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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

Iraqi baby victim of a car bombing, Iraq Nov 24, 2005 ©AP

Building a new Iraq for Israel, one dead Iraqi baby at a time

The Sunday Times
December 11, 2005
ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.

The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.

Iran’s stand-off with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over nuclear inspections and aggressive rhetoric from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who said last week that Israel should be moved to Europe, are causing mounting concern.

The crisis is set to come to a head in early March, when Mohamed El-Baradei, the head of the IAEA, will present his next report on Iran. El-Baradei, who received the Nobel peace prize yesterday, warned that the world was “losing patience” with Iran.

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12 Dec 2005
TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday stuck by comments casting doubt on the Holocaust that drew censure from the U.N. Security Council and widespread condemnation by world leaders.

Ahmadinejad, echoing statements he made in Saudi Arabia last week, was quoted by state television and the semi-official ILNA news agency as accusing the West of using the Holocaust as an excuse to favor Israel.

"If the killing of Jews in Europe is true and the Zionists are supported because of this excuse, why should the Palestinian nation pay the price?" he said.

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Comment: Of course, all right-thinking people understand that the claims that Israel weilds disproportionate influence over American and European politics are nothing but lies and thinly -veiled anti-Semitism and that there is no evidence to back up such proposterous accusations... right?...

Nicholas Watt in Brussels
Tuesday December 13, 2005
The Guardian
A controversial report that accuses Israel of rushing to annexe Arab areas of East Jerusalem was shelved by European foreign ministers in Brussels yesterday out of sensitivity to Israel.

Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, persuaded ministers to drop the report when he warned that Europe's influence over Israel would be severely undermined if it were to be published.

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Comment: This is justice as it is defined in the modern world. Israel, while claiming to be pursuing peace, is in fact doing everything in its power to ensure that a peaceful and just settlement to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict can never emerge.

December 12, 2005
NEW YORK — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last night called Israel a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, supported its need for a security barrier and called on the Palestinian Authority to crack down on the terrorism that threatens both Israel and the Palestinians' hope for a brighter future.

Clinton's strong pro-Israel speech came before a particularly receptive audience, more than 700 attendees at Yeshiva University's 81st annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation at the Waldorf-Astoria, where she was the keynote speaker after receiving an honorary degree. She said the futures of both the United States and Israel are intertwined, with "bonds forged in a common struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom."

"That bond is rooted in fundamental beliefs and values about the dignity of men and women and the right to live without fear or repression," Clinton said. "Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what a democracy can and should be."

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Comment: As Maureen Dowd wrote: "[Hillary] doing Clintonian triangulating is just as transparent as [Condi] doing Clintonian parsing. All in all, a bad week for women — sheer torture to watch."

by Dror Feiler
December 12, 2005
European Jews for a just Peace
To: Beate Winkler, Director
European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC)
Rahlgasse 3
A -- 1060 Vienna

The 13th of October 2005

Dear Beate Winkler,

At its conference in London in September 2005, European Jews for a Just Peace, a federation of Jewish peace organisations in ten European countries, noted that the EUMC had produced a highly problematic 'Working Definition of Antisemitism'.

We have two comments, on process and on content: ...

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By M K Bhadrakumar
Asia Times
13 Dec 2005
An entire panorama of issues unexpectedly comes into view in the international reaction to recent remarks by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, implying that European powers should have salved their historical sense of guilt, if any, over their persecution of Jews by sanctioning a homeland for them on European soil itself.

What is most striking is that the hue and cry of the "international community" has been mainly restricted to the Christian world (European and Slavic), apart from Israel, of course.

In the Muslim world itself, there was a deafening silence.

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Comment: Notice the remark "an international conference on the Palestine problem would be held in Tehran next March." Isn't next March when Israel is going to start bombing Iran? Coincidence?

05/06/96 UK Independent
VIDEO Warning! This video of an Israeli Massacre of Palestinian & Lebanese civilians in April of 96 is very graphic and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Robert Fisk:
Qana: It is a soldier's videotape, recorded -- at the start at least -- as just another incident to remember back home by a United Nations trooper after his six months' tour of duty in southern Lebanon are over.

Indeed, when the camera first records the Israeli shells tearing into the UN base at Qana, the other soldiers who appear in the film, most of them Norwegians in the UN's Force Mobile Reserve opposite Qana, seem unaware of its implications. One of them makes a joke, another looks gawkily into the camera even as it tapes the clouds of smoke obscuring Qana. The camera pans through barbed wire as more brown puffs of smoke emerge from the white-painted buildings of the UN's Fijian battalion headquarters.

