Mother Nature revealed its awesome beauty this month as our Big Blue Marble continues to open up in breathtaking fashion. The sight of Eyjafjallajokull coming to life, while beautiful to behold, may set a terrifying trend as volcanoes wake from their slumber and impact our climate in a sudden and system-changing way. Perhaps it is not without meaning that the first significant volcanic eruption to draw people's attention to our rapidly cooling climate took place in IceLand... the harbinger of IceWorld?

April witnessed deluge after deluge of torrential rains bringing flooding, landslides and misery to many in the Americas and China where large cities are underwater. Arctic-cold weather in the least expected places, more frequent earthquakes and hailstorms of unusual ferocity have extended winter in the northern hemisphere into May, raised seabeds and pelted homes with ice.

Dramatic and significant though it was, did the volcanic eruption in Iceland really merit the unprecedented shutdown of European airspace for a week, with knock-on effects across the world? Who made the call, and on what basis? These are important questions to ask because Eyjafjallajokull's wandering ash cloud now apparently holds the near-term fate of international air travel in its plume, so to speak. With cosmic bombardment underway and magma erupting from the oceans' floor, wrangling over the immediate fiscal losses detract from necessary preparations for the approaching ice age.

As always, the stresses and strains in our environment are mirrored back at us in the political and social events of which we play a more immediate role. We will analyse the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Polish government air crash, the political and corporate back-room manipulation of "Tea Party" activism and the psychopaths on Wall Street's engorgement upon humanity through economic terrorism. We'll observe how The Big Brother Surveillance State and naked scanner racketeering expand unchecked, and consider the geopolitical chess moves behind the Kyrgyz and Thai "Red Shirt" revolutions.

And, of course, we couldn't connect the dots in April without acknowledging the high strangeness of the global UFO wave...

Signs of the Times

Copious amounts of rainfall hit Rio de Janeiro early in the month while Brazil's second largest city experienced the biggest deluge in its history. Around 150 people were swept to their deaths in the initial flooding and soon 200 more were buried when a devastating landslide hit the Morro Bumba slum. Meanwhile a landslide in northern Italy killed 11 when a train was knocked clean off its tracks. A severe cyclone in eastern India that killed at least 140 people also left over 500,000 homeless. Tornado season arrived in the western hemisphere with The Bahamas and then the southeastern US seeing twisters level homes and wreak "utter obliteration" in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi. Further north Tennessee experienced sudden record-breaking flooding late in the month as storms dumped up to 16 inches of rain over two days, turning highways into rivers and prompting mass evacuations from Nashville. In fact, the scale of the flooding in Nashville is only becoming apparent as we go to press:

It's not difficult to imagine that if it were cold enough, that would translate to roughly (depending on the type of snow) 115 inches of snow (over 9 feet) - a rate of precipitation that gives us a clear indication of how suddenly ice ages develop. Indeed while this was going on the northeastern US states received a record-breaking late dumping of up to two feet of snow that caught people off guard following a Spring thaw. Less unusual were similar blasts of Arctic air that brought snow to the central Canadian plains at the beginning and end of the month, but how anyone still believes that the planet is warming after snow blanketed southern California, northern Mexico and southern France in the first days of May is beyond comprehension. You have to go back to 1969 to find the last time Tokyo experienced such a late snowfall and back to 1908 to find the previous coldest April in Korea.

The harshest winter in living memory has naturally delayed the arrival of Spring in many places, but even after many places thawed out, late 'rebounds' of icy weather threaten to stunt Spring growth throughout the growing season. Inhabiting the coldest place on the planet, Siberians are still struggling with their second-coldest winter in over a century. Indeed the polar region is a useful indicator of the cooling trend. Russian scientists say that the Arctic has in fact been steadily cooling since 1998. Lawrence Solomon reports:
"The Arctic ice set 30 records in April, one for each day. According to satellite data received by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Arctic was more ice bound each day of April than it had been any other corresponding day in April since its sensors began tracking the extent of Arctic Ice in mid 2002."
The intensity and frequency of earthquakes continued unabated this month, with the three biggest tremblors in April all occurring within days of each other towards the beginning of the month. Another 7.8 earthquake hit tremor-hotspot Sumatra in Indonesia (its second large quake in 6 months), a 7.2 quake shook northern Mexico, then a 7.1 quake levelled homes in Qinghai province, central China. There were strong aftershocks in all locations, but the Chinese quake produced the most damage and left at least 1,700 people dead.

There were strong quakes all over the globe - from Australia to the Bering Sea, and from Taiwan to California. Earthquakes are familiar events in many of these places, but the same can't be said for Spain, where a 6.3 struck deep below the southern city of Granada in the middle of the month. We wonder if the 'earthgrazer' filmed passing over Spain's southern coast at around the same time that day is related to this unusual quake. Other notable quakes above 6.0 on the Richter Scale hit Indonesia (twice), Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Japan.

In Connecting the Dots for March we warned that if the Eyjafjallajokull volcano (pronounced Ayah-fyatla-yo-kul, Icelandic for "island-mountain glacier") blew again, it would be much stronger next time:
Nature's elemental fury was nevertheless on display in Iceland, where the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, despite being dormant since 1821, erupted this month through one of the country's largest glaciers. Though a small eruption, observers expect it to happen again - and be much stronger next time. The danger for Icelanders is that historically when Eyjafjallajokull blows, Katla follows suit, and its located under a giant ice cap that could flood the coastal plains.
We didn't have long to wait. An earthquake below 'Island-mountain glacier' was recorded on April 6 and again on April 12, both precursors to its spectacular eruption on April 14. Not only did it blow again, the coastal plains were flooded and was apparently so potentially catastrophic to jet-engines that European skies were cleared of airplanes for nearly a whole week. Six days' airspace shutdown over any region - not least the busiest on the planet - is a long time in today's world. Never before has a natural disaster of any kind resulted in such drastic action, and the 20th century had its share of volcanic activity. So the question to ask is; was the flight ban merited?

A Case of Ashteria

Volcanic revolution
On April 15, British airports were told by the Civil Aviation Authority (UK) to begin grounding flights. At the same time, the Air Traffic Control Service for the UK (Nats) imposed restrictions on where planes could fly after the government's Meteorological Office warned that ash could damage jet engines. By Friday 17 most routes in northern Europe were suspended and the shutdown had spread to TransAtlantic flights. All the while Europeans were subject to nauseating platitudes from politicians about passengers' safety being their "paramount concern." If jet engines could not withstand the "dangerous ash cloud" that had magically disguised itself as clear blue skies, why then was NATO playing multiple war games over European airspace during the lockdown? At least 60 aircraft (including fighter jets) from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, USA, France, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and Sweden took part in the Brilliant Mariner maritime exercise... while all commercial jets were grounded (because "safety was our paramount concern"). In fact, there may have been more military exercises taking place during this time.

If passenger safety was the primary consideration throughout this fiasco, then why has the airline industry and the relevant regulatory authorities repeatedly suppressed the findings of independent studies that sound the alarm over a very real danger facing passengers and crew alike during air travel:

Part 1

Part 2

The plume from the Icelandic volcano - seen as a grey-brown streak drifting across the middle of the image - is visible from space. It was imaged by the Modis instruments on two Nasa satellites as it blew towards the Shetland Islands
The "paramount concern" that planes would start dropping like flies if they flew too close to the volcanic plume was buttressed by repeating ad nauseam the dramatic story of British Airways Flight 9 which in 1982 flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, 180 km south east of Jakarta. This resulted in the malfunction of all its engines, although they happily restarted after the plane reemerged from the plume.

