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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
©2005 (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Dec 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George W. Bush on Friday and blocked legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on terrorism.

On a Senate vote of 52-47, mostly Republican backers of the measure fell eight short of the needed 60 to end debate and move to passage of it.

Proponents of the legislation warned that much of sweeping anti-terror law was to expire at the end of the month, and if it did, the nation could be placed at increased risk.

"We have a clear choice before us today: Do we advance against terrorism to make America safer or do we retreat," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said shortly before the vote.

Senate Democratic and Republican foes of the proposed renewal said the law could be swiftly reauthorized if lawmakers agreed to better balance national security with civil liberties.

"None of us wants it to expire, and those who threaten to let it expire rather than fix it are playing a dangerous game," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

December 15, 2005
NY Times
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

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Dec 16, 2005
When President George W. Bush gathered his shell-shocked cabinet together in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he turned to then attorney general John Ashcroft and said “John, you do whatever is necessary to make sure something like this never happens again.”

Those instructions to Ashcroft are documented in Steven Brill’s book, After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era, about the days following 9/11 and the Showtime docudrama on the event. It is also well-known that Ashcroft, a zealot who doesn’t allow the Constitution to get in the way of his crusades, took Bush’s command to heart, creating the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, the controversial law that allows the federal government to spy on Americans without cause, without court order and without restraint.

But Bush went even further, turning the giant communications monitoring apparatus of the National Security Agency into a personal machine to snoop into the lives of Americans and setting Adm. John Poindexter loose to create the Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) program.

Congress thought it shut down TIA but Bush ran an end around on the Hill by transferring TIA into the Pentagon’s “black bag” operations, a fact we first reported in June of last year. We also reported the program used technology developed by the National Security Agency to snoop on phone calls and emails and that some NSA employees were pissed about being involved in spying on Americans.

“I know NSA employees who have quit rather than cooperate with DARPA,” Paul Hawken, owner of information company Groxis says. “NSA’s mandate is to track the activities of foreign enemies of this nation, not Americans.”

But Bush ordered the NSA to start tracking the activities of Americans, something we reported a year ago and reported today by The New York Times. We also reported, last year, the Pentagon was building a huge super secret database on Americans, something NBC News just got around to confirming this week. ...

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Comment: As Dough Thompson sez: "We knew it. We reported it and the naysayers claimed it couldn’t possibly be true. As usual, they were wrong. As usual, we were right. And, as usual, it took the rest of the “mainstream media” about a year to catch up."

15 Dec 2005
On the second page of a report which reveals the White House engaged in warantless domestic spying, the New York Times reveals that it held the story for a full year at the request of the Bush Administration, RAW STORY can reveal.

The Times also reveals that senior members of Congress from both parties knew about Bush's decision to spy on Americans who were making international calls or emails, without warrants.

Further, the Times notes that they have omitted information in the article they did write, agreeing with the Bush Administration that the information could be useful for terrorists.

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Associated Press
16 Dec 2005
WASHINGTON - Several Patriot Act provisions that the Bush administration says are crucial in the fight to stop terrorism on U.S. soil may only be around for another couple of weeks.

A coalition of Senate Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans is threatening to filibuster a congressional agreement to renew 16 key portions of the USA Patriot Act before they expire Dec. 31.

A showdown vote was scheduled Friday, with the White House and its congressional allies rejecting suggestions for a short-term extension of the current law as is. White House allies said they would prefer to let the 16 temporary provisions expire completely rather than give critics more time to add additional restrictions on the
FBI's ability to comb through Americans' computer files and bank and library records.

Making most of the Act's provisions permanent is a priority for both the Bush administration and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill before Congress adjourns for the year.

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Julian Borger in Washington and Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday December 16, 2005
The Guardian
The White House bowed to international and congressional pressure yesterday and abandoned its opposition to Senate legislation prohibiting the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading interrogation methods of detainees in US custody around the world.

President Bush had threatened to veto the legislation, proposed by Senator John McCain, on the grounds that it tied his hands in the "war on terror" but the White House agreed to accept the bill after an overwhelming majority in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives backed the McCain amendment on Wednesday night.

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Comment: Well, well! Not a surprise when the EU has opened investigations, Condi is being soundly rebuked all over the internet for lying, and the uproar over "extrarodinary renditions" is growing bigger by the day. We are seeing, live, in real time, the predictions of Pathocracy made by Andrew M. Lobaczewski manifesting on the Global Stage:

Pathocrats’ achievement of absolute domination in the government of a country would not be permanent, since large sectors of the society would become disaffected by such rule and find some way of toppling it.

Pathocracy at the summit of governmental organization also does not constitute the entire picture of the “mature phenomenon”. Such a system of government has nowhere to go but down. [...]

The pathological face must be hidden from the world somehow, since recognition by world opinion would be a catastrophe. … Primarily in the interests of the new elite and its expansionary plans, a pathocratic state must maintain commercial relations with the countries of normal man. Such a state aims to achieve international recognition as a certain kind of political structure; it fears recognition in terms of clinical diagnosis. ...

All this makes pathocrats tend to limit their measures of terror, subjecting propaganda and indoctrination methods to certain cosmetology and to accord the society they control some margin of autonomous activity, especially as regards cultural life.

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
16 December 2005
Bowing to bipartisan pressure on Capitol Hill and international uproar, President Bush has agreed to back legislation specifically barring the torture of prisoners held by the US.

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Comment: Somehow, we don't think that the bi-partisan pressure had as much to do with Bush backing down as the "international uproar."

December 16, 2005
Ian Black
UK Guardian
It's not every day that the Council of Europe (CoE) tops the news bulletins, and unusual for a little-known Swiss senator to make headlines across the world.

The 46-member human rights watchdog is routinely confused with the European Council - that's the EU when it meets at head of government level. The Strasbourg-based body has no power at all - except to suspend members who break the rules.

But the CoE's Dick Marty dropped a bombshell this week when he suggested that European governments may have been secretly cooperating with the US in its practice of kidnapping terrorist suspects -"extraordinary rendition" in American bureaucratese. That has given the organisation its rare moment in the limelight - and generated fresh embarrassment around a highly controversial issue.

The row has burst out over steadily accumulating evidence that the US has been using renditions to abduct prisoners and send them, via European airports, to be detained and tortured in countries like Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, where observance of basic human rights is patchy to poor....

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Dec 15, 2005
The debate that erupted in the Oval Office after Presidential Chief of Staff suggested President George W. Bush publicly admit that he led the country to war on the basis of false intelligence information rocked senior White House aides.

The anger that spilled from political guru Karl Rove’s lips was, according to those present at the meeting, the most vocal disagreement anyone had ever seen from the trusted advisor in front of the President. Discussions with those privy to the many meetings on determining the President's strategy show most senior aides lining up against Rove.

“This is a stupid fucking idea,” Rove said, his voice shaking. “This President doesn’t admit mistakes. A leader doesn’t acknowledge error.”