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By Anne Penketh
13 December 2005
UK Independent

George Bush and Tony Blair said before the war that they wanted to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Not only have none been found inside Iraq, but the war could have actually triggered the spread of such weapons. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein may well have been the factor that pushed the Iranian government into taking a strategic decision to develop a nuclear weapon, even though the Iranians insist that their nuclear programme is peaceful. It had been clear to all that North Korea had been spared attack because of its possession of the bomb while Saddam was known not to have succeeded in building one. So countries may have decided to take out their own insurance policy. Israel is beefing up its own security after the perceived Iranian threat. The Iraq war may have set off a new nuclear arms race.

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13 December 2005
Kim Sengupta in Baghdad
UK Independent
"The worst thing is knowing that you can no longer delude yourself that things are going to get better. It is an awful way to exist, living without hope," said Nadia al-Hayali, sitting at her home in Baghdad with the doors bolted, a refuge from a society disintegrating all around.

This time last year there were still the kidnappings and the robberies, the gunfights and the suicide bombings, but Nadia and her husband, Mohammed, still had hope. After a couple of years of this, they were convinced that things would get better in Iraq.

But the flickering optimism has been all but extinguished for the al-Hayalis and their friends and relations - the type of middle-class families who should be the driving force in what is, according to George Bush and Tony Blair, a brave new Iraq.

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By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
13 December 2005
UK Independent
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein has led to many reversals of fortune even within the same family. The al-Mashadani family are middle class Sunni Arabs who live in the Hurriya district of west Baghdad. Fifteen years ago Mohammed and his sister Ban had each achieved modest prosperity.

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13 December 2005
By Tabassum Zakaria
U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday about 30,000 Iraqis have been killed since the Iraq war began and predicted this week's election will not be perfect but will be part of a Middle East turning point.

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Comment: Just as one cannot expect anything from a a pig but a grunt, Bush is incapable of voicing anything but lies. The real number of Iraqis slaughtered by American bombs and bullets is more likely to be somewhere in the region of 100-200,000.

By Mark Benjamin
10 Dec 05
A group of seven House Democrats wrote President Bush this week, accusing the Pentagon of underreporting casualties in Iraq.

It's a shocking charge. The letter writers argue that Pentagon casualty reports show only a sliver of the injuries, mostly physical ones from bombs or bullets. But war doesn't work like that, the Democrats declare, adding that the reports skip a horrible panoply of accidents, illness, disease and mental trauma.

"We are concerned that that the figures that were released to the public by your administration do not accurately represent the true toll that this war has taken on the American people," the group wrote Bush on Dec. 7. The Dems are right. ...

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AP Photo/Emad Al-Mula
In a democratic society we are all responsible for the action of our government.

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Comment: We only wonder if Americans are truly prepared to see their own children in this photo? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Capt. Jeff Pirozzi
Camp Taqaddum, Iraq
Stars and Stripes
28 Nov 05
Weapons of mass destruction? I’m still looking for them, and if you find any give me a call so we can justify our presence in Iraq. We started the war based on a lie, and we’ll finish it based on a lie. I say this because I am currently serving with a logistics headquarters in the Anbar province, between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. I am not fooled by the constant fabrication of “democracy” and “freedom” touted by our leadership at home and overseas. ...

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Dec. 12, 2005
Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups — a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces.

An ABC News poll in Iraq, conducted with Time magazine and other media partners, includes some remarkable results: Despite the daily violence there, most living conditions are rated positively, seven in 10 Iraqis say their own lives are going well, and nearly two-thirds expect things to improve in the year ahead.

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Comment: Yes, this is a "surprising" poll, considering the stories from the UK Independent about how Iraqi families have actually fared. Strange that it is only in the US that anyone thinks - or writes - that there is ANY hope in Iraq. We wonder if there is any vested interest for Mr. Langer and Mr. Cohen to promote this view? What is NOT surprising is the fact that "interest in politics has soared."

Dec 13, 2005
Iraq's parliamentary elections may well be a make-or-break point for President Bush's troubled postwar rebuilding policy, about which he has finally conceded there were errors and miscalculations. ...

U.S. policy has always been that if a duly constituted, freely elected Iraqi government asked us to leave, we would willingly pack up and go. Understandably, Bush would like to see that day come before he leaves office. That's why this election is so important: There is no Plan B.

