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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 9, 2003

Video shows police killing dog - Police video released Wednesday showed a North Carolina family kneeling and handcuffed, who shrieked as officers killed their dog -- which appeared to be playfully wagging its tail -- with a shotgun during a traffic stop.

Comment: Folks, this was not just a "traffic stop." When was the last time YOU were stopped for a "traffic" violation, ordered to get out of your car with your hands in the air, walk backward to the back of the car, and get on your knees? When was the last time your passengers - including your children - were also ordered out of the car and onto their knees for a "traffic stop?" When was the last time you experienced a traffic stop with several trigger happy, armed policemen pointing their guns at you? And when was the last time you experienced a traffic stop and one of those policemen killed your family pet simply for acting like a pet?

No, indeed. The experience of the Smoak family is a direct result of the climate of fear fraudulently generated in this country as a result of the conspiratorial actions of the present administration. And you can expect a LOT more of this type of thing to happen. And just in case you are a Bush supporter, don't think that this will save you. The Smoak family were not asked if they believed George Bush was doing a "fine job" or if they believed that muslim terrorists were stalking our country. In other words, fine people of America, the Smoak family are YOU and what happened to them could happen to YOU next - or someone you love. Don't believe it? Watch the police video and see... and just see yourselves right there in the picture.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."

"We sentenced Nazi leaders to death for waging a war of aggression," says International Law Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. By contrast, Prof. Boyle wants merely to impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft for their plans to invade Iraq and create a police state in America.

Boyle is offering his services as counsel, free of charge, to any member of the House of Representatives willing to sponsor articles of impeachment. He is experienced in this work, having undertaken it in 1991 for the late Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX), in an effort to stop the first Persian Gulf War. It takes only one member to introduce articles of impeachment. Of course, it will take many more than that to vote for impeachment, which will culminate in a trial in the Senate. Boyle is confident that, once the articles are introduced, others, including Republicans, will co-sponsor them. But we have to convince our Representatives that impeachment is necessary for the country and politically safe for them. This non-violent, constitutional process may be our best way of stopping World War III and saving our civil rights.

Article II Sec. 4 of the Constitution states that: "The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Boyle says that waging a war of aggression is a crime under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles. "It's very clear," he adds, "if you read all the press reports, they are going to devastate Baghdad, a metropolitan area of 5 million people. The Nuremberg Charter clearly says the wanton devastation of a city is a Nuremberg war crime."

The United States is a party to the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles, and thus is constitutionally bound to obey them. "The Constitution, in Article 6, says that international treaties are the supreme law of the land here in the United States of America. So all we would be doing here, in this impeachment campaign," Boyle says, "is impeaching them for violating international treaties, as incorporated into the United States Constitution, as well as the Constitution itself."

We don't have to wait for the devastation of Baghdad to impeach the Bush cabal because they have already repudiated the Nuremberg Charter via the so-called Bush Doctrine of preventive war and pre-emptive attack. "This doctrine of pre-emptive warfare or pre-emptive attack was rejected soundly in the Nuremberg Judgment, " Boyle says. "The Nuremberg Judgment . . . rejected this Nazi doctrine of international law of alleged self-defense." The Bush Doctrine, embodied in the National Security Strategy document, published on the White House web site, is appalling, Boyle says. "It reads like a Nazi planning document prior to the Second World War."

Impeachment has the advantage of bypassing the U.S. Supreme Court, which illegally installed Bush in the Oval Office. The same "Justices" would have the final word on legal challenges to constitutional abominations, such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the Homeland Security Act, both of which the White House rammed through a Congress frightened by the September 11th attacks and the as yet unsolved anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill.

But no matter how blatant the violations of constitutional, statutory and international law are, impeachment is still a political process. Republicans control the Congress and many Democrats, fearful of being labeled "soft on terrorism" might be unwilling to challenge the Bush cabal. It would take tremendous public pressure to get a reluctant Congress to impeach. Still, Boyle thinks he can garner public support by adding an article of impeachment against John Ashcroft.

Boyle is asking the public to push for impeachment in two ways. First, contact your own member of Congress to urge him or her to introduce articles of impeachment, and tell the member that he or she may contact Prof. Boyle for assistance in drafting the articles. Second, demand impeachment by engaging in non-violent direct action, in exercise of your First Amendment rights to free speech, peaceable assembly and petition for redress of grievances. Boyle was pleased that 100,000 people marched around the White House last October 26 to protest the impending war on Iraq. But he says one million people need to peaceably take to the streets with signs, banners and voices shouting, "Impeach Bush!"

"The bottom line: it's really up to you and to me to enforce the law and the Constitution against our own government," he says. "We are citizens of the United States of America. We have to act to preserve the republic that we have, to preserve our Constitution, to preserve a rule of law. This is our responsibility as citizens. We simply can't pass the buck and say 'Oh, some judge is going to do it somewhere.' It's up to us to keep this republic."

Comment: I've been saying we need to impeach the whole administration for a long time. Let's go for it and organize and put some pressure on our representatives the likes of which they have never known! Any readers who have ideas, or who can organize action, or who know of organized action, please let us know.

Saturday, Jan. 18 National march on Washington, DC, to say no to war on Iraq. The event will begin with a rally at 11a.m. Eastern time on the west side of the Capitol Building, followed by a march to the Washington, DC, Navy Yard, a huge military complex located in the heart of one of Washington's working class communities. In a joint action in San Francisco, marchers will assemble at 11a.m. Pacific time at Market and Embarcadero Streets in the Financial District for a march to Civic Center.

The UK's Poet Laureate has written an anti-war poem in which he casts doubts over the motives behind a possible war with Iraq. Motion, who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, has written a 30-word poem questioning US President George Bush's basis for war, suggesting money, greed, oil and his father have influenced him.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said that the chances of war with Iraq have fallen from 60:40 in favour to 40:60. But the language he used in an important speech to a mass gathering of British ambassadors in London indicates that he is preparing the groundwork to justify a war.

"We have now been there for some two months and been covering the country in ever wider sweeps and we haven't found any smoking guns," Hans Blix sez.

Senior Palestinians have held a meeting at President Yasser Arafat's West Bank headquarters, defying a travel ban imposed by Israel. The restrictions meant the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) was unable to discuss a draft constitution as only 30 of the 121 members were able to attend the meeting.

Bitter winter weather claimed more lives in Europe as ice, snow and whipping winds continued to wreak chaos on travel and transport, disrupting the routines of millions across the continent. In Moscow, freezing overnight temperatures killed three more people, bringing the death toll from the severe cold to 242 since October, municipal emergency services said, quoted by the Interfax news agency. Health officials said another 35 suffering from frostbite and hypothermia had been hospitalized. Most of those who have died or needed medical aid are homeless people who drank alcohol in excess to keep warm.

Overnight temperatures in the Russian capital this week have hovered between minus 17 and minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus one and minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit).

Meanwhile in Paris, firefighters said four homeless people had died as a result of overexposure since the weekend, when a rare winter snowstorm blanketed much of northern France.

Eight deaths have been recorded in Germany, a dozen in the Baltics, three in Slovakia and one in Italy due to the cold snap, which has shut down motorways and left thousands of travellers stranded. Nearly 200 people have frozen to death in Poland this winter, where schools were shut in the northeast this week after overnight temperatures dropped to minus 36 degrees Celsius.

