Sunday, December 7, 2008

Riots hit Greek cities after teen killed by police

Violent riots hit the streets of Greek cities late Saturday and early Sunday as hundreds of youths battled police after an officer shot dead a teenager late Saturday.

The rampaging youths, many of who were self-styled anarchists, threw firebombs, smashed storefronts and burned businesses as they battled with police, who fought back with tear gas.

The violent anger soon spread from central Athens, where it began to other cities.

The shooting death of a 16-year-old boy by a member of an elite police corps was the trigger, officials said.

A police statement said the incident started when six youths pelted a police patrol car with stones.

The teen was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.

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"Like the Fall of the Wall" (Joseph Stiglitz)

By Joseph Stiglitz
2 Dec, 2008
 
The mixture of low interests, excessive liquidity and lax oversight on money institutes led to the financial crisis. National indebtedness rose two-thirds in only eight years. The government should immediately begin investing in the infrastructure, education and other projects that help strengthen our economy and competitiveness.
 
LIKE THE FALL OF THE WALL

For Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, market fundamentalism survives with the crisis

[This interview published in: Frankfurter Rundschau, 11/7/2008 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.fr-online.de.]


Mr. Stiglitz, your book is titled "The Three Trillion Dollar War." Is there a connection between the financial crisis and the Iraq war?

Yes. Firstly, the Iraq war has much to do with the higher price of oil. Americans financed the increased price of oil on credit with foreign money. The American Federal Reserve acted shortsightedly when it lowered the interest rate to revive the economy. The mixture of low interests, excessive liquidity and lax oversight on money institutes led to the financial crisis. Secondly, the Iraq war was completely financed with credits. National indebtedness rose two-thirds in only eight years. In August 2007 something had to be done but the government was not concerned until February 2008. What it then did was very reserved in view of the enormous budget deficit. The way the war was financed will lengthen America's economic downswing.

Do we face the greatest crisis since the Great Depression?

This is certainly the most serious problem since the Great Depression. But there won't be comparable negative effects like 1929. The financial institutions of the US caused the current momentous problems with so-called "financial innovations" designed to manage risk. Instead they created a new kind of non-transparency with tremendous consequences. No one knows now how bad things really are. Compared with the banking sector, the consequences of the crisis are much milder for the real economy. At the time of the Great Depression, there was 25 percent unemployment. Today thanks to the economist John Maynard Keynes, we know hot to stop things before they develop as terribly as then. The government should immediately begin investing in the infrastructure, education and other projects that help strengthen our economy and competitiveness.

Is the financial crisis the end of the Reagan-revolution?

Former US president Ronald Reagan appointed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve because he trusted the free play of market forces. The real estate bubble arose during Greenspan's term in office. Although Greenspan had many instruments for counter-measures, he failed. His predecessor Paul Volcker was known for keeping inflation under control. He was fired because the Reagan administration did not trust appropriate de-regulation. One thing is clear today: to correct the problem, we need political leadership and legislation that exercises more control on the financial markets.

Who is most to blame?

The destruction was largely the work of Wall Street. Wall Street people forgot their real reason for existence, namely to manage risks and use capital rightly. They were frauds with the money of unknown people knowing taxpayers would step in the breach if the losses were too great. They knew they were "too big to fail," too big for the state to let them crash. Therefore they failed to limit risk. They used capital wrongly. Enormous sums flowed into the real estate market that exceeded the human possibilities of shouldering them. Too little capital was made available to the high-tech firms that are now changing our life. The rage that many have toward people on Wall Street results from the defensive stance of bankers. Their high income is well deserved, it is said. Moreover they had raised productivity in such a way that everyone would be better off on account of the profits of the financial sector than without them. We only see now that they in no way made the economy more efficient. They simply built the house of cards and decimated rather than improved the productivity of the economy. The life of people in the country was relieved since hundreds of billions were borrowed on credit from foreign countries to service the consumer frenzy and the housing boom.

What could improve the system?

Regulations are necessary to restore trust. By that I mean rules for corporate governance, that is principles for the business community, performance incentives and interest systems. We must make sure the rest of the country is heard, not only the voice of Wall Street. A commission for financial products should be a part of the new system. It must guarantee that no products can be bought or sold by banks or pension funds that are unbearable for people. Such a commission could help strengthen innovativeness, protect homeowners and make our economy more efficient.

Did Europe react rightly?

The reaction of European governments is interesting. Germany's promise to guarantee all bank deposits should help increase trust in the country. The British plan for revitalizing the banks and partly nationalizing them is certainly the right way. In my opinion, pressure from Europe helped US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson modify his bailout plan. The first version was a washout.

Does the financial crisis mark the end of an epoch?

Apart from some stubborn hardliners, everyone would say this is the end of market fundamentalism. The fall of Wall Street for market fundamentalism is what the fall of the wall was for communism. It shows the way of this economic order is not workable. Now the governments must act.

'Obama's economic team is missing the one guy who's been right all along'

No surprise there. Stiglitz, more than anyone on the Washington scene, was the biggest fly in the ointment of "free-market fundamentalism" pressed on the world in the '90s by Summers, Geithner and their mentor, former Treasury secretary Robert Rubin—advice that has now contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It's not just that Stiglitz's Nobel-winning work, building on John Maynard Keynes's insights, uncovered profound fallacies in the Reagan-era idea that markets, especially in finance, can always correct themselves (good call, Nobel committee). In his writings and speeches since serving as chairman of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors and then chief economist of the World Bank, Stiglitz has been the leading voice opposed to the mindless liberalization of capital flows that brought us to where we are today.

In a spate of books, essays and speeches dating from the early '90s, Stiglitz denounced Rubin's support for repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial from investment banking for precisely the reasons we are now witnessing on Wall Street: new "full-service" banks would seek to hype companies that their stock-market side underwrote and issue loans to them even if they were not credit-worthy. "The ideas behind Glass-Steagall went back even further [than the 1929 crash] to Teddy Roosevelt and his efforts to break up the big trusts," he wrote presciently in "The Roaring Nineties" (2003). "When enterprises become too big, and interconnections too tight, there is a risk that the quality of economic decisions deteriorates, and the 'too big to fail' problem rears its ugly head." Unfortunately, Stiglitz wrote, his worries "were quickly shunted aside"' by the Clinton Treasury team. Earlier, in his book "Globalization and its Discontents" (2002), Stiglitz became the most prominent voice in Washington to say plainly that free-market absolutism, which began with the Reagan revolution and continued under Clinton (who upon being elected declared the era of "big government" was over), was ill-founded theoretically and disastrous practically. "In 1997 the IMF decided to change its charter to push capital market liberalization," he wrote. "And I said, where is the evidence this is going to be good for developing countries? Why haven't you produced some research showing it was going to be good? They said: we don't need research; we know it's true. They didn't say it in precisely those words, but clearly they took it as religion."