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12 Dec 2005
WASHINGTON - U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday that he does not live "in a bubble" and that he is well aware of what is going on outside the White House, rejecting critics' claims that he is out of touch with public opinion.

"I don't feel in a bubble," Bush said in an interview on "NBC Nightly News."

Bush said he gets "really good advice" from "very capable people" and that people from all walks of life provide information to him and his advisers.

"I feel very comfortable that I'm very aware of what's going on," Bush said.

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Comment: Unfortunately, the "really good advice" that Bush receives from "very capable people" does not extend to an accurate figure for the number of innocent men, women and children he has murdered.

Richard Norton-Taylor
Tuesday December 13, 2005
The Guardian
The government may be breaking the law by refusing to question the US about "torture flights", senior MPs said yesterday, as it admitted for the first time that CIA aircraft had landed at British airports.

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By David Rose in New York
11 Dec 05
The Observer
An Ethiopian student who lived in London claims that he was brutally tortured with the involvement of British and US intelligence agencies. Binyam Mohammed, 27, says he spent nearly three years in the CIA's network of 'black sites'. In Morocco he claims he underwent the strappado torture of being hung for hours from his wrists, and scalpel cuts to his chest and penis and that a CIA officer was a regular interrogator. ...

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Comment: It is so handy to have torture to fall back on to "create" terrorists. Hmmm... makes one wonder if Osama was "rendered" and now just appears on film from his secret CIA prison cell to act the role of the boogie man?

10 Dec 05
Der Spiegel
Since Sept. 11, the CIA has played a vital role in the war on terror. But what role is it? Operating in the shadows, American secret services have been given wide-ranging powers by the Bush Administration. And they include murder, abduction and torture. ...

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By Harold Meyerson
10 Dec 05
LA Weekly
Whatever its virtues, the United Nations isn’t the first place you’d turn to if you wanted to expose some nefarious internal practices of its more powerful member states. So it came as no small surprise when a U.N. investigator last week documented the “widespread” use of torture in China. Manfred Nowak, who is the special rapporteur of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, noted that electric shock, sleep deprivation and submersion in water or sewage are still common practices in China when the state seeks to obtain confessions and suppress the political dissent it delicately terms “deviant behavior.”

This is hardly the image of the new, improved capitalist China that the neo-Communist regime and American business have teamed up to convey. As they depict it, China is a bustling, modern society that offers everything a company could possibly want to do business. They’re right — and that’s just the problem. ...

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Comment: Golly gosh! Sounds like the good ole U.S. of A.!!!

12 Dec 05
An Iraqi general formerly in charge of special forces said he witnessed horrific scenes of torture in Iraqi prisons and accused a Shiite militia of being responsible.

"It was horrific. Thousands of detainees, often teenagers, beaten, burned, receiving electric shocks, then the majority killed," Muntazar al-Samarrai, who fled Iraq for Jordan five months ago, told AFP.

In video footage Samarrai said he filmed at one detention center, men show whip marks and acid burns. One of them has lost an eye. Another's legs are broken. Still another has nails driven into his body.

The video also shows the mutilated corpses of three men who Samarrai said died as a result of torture.

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Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post
December 12, 2005
Baghdad -- An Iraqi government search of a prison in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse serious enough to require medical treatment, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday night.

An Iraqi official with firsthand knowledge of the search said at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to severe torture, including electric shocks and episodes that left them with broken bones.

"Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone," the official said on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

A government spokesman, Laith Kubba, said Sunday night that any findings at the prison would be subject to an investigation but declined to comment on the allegations.

The site, which was searched Thursday, is the second Interior Ministry detention center where cases of prisoner abuse have been confirmed by U.S. and Iraqi officials.

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12 Dec 05
Iraqi and US officials have found a packed interior ministry prison in Baghdad, where 625 inmates were being held in "very overcrowded" conditions.

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By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
12 December 2005
UK Independent
Allegations that MI6 handed over a former London student to the CIA for "extraordinary rendition" and torture will be raised omorrow by MPs with Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary.

A horrific and graphic account of abuse, sleep deprivation and torture has been given to lawyers by Benyam Mohammed al-Habashi, 27, who claims he was handed to the CIA by MI6 officers after being arrested in Pakistan while trying to board a flight in Karachi on a false passport.

Mr Habashi, an Ethiopian who claimed asylum in Britain, says he was taken to CIA detention centres and subjected to systematic torture by Americans who claimed he was part of a plot to set off a nuclear "dirty bomb" in America. He said he was interrogated for 18 months in a Moroccan prison, and had his penis cut with a scalpel. He also claims he was chained to a wall for days, chained to the floor in a pitch-dark cell in Kabul, and turned into a heroin addict...

