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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
Kurt Nimmo
Monday January 09th 2006
In an email forwarded to me, regarding my piece posted on the Infowars site (Patriot Act Empowers Ministry of Homeland Security Gestapo), I have the following comments. First, here is the email:
This is Islamofascist propaganda—fairy tales for Loony Lefties with Mental Disorders who have been very dumbed down by the Sovietsky Commie Sleeper Agent Moles who took over American Education beginning in the 1960’s. The Soviet Union is alive and well in the Groves of American Academe. We are being set up in a Trojan Horse. The Enemy Within is inside The Gates. While I think going into Iraq the way we did with too little force not adequately armored etc. was a mistake, what is written below is very distorted.
It would appear this person is the one suffering from a mental disorder, a form of conspiratorial paranoia quite common on the so-called right, a philosophical illness spawned by Straussian neoconism, for lack of a more precise term. It is interesting how this malady is mixed with the sort of delusional thinking at one time espoused by the John Birch Society and other old school reactionaries, i.e., that the American educational system was deliberately compromised by “Sovietsky Commie Sleeper Agent Moles,” a fantastical absurdity at best.

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Associated Press
Jan 9, 2006
MIAMI - A Florida college professor and his wife, a university administrator, were accused in federal court Monday of using their academic positions for decades as cover to spy on Americans for Cuba's communist government.

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By Frank Rich
8 Jan 2006
New York Times
"That the White House's over-the-top outrage about the Times scoop is a smokescreen contrived to cover up something else is only confirmed by Dick Cheney's disingenuousness. In last week's oration at a right-wing think tank, he defended warrant-free wiretapping by saying it could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Really? Not with this administration in charge. On 9/10 the N.S.A. (lawfully) intercepted messages in Arabic saying, "The match is about to begin," and, "Tomorrow is zero hour." You know the rest. Like all the chatter our government picked up during the president's excellent brush-clearing Crawford vacation of 2001, it was relegated to mañana; the N.S.A. didn't rouse itself to translate those warnings until 9/12."

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Associated Press Writer
Jan 9, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal judges who were bypassed when the Bush administration ordered warrantless wiretaps in the United States received a secret briefing Monday on details of the surveillance. Separately, a former FBI director and other lawyers questioned whether the surveillance is legal.

The classified briefing at the Justice Department had been requested by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. Established by Congress in the late 1970s, the court oversees the government's handling of espionage and terrorism investigations.

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Martin Garbus
8 Jan 2006
I don't understand. An hour after I saw the Times "scoop" on the Bush illegal wiretapping plan, I wrote that it was clearly illegal and unconstitutional.

But as it now turns out, dozens of politicians, as well as the New York Times knew about the surveillance plan and did nothing.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, and Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, a man known for some sensitivity to civil liberties infringements, and a substantial number of congressmen, plus the New York Times, all knew of Bush's illegal spying.

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By Jason Leopold
9 Jan 2006
A clandestine National Security Agency spy program code-named Echelon was likely responsible for tapping into the emails, telephone calls and facsimiles of thousands of average American citizens over the past four years in its effort to identify people suspected of communicating with al-Qaeda terrorists, according to half-a-dozen current and former intelligence officials from the NSA and FBI.

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By Declan McCullagh
Published: January 9, 2006, 4:00 AM PST
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

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January 8, 2006
Peering ahead into what will certainly be a lively New Year:

One aspect of the President's generally poor polling numbers -- which bumped up modestly thanks to a holiday propaganda onslaught about democracy, progress, and victory in Iraq (and, in the first poll to arrive in January, are already sinking again) -- remains striking. What "approval" George Bush now retains seems to rest largely on a single strand of popular feeling: the belief in the President's special aptitude for conducting his global war on terror and keeping Americans safe.

Even taking a mid-December ABC/Washington Post poll that had anomalously high positives for the President, in no other area -- health care (37%), Iraq (46%), the economy (47%) and "ethics" (48%) -- did his approval ratings hit the 50% mark.

On "terrorism," however, he was at 56%. In other polls, where the rest of those mediocre numbers aren't even matched, his "handling" of terrorism still continues to hover just above or close to 50%. For example, the latest Time magazine poll in early December, had the President's approval rating on terrorism at 49%. Last spring, however, the same poll had it reaching a high for the year of 63%; and let's not forget that, in early 2002, it rested at about 90%. Recent polls also seem to indicate that Americans are coming to believe either political party could handle terrorism equally well.

