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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
©Steve Bell Guardian Newspapers
Donald Hunt
December 12, 2005
Gold closed at 532.00 dollars an ounce on Friday, up 4.6% from the week before. The dollar closed at 0.8466 euros for the week, down 0.8% from 0.8534 at the previous Friday’s close. That put the euro at 1.1812 dollars, compared to 1.1718 the previous week. Gold in euros would be 450.39 euros an ounce, up 3.8% from 433.86 at the close of the week before. Oil closed at 59.76 dollars an ounce, up 0.7% from 59.32 the Friday before. Oil in euros would be 50.59 euros a barrel, compared to 50.62 the previous week. The gold/oil ratio was 8.90 at Friday’s close, up 3.9% from 8.57 the week before. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note was 4.53%, up two basis points from 4.51 the previous week. In the U.S. stock market, the Dow closed at 10,778.58, down 0.9% from 10,877.51 the Friday before. The NASDAQ closed at 2,256.73, down 0.7% from 2,273.37 at the previous week’s close.

It’s happening. Much of what we’ve been predicting for the past year seems to be taking place. The housing bubble has popped, gold and other precious metals are shooting up in price as those with money are rushing to seek shelter.

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December 10th, 2005
We are about to see a radical new type of weapon unveiled on the global stage. This weapon will not rely on explosive technology or flying aircraft. This weapon will not kill enemy troops. This weapon will not see one army invading the territory of another. No, instead this weapon will simply rely on supply and demand, the basic concepts that underpin Economics 101. This new weapon will be a financial weapon. In fact this weapon will be so powerful it will be able to inflict serious harm on the financial stability of an entire adversarial nation.

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Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
December 11 2005
"They're using people's fear of another terrorist attack to move forward with various government programs that the government has wanted to gather and put in place for many many years. They're using the fear which is now driving public policy in this country which is very unfortunate and very un-American. Our leaders are shamelessly playing on that fear to implement and grab power."

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By Shaheen Chughtai in London
Sunday 27 November 2005
When Australian police announced recently that eight men arrested on terrorism charges were planning a bomb attack against a nuclear reactor near Sydney, many security observers elsewhere were not surprised.

Officials and analysts in the United States have been warning that al-Qaida or associated groups are planning such attacks on American soil.

Dubbed American Hiroshima, the plan apparently targets New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston and Washington, DC.

Former US Defence Secretary William Perry says there is an even chance of a nuclear attack on the US this decade. Renowned investor Warren Buffet has predicted "a nuclear terrorist attack ... is inevitable".

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Comment: Let us repeat the final comment of David Dionisi, a former US army intelligence officer, is convinced that plans for a nuclear attack are under way:

Ultimately, Americans need to understand many of them will die and parts of their country will become uninhabitable unless they hold their government to account.

Americans do not realize, in the whipped up hysteria that the Bush Administration and the Powers That Be behind the curtain manage so well via the controlled mass media, that the only outcome of the present situation is Total Global War IN AMERICA! All of the horror in Iraq that Americans accept so complacently as retribution for 9/11 (never mind that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11) will come home to roost.

You can take that to the bank.

Associated Press Writer
Dec 11 2005
SYDNEY, Australia - Thousands of drunken white youths attacked police and people they believed were Arab immigrants at a Sydney beach on Sunday, angered by reports that youths of Lebanese descent had assaulted two lifeguards. Young men of Arab descent retaliated in several Sydney suburbs, fighting with police and smashing 40 cars with sticks and bats, police said.

Thirty-one people were injured and 28 were arrested in hours of violence. Police said they were seeking an Arab man who allegedly stabbed a white man in the back.

The city was calm Monday, and police formed a strike force to track down the instigators.

Some 5,000 white youths, wrapped in Australian flags and chanting racist slurs, fought with police, attacked people of Arab appearance and assaulted a pair of paramedics at Cronulla beach in southern Sydney, police said. Police fought back with batons and pepper spray.

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Comment: While Australian PM Howard, as the Prime Minister of a Western nation, is forced to state that "attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable", the complete lack of any reasonable explanation for his support of the murder of 100,000 Iraqi Muslims, predominantly by US troops, lead us to conclude that Howard himself is a closest eliteist and racist.

