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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--

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January 7, 2003 -Today's edition of As the World Burns Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....

One of the brightest and biggest stars in the heavens is going through a series of eruptions and dimming that may lead eventually to a supernova explosion, astronomers say. The star, called Rho Cassiopeia, is a hypergiant with 20 to 40 times the mass of the sun. It puts out a half million times more light than the sun and can easily be seen from Earth even though it is 10,000 light years away. But Rho Cas, as it is called, is a seething, unstable ball of gas that expands and contracts over time and occasionally erupts with a violence that sends immense amounts of matter streaming through space. Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics captured images of such an explosion in 2000 and reported on their observations Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

"The star did an amazing thing," said Andrea Dupree, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "We were exceptionally lucky to witness a stunning explosion." Over a 200-day period, the star became brighter by 20 percent, a flare that made it one of the brightest stars in the universe, and then it dimmed, dropping in brightness by two magnitudes. "An atmospheric shell was shredded by the blast wave and sent into space at Mach 4 (four times the speed of sound)," said Alex J. R. Lobel, also of Harvard-Smithsonian. The astronomers estimated that Rho Cas blasted mass equal to 10,000 Earths into space. "This is a higher rate of loss than has been seen on any other star," said Lobel. Based on a spectral analysis of the light which can determine temperature, Lobel said the star cooled by more than 3,000 degrees within a short period of time. All of this activity suggests that Rho Cas is nearing the end. Comment: I guess it is saying "It's not nice to fool Mother Cassiopaea!

FBI concludes story about five infiltrators was hoax - The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has concluded the tip that led to a nationwide hunt for five men suspected of infiltrating the United States on Christmas Eve was fabricated by an informant, ABC News reported. The informant, identified as Michael Hamdani, who was arrested in Canada in late October, created the story about 19 men who were seeking false passports in an attempt to get himself off the hook on criminal charges he was facing in the United States, said the television network, citing unnamed sources.

Comment: It is SOOO handy to be all-powerful and to have scape-goats to blame for your own transgressions!

Despite the advent of a vaccine four decades ago, flu-related deaths in the United States have risen dramatically since the 1970s, and influenza now claims more lives each year than AIDS, researchers say. The rising death toll is attributed largely to the nation's growing number of elderly people, who are especially vulnerable to the flu. Only about 65 percent of older people get vaccinated, and the annual shots do not protect aging immune systems as well as they do younger ones. The U.S. death toll surged fourfold from 16,263 in 1976-77 to 64,684 in 1998-99, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Flu deaths now average about 36,000 a year, up from 20,000 in previous estimates, the CDC said.

Comment: This is about the lamest thing I have ever read. Anybody with two neurons firing could make the connection: flu shots = more flu deaths. Whitewash to blame it on the increase in elderly folks especially when they say that 65% of them get the shot. I'm sure we don't have a 65% increase in elders.

A German man could be jailed for three years over a comment posted on the internet, in which prosecutors say he belittled the events of 11 September. In a case which critics say has major implications for freedom of speech on the internet, Holger Voss stands accused of "glorification of a criminal act". Mr Voss, who will appear in court in the western German town of Muenster on Wednesday, insists his comments were meant to be sarcastic. He had written a final sentence at the foot of his remarks - posted last summer on the Telepolis message board - which he says indicates that the sentiments expressed were not to be taken seriously. "The court will decide whether he did indeed mean them ironically, and if so, whether or not that makes any difference," court spokesman Juergen Wrobel told BBC News Online.

The apparently offending remarks were made in response to a message posted by another internet user - Engine_of_Aggression - who appeared to be pleased about the alleged murders of thousands of Taleban fighters by local militias during the downfall of the Afghan regime in 2001. "Congratulations to the people, who in this over-critical time, dare to grab evil at its root and eradicate it from the face of the earth!" wrote Engine_of_Aggression. Mr Voss, who describes himself as an anti-militarist, responded: "Yes, Congratulations to the murderers of 11.09.02.... Good, that on 11.09 a couple of real men (!) found the courage to show the evil ones, the USA how it really is!" An anonymous complaint to the police led to the prosecution under a German law which forbids the glorification of a criminal act. In a statement posted on the anti-censorship site Stop24, Mr Voss insists he was attempting to display the hypocrisy in valuing American lives over others. The suit has also sparked controversy as the prosecution forced the owner of the discussion board to hand over details about Mr Voss.

Comment: I hope they also jail the guy who was pleased with the murder of Taleban fighters. Geez, this double standard thing is getting out of hand...

Israel confined senior Palestinian officials to their cities and barred all other Palestinians under 35 from leaving the West Bank or Gaza, in further reprisals for a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The army, under orders to crack down further in the hunt for Palestinian militants, also killed three Palestinians during an incursion in the Gaza Strip overnight. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Israel issued orders to Palestinian Authority ministers and senior officials not to leave their cities as part of a plan to use Sunday's bloody bombing to smash what remains of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority. "This is new proof that Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian Authority," he told AFP. No Israeli officials were available to comment on the new measures, although a senior Palestinian security official in Rafah, southern Gaza, said that even women under 35 were being refused permission to cross into Egypt.

