Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
September 6, 2003
New! Cult-ivating Terror
The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination
[...] Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or being ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations have been deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on whose authority? The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus, has said: "The information provided by European intelligence services prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence."
Nor is the US response after 9/11 any better. No serious attempt has ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October 2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US official said, significantly, that "casting our objectives too narrowly" risked "a premature collapse of the international effort if by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured". The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that "the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002).
The whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19 2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests. And in November 2001 the US airforce complained it had had al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly enough (Time Magazine, May 13 2002). None of this assembled evidence, all of which comes from sources already in the public domain, is compatible with the idea of a real, determined war on terrorism.
The catalogue of evidence does, however, fall into place when set against the PNAC blueprint. From this it seems that the so-called "war on terrorism" is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives. Indeed Tony Blair himself hinted at this when he said to the Commons liaison committee: "To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11" (Times, July 17 2002). Similarly Rumsfeld was so determined to obtain a rationale for an attack on Iraq that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to 9/11; the CIA repeatedly came back empty-handed (Time Magazine, May 13 2002).
In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before 9/11. A report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute of Public Policy stated in April 2001 that "the US remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilising influence to... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East". Submitted to Vice-President Cheney's energy task group, the report recommended that because this was an unacceptable risk to the US, "military intervention" was necessary (Sunday Herald, October 6 2002). [...]
·Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003
Comment: The whole article is recommended reading since it sums up questions many, many people are demanding answers to but are receiving banal, glib lies. As an example, see the response to the above article also posted in the Guardian: Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war:
The standard defense: attack the person and deflect answering the argument. Of course it is monstrous, that is what Meacher is saying. Just because something is monstrous does not mean it did not happen. A cursory examination of history will tell you that.There is no attempt at all to at least answer with a bit of logic.
Protesters Exiled to Distant Zones
"A favorite tactic of the Bush administration has been to herd protestors at presidential appearances into ‘designated protest zones,’ out of sight of [the president's] motorcade, and to arrest people who refuse to be moved. The policy, applied only to those with dissenting views, has been used to suppress dissent nationwide," the ACLU wrote in a May 2003 report.[...]
by Naomi Klein
The Marriot Hotel in Jakarta was still burning when Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for political and security affairs, explained the implications of the day’s attack.
"Those who criticize about human rights being breached must understand that all the bombing victims are more important than any human rights issue."
In a sentence, we got the best summary yet of the philosophy underlying Bush’s so-called "war on terror." Terrorism doesn’t just blow up buildings; it blasts every other issue off the political map. The spectre of terrorism, real and exaggerated, has become a shield of impunity, protecting governments around the world from scrutiny for their human rights abuses. [...]
Bush and the gang [...] have the hustle of good marketers, and they know how to contract-out. What Bush has created in the WoT™ is less a "doctrine" for world domination than an easy to assemble tool kit for any mini-empire looking to get rid of the opposition and expand its power. [...]
Bush to Address
Nation on Iraq Sunday
White House spokesman Scott McClellan announced on Friday that Bush will speak at 8:30 p.m. EDT. The speech, expected to be about 15 minutes long, comes as the nation prepares to mark the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks next Thursday.
"The president believes this is a good time to talk to the American people about the progress we're making in our ongoing war on terrorism and our needs going forward," McClellan said.
He added, "There will be a focus on Iraq because Iraq is central to winning the war on terrorism."
Comment: Another wonderful little NLP sound bite from the white house. "Iraq is central to winning the war on terrorism" - even though there exists no proof of Iraq being involved in terrorist activities or ever possessing WMD. These details are irrelevant however when it comes to the achieving the goal of successfully programming the minds of the people with a completely fictitious understanding of reality. We really can't wait to hear what 'ol George has to say.
Lights, Camera, Exploitation
In the end 9-11 turned out to be a made-for-TV movie, or rather, the basis for one—a shameless propaganda vehicle for our superstar president George W. Bush.
(left) Moment of "Truth": TV Bush stoically receives news of
Scheduled for cablecast on September 7, DC 9/11 inaugurates Bush's re-election campaign 50 weeks before the 9-11 Memorial Republican National Convention opens in Madison Square Garden. DC 9/11 also marks a new stage in the American cult of personality: the actual president as fictional protagonist. [...]
Last May, President Bush made his now-famous -- and outrageously false -- statement to a Polish television station: "We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.... But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
In fact, of course, we hadn't found anything of the sort -- and pretty soon that'll be official. David Kay, the man in charge of the WMD search in Iraq, is expected to release a report this month on what the more than 1,200-member Iraq Survey Group has turned up. And the fact that the count still stands at zero won't stop Kay from trying to paint the search as a success.
