Monday, October 22, 2007

TLS review: Portrait of a Priestess

October 3, 2007
How to be a modern goddess
Did sex and the sacred mix in Ancient Greece?

Joan Breton Connelly
Women and ritual in ancient Greece

"...Joan Breton Connelly's Portrait of a Priestess is the biggest, fullest and most up-to-date study of these important women from the time of Homer through to the early years of Christianity. Beautifully illustrated and substantially documented, it is also highly argumentative and certainly more ambitious than merely a catalogue of known priestesses, their images and a description of their functions, which would have been enough of a subject in itself. For Connelly, "on the other hand, there were the priestesses" does not mean that these were exceptions to the rule, nor even that the prominence of women at the level of the sacred somehow compensates for their invisibility elsewhere, but that our picture of the place of Greek women in society as a whole must be substantially adjusted. That decent women were not supposed to be talked about is a literary mirage, according to Connelly, shown to be false by the fact that the names of priestesses appear in inscriptions; I suspect that Thucydides, who mentions Chrysis and next to no other woman, might have been less than bowled over by such an inconsistency.

The question of whether women could attend the Athenian theatre gives a good flavour of her approach. On the European side of the Atlantic at least, it is generally, though not universally, agreed that they were not, as a rule, among the audience. If a woman appearing at a door or at a funeral caused so much anxiety, if women seen drinking with men were branded prostitutes, one would surely have heard about it if women spent hours and hours a day each year squeezed among the tiddly crowds of sweaty men (with no separate toilet facilities) during the days-long festivals of Dionysus, giggling at satyr-phalluses and Aristophanic obscenities about their adulteries, or bored enough to allow their eyes to wander during one of Sophocles' choral odes to make eye contact with someone of the opposite sex. It would have been a uniquely remarkable experience for both sexes, and one that surely would have been remarked upon. For Connelly, however, the fact that some important priestesses had front-row seats in the Hellenistic theatre on which their offices were inscribed is an argument in favour of the belief that women who were not priestesses did indeed attend the theatre. Only our cultural biases prevent us from seeing this truth..."    Full article>>

from Israel Today: Israeli news evokes 'Gog and Magog' scenario

without comment:
Two of Israel's three major television news programs broadcast special reports Wednesday evening dealing with US President George W. Bush's warning that a nuclear Iran could lead to World War III.

Earlier in the day, Bush reminded a White House press conference that "we have a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel, so I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

Israel's Channel 2 and Channel 10 evening newscasts ran with the president's statement, presenting viewers with large world maps showing the possible alignment of nations in a future world war.

On one side would be Israel, the US, Britain, France and Germany. They would be opposed by Russia, Iran, Syria, China and North Korea.

Israel National News noted that the scenario was presented in such a way that evoked the biblically prophesied war of "Gog and Magog," a global end-times conflict spelled out in the book of Ezekiel (chapters 38-39).