11/12/2005 - 18:18:35
Osama bin Laden’s deputy today urged all Muslims to take up arms and wage jihad against “the Cross and Zionism”.

In a new tape that surfaced today, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahri said the global Islamic community had “no hope for victory” until all Muslims signed on to the al-Qaida-led jihad.

“As long as this malignant illness continues to survive within us, there is no hope for victory and there can only be more defeats, tragedies, disasters and betrayals,” al-Zawahri said.

His comments were made in a 48 minute tape entitled ”Impediments to Jihad”.

The video portion of the tape was a still photo of a white-turbaned al-Zawahri with English subtitles running under it. The audio on the tape appeared to be his voice speaking Arabic.

How convenient for Bush that this so-called "terrorist mastermind" regularly confirms Bush's claims about the reality of "Islamic terrorism".

The tape was believed to have been made at about the same time as a September 19 video attributed to al-Zawahri, according to Ben Venzke, chief executive of Intelcentre, a US government contractor that obtained the tape.

It was impossible to immediately verify the authenticity of the tape. IntelCentre declined to say how it obtained the recording, citing confidentiality agreements with the US government.

Comment: Of course, there is absolutely no reason to be suspicious of this latest propaganda release, despite the fact that the tape was "obtained" by a US government contractor in Iraq, who refuses to reveal how he got it. Are we seriously expected to believe this crap?!

But Venzke said it was produced by al-Sahab Media Production House, a purported al Qaida media organisation, and expanded on al-Zawahri’s September 19 message, which gave increased prominence to the Taliban.

“This latest one even goes beyond that with al-Zawahri pledging allegiance to the Taliban,” he said.

“The whole thing is an address to Muslims, saying armed jihad and struggle is the only way and that they have to suffer to do it.”

The latest tape was also a rallying call to Muslims to attack Western interests everywhere to help stave off ”defeat” for Islamic extremists.

Comment: Again, Wow! This is absolutely amazing! The tape not only confirms Bush's claims about Islamic militants and their plans to attack Western interests, but it also makes clear that Bush is correct when he says that he has the "t'rrists on the run". What a windfall for the Bush and Sharon camps! They really are the luckiest people on the planet.

Al-Zawahri specifically cited as examples of militant activities the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation in the Gaza Strip, insurgent warfare against US troops in Iraq and the September 11 attacks by 19 plane hijackers.

“The key to victory is in our hands, and in turn, the primary cause of defeat is in ourselves,” it said.

Comment: Fantastic! (or should that be fantastical?) "Al-Zawahri" is the gift that keeps on giving! Not only is he following White House propaganda to the letter, but he is also making it clear that there is a link between Iraqi insurgent attacks and Palestinian resistance and the same evil t'rrists that attacked the WTC and Pentagon! - which is exactly White House and Israeli spin doctors have been trying to do for several years! Who would have believed it?!

The Hindu
11 Dec 2005
Jerusalem, - A senior Defence Ministry official said today that Israel has not ruled out a military strike against Iran if the country advances further in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Amos Gilad denied a Sunday Times article published on the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, already had a plan to attack Iran in March, saying Israel was working with the rest of the world to solve the matter with diplomatic means.

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Comment: You know, this back and forth public ranting and name calling and exchanging of threats between Israel and Iran sounds a lot like the back and forth ranting between Dubya and Sodamn back before the Iraq invasion. Back then, it seemed as though everything Hussein did was exactly designed to bait the U.S. into war. And the U.S. took the bait - with predictable results. One just wonders if Iran is "bait" for Israel?

12/12/2005 - 10:30:14
Anti-Syrian journalist and politician Gibran Tueni was killed by a car bomb this morning, a day after he returned from France, where he had been staying periodically for fear of assassination.

Tueni’s uncle, Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh, and the leading Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt blamed Syria for the bombing – a charge that Syria promptly denied.

The political leader of the Druse community, Jumblatt said the bombing was intended to silence a voice who had sought those responsible for the February assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

“This is a new terrorism message,” Jumblatt said of the killing, referring to Hariri’s assassination and the mysterious series of subsequent bombings that have targeted mainly Lebanese opposed to Syrian influence in Lebanon.

