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Monday, May 31, 2010

A country like Germany with a heavy reliance on foreign trade, Koehler said, must know that "in emergencies military intervention is necessary to uphold our interests, like for example free trade routes, for example to prevent regional instabilities which could have a negative impact on our chances in terms of trade, jobs and income."

German president quits in blow for Merkel
Thorsten Severin
BERLIN
Mon May 31, 2010 11:46am EDT

(Reuters) - German President Horst Koehler unexpectedly resigned on Monday after a wave of criticism over his comments about military action abroad, in a move that compounds conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's problems.

Already battling a euro zone debt crisis, sinking poll ratings and policy scraps with an increasingly awkward coalition partner, Merkel must now quickly find a successful candidate for president, whose role is largely ceremonial.

A failure to get her candidate installed would be widely seen as a blow to her authority.

Merkel's conservatives had backed Koehler for re-election last year but her waning popularity means Merkel may find it difficult to push through her -- as yet unknown -- candidate if the opposition center-left camp puts up a strong rival.

Though responsible for signing bills into law, the German President has traditionally had little influence on the business of politics in Berlin, even if Koehler himself did offer criticism of the government that was unusually direct at times.

"I regret that my comments could lead to a misunderstanding about an important and difficult question for our nation," an ashen-faced Koehler told reporters in Berlin.

His resignation takes immediate effect. The President of the Bundesrat upper house, currently Social Democrat Bremen mayor, Jens Boehrnsen, assumes the president's role for now.

Koehler, 67, has already signed off a law allowing Europe's biggest economy to contribute to a 750 billion euro emergency debt package, and his resignation had little market impact.

As a former head of the International Monetary Fund, Koehler has spoken out on the debt crisis enveloping the euro zone but his departure will have little impact on German policy.

"It has nothing to do with government policy," said Gerd Langguth, political scientist at the University of Bonn. "The President is a man of little political experience who saw himself as overstrained."

A special Federal Assembly, made up of all 622 members of parliament and an equal number of delegates sent by the 16 state assemblies, must elect the next German president within 30 days.

OUTBURST

Koehler, in office since 2004, said in a radio interview on his return from a trip to Afghanistan this month that German military action abroad also served economic interests.

A country like Germany with a heavy reliance on foreign trade, Koehler said, must know that "in emergencies military intervention is necessary to uphold our interests, like for example free trade routes, for example to prevent regional instabilities which could have a negative impact on our chances in terms of trade, jobs and income."

Opposition politicians seized on the comments and accused Koehler of "gunboat diplomacy." The row underscores the sensitivity of military issues in Germany even 65 years after the end of World War Two and Nazi rule.

Koehler was unhappy about the reaction to his remarks.

"The criticism has gone so far as to suggest I supported deployments by the army which are not covered by the constitution. This criticism is completely unjustified," he said. "It shows a lack a respect for my office.

Merkel paid tribute to Koehler as a president who "won over peoples' hearts" and said she regretted his decision to resign. But analysts suggested he had been naive.

"It is not the president's duty to intervene in day-to-day politics," said Wichard Woyke, a political scientist from Muenster University. "But with his comments made on the flight back from Afghanistan, he did get mixed up in it. So he shouldn't be so surprised at such the harsh criticism."


(Additional reporting by Brian Rohan and Dave Graham; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

BP hires former Dept. of Energy official to do it's PR work in the US...

BP hires ex-Energy Dept official for US media effort
Sun May 30, 2010 10:21pm EDT

HOUSTON May 30 (Reuters) - BP (BP.L) has hired a former U.S. Department of Energy official as head of U.S. media relations, as it fights to defend its reputation in the face of political attacks and public rage over its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Anne Kolton, former head of public affairs at the DOE, starts this week, the head of group media at London-based BP, Andrew Gowers, said on Sunday.

BP's media team has been overwhelmed by press and public attention since the Deepwater Horizon rig, which BP hired to drill an oil well, exploded and sank in April, killing 11 workers and unleashing what has become the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

The company has flown in staff from London to help deal with media requests, but has also been forced to put its media hotline on voicemail to process the many calls -- some abusive -- that come in.

The company has also drafted UK-based public and government relations firm Brunswick Group, which has a U.S. unit.

BP, one of the world's largest oil companies, has come under fire by politicians and local residents who accuse it of not doing enough to deal with the catastrophic spill. Criticism has intensified since oil started washing up on beaches and in swamps in Louisiana. (Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Peter Cooney)


BLENDZ NOTE: HERE IS ANOTHER ARTICLE ABOUT BP'S NEW PR HEAD,WHO WAS DICK CHENEY'S FORMER CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY

LET GO, TRUST Life(Video)

BLENDZ NOTE: CAUGHT THIS OVER AT DAVID ICKE'S SITE..HOW TRUE!!

Israel envoys summoned across Europe...

Israel envoys summoned across Europe
Mon, 31 May 2010 09:09:33 GMT

Greece, Spain and Sweden have summoned Israeli envoys to explain a deadly strike by Israeli navy commandos on a Turkish-sponsored humanitarian Gaza aid convoy.

The Greek foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that it had summoned Israeli ambassador, demanding an "immediate" report on the safety of about 30 Greek citizens on board the boats targeted in international waters before reaching the Gaza Strip.

The foreign ministry said it asked for "immediate information concerning the safety of Greek citizens on board the boats... and stressed the need to take the necessary measures to ensure their security," AFP quoted the statement as saying.

Meanwhile, the Greek defense ministry announced Athens's decision to withdraw from joint military exercises with Israel in protest at Israel's raid which reportedly killed some 20 people and left more than 50 injured.

In Sweden, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt expressed concern over the reported casualties and said it was crucial to "quickly establish" what had happened with the Gaza-bound flotilla which was carrying pro-Palestinian activists and tons of humanitarian aid.

"We have summoned the Israeli ambassador to get information," said Bildt, who is currently visiting Italy, adding he had also been in touch with the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to ensure that the EU gives a "clear response during the day when we get a clearer picture of what has happened."

Spain, who holds the rotating EU presidency, also summoned Israel's ambassador for an explanation for the deadly raid on the six aid ships, aboard which were at least three Spanish aid workers.

In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle voiced "deep concern" at the reports of deaths caused by the Israeli attack on the aid convoy.

"The initial news is alarming," said Westerwelle, adding German officials were seeking more details into the incident.

The aid convoy Gaza Freedom Flotilla, co-organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), was carrying tens of thousands of humanitarian aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip, and had more than 700 Palestinian and international activists onboard.

Barack Obama: Liar, warlord and corporate shill

Barack Obama: Liar, Warlord and Corporate Shill
by Stephen Lendman
May 31, 2010

It shouldn't surprise because no one gets the top job or any government position of power unless they're safe, yet, naively, most people thought Obama was different. Many still do.

As a candidate, he promised change, a new course, sweeping government reforms, addressing people needs, and "ensur(ing) that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists" - the same ones who bought and now own him.

He promised peace and delivered war; real health and financial reform, not same old, same old; help for millions losing jobs, homes, hope and futures, not handouts to Wall Street and other industry favorites; regulatory oversight, not the usual incestuous government-industry ties, making disasters like in the Gulf possible, and when they happen conspiring with offenders in coverup, distortion, lies, and a total disregard for the environment, wildlife, and way of life for thousands - let alone permanent damage to a vital ecosystem.

At the same time, Big Oil gets billions in subsidies, special tax breaks and other financial benefits, besides operating in a regulatory-free environment.

The 1995 Outer Continental Shelf Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA - courtesy of Bill Clinton) exempted royalties on defined amounts of deep water production. After its 2000 expiration, the law was redefined and extended to promote further deep water drilling.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) defines it as having a water depth of 200 meters (656 feet). To be eligible, leases must be in the Gulf of Mexico, west of 87 degrees and 30 minutes west longitude (the Florida-Alabama boundary), and MMS must determine that the site isn't economically viable without relief.

Given longstanding MMS-industry coziness, it's practically rubber-stamp. DWRRA also reduced royalties on pre-November 28, 1995 leases, decided by the Interior Department Secretary on a case-by-case basis - again, practically assured by officials with close industry ties.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act was one of the friendliest ever with over $10 billion in handouts. It lets oil giants pay federal royalties in barrels of oil and grants exemptions on some wells, subsidizes a new R & D program for ultra deep water drilling and unconventional oil and gas development, creates hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax breaks, increases what oil and gas companies can deduct on pipeline expenses, provides more liability protection besides the $75 million cap (established by the 1990 Oil Pollution Act after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, an amount too small to matter).

