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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.

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February 10, 2003

New York Sun suggests Free Speech is Treason and should be prosecuted! - Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have documented many instances in which pundits and politicians have tried to demonize dissent, suggesting that it is unpatriotic and even that it aids the enemy. But none has gone so far as to suggest an actual prosecution for treason simply for voicing one's political views - until now. In an editorial yesterday, the editors of the New York Sun, a conservative newspaper founded last year, call on New York City to obstruct a protest against a potential war in Iraq for as long as possible and to monitor the protestors for "an eventual treason prosecution." This breathtaking article is a direct attack on the free speech rights of every American. [...]

How is the protest in any way relevant to treason? Check out this pseudo-logic: "There can be no question at this point that Saddam Hussein is an enemy of America... And there is no reason to doubt that the 'anti-war' protesters -- we prefer to call them protesters against freeing Iraq -- are giving, at the very least, comfort to Saddam Hussein." [...]

With war looming and commentators like Ann Coulter peddling treason accusations in her syndicated column and an upcoming book, we must take a stand against the use of such tactics. Treason is one of the most serious accusations imaginable. It must not be used to poison political debate.

Shuttle broke up in mystery atmosphere - The space shuttle Columbia broke up in a mysterious area of the upper atmosphere once so little understood and difficult to study that scientists dubbed it the "ignorosphere." The region is of particular interest not only because that's where the disintegration occurred but also because of a time-exposure image taken by an amateur astronomer showing a snake of purplish light corkscrewing through the shuttle's hot glowing trail as it crossed over California.

The shuttle was traveling at 12,000 mph at an altitude of 39 miles as it disintegrated Feb. 1 in the searing heat of re-entry, for reasons still unknown. All seven astronauts were killed. Columbia was crossing through the mesosphere, or middle atmosphere, which extends from about 30 to 50 miles above the surface. It's also called the ionosphere, because of the presence of free electrons - or ions. "We're discovering the middle atmosphere has got a lot of electrical phenomena," said Walt Lyons, president of the FMA Research in Fort Collins, Colo. "The key message here is that there may be more things going on up there that we just don't understand or have no inkling of yet."Comment: No kidding...

More than 700 women posed nude on Saturday to protest against Australia's likely involvement in a potential war against Iraq. Lying naked end to end on a grassy knoll in the Australian beach town of Byron Bay, they formed a heart around the words "No War" for an aerial photograph. [...] "I really realize now when I look up here and see all these women, they're desperate to let our prime minister hear how very very angry they are at what he's doing and how much they disagree with what's happening," organizer Grace Knight told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio. "If you just look over there, that's a lot of women who don't agree with what's going on," she said. A local police spokesman said the protest was on private property and not visible to the public. Knight said aerial photos would be distributed to garner publicity for the women's stance that Prime Minister John Howard should recall Australian troops already deployed in the Middle East.

France, Russia and Germany, in a bold move to halt the momentum toward a U.S.-led war with Iraq, called on Monday for greater efforts to disarm Iraq peacefully. The three issued a joint appeal after talks between French President Jacques Chirac and Russia's Vladimir Putin, who said world opinion supported their view that force should be used to make Iraq give up alleged banned weapons only as a last resort. "Russia, Germany and France favor the continuation of the inspections and a substantial reinforcement of their human and technical capacities through all possible means and in liaison with the inspectors," said Chirac, reading a joint declaration at a news conference. "Russia, Germany and France are determined to ensure that everything possible is done to disarm Iraq peacefully," it said. Their call for reinforced U.N. arms inspections in Iraq flew in the face of a U.S. military build-up in the Gulf and bellicose warnings from Washington that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was duping inspectors and playing for time. "Nothing today justifies a war," declared Chirac, whose voice has been the strongest in Europe in opposing U.S. military action at present. "We think that a solution of force could lead to an unpredictable escalation of tension. Both (our) countries insist on the need for a political diplomatic solution," said Putin. Despite their tough stance, both men tempered their remarks by saying their opinions were not directed against the United States. The joint appeal said the Iraqi question should be discussed "in the spirit of friendship and respect that characterizes our relations with the United States."

France, Russia, Germany unite against US over Iraq - France, Russia and Germany adopted a joint initiative calling for "substantial reinforcement" of weapons inspections in Iraq to disarm and Europe and the United States were also divided over Iraq at NATO. France, Germany and Belgium vetoed a move to provide NATO support to Turkey ahead of any strikes on Iraq and US President George W. Bush said France had been "short-sighted" in blocking the move.

Iraq unconditionally accepts U-2 spy plane flights by UN - Iraq has told the UN arms inspectors that it will unconditionally accept flights over its territory by U2 surveillance planes. "We sent a letter to Mr. Blix's office ... expressing our acceptance to UNMOVIC surveillance and by U2 and other airplanes ... without any conditions," Iraq ambassador to the United Nations Mohamed al-Douri told reporters. "Everything is resolved now," he said. "We are trying to avoid war by all means."

