Saturday, May 31, 2008

Toronto Terror Trials

The first trial in the Toronto ring is ongoing in Brampton. The accused is a 20yr old man, who was a youth at the time, therefore he cannot be named. This fellow is interesting in that he converted from Hindu to Islam, but has also been prone to some strange behaviour. If I recall correctly a writer from the National Post , questioned wether the defendant was having a breakdown of some type.

Since the initial arrests, the Crown has dropped or stayed charges against seven of them.

The lawyers for the defense , claim this is little more then fantasy talk, while the crown, of course, contends it was a massive terror plot.

But, lets look at the numerous news reports on the trial.

The Crown's first witness was RCMP Cpl. John Mecher of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. He testified about pieces of evidence and where they were seized, including a pistol, one 9-mm pistol seized from a Toronto home. Shell casings , found near the "camp" which some of the accused attended. That means some didn't.

The defendants lawyer asked Becher a number of questions with regard to intended targets and evidence.

Why no warnings , to the intended targets, regarding this threat, were ever issued? Good question, one would think if this plot was as serious as has been alleged, a 'heads up' would be in order. But, apparently no warnings were given.

"I suggest these people weren't notified because the plan was always a fantasy,'' Chernovsky, lawyer for the accused suggested to RCMP officer Mecher.

Chernovsky questioned whether police ever seized crates of high-powered assault rifles and explosives, which one of the alleged ringleaders "boasted" about having ordered.

"All I can say is we did not seize anything along those lines," said Mecher

They had not seized any high powered rifles, in fact the only gun they had seized was the one 9mm gun.

Mecher was questioned about the location of a safehouse in Opasatika, a rural town near Timmins.

"He was going to attack Canada from 10 hours north of Toronto?" asked Chernovsky, pointing out the scheme would have involved tunnelling through the Canadian Shield – to access the house.

To which the response was:

"I can't explain his rationale or lack thereof," said Mecher.

(Tunneling through the Canadian Shield?????)

Mr. Chernovsky asked Cpl. Mecher if the officers surveying the camp heard any "yelling of terrorist chants and death of the infidels?"

To which Cpl. Mecher responded:
they did not.
(no shouts of terrorist chants, while being indoctrinated?)

Additional evidence presented were photos of electronics, a crazy carpet type toboggan, which the crown alleges was part of an "obstacle course" at the training camp.

Ok, about the crazy carpet for an obstacle course training. Crazy carpet type toboggans in my opinion, based on my experience, have no maneuverability.They slide out from under you if you try to change course and leave you and your buttocks in the snow, sans crazy carpet. For an obstacle course, they would seem to be pretty useless.

In all the articles I did read, all this evidence presented at this ongoing trial is not related directly to the person who is actually on trial??? I thought this was the whole point of evidence at the trial of the accused?

Toronto Star "Although none of the evidence related to the alleged plot involves the youth"

On Monday, the crowns' star witness and undercover operative Mubin Shaik will take the stand

Friday, May 30, 2008

Omar Khadr -Judge abruptly removed

It seems the Pentagon was unhappy with the Judge in the Omar Khadr case, so unhappy in fact they dismissed him!
The Pentagon abruptly replaced the military judge in the Omar Khadr case yesterday after he chastised the prosecution at a recent Guantanamo Bay hearing.
Was the Judge not content to carry out a kangaroo court type trial on behalf of the Pentagon??

At a May 7 hearing, Col. Brownback threatened to suspend the entire case over the prosecution's failure to hand over Mr. Khadr's Guantanamo confinement records.
can't have an actual trial now can we?

What would happen if Mr. Khadr (child soldier) was found to be innocent?
There are some serious questions regarding the fact that the Pentagon may have lied and that the young Khadr, was not the assailant , as claimed.

Khadr report altered

The military commander’s official report the day after the raid originally said the assailant who threw the grenade was killed, which would rule out Khadr as the suspect.

The report was revised months later, under the same date, to say a U.S. fighter had only “engaged” the assailant, according to Kuebler, who said the later version was presented to him by prosecutors as an “updated” document.

Kuebler told reporters after the hearing that it appears “the government manufactured evidence to make it look like Omar was guilty.”

and now the judge has been dismissed?

Religion a product of evolution

I was watching this show on Pompeii , the other evening......

It is thought that when the people of Pompeii saw the volcano ( Mt. Vesuvius) begin to erupt, they would have prayed and made offerings to God, likely, as an act of appeasement.
What went through their minds, did they think they were sinful, and were about to feel the wrath of God?
I do wonder.
It was interesting to note how little things have changed.
It seems God, is evoked or appeased rather commonly , in this alleged modern age, for all manner of reasons.

Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests

God may work in mysterious ways, but a simple computer program may explain how religion evolved

By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition to pass along unverifiable information, the program predicts that religion will flourish. However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out – perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion.

"If a person is willing to sacrifice for an abstract god then people feel like they are willing to sacrifice for the community," says James Dow, an evolutionary anthropologist at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, US, who wrote the program – called Evogod

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rachael Ray scarf controversy???

Ok, questions of the day?
How stupid are some people? How stupid does Dunkin' Donuts think people are?
The answer to both is apparently really stupid

look at the picture:

I see a black and white paisley scarf, apparently it is silk, probably pricey, sets her face off quite nicely for the picture, what is the problem?

Well apparently Michelle Malkin(?) ,who may possibly need eyeglasses, says it resembles a scarf worn by 'terrorists' and a bunch of reactionary people got 'outraged', causing Dunkin' Donuts to pull the ad.

Now that over reaction is a wonderful demonstration of fanatic stupidity at it's best

This is a scarf people, it's a harmless piece of cloth. It can be worn around the neck, on the head or as a belt. Black and white is quite fashionable, as always, I especially love it done in hounds tooth pattern.........

Dunkin Donuts, shouldn't assume everyone is fanatic, and will get outraged over a scarf.

Post-traumatic stress soars in U.S. troops

Well here's another no brainer! War a recipe for disaster.
Take people, any people, it doesn't matter who. Add lots of bloodshed, the witnessing of misery, suffering and deaths. Multiply it all by an endless fear for ones own life. What's the result ?

What the hell does anyone thing you would end up with? Happy people?!

War isn't a recipe for happy people wether it's the troops or the occupied.

- Newly diagnosed cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan surged 46.4 percent in 2007, bringing the five-year total to nearly 40,000, according to U.S. military data released on Tuesday.

The statistics, released by the Army, showed the number of new PTSD cases formally diagnosed at U.S. military facilities climbed to 13,981 last year from 9,549 in 2006.

9/11 truth action at John McCain's office

Meria Heller interviewed Blair Gadsby, on the second day of his hunger strike outside of John McCains' office in Arizona. Blair Gadsby is a professor of religious studies. He is looking for a two hour meeting with John McCain, to discuss the problems with the official story and his endorsement of the Popular Mechanics 'debunking'. He and his supporters have contacted the local media, for coverage.
None have appeared.
Is anyone surprised by that?
Blair Gadsby's protest

Look at the media and the lead up to the attack on Iraq?
Even Scott McClelllan is saying " Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war."
where was the media, were they doing their job, asking the tough questions, any serious investigative journalism? Well as Mclellan says "the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war." Ya think?!

Look at the Pentagon talking heads that gave there "views" to the mainstream media?
Is the media taking a look at their own complicity in that?
Barely a word.

