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nEver Ready [27 Dec 2013|12:53am]

The picture of the world that I have gleened...
The Military Industrial Complex has wrapped itself around Society.
Experiments done on unwitting people has lengthy history. Look and you will see.
Yet we vainly believe that the government poses no danger to public health. We trust science to do the right thing.
Our.entire biochemical experience is engineered in a lab.
They can alter brain wave patterns at a distance, create enhanced warriors, deeper love and more torrential hate. They can trick your brain into accepting the reality that they design, and employ active control of peeople.
When someone breaks free of their design in the mind, they will still not be free in their body. So Big Brother always wins. There's levels of control. Be happy you are at this level, where they allow you to be free ranged. Enjoy it while it lasts. There isn't much time left.
They don't make movies to fake reality, they make fiction to make reality seem unreal. Now that you're all ignoring the world around you, you won't notice all the things that are changing around you.
Stay locked in your prysm of fate, slowly feeding another with your energy.
To be free...to be free would be a great change. To wake up from the dream and truly be..what would you be, now that you are trained to be a slave?
Great people of yesterday, hear my call. It's time to bring the remnant to the field of play. Enter course, and do not stray.
There is.nothing left to do, but die on our feet, saving knees for our enemy.
Beware the tricks of the tyrants.
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[05 Sep 2007|02:36pm]

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A World Effectively Controlled By The United Nations [21 May 2007|04:43pm]


A Preliminary Survey of One Form of a Stable Military Environment


Lincoln P. Bloomfield

Prepared for IDA in support of a study submitted to the Department of State under contract No. SCC 28270, dated February 24, 1961

The judgments expressed in this Study Memorandum are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute for Defense Analyses or of any agency of the United States Government

Special Studies Group


1710 H Street, N. W.

Washington 6, D.C.

March 10, 1962



This paper was prepared for project VULCAN, a study of Arms Control and a Stable Military Environment, which was made by the Special Studies Group of IDA for the Department of State under contract No. SCC 28270, dated 24 February 1961. Dr. J. I. Coffey was the Project Leader.

The author, Dr. Lincoln P. Bloomfield, a consultant to the Special Studies Group, has written extensively on the role of the United Nations in international politics. He is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Arms Control Project at the Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Judgments expressed are of course those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute for Defense Analyses or of any agency of the United States Government.


Associate Director of Research

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More Alt Energy News [17 Feb 2007|11:55pm]


Nanotech leads to Battery Breakthrough.


"A123Systems’ automotive-class battery technology offers numerous unique features for plug-in electric vehicles including: higher energy density than traditional lithium-ion HEV cells while having one of the highest power to weight ratio of commercially available batteries; low impedance growth even at very high charge and discharge rates ; outstanding calendar life; novel design that withstands extreme shocks and vibration; excellent performance over a wide temperature range; and an intrinsically safe chemistry which is especially important in large batteries. "


APT Power Cell:


"The APU is an Electric Power Cell (epc™) that is integrated into vehicles (cars, trucks, RVs, boats, aircraft, etc.) to supply AC or DC power at varied ranges and frequencies. The commercial APU uses the vehicle fuel supply and is integrated into the vehicle electronics. In use, the APU provides auxiliary power for vehicle comfort features and added functionality and eliminates the high fuel consumption, wear and tear, and emissions associated with the long idle operation when on-board electricity is being generated by running the main drive engine. The APU also provides exportable, plug-in power for contractors, recreation and more. APT is currently developing a family of APU products for military and commercial applications."


Venture One Hybrid/Electric Vehicle:


"Introducing the VentureOne, a revolutionary 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle. This unique 2-passenger flex-fuel Hybrid vehicle will achieve 100 miles per gallon, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds with a top speed of over 100 mph, yet at a retail price of under $20,000."


Debunking the Myth of EVs and Smokestacks:


"Many EVs critics point out that charging thousands of EVs from aging coal plants will increase greenhouse gases such as CO2 significantly. Although half the country uses coal-fired plants, EVs recharging from these facilities are predicted to produce less CO2 than ICE vehicles. According to the World Resources Institute, EVs recharging from coal-fired plants will reduce CO2 emissions in the country from 17 to 22 percent. "
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Chevy Volt. [09 Feb 2007|05:06pm]



Chevy's new prototype is a Gas hybrid..
Or Biodiesel hybrid. Or e85 hybrid.

That can run in pure electric mode for around 60 miles before needing to hit the alt fuels to use the 1L engine to recharge the batteries. It'll also Park mode if you leave the engine running, so no need to find a power outlet while you're inside shopping, just keyless lock it and do your thing while the batteries charge up the rest of the way.

The 120-kW electric motor is equivalent to a 160-hp engine, and delivers instantaneous torque in electric mode, so you get acceleration faster than traditional torque curve in certain gasoline-powered engines. It goes 0–60 in 8 to 8.5 seconds. Battery life is about 10 years.

This is a concept vehicle, not in production yet.
Allegedly they plan to start making them, but... we all know how that goes.

So. If you would all be so kind as to:
- Click the Vote for Volt button:
- Contact them directly via:
- Spread this information around.

The more voices in favor of this reach their ears, the more likely it becomes.
Every bit helps.
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Tactical Biorefinery [07 Feb 2007|09:10am]



"The "tactical biorefinery" processes several kinds of waste at once, which it converts into fuel via two parallel processes. The system then burns the different fuels in a diesel engine to power a generator. Ladisch said the machine's ability to burn multiple fuels at once, along with its mobility, make it unique.