Kay is the perfect yes-man. Not only did he head up the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) nuclear search team in Iraq in the early nineties, he has deep roots in the defense industry and is well connected to corporate media. When the president needed someone to hawk his "Iraq's WMD are an imminent threat to homeland security" thesis to the American people, David Kay was the man. During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Kay was a ubiquitous presence on the cable news networks, backing the president's assertions to the hilt. He testified before Congressional committees and published op-ed pieces in several mainstream dailies. [...]
Pentagon officials are beginning to spread the word that Kay's team is prepared to claim that the Hussein regime purposefully "spread nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons plans and parts throughout the country to deceive the United Nations," according to The Boston Globe. Citing senior Bush administration and intelligence officials, the Globe predicts Kay will argue that after hoodwinking the U.N. inspectors, Hussein would quickly reassemble all the information and materials and "manufacture substantial quantities of deadly gases and germs."
After four months of intense searching, no hard evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction has yet been found. And while David Kay's pre-war predictions about the existence of WMD now appear less reliable than the insights of Johnny Carson's Karnak the Magnificent, the Bush administration is counting on Kay to bring home the bacon. The loyal Mr. Kay, in turn, appears poised to hand in a report marked by speculation, innuendo and circumstantial evidence. Kay's September surprise: He morphs into a weapon of mass deception.
Israeli Senior Officials Face War Crime
Charges in Swiss Courts
Sharon was to face serious trial in the Belgian courts, yet such courts ruled out possibility for bringing to justice those still in power, after being exposed to heavy Israeli and American pressure. [...]
The Palestinian leadership has condemned Israel's reoccupation of several West Bank towns as an escalation with "racist and Nazi" undertones.
"The pursuit of the aggression by the Israeli occupation forces and the ugly crimes committed against our people, land and holy sites, and the imposition of this destructive war is a new form of racism and Nazism," the leadership said in a statement.
"The occupation forces are exploiting the silence of the international community and the Arab countries... in a bid to bring our people to their knees."
On Friday, the leadership called for swift US and international intervention amid concern over Israel's vow to pursue its reoccupation of Palestinian self-rule towns on the West Bank. [...]
The alliance between US Christian Zionists, Israel and its US supporters has had very negative consequences for the Palestinians.[...] Falwell’s unconditional embrace of Israel, which is characteristic of all Christian Zionists, stems from the so-called dispensational theology which teaches that the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 was a fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy and, therefore, precedence to the second advent of Christ.
"To stand against Israel is to stand against God. We believe that history and scripture prove that God deals with nations in relation to how they deal with Israel"
This theology, popularised by the 19th century American Cyrus Scofield, espouses the doctrine that Christ can not return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must gain control of Palestine and Jerusalem, destroy Islamic holy places in the city and "rebuild" a temple.
the great battle of Armageddon will follow during which millions of
people would be killed. Afterwards, the conversion of the Jews to
Christ would take place.
rest of Jewry, millions of them, and presumably all non-Christians,
would perish in "the mother of all holocausts".
In 1970, Dr Roy Eckhardt, an American Methodist minister and professor of Religion, told a group of clergy gathering in Houston, Texas, that "the proper place to give Christian witness today is in an Israeli munitions factory."
[...] Earlier this year, the Israeli Minister of Tourism, Beny
Elon, met with the group’s leaders in Texas, urging them to
form a united front against Islam.
The statement came after Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas submitted his resignation.
"Israel will not accept a situation in which the control of the Palestinian Authority would fall back into Yasser Arafat's hands or one of his partisans'," the statement said Saturday.
"Abbas' resignation is an internal Palestinian affair. But Israel is very closely following this affair's developments," it said.
The Israeli operation ended when soldiers blew up a seven-story apartment building where Mohammad Al-Hanbali had been holed up. The destruction of the building made 28 families homeless. [...]
Arafat’s top aide condemned the raid. "This an Israeli military escalation which we condemn and we have asked the international community and the Mideast Quartet to intervene immediately to stop Israel’s aggressions and send international observers," Nabil Abu Rudeinah said.
"We hold the Israeli government responsible for this escalation," he said, accusing the United States of having "stood back" and let the operation happen.
Rudeinah also criticized an Israeli Army incursion in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah earlier in the day. Israeli tanks, jeeps and bulldozers rolled into Rafah, near the Egyptian border, and destroyed a two-story house, part of a reception hall, greenhouses and razed several hectares of agricultural land.
