Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Picture of the Day
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte
Life is Fun !
One of the great truths given to us by religious and spiritual teachers is that "Life is suffering."
The first of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism states:
Sakyamuni came to the realization that no matter what you do, no matter where you turn, you will be confronted with suffering. His teachings sought to provide a means, the Eight-Fold Path, to free oneself from this "clinging to existence."
The story of Christ is the story of his suffering.
Yet the suffering of Jesus is of two sorts: the suffering of what is known as his "Passion", that is, the final days of his life; and his suffering during his entire life as a man.
This first suffering of Jesus is in the news today because of the film by Mel Gibson that focuses on the last hours of the life of Jesus, showing, in what has been described as excruciating detail, his physical suffering: the humiliation, the beatings and whippings and torn flesh, and his death on the cross. Yet, even if we take this story as literal truth, as do Gibson and so many others, rather than as allegory for an inner struggle to free oneself from what is known as the General Law, we must admit that Jesus is not alone in suffering at the hands of others in the most extreme forms. Recent history alone is full of the victims of horrific methods of torture.
By placing so much emphasis on the suffering of his last days, however, this removes the focus from his suffering as a man, the same forms of suffering that we all endure in our own ways. It makes of Jesus a "special case" for the Christians of the literal interpretation of the Bible -- even if, as we have seen, the suffering of his Passion has been matched by many throughout history.
So what makes his suffering different?
Why is this suffering used as an example?
It is the intent. Jesus did not simply suffer because he lived, we are told he suffered for a reason. He suffered as the result of his commitment to a path.
The suffering of most people in this world is meaningless because it is not conscious. People do not understand why they suffer; they suffer through ignorance, not through choice. They suffer because they are attached to impermanent things; they identify with that which is fleeting and momentary. Everything we can see, touch, hear, or possess in this world is unreal compared with that which can be known through the soul. As the First Noble Truth puts it: "Clinging to existence is suffering."
It is curious what happens when we cling to existence. Because existence is suffering, and clinging to that existence is suffering, we have to mask the reality because we do not like to suffer. Because we seek ways of avoiding to suffer, we try to find ways of denying suffering. We find different ways of what is called "self-calming." Self-calming is lying to oneself, telling oneself a story to cover up the terrifying state of reality, convincing oneself that it is possible to live in this world without suffering.
When we have a physical pain, we take a pill, some form of pain-killer. We anaesthetize ourselves to the pain. Having done this, we have a choice. We can look at the causes of this pain and work to remedy it, or we can ignore the causes and rely on more drugs to make us feel "pain-free." In other words, we can live in a lie and deny that there are underlying causes. However, if we do not look at the causes of this pain, the disease or infection that cause it, and if we do not work to alleviate the causes, the pain will return when the effects of the drug wear off.
Self-calming is like taking a pain reliever without working on the underlying causes. One continues popping the pills, and the underlying cause can worsen, creating the need for another, stronger pill. If this continues, the pill-popping can become our reality. We can live completely under the influence of the drug. Our body will continue to suffer, it may even continue to manufacture the warning signs that we are ill, but we become oblivious to these signs, these warnings.
So it is with the many paths to self-calming. For some, it is the hunt for success. They believe they can fill the emptiness that is the root cause of their suffering with material things, status, or money.
Others recognise the limits of material existence and search for something more, but what is this "more" that they seek? For many it is "happiness." They believe that we are here to be happy, and they search for the trick to being happy in the face of the world's horrors. For some it takes the form of accepting their lot in life, which often means "Doing without." For others it amounts to maintaining a positive outlook, trying to focus only on the good, ignoring the bad, in this way shutting out the reality of suffering and pain. Some, recognizing that the commitment to the path must be complete, and understanding that the rupture with the things of this world will be painful, search for a way to live with one foot in each world, one foot in the material world and one foot on the path out of that world. But the gulf between the worlds cannot be straddled. How can one leave the world of illusion with one foot still planted firmly within it?
Obviously, this is impossible.
To justify this fence-sitting, this refusal to make a choice, or this refusal to see the bad, they will find many excuses. They may understand that suffering has been turned into a virtue in and of itself by the Church, with no discussion of context and its relationship to intent. The more you suffer the better; the more you suffer, the holier thou art, the closer to Christ you dwell. This acceptance of unintentional suffering has become a tool of oppression. But rather than understanding that the problem is the question of intent, those who reject this Christian interpretation mechanically reject suffering itself. They never ask themselves: Am I suffering because I am still caught in the world of mechanical reaction, or am I suffering by choice?
Mechanical suffering is useless suffering.
The Christian Church has certainly encouraged its believers to suffer uselessly. Useless suffering makes it difficult for its victims to have the time and means to think and to understand the nature and purpose of suffering. If one is constantly taking on another's burden, convinced that one is on the path to holiness by putting up with all sorts of humiliations and psychological or physical violence from a spouse or a colleague at work, one will never be able to think clearly. One is constantly fighting for one's survival: but fighting for one's physical survival, not one's spiritual survival. The Church, in its many forms, has long since ceased being interested, if indeed it ever was, in helping its flock save their souls.
If the above is uselessly suffering, what, then, would be "useful suffering"?
Can such a thing exist?
When we say that life is suffering, we mean that life is an endless succession of events that lead to suffering. There are many causes. If we learn to avoid a specific form of suffering, we can be certain that a new form will arise to challenge us.
Let us say we are in a relationship where we sacrifice ourselves for the good of another, using the excuse that we are closer to God by accepting our lot in life. With effort and reflection, we can step back and identify the cause of our suffering. First, it is the acceptance of the Christian teaching on suffering and our subsequent ordering of our life upon that teaching: our acceptance of the needs of someone else at the expense of our own. Having identified this, we can change. We can refuse the original teaching that deformed our understanding of the world, we can step down from the pedestal of long-suffering self-righteousness that justified our self-sacrifice, and we can refuse to put our misunderstanding of the needs of others before ourselves.
If we implement these changes, one form of suffering will end. However, a new cause of suffering may well arise: the reaction of those around us as we change. Bringing about this change, getting out of one form of suffering, calls up a new one. We have learned to stop the suffering in one way, and we are now called upon to learn how to stop suffering in this new way. The change within the relationship away from our role and identification with "self-sacrifice" may well lead to a rupture with those around us if they are unable to accept the change. They may attempt to force us back into the old habits until we are obliged to break free in order to maintain the lesson we have learned. This, too, will create more suffering as we face a new life alone, meeting the experiences of learning to live alone and of relying upon ourselves.
But this suffering brought on by new experience can be accompanied by a feeling of joy as we look at what we have accomplished, as we see the change we have brought about in our lives. So there can be, if we so choose, a coupling of suffering and joy: we are joyous because we understand that we are suffering for a reason.
Moreover, although we continue to suffer, we are not suffering in the same ways. We are opening ourselves to new experiences and new challenges. Gradually, we can change our outlook on suffering and on life. In looking back and seeing how we have been able to surmount past difficulties with success, as we understand the beneficial changes within us wrought by this testing through fire, we begin to look forward to the difficulties of the future as opportunities and challenges for growth. By passing through the fire of our experience, we know we are changing our way of being in this world, that we come to a greater and greater understanding of ourselves, of our abilities, of our capacity to surmount the roadblocks thrown up by the world to keep us in our place. We build the faith in our ability to surpass the limits we have placed upon ourselves, the limits of our own thoughts and ideas that prevent us from being who we are, from seeing the world as it really is.