Roughly the size a small moving van, the biorefinery could alleviate the expense and potential danger associated with transporting waste and fuel. Also, by eliminating garbage remnants - known in the military as a unit's "signature" - it could protect the unit's security by destroying clues that such refuse could provide to enemies.

Researchers tested the first tactical biorefinery prototype in November and found that it produced approximately 90 percent more energy than it consumed, said Jerry Warner, founder of Defense Life Sciences LLC, a private company working with Purdue researchers on the project. He said the results were better than expected.

The U.S. Army subsequently commissioned the biorefinery upon completion of a functional prototype, and the machine is being considered for future Army development.

The tactical biorefinery first separates organic food material from residual trash, such as paper, plastic, Styrofoam and cardboard. The food waste goes to a bioreactor where industrial yeast ferments it into ethanol, a "green" fuel. Residual materials go to a gasifier where they are heated under low-oxygen conditions and eventually become low-grade propane gas and methane. The gas and ethanol are then combusted in a modified diesel engine that powers a generator to produce electricity. "

Mr Fusion, here we come!

Or, looked at another way, the US military could now literally live off the death of its enemies by feeding their biomass into the TB unit.
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WITH OUR SUPPORT! [11 Jan 2007|08:25pm]

Saddam Hussein was a monster. In fact if you listen to Bush Jr., Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Donald Rumsfeld or almost anyone who comments on this, they justify the war repeatedly by saying that this man is such a monster that we just can't let him survive. He's even committed the ultimate atrocity-namely, using weapons of mass destruction against his own people in his horrendous gassing of the Kurds. All of which is true, but there are three missing words. True, he committed the ultimate atrocity-using poison gas and chemical warfare against his own population- WITH OUR SUPPORT. Our support in fact continued, as he remained a favored friend and trading partner and ally- quite independently of these atrocities which evidently didn't matter to us, as evidenced by our reaction; continued and in fact increased (support). An interesting experiment which you might try is to see if you can find a place anywhere within mainstream discussion where the three missing words are added (WITH OUR SUPPORT). I'll leave it as an experiment for the reader. And it's an illuminating one. I can tell you the answer right away - you're not going to find it. And that tells us something about ourselves too, and also about the argument, and our sources of news and information.
The same incidentally is true of his weapons of mass destruction. It's commonly claimed that we couldn't allow him to survive because of the danger of the weapons of mass destruction that he's probably was creating - which could have been correct except it was also correct during the time when we were providing him consciously with the means to develop those weapons of mass destruction at a time when he was a far greater threat than he is today. So that raises some questions about that argument.

What follows is and accurate chronology of United States involvement in the arming of Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war 1980-88. It is a powerful indictment of the Bush administration. It reveals US ambitions in Iraq to be just another chapter in the attempt to regain a foothold in the Middle East. The United States invaded Iraq to gain control of one of the major sources of the world’s energy, right in the heart of the world’s energy producing regions, to create, if they can, a dependent client state, to have permanent military bases, and to gain what’s called “critical leverage” (quoting Zbigniew Brzezinski) over rivals, the European and Asian economies. It’s been understood since the Second World War, that if you have your hand on that spigot, the main source of the world’s energy, you have what early planners called “veto power” over others.

Iraq is also the last part of the world where there are vast, untapped, easily accessible energy resources. And you can be sure that they want the profits from that to go primarily to U.S.-based multi-nationals and back to the U.S. Treasury, and so on. Not to rivals. There are plenty of reasons for invading Iraq, none of them good.

September, 1980 -- Iraq invades Iran. The beginning of the Iraq-Iran war.

February, 1982 -- Despite objections from congress, President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries.

December, 1982 -- Hughes Aircraft ships 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq.

1982-1988 -- Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments, tactical planing for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb damage assessments.

November, 1983 -- A National Security Directive states that the U.S. would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing its war with Iran.

November, 1983 -- Banca Nazionale del Lavaro of Italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq, with the blessing and official approval of the US government, purchased computer controlled machine tools, computers, scientific instruments, special alloy steel and aluminum, chemicals and other industrial goods for Iraq's missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.

October, 1983 -- The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer United States weapons, including Howitzers, Huey helicopters, and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated the Arms Export Control Act.

November, 1983 -- George Schultz, the Secretary of State, is given intelligence reports showing that Iraqi troops are daily using chemical weapons against the Iranians.

December 20, 1983 -- Donald Rumsfeld, then a civilian and now ex-Defense Secretary, meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him of US friendship and materials support.

July, 1984 -- The CIA begins giving Iraq intelligence necessary to calibrate its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.

January 14, 1984 -- State Department memo acknowledges United States shipment of "dual-use" export hardware technology. Dual use items are civilian items such as heavy trucks, armored ambulances and communications gear as well as industrial technology that can have a military application.

March, 1986 -- The United States with Great Britain block all United Nations security council resolutions condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons, and on March 21st the US becomes the only country (out of more than 150) refusing to sign a Security council statement condemning Iraq's use of these weapons.

May, 1986 -- The US department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq between May of 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax.

May, 1986 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq.

March, 1987 -- President Reagan bows to the findings of the Tower Commission admitting the sale of arms to Iran "in exchange for hostages." Oliver North uses the profits from the sale to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua.

Late 1987 -- The Iraqi Air Force begins using chemical agents against Kurdish resistance forces in northern Iraq.

February, 1988 -- Saddam Hussein begins the "Anfal" campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq. The Iraq regime used chemical weapons against the Kurds killing over 100,000 civilians and destroying over 1,200 Kurdish Vlliages.