We do not wish to argue against the wisdom of airplanes staying out of the way of volcanoes. But pray, will you have a look at this satellite image (left) of the actual plume and see that as impressive as it may be, it is a narrow strip that runs from Iceland in the direction of Denmark passing north of Scotland above the Shetland Islands. Hardly a "cloud of ash covering half of Europe" as the hysterical reporting suggested. Those red graphics of all-consuming ash clouds were entirely fictional products of computer models which 'predicted' the extent of the "ash cloud", depending on what data the authorities put into them. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. Indeed, reports from regular SOTT readers from various locations on the continent and in the UK spoke only of blue and sunny skies (in keeping with the Universe's wonderful sense of humour to grant northern Europe a week of (relatively) warm, clear weather on the very week its airspace was shut down!). The Powers That Be would have us believe computer models instead of our own eyes. If you didn't see anything strange it was because the particles of ash had dispersed to the point of invisibility - just ask the computer! Unfortunately our stubborn common sense informs us that it is one thing to fly into the plume from a volcano and another to cruise through clear skies with an insignificant density of volcanic particles. Besides, were not computer models at least partly responsible for creating the fantasy of 'global warming' and the carbon trading scam?

Just when we were reaching that mad point where one begins to wonder if hysteria is rational and the lie is true after all, the airlines themselves stepped up in defense of stranded travelers (for obvious economic reasons) and urged the gatekeepers at Eurocontrol to reconsider the restrictions. In the words of a statement by ACI Europe - which represents major airports - and the Association of European Airlines:
"The eruption of the Icelandic volcano is not an unprecedented event and the procedures applied in other parts of the world for volcanic eruptions do not appear to require the kind of restrictions that are presently being imposed in Europe," the statement said.
Spokespersons from different airlines complained in similar terms:
© ReutersA pilot shows common sense and climbs to avoid the volcanic plume
Peter Hartman, chief executive of Dutch carrier KLM, said there had been "nothing unusual" about a test flight carried out by the airline through European skies, and that he hoped to "get permission as soon as possible to partially restart our operations".

Steven Verhagen, vice-president of the Dutch Airline Pilots Association, told the Associated Press, "In our opinion there is absolutely no reason to worry about resuming flights."

Germany's two biggest airlines, Lufthansa and Air Berlin, also reported carrying out test flights without apparent damage, and soon Air France joined the chorus.

Air Berlin spokeswoman Diana Daedelow told the BBC: "It is astonishing that these findings... have seemingly been ignored in the decision-making process of the aviation safety authorities."
A spokesman for Lufthansa, Germany's flag carrier, told Spiegel Online, "The airplanes can simply fly around the affected areas and still arrive in New York a few minutes later," the spokesman said. "It's no real drama."
As well as:
Matthias Ruete, the European Commission's director general of transport, said air traffic authorities should not have imposed a widespread ban.

He suggested the ban should have been restricted to a 20 to 30 mile limit around the volcano in Iceland.
Notice that the airlines did their homework and carried out a number of test flights with no adverse effects detected.

The pressure from lobbying efforts by the airlines seem to have done the trick to lift the ban in northern Europe. The case of the UK is most telling, as the Civil Aviation Authority and Nats, the national air traffic controller, said that information about how jet engines could cope with adverse ash conditions only "became available" the day before the ban was lifted - that is, after aircraft and engine manufacturers changed their advice on commercial jets' ability to withstand contamination from volcanic ash clouds. In fact it's been reported that British Airways were so infuriated by the closure of airspace that its CEO Willie Walsh had 24 teams of pilots fly BA jets from various airports around the world to the UK, and it was only for the fact that they were circling over London (and now dangerously low on fuel) that the British CAA had no choice but to permit them to land. BA essentially called the British government on its BS, which then invented a lame excuse after the fact to explain its change of mind. As if to help the authorities cover their tracks, the UK tabloid Daily Star chose to delight its readers the day after British skies reopened with a front cover worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame for Trash Journalism:

© UK Daily StarBritish tabloid The Daily Star pulled an Orson Welles with this hoax the day after British Airways forced the opening of British airspace
It turns out that the image of the plane going down in a blaze of glory was a still from a reconstruction of the 1982 case of BA Flight 9, as shown on British television the previous evening. Shops at British airports found it distasteful enough to remove it from their shelves.

It is worth pondering about the real causes for the airspace shutdown, because it sure was an expensive decision. Some 63,000 flights were canceled costing airlines between 1.5 billion and 2.5 billion euros and supply lines for international trade were affected globally, from China to Kenya to the United States. Why would they shut down airspace if there was no real threat? Well, perhaps it should not really be any surprise, since we live in the age of manufactured threats (terrorism, anyone?). But it would still be interesting to see the immediate effects. For starters, the Single European Sky II package, which was set to start in 2012, will go through a fast-tracking process. The idea is to organize European air traffic according to traffic flows rather than national borders by implementing a single European system for air traffic. In other words, it is about centralizing the administration of air travel.

Another obvious effect has to do with the acclimatization of the population to the idea that travel can be shut down with little advance notice and for very dubious reasons. In fact, as we write these lines, Ireland has re-imposed the ban on its air space because a change in wind direction apparently means that "Ireland falls within the predicted area of ash concentrations". Will we be treated to similar conditioning events in the near future until it becomes acceptable enough to strip the population of their right to travel at the whim of a centralized international body controlled by power-hungry psychopaths? Eyjafjallajokull continued to belch ash into the atmosphere but has significantly calmed down going into May. Yet this hasn't stopped media headlines prepping the masses for a "summer of disruption". If the PTB do try to use this so-called ash cloud to implement some form of international ban on air travel, they may soon find help from other volcanoes threatening to blow.

© Nordic Photos/Getty Images
Cosmic Climate Change

Increased seismic activity around volcanoes suggests we can look forward to more spectacular eruptions in the months ahead. Mount Redoubt in Alaska is stirring from its slumber while Mount Etna in Italy threatens to enter a new eruptive period. Preparations are being made to evacuate 3,000 people from the Gaua Volcano on the Pacific island of Vanuatu as renewed activity suggests a large eruption is imminent. The Ischia Volcano off the coast of Naples in Italy has some observers worried, although as we mentioned in our last installment, it's the 13 major underwater volcanoes off Italy's southern coast that are scientists' main concern. Somebody had better contact air traffic controllers in central America and explain to them the intricacies of ash particles and jet propulsion. When an eruption at Guatemala's Santiaguito Volcano sent a plume of ash 30,000 feet into the atmosphere and dusted a large swathe of western Guatemala late this month, regional airspace remained open for business. Clearly politicians there care nothing for people's "safety."

Eyjafjallajokull's eruption is another significant marker as we approach catastrophic climate change brought on by the build-up of comet dust in the upper atmosphere. The marked increase in the number of strong earthquakes and volcanism strengthens our theory that the planet's rotation is slowing down, however slightly, weakening the magnetic field and thus literally "opening up" the planet.

