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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

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural


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

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease. [Gurdjieff]

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


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IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH! - Articles of Impeachment and the FAX number of your representative. Download, print and FAX.

Signs of the Times

Ark's Jokes

The maker of this flash presentation deserves a medal.

Pentagoon: I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

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Not In Our Name

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February 7, 2003

President Bush courted the leaders of France and China on Friday in an uphill struggle to win U.N. backing for war with Iraq. "The U.N. Security Council has got to make up its mind soon as to whether or not its word means anything," he said. A majority of the 15 Council members are in favor of relying on U.N. weapons inspectors to try to disarm President Saddam Hussein. But Bush said, "If he wanted to disarm he would have disarmed." "This is a defining moment for the U.N. Security Council," Bush said. "If the Security Council were to allow a dictator to lie and deceive, the Security Council will be weak." But France's ambassador to the United States, while also calling Saddam a dictator, said 10 or 11 of the 15 members of the Council want to extend inspections rather than use force. "Let's have the inspectors do their job," Jean-David Levitte said at the United States Institute of Peace. "Saddam is in his box and the box is now closed with the inspections." While Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Council on Wednesday that Iraq retains thousands of biological and chemical weapons, the French diplomat said "we do not see Iraq as an urgent threat" and the inspectors "have been quite successful" in forcing Iraq to get rid of weapons. France, which has the power to kill any U.N. resolution with a veto, is leaving open the use of force as an ultimate option, Levitte said, and will not decide on a position until after weapons inspectors report to the Council Feb. 14.

China holds that support should be given to the two UN organizations in the strengthening of their weapons inspections in Iraq, Chinese President Jiang Zemin told US President George W. Bush in a phone conversation Friday evening. He said it is the common aspiration of the international community to safeguard the Security Council's authority when dealing with significant issues like the Iraq issue Bush informed Jiang of the United States' stance and views on the Iraq issue and the nuclear issue in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the call. Jiang reiterated the Chinese government's principle and position on the Iraq issue, pointing out that the two UN organizations' weapon inspectors in Iraq had made some progress on the whole, but there still existed some problems. He said the Iraqi side had an obligation to respond to the problems, and it should cooperate more actively on its own initiative with the United Nations and possess no weapons of mass destruction.

A congressman who heads a homeland security subcommittee said on a radio call-in program that he agreed with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., made the remark Tuesday on WKZL-FM when a caller suggested Arabs in the United States should be confined. Another congressman who was interned as a child criticized Coble for the comment, as did advocacy groups. [...] Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., a Japanese-American who spent his early childhood with his family in an internment camp during World War II, said he spoke with Coble on Wednesday to learn more about his views. "I'm disappointed that he really doesn't understand the impact of what he said," Honda said. "With his leadership position in Congress, that kind of lack of understanding can lead people down the wrong path." The Japanese American Citizens League asked Coble to apologize and said he should be removed from his committee chairmanship.

News of Bogus UK Intelligence Report Sweeping the Planet - Michael C. Ruppert sez: Blair Government Facing Imminent Crisis - Revelation May Speed Up Iraqi Invasion - A story is sweeping the world tonight and it says a great deal about those who are forcing the world into a war it does not want. The famed dossier presented by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to his Parliament was plagiarized from two articles and a September 2002 research paper submitted by a graduate student. Worse, the Iraq described by the graduate student is not the Iraq of 2003 but the Iraq of 1991. So glaring was the theft of intellectual property that the official British document even cut and pasted whole verbatim segments of the research paper, including grammatical errors, and presented the findings as the result of intense work by British intelligence services.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell both praised and quoted that same British report in his presentation at the United Nations yesterday.

It is important that readers see and understand the enormity of this violation of public trust for themselves. The story was first broken by Britain's Channel 4 today and it is appearing in more papers and web sites by the hour. The following links lead directly to the Channel 4 story, to the British "intelligence" report and to the original student paper. What was also disclosed was that certain portions of the academic report were altered by the PM Tony Blair to make them more inflammatory. In one cited instance Blair changed "aiding opposition groups" to "supporting terrorists."

The Channel 4 story ~ The Official UK intelligence report ~ The original student research paper ~

In the context of merely preventing or slowing a war with Iraq this would be earth shattering news. But in a world that is slowly beginning to feel the pressure of and admit the reality of dwindling global oil supplies the fallout from the story may actually accelerate hostilities. British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be, by tomorrow, facing monumental challenges in both Parliament and from British public opinion that is overwhelmingly opposed to an Iraqi invasion. The event could be enough to topple his government and cause new elections which might well result in a new government that is not mind-melded with the Bush administration.

Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves - Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, February 7, 2003 Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle Columbia as it streaked over California, The Chronicle has learned. Investigators are combing records from a network of ultra-sensitive instruments that might have detected a faint thunderclap in the upper atmosphere at the same time a photograph taken by a San Francisco astronomer appears to show a purplish bolt of lightning striking the shuttle. Should the photo turn out to be an authentic image of an electrical event on Columbia, it would not only change the focus of the crash investigation, but it could open a door on a new realm of science. Comment: Yeah, and the C's have been talking about this stuff for years.

Everybody Loves A War Thug Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle - On the verge of Bush's brutal war for oil, the U.S. proves its arrogance, and the world is disgusted - So let's see if we have this straight. We still don't seem to have this straight: Because there stands emasculated and completely Cheney-whipped Colin Powell, up in front of the U.N. Security Council and the world's TV cameras, scowling and pounding his fist and making a big show of indignation and showing everyone -- what? Some blurry satellite photos with little red squares? An audiotape of an alleged phone conversation between members of the Iraqi military, proving the existence of some biological agents we probably sold to them? Is he serious? There is no real evidence. There is no smoking gun. There isn't even a smoking spit wad. There is only, basically, a smoking middle finger.

We are going to war with another impoverished, petty country for largely fabricated, faux-patriotic reasons. "Let's roll!" smirks Shrub during an appallingly vague State of the Union address, sending in 180,000 U.S. troops and gearing up to bomb the living crap out of a country that is no direct threat to us whatsoever. Do we not see?

