...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



The fertilizer shortage might even be overcome just now. But the crisis won’t go away. It and many more to come are built into both what’s going on in world capitalism and what we have been doing in India. We’ve dismantled vital parts of our agriculture and with it, the livelihoods of millions. This at a time when the World Bank and IMF are trying to hide their tracks in the trail of disaster they left the world over
via Stan Goff
one of Russia's richest and most discreet businessmen
Mad Cow
Glenn Greenwald v. Keith Olbermann vis Obama's FISA true colors
There isn't enough money in the entire global economy to bail out the banks from a massive derivatives default today. When the investors realize that the "insurance" against catastrophe that they have purchased in the form of derivatives is worthless, they are liable to jump ship and bring the whole shaky edifice crashing down.
Ellen Brown
via Global Research

small, submarine-like semi-submersibles assembled deep in the jungle to outmaneuver drug agents and traffic cocaine

Common Dreams:

even-odds whether the North Pole melts out
fishermen, Alaskans and the world
the Holocene epoch — the interglacial span of unusually stable climate that has allowed the rapid evolution of agriculture and urban civilization — has ended and that the Earth has entered “a stratigraphic interval without close parallel in the last several million years.”
U. S. mayors, feeling the disastrous effects of the war in Iraq on their city budgets and local military families, are speaking out to try to stop another disastrous war. Thanks to a grassroots campaign initiated by CODEPINK, Global Exchange and Cities for Peace, a group of mayors have signed on to a National Mayors Resolution for Diplomacy with Iran.

U.S. Stocks Tumble, Sending Dow to Worst June Since Depression
Bloomberg 26.Jun.08
Better Consumer Data Lifts Stocks
that headline today in the WSJournal was shifted to:
Stocks Enter Bear Market
Wall Street Journal 27.Jun.08

Hatches? What hatches?

Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero".

"We're in a nasty environment," said Tim Bond, the bank's chief equity strategist. "There is an inflation shock underway. This is going to be very negative for financial assets. We are going into tortoise mood and are retreating into our shell. Investors will do well if they can preserve their wealth."
TelegraphUK 27.Jun.08
via cryptogon



I will not accept that the end result of all this financial mayhem is the result of the free market.
This is the result of very powerful people using their power to subvert the life saving signals that a free market will send to people telling them TO STOP WHAT THEY ARE DOING!! Those signals are being intercepted at every conceivable point in the market. From the press(MSM financial manipulation of epic propartions) to Gold prices(GATA has more than proven their case that gold is being manipulated by National banks the world over), to prices to governmental reporting.
All of it is being manipulated in an attempt to keep the con going a little longer. Because the whole system is based on a confidence game, HENCE THE NAME!! A confidence man can only keep swindling people if the MARK keeps having confidence in the man who is deceiving him.
Imagine a confidence man(swindler, grifter, whatever the hell you call him) who has the ability to control all the information around you. He could keep you in the dark for years, because there wouldn't be anyone around you to scream at you "HE'S CHEATING YOU!".
We are in the same boat as an entire society. The people around us who are supposed to be screaming STOP are not doing it, because they are part of the swindle.
They are blocking all signals to the average person, that the system is fatally broke and a realignment is coming full force at them.
Life After the Oil Crash Forum / Daily Economic Update 24.Jun.08


Iran all the way home:

"This time it will be largely the Air Force's show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy," writes McGovern. "Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details."
raw story
Jewish General To Pilot Evangelical-Friendly Air Force

the callousness required to defend the decapitation of a six year-old as necessary retaliation

Chris Hedges:

We confuse how we feel about courtiers like Obama and Russert with real information, facts and knowledge. We chant in unison with Obama that we want change, we yell “yes we can,” and then stand dumbly by as he coldly votes away our civil liberties. The Democratic Party, including Obama, continues to fund the war. It refuses to impeach Bush and Cheney. It allows the government to spy on us without warrants or cause. And then it tells us it is our salvation. This is a form of collective domestic abuse.

45 million gallons of easily available fat:
Barbara Ehrenreich's modest proposal could resolve the fuel crisis


George W. Bush is living proof:

Most of the Left does not hate evil; hatred of evil is primarily found on the Right. With exceptions such as Tony Blair and Joseph Lieberman, virtually the entire Left finds evil far less disturbing than global warming, smoking, economic inequality, and drug prices. And with the exceptions of "paleoconservatives" such as Pat Buchanan, most of the Right regards the use of American power to vanquish evil as the greatest good the U.S. can engage in.
by Dennis Prager
Wall Street Journal
December 17, 2003
via Lobe

whale meat embezzlement ring


The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised:

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

"A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist.

