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Thursday, March 18, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

Picture of the Day

Burning World
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

After reading the March 14, 2004 Signs page, a member of our public discussion forum, CassChat, posted the following message to the group:

The subject of being and doing was brought up on today’s ‘Signs of the Times’ in response to a question posed in the interactive page. Despite many posts on this subject, questions concerning just what it means to be and to do, continue to come up - from me as well. That said, I would like to pull a passage from the signs team’s response, and add to it with my own understanding through an analogy.

The first step [to being] is to develop the Will to do this work. This is difficult because we are surrounded by distractions appealing to the multiple parts of our Personalities, like the Sirens that called sailors to their deaths on the rocks. It will often take what we call a "bankruptcy" before one can summon the Will necessary to embark upon the work. The bankruptcy is the moment when we have our hopes and illusions shattered. We can no longer continue to live in the old way because we have hit our head on the wall of despair one too many times. Our lives are empty. The illusions and material pleasures and successes of the world no longer satisfy us. We know that there must be something more, and, finally, we know that no matter how long or how difficult the path, we have no other choice but to find it.

Without hitting bottom, the work may not be taken seriously. Our commitment can fade in the face of the difficulties we encounter, on the threshold of a decision that is too gut-wrenching to make. In this case, the seeker turns back, often finding comforting excuses to explain away the change of heart. We call this "self-calming." But if one wishes to align oneself with the Creative Principle, such an alignment is made through each of our choices, and these choices will become more and more difficult as the seeker mounts the staircase because only then are we really confronted with a CHOICE. Choices that make themselves are not choices.

The above statements probably correspond to many peoples’ experience here. At least they do for me. And yet I know that achieving just this understanding is only a preliminary step for what, maybe, lies ahead for me on the path to individuation/alignment with the creative principle. Because while I am aware of some of my programs, there are still others I am most likely not aware of.

In the meantime though, I’m reading the ‘signs’ page everyday, and reviewing the articles and series on Cassiopaea, and reading books that verify or corroborate that research, and reading posts here and sometimes contributing, and discussing and networking with others, AND I’m still nagged with the question of what it is I can DO about all this.

So here’s where my (probably borrowed) analogy comes in and has helped me to understand: On one level it seems clear to me that DOING any peace corp. or red-cross type work would be like putting a bandaid on a hemorrhaging wound - not to disparage the good work and intentions of those who do this type of work, of course. But IF those somewhat idealistic people, who engaged in that kind of work, were aware of how the proverbial deck is stacked at this time, of how much worse things are likely to get here on the BBM, would they be putting their energy into that kind of work?

Or would they be channeling their energy into something else perhaps? I tend to think that our actions reflect, and are based upon, the knowledge of what it truly means to ‘help’ - if that is our intention. Without a knowledge of programs, without a knowledge of agendas - without a knowledge of self and how our programs serve certain agendas, we are still only applying bandaids to hemorrhages.

To even ‘see’ some agendas one must first identify, and then debug the programs that have prevented us from ‘seeing’ how they could be real programs we’ve lived with for MOST of our lives; ie. this or that government always has the interest of it’s people at heart, all people are basically "good," etc.

The other part of this, I think, is that we are preparing ourselves to ‘Do’ in ways we can’t and shouldn’t anticipate. "The readiness is all" said the Bard, and when the ‘time’ comes, those of us who have refined our being, who are ready, will be in a position to ‘Do’.

It seems that in the beginning of the Work, we are incapable of actually DOing anything. We are no different than a computer. Computers are capable of a finite number of operations. When these operations are assembled into different combinations, we have programs. On a computer, we run programs so that we can create a document, check our e-mail, or get the latest news or stock quotes. Ultimately, all these programs are composed of the same fundamental building blocks: a bunch of "instructions" composed of 1's and 0's.

We are no different before we begin the task of work on the self. While the building blocks for our personal programs may not be comprised of 1's and 0's, they are typically common to different people. Many programs are based on fear, self-importance, perfection, pity, and ego - to name a few. A program such as "patriotism" can be based on a number of different elements. One may have a rather prominent ego, which leads to a feeling of "we're the best" due to self-importance. On the other hand, perhaps there is a War on Terrorism raging, and one will pick up the flag and wave it vigorously out of fear that he or she will not be viewed by others as patriotic. Once firmly locked in the patriotic fervor, one may pity those who reside in other countries out of what amounts to blind ignorance. Of course, the reality of the situation will generally bear little resemblance to the programmed beliefs one holds so dear.

In a sense, when we work on ourselves, we are learning to think. In our default state, we are incapable of thought. The concept of thinking one embraces can be a program in and of itself. One may convince oneself that any activity of the mind is thinking. We believe that mechanical thinking, or running programs, is not truly thought. Mechanical thinking is a processing of programs or information. A computer can also process programs and information, yet it does not think. It is not aware of what it processes, or even the fact that it is processing at all.

It appears that engaging in the Work also requires a certain degree of "sacrifice". We cannot get something for nothing. The type of sacrifice that may have to be made depends upon the individual. What seems to be so is that at some point, the door will open - yet even then, we must still exert the effort to walk through. This effort can often seem monumental. To use a Gurdjieffian analogy, we are like a glasses of water. Absorbing 'B' influences is like adding salt to the water. While the addition of the salt may initially cause some ripples in the water, it will quickly dissolve. The water will quickly overcome the salt, but the salt remains in solution. We may continue to grow, adding a bit more salt to our glass each time. At some point, enough salt may be added that the solution will become saturated. At that point, new 'B' influences will no longer dissolve.

At a critical juncture, we may be faced with what seems like a difficult decision. Do we commit more fully to the Work, and what will we have to sacrifice if we do so? It may be helpful to remember that the "sacrifice" may only be viewed as such by one still mired in the 'A' influences - or one who is just about to reach the critical saturation point. The decision is difficult because, still under the sway of worldly influences, we cannot yet truly see what is behind the door that is presented to us. We will rationalize that we have x, y, and z in our current "life", and on the other hand we don't know what life will bring if we step through the doorway. Embracing the 'B' influences requires an acceptance of uncertainty. We may even convince ourselves that it is possible to stand in the doorway, with one foot in our old world and one foot in the new. To stand in the doorway, however, is to accept the default world of 'A' influences. Choice requires DOing. Naturally, the doorway is a symbol of something different for each person.

While each individual's path will differ, it seems that there are several concepts that hold true for everyone. The first is that we must be brutally honest in our self-examination. There is no easy "upgrade" that will allow us to instantly change our internal configuration. A great deal of internal work is necessary. Given that we are running a multitude of different programs, the second key concept is that we cannot do this work on our own. It is certainly possible to identity some of our own programs and become conscious enough of them to limit their influence upon us - but ultimately we need external input. Naturally, the source of this input must be chosen carefully. As we commented previously, there are many different schools one can choose. It is therefore important to search for one where there is a natural exchange of information amongst individuals who are colinear - that is, people who are collectively working towards a similar goal. When we help each other, we must keep in mind that everyone runs their own programs.

We included the above message from a member of the CassChat discussion forum to highlight the idea that in our individual thoughts of, "How do I Do? How can I Be? Where do I go now?", none of us have to be alone. We are alone in that no one can do our work for us. One of the purposes of CassChat is to provide an easy way for different people all over the world to both give and receive help regarding these common questions.

In the end, it seems that we get out of this life what we put into it.

"Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'"
- Cassiopaeans, 09-28-02

UPDATE!: VILLAGE BLAZES AGAIN

Mar 18 2004
From Jeremy Charles In Rome
The Mirror

A VILLAGE hit by a series of mystery fires was in flames again yesterday, leaving experts more baffled than ever.

The phenomenon began two months ago as fridges, washing machines and cookers all burst into flames for no reason.

Locals were evacuated amid calls for an exorcism but experts put the fires down to electrostatic interference from power pylons.

But just a month later, as villagers were moving back to Canneto di Caronia, near Messina, Sicily, fires have started again.

Disconnected fuse boxes have burst into flames, car central locking systems blocked up and mobile phones have caught fire. Yesterday mayor Pedro Spinnato said: "Yes, it's started all over again. Now we are back to where we started."

Last night experts, surveyors and engineers were probing the mystery.

Comment: You can see our report on one of the strangest mysteries that have occurred recently in our Signs Supplement: Fortean Fire. We reported, on yesterday's Signs page, the strange case of a disturbance that set off an entire parking lots worth of car alarms and disabled electronic locks in the UK.

And in a strange coincidence, Wednesday an earthquake was felt in Massena, New York, where residents said they heard a large boom.

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NASA: 100-Foot Asteroid To Make Record Pass By

March 18, 2004

SAN DIEGO -- As far as flying space rocks go, it's as close an encounter as mankind has ever had.

A 100-foot diameter asteroid will pass within 26,500 miles of Earth on Thursday evening, the closest-ever brush on record by a space rock, NASA astronomers said.

The asteroid's close flyby, first spied late Monday, poses no risk, NASA astronomers stressed.

"It's a guaranteed miss," astronomer Paul Chodas, of the near-Earth object office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said Wednesday.

The asteroid, 2004 FH, was expected to make its closest approach at 5:08 p.m. EST, streaking over the southern Atlantic Ocean. It should be visible through binoculars to stargazers across the southern hemisphere, as well as throughout Asia and Europe, said astronomer Steve Chesley, also of JPL.

Professional astronomers around the globe scrambled Wednesday to prepare for the flyby, which could provide an unprecedented chance to get a close look at the asteroid, he added. The asteroid will pass within the moon's orbit.

Similarly sized asteroids are believed to come as close to Earth on average once every two years, but have always escaped detection.

"The important thing is not that it's happening, but that we detected it," Chesley said.

Astronomers found the asteroid late Monday during a routine survey carried out with a pair of telescopes in New Mexico funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Follow-up observations on Tuesday allowed them to pinpoint its orbit.

"It immediately became clear it would pass very close by the Earth," Chesley said.

Astronomers have not ruled out that the asteroid and our planet could meet again sometime in the future. If the two were to collide, the asteroid likely would disintegrate in the atmosphere, Chesley said.

Comment:

SpaceWeather.com made the following comments:

There's no danger of a collision, but it is close. For comparison, geosynchronous satellites orbit Earth at an altitude of 35,800 km, only six or seven thousand km below the asteroid. 2004 FH's point of closest approach with the Earth will be over the South Atlantic Ocean.

A reader also sent the following today:

Saw a huge meteor burn up in the Savannah, GA skies last night. This thing was fully one quarter the size of a mid-heaven full moon and reminded me of the asteroid near collision in the documentary "Five Minutes to Impact".

A listing of Near Earth Objects that have already passed or will pass the BBM can be found here.

We find it difficult to believe NASA astronomers when they say that near earth meteorites such as 2004 FH fly by every two years, yet this is the first one that they have detected. It is likely that information is being withheld, but then again, this is nothing strange on the big blue marble. Just about everything of global significance is withheld from the masses.

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THE SUPREMES AND GOD

Jon Rappoport
No More Fake News

MARCH 17, 2004. HR 3799, introduced to make changes in the way the US Supreme Court operates, contains some very interesting material. See what you think it means.

To me, it appears to be stating that, if a lower court forgives a crime based on the defendant claiming that he acted under God’s law, the Supremes cannot review the case.

It also may imply that the Supremes cannot overturn a government official who makes a ruling based on his interpretation of God’s law.

True, HR 3799 does not explicitly state these things, but it walks a very strange line.

SEC. 101. APPELLATE JURISDICTION.
(a) IN GENERAL-
(1) AMENDMENT TO TITLE 28- Chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 1260. Matters not reviewable

`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.

Comment: The American experiment is over - dead. There is no more separation of church and state. The Supreme Court is in the process of deciding which god must be worshipped and obeyed. All must bow and tremble before the fearful wrath of the chosen god and its laws, as enforced by the mighty power of the US police state. The whole world must now tremble as the US conducts the largest and deadliest crusade that only a pope of old could dream of conducting.

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Powell Promises India More American Jobs

New Delhi -- Secretary of State Colin Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country. [...]

Comment: We are informed in the excellent article, The fruits of poverty: The wealth of supermarkets is built on monopoly, exploitation and restriction of choice, that at one point, Wal-Mart instructed new employees how to apply for food stamps so they didn't starve to death. The High Priests in the Cult of Patriotism (COP) are systematically dismantling the US. It will be too late once the lay members realize that their fervent devotion has not garnered them either favor nor protection. They have laid freedom after freedom upon the sacrificial alter. They have given up burnt offerings of Iraqi children, but that was not still enough, as their god also demanded Syrian and Iranian children. They have sacrificed their own sons, daughters and spouses to this jealous god, yet still more is demanded. When will it be enough?

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Miami soldier resists: 'This war is evil'

A Florida National Guard soldier from Miami who served six months in Iraq refuses to return and seeks conscientious objector status.

BY FRANK DAVIES
Miami Herald

SHERBORN, Mass. -A Miami soldier who served six months in Iraq and then refused to return after a leave said Monday "I can no longer be an instrument of violence," and turned himself in to military authorities. [...]

"I am not against the military. The military has been my family,'' said Mejia, 28. "My commanders are not evil but this war is evil. I did not sign up for the military to go halfway around the world to be an instrument of oppression." [...]

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Bush Administration aided escape of "Al-Qaeda terrorist"

Last week, Salon ran what should have been a blockbuster scoop. Entitled, " The Great Escape," the article was an excerpt from a book released today called "House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties." In it author Craig Unger exposes, among other things, how 140 mainly Saudi nationals were whisked out of the U.S. on private jets in the days immediately following 9/11 while no other commercial aircraft was allowed to leave the tarmac. Unger originally broke the story of the flights in an October 2003 Vanity Fair article. But in last week's Salon article, he lists the actual passenger manifests, and shows how the authorization for the flights came from the highest levels of the White House and the intelligence agencies.

Unger found that passengers on the flights included nearly two dozen members of the bin Laden family, including Osama bin Laden's sister, and, more ominously, a Saudi prince later identified by Abu Zubaydah, the captured Al Qaeda operative alleged to have planned the USS Cole attack, as a fellow Al Qaeda terrorist. In other words, the U.S. government aided the escape of a man who may have been directly involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Unger's disclosures should have been front-page news.But the story was all but ignored by the mainstream media. This week's release of the book may change that.

Last fall, while he was still working on his investigation, GNN met up with Unger in his Tribeca loft to discuss why so many people who should have been prime suspects were allowed to leave the U.S. in the days after 9/11; why the press has failed to cover so many important 9/11 stories; and the larger question of where, as Greg Palast says, Bush family interests end, and America's foreign policy begins. [...]