Look at the laughable unquestioning coverage on the Iranian speedboat incident, which was a Pentagon psy-op, "How the Pentagon planted a false story", the western media didn't bother to ask a real and relevant question regarding that exercise in fear mongering ?
They just reported as instructed.

I could go on....................

Between the lies of the Bush administration and the passive media, is it any wonder so many question the "official 9/11 conspiracy theory"?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Western Delusions-the violent folly of Humanitarian Interventionism

This is an interesting read.

One can understand why some people might have sincerely thought that the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk". First, consider WW2 ; the US mercilessly bombed Germany and Japan, including their civilian populations, then occupied those countries militarily, imposing almost total control. Yet, today, Germany and Japan are among the world’s most faithful allies of the US. How deep this alliance really is and how long it will last remains to be seen, but for the moment it is a reality.

The problem of the US and Western elites is not only that they are willing to pursue violent policies in favour of their interests, but that they also pursue violent policies against their interests, because of their unbounded arrogance. We no longer control the world and great miseries follow from the non acceptance of this fact. Far from encouraging our "humanitarian" interventions, the left should foster a more realistic appraisal of the relationship of forces in the world and a policy based on dialogue, respect for national sovereignty and non intervention.

The opening and closing paragraphs above. I take exception with one point in the article.

The irony is that the most progressive position (at least objectively) in those matters is often the one of the capitalists who, most of the time, favor open trade rather than boycotts or sanctions (or wars) on humanitarian grounds.

I think that is incorrect, it would seem to me that the capitalists are the first to favour warfare, rather then open trade. If they actually did favour open trade, the middle east would not be or have been subjected to repeated meddling, by successive empires. Particularily in recent history the Brits and the Americans, in order to control the oil, for western gain. I am also not a believer in wars being fought for humanitarian reasons, they never are fought for those reasons, so the whole concept of a humanitarian war is quite foreign to me, which may be why I find this point so false. Nonetheless, an interesting point of view.

Problem: food availability? - Solution: grow your own!

I feel the need to rant today!

Food , it is a problem these days, availability, prices, quality. Increasingly more and more people can't afford to buy food. What has happened or is happening here?

Obviously alot of factors are at play, weather, ethanol production, speculation on the commodities market, fuel prices etc.,

One of the biggest mistakes we have made in the west, was becoming so dependant on shopping for food. We have to realize food does NOT come from the grocery store, it does not magically appear there, for your convenience. Food, because of globalisation is shipped from many 1000's of miles away. When bad weather hits the area a specific food is grown in or , as we see now, when fuel prices are so high we get the short end of the food stick, ever higher costs and lack of availability.

I know sometimes it feels as if it is all out of our control, but some of it is and some of it isn't, so what can we control ? What can we do, to help ourselves?

Grow your own food! You don't have to grow alot. You can grow a little. If you don't have the space, grow it in pots, buckets, whatever large container you may have on hand. Plants don't care if they are in a stylish container, so don't bother. Make sure your soil is good and you have good drainage. There are plants that can be grow specifically in pots, look into it! If you have space for a small yard plot, all the better!

Growing your own food, serves so many purposes, it gives you a personal satisfaction, security, and a feeling of having some control over your own well being. Along with the fact, that food grown locally tastes so much better. Don't be afraid to work with friends and other family members in a cooperative manner, you can trade extra produce, save seeds, help with the gardening chores if it's a bigger garden.

Just grab the bull by the horns and do it. It's not hard, and you will be better off for doing so!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Food bank useage increases, shelves bare

High food prices are taking a toll in the US, as they are world-wide.
When will the rioting start?

Food banks face rising costs, squeezing charities just as more seek assistance

Food prices up, wages down
April saw the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years, according to the Labor Department. At the same time, workers' average weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, dropped for the seventh straight month.

To meet growing demand, America's Second Harvest-The Nation's Food Bank Network, pressed lawmakers for the past year to increase the annual level of funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, commonly know as TEFAP, from $140 million to $250 million annually.

A survey it conducted of 180 food banks in late April and early May found that 99 percent have seen an increase in the number of clients served within the last year. The increase is estimated at 15 percent to 20 percent, though many food banks reported increases as high as 40 percent.

and now for a musical interlude.............

something different, cause we all need a smile. :-)

So, a friend sent this to me lamenting the resemblance, in demeanor, to her own offspring.
I think all parents of teens can relate, and it's a darn catchy tune!

Take a minute, take action, stop whining, make a difference

Stop Bush's Biotech Bailout!

According to the Chicago Tribune, the White House is attempting to force famine stricken countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, to adopt Genetically Engineered crops tied to a $770 million aid package.

The Bush Administration's $150 million earmark for GE crops is a thinly veiled attempt at subsidizing biotech corporations and advancing the genetic contamination of organic and non-ge crops in famine stricken countries. GE crops are untested and are largely unwanted by the majority of the planet's population. Dozens of countries around the world currently ban the cultivation of any genetically engineered varieties as they have yet to be proven safe for the environment or for human consumption. Additionally, GE crops have not been demonstrated to significantly increase yield, but rather force farmers into a deadly spiral of toxic agrichemicals and patent monopolies.

The root cause of hunger abroad has more to do with so-called free trade agreements and market speculation, than crop yields and patented hybrid crops. Impoverished countries need to be allowed to regain their food sovereignty to avoid deepening the current crisis.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bush admin. surreptitiously helps agribusiness in aid package

U.S. using food crisis to boost bio-engineered crops

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries.

The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Proponents say that GMO crops can result in higher yields from plants that are hardier in harsh climates, like those found in hungry African nations.

well while proponents may make the questionable claims a recent report says something very different:

Exposed: the great GM crops myth

Major new study shows that modified soya produces 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.

bill c-51 media reluctance, revenue gain?

Information on DTC advertising:

Direct-to-consumer advertising

Health Canada is under pressure from drug companies, advertising agencies and broadcasters to loosen the rules. The agency is set to release proposed changes to the current rules, but critics are worried that looser laws will drive up drug sales and put our healthcare system under even greater strain.

Direct-to-consumer advertising: Canada's Ban

the medias' disinterest in taking a good look at bill C-51

Could it stem from potential revenue from advertising????

Direct to consumer advertising is a boondoggle for big pharma. For every dollar spent they gain two in sales. It could also be exremely lucrative for mass media outlets.

Right now in Canada, this type of advertising is not allowed, but it is being lobbied for.

Could this be the reason the mainstream media is reluctant to dig into this issue?

If DTC advertising was allowed, it would seem certain no mainstream media outlet would want to be perceived as being unfriendly to this group of potential advertisers.

Therefore, is the media afraid of potential revenue losses, if they took a critical look at Bill C-51?
Wether we believe it or not, advertisers sustain the media, and the media will not alienate it's advertisers.

here's a little article on DTC advertising:

Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Pharmaceuticals
(Released March 2008)

The greatest amount of advertising money spent on pharmaceuticals in 2005 was for 10 drugs in the following seven categories: 1) heartburn, 2) insomnia, 3) cholesterol, 4) asthma and allergy, 5) nail fungus, 6) blood clots and 7) erectile dysfunction (Heinrichs, 2007). According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), DTC drugs are often among the best-selling drugs (United States, 2002).

advertising does work!

or this:

Pharmaceutical companies spend nearly twice as much on marketing in the U.S. as they do on research and development (R&D) (Gagnon and Lexchin, 2008). There has been an upward and accelerating trend in spending on DTC advertising.* In 2005, $4.2 billion was spent on DTC advertising (United States, 2006), compared with $1 billion in 1997 (Huh and Langteau, 2007).

