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October 14, 2003

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"Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle [...] Human cycle mirrors cycle of catastrophe. Earth benefits in form of periodic cleansing. Time to start paying attention to the signs. They are escalating. They can even be 'felt'by you and others, if you pay attention."

Reports indicate that the "terrorists" at Guantanamo are converting their guards to Islam. Mossad, it seems, was behind the leaks about Israel converting missiles to run on their subs. Meanwhile, they continue trying to convert the Palestinians into dead people and their homes into rubble.

Yet another peace activist has met a tragic end, this time, while attempting to protect Palestinian children. Other Middle East news includes a secret peace pact between Israel and Palestine, elections in Saudi Arabia, and another Pakistani missile test.

Sharon is dangerous, bad for our health even Israelis can see it, but then so is Bush and by definition so is every man or woman in a position of power; apparently it corrupts, particularly those who lust after it in the first place.

A member of Israel's Likud party and columist for a daily newspaper wants to kill Arafat before he dies. It has become so obvious that the US government is attempting to make 'terrorism' and Islam synonymous that Arab leaders are coming right out and saying it.

The Republican party is working hard with the manufacturers of the new touch screen voting machines, who just happen to also be Republicans, to tie up the 2004 election early. Why draw it out, right? With a President as prone to lying as Bush, they may be worried it will catch up with them. To be honest though, there are lots of reasons (26 to be exact) to vote for Bush in 2004, a pre-requisite however is a lobotamy.

The Chinese have decided to go all out and use their "best rocket" for their first manned space mission this week. Their astronaut must be feeling reassured.

A look at why the French feel an affinity for the Iraqis: they both have experience of occupation, and the French found a way to out run US plans for their country following WWII.

Salt Lake City is due "for the big one", South Africa has a mysterious underground fire, geologist are pondering Alaska's cataclysmic nature, Yale "Bonesmen" and Fiji cannibals in the news, Ohio unearths underground witchcraft rituals, and the sport of Saddam spotting is back. One last thing, in case we forget. Keep your eye on the cuddly toys. Now its the Smurfs or any of the cast of Sesame Street that hate Americans because of their freedom and democracy.

Peace activist shot by Israelis is 'brain dead'

By Nicola Woolcock
The Telegraph

Tests have revealed that a British peace activist shot in the head by an Israeli soldier is in a persistent vegetative state from which he is unlikely to recover.

Six months after Tom Hurndall, 22, was shot while trying to protect Palestinian children on the Gaza strip, his family are still waiting to hear whether an Israeli military police investigation will take place. They are considering taking legal action should an investigation not proceed.

The Manchester Metropolitan University student, a photo-journalism student, had been in Rafah for a week when he was shot on April 11. Other activists said he was wearing a fluorescent jacket as he went to help three children but was shot from a watchtower. [...]

The parents of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist crushed to death by an Israeli armoured bulldozer weeks before Tom was shot, flew from Olympia, Washington, to stay with the Hurndalls two weeks ago.

"Meeting them was very emotional. The connection was immense, like they were the only other people who could understand," said Miss Hurndall. [...]

"He risked all for others": Tom Hurndall's mother remembers her son

FLASHBACK: Dignity, Solidarity and the Penal Colony

An Excerpt from The Politics of Anti-Semitism, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

[...] Reading the news from Palestine and seeing the frightful images of death and destruction on television, it has been my experience to be utterly amazed and aghast at what I have deduced from those details about Israeli government policy, more particularly about what has been going on in the mind of Ariel Sharon.

And when, after the recent Gaza bombing by one of his F-16s in which nine children were massacred, he was quoted as congratulating the pilot and boasting of a great Israeli success, I was able to form a much clearer idea than before of what a pathologically deranged mind is capable of, not only in terms of what it plans and orders but, worse, how it manages to persuade other minds to think in the same delusional and criminal way. Getting inside the official Israeli mind is a worthwhile, if lurid, experience.

In the West, however, there's been such repetitious and unedifying attention paid to Palestinian suicide bombing that a gross distortion in reality has completely obscured what is much worse: the official Israeli, and perhaps the uniquely Sharonian evil that has been visited so deliberately and so methodically on the Palestinian people. Suicide bombing is reprehensible but it is a direct and, in my opinion, a consciously programmed result of years of abuse, powerlessness and despair. It has as little to do with the Arab or Muslim supposed propensity for violence as the man in the moon. Sharon wants terrorism, not peace, and he does everything in his power to create the conditions for it. [...]

Israeli Policy Fantasies

Israeli forces resume raid on Rafah as Palestinian shot dead in West Bank

14-10-2003,09 :12

Dozens of Israeli tanks entered the Rafah refugee camp before dawn Tuesday, just days after another raid into this city left eight dead and hundreds homeless.

Israeli military sources said Tuesday's operation in the Rafah refugee camp was a continuation of a three-day mission that started Friday, aimed at clearing away tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons from Egypt.

[...] More than 7,500 Palestinians in Rafah, and nearly 12,000 in all of Gaza Strip, have been left homeless since the Israeli-Palestinian violence began three years ago, the agency said.

Unofficial peace pact ignites uproar

The Toronto Star
Oct. 14, 2003. 06:28 AM

JERUSALEM — A secret peace pact few have actually seen caused a furor among Israelis and Palestinians yesterday, with reaction ranging from fury to ecstasy.

The so-called Geneva Accord was completed late yesterday by a team of left-wing Israelis and a group of Palestinian political leaders in Amman, Jordan, after more than two years of backtrack negotiations shepherded by Swiss diplomats.

The 50-page document, said to detail point-by-point agreement on every political obstacle, carries no official weight.

Yet its impact was immediate, triggering a furor on all fronts of the Israeli political establishment and prompting some careful backpedalling in the Palestinian media.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the gambit "the greatest historical mistake since Oslo," referring to the 1993 Oslo accords.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak, the Israeli partner in the failed peace negotiations that led to the outbreak of violent intifada, dismissed the plan as "delusional." [...]

Israeli media reports said the main thrust of the plan, as yet unpublished, runs as follows:

  • Palestinian refugees will concede the right of return to Israel in exchange for financial compensation.
  • The Palestinians will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
  • Israel will withdraw to the borders of 1967, with certain territorial exchanges in which several major Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank will become part of Israel, while Israel will cede equivalent territories in its southern Negev desert.
  • Jerusalem will be divided by nationality, with Arab neighbourhoods becoming part of the Palestinian state and Jewish neighbourhoods remaining part of Israel.
  • The Western Wall will remain under Israeli sovereignty, while the Temple Mount above it, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, will be under Palestinian sovereignty. An international force will ensure freedom of worship for all faiths.
  • The Palestinians will pledge to prevent terror and incitement and disarm all militias. An international force will supervise the demilitarized state, including border crossings. [...]

