STORRS, Conn. - Conservative columnist Ann Coulter gave up trying to finish a speech at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night when boos and jeers from the audience became overwhelming. Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the 2,600 people at Jorgensen Auditorium.

Coulter's appearance prompted protests from several groups, including Students Against Hate and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center. They criticized her for spreading a message of hate and intolerance.

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by Ted Bohne
7 Dec 2005
Only an idiot (America's full of 'em) would fail to see the necessity to act soon to stop this seriously ill group of republicans. Most of us with any years under our belts well remember the ungodly fear of a "Russian" nuclear attack on the US of the fifties and sixties. (which history now shows was highly unlikely) Americans built bomb shelters in their back yards, school drills were common place. "Duck and Cover," and absolute waste of time, was drilled into kids’ heads.

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Stephen Pizzo
News for Real
December 6, 2005.
We now have a certifiable loon in charge of the most powerful military on the face of the earth. Shouldn't someone do something?

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is mad. No, I mean seriously ill. Mentally ill. Demonstrably so.

I can't say whether or not he was mad from the start, but I can tell you with some degree of certainty that he is now. And he's getting worse. Each successive news conference he sounds more and more like the character, Dr. Charles Montague, who was head of "The Place for the Very, Very Nervous" in the 1977 Mel Brooks flick, High Anxiety.

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December 7, 2005
by Missy Comley Beattie
Warning: strong language. Normally, Signs of the Times does NOT print articles that use profanity, but since we, too, have received many emails like the one described in this article, and since the profanity is a direct quote from said email, we are including this piece with this notice.

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By E&P Staff
December 06, 2005
Mnookin pulls no punches in alleging that over the years Miller "had built a reputation for sleeping with her sources," and "had dated Steve Rattner, one of Sulzberger's best friends when the three of them worked at the Times' Washington bureau, and had even, for a time, shared a vacation home with Sulzberger."

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CBC Arts
Wed, 07 Dec 2005 10:40:25 EST
Internet journalism received a leap in recognition Wednesday as the Pulitzer Prize Board widened its submission guidelines to include online material for all of its journalism categories.

"The board believes it has taken a significant step in recognition of the widening role of online journalism at newspapers," prize administrator Sig Gissler said in a statement. Online material will be considered beginning with the 2006 competition (which honours work done in 2005).

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By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
08 December 2005
Buddy JesusThe right-wing fringe has become expert at whipping up outrage over phony cultural controversies and scapegoating the "liberal elite" which supposedly runs the country. (Even though Republicans are in charge of almost everything!)

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By Andrew Buncombe in Montreal
07 December 2005
From film stars to senators, from Seattle to the East Coast, campaigners say American public opinion on climate change is turning sharply against the Bush administration and its refusal to impose binding targets to reduce greenhouse gases.

And, as delegates at the United Nations conference in Montreal negotiate the future of the Kyoto protocol this week, campaigners have received a timely boost from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio who has announced he is to make a documentary about environmental issues.

Mr DiCaprio, a keen environmentalist who drives a hybrid car, has started production of the documentary, called 11th Hour, about efforts to stop global warming. The actor is not present in Montreal, but in a statement he said: "Global warming is not only the number one environmental challenge we face today, but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity."

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Associated Press
Wed Dec 7, 9:20 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The United States has 413 satellites in space snooping for the government, checking on the weather and relaying the latest pop music, a new database says. That's more than the 382 the rest of the world has spinning above the Earth.

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By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
Machines will perform euthanasia on terminally ill patients in Israel under legislation devised not to offend Jewish law, which forbids people taking human life.

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By Dieter Bednarz, Erich Follath, Georg Mascolo and Bernhard Zand
Translated from German by Christopher Sultan
The road to Baghdad's airport, long considered the city's most notorious deathtrap, is flanked by two the two neighborhoods Jihad and Amiriya. They have never been considered as exclusive as the area along the banks of the Tigris River, where the cronies of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein once lived. But the districts were nevertheless refuges for members of the Iraqi middle class, who lived there in small villas from the 1970s. A comfortable distance from the perilous center of power, there were plenty of green spaces, shops, ice cream parlors, schools, parks and mosques. Life was pleasant in Jihad and Amiriya.