As an Illinois senator, six months into his term, Obama supported it, an early clue to where he stood, and how he hoped to gain - the usual "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" payoff.

It worked hugely with BP, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) reporting that its employees and political action committees gave more to him than to any other federal candidate in the past 20 years.

During his 2008 campaign, CRP reported that the oil and gas industry overall gave him $884,000, more than any to other lawmaker except John McCain, and no wonder. His Senate voting record showed what they bought:

-- the right of mining companies to strip mine everywhere, including on government lands;

-- vast new powers and handouts to the nuclear industry;

-- harmful biofuels production;

-- lax regulation; and

-- other pro-business, anti-populist measures - besides supporting the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Obama promised change, and delivered betrayal - evident now in the Gulf, America's greatest ever environmental disaster, fast becoming the most catastrophic in history, a shameless addition to his resume, already revealing a world class rogue and failed president less than a year and half into office. No wonder calls for his impeachment have begun, including by James Petras on May 27, on the Progressive Radio News Hour, hosted by this writer who wholeheartedly agrees.

Disaster in the Gulf - Maybe Worse than Now Known

According to prominent oil industry insider, Matt Simmons, former head of Simmons & Company International, a private investment bank specializing in energy research, trading and capital structuring, the Gulf disaster is much worse than reported, and a far greater problem to fix.

Appearing on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show on May 27, he described the riser on BP's video as 21.5 inches in diameter with a six or seven inch rip at the top. But that's the small rupture, in his judgment. There's a giant oil plume about five or six miles away, getting little attention.

"I believe the eruption blew off the wellhead," he said. If so, that's the real story, and "we have an enormous problem," suppressed and unreported. BP's video shows a small leak, not the bigger one. It looks like its "top kill" is "chasing a mouse and behind it is a tiger," the real problem creating two giant plumes of thick oil (discussed below), neither BP or the Obama administration wants to acknowledge or explain.

Nor that perhaps the "top kill" is a PR stunt, not a serious attempt to cap the well. Worse still, according to the Washington Blog on May 27, it "FAILED In the Attempt to Plug the Oil Leak Using Mud."

"Now BP Will Try to Add Some 'Junk' to the Mix to Try to Seal the Holes," or at least one of them. It cites a same day New York Times report saying BP "stopped pumping (mud) the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil." In other words, it failed, so pumping stopped for over 16 hours. So far, "top kill" 2.0 hasn't worked better after two attempts (so-called "junk shots" with chunky debris) - why some experts believe only a relief well will relieve pressure and allow capping.

But completing one is at least a few months away, and even then the big rupture Simmons cites may be too severe to handle. Time alone will tell, but in the meantime, vast environmental contamination grows, wildlife is dying, the lives and livelihoods of thousands more residents are being devastated, and late Saturday BP abandoned its "top kill" approach, admitting what they likely knew all along. It failed because there was no chance it could work.

More Evidence of Industry-Government Ties

A May 26 Josh Harkinson Mother Jones article headlined, "Steven Chu's Ties to BP."

On December 11, 2008, Obama chose Chu as his Energy Secretary, the same day he picked Carol Browner to oversee energy, environmental and climate policies and Lisa Jackson as EPA head.

Chu had been professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), originally called the UC Radiation Lab.

Today the Energy Department runs LBNL, continuing its radiation research, what it's done since the 1940s with little regard for public or environmental concerns, true as well under Chu. He was picked for his commitment to nuclear power, while downplaying the risks.

When asked in 2005 if fission-based plants should be a larger part of the energy-producing portfolio, he responded: "Absolutely," displaying a cavalier attitude about its dangers in advocating for "recycling" of waste, when experts say doing it spreads poisons causing cancer, genetic damage, and premature deaths.

Harkinson asked: "Is Steven Chu too cozy with BP," given his longstanding ties to the oil industry that "funded the Energy Biosciences Institute at UC Berkeley that (he) founded a year before he joined the DOE."

BP's chief scientist, Steven Koonin, gave him a $500 million grant. In return, Chu appointed him DOE undersecretary for science. But instead of them both getting involved in the Gulf disaster, they stood aside, telling reporters earlier that "things are looking up" when, in fact, they're worsening.

It's unclear "to what extent Chu has given BP favorable treatment, either in terms of crafting DOE's research agenda or its response to the oil spill. But what is clear is that the close ties are casting a shadow over the agency, sowing doubt among the public that the government is truly an independent watchdog."

Also clear is that $500 million buys a lot of influence, expecting payback in far greater amounts and nearly always getting it and then some. When Chu arranged it, UC Berkeley Professor Ignacio Chapela called it "the coup de grace to the very idea of a university that can represent the best interest of the public," benefitting a man who looks deeply compromised - the same "qualification" as other Obama officials for their close industry ties, serving their interests, not the public's.

BP's Specialty: Spill Baby, Spill - Its Other One in Alaska

On May 28, investigative journalist Greg Palast headlined his Buzzflash.com article, "BP's Other Spill this Week," saying:

During the week of May 25, BP's "Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile (Alaska) pipeline, busted" - spewing over 100,000 gallons because "procedures weren't properly implemented," according to state inspectors. In 2006, irresponsible maintenance caused another one, polluting Prudhoe Bay.

BP "owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline," but tries to hide it, given its poor management practices. The pipeline is understaffed, corroded, and "basic maintenance" is poor - standard procedures for BP, notorious for having the worst safety and environmental record in the industry.

In his earlier investigatory work, Palast learned that BP was most to blame for the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. As the controlling Alyeska pipeline owner, it was responsible for the spill response, but handled it the same way as now - by "l(ying, prevaricat(ing) and obfuscatin(ing)," making a serious spill disastrous.

BP is a notorious liar, scofllaw, environmental and employee safety criminal. But it's never been held accountable, nor will it for its Gulf disaster.

A Second Underwater Oil Plume Discovered

Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF broadcasts from its campus. On May 27, it reported that USF scientists discovered "what appears to be a massive second underwater plume (six miles deep, measuring 3,300 feet from top to bottom) in previously untested waters northeast of the leaking BP wellhead..." Its estimated to be six miles wide, stretching 22 miles, heading toward Mobile Bay, Alabama, affecting the DeSoto Canyon area, an important habitat for numerous species, including:

-- bluefin tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, grouper, giant tube worms, sea turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins.

It also threatens the continental shelf, including west Florida's wetlands and beaches. USF oceanographer Robert Weisberg called it "a very serious concern." Rowan Gould, US Fish and Wildlife Service acting director, said the spill "will affect fish and wildlife resources....for years to come, if not decades," literally destroying formerly pristine areas of the Gulf.

Calling it "insidious," chemical oceanographer, David Hollander, believes it contains chemically dispersed hydrocarbons, calling it "an invisible component we really don't know the short or the long term impact" about. He expressed serious concerns that the oil/dispersant toxicity may cause great harm to fish larvae, "and we also may see a long term response as it cascades up the food web," endangering human health.

The other plume stretched from the wellhead southwest toward the open sea, heading for the Florida Keys and beyond.

Some Final Comments

On May 27, the Center for Biological Diversity's Senior Counsel, Brendan Cummings, responded to Obama's same day Gulf disaster press conference, saying:

No technology exists to deal with disasters like in the Gulf...."even in areas with existing infrastructure and significant spill response assets, containment and response capability to a large oil spill is wholly inadequate. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration should not pretend that a six-month review of drilling procedures will change anything. Expanding offshore drilling to new areas needs to be permanently taken off the table."

Obama's comments follow "a month of half-steps and broken promises by the Interior Department....in which a pledged 'moratorium' on oil drilling turned out to be largely a fiction, with multiple drillings plans approved after no environmental review, and drilling permits similar to those given to BP continuing to be used."

What else to expect from a corporate shill president, spearheading the Gulf disaster coverup from day one, while claiming he's been "in charge" since it happened, and it's his "job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down."

Gulf residents say he "hasn't done a damn thing but run his mouth," according to an angry and frustrated Louisianan, after waiting weeks for help, and hearing nothing but excuses, saying BP is in charge. That's the problem. Corporate interests always run things, presidents and their officials salute and obey, sacrificing people, wildlife and the environment. It's the "American way," partnering with business for plunder and profits, the public interest be damned.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Multinational seed corporation Monsanto claims meat as their invention...

