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!
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Picture of the Day
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte
Do you believe in life after death? Does god exist? If so, does he live in heaven and does he have a white beard? We live in an apparently material world and from a materialist or "scientific" point of view such questions might seem illogical or even ridiculous. Yet, in most societies these questions and their contemplation are considered quite "normal", and we see the unlikely cohabitation of two seemingly contradictory ideas in our world. We have modern science that allows little scope for the existence of anything which cannot be verified using physical prostheses, and we have organised religion with the requirement for belief in "unverifiable" spiritual and non-physical realities.
How is it that these two contrasting views of reality can cohabit so comfortably?
Well, when we say cohabit, it appears that the boundaries are clearly demarcated. Mainstream religions conveniently rely on the "mystery" explanation. Teachings are usually of a general nature and are rather nebulous, with talk of "heaven" and "hell," with their bottom line being that we cannot know the truth of non-material existence while we exist materially. Of course, from a control point of view, the benefits of a teaching that has a basic premise of "we know the truth, you must do as we say and maybe when you die you will know it too" are obvious. The scientists for their part seem happy to allow religious leaders to deal with the spiritual needs of humanity, just as long as they keep such "unprovable" considerations well out of the domain of "hard science".
Harris Interactive claims that 90% of Americans believe in "god". Europeans statistics show an similarly large majority of "believers". Despite the perceived materiality of our world, there is apparently an innate quality within most humans to believe that there is more to life than material existence. In this respect humanity can be divided into two camps; those who believe in the existence of an "afterlife" and/or some sort of god(s), and those who believe in neither and that as humans we are flesh, bones, and a few electrical impulses for the purpose of animation.
With humanity's strong proclivity to believe in religious ideas that disregard the laws of modern science we find it strange that there are not more options to choose from. Are we suffering from a lack of imagination? Take UFOs and extraterrestrial life for example. Is the concept that there might be other intelligent life in the universe any more bizarre than the idea of pearly gates and angels floating on clouds? What about the idea of hyperdimensional realities and an open universe? Sadly, it seems that any attempt to promote anything that is not sanctioned by popularly known scientific ideas and religious leaders will invariably get one assigned to the lunatic fringe. If we are to be honest, we might admit that we rarely use our perceptive abilities to attempt to determine the nature of our reality. Instead, we are happy for it to be presented to us by others. The human mind (and thus the human being) is in danger of becoming redundant (if it is not already so). It seems that a small number of people have a monopoly on just what constitutes "reality", and they portion it out to us on a "need to know" basis.
As such, we find a report in today's Washington Post very significant. Are our benevolent masters poised to release the next installment of "reality" to humanity?
While this is by no means a "disclosure" of the reality of UFOs, we believe it is very significant that the idea of extraterrestrial existence is being discussed in a nonfarcical way in a mainstream paper such as the Washington Post. You can also read our commentary on the Popular Mechanics article hinting at disclosure if you missed it. It is also interesting to consider other reports on Eisenhower's presidency and how little control he, even as president, actually exerted over the path that the country was taking.
In Splitting Realities Laura Knight-Jadczyk writes:
In his farewell speech in 1960 it appears that Eisenhower was well aware that the coup had been completed, and that the outlook for humanity was not good. He stated:
Here we notice that Ike prefaces his naming of the two threats to liberty with the explanation for their existence
So, Ike has named the two threats to liberty: the permanent armaments industry and the defense establishment.
And here Ike gives his warning - a warning that was not heeded, and America is now reaping the whirlwind...
We find it very interesting that within the 6 years between Eisenhower's alleged meeting with the "aliens" he was issuing the above dire warning to humanity. Yet what, if anything, can we hope to do about it?..
Ill at ease with our place in the universe; instead of engaging in seeking we seek comfort and ease. Have too many of us learned to fear suffering so much that we can not endure the unknown, that we cannot give up our illusory shelter of belief and assumption for true liberty?
Arkadiusz Jadczyk wrote in his series of articles the Physics of the Mysterious:
Just what does an open universe mean? Probably nothing, if we are mere reaction machines responding to what ever stimulus has been decided is proper for our consumption from some upper echelons of some hierarchy. There is no need to go around pretending we know entirely how the universe works, which is a pretty good definition of the modern religious process. We really don't need solace and insurance from those who exploit our desire for safety. We can search, and network, and create. Of course, we all have some pretty horrifying truths to confront, but if one has the will of a Lion, one does not have the fate of a mouse!
For too long, too many have forgotten something rather important: Just what it means to be a human being with a soul. We all have work to DO. What it means to debug the universe is not fully known, but perhaps we can find out...
A small article on page A12 of the January 29 issue of the New York Times is revealing with respect to the extent of the power of the military-industrial complex in American life. The article reports that the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, told the House Armed Services Committee that he is going to increase the size of U.S. forces by 30,000.
