by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
27 Apr, 2009
(NaturalNews) Perhaps due to the genetic makeup of the fast-spreading H1N1 strain of influenza -- which includes genetic elements from bird flu, swine flu and human flu spanning three continents -- there is considerable speculation that the origins of this virus are man-made.
It's not an unreasonable question to ask: Could world governments, spooked by the prospect of radical climate change caused by over-population of the planet, have assembled a super-secret task force to engineer and distribute a super virulent strain of influenza designed to "correct" the human population (and institute global Martial Law)?
Technically, it's possible. The U.S. military, all by itself, has the know-how to engineer and unleash such a virus. That doesn't mean they've done so, however. It would be an astonishing leap into crimes against humanity to intentionally unleash such a biological weapon into the wild.
Then again, governments of the world have routinely engaged in crimes against humanity, haven't they? The U.S., for example, dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations in Japan. Israel rained white phosphorous on Palestinians, Hitler exterminated countless Jews, and Americans fired millions of rounds of depleted uranium rounds into targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unleashing a viral biological weapon in Mexico City is no great leap beyond what governments have already done to achieve their goals.
Throughout human history, virtually all the great crimes against humanity have been carried out by governments -- mostly in the name of peace, prosperity and security, by the way. So let's be clear about one thing: Governments are certainly capable of doing this if properly motivated. Let there be no question about that.
Is there any hard evidence of laboratory origins?
As of this moment, I have not personally seen any conclusive evidence of laboratory origins for this H1N1 swine flu. I am open to the possibility that new evidence may emerge in this direction, however, and I am suspicious of the genetic makeup of the virus as one possible indicator of its origins.
I am not a medical specialist in the area of infectious disease, but I have studied microbiology, genetics and a considerable amount of material on pandemics. What seems suspicious to me is the hybrid origin of the viral fragments found in H1N1 influenza. According to reports in the mainstream media (which has no reason to lie about this particular detail), this strain of influenza contains viral code fragments from:
• Human influenza
• Bird Flu from North America
• Swine flu from Europe
• Swine flu from Asia
This is rather astonishing to realize, because for this to have been a natural combination of viral fragments, it means an infected bird from North America would have had to infect pigs in Europe, then be re-infected by those some pigs with an unlikely cross-species mutation that allowed the bird to carry it again, then that bird would have had to fly to Asia and infected pigs there, and those Asian pigs then mutated the virus once again (while preserving the European swine and bird flu elements) to become human transmittable, and then a human would have had to catch that virus from the Asian pigs -- in Mexico! -- and spread it to others. (This isn't the only explanation of how it could have happened, but it is one scenario that gives you an idea of the complexity of such a thing happening).
Now, on a common sense level, what is the likelihood of such a combination of seemingly unlikely, trans-continental events taking place? At first glance, without the benefit of additional laboratory analysis, it seems extremely unlikely that this could have happened "naturally," without human intervention. It's not outside the realm of possibility, of course, but it seems exceedingly remote that such events happened without some human encouragement.
~ more... ~
Monday, April 27, 2009
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
The Evolution Of Punk Part 1 - A Prologue
So while people may claim that punk is a relatively recent phenomenon, they are of course not strictly correct, at least when it comes to the prevailing mentality behind the music. So many historical figures were imbued with the drive to defy the Establishment, to offend those in power and to topple the accepted societal order. When Watt Tyler led the Peasants' Revolt in 1381, he led a charge not only against the oppression of the feudal masters, but also against the very fabric of the status quo. A challenge to feudalism was a challenge to society as a whole, since the entire mechanism of mediaeval governance relied upon the performance of your feudal duties. When Lord Byron decamped to Greece to fight against the Ottomans, he had, in effect, exiled himself from Britain at least in part because of his political radicalism. In addition, he cared little for the prescribed behavior of a man of stature, his rebellion was not so much rising against the establishment, but readily ignoring it. His sexual appetite was legendary, causing him to embark on affairs with married women, sodomy and, if you believe certain interpretations of his personal letters, incest. In a society that prided itself on its modesty and chastity, such behavior from a landed aristocrat was incendiary. The longer you look at it, the more clear it is that the tinderbox concept of the punk scene has been with us for centuries; it was only logical that its anarchic sentiments would eventually make it into the sphere of music.
When we two parted (WWTP_Final_DivX)
An adaption of the famous poem of loss and longing by Lord Byron.
Created using Machinima techniques more commonly associated with computer games!
Greece to Mark Anniversary of Byron`s Death (Reuters)
Greece has declared the anniversary of the death of Lord Byron, the British Romantic poet who fought in its 19th century war of independence, as a day of celebration to hail Greek culture. Byron died of pneumonia fighting Ottoman rule on April 19, 1824, and a parliament statement said this day would now be marked by events to keep alive the memory of "a man who believed deeply in democratic values and Hellenism."
Byron was a celebrity during his own lifetime for his Romantic poetry and his support of revolutionary causes. He paid for the refitting of the Greek fleet and refunded part of the ragged revolutionary army after arriving in Greece in 1823.
He died a year later in Messolonghi in western Greece, where a cenotaph is said to contain his heart. His support for the Greek cause helped inspire young men from Britain, Italy and the United States to join the uprising.
Greece won its war of independence in 1832 following the intervention of the Great powers: Britain, France and Russia.
Though Byron enjoys hero status in Greece, he was shunned in Britain. Westminster Abbey in London refused to inter his remains in its Poets' Corner because of his Bohemian lifestyle. He was famously described by a contemporary as "mad, bad and dangerous to know".
Philhellenism Day events
The celebration of Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day in the Greek Parliament, regularly observed on April 19 in compliance with a Presidential Decree signed last year, will this year be postponed until the following week so as not to coincide with the Orthodox Easter Sunday.
April 19 was proclaimed Philhellenism and International Solidarity Day at the initiative of Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas, commemorating the anniversary of the death of the famous poet and philhellene Lord Byron, a human rights advocate and among the first to voice opposition to the looting of the Parthenon Marbles by Lord Elgin.
A collector stamp will be issued within the framework of the scheduled events, while a special publication will feature the engraved figure of Lord Byron by artist Tassos, including texts on his participation in the Greek liberation struggle.