Comment: Big deal. Should we be surprised? At this stage it is clear what the puppets in the US aministration desire. For years they have been planning to wreack havoc on this planet, and cause as much death and suffering as possible. The game is approaching its final stage, all that is left for we the people to do is to decide whether we will accept the reality of the situation or bury our heads further into denial.

Zapatero Says U.S. Should Dump Bush

Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Wednesday described the U.S. occupation of Iraq as "a fiasco" and suggested American voters should follow the example set by Spain and change their leadership by supporting Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts for president in November. "The occupation is a fiasco," he said. "There have almost been more killed after the war, from a year ago, than during the war. In the end, the occupying forces have not handed over control of the situation to the U.N."

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Zapatero turns down Bush request

Spain's prime minister-elect has rejected an appeal by US Dictator George Bush to keep Spanish troops in Iraq. Spanish elections winner Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero reiterated that he would keep a pledge to pull his country's troops out of Iraq. "I will listen to Mr Bush but my position is very clear and very firm," Zapatero told radio Onda Cero. "The occupation (of Iraq) is a fiasco."

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Shut Out?

Spanish authorities have ignored FBI efforts <g> to assist the investigation into last week’s train bombing, creating new tensions between Washington and Madrid in the case. Almost immediately after last Thursday’s attacks, in which at least 200 people were killed, the Justice Department offered to assist the Spanish by dispatching a team of FBI and other U.S. law-enforcement agents to the scene. But the Spanish government appears to have rejected the U.S. offer and has instead invited other European law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to help in the case—an apparent snub of the Bush dictatorship.

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Spain got the point

By defaming the Spanish while Madrid weeps, the Bushites display a sneaking contempt for democracy

Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian
Wednesday March 17, 2004

Maybe they think it's payback time. In 2001, many American conservatives were appalled by the reaction in some European quarters to 9/11, a reaction crudely summarised as "America had it coming". They insisted it was grossly insensitive to attack the United States and its foreign policy while Ground Zero still smouldered. They were right and I took their side, urging people at least to pause a while before adding greater hurt to an already traumatised nation.

But look what's happening now. A matter of days after the event branded Europe's 9/11, and American conservatives - including some of the very people who were so outraged by the criticisms hurled at the US in September 2001 - have started whacking not just Spanish policy, but the Spanish people.

Witness David Brooks in yesterday's New York Times, outraged that the Madrid bombings prompted Spanish voters to "throw out the old government and replace it with one whose policies are more to al-Qaida's liking. What is the Spanish word for appeasement?" Rightwing blog artist Andrew Sullivan also raided the 1930s lexicon for the same, exhausted word: "It seems clear to me that the trend in Europe is now either appeasement of terror or active alliance with it. It is hard to view the results in Spain as anything but a choice between Bush and al-Qaida. Al-Qaida won."

Not to be outdone, former Bush speechwriter David Frum, the man who coined "axis of evil", sighed at the weakness of the Spanish: "People are not always strong. Sometimes they indulge false hopes that by lying low, truckling, appeasing, they can avoid danger and strife ... And this is what seems to have happened in Spain."

Perhaps this is how the Bushites hope to avenge what they saw as European insensitivity two and half years ago, by defaming the Spanish even as Madrid still weeps. But this assault should not go unanswered if only because, if allowed to settle in the public mind, it will widen yet further the already yawning transatlantic gulf of misunderstanding. [...]

The first mistake is the more surprising, for no word is invoked more often in support of the "war on terror" than democracy. Yet these insults hurled at the Spanish show a sneaking contempt for the idea. For surely the Spanish did nothing more on Sunday than exercise their democratic right to change governments. They elected the Socialist party; to suggest they voted for al-Qaida is a slur not only on the Spanish nation but on the democratic process itself, implying that when terrorists strike political choice must end. [...]

Comment: Amidst further questions of the lies that the Bush gang used to garner support for Iraq Invasion II, there is a bombing in Spain. The response from the US? Hateful and devastatingly insensitive suggestions that Spain has sided with al-Qaeda over Bush, and that the bombings were entirely the fault of the Spanish people.

Does anyone in America remember the outpouring of sympathy and support that came from Europe immediately after the attacks of 9/11? Perhaps what is most disgusting is the fact that Spain supported Gulf War II, and now this is the thanks they get from America.

One thing is becoming abundantly clear: the powers that be want Americans to hate the rest of the world. And this blind, escalating hatred of everything and everyone un-American will certainly not be welcomed by Europe. It seems the world may be starting to polarize, with the US on one side and Europe on the other.

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US General Warns Europe on Terrorism 'Appeasement'

By Charles Aldinger
Thu Mar 18,12:01 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer warned Europeans on Wednesday that they must reject appeasement in the face of terrorism, as Washington battled skepticism over U.S. foreign policy and the invasion of Iraq.

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, speaking days after Spain's incoming Socialist leader signaled his intention to pull 1,300 Spanish troops out of the U.S.-led occupation force in Iraq, said that backing away from terrorism did not work.

"As you look back through history, and you look at situations that required people to stand up for principle, to stand up and lead and be counted against various threats, appeasement just hasn't worked," Myers said during a briefing with foreign journalists a year after the Iraq invasion.

"Weakness is provocative. It doesn't resolve the situation," added Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when asked about the results of Sunday's Spanish election. [...]

Comment: Apparently, the general equates strength with a policy of imperialist preemptive strikes. None of the European leaders have decided to "appease" terrorists; they have simply rejected the tactics of the American empire. It is helpful to keep in mind that countries such as Spain have been dealing rather successfully with organizations such as ETA for several decades. The US approach in Afghanistan and Iraq has simply angered and alienated Arabs - and a host of other peoples - around the world.

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Prodi says Iraq war increased terror threat

Attacks in Turkey, Russia and now Spain show that the Iraq war increased the threat of terror, according to the president of the European Commission. [...]

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European distrust of US grows

A new poll has shown that the US is being viewed ever more unfavourably in the big three EU countries - the UK, France and Germany. Moreover, there is "considerable support" for the EU to become as powerful as the US, according to the survey. [...]

Comment: The change of government in Spain seems to have provided an opportunity for the formation of a more united Europe (not merely the European Union) that might ultimately stand in oppostion to American hegemony.

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Fighting Terrorism: From Madrid To Washington

Hazem Saghieh Al-Hayat 2004/03/17

Some like to say that the perpetrators of the massacre have won; because they changed the ruling administration in Madrid. This is what the Spanish and Western Right say. So do some Arabs who sympathize with Al Qaeda. Leaving appearances aside, the explanation would seem feeble.

[...] From another angle, the impact of the Spanish elections might be greater on the West than it is on the East. Despite their good intentions, the new leaders might not be able to pull out of Iraq, as they promised. It must be noted here that there is a difference between opposing war, and withdrawing from Iraq after its fall. This difference could be treated only if there is a reassessment of the political conditions that require staying there. Most probably, the thing that could be agreed upon is that other modest trends will hit the international political scene, and might cause firming up some of the most rational European stances, which started relinquishing their positions to Washington during the last few months. Lies would diminish, Bush and Blair's leaderships would be shaken, accountability would grow stronger, Euro-American negotiations would reach higher levels of seriousness, and so would the collective work in international fields. But all of this is capable of serving the conditions of war against terror, by omitting obstacles that were in its way.

Franco-German plan sees visa free travel for Russians

15.03.2004

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Just weeks after EU states were asked to forge a common position on Russia, the French and German governments have set out their own vision of how relations should develop.

The EUobserver has learned that EU diplomats recently received a Franco-German blueprint for relations with Russia - the third plan of its kind to come before them in as many weeks. [...]