This growing understanding of suffering that comes from passing through the tests of suffering will in turn aid us in understanding others. Through our experience, we will be able to truly help others in the face of their own suffering: not by taking it on and helping them avoid it, but by teaching them the tools necessary to confront the suffering in their own lives. We can help others learn to see suffering as a means of surmounting suffering, choosing to accept and face this suffering consciously.
This approach is certainly different than that which would have us erect a protective wall around ourselves, a wall that separates us from the world. The approach that rejects suffering, as we have seen, is a rejection of the truth about the world and our existence.
The joy brought about through suffering is the lesson that suffering can be more than a burden. It can be a means of self-realization, of burning away the limits we impose upon ourselves. It is the alchemist's fire that transforms metals into gold, the means of forming our link with our higher selves through burning away the dross. It is the joy of learning to live in truth, no matter how horrendous that truth might be, never flinching because we know that we have the strength to face it and overcome it, no matter how great the challenge. It is the joy of knowing that we can choose not to live in the lie of self-calming.
Suffering can thus become the doorway through which we pass to an open experience of a limitless world because we are not afraid to look ahead, not afraid of pursuing new paths for fear of what awaits us, not afraid of what we might find.
But it always depends upon us, upon our intent, upon how we choose to confront this suffering. The joy is within us, we have only to find the key.
'This won't go away. What
happened is much nastier than is being
Alex Polier, the twenty-four year old journalist who could end Senator John Kerry's hopes of becoming the next president of the United States is alleged to have had a two-year affair with the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Last night the rumours were in danger of becoming a full-blown scandal.
"This is not going to go away," one American friend of Miss Polier said yesterday. "What actually happened is much nastier than is being reported."
The allegations come at a crucial time for the senator. Polls showed him leading Mr Bush by 52 per cent to 42 per cent, and aides will be anxious to see if the apparent scandal affects his standing among voters.
Miss Polier, a former intern who also spent some time in 1998 doing work experience at the Houses of Parliament in London, is in Kenya staying with Yaron Schwartzman, her fiance and a member of the country's fashionable young set. The couple have refused to make any comment on her alleged links with Senator Kerry, who is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, an heiress to the food empire.
Senator Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran dubbed the new JFK, has vehemently denied any relationship with Miss Polier, and shrugged off allegations that he had a two-year affair with her from 2001. "I just deny it categorically. It's rumour. It's untrue. Period," he said.
Mr Kerry, 60, has won 12 out of the 14 Democratic primaries and has looked all but certain to seal the nomination to take on President George W. Bush in November's elections.
His aides have blamed a dirty tricks campaign for bringing the allegations about Miss Polier into the public eye; they first surfaced last week on a Right-wing internet site, the Drudge Report, which famously first broke the news of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. [...]
Comment: The above mentioned Yaron Schwartzman, with whom Miss Polier is staying, is of the infamous Kenyan Schwartzman family. Mr Joseph Schwartzman of the same family is a business partner of Naushad N. Merali of the Kenyan Sameer group.
Kenyan investors have expressed confidence in the investment climate in Rwanda. A team from the Sameer Group of Companies expressed confidence in the country's leadership and investment climate, and said they were interested in investing in the tea, banking, construction and energy sectors.
Speaking after they paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame, Mr. Joseph Schwartzman said, "We are have come from Kenya to look at investment in various sectors including tea, banking, construction and energy. We are very impressed with the leadership of this country, and have all the confidence and positive attitude which investors need. "
Mr. Schwartzman was accompanied by Mr. Naushad N. Merali and Ambassador Hameed A. Kidwai, both senior directors with the Sameer Group.
Comment: Both Mr. Schwartzman and Mr. Merali are close business associates of Nicolas Biwott, minister for tourism under ex-Kenyan President and dictator Moi. Mr. Biwott was at the time widely recognised as one of the most corrupt politicians of his day.
Back in August 2000, there was the death of a catholic missionary priest in Kenya, Father Kaiser.
The Kenyan media's coverage
of the last days and hours of Mill HillMissionary Fr. John Kaiser's
life paint the picture of a very erratic and
Fr. Kaiser, meanwhile, was to be a witness in an upcoming court case in England charging Moi and members of his government with genocide for their role in ethnic clashes during the 1990s, claims Gachoka. And the September 15 Finance reports that Fr. Kaiser was also on his way to Arusha, Tanzania, to hand to a aide of U.S. President Bill Clinton sensitive documents about Ouko's murder and details of the causes and perpetrators of ethnic clashes in Kenya last decade. Other reports indicated that Fr. Kaiser had more information of rapes committed by senior government officials such as MP Julius ole Sunkuli. If this is true, and if the U.S. is indeed consolidating its interests in Kenya, that might account for the apparent "suicide" campaign to explain Fr. Kaiser's death.
And exactly who ordered the execution - and pulled the trigger - is even bigger speculation. The October 4 edition of the daily The People reports that the government hired seven death row convicts to carry out the crime in exchange for freedom that would be granted through a prison escape. Unfortunately, as media headlines screamed on September 5, six of these were "gunned down" - later, they were discovered to have their heads smashed in and their eyes gouged out - as they tried to escape. The September 4-17 issue of Newsline opines that it is too obvious to blame Fr. Kaiser's death on President Moi, Sunkuli or Cabinet Ministers Nicholas Biwott and William ole Ntimama (who Fr. Kaiser had testified sent Kenyan youth to Israel for commando training during the ethnic clashes), especially because Fr. Kaiser's death conveniently occurred just before Clinton's trip to Tanzania. Newsline attributes the killing to a "third force working deep within the political establishment to rock the boat right from within."
Whatever the explanations of who murdered Fr. Kaiser, how, and why, one fact must remain high in peoples' minds: throughout his mission, Fr. Kaiser had always risked his comfort, security, and, indeed life, to speak the truth. His testimony to the Akiwumi Commission on Tribal Clashes on how the government caused the clashes and evicted Kiisi and Kuria people from Trans Mara District, his rape evidence against Sunkuli, and his other activities all point to a person who loved the truth and was willing to risk all to be a voice for the voiceless. We must act on the information Fr. Kaiser has made public, and thus fulfil the statement Bishop Tonucci made at Fr. Kaiser's funeral: "If somebody thought that through his physical elimination, the embarrassing questions raised by his presence could be silenced once and for all, his calculation was completely wrong."
Comment: So at the time of his murder, the late Father Kaiser was on his way to reveal to President Clinton the identities of the perpetrators of ethnic clashes in Kenya. Notice above the mention of a "third force working deep within the political establishment." What group are we aware of that works in secret and by way of deception, to ensure it's agenda is met. It appears that the so called "ethnic clashes" in Kenya were manipulated, with the control of land being at least one of the real reasons.
In the next article, we get a better idea of exactly what the unfortunate Fr. Kasier knew about the possible identity of the mysterious "third force".
Wednesday, February 3,
A Catholic priest yesterday told the Akiwumi Commission that Cabinet Ministers Nicholas Biwott and William Ole Ntimama sent some youths for commando training in Israel.
The youths were later used in the eviction of Kisii and Kurias from Trans Mara District, he said.
The priest said the evictions started in 1989 after the then Rift Valley PC, Mr Mohamed Yusuf Haji, visited Lologorian area and gave a quit order to the non-Maasai.
When the non-Maasai failed to leave the area, they were evicted by administration policemen who set their houses on fire.