*Note the potential increase in advertising revenue for the media outlets

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bill C-51 : Tony (C)Laments Canadians questions

A letter from Health Minister Tony Clement has been making the rounds, see below.
It's an interesting read,both, for what it says and what it doesn't say. Let's take a look at it!
I will put my comments in red, links are blue)

"There has been some misunderstanding regarding the approach of government toward natural health products and our proposed legislation, Bill C-51.

It is unfortunate that a few individuals( far more then a few) are spreading fear and misinformation ( express legitimate concerns, why demonize canadians that question the bill ?)to natural health product consumers.

As minister of health, I believe it is to the benefit of all Canadians to have access to healthy and safe natural health products. These make up the majority of these products on store shelves.

Bill C-51 does not target natural health products; it also covers products including drugs, medical devices, cells and tissues and organs, vaccines and veterinary drugs. (Therefore, Bill C-51 does indeed make natural health products into therapeutic devices, the same as prescription medications, read that sentence carefully)The bill provides crucial updates to the Food and Drug Act, which had not been updated in about 50 years.

I must add here, that Natural Health products have been regulated since 2004, but not as "therapeutic devices' the same category as prescription meds.

It also does not include any changes to the Natural Health Products Regulations, which have been in force since Jan. 1, 2004.( Upon reading, why would you need to change the natural health product regulations, if everything is designated "therapeutic device" wouldn't the previous regualtions, simply be voided) Moreover, the intention of the bill and regulations is to facilitate access to safe and effective natural health products, for all Canadians who desire them.The legislation aims ensure that tainted products are found and recalled, that what is on the label is actually in the bottle, and that health claims are supported by evidence. My department often issues warnings about mislabelled products or products that have serious adverse reactions.

For example, diethylene glycol was found in fluoridated toothpaste, and liver toxicity has been associated with the use of a Black Cohosh product that was found to contain a species of the plant different than the one stated on the label.( I note the "guilt by association", Tony Clement fails to mention the numerous , pharmaceuticals allowed on the market that are clearly linked to liver toxicity, accutane, or sporanox or lamasil tablets being just a few) We have also seen cases where a natural health product makes a completely unfounded health claim - the ability to cure cancer or SARS, for example. ( I have never seen this myself, but, I note, unfounded health claims made by many pharmaceuticals, allowed on the market, thanks to formidable lobbying pressures from big pharma and doctors prescriptions) In addition, the increasing import of products and ingredients from foreign countries will require oversight to assure product safety and quality for Canadians.

Those who allege that this legislation will reduce access to common vitamins and herbal products are simply spreading misinformation. They are wrong. The bill is still before the House of Commons and we look forward to hearing more from Canadians and industry partners.

In the future, under a modernized Food and Drugs Act, the numbers and variety of natural health products will continue to grow, the natural health product industry will be enhanced, and Canadians can be confident that they will be able to access innovative, safe and effective products."( He does not say how that access will be maintained, having to have prescriptions written for you will also give you access, though it will be restricted access at higher costs)

Well that's my take on his letter. I find it answers nothing, clears up nothing, and leaves me wondering even more what this bill is all about, given the attack on questioners and the use of manipulative statements.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

movie review for War Inc.

I saw this movie recently War Inc., with John Cusack. I loved it!

The commentary on the rampant privatization going on with the Iraq war, was unmistakable. The "emerald city" reference which is clearly the green zone, and yet also is the fantasy city from the Wizard of Oz is interesting.

Tamerlane is clearly Haliburton, and Dan Ackroyd as Dick Cheney, who, by the way , is sitting on the toilet in the movie? Is this because he is so full of sh*t, literally and figuratively?

There is a scene in War Inc., in which women, who have had their legs blown off from the bombs made by Tamerlane, are now dancing in a high stepping chorus line, at the Tamerlane trade show, on their new prosthetic legs, provided by none other then, Tamerlane.

As they destroy, so do they rebuild?

War Inc.

check it out! Seriously, it's worth it!

Israel arrests free speech, by arresting Norman Finkelstein

Israel, the state most often noted to be the "only democracy" in the Middle East, has arrested and will deport Norman Finkelstein. A prerequisite of democracy is free speech. By undertaking the act of arresting and deporating Mr. Finkelstein, Israel has made quite clear, it's position on free speech. Only if it's favourable, is it allowable.

I guess Norman Finklestein has no 'right of return'?

Friday, May 23, 2008

a case for eugenics or class wars?

Working classes are less intelligent, says evolution expert

WORKING-CLASS students have lower IQs than those from wealthier backgrounds and should not be expected to win places at top universities, an academic has claimed.
Bruce Charlton, an evolutionary psychiatrist at Newcastle University, has written a paper asserting the reason why fewer students from poor families are admitted to Oxford or Cambridge is not because of social prejudice, but lack of ability.

he is full of 'it', in my opinion.

while I am on the subject of Tasers......

RCMP in B.C. used Tasers 496 times last year, Taser inquiry told

VANCOUVER — The RCMP learned much from the incident last fall at Vancouver airport where a Polish immigrant died after being Tasered by RCMP and the force will "answer to what happened on that day," the force's assistant commissioner said Thursday.

"It was tough for us, very tough," Asst. Commissioner Al Macintyre told reporters after he gave a submission to a public inquiry looking at Taser use.

"We learned a lot about information management on such an issue, public communications, and we're (still) learning from it."

Macintyre began his presentation by expressing condolences to the Dziekanski family and was asked about it again by reporters.

"Certainly, it wasn't one of our better days in terms of the way we were portrayed in the media and publicly for that matter".

Is what concerns the RCMP , their image?? It seems that way, doesn't it?
Any concerns for public safety?

Taser Inquiry Updates

Cardiologist, heart surgeon tell Taser inquiry weapon can cause cardiac arrest

VANCOUVER — Two heart specialists told an inquiry into the use of Tasers on Tuesday that a jolt from the weapons can "almost certainly" cause heart problems and possibly even sudden cardiac arrest.And a senior police officer who trains others on how to use the Taser said his training from the company that manufactures the device suggests the Taser does not lead to cardiac arrest.Dr. Michael Janusz, a heart surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of British Columbia, told the inquiry that based on his study of available literature on Taser use, "almost all physicians would conclude that Tasers can induce ventricular fibrillation."

Now wouldn't that just seem logical?

Defibrillation: Defibrillation is a process in which an electronic device gives an electric shock to the heart. This helps reestablish normal contraction rhythms in a heart having dangerous arrhythmia or in cardiac arrest. In recent years small portable defibrillators have become available. These are called automated external defibrillators or AEDs.

Now if your heart can be affected by an electrical jolt from a defribillator, it would only make sense, that your heart can be affected by an electrical jolt from a taser. The electrical jolt being the common denominator. The method of delivery being the difference.

coroporatism & monoculture practices= food demise

Since I'm on a roll, regarding food, this article seemed fitting.

Why bananas are a parable for our times

Below the headlines about rocketing food prices and rocking governments, there lays a largely unnoticed fact: bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible.

