Monday, May 19, 2008

Esoteric Agenda

The Earthling economics experiment - Mogambo Guru

Finally, I knew that my delaying the inevitable was starting to look bad, so I opened it. What he wanted was the worst of all; a report on the economic situation on Earth, since Earthlings are of particular interest to economists throughout the universe, being that Earthlings are considered by advanced civilizations to be one of the rather lower-middle forms of life in the universe, in that many Earthlings, culminating in Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian school of economics, proved that the species has the intellect to conceive of the idea that excessive inflation in the money supply leads to inflation in consumer prices, which leads to social upheaval.

And the people of this planet have discovered universal reading and writing, and so they know from their own history books what happens to any idiot country that uses, and then abuses, a fiat money and bank debt until the sum total of debt becomes literally un-payable.

What makes Earthlings so interesting is ... Why don't they do what they know they should, especially since the freaking constitution of the United States of America requires that money be only of only silver and gold, so that a fiat currency would be impossible?

Of course, the next thing is ... How can we make a bet on it? And that is, I suspect, the essence of this latest message from Zolgarg, as rumor has it that he already has more Quatloons wagered than he can afford on when the economy collapses, and another big wad of Quatloons on the exact day the US government declares war on Iran so as to start World War III as a distraction to an angry, bankrupted citizenry and country, and we all figure that one day Zolgarg is going to find his bookie coming over there with a couple of goons and they will break off one of his tentacles.

I mean, it's no secret that that we know what will happen when you let a government allow the money supply be constantly expanded; disaster!

And everybody, even unto the farthest reaches of interstellar space, knows what happens when a government uses that money to expand itself, like now, when the federal, state and local governments now employ one out of seven workers and collectively spends one-half of GDP; disaster again!

But Zolgarg obviously overestimated the collective smarts of Earthlings in protesting with riots and recall elections, and underestimated the sheer degree of frantic desperation of the Federal Reserve and governments.

Bioterror in context

William R. Clark, professor and chair emeritus of immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been a research scientist for 30 years and has written a string of books for the general public. His latest, Bracing for Armageddon?, published by Oxford University Press in May, examines the science and politics of bioterrorism in the United States.

His conclusion: We shouldn't be so worried. Although the United States will have spent $50 billion on defense against a bioterrorism attack by the end of 2008, Clark argues that we have much more to fear from natural pandemic outbreaks, such as the viruses causing SARS and H5N1 avian flu. He reviews all the worst-case bioterror scenarios — from agricultural terrorism to poisoning the water supply; from genetically engineered pathogens to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's official list of bioterrorist weapons — and writes: "It is almost inconceivable that any terrorist organization we know of in the world today, foreign or domestic, could on their own develop, from scratch, a bioweapon capable of causing mass casualties on American soil."

[ ... ]

M-M: When did you begin suspecting that our bioterrorism fears might be a tad exaggerated?

Clark: The more I looked into it, I thought, "Jeez, what are these guys talking about?" What are the odds that a terrorist group, no matter how well financed, would be able to create a bioterror weapon? I began looking into what it takes to really make a successful bioterrorism agent, and I just became very skeptical of this whole thing. The (United States) military gave up bioweapons 30 years ago. They're too undependable; they're too hard to use; they're too hard to make. Then I started checking around, and I found there's a whole literature out there of people who've been screaming for years that this whole bioterrorism thing is really overblown; it's not practical; it's never going to work. Aum Shinrikyo couldn't get it to work; those guys put millions and millions of dollars into it. So you think of a bunch of guys sitting in a cave in Afghanistan — they're sure as hell not going to do it. Is any government going to do it? No. So that made me very skeptical, and I went back to Oxford and said, "This whole thing's a crock." And they said, "But that's even more interesting!"

M-M: Thus the question mark at the end of the title, Bracing for Armageddon?

Clark: Yeah, exactly. Scientifically, it is a crock. And this really verges into the political, but we've spent $50 billion on it. So Oxford paid for me to take a trip back East and talk to a bunch of these voices that haven't been heard and interview them.

~ more... ~

'How Richard Nixon created the red state-blue state divide'

Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, for example, spoke for many when he suggested that "if the right people had been in charge at Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president." Thompson was cheered on by intellectuals, rock 'n' rollers, college-educated professionals and die-hard Democrats.

Welcome to what Rick Perlstein calls Nixonland, the title of his massive study of how these two ideal American types — Nixon haters and Nixon lovers — began feuding in 1968 like the Hatfields and the McCoys and haven't stopped since. Put another way, Perlstein attributes today's red state-blue state divide to the troubled years that followed Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide victory and the ensuing overreach of the Great Society and the Vietnam War.

"The main character in 'Nixonland' is not Richard Nixon," Perlstein writes. "Its protagonist, in fact, has no name — but lives on every page. It is the voter who, in 1964, pulled the lever for the Democrat for president because to do anything else, at least that particular Tuesday in November, seemed to court civilizational chaos, and who, eight years later, pulled the lever for the Republican for exactly the same reason."

 
 

Yippie Workshop Speech by Abbie Hoffman (1968)

Listen to soundclip! Cops are like Yippies-you can never find the leaders... You just let 'em know that you're stronger psychically than they are. And you are, because you came here for nothin' and they're holdin' on to their fuckin' pig jobs 'cause of that little fuckin' paycheck and workin' themselves up, you know. Up to what? To a fuckin' ulcer. Sergeant. We got them by the balls. The whole thing about guerrilla theatre is gettin' them to believe it. Right.

Theatre, guerrilla theatre, can be used as defense and as an offensive weapon. I mean, I think like people could survive naked, see. I think you could take all your fuckin' clothes off, a cop won't hit ya. You jump in Lake Michigan, he won't go after you, but people are too chickenshit to do that. It can be used as an offensive and defensive weapon, like blood. We had a demonstration in New York. We had seven gallons of blood in little plastic bags. You know, if you convince 'em you're crazy enough, they won't hurt ya. With the blood thing, cop goes to hit you, right, you have a bag of blood in your hand. He lifts h is stick up, you take your bag of blood and go whack over your own head. All this blood pours out, see. Fuckin' cop standin'. Now that says a whole lot more than a picket sign that says end the war in wherever the fuck it is you know. I mean in that demonstration, there was a fuckin' war there. People came down and looked and said holy shit I don't know what it is, blood all over the fuckin' place, smokebombs goin' off, flares, you know, tape recorders with the sounds of machine guns, cops on horses tramplin' Christmas shoppers. It was a fuckin' war. And they say, right, I know what the fuck you're talkin' about. You're talkin' about war. What the fuck has a picket line got to do with war? But people that are into a very literal bag, like that heavy word scene, you know, don't understand the use of communication in this country and the use of media. I mean, if they give a ten-page speech against imperialism, everybody listens and understands and says yeah. But you throw fuckin' money out on the Stock Exchange, and people get that right away. And they say, right, I understand what that's about. And if they don't know what you're doin', fuck 'em. Who cares? Take this, see, you use blank space as information. You carry a sign that says END THE. You don't need the next word, you just carry a sign that says END, you know. That's enough. I mean the Yippie symbol is Y. So you say, why, man, why, why? Join the Y, bring your sneakers, bring your helmet, right, bring your thing, whatever you got. Y, you say to the Democrats, baby, Y that's not a V it's a Y. You can do a whole lotta shit. Steal it, steal the V, it's a Y. It's up the revolution like that. Keeping your cool and having good wits is your strongest defense.

