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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 11, 2003

Don’t Get Mad, Get Going! - Dealing rationally with the arguments put forth by the White House in favor of war is difficult. They are ridiculous. It must be particularly tough for corporate journalists committed to not insulting the administration. What can you say, beyond rolling your eyes, when Bush recently warned of Iraqi plans for transatlantic remote-controlled aircrafts attacking American cities? Can you perhaps mention Saddam is also building photon torpedoes? How can you argue with "secret evidence" of Iraqi nuclear capability which the administration refuses even to hand over to the weapons inspectors? Can Cheney at least tip Hans Blix about the whereabouts of Iraq's alleged secret sites with "warm, warm, warmer, cold again, warm, warmer"?

In despair, some even try to peer into Bush's soul, maybe by gazing into his deep, anxious eyes. Is Bush a cowboy, a frat boy, an all-American boy, or just a mentally-challenged boy? What does it mean for America that Bush used to torture frogs when he was young? Is he a dry drunk? Does he share the belief of some of his fundamentalist fans in the soon-upon-us Rapture, Armageddon, Apocalypse now? If he does, does he believe himself to be one of the horsemen? Will he be inclined to hasten the end of the world? These and many other questions will be resolved in the next episode of "The Empire." Dwelling too much on these questions is not recommended. First, gazing into Bush's soul can be hazardous to your health. You might be sucked in by the vacuum. But the more important reason is that it serves little purpose. At best, one is led to ponder the deep dysfunctionality of American politics that allows someone like Bush to rule the world. But it is too late for that.

The goal of understanding what goes on behind the scenes in Washington should not be to reinforce our status as powerless spectators of a magnificent drama. Unfortunately, most of the analysis in the media is exactly that. The really crucial question isn't, "will there be war," but "how can we prevent war."

The administration is quite unified about the right of the U.S. government to exercise unlimited power over the whole world. But there are different currents behind this unified facade. Here's what I understand is going on:

First, there is the axis-of-pure-evil, Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Perle & Co. This is the War Party. Their song is bomb Iraq though the justification keeps changing monthly. The War Party was all for bombing Iraq already before the war in Afghanistan (in fact, before the 2000 elections). It engaged in a sustained effort to launch an attack around November, which was frustrated by Bush's decision to go through the Security Council. The War Party did another attempt to launch the war by defining Iraq's anti-aircraft fire at American and British jets as a "material breach" of the inspection resolution. That did not work either.

The War Party is still looking for excuses to launch the invasion. The next date is January 27 when the inspectors' report is due. If, as it is quite likely, the inspectors find nothing, there might be attempts to invent or inflate findings. Or we might even be treated to another blood libel, just like the false baby incubator story that preceded the war in 1991. Who knows? Perhaps there'll be a "shocking discovery" that the Iraqi officers' cantina is making soup stock from baby bones. Then there is the axis-of-banal-evil, Rove-Card-Bush & Co. That is the Bush Re-election Party, obsessed with avoiding a replay of the first Bush one-term presidency. The Bush Re-election Party supports the war, but is weary of overspending political capital. In the face of international pressure and lukewarm domestic support, the Bush Re-election Party is seeking to outmaneuver the opposition to the war by co-opting fence-sitters. Before attacking, it seeks to "market" the war: domestically with outlandish lies and internationally with cash promises and arm twisting.

Finally, there is the axis-of-evil-with-a-disarming-smile, mostly Powell & Co. -- the I'm a Player Too Party. Powell favors the more traditional foreign policy style of Papa Bush and Clinton. He is eager to show how much the U.S. can gain by hardball diplomacy alone. But his only leverage is his ability to save Bush precious political capital. At worse, he can be the Republican ambassador to MTV. The differences between the above three parties are minimal but crucial -- they refer only to what each party sees as its highest priority.