Neocons Surge Against Antiwar Movement

by Tom Hayden

a look at India's intelligence agency: the Research and Analysis Wing

Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence

Excerpt: New Study of retired professor James DeMeo, Ph.D., on the Origins of Violence Proves: Ancient Humans Were Peaceful, Modern Violence is Avoidable.
His study is unusual in that it presents the first world maps of human behavior, as developed from large anthropological, historical and archaeological data bases. "A massive climate change shook the ancient world, when approximately 6000 years ago vast areas of lush grassland and forest in the Old World began to quickly dry out and convert into harsh desert.
DeMeo's maps show spreading centers for the origins of patriarchal authoritarian cultures within this same Saharasian global region - male-dominated, child-abusive, sex-repressive cultures with a great emphasis upon war-making and empire-building. DeMeo points to the work of the controversial natural scientist Wilhelm Reich to explain the patterns.
A new geographical study on the ancient historical origins of human violence and warfare, drawing upon global archaeological and anthropological evidence, has just been published presenting substantial proof that our ancient ancestors were non-violent, and far more social and loving than are most humans today - moreover, the study points to a dramatic climate change in the Old World, the drying up of the vast Sahara and Asian Deserts, with attending famine, starvation and forced migrations which pushed the earliest humans into violent social patterns, a trauma from which we have not yet recovered in over 6000 years.
The study and book, titled SAHARASIA: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, by retired professor James DeMeo, Ph.D., is the culmination of years of library and field research on the subject. Professor DeMeo undertook the original research as a 7-year dissertation project at the University of Kansas, which was concluded in 1986. He has since put an additional decade of research into the subject. His study is unusual in that it presents the first world maps of human behavior, as developed from large anthropological, historical and archaeological data bases. DeMeo's findings were also recently presented at a regional meeting of the AAAS, in Grand Junction, Colorado.
"There is no clear or unambiguous evidence for warfare or social violence anywhere on planet Earth prior to around 4,000 BC and the earliest evidence appears in specific locations, from which it firstly arose, and diffused outward over time to infect nearly every corner of the globe." says DeMeo, who today directs his own private institute in rural Oregon. "A massive climate change shook the ancient world, when approximately 6000 years ago vast areas of lush grassland and forest in the Old World began to quickly dry out and convert into harsh desert. The vast Sahara Desert, Arabian Desert, and the giant deserts of the Middle East and Central Asia simply did not exist prior to c.4000 BC" DeMeo asserts, pointing to numerous studies in paleoclimatology - the study of ancient climates. "Something happened around 4000 BC which forced the drying-out of this vast desert region, which I call Saharasia, and the drier conditions created social and emotional havoc among developing human agricultural societies in these same regions."
DeMeo's maps show spreading centers for the origins of patriarchal authoritarian cultures within this same Saharasian global region - male-dominated, child-abusive, sex-repressive cultures with a great emphasis upon war-making and empire-building. DeMeo points to the work of the controversial natural scientist Wilhelm Reich to explain the patterns.
The Trauma of starvation
"Famine and starvation is a severe trauma from which survivors rarely escape unscathed. A lot of people die, families are split apart, and babies and children are often abandoned, and suffer enormously. Starvation affects surviving children in an emotionally severe manner. They shrink from the exhausting heat and thirst, emotionally withdraw from the painful world, and simultaneously suffer a severe stunting of the entire brain and nervous system due to protein-calorie malnutrition. Even if such starved children later get all the food and water they want, they are deeply scarred in an emotional-neurological manner which forever changes their behavior - specifically, there is an implanted inhibition of any impulse of a pleasure-seeking, outward-reaching nature, and a discomfort with deeper forms of body-pleasure, in both maternal-infant or male-female expressions. Additionally, the child's view of the mother, who could not protect or feed the child during the famine period, is thereafter colored with suspicion and anger. These attitudes and behaviors are deeply protoplasmic in nature, and are passed on to ensuing generations no matter what the climate, by social institutions which reflect the character structure of the average individual at any given period of time."
As part of his project, DeMeo undertook a cross-cultural evaluation of Wilhelm Reich's original ideas on human behavior. "Reich claimed humans became violent from two major causes: firstly from abusive and neglectful treatment of infants and children, and secondly from the repression of adolescent heterosexual feelings." This latter consideration, DeMeo asserts, has gotten nearly no attention from specialists on child-abuse, given that our society still considers adolescent romance and pre-marital sex to be a bad thing. "Pre-marital, adolescent sexual romance is normal among the most peaceful cultures, but is always repressed in violent warlike cultures. It is an even more precise predictor of social and individual violence than is child-abuse." Ideas such as these got Reich into hot water in the 1950s, DeMeo says, and his own work has similarly stirred up controversy. 
Over 1000 aboriginal cultures explored
To test Reich's ideas, DeMeo reviewed social variables on child-rearing, sexuality, the status of women, and violence, for over 1000 aboriginal cultures from around the world. "The cross-cultural evidence is very clear about this: the most violent human societies are those which treat their children in a neglectful and punitive manner, and which also demand sexual abstinence from their young unmarried people. Such cultures also emphasize highly compulsive forms of marriage, with a reduced status for women, and a lot of strong-man political or religious bosses who order everyone around at the point of a spear."
DeMeo does not pull punches about our own society. "Americans are not as violent as the most extremely violent cultures around the world, but we certainly are not as peaceful as the most peaceful societies. Unfortunately, our culture appears to be going towards increased social violence." He points to the general failure of parents and sex-education programs to say much of anything positive about sexual pleasure, with the great emphasis upon "abstinence education", as a major cause for the growing violence in our schools. "Our young people should be warmly romancing each other, dancing and singing together, making love and enjoying what should be the happiest time of their lives. Instead, we start our children off with a lot of hidden cruelty in the hospital birth, with incubator-isolation, denial of the mother's breast, time-table feedings, circumcision and so forth.
Later, it is compulsory schooling, obedience-training and so-called 'tough love'. Then comes the biggest lie, the 'sex-can-kill' hypothesis stemming from modern AIDS hysteria, a disease for which young adolescents and teens have virtually a zero risk." DeMeo injects an additional controversy into his work, by siding with dissenting scientists who reject the "infectious-HIV" hypothesis of AIDS, and he points to various studies supporting this criticism (such as those by Prof. Peter Duesberg, the retrovirus specialist at the University of California at Berkeley, and by the larger "Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV Hypothesis of AIDS").
"We give potent and dangerous psycho-drugs like Ritalin to perhaps 10% of the livelier kids, which is a major scandal in this country, to squash them into conformity with our obedience-demanding school system, or to the irrational demands of their families. Then we give them inaccurate and superstitious lies about the supposed dangerousness of love-making, and unrealistically expect them to behave in a loving and calm manner. We still define a 'good child' as the one who is quiet and obedient, who does not have any sexual expression - but our entire society is constructed like a social pressure cooker in which an enormous inner tension has built up. Social violence, suicide and drug abuse erupts from that high-pressure situation, in a very predictable manner."
Treatment of children causes violence
The roots of modern violence are similar to the ancient roots of violence, DeMeo says: "It is all in the treatment of our children, and in our sexual attitudes and behavior. If we would end institutional violence towards babies and children in the hospitals, making gentle home birth more widely available, ending practices such as circumcision, allowing more freedom and even student-democracy in the schools, emphasizing 'hearts over heads', if we could be more tolerant of adolescent romance and premarital sex - giving kids a real education about contraceptives and love instead of a false education of AIDS hysteria - and also eliminate compulsiveness in our marriages, then social violence would gradually ebb away. Ending the better-known forms of child-abuse, such as beating of children, is very important but by itself is simply insufficient."