If you don't want it on TV, write the work "FUCK" on your head, see, and that won't get on TV, right? But that's where theatre is at, it's TV. I mean our thing's for TV. We don't want to get on Meet the Press. What's that shit? We want Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson show, we want the shit where people are lookin' at it and diggin' it. They're talking about reachin' the troops in Viet Nam so they write in The Guardian! [An independent radical newsweekly published in New York.] That's groovy. I've met a lot of soldiers who read The Guardian, you know. But we've had articles in Jaguar magazine, Cavalier, you know, National Enquirer interviews the Queen of the Yippies, someone nobody ever heard of and she runs a whole riff about the Yippies and Viet Nam or whatever her thing is and the soldiers get it and dig it and smoke a little grass and say yeah I can see where she's at. That's why the long hair. I mean shit, you know, long hair is just another prop. You go on TV and you can say anything you want but the people are lookin' at you and they're lookin' at the cat next to you like David Susskind or some guy like that and they're sayin' hey man there's a choice, I can see it loud and clear. But when they look at a guy from the Mobilization [against the War in Vietnam] and they look at David Susskind, they say well I don't know, they seem to be doing the same thing, can't understand what they're doin'. See, Madison Avenue people think like that. That's why a lot SDS's don't like what we're doin'. 'Cause they say we're like exploiting; we're usin' the tools of Madison Ave. But that's because Madison Ave. is effective in what it does. They know what the fuck they're doin'. Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Issues and Answers-all those bullshit shows, you know, where you get a Democrat and a Republican arguin' right back and forth, this and that, this and that, yeah yeah. But at the end of the show nobody changes their fuckin' mind, you see. But they're tryin' to push Brillo, you see, that's good, you ought to use Brillo, see, and 'bout every ten minutes on will come a three-minute thing of Brillo. Brillo is a revolution, man, Brillo is sex, Brillo is fun, Brillo is bl bl bl bl bl bl bl bl. At the end of the show people ain't fuckin' switchin' from Democrat to Republicans or Commies, you know, the right-wingers or any of that shit. They're buying Brillo! And the reason they have those boring shows is because they don't want to get out any information that'll interfere with Brillo. I mean, can you imagine if they had the Beatles goin' zing zing zing zing zing zing zing, all that jump and shout, you know, and all of a sudden they put on an ad where the guy comes on very straight: "You ought to buy Brillo because it's rationally the correct decision and it's part of the American political process and it's the right way to do things." You know, fuck, they'll buy the Beatles, they won't buy the Brillo.

We taped a thing for the David Susskind Show. As he said the word hippie, a live duck came out with "HIPPIE" painted on it. The duck flew up in the air and shat on the floor and ran all around the room. The only hippie in the room, there he is. And David went crazy. 'Cause David, see, he's New York Times head, he's not Daily News freak. And he said the duck is out and blew it. We said, we'll see you David, goodnight. He say, oh no no. We'll leave the duck in. And we watched the show later when it came on, and the fuckin' duck was all gone. He done never existed. And I called up Susskind and went quack quack quack, you motherfucker, that was the best piece of information: that was a hippie. And everything we did, see, non-verbally, he cut out. Like he said, "How do you eat?" and we fed all the people, you know. But he cut that out. He wants to deal with the words. You know, let's play word games, let's analyze it. Soon as you analyze it, it's dead, it's over. You read a book and say well now I understand it, and go back to sleep.

The media distorts. But it always works to our advantage. They say there's low numbers, right? 4000, 5000 people here. That's groovy. Think of it, 4000 people causin' all this trouble. If you asked me, red say there are four Yippies. I'd say we're bringin' another four on Wednesday. That's good, that freaks 'em out. They're lookin' around. Only four. I mean I saw that trip with the right wing and the Communist conspiracy. You know, you'd have 5000 people out there at the HUAC demonstrations eight years ago in San Francisco and they'd say there are five Communists in the crowd, you know. And they did it all. You say, man that's pretty cool. So you just play on their paranoia like that. Yeah, there're four guys out around there doin' a thing. So distortion's gonna backfire on them, 'cause all of a sudden Wednesday by magic there are gonna be 200,000 fuckin' people marchin' on that amphitheater. That's how many we're gonna have. And they'll say, "Wow. From 4000 up to 200,000. Those extra four Yippies did a hell of a good job." I dig that, see. I'm not interested in explainin' my way of life to straight people or people that aren't interested. They never gonna understand it anyway and I couldn't explain it anyway. All I know is, in terms of images and how words are used as images to shape your environment, the New York Times is death to us. That's the worst fuckin' paper as far as the Yippies are concerned. They say, "Members of the so-called Youth International Party held a demonstration today." That ain't nothin'. What fuckin' people read that? They fall asleep. 'Cause the New York Times has all the news that's fit to print, you know, so once they have all the news, what do the people have to do? They just read the New York Times and drink their coffee and go back to work, you know. But the Daily News, that's a TV set. Look at it, I mean look at the picture right up front and the way they blast those headlines. You know, "Yippies, sex-loving, dope-loving, commie, beatnik, hippie, freako, weirdos." That's groovy, man, that's a whole life style, that's a whole thing to be, man. I mean you want to get in on that.

When we stormed the Pentagon, my wife and I we leaped over this fence, see. We were really stoned, I mean I was on acid flying away, which of course is an antirevolutionary drug you know, you can't do a thing on it. I've been on acid ever since I came to Chicago. It's in the form of honey. We got a lab guy doin' his thing. I think he might have got assassinated, I ain't seen him today. Well, so we jumped this here fence, see, we were sneaking through the woods and people were out to get the Pentagon. We had this flag, it said NOW with a big wing on it, I don't know. The right-wingers said there was definitely evidence of Communist conspiracy 'cause of that flag, I don't know what the fuck it was. So we had Uncle Sam hats on, you know, and we jumped over the fence and we're surrounded by marshals, you know, just closin' us in, about 30 marshals around us. And I plant the fuckin' flag and I said, "I claim this land in the name of free America. We are Mr. and Mrs. America. Mrs. America's pregnant." And we sit down and they're goin' fucking crazy. I mean we got arrested and unarrested like six or seven times. And when we finally got arrested, it was under other names. I'm really a digger, I never was a Yippie. Was always a digger. So I said, you know, A. Digger, Abbie Digger, Mr. and Mrs. A. Digger. They say are you a boy or a girl, I say girl. Right. This is where I wanna go. I don't have to prove manliness by beatin' up 14-year-old girls with nightsticks, you know. Fuck 'em. But ideas, you just get stoned, get the ideas in your head and then do 'em. And don't bullshit. I mean that's the thing about doin' that guerrilla theatre. You be prepared to die to prove your point. You gotta die.