Within the War Party, there are two distinct wings: the "Pentagon uber Alles" wing of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rice, and the "Israel uber Alles" wing of Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams, Faith & Co. The Pentagon wing wants Power with a capital P: unlimited and unchecked, over the whole world -- they call it now "full spectrum dominance." Domestically, to make such foreign policy possible, the Pentagon wing wants to return to the good old days of the Korean war and the early Vietnam war, when the government was secret and unaccountable, and the public much more docile and naive than today.

Members of the second wing share this vision, but emotionally, they seem to be motivated by something else: they believe that an aggressive U.S. empire is necessary for the "survival" of Israel, for which they have an inordinate and unseemly attachment that appears to trump all other considerations. The remarkable resemblance between the advice they give Bush today and the wildest dreams of Israel's most extreme hawks is not a coincidence, and neither is the fact that the Sharon government in Israel is the only other government in the world that is positively salivating about the prospects of war.

The Pentagon wing, Cheney and Rumsfeld, control the brawn, but it is the second wing, the committed Zionists, that provide most of the strategic brain of the War Party.

The War Party seems to be the administration's motor; no doubt it has set the agenda regarding Iraq. But Powell succeeded in forcing the U.S. to seek a Security Council resolution and renewed arms inspection instead of striking unilaterally. This has delayed the war by a few months. The delay cannot be credited to Powell's influence, which is minimal. It must be credited to the rise of an anti-war sentiment and the fear that a unilateral war would not be approved by a majority of Americans. The party that makes the final decision is still the Bush Re-election Party, not the War Party.

This is our opportunity. We can hope to stop the war by raising the amount of political capital Bush must spend. The War Party needs to start the war within the next two months. After that, in the summer, the cost of logistics and the advancing elections timetable might make war impractical. So, it might be now or never. This is the time for action, not speculation.

There will be a march in Washington D.C. on January 18th. The last march was big with about 100,000 people showing up. This one has to be big, too, preferably huge. We need to be there. We need to send a message to the White House that there is a large anti-war movement already. We need to make Karl Rove understand that this movement will grow even bigger if the war is escalated, that it will expose the price Americans will pay for the war, and that it will eventually cost Bush the election. We must make Karl Rove make Bush worry that his presidency doesn't end up like Johnson's or Nixon's.

The march is organized by the International Answer coalition. It and various other groups organize transportation and many will also organize a nightover if required. Many other groups will participate with their own banners. The weeks ahead are marked for sustained anti-war actions all over the world, so there will be plenty of opportunities for people who cannot travel to Washington to participate in expressing their objections to the war.

The anti-war movement is a coalition, not a party. There is no abiding ideology and no required readings. Opposition to the prospect of this U.S. aggression unites a broad spectrum of Americans of different and even opposing political stripes: socialists, anarchists, liberals, feminists, Quakers and members of almost every other American faith, army veterans, minorities' rights activists, libertarians, conservatives, environmentalists, isolationists, etc. There are also many, many people who are just citizens who smell something fishy.

You don't have to agree with International Answer or with me in order to join the anti-war demonstration. All you have to agree with is that you have an opportunity and a duty to stop the coming slaughter.

Here are a few other reasons to participate:

* The war will devastate Iraq (again), kill tens of thousands of innocent people, and an unknown number of American GIs, mostly from minority groups and from working class backgrounds (none of the white hawks in the current White House has ever been near enemy fire. They all had the opportunity and chose not to. Dying in uniforms is a privilege almost totally reserved for minorities and poor whites.)

* The war will be a naked act of aggression against a country that hasn't attacked the U.S., that has no plans to attack the U.S. and no capabilities of attacking the U.S.

* The war will be a boon to terrorist organizations recruiting people willing to kill Americans.

* The war will hasten the scraping of the Bill of Rights and the suspension of American democracy.

* The ten commandments say murder is wrong. So is stealing. Killing Iraqis in order to steal their oil is a double offense.

* The war will train more young Americans in murder and dehumanization, a training that quite a few of them -- such as Timothy McVeigh, the D.C. sniper and many other less remarkable victims of militarization -- will later turn against their spouses, children and neighbors.