The Global Warmists have jumped on the 'Ashteria' bandwagon to claim that increasing volcano activity is due to decreasing pressure from melting ice caps, which of course is due to 'man-made global warming'. But the ice caps cannot be melting because the increasing extent of sea ice in the Arctic broke records throughout April. Other warmists found their silver lining in the flight ban, claiming to have quantified the amount of evil CO2 the planet was saved from grounded planes! Admittedly, the skies were brilliant blue over Europe that week, but that is besides the point. The point is that oceans absorb and thus regulate the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. It is statistically redundant attempting to quantify the net atmospheric CO2 levels from a 70% reduction in air traffic over one continent for 6 days! It may seem like a significant factor from a local perspective, but in terms of the overall system, it isn't. Fred Goldberg explains that "one can never find more than 4 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere coming from humans." Al Gore's financial links to chemical and oil companies continue to emerge and yet his convenient lies continue to hold court with official culture. In the UK, Lord Oxburgh's "Inquiry" found "absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever" after its brief whitewash of an investigation into Climategate. All he had to say on the matter was that "We found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention." The British government followed this up by announcing that it will be employing 'experts in extremism' hunting down anyone who so much as doubted the CRU's (un)scientific work.

Thou shalt not ask questions
Clearly something beyond humanity's role is causing the planet's surface to open up. Following the strong earthquake in Sumatra earlier this month, locals noticed that the seabed has risen along the Aceh coastline and that rocks and mud are spewing out from fissures, prompting them to wonder if "an undersea volcano could be forming." The strong seismic activity gives us an indication of the activity going on beneath our feet and especially below the oceans, where much bigger and much more active volcanoes are warming the oceans. This leads us to wonder if the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico came off its hinges due to the sea floor rupturing. From our observations above of deluges of rain and snow at a time when Spring should be in full bloom across the northern hemisphere, it appears we are approaching a tipping point where a feedback loop rapidly locks the planet's climate cycles into increased precipitation falling back as snow. When we also factor in the low solar activity (sunspot numbers are at a 90-year low) and the planet's intensified water cycle (caused by the warming oceans), an abrupt system shift is on the cards. We don't dare call when this will happen, but we're not alone in thinking that it will happen soon - very soon.

Awareness that the climate has shifted suddenly from present day warmth to Ice Age cold in the past - and that 'cosmic showers' of cometary debris caused the shift - is growing, albeit slowly. We were encouraged to discover that current Deputy NASA Administrator Lori Garver was a contributing author to a book called Hazards due to Comets and Asteroids. She, along with others discussing the cometary bombardment hypothesis, understands that periods of relative stability are punctuated by catastrophic encounters with Near Earth Objects and that one of the immediate concerns is that it will be next to impossible to distinguish between an impact event and a nuclear explosion. Garver goes on to state: "The risk of diversion of any mitigation system to military uses must be regarded as a more immediate hazard." And with good reason, for this is what appears to have happened. The Pentagon has completely militarised space for the purpose of controlling other countries, (possibly) targeting UFOs and (probably) influencing weather and inducing 'natural' catastrophes. All these technological marvels, the fruits of America's golden age, have been diverted for the purpose of making war and turning the planet into a death star.
© Albert JakobssonA curtain of light is the backdrop for Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
April witnessed the most powerful space storm in three years when an Earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejection caught observers by surprise. It was not intense enough to interfere strongly with power grids or satellite navigation, but it did trigger dazzling auroras at the poles that were seen in places as far south as Iceland and Montana in the US. The Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on the same day as the storm hit, leaving onlookers bewildered as it's contrail left "psychedelic" patterns in the sky:
© Craig CrawfordThe exhaust trail left by the Space Shuttle Discovery as it blasted off from Cape Canaveral in early April 2009
© Adam BojanowskiSpace shuttle launch April 2009: We can see now why the ancients described comets and fireballs as "dragons in the sky"
The spectacular-fireball-of-the-month award must go to the "huge green fireball" witnessed by thousands across several northern US states that left a trail of fires along a one-mile stretch of forest in southern Wisconsin, US. Meteorites were later found:

Damage by Meteorite
© JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma WijayaOne of the houses in East Jakarta nearly demolished by meteorites
Late in the month three houses in close proximity on the Duren Strait in Indonesia were struck by falling debris that "shook the roof" and made "a lot of noise" according to terrified residents.

Blast in East Jakarta Believed to Be Meteorite
Lapan researcher Abdurrahman said no fragments of the projectile had been found but the deep crater in the floor of the house, the residual heat footprint and melted items pointed to a meteorite.
Meanwhile stargazers in Southland, New Zealand were amazed to see a slow-moving fireball blaze overhead one evening. We were somewhat disappointed to learn that this fiery pebble only just missed Bibi on its way to the beach in Israel:

Smolensk Crash - A Wake-Up Call For Us All?

For the second time in 70 years, Poles were horrified to learn that the leadership of their country was almost wiped out in a sudden and tragic aircraft crash in a forest outside the western Russian city of Smolensk.

On April 10, a Polish Air Force Tupolev TU-154M carrying aboard Poland's president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a delegation of Polish high representatives crashed in thick fog on its approach to a Russian ex-military airport in Smolensk, killing all 88 passengers and 8 crew on board.

From the outset, personal and political interest seems to have been high on the agenda and security notably lacking.

The crash is still under investigation by both Russian and Polish committees and prosecutors. The plane's black boxes have been found and flight data recorders recovered. The crew of the 20-year-old Tupolev TU-154M had been notified of poor weather conditions by the Smolensk controllers. They were told that visibility was far worse than that required for a safe landing. They were advised to divert to one of several alternative airports. They were aware of the condition of the aging airport, and that the only possible approach would be a NDB non-precision approach, an avionic term which means navigating by sight alone. Despite this, someone aboard the Polish plane, either the pilots or members of the delegation chose to attempt to land. During the attempt, the aircraft descended below the 'glide slope' (the specific trajectory of descent) and infringed the permissible minimum altitudes for a safe approach and landing. The result was that the Polish aircraft hit treetops about 1200 meters short of the airfield when the airplane should have been at a height of at least 60 meters. The plane continued to impact multiple trees, lost its wing, tilted to the left, then flipped upside down and impacted the ground 350-500 meters short of the runway, falling apart into pieces.

Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) responsible for investigating aviation accidents announced, that the first preliminary review of cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder indicated that all engines were operating normally until impact, there was no explosion or fire aboard prior to impact. The MAK added in that briefing that the preliminary analysis of the recorders suggests that there was no technical malfunction prior to impact. At the beginning of May, it was revealed that not only had the plane's TAWS warning system given an alarm 30 seconds before the crash informing the crew of the aircraft being too low, but that all systems gave alarms.

On April 29, the General Public Prosecutor's Bureau announced that they were pursuing four lines of investigation: a technical problem with the Russian-built airliner, pilot error, a mistake by air traffic controllers, and a terrorist attack or pressure on the pilots to land despite poor conditions.

Lech Kaczynski was flying to Katyn, near Smolensk, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of thousands of Polish officers, prisoners of war, and intellectuals by Soviet secret police in the Spring of 1940. The massacre was to become an enduring symbol of the suffering of Poles under Soviet rule. Although there had been numerous Polish delegations visiting Katyn every year to commemorate the massacre, it was to be only Kaczynski's second visit to Katyn, after his first visit in September 2007 prior to the general parliamentary elections in October. Since there was a presidential election originally scheduled for the end of this year, it is likely that Kaczynski's planned visit to Katyn had more to do with electioneering than honoring the dead.

