...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Dark as a dungeon, dank as a tomb:

Trapped below ground by poisonous gases, the Sago miners realized that at least four of their air packs did not work. They shared the air as they desperately pounded away with a sledgehammer trying to get rescuers' attention, the sole survivor says.
Detroit Free Press 28.Apr.06
Wilbur Ross is directly responsible for those air packs.
Ross told FOX News the week of the Sago disaster was "the worst week of my life."
"This disaster was man-made. It was unnecessary and criminal."
Mike Ely at Counterpunch 07.Jan.06
Six months after gambling on his hunch that the auto-parts industry is ripe for consolidation, U.S. billionaire investor Wilbur Ross says his acquisition spree has only just begun.
"We are still in the early stages here," the 68-year-old Ross, who plans to use his International Auto Components Group to create three global auto-parts makers, said in a telephone interview from Tokyo. "Almost every day, there is another supplier filing for bankruptcy. We are continuing to make acquisitions."
Bloomberg 30.Mar.06

Five men executed on Mexico drug war Pacific coast
Saving Mexico's forests by giving farmers alternatives to drug crops

Bethlehem Bloggers silent since 07.Apr.06


a lot of lies, a lot of misinformation, and some truth

Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay testified Monday that the company's collapse has caused him more "enduring pain" than the loss of loved ones, and he again denied lying to investors about Enron's weak financial condition as it slid into bankruptcy.
As he took the witness stand in his own defense, Lay described as "ludicrous" a charge by federal prosecutors that he resumed his role as Enron chief executive officer in August 2001, six months after leaving the job, and immediately led a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud.
In a case in which conviction or acquittal could depend heavily on the impression Lay makes with jurors, he spoke fondly of his wife - coyly declining to tell her age to the jury - and talked of a deep moral conviction and religious faith.
"I've been very blessed throughout my life," he said.

CBS News
Prior to his death last week[25.Jan.02], J. Clifford Baxter was for many a living embodiment of the American dream.
By the age of 43, he was a retired millionaire, with a mansion in an affluent suburb of Houston, a yacht and a young family.
baghdad His vast wealth had enabled him in May 2001 to leave behind a seemingly successful career at the energy giant Enron, where he was chief strategy officer and vice chairman.
Perhaps he would lived a life of moneyed leisure for years to come, had Enron not collapsed last December, dragging down the reputations of its top executives with it.
The ensuing controversy surrounding Enron's implosion appears to have turned Mr Baxter's charmed existence into a living nightmare.
After Enron's fall, Mr Baxter was named in a shareholder lawsuit, which alleged that 29 people had capitalised from selling Enron stock before the company collapsed.
Days before his suicide, he reportedly broke down in tears while talking on the telephone to former business associate about Enron.
He was also described by journalists that visited his home as dishevelled and unshaven.
Friends of Mr Baxter said he was depressed that he might have to testify about the role his colleagues had played in the collapse of Enron.
He was known as "ruthless" in the workplace, and even arrogant, and yet he seems to have suffered greatly from Enron's demise.
And the fact that he was named in a memo as one of the few executives who had in the past challenged Enron's questionable accounting practices adds to the mystery.
"Cliff Baxter complained mightily to Skilling and all who would listen about the inappropriateness of our transactions," wrote Sherron Watkins, another Enron employee.

Sure, sometimes folks just up and die, but when powerful people die in a way that benefits other powerful people, it's worth asking a few questions. Apparently the police in Sugar Land, Texas (in the district of Enron bedmate Tom deLay) didn't see it that way at first. They were happy to send dead whistleblower Cliff right over to the funeral home as soon as possible, until somebody pointed out that he was about to testify before Congress about Enron and that he had spoken of the need to hire a bodyguard.

Mark Zepezauer
The pain is overwhelming.


Blood for oil

we hear you calling

I've been a birdwatcher since I was about 4.

I'd never seen a sandhill crane before coming to Wisconsin. I'd never seen a whistling swan or a snowy oil or a prairie chicken. And each time I've seen them since coming here 23 years ago, it's been a thrill.

But there is something weird going on now.

A Baltimore oriole was seen in Appleton yesterday, two weeks early.

A ruby-throated hummingbird was seen in Milwaukee last week, three weeks early.

A scissor-tailed flycatcher showed up last summer way up north in Manitowish Waters.

These are like the robins in the Arctic Circle, where the Inuit people have no name for robin.

Or the rain on Christmas Eve up there.

Or the polar bears drowning because they can't swim the now vast distances between ice floes.
Matthew Rothschild/Progressive/commondreams 23.Apr.06

The Wheel of Law:
Kickin' that gong around

The woman who jumped out of the tightly-controlled crowd of journalists at the Hu-Bush press conference speech thing had been arrested 5 years earlier for doing the same thing to then-president Jiang Zemin in Malta.
She yelled at Hu Jintao, and Bush, and was able to continue yelling for two minutes and fifteen seconds without being interrupted by the Secret Service. When she was escorted from the scene, instead of being hustled out discreetly she was "taken away in front of the entire assembly, against White House and Secret Services regulations".

baghdad Explaining the incident - the first disruption at the executive mansion in recent memory - White House and Secret Service officials said she was "a legitimate journalist" and that there was nothing suspicious in her background.In other words: Who knew?
Hu did. The Chinese had warned the White House to be careful about who was admitted to the ceremony. To no avail: They granted a one-day pass to Wang Wenyi of the Falun Gong publication Epoch Times. A quick Nexis search shows that in 2001, she slipped through a security cordon in Malta protecting Jiang (she had been denied media credentials) and got into an argument with him.
Dana Millbank/WaPo
Li Hongzhi, the Reverend Moon of Falun Gong, says
"he can levitate and become invisible simply by thinking the phrase 'nobody can see me'. He can control people's movements by just thinking, he says, and can move himself anywhere by thought alone. He claims to have averted a global comet catastrophe and the Third World War and says that Nostradamus's prophecies are coming true today in China."
Independent UK
Bush made a brief mention of civil liberties in China: "I'll continue to discuss with President Hu the importance of human rights, and freedoms of the Chinese people. China has become successful because the Chinese people have experienced the freedom to buy and to sell and to produce. China can be even more successful when the Chinese people have the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship."
Hu followed President Bush's remarks, but was interrupted by a protester as he began his speech. The protester, Wenyi Wang, denounced the Chinese government's treatment of practitioners of the spiritual movement Falon Gong. Wang yelled: "President Bush, stop him from killing... Stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong." Wang was grabbed by Secret Service officers and led away. President Bush then encouraged Hu to proceed with his remarks, telling him "You're OK." An administration official later said the President Bush apologized to Hu for the protester's interruption. Although the incident made headlines around the world, it failed to reach a mass audience in China. According to CNN, the Chinese government censored the portion of its broadcast that showed the incident taking place.

