Tuesday, January 29, 2008

India bird flu disease 'alarming'

The bird flu epidemic has spread further in the Indian state of West Bengal with 13 of the state's 19 districts affected, officials say.

An outbreak has been reported from Budge Budge, a suburb of the capital, Calcutta, officials say.

A minister said that the situation was "alarming" Officials say more than 2.5 million birds would be culled.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu is regarded as highly pathogenic and can also cause disease and death in humans.

Health experts have warned that the outbreak could get out of control.

No cases of human infection have still been reported....

~ Read more... ~


The administration's evil horoscope

" ... The Saturn/Pluto contacts between Rumsfeld's and Bush's charts only increases the brutality in either chart. Or, put yet another way, their own personal brutality contributes to and feeds the brutal acts they commit together.

But this is not all. The contact between Rumsfeld's and Bush's Suns and their respective Plutos and Saturns, connects the forces of identity and creation (Sun) in the sign of the home[land] (Cancer) with death, destruction, loss, deep pain, and grief (Pluto/Saturn). In other words, the connection provides a bridge for the energies of both Suns and the dark forces of Pluto/Saturn, fostering a massive amount of energy.

Where these exist within an individual's chart (which is not the case here), the individual will feel these things internally, but where they are found as contacts between the charts of two persons (as here), those who are subject to, in the care of, or under the authority of these persons are in extreme danger. Where those two persons hold the keys to a superpower, the danger is worldwide. ... "

Area 51: now an airport named Homey

" ... Homey Airport? Doesn't sound like a very thrilling name for as place with lots of thrilling lore. But maybe that's what the government had in mind when it quietly (what else?!!) changed the name of the base known as Area 51 in Nevada to the new Homey moniker.
Area 51, or more officially Groom Lake, Nev. is a secret military facility that has been the development home to some of the Defense Department's most top secret aircraft, namely the U2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes as well as the newer stealth aircraft such as the F-117 Nighthawk. The DoD didn't even acknowledge the base existed until 1994, when former base employees sued the government and claimed they'd been poisoned by hazardous materials used at the base, according to the Army Times. ..."

a time to unite 'the Eagle of the North with the Condor of the South'

" ... We have several prophecies concerning the time we are living in, and it is in fulfillment of the Prophecies that we are here today.  I will mention some of them: 

“At the time of the 13 Baktun and 13 Ahau is the time of the return of our Ancestors and the return of the men of wisdom.” That time is now.

Another one says:  “Arise, everyone, stand up! Not one, nor two groups be left be hind the rest”.  This prophecy is in reference to all:  rich or poor, black or white, men or women, indigenous or non indigenous, we all are equal, we all have dignity, we all deserve respect, we all deserve happiness; we all are useful and necessary to the growth of the country and to make a nation where we can live with respect among the different cultures.

The Prophecy says:  “Those of the Center, with their mystical bird Quetzal, make unite the Eagle of the North with the Condor of the South; we will meet because we are one, like the fingers of the hand.”  This prophecy means that the Indigenous People of the North and the Indigenous People of the South, through those of the Center, will come together to strengthen the recovery of the ancestral science; recovery of our identity, art, spirituality and Cosmo-vision on life and death that the different Cultures have.

We the Indigenous People join together in defense of the life of the human species, in defense of the life of our brother animals and the trees and in defense of the life of Mother Earth, because the life of the Planet Earth is in danger.  We all know that what is happening in the world now is not a coincidence. As examples:  The hurricanes and the heavy storms that are menacing different places in the world; the high temperatures that day by day rise to higher degree, while in other parts of the world the cold becomes more intense; rivers are drying out and others are disappearing; the glaciers are melting; many places in the world are suffering the effects of natural disasters; and all of these are the result of our imbalance with Nature.   One other thing, our country, our communities are living under fear due to the violence, the drugs, and confrontations with those who are in search for power and wealth.

It is necessary that the behavior of human beings all over the world has to change; the life of the Planet Earth is responsibility of all and that is why the invitation from the Indigenous people is for everyone, to help save human life, save the planet thus inheriting a healthy future to the new generations.  It is for this reason that we invite everyone, indigenous and non indigenous to understand and respect each other; we invite each one to make an effort to change the negative attitude towards the indigenous and towards women in general.  We invite each minister, each public employee, to work for the eradication of racism, discrimination and the inequality that exist in our country.

The Mayan Prophecy says:  “Let my big Melody play, let my small Melody play, let my dancers loose, let my prisoners be free; these are my valleys, these are my mountains.” These are the words of Rabinal Achi.  Why do I say “my valleys and mountains are prisoners”?  Because they are being used as centers for nuclear testing, because they are being perforated without compassion, drawing the blood of Mother Earth, extracting her oil and minerals that only increase the contamination and bring about destruction.  The mountains are prisoners of men because with the chainsaw of the big monopolies are murdering its trees, and with it go the animals that inhabit them.  They say that we the indigenous, the country people, and the poor Ladinos are the ones killing the trees, and only for the small amount of wood that we use for cooking our sacred nourishment.  This is not true.  One can never compare the use we make of the trees with the commercial objectives that the big corporations have with the trees.  It is not true that we the poor and the indigenous are the ones who are killing the trees when we are not even owners of land.  This way of thinking is simply part of the same racism.   It is easy to blame the weak.  From the Maya Cosmo-vision point of view, no one owns the land; we are just one more element of life and of Nature, and this is why we are inviting every human being to help save our Mother Earth.

According to the Maya Long Count Calendar, we are finalizing the 13 Baktun and 13 Ahau, thus approaching the YEAR CERO.  We are at the doorsteps of the ending of another period of the Sun, a period that lasts 5,200 years and ends with several hours of darkness.  After this period of darkness there comes a new period of the Sun; it will be the 6th one.  In each period of the Sun there is an adjustment for the planet and it brings changes in the weather conditions and in social and political life as well.