You know, what's life? Life's all that fun shit. Life's doin' what you want to do. Life's an American magazine, and if we hook them right, they're gonna give us 10,000 flowers that are gonna be thrown out of a helicopter tomorrow afternoon. But we'll only allow them to do it if they bring a newsreel person up in the helicopter with 'em. You know, to take the pictures. So we're workin' out that negotiation with Life magazine. 'Cause we said, you know, it's called Festival of Life, man, we named it after your magazine. I know that's immoral and I know that's cheatin' and that's stealin'. I wish I was a revolutionist. I wouldn't have these problems. A lot of revolutionists come here, they worry about parking the car. Where we gonna park the car, should we park it in a meter? The meter'll run out, we'll get a ticket. It's a weird revolution. Fuck it. We don't need cars; we travel in wheelbarrows. You see, just worry about your ass. Forget about your clothes, your money, you know, just worry about your ass and all the rest of us's asses. Cars don't mean shit. They grab our walkie-talkies you say yeah, there you go, take it, thank you, it was too heavy to carry.

Well, I've shot my load. I'm for ending the Yippie thing Thursday, killin' it all, 'cause I don't think people are Yippies anymore than they're Mobe or Motherfuckers or whatever they are. They're just people. And I think we oughta burn all our Yippie buttons and laugh at the fuckin' press and say nyah nyah, we took you for a fuckin' ride. That's what we figured when we started this thing back in December-just a couple of speedfreaks hangin' around the cellar sayin' now how are we gonna do this Chicago trip? We ain't got no fuckin' money, you know, we ain't got no organization, we ain't got no constituency. We went to a New Left meeting, they said where's your constituency, you can't talk here, you know, you ain't against imperialism. I said, man, I don't want any pay toilets in this fuckin' country, I don't want to pay a dime to take a shit. SDS doesn't consider that relevant. That's the trouble with the Left you know. Did a trip on a Socialist Scholars Conference, a couple of Hell's Angels guys and I, we went up and had a capgun fight in the Hotel Hilton where the Left has their conferences, it's very interesting. So the heads of the Hilton and the heads of the socialists were gettin' together to decide how to throw us speedfreaks out of the fuckin' place, see. But they didn't, I mean, we stayed to do our thing. The problem with the Left is that there are 10,000 socialist scholars in this country and not one fuckin' socialist. I mean I talk to guys on The Guardian and they say yeah, we're working on a serious analysis of the Yippies. I say, that's pretty fuckin' cool, man, that's great. By that time there won't be any Yippies. I mean, what the fuck are you analyzin' for, man, get in and do it.

The complete workshop speech from which this is taken is part of the evidence being used to indict Abbie Hoffman along with Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, John Froines, Torn Hayden, Bobby Seale, Jerry Rubin, and Lee Weiner for conspiracy to incite riots during the Democratic Convention. Their trial begins in Chicago on September 24, 1969 and each faces ten years in prison and $20,000 fine. We are told that funds and other assistance are badly needed. Persons interested in contributing should make checks payable to the Chicago Defense Fund, c/o The Conspiracy, 28 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois. Taped by Charles Harbutt

Via: Hippyland

'Screeen sucking'

I have a confession to make: I'm a crack addict.

On the information black market, my drug of choice goes by the name of email. The good stuff is laced with social media and RSS. The better stuff also includes mailing lists, website statistics, IRC, and 500 TV channels. The best stuff adds both Facebook and MySpace accounts, instant messaging of every kind, and a pony made from Ajax.

My dealer calls himself Unread. I caught a glimpse of his driver's license once though, when his wallet spilled all over the ground while we were shooting up in an airport lounge. Turns out his real name is Unimportant Bullshit. That's a pretty funny name, when you think about it.

But I haven't thought about it. I'm usually too strung out to notice. I just keep buying more product.

 

Information Overload Addiction

The study, Glued to the Screen: An investigation into information addiction worldwide, shows that we are witnessing the rise of a new generation of 'dataholics'. Based on a survey of 1,000 people in the UK, US, Ireland, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong, the survey shows that over half of respondents 'crave' information, while almost 50% claim that if information was a recognized drug, they would know people who would be considered as addicted.

Three quarters of people believe that PCs, the Internet and information generally will become addictive in the future, while 54% claim to get a 'high' when they find information they have been seeking.

Information addiction is not only confined to the workplace. Fifty five per cent of parents interviewed expressed concern that their children were turning into info-junkies, due to the vast amount of electronic information available. Seventy two per cent believe that Internet use will exacerbate obsessive information-gathering.

Nearly half of all parents surveyed said that children prefer PCs to their peers, and 36% were extremely worried that their children were over-exposed to information. Eighty six per cent believe that schools and colleges should be doing more to prepare the next generation to deal effectively with their information load.

Dr. Kimberly S. Young, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, commented, "The Internet only feeds America's 'fast food' mentality towards information. People are craving immediate access to the most up-to-date, current information and then find themselves trapped in enormous information gluts."

 

Is it an addiction?

What's striking to researchers is how few people take even the most basic steps to reduce workplace interruption. In the Basex study, 55% of workers surveyed said they open e-mail immediately or shortly after it arrives, no matter how busy they are. "Most people don't even think about turning off the dinger," says Spira, who turned off the alert sound on his e-mail nine years ago with no regrets. "We can't control ourselves when it comes to limiting technological intrusions."

Indeed, there's a compulsive quality to our relationships with digital devices. Hallowell has noticed that when a plane lands nowadays, BlackBerrys light up the way cigarettes once did. "A patient asked me," he says, "whether I thought it was abnormal that her husband brings the BlackBerry to bed and lays it next to them while they make love." Hallowell and his frequent collaborator, Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey, believe that the neurochemistry of addiction may underlie our compulsive use of cell phones, computers and "CrackBerrys." They say that dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in seeking rewards and stimulation, is doubtless at work. "If we could measure it as we're shifting [attention] from one thing to another," says Ratey, "we would probably find that the brain is pumping out little shots of dopamine to give us a buzz." Psychologists call the increasingly common addiction to Web-based activity "online compulsive disorder." Hallowell has a more descriptive term: screen sucking. "These screens have a magnetism we haven't quite figured out."

What is "disinformation"?

Disinformation is deliberately misleading information announced publicly or leaked by a government, intelligence agency, corporation or other entity for the purpose of influencing opinions or perceptions.

Unlike misinformation, which is also a form of wrong information, disinformation is produced by people who intend to deceive their audience.

A group might plant disinformation in reports, in press releases, in public statements or in practically any other routine, occasional or unusual communique. Disinformation can also be leaked, or covertly released to a source who can be trusted to repeat the false information.

A common disinformation tactic is to mix truth, half-truths, and lies. Disinformants sometimes seek to gain the confidence of their audience through emotional appeals or by using semi-neutral language interlaced with threads of disinformation.

It may be easier to ask and answer questions like "at what point does opinion or advocacy become disinformation?", "can history or ideology remain simplified without being disinforming?", and "what concept equals what other concept in this opinion, advocacy, history, or ideology?" Such distinctions are studied in the fields of conceptual metaphor, information warfare, psychological operations, scientific method, historical method and the sociology of knowledge.