Lord Byron was a great philhellene and his early poetry had contributed to sensitizing the Europeans to the plight of Greece under the Ottoman Turks. In 1824, he joined the Greek liberation fighters at Messolonghi, where he died of malarial fever on April 19.
This year's celebration coincides with the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron's first visit to Greece.
Why Byron, lord of romance, needed a phrasebook for love
He was the ultimate Don Juan, but it seems that even Lord Byron needed a bit of help when it came to the language of love.
A handwritten leather-bound phrasebook, filled with expressions of love in Greek, belonging to the poet has come to light. Phrases such as “I love you with all my Heart” were intended to help him to woo women during his first visit to Greece.
The notebook, dating from 1809, has been discovered in the archives of the National Library of Scotland. Experts found it while cataloguing the 10,000 Byron documents in the recently acquired John Murray archive, which includes the poet’s correspondence with his publisher and other related material.
Dividing 169 phrases of “Familiar Dialogue”, as Byron described it, into headings such as “Tender expressions of love”, he listed the Greek words for “My Heart!” and “My Love!” – with the exclamation marks crossed out. He also translated “My dear Soul” and “My Life”.
He did, however, include more practical phrases for travel, such as “My dear Sir, do me that favour”, “Give me something to eat” and “It appears to me three days since I have eaten”.
David McClay, curator of the John Murray Archive, described the notebook as very important. “You can imagine him saying these words. Anyone who knows his correspondence knows he communicated in a forthright and colourful way. This is the closest we come to hearing his voice,” he said.
Mr McClay said that Byron had a love affair with the Greek people and their culture, which influenced his creative work and understanding of language. “Byron was fascinated by languages and learnt several, including Albanian. This gives you the actual evidence,” he said.
Byron learnt classical Greek at school and he commented on the differences between it and the 18th-centu-ry Greek in his letters, writing: “I speak the Romaic or modern Greek, tolerably, it does not differ from the ancient dialects so much as you would conceive, but the pronunciation is diametrically opposite.”
Byron, who died in 1824 aged 36, was the most influential English poet of his day. He personified Romanticism at its most brooding. He was adored by women and envied by men, and when his life became the subject of incessant gossip and scandal loomed he made his escape, going first to Switzerland and Italy before travelling to Greece, Albania and Malta.
Top ten destinations for pilgrims: Jerusalem, Rome, Lourdes and Iona
5 Mount Athos No woman has been allowed within 500m of this Greek peninsula peppered with Orthodox monasteries since AD1060 when a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary prompted the Church to dedicate the island to her and declare all earthly females banned. the Prince of Wales is a fan, as was Lord Byron, describing the Holy Mountain as: “A quiet refuge from each earthly care/ Whence the rapt spirit may ascend to Heaven!”
British poets and the French Revolution. Part Three: Byron - "Mad, bad and dangerous to know"
The poetic spirit rebels against the constraints of tradition and habit and seeks to reshape the world in a new image. Thus, conservative poets are generally bad poets. The later writings of Wordsworth are proof enough of this assertion. But not all those poets who set out as revolutionaries deserted the cause. Lord Byron died in Greece, where he had gone to fight for the cause of national liberation. Shelley, whom Marx greatly admired, remained a consistent revolutionary democrat until his death. And the great national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns, also remained a fierce opponent of monarchy, religion and oppression.
Of the three, it was Byron (1788-1824) who made the biggest impact during his lifetime. His poems acted as a major source of inspiration for generations of Romantics, from Alfred de Musset in France to Alexander Pushkin in Russia. Unfortunately, his verses have not lasted well. His most famous poems are very long and belong to a more leisurely age when people had the time and inclination to read such things. But Don Juan still sparkles with a wit that is most un-English, and the shorter lyrical verses can still give much pleasure.
Don Juan begins with a rebuke to those poets who had sold their soul to the Devil, like Robert ("Bob") Southey who had, like so many others, abandoned his revolutionary ideals and become a hack writer, and was finally rewarded for services rendered with a pension from the English government, which made him Poet Laureate, although in practice he had given up poetry for more lucrative journalism and politicking. To this creature, and with a pointed reference to the "Lakers", (the "Lake poets", Wordsworth and Coleridge) Byron ironically dedicates his epic poem:
"Bob Southey! You're a poet-Poet laureate,
And representative of all the race;
Although 'tis true that you turn'd out a Tory at
Last - yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! What are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye,
Like 'four and twenty blackbirds in a pye;
"Which pye being open'd they began to sing'
(This old song and new simile holds good)
A dainty dish to set before the King.'
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;-
And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
But like a hawk encumber'd with his hood-
Explaining metaphysics to the nation-
I wish he would explain his Explanation."
Lord Byron, who died in Greece when he was still young (he was 36), was seen by his contemporaries as a complete rebel. His generation was forged under the hammer-blows of the great events that flowed from the French revolution. But Byron's revolutionism needed no external source. It flowed from his innermost nature. His active involvement in radical politics began at a very young age.
Luddism gradually spread to Yorkshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. In Yorkshire, croppers, a small and highly skilled group of cloth finishers, turned their anger on the new shearing frame that they feared would put them out of work. In February and March, 1812, factories were attacked by Luddites in Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield and Leeds.
In February 1812 the government of Spencer Perceval proposed that machine-breaking should become a capital offence. Despite a passionate speech by Lord Byron in the House of Lords, Parliament passed the Frame Breaking Act that enabled people convicted of machine-breaking to be sentenced to death. As a further precaution, the government ordered 12,000 troops into the areas where the Luddites were active.
On of the most serious Luddite attacks took place at Rawfolds Mill near Brighouse in Yorkshire. William Cartwright, the owner of Rawfolds Mill, had been using cloth-finishing machinery since 1811. Local croppers began losing their jobs and after a meeting at Saint Crispin public house, they decided to try and destroy the cloth-finishing machinery at Rawfolds Mill. Cartwright was suspecting trouble and arranged for the mill to be protected by armed guards.
[ ... ]
(3) Lord Byron, speech in the House of Lords (27th February, 1812)
During the short time I recently passed in Nottingham, not twelve hours elapsed without some fresh act of violence; and on that day I left the the county I was informed that forty Frames had been broken the preceding evening, as usual, without resistance and without detection.