Meat claimed as invention by Monsanto
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 11:22

Multinational seed corporations are following a consequent strategy to gain control over basic resources for food production. As recent research shows not only genetically engineered plants, but more and more the conventional breeding of plants gets into the focus of patent monopolies: International patent applications in this sector are skyrocking, having doubled since 2007 till end of 2009. Further on the multinationals expand their claims over the whole chain of food production from feed to animals and food products such as meat. In a pending patent application from Monsanto even bacon and steaks are claimed: Patent application WO2009097403 is claiming meat stemming from pigs being fed with the patented genetically engineered plants of Monsanto. A similar patent is applied for fish from aquaculture in March 2010 (WO201027788). Far reaching patents on food are even already granted: Monsanto received a European patent (EP 1356033) in 2009, which the chain of food production from seeds of genetically engineered plants up to food products such as meal and oil are covered.

"There is a process going on, multinationals are trying to gain increasing control of the whole chain of food production. Consumers, farmers and food producers are all caught by the same trap. This has to be regarded as an immoral attempt to abuse patent law. The company is heading for maximising its profits by filing patents on food while at the same time one billion people is suffering from hunger," says Francois Meienberg from the Berne Declaration.

As experience from the US shows, patents on seeds and increasing market concentration are leading to drastic increase in seed prices, reduced choice in seeds and soaring dependencies for farmers. Meanwhile the Department of Justice and state attorneys general in several US states are investigating whether Monsanto Company has abused its market power to lock out competitors and raise prices in seeds. The coalition of 'No Patents on Seeds is warning that market concentration will even increase if the abuse of patent law is not stopped. The coalition is supported globally by more than 200 organisations. The organisations are demanding a clear change in policy and practise of patent offices. Governments are urged to to revise the patent laws in order to exclude patents on seeds, animals and parts thereof.

Is BP trying to cap the Gulf oil well, or keep it flowing?

Is BP trying to cap the Gulf oil well, or keep it flowing? (opinion)
Monday, May 31, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) Today, I spent my time interviewing people on the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Louisiana. Several of those interviews were conducted on camera, and you'll be seeing those videos as early as tomorrow here on NaturalNews.

Interestingly, it turns out that a lot of the people living on the Gulf Coast have a history of working with oil companies -- and even on oil rigs. I spoke to several people who have a work history with BP, and two of them told me they are certain that British Petroleum is NOT trying to stop the oil coming out of the well. What they are trying to do, I was told, is SAVE the oil well so that they can capture the oil and sell it.

This claim stands in direct contradiction to what BP says. The company insists it's trying to stop the flow of oil from the well. But if you look at BP's actions, what they're really trying to do is siphon off the gushing oil where it can be pumped to a tanker ship and sold as crude. It is a simple matter, by the way, for oil companies to separate water from oil. They do it all the time in oil fields all across America. So if they can siphon off the oil from the Deepwater Horizon well -- even if it's mixed with water -- they can sell it for potentially billions of dollars.

It raises the question: Is the economic promise of captured oil causing BP to avoid using its best effort to cap the well?


Tapping, not capping

Notice that the new device they're lowering onto the well is designed not to close it off but to pump the oil to an awaiting ship. This is a plan to "capture" the oil, not to seal off the well.

The mainstream media hasn't picked up on this yet, by the way. To my knowledge, no one is yet reporting this story that BP may have never had any intention of actually capping the deep sea well.

We already know BP has been extremely dishonest with the media about this entire situation. By distorting the truth and lying to the public, BP has lost all credibility with almost everyone (Governors, Senators, journalists, etc.). So how can we trust that BP is actually trying to cap this well when there's so much money to be made from allowing it to keep spilling oil that can soon be captured?

In other words, it's in BP's financial interests to avoid capping the well and claim the well can't be capped when, in reality, what they may be trying to do is buy more time until they can lower a "capture containment device" onto the well head that can direct all the outflowing crude oil to BP's awaiting tanker ships.

In talking to the people face to face here on Gulf Coast, I learned that Gulf Coast people don't trust BP, and they don't trust the company's intentions. Today was the first I had heard of the BP agenda to "keep the well flowing" yet suddenly this theory makes sense. BP, after all, went through all the trouble and expense to drill the well. Why wouldn't they want to cash in on the crude oil coming out of it?

To collapse the well and plug it for good would destroy BP's chance to siphon off oil and sell it for profit (until at least August, when the pressure relief wells are expected to be completed). And that is perhaps the single most important reason why oil is still flowing out of that well right now.

As one person I interviewed today put it, "Why should a British petroleum company care about what happens to America's shores?" After all, the financial payoffs to the businesses hurt by the spill may pale in comparison to the billions of dollars in profit to be had from tapping -- not capping -- the well and turning crude oil into raw cash.

There will be more to this story. Let's see if the mainstream media picks up on this angle.

By the way, I don't yet have conclusive proof that BP's intentions are to avoid capping this well. It's just a working theory based on people I've talked to here on the Gulf Coast who appear to know what they're talking about. BP would obviously deny this, but then again BP has denied many things that we know to be true (like the fact that the beach cleanup crews specifically cleaned the beach on Grand Isle before Obama showed up, then left promptly as soon as he left).

If you haven't yet, check out my CounterThink Cartoon on the BP oil spill at www.CounterThink.com

Also, watch for video interviews with the people on the Gulf Coast. We'll be publishing them here on NaturalNews starting as early as tomorrow.

I'm headed to New Orleans tomorrow to check out the local scene there and see what else I can find out by talking to the locals on the front lines.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE:

Pentagon-CIA uses UAV Global Hawks to ferry heroin...

Pentagon-CIA Uses UAV Global Hawks To Ferry Heroin
by GORDON DUFF (VETERANS TODAY)

(May 11, 2010) First we are told opium and heroin are financing world terrorism, then General McChrystal tells us that we have to allow the harvest to be finished, processed into 65 billion dollars of heroin and shipped out on rendition flights and American Global Hawk UAV aircraft for distribution around the world.

I was surprised to hear the "rumor" that our massive Global Hawk UAVs that fly at 80 thousand feet were being loaded with drugs in Balochistan and flown around the world. Prior to that, FBI translator Sibel Edmonds had only told us of drug trafficking on rendition flights.

This is now a fact, not "theory" or conjecture. Is the Global Hawk story fact also? Having this confirmed was a shock for us.

We had been tracking the presence of contractors servicing UAV aircraft in this region and knew it was impossible to be arming and operating them against terrorists as facilities for this are unavailable at the 3 small air strips in the region.

Each Hawk holds tens of millions of dollars of processed heroin which can be flown anywhere in the world.

We have numerous confirmations that this is being done.

Tens of thousands will die from this harvest of death. Who profits and why is it necessary for chaos to continue for the money to flow?

First of all, with this much money, assume everyone is involved, no country is totally free, including our ally Israel, world's most capable narco-capitalist but it doesn’t stop there.

HOW NARCOTICS AND TERRORISM SERVE EACH OTHER

Narcotics provide cover for the war by making it impossible for Afghanistan to ever have a stable government. Drug lords are never going to become responsible tribal leaders. However, they also can't fly tons of heroin around the world nor can they bank billions of dollars. They need help.

This is what the war supplies, thousands of experts have flooded into the region to train Afghanis to live as free people in a democratic society.

Many of these outsiders, some from India, some from Israel traveling under false passports and hired as US contractors, many Americans with security contracting companies and, perhaps government agencies themselves, are involved.

What we are keeping quiet is the fact that so much money is flowing out of the region into so many pockets, journalists included, that nothing is reported, nothing is done and training and arming terrorists has become an integral part of maintaining the war.

If the war ends, the Taliban might take over and end drug trafficking like they did before.

EACH NATION HAS AN AGENDA

Israel is in Afghanistan and Balochistan to do a couple of things.

They are in Pakistan's breakaway province of Balochistan organizing attacks on Iran and working to separate Balochistan from Pakistan. India and Israel would then control this region allowing access for a new gas pipeline bypassing Iran.

This has been very public but never reported. The illegal wars against Pakistan and Iran, yes Iran has suffered many terror attacks by Israel staged from this area of Pakistan, serve a number of purposes.

* Pakistan's economy is destroyed, making it impossible, were Pakistan not endemically corrupt politically, for them to deal with the root causes of extremism in the tribal areas. Both helping drown Pakistan in debt is the key. With US funding tied to Pakistan quietly taking a beating from Israel without complaint, the absurdity of the situation must be overwhelming at times.

* Iran is openly attacked, suffers UN sanctions for violations that Israel openly escapes sanctions for because of the US/Israel Security Council veto, and Iran's responses are misconstrued as aggressive threats when they are much more the victim, albeit led by a total fool.