The United States defence secretary has said that a crisis in Nato will not delay possible military action in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld was speaking after France and Belgium blocked Alliance plans to begin shipping defensive equipment to Turkey - the only Nato member bordering on Iraq. He said that military preparations would go forward bilaterally if the Alliance could not agree a plan of action. An emergency meeting of Nato ambassadors in Brussels failed to produce an agreement on Monday night. Discussions will continue on Tuesday morning, Nato's secretary general said. Turkey demanded the meeting in response to France and Belgium's move, invoking a part of the alliance's founding treaty that had never been used before. France and Belgium, along with Germany, argue that sending Nato military equipment to Turkey now would pre-empt intense diplomacy aimed at averting war. Experts say it would take about 30 days to deploy the equipment, making time of the essence. President Bush said he was "disappointed" with the French position.

Iraq Ready To Let USA Take Its Oil in Exchange for Peace - Iraq might allow American and British companies to work on its oil fields. This statement was released by Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mahdi Saleh to Russian media outlets. The only thing that Americans and British have to do for that is to stop their bellicose actions against Iraq. The Iraqi minister pointed out that Baghdad does not maintain any relations either with London or with Washington. There would be no obstacles to establish normal relations with the USA and Great Britain, if those countries stopped their bellicose actions against Iraq. Everything that is required for that is a little bit of good will and mutual respect. The minister said that the situation about Iraq would change fundamentally because of that. On the other hand, is the USA interested in such a change? For the time being, it deems that the American president is completely sure of the fact that he is getting all Iraqi oil soon anyway, with the help of his missiles and marines.

US fury at European peace plan - The Bush administration reacted with rage last night to a Franco-German initiative to extend arms inspections in Iraq, portraying the plan as a thinly disguised attempt to derail the US timetable for war. [...] The emergence of the plan just days before the US is expected to press the case for military action at the UN was greeted with unalloyed anger by the White House. To heighten the sense of irritation, Berlin said it would put the joint plan before the security council on Friday, just hours after the chief weapons inspector, Dr Hans Blix, is to present his crucial report.

Colin Powell swiftly dismissed the initiative: "I don't think the next step should be 'Let's send in more inspectors to be stiffed' [deceived]. Tripling the number of inspectors doesn't deal with the issue. This idea of more inspectors, or no-fly zones, or whatever else may be in this proposal that is being developed is a diversion, not a solution." The Franco-German plan threatens to be a serious complication for Washington, which wanted Friday's security council meeting to pose a single question: was Saddam Hussein disarming or not? US and British diplomats would then propose a second resolution that would represent a mandate for military action. The unexpected third option muddies the water.

To make matters worse, from Washington's position, Russia last night backed an extension of time for the UN weapons inspectors. Speaking after a meeting with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: "We are convinced that efforts for a peaceful resolution of the situation regarding Iraq should be persistently continued."

US anger was compounded by the fact that the first it knew of the initiative was in a report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel. France insisted the plan was neither new nor secret, but rather an extrapolation of last week's call by Dominique de Villepin, its foreign minister, for extra inspectors backed by spy planes. The transatlantic mood was ugly even before news of the plan emerged. On Saturday Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, clashed publicly with Joschka Fischer, Germany's Green foreign minister, when both men were attending an international security conference in Munich.

Mr Rumsfeld, a leading US hawk, said it was not surprising if public opinion in Germany and France was opposed to war in Iraq if their governments were. Mr Fischer lashed back:"You have to make the case in a democracy. Excuse me, I'm not convinced." [...]

"The problem now," one gloomy diplomat said last night, "is that things are getting personal."

Commentary from Reader: I'd like to propose an alternate theory about what is going on [regarding the proposed war against Iraq.] I'm not sure how much you know about economics, but one thing I learnt when writing my dissertation on the Euro common currency was how utterly fragile a world financial system based on pure fiat currency was. It is in essence, backed by nothing tangible, and can collapse in a matter of days, wiping out an entire country.

The United States is the world's reserve currency at present, meaning that oil is priced in dollars, central banks accumulate fiat dollars to 'back' their own fiat currency, and so on. Needless to say, having a printing machine that can print unlimited amounts of dollars that everyone in the world is desperate to get their hands on is basically what has made America into the Economic Superpower in the last 30 years (when Nixon took it off the gold standard). It is also why the US has such a huge trade deficit - much of the world *needs* dollars to buy oil from OPEC, plus prop up their own fiat currencies. It's that simple. It's kind of an 'export to America or die' system for poorer countries, assuming they can't live without oil of course.

Well, here's the interesting part. A year of two ago, Saddam Hussein started wanting only *Euros* for his oil. Iran is considering switching to Euros as well, and Venezuela might follow. If all of OPEC were to make that switch (and an article I read claims it is discussing it), the dollar could lose 20-40% of its value in a very short time, wreaking havoc on the economy.

So Bush's plan, which explains why he is *intent* on regime change, is to institute a client regime that will switch back to a dollars-for-oil policy. Additional benefits might be to keep the 'New Iraq' out of OPEC, and therefore make cartel-busting oil production the order of the day.