Father Kaiser said the PC was nick named "Pole Musa", by the local people after he said to them "Pole Musa, the non-Maasai will have to go".
The witness said he could make available hundreds of witnesses who attended the PC's baraza (meeting) to confirm his evidence.
Father Kaiser was being cross-examined by Mr Ndubi for the LSK.
Ndubi: Did you ever establish the reasons for the eviction of people from Enoosupukia?
Kaiser: There is a universal consensus on why people were evicted. I have read so much about the reasons given for eviction. All I have heard about the water catchment area being the cause is nonsense. I have never believed what Hon Ntimama says about Enoosupukia water catchment area. There is a lot of environmental degradation taking place in Mr Ntimama's area and he does not speak about it. Bulldozers are destroying the place and he has been keeping quiet, yet he has been shouting about Enoosupukia water catchment area.
Ndubi: I am asking you to relate the issue of evicting people from Enoosupukia with the government's decision to resettle some of the victims at Moi Ndabi area. Isn't the government legitimising the evictions?
Kaiser: I thought the government was behind the evictions. I do not think ordinary Maasai were involved. I think some powerful people wanted to exploit the area like the colonialists did. All big people in the government are involved in land grabbing in the Rift Valley Province. This is also the case in Trans Mara. It had nothing to do with the Kikuyu or Kisii occupying catchment areas. [...]
Ondeyo: Why didn't you inform the police that some officers were burning houses?
Kaiser: Because those burning houses were following orders from above. The DO and the chief were supervising the burning of Kurias' and Kisiis' houses. I believe they were trained and also hired to do so.
Ndubi: You have referred to the issue of training of people who evicted others. Where did the training take place?
Kaiser: I have hearsay evidence. Somebody else will come and give that evidence. I was told that some Kalenjin and Maasai were taken for overseas training by some ministers in the government. They trained and came back.
Ndubi: Tell us what you were told.
Kaiser: Nobody can convince me that a local Maasai can rise against the Kisii. These were trained people.They were trained in Israel and some within Kenya.
Ndubi: Would you know who made this arrangement for training?
Kaiser: This is general knowledge among the people in Trans Mara. It is Minister William Ole Ntimama and Mr Nicholas Biwott.
Ndubi: Were you told when the training took place?
Kaiser: No, but it is around the time evictions were taking place. [...]
Comment: Fr. Kaiser was murdered on Aug 23 2000. In the above article local news reporters referred to a "third force" that was behind Fr. Kasier's death, and that it was done just before Kaiser was scheduled to hand information to Clinton in Tanzania about the source and reason for ethnic clashes in Kenya. This information, on Kaiser's own admission in the interview above, would at the very least contain proof that Biwott, the partner of Schwartzman (Miss Polier is currently"hiding out" with the Schwartzmans), had sent Kenyans to Israel for training and brought Israeli groups to come to Kenya for training purposes. He claimed that the reason for the creation of these fake "ethnic clashes" was because certain people wanted to exploit the area in question.
In an interesting synchronicity, less than one month after the murder of Father Kaiser, there was a strange attack on the car that was carrying the grandson of Mr. Biwott. The attack was strange in that it seems that the car was deliberately singled out for the attack. The final comment in the article below is left hanging. No reason is given for the immediate departure to Israel of Mr. Biwott and his wife.
Horror of city
Two men died protecting a grandson of Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott.
The boy's bodyguard and driver were shot in their Landcruiser by three gangsters who had earlier robbed a bank at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, of Sh2.2 million.
The three who were trying to hijack the Landcruiser opened fire as the bodyguard reached for his semi-automatic pistol to protect seven-year-old Victor Jacobson.
They also fired eight bullets into the driver as he got out of the car with his hands raised in surrender.
Terrified Victor dived under the rear seat as the bullets flew. The driver died at the scene and the guard in hospital yesterday. As a crowd gathered the gangsters made off without taking the vehicle.
Victor had just been collected from the Swedish School, in Makini Road, across the city from the airport, where he is a pupil.
Another parent with a child at the same school who was also driving home rescued the youngster and took him home to Riverside Drive.
When he arrived only the house helps were present but they quickly called the little boy's parents who were still at work.
They are Mr Biwott's eldest daughter, Rhoda, who manages the Yaya Centre, and her husband Mr Pierre Jacobson, the international exports manager with Kenol Kobil, in which Mr Biwott is the majority shareholder.
Mrs Jacobson fainted when first told of the attack by askaris at the Yaya Centre. Yesterday, Victor who is the second born in a family of three, did not attend school and neither did the parents go to work.
"They were traumatised ... they are in a state of shock," said close family friends.
Mr Biwott and his wife, Hannie, were reported to have left for Israel on Monday.
Comment: The attack on the Israeli owned "Paradise Hotel" in Mombassa, Kenya, bore all the hallmarks of a Mossad "false flag" operation. The details are discussed here, and we refer our readers to page 287 of Victor Ostrovsky's book on the Mossad "By way of deception" for a more detailed analysis of the type of turn key business fronts that the Mossad operate.
Mossad had info on Kenya
Israeli intelligence came under fire again on Tuesday as it emerged that Mossad knew of terror attacks being planned by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in the Kenyan city of Mombasa, a few days before Israeli tourists were targeted.
The head of the rival military intelligence services told a parliamentary committee that Mossad had "received advance information on planned al-Qaeda attacks in Africa and notably Mombasa in Kenya."
General Yossi Kuperwasser was answering Labour party secretary general Ofer Pines, who was questioning Mossad's competence for the second time this week, following his condemnation on Sunday of the spy agency's "failure" to warn its citizens of a terrorist threat.
Three Israelis were among the 10 victims of last Thursday's suicide car-bomb attack on a hotel in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.
Minutes later, a tourist-packed Israeli charter flying 261 passengers back from Mombasa to Tel Aviv was targeted by two missiles which could have caused the deadliest anti-Israeli attack in recent history but missed their target.
No details on when attack would take place - Mossad
Kupperwasser stressed that the information received gave no indication as to when Osama bin Laden's network would strike nor did it specify that Israelis would be targeted, but his remarks were the first admission of shortcomings on the part of the Israeli intelligence services.
The accusations were likely to pile further pressure on Mossad agents currently investigating the twin attacks.
On Monday Israel questioned Kenya's ability to lead an efficient enquiry. [...]
Comment: We have only scratched the surface here on the possible links between the current "intern affair" which may bring Kerry's White House aspirations to a sudden end, and the Schwarzman family in Kenya with whom Miss Polier is so closely linked. With the links to Israel and the clear presence of Mossad in the Mombassa Paradise hotel fake terror attack, we are highly suspicious of just who is behind the leaking of the intern story and its links back to Kenya. It appears that the same "third force" that was behind the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, are at it again, planning the premature demise of Kerry's presidential hopes. We shall be following up with more information in the coming days.
WILLIAM A. COOK
As even the conservative talk show hosts scramble to unravel truth from fiction emanating from the White House, another intelligence failure goes unmentioned and uninvestigated. Which of the monotheistic faiths has the ear of God? Who among the various exponents of truth--ministers, rabbis, or mullahs--gather the "real" intelligence from the purported "sacred" texts that provide God's directions to His creatures? Who bears responsibility for this "Intelligence" community as it makes its case for eternal war? Should the President create yet another selective investigating committee, composed of trusted friends of truth like Henry Kissinger, Tom Delay, Richard Perle, or Trent Lott (there are no "Muslims" resident in this administration), to search out fact from fiction in the "other" rationale that brought America to invade Iraq, God's directive that guides America to bring His gift of freedom to the Iraqi people while insuring that Israel regains its right to the covenant land given by G-d to them in perpetuity?