One distinction that most students of these topics accept is that someone with an economic self-interest is rarely, if ever, a neutral observer.

Is disinformation just lying?

No. The word "lying " usually implies an awareness of spreading untruths. Long study in psychology, e.g. false memory syndrome, groupthink, suggests that honest advocates of a view can rarely tell when they have accepted some questionable premise or evidence along with the valid evidence for that view. This suggests a constructive role for their opponents in 'culling' that evidence and moderating extreme points of view among front groups, and industry experts. Such views may reflect not a desire to disinform, but rather a biased mind-set or paradigm where some central dogma has become accepted as true.

Imams, soldiers, schools and the NUT

The same was true of coverage of the NUT's proposal that, in the interests of community cohesion, leaders of the many different faiths in Britain should be invited into all schools to offer religious instruction.

Now this is a controversial proposal. It managed to upset, in almost equal measure, both faith leaders and secularists. I leave others to judge its merits.

But what was alarming was the way many newspaper headlines chose to focus on just one part of this, namely the possibility of Muslim clerics going into schools.

The Daily Express headline, for example, filled almost the entire front-page with huge letters stating "Fury over plan to teach Koran in schools".

Once again, the effect of the headlines was to arouse a knee-jerk response by over-simplifying what was being said.

~ more... ~

 

Korean textbooks undergo 'right-turn' revision

The conservative Lee Myung-bak administration will revise what it called left-leaning history and social studies textbooks. The revised texts, six history books for high school students and 15 social studies and economics books, will be used in classrooms starting 2009.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Kim Do-yeon on Wednesday said the government will reflect suggestions from the business and other civic groups to put more "pride'' in being Korean.

"We have a very proud history and I do not think the current textbooks bring that image to students. I think they are a bit left-leaning,'' he said.

Kim's comments came as the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Liberty Union and several other conservative groups called for the revision of the text books, which underwent revision under the liberal administrations of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun.

Their requests started in the early 2000s, but were barely reciprocated until the new administration was launched in February. Since the FKI was unable to get their own business-friendly economy books taught in classrooms due to public antipathy last year, their requests got stronger.

However, many people opposed the planned revision. The Democratic Labor Party said Thursday that the Lee administration seems to focus on doing "exactly the opposite of the former Roh government,'' and is trying to "scrap history'' according to their whims.

According to the ministry, the business community expressed discomfort toward several passages allegedly negatively indicating globalization or market opening. KCCI, which has pointed out 337 anti-capitalism or anti-business passages from 60 textbooks, said that much of the contents are wrongly portrayed.

Sections of the texts, which said, "Too much liberty in economic activities enlarges the gap between the rich and the poor,'' and "planned economy is overall superior to market economy; the more free trade we have the poorer we might be,'' were selected as inappropriate and misleading contents. The government has allegedly agreed to correct about half of the proposals.

Shin Sun-ho of the ministry, said correctional requests were also made about the collaboration and peace mood between the two Koreas in the 90s and early 2000s, Japanese colonial rule's influence on Korea and others.

He said about 300 corrections were made for this year's textbooks and anyone can request such correction through the ministry Web site.

Internet users are also resisting. About 500 netizens have signed an online petition to keep the textbook from the conservative and mercantilistic capitalism changes.

Some even said the textbook has not reflected the human rights violations perpetrated during the military junta era in the 1960s and 70s.

Shin admitted that textbooks reflect political or economic ideology of the time. "The basic outline of the textbooks was set in the mid-1990s, when the non-military government kicked off and criticism toward authoritarianism or economic development-only ideology emerged. Now we have a new government valuing pragmatism, market economy and alliance, the tone of these textbooks may change,'' he said.
[ Source: The Korea Times ]

Merkel ally resigned over mortgage crisis

A regional ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to resign Monday, becoming the first political casualty in Germany of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. The move was expected to give a boost to the fast-growing Left party, which called immediately for new elections in the affected state, Saxony.

The Left's demands were the latest illustration of the paralysis and fragmentation currently reshaping German politics.

On one hand, the governing national grand coalition of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats seems to have ground to a halt in pursuing reforms.

That has helped open the way for smaller parties to make gains that would - if a national election were held today - spell huge losses for the Social Democrats, but also leave Merkel's party without a convincing majority.

The Christian Democrat Georg Milbradt, 63, had governed Saxony since 2002, but said he was stepping down, probably at the end of May, after the debacle over the state-supported SachsenLB bank, which racked up over €30 billion, or $47.5 billion, of shaky investments, including in subprime.

[ ... ]

So far, Merkel's coalition has not been criticized in any serious way for intervening to protect state-owned banks beset by problems stemming from the subprime crisis and save them from collapse.

SachsenLB was rescued last year by a rival in Bavaria, LBBW, for a minimal price, sparking a bitter dispute in Saxony over Milbradt's handling of the whole affair.

The state of Saxony still remains liable for most of Sachsen LB's losses, which could amount to €1.2 billion, according to Siegfried Jaschinski, chief executive of LBBW.

Last week, Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, a former Social Democrat minister, resigned as head of KfW bank, another casualty of bad subprime investments.

Matthäus-Maier had come under fire in recent months over her handling of the fallout from the global credit crisis. KfW owns 45.5 percent of the corporate lender IKB, which had to be bailed out with a rescue package of more than €8 billion after making heavy write-downs on its security investments. KfW covered about €6 billion of the bailout.

~ more... ~

 

Blaming the global warming alarm on...kids

From: Are Children Sounding the Global-Warming Alarm?

One theory came to mind the other day when I was looking over a list of the most profitable worldwide movie releases of 2006. No. 1 on the list was Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, an animated — and apocalyptic — kids' movie, which took in just over $1 billion at the box office. And as you can see here, the animated kids' movie Happy Feet has also been huge, with over $350 million worldwide, and counting. While Happy Feet isn't quite about global warming, it is about mankind's disastrous overreach into nature. (In order to appreciate the reach of these kids' movies, consider that Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, a global warming jeremiad, has done $42 million worldwide, a huge figure for a documentary but a drop in the bucket compared to the animated blockbusters.)

We all know how influential kids can be. Newspaper editors and TV producers and even politicians have kids, and when those kids start obsessing about something, it's amazing how fast the parents do, too. Just look at anti-smoking education in the U.S. My kids are so thoroughly indoctrinated against smoking that if they see someone in an old movie smoking a cigarette, they look at me, horrified, as if they've just seen someone slit a puppy's throat. Similarly, I wonder if children may have been the ones who were scared straight about global warming — and have gone nipping at their parents' heels.

The conversion story of John C. Wright

Then, just to make even more sure that I was flooded with overwhelming evidence, I had a religious experience. This is separate from the visions, and took place several days after my release from the hospital, when my health was moderately well. I was not taking any pain-killers, by the way, because I found that prayer could banish pain in moments.