Hamadeh threatened to withdraw from the Cabinet with two colleagues if the government did not demand a UN investigation into the continuing series of bombings.

He said there must be an international tribunal to “investigate the continuing crimes of the Syrian regime.”

Syrian Information Minister Mehdi Dakhlallah denied his government was involved, telling LBC television: “Those who are behind this are the enemies of Lebanon.”

Comment: While the impotent and/or controlled mainstream press simply parrots what we are all meant to think about the murder of Hariri and this most recent bombing and murder, the facts are quite clear to all who retain the ability to think logically and for themselves.

Ask yourself two questions:

First: given that the entire world can see the American and Israeli bullies are hell-bent on finding a way to "take Syria out", how absolutely insane would the Syrian leadership have to be to start a campaign of murdering high profile, publicly anti-Syrian Lebanese citizens and in doing so gift the US and Israel with a tailor made excuse to begin war preparations against Syria? Is it that Assad is just itching to have US troops and Israeli nukes swarming all over his country? Or is it that he just really likes the idea of exile or prison food?

Second: given that the entire world can see the American and Israeli bullies are hell-bent on finding a way to "take Syria out", how completely in keeping with US and Israeli "false flag" and "black" operations would it be for the intelligence agencies of one or other of these countries to begin a campaign of murdering high profile, publicly anti-Syrian Lebanese citizens and then blame the murders on Syria and in doing so gift the US and Israel with a tailor made excuse to begin war preparations against Syria?

The correct answer is obvious, as is the answer to the question of who killed Hariri and who is continuing to murder high-profile anti-Syrian Lebanese citizens. What people need to realise is that, regardless of the frustration felt by many Lebanese over Syrian interference in Lebanon, the true citizens and government of Lebanon have always realised that the real enemy of both Lebanon and Syria, is Israel. As Gibran Tueni, the journalist who was murdered this morning wrote in a letter to Assad in 2000:
"You, Dr. Bashar, must understand these matters and the reasons that have led some Lebanese to feel this way towards Syria. We tell you of these matters with the utmost candor, with the candor of youth, because President Lahoud has advocated honesty and transparency. Syria needs Lebanon as much as Lebanon needs Syria -- if both of us want to face the future together after peace is established, and not to pay its price. That is why we say that a healthy and strong Lebanon will bolster Syria's position. We demand that Lebanon be made a full partner, not just a mere puppet, in order that we may face Israel together."
Perhaps then there were two benefits to Israel by removing Tueni from the scene: they could further portray Syria as a "terrorist" state, and prevent Tueni from exposing Israeli meddling in Lebanon in the same way he tackled Syria.

Gary Younge in New York
Monday December 12, 2005
The Guardian
Israel's consul-general in Los Angeles has lambasted Steven Spielberg's film about the 1972 Olympic massacre in Munich as a "superficial", "pretentious" and "problematic" work that draws an incorrect moral equation between Mossad agents and Palestinian terrorists.

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Comment: Far from being disappointed that "Israeli hardliners" are criticising his film, Spielberg should take such attacks as confirmation that he has achieved some measure of success in dealing with the events surrounding the Munich massacre in a fair and balanced way. If Spielberg's film leaves the viewer with the impression that the Israeli Mossad are as much a source of terrorism as Palestinian "terrorists" then he has indeed done Hollywood and the world a great service.

December 11, 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair's government has been hit by a fresh controversey over the alleged secret sale of 20 tonnes of heavy water to Israel.

In a major expose on the BBC's Newsnight programme it was claimed that it had exclusive access to papers showing a deal was done to export 20 tonnes of heavy water in the 1950s, despite knowing that it was to be used for its nuclear programme.

Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells insisted Britain was not party to the deal. He said Britain had merely negotiated the sale back to Norway of surplus heavy water and the fact is that the surplus was then sold to Israel.

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Comment: Double standards rule in the psychopathic world of international politics. "Iran must not get the bomb!" they declare, while many years ago Israel, by far the most belligerent country in the Middle East, was outfitted with an array of death-dealing nukes more than 20 years ago. What hope can there be for the future of the world with a group of conscienceless madmen at the helm?...