As we watch Pat Robertson's version of the news on the 700 Club, and listen to him "forgive" George his sins of omission in not telling the American people that he was manufacturing the truth about Iraq's WMD and connections to Osama, and hear him extol God's purpose in placing George in the President's throne at this moment in time the better to ensure that God's prophecies be fulfilled, we have an unsettling realization that this man, and others of like cloth--Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Hal Lindsey, Pastor Hagee--influence thousands upon thousands who wallow in their righteousness and leave the Cornerstone Church secure in belief that God speaks to these men just as He talks to Pat assuring him that George will be reelected by a huge majority.
Must these men bear no responsibility for the meaningless deaths of more than 535 American soldiers, the pain and suffering of thousands mutilated in missile and bomb attacks, the continuing agony of those sick unto death with DU poisoning, not to mention the wanton destruction of innocent Iraqi civilians, estimated now in excess of 10,000? What intelligence did they omit when they exhorted their followers to rush to war against the infidels? What fabrications of truth did they extract from their Bibles, assuring the faithful that they had "received" the word of God in dreams, that He called upon them to fulfill His prophecies as recorded in the Book of Revelation, that He cursed the Islamic faith and charged that it be wiped from the face of the earth? What resident inmates of our nations mental hospitals also hear God speaking to them but have neither the gift-of-gab nor the wealth to air their views before the world?
What understanding of the Creator do we receive from these self-proclaimed "Ministers of the one true God"? Let's listen to Osama bin Laden, the alleged "mastermind" of the chaos inflicted on America and the roaming "evildoer" who haunts the underworld caverns of the mid-east eluding our Texan cowboy who vows to bring him in "dead or alive." "We will impose our religion on AmericaGod wills it," he proclaimed in his "Letter to America," November 24, 2002. And in the fullness of his vehemence he yells, "Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people." But that is not all; "It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it victorious over all other religions even though the Polytheists hate it." (Quran 61:9). And, finally, this last bit of chutzpah, "The Islamic Nation wishes to remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well aware that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises your haughtiness and arrogance."
As an ardent student of Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of militant Islam, Osama understands that "Islam and the West (are) incompatible, two camps between which coexistence (was) is impossible. There could only be a struggle between believers and non-believers, between secularism and capitalism and Islam and the West with its emphasis on science and technology obliterate(s) the validity of religion." Thus we find others of similar mind to Osama, the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, that calls for armed confrontation with Israel (Gregorian, Islam: a Mosaic Not a Monolith)) or Ayatullah Khomeini who called for a holy war against the "Great Satan," the United States. One turns with some degree of relief from these fanatical fulminations to the expected peace of the other two monotheistic faiths only to find that they too have entered the lists with lances at the ready, swords at their sides, and hate in their eyes.
Consider Sharon's dependence on the National Religious Party headed by Effi Eitan, a self-proclaimed rabid Zionist who brazenly and shamelessly shouts that Palestinians are not ordinary people, but "uncircumcised," "little people," and "evil." The Jews, on the other hand, are "blessed." And they (the Jews) will come with "vengeance against (their) terrible evil" and "make a reckoning with them." (L.A.Times). But Effi is not the worst. Gush Emunim rabbis teach that "Jews who kill Arabs should be free from all punishment Arabs living in Palestine are thieves because the land was Jewish and belongs to them." (Prof. Israel Shehak). Add to these zealots those who design their own versions of the Talmud citations and preach to their followers hate, vengeance, and annihilation.
Their hubris defies understanding: "Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be punished by being boiled in hot excrement in hell" (Erubin 21b), and "All gentile children are animals" (Yebamoth 98a), and "According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt of rabbinical authority" (Hoffman and Critchley), and "Those who read the New Testament will have no portion in the world to come" (Sanhedrin 90a), and "Jews must destroy the books of the Christians" (Shabbath 116a). These and more, more venomous than those cited, fill the various commentaries that constitute the on-going words of the living Talmud.
It would appear that Osama finds a sick solace in his God that will bring havoc to unbelievers and victory to Islam while the Zionist right-wing Jewish cohort divide G-d's creation into the blessed and the animals who, as unbelievers, will suffer a steaming and malodorous sauna in the hereafter. How does one describe these gods? Having created humans with the capacity to reason and choose, Allah damns all who disbelieve the militant mullahs while the G-d of the Jews destroys all who disbelieve the right-wing Zionists; if each can be believed, all would be destroyed and none would ascend to heaven! Indeed, the Gods they worship are brutish, sadistic, and perverse! But lest we think that the Christian right exhorts its worshipers to "turn the other cheek" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and "love thy neighbor as thyself," think again.
For a paltry $25.00, you can purchase three audiotapes from Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, tapes of sermons that focus on "Allah and America." Add another $20.00 and you can get the video version that permits you to witness the paunchy pastor lift the Quran high above his head as he cites chapter and verse, in an ever more excited crescendo, condemning the words of Allah as interpreted by Pastor Hagee.
It's a marvelous scene; a few thousand of his 17,000 congregation sitting in rapt attention in this hotel-like conference center church, absorbing the truths of the one true God as conveyed by this minister of war who sees the anti-Christ rising against God's chosen in the final battle prophesied in the Book of Revelation. What is the purpose of this exhortation? Is it to bring his congregation to peace and reconciliation with their wayward brothers and sisters? God forbid, "No!" This 21st Century Prophet rises on his tiered altar steps (he is the altar!) demanding that his parishioners recognize the grave threat they face as he extracts passages from the Quran that give credibility to his twisted interpretation of Mohammad's visions. What does he see? His evangelical Christian Zionist church is engaged in a spiritual war for survival; that the demonic driven mullahs of the Islamic faith are waging everlasting war against freedom of religion, against freedom of speech, against the western world! "We are not a sister faith!" he cries over and over again as his congregants lift their arms and eyes to the chandeliers that bathe the hall in celestial light. What must they do to these demented hordes that "want to kill as many Americans as possible," that are developing "long range missiles," that have "suit case atomic bombs"? They must fight; "Victory must be our only objective!"
"No relationship of any kind exists or can exist between Islam and Christianity," he shouts in stunned and somber tones as he levels his final accusations on this faith of more than a billion people around the world. This false religion serves as Satan's means to present "a false path to Paradise" when Jesus Himself is the "only way to heaven"; He alone is the one true God; "Christ is the only savior on the planet!" Thus does he echo Osama and Eitam in the absoluteness, no, the infallibility of his belief. "Islam," he cries, "says Christ did not die on the cross and he is not divine." But, strangely enough, he does not condemn the Jewish faith for similar beliefs. He can't. His need to convince his faithful that Revelation demands the existence of the Israeli state if the rapture is to ensue requires that he support the Israeli state as God's means of fulfilling His prophecy. Ironically, Hagee does not make public, especially to the Jewish community, that the consequences resulting from the fulfillment of Revelation's prophecies would save only 144,000 Jews leaving the remaining millions to eternal perdition. With friends like Hagee, who needs enemies!