The Franco-German proposal would see Russia offered a path to visa free travel as well as an increased decision-making role in European defence. [...]

Italy plans to increase anti-terror spending

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's interior ministry plans to sharply increase spending on anti-terrorism measures to double the number of police and soldiers guarding the country, a report says.

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Islamic group that claimed Spain bombings names possible next targets: report

06:38 AM EST Mar 18

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - The Islamic militant group that claimed responsibility for last week's Madrid train bombings has warned that its next targets could be Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia, an Arabic newspaper reported Thursday.

The London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi said on its website that it had received a statement from "The Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri (al-Qaida)" in which the group reiterated its responsibility for the March 11 attacks that killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 1,600.

"Our brigades are getting ready now for the coming strike," said the statement dated March 15. "Whose turn will it be next? Is it Japan, America, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia or Australia?"

[...] The statement tells American voters that Abu Hafs al-Masri supports the re-election campaign of U.S. President George W. Bush: "We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections."

Addressing Bush, it says: "We know that a heavyweight operation would destroy your government, and this is what we don't want. We are not going to find a bigger idiot than you."

The statement said Abu Hafs al-Masri needs what it called Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" because they would "wake up" the Islamic world.

Comparing Bush with his Democratic party challenger, John Kerry, the statement tells the president: "Actually, there is no difference between you and Kerry, but Kerry will kill our community, while it is unaware, because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish infidelity and present it to the Arab and Islamic community as civilization."

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Officials: Group tying self to blasts may not be real

By Bryan Bender and Farah Stockman
Boston Globe

[...] But specialists say there is no evidence the organization exists. E-mail messages purporting to be written by the group previously claimed responsibility for everything from the North American blackout to a suicide attack that killed 20 Italian policemen in Iraq. But none of those claims has proved true, intelligence specialists say.

The latest message warned that an attack against the United States is "90 percent ready. [...]

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Comment: Indeed, we dont think the group is real either, certainly they are not "Islamic terrorists"

Film Dissects 'Bush's Brain,' Karl Rove

Mar 15
By CHRISTY LEMIRE


(AP) Chief political strategist Karl Rove listens as President Bush speaks to reporters in the Cabinet...

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - "Bush's Brain" has been cracked open and exposed for the world to see. The documentary, based on the book of the same name about presidential adviser Karl Rove, had been kept tightly under wraps before making its world premiere to a packed theater at the South by Southwest film festival.

Both the book and the film depict Rove as the true brains behind the Bush administration, and practically a co-president.

The film, which screened Saturday night, begins with the image of Bush confidently descending the stairs of Air Force One with "Hail to the Chief" signaling his arrival.

Then comes the punch line. On a black screen with simple white lettering, the question is posed: How did this happen?

(Laughter and applause erupted at this point among the crowd of 1,200.)

The answer the movie supplies: Rove.

"Nobody knows who this guy is or how critical he was to the ascension of George Bush," said co-director Michael Paradies Shoob. "But they'll find out who he is and it will allow people to deconstruct the activities of this administration."

Rove declined several interview requests from the filmmakers; he also declined to return calls for comment on the film from The Associated Press.

But he did send a 14-page e-mail to The Dallas Morning News' Austin bureau chief Wayne Slater, co-author of "Bush's Brain," after reading an advance copy of the book that somehow got out before its 2003 release. (Hence the filmmakers' apprehension about letting anyone see the documentary too early.)

That e-mail, in which Rove rebuts several points in the book, becomes his voice in the film. [...]

Comment: Despite the clear evidence that Bush is incompetent, many Americans still think that their President decides their fate. If only this were true. If Bush really was the decision maker we could hope that, in his incompetence, he would, at least some of the time, screw up and do something positive. Alas this is not the case. Clearly, with psychopaths like Karl Rove running the show, there is no hope that American policy, domestic or foreign, will produce anything other than global destruction.

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The Burden of Empire

by Laurence M. Vance
Information Clearing House
03/17/04

There is a new empire in town, and its global presence is increasing every day.

The kingdom of Alexander the Great reached all the way to the borders of India. The Roman Empire controlled the Celtic regions of Northern Europe and all of the Hellenized states that bordered the Mediterranean. The Mongol Empire, which was the largest contiguous empire in history, stretched from Southeast Asia to Europe. The Byzantine Empire spanned the years 395 to 1453. In the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the northwest; and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus in the north. At the height of its dominion, the British Empire included almost a quarter of the world’s population.

Nothing, however, compares to the U.S. global empire. What makes U.S. hegemony unique is that it consists, not of control over great land masses or population centers, but of a global presence unlike that of any other country in history.

The extent of the U.S. global empire is almost incalculable. The latest "Base Structure Report" of the Department of Defense states that the Department’s physical assets consist of "more than 600,000 individual buildings and structures, at more than 6,000 locations, on more than 30 million acres." The exact number of locations is then given as 6,702 – divided into large installations (115), medium installations (115), and small installations/locations (6,472). This classification can be deceiving, however, because installations are only classified as small if they have a Plant Replacement Value (PRV) of less than $800 million.

Although most of these locations are in the continental United States, 96 of them are in U.S. territories around the globe, and 702 of them are in foreign countries. But as Chalmers Johnson has documented, the figure of 702 foreign military installations is too low, for it does not include installations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan. Johnson estimates that an honest count would be closer to 1,000.

The number of countries that the United States has a presence in is staggering. According the U.S. Department of State’s list of "Independent States in the World," there are 192 countries in the world, all of which, except Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea, have diplomatic relations with the United States. All of these countries except one (Vatican City) are members of the United Nations. According to the Department of Defense publication, "Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country," the United States has troops in 135 countries. Here is the list [...]

This means that the United States has troops in 70 percent of the world's countries.

The average American could probably not locate half of these 135 countries on a map. [...]

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By any means necessary

It is not simply Israel's current hardline government that is to blame for the subjugation of Palestinians, but Zionism itself

Ghada Karmi
Thursday March 18, 2004
The Guardian

Israel's deputy defence minister, Ze'ev Boim, recently wondered whether there was a genetic defect that made Arabs terrorists. "What is it with Islam in general and the Palestinians in particular?" he asked on Israel army radio. "Is it some sort of cultural deficiency?Is it a genetic defect?"

The dismay this arouses will be discounted by some of Israel's friends simply as evidence of the extreme nature of its present government, with its barrier wall and its "transfer" enthusiasts. If only Sharon and his hardliners were replaced by moderates, they say, we could return to a halcyon pre-Likud past that promised peace and coexistence. But to believe this is to misunderstand the nature of Israel's dominant ideology - of which Ariel Sharon and his minister are nothing more than devoted servants. It is not he that is the problem, but the Zionism he espouses.

For those who have forgotten or never understood what Zionism meant in practice, the Israeli historian, Benny Morris's latest revelations and comments - published first in the Israeli daily Haaretz and then in the Guardian - make salutary reading. They have raised a storm of controversy that is still raging two months later, perhaps because they were too honest about an ideology that some would rather keep hidden. Morris, who first exposed the dark circumstances of Israel's creation in his groundbreaking 1988 book on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, explains the Israeli project with a brutal candour few Zionists have been prepared to display.