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by Maureen Dowd
December 11, 2005
Toronto Star
Our secretary of state's tortuous defence of supposedly non-existent CIA torture chambers in Eastern Europe was an acid flashback to Clintonian parsing.

Just as Bill Clinton pranced around questions about marijuana use at Oxford during the '92 campaign by saying he had never broken the laws of his country, so Condoleezza Rice pranced around questions about outsourcing torture by suggesting that President George W. Bush had never broken the laws of his country.

But in Bill's case, he was only talking about smoking a little joint, while Condi is talking about snatching people off the street and throwing them into lethal joints.

"The United States government does not authorize or condone torture of detainees," she said.

It all depends on what you mean by "authorize,'' "condone,'' ``torture" and "detainees.''

Rice also claimed that the United States did not transport terrorism suspects "for the purpose of interrogation using torture." But, hey, as Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld likes to say, stuff happens.

The president said he was opposed to torture and then effectively issued regulations to allow what any normal person — and certainly a victim — would consider torture. Alberto Gonzales et al. have defined torture deviancy downward to the point where it's hard to imagine what would count as torture. ...

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December 12, 2005
The spectacle of an American Secretary of State being sent to Europe to reassure America's allies that the US does not torture prisoners has brought an end to America's moral grandeur. America stands revealed before the world as just another unaccountable police state.

Condi Rice's declaration that the Bush administration is too morally pure to engage in torture was just another transparent Bush administration deception. What is the point of Bush's rendition policy that Rice was sent to Europe to defend if the purpose is not torture? Why else do CIA agents kidnap foreign nationals in foreign countries and fly them to secret prisons in other foreign countries?

The Bush administration defends its policy of "extraordinary rendition." Everyone who has survived the policy has testified to experiencing brutal torture. Just read the account in the December 11 Sunday Observer (UK) of the Ethiopian student that the CIA kidnapped and tortured in Morocco. ...

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Comment: That the majority of Americans are not so appalled by this spectacle that they immediately take to the streets, en masse, to demand a dissolution of the present government, and restoration of the Constitution with the Bill of Rights as an integral, irrevocable part of same, stands as testimony to the fact that they are either psychologically complicit, or complete cowards. Denial is no longer possible.

13 Dec 2005
WASHINGTON - A former top adviser to President George W. Bush on Iraq policy said on Monday there are instances when torture may be appropriate.

Commenting on an issue that has roiled Washington and affected the U.S. image abroad, Robert Blackwill, who was deputy national security adviser during Bush's first term, said:

"Of course torture should not be widespread and of course there should be extraordinarily stringent top-down requirements in this respect. But never? ... I wouldn't say never," he told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

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Comment: And yet, repeatedly, we read that "confessions" or intelligence extracted under torture are far more likely to be lies than truth. Obviously, anyone proposing to use torture is not interested in the truth.

By Arian Campo-Flores and Mark Hosenball
Dec. 19, 2005 issue
When Rigoberto Alpizar visited his family in Rio Claro, Costa Rica, in July, he grew alarmed at his father's deteriorating heart condition. He took his father to see a doctor in San Jose; before returning home to the United States, says his brother Carlos, he taped little notes all over the house with a gentle reminder: "Please take your medication. I love you very much." But when it came to Alpizar's own condition—bipolar disorder—he apparently failed to heed that same advice, according to his wife's statements to authorities.

Aboard a plane preparing to push away from the gate in Miami last Wednesday, Alpizar, 44, seemed to suffer a manic episode. He bolted from his seat and rushed off the plane. The air marshals followed and confronted him in the jetway, where, according to their account, he threatened to detonate a bomb in his backpack. The air marshals responded by shooting him dead.

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Comment: The last sentence of this article states: "The air marshals, who surely thought shooting him would avert disaster, may well be haunted by that question for a long time to come." Sadly, it would seem that this opinion is wishful thinking in the extreme, after all, the chief Air Marshall appears to have had a hand in attempting to promote the idea that Alpizar said he had bomb, when eyewitnesses claim that he said nothing before he was shot dead.

Kate Randall – WSWS December 10, 2005
In the days since Rigoberto Alpizar was shot and killed while fleeing an American Airlines flight in Miami, no credible evidence has materialized to back the claim by government authorities that the 44-year-old Costa Rican immigrant said he was carrying a bomb in the moments before federal marshals opened fire.