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Dec 16, 2005
As his second term winds down, President Bush naturally begins to contemplate how history will judge him and now perhaps realizes that history will give him low marks for his administration's almost obsessive culture of secrecy.

This week he issued an executive order instructing federal agencies to streamline their procedures for releasing records under the Freedom of Information Act and to appoint chief FOIA officers to see that the changes are carried out.

The order is fated to be ineffective. It would have served the public and the cause of open government better if he had instructed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to rescind a memorandum to the agencies from his predecessor, John Ashcroft.

That memo still defines the Bush administration's approach to FOIA. When in doubt, the agencies were told, they should err on the side of secrecy, the opposite of the law's intent. And records were to be released to the public "only after full and deliberate consideration of the institutional, commercial, and personal privacy interest that could be implicated by disclosure of the information." In other words, the agencies were to aggressively seek out reasons not to disclose information. ...

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Comment: "Public Relations." That's what they are up to in the Bush White House. Things were really getting out of control and they had to make some "cosmetic" changes to try to convince the world that they aren't the criminals they really are. Do they think that the heat will die down now? Do they think we will all forget?

Don't bet the ranch, Dubya.

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 16, 2005
Democratic leaders sternly criticized President Bush yesterday for saying former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) is innocent of felonious campaign finance abuses, suggesting his comments virtually amounted to jury tampering before DeLay stands trial.

"The president of the United States said a jury does not need to assemble, that Tom DeLay is innocent," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "To have someone of his stature, the president of the United States, prejudge a case is something I've never seen before."

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Comment: Hasn't anybody ever told Dubya to put his brain in gear before he puts his mouth in motion? Sheesh! The guy can't even conceive of how stupid he's gonna look when DeLay is found guilty! Unless, of course, he is speaking from a position of certainty, in which case he has plans he isn't revealing.

Dec. 15, 2005
The White House on Thursday defended President Bush’s decision to insert himself into Tom DeLay’s legal case, saying Bush was employing “presidential prerogative” when he declared the former House majority leader was innocent of criminal charges in Texas.

On Wednesday, Bush was asked during an interview on Fox News Channel whether he believed DeLay was innocent. “Yes, I do,” Bush replied.

DeLay, R-Texas, was forced to step down as the No. 2 House leader in late November after he was indicted on a state charge of conspiracy to violate election laws. A second grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to launder money and money laundering. The initial charge has been dismissed, but a judge has let stand the later charges.

“We don’t typically tend to get into discussing legal matters of that nature. But in this instance, the president chose to respond to it,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. “Call it presidential prerogative.”

Bush and his aides have refused to answer almost any question related to a CIA leak case, saying it would be inappropriate.

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Dec. 15, 2005
The White House Thursday dismissed a claim by syndicated columnist Robert Novak that President Bush knows who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

“I don’t know what he’s basing it on,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. He declined to comment further.

Novak said Tuesday the public and the news media should be asking Bush about the source rather than reporters who received the information.

“I’m confident the president knows who the source is,” Novak told a luncheon in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I’d be amazed if he doesn’t.”

He added: “So I say, don’t bug me. Don’t bug (Washington Post reporter) Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.”

Sen. Edward Kennedy also urged Bush “to set the record straight.”

“The mushroom cloud of corruption hovering over the administration needs to be cleared up, and the president is the one to do it,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

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Miami Herald
Dec. 15, 2005
A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee.

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Comment: What do they mean "could"? That's how Bush got "selected."

December 15, 2005
Rediff India
Describing Iran as a real threat, United States President George W Bush has insisted that the Gulf nation was a part of the 'axis of evil.'

"I termed Iran a part of the axis of evil for a reason," Bush said in an interview to Fox News, adding, "Iran is a real threat."

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By IRA STOLL - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 15, 2005
Saddam Hussein moved his chemical weapons to Syria six weeks before the war started, Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom says.

The assertion comes as President Bush said yesterday that much of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was incorrect.

The Israeli officer, Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, asserted that Saddam spirited his chemical weapons out of the country on the eve of the war. "He transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria," General Yaalon told The New York Sun over dinner in New York on Tuesday night. "No one went to Syria to find it."

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by Jorge Hirsch, professor of physics at the University of California San Diego.
Are U.S. tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the Persian Gulf, on hair-trigger alert, and ready to be launched against Iran at a moment's notice?

The answer is contained in presidential directive NSPD 35, "Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization," issued May 2004, which is classified. Nevertheless, we can infer the answer from the fact that every other element needed for a nuclear strike on Iran is now "deployed" and ready...

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Eustace Mullins
VIDEO Interview: Most Americans would agree that there is something desperately wrong with the political and judicial
system in the United States, but as many unsuspecting Americans point fingers at each other (Republicans and Democrats) what they don't realize is that this suits the Zionist purpose.

This interview is with the man who exposed the rulers who dictate policies. They hand down these policies to our so called leaders to advance their ruthless plot for total control over money and world affairs.

Only a clear picture of what’s going on behind the façade of this so called “war on terror” can one truly understand that this is a “war of terror” designed for killing and destroying property to stir up conflict to advance their agenda.

Incredibly, the DC Zionist agents sent a huge American armada across the great seas to unleash a devastating military force against a people that never fired a shot at her, not even across her bow as they approached with their invading Christian army. As this invasion spreads throughout the Middle East and Asia, it will continue to be sold as a war on terror when in actuality it is a
calculated plot.

As unsuspecting Jews, Christians and Muslims are led to the slaughter, the Neo-Zionist and their agents will continue to enslave and rob us of our national treasures and many will even cheer their own demise.

Eustace Mullins was once labeled “the most dangerous man in America” by war criminal Henry Kissinger. Mullins may be one of the most plagiarized authors in the world and has authored many books that are now hard to find. Although tens of thousand of copies have been printed, mysteriously
many of them seem to disappear overnight. Eustace Mullins is one of America's foremost historian/researchers exposing facts over the last 50 years that everyone in the world should know. However, these facts have been furiously suppressed by Zionists and their Neo-Con agents and the
results have been (and will continue to be) devastating for the world.

Mullins has been vilified by the Zionist powers that be for his supposed anti-Semitism, but as you contemplate the hard facts he has compiled, you see something much more important and frightening than some allegation about verbal insults. You see in Mullins' voluminous scholarship a clear and terrifying picture of the forces that control the world, and don't care a whit about real people.

In the complete interview Eustace Mullins talks about the Federal Reserve, Central Bankers, The World Order, Terrorism, George Bush, Zionists, Israel, Mossad, Neo-Cons, CIA, FBI, 9/11 and the Zionists design for a Christian Muslim war.

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December 16, 2005
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Football Stadium in Austria's second-largest city Graz is to be renamed as a sign of displeasure with the city's most famous son.

A majority of members on Graz City Council voted to rename the stadium after the Austrian-born governor of California approved the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, according to newspaper Kleine Zeitung.

The Terminator-turned-governor was born six kilometres outside Graz in the community of Thal.