Using Israeli state archives for his recently revised study, he reminds us that Israel was set up by expulsion, rape and massacre. The Jewish state could not have come into being without ethnic cleansing and, he asserts, more may be necessary in future to ensure its survival. This bald assertion should shock no one, for it is entirely consistent with the basic Zionist proposition of an ethnically pure state. Palestine's indigenous population was a clear impediment to this aim; which is why the concept of transfer was so central to Zionist thinking long before 1948 - advocated by Zionism's leaders and expressed through a series of specific expulsion plans from the mid-1930s onwards. These led inexorably to the 1948 Palestinian exodus and the refugee tragedy that persists today. [...]

It is against this background that the monstrous barrier wall in the West Bank can be understood. "The Palestinians will always pose a threat and they must therefore be controlled and caged in," Morris explains. Hence, also, Ariel Sharon's offer last December of a "unilateral" withdrawal from 40% of the West Bank, and his hardline deputy Ehud Olmert's support for partition "because of demography". But the problem also exists inside Israel, whose Arab population is 20%, and growing. It is estimated that by 2010 there will be an Arab majority in the whole of Israel-Palestine.How will the Zionists stem the tide and keep the state Jewish?

If Zionism is to prevail, there are few choices. As Morris says, it can only be by superior force to overcome "the barbarians who want to take our lives". The Arabs have "no moral inhibitions", he claims, insisting that in Islam "human life doesn't have the same value as it does in the west". Is this observation much different from Boim's Arab genetic defect? And can the rights of such inferior people equate to those of Jews? "The right of [Palestinian] refugees to return ... seems natural and just," Morris says. "But this 'right of return' needs to be weighed against the right to life and wellbeing of the 5 million Jews who currently live in Israel." Apparently, Jewish self-determination is an imperative that supersedes the rights of the people at whose expense it was promulgated.

And in this he encapsulates the essence of Zionism. Though creating Israel entailed Palestinian suffering, Morris argues, it was for a noble aim. That is why Zionism is still a dangerous idea: at its root is a conviction of moral rightness that justifies almost any act deemed necessary to preserve the Jewish state. If that means massive military - including nuclear - force, unsavoury alliances, theft of others' resources, aggression and occupation, the brutal crushing of all resistance - then so be it. No one should be under any illusion that Zionism is a spent force, regardless of current discourse about "post-Zionism". That a benign Zionism, sympathetic to Palestinians, also exists means little while these basic tenets remain.

We must thank Morris for disabusing us of such notions. But a project that is morally one-sided and can only survive through force and xenophobia has no long-term future. As he himself says: "Destruction could be the end of this process."

Comment: In recent years, several Jewish and Arab writers and politicians have expressed the above rather pessimistic sentiment about the ultimate outcome of the "Middle East crisis". It is truly interesting how, despite the many efforts to resolve the conflict, a peaceful settlement is as far off as ever. If we assume that all of the efforts have been genuine in their intent to create a peaceful solution, it is rather surprising that the situation has worsened rather than improved. Can this really be just bad luck? We don't think so. It is clear from the policies of Sharon and the present Israeli administration that peace is the last thing on their mind. When a group of people, armed with enough power and weapons and lacking even a hint of ethics or morality, decide that war is what they desire, we fear that there is little anyone can do to stop them.

Weakened Schroeder to cede party reins amid mounting voter anger

Thu Mar 18,12:38 AM ET

BERLIN (AFP) - Battered by criticism, shaken by revolts within his own party and trailing badly in the polls, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will hand over the reins of his Social Democrats Sunday at one of the weakest points in his political career.

Schroeder was forced to forfeit the leadership of his SPD last month amid growing anger over his tough economic reform drive, which leftists say is being carried out on the backs of the elderly and the jobless.

At a special SPD congress in Berlin Sunday, the chancellor will formally pass the mantle to trusted ally Franz Muentefering, who enjoys closer ties to the grassroots of the 140-year-old party. [...]

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Germany fears "Passion" backlash

By Erik Kirschbaum
Thursday March 18, 08:55 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Jewish leaders and church officials are warning that Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" may foment anti-Semitism in the country where the Holocaust was planned when the film opens today.

Rushed into 400 cinemas in the world's second biggest film market by revenues three weeks ahead of schedule in response to public demand, the biblical epic portraying Christ's final 12 hours has also been attacked by German film critics as anti-Semitic kitsch.

"The anti-Semites will only have their views on Jews confirmed," said Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who also called the film a "sado-masochist orgy of violence" laden with "kitsch". [...]

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NASA hears words not yet spoken

WASHINGTON (AFP) - NASA has developed a computer program that comes close to reading thoughts not yet spoken, by analyzing nerve commands to the throat. [...]

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Banned Chemical Travels Across Three Oceans

A chemical once used in pesticides in Asia has accumulated thousands of miles away in Canada, according to a University of Toronto study.

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Earthquake rattles Bolivia LA PAZ, Bolivia

March 17 (UPI) -- A strong earthquake rattled Bolivia Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center reported.

The quake registered 6.1 on the Richter scale, shaking the landlocked, South American nation primarily in the south. [...]

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Earthquake sends rumbles through Ottawa

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No earthquake damage reported

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
By the Free Lance staff

No damage has been reported after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit a little before 11 p.m. Monday.

The U.S. Geological Survey concluded the four-mile deep earthquake’s epicenter was about three miles southwest of San Juan Bautista.

“It was a pretty good shake, but no one has called about any damage,” said Larry Cain, San Juan Bautista’s city manager.

The quake, including aftershocks, lasted about 30 seconds and then created a gradually fading roll.

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Earthquake Shakes Up Indian Capital

NEW DELHI (AP)--Residents ran out of buildings after an earthquake shook India's capital on Thursday. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Officials at the government's meteorological center said they were trying to locate the epicenter of the quake. The fire department said no casualties were reported immediately.

People ran out of their homes and offices in New Delhi as the temblor shook up buildings for several seconds.

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Le volcan Nyiragongo a créé la panique mercredi au sein de la population de Goma

Kinshasa , 18.03.2004 | Society

Radio Okapi reported that the volcano Nyirangongo blow out dust and gas on Wednesday frightening the population of the town of Gomo and surrounding regions. Local volcanologists say there is no need for concern, at least in the near future.

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Sheveluch Volcano (Russia)

Thursday 18th March, 2004

The crater of  Sheveluch volcano, which is the northernmost active Kamchatka volcano, started spewing ash to a height of 2.5 km, reports the Kamchatka experimental-methodological seismological group. The March 16 volcanic-ash eruptions were accompanied by long-duration surface earthquakes and avalanches. Ash clouds stretched for 75 km east of the volcano. [...]

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Life in the arms of Vesuvius

By Malcolm Billings
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents

Malcolm Billings travelled to Naples to find out why people are defying the lessons of the past by living on the slopes of a volcano that could erupt at any time.

[...] Ever since 1631, when Vesuvius was almost as fierce as it was in AD 79, there have been regular eruptions.

But now the volcano is unnervingly quiet. There is no hint it is still alive except for some wisps of steam inside the crater.

[...] The old observatory is now a museum. The scientists have a new laboratory in Naples where they monitor the crater's inside temperature, and record every movement.

There are sensors on tripods, waiting to transmit abnormal activity to the scientists in the control room. And out in the countryside there are sensors in deep wells to check water levels.

An evacuation plan is in place should there be an eruption
If the wells dry up - as they did in 1631 - it would indicate that the earth may be fracturing, and an eruption could be imminent.

The authorities are assuming they will get about two weeks' notice if the eruption follows the 1631 pattern.

Women, children, the sick and aged would be moved first, while family heads would stay until the last moment to protect their property.