Did Congress authorize the increase? No. And when a few congressmen indicated to the general that they’d be pleased to have Congress authorize the increase, the general responded that Congress didn’t need to trouble themselves with providing such authority — that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld had already authorized the temporary increase under his “emergency” power — and that the “emergency” would justify the increase for the next four years. In other words, “Don’t worry your pretty little heads, elected representatives of the people; the military bureaucracy has the situation well under control. Go back to your knitting.”
Combine that kind of military power (the power to increase military forces without congressional approval) with the enormous economic dependency on military bases of states and cities all over the country and with the Pentagon’s newly claimed power to arrest, jail, and punish American citizens without due process of law and a jury trial, and you might begin to understand what President Eisenhower meant when he warned the American people back in 1961:
WASHINGTON — President Bush's administration distorts scientific findings and seeks to manipulate experts' advice to avoid information that runs counter to its political beliefs, a private organization of scientists asserted on Wednesday.
The Union of Concerned Scientists contended in a report that "the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented." [...]
Kerry Tells Anti-War Movement to Move On
Researchers and investigative reporters are fascinated with the neoconservatives, that group of American empire peddlers who turned George W. Bush into a junkie war criminal. A similar group, the New Democrats, has been pushing its own dangerous brand of U.S. hegemony but with much less fanfare.
The leading mouthpiece for the New Democrats' radical interventionist program could be our next president. John Kerry, the frontrunner in the quest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has been promoting a foreign policy perspective called "progressive internationalism." It's a concept concocted by establishment Democrats seeking to convince potential backers in the corporate and political world that, if installed in the White House, they would seek to preserve U.S. power and influence around the world, but in a kinder, gentler fashion than the current administration.
In the battle to control the American empire, the neocons have in their corner the Partnership for a New American Century while the New Democrats have the Progressive Policy Institute. Come November, who will get your vote? Coke or Pepsi?
In fall 2000, PNAC released Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century. It's a blueprint for "maintaining global U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests."
In fall 2003, members of PPI joined with other tough-minded Democrats to unveil Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy, a 19-page manifesto that calls for "the bold exercise of American power, not to dominate but to shape alliances and international institutions that share a common commitment to liberal values."
The New Democrats don't begrudge the Bush administration for invading Iraq. They take issue with the Bush administration's strategy of refusing to invite key members of the international community to the invasion of Iraq until it was too late. The neocons' unilateralist approach, the New Democrats believe, will do ultimately harm U.S. political and economic dominance around the world.
Proponents of "progressive internationalism" are a lock to control leadership positions at the State Department and key civilian posts at the Pentagon in a John Kerry administration. How do we know this? Because these New Democrats obviously ghostwrote Kerry's campaign book, A Call to Service: My Vision for A Better America. Place the Progressive Internationalism manifesto and Kerry's chapter on foreign policy side by side and you'll immediately notice the similarities.
On page 40 of In A Call to Service, Kerry writes: "The time has come to renew that tradition and revive a bold vision of progressive internationalism." What is this tradition to which Kerry refers? As he describes it, Democrats need to honor "the tough-minded strategy of international engagement and leadership forged by Wilson and Roosevelt in the two world wars and championed by Truman and Kennedy in the cold war."
Now, turn to page 3 of the New Democrats' manifesto. It reads:
Like the neocons, Kerry was not impressed by France's stance against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On page 51 of his book, he writes:
There's much to digest in this paragraph. Perhaps the most interesting nugget is Kerry's statement that the United States should "meet repentant Europeans halfway." Hmmm, John, could you elaborate on what sins the Europeans committed for which they must repent?
On page 50, Kerry details his beef with Old Europe:
Throughout the foreign policy sections of the book, Kerry does his best to convince the reader that he would not run from his role as war criminal in chief if elected president.
Perhaps the most repulsive section of the book is where Kerry discusses the Vietnam War and the antiwar movement. On page 42, Kerry writes:
If the United States was not a villain in the "drama" of the Vietnam war, then who is to blame for the million-plus Vietnamese who were killed during the 20-year period of U.S. aggression that ended 1975? Surely, John, you don't wish to blame certain communist dead-enders in Vietnam for the carnage?
On the next page, Kerry informs his reader that it's time we stop questioning U.S. foreign policy intentions:
This last passage is probably the most unsettling part of Kerry's book and one that every advocate of the Anyone-But-Bush 2004 election strategy should read before heading to the polling station in November.
In this one passage, Kerry seeks to justify the millions of people slaughtered by the U.S. military and its surrogates during the twentieth century, suggests that concern about U.S. war crimes in Vietnam is no longer necessary, and dismisses the antiwar movement as the work of know-nothings.
Kerry and his comrades in the progressive internationalist movement are as gung-ho about U.S. military action as their counterparts in the White House. The only noteworthy difference between the two groups battling for power in Washington is that the neocons are willing to pursue their imperial ambitions in full view of the international community, while the progressive internationalists prefer to keep their imperial agenda hidden behind the cloak of multilateralism.