The world is transformed and we enter a period of understanding and harmonious coexistence where there is social justice and equality for all.  It is a new way of life.  With a new social order there comes a time of freedom where we can move like the clouds, without limitations, without borders. We will travel like the birds, without the need for passports. We will travel like the rivers, all heading towards the same point…the same objective.  The Mayan prophecies are announcing a time of change.  The Pop Wuj, the book of the Counsel, tells us, “It is time for dawn; let the dawn come, for the task to be finished.”

 It is based in this prophecy that I make the following reflection:  In present time, we the indigenous, non indigenous and Ladino people still don’t see ourselves as true brothers and sisters; we haven’t reached the place where there is no room for racism, discrimination and exclusion, where we all feel like citizens with dignity. Many don’t believe there is racism, discrimination, and despise towards citizens of indigenous communities, but the reality is that we feel it and we live it every moment. We experience it all the time, as workers and as citizens.  I ask myself, “Why is this, if we are all humans, if we all have the same feelings and dignity, and we all are equal?”  I think that there is so much to learn still, such as learning to recognize the identity, the value, and the wisdom that the indigenous nations have regarding living a good life. This gives us the inspiration to live and to be a better person every day.

To the many in this country, what we the Indigenous People do, what we feel, and what we think has no importance. The concept they have is that we are ignorant people. But no, we are not ignorant. We are descendants of a millennial culture who has suffered over the years. But one that still maintains great wisdom to the point of having been able to solve our own necessities without the support of the Country, and without return of our taxes.

The future of Guatemala is in our hands. We can help eliminate poverty and the daily exclusion.  Each one of us has a relationship with the Universe and that reflects whether our attitudes with others are harmonious or not.  The time for change has arrived. The time for understanding each other and to be more human is here. It is the time to collaborate with our country, a nation of a millennial culture.  The time has come to understand that we have much to teach the world.   The time has come for each citizen Maya, Xinca, Garifuna and Ladino to feel proud of being Guatemalan, and to know that their roots are in this land.  It is time to have peace in our souls.  How happy will be the day when everyone can feel proud of their roots and work in the positive growth of the Country? When this happens Guatemala will change its history. 

Through history it has officially been said that the Mayas are a thing of the past; that they existed in times of yesterday. In this day of the Wajxaquib Noj, the day of the wisdom and knowledge, we want to let you all know that we are here, and we are here present.  We have a prophecy confirming this, it says, “We are the ones of yesterday, we are the ones of today, and we will be the ones of tomorrow.”  Together the four nations, Mayas, Xinca, Garifunas and Ladinos, together like the fingers of the hand, living in our own diversity; let us build peace.  Here we have 8 children, boys and girls. They are a symbol of the four nations that inhabit Iximulew. They represent the present and the future of our Guatemala, where we come to feel like brothers and sisters, all equal, in dignity and with rights. ... "

~ From Words From Mayan Grand Elder Wakatel Utiw (Wandering Wolf) Given At The Inauguration Of President Eng. Alvaro Colom Caballeros ~

(with thanks to mind-in-peace for the heads up)

'a fundamental misunderstanding of the root of the conflict'

" ... Many historians consider the Barbary wars a sideshow relative to contemporaneous events such as the French Revolution, Napoleon's conquests, and the War of 1812, but the Barbary wars are significant to today's conflict. Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison each believed the Barbary wars to be a continuation of the American Revolution. The ground war in North America may have freed the United States from British tyranny, but the Barbary campaign was necessary to win the same freedom of action and commerce within the international community. The episode also crystallized perceptions of Islam and the Ottoman Empire in the American mind. While Americans did not perceive the Barbary wars as a conflict between Christianity and Islam per se, religion was an issue. The two sides fought, not over theological differences, but rather as a result of the divergent ideologies enabled by the two faiths. Washington and Adams referred to the Muslim leaders as "nests of banditti" while Jefferson's and Madison's campaign literature called them "petty tyrants." The "despotic Turk" became the antithesis of early American republican identity.

What Americans and Europeans saw as piracy, Barbary leaders justified as legitimate jihad. Jefferson related a conversation he had in Paris with Ambassador Abdrahaman of Tripoli who told him that all Christians are sinners in the context of the Qur'an and that it was a Muslim's "right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners." Islam gave great incentive to fighting infidels, Abdrahaman explained, because the Qur'an promised that making war against infidels ensured a Muslim paradise after death. Richard O'Brien, the imprisoned captain of the Philadelphia merchantman Dauphin and later the U.S. consul to Algiers, related similar conversations with ‘Ali Hasan, the ruler of Algiers. Ottoman leaders used the same rationale to justify the enslavement and trading of captives from the Balkans, Caucasus, and Ukraine.

The role that jihadi ideology played in the Barbary wars is documented with explicit references to jihad and holy war in the treaties that U.S. officials entered into with Muslim rulers. Tunis and Algiers, as the western outposts of the Ottoman Empire, even described themselves to American envoys as the "frontier posts of jihad against European Christianity."

U.S. officials took a conciliatory attitude. Realizing that the North Africans were hypersensitive to the historic conflict between Islam and European Christianity, especially in the context of the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, U.S. officials bent over backwards to deny the religious and ideological nature of the conflict, especially to the Muslims themselves. They realized that religious conflict might jeopardize the commerce that the United States still hoped to find in the Mediterranean. In 1821, President John Quincy Adams was barely able to resist assisting the Greeks in their war of independence when both the American and European publics urged war with the Ottoman Empire. The founders possessed a deep conviction for religious tolerance and proudly explained in the short-lived 1797 treaty with Tripoli that the U.S. was not a Christian state at all but rather one which had no official religion and maintained laws forbidding the prohibition of religion. Perhaps their denial of the religious and ideological nature of the conflict foreshadowed the attitude many Washington policymakers adopt today. Then as now, it has become the basis of a fundamental misunderstanding of the root of the conflict. ... "

From Grievance-Based Terrorism By Melvin E. Lee, Middle East Quarterly, 25 Jan 2008

The war racket and its subsidiaries

" ... War is such a good racket that the Racketeers have no plans to stop it anytime soon: as one major wrote in the journal of the Army War College,

"We have entered an age of constant conflict.... There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe..... The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing." As the bombs started falling on Afghanistan, Vice-President Cheney said that the "War on Terrorism" "may never end. At least, not in out lifetime." More than a year later, on an aircraft carrier returning to San Diego after helping "liberate" Iraq, President Bush said, "The war on terror is not over."