At some point, the army and the police would arrive to clear everyone out.

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When the Earth became a snowball

PARIS (AFP) Mar 17, 2004


Imagine an Earth where ice sheets cover continents and freeze the seas almost down to the Equator, plunging the planet into a white hell lasting millions of years.

This scenario does not belong in the realm of fantasy, for it happened not once but at least twice between 800 million and 550 million years ago, in extraordinary climate events that have become known as "Snowball Earth".

How these brutally protracted Ice Ages unfolded have always been a puzzle.

Some speculate that the Sun abruptly cooled for a while or that the Earth tilted on its axis or experienced an orbital blip that dramatically reduced solar warmth.

But a new study by French scientists throws light on a little-explored theory -- how tectonic wrenches that ripped apart the Earth's land surface provoked a runaway "icehouse" effect.

At the time, all the Earth's future continents were glommed together in a super-continent dubbed Rodinia, an entity so vast that rainfall, brought by winds from the oceans, failed to travel far inland.

When Rodinia pulled apart, breaking up into smaller pieces that eventually formed today's continents, rainfall patterns changed dramatically.

Rain tumbled over basalt rocks, freshly spewed from vast volcanic eruptions.

That initiated a well-known reaction between the water and calcium silicate, in which carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules are taken from the air and sequestered in calcium carbonate, which is then washed down to the seas.

CO2 is the famous "greenhouse" gas -- it hangs like an invisible blanket in the atmosphere, and prevents the Sun's heat from bouncing back into space. Instead, this heat is stored up in the seas and land masses.

At present CO2, disgorged by the burning of fossil fuels, is being blamed for the looming threat of global warming.

But a computer model published on Thursday postulates that the reverse happened hundreds of millions of years ago.

The weathering of silicate rocks sucked CO2 out of the air, thus leading to a catastrophic cooling.

According to the simulation, before Rodinia broke up around 800 million years ago, C02 concentrations were around 1,830 parts per million (ppm); the mean global temperature was 10.8 C (51.5 F); and regions of the Earth that were below freezing point extended down to around 60 degrees in both hemispheres.

Fast-forward to Rodinia's breakup, 50 million years later, and the picture is greatly different.

CO2 levels are at 510 ppm; the planet's mean temperature is a frigid two C (35.5 F); and freezing temperatures have migrated towards the mid-latitudes, of 40-45 degrees.

"Tectonic changes could have triggered a progressive transition from a 'greenhouse' to an 'icehouse' climate during the neo-Proterozoic Era," the authors say.

Combine this with the rock/rainfall reaction, and the simulation "results in a snowball glaciation."

Lead author of the study, published on Thursday in the British weekly journal Nature, is Yannick Donnadieu of the CNRS' Laboratory for Climate and Environment Sciences at Gif sur Yvette, south of Paris.

Accelerating the movement towards an Ice Age is a phenomenon called albedo.

Flowering bamboo in India's northeast raises famine fears

AIZAWL, India (AFP) Mar 18, 2004

Christians in India's remote northeast are flocking to churches to offer prayers in a bid to ward off a famine they fear could strike the region anytime.
The worry has been triggered by signs that vast tracts of bamboo forest are about to burst into flower -- an event mainly Christian Mizoram state believes signals impending catastrophe.

There is a saying in the tiny hill state of just under one million tribal people bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh that when the bamboo flowers, famine, death and destruction follow.

Behind the superstitution lies some scientific truth, as blooming bamboo can trigger an invasion of rats which proceed to eat away food supplies.

"We're offering special prayers almost daily so God does not shower curses on the people of Mizoram by unleashing a famine in the state," R. Lalringliana, a Presbyterian church leader in the state capital Aizawl, told

The bamboo forests in India's northeast flower every few decades and folklore is rife with tales of the devastating impact of this natural cyclical event. [...]

Scientists Explain Wayward Weather Forecasts

By Stuart Coles
PA News

Scientists at Oxford University say they have discovered what could be behind some wayward weather forecasts.

The researchers say small atmospheric fluctuations ignored by meteorologists may have a far greater impact on weather systems than previously thought.

The fluctuations, known as inertia-gravity waves, can often be seen from the surface of the Earth as stripy features in clouds, but forecasters had always thought they had little effect on cold and warm weather fronts. [...]

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Day the sun nearly shut down earth

By Chris Millar
Evening Standard

A wave of massive explosions which erupted from the sun's surface was so powerful it came close to shutting down power grids and radio and mobile phone networks across the world.

The solar flare last November was more than twice as big as the previous recorded explosion - and so violent that satellite detectors were unable to record its true scale because they were blinded by its radiation.

It generated a massive stream of electrically charged particles and gas which rocketed across space at two million miles per hour, with the ability to cause unprecedented disruption to radio transmissions and navigation systems on earth.

Until now the size of the flare and the seismic waves which followed it was unknown, but scientists have discovered it dwarfed the previous biggest flare in August 1989, which plunged six million people in Quebec into an electrical blackout.

A team of scientists at New Zealand's University of Otago have said that it almost wreaked unimaginable destruction.

Their calculations showed the flare's X-ray radiation striking the atmosphere was equivalent to that of 5,000 suns, although they said none of it reached the earth's surface.

The flare was not on a direct course and harmful radiation was absorbed by the magnetosphere, a protective layer around the earth.

The flare came during a spell of extraordinary solar activity, when the sun produced a series of vast explosions.

As gas from the core of the sun was heated to millions of degrees, radiation and billions of tonnes of charged particles were pumped into space.

An accompanying aurora was seen over the skies of southern England. At the time one scientist described the power of the flare as being greater than "every nuclear warhead being detonated at once".

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Plenty of Icy Water at Mars South Pole - Scientists

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Spectral images from the European Space Agency's Mars Express Orbiter show there is plenty of icy water at the southern pole of Mars, French scientists said Wednesday. [...]

The scientists deciphered the chemical makeup of the pole by studying the amounts of light and heat reflected from the area, allowing them to distinguish dust, CO2 and water ice. [...]

"We will be in the process in the coming months of evaluating the global surface of water and CO2 (on Mars)," Bibring added. [...]

Comment: You can read the abstract of their report here.

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China Prepares for Second Piloted Space Mission

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Mom Charged With Killing 3 Teenage Sons

Cynthia J. Lord, 42, is accused of shooting each of her sons in the head at their south Anchorage apartment Tuesday, court documents said.

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Woman charged with starving quadriplegic brother to death

GLENSHAW, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A woman kept her quadriplegic younger brother in a filthy room and deprived him of food and water until he starved to death, police said.

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Shelter worker left teenage boy hanging

A counselor is on trial after taking photos of the youth rather than cutting him down

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Teenager guilty of killing baby

A 16-year-old from Cornwall who swung a baby boy against a fireplace "like a baseball bat" has been found guilty of manslaughter.

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Study: Humans, Neanderthals Did Not Mate

Genetic evidence from Neanderthal and early human bones indicates that if there was any intermixing of the two species, it was so little that it left no genetic trace. The discovery was published in the current edition of PloS Biology.

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On this day in 1950

A regular UFO flap occurred:

At the Atlanta Municipal Airport, Georgia six airline pilots on the tarmac reported sighting an aluminum colored disc that flew silently toward the southwest at between 6000 and 7000 feet altitude. It then made an "impossible climb." (Source: Michael Hitt, Georgia UFO Phenomenon, 1947-1987 , p. 9).