Spain appeared to be the next target, with the national weather service forecsating heavy snows across the country on Thursday and authorities urging motorists to stay off the roads. -

In Britain, air and rail traffic slowly returned to normal Thursday as temperatures creeped up following two days of snow storms that saw London get its heaviest snow fall since 1991, although roads remained icy. More than five centimeters (two inches) of snow fell in London on Tuesday and Wednesday, while up to 10 centimeters blanketed parts of eastern and southeastern Britain. Local shipping routes were disrupted in northern Germany due to a 30-centimeter (one-foot) crust of ice which formed around the Baltic sea coast.

In France, motorways were shut down in and around the central-eastern city of Lyon due to snow-related accidents, but most of the country has recovered following the weekend storms.

A 64-year-old Italian man was found dead Thursday along a local highway near the northern city of Trieste, where strong winds, snow and freezing rain forced drivers off motorways to put snow chains on their tires. In central Italy, firefighters worked through the night to rescue scores of motorists who were trapped on smaller roads due to unexpected snowfalls. The continental cold snap has also caused serious disruptions to road traffic in the Balkans, Hungary, Portugal and Italy.

China slams "scheming" US plans for an Iraq after Saddam - "Even if there has to be a war, no matter in whose name, the United States has no authority, legal or moral, over the fate of Iraq as a sovereign state," the English-language China Daily said in an editorial. "Whether Saddam chooses to go into exile or the Iraqis decide to abandon him, it is none of the US president's business." The New York Times reported this week that President George W. Bush's national security team was assembling final plans for "administering and democratizing" Iraq once Saddam Hussein is ousted. This would include a heavy military presence in the country, military trials of senior Iraqi leaders and a quick takeover of the nation's oilfields to pay for reconstruction, the paper said, quoting administration officials. "The truth is the planned US military presence is unnecessary and the country of Iraq does not have to be stabilized until it is unstabilized," the China Daily said. It also blasted US and British "sabre-rattling" while UN weapons inspectors were still in the country, saying it was becoming clear that the real issue was the removal of Saddam, not weapons of mass destruction. "They (weapons inspectors) are among the world's best in their respective fields armed with the most sophisticated equipment created," it said. "Still, their tenacious combing yields no evidence to prove Baghdad's alleged possession of arms of mass destruction. "That means the legal base US President Geroge W. Bush and his followers are trying to build to justify their lustful aggression towards Iraq and oust President Saddam Hussein is falling apart.

Australia acknowledged that its military was preparing for a possible war in Iraq after reports that special forces troops were already on standby to join an eventual US-led attack.

Heavy fog may have led to a fatal plane crash in Turkish city, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said as authorities came under fire for alleged technical shortcomings at Diyarbakir airport. Seventy-five die, five survive Turkish air crash

US commuter plane crash kills 21 - The Air Midwest Beech 1900 twin-engine turboprop "took off, was unable to maintain altitude, came down and clipped the corner of the US Airways hangar building," said Jerry Orr, director of airport operations at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in North Carolina state.

Peruvian Plane with 42 Passengers Missing - "The Fokker F-28 plane ... was declared in emergency at 8:43 a.m. (EST) near the Chachapoyas airport and ... from that point on, we lost contact with the plane and have not had more news," Jorge Belevan, head of the state airline's public relations, told RPP radio. A community telephone operator in Luya, near Chachapoyas, told RPP radio that medical officials were heading to an area called Lonya Chico. "It appears that there are people wounded," she said. Belevan said the plane had enough fuel to circle the airport and could have landed at another site, adding that weather conditions were "normal."

President Bush said on Thursday his new proposals to cut taxes will mean "real significant money" for ordinary Americans and accused opponents of engaging in "class warfare," but a nonpartisan research group said Bush was misleading taxpayers. Comment: When has Bush EVER told the truth?

The number of Americans seeking state jobless aid fell by 19,000 last week, the government said on Thursday in a report that analysts said showed job prospects remained weak. First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to 389,000 in the week ended Jan. 4, down from a revised 408,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said. Wall Street economists forecast new claims at 397,000. The Labor Department originally reported new claims in the Dec. 28 week at 403,000. The report was released the day after President Bush signed a bill that restored extended jobless benefits, and the Labor Department said the bill was not likely to have any direct impact on future seasonally adjusted claims data.

Teresa Smith discovered Internet auctions in a big way about two years ago, selling $800,000 worth of Apple Macintosh computers through sites such as eBay and AuctionWorks. Like thousands of other small-time entrepreneurs, Smith found that online auction sites could expand her reach and connect her with customers from Hawaii to Switzerland. Soon she was hiring employees and tooling around Boston in a new Ford Mustang convertible. While Smith certainly cashed her customers' checks, unfortunately, she rarely bothered to send out the computers they had paid for. Smith admitted in court in November that she had ripped off 300 customers in what law-enforcement authorities estimate may be the biggest case of auction fraud to date. While few scam artists operate on Smith's scale, they have for years turned to auction sites like eBay and Yahoo! to sell cars they don't own, computers that don't exist and diamond rings -- without any diamonds.

President Bush on Thursday named controversial Latin American diplomat Otto Reich to a top White House position, avoiding a Senate confirmation battle. The move, announced by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, keeps Reich in government, working out of the National Security Council and reporting to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. It avoids a Senate confirmation battle because the NSC job does not require Senate approval. - Reich was also on the fringes of the 1980s Iran-Contra controversy, as head of the State Department's public diplomacy office, which was criticized in a government report for engaging in prohibited propaganda activities. Until Nov. 22, Reich was assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, a position that defines U.S. policy in Latin America. He was serving in a temporary position because Bush was unable to secure the votes in the U.S. Senate to confirm him to the post permanently.

If top officials at the State Department and Social Security Administration have their way, up to $345 billion — or more — could be siphoned from the Social Security "trust fund" over the next couple of decades, mostly to pay benefits to Mexican citizens who worked illegally in the United States. - When media reports of the Mexico pact surfaced last month, the cost was pegged at hundreds of millions of dollars per year, to be paid out to roughly 37,000 Mexican citizens living legally in the U.S. But not mentioned is how the accord with Mexico, as now written, would differ from existing agreements in one key respect: illegal aliens from Mexico would also become eligible for Social Security benefits, which would force costs to skyrocket.

Republicans opened loopholes in the House gift ban yesterday that will allow lobbyists to send them lobster, caviar, prime steaks — as well as more modest fare. Buried in the package of rules for the new Congress is one that permits supporters to reward lawmakers generously with catered meals worth thousands of dollars delivered to their Capitol Hill offices. Lobbyists and supporters still may not take Congress members out to a lunch or dinner costing more than $50, but a group such as the National Restaurant Association could feed the staff of the Ways and Means Committee filet mignon dinners every night they worked on a bill with a minimum wage provision or other issue of interest to them. One House aide described the change as a “loophole you can drive a truck through.”

Five months have passed since a flamboyant county sheriff led a squadron of assault weapon-wielding deputies and television news crews on a raid of a hole-in-the-wall travel services business here, declaring he was hot on the trail of an Arab American businessman who had sold fake IDs to two of the Sept. 11 terrorists. The raid made international headlines, but not for long. As it turned out, the FBI already had interrogated Mohamed Atriss and had concluded he knew nothing more about the hijackers than he did about thousands of other mostly illegal immigrants who bought official-looking identification documents at his office, located directly across the street from City Hall. The camera crews departed after Atriss, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, surrendered voluntarily and was charged with misdemeanors: 26 counts of conspiracy and simulating identification documents. He pleaded not guilty. Five months later, the alleged proprietor of a small-time document mill is at the center of what appears to be the only criminal case of its kind in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- one in which secret evidence has been presented against the defendant. Atriss remains in jail, now on $500,000 bond -- an amount consistent with a murder charge -- but prosecutors will not say why he poses such a serious risk or give him a chance to respond.