* The war will cost hundreds of billions in direct costs and potentially trillions in the likely economic disruption that will result. That means lower standards of living for everyone.

* The war will suck the air out of what's left of America's social services, and will therefore contribute to misery, insecurity and crime all over America.

* The war will damage U.S. international standing and relations with friendly countries. It will make American foreign policy more expensive and more difficult.

* By making peaceful diplomacy difficult, it will make war even more attractive; hence, the war will engender more wars.

* The war risks bringing chaos to the Middle East, boosts the rise of militant Islam as the only alternative to American colonialism, and plunges the Middle East into a new century of bloodshed.

The war, or everything that will go wrong with it, will be soon blamed on "the Jews," thanks to the good work of Perle, Wolfowitz & Co.

War is hell. We don't need a reason to resist it. We need an excellent reason to support it. So far, nobody has offered any serious one. So make plans to be in Washington Saturday the 18th. Better yet, spread the news to friends, family and neighbors. Bring your own big party to Washington and earn points towards the real peace prize. This is our chance to save tens of thousands of lives. We don't get such chances every day. See the following websites for details: United for Peace - Not In Our Name - Iraq Peace Team - Nonviolent Peaceforce Canada - Christian Peacemaker Team - Friends Peace Teams - End The War - Global Nonviolent Peace Force - If you find every other group too liberal, too radical, too religious, too secular, too anything else for your taste, then why not start your own?

Gabriel Ash was born in Romania and grew up in Israel. He is an unabashed "opssimist." He writes his columns because the pen is sometimes mightier than the sword - and sometimes not. This article first appeared at Yellow Gabriel encourages your comments:

The archaeological site at the medieval town of Dmanisi, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south-west of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, had already revealed some of its secrets. What emerged as he brushed away the earth was to far exceed his expectations. He did not know it yet, but in his hands he held the almost perfectly preserved skull of the most ancient human being ever found in Europe - 1.8 million years old. More extraordinary still, it was about to throw into question all accepted theories about the migration of our ancestors out of Africa. - The remains of seven individuals have been found at Dmanisi - the most recent this summer - but what made this discovery so special was that it did not look like the skull of any human ever found outside Africa before. - But what was he doing in Georgia? The theory had always been that the migration out of Africa had only happened with the evolution of big brains and the development of the tools and hunting skills to make the exodus possible. - The discovery has opened so many questions about our ancestry that one scientist quipped: "They ought to put it back into the ground." - Another unusual aspect of the Dmanisi find is that it was discovered in the same layer of sediment as other hominids with substantially larger brains - Homo erectus. Mr Lortkipanidze suggests the variation may force us to rethink the definition Homo.

President George W. Bush has nominated Asa Hutchinson to head the DEA, the biggest drug-fighting squad in the world. But before Hutchinson assumes that post, there are some questions about high-level cocaine trafficking in Arkansas while he was a U.S. attorney here that he should be required to answer. The questions have hung about for years, but so far he has managed to dodge them.

Comment from reader who sent in this story: Hey George W. ! I KNEW you were a phony way back when you nominated Asa Hutchinson to head the DEA. That's all I needed to know about you. I think it is rather reckless of you to appoint someone that reveals to anyone who isn't a total moron what your true colors are. No wonder they called you "Temporary" at Skull and Bones! How's this for "The sheep bleat when they are being sheared." My comment: There are no restraints on Bush and his cronies, and no shame. The government of the U.S.A. is literally in the hands of a gang of criminals.

Bush Tax Cut is a Trap The Bush tax cut euphoria is designed to drive the stock market temporarily higher. But it's a trap. Three powerful forces are about to overwhelm the euphoric boost stocks got from the Bush tax plan causing investors to lose their shirts, pants, and underwear.

First, the Bush Administration's economic stimulus plan doesn't amount to a hill of beans. After the $10 trillion investors have already lost in stocks, $670 billion spread over the next ten years is small consolation.