As far back as 1990, Stiglitz argued in a paper (it can be found on The Economist's Voice Web site at www.bppress.com) against securitizing mortgages and selling them because "when banks retained the mortgages which they issued, they had greater incentives to screen loan applicants." He asked, again with startling prescience: "Has securitization been a result of more efficient transactions technologies, or an unfounded reduction in concern about the importance of screening loan applicants?" None other than Milton Friedman, the founding father of the free-market era, told me in an interview before he died that Stiglitz also had been more correct than everyone else about how to transform Russia into a market economy when he argued that institution-building and creating regulatory authorities were an important preliminary step. "In the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, I kept being asked what the Russians should do," Friedman told me in 2002. "I said, 'Privatize, privatize, privatize. I was wrong. Joe was right. What we want is privatization, and the rule of law."

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Army ?ecruiters ?pen War 'Experience' Arcade to attract youngsters

From football to beach volleyball, competitive games can get your juices going.

But the ultimate game, the one that'll give you the greatest rush, is ... what? Why, it's war, of course. Yeah, man, you literally get to kill the other team! How great is that?

Such thinking (if it can be called thinking) is behind the latest leap in marketing by the U.S. Army. In its constant effort to lure young people into the killing business, the office of military recruitment has come up with a whiz bang showcase to appeal to a generation that's been raised on computer games and that hangs out at the mall a lot. It's called the "Army Experience Center," and the first one has opened right across from the Dave & Busters food and fun outlet in a mall in northeast Philadelphia.

With more than 14,000 square feet of prime mall space, the experience center is bigger than three basketball courts and is filled with lots of dazzle. There are nearly 80 video gaming stations, all sorts of interactive exhibits, a replica command-and-control center, and -- best of all -- a bunch of high-tech simulators that let the kids get a feel for the military action of, say, a Black Hawk helicopter.

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American science and the enforcement of happiness

BBC News - December 6th, 2008 Wrote:

"Happiness is infectious and can "ripple" through social groups, say US researchers. Researchers found a person is 25% more likely to be happy if they have a friend living within a mile who becomes happy - an effect that declined with distance.The study of 5000 adults, led by the Harvard Medical School, says the 'happiness effect' extends to three levels of separation - to the friend of a friend of a friend.However, the study also found that the mood of work colleagues did not play a part in happiness."

America has long distorted most research on human contentment, and happiness. We have to look at more solid sociology, psychology, from 40 years ago to begin to comprehend the negative changes that American science has consistently suffered during America's constant swing towards totalitarianism, tainted with its peculiar version of "spirituality".

This is partially due to ideology that emphasizes being sold on the idea and rejects real psycho-physiological responses to the meeting of real material needs and wants. A popular phrase, some years ago, was "sweetness and light", prevalent in the religious right. The attitude of uncomplaining, "smile and be happy", no matter what is actually happening or being experienced in material life of body and social, behavioral, political and economic facticity, extended far beyond the religious right into redefining concepts of "health". Dissent, disagreement, even debate, and particularly expressions of unhappiness and discontent, were increasingly to be believed as being "unhealthy". In that paradigm something is always wrong with the complainant, and everything reflects back onto self, including all blame for every variety of anxiety, adversity, failure, obstacle, and misfortune.

It really meant that a frown of dissent was unacceptable, as were any critical, dissenting, words. Similarly the concept of "congruence" crept into Americanism, and meant that not only were people expected to smile and be happy on the surface, but they had to internalize that superficial fascism of externalized happiness as being what they truly believed about themselves. Internalization of external behavior is a factor in political totalitarianism. Earlier socio-psychological ideas did not venture into promoting congruence but tended to follow theories such as Irving Goffman's "Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" where the difference between internal thinking and expressions of external behavior was validated. The theory of congruence tends to invalidate internal dissent and discontentment, supporting the superficial living of the lie. The belief is also inculcated that expressions of happiness and contentment, even when completely inappropriate to circumstances are rewardable, while expressions of unhappiness and discontentment are punishable reinforcing the revised political value system.

The political implications are obvious. Slowly and certainly everything that is wrong with society, the social situation, the political realm, economics, and particularly wrong with religion or the national ideology, is pushed behind the curtain of happiness. It no longer exists. Only happiness exists. Those other matters are increasingly "passed over in silence". Another angle derivative from Americanist religious ideology, If you are unhappy, discontented, critical about anything, you can talk to yourself, by yourself, forever, or seek medical help in terms of pharmaceuticals that will help you change your mind to one of totalized happiness, via a manipulation of your physiology. You have no freedom to be unhappy and remain a member of society. That is not allowed. You will be passed over in silence, utterly ignored, and told that you are crazy, needing help, unhealthy, ill, and unacceptable to society, god, the nation, the group, and so forth. Social dynamics become part of the reinforcement of happiness enforcement.

Now we can see why the real condition of America has deteriorated consistently and constantly for nearly 40 years, in every area of its life, behind that curtain of enforced expressions and feelings of contentment and happiness. We can now see why America, as nation, in terms of its condition today, still cannot face its own truth, at home and in the world beyond its borders. Why its upper leadership still sells false beliefs, unable to face up to responsibility and failure. Faith in the future, optimism, and being completely sold on those has become a standard of health, of sanity, and a condition of social, political even of economic membership. Even leadership is constrained to the ideology of happiness. We have seen the slow erosion and destruction of real political dissent in America, and of religious dissent, watching it pushed increasingly underground and its manifestations changed to increasingly ineffective, unemotive, masked behind conflicted behavioral expressions and internal feelings. Real dissent and discontent is no longer allowed its honest expression. It is placed into social and psychological conflict with itself, in regard to its negative valuing as unhealthy and inappropriate in the larger sphere of life. It is parochialized to the extreme, and becomes the preserve of smaller and smaller groups, who are increasingly labelled as being the equivalent of dangerously infected, and necessarily as undergoing treatment for what is wrong with them. The usual result is increasing member antipathy and ambivalence to their own cause and their own social associations.