Having a massive military presence in the region (a huge occupying force in Iraq) might also dissuade the rest of OPEC from switching to Euros in retaliation for this Iraqi defection from the ranks. If they do, they may just be declared 'terrorist states' :)

The War on Terror, which is described as perpetual warfare, may in fact, just be a perpetual Imperial Doctrine to keep the US on top, intimidating those that won't play along with the peaceful US Dollar-Imperialism. (It's just a coincidence of course, that the 'evil' Iraq/Iran/N.Korea axis do not accept US trade, and that the 'moderately evil' states such as Syria/Libya/Cuba do not either.)

But it doesn't stop there. Bush is being maneuvered into this warmongering position, because from his viewpoint it is the only way for America to stay in a dominant economic position (the dollar would be replaced as the world reserve currency by the Euro eventually, as the US bubble continues to burst).

However, impeaching Bush and/or trying to reason with this administration is likely to be a waste of energy. Quite simply, because 'the powers that be' have all that taken care of. The U.N is dead, people say? Hah, it may just emerge from this stronger than ever, and have people cheer it along.

Germany/France/Russia are supposedly about to unveil a new peace plan (as you know) that will involve a peaceful occupation of Iraq by UN blue helmets, assisting the weapons inspectors in their work. This may seem like a good idea, but consider what it means? The United Nations has been given a mandate to invade a sovereign country, and is likely to pull it off without firing a single-shot. And Chirac/Schroeder/Putin will be laughing all the way to the meeting of the 'One-Worlders', at how they played Bush into this position. Because without a massive US troop buildup in the region, Saddam would never have agreed to this hypothetical UN military presence. And with all the goodwill that must emerge from such a peaceful resolution of a crisis that everyone thought for certain must end in war? I'd say the UN would be strengthened immensely, while comparatively, the Bush regime would be utterly discredited.

And America, unfortunately, is likely to be the hardest hit of all in the economic meltdown.

Funny how they make their plans so full of 'smoke and mirrors', though, isn't it?

If this theory is correct, it just goes to show that one should always keep one's 'eye on the ball'. I never could quite figure out why Bush wanted to invade Iraq so badly, and why the NWO would welcome US unilateralism, but I'm now just beginning to.

The media is also turning on the war Bush/Blair gang now - I don't think the plagiarized-from-a-college student Powell presentation was just an accident... Seemed like a set-up to me. This theory may very well not turn out to be correct, but in my mind at least, it resonates as very reasonable. I suppose averting WW III is always a good thing, but I still won't be too comfortable with what Schroeder/Chirac/Putin may have in mind for the 'new order' that they may get the opportunity to build.

Blowing up the Columbia (which, as you may know - is Columba, the mythological dove carrying an olive branch) over Palestine Tx, may very well have been a message from this crowd, for Bush not to continue pushing for war. Food for thought, if nothing else.

The Bush Administration is Fascist - Democracy is based upon a dialogue between equal parties. The current administration in Washington neither respects the notion of equality among nations nor does it tolerate a process of open dialogue. The notion that “If you are not with us, you are against us” brings with it the hidden notion “and you will be punished for thinking differently”. This is the line adopted by the USA, which was quick to follow up September 11th with a bellicose discourse, giving a golden opportunity to the powerful lobbies which gravitate around the White House and Pentagon to push for their type of policy.

Whenever there is an internal crisis in the United States of America, this country’s foreign policy responds by creating situations which require crisis management. Only with the Bush administration, there is no management of the crisis. It is eliminated, like cracking an egg with a sledgehammer. Around the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice axis circulate the all-powerful energy lobby but also the steel lobby, a sector in crisis and allied to this, the armaments industry, all of which are hungry for contracts or resources which will stimulate the economy at home.

What better crisis than a war, and more so, one which involves a relatively defenceless country, sitting on 10.7% of the world’s oil reserves. However, a war requires a pretext and a pretext should normally be debated in the proper forum, which is the United Nations building in New York. The fact that the United States has declared that if the UNO does not back its aggressive stance against Iraq, then it renders the organisation useless and the USA will be forced to take unilateral action, goes against any notion of democratic behaviour or of normal debating procedure.

The stance taken by the Bush administration is paramount to fascism, not very different from the approach displayed by Hitler in the 1930s. He used the same bullying tactics, he too relied upon force and not ideas to pursue Germany’s national interests. The net result is a comparison which is not at all favourable to the Bush administration, which starts to show the same fascist tendencies followed by the odious Nazi regime of Hitler, Himmler and Goebels.

As the Department of Homeland Security issued advice on how to prepare for biological or chemical attack, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday that Americans should not curtail their activities because of the nation's recently elevated threat level but should carry on with greater awareness. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security urged Americans to take steps to prepare for a possible attack, but said its advice that was intended not as a "dire" warning but as cautionary advice. "Al Qaeda's interests in obtaining chemical or biological or radiological weapons is not declining," Homeland Security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, "and therefore, should they be successful in their attempts to obtain these types of weapons, we want the American public to be ready."