People have been kind:
Chris Locke
Frank Paynter
Sheila Lennon
Barry Pike ?
and large-hearted Tom Matrullo.
Thank you, fellow humans.
The problem isn't so much bad luck or artificially induced karma, but my inability to groove with the economy on its terms. This is what happens when you don't participate adequately. There's a smug heart to it all that repels me, but that's getting its ass handed to it now across the board.
Here we all are watching the fluttering bits of information precipitate. What does the world look like today. Tomorrow. There I was comfortable and now am not. How many others just like that. Hard work and plenty of it. Stubborn refusal to compromise means you stick out, they like it when you do cause you can be beaten down and that's fun. Jesus at the bottom of the pile, or near it. But we all have to eat. Where does the food come from? How to extend the line of living.
And then medical disaster. Or are those integral, do they fit together somehow, the necessities of health all patented and copyright and my goodness that's a lot of money.
What I need is a job. Lots of people in that boat now. And any sense of my own pathetic condition is modulated completely by the sight and knowledge of whole families with young kids slipping off the shrinking edge of the common endeavor.
Humility's in the cards, but assertion, you have to insist on the rightness of your own being or the dark will eat you.
Maybe I could get a job at this office.

crazy rasberry ants

It's getting hot out here:

If you live downwind from us, you might want to pay a little attention to what's happened to Navajos living on a 26,000 square mile reservation that spans the Four Corners region where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado meet. For three generations now, they have been breathing uranium-laden dust from mine tailings and drinking from wells tainted with minute traces of radioactive mining waste. From 1946 into the late 1970s, more than 40 million tons of uranium ore was mined near Navajo communities.

More than a thousand mines were abandoned on the reservation. For every 4 pounds of uranium extracted, 996 pounds of radioactive refuse was left behind in waste pits and piles swept by the wind and leached into local drinking water. In addition to the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Navajo miners who sickened and died of cancer and respiratory illnesses -- it's hard to say just how many, since nobody in power bothered to keep track -- epidemiological studies reveal a terrible ongoing toll. Navajo children living near the mines and mills suffered five times the rate of bone cancer and 15 times the rate of testicular and ovarian cancers as other Americans. Exposure to uranium has also been linked to kidney damage and birth defects.
Chip Ward/TomDispatch

ad astra per:

Under the theme "Why should we go to space?" the newly elected Chairman of the Committee, Ciro Arévalo Yepes, cited Professor Stephen Hawking in his opening address:
"In a way the situation was like that in Europe before 1492. The discovery of the new world made profound differences to the old. Spreading out into space will have even greater effect. It will completely change the future of the human race and maybe determine whether we have any future at all. Hopefully, it would unite us to face a common challenge," he said
UN/ScoopNZ 22.Jun.08
If the situation is "like that in Europe before 1492", then the situation is also like that in the so-called New World, the Western Hemisphere, in 1492. What happened then, what was done to the people already living in that New World, can't be seen as right except by abandoning right and wrong altogether.
Bringing those same attitudes to the stars, the arrogance and self-righteousness that ignored the lives of those already living there, that allowed their genocide and enslavement, may not be the best thing the human race is capable of, even now. The common challenge is internal, this should be more obvious now than ever.


an international day of solidarity with the hunger strike on 22 June
Baghdad Calling
Bush in London

Robert Fisk:

The refugee statistics are so appalling that they have become almost mundane. Four million of Iraq's 23 million people have fled their homes – until recently, at the rate of 60,000 a month – allegedly more than 1.2 million to Syria (a figure now challenged by at least one prominent NGO), 500,000 to Jordan, 200,000 to the Gulf, 70,000 to Egypt, 57,000 to Iran, up to 40,000 to Lebanon, 10,000 to Turkey. Sweden has accepted 9,000, Germany fewer – where an outrageous political debate has suggested that Christian refugees should have preference over Muslim Iraqis. With its usual magnanimity – especially for a country that set off this hell-disaster by its illegal invasion – George Bush's America has, of course, accepted slightly more than 500.

What matters is that a highly-decorated and highly-respected former FBI agent has been caught lying about knowing a man that was shot down like a dog in the street by enraged Houston police.