Comment: Kerry is spewing the same nonsensical, fascist propaganda that Bush loves so much. Like Bush, it seems John Kerry doesn't want the American people to think for themselves, either. It is clear that regardless of the outcome of the 2004 election, not much will change in the US police state. The New American Century will march forward, although it might have a different name under Kerry.
US soldiers and Iraqi
children die after attacks
Three US soldiers were killed in separate attacks around Iraq, while US overseer Paul Bremer warned that he could veto the country's temporary constitution if it did not fit the US vision of democracy.
Comment: At present, Iraq is enjoying dictatorial rule by US and Israeli overseers. These same people are orchestrating attacks such as the above to ensure that a normalised Iraq never emerges from the blood-stained rubble of "operation shock and awe". Sounds like American style "democracy" to us.
WASHINGTON — Richard Perle, a chief proponent of last year's U.S. invasion of Iraq, yesterday called for the chiefs of the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency to step down because of their faulty conclusions that Saddam Hussein possessed mass-killing weapons.
Perle, a close adviser to U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said top officials made no attempt to skew the intelligence about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Instead, he implied, top policymakers relied in good faith on the conclusions of the intelligence agencies.
"George Tenet has been at the CIA long enough to assume responsibility for its performance," Perle told reporters, referring to the director of the agency. "There's a record of failure and it should be addressed in some serious way."
"The CIA has an almost perfect record of getting it wrong in relation to the (Persian) Gulf going back to the Shah of Iran," Perle said. He called for "a shakeup" in the U.S. intelligence establishment.
"I think, of course, heads should roll," he said. "When you discover that you have an organization that doesn't get it right time after time, you change the organization, including the people.
"I'd start with the head head," Perle said when asked which heads should roll at the CIA. Perle said the DIA " is in at least as bad shape as CIA (and) needs new management." [...]
Comment: If any heads roll, Perle's should be one of the first. Remember these articles?
Japan said Thursday it had signed a two-billion-dollar deal with Iran to develop the massive Azadegan oilfield in order to assure stable oil supplies despite the US expressing "deep concern" over the deal.
A Japanese trade ministry official said the two sides signed an agreement early Thursday on the development of the Azedegan field in southwestern Iran after months of negotiations and repeated warnings from Washington that it was unhappy with the prospects of such an accord.
Ever since the 1973 oil crisis, Japan, which imports nearly all of its oil needs, has developed its own diplomacy with key oil producers in the Middle East, often putting it at odds with the United States, especially over Iran, dubbed part of an 'axis of evil' by President George W. Bush. [...]
Production is expected to start some time in 2007.
While the Japanese media said Japan went ahead with the deal after the United States had recently softened its stance on Iran, Washington appeared to be trying to deter the deal up to the last minute.
"We remain deeply concerned about deals such as this and disappointed that these things might go forward," US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday in response to reports the deal was imminent.
Boucher said Japan "is quite aware" that Washington had "fundamental concerns" about nuclear developments in Iran, its support for groups that oppose the Middle East peace process and its harboring of terrorists. [...]
By J Sean Curtin
It's been almost a month since Japanese troops went to the southern Iraqi city of Samawah on a humanitarian mission that is taking place in a dangerous country where guerrillas target troops allied with the United States. So far so good for Japan, despite a couple of mortars fired downtown - although fortunately not at Japanese troops. Yet, in order to protect them, Japan will confine many soldiers to one of the most high-tech and expensive military camps ever constructed, one that includes a karaoke bar, massage parlor and gymnasium. Some of the facilities and gadgets in the ultra-advanced base will rival those used by the fictional hero Superman in his futuristic hideout, the Fortress of Solitude. [...]
U.S. Soldier Charged in al-Qaida
FORT LEWIS, Wash. - A National Guardsman is accused of trying to pass intelligence to U.S. military personnel who were posing as al-Qaida operatives, allegedly telling the phony terrorists that "I share your cause."
Spc. Ryan G. Anderson is charged with three counts involving attempts to supply intelligence to the enemy. He was charged Feb. 12, but the Army did not immediately release that information until Wednesday.
The Uniform Military Code says attempts to aid the enemy can be punishable by death. The charges do not allege that Anderson ever actually passed information to real al-Qaida members. [...]
Bush Backs Off Forecast of 2.6M New
WASHINGTON - President Bush distanced himself Wednesday from White House predictions that the economy will add 2.6 million jobs this year, the second embarrassing economic retreat in a week and new fuel for Democratic criticism.
"Now they're already walking backwards on their own predictions," Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry said in Ohio, where unemployment has risen from 3.9 percent to 6 percent since Bush took office.
The jobs controversy came on the heels of White House economist N. Gregory Mankiw's assertion that "outsourcing" American jobs overseas was good for the U.S. economy in the long run. Bush, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans quickly disavowed Mankiw's remarks, and the economist had to apologize for a "lack of clarity." [...]