This is perilous territory for the President to be entering. If, as Michael Klare, author of the ever more indispensable book, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum, indicates below, Americans truly come to believe that Bush has botched his war on terrorism at every level and has made Americans less secure in the world, then this year and the coming elections could prove uncomfortable indeed for the President and his associates.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-10 19:23:29
GENEVA, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Switzerland will launch a parliamentary probe into the leak of secret information giving details of alleged clandestine CIA prisons in Europe, Swiss Radio International (SRI) reported online on Tuesday.

Hans Hofmann, who is heading the parliamentary sub-committee investigating how the SonntagsBlick newspaper got hold of the classified documents, said he is determined to plug the leak.

SonntagsBlick claimed last Sunday to have received a copy of a fax sent by Egypt's foreign ministry to the Egyptian embassy in London confirming the existence of secret prisons in Europe. The fax was intercepted by the Swiss intelligence service in Nov. 2005.

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Comment: So, the report confirms what the Swiss government has been denying all along. The reaction? To get rid of those who agree to abet the US in breaking international law?

No! Of course not.

They're going to plug the leak so that the truth will remain hidden, so that the pathocracy can function in peace.

Salman Rushdie
January 10, 2006
Sydney Morning Herald
Behind the US Government's corruption of language lies a far greater perversion, writes Salman Rushdie.

BEYOND any shadow of a doubt, the ugliest phrase to enter the English language last year was "extraordinary rendition". To those of us who love words, this phrase's brutalisation of meaning is an infallible signal of its intent to deceive.

"Extraordinary" is an ordinary enough adjective, but its sense is being stretched here to include more sinister meanings that your dictionary will not provide: secret; ruthless; and extrajudicial.

As for "rendition", the English language permits four meanings: a performance; a translation; a surrender - this meaning is now considered archaic; or an "act of rendering"; which leads us to the verb "to render" among whose 17 possible meanings you will not find "to kidnap and covertly deliver an individual or individuals for interrogation to an undisclosed address in an unspecified country where torture is permitted".

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By Dave Lindorff
There are now eight members of Congress who have put their names to a bill calling for a special committee of the House to investigate impeachable crimes by the Bush administration. To date, all of them are Democrats.

So far, you'd be hard-pressed to know about any of this--including the very fact that Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the low-key and soft-spoken but dedicated ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, had even submitted such a bill--as well as two companion bills calling for censure of both Bush and Cheney for abuse of power.

Apparently in the editorial cloister of our once proud Fourth Estate, where decisions as to what it is safe or appropriate for us in the public to know, it has been determined that we do not need to know that the notion of impeachment of the president is starting to grow.

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by kos
Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 12:03:12 PM PDT
Ahh, this is why Bush has never vetoed any bills:
When George Bush signed the defense appropriation bill containing John McCain's amendment removing torture and other human rights violations from the official repertoire of the armed forces, he added his own little amendment: "Unless I say otherwise." The vehicle through which he reserved the option to break the law is called a bill-signing statement, and as Knight Ridder's Ron Hutcheson revealed on Friday, the McCain bill was far from the first victim of the practice: Bush has used it some 500 times since taking office [...]

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by Matthew Cardinale
Atlanta Progressive News
January 9, 2006
A total of eight US House members have co-sponsored Resolution 635 to create a select committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

The co-sponsors are Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), according to the US Congressional website

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by Jason Leopold
January 10, 2006
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is said to have spent the past month preparing evidence he will present to a grand jury alleging that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove knowingly made false statements to FBI and Justice Department investigators and lied under oath while he was being questioned about his role in the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity more than two years ago, according to sources knowledgeable about the probe.

Although there have not been rumblings regarding Fitzgerald's probe into the Plame leak since he met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the case more than a month ago, the sources said that Fitzgerald has been quietly building his case against Rove and has been interviewing witnesses, in some cases for the second and third time, who have provided him with information related to Rove's role in the leak. It is unclear when Fitzgerald is expected to meet with the grand jury again.

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He ended the career of a CIA agent devoted to working on non-proliferation during a war on terror, he caused the indictment of one high-level Bush Administration official, and more, related indictments may be coming. Yet Robert Novak told Sean Hannity tonight that his only regret about writing the column was the problems Novak suffered as a result. That was just moments after he insisted he would not reveal the name of his source, then let slip that it was a man. What a guy!

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Comment: It is a trait of the psychopath that they are incapable of empathy. Whenever they have done wrong, they still manage to cast themselves as the victim.

Novak's response certainly fits. His only concern is the way his outting of Plame affected him.

Mind you, we aren't against the outting of CIA agents. Let's out every intelligence agent on the planet! Let's get all secret talks and negotiations out into the open where the public can see and hear and be able to judge or themselves. Secrecy is one of the best tools of the psychopath because it prevents people from comparing notes, from having all of the data necessary to make informed and intelligent decisions.