Blair savages critics over threat to civil liberties

Tony Blair launches an unprecedented assault today on the legal and political establishment, accusing it of being 'out of touch' with the people - and pledges new moves to 'hassle, harry and hound' suspected criminals from Britain.


Operation Northwoods

Native protesters repel police raid in Caledonia, Ontario

Just before 5 am on Thursday, Ontario Provincial Police officers armed with guns, tasers, tear gas, and pepper spray stormed the area that dozens of Six Nations protesters have occupied for the past 52 days.
"People were pepper sprayed...another man was shot in the back with a Taser and we were told more police officers would be coming back," said protester Hazel Hill.
"The police just completely swarmed the territory," said protester Mike Desroches, adding that the officers entered with guns drawn. No shots were fired.
"They swarmed every which way, I couldn't even hazard a guess how many cops," said another man, Clyde Powless. The protesters have been unarmed since the beginning of the occupation.
OPP Deputy Commissioner Maurice Pilon confirmed that 16 people were arrested before protesters called in reinforcements that caused police to retreat. A spokeswoman for the protesters, Janie Jamieson, made it clear that the confrontation was not over. "We're prepared ... for however long it takes," she said.
WikiNews 20.Apr.06

Berlusconi, friend of Israel and
U.S., narrowly loses Italian election

Hinky foreplay:

Two workers looking for tools set off a security situation at a Beaver County nuclear power plant that drew a response from police and federal investigators, WTAE Channel 4's Paul Van Osdol reported.
State police said the men drove up to the Beaver Valley Power Station in a tractor-trailer on Tuesday night to pick up two large containers of tools for a contractor for whom they worked.
Security guards stopped the men for a routine inspection, but they drove away, police said.
The guards became suspicious and called police, who pulled the truck over about a mile from the plant.
A state trooper got a warrant to search the vehicle and found a duffel bag, which he said contained $504,230 in mostly small bills.
PittsburghChannel 19.Apr.06
link rigorous intuition


Computer glitch hits climate prediction project

A software error has hit one of the world's most sophisticated climate simulations. Participants in the BBC-sponsored project, which uses spare time on home computers to predict Britain's climate in 2080, will have to wait longer than expected to see their work on television.
The results, due to be presented as part of the BBC's "Climate Chaos" television season, will be delayed by about two months as experts at, the research project based at the University of Oxford, reset the software.
Some 200,000 volunteers had pledged their computers to the effort, making it possibly the largest mass-participation climate experiment ever. The model aims to simulate the British climate from 1920 to 2080. But users found that the program was mysteriously crashing at 2013.
What's more, the models were predicting far greater global warming up to that point than experts expected.
MichaelHopkin/news@nature 19.Apr.06

Yet more numinous recension.

Dubious Comfort Dept.:

A new study by Swedish researchers has found no evidence relating to increased risk for women who have undergone breast enlargement surgery.
The findings appear in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The study said that said smoking habits, weight and giving birth had a greater impact. Excess weight, childlessness and older age at first birth all raise the risk of breast cancer, not necessarily the silicone implants.
The research team, led by Joseph McLaughlin, president of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., analysed government data from 3,486 Swedish women who first received implants for cosmetic reasons between 1965 and 1993. On average, women were followed for about 18.4 years.
The research found women with the devices had an increased risk of lung cancer and a decreased rate of breast cancer compared with the general population, but neither result could be linked to the implants.
"Women with silicone breast implants should feel reassured," McLaughlin conluded.
The safety of silicone breast implants has long been a subject for debate. The United States banned silicone breast implants in 1992 for cosmetic purposes amid concerns that silicone leakage could cause a variety of diseases, ranging from immune system disorders, arthritis, lupus to cancer.
Dow Corning Corporation, once the world's largest maker of silicone gel breast implants, funded the study.
In 1999, the company filed for bankruptcy and spent $3.2 billion (1.8 billion pounds) to settle lawsuits from thousands of patients who alleged silicone implants made them sick.

One expert questioned the connection.
Yang Li/Xinhua 19.Apr.06
Studies Find No Ill Effects From Mercury in Fillings

Critics, however, charged that the studies were not designed to detect problems that might manifest themselves in adulthood, as has been observed with some other metals, such as lead.
"The question of subtle effects remains open," wrote Dr. Herbert Needleman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in an editorial in the same journal.
"During the period when the children are growing and developing, we didn't see any effect," DeRouen said. "This is the only objective evidence we have at this point…. Everything else is anecdotal."
Thomas H. Maugh II/LATimes 19.Apr.06

The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change.
The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide.
SteveConnor/IndependentUK 19.Apr.06


FT: If Roman Abramovich were to give you a very big donation for your Green Cross fund, would you accept it?

MSG: We would have to discuss it. We cannot be indifferent to the source of sponsorship, to the source of donations. At the present time I understand that he is buying his third yacht, and a second soccer team, and then he will buy up all of London. Fifty per cent of the people of Russia live in poverty. At the same time the number of billionaires in Russia is second only to the United States. That is ridiculous.
Mikhail Gorbachev, interview in Financial Times 17.Apr.06

. . . - - - . . .

One of the two owners of the DC9 (tail number N900SA) busted at an airport in Ciudad del Carmen in the state of Campeche, Mexico last week freighted 5.5 tons of cocaine had been appointed in 2003 to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee by then-Congressional Majority Leader Tom Delay...
link rigorous intuition


"The sight of the Aben family from Beit Lahiya mourning its 12-year-old daughter Hadil last week did not stir any particular shock in Israel. Nor did anyone take to the streets and protest over the sight of her wounded mother and little brother lying in shock on the floor of their shanty in Gaza.
On the day Hadil Aben was killed, Yedioth Aharonoth carried a story about Nelly, the dog from Kibbutz Zikim that died of heart failure from the booming noise of the Israeli artillery firing into Gaza."