Israel to Expel 15 West Bank Palestinians to Gaza

October 14, 2003

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's military said on Tuesday it ordered the expulsion of 15 Palestinians prisoners from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.

The army said the prisoners had been transferred from West Bank prisons to a detention center on the edge of the Gaza Strip ahead of being released into Palestinian-ruled territory there. They were given 48 hours to appeal the move.

Palestinians and international human rights groups have opposed such actions in the past as violations of international law. Israel, which deported several relatives of suicide bombers last year, has said the move was to deter future suicide bombers.

None of the Palestinians due to be expelled to the Gaza Strip had participated in the killing of Israelis, military sources said. The army said that the prisoners were being expelled to the Gaza Strip because they could not be put on trial without revealing sensitive intelligence. It gave no further reason for the expulsion.

Mossad Involved In Leaks On Israel's Plan To Attack Iranian Nuclear Plants

Asaad Telhami
Al-Hayat 2003/10/13

Major Israeli commentators have confirmed that high-ranking Mossad officials are responsible for the proliferation of reports that have appeared over the past two days in a number of foreign newspapers, about Israel's plan to carry out "a decisive preemptive strike" against Iranian nuclear plants, and about modifications operated by the Israeli Navy on American ballistic missiles, allowing them to launch nuclear heads from submarines. The commentators have maintained that the leaks are designed to prompt the international community to exert strong pressure on Tehran to have it cease its nuclear program, which Israel considers as "the biggest threat to its existence." They explained that Israel's army staff prefers to leak information on its nuclear capacity to the foreign media rather than announce it officially, in a bid to avoid having to reveal the nuclear arsenal they own.

Why Sharon is dangerous

By Gideon Samet
Haaretz Daily

Why? Because he doesn't even try to keep his promise of peace, and has made his promise of security worthless. Because he is a bloody adventurer who scoffs at dangers, even if you pay the price. Because this week he revived the

incitement against the left over a memorandum of understanding that was drafted together with senior Palestinian figures. Because the moves of an especially skilled tactician are especially dangerous.

Plenty of familiar reasons for Sharon being a political ticking bomb spring immediately to mind. Here are several more that occur upon second, and third, thought.

* They believe him: The incredible and dangerous thing is that despite everything, most Israelis still believe him and believe in him. Sharon has honed the art of political deception to such precision that its victims become passive, and even satisfied, observers. This is the Sharon paradox: The situation under his leadership is so terrible that the majority, which yearns for some illusion of an achievement, prefers not to believe that the situation is as abominable as it is.

* [...] Sharon is very dangerous because of his tremendous ability to get the public, ordinarily known for its cranky skepticism, to suspend its disbelief in direct proportion to the gravity of the national predicament. Paradox number two promises to keep the Sharon danger alive: As the country's plight worsens, Israelis' dependence on a "strongman" who will rescue them from their troubles grows in equal measure - even if the purported savior is largely responsible for getting them into the mess in the first place. Sharon deserves a Nobel Prize for his discovery of "The Success of Failure."

* The enemy as collaborator: Another dangerous leader who has lost his quiver, Yasser Arafat, is actually an important ally along Sharon's twisted road. From Lebanon until today, Arik has been pursuing Yasser like Sherlock Holmes on the trail of Moriarty. But there is cause to suspect that he is not really interested in Arafat's elimination. If his legendary rival were gone, Sharon would have to invent a new one.

As the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote, in his poem about the distress of Roman senators who sat futilely "Waiting for the Barbarians" (also the name of a book about apartheid by Nobel Prize laureate J. M. Coetzee): "Now what's going to happen to us without the barbarians? These people were a kind of solution." This is another secret of his dangerous politics - perpetuating the enemy in order to justify himself. Just wonder what "difficult time" he could have manipulated between crises without the Palestinian hook on which to hang all of our troubles.

* The bleating of the sheep: Beware of devious leaders who can often be seen gently petting animals. M's adversary in the James Bond films wouldn't have been so menacing without that little kitty in his arms. Sharon soars to the heights of tenderness when with his bleating sheep - on his farm and in the government. Come on, really now, how could such a soft, gentle man be at all dangerous?

Kill Him Before He Dies

by Moshe Feiglin
Oct 12, '03

They say that Yasser Arafat is sick, that he has cancer, that his days are numbered.

If this is correct, then our time is running out.

Our time?

Yes! Our great window of opportunity, to kill Arafat and re-conquer justice, is closing.

We have never said that Arafat should be killed in order to solve the problem, although this is certainly likely to happen. We have never claimed that he should be killed for tactical, pragmatic, practical, sophisticated, security reasons, etc. For precisely these reasons all the people motivated by security, pragmatic, and practical considerations have always recommended leaving him alive.

Since then, he is living and we are dying.

Because this self-same apparent practicality, that led them to the conclusion that he must be brought back to life, also caused them to bring him here and give him our country. This is the same "wisdom" that allowed death to enter through our windows.

This is the practicality based on the conception of reality as a lump of useless material. The consequent aim is preservation of the material, or in other words, survival. It is called "peace" in more pleasant-sounding terminology.

This consciousness has no room for values such as justice and truth. It is doubtful if there is place in it for any kind of values - certainly not those that do not immediately serve the preservation of (or the illusion of) the material.

Consequently, the call to kill Arafat frightens them so much, and the very walls trembled when we published our call to kill Arafat three years ago. The legal advisor to the government considered bringing the undersigned to trial on a charge of incitement to mutiny because of this call, and again considered the issue when the Jerusalem Post recently published an editorial making a similar demand. This is because the war is not about the way to handle Arafat. The war is between two different philosophies that cannot co-exist: The philosophy of materialism against that of reality. Those who flee to the illusion of materialism feel threatened by those who possess a complete philosophy of reality.

The force motivating this war is justice. Arafat has never demanded Eretz Israel for materialistic reasons of a city of refuge. He has never demanded the right of Arab refugees to return as a pragmatic solution. He has never employed the contemptible materialistic terminology of the Left. He has always spoken, and will always speak, about one thing only - justice.

Shimon Peres said that the problem lies with poverty, backwardness, lack of material. The well-to-do female lawyer who blew herself up in the Maxim Restaurant had apparently not heard him.