Laser surgery can undo some of the harm of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to Italian researchers. FGM, in which all or part of the external female genitalia are removed, is widely practiced in many African and Asian nations. It is a deeply rooted cultural tradition intended, in part, to preserve a girl's chastity and make her more "attractive." The World Health Organization, however, calls FGM a violation of human rights. In the most severe form of genital cutting, called infibulation, the clitoris and labia minor are removed and the labia major--the two outer skin folds of the vulva--are stitched together to form only a small opening for urine and menstrual flow.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration strengthened warning labels on all women's hormone replacement therapy products on Wednesday, warning of the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. The widely expected move follows the surprise announcement last July that HRT, taken by an estimated 10 million women to treat the symptoms of menopause, raises the risk of heart disease, heart attack, blood clots and certain cancers. - It does help prevent bone fractures caused by osteoporosis, but in most cases the risks of heart disease and other health effects outweigh the benefits, health officials say. There are also drugs on the market that can prevent osteoporosis without having the dangerous side-effects of HRT, McClellan said.

After years of wearing tight trousers and bikinis, partying and drinking alcohol, 29-year-old Maha now wears an Islamic veil and says she has never been happier. Encouraged by an Islamic revival and a rise in religious programs on Arab satellite channels, Maha and a growing number of young women among Egypt's wealthier classes have augmented their Western wardrobes with variations on the veil, or "hijab," such as colorful headscarves and long flowing shirts. Conservative robes, scarves and veils have been a part of the culture in Egypt's rural and poorer areas for centuries. But the veil is now on the rise among the country's urban and traditionally more liberal classes, who a few decades ago wore daring mini-skirts and strapless tops. "Ever since I veiled and learned more about Islam, I've become less angry and have had more patience and inner peace," said Maha, an office administrator who asked that her real name not be used. Egypt, unlike ultra-conservative Muslim states Saudi Arabia and Iran, does not require women to wear a veil. Those who choose to cover up -- wearing a wide range of styles from elegant scarves to full-length gowns -- live and work side by side with unveiled women and their male colleagues.

Binary star systems involve two stars which revolve closely around each other. In this case, Loinard and his team observed a binary system in the constellation Taurus (The Bull) with a younger, smaller third star seemingly locked in an elliptical orbit around the other two. But starting in the mid-1990s, the researchers noticed a dramatic change in the path of T Tauri Sb, the smaller star: instead of looping as usual into its long oval around the binary, it passed the two bigger stars and shot out on its own, in a new direction. "Sb is actually being ejected from the system where it was born," Loinard said at a news conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

Update on the "Speed of Gravity"

January 8, 2003

A full-page advertisement in the January 2003 issue of UFO Magazine has generated considerable interest amongst the UFO community. It refers to an event taking place on the weekend of 24-27 January, when some extraordinary satellite images of anomalous objects will be screened at the National Space Centre in Leicester. The screenings will be held on the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each commencing at 7.30pm. - For the past two years, hundreds of extraordinary UFO-like images have been gleaned by a Spanish-based team using two space-based satellites and which defy explanation. NASA initially tried to explain the images away as pixel faults, passing meteors or asteroids, etc., but when a European-led consortium presented them with images that clearly were none of the aforementioned, they 'clamped up'. On Tuesday, 7 January 2003, Mr. Mike Murray, one of the founders of EUROSETI, visited the offices of UFO Magazine to conduct a WORLD EXCLUSIVE filmed interview. With his kind permission, that interview - which features a healthy selection of these images - can now be viewed on the UFO magazine website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking steps to remove phenylpropanolamine (PPA) from all drug products and has requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing PPA. In addition, FDA has issued a public health advisory concerning phenylpropanolamine. This drug is an ingredient used in many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription cough and cold medications as a decongestant and in OTC weight loss products. - All drugs containing PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE are being recalled. You may want to try calling the 800 number listed on most drug boxes and inquire about a REFUND. - STOP TAKING anything containing this ingredient. It has been linked to increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain) among women ages 18-49 in the three days after starting use of medication. Problems were not found in men, but the FDA recommended that everyone (even children) seek alternative medicine. -

The manufacturer of Triaminic is voluntarily recalling the following medicines because of "a certain ingredient that is causing strokes and seizures in children": Orange 3D Cold & Allergy Cherry (Pink), 3D Cold & Cough Berry, 3D Cough Relief Yellow, 3D Expectorant. They are asking purchasers to call them at 800-548-3708 with the lot number on the box so they can send you postage for you to send it back to them, and they will also issue you a refund. If you know of anyone else with small children, PLEASE PASS THIS ON.

A Petition to The Office of the Surgeon General of the United States; The Department of Health & Human Services; The Federal Bureau of Investigations and The Justice Department is demanding a Grand Jury Investigation into Eli Lilly & Prozac. It states that "Eli Lilly has known of and engaged in the suppression of the truth concerning the Prozac's ability to cause suicide and suicidal ideation. Eli Lilly has knowingly and fraudulently concealed facts surrounding its drug's deadly side effects. Documented findings of cover-ups supporting our demand include, but are not limited to, the following (see the petition for list) Comment: Interesting that Prozac has just been approved for children.

Britain urges US to delay war until autumn - Britain is pressing for war against Iraq to be delayed for several months, possibly until the autumn, to give weapons inspectors more time to provide clear evidence of new violations by Saddam Hussein. British officials know that the real decision will be taken by Bush Ministers and senior officials believe that there is no clear legal case for military action despite the build-up of American and British forces in the Gulf. - The tensions were highlighted on Tuesday when Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, publicly rebuked Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, for playing down the chances of war. - In the Commons yesterday Tony Blair denied that the Cabinet was split or that he was engaging in "dangerous brinkmanship" with Saddam over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But he was left in no doubt of growing opposition among Labour MPs to joining an American-led attack without convincing proof that Saddam had defied UN demands to dismantle his nuclear, chemical and biological programmes. The exchanges showed that the Prime Minister could face a major revolt if he went to war without UN backing.

'We are on a slippery slope, heading for disaster' - The development of a polarised world has created dangers which threaten a nightmare scenario and must be prevented. - A group of hardliners in the United States has hijacked the president - not that much force was needed for this - starting a campaign under the slogan "you are either with us or against us". This was applied to the anti-terrorist campaign after the September 11 events, but actually it has a general application. It has created a polarised world, and a polarised world is a dangerous world. - This situation has not appeared out of the blue - it has been brewing for a long time, and the seeds were planted at the very beginning of the nuclear age.

I was involved in the earliest - one might say prehistoric - stage, and I have been able to see it developing. Some of you may have heard my tale before, but I see young people in the audience - and, for this story, young is anybody under 60 - and for their sake I will recall it briefly.