* Israel has been allowed to become a nuclear state, protected, financed and armed by the US though Israel's policies are distinctly anti-American. Their penetration of congress and the press have allowed them to engage in ethnic cleansing, illegal nuclear proliferation, massive financial crimes, narco-trafficking and espionage against the United States without consequence.

* India, aided by Israel and the United States, has set up terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, a country led by a pro-Indian government under Karzai. These camps, openly admitted by US officials, sit beside similar camps that collect, process and ship heroin. Nobody wants to talk about any of this. However, as these camps also directly support the Pakistan Taliban, their only real purpose, and have now been proven instrumental in an attack on the United States, even more effort will be made to hide their presence.

IRAN AND ISRAEL

The New York Times tells us that Iran has threatened Israel with a nuclear holocaust. This was the threat:

Time will ease Israel from the pages of history.

This is what the New York Times said:

We will wipe Israel off the map!!!

Every report of Iran building nuclear weapons has been debunked. Iran has been "one to five years" from having a "nuclear device" for 20 years. So has Luxembourg, Andorra and the Maldives.

Any country in the region, by international law, who develops nuclear weapons is considered a rogue state except for a wink and nod Israel. Aiding such a state is a crime. US aid for such a state, "the only democracy in the region" is a crime.

These are the issues where total misconceptions of history are used to support Israel:

* The 1947 war was not "poor unarmed Israelis" fighting Arab armies. It was a highly organized war on annihilation that killed 300,000 Palestinians. Everything said about this war is a total fiction. This was the beginning of an ethnic cleansing.

* In 1956, Israel went to Britain and France to aid in a sneak attack on Egypt to take over the Suez Canal. President Eisenhower blocked this, threatening broad economic sanctions against both France and Britain. Israel was the aggressor in this sneak attack on Egypt.

* In 1967, Israel attacked Egypt, a sneak attack, catching Egypt’s air force on the ground. Israel started the 6 Day War as an illegal war of aggression with no provocation. To hide this, Israel attacked an American ship, the USS Liberty, an act of war against the United States. This attack has more documentation than the holocaust. Every word about attacks on Israel by "Arab armies" is a total lie. This was an illegal aggressive war begun by an atrocity against American sailors and a sneak attack on Egypt.

* Israel developed nuclear weapons, starting in the 1960s. President Kennedy, soon after demanding that Israel immediately cease was murdered. Since this time, the US has used its veto hundreds of times to protect Israel from sanctions exactly like being imposed on Iran, sanctions for, not only nuclear weapons but for gross violations of human rights. None of this has been accurately reported to Americans. We have been lied to in a brutal fashion by, not only our press but our own government for decades.

* Israel has operated as a "pirate" haven, not unlike Somalia, a home for financial criminals, weapons and narcotics dealers, spies and powerful financial organizations that spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year entertaining American politicians and military leaders, often leading to threats and blackmail. These tactics and others have given Israel total control over American foreign policy.

Israel claims Iran is planning a new "holocaust." The more death and destruction in Gaza, the more we hear "holocaust."

Let's look at a fact. More Palestinians have died already than Jews under the "holocaust" prior to 1941. In fact, Israel has caused the death of more of its own citizens, having "classified" Palestinians the same way Germany classified the Jews, than the first 8 years of Nazi butchery. Please check the figures.

Palestinian deaths are at nearly 500,000 with 300,000 having perished during the sectarian violence described so fictionally in the Leon Uris novel Exodus.

Many don't care, even in the Middle East because Palestinians are considered "dirty and troublesome."

Europeans thought of the Jews as "dirty and troublesome" also.

ISRAEL AND THE ARABS

The US created Israel.

The US also created Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, our current version of Egypt, in fact the entire region with minor exceptions has been a US creation.

Why don't you hear about threats from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen or other nations against Israel?

All these countries that Israel talks about banding together and exterminating the Jews are militarily weak or have no offensive capacity and in reality have warm and friendly relations with Israel.

Are these nations corrupt? Yes, of course, exactly like the United States and Israel.

Many of these nations have been found working closely with Israel.

Whether Israelis live as Europeans and behave as monsters while some of the oil rich states we use in comparison, "brutal and backward" shouldn't influence American policy.

America placed Israel in the Middle East as a state that could live above any and all law, extradition, nuclear regulation, money laundering restrictions or any other civilized international convention for a purpose, much as the US created the primitive dictatorships that keep the oil flowing. These bizarre and corrupt states serve the interests of a corrupt oligarchy that now controls much of the world.

A subtext of deception and manipulation has pushed the world into a cycle of economic collapse fueled by debt, powered by war, a subtext keeping the world in poverty and chaos with one purpose, the accumulation of power without intelligence and reason.

THE ILLUSION OF TERRORISM

Terrorism is an expression of ignorance, anger and poverty. The Bush administration and its friends in Israel and elsewhere combined terrorism, deception and religious insanity into a stew meant to facilitate the creation of a biblical monstrosity designed to bring about the "end times" and the destruction of secular society and all democratic states.

Is this what Israel wanted? Do Jews all await the time when they are forced to convert to Christianity or die, the real aim of the American "Taliban?"

A good look at what the world and America in particular has become clearly shows that if terrorism didn't exist, we would invent it.

Another good look will show that, in fact, when terrorism lacked organization or the ability to strike at targets in the US and Europe, intelligence agencies which had long penetrated every terrorist organization on earth, in fact took control of many of them.

Why would governments war on their own people? There are always reasons and justifications for everything. "We kill a few thousand people but build a more secure world that will keep us safe (and rich with cheap oil and heroin) for decades."

RECOGNIZING A CRIMINAL

Today, it has become simple to recognize the criminals who lead us.

If a military leader tells you that opium has to be protected, though it causes more suffering than any war and most diseases, you know you are hearing a criminal.

When you hear a politician talk about Afghanistan, carefully avoiding taking responsibility for massive increases in drug trafficking under US control, assume he or she is involved.

When a terrorist moves from one country to another through the toughest airports in the world while Nobel Prize winners sit in detention for hours because a "suspect" somewhere has the same last name they do, you know this government is working in support of terrorism.

When you see a politician on television talking about heroes, heroes in a war protecting no one, heroes in a war meant only to live on itself, killing spending and growing as though it were alive, talking war but never addressing the cause of war or the cost of war, you are seeing a criminal.

Every individual that profits from war, be they arms manufacturers or military officers who know how to smile in photographs and fight unsuccessfully, sacrificing the lives of others year after year or even the media that cheers it all on, a media more responsible for breeding hate than any Madrassa, as Glen Beck and Ann Levensohn Coulter prove every day, is criminal, is complicit and should be required to pay a sacrifice equal to their crime.

IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT ONE THING -- MONEY

If terrorism didn't exist, would we invent it?

Was terrorism invented to replace the Cold War?

Are all intelligence and security agencies involved in terrorist acts?

How can American or Israel or even Indian groups recruit Islamic terrorists?

How can the tiny nation, Israel, push America into war and economic collapse?

Who is served by terrorism? If our own governments helped create terrorism, was it done to instill a regime of oppression under the guise of "keeping us safe?"

Has terrorism raised the profits of arms and oil fiends and lowered our standard of living?

How many countries are now drowning in debt?

How has terrorism managed to impoverish only the world's middle class?

Why has the one nation that complains most about terrorism gained the most from it?

How many millions more are living in poverty and ignorance while billions are spent to end the terrorism we only seem to be fueling?

How much less free is the world, how much more are we all watched, listened to and threatened in our daily lives because of the business of profiting from terrorism?

Who are the real terrorists?



*** Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran. A 100% disabled vet. He has been a featured commentator on TV and radio including Al Jazeera and his articles have been carried by news services around the world. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. This article first appeared in Veterans and Foreign Affairs Journal.

Memorial Day Tribute to ALL fallen soldiers(Videos)

DEDICATED TO THE U.S. WORLD'S SOLDIERS..MAY ONE DAY WE ALL RECOGNIZE WHO OUR TRUE ENEMY IS...











News reports say Israeli ships attack Gaza aid ships, 2 dead...

BLENDZ NOTE: *UPDATE* UP TO 16 DEAD AND 50 INJURED..TAKE ACTION LINKS AT END OF ARTICLE!!

Reports: Israeli ships attack aid flotilla, 2 dead
By TIA GOLDENBERG, Associated Press Writer – 13 mins ago

HAIFA, Israel – Israeli warships attacked at least one of six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board, an Arabic satellite news channel and a Turkish TV network reported early Monday.

The Israeli military spokesman's office denied that its forces attacked the boats but said they would enforce the decision to keep them away from Gaza.

However, other security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to report on the military operation, confirmed that activists were wounded, but did not give numbers.