She blew herself up because she thought she was in the right.

Why shouldn't she think so? The Jews themselves admit it. Not only did their prime minister call Eretz Israel “occupied territory”, not only in the heart of Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, in the source of holiness, the Israelis are forbidding Jews to pray, but the person who has killed more of them than anyone else, they are protecting against attack. In other words, they are confirming that justice lies with him.

This is perhaps the last opportunity for us to restore to ourselves our real strength, to return justice to ourselves.

He is dying.

Quick! Kill him before he dies!

Comment: Another fine example of the reasonable and just thinking that motivates the Jewish point of view.

Muslim nations decry campaign to link Islam to terrorism

Associated Press
Putrajaya, October 14

Decrying what they perceive as a Western campaign to unfairly link their religion to terrorism, Islamic nations are calling for stronger international efforts to resolve new and old frustrations such as the US occupation of Iraq and the Palestinian struggle which have fuelled extremism and violence.

"We plead with the Western world to cooperate with us, to help our vision of moderate Islam become more dominant," Munir Akram, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, said at a summit of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, considered the Muslim world's most important political grouping.

"There is obviously a sense of anger in the Muslim world, since we have suffered many injustices," Akram said on the sidelines of the summit in Putrajaya, Malaysia's new administrative capital. "We may not endorse the acts of desperation, such as suicide bombings, which have followed these injustices, but that does not illegitimize important causes such as the Palestinian struggle."

Delegates at the summit which concludes on Friday following a two-day meeting of up to 35 national leaders said many of their countries have been unfairly scrutinized for alleged links to extremists after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

OIC members range from alleged terror sponsors Iran, Libya and Syria to moderate, mostly secular nations such as Malaysia, and US military allies such as Bahrain and Qatar.

Israeli Terrorism Frightens USA


The US Department of State has recently announced, several websites had been added on the American list of foreign terrorist organizations. Reuters reported, the list of webpages included:,,, They have been categorized as terrorist groups' associates.

American authorities believe, the four websites support the ultraright Israeli movement Kach, suspected of organizing acts of terrorism against Palestinians. According to the American law, the financial support and any other assistance to the mentioned sites has to be banned. The webmasters and other employees of the webpages will not be allowed to obtain visas to visit the USA. In addition, American banks are supposed to block their accounts.

The terrorism issue is not at all new in the Middle East, especially in Israel and Palestine, where terrorist acts have been following one after another for decades. A lot of people talk about the Arab, the Palestinian terrorism, but there is a lot less information about the Israeli terrorism [...]

Guantanamo guards embrace Islam

Tuesday 14 October 2003, 9:46 Makka Time, 6:46 GMT

A number of the US troops guarding the 660 suspected al-Qaida and Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay have converted to Islam, according to an Algerian mediator.

Hasan Aribi, who chairs his country’s committee on the Guantanamo question, has negotiated the release of 18 detainees from the heavily-guarded detention camp at the eastern tip of Cuba.

He claimed that the freed detainees told him that some of their American guards had converted to Islam as a result of daily interaction with Muslim prisoners for the past two years.

All the President's votes?

A quiet revolution is taking place in US politics. By the time it's over, the integrity of elections will be in the unchallenged, unscrutinised control of a few large - and pro-Republican - corporations. Andrew Gumbel wonders if democracy in America can survive

14 October 2003

Georgia was not the only state last November to see big last-minute swings in voting patterns. There were others in Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois and New Hampshire - all in races that had been flagged as key partisan battlegrounds, and all won by the Republican Party. Again, this was widely attributed to the campaigning efforts of President Bush and the demoralisation of a Democratic Party too timid to speak out against the looming war in Iraq.

Strangely, however, the pollsters made no comparable howlers in lower-key races whose outcome was not seriously contested. Another anomaly, perhaps. What, then, is one to make of the fact that the owners of the three major computer voting machines are all prominent Republican Party donors? Or of a recent political fund-raising letter written to Ohio Republicans by Walden O'Dell, Diebold's chief executive, in which he said he was "committed to helping Ohio to deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" - even as his company was bidding for the contract on the state's new voting machinery?

Alarmed and suspicious, a group of Georgia citizens began to look into last November's election to see whether there was any chance the results might have been deliberately or accidentally manipulated. Their research proved unexpectedly, and disturbingly, fruitful.

[...] In Dallas, during early voting before last November's election, people found that no matter how often they tried to press a Democrat button, the Republican candidate's name would light up. After a court hearing, Diebold agreed to take down 18 machines with apparent misalignment problems. "And those were the ones where you could visually spot a problem," Dr Mercuri says. "What about what you don't see? Just because your vote shows up on the screen for the Democrats, how do you know it is registering inside the machine for the Democrats?"

[...] If much of the worry about vote-tampering is directed at the Republicans, it is largely because the big three touchscreen companies are all big Republican donors, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into party coffers in the past few years. The ownership issue is, of course, compounded by the lack of transparency. Or, as Dr Mercuri puts it: "If the machines were independently verifiable, who would give a crap who owns them?" As it is, fears that US democracy is being hijacked by corporate interests are being fuelled by links between the big three and broader business interests, as well as extremist organisations. Two of the early backers of American Information Systems, a company later merged into ES&S, are also prominent supporters of the Chalcedon Foundation, an organisation that espouses theocratic governance according to a literal reading of the Bible and advocates capital punishment for blasphemy and homosexuality.

The chief executive of American Information Systems in the early Nineties was Chuck Hagel, who went on to run for elective office and became the first Republican in 24 years to be elected to the Senate from Nebraska, cheered on by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper which also happens to be a big investor in ES&S. In yet another clamorous conflict of interest, 80 per cent of Mr Hagel's winning votes - both in 1996 and again in 2002 - were counted, under the usual terms of confidentiality, by his own company.

[...] One of the conditions states have to fulfil to receive federal funding for the new voting machines, meanwhile, is a consolidation of voter rolls at state rather than county level. This provision sends a chill down the spine of anyone who has studied how Florida consolidated its own voter rolls just before the 2000 election, purging the names of tens of thousands of eligible voters, most of them African Americans and most of them Democrats, through misuse of an erroneous list of convicted felons commissioned by Katherine Harris, the secretary of state doubling as George Bush's Florida campaign manager. Despite a volley of lawsuits, the incorrect list was still in operation in last November's mid-terms, raising all sorts of questions about what other states might now do with their own voter rolls. It is not that the Act's consolidation provision is in itself evidence of a conspiracy to throw elections, but it does leave open that possibility.