Police in Baku, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, have detained two British nationals near a water reservoir. The two are being held on suspicion of trying to poison water supplies, the Regnum news agency reported.

The two men were arrested on Dec. 3 as they were trying to pour a white powder into the water. The powder has been sent for examination.

Prelimary reports identified the suspects as Paul Williamson and Duncan Jackson, employees of British Petroleum. The Azeri police said a map of the area was found on the detainees.

A correspondent for local television network, Azad Azarbaycan TV, cited a police source as saying that the two had been detained because they had behaved in a suspicious manner near the strategic water reservoir.

The expatriates were questioned at the district police department for several hours but did not explain why they had entered the area of the water reservoir. The National Security Ministry is currently investigating the bizarre actions of the foreigners.

Comment: Nothing to see here folks...

By Valeria Korchagina
Staff Writer
BABAYEVO, Vologda Region -- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Friday was named to a key post on the $4.75 billion North European Gas Pipeline, the project he and President Vladimir Putin signed off on shortly before he left office.

The pipeline will give Gazprom direct access under the Baltic Sea to some of Europe's richest gas consumers, and has left transit countries Ukraine and Poland fearful of losing access to Russian gas.

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Dec. 11, 2005
The President has had a dreadful year, and his approval ratings are anemic. What Bush is doing to try to reverse his second-term slump

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9 Dec 2005
SAN DIEGO -- There's controversy over how the military is transporting the bodies of service members killed overseas, 10News reported.

A local family said fallen soldiers and Marines deserve better and that one would think our war heroes are being transported with dignity, care and respect. It said one would think upon arrival in their hometowns they are greeted with honor. But unfortunately, the family said that is just not the case.

Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.

But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo.

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Comment: Not a surprise at all when you consider that it is very likely that the numbers of dead have been grossly misrepresented. Too bad all the families who have received back the bodies of their loved ones aren't sending in their details to an unbiased tallying group.

11 December 2005
FOCUS News Agency
London. Police in Hertfordshire think today’s explosions are nothing more than an accident, RIA Novosti announced.

An announcement was made by the police in reply to assumptions for the reasons for the blasts.

Earlier British police denied the claims of some eyewitnesses that a plane was flying low before the first explosion in the Buncefield oil depot.

Prensa Latina News Agency
Dec 11, 2005
London - More than 35 people were wounded in Britain Sunday, four of them seriously, by three explosions early this morning at the main oil installation in South England, British authorities reported.

According to preliminary information, the explosion was an accident, although authorities have not ruled out other possibilities, and , hampered by heavy snow in the area, warned it will take some days to put out the fire.

Police sources denied rumors of a plane flying near the Buncenfield installation, main oil provider for the international airports of Heathrow and Luton, before the incident.

Most of the minor injuries came from the shock waves of the explosion and flying glass.

Buncenfield, controlled by Total, Texaco and Shell, among others, is the fifth oil-provider in this country.

As a preventive measure, authorities have closed the highway linking the installation to Luton Airport and ordered citizens to use alternative roads.

Similarly, they recommended that area residents keep doors and windows closed and stay indoors.

Comment: Hmmm... Something is up here. How many times have we noted that the statements of Police and other "Officials", who are not ‘eyewitnesses’, are often used to cast doubt on eyewitness testimony?

11 December 2005
With its close proximity to the M1 motorway, the Buncefield oil depot has become one of the UK's major distribution terminals.

Reported to have a storage capacity of 150,000 tonnes, Buncefield holds massive stocks of not only oil and petrol but also the aviation fuel kerosene, used to supply airports across the region including Heathrow and Luton just 10 miles away.

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By Phil Crowther
Eye Witness Report: Sixteen hours after a series of explosions ripped apart the Buncefield fuel depot outside Hemel Hempstead, the plant continues to burn in the winter darkness.

The fire is contained but a blanket of pollution is spreading across south east England.

Exhausted fire services, fighting the blaze since first light today, are reforming tonight for an assault on the inferno at dawn tomorrow which will see thousands of gallons of foam per minute hurled at the flames.

Earlier today, the east side of Hemel Hempstead lay shrouded in a choking brown fog, and the skyline resembled an erupting volcano.

The casualty count of 43 injured, two seriously, remained stable all afternoon.