DeMeo again points to the cross-cultural evidence to support his, and Reich's, controversial positions. "If this theory was wrong, there would have been no positive support from the cross-cultural evidence, and no patterns on my world maps. Instead, the cross-cultural review demonstrated a 95% positive correlation between the many variables, at a high level of statistical significance." DeMeo's "World Behavior Map" which was also prepared from cross-cultural data, appears strikingly similar to a world climate map, with the harshest desert areas of the Old World characterized by extreme patriarchal authoritarian culture....   Read on>>

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI)

S.1884 – The Salazar Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

A Summary of Biochar Provisions in S.1884:

Carbon-Negative Biomass Energy and Soil Quality Initiative

for the 2007 Farm Bill

Biochar and Bioenergy Co-Production: Protecting the Soil Resource and Combatting Global Climate Change

Bioenergy production from agricultural and forestry biomass can boost U.S. energy independence, create additional income streams for agriculture and rural communities, and help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel use. Policies to promote bio-energy production from agricultural products must preserve the soil resources necessary to support adequate U.S. food and fiber production, which provide the basis for a continued strong U.S. economy.

The biochar provisions in S.1884 promote commercial development of technologies that will simultaneously create clean, renewable energy from agricultural and forestry biomass products, while protecting and restoring soil resources and helping to address global climate change. Unlike most carbon-neutral biomass energy systems, biochar technology is carbon-negative: it removes net carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the form of stable soil carbon “sinks”, improving soil fertility, water retention, productivity and crop yields.

