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."
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November 7, 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."

Bush regaled the nation and the world yesterday with a speech about "freedom". As he strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage, we soon came to realise that it was was a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Interestingly however, "nothing" is exactly what Americans and many other peoples around the world may soon be left with as a result of this particular idiot and his puppet masters.

The Pentagon claims a special force is hunting Osama and Saddam. It shouldn't be too hard to find them, given that they should know where at least Saddam is hiding - after all, they gave him 48 hours notice before the invasion. Other Iraq news includes: another U.S. chopper is downed, Bush says monarchial Saudi Arabia should lead Arab countries toward democracy, some troops desert rather than return to Iraq, and more on troop rotations.

FBI unleashed, propaganda tweaking, assassination, workplace shootings, and anthrax scares. A typical day in the neighborhood if you live in the United States of America. Land of the Free, Home of the Brave™.

"If voting could really change things, it would be illegal." - Excerpt from the Diebold Documents  

Today in 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution led by V.I. Lenin overthrew the Kerensky government and began setting up world's first communist state. Interestingly Lenin was a Russian Jew.

Hang on to your emotional centers as we explore the truth about our world and the people in charge of it.

Analysis: Bush's defining moment

By Rob Watson
BBC correspondent in Washington
Thursday, 6 November, 2003

This speech may well turn out to be a defining moment in the presidency of George W Bush.

Its message was unmistakeable - that the countries of the Middle East must embrace democracy for the good of their peoples and the security of the world.

To set the stage and no doubt to warm the hearts of American conservatives, the president began by drawing a parallel with that hero of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan.

The former president had predicted the downfall of Communism, which President Bush said had been considered naive at the time.

The inference was clear - that people who doubt this president's belief in the spread of democracy, might also be proved wrong.

The president said there was no reason why the people of the Middle East should not enjoy democracy - "it should be clear to all that Islam - the faith of one-fifth of humanity - is consistent with democratic rule" - accusing those who doubted it of cultural condescension.

There was also a tough message for the region's rulers, the president posing them a question: "As changes come to the Middle Eastern region, those with power should ask themselves: Will they be remembered for resisting reform, or for leading it?"

What was perhaps most surprising about the speech though, was the president's verdict on the West's past policy in the region as a failure.

"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe - because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty."

The speech appears to have been brewing ever since the 11 September attacks

The president said the US had therefore adopted a new policy on the Middle East, describing it as a "forward strategy of freedom".

Exactly what that will mean in practical terms the president didn't say.

Comment: Of course he didn't say, and you know why? Well, firstly the President doesn't write his speeches so he never really understands what he is saying. The reason he doesn't write his speeches is because he lacks the intelligence and awareness of domestic or international affairs to do so. The people that write his speeches like Karl Rove and other members of the militant Christian and Jewish fundamentalist extremist group known as PNAC DO know what they are talking about, that's why they write the speeches. There is a problem however.

Most of the US and Western European public (who the speeches are directed at) are in a similar position to president Bush, not understanding very well the truth of the nature of international politics and it's agenda. Having, for years, been fed a diet of simplistic and often moronic "news bites" they have come to believe that the world is divided very simply between "goodies and baddies", with the western nations being the "goodies" and the eastern nations being the "baddies." For the vast majority of people the west is a shining example of the wonders of democratic rule and the east is (in general) a festering cess pit of dictatorial horror.

This then is why Karl Rove et al write Bush's speeches using terms like "forward strategy of freedom". Essentially it means nothing, but contains little sound bites that confirm to the public the aforementioned erroneous belief about the nature of government in western nations. In yesterday's speech (we wont call it Bush's speech in the interest of accuracy) Bush mentioned that he deplored the middle east's "freedom deficit". It is terms like these that the government relies on to get the message across.

If we consider the term "freedom deficit" stated as it was in relation to the Middle East, and how it might be understood by the public, we come to the conclusion that the most important message (from the government's POV) contained within those two little words is not that the middle east lacks freedom, but rather that the US has plenty of it. This is the illusion that must be maintained at all costs, as long as US citizens believe that "their" country is the guardian of freedom they will continue to support the government in it's efforts to dispense this freedom to all nations with a "deficit". The government's assurance that this will remain the case lies in the fact that Americans WANT to believe that they are free and live in a free country. This desire is so strong that it can overcome even clear evidence to the contrary.

So ask yourself this: If you are kidnapped and held prisoner in a room where you are plied with psychedelic drugs which lead you to believe that you are in fact not held prisoner in a room but are in fact somewhere else, free and happy, assuming that you can actually become aware, to some degree, of the fact that you are in the room being held captive, what would you have to do to free yourself? Would it be difficult? Painful? Would it involve denial? Horror at waking up to your situation?...

Keeping the Protesters Out of Sight and Out of Hearing

by Charles Levendosky
November 6, 2003
International Herald Tribune

President George W. Bush has never been an advocate of the First Amendment. Even when he was governor of Texas, he prohibited demonstrations on the walkways in front of the governor's mansion, an area which had traditionally been used for peaceful protests.