Americanism has increasingly become an ideology that requires, in fact demands, happiness, and demands its valuing by others when it occurs meaninglessly in any, even when needs and wants are entirely unmet and even when the circumstances make happiness inappropriate. In that Americanist ideology dissent, discontent, unhappiness, and their external to the psyche behavioral expressions become increasingly always inappropriate, while their opposites are given increasing value as being appropriate.

Americanism, even in its social and psychological science, is not necessarily the truth about the human condition and about humanity. The rest of the world needs to rethink the issues, and apply solid real science and genuine critical thinking to it, not simply accept it as given "gift from the American god". Science cannot be properly pursued on the basis of deeply held ideological assumptions, unexamined and unexaminable beliefs, acting simply as handmaiden in support of a failing ideology.

Now, smile and be happy whenever you see an American flag. America demands it.
You have no choice. Not only must you smile and be happy on the outside, but you must
feel that happiness as your one and only internal response. All your feelings and all your
thoughts must be pure happiness when you see that flag. You have something seriously
wrong with you if you do not feel happy inside and show your happiness outside as behavior
that is clearly expressive to all around you, when you see that flag.

And never utter what might be considered to be a discouraging word, or you will end up the recipient of a flood of discouragement. You have to sell the ideology. You have to promote it. You have to be an American salesman of a bill of goods ideology and spirituality, joining a nation of such salesmanship, if you want to succeed at anything.

You see what has gone wrong now, don't you ?


Cheers.

Robert Morpheal
 
 

Unjust Deserts: How the Rich are Taking our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take it Back

IF THE conservative era now collapsing around us had a reigning idea, it was best expressed by Margaret Thatcher when she declared with Bourbonesque flair that "there is no such thing as society." In their new book Unjust Deserts: How the Rich are Taking our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take it Back, Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly turn Thatcher's premise on its head and with it the whole individualistic worldview that ruled our politics for the last three decades. They focus on the role of knowledge in economic growth, arguing that expanding knowledge is a collective source of wealth and, as such, demands a significant social return in the direction of greater equality.

James Lardner: After all the twists and turns of an amazing presidential campaign, the key point of contention in the end was "the redistribution of wealth"—not Barack the Reverend Wright-trained "America-hater" or the San Francisco-style "limousine liberal," but "Barack the redistributor." What do you make of this charge?

Lew Daly: Obama used the phrase "spread the wealth around" when Joe the Plumber asked about his tax plan late in the 2008 presidential campaign, and, of course, the McCain team seized on this "socialist" idea and made it their central critical theme in the final days before the election. As in Father Coughlin's time and Barry Goldwater's, Joe the Plumber's charges of "socialism" didn't carry much weight at the polls. But I actually think this particular plot twist at the end was the most interesting political moment of the entire presidential campaign, because it foreshadows what the Obama years will be about. For the last two decades, the Republican Party ignored distribution while the Democrats changed the subject from distribution to growth, from "dividing the pie" to "enlarging the pie."

It was arguably the Democrats who worked the hardest to sell middle America on this "win-win" idea of putting growth before equality, and both parties hooked us in by loosening credit and creating "wealthy feelings" with two major asset bubbles. Well, that's over now, and the politicians no longer have the luxury of avoiding the real problems of declining household earning power and growing inequality. But what Obama should have done more clearly on the campaign trail, to start this debate off on the right foot, was fire back a very simple point, easily illustrated: he's not trying to "spread the wealth around" so much as put a stop to the massive redistribution that's already going on in America from the middle to the top.

JL: What is this "upward redistribution?"

Gar Alperovitz: The economic facts plainly show this. In the decades after the Second World War, productivity and wages rose together, almost on a one-to-one basis. Beginning in the 1980s, productivity and wages began to diverge, a divergence that sharpened to record levels under George W. Bush. Since 2000, productivity has increased about 20 percent, but the median hourly wage went up only 3 percent. So the question is: Where is the wealth that used to go to wage-earners going today?  Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress gives us a snapshot of where it's going by looking at the Bush "recovery" of 2002-2006. Although this was a particularly extreme period, the relative magnitudes are roughly in line with trends emerging over the last thirty years. Household income increased a total of $863 billion over the period. $626 billion of the total gain went to the top 1 percent of households. The bottom 90 percent got only $41 billion, less than 5 percent of the total gain. Unless Joe the Plumber thinks 90 percent of the people create only 5 percent of the output—this can only be described as upward redistribution. Or as Theodore Roosevelt put it, taking from those "who earn more than they possess" and giving to those "who possess more than they earn."

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Invoking the 'Nixon Defense'

When it comes to protecting George W. Bush and his administration, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is stretching legal arguments as far as his predecessor Alberto Gonzales ever did – now even invoking the "Nixon Defense" for justifying presidential wrongdoing.

This week, Mukasey argued that there is no legal basis to prosecute current and former administration officials for authorizing torture and warrantless domestic surveillance because those decisions were made in the context of a presidential interest in protecting national security.

"There is absolutely no evidence that anybody who rendered a legal opinion, either with respect to surveillance or with respect to interrogation policies, did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful," Mukasey said during a Dec. 3 roundtable discussion with reporters.

Mukasey's argument is, in essence, the same as Richard Nixon's infamous declaration in his 1977 interview with David Frost that – in the context of Nixon's illegal wiretappings, black-bag jobs and infiltration of antiwar groups – "when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

[ ... ]

As with the "Nixon Defense," Mukasey maintains that – at least when Bush and his subordinates are involved – a justifiable intent negates any violation of law. In other words, if Bush or his advisers decide that some illegal act is necessary for national security, the act becomes, effectively, legal.

Mukasey is wrapping his extraordinary argument in the context of protecting Bush's subordinates – at places like the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel – from second-guessing for giving the President advice on what he can do in engaging in acts that would be illegal if done by someone else.