Comment: From Haaretz, What the fatality statistics tell us, "Here are the disastrous proportions, in the hope that someone in Israel will take notice: 80 percent of the Palestinians killed were not connected to armed actions."
Comment: On the very day that European leaders meet at the UN to consider outlawing Hamas...
Palestinian Prime Minister resigns
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas resigned today, said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. The resignation dealt a serious blow to US-backed peace efforts.
Abbas submitted his resignation in a letter to Yasser Arafat, said Erekat. It was not immediately clear whether Arafat would accept Abbas’ resignation.
Abbas had been weakened by his wrangling with Arafat, the near-collapse of a US-backed peace plan and his inability to improve the daily lives of Palestinians.
The beleaguered prime minister, on the job only four months, told parliament earlier this week that it must either back him or strip him of his post, saying he was not clinging to the job and would just as soon step down.
The resignation deals a serious blow to the "road map'' peace plan, leaving Israel and the United States without a Palestinian negotiating partner, at least temporarily.
Both nations have said they will not do business with Arafat, whom they accuse of fomenting terrorism and consider an obstacle to peace-making.
Israel’s defence minister has threatened to expel Arafat. Israel has been held back by US opposition and by warnings of its security chiefs that Arafat could do more harm abroad than isolated at his West Bank headquarters. However, the threshold for taking action against Arafat could be lowered by Abbas’ departure
"The Palestinian leadership dispute by no means revolves around the issue of thrust for power and control, although such concepts might be of some relevance. This dispute is one that could bring a devastating end to the Palestinian Intifada altogether, a popular uprising that impelled untold sacrifices by ordinary Palestinians" - Ramzy Baroud
By RAMZY BAROUD
The buzz in the media about the "power-struggle" between Palestinian Authority President, Yasser Arafat and his Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is misleading. The issue at stake is not simply the drive for power. [...].
But things are often not as they seem. The real motives that fuel the so-called power struggle between Arafat and Abu Mazen are manifested in the way the two leaders understand the current phase of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and their dissimilar visions for a solution to the conflict’s unmatched impasse. [...]
Abu Mazen finds no justification, whatsoever, for violent retaliation from Palestinian groups, no matter how much violence is induced by Israel.
Arafat on the other hand, while he opposes suicide bombings or the targeting of civilians, believes that Israel’s violence is doomed to suffer Palestinian retaliation. The best way to rein in "Palestinian militants" he argues, is an end to Israel’s assassinations and the military occupation itself.
Arafat cheered for the Road Map for Middle East peace, an initiative introduced by the United States and endorsed by other less involved parties. However, he had maintained a strong belief that Israel aimed at writing off the agreement through provocations that resulted in Palestinian retaliation. [...]
Abu Mazen however, is very popular in Washington and was received with untold respect and admiration by President Bush during a recent visit. Arafat never had the chance to confer with Bush, since Israel declared the Palestinian leader "irrelevant" to the peace process.
The Palestinian Prime Minister, unable to exert any kind of pressure on Israel, is vowing to crack down on Palestinian groups who resist the Israeli occupation and orchestrate suicide bombings in response.
In his view, to achieve such a campaign, the security apparatus must be unified under his command. Currently, he controls three of the barely standing security branches of the PA. The rest, including the 35,000 member-strong national security force, is under Arafat’s control. [...]
Arafat’s fear is that leaving all of his leadership keys to Abu Mazen, who in turn might implement Israel’s wishes of dismantling all opposition groups, could lead to a civil war. Only Israel can benefit from the feared chaos.
Most Palestinians, although growing wary and resentful of the mounting outside pressure that fuels the conflict, seem more disturbed by the timing of the political row, taking place when, more than ever, they need unity and conformity.
No one expressed Israel’s wishes more articulately than Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz , who told Israeli Army Radio "Arafat needs to disappear from the stage of history." [...]
Comment: The author makes a good point. Sharon's drive seems to be the complete subjugation of the Palestinian people, forcing them to relinquish any control and land they are left with. If Abbas had succeeded in forcing this turn of events it could well have lead to outright civil war. Sharon's goal seems to be the complete destruction of the Palestinians. Paradoxically, Arafat's continued position in power, with his policy of controlled resistance to Israeli aggression, may be the only thing that is preventing the realisation of Sharon's goal.
While the Jewish population celebrated the declaration of the 1947 partition plan, the Palestinians rebelled against it, feeling they had been done a great injustice. Palestinian Jews, who had lived in Palestine for centuries, were viewed as fellow citizens. But the new immigrants were considered usurpers who had come to take over the Arab homeland.