The Globe and Mail pointed out:
"The Katyn massacre had already been marked in an official ceremony this month, with Prime Minister Tusk and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Mr. Kaczynski, an outspoken foe of both the Russians and Mr. Tusk, was not invited. Saturday's ceremony was his own self-organized response, and he had brought much of Poland's conservative elite [his allies] to show the influence of Poland's other solitude."
The crash devastated the upper echelons of Poland's political and military establishments. On board were the head of the National Security Bureau, the army chief of staff, the navy chief commander, and heads of the air and land forces. Also killed were the national bank president, deputy foreign minister, deputy parliament speaker, civil rights commissioner, the last president of the Polish Government-in-exile, deputy minister of national defense, president of the Institute of National Remembrance, and representatives of the Katyn Families. (See this complete list of people killed in the crash, including their positions.)

Although many top political and high ranking military officers died in the crash, the deaths would not directly affect the functioning of the Polish government; Poland's president is commander in chief of its armed forces, but his domestic duties are largely symbolic. The Prime Minister and most top government ministers were not aboard the plane. A new presidential election has been scheduled on June 20, 2010.

Never before in world history have so many top state figures died at the same time. The symbolism inherent in the fact that the crash happened near the place where the Polish intellectual elite were murdered 70 years ago is striking. This fact alone should be enough to make the Polish people sit up and take notice. But take notice of what?

Since day one, the mainstream media have provided anonymous, unconfirmed, nonsensical and/or conflicting information about the crash and its circumstances. There were almost no official reports; experts interviewed by the media argued with each other; there was no agreement as to the aircraft navigation equipment, the airfield equipment, the weather conditions, if the flight was tracked, how competent the Russian air traffic controllers were (they did not speak English as it was a military and not a civilian airport); how many attempts to land were made; how many passengers were aboard and if anyone survived; how many black boxes were in the plane (from two, to five, the exact number has still not been officially confirmed); whether or not the black box recorders contents will be revealed to the public; what the flight crew's experience and skills were, and so on. To make matters even more uncertain, for some reason the official Russian investigators have still not released a transcript of the all-important cockpit tapes.

Aside from the theorized involvement of a third party, there is a great deal of mystery surrounding the TU-154M crash that calls for investigation. Aside from some early reports that the Polish Speaker of the House announced the crash before it happened, that shots were fired at the site immediately after the crash, and that a laptop owned by the head of National Security Bureau Andrzej Szczygiel who was killed in the crash had gone missing, there is the major question that needs to be answered: In the Big Brother Era when all passengers have to take their shoes off and quite often go through intimidating and dangerous body screening before getting on a plane, how could it possibly have been allowed that dozens of top state politicians and military officers were allowed to get on a single plane!? And more importantly, who was responsible for taking that decision? Remember this?

Goya: Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters
When this type of official incompetence and procrastination is combined with such a highly symbolic and emotive event, it is no wonder that the Internet is buzzing with theories about just how and why President Kaczynski and 95 others died. There is even a grainy film that purportedly shows Russians executing the survivors of the crash!

We should remember however that the art of flooding the Internet with many theories (some clearly disinformation, others not so clear) is a tried and tested method for sowing confusion and diverting attention away from or towards certain hypotheses that serve certain agendas. In the case of the Polish crash, little effort (if any) was needed to start the speculation that Russia may have caused the crash. There is, after all, no love lost between the Russians and Poles, and the echos of the Katyn massacre are difficult for anyone to ignore. But we consider the "Russians did it" theory to be a far too convenient one, and there is, in any case, no real evidence to suggest that the Russian government could have benefited in any significant way.

It was interesting to note those world politicians that attended the Polish President's funeral ceremony, and those who gladly took advantage of the volcanic ash cloud and chose to play golf instead.

With the data available, it seems to the SOTT editors that, in this case, a hostile third party was not required to precipitate the crash and the untimely demise of so many of the Polish political and military elite. The facts point quite clearly to a series of mind-bogglingly reckless decisions that were taken by the Polish delegation form the very beginning of their planned trip to Katyn. These decisions (or lack thereof) created the conditions that ultimately led to the disaster.

The plan to visit Katyn, with full pomp and circumstance, was born of Kaczynski's political struggles with Prime Minister Tusk and Russian Prime Minister Putin and his inflated ambition to out-shine them both, if only for a brief moment. At the same time, the trip would also have served Kaczynski's election hopes. These were very likely his primary reasons for the trip. Any personal sense of patriotism or genuine desire to pay homage to his fallen forebears was undoubtedly secondary, if indeed such considerations figured at all. Adding to the climate for disaster was the apparent lack of (or at least insufficient) cooperation between institutions who organized that trip and those who should have secured it.

If Kaczynski and his delegation did all they could to tempt fate, it appears that fate conspired, and provided a thick fog that enveloped the Smolensk runway. But even then the final decision whether or not to attempt to land at the poorly equipped airport was left to the delegation. And so it was that, ignoring the air traffic controllers' recommendations, the decision was taken to attempt to land. It was, it seems, a dire case of 'get-there-itis'.

While important for investigators, the question of whether or not the pilots descended too low in an effort to establish eye-contact with the ground, or misread altimeters, or suffered a technical malfunction should be viewed as more or less academic for the rest of us. The lesson here is not to be found by obsessing about the 'hows' of the crash but by pondering the possibility that the sudden deaths of Poland's political and military elite for the second time in a very painful and troubled 70 years was a 'wake up call' to the Polish people. But a wake up call to what, you may ask? Wake up calls generally serve two purposes. First to wake us from our slumber and to the fact that we are 'asleep'. And second, in a general sense (which indeed can be applied to all of humanity) to alert us to the dangers of pervasive and persistent wishful thinking and illusions about the world around us, our role in it and, in the case of the Katyn crash, the real motivations and intentions of our political leaders in whom far too many of us place far too much trust.

Marx famously corrected Hegel's comment that important historical events repeat themselves by adding, "the first time is tragedy, the second is farce". History need not record this "second Katyn" as a farce, or as yet another of humanity's missed opportunities to wake up to the truth that history only repeats itself because people ignore it.

Teflon Tea Party

David Koch and Tea Party protesters
© on imageKoch Industries Executive Vice President David Koch and Tea Party protesters
Manufactured opposition to taxes and 'Obamacare' was confronted head-on by the 'populist' Tea Party movement this month. While the movement is framed in media discourse as a revolutionary uprising, corporate interests and ultra-conservative Republican party support have pretty much hijacked the party for their own agendas. The biggest financial sponsors and spokesmen of this populist diversion (towards fascism) have a dubious history and clearly corporatist agenda:
The Tea Party movement's dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin's godless empire of the USSR. The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure.
In advance of Tax Day a Koch spokesman was trying to distance the oligarchs from involvement with carefully crafted lies. They declared it has never provided funding "specifically to support the tea parties." He was forced however to reluctantly acknowledge that Koch Industries does support Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded in part, and currently chaired by... the company's Executive Vice President, David Koch! As it turns out, AFP, based in Washington, has been a key organizer of many tea party events, including the Tax Day Tea Party rallies.

Rachel Maddow does an excellent job of highlighting the pathetic attempt to spin this one:

The billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, through AFP have steadily co-opted the tea-bag faction into a Trojan horse for the corporatist agenda. Many of the tea-bag groups have effectively devolved into subsidiaries of the Republican party, fabricating and spreading fake grassroots organizations all across the country.