Let's get it even straighter: There is zero proof that Iraq is producing any sort of serious WMD of any significant threat or lethal potential, certainly nothing remotely dangerous to the United States, and even the weapons we do think they might be hiding and even those few the inspectors actually found are either empty canisters with a range of about 12 miles or rusty hulls of weapons we knew they had back in 1992. Swell.

Straighter still: There is zero direct threat to the United States from Iraq. None whatsoever. No long-range nukes, no Hefty bags of anthrax, no seething cells of bearded Islamic fundamentalists heading over to sodomize our daughters and steal our Ford Expeditions and use up all the credit on our Starbucks cards. Clear? [...]

There is no reason to send in nearly a quarter-million U.S. troops to slaughter a half-million Iraqi people and create another estimated one million refugees. This is the U.N. estimate. Saddam's a brutal thug? Is this the reason? Well, join the club. And he's a pipsqueak compared to, say, North Korea's Kim Jong-il. Or how about the two million or so massacred in Rwanda a few years ago? Should we discuss them and the United States not giving much of a damn? No? I see.

Saddam intentionally gassed his own people? Yes, apparently he did. No question, he's a vile and barbarous dictator -- exactly as he was when he was our ally. [...]

The sad fact remains, the United States is, right now, as you read this, acting very much exactly like the arrogant and thuggish hypercapitalist rogue nation all these hate-filled countries claim we are. Oh, and that goes for much of the European Union too. In greater Europe, and beyond, George W. Bush is far scarier than Saddam could ever be. 9/11 sympathy? Not anymore. [...]

France knows it, Germany knows it -- hell, even Russia and China know it, and those ravenous wolves love nothing more than to eviscerate surrounding countries and throttle their own people for no other reason than to expand their power base.

Environmental atrocities? Logging in national forests? Massive unemployment? Gouging women's rights? Weakening the Clean Air Act? Bigger tax breaks for buying gluttonous SUVs? Failed economic stimulus? Record deficits? A trillion-dollar national debt? No wonder ShrubCo is positively salivating over this war. What a wonderful way to distract the populace from the Enron President's other ongoing failures and embarrassments and cultural molestations.

This is not an easy stance to voice. Such sentiments frequently elicit the following reaction, full of indignation and hissing patriotism: How dare you disrespect our president in a time of war! Don't you remember 9/11? Have you no heart? No sympathy for the thousands who died so horribly? Saddam must be stopped! Terrorism must be annihilated! We are threatened!

This is brilliant. And terribly sad. Because shocking indeed are the numbers of Americans who truly believe Saddam carried out the 9/11 attack, or at least had a significant role in it.

He didn't. Let us repeat: The war on Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks are completely separate issues, forcibly joined in the minds of fear-drunk Americans (and huge numbers of media lapdogs) by an incessant barrage of White House spin and thin-lipped Cheney-speak.

Do you get it? Once more, with feeling: bin Laden/al Qaeda = Sept. 11 and terrorism. Saddam/Iraq = oil and power. Clear? But wait, Saddam is reportedly sympathetic to terrorists, you might argue, parroting exactly what the White House has spun your way. Right. So are roughly 153 other Third World nations and sociopathic tyrants, many of whom will hate us even more once we start bombing.

Another reminder: The majority of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis and Egyptians. No Iraqis at all. Is it interesting to note how we aren't exactly eager to drop $10 billion worth of deadly ordnance on downtown Riyadh? Of course it's not. Extremely sensitive, extremely orgiastic, extremely complicated power relations having to do with billions in oil and money and U.S. corporate investment, is why.

No such complications with Iraq. Ain't no McDonald's in Baghdad, honey. We're about to bomb the living hell out of Iraq for the oil and the expansion of our power base. Simple. Even Bush can understand it. A-ha. Now it becomes clearer.

Oh, North Korea? That little bastard? A much larger, far more lethal military than Iraq, a couple working nukes, a loathed and ruthless dictator, despised by its neighbors, a horribly impoverished nation trembling on the edge of chaos, much more volatile and dangerous than Iraq could ever be.

Shrub just shrugs.

No time for that now, already have two false wars to run. Not to mention a record $300 bil deficit to justify for 2003, another projected $350 bil for next year, the biggest in history, gutting the economy, the biggest deficits since Bush Sr. was president. How sweet.

And those numbers don't even include the tens of billions it will cost to massacre Iraq. Guess who picks up the tab? Guess whose economy gets reamed? Guess whose voice of protest or restraint or peace doesn't matter in the slightest? See that mirror?

Look. Look closer. The terrorists have not won. The White House PR machine has won. We are not winning the war on terror. We are merely perpetuating it. We are guaranteeing it will last for decades to come. It is a vicious and bloody downward spiral.

We are going to massacre Iraq very soon now, no matter what anyone says, no matter which appalled U.N. member nation vetoes the decision. Poll after poll, protest after protest show the American people don't want it, the int'l community is horrified and disgusted, our U.N. standing is a joke and we are quickly becoming the sanctimonious self-righteous laughingstock brat child of the entire global community.

Problem is, ShrubCo's got all the bombs. A-ha. Now it becomes clearer.

Bush to America: "Who Cares What You Think?" - President Bush does not want the American public to forget that "Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction." That being said, Mr. Bush is looking a lot like his adversary these days... [...]

From the earliest days of the Bush administration, those with views contrary to the Bush agenda understood it would be a very long four years. When given the rare opportunity to express such objections, a Philadelphia journalist was rebuffed by the President, who, while still smiling, said in complete seriousness, "Who cares what you think?"

Bush's perception of himself as exalted leader whose decisions are beyond reproach suggests a severe detachment from reality. "...I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation...." Thus, when President Bush decided that Saddam Hussein had to be removed as leader of the Iraqi government, he foresaw no obstacles blocking his path.

President Bush threatened United States military intervention under the auspice that United Nations weapons inspectors had not been allowed to work within Iraq since 1998, a violation under Security Council Resolution 1441. Thankfully Iraq relented, two days before a UN November 15 deadline, that they would allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq and resume their duties. The standoff between Iraq and the United States continued, however, as the United States deployed both troops and warships to the Gulf. When the question was raised by a reporter if the United States was going to war against Iraq, President Bush indignantly responded, "You say we're headed to war. I don't know why you suggested that. I'm the person who gets to decide, and not you." President Bush once again grasped power by the neck and brutally choked it with reckless disregard.