During this experience, I became aware of the origin of all thought, the underlying oneness of the universe, the nature of time: the paradox of determinism and free will was resolved for me. I saw and experienced part of the workings of a mind infinitely superior to mine, a mind able to count every atom in the universe, filled with paternal love and jovial good humor. The cosmos created by the thought of this mind was as intricate as a symphony, with themes and reflections repeating themselves forward and backward through time: prophecy is the awareness that a current theme is the foreshadowing of the same theme destined to emerge with greater clarity later. A prophet is one who is in tune, so to speak, with the music of the cosmos.

The illusionary nature of pain, and the logical impossibility of death, were part of the things I was shown.
 

J. S. Kim: Did Reagan end the era of free markets?

Those that argue that free markets are dead state that free markets ended when U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12631 into law on March 18, 1988, establishing the Working Group on Financial Markets, known as the Plunge Protection Team [PPT] in more conspiratorial circles. The Working Group's members consist of the most powerful men in global finance - the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the chairman of the SEC and the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Reagan's decision to form the Working Group was inspired by Black Monday, a day when U.S. Dow Jones index shed an incredible 508 points, or 22.6% of the index's value at the time, in a single day.

The Working Group was assigned the mission of ensuring that such an event would never happen again. Instead of addressing the root causes of Black Monday such as money supply growth that encourages the formation of speculative stock market and real estate market bubbles that lead to inevitable crashes, many have contended that the Working Group instead operates by intervening in the free markets to prop up stock markets and real estate markets when bubbles form and threaten to burst, thereby compounding the problems that give rise to these bubbles instead of attacking the root of these problems.

Despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence that seems to point to the existence of "propping up" measures, circumstantial evidence is called circumstantial because of the lack of a "smoking gun".

Still, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, as in the case of O.J. Simpson and the bloody gloves. Just as there are still legions of people today that claim that O.J. is innocent despite the mountains of circumstantial evidence primarily because the murder weapon was never found, there will always be legions of people that insist that since free market interference is so un-American and un-democratic that there is no possible way it could happen.

In the end, only members of the Working Group themselves will ever know exactly to what extent and how frequently they intervene in free markets. But do I think O.J. murdered his wife and that various financial entities interfere in free markets? The answer and reasoning for my answer to both questions is the same. Yes - because the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

In recent years, members of the Working Group themselves and high-level government officials have directly fueled the rampant accusations that free markets no longer exist. In 1989, former Board Member of the U.S. Federal Reserve Robert Heller stated:

Instead of flooding the entire economy with liquidity, and thereby increasing the danger of inflation, the Fed could support the stock market directly by buying market averages in the futures market, thus stabilizing the market as a whole.

On January 14, 1997, former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, during a speech delivered in Leuven, Belgium, stated the following:

We have the responsibility to prevent major financial market disruptions through development and enforcement of prudent regulatory standards and, if necessary in rare circumstance, through direct intervention in market events.

Later that same year, in February of 1997, Washington Post journalist Brett Fromson stoked the fires of these supposed manipulative free-market intervention schemes by reporting that a government official who attended Working Group meetings told him that:

The government has a real role to play to make a 1987-style sudden market break less likely. That is an issue we all spent a lot of time thinking about and planning for. You go through lots of fire drills and scenarios. You make sure you have thought ahead of time of what kind of information you will need and what you have the legal authority to do.

Fromson reported that other unnamed Working Group officials told him that their mission "would be to keep the markets operating in the event of a sudden, stomach-churning plunge in stock prices — and to prevent a panicky run on banks, brokerage firms and mutual funds."

Fromson also reported that of the four bodies that constitute the Working Group, that all pay deference to the U.S. Federal Reserve's wishes because the Feds are the only entity that can create money. Given the very secretive nature of the Working Group's meetings, of which minutes of their meetings are never made available for public scrutiny, the admission of various Working Group members and their high level associates that they would directly interfere in free markets if necessary is quite curious when you consider that they unilaterally deny ever executing such interventions whenever questioned about specifics.

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Age of scarcity is upon us, economist says

Jeff Rubin has made some attention-grabbing predictions of late, including one that oil prices will reach $225 a barrel within four years and another that interest rates soon will head upward in Canada.

Rubin doesn't have a lot of company on both calls. But the chief economist and strategist at CIBC World Markets defended his views yesterday at a lunch with clients in Montreal.

Inflation is on the way back, he warned, because we're living in an age of scarcity. That's reflected in the surging cost of oil, minerals and agricultural commodities.

[ ... ]

One other prediction that begs debate is his assertion that China and other developing nations will have to pay a "carbon tariff" to account for their emissions of greenhouse gases.

With climate change a growing issue in the West, he says the U.S. is likely to emulate Europe by putting a price on carbon emissions. Under Europe's cap-and-trade system, it's around $45 a tonne.

[ ... ]

Imports from countries that do not play by the same carbon standards will be subject to a carbon tariff, he predicts. It will be a kind of countervailing duty against what he calls China's "carbon subsidy."

At a carbon-emission cost of $45 per tonne, the equivalent tariff rate on China's exports to the U.S. would amount to 17 per cent.

And that, he says, might be enough to end the off-shoring advantage and bring jobs back to North America.

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Americans prefer energy fix to cancer cure: poll

A nationwide survey of nearly 700 people suggests that Americans would prefer more money be invested in technology to solve the nation's energy ailments than to cure cancer or other diseases.

Some 37 percent of respondents to the poll, conducted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority in Virginia, said they would rank spending to raise energy efficiency and develop alternative fuel technology a top priority for future investment. That compares with 30 percent who ranked more cash for medical breakthroughs as most important.

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Spy nuns infiltrating earth religions

We have recently uncovered a development to which we are compelled to alert you with utmost urgency. It is our belief that armies of Catholic nuns have been dispatched by the Vatican to infiltrate, mimic, subvert, and corrupt the sacred beliefs, rituals, and practices of your family of Earth Religions. Their goal: to arrest Neo-paganism in its present ascent in contemporary society and banish it – yet again – to the ill-regarded fringes of mainstream culture. There can be no other explanation, except perhaps that these Sisters are in the process of committing the heresy of Gnosticism ; but … no one thinks that. We submit the following as evidence.

In researching Mikhail "Nature is my god" Gorbachev's "Earth Charter" (Kudos on that by the by. Masterpiece of NeoPagan dogma this, eh?) we noted a considerable number of Catholic religious orders – particularly female orders - on the Earth Charter database of official endorsers. Do a search of the word "Sisters" in this database and you'll be scanning listings 'til next Samhain!

Initially this may seem to you a positive development, i.e. the more the merrier. However, even a cursory glance at Catholic teaching make it obvious that serious endorsement of this charter by vowed orders of The Church of Rome is non-sequitur, presuming these orders wish to actually remain vowed to said Church. For no Catholic Church we know, nor official ministry thereof, could genuinely endorse a declaration which aspires to become an "international legally binding instrument" while demanding population control, proclaiming earth – not God – "has provided the conditions essential to life's evolution", is paraded about in a 500 pound "Ark of Hope" along side "magical" Temenos books, and calls for the replacement of Christian Charity and the Works of Mercy with State enforced redistribution of wealth.

Something more must be afoot.

