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 , March 25, 2004

Signs of The Times


Daily News and Commentary


The Signs Quick Guide

Note to New Readers



Message Board


SOTT Podcast logo
Signs of the Times Podcast
Pentagon Strike logo
Pentagon Strike Flash by a QFS member
911 Cover
The Ultimate 9/11 Book
SOTT Commentary Cover
Read all 6 SOTT Commentary Books

Secret History Cover
Discover the Secret History of the World - and how to get out alive!


High Strangeness
The Truth about Hyperdimensional Beings and Alien Abductions


The Wave
New Expanded Wave Series Now in Print!


Support The Quantum Future Group and The Signs Team

How you can help keep Signs of The Times online...

The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers. As always, Caveat Lector!

(Bookmark whatsnew link! In case site is down, info will be there!)


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, Part 9, Part 10

Picture of the Day

Cumulous cloud seen from Auvillar, overlooking the Garonne
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Try to conceive of something that possesses no knowledge at all, be it conscious or unconscious. Without knowledge we would be nothing; we simply would not exist. Existence by definition implies some level of knowledge. Knowledge then is key to our existence. The type and amount of knowledge that we embody defines our existence.

While existence could be defined as "what is", there are probably degrees of existence, and therefore degrees of "what is". Degrees of reality, we shall say. Less knowledge would then mean less existence, and illusory knowledge, would mean illusory, or unreal existence. Reality is defined by knowledge, and the type and extent of knowledge that exists in that reality. If someone was able to control the amount and quality of knowledge in a given reality, they would control reality, and, of course, the beings whose existence knowledge defines.

Below we present some extremely pertinent remarks on this subject attributed to George Gurdjieff in the book "In Search of the Miraculous" by PD Ouspensky. Gurdjieff's words are interspersed with comments by the Signs team:

Ouspensky asked Gurdjieff:

"Why, if ancient knowledge has been preserved and if, speaking in general, there exists a knowledge distinct from our science and philosophy or even surpassing it, it is so carefully concealed, why is it not made common property? Why are the men who posses this knowledge unwilling to let it pass into the general circulation of life for the sake of a better and more successful struggle against deceit, evil and ignorance?"

Gurdjieff. replied: "There are two answers to that. In the first place, this knowledge is not concealed; and in the second place, it cannot, from its very nature, become common property. We will consider the second of these statements first.

"You do not understand this because you do not understand that knowledge, like everything else in the world, is material and matter is limited. So that, if knowledge is material, then it means that there is a definite amount of knowledge available. Taken in a large quantity in a given place, that is by one man, let us say, or by a small group of men, it produces very good results; taken in a small quantity (that is, by every one of a large number of people), it gives no results at all; or it may give even negative results, contrary to those expected. Thus if a certain definite quantity of knowledge is distributed among millions of people, each individual will receive very little, and this small amount of knowledge will change nothing either in his life or in his understanding of things.

"But if, on the contrary, large quantities of knowledge are concentrated in a small number of people, then this knowledge will give very great results. From this point of view it is far more advantageous that knowledge should be preserved among a small number of people and not dispersed among the masses. If knowledge is given to all, nobody will get any. If it is preserved among a few, each will receive not only enough to keep, but to increase, what he receives.

"At the first glance this theory seems very unjust, since the position of those who are, so to speak, denied knowledge in order that others may receive a greater share appears to be very sad and undeservedly harder than it ought to be. Actually, however, this is not so at all; and in the distribution of knowledge there is not the slightest injustice.

"The fact is that the enormous majority of people do not want any knowledge whatever; they refuse their share of it and do not even take the ration allotted to them, in the general distribution, for the purpose of life.

From the above we understand that, on this planet there are at leat two very different types of people, with very different inner orientations. As Gurdjieff says, "the vast majority" reject the little truth that is available to them. This reality is controlled by those that control the knowledge that makes the reality of this world.

Certain people desire the limited, illusory reality that is presented to them; others seek a more complete understanding of the truth. This latter group would seem to be in the extreme minority.

For those that seek objective truth, there can be no assessment of true reality by looking to the actions and words of the majority that are happy to accept illusion. The first step in the quest for truth must be undertaken alone. Once begun, we may seek the companionship of those that pursue the same quest. It is not a true choice if we do not make it ourselves.

We should not attempt to seek salvation outside ourselves, but rather by looking within to ascertain if there is a core desire to know the truth that is so lacking in this world. If we perceive that it is there, we then begin the search for the real and the true in the world outside.

"This is particularly evident in times of mass madness such as wars, revolutions, and so on, when men suddenly seem to lose even the small amount of common sense they had and turn into complete automatons, giving themselves over to wholesale destruction in vast numbers, in other words, even loosing the instinct of self-preservation. Owing to this, enormous quantities of knowledge remain, so to speak, unclaimed and can be distributed among those who realize its value.

"There is nothing unjust in this, because those who receive knowledge take nothing that belongs to others, deprive others of nothing;they take only what others have rejected as useless and what would in any case be lost if they did not take it.

"The collecting of knowledge by some depends upon the rejection of knowledge by others.

"There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning or the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably loose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations."

It seems that Gurdjieff knew only too well the effect that global upheaval exerts on the illusion seeking majority of humanity. When confronted with the ever widening gap between the reality being presented to them and the facts before their eyes, and at some point unable to reconcile the two, those that attempt to cling to the lie as truth are driven mad.

We see that, in the current war on terror, the US and Israeli governments are attempting to drive the people of the world crazy with fear of phony "Arab terrorists" and the threat they pose to us all. Mossad, Israel's intelligence service, were very likely reposnsible for the recent bombings in Madrid, designed specifically to increase the fear factor among Europeans.

Yet Gurdjieff also understood the opportunity that such an outpouring of fear and madness presents for those that seek the truth to finally see and know it. We cannot ignore the fact that our own civilization at present appears to be on the edge of a precipice. In a very natural way this may act as a "wake up call" to those that have an inner desire to seek and know the truth.

"This aspect of the question is clear. The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear. It is even difficult to imagine all the horror of this slavery. We do not understand what people are losing. But in order to understand the cause of this slavery it is enough to see how people live, what constitutes the aim of their existence, the object of their desires, passions, and aspirations, of what they think, of what they talk, what they serve and what they worship. Consider what the cultured humanity of our time spends money on; even leaving the war out, what commands the highest price; where the biggest crowds are. If we think for a moment about these questions it becomes clear that humanity, as it is now, with the interests it lives by, cannot expect to have anything different from what it has."

And we see the truth of this in the current state of our planet. Yet truth was never the domain of the people. Since the dawn of modern civilisation, the truth has been withheld and used to control rather than liberate.