Second, eliminating dividend taxes may sound enticing, but the average S&P 500 stock pays a mere 1.7% dividend. Thus, any tax savings would be insignificant.

Third, extending unemployment benefits won't boost consumer confidence or spending. The official unemployment rate remained at 6% in December, but the REAL unemployment rate is even higher. Factor in discouraged and underemployed workers, and the rate of unemployment shoots to nearly 10%! Plus, jobs are disappearing in droves. In December, businesses eliminated 101,000 jobs. That's on the heels of paring back 88,000 jobs in November. With so many workers already unemployed and with few new jobs being created by businesses, consumers can't be expected to save the economy either.

Fourth, no matter what Wall Street may be telling you, corporate earnings are not bouncing back. Retailers from Home Depot to Gateway to the venerable Wal-Mart watched sales go down the tubes over the holiday season. Dow component Alcoa reported a wider- than-expected quarterly loss for the fourth quarter, and we expect that it is just the first of many to come. And a number of banks are reportedly bracing for not-so-stellar earnings results.

Once the hype over the Bush Administration's announcement subsides and investors start to look at the costs and benefits to the economy and to their own pocketbooks, we expect they'll see more downside than upside to the plan. And this initial boost to the stock market will be a mere memory as investors start a new wave of sell-offs. Especially when you consider these problems facing the economy ...

* This was the worst holiday for retail sales since 1970. And the bad news was widespread. Kohl's, Talbots, Toys "R" Us Inc., Saks Inc., Borders Group, Ann Taylor, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Federated Department Stores, and many others experienced a blue Christmas last year.

* Big corporations continue to slash jobs. AT&T announced that it will let go 3,500 of its workers -- mostly in well-paying management positions. Alcoa, on the heels of its bad earnings announcement -- reported that it will eliminate 8,000 jobs. And Delta Airlines plans to fire 4,000 more workers.

* Manufacturing is STILL in a slump. Factory orders plunged 0.8% in November. No wonder the manufacturing sector slashed 65,000 jobs in December -- the most since February 2002. Source:

Studies document climate change effect on species Two major climate change studies have concluded that global warming has shifted plant and animal ranges northwards and caused spring-related activities to occur earlier, according to the journal Nature and an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (January 3).

The Art of Civil Liberties - "In the aftermath of September 11, freedom of speech has been under attack. Political cartoonists are not immune. In some cities cartoonists have been fired or lost freelance jobs because of cartoons critical of U.S. policy or for using "wrong" metaphors. Even nationally-known artists, such as Boondocks cartoonist Arron McGruder and Ted Rall have been censored or repudiated. In response, cartoonists Gary Huck, Mike Konopacki, Matt Wuerker and writer Alec Dubro put together a show of cartoons from 41 editorial cartoonists from the U.S. and Mexico. This unique show premiered at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. June 21, 2002.

Fears Raised Over Possible Mutant Mumps in Britain Reuters A public health doctor has uncovered what he believes may be evidence of a mutant mumps virus circulating in Britain. Dr. Brendan Crowley, from Liverpool Public Health Laboratory, said two recent unusual cases of mumps infection raise the possibility that a new strain has developed that may be resistant to the current mumps vaccine. In a report in the journal Communicable Disease and Public Health, Crowley suggests the emergence of mutant forms of the virus could account for some of the recent resurgence in mumps infection in the UK. He also believes it's possible that, after years of exposure to the strain used to make mumps vaccines, this mutant form may have learned to evade detection by the body's immune system. The report describes the case of a mother and son who both developed the infection, even though earlier tests confirmed she was immune and her 11-year-old child had already been vaccinated or infected. "I'm just putting this idea forward because there was something very different about the strain involved," he told Reuters Health in an interview. "We need to ask whether it is possible it could be a mutant strain." Mumps was once a common infection in Britain and is characterized by swelling of the lymph nodes on the side of the neck, making the face look round and swollen. In many cases, the infection is mild but it can also cause fever, headache and muscle pains. In the worst instances, it can lead to deafness and inflammation of the testicles, ovaries or pancreas.