Putin in France for Iraq talks as European opposition to war mounts - Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Paris for talks with French President Jacques Chirac on the Iraqi crisis, after warning that war against Baghdad could not be justified. His visit comes after a weekend of diplomatic maneuvering in Europe over how to avert a US military strike on Baghdad, with Paris, Berlin and Moscow apparently uniting to counter Washington's calls for war. The transatlantic rift widened Monday when France and Belgium, backed by Germany, used their NATO veto to block a US request for a package of military support for NATO member Turkey, sparking an emergency meeting of the alliance in Brussels. [...]

Amid the unprecedented turmoil in Brussels, Putin and Chirac are expected to discuss a series of proposals put forth by France and Germany for disarming Iraq through tougher inspections, which Putin backed Sunday after talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin. "All those who follow the evolution of the situation in Iraq can see that France, Germany and Russia are almost completely in agreement," Putin said. According to German weekly Der Spiegel, the initiative could include tripling the number of UN weapons inspectors, turning Iraq into a massive no-fly zone and perhaps sending UN peacekeepers into Iraq. But German Defense Minister Peter Struck said in Kabul Monday that the proposal did not call for the deployment of UN peacekeepers but rather an increase in the number of weapons experts on the ground in Iraq. Late Sunday, a diplomatic source in Paris said sending peacekeepers was out of the question. Putin and Schroeder called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Iraq over its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, warning that a war would cause thousands of casualties and destabilize the region. "At the moment, there is no basis for resorting to the use of force," the Russian leader said.

Iran gives US new nuclear headache in midst of Iraq, North Korea crises - With the United States preoccupied with Iraq and North Korea, Tehran has revealed that the discovery of domestic uranium deposits is set to make it self-sufficient in nuclear fuel, depriving its arch-foe of any leverage over Iran's atomic energy programme. President Mohammad Khatami's announcement of Iran's development of the deposits near the central city of Yazd and its construction of an array of plants to process them means the Islamic regime will no longer be dependent on a Russian ally vulnerable to US pressure. [...] Iran pulled no punches in the revelation of its plans, broadcasting Khatami's announcement in its entirety on prime time television Sunday evening. "We cannot leave our future in the hands of others who can be the target of all manner of influences," said Khatami, in a clear reference to the US pressure on Russia. "It is for us Iranians to decide if we prefer to use our own (nuclear) fuel although that will in no way change our agreements with (the Russians)." Iran's bid for nuclear self-sufficiency was a "long-term" programme, the head of state stressed, adding that the Islamic regime remained committed to developing nuclear energy for peaceful ends.

After Iraq, US May 'Ask' Pakistan To 'Disarm' - Dr Mubashir Hasan, a member of the National Council of Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy, says the tit-for-tat expulsions of deputy high commissioners and other staff by India and Pakistan are unfortunate and counter-productive.   Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Dr Hasan said there was a possibility of the US demanding Pakistan to denuclearise, deweaponise its missiles, secularise its system of education and drastically improve the law and order situation soon after the dust settled down on the Iraqi adventure.

A Chinese court jailed a U.S.-based dissident for life on Monday for "organizing and leading a terrorist group," the first time a terrorism charge has been used to convict a democracy activist. The official Xinhua news agency said Wang Bingzhang, 55, had plotted to bomb the Chinese Embassy in Thailand's capital, Bangkok, during visits in 2001, and had made preparations to build a terrorist training base in northern Thailand. It also accused him of spying for rival Taiwan. [...] Wang, who has a doctorate in medical research and had lived in New York since 1982, was convicted by the Intermediate People's Court in the southern boom town of Shenzhen at a one-day trial behind closed doors in January. [...] Wang, Xinhua added, wrote and published books and posted articles on Web sites, "agitating terrorist activities." [...] In Hong Kong, a dozen human rights activists marched on the office of Beijing's representative. A scuffle broke out when police tried to stop the protesters approaching the building. "China's imposition of such an abusive sentence shames not only China but those nations that do business as usual with China," said the Washington-based Free China Movement, a coalition of more than 30 Chinese pro-democracy organizations. Wang slipped into China in January 1998 using a false passport to help to establish the China Democracy and Justice Party. He was detained after a nationwide manhunt and expelled the following month to avoid a dispute with Washington. [...] Beijing says Wang is a Chinese citizen. Family members say he has renounced his Chinese citizenship and has permanent residency in the United States and should not be tried in China. Washington is eager to have U.N. Security Council member China on its side in its bid to disarm Iraq. It also hopes China can help defuse a crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. The Free China Movement called the proceedings a trial on "trumped up charges that bear no relationship to reality."