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has unleashed a firestorm back home, with some ill-advised remarks that could undermine Jerusalem's moral stance in the War on Terrorism.
Interviewed recently on ABC's "Nightline," Livni said she draws a distinction between those who attack civilians and those who attack soldiers - the latter, she said, "is not under the definition of terrorism."
Indeed, she added, targeting someone in uniform, rather than a bus full of women and children "is more legitimate, it's a legitimate fight."
Who knew a top Israeli official could be so clueless when it comes to terrorism?
NYPost 15.Apr.06
Israel is dropping thousands of bombs on towns and villages, on the "the launching pads" of the Qassams - another dubious term created by the defense establishment and blindly adopted by the press - and only the Palestinians, whose Qassam rockets haven't killed anyone since the disengagement, are called "terrorists."
Nor was there any substantive debate after a possible slip of the tongue by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in an interview to the BBC, in which she said that there was a difference between attacking civilians and attacking soldiers. Even though she did not resolutely stand by her own words in an interview with Channel 10, Livni dared to speak the truth: If harming civilians is a measure of terror, then Israel is a terror state. With 18 killed in Gaza alone in 12 days, three of them children, the absence of intent cannot suffice for us. Someone who uses artillery to shell population centers and says with horrific indifference that this is "just a preview," as if it were another reality show on TV, cannot claim that he does not intend to kill children.
Gideon Levy/Haaretz 16.Apr.06
link Danny Yee
Angry Arab says Hadil Aben was 8 years old, not 12.
But what's most striking is the arrogant viciousness of the New York Post editorial in contrast with Gideon Levy's brave plea for co-operation and peace.
Haaretz is published in Israel.
The Post is published in the US where it's even more anti-Semitic than it used to be to suggest that Jewish control of the media is pervasive and influential enough to have mobilized the public behind the disaster of the Iraq invasion, against the interests of the country and the world.
As things heat up it becomes more and more crucial to remember and keep remembering that there are many Jews in Israel and in the rest of the world who are as sickened by all this as anyone else, and in more danger from all sides because of it.

Swan shot over 'bird flu fears'
A healthy swan which was shot at least nine times in the chest may have been targeted because of concerns over bird flu, wildlife rescuers said.
The badly bleeding swan, which was found struggling to get to a river at Dinton, Wiltshire, had to be put down.
Philip Groombridge, from Salisbury Wildlife Rescue, believes it was shot out of the sky.
"People are frightened of swans landing on their land with the bird flu, people are shooting at everything," he said.
BBC 14.Apr.06
link rw


Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, an alarming number of the country's leading academics have been killed. A human rights organisation puts the number at about a thousand and has a documented list of 105 cases. These professors, it says, were not random casualties - they were assassinated.
The first documented case is that of Muhamad al-Rawi, the president of Baghdad University, who was killed on 27 July, 2003, when two men entered his private clinic
Assassination incidents continued after al-Rawi's shooting. Dr Majid Ali was assassinated in 2005, shot four times in the back. He had a PhD in physics and was one of the best nuclear energy experts in Iraq.
Ahmed Janabi/Aljazeera/ACHR 10.Apr.06

[General Eric] Shinseki's effective early retirement, apparently in retaliation for speaking out with such candour, was taken by most officers as a message from Rumsfeld that public disagreement with his views could have serious career consequences.
Jim Lobe/AsiaTimes 15.Apr.06

In 1990, Igor Kostin took photographs of these mutations, including this eight-legged foal, and sent them to Mikhail Gorbachev to encourage him set up an international commission to investigate the causes of the changes; he received no reply from the Soviet leader.
Igor Kostin
Der Spiegel


Fifth, I was tickled by the first line of your post on March 28. "On Monday, thousands of Latino high school students walked out of their classrooms en masse...". What I found humorous was the fact that the greatest amount of truancy and the highest drop-out rate in our public schools comes from the "...Latino high school students..." so, naturally they would take advantage of any opportunity to "skip" school!
Bear - comment at Max Blumenthal 10.Apr.06
What bugs me about the millions in the street to protest bogus "immigration reform" is they haven't been out there kicking against the war-against-other-brown-people as well.
What would be amusing about that smug observation of "Bear" - if we weren't so close to the brink of the verge - is that it never occurs to people like that that the drop-out rate and the mass protests might be caused by the same thing. That the flaw is systemic and rises from an identifiable privileged minority who maintain their place by violence and hypocrisy disguised as morality.
There's that "Daddy knows best" thing underneath it. The assumption that school drop-outs are losers automatically, and fully responsible. This is passive sadism and it's coming back around, to bite the unwitting, hard.
That brink, that verge.

The US market share of international tourism trade is at an all-time low and has dropped 35% since 1992, according to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).
U.S. market share of international travel is at an all-time low.
Since 1992...

  • U.S. market share has dropped 35% (between 1992 and 2004).
  • Losing market share has cost the U.S. economy $286 billion in revenue.
  • Federal, state and local government would have an extra $48 billion in tax revenue if we had maintained our market share.


Babylon Dicontinuity:

I remember shortly after 9/11 that suddenly there seemed to be an upsurge in some rather titillating debates about torture. Various talking heads were dancing around some of the fine points of the law. I thought some of this chatter was titillation pumped by the media to boost their ratings. But then, I thought maybe not. Maybe someone was trying to get us ready to accept torture as an acceptable technique. How could people like Alter and Dershowitz who had every advantage this society can offer stoop so low as to participate in this kind of charade?
I wrote a letter to Dr. McCray who wrote the book "A Question of Torture" and we've traded some thoughts. Like you and me, his family has folks who have not always navigated the class currents of American society. The argument of his book resonates with some of my thoughts. He argues that the events at Abu Ghraib were most definitely not the work of soldiers whom William Safire called "creeps" and another called "recycled hillbillies from Cumberland, Maryland." McCray's view is that these soldiers were acting on orders that started in the White House and worked their way down the chain of command. Moreover, if one reads those prison photos carefully one can readily discern signs, not of individual deviance, but of the perfection of the CIA's psychological torture paradigm which was developed in the 1950s and propagated widely within the US intelligence community in the decades since.
McCray's view of Jonathan Alter is that he is also one of the liberal commentators who fostered a climate conducive to systematic torture by this administration since 9/11. This view is part of a larger argument that McCray makes is that the torture issue is deeply imbedded in this society, making what happened at Abu Ghraib and what is happening at Guantanamo even today much more than the work of a few aberrant soldiers or even an entire administration.
Carol/Joe Bageant 05.Apr.06
CBS cameraman Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein. In April 2005, he was shot in the hip by an American sniper while filming the wreckage of a car bomb in Mosul. US troops then detained him, claiming he had tested positive for explosive residue and that images in his camera linked him to the insurgents.
He was imprisoned in Abu Ghraib for more than a year without due process.
Abdul Ameer was released just last week after an Iraqi criminal court acquitted him of collaborating with insurgents, citing a lack of evidence. No charges were made public until the trial itself.
SCOTT HORTON: Exactly, that the event had occurred, and he got there about 30 minutes after the incident, and it's just as he picked up his camera and started to film that he was shot. Within about 48 hours, there were announcements made, basically saying, "It was a mistake. We're very sorry about this. He is being treated and will be released shortly."
But then, very disturbingly, about five or six days later, suddenly reports began to circulate, not in Iraq, but in Washington, D.C., amongst Pentagon correspondents for CNN and other major networks, FOX News, as well, quoting unnamed, unidentified official Pentagon spokesmen, saying that the Pentagon had extremely disturbing evidence that this man was a terrorist. And specifically, they said that he had on his videotape camera four separate incidents involving attacks on U.S. forces, where there was clear evidence of prior knowledge, that he was there before the attack itself actually occurred, filming.
Of course, when the trial came, we discovered that this was a lie. No other way to put it. We got the tape. We examined it. In fact, the tape helped exonerate him, because it corresponded exactly to his account of what had happened and directly contradicted all the claims that had been put forth by or on behalf of the U.S. forces.
Democracy Now! 14.Apr.06