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Acupuncture treatment for Portland

Think of the city as a body the way traditional Chinese medicine does-- not
only as a physical entity but also as a system of energy that flows in
distinct pathways called meridians. The energy, or Qi, needs to be in
balance. If a person's Qi is out of balance, disease can set in. The same
could be true for a city. This project explores the junction between art,
regional planning, the environment, asian medicine and the health of a city.

http://www.adamkuby.com/Acupuncture.html

Tibetan shopkeeper in San Rafael harassed for his activism

An onslaught of disparaging e-mail, text and telephone messages has plagued a Tibetan shopkeeper in San Rafael following the Olympic torch run in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Jamyang Nordup, 50, a former monk and owner of Tibetan Culture House, a retail shop at 1223 Fourth St., said he has received hundreds of harassing messages since Tuesday night. None has been a death threat, he said.

The sources are unknown, although Nordup said he suspects the messages are coming from overseas via the Chinese government.

"I feel like the whole thing is a set-up of the government," he said. "This is not individuals."

Police are investigating the matter as a harassment complaint, spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.

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75 years after the end of Prohibition

National prohibition on alcohol manufacturing, consumption and shipments started in 1920, a product of the 18th Amendment and federal legislation.

But its roots went back decades, emerging from a stew of religious activism, optimistic reform and the thrust to regulate big business — including banks, railroads and meat companies. By 1917, more than a dozen states had already drafted tough anti-alcohol laws in response to the perceived perils of alcohol: addiction, violence and the breakup of families.

Still, the federal government relied on revenue from alcohol taxes. But the 16th Amendment, ratified in 1913, ushered in a national income tax; its ability to raise big sums surprised "even its most enthusiastic supporters," said Donald Boudreaux, chair of George Mason University's economics department.

Suddenly, the federal budget didn't have to lean on alcohol. "The political cost of pandering to the temperance groups" fell, said Boudreaux.

Congress passed the 18th Amendment in December 1917. In January 1919, Nebraska became the thirty-sixth, and decisive, state to ratify it. One year later, Prohibition went into effect, outlawing the manufacture, sale or transportation of "intoxicating liquors" in the U.S. for beverage purposes.
 
 

Kiwis: 11th of every month 911 truth group

We are pleased to announce the first street action of the first 11th of every month 911 truth chapter for New Zealand.

The first 11th of every month 911 truth grouped was formed in San Francisco by a 911 activist called Cosmos. Within a year 11th of every month groups had formed in hundreds of cities around the globe. The 11th of every month groups, so called because these groups take to streets on the 11th of every month to peacefully share information with other citizens about what happened on 911, want a new and full and independent investigation of the events of 911 and justice for the victims.

These include the first 3000 victims that fell on that day, the people they left behind, the 40,000 first responders who are now ill and dying from the toxins liberated when the towers exploded and the soldiers and Afghan and Iraqi people that died in the ensuing illegal wars of aggression perpetrated on their countries.

We are proud to announce the formation of the first 11th of every month 911 truth chapter in New Zealand.

We'll take to the streets on Sunday the 11th of May in Raglan where we will bring the 911 truth message to the visitors of the Whaingaroa art and food market.

We are also proud to announce that we are currently working on two, 11th of every month groups in Auckland and Wellington which will take to the street on the 11th of June and the 11th of July respectively.

For more information go to our new 911 truth forum, membership is free and you will be kept informed on all up and coming events.

[  Source: Scoop.co.nz ]

Neil Young has spider species named for him

 
A biologist at East Carolina University, Jason Bond, has named a newly discovered spider species after rock icon Neil Young. The arachnid's official appellation is Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. The scientist said Mr. Young merits the honor for his social and political activism.

Feminists plan action for reproductive rights

On 12 April — a very wet Saturday morning — forty feminists from around the country gathered at the London School of Economics for a teach-in on the threats to reproductive rights in the UK and internationally. The event was organised by Feminist Fightback, with a balance of in-depth discussion and practical planning for action. Dr Anna David, who led the talks on "Motherhood and Imperialism", said, "I'm really delighted to see this sort of initiative, linking history to modern-day activism. People say that young women just aren't interested – it's fantastic to see that it's not true."

The aim of the teach-in was to broaden the pro-choice agenda from simply thinking in terms of individual choice and instead to ask why control of women's reproductive systems has been so crucial to regimes of power and how it relates to other struggles for social justice and women's liberation.

Two of the workshops focused on the practical side of campaigning: the first on how to make effective pro-choice arguments, with training provided on public speaking and giving radio interviews, and the second on how to organise successful campaigns. Discussions were held on how reproductive freedoms have intersected with questions about the state, racism, empire and democratic access to health care.

Workshops were held on how to communicate effectively with the media; BBC documentary filmmaker James House showed activists how to put their points across on camera, whilst focus groups came together to draw up specific goals for campaign work. Over half of those attending came away from the event with plans for follow-up action such as speaking to trade unions – a key focus identified by the planning sessions.

In the final session people broke down into interest groups — sex education, organising in the unions, migrant workers and reproductive rights, and students on campus. In the trade union group there was a discussion about the fact that unions will vote money to campaigns, but are slower to take actual action,

The group decided to produce a leaflet about reproductive rights specifically for unions, to pull together a target list of branches in London and to organise speakers from Feminist Fightback to go to branch meetings (12 people volunteered from the teach-in to be speakers). The student group decided to run another teach-in in the North; the Sex Education group are going to take a motion to NUT about Reproductive Freedoms and Sex Education; and the Migrant Women's group will organise leafleting for May Day and get involved with No Recourse to Public Funds campaign.

www.feministfightback.org.uk

[ Source: Workers' Liberty ]

'I’m sure these jerks in the CIA and the FBI have me in their files'

 
So you're an actor with this incredible reputation and a body of work that speaks for itself, here you are in an Off Broadway play with a famous writer and incredible cast, and you're being paid peanuts. Has the pay scale just gotten worse and worse over the years? Yeah, it has. It's just one of those things. But working people across America have been paid less and less over the years. And while that's happening we have these heads of corporations who are destroying corporations while making billions of dollars. What's going on? Is this democracy? Something's wrong here. It's bullshit, man. It's got to stop. It's got to change. I don't know who or what that change is but we have to do something. I mean, the idea that you believe – as the God I play believes – that you are the only source of truth and integrity and reality, then that gives you the right to torture people and do any damn thing you want because you're above the law. That's what the Nazis did; they said it was there divine right. And we're behaving like Nazis. That's not America, that's not the America my two brothers died for in defense of their country. It's bullshit.

Were they in Vietnam? One brother was, the other brother died in a stupid accident in the Army. My wife's brother also died in a stupid accident in the Army. Both of us lost all our brothers. It's wrong because it accomplished nothing except more money for all the arms manufacturers. I'm talking old talk; I mean you know all this. It sounds like crap but you know it's true.

Absolutely. Do you get involved in any activism? I march, I do speeches. I'm sure these jerks in the CIA and the FBI have me in their files. How boring for them, to have to listen to my conversations. They're probably listening to this conversation. How dull! I'm against war! I mean, come on! I've got friends in the FBI too, by the way.