Ashcroft pushes for more death sentences - The United States attorney general, John Ashcroft, has overruled his own federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for 28 defendants, in what has been criticised as a drive to spread capital punishment into states that have resisted it. - A national network of defence lawyers, the federal death penalty resource counsel project, has counted 28 cases in which Mr Ashcroft has insisted on the death penalty, against the judgment of the federal prosecutors involved. His predecessor, Janet Reno, intervened in 26 cases over five years. [...] "There are more federal cases approved for the death penalty by the attorney general than there have ever been before," said Dick Burr, a Texas defence lawyer and a member of the project. "He's acting like a Texas politician, but then of course, he works for one. [...] Mr Ashcroft's actions come at a time when there are deep differences between states over capital punishment. Last month, the outgoing governor of Illinois, Jim Ryan, commuted the sentences of all the states' death row inmates. Mr Burr suggested there was also a racial tinge to the attorney general's interventions.

John Ashcroft's Death-Penalty Edicts - Mr. Ashcroft's decisions appear to be driven by a desire to see the death penalty used more. His aggressive promotion of capital punishment is not only wrong, it is badly timed. Popular support for the death penalty is declining, due in large part to the growing number of cases in which DNA evidence is exonerating death row inmates. - United States attorneys' offices are among the most respected institutions in law enforcement. The Justice Department should let these professional prosecutors make decisions about sentencing, not impose a political agenda on them.

Bush socks it to the Poor - President Bush's budget proposes new eligibility requirements that would make it more difficult for low-income families to obtain a range of government benefits, from tax credits to school lunches. Arguing that much of the federal money intended for poor people is diverted through error and fraud, the administration wants to require families to supply more proof of their income and living arrangements before they can qualify for aid.

Critics, including some local officials, said today that the extra steps would deter eligible poor people from applying for needed assistance. The Bush budget would also replace one of the largest federal housing programs with a block grant to states, which could redirect some of the money away from working poor people in cities. Mr. Bush said he wanted to shift money and responsibility for this and other social welfare programs, including Medicaid, to the states.

About half of the 28 million children in the National School Lunch Program receive free meals because they come from low-income families. But John H. Rice, a spokesman for the federal Food and Nutrition Service, said the government had found that the number of students certified for free meals was about 25 percent higher than the number who appeared to be eligible, according to Census Bureau data.

His State of the Union oratory to the contrary, President Bush wants to spend less money on the environment and clean energy programs than Congress gave him two years ago. In a way, that's not surprising. Domestic programs generally took their lumps in a budget weighted toward tax cuts and military spending. Even so, some of the president's proposals — including a reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency budget from $8.1 billion in 2002 to $7.6 billion this year — seemed downright peculiar, coming as they did on the heels of Mr. Bush's ringing pledges for a cleaner environment and reduced dependence on foreign oil. [...] No less perverse is a provision that would provide a $75,000 deduction for small businesses that buy huge gas-guzzling S.U.V.'s like the Lincoln Navigator.

Hundreds of hospitals and thousands of nurses across the country say that they will not participate in President Bush's plan to vaccinate 500,000 health care workers against smallpox. [...] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that only 687 volunteers in 16 states had been vaccinated since the program began two weeks ago, though it has shipped 250,000 doses of vaccine to 41 states. [...] Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the president's advisory panel on smallpox vaccination, said he was "surprised," adding, "People are voting with their arms." Dr. Offit was the only member of the panel to vote against nationwide vaccination, and his hospital was quick to back out because it had so many children with immune systems weakened by cancer treatment or organ transplants. Public-health and hospital officials concede that they are struggling to find volunteers. Many health workers say they are skeptical that an attack is imminent and fear having a bad reaction to the vaccine or infecting a patient or relative with it.

Rho Cassiopeiae may go supernova any day - Recently astronomers have noted the star exhibiting some of the same behaviour that lead to that explosion. A study of the build-up is published in the current issue of The Astrophysical Journal. "Rho Cassiopeiae could end up in a supernova explosion at any time as it has almost consumed the nuclear fuel at its core," said Dr Garik Israelian of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias in Spain.

Rho Cassiopeiae is one of the most massive stars known, about 40 times heavier and 700 times bigger than our Sun, and shining some 50,000 times more brightly. Such massive stars are called hypergiants and Rho Cassiopeiae is the brightest of only seven yellow hypergiants known in our galaxy. Hypergiants are very bright and very hot, with temperatures of between 3,500°C to 7,000°C. Between 1993 and 2002, five telescopes in Europe and the United States have been trained on the star, and the astronomers were rewarded in 2000 when they were able to record the first eruption. [...]

The team analysed the event's spectra, or separated light, to determine temperature changes and learn how much material was shot into space. The star cooled down from 7,000°C to 4,000°C within a few months during the event. Over 200 days, the star ejected about three per cent of its mass - equal to 10,000 Earths. Since then the star has been restless. Recently, its outer atmosphere seems to be collapsing, prompting Lobel to forecast that another eruption is imminent. Despite being 10,000 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Cassiopiea, Rho Cassiopeiae has a brightness of 4.5 on a scale that runs from 6 being the dimmest that can be seen by the unaided eye and 0 for the brightest objects. This massive distance means that the events being observed occurred about 10,000 years ago. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, so each light year an object is away represents a delay of a year between an event occurring and us being able to observe it. Comment: Aside from the obvious grim humor that "It's not nice to mess with Mother Cassiopaea!" this event is, of course, very interesting in terms of our own Cassiopaean Transmissions as well as in terms of "Signs of the Times." Several sessions referenced supernovae and we have collected them together in a series of excerpts. See: Supernovae: The Vehicle of Ascension? Is this a sign that the Cassiopaen Energy is growing exponentially? Seems to be so....

Folks, Bush is "raising the terrorist threat level" which means that he is trying to distract everyone from what he is doing. You know, the old "Osama is Under the Bed" routine. But be aware, it is altogether likely that, in order to engender more popular support for his Psychopathic Foreign Policy, another staged terrorist attack just may occur. By now, Bush must be feeling like the boy who cried "Wolf!" From a recent session, January 18, 2003:

Q: Is the war drama merely a play being put on to keep us all distracted and in a state of fear?
A: More or less.