Imagine a world without secrets, where everything was transparent. If you can do it, measure how far we have to go, how far we have slid into accepting the values of the psychopath as our own.

By Kate Michelman | January 9, 2006
IN THE 1998 movie ''Pleasantville," Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon play typical '90s kids who are inadvertently transported into the unreal reality of a 1950s sitcom. They use their '90s values to teach the sitcom world some lessons about diversity and tolerance.

Today many people have a stylized, ''Pleasantville" vision of the pre-Roe era in which I grew up. They imagine fondly that almost all families had a Daddy at the office and a Mommy in the kitchen; that almost all family relations were well-ordered and unthreatening; in short, that life looked like ''Leave It to Beaver" -- and that, with a few legal adjustments, it could do so again.

The conservative movement has spent the last 20 years working to roll back social progress and make this fantasy a reality. It is time to stop seeing the fate of Roe as a Beltway parlor game. What really hangs in the balance in the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito are the fundamental rights to privacy, dignity, and autonomy -- rights that transcend partisan politics, shape the course of our daily lives, and lie at the heart of who we are as Americans.

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by Rob Kall
January 10, 2006
It doesn't matter what Alito says in the hearings. He's said and done enough already. He's another Bush excretion who must be flushed out of government-- as far from the consitution as he can be expelled.

Contact the big organizations that organize street actions-- Tell them we need to get in the streets. Tell your favorite progressive websites to publish articles calling for street demonstrations.

Blog the message that we need to demostrate really soon on this.

We must send a massive message. This is a bigger threat to our future than the war was. Alito on the Supreme court will cast the final die -- the USA's future is on the line.

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By Gary Younge
9 Jan 2006
The Guardian
The US Congress stands at the pinnacle of American democracy, which the nation is proud - on occasion - to export at the barrel of a gun. Inside, 100 senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives balance the interests of the nation and their constituents with their consciences and party allegiances. Their boss is the American people. Their election campaigns - one huge interview.

This is the basic civics lesson on which every American child is raised and which few adults seriously question. Politicians themselves are held in low esteem - a CNN/USA Today poll last week showed 49% of Americans think their legislators are corrupt. This is generally regarded as the product of individual venality rather than an institutional virus. But if Americans still believe that after last week, then they don't know Jack.

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Monday January 9, 2006
The Guardian
America's monstrous system of commercial political lobbying has long needed to be cut down to size. In Washington, more than 35,000 professional lobbyists now spend at least $5bn every year trying to influence the votes of members of the US Congress. It is a system that the former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has said makes Washington the most corrupt capital in the world. Now, at the start of 2006, there are signs that something is at last being done.

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By Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun
Staff Writers
Los Angeles Times
8 Jan 2006
DeLay and two others helped put the brakes on a federal probe of a businessman. Evidence was published in the Congressional Record.

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By Norman Solomon
Source: Media Channel
The picture was perfect. It provided a moving portrait, an image that journalists called “iconic.” It was true to the moment. Yet the photograph was deceiving in a way that media images often are -- showing us what’s more apparent than real.

One day, during the second week of November 2004, millions of Americans saw the photo. Blake Miller’s face was grimy, but his eyes were clearly visible. He seemed resolute, unflappable. Wisps of smoke appeared to be rising from the long cigarette that dangled from his lips.

At the time, Marines were fighting their way into Fallujah, and American news outlets went gaga for the picture. At age 20, Miller suddenly became a famous archetype.

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Comment: Cannon fodder. We hear the term over and over again, but do we ever really reflect on what it means until it is our son or daughter who is sent over to a foreign land to kill for our country?

Do we ever really consider what it means that the leaders who send them are chickenhawks who have never themselves served in the armed forces? That their children, too, are exempt and safe?

Cannon fodder.

Think about it.

David Leigh and Richard Norton-Taylor
Monday January 9, 2006
The Guardian
Two Labour MPs have defied the Official Secrets Act by passing on the contents of a secret British document revealing how President George Bush wanted to bomb the Arabic TV station, al-Jazeera.

The document, a transcript of a meeting between Mr Bush and Tony Blair in April 2004 when the prime minister expressed concern about US military tactics in Iraq, is already the subject of an unprecedented official secrets prosecution in Britain, against an aide to one of the MPs and another man.

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By Joe Strupp
Published: January 09, 2006 3:05 PM ET
NEW YORK The abduction of a Christian Science Monitor reporter in Iraq on Saturday was not disclosed by major U.S. media outlets for nearly two days after the Monitor requested that the incident, and the reporter's name and affiliation, be withheld. A translator was killed in the incident and the reporter, now identified by the Monitor as Jill Carroll, is still being held.