Is that a fact? I do. Nice people. That's not the point. The point is the powers that be have got to be kicked out on their ass. People like the God I portray in Almost an Evening have got to be given a lesson in humanity. It's not just your way, man. There are other opinions. It's hard to believe, isn't it? I go back to the Aborigines in Australia. I've spent some time there; I really like it a lot. I travel a lot. It would be a wonderful thing if everybody could travel and see how other people live. But the point is that if their culture has been there for over 20,000 years, how dare any Western religion dream that they are the true religion. That's a difficult one for people to swallow.

 

Members of Noam and Israel Activists show that Zionism can be about more than the interests of just one community

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of Noam, a British Zionist youth movement of which I was a member from its inception. Under the umbrella of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, Noam has flourished over the years to become one of the largest Jewish youth organisations, and has taken a markedly different path from the more traditional Zionist youth movements.

Whilst promoting Zionism is high on its agenda, it also puts much emphasis on the concept of tikun olam (literally, "repairing the world"), which has led to some extraordinary offshoot projects undertaken by its alumni. One such scheme was the Tibetan Jewish youth exchange (TJYE), set up to forge links between Jewish and Tibetan youth groups and to provide support to each other in their respective endeavours.

Since 2000, there has been a steady stream of Noam volunteers heading off to the Indian town of Dharamsala, to work with the exiled Tibetan youths and help empower them in their struggle to achieve independence for their people. Noam graduates were also instrumental in founding an Aids educations programme for street children in Nairobi, applying the values inculcated in them by their Noam leaders back home to a situation that cried out for experienced youth workers.

Over the last few years, there has been a mass influx of ex-Noam members to Israel, myself included, which is testament to the power of the Zionist message we were taught during our formative years in the movement. However, rather than rest on our laurels and ignore our responsibilities to fulfilling tikun olam, we feel a collective responsibility to continue promoting the core Noam principles with which we grew up.

One recent immigrant, Naomi Magnus, has been working with the Darfurian refugees living in Tel Aviv, whom I wrote about in March. Less than two months since I met them, their economic and social situation has deteriorated markedly, and many are now struggling even to pay the rent for the meagre shelters in which they live. Naomi, along with three other Noam olim, decided to take action on their behalf and organise a fundraising event which would draw on all the resources to which the Noam network had access.

To that end, they have established an NGO, Israel Activists, which would undertake to assist worthy causes across the country, such as the Darfurian refugees. Their inaugural event is a two-day hike in the north of Israel at the end of May. Over 80 participants have already signed up, each committed to raising a minimum of $200, which will provide a massive shot in the arm for the refugees and their families and which will go a long way to prevent their eviction from their homes.

BUSH: Policies of Insanity - by William H. Helbig

From OpEd News :

 

I would like to discuss an article by the Associated Press on January 22, 2008, titled, Study: False statements preceded war. In this article, journalists from two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top members of his administration issued hundreds of false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years following the terrorist attacks in New York City.

 

This particular study found 935 false statements in the two-year period in question. President Bush made 259 false statements himself. Of these 259 false statements, 231 were statements about the threat from weapons of mass destruction, and 28 were statements about Iraq's links to Al-Quida. Dick Cheney, in one of his recent trips to Iraq, again made false claims about Iraq's links to terrorism, even as the Pentagon dismisses such links, based on their careful analysis of thousands of postwar documents.

 

It appears that President Bush and his administration are immune from any reproach from members of Congress, judging from past congressional action. His masters of communication have conveniently relied upon the liar paradox in this particular case, in which common beliefs about truth and falsity actually lead to a contradiction. Most of the United States population will fall prey to this very clever tactic, but let me remind Americans of one important fact, that lying, or tricking the nation into war, or in legal terms, conspiracy to defraud the United States, is illegal under Title 18, United States Code Section 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. 

 

The specific legal question in this case is not whether the President lied, but asked more realistically: Did the President and his administration defraud the country? 

 

False statements are lies, and he did defraud the owners of the United States, the American people, who are, at this very moment in time, facing some of the most economically dangerous times since the Great Depression.

 

It is now a proven reality that Bush and his administration engaged in organized lying and deception to defraud the American people into supporting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. However, one must look closer at the details and analyze the information that brought this nation to the point of invading and occupying two sovereign oil rich nations.

 

The pretext that launched the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is of course September 11, 2001. The collapse of both the North and South towers are now under scrutiny, as well as the collapse of World Trade Center 7, with its highly suspicious free-fall collapse.

 

One can navigate to the web site, www.ae911truth.org, (architects and engineers for 911 truth), to view the data and the video confirming that WTC 7 was indeed a controlled demolition.  

         

The government controlled NIST would have us believe that the terrorists used anti-gravity devices on September 11, 2001, as the North and South towers collapsed neatly into their own footprints at free-fall speed, sending debris and human body parts onto the rooftops of adjoining buildings, the debris following the exact physical laws of projectile motion, propelled by explosive charges. Whatever your beliefs, this supposition is not so unbelievable in view of the fact that Bush and Cheney have been, and still are, lying to the American people. How many lies involve 911?

 

A reasonable prudent individual must ask some serious questions about the behavior of vice president Dick Cheney, a former top executive at the oil service firm Halliburton, concerning his vice presidential energy task force meeting and related documents, which are not public information. Several organizations, one of them Judicial Watch, have sued under the Freedom of Information Act and have received some documents related to maps concerning the oil fields and potential oil fields in Iraq.  Upon close inspection of these maps, which were drawn up before the invasion of Iraq, various cities and other geographic features are not shown, providing a perspective that confirms only oil interests are important to Dick Cheney.

 

At the end of the Clinton presidency, the world was becoming sympathetic to the needs of the Palestinian people and their plight. However, when Bush came into office all of the sympathy collected for the Palestinians was instantly dispelled on September 11, 2001. On that day, a marketing campaign, complete with a massive media blitz, confirmed our suspicions that radical Islamic terrorists had, presumably living in caves, using anti-gravity devices, brought down the symbols of financial might in New York City, the Twin Towers and WTC 7. All Arabs, in effect, were now guilty by association of that crime. Palestinians were now terrorists, as well as some Muslim leaders in Afghanistan, who, ostensibly, were holding up the construction of an oil pipeline that would circumnavigate their country, bringing crude oil to a warm water port for easy access to the United States. Israel would benefit wildly from this strategy, extorting billions from the United States, as now Israel was under siege too, by groups of Arab children and adults throwing rocks and the occasional missile, into the Jewish state.

 

Israel receives approximately $3 billion annually in direct foreign assistance from the United States, with 75 percent comprising military aid, and the remaining 25 percent broken down into economic aid.  In 2003 Israel received loan guarantees totaling $9 billion dollars to help Israel prepare for the upcoming war with Iraq and the potential economic crisis created by the war. Private donations to Israel from the citizens of the United States are estimated to be approximately $2 billion annually, with some of the money subsidizing the colonization of the occupied territories. 