As president, Bush has widened his restrictions on demonstrations against his policies. Anti-Bush protesters are now relegated to what are euphemistically called Free Speech Zones. These areas are cordoned off as far as a mile away from the president and the main thoroughfares, so that Bush cannot see the demonstrators, or their signs of protest, or hear their chants.

The free speech enclosures are only for those who disagree with the administration's current policies. Those citizens who carry pro-Bush signs are allowed to line the street where the president's motorcade passes.

Members of the Secret Service or local law enforcement officers under orders of the Secret Service demand that protesters move into a free speech area. Peter Buckley, of Oregon, a former Democratic candidate for Congress, attended a presidential appearance. After being herded into a fenced-in free speech area, he wrote in an opinion piece for The Oregonian: "We were not allowed anywhere near any kind of position where the president, or the media which follows him, would see or hear us. This is not America. This in not the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is some other country. I'm a patriotic American. I want the country I was raised to believe in, a country strong enough for political discourse and debate, with leaders courageous and decent enough to have the willingness to listen to all citizens, not just those who parrot their own views. ... The effort being made to hide political opposition in this country is more than cowardly, it's un-American."

Brett Bursey, of South Carolina, attended a speech given by the president at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. He was standing among thousands of other citizens. Bursey held up a sign stating: "No more war for oil." Bursey did not pose a threat to the president, nor was he located in an area restricted to official personnel. Bursey wasn't blocking a corridor the Secret Service needed to keep clear for security reasons. He was standing among citizens who were enthusiastically greeting Bush. Bursey, however, was the only one holding an anti-Bush sign.

He was ordered to put down his sign or move to a designated protest site more than half a mile away, outside the sight and hearing of the president. Bursey refused. He was then arrested and charged with trespassing by the South Carolina police. [...]

Comment: And Americans still think they do NOT live in a police state/dictatorship?? Get real!

Israel carries out 157 assassinations against Palestinians: report     

GAZA, Nov. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Israeli army forces have carried out 157 assassination operations against Palestinians since the outbreak of the intifada, or uprising, in September 2000, a report by Palestinian humanitarian institution said Thursday.

A total of 309 Palestinians were killed and 627 others injured in the Israeli operations, according to the report issued by the Gaza City-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights.     

"Out of the 309 Palestinians killed, 114 of them were innocent civilians who happened to be at the scene of the crime, and 38 werechildren," the report said.  

"The Israeli army still continues to carry out illegal crimes, assassination operations and physical eliminations, alleging that the victims were involved in attacks carried out against Israeli targets," it said.     

"What worries the most is that these crimes...that contravene the Geneva Convention are still perpetrated in the midst of the international community's silence," it added.     

The report warned that such a silence could encourage Israel to carry out more crimes against the Palestinians whom Israel accuses of planning or perpetrating attacks against its targets.

"In all cases, the Israeli army has never presented any proofs that the victims were actually involved in attacks against Israel and directly executed these individuals without arresting them or presenting them to any trials," the report said.    

"The period between the beginning of last May until the end of September has witnessed an unprecedented escalation regarding military assassination operations carried out in the Palestinian territories," it said. [...]

Comment: There is this handy slur pulled out every time someone speaks up regarding Israel's genocidal policies: anti-semitism. U.S., taking a cue from Zionists, also has a few slurs every time someone questions their genocidal policies: anti-American or unpatriotic. Both labels can land the labeled in a heap of trouble. A handy system if you are a homicidal leader of a country. Of course the reverse is true.

The real patriots or Americans question their countries practices. Someone who cares about the Jewish people will point out the obvious set up. Sharon and company are placing Israeli citizens under the looming monster of constant terrorism, using fear and terror to maintain and acquire power. Of course there are citizens of both regimes who support the continual atrocities.

The mother of 11- year-old al-Qayed mourns her loss

Palestinian child shot dead

Friday 07 November 2003

Israeli soldiers have shot and killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including an 11-year-old child, in separate clashes.

The latest casualty on Friday was a Palestinian child killed by shrapnel from an Israeli tank shell in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said.

Mahmud al-Qayed, 11, was hit in his chest as he was playing with a friend near the Karni crossing point between the northeastern Gaza Strip and Israel, the medical sources and witnesses said.

Also, one Palestinian died after being wounded in shooting by Israeli troops near the southern village of Huzaa.

Another Palestinian was killed in an exchange of fire with an Israeli army unit invading the El Moghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinian security sources said.

Helicopter fire

The unit of a dozen armoured vehicles penetrated hundreds of metres into the sector in the Palestinian territory, accompanied by a helicopter which opened fire. [...]

Possible anthrax at White House mail area The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) — A substance that authorities say might be anthrax was detected at the military facility that processes White House mail, the Navy and Homeland Security Department said Thursday.

Equipment that routinely monitors the air at the Naval Automated Processing Facility in the District of Columbia indicated Wednesday the presence of "small amounts of biological pathogens, possibly anthrax," said Rachael Sunbarger, a Homeland Security spokeswoman.