There is no cure. They all die as it spreads, and it spreads quickly. Soon – in five, 10 or 30 years – the yellow creamy fruit as we know it will not exist. The story of how the banana rose and fell can be seen a strange parable about the corporations that increasingly dominate the world – and where they are leading us.

like the banana, to our demise?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Manufacturing a Food Crisis

this article appeared in Nation magazine June 02/08

In a nutshell it takes Mexico and the Phillipines, as examples, and shows how through the policies of WTO, IMF, and trade agreements, such as NAFTA, these countries went from food producers to food importers which have in turn left their people hungry. Of course there is more!

I found this article quite interesting, lengthy, but definitely worth the read.

A child in Abuja, Nigeria, waits for food.

When tens of thousands of people staged demonstrations in Mexico last year to protest a 60 percent increase in the price of tortillas, many analysts pointed to biofuel as the culprit. Because of US government subsidies, American farmers were devoting more and more acreage to corn for ethanol than for food, which sparked a steep rise in corn prices. The diversion of corn from tortillas to biofuel was certainly one cause of skyrocketing prices, though speculation on biofuel demand by transnational middlemen may have played a bigger role. However, an intriguing question escaped many observers: how on earth did Mexicans, who live in the land where corn was domesticated, become dependent on US imports in the first place?

The Mexican food crisis cannot be fully understood without taking into account the fact that in the years preceding the tortilla crisis, the homeland of corn had been converted to a corn-importing economy by "free market" policies promoted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Washington.

More then 360 post 9/11 workers have died

including 80 of cancer, says state.

More than 360 workers who dealt with the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster have died, state health officials said Wednesday.Officials have determined the cause of death of 154 of the responders and volunteers who toiled at Ground Zero, the blocks nearby and at the Fresh Kills landfill, where debris from the site was taken. Of those, 80 died of cancer."It's the tip of the iceberg," who is representing 10,000 workers - 600 with cancer - who say they got sick after working on rescue and recovery efforts."These statistics bear out how toxic that site was," Worby said.

Most of the deadly tumors were in the lungs and digestive system, according to the tally from the state's World Trade Center Responder Fatality Investigation Program.

Other deaths were traced to blood cancers and heart and circulatory diseases. Five ex-workers committed suicide, said Kitty Gelberg, who is tracking the deaths for the program.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Katrinas' victims vs Myanmars' victims

Why is Myanmar bad, deserving of condemnation and derision and possible military intervention, for failing to adequately provide aid to it's people, while the victims of Katrina in New Orleans, still sit in formaldehyde trailers, years later, and no one really mentions it.

a recent condemnation from the US has got my mind on this question.

US: Myanmar's storm response appalling

A senior U.S. diplomat said Tuesday that Myanmar's military-led government will be responsible for a second catastrophe if thousands of desperate cyclone survivors die because the junta continues to bar foreign aid and disaster workers.

Two years after Katrina, many are still homeless , waiting for homes to be rebuilt, jobless, and aid money has been misused, or misplaced.

The Terrorist Who Wasn't

The Terrorist Who Wasn't

Original Source: To be published on Maclean's Magazine - May 5/08

Mohamed’s ordeal is especially unique. Unlike the other six who managed to avoid trial, he is the only one to be released with absolutely no conditions. He is free to go where he pleases, speak to anyone and, most importantly, serve authentic cuisine from his native Somalia. Prosecutors originally offered to dismiss his charges in exchange for a “peace bond,” a court order that would have essentially restricted him to a year of house arrest on the “reasonable” grounds that he might commit a terrorist act. His fellow suspects agreed to those conditions, but Mohamed— who has professed his innocence since the day he was charged—refused to admit any ties to terrorism, even if it meant his freedom. His gamble paid off. The government stayed his case anyway, and by this time next year, all charges will be officially dropped.

It’s impossible to know exactly why the Crown folded; the feds will only say that such decisions are made “in the public interest.” But the outcome certainly suggests that Mohamed, one of the first targets to appear on the Mounties’ radar, was never the aspiring jihadist the cops portrayed him to be. In fact, in his first interview since being released from prison, he insists he was the victim of extreme circumstance, and would never be involved in a plot to kill fellow Canadians. “This is my home, too,” he says. “People have nothing to worry about with me.”

The dwindled down Toronto 18

In case anyone has missed it the Toronto 18 have become the Toronto 11.

Of the original 18 who were arrested, charges have been stayed for three of the youths and four of the adults. The remaining young suspect, who cannot be identified due to the Youth Justice Act, is now on trial.

The latest news: Bail was denied for terror suspect

Brampton court Justice Casey Hill turned down an application for bail for Saad Gaya during a brief hearing today before a packed courtroom.

Many of his supporters and relatives burst into tears as they left the courtroom.

Hill released a 63-page ruling as to why the bail was denied but a publication ban prohibits the reporting of his reasons

This publication ban is quite an annoyance isn't it?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jewish Youths Burn New Testaments

Oh, I did enjoy the irony in this!

I think of those 'christians' that have those end time, rapturous kind of beliefs, ya know, John Hagee and his ilk?! They fawn all over Israel, inflaming the middle east in the process and this is how christians are repaid?

Personally, I wish more people would just keep their religions to themselves and their churches, synagogues or mosques, but, what the hell, I wish for alot of things!

Orthodox Israeli youths burn hundreds of New Testaments

Uzi Aharon, the deputy mayor of the central Israeli town of Or Yehuda, says he got into a loudspeaker car last Thursday and urged people to turn over hundreds of New Testaments and missionary material recently distributed by missionaries.

The books were dumped into a pile and religious students set them afire in a lot near a synagogue, he said.

What can I say, that I haven't said already, keep your religion to yourself, then your holy books won't get burned, by people who apparently don't appreciate your 'good intentions'.

Good thing , in this world of double standards, it wasn't people in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia burning New Testaments. Now, that would have been a major news story, soundly condemning Muslims for their actions.

Dictator/Terrorist wistfully recalled for getting the job done

In light of the recently released tapes that contain Donald Rumsfelds' warm musings on a favoured dictator. The servile, the murderous, but he was America's man- Syngman Rhee!
According to Rumsfeld, no Iraqi leader comes close to this guy, sigh.

You can hear the tapes here click on the third one down, to hear the comments.

In a reference to the Iraqi leader Nouri al Maliki, Rumsfeld wistfully bemoans the fact that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki is ,"no Syngman Rhee", he is ok, but his predecessor Ibrahim al-Jaafari,was recalled as a "wind sock."

No Syngman Rhee, indeed. The Iraqis can breathe a sigh of relief for that!

Thousands killed by US's Korean ally

Grave by mass grave, South Korea is unearthing the skeletons and buried truths of a cold-blooded slaughter from early in the Korean War, when this nation's U.S.-backed regime killed untold thousands of leftists and hapless peasants in a summer of terror in 1950.

With U.S. military officers sometimes present, and as North Korean invaders pushed down the peninsula, the southern army and police emptied South Korean prisons, lined up detainees and shot them in the head, dumping the bodies into hastily dug trenches. Others were thrown into abandoned mines or into the sea. Women and children were among those killed. Many victims never faced charges or trial.

The mass executions — intended to keep possible southern leftists from reinforcing the northerners — were carried out over mere weeks and were largely hidden from history for a half-century. They were "the most tragic and brutal chapter of the Korean War," said historian Kim Dong-choon, a member of a 2-year-old government commission investigating the killings.

Hundreds of sets of remains have been uncovered so far, but researchers say they are only a tiny fraction of the deaths. The commission estimates at least 100,000 people were executed, in a South Korean population of 20 million.