"It's getting on our nerves that we're again and again being criticised for Schwarzenegger's actions in California," said SP Vice Mayor Welter Ferk.

By Jeannette Walls
Dec. 14, 2005
Viggo Mortensen isn’t backing off his stinging critique of George Bush.

The “Lord of the Rings” hottie took some heat for criticizing the president’s policies lately, and in a recent interview, Mortensen is unrepentant.

“I’m not anti-Bush; I’m anti-Bush behavior,” Mortensen told Progressive magazine. “In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his administration.”

Mortensen also blasted the administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and discussed why he supported anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who has protested the war in Iraq since her son was killed there. “Cindy Sheehan and how badly Katrina was bungled are two shots to the heart,” he said. “I hope the beast does fall down soon."

16 December 2005
The front-runner in the race to be the next president of Bolivia has declared that his election would be "a nightmare for the United States".

Evo Morales, a left-leaning politician and strident critic of US policy, closed his election campaign on Thursday by telling a packed football stadium in the central city of Cochabamba that his Movement to Socialism party was a "political force that has the North Americans trembling".

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15 Dec 2005
ROME - Lance Armstrong has been ordered to stand trial in Italy on charges of defaming cyclist Filippo Simeoni. Armstrong's lawyer in Italy, Enrico Nan, said Thursday that the seven- time Tour de France champion was indicted Wednesday and scheduled to go to trial on March 7.

Nan said Armstrong does not face jail time, but he could be fined if found guilty.

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Last Updated Thu, 15 Dec 2005 17:00:07 EST
CBC News
Prosecutors in the United States on Thursday added four new charges of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice to the eight fraud charges Conrad Black already faces.

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Last Updated Thu, 15 Dec 2005 08:59:27 EST
CBC News
A record plunge in the price of gasoline in the United States in November pulled consumer prices to their biggest drop in over 50 years, the U.S. government said Thursday.

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AP Education Writer
Dec 15
An estimated in one in 20 U.S. adults is not literate in English, which means 11 million people lack the skills to perform everyday tasks, a federal study shows. From 1992 to 2003, the nation's adults made no progress in their ability to read a newspaper, a book or any other prose arranged in sentences and paragraphs. They also showed no improvement in comprehending documents such as bus schedules and prescription labels.

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15 Dec 2005
ALBANY, N.Y. - What a difference six years make.

In 1999, Hillary Rodham Clinton was skewered as a carpetbagger from Illinois and Arkansas who would get her comeuppance at the hands of the mayor of New York City. Today, she appears to be coasting to a 2006 Senate re-election victory that could set her up for a White House run two years later.

"It's the difference between night and day," said Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson. "It's the difference between being a sitting first lady running in a state she had never lived in, to being a successful senator representing New York."

Independent polls show Clinton with solid approval ratings and far ahead of the potential Republican competition. She also has a ton of money in the bank - about $14 million as of the end of September and still counting. On Tuesday, she and her famous husband hosted 900 people at $500 a plate in New York City.

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Comment: This article is a prime example of how the media tries to manipulate people's minds by touting polls. The article above says, "Independent polls show Clinton with solid approval ratings." The reader who goes to the original will find that there is a poll being offered to readers with (as of this writing) the following results:

Has your opinion of Hillary Clinton changed in the last six years?

No, I still don't like her 47%
Yes, I like her more 23%
Yes, I dislike her more 17%
No, I still like her 13%

Would you vote for her for president?
No 67%
Yes 33%
Total Votes: 254,358

That doesn't look like a "solid approval rating" to us. In fact, we like Clinton less and less as we see her sucking up to anybody who can get her a vote more and more.

Of course, if AOL is using Diebold's voting machines, all bets are off.

By Wayne Madsen
Dec 10, 2005, 12:16
December 9, 2005 -- Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East.

Progressive and investigative journalist web site administrators are beginning to talk to each other about it, e-mail users are beginning to understand why their e-mail is being disrupted by it, major search engines appear to be complying with it, and the low to equal signal-to-noise ratio of legitimate e-mail and spam appears to be perpetuated by it.

In this case, “it,” is what privacy and computer experts have long warned about: massive censorship of the web on a nationwide and global scale.

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Comment: This is another of those areas where we have been warning our readers for years. We have had the same experiences of mysterious shifts in ranking of our pages, one reason we are working to get as much as possible into book form so that readers can have the material after the internet goes down and the lights go out.

Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent
Thursday December 15, 2005
The Guardian
A member of the parliamentary select committee on food and the environment yesterday called for emergency action to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame, used in 6,000 food, drink and medicinal products.

The Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams said in an adjournment debate in the Commons that there was "compelling and reliable evidence for this carcinogenic substance to be banned from the UK food and drinks market altogether". In licensing aspartame for use, regulators around the world had failed in their main task of protecting the public, he told MPs.

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Rich Murray
In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame's clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it "might induce brain tumors." The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (currently the Secretary of Defense) vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved.

By Tarron Lively
December 16, 2005
Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes -- especially those with children.

Their efforts so far have contributed to regulations in three states -- Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont -- forbidding foster parents from smoking around children. Parental smoking also has become a critical point in some child-custody cases, including ones in Virginia and Maryland.

In a highly publicized Virginia case, a judge barred Caroline County resident Tamara Silvius from smoking around her children as a condition for child visitation.

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Comment: If we've said it once, we've said it a hundred times: there is much, much MORE to this anti-smoking campaign than meets the eye. It is the most insidious brain-washing job we have ever, EVER observed. And that says something about how important it is to the Controllers of this world that you do NOT smoke. Just think about it: banning smoking because it MIGHT cause cancer, all the while bombing entire countries back to the Stone Age. Now, that's real logical, NOT!

In the past couple of months, some additional information has come to hand in the form of the research of psychologist, Andrew Lobaczewski. He comments in his book, Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes:

There are persons less distinctly inclined in the pathocratic direction. These include states caused by the toxic activities of certain substances such as ether, carbon monoxide, and possibly some endotoxins.

Now, looking at a recently purchased cigarette package, we see the following written on the label: Tar 9 mg, Nicotine o.8 mig, Carbon monoxide 10 mg.

From recent news reports, it has come to our attention that smoking is a vice that "leaders" around the world are determined to stamp out. But why? The official story is that our ever benevolent governments wish to prevent "we the people" from damaging our health, and that of others (if you believe the "second hand smoke" fable. Those of a more cynical disposition claim that the truth has more to do government aims of cutting back on public health expenditure for preventable diseases like lung cancer.

Yet this explanation is relevant only for those fewcountries where public health care is free and is also contingent on the, as yet, missing evidence that smoking really is the number one cause of cancer, rather than the many other pollutants that we all inhale every day.

Given what we know of the contempt in which The Powers That Be hold most of humanity, and the lack of convincing evidence that even moderate smoking really is a risk to public health, we are forced to look for another reason for the increasingly world-wide witch hunt on smoking and smokers.