After the initial field test, eight air samples were sent to Fort Detrick, Md., for testing, according to Lt. Cmdr. Edward Zeigler, spokesman for the Naval District of Washington. One sample tested positive for anthrax and seven tested negative, he said.

As a result, more testing will be done, he said.

A Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, Cmdr. Conrad Chun, said the Fort Detrick test showed a spore count of 138. He described the spores as "dead."

There were no illnesses reported, Sunbarger said.

Few people work at the automated facility. Chun said the workers wear protective clothing and that an air monitor worked as designed. Mail is screened there before going to a mail-handling facility nearby, he said. The facility also handles mail distributed to Navy personnel throughout the Washington area.

Chun said the matter is being further investigated by the FBI, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, postal inspectors and others.

All mail destined for the White House, Congress and other federal agency is irradiated before it is delivered to those sites.

A Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said all the mail going through the facility had been stopped. [...]

Comment: Whose turn is it to be falsely accused this time? Back on December 16, 2001 the Washington Post published, Capitol Hill Anthrax Matches Army's Stocks: 5 Labs Can Trace Spores to Ft. Detrick. The CIA also has it's own stock of anthrax as openly admitted on CNN: CIA uses anthrax, but no link to letters also dated December 16, 2001. Yes, that's right. Bio warfare is a part of the CIA's job description.

L.A. Times Will Stop Calling Them "Resistance Fighters"


[...]The Los Angeles Times will no longer refer to the attackers in Iraq as ''resistance fighters.''  The word came down last night from assistant managing editor Melissa McCoy, keeper of the LAT copy desks and usage rules. [...]

"Colleagues, We have, in recent days, referred to those attacking American forces in Iraq as 'resistance fighters.' Although this term is not inaccurate on its face, it conveys unintended meaning.  To many, it romanticizes the work and goals of those killing GIs. We should avoid using it outside of quoted material.

The terms 'insurgents' and 'guerrillas' are also accurate descriptors and are preferred in this context.  Please use them instead."[...]

Comment: Ah, the carefully crafted nuances of propaganda.

U.S. revokes security clearance for Pentagon employee

By Warren P. Strobel
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A veteran Pentagon employee who was a key player in the effort to find links between Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida has been stripped of his security clearance, according to senior U.S. officials.

The employee, F. Michael Maloof, is associated with a Lebanese-American businessman who is under federal investigation for possible involvement in a gun-running scheme to Liberia, the West African nation embroiled in civil war. The businessman, Imad El Haje, approached Maloof on behalf of Syria to seek help in arranging a communications channel between Syria and the Defense Department.

Maloof is close to influential foreign policy hawks inside and outside government, some of whom lobbied vigorously to get his clearance restored despite objections from government security officers, one official said.

The officials involved all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified matters. [...]

Six die in US helicopter crash

Friday, 7 November, 2003

An American Black Hawk helicopter has been forced down near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, killing all six soldiers on board.

The US military is investigating whether the chopper was attacked or suffered mechanical problems.

American troops have secured the scene near the Tigris River in north Iraq.

Last weekend, an American Chinook helicopter was shot down, killing 16 soldiers in the biggest single strike on US forces since they invaded Iraq.

The Black Hawk went down on a riverbank along the Tigris River about a kilometre from the US base in Saddam Hussein's former palace in Tikrit.

Smoke was seen rising from the wreckage as other helicopters hovered above.

First Pole dies in Iraq ambush

The US has been facing daily guerrilla attacks


A Polish officer and two American soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Iraq.

The Pole was the first fatality for the European state, which leads a 9,000-strong force in south-central Iraq. [...]

Waiting for the command to start killing Americans

Jen Banbury - Salon Nov. 5, 2003

SADR CITY, BAGHDAD, Iraq -- I met Ithir yesterday when I visited Sadr City, the poor, crowded area in northern Baghdad that is home to more than 2 million Shiites. Ithir works in a small shop that sells an eclectic combination of inexpensive items: stationery, pens, plastic clocks embellished with plastic flowery geegaws, picture frames rimmed with hearts, some Barbie paraphernalia, and brightly colored prints depicting the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Though the young Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr has attracted a lot of attention lately for his strong (albeit inconsistent) opinions about the American occupation, al-Sistani remains the most widely followed and respected Shiite leader in Iraq. Ithir, who holds a master's degree in computer science, is devoted to Sistani. He goes to his local mosque regularly and, like any good Muslim, is fasting for the month of Ramadan.

However, one issue leaves him at odds with Sistani. Ithir desperately wants his ayatollah to declare jihad on the Americans, so that he can start killing American soldiers.

This is not good news. Ithir is a Shiite, and Shiites are supposed to love the Americans, or at least not hate them as much as some of the other Iraqis do. The way the Bush administration lays it out, the anti-U.S. violence is coming either from the Sunni minority (Baathists who want the Americans to leave so they can reclaim the stranglehold on the country they enjoyed under Saddam) or from foreign terrorists.