Numerous foreign news outlets and several leading wire services disclosed the incident -- and in a few cases, the reporter's name. Such stories did not appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other U.S. papers and their Web sites.

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Comment: When French journalists have been kidnapped, the entire country has been mobilised to offer support, to date with great success. The US prefers to keep things hidden. Of course, as a country, they have nothing to be proud about in Iraq.

By Onnesha Roychoudhuri
Source: AlterNet
During the first Gulf War, there was one private military contract (PMC) employee for every 100 soldiers. In today's Iraq war, that ratio has risen dramatically to one PMC for every 10 soldiers.

It's figures like this that make Nick Bicanic's new documentary, "Shadow Company," such an eye-opener. Nation-states are paying private companies to provide armed civilians, in lieu of soldiers, on an unprecedented scale. Yet, aside from a handful of allegations about contract workers firing on innocent civilians, little is known about PMCs.

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Comment: Do you find it unnerving to read such a dispassionate account of the use of mercenaries? Does it make your skin crawl to recognise the ease with which the subject is discussed, the lack of any real moral accountability even if words like transparency are bandied about?

The mercenaries are exempt from the local laws of Iraq. They shoot a civilian, and the worst that can happen is that they will be fired. Only to be hired by a competitor? The Wild West, indeed, that psychopath magnet that has so influenced Americans' idea of themselves and their country.

We see again the use of language to limit our ability to think about an issue, a thread running through today's page.

By David Isenberg
Asia Times
Despite the best efforts of the Bush administration, increasing numbers of countries are removing or reducing their military forces deployed to Iraq. The coalition of the willing seems to be increasingly unwilling.

In all, the coalition has declined from a 2003 high of 38 nations and 50,000 troops to 28 nations and about 20,000 soldiers. The coalition has been shrinking for some time. Italy will withdraw 300 of its 2,800 troops this month as part of a phased pullout, and Spain and the Netherlands have already withdrawn either all or virtually all their troops.

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By Mary Madewell
The Paris News
Published January 09, 2006
The senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives says President George W. Bush has an exit strategy for Iraq, regardless of some charges to the contrary.

“Once we set up a friend as the head of Iraq, the new Iraqi president is going to ask the American military to withdraw,” U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, said Friday in a telephone interview from his home.

“That’s going to be our exit strategy,” the District 4 congressman said.

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CLG with commentary by SOTT
The founder of CLG, Michael Rectenwald, appeared on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country' where he debated Harry Belafonte's recent comment that Bush was a terrorist. Sadly, yet not surprisingly, host Joe Scarborough revealed himself as yet one more of the many mainstream media government shills who use ridicule and name-calling to silence any criticism of the Bush government. Consider the following excerpts from the transcript of the show:

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Comment: Note at the end of the transcript excerpt that Scarborough and Loftus state that, because Bellafonte's UNICEF organisation receives money from US taxpayers, he should refrain from making any negative statements about the U.S. President, statements that are based in fact. In essence then, Scarborough and Loftus are suggesting the the truth can and should be bought, which, of course, is the precise ideology upon which the mainstream media is founded.

Could it be any more clear?

By David Rose
8 Jan 06
The Observer
New details have emerged of how the growing number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay are being tied down and force-fed through tubes pushed down their nasal passages into their stomachs to keep them alive. They routinely experience bleeding and nausea, according to a sworn statement by the camp's chief doctor, seen by The Observer.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance in which participants fast as an act of political protest or to achieve a goal such as a policy change.

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9 Jan 2006
President Bush's off-hand summation last month of the number of Iraqis who have so far died as a result of our invasion and occupation as "30,000, more or less" was quite certainly an under-estimate. The true number is probably hitting around 180,000 by now, with a possibility, as we shall see, that it has reached as high as half a million.

But even Bush's number was too much for his handlers to allow. Almost as soon as he finished speaking, they hastened to downplay the presidential figure as "unofficial", plucked by the commander in chief from "public estimates". Such calculations have been discouraged ever since the oafish General Tommy Franks infamously announced at the time of the invasion: "We don't do body counts". In December 2004, an effort by the Iraqi Ministry of Health to quantify ongoing mortality on the basis of emergency room admissions was halted by direct order of the occupying power.

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By Deepa Babington
09 Jan 2006
MOSUL, Iraq - Three sewing machines in a dingy apartment were all Munna Abdul Adeem Ahmed could scrape together when she set up a tailoring co-op for poor widows. She soon realised it was not enough.