Alpizar was shot dead on Wednesday by air marshals in the jetway of AA Flight 757 after exiting the aircraft. Law enforcement agents blew up Alpizar’s luggage on the tarmac, confirming he was carrying no explosives or other weapons. (See: “Miami airplane shooting: Washington’s ‘war on terrorism’ comes home”).

The official version of events, promoted by the Bush administration and the media in the immediate aftermath, is that this state killing of an innocent man was justified by the “war on terror.” The central assertion to back up this claim is that Alpizar said he had a bomb, and that this posed a terrorist threat. Dave Adams, a spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service, explicitly told the press that Alpizar had “run up and down the aisle yelling, ‘I have a bomb in my bag.’ ”

However, no witnesses—including from among the more than 100 passengers and crew members on board the flight—have come forward publicly to back up this allegation. Instead, numerous passengers have directly contradicted it, even after hours of interrogation and prodding by police authorities in the wake of the shooting.

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Last Updated Mon, 12 Dec 2005 16:04:50 EST
CBC News
Gold prices kept rising Monday, for the eighth consecutive day, closing at fresh 24-year highs as investors jumped on a lucrative, yet inflation-proof, bandwagon.

The precious metal closed at $536 US in London, up $6.70 on the day, while the December contract rose by $1.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange to close at $528.40 US.

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By James Houle
12 Dec 05
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) plan for the Middle East was fleshed-out in a policy paper issued in early 2002 entitled “Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Sustainable Growth” and produced at the American Heritage Foundation by Aaron Cohen and Gerald O’Driscoll.

Reissued by the State Department in February 2003, it provided the rationale for the Bush oil policy for Iraq in those heady days after the thunderous advance up the road to Baghdad. They proposed to sell off all of the oil resources of Iraq, currently held in trust by the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), to major US oil firms.

Privatization of Iraqi oil, literally the sale of rights to own and exploit the country’s oil and gas resources, was trumpeted as the cure for all ailments. The nationalization of the country’s oil by the socialist government in the 1960s, they explained, has resulted in corruption, mismanagement and a failure to expand production. Nationalization has been used to “keep a precious and profitable resource in the hands of the ruling elite”.

Privatization, by contrast, would sell these resources to private oil, increase production rapidly, reduce prices, and allow Iraq to leave OPEC (the Saudi-dominated cartel that controls oil supply and keeps prices high). Getting Iraq out of OPEC would increase oil revenues, the Neo Cons explained and thus “dampen oil price fluctuations, ensuring stable oil prices in the world market on a price range lower than the current $25 to $30 a barrel”.

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Providence Journal
Dec 13, 2005
It's interesting how, in the end, it all comes down to money. Assorted "Christian fundamentalists" such as Tom DeLay and Ralph Reed, not to mention many other Washington power brokers, turn out to a large extent to be fanatical worshippers of Mammon. In America's most intense money lust since perhaps the Gilded Age, high-level public-sector work in Washington is increasingly seen as simply another way to strike it rich. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff may be the J.P. Morgan of this world.

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John Carvel, social affairs editor
Tuesday December 13, 2005
The Guardian
Tony Blair's plans to benefit poorer families by expanding choice in education and health have started to provoke a backlash among middle-class graduates, who were regarded as the most liberal-minded and progressive section of the population. The annual British social attitudes survey published today found graduates are still more likely to be "Samaritans" who think people in need deserve help from the welfare state, whether or not they are "deserving" taxpayers.

But the survey by the National Centre for Social Research suggests graduates may no longer be so liberal. ....

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George Monbiot
Tuesday December 13, 2005
The Guardian
It's not just the common agricultural policy: the entire corporate sector relies on state handouts that dwarf their profits

Never underestimate the self-pity of the ruling classes. Since Labour took office in 1997 the Confederation of British Industry has been engaged in one long whinge. It doesn't matter that our taxes are among the lowest and our regulations among the weakest in the developed world. It doesn't matter that the rich are richer than they have ever been. The CBI is the monster with a thousand stomachs that will never be satisfied. ...

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Dec 12
Omaha World-Herald
OMAHA, Neb. - It was a tiny, cigarette burn on an old buffet that first grabbed Laura Michael's attention at the Goodwill WearHouse. As the manager, she's used to seeing worn pieces of furniture. But two weeks ago, this newly delivered piece seemed to evoke memories and the smells of holidays at her family home in Phoenix.

She thought about how her family had a similar heirloom, given to them by her great-grandmother. But her mother was forced to sell it two decades ago because money was tight.