[...] Roxanne Jekot, who has put much of her professional and personal life on hold to work on the issue full time, puts it even more strongly. "Corporate America is very close to running this country. The only thing that is stopping them from taking total control are the pesky voters. That's why there's such a drive to control the vote. What we're seeing is the corporatisation of the last shred of democracy.

"I feel that unless we stop it here and stop it now," she says, "my kids won't grow up to have a right to vote at all."

Poll shows Bush's approval rating moves back up
2003-10-14 06:35:15

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- US President George W. Bush's job approval rating that had seen declining in recent weeks has moved back up to 56 percent, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday showed.

The rating demonstrated a significant rise from a similar poll conducted on Sept. 19-21, which gave the president an approval rating of 50 percent.

36 Reasons To Vote For Bush and Republicans In 2004

by James Boyne

Vote for President Bush and Republican Senators and Congressmen if:

You think $900/month ($10,800/year) is a fair price for a health insurance policy.

You believe drug companies should prevent you from buying Canadian drugs at half price.

You are a senior citizen and you think you are about to receive all your medication for free because President Bush has passed the “prescription drugs for seniors under Medicare” legislation.

You think large tax breaks for CEO’s making over $50 million are good, but your own CEO may have to cut the company budget and eliminate your position.

You never work or get paid for overtime so you don’t care about the recent Bush bill that will eliminate overtime pay for 8 million workers. You don’t know any of the 9 million unemployed U.S. and don’t know anyone in Iraq.

Your state has a budget deficit of $2 billion but we should spend $600 billion in Iraq.

You know Iraq has more oil than any other country in the world, but no one knows where it ends up after it comes out of the ground or who got the money for it.

You would like to see us attack Syria, Iran, and North Korea and Cuba at a cost of $1 trillion, because they are bad and are trying to get us and we better get them first. These rogue countries are sneaky and have tens of thousands of nuclear missiles and weapons of mass destruction pointed at us. You don’t know how much $1 trillion is. (Answer: It’s $1,000,000,000,000 or a million million dollars. $1 trillion dollars could pay for 25 million jobs that would pay $40,000 for a year. $1 trillion could employ all of the 9 million unemployed for the next three years.

You are a woman and want abortion made illegal, and want women imprisoned for obtaining one, to teach them a lesson. You can afford to travel to Sweden.

You are a man and want to make sure that women having abortions is illegal, and that the men (also known at the “fathers”) who impregnate the women are completely and totally blameless if such a crime is committed.

You like Pat Robertson, the TV evangelist. You send him contributions and you pray with him for the “passing” of three Supreme Court Justices.

You are 100% for the death penalty and its OK if a few hundred people get executed when they were actually totally innocent. It’s the price we have to pay.

You think that 2 million people in jail is normal and we need to lock up even more people. You think we have won the war on drugs because no one ever talks about it anymore.

You think $15,000 to $30,000 a year to send your child away to college is just fine and it’s a good buy.

You are planning to move to China or India and want a job with an American company there. (Working for 35 cents an hour with no benefits).

You never visited a National Park (Yellowstone, Yosemite, the White Mountains) and don’t care about them. They look fine on the postcards you get from friends.

You are a teacher and think that our educational system is tops in the world.

You keep getting Liberia mixed up with Lebanon so you don’t really care who gets the $15 billion Bush earmarked of one of those countries.

You like paying $2.00 a gallon for gas because Exxon/Mobil must be hurting.

You don’t mind transferring your computer technology skills to serving coffee in Dunkin’ Donuts for $6.00 an hour with no health insurance.

You think Saddam Hussein attacked the World Trade Center and can’t remember who Osama bin Laden is. You forgot who had the weapons of mass destruction; us or them.

You believe that 40 million people without health insurance isn’t all that bad. You think that the solution is that they just better not get sick.

You think that your company enjoys paying most of your health premiums and they probably have never thought about eliminating your position.

You don’t know what the Homeland Security Department does, how much it costs your State Government, and you can’t name all the colors on the color-coded alert chart.

You don’t live in the Northeast so the electrical blackout didn’t affect you but you think we should spend $18 billion on the electrical grid in Iraq.

You think the 150,000 American troops are having fun in Iraq and we should send more to protect the Iraqi’s from the Iraqi’s.

You think President Bush and the Republican Party deserves contributions from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry and you don’t mind paying $200 for a bottle of prescription drugs.

You like seeing constant TV commercials for powerful, potentially dangerous prescription drugs because if you didn’t you wouldn’t know you were so sick and your doctor wouldn’t tell you about the drugs without you asking him.

You like President Bush’s tough talk and get a kick out of the expressions “we’re gonna smoke ‘em out and bring ‘em ta justice”; “we’re gonna get ‘em dead or alive”; “bring ‘em (the terrorists) on”; and “we’re gonna get ‘dem folks who knocked down da buildings”, and you think this eloquent speaking, (prepared and reviewed by 100 Presidential speechwriters) enhances our stature in the world.

You like to see President Bush getting off the shiny green helicopter with his two dogs and he always smiles and waves and holds hands with his wife and that seems nice.

Your main source of information is the Nightly News where you hear 20 minutes of short sound bites from any one Presidential candidate speaking for 15 seconds on the $600 billion being spent on Iraq, intermingled with 15 commercials for pharmaceutical products that “speak” for 30 seconds each. You especially like the chemotherapy and rheumatoid arthriti commercials that show healthy people walking their dogs on beautiful green grass with beautiful sunsets with soothing music; and the commercials where people have been cured of their diarrehea and constipation and can get to work on time.

You voted for Bush’s father when he won and you voted for Bush’s father when he lost. And you voted for this current President Bush when he lost, but then you found out he won because of something in Florida. And it’s easy to remember the name Bush, so you might as well vote for him again.

You live in Florida and it doesn’t matter so “let the chips (or the chads) fall where they may”.

City to vote on Bush impeachment
October 14, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern

With the potential of becoming the second California city to vote in support of ousting George W. Bush from office, the Arcata City Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution urging the immediate impeachment of both the president and vice president.

City Councilman Dave Meserve says he has one other vote on the five-member panel and thus needs just one more to pass his resolution, reports the Eureka Times-Standard. The official is sponsoring the legislation on behalf of a group called Veterans for Peace. [...]

President Bush Presents Two-Faced Reaction to National Security Leaks

President Bush clearly believes in a double standard when it comes to holding accountable those insiders who divulge classified information.