But things are a whole lot more subtle and complicated than that. A lot of the Shiites, like Ithir, are furious at the Americans and ready to kill. And Shiites make up 60 percent of the country; they're well-organized and have clear leadership and command structures. If they go, the Americans won't be facing the occasional roadside bomb or rocket-propelled grenade. They'll be facing a full-on nationwide insurrection.

When I entered Ithir's shop, he greeted me with an almost beatific smile and immediately went next door to buy me a 7 Up (though he could probably ill afford it and though he, himself, couldn't drink anything -- even water -- until sundown). He continued to smile warmly throughout our conversation, while he explained in soft, matter-of-fact tones, why he hoped he would soon be given the green light to start killing Americans.

Like so many other Iraqis I've spoken to, Ithir feels profoundly angry and discouraged about the state of his country. America is the most powerful nation in the world, right? The swiftness with which the Americans won the war inspired (as planned) both shock and awe. So why, Iraqis wonder, can't the occupiers improve the situation in Iraq right now?

Iraqis tend to see the ongoing problems with security, power, sanitation, leadership, etc., as either a purposeful strategy on the part of the Americans or a type of malign neglect. As one young Shiite told me, "During Saddam, we heard lots of promises. 'Iraqis will be on top in technology,' et cetera. But it's only words on paper. We think Americans are the same. They make promises without keeping them. Like the phones -- they say we'll have them, but we don't believe it anymore. They say a week, then a month. A year will go by." When I ask these men whether they can see today's deprivations as a tradeoff for the new freedoms they have, especially the ability to openly criticize the current situation, I often get the same answer: "Yes, now we can talk," they'll say. "But what does it matter if no one is listening?" Another expression I hear lately is an old Arab saying: "A man who has seen death and survived, is satisfied with a flu." Saddam was the flu -- the situation now, people tell me, is death. [...]

Ancient Iraqi treasures found in Baghdad cesspool

Thu Nov 6
By Luke Baker

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two priceless pieces of Iraq's ancient heritage, looted from Baghdad's main museum in the chaotic days after Saddam Hussein's fall, have been recovered from a Baghdad cesspool, U.S. officials say. [...]

Bush: Mideast Must Move Toward Democracy

Nov 6, 9:31 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Repudiating decades of U.S. policy, President Bush said Thursday the United States and its allies have been wrong in "excusing and accommodating" a lack of freedom in the Middle East. He prodded Saudi Arabia and Egypt to lead Arab nations toward democracy.

Mindful of widespread anger and mistrust in the Muslim world toward the United States, Bush also said that as democratic governments emerge in the Middle East, they should reflect their own cultures and "will not and should not look like us."

He said it would take time for democracy to spread and the United States would be "patient and understanding." [...]

Comment: Saudi Arabia should lead Arab nations towards democracy?! Is this the same monarchial Saudi Arabia where women are treated like cattle and amputations are the penalty for minor crimes? Finally the US is clarifying just what "freedom and democracy" means.

Baghdad George

Charley Reese
Friday, November 7, 2003

I guess it was inevitable. Someone has compared President George Bush to "Baghdad Bob," the inadvertently comical Iraqi information minister who kept insisting Iraq was winning the war even as American tanks gathered outside his office.

This came after the president's latest press conference, when he said attacks were increasing in Iraq because the occupation was so successful. In other words, the situation is worse because the situation is better. The more successful we are, the more Americans and Iraqis will die from bombs and ambushes. It was Bill Press, the other half of the TV show with Pat Buchanan, who came up with that wisecrack.

The president's handlers are wise to keep him away from news conferences. He doesn't handle them well. At this one, you could see from his facial expression that he was not happy to be there. He was, as most politicians are, defensive and evasive. He absolutely refuses to acknowledge that the people attacking Americans in Iraq are anyone but Saddam loyalists and foreign terrorists. Actually, most of them are probably just Iraqis who resent foreign occupation and the bad behavior of some American troops.

If he read newspapers, which he told a TV interviewer that he doesn't, he would know that. Even one of the American officers in Iraq recently slipped up and, in an interview with a journalist, referred to the guerrillas as "freedom fighters." There is scant evidence of any sizable number of foreign terrorists, at least none that secretive American officials have been willing to make public. One guy shot the other day by Iraqis had a Syrian passport, but that doesn't mean he was necessarily a Syrian. People in the terrorist business usually have several passports. [...]

[Bush] keeps repeating that canard that "terrorists hate freedom." Nonsense. There is no terrorist in the world who is a terrorist because he hates freedom. By far, the majority of terrorists are fighting for freedom of some group that doesn't have it. In the case of Iraq, it is freedom from American occupation; with the Irish Republican Army, it was freedom from British rule; with the Palestinians, freedom from Israeli occupation; and so forth. It is absurd to suppose that a human being sitting around suddenly stands up and says: "You know, I hate freedom. I think I'll go blow myself up." [...]

Army Undertaking Large Troops Rotation

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
November 7, 2003

WASHINGTON - The Army next year will undertake its largest series of troop rotations since World War II when it sends 85,000 new Army and Marine combat forces to Iraq to replace soldiers ending one-year tours.