War has been such a swell racket that it has spawned several subsidiaries: the Oil Racket, the Drug Racket, the Terrorism Racket, and the hybrid War-On-Drugs and War-On-Terrorism Rackets.

The Oil Racket began when the Allies broke the World War I stalemate of trench warfare with tanks, gasoline-driven transport, and air power. The oil-burning British Fleet out-maneuvered the coal-burning German Fleet in the North Sea. It was clear that to stand a chance in the War Racket you had to be a player in the Oil Racket. The powers began jockeying for all the oil they could control, mostly in the Middle East. A long series of coups, wars, and other crises ensued as different Racketeers fought over the juice that drove their economies, and more important, their war machines. Of course, the banks and weapons companies cashed in on all this action. During World War II the King of Saudi Arabia was an ardent supporter of Hitler but took protection money from Roosevelt to keep US oil rigs -- and their oil -- from the Axis. After the war, Roosevelt met the King and cut a secret deal trading US protection of the Saud dynasty's throne for privileged access to its oil. (The "fundamentalist Muslims" so important for the Terrorism Racket take their inspiration from a right-wing sect allied with this dynasty.)

Two main features of the Oil Racket since the latter Twentieth Century are that most or all oil producers have demanded US dollars in payment (helping US banks and importers), and that oil-rich governments (especially Saudi Arabia's) quietly kicked much of the loot back to the US Treasury (in loans) and weapons companies (in purchases). They also kept most of their leftover money in US banks (this is how Citigroup et al. got their hands on the Iraqi money the elder President Bush froze in 1990). The Oil Racket is so blatantly obvious that an advisor to Tony Blair admitted that the US and UK took over Iraq for its oil. Cashing in on rising demand (to fuel the war machine) and rising prices (as the military demand bid them up), ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell posted record profits for the quarter -- double or triple the previous quarter.

The Drug Racket -- at least in its modern, globalized form -- began in the late 1940s when the CIA enlisted the Sicilian Mafia and Corsican gangsters to fight leftists in Italy and France; in return, it allowed them to rebuild their heroin network (it turned the Corsican operation over to French intelligence in the mid-1950s). Later, as US Racketeers took Southeast Asia over from French Racketeers, they inherited their opium smuggling networks and built them into a heroin ring which financed a covert proxy war against Communist China. In the mid-1980s, US "clandestine services" took over the South American cocaine trade to finance their proxy war in Nicaragua (and later in Colombia) and grew it into such a big racket that the central banks of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru can't repay their dollar-denominated loans to US banks without the drug money. (The CIA actually admitted that it protected its allies' drug running in Central America.) At about the same time they did the same thing with Afghanistan's opium, and now Pakistan's central bank is thoroughly hooked on heroin dollars. And so on. Such countries are war-torn and, due to years of the World Bank's "structural adjustment policies," many have so much of their land devoted to export crops that they can't grow their own food -- so without foreign currency, the people starve. This, along with their covert armies, is how the really big Racketeers buy and sell governments.

The Terrorism Racket hit the big time after US, Saudi, and Pakistani Racketeers decided to make trouble for the Soviets in Afghanistan. They started giving secret aid to enemies of the socialist Afghan government, and the Soviets invaded, beginning a long and bloody war which hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the process they built up the Afghan Drug Racket until it supplied about two-thirds of the world's heroin. They set up Islamic "religious schools" teaching an extremist doctrine similar to that of the sect allied with the Saudi monarchy and gave their "best" students weapons training. Osama bin Laden was a top recruiter for this project, rounding up footloose young men in the Middle East and sending them to the US for special training before they went to Afghanistan.

After the fall of the Soviet Union leading US and Saudi Racketeers met with others several times to decide what to do with the Mujahedin and their gun and drug rings. While the more cautious ones wanted to disband them, others refused to give up such useful arrangements. As a former CIA analyst explained, the same policies that helped bring down the Soviet Union are still useful to curb residual Russian and emerging Chinese influence in Central Asia. But they are useful elsewhere as well: various Mujahedin groups resettled in places like Chechnya, the Philippines, and Sudan. Al Qaeda, in concert with US and British forces, helped train Bosnian Muslims and the KLA, moving heroin to pay the bills. Although the Saudi government has officially expelled Osama bin Laden, and his family has officially disowned him, there are persistent reports that Prince Turki, long head of Saudi intelligence and now Ambassador to the US, remains in close contact with him. Further, the royal family continues to support his businesses, and his own family manages to stay in touch surreptitiously. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that a high-level CIA officer, as well as many of Osama's relatives, visited him while he was having his kidneys treated at the US hospital in Dubai in July 2001. As late as 1997 the US National Security Agency was bragging of intercepting his phone calls to his mother. His brothers still run banks and other companies connected with terrorists, and al Qaeda troops protect Western oil pipelines in war-torn areas.

Terrorist attacks against the US can be helpful to US Racketeers: a former bioweapons director observed that the 2001 anthrax attacks weren't all bad, since they led to a $6 billion increase in the biowarfare budget. The anthrax strain originally came from a US military laboratory, and only such laboratories know how to make it as fine and fluffy as the anthrax in the mailings.

The War Racket and the Drug Racket combine to form the War-on-Drugs Racket, by which the Racketeers get more military and police power by pinning their own drug racket on their enemy du jour. There are many examples: Reagan brandished pictures of "Sandinista narco-traffickers" which actually showed Medellin Cartel members who had (until then) been protected by the CIA since their profits benefited the Contras. Even though the DEA didn't buy the "Sandinista" story, it led to a secret Presidential National Security Decision Directive authorizing increased military and intelligence forces to fight the "Drug War." More recently, the Clinton and Bush Administrations have been doing the same thing with the FARC in Colombia, branding it a "narco-guerrilla" army and increasing "counternarcotics" aid to the Colombian military. According to the Colombian government, the FARC does control about 2.5 percent of Colombia's cocaine exports; right-wing paramilitary groups, in close alliance with the army which is getting the "counternarcotics" aid, control about 40 percent. Of course, the "War on Drugs" serves to increase police powers in the US, too.