"If the word goes out to the contrary, then people are going to get the message, which is that if you come up with an answer that is not considered desirable in the future you might face prosecution, and that creates an incentive not to give an honest answer but to give an answer that may be acceptable in the future," Mukasey told the reporters.

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'The AP insists the reference to “treason” must apply to others, not Nixon'

The AP article, which appeared in newspapers across the country, said Johnson – in a recorded phone call just released by his presidential library – "stridently suggested that associates of Richard Nixon were attempting to keep South Vietnam away from the [negotiating] table until after the 1968 election."

In that phone call with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen, Johnson said: "This is treason."

Johnson added, "If Nixon keeps the South Vietnamese away from the (peace) conference table, that's going to be his responsibility."

However, the AP article added on its own: "The Democratic President never accused the Republican who would succeed him of treason."

To further soften any condemnation of Nixon, the story recounted another recorded phone call in November 1968 in which Nixon sought to allay Johnson's suspicions by telling the President, "We've got to get them to Paris, or we can't have a peace."

[ ... ]

Anthony Summers's 2000 book, The Arrogance of Power, provided the fullest account of the Chennault initiative, including the debate within Democratic circles about what to do with the evidence.

Both Johnson and Humphrey believed the information – if released to the public – could assure Nixon's defeat.

"In the end, though, Johnson's advisers decided it was too late and too potentially damaging to U.S. interests to uncover what had been going on," Summers wrote. "If Nixon should emerge as the victor, what would the Chennault outrage do to his viability as an incoming President? And what effect would it have on American opinion about the war?"

Summers quoted Johnson's assistant Harry McPherson, who said, "You couldn't surface it. The country would be in terrible trouble."

Late Surge

As it turned out – even without disclosure of Nixon's apparent treachery – a late surge brought Humphrey to the edge of victory. Nixon hung on to win by only about 500,000 votes, or less than one percent of ballots cast. Johnson and Humphrey went into retirement keeping their silence.

The direct U.S. role in the Vietnam War would continue for more than four years during which American casualty lists swelled by an additional 20,763 dead and 111,230 wounded. Meanwhile, the bitterness over the war deeply divided the country, in many cases turning children against their parents.

The newly released audiotapes – and Johnson's complaints of "treason" – reflect the extraordinary high stakes of a Vietnam peace settlement in 1968. But even 40 years later, the mainstream U.S. press corps can't quite bring itself to let the American people in on the full horror of this story.

So, the AP insists the reference to "treason" must apply to others, not Nixon. And Nixon's assurances to Johnson – that nothing nefarious was afoot – must be taken at face value, whatever the contrary evidence.

The mainstream media's dismissive treatment of Nixon's peace-talk ploy also set the standard for how other Republican national security scandals would be handled over the past several decades.

For instance, evidence of an apparent sequel – when the Reagan-Bush campaign plotted to undermine President Jimmy Carter's hostage talks with Iran in 1980 – also was swept under the rug, supposedly for the good of the country. Similar fuzzy treatment greeted the Iran-Contra Affair, the Iraqgate scandal and contra-cocaine trafficking. [For details, see Robert Parry's Lost History and Secrecy & Privilege.]

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The Myonist Conspiracy


[ Warning: contains offensive language ]

Muslims attack Cairo church

Early in the morning two Sundays ago, hundreds of Christian Egyptians quietly slipped into a former underwear factory where they had discreetly set up a church and held their first service. Bells rang and hymns were sung.

A crowd of angry Muslims quickly gathered, threw stones at the building and burned banners that said, "No to the church." They tried to storm the gates, clashed with police and chanted, "The church has fallen, the priest is dead," according to witnesses.

In fact, no one died, but 13 people were reported injured. For Egyptians in general, the incident in the blue-collar district of Ain Shams served as a warning that Muslim-Christian clashes, largely confined to the south of the country in recent years, have seeped into the capital.

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The suppression of free energy

Free energy suppression

Based on the principles of capitalism, free energy cannot be allowed. The traditional economic system contains three aspects: capital, goods and services. Within the aspects of capital are three subcomponents: currency, credit, and natural capital. Natural capital comprises raw material and energy. This differs considerably from the orthodox definition of capital in economics. In politics, a capital (also called capital city or political capital â€" although the latter phrase has a second meaning based on an alternative sense of capital) is the principal city or town associated with a countrys government. ... Good (accounting) - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This box:      The tertiary sector of industry (also known as the service sector or the service industry) is one of the three main industrial categories of a developed economy, the others being the secondary industry (manufacturing), and primary industry (extraction such as mining, agriculture and fishing). ... Credit as a financial term, used in such terms as credit card, refers to the granting of a loan and the creation of debt. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Capital is theoretically a fully-controlled component of general economics. Currently, all components are fully monitored and managed. Introducing free energy into the economic equation would have the same economic effect as giving everyone access to the natural capital, which would destroy or severely undermine the entire basis of the capitalist economic system because control over currency and credit would be reduced. According to many free energy collusion theorists, this is why free energy must be (and is) suppressed.


The internal logic of this conspiracy collusion theory resembles that of the General Motors streetcar conspiracy (which, however, is more substantiated).

[ ... ]

A note here about how "zero-point energy" relates to free energy devices: It is a fundamental tenet of quantum theory that particles (specifically, particles and their complements or anti-particles) are constantly being created, literally out of vacuum. Meanwhile, other particles and anti-particles interfere with one another and are annihilated. The net result over time is zero, however at any precise instant the value may be non-zero. One idea is that if it were possible to interfere with the annihilation part of the process, a net gain of mass or energy over time could be obtained. Thus "zero-point energy" is not fringe science but rather an established part of quantum theory. Theories about tapping into it, however, remain questionable.