They said the troops faced resistance and that soldiers were under orders only to use fire if their lives were in danger.

The al-Jazeera satellite channel reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. The Turkish NTV network also reported an Israeli takeover with gunfire, and that at least two people were killed.

The al-Jazeera broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!"

A Turkish website showed video of pandemonium on board one of the ships, with activists in orange life jackets running around as some tried to help an activist apparently unconscious on the deck. The site also showed video of an Israeli helicopter flying overhead and Israeli warships nearby.

The reports came just after daybreak, with the flotilla still well away from the Gaza shore. Israel had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza.

Al-Jazeera footage showed soldiers descending from helicopters on ropes onto a ship and two men, apparently wounded, being carried away.

A violent takeover would deal yet another blow to Israel's international standing, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its three-year-old blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.

Greek activists said people on board one of the ships in the flotilla told them that Israeli forces boarded two other boats — one Greek, another Turkish — from helicopters and inflatable speedboats and took them over.

They said the attack took place in international waters 80 miles (128 kilometers) from the Gaza coast and that the boat had refused to obey the Israeli navy's orders to halt.

Shortly after, activists on board the ship told them that Israeli commandos had boarded the Greek boat and that the last words they heard before the connection was cut were, "They're boarding the ship using hooks, we're under arrest."

The head of the Gaza Hamas government, Ismail Haniyeh, condemned the "brutal" Israeli attack.

"We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza," Haniyeh told The Associated Press.

Turkish television stations said police blocked dozens of stone-throwing protesters who tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The CNN-Turk and NTV televisions showed dozens of angry protesters scuffling with Turkish police and shouting, "Damn Israel."

On Sunday, Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus on Sunday afternoon after two days of delays. She said they expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and that two more ships would follow in "a second wave."

The flotilla was "fully prepared for the different scenarios" that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would "do what's right" and not stop the convoy, she said.

"We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation or threats of violence against us," she said. "They are going to have to forcefully stop us."

After nightfall Sunday, three Israeli navy missile boats left their base in Haifa, steaming out to sea to confront the activists' ships.

Two hours later, Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla not to approach Gaza.

"If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade," the radio message continued.

Al-Jazeera also reported that the ships changed course to try to avoid a nighttime confrontation, preferring a daylight showdown for better publicity.

The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, is trying to draw attention to Israel's blockade of Gaza. The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. The activists said they also were carrying hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorized channels. However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.

This is the ninth time that the Free Gaza movement has tried to ship in humanitarian aid to Gaza since August 2008.

Israel has let ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since a three-week military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers in January 2009. The flotilla bound for Gaza is the largest to date.

Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists are on the boats, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.

The mission has experienced repeated delays, both due to mechanical problems and a decision by Cyprus to bar any boat from sailing from its shore to Gaza. The ban forced a group of European lawmakers to depart from the breakaway Turkish Cypriot northern part of the island late Saturday.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade on Gaza after Hamas militants violently seized control of the seaside territory in June 2007.

Israel says the measures are needed to prevent Hamas, which has fired thousands of rockets at Israel, from building up its arsenal. But U.N. officials and international aid groups say the blockade has been counterproductive, failing to weaken the Islamic militant group while devastating the local economy.

In particular, the ban on building materials has prevented Gazans from repairing thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed in an Israeli military offensive, meant to stop Hamas rocket attacks, early last year.

Israel rejects claims of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it allows more than enough food and medicine into the territory. The Israelis also point to the bustling smuggling industry along Gaza's southern border with Egypt, which has managed to bring consumer goods, gasoline and livestock into the seaside strip.


Associated Press writer Menalaos Hadjicostis contributed to this report from Nicosia, Cyprus.


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TAKE ACTION


1. Organize an emergency protest against Israel's attack on the humanitarian flotilla. Find events near you and post your event details by clicking here.

2. Contact the U.S. Mission to the United Nations at 212-415-4062 right away and demand that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's action and initiating an investigation.

3. Learn more about the deadly impact of U.S. military aid to Israel and take action to end it by clicking here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bilderberg: The open conspiracy

Bilderberg: The Open Conspiracy
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, May 28, 2010

Now that the agenda for global government and a centralized world economic system is public and out in the open, the importance of the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference rests on grooming political candidates. The lion’s share of Bilderberg’s 2010 agenda has already been announced by its members weeks before – it will revolve around a potential military strike on Iran as well as the future collapse of the euro.

Trilateral Commission members, who routinely also attend Bilderberg’s annual confab, have let slip that a war on Iran is being seriously debated, while the elite continue to exploit the fallout from the economic crisis to push for centralized financial regulation.

The consequences of a military strike on Iran will cause a split between Bilderberg luminaries, just as it did before the invasion of Iraq at the 2002 meeting.

During the recent Trilateral Commission meeting in Dublin Ireland, which routinely discusses an almost identical roster of topics to subsequent Bilderberg gatherings, chief advisor to the Russian leadership Mikhail Slobodovsici unwittingly told a We Are Change member he mistook for a colleague, “We are deciding the future of the world….We need a world government,” he said, but, referring to Iran, said “we need to get rid of them.”

The continued push to pose as the saviors while offering global governance as the solution to the economic crisis was also re-affirmed in a recent speech by IMF chief and BIlderberg member Dominique Strauss-Kahn, when he told an audience of elitists in Zurich that the globalists need to see the ‘crisis as an opportunity’ to push for “a new global currency issued by a global central bank”.

Our sources close to Bilderberg emphasize the fissure that exists within globalist circles. Younger elitists and the nouveau riche are concerned that the global economy is being sunk too quickly and too soon, and that the consequences will be so drastic in the long term that even the wealth and influence of insiders will be threatened.

These divisions in the context of geopolitics was also addressed recently by Trilateral Commission co-founder and prominent Bilderberger Zbigniew Brzezinski, who in addition revealed that a “global political awakening,” in combination with infighting amongst the elite, was threatening to derail the move towards a one world government.

The fact that globalists are also debating the timeline as to if and when the euro single currency will collapse, and whether it will be followed by the U.S. dollar has also been publicly discussed in recent weeks.

Former Bank of England policy maker David Blanchflower recently told Bloomberg News that the euro region could break up as a result of the debt crisis in Greece which threatens to spread to other countries on the continent.

As veteran Bilderberg sleuth Jim Tucker points out in his latest article, the corporate media has already been preconditioning the public to accept Bilderberg’s agenda for weeks.

“Bilderberg-controlled news outlets in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are conditioning the public to accept two of the super-secret elite’s major goals in advance of its meeting June 4-7 in Sitges, Spain: a U.S. attack on Iran and a financial bailout of Greece and other European Union (EU) countries,” writes Tucker.

With the agenda for global government now past the point of secrecy and out in the open, the Bilderberg group’s primary role is to groom political candidates for future high-power positions within the new world order hierarchy.

The most interesting aspect to come out of this year’s conference in Sitges Spain is the question of who will be attending. While David Cameron’s new coalition government in the United Kingdom has opposed the expansion of Bilderberg’s European project in rhetoric, they have been busy appointing pro-Euro politicians to influential posts. The possible attendance of Cameron and his new sidekick Nick Clegg will be interesting to watch, as will the question of whether any members of the ousted UK Labour Party are invited. With leadership elections imminent after the resignation of dutiful Bilderberg servant Gordon Brown, Bilderberg will be keen to vet potential future Prime Ministers such as David Milliband.

DARPA funds Southern Methodist University to develop high-tech camera that spots the "non-cooperative"...

BLENDZ NOTE: 'AND TODAY'S BIG BROTHER NEWS OF THE DAY'...

Darpa’s Beady-Eyed Camera Spots the ‘Non-Cooperative’
By Katie Drummond May 27, 2010 | 4:12 pm

Soon, keeping your head down won’t be enough to stump high-tech security cameras, thanks to Pentagon-funded researchers developing mini-cameras that can nab threats by hunting down — and scanning — their eyeballs.

A team of electrical engineers at Southern Methodist University (SMU), led by Professor Marc Christensen, first created the cameras with funding from Darpa, the Pentagon’s research agency. Called Panoptes, the devices use low-resolution sensors to create a high-res image that can be captured using a lightweight, ultra-slim camera. Because they don’t use a lens, the cameras were originally designed for miniature drone sensors and troop helmet-cams.

Only a year later, the Pentagon is giving SMU another $1.6 million, to merge the cameras with active illumination and handheld Pico projection devices. This allows photos captured on small devices to be transformed for large-format viewing. Whereas the first goal of the program was to create slim cameras with the power of a lens, the latest technology “lets us do even more than what a lens could do,” Christensen told Danger Room.