February 18, 2004
PROVIDENCE -- Legislation intended to strengthen the state's security measures drew criticism from a civil rights group that said the proposed law threatens free speech and academic freedom.
Gov. Don Carcieri's new homeland security law would create new felony charges, require annual safety audits of every public school and close some public records, including those that show whether businesses comply with state Fire Safety Code requirements.
The bill, which Carcieri introduced last week, also resurrects World War I-era laws that make it illegal to "speak, utter, or print'' statements in support of anarchy; speak in favor of overthrowing the government; or to display "any flag or emblem other than the flag of the United States'' as symbolic of the U.S. government.
The director of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steven Brown, called the proposal "extraordinarily dangerous'' and "a return to McCarthyism, when people had to be careful what they said or what organization they belonged to.''
The organization released on Tuesday a 13-page critique of Carcieri's proposal.
Jeff Neal, the governor's spokesman, said the legislation is based on laws that have been enacted in several states including New York, Virginia, Florida and Massachusetts.
Neal was quoted as saying, "In a post-9/11 America, state governments have a responsibility to update their homeland security laws in order to protect their citizens'' .
Brown wrote in his critique that the proposed law has "enormous ramifications for political protest, freedom of association, academic freedom and the public's right to now.''
One issue is Carcieri's definition of terrorism. The governor's bill defines terrorism as "a violent act or an act dangerous to human life'' that is "intended to: intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination, kidnapping or aircraft piracy.''
The language is similar to the USA Patriot Act, a federal law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Critics contend that law, which clarifies and increases the powers that federal agents have when investigating crimes, threatens civil rights. [...]
Protesters have won their High Court battle over a police decision to detain three coachloads of peace activists on their way to a demonstration against the war on Iraq.
The ruling was a victory for about 60 of the 120 passengers.
They took legal action after being prevented from attending the vigil at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire in March last year.
They accused Gloucestershire Police of acting unlawfully.
Their lawyers had argued the "unjustified" police action amounted to an abuse of power.
Today Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Harrison, sitting in London, ruled that their detention and forced return to London could not be justified under both common law and the European Convention on Human Rights.
No new petitions for first-time employment in 2004 will be accepted starting Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said this week. The cutoff means that the annual cap of 65,000 new workers has been reached less than five months into the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
The news prompted a quick response from American Business for Legal Immigration, a coalition of 200 corporations, universities, research institutions and trade associations.
"Our goal is to keep the U.S. economy growing and keep U.S. jobs in America. Sometimes this requires hiring a limited number of highly educated foreign professionals to fill technical or specialized positions," Sandy Boyd, chair of the group, said in a statement on Wednesday. "Reaching the 2004 visa limit less than halfway through the fiscal year is clear evidence that the system needs to be fixed." [...]
Congress raised the annual cap for H-1B visas to 195,000 for 2001, 2002 and 2003. In the wake of a recession and major technology industry layoffs, Congress let the cap drop to 65,000 for this year. [...]
Comment: Will hiring more foreign workers actually help the US economy, or will it help the wealthy elite who run the corporations and make the laws? An increasing number of manufacturing and technical jobs are also being moved overseas. It seems most US companies are no longer interested in employing Americans.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government's national debt -- the accumulation of past budget shortfalls -- totaled more than $7 trillion for the first time as of Tuesday, according to a Treasury Department report.
In its daily financial statement released on Wednesday, the Treasury said the U.S. debt subject to a congressionally set limit totaled $7.015 trillion, up from $6.983 trillion on Friday. The government was closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.
While passing the $7 trillion mark itself has little practical significance, not unlike a car's odometer rolling over, it may signal some tough political times for President Bush's administration on fiscal policy. [...]
A Treasury spokeswoman said there was "no special significance" to the number. [...]
Comment: Yes indeed, the record high US national debt has no significance whatsoever. Please go back to sleep...
EU's 'big three' call for
urgent action on economic goals
Following a summit of the so-called "big three" of Europe, the prime minister, Tony Blair joined the French president, Jacques Chirac, and the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, at a press conference to outline their plan to turn the EU into "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010 [...]
Suspicion dogs 'Big Three'
Stinging accusations of elitism have overshadowed the official agenda, which along with stimulating economic growth, also focuses on preparing the EU for an aging population and labor market reforms. [...]
Murder Riddle of MI5
Britain, France, Germany call for EU
BERLIN (AFP) - The leaders of Britain, France and Germany issued a joint call for the appointment of a high-level European commissioner charged exclusively with pushing through economic reforms.
They said their proposed European Commission vice president would not only coordinate but also intervene in any area that affected the bloc's economy. [...]
EU opens high-powered anti-Semitism
BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union opened a high-level conference designed to find ways of tackling mounting anti-Semitism -- a "monster" that Jewish leaders warn has returned with a vengeance to Europe.
The conference was attended by luminaries including European Commission chief Romano Prodi, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Natan Sharansky and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. [...]
Thursday, 19 February,
Jewish leaders are calling on Europe to take a tougher stand against what they see as a rising tide of anti-Semitism.
