Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Khmer Rouge torture chief weeps at "Killing Fields"

Visions of the Ghost of Nuremberg Future: George, Dick, Rummie, Wolfie and the all rest...

" ... The chief torturer under the Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" regime wept and prayed on Tuesday as he led the judges who will try him for crimes against humanity around the mass graves for some of its victims.

Duch, also known as Kaing Guek Eav, accompanied 80 judges, lawyers and other officials of a U.N.-backed tribunal to the 129 graves, uncovered after a Vietnamese invasion sent the Khmer Rouge back to the jungles in 1979.

"I saw Duch kneel in front of the trees where Khmer Rouge soldiers smashed children to death," a policeman told reporters after the four-hour tour.

"He cried and apologised to the victims" in the former ricefields outside Phnom Penh, he said.

Stacks of excavated skulls mark the area. ... "

~ More... ~

Borsodi's Constant an Alternative to Inflation-Ridden Fiat Money

" ... "I like what I call 'rational systems of money'. I liked then in 1944 and I still like them today. Fiat money is not rational and Keynes' philosophy of economic growth can lead only to fiat currency."

The Bretton Woods conference disturbed Dr. Borsodi so deeply that he soon wrote a small paperback in which lie prophesied what are substantially the economic problems that we're experiencing right now. The booklet, published in 1948 by The School of Living, was titled Inflation is Coming and What to Do About It. Despite the fact that the publication sold nearly half a million copies, however, few individuals in positions of power seem to have read it or to have heeded Borsodi's warnings.

And so we find nearly every nation in the world frantically trying to run up . . . an increasingly rapid down escalator of debased currency. It costs more and more every day, in other words, just to stayeven than it did the day before. During the 28 years from 1945 to 1973, the value of the United States dollar depreciated by a good two-thirds . . . and a 1974 dollar has shrunk an additional 10%. And there's no end to the madness in sight. "If we continue this foolishness," says Borsodi, "we're eventually going to witness a debacle followed by a depression worse than that of the 1930's."

[ ... ]

By issuing a certificate firmly based on real wealth , in other words—instead of politicians' empty promises—Borsodi thought he could create a medium of exchange that would be inflation-proof . . . or "constant". And he decided to call his new currency just that . . . the constant.

Does the idea work? Well, Borsodi presented his thoughts to a number of people who—over a period of about three years—have "deposited" a total of approximately $100,000 in something called the Arbitrage International "bank". (Deposits and withdrawals can be made by an individual at any time just as if he or she were dealing with a real bank, and all monies are fully protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.) The funds, in turn, have been used to buy and sell Borsodi's 30 basic commodities on the world market.

Result: The pioneers in the experiment have seen their constants rise in value (in relation to the dollar) a whopping 17% in just three years.
Or, to put it the other way around, a constant bought in 1970 can still be traded for exactly one constant's worth of goods . . . while a dollar will now buy only 85% of what it would purchase three years ago. ... "

~ From The Borsodi Constant An Inflation-Free Currency
~

IHT: 'America's ghost story'

In this era, humans have been cut loose from ancient moorings of meaning and purpose. The context within which this condition is most manifest in the United States is the debate - or, more precisely, the lack thereof - over what is called "national security." The phrase is potent because it promises something that is impossible, since the human condition is by definition insecure. When candidates vie with one another over who is most qualified to be "commander in chief," and when they unanimously promise to strengthen military readiness, they together reinforce the dominant American myth - that an extravagant social investment of treasure and talent in armed power of the group offers members of the group escape from the existential dread that comes with life on a dangerous planet. That such investment only makes the planet more dangerous matters little, since the feeling of security, rather than actual security, is the goal of the entire project.

Military power, that is, functions in America the way state religion has functioned in other societies. The Pentagon is the temple of this religion. It has dogmas, rituals, high priesthood, saints, cults of sacrifice, sacred language and a justifying narrative - what theologians call "salvation history." Last week, John McCain, in his victory speech after Wisconsin, warned that his Democratic opponent would take "a holiday from history," implying that the past is only a warning of terrible things to come. McCain, alert to "moral monsters," sets the standard for national security discourse lately, but the Democrats must echo it. The political debate, which seems so defined by differences, actually puts on display the unquestioned orthodoxy of the deeper American consensus.

When politicians invoke the rote formulae of martial rhetoric, banging the drum of dire prediction, and promising best protection, they are only fulfilling the requirements of set rubrics, which produce in the electorate not the anxiety one would expect, but enchantment - the enchantment of the pew. Preachers warn of hellfire to offer rescue from it, which is available to those who submit. This feedback loop of damnation-salvation-submission serves the people by offering meaning, and it serves the elite by protecting the structure of power. In religion, all of this is overt. In presidential politics, it is implicit.

Thus, the entire electoral process has become centered on establishing the candidates' "toughness," as if the only "virtue" a leader must fully possess is unflinching willingness to declare war. Never mind the question of whether, since 1945, war makes sense. No surprise, therefore, that no presidential candidate questions the current Pentagon budget, which surpasses every record set during the Cold War. That would be apostasy - and political suicide.