The latest model is the War-on-Terrorism Racket, unveiled after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It has major advantages: it promises to be endless, the "enemy" can be just about anywhere, and it has proved even better than the War-on-Drugs Racket for increasing US police powers. So far it has "justified" major military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, more US troops and "advisors" from Uzbekistan to the Philippines, the "PATRIOT" Act (with a sequel in the works at this writing), and the Department of "Homeland Security."

But most people don't want war, so the Racketeers often have to stir it up. In 1939 German officers dressed an unknown prisoner up in a Polish Army uniform, staged a Polish attack on a German radio station, and invaded Poland the next day. In 1931 Japanese soldiers bombed the South Manchurian Railway (which Japan controlled), blamed China for the attack, and promptly invaded. Ten years later the US Government cut off Japan's oil supplies, steel, and credit while leaving the Pacific Fleet exposed in Hawaii. As expected, Japan responded by going to war with the US. They kicked it off with a "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor, but Naval Intelligence had broken Japan's military codes and tracked Japanese warships all the way there. The Washington brass hobbled the Pacific Fleet commander's reconnaissance efforts, didn't tell him of the attack force bearing down on him, and told him to prepare for propaganda and sabotage, not an air attack. (This is not to say that the Roosevelt Administration was running this racket; other players may have forced his hand. FDR knew that Hitler was planning to attack the US when he had bombers with enough range. He had troubles at home too: US Nazi supporters planned a military coup against FDR and approached General Butler to spearhead it, but he blew the whistle and the plan fizzled.) The Tonkin Gulf "incident" (which followed a series of covert US-led commando raids into North Vietnam) also comes to mind. It is a well-established technique. As Hermann Goering put it, "Naturally, the common people don't want war. . . . [But] it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. . . . All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Many signs suggest that the September 11 attacks were no exception to this pattern.

In recent years leading US Racketeers have fretted that the people of the US don't understand their "global responsibilities," which boil down to making sure that they (US Racketeers and their allies) run the world. Without US "primacy," they say, the world must sink into anarchy and economic depression. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor and still a professor at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in 1997 that to save the world from this fate the US must control Eurasia, and to do that it must control Central Asia. He noted, however, that the US only rose to the challenge of ending World War II after the shock of Pearl Harbor. The Project for the New American Century, whose statement of principle boasts the signatures of Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Steve Forbes, William Bennett, Paul Wolfowitz, and other luminaries of the US right, echoed Brezinski's lament that the US people lack the resolve to Keep the World Safe for Democracy. The Project called for a return to the Reagan years of high "defense" spending to support US "constabulary" actions all over the world. Its monograph Rebuilding America's Defenses admitted that the "transformation" it so earnestly sought would be very slow indeed without something equivalent to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Clinton Administration drew up plans for a war on al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but didn't get them finished until he was on his way out, so he handed them over to Bush's people. They rewrote the plans for a much larger war, and these modified plans hit Bush's desk in early September 2001. Meanwhile (in July), retired US diplomats told their Russian and Pakistani counterparts in informal meetings that the US was considering the "military option" in Afghanistan and that bombs might be falling by the middle of that October (they were pretty close: it turned out to be October 7). ... "

From: 'War is Still a Racket' by Ed Rippy


'They would commit us to everlasting wars everywhere'

"Shall the United States of America become a merchant of death?" - Senator Rush D. Holt

" ... When elected in 1934, Rush Holt of Weston was the youngest person ever to win a seat in the United States Senate. Having waited since the general election to attain his thirtieth birthday, as required by the Constitution, he was sworn into office in June 1935. He had won fame and high office in West Virginia as a champion of the common man and a critic of privately owned utility corporations. He benefitted from the enthusiastic backing of the United Mine Workers of America, and the blessing of West Virginia's Senator Matthew M. Neely (D). Though he proclaimed himself an unequivocal supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, most knowledgeable observers (critics and sympathizers alike) viewed Holt as politically left of the president.

Soon after his accession to the Senate, Holt underwent a remarkable political metamorphosis. Believing himself denied a fair share of the patronage emanating from federal relief programs, he began in 1936 by attacking the Works Progress Administration for political corruption and inefficiency. Within months he emerged as one of the New Deal's most vocal conservative critics. Proudly independent, he sacrificed his alliance with Franklin Roosevelt, Matthew Neely, the United Mine Workers, and most rank and file Democrats in West Virginia. By maverick and impolitic behavior he condemned himself to a single Senate term. In the primary election of 1940 Holt placed only third in his bid for renomination. Though he remained politically active and later joined the Republican party, Holt failed to win another high office. 9

Holt's quixotic style could make him a questionable subject for logical analysis on an important public issue. But the "Boy Senator" always claimed philosophical consistency. Partly self-deceived and perhaps a little disingenuous, he viewed himself as faithful to pristine "liberal" and "progressive" values, while Roosevelt-style "big government" and John L. Lewis-inspired "big labor" trampled individual liberty. On at least one important matter Holt remained steadfast: throughout his Senate career and afterward, he opposed any American involvement in overseas warfare. After World War II began in Europe, Holt devoted himself to the noninterventionist cause at the expense of most other concerns. As Nebraska Senator Gerald P. Nye (R) later recalled, Holt was the only easterner in the Senate, with the exception of Massachusetts's David I. Walsh (D), who "stood by his guns" on the war issue.10 Holt took a stand without regard to political consequence and was motivated by isolationist and pacifistic feelings and principles. Though Holt did not fit the precise definition of a pacifist, his isolationism was determined chiefly by his abhorrence of war. A conditional but deeply felt pacifism was the chief wellspring for his unrelenting isolationism.