Q: Yet, you said the United States would be bombed, and on another occasion you said there would not be a nuclear war.
A: "Bombs" are not all "nuclear." And, there are "natural bombs" including "nuclear."

Q: (A) I want to ask about the collapse of the World Trade Center. There is evidence of seismicity and unusual pulses that seem to have simply disintegrated matter.
A: Very good observation, but that does not mean human sabotage either. There were certainly "pulses." They were of a "natural" source that was "sculpted" or "shaped" and directed.

Q: What do you mean by a 'natural source?'
A: Energies of the planet artificially collected and disbursed. An artificial earthquake sort of.

Q: But we are still talking about technology. Where is the operational center for this type of thing?
A: 4th density technology.

Q: This we know. But there are human brain involved. What brains are behind this?
A: Did you ever wonder why the pentagon is a pentagon? Hint!

Q: Is that why they specifically included the Pentagon as one of the buildings to be hit in the 9-11 attack; to allay suspicions?
A: Yup!

Q: Are there 4th density sections to the Pentagon?
A: Absolutely. It is a "deep cover" kind of place.

Q: (A) There is this Pentagon, then there is another superpower - Russia - and still another - China... A: There is only one. The U.S. just happens to be the center.

Q: (A) Well. (L) Maybe the heads of these other countries are all like George Bush. They don't know why they do what they do. It's all been scripted from somewhere else. (A) Question is: there is Europe - how can France or Russia or whoever, win against this kind of technology? Apparently, since there is only one center, and this center of technology is the U.S, it seems pretty hopeless.
A: Remember Perseus and David and Goliath. Besides, help is drawing near.

Q: (A) Help. (L) Sometimes I have the feeling that when they say "help is drawing near," it really means that that our "future" is getting closer and we are going to be the ones doing the helping! [Laughter.]
A: Close, but not all.

Q: (A) That means there are surprises waiting for us. (L) I think that people concentrating on the anti-war thing is a waste of time. I think they ought to be concentrating on the "impeach Bush" issue. But then, what good would it do to impeach Bush. Same thing would have happened with Gore. Until people wake up to the reality of 4th density manipulation, we are all in deep doo doo.
A: True.

Q: (L) I guess they are all gonna gather together there on the battlefield and when they are all there, something is gonna happen to scare the bayjeezus out of them... A: Maybe...

Q: (A) The point is, that people have no choice. They are backed into a corner. The only thing they can do now is just impeach Bush. If they don't do that, there is nothing else they can do. Because if they don't do anything, they will bear the blame for doing nothing - the same way Germany did after Hitler. All the signs are here now: it is exactly like it was in 1939 in Europe. (L) Well, anything we do, we cannot anticipate the outcome. We can't even know if it will be helpful. We just have to do what is right from one moment to the next based on what we know using our best efforts. For all we know, if we keep pushing the "impeach Bush" issue, we may end up in jail as "enemy combatants." (A) What did we learn? That there is this help on the way. We know that we cannot quit working. We are helping the help, so to say. (L) Well, ...people are not seeing that Bush is only the representative, the real issue being the Consortium - the whole situation is being manipulated for the benefit of the Industrial-Military Complex just as Eisenhower foresaw. Bush is only the puppet for this Consortium. If that could be seen as the real danger that it is, if they could impeach Bush - who is their creature - and get somebody into the presidency who was uncorruptible, who could kick butt and take names like Kennedy tried to do. Well, we have learned. Kennedy didn't take the danger as seriously as he should have. If he had, maybe he could have carried through what he wanted to do: disband the CIA, tie the hands of the military, make things more equitable for the common people, enhance civil rights and civil liberties. If we could get somebody in the White House who was smart enough to not get assassinated, and who was clean and not tied up with the consortium, things really COULD change.

(A) The problem is only in America. If America would just stand down, Saddam would be dealt with appropriately. Nobody likes the guy. He doesn't have anything. He is no danger to anybody. But Bush is a danger to the whole planet. He has created this crisis and the whole world has gone to hell in just a few months.

(L) And the reason he is able to do what he is doing - which is basically that he is going to destroy the whole damn planet - is because of the media. The media is controlled by the Jews who have only one agenda: to own all of Palestine and revenge. And so, they dangle carrots for Bush to follow without even knowing that they are signing their own death warrant. They are following the script of the Consortium which wants, above all other things, to see all Semitic peoples destroyed, and their hubris won't even allow them to see it. For that reason, the Jews have helped George Bush plunge the entire world into chaos. And they will wonder why, at the last moment, everyone hates them just as Americans will wonder why they are the most hated nation on Earth. Blind hubris.

(A) Well, there is this Game Theory, and they are employing it to the max. They are playing a game. They know where the buttons need to be pushed, to steer the delicate equilibrium where they want it. No one in the world of politics is clean. No one. They are all dirty, and if you know all the dirt, you can do what you want. So, if something comes along that destroys their game theory...the whole operation will collapse. Game theory is based on data. ... (L) And then meanwhile, there is the North Korean guy - the mirror image of George Bush; everything he says and does is modeled from George Bush. It is actually comical to watch them. "I'm going to blow up the world!" "No you're not, I'm going to blow it up first! I'm going to turn America into a sea of fire." And Bush is saying "I'm going to bomb Iraq back to the stone age." "No you're not! We're going to bomb YOU back to before the Stone Age!" They are like two identical characters! Crazy! We are in a hell of a mess. Any comments?
A: The situation looks bleak indeed. But remember the Achilles heel of STS: Wishful Thinking.

Q: In this case, how is wishful thinking going to help?
A: There will be a big miscalculation made. It will reveal the "Man behind the curtain."

Observatories throughout western Japan were swamped overnight with calls from people claiming to have spotted a UFO, the Mainichi learned Friday. - Dozens witnessed the phenomenon at around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, and though what they saw may have shook their nerves, there was little need for them to rattle their brains as it appears to have been great balls of fire caused by a falling meteor or comet. Moving from west to east across the sky, the initial fireball split into three before disappearing. "It was white at first and then turned yellow. It was like watching the headlights of a truck from a long distance. I thought it must have been a meteor, but I was shocked as I'd never experienced anything like this before," said Yoshitaka Hazenoki, a member of the board of education in the Wakayama Prefecture city of Arita. Comment: Well, if it was a comet, considering the increasing numbers of such "sightings," we may have a serious problem. If it was not a comet, we still may have a serious problem!