In what police have described as the biggest explosion and fire of its kind since World War II, it is a miracle no one has been killed.

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Comment: Hmmm... one wonders if this WAS, in fact, a "terrorist attack," a REAL one, and is being covered up to prevent the public from knowing just how useless all the Draconian "anti-Terror" laws that are being passed actually are. After all, if the real intent is to be able to totally control society, can't have those nasty terrorists making it obvious that the unlawful are NEVER stopped by passing more laws.

By Sally Pook
UK Telegraph
A huge cloud of black smoke was hanging over south-east England last night after a series of explosions at an oil depot started the biggest fire of its type in Europe since 1945.

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Comment: Two items of note in the above article that may be related to one another:

Police said the explosions at the Buncefield depot, near Hemel Hempstead, Herts, appeared to have been accidental, although many people in the area had at first feared a terrorist attack.

Despite the oil industry's attempts to play down the impact of the explosions on fuel distribution, some motorists were ignoring appeals not to panic-buy.

Hmmm... maybe it WAS a "terrorist attack," only the Powers That Be don't want to dump the economy until their "preparations" have been finalized.

By Cliff Kincaid
November 29, 2005
In a November 3 column in the Washington Post, Jim Hoagland confirmed that the Joseph Wilson affair was a CIA plot against President Bush. Writing his column in the form of a letter to the President, Hoagland wrote that "The hidden management of the criminal justice process and the news media practiced by spooks in Wilson-Rove-Libbygate is nothing short of brilliant. So you were right to fear the agency."

Think about that statement to the President—"you were right to fear the agency."

Here we have a columnist for a major paper saying that the CIA has been acting independently of the elected President of the U.S., and that Bush had reason to fear it. He said the CIA had engaged in "hidden management of the criminal justice system and the news media." In effect, he is saying that the CIA is pulling the strings behind the scenes, and that reporters following the Wilson/Plame storyline are CIA puppets. He went on to say that the CIA also "triggered the investigation" into the CIA leak about Valerie Wilson by itself leaking. That is, the CIA leaked to the press the fact that it had requested an investigation.

Hoagland also declared, "One lesson available in this story is that amateurs are no match for the CIA in disinformation campaigns. The spies are far better at operating in the shadows than you politicians will ever be. They have a license to dissemble."

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LA Times
7 Dec 2995
WASHINGTON — Most Americans and a majority of people in Britain, France and South Korea said that torturing terrorism suspects is justified at least in rare instances, according to an AP-Ipsos poll.

The survey, taken in the United States and eight closely allied nations, found that Canadians, Mexicans and Germans were divided on whether torture is ever justified.

Most people in Spain and Italy opposed torture under any circumstances.

In the United States, 61% of those surveyed agreed that torture is justified at least on rare occasions. Almost nine in 10 in South Korea and slightly more than half in France and Britain shared that view.

Comment: This report indicates that citizens of the U.S. have been manipulated into a state of hysteria that has led to the complete rejection of American ideals of human rights. They don't even realize the trap into which they are being led: Total Global War.

Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? ...
13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. ...
13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Dec. 11, 2005
It was in the midst of another Washington scandal, almost a decade ago, that I got to know Bob Luskin. He represented Mark Middleton, a minor figure in the Democratic campaign-finance scandals of 1996. Luskin kept Middleton out of the spotlight and never told me much. Still, there is the occasional source with whom one becomes friendly, and eventually Luskin was in that group.

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Associated Press Writer
Dec 11 2005
WASHINGTON - Without telling her editors, Time reporter Viveca Novak underwent a lengthy interview by the prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation a month ago, the magazine disclosed Sunday. Writing a first-person account of her experience as a witness in the criminal investigation, Novak becomes the latest reporter to be swept up in the probe of President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

The magazine said Novak is now on a leave of absence by mutual agreement with her employer.

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Associated Press Writer
Dec 11 2005
WASHINGTON - Months before Karl Rove corrected his statements in the Valerie Plame investigation, his lawyer was told that the president's top political adviser might have disclosed Plame's CIA status to a Time magazine reporter. Rove says he had forgotten the conversation he had on July 11, 2003, with Time's Matt Cooper. But the magazine reported Sunday that in the first half of 2004, as President Bush's re-election campaign was heating up, Rove's lawyer got the word about a possible Rove-Cooper conversation from a second Time reporter, Viveca Novak.