Holt viewed war as destructive of constitutional liberties, unnecessarily sacrificial of human life and material goods, and in most cases immoral. His pacifism was not dictated by religious scruples, for he held no firm theological convictions at the time. Nor did he condemn every war as unjustifiable; a war clearly in the defense of one's beleaguered and peace-loving homeland was legitimate. Like most of the noninterventionists prior to World War II, Holt discounted the likelihood of an unprovoked attack against the United States. Therefore, a European or an Asian war, regardless of the ultimate outcome, did not require American involvement. Holt's concept of homeland frontiers was limited to the forty-eight states. A strict anti-imperialist, Holt opposed North American military and economic intrusions into Latin America, and he was indifferent toward Canada, provided the United States had no presence or commitment there. At issue between Holt and most interventionists were their differing values. The latter believed in the efficacy of war to protect national interests, including those beyond the continent. The former viewed war as a greater evil than the threatened loss of peripheral or external interests, even those quite close to home.

[ ... ]

Though Holt sometimes prefaced his remarks on foreign policy with a perfunctory endorsement of "a strong national defense," his conduct reflected the anti-militarism inherent in his pacifism. As a member of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, he opposed every administration request for increased military spending.21 Holt believed that reckless militarization would actually enhance the risk of American involvement in a war, reasoning that a well-armed nation is more likely to resort to arms than a weak one. Therefore, the United States would be more secure with a small army and navy. The "big Navy" proposals of the late 1930s especially alarmed the senator. Franklin Roosevelt, he once noted, "likes to play with boats. The country would be safer if he had some other hobby."22 Holt opposed a five hundred million dollar request for the navy in 1937 on the grounds that "defense does not include the building of ships to transport airplanes and troops to foreign soil."23 He was a vocal leader of the opposition to the 1938 Naval Expansion Bill sponsored by Representative Carl Vinson (D) of Georgia. By threatening a filibuster against the measure, he helped extend debate for two and a half weeks before it eventually won Senate approval.24 In February 1939, Holt sought unsuccessfully to limit the construction of new warplanes, which he viewed as potentially offensive and bound for the European conflict.25

Clearly, the "Boy Senator" had manifested pacifist traits prior to the 1939 war declarations. It remains to be shown that Holt expressed his pacifism unflinchingly in isolationist terminology. Some bitter-end noninterventionists, such as senators Burton K. Wheeler (D) of Montana and Gerald P Nye, objected to the "isolationist" label pinned to them by interventionists. Some claimed that they always favored internationalism in peaceful ways, while opposing military entanglement or "collective security."26 In contrast, Holt was an unabashed isolationist, who did not mind keeping the nation aloof from the international community in peace as well as war. Sharing his father's distaste for President Woodrow Wilson's Treaty of Versailles, he never favored American membership in the League of Nations, and in 1935 would have voted against World Court membership (the vote came before he officially took his Senate seat). Throughout his Senate term he opposed the reciprocal trade agreements program and faithfully represented the pro-tariff glass industry of West Virginia.27 Holt's single concession to internationalism was his attendance at the 1939 conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Oslo, where he was chairman of the American delegation assigned to study the reduction of armaments. However, he afterward condemned participation in the Inter- Parliamentary Union by congressmen as useless junketing.28 Holt's ardor for insulating the nation from war heightened with the danger after the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Isolation, rigid neutrality and anti-militarism remained his prescription for avoiding war. Chiefly a propagandist during his remaining months in the Senate, Holt engaged in lengthy, sometimes acrimonious Senate debates, traveled hundreds of miles for numerous speaking appearances, and delivered dozens of national and local radio broadcasts. Any rewards he realized from his proselytizing were intrinsic. It did not promote his already doubtful chance to win re-election to the Senate, he received little remuneration, and the travel undermined his health. His reputation was blackened by the "internationalist" press, and some of his associations during the crusade tainted him at considerable cost to his political future.29 Of course, in September 1939 most Americans, including the president, formally favored "neutrality." Roosevelt promptly applied the neutrality laws, then successfully called upon Congress to substitute a "cash and carry" policy for the arms embargo, and as part of the deal, to prohibit American ships from entering specified "danger zones." Roosevelt, and even some of the more determined noninterventionists, depicted the amendments as supportive of neutrality. But many isolationists and pacifists, including Rush Holt, opposed any tampering with the arms embargo. Holt viewed it as a first fateful step over the precipice to war.

On October 18, he expressed his view in a bitterly intoned day-long address to a handful of colleagues on the Senate floor. He underscored his theme with a rhetorical question: "Shall the United States of America become a merchant of death?" With the pacifist's indignation, he condemned the immorality of the munitions industry and the perfidious folly of changing rules in the course of a war in order to benefit one side at the expense of the other. The United States, he continued, was not threatened by attack from any nation. The nation's greatest peril was the deluding of Americans by British propaganda, which undermined true neutrality and prepared the public for eventual entry into the war.

Holt's fear of war blinded him to the distinctions others made between the "fascist aggressors" and the "peace-loving democracies." In Holt's words, "that great `democracy' [Britain] for which we are called upon to defend has an empire of nearly 600,000,000 people, which was gained by the sword. France has 4.6 million square miles of colonies." The senator systematically cited British "atrocities" against the Irish and the Boers, the British "betrayal" of Czechoslovakia at Munich, and the British "lies" to Arabs and Jews over the Palestine question. German aggression he conveniently attributed to the "unjust and punitive Versailles Treaty which caused untold suffering for the German people." Furthermore, he pointed out, it was Britain which had helped rearm Germany in recent years. Returning to the moral question of war, Holt concluded: "My vote will not be a vote for death; it will be a vote for peace, for I intend to vote to continue the embargo on arms, ammunition, and implements of war."30

Holt's remonstrances against the "cash and carry" amendment revealed his dislike for Great Britain and France. This opposition did not signify a sympathy for Nazi Germany. While he was invariably harsh in judgement of the Allies, Holt never expressed admiration for Hitler's Germany or any fascist state.31 Normally, he was cynical toward any belligerent's claim to moral righteousness. He often condemned what he called the "Sir Galahad" philosophy of international relations, which distinguishes between "good" and "bad" nations, "peace-loving" and "war-making" nations, "democracies" and "dictatorships."32 However, one international conflict in early 1940 curiously affected his conscience. That was the "Winter War," wherein the Soviet Union attacked neighboring Finland. While he could see "wrongs on both sides" in the German-Anglo-French conflict, Holt openly expressed sympathy for Finland, "that great little country." He nevertheless voted against a bill to extend a loan to Finland. "My sentiment was to vote for the bill," he explained. "My judgement told me to vote against it."33 In perhaps a more unusual departure from his isolationist position, Holt had earlier sympathized with the beleaguered republican government of Spain. Though several of his conservative supporters expressed disapproval, the senator signed a 1938 letter from about sixty congressmen extending "best wishes" to the Spanish Parliament as it convened at the height of the civil war.34