Spicer fucked up the ship channel contract:

The evening before Carnaby was shot, a man approached Carnaby and two friends at Houston's Capital Grille, a favorite meeting spot for Houston's business elite. A man, pretending to be inebriated, went up to Carnaby and acted as though he was an old friend. He was carrying an open bag, the type in which "to go" food orders are usually placed. Carnaby reportedly reached for his concealed handgun and told the man he had never seen him or met him before. The man apologized, quickly left the restaurant, and drove off in a car with diplomatic license plates. Carnaby's associates now believe the man was assigned to the Israeli Consulate General in Houston.
Wayne Madsen offers a scary heads-up for possible 9/11 false-flag Reichstag event Houston July 4.

IRAQ: Home to Too Many Widows
Ahmed Ali/Dahr Jamail
via Uruknet

Peter Dale Scott:

In my book The Road to 9/11, I have argued that there has existed, at least since World War Two if not earlier, an analogous American deep state, also combining intelligence officials with elements from the drug-trafficking underworld. I also pointed to recent decades of collaboration between the U.S. deep state and al-Qaeda, a terrorist underworld whose drug-trafficking activities have been played down in the 9/11 Commission Report and the mainstream U.S. media.

Still to be explained is the suppressed anomalous fact that al-Qaeda’s top trainer on airplane hijackings, Ali Mohamed, was simultaneously a double-agent reporting to the FBI, and almost certainly still maintained a connection to the CIA which had used him as an agent and helped bring him to this country in the 1980s. It is not disputed that Ali Mohamed organized the Embassy bombing in Kenya; and that he did so after the RCMP, who had detained him in Vancouver in the presence of another known terrorist, released Mohamed on instructions from the FBI.

From this historic background of collaboration, I would offer a hypothesis for further investigation: that the American deep state is somehow implicated with al-Qaeda in the atrocity of 9/11; and that this helps explain the conspicuous involvement of the CIA and other U.S. agencies in the ensuing cover-up.

Sibel Edmonds, the Turkish-American who was formerly an FBI translator, has publicly linked both al-Qaeda and American officials to the Turkish heroin trafficking that underlies the Turkish deep state. Although she has been prevented from speaking directly by an extraordinary court order, her allegations have been summarized by Daniel Ellsberg:
Al Qaeda, she's been saying to congress, according to these interviews, is financed 95% by drug money - drug traffic to which the US government shows a blind eye, has been ignoring, because it very heavily involves allies and assets of ours - such as Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan - all the 'Stans - in a drug traffic where the opium originates in Afghanistan, is processed in Turkey, and delivered to Europe where it furnishes 96% of Europe's heroin, by Albanians, either in Albania or Kosovo - Albanian Muslims in Kosovo - basically the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army which we backed heavily in that episode at the end of the century….Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.
Global Research

GWB possible RC:

However, it is thought unlikely that Mr Bush would convert until after he has left office. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, has already converted to Catholicism.

Catholics have noted that during the contested election in 2000, Jeb Bush travelled to Mexico and prayed to the icon of Our Lady of Guadelupe. His victory was announced by the Supreme Court on December 12, the feast day of the Lady of Guadelupe.

Dozens of logbooks and ledgers have been found, containing the names and photos of countless detainees. This one is dated July 24, 1967

The Guatemalan Police Archives

On July 5, officials from the Guatemalan government's human rights office (PDH - Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) entered a deteriorating, rat-infested munitions depot in downtown Guatemala City to investigate complaints about improperly-stored explosives. During inspection of the site, investigators found a vast collection of documents, stored in five buildings and in an advanced state of decay. The files belonged to the National Police, the central branch of Guatemala's security forces during the war - an entity so inextricably linked to violent repression, abduction, disappearances, torture and assassination that the country's 1996 peace accord mandated it be completely disbanded and a new police institution created in its stead.
Doyle/National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 170
via I heart photograph

Gloomy Americans adjust:

Bush's approval rating was 24 percent, up one percentage point from last month's record low.
Approval ratings for U.S. economic and foreign policy nudged up two points each to a still-low 14 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
The number of Americans who believe the country is on the right track remained at its all-time low in a Zogby poll of 16 percent, and the approval rating for the U.S. Congress remained at its all-time low of 11 percent.
Zogby/Whitesides/Reuters 18.Jun.08


MIKE GRAVEL: That’s right. And we held a hearing. And then, when he said—he said, “I want a federal building,” I says, “Well, I’d love to give you a federal building, but we don’t have the money, and the reason why we don’t have the money is because we’re in Southeast Asia. Now, let me tell you how we got into Southeast Asia.” And I started to read the Pentagon Papers. That’s how—and then I started sobbing after an hour of reading. I’m dyslexic, so I read terribly.
@Democracy Now!