Israel, which reoccupied most of the West Bank more than six months ago and exerts close control on the Gaza Strip, has said it would tighten restrictions on Palestinian movement after the Tel Aviv bombings which killed 22 people as well as the two bombers. It has prevented a top-level Palestinian delegation, including Erakat, from travelling to London for talks next week on internal reforms with other regional and international players, at the invitation of Prime Minister Tony Blair. The ban was heavily criticised by London, provoking a heated exchange between Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart Jack Straw, but the United States refrained from condemning it.

Comment: Isn't it truly amazing how those Palestinians keep shooting themselves in the foot? Hmmmm... You'd think that, after all these years, the Palestinians would have figured it out that Israel is the only one that ever benefits from these things. According to the doctrine of FDR, that means Israel itself is behind the so-called "suicide bombings" for which the Palestinians regularly get punished.

Osama bin Laden's Egyptian lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahri, has called for attacks on "all Americans", in a message attributed to him and sent to Cairo lawyer Montasser al-Zayyat. "By God, do not prevent new Muslim souls from taking part in the Jihad (holy war), which consists of killing all Americans, just like they kill us all," Zawahri purportedly said in an e-mail, the lawyer told AFP. "The Jihad against the enemies of God who kill us all over the world surely comes at a price. This price is minimal, whatever it is, since it is a matter of satisfying God and reaching paradise," he wrote in the message. "Do not question an act which leads to paradise," read the message sent to the Internet site of Al-Mostaqbal (the future), an organisation founded by Zayyat. The lawyer, who often represents Islamists on trial in Egypt, said he was convinced the message came from Zawahri.

Comment: Is it any wonder? Can you imagine being Muslim today... or a Palestinian repeatedly abused by Israel, the U.S. and U.K. through their clever COINTELPRO set-ups? And having no recourse - no voice - to defend yourself against the aggression of such bullies? Well...??? Kinda like being a cornered tiger, wouldn't you say? And what do you think the result will be? Bush and Blair have sown the wind...

Senior diplomats from the United States, South Korea and Japan held crucial talks, hoping to forge a unified approach to the North Korean nuclear crisis. The State Department talks stretched into a fourth hour, after Pyongyang earlier Monday issued a defiant verbal broadside, warning that it would consider the imposition of sanctions as a declaration of war.

Comment: Remember the following article from yesterday? N. Korea plays Bush like a fiddle - Although he resembles a hostile alien in a Japanese science fiction film, and rules over a bankrupt nation suffering mass starvation, Kim has thrown the mighty United States on the defensive, terrified his neighbours, churned up anti-American sentiment in South Korea and exposed the illogic, hypocrisy and contradictions of President George Bush's rationale for war against Iraq.

By revealing his nuclear arsenal and kicking out UN inspectors, Kim Jong-il was in effect telling Bush, "You want a war? Try one against a real opponent, not almost defenseless Iraq. We've got nukes, germs, poison gas, missiles galore and a million tough troops. Remember your 'axis of evil' tirade? Here we are, the Asian third of the axis. Come and get us."

Clearly flustered, President Bush responded to Kim's dare by first hinting at war, then backing down and calling for negotiations - the same president who categorically refuses to negotiate anything with Iraq. Bush's embarrassing double standard over Iraq and Korea has provoked derision around the world. [...]

The macho Bush administration, suddenly faced by a real and dangerous opponent in North Korea, clearly does not know what to do - except bomb Iraq.

Comment: In other words, like a typical bully, Bush is a COWARD in the face of a REAL enemy!

U.S., in Policy Shift, Says Will Talk to N.Korea - Washington shifted course on Tuesday and said it was willing to talk to North Korea about its atomic program, as the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Pyongyang had "only a matter of weeks" to readmit inspectors expelled last week. The United States, which previously insisted North Korea roll back recent steps to revive its nuclear programs before any talks, announced its new position after holding talks at the State Department with South Korea and Japan. "The United States is willing to talk to North Korea about how it will meet its obligations to the international community," the three countries said in a joint statement. "However, the U.S. delegation stressed that the United States will not provide quid pro quos to North Korea to live up to its existing obligations," the statement added. Earlier, the reclusive communist state intensified its rhetoric, demanding the United States open talks and saying any sanctions over its nuclear program would "mean a war, and the war knows no mercy." Comment: There goes that double standard again. Hmmm... reminds me of something the C's said:

Q: I noticed in Genesis Chapter 33, verse 11, it says that Jacob, who wrestled with the angel the previous night and was on his way to see his brother Esau, who he had tricked into giving up his blessing years before, gave Esau the blessing. What was this? The birthright from his father or the blessing Jacob received from the angel?
A: Trampled leaves of wrath.
Q: This is what Jacob gave to Esau?
A: Yes, and what is the "core" meaning there?
Q: I don't know. What is the core meaning?
A: Leaves are of the Tree of Apples, from whence we get the proverbial "grapes of wrath," the Blue Apples incarnate!
Q: Why are these leaves 'trampled?'
A: Removes chlorophyll.
Q: What is the significance of the chlorophyll?
A: When the chlorophyll dies, the autumnal equinox is at hand.
Q: Did this signify something about the autumnal equinox?
A: Discover what the significance is, my Dear!
Q: Why did Jacob then deceive his brother again? He was to travel and meet him in Edom, but then went in the other direction as soon as Esau was on his way.
A: Refer to last answer, and cross reference.
Q: After wrestling with the 'angel,' Jacob was renamed 'Israel,' which means 'he will rule as a god.' This tends to make me think that this angel whom Jacob seems to have conjured, did something. What was this being that Jacob wrestled with?
A: Elohim provides the conventional response.
Q: And you have told us about the Elohim. They were humans first and made a pact with the Forces of STS. Thoth/Hermes and the gang of the Brotherhood of the Serpent - the earthly henchmen of the Lizzies.

Trampled leaves of Wrath indeed! Which then reminds me of the Book of Revelation:

14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Isn't it strange that Great Britain, the great supporter of the creation of the State of Israel, and now the supporter of the Bush Reich, had such a strange series of anomalous earthquakes on and around the Autumn equinox last year? Wonder if there is some sort of archetypal connection?

British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the world on Tuesday to back any U.S.-led war against Iraq or pay the price for weakness, and London and Washington beefed up their firepower in the Gulf region. - President Bush kept up an almost daily battle of words with Saddam, demanding once again that he surrender any weapons of mass destruction. "Should he choose the other course, in the name of peace, the United States will lead a coalition of the willing to disarm the Iraqi regime of weapons of mass destruction and free the Iraqi people," Bush said in a speech in Chicago. He has warned before that the United States may fight alone if the United Nations does not, even though his closest ally Britain has stressed any war should have broad, global support. Britain made clear it was still standing firmly alongside the United States on Tuesday, announcing it was calling up some 1,500 reservists and earmarking naval ships for the Gulf -- but it insisted military action was not a foregone conclusion. "Unless the world takes a stand on (weapons of mass destruction)...we will rue the consequences of our weakness," said Blair, presenting himself as a coalition-builder in support of Washington, as he did after the September 11 attacks. Comment: Which means that the blood of the Americans killed on 9-11 is on Blair's hands also. Gee, this all reminds me of the Book of Revelation again:

13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Comments: That part about "they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day..." sounds like Bush and Blair and the warmongers. They are sure acting out that whole scenario. And, if the rest of the passage holds up as an archetype, it sure sounds to me like Bush and the Gang just might bring on the Apocalypse. After all, the C's did say:

Q: (A) I am trying to write down some things about a cosmology, and I have some questions mainly about the coming events. First there was the story of the sun's companion brown star which is apparently approaching the solar system, and I would like to know, if possible, details of its orbit; that is, how far it is, what is its speed, and when it will be first seen. Can we know it? ... how close will it come?
A: Distance depends upon other factors, such as intersecting orbit of locator of witness. ...
Q: (A) Okay. Now, this closest pass, is this something that is going to happen?
A: Yes.
Q: (A) And it is going to happen within the next 6 to 18 years?
A: 0 to 14.
Q: (A) Now, I understand that, either by chance or by accident, two things are going to happen at essentially the same time. That is the passing of this brown star, and this comet cluster. These are two different things?
A: Yes. Different, but related. ...
Q: (A) I understand that the main disaster is going to come from this comet cluster...
A: Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle which corresponds to the passage of comet cluster. ... Did you catch the significance of the answer regarding time table of cluster and brown star? Human cycle mirrors cycle of catastrophe. Earth benefits in form of periodic cleansing. Time to start paying attention to the signs. They are escalating. They can even be "felt" by you and others, if you pay attention. ... Let us just say that the cluster travels much faster than the usual cometary itinerary. ... and we have told you that this time, it rides the Wave. ...
Q: (L) Okay, we have the 3600 year comet cluster cycle, the Sun twin is another cycle altogether, and then we have the wave, which is a Grand Cycle. So, we have three things causing a transition in nature?
A: Like "biorhythms."
Q: (T) And we have a triple bad day coming up! Or a good day, depending on which way you look at it.
A: Bad day if you are John D. Rockefeller, good day if you are Mahatma Ghandi.

All of which, of course, makes us wonder about George Bush as Nostradamus' "Mabus."

"Mabus" then will soon die, there will come
Of people and beasts a horrible rout:
Then suddenly one will see vengeance,
Hundred, hand, thirst, hunger when the comet will run.

Hmmm.... are things beginning to "fit together?"

The antichrist very soon annihilates the three,
twenty-seven years his war will last.
The unbelievers are dead, captive, exiled;
with blood, human bodies, water and red hail covering the earth.

The chief of London through the realm of America,
The Isle of Scotland will be tried by frost:
King and "Reb" will face an Antichrist so false,
That he will place them in the conflict all together.

Sure sounds like George Bush, Tony Blair and the gang of warmongers to me!