First of all, lets take a look at the evidence for the fact that smoking has recently become public enemy number one:

Global Anti-Smoking Pact Goes Into Effect

By Stephanie Nebehay
February 27, 2005

GENEVA (Reuters) - A global treaty aimed at dissuading children from smoking and helping adults kick the habit came into force on Sunday with the United Nations saying it could save millions of lives.

The World Health Organization (WHO) applauded the strong warnings on cigarette packages and the eventual ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship laid down in the world's first international public health treaty.

"It's entry into force is a demonstration of governments' commitment to reduce death and illness from tobacco use," said WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook in a statement to mark the event.

Tobacco, the second leading cause of preventable deaths globally after hypertension, kills 4.9 million people a year, the U.N. agency says.

And the annual death toll from tobacco-related diseases -- lung cancer, heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases -- could soar to 10 million by 2020, with 70 percent of the deaths in developing countries, it adds.

The treaty, known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, gives members three years to slap strong health warnings on tobacco packages and five years to ban advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

It also recommends tax increases on tobacco products, a crackdown on smuggling, and reducing exposure to second-hand smoke.

Approved by the WHO's 192 member states in May 2003, the pact became law on Sunday, 90 days after the 40th state had ratified it.

It will only carry legal weight in those countries which have ratified it, now numbering 57. In total, 167 countries have signed the pact -- but have not necessarily sent it to parliament for ratification.


WHO officials and activists say the powerful tobacco industry is lobbying intensively to restrict the number of countries applying the treaty, including the United States which has signed up but not yet sent it to the Senate.

"The tobacco industry wants to be free to sell and market their deadly products in such a way that they have more and more profits. This is the only language the tobacco industry knows," Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, director of the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative, told journalists.

"In Brazil, my country, the tobacco industry is furiously lobbying the Congress and the Senate in order not to get the treaty ratified. They are using the tobacco farmers to make the case, saying that they will lose their jobs."

Activists accuse the Bush administration, which signed the pact last May, of having worked hard to dilute it.

"U.S. ratification of the treaty would send a strong message to the rest of the world that we will not support these efforts and instead put protection of public health ahead of tobacco industry interests," the U.S. -based Tobacco Free Kids lobby group said.

Douglas Bettcher, treaty coordinator, was upbeat. "We are happy to report that industry is not winning this game."

Some of the largest tobacco growers -- India, Japan, Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey -- as well as cigarette producing countries such as Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey are among those which ratified have the treaty, he said.

Comment: The Bush administration may be working hard to dilute the anti-smoking pact, but the US remains one of the least smoker-friendly countries. Americans who visit certain European countries would be shocked at the freedom smokers have to puff where they please.

The thunder dragon exhales its last puff as Bhutan bans

Justin Huggler,
Asia Correspondent
24 February 2005

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has issued a ban on smoking in all public places. Coming just two months after a ban on the sale of tobacco products, the new law means that Bhutan now has the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world. The irony is that, even as smoking bans are becoming fashionable in the liberal West, it is an absolute monarchy with a reputation for human rights abuses that is leading the way.

The new law bans smoking in "all places where people gather". It specifically mentions parks, nightclubs, football grounds, shops, bars, restaurants, government offices and even vegetable markets. There will be no areas exempt from the ban after the law by the governing Council of Ministers comes into effect. [...]

Bhutanese smokers have been protesting against the ban, which they say is a gross infringement of their personal rights. They are particularly incensed that proposals to allow strictly controlled smoking areas were rejected in favour of a blanket ban. Now the only legal way to smoke in Bhutan is to travel outside the country and bring your own cigarettes in, and then smoke them inside your own home. [...]

Comment: Once again, governments fail to understand that the very things they make illegal become the thing of greatest value. Didn't we learn anything from Prohibition?

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one MAKES them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. ... Create a nation of law-breakers, and then you cash in on the guilt." -- Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged"

The following smoking articles are a small collection we have created over the past few years:

NYC Smoking Ban Debuts

NEW YORK, March 30, 2003

(AP) In a smoke-choked Manhattan tavern, Cynthia Candiotti asked a neighbor for a light and took a deep drag on her cigarette, savoring a last barstool puff before the city outlawed smoking in bars and nightclubs.

Ireland Bans Smoking In Pubs

March 28, 2004
By Health Talk Staff

Ireland is set to ban smoking in the country's pubs as of midnight Sunday. The move to ban smoking in Irish pubs is being viewed as a test case for the rest of Europe.

Montenegro bans smoking in public

By Matt Prodger
BBC, Belgrade
Monday, 2 August, 2004

The parliament in Montenegro, which has one of the highest rates of smoking in Europe, has passed a law banning smoking in public places.

Smoking ban in Portugal moves closer

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Plans to ban smoking in all closed public areas, including bars and offices, in Portugal could be in place by October, after parliament agreed to consider new proposals aimed at protecting passive smokers.

The move follows a petition presented by the Humanitarian Union of Patients with Cancer (UHDC) in April. The Commission for Work and Social Affairs analysed the UHDC recommendations and concluded that “existing legislation in Portugal is insufficient from the point of view of protecting non-smokers – it fails to recognise their rights, with grave consequences for their health.”

Councils push for London smoking ban

Hélène Mulholland
Friday August 13, 2004

London council leaders may seek powers from Westminster to ban smoking in the capital, it emerged today.

The move to ban smoking in public places in the capital is one of several ideas being mooted by the Association of London Government (ALG) before a private parliamentary bill is drawn up this autumn.

Provost backs ban on smoking in public places in Scotland

Thu 12 Aug 2004

EDINBURGH’S Lord Provost today threw her weight behind demands for a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places.

Lesley Hinds, head of Scotland’s national health promotions agency and the Capital’s civic leader, called on the Scottish Executive to take the "brave" decision to introduce legislation as soon as possible.

State's cities could light the way to wider smoking ban

OMAHA (AP) - Having Nebraska's largest cities discuss bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and other workplaces could pave the way to a statewide ban, some activists say.

"All states ultimately will go smoke free," said Dave Holmquist, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society in Nebraska.

Mum gets jail term for smoking near her kids

WASHINGTON - A Virginia mother has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for defying a court order not to smoke in front of her children.

Tamara Silvius, 44, who has said she smokes about a packet of cigarettes a day, was led from a Caroline county courtroom in handcuffs on Thursday but the judge later allowed her to post a US$500 (S$850) bond to stay out of jail while she appeals against the ruling. Advertisement

'It should never have come to this,' Ms Silvius said in a telephone interview after spending four hours in jail before being released.

'I hope and pray my two little kids don't think they had their mama sent to jail.'

The sentence is the latest development in a long-running custody battle between Ms Silvius and her ex-husband Steven over their children, aged 10 and eight, but the restriction on smoking, especially in this tobacco-friendly state, has captured far greater attention.

Ms Silvius' lawyer said: 'It is within the court's powers to jail somebody for criminal contempt but...I've never heard of a case where you restrict behaviour this way.'