Babylon Continuity:

I was in Lebanon at the start of the civil war in 1975. Baghdad today resembles Beirut then. People are being murdered solely because of their religious identity. A friend called to say he had a problem because his two half brothers had been born in Fallujah, the Sunni stronghold, and this was on their identity cards. If they were picked up by Shia militiamen, a glance at their place of birth alone could get them killed.
The same friend had taken his mother and two sisters to the passport office in Baghdad so they could leave the country. While they were there a bomb went off killing 25 policemen outside and breaking his sister's leg. Now the family cannot leave the country because his sister is in hospital and his mother is too frightened to return to get a new passport.
George Bush and Tony Blair have for the past three years continually understated the gravity of what is taking place. It has been frustrating as a journalist to hear them claim that much of Iraq is peaceful when we could not prove them wrong without being killed or kidnapped.
Patrick Cockburn/Independent UK/truthout 08.Apr.06
"I believe that one day an American president will be talking about the world in which he is making decisions, or she is making decisions, and they'll look back and say, 'Thank goodness a generation of Americans understood the universality of liberty and the fact that freedom can change troubled parts of the world into peaceful parts of the world,'" Bush said.
"Is it worth it in Iraq? You bet it is," he continued. "It's worth it to protect ourselves in the short run, but it's necessary and worth it to lay the foundation of peace for generations to come."
John D. Banusiewicz/DoD DefenseLINK 06.Apr.06
I think most of you know that in any war on a country, women and children suffer disproportionately more than any other section of society. It is absurd therefore to unleash, deadly and new weapons on Iraq, devastate the fragile infrastructure, destroy our cities loot our public buildings and dismantle all government institutions in the name of democracy and human rights.
Even more absurdly in the name of Women's rights!
Where are the values of democracy and civilisation that Bush wants to bring to Iraq?
All we have seen is mass killing, prohibited weapons, imprisonment, abuse and torture, continue unabated.
As a result of the recent sustained attacks on western Iraqi cities there are 11 women and girls being held by the US military in lieu of their male relative or husband. The youngest is 15 year old.
Hana Ibrahim/Women's Will Association Dec.05
link uruknet

The future is ahead of us now

The Government's chief scientist today gave his starkest warning yet about the world's increasing carbon emissions saying that even the best-case scenario put millions of lives at risk by the end of the century.
Professor Sir David King said that a 3C rise in global temperatures is likely within 100 years, a process that will lead to a rise in sea levels and increase in desertification that will place 400 million people at the risk of hunger. Parts of Britain will be flooded as the UK comes under coastal attack.

Sam Knight/TimesUK/commondreams
This is a lot like those images of airmobiles and space-age cities that were all curves and ordered conduits of rapidity. In the future everyone will have skin-tight body suits that adapt to the environment. Only in this case the news is not so exciting.
But it's riffing off the same chord. Not to agree or disagree but the corollaries of King's predictions are missing aren't they?
Also a sense of scale and proportion. 400 million at the risk of hunger 100 years from now in a world that's experienced a net gain of over 500 million since 2000.
6 years, 500 million additional mouths to feed. A growing family.
It's obvious there's more to this than forecast.
First of all we aren't going to sustain that rate of growth for 100 years.
The math is unavailable to me, but even at a linear rate that's 6 billion add-ons in a century. Double this, what we have now.
That's without the exponential kick, of 1% of current population leading to 1% more of what you have then, and then 1% of that added on.
It won't happen that way.
King's a professional intellect. He knows this. His friends, colleagues, the people he discusses these things with, they all know this.
So it's manipulative info, not necessarily a bad thing. It's said for effect. It's a kind of scientific/humanist propaganda.
What effect? What's the desired outcome?
It has to come back to a vision, an imagined future, a not-that compared to the images of suffering and chaos that merge too easily with the stories and descriptions of hell, traditionally.
The Judeo-Christian outlook has two worlds that are on fire - hell, and the earth itself at the end-time.
The difference would be hell is permanent and earth is temporary.
That may be some of what's creating the need for circumspection and reduction-to-simplicity on King's part. Not increasing the smug power of people who welcome those visions of millions of suffering souls if it means they personally will be able to avoid it.
Still, leaving out the metaphysical complications for now, a thought exercise that anyone can do is to imagine a world where it becomes increasingly obvious these climatic changes are occurring.
The scramble for higher ground will preclude anything like broad social cohesion - unless there's a control architecture in place that's irrefutable, a kind of meta-fascism whose driving motive is unimpeachable - the preservation of some core of humanity against a whirlwind of chaotic attack, extreme weather, disaster and catastrophe.
It will also lead to a dissolving moral bond, increasing the likelihood of those in positions of power and material wealth becoming ethically self-metric, their moral imperatives being reduced to protecting what they have in an increasingly inhospitable landscape as well as against the blowback of societal fragmentation.
The prospect of social disintegration and a growing mass of disenfranchised whose lack of basic necessities drives them toward amoral actions comes right out of King's predictions and the evidence they're based on.
And the likelihood of current energy systems, with their reliance on a benign and essentially coherent social landscape, becoming unreliable and requiring too much energy themselves to maintain will mean atomized energy will become paramount, extra-market delivery and ownership, the blood supply of the fortress and the compound off the grid, outside the large economy or underneath it as it fragments - leading to military aggression to secure energy sources with no moral underpinnings other than the self-metric of the aggressors.
Passive acceptance is probably not going to get us through.
Neither is panic or frustrated rage.
Neither is business as usual.
Lots of grown-ups are practicing an air of knowing reserve and a kind of selfless responsible concealment - this may account for the constricted tone of King's news release.
The leading climate science news blog is adamant that they don't do sociological implications or politics or policy.
So who's King talking to?
Is it prep?
Waking up the slumbering zeitgeist?
Is it collaborative?
Part of a larger move toward preservation and containment?
On the part of who?
Hard to tell from the story in the Times.


Jose Bove was arrested again

She don't mind

While Europeans are turning in record numbers to cocaine for recreational purposes, Colombia's environment and its people are paying the price. The country has been left with three million internal refugees from drug-fuelled conflicts; a rapidly diminishing rainforest; the worst landmine problem in the world; and tribes driven from their homelands deep in the Amazon. Eradication campaigns have driven the narco-traffickers deeper into the protected national parks, where the spraying planes are barred from going.

