March 2009 Archives

NWTRC Meeting

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I went, for *TWO* whole hours.  I left when fully disgusted.  It's actually still going on, and I'm listening to it on the air, still. There were quite a few 'issues' raised.  Some of them are accurate in part, but were mixed incorrectly.

First, foremost, (futilely?):  There is NO physical expansion of *ANYTHING* (it's the same physical area, and it's *not* getting any increase in area). 

Second: there's no 'militarization' of the coast (leastways, none more than's already done).

The proposal on the table is about increasing the testing levels (many not involving additional sorties) of various devices.

Now, whether or not the devices should be developed isn't on the table.

Whether or not the devices should be *used* isn't on the table.

What's on this table is whether or not they are *tested* in the field, in the sense of the *humans* who will be using the devices are certified *in* *the* *field*.

There simply is no other way that this can be accomplished.  One can drive, or fly, or captain, only so many 'simulators' before one has to take the wheel of a *real* machine.

Would you want the pilot of your airplane to be *fully certified* in simulators, but never actually been behind the stick on a *real* airplane?

Do you want your bus driver to know exactly how to handle a computer-bus, but not having ever been in a physical vehicle?

Do you want the folks who are charged with protecting you to *NEVER* have actually tried protecting you before your life is on the line?

Really, folks.

What the *fuck* do you think we *PAY* for here?

If (note, that I say, "if") we want to have any protection, we pretty much have to pay to train them, or we might as well just blow off the whole idea of self-defense.

And (if you recall), the point of this exercise is supposed to be self-defense (not world conquest).

The Navy is the *only* part of the services authorized in the Constitution, BTW.

So, that said, here's some commentary on the above meeting:

Steve Scalmanini put forth the most salient and best worded point:

"More toxics in the ocean isn't a good idea."

And that was reflected in the direction that the Navy received to eliminate depleted uranium (DU) from their stores.  They will replace it with tungsten steel.

Now, that said, "white phosphorus" (which we've reported on *EX-FUKIN-STENSIVELY*) is a flare.  Incidentally, it's not a 'poison' (it's actually a fertilizer, and the 'P' in N-P-K, the other two being nitrogen and potassium [kalium]).  It is a problem if it's being dumped, as it was when we used it in detergent (see 'phosphates').  But it's a problem because it *grows* seaweed.  And, it's a nasty thing if it's used to 'illuminate' not a skyline, but the interior of a building.   When used in that manner, it's not just a poison, it's a 'war crime'.

That said, the idea we'd be crisping dolphins or whales is kinda stretching it, yano?

I'm pretty sure if they use this 'toxic' chemical (given that they are, in fact, the Navy, and would be unlikely to use it against, say, an apartment building, as the Israelis recently did), the US Navy would likely be using this to light up darkness.

If it doesn't get all burnt up, the seaweed will prosper as a result (which is part of the reason that phosphates were made illegal in detergents in the '70s--too much veggies in the water clotting the fish).  Not just phosphates, yano.  I used to be able to buy laundry soap with *enzymes*.

Regardless, from my notes:

I saw a lot of 'killing marine life' statements, based on the 'taking' phrase, but the Navy reps made it quite apparent that that phrase meant that the sea life could *hear* the noise, not that they died.

There was a terribly entertaining individual named Rosalyn Peterson (sp?) that brought our attention to the 'zoom-in' feature of the map supplied (with appropriate ominous paranoid delusional fantasies).

She also was one of the clueless who warned us of the 'white phosphorus' use (bad on Gazans, Iraqis, or even Iranians, but somewhat irrelevant to sea-life, unless it's a plant and it's hungry).

Yes, it is toxic to 'marine mammals' (as to any mammal) if it's applied as a weapon.  Chances are that no Navy personnel will decide to light a walrus up bright-as-day (like an IDF would do with a Palestinian).

In any case, it's apparent from attending the meeting:

There's no 'increased' area (no freakin' militarization of the 'coastline').

There's marginal increase in testing of various items, but it's *marginal*.  The few things that are being increased drastically are things that have never been used.

Do you want them (really) to 'test-drive' the system the first time they have to use it to protect you?

BTW, I did look at the NRDC documents (which did *not* address the issue at hand, for the most part, but addressed the overall question of sonar).

Now, that's a different battle.  It's an important battle, but it's not this battle.

This is a freakin' bureaucratic item.  It's an increase in something that they are *already* doing, for the most part, and that only marginally.

And, AND *AND*, it's *ALL* above the 40th parallel.

The northern border of Mendocino county is the 40th parallel.

Freakin' tempest in a teacup, and it took *TWO* hours of my life to listen to these morons pontificate.

I won't even go into *who* posted the most moronic (and first) questions (of the Navy reps):

1) where do you live?
2) How many projects like this have you 'nixed' (cancelled)
3) Who's in charge of this project (implied 'Obama, or Bush?')

It set the mood appropriately, however.

I told the sheriff on the way out that I missed the torches and pitchforks, as they always lent such an atmosphere to such proceedings.

As I mentioned, my understanding is that it's not baseball, nor even football, that's America's Passtime (it's witch-burning).

And I still suggest that 'Tar-N-Feathers R US' is a potential franchise here in the USA.

That's not sick, that's funny.

Ok, so Nassur the Bear has joined the regulars on Hamas' al-Aqsa channel's kids' show Tomorrow's Pioneers:

Nassur is the replacement for Assud (lion) the Bunny, who died when the al-Aqsa station was bombed:

He replaced Nahoul, the Bee, who died off camera after being prevented from crossing the border into Israel to get medical treatment (recounted by Assud):

Here's Nahoul's entrance:

Nahoul the Bee replaced Farfour (er, Mickey) the Mouse, who was 'disappeared':

We should all look over this document (school texts for Palestinians):

At least we'd all be on the same page, then.

So, the group that's watching is called, "Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education".

They looked at "Hamas for Kids" too:

Hamas Web Magazine for Children Incites to Terror, 
Annihilation and Self-Destruction
 (pdf, 703 kb)
January 2009

IMPACT-SE recently completed its report on Al-Fateh (, the Hamas web magazine for Children, which serves as its internet educational instrument, supports its ideology and terrorist activities, and serves as a platform for Hamas propaganda and indoctrination, especially of Palestinian, and more generally, Arab and Muslim, children. Politically, the website's consistent message is a call for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state in its stead, and an armed struggle of violence and terror against all who are defined as the enemies of Islam, including the West in general. The site indoctrinates children to adopt the concepts of jihad and martyrdom and aspire to become not just fighters but suicidal martyrs, effectively preparing them to serve as the next generation of sacrificial instruments in the war of terror and annihilation waged by Hamas.

Draft Executive Summary (pdf, 107 kb)
Draft Full Report (pdf, 703 kb)

See, I'm Not Kidding ...

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Apocalypse Now

How a hologram, a blimp, and a massively multiplayer game could bring peace to the Holy Land.

By Joshua Davis

Yitzhaq Hayutman holds the key to peace on Earth - it's on a floppy disk in his pants pocket. With his full white beard, bald pate, and well-pressed khakis, the 61-year-old Israeli cybernetics expert and tech investor looks like Moses done over for a Banana Republic ad. Right now, he's showing me how he wants to position an airborne hologram over the Dome of the Rock, a gold-capped shrine that's one of the most holy sites in Islam. "The blimp will go there," Hayutman says pointing into the blue. "And eventually the Messiah will come."

Hayutman is excited by the prospect - perhaps too excited. Twenty yards away, two flak-jacketed Israeli police officers finger their machine guns while four plainclothes members of the Islamic Trust - the Muslim force that protects Islam's holy sites - move cautiously toward us. Violence has a habit of erupting here on the Temple Mount, the world's most explosive plot of land.

Illustration by Kenn Brown
Illustration by Kenn Brown 
Let there be light: The site is the sky above the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The project includes a laser-projected temple. The goal: to summon the Messiah.
For 1,500 years, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have fought for control of this 35-acre plateau in the heart of Jerusalem. The dispute remains one of the main obstacles to peace in the Middle East. Jewish teachings say that a temple must be built here - many say on the exact spot where the Dome now stands - in order to induce the arrival of the Messiah and the coming of peace on Earth. Fundamentalist Christians interpret this to mean the Second Coming of Christ and actively encourage Jewish building efforts. Muslims categorically oppose any encroachment on their holy site, from which they believe Mohammed ascended to heaven to receive the Koran.

All sides acknowledge that tensions on the hill have the potential to start a war, but Hayutman believes he has found a way to resolve the intractable conflict. "What most people see is that if the Muslims are here, surely there is no temple," Hayutman says. "They do not understand that technology has given us the tools to realize the prophecy right now."

He has two big ideas, two ways to engineer the apocalypse. The first: a hovering holographic temple. Hayutman wants to set up an array of high-powered, water-cooled lasers and fire them into a transparent cube suspended beneath a blimp. The ephemeral, flickering image, he says, would fulfill an ancient, widely revered Jewish prophecy that the temple will descend from the heavens as a manifestation of light. Hayutman hopes to finance the project with some of the proceeds from a $20 million patent-infringement suit he and his partners have filed against Palm.

The rest of that money would be poured into Hayutman's second idea for jump-starting the end-times: a virtual temple within a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The goal is for thousands of people to join in its construction on the Web. Hayutman even wants to display progress reports in the floating hologram as a kind of apocalyptic scoreboard.

March 31, 2009

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The United States will seek to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, reversing its policy of shunning the group.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced it would participate in May elections for a seat on the 47-member council.The Bush administration had withheld U.S. membership from the Geneva-based council for its failure to confront human rights abusers and its singling out of Israel for condemnation.

Since its creation in 2006 to replace the widely discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the council has passed 32 resolutions; 26 have been critical of Israel, according to U.N. Watch.

More than half of the council's members fall short of basic democracy standards, according to Freedom House, a democracy watchdog group. And in the past two years the council has moved to eliminate its country-specific special experts investigating human rights abuses in Darfur, Congo, Cuba, Belarus and Liberia.

"There are so many players on the Human Rights Council that do not have our interests at heart that I think it will mobilize against the things that the United States is going to fight for," said Betty Ehrenberg, a spokeswoman for the World Jewish Congress. "I'm not sure at this moment that the Human Rights Council is free enough of its past and present difficulties and complications to make this effort fruitful at this moment."

These guys have a court-jester, too (and the Canadian pix had a guy in a black & white suit that might have fulfilled the same role).

Hmm, guess so:

Purim Dancing Jesters & Stars Basket
Shalach Manos Gift
Purim Dancing Jesters & Stars Basket
Formats & Prices
Purim Dancing Jesters & Stars Basket
View Larger Image

Tumble into delicious fun with Purim Jester cookies and Star cookies! Wish your friends and family a "Happy Purim" on our Megillah cookie. The perfect combination for a perfect Purim gift. Contains 4 jesters, 2 stars, 1 megillah.

NOTE: Orders received by 2 weeks before Purim are guaranteed for delivery before Purim. Orders received after this time and date will be delivered but are not guaranteed to arrive by Purim.

Everything is handmade, with a personal touch. Only the finest all-natural ingredients are used. These cookies contain no preservatives of any kind. Kosher - Parve, under supervision of the CRC - the Chicago Rabbinical Council; and Pas Yisroel & Yoshon. Also strictly vegetarian, but not vegan (eggs are used).

NOTE:This item is not returnable. This item is available only during the month before Purim. Gift wrapping is not available on this item. Delivery only in the continental U.S.A.

To All My Jewish Friends

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Ok, I'm used to the guys in the black hats, and even the guys in the furry hats, and I wasn't even surprised to see a guy in a fez (though I have to admit that the more arab looking headdress was a bit surprising).

But *what* is the deal with the guy in the harlequin suit?

Is this some kind of Purim thing?  Like the Easter Bunny or something?

More than one million homes have been foreclosed on
since the subprime crisis began [GALLO/GETTY] 

House prices in the 20 largest US cities have fallen by a record 19 per cent in January from a year ago, according to a private survey.

A separate index of home prices in the 10 largest metropolitan areas also posted a record decline, of 19.4 per cent since January 2008, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey said on Tuesday.

"There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data. Most of the nation appears to remain on a downward path," David Blitzer, head of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said.

The three worst-hit cities were the former flourishing towns of Phoenix, Arizona, where prices fell by 35 per cent; Las Vegas (down 32.5 per cent) and San Francisco (down 32.4 per cent).

Dallas, Denver and Cleveland showed the smallest declines of around five per cent in January compared to the same period last year, the survey said.

House prices in the 20-city index have plummeted 29 per cent from their peak in summer 2006, while the 10-city index has fallen by 30 per cent.

Continuing decline



10 March 2009:  Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews in London, New York and Canada burned the 'Israeli' flag in protest of the existence of the Zionist State.

Hmm, What If???

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What If Israel Had Never Been Created?
by William Hughes    Media Monitors Network
Entered into the database on Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 @ 21:54:36 MST


"What would the world look like, if in 1948, the state of Israel hadn't been created? Unfortunately, President Harry S. Truman, under the "influence of the Zionists," gave his endorsement to that violence-inspiring project. Since that time, life for the Palestinans has become a hell-on-earth under the heel of Israel's brutal Death-Mayhem-&-Occupation Machine. John Lennon said, "Imagine there's no countries." Okay, let's imagine: There is no Israel!"


"Imagine there's no countries...Nothing to live or die for...Imagine all the people living life in peace."

-- John Lennon

Thanks mostly to U.S. President Harry S. Truman and his "susceptibility to Zionist influence," Israel came into existence in 1948. [1] Humanity, and in particular, the Palestinians, have paid dearly for his decision. The land on which the Palestinians had been living for centuries, in peace, with a minority Jewish population, has been gradually transformed into an Apartheid state by the machinations of the Zionist Movement. That Apartheid state, in turn, is today dominated by Israel's Death-Mayhem-and- Occupation Machine. [2]

One wonders: What would the world look like today, if the state of Israel had not been created in 1948? Its improvident formation seems to have set in motion a chain of events, mostly negative, in the affairs of Mankind. In the movie, "Click," the lead character finds a "universal remote" that allows him to rewind to different parts of his life and to change what had happened. If I possessed such a "universal remote" and could stop President Truman from aiding and abetting the establishment of an Israeli state, then, it is my speculation, (a theory), that the following 25 propositions would probably be our present day reality. They are:

1. The U.S. would not have any enemies in the Islamic World.

2. There would be no Al-Qaeda Terrorist Network.

3. Gasoline would be selling for less than $1 a gallon.

4. There would have been no 9/11.

5. There would be no USA Patriot Law.

6. There would be no Homeland Security Agency.

7. The Israeli Lobby's "unmatched power" over the U.S.' foreign policy, for over four decades, would not had existed. (Its support for the Iraqi War was deemed by the experts to be "critical.") [3]

8. There would also not have been any Neocon ideologues; like Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Richard Perle, et al, to help, (along with other "Special Interests"), to push the U.S. into an illegal war with Iraq. [4]

9. Iran would not be the next target for U.S. aggression. (No Israel. No "A Clean Break" document. No Israeli Lobby. No Neocons. No need for the U.S. to attack Iran.) [5]

10. The Zionist fink, Jonathan Pollard, wouldn't be in prison for stealing U.S. military secrets and hawking them to Israel.

11. The three million-plus Palestinians, who were forcefully dispersed from their homeland, since 1948, by the Israeli Occupation Forces, (IOF), would, instead, be living happily there today, in a free and independent state of Palestine. There would be no Apartheid Wall, or as a corollary, a Hamas organization. [6]

12. Jerusalem would have a vibrant Christian population. [7]

13. Rachel Corrie of Olympia, WA, would be alive and well. [8]

14. The 2,544 Americans who have died in Iraq would be alive; and the 18,777, who have been seriously wounded there, would be fully participating in our Republic. U.S. taxpayers would have an additional $295 billion, (the cost of the war), in the treasury to use to serve the social needs of the people. Universal Health Care would be a real possibility and Social Security would not be in jeopardy. Iraq would be at peace. There would be no Gitmo Bay detention center, or an Abu Ghraib Prison, or a reason for the Bush-Cheney Gang to gut Habeas Corpus. No need for it to also employ torturers, or chemical weapons, or hold detainees without charges or trial. The Geneva Convention would be respected. The tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, who have died as a result of the war, would instead be alive today. (At the following footnote, see horrific photos of some of the Iraqi dead.) [9]

15. The battle to save our planet, its fragile ecosystem, its fast vanishing animal life and plants and to combat global warming, would be issue "No. 1." [10] Instead, we are perpetually bombarded with propaganda about defending "Israel's security."

16. If there was no Israel, then the "five dancing Israelis" on 9/11 wouldn't have been arrested. They were nailed after "celebrating" in NJ, while watching the Twin Towers collapsed. [11]

17. U.S. taxpayers would be $140 billion richer! This is the staggering amount they have shelled out over the last 58 years to support the ultra-greedy interests of the Zionist Cartel. [3]

18. The 34 Americans onboard the USS Liberty, who were slaughtered by the IOF, on June 8, 1967, would be alive today; and the 174 others who had suffered injuries that day would not have had to endure their horrific experiences. The shame the U.S. carries for not having quickly defended the men of the Liberty, and retaliated against the Israelis for their deliberate attack on the vessel, would have been avoided. [12]

19. On June 13, 2006, the IOF killed ten Palestinians, including three medical workers and two children, in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, labeled the missile attack an example of "state terrorism." Only God knows how many Palestinians the Israelis have actually wasted since 1948; or exactly how many refugees it has created, or how many homes, a la Oliver Cromwell, the IOF have demolished. None of this would have been possible without the dubious "state of Israel." [13]

20. Paul Bremer, a coat holder for Henry "Iago" Kissinger, would have never been appointed Viceroy for an Occupied Iraq. No Israel. No Iraqi War. No Zionist Bremer as Viceroy of Iraq. [14]

21. One of the reasons the Warren Commission failed to properly investigate the murder of JFK was because of Arlen Specter (R-PA), a card carrying Zionist. He was then a "Special Counsel" to the Commission. He concocted the preposterous "Magic Bullet" theory, which shut down any real conspiracy-type probe. It is also interesting to note, that Jacob Rubenstein, aka, "Jack Ruby," Lee Harvey Oswald's murderer, had close ties to Meyer Lansky's National Crime Syndicate. I believe the answer to who really plotted JFK's killing, died with Oswald. In any event after JFK's death, Israel's nuclear weapons program, which he had opposed went ahead. U.S. aid to Israel also increased dramatically. [15]

22. There would have been no reason for a French Ambassador to refer to Israel as "that shitty little country." [16] In fact, the Jews of the world would have been liberated to fulfill their deepest spiritual quest, as embodied in their religion - Judaism. According to the highly respected Orthodox Rabbi, Dovid Yisroel Weiss, "Zionism has hijacked Judaism." The courageous Rabbi insists that, "Zionism creates anti-Semitism...And we know...Zionism is the root cause for the pain, suffering and bloodshed of the Jewish people...and, they, (the Zionists), are the greatest factory of anti-Semitism worldwide...Judaism and Zionism is not one and the same. They are diametrically opposite...We should not be mistaken one for the other. And, we shouldn't be responsible for the actions of what the Zionists do...Now, another of the problems that emanate actually from the Zionist Movement is the fact that they are encroaching upon the rights of the Palestinian people, the indigenous people, who are living there. And, this is terribly wrong. It is against every concept of the Torah...So, whatever they are doing is totally wrong!" [17]

23. Thousands of Israelis have died attempting to build a nation in a land, Palestine, which belonged to another people, the Palestinians. Their deaths would have been avoided. [18]

24. The widespread spying on Americans, without a court order, by operatives of the Bush-Cheney Gang, would have never happened. (No Israel. No 9/11. No spying on U.S. citizens.)

25. On April 4, 2003, a European Union (EU) poll named Israel as the "greatest threat to world peace." [19] On June 27, 2006, the IOF proved the EU right by reoccupying Gaza, savagely terrorizing the civilian population, blowing up their electric/water generating facilities, conducting a mass arrest of their elected officials, and also, without just cause, provoking the Syrians. In response to the repeated shelling by the IOF of Gaza, Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, wisecracked, "Nobody dies from being uncomfortable!" When he addressed a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress, on May 24, 2006, Olmert received 38 breaks of applause and 18 standing ovations from that entity of mostly lapdogs. This is also the same Israeli leader, who, paraphrasing George Orwell's "Animal Farm," said that he had a "deep regret" about the effects of some IOF's operations which had killed 14 innocent Palestinians in just nine days, but that the lives of Israeli citizens were "even more important."(20) Finally, if there wasn't a Zionist-created Israel, there also wouldn't be any need for a commentary like this one!

see the footnotes at

Running the Numbers

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Holocausts Native American Armenian Jewish Palestinian Roma (gypsies)
Time Period 1492-1900 1894-1917 1938-1948 1948-present 1938-1948
High Estimate 112.5 3 6 2 0.5
Low Estimate 11 0.3 5 0.5 0.09
Remaining population 8 1 3.5 2.7 1
Total area population 74 947 547 4054 547
Total world population 1650 1650 2521 6707 2521
Low %survivor 6.64% 25.00% 36.84% 57.45% 66.67%
High %survivor 42.11% 76.92% 41.18% 84.38% 91.74%
% of area 10.81% 0.11% 0.64% 0.07% 0.18%
% of world 0.48% 0.06% 0.14% 0.04% 0.04%
High % killed 6.82% 0.18% 0.24% 0.03% 0.02%
Low % killed 0.67% 0.02% 0.20% 0.01% 0.00%