Nato crisis deepens rift between US and Europe - France, Belgium and Germany on Monday plunged Nato into one of the most serious crises in its 54-year history by blocking the alliance from activating plans for Turkey's defence against attack from Iraq. Their continued veto of the plans deepened an acrimonious split with the US over Washington's preparations for military action against Iraq, which threatens lasting damage within the North Atlantic alliance. They argued that supporting Nato's efforts would force the crisis into a "logic of war". The split was underscored last night when France, Germany and non-Nato member Russia issued a joint statement calling for the reinforcement of United Nations inspectors seeking to remove Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction. They said "everything possible" should be done to disarm Iraq peacefully. - Washington was quick to denounce the move but insisted its war preparations would not be affected.

Comment from Reader in UK: A recent documentary here has revealed that just prior to the D-day landings, Roosevelt was becoming hysterical with trying to persuade Churchill to 'remove' De Gaulle. Despite his personal antipathy to De Gaulle, Churchill not only refused to do this, but warned De Gaulle of the American position. He also informed him that the United States would have to come first from the British point of view. The result, (thanks also to a couple of independently minded US generals,) was that France, unlike the rest of Western Europe, maintained an independence from the US,that is the secret envy of all other European states. This continues to this day, and I fear for the French because of it.

My arabist specialist informs me that NO arab or moslem state or grouping would have been ignorant enough to have blown up the French ship in the mediterranean a couple of months ago. It's obvious who did that. It seems to me to have been, from its' size, a warning.

The task of saving the Jews from an almost certain annihilation resulting from the actions of the Israeli Mafia is looking more and more difficult. The founders of modern Israel forgot the simple fact that violence breeds violence; peace breeds peace, or in Gurdjieff's words, "Freedom leads to Freedom." "Liberation leads to Liberation." "These are the first words of Truth."

Very embarrasing here, in Britain, having such government of cowards, appeasers to Bush and his controllers - Like journalists who never file the Truth for fear of the sack.

Israeli forces imposed a complete closure of the occupied territories following warnings of an imminent attack by Palestinian militants, as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sought afresh to forge a new coalition government.

Most likely DISINFO: Iraqi Intimidation - In the last 10 days, United Nations inspectors have been given what are described as "important, new and credible leads" from a recent defector, who also told ABCNEWS that Iraqi scientists involved in the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons program were systematically intimidated. The defector, interviewed by ABCNEWS in an undisclosed European country, is an engineer described as close to several of the weapons scientists who, he said, live in fear. Many of the scientists are eager to cooperate with the United Nations, but the intimidation is so effective that the scientists are terrified of meeting in private with the inspectors. One scientist who met with the inspectors this week was so frightened, it took an hour for him to stop shaking, according to U.N. sources.

Antibiotic-resistant superbug causes deadly skin boils - A bacterial infection that overpowers most antibiotics has escaped the confines of hospitals and is showing up in alarming numbers among the general public in California, according to health officials. Scattered clusters of the infection have been reported throughout the nation. While no cases have yet been reported outside hospitals in Alameda County, a rise in the infections -- particularly among gay men -- in San Francisco prompted the city's public health department to launch a surveillance program this week, said Edwin Charlebois, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the University of California, San Francisco. [...] Called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the virulent bacterium now only responds to two antibiotics "of last resort." It's long been a menace in hospitals, where the packed conditions dramatically increase the risk of patients developing a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. What's new is that infections from the drug-resistant superbug are showing up in adults who have never stayed in a hospital or haven't done so recently. - "It's really rampant," said Dr. Bill Owen, a primary care physician in San Francisco with a gay and HIV practice. "'We've seen 10 or 15 cases in the last couple of months," he said. An L.A. physician said some of the boils and abscesses appeared suddenly, grew rapidly and were far more virulent than previous staph infections he had seen. "This is a nasty bug," said Dr. Peter Ruane, whose patients are also mostly gay men and those infected with HIV. "Some of these infections take your breath away." [...] These new outbreaks portend the spread of the disease into the rest of the community, the health experts said. "That's how epidemics start. They start in small clusters," said Charlebois.

Madonna takes swipe at Bush - Madonna is set to cause controversy in her home country with a new video which will act as a thinly veiled critique of George Bush's policies on Iraq. [...] Madonna's UK spokeswoman, Barbara Charone, confirmed that the promo would contain an anti-war message. [...] She said: "Madonna is a revolutionary and the video is certainly taking a bit of an anti-war stance. But I'm sure however this stance is put across it is going to be done in the same way she has conducted her entire career, which is edgy but in control. "This is not going to be another George Michael," she said, referring to the singer's Shoot The Dog video, which featured a caricature of Tony Blair as President Bush's lapdog and was not well-received in the US.