Such was the state of that county, and such I have reason to believe it to be at this moment. But whilst these outrages must be admitted to exist to an alarming extent, it cannot be denied that they have arisen from circumstances of the most unparalleled distress: the perseverance of these miserable men in their proceedings, tends to prove that nothing but absolute want could have driven a large, and once honest and industrious, body of the people, into the commission of excesses so hazardous to themselves, their families, and the community.
They were not ashamed to beg, but there was none to relieve them: their own means of subsistence were cut off, all other employment preoccupied; and their excesses, however to be deplored and condemned, can hardly be subject to surprise.
As the sword is the worst argument than can be used, so should it be the last. In this instance it has been the first; but providentially as yet only in the scabbard. The present measure will, indeed, pluck it from the sheath; yet had proper meetings been held in the earlier stages of these riots, had the grievances of these men and their masters (for they also had their grievances) been fairly weighed and justly examined, I do think that means might have been devised to restore these workmen to their avocations, and tranquillity to the country.
Dead City Dealers: "We'll Go No More A'Roving"
Literary Kicks: Lord Byron
George Gordon Byron, better known as Lord Byron (the sixth Baron Byron, if you're counting), was nothing if not the prototype of the conflicted Romantic hero. His persona has influenced artists, from Beat writers to rock stars (think of dark dandies like Jim Morrison and Trent Reznor), possibly more than his art itself.
[ ... ]
But it wasn't just his politics that made him appealing-- Byron was titled. When he read his poetry, people listened. Since Byron was so like a rock star, I find it appropriate to quote a rocker (Joe Strummer when he was with the Clash), "I wasn't born so much as I fell out." That was Lord Byron. Falling into things, seeing where the wind carried him. Poetry, the Greeks, Napoleonic politics-- they all fell into step easily with his life.
An adverse review to his poems Hours of Idleness in the Edinburgh Review sent him into a vengeful tizzy producing the satirical English Bards and Scotch Reviewers in 1809. In that same year, in the midst of one of his first controversies, he took his seat in the House of Lords. His liberal politics weren't exactly welcomed. Suddenly, a trip abroad seemed quite desirable. And so began his two year of tour of Portugal, Spain, and Greece. These settings were to permeate many of his subsequent poems-- like Childe Harold, which featured the proverbial "Byronic hero," a tormented Don Juan.
In 1815, partly to escape an incestuous relationship with his married half-sister, Byron married the prim Annabella Milbanke Noel (1792-1860), whom he'd known primarily through letters. (I wrote a Byron inspired poem here.) After giving birth to a daughter, the remarkable Augusta Ada who in collaboration with Charles Babbage became the first person ever to write a computer program.
A Dictionary of Lord Byron's Wit and Wisdom
My turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then. (Remark to the poet Thomas Moore. Quoted in: Doris Langley Moore, The Late Lord Byron, ch. 8 (1961; rev. ed., 1976))
What men call gallantry, and gods adultery,
Is much more common where the climate's sultry.
(Don Juan, canto 1, stanza 63.)
And yet a little tumult, now and then, is an agreeable quickener of sensation; such as a revolution, a battle, or an adventure of any lively description. (Journal entry for 22 Nov. 1813).
It is odd but agitation or contest of any kind gives a rebound to my spirits and sets me up for a time. (8 March 1816, to Thomas Moore)
There is, in fact, no law or government at all [in Italy]; and it is wonderful how well things go on without them. (Jan., 1821, to Moore)
Byron on Byron
I have not loved the world, nor the world me;
I have not flatter'd its rank breath, nor bow'd
To its idolatries a patient knee.
(Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, canto 3, stanza 113).
I stood among them, but not of them; in a shroud
Of thoughts which were not their thoughts.
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, canto 3, stanza 113).
Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people. (Ravenna journal, 5 Jan. 1821).
There is no freedom in Europe--that's certain--it is besides a worn out portion of the globe.
(3 Oct. 1819).
O Gold! I still prefer thee unto paper,
Which makes bank credit like a bark of vapour.
(Don Juan, canto 12, stanza 4).
Greece and the Greeks
Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone--glimmering through the dream of things that were.
(Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, canto 2, stanza 2).
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung.
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set.
(Don Juan, canto 3, stanza 86).
God will not be always a Tory .... (Feb. 2, 1821, to Murray)
... after all it is better playing at Nations than gaming at Almacks or Newmarket or in piecing or dinnering .... (Dec. 28, 1818, to Kinnard)
... [M]y parliamentary schemes are not much to my taste--I spoke twice last Session--& was told it was well enough--but I hate the thing altogether--& have no intention to "strut another hour" on that stage. (Mar., 1818, to Augusta Leigh)
But Men never advance beyond a certain point;--and here we are, retrograding to the dull, stupid old system,--balance of Europe-- poising straws upon kings' noses instead of wringing them off! Give me a republic, or a despotism of one, rather than the mixed government of one, two, three. A Republic!--look in the history of the Earth .... To be the first man--not the Dictator--not the Sylla, but the Washington or the Aristides--the leader in talent and truth--is next to the Divinity! (Journal, Nov. 28, 1818)
... I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments; and, as it is the shortest and most agreeable and summary feeling imaginable, the first moment of an universal republic would convert me into an advocate for single and uncontradicted despotism. The fact is, riches are power, and poverty is slavery all over the earth, and one sort of establishment is no better, nor worse, for a people than another. (Journal, Jan. 16, 1815)
Weather cold--carriage open, and inhabitants somewhat savage-- rather treacherous and highly inflamed by politics. Fine fellows, though,--good materials for a nation. Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people. (Ravenna Journal, Jan. 5, 1821)
Society is now one polished horde,
Formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.
(Don Juan, canto 13, stanza 95).
Wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler,
And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.
(Don Juan, canto 3, stanza 22).
She walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
Byron in Italy and Greece
From 1821 to 1822, he finished Cantos 6–12 of Don Juan at Pisa, and in the same year he joined with Leigh Hunt and Percy Bysshe Shelley in starting a short-lived newspaper, The Liberal, in the first number of which appeared The Vision of Judgment. His last Italian home was Genoa, where he was still accompanied by the Countess Guiccioli, and where he met Charles John Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington, and Marguerite, Countess of Blessington and provided the material for her work Conversations with Lord Byron, an important text in the reception of Byron in the period immediately after his death.