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By Tom Hamburger, Peter Wallsten and Bob Drogin
LA Times Staff Writers
11 Dec 2005
PARIS — More than a year before President Bush declared in his 2003 State of the Union speech that Iraq had tried to buy nuclear weapons material in Africa, the French spy service began repeatedly warning the CIA in secret communications that there was no evidence to support the allegation.

The previously undisclosed exchanges between the U.S. and the French, described in interviews last week by the retired chief of the French counterintelligence service and a former CIA official, came on separate occasions in 2001 and 2002.

The French conclusions were reached after extensive on-the-ground investigations in Niger and other former French colonies, where the uranium mines are controlled by French companies, said Alain Chouet, the French former official. He said the French investigated at the CIA's request.

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By Sidney Blumenthal
Condoleezza Rice's contradictory, misleading and outright false statements about the US and torture have taken America's moral standing - and her own - to new depths. The metamorphosis of Condoleezza Rice from the chrysalis of the protégé into the butterfly of the State Department has not been a natural evolution but has demanded self-discipline. She has burnished an image of the ultimate loyalist, yet betrayed her mentor, George H.W. Bush's national security advisor Brent Scowcroft. She is the team player, yet carefully inserted knives in the back of her predecessor, Colin Powell, climbing up them like a ladder of success. She is the person most trusted on foreign policy by the president, yet was an enabler for Vice President Cheney and the neoconservatives. Now her public relations team at the State Department depicts her as a restorer of realism, builder of alliances and maker of peace.

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By Asma Jahangir
October 4, 2004
It is a measure of just how terrible what happened to Mukhtar Mai was that news of the attack on her sent shock waves across Pakistan, where sexual assault and violence against women is commonplace. Mai, a 30-year-old woman who lives in the remote hamlet of Meerwala, was brutally and publicly gang-raped in June 2002 by four volunteers on the orders of a village court, or jirga. Mai's then 12-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor (pictured behind her) had been seen walking with a girl from the more influential Mastoi tribe; they demanded Mai's rape to avenge their "honor." Mai's family sat helplessly while she was dragged into a room, even as she screamed and pleaded for mercy. To further humiliate her, and make an example of those who would defy the power of local strongmen, she was paraded naked before hundreds of onlookers. Her father covered her with a shawl and walked her home.

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Comment: Now, keep in mind that her community and her own family expected her to commit suicide after this event. Her own father objected to her going to the police.

The school she opened is for girls.

She is quoted as saying: "If women aren't educated, it's hard for them to speak up for themselves.

But keep in mind that Mukhtar, herself, was illiterate!

Yet there is something inside her that is bigger than education, bigger than the pain and suffering and humiliation she experienced.

We think it is LOVE.

Martha Stout, author of "The Sociopath Next Door" writes:

"The ability to LOVE comes bundled up in conscience... It lives in the part of the brain that reacts emotionally, and in their favor, when those we love need our attention, our help, or even our sacrifice.

"We have already seen that when someone's mind is not equipped to love [psychopathy], he can have no genuine conscience either, since conscience is an intervening sense of responsibility based in our emotional attachments to
others. Now we turn this psychological equation around. The other truth is that should a person have no conscience, he could never truly love. When an imperative sense of responsibility is subtracted from love, all that is left
is a thin, tertiary thing - a will to possess, which is not love at all.

"If given the choice between all the power, fame, and money in the world, and the privilege of loving [parents, children, spouses, friends], those who have conscience would choose the latter in a heartbeat.

"There is the will to possess and to dominate, and then there is love.

"But is it possible to have TOO MUCH conscience?

"Yes and no.

"Freud observed that an over-active superego could bully its owner into depression and possibly even suicide. But superego, that yammering disciplinary voice internalized from our early experiences, is NOT conscience. Neither is something that psychologists call "unhealthy shame,"
in the sense of a reaction to having committed bad deeds, so much as it is the irrational belief, instilled by negative messages in childhood that one's whole self is somehow bad, repellent, worthless. Even a little unhealthy shame is too much, but unhealthy shame is hardly normal conscience, which is an intervening sense of responsibility and not an
intrusive feeling of worthlessness and calamity. When contemporary psychologists say that too much conscience is toxic, their vocabulary is careless. They are referring to unhealthy shame or to a strident superego working overtime.