They are making their plea at a Brussels seminar which the European Commission is co-hosting with the European Jewish Congress and the Congress of European Rabbis.
The unprecedented meeting follows Jewish accusations of inaction on the part of European governments.
Attacks on Jewish targets have caused alarm among Jewish groups worldwide.
The heads of the World Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Congress argue that "anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence in Europe have reached a level unprecedented since the end of the second world war ".
Writing in the Financial Times newspaper, Edgar Bronfman and Cobi Benatoff urge national governments to set up special taskforces to monitor and combat anti-Semitism - as France and Italy have recently done - and co-ordinate action internationally.
They argue that criticism of Israel has taken on anti-Semitic undertones.
"European leaders cannot allow criticism of Israel to serve as a fig leaf that covers anti-Semitic rhetoric as a prelude to violence," they write, warning that Israel, rather than anti-Semitism, is being demonised in Europe.
The seminar was briefly postponed after Mr Bronfman and Mr Benatoff accused the EU itself and European Commission President Romano Prodi of fostering anti-Semitism.
The charge infuriated Mr Prodi, who was recently honoured by European rabbis for his part in promoting what he calls "a Europe of diversity".
In a passionate speech to the conference, he rejected the comparison of contemporary Europe to that of the Nazi era.
"We have no right to insult the memory of the Shoah's millions of victims by putting their sufferings on a par with today's manifestations, as serious as they undoubtedly are," he added, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.
Comment: It is clear that someone within the Jewish ruling establishment actually wants anti-Semitism to be "on the rise".
JERUSALEM (AFP) - Mordechai Vanunu, the whistleblower jailed for 18 years for exposing Israel's nuclear arsenal, could be placed in administrative detention following his April release, a cabinet minister said.
Gideon Ezra, parliamentary relations minister, said the Jewish state's secret services could hold Vanunu "to keep him from divulging secrets."
Vanunu, 49, worked as a technician at the Dimona nuclear facility in southern Israel. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1986 after giving details about Israel's secret weapons program to Britain's Sunday Times.
Israeli agents lured Vanunu from London to Italy, where he was kidnapped and brought to Israel. He was tried in secret and found guilty of "espionage".
He is due to be released from prison on April 21.
"I visited him myself in his prison cell, where he told me of his intention to continue to divulge secrets, without expressing the least regret for what he had done," Ezra told parliamentary deputies.
Israel has firmly adhered to a policy of "nuclear ambiguity", never confirming or denying it possesses nuclear weapons. But foreign experts believe the Jewish state holds at least 200 atomic warheads.
Under administrative detention regulations, Israeli authorities can detain a suspect for renewable periods of six months without charges or trial. It is a practice frequently used to detain suspected Palestinian militants.
Brussels could unblock 40 million euro aid
package to Palestinians
BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Commission president Romano Prodi said he was considering unblocking a multi-million euro aid package to the Palestinians to help them cover essential costs.
Speaking after a meeting here with Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei, Prodi said he had received assurances of greater transparency within the management of the Palestinian Authority's finances and was considering making the money available. [...]
THE Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, recently raised alarm over the menace of the Talibans in some states of the North.
Apparently worried by the danger posed by this, the first class royal father called on the Federal Government to intervene and stop forthwith the threat posed by the group in the north and indeed the entire country.
The nation's security agents should be more thorough in handling the matter so as to ascertain both the possible local and foreign backers of the group.[...]
[...] The need to check the menace of such agents of violence in our society cannot be over-emphasised, especially at a time when potential investors are being warned by their home governments not to visit Nigeria on account of alleged insecurity. [...]
Islamabad - Days after destroying six schools, miscreants opposing female education damaged another girls primary school in northern Pakistan, private TV channel 'Geo' reported on Thursday.
The school in the Chilas valley, about 26km north of the capital Islamabad, was damaged in an overnight attempt by the vandals to set the building on fire. Six primary schools were burnt down on Sunday evening in Diamir district near the northern mountainous town of Gilgit.
UPDATE: Few details on 2 ATF arrests
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms released little new information Wednesday about two Utah men arrested near Cheyenne, Wyo., after explosives were found in their trailer.
The men, both reportedly from Utah and part of a militia group, were arrested on I-80 about 5:15 p.m. Monday about 10 miles east of Cheyenne.
The duo was pulled over by a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper for erratic driving. The trooper noticed a small amount of narcotics in the vehicle, placed the men under arrest and called for a police K-9.
The dog immediately "hit" on something in the trailer, ATF regional spokesman Tom Mangan said.
Wednesday, Mangan said eight pipe bombs were found in the U-Haul trailer. Each pipe bomb was 4 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter, and they had fuses inserted in the caps.
In addition, two "improvised explosive devices" were found inside the 2004 Dodge Durango that was rented in Utah, along with a couple of boxes with toggle switches, Mangan said. Troopers also found counterfeit credit cards, false identifications, drug paraphernalia and small CO2 cartridges filled with smokeless powder.