Naomi Klein:

They also own several of the major news networks. They are in the fear business

the real names of global warming are Waste and Greed

Fallujah Guernica:

Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.

The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.

In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tonnes of DU in Iraq thus far.
What made it wrong, what makes it wrong forever isn't just the damage and the loss and the carnal degradation, the numbers of the dead and the deformed and the missing, it's where it goes from here as well, who it lifts and who it leaves behind, what it does to the human face.
The gamble and stake is on the outcome, Joshua tearing into Jericho because the Chosen People need that property, whether or not the Jericho natives have necessarily done anything morally wrong, just being there is morally wrong, in that context.
Fallujah is the great sin of Iraq, the place where it all got condensed and distilled into an obscenity that is beyond the ability of those who committed it to repair.
I really do believe George Bush and Lynndie England are a matched pair, a set of bookended tragic human figures. The catharsis of trying Bush for war crimes is important and therapeutic, but what really did this, what's doing it now, is as much spiritual as political, as much metaphysical as material. And in that light Bush is pathetic not demonic, a lost soul seduced and propped up by true evil and kept there intentionally, out in the light for all to see.
Bush has as much responsibility for Fallujah as Lynndie England had for those photographs from Abu Ghraib. Catharsis alone won't save us now.

From the archives:
Freedom, television, Helen Keller, 9/11

Andreas Carl Strassmeir
Rev. Robert Millar
Carol Howe
Daniel Spiegelman
Michael Brescia

our whole government rests on moral principles, not just on political principles


Blackwater on the southern border:

"This is a private company that would profit from instability and insecurity at the border. It's their motive and it's their interest that we have conflict and that we have problems at the border. The more there are, they more they'll profit. This is why we do not want private companies engaging in national security objectives. It is a complete conflict of interest when you mix corporate profits with community benefit."
San Diego City Councilmember Ben Hueso at Subtopia

The ethnically unbiased and scrupulously accurate NYTimes:

Rice Says Houses Hurt Mideast Talks

Biological Utilisation of Quantum NonLocality:

The assumption of a superconducting-like state provides an example of a context where different organisms can be highly correlated. Such a state may be relevant to the origin of life, or to the Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis. Perturbations such as an increase in temperature cause the coordinated organisation to break up, and this would provide a mechanism by which the amount of linking of an individual organism to other systems through non-local interconnections could be adjustable.
One may imagine that life may exist from the beginning as a cooperative whole directly interconnected at a distance by Bell type non-local interactions, following which modifications through the course of evolution cause organisms to be interconnected directly with each other and with objects to an extent that is adapted to circumstances.
One can see conceptual similarities between psi skills and ordinary skills, e.g. between the perceptual skills of hearing and telepathy on the one hand, and between the forms of control of matter involved in the control of the body and in psychokinesis on the other.
From this point of view, it is only in regard to the mode of interaction that the ordinary phenomena and the analogous paranormal ones differ from each other. These analogies will be discussed in more detail elsewhere.
the self-consistent and completely logical multiple-description view of knowledge advocated here, an alternative to the conventional view that all knowledge may be reduced to quantum mechanical knowledge, allows life to have its own potentialities, beyond what the constraints of "good scientific method" will allow, for knowing and for acting on the basis of such knowing.
Included in these categories of acting and knowing are psychic functioning.
Brian Josephson

it's not the crack, it's the pipe:

“The oil and gas industry in operating under the kind of rules they have operated under for 15 years has not been a threat to the species,” H. Dale Hall, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s director, told the Associated Press Friday. “It was the ice melting and the habitat going away that was a threat to the species over everything else.”
Cappiello/AP/commondreams 15.Jun.08


It is a parable, yes:

For some time the thought has been gathering at the back of my mind that we are in the final act. We have finally insulted the planet so much that it can no longer sustain us. It is exhausted. It never occurred to me that vegetation might exterminate us.
Roger Ebert review of The Happening

We believe no one is better equipped to change the world than those who have been most scarred by what’s wrong with it. There is a way to break the cycle of violence, and it begins with showing survivors a new, more hopeful way forward.