Palestinians were unable to understand why they should pay for the crimes of the Nazis, or welcome foreigners who came to colonize and take over their own country. Furthermore, the Jews, who had been persecuted and suffered from anti-Semitism in Europe, had lived in harmony with Arabs throughout history and were part of their cultural and spiritual contribution to human civilization.
The partition plan was biased against the Palestinians, who saw themselves as sole owners of their own land. It is easy to understand their position when you know that at the time the partition plan was drawn up, Arabs made up two thirds of the populations and, according to British land registration, owned 93 percent of the land. The non-Arabs and Jews who made up just a third of the population owned only seven percent of the land.
The partition plan, however, gave the Arabs just 43 percent of the land, which they naturally considered unjust. How could the UN give one peoples' homeland to another?
[...] The question now should be how we can get out of this vicious circle of bloodshed and violence, without blaming each other for the past. It is obvious that using force and violence will only lead to more suffering on both sides than we have already seen. It is only through political realism and understanding each other that we can embark on the journey to the shores of peace.
Both sides have to agree that there are two peoples living on this land. If it is not possible to share the state, then they must at least share the land.
Israeli bulldozers dash all
Israel annexed Arab East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War, deemed illegal under international law.
Numan residents, however, are registered West Bankers, and receive basic services like water and electricity from the Palestinian Authority.
Like the approximately 55 unrecognized Arab villages within the Israeli state, Numan doesn't even exist in name: To Israel, it is known as Masmouria.
"The people of Masmouria claim to own the land but that is part of their lies, they have no proof," Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby said. "They are living there illegally, so we are detaining them. We have aerial photographs that show they have only lived there for the last several years." (Ben Ruby declined Aljazeera.net’s request to see the photos).
The Dirawi family clan members -- numbering about 200 -- say they have inhabited and tilled the olive-grove dotted landscape here for a century and a half, long before the creation of Israel. But now "we are losing our homes and becoming the new refugees," Dirawi laments, and fears the village could be bulldozed without warning. "Because of our worries, we are like the living dead."
Since construction started in June 2002, thousands of Palestinians have lost their livelihoods -- separated from large swaths of farmland and private property (approximately 100,615 dunams, or 25,153 acres), which they say amounts to de facto annexation.
The barrier also cuts off precious water sources and access to markets and jobs. Approximately 232 commercial buildings and 13 homes in the barrier’s trajectory were razed thus far, with at least 121 businesses, homes and even a school issued demolition orders.
Residents of Qalqiliya are effectively living in an open-air prison due to an eight-metre high concrete wall and watchtowers surrounding the city, with only one exit for its 42,000 inhabitants.
The village of Jayyous, north of Qalqiliya, was particularly hard hit, with about 70 percent of its farm land sliced off by the wall.
Comment: Where is the justice in this? Of course, there is no justice. This world is not the world of the Just. It is the world of the psychopath, the predator, the soulless machine in human form seeking out the people of conscience who can be exploited because of their good will, innocence, and naiveté. There is nothing to be done about this world. It is as it is, and it cannot be changed, no more than the cat who plays with the mouse can be changed or treated as anything other than itself.
But this does not mean that we should throw up our hands and turn our backs on the injustices and cruelty we see committed around us. It is important to take a stand, to align oneself with truth, in order to remove oneself from the power grid of corruption and entropy. Just recognizing the horror is not enough. There are countless ways to simply see how bad it is out there, yet return to the safety of one's cocoon, retreat into the fog of wishful thinking: "If I see it, then it won't hurt me."
Just seeing the terror of the situation is not enough. One must take a stand, acting upon the insight.
There are no recipes, no formulas on how this must or should be done. The only way to know what you should do is to listen to yourself. This may take time, time to get in touch with the real self, not the plenitude of discordant and contradictory voices that make up the Personality, the impermanent part of ourselves.
It is also possible that one will make "mistakes", that is, one may mistake a small "I" for the Real "I." But these are simply lessons, because if you remain open to that higher truth, if you continually check on the results of your actions, if you refuse to allow yourself to become the victim of habit and automatic ways of being and acting, then you will continually be moving in the direction of the truth.
We cannot tell you what is appropriate for you to do in response to the horror of the situation. Our "calling", if you will, is to produce this page every day. This is our way of standing up to the beast and telling it that we refuse to be dinner yet again.
You will find your own way. But only if you are fueled by the desire to find the truth from the very core of your being.