At present we are living at the tail end of this grand millenia-long deception. As our world stands on the brink of all out war and cataclysmic destruction, the masses continue to perform the most complex of mental gymnastics to enable the continuance of their illusions about themselves and their world. They wll believe anything, as long as it is not the reality that their very existence hangs in the balance. Yet none can claim that justice is not being served, for what can be more equitable than to give that which is asked for? As a result of their insatiable appetite for illusion, it is very likely that the sleeping masses, so enamoured of illusion, will receive exactly what they have asked for - they will be the victims of the greatest deceit at the hands of those that, against all logic and reason, they have placed their trust in.

"Imagine that for the whole of mankind half a pound of knowledge is allotted a year. If this knowledge is distributed among everyone, each will receive so little that he will remain the fool he was. But, thanks to the fact that very few want to have this knowledge, those who take it are able to get, let us say, a grain each, and acquire the possibility of becoming more intelligent. All cannot become intelligent even if they wish. And if they did become intelligent it would not help matters. There exists a general equilibrium which cannot be upset.

"That is one aspect. The other, as I have already said, consists in the fact that no one is concealing anything;there is no mystery whatever."

The Signs page, the articles on the Cassiopaea web site, and the books in print, are a result of the collecting of this knowledge and its presentation for those that understand its application. While we attempt to facilitate an understanding of the application of this knowledge, we can only go so far. Definite and real steps must be taken by the seeker in order to make clear that they understand that which they are choosing. If we choose to commit to the search for knowledge, it must be by DOING something, not by showing a vicarious interest from the sidelines and expecting to have knowledge given to us.

"But the acquisition or transmission of true knowledge demands great labor and great effort both of him who receives and of him who gives. And those who possess this knowledge are doing everything they can to transmit and communicate it to the greatest possible number of people, to facilitate people's approach to it and enable them to prepare themselves to receive the truth.

"He who wants knowledge must himself make the initial efforts to find the source of knowledge and to approach it, taking advantage of the help and indications which are given to all, but which people, as a rule, do not want to see or recognize. Knowledge cannot come to people without effort on their own part. And yet there are theories which affirm that knowledge can come to people without any effort on their part, that they can acquire it even in sleep. The very existence of such theories constitutes an additional explanation of why knowledge cannot come to people."

This point cannot be overstated. There is no "free lunch" in the universe - if you think there is, you run the risk of being "lunch" yourself. What is the point of your existence if you are willing to renounce and discard the abilities you have? Why would you even want to have someone else understand reality for you? What "use" are you in this case? Our goal is to be useful to creation, to create, to align ourselves with that which is real, to reject lies and deceit at every turn, both in the world and within our own beings. People that believe in illusion, in lies, are making a statement to life, to the real objective universe, that they do not desire to exist in it. While very often we do not get what we desire in life, we can be sure that, in the end, we will get back that which we give to life. For those people that align themselves with illusion, with that which is not real, they will become just that - "a dream in the past." Those who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "'Future."

Click here to comment on this commentary

Looking What?

by Richard Rieben

The evasive, plastic bubble of our present cultural freeze-frame context is born of a lack of future. We are holding onto illusions of prosperity because all we see ahead of us is loss, emptiness, and desolation (in all aspects of our existence).

Philosopher G.E. Nordell elaborates:

“War, pestilence, hunger and stupidity we have in abundance. We no longer look to any Dream to give us guidance, to live into. The future from here is an unavoidable nightmare . . . . Standing on any factual variant about the Current State of the Planet, there is NO probability that Mankind will survive two more generations.” ­ G.E. Nordell

Of course, there are alternatives. Nordell stresses reason. I will take that, as a tool, and go a step farther, stressing responsibility.

Liberty, in consequence of these tools, is not a way to “hold on” to anything we now have.We can only avert the coming disasters by reaching for something real, something potent, and something better than what we have now (or have ever had before). We can only “live into” a future that holds the promise of more ­ a factual promise based on reason and underscored by practical reality.

At this point, our empirical sciences and our technology will lead us into the pit, efficiently greasing the skids of our demise. We have been sliding down this chute for a long time, even though we thought the future looked fairly rosy. In terms of technology, it was. We went to the moon and our economic standards of living increased sumptuously! But that technology was built of rickety bamboo scaffolding over enormous chasms of irrationality and inhumanity. Not just minor gaps in philosophical understanding, but foundations built over cauldrons of religious fairy tales and cesspools of wishful thinking. We haven’t got a premise to stand on. The Enlightenment was impatiently thrown together in a couple of centuries, and they forgot to put a foundation under it. (The British answer: Empiricism, was just another brand of Dark Ages ­ the foundation of Hitler’s Germany and modern America .)

What is that saying? “If you’ve built castles in the air, that’s well and fine. That is where they belong. Now build the foundation under them.”

That’s our situation. The splendid castles are collapsing. Atlantis is sinking. And, yet, we are ambivalent.

On the one hand, we reek of denial, fear, evasion, avoidance, and drug ourselves with delusions to sustain a reality that has no foundation, and thus that is no true reality, but one big delusion.

On the other hand, we would not mind, terribly, if the whole thing collapsed anyway. The trip here was cool, but the reality is tedious, stressful, and there’s nothing “to live into” from here. It’s like a failed experime nt. It took us so far, and no farther.

So, yeah, let the tide come in and wash this sandcastle away. And make another one another day.

It doesn’t take a pole reversal, Planet X or any other interstellar conflagration to destroy human civilizations. We’re not, like, dinosaurs, you know. All it takes is a lack of an interesting future ­ and we’re outta here! Booooring . . . don’t wanna play no-mo ­ so, end-game.

The point is not, what do we have that is any good? We have lots of trifles and gadgets. But none of them do the trick, hit the spot, satisfy... indeed, for the most part, they erode our health and well-being. Not such a good road, after all, was it?

More to the point is what we don’t have. Not just the erosion our health, well-being and liberties, but the continued inability of the species (in its current manifestation) to get a handle on war, hunger, disease, suffering, misery, slavery, bigotry, or despotism. [...]

In the context of our present fairy tales, from which we premise our beliefs, we cannot see any way out of this mess. [From within that context, there isn’t a way out.]

When I say that we need a dream, I do not mean that we need a new fairy tale, myth or false premise ­ upon which to build another disastrous, corrupt, debauched, hypocritically civilized world.

If we are to go forward ­ and do it better this time ‘round ­ we will need those minimal tools of reason and responsibility. The dream will have to stand up to our scrutiny, and be realized through our individual efforts. It can’t be another religious delusion, scientific delusion, or political delusion. Been there, done that; fun ride, but the end is a big downer ­ to everyone but the powerbrokers.

What dream do I propose? Oh, hell. No one PROPOSES a dream, least of all a philosopher.

It arises. Somewhere. You can’t invent it. You can’t create it. You can’t make it.

But you can choose it.