          

In 2005 Israel received approximately $154 billion from US taxpayers in the form of direct grants rather than loans. It is therefore extremely profitable for Israel to maintain the current strategy of labeling as many Arabs as possible as terrorists, and in effect, prolong the war and hatred in the Middle East indefinitely, or until an economic crisis forces the American taxpayer into a populist tax revolt, forcing the American government to find a permanent solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.

 

Another suspicious activity under scrutiny is the insider trading that took place weeks, days, and minutes before the attacks on the World Trade Center towers. The FBI had sent a team to Wall Street weeks before 911 to investigate suspicious trading activity, which was sending up red flags in the computer programs that monitor such stock market activity. In fact, transfers of huge sums of money were made minutes before and after the planes hit the WTC towers, the individuals involved ostensibly knowing that the buildings would be destroyed to neatly cover their crime.  Stock markets around the world showed spikes in market data that confirmed that insider trading was taking place worldwide.  A rather large group of people had inside information about 911 and profited from the death of over 2000 American citizens. Yet, investigative agencies like the FBI and SEC have never charged anyone connected with this crime, and to date, have declared that the suspicious inside trading activity was a completely normal financial statistic. A nonpartisan research group, the Center for Responsive Politics, released a study recently that exposes members' of Congress, who have collectively invested 196 million dollars in defense companies and related industries doing business with the Department of Defense, earning millions since the beginning of the Iraq war. 

 

The Anthrax attacks of late October 2001 unleashed fear and panic in the U.S. Postal Service that reverberated from the halls of Congress and ranged from Florida to Connecticut, killing five people and placing thousands on antibiotics. Two letters filled with Anthrax were addressed to two democratic senators, Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, as well as the NBC and ABC studios.  Coincidently, both senators at the time were holding up the passage of the USA Patriot Act, which gave federal agencies broad new powers in the war against terrorism.  The letters had notes with a crude style of writing to make it appear they came from a radical Arab state, with statements like, "death to Israel", and "Allah is great" included with the weaponized Anthrax spores. Within a few days after the attacks government researchers determined that the specific strain of Anthrax used in the attacks was the Ames Strain, the same strain used by the U.S. military and its private contractors specifically for use in United States Military biological warfare programs.

        

All of the above events are interrelated, and more than likely preplanned in advanced, and point to a sinister plan by the Bush administration to control the largest oil-producing region in the world, the Muslim occupied Middle East. Michael Meacher, a former British politician, in his article, This War on Terrorism is Bogus, claims the September 11, 2001 attacks gave the United States, under the leadership of George W. Bush, an ideal pretext to use military force to secure domination of the Persian Gulf oil-producing region, and parts of the Muslim world. Mr. Meacher claims that the United States and the United Kingdom are running out of hydrocarbon energy supplies.  He claims that by 2010 the Muslim world will control 60 percent of the world's oil production, and 95 percent of the remaining global oil export capacity. As other European and Asian nations compete for a limited supply of oil, paying top dollar to secure huge oil concessions and the right to transport huge quantities of oil across such countries as Afghanistan, will military force be the preferred method of settling regional and national energy disputes for the Unites States and Britain?

 

Both countries have engaged in chicanery and are rife with corruption and insane policies that have led directly to the inflated cost of crude oil, rising food costs, and the financial collapse of over-inflated financial institutions on Wall Street, as well as the declining dollar. The American and British people are now left to suffer the insane minds of the very politicians that they elect to represent them in domestic and world affairs. Let history note that the decline of the United States began under the leadership of a very unstable individual named George Bush, who, himself, is an alcoholic and self-admitted heavy drug abuser who has caused irreparable damage to the United States economy and Iraq through the use of policies that are, for lack of a better word, insane.

 

De la Varga, Elizabeth. U.S. v. BUSH.  New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006

 

Meacher, Michael. "This War on Terrorism is Bogus." Guardian/UK 6 September 2003

 

Thompson, Marilyn W. The Killer Strain.  New York: Harper Collins, 2003.

  

Anne Flaherty, Yahoo.com. Lawmakers heavily invested in defense, Associated Press, Yahoo News. April 3, 2008

 

Mearsheimer, John J. and Stephen M. Walt. The Israel Lobby. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. 

 

Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth: www.ae911truth.org

 

Maps and related documents concerning Iraq, FOIA -US Commerce Department: www.JudicialWatch.org

 

I hold several degress from the Pennsylvania State University and I love to research what most people call conspiracies. For example, the JFK assassination and 911, and vCJD (Mad Cow disease), to name a few. I have come to realize that we in America do not live in a democracy, but a rule by a small corrupt majority which happens to be filthy rich - the same people who brought us the genocide of the Native Americans, slavery, and endless perpetual wars as part of a national energy strategy for the United States by the collusion of energy corporations and the US Military.

My primary goal is to help expose these people who start all of the wars, become bloated with wealth, from the backs of the destitute poor soldiers, and try to make the world a better place for humanity by helping cure the sick, discovering new forms of energy, and to make warfare illegal on planet Earth. The human species has now evolved enough to know better, and we need leaders to show us the way, as we can have heaven here on Earth, not some form of a deranged idea of heaven in some parts of outer space, which extremists of all forms are dying to get into.

Privatized prisons and the global drug syndicate

"Reaping obscene profits through incarcerating American workers in their privatized prisons, persons who have been lured into drug use by their global drug syndicate."
 

Human Rights Centre indicates Palestinian children face sexual abuse and other torture in prisons

The Palestinian Prisoners' Support and Human Rights Centre ADDAMEER, declared that the Israeli forces have arrested almost 6200 Palestinians since the last Intifada started in September of 2000. 350 of those languishing in prison are children who, against international conventions, are still imprisoned in Israeli jails and detention centers.

Those youngsters undergo severe punishment and mental stress, living an extremely horrifying health and mental situation. Being subjected to torture, interrogation, beatings, humiliation, insults, degradation, and regular terrorizing, "such conditions will affect their mental well being forever, and will accompany them through their adult life," the report said.

The report published by the Palestinian centre on Friday 9 May 2008 revealed that hundreds of children were arrested while they were quite young, and detained in prisons. Some of them are now over 18 and still are imprisoned.

The Israeli occupation is enforcing military rule in those prisons, thus they consider a Palestinian child of 16 as an adult. They are willingly depriving them of their rights as children according to International agreements. According to international law, minors should be protected whilst detained.

350 prisoners are females, 20 are young Palestinian girls. Some children were born inside the Israeli prisons, and they are experiencing health problems. Mothers experience extremely difficult mental depression being subjected to humiliation, having to give birth while being chained by the wrists and feet. Such inhumane treatment is a clear breach of human rights.

~ read on... ~

 

Tha Kulcha'd Life: Bukowski reads 'The Secret of My Endurance'



Bukowski: Poetry and Motion

US 'plans stealth shark spies'

Pentagon scientists are planning to turn sharks into "stealth spies" capable of tracking vessels undetected, a British magazine has reported.

They want to remotely control the sharks by implanting electrodes in their brains, The New Scientist says.

It says the aim is "to exploit sharks' natural ability to glide through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails".

The unusual project was unveiled last week in Hawaii, it says.

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