More than 1,000 women from the northern city of Mosul turned up looking for work on the first day. Ahmed finally stopped registering new names after the 1,200th widow signed up.

The women were mostly young, poor and desperate for work. Many lost their spouses during the wars, uprisings and civil conflict that have bedevilled Iraq over the past 25 years.

Now, a raging insurgency is adding to their numbers.

Behind the daily bloodshed and attacks that make headlines across the world, there is a growing population of widows.

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9 January 2006
AMSTERDAM — A decision not to send more troops in Afghanistan would be damaging for Dutch interests in the US, former American diplomat Paul Bremer III warned on Monday.

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Japan Economic Newswire
Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge
9 Jan 2006
ISLAMABAD - Taliban Supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has renewed a call for jihad against the United States, saying it is the only way to safeguard the Islamic world, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press reported Monday.

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By Alan Caruba
Jan 9, 2006
A military confrontation with Iran is inevitable. Israel will need to destroy as much of Iran’s nuclear weapons capability as possible. If it does not, Iran’s ayatollahs will launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles at Israel.

If the Israelis attack, it will be with the assistance and blessing of the U.S. because a nuclear attack on America using innocent-looking merchant ships as launch platforms is a significant fear among counterterrorism experts. Or the U.S. will undertake its own preemptive military operation.

This isn’t conjecture or speculation. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made it clear to the world that Israel is to be “wiped off the map” of the world and, in the first days of its Islamic Revolution, it was American diplomats who were held hostage for 444 days by the Iranians.

For the ayatollahs, America is the “Big Satan” and Israel is the “Little Satan.” No ambiguity here. No slippery rhetoric to disguise their intentions.

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9 Jan 2006
MOSCOW -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Monday he hopes the dispute over Iran's nuclear program will not lead to warfare between Iran and the West.

"Russia has made a very reasonable proposal that complies with
international law and will not cause concern in the international community. Russia has offered to enrich Iranian nuclear fuel on its own territory," Ivanov, who is also deputy prime minister, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

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Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 12:39 GMT
People could be evicted from their own homes for three months if they are nuisance neighbours, under a new action plan for Tony Blair's "respect agenda".

The plan would also allow the public to grill police about anti-social behaviour and demand tougher action.

And there will be more use of parenting orders and classes for parents.

The prime minister denied the plans were a "gimmick" and said they would help "take back the streets for the law-abiding majority".

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Comment: As society breaks down, or, in other words, as the "values" of the psychopath become the values of society as a whole, anti-social behaviours become more common, be it throwing your trash on the sidewalk, playing loud music, road rage, cutting off people in lines, abusive language, and other such activity.

Blair's response is to impose ever greater restrictions and to set up a system where the public can bully the police into tougher action. It's kinda of like giving the people the ability to use the police to do lynchings.

But where is the serious anti-social behaviour in our world coming from? Your neighbour, or the politicians who lie about WMD in order to invade and occupy a foreign country? The youth who spits on an elderly person or the corporations that sell poisoned food on a mass scale and then blame the people who eat it for not being smart enough to say no?

Tony's "Respect" programme is going to do nothing about Blair's own lies. His ever-so-earnest justifications for his murderous ways will be exempt from citizen oversight while. 2006-01-10 16:16:07
BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing has vowed to eradicate five boorish behaviors among its citizens this year, including spitting and littering on the street.

For the citizens' convenience, Beijing will set up trash boxes every 100 meters in the city's major streets and other public areas and provide handy sanitary bags for people to spit into on buses, taxis and other public facilities.

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Tuesday January 10, 2006
Tony Blair today unveiled new powers to crackdown on antisocial behaviour. Matt Weaver explains the detail

What is antisocial behaviour?
According to Tony Blair, it is one of the biggest problems facing most people in Britain today. It is a catch-all phrase for a range of low-level criminality that makes other people's lives a misery. It includes noisy neighbours, abandoned cars, vandalism, graffiti and litter.

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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Benefits to Israel of U.S. Aid

Since 1949 (As of November 1, 1997)

Foreign Aid Grants and Loans

Other U.S. Aid (12.2% of Foreign Aid)

Interest to Israel from Advanced Payments

Grand Total

Total Benefits per Israeli

Cost to U.S. Taxpayers of U.S. Aid to Israel

Grand Total

Interest Costs Borne by U.S.

Total Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Total Taxpayer Cost per Israeli

Abdel Wahab Badrakhan Al-Hayat - 09/01/06//
"His health does not concern us," said the People's Front. "The world will be better off without Sharon," said "Hamas". "He will die without being held accountable for his crime," said one of the survivors of the Sabra and Chatila massacre. Sharon's health condition will intensify the Israeli violence against the Palestinians, said Saeb Oraykat. But President Mahmoud Abbas called the office of the Israeli Prime Minister to inquire about his heath and wish him recovery. Many European presidents voiced their concern, asserting that they are praying that Sharon will recover from his critical illness. George Bush was the first president who started to pray upon the deterioration of Sharon's state, referring to him once again as "the man of peace."