~ Full article ~

Breakthrough Environmental Initiatives

Some of the most powerful players in today's economy have announced breakthrough environmental initiatives in the past two years, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, McKinsey & Company, and Wal-Mart. And many large companies are putting their political muscle where their investment capital is. Twenty-seven major corporations, including Alcoa, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, General Motors, and Xerox, are actively urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation regulating greenhouse gas emissions, something that would have been unthinkable two years ago.

Another sign of dramatic change is the 575 environmental and energy hedge funds now in existence, most of them formed in the last few years. “Clean tech” has rapidly grown to be the world's third-largest recipient of venture capital, trailing only the Internet and biotechnology. And 54 banks, representing 85 percent of global private project finance capacity, have endorsed the Equator Principles, a new international standard of sustainability investment.

State of the World 2008 cites recent studies that conclude that the damage from global climate change could equal as much as 8 percent of global economic output by the end of this century. The report also notes that, according to the World Bank, some 39 countries experienced a decline of 5 percent or more in wealth when accounting measures also included environmental losses, such as unsustainable forest harvesting, depletion of non-renewable resources, and damage from carbon emissions. For 10 countries, the decline ranged from 25 to 60 percent.

~ From State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy ~


Waste minimization is another way to reduce scale. Every year we dig up and process more than half a trillion tons of raw materials—and six months later more than 99 percent of it is waste.

~ From 7 golden rules: 
Innovations for a Sustainable Economy ~

Reporter's dream forced Britain to admit nuclear test

The British government was forced to admit it had sanctioned a nuclear weapons test in 1974 after a journalist dreamed one had taken place and wrote an article, newly released documents showed Friday.

Then prime minister Harold Wilson strived to keep secret the test in the Nevada desert in the United States that May, but his efforts were foiled by the unorthodox reporting methods of Daily Express journalist Chapman Pincher.

The newspaper's foreign editor, John Ellison, recounted Pincher's dream to senior Foreign Office official Crispin Tickell, who relayed the story in a memorandum to Wilson's Downing Street office.

"Mr Ellison said that, believe it or not, Mr Pincher's source was Mr Pincher himself," wrote Tickell, later Britain's ambassador to the United Nations.

"He had been on a fishing holiday in Scotland. One morning at breakfast he said that he had had a particularly vivid nightmare about a nuclear explosion which he was sure was British...

~ Full article ~

'Nano Hypocrisy'

" ... "Contraction and convergence" is the phrase they need to learn. It
was coined almost twenty years ago by South African-born activist Aubrey
Meyer, founder of the Global Commons Institute, and it is still the only
plausible way that we might get global agreement on curbing greenhouse gas
emissions worldwide.

The notion is simply that we must agree on a figure for total
global emissions that cannot be exceeded, rather as we set fishing quotas
in order to preserve fish stocks. Then we divide that amount by six and a
half billion (the total population of the planet), and that gives us the
per capita emission limit for everyone on Earth.

Of course, some people (in the developed countries, mostly) are
currently emitting ten or twenty times as much as other people (mainly in
the developing countries), but eventually that will have to stop. The big
emitters will gradually have to "contract" their per capita emissions,
while the poor countries may continue to grow theirs, until at an agreed
date some decades in the future the two groups "converge" at the same level
of per capita emissions. And that level, by prior agreement, will be low
enough that global emissions remain below the danger point. ... "

~ Full article ~

Impeachment proceedings: Why are they taking so long?

" ... So why hasn't a majority of Congress supported it? Twenty members co-sponsored Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution calling for the impeachment of Cheney, but bucked their leadership to do so. Democratic leaders took impeachment "off the table," apparently fearing it could hurt their chances in 2008.

Does the leadership defend the administration, contend that its actions are unimpeachable, or argue they don't rise to the level of abuse for which Nixon was impeached? Remarkably, no. They publicly say there is no time, and that impeachment proceedings would distract the Congress from other work and divide the country.

These arguments are laughable compared to the imperative to uphold the constitution. And even on their own terms, they are specious. ... "

~ Read on... ~



Nigeria: States Back Stoppage of Dollar Payment

A few days after President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua stopped the payment of their share of monthly allocations and excess crude proceeds in US dollars as earlier proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the 36 states of the federation yesterday said they supported the decision for the fact that the dollar is not the nation's legal tender.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government directed the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation to carry out a comprehensive audit of all revenue inflows into the Federation Account from the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as well as review the petroleum subsidy account.

Fielding questions from finance correspondents after the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) yesterday at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ondo State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning and Chairman of Forum of Finance Commissioners, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, said the states' support for the stoppage of the dollar payment was predicated more on the need to keep the country's pride and independence than pecuniary reasons...

~ More... ~

Evidence of Biblical Red Sea Crossing Uncovered?