Byron lived in Genoa until 1823, when, growing bored with his life there and with the Countess, he accepted overtures for his support from representatives of the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. On 16 July, Byron left Genoa on the Hercules, arriving at Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands on 4 August. He spent £4000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet, then sailed for Messolonghi in western Greece, arriving on 29 December to join Alexandros Mavrokordatos, a Greek politician with military power. During this time, Byron pursued his Greek page, Lukas Chalandritsanos, but the affections went unrequited. When the famous Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen heard about Byron's heroics in Greece, he voluntarily resculpted his earlier bust of Byron in Greek marble.
Mavrokordatos and Byron planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. Byron employed a fire-master to prepare artillery and took part of the rebel army under his own command, despite his lack of military experience, but before the expedition could sail, on 15 February 1824, he fell ill, and the usual remedy of bleeding weakened him further. He made a partial recovery, but in early April he caught a violent cold which therapeutic bleeding, insisted on by his doctors, aggravated. It is suspected this treatment, carried out with unsterilized medical instrumentation, may have caused him to develop sepsis. He developed a violent fever, and died on 19 April. It has been said that had Byron lived, he might have been declared King of Greece.
The figure of the Byronic hero pervades much of his work, and Byron himself is considered to epitomize many of the characteristics of this literary figure. Scholars have traced the literary history of the Byronic hero from John Milton, and many authors and artists of the Romantic movement show Byron's influence during the 19th century and beyond, including Charlotte and Emily Bronte. The Byronic hero presents an idealised, but flawed character whose attributes include: great talent; great passion; a distaste for society and social institutions; a lack of respect for rank and privilege; being thwarted in love by social constraint or death; rebellion; exile; an unsavory secret past; arrogance; overconfidence or lack of foresight; and, ultimately, a self-destructive manner.
Byron was a bitter opponent of Lord Elgin's removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece, and "reacted with fury" when Elgin's agent gave him a tour of the Parthenon, during which he saw the missing friezes and metopes. He penned a poem, The Curse of Minerva, to denounce Elgin's actions.
Neurotic Poets: Lord Byron (1788 - 1824)
Byron fell in love with the young Countess Teresa Guiccioli in Italy. He became involved in the Italian nationalism movement through her father and brother. Eventually Teresa's husband, who had allowed her affairs with Byron, applied for a separation. Shelley visited the couple in 1821 and commented on Byron's unusual lifestyle in a letter to a friend:
Lord Byron gets up at two. I get up, quite contrary to my usual custom . . . at 12. After breakfast we sit talking till six. From six to eight we gallop through the pine forest which divide Ravenna from the sea; we then come home and dine, and sit up gossiping till six in the morning. I don't suppose this will kill me in a week or fortnight, but I shall not try it longer. Lord B.'s establishment consists, besides servants, of ten horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow, and a falcon; and all these, except the horses, walk about the house, which every now and then resounds with their unarbitrated quarrels, as if they were the masters of it. . . . [P.S.] I find that my enumeration of the animals in this Circean Palace was defective . . . . I have just met on the grand staircase five peacocks, two guinea hens, and an Egyptian crane. I wonder who all these animals were before they were changed into these shapes.
"The boy was sprung to manhood: in the wilds / Of fiery climes he made himself a home, / And his Soul drank their sunbeams; he was girt / With strange and dusky aspects; he was not / Himself like what he had been; on the sea / And on the shore he was a wanderer." ~ Byron in 'The Dream' ~
Shelley died in 1822, shortly after another visit to Byron. In 1823, Byron's daughter Allegra died of a fever in the convent school at the age of five. Facing the death of loved ones, and almost foreshadowing his own death, Byron wrote the following lines in On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year (Jan 22, 1824):
'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others hath it ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
The Life of Lord Byron
On 16 July, Byron left Genoa on a chartered ship, arriving at the Ionian island of Cephalonia on 2 August; he settled in Metaxata. He sent 4000 pounds of his own money to prepare the Greek fleet for sea service and then sailed for Missolonghi on 29 December to join Prince Alexandros Mavrokordatos, leader of the forces in western Greece. With tremendous passion he entered into the plans to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto. He employed a fire master to prepare artillery and took under his own command and pay the Souliot soldiers, reputedly the bravest of the Greeks. In addition he made dedicated but ultimately fruitless efforts to unite eastern and western Greece. On 15 February 1824 he fell ill (he possibly had two epileptic fits in a fortnight) and the usual remedy of bleeding weakened him at the same time that an insurrection of the Souliots opened his eyes to their cupidity. Though his enthusiasm for the Greek cause was undiminished, he now possessed a more realistic view of the obstacles facing the army. He was also suffering from the emotional strain of his friendship with Loukas Chalandritsanos, a Greek boy, whom he had brought as a page from Cephalonia and to whom he addressed his final poems.
The spring of 1824 was wet and miserable, and it unfortunately caught Byron while he was still weak from the convulsive fits of mid-February. He continued to carry out his duties and seemed on the path to certain recovery. But in early April he was caught outdoors in a rainstorm; though drenched and chilled, he did not hurry home. Unfortunately, he caught a violent cold which was soon aggravated by the bleeding insisted on by the doctors. Though he briefly rallied, the cold grew worse; he eventually slipped into a coma. Around six o'clock in the evening of 19 April 1824, he passed away.
Deeply mourned by the Greeks, he became a hero throughout their land. His body was embalmed; the heart was removed and buried in Missolonghi. His remains were then sent to England and, refused burial in Westminster Abbey, placed in the vault of his ancestors near Newstead. Ironically, 145 years after his death, in 1969, a memorial to Byron was finally placed on the floor of the Abbey. Here is a contemporary newspaper account of the decision:
At Last Lord Byron Gets Place in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey
by Anthony Lewis, London correspondent for the NY Times
London, May 6 - A century and a half after his death, Lord Byron has at last become spiritually acceptable in his homeland. He is to have a plaque in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
This quiet revolution has been carried out by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev. Eric Abbott. After private approaches, he approved a petition by the Poetry Society for a Byron memorial in the Abbey.
Three similar requests had been turned down. The last attempt was in 1924, when the Dean of the day, Bishop Herbert E. Ryle wrote:
"Byron, partly by his own openly dissolute life and partly by the influence of licentious verse, earned a worldwide reputation for immorality among English-speaking people. A man who outraged the laws of our Divine Lord, and whose treatment of women violated the Christian principles of purity and honor, should not be commemorated in Westminster Abbey."