January 6, 2003

FBI Agents Say White House Scripting 'Hysterics' for Political Effect - Intelligence pros say the White House is manufacturing terrorist alerts to keep the issue alive in the minds of voters and to keep President Bush's approval ratings high, Capitol Hill Blue reports. The Thursday report said that the administration is engaging in "hysterics" in issuing numerous terror alerts that have little to no basis in fact.

"Unfortunately, we haven't made a lot of progress against al-Qaida or the war on terrorism," one FBI agent familiar with terrorism operations told CHB. "We've been spinning our wheels for several weeks now."

Other sources within the bureau and the Central Intelligence Agency said the administration is pressuring intelligence agencies to develop "something, anything" to support an array of non-specific terrorism alerts issued by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. "Most of the time, we have little to go on, only unconfirmed snippets of information," a second FBI agent, who also was not named in the report, said. "Most alerts are issued without any concrete data to back up the assumptions."

Last year, the FBI issued alerts that terrorists may attack stadiums, nuclear power plants, shopping centers, synagogues, apartment houses, subways, and the Liberty Bell, the Brooklyn Bridge and other New York City landmarks, reported Knight-Ridder newspapers. The bureau also advised Americans to be wary of small airplanes, fuel tankers and scuba divers.

CHB reported that FBI and CIA sources said a recent White House memo listing the war on terrorism as a definitive political advantage and fund-raising tool is just one of many documents discussing how to best utilize the terrorist threat. "Of course the White House is going to exploit the terrorism threat to the fullest political advantage," said Democratic strategist Russ Barksdale. "They would be fools not to. We'd do the same thing."

UN weapons inspectors in Iraq fear their work - which has failed to turn up any evidence thus far of weapons of mass destruction - will still be used as an excuse to trigger a US-led invasion of Iraq. Leaks from the inspections teams - and the two agencies in charge of them, Unmovic and the International Atomic Energy Agency - have fuelled an increasingly frenetic diplomatic effort among opponents of the war.

The weapons inspection teams in Iraq have visited breweries and former nuclear plants, and raided missile factories and pharmaceutical production lines. They have examined former weapons factories and interviewed scientists and university technicians. As of yesterday they had checked 230 sites in all. If one is to believe the few inspectors who have been prepared to be interviewed anonymously, they have found absolutely nothing. Nuclear weapons sites that the British and the Americans claimed as late as last September had been reactivated have been revealed as rusting, disabled shambles. It may be that Iraq has squirrelled away its most portable weapons and components. But as one inspector complained to the LA Times last week, they had found 'zilch'.

America's critics on the United Nations Security Council will try to stall a war against Iraq by urging President George W. Bush to adopt the same cautious approach towards Saddam Hussein as he has shown towards North Korea. Representatives from several countries - believed to include Russia, China and Syria - hope to use the Korean "precedent" to lobby for the extension of weapons inspections in Iraq well into the spring, precluding the possibility of a winter invasion by an American-led coalition.

Despite repeated provocation from the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Il, over recent weeks, the White House has insisted that Pyongyang's renewed commitment to acquiring nuclear weapons can be solved by diplomatic means. On Friday, speaking to troops at Fort Hood in Texas, the President justified his "dual approach" when he said: "Different circumstances require different strategies, from the pressure of diplomacy to the prospect of force."

American officials admit privately that they will have to make their case for "different strategies" at length in the Security Council this month. A senior United States diplomat at the UN acknowledged: "We will be facing considerable scepticism on the question of how we can justify confrontation with Saddam when he is letting inspectors into the country, and a diplomatic solution with Kim when he's just thrown them out."

Lamest excuse yet for war - It may have its drawbacks but, according to George W. Bush, nuclear war could prove an indispensable tool for maintaining a buoyant economy. This is only the latest twist in the U.S. president's struggle to come up with the top 10 reasons for invading Iraq — or at least one reason that stands up to minimal scrutiny. His most oft-cited reason — that Iraq has "weapons of mass destruction" which threaten world security — seems less and less convincing. After weeks of unimpeded U.N. inspections, no evidence of such weapons seems to have been found. Meanwhile, North Korea has blithely declared its intention to revive its nuclear weapons program, kicked out U.N. inspectors and talked of plans for a "bold offensive" in the coming year.

Anxious to get on with the invasion of Iraq — a conflict in which the U.S. president has threatened to use nuclear weapons — Bush last week came up with a new reason to invade. "An attack from (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein or a surrogate of Saddam Hussein would cripple our economy," Bush told reporters at his Texas ranch. "Our economy is strong, it's resilient, we've got to continue to make it strong and resilient. This economy cannot afford to stand an attack." Why rely on the old tools of monetary and fiscal policy to shore up a stagnant economy when pre-emptive nuclear attack is quicker and more reliable?

It is one thing to argue that Iraq poses a threat to the survival of the U.S. and its allies (a case that has never been substantiated); but it is quite another to argue that the West has the right to kill tens of thousands of people in another country in order to keep the economy over here resilient.

At what point does the personal comfort level of Americans and their allies cease to be the most important thing on the planet, for which everyone else in the world is simply expendable? And we wonder why they hate us?

What will be next? Biological warfare against any nation exporting scratchy sweaters or food that gives us gas?