At least 100,000 killed, executed, often in the presence of American military officers, seen in this picture

Monday, May 19, 2008

Here comes the Carbon tax !

It looks like the Federal Liberals are first out of the gate with the pitch! ( sales pitch that is)
Stephane Dion says the new carbon tax is going to be 'revenue neutral'.
Do you believe it?
Cause I don't.

Then David Suzuki, slams the other political parties.

What will this accomplish?
Doesn't this sound like a consumption tax, since it is purported to be on home heating, lighting, and gas for your car?
So is Dion proposing shifting income tax, coporate and personal to a consumption tax.
Who will benefit from this shift?
Who will be harmed by this shifting tax burden?

Bill C-51 Toronto Rally

I can't help but note the lack of mainstream media coverage on this issue.

I took the time myself, to write to a local organic supplier this week-end, asking if they were aware of this bill and expressing my dismay , at the thought of them possibly losing their family business, and as a consumer losing my ability to purchase their fine products!

Toronto Rally against Bill C-51:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Poem from a friend named Doug.

Creed of the Illuminati

In Gold, Oil and Drugs we can trust,

In funny money, corruption & slavery we must

We suicide, humiliate and persecute those who cussed,

While our paid off authorities will make no big bust

With Sustainable Development,

We acheive your envelopment

To kick your butts,

in death by a thousand cuts

Our C.E.O's, judges and politicians sing,

From the left, the center, and the right wing

In false fear, secrecy and terror we operate,

And in rape, torture and murder we will celebrate

We always start all the big wars,

Assured of co-operation from our media whores

Our activity to some may appear to be manic,

While those on the inside know its satanic

Although our conspiracy is widening in scope,

Most of the people remain a simple dope

In carbon, all water & property we hope,

For the Queen, the Bankers as well as the Pope

Totes a diversion of responsibility

Remember a while back on that day, was it the great global dumbing, sorry I mean dimming day??
Well, whatever it was billed as, I can't exactly recall but I wrote a post railing against those annoying recyclable totes everyone has. I don't have one of them, not a one, I honestly think have been nothing but a ploy to get you to advertise for your local retailer and to pay for the privelage of doing so. I have always felt they do not really address the issue of excessive packaging . Then I come across this article "Plastic bag policy 'a diversion'" I feel vindicated!

Plans to ban or charge for single-use plastic bags are a diversion from the real environmental issues, one of the government's own advisers has said.

Waste and recycling expert Professor Chris Coggins said such a government policy allowed the supermarkets to pass on responsibility to customers.

He said supermarkets could be helping to influence packaging rather than shifting the problem on to consumers.

"Supermarkets have a much bigger role to play in influencing the packaging they use," said Professor Chris Coggins, who was appointed research managing agent for the Department of Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) waste research programme in 2005.

"They [supermarkets] have power in terms of what they buy and how it's packed. The problem is, by focusing on the consumer end, they are to some extent diverting attention from what they should be doing."
In a BBC interview, Prof Coggins, who also works on the sustainable urban environment (waste) programme, said: "Plastic bags are a very visible form of litter but in reality they are a very small proportion of waste and oil use.

"So in overall resource terms, it's a visual rather than mainstream issue."

Now don't get me wrong, I am all for reducing waste, recycling, conserving, composting, and do all these things regularily. But, the totes, have been a successful money making ploy on the part of the grocers by appealing to consumers geniune concern for the environment.
Meanwhile, the retailers really do nothing to address numerous issues with regard to excessive packaging etc. Isssues that are well within their power to address.

If we are ever really going to improve our environment, then we must do more then buy totes, we have to see retailers address these issues with manufacturers' or take our business to a retailer that will !

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pennys' Saying to Ponder

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in an April 29, 1938 message to Congress warned that the growth of private power could lead to fascism.

Given the fact that Roosevelt very nearly saw his government overthrown in a fascist coup, would it be surprising that he would make a statement such as this?
What price did Roosevelt pay to stay in office?

The sinking of the USS Liberty

Well, I have been having a bit of a chat with another blogger who goes by the moniker of 'nobody'.
I know it seems bloody weird to admit to chatting with nobody, but I did , I really did chat with nobody.
Believe me, Nobody, is clearly somebody, and in all likelihood has an actual name, but, I digress.....
'Nobody', suggested I watch this movie:
Dead In The Water - The Sinking of the USS Liberty

I thank nobody for this suggestion! ;-)
"he who talks loud, saying nothing"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fascist coup in America

must listen programming:

The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

The Whitehouse Coup

Canada's Taser Inquiry

I have been trying to follow the taser inquiry, though admittedly it's tough to keep up with all the news going on!

Some goings on:

Tearful mom urges end to police Taser use
Zofia Cisowski, mother of Robert Dziekanski, testifies at the inquiry

Tasering could affect heartbeat, Toronto researcher find.
Despite the theory that stun guns don't harm internal organs such as the heart, Canadian researchers are reporting that, in fact, research suggests stun gun discharges are able to stimulate heart muscle under certain circumstances.

Psychologist at Taser inquiry highly critical of Taser use, promotion
A psychologist who has worked with police forces around the world on crisis management says he's embarrassed to be associated with police who uses Tasers on "sick old men" and "confused immigrants."

A request has been made for the BC Transit Police to appear at the Inquiry, likely, because they have been reported to be tasing people for not paying the approximately $2.50 for their transit ride.
Can you imagine tasing people and possibly causing serious harm for $2.50?

Analysis: war not likely despite Georgias' claims

Analysis: Bluster, Bathos Permeate Georgia's War Of Words Against Russia, Abkhazia

Since early May, Georgian officials have turned up to full blast the rhetorical heat of their arguments that the international community should unequivocally condemn recent Russian moves perceived in Tbilisi as tantamount to the creeping annexation of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and that Russia's actions disqualify it from playing any further role in the search for a solution at least to the Abkhaz conflict.

But while affirming unconditional support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, both the United States and the European Union have implicitly rejected the underlying Georgian argument that Russia bears the sole responsibility for the spiraling tensions, and the United States has dismissed as unfounded Georgian warnings that a new war is imminent. Meanwhile, a U.S. delegation visited Sukhum(i) on May 10 for talks with the Abkhaz leadership.

a good read, quite balanced.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Abkhazia/ Georgia: past to present

Background on Abkhazia:

Abkhazia declared itself independent on 23 July 1992
On August 14th/92 Georgian forces invaded.
On 14 August 1992 the Georgian National Guard, supported by a number of para-military groups, moved in to prevent the Abkhazian independence, attacking the parliament in Sukhumi. In response, and in the light of the countless atrocities against the local population, the Abkhazian militia and foreign volunteers counterattacked, occupying the most important points in the city after a series of pitched battles.

A good historical background is available here
Georgia and Abkhazia, 1992-1993: the War of Datchas

Presently: what appears to be mounting tensions, numerous drone shoot downs and.......

Abkhazian offers of a military base to Russia
Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region wants Russia to open a military base on its soil, the separatists' leader said in a proposal likely to anger Georgia and alarm its Western allies

How far is this all going to go?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Unfair dealings

A documentary on the Toronto 18. Which has shown itself to be the evershrinking terrorist group, down to 11 now.

Unfair Dealing: The Toronto Homegrown Terror Threat

6 part documentary

Terrorists, fertilizer and camping trips?