We are told by some that desire itself it the problem. They suggest we need to rid ourselves of desire, to extinguish the desire for worldly sensations that binds us to this world. We think the most likely outcome of such a path is sleep, the turning off of the spirit completely, the slow submission to the call of entropy.
We do not agree with this. Rather than ridding oneself of desire, one must use this desire, one must direct it and use the fire that burns as fuel to find the truth. Only by using our human qualities to serve the truth will we be able to find our way out of this labyrinth, not by extinguishing these qualities. By extinguishing that which makes us human, we return to the level of the beasts. By redirecting these qualities to serve the higher good, we advance and can become ourselves the transducers of that energy.
Sharon's visit next week has caused quite a stir in India, and we decided to examine India's role in the current "war on terror" a bit closer. The ploy of his visit is working, since Pakistan "Recognizes" Israel much to the dismay of the entire country, particularly the Muslim inhabitants. Game theory works.
Sharon is bringing the Mossad in with him:
And now we can expect more bloodshed and more justification for an eternal war for peace:
And we have the U.S. military activity in and around the region. Where aren't U.S. troops these days?
The following article sums up the frightening potential regarding relations between India, Israel and the U.S. Some of the language is rather bombastic, but some very relevant points are made, primarily how much they all love Osama Bin Laden, and the very real tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India.
We should not forget that around this time last year articles were being written like Pakistan and India Have World on Brink of Another Nuclear War ,and this one India, Pakistan Were Near Nuclear War in '99.
While researching this segment, we ran across this article:
A report in the Los Angeles Times reveals that the Bush administration, in a secret policy review completed early this year, has ordered the Pentagon to draft contingency plans for the use of nuclear weapons against at least seven countries.
The countries in question include not only old cold war enemies such as Russia, China and North Korea, but also Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) as the secret document is called, was delivered to Congress on January 8. [...]
Queen 'to make historic Ireland
The visit - which would be the first by a British monarch since partition in 1921 - has been agreed in principle by Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and the Irish Government, the Times newspaper reported.
Even so, the trip will require months of planning and would be one of the biggest ever security operations for a royal visit. It would be conditional on continuing calm in Northern Ireland and progress in the peace process. [...]
September 05, 2003
WASHINGTON (NFTF.org) -- The Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq chided coalition forces for their failure to protect women in post-war Iraq, asserting that over 400 have been raped since the war ended four months ago.
"This violence is still a daily occurrence, especially on the streets of Baghdad, without attracting the least attention of the soldiers," director Yanar Mohammed told press covering a sparsely attended Aug. 24 demonstration in Baghdad's Faridous Square.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has been unresponsive to pleas for increased protection against rising sexual assaults and abductions.
Mohammed said the post-war rise in sexual assaults and kidnappings have turned Iraq into a "no-women's zone," leaving women virtual prisoners inside their homes.
Michael Smith and Andrew Sparrow
The Government is to send several thousand more troops to Iraq, with some arriving there as early as tomorrow.
But the full brigade-level force of 5,000 which the Foreign Office wanted to avert "strategic failure" in Iraq cannot be sent because commanders do not have enough easily deployable troops available. [...]
correspondents in Baquba
A 13-year-old youth, Omar Saad Jassem, was accidentally killed late yesterday after US troops opened fire and missed their target, his father told AFP today.
Col. DAN SMITH
In the months leading up to the recent war in Iraq and in its aftermath, Bush administration officials were forced to continually change their rationale for launching the attack to topple Saddam Hussein. Where they have not wavered, and where they have received consistent support from top Pentagon military commanders, is in their insistence that Iraq is not another Vietnam, not a quagmire. The further the U.S. and the world move from the fall of Baghdad on April 9th, the more it seems that the administration is correct: Iraq is not a quagmire. It is really a black hole.
A quagmire is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as (1) "land with a soft, muddy surface" or (2) "a precarious or difficult situation." In either definition, circumstances are not irreversible. A "soft muddy surface" suggests something more solid somewhere beneath, while "difficult" is not the same as impossible.
But media reports the last week in August have made it very clear that the administration has plunged the U.S. over the lip--what is called the "event horizon"--of the human and financial black hole that is post-war Iraq. The significance of passing the astronomical event horizon is that whatever crosses it, even light, cannot recover or be recovered. It is a one-way trip down a "tunnel" at whose end there is no light, only crushing gravity. [...]
Abdul Ghafour, Arab News Staff
Abdul Rahman Al-Attiya said the issue of sending troops from the Gulf Arab states was not under discussion. "There is no intention to send troops," he told Al-Riyadh Arabic newspaper.