Richard Gere slams Bush in anti-war attack - Richard Gere has slammed George W Bush and spoken out against possible war with Iraq at the 53rd Berlin Film Festival. Gere was among a host of Hollywood celebrities in Berlin, eager to tout their anti-war sentiments. The 53-year-old said: "Bush's plans for war are a bizarre bad dream. There doesn't appear to be any sort of basis for any of this. "I have a feeling something hidden is at work here that will someday see the light of day. "I keep asking myself where all this personal enmity between George Bush and Saddam Hussein comes from. It's like the story of Captain Ahab and the great white whale from Moby Dick." Gere, a Buddhist, added: "We have to say 'stop', there's no reason for a war. At the moment Hussein is not threatening anybody. "It'd be different if he was staring somebody down with a loaded gun in his hand. But there doesn't seem to be any indications whatsoever that this man poses an immediate threat to anybody. "America has never paid any attention to other people, so it's absurd for Bush to say that it's all in the best interests of the Iraqi people. "If the United States marches into Iraq without the backing of the United Nations, that will be done entirely without the backing of the American people."

Britons See U.S. as Biggest Threat to Peace - The majority of Britons do not regard Iraq as the biggest threat to world peace and one in three people say the United States is more dangerous, a poll published on Tuesday showed. [...] The survey, conducted by pollsters YouGov for Britain's Channel 4 News, gave a mixed picture of British public enthusiasm for war with Iraq, suggesting Britons have no love for Saddam but also distrust Washington. [...] Presented with a list of countries and asked which one they viewed as the biggest threat to world peace, 27 percent of the respondents said Iraq, down from 40 percent in November. A further 27 percent cited North Korea as the biggest threat -- sharply up from four percent in November -- while 32 percent named the United States, up from 27 percent. Some 52 percent of those questioned said Iraq posed "a fairly small threat" to the United Kingdom, 24 percent said it represented "a fairly big threat" and five percent viewed the Iraqis as "a very big threat."

British Reservists Ignore Call-Up For Iraq Duty - One in five of the military reservists called up in preparation for a possible war in Iraq has asked to be excused from duty or ignored the order.   The ministry of defence confirmed on Sunday that hundreds of part-time soldiers, airmen and sailors called up as part of the build-up of Britain's armed forces for a decade had applied for deferral or exemption.   More than 200 of the 3 300 reservists who have so far been sent call-up notices are also thought to have failed to reply within the two-week deadline and could face legal action.

Germans Believe U.S. a Nation of Warmongers - A majority of Germans believe the United States is a nation of warmongers and only six percent think President Bush is interested in keeping the peace, according to a survey published Monday. The poll by the respected Forsa institute, published in the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, also found 97 percent of those questioned believed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was ready to go to war. The survey found 57 percent agreed with the statement: "The United States is a nation of warmongers." [...] The survey of 1,843 Germans found 93 percent believed Bush was ready to go to war in pursuit of his interests, while 80 percent said the United States wanted war to boost its power. The poll also found 89 percent believed Schroeder was a "friend of peace."

French-Bashing Rolls Off France's Back - It's the diplomatic equivalent of water rolling off a duck's back. Bashing the French does not beat them down -- au contraire, it only makes them more convinced they must be right. The air has been thick with insult these days, both over the Atlantic and across the Channel, as the United States and Britain pile pressure and scorn on their reluctant ally to support an attack against Iraq. "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys," "the rat that roared," "the petulant prima donna of realpolitik" -- the epithets flung at France by the U.S. and British media can easily make a reader forget they're talking about America's oldest ally. U.S. officials have hardly been diplomatic either. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has written off France as part of "old Europe" and said its opposition to emergency NATO measures to boost Turkey's defenses is a disgrace. If all this was meant to bully France into changing its mind, it's not working. France's reaction has been to redouble its efforts against a U.S.-led war, blocking NATO war preparations in Turkey and plugging for an extension of United Nations arms inspections that an exasperated Washington insists are now useless. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the easy-going prime minister who rarely speaks about foreign policy, shot back last Friday at President Bush's "the game is over" statement by saying: "It's not a game, it's not over."

Online Movement To Support France At The UN - You can fax, email, and sign an online petition for France to Veto the US pre-emptive strike against Iraq.   The US has threatened to go to war without the UN but most Americans are against it, so it would be politically difficult for the US (and England) to go alone, and hopefully  France and others would dissuade them from doing so--along with massive anti-war demos and Congressional and International pressure; it's the best we have right now. Keep it up. [...] Fax is probably most effective: president of France, Jacques Chirac at   +33-147-42-2465.    It can also be sent to the French foreign minister at   +33-1-4317-5203   and to the Prime Minister of France at   +33-142-43-2677.   The '+' stands for your own country's ISD access code.   This is often '00' or '11'.  (Australia has 0011(ph) and 0015(fax) access codes.)   -- The email address is -- The international online poll is here (ends February 12) This time, the voices of many individuals across the world will prevail against hatred, without war.

A CONNECTION: ELF - SATELLITES - HAARP - AEROSOLS - Excerpt from briefing paper entitled: "Satellite Threat Due to High Altitude Nuclear Detonations" by Dennis Papadopoulous, Physics Dept., University of Maryland

There can be little doubt, given the events of the last few years, that voting will not change anything in America. Some folks believe that the political machine running the country will only provide candidates that serve its interests, regardless of which 'party' they claim to represent. Other folks believe that if an election seems to be going badly for them, the losing party can and will steal it. Either way, the voters control nothing. But all is not lost; there is still a way that the State can be forced to serve the will of the people.