On May 14, 1940, young Senator Holt suffered defeat in the West Virginia primary. As a lame duck, he immersed himself unreservedly in the pacifist-isolationist cause. The debates on Capitol Hill escalated with the German spring offensive, and on June 3 Holt challenged Florida Senator Claude Pepper (D), when the latter demanded that Congress empower the president to sell arms to the Allies. Holt asked how far Pepper would go to support Britain and France in the event that limited aid failed to stop Germany. Pepper replied that it was a bridge he would cross when necessary.35

This exchange revealed the widening chasm separating the "internationalists" and the strict noninterventionists. The former could now entertain even the prospect of a war declaration, when during the previous autumn they had insisted that lifting the arms embargo would only insure America's nonbelligerency. The latter remained obdurate neutralists even while France collapsed before the Nazi war machine. When the Roosevelt administration revealed on June 6, 1940, the transfer of fifty American planes to the Allies, Holt remarked acidly that the plane deal was "just edging toward a declaration of war."36 Fearing that war could be presaged even by humanitarian gestures, Holt declined on June 18 to give the Senate's unanimous consent to a resolution empowering the president to send Red Cross mercy ships into war zones.37

[ ... ]

During autumn 1940, the general election campaign afforded Holt, no longer a candidate, little opportunity for waging the anti-war fight. Initiative in foreign policy lay entirely with the president, and his opponents were only able to raise vain protests to the seriatim steps taken to aid Great Britain. In September the "destroyers for bases" deal was announced as an executive fait accompli. Threatening a "full discussion" of the transaction, Holt was only able to complain that the deal "was not the American way of doing things."45

In December the "Boy Senator"retired from the Senate at age 35, brooding over the likelihood of war under Franklin Roosevelt's leadership. His pessimism was reflected in an article published by the New York Journal and American. "Get ready, America, we are going to be asked to repeal the Johnson Act which prohibits loans to defaulters and to amend the Neutrality Act which was passed to keep this country out of war. . . . I believe in being frank. The move was to get us in the war and they knew it had to be done gradually."46

[ ... ]

In his addresses Holt stressed that the Roosevelt administration was seeking to maneuver the United States into the European war. When, for example, the public was informed that American destroyers had been fired upon by German submarines, Holt blamed Franklin Roosevelt, not Adolf Hitler. ". . . I believe the crowd in Washington was hoping that there would be some American casualties that would create an incident to take us into the war."55

Since the first amending of the Neutrality Act in November 1939, Holt had been pessimistic about the likelihood of America's avoiding war. However, two years later the enthusiastic response of sometimes overflow audiences buoyed his spirit and gave rise to optimism. Having often predicted that the first steps in aid to the Allies would lead inevitably to war, Holt now sensed that, in spite of Roosevelt's machinations, the final barrier against a formal war declaration was increasingly formidable. Appearing in Denver on November 17, he asserted: "America can keep out of the war if American citizens keep fighting against `steps to war through the back door'." He noted that "enthusiasm for our cause is gaining ground. America First meetings have outdrawn intervention committee meetings by anywhere from five to one to ten to one."56 In Salt Lake City a day later, Holt predicted that opponents of the war would soon have a majority in Congress. He ascribed a rise in anti-war declaration sentiment (confirmed by public opinion polls) to a realization on the part of Americans that they had been taken to the precipice of war through "subterfuge, hypocrisy and dishonesty."57

The America First coalition and Holt's tour ended, of course, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Even then, Holt was unwilling to concede that there would be no future return to the sanctuary of isolationism and pacifism. This he revealed in a January 1942 letter to R. Douglas Stuart, Jr., former director of the America First Committee. "Our fight is not over. We must stand guard to see that the internationalists who wanted war from the first day of September, 1939, are not allowed to determine the future of our great country. They would commit us to everlasting wars everywhere."58

Embittered, especially by the accusations of pro-Nazi sympathies, but undeterred, Holt early conceived of a strategy by which the internationalists might someday be exposed. He outlined a course of action in a letter of April 28, 1942, to George N. Peek, the agricultural theorist of Moline, Illinois:

"If this country is committed to the policy of forever policing the world, we have lost the war. To win this war does not require us to follow Roosevelt and Wilkie [sic] into internationalism. The international crowd is a motley group. It contains New Dealers, communists, anglophiles, international bankers, and all these individuals can control. They are coordinating their program to silence any opposition. . . .

"That brings me to a point I think very important. We should plan also. We should start building now to stop internationalism from taking over America. We should gather facts, figures and data to meet the challenge."59 ... "

From Isolationism and Pacifism: Senator Rush D. Holt and American Foreign Policy By William E. Coffey, West Virginia History, Volume 51, 1992 

Researching the remote viewing phenomenon

" ... His early findings suggest that up to 85 per cent of people may possess some form of clairvoyance - the ability to "remote view".

And he believes that with only a modicum of training we can all sharpen our psychic skills.

"Our results are significant," says Dr Roe.

"They suggest that remote viewing, or clairvoyance, is something that should be taken seriously."

It would be easy to dismiss such claims as laughable, were it not for the fact that an increasing number of scientists are taking them seriously.

While Dr Roe's work may appear controversial, he is starting to garner the support of eminent academics such as Professor Brian Josephson, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Cambridge University, who says: "The experiments have been designed to rule out luck and chance. I consider the evidence for remote viewing to be pretty clear-cut."

The military is also taking a keen interest. The Ministry of Defence takes the phenomena seriously enough to have commissioned its own research.