The Biochar Process

Energy and biochar can be co-produced from biomass using thermal processes. Biochar production processes can potentially utilize virtually any agricultural or forestry waste biomass, including wood chips, corn stover, rice or peanut hulls, tree bark, papermill sludge, and animal manure, for instance.

Under proper production conditions, the biochar can retain up to 50% of the feedstock carbon in a porous charcoal structure. The biochar product is a fine-grained, porous charcoal substance that, when used as a soil amendment, effectively removes net carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In the soil, biochar provides a habitat for soil organisms, but is not itself consumed by them. Thus, biochar does not disturb the carbon-nitrogen balance, but holds and slowly releases water, minerals and nitrogen to plants. When used as a soil amendment along with manure or fertilizer, the char significantly improves soil tilth, productivity, and nutrient retention and plant availability.

The energy produced from the remainder of the biomass is used to heat the pyrolysis unit and/or provide energy for on-farm use, such as heat and electricity for lighting, fans, refrigerators, milking machines, etc. The co-production of biochar from a portion of the biomass feedstock will reduce the total amount of energy that can be produced, but basic soil science research indicates that even at today’s energy and fertilizer prices the net gain in soil productivity is worth more than the value of the energy that would otherwise have been derived from that charcoal. Once the cost of carbon emissions starts to rise and the value of CO2 extraction from the atmosphere is also considered, the balance will become overwhelmingly attractive.

The two predominant biochar production processes under development are externally heated pyrolysis and downdraft gasification. At small scales, downdraft gasification with air can produce a gas that is immediately burned in an engine to make heat and electricity. This will be practical on farms and at agricultural processing plants at scales from 5kW to 5MW of electricity. At the local or regional agricultural co-op scale, processing 800 to 1000 tons of biomass per day, externally heated pyrolysis or oxygen gasification can be used to make synthesis gas. Syngas can be catalytically converted into liquid fuels including methanol, mixed alcohols that perform like ethanol as a vehicle fuel, ammonia, dimethyl ether, or even Fischer-Tropsch diesel at a larger refinery scale.

An Example of an Agricultural Biochar Production System

An example of a fully-developed system that would be supported by S.1884 is the development of an intermediate scale pyrolysis or thermochemical conversion system which produces energy for on-farm use. The pyrolysis or gasification system can produce bio-oils for transport to a central location for conversion to liquid or gaseous fuels; and/or gases that can be used to produce heat and electricity for on-farm uses. The biochar produced will have specific surface chemistries that, when applied to soils, will sequester carbon while improving agricultural productivity and replacing some chemical fertilizer inputs. The permanently sequestered carbon can be traded and sold in greenhouse gas markets. The system will effectively manage and use on-farm byproducts such as lignocellulosic residue and animal wastes. The system can also be integrated with chemical conversion and biological conversion in an intermediate scale biorefinery.