Survivor Corps (formerly Landmine Survivors Network) is a global network of people helping each other overcome the effects of war and violence. We provide the tools and support survivors need to rise above their injuries and give back to their communities.

We work wherever there are communities recovering from war and conflict, in countries still trying to rebuild after generations of conflict, from the Balkans to Southeast Asia. We work where survivors, working together, have the best chance to influence policy and break cycles of violence.
MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organisation clearing the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide. MAG is co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for its work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which culminated in the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty - the international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines, sometimes referred to as the Ottawa Convention.

MAG moves into current and former conflict zones to clear the remnants of those conflicts, enabling recovery and assisting the development of affected populations. MAG consults with local communities and works to lessen the threat of death and injury, while releasing reclaimed and safe land and other vital resources back to the local population, helping countries to rebuild and develop their social and economic potential.
Claudia Janke
via Mrs. Deane


6. That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack; evidence of the recall of rescue aircraft is supported by statements of Captain Joe Tully, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, at the time of the attack; never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack;

7. That although Liberty was saved from almost certain destruction through the heroic efforts of the ship's Captain, William L. McGonagle (MOH), and his brave crew, surviving crewmembers were later threatened with court-martial, imprisonment or worse if they exposed the truth; and were abandoned by their own government;

8. That due to the influence of Israel's powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people;

9. That due to continuing pressure by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, this attack remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress; to this day, no surviving crewmember has been permitted to officially and publicly testify about the attack
"There's been an egregious wrong done here, there's been an extreme number of lies told to the American people and the American people do not know the truth about what happened."

Among the most popular theories as to why Israel would take such drastic action against its superpower ally is that the Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was eavesdropping on an Israeli massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war.
Every few minutes, Bron writes, Israeli soldiers would escort an Egyptian POW from the group to a hearing conducted by two men in Israeli army uniforms.Then the man would be taken away, given a spade, and forced to dig his own grave."I watched as (one) man dug a hole for about 15 minutes," Bron wrote.
"Afterwards, the (Israeli military) policeman told him to throw the shovel away, and then one of them leveled an Uzi at him and shot two short bursts, each of three or four bullets."Bron says he witnessed about ten such executions, until the grave was filled. Then an Israeli Colonel threatened him with a revolver, forcing him to leave the area.
As those executions were underway, America's most sophisticated intelligence platform, USS Liberty, was less than 13 miles from ElArish.

"Today's report makes it more important than ever that we get past outdated, anachronistic views of marijuana," said John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.


More secret anti-terror government files found on train:
The papers were found on the same day that another batch of secret papers relating to intelligence assessments of Iraq and al-Qaida were handed to the BBC after being left by a senior official on a train.

Government sources last night played down suggestions the two incidents were linked.
David Hockney:
He is also outraged by the severe penalties for marijuana use. Marijuana, he said in a letter to The Spectator, "is a harmless and pleasant plant that, like a couple of cocktails, makes you feel relaxed and, unlike them, quiet."

He added: "Why is the stuff still illegal? I assume it's the power of the alcohol lobby being behind most things. Alcohol has damaged and killed friends of mine, but I've never known anyone harmed by the weed, whose relaxing pleasure I have enjoyed for 40 years."
We've stopped this train to prevent it delivering 1,000 tonnes of coal to be burnt at Drax and then released into the atmosphere.

Her clipped tone and arched brows revealed annoyance.

With peace talks under way, Rice said, now is a time to build confidence on both sides. "This is simply not helpful to building confidence," she told reporters before arriving...


What should have been said to AIPAC
Michael C. Desch

A Resolution, Articles of Impeachment of George Bush, President of the United States. Resolved: That President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following Articles of Impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Articles of Impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the People of the United States of America in maintenance and support of its impeachment against President George W. Bush for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

It is conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of its Constitutional Oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of its Constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed has committed the following abuses of power.


“Now, that may mean I have made my last speech to the House … But at least my electorate and the nation … would have had the opportunity to debate and consider one of the most fundamental issues of our day… And if they do send me back here, it will be with a single message – that the monstrosity of a law that we passed yesterday will not stand.”
David Davis

un poquito español, pero no es very good:

“I would initiate discussions with our enemies in Cuba and Venezuela…I would cancel the travel restrictions for those who have family in Cuba…I want to join with countries like Brazil to look for cleaner forms of energy…I will approve the Free Trade Agreement with Peru, but I oppose that of Colombia until I have confidence that union leaders are not being killed there…this kind of paramilitary activity has to stop,” said Barack Obama.