The Pentagon plans, announced Thursday, also include alerting an additional 43,000 National Guard and Reserve support troops that they may be sent to Iraq as well. [...]

A new underground railroad

Some soldiers would rather desert than return to Iraq

Becky Oberg
November 5, 2003

Service members know the consequences of going absent without leave (unauthorized absence in the Navy) — a maximum penalty of five years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge. The maximum penalty for desertion in a time of war is death.

Yet some military personnel are going AWOL or deserting to avoid returning to Iraq.

"I definitely don’t want to go back there," a Florida National Guardsman told CBS News. "I think most people — if not all people who are there — don’t want to be there."

That Guardsman missed his flight back to Iraq on Oct. 18. According to the Washington Post, the soldier has not returned to duty and may be on the run. [...]

Granger said she could not say whether the Army would execute a deserter today as each case is judged on an individual basis. "Obviously it’s an option," she said. [...]

Pentagon Says a Covert Force Hunts Hussein

November 7, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 — The top American military commander for the Middle East has created a covert commando force to hunt Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and key terrorists throughout the region, according to Pentagon and military officials. [...]

Army Dismisses Soldier Cowardice Charge

Associated Press Writer
Friday November 7, 2003 1:46 AM

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) - The Army dismissed a cowardice charge and filed a lesser count against an Army interrogator who sought counseling after he saw the body of an Iraqi man cut in half by American fire.

Staff Sgt. Georg-Andreas Pogany was charged with dereliction of duty, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Fort Carson officials. A military court hearing set Friday for Pogany was canceled. [...]

Jessica Lynch says Pentagon used her for propaganda

New York Daily News

(KRT) - Jessica Lynch has angrily accused the Pentagon of using her for propaganda.

The 20-year-old private, portrayed as a female Rambo after she was captured by Iraqis during a blazing gun battle and then freed by American troops, told ABC there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed.

"They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff," Lynch said in an interview with Diane Sawyer that airs Tuesday, Veterans Day.

"Yeah, it's wrong," Lynch said. "I don't know why they filmed it, or why they say the things" they said.

That footage of U.S. commandos wheeling a grimacing Lynch to a waiting chopper was among the most dramatic of the war - and helped cement her image as a female warrior.

But Lynch said the true heroes were the soldiers who saved her.

"They're the ones that came in to rescue me," she said. "I'm so thankful that they did what they did; they risked their lives. … They are my heroes." [...]

Comment: Four of her "heroes" have died under mysterious circumstances. Now that the story has been unleashed, the facts will not change belief for many, particularly now that there are fewer people to report what really happened.

"Vietnam II" Pre-Flight Check!

1. Cabal of oldsters who won't listen to outside advice? Check.
2. No understanding of ethnicity's of the many locals? Check.
3. National boundaries drawn in Europe, not by the locals? Check.
4. Unshakable faith in our superior technology? Check.
5. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.
6. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.
7. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.
8. Enemy supply lines unknown? Check.
9. Sec of Def pushing a conflict the Joint Chiefs never wanted? Check.
10. Fear we'll look bad if we back down now? Check.
11. Corrupt corporate Texan in the White House? Check.
12. Land war in Asia? Check.
13. Right-wing unhappy with outcome of previous war? Check.
14. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries? Check.
15. Soldiers about to be exposed to our own chemicals? Check.
16. Daily guerrilla attacks that cannot be stopped? Check.
17. Anti-Americanism up sharply in Europe? Check.
18. B-52 bombers? Check.
19. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust? Check.
20. Infighting among the branches of the military? Check.
21. Locals that cheer us by day, hate us by night? Check.
22. Local experts ignored? Check.
23. Local politicians ignored? Check.
24. Local conflicts since before the USA has been a country? Check.
25. Much confusion over who and where the enemy is? Check.
26. Against advice, Prez won't use taxes to pay for war? Check.
27. Blue water navy ships operating in brown water? Check.
28. Use of nukes hinted at if things don't go our way? Check.
29. War unpopular at home? Check.
30. No plan in place to end involvement? Check.

Vietnam II , you are cleared to taxi.

When Big Media gets bigger

From NOW
October 10, 2003
By Bill Moyers

Big Media companies keep getting bigger — with more and more power over our lives. This week's deal between General Electric (GE) and Vivendi means that GE'S NBC, which helped elect Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor of California, has just picked up not only Universal Studios, but the USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to go with CNBC and MSNBC, all part now of a $43 billion dollar empire.

Then, there's radio. The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity is out with a new study showing that in each of 43 different cities a third of the radio stations are owned by a single company. No company's supposed to own more than eight in any market, but the media giants thumb their nose at the rules all the time. In 34 of those 43 markets, one company owns more than eight stations.

The big daddy of all is Clear Channel Communications — 1200 stations altogether. In Mansfield, Ohio, Clear Channel owns eleven of the seventeen radio stations in your town. In Corvallis, Oregon, over half of what people hear is decided by Clear Channel — seven of thirteen radio stations.