Documents only recently released under the Freedom of Information Act detail a series of experiments on psychic phenomena.

Unfortunately, the actual details of the experiments that were carried out - and what the conclusions were - are still classified, and intriguingly the MoD refuses to say whether they were a success. ... "

From 'Could there be proof to the theory that we're ALL psychic?' by Danny Penman, Daily Mail, 28 Jan 2008


The Devil: Alive and well?

Commons call to disestablish church is number 666
" ... A motion calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England has been listed in the House of Commons as 666 - the Number of the Beast.
Labour MP John Austin, who has repeatedly tabled Early Day Motions urging disestablishment, put down his latest motion last night as MPs debated scrapping Britain's blasphemy laws.
It appeared appeared on the House of Commons order paper numbered 666, the number associated with the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation. Scholars believe 666 referred to the Emperor Nero.

The King James Bible renders Revelation 13:8 as: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." ... "

An Exorcism in Georgia is Topic of a New Book
" ... After 47 years in Christian ministry, Pastor J. Stephen Conn, has just released a new book about what he calls "The most incredible experience I have ever had in a lifetime of serving God and people." The Devil Called Collect: The Exorcism of Jessica Leek, is the true story of a young woman, possessed by a legion of demons, who was dramatically set free by the power of Jesus' name. Conn is no wide-eyed demon chaser who sees a devil behind every bush. "At some time or another, every human being is tempted, harassed or even oppressed by Satan," he said, "but only one time have I personally dealt with a full-fledged case of demonic possession. Most ministers never have such an encounter." ... "

Turin holy water theft blamed on Satanists
" ... Satanists have struck at one of Turin's most famous churches, stealing a vial of holy water and a missal, or prayer book.

The items were taken from behind the altar at the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio, or Church of the Great Mother of God, at the end of last week.

Experts in the occult said the church, which was built in 1814 to celebrate King Victor Emanuel I's return to Italy, is one of the most important sites in the cosmic battle between white and black magic.

[ ... ]

Sitting on the banks of the river Po, it forms one point of a "triangle of good" and is linked to other points in Lyons and Prague.
Twin statues stand at the base of the stairs leading up to the doors of the church, representing Faith and Religion. The statue of Faith holds a chalice in its hand and is looking at the location of the Holy Grail, which is buried in the city, according to legend.
"This church is full of important symbols to practitioners of the occult," said Giuditta Dembech, the author of Turin: Magic City.
"But only the theft of the prayer book makes any sense. You can organize a black mass with the prayer book, but I do not know what the thieves would do with the water."
She added: "For the objects to have any power for Satanists, they would need to come from a church, and this is one of the most important magical sites."
Turin is said to lie on the 45th parallel, an invisible line that runs around the globe and is halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. But a "line of evil" also intersects the city, and connects it to London and San Francisco.
The city allegedly has the highest concentration of Satanists in Italy.
The Piazza Statuto, a short way away from the church, is a shrine to devil-worshippers, who believe that the gateway to hell lies underneath. Thousands of criminals and deviants were executed in the piazza in Roman times, because it was believed to be a cursed place which often lay in shadow.
The city's reputation as a battleground between good and evil has also been boosted by the fact that Nostradamus, the French seer, chose to briefly live in Via Michele Lessona in the 16th century. ... "

'The F- It List'

Dick Cheney and George Bush star as two disgraced and declining Republican conservatives who decide to break out of the White House and live their last days to the fullest in director Karl Rove's tragicomic road movie. Dick Cheney is a corporate billionaire who is currently sharing the White House with a failed, bicycle riding, frat brat George Bush. Though initially, the pair seems to have nothing in common as they approach the end of eight years of political humiliation, they both realize that they have a long list of powers that they would still like to abuse before being driven out of office. Realizing that the power of the White House may be their last chance to accomplish their most selfish desires, the two come up with a "F- It" list of things that they would like to do to "f- over" their friends, family, critics, and the White House's incoming occupant. The "F- It" list includes playing chicken with the entire US economy, throwing thousands more soldiers to needless deaths, and ultimately pushing "that big red button on the end of my desk that I'm never supposed to push".

The two men, one terminally ill, and one terminally stupid, take up drinking again, reinvigorate their forced friendship of eight years and live a lifetime of debauchery in their last remaining days.
On a bet, the two then decide to go skydiving. George's father had once bailed out from a downed fighter in World War II. Both men seek to justify their reasons in life for avoiding active military duty, and affirm the type of men that they really are.
One of Dick's regrets in life was in never having the courage to get "inked". The two visit a DC tattoo parlor which has been cordoned off and secured for the occasion. Dick gets the logo of his corporation Halliburton tattooed onto his arm, and George has a daggered heart with the name Condi on it tattooed on his buttocks.
Dick begins to treat George like the son he never had and tries to teach him all about hunting. One by one, all of the animals in the National Zoo are released and the two pick them off with rifles. White House dinners feature exotic dishes for the remainder of their term.

The big ending comes when George, acting on a drunken double dare from Dick, finally pushes a mysterious button in his office, unleashing nuclear holocaust in a preemptive foray into Pakistan.

The F- It List ends on 01/20/09.
~ Link ~

Liberation Entertainment and Red Envelope Entertainment Score with 'Kicking It'

 Directed by Susan Koch and narrated by Colin Farrell, the soccer documentary Kicking It premiered January 19th at the Sundance film festival. According to Variety, Liberation Entertainment and Red Envelope signed dual distribution deals for the heart-warming documentary.

Liberation will handle the North American and Central American theatrical distribution rights for the film, while Red Envelope will provide the highly acclaimed documentary to millions of Netflix subscribers. ESPN has acquired exclusive worldwide television rights to Kicking It, a film which documents the struggles and triumphs of seven soccer players from six countries who get together to participate in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup.

No word on when Liberation, Red Envelope and ESPN will release the highly anticipated documentary.

The impeachment will not be televised

After promising last week that he'd mark President Bush's final "State of the Union" speech today by introducing articles of impeachment against Bush, Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich announced he's postponing the effort.