An answering letter in Byron's behalf was sent to The Times of London by a group including Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and three former Prime Ministers - Balfour, Asquith, and Lloyd George. But the established church was unmoved.
A Change in Standards? No official reason was given for the present dean's attitude, but no one would consider Byron's poetry licentious by contemporary standards, and perhaps the Church of England is more charitable now towards eccentric behavior.
by the Sea i rest
I took this picture at the sea-lake of Messolonghi after sun’s set...the colours were calm, the scenery really amazing to stare at & peaceful enough to forget for a short time the noise of town…listen…only birds & gentle breeze live here…
Lord Byron, a British poet and a leading figure in Romanticism, on 16th of July left Genoa on the Hercules, arriving at Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands on 4 August. He spent £4000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet, then sailed for Messolonghi in western Greece, arriving on 29 December to join Alexandros Mavrokordatos, a Greek politician with military power. During this time, Byron pursued his Greek page, Lukas Chalandritsanos, but the affections went unrequited. When the famous Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen heard about Byron's heroics in Greece, he voluntarily resculpted his earlier bust of Byron in Greek marble.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson would later recall the shocked reaction in Britain when word was received of Byron's death.The Greeks mourned Lord Byron deeply, and he became a hero. The national poet of Greece, Dionysios Solomos, wrote a poem about his unexpected loss, named To the Death of Lord Byron, Βύρων ("Vyron"), the Greek form of "Byron", continues in popularity as a masculine name in Greece, and a suburb of Athens is called Vyronas in his honour.
Byron's body was embalmed, but the Greeks wanted some part of their hero to stay with them. According to some sources, his heart remained at Messolonghi. According to others, it was his lungs, which were placed in an urn that was later lost when the city was sacked.
…but yesterday, as I was encouraged by the laugh of march
and I went to find again the roads to the ancient sites
the first fragrance of a distant rose in my path
brought tears to my eyes…
Kostis Palamas, Rose of fragrance from the “City & Loneliness”.
Vyronas (Ancient/Katharevousa), older forms: Viron and Vyron is a suburb in the northeastern part of Athens, Greece. The city is named after George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, the famous English poet and writer, who is a national hero of Greece. It is located S of Attiki Odos (number 65), also known as the Hymettus Ring, which opened in 2004 with the Katechaki interchange. It is also located SE of Athens and E and NE of Vouliagmenis Avenue.
Vyronas started as a commune and later became a municipality.
The area was made up of farmlands to the west and the rocky areas of the Hymettus to its east ; urban development replaced much farmland in the 1920s and the 1930s. Today, the area from the western to the east-central part of the municipality is urbanized, while the businesses are within its main avenues and streets. The forest of Hymettus lies to the east.
From Snopes.com :
It's both more and less than people make it out to be. '420' began its sub-rosa linguistic career in 1971 as a bit of slang casually used by a group of high school kids at San Rafael High School in California. '420' (always pronounced "four-twenty," never "four hundred and twenty") came Marijuana to be an accepted part of the argot within that group of about a dozen pot smokers, beginning as a reminder of the time they planned to meet to light up, 4:20 p.m.
[ ... ]
There's a 4:20 record label in California, and a band called 4:20. Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewing Co. sells its 420 Pale Ale in supermarkets and opens its doors to the public at 4:20 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. New York's 420 Tours sells low-cost travel packages to the Netherlands and Jamaica. Highway 420 Radio broadcasts "music for the chemically enhanced." And in 2001, the forReal.org web site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Substance Abuse Prevention put out a public service document titled, "It's 4:20 — Do You Know Where Your Teen Is?"
420s are routinely slipped into popular movies and television shows. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High the score of the football game was 42-0. Most of the clocks in Pulp Fiction are set to 4:20 (but not all — when the kid receives the watch it's set at 9:00). And there are many other instances, so keep your eyes peeled.
However, as amusing as it is to tie 420 to pot smoking and hunt for it in popular movies, the number has its dark side. Hitler was born on 20 April 1889, and the massacre of 13 victims at Columbine High School in Colorado took place on 20 April 1999.
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[Note: The SARS outbreak occurred in 2003 precisely when social protest against the impending invasion of Iraq was peaking.
"Within a matter of weeks in early 2003, SARS spread from the Guangdong province of China to rapidly infect individuals in some 37 countries around the world."(Wikipedia)
Demonstrations dwindled after that. Coincidence?]
From Wikipedia :
The 2009 swine flu outbreak is the spread of a new strain of H1N1 influenza virus that was first detected by public health agencies in March 2009. Localized outbreaks of influenza-like illness (ILI) were detected in three areas initially in Mexico and soon after in the United States and Canada. Following the discovery of the new strain in the United States, its presence was quickly suspected on most continents, with over 1,600 candidate cases by April 27. Because it is not possible to confirm every one of such cases as being caused by an influenza virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) refers to them collectively as influenza-like illnesses (ILI).
The new strain is derived in part from human influenzavirus A (subtype H1N1), and in part from two strains of swine influenza as well as an avian influenza. In April both the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expressed serious concerns about this novel strain, because it apparently transmits from human to human, has had a relatively high mortality rate in Mexico, and because it has the potential to become a flu pandemic.
On April 25, 2009, the WHO determined the situation to be a formal "public health emergency of international concern", with knowledge lacking in regard to "the clinical features, epidemiology, and virology of reported cases and the appropriate responses". Government health agencies around the world also expressed concerns over the outbreak and are monitoring the situation closely.
[ ... ]
See also: Pandemic Severity Index
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are concerned that this outbreak may become a pandemic, for the following reasons.
The virus is a new strain of influenza, from which human populations have not been vaccinated or naturally immunized.
The virus appeared to infect by human-to-human transmission. Investigations of infected patients indicated no direct contact with swine, such as at a farm or agricultural fair. The strain was later confirmed to have been transmitted between humans. However, at least one other strain of swine flu has previously been transmitted between humans without wider community infection. In contrast, for example, disease transmission in the last severe human outbreak of influenza, the bird flu that peaked in 2006, was determined to be almost entirely from direct contact between humans and birds.
The virus has produced severe disease in Mexico, and some deaths. Furthermore, in Mexico (but not in the United States) the illness has primarily struck young, healthy adults, much like the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918. Most other influenza strains produce the worst symptoms in young children, elderly adults, and others with weaker immune systems.