When she saw the burn, she was struck because her old buffet was scarred in the same way.

And then, the 37-year-old woman took a position familiar to her as a child. She crawled underneath the 5-foot-long, 3-foot high buffet. ...

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The Insider
Abu Qatada appeals for release of hostages

One of Britain's most notorious Islamic extremists [who is in fact a known British intelligence agent, see further reading below] has appealed for the release of Norman Kember, the British peace activist held hostage in Baghdad, calling on "brothers" to show mercy.

Abu Qatada - described by the Government as Osama bin Laden's European ambassador [bin Laden, allegedly the leader of "al-Qaeda", IS is a known CIA agent who has now supposedly changed sides] and an inspiration to the leader of the September 11 hijackers - made his appeal from his cell at Full Sutton maximum security jail, near York. Officials said the request to make an appeal came from Abu Qatada himself through his lawyer Gareth Peirce. The Prison Service gave permission and the filming was done internally, rather than by an outside media organisation.

Abu Qatada is awaiting possible deportation to Jordan as a threat to national security. The broadcast is liable to provoke considerable controversy. Last night, the Government categorically denied that any deal had been done with the prisoner.

Further reading...

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By Staff and Wire Reports
Dec 13, 2005
Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd warned on Monday that he would bring the U.S. Senate to a virtual standstill if Republicans carry out a threat to change its rules by outlawing filibusters on judicial nominations.

Byrd of West Virginia, a staunch defender of the Senate's often arcane rules and procedures, was responding to a comment by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who said Sunday he might move to restrict filibusters if Democrats try to block the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Minutes after the Senate returned from a three-week vacation Byrd challenged Frist, a Tennessee Republican, in an unusually pointed floor debate.

"If the senator wants a fight, let him try. I'm 88 years old but I can still fight and fight I will for freedom of speech," Byrd said.

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Associated Press Writer
13 Dec 05
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, the Crips gang co-founder whose case stirred a national debate about capital punishment versus the possibility of redemption, was executed Tuesday morning.

Williams, 51, died at 12:35 a.m. Officials at San Quentin State Prison seemed to have trouble injecting the lethal mixture into his muscular arm. As they struggled to find a vein, Williams looked up repeatedly and appeared frustrated, shaking his head at supporters and other witnesses.

"You doing that right?" it sounded as if he asked one of the men with a needle.

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Comment: "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied Williams' request for clemency, suggesting that his supposed change of heart was not genuine because he had not shown any real remorse for the killings committed by the Crips.

"Is Williams' redemption complete and sincere, or is it just a hollow promise?" Schwarzenegger wrote. "Without an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings, there can be no redemption."

In short, Schwarzie wanted him to admit it. Did he do it, or did he not? We don't know, we only know that, like Karla Faye Tucker, executed by Arnie's buddy, George, "Tookie" was doing something positive with his life. As he said: "There is no part of me that existed then that exists now."

A major earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan was felt in India and Pakistan early this morning but there were no immediate reports of casualty or damage.

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BBC News
December 12 2005
The Earth's north magnetic pole is drifting away from North America so fast that it could end up in Siberia within 50 years, scientists have said.

The shift could mean that Alaska will lose its northern lights, or auroras, which might then be more visible in areas of Siberia and Europe.

The magnetic poles are different from geographic poles, the surface points marking the axis of Earth's rotation.

Magnetic poles are known to migrate and, occasionally, swap places.

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July 11th 1998

Q: (A) We have been told that there is going to be a change of the magnetic field of the earth. Does this mean that the magnetic pole will shift?

A: Yes.

Q: (A) About this shift of the poles, is it going to be a complete pole reversal?

A: Yes.

Q: (A) What is going to happen inside Earth that could cause this magnetic pole reversal?

A: Is caused by disturbances in the mineral content of the substrata rock, brought on by the interaction of Earth with outside forces.

Q: (L) What specific outside forces?

A: Those already discussed.

Q: (L) What is going to be the specific mechanism of this disturbance? Can you describe for us the steps by which this pole reversal will take place?

A: Pole reversal is cyclical anyway; these events merely serve as trigger mechanism.

Q: (L) Let me ask it this way: is there a charge that builds up in the mineral substrata that requires discharge, or that becomes excited to the point that it discharges and then reverses? Is this what we are talking about in terms of the mechanism?

A: Examine what is needed to magnetize metal.