A large number of saucers, performing aerobatics, appeared over Farmington, New Mexico around noon, and then flew away at an estimated 1000 mph. A luminous, metallic appearing disc was sighted five miles northeast of Bradford, Illinois at 8:40 a.m. (Source: unnamed newspaper clippings, March 18 and 19, 1950).

At a ranch in Lago Argentino, Argentina , Mr. Wilfredo H. Arevalo, a rancher, saw two objects, one of which landed at 6:30 p.m. He walked within 150 meters of the aluminum looking craft that gave off a blue-green vapor with "an intense smell of burning benzene." A large, flat section on top was revolving above a glass cabin in which could be seen four tall men with pallid faces, dressed in something like cellophane, working at various instruments. When they saw him they shone a light in his direction while a blue light illuminated the craft. The vapor increased and flames, alternately red and green, shot out of the base while the object rose with a faint hum. Both craft flew away toward Chile, leaving bluish trails. (Sources: Coral E. Lorenzen, Flying Saucer Occupants , p. 108; The Humanoids , FSR Special Issue #1, p. 32; Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: A Century of Landings , p. 194). [Source: UFOCAT.com]

And in 1847, on this day, large luminous spots were seen upon the dark part of the moon, and a general glow upon the upper limb, by the Rev. T. Rankin and Prof. Chevalier. The whole shaded part of the disc seemed to be a mixture of lights and shades. [Source: New Lands, Charles Fort]

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Five die in Area 51 plane crash

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‘Alien creators’ man’s topic at UFO fest

By Debra Mayeux
The Daily Times
Mar 18, 2004, 12:09 am

AZTEC — A man, who said there is no Jesus — only alien creators — will speak at the 7th annual Aztec UFO Symposium Saturday.

George Green claims religion is “the biggest problem on the planet,” blinding mankind, so people can no longer think.

“His being here may cause controversy, and I think it will be good for the symposium,” said coordinator Dave Albright, who invited Green to speak during the Aztec Library’s event. “I don’t think he’s involved in any cults.”

Green claims his contact with UFOs and extraterrestrials began when he was 19 years old and serving in the Air Force. He said he saw a silver disc in a hangar at Edward’s Air Force Base and was later shown photos of two dead aliens.

“When the government is ready to tell the story about UFOs and ETs, it will,” Green said.

From his stint in the military, Green went to college and became involved in real estate development. But his life changed 26 years ago, when he attended a secret meeting in Aspen, Colo., where he was asked to be the financier for Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. During this meeting, he said he discovered there are 300 families who control the planet.

Some members of these families, who look like humans, are actually of a “reptilian race,” Green said.

Albright said Green is not alone in his thinking about reptilian aliens controlling the planet. This will just be the first time this type of thinking has been promoted at the symposium.

Through these beings and a Swiss photographer, Green said he made contact with the commander from the Pleiadian Star System, who is named Quetzl. It was Quetzl, who gave Green the truth about humanity and its upcoming demise.

“All of the different races come from different star systems,” he said. “I’m sharing as much (information) as possible.”

Green shares information, theories and messages from space in a book, which he said will be available for free at the symposium. The book, he said, is a guide to salvation from upcoming attempts by extraterrestrials to wipe us out.

“(Through the book) you can see what is really going on in the world and be in contact with extraterrestrials,” he said. [...]

Comment: Oh please, out of the frying pan of religion right into the fire of channeling "friendly" extraterrestrials. There must be some quirk in humanity that makes it near impossible to say, "I don't know", impossible to eschew belief and seek answers for oneself. Something that blinds us to the nature of reality, and makes us exploitable like sanguine cattle chewing cud in the field.

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Orb believers unite

"Welcome into the presence of the Blue Orb," Julie Ryder, a Helena resident, told the nearly 100 people in attendance.

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Jim Caviezel has visions of the Virgin Mary

London | March 17, 2004 3:27:44 PM IST

Jim Caviezel was selected to play Jesus in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" for loads of reasons. According to a report in the Daily Mirror, the right looks, the right age, 33, and the right initials, JC, made him perfect choice to play the role of the Martyr.

But, the real reason is that Jim has an intense devotion to his Catholic faith. And underneath his Armani suits, he wears a medal of the Pope and says he has seen visions of the Virgin Mary, an experience he compared to having an orgasm. [...]

Jim attended mass every day during filming because he "didn't want Lucifer to have any control over the performance". On set, he carried at least five religious relics, including one from St Denisius, patron saint of actors, and a "piece of the true Cross". [...]

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Virginia Governer sued for failing to repel an ongoing "clandestine invasion" of aliens

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Arab 'bank for the poor' opens

Wednesday 17 March 2004, 23:17 Makka Time, 20:17 GMT

The first "bank for the poor" in the Arab world has been set up in Yemen under an agreement signed in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The accord was signed by Saudi Prince Talal bin Abd al-Aziz, a half-brother of King Fahd who heads the Arab Gulf Programme for UN Development Organisations (AGFUND), and Yemeni Labour and Social Affairs Minister Abd al-Karim al-Arhabi, the official SPA news agency reported.

Bank of Hope, as it has been dubbed, will be funded by AGFUND and contributions from Arab countries.

In October 2000, Yemen signed an agreement with Riyadh-based AGFUND to set up the bank with capital of $5.5mn.

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Haiti swears in new cabinet devoid of members of ousted leader's party

05:58 AM EST Mar 18

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CP) - Haiti's new U.S.-backed cabinet was installed Wednesday without a single member of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas Family party, setting the stage for a political showdown just as a contingent of Canadian troops flew in.

Some Haitian politicians complained that the new government unfairly excluded several political groups including Lavalas, Haiti's largest party, even though Prime Minister Gerard Latortue had promised it would be represented. At the National Palace, Latortue handed the cabinet letters of appointment and then apologized to Haitians for past governments. "I feel obliged to ask you for forgiveness for all that the other governments have done," he said.

Latortue defended his choice of cabinet members, saying: "This is a government of transition."

"It is a way of showing that it is possible to govern this country differently and to create a new relationship between the state and its people ... This is a government that is nonpartisan, and I invite everyone to judge it by its results."

U.S. Ambassador James Foley said "Latortue chose wisely" and that Haiti could expect significant U.S. and international aid.

Comment: How much clearer can the US be! Do what we tell you and you will have all the "aid" you need. Try to do what you want yourselves, and we will organise a coup d'état, presenting a small handful of mercenaries as a rebel army of liberation.

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Teeth unravel Anglo-Saxon legacy

By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff

History books say Anglo-Saxons replaced the Britons in England
New scientific research adds to growing evidence that the Anglo-Saxons did not replace the native population in England as history books suggest.

The data indicates at least some areas of eastern England absorbed very few Anglo-Saxon invaders, contrary to the view in many historical accounts.

[...] The results support the view of other researchers that the introduction of Anglo-Saxon culture and language into Britain did not occur through large-scale replacement of native populations by invading tribes.

It seems more likely that there was a small-scale immigration from continental Europe and that the existing British population adopted the customs of these outsiders as their own.

[...] "At the end of the Roman period there was a huge collapse of a centuries-long organisation, in government and in how the landscape was used. The population moves off elsewhere to exploit the landscape for agriculture."

The Anglo-Saxons supposedly began migrating into Britain en masse from the fifth century. Their culture and language has long formed the basis for English national identity.

Genetic support

The findings broadly agree with a large genetic survey of the British Isles published in 2003. The study, led by Professor David Goldstein of University College London, found that the genetic stamp of the Anglo-Saxons on the British Isles was weaker than expected.