Daniel Howden/IndependentUK/commondreams 13.April.06

150 Indians belonging to one of the last nomadic tribes in the Amazon have been forced to flee their land after becoming caught up in Colombia's drugs war.
Large numbers of left-wing guerrillas have taken over the Indians' territory, and are engaged in fighting with the Colombian army and right-wing paramilitaries. All sides are seeking to control the lucrative drugs trade which thrives in this remote region.
The Indians belong to the Nukak-Maku tribe, who live in the eastern Colombian Amazon. The tribe first made contact with white people in 1988. Around half the tribe have died since then from diseases such as flu and measles, leaving a population of about 500. In 1997 a Survival campaign succeeded in gaining legal protection of the Indians' territory on paper.
Until recently most of the Nukak were trying to continue their nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life in the face of waves of violence against them and the colonisation of their lands by poor Colombians growing coca. However, the scale of the fighting now taking place has made their life in the forest impossible, and the very survival of the tribe is now at risk.

Survival International
Pies Descalzos


And other means:

"Middle East scholar" Daniel Pipes interviewed by Bill Steigerwald for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in a story 01.Apr.06 headlined
Pipes calls war a success
That would be the Iraq war.
Which is, like Viet Nam, not technically a war at all.
Astute readers with long memories will recall a repeated assertion made here, and in other venues - that the purpose of the invasion was, from the beginning, to destroy Iraq itself, as an economic and political entity, Saddam or no Saddam.
Pipes is asked:
Q: You're not one of those neocons who allegedly talked President Bush into going to war in the Middle East?
and his answer, in total:
A: I have been called a neoconservative. I don't exactly know how a neoconservative differs from a conservative.
Pipes says:
The real issue is the war that radical Islam, a global phenomenon, has declared on us and that has already been underway for many years, and we're still at the beginning of it. That's the really major issue.
Pipes says:
To give an imperfect analogy: Germany went through a hideous period between 1933 and 1945. The condition of the Muslim world is not that bad but it's comparable. It's going through a particularly bad time. ... Our goal is to help the Muslim world move beyond this war through educational programs and other means.
Pipes never mentioned Israel once during the entire interview as printed. He's not asked to supply a reason for this declaration of war on "us" either.
Though the most radical Muslims, including bin Laden, have said repeatedly and clearly that the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is primary in their cause, and the US support of Israel is primary in their hatred of America - or was until the war Pipes calls a success, with its hundreds of thousands of innocent dead.

First Response and More:

Native Americans want U.S. authorities to cancel plans to detonate 700 tons of explosives on what they say is tribal land in Nevada.
The planned explosion, scheduled for June 2 some 90 miles from Las Vegas, is aimed at aiding U.S. efforts to develop "bunker buster" weapons capable of penetrating solid rock. Officials have suggested the test would constitute the largest non-nuclear, open-air blast in the test site's history.
"Without going through a lot of detail, the issue of ownership of the land area occupied by the Nevada Test Site, and for that matter very large sections of Nevada and Utah, is very complex (going back to the Ruby Valley Treaty) and in our eyes has been resolved," said Kevin Rohrer, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which operates the test site...
Scientists have said that exposure to radiation from nuclear testing caused an increased incidence of leukemia and cancer in areas adjacent to the Nevada Test Site.
All necessary permits to conduct the test have been obtained from Nevada state agencies, test authorities have said, but there has been no indication that they sought Shoshone approval.
The test has been named "Divine Strake," adding to the outrage felt by many Native Americans, who say the test site sits on sacred land.
"It's a mystery why they call it 'divine'," said Carrie Dann, a grandmother and executive director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project. "Isn't 'divine' used for your deity, God, your sacredness? Why don't they call it 'Hell Strake?'"
Haider Rizvi/OneWorld/commondreams 11.Apr.06
Terrorism is taught around the world, but for learning counterterrorism the place to go is the Nevada Test Site. In the desert 100 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas, Bechtel Nevada oversees a varied and growing program that teaches local, state, and federal officials how to thwart terrorists, and how to respond to nuclear and chemical attacks.
Larger than the state of Rhode Island, the Nevada Test Site (NTS) was created in 1952 as an area for testing nuclear weapons. Since the nuclear weapons testing moratorium in 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration has diversified the site into programs such as hazardous chemical spill testing, conventional weapons testing, stewardship of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and waste management and environmental technology studies.
Even before September 11, 2001, the NTS was known nationally for its counterterrorism training program. The attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as increasing terrorist activity worldwide, have turned the fight against terrorism into a top priority for DOE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As a result, the budget for the counterterrorism program at the NTS has more than doubled over the past two years.
The program, managed by Bechtel Nevada, comprises a staff of 600 working on four core components: emergency response, training and exercises, test and evaluation, and applied technology.
Bechtel Briefs Online

1600 Sesame Street:

"The bottom line is that the previous administration, this administration, members of both parties in Congress, foreign governments all saw that -- all felt that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Now, we know that much of the intelligence was wrong, and that's why the President put in place an independent, bipartisan commission to look at those issues and to recommend reforms. We are moving forward on those reforms and putting them in place.
It's important for the President to make sure that he is using the best possible intelligence when making decisions about how to confront the threats that face this country and face this world."
Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary 10.Apr.06
"...felt that..."
They felt it.
Those feelings may have been wrong, but they were sincere feelings, and that's what counts. way or another
one way or another
this darkness got to end

Notes - scattered, inconclusive, heartfelt:

The thing about this "immigrant" thing is if you look with an open mind at the faces of the people in question they aren't immigrants, they're natives.
Indians. Indigenous residents. Prior inhabitants.
The mix-up of language that makes anyone with visible black heritage an African-American places most of the descendants of native people south of the US in political categories like "Guatemalan" "Mexican" "Salvadoran". These aren't accurate.
They are and they aren't. Mostly they aren't.
The people in question are almost all from very bottom of the social economies of their countries of origin, and they're almost all descendants of the native populations of those countries, whose ethnic boundaries don't conform to modern political ones.
Terms of convenience can easily become lies.
Slavery's another thing the voluntary "immigrants" to the US have in common with black Americans. And the sick bargain of artificial poverty's necessity for compromise that puts a family's survival ahead of its dignity.
More and more the economies of this time look like forms of captivity to me, and the ranks and hierarchies of privilege like the rewards of submission.
The piece below from 2004 went unpublished here then because it's too easily misread, and because it fuels dangerous ideas about what should be done about this extrapolating population.
Writing it now I'd emphasize and repeat that human control of the system is the problem, originally and primarily, and human control of the system is not going to be the answer.
Using the profusion of humanity and its unsustainable numbers to justify selection to conscious formula is exactly the wrong way to go.
But that way promises unimaginable power and control to the minorities who might achieve it, so it's very seductive, and I believe the potential of that is moving toward actualization on many fronts, which is why I'm talking about it now.
The way my mind works on these things is I get a novelized image, a nurse say, or a girl whose brother is severely disabled, and I see the disheartening sense, the doubt, the lack of substance and foundation - heartbreaking to me, and the guilt available there is something I can't stand. Nurses and doctors need to believe in what they're doing, the people who love the disabled have to fight the burdens of neglect and disregard as well as actual physical manifestations. Support or rejection is magnified tremendously there.
So then Jesus. As political solution. The Christian embrace of the living, all of them.
Because if the way things are is corrupt, wrong, biologically first and morally too, then advocating a way of being that subverts that is honorable and right. And that kind of all-embracing acceptance, reverence for life in everything including the marginal and incomplete, is subversive. Not the Jesus of big rich churches and financial prosperity - the Jesus of the dirt and the suppurating wounds, the eye infections and the broken souls.
And I'm not putting that there as central alternative but as a way through this that doesn't give the human spirit to an alien master race on a leash, on its knees.
Swamps. Marshes. The "wetlands" of contemporary regard. Lots of it - most of them gone.
But are they gone in totality? What are they, then?
As land, as features of the landscape, yes. But as function maybe not. What that is, those places, is womb, fecundity, rich soup of living to which many animals return to begin their cycles. The pristine sterility of highways and malls makes that a nightmare of rot and reptilian threat but it's like the genitals of the world. And like the genitals, like ours, close to the waste and danger of elimination, the stench of it, and the uselessness of it.
Gone, or reconfigured?
Moved into the laboratories.
That's where the swamps and marshes are now, atomized, compartmentalized, held, dominated, controlled, bent and broken to the will of whatever it is that runs those places day and night.
There's between 7000 and 5000 tigers in the world, maybe less. Elephants too in steep decline. Chinese herbalists grinding the bones of the great creatures to give wealthy old men erectile strength.
And in there somewhere the little bitter individuals whose only shot at dominance is to turn everything upside down and get vicious.
6.5 billion human beings.
6.525 billion.
That extra 25 million dropped to get a round figure without changing the impact much.
25 million people. California in the 1980's.


from August 2004:

There's a lot to say about this, the whole picture dimming toward one dull color, but right now, it's - stem cells, stem cells, gotta have those stem cells! Think of the lives we'll save!
The reason fundamentalists don't like evolution is not, as the argument's been framed, because the Bible is in conflict with it. It's because their moral systems, and the true fundamental precepts they live by, are anti-evolutionary - as is modern medicine, politics, and social morality.
Anti-evolutionary meaning against evolution, opposed to its processes. Unless they're human-controlled, as in the breeding programs and genetic manipulations of modern agriculture and scientific research.
Human direction of evolution is framed as the only possible good. The very process that gave us life, that shaped our brains and hands, is discarded as a cold-hearted, and defeated, enemy.
Evolution is about people dying as much as it is about them surviving.
This whole enterprise is against that. It is a taboo so deep it's virtually non-existent in public discourse, the idea that there are too many of us now, leading directly, not to a return to the old ways of natural forces in interplay, but to human control of our evolutionary destiny.
That's the gambit. And as sure as you have breath, up there somewhere is the moment some collective of the elect decides it's time to raise the drawbridge and all that science and technology that seemed to be about helping the common folk and their lives, will prove to have nothing to do with common folk at all.
Evolution is about people dying. Any beautiful thing that's alive that you can name gets its beauty from the shaping hand of death. The wolf, the butterfly, the oak, the human female in her breeding prime. And our minds, our brains, the way we can think and conceive our way to dominance of the planet, that came from evolution, too.
But now we're setting that aside, and the tacit morality, while never being openly discussed, is that all births make holy each born life. It's true but only as part of a larger picture where death is also beautiful, and age, and all the spectrum of existence. Look at the humans this way of life ennables. And don't give me that gym-hard cosmetic pseudo-health. This is a breeding program more complex than most of us can see, its edges are too widely flung in time, and its slow work too long for our still-brief perspective.
The danger is this kind of talk gives power to those who would use their own criteria to cull the herd, and that's not my aim. But the alternative is going exactly there as well, with less room to shift. First break up the old ways of being, then disrupt the chains of stories and songs that held human commonality for the millenia we've been here. Then replace them with imitations and subtly skewed versions that will be acceptable because they'll be all there is. It's worked. The television is the story-teller now, and every one of the stories it tells are in a traditional line, all of them come through the filter of the machine and its masters.
We are adaptive creatures first, above any other skill or talent we can change with what comes, and we get that from having had to, and from leaving behind those who couldn't. That's evolution. Leaving behind those who can't.
Not on purpose, that's not what I'm saying.
Disease sweeps across the landscape, and leaves strong immune systems in its wake. We spit on that now. We scorn it. We create an immune system that's working only for the social group, while individuals without the strength to fight are held in place by the increasingly artificial biology we share.
The argument is that I'm suggesting we kneel to disease like it was a god or a master. No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it's a ruse to deliver the power and the keys into the hands of a cunning and manipulative trickster. And it's working. This is headed somewhere. It's a program of redirection. And since there will be, as there will with any evolutionary selection, those who benefit and those who lose, there is struggle, fighting, war.
The Pope is right to object to human arrogance, but the beauty of the scam is that the moral system from which he speaks is owned and operated by the people he opposes. It is an anti-evolutionary institution, his church. But he's still right.
The veil of Islam is constricting compared to the vibrant freedom of modern women in the West. But which of those two systems will endure great hardship better? The I-me-mine of hedonistic selfishness, or the submission of the long path, the surrender to God that's at the heart of true religion?
I'm not advocating conversion, I'm pointing to the confused immediacy and the blinding greed at the heart of western social morality. It's corrupt, and corrupting.
We had physical immortality already, just not individually. Something that we are has lived with us and through us all along.
Selfishness is what's appealed to, and what answers willingly, ready to submit.
The greed, the willingness to sacrifice what's beautiful and graceful and obviously right for what's ugly and grasping - that's what's wrong here.
The argument is framed, as so much of it is now, by the same unseen hand, so that both sides lead to the same conclusion, by opposite paths.
Evolution is about death, that's why the simple folk are against it, they see their own doom there, and their masters are against it for the same reason.
The faith, my faith, is that there is a living heart to life itself. That nature is not just dust and random bits of accident. That the beauty we respond to that's ancient, far older than anything we've done, is an expression of something we are, something we have inside us in potential, all of us, even the weakest.
Submission to that is what's missing now, love of that is what's missing. Love of man, and the works of man, and the gods he throws up in his image, that's everywhere and it's destroying us.
The inertia is selfishness, the evil is selfishness, you can redefine it any way you want using any terms you want - it's selfishness at its core. Arrogance.
I think it comes from something that was told it had to go, and it wouldn't, and it's had to keep building greater and greater walls to protect itself from the results of its own refusal to submit. Until we get to this, we come to this place.
The argument will be that in the absence of ready answers that can be quickly understood and easily reproduced, we should continue in the direction we're going. It's a demonic kind of logic, and it benefits demons. We don't need techniques to save individual human lives, we need techniques to save the human race.