Attiya gave no reason for this, but the GCC states are known to be worried about domestic opposition to Washington’s continued occupation of Iraq. [...]
September 04, 2003
QANTAS has raised concerns that it could be paying more for security because of a military spy base in central Australia. The airline raised the issue in a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry which will today begin hearing evidence into aviation security.
Qantas claims it has recently had to pay for 24-hour Australian Protective Service (APS) guards at the two commercial airports closest to Pine Gap - Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock).The government denied the APS airport presence in central Australia was protecting Pine Gap or that Qantas was paying for it. Qantas complained the government had failed to explain how paying for the added APS presence would reduce the terrorist threat to aviation. [...]
CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The FBI is enlisting the world's help to find four men suspected of ties to al-Qaida, including a possible terror cell leader and an avowed suicide attacker.
The FBI posted a "seeking information" alert for the four on its Web site Friday after intelligence corroborated by multiple sources, including foreign governments and law enforcement officials, indicated they might be plotting new attacks against the United States. [...]
Spain opts for European Tiger helicopters over
Spain on Friday announced it would buy 24 Tiger combat helicopters from the European EADS consortium for 1.35 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars), leaving US aviation giant Boeing's Apache machines out in the cold. [...]
He told a news conference said the overall investment -- which also includes four submarines, 212 combat vehicles, and a multioperational ship, all Spanish-made -- would create some 7,500 direct and indirect jobs and have a huge enormous industrial and social impact. [...]
By PAUL KRUGMAN
A funny thing happened this week: the Bush administration, with its aggressive unilateralism, and its contempt for diplomacy and international institutions, suddenly staked its fortunes on the kindness of foreigners.
All the world knows about the Iraq about-face: having squandered our military strength in a war he felt like fighting even though it had nothing to do with terrorism, President Bush is now begging the cheese-eaters and chocolate-makers to rescue him. What may not be equally obvious is that he's doing the same thing on the economic front. Having squandered his room for economic maneuver on tax cuts that pleased his party base but had nothing to do with job creation, Mr. Bush is now asking China to help him out.
Not, of course, that Mr. Bush admits to having made any mistakes. Indeed, Mr. Bush seems to have a serious case of "l'état, c'est moi": he impugns the patriotism of anyone who questions his decisions.
If you ask why he diverted resources away from hunting Al Qaeda, which attacked us, to invading Iraq, which didn't, he suggests that you're weak on national security. And it's the same for anyone who questions his economic record: "They tell me it was a shallow recession," he said Monday. "It was a shallow recession because of the tax relief. Some say, well, maybe the recession should have been deeper. That bothers me when people say that." [...]
Comment: The article is an interesting read on just why Bush is "pleading" for help from China for business and economic reasons. Makes the case that it is a stunt more than anything else, but the hint is slipped in regarding the tragedy it would be for the U.S. economy if China switched to a Euro standard.
E-mails may be knocked out in a hurry, but as evidence to the Hutton Inquiry proves, their contents can come back to haunt. E-mail is like an elephant. It never forgets.
No-one can remember what they said in every e-mail they ever sent, nor all the subjects they joked about or the people or events they passed comment on. But a bad memory, either feigned or real, is no defence in these days of electronic archiving and back-up tapes.
As Alastair Campbell, Andrew Gilligan, Bill Gates, Kenneth Lay and many others have found out, long sent and presumed lost e-mail messages can come back to haunt you.[..]
Why have Bush’s real groaners disappeared? One of the "experts" explains it ...
SALT LAKE CITY -- Hoping to clear the way for eliminating the firing squad as a means of execution, a Utah commission asked for and received a statement from the Mormon church saying it does not oppose the change. [...]
The clarification was needed, according to one commission member, because of a purported church doctrine that held that justice was not done unless a murderer's blood was shed. [...]
Controversial detention area closed at elementary
Some Albuquerque Public Schools students call it "the cage." It's where students at Chaparral Elementary had sat for detention, but after a parent's angry complaint, APS has suspended it. The detention area is a 30-foot-by-30-foot fenced-off corner of the playground. One parent described it as like a dog kennel.
“People are welcome to their own impressions, and it’s unfortunate that that’s it,” said Chaparral Elementary principal Blair Kaufman.
Some Chaparral students have been placed in the detention area for a “time out” when they are misbehaving.
“The children would be safe in that area, say if a ball was to be thrown in that direction,” said Kaufman.
A parent whose son was placed in the detention area contacted Eyewitness News 4 about it. She says students at the school have named it “the cage.”