And Hugo Chávez? Is he a threat to the national security of the United States and the rest of the continent, I asked?

“Yes, I believe he’s a threat, but a manageable one,” he answered. “We know for example, that he may have been involved in supporting the FARC, harming a neighbor. This is not the kind of neighbor we want. I believe that it’s important, through the Organization of American States (OAS) or the United Nations, to initiate sanctions that say that this behavior is unacceptable.


It will represent a huge intellectual achievement and a big leap forward in our understanding of the Universe on the largest and smallest scales simultaneously...

Harvard Doctors:

if a researcher is taking money from a drug company while also receiving federal dollars to research that company's product...
"He single-handedly put pediatric bipolar disorder on the map," Diller said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The number of kids diagnosed as bipolar increased 40-fold between 1994 and 2003, according to a recent study. Sales of drugs used to treat the condition doubled from 2003 to 2006.
According to Grassley, the three researchers initially disclosed receiving less than $80,000 from Lilly, the maker of Zyprexa, an antipsychotic, and Strattera, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorder. On further review, in March, they said they had received $172,198 while the company told Grassley it had paid the three a total of $259,756.
Biederman initially said he had gotten less than $10,000 from Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the antipsychotic Risperdal. In March, he said the amount was $5,500. The company told Grassley it paid Biederman $64,378.
Bloomberg 06.Jun.08

a deeply disturbing portfolio of devastation

where am I, and where are my friends?

a windfall of billions of dollars annually


QUESTION: But, sir, not to dispute what you said, but how are they working on fixing that problem when it looks like it's not going anywhere? Officials from the Palestinian Authority --


QUESTION: -- have even said it's a broken process, the Annapolis peace process, because of the violations -

MR. GALLEGOS: Well, I think one of the other issues that we've - that we've - one of the other issues that we've decided not to do is to speak publicly about where the negotiations are. We do believe that there has been progress. We do believe that we have two committed parties on both sides of this. We're going to continue working with them. We're only about halfway through the year, and we'll see what the end of the year brings.

QUESTION: And I'd just like to note one last thing. The Bureau of Statistics also released a report that says no humanitarian aid from the United States, aside from nongovernment organizations, has reached Gaza. And that's mainly because a piece of legislation that was passed that bans the United States from sending humanitarian aid because of Hamas being elected in 2006.

MR. GALLEGOS: Unfortunately, I don't see - I don't have those details at my fingertips. I'll have to take a look at that.


And we're at a point with a lot of these species that they must – they will stop consuming them and their body parts, our endangered animals, either voluntarily and leaving some of them alive and in the wild, or very soon they're going to have to stop consuming because there just aren't going to be any more. And for instance, our tigers are at that point right now. The estimates are anywhere from 4,000 left in the wild, to today, I've heard, 1,400. And we're at a point of no return, where they just won't be in the wild in our lifetime.

MR. MCCORMACK: You talked a little bit about the demand side.


MR. MCCORMACK: Here in the United States, people may say, "Well, you know, this isn't that big an issue. Why are you devoting your time to this?" Talk to us a little bit about the scope of the problem in terms of demand here in the United States.

MS. DEREK: It's a lot bigger than I ever knew. The trafficking in wildlife and endangered wildlife is, in some estimates, second to drugs, bigger than arms and humans. And it's anywhere from $10 billion to $20 billion internationally.

MR. MCCORMACK: Ten to – ten to 20 billion?

MS. DEREK: Yes. And I suspected China and Asia were the biggest consumers, which they are. But I was really embarrassed to find out that the U.S. is number two, in consuming endangered wildlife.

a gesture:

The family of Corporal Gilad Shalit, the soldier abducted in the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago, has received a letter from their son.
"The letter was sent in a goodwill gesture to former President Jimmy Carter and to indicate Hamas's seriousness in its desire to reach a prisoner swap deal that will close the Shalit file and fulfil the demands of the Palestinian groups who abducted Shalit."