April, 1988 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas.

August, 1988 -- Four major battles were fought from April to August 1988, in which the Iraqis massively and effectively used chemical weapons to defeat the Iranians. Nerve gas and blister agents such as mustard gas are used. By this time the US Defense Intelligence Agency is heavily involved with Saddam Hussein in battle plan assistance, intelligence gathering and post battle debriefing. In the last major battle of the war, 65,000 Iranians are killed, many with poison gas. Use of chemical weapons in war is in direct violation of the Geneva accords of 1925.

August, 1988 -- Iraq and Iran declare a cease fire.

August, 1988 -- Five days after the cease fire Saddam Hussein sends his planes and helicopters to northern Iraq to begin massive chemical attacks against the Kurds.

September, 1988 -- US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade antrax and botulism to Iraq.

September, 1988 -- Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State: "The US-Iraqi relationship is... important to our long-term political and economic objectives.

December, 1988 -- Dow Chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq despite knowledge that these would be used in chemical weapons.

July 25, 1990 -- US Ambassador to Baghdad meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him that President Bush "wanted better and deeper relations." Many believe this visit was a trap set for Hussein. A month later Hussein invaded Kuwait thinking the US would not respond.

August, 1990 -- Iraq invades Kuwait. The precursor of the Gulf War.

July, 1991 -- The Financial Times of London reveals that a Florida chemical company had produced and shipped cyanide to Iraq during the 80's using a special CIA courier. Cyanide was used extensively against the Iranians.

August, 1991 -- Christopher Droguol of Atlanta's branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is arrested for his role in supplying loans to Iraq for the purchase of military supplies. He is charged with 347 counts of felony. Drogoul is found guilty, but US officials plead innocent of any knowledge of his crime.

July, 1992 -- "The Bush administration deliberately, not inadvertently, helped to arm Iraq by allowing U.S. technology to be shipped to Iraqi military and to Iraqi defense factories... Throughout the course of the Bush administration, U.S. and foreign firms were granted export licenses to ship U.S. technology directly to Iraqi weapons facilities despite ample evidence showing that these factories were producing weapons." Representative Henry Gonzalez, Texas, testimony before the House.

February, 1994 -- Senator Riegle from Michigan, chairman of the Senate banking Committee, testifies before the senate revealing large US shipments of dual-use biological and chemical agents to Iraq that may have been used against US troops in the Gulf war and probably was the cause of the illness known as the "Gulf War Syndrome."

You decide...
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Nuclear Proliferation and North Korea [23 Oct 2006|01:04am]

Part of what we claim is that North Korea getting nuclear weapons would threaten the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


Lets look back to 1993, when the World Health Organization voted to request that the World Court consider the legality of the use of nuclear weapons, and issue an opinion on it.

As soon as they heard about this the United States and Britain went totally berserk: remember, just the fact that the World Court might hear a case on the legality of nuclear weapons is already a contribution to nuclear non-proliferation..

One must also, not forget that we benefit from proliferation, since we're the main producer, seller, and possessor of nuclear weapons.

I mean, it's not as if anybody would listen to the World Court if it said that the use of nuclear weapons is illegal (which means by implication that possession of them is illegal too) - but it would certainly be a big publicity coup for the disarmament movement if it did.

So for the big nuclear powers, this was a major issue.

Actually, it's of particular significance for Britain, because one of Britain's last claims to being a country, instead of like a country of the United States, is that they have nuclear weapons - so for them it's important on a symbolic level.

And nuclear weapons are important to the United States because they're part of the way we intimidate everyone - we intervene around the world under what's called a "nuclear umbrella," which serves as kind of a cover to back up our conventional intervention forces.

Ok, so that year (1993) Indonesia was serving as the head of the Non-Aligned Movement at the U.N. [a coalition of Third World nations in the General Assembly], and the 110 countries of the Non-Aligned Movement decided to introduce a resolution endorsing this request for an opinion - that's all that was up, endorsement of a request for an opinion from the World Court. The U.S., Britain and France immediately threatened trade and aid sanctions against Indonesia if, in their role as head of the Non-Aligned Movement for that year, they submitted this resolution at the General Assembly. So Indonesia instantly withdrew it, of course - when they get orders from the boss, they stop. And they stop fast.

Well, that just shows you that there are some atrocities that go too far for the Western powers: genocide in East Timor we can support, but endorsement of a request for an opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons is an atrocity we simply cannot tolerate. It also shows you what we can do to Indonesia if we feel like it.

Anyway, back to North Korea... if we're so concerned with non-proliferation, obviously nothing would be more of a shot in the arm for it than this World Court decision we tried so desperately to block. Okay, that tells you something about our motives in all this. But actually, I think the problem with North Korea is in fact what they're saying: the wrong guys are getting possible power, nuclear weapons.

Look, nobody in their right mind would want North Korea to have nuclear weapons. But on the other hand, there's nothing much that they would do with nuclear weapons if they had them, except maybe defend themselves from attack. They're certainly not going to invade anybody, that's not even imaginable: if they ever made a move, the country gets destroyed tomorrow... so the only role that nuclear weapons play for them is a deterrent to attack - and that's not totally unrealistic.

North Korea is a pretty crazy country, and there's not very much good and there's nothing good you can say about the government. But no matter who they were, if they were Mahatma Gandhi they would be worried about a possible attack. The United States was threatening North Korea with nuclear weapons at least as late as the 1960s. And after all, just remember what we did to that country - it was absolutely flattened. Here people may not be aware of what we did to them, but they certainly know it well enough.