Cosmic Bolt Probed in Shuttle Disaster - Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle. Comment: Can we say "EM Pulse Weapon????

Azerbaijani Expert: Shuttle Columbia Crushed By UFO - "Articles on this version are already being published in the press of Russia and other many countries. It is said Columbia has come across with the wrath of UFOs," Gasimov told to Olaylar news agency. According to the scientist, in 1947 the USA signed an agreement among high civilizations. According to this agreement, super state must not used from space orbit against the earth. Thus, the USA shuttles must not only conduct scientific- researches in the orbit and must not think about the attack other states from space.

When College of Charleston psychology professor Robin Bowers discovered his office computer was missing, he thought "it was the most beautiful theft I'd ever seen." Nothing else was disturbed. The door wasn't jimmied, the windows remained locked from the inside, and not even a pencil was out of place. Little did Bowers know that his computer had been taken during a midday visit by an FBI agent, campus security and the Charleston Police Department's computer forensics expert, all there to investigate a child pornography allegation. - The allegation proved false. But the episode last month has ignited a debate over faculty privacy, prompted a campus-wide policy review, and left Bowers angry and wondering how far the incident has damaged his relationships with faculty and students, one of whom asked him point-blank during class why his computer was taken. -

"My mental freedom is gone," Bowers said Monday. The case surfaced Jan. 15 when Bowers, a tenured associate professor of psychology, broke with his traditional pattern of leaving campus at about 2 p.m. to pick up his daughter from school. Instead, he ran back to his Coming Street office after teaching his final class. That's when he discovered his computer's central processing unit was missing. Security was called, but within moments, Bowers received a telephone call from psychology department Chairman Charles Kaiser, who told him " 'Robin you are cool; everything is cool,' " Bowers recalled, and Kaiser confirmed the comment to The Post and Courier. The computer was immediately returned. But Bowers was left to wonder what "you are cool" meant, learning only later that authorities were looking for child porn."I have never (seen) on my computer or in my life a picture of child pornography," Bowers said Monday, adding that he has no idea where the allegation came from. He also suspects authorities wanted to take his computer, search it, and return it before he knew it was missing.

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “up to the minute” assessment of Saddam’s arsenal – presented as the input of MI5 and MI6 – was in fact plagiarised from an essay by an Arab student! The revelation has seriously torpedoed Blair’s credibility – and created behind-the-scenes fury in the White House. President Bush had cited the document as “independent proof” to support Secretary of State Collin Powell’s “show and tell” performance at the United Nations. The Downing Street document – published on its official website is titled: “Iraq: It’s Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation”. The clear implication was that it had been compiled from the very latest input from MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – Britain’s “ear in the sky” global listening agency. Colin Powell, in his 90 minute performance at the UN heralded it as an “important contribution to revealing the truth about Saddam”. But when Britain’s intelligence chiefs saw the 19-page document, they were furious. They immediately recognised that it had been culled from three separate articles. But the bulk of the 19-page Downing Street document – on which Blair’s government has based its carefully co-ordinated offensive against anti-war protesters – was written by an Arab post-graduate student in California. He is Ibrahim al-Marashi, who studied politics at the small university of Monteray outside Los Angeles.

US is told: turn on us and you get total war - "I wouldn't label it a crisis," the deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage told the United States Senate when he was being interrogated over the nuclear showdown with North Korea. It was more of a "big problem", he said. However careful the Bush administration is with words, it clear that its North Korea problem is getting bigger by the day, and they are well aware that Pyongyang is raising the temperature with every degree Washington turns up the heat on Baghdad. On Wednesday, when Mr Armitage's boss, Colin Powell, was at the UN making the case against Saddam Hussein, the North Korean government announced its intentions to reactivate its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon which is also the core of its revived nuclear weapons programme. Yesterday, with characteristic hyperbole, Pyongyang also warned of "total war" in response to a pre-emptive US airstrike, after the Pentagon put two dozen long-range bombers on alert to move out to East Asia.

Comment: Now, let me get this straight: Saddam does not want war and has done everything he can to avoid war - and Bush and Co. claim - against all the evidence - that he is the greatest threat on the planet and that we have an "Iraqi Crisis." Meanwhile, we have this Korean gang with nukes that we KNOW they have, telling us right out that they are going to bomb us back to the Stone Age, and it's not a "crisis?" It's just "hyperbole?!" Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and have to remember just what is really going on on the Big Blue Marble, I have to splash cold water in my face to convince myself that I am not just having a nightmare - that the world really has gone mad and that the ship of state is truly this far out of control steered by George Bush and the Warmongers.

There will be no Korean war, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems, former Head of the International Cooperation Department of the Russian Armed Forces Headquarters Leonid Ivashov believes. No country in the region, including China "is interested in waging a war," he said at a press conference on Friday. The Russian expert finds the Iraqi situation is different. For instance, "Israel is most interested" in a possible US military intervention in Iraq, Leonid Ivashov claims. On the other hand, he believes Washington needs the Korean issue to "settle the situation in the Middle East." "Thus, Washington may pursue its nuclear speculations to get what it wants," former Russian military official believes.

On February 11, head of the Federal Network Company Andrey Rappoport and Presidential Envoy in the Far East Federal District Konstantin Pulikovsky will meet in Khabarovsk to discuss the possibility of supplying energy to North Korea, the information and analytical center of the Envoy's office reported. The participants of the meeting will also discuss short-term and long-term development of the Far East energy industry, including integration in the Asian-Pacific region. Previously, Director General of the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia Susumu Yoshida stated at an international forum in Khabarovsk that Russian electrical energy supplies to North Korea were promising. In his opinion, while developing economically, North Korea will inevitably face a deficit of energy resources, which should be compensated by imports from outside, that is from Russian power plants.