Talk of Terror

An interesting title for this article from the Australian press.
It seems with the Melbourne 12 as with the Toronto 18 and the Liberty 7, there was lots of talk, but no action, no weapons, no bombs. Except for ones provided by undercover agents.

Is foolish talk a crime?
If so, I would say just about everyone could be found guilty of that at one time or another.

In the Toronto 18, there was talk of "beheading the Prime Minister". Shocking? Indeed.
Except it turned out , the alleged terrorists didn't actually know who the Prime Minister was!
That could be a problem.

In Australia:

"The group was infiltrated by an intelligence agent named in court as SIO39. He posed as a Turk named Ahmed and told Benbrika he knew how to use explosives and could obtain the ammonium nitrate (a form of fertiliser) to make them."

from another article:

"It's claimed that in one conversation, SIO39 tells Benbrika about the work he used to do, where he'd remove tree stumps with ammonium nitrate from garden fertiliser.

Benbrika is alleged to have asked him how much would be needed to destroy a house as opposed to a large building. SIO39 told him he'd need 250 kilograms."

While these are not my types of conversations, the agent was certainly making it clear he could use the fertiliser as a bomb, and had indeed done so previously.
The Toronto 18, saw a similar scenario, with the undercover agent, offering the possibility of accessing ammonium nitrate, in fact getting the fertiliser, or a harmless substitute, depending on the news source, delivered to a warehouse rented by the RCMP.

Interesting to note in the Melbourne 12 , as in the Toronto 18 , camping trips are taking place!
A conversation between one of the accused and his wife:

"THE YOUNG man rings his wife to ask her to pack a bag for him. He wants trackies, singlets, jocks and socks. She wants to know why he needs all those clothes for just two days in the mountains.
They talk: Her: "What are you going to do there exactly?"
Him: "Uh, go do a bit of, you know, terrorist training."
Her voice rises: "What are you going to do there?"
"Terrorist training."
"Don’t be stupid. What are you going to do there?"
"Nah, we gonna go camping."
"Camping for what, but?"
"Camping. The brothers, all together, you know. Kick back, read a bit of Koran."

The Toronto 18 went camping, played paintball and blustered with as much bravado.

I can't help but think, it is all too familiar.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reluctant terrorists; helpful undercover agents?

What do the Toronto 18, the Liberty 7 and the Melbourne 12, all have in common?
No, it's not their country of origin, as they hail from Canada, US and Australia respectively.
It is the use of 'undercover' agents to 'infiltrate' the alleged organizations.
A recent news article on the Melbourne 12 notes that the Victoria Police in Australia, had become the first force ever to use an under cover officer to infiltrate a 'radical Islamic group'.

Also noted "during the operation, the officer arranged for the group's alleged leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, to accompany him to Mount Disappointment, north of Melbourne, to test explosives in late 2004. The explosives had secretly been supplied by police, who covertly monitored the trip."

Then this; "the test explosion conducted by the undercover officer, was referred to a fortnight ago in the Melbourne Magistrates Court by a lawyer for Benbrika, who said that the only explosion connected to the group was detonated by authorities."

Under questioning , the agent known as SIO39, admitted that he had been ordered to try to get Benbrika to talk up carrying out a terrorist act. But that he had to “drag” a reluctant Benbrika to witness the explosion, with Benbrika repeatedly telling him that he had other appointments.

What we have is an undercover agent, the only person with access to explosives, actually detonating the only explosion linked to the group, under the watchful eyes of the police.
Secondly it appears the alleged ringleader, was rather reluctant to be involved in such activities.

This scenario is the same one that plays itself out in the Toronto 18 and the Liberty 7
Undercover agents with access to the necessary accoutrements (guns, explosives, ammo) and reluctant 'terrorists'.

Another coincidence is the timing of the arrests. Some of the Melbourne 12 were arrested in March 2006, the same time as the Toronto 18 and the Liberty 7. Since all these groups are totally unrelated, could it be coincidental? Or was it coordinated? To create a climate of fear in the three countries, through the sensational media reports?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two more spy drones down

So while EU ministers are in Georgia for Crisis talks.
It is being reported here , here & here, that the breakaway province of Abkhazia has shot down two more Georgian spy drones. The first reconnaissance drone was destroyed at 14:16 Moscow time (1016 GMT) and the second, about one hour later. That brings to a total of seven spy drones shot down over Abkhazia.

Georgia- Another needless confrontation???

I read a post at written by Doug Bandow
entitled; "Another Needless Confrontation : Stay out of the Russian-Georgian crossfire"

It was an interesting read, a general historical review, a humourous mention of how the average American doesn't realize that Georgia is actually a country, and not just a state in the US.
However when I got to this part;
Georgia is irrelevant to allied security and brings no military assets to the table. It has put a few troops into Iraq, but while the burden on Tbilisi might be real, the value to the U.S. is minimal. Most importantly, including Georgia in NATO would force the alliance to take Georgia's side against Russia in any territorial disputes.
or this part;

In short, nothing going on in Georgia is worth a confrontation with Moscow. Certainly nothing concerning Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

I was left scratching my head. How is this possible? If there is nothing in or about Georgia worth all this fuss with Russia, then why all this fuss?
Why did the US take an active, though covert roll, using for example NGO's such as the NED,
in the Rose Revolution?
Here is a quote from former Georgian leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, who was ousted in the revolution.
"I don't want to talk about theUnited States. They have various bases of power, democratic institutes... various structures, there are embassies. Some participated, some helped, some aided. I don't think the administration itself participated in what happened in Georgia. The West supports realistic power. They saw, they were convinced that others had come to power. They said to themselves: 'Shevardnadze was a good person, we cooperated with him well, but everything comes to an end, he has a year, year and a half left (in his presidency) and then he has to leave.' Who are we going to deal with afterwards? They looked for someone and found those three [Nino Burjanadze, currently acting president; Zurab Zhvania, State Minister; and Saakashvili]."

He makes it clear that the interests of the US played a role in his ousting.

So, Georgia, a nation that is claimed in the article by Doug Bandow, to be of no real importance to the US, saw the US play an important role in the removal of it's leader. A country that had an already 'friendly' (compliant) leader ousted, to make way for an even more compliant leadership has to be of some value, has to be of some vital interest? Additionally, why at this time would George Bush lobby so strongly for Georgia to join NATO?

There has to be something important about this geographical bit of land?
In all the reading I had done on Georgia, past and present, I knew somewhere I had stumbled upon news of a pipeline, of strategic importance.

Georgia Hopes for Boost from Caspian Pipeline

April 19, 2006 · Starting this summer, a new $4 billion pipeline is expected to begin pumping crude oil from the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea. To get there, the pipeline passes through neighboring Georgia, a small, impoverished republic that has no energy resources of its own.

Analysts say Georgia is the weakest link in this energy project, which has strong support from the U.S. government.

Georgia's leaders hope the pipeline will help transform the country from an impoverished backwater to a member of NATO and a vital supplier of energy to the West.

I would assume that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is of vital importance. Let's look at the map of the pipeline;

Georgia looks integral to the path of the pipeline?

So how is it the author of the article makes the claim of Georgia's irrelevance, when that does not seem to be the case? I want to be quite clear , I am not advocating for intervention in questioning that article writers contention,
I am wondering how or why the writer did not make note of the oil pipeline as the primary reason for US/ Western concern?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reflecting on Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day is upon us. Have you bought your cards, flowers or something else?