One of the great beauties of having an ahistorical public is you can get lots of shock value out of what is essentially a factual retelling of where we come from.
The main bridges across the Thames in London used to be garnished with the heads of executed criminals - or those deemed criminal by the ruling body of lawgivers - decapitated, then impaled on pikes and dipped in tar to preserve them against the elements, left there as warning and sign.
Did it work?
Define work.
Harsh measures are often necessary.
What we should do about the urgent problem of massive illegal immigration through our porous southern border is encourage all those would-be armed and willing posse comitatus/vigilantes to head south and man the frontier.
And shoot on sight anyone - man woman or child - entering the US illegally.
Then we can make a fence out of their corpses. Right down the borderline.
A Not-So-Running Fence.
Dead bodies every yard, or meter, will give us over a thousand miles of fence per million dead illegals.
Add another half million and we can cover the distance between San Diego and Brownsville, give or take a few hundred dead "immigrants".
This will be effective in its inception - during the initial gathering of materials, the most active part of its construction - and will work equally well for many years to come, as the bones of these criminals whiten in the dry desert air, a grim and silent warning to would-be opportunists who should have stayed home.


Watts, LA County, US 14.Aug.1965




Buffalo, New York

Two hundred and twenty-seven years ago, the first of our injured race were brought to the shores of America. They came not with glad spirits to select their homes, in the New World. They came not with their own consent, to find an unmolested enjoyment of the blessings of this fruitful soil. The first dealings which they had with those calling themselves Christians, exhibited to them the worst features of corrupt and sordid hearts; and convinced them that no cruelty is too great, no villainy, and no robbery too abhorrent for even enlightened men to perform, when influenced by avarice, and lust. Neither did they come flying upon the wings of Liberty, to a land of freedom. But, they came with broken hearts, from their beloved native land, and were doomed to unrequited toil, and deep degradation. Nor did the evil of their bondage end at their emancipation by death. Succeeding generations inherited their chains, and millions have come from eternity into time, and have returned again to the world of spirits, cursed, and ruined by American Slavery.
Project Gutenberg

Hot Hot Hot

Ministers predict hot world economic growth in 2006
Finance ministers from Asia and Europe predicted another bumper year of global economic growth on Sunday despite persistently high oil prices.
Reuters 09.Apr.06
US bomb threat raises Iran tension
The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog is to travel to Iran as tension increases with claims that Washington has drawn up plans to bomb Tehran's underground nuclear plants.
A report in The New Yorker magazine by one of the best known investigative reporters in the US that President George Bush is planning a huge bombing campaign is certain to raise the temperature of the nuclear stand-off between the two countries.
Age 10.Apr.06
Israel declares PA 'hostile entity'
The Israeli government says it has severed all ties with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, declaring it a "hostile entity".
However, the government will maintain contacts with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, although it has ruled out full peace talks with the leader of the Fatah faction.
The decision was announced following a security cabinet meeting on Sunday.
In a statement issued after the meeting Ehud Olmert, the acting Israeli prime minister, also said that his government would shun foreign diplomats who meet members of the Hamas administration. 09.Apr.06
Army of the Poor Marches
With Washington nervously watching the leftward swing of its long-neglected backyard, Ollanta Humala, the front-runner in tomorrow's general election, is proposing to transform his impoverished country with nationalism and populism.
It is a recipe that would put him on a collision course with the US and propel Peru into the camp of leaders such as Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President who enjoys vast oil wealth and close ties to Fidel Castro of Cuba and Evo Morales, the indigenous coca farmer who last year became President of neighbouring Bolivia.
Hider/TimesUK/commondreams 08.Apr.06


"Judas said ... the Lord said, blah, blah, blah."
ABCnews 06.Apr.06

kamikazes of poverty

Last year, 70 people were killed by gangs or Maras as they are known. Their activities stretch all the way from El Salvador to the US. Those trying to reach the US illegally make perfect targets in the murky world of drug trafficking and immigrant smuggling. All of those at the hostel have been, or expect to be, robbed on this journey. The savvy ones get their family to wire money to Western Union offices along the way but this young woman is worried about more than losing her money. It is common for women and young girls to be raped.

"As long as we stay alive it don't matter what happens. All we want is to be in the US. It doesn't matter what the consequences are as long as we get there. I'm scared. If you don't let them rape you, they could kill you or hurt you real bad. But we do whatever we can to send money to our family. We know we suffer, but we also think of our family suffering".

It is estimated that over half of those trying to cross borders illegally are women and minors.
Anna Yeadell-Nicola Fell/Radio Netherlands 31.Mar.06


Bimkom - Planners for Planning Rights was established in May 1999 by planners and architects with the goal of strengthening the connection between human rights and spatial planning in Israel.
Bimkom's point of departure is that spatial planning impacts on the community, society, and basic human rights. The connection between planning and human and civil rights is not always self-evident: there is a tendency to assume that planning is the province of the authorities, something dictated from above that defines for the individual and the community the physical surroundings in which they live. It is precisely for this reason that it is important to stress to residents and citizens of Israel that they do have rights when it comes to planning processes and they are liable to suffer when spatial planning does not take their needs and aspirations into account.

Emphasize the talking points:

Anti-Castro Cuban exile seeks U.S. custody release [headline]

Lawyers for anti-Castro Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles, the suspected mastermind of the 1976 bombing of a Cuban Airlines jet, have filed a motion in court requesting he be released from detention and allowed to live with his family in Miami.

They argued in court papers disclosed on Friday that at age 78 and in ill health Posada was not dangerous and was being held without cause in El Paso by U.S. authorities looking to deport him.
Reuters 08.Apr.06

Now since good Americans already despise Castro, Posada's a sympathetic figure right away. Anti-Castro and "exile". Sympathy abounds.
Old, frail, and the poor guy he just hates that mean ol' Castro so bad.
He just "bombed a jet" that's not so serious.
Unless you read seven paragraphs in to the story and discover he killed 73 people on that jet he bombed. Everybody on board died. Chances are pretty good most of them were innocent as could be.
Posada is a suspected terrorist. A wanted suspected terrorist. He's in custody in the U.S.
They're trying to build up some sympathy so they can let him go.
Cuba gets brought up in contrast to the "Israel Lobby". The anti-Castro lobby. As though they're two widely separate distinct presences behind the scenes in Washington. But there's some overlap.