Monotheism breeds men who wish to bed with God, to bathe themselves in His glory the better to reveal to all how blessed they are in the eyes of the Almighty. Since God communicates with humans only through a chosen few--Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Mohammad--and, conveniently, only in abstruse words and images, these men become the conduits of His meaning. They, like the CIA, must intercept and interpret God's meaning. They, like the CIA, can surreptitiously maneuver political forces to do their will by guaranteeing thousands of votes, thousands of dollars, and allegiance to policies that support their agenda. They, like the CIA, can effect regime change and control governments; witness Sharon's coalition, the Iranian Islamic state, and the Bush regime's dependence on the Christian right-wing Zionists. And they, like the CIA, must be investigated!
The havoc currently wrenching the United States, Israel, and Iraq arises as much from faith based fanatics in all three religions as it does from political drives motivated by acquisition of natural resources and dominance of geographical areas to insure ultimate power. These fanatics resort to documents 1300 to 2500 years old, documents relevant to their time, and use them to manufacture relevance in the 21st century. The metaphorical narratives of these ancient documents, designed originally to represent the interaction of tribes with the forces of nature, how to live in a community with respect to social, economic, and political realities, and how to understand the energies that conflict within our beings, become, in the rantings of these madmen, reality today despite the intrusion of science, reason, technological advances, and hundreds of years of political change. In the process, they must negate the simple yet elegant teachings of those faiths that give promise to the potential of human harmony. Here, in the words of Theodore Parker (in 1841), as he dismantled organized religion that "fetters a man" in favor of the spirit that Christ taught, a spirit equally at home in the Jewish traditon and the Islamic, reside the permanent truths that express the fullness of the human spirit:
"(That spirit) is absolute, pure morality; absolute pure religion, - the love of man; the love of God acting without let or hindrance. The only creed it lays down is the great truth which springs up spontaneous in the holy heart, - there is a God. Its watchword is, Be perfect as your Father in heaven. The only form it demands is a divine life, - doing the best thing in the best way, from the highest motives; perfect obedience to the great law of God. Its sanction is the voice of God in your heart; the perpetual presence of him who made us Examine the particular duties it enjoins, - humility, reverence, sobriety, gentleness, charity, forgiveness, fortitude, resignation, faith, and active love summed up in the command, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself' The end seems to be to make all men one with God It allows perfect freedom. It does not demand all men to think alike, but to think uprightly not all men to live alike, but to live holy"
Faith based fanatics offer no humility only arrogance, no reverence only hypocrisy, no gentleness only castigation, no charity only self-indulgence, no forgiveness only condemnation, no faith only fear, and no love only hate. They represent a small minority of the believers who find refuge in these faiths. Of the adult population in the US and Canada, 75% are Christians, and of that number only 35% are born again and of that number even a smaller percent are Evangelical Christian Zionists of the Robertson/ Pastor Hagee stripe that exhort our nation to take up arms against the infidels. Each of these fanatical groups demands exclusivity for their membership, an exclusivity that turns plowshares into swords. By contrast, those who heed the spirit of faith understand in the words of the Psalmist, "Publish His glory among all nations. His marvellous works among all peoples"(96:3). "Mohammad preached a message that was intensely democratic. He was insisting that in the sight of the Lord all peoples were equal." (Houston Smith, Islam). A Creator does not destroy His creation without destroying Himself. No minister, rabbi, or mullah should preach destruction; it is anathema to the purpose of religion.
Hearken to the words of Yonathan Shapira, an Israeli pilot who refuses to fly. He bases his refusal on two of the basic values of the Israeli Defense Forces, only one of which I will cite here: "Human Dignity: The IDF and its soldiers are obliged to honor human dignity. Each human being should be respected, regardless of his race, creed, nationality, gender, status or his social role." Nothing taught by Gush Emunim appears in this statement; yet it is Effi Eitam and his like that control Sharon's coalition. Where is the investigation that will expose this reality? The vast majority of Jews hear Yonathan's plea, but it is Sharon's savagery that speaks in their name. "Islam's religious revivalists often express alienation and anger about the 'ravages' of secularism, perceived amorality, and the loss of 'traditional values' in the modern world." (Gregorian). Osama and his ilk carry out that anger demanding of their followers an uncompromising adherence to a rigid, literal interpretation of the Quran forgetting that there are a multitude of interpretations with that of the Sunnies dependent on reason not unquestioned faith. And they represent the majority of Muslims. No unified religions exist; there are 19 major religions in the world with more than 270 large religious groups including 34,000 separate Christian groups. Such diversity requires separation of church and state. And that is why Jefferson found organized religion a threat to democracy; religion is not by nature tolerant especially when more than one claims they have access to the one true God.
Now if these men have incited their congregations to overlook the deception of the Bush administration as it brought America to an unjust war, if they insert their warmongering views in pulpit, TV programs, and politics, have they no responsibility for the consequences of their acts? If they cannot demonstrate the source of their interpretations that served as a base for their allegations demanding Bush and America complete God's prophecy, should they not be brought before the courts for inciting mayhem and levied appropriate damages to pay for the havoc they generated? And should not Bush demand the same of Sharon and his coalition since his brutality against the Palestinians is considered the major source of terrorism in the world and has made America a target of that hatred? Perhaps a little intelligence on this matter would bring to light how an administration can be coerced into a foreign policy built on superstition and fear.
At least 28 killed in Moscow pool roof
MOSCOW (AFP) - The death toll in the Moscow pool roof collapse rose to 28 in a tragedy that injured 110 others and sparked controversy over a building boom that has seen towering structures soar in the Russian capital on the cheap.
Rescuers used cranes and other heavy machinery to pull bodies out of the twisted metal and concrete slabs that fell on an indoor swimming pool after the structure's dome caved in Saturday evening. [...]
Around 1,000 rescuers dug through rubble, periodically stopping their gruesome work to listen for voices.
"Every half hour, we have a minute of silence so that we can hear where the voices are coming from," one rescue worker told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Moscow police opened a criminal inquiry into the builders of the modern structure on the southeastern outskirts of Moscow. Officials said the site was built mainly by Turkish migrant laborers. [...]
Russian news agencies initially said the collapse of the water park's roof was caused by a bomb blast. But news agencies later quoted emergency ministry officials as saying they did not suspect foul play.
The incident "was not an act of terrorism," ITAR-TASS quoted an emergencies ministry official as saying. [...]
Two fires in China kill at least 90, injure
BEIJING (AFP) - Two separate fires in China killed at least 90 people and injured dozens more, state media and officials said.
A fire swept through a department store in northeast China's Jilin province Sunday morning killing at least 51 people and injuring over 70, fire and hospital officials said Sunday.
Only hours later at least 39 pilgrims died and four were injured when a temple in eastern Zhejiang province's Haining city caught fire around 2:15 pm (0615 GMT), the Xinhua news agency said.
The causes of the fires are still unknown. [...]
1 Killed, 3 Injured in N.J. Bar
NEWARK, N.J. - A man in a fight over a woman opened fire in a bar early Sunday, killing another man and wounding three more people, police said. [...]
Among the injured were a woman who suffered a graze wound and a man who was hit in his abdomen. All three were being treated at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Glenn said. Their conditions were unknown. [...]
SUV Attack Appears Tied to Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man standing on a highway overpass fired a handgun at a sport utility vehicle Saturday on Interstate 70, and investigators said it appeared to be linked to the monthslong series of highway shootings in the Columbus area.
No one was injured in the late morning shooting near Pataskala, about 15 miles east of Columbus.
The bullet struck the SUV's right front fender and lodged in the battery. It was recovered and sent for lab testing.
The shooting appeared to be related to the 23 others since May, said Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin, a spokesman for the task force investigating the shootings. One person has been killed. [...]
WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and JUDITH MILLER
The New York Police Department, working with city health officials, federal authorities and other agencies, has been preparing for a possible attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, perhaps the most daunting threat facing municipalities in a post-9/11 world.
Meeting in secret and conducting complex drills, the department has brought together government agencies in a broad effort for much of the last year. In doing so, it has put together a program that some national security and law enforcement officials describe as unrivaled among American cities.
Police officials say special units have trained and drilled, for instance, to board cruise ships from helicopters and piers and begun reviewing floor plans of most large Midtown theaters, conducting exercises inside some to improve their ability to respond to a possible attack, in the aftermath of the deadly siege of a Moscow theater two years ago. This spring, city and federal officials say, the police will work alongside the city health department and other agencies to open a pilot program that they hope will ultimately allow officials to test the air across the city for biological agents quickly and constantly. [...]
Officials say the department has even taken to the city's streets to conduct a drill with the city's medical examiner's office to prepare for a chemical weapons attack that would litter the streets with contaminated bodies.
"We're thinking about the unthinkable — what a few years ago was the unthinkable," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said in a recent interview, noting that the preparations were not in response to a specific or direct threat. "It's something we're trying to take head-on, but the scope and magnitude of the problems are daunting." [...]
"They are trying to do what Washington is supposed to be doing, but isn't," said a former national security official in the Clinton and the second Bush administrations, Richard A. Clarke. Weeks spent with department officials and exercises in recent months in which officials brainstormed and struggled with the novel problems an attack could pose underscored both the epic challenges facing the city and the size of its ambitions.
Extensive interviews show, among other things, that the department is scheduled to begin chemical and biological training for entire units on Wednesday, with the goal of having 10,000 officers ready in time for the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled for Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 at Madison Square Garden. The department, too, is helping to prepare guidelines so police detectives and F.B.I. agents can conduct joint investigations with City Health Department epidemiologists in the event of a biological attack. [...]
Bright, Peter Beaumont and Jo Tuckman in Mexico
A joint British and American spying operation at the United Nations scuppered a last-ditch initiative to avert the invasion of Iraq, The Observer can reveal.
Senior UN diplomats from Mexico and Chile provided new evidence last week that their missions were spied on, in direct contravention of international law.
The former Mexican ambassador to the UN, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, told The Observer that US officials intervened last March, just days before the war against Saddam was launched, to halt secret negotiations for a compromise resolution to give weapons inspectors more time to complete their work.
Aguilar Zinser claimed that the intervention could only have come as a result of surveillance of a closed diplomatic meeting where the compromise was being hammered out. He said it was clear the Americans knew about the confidential discussions in advance. 'When they [the US] found out, they said, "You should know that we don't like the idea and we don't like you to promote it."'
The revelations follow claims by Chile's former ambassador to the UN, Juan Valdes, that he found hard evidence of bugging at his mission in New York last March. The new claims emerged as The Observer has discovered that Government officials seriously considered dropping the prosecution against Katharine Gun, the translator at the GCHQ surveillance centre who first disclosed details of the espionage operation last March. [...]
One of the police chiefs in charge of national policy on firearms has said he would like a Star Trek-style phaser gun for officers which can "temporarily switch people's brains off".
[...]"What we would like in the future is a Star Trek-style phaser that, perfectly safely, temporarily switches someone's brain off so that officers move in," he told Jane's Police Review Magazine.
"We know we are not going to get that, probably not in my lifetime anyway, but we will look at anything that takes us in that direction." [...]
[...]At present the closest weapon police have to the phaser is the taser, which is on trial in five forces. It fires a two-pronged dart that over rides the central nervous system and causes muscle contractions. The spasms nearly always cause targets to curl into a foetal position.[...]
Randolph T. Holhut
[T]he Bush administration's desire to stifle dissent is going beyond herding protesters into fenced-off and distant "free speech zones" during presidential visits. They apparently view any and all opponents of President Bush as criminals at best and terrorists at worst.
Last year, the federal Homeland Security Department advised local law enforcement agencies to start viewing critics of "the war on terror" as potential terrorists and to keep an eye on anyone who, in HSD's words, "expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government."
That might explain the recent dispute in Des Moines, Iowa, where a federal judge ordered Drake University to turn over records about a Nov. 15, 2003 gathering of anti-war activists. He also issued subpoenas for four of the activists to appear before a grand jury.
Only after the investigation drew widespread condemnation from civil libertarians, peace activists and politicians did the judge back off on his request. But according to The Des Moines Register , the U.S. Attorney's office in Des Moines apparently still has the matter under investigation.
The reason for this outrageous attack on constitutionally-allowed dissent is that the feds allege that the Nov. 15 forum at Drake was allegedly used to plan an attempt to enter the fenced-off perimeter of Camp Dodge, the home of the Iowa National Guard.
The Register said the peace activists' conference and nonviolence training session - held at Drake after police and the media were notified - was called "Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home!" and was held to oppose the deployment of the Iowa guardsmen to Iraq.
The next day, activists went to Camp Dodge, where 12 people were arrested for trespassing. None of them attempted to scale a fence. The Register said the only arrest that appeared to come close to fitting the U.S. Attorney's claims was that of Elton Davis, one of the subpoenaed activists who was charged with trespassing.
Davis's attempt to enter was more comical than criminal. He said that he simply walked up to a gate at Camp Dodge and asked to speak to a commanding officer. [...]
We'll see more cases like this one in the coming months. Most of the safeguards enacted in the mid-1970s to prevent the FBI from spying on individuals or groups that oppose government policies have been abolished since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. And the FBI seems to have regressed into the mindset that it had in the 1950s and 1960s - that dissent equals criminal behavior.
"Even the most peaceful [protest] techniques can create a climate of disorder, block access to a site, draw large numbers of police officers to a specific location in order to weaken security at other locations, obstruct traffic, and possibly intimidate people from attending the events being protested," according to a FBI Intelligence Bureau memo issued on Oct. 15, 2003 that was later obtained by The New York Times.
That memo asked local law enforcement agencies to be alert to "possible indicators of protest activity" - such as people using cell phones at events or using video cameras "for documenting potential cases of police brutality and for distribution of information over the Internet" - and to "report any potentially illegal acts to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force."
If using a cell phone or a video camera at a protest event is considered a "potentially illegal act" by the FBI, it's not that much of a leap for them to consider a meeting of peace activists held on an university campus to be considered a "potentially illegal act."
Combine this with the violent (and often illegal) tactics used by police in dealing with protests around the country, and the message to potential dissenters is crystal clear: If you disagree with what your government is doing in your name, keep it to yourself. If you wish to be vocal and visible in your opposition, the cops will do whatever is necessary to shut you up. [...]
LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of British troops who fought in Iraq are to undergo screening in the biggest ever study of the physical and psychological impact of war, the Observer says.
The study, funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and carried out at London's Kings College, will examine various triggers for illnesses such as the use of anti-germ warfare vaccines, the effects of depleted uranium-tipped bullets and the impact of stress.
Bremer Opens Iraq Human Rights
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, opened the nation's first human rights ministry Saturday, saying it will investigate atrocities committed during Saddam Hussein's rule.
Bremer also said the Baghdad ministry will draft a human rights declaration and promote private groups that defend civil liberties in the country.
He also defended American policies in Iraq.
"You know in our country and in other countries in Europe, there is a debate about whether the coalition did the right thing in coming to Iraq to liberate the people of Iraq from Saddam," Bremer said.