TPM sign
© UnknownPROBLEM: 'Infromed.' SOLUTION: Whatever the merits of Fox News may be, it is no substitute for a dictionary.
This activity becomes even more apparent when one looks at how the corporate media in the US covers the movement's events - like homing in on such as Sarah Palin's star appearance at the Boston Tea Party. Biased and dis-informing Fox News assists the agenda, throwing inane and offensive sideshows like "Joe the Plumber" into the limelight where his pathological right-wing views can further hystericize the lowest common denominator in American society: "Illegal immigration?" he said. "Put a fence up and start shootin'."

Noam Chomsky voiced his concern over the risk of America descending into fascism. He said "The colossal toll of the institutional crimes of state capitalism" is what is fueling "the indignation and rage of those cast aside." We agree with him when he says that "Ridiculing the tea party shenanigans is a serious error," and he is well aware that the media aren't helping: "People want some answers," Chomsky said. "They are hearing answers from only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.". With low-grade civil wars erupting between agents provocateurs, infiltrators, right-wing activists and Obama supporters, it's apparent that the original ideology of the movement - specifically the ideas based on good intentions - has been completely sidelined by pathologicals and their corporatist interests. In a word, ponerized.

Snakes in Suits

Meet Andrew McGuire, whistleblower and former London Goldman Sach's precious metal trader. As an insider, McGuire was told first-hand by traders working for JP Morgan Chase how the firm illegally manipulates the metals markets, bragging how they make money doing so.

In November of last year McGuire contacted the enforcement division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and described to them in detail how large firms like JP Morgan, HSBC and Goldman Sachs routinely signal to the market their intention to take down the precious metals at the time of option expiry, non-farm payroll data releases, and COMEX contract rollover, as well as other ad-hoc events. Which basically means that they are engaged in totally illegal insider trading and market manipulation.

At the beginning of February, McGuire contacted via email a senior investigator for the CFTC's Enforcement Division, Eliud Ramirez, and laid out for him in intricate detail how precious metals would be attacked upon the release of the non-farm payroll data two days later, on February 5. It happened exactly as he predicted. McGuire sent Ramirez further emails while the manipulation was occurring in real time. You can read their exchange here.

On the March 25, Bill Murphy, Chairman of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee, made public McGuire's revelations at the CFTC Public Hearing on Precious Metals. The video feed conveniently died as Murphy was about to speak, but sprang back to life as soon as Murphy was done. This is the footage that no one was able to see at the time:

GATA's Adrian Douglas, also at the hearing, explained how the gold market is nothing but another Ponzi scheme. In his own words, and according to the transcript of the hearing:
Douglas: I would just like to make a comment. We are talking about the futures market hedging the physical market. But if we look at the physical market, the LBMA, it trades 20 million ounces of gold per day on a net basis, which is $22 billion. That's $5.4 trillion per year. That is half the size of the U.S. economy. If you take the gross amount, it is about 1 1/2 times the U.S. economy. That is not trading 100-percent-backed metal; it's trading on a fractional-reserve basis. And you can tell that from the LBMA's Website, because they trade in "unallocated" accounts. And if you look at their definition of an "unallocated account," they say that you are an "unsecured creditor." Well, if it's "unallocated" and you buy 100 tonnes of gold even if you don't have the serial numbers, you should still have 100 tonnes of gold, so how can you be an unsecured creditor?

Well, that's because it's fractional-reserve accounting, and you can't trade that much gold -- it doesn't exist in the world. So the people who are hedging these positions on the LBMA, it's essentially paper hedging paper. Bart Chilton uses the expression "stop the Ponzimonium" and this is a Ponzi scheme. Because gold is a unique commodity and people have mentioned this, it is left in the vaults and it is not consumed. So this means that most people trust the bullion banks to hold their gold and they trade it on a ledger entry. So one of the issues we have got to address here is the size of the LBMA and the OTC markets because of the positions which are supposedly backing these positions which are hedges, but it is essentially paper backing paper.

[8 seconds of silence]

Chairman Gensler: Oh. I guess I get time. Errr. ... Umm. I don't have any other questions. Commissioner Dunn.
The following day, on March 26, whistleblower Andrew McGuire and his wife were out shopping when a car came careening out of a side road and hit theirs. The driver attempted to escape by accelerating at an eye-witness who tried to block him and managed to jump away, and then hit two other cars, before being apprehended by the London Metropolitan Police. McGuire and his wife were hospitalized with minor injuries. There has been no word on the hit-and-run driver since.

The mainstream media barely touched the above revelations and the CFTC failed, somewhat unsurprisingly, to take action. After the hearing, Murphy was contacted by several major media outlets for interviews. However, within 24 hours, all his interviews were canceled.

Let us recap here. For years, it has been common knowledge for those in the know that large entities like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs illegally manipulate the markets for their own profit. One day a whistleblower proves this in real time. GATA makes it public, but the live video feed goes dead as the shenanigans are finally aired. GATA further reveals that the metals market is a Ponzi scheme because there is far less physical metal than that which is traded on paper - which should naturally increase their price but is artificially suppressed by the pressure of investment banks. The following day the whistleblower and his wife are rammed on the street. And the media and enforcing agencies do nothing about the whole story - in fact they actively prevent its dissemination.

Another gold scandal has come back from the grave to haunt the UK's soon to be ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown during general election time. Between 1999 and 2002, the then Chancellor Brown ordered the sale of almost 400 tons of UK gold reserves when the price was at a 20-year low. On the face of it, this was a rather inexplicable move that cost British taxpayers almost £7 billion. One possible explanation is that Brown was trying to support the nascent euro as the proceeds from the sales were invested in dollars, euros and yen. In view of what we have just learned about the manipulation of the gold market, there is another interesting possibility to consider.
There is also a credible speculation that the sale was designed to benefit a few of the London based bullion banks which were heavily short the precious metals, and were looking for a push down in price and a boost in supply to cover their positions and avoid a default. The unlikely names mentioned were AIG, which was trading heavily in precious metals, and the House of Rothschild. The terms of the bailout was that once their positions were covered, they were to leave the LBMA, the largest physical bullion market in the world. [...] So it appears that long before AIG crafted its enormous positions in CDS with the likes of Goldman Sachs, requiring a bailout by young Tim and the NY Fed, it was engaging in massive short positions in the metals markets, especially silver, and may have required a bailout by England to preserve the integrity of the LBMA.
Are you beginning to get the picture of who is really in charge of the global economy?

But there is more. U.S. Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate's Wall Street investigations committee, posted on his website internal emails in which Goldman Sachs executives boasted of making tens of millions of dollars in profits daily by betting against its own clients' investments in the U.S. housing crisis. An email from chief executive Lloyd Blankfein to his colleagues reads:
Of course we didn't dodge the mortgage mess. We lost money, then we made more than we lost because of 'shorts' [bets that the market would get even worse].
Lloyd Blankein and Gary Cohn: snakes in suits
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a fraud suit against Goldman arguing that the bank misled its clients by selling them a mortgage investment that was actually designed to fail.
"Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs . . . were self-interested promoters of risky and complicated financial schemes that helped trigger the crisis," said Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate panel. "They bundled toxic mortgages into complex financial instruments, got the credit rating agencies to label them as AAA securities and sold them to investors, magnifying and spreading risk throughout the financial system and all too often betting against the instruments they sold and profiting at the expense of their clients."
Daniel Sparks, the former head of Goldman Sachs mortgage department, has declared that "at the time we did those deals, we expected those deals to perform." Being under oath did not prevent him from lying, as internal documents in possession of the Senate subcommittee show that he thought otherwise at the time.