When someone on Capitol Hill leaked information in 2001 President Bush personally called congressional leaders to tell them, "This can't stand. We can't have leaks of classified information. It's not in our nation's interest."1 In the case of a White House official who revealed the identity of an undercover CIA operative this summer, however, Bush has been nonchalant, saying "this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials . . . I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is."2

With the congressional case Bush's press secretary, Ari Fleischer, warned that leaks can put lives at risk: "The President wants to make certain that all people in government are protected, so that nobody can make any mistakes and put anybody else's life in danger."3

But now that a CIA operative's cover has actually been blown neither the President nor his staff have expressed any concern. Bush said he has "no plans"4 to call for the leaker on his staff to come forward. Indeed, White House have left open the possibility they may act to protect the leaker, suggesting they may invoke executive privilege if the facts warrant it.5

Comment: For the sources, go to the original site.

Sept. 11 Panel Weighs MI5-Like Agency

By LAURENCE ARNOLD, Associated Press Writer
October 14, 2003

WASHINGTON - Advocates of major changes to the U.S. intelligence establishment are making their case to the independent commission studying the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

James B. Steinberg, deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, said Monday that he supports making two new entities: an independent director of national intelligence and a domestic security service modeled after Britain's MI5.

In an interview, Steinberg said U.S. counterterror efforts remain hampered by decades-old walls separating by law the work of the FBI and CIA. The FBI operates domestically and traditionally focuses on catching people who break laws, while the CIA works abroad and focuses on learning secrets.

"The beauty of the MI5 model is it breaks down both those walls," said Steinberg, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. [...]

The 10-member, bipartisan commission is considering changes to recommend in U.S. intelligence that would go well beyond actions by the Bush administration. The commission has until May 27 to submit a report dealing with law enforcement, diplomacy, immigration, commercial aviation and the flow of assets to terror organizations. [...]

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CIA Refuses to Declassify Info on Project Bojinka

On 04 June 2002, I sent the National Security Agency a Freedom of Information Act request asking for files on Project Bojinka. (Bojinka was the plot by radical Islamists—led by WTC-bomber Ramzi Yousef—to 1) blow up a dozen US passenger jets in mid-flight, 2) assassinate President Clinton and the Pope, and 3) ram hijacked passenger planes into US landmarks, including the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the White House, CIA Headquarters, and the Sears Tower.) The plot was discovered in 1995 when authorities in the Philippines raided Yousef's apartment.

The NSA said that it would cost me thousands of dollars for them to search for Bojinka documents, then screen them for possible release. Even if they decided that not a single document was releasable, I'd still have to pay the outlandish fees.

Some of the Bojinka documents that the NSA has in its possession were created or translated by the Central Intelligence Agency, so the NSA asked the CIA to review them for release. Eighteen of the documents are non-English language news articles that had been translated by the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service. These are unclassified and reveal nothing new, which is why they were released. (Perhaps I'll post them at a future date.) The two crucial documents--the ones created by the CIA--have been withheld in full under the rubric of national security, foreign policy, and other such constantly-invoked excuses.

Like the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA doesn't want us to know one single, solitary thing about this forerunner of 9/11. Stop asking questions, citizen.

Al Qaida 'working on cuddly toy bomb'

14/10/2003 - 13:53:04

Al Qaida terrorists are training to use a chemical-based bomb which could be stuffed into clothes, pillows or toys and smuggled on board an airliner, it was reported today.

United States intelligence officials warned that the terror network had showed a “persistence” in trying to master the explosive technique.

The bomb can be made by combining a number of easily obtainable chemical products.

Modified buttons, zips or wristwatches could be used as detonators.

Airport security staff and airlines worldwide were warned of the new al Qaida threat by the US Department of Homeland Security in August, the Washington Post reported.

“We judge this type of threat to be real and continuing,” the department said in the warning, which was obtained by the newspaper.

The document added that there had been a “persistence (in a) line of reports from several credible, independent sources” that al Qaida was training to build such bombs.

Part of the intelligence came from confiscated al Qaida training manuals [...]

Comment: Psychological profiles showing the emotional age of the average American citizen to be about 13 years old were obviously used in concocting this story. "Its the smurfs! they're trying to kill you!"

U.S. Comptroller Declares Bush Policies Will Keep Nation Deeply in Debt

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, the nation's chief fiscal officer, interjected a dose of reality this week into President Bush's rosy claims that his Administration can cut the federal deficit in half within five years without changing policies.1 "The idea that this is manageable or that we are going to grow our way out of the problem is just flat false," Walker said2.

Why the French back sovereignty for Iraqis

Jean Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow

When President Jacques Chirac of France argues that Iraqi sovereignty should be re-established as quickly as possible, his position is at least partly the product of France's own experience as an occupied country during World War II. After its humiliating defeat by Germany in May and June 1940, France was occupied for four years before the Allies landed in Normandy in June 1944.

When the Allies liberated France from German occupation, their intention was not to give France back to the French. Instead, they planned to install an Allied Military Government of Occupied Territory, or Amgot. This scheme for postwar transition would give Allies control over currency, transport, the appointment of civil servants and war tribunals in formerly occupied countries. They assumed that the French would accept Amgot, given the shape the country was in. When the liberators landed, the paper money had already been printed.

But while Belgium and the Netherlands were put under Amgot, France never accepted it. General Charles de Gaulle, who led the Resistance, suspected that even though they were allies, the United States and Britain would use Amgot to force their values and customs on France. He also knew that after being occupied for four years, the French would never accept anything resembling another occupation, even if in the name of aid and reconstruction.

So eight days after D-Day, De Gaulle returned to France as head of a self-declared provisional government against the will of the Allies and began appointing his own government officials in liberated areas. He demanded that the Allies answer to civilian power in liberated areas. By mid-August, the Allies realized they wouldn't be able to apply the Amgot with French cooperation, so they dropped it.

France was the only German-occupied country of Western Europe that cleared up the mess of the war on its own. It might not seem like a comparable situation to what Iraq is facing, but it's worth recalling that after the war the French economy had shrunk 80 percent, the country was on the brink of civil war and had no democratic institutions. And still, France showed the United States the limits of American postwar hegemony, and French capacity to meet the challenge.

There's no doubt that De Gaulle's stance in 1944 was motivated by pride. And national pride certainly continues to shape France's stance on Iraq. But it would be narcissistic of Americans to think that pride is directly exclusively at them. Chirac can certainly read the same hurt pride in the Iraqi people that the French experienced. No wonder he persists in arguing for the re-establishment of Iraqi sovereignty, even if Iraq doesn't have a constitution or elected representatives.