S.1884: Specific Biochar Provisions in The Harvesting Energy Act of 2007

  • Title I--Energy
    • Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements: (pg. 3 of S.1884) Provides a total of $150 million for pyrolysis and thermochemical conversion systems to be acquired by agricultural producers, in Section 9006 of the Farm Bill. Annual funding of $30 million is authorized for each of FY 2008-2012.
    • Bioenergy Program/Feedstock Residue Management Program: (pg. 7 of S.1884) Provides assistance to cellulosic biorefineries in the form of transition payments in preparation for bioenergy operations; requires that land conversions for such operations ensure the protection and enhancement of soil quality and the prevention of soil erosion and nutrient leaching, and other impacts. Provides a total of $1.458 billion over the 5-year period FY 2008-2012
    • Research and Demonstration Grants for Biochar Production Systems: (pg. 11 of S.1884) Creates a competitive grants program for research and development to develop and commercialize biochar production systems on multiple scales, including on a single farm, local community, and cooperative scale. Provides a total of $50 million, with annual funding of $10 million for each of FY 2008-2012.
  • Title II—Direct Payments for value-added and Renewable Energy Enterprises
    • Direct Payments for Qualified Value-added Enterprises: (pg. 15 of S.1884) Provides direct payments of up to $10,000 per producer to match equity investments in value-added enterprises, to include the production and use of biochar as a soil amendment. Authorizes such funds as are necessary to carry out this section for each of FY 2008-2012.
  • Title III—Conservation
    • Biochar Demonstration Projects: (pg. 18 of S.1884) Provides that demonstration projects on a farm and cooperative scale be carried out to demonstrate the advantages of using biochar production systems to improve renewable energy production and protect and enhance soil quality; and for demonstration projects that demonstrate the manner in which biochar may be used to generate agricultural credits for carbon trading within greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs. Promotes high-priority biochar research and demonstration projects in three areas: biochar production and commercialization; biochar’s behavior in the environment; and economic and life-cycle analyses of biochar systems. Provides upwards of $100 million for the section, by authorizing “not less than” $20 million for each of FY2008-2012.
    • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): (pg. 22 of S.1884) Provides funds for bioenergy production, including the installation of biochar production units
  • Title V—Research, Development, and Education
    • High-priority Research and Extension Initiatives: (pg. 24 of S.1884) Provides upwards of $100 million in research grants to promote biochar technology for adding biochar to soil to improve soil fertility, nutrient retention, and carbon sequestration; and the movement of the technology from a pre-commercial to a fully-commercial state. Authorizes not less than $20 million per year for each of FY 2008-2012.
    • Renewable Energy Research, Education and Educational Program: (pg. 28 of S.1884) Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standardized protocols for market-based trading of greenhouse gas emissions reductions from soil carbon sequestration; to provide information on economic opportunities available to producers from such markets; and to provide grants to land-grant colleges and universities to develop curricula and training related to renewable energy fields. Such sums as are necessary are authorized for this section.
Renewable Electricity and Renewable Fuels Research and Development: (pg. 30 of S.1884) Creates a joint USDA/DOE research program that includes a quantification and verification of the carbon sequestration benefits of various bioenergy and agricultural crops and practices, including the development of models to estimate the carbon sequestration benefits for different crops on different soils; and an additional research and development program to study, among other things, methods to sustainable increase agricultural and forestry crop energy yields while enhancing environmental benefits, in particular improving soil quality and air quality; methods of developing small-scale and distributed renewable energy technologies; and biochar…and other potential non-fossil-fuel-based renewable fertilizers to integrate energy production or agricultural management practices with enhance soil quality and long-term carbon sequestration. Provides up to $300 million per year for each of FY 2008-2012.

Putin jokes

From Roger von Oech's Creative Think blog

• When Putin smiles, a child is born in Russia. If the smile is wider than usual, expect twins.
• When Putin is sad, the national suicide statistics go up
• A fork that Putin ate from can slay a vampire with one stab.
• A chair that Putin sat on gets promoted to the rank of Major General.
• When Putin was little, he broke a cup. The spilled water turned into oceans and the splinters became continents.
• Putin can scratch his own heel without bending over.
• Shirts worn by Putin are sent to a secret military facility and converted to the strongest layer of armor for the Russian tanks.
• Socks worn by Putin are routinely dropped on Chechen rebels.
• Putin’s used tissues become the property of the Department of Cartography and their content is classified.
• Putin knows every Russian citizen’s name, address, and phone number. If you say a dirty word, Putin will call you in the evening to reprimand.

• When Putin’s name is typed, the first letter capitalizes itself.
• By squinting his eye Putin can read and write multimedia DVDs.
• Putin’s stare has downed 15 American satellites spying over the Kremlin.
• Putin’s stare penetrates a ten foot lead wall and brings a kettle to a boil within 10 seconds from three miles away. For public safety he must wear special contact lenses at all times.
• Chechen rebels blow themselves up when they hear Putin’s true name.
• Saying Putin’s name repeatedly contributes to the common good in the universe.
• Putin inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen, ensuring the continuation of life on the planet.
• Putin’s love for humankind heats up the planet by 2.35 degrees annually - a phenomenon also known as the Global Warming.
• Putin appeared in Thomas Edison’s dream and revealed how to live in harmony with the Universe. But all Edison could remember in the morning was how to make the light bulb.
• Everything Putin touches turns into a national project.
• If a sunbeam shines beautifully through the clouds, Putin is nearby.
• If you shake hands with Putin you will be taken to heaven alive.
• If you hate Putin you may die early through your own fault.