For the scientists in the UK who started the work on the atom bomb, the rationale was to deter Hitler from using his bomb against us, and thus winning the war. - It was not until much later that I realised the fallacy of the nuclear deterrence concept, but at that time I thought that only by possessing the bomb could we prevent a Nazi victory. -

With this background, you can imagine my shock when General Leslie Groves, the overall boss of the Manhattan Project, said in a private conversation: "You realise, of course, that the main purpose of the project is to subdue the Russians." The date is important - March 4 1944, long before the bomb was made, and a time when the main burden of fighting the Germans was borne by our then allies, the Russian army.

Years later, when I told this story at a conference in Geneva, at which George Bush senior - then a candidate for the presidency - was one of the speakers, Richard Perle, sitting on the platform, angrily denied it. Fortunately, I was able to prove its veracity. -

The aforementioned General Groves outlined this policy in October 1945, saying: "If we were truly realistic instead of idealistic, as we appear to be, we would not permit any foreign power with which we are not firmly allied, and in which we do not have absolute confidence, to make or possess nuclear weapons. "If such a country started to make atomic weapons, we would destroy its capacity to make them before it has progressed far enough to threaten us."

It took nearly 60 years for these ravings of a bellicose general to become official US policy. In between, the combined endeavours of hawks and the military-industrial complex kept the US as the frontrunner in the nuclear arms race. [ More...]

George Bush's decision to go easy on Kim Jong I leaves his plans to invade Iraq looking ever more inconsistent and ill-considered. - The sudden escalation of the North Korean nuclear programme and Pyongyang's ejection of international inspectors has complicated the United States strategy both diplomatically and militarily. It is now much harder for the US to go to the security council to make the case for military action against Saddam Hussein, who might have nuclear weapons in a few years time, while pushing a diplomatic approach towards the quixotic North Korean government, which probably has a couple of crude plutonium weapons already. - Moreover, while the world has more or less reconciled itself to the inevitability of a war in Iraq, the prospect of a clash in North Korea with nuclear implications would produce an international backlash that could derail even the Bush administration's determined advance on Baghdad. Most strategic analysts say that - short of a coup in Baghdad - a significant worsening of the North Korea confrontation is just about the only scenario that could postpone an invasion of Iraq until next winter. -

The real reason containment remains the US policy of choice in North Korea, but a dirty word when it comes to Iraq, has nothing to do with international law and a lot to do with crude military reality. Kim is being handled gently not in spite of his transgressions, but because of them. He already has the bomb and could conceivably destroy South Korea and large parts of Japan if attacked. -

The "axis of evil" must have sounded like a catchy motif when it was first slipped into the president's state of the union address a year ago (Bush's speechwriter, David Frum, originally suggested "axis of hatred", but was told "evil" sounded more "theological"), but there is no end to the trouble it has caused the administration that spawned it. Apart from prodding North Korea into a game of atomic "chicken" and tipping off Saddam Hussein that he has little to gain by disarming, it has mightily annoyed Iran, which could otherwise have been a much more willing and useful ally when it came to getting rid of Saddam. -

President Bush's aides make much of his "moral clarity", by which they mean his preference for dividing the world into "good and evil", "for us or against us". It was a useful rallying cry in the immediate wake of September 11, but with each passing month since the "axis of evil" came into being, and deals are struck with regimes inhabiting the shadows between good and evil, the picture is getting murkier. Mr Bush's vision looks increasingly as though it has the wrong kind of clarity altogether - easy rhetoric in place of clear-headedness.

Brazil wants to master all facets of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but has no plans to build a nuclear device, Science and Technology Minister Roberto Amaral said Tuesday. - Brazil has long been considered one of the countries with the potential capacity to build nuclear weapons. Other countries in the region with the same potential are Mexico and Argentina. All have signed the nonproliferation treaty. Amaral's remarks reiterated comments by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during last year's election campaign. Before a group of retired military officers, Silva said in September that he would reactivate a US$100 million plan to build a nuclear submarine.

A family has filed multiple complaints after police mistakenly pulled them over as robbery suspects, then shot and killed their dog as it bounded from the car. A tape released by authorities Wednesday documents the incident, which began when a Tennessee state trooper and three Cookeville police cars pulled over James Smoak and his family as they drove home Jan. 1 from a vacation. The trooper suspected the Smoaks' dark green station wagon was connected to a robbery, Tennessee Highway Patrol officials said. Troopers ordered the family out of the car, and the video shows James and Pamela Smoak and their 17-year-old son, Brandon, obeying. They came out with their hands up, got down and were handcuffed. About a minute after the traffic stop, one of the dogs – a bulldog-boxer mix named Patton – jumped from the car and raced toward Cookeville police officer Eric Hall, who was holding a shotgun. The tape shows that Hall stepped back and fired just before Patton reached him. The dog appeared to be wagging its tail as it ran toward the officer, the tape shows. Patton died from the shotgun blast. And as it turns out, the Smoaks had not committed a crime at all.

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 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.

Astronomers have discovered portions of what appears to be a giant, donut-shaped ring of previously unseen and surprisingly old stars surrounding our Milky Way Galaxy. If an entire ring exists, theorists might have to rethink details of how the galaxy formed. The apparent ring might be merely an outer spiral arm of the galaxy, one group of researchers said, but the evidence suggests it is instead a well of several hundred million stars that encircles the entire Milky Way out beyond the main galactic disk.

President George Bush has urged Congress to move swiftly to enact his sweeping $674bn (£420bn) tax-cut plan, including abolition of dividend taxes for investors and income tax cuts that the White House claims will be worth $1,100 to every taxpayer. The recent recession had been "one of the shortest and shallowest in US history", Mr Bush told the Economic Club of Chicago yesterday. "But we have more work to do, to remove the obstacles to economic growth." Comment: If I remember correctly, financial experts were saying a few days ago that the current "recession" is the worst since the 1930s. It is certainly not "the shortest and shallowest in US history."

No one could accuse President George Bush of ideological inconsistency, at least not on the economy. Defying his critics, including some in his own party, he campaigned for the White House on an unfashionable promise of tax cuts for all in the hope of fending off a recession. Now, two years into his presidency, and with state governments, businesses and investors all suffering, tax cuts remain his remedy of first resort. - But if Mr Bush's consistency is unimpeachable, there is room for considerable doubt about the wisdom of what he is doing. The so-called stimulus package will push the US domestic budget further into deficit, while leaving the hard-pressed working poor little better off even as joblessness rises. The record surplus bequeathed to the Republicans by the Clinton administration has been squandered. Foreign trade is also notching up record deficits and the dollar is sliding. - For Mr Bush's gamble to pay off, the first thing that must happen is for US share prices to pick up. But market confidence, in the United States as elsewhere, depends also on the wider political climate and the perception of competence. Mr Bush's first economic appointments turned out to be failures. But the biggest cause of current jitteriness is the prospect of war with Iraq. The return of economic confidence may have to wait until a war is either averted or won.

Rho Cas may erupt explosively again at any time, an event that might be visible to backyard astronomers, a team of researchers said today. - The star was first seen erupting in 1946, dimming by a factor of six, to sixth magnitude, as it lost material. But researchers learned little at the time about the eruption process. The 2000 eruption was watched by five telescopes and was also seen by some amateur astronomers around the world. The star brightened briefly, then dimmed. - Dupree explained what the event might look like to a viewer on a hypothetical planet surrounding Rho Cas: "The whole sky would be lit by the wrath of an angry star," she said. "I'm sure glad we're 10,000 light years away."