Iraq took international journalists to two missile sites on Friday in an attempt to rebut U.S. charges that it was developing long-range missiles in violation of a U.N. ban. Secretary of State Colin Powell, during a presentation to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, produced a satellite pictures of what he said were illegal activities. One of the pictures showed two engine test stands at Falluja north of Baghdad. One of the stands, Powell said, was designed to test engines of missiles with a range of 1,200 km (750 miles). Under U.N. resolutions, Iraq is allowed to have missiles with a maximum range of 150 km (95 miles). Another picture showed trucks at Al Moatassem missile production facility south of Baghdad. Powell said Iraq was clearing up banned materials from the site shortly before U.N. weapons inspections. Iraq's Information Ministry took journalists to both sites. At the Falluja facility, run by the government's Al Rafah company, Ali Jassem, an official, said the site was the first visited by U.N. weapons inspectors when they resumed work in Iraq on November 27. "The inspectors visited this site and searched it. They found that everything inside falls under permitted activities," Jassem said. He said the inspectors had returned to the site several times since, the last of which was on February 4, a day before Powell's presentation.

Rumsfeld was due to address an annual security conference in the southern German city of Munich on Saturday and was expected to argue that allowing more time for weapons inspections in Iraq makes sense only if Iraq cooperates with the United Nations. Mass protests are planned in Munich on Friday and at the weekend against the security conference, Rumsfeld's visit and the threat of war in the Gulf, with police warning of possible violence. Some 3,500 officers are on duty to try keep the peace. Rumsfeld's comments on Wednesday putting Germany in the same category as Libya and Cuba as states that would not be helpful in any international effort to overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein have infuriated many, putting new pressure on already strained transatlantic ties.

The United States said it was ready for any contingency after North Korea issued threats of pre-emptive attack and suggested it was poised to restart an atomic reactor central to its suspected drive for nuclear arms. But as Washington warned Pyongyang it was only isolating itself with its saber-rattling, there were growing signs the United States was moving toward talks over the second nuclear crisis provoked by the communist state in a decade. North Korea's state media kept up a stream of alarmist statements Friday after a senior diplomat told British reporters in Pyongyang that "pre-emptive attacks are not the exclusive right of the U.S.."

US President George W. Bush demanded that the United Nations punish Baghdad for flouting its disarmament demands and warned Saddam Hussein: "The game is over." "Saddam Hussein was given a final chance; he is throwing that chance away. The dictator of Iraq is making his choice. Now, the nations of the (UN) Security Council must make their own," he said. A grim-faced Bush said the United States would "welcome and support" a second UN Security Council resolution to trigger military action to enforce its November 8 disarmament ultimatum. "Yet resolutions mean little without resolve. And the United States, along with a growing coalition of nations, is resolved to take whatever action is necessary to defend ourselves and disarm the Iraqi regime." The hastily arranged statement, beamed around the world, came amid tepid reaction from key nations like France, Russia, and Germany to US Secretary of State Colin Powell's formal charges against Iraq before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

The Iraqi embassy in Moscow has received over 2,500 visa enquiries from Russians wishing to take part in the so-called 'peace train'. This was announced today at a press conference in Moscow by Iraqi Ambassador Abbas Khalaf. According to Khalaf, visas will be issued to the Russians as soon as he receives a reply from Baghdad. Citizens of various countries, including Italy, the US, Germany, and Great Britain are planning to travel to Iraq before the start of a military operation in order to act as a 'human shield'.

A former high-level Iraqi nuclear scientist, now living in Canada, said on Monday there is no way Iraq could possess nuclear weapons and the United States is exaggerating the potential threat for its own purposes.  Dr. Imad Khadduri, who joined the Iraqi nuclear program in 1968 and was part of a team trying to develop a nuclear bomb in the 1980s, said Iraq's weapons program fell into shambles after the Gulf War and could not possibly have been resurrected.  "All we had after the war from that nuclear power program were ruins, memoirs, and reports of what we had done...on the nuclear weapon side I am more than definitely sure nothing has been done," he told Reuters in an interview. "For (U.S. President George W.) Bush to continue brandishing this image of a superhuman Iraqi nuclear power program is a great fallacious misinformation."

Iraq on Thursday poured scorn on U.S. accusations that it was cheating weapons inspectors and had links with al Qaeda, as the United States and Britain called for a new U.N. resolution to authorize war. An elite U.S. air assault division was ordered to deploy to the Gulf region and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left for Europe to press the case for a possible war on Iraq. Iraqi officials responded angrily to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who on Wednesday presented the U.N. Security Council with spy satellite photos, tapes of bugged conversations and other material he said was damning evidence of Iraq's determination to hide banned weapons. Amer al-Saadi, adviser to President Saddam Hussein, said the allegations were "outrageous and not convincing," designed as "home consumption for the uninformed." "We will send a detailed letter to the Security Council ... to rebut Powell's speech point by point," he told a Baghdad news conference.

In his speech in front of the U.N. Security Council on February 5, 2003, Colin Powell did not offer any viable new evidence concerning Iraq's nuclear weapon capability that Bush and his entourage continue to wave as a red flag in front of the eyes of the American people to incite them shamefully into an unjust war. On the contrary, the few flimsy so-called pieces of evidence that were presented by Powell regarding a supposed continued Iraqi nuclear weapon program serve only to weaken the American and British accusations and reveal their untenable attempt to cover with a fig leaf their thread bare arguments and misinformation campaign. [...]

Powell, in a theatrical query, asked why the Iraqi scientists were asked to sign declarations, with a death penalty if not adhered to, not to reveal their secrets to the IAEA inspection teams. Exactly the opposite is true. The four or five, as I recall, such declarations, which I read in detail, held us to the penalty of death in the event that we did not hand in all of the sensitive documents and reports that may still be in our possession! Had Powell's intelligence services provided him with a copy of these declarations, and not depended on "defector's" testimonies who are solely motivated by their self-promotion in the eyes of their "beholders," and availed himself to a good Arabic translation of what these declarations actually said, he would not, had he any sense been abiding by the truth, mentioned this as "evidence."


Arrogantly, the Americans are wondering why other scientists are not coming forward. Even worse, Blix chose to wave this torn flag in front of the Security Council in his report on Monday January 27, 2003. This fact alone was one of the reasons I have decided to come out. Even Mohamed Baradei, the head of the IAEA, chided Blix the following day for not taking into account IAEA's knowledge on this matter, which was that the 3000 pages of documents were financial statements and Faleh's own lifetime research work, and had nothing to do with the nuclear weapon program. That is why he kept them at his home. It was becoming apparent that Blix was succumbing to the American pressure tactics and leaned backwards to provide them with flimsy "proof" at the expense of his supposed fairness and mandate as a U.N. official. Powell grasped even this straw.