Comment: Seems as if the USA's "correctional methods" are filtering down to the young 'uns. Get used to it kiddies. Can we expect a camp ABC-Ray in the future?
CEO lobbies for Bush while seeking contract to sell voting machines
CLEVELAND -A wealthy businessman helping the Ohio Republican Party try to win the state in 2004 for President Bush also is the head of a company competing for a state contract to sell voting machines.
Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc., told Republicans in an Aug. 14 fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
Comment: He may very well be committed to helping Bush receive "votes" in more ways than one.
September 5, 2003 10:24 AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Does movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger have a problem with women? [...]
Some published articles have portrayed Schwarzenegger as touching women's bottoms and breasts without their consent. [...]
MELFORT -- A 26-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl was sentenced to house arrest rather than prison because the victim may have been seen as a "willing participant" or even "the aggressor," a judge ruled Thursday. [...]
As the justice read the sentence, supporters and family members of the now 14-year-old aboriginal girl stormed out of the courtroom, yelling "bullshit" and "racism." [...]
The son of a wealthy Saudi Arabian official was sentenced to five years in jail yesterday for imprisoning and torturing a girl in his Thames-side flat.
Over four weeks Sammy Shadukhi, 22, whipped, stabbed and almost drowned the 17-year-old, whom he also made pregnant, Inner London Crown Court was told. After he threatened to "slaughter her like a sheep" she escaped through a window, plunging 60 feet to the river shore and breaking her back, leg and ankle. [...]
Nicholas Atkinson QC, for the prosecution, said that two days before the trial officials at the Saudi Arabian embassy tried to bribe the victim into dropping the case. The Foreign Office said last night that it was investigating that allegation. [...]
Man charged with circumcision death
A 29-year-old man is due before a special court sitting at Thomastown in Co Kilkenny this afternoon. He is being charged in connection with the death of a new-born baby boy in Waterford last month.
He was arrested in Kilkenny yesterday. The one-month-old baby died from blood loss hours after he was circumcised at a house in Waterford city.
Teens tried to determine whether chickens really do run around with their heads cut off.
[...] Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel said the teens brought machetes, knives and a hatchet, and broke into a commercial chicken house on Brannen Farm Lane on Harville Road.
McDaniel said they are accused of taping and photographing the decapitation of at least two chickens. A man found the teens in his chicken house and called authorities, McDaniel said. [...]
ANOTHER horse has been injured in an attack which is thought to be linked to the occult calendar. [...]
Followers of the occult calendar believe that Mars is the god of horses. Yesterday, Grampian Police and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) said inquiries into the incident were ongoing and renewed their appeals to horse owners to come forward if they had seen anything unusual on their own animals. [...]
An immigration-reform group says American companies are abusing foreign-worker programs in the high-tech industry to the detriment of U.S. workers, even as industries close to home create "a growing pool of available [American] labor." [...]
Companies are able to bring in skilled foreign workers under work visa programs authorized in the 1990 Immigration Act. As WorldNetDaily reported, the special H-1B and L-1 visas allow corporations to import up to 65,000 cheap skilled workers from foreign countries to fill alleged labor shortages, a claim author, columnist and Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly says "was always a fiction and now is nonsense."
The high-tech industry pushed successfully in 2000 for Congress to increase the importation level to 195,000 for fiscal years 2001, 2002 and 2003.
In the new FAIR report, analysts said the programs are being used to keep industry wages artificially low, among other purposes. But the programs also are being used to shortchange American high-tech professionals, it said. [...]
Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A redesigned survey of who uses and abuses drugs in the United States has found millions of "missed" users and addicts, with an estimated 22 million Americans suffering from alcohol or drug abuse. [...]
The report found that 54 million people, based on survey projections, would have been binge drinkers in the previous month -- defined as five or more drinks on the same occasion.
Nearly 16 million were heavy drinkers, downing five or more drinks a day for at least five days in the past month. [...]
Comment: And don't forget the 15 million Americans who took antidepressants in the past year...
Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News
More than 150 Colorado blood donors initially tested positive for West Nile, an indication that more than 35,000 people statewide might be infected with the mosquito-borne virus.
Since July 1, 152 donors at Bonfils Blood Center tested positive for West Nile, said spokeswoman Paige Van Riper.
Follow-up tests confirmed 88 percent had the virus.
The rate of positive tests accelerated sharply in August - 111 positives out of 16,000 donors. Assuming 88 percent of them are confirmed positive, slightly less than 1 percent of August donors had West Nile.
Extrapolated to Colorado's population of 4.3 million, that means about 35,000 people statewide may have the virus in their bodies.