 

Free energy suppression

Many inventors have attempted to construct means of over-unity energy production. Supporters claim that the ones listed below have had work suppressed:

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla: "I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device."[16]
Main article: Nikola Tesla

In June 1902, Tesla moved his laboratory operations from his Houston Street laboratory to Wardenclyffe. By 1903 the tower structure was near completion, but was not yet functional due to last-minute design changes. Tesla intended for the tower to demonstrate how the ionosphere could be used to provide free electricity to everyone without the need for power lines. Construction costs eventually exceeded the money provided by J. P. Morgan, and additional financiers were reluctant to come forward. Morgan, who could not foresee any financial gain from providing free electricity to everyone, balked at investing further in the scheme and encouraged other investors to avoid the project.[17][citation needed] In May 1905, Tesla's patents on alternating current motors and other methods of power transmission expired, halting royalty payments and causing a severe reduction of funding to the Wardenclyffe Tower. In an attempt to find alternative funding, Tesla advertised the services of the Wardenclyffe facility, but he met with little success. By this time, Tesla had also designed the Tesla turbine at Wardenclyffe and produced Tesla coils for sale to various businesses.

Soon after Tesla's death, the FBI instructed the government's Alien Property Custodian office to take possession of his papers and property, despite his US citizenship. His safe was also opened. After the FBI was contacted by the War Department, his papers were declared to be top secret. The personal effects were seized on the advice of presidential advisers; J. Edgar Hoover declared the case most secret, because of the nature of Tesla's inventions and patents.[18]

However, the likely cause for the seizure of Teslas' documents was that he had been working on the teleforce weapon, or death ray, that he had unsuccessfully marketed to the US War Department—not because of his work on free energy devices which had ended eleven years earlier.

For more details on this topic, see Wardenclyffe Tower.
 
Tomas Henry Moray
Main article: Thomas Henry Moray

In the 1930s, Thomas Henry Moray reported that he and his family had been threatened and shot at on several occasions and his lab ransacked to stop his free energy research and public demonstrations. The 1975 book The Sun Betrayed claimed solar energy production was being suppressed by the US governmental bureau allocated to help its development.[19]

Wilhelm Reich

An "experiment" to test Reich's ideas surrounding "atmospheric orgone".
Main article: Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich claimed the existence of "Orgone energy" - a bioenergetic extrapolation of the Freudian concept of libido. Reich's ideas were quickly denounced in the American press[20] as a "cult of sex and anarchy". Following widespread outrage, the FDA successfully sought an injunction to prevent Reich from making claims relating to orgone.[21] When he defied the order, Reich was jailed and the FDA destroyed all of his books relating to orgone. [22][23] [24][25]

Stanley Meyer

Stanley Meyer's Water Fuel Cell

Stanley Meyer produced nine patents relating to his water powered car. Following his sudden death, an autopsy showed that he died of a cerebral aneurysm.[26] Meyer's supporters continue to claim that he was assassinated by 'Big Oil', Arab death squads, Belgian assassins or the US Government.[27][28][29] However, Meyer's patents are readily available online, and his many supporters continue to discuss his ideas at great length on the Internet. So any attempt at suppression appears to have been fruitless.[30]

Tom Bearden

Main article: Tom Bearden

In spite of the difficulties and delays in bringing the MEG to market, Tom Bearden maintains that a number of free energy technologies have been available for well over a century, yet have been actively suppressed by government or private interests.

Bearden and his colleagues have proposed a simple modification to the magnetic Wankel engine (Takahashi Motor[31]) which he claims would deliver "over-unity performance" through asymmetrical regauging. He believes that this technology is known, and suppressed, by the Japanese.[32]

He has repeatedly expressed his belief that the key to over-unity systems was present in the original form of Maxwell's Equations, and this potential was realized by Nikola Tesla; however, he claims that part of the equations were deliberately suppressed in their vectorization by Heaviside and Lorentz in the late 19th century. Bearden claims this was orchestrated by industrialist J.P. Morgan, in order to protect his oil interests[33]

He claims that "nuclear power plant consortium" has worked to "ruthlessly suppress" cold fusion, and further that this consortium "is almost certainly to blame for the murder of Gene Mallove, the main proponent and activist for cold fusion".[34]

He has hypothesized that the death of Arie M. DeGeus in Charlotte, North Carolina was actually a murder carried out to suppress his development of a "self-powering battery" .[35]

Bearden has published no evidence for any of these claims.

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon
Main article: Gary McKinnon

Between 2001 and 2002, Gary McKinnon carried out what has been described as being the "biggest ever military computer hack" in history[36] when he gained access to 97 computer systems belonging to the US military and other government bodies, claiming to have seen designs for free energy devices (specifically, zero-point energy devices), and other potentially beneficial technologies that the US government has suppressed.[37] No evidence for his claims has been provided. McKinnon's appeals against extradition to the United States in both the United Kingdom and the European Court of Human Rights have been unsuccessful, and he is due to be extradited in early September 2008.[38][39][40]

Steven Greer

Main article: Steven Greer

Steven Greer is mainly known for The Disclosure Project[41], which held a massive press conference in 2001 in National Press Club's Ballroom on the alleged coverup of UFOs and related technologies. Since then he has been active in the field of Free energy suppression, setting up two related organizations: AERO (Advanced Energy Research Organization)[42] and The Orion Project[43].

Gordon Novel

Main article: Gordon Novel

In an interview with Kerry Cassidy of Project Camelot, Novel made several claims on conspiracy theories. One of which is the existence the alleged secret group Majestic 12, which he claims to be in a complicated conflict with. This conflict evolves largely around the conspiracy of free energy suppression. Novel claims he is working with a group of scientists and intelligence agents, calling themselves the Knights Temporal, that aim to break the conspiracy and release free energy technology.[44]

Cold fusion

Main article: Cold fusion

Researchers in the field of cold fusion have been claimed to be subjected to suppression via academic pressure as well as via lack of funding.[45]

 

 

Energy Suppression

In its July 17, 1995, Australia edition, Time magazine rounded up a list of future technologies that would change the world as we know it. In doing so, they made the following prediction: "The first company to design an affordable car that doesn't foul the atmosphere will race past its competitors."

Not only was Time totally wrong in saying this, but it's quite probable that their misstatement was an intentional lie. The simple fact is that the technology to create an "affordable car that doesn't foul the atmosphere" has been known for most of the last century. It's just that the oil companies, who cannot make money from such vehicles, will not allow the public to have them.

My First Experience: The Game Is Afoot

My own story began late one night as I was driving home listening to talk radio. Somebody piped up that they'd been working on a solar-powered car out at the local airport. They said that it was as cheap and safe as an average family car, and that it was all ready to go. All you needed was about $5 worth of fuel per year to get it started.