Because it’s already here. Somewhere. Waiting to be found and chosen. Or not...overlooked, passed over, ignored, discounted, and lost in the rubble of our collapse.

Odd, because it’s really hard to overlook something so big. So potent. So powerful that it can pull an entire species from the brink of extinction and propel them into a future they cannot begin to imagine.

It is right out in the open, where everyone can see it ­ and overlook it. Right . . . over . . . there! No, not on TV, not on the Internet, not in any of our technology stuff. It’s right . . .

I’ll tell ya this: if it’s in your back yard, then it’s in everyone’s back yard (in Botswana , Baghdad , Boston and Bangkok ). It’s a dream; where do you think you’d find a dream? It has the power to kickass everyone on this planet eagerly into the future. Now, what do you suppose that’s going to “look” like? Obviously, it’s not going to look like anything you’ve ever thought of as a “dream” before, since all the species’ dreams to date a re superficial fairy tales.

Keep looking.

When you find it, pick it up. Don’t look back.

By the way, the dream for the future of this species is not something that is going to be vetted by a committee, approved by authority, or sanctioned by your peers. Scary thought, but it’s an individual dream. It won’t “p y” to a group. It doesn’t need to. Neither do you. When you find it, pick it up and move forward. You don’t have to say a word. You won’t need to. It will be written all over you, for those who have eyes to see it. It will spread by contagion, and will be implemented or rejected individually ­ internally.

It may have already started. Somewhere.

Can you imagine?

Click here to comment on this article

Eating Fossil Fuels

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer

© Copyright 2003, From The Wilderness Publications, All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.

[Some months ago, concerned by a Paris statement made by Professor Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton regarding his concern about the impact of Peak Oil and Gas on fertilizer production, I tasked FTW's Contributing Editor for Energy, Dale Allen Pfeiffer to start looking into what natural gas shortages would do to fertilizer production costs. His investigation led him to look at the totality of food production in the US. Because the US and Canada feed much of the world, the answers have global implications.

What follows is most certainly the single most frightening article I have ever read and certainly the most alarming piece that FTW has ever published. Even as we have seen CNN, Britain's Independent and Jane's Defence Weekly acknowledge the reality of Peak Oil and Gas within the last week, acknowledging that world oil and gas reserves are as much as 80% less than predicted, we are also seeing how little real thinking has been devoted to the host of crises certain to follow; at least in terms of publicly accessible thinking.

The following article is so serious in its implications that I have taken the unusual step of underlining some of its key findings. I did that with the intent that the reader treat each underlined passage as a separate and incredibly important fact. Each one of these facts should be read and digested separately to assimilate its importance. I found myself reading one fact and then getting up and walking away until I could come back and (un)comfortably read to the next.

All told, Dale Allen Pfeiffer's research and reporting confirms the worst of FTW's suspicions about the consequences of Peak Oil, and it poses serious questions about what to do next. Not the least of these is why, in a presidential election year, none of the candidates has even acknowledged the problem. Thus far, it is clear that solutions for these questions, perhaps the most important ones facing mankind, will by necessity be found by private individuals and communities, independently of outside or governmental help. Whether the real search for answers comes now, or as the crisis becomes unavoidable, depends solely on us. – MCR]

[...] None of this research considers the impact of declining fossil fuel production. The authors of all of these studies believe that the mentioned agricultural crisis will only begin to impact us after 2020, and will not become critical until 2050. The current peaking of global oil production (and subsequent decline of production), along with the peak of North American natural gas production will very likely precipitate this agricultural crisis much sooner than expected. Quite possibly, a U.S. population reduction of one-third will not be effective for sustainability; the necessary reduction might be in excess of one-half. And, for sustainability, global population will have to be reduced from the current 6.32 billion people42 to 2 billion-a reduction of 68% or over two-thirds. The end of this decade could see spiraling food prices without relief. And the coming decade could see massive starvation on a global level such as never experienced before by the human race.

Comment: In the Adventure Series - written in the Spring of 2002 - Laura wrote about her efforts to understand the nature of the many attacks against the Cassiopaea site since its launch in 1998. As she tracked the many clues, (not the least of which was her research into psychopathy which led to the material on Organic Portals), she stumbled across a very strange matter: Maximum Sustainable Human Population. In Adventures Chapter 30 she writes:

Hugh Everett's name may be familiar because of what is called The Everett-Wheeler interpretation of quantum mechanics. a rival of the orthodox "Copenhagen" interpretation of the mathematics of quantum mechanics. The Everett Wheeler theory is also known as the "many worlds" interpretation. [...]

Everett left physics after completing his Ph.D., going to work as a defense analyst at the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group, Pentagon and later became a private contractor.  He was very successful, becoming a multimillionaire.  In 1968 Everett worked for the Lambda Corporation, now subsidiary of General Research Corporation in McLean, Virginia. His published papers during this period cover things like optimizing resource allocation and maximizing kill rates during nuclear-weapon campaigns.[...]

I was curious about Everett's work for Lambda.  A recent search of the literature turns up a paper written by Joseph George Caldwell entitled Optimal Attack and Defense for a Number of Targets in the Case of Imperfect Interceptors. [...]

Aside from the fact that we see evidence of the use of pure mathematics - Game Theory, in fact - in matters of warfare strategy, which includes source notes connecting this work to Wheeler, we find Joseph George Caldwell to be a bit interesting for other reasons.  He has a website where he promotes the following idea:

"What is the sustainable human population for Earth?", I propose that a long-term sustainable number is on the order of ten million, consisting of a technologically advanced population of a single nation of about five million people concentrated in one or a few centers, and a globally distributed primitive population of about five million.

"I arrived at this size by approaching the problem from the point of view of estimating the minimum number of human beings that would have a good chance of long-term survival, instead of approaching it from the (usual) point of view of attempting to estimate the maximum number of human beings that the planet might be able to support.

"The reason why I use the approach of minimizing the human population is to keep the damaging effects of human industrial activity on the biosphere to a minimum. Because mankind's industrial activity produces so much waste that cannot be metabolized by "nature," any attempt to maximize the size of the human population risks total destruction of the biosphere (such as the "sixth extinction" now in progress).

Let's stop right here and ask the question: Who said that there was such a thing as the "Sixth Extinction," and that it was now in progress?  Is this something that is generally "known" in the circles that do this kind of research?  Is this WHY they are doing it?  What do they know that the rest of us don't?  Or better, what do they think that they aren't telling us?  Caldwell writes:

The role of the technological population is "planetary management": to ensure that the size of the primitive population does not expand.

The role of the primitive population is to reduce the likelihood that a localized catastrophe might wipe out the human population altogether.

The reason for choosing the number five million for the primitive population size is that this is approximately the number (an estimated 2-20 million) that Earth supported for millions of years, i.e., it is proved to be a long-term sustainable number (in mathematical terminology, a "feasible" solution to the optimization problem).