The virus has been detected in multiple areas, indicating that containment is unlikely. This is exacerbated by the incubation and infectious periods of influenza.
Lack of data
That other factors are still somewhat unknown, such as transmission rates and patterns and effectiveness of current influenza treatments, combined with the unpredictability of influenza strains, means that reliable forecasts cannot be made.
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Ian Sample, science correspondent (The Guardian)
21 Apr, 2009
Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it tastes vaguely of raspberries.
The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life.
Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules.
In the latest survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy. While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavour of raspberries.
"It does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries," Arnaud Belloche, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, told the Guardian.
Curiously, ethyl formate has another distinguishing characteristic: it also smells of rum.
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WASHINGTON – David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what police said was an apparent suicide.
Mary Ann Jennings, director of public information for the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department, said Kellermann was found dead in his Reston, Va., home. The 41-year-old Kellermann has been Freddie Mac's chief financial officer since September.
Jennings said that a crime scene crew and homicide detectives were investigating the death, but that there didn't appear to be any sign of foul play.
McLean-based Freddie Mac has been criticized heavily for reckless business practices that some argue contributed to the housing and financial crisis. Freddic Mac is a government-controlled company that owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans. CEO David Moffett resigned last month.
Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae, which together own or back more than half of the home mortgages in the country, have been hobbled by skyrocketing loan defaults and have received about $60 billion in combined federal aid.
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JG Ballard, novelist and short-story writer, has died after a long battle will illness, his agent has said.
The 78-year-old author, who was best known for the award-winning Empire of the Sun, a semi-autobiographical novel written in 1984, and his controversial novel, Crash, later adapted into film by David Cronenberg.
His agent, Margaret Hanbury, said it was "with great sadness" that Ballard had passed away this morning after several years of ill health.
In a prolific career the 78-year-old attracted critical acclaim and controversy in equal measure for his work.
Born in Shanghai, China, he was educated at Cambridge University before becoming an RAF pilot, advert agency copywriter, encyclopaedia salesman and assistant editor of scientific journal Chemistry and Industry.
Since arriving in Britain, he built up a passionate readership, particularly after Empire of The Sun, a fictionalised account of his childhood was made into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1987.
The book tells the story of a boy's life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai, describing his experiences of starvation, survival and death marches.
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Comment by Terry Eagleton for The Guardian
25 Apr, 2009
...It is not, of course, that the left rejects civil liberties: the working-class movement fought to secure so many of them. Marx had undying admiration for the great revolutionary legacy of middle-class liberalism. Even so, there is a fundamental conflict between liberals and leftists. Liberalism holds that the state should tolerate any opinion that does not seek to undermine that very tolerance. It is an ironic kind of politics. As Tony Blair warned: "Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain Britain. So conform to it, or don't come here." Whether this is comically self-contradictory or properly paradoxical depends on your view of the liberal state.
That state is not too bothered about what you believe, as long as it does not thwart the right of others to their beliefs. A more cynical view is that advanced capitalism is inherently faithless; as long as you pay your taxes and refrain from beating up police officers, your opinions are mostly neither here nor there. The agnosticism peddled by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as subversive stuff is part of late capitalism's everyday routine. The liberal state has no view on whether witchcraft is more valuable than all-in wrestling. Like a tactful publican, it has as few opinions as possible. Many liberals suspect passionate convictions are latently authoritarian. But liberalism should surely be a passionate conviction. Liberals are not necessarily lukewarm. Only the more macho leftist suspects that they have no balls. You can be ardently neutral, and fiercely indifferent.
Any honest liberal, however, will acknowledge that the neutrality of the state is a form of partisanship. There should be laissez-faire in the realm of belief, just as there should be in the marketplace. The left objects to the liberal case not because it believes in crushing those who differ, or dislikes the idea of a partisan state, but because this case rules out the kind of partisan state that socialism requires. It rules out, for example, a state that would not be neutral on whether cooperation or individualism should reign supreme in social and economic life.
If the test of liberalism is how it confronts its illiberal adversaries, some of the liberal intelligentsia seem to have fallen at the first hurdle. Writers such as Martin Amis and Hitchens do not just want to lock terrorists away. They also tout a brand of western cultural supremacism. Dawkins strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq, but preaches a self-satisfied, old-fashioned Whiggish rationalism that can be wielded against a benighted Islam. The philosopher AC Grayling has an equally starry-eyed view of the stately march of Western Progress. The novelist Ian McEwan is a freshly recruited champion of this militant rationalism. Both Hitchens and Salman Rushdie have defended Amis's slurs on Muslims. Whether they like it or not, Dawkins and his ilk have become weapons in the war on terror. Western supremacism has gravitated from the Bible to atheism...
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July 20th, 2008
I have no idea what to make of this one. All of the sites I was able to find that reference this stockpile assume that it has something to do with an upcoming American holocaust and martial law, etc. Again, I have no idea.
Let's try to work trough this one a bit…
First of all, what are they?
The product is called a “Burial Vault.” They are made by PolyGuard Vaults. Their website describes the product as follows:
A Burial Vault is an outside receptacle or container, in which the casket and remains are placed, at the time of burial. This helps to maintain the above ground aesthetics of the grave site.
Polyguard Burial Vaults are now manufactured using an injection moulding process, and constructed of non-biodegradable, water and chemical resistant polymers.
So, they're not coffins, but liners in which coffins would be placed before burial.
I did some more research to determine if the government did business with PolyGuard Vaults. Indeed, the U.S. Veterans Administration has been buying Burial Vaults from PolyGuard Vaults for years. Use fedspending.org to look up the contracts. Click the Contracts tab and type in Polyguard.
You can go back to the year 2000. When you use the Level of Detail: Complete (all information) setting, this will show more detail. In the “Contract Description” fields you'll see: THERMOPLASTIC GRAVELINERS. So, it seems to make sense that the VA would be buying these things…
Here's a reference with regard to casket burials in a cemetery in Hawaii. This is from the Aloha Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America:
Casket burials now require Polyguard Burial Vault at a cost of $220 for family members and no charge for the Retiree, Veteran or Active Duty personnel. The vaults were required to prevent the burial site from settling and collapsing following the burial.