"A third-rate intelligence team could have done it," said Iraqi General Amer Al-Saadi, Chief Science advisor to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his refute of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's "evidence" before the U.N. Security Council. The world was holding its breath as it waited for what the U.S. would provide as proof that Iraq was withholding illicit bio-weapons, is a threat to the U.S. and is complicit with al-Qaeda. While the world listened to Powell, Arabs found the alleged intercepted phone conversations troublesome. "I couldn't believe that they would actually call the intercepted Iraqi intelligence messages proof," said Hashem Kardani, a political analyst in Jordan. "It could have just about been anybody." [...] Fearing that the Powell testimony would not be enough to sway the public, the U.S. intelligence community once again began touting the line that Iraq and al-Qaeda were in cahoots together. Powell was careful, however, not to imply that Iraq was behind, or connected in any way, to the tragic 9-11 attacks in the U.S. However, to the viewing and listening public, he did not need to. The words al-Qaeda and Iraq, thrown together into one sentence, are enough to play on the emotions of the U.S. public and automatically incriminate Iraq. Powell did not answer reporters' questions why the BBC had a day earlier published an article in which U.K. intelligences sources had leaked that they had not found any evidence whatsoever that Iraq had at any time aided, abetted or even ideologically supported the criminal fanatics of al-Qaeda.

An Iraqi official declined to be interviewed without two witnesses being present, to avoid the possibility of words being attributed to him which he did not say. Numerous sites were inspected. Nothing was found. The Iraqi authorities cooperated fully. All in the words of an official United Nations document. The International Atomic Energy Agency inspected the Al Mamoun plant together with UNMOVIC, looking for biological weapons. Nothing was found. The Mosul sugar and yeast factory was inspected and the teams found…sugar and yeast. A farm was inspected north of Baghdad. Nothing was found. A helicopter support facility was visited. Nothing was found. The Al Taji Ammunition Depot was inspected and an empty Sakr-18 warhead was found. These warheads are obsolete and are not Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Al Rafah test stand was inspected. Nothing was found. The Al Harith missile maintenance site was inspected. Nothing was found. The Al Mamoun solid propellant plant was inspected. Solid propellant was found. A water purification facility was visited in Daura, Baghdad. Nothing was found. The ASCO commercial centre, a pesticide production plant, was inspected. Pesticides were found. The State Establishment for Heavy Engineering plant, also at Daura, was inspected. This plant has mixing tanks for the food processing, chemical and petroleum industries. Nothing was found. From the viewpoint of the Bush administration, nothing was found because it had all been hidden under palm trees or is being driven around the countryside in cars. From the viewpoint of logic and common sense, if something does not exist, it cannot be found. When people start to see things which do not exist, the case belongs to the area of psychiatry.

The chief U.N. weapons inspector said Friday Iraq appeared to be making fresh efforts to cooperate over banned weapons, and France said there were still alternatives to war. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in Europe to win over wavering allies, said he detected momentum toward war, adding that a pre-emptive strike against Iraq might save thousands of lives in the long term. Aware of international disquiet over the prospect of war, Iraq bowed to a key U.N. demand and Thursday let inspectors hold their first private interview with an Iraqi scientist linked to previous banned weapons programs. U.N. arms inspections chief Hans Blix gave Iraq's move a cautious welcome. "We want to see disarmament of Iraq through the inspection process," he told new weapons inspectors bound for Iraq. "It requires active cooperation from Iraq, not on process but on substance."

The United Nations said its arms experts had held their first private interview with an Iraqi scientist after US President George W. Bush warned Baghdad "the game is over" and underscored his readiness for war with or without UN authorisation. The three and a half hour interview with an Iraqi biologist came as Iraq braced Friday for a final week of scrutiny by UN weapons inspectors before they are to deliver fresh conclusions to the UN Security Council. Bush warned Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on Thursday: "The game is over. All the world can rise to this moment. The community of free nations can show that it is strong and confident and determined to keep the peace." The US president also stepped up pressure for a new Security Council resolution to trigger military action while declaring that "the United States, along with a growing coalition of nations, is resolved to take whatever action is necessary to defend ourselves and disarm the Iraqi regime." But Russia responded Friday by saying there was no need yet for new action by the 15-member council. "Today, we see no basis for adopting a UN Security Council resolution that would open the way for the use of force against Iraq," Foreign Minister Ivan Ivanov said. Bush's hastily arranged statement Thursday -- beamed around the world -- came amid tepid reaction from key capitals including Paris and Moscow to US Secretary of State Colin Powell's formal charges before the Security Council that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems, believes "the United States' aggression against Iraq is going to happen." One testament to that, he contended, is the fact that the US "has launched all the necessary elements of preparation for a military operation." He opined that the one thing that could have forestalled the onset of military action was a coordinated stance of nations such as France and Germany, but he said, "there's no discernible coordination of these states' actions." The expert suggested that the timescale for the launch of the US military operation "may have shifted until a few days or even weeks later on account of the Columbia shuttle disaster." He argued that the mission was intended to carry out "intelligence tasks capable of bolstering the argument for possible action against Iraq." Furthermore, he alleged, the Columbia mission was used for "input of programs for cruise missile flights and aviation action against Iraq." The consequence of the Iraq war may be "a radical change of the international security system," warned Ivashov. He argued that whether the United Nations Security Council in its present form will survive the war is already a question mark; if indeed it does, "what are its functions going to be in the future?" He speculated that one possibility involved the Security Council "remaining a body for legitimizing the actions of the strong against the weak on the world scene." Overall, pointed out Ivashov, who once headed the international directorate at the Russian General Staff, in the event that war begins in Iraq, international relations are set to lapse into "a state of chaos."