Comment: While this data is contradicting the dominant point of view, it is consistent with the idea that much of Europe was destroyed in the 6th century by a cometary impact or explosion. In the destruction, small groups of survivors would have moved across the continent looking for areas in which to rebuild their lives. Of course, accepted history does not speak of such catastrophes regularly intervening in human history and looks instead to invasion as the only explanation for the movement of populations. For more on this, see Laura Knight-Jadczyk's series Truth or Lies.

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Let Us Love Life

SINCE the horrendous events of September 11, 2001, when suicide bombers of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda slammed fully-loaded aircrafts in the twin towers of the World Trade Centre (WTC) and the Pentagon, a lot of water has passed under the bridge of international relations, especially between the West and countries of the Middle East.

For some, it symbolized a "clash of civilizations" and portended imminent war between Christendom and Islam. This unhealthy scenario, it eventually turned out, was exactly the game plan of some hotheaded and apocalyptic minded religious fundamentalists.[...]

What The Chronicle sees as a continuing tragic comedy of errors is the way the fallout from these actions seems to be heading to. Can the civilized world remain unconcerned as more and more blood is shed by both sides? Can mankind afford to remain stuck in a time warp where pure savagery is disguised in modern garb?

As we grope for answers to these questions, we are horrified by the events that have seized world news headlines since last week in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

It is indeed sad and painful for wholly innocent people going about their legitimate business to be singled out for the sadistic gratification of perverts and psychopaths who have absolutely no respect for precious, irreplaceable and divine life.[...]

The welfare of our human race, the environmental health of planet earth and our children's future is more important than the thoughts of overfed bishops, rabbis and mullahs who are quite happy to send the youth to premature death in the name of God.

Comment: This editorial is a heart-felt cry against the madness engulfing the world by people who see clearly the horrible events around us. But they have illusions that something can still be done to change this cursed planet.

In terms of action, this editorial ends by calling on the United Nations to unite nations. We have seen that the US considers the UN to be an irrelevance, so even if the UN had some teeth, it could and would be ignored. Little do the writers of this article realise how apt their description of the entropic forces at work is: "This unhealthy scenario, it eventually turned out, was exactly the game plan of some hotheaded and apocalyptic minded religious fundamentalists."

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An 'African' First Lady for the US?

AS THE United States presidential race intensifies in the coming months, Africa - and African identity - may emerge as topics of debate.

Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of probable Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, has a blood connection to Southern Africa and has at times referred to herself, controversially, as an African American.

Senator Kerry himself has also stirred a row by declaring that he hopes to become the second black president of the United States.

"President Clinton was often known as the first black president," Senator Kerry recently told a radio interviewer. "I wouldn't be upset if I could earn the right to be the second."

Some African-Americans, usually speaking at least semi-humourously, suggested at times during Bill Clinton's presidency that he could be seen as black because of his cultural affinities and political views.[...]

The candidate's wife is also white and wealthy.

Comment: And on and on the story goes of the poor, little rich girl, daughter of Portuguese colonialists, who, after an idyllic childhood "hanging upside down from guava trees in her backyard, chasing snakes and bugs, contemplating the balance between nature and human beings while sitting under the starry night skies" in Mozambique, marries John Heinz, the heir to an American ketchup fortune, inheriting his $500 million fortune when he died in 1991. In short, the story of so many "African Americans" who came to the US to find love and riches.

Mrs Heinz Kerry has not returned to Mozambique for the past 45 years. "I have basically not wanted to go back home since, because I just didn't want to see all the kind of changes." We assume she means the post-colonial changes when the Portuguese were no longer running the country and the leader wasn't black like Kerry.

We guess that the US would accept "another" black President as long as he is white. It is called breaking down the colour barrier.

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KGB Veteran Denies CIA Caused '82 Blast

By Anatoly Medetsky
Staff Writer
Thursday, Mar. 18, 2004. Page 4

A KGB veteran said a new U.S. book that credits the CIA with causing a powerful explosion on a Soviet natural gas pipeline in 1982 is off the mark. An explosion did take place, but it was caused by poor construction, not by planted software.

"What the Americans have written is rubbish," said Vasily Pchelintsev, who in 1982 headed the KGB office in the Tyumen region, the likely site of the explosion described in the book, "At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War."

The book, written by Thomas Reed, a former Air Force secretary who was on the National Security Council at the time, says the CIA arranged for bugs to be built into pipeline software that was transferred to the Soviet Union through a KGB network.

The United States was trying to prevent the Soviet Union from exporting gas to Western Europe and took advantage of KGB efforts to steal Western technology, Reed writes.

"In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to go haywire, after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds," the book says.

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'Dress-up Jesus' figure sparks controversy

Includes outfits such as devil costume, skull T-shirt, hula skirt

March 18, 2004
WorldNetDaily.com

The national chain Urban Outfitters is selling a dress-up Jesus figure that has outraged customers.

The novelty item looks like a children's game but has a magnetized figure of Jesus on the cross, clad in underwear, with interchangeable outfits such as a devil costume, a skull T-shirt and a hula skirt, reports WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.

"I did a double take. It just seemed unbelievable to see something like that," said Gerry, a man who would not give his last name, told the station.

Gerry came upon the dress-up Jesus at an Urban Outfitters store at the King Of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.

"I basically stood there speechless," Gerry said. He e-mailed the company, complaining the item is in horrible taste.

In reply, Urban Outfitters said it doesn't sell the item to provoke or offend people, but to reflect a diversity of opinion among its customer base. [...]

"I don't think there's anything wrong with religious satire," Smith told the Philadelphia station. "People have got to learn to laugh at themselves; it's part of human nature."

Smith, who claims to be an atheist, argues he's making money the same way Mel Gibson is with his blockbuster film on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life, "The Passion of the Christ."

Tenn. County Wants to Charge Homosexuals

By Associated Press
March 17, 2004

DAYTON, Tenn. -- The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday.

Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county.

"We need to keep them out of here," Fugate said. [...]

'Tiger man' wants fur graft

A San Diego computer programmer who has spent £100,000 on tattoos and plastic surgery to turn himself into a 'tiger' wants a fur graft.

Dennis Smith is tattooed from head to toe with orange and black stripes and his teeth have been filed to needle point.

He has also had latex whiskers implanted and surgery to his lips so he has a permanent snarl. He now wants a surgeon to graft tiger fur on to his skin, like a perma-wig.

Mr Smith, who has changed his name by deed poll to Cat Man, said: "I have a collection of old tiger pelts from the days of hunting. I want these grafted on to me. It will cost another $100,000 but will be worth it.

"When I have the coat of a tiger, I feel I will have reached my goal in life."

His fingernails have been crafted into sharp talons while his hands have tattooed markings like a tiger's paws. He says he feels like a tiger.

The short back-and-sides he sported at the University Of California has been replaced with a long orange mane. He has also swapped his glasses for green contact lenses.

He holds down a £80,000-a-year computer programming job which enables him to fund the surgery, the Daily Record reports.

He admitted: "Of course people stare at me when I walk down the street but that's the effect I desire. For so long I have equated myself with the tiger that I decided to change myself into one.

"It's the real me. So many men cross-dress without their partners knowing, or dress up and play cowboys or Civil War soldiers at weekends. Me, I'm a tiger all the time and I love it. I had my first tattoos done 20 years ago around my eyes and now my whole body is one pastiche of stripes and shading. I am really proud of it all."

Comment: And people try to tell us that, as humans, we are all one race...


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