In France's experience of liberation, the exercise of sovereignty came first, then reconstruction, a new constitution and elections. De Gaulle took charge of postwar France without an elected mandate. He was an authoritarian leader, but he got results. Using autocratic means, De Gaulle averted the threat of civil war and kept the Communist resistance at bay. Two years after the war ended, France had a new constitution and held elections, though it took the French 15 more years to stabilize their democratic institutions.

Since the Iraqi crisis began, many Americans have criticized the French for not showing gratitude to the United States for having liberated them from German occupation. This is nonsense. France is full of memorials commemorating the sacrifices of Allied soldiers during the Liberation.

The French are suspicious of any country they see pushing the "gratitude" button to further their own interests. To this day, the French resent the fact that the U.S. government, in 1948, attached conditions to the Marshall Plan aid, such as allowing American movies to circulate in France.

Given France's history, it should come as no surprise that the French are pushing to re-establish Iraqi sovereignty. What's surprising is that Americans think it's all about them.

Russia may oppose US resolution on Iraq

The new American draft resolution on Iraq could run into opposition from Russia.

It proposes a December 15 deadline for the Iraqi Governing Council to submit a timetable for drawing up a new constitution and elections.

But it does not create a provisional government within months nor give the United Nations a central role in planning Iraq's political future.

There has been a positive reaction from France and Germany but the spokesman for the Russian Mission to the UN, Sergey Trepelkov, was not as warm.

US officer: There's ''clear indication'' Saddam hiding in Tikrit area; Third US soldier killed in past 24 hours

13-10-2003,20 :47

The U.S. military said it believes Saddam Hussein has been hiding out in Tikrit area and influencing the anti-U.S. attacks. "We have clear indication he has been here recently," Maj. Troy Smith told reporters in the ex-president's hometown. "We are receiving a large amount of information from human sources." "He could be here right now," he added.

[...] All in all, three American soldiers have been killed in separate attacks over a24 -hour period in northern Iraq.

A Burst of Gunfire, Then a 'Hail'

Unraveling a Friendly Fire Incident in Fallujah

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, October 14, 2003; Page A01

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- The deadliest incident of friendly fire in the six-month-old U.S. military occupation of Iraq began with a quiet midnight prowl in the desert and the sudden roar of a car chase down an empty highway.

The prowlers were 35 or so soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division on a mission to hunt resistance fighters along Highway 10 from Fallujah to Baghdad. On the night of Sept. 11, the infantrymen scaled a wall of their base and walked softly through the sand, their flashlights off and conversations kept to a whisper.

Several miles away, members of a U.S.-funded militia called the Fallujah Protection Force raced in pursuit of a black BMW whose occupants had attacked the mayor's office. Identified by green armbands and their AK-47 rifles, the militiamen charged down the road in a white pickup.

As the truck passed the foot patrol, the Iraqi militiamen didn't see the U.S. soldiers. The soldiers didn't recognize the militiamen. Within minutes, eight of the militiamen were dead, their truck riddled with American bullets.

The killings shattered a painstakingly forged, brittle alliance between U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces in a city where cooperation against the resistance is seen as critical to stabilizing Iraq. A month later, not only are relations still tense, but the two sides dispute what actually happened that night. U.S. military personnel say the Iraqis shot first. The mayor and police chief, and security officers who survived the shooting, insist it was the other way around. [...]

Associated Press Deletes Crucial Portion of Witness Statement

On 12 October 2003, two suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives toward the Baghdad Hotel. Iraqi and US personnel fired on them, causing them to crash into a concrete barrier, where their cars exploded. Eight people were killed, including the drivers, and 32 were injured.

The Associated Press filed several versions of this story. It often does this to add new details as a story develops or to correct information. But once in a while, the AP makes changes that are suspect. In this case, they gutted some intriguing information from a witness statement. [...]

Comment: So whose identity is so important to protect?


Your government at work: Iraq war PR campaign a flop before it begins

by Justin Raimondo

The U.S. government is launching a public relations blitz designed to show the American people that they shouldn't believe the evidence right in front of their eyes, because our success (or lack of it) in Iraq is all in how you look at it. The President has complained that the "good news" about Iraq has been blocked by the "filter" of a hostile news media, as MSNBC reports: "Bush said he was concerned that 'perceptions' didn't reflect the reality of 'progress' in Iraq." [...]

Violent clash between Shiite factions in Karbala as two US troops die in Baghdad

14-10-2003,11 :25

Rival Shiite Muslim factions clashed overnight in the holy city of Karbala, and several people were killed or injured, witnesses said Tuesday. Iraqi police surrounded the offices of one of the faction leaders.

The Karbala clash appeared to be part of a power struggle in the majority Shiite community between forces of Muqtada al-Sadr, a strong opponent of the U.S. military occupation, and followers of religious leaders who have taken a more moderate stand toward the Americans.

Living with reverse logic in the Mideast

When you are asked to disbelieve what your eyes see and believe what those far away tell you about your own backyard; when you thank your executioner when he offers you a hot meal before he ends your life, and when the aggressor becomes the victim and the freedom fighter is marked for assassination; when you are prevented from openly discussing delinquency for fear of being accused of being one, or asking for justice and equality for fear of being accused of terrorism, and when returning stolen money to its rightful owner becomes a degrading exercise, it means you are living in the Middle East. Here, logic is reversed, and physical and moral brutality is deemed nothing but a natural extension of power.

One of the most glaring symbols of reverse logic is the speech Israel’s UN envoy delivered to the General Assembly during the debate on his country’s decision to expel Yasser Arafat. He complained that “such meetings cost no less that $30,000,” meaning that the PLO should desist from lodging complaints that require the Security Council or General Assembly to convene, out of concern for the UN’s budget.

This, therefore, is the main problem and not breaking international law or occupying other people’s land, annexing it, destroying the livelihood of its inhabitants, killing their children and expelling their leaders. It is simply a matter of an uncaring people under occupation who waste the money of others without regard for decency or feelings of guilt. So why do these people insist on lodging complaints? And by the same token, why are these complaints ever accepted? Why do UN bodies bother to convene at all? Isn’t it time that the Palestinians learn to behave in a reasonable and responsible manner and stop complaining and squandering the UN’s time and money?

Hariri: Another regional war is in nobody’s interests
Prime minister rips Syria accountability act

Maurice Kaldawi
Daily Star staff

Prime Minister Rafik Hariri accused Israel Monday of seeking to create a new fait accompli through its “hostile behavior,” and in all probability of trying to “ignite war” in the region.