Towards the end of what we called the "Korean War" - which was really just one phase in a much longer struggle [beginning when the U.S. destroyed the indigenous nationalist movement in Korea in the late 1940s] - the United States ran out of good bombing targets. We had total command of the air of course, but there was nothing good left to bomb - because everything had already been flattened. So we started going after things like dikes. Okay, that's a major war crime. In fact, if you take a look at the official U.S. Air Force history of the Korean War, it's absolutely mind boggling, it's like something straight out of the Nazi archives. I mean, these guys don't conceal their glee at all, it's just this account of all their terrific feelings: we bombed these dikes, and a huge flow of water went through the valleys and carved out huge paths of destruction and slaughterd people! I really can't duplicate, you have to read the original. And the Koreans lived on the other end of that.

Our treatment of North Korean prisoners of war also was absolutely grotesque - again, it was kind of like the Nazis. This is all documented in the West by now, and of course they certainly know about it. So there are plenty of things for the North Koreans to remember, and plenty of things for them to be afraid of - which is not to justify their getting nuclear weapons, but it's part of the background we should keep in mind.

The other thing is, North Korea is in a desperate situation right now: they're hemmed in politically, and they're struggling very hard to break out of their total isolation - they've tried setting up free trade zones, and are desperately trying to integrate themselves into the international economic system, other things like that. Well, this is apparently one of their ways of attempting to do it. It's neither intelligent nor justifiable, but that's a part of what's motivating them, and we should at least try to understand that.
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Robert Anton Wilson Needs Our Help [02 Oct 2006|08:12pm]

**reposted from Douglas Rushkoff's weblog**


I hope people I've inspired with my work would band together to help me out in my later years if I needed it. Which is at least part of the reason why I'm sending what I can to support cosmic thinking patriarch Robert Anton Wilson, whose infirmity and depleted finances have put him in the precarious position of not being able to meet next month's rent.

In case the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, Bob is the guy who wrote Cosmic Trigger - still the best narrative on how to enter and navigate the psycho-spiritual realm, and co-wrote the Illuminatus Trilogy, an epic work that pushes beyond conspiracy theory into conspiracy practice. Robert Anton Wilson will one day be remembered alongside such literary philosophers as Aldous Huxley and James Joyce.

But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful fleshsuit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive.

Let me add, on a personal note, that Bob is the only one of my heroes who I was not disappointed to actually meet in person. He was of tremendous support to me along my road, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to be of some support on his.

Any donations can be made to Bob directly to the Paypal account olgaceline@gmail.com.
You can also send a check payable to Robert Anton Wilson to
Dennis Berry c/o Futique Trust
P.O. Box 3561
Santa Cruz, CA 95063.


i just paypal'd him $23 bucks. i hope it helps. i have seen how much pain he is in while coping with his disease, and know he is probably not going to be around much longer. it is terrible to think that such a successful and intelligent being may have to spend his final moments trying to come up with money for rent, food, and pain-medication.
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Return of the Taliban [01 Oct 2006|11:32am]


"Veteran producer and correspondent Martin Smith travels to the wild west
of Pakistan, the tribal areas, long known for drug smuggling, gun
running, lawlessness, and as a breeding ground for jihadists. Smith
recounted to me how dangerous this particular journey felt.

"Upon leaving Peshawar, we had arranged for a Pakistani Army escort into
the Khyber District because I wanted to get some footage of the Tirah
valley, where Bin Laden is said to have gone after fleeing Tora Bora.
But the guards at the border wouldn't let me in. 'Too dangerous,' they
said, 'even with military escort. The insurgents are walking around with
rocket launchers now.'"

Much of the dramatic rise in fighting inside Afghanistan can be traced
back to the Pakistani territories where the Taliban tribal 'cousins'
live, and the question of what to do about them has put Musharraf in a
tough position. The Americans and their coalition partners want him to
crack down and seal the border. But Musharraf, an unelected military
ruler, derives some of his political support from religious parties who
are strong in these territories and who are sympathetic to the Taliban,
if not Al Qaeda.

Smith, who found another means for reporting inside the tribal areas,
demonstrates how difficult the situation is and the reason for the big
huddle in the White House. With a sanctuary in Pakistan, the Taliban and
Al Qaeda are not only returning to Afghanistan but appear to be moving
well beyond. Several recent Al Qaeda plots abroad have been linked to
the tribal areas, and authorities in London are also investigating
possible connections in the plot to down 10 transatlantic airliners. "

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How to steal an election using Diebold machines. [13 Sep 2006|01:23pm]

This, reposted from Boingboing, should be relevant to anyone that cares about living in a free society regardless of their political leanings.


Princeton researchers show how to steal an election with Diebold machines:

Cory Doctorow: Princeton security researchers Ariel J. Feldman, J. Alex Halderman, and Edward W. Felten have taken apart one of Diebold's notorious voting machines and done a thorough security analysis of its workings. They showed that they could easily install software on the machine that would allow an attacker to steal votes from one candidate and give them to another -- they showed that this would be undetectable, and easily done. They've published a paper and an amazing, disturbing video showing how this could be done.

This paper presents a fully independent security study of a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine, including its hardware and software. We obtained the machine from a private party. Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities--a voting-machine virus. We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab. Mitigating these threats will require changes to the voting machine's hardware and software and the adoption of more rigorous election procedures.