The founder of the militant Palestinian group Hamas urged Muslims on Friday to attack Western interests around the world if the United States launches a war on Iraq. "It's a Crusaders's aggression, a Crusaders's war and an occupation," Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said of a possible U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq. "Muslims will have to threaten and strike Western interests, and hit them everywhere," Yassin wrote in an open letter. "As they fight us, we have to fight them and as they threaten our interests, we have to threaten their interests," he said. Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group on the U.S. government's list of terrorist organizations, has killed hundreds of people in suicide bombings in Israel during the 28-month-old Palestinian uprising for statehood. But the group insists it only operates in Israel and in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and that it does not target Westerners.

Israel was bracing for what its army chief predicted will be an "earthquake" in the region if the United States attacks Iraq, amid fears of more Palestinian attacks inside Israel. As the US administration was pounding the drums of war louder by the day, General Moshe Yaalon warned that a US offensive on Iraq would drastically reshape the region whatever the outcome. "In the coming weeks, an US attack in Iraq will trigger a regional earthquake, which will reshape" the Middle East, Yaalon said in an interview with the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily. "A successful US offensive will have positive consequences, by strengthening the pragmatic elements in the region," he explained Friday. "However, if it is perceived as a failure, it will have negative consequences for us," Yaalon added in reference to Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

France is not "systematically pacifist" and recognizes war could be a "last resort" to force Iraq to get rid of arms it has "probably" amassed, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said. Speaking to the French community on a visit to New Delhi on Thursday, Raffarin said "the position of France is that it wants to really obtain the destruction of weapons that have probably been amassed in Iraq." "We're not systematically pacifist, but we think war isn't nice and we don't want war. We know that it's the last resort that could be considered when all other options have been considered," he said.

Pope John Paul and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made a joint appeal for a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis on Friday after holding private talks at the Vatican. "Both sides are very concerned about the threat of a war, the humanitarian consequences, the consequences for regional stability and the long-term consequences in the whole region," Fischer told reporters after meeting the 82-year-old Pontiff. The Vatican, which gave its tacit backing to U.S. action in Afghanistan after September 11, considering it a case of "just war," said it remained resolutely against war on Iraq. "The Holy See reiterated its position, expressed in numerous documents and interventions, in favor of peace and respecting international rights," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said after the meeting. "The responsibility of all parties to avoid the emergence of a tragic conflict was also underlined." The pope and the German government have openly opposed Washington's case for military action in Iraq.

Russia and Poland should step up military and security ties, Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said here during talks with his Russian counterpart. "We have a common interest in military cooperation and contacts between our armed forces and the NATO military alliance," Cimoszewicz said late Thursday, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported. Poland is particularly "satisfied with the signing of an agreement on (Russian) maintenance and upgrading of military equipment now used by the Polish army," Cimoszewicz said after talks with Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov. Ivanov in turn hailed improvements in Russia's ties with Poland, which he said had taken a dramatic turn for the better since Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Poland last year, ITAR-TASS reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it plans to step up its criticism of what it says is the US government's assault on individual freedoms with a series of print ads attacking US Attorney General John Ashcroft. The advertisements paint Ashcroft as a zealous ideologue who has hacked away at American civil liberties using post-September 11 concerns about national security as a pretext. The advertisement accuses Ashcroft of "shamelessly using the events of September 11 as a subterfuge," to undermine the rights enshrined in the US Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech and association. "Today, the government can get a secret warrant to search your home without telling you until long afterwards," the advertisement reads. "Today, the government can monitor your Internet use, read your emails, examine your online purchases with minimal judicial oversight. Today, you can be detained without access to a lawyer, without being charged with a crime. "Today, John Ashcroft has authorized the FBI to monitor your political activities, to send agents into your house of worship. We can only guess what tomorrow will bring." The "hard-hitting," ad, which will begin running in a selection of national current affairs and political magazines later this month, concludes with an exhortation to the American people to "stop the Ashcroft assault on our civil liberties."

Cuban agents have stepped up the harassment of U.S. diplomats stationed in Cuba, slashing their tires, entering their homes without permission and sometimes leaving urine and feces behind them, according to a document circulated by the State Department on Thursday. The Cubans appear to have targeted for special harassment any diplomats whose job it is to contact the Cuban opposition, added a State Department official. "Harassment has been a part of reality down there since 1979 (when the U.S. interests section opened in Havana) but what's going on now is a trend toward making the lives of diplomats engaged with opposition elements even more difficult," said the official, who asked not to be named.

Australia's first cloned sheep has died despite being in apparent good health, but any chance of getting to the root of the mysterious death was lost when its decomposing carcass was cremated. The cremation of the merino ewe "Matilda" raised eyebrows among opponents of cloning and gene technology, who lamented that there would be no further opportunity to establish what happened. Rob Lewis, executive director of the South Australian Research and Development Institute, said Friday that "Matilda" died last Saturday and was not found until the following day. An autopsy failed to find any reason for the ewe's abrupt death and the carcass was cremated because it had decomposed after lying out in the open in hot summer conditions. "She was very healthy, and very sprightly...on the day she died," Lewis told Reuters.

Ex-communist states in Europe, grateful for U.S. support in their fight against Soviet domination, have rushed to offer military help for any war against Iraq, with Bulgaria and Slovakia the latest to offer assistance on Thursday. Bulgaria's cabinet granted the United States the use of a Black Sea air base, opened its skies to U.S. warplanes and sanctioned the dispatch of troops to near Iraq to tackle non-conventional warfare threats. Slovakia's parliament also formally agreed to deploy an anti-chemical-and-biological warfare unit to the Gulf after the Bratislava government made the offer last month. The Bulgarian decision, which lets the United States use the Sarafovo airfield for refueling, as in the Afghan campaign, is expected to be approved by its parliament on Friday. Both countries were responding to official U.S. requests for help and have shown no qualms about their willingness to back Washington -- eager to repay the United States for persuading NATO to grant them an invitation for membership. Comment: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss...

A Japanese scientist has developed a coat which appears to make the wearer invisible. -  Ananova: Japanese scientist invents 'invisibility cloak' A Japanese scientist has developed a coat which appears to make the wearer invisible. The illusion was part of a demonstration of optical camouflage technology at Tokyo University. It is the brainchild of Professor Susumu Tachi who is in the early stage of research he hopes will eventually make camouflaged objects virtually transparent. The photograph was taken through a viewfinder that uses a combination of moving images taken behind the wearer to give a transparent effect.




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