Anyone looking into this situation in Georgia might find the VA contracts and just think, “Yep, the VA bought them, nothing to see here.” An interesting question would be: How many units did the VA get? I haven't been able to determine that. If we knew that, we'd be able figure out roughly how many casket burials were happening at VA run cemeteries vs. how many Burial Vaults were ordered. If there was a large difference, well, we would have a pretty good idea of where the extra units went…
Where are they?
They are in a field near Madison, Georgia, just off of Lion's Club Road and next to (as far as I can tell) a Fowler Flemister Concrete plant. See coordinates: +33° 33′ 57.36″, -83° 29′ 6.26″.
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4 fires, 53 arrests trigger big batch of court visits
27 Apr, 2009
READ another article about the College Fest riot.
WATCH video captured Saturday night and view photos taken during the riot.
WATCH video footage taken by readers.
More than 50 students have arraignments set for Wednesday and Thursday after this weekend's College Fest riots. But it still remains unclear what sparked the riots.
Only minor injuries to officers were reported by the Kent City Police and Fire departments, and there were no reports of major injuries to partygoers.
In a news release issued around 3 a.m. yesterday, Kent Police reported that about 53 people were arrested after multiple warnings for charges, including failure to disperse, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Dispatchers said that number is climbing.
"We got arrested for failure to disperse, but we didn't hear the order. We were inside, and we went out on the porch to grab some things and they arrested us," senior psychology major Joey Smith said. "...They dragged me down the street without shoes on, with all the glass and the fire. They didn't even tell me what I was being arrested for."
What students saw
According to the press release from police, the riot started "when partying students and others began pelting police officers with bottles and rocks at the scene of an arrest."
Students corroborated that story yesterday.
"There were four or five cops, and they started arresting people on the sidewalk for open container. This girl's friend got arrested and she went up to see why, then she got pushed down," said Kirk Price, junior justice studies major. "People started throwing bottles after that, and the cops fired those rubber bullets right after."
Students said partygoers responded by starting a fire in the middle of East College Avenue.
"The fires didn't start first. I was running from the cops' shots before any fires started," said Lauren McCumber, junior integrated language arts major.
Max Nixon, junior airport management major, began taking video between 7 and 7:30 p.m., after what people are calling "the push," when he said an officer shoved a girl onto the pavement while she was apparently inquiring about the arrest of a friend. Nixon captured video as the girl, who was pushed, went back to talk to officers again. His video is posted on YouTube.
"The officer kind of rushes over to the female and arrests her (in the video). He pushes her around and swings her around," Nixon said. "In my opinion it was excessive force."
Nixon said beer bottle throwing that followed this scene was in direct response to "the push." He said officers retreated to the dead end of East College Avenue, where they regrouped and later advanced down the street to disperse students using paintball guns and tear gas.
"I was told they just blindly fired rubber bullets into the crowd to disperse the crowd," Nixon said.
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WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States declared a swine flu outbreak a public health emergency as officials confirmed 20 cases in five US states and warned that they expected more in the coming days.
President Barack Obama is monitoring the spreading virus and has reviewed US capabilities to counter the deadly flu outbreak, which has killed up to 81 people in Mexico, White House homeland security advisor John Brennan told reporters.
Obama has ordered a "very active, aggressive, and coordinated response," Brennan said.
Richard Besser, the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a White House press conference that there were eight confirmed US cases in New York City, seven in California, two in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio.
"As we look for cases of swine flu, we are seeing more cases of swine flu. We expect to see more cases of swine flu," said Besser.
"We're responding aggressively to try and learn more about this outbreak" and to implement measures to control its spread, he added.
"We've ramped up our surveillance around the country to try and understand better what is the scope, what is the magnitude of this outbreak."
Although there the government has not issued a warning against travel to Mexico, Besser said warnings could be increased "based on what the situation warrants."
Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano said the US government would officially declare a public health emergency later on Sunday in response to the outbreak, adding that the declaration was "standard operating procedure."
The move allows government agencies to free up federal, state and local agencies and their resources in preventing the spread of the virus.
The declaration also allows officials to use medication and diagnostic tests and releases funds to purchase additional antiviral medication.
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by Tom Burghardt
22 Apr, 2009
A major scandal involving a top Democrat, the Israeli lobby-shop AIPAC and charges that former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sought congressional help to suppress media reports of systematic, illegal warrantless surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA) broke on Sunday.
Congressional Quarterly revealed that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) "was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department [to] reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington."
The former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Harman is the co-sponsor of the shameful "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" (H.R.1955) and its mutant relative in the Senate (S.1959). In other words, Harman's "liberal" veneer is the perfect cover for currying favor with politically well-connected corporate grifters, major beneficiaries of the national security state's largesse.
[For complete article reference links, please source at Antifascist Calling...]
Harman was among the most vociferous defenders of the Bush regime's warrantless wiretapping program. As Salon's Glenn Greenwald reminds us, during an appearance on "Meet the Press" with Republicans Pat Roberts and Peter Hoekstra, Harman said that "the whistleblowers who exposed the lawbreaking and perhaps even the New York Times (but not Bush officials) should be criminally investigated, saying she 'deplored the leak,' that 'it is tragic that a lot of our capability is now across the pages of the newspapers,' and that the whistleblowers were 'despicable'."
Jeff Stein reported that the southern California Democrat, in an apparent quid pro quo, was recorded as saying she would "'waddle into'" the AIPAC case 'if you think it'll make a difference,' according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript."
In exchange for Harman's help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.
Seemingly wary of what she had just agreed to, according to an official who read the NSA transcript, Harman hung up after saying, "This conversation doesn't exist." (Jeff Stein, "Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC," Congressional Quarterly, April 19, 2009)
AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby shop with the power to make or break politicians who don't tow the line, have long been accused by critics of engaging in espionage in Washington on behalf of the settler-colonial state, America's stationary aircraft carrier in the Middle East.
Two AIPAC officials, Steve Rosen and Keith Weismann were indicted in 2005 for trafficking classified information on Iraq and Iran obtained from government officials. Lawrence Franklin, a policy analyst with a top secret classification, worked for Under Secretary for Defense Policy Douglas Feith and Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and was AIPAC's conduit.
According to FBI surveillance tapes, Franklin relayed top secret information to Rosen, then AIPAC's policy director and Weismann, a senior Iran analyst with the lobby group. The New York Times reported in 2004 that Franklin was one of two U.S. officials that held meetings with Paris-based Iranian dissidents, including Iran-Contra figure, the arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar.