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Mohamed Sid-Ahmed
Following Ariel Sharon's surprise announcement at the end of November that he was leaving the Likud and forming a new centrist party, Kadima, his most vocal critic within the Likud, Benyamin Netanyahu, was elected to succeed him as party leader. According to the results of elections held on 19 December, Netanyahu got 44 per cent of the vote, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom 33 per cent, the leader of the far-right faction within the party, Moshe Figlin, 15 per cent and a fourth candidate, Minister of Agriculture Israel Katz, nine per cent. Thus Netanyahu, who led the Likud from 1993 to 1999, has been re-instated as party leader.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-10 18:33:48
JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Tuesday said Israel will permit Arab residents of East Jerusalem to vote in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary election, local newspaper Ha'aretz reported on its online edition.

Mofaz was quoted as saying Israel would follow the policy of previous Palestinian elections.

In last year's presidential vote, a small number of East Jerusalem Arabs were permitted to cast votes in local post offices, while the remainder voted in outlying suburbs in the West Bank.

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Comment: We suppose we are all supposed to jump up and do the happy dance because Israel has been so generous?

January 10, 2006
Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- One of the al-Qaeda cells arrested early today in Spain may have been planning an attack in Europe, Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said.

Spanish police arrested 20 people comprising two cells following raids in Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque region, Alonso told reporters in Madrid. The cells were primarily involved in recruiting and training suicide bombers for the Iraq insurgency, he said.

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Comment: Uh, well, were they or weren't they planning an attack on Europe? What is the source of this assertion? Or do sources not matter when it comes to the dreaded al Qaeda because we all know how evil they are?

Next, what proof is there that these individuals are really part of an al Qaeda cell? As you may recall, in the frenzy after 9/11, a number of these "cells" were uncovered in the US. The proof they were dastardly terrorists? Video taken during a trip to Disneyland!

Of course, Spain was the sight of the March 2004 bombings, and we know that it was Mossad al Qaeda that carried out that attack, right? So obviously there must be a large number of cells in Spain. It is all so obvious when you get into the mind set of the clash of civilisations. It is so obvious you don't even need to think.

VIENNA, Jan 9 (AFP) - Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel insisted Monday that the European Union's constitution is not dead despite its rejection by French and Dutch voters, as he launched Vienna's six-month EU presidency.

"The constitution is not dead, but it is not in force," he told reporters in Vienna, where the 25-nation bloc's new Austrian presidency was meeting with the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

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Comment: Hmmm, the European Constitution sounds like it is in about the same state as Ariel Sharon.

Last Updated Mon, 09 Jan 2006 13:54:59 EST
CBC News
The number of people who have tested positive for bird flu is now 14, including two teenagers who died last week, according to the Turkish Health ministry.

The new cases are in the Black Sea provinces of Kastamonu, Corum and Samsun, near the capital Ankara.

Experts fear it could indicate a westward march by the virus towards Europe. The virus first surfaced in Van, about 1,000 kilometres farther east.

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Last Updated Mon, 09 Jan 2006 18:40:44 EST
CBC News
There is no evidence avian flu is spreading between humans, say officials with the World Health Organization who are investigating the higher infection rate in Turkey.

Infected people in Turkey had contact with infected birds in all 14 confirmed cases and three deaths, WHO says.

"Based on the epidemiological information we have so far we haven't seen any change in the way that the virus is being transmitted," said Dr. Maria Cheng of WHO in Geneva. If the H5N1 strain of avian flu gains the ability to spread easily between people, it could trigger a pandemic.

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Monday, 9 January 2006, 21:08 GMT
The number of cases of bird flu in humans may have been hugely under-reported, a Swedish study says.

Doctors quizzed nearly 46,000 people from affected areas of Vietnam, where there have been 87 cases of bird flu.

The Archives of Internal Medicine study found more than 8,000 had had flu-like symptoms and up to 750 cases could have been down to sick birds.

Under-reporting was possible, experts said, but unlikely to be as much as the Karolinska Institute study suggested.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-10 17:30:18
BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Human cases of bird flu may continue to increase in China if there are more bird flu outbreaks, Ministry of Health spokesman Mao Qun'an said at a press conference Tuesday.

Noting that the current bird flu situation is "not optimistic", Mao said measures to prevent and control the epidemic must be strengthened as the danger of bird flu not only exists in China but also threatens other countries.