Cumulus Media is the second biggest radio empire. Cumulus, remember, banned the Dixie Chicks. Cumulus owns eight of the fifteen radio stations in Albany, Georgia.

It's a similar story in television . . .

Loosened rules allow FBI to assess threats without evidence of crime


WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI will be able to check a person's background for potential terrorist activities more easily under national security guidelines issued Wednesday by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Civil libertarians said the rules could invite abuses against innocent people.

The guidelines enable the FBI to conduct a "threat assessment" of potential terrorists or terrorist activity without initial evidence of a crime or national security threat, as required to begin a more formal preliminary or full investigation.

The purpose is to ensure the FBI approaches these investigations "with an eye toward early intervention and prevention of acts of terrorism before they occur," according to the guidelines.

The FBI will be allowed to collect information on "individuals, groups and organizations of possible investigative interest" in national security cases in the ways that agents already can in cases involving more traditional crimes such as illegal drugs and organized crime.

Ashcroft issued similar revised guidelines for these traditional criminal investigations in May 2002. [...]

ACLU Says Latest Expansion of FBI Intelligence Guidelines Ignores Lessons of Watergate, Waco and Ruby Ridge

Army faces new claims of torture

By Deborah Snow

New allegations of torture have been levelled against Australian troops who served in East Timor, with former Timorese militia members claiming they were beaten and kicked and had their heads forced down excrement-filled toilets.

On SBS's Dateline program tonight, two of the men also say they were forced into cubicles where wasps' nests were present, with their Australian interrogators allegedly stirring up the nests so the detainees would be stung.

The group also claims that one of their number, Yani Ndun, is missing, having last been seen alive in the custody of Interfet, the Australian intervention force. [...]

Schwarzenegger to Hire Grope Probe P.I.

By JENNIFER COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer
Thu Nov 6, 7:05 PM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger will hire a private investigator to look into allegations that he groped women, but he may keep the results from the state attorney general, a spokesman said Thursday.

Schwarzenegger's reluctance to turn over the results of the investigation stem from remarks Attorney General Bill Lockyer made earlier Thursday. The Democrat said he advised Schwarzenegger that the misconduct allegations "are not going to go away" and he should cooperate with an independent investigation.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said those statements violated attorney-client privilege and have forced Schwarzenegger to reconsider whether he would provide any information to Lockyer.

"In regard to a review of allegations that surfaced late in the campaign, the governor-elect had already decided to engage a well-respected investigative firm to look into the allegations," Stutzman said. "He had intended to instruct the investigators to turn over the final results of that investigation to the attorney general; he will now reconsider that option." [...]

Comment: In other words, Schwarzenegger has admitted his guilt and is now trying to ensure that the results of any investigations are not seen by people looking for the truth.

Judges warn of Labour's 'Nazi' threat to justice (UK)

By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor

Judicial independence is at risk from the Government's constitutional reforms, England's most senior judges said yesterday.

Calling for a new constitutional settlement to protect the public, one said that abolishing the Lord Chancellor as the central core of the legal system would open the door to the sort of political interference last seen in Nazi Germany.

Asked when there was last a threat to the judiciary of this magnitude in England and Wales, Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice, referred to the 17th century, when "a lot of judges lost their heads".

His deputy, Lord Justice Judge, drew comparisons from abroad, recalling that Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far-Right National Front, had come second in the French presidential elections last year.

"We do have to remember that Hitler came to power in a democratic country by getting a significant popular vote and then subverting the constitution," he added.

"There are nasty people out there and there's no guarantee that because we're Great Britain none of them will ever, ever come to power." [...]

Comment: Lord Woolf is a little late in making public his comments, what he speaks of potentially happening has already come to pass, both in the UK and the US.

Charles: I am Royal named in allegations


PRINCE Charles last night admitted that he was the senior Royal accused of involvement in a compromising incident with a former servant.

But the heir to the throne, currently in Oman following a tour of India, dismissed the allegation and said the incident had never taken place.

The claims, believed to have been made by the prince’s former valet, George Smith, are said to form part of the so-called Diana tapes, the existence of which was revealed by her former butler, Paul Burrell.

In a dramatic intervention just hours after the Guardian newspaper was given permission to name the prince’s former aide, Michael Fawcett, as the servant at the centre of newspaper allegations, a statement from Clarence House on the prince’s behalf said: "The speculation needs to be brought to an end.

"The allegation was that the Prince of Wales was involved in the incident. This allegation is untrue."

The statement went on: "The incident which the former employee claims to have witnessed did not take place.

Armed men storm billionaire's office

November 07, 2003

AROUND 40 armed men stormed the Moscow offices of the Open Society institute of US billionaire George Soros early today, taking five people hostage, Interfax news agency reported, but there was no apparent political motive.

"Armed men in military clothing came into the building of the institute at 10.30 pm local time," a spokeswoman for the institute told the Russian agency. "They chased out all the employees except for five who they are still holding," Irina Racheeva said.