If you believe that financial overlords profiting out of the misery of the rest of us is just a case of a few 'bad apples', consider that in crisis year 2009 the top 25 managers of US hedge funds made a record $25.33 billion in personal profit.

You may remember that two months ago we learned how a group of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, decided to bet against the euro and trigger the crisis in Greece. With these recent revelations, can there be any doubt whatsoever of the culprits behind our economic misfortunes? Who could be so heartless as to knowingly bring down markets, and with them the livelihoods of millions of people, for the sake of adding a few zeroes to their already engorged wealth? If you are a regular reader of this website you already know that the question is rhetorical as the blame largely lies with the psychopaths that rule our world.

To make the point clear watch this video of a sitting of the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations, where Senator Carl Levin was grilling Goldman Sachs Vice President and CFO David Viniar:

Did you catch that? Not only does the conscienceless Viniar fail to register any remorse when asked about how his crimes made him feel, but in his view, it is "unfortunate" to have "crappy deals" sold to clients because they are discussed on email. In other words, the man is not sorry he did any wrongdoing - he is only sorry that he got caught!

But there is more. These people are ready to con their client even if that client is the government of the most powerful country in the world. According to documents filed in a US Justice Department criminal antitrust case, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers Holdings and UBS were among more than a dozen Wall Street firms involved in a conspiracy to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on investments.

To be fair it is hard to tell which is the bigger culprit in all this: the Wall Street financial cartel or the Federal Reserve. When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked at the Joint Economic Committee hearing if he had created $1.3 trillion to buy mortgage backed securities, Bernanke replied in the affirmative with a nod. It is easy to play with the economy if you can make cash out of thin air, isn't it? Especially when the mainstream media fails to report the fact. The same create-your-own-reality strategy was used by the G20 nations in order to bail out the Greek government's staggering debt by printing more money for the IMF.

The basic problem pathologicals are unable to grasp is that reality does not like to be 'created' as it is already there. In this case, there is a price to pay for solving crises by printing more money. You can have all the bills and coins floating out there but that does not make people any richer, as material goods stay the same - it just makes cash less valuable, which is another way of saying that goods become more expensive. No wonder some are predicting an imminent hyper-inflationary Great Depression for the US.

Bigot Brother-gate

"You have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" is the Big Brother mantra for our times. And it backfired spectacularly on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown when his 'private' insult of a long-time Labour Party voter became public thanks to a discreetly placed microphone in his vehicle. 'Bigot-gate' highlights just how statements made in 'private' when made public can be politically life-threatening to the individual concerned. Would the Minority Report 'pre-crime' software (that is already operational, by the way) have been able to guess in advance that Gordon's two-faced faux pas would make him the least popular Prime Minister Britain has ever had?

national id cards
© unknown
Arizona has introduced a Stasi-like 'show us your papers' immigration bill that requires all immigrants to carry their documentation and gives state police the power to stop anyone they suspect of being 'illegal'. The racist new law may have more to do with reducing the number of non-Republican voters than any real consideration for the safety and job security of Arizonans. Other states are considering similar legislation that will inevitably lead to racial profiling, terrorizing and criminalizing undocumented immigrants (who, let it never be forgotten, have been forced to emigrate the chaos in Mexico caused by decades of abuse from its northern neighbor).

Developments such as these along with federal immigration reform could soon require all workers to carry a national ID. A similar program for ID cards in the UK has been completely unpopular with voters, so the government there will instead attempt to introduce a 'fingerprint passport scheme which will eventually place all citizens on a centralised database to identity details, facial images and fingerprint biometrics. They want your data and one way or another they'll get it!

Elsewhere similar plans are underway to tag 1.1 Billion Indians, making it clear that the concept of a biometric ID card is a global phenomenon involving worldwide collaboration between governments and suppliers of technology:
"Electronic ID cards have made alarming progress towards becoming universal, around the world. Already, over 2.2 billion people, or 33% of the world's population, have been issued with 'smart' ID cards. Of those, over 900 million have biometric facial and fingerprint systems. On present plans, over 85% of the world's population will have smart ID cards by 2012. Most of the remaining population won't have escaped - largely, they are already enrolled in earlier generation ID systems, often in repressive states, such as Myanmar (Burma)..."
The trend suggests that they want everyone to carry a smart card of some description and potentially something a little more permanent like the "invisible RFID ink" developed by a 'start-up company' who says it is safe for both cattle and humans ... Great! We can look forward to receiving our tattoo in the not too distant future.

Alongside the push for mandatory ID cards is the collection of everyone's DNA into a massive databank. If you live in the United States, requirements to screen for genetic diseases means that the federal government already has your baby's unique DNA profile, taken without your consent, of course. It's even been reported that US police are busy collecting DNA profiles on the quiet by digging in your trash to retrieve genetic samples in order to bypass all that fuss about obtaining bothersome warrants.

crime dna
© Reason Magazine
The ever expanding UK DNA database will soon be turbo-charged thanks to new EU powers for DNA sampling. With 'preventing crime' being used as the driving force, the EU will also soon entrust itself with the power to issue EU-wide search warrants. Once adopted, law enforcement in each EU member-state will be empowered to search bank account details, obtain fingerprints or a DNA sample, intercept phone calls and set up CCTV surveillance on a suspect anywhere within the new superstate.

It's conceivable that there might be some beneficial aspects to having a centralised DNA database, both in terms of crime prevention and discovering genetic defects in newborns. But there are well-documented concerns that are never properly considered. Namely how the data can be misused. A native American tribe in Arizona voluntarily agreed to give DNA samples of its members to researchers studying diabetes and only recently discovered that their data was used for other studies that they had not consented to. Data inaccuracies on criminal databases are leading to wrongful arrests in the UK, where up to one in four DNA profiles marked as being that of criminals or persons arrested could in fact be those of innocents. UK PM Gordon Brown himself relied on inaccurate reports (such as the case of Sally Anne Bowman) to promote the data-collecting agenda. Hers was used as an example of how a DNA database containing innocents is useful in convicting criminals, but the truth is that the DNA of the assailant was obtained after he was arrested for another crime.


The increase in surveillance technology is relentless. In the UK police are secretly snapping up to 14 million drivers a day and installing CCTV in homes. New speed cameras trap motorists from space and spy chips are now hidden in 2.5 million dustbins so that local councils can extort further taxes. Unmanned drones are being used to fly over Britain to monitor antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers illegally dumping trash.

In the US, Chicago has become the surveillance capital where eyes are everywhere:
In less than a decade and with little opposition, the city has linked thousands of cameras - on street poles and skyscrapers, aboard buses and in train tunnels - in a network covering most of the city. Officials can watch video live at a sprawling emergency command center, police stations and even some squad cars.
The securitization of daily life increases at near exponential rates "to keep us safe" and includes:
Electronic surveillance (call records, Internet usage, social media); covert hacking by state operatives; GPS tracking; CCTV cameras linked-in to state databases; "smart" cards; RFID-chipped commodities and the spooky "Internet of things;" biometrics, and yes, the Pentagon has just stood up a Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA); data-mining; watch-listing; on and on it goes.
The main reason for this roll-out is profits for technology suppliers and easier revenue collection for government agencies. The old police mantra should be changed to "protect and serve profit".