"And I say to the people who doubt whether what we did was noble: 'Come to Iraq, visit the mass graves.'"
Much of the European criticism of American policy in Iraq stemmed from Washington's failure to win U.N. Security Council approval for the invasion.
Comment: Perhaps a better idea is for everyone to see the mass graves, as well as the evidence of past US support of Saddam's regime.
For more information, see Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984 and How The United States Illegally Armed Saddam Hussein.
Sunday February 15, 03:48 AM
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has plans to equip its commercial airplanes with anti-surface-to-air missile devices within two years, local media reports.
Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan said Singapore military planes have anti-missile defences and a government agency is developing such devices for their commercial counterparts, the Straits Times said on Sunday. [...]
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A 13-year-old boy has died of bird flu in Thailand, taking the death toll from the virus rampaging through Asia to at least 20, a health ministry official says.
"He died last night of respiratory failure," Dr Charal Trinwuthipong, chief of the Department of Disease Control, told Reuters on Sunday. [...]
Av Carin Pettersson og Jørgen Berge
For the first time a version of the bird flu has been located in Norway. The carrier was a mallard.
[...] According to the institute of veterinary studies, there is no drama connected to the find.
«The virus in not dangerous for people so you don’t have to worry that you will be infected,» said Atle Løvland, veterinary specializing in poultry diseases at the veterinary institute, to TV 2 Nettavisen. [...]
300 People Fall Ill on Carnival
Carnival officials said preliminary tests show the outbreak might have been caused by a norovirus. The virus is spread through contaminated food, contact with infected people or poor hygiene. It can be prevented by regular hand-washing. [...]
SEATTLE, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- New, experimental technology allows doctors to kill cancers deep inside the body with high-intensity ultrasound instead of scalpels and other surgical instruments, researchers report. [...]
schools, businesses in Middle East
AMMAN (AFP) - Snowstorms shuttered schools and businesses in the Middle East and left one man dead in Lebanon, while many Jordanians called the weather a blessing for their water-starved country.
Strong winds buffeted Jordan overnight and snow fell heavily on northern and central regions of the country, including the capital Amman, trapping motorists, causing flight delays and closing schools and banks. [...]
Meteorologists said that up to 15 centimeters (six inches) of snow fell on western Amman, which is built on seven hills with the highest point at 1,100 meters (3,630 feet).
The snowfall, meanwhile, was welcomed by most Jordanians as a "blessing from God" because it meant more water for a country which ranks among the world's 10 poorest in water resources.
In Israel, the first major snowfall of the year upset the roadmap for peace with the Palestinians and forced the closure of schools in Jerusalem and parts of the north.
A planned meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's bureau chief and Palestinian premier Ahmed Qorei's top aide in Jerusalem to set up a long-awaited summit between the two leaders was postponed indefinitely due to the inclement weather.
Around nine centimeters of snow were recorded in the centre of Jerusalem after a steady fall that began on Saturday afternoon and resumed Sunday.
The weight of the snow caused a wall to collapse near the Maghreb Gate, which overlooks a section of Jerusalem's Wailing Wall where women go to pray. [...]
In Lebanon, hundreds of villages remained cut off by snow-choked roads and an elderly resident of Chtaura, east of Beirut, was electrocuted by a fallen high-voltage wire, police said.
Major roads were blocked, including the route between Beirut and Damascus, and maritime traffic in the ports of Sidon and Tyre in the south was halted.
Snowfall that began Friday across Syria closed most of the mountain roads around Damascus, weather services reported.
In the central-western region of Homs, heavy rains forced road closures, while the newspaper Al-Baas said they heralded "an excellent farm season".
In Cyprus, snow fell on the north coast of the island and even dusted Nicosia, delighting residents unused to the rare sight.
The icy weather, coming from the north, also caused havoc in Greece and Turkey, closing Athens international airport and sinking ships in the Black Sea.
Winter Storm in Texas Kills at Least
Islamabad, Feb 15 - The death toll from the two earthquakes that rocked northwestern Pakistan on Saturday rose to 21 on Sunday, according to news reports.
The earthquakes also injured 13, five of them seriously, and damaged more than 200 houses, all in the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP), daily Dawn said.
The quakes measuring 5.7 and 5.6 on the Richter scale were also felt in some parts of the central Punjab province including the capital Islamabad. [...]
Kamchatski, February 14 - Crew of a Russian aircraft has observed a powerful belching of ash by Kamchatka's Karymski volcano, with the trail rising to the altitude of 5.5 kilometers above its crater.
Since Friday morning, about 190 local trust tremors have occurred near the volcano, and thermal anomalies were also registered.
Karymski, one of medium-tall Kamchatka's volcanoes, has been in the phase of eruption since January 1996, with occasional remissions of activity.
[...] In recent years, de Klerk has kept a low political profile, interrupted by a highly publicized spat with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated apartheid-era atrocities.
He refused to apply for amnesty from the commission and was criticized by its chairman, fellow Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, for insisting he was unaware of widespread torture and brutality by government security forces when he was president.
Perhaps feeling eclipsed by Mandela, de Klerk now is quick to point out his party's role in bringing about peaceful transformation in South Africa.
"We, my old party, abolished apartheid, not the ANC," he says. "When president Mandela acceded in 1994, he received a clean slate."
De Klerk accuses the ANC of encouraging a "sort of new apartheid" by clinging to a rigid program of affirmative action.
Comment: This article, like most in the mainstream media, accepts the doctored view of history that De Klerk suddenly saw the light and decided Apartheid was an inhumane political philosophy. De Klerk had to negotiate with the ANC because of the relentless resistance of the African population. The National Party jumped before they were pushed, and thus grabbed some of the glory of "South African freedom" for themselves. De Klerk's sharing of the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela doesn't change the facts of history. Saying he had no knowledge of the widespread brutality of the regime he presided over, doesn't change the facts. Truth and reconciliation does not seem to interest him, but playing political guru and sniping at the ANC from the sidelines seems to be his current role.
Out in the Harare suburb of Borrowdale Brooke, which is among the most opulent suburbs in Southern Africa, the beneficiaries of President Robert Mugabe's 24-year rule over Zimbabwe can buy live oysters.
The delicacies are kept in a tank at the self-contained suburb's Spar supermarket. This week they were being sold for Z12 000 each. That's the equivalent of R20 at the prevailing exchange rate and equal to the average weekly wage of someone lucky enough to find work as a domestic worker in suburban Harare.
Cape Town businessman Asher Karni imported high-tech triggers from the United States supposedly to be used in "lithotripter" machines to break up kidney stones at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.
Instead he diverted them to a Pakistani businessman, to be used to detonate nuclear bombs in Pakistan's controversial nuclear weapons programme, US agents charge.
Paris - Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was probably high on drugs when he decided to invade Kuwait in 1990, a former chief of protocol said in a radio interview on Thursday.
Issam Rashid Walid, whose book In Saddam's Shadow is due to be released in France in the coming days, also told Europe 1 radio that Saddam had amassed a fortune of about $35-billion (about R236-million) through various companies he set up, including many in the Brazilian car industry.
"Saddam was heavily into drugs. He began in 1959, with cannabis, and then when he seized power in 1979, he used heroin at times. He decided to invade Kuwait because he was probably not in his normal state. He was on drugs and drugs made him lose his mind," said Walid.