Lawmakers Agree to Repeal Protections for Lilly A group of US senators announced an agreement Friday to repeal a controversial part of the new Homeland Security law protecting drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. from vaccine-related lawsuits. The announcement represents a victory for hundreds of families who have sued the company, claiming that vaccines containing its mercury-containing preservative thimerosol caused autism in their children. But families greeted the deal with skepticism, noting that it does not guarantee that lawmakers could reinstate the provision later this year.

The provision became controversial in November after it was inserted into the final language of the bill creating the new Department of Homeland Security. At the time, several lawmakers attacked the exemptions as a special favor for Lilly and vowed to work to strip it when Congress reconvened this week.

According to existing law, families claiming that their children have been injured by childhood vaccines must first go through compensation hearings in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program before they can bring a civil suit against a company. November's provision would have also forced families alleging injury from thimerosol to go through the same program. Between 400 and 500 ongoing thimerosol lawsuits against Lilly would have been dismissed under the language.

Comment: Again we see, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Activism in a peaceful manner works! A provision blocking lawsuits will be repealed under an agreement announced in the Senate on Friday.

Disordered? Dysfunctional? or Plain Delusional? Women: Turned off by your partner's eating habits, dirty clothes, beer-swilling football buddies? You're probably sexually dysfunctional. That, at least, is what a growing number of researchers would have you believe. Over the past three years, a new consensus has begun to emerge on what constitutes female sexual dysfunction: everything from pain to boredom to bad dates. Critics of the pharmaceutical industry claim drug makers are seizing on such loose definitions to unnecessarily "medicalize" an ever-widening range of human behavior in the hope of selling more drugs. Personal characteristics are increasingly being recast as pathologies: Restlessness is attention deficit disorder. Shyness is social phobia. Excessive shopping, fast driving or an overly sweet tooth now warrant psychiatric analysis.

Sarcasm Not Funny to Kids? Reuters When parents use sarcasm to playfully tease their young children, do the kids see the humor? Not likely, according to a Canadian researcher who has completed a study showing that children need to be 10 or older before fully grasping the concept that sarcasm can be funny or even insulting. The results have implications for everything from the content of children's television programming to interpreting bullying behavior, University of Calgary psychologist Penny Pexman said on Thursday. "Our study suggests that the 5-year-olds are beginning to understand the simplest form of sarcasm and are getting better at it, but still by the age of eight they really don't find it funny, so there's still a dissociation there," said Pexman, who has been studying sarcasm for the past six years. "They can appreciate that the person means the opposite of what they're saying, but they don't find it humorous."

Japan and Russia are getting pretty Chummy... Reuters Japan and Russia may be technically at war over four barren islands, but they are working to put aside their differences and focus on profitable energy and trade links. In Moscow on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Russian President Vladimir Putin did touch on the islands dispute, which dates back to World War II. But both appeared to make an effort during a joint news conference to avoid the emotion that has long clouded the issue. Instead, they played up the benefits of working together, signed a declaration laying out the framework for cooperation in everything from energy to international diplomacy, and said their relationship was entering "a new age."

U.S. intelligence agencies recently uncovered information indicating Russia's foreign intelligence service is covertly cooperating with Iraq's spy agencies. The cooperation involves unspecified intelligence sharing between the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, and Iraq's Mukhabarat. The discovery has raised alarms in some U.S. spy agencies. There are concerns that intelligence information shared with the United Nations on Iraq will be leaked to Saddam's agents from Russia. The Russia/Iraq/India Axis of ????

Comment: Again and again we see clues that the world is being polarized as a result of the Bush Bully Style of Foreign Affairs. Since it is becoming more and more evident that Bush and Co are the Anti-Christ, what does that make the other "side?" On the other hand, they could simply be playing this game for the masses while BOTH sides are planning genocide. But then, we also ought to remember that Japan and Russia and China all have a "bone to pick" with the World's Bully - the U.S.A. So, who knows where it will all lead. One thing certain, it is a fascinating show!