Have you "cared enough to send the very best"? Or are you going to pick up something "finger lickin' good", if you feel that mom "deserves a break today"?
Did all the heart tugging, guilt inducing advertising cause you to go out and perhaps buy a piece of jewellery, you really cannot afford? On your credit card of course!

Such is the sad state of Mothers day. Reduced to another opportunity to cash in.

I know, I know, I sound like so many others, who rail against comsumerism, who have grown tired of seeing absolutely everything reduced to a money making opportunity, instead of a day upon which to think about and appreciate the 'Mothers' in your life.

'Mother', to me, signifies love, caring, nurturing, guidance, strength, discipline, when necessary.
The enabler of life, the ability to grow strong, the guidance to make the right decisions , and finally the move to independance.

Wether it is your Mother, your Mother-in-law, your step-Mother , Grandmother, even "Mother Earth" to whom all living creatures owe their very ability to have life! Mother can even be Father or Grandfather, the gender of the person is truly irrelevant. 'Mother' is the one that helped you along lifes' path. Regardless of who you may recognize as 'mother', today is the day to reflect and appreciate all that 'mother' has done for you.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

multinationals reap massive profits and sow starvation

Speculators blamed for driving up price of basic foods as 100 million face severe hunger
Giant agribusinesses are enjoying soaring earnings and profits out of the world food crisis which is driving millions of people towards starvation, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. And speculation is helping to drive the prices of basic foodstuffs out of the reach of the hungry.

The prices of wheat, corn and rice have soared over the past year driving the world's poor – who already spend about 80 per cent of their income on food – into hunger and destitution.

The World Bank says that 100 million more people are facing severe hunger. Yet some of the world's richest food companies are making record profits. Monsanto last month reported that its net income for the three months up to the end of February this year had more than doubled over the same period in 2007, from $543m (£275m) to $1.12bn. Its profits increased from $1.44bn to $2.22bn.

Benedict Southworth, director of the World Development Movement, called the escalating earnings and profits "immoral" late last week. He said that the benefits of the food price increases were being kept by the big companies, and were not finding their way down to farmers in the developing world.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tase the 'grey hairs' they could be dangerous

What an embarassement for the hospital. They should be seriously ashamed.
And the RCMP, wtf ??? With 3 men in the hospital room, one couldn't distract and the other one couldn't take this little tiny knife away, while the third 'supervised' ?
come on!

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Taser Hospitalized 82-Year-Old Man
According to CBC News, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), responded to a call at the Royal Inland Hospital after a delirious patient pulled a knife on a nurse.The man was back in bed when the RCMP arrived and they tasered him in his bed.

Frank Lasser, 82, was in the hospital with pneumonia. Because of a previous heart surgery, he is required to carry oxygen at all times and Lasser told CBC News that he becomes delusional when he cannot breathe properly, which is what he says happened on Saturday.

"I was laying on the bed by then and the corporal came in, or the sergeant, I forget which it was, and said to the guys, 'OK, get him because we got more important work to do on the street tonight,'" Lasser said.

"And then, bang, bang, bang, three times with the laser, and I tell you, I never want that again."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Excellent Interview with Bruce Gagnon

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space,

Discusses the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to weaponize space, the 1997 blueprint to control space, “Vision 2020,” how the corporations are our overlords and control society, the proposed mining of Mars by Halliburton, how the military will control who can or can’t travel in space, the economic fascism of socializing costs while privatizing profits, how “Operation Paper Clip” brought 1500 top Nazis to America to start our space program; the CIA; and the MK Ultra mind control experiments, how the Downlink Listening Stations, controlled by STRATCOM, spy on Americans, the danger of the United Command, the future war between the U.S. and China for the world’s resources, the arms race that America has caused by threatening China and Russia, how the “economic draft” will supply endless soldiers for endless war, Rods from God and the necessity of dismantling the military industrial complex
I am a big fan of Bruces' his group is excellent, he speaks in this interview of the US aspirations to break up Russia and China. By doing so, the US weakens both the countries, thereby enabling themselves the continuing position of sole superpower.
Myself, I like balance. I prefer a multi-power(polar) world. I am of the opinion the world is better balanced when one power cannot run amok, unchecked. How about you?

Let's see what Mikhail Gorbachev has to say

'Every American president must wage war'


Mikhail Gorbachev, the ex-president of the USSR, has accused the USA of the imperialistic conspiracy against Russia, which pushes the world to a new Cold War. He said that Washington has been increasing its military potential to prevent Russia’s revival. “The USA can’t put up with the fact that somebody in the world is independent on it,” Gorbachev told The Daily Telegraph. “Every American president must wage war,” he added.


“Nonetheless, we see that the USA is passing the defense budget and increasing costs of strengthening the conventional armed forces at the insistence of the Pentagon’s head because of the possible war with China or Russia. Sometimes I think that the USA intends to wage war against the entire world,” Gorbachev said.


He said that NATO’s promises to admit Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance were just an attempt to increase the US influence on Russia’s home affairs. “After the Cold War the USA promised that NATO would not go beyond Germany, but for the time being a half of countries of Central and Eastern Europe has joined the alliance. So much for their promises. That proves that we can not trust them,” the former Soviet leader said.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Russia / Georgia and surrounding issues

This is appears to be fairly balanced opinion piece , from the Moscow Times.

The "frozen conflict" between Georgia and Abkhazia is glowing red-hot again. Until recently, Georgia on one side and Abkhazia and its not-so-tacit patron, Russia, on the other had constrained themselves to belligerent rhetoric. But both sides have upped the ante in recent weeks
It is pretty clear both sides have indeed upped the ante. Abkhazia is a breakaway province of Georgia,that wants independance. Georgia feels differently. Georgia is flying spy plans over Abkhazia, much to the consternation of the province, and by extension Russia.

Georgia's military has been sending unmanned aircraft on reconnaissance missions over Abkhazia, only to see them shot down. Georgia has accused the Russian military of shooting at least one of the drones, while Abkhazia has insisted that its armed forces brought down the planes.

Russia has denied any role in bringing down the drones, but last week it did bolster what it insists is an unbiased peacekeeping force separating Abkhaz and Georgian positions in the region.
Did Russia, shoot down the spy drones? I don't know, I saw that Abkhazia had indeed insisted that it was them that did the shoot downs. Perhaps they did with some help from Russia? (speculation)

It is no secret, however, that Moscow, which is also involved in the mediation of long, frozen talks between Tbilisi and Sukhumi, favors Abkhazia in this conflict, despite its assurances to the contrary. Moscow has long backed Abkhazia's de facto independence, having granted Russian citizenship to many of its residents and recently legalizing economic ties with the separatist republic. For Russia, the conflict provides a good source of leverage on both Abkhazia and Georgia. In addition, the more Georgia seeks to distance itself from Russia, the more Russia throws its weight behind Abkhazia.
I can see the value of the leverage to Russia.

Such tactics have worked in the past, but they are not working any more. Undeterred, Georgia's leadership is actively pursuing NATO membership.