The reason for choosing the number five million for the technological population size is that it is my opinion that that is about the minimum practical size for a technologically advanced population capable of managing a planet the size of Earth; also, it is my opinion that the "solar energy budget" of the planet can support a population of five million primitive people and five million "industrial" people indefinitely. [ ]

Mr. Caldwell's ideas are a techno representation of Synarchy, a clue to the REAL Stargate Conspiracy.  It seems that, there is, indeed, something very mysterious going on all over the planet in terms of shaping the thinking of humanity via books, movies, and cultural themes, but at this point, we understand that most of what is promulgated is lies and disinformation.  We hope to come to some idea of what the "insiders" know that they aren't telling us, and perhaps we will find some clues as we continue our investigation here.

It is amazing that the material that Laura uncovered and boldly published two years ago is now being discovered by other researchers and even broadcast to the masses in newspapers and on television.

Click here to comment on this article

FLASHBACK! Signs, March 19, 2004

Earth faces sixth mass extinction

18 March 04 news service

The Earth may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history, suggests the strongest evidence yet.

Butterflies in Britain are going extinct at an even greater rate than birds, according to the most comprehensive study ever of butterflies, birds, and plants.

There is growing concern over the rate at which species of plants and animals are disappearing around the world. But until now the evidence for such extinctions has mainly come from studies of birds. "The doubters could always turn around and say that there's something peculiar about birds that makes them susceptible to the impact of man on the environment," says Jeremy Greenwood of the British Trust for Ornithology in Norfolk, and one of the research team.

Now there is concrete evidence that insects - which account for more than half the described species on Earth, are disappearing faster than birds.

"If we can extrapolate that pattern of the British butterflies to other British insects, and indeed to invertebrates across the planet, we are obviously looking at a very serious bio-diversity crisis," says team member Mark Telfer of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Bedfordshire, UK.

Major ecosystems

Six large sets of data collected over the past 20 to 40 years in England, Wales, and Scotland were analysed by Jeremy Thomas of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Dorchester, UK and colleagues. More than 20,000 volunteers submitted over 15 million records of species.

The researchers found that populations of 71 percent of the butterfly species have decreased over the last 20 years, compared to 56 percent for birds and 28 percent for plants. Two butterfly species (3.4 percent of total) became extinct, compared to six (0.4 percent) of the plant species surveyed. None of the native breeding birds went extinct in the last 20 years.

Crucially, the decline in populations happened in all the major ecosystems and was distributed evenly across Britain, rather than in just a few heavily degraded regions.

The crisis could be foreshadowing a sixth mass extinction, warn the researchers. Life on Earth has already seen five mass extinctions in its four billion year old history. The last one, which wiped out the dinosaurs, happened 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period and was possibly caused by a giant meteor collision.

The current extinction is being precipitated by the widespread loss of habitats because of human activity, according to Tefler. The remaining habitats are small and fragmented, and their quality has been degraded because of pollution.

Nitrogen pollution

This claim is strongly supported, at least for plants, by a second study published alongside Thomas' paper in Science. Carly Stevens of the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK, and her colleagues studied the diversity of plants in 68 grassland sites in the UK. The number of species in each site varied greatly, from a mean of 7.2 to 27.6 species per site. Nitrogen pollution was found to blame for this variability.

"We found strong evidence that the decline in the species richness of grasslands within the UK was linked to nitrogen pollution," says Stevens. "In areas of high nitrogen pollution the species richness was much lower than in areas of low pollution, such as the Scottish highlands."

Atmospheric nitrogen pollution is caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and from intensive agriculture, especially from the volatilisation of animal waste. This nitrogen is deposited on the soil, favouring the growth of some species to the cost of others.

"Evidence of a global extinction crisis has come into stark focus with these important results," comments Mark Collins of the United Nations Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, UK.

FLASHBACK! Signs, February 22, 2004

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

· Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
· Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
· Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.

Senior climatologists, however, believe that their verdicts could prove the catalyst in forcing Bush to accept climate change as a real and happening phenomenon. They also hope it will convince the United States to sign up to global treaties to reduce the rate of climatic change.

A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America's public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.

One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.

Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office - and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism - said: 'If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed.'

Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon's dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

'Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It's going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush's single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,' added Watson.

'You've got a President who says global warming is a hoax, and across the Potomac river you've got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It's pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue,' said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.

Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.'

Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. 'We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,' he said.

'The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.'

So dramatic are the report's scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush's stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.

The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry's cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence.

Symons, who left the EPA in protest at political interference, said that the suppression of the report was a further instance of the White House trying to bury evidence of climate change. 'It is yet another example of why this government should stop burying its head in the sand on this issue.'

Symons said the Bush administration's close links to high-powered energy and oil companies was vital in understanding why climate change was received sceptically in the Oval Office. 'This administration is ignoring the evidence in order to placate a handful of large energy and oil companies,' he added.

Click here to comment on this article

Spain's incoming leader stands firm on plans to withdraw from Iraq on June 30

06:33 AM EST Mar 25

MADRID, Spain (AP) - The incoming Socialist prime minister looks like he may get debate at the United Nations, and possibly the resolution he wants, about the post-war Iraq occupation he has criticized as a disaster.

France, Britain and the United States indicated they're willing to consider that, a spokesman for Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told reporters after meetings Wednesday with President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Rodriguez Zapatero also met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller, whose troops control the southern Iraq zone where Spain's 1,300 are deployed.

The Spanish troops would be withdrawn by June 30 if the United Nations doesn't take control, largely from the United States, of the occupation, Rodriguez Zapatero has said.

[...] However, reporters were briefed by the veteran Socialist politician and presumed incoming foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, who attended all the meetings with Zapatero.

Spain's next prime minister told his visitors he is determined to withdraw peacekeeping troops by June 30 unless the United Nations takes control of the occupation, Moratinos said.

Zapatero has not stated that he'll leave the troops in place if the United Nations does take control, nor specify what control means.

Moratinos noted Zapatero is inclined to withdraw the Spanish peacekeeping troops under almost any circumstance because in his view the invasion and aftermath haven't reduced world tensions, and an overwhelming majority of Spaniards approve the withdrawal.

Chirac and Schroeder were very supportive of Zapatero's views, including the UN debate on Iraq, Moratinos said.

Click here to comment on this article

French railway bomb threat ended

A shadowy group that threatened to bomb the French rail network if not paid a large ransom has suspended its threats, officials say.

The French interior ministry received a statement from the group that calls itself AZF on Thursday.

"Today there are no longer any bombs on the French rail network capable of functioning," the AZF statement said.

Comment: The letter from AZF was published on several web sites. It is a curious piece of disinfo. It lists three points that the group wishes to bring to the attention of the French authorities.