The men were being held Wednesday in the Laramie County, Wyo., Jail. Names of the two men were not released. Mangan said he expected more information to be released today about the men and what they may have been doing.
The incident forced eastbound traffic to be detoured on I-80 for six hours.
Comment: An interesting coincidence is that on this day in 1998, Lt. Col. Larry Wayne Harris (Aryan Nations) and William Leavitt were arrested in Henderson, Nevada, for possession of the biological toxin anthrax, military grade, enough to kill an entire city. Their Mercedes was hermetically sealed by authorities and brought to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for hazmat. [Source: Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar] Terrorism has always been with us. It has just now been put to really "good" use for herding us all into tighter and tighter control.
A late-night attack Tuesday on the office of Palomas Police sent officers scampering for safety.
"Apparently," Columbus Police Chief Clare May said, Wednesday, "at about 10:30 at night, U.S. customs officers heard a series of about 25 gunshots and another series of about 45 gunshots, then a shotgun blast or two and eight former municipal officers made their way across the border.
"I was told their office was attacked by members of a drug-trafficking family."
May said the attack resulted in destruction of the police office, a computer and a municipal car.
May and Roger Maier, the latter a public information officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, said the wife of one officer and a child also sought safety in Columbus. The child is a U.S. citizen.
"When they arrived at the port of entry," Maier said of Palomas officers, "they didn't have any weapons. They had apparently abandoned their weapons in Mexico. Some were in uniform, some weren't. [...]
Comment: This strange event took place on the New Mexico/Mexico border.
POLICE arrested an American FBI agent who allegedly was carrying 15 rounds of ammunition in his hand luggage as he tried to change planes in Hong Kong, officials said today.
The agent apparently was able to board a flight in New York with the bullets loaded into a pistol magazine packed in his bag, but he was detected by security in Hong Kong as he tried to board a connecting flight to Bangkok, a police official told The Associated Press. [...]
Nuclear Expert Tells AP Yucca Mt.
RENO, Nev. - The nation's nuclear waste dump proposed for Nevada is poorly designed and could leak highly radioactive waste, a scientist who recently resigned from a federal panel of experts on Yucca Mountain told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Paul Craig, a physicist and engineering professor at the University of California-Davis, said he quit the panel last month so he could speak more freely about the waste dump's dangers. [...]
Housing and Construction Minister Effi Eitam says he is having sleepless nights worrying about the ability of the nuclear reactor in Dimona to withstand a serious earthquake. [...]
VIENNA, Austria - U.N. inspectors have discovered high-tech enrichment equipment on an Iranian air force base, diplomats said Thursday. The find appeared to be the first known link of Tehran's suspect nuclear program to its military. [...]
Navy Again Fails to Launch
Missile in Exercises
In a new blow to military prestige, the Navy failed for the second consecutive day Wednesday to launch a ballistic missile from a Northern Fleet submarine during maneuvers attended by President Vladimir Putin.
But Putin pronounced the strategic nuclear exercises -- the largest in more than 20 years -- a success and said they would facilitate the deployment of a new generation of strategic weapons.
"The experiments conducted during these maneuvers, the experiments that were completed successfully, have proven that state-of-the art technical complexes will enter service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in the near future," Putin said after watching the launch of a military satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, which was part of the massive exercises.
The new weapons will be "capable of hitting targets continents away with hypersonic speed, high precision and the ability of wide maneuver," Putin said, adding that the new weapons -- unparalleled in the world -- would "reliably ensure Russia's strategic security for a long historical perspective."
Putin insisted that the designing of new weapons was not directed against the United States. "Modern Russia has no imperial ambitions or hegemonist strivings," he said.
Despite the ambitious statement by Putin, the exercises he attended were tarnished by the Navy's failure on two consecutive days to launch missiles from nuclear submarines.
The Navy on Wednesday sent a Northern Fleet nuclear submarine to repeat Tuesday's unsuccessful launch -- only to fail again.
The missile launched from the Karelia submarine started erring from its designated flight path 98 seconds after the launch and was blown up by its self-liquidation system, Navy spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo said.
Some Russian media described the Navy's attempt on Wednesday as an effort to rehabilitate itself after the previous day's failure.
Putin went to the Barents Sea on board the giant Arkhangelsk nuclear submarine to observe that missile launch firsthand. But the launch from the Novomoskovsk submarine, which military officials had announced in advance, and which was described on the front page of Tuesday's official military daily, Krasnaya Zvezda or Red Star, did not take place.
Russian officials and media made conflicting statements about the reason for the failure. The naval chief, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, ended up saying Tuesday that the Navy had never planned a real launch and successfully conducted what he described as a simulated one.
Many Russian newspapers, however, assailed what they described as a clumsy cover-up of Tuesday's failed launch, saying that Kuroyedov's statement resembled official lies about the August 2000 sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea, which killed all 118 aboard and badly dented the Navy's prestige.