The Pentagon-endorsed meetings were apparently brokered by the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen, another key Iran-Contra figure, identified by Italian journalists Carlo Bonini and Giuseppe D'Avanzano in their book Collusion, as a key facilitator of the bogus "yellow cake" dossier during the run-up to the 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq.
One purpose of the Paris meetings according to The Jerusalem Post was to "undermine a pending deal that the White House had been negotiating with the Iranian government," involving the exchange of top al-Qaeda operatives in Iranian custody in return for an American promise to halt its support of the anti-Iranian cult group, Mujahideen al-Khalq, whose fighters were based in Iraq.
Classified information obtained by Franklin was allegedly passed to Naor Gilon, the head of the political department at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. As with America's CIA, Israel's embassy political officers are often drawn from the ranks of their secret service, Mossad.
As the World Socialist Web Site points out, "No doubt AIPAC found Harman 'well-qualified' because she was prepared to promote the policies of the Israeli state, including the attempt to steer Washington toward a military confrontation with Iran, precisely the aim of the espionage of which Franklin, Rosen and Weissman are accused."
Franklin pled guilty and was sentenced in 2006 to 12 years and 7 months in prison. After multiple delays, the pair are scheduled to go on trial in June in Alexandria, Virginia.
But as The New York Times reported April 21, administration officials regard the case as a "problem child" and that "senior Justice Department officials" are conducting a "final review" that will determine whether the case goes forward or the charges against the alleged spies are dismissed.
Unlike the vast majority of Americans targeted by NSA's driftnet surveillance of their electronic communications, the Harman intercept was part of a lawful warrant obtained by the FBI during the course of its investigation of AIPAC officials.
The New York Times reported April 21, "that someone seeking help for the employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent pro-Israel lobbying group, was recorded asking Ms. Harman, a longtime supporter of its efforts, to intervene with the Justice Department. She responded, the official recounted, by saying she would have more influence with a White House official she did not identify."
According to Congressional Quarterly, that official was none other than Bush crime family capo, Alberto Gonzales.
by Dafna Linzer (ProPublica)
22 Apr, 2009
Last week, we pointed out that one of the newly released Bush-era memos inadvertently confirmed that the CIA held an al-Qaeda suspect  named Hassan Ghul in a secret prison and subjected him to what Bush administration lawyers called "enhanced interrogation techniques." The CIA has never acknowledged holding Ghul, and his whereabouts today are secret.
But Ghul is not the only such prisoner who remains missing. At least three dozen others who were held in the CIA's secret prisons overseas appear to be missing as well. Efforts by human rights organizations to track their whereabouts have been unsuccessful, and no foreign governments have acknowledged holding them. (See the full list. )
In September 2007, Michael V. Hayden, then director of the CIA, said  "fewer than 100 people had been detained at CIA's facilities." One memo  (PDF) released last week confirmed that the CIA had custody of at least 94 people as of May 2005 and "employed enhanced techniques to varying degrees in the interrogations of 28 of these ".”
Former President George W. Bush publicly acknowledged the CIA program in September 2006, and transferred 14 prisoners from the secret jails to Guantanamo. Many other prisoners, who had "little or no additional intelligence value," Bush said, "have been returned to their home countries for prosecution or detention by their governments."
Bush did not reveal their identities or whereabouts -- information that would have allowed the International Committee for the Red Cross  to find them -- or the terms under which the prisoners were handed over to foreign jailers. The U.S. government has never released information describing the threat that any of them posed.
Some of those prisoners have since been released by third countries holding them. But it is still unclear what has happened to dozens of others.
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...The following year, in 1953, Project Artichoke grew into to a larger and more ambitious undertaking known as Project MKULTRA, the scope and nature of which remained hidden until the summer of 1977. In the wake of two congressional investigations and the reluctant disclosure of some 16,000 pages of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, CIA director Stansfield Turner disclosed the broad outlines of a twenty-five-year, multimillion-dollar program of research on germ warfare and on methods to alter or control human memory and behavior through the use of drugs, electricity, sensory deprivation, hypnosis, and other means. Involving 185 researchers at 88 non-governmental institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, the project's scope and duration seemed to justify the conclusion of former State Department officer John Marks that "the intelligence community ... changed the face of the scientific community during the 1950s and early 1960s." 
Certainly the Tulane experience lends support to Marks's conclusion that "[n]early every scientist on the frontiers of brain research found men from the secret agencies looking over his shoulders [and] impinging on the research."  Precisely when the government became interested in the Tulane schizophrenia studies remains unclear, but in March 1954 Heath was the principal speaker at a seminar conducted by the Army Chemical Corps at its Edgewood Arsenal medical laboratories. His subject was "Some Aspects of Electrical Stimulation and Recording in the Brain of Man."  Within a few months Tulane had signed an army "facility security clearance" for the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology. In 1955 Dr. Russell R. Monroe, a psychiatrist on Heath's research team, became the principal investigator for army contract DA-18-108-CML-5596, a project listed in university records under the title, "Clinical Studies of Neurological and Psychiatric Changes during the Administration of Certain Drugs." Classified army records were somewhat more specific, listing the contract's purpose as to "[s]tudy behavior during administration, LSD-25 & mescaline."  In retrospect the army's interest in Heath's work is not difficult to understand. At the time Heath gave his 1954 seminar presentation at Edgewood Arsenal, behavior control of a rather primitive kind had already been achieved through electrical stimulation of the brains of lower animals. At McGill University, James Olds and Peter C Milner had reported that rats with electrodes implanted in the brain's septal region would press levers at a rate of 2,000 times per hour to receive stimulation.  At the National Institutes of Health, Dr. John Lilly had attracted intense interest from the CIA and other agencies through his use of similar techniques on primates. After implanting multiple electrodes in the brains of monkeys, Lilly was able to identify the precise location of centers of pain, fear, anxiety, anger, and sexual arousal. In one experiment a monkey with access to a simple switch stimulated himself to produce virtually continuous orgasms, at a rate of one every three minutes for sixteen hours per day. Animal tests comprised an integral part of most academic research sponsored by military and CIA sources. In contrast, Project MKULTRA was primarily concerned with conducting drug, electrical, and other experiments involving human subjects. ...
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