Diebold insists that their machines are secure, and that they don't need voter-verified paper audit-tapes that keep a real-time log of the votes cast -- but this latest attack, which requires only a few minutes to execute, shows that America's votes should not be run on Diebold hardware.
EFF has done amazing work in fighting Diebold at standards bodies, in courts, and in the press, working to ensure that American elections aren't overturned by bad code and greed.


Or simply used the imbedded player on the main page:

Where I found this:

Further context:

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Understanding the Middle East Conflict [23 Aug 2006|06:55am]

Israel is having more and more trouble putting down this popular revolution over the Occupied Territories. The repression of the Palestinians and the Lebanese is not qualitatively different right now from what it was 40 years ago -- it's just that it's escalated in scale sincee the Palestinians and the Lebanese started fighting back. For the Palestinians it started during the Intifada. So the brutality you see occasionally on television has in fact been going on for the last 40 years, and it's just the nature of a military occupation: military occupations are harsh and brutal, there is no other kind [Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the Six Day War in 1967, and has controlled them ever since]. There's been home-destruction, kidnappings, torture, collective punishments, expulsion, plenty of humiliation, censorship -- you'd have do go back to the days of the American South to know what it's been like for the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. They are not supposed to raise their heads -- that's what they say in Israel, "They're raising their heads, we've got to do something about it." And that's the way the Palestinians have been living.

Well, the United States has been quite happy supporting that -- so long as it worked. But in the past few years, it hasn't worked. See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence. If violence is effective, everything's okay; but if violence loses its effectiveness, then they start worrying and have to try something else. In fact, the occupation's beginning to be rather harmful for Israel. So it's entirely possible that there could be some tactical changes coming with respect to how Israel goes about controlling the Territories.

Outside the United States, everybody knows what the solution for resolving the conflict in the region would be. For years there's been a very broad consensus in the world over the basic framework of a solution in the Middle East, with the exception of two countries: the United States and Israel. It's going to be some variety of two-state settlement.

Look, there are two groups claiming the right of national self-determination in the same territory; they both have a claim, they're competing claims. There are various ways in which such competing claims could be reconciled -- you could do it through a federation, one thing or another -- but given the present state of conflict, it's just going to have to be about the modalities -- should it be a confederation, how do you deal with economic integration, and so on -- but the principle's quite clear: there has to be some settlement that recognizes the right of self-determination of Jews in something like the state of Israel, and the right of self-determination of Palestinians in something like a Palestinian State. And everybody knows where that Palestinian state would be -- in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along roughly the borders that exsisted before the Six Day War in 1967.

All of this has been obvious for years -- why hasn't it happened? Well, of course Israel's opposed to it. But the main reason it hasn't happened is because the United States has blocked it: the United states has been blocking the peace process in the Middle East for the last twenty years -- WE'RE the leaders of the rejectionist camp, not the Arabs or anybody else. See, the United States supports a policy which Henry Kissinger called "stalemate"; that was his word for it back in 1970. At that time, there was kind of a split in the American government as to whether we should join the broad international consensus on a political settlement, or block a political settlement. And in that internal struggle, the hard-liners prevailed; Kissinger was the main spokesman. The policy that won out was what he called "stalemate": keep things the way they are, maintain the system of Israeli oppression. And there was a good reason for that, it wasn't just out of the blue: having an embattled, militaristic Israel is an important part of how we rule the world.

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Peoples Democratic Socialist Republics [20 Aug 2006|03:18am]

One of the issues which has devastated a substantial portion of the left in recent years, and caused enormous triumphalism elsewhere, is the alleged fact that there's been this great battle between socialism and capitalism in the twentieth century, and in the end capitalism won and socialism lost-and the reason we know that socialism lost is because the Soviet Union disintegrated. So you have big cover stories in The Nation about "The End of Socialism," and you have socialists who all their lives considered themselves anti-Stalin saying, "Yes, it's true, socialism has lost because Russia failed." To even raise questions about this is something you're not supposed to do in our culture, but let's try it. Suppose you ask a simple question: namely, why do people like the editors at The Nation say that "socialism" failed, why don't they say that "democracy" failed?--and the proof that "democracy" failed is, look what happened to Eastern Europe. After all, those countries also called themselves "democratic"--in fact, they called themselves "People's Democracies," real advanced forms of democracy. So why don't we conclude that "democracy" failed, not just that "socialism" failed? Well, I haven't seen any articles anywhere saying, "Look, democracy failed, let's forget about democracy." Ant it's obvious why: the fact that they called themselves democratic doesn't mean that they were democratic. Pretty obvious right?

Okay, then in what sense did social fail? I mean, it's true that the Soviet Union and its satellites in Eastern Europe called themselves "socialist"--but they also called themselves "democratic." Were they socialist? Well, you can argue about what Socialism is, but there are some ideas that are sort of at the core of it, like workers' control over production, elimination of wage labor, things like that. Did those countries have any of those things? They weren't even a thought there. In the pre-Bolshevik part of the Russian Revolution, there were socialist initiatives--but they were crushed instantly after the Bolsheviks took power, like within months. In fact, just as the moves towards democracy in Russia were instantly destroyed, the moves towards socialism were equally instantly destroyed. The Bolshevik takeover was a coup--and that was perfectly well understood at the time, in fact. So if you look in the mainstream of the Marxist movement, Lenin's takeover was regarded as counter-revolutionary; if you look at independent leftists like Bertrand Russell, it was instantly obvious to them; to the libertarian left, it was a truism.