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Comment: A curious surge in the number of bird flu reports today, almost as if the holiday distractions were over, and it was time to start pumping up the fear-factor once more.

There may well be a flu pandemic. The important question is whether or not the pandemic will be an engineered or a natural pandemic? We place a high probability on the possibility that the powers that be want to cull not only the fowl population, but, more importantly, the human population. They know that we are heading into "interesting" times, and that climate change, or earth changes, will reshape the globe. If there are too many of us around, that will make managing the chaos more difficult. 2006-01-10 20:44:58
TOKYO, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- A total of 77 people may have been infected by bird flu virus, but they have shown no symptoms and will not spread the disease to other people, a government report said Tuesday.

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The Scotsman
Thu 5 Jan 2006
AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

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Comment: The Readers that would like to have some background may like to inspect the extracts from the 1999 discussion on antigravity at: Heim's theory is mentioned there. As you will see: Nothing new under the Sun...

By Mary Williams Walsh
The New York Times
JANUARY 9, 2006
NEW YORK The death knell for the traditional company pension has been tolling for some time now in the United States. Companies in ailing industries like steel, airlines and auto parts have thrown themselves into bankruptcy and turned over their ruined pension plans to Washington.

Now, with the recent announcements of pension freezes by some of the cream of corporate America - Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Motorola and, just last week, IBM - the bell is tolling even louder. Even strong, stable companies with the means to operate pension plans are facing longer worker life spans, looming regulatory and accounting changes and, most important, heightened global competition. Some are deciding they either cannot, or will not, keep making the decades-long promises that a pension plan involves.

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Haiko Lietz
05 January 2006
EVERY year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year's winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?

Click to Expand Article
There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?
Sure, they can be serious, but are they? In their paper "Future space propulsion based on Heim's field theory", W. Dröscher and J. Häuser write:
Again, as was said in [1], the authors are aware of several shortcomings in this paper. Not all of the physical features of Heim's theory were de-rived properly. Some of the conclusions are based on a somewhat speculative physical model concerning the generation of gravitophoton par­ticles. It should be mentioned that Heim's legacy is very large, several thousand pages, and his presenta­tion style is not the one of contemporary physics. Heim uses his own terminology that needs to be translated into the language of modern physics. In addition, since his theory is completely geo­metric, there are many concepts that have no counterpart in modern physics. Whether his the­ory is actually true, can only be determined by experiment.
And then, further:
Heim's theory currently is not mainstream phys­ics, but it contains several highly interesting ideas, and its geometric origin of the physical world, is appealing, at least to the authors. As far as the authors understand Heim's theory (many of his calculations remained unchecked so far, simply because of the amount and the difficulty of his work), [...]
In other words: the Authors do not understand Heim's theory, but they hope that someone will. ;-)

Jack Sarfatti quotes Nobel Prize winner, physicist G. t'Hooft:

Berkant, Heim's work is incoherently presented in the AIAA paper. It reads like gibberish. One wonders about the mind processes of the AIAA engineers who selected it for an award. Again I remind you of Nobel Prize physicist's remark about it:

On Jan 8, 2006, at 11:27 AM, Hooft 't G. wrote:
> Prof. 't Hooft is being exposed to this sort of nonsense several
> times per week. Be assured: this nonsense is indeed nonsense.
> G. 't Hooft.
To which Ark replies:

Albert Einstein was a Nobel Physicist, and yet this is what another physicist (t.Hooft) wrote about Einstein's ideas:

"Einstein was one of the first people to protest against this impoverishment of the concept of logic. It has turned out, however, to be a fact of life."

So, opinions of a Nobel Prize physicists do not oblige.
Sarfatti replies:

So what? What is the context. Einstein was wrong about locality in quantum theory. However, if it were not for Einstein raising the issue, most of modern quantum information theory would not exist - most likely. His EPR paper of 1935 was crucial even though he took a position that proved false. No matter. Even Einstein's mistakes were great ones that were very important for the progress of physics. Great minds make mistakes that are more important than the Victorian Station Master's normal science discoveries. I suppose I am a Nietzschean? ;-)
And then he continues, writing to Ark:

Well if you think Heim's theory is correct, then explain it to all of us. Hauser's paper is unreadable. Ball is in your court.
Indeed it looks like a ball game... ;-)
With Hermtry into Parallel Space ;-)

Sunday, 8 January 2006, 08:42 GMT
Space tourists must be screened to ensure they are not terrorists, according to proposed regulations from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The draft report's suggestions aim to prevent a terrorist from destroying a spacecraft or using it as a weapon.