This issue — our right to kill others when our own lives are not threatened — seems strangely absent from the ongoing debate over Iraq.

Comment: I say again: George Bush is a psychopathic killer plain and simple. And the American people who turn their will over to him, who support him - anyone who stands in the face of this evil and does nothing - has the blood of the innocents on their hands. George W. Bush: Weapon of mass deception!

Good god!... Words escape me... an example of just how deep self delusion and self importance can go... In the middle of the horror show was a line "Only God, no other King . ."

From C's Session October 16 1994:

[What does it mean] "The Beast was given the power of speech uttering boastful and blasphemous words . . . ." ?
A. Timing is open. Power of speech is self-explanatory in terms of audio and video media.

So, we can expect more - unfortunately.

Now, Check this one Out! - Much more honest...

Knights Templar to use latest imaging in search for Grail - For centuries the intricately carved stones of Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh have tantalised historians, archaeologists and devoted Christians. A labyrinth of vaults beneath the 15th-century home of the Knights Templar is reputed to contain dozens of holy relics, including early gospels, the Ark of the Covenant, the fabled Holy Grail – and even the mummified head of Christ. - A group of Knights Templar, successors to the warrior monks who sought asylum from the Pope by fleeing to Scotland in the early 14th century and fought for Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, are to make a "non-invasive" survey of the land around the chapel. They will use the latest ultrasound and thermal imaging technology in the hope of finding evidence of the existence of the vaults. "The plan is to investigate the land around the chapel to a depth of at least 20ft," said John Ritchie, Grand Herald and spokesman for the Knights Templar. Comment: Lotsa luck! But they're barking up the wrong "tree."

Britain will embrace the United States' "axis of evil" philosophy when the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, highlights the danger of rogue states supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. The British Government has shied away from backing the view of the United States President, George Bush: that Iraq, Iran and North Korea are an "axis of evil" because they pursue the weapons and support terrorists.

Britain has regarded global terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction as separate issues, and has not placed great emphasis on confronting rogue states. But during a speech to be made overnight to an unprecedented gathering of 150 British ambassadors summoned back to London to debate the new priorities of British foreign policy, Mr Straw will make it clear that the Government has changed its views.

"Today, the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons presents the greatest threat to our national security and to the peace of the world," he will tell the ambassadors. "September 11 showed that the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda would stop at nothing to inflict mass slaughter. If they were to manage to acquire WMD [weapons of mass destruction], I am certain they would use them. "The most likely sources of technology ... for such terrorist organisations are rogue regimes which continue to flout their obligations under international law not to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. This is why terrorism and rogue regimes are part of the same picture."

Comment: What a crock! Anybody with two neurons in contact with one another can see that the 9-11 attack was WAAAY beyond the capability of a dog and pony show like Al Qaeda! Not to mention the fact that all the clues point to the complicity of the present administration, with the help of some British and Israeli spooks... If these guys in charge of running the show on this planet are really that stupid, we are in big trouble. But I don't think they are. They think that the citizens of Earth are that stupid. And sad to say, a lot of them are.

As its helicopters blasted Gaza, Israel banned a Palestinian delegation from a London conference on key reforms in retaliation for a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that left 23 dead, some of them immigrant workers. Amid ringing international condemnation led by US President George W. Bush, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement issued a statement denouncing the blasts and warning groups behind such attacks not to use its name in claims. - The militant al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed offshoot of Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attacks in statements Sunday and Monday, saying it was retaliating for demolitions of Palestinian homes. But another statement issued in the name of the group late Sunday denied responsibility after Fatah's main political body said the two men were not on its "membership files." The conflicting statements represented apparent divisions in the brigades over whether to carry out suicide bombings in Israel condemned by Arafat. Netanyahu assigned overall responsibility for the double attack to Arafat, saying: "He hasn't said, "Stop this, I order you, I forbid you to do this.' He hasn't stopped the incitement, he finances them." Arafat has always denied such allegations.

Comment: Geez, this last "suicide bombing" is such an obvious COINTELPRO distraction that I can't believe those guys actually expect any sane, thinking human being to believe the Palestinians did it...

Russia and Turkey stepped up pressure to find a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis as the United States continued to beef up its forces in the Gulf region ahead of a possible war with Iraq. The US Navy announced that one of their giant hospital ships will set sail for an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean early Monday. The announcement followed an unconfirmed media report that US special forces and CIA teams have already been secretly deployed to Iraq, despite President George W. Bush's repeated assurances that he had not yet decided whether to go to war. The deployment of the ship marks another step in a steady buildup of forces in the Gulf region that could be used in any US-led military operation against Iraq, should President George W. Bush opt for one. About 65,000 troops are in the Gulf region and neighbouring countries and 25,000 reinforcements will be sent in over the next weeks, bringing the total to 90,000, according to the Pentagon. The US Navy has also ordered the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which was heading home from the Gulf, to stay put and prepare for a possible return. Two other carrier battle groups -- the USS George Washington and the USS Kitty Hawk -- have been ordered to be ready to deploy to the Gulf in 96 hours. In Moscow, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said his government would consider any military action by the United States and its allies against Iraq without UN approval as illegitimate and unjustified.