"Apparently they decided not to smear President Vladimir Putin's participation in the exercise with negative information," Kommersant said. [...]
President Vladimir Putin thanking the crew of the Arkhangelsk nuclear submarine after observing naval exercises on Tuesday.
A submarine participating in the country's largest strategic war game in more than 20 years failed to launch a ballistic missile as planned Tuesday in what could possibly be a major embarrassment to the military and President Vladimir Putin.
Putin was on board a nuclear submarine observing Northern Fleet maneuvers in the Barents Sea when the crew of another submarine tried and failed to launch at least one RSM-54 ballistic missile, news agencies reported Tuesday afternoon, citing sources in the fleet's command.
The same agencies later ran reports denying the failure, and top military brass weighed in on Tuesday night to say the war game had proceeded exactly as planned.
State-run Channel One and Rossia television made no mention of the failed launch in lengthy accounts of the naval maneuvers Tuesday evening.
Putin was participating in the war game in a clear attempt to strengthen his undisputed lead in the March 14 presidential election by reaching out to the military and nationalist vote.
Putin arrived at the Northern Fleet headquarters in Severomorsk on Monday to take a firsthand look at the naval part of the military exercises -- a massive show of force that involves all branches of the military and has been under way since late January.
State television channels aired lengthy reports about the commander-in-chief's arrival and subsequent boarding of the Arkhangelsk submarine Monday evening for an overnight trip. The channels showed Putin, wearing a naval uniform and white gloves, touring the submarine and eating with the crew.
Putin was on board the Arkhangelsk on Tuesday morning when the Novomoskovsk nuclear submarine was to have fired two sea-launched ballistic missiles, state-controlled news agencies reported Tuesday afternoon. The Novomoskovsk was to have fired one RSM-54 at 10:15 a.m. and another one at 10:22, but neither took off because the launch command was blocked by a satellite, Itar-Tass quoted a source in the Northern Fleet as saying. RIA-Novosti also reported that two ballistic missiles failed to take off.
Gazeta.ru, however, said that only one missile was to have been launched from the submerged Novomoskovsk and that it disintegrated right after emerging from the water.
And a government source told The Associated Press that the launch of the one missile failed after it was blocked by the submarine's automatic safety system. The source did not elaborate.
Catherine Belton and Valeria Korchagina
Gazprom took the unprecedented step Wednesday of cutting all gas supplies to Belarus and via its territory to Germany and Poland, a hardball move in a conflict over prices and pipelines that is likely to seriously rock relations between Moscow and Minsk.
Gazprom said it was forced to block the Belarus transit route because Belarus had started siphoning off gas from its export pipeline into Europe. The alleged theft came after Minsk failed to clinch a new deal on gaining its own domestic supplies amid an escalating price dispute with Gazprom.
Gazprom supplies one quarter of all Europe's gas needs. About 17 percent of that amount, or 22 billion to 24 billion cubic meters, is supplied via Belarus. Poland has enough stored gas and alternative supply sources to keep going without any problems for several weeks, while Germany has enough for many months, analysts said.
Gazprom said it could compensate for the loss by using reserve capacity in its pipelines into Europe via Ukraine, but only partly. It would not specify how much.
"Belarus began siphoning off gas from transit pipelines. There is no longer any gas going into Belarus, or to Germany or Poland via Belarussian territory," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Wednesday evening.
He said the gas was cut off at 6 p.m. and could not say when it would be switched back on. [...]
Comment: A rather interesting development to keep our eyes on, realizing that it is extremely cold in that area of the world right now, and will be for some time to come. The results of such an accusation and action could prove to be disastrous. The US has also had its eye on Belarus, and like a whole lot of other places, have been trotting out excuses for potential intercession. Also keep in mind that the US has a strong presence in that region through Uzbekistan.
Big Black Hole Rips
Up Star, Then Eats the Crumbs
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big black hole ripped apart a sun-like star, gobbled a bit of it and flung the rest out into the cosmic neighborhood in an act of celestial gluttony caught by two orbiting observatories, scientists said on Wednesday.
The doomed star probably went off-course and into the supermassive black hole's path after a close encounter with another star, according to astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory.
As the star approached the heart of a galaxy some 700 million light-years from Earth, the black hole lurking there stretched the star and ultimately tore it into bits. A light-year is about 6 trillion miles, the distance light travels in a year.
"Stars can survive being stretched a small amount ... but this star was stretched beyond its breaking point," said Stefanie Komossa, leader of the international team of researchers who detected the event.
"This unlucky star just wandered into the wrong neighborhood," Komossa said in a statement.
Aside from the sheer violence of the event, astronomers believe this is strong evidence to support a long-held theory that black holes are capable of pulling in cosmic bodies, stretching them until they break and then consuming them. [...]