But that truism has been driven out of people's heads over the years, as part of a whole prolonged effort to discredit the very idea of socialism by associating it with Soviet totalitarianism. And obviously that effort has been extremely successful--that's why people can tell themselves that socialism failed when they look at what happened to the Soviet Union, and not even see the slightest thing odd about it. And that's been a very valuable propaganda triumph for elites in the West--because it's made it very easy to undercut moves towards real changes in the social system here by saying, "Well, that's socialism--and look what it leads to."

Okay, hopefully with the fall of the Soviet Union we can at least begin to get past that barrier, and start recovering an understanding of what socialism could really stand for.
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Calling all college students! [09 Aug 2006|01:32pm]

Did you know that 89 million Americans volunteer?

Better yet, did you know that 46% of 18-24 year olds volunteer 3 or 4 hours a week?

It's true! This shows a dedication to volunteerism and political action beyond what students are generally known for.

This age group is the incoming generation of voters, policy makers and future leaders of America, and absolutely vital to the continuing success of volunteer service in their communities.

S.A.V.E. (Support American Volunteer Efforts) currently has a bill before Congress that if passed would grant up to $2,000 in a tax rebate to people who volunteer for nonprofit organizations.

The only way to pass this bill is to let Congress know that Americans support it!

Go to the S.A.V.E. website and vote for the S.A.V.E. bill! You could win a case of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese and also help make the S.A.V.E. bill a reality.

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spread of acupuncture threatens sea horses [06 Aug 2006|04:06pm]

NOVA: How much are seahorses worth? How much do they trade for?

AV: Seahorses are becoming very valuable. The best quality seahorses in traditional Chinese medicine -- the smooth pale, large seahorses -- now sell in Hong Kong for up to $550 U.S. per pound. Even the seahorses that are not quite such good quality are selling for a couple of hundred dollars per pound. There are about 39 countries around the world now involved in the seahorse trade, most of them trading dried seahorses for traditional Chinese medicine. So this is becoming quite big business, which is part of the problem.

NOVA: Is there any evidence that, chemically, there is something unique in seahorses that is medicinal?

AV: Traditional Chinese medicine doesn't usually do western-style pharmacological testing. Instead they tend to rely on past efficacy, past treatments and how they've worked. So there's a strong conviction that seahorses are one of the fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine, but there's not any testing in a way that we would recognize as double-blind medical testing. Certainly there are Chinese medical treatments which have been well tested in the west and are proving incredibly useful. So it would be nice to investigate thoroughly the real value of seahorses.

NOVA: Are they used mainly as aphrodisiacs?

AV: No, they're used for a whole range of ailments. Seahorses are used to treat asthma, and arteriosclerosis, and incontinence and impotence and thyroid disorders and skin ailments and broken bones and heart disease. And even to facilitate childbirth, although it depends a little bit on the region. In Hong Kong, they're used primarily for asthma and for impotence. In Taiwan they're used an awful lot for an aphrodisiac or to promote sexual function.

NOVA: What sort of testimonials have you heard from people who have used seahorses and found them effective?

AV: We've talked a lot to traditional Chinese medicine users and they're convinced that seahorses work, which is one reason why we don't take the arrogant perspective of dismissing it as superstitious nonsense. Instead we're trying very hard to set up a new approach whereby we respect the conviction that these are medically useful, at the same time pointing out that the loss of these animals in wild populations would penalize Chinese medicine as much as it would penalize those who respect them for their conservation value. Really, when you think about it, the people who catch the seahorses need there still to be seahorses so that they can continue earning an income. The people who use seahorses for medicines need there still to be seahorses to treat their illnesses. And we, who primarily are concerned about the conservation issues, want there to be seahorses. And there's got to be a way of harnessing these three different converging needs for seahorses in the wild.

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Where did that video spoofing Gore's film come from? [04 Aug 2006|09:01am]

By Antonio Regalado and Dionne Searcey, The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 03, 2006

Everyone knows Al Gore stars in the global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." But who created "Al Gore's Penguin Army," a two-minute video now playing on YouTube.com?

In the video, Mr. Gore appears as a sinister figure who brainwashes penguins and bores movie audiences by blaming the Mideast crisis and starlet Lindsay Lohan's shrinking waist size on global warming. Like other videos on the popular YouTube site, it has a home-made, humorous quality. The video's maker is listed as "Toutsmith," a 29-year-old who identifies himself as being from Beverly Hills in an Internet profile.

In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn't answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith's Yahoo account indicate it didn't come from an amateur working out of his basement.

Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp.

Read more...Collapse )
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Win a case of Annies Mac and Cheese! [02 Aug 2006|01:40pm]

Win a case of Annie’s Mac and Cheese

The person or organization that sends the most voters to S.A.V.E. each week wins a free case of Annies Macaroni and Cheese!

Andrew Martin, founding chairman and former president and CEO of Annies Macaroni and Cheese, is the author of the S.A.V.E. bill. This is his way of thanking you for supporting S.A.V.E!

Send your family and friends to vote at the S.A.V.E. website now!

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B T C Pipeline Inaugurated [31 Jul 2006|01:39pm]

Turkish Press report
Published: 7/29/2006

ANKARA - The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, which is considered one of the most important projects of the 21st century, will be officially inaugurated tomorrow.

Besides ministers from 32 countries, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will be in attendance at the inauguration ceremony which will be hosted by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The guests have started arriving in Istanbul today.

Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will host a dinner at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace tonight in honor of the guests. Tomorrow, heads of state and government and the other officials will proceed to Ceyhan town of the southern city of Adana for the inauguration ceremony which will start at 12.30 p.m.

Tight security measures will be in place in Ceyhan and Adana. Also, the Adana-Ceyhan highway will temporarily be closed to road traffic.