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog gave North Korea one last chance Monday to readmit inspectors expelled a week ago, as the reclusive communist state defiantly accused the United States of plotting atomic war. - Washington -- in contrast with its stance on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction -- has been at pains to emphasize it sought a diplomatic solution to the crisis with Pyongyang. Voicing defiance before the IAEA decision, North Korea denounced Washington's missile defense system and threatened the United States with destruction if it launched a nuclear attack over Pyongyang's suspected atomic weapons program. North Korea said it had "increased its self-defensive military capability" to cope with the "U.S. intensified policy to invade and stifle it with nukes." "If the U.S. unleashes a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, it will not escape its destruction," Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Monday its inspectors had found nothing suspicious in Iraq so far, but added that it was too early to draw conclusions. "We haven't yet seen any smoking gun yet, if you like, that Iraq has lied in its declaration on the nuclear issue," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei told Reuters in an exclusive interview.

An anti-terrorism squad raided the home of a Danish family after mistaking a light-hearted message on their answering machine for a hostage alert. "We have been taken hostage by two children. Hurry. Help us after the beep. Now!" the Danish daily Politiken quoted the message as saying on Monday. But police in the Copenhagen suburb of Gladsaxe and worried friends, who alerted the authorities on Saturday, thought the message said: "We have been taken hostage WITH two children." Two police cars were dispatched and surprised neighbors watched as policemen cordoned off the area.

FBI now knows exactly who was behind the Anthrax attacks- the perpetrator was someone who was or is involved in illegal and criminal biological warfare research conducted by the US government (the Pentagon or the CIA) or by one of the government’s civilian contractors. For that reason, the FBI is not going to apprehend and indict the perpetrator. To do so would directly implicate the government in conducting biological warfare research. So this is where we are today. The FBI says that they are working on it, but of course, that is ridiculous.

N. Korea plays Bush like a fiddle - Although he resembles a hostile alien in a Japanese science fiction film, and rules over a bankrupt nation suffering mass starvation, Kim has thrown the mighty United States on the defensive, terrified his neighbours, churned up anti-American sentiment in South Korea and exposed the illogic, hypocrisy and contradictions of President George Bush's rationale for war against Iraq.

By revealing his nuclear arsenal and kicking out UN inspectors, Kim Jong-il was in effect telling Bush, "You want a war? Try one against a real opponent, not almost defenseless Iraq. We've got nukes, germs, poison gas, missiles galore and a million tough troops. Remember your 'axis of evil' tirade? Here we are, the Asian third of the axis. Come and get us."

Clearly flustered, President Bush responded to Kim's dare by first hinting at war, then backing down and calling for negotiations - the same president who categorically refuses to negotiate anything with Iraq. Bush's embarrassing double standard over Iraq and Korea has provoked derision around the world. [...]

The macho Bush administration, suddenly faced by a real and dangerous opponent in North Korea, clearly does not know what to do - except bomb Iraq.

Comment: In other words, like a typical bully, Bush is a COWARD in the face of a REAL enemy!

Bullies, hypocrites, conservative-authoritarians, fascists: Anything but champions of human rights - Conservative-authoritarianism doesn't sound as bad as fascism, but what separates the two, but the element of identification on ethnic lines? Dictatorship does, but in the United States, with electoral politics dominated by two virtually identical political parties, both in the thrall of an investor class, the distinction between the dictatorship of an individual and the dictatorship of identical parties with a single master is largely academic. It's still a dictatorship, and one that increasingly is getting away with breaching checks and balances on its power. The framers of the American Constitution assumed one branch of government would constrain the other. They didn't count on two of the branches -- as well as the American people -- rolling over.


January 5, 2003

The death toll from avalanches, snowstorms, floods and freezing cold that swept Europe at the weekend rose to at least 21. Avalanches killed two mountain climbers in Italy's Vezza d'Oglio and Aosta valley and injured six others on Sunday, a day after the bodies of two Czech mountaineers, were found in an avalanche in central Slovakia's Tatras mountains. In Germany, the authorities said a total of seven people had died since Friday in storm-related car accidents and floods, including a four-year-old boy who fell into a swollen river. The Moscow rescue services said on Saturday 12 more people had frozen to death in the Russian capital, bringing this winter's death toll there to 227. France and Switzerland issued avalanche warnings in the Alps at the weekend, saying the combination of fresh snow, warmer temperatures and fierce winds posed a fatal risk to skiers. On Sunday, an avalanche in the French Alps buried two cross-country skiers, injuring one seriously.

Nobel Author Grass - George W Bush [is] dangerous, a threat to world peace. He reminds me of one of those figures in Shakespeare's historical dramas, whose only ambition is to come before his father--the old, dying king--to step up and say, "Look, I finished your project!" He is determined to bring the Gulf War to a higher level of completion by instigating a second one, Bush jr is guided by private, familial motives: he is driven by what he inherited by his father. Also Bush's economic interests play a role. The family is deeply involved in the business of oil. Above all, what's behind the push for a war with Iraq are political and economic interests.