Prolonged exposure to low-level magnetic fields, similar to those emitted by such common household devices as blow dryers, electric blankets and razors, can damage brain cell DNA, according to researchers in the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering. The scientists further found that the damage from brief exposures appears to build up over time. [...]
Traditionally, scientists have held that low-level electromagnetic fields couldn't be harmful because they weren't potent enough to break chemical bonds in a living organism. Lai doesn't disagree – he simply suspects a more subtle mechanism is at work. He believes that the fields, rather than causing harm directly, initiate a process within the cells that leads to the damage. [...]
"People should do what they can to limit their exposure to as little as possible, especially in relation to electrical appliances that are used very close to the body."
Designers set sights on plane
the size of a bee
The work is being carried out with funding from the Ministry of Defence. "The idea is that they would be able to fly into buildings some distance away and report back," Dr Gursul said. "Ideally, you would want it to come back to base, but the idea is that it will be so cheap to make these that if you lose one then you haven't invested millions of pounds in it."
Exhibition to offer rare
peek at secret societies
The exhibition opens Friday and runs through March 20. The extensive display will include the Bruce Webb collection of art, artifacts and ephemera from the Freemasons and other secret fraternal organizations, including the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights Templar, Order of Red Men and many others.
DALLAS (Wireless Flash) -- A cryptozoologist has an explanation for why no one has been able to catch elusive creatures like the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot: Because they're not of this earth.
Nick Redfern believes the monsters are not part of the physical world, but instead fall in the paranormal realm.
Redfern and two other researcher buddies took a six-week whirlwind tour of known sighting areas in England and questioned locals as well as tried to track down devil dogs, lake monsters and ape-men.
What they found is that many of the so-called sightings took place near ancient stone circles -- similar to Stonehenge -- which leads Redfern to conclude that they are part of the paranormal and can not be captured by physical means.
He theorizes cryptozoologists may have to develop new methods of research, similar to the way ghost hunters use infrared photos to detect haunts.
Redfern's exploration is detailed in his new book "Men Seeking Monsters" (Simon & Schuster).
12:00 - 19 February 2004
This amazing photograph snapped over Plymouth is being called one of the best pictures of a UFO ever taken.
A city-based amateur photographer captured this image when he was trying out his new hi-tech digital camera at night. It shows what can only be described as an 'unidentified flying object' hovering above St Budeaux.
Another, equally stunning, snap shows the same brightly-illuminated object tilted at a different angle.
UFO experts are highly excited by the pictures and the Royal Navy today asked the Herald to supply them with the photos - because they want to study them.
Bob Boyd has called the snaps among the 'best five' pictures of a
UFO he has ever seen - in 25 years of spotting the phenomena. Mr
Boyd, chairman of the Plymouth UFO Research Group, said: "It's the
The man who took the photograph, a dockyard worker living in St Budeaux, didn't realise what he had snapped until he got home and inspected his pictures.
A Plymouth City Airport spokesman said it was 'highly unlikely' it was a commercial flight. Mr Boyd does not know of anybody else reporting the UFO, but said: "That doesn't mean nobody saw it."
Comment: The reproduction of the photo at the above link is not anything to write home about. We will keep an eye out to see if any further photographic evidence is released for this case. If anyone spots it before we do, be sure to let us know. This link to the new Filer's report has so many UFO reports for the latter half of January, that it is nearly overwhelming. Either people are seeing something, or there is a world wide UFO spotting disease. Something is going on around our little planet.
Comment: We include this Pravda article as an another example of the increasing number of stories attempting to bring the idea of an alien presence to the mainstream. We have our doubts regarding the truth of this story, despite the pictorial evidence.
HOUSTON - The crew of the international space station watched two more pieces of debris floating away from their orbital outpost on Sunday, according to NASA internal reports. [...]
An Israeli documentary Wednesday claimed the James ossuary, the ancient burial box bearing a discredited inscription mentioning Jesus, is just the tip of a long-running forgery ring that has duped antiquities collectors worldwide for the last 15 years. [...]
Stefan Lovgren in
[...] But were the Vikings merely primitive plunderers?
Far from it, say scholars. Using archaeological and other evidence, researchers have in recent years been piecing together a more complex picture of the Vikings that sharply contradicts the stereotype of the Vikings as mere barbarians. [...]
(WEDNESDAY, FEB 18) THE manager of a pub on Bedgrove, Aylesbury, who believes he has more than just alcoholic spirits on his premises is calling in a medium. [...]
The 22-year-old has arrived at the pub first thing in the morning to find the cellar completely reorganised with heavy items, including crates full of drinks, having seemingly been moved to the top of a staircase in the middle of the night.
It has left staff puzzled as the premises in Queensmead have been locked and empty.
Customers have also complained about feeling a cold presence close to them and as if something unnatural is standing behind them.
The couple became convinced something unworldly was around them when Ms Ward saw what she believes was the ghost for the first time, dressed in black in the bar. [...]
Six nuns have gone on the run after they were unable to pay escalating bills at the convent they ran in Romania. [...]
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