Dramatic Increase in Supernova Explosions Looms - The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is inching toward an era of intense fireworks when stars will be born 100 times more frequently than today and many will die quick, explosive deaths, according to new research. A huge and dense ring of interstellar gas is collecting near the galactic center and approaching a density that will, in about 200 million years, generate a burst of star formation that could transform the very appearance of our galaxy as seen from afar.

Top 10 Space Mysteries for 2003 - Dark Energy: Nobody knows what the heck it is, but it is officially repulsive. And man is it powerful! More powerful than gravity, even. While gravity holds things together at the local level (and by local I mean within galaxies and even between them, forming galactic clusters) some unknown force is working behind the scenes and across the universe to pull everything apart. Scientists have only come to realize this dark force in recent years, by discovering that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing pace. Having no clue what it is, they've labeled it dark energy. ...

In New Theory of Universe, Time Never Ends - Paul Steinhardt of Princeton, physicist, and his colleague, Neil Turok of Cambridge University, have developed a whole new theory for how the universe came to be. Their proposal seeks to explain recently uncovered flaws in the scientifically accepted model for the origin and evolution of all known things. It describes a series of big bangs and equally significant crunches that form a never-ending cycle of rejuvenation and destruction. - Astronomers have in recent years learned that the universe is not just expanding, but is doing so at an ever-increasing pace. This can't be explained given the known matter and energy that exists. To account for the acceleration, theorists have conjured a product they call dark energy, which supposedly repels things rather than attracting, as gravity does. No one has seen this dark energy, and scientists don't even know what it is. But they say it's all around us. More important, it shouldn't be there. - Curiously, the cyclic universe, as it is called, puts the origin of some present-day structures and events prior to the Big Bang. - The cyclic universe has roots in even more complex thoughts like so-called superstring theory, which suggests there are as many as 10 spatial dimensions, not just the three we know of. The seemingly inexplicable physics of a big crunch and a big bang might be explained with the aid of these extra dimensions, which are otherwise invisible to us, several theorists believe.

The longest X-ray look yet at the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center has given astronomers unprecedented access to its life and times. The new data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed that our galaxy's central black hole is a frequent bad actor, prone to numerous outbursts and occasional large explosions. - "Although it appears to snack often, this black hole is definitely on a severe diet," says Baganoff. "This could be because explosive events in the past blew away much of the gas from the neighborhood of the black hole." - Indeed, evidence for such events - which astronomers are viewing 26,000 years later due to the time it takes light to travel to Earth from the center of the Galaxy - can be found in the image. A faint streak of X-rays about 1 light-year long has been discovered 1.5 light-years from Sgr A*. The streak points at Sgr A*, suggesting that it may be a jet of particles expelled at nearly the speed of light from just outside the event horizon of the black hole. The intensity and size of this jet indicate that the flaring activity has been occurring for many years.

The first accurate measurement ever taken of the speed with which gravity propagates shows that it is equal to the speed of light, agreeing nicely with the General Theory of Relativity. Comment: Ark's post to newsgroup sci.physics.relativity dated December 8:

I thought it may be useful if I just quote from one of my friends, whom I value as one of the few "experts" [on the subject of gravity]

"let me come back to Kopeikin, who _is_ a quite good physicist. Arkadiusz asked me some questions about his proposed way to measure the speed of gravity, several months ago. At that time, I had not read the corresponding papers, and I simply answered that from a purely theoretical viewpoint, I did not see why it should be impossible. However, when I realized recently that the acceleration of Jupiter did not enter Kopeikin's results, I quickly understood that there was a confusion in Kopeikin's reasoning. For your information, I copy below an argument that I sent to a friend of mine, and that he forwarded to Kopeikin without saying that I am the author. Indeed, I do not wish to spend too much time on this discussion with Kopeikin, since there is no technical problem but only a conceptual confusion in the interpretation of the results. I also told this argument to X, who agrees with me (and does not trust anyway Kopeikin's results for other technical reasons). Kopeikin did answer to my friend about my argument, and he seems to have understood its idea, but his answer was unfortunately still spoiled by some conceptual confusions."

Which indicates that the interpretation of the results willl not be easy indeed.

"The crucial point is to define precisely in what theoretical framework one is working. Both Asada and Kopeikin have the same weaknesses in their reasonings, in that they are working within general relativity. In this framework, there is strictly no difference between the three "c" entering the equations (c_Lorentz, c_light, c_gravity), and measuring the difference between two of them has simply no meaning. Therefore, even Asada may be criticised when he says that one is measuring "c_Lorentz" in this experiment, since this can *also* be interpreted as c_light or c_gravity (as in Kopeikin's derivation) in the general relativistic framework. In conclusion, this experiment can be used as a constraining test only if one constructs one day a consistent theory of gravity in which c_gravity differs from at least one of the other "c's". At present, such a theory does not exist (or is already ruled out by solar-system classic tests); and in the framework of general relativity, one is simply measuring c_light (= c_Lorentz = c_gravity) in a quite imprecise way!"

This week’s report that the speed of gravity matched the speed of light sparked a second wave of feedback — including a fresh critique from Tom Van Flandern, a researcher who has built a following for his unorthodox views on gravity and other way-out subjects. -

The physicist who laid the foundation for September’s measurement, Sergei Kopeikin of the University of Missouri at Columbia, responded to such claims by saying that his work was in accordance with the framework of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. “Some people try to invent some other theory and then to criticize my work (on the basis of) other theories,” he said. “I don’t know what they are doing. I am doing general relativity.” -

Jim Hannay from Dallas refers to theories that the speed of light (and gravity) may not be so constant after all: “It’s perfectly OK for people to believe in the ‘constant’ speed of light or the ‘constantness’ of anything. On the other hand, like the perfection of God, it’s a subject for theology and not science. Light has been both speeded up and slowed down under laboratory conditions, yet I am supposed to believe that light flows uninterruptedly from the most distant points to my observation point at a constant speed. Praise God! ”E=mc2 is good enough for government work (bombs, e.g.), but c isn’t constant.”

Programme makers that have joined the reality television gold rush are beginning to experience some uncomfortable realities of their own. They can only go so far in humiliating the participants in the high-ratings shows before those same guests decide it's time to bite back. Alarm bells are ringing in the industry in America as cases multiply of guests filing potentially crippling lawsuits against the companies, claiming emotional and physical distress. Insurance premiums are soaring and, if the trend continues, this cheap form of programming could quickly become very expensive.

The Californian film producer Steve Bing, better known as the father of Liz Hurley's baby, is to bankroll a Rolling Stones benefit concert on behalf of an American environmental action group. Bing, 36, who disputed he was the father of Hurley's son until DNA tests proved conclusive, is picking up the tab for a free concert in Los Angeles to raise awareness of global warming.

Jerome Farris may be an eminent judge on the US circuit court of appeals, but in Seattle, his home town, he is about as popular as a serial killer. Six months ago, after Judge Farris decided to improve the view from his well-appointed home on the shores of Lake Washington, his gardener cut down 120 prized big-leaf maple and cherry trees in a public park that stood between his property and the lake.

EU CONDEMNS ISRAEL - The greek presidency of the EU condemned the decision of the Israel Government to block the departure of Palestinian officials for London, as well as the movements of senior Palestinians in general, does not contribute to the efforts made by the international community to carry forward the reform process and to bring an end to the violence. According to a communique from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this decision perpetuates hatred and extremism. Hence, the presidency of the EU calls upon the Israeli Government to reconsider this decision and to immediately lift the ban on the movement of Palestinian officials.