Muslims and Americans have been divided by history

I fear the crisis is wider and deeper than is being perceived or acknowledged in the US media. Perhaps if US policymakers understood this problem at the start of the “war on terror,” they would have adopted different strategies. Their arrogance was compounded by the arrogance of the so-called experts who were assuring Washington that Muslims respected strongman tactics; that as their societies were brutish and did not want democracy, they would admire brutal tactics; that once the Americans conquered the land, they would be welcomed as heroes. This false assessment of the so-called experts created the false assumptions of the policymakers. Many of these assumptions were based on outright racist attitudes. Unfortunately, these were the only voices permitted to comment on Islam in the media, forcing policymakers to work in a vacuum. It has been a costly miscalculation.

Saudi Arabia Says It Will Hold First Elections

By Isa Mubarak
Tuesday, October 14, 2003

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 13 -- Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it would hold its first elections, a vote for municipal councils, in a move seen by some as the first concrete political reform in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

The announcement by the cabinet, reported by the state Saudi Press Agency, said "the council of ministers decided to widen participation of citizens in running local affairs through elections by activating municipal councils, with half the members of each council being elected." [...]

The announcement followed growing demands by reformists that the conservative Muslim kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Abdullah, allow wider political participation, elections and freedom of expression. Under the dynastic rule of the House of Saud since the 1930s, Saudi Arabia has had an appointed advisory council but has never had elections for public office. [...]

Bin Laden son plays key role in terror network

Oct. 14, 2003. 12:39 AM

WASHINGTON — Saad bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's oldest sons, has emerged in recent months as part of the upper echelon of the Al Qaeda network, a small group of leaders that is managing the terrorist organization from Iran, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

Saad bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda operatives were in contact with an Al Qaeda cell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the days immediately prior to the May 12 suicide bombing there that left 35 people dead, European and U.S. intelligence sources say.

The sources would not divulge the nature or contents of the communications, but the contacts have led them to conclude that the Riyadh attacks were planned in Iran and ordered from there.

Although Saad bin Laden is not the top leader of the terrorist group, his presence in the decision-making process demonstrates his father's trust in him and an apparent desire to pass the mantle of leadership to a family member, according to analysts. [...]

Oil Prices Soften But Wary of Shortage

Report: Mubarak's son survives assassination bid

14-10-2003,09 :17

Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has recently survived an assassination attempt, while driving on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway, the Islamic Media Monitor (Al Marsad) reported, citing Egyptian fundamental sources.

The London-based body said that in the course of the attempted assassination bid, Gamal's personal driver was wounded. It added the attempt took place when Gamal was on his way back from a tour in Alexandria.

Pakistan Tests Third Shaeen-1 Missile

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer
October 14, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The Pakistani military test-fired a mid-range missile on Tuesday that can fly 435 miles and hit many targets in India, the country's main rival. The launch was the last in a series of three tests this month, it said.

Longer-range missiles will be tested in the future, the army said in a statement. [...]

Bolivia Leader Refuses to Quit as 15 Die in Protests

Underage work force estimated at 60,000

An estimated 60,000 child workers are employed in Greece, according to International Labor Organization figures made public yesterday.

Greece also shares one of the basic problems faced in combating child labor worldwide, namely pinpointing the exact number of youngsters aged 5-17 employed in the country. Many work as beggars in Greece’s biggest cities, often exploited by organized gangs ran by adults.

Some 186 million children aged 5-14 are employed globally and another 59 million aged 15-17, according to the ILO, a United Nations agency.

Turks trade troops for hard U.S. cash

By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor
October 12, 2003

The de facto partition of Iraq, long predicted by this column, could be accelerating. Washington may decide to carve up the country into "Iraq utile," as France used to define Chad, and "Iraq inutile" - or useful and useless Iraq. Oil is in the north and southeast. Let the Turks and Kurds divvy up the north; the U.S. and Britain will control the bigger southeast fields; the oilless Sunni triangle, where resistance to U.S. occupation is fiercest, will be sealed off and left in isolation.

US firms 'tried to lie' over GM crops, says EU

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
14 October 2003

American biotech companies tried to lie to Europe in an attempt to force genetically modified crops upon them, Margot Wallström, the European environment commissioner, said yesterday.

Far from developing GM crops to solve the problem of starvation in the world, as they claimed, the biotech companies did so to "solve starvation amongst their shareholders", said the European Union's leading green politician.

China to use best rocket to launch manned spaceship
2003-10-14 17:58:24

JIUQUAN, Gansu, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- China will use its best rocket, Long March CZ-2 F, to launch its first manned spaceship, an official with China's manned space flight program said here Tuesday.

Huang Chunping, commander-in-chief of the rocket system of China's manned space flight program, said Long March CZ-2 F was developed on the basis of Long March CZ-2 E according to the technical requirements of human spaceflight. With the application of 55 new technologies, including fault detection system and escape system, the rocket has reached advanced international levels in all the technical indices.

[...] This type of rocket has so far successfully sent four unmanned Shenzhou spaceships into the preset orbits in space.

"The rocket that will launch Shenzhou-5 spaceship is the best of all," he said. "It is of superior quality and has stood most stringent tests." China plans to launch the manned Shenzhou-5 spaceship sometime between Oct. 15 and 17.

Chinese special envoy to visit Middle East
2003-10-14 19:07:41

BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese special envoy Wang Shijie is to visit Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine from Oct. 18, Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Zhang Qiyue said here Tuesday.

The special envoy is to exchange views with the relevant parties on the Middle East peace process, Zhang said.

The special envoy will make constructive efforts to ease the tensions in the region, said Zhang.

Geologists say Salt Lake area due for major earthquake

Monday, October 13, 2003
Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY -- It could happen tomorrow, or it could happen a century from now. But scientists are accumulating more evidence that the Salt Lake City area will be hit by a powerful earthquake again, just as it has every 1,200 years or so for millennia.

Findings about this ancient rhythm of immense quakes raise the threat of widespread destruction for the heavily populated 120-mile Wasatch corridor around Salt Lake City. [...]

Earthquake hits western Quebec

The Montreal Gazette
Monday, October 13, 2003

MONTREAL -- A moderate earthquake shook western Quebec at 4:26 a.m. [...]

The magnitude 4.6 earthquake was centred 79 kilometres north of Maniwaki, but felt as far away as Ottawa, Pembroke, Cobden and Montreal, according to the Geological Survey of Canada. There were no reports of damage or injuries. [...]