The government rules us through law, making whatever laws they require to serve their purposes and then forcing us to obey them. But the founders of America foresaw just such a situation and provided an effective defense against it. That defense is the trial by an independent jury, a jury that is free to find the law itself guilty of transgression. This is the doctrine of 'jury nullification'. No matter the wishes, instructions or threats of the judge, if a juror believes that the law is unjust, he or she may vote to acquit a defendant regardless of the evidence against them.

The system of checks and balances built into the Constitution was a good attempt to curb the inevitable aggression of government. But the wisest of the founders clearly saw that someday there would be three branches of government neither checking nor balancing each other but instead carving our country up into political fiefs which each branch would rule over absolutely and for their own political advantage. To protect us against this tyranny, the people were allowed to keep the ultimate power of the law in their own hands. The Legislature makes the laws with which to rule us, the Executive branch executes them and the Judicial branch interprets and enforces them. But a jury can stop any of these transgressors in their tracks by simply refusing to subject a citizen to a bad law, and their actions are final and not subject to official sanction. No matter what a judge or a prosecutor may demand the fact remains that the ultimate power in the courts resides in the jury, not the judges or the lawyers.

I n thinking about the possible war with Iraq, one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not ordinary men and women who begin wars, but a very limited class of men and women: politicians.   Unfortunately for the human race, and more specifically, for those unfortunate men, women and children living in Iraq, politicians are not known to have an affinity for truth-telling, and are very fond of calling one another "liars."   The White House web site has a helpful link to the provocatively titled document: "Iraq: Apparatus of Lies."   American national security adviser Condoleeza Rice has authored a piece provocatively titled: "Why We Know Iraq is Lying."   In this piece, Dr. Rice writes that:   Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text.   Clearly, any regime which participates in such "unabashed plagiarism," by copying texts word-for-word, and presenting it as "original text," is populated by liars.   And yet Colin Powell's United Nations speech was based upon 12-year-old information which the British government plagiarized from a private research paper. [...]

Not to be flustered, the spokesman for the British Prime Minister sought to save the case for war by adding a bit of propaganda: "this issue does not take away to any degree from the accuracy of the information in the report nor does it negate to any extent the core argument put forward that Iraq is involved in deliberate acts of deception."   Preposterous. First, if the information reported by Colin Powell is 12 years old, it is not accurate. Second, notice that the spokesman claims the act of deception "does not negate the core argument" for war. This is a very different thing from claiming that the document affirmatively supports the American position.   And yet that is precisely the claim which Colin Powell made to the United Nations. As CNN also reports, it is the plagiarized and outdated British document which was "highlighted by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the U.N. as a 'fine paper...which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.'"   Please never mind that the document is based on information from the time of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Assuming for the sake of argument that Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi politicians are liars, shall we follow lying British and American politicians to war with such liars?   Remember, Condoleeza Rice herself condemns as "unabashed plagiarism" the lifting of text word-for-word and presenting it as "original text." This is precisely what the British government has acknowledged doing. And this is precisely the basis of Powell's speech to the U.N. [...]

Lying American and British politicians proclaim that Iraqi politicians are liars, and that such lying justifies war. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After five member states (The UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Denmark) signed the “Letter of Eight” supporting the position held by the USA, together with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, without consulting the other members, while France and Germany went in the opposite direction, the European Union as a designation appears as ridiculous as ever. Once again, when an important event arises, the Union is rent down the middle. It is this division which the Greek Presidency wishes to heal in Athens on 15th and 16th February. George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister, has visited the Middle East recently and has high hopes that the Iraqi question will have a peaceful outcome.

The construction of one of Britain's most famous ancient landmarks, the towering megaliths at Stonehenge in southern England, might have been supervised by the Swiss, or maybe even the Germans. Archaeologists studying the remains of a wealthy archer found in a 4,000-year-old grave exhumed near Stonehenge last year said Monday he was originally from the Alps region, probably modern-day Switzerland, Austria or Germany. "He would have been a very important person in the Stonehenge area and it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad -- probably modern-day Switzerland -- could have played an important part in the construction of the site," said archaeologist Andrew Fitzpatrick in a statement. The so-called "Amesbury Archer" was found in a grave about three miles from the landmark, buried with 100 items, including gold earrings, copper knives and pottery.

Researchers hailed the find -- dating from about 2,300 B.C. and the oldest known grave in Britain -- as one of the richest early Bronze Age sites in Europe. He was dubbed "The King of Stonehenge" because of the lavish items found in his grave, including some of the earliest gold objects ever found in Britain. It was tests on the enamel of his teeth that revealed he was born and grew up in the Alps region.