Voicing "burning hatred" for the United States, more than one million people massed in the North Korean capital Saturday to support their government's decision to quit a key treaty preventing the spread of atomic weapons, the official news agency said. Senior officials joined the huge demonstrations in Pyongyang and Premier Hong Song Nam spoke to the crowds to give details of the government's decision Friday to pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. "People from all walks of life thronged to Kim Il-sung Square and other parts of the city, the meeting places, with burning hatred for the U.S. imperialists," KCNA said. "If the U.S. brings dark clouds of war to hang over this land, the army and the people of (North Korea) will remove the land of the U.S. from the earth and root out the very source of evil and war," the agency quoted one of the speakers as saying.

US, UN Threaten Security Council Action on N.Korea Fri January 10, 2003 03:14 PM ET WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday condemned North Korea's decision to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and said the matter would have to go to the U.N. Security Council. The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said the Security Council would have to take up the withdrawal within weeks if diplomatic efforts did not resolve the crisis. "It will ultimately have to go to the Security Council. When and through what process and what one would ask the Security Council to do at that time remains to be determined," Powell told reporters after talks with ElBaradei. ElBaradei said: "What we are talking about is a matter of weeks. It's not an open-ended invitation for cooperation. If we do not see signs of cooperation on the part of the DPRK (North Korea) quite soon, then obviously we'll have to move to the Security Council." "A country cannot just walk out without ramifications, because challenging the integrity of the non-proliferation regime is a matter than can affect international peace and security," he added.

N.Korea Leaves Treaty, Triggers Alarm Around World Reuters North Korea became on Saturday the first country to withdraw from a pivotal global treaty preventing the spread of atomic weapons, triggering alarm around the world and frantic diplomatic activity to restore calm. However, the United States appeared to play down the nuclear standoff, acknowledging that the latest move by the reclusive communist state was cause for concern but was not unexpected. The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog sought to reassure worried governments that it did not see North Korea's decision to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as raising the stakes in the crisis and felt there was still room for diplomacy to work. Making the announcement of its immediate withdrawal, Pyongyang blamed what it called Washington's "hostile" policy but said it had no intention of developing nuclear weapons. Pyongyang's official propaganda machine was in bellicose mood on Saturday when the withdrawal took effect. "Confronting the enemy, it is important to have guts," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted Pyongyang Broadcasting as saying. "Whatever the world says about us, we are following our own way with steadfastness."

North Korea still Playing Bush like a Stradivarius...

A defiant North Korea warned it would consider any punitive United Nations sanctions as an "act of war" after stirring fierce global condemnation by ditching a key anti-nuclear pact. The United States hit back by warning it would not be intimidated by the Stalinist state's nuclear brinksmanship, as President George W. Bush telephoned Chinese President Jiang Zemin to express concern over the fast-deepening crisis. Two North Korean envoys meanwhile huddled with a former Clinton administration troubleshooter in New Mexico in unofficial talks. A senior State Department official said the North Koreans offered few new suggestions on how to end the showdown. Hours after Pyongyang upped the ante by saying it would pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty its ambassador to the United Nations, Pak Gil Yon, took the highly unusual step of holding a televised news conference.

"We consider any kind of economic sanctions by the Security Council as a declaration of war," Pak said. He branded the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has called on Pyongyang to readmit inspectors it expelled late last year, as "a tool of United States policy" which aimed to "stifle" North Korea. But he said "if the United States drops its hostile policy," North Korea might be willing to put its nuclear facilities under a bilateral verification regime.

Comment: This has got to be one of the strangest situations in the history of foreign relations - particularly considering the wide news coverage of the affair. Here we have one little beat up country accused of having hidden weapons of mass destruction - that has never really done anything of any significance - (keep in mind that the Papa Bush Gulf War was deliberately created by the U.S.A. ) - aside from the fact that we all naturally find SoDamn Insane's governing style detestable. On the other side, we have a country with some big bombs - and they admit they have them and plan to use them . The first country is subjected to the most heinous campaign of intimidation and sanctioned destruction probably since Stalin turned on his own people. And the second country is petted like a panicked - but valuable - prize cow. What's up with that?