The startled DJ asked when we were likely to see this car in the marketplace, and the caller coolly replied, "Probably never. I'd say that the oil companies will buy us out in a flash."

I nearly crashed my car! What on earth was going on here?

The next day, I rang the airport to find out who was doing the testing, only to find out from an assertive voice, "There are no automobiles being tested here, and there never have been."

 

Directory:Suppression

Overview Documents

  • Organizations > PES Interview with Steve Greer Transcribed - One of the most knowledgeable and best people to coordinate the funding, promotion and release of zero-point energy, Dr. Steven Greer discusses free energy suppression and his personal effort to bring forth the technology, including his plan to spearhead the massive public disclosure of a key technology, to help ignite the new clean energy revolution poised to begin. (PESWiki; Jan. 7, 2008)
  • Oil Barons Dominate the Emerging North American Union - Traditional combustion-energy paradigm is over-represented at secret high-level negotiations under North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Scheduled to begin to exercise power authority by 2007, it is likely to be resistant to clean energy trends. (PESN; Sept. 29, 2006)
  • Where in the World is all the Free Energy? - The spread of working free-energy technologies has been prevented by wealthy elites governments, deluded inventors and con men, as well as a non-demanding public. (Nexus; 2001)
 
 
 
Inventors in their zeal to improve the well-being of their fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth face such perils as poverty, slander, ridicule, and neglect. Inventors of energy devices sometimes have also been bullied by large energy-related corporations and their allies in the United States Government who seek to maintain their energy slavery of the people by aggressively suppressing development of energy inventions. The illegal as well as legal tactics of these suppression actions have encompassed imprisonment on false charges, IRS harassment, burglaries, bribery with huge sums of money, and even murder, if the inventor was too stubborn to heed warnings or undeterred by lesser actions.
Sometimes, apparently to con investors out of money, it seems (or is made to appear) that the supposed energy inventions have been science-fiction props or incorrectly measured devices, and that the alleged inventors may have tried to cover up the scam by claiming to be conspiracy victims.
 

Regrets, he’s had a few

It's one of the most embarrassing moments from Bush's presidency. At a press conference in 2004, he was asked to name his biggest mistake since 9/11. For President Clueless, this was a stumper.

"I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it…" Bush said, hemming and hawing. "I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet."

He went on to name some things he didn't consider mistakes, then realized that he was drifting. "I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't… you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one," he said, leaving the question unanswered. It's ironic that standing in front of the cameras trying to figure out the least embarrassing answer was a mistake in itself. Politicians field these questions all the time — the trick isn't to not answer, but to deliver a non-answer. There's a difference.

"No one scores 100% in this office and I'm sure you'd be able to find many of my critics who can answer that question better than I," a smarter Bush might've said. "But we need to look forward, not backward. Americans aren't interested in navel gazing, they're interested in solutions. Next question please…" Instead, Bush spent a long time trying to find a convincing, but unembarrassing answer — there wasn't one.

It took him over four years, but Bush has finally come up with an answer to that question. These things need to percolate a while. In fact, when asked about regrets by CNN's Heidi Collins, Bush came up with three.

Bush: I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said.

CNN: Like?

Bush: Like "dead or alive," or "bring 'em on." And, by the way, my wife reminded me as president of the United States, you better be careful what you say. I was trying to convey a message. I could have conveyed it more artfully. Being on this ship reminds me of when I went to the USS Abraham Lincoln and they had a sign that said "Mission Accomplished." I regret that sign was there. It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge. To some it said, well, Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over, when I didn't think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message. So, there are things I've regretted…

~ more... ~

 

The totalitarian Gulag is alive and well

In his national televised address from the White House last Wednesday, just five days before the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Bush for the first time acknowledged the existence of these "black sites" inhabited by "ghost" prisoners beyond the reach of any authority, whether Congress, the Red Cross or US and international law.
According to officials and reports here, there were eight camps in all. Among the locations were Afghanistan, Qatar, Thailand, the Indian island base of Diego Garcia (leased by the US from Britain) as well as Poland and Romania. The system was set up at the start of 2002. In the four and a half years since, some 100 inmates have passed through the network.
These were no ordinary prisoners, however. They were the highest-value targets - terror kingpins who, the CIA believed, possessed information about ongoing terrorist plots. To obtain this information, all means were considered justified. Some inmates were kept for a period in the camps and then - their value to the Americans exhausted - sent on under the practice known as "rendition" to friendly countries, Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt among them, where they faced equally brutal treatment, if not worse. Others, it is believed, were sent on to Guantanamo. A few, however, stayed.
The 14 new inmates at Guantanamo include the most famous al-Qa'ida captives: among them Abu Zubaydah, a key coordinator of the organisation, seized in Pakistan in March 2002; Ramzi Binalshibh, a facilitator for 9/11; and the main planner of the attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. In the past few days, more details have become available of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques to which these prisoners were subjected.
The cooperation between an unlikely coalition of intelligence agencies did not end there. The intelligence report gives a rare glimpse into the favors exchanged between governments during the CIA renditions. One day after Germany learned that the Syrians were holding Zammar, the CIA offered the German foreign-intelligence agency BND the chance to put written questions to their prisoner. The intelligence report doesn't make clear whether CIA interrogators had direct physical access to Zammar. In June 2002, Syrian officials offered German interrogators access to Zammar in prison, according to the 263-page report by the BND, marked "Geheim" (Secret). That same day, the BND chief asked Germany's federal prosecutors to drop their charges against Syrian intelligence agents who had been arrested in Germany for allegedly collecting information on Syrian dissidents.
The German intelligence report cites another deal, an "urgent request [by the United States] to avert pressure from the EU side [on Morocco] because of human-rights abuses in connection with [Zammar's]arrest, because Morocco was a valuable partner in the fight against terrorism." Grey, who had the report translated, says he obtained the classified report from a German investigator, who remains anonymous. The German government has acknowledged that they dropped the charges against the Syrian intelligence officers because of their cooperation in anti-terrorism, but they deny that the decision was specifically linked to the Zammar case.
With deep political mistrust between Syria and the United States, the two countries are hardly ready-made partners in the war on terrorism. Yet by the end of 2002, Zammar was one of at least four prisoners jailed in the Palestine Branch cells in Damascus who had landed there as part of the CIA renditions, according to the book, which is being published by St. Martin's Press. It is widely believed that Zammar, who has never been charged with anything, is still being held without trial in Syria at an unknown location. He was last heard from in 2005, when he sent a letter from Syria to his family in Germany through officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
"She is the most important catch in five years," former CIA terrorist hunter John Kiriakou said when she was apprehended. The odd thing about Siddiqui's case is that she has not been charged now with being a collaborator or accomplice in terrorist attacks, but with the attempted murder of US soldiers and FBI agents -- whom she allegedly attacked with a weapon in Afghanistan. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
The charges against Siddiqui are spectacular because she is a woman. Western life is also not alien to her: She comes from an upper middle-class Pakistani family and spent more than 10 years studying at elite universities in the United States. She studied biology on a scholarship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University, where she was considered an outstanding scientist.
Five years ago, Siddiqui disappeared from her home in Karachi, together with her three children, Ahmed, 7, Mariam, 5, and Suleman, 6 months. The two older children are American citizens. Siddiqui claims that Americans abducted her and locked her away in a secret prison, and that she was tortured there. Her children, she says, were taken away, and two of them are still missing.
The CIA denies that its agents had anything to do with Siddiqui's disappearance. Michael Scheuer, a member of a unit that pursued al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, says curtly: "We never arrested or imprisoned a woman. She is a liar." But if it is true that a woman was tortured and disappeared into a secret dungeon, it would be a first in the post-September 11 world -- and yet another example of the decay of standards in America.