hero of the month [from the department of lost causes]

From Wikipedia:
Joshua Abraham Norton (c. 1819 – January 8, 1880), also known as His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, was a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California who proclaimed himself "Emperor of these United States" and later "Protector of Mexico" in 1859. Born in London, Norton spent most of his early life in South Africa; he emigrated to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest of $40,000 from his father's estate. Norton initially made a living as a businessman, but he lost his fortune investing in Peruvian rice
After losing a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, Norton left San Francisco. He returned a few years later an eccentric and apparently mentally unbalanced man, claiming to be the emperor of the United States Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.
Though he was considered insane, or at least highly eccentric, the citizens of San Francisco celebrated his regal presence and his proclamations, most famously, his "order" that the United States Congress be dissolved by force (which Congress and the U.S. Army ignored) and his numerous decrees calling for a bridge and a tunnel to be built across San Francisco Bay. On January 8, 1880, Norton collapsed at a street corner, and died before he could be given medical treatment. The following day, nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage to Norton. Norton's legacy has been immortalized in the literature of writers like Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson who based characters on him. In December 2004, a resolution was made to name the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in honor of Norton, but the idea did not progress further.

Burma pro-democracy activism enters "Panties for Peace" stage

Activists send female underwear to Burmese embassies

   Martin Hodgson
   Friday October 19, 2007
   Guardian Unlimited

   Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on
   Burma's military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against
   the regime's recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies.

   Embassies in the UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore have all been
   targeted by the "Panties for Peace" campaign, co-ordinated by an activist
   group based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

   The manoeuvre is a calculated insult to the junta and its leader, General
   Than Shwe. Superstitious junta members believe that any contact with female
   undergarments - clean or dirty - will sap them of their power, said Jackie
   Pollack, a member of the Lanna Action for Burma Committee.

   "Not only are they brutal, but they are also very superstitious. They
   believe that touching a woman's pants or sarong will make them lose their
   strength," Ms Pollack told Guardian Unlimited.

   So far, hundreds of pairs of pants have been posted, according to another
   campaigner, Liz Hilton. "One group sent 140 pairs to the Burmese embassy
   in Geneva," she said...   Read on>>

drugs, terrorists and g-men: that special quality of the Florida aviation industry

" ... A pilot accused of owning the Gulfstream business jet (N987SA) which broke in two and crash-landed in the Mexican Yucatan carrying nearly 4 tons of cocaine has pointed a finger at a notorious convicted drug smuggler as the true owner of the drug-running airplane, the MadCowMorningNews can report exclusively.  

Don Whittington, whose  WORLD JET INC at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport was widely reported to have been deeply involved in CIA rendition flights, provided $2 million in cash to purchase the Gulfstream business jet, according to Greg Smith, one of two pilots in Fort Lauderdale Florida who have been accused of owning the plane.

The claim is the only discernible movement in the case to date.

“Who owned drug plane that crashed in Mexico?” asked the headline of Jay Root and Kevin Hall’s September 27, 2007 story in the McClatchy Newspapers, the first U.S. report of the incident.  

The question has been met with stony silence by U.S. authorities, and remains unanswered, marking the second time in the past 18 months an American-registered aircraft carrying a multi-ton load of cocaine has been interdicted in Mexico... with no subsequent action taken by U.S. authorities against the American owners of the drug-running aircraft.

The war on drugs is a war on some drugs.