Sharon yanked off Israeli TV Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's scandal-plagued election campaign faced mounting problems on Friday after a news conference in which he denied wrongdoing and assailed his main rival was yanked off the air. Israeli media slammed Sharon over Thursday's televised appearance, abruptly cut off in an unprecedented move by a judge overseeing electoral procedure who said the prime minister's political comments ran foul of broadcast regulations.

Europeans Seek to Rein in American War Machine - Europe moved to stay America's hand over Iraq on Friday, as top officials spoke out against a rush to war on the basis of inconclusive weapons inspections. "Without proof, it would be very difficult to start a war," European Union foreign policy coordinator Javier Solana said. As President Bush continued to mobilize his forces and met Iraqi opposition leaders, one of President Saddam Hussein's main Iraqi foes said an invasion could destabilize the Middle East and warned that the sort of massive occupying force Washington envisages would face popular armed resistance. "We reject the idea of an invasion and occupation of Iraqi territory," said Shi'ite Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim.

The FBI still thinks Osama is Under the Bed... well, maybe he is! The FBI has identified as many as 1,000 Osama bin Laden sympathizers in US Through informants, phone taps and monitoring e-mails, law enforcement officials have discovered some who have discussed committing acts of terror. The FBI is also concerned there are sleeper cells operating in a covert manner, similar to that of the Sept. 11 hijackers, are in the United States under the direct control of al Qaeda leadership — but has thus far been unable to identify them.

Comment: All they have to do is read the articles on Cassiopaea about the 9-11 disaster: Comments on the Pentagon Strike as well as The Secret Cult to figure out who are the REAL Osama Bin Laden supporters as well as who is REALLY acting in a "covert manner similar to that of the Sept. 11 hijackers." Charity isn't the only thing that begins at home!

Cheney Warns of Slowdown if Tax Cuts Stall [Signs of the Times] Stepping up pressure on the U.S. Congress, Vice President Dick Cheney warned on Friday that failure to pass the administration's new tax cuts "might well" trigger another economic downturn and deepen budget deficits by as much as $800 billion over the next 10 years. Cheney dismissed assertions by Democrats and some economists that higher deficits would lead to higher interest rates, and said cash-strapped states stand to benefit as faster growth boosts revenues to state coffers by an estimated $6 billion annually. Cheney and other top administration officials are seeking support from moderate Republicans and Democrats for President Bush's $674 billion tax-cut plan, which would eliminate taxes on most corporate dividends, accelerate across-the-board cuts in tax rates and offer more relief to married couples and parents.

Comment: Yeah right! More of the "Osama is under the bed" routine - if we don't do this or that, disaster will result. What is interesting is that Cheney is saying this while Gov. Gray Davis proposed deep cuts in schools, health and welfare and called for $8.3 billion in tax increases on shoppers, smokers and the wealthy Friday to help close a nearly $35 billion budget deficit. Is Bush trying to drive the country - and the American people - into bankruptcy? Spending like a drunken sailor - giving billions to Israel - and just token tax breaks for Mom and Pop America?

January 10, 2003

SIGNS HAS MOVED! Cassiopaea Announces New Interactive Signs Page! [Signs of the Times] The Tech team at has been working on making an interactive Signs of the Times page to enhance our networking capability. It is now becoming a reality. We hope that our readers and contributors will enjoy the opportunity to be more directly involved in our work of "seeing the unseen" in the global picture. Please feel free to sign up as a member, and submit urls and articles and commentary directly. It will take a little experimentation for all of us to get used to this new format, but we think it will be a great improvement over me (laura) having to put the news together each day from material sent via email. There are so many features to this format - let's all get involved and have some fun!


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