The lawyer for the foundation, Pavel Kuzmin, stressed the men were known to the institute. "We know these people... We are (currently) in court against them regarding the ownership of this building," he said.

"There are currently around 40 people wearing camouflage in the building," Kuzmin added.

The Soros Foundation and the Open Society institute are heavily involved in promoting civil society and the development of democratic ideas, chiefly in formerly communist east European countries.

Activists Distribute Red Pill to Matrix Movie Goers

by CA Thursday November 06, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO, A group of East Bay activists showed up at San Francisco movie theaters yesterday to distribute red pills, or New World Order matrix cards, to Matrix Revolutions’ moviegoers. The activists, known as Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and Agent Smith, hit the Loews and the Coronet theaters with exhortations for people to “take the red pill” and “learn about the REAL matrix that we live in”.

The cards list twenty websites where people can learn about the New World Order -- the World Bank, the neo-cons, privatization, militarization, enemy creation and the corporate media -- and how these bodies and agents are working for social and structural control the world and crafting the scenarios to make it happen.

People in the lines enthusiastically started reading the cards including a Trinity Trio, three women dressed in patent leather and dark sunglasses, who instantly got the connection between the movie and the cards. “Oh, we know we are living in another matrix. These are wonderful,” one Trinity said about the cards.

Politician cooked wife on restaurant grill

From AFP

India's main opposition Congress party, which has pledged to get tough on crime against women, suffered a severe blow Monday when a court convicted a former party leader of killing his wife and burning her body in an open-air barbecue. [...]

Hepatitis outbreak in Pennsylvania triggers shots for nearly 3,000

[...] Almost 3,000 recent patrons of the Chi-Chi's restaurant at Beaver Valley Mall in Center left home, work and school to receive injections of antibodies to ward off hepatitis A. [...]

States in India Take New Steps to Limit Births

The New York Times
November 7, 2003

BASNA, India — A new reckoning is under way in India over how best to stabilize a population that is set to surpass China's as the world's biggest by midcentury.

Indian women currently bear an average of just under three children — a steep drop from the six of 50 years ago, but still above the 2.1 that would stabilize a population that already exceeds a billion people.

The burden on development and the growing competition for resources like water and land are prompting a reassessment in which India is struggling to balance its democratic impulses with its demographic pressures.

Nearly a decade ago, India embraced the conclusions of a 1994 United Nations conference on population in Cairo, which called for abandoning contraceptive targets, improving education and health for women and children, and offering multiple voluntary contraceptive choices.

India itself had recoiled against coercive policies — like China's — after the ruthless sterilization campaign under Indira Gandhi in the late 1970's.

But today, the national mood increasingly favors a tougher approach, and states, free to adopt their own policies, are experimenting. [...]

France considers construction of prototype nuclear reactor

PARIS (AFP) Nov 07, 2003

The French government is considering the construction of a prototype third-generation nuclear European pressurised water reactor, junior Industry Minister Nicole Fontaine announced on Friday. [...]

France obtains most of its electricity from nuclear power. [...]

Tanker trucks carrying Minute Maid, Tropicana previously carried toxic wastewater

Multiple People Shot At West Chester Trucking Company; Suspect Captured

Last updated: 11/6/03 11:06:12 PM

A transient truck-driver was put in jail Thursday night after being arrested for shooting five employees of a West Chester trucking company.

Police have captured and charged the man they believe shot five people Thursday morning at Watkins Motor Lines, a suburban Cincinnati trucking facility, fatally wounding two.

Suspect Tom C. West, 50, who last worked for Watkins Motor Lines in November 2001, was arrested around 12:30 p.m. in New Point, Indiana.

Police said West is an alias for Joseph John Eschenbrenner. Investigators also said his last known address was from a Chicago suburb.

The suspect waived extradition and police brought him back to Ohio Thursday evening. West Chester police said West was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

Police said he showed little emotion, was calm and showed no resistance when taken into custody.

Workers at the Iron Skillet restaurant, off Exit 143 on I-74, said West was eating at the restaurant when he told an employee to call police, saying they were looking for him.

"He was very calm. I sat down with him at the table. He was making several phone calls...Just a normal, everyday person," said the restaurant's general manager.

Restaurant workers said West was "humble" while he waited for police to arrive. He did not tell workers at the Decatur County restaurant what he had done. [...]

3.9 Earthquake Shakes South Bay

November 6, 2003

MORGAN HIL, Calif. -- The U.S Geological Survey reports that a 3.9 magnitude earthquake struck six miles north of Morgan Hill shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday.

The temblor struck at a depth of approximately 5 miles below the surface, according to the USGS.

A spokesman for the San Jose Office of Emergency Services says there have been no reports of damage as a result of the quake.

Magnitude 3.7 Earthquake Shakes Morgan Hill

Residents of Morgan Hill in Sanat Clara County got a rude shock this afternoon, when a minor earthquake rumbled through the area.