Her ex-husband's lawyer, Mr Mark Murphy, said the measure was necessary to protect the health of the children, who live with their father and often visit their mother on weekends. The Silviuses have joint custody.

Of course, the question in all of this is "why now"? Interestingly, around the same time a ban on smoking was being discussed in many countries, other information was coming to light that tells a very different story about nicotine and the most effective and accessible way of infusing it into the brain: smoking.

Smoking delays Alzheimer's, possible cure

Scientists have known for some time that smoking seemed to delay the onset of Alzheimer's but they haven't known how.

A new study reveals the active agent is a by-product of nicotine itself, nornicotine.

Published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study's authors, Kim Janda and Tobin Dickerson of the Scripps Research Institute, say the known toxicity of smoking means using cigarettes as a fix isn't on and that further research is necessary to produce a non-toxic mime of the nicotine/nornicotine effect.

Heritable factors produce about one-third of Alzheimer's cases. About 20 per cent of the population, for example, carries a gene known as Apoe 4, which puts them at greater risk of developing the affliction and doing so earlier in life. But the balance of Alzheimer's seems to be down to environmental factors and risk is accelerated by side-effects of the aging process.

High among those biological inevitabilities is a stiffening of the blood vessels in the brain, a process accelerated by high blood pressure. Stiffening in these vessels reduces the amount of oxygen that passes to brain cells, making them less efficient and eventually causing them to die.

Alzheimer's Disease Is Associated With Non-Smoking

Graves' pooled reanalysis found, "A statistically significant inverse relation between smoking and Alzheimer's disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption . A propensity towards a stronger inverse relation was observed among patients with a positive family history of dementia."

Only three studies have ever linked smoking with AD. The reanalysis, in which the author of one participated, noted, "Since veterans may be expected to smoke more than the general population, and since smokers have been found to respond less frequently to questionnaires than non-smokers, the positive result observed for this study may be spurious."

Over 4 million people suffer from AD, and annual costs are over $88 billion. There may be 73,000 excess cases per year among non-smokers, with $17.5 billion in excess costs.

Nicotine patches benefit patients with Alzheimer's

Independent News UK, 22 February 2000

Nicotine, the scourge of 20th-century medicine, might actually benefit people suffering from debilitating brain disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, according to new scientific studies of the drug.

Could tobacco save your life?
August 05, 2003

We all know that smoking endangers our health. But has nicotine's image problem led scientists to overlook the drug's potential health benefits? Geoff Watts investigates

Light a cigarette and inhale lungfuls of smoke. Good for you? Hardly. But spend time with people suffering from schizophrenia or other forms of severe mental illness, and you'll find many of them going at it like chimneys. Why? Poor judgement about the consequences, perhaps. Or the need for anything to soothe their distress. But there's a third possibility that is much more intriguing. For them, and others with psychiatric and even physical illnesses, smoking amounts to an oddly neglected form of self-medication.

Of course, tobacco smoke - an airborne cocktail of nasty chemicals - is harmful. What's at issue is a single non-carcinogenic ingredient: nicotine. This already has one medically approved application: taken by mouth in the form of gum, or through the skin from an impregnated patch, would-be ex-smokers aim to absorb a dose sufficient to dampen their cravings. And for many trying to kick the habit, particularly when used as part of a complete programme, it works. But though we hear occasional whisperings of other possible benefits of nicotine, they never seem to get taken seriously.

In ulcerative colitis, for example, the symptoms - pain in the lower abdomen, and diarrhoea - result from an inflammation of the colon and rectum. The cause of this inflammation still isn't known, but it's now 20 years since doctors first noticed that ulcerative colitis is found mainly among non-smokers. And intermittent smokers may find that their symptoms improve when they return to tobacco. Nicotine is the ingredient most likely to have the beneficial effect, and doctors have tested its effects using nicotine patches. Surprisingly, though, only a handful of properly controlled trials have been carried out, and medical advice seems to be to use patches only with caution. [...]

Schizophrenia, too, has attracted interest. Surveys have suggested that up to 90 per cent of people with the disorder smoke. There are at least two possible reasons: to calm the effects of the illness itself, or to mitigate those of some of the drugs used to control it. On this second point, there have been indications that nicotine can reverse the memory problems and slowness of thought induced by a commonly used medicine, haloperidol. But it does seem more likely that the urge to smoke is driven by its effects on the disease itself. One possibility is that nicotine suppresses inconsequential or distracting information coming into the brain. A radio playing in the next room may be irritating, but most of us learn to ignore it. People with schizophrenia find this much harder. Nicotine may help, but the evidence is mostly inferential. [...]

Attempts to use nicotine in Parkinson's date back to the 1920s when one clinician injected it intravenously into a dozen patients. Although benefits were immediately apparent, little more happened for 50 years. Interest picked up again in the Eighties, but virtually all studies used small numbers of patients, and results were mixed. Even so, to quote Balfour and Fagerstrom, "the experience from these few cases, although mostly uncontrolled and preliminary... warrants further investigation". For one thing, they say, nicotine may improve only certain symptoms, so may be more valuable to some patients than others.

Nicotine has also been tested in small studies on pain, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity and anxiety. In these disorders the evidence so far has been even more patchy. But serious research programmes have often been triggered by less impressive findings. So why the relative lack of interest in nicotine as a research topic with clinical payoffs?

The usual explanation is that nicotine, a natural material, cannot be patented. Few companies would be prepared to invest in testing it for disorders if, when it was licensed, anyone could make and sell it. Melatonin, thought to be good for jet lag, is similarly disadvantaged. The standard way round this is to jiggle about with the basic molecule in the hope of finding a new, patentable version that works as well or better. Some nicotine-like compounds have been tested, but with results no more conclusive than those from nicotine itself. [...]

So what is it about smoking, and nicotine in particular, that prevents or lessens the effects of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases among others? The answer, it seems it to be found in nicotine's capacity to mimic the effects of a molecule found naturally in the body.

But before we delve into nicotine's chemical properties and effects, we turn to an article that may seem at first to be a bit out of place given our present line of investigation:

UFO sightings soar, researchers puzzled

February 21, 2005

Either aliens are visiting Manitoban airspace more frequently, or the smoking ban has forced people to spend more time staring at the sky. Whatever the reason, a report released yesterday by Ufology Research of Manitoba states that there were 112 UFO sightings in Manitoba last year, which more than doubles the previous record for sightings and is more than four times as many as in 2003.

In fact, the 882 sightings across the country last year also constituted a record, but UFO researchers are baffled as to why.

"It is puzzling. We know things are up all over Canada. In fact several provinces saw all-time records last year," said Chris Rutkowski, the research co-ordinator for Ufology Research of Manitoba, a group of about a dozen people who compile UFO sighting statistics for all of Canada.

"We're way past X-Files now and there aren't a lot of UFO-type movies out there so we can't blame media," said Rutkowski. "It could be something as simple or obvious as there are more objects in the sky to be seen."

Comment: Certainly the author of the above article did NOT intentionally associate the anti-smoking laws with aliens, but it just may be that there IS an association!