Kucinich said he met with members of the House Judiciary Committee after making last week's impeachment pledge on the House of Representatives floor, and came away "hopeful there will be an inquiry by the Judiciary Committee."

"I will give them the opportunity to proceed before introducing articles of impeachment," Kucinich said in a statement issued by his office. The House Judiciary Committee's spokeswoman did not respond to The Plain Dealer's request for comment.

Last year, Kucinich introduced a measure to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney that has collected 24 cosponsors. His November effort to bring the matter before the full House of Representatives won support from Republicans who wanted to embarrass House Democratic leaders, but was eventually referred to the Judicary Committee.

Kucinich told The Plain Dealer editorial board last week that nine members of the House Judiciary Committee favor his bid to impeach Cheney. But that's shy of a majority; the committee has 23 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

"I do not believe that there will be an impeachment this year -- I don't think that will happen - but I do think that the questions relating to an inquiry of both the president and the vice president are important so that our nation has a real understanding of the effort that was made, a consistent effort, to mislead the people into supporting a war," Kucinich said.

~ 'Kucinich puts off effort to impeach Bush' ~


NSA ordered to snoop on snoops

" ... Not content with spying on other countries, the NSA (National Security Agency) will now turn on the US's own government agencies thanks to a fresh directive from president George Bush.

Under the new guidelines, the NSA and other intelligence agencies can bore into the internet networks of all their peers. The Bush administration pulled off this spy expansion by pointing to an increase in the number of cyber attacks directed against the US, possibly from foreign nations. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) will spearhead the effort around identifying the source of these attacks, while the Department of Homeland Security and Pentagon will concentrate on retaliation.

The Washington Post appears to have broken the news about the new Bush-led joint directive, which remains classified. The paper reported that the directive - National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 - was signed on Jan. 8. Earlier reports from the Baltimore Sun documented the NSA's plans to add US spying to its international snooping duties.

The new program will - of course - drains billions of dollars out of US coffers and be part of Bush's 2009 budget. ... "

~ From 'Bush orders NSA to snoop on US agencies' by Ashlee Vance ~




(noun) a supposition created while in a chemically-induced altered state,
and often forgotten once sober.


(noun) Politician who believes he's the only one who can enlighten the


Wielding the planet as a weapon

" ... At the same time, the resources required for geoengineering projects can vary dramatically. A start-up company called Climos and the government of India have each begun to prepare tests of “ocean iron fertilization” to boost oceanic phytoplankton blooms, in order to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, at a cost of just a few million dollars. At the other end of the spectrum, projects like the injection of megatons of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to simulate the effects of a volcano would easily cost in the tens of billions of dollars—still within the means of most developed countries.

 It’s this combination of differential impact and relatively low cost that makes international disputes over geoengineering almost inevitable. Even if there is broad consensus that geoengineering is too risky, research into environmental modification will happen simply out of self-preservation—nobody wants to fall behind. Moreover, it’s not hard to imagine some international actors seeing geoengineering as something other than solely a way of avoiding environmental disaster.
It wouldn’t be the first time states looked at the environment as a weapon. In the early 1970s, the Pentagon’s Project Popeye attempted to use cloud seeding to increase the strength of monsoons and bog down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In 1996, a group of Air Force and Army officers working with the Air Force 2025 program produced a document titled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025” (it never went anywhere). The Soviet Union reputedly had similar projects underway. But although the idea of a geoengineering arms race may superficially parallel this line of thinking, it’s actually a very different concept. Unlike “weather warfare,” geoengineering would be subtle and long term, more a strategic project than a tactical weapon; moreover, unlike weather control, we know it can work, since we’ve been unintentionally changing the climate for decades.
[ ... ]

Smart policies could lessen these risks. The 1977 Environmental Modification Convention, produced by the United Nations in response to Project Popeye, prohibits the use of engineered weather or environmental changes for military purposes; signatory countries may wish to look at ways of monitoring and enforcing this treaty. Outright banning of geoengineering research is highly unlikely, as it offers a last-ditch hope for staving off climate disaster. Instead, putting research into the hands of transparent, international bodies could reduce the temptation to “weaponize” geoengineering; internationalization could also help to spread the liability and costs, reducing one potential source of tension.

The best strategy to avoid the possible offensive use of geoengineering techniques, however, is twofold: First, embrace the social, economic, and technological changes necessary to avoid climate disaster before it’s too late; and second, expand the global environmental sensor and satellite networks allowing us to monitor ecosystem changes—and manipulation. This strategy may not reduce the temptation to look at geoengineering as an offensive capacity, but it would ensure that experiments and prototype efforts couldn’t readily be hidden under the cover of fighting climate change. We know all too well that the international contest for power will continue even in the face of a growing global threat. It would be a tragedy if, in seeking to avoid environmental catastrophe, we inadvertently enabled a new quest for geopolitical advantage. The risks of turning the Earth itself into a weapon are far too great. ... "

~ From: 'Battlefield Earth' by Jamais Cascio  ~

Suharto - a declassified documentary obit

Washington, D.C., January 28, 2008 - As Indonesia buries the ex-dictator Suharto, who died Sunday at the age of 86, the National Security Archive today posted a selection of declassified U.S. documents detailing his record of repression and corruption, and the long-standing U.S. support for his regime.

The documents include transcripts of meetings with Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, as well as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Vice-President Walter Mondale, then Vice-President George W. Bush, and former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.

Additional documents detail U.S. perceptions of Suharto from the earliest years of his violent rule, including the 1969 annexation of West Papua, the 1975 invasion of East Timor, and the so-called "Mysterious Killings" of 1983-1984.

"In death Suharto has escaped justice both in Indonesia and East Timor," said Brad Simpson, who directs the Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project. "But these declassified documents, detailing the long record of U.S. support for one of the twentieth century's most brutal and corrupt men, will contribute to our understanding both of Suharto's rule and of the U.S. support which helped make it possible."

Most of the documents posted today [ 28 Jan 2008 ] have been declassified as a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the Archive, in addition to documents unearthed in the National Archives (NARA) and Presidential libraries.

In the coming weeks the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project will be posting additional documents concerning the events leading up to Suharto’s downfall in May 1998.



image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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