Q: (A) What is needed to magnetize metal? One has to align the spins of the atoms which means one has to strike the metal, or one has to bring a magnetic field close. (T) Strike as in annealing...
heating and striking metal or rock which causes the crystalline structure to decompose so that the metal becomes pliable. Then, each time it is hit, it reforms until it cools again. (L) Is this what we are talking about here?

A: Close.

"One had to strike the metal" (the earth), and here we are not talking about everyone getting their hammers out, the universe, it seems, has a much more effective way of doing the job. Having said that, things may not be as bad as they appear at first glance:

(A) We have been told that this magnetic disturbance is closely related to this realm border crossing, and you asked us the question 'what is the root of realm' and it is reality. Now, realm has an m at the end. Does this have something to do with magnetic?

A: Realm border is when the reality shifts for all.

Q: (A) Yes, but why is this reality shift related to magnetic field disturbance? What is the connection?

A: Your physiology and etheric orientation are both tied into the magnetic state of your environment.

By JACK STOREY/The Evening News
Dec 12, 2005
EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA - A smattering of early risers across a wide area of the Eastern Upper Peninsula were startled by the brilliant light from a falling meteor or some “space junk” in the northern sky about 6:05 a.m. today.

The bright light traced a lightning-fast path over the northern horizon from west to east, briefly and silently illuminating the dark winter sky for a few seconds in the pre-dawn cold.

One witness, Dixie MacArthur, said the object's path appeared to skim the treeline from west to east, making no sound as it flashed through the sky. Other similar reports were made by the few other observers up and out of doors when the brightly-burning object crossed the sky.

A spokesman for the National Weather Service in Gaylord was not aware of the early morning sighting today. He said the object would not register on U.S. weather radar, since meteors usually burn up in earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 40 to 70 miles, far above the reach of weather radar.

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Comment: That's right, just because meteors "usually burn up" high in the atmosphere, we should all therefore ignore the plethora of recent fireballs all around the globe that have been creating massive booms or actually impacting the ground. Nothig to see here.

Patrick Barkham
Monday December 12, 2005
The Guardian
There were several theories last night about the cause of the Buncefield oil depot explosion. We examine some of them below:

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Comment: Here's another theory: Last week, under the guise of Muslim "terrorist" puppet al-Zawahiri, Israeli and American intelligence informed the world public that "militant Islamists" would soon be attacking oil installations in Muslim countries. In keeping with their tactic of manufacturing the reality of the "terrorism", Israeli and/or American operatives blew up the UK oil depot and expected the British establishment to follow up with the "discovery" that Muslim terrorists were to blame. But somewhere along the line the British decided that the time was not right, and opted for a conventional explanation.

Dec. 11, 2005
Orange County Register
Parents say these kids can see the future and have other gifts; critics see justification for bad behavior

Indigo kids bristle at authority and have little patience. Their advocates say they act like royalty and have no guilt. Simple acts, like waiting in lines, drive them crazy. Their parents are sure they can see the future and talk to angels.

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Comment: As we have pointed out repeatedly, the description of so-called "Indigo Children" exactly corresponds to the description of psychopathy. Parents who claim that the "psychic abilities" of these children indicate a "higher spirituality" ought to watch the old flick "Children of the Damned," or "The Bad Seed" and get a grip. Harvard psychologist Martha Stout claims that 4 percent of “ordinary people” (one in 25) often have an “undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that the person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse… They can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.”

Psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski writes:

[Psychopathy's] intensity also varies in scope from a level barely perceptive to an experienced observer to obvious pathological deficiency. Like color-blindness, this anomaly also appears to represent a deficit in stimulus transformation, albeit occurring not on the sensory but on instinctive level. Psychiatrists of the old school used to call such individuals “Daltonists of human feelings and socio-moral values.”

The psychological picture shows clear deficits among men only; among women it is generally toned down, as by the effect of the second normal allele. This suggests that the anomaly is also inherited via the X chromosome but through a semi-dominating gene. However, the author was unable to confirm this by excluding inheritance from father to son. [...]

Analysis of the different experiential manner demonstrated by these individuals caused us to conclude that their instinctive substratum is also defective, containing certain gaps and lacking the natural syntonic responses commonly evidenced by members of the species Homo sapiens. […]

Our natural world of concepts then strikes such persons as a nearly incomprehensible convention with no justification in their own psychological experience. They think that normal human customs and principles of decency are a foreign convention invented and imposed by someone else (“probably by priests”) silly, onerous, sometimes even ridiculous. At the same time, however, they easily perceive the deficiencies and weaknesses of our natural language of psychological and moral concepts in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the attitude of a contemporary psychologist - except in caricature.