1. They state there are no functioning bombs on the French railway lines.

2. After acquiring much experience over the last few weeks and aware of its own technological, logistical and other weaknesses, the group is suspending its activities for the time necessary to remedy them.

3. They confirm that the members of their brotherhood as well as the members of the temporary group AZF have no grievance against the French government. Their real objective is to deliver a decisive blow to the depraved spirit that guides most human action. They think that they have the means to deliver this blow, and they will persevere, because if they do not, the Earth itself will do so much more brutally.

They continue by stating that a "dissuasive force" must be real to be credible, and that their reappearance depends upon them making their own "persuasive force" materially effective and tangible. They say that when they make their next demands, if they are not met, France will beat the sad record of the Spanish.

They conclude by stating that they do not renounce obtaining the ransom they demand; that the French government should consider it a "grant," and that the government, if its top shows itself intelligent and courageous, could have a tremendous return in its favour within two years. Otherwise, others will know how to take advantage of the situation.

So, what conclusions can we make at this stage of the "AZF affair"?

It walks like COINTELPRO, it talks like COINTELPRO, so it sure as heck seems to be COINTELPRO.

From reading between the lines, their bombs weren't functional and have to be perfected. Their logistics, involved in getting the ransom from the government, were such that the attempts at delivery failed. All they have accomplished, then, is to associate any commentary that the world is "depraved" with potential terrorism. Can the reader see where this is going?

The world is clearly depraved.

How else to describe it when billions are spent on arms and the means of killing civilians and yet there is no money for basic services and needs such as clean water, housing, education, and health care. (That comment will likely get us another letter from a right-wing American who sees it as more evidence of our "socialist" ideas!) Yes, it is a depraved world, and people who wake up to this fact, who have the courage to speak their minds, will now be associated with the bomb planting "brotherhood" of COINTELPRO agents in AZF.

Notice as well the link made with "brotherhood" or "initiates." So not only criticising the state of the world is the first step towards terrorism, having an esoteric bent is the second step!

Of course, blowing up people with dark skins in the name of Jesus or Yahweh is just fine!

We are slowly being surrounded. All the exits are being locked down, one by one: travel, Internet communication, dissent. If the bomb in Madrid didn't have the desired effect, then the assassination of Shaiykh Yassin will make certain that chaos retains the upper hand.

Somewhere, someone knows what we are facing in the future, and they are setting all the dominos in place so that at the desired time, one event will topple them all. We are the dominos they are trying to topple. We are being aligned with each lie we believe. The only way out is to see through the lies, to not fall into the mind games they are playing with us, and to stand for the truth.

C lick here to comment on this article

Bomb scare clears Amsterdam rail station

Thursday March 25, 01:58 PM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Amsterdam's central railway station has reopened after a bomb threat closed the terminus.

Meanwhile, a railway spokeswoman on Thursday said the station at Roosendaal, a town near the Belgium border, had also been closed over a bomb threat and train traffic halted. [...]

Train traffic in and out of the Dutch capital was halted at around 1:30 p.m. (12.30 p.m. British time) but police allowed the public back into the station about an hour later.

"Nothing was found. We are reopening the station," a police officer outside the station told Reuters. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

EU anti-terror tsar faces pitfalls

By Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent
Thursday March 25, 12:22 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Two weeks after the Madrid bombings, the European Union has rushed to name a new "counter-terrorism tsar" but security analysts say the role is vaguely defined and risks creating rivalries and duplication.

Diplomats said Dutchman Gijs de Vries, a former deputy interior minister, would be named as the EU's first anti-terrorism coordinator at a Brussels summit on Thursday.

Analysts said there was a vital need for a central figure to "join the dots" between EU secret services: collating and sifting intelligence, and making sure it is channelled to the right national agencies.

But it was far from clear if de Vries would be assigned that role, made more urgent by the March 11 rail bombings which appeared to mark the first attack in Europe by radical Islamists linked to, or inspired by, al Qaeda.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, writing in the Financial Times, said he saw no need for a "European CIA" but would report to the bloc's leaders in three months' time on ideas for sharing operational intelligence.

"If we were to go down this road, we would have to show that it would enhance already extensive cooperation while guaranteeing speed and security," he said. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Italy looks at controlling new mosques

Thu, 25 Mar 2004 9:24:49

ROME - A conservative party in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government presented legislation Wednesday to limit the building of new mosques, calling them "political places" used to spread hatred for the West.

The law would require an investigation of Islamic groups' financing and a local referendum before the government would give out building permits for mosques.

The Northern League, an anti-immigration, separatist party dominant in northern Italy where many of the country's one million Muslims live, cited the Madrid train attacks as an example of the kind of extremist action it hopes the new law will help prevent.

Federico Bricolo of the Northern League said mosques in Europe aren't simply places of worship but centres where terrorists are recruited and anti-western sentiment whipped up.

The party's proposal said the new law would "help regulate the presence of communities with cultures historically antithetical to ours."

"The mosque is a political place and is symbolic of a civilization that has run a 1,400-year long path in antithesis of western culture," Bricolo said.

Islam is the second largest religion in the country, after Roman Catholicism.

Click here to comment on this article

Bush Pokes Some Fun During Media Dinner

Thu Mar 25
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) poked fun at his staff, his Democratic challenger and himself Wednesday night at a black-tie dinner where he hobnobbed with the news media.

Bush put on a slide show, calling it the "White House Election-Year Album" at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 60th annual dinner, showing himself and his staff in some decidedly unflattering poses.

There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search. "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.

There was Vice President Dick Cheney , a frequent butt of gentle Bush ribbing, holding his fingers a few inches apart. Bush said, "Whenever you ask him a question, he replies, 'Let's see what my little friend says.'"

And there was Bush again, in an odd contortion in front of his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice . He said he was trying to explain to her the foreign policy of Democratic challenger John Kerry

Bush showed himself playing cards on Air Force One and cracked that he was on his way to an international summit and using a special deck to help him bone up on the names of the leaders he was about to meet.

His slide show segued into a somber ending, showing a group of special forces troops in Afghanistan at the site where they buried a piece of the fallen World Trade Center in commemoration of the dead from Sept. 11.

Comment: Bush laughs at the fact that he lied and 10,000 Iraqi civilians died. What can America expect with such a psychopath as their designated commander in chief?

Click here to comment on this article

DOJ Asked FBI Translator To Change Pre 9-11 Intercepts

by Tom Flocco

Washington, DC -- March 24, 2004 --12:15 EST -- FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, was offered a substantial raise and a full time job in order to not go public that she had been asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retranslate and adjust the translations of [terrorist] subject intercepts that had been received before September 11, 2001 by the FBI and CIA.