Not that they all get sick.
An estimated 70 percent to 80 percent of infected people do not display any symptoms, health officials say. [...]
Comment: More sensationalism from the US media. Wouldn't it have been more accurate and fair for the author to simply report the facts, instead of writing about probabilities? The idea seems to be to generate as much fear as possible. Why else would America be bombarded with warnings of WNV that only actually makes 1 in 5 people ill, and WMD that don't actually exist?
Jan McGirk in Bangkok
A Cambodian plan to build a theme park in the jungles where Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge killed nearly two million people has outraged relatives of the victims of his Killing Fields. [...]
Earthquake measuring 4.4 shakes Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
Comment: Remember Cumbre Vieja?
Volcano Eruption Leads to Evacuations in Costa
Four people are missing after the most powerful hurricane to hit Bermuda in 50 years slammed into the holiday island, unleashing deadly winds that split trees in half and swept trucks off roads.
By nightfall on Friday, the hurricane's 120 mph winds had eased as Fabian pushed away from Bermuda. Officials were grappling with reports of widespread damage and injuries.
At least four islanders are feared dead, according to Bermuda Police Commissioner Jonathan Smith.
Thirty killed in
northern Pakistan flash floods
Some of the victims were struck by lightening while the others were swept away by the rushing waters after heavy rains accompanied by thunder storms lashed Dir district, 300 kilometres north of Peshawar, district chief Sahibzada Tariqullah said. [...]
ANDREW KRAMER, Associated Press Writer
CAMP SHERMAN, Ore. - A fast-moving wildfire that raged through dense, beetle-ravaged pine trees in central Oregon after it jumped containment lines was still burning Saturday amid forecasts of cooler weather but persistent gusty winds. [...]
The blaze has so far cost about $17 million to fight, and more than 2,000 people are assigned to it, officials said. [...]
In Northern California, firefighters continued to battle a midweek siege of lightning-sparked wildfires, with at least 40 new ones spotted.
Of 228 known wildfires sparked by lightning in the area Wednesday, 51 still burned Friday. The largest — 2,600-acre in Lake County — was 85 percent contained.
California Department of Forestry spokeswoman Karen Terrill said some fires were not being fought because there were too few firefighters. About 4,000 were deployed after the lightning storm swept through.
University Of California -
Elusive brown dwarfs, the missing link between gas giant planets like Jupiter and small, low-mass stars, have now been "fingerprinted" by UCLA astronomy professor Ian S. McLean and colleagues, using the Keck II Telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
McLean and his research team will publish the most systematic and comprehensive near-infrared spectral analysis of more than 50 brown dwarfs in the Oct. 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal, the premier journal in astronomy, published by the American Astronomical Society. [...]
ANTIMATTER FACTORY ON SUN YIELDS CLUES TO SOLAR
September 4, 2003
BY H. JOSEF HEBERT WASHINGTON--During the hour before the nation's worst blackout, engineers in the control center of an Ohio utility struggled to figure out why transmission lines were failing and complained that a computer breakdown was making it difficult, transcripts of telephone communications released Wednesday show. [...]
Adams County [Ohio] Soy Bean Field Drawing Visitors
It's been the talk of the town this week, and although recent incidents have been disproven, there are still plenty of believers of unusual activity as crop circles have shown up in Adams County. [...]
Comment: A video at the above link, and a slide show here.
A Danish man who was inspired by a children's fantasy movie about a pony which lives in a flat has incurred the wrath of his neighbours - after attempting to copy the film.
Police say they were stunned to find a Shetland pony in Palle Brinch's apartment after his neighbours alerted authorities about a "rumbling ceiling and a manure-like stench".
Mr Brinch said he had brought the animal home to his second-floor apartment for his nine-year-old daughter to play with.
He and his daughter showered the Shetland pony in the bathroom and locked it in the kitchen for the night, the Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper reports.
The horse is now in the countryside with Brinch's brother-in-law. Police say no charges have been filed against Mr. Brinch.
find 2,000 baboon noses
Baggage handlers had noticed a "putrid smell" from an unaccompanied suitcase believed to have come from Lagos, Nigeria, and apparently destined for the US. Inspectors said the 30kg suitcase was filled with rotting baboon noses.
Bush meat and parts of endangered species, especially ivory tusks and rhino horns, are routinely found at the airport in luggage but this haul was described as "staggering" by inspectors.
The noses, which have now been destroyed, were believed to be for human consumption or, more probably, to be used as a traditional medicine or fertility booster. Police are still trying to find the owner of the case.[...]
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