Gov't spying: What's the real threat? - The biggest problem with criticism of Adm. John Poindexter's massive spy proposal is not in the argument over the system being so darn creepy. Of course it's creepy. This new federal agency deliberately chose the motto "knowledge is power," crafted a logo certain to inspire conspiracy theories, and is itching to assemble a detailed computerized dossier on every American. And that a figure such as Poindexter--disgraced in the Iran-Contra scandal and with a database addiction dating back to at least 1987--is running the show is a detail worthy of a Jonathan Swift satire. -

No, the biggest problem with the criticism of the Total Information Awareness system is that it's too shortsighted. It's focused on what the Poindexters of the world can do with current database and information-mining technology. -

But what could Poindexter and the Bush administration devise in five or 10 years, if they had the money, the power and the will? That's the real question, and therein lies the true threat. Even if all of our current elected representatives, appointed officials and unappointed bureaucrats are entirely trustworthy--and that's a pretty big assumption--what could a corrupt FBI, Secret Service or Homeland Security police force do with advanced technology by the end of the decade? -

Poindexter's office has an entire project area called Human ID at a Distance that's spending millions on researching biometric technologies, including face recognition and "gait performance" detection. Facecams already are in use in airports, city centers and casinos. And license plate recognition, by comparison, is a snap. -

Or how about locations out of the range of this fixed surveillance mesh? In 1998, DARPA began funding a project to create spybots that can fly day and night and that use infrared and video sensors. These spybots, being designed by Lockheed Martin and code-named MicroStar , will have a six-inch wingspan, weigh only 86 grams and cost about $10,000--an afforable price point for surveilling Americans from above. -

And what of the spybots' larger cousins, capable of hovering higher and seeing more for a longer duration? Last week the Washington Post reported that the federal government may permit unmanned aircraft to fly above the United States. "I believe that the potential applications for this technology in the area of homeland defense are quite compelling," said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, who added that the drones could be used by domestic police agencies. [ More...]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has attacked Tony Blair for his "mind-boggling" support for the US over a possible war in Iraq. The Nobel Peace winner said he was shocked and saddened America was being "aided and abetted" by Britain.

GLEN T. MARTIN, professor of philosophy and religious studies at Radford University: In Nazi Germany at this time of year, people freely shopped in large department stores for gifts for family and friends. The streets were full of traffic. It was "business as usual" for most of the citizens. While in the colonial states conquered by the Nazis, and in the concentrations camps for Jews, gays and communists, life was a living nightmare of dehumanization and human-rights violations.

In the United States today, people freely shop in large department stores for gifts, and the streets are full of traffic. While in our most recent victim states of Afghanistan, Iraq under murderous sanctions, Argentina after engineering its economic collapse, and Colombia under U.S. military aid for repression, life is a living nightmare of dehumanization and human-rights violations.

But what once separated the United States from Nazi Germany was the protection of civil liberties for American citizens. People of Germany had no rights and did not care. Those few who did care were so terrified of their government that they did not dare to speak out. Those who did speak out were declared "enemy agents" and sent to concentration camps.

Today, people of the United States have given up their rights through the "Patriot Act," the "Homeland Security Act" and the Pentagon's new system of "Total Information Awareness." The astonishing thing about this "land of the free" is that most Americans now have no effective rights and do not care.

As long as they are free to shop in department stores and have traffic in the streets (with automobiles burning oil stolen from dying Iraqi children), they do not care. And to a greater degree every day, those few who do care about our liberties and rights are too terrified of our government to speak out.

The so-called "Patriot Act" expanded our government's secret search and wiretapping powers enormously. It empowered racial profiling as a recognized police practice and allowed broad sweeps of people of Middle Eastern or Asian origin. It effectively abolished immigrants' rights, allowing noncitizens to be held in secret locations on secret "evidence," without right to an attorney, for as long as the government wishes.

The government now has the power to enter your home or your computer and secretly record whatever they find without ever having to notify you. They do not even have to obtain a warrant from a publicly accountable judge showing reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed.

Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold spoke the following words from the Senate floor on Oct. 11, 2001, when he was the only senator to vote against Attorney General John Ashcroft's USA Patriot Act: "There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where police were allowed to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications; if we lived in a country where people could be held in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the government would probably discover more terrorists or would-be terrorists! But that wouldn't be a country in which we would want to live."

But today, it has gotten worse with the passage of the Homeland Security Act. Notice that these titles, "Patriot" and "Homeland," sound very much like the language of the Nazis. A common slogan of the Nazi regime was "the highest freedom is a noble slavery of the heart." People are free, the slogan meant, when they have enslaved their hearts to the "homeland" in absolute obedience to their government. "Deutschland, Deckhand, uber alles!" they shouted. Blind loyalty, patriotism, and emotion must triumph over liberty, reason and sound judgment.

Under the U.S. Homeland Security Act (our rights again given away freely by a bipartisan Congress), 22 U.S. agencies are combined in order to achieve "total information awareness" on every American citizen. The government will soon be amassing a file on every American that includes every magazine subscription, credit card purchase, Web site visit, medical record, library record, bank deposit or withdrawals, every airline purchase, as well as judicial, divorce records, and so on. This will be recorded in a central data base, not by a publicly accountable authority, but by the Pentagon, which already operates in total secrecy from the American public.

Government intimidation for political reasons is real and it has begun. Our government already is using its secret data bases to harass Americans. Political activists checking in at airports at the airline desk have had their names come up from a secret government list as "flight risks." They and their luggage have been supersearched to the point where they are made to miss their flights, and then released to fly. Obviously if they were really "flight risks," they would not be allowed to fly.

Attorneys have found that their attorney-client privilege has all but disappeared. The government has even placed hidden cameras in prisons to record attorney discussions with their clients. The government has begun harassing people maintaining Web sites they consider politically objectionable.

The Justice Department announced a plan to use its newfound power to designate U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants" to place such people in concentration camps. Declaring them "enemy combatants" would strip them of their constitutional rights, their access to the courts and allow the government to indefinitely hold them without trial.

This is identical in purpose to some of the Nazi concentration camps.

Do we citizens care at all about the future of our children or the plight of the millions of citizens in this country of Arab descent, or those who nonviolently oppose government policy? We have repeated for so long the slogan "it can't happen here." But the darkness and terror of totalitarianism is coming rapidly.

Do we have the courage and integrity to speak out now, before it is too late? Or will we continue to freely shop in our large department stores for gifts for family and friends - as they did in Nazi Germany.

Why Hiroshima Was Bombed: The 'Utopians' Duped a Nation - William Jones makes a convincing case that Japan was ready to surrender before the US dropped two nuclear bombs killing over 300,000 people. Jones argues that in reality the bombs were dropped to alter the world's mental state. "The power of this new weapon had to be demonstrated in a devastating manner, to convince all nations to accept the straitjacket of "world government," he writes. Mind control works by subjecting the victim to intense trauma (sexual abuse, electroshock, the torture or murder of others), which causes the mind to disassociate and splinter into multiple "alter" personalities. These are individually programmed to perform specific tasks. War in general, and atrocities like Hiroshima in particular are traumatic events on a global scale. Humanity was brutalized. In a state of "disassociation," humanity was programmed to fear nuclear annihilation (the Cold War) and to accept huge military expenditures and the United Nations. Similarly the same cabal staged the attack on the World Trade Centre in order to create maximum trauma. The buildings, symbols of American prosperity, disintegrated in a controlled demolition creating pictures of panicked New Yorkers fleeing an avalanche of smoke and debris. These images were played over and over on television. The graphics for "America's New War" were ready and waiting. In a state of dissociation and shock, Americans were programmed to believe that Muslim terrorists were responsible for this outrage.