Consider first of all the fact that the "anti-smoking" campaign began in the United States, the same United States that thinks it is okay to lie about Weapons of Mass destruction in order to justify killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, the same United States that will not support the Kyoto Protocol to halt Global Warming that may kill billions of people. Has anyone ever wondered if the illnesses that are blamed on smoking might very well be caused by the pollution and toxins in our air, water, and food, and are blamed on smoking so as to maintain the commercial viability of the real causes, while at the same time, creating a nation of law-breakers so that the government can cash in on the guilt as Ayn Rand suggested?

But still, we think that there is MORE to the relationship between anti-smoking campaigns and alleged "aliens" - something sinister. The reader may wish to read our page on Diet and Health Related Questions as well as the Wave series by Laura Knight-Jadczyk from which the following has been extracted:

Now, nicotine is a most interesting drug. Nicotine mimics one of the body's most significant neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This is the neurotransmitter most often associated with cognition in the cerebral cortex. Acetylcholine is the primary carrier of thought and memory in the brain. It is essential to have appropriate levels of acetylcholine to have new memories or recall old memories.

I cruised the net for sources on acetylcholine and the results were positively amazing as you will see from the following excerpts:

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is the acetyl ester of carnitine, the carrier of fatty acids across Mitochondrial membranes. Like carnitine, ALC is naturally produced in the body and found in small amounts in some foods. ...Research in recent years has hoisted ALC from its somewhat mundane role in energy production to nutritional cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent extraordinaire. Indeed, taken in its entirety, ALC has become one of the premiere “anti-aging” compounds under scientific investigation, especially in relation to brain and nervous system deterioration.

ALC is found in various concentrations in the brain, and its levels are significantly reduced with aging.(1) In numerous studies in animal models, ALC administration has been shown to have the remarkable ability of improving not only cognitive changes, but also morphological (structural) and neurochemical changes. ...ALC has varied effects on cholinergic activity, including promoting the release(2) and synthesis(3) of acetylcholine. Additionally, ALC promotes high affinity uptake of choline, which declines significantly with age.(4) While these cholinergic effects were first described almost a quarter of a century ago,(5) it now appears that this is only the tip of the ALC iceberg. [Gissen, VRP's Nutritional News, March, 1995]

It turns out that Alzheimer's, a veritable epidemic in our country, is directly related to low levels of acetylcholine. In Alzheimer's disease, the neurons that make acetylcholine degenerate, resulting in memory deficits. In some Alzheimer's patients it can be a 90 per cent reduction! But, does anyone suggest smoking and exercising the brain as a possible cure?

Nope. [...]

Work in the Laboratory of Neurochemistry at the Barrow Neurological Institute principally concerns molecules critically involved in such signaling called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). nAChR act throughout the brain and body as "molecular switches" to connect nerve cell circuits involved in essential functions ranging from vision and memory to the control of heart rate and muscle movement.

Defects in nAChR or their loss cause diseases such as myasthenia gravis and epilepsy and can contribute to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and schizophrenia.

nAChR also happen to be the principal targets of tobacco nicotine. ...nicotine-like medicines show promise in the treatment of diseases such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette’s syndrome and in alleviation of anxiety, pain, and depression, suggesting involvement of nAChR in those disorders.

...We have shown that numbers and function of diverse nAChR subtypes can be influenced by many biologically active substances, ranging from steroids to local anesthetics, and by agents acting on the extracellular matrix, the cytoskeleton, on second messenger signaling, and at the nucleus. We also have shown that chronic nicotine exposure induces numerical upregulation of many diverse nAChR subtypes via a post-transcriptional process that is dominated by effects on intracellular pools of receptors or their precursors.

Some current studies are testing our hypothesis that chronic nicotine exposure, as occurs with habitual use of tobacco products, disables nAChR and the nerve cell circuits they subserve, thereby contributing to long-lasting changes in brain and body function. [Lukas, 1999]

Now, notice in the above account how tricky they were when they said that nicotine ..." That is jargon for "it increases the number of receptors" as well as the amount of acetylcholine. But, of course, the AMA wouldn't let them get away with any of their work if they weren't adding that they have a hypothesis that "habitual use of tobacco products... disables acetylcholine." Never mind that in the beginning they are proposing it as a therapeutic drug for some of the very problems that have risen to almost epidemic numbers in the present time.

Let's say it again: Research shows, however, that daily infusions of nicotine actually INCREASE the number of acetylcholine receptors by up to 40 %. Some researchers, such as the above, brush this finding off by saying "regardless, their function diminishes." But that is not empirically observed. Most people who smoke find a "set point," and once they have reached it, it does not take more and more and more to satisfy it.

How does nicotine act?

There are two major types (or classes) of acetylcholine receptors in the body, and they are commonly named by the other drugs which bind to them: nicotine and muscarine. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) can bind muscarine as well as ACh, and they function to change the metabolism...

Acetylcholine acts on nicotine acetylcholine receptors to open a channel in the cell's membrane. Opening such a channel allows certain types of ions (charged atoms) to flow into or out of the cell. ...When ions flow, there is an electrical current, and the same is true in the nervous system. The flowing of ions, or the passing of current, can cause other things to happen, usually those "things" involve the opening of other types of channels and the passing of information from one neuron to another.

Nicotinic AChRs are found throughout the body, but they are most concentrated in the nervous system (the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the nerve cells in the body) and on the muscles of the body (in vertebrates).

We say that nicotine acts like ACh at the receptors to activate them, and both substances are called agonists. The opposite type of drug, something that binds to the receptors and does not allow them to be activated is called an antagonist.

...When a substance comes into the body that can interfere with ACh binding to muscle nAChRs, that chemical can cause death in a relatively short time (because you use muscles to do things like breathe). A class of chemicals in snake and other poisonous venoms, neurotoxins, do exactly that. If you are bitten by a krait or a cobra, for example, and enough venom gets into the blood, there will be enough of their neurotoxin in your body to shut down the diaphragm muscle expands your lungs. Without that muscle functioning, the person ceases to breathe and dies of asphyxiation.

One of the reasons we know so much about these receptors is precisely that--plants and people have used substances [acetylcholine antagonists] which cause paralysis and asphyxiation for a long time. Plants use them to prevent being eaten by herbivores. Animals use similar substances to paralyze their prey. At least one human neuromuscular disease is related to nAChRs, and that is myasthenia gravis...

So, as you can see, nAChRs are important to life. ...All known nicotinic receptors do share some common features. They are composed of 5 protein subunits which assemble like barrel staves around a central pore. ...When the ligand (ACh or nicotine) binds to the receptor, it causes the receptor complex to twist and open the pore in the center. [Pugh]

Now, ... did you notice that it says that "animals use similar substances [acetylcholine antagonists or ANTI-nicotine] to paralyze their prey? We have to wonder about the oft reported conditions of paralysis associated with "alien interactions" and the almost rabid attack on smoking in our society. [...]