Just look how we've forgotten the CIA's secret prisons. In Afghanistan, a Fisk source who has never – ever – been wrong, tells me that there are at least 20 of these torture centres still active in the country, six in Zabol province alone. But we don't care about Afghans.

In military terminology, a black site is a location at which a black project is conducted. Recently the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the CIA, generally outside of the mainland U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, and with little or no political or public oversight. It can refer to the facilities that are controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used by the U.S. in its War on Terror to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants. One of the alleged purposes is to detain suspected terrorists outside of the Intelligence Oversight Act which authorizes Congressional supervision.[citation needed] Another purpose, according to the February 2007 European Parliament report, is for detaining suspects while CIA flights used in the extraordinary rendition program make their way through European territory [1].
US President George W. Bush acknowledged the existence of secret prisons operated by the CIA during a speech on September 6, 2006.[2][3] A claim that the black sites existed was made by The Washington Post in November 2005 and before by human rights NGOs.[4]
Many European countries[who?] have officially denied they are hosting Black Sites to imprison terrorists or cooperating in the US extraordinary rendition program. Not one country has confirmed that it is hosting black sites. However, according to the EU report, adopted on February 14, 2007 by a majority of the European Parliament (382 MEPs voting in favour, 256 against and 74 abstaining), the CIA operated 1,245 flights, and stated that it was not possible to contradict evidence or suggestions that secret detention centres were operated in Poland and Romania. This 2007 report "regrets that European countries have been relinquishing control over their airspace and airports by turning a blind eye or admitting flights operated by the CIA which, on some occasions, were being used for illegal transportation of detainees" [1][5].
An investigation on the origins of the leaks has also been opened by the U.S. Justice Department to investigate what may have been illegal release of classified information.

"Over the past eight years," points out Lowell Greathouse of First United Methodist Church in Portland, "the United States has made torture a part of what we have become."
This is not what you'd call a recommendation.
During that time, the stories from Abu Ghraib, from Guantanamo and from various secret prisons around the globe have redefined what America now means to the world. And despite Bush's insistence that the United States doesn't torture people, his administration has virtually admitted it by repeatedly rejecting congressional efforts to limit prisoner interrogation techniques to those included in the Army Field Manual.
Then, when congressional opponents (led by Sen. John McCain) succeeded in implanting the limit in the Pentagon appropriations bill, Bush issued a signing statement that he wasn't bound by the law, because waterboarding is one of the fundamental constitutional powers of the president.
Just like James Madison intended.

President-elect Barack Obama may know from his own family that torture turns potential friends into lifelong enemies. The Times of London reported this week that Obama's paternal grandfather was brutally tortured by the British during Kenya's Mau Mau uprising. The news story was based on information from Obama's Kenyan relatives.
The Times' account said Hussein Onyango Obama, Obama's paternal grandfather, became involved in the Kenyan independence movement while working as a cook for a British army officer after the war. He was arrested in 1949 and jailed for two years in a high-security prison where, according to his family, he was subjected to horrific violence to extract information about the growing insurgency.
"The African warders were instructed by the white soldiers to whip him every morning and evening till he confessed," said Sarah Onyango, Hussein Onyango's third wife, the woman Obama refers to as "Granny Sarah." She said that Hussein Onyango told her "they would sometimes squeeze his testicles with parallel metallic rods. They also pierced his nails and buttocks with a sharp pin, with his hands and legs tied together with his head facing down," she said. The torture was said to have left Onyango permanently scarred, and bitterly anti-British. "That was the time we realised that the British were actually not friends but, instead, enemies," Mrs. Onyango said. "My husband had worked so diligently for them, only to be arrested and detained."
The Times' report came out on the same day that retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Obama to reverse the controversial interrogation, detention and rendition policies of the Bush administration.
At a meeting with Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and senior members of Obama's transition team, the retired generals and admirals presented a long list of "things that need to be done and undone." The group was headed by Gen. Joseph Hoar, a retired Marine who headed the Central Command region from 1991 to 1994.
The generals were motivated by concern that the use of waterboarding, secret prisons, the abuse at Abu
Ghraib and the detention without trial for six years of prisoners at Guantánamo had sullied the global reputation of America and its military. The generals are surely preaching to the choir. Obama in the Senate and during the campaign has been a consistent critic of the Bush administration's use of what has been euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques."