According to the U.S Geological Survey, the magnitude 3.7 quake was centered six miles north of the city, at a depth of 4.6 miles. It struck at 2:04 p.m.

The shaker was follow by two aftershocks, a barely perceptible 1.7 temblor at 2:07, and a slightly stronger 2.2 at 2:11.

According to a spokesman for the San Jose Office of Emergency Services, there were no reports of significant damage or injuries.

Quake survivors battling heavy snow, low temperatures in NW China

Friday, November 07, 2003

Earthquake survivors in Zhangye City of northwest China's Gansu Province are battling sudden snow and the chilly temperature of 6 degrees Celsius below zero Thursday as they try to rebuild their lives.

Earthquake survivors in Zhangye City of northwest China's Gansu Province are battling sudden snow and the chilly temperature of 6 degrees Celsius below zero Thursday as they try to rebuild their lives.

More than 2,500 soldiers have again been sent out to help people in quake-hit areas.

Some 22,000 families in the city's quake areas have been relocated to cotton tents and sheds with heated brick beds or to relatives, while more than 10,000 families were still sheltering in makeshift tents on Thursday, said a spokesman of the city government. [...]

Explorers find the lost ruins of sacred Inca city

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

Using an infra-red camera to peer through dense Peruvian forest cover for the first time, explorers have found a lost ruin which seems to be a sister site of the Inca ceremonial city of Machu Picchu.

Flying over the Andes in a single engined Cessna, the Anglo-American expedition found Llactapata when the camera picked out the outlines of stone buildings, which retain heat, unlike vegetation.

However, there are fears that the new site is highly vulnerable to looters. It is only two miles from Machu Picchu, part shrine, part palace, which is visited by half a million people each year and protected by a national park.

The discovery of Llactapata, around 50 miles north-west of Cuzco, the old Inca capital, was announced yesterday by Hugh Thomson, the British writer and explorer who led the expedition with the American archaeologist Gary Ziegler, supported by The Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club of America.[...]

NZ laughs off terrorism, earthquake warning

A Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) warning about travel to New Zealand has caused amusement across the Tasman, with most New Zealanders thinking they have more to worry about in Australia.

DFAT is advising travellers to New Zealand to be aware of the threat of earthquakes and also mentions the general risk of global terrorism.

New Zealand's foreign affairs minister Phil Goff says a bit of seismic activity is nothing to worry about compared to the dangers facing tourists in Australia.

"I'm told repeatedly of people receiving snake bites, [of] funnel web spiders and being bitten by crocodiles so I don't think it's a serious warning," Mr Goff said.

Given New Zealand's well-known history of earthquakes, some Kiwis are quite smug that Australia's Foreign Affairs officials only just appear to have realised that the earth does move across the Tasman.

Historic Mars lander 'did find life'

By Helen Briggs
BBC News Online science reporter

Claims have re-emerged that the US space agency (Nasa) found signs of life on Mars during the historic Viking landings of 1976.

Dr Gil Levin, a former mission scientist, says he now has the evidence to prove it, just days before the US and Europe send new expeditions to the Red Planet. [...]

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Sensor Has Contaminant Problem

By Jeremy Singer
Space News Staff Writer
06 November 2003

WASHINGTON -- Contaminant buildup on an optical filter aboard NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is increasing the time needed to get accurate readings from the spacecraft in the low-energy range of the X-ray spectrum, according to a program official. [...]

Construction on Alma Radio Telescope Begins

Nov 6, 2003

Scientists and dignitaries from Europe, North America and Chile are breaking ground today (Thursday, November 6, 2003) on what will be the world's largest, most sensitive radio telescope operating at millimeter wavelengths.

ALMA - the "Atacama Large Millimeter Array" - will be a single instrument composed of 64 high-precision antennas located in the II Region of Chile, in the District of San Pedro de Atacama, at the Chajnantor altiplano, 5,000 metres above sea level. ALMA's primary function will be to observe and image with unprecedented clarity the enigmatic cold regions of the Universe, which are optically dark, yet shine brightly in the millimetre portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. [...]


MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 5 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) - A VFS-3M video photometric installation of Belarussian design and manufacture has been delivered to the Russian unit of the International Space Station. The leading-edge gadgetry will forecast earthquakes and other calamities.

Brainchild of the Research Institute of Applied Physical Problems under the Belarussian State University, the installation was made on order of Russia's research Institute of Earth Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Spread, and the Energia space rocket corporation. The endeavor is part of Russia's Seismology R&D program, reports the Belarussian Embassy to Russia.

The VFS-3M registers luminosity of the upper and medium ionosphere, 50 to 150 km high, whose fluctuations depend on Earth seismic activity. The installation will gage spatial-temporal and spectral energy characteristics of light impulses from manned and unmanned spacecraft, in particular, the ISS.

Officials checking into mysterious youths who emerged from wilderness

Thu Nov 6,10:40 PM ET

VANCOUVER (AFP) - Two half-starved male youths who recently emerged from the British Columbia wilderness claiming to have lived since birth in near isolation are now in limbo as officials try to determine how to help them. [...]

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