Alcohol is a great pretender and can fool at least four types of receptors. It blocks the acetylcholine receptors... However, unlike nicotine which also binds to the acetylcholine receptors, alcohol doesn't do anything useful while there. It simply sits there and blocks the ability to think. It also acts like cocaine in that it blocks the dopamine reuptake, flooding the brain with "feeling good." Alcohol stimulates the release of endorphins, thus resembling morphine and heroin to a greatly lessened extent, and it modifies and increases the efficiency of the seretonin receptors.

All that in one brew! Gee, it almost makes you want to go and have a few beers! [...]

It seems that the key to this is the fact that learning, hard thinking and pondering, requires that certain brain chemicals - usually acetylcholine - be squirted out at just the right place and in the right quantities. It is becoming clear that the molecules of memory are blind to the kind of memory - whether it is conscious or unconscious - that is occurring. What determines the quality of different kinds of memories is not the molecules that do the storing but the systems in which those molecules act. If they act in the hippocampus, the memories that get recorded are factual and accessible to our consciousness. If the chemicals are acting in the amygdala, they are emotional and mostly inaccessible to conscious awareness.

Working memory, or awareness, involves the frontal lobes of the brain just above and behind the eyebrows. This is what we use when we want to remember a new phone number just long enough to dial it, or to remember what we went to the kitchen for long enough to get it! It is also the place where many different kinds of information is held simultaneously while we are comparing one thing to another. We can have all kinds of things going on there at once. We can look at something, hold this image in working memory along with the memory of something that we have pulled out of long term memory which we wish to compare it to; sounds, smells, and even the ongoing physiological input from our system as we are considering this: does it make us feel peaceful, happy, sad, afraid? ...

As it happens, the cortical connections to the amygdala are actually far greater in primates than in other animals. It seems that more balanced cortical pathways are the evolutionary trend. It is my opinion that we will develop them or perish. A more harmonious integration of emotion and thinking would allow us to both know our TRUE feelings, and why we have them, and to be able to use them more effectively.

It seems that this "working memory," or "awareness," is - if not consciousness itself - at least a window to it. ... [Laura Knight-Jadczyk, You Take the High Road and I'll Take the Low Road, from The WAVE]

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Many people send or give me their "stories" of [alleged] alien interaction. Very early in the Cassiopaean contact, I attended a party given by the owner of a local Metaphysical Book Store. As I was leaving, she gave to me a little folder of about 35 pages, saying that it had been left under a chair after a recent author seminar she had sponsored and held in her store. It had no identifying marks on it as to who wrote it or to whom it belonged, but it was certainly interesting.

This little booklet purported to be a true account of an abductee/contactee whose information, curiously, paralleled the Cassiopaean account of the alien abduction scenario/reality. At one point in this account, the writer claimed that he was told that the anti-smoking campaign and dietary improvement instructions given to many abductees by the Gray aliens who are then seen as "benevolent," was, in fact, due to the influence of the Reptoid aliens; and NOT because they had human interests at heart, but because they were interested in the diet of their food source! In other words, it was exactly the same as when humans put pigs or cows on a diet of corn for a period of time just prior to slaughtering them! Aliens don't like to eat folks who ingest chemicals, junk food, or who smoke cigarettes!

Well, I read this account to our group one night and, when I got to that part, every person in the room who was a smoker reached for their cigarettes and lit up, puffing vigorously as though to demonstrate their poor quality as "food." We all began to laugh hysterically at this semi-subconscious reaction!

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Comment: We wish to emphasize a couple of comments from the above article. As Jeremy Narby noted, "Indeed, by one of those curious coincidences, tobacco, curare, and snake venom all fit into exactly the same locks inside our brains." [Narby, 1998] Consider this in relation to Andrew Lobaczewski's remarks about the effect of a psychopath on a normal human:

When the human mind comes into contact with [the psychopathic] reality, so different from any experiences encountered by a person raised in a society dominated by normal people, it releases psychophysiological shock symptoms in the human brain with a higher tonus of cortex inhibition and a stifling of feelings, which then sometimes gush forth uncontrollably. Human minds work more slowly and less keenly, since the associative mechanisms have become inefficient. Especially when a person has direct contact with [a psychopath] who uses their specific experience so as to traumatize the minds of the “others” with their own personalities, his mind succumbs to a state of short-term catatonia. Their humiliating and arrogant techniques, brutal paramoralizations, deaden his thought processes and his self-defense capabilities, and their divergent experiential method anchors in his mind. …

Laura commented as follows:

Now, it seems strange that these same receptors are stimulated by both nicotine and snake venom, though in opposite modes... hmmm... are we close to a "Reptilian" reason for the enormous campaign to stamp out smoking? And, further, are we close to the chemical condition of the "paralysis" induced in alien abductions? (See Delgado.)

We would like to speculate that we are also close to a "psychopathic" reason for the campaign to stamp out smoking. But then, maybe it's one and the same? As J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D., author of The Psychopathic Mind, writes:

"The other clinical observation that supports the hypothesis of a reptilian state among certain primitive psychopathic characters is the absence of perceived emotion in their eyes. Although this information is only intuitive and anecdotal, it is my experience in forensic treatment and custody settings to hear descriptions of certain patients' or inmates' eyes as cold, staring, harsh, empty, vacant, and absent of feeling. Reactions from staff to this percetion of the psychopath's eyes have included, "I was frightened... he's very eerie; I felt as if he was staring right through me; when he looked at me the hair stood up on my neck." This last comment is particularly telling since it captures the primitive, autonomic, and fearful response to a predator.

"I have rarely heard such comments as these from the same experienced inpatient staff during highly arousing, threatening, and violent outbursts by other angry, combative patients. It is as if they sense the absence of a capacity for emotional relatedness and empathy in the psychopathic individual, despite his lack of actual physical violence at the moment. ...

"I have found little in the research literature, either theoretical or empirical, that attempts to understand this act of visual predation in the psychopathic process. ... The fixated stare of the psychopath is a prelude to instinctual gratification rather than empathic caring. The interaction is socially defined by parameters of power rather than attachment."

As long as you can be shocked and "frozen in the headlights" by them, they can control you. And it very well may be that smoking is a major defense. As the C's remarked recently:

Some people are born to serve, others are born to be served...
[6 August 05]

By: News 8 Austin Staff
16 Dec 2005

Last Updated Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:50:53 EST
CBC News
Two teenage sisters in Ontario have been found guilty of first-degree murder in the bathtub drowning death of their mother, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Click to Expand Article 2005-12-17 00:30:41
BRUSSELS, Dec. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Dutch police arrested a 14-year-old boy on Thursday for allegedly shooting at children playing in the yard of a primary school in the Dutch city of Roermond, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Friday.

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CLICHY-SOUS-BOIS, France, Dec 15 (AFP)
CLICHY-SOUS-BOIS, France, Dec 15 (AFP) - A teenager who survived an electrocution that killed two friends and set off the three weeks of rioting that shook France recently accused police Thursday of creating the situation.