Pharaoh's chariots found in Red Sea?

...The issue is surfacing some 3,500 years after the event is said to have taken place with reports of Egyptian chariot wheels found in the Red Sea, photographs to document it and new books by scientists that could lead to a whole remapping of the Exodus route and a fresh look at ancient biblical accounts.

Wheel of fortune

The 38-year-old forklift mechanic from Keynsham, England, traveled to the region with his brother, Mark, after being inspired by videos of explorers Ron Wyatt and Jonathan Gray, who have documented artifacts that in at least one case authorities have confirmed to be a chariot wheel dating to the time of the Exodus.

"I believe I actually sat in an ancient chariot cab," Elmer said, referring to his time exploring a submerged item in what he describes as an underwater scrapyard. "Without question, it is most definitely the remains of the Egyptian army."

But despite all of Elmer's excitement, others who have been to the same location are not so sure what is being viewed underwater are the remnants of the great chase and urge extreme caution regarding the unsubstantiated claims...


...He also notes that the downward and upward slope of the Aqaba crossing path actually falls within current U.S. standards for handicapped ramps...



...Back in England, Peter Elmer says people have mockingly asked "Why should a forklift mechanic from Keynsham be able to go to the same place Moses was?"

He takes the criticism in stride, pointing out "Jesus used fishermen, tax collectors and publicans. Why not a forklift mechanic?"


Significance of the Wheels

The significance of the wheels is of extreme importance to the dating of the Exodus and determining which dynasty was involved. Back in the late 70's, Ron actually retrieved a hub of a wheel which had the remains of 8 spokes radiating outward from it. He took this to Cairo, to the office of Nassif Mohammed Hassan, the director of Antiquities whom Ron had been working with. Mr. Hassan examined it and immediately pronounced it to be of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

When Ron asked him how he knew this so readily, Mr. Hassan explained that the 8-spoked wheel was only used during the 18th Dynasty...


...Wyatt Archaeological Research contacted every oceanographic institute which could be found, seeking the most recent and accurate information. Data was provided from the ETOP05 data base which is supposed to be the most accurate available. However, it isn't as detailed as we would eventually like. (Refer to "Data announcement 88-MGG-02, Digital relief of the Surface of the Earth. NOAA, National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado.)

What it DOES show is a swatch of sea floor from Nuweiba across to the Saudi shore, which is much shallower than the sea on either side of the underwater land bridge. This swatch of sea floor is roughly between 7 and 10 miles wide. On either side, large cracks in the earth extend down to almost 3,000 feet to the north, and 5,000 to the south. This new information is quite exciting, because it shows a consistent pathway across the gulf to the other shore that, with the water removed, could have easily been traveled. When the digital data was fed to a topographical mapping program, it revealed a 3-D model of the sea floor in the Gulf. That digital model can be seen...


Status: Undetermined

...When Ron Wyatt first visited Nuweiba in 1978, he found a Phoenician style column lying in the water. Unfortunately the inscriptions had been eroded away, hence the column's importance was not understood until 1984 when a second granite column was found on the Saudi coastline opposite -- identical to the first, except on this one the inscription was still intact!

In Phoenician letters (Archaic Hebrew), it contained the words: Mizraim (Egypt ); Solomon; Edom ; death; Pharaoh; Moses; and Yahweh, indicating that King Solomon had set up these columns as a memorial to the miracle of the crossing of the sea. Saudi Arabia does not admit tourists, and perhaps fearing unauthorized visitors, the Saudi Authorities have since removed this column, and replaced it with a flag marker where it once stood...

Direct-to-consumer advertising

Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is the promotion of prescription drugs through newspaper, magazine, television and internet marketing. Drug companies also produce a range of other materials, including brochures and videos, that are available in doctors offices or designed to be given to patients by medical professionals or via patient groups.

The only two developed countries where DTCA is currently legal are the U.S. and New Zealand. (See Direct-to-consumer advertising in the United States and Direct-to-consumer advertising in New Zealand for more country-specific details). While banned elsewhere, the drug industry is mounting major lobbying campaigns to have DTCA allowed in Europe and Canada. (See Direct-to-consumer advertising: The Campaign To Overturn Europe's Ban and Direct-to-consumer advertising: CanWest's Bid to Overturn Canada's Ban for further details).

DTCA advertising is just one strand in the marketing and PR efforts of drug companies to promote brand-name prescription drugs. Some aimed at potential consumers are video news releases for use in television news bulletins and programs, the hiring of celebrities.


Other elements in the marketing and PR mix aimed at doctors include advertising in medical journals, the placement and promotion of favourable studies in medical journals, the visits of sales representatives to doctors, the provision of free samples of drugs for doctors to give to their patients, gifts for doctors and subsidised 'educational' events and conferences...

~ Read more... ~

'Single Fastest Temperature Change Ever Recorded'

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts compiled the results of all the sources. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year time. For all sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it...

~ From Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling ~

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