In spite of their deficiencies as regards normal psychological and moral knowledge, they develop and then have at their disposal a knowledge of their own, something lacked by people with a natural worldview.

They learn to recognize each other in a crowd as early as childhood, and they develop an awareness of the existence of other individuals similar to them.

They also become conscious of being different from the world of those other people surrounding them. They view us from a certain distance, take a paraspecific variety.

Natural human reactions - which often fail to elicit interest because they are considered self-evident - strike psychopaths as strange and therefore interesting, even comical. They therefore observe us, deriving conclusions, forming their different world of concepts.

They become experts in our weaknesses and sometimes effect heartless experiments upon us. … Neither a normal person nor our natural worldview can perceive or properly evaluate the existence of this world of different concepts....

All researchers into psychopathy underline three qualities primarily with regard to this most typical variety: The absence of a sense of guilt for antisocial actions, the inability to love truly, and the tendency to be garrulous in a way which easily deviates from reality. ...

The world of normal people whom they hurt is incomprehensible and hostile to them. […] [Life to the psychopath] is the pursuit of its immediate attractions, pleasure and power. ...

They are aware of being different as they obtain their life experience and become familiar with different ways of fighting for their goals. Their world is forever divided into “us and them” - their world with its own laws and customs and that other foreign world full of presumptuous ideas and customs in light of which they are condemned morally.

Their “sense of honor” bids them cheat and revile that other human world and its values. In contradiction to the customs of normal people, they feel non-fulfillment of their promises or obligations is customary behavior.

They also learn how their personalities can have traumatizing effects on the personalities of those normal people, and how to take advantage of this root of terror for purposes of reaching their goals.

This dichotomy of worlds is permanent and does not disappear even if they succeed in realizing their dreams of gaining power over the society of normal people. This proves that the separation is biologically conditioned. [Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes II, Andrew Lobaczewski]

Linda Mealey of the Department of Psychology at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, has recently proposed certain ideas in her paper: The Sociobiology of Sociopathy: An Integrated Evolutionary Model. These ideas address the increase in psychopathy in American culture by suggesting that in a competitive society - capitalistic by definition - psychopathy is adaptive and likely to increase.

And finally, the C's have certainly discussed certain "changes" in terms of human types:

Q: (L) I read the new book by Dr. David Jacobs, professor of History at Temple University, concerning his extensive research into the alien abduction phenomenon. [Dr. Jacobs wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the history of the UFOs.] Dr. Jacobs says that now, after all of these years of somewhat rigorous research, that he KNOWS what the aliens are here for and he is afraid. David Jacobs says that producing offspring is the primary objective behind the abduction phenomenon. Is this, in fact, the case?
A: Part, but not "the whole thing."
Q: (L) Is there another dominant reason?
A: Replacement.
Q: (L) Replacement of what?
A: You.
Q: (L) How do you mean? Creating a race to replace human beings, or abducting specific humans to replace them with a clone or whatever?
A: Mainly the former. You see, if one desires to create a new race, what better way than to mass hybridize, then mass reincarnate. Especially when the host species is so forever ignorant, controlled, and anthropocentric. What a lovely environment for total destruction and conquest and replacement... see?

December 12, 2005
Phenomena Magazine
In one version of the story, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was flown to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio on February 20, 1954 to see the debris and dead bodies from the infamous UFO crash of 1947 at Roswell, New Mexico. Some versions weave a far more elaborate tale and maintain that Ike met with human-looking aliens and began intergalactic peace talks with both them and several other extraterrestrial races. Ike reportedly struggled to deal with those alien presences in the remaining years of his presidency and retired in frustration in 1961, giving a gravely foreboding warning that the military industrial complex he helped create would spin wildly out of control. Or so the story goes among UFO enthusiasts and folklorists.

Although the Eisenhower tale remains a well-known one within the history of the UFO puzzle, like many similar tales no concrete proof has, to date, been forthcoming. Unlike many similar legends, however, there is a historical trail of data that does provide, at least, some provocative and intriguing corroboration for the stories concerning Ike and aliens. Strangely enough, archival documentation and secondary historical sources come together in remarkable ways regarding President Eisenhower’s connection to the UFO subject. Stranger still, those crossroads occur primarily in the biography and career of one of Sigmund Freud’s most renowned protégés, Wilhelm Reich, who spent his final years in America chasing UFOs, ostensibly with Eisenhower’s blessing, and leaving behind an unusual and illuminating paper trail.

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December 13, 2005

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