"Conscience, our seventh sense, is a different phenomenon altogether. It is a feeling of obligation based in love. So the question lingers: Is extreme conscience debilitating or elevating?

"To understand what a great deal of conscience does to the psyche, we can observe the lives and the happiness level of people who have developed their innate sense of conscience into an especially powerful emotional muscle. Each one of us might name different individuals as our moral heroes, from historical or public figures to people we have known personally who have impressed us with their moral commitment. ...People whose moral commitment has resulted in signal contributions in many areas, including civil rights, civil liberties, reduction of poverty and hunger, religious freedom, environmental protection, and peace.

"In a systematic study of such people, Anne Colby of Redcliffe's Henry Murray Research Center and William Damon of Brown University's Department of Education... concerned about what they perceived as our current scarcity of moral leadership, selected 23 individuals who they considered to be "moral exemplars."

"[The exemplars], diverse in terms of race, religion, socioeconomic status, and specific goals, all have one thing in common: an extraordinarily powerful sense of conscience, an "overdeveloped" sense that they are responsible for the welfare of their fellow human beings. They represent, from a psychologist's vantage point, the diametric emotional and mental opposite of the psychopath.

[There are] three striking commonalities among individuals of extreme conscience. 1) certainty 2) positivity 3) unity of self and moral goals.

"Certainty" refers to an exceptional clarity concerning what the exemplars believe to be right, and also their sense of an unequivocal personal responsibility to act on those beliefs.

"Positivity" expresses the exemplars' affirmative approach to life, their extraordinary enjoyment of their work, and their marked optimism, often despite hardship or even danger.

"Unity of self and moral goals" describes the integration of the subjects' moral stance with their conception of their own identity, and the sameness of their moral and personal goals.

"Unity" means, for such people, conscience is not just a guiding light, it is WHO THEY ARE. Cabell Brand explained in an interview, "Who I am is what I'm able to do and how I feel all the time - each day, each moment... It's hard for me to separate who I am from what I want to do and what I am doing..."

"Colby and Damon consider this third characteristic, the "unity of self and moral goals," to be their most important finding, and crucially important to the understanding of conscience and its effects.

"When conscience grows sufficiently strong, apparently it unifies the human psyche in a unique and beneficial way, and rather than causing "life disruption," extreme conscience significantly enhances life satisfaction.

Colby and Damon write:

"Our exemplars have been invulnerable to the debilitating effects of privation because all they have needed for personal success is the productive pursuit of their moral mission."

"In unself-conscious defiance of our cultural tendency to set conscience and self-interest in opposition to each other, Colby and Damon's exemplars "defined their own welfare and self-interest in moral terms and were, with very few exceptions, extremely happy and fulfilled." Far from causing them suffering, or making them into dupes, their exceptional sense of obligation to other people made them happy.

"Conscience, our sense of responsibility toward one another, allows us to live together, in our homes and on our planet. It helps to create meaning in our lives, and stands between us and empty existence of meaningless competitions. A very large sense of conscience can integrate moral intention, personal desire, and identity in the mind - right action becomes WHO WE ARE - and for this reason, extreme conscience appears to be a rare exact-fit key to human happiness." [Martha Stout, Ph.D., The Sociopath Next Door] (highly recommended)

As the C's have said:

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

June 13, 2005
Some of you might remember the amazing story of Mukhtar Mai Mukhtaran Bibi who fought back after having been savagely raped on the orders of her village jirga. Instead of staying silent, she took her rapists to court, and used the compensation awarded by the government to open a school for girls.

Mukhtar Mai's bravery made her a cause celebre. Time Magazine (Asia) profiled her as one of "Asia's Heros." She was recently invited to the United States to speak by Amnesty International, and had an American speaking tour scheduled as well.

Last week, the Pakistani government decided that she was drawing too much attention. First they banned her from travelling, then they put her under house arrest, then they kidnapped her and detained her incommunicado.