Scientists Ponder Alaska's Volcanic Nature

Mon Oct 13,10:14 PM ET

ANCHORAGE - Alaska has been ground zero for cataclysmic jolts such as earthquakes, volcanic blasts, landslides, tsunamis, floods and fires.

Rather than being carefully sculpted over eons, this state has been repeatedly blown apart like a series of epic Hollywood disasters.

"This is definitely where the action is," said volcanologist John Eichelberger, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Hundreds of scientists gathered in Fairbanks last month to talk about the continuing impact of such extreme events during a conference organized by Eichelberger and others. [...]

Community gripped by mystery beneath the earth (South Africa)

October 13, 2003, 06:45 PM

A tiny community is gripped by the mystery that lies beneath the earth. Sparks are flying and smoke seeps strangely. Its all happening at the village of Bodibe near Lichtenburg and its getting so curious that the experts have moved in.

The people of Bodibe village are baffled by what's going on underneath their dam. First it dried up, then it cracked up. Then for no reason smoke began rising.

At night sparks have been seen flying. In the absence in an explanation many of the people here have turned to superstition blaming rituals carried out at the dam. Geologists have taken a good look and taken soil samples in a bid to unlock the mystery.

Environmental health officials will dig trenches around the dam to prevent fires from spreading. However no one knows how or why the fire from below is raging.

Panel Urges Increased Research Into Weather Modification

Monday October 13, 2003 4:05pm

Washington (AP) - From ancient rain ceremonies to 19th century charlatans who fired cannon to bring down water, human attempts to change the weather have been varied and largely unproven.

Hoping to improve understanding of the field, the National Research Council renewed on Tuesday its recommendation for a concentrated research effort into both intentional and accidental weather modification. [...]

Controversial drilling method may be protected

Energy bill compromise would exempt 'hydraulic fracturing'

Dan Morgan, Washington Post
Monday, October 13, 2003

Washington -- For several years the Environmental Protection Agency has been studying whether an increasingly popular -- but environmentally controversial - - drilling technique used by Halliburton Co. and other big oil and gas operators pollutes underground drinking water supplies.

Now Republicans drafting broad energy legislation have decided not to wait for the EPA to issue its final report. Instead, the House-Senate compromise on the energy bill exempts the technique, known as "hydraulic fracturing," from some of the controls of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. [...]

Foetus with three parents created

Scientists have come close to creating the world's first baby with three parents, it has emerged.

Experts in China created embryos using eggs from two women and sperm from a man, a fertility conference in the United States has heard.

Yale Bonesmen engaged in macabre business

Society's act of grave robbing sheds light on need to protect Indian burial sites

by: David Melmer
Indian Country Today

RAPID CITY, S.D. - A secret society at Yale University boasts of harboring skulls and bones of humans and members of that society have become some of the most powerful people in America by virtue of the network established by the society.

President George W. Bush, his father and grandfather are and were members of the Skull and Bones Society.

Recent news articles in Indian Country Today, national publications and on the national CBS television program "60 Minutes" exposed some of the inner workings of the society. Books have been written about the society and the Bonesmen, as they are called. Author Alexandra Robbins told CBS correspondent Morley Safer she was threatened and harassed for asking members to reveal information about the society. Some members did open up to her. [...]

Light shed on witchcraft -- Sewer initiation encounter brings group into spotlight (Ohio)

T-R Staff Writer

Most people in the Tuscarawas Valley have probably never heard of the Dragon Knights or Black Dragons – two area wiccan-pagan groups.

They were underground groups, pretty much unknown to the mainstream until a recent encounter with police.

Dover police came upon an initiation ceremony inside a storm sewer drain on Oct. 4 and the subsequent events brought the groups to the surface.

As a result three members were arrested on weapon charges and seven others were charged with trespassing. Police also confiscated guns, daggers and knives. [...]

Fijian ancestors to apologise for eating missionary

The inhabitants of a remote Fiji mountain village, whose ancestors killed and ate an English missionary 136 years ago, are to offer a traditional apology to his descendants.

Reverend Thomas Baker, of the London Missionary Society, was killed by the people of Navatusila in 1867, after he took a comb out of a chief's hair.

It was and still is forbidden to touch the head of a chief.

He was subsequently cooked and eaten. One of the villagers, who took part in the feast, was quoted in contemporary accounts as saying "we ate everything but his boots".

The Pacific Islands News Association reports the district chief has invited Reverend Baker's descendants to the ceremony.

The tribe believes they have been cursed for what their forefathers did.

German man charged with teaching dog Hitler salute
11:18 Tuesday 14th October 2003

A German man is to appear in court charged with teaching his dog to give the Hitler salute.

The black sheepdog-mix, named Adolf, has been taught to lift his right front paw up straight in the salute on command.

Police were called to the scene in Berlin when Roland T, 54, shouted at passers-by last year.

When a patrol arrived, he allegedly showed them the trick he had taught his dog, gave the salute along with Adolf, and shouted: "Sieg Heil."

Now he has been charged with using symbols of unconstitutional organisations. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison. [...]

Rome-bound passengers terrorized by snake

From Agence France-Presse

ROME — A runaway snake which worked its way loose from cabin luggage terrorized passengers aboard a Qatar Airways flight as it was about to land at Rome's Fiumicino airport, passengers said Sunday. [...]

The owner of the snake tried to assure his fellow passengers that the pet was harmless, but rose from his seat to capture it when other passengers became alarmed, they said.

Wedding Party Shoots Down Plane

Mon Oct 13,10:37 AM ET

BELGRADE (Reuters) - A two-seater sports plane on an unauthorized joyride was apparently shot down by mistake when it flew over a Serbian wedding party where guests were firing guns into the air, local media reported Sunday. [...]

"A few moments later, while attempting a crash landing, it was caught in overhead power cables," he said. [...]

The Simpsons to be used to attract more people to church
11:24 Tuesday 14th October 2003

A Scottish church is to run a course on the Gospel according to The Simpsons to try to boost congregations.

Church leaders at Holburn West Church in Aberdeen say the adventures of Homer and his family are an ideal way to explore moral and religious dilemmas.

Each of the four meetings will cover a different episode with a group discussion of the main themes taking place after.

The Rev George Cowie, spokesman for the Presbytery in Aberdeen, said: "Despite its anarchic humour, The Simpsons is one of the few television programmes which portrays a modern family who attend church regularly."

"The course at Holburn West will endeavour to close the gap with popular culture, and it is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the Christian faith."

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