In mid-2007 my mother sent me a George Bush Countdown Calendar. I have been tearing off the leaves, each with its quote from George W. That happy occasion, the final page, comes on January 20 2009.
Happy for most in Guantánamo Bay, that is. The people remaining there find themselves in three groups - some 40 who will be taken to the US for a trial (somewhat fairer, at least, than the current military commissions); 150 will simply go home (at last); and a final 60 refugees, many long since cleared for release, must hope that Obama spends some of his political capital to find them an asylum state.
Yet the justifiable joy at Obama's ascendancy must be tempered with the knowledge that Guantánamo always has been a diversionary tactic in the "war on terror". The 250 men there represent fewer than 1% of the 27,000 prisoners being held by the US beyond the rule of law. There is a reason why most people have never heard of the plight of these unfortunates - they are ghost prisoners in secret prisons.
Obama has yet to speak of the missing 99.1%. It is not clear how much he even knows about them. With America at war in two countries, new captives are being taken every day. They aren't coming to Cuba, so where are they being held?

Thirteen journalists were held in Eritrea, which was the fourth jailer of journalists worldwide behind China, Cuba and Burma. The survey found more Internet journalists jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium.
CPJ’s survey found 125 journalists in all behind bars on December 1, a decrease of two from the 2007 tally. (Read detailed accounts of each imprisoned journalist.) China continued to be world’s worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 10 consecutive years. Cuba, Burma, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan round out the top five jailers from among the 29 nations that imprison journalists. Each of the top five nations has persistently placed among the world’s worst in detaining journalists.
Eritrea’s secret prisons held but four of at least 17 journalists worldwide held in secret locations. Eritrean authorities have refused to disclose the whereabouts, legal status, or health of any of the journalists they have been detaining for several years. Unconfirmed reports have suggested the deaths of at least three of these journalists while in custody, but the government has refused to even say whether the detainees are alive or dead.
Two other Eritrean journalists were being held in secret in neighboring Ethiopia, while the government of The Gambia has declined to provide information on the July 2006 arrest of journalist “Chief” Ebrima Manneh. Many international observers, from the U.S. Senate to the West African human rights court, have called on authorities to free Manneh, who was jailed for trying to publish a report critical of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.
About 13 percent of jailed journalists worldwide, including those imprisoned in Eritrea, Ethiopia and The Gambia, face no formal charge at all. Countries as diverse as Israel, Iran, the United States, and Uzbekistan also used this tactic of open-ended detention without due process. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 out of 23 journalists were behind bars without charge.
Antistate allegations such as subversion, divulging state secrets, and acting against national interests are the most common charge used to imprison journalists worldwide, CPJ found. About 59 percent of journalists in the census are jailed under these charges, many of them by the Chinese and Cuban governments, but also by countries like Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.
The survey found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ’s prison census. At least 56 online journalists are jailed worldwide, according to CPJ’s census, a tally that surpasses the number of print journalists for the first time.
This trend applied in Sub-Saharan Africa where at least one online journalist remained imprisoned as of December 1, 2008.

The Chinese government reacted angrily on Monday to what it called a slanderous United Nations report that alleges systemic torture of political and criminal detainees. The government said the authors were biased, untruthful and driven by a political agenda.
The report, issued Friday by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, documented what the authors described as widespread abuse in the Chinese legal system, one that often gains convictions through forced confessions.
The report recounts China’s use of “secret prisons” and the widespread harassment of lawyers who take on rights cases, and it criticizes the government’s extralegal system of punishment, known as re-education
through labor, which hands down prison terms to dissidents without judicial review.
“The state party should conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into all allegations of torture and ill treatment and should ensure that those responsible are prosecuted,” said the report, which was written by a 10-member committee of independent experts.
Qin Gang, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, called the document “untrue and slanderous,” and said that China cherished human rights and opposed torture. “To our regret, some biased committee members, in drafting the observations, chose to ignore the substantial materials provided by the Chinese Government,” he said in a statement posted Monday on the ministry’s Web site, adding that they “even fabricated some unverified information.” The ministry did not describe the material it had provided to the United Nations committee.

Three Cups of Tea

 
The book's title comes from a Balti proverb: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family..."
 
From True story is city's cup of `Tea'

...In September 1993, Mortenson, then something of a mountain-climbing bum,
stumbled into Korphe, a Pakistani village in the shadow of K2. He was
exhausted, sick and depressed after failing to scale the world's second
highest mountain.

As villagers nursed him back to health, he saw children writing lessons in
the sand with sticks and decided to repay the village for its hospitality by
returning one day to build a school.

Back in the U.S., he initially tried to make good on his promise by writing
fundraising letters to 580 prominent Americans. The result: one response, a
$100 check from NBC's Tom Brokaw.

Despite that slow start, Mortenson has proved better than his word. In 17
years, he has built 78 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has become
remarkably immersed in the culture of the Karakoramm Himalaya region, a
remote and dangerous area known as a breeding ground for al-Qaida and
Taliban terrorists.

"I've learned more from Greg Mortenson about the causes of terrorism than
during all our briefings on Capitol Hill," says Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm
Springs. "He represents the best of America."

Mortenson has succeeded in areas where foreign aid from the U.S. has not.
Even the American military is impressed. The Pentagon has placed large
orders for copies of "Three Cups of Tea."

Born in Minnesota, Mortenson, 50, grew up on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro
in Tanzania. His father, Dempsey, co-founded the Kilimanjaro Christian
Medical Center, a teaching hospital, and his mother, Jerene, founded a
school.

He served in the Army in Germany for two years, then graduated from the
University of South Dakota.

Mortenson has had his share of setbacks, including the 1992 death of his
younger sister, Christa, following her lifelong struggle with epilepsy. It
was to honor her memory that he made his attempt to climb K2.

In 1996, shortly after returning to Pakistan to build schools, Mortenson
survived an eight-day kidnapping in a tribal area of the country. In 2003,
he managed to escape a firefight between feuding Afghan warlords by hiding
for eight hours under a pile of putrid animal hides. At various times, he
has incurred the wrath of local mullahs. Following 9-11, he was criticized
severely by some Americans who, not understanding his work, accused him of
helping terrorists.

"I expected something like this from an ignorant village mullah," he said,
"but to get those kinds of letters from my fellow Americans made me wonder
whether I should give up."

Happily he did not. Today, more than 28,000 children are being educated in
his 78 schools, where, by his design, the stress is on teaching girls. He
cites an African proverb: "If you educate a boy, you educate an individual,
but if you educate a girl, you educate a community." ...
 
 
 
[ With thanks to Vibecke for the heads-up ]

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