Revelation 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...

The mass media is used to maintain domestic psychological control. According to Dr. John Coleman, the directors of the US TV networks, major newspapers and publishers were all handpicked by British intelligence (which organized the CIA.) For example, before becoming head of CBS, William Paley was trained in mass brainwashing techniques at Tavistock. (The Committee of 300; pp. 248-249)

You cannot become "enlightened" if you are ignorant and indifferent to what is happening on the planet. Enlightenment requires discernment of the realm of "maya" (illusion). Maya is the web of power and deceit that controls the world. [ Henry Makow, PhD ]

Bush, Bin Laden, Bio-war, And Bullsh*t - An Israeli propaganda rag which provides fodder for the US propaganda system (formerly known as the US news media) is making wild claims about al-Queda being on the verge staging of a bio-attack against the US or Israel. Funny thing about this. According to Jane's International Security News, as of just last week, Israeli intelligence does not consider Osama bin Laden and al-Queda a particularly significant threat to its security. Never has. In fact, when asked to provide intelligence on Bin Laden by the US, Israel came up empty handed because they don't think he's important enough to track.

So, if professional intelligence analysts in Israeli don't care about Bin Laden, who does? Apparently, not George Bush. This is what he said about Bin Laden just six months after the 9-11 attack when it became obvious the only result of our illegal war against Afghanistan was the creation of misery of millions of innocent Afghani civilians. "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I don't really care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - George Bush. March 13, 2002 But facts aside, CNN and others can't rest from their daily task of terrorizing US citizens with images of terrorism and threats of terrorism. ... If there is a bio-attack on this country, we can thank the Bush family and friends for being directly involved in making it possible. Too bad so few Americans will realize the basic facts of the situation. And we can thank CNN & Co. for that.

A new poll finds that American college seniors today are just slightly more knowledgeable than high-school graduates of half a century ago. - The National Association of Scholars (NAS), one of the nation's foremost advocates of reform in higher education, conducted the study. - NAS president Stephen Balch says overall, the general knowledge of 1950 high-school graduates is nearly identical to that of 2002 college seniors. "We are seeing here the result of about 50 years of 'dumbing down,' in which students are less and less asked to acquire a broad-based factual knowledge and instead are told that the important thing is not their specific understandings about the world, but rather they can think," he explains. - "One of the phenomena we've seen, and in part it's been due to 'progressive' education -- what John Dewey and his colleagues launched back at the beginning of the twentieth century -- is a retreat from the idea that people should learn specific facts," Balch says. "And as far as it's been taken, [it has been] quite damaging. There's also ... been a deterioration in the quality of the people who teach [in] our schools." Note: Read the book that foretold it all: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail Author : Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt

TV Ads Say S.U.V. Owners Support Terrorists - "This is George," a girl's voice says of an oblivious man at a gas station. "This is the gas that George bought for his S.U.V." The screen then shows a map of the Middle East. "These are the countries where the executives bought the oil that made the gas that George bought for his S.U.V." The picture switches to a scene of armed terrorists in a desert. "And these are the terrorists who get money from those countries every time George fills up his S.U.V." A second commercial depicts a series of ordinary Americans saying things like: "I helped hijack an airplane"; "I gave money to a terrorist training camp in a foreign country"; "What if I need to go off-road?" At the close, the screen is filled with the words: "What is your S.U.V. doing to our national security?" The two 30-second commercials are the brainchild of the author and columnist Arianna Huffington. Her target audience, she said, is Detroit and Congress, especially the Republicans and Democrats who last year voted against a bill, sponsored by Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, that would have raised fuel-efficiency standards.

Poll sez: Fix The Economy First - With the new Congress ready to go to work, most Americans think its first task should be to help the ailing economy and create jobs - not necessarily to pass a tax cut. - Opinions about the state of the U.S. economy continue to decline. Just 41% think the U.S. economy is in good shape, while 57%, more than at any time since 1993, the first year of the Clinton Administration, think it is in bad shape. When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, more than twice as many as now believed the economy was in good shape. Most Americans also think the economy is not improving. Just 15% think the economy is improving, while 36% say it is getting worse. 48% think it is staying the same.

A gunman who apparently believed his neighbors were demons shot to death a 67-year-old man and critically injured his son before surrendering, police said. The man was arrested Monday evening after a three-hour standoff at a North Hollywood home. Hector Bisente was shot several times in the torso and was pronounced dead at a hospital, Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman David Campbell said Tuesday.

During the past week, UN human-rights investigators have been probing reports of cannibalism in Congo's northeastern Ituri province. Forces of the rebel Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and its allied Congolese Rally for Democracy-National (RCD-N) are accused of killing and eating Pygmies living in dense tropical forests. - The two rebel factions often hire Pygmies to hunt food for them in the forests as they concentrate on fighting to oust the rival rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation (RCD-ML) from mineral-rich areas of Ituri province, a UN official familiar with the probe said. If the expert hunters return empty-handed, rebel troops kill and eat them, the official said.

A Quiz: Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
Answer: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections?
Answer: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
Answer: Israel.

Q: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
Answer: Israel.

Q: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
Answer: Israel.

Q: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
Answer: Israel.

Q: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?
Answer: Israel.

Q: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
Answer: Israel.

Q. What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
Answer: Israel

Q. What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.
Answer: Israel

Q: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
Answer: Israel.

Q. Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana, Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
Answer: Israel

Q: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
Answer: Israel.

Q. Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S.?
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because "We control America?"
Answer: Israel

Q. What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
Answer: Israel
Q. Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
Answer: Israel

Q. Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
Answer: Israel

Q.. Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
Answer: Israel

Q: What country in the Middle East is the United States threatening to attack because of fear that it may be a threat to us and to our allies?
Answer: Iraq

Israel Optimistic About $12 Billion More In US 'Loans' - The United States has not attached any conditions so far in considering Israel's request for some $12 billion in aid and loan guarantees, the Globes business daily quoted an Israeli official as saying Tuesday. Last week, media reports said the United States would deduct from the loan money any funds Israel spent in areas it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip. - When Israel received $10 billion in loan guarantees in the early 1990s as it sought to settle one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, then-President George Bush imposed restrictions on settlement funding. Israel has established 145 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on land Palestinians want for a state of their own. The international community regards the settlements as illegal. Israel disputes this. - Israel is already the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid, receiving close to $3 billion in mostly military assistance each year. A new aid package would come on top of existing U.S. commitments.

Armed stake-out for big cats - Dyfed-Powys Police sharpshooters have been drafted in to hunt two puma-like animals which struck at the farm at Llangadog, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, on Sunday evening. - This latest alert comes four months after Gwent Police used two helicopters equipped with thermal-imaging cameras to search for a similar beast reported on farmland near Newport. - In September 2002, a major search was carried out after two large unidentified 'cat like' animals were spotted by police in south east Wales. Two helicopters fitted with thermal imaging cameras scoured the area above farmland at Goldcliff on the edge of Newport.