Whether it takes its cues from Aztec, Celtic or Middle Eastern mythology, much New Age thinking centres on a marginally recast Christian apocalypticism. Bad things are happening, and worse is yet to come. Only the enlightened will be saved, either by being raptured onto a higher plane of existence, or by being physically rescued by interstellar craft. Consider, for instance, a book called Cosmic Prophesies For the Year 2000 (1994), not so much written as channelled by a woman called Tuella on behalf of a group from the United States called the Ashtar Command.

The book purports to contain messages from "The Angel Kingdom, the Great Central Sun Government, the Heavenly Host, the Great Karmic Board, the Chohans of Earth Solar System, Universal Masters, and the great Alliance of the Intergalactic Confederation". Tuella's cosmic contact list is extraordinary. In putting together the book, she managed to elicit contributions from Mary, Jesus, the Archangel Michael, and the apostles James, Phillip and John, along with a couple of suspiciously Trekky characters called Commanders Soltec and Korton. The message, buried beneath a lot of messianic verbiage, is simple: the apocalypse is coming in 2000 (it didn't, by the way), at which point the good guys will be whipped off to an altogether nicer part of the galaxy. [...]

A surprising consensus exists when it comes to the passenger list of any spaceship of deliverance. On board will be the Ascended Masters, who are generally held to be folk already enlightened and rewarded, back from the dead to save the day. The concept demonstrates the easy way in which some New Age systems incorporate ideas from many different philosophies. Ascendancy is the central New Testament archetype; moving to higher planes is Buddhist; and the idea of the heroes returning on the darkest day is Revelation by way of Romantic Arthurian legend.

The cast list is similarly mixed, generally containing a few Buddhas, Muhammed, Jesus, Mary, diverse apostles and a few later prophets (especially if the founder of the particular movement is dead). Also usually on the list, for some mysterious reason, is a bloke called St Germain - not a cannonised martyr, but a French impostor count, conman and magician whom historian E. M. Butler describes as "only one of that swarm of swindlers, charlatans, impostors or pure adventurers whose golden age was the second half of the 18th century". Visit any Mind Body Spirit Expo, and you'll find the conman still conning from beyond the grave. [....]

t would, of course, be grossly unfair to use the examples of Icke, the Raelians and von Daniken to sum up the diversity of the entire New Age movement. Belief in astronaut messiahs and evil lizards is patently preposterous. Why, one might just as well believe in virgin births, rising from the dead, and Jesus-in-a-biscuit. Most New Age beliefs, from auras to angels, are gentle, peaceful and, above all, personal.

What they do all seem to share, however, is a passionate yearning for The Other, a driving need to believe that the world is not constrained by the proscriptions of science, and that, as the garish bumper stickers would have it, magic happens. In this, New Agers perhaps find common ground with the medieval Europeans, who were convinced that the air was full of spirits, good and bad, which could be controlled by witches, magi and priests.

The Dreamy Draw UFO story, as you might expect, has several variations. One has it that in 1947, about three months after the famous UFO incident in Roswell, N.M., a UFO crashed somewhere in the Dreamy Draw area. Another version has the spaceship setting down in that area but actually crashing about 10 miles away near a Cave Creek landfill. Supposedly, the remains of its two passengers, described as about 4½ feet tall, were recovered. They were kept in some guy's freezer for a while and then taken away by the military. And supposedly the reason the Army Corps of Engineers built the Dreamy Draw Dam was not for flood control, as you might suppose, but to bury the UFO. Do you know where the Dreamy Draw Dam is? If you're going north of the Squaw Peak Parkway, it's off to your right a bit above Northern Avenue.

A flock of hungry ravens killed 19 sheep grazing on snow-covered fields in southern Germany, raising the uneasy feeling that the killer birds of Alfred Hitchcock's famous thriller "The Birds" have come alive. [...] Dietmar Ernst, a police spokesman in Loerrach, southwestern Germany, said he thought about 50 to 60 ravens living near a rubbish site had carried out the attacks on Fritz's sheep. "It's a full-blown attack on the sheep. They use their beaks, their feet. They pick out the animals' eyes," he said. He said such attacks were common when a large number of birds gathered in one area where they could not easily find food. "As soon as one starts the attack, the others all follow," he said. "But they're especially aggressive this year," he said.

Vandals have torn down a fence post in Australia's largest city, Sydney, which devoted Catholics had begun to flock to because they believed it projected an image of the Virgin Mary.

With a nearly four million rats born every day -- ten for every human -- experts warned on Monday that the much-loathed rodents could spread more diseases through towns and cities in developing nations. Researchers from 39 countries at a conference in Australia said rats were already known to carry nearly 70 diseases, but there were fears they could harbor scores more. "Rats are a reservoir of disease, the sleeping giants of disease in the world," Dr Lyn Hinds, of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, told Reuters. "It is more likely than ever that we will have greater levels of debilitating diseases caused by rats...with the increased density of human populations," she said at the start of the second International Rodent Biology and Management Conference. Although rats have plagued city-dwellers and farmers for centuries, researchers have yet to find an efficient way to stop them spreading disease or ruining crops. Ten rats are born for every human -- a staggering 3.6 million a day -- although many don't live for longer than a few months.



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