“This platform is really just the base, upon which we’ll focus on different applications,” Christensen said. “Now, we’re enhancing resolution even more, so the images are a 3-D map with even better, more accurate details.”

The new devices will yield a robust 3-D image that’ll be useful for seeing in caves and dark urban areas, and for the creation of versatile “non-cooperative” iris-detection security cameras.

Smart-Iris, the name of the new Panoptes innovation, is being developed in conjunction with SMU Professor Delores Etter, who specializes in biometric identification. It’ll eliminate problems like glare, eyelashes, dim lighting — and an unwillingness to stop and stare directly into a dedicated iris-detection camera. Instead, Panoptes devices will zero in on a face, no matter angle or movement, then narrow right into the iris. A long line of people, moving through a line, could be scanned by wall-mounted cameras and they wouldn’t even notice it was happening.

And new algorithms are being developed by Etter and colleagues to identify individuals based on segments of their iris, rather than a full frontal scan.

“Ideally, when you walk down a hallway, no matter where your head is looking, the device can grab your eyeball and detect what it needs to,” Christensen said. And where possible security and defense applications are concerned? “You can let your imagination fly with that one.”

And with this latest development, Christensen also sees widespread civilian application, as part of “the cell phone of the future.” He’d like to see the camera-projection device incorporated into phones, and says they’d be able to photograph the page of a book “down to the smallest lettering,” or detect counterfeit cash by “picking up the texture of a $20 bill.”

US Coast Guard harassing news photographers and journalists covering BP's oil spill disaster...

US coast guards harass journalists covering BP's oil spill disaster
Posted by Roy Greenslade Friday 28 May 2010 09.19 BST
guardian.co.uk

News photographers and TV camera crews are claiming that they are being prevented from reporting on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

They complain that US federal and local officials, including coast guards, are blocking access to beaches where the effects of the spill are most visible.

A CBS TV crew was threatened with arrest when attempting to film an oil-covered beach last week. On Saturday, reporter Mac McClelland was blocked by police from visiting an island in Louisiana.

On Tuesday, a photographer with the New Orleans Times-Picayune was prevented from flying over the ocean after the plane company was issued with a temporary flight restriction after BP officials learned that a member of the press would be on board.

The US coast guard insists that its staff and BP have gone to great lengths to accommodate journalists. A coast guard spokesman said: "Roughly 400 members of the media have been given tours of the spill on either BP-contracted aircraft or coast guard helicopters."

He defended flight restrictions as "a necessary safety precaution". Private aircraft must get permission from BP's command center to fly over a huge portion of the gulf.

Reporters and photographers view BP's influence as unhelpful. They are escorted by BP officials on BP-contracted boats and aircraft. So the company is able to determine what reporters see and when they see it.

Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert says access has been hit or miss, and that there have been instances when it's obvious members of the press are being targeted.

False flag attack on S. Korean sub directed at Japanese gov't(Video)

David Icke and Jordan Maxwell in conversation(Video)

Orcadian Stones...

Orcadian Stones
2010 05 29
From: philipcoppens.com

Though the Orkneys are on the northern frontiers in Europe, they nevertheless form an integral part of the European megalithic civilisation – and are on par with monuments in the heartland of that civilisation. What was it that made the Orkneys exceptional?

The Orkney Islands sit on the northern tip of the British mainland. It is rumoured that one inhabitant once wrote “Bergen, Norway” as his nearest train station, rather than Edinburgh – let alone London as the nearest capital. The islands seem remote and yet they are the centre of a megalithic community whose traces remain clearly distinguishable in the landscape.

The Ring of Brodgar, one of the highlights of any visit to the islands, has an area of 90,790 square feet (8,435 m2) and thus ranks third in size after the Outer Circle at Avebury and the Great Circle at Stanton Drew, in what many consider to be the true heart of the Megalithic World, the coastal areas of south-western England and French Brittany. Though Europe’s western facing Atlantic coasts, from Orkney down to Morocco, are known to have communicated throughout Megalithic times and are considered to be “one”, the question remains why this civilisation stretched so far north. Or to rephrase the problem: it is not odd to find megalithic monuments in the Orkneys, but why are they so monumental – on par with monuments found in the heartland of this civilisation? For some, it has lead to theories that suggest that the Orkneys were a staging post for ancient sea routes to the Americas – in Megalithic times – which is not that farfetched as the islands were indeed such posts in post-Columbian days. Today, it is known that this megalithic civilisation, from at least 3000 BC onwards, used the boat as the main means of transport and communication. Though it is thus possible that Atlantic crossings occurred, what is missing so far is proof that they did.

Why the Orkneys? What are the Orkneys? The name has been traced to the Picts, where the name is believed to come from Insi Orc, the islands of the tribe of the wild boar. This may be a clue – then again, it may not be.

What is known, is that the islands lacked timber, which meant that the houses were made in stone. Hence, settlements such as Skara Brae have survived across the millennia and provide us with a unique insight in the life of the megalithic builders in 3000 BC. But precisely because they had to build in stone, it should not be taken for granted that their lifestyle reflected that of communities elsewhere in Europe. Though Skara Brae is the most popular, the earliest house site was at Knap of Howar in Papa Westray. Skara Brae itself was inhabited from around 3100 to 2500 BC, an impressive 600 years. It now sits on the edge of the beach, but in olden days, would have been more inland and thus offered more protection from the elements that so often do not look benign on the Orkneys – the god of wind being the one that toys most with the islanders. The stone structure must have offered some protection, even though the weather in 3000 BC is believed to have been a few degrees warmer.


Read the rest of the story by Philip Coppens: here

Michigan considers law to license journalists...

Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists
Jana Winter
Fox News
May 30, 2010

A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”

Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets–traditional, online and citizen generated–and an even greater amount misinformation.

“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.

He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

“We have to be able to get good information,” he said. “We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.”


Full article here

NYC science fest to ask "What if we're holograms?"...

At NYC sci fest, asking 'What if we're holograms?'
By SAMANTHA GROSS (AP) – 1 day ago

NEW YORK — Brian Greene works in a world where scientific reasoning rules all and imagination leads to the most unlikely truths.

Greene and other "string theorists" are exploring a possible scenario in which people and the world around us are actually a 3-D holographic projection of two-dimensional data that exists outside the accessible universe.

It's a concept so mindbending for those who don't understand the complex math behind it that many might decide it's best left to the academics. But Greene wants to build public excitement about science, even as the U.S. loses ground in some areas — and intends to bring even the most complex ideas to the masses at this week's World Science Festival, which starts June 2.

"The idea is to ... find the compelling narrative and stories that allow these programs to really feel like an experience and not a lesson," says Greene, wearing a leather jacket that practically exudes old-school, rock-star cool. It's an appropriate look for a man who has brought the possible inner workings of the universe to scores of non-geniuses through his book "The Elegant Universe" and the PBS specials by the same name.

The physicist founded the festival in 2008 with his wife, Tracy Day. In a way, they say, it's an extension of his work translating into layman's terms the fundamentals of string theory — the idea that the universe and its most fundamental forces could be best explained if everything around us were made up of minuscule, vibrating strings.

Greene is not the only scientist working to show Americans the relevance of the field, and hoping to make it cooler for U.S. youth. Despite the recent murmurings about the era of "geek chic," many teenagers still largely see science as a dorky pursuit, says Michio Kaku, a presenter at the festival and another string theorist who's built a career bringing his science to the public.

The numbers in the National Science Board's yearly examination of science and engineering indicators paint a mixed picture for American students. The number of high schoolers passing Advanced Placement exams in science quadrupled from 1990 to 2008; but between 2000 and 2006 the U.S. fell from seventh to 13th place in science literacy among 15-year-olds who took an international test.

Greene worries the U.S. is seeing a dissipation of its leadership in his field and others. When Columbia University, where Greene is a professor, received a grant earmarked for American postdoctoral fellows, Greene says his department had a hard time finding Americans to fill the spots.

At the same time, NASA has been directed to stop launching astronauts into orbit around the Earth and instead have them ride Russian rockets to and from the International Space Station. And Greene and other physicists still keenly feel the loss of a large-scale project canceled in 1993 that could have launched exciting discoveries similar to those being made now at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

"If the superconducting super collider had been built in Waxahachie, Texas, and the world was coming here to undertake the most powerful collisions of particles that we've ever been able to achieve, recreating conditions since the Big Bang in Texas as opposed to Geneva, would that be better for America? Yeah, I think it would be," says Greene.