MeaslesLIKE virus in India is brand new paramyxovirus, NipahLIKE - Director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research Nirmal Kumar Ganguli's announcement that the Siliguri outbreak was caused by a measles variant was contradicted by researchers at the Delhi-based National Institute of Communicable Diseases. "6 Siliguri samples were sent to [the US] Centers of Disease Control, and they turned out to be of Nipah virus," Biraj Mohan Das, director of emergency medical services in India's health ministry, told the BMJ. But researchers at the national institute feel that the issue is still unresolved. "It very well could be a new virus, although we tend to think it is close to Nipah virus," a senior scientist told the BMJ. But the institute's work on the Siliguri virus is at a standstill, as neither the institute nor any other Indian facility has the right level of biosafety needed to handle dangerous pathogens. "Such a facility is surely needed in a country of India's size, and the World Health Organization would extend any technical assistance India would need in this regard," said Tej Walia, WHO representative to India.

President Bush shouldn't have offered the smallpox vaccine to the American public last month because it's still too risky, a leading authority on adverse reactions to the inoculation says. "President Bush said that any civilian who wanted it could have it. I think that was a mistake, frankly," Dr. Vincent A. Fulginiti said Friday. He spoke at Children's Hospital in Denver. "This is not a safe vaccine for the general public because of all the complications," Fulginiti said during an interview before his lecture. "This is not the measles vaccine." - At a meeting of the American Pediatric Society in Philadelphia in 1965, Kempe stood before his peers and said U.S. smallpox vaccinations should be halted because they killed more children than they protected.

Using an observatory on top of a Hawaiian mountain peak, an astronomer has detected a small moon orbiting Jupiter, bringing the number of known satellites around the king of planets to 40. - Jupiter has been called "a mini solar system" because of the many small bodies it controls through its gravity, including nearby moons and comets, and a class of distant asteroids known as Trojans.

North Korea has accused the United States of spreading a "false rumor" about its nuclear "issue" in an attempt to hurt inter-Korean relations. "There is an increasing danger of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula due to the U.S. criminal policy toward the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)," according to a statement released Wednesday from Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency. "The U.S. is deliberately spreading a false rumor about the DPRK's 'nuclear issue', in particular, in a bid to vitiate the atmosphere of inter-Korean reconciliation and unity and foster confrontation among Koreans," the statement said.

Bali bomb: 'No al Qaeda link proven' - Indonesia has arrested more than 20 people over the October 12 bomb attack that killed nearly 200 people, with many of the suspects known to have ties to JI, a Southeast Asian network of Muslim militants. However, despite claims made by the Australian government soon after the tragedy that it had information linking al Qaeda to the explosions, Indonesia's top policeman has played down any such connection.

Six people have frozen to death in Moscow in 24 hours as a spell of bitter cold hits countries across the northern hemisphere. There were snow flurries across Europe with temperatures in the Russian capital and in many locations in Germany dropping as low as minus 31C (minus 24F) early on Wednesday -- the coldest this winter. - Europe was not as badly hit as Asia where nearly 400 people were reported dead of cold in Bangladesh and northern India in the past 10 days. But blizzards and icy temperatures on the back of last weeks floods brought scores of casualties across Europe. - Meanwhile in Germany, daytime temperatures on Wednesday were between minus 3C and minus 11C, with nighttime temperatures again expected to go to minus 20C or beyond. The cold wave is expected to continue through the rest of the week, with new snowfalls expected at the weekend, according to the Meteomedia weather service in Bochum. - A band of snow also hit many parts of the UK on Wednesday, disrupting rail services and causing road problems. During a night of heavy frost, temperatures sank as low as minus 8C in Farnborough, southern England and Hawarden in northeast Wales. They plunged to minus 16C in the Scottish Highland town of Aviemore. A rare snowfall hit central London just after 8.30 a.m. Earlier this week airports in the South of France were closed on Monday after the region was hit by rare snowfall.

Q: (Laura) Ok, we have several things that we discussed earlier, is there anything you wish to say before we launch into questions?
A: Underground bases see dramatic budget increase.

Q: (Laura) Ok, why do they have a budget increase?
A: Because there is much more activity to come. ... Experimentation, utilization and implementation.

Q: (Laura & Terry) Of what?
A: Human "resources." Plan falling into place for "harvest."

Q: (Terry) The new underground bases, along with all the old ones are for the coming harvest?
A: And other purposes of STS forces' plans.

Q: (Laura) What is this thing called 'The Harvest'?
A: What do you think?

Q: (Laura) Well, is that harvest in a negative event, or harvest in a positive one? I mean, as in the harvesting of the wheats and the tares...
A: Either/or. ... V** mentioned the weather. Was that a bit "nippy" for you in central Europe in December and January, Arkadiusz? ...

Q: (Terry) But it could also be that HAARP adds to it. ...
A: We told you that "HAARP" was being designated for capturing and modulating electromagnetic fields for the purpose of total control of brainwave patterns in order to establish a system of complete "order on the surface of the planet" in either 3rd or 4th density.

Q: (Laura) Is HAARP in operation at the present time?
A: Yes, in its early stages. ...

Q: (Laura) Is the weather being controlled or changed or in any way affected by HAARP?
A: Climate is being influenced by three factors, and soon a fourth. 1) Wave approach. 2) Chloroflorocarbon increase in atmosphere, thus affecting ozone layer. 3) Change in the planet's axis rotation orientation. 4) Artificial tampering by 3rd and 4th density STS forces in a number of different ways. ...

Q: (Laura) All right, were those given in the order in which they are occurring? The fourth being the one that's coming later?
A: Maybe, but remember this: a change in the speed of the rotation may not be reported while it is imperceptible except by instrumentation. Equator is slightly "wider" than the polar zones. But, this discrepancy is decreasing slowly currently. One change to occur in 21st Century is sudden glacial rebound, over Eurasia first, then North America. Ice ages develop much, much, much faster than thought.

Americans may be held as 'enemy combatants,' appeals court rules - A federal appeals court Wednesday ruled President Bush has the authority to designate U.S. citizens as enemy combatants in military custody if they are deemed a threat to national security. - "I applaud today's decision which reaffirms the president's authority to capture and detain individuals such as Hamdi who join our enemies on the battlefield to fight against America and its allies," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. "Today's ruling is an important victory for the president's ability to protect the American people in times of war. Comment: That's all she wrote. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's over folks. Enjoy reading this page and other sites on the web that reveal the truth while you can. In fact, it might be a good idea to go back and read what I wrote on 9-11. In a follow-up commentary, I wrote:

However, if nothing that is sensible prevails, the one thing we CAN expect is a severe and sudden infringement of our freedoms.

Unless the reality changes through awareness, I may not be able to say much more very much longer. Phones and computers will be monitored, or severely controlled. Restrictions may be legislated so as to create a basis for prosecution. Individuals may be rounded up and taken to detention centers. In a state of war, or under threat of terrorist attacks, all constitutional rights (which are amendments, by the way) are suspended.

We may be told what we can or cannot say and to whom we may say it. And this may be within a matter of days.

I hope all who are reading this realize that. I have known for some time that the powers that be - and I don't necessarily mean the government, though it will be effected through the government - will seek a way to curtail the communication between people that has been growing apace for the past few years via the internet. What better way to do it than war?

Well, it actually took them a year and a half to do it, but the Bush gang certainly did make the definite steps to do all of the above within a matter of days. And in this case, there is NO satisfaction in being right.

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