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By Mark Stevenson
Crime Library
MEXICO CITY — A judge committed eight relatives to the psychiatric ward of a prison Thursday for the ritualistic slayings of two young family members that shocked Mexico with their brutality.

Officials said the parents, grandparents and aunts of a 7-month-old and 13-year-old hacked the baby to death and fatally stoned the teenager earlier this month after they became convinced the girls were demons or possessed by the devil.

Click to Expand Article 2005-12-17 00:35:00
STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Begging will no longer be banned in Norway as the country abandoned a century-old vagrancy law on Thursday.

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BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (AFP) - France, Germany and Spain presented Friday a joint proposal including a permanent cut to Britain's EU rebate, at talks in Brussels on resolving the European Union's budget deadlock, a Spanish official said.

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16 Dec 2005
SOFIA - Bulgaria has begun withdrawing its 334-strong light infantry battalion from Iraq following the war-torn country's parliamentary elections this week, Bulgaria's Defence Ministry said on Friday.

Bulgaria's parliament approved the move in May due to strong public opposition to the war. The withdrawal also coincides with a similar pullout by Ukraine, one of the largest contributors to the U.S.-led operations in Iraq.

"Today we are starting to prepare to withdraw our troops," said Defence Ministry spokesman Vladislav Prelezov. "All of the troops will be back in Bulgaria by Dec. 31."

He refused to elaborate on the exact plans for the pullout, saying it could compromise the troops' safety.

A staunch supporter of the war, Bulgaria sent troops to Iraq in 2003. But it has since lost 13 soldiers and six civilians there and some two-thirds of its 7.8 million people disagree with keeping soldiers there any longer.

The ruling Socialists had promised to withdraw the troops immediately after winning June elections.

But they later toned down plans in favour of sticking to the year-end target after Iraq's interim government asked for Bulgaria's support in Thursday's parliamentary polls.

The NATO newcomer is considering ways to continue to contribute to the U.S.-led operations in a non-military manner, including possibly sending around 120 troops to guard a camp for Iranian refugees in Ashraf, 70 km (44 miles) north of Baghdad.

Ukraine is also concluding the withdrawal of what was originally a 1,600-strong force in Iraq, and its defence minister has promised the troops they will celebrate the New Year at home.

Comment: So, bit by bit, the "Coalition of the Bought and Paid For" is crumbling... No wonder Bush is on the run.

PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP)
PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP) - French authorities deliberately suppressed information about the spread of radioactive fallout from the May 1986 Chernobyl disaster over France, according to details of an experts' report leaked Thursday.

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Le Figaro
By Alexandre Adler
Translated By Mike Goeden
December 8, 2005
French intellectual and iconoclast Alexandre Adler offers this ironic view of modern (especially French) progressivism, which, he argues, largely diabolizes the United States. He does not espouse this view, although the reader may not realize this until the end of the column. His particular view of what he terms "neo-progressivism" allows him to apply an up-to-now exclusively American label that its Left-leaning proponents are unlikely to be comfortable with ...

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Last Updated Fri, 16 Dec 2005 05:44:37 EST
CBC News
Eastern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada will be next to feel the effects of a powerful winter storm Friday that roared across southern Ontario overnight.

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16:04:20 EST Dec 15, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A jolt of freezing rain and ice across Georgia and the Carolinas early Thursday closed schools, snarled traffic and caused power outages to more than 350,000 customers.

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15 Dec 2005
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A sulfurous steam plume, hundreds of miniature earthquakes and a new swath of ash on snowy Augustine Volcano have scientists looking for a possible eruption in the next few months.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005 - by Megan Baldino
Anchorage, Alaska - There was another explosion today on Augustine Volcano. This time, scientists believe their own seismic station was damaged.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005 · Last updated 5:04 p.m. PT
SISTERS, Ore. -- The swelling bulge on the west flank of the South Sister volcano is slowing and geologists say there are no signs that the uplifted region will erupt in the near future.

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December 16, 2005
No reports of damages, injuries

TOKYO – An undersea earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 shook northern Japan early Saturday, but there was no danger of a tsunami, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

By James Janega
Tribune staff reporter
December 16 2005
In the shadow of a much more recent war, a five-year excavation on the Syrian-Iraqi border has uncovered an ancient settlement of unexpected sophistication that was suddenly wiped out by invaders 5,500 years ago.

The discovery sheds light on an early stage of human history in a time and place when cities were first emerging, and it suggests a massive battle waged at its walls.

It also poses a mystery: Who destroyed the city, and why?

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By John von Radowitz in London
December 14, 2005
The Sydney Morning Herald
A "DEAD zone" devoid of life has been discovered at the epicentre of last year's tsunami four kilometres beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Scientists taking part in a worldwide marine survey made an 11-hour dive at the site five months after the disaster.

They were shocked to find no sign of life around the epicentre, which opened up a 1000-metre chasm on the ocean floor.

Instead, there was nothing but eerie emptiness. The powerful lights of the scientists' submersible vehicle, piercing through the darkness, showed no trace of anything living.

A scientist working on the Census of Marine Life project, Ron O'Dor, of Dalhousie University in Canada, said: "You'd expect a site like this to be quickly recolonised, but that hasn't happened. It's unprecedented."

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16 Dec 2005
MOSCOW - A small explosion near a western Russian nuclear power station has injured three people, local media reported on Friday, but there was no radiation leak.

The explosion happened on Thursday at a metals smelter near the Leningrad Atomic Power Station, where the second reactor has been under repair since July, reported RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies.

The ecological services at the power station, which is near Russia's second city of St Petersburg, were monitoring the situation but radiation levels were as normal.

Last Updated Thu, 15 Dec 2005 17:58:30 EST
CBC News
The discovery of a third meteorite by one man in Manitoba shows the province is a dumping ground for rocks from space.

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December 7, 2005
Burt Prelutsky
I never thought I'd live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. You think it hasn't? Then why is it that people are being prevented from saying it in polite society for fear it will offend?

Schools are being forced to replace "Christmas vacation" with "winter break" in their printed schedules. At Macy's, the word is verboten even though they've made untold millions of dollars from their sympathetic portrayal in the Christmas classic, "Miracle on 34th Street." Carols, even instrumental versions, are banned in certain places. A major postal delivery service has not only made their drivers doff their Santa caps, but ordered them not to decorate their trucks with Christmas wreaths.

How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? And in case you find that designation objectionable, would you deny that India is a Hindu country, that Pakistan is Muslim, that Poland is Catholic? That doesn't mean those nations are theocracies. But when the overwhelming majority of a country's population is of one religion, and roughly 90 percent of Americans happen to be one sort of Christian or another, only a damn fool would deny the obvious.

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The Onion
November 30, 2005
LANGLEY, VA — A report released Tuesday by the CIA's Office of the Inspector General revealed that the CIA has mistakenly obscured hundreds of thousands of pages of critical intelligence information with black highlighters.

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December 16, 2005

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



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