The Large Hadron Collider, which was partially funded by the U.S., has already made history sending proton beams crashing into each other at unheard of speeds. And research is speeding ahead elsewhere as well. China is far outpacing the U.S. in the growth of research and development spending, even though the U.S. is the clear worldwide leader — responsible for one-third of the $1.1 trillion spent worldwide in 2007.

Perhaps if Americans understood why science is vital, interesting and profitable, they would have pressured the government to finance the project here, Greene says.

It is what the festival is, in part, seeking to accomplish now. The event hopes to make science as much a part of our cultural scene as dance or music. In one event, choreographer Karole Armitage has created a dance piece illustrating concepts from contemporary physics.

Topics to be addressed in panel discussions include the plausibility of the science of "Star Trek." And in an event simulcast from Norway, the $1 million Kavli prizes will be awarded in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The festival's opening night gala, which will honor British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, includes the premiere of "Icarus at the Edge of Time," an orchestral work by Philip Glass based on Greene's children's book about a journey to a black hole.

Since authoring the tale, Greene has turned his focus to a book for adults on the possible ways that multiple universes might manifest themselves.

One of the more popular science-fiction scenarios — an alternate universe in which people are transformed to similar but evil or subtly different versions of themselves — is but a remote possibility, he says. Instead, it's more likely that multiple universes exist alongside each other like bubbles in a bubble bath. The extremely fast expansion of the universe in our distant past, combined with elements of string theory, suggest this as a possibility, Greene said.

It is almost as difficult to wrap one's head around as the possibility that we are all holograms projected over a distance, unable to detect the illusory nature of our 3-D world — another topic covered by a festival panel.

Greene's attempt to explain where our consciousness might reside, if we are indeed simply projections, is intriguing and perhaps less than comforting:

"It's there, too," he says. "Consciousness is nothing but the physical processes taking place in the brain. ... Consciousness is just another interaction of particles."

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

We've Always Been at War with Eastasia‏
From: Alan Grayson
Sun 5/30/10 10:11 AM

On May 30, 2010, at 10:06 a.m, the direct cost of occupying Iraq and Afghanistan will hit $1 trillion. And in a few weeks, the House of Representatives will be asked to vote for $33 billion of additional "emergency" supplemental spending to continue the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be the pretense of debate - speeches on the floor of both chambers, stern requests for timetables or metrics or benchmarks - but this war money will get tossed in the wood chipper without difficulty, requested by a President who ran on an anti-war platform. Passing this legislation will mark the breaking of another promise to America, the promise that all war spending would be done through the regular budget process. Not through an off-budget swipe of our Chinese credit card.

The war money could be used for schools, bridges, or paying everyone's mortgage payments for a whole year. It could be used to end federal income taxes on every American's first $35,000 of income, as my bill, the War Is Making You Poor Act, does. It could be used to close the yawning deficit, supply health care to the unemployed, or for any other human and humane purpose.

Instead, it will be used for war. Because, as Orwell predicted in 1984, we've reached the point where everyone thinks that we've always been at war with Eastasia. Why?

Not because Al Qaeda was sheltered in Iraq. It wasn't. And not because Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan. It isn't. Bush could never explain why we went to war in Iraq, and Obama can't explain why we are 'escalating' in Afghanistan.

So, why? Why spend $1 trillion on a long, bloody nine-year campaign with no justifiable purpose?

Remember 9/11, the day that changed everything? That was almost a decade ago. Bush's response was to mire us in two bloody wars, wars in which we are still stuck today. Why?

I can't answer that question. But I do have an alternative vision of how the last 10 years could have played out.

Imagine if we had decided after 9/11 to wean ourselves off oil and other carbon-based fuels. We'd be almost ten years into that project by now.

Imagine if George W. Bush had somehow been able to summon the moral strength of Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, or Martin Luther King Jr, and committed the American people to the pursuit of a common goal of a transformed society, a society which meets our own human needs rather than declaring "war" on an emotion, or, as John Quincy Adams put it, going "abroad, in search of monsters to destroy".

Imagine.

Imagine that we chose not to enslave ourselves to a massive military state whose stated goal is "stability" in countries that never have been "stable", and never will be.

Imagine.

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace."

Sign up to end these wars.

Alan

The Science of Eternity(Video)

The greatest question affecting each and every human being is the question of death and dying. Do we simply cease to exist or do we pass quite naturally into the next world? Astounding personal encounters with supposedly dead relatives coupled with new scientific evidence based on quantum physics - the study of the invisible part of the universe - suggests that WE ALL SURVIVE death.

Written and presented by Alan Pemberton this 60 minute video features:

Ronald Pearson - This scientist's papers linking survival after death with subatomic physics have been peer-reviewed and published by physicists in Russia and the USA.

Michael Roll - The author of the pamphlet 'The Scientific Proof of Survival After Death'.

Gwen and Alf Byrne - These parents have been physically reunited with their "dead" son, Russell, in several hundred repeatable experiments.

Tom Harrison - He tells the story of his the incredible mediumship of his mother, Minnie Harrison, who was one of the greatest materialisation mediums ever to make contact with people in the etheric universe.

David Icke - Talks about life after death.




CLICK TITLE LINK TO VIEW REST OF INTERVIEW

Food deserts contribute to poor health in America...

Food Deserts Contribute to Poor Health in America
Saturday, May 29, 2010 by: Jeremiah Smith, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) According to the White House, 23.5 million Americans currently live in what is known as a 'food desert.' Essentially, a food desert is a place that lacks reasonable, affordable access to grocery stores with fresh produce and other healthy foods. These places are often served by convenience stores and fast food restaurants, leaving very few options for those who wish to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Food deserts are most common in rural areas and inner cities. It isn't hard to imagine a scarcity of health food stores in a small, rural town, but you might not expect the same to be true in the heart of a large city. One cause of the grocery store shortage experienced by some inner cities has been store closings. Ironically, many storefronts are converted into pharmacies that profit from the sale of processed foods, in addition to medications for diseases brought on by poor diet.

Daily food choices are influenced by more than just individual preference. Physical and financial factors also come into play. In many cases, the nearest grocery store is simply out of reach due to its distance. The distance factor most strongly impacts low-income individuals, the elderly and those with disabilities. Vehicle ownership status, availability of public transportation, and sidewalk layout are other important considerations. High crime rates in certain areas may also deter individuals from passing through in order to go grocery shopping. Compounding the problem is the fact that healthy foods are generally more expensive on a calorie-by-calorie basis, as compared to processed junk foods.

Collectively, these barriers to access are partially responsible for America's obesity and diabetes epidemic. The Department of City Planning in New York City has examined the association between a lack of grocery stores and prevalence of diet-related illness. Areas with the lowest availability of fresh food were also those reporting the highest percentage of residents with obesity and diabetes. The lack of local food markets was found to be most severe in poor, minority neighborhoods.

The relationship between socioeconomic status, race, food deserts and health isn't limited to New York City. A number of studies have found the same connection in other cities including Chicago, Detroit and Louisville.

WE like war(Video)

The CIA, ABC and the rise of Rush Limbaugh...

The CIA, ABC and the Rise of Rush Limbaugh
29th May 2010

The following brief history of ABC offers a perfect snapshot of everything that has gone wrong with the media. This remarkable story includes ABC’s takeover by a conservative parent corporation, the demise of the Fairness Doctrine, the rightward shift of the evening news, the rise of conservative talk radio, and the cozy relationship between a state and a press that are supposed to be separate.


In 1985, ABC was taken over by Capital Cities, a conservative, Roman Catholic media organization with extensive ties to the CIA.

(If you think we’re making this up, you should know that the Capital Cities takeover of ABC is one of the most analyzed in history, and the subject of many books by Wall Street experts and scholars. Especially recommended is Networks of Power, by Emmy Award-winner Dennis Mazzocco.)

Capital Cities was born in 1954, and rapidly prospered. Many of its founders had previously worked in the U.S. intelligence community and had a great amount of wealth, social contacts and influence in government. Yet they opted to keep the company’s actions out of the public eye — they did not flaunt their wealth with private planes and lavish offices the way so many successful companies do. Just exactly how well-connected Capital Cities was to the CIA is unknown, but it is clear that the CIA concerned itself with the company at various times. The fact that the CIA has often used private businessmen, journalists and even entire companies as fronts for covert operations is not only well-known by historians, but legendary. (Recall Howard Hughes and Trans-World Airlines…)

One of Capital City’s early founders was William Casey, who would later become Ronald Reagan’s Director of the CIA. At the time of Casey’s nomination, the press expressed surprise that Reagan would hire a businessman whose last-known intelligence experience was limited to OSS operations in World War II. The fact is, however, that Casey had never left intelligence. Throughout the Cold War he kept a foot in both worlds, in private business as well as the CIA. A history of Casey’s business dealings reveals that he was an aggressive player who saw nothing wrong with bending the law to further his own conservative agenda. When he became implicated as a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, many Washington insiders considered it a predictable continuation of a very shady career.