Edmonds, a ten year U.S. citizen who has passed a polygraph examination, speaks fluent Farsi and Turkish and had been working part time with the FBI for six months-- commencing in December, 2001.

In a 50 reporter scrum in front of some 12 news cameras, Edmonds said "Attorney General John Ashcroft told me 'he was invoking State Secret Privilage and National Security' when I told the FBI I wanted to go public with what I had translated from the pre 9-11 intercepts".

"I appeared once on CBS 60 Minutes but I have been silenced by Mr. Ashcroft, the FBI follows me, and I was threatened with jail in 2002 if I went public." Edmonds told

When we asked her if it was really true that she had been bribed by the FBI and DOJ, Edmonds said "You can interpret it as that."

Click here to comment on this article

Terror experts 'almost quit' in frustration with Bush

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
The Independent
25 March 2004

The Bush administration's failure to prevent the 11 September attacks came under even fiercer scrutiny yesterday, when it emerged that two veteran CIA counter-terrorism experts were so frustrated in summer 2001 that they considered resigning and making public their fears about an imminent terrorist strike against US targets.

The shock revelation comes in new findings released by the federal commission investigating the attacks in 2001. These also show that John McLaughlin, deputy to the CIA director George Tenet, had told the panel he too was worried that not enough was being done.

According to this latest report, Mr McLaughlin had felt "a great tension, especially in June and July 2001", between the incoming Bush team's need to get a grip on the terrorism issue, and his own sense of urgency about the danger.

But Mr Tenet, who served under both the Bush and Clinton administrations, told the commission yesterday that the Bush White House was fully aware of the threat posed by al-Qa'ida. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

FBI warns Texas oil refineries of possible attack

Thursday March 25, 03:23 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI has warned the Texas oil industry that it may be a target of possible terror attacks, but the agency has no specific, corroborated details about any potential threats. [...]

Comment: One might think that the American people would eventually catch on to the ridiculous nature of these warnings. If there are no specific details of potential threats, why issue a warning? A lack of details or corroborating evidence would tend to indicate that there is no threat. The only feasible reason for these threat alerts is to generate fear.

Click here to comment on this article

4G Warfare Hits Iraq

The Beginning of Phase 3

March 24, 2004

An article in the Friday, March 29 Washington Post pointed to the long-expected opening of Phase III of America's war with Iraq. Phase I was the jousting contest, the formal "war" between America's and Iraq's armies that ended with the fall of Baghdad. Phase II was the War of National Liberation waged by the Baath Party and fought guerilla-style. Phase III, which is likely to prove the decisive phase, is true Fourth Generation war, war waged by a wide variety of non-state Iraqi and other Islamic forces for objectives and motives that reach far beyond politics.

The Post article, "Iraq Attacks Blamed on Islamic Extremists," contains the following revealing paragraph:

In the intelligence operations room at the 1st Armored Division's headquarters (in Baghdad), wall-mounted charts identifying and linking insurgents depict the changing battlefield. Last fall the organizational chart of Baathist fighters and leaders stretched for 10 feet, while charts listing known Islamic radicals took up a few pieces of paper. Now, the chart of Iraqi religious extremists dominates the room, while the poster depicting Baathist activity has shrunk to half of its previous size.

The article goes on to quote a U.S. intelligence officer as adding, "There is no single organization that's behind all this. It's far more decentralized than that."

Welcome to Phase III. The remaining Baathists will of course continue their War of National Liberation, and Fourth Generation elements have been active from the outset. But the situation map in the 1st Armored Division's headquarters reveals the "tipping point:" Fourth Generation war is now the dominant form of war against the Americans in Iraq.

What are the implications of Phase III for America's attempts to create a stable, democratic Iraq? It is safe to say that they are not favorable. [...]

Comment: Most of the world realized the mess that the US had gotten itself into long before American outlets such as the Washington Post starting writing about it. Time after time, those who are perceived as "anti-American" by Americans themselves are proving to have been right all along. The fact that nary a soul in the US is realizing that something is wrong with their country's current course is a testament to the national state of slumber.

Click here to comment on this article

He served in Iraq, loses job back home

By Ray Rivera
Seattle Times staff reporter
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Dana Beaudine was wounded in a mortar attack near the town of Basra in Iraq. But after he came home a decorated war veteran, he found himself facing a fight of another kind.

For the past six months, Beaudine has been trying to get his job back with Securitas Security Services USA, the nation's largest private security firm, which counts among its clients the federal government.

Beaudine, 34, worked as a guard at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle before he was called up, serving in Iraq as a corporal in an Oregon National Guard infantry unit.

Wounded in action, Beaudine also was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, an ailment that alarmed Securitas but which Army psychiatrists said does not prevent him from returning to work.

Today, Beaudine finds himself in the company of thousands of other citizen soldiers who — despite federal law — are struggling to get back or keep the jobs they left behind.

Nearly 3,200 job-related complaints have been filed with the U.S. Labor Department by returning Guard and Reserve soldiers since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. [...]

Comment: It is obvious from this article that when people say "Support our troops", what they really mean is, "Shut up and get back in line, you liberal surrender monkey!"

Click here to comment on this article

Official: Yassin Offered Israel a Truce

By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer
Tue Mar 23, 7:45 PM ET

JERUSALEM - Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, assassinated in an Israeli air strike, offered Israel a 30-year truce in 1997, the mediator who arranged Yassin's release from prison said Tuesday.

Efraim Halevy, a former Mossad operative who was called in to resolve an Israel-Jordan crisis after a botched assassination attempt against a Hamas leader in Jordan in 1997, made the disclosure in an interview on Israel TV.

Halevy was a confidant of Jordan's King Hussein, and he suggested releasing Yassin from Israeli prison as the price for freedom for six Mossad agents captured in the abortive attempt to kill Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. Yassin was imprisoned in 1989.

Halevy, who later served as Mossad chief and is now a private citizen, said that just before the Mashaal affair, "Yassin brought up the idea of a cease-fire of 30 years between Israel and the Palestinians." [...]

Comment: Apparently, the Zionists didn't like the idea of peace. After all, you can't shoot missiles at a man in a wheelchair unless there is a "war" raging.

Click here to comment on this article


Israel's military has advanced in plans to establish an urban warfare facility. Israeli officials said the warfare facility in the southern Negev desert will resemble an Arab urban area. The facility will use lasers instead of live fire to train for combat in urban areas. The 60 million shekel [$13.3 million] facility will be built partly with U.S. military aid and in cooperation with such U.S. contractors as Lockheed Martin.

In early March, Ground Forces Command chief Maj. Gen. Yiftah Ron-Tal completed talks with U.S. officials regarding the facility. The U.S. Army has a similar but much larger urban warfare facility in the Joint Readiness Training Center.

Comment: Didn't know that the US government had a massive Urban warfare Training center up and running since 1987? Wonder what that could be for?...