While more than three weeks has elapsed since the American-registered airplane’s  crash-landing, there has still been no official word on indictments, arrests, or even a determination from aviation officials of who exactly owned the plane that crashed in a field 45 kilometers outside Merida International Airport shortly after dawn on September 25th

A list of questions sent last week to the FAA's media contact, Kathleen Bergin, remains unanswered.  If you'd like to assist our government in understanding it's role in serving the people, please write her (  to remind her of her promise to respond. 

However a phone call to Jeannette Moran, the DEA’s Miami media contact, did produce this just-before-deadline voicemail response:

“I know you’re asking about the Gulfstream in the Yucatan, I do not know who has that case, or if it’s a DEA case, I don’t know which division it might be out of... So I really cant help you with that, and I apologize. If you need anything else give me a call.”

This encapsulates the situation perfectly. When a bank robber steals a few thousand dollars before holing up with a hostage, does the FBI take three weeks before divulging the name of the suspect? ... "   Full article>>


a case against a random buildup to Armageddon

First this, from Esquire:
The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know

Two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the U.S. has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise. It'll be Iraq all over again.

"The hard-liners are upping the pressure on the State Department," says Leverett. "They're basically saying, 'You've been trying to engage Iran for more than a year now and what do you have to show for it? They keep building more centrifuges, they're sending this IED stuff over into Iraq that's killing American soldiers, the human-rights internal political situation has gotten more repressive -- what the hell do you have to show for this engagement strategy?' "

But the engagement strategy was never serious and was designed to fail, they say. Over the last year, Rice has begun saying she would talk to "anybody, anywhere, anytime," but not to the Iranians unless they stopped enriching uranium first. That's not a serious approach to diplomacy, Mann says. Diplomacy is about talking to your enemies. That's how wars are averted. You work up to the big things. And when U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had his much-publicized meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad this spring, he didn't even have permission from the White House to schedule a second meeting.

The most ominous new development is the Bush administration's push to name the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.

"The U.S. has designated any number of states over the years as state sponsors of terrorism," says Leverett. "But here for the first time the U.S. is saying that part of a government is itself a terrorist organization."

This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia's and China's geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. "If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of '08," says Leverett, "what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone."

This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran's resistance to the Great Satan. "As disastrous as Iraq has been," says Mann, "an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world."

Mann and Leverett believe that none of this had to be. Full article>>


Flashback to 1994: (from Tony Gosling's

Greek magazine: 'Anekshgito' Kostas Kouros, Issue 102, November 1994

World Government, interview with an insider....?

... * What do you see in the near future? Will the status quo remain or will there be changes in the world?

* I think that the changes will begin in the area of Saudi Arabia, changes that will have an effect on the whole international scene. I predict the fragile balance of the oil cartels will be altered when 3-4 oil wells of Aramco's cartel are bombed. This will mean an increase in the price of petroleum products. The cartels for one or two years will have low profits.

If this happens Greece, with its oil, can play a leading role. Here we will have a repeat of the Onasis phenomenon which was recently made public with all its twisted situations. This time Greece can play a leading role in Europe because the economic strength of its oil will make it the 3rd power in the European Union. I mean that England will loose its oil wells in the Black Sea, which belong to BP and Shell, at the same time as the coup d'etat in Saudi Arabia. It is very possible that the geographic borders of Greece with Turkey, former Yugoslavia and Albania will change and also the borders of Germany and Poland (the Oderneisser line).

England will loose Scotland because the Scottish autonomists will blow its oil wells. After the IRA has made an agreement with England a part of it will go to support the Scottish autonomists.

Being under high pressure, and after having passed the economic convulsion which will lead to the global shock we mentioned before, the world's economy will make an opening to China. China, of course, will ask for something in return. An exchange could be India.

What does this mean? It means that China will be allowed to invade India under false pretences. The Bilderberg Club will supply India, and the Trilateral Commission will renew the armour of China.

In this war, in order to reduce the world's population, the neutron bomb will be used. One time general of NATO's army, Alexander Hague, was fighting off proposals for the neutron bomb, so on 29th June 1979 they tried to assassinate him.

If this happens Pakistan and Turkey will be dragged in, and Turkey will split up in two halves, Eastern and Western ...

Full article>>


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