Click to Expand Article

Oct. 21, 2005
Three years ago, Mukhtar Mai was brutally raped in her remote village in Pakistan. After a long struggle, Pakistan's supreme court convicted her attackers, and she's only able to talk about it now.

"I feel very happy, and God will look after me in the future," she said. "I am very, very hopeful that I will get justice."

Tomorrow Mai will travel to New York, her first trip out of Pakistan, to receive Glamour magazine's "Woman of the Year" award. And she'll travel around the country to speak on the plight of rural women.

"We look for strength. We look for persistence — a woman of the year is someone who believes that women can do whatever they set their mind to, and Mukhtar illustrates those qualities better than anybody," said Cindi Leive, Glamour's editor in chief. "This is a story that's going to shock everyone who hears it."

Click to Expand Article
Comment: Obviously, the support of activists got Mukhtar out of Pakistani detention... But this story bears watching.

10/12/2005 - 10:26:35
Ethiopian, American and European researchers have observed a fissure in a desert in the remote northeast of Ethiopia that could be the “birth of a new ocean basin”, scientists said.

Researchers from Britain, France, Italy and the US have been observing the 37-mile-long fissure since it split open in September in the Afar desert. They estimate it will take a million years to fully form into an ocean, said Dereje Ayalew, who leads the team of 18 scientists studying the phenomenon.

Click to Expand Article

AP Science Writer
Dec 12 2005
LOS ANGELES - Tsunami waves generated by a large offshore earthquake would threaten at least 1 million coastal residents in California and inundate the nation's largest port complex, according to a new report. The bleak study being released Monday found gaps in the state's readiness to handle a tsunami, including flaws in the existing warning system, lack of evacuation plans by coastal communities, and building codes that don't take into account tsunami-strength surges.

In addition, many residents are unaware of the potential danger of tsunami waves and wouldn't know how to respond, the report said.

Click to Expand Article

The Associated Press
Dec 11, 2005
KINGFISHER, Okla. — An outbreak of geysers spewing mud and gas into the air in rural Kingfisher County is puzzling state and local officials.

Kingfisher Fire Chief John Crawford says initial reports of the geysers came in Friday morning, and that firefighters and Oklahoma Corporation Commission officials were on the scene yesterday.

The geysers have appeared throughout the countryside of rural Kingfisher, with stretches of up to 12 miles between spots, and some as short as a quarter of a mile.

Crawford says the threat of the gas igniting is unlikely, but he says there is a concern the gas could begin coming up through water-well lines.

by Jennifer Monroe
False information posted by volunteer gets Wales in more trouble.

NEW YORK, NY -- Untrue information posted to Wikipedia, as fact, by an anonymous 'volunteer' (Brian Chase, 38, a resident of Nashville, TN was later exposed as the person behind the lie) suggesting that John Seigenthaler had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy was eventually removed by Wikipedia's co-founder Jimbo Wales, but only after more than four months anguish and hard work by Seigenthaler.

"There is a problem with the structure of Wikipedia. The basic problem is that no one, neither the Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation, nor the volunteers who are connected with Wikipedia, consider themselves responsible for the content," said Daniel Brandt, the man credited with helping to expose Chase. Brandt is a founder of Wikipedia-Watch and is a frequent critic of the online encyclopedia.

Now another story suggesting that Wikipedia is out of control emerges....

Click to Expand Article

December 11, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kansas (AP) -- A college professor who drew sharp criticism for comments deriding Christian fundamentalists over "intelligent design" said he was forced out as chairman of the university's religious studies department.

Paul Mirecki, who remains a professor at the University of Kansas, said he had no choice when he signed the resignation letter, typed on stationary from the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"The University penalized me and denied me my Constitutionally protected right to speak and express my mind," he said in a written statement Friday for the Lawrence Journal-World. He said his career had been ruined and his speaking engagements canceled.

Click to Expand Article

The name should have been a clue: Shill ing.

Today Signs Received this link from a reader.

Scroll down and look at the photos of the "creature."

Thing is, it is a hoax.

The website is part of a marketing campaign for a video game called Shadow of the Colossus. Here is a picture of the whole creature, from a screenshot of the game.

NEW! 9/11: The Ultimate Truth is Now Available!



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