Click here to comment on this article

UN Hamas Resolution

Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2004

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia supports a call for the UN Security Council to condemn Israel's killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov said Tuesday.

Fedotov said Russia would support a statement that "expresses a sharply negative attitude to this extrajudicial decision to kill the Hamas spiritual leader and voices its concern over the effect of these actions on the peace process in the Middle East," Interfax reported. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Israel presses on with Gaza offensives

Thursday 25 March 2004, 8:47 Makka Time, 5:47 GMT

Israel has invaded the Gaza Strip for a second consecutive day amid calls from Hamas for retaliation against Israel in response to its assassination of Hamas founder and spiritual leader Shaikh Ahmad Yasin.

An Israeli helicopter fired a missile at a police post in the town of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip early on Thursday, leaving at least one policeman injured, said Palestinian security sources and witnesses.

A column of Israeli armoured vehicles also invaded Khan Yunis, for the second day in a row.

The column of 12 tanks and two bulldozers opened fire in the town, said Palestinian security sources.

Occupation forces destroyed 10 civilian homes, leaving an unspecified number of Palestinians homeless, and uprooted trees.

Israel has stepped up invasions and attacks in Gaza since its helicopter attack on Monday left Hamas leader Shaikh Yasin dead, along with nine others.

C lick here to comment on this article

Twelve countries seek exemption to ozone-depleting chemical ban

MONTREAL (AFP) Mar 24, 2004

The United States, Japan, Canada, France and eight other rich countries asked a UN environmental body Tuesday for permission to extend use of a toxic pesticide that damages Earth's ozone layer.

Methyl bromide is highly toxic to humans and damages the ozone layer, a stratospheric shield against the sun's ultra-violet rays, which cause skin cancer and cataracts.

It is used to fumigate high-value crops, for pest control and in quarantine treatment of agricultural exports.

Comment: But don't forget, you can't smoke because it "pollutes the air." Yeah, right.

Click here to comment on this article


By Arianna Huffington

To the list of Campaign 2004's make-or-break issues — Iraq, homeland security, lost jobs, tax cuts — we can now add tuna fish sandwiches.

I'm not kidding.

I was recently at a dinner filled with smart, passionate, politically active guests. When the talk inevitably turned to the presidential campaign I was surprised to find that the issue that really set the table humming was the Bush administration's outrageous undermining of efforts to curtail mercury pollution — and stop the increasing contamination of America's air, water and fish-of-choice.

The administration's lies — and ongoing rationalizations — about WMD are utterly contemptible, but messing with people's tuna salad hits them right in the gut.

And this is not some theoretical menace whose effects won't be felt for decades. After a recent medical checkup, I was shocked to discover that I have elevated levels of mercury in my bloodstream — as do my sister and four of my closest girlfriends.

The primary source of mercury emissions is coal-fired power plants, which pump out 48 tons of the highly toxic pollutant a year. A second important source is the chemical industry. This mercury pollution drifts into our lakes, rivers and oceans, and ends up in the fish we eat. Which means it ends up in us. As a result, over 600,000 babies a year may be born with unsafe levels of mercury in their blood, putting them at risk for mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness and blindness. How's that for a security issue?

Comment: But remember, you MUST NOT SMOKE! It's bad for your health, bad for your children's health, pollutes the air. What a bunch of hypocrites!

Click here to comment on this article

Protesters begin demanding new vote to settle dispute over Taiwanese election

06:33 AM EST Mar 25

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Thousands of Taiwanese protesting last weekend's presidential election have changed their chants from "We want a recount!" to "Hold the vote again!" but the ruling party said Thursday there were no grounds for a new election as the crisis continued unabated.

President Chen Shui-bian won Saturday's vote by a razor-thin margin of 0.2 per cent. But his challenger, Lien Chan of the Nationalist Party, alleges the vote was marred by irregularities and an unexplained election-eve shooting that lightly wounded the president.

Click here to comment on this article

Israeli company eyeing Canada's first diamond mine

Last Updated Wed, 24 Mar 2004 13:45:26

RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL - Israeli-based DGI Group announced Wednesday that it wants to buy the Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

The mine, located 350 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, is 80 per cent owned by Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billiton. The remaining 20 per cent is owned by prospectors Charles Fipke and Stewart Blusson.

Click here to comment on this article

Blair starts key Gaddafi meeting

Tony Blair has shaken hands and begun his controversial meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Thursday's Tripoli talks follows Libya's decision last December to renounce weapons of mass destruction.

[...] BBC News political editor Andrew Marr said: "This is an absolutely pivotal moment in the history of the region, possibly even in the history of the war against terrorism."

Comment: Just a few years ago he was a "crazed madman", now he is an ally. Does anyone care that we are being fed a daily diet of complete and utter lies? Whatever you do, make sure that, at all costs, you do not make the simple connection between the bringing of Gaddafi into the "fold", and the article below. Instead, continue to believe that:"we are good, they (pick any foreigner and call him a "terrorist") are very very bad, and they hate us because of our freedom and democracy, and...and well, like, because they just do! Ok!

Click here to comment on this article

Oil giant Shell signs Libya deal

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, has signed an agreement to enter Libya's oil and gas industry.

Announcement of the deal came as UK Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Libya for talks with Colonel Gaddafi.

The deal involves a long-term strategic partnership with Libya's national oil company, the Press Association said.

Click here to comment on this article

NATO set to provide air security at Euro 2004


Portugal has asked NATO to provide Awacs surveillance planes to help monitor airspace during the three week European football championships in June.

More than one million fans are expected at the competition’s 31 games. The 16 nation tournament is to be played at 10 stadiums across the country.

England, Spain, Italy and Portugal – countries which backed the US led invasion of Iraq – are among the nations competing at Euro 2004.

During the tournament Portugal is to restore border controls it scrapped in 1991, bringing back passport checks and vehicle searches, and has already strengthened security at key transport hubs and at main public buildings, including foreign embassies.

Comment: Everyone afraid? Good. There's a lot less chance of you thinking rationally.

Click here to comment on this article

Scientists create fifth form of carbon

23 March 2004

Researchers have created a new form of carbon: a spongy solid that is extremely lightweight and, unusually, attracted to magnets. The foam could one day help treat cancer and enhance brain scans, say the inventors.

The new structure was created when physicists at the Australian National University in Canberra bombarded a carbon target with a laser capable of firing 10,000 pulses a second. As the carbon reached temperatures of around 10,000 ºC, it formed an intersecting web of carbon tubes, each just a few billionths of a metre long. The researchers have called the solid a 'nanofoam'. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Experts Link Gene Mutation to Evolution

AP Science Writer
Mar 25

Touching off a scientific furor, researchers say they may have discovered the mutation that caused the earliest humans to branch off from their apelike ancestors - a gene that led to smaller, weaker jaws and, ultimately, bigger brains.