One way to disrupt Georgia's NATO aspirations would be to heat up the conflict in Abkhazia to a level that would make it unacceptable for the Western alliance, which acts by the consensus of all members, to offer membership. Alternatively, Georgia's leadership could be escalating tensions in hope of prompting Abkhazia and Russia to make a move that would leave the West with no chance but to intervene. Regardless of the motivation, whoever is stoking the conflict must realize that they are playing with fire. This brinkmanship can lead to a full-fledged war. Georgia would probably lose a war if Russia backed Abkhazia, while Russia would lose its hope of becoming a benign global player and would risk seriously straining its ties with the European Union and the United States

Is this what is going on? While Georgia may continue to pursue it's NATO aspirations, at this moment, those aspirations have been denied. Or is Georgia escalating tensions in hope of prompting western intervention? I recall after the first spy drone was shot down a, Georgian official, the foreign minister went to the US It was reported on April 22nd/08;

Georgia's foreign minister said he wants the United States to make clear to Russia that steps toward recognition of two breakaway Georgian territories will have a price.

David Bakradze said in an interview with The Associated Press that he also is seeking to isolate Russia in an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday.
Additionally, he planned to meet Wednesday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen Hadley. He said he was seeking a strong U.S. condemnation of a move last week by Russia to establish stronger ties with the two territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Now if Georgia was seeking at that time to islolate Russia, the continuation of the unmanned spy drones flights over the break-away provinces would have been an ideal means to accomplish that goal.

Back to the opinion piece:

It would be unrealistic to hope that a de-escalation of tensions and a subsequent resumption of talks would lead to a resolution of this conflict, given the diametrically opposing views in Sukhumi and Tbilisi on Abkhazia's future status. But still, as the Russian saying goes, "Bad peace is better than a good war."
I am still thinking to keep an eye on Iran.
I do not think Russia has any wish ,at this time, for a confrontation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

US versus Russia ?

Yesterday, I posted a couple of articles here, regarding what was occuring between Georgia and one of the breakaway states Abkhazia. It definitely looks as if the area is heating up.

One must keep in mind that these countries really represent the US versus Russia, Georgia is backed firmly by the US, Abkhazia is aided by Russia.

President Bush at the last NATO summit, wanted very much for Georgia to become a member, this did not happen. I imagine this displeased Georgia and the US. Though for Russia this was a good outcome.

So what is going on between Georgia and the breakaway provinces, is indicative of what is going on between the US and Russia. I firmly believe the US wishes to see Russia further balkanized. It appears Russia is aware of that, and has other ideas.

It seems this started to heat up again a couple of days ago when Georgian spy drones were shot down over Abkhazia. Georgia, of course, denied that had happened. But this is not the first time unmanned spy drones have been shot down over the breakaway province, there was a shoot down, of Georgian drones, reported over Abkhazia in late April. Georgia has also insisted the unmanned flights will continue "Unmanned drones of Georgia's interior ministry have flown, are flying and will fly in Georgia's sovereign airspace in order to obtain full information on Russia's intervention" in Abkhazia, said a foreign ministry statement."

You can refresh your memory here, on the first of the shoot downs.

Now there has been a volley of accusations. The US is of course blaming Russia, Russia is blaming Georgia, etc, etc.,

The problem lies in the breakaway provinces, they ally themselves with Russia, Georgia sees' them as part of their territory.
Russia has been aiding these provinces, it appears at their request.
And, believe me this is also tied in with the US recognition of Kosovo, which was disparaged by Russia.

Now I have some questions:
Have the spy drones been an attempt at provocations, to draw Russia into a war, which will definitely involve the US?
Will wider war break out , in this region?
Or another thought.
Is this a distraction that will allow the US to launch air strikes at Iran, while attention is diverted elsewhere?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

true christian disobedience- Jesus would approve!


On April 30 at 6:00 a.m. in the morning morning three Christian activists from "Ploughshares Aotearoa" entered the Waihopai Spy Base in New Zealand and used sickles to deflate one of the two 30 metre radomes covering satellite interception dishes. The members then built a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end - the so-called 'War on Terror' led by the U. S. Empire which also controls the New Zealand taxpayer funded Waihopai spy base.

Samuel Peter Frederick Land, 24, of Hokianga, Adrian James Leason, 42, a teacher from Otaki and Peter Reginald Leo Murnane, 67, a Dominican friar from Auckland, were arrested by police who are considering charging the men with sabotage under the Crimes Act, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail.

update on the activists:

Update 3.00pm Fri 2 May:

Police have confirmed they will not be laying sabotage charges against Sam, Peter and Adi. The three men have been charged with intentional damage and entering a building to commit a crime - they will also face a charge of intentional damage to a fence on a vineyard neighbouring Waihopai spy base.

Russia aiding breakaway regions of Georgia

Georgia says "very close" to war with Russia

Georgia is "very close" to a war with Russia, a Georgian minister said on Tuesday, citing Moscow's decision to send extra troops to the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia.

"We literally have to avert war," Georgian State Minister for Issues of Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili told a news briefing during a trip to Brussels.

Asked how close to such a war the situation was, he replied: "Very close, because we know Russians very well.

"We know what the signals are when you see propaganda waged against Georgia. We see Russian troops entering our territories on the basis of false information," he said.

Russia has said the troop build-up is needed to counter what it says are Georgian plans for an attack on breakaway Abkhazia and has accused Tbilisi of trying to suck the West into a war -- both of which are allegations that ex-Soviet Georgia rejects.

An extra Russian contingent began arriving in Abkhazia last week. Moscow has not said how many would be added but said the total would remain within the 3,000 limit allowed under a United Nations-brokered ceasefire agreement signed in 1994. Diplomats expect the reinforcement to be of the order of 1,200.

some background:

SUKHUMI, Georgia (AP) — Forces from Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia shot down two unmanned Georgian spy planes over the territory on Sunday, an Abkhazian official said.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Abkhazia is ready to hand over military control to Russia, the foreign minister of Georgia's separatist region said on Tuesday, in comments likely to further fuel tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Taser targetting medical examiners on deaths

Recently it has been reported that Taser International is targeting state and county medical examiners in the US, with lawsuits and lobbying efforts to reverse and prevent medical rulings that that have implicated the use of the stun gun as contributing to deaths.

Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said earlier this week."We will hold people accountable and responsible for untrue statements, if that includes medical examiners, it includes medical examiners."

How do we know the statements are untrue? Because Taser International makes that claim?
The medical examiners in each of the aformentioned cases claim otherwise. They infact, implicate taser useage as a contributory factor in the deaths.

Tasers have become quite controversial as of late. For a weapon that was touted as a safe alternative to a gun, there seems to be an increasing body count resulting from its' use. There is an inquiry being held right now in British Columbia, Canada. This Inquiry stems from the death of Robert Dziekanski he died Oct. 14 at the Vancouver airport after being tasered twice, an incident that was captured on video by a bystander, resulting in a public outcry. That very same day in Montreal, Canada, another man died after being shot with this device.

Amnesty International has repeatedly questioned the use of tasers, noting the ever increasing body count from this weapon.

On Saturday I posted here that in Canada there has been a call for independent studies into the alleged safety of the Taser. Necessitated by the fact, that, as noted Taser International funds most of it's own studies, and pays for many of its' "experts" to promote the safety of these stun guns.

While I understand the need for Taser International to want to protect its' product, after all for the public and law enforcement to continue purchasing them, it must be demonstrated they are a safe, effective alternative to a gun. However, heavy handed tactics by Taser International, in the courtrooms across the US, the use of its' own experts and studies, leaves one asking, why? If it is a safe product then that should easily be demonstrated in independent studies. If it is not a safe product the public surely has a right to know.