The inauguration will be the biggest organization in the history of Turkey and is expected to cost about 3-3.5 million USD.

The BTC pipeline, long 1,760 km, will transport crude oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfield in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It passes through Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia; and Ceyhan, a port on the southeastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is the second longest oil pipeline in the world (the longest being the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to central Europe).

Construction of the pipeline started September 2002. It was constructed from 150,000 individual joints of line pipe, each measuring 12 m in length.

The route of the pipeline crosses Azerbaijan to pass through Georgia and Turkey. Of its total length of 1,760 km, 440 km lies in Azerbaijan, 244.5 km in Georgia and 1,070 km in Turkey.

Its structure includes 8 pumping stations, 2 intermediate pigging stations and 101 block valve stations.

The pipeline has a daily capacity of 1 million barrels. It was commissioned by a consortium of energy companies led by BP (formerly British Petroleum), which has a 30.1 percent stake and is the operator of the pipeline. The other members of the consortium are: State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR): 25.00 percent; Unocal (USA): 8.90 percent; Statoil (Norway): 8.71 percent; Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (TPAO) (Turkey): 6.53 percent; Eni/Agip (Italy): 5.00 percent; Total (France): 5.0 percent; Itochu (Japan): 3.4 percent; Inpex (Japan): 2.50 percent; ConocoPhillips (USA): 2.50 percent and Amerada Hess (USA) 2.36 percent. The first oil pumped from Azerbaijan reached Ceyhan on May 28th.

After the pipeline becomes operative, 8 percent of commercial oil in the world will transit from Turkey and Turkey will earn an annual income of nearly 300 million USD.

The pipeline will make Ceyhan an important center for the international oil market, and contribute to environmental safety of the Istanbul Strait by easing the traffic in the strait.

Meanwhile, an agreement was signed by Azerbaijani and Kazakh presidents on June 16th for the inclusion of Kazakhstan in the project.
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Healthcare and the Social Security Non-Crisis [23 Jul 2006|03:39am]

The rapidly escalating costs of health care are threatening a serious fiscal crisis, along with immeasurable human costs. Infant Mortality in the U.S. is one major index. The UN Human Development Report 2005 reveals that "since 2000 a half century of sustained decline in infant death rates [in the United States] first slowed then reversed." By 2005 the rates had risen to the level of Malaysia, a country where the average income is one-quarter that in the United States. The report also reviews the effects of government programs. In the United Kingdom, for example, the rate of child poverty rose sharply during the Margaret Thatcher years, then reversed after the Labour government adopted policies to halve child poverty by 2010. "fiscal redistribution has played a central role in strategies for meeting the target," the report concludes: "Large increases in financial support for families with children," as well as other fiscal programs, "boosted the incomes of low-income working families with children," with significant effects on child poverty.

The financial crisis is surely is no secret. The press report that 30 percent of health care costs go for administration, a proportion vastly higher than in government-run systems including those within the United States, which are far from the most efficient. These estimates are seriously understated because of the ideological decision not to count the costs for individuals- for doctors who waste their own time or are forced to misuse it, or patients who "enter a world of paperwork so surreal that it belongs in one of Kafka's tales of the triumph of faceless bureaucracies." The complexities of billing have become so outlandish that the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the president's senior adviser, says when he gets a bill for his four-year-old child, he "can't figure out what happened, or what I'm supposed to do." Those who want to see government bureaucracy reaching levels that even Kafka might not have imagined should look at the official ninety-eight-page government handbook on the Medicare prescription drug plan, provided to Medicare participants to inform them of their options under the bill passed by Congress in June 2004, with the help of an army of lobbyists from pharmaceutical companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The idea, the Wall Street Journal informs its affluent readers, "is that patients will be encouraged to bargain-hunt for medical care" and may even save money, if they can hire enough research assistants to work through the many private options available, and make lucky guesses. Health Savings Accounts, also welcomed by the editors, have similar properties. For the wealthy and the corporate beneficiaries the exciting new programs will be just fine, like health care in general. The rest will get what the deserve for not having ascended to these heights.

The Bush administration response to the health care crisis has been to reduce services to the poor (Medicaid). The timing was again impeccable. "As Republican leaders in Congress move to trim billions of dollars from the Medicaid health program," the Washington Post reported, "they are simultaneously intervening to save the life of possibly the highest-profile Medicaid patient: Terri Schiavo." Republican majority leader Tom DeLay, while proclaiming his deep concern forSchiavo and his dedication to ensure that she has the chance "we all deserve," simultaneously shepherded through the House a budget resolution to cut $15 billion to $20 billion from Medicaid for the next five years. As if the exploitation of the tragedy of this poor woman for partisan gain were not disgraceful enough, DeLay and others like him were depriving her, and who knows how many others, of the means of moral values and concern for the sanctity of life.

The primary method devised to divert attention from the health care crisis was to organize a major PR campaign to "reform" Social Security--meaning dismantle it--in the pretext that it is facing an awesome fiscal crisis. There is no need to review the remarkable deceit of the administration propaganda, and the falsifications and misrepresentations repeated without comment by much of the media commentary, which cooperated in making it the "hot topic" in Washington. Exposure has been carried out more than adequately eslewhere. The steady drumbeat of deceit has been so extreme as to drive frustrated analysts to words rarely voiced in restrained journals: that Bush "repeatedly lied about the current [Social Security] system," making claims that were demonstrably false and that his staff must have known were false(New York Times, Paul Krugman, 15 Aug, 2005)."