© ComputerWorldA security guard monitors results from the whole body scanner
The Airport Security Racket continues with mainstream media supporting hyperbole from self-serving politicians. In between reminding us about 9/11 to ramp up the fear factor, Senator Joe Lieberman, says he is worried about the threat of domestic terrorism on public transportation systems. Senator Frank Lautenberg is similarly complaining that the TSA is just not doing enough about protecting railways. They both want more money to line the pockets of the ever-expanding surveillance industrial complex - they'll get it too! Sell scanners to the airports, then to the railways, bus stops, schools, stadiums... who knows where it will end? Possibly when more people speak up about how these naked scanners DO record and store images, that they are an invasion of basic human rights and are a complete waste of money. However, the result will inevitably be the introduction of new, improved, 'more private', virtual-stripping and data-gathering systems.

Researchers continue to produce 'academic' studies to reinforce the manufactured demand for more advanced technology in the drive for 'airport security 2.0'. The Pentagon wants to be able to detect, track, and even positively identify 'terrorists' by analyzing the heat and sweat that emanate from a person's pores. In the EU, taxpayer money is being used to fund research to develop surveillance technology to monitor airline passengers' conversations.

The technology companies release over-inflated surveys to support their profit-driven agenda that is then gleefully reported by Murdoch's media empire. The truth is that support for full-body scanners is much lower than reported, but those headlines don't sell as many scanners or newspapers.

Although the use of racial profiling is officially denied, it is now effectively in use in the US where even children as young as six have been flagged by TSA security as they are on the "no-fly list." & cyberhype-gate

Google and Facebook are both making concerted efforts to convince us all that privacy was only ever an illusion, their top executives both declaring the age of privacy to be over. It isn't quite yet but it is only a matter of time. When Senators complain about Facebook privacy changes, Facebook reacts by stepping up their lobbying activities in Washington D.C. and developing even deeper ties with intelligence agencies. The nexus between Google and government are further intertwining. Google recently announced which governments it supplies users' information from its vast databases to - no surprises that the US and UK top the chart here.

CIA director Leon Panetta told 300 Sacramento Metro Chamber Cap-to-Cap delegates that the next "Pearl Harbor" is likely to be an attack on the United States' financial, military and IT systems. Last month, the former Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told the US Senate floor as well as the Washington Post's readers that "The United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing." His motives for hyping the cyberwar were not exactly pure - his company is bidding for a $34 million contract to build the US Air Force's 'cyberwarfare control center' to be staffed by another wave of soulless drones fresh out of computer gaming school.

© crunchgear
The cyberwar and copyright threats have been used to lead us along the absolute road to dictatorial hell. Legislation has been passed to exert further surveillance, control and censorship onto Internet use. The UK's Digital Economy Bill is regarded as the entertainment industry's dystopia of the future because of its mapping out of a vision of the future where Big Media priorities are woven deep into the Internet, law enforcement, and educational institutions. There will be many things Internet users will no longer be able to do. An inevitable reaction from many is that they will try to circumvent these draconian attacks on Internet freedoms, for which Big Brother will in turn proscribe new measures as it attempts to close down any last remaining loopholes for freedom of information on the Internet.

Here are this month's top contenders for the SOTT Big Brother awards:
  1. A woman driving her car while wearing an Islamic face veil has been fined by French police for not having a clear field of vision!
  2. Proof that the UK is a Panopticon nightmare with news of a grandmother being dragged to court because CCTV captured her leaving a cardboard box next to a council recycling bin because she couldn't find a way to fit it inside the bin.
  3. A man in England fined for reversing his car into his own driveway after he "paused on the zigzag markings of a pedestrian crossing outside his home" to let traffic pass.
  4. Another unfortunate English grandmother fined, tagged and placed under curfew for selling goldfish to a 14-year-old boy in a "sting" operation following reports that their shop, Majors Pets, had sold a gerbil to a teenager with learning difficulties.
  5. Or will the winner be the city of Vancouver, who in a new law that would have made Hitler proud, have banned smoking in parks.
Send your vote for the winner to the Pentagon. A lifetime of free unlimited state surveillance awaits both the winners and the losers.

Kyrgyz 'Tulip Revolution' wilts

© AP Photo/Sergei GritsProtesters rally on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, April 8, 2010.
Five years since the so-called Tulip Revolution swept President Bakiyev to power, people took to the streets of Kyrgyzstan in protest against election fraud and his obscene transfer of wealth from the people to himself and his family. On the face of it a new bloody revolution has erupted but these events cannot be fully explained without understanding the geopolitical tug of war between Moscow and Washington that Kyrgyzstan has been at the center of.

Kyrgyzstan hosts a controversial US airbase vital for sending supplies to Afghanistan and also hosts a Russian military base - it is the only nation where both Cold War foes have bases. The Kremlin is most likely correct in its belief that Bakiyev was under US control given his flip-flopping double-play:
Bakiyev tried to have the best of both big power worlds, last year brashly threatening to close the US airbase, vital to the war in Afghanistan, after signing a cushy aid deal with Russia, and then reversed himself when the US agreed to more than triple the rent to $60 million a year and kick in another $100m in aid. As a result he lost the trust of both, and found himself bereft when the going got tough last week, as riots exactly like those that swept him to power erupted.
Riots broke out following a decision to raise communal charges for water and electricity on the already impoverished population of 5 million. During the riots at least 75 people were killed and hundreds injured. The country descended into chaos with people fed up with a repressive, tyrannical and abusive regime.

Even though the self-proclaimed new government promised to hold elections in six months, Bakiyev refused to step down. The ousted Kyrgyz leader said "such a coordinated operation could not have been carried out without foreign help," something the interim leader, Roza Otunbaeva, freely admitted, saying that Russia had played a role. She accused Bakiev of taking the country to the brink of civil war, but Bakiev feigned innocence and threatened further bloodshed if he were arrested.

Putin denied Russian involvement, just as Obama's Russian adviser did on behalf of the US, but there is no denying Russia will be more pleased with the outcome. Otunbaeva said the US bases would stay but is vocal in her disdain for US interference and its singular military interest in maintaining close ties with the central Asian country.

Writing for Global Research, Eric Walberg suggests that Obama would be best advised to voluntarily pull US operations out of Kyrgyzstan next year. In reality however, there is an empire to feed. So long as the heroin trade is blooming and the map of Pipelineistan remains to be drawn, a US military withdrawal of any kind from the country is wishful thinking. When we consider the wider geopolitical implications, the US empire has every reason to stay. Kyrgyzstan borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and is only separated from Russia by Kazakhstan. Its strategic importance to the US simply will not be given up lightly.

Riots continue to erupt and Bakiyev refuses to accept defeat. We are left to wonder where in Asia the next revolution will be. In that other warm front in the (new?) Cold War, Georgian opposition leaders are warning that the country could see a Kyrgyz scenario if opposition activists continue to be arrested.

People Power in Thailand

© Ap Photo
Anti-government protesters in Thailand voiced their disgust at the corrupt oligarchs ruling there. The protesters are calling for the dissolution of parliament and a new election within 15 days. "Yellow shirts" generally favor the status quo, whereas the "Red shirts" are largely drawn from the ranks of Thailand's rural poor and disenfranchised majority who have placed their trust in the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and pro-democracy activists who opposed the military coup that ousted him in 2006 on corruption allegations.They blocked shopping malls, poured blood over the President's residence and once more disrupted the country's lucrative tourism industry.