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Comment: Yup! We're just certain that Osama is training an elite crew of Suicide Astronauts in some cave in the Middle East...

Monday, January 9, 2006
TEL AVIV - An Israeli firm has developed armor based on nanotechnology.

ApNano has tested armor said to be five times stronger than steel and twice as strong as any impact-resistant material used in protective gear.

Click to Expand Article

By Bill Christensen
09 January 2006 08:48 am ET
A new handheld radar scope from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) can provide troops with an ability that was formerly the province of science fictional superheroes alone—the ability to sense through up to 12 inches of concrete whether someone is in the next room.

Click to Expand Article

By Zach Howard
January 10, 2005
NEW YORK - Gold rallied to hit a new 25-year peak on Monday as fund managers shifted more money into the metal on bullishness for 2006 and uncertainty about economic growth and the dollar, analysts said.

Trading was volatile in Europe, with some speculative profit-taking emerging earlier, but a late flurry of fund buying in New York pushed bullion to a new high to reach above $550 an ounce for the first time since January 1981.

Click to Expand Article

By Mark Felsenthal
January 10, 2005
WASHINGTON - The White House aims to shrink the U.S. budget deficit through spending restraint and strong government revenues but will oppose letting tax breaks expire, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Tuesday.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-10 14:27:45
BEIJING, Jan. 10 -- China is unlikely to sell current U.S. dollar assets in its foreign reserves to diversify its holdings, the chief of research at the central bank said on Tuesday, contradicting market speculation.

Media last week had wrongly interpreted a statement from the foreign exchange regulator as meaning that China would sell U.S. dollar assets, Tang Xu, director-general of the research bureau of the People's Bank of China, told Reuters.

The reserves now exceeded $800 billion, he said.

Asked whether the yuan would appreciate sharply, Tang said: "It is unlikely."

Click to Expand Article

By Patrick L. Barry and Dr. Tony Phillips
posted: 10 January 2006
08:11 am ET
The boom of thunder and crackle of lightning generally mean one thing: a storm is coming. Curiously, though, the biggest storms of all, hurricanes, are notoriously lacking in lightning. Hurricanes blow, they rain, they flood, but seldom do they crackle.

Surprise: During the record-setting hurricane season of 2005 three of the most powerful storms—Rita, Katrina, and Emily—did have lightning, lots of it. And researchers would like to know why.

Click to Expand Article

Updated Mon. Jan. 9 2006 11:32 PM ET
Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Residents in the greater Montreal area felt the earth tremble Monday but there were no reports of damage.

The Geological Survey of Canada confirmed an earthquake hit the region just south of Montreal about 10:30 a.m. ET with a force of 4.2 on the Richter scale, not enough usually to cause any damage.

Click to Expand Article

Last Updated Mon, 09 Jan 2006 16:28:21 EST
CBC News
Astronomers have discovered that the North Star has a second smaller star next to it. Researchers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore found the star, which they called Polaris Ab, by using the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

"With Hubble, we've pulled the North Star's companion out of the shadows and into the spotlight," said Howard Bond, a member of the research team.

Click to Expand Article

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 Posted: 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- The mummified body of a woman who didn't want to be buried was found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death, authorities said.

Johannas Pope had told her live-in caregiver that she didn't want to be buried and planned on returning after she died, Hamilton County Coroner O'Dell Owens said Monday.

Click to Expand Article

Tuesday January 10, 2006
The Guardian
Men are supposed to mellow in their mid-60s. Richard Dawkins appears to be going the other way. Never one to tolerate fools at the best of times, he's become noticeably less patient as the years roll by. "It does appear that I've become rather more grumpy," he says, without appearing that bothered one way or another. And despite a contented home life with his third wife, the actor Lalla Ward, there's a great deal to be grumpy about.

Click to Expand Article
Comment: Dawkins offers, we think, one of the most lucid descriptions and accounts of the organic portal's experience of life. His criticisms of religion are accurate. The existing religions have been emptied of their deeper meaning, leaving only a well-ensconsed system of control.

Who can argue when Dawkins castigates the easy ride religion gets?

However, we think that there is something more to life than genes and memes and the material world. In our work we see a difference between the existing religions and their teachings for the wide public and the hidden teachings that were meant to supplement them when the student was ready.

The meat is in these esoteric teachings, teachings that are not unique to any one religion, but that are, rather, an ancient science of the soul that rises from the underground, taking a different form according to local culture and customs.

Let us state clearly that we have never met Mr. Dawkins and are in no way saying that he is himself an organic portal. We are all subject to the experiences and standards of the OP until we make the conscious choice to be other.

January 10, 2005



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