Smaller jaws would have fundamentally changed the structure of the skull, they contend, by eliminating thick muscles that worked like bungee cords to anchor a huge jaw to the crown of the head. The change would have allowed the cranium to grow larger and led to the development of a bigger brain capable of tool-making and language.

The mutation is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature, not by anthropologists, but by a team of biologists and plastic surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The report provoked strong reactions throughout the hotly contested field of human origins with one scientist declaring it "counter to the fundamentals of evolution" and another pronouncing it "super."

The Pennsylvania researchers said their estimate of when this mutation first occurred - about 2.4 million years ago, in the grasslands of East Africa, the cradle of humanity - generally overlaps with the first fossils of prehistoric humans featuring rounder skulls, flatter faces, smaller teeth and weaker jaws.

Click here to comment on this article

Massive cull ordered for B.C. poultry

Wed, 24 Mar 2004 21:26:56

VANCOUVER - As many as 275,000 chickens and turkeys will be slaughtered in an effort to contain an outbreak of avian influenza at a number of British Columbia poultry farms. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Small earthquakes shake central Oregon

March 24, 2004

CENTRAL OREGON - A swarm of small earthquakes are shaking the Three Sisters area in central Oregon.

Scientists at the Cascades Volcano Observatory say the quakes started at 10 a.m. yesterday and hit their peak later that day. The Vancouver, Washington-based network has detected about 100 earthquakes measuring up to 1.5 in magnitude. Those are generally too small to be felt by people. Scientists say the earthquakes are centered three miles west of the South Sister volcano. They say the quakes are dying down gradually.

Click here to comment on this article

Rip Currents Blamed for 4 Deaths in Fla.

By JILL BARTON, Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 24, 4:46 PM ET

PALM BEACH, Fla. - Treacherous rip currents along the Florida coast in the past week have killed at least four beachgoers, led to dozens of rescues and forced lifeguards to issue an unpopular warning in the middle of spring break: Stay out of the water. [...]

This week's deaths were all blamed on rip currents, which are rushing channels of water that can carry away even the best swimmers. Although the currents do not drag swimmers under water, many people panic, become tired and drown as they try to swim back to shore.

The four deaths in Florida in one weekend have made the past week a particularly deadly one, considering the currents on average kill about 19 people in the state during the entire year. [...]

Swimmers caught in a rip current are urged to try to swim parallel to shore to get out of it. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Australia to Ban Fishing from Third of Barrier Reef

Thu Mar 25, 1:07 AM ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia will ban fishing and shipping from one-third of Australia's Great Barrier Reef from July 1 under laws approved by parliament Thursday for protecting the world's largest living structure.

The coral reef, one of Australia's main tourist attractions with its magnificent array of tropical fish, is under threat from record high temperatures, over-fishing and pollution.

Environment Minister David Kemp said the new zoning would increase protection to 33.3 percent from 4.5 percent of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which covers 134,400 square miles -- an area only slightly smaller than Germany or Japan. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Teacher Under Fire For Killing Baby Rabbits As Class Watched
4:29 pm EST March 24, 2004

PLANT CITY, Fla. -- A veteran Plant City High School agricultural science teacher faces fines and criticism after killing two day-old rabbits with a shovel as her stunned class looked on, authorities said Tuesday. [...]

Hillsborough County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said the rabbits were born in Bender's agriculture lab last month. Two died at birth, and the mother rejected the other two, pushing both out of the outdoor pen in the school's agricultural complex soon after they were born.

One was found covered with fire ants, and the other was lying in a water trough.

Bender told investigators that on Feb. 12 she asked one student to dig a hole and explained to the class that the rabbits could not survive after being rejected by their mother.

She then placed all four in the hole and, in view of the class, killed the two live rabbits by dismembering them with a shovel, Reder said. The rabbits were about the size of chicken eggs. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

50 years ago today

A red-hot object of mysterious origin that appeared in a blast of light on a Fremonter's front walk about 8:35 p.m. Tuesday had Midland College and University of Nebraska scientists checking Wednesday on the possibility it was a meteorite. Dr. Gilbert Lueninghoener, professor of geology and astronomy at Midland, said the "liquid hot" object must have been about the size of a large orange. It was splattered "like a ripe tomato" on the sidewalk.

Click here to comment on this article

Confirmation on UFO Sighting

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ellen Pfeiffer of Ironwood called the Globe to say she and a friend had seen the bright lights reported by a Kimball, Wis., man as an unidentified flying object Sunday evening.

Pfeiffer said she and Darlene Korhonen were coming out of the Pioneer Park Apartments around 6:15 p.m. when they saw something in the sky that was neither a star nor an airplane.

"It was absolutely awesome," Pfeiffer said. "I never saw anything so bright. We couldn't figure out what it was."

Forrest Wiedbrauk of Kimball told the Iron County Sheriff's Department he had seen 12 bright lights over his house. The lights turned orange and the craft took off over the barn, according to the report.

Click here to comment on this article

Blow away a cow for $400, and other weird tourist attractions

By JIM EAGLES, travel editor
New Zealand Herald

How would you fancy the chance to fire a rocket-launcher at a cow? Or an anti-aircraft gun at a chicken? They are among the special attractions on offer to tourists in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

I think that tops off the parasite museum, sewer tours, turtle races, asylum-hotels and bone sculptures in the list of weird tourist attractions sent in by readers in response to the story about Flight Centre's Top 10 Strangest Tourist Attractions.

Tim Mitchelson discovered the Cambodian Army's jolly little foray into the entertainment industry when his taxi driver in Phnom Penh asked if he would like to try his hand at firing an assault rifle.

"Replying in the affirmative, I was driven to a nearby Army base, where I was met by a young soldier with a price list," he says.

"These guys had everything under the sun: pistols, grenades, machineguns, anti-aircraft guns, and - of course - rocket-launchers. Asked if I got to shoot at anything, they offered me a choice of a coconut, a chicken or a cow.

"Pressing them further on price, they announced their special combo was a cow and a rocket-launcher for US$400: US$200 for each. On the bright side, you got to keep your US$200 for the cow if you missed. I settled for the machinegun and the coconut." [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Remember, we need your help to collect information on what is going on in your part of the world!

We also need help to keep the Signs of the Times online.

Check out the Signs of the Times Archives

Send your comments and article suggestions to us

Fair Use Policy

Contact Webmaster at
Cassiopaean materials Copyright ©1994-2014 Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk. All rights reserved. "Cassiopaea, Cassiopaean, Cassiopaeans," is a registered trademark of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
Letters addressed to Cassiopaea, Quantum Future School, Ark or Laura, become the property of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Republication and re-dissemination of our copyrighted material in any manner is expressly prohibited without prior written consent.