90 per cent of the funds needed to address global warming will derive from the private sector, Mr. Kerim said

"We don't want climate change to be reduced to an environmental issue," he told reporters after speaking at the event. "It is rather an issue of sustainable development and sustainable development must be based on economic growth."
One of the more surreal moments of my recent hospital stay was listening to Barbara Boxer list the goals of the Senate Bill on Global Warming, as she ran down the things it would have to do:
Reduce greenhouse gases to avoid catastrophic climate change
Encourage a robust economy and growth
Do this without impacting American workers
Considering how American workers are already getting impacted that seems more than a little sketchy.
Far more surreal was Thomas Friedman's hyping his new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded on CSPAN's BookTV.
I don't want to get lengthy on either topic right at the moment, but a thought I had earlier today, under trees I knew well in a park I played in as a boy many years ago, was how much despair there must be out there now - the debilitating sense of hopelessness hitting the best of us, the clearest-eyed, the most knowledgeable.
Friedman comes on like this is all fresh news and he's in on the ground floor, ready for the green revolution. But I was hearing people talk about global warming inducing catastrophic climate change back in the 80's. The mantra of "We need to do something now, before it's too late" began then, or even more marginally, before then.
Where are those voices today? I don't mean voices like that, I mean those same people. How false to pretend they were never there.
They were right, this is obvious, but there's a mask on the public face of things, a rigid mask that doesn't allow that kind of acknowledging, that kind of historical deference. It has to own everything the common folk think about the world - it has to hand-feed knowledge to them.
What's under that mask?
Raw evil I think, a visage so disgusting and horrible no human tongue can tell its features.
I'm pretty sure the multiple universe idea, or something like it, something that opens out to other worlds, other ways of being, is key to understanding this. To explaining how this has happened. It's a childish thought that, given the existence of parallel worlds, there could be no cross-contact, or no meta-existence, no being, or beings, with a presence in many worlds at once.
This opens a path toward a scientifically valid view of the divine in some form, if not in the trademarked and proprietary forms we've inherited. But it opens just as much to the diabolical.
It could explain the constant refrain of unimportance and disregard for what happens here; it could also explain, if those beings were immortal, god-like, the bizarre taboos and prohibitions and hypocrisies of institutional religions.
What I'm poking at there is the idea that the next levels up are possibly a lot like this one, filled with opportunists and scam-artists and danger, where the virtuous and the noble are beleaguered and outnumbered, just like they are here, now.
What we want, what I want anyway and I think it's a pretty common hunger, is refuge, entry to that paradise where strife is no longer, where there is no conflict, no sickness, no toil, no danger. To deserve that somehow, cringing at self-knowledge, how undeserving I am.
I'll leave that meditation to another time though, what I wanted to record here tonight is a recognition - that too many people out there must be suffering despair in isolation, because nothing unites us around this, not in the larger culture anyway.
I've been doing some informal polling, of nurses and aides at the hospital, clerks in stores in town when I got out, relatively random samplings. The gamut runs from it's too late to it's very late, almost no one denies its validity, its actuality.
In that role as survey-taker I'm able to withhold my own view, people don't ask about it for one thing. For another I'm closed to it, held back from communicating the weight of how it really feels, too much formless emptiness, that sense of everything sucked out and eaten up, oxidizing; watching the weakest carrying silly torches and ridiculous banners, the worst leering and smug, almost gloating - some Texan pol in a powder-blue suit harping on the price of fuel as though that's all that matters - the naive and the innocent still not infected by the grim news. Cynical hedonism gains, virtue and self-sacrifice depreciate.
Selfishness has its one goal intact right to the end, selflessness needs faith, and hope.
One risk in communicating your own despair is you'll drag someone else down with you, someone who's kept more hope, or innocence.
And without some plan, some way forward, something to do, what good can come from facing what's too big and final to see anyway? Best to ignore it. Or pray.

the answer is not really zero:

The notion that there are a zillion universes, whose individual properties are just a cosmic dice throw, is a story that has been told before and “raises the blood pressure of many physicists seriously,” as Dr. Livio put it. But the idea has rarely been mentioned by Dr. Witten, who is seen in the community as a symbol of the old Einsteinian ideal.

Dr. Witten said he was just doing his duty to explain what dark energy meant to physics.

“As for how I feel personally, I am not sure what to say,” he said in an e-mail message. “I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic the first, or even second, time I heard the proposal of a multiverse. But none of us were consulted when the universe was created.”



At home, such as it is


Still in rx


Posted from rx bed, by cellphone. Cheers

Posted from rx bed, by cellphone. Cheers

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