Images of Our World - Worth a Look

WHITE HOUSE ANGER AT BOOK BY BUSH 'AXIS OF EVIL' SPEECHWRITER - Former Bush speechwriter David Frum -- credited with the phrase 'Axis of Evil' -- has infuriated top officials at the White House with his controversial new book, the first insider account of the W. Bush Administration, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. - Frum, who left the White House less than a year ago, is set to launch THE RIGHT MAN: THE SURPRISE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W, BUSH on Tuesday with a high-impact media tour, giving the speechwriter and journalist a platform to elaborate on his Bush insights. Among the White House staff, there was a "dearth of really high-powered brains," Frum, a neoconservative, writes in RIGHT MAN, obtained exclusively by the DRUDGE REPORT. "One seldom heard an unexpected thought in the Bush White House or met someone who possessed unusual knowledge." - "Bush was a sharp exception to the White House code of niceness. He was tart, not sweet," charges Frum.

President Bush is expected to face more Democratic criticism than at any other time in the past 16 months as he returns to Washington today from his Texas ranch vacation. - Democratic lawmakers are already attacking Mr. Bush's domestic agenda, which he is expected to detail later this month in his State of the Union address. At the same time, an increasingly crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls is criticizing Mr. Bush's foreign policy. One emerging theme entails accusing the president of failing to keep Americans sufficiently safe in the war against terrorism. Not since before the September 11 terrorist attacks has Mr. Bush faced such intense partisan criticism. After the attacks, Democrats rallied around Mr. Bush for a number of months and then gradually resumed their criticism — first on domestic policy and eventually on his prosecution of the war on terrorism. But that criticism never reached the level that is expected to await Mr. Bush when he goes back to his regular work schedule tomorrow after a Christmas vacation of more than two weeks.

Two Palestinian suicide bombers killed 22 other people and injured more than 100 in back-to-back blasts on Sunday in Israel's commercial hub Tel Aviv, police said. Later, Israeli helicopters fired at least nine missiles at targets in Gaza City in an apparent military response to the first suicide attacks in Israel for six weeks. There were no early reports of casualties. A Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the Tel Aviv bombings, which the Palestinian Authority denounced as a "terrorist" attack. It came three weeks before a general election at which security concerns will be paramount for many Israeli voters.

Comment: Isn't it strange how, everytime the sympathy begins to turn toward the Palestinian cause, another "suicide bomber" comes along and shoots the Palestinians in the foot and gives Israel another excuse to ramp up their genocidal campaign on Muslims? Something funny going on there!

Kickbacks and payoffs sully Likud's election bid With four weeks to elections, a tide of sleaze swamps Sharon as violence continues to rage. Four weeks before Israel goes to the polls, the campaign trail is degenerating into a soap opera with daily instalments of sleaze and backbiting in the ruling right-wing Likud party. The fraud squad is investigating charges of widespread vote-buying in the selection of parliamentary candidates and surveys published in two papers yesterday showed Ariel Sharon's party continuing to lose votes.

Israel successfully test-fired its Arrow anti-missile defence system yesterday in a rehearsal for any Scud missile attack by Iraq in the event of an American-led war in the Gulf.

Seven million Koreans facing starvation - The United Nations food agency warned yesterday that supplies for some seven million people, a third of North Korea's population, will run out early next month without furtheraid. The news could worsen the crisis over North Korea's nuclear threats.

Russia and Turkey stepped up pressure to find a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis, with Moscow warning it would regard as illegitimate any military action that did not have United Nations backing. Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul pressed on with top-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue peacefully as UN experts extended the hunt for arms of mass destruction ahead of the return to Baghdad of chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. - In Moscow Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said his government would consider any military action by the United States and its allies against Iraq without UN approval as illegitimate and unjustified. Russia opposes US unilateral military intervention in Iraq, threatened by Washington if it considers Baghdad to be in material breach of UN Security Council resolution 1441, which orders it to completely give up weapons of mass destruction. "If military actions begin against Iraq without the approval of the UN, we will consider them as illegitimate and unjustified," Interfax-AVN news agency quoted Ivanov as saying. Ivanov said the US military buildup in the Gulf could be a way of "brandishing weapons to apply psychological pressure on Baghdad, or could also be real preparation for military action against Iraq."

A man threatened to crash a stolen light plane into the European Central Bank tower in Frankfurt Sunday, forcing German fighter jets to scramble before he finally landed and was arrested. The lone, pistol-wielding pilot told a television station from the aircraft that he wanted to draw attention to astronaut Judith Resnik, who died in the U.S. space shuttle Challenger, which exploded shortly after takeoff in January 1986. Frankfurt airport, continental Europe's busiest, was shut, tall buildings evacuated, roads and bridges closed and military aircraft patrolled the sky as the motorized glider circled for almost two hours before landing at the main airport. The incident was a chilling reminder of the September 11 suicide attacks on the United States, and it took more than half an hour for military jets to appear over Germany's financial capital. But officials were quick to rule out a terrorist link.