Another Capital Cities founder, Lowell Thomas, was a close friend and business contact with Allen Dulles, Eisenhower’s CIA Director, and John Dulles, the Secretary of State. Thomas always denied being a spy, but he was frequently seen at events involving intelligence operations. Another founder was Thomas Dewey, whom the CIA had given millions to create other front companies for covert operations.

Capital Cities prospered from the start; its specialty was to buy media organizations that were in trouble. Upon acquisition, it would improve management and eliminate waste until the company started turning a profit. This no-nonsense, no-frills approach, as well as its refusal to become side-tracked with other ventures, made it one of the most successful media conglomerates of the 60s and 70s. Of course, the journalistic slant of its companies was decidedly conservative and anticommunist. To anyone who believes that the government should not control the press, the possibility that the CIA created a media company to dispense conservative and Cold War propaganda should be alarming. Rush Limbaugh himself calls freedom of the press “the sweetest — and most American — words you will ever find.” (2) Apparently, he is unaware of the history of his own employers.

By the 1980s, Capital Cities had grown powerful enough that it was now poised to hunt truly big game: a major television network. A vulnerable target appeared in the form of ABC, whose poor management in the early 80s was driving both its profits and stocks into oblivion. Back then, ABC’s journalistic slant was indeed liberal; its criticism of the Reagan Administration had drawn the wrath of conservatives everywhere, from Wall Street to Washington. This was in marked contrast to the rest of the White House press corps, which was, in Bagdikian’s words, “stunningly uncritical” of Reagan. Behind the scenes, Reagan was deregulating the FCC and eliminating anti-monopoly laws for the media, a fact the media appreciated and rewarded. The only exception was ABC. Sam Donaldson’s penetrating questions during press conferences were so embarrassing to Reagan that his handlers scheduled the fewest Presidential press conferences in modern history.

Another controversy involving the liberal slant of ABC was its airing of the anti-nuclear war movie The Day After. This movie angered conservatives like Henry Kissinger, who believe that the willingness to use nuclear weapons is actually a deterrence to war. But Kissinger got a chance to respond to the movie on national television. Nightline followed the movie with a group discussion that included Kissinger and other conservative pundits. The reason why ABC was so even-handed, presenting both a liberal and conservative viewpoint on nuclear war, was because they were required to by law: the Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987 by the FCC. Reagan had staffed the FCC with prominent media businessmen who were intent on slashing government regulations… the equivalent of letting the fox guard the chicken coop. Among the many other regulations slashed during the Reagan years were anti-trust laws that prevented the media from becoming a monopoly. Much of this was done under heavy pressure by corporate lobbyists.

In this atmosphere of deregulation, Capital Cities found the perfect time to take over ABC. Not only were all the legal restrictions removed, but by now Casey was head of the CIA, and whatever contacts existed between the CIA and Casey’s company (in which Casey held substantial stock) were immeasurably strengthened. Capital Cities soon began buying out ABC stock. The facts of the acquisition remain curious and unconventional. Capital Cities was only one-fourth the size of ABC, and there were much wealthier corporate giants who were salivating over a plum like a television network. But word got out on Wall Street that the Capital Cities takeover bid was “protected” by Warren Buffet, a legendary trader often described as the “Darling of Wall Street.” (Until 1995, Buffet was the richest man in America.) With Buffet’s help, Capital Cities took over ABC. According to one source, a high-ranking CIA official teased Casey, saying, “I understand Sam Donaldson is working for you now.”

Sam Donaldson would not be tormenting Republican presidents for long. By the Bush Presidency, Donaldson was removed from covering the White House and paired with Diane Sawyer in a weekly news magazine that covered political fluff. Brit Hume, a staunch conservative, would take his place, and the same torment that ABC once reserved for Ronald Reagan would now be directed towards Bill Clinton.

The new conservatism at ABC was subtle but apparent. Peter Jennings, noting that the program’s “American Agenda” had a liberal slant, stated that the news would pay more attention to conservatives, since their ideas are “more provocative and less predictable on some issues.”

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales noted that of all the networks, ABC was the “friendliest to and least critical of the Bush Administration and its policies.” After the war, ABC marketed a video of General Schwartzkopf’s famous briefing of the war, entitled “Schwartzkopf: How the War was Won.” It sold 80,000 copies. Later, it would market a video on life and times of Richard Nixon.

It would be wrong, of course, to conclude that ABC had gone Attila the Hun. ABC News remained a source of somewhat balanced coverage; both Sam Donaldson and George Will continued to do battle every Sunday on This Week With David Brinkley. Indeed, some of the most scientific pieces warning about the destruction of the ozone layer came from ABC. The owners at Capital Cities/ABC couldn’t make the Evening News blatantly conservative because such a change would be too controversial. But this did not defeat their effort. They could still create a conservative forum from scratch, and in this regard, the dying market of AM radio offered the opportunity of a lifetime.

There are about 11,000 radio stations in the U.S., and Capital Cities/ABC is by far the largest player. Either through outright ownership or the sale of numerous services, they reach about half the radio stations in America, and this number is growing. With the Fairness Doctrine repealed, Capital Cities was able in 1988 to begin broadcasting one-sided editorials on conservatism. ABC Radio Network President Edward McLaughlin scoured the nation’s radio stations for conservative talent, and his search led him to Sacramento, to a little known disc-jockey named Rush Limbaugh. Rush had attracted an audience with his vigorous and spirited defense of Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings. McLaughlin brought him to New York City for a one-month “on-air” trial at Capital Cities/ABC’s flagship radio station, WABC. For the next two years, ABC put him on the fast track, handling all his marketing, advertising and promotion. For legal purposes, and to protect ABC’s image of supposed objectivity, Rush formed his own media company, Excellence in Broadcasting. But to this day Rush continues to broadcast out of WABC’s studios in New York.

ABC initially promoted Rush by arranging his appearance on other debating shows, from Nightline to Donahue to MacNeil/Lehrer. (Unfortunately, he did so poorly against real live experts that this practice was eventually stopped.) Perhaps the most eye-brow raising example of Rush’s promotion was when he appeared on an episode of ABC’s 20/20 for an interview with Barbara Walters. Given Rush’s criticism of feminists as “feminazis,” this interview was built up as a confrontation between a female reporter in the mainstream media and Rush’s supposedly misogynist views. The fact that Barbara Walters herself is conservative was nowhere mentioned. During the interview, Rush came across as charming, humorous, reasonable and moderate, and Walters closed the segment by stating that she actually liked him.

Ted Koppel’s incessant praise of Rush Limbaugh is also an attempt to bring him into the mainstream. The back cover of See, I Told You So blurbs: “As no less a liberal than Ted Koppel… said, ‘You ignore him at your peril.’” On television, Koppel has laughed with admiration over Limbaugh, calling him “terribly articulate.” But the anchor of Nightline is far from liberal; indeed, Rush Limbaugh had to publicly apologize to Koppel for calling him one. And researchers have criticized Nightline for featuring a highly disproportionate number of experts who are white male conservatives.

Rush Limbaugh explains his success as the result of his individualism, of his refusal to do it someone’s else’s way. But the fact is that his success has been orchestrated, financed and promoted by Capital Cities/ABC. He also seems extraordinarily well-connected to the Republican leadership in Washington, carrying out their campaign strategies so faithfully that it is difficult to distinguish his promotions from their campaign commercials. For example, when Rush’s television show debuted nationally two months before the 92 election, his producer was Roger Ailes, who was Bush’s media advisor throughout the campaign. Many of the themes that Ailes had inspired earlier in the campaign showed up in identical form on Rush’s show, which resembled a program-length commercial for the Bush campaign. When asked to give equal time to his opponents, Rush responded “I am equal time!”

In 1994, not only the Rush Limbaugh Show, but hundreds of other conservative talk shows dutifully raised the issues that Newt Gingrich’s Contract Information Center faxed to them each morning about the Contract With America. Many went so far as to read them verbatim over the air. And when the Republicans captured Congress in 1994, they held a ceremony in honor of Limbaugh, naming him “an honorary member of Congress” and “the Majority Maker.” That night, the conservative propaganda machine had reached its full potential.

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