MAN SAYS MOST HUMANS INHABITED BY ALIEN CLONES
"We're going against the evil alien clones. ... I started with my wife."
Pat Hutchinson said he shot his wife, Fontaine, in the head yesterday because she, like most of the other people on the planet, had been taken over by alien clones.
About 4:30 p.m. -- about an hour after the shooting was reported -- the Herald-Leader accidentally reached Hutchinson by telephone. The shooting was first thought to be at a nearby house, and reporters were calling neighbors.
Once the reporter realized she had the suspect on the line, she kept him talking while an editor called police.
The conversation continued while the editor was put on hold. When an officer returned to the line and asked the Herald-Leader to end the call with Hutchinson, the reporter did.
Soon after, the reporter relayed the contents of the interview to police.
Hutchinson, 45, described the situation:
"I shot my wife, shot the paramedics, I shot at a cop but I think I missed him."
Asked whether his wife of 13 years, was alive, he said: "I don't know, and I don't care."
Hutchinson was barricaded at 8645 Adams Lane with Fontaine, 60.
"We can sit here a long time," he said.
He spoke calmly, but rambled, talking not only about clones but also about UFOs, aliens, cobras, "panther-lions," the CIA and a vast conspiracy.
As he watched police surround his house, he said he had "several" guns and was prepared to use them on anyone who made it past his "cobras and panther-lions."
"Me and God's creatures -- we're going to do the best we can with what we got to work with," Hutchinson said. "These police officers and these folks -- I got a feeling they're getting ready to die."
Asked to start at the
beginning, he said, "At the end of World War II, a UFO crash-landed
near the Russian border. ..."
Asked for the reason behind the shootings, Hutchinson said:
"A cobra came up to me on the farm and gave me a stick and said, 'God told me to give this to you.'"
"I control the tribe of the stick, about 250 panther-lions, thousands of cobras, " Hutchinson said.
He said that there would soon be other attacks.
"All hell's getting ready to break loose all over the place," he said. "It's Armageddon."
He denied that he had mental problems: "You think, 'this guy's a nut.' I'm not a nut."
Comment: A description of the stand off, and a short bio of his wife. There are thousands of resources on the internet, and hundreds of books written on the subject of mind control. There are also case histories where subjects exhibit behavior similar to Pat Hutchinson. The usual stigmatizing campaign has occurred around the subject of mind control, but that is ridiculous. There have been many facts uncovered, from lawsuits, the Church Committee, and FOIA documents, leaving many researchers asking just what is hidden. The article we posted yesterday where the woman's psychologist convinced her of being the victim of a satanic cult may have been one of those experiments.
Ewan Cameron, who developed some of the techniques the CIA adopted, conducted human experimentation in Canada and the US from 1957 through 1964. He became known worldwide, as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association, as the president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations, and was a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal a decade earlier. We do not have enough evidence to say if this Hutchinson case had anything to do with mind control, he could have just had a slim grip on reality already, and then became involved with guns. Nonetheless, dramatic shootings like Hutchinson gain public attention, when psychopaths like Cameron, who leave a wide wake of misery where ever they go, receive funding and accolades, while their crimes are covered up.
A few places to start researching: Wikipedia entry on MKULTRA, Cosmic Cointelpro Timeline, Star of Sorcerers, Chemical Hallucinations, Mind Control, and Dr. Jose Delgado, THE GREENBAUM SPEECH, Resources on Nonconsensual Human Experimentation, THE CONTROLLERS, and that is just barely scratching the surface.
Brazil's Labour Ministry has said it has freed more than 30 people being held in slave-like conditions on the ranch of a senator. [...]
Jan Bondeson's piquant account of an unconventional 18th-century stalker, The London Monster, fascinates Gregory Dart
Saturday February 14,
Night has fallen, the street-lamps are faint and few. You are a young woman with a maidservant, walking home from a West End theatre. It is 1790. Suddenly a stranger propositions you, forcing a small bunch of artificial flowers into your face. You dismiss him contemptuously, but he trails after you, calling out: "Blast your eyes, you damned bitch, I will murder you and drown you in your blood!" And then, when you are only a few yards from your townhouse, he pulls out a long, sharp instrument from his coat and slashes violently at your dress. The flesh on your upper thigh and buttocks is badly bloodied, your petticoat ripped to shreds. And still he remains, cursing in the moonlight, before slowly, and almost reluctantly, sloping off to his lair.
Predating Jack the Ripper by nearly 100 years, the London Monster was, at bottom, a good deal less terrifying than his Victorian counterpart, for he never killed or maimed any of his victims. But such was the frequency of his attacks (no fewer than 30 were recorded between 1788 and 1790) and the extraordinary self-composure with which they were conducted that the whole of London was thrown into a state of moral panic for a season, and Monster-mania gripped the stage and popular press. [...]
A CITY pensioner is hoping someone can shed light on a gigantic flash across the sky over his house which caused his radio to lose its channels.
John Reynolds, who lives in St John's with his wife Margaret, said he was stunned by the phenomenon, which happened at around 10pm on Wednesday evening.
"I was putting milk bottles out for the next morning, and I saw the whole sky light up like a gigantic explosion," said the 63-year-old.
"I thought it was a bomb because it was so vivid, I've never seen anything like it before.
"It lit up into a yellow colour like a sheet of lightning, but it was so white that I thought it wasn't lightning.
"When I came back in the house my CD and radio player was going berserk, and we have now lost every channel on the radio."
Mr Reynolds, who works as a printing agent, said he saw a friend the following day who had a similar experience at his St John's home.
"He was in the shower at 10pm the same night and the water went off for a few seconds," said the father of two.
"This man's central heating had a clock, which has now gone wrong."
Worcester police said they had not had any calls reporting unusual lights over St John's.
Evening News weatherman, Paul Damari said there was no thunder and lightning in the area at the time.
"No-one has reported anything unusual to me," he said.
Michael Soper, spokesman for Contact International, which collects and analyses data on UFO and crop circle reports, said he had no idea what could have caused the gigantic flash, and did not class the incident as a UFO sighting.
"If there had been several flashes I would have wondered if it was a covert signalling system," he said.
Last Updated Fri, 13 Feb 2004 17:51:02
ITHACA, N.Y. - Liars are more likely to spin their yarns in a telephone call than in an e-mail, a psychologist says.
Communications Prof. Jeff Hancock of Cornell University asked 30 students to keep a diary for a week.
The volunteers were asked to note the number of e-mail exchanges or phone conversations they had lasting more than 10 minutes, as well as instant messages and face-to-face talks.
They also had to confess how many lies they told.
The New York-based researcher found lies were told in:
[...] Hancock hopes the research will help employees decide the best form of communication. For example, the phone may be best for sales people who are encouraged to stretch the truth, but if honesty is the priority, e-mail may be best.
Comment: Here is an example of the depths to which science has fallen in the US. A study, based upon a sample of only 30 individuals, is being used to justify the selection of a telephone by salespeople because it will be easier to "stretch the truth."
We Say So
A ground-breaking study was conducted five minutes ago in the Signs Office. Three people in the room were asked what they thought about the ankles of Mama Cass. Although all participants agreed that they were large in circumference, only one person actually used the word "thick" to describe the deceased singer's ankles.
The study was conducted via instant messaging, guaranteeing that the participants' responses are honest and accurate.
was commissioned to help NASA deal with nausea experienced by
astronauts while hurtling into space at 18,000 MPH, and to discover
new ways to market Cheetos to particularly obstinate and xenophobic
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