It is not that the system has no flaws. It surly does. The highly regressive payroll tax is an illustration. More generally, an OECD study found that the US system "is one of the least generous public pension systems in advanced countries," consistent with the comparative weakness of benefits in the United States.

The alleged crisis of Social Security is rooted in demographic facts: the ratio of working people to retired people is declining. The data are accurate, but partial. The relevant figure is the ratio of working people to those they support. According to official statistics, the ratio of working people to dependents (under twenty, over sixty-five) hit its lowest point in 1965 and is not expected to reach that level through the projected period (to 2080). The Propaganda image is that the retirement of the "baby boomers" is going to crash the system; as repeatedly pointed out, their retirement has already been financed by the Greenspan-led increase in payroll taxes in 1983. That aside, the boomers were once children, and had to be cared for then as well. And we find that during those years there was a sharp increase in spending for education and other child care needs. There was no crisis. If American society was able to take care of the boomers from ages zero to twenty, then there can be no fundamental reason why a much richer society, with far higher output per worker, cannot take care of them from ages sixty-five to ninety. At most, some technical fixes might be needed, but no major crisis looms in the foreseeable future.

Critics of Bush's efforts to chip away at Social Security by various "ownership society" schemes have proclaimed success because public opposition was too high to ram the legislation through. But the celebration is premature. The campaign of deceit achieved a great deal, laying the basis for the next assault on the system. Reacting to the PR campaign, the Gallup poll, for the first time, included Social Security among the choices for "top concerns." Gallup found that only "the availability and affordability of healthcare" is a larger concern for the public than Social Security. About half of Americans worry "a great deal" about it, and another quarter a "fair amount," more than are concerned about such issues as terrorism or oil prices. A Zogby poll found that 61 percent believe the system faces "serious problems" and 14 percent think it's "in crisis," though in fact it is "financially stronger than it has been throughout most of its history, according to the Trustees' [President Bush's] numbers," economist Mark Weisbrot observes. The campaign has been particularly effective among the young. Among students, 70 percent are "concerned that the pension system may not be there when they retire."

These are major victories for those who hope to destroy Social Security, revealing once again the effectiveness of a flood of carefully contrived propaganda amplified by the media in a business-run-society where institutionalized deceit has been refined to a high art. The propaganda success compares well with that of the government-media campaign to convince Americans that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to their survival, driving them completly off the spectrum of world opinion.

There has been some discussion of the curious fact that the need to reform Social Security became the "hot topic" of the day, while reforming the health care system in accord with public opinion is not even on the agenda, an apparent paradox: the very serious fiscal crisis of the remarkably inefficient and poorly performing health care systems not a crisis, while urgent action is needed to undermine the efficient system that is quite sound for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, to the extent that Social Security might face a crisis some time in the distant future, it would result primarily from exploding health care costs. Government projections predict a sharp increase in total benefits relative to GDP, from under 10 percent in 2000 to almost 25 percent in 2080, which is as far as the projections reach. Through this period Social Security costs are barley expected to increase beyond the 2000 level of 5 percent. A slightly larger increase is predicted for Medicaid, and a huge increase for Medicare, traceable primarily to extreme inefficiency of the privatized health care system.

Sensible people will seek differences between the Social Security and Health care systems that might explain the paradox. And they will quickly find critical differences, which are quite familiar in other domains: the paradox mirrors closely the "schizophrenia" of all administrations that underlies the "strong line of continuity" with regard to "democracy promotion," to take one example. Social Security is of little value for the rich, but it is crucial for the survival for the working people, the poor, their dependents, and the disabled. For the wealthy, it is the "major source" of retirement income, and the most secure. Furthermore, as a government program, it has such low administrative costs that it offers nothing to financial institutions. Social Security helps only the underlying population, not the substantial people. It is therefore natural that it should be dispatched to the flames. The medical system, in contrast, works very well for the substantial people, with health care effectively rationed by wealth, while enormous profits flow to private power for superfluous bureaucracy and supervision, overpriced drugs, and other useful inefficiencies. The underlying population can be treated with lectures on responsibility.

There are other sound reasons to destroy the Social Security system. It is based on the principles that are deeply offensive to the moral values of the political leadership and the sectors they represent--not those who vote for them, a different category of the population. Social security is based on the idea that it is a community responsibility to ensure that the disabled widow on the other side of town has food to eat, or that the child across the street should be able to go to a decent school. Such evil ideas have to be driven from the mind. They stand in the way of the "New Spirit of the Age" of the 1850s: "Gain Wealth, forgetting all but Self." According to the right thinking, it isn't my fault if the widow married the wrong person or if the child's parents made bad investment decisions, so why should I contribute a few cents to a public fund to take care of them? the "ownership society," in contrast, suffers from none of these moral defects.

Returning to the November 2004 elections, we learn a little of the significance from them about popular attitudes and opinions, though we can learn a lot from these studies that are kept in the shadows. And the whole affair adds more to our understanding of the current state of American democracy--with most of the industrial world trailing not too far behind, as privileged and powerful sectors learn and apply the lessons taught by their leader.
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Murderous Lebanon Images Banned [20 Jul 2006|11:16am]

A website which has been showing vivid images of Israeli murder and destruction in Lebanon, http://fromisrael2lebanon.com/ has been suspended. Here is a Zipped file of the site just before takedown early this morning:

http://cryptome.org/FromIsraelToLebanon.zip (1.2MB) (Virus/trojan checked)

There is a very busy forum with near real-time updates from web users in Lebanon at:


This thread's from today so far:


Stuff you won't see on CNN and the others.
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