Thailand's leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, enforcing blanket media censorship and deploying 30,000 troops with increased authority to restore order. The government pulled the plug on People TV saying that the channel's broadcasts of rallies and opposition speeches was "putting out false information." This didn't go down too well with the Red Shirts gathered outside the TV station's premises. They fended off tear gas and water cannons before scaling a moat guarded with razor wire and then forced open the front gates. They put their TV station back on air and vowed to retaliate if the government's clampdown on the (honest) media continued.

In the last 40 years the Thai elites have gunned down unarmed civilian demonstrations on 6 occasions. A peaceful and disciplined Red Shirt demonstration on 10 April was once again mowed down by government soldiers armed with (US-made) M16 automatic weapons, live ammunition and tanks, resulting in at least 24 deaths and over 1,000 injured. This brutality has only increased the Red Shirts' determination and as we go to press it appears that they have forced negotiations with the government.
The Abhisit Goverment was never democratically elected. It is in power because of a military coup in 2006, two judiciary coups, the PAD violence and the manoeuvrings of the military. Abhisit's Democrat Party can never hope to win an overall majority in any future election and in the past it has never won such an election. It can only cling to power by the use of the military and blanket censorship. So the Red Shirt demand for the government to resign and for immediate democratic elections is legitimate. There are many people who say that democratic elections will not solve the crisis. They are probably right. Many of the elites, the military, the royalists, the middle classes, the PAD, the academics, the NGOs and the Democrat Party are not committed to respecting the majority vote and democracy. They firmly believe, like all supporters of dictatorships, that the Thai electorate is "unqualified to be given a free vote". This is all conveniently "forgotten" or missed out in mainstream Thai news reports.
A Perfectly Rational Subject

Once again we have collected a dazzling variety of reports of UFO sightings and noted some interesting articles in the mainstream press. Feted scientist Stephen Hawking made some valid points when he warned that while the abundance of data suggests that it is "perfectly rational" to assume intelligent life exists elsewhere, it is dangerously presumptuous to believe that extra-terrestrials are poised to shower us with love and light. Hawking either lacks a critical understanding of the hyper-dimensional nature of the universe or he strategically avoids making his awareness known. He said, "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." Hawking's warning fits the growing trend towards increased public disclosure of the UFO phenomenon. Intriguingly, on the same day that his views were publicised, former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer was given stagetime at an exopolitics conference to rebut Hawking's view that "aliens" could be "looking to conquer and colonize" our world:
"He (Hawking) is indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature. [...] the reality is that they (aliens) have been visiting earth for decades and probably millennia and have contributed considerably to our knowledge."
Hellyer reckons that we should in fact be thankful to the extra-terrestrial techie-gods for gifting us computer screens and microchips, amongst other IT delights reverse-engineered from retrieved space craft. The UK Telegraph dished out another suggestive article this month, announcing the results of an international survey that questioned 23,000 adults in 22 countries found that more than 40% of people in India and China believe that aliens are living right here among us today, disguised as humans. European respondents were rather more sceptical. This is fitting really, as they remain generally oblivious to the fact that there is an alien race living disguised as humans living among them! After all, who needs aliens when we have an intra-species race of psychopaths colonising our world and enslaving the host population?

A webcam set up to observe the "island-mountain glacier" in Iceland caught a UFO fly straight over the crater prior to its eruption while another unexplained object was spotted near the plume mid-eruption. Clearly not all crafts in the sky rely on jet propulsion.

The second incident was picked up by accident on British Sky News footage:

The galaxy of sightings from around the world are too numerous to cover in their entirety, but we'll give you a taste of the smorgasbord of craft spotted in April. In the UK there were bright lights followed by military aircraft, black squares over London, balls of fire in Scotland and fighter jets chasing a UFO down the M5 motorway in the West Midlands.

England: Several witnesses see three orange objects in a triangle-shaped formation

Across the Atlantic, fighter jets chased a UFO across Montana while another pair of jets gave chase to UFOs in Oregon. A star-like object teased the most-feared (by humans) military on the planet when it danced around Holloman AFB in New Mexico. Clearly the best technologies we have to offer are redundant against these things! There was an alarming report of two UFOs firing "laser-like missiles" at each other over Missouri, but more bizarre was the fact that a nearly identical incident was observed near the same location in 1997! It's one thing observing the phenomenon from a distance but when you are sitting in a parked car and it begins to levitate off the ground, the experience takes on a terrifying colour. The following account from two teenagers is both fascinating and harrowing:
Two New Hampshire teenagers sitting in a parked car were approached by a black-colored UFO in Laconia on March 20, 2010, lifted into the air and then dropped back onto pavement 180 feet away [...]

"We were just sitting there and I looked up at the moon," the female witness stated. "I saw this weird black-shaped object. And then, I said to my boyfriend, 'What was that?'"

Both accounts describe the same events. They saw an object coming toward them from the sky and began to panic. When they attempted to drive away, the car they were operating was lifted up off the ground. Both describe an odd smell during the incident. When the car hit the pavement 180 feet away, the windshield cracked and the air bags deployed.

Firmani said there was no damage to the body of the car, but that there was about $5,000 damage to the underside of the car.

The male witness descibed the UFO.

"I don't know how to explain this but it turns into a ball when it wants to slow down and move around quickly and when it wants to go fast, straight, it turns into a flat plate with maze box-shaped lined lights. These were on all the time."

He describes attempting to drive away.

"The front end got picked up and the car could not move. We steered left and right but the car just kept on going up into the air."

When the car hit the ground, they drove quickly away to the girl's home where her mother called the police.
Numerous sightings of strange discs over Rhode Island, visitors in Arizona, a 'triangle' in Michigan, red lights in Washington, another flying triangle and a stationary cargo-like object in Virgina, bright orbs, another triangle in California, another red orb in Florida ... there were even tears in Missouri. On and on it goes. There must be literally hundreds of sightings every day in the US alone. Here's one we missed from last October:

Australians experienced a major UFO flap this month, prompting worried locals to wonder if an "invasion" was underway. The wave in Chile since the tremendous earthquake there continued this month with cases reported the length of the country on a daily basis. An object with "blinding lights" appeared over Chengdu in China, while in Canada a triangular object passed right over a man's house and this woman seemed upset that a flashing red, green and blue light in the distance wouldn't return so she could film it some more! A Russian member of parliament has requested that Prime Minister Putin investigate the UFO phenomenon after he went public with his abduction experience. Perhaps he should read up on the history to understand that he won't get a frank admission from any government because their role is to to maintain calm in the face of helplessness! Occasionally however, the national media elects to broadcast mass sightings, like this report from the Dominican Republic:

With what is now effectively a continuous global UFO wave taking place, masses of people are in danger of closing the circuit and 'believing' in the reality of the existence of 'other races' here to 'teach us' and 'protect us' from ourselves. But that act in the greatest show on Earth comes later. Where do we go from here? Everywhere! Stay tuned for more more fake terrorism from the Secret Team, more wars and rumours of wars, more bizarre weather and more acts of evil more evil than you can imagine.

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Crop circle
© Lucy PringleMay 5, England: the first reported crop circle of the 2010 season