One of Siberia's largest rivers is dumping about 10% more fresh water into the Arctic today than it was some 60 years ago, thanks to the complex effects of increased snowfall, melting permafrost and changing weather.
The result is in line with predictions of how climate change is expected to alter the Arctic water cycle, and is a worrying sign in terms of maintaining important ocean currents. The more fresh water that enters the northern seas, the less dense this water becomes and the less likely it is to sink. This sinking currently helps to drive a powerful Atlantic current that keeps the climate temperate and steady.
Freshening of the Arctic Ocean may already have begun to affect this so-called thermohaline circulation, but oceanographers and climate modellers are still puzzling about the magnitude and likely effects of the changes.
Quirin Schiermeier/Nature 06.Apr.06
thermohaline circulation at Wikipedia
Real Climate on Nature on the state of the science with regards to possible changes in the ocean thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic and its impact on climate.


"Glacial" as a metaphor should be retired from the language: When almost every glacier on the planet is beating a hasty retreat, "glacial progress" now means something else entirely.
-Rob Nixon/Slate
Limited, Inc. 05.Apr.06

"After a very thorough investigation using laboratories in Israel and abroad and after reviewing all the available evidence, it was not possible to reach a reliable conclusion that could provide a basis for proceedings under criminal law."

"Most of its (the region's) GDP and its mega-cities, especially in China, are located on the coast - prime candidates to be impacted by sea level rise and weather-related disasters," it said.
Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia, along with China, could suffer sharp cuts in their gross domestic product as a result of a rise in sea level, it added.
Stephen Leahy/IPS/commondreams 05.Apr.06
It may be thinking a little too narrowly.


Coherent Foreign Policy Dept.

QUESTION: How can we expedite this process, though? It seems like critical timing right now.

SECRETARY RICE:Well, its' very critical timing and that's one reason that Jack Straw and I are here, not to try to form a government tomorrow. We're not going to leave with a government in hand. That's not our responsibility. But to bring to the Iraqis the sense of urgency that is felt in the international community. It's felt in Great Britain. It's felt in the United States. But it's felt in many other countries around the world too and most especially it's felt by the Iraqis themselves.
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Interview With Courtney Kealy of Fox News

Baghdad, Iraq
April 2, 2006
"to bring to the Iraqis the sense of urgency that is the Iraqis themselves."
And there you have it.


Her father's farm has to go. "I'm busy selling it," she says. "I have to, to pay for my mom's treatment. But I'm going to stay here. I don't have an electric fence. I trust in the Lord. He will help me.
"I was very bitter at first. That passed with losing my husband. I realised it doesn't matter how you die. And I have my three children.
"But I will say this: if I killed one of them, you'd hear it all over the world. But if they kill my dad, no one hears anything, not even here."
There are other stories, one after another.

Farms of Fear
Times(UK) Online
link South African Mike Golby's Yblogza

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who triggered the demise of the Soviet Union's Communist empire, said in an interview that the United States was "intoxicated" by its power and should not impose its will on others.
"This talk of pre-emptive strikes, of ignoring the UN Security Council and international legal obligations - all this is leading toward a dark night," Gorbachev told Time magazine.

"I think some people may be pushing president Bush in the wrong direction," he said of the US leader.
AFP/commondreams 03.Apr.06

When new patients were added to groups receiving intercessory prayers as part of the study, the second-tier prayer groups were asked to pray for the primary prayer groups that had been praying for the patients all along. The researchers created this design to simulate a higher dose of prayer for the remaining patients enrolled in the study. Patients treated with "two-tiered" prayer had absolute six-month death and re-hospitalization rates that were about 30 percent lower than control patients, statistically characterized as a suggestive trend.

"While these are ancient healing modalities in all of the world's cultures, the scientific literature and understanding of the role of intangible human capacities in our world of high tech medical care is very, very young" said Krucoff. "The MANTRA II study shows that we can do good science in this arena, and that we can disseminate what we learn in high-level peer-reviewed publications. This is an early step, not a final one, in advancing our paradigms of optimal cardiovascular care."
Results of First Multicenter Trial of Intercessory Prayer, Healing Touch in Heart Patients
Duke University Medical Center 14.Jul.05

Iraq Mortality

... it is, therefore, now accurate to speak in terms of hundreds of thousands rather than tens of thousands.

Iraqiyun is an Iraqi humanitarian group headed by Dr. Hatim Al-Alwani and affiliated with the political party of Interim President Ghazi Al-Yawir.
It released its report on July 12, 2005, making it the most recent survey to date. It counted 128,000 actual violent deaths, of whom 55 percent were women and children under the age of 12.
The report specified that it included only confirmed deaths reported to relatives, omitting the large numbers of people who have simply disappeared without trace amid the violence and chaos.
Estimating civilian deaths in Iraq - six surveys
Nicolas J S Davies
Online Journal
link deltoid


The New York Times, a hopeful voice:

It is conceivable that the situation can still be turned around. Mr. Khalilzad should not back off. The kind of broadly inclusive government he is trying to bring about offers the only hope that Iraq can make a successful transition from the terrible mess it is in now to the democracy that we all hoped would emerge after Saddam Hussein's downfall.

The President of the United States, an optimistic guy:

"I fully understand there is deep concern among the American people about whether or not we can win," said President Bush. "And I can understand why people are concerned. And they are concerned, because the enemy has got the capacity to affect our thinking."

Elliptical concentricities -
Rice, Straw, Good Intentions, Lies of Necessity, Bricks & Mortar:

The visit by the US secretary of state and Jack Straw came a day after members of the ruling Shia Alliance bloc broke ranks publicly and joined calls for Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the prime minister, to step down to improve chances of ending political paralysis.
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is considering expanding bank operations in Iraq, which would put his agency at the center of rebuilding from a war he helped plan as the Pentagon's former No. 2 official.
The vast majority of the U.S. public appears to have grown thoroughly disillusioned with Pres. George W. Bush's crusade to spread democracy abroad, according to a new survey by one of the country's premier public opinion analysts.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded Friday that the United States probably has made thousands of "tactical errors" in Iraq and elsewhere, but said it will be judged by its larger aims of peace and democracy in the Middle East.
Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist says it is all right that President Bush broke FISA because he did it with the best of intentions. And Republicans now want to revise the law so presidents don't have to bother with the courts at all before wiretapping us.
Where do we get the strength to fight this and other encroachments on so many areas of progress made in the past 100 years? Too often, people think we cannot possibly do what a more heroic person - Dr. King comes to mind - has done to change the world. But it is worth remembering that those heroes and heroines of the past also lived in a time of frightening repression and fear, when many of those in power seemed hopelessly out of touch with reality and humanity.
...the State Department's announcement last November that it intended to waive Congressionally-imposed human rights conditions on military aid and sales to Indonesia in appreciation of Jakarta's "unique strategic role in Southeast Asia".
I was lying then, but I'm not lying now:
Jill Carroll has distanced herself from statements she made during captivity in Iraq and shortly after her release.
April 8th marks the second anniversary of the US military's attack on Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, which at the time contained scores of reporters and media people reporting on the US invasion. Two journalists were killed and others wounded. On the same morning, a journalist was killed when the Baghdad offices of the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera were attacked by US fighter planes.

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