Mega Chemtrails Off California Coast

FBI admits that the five terrorist suspects were just "speculation." - "We're chasing rumours," a senior RCMP officer said. "We don't know if these five men were ever in Canada and we certainly have no proof whatsoever that they crossed into the United States either legally or illegally." Asked what might have triggered the initial FBI allegation about the five Middle Eastern men entering the U.S. from Canada, the Mountie replied caustically: "It was a slow week at the White House. They needed something to stir the pot because nothing was happening in Iraq."

FORMER Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd yesterday launched a scathing attack on plans to attack Iraq. He warned that a military strike risked turning the Middle East into a "inexhaustible recruiting ground for terrorism" and would scupper hopes of a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. He was speaking as anti-war groups announced a day of mass protest on February 15. - "The greatest danger might not arise in fighting Hussein's forces - which could last only a few days - but in the aftermath in a region that would see itself unmistakably under the domination of the US, the protector of Israel." He said no attack was being mooted against the threat of North Korea because, "Russia and China would oppose it and the consequences might be disastrous."

Having difficulty telling the good guys from the bad guys? Use this handy guide to tell the difference between Terrorists and the Bush Administration.

The first Israeli victim of Saddam Hussein is a Zionist myth on which we were brought up. The myth tells us that Israel is a haven for all the Jews in the world. In all the other countries, we are told, Jews live in perpetual fear that a cruel persecutor will arise, as happened in Germany. Israel is the safe haven, to which Jews can escape in times of danger. Indeed, this was the purpose of Israel's founding fathers when they established the state. Now Saddam comes along and proves the opposite. All over the world, Jews live in safety; they are threatened by annihilation in only one place on the planet: Israel. Here national parks are being prepared for use as mass graves, here (pathetic) measures against biological and chemical weapons are being prepared. Many people are already planning to escape to the communities in the Diaspora. End of a myth. [...]

Whatever good the existence of the State of Israel may or may not have done, the current government of Israel is quickly undoing. The Sharon government is a giant laboratory for the growing of the anti-Semitism virus. It exports it to the whole world. Anti-Semitic organizations, which for many years vegetated on the margins of society, rejected and despised, are suddenly growing and flowering. Anti-Semitism, which had hidden itself in shame since World War II, is now riding on a great wave of opposition to Sharon's policy of oppression. Sharon's propaganda agents are pouring oil on the flames by accusing all critics of his policy of being anti-Semites.

Many good people, who feel no hatred at all towards the Jews but who detest the persecution of Palestinians, are now called anti-Semites. Thus the sting is taken out of this word, giving it something approaching respectability. The practical upshot: not only is the State of Israel not protecting Jews from anti-Semitism, but—on the contrary—its government is manufacturing and exporting the anti-Semitism that threatens Jews around the world.

When the United States attacks Iraq, Israel will be the country most immediately placed under direct threat, not the USA. Already, the Israeli minister of security has informed Israeli citizens that, in case of war, "we are expected to be the victims." Israeli newspapers report plans to evacuate the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv, and to transform parks and stadiums into temporary mass graves. Yet, Israelis seem unable to express their vital interest against a war with Iraq. Why have Israelis adopted a passive mood of "expected catastrophe"? Why do many Israelis believe that the violent policies the United States is practicing in the Middle East will actually reduce the dangers to Israel in the future, instead of increase them? The answer lies in an examination of Israel's thirty-five year long "special relationship" with the United States. [...]

On the eve of the U.S. attack on Iraq, Israel has adopted an attitude of fatalistic paralysis; the feeling is that we are unable to stop the train that will hit us. The leaking of plans for mass evacuation and provisional cemeteries is obviously an over-reaction, most likely a part of this country's ongoing Holocaust trauma and resulting existential paranoia, trickling down the generations. President Bush's current policy does, however, bring Israel closer to real dangers than ever before, and in double pace. Yet, it is currently impossible to have any form of meaningful public debate on the Iraq war in Israel, since the Israeli government depends on the United States and cannot object, and the majority of its citizens are swept up in the power-craze of having unconditional U.S. support. [...]

There is no doubt that the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East must be dismantled. A war, however, would have the opposite effect, because it would be the most direct incentive and motivator for Iraq and Israel to use their non-conventional capacities. If the United States wins such a war, from a military point of view, it will motivate Arab states to develop atomic weapons in order to balance the American-Israeli threat, or it could push terrorist groups to buy them from corrupt regimes for striking at that threat. The dynamics of violence always lead to more violence. The solution must be a comprehensive peace initiative, such as the very positive one drafted by the Arab League on March 2002 that got buried under the Israeli "Defensive Wall" Operation in April.

Any reasonable Israeli must object to a war that will endanger him and his family and spell disaster for the future of his country. But we are stuck in the same thirty-five-year-old problem: Messianic-nationalists and a war-craving military elite run our government, and they are currently supported and encouraged by the extremist conservatives of the Bush administration. A lethal coalition. We are captives of the United States, unable to say No. The United States has invested large funds and prestige in Israel, and now it wants to get some profit back. We must not go along, we must stand against this war, as independent Israeli citizens. We have to say: No thank you, Mr. President!


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