But anyone returning to the two neighborhoods these days will have difficulty recognizing the western sections of the Iraqi capital.

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By Colin Randall in Paris
France's interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, has boosted his chances of becoming the next president by reforming the way the centre-Right chooses its election candidate.

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KIEV, Ukraine
Iran's president, who wants to see a world without Israel, has a vociferous ally in Ukraine.

A Kiev-based university that already has gained international notoriety for its anti-Zionist propaganda and anti-Semitic publications now wants the United Nations to "close" Israel.

The call came in November from the Interregional Academy for Personnel Management, known by its Russian acronym MAUP, whose leadership said the United Nations should revoke its 1947 resolution on the creation of a Jewish state.

"Mankind lived without the State of Israel exactly 2,670 years, but after the second of its creation all the world feels a constant aggression of the old 'sons of the devil,' " according to a university statement, published last month in the school newspaper, supporting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent call to destroy Israel.

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Last Updated Wed, 07 Dec 2005 17:44:53 EST
CBC News
A teenager in Winnipeg says he's trying to clear his name after his web business unwittingly hosted video footage of al-Qaeda leaders.

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Comment: Hmmm. This is really depressing. More evidence of a society going horribly wrong. A nineteen year old kid already caught up in the money-making rat race.

By Paule Gonzales
Translated By Kate Brumback
December 1, 2005
After a nearly four-years wait, French International News Channel (CFII) was officially launched last week. According to this article from France's Le Figaro newspaper, 'On Everyone's Mind' was the American coverage of rioting in the Paris suburbs.

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The Daily News
December 7, 2005
The sons of a Warren County sheriff's deputy died early this morning in separate auto accidents, which happened less than five miles and 20 minutes apart.

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Comment: This is one of those bizarre things that just make you go "Huh?!" Both boys were killed in almost identical ways, losing control of their vehicles and hitting trees.

Siber World News Team
07 December 2005
Reporters who arrived to cover the disaster wept when they realized many of the dead were colleagues. State television played mournful music as it broadcast images of people killed in the crash.

"I was supposed to be on the plane as well, so I don't know whether to be happy or sad," a journalist from the ISNA student news agency told Reuters.

The plane was bound for the port city of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, where Iran's military was conducting military exercises. It took off at about 1:35 p.m. from the military section of the airport.

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By Tim Hirsch
BBC Environment Correspondent, Montreal
Canada's prime minister has urged the US to "listen to its conscience" and take further steps to reduce emissions linked to global warming.

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Comment: Let's think for a minute. Who are the Saudis good buddies with? It's right there on the tip of my tongue (and typing with my tongue isn't easy).

The Bush Crime family! The US oil lobby!

Coincidence? We think not.

December 4, 2005 News
UNDATED --Scientists who have found evidence of an ancient forest buried under six feet of mud in Nantucket Sound say the discovery could help answer questions about early people in North America.

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Comment: Even though there is ample evidence that people came to North America long before 12,000 years ago, evidence that is conveniently ignored, dismissed, locked up in the back room, or just destroyed, the debate goes on. Rather than wondering whether or not there might have been a highly developed civilisation prior to 12,000 years ago, one destroyed by, oh, a few large pieces of space debris raining down, they talk about whether people arrived via Asia or the east coast.

Steve Connor reports
07 December 2005
This year's hurricane season shattered records for frequency and ferocity. And it's going to get worse, some scientists say. But others aren't so sure.

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December 8, 2005

Dec 07 1:28 PM US/Eastern
The people of the Arctic filed a landmark human rights complaint against the United States, blaming the world's No. 1 carbon polluter for stoking the global warming that is destroying their habitat. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), representing native people in the vast, sparsely-populated region girdling the Earth's far north, said they had petitioned an inter-American panel to seek relief for Canadian and US Inuit.

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By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer
Dec 8, 2005
AMBAE ISLAND, Vanuatu - An erupting volcano on this remote South Pacific island burst into spectacular life Thursday — shooting steam and toxic gases 9,845 feet into the sky.

Huge columns of dense white steam and muddy ash spewed above Ambae Island to reach the greatest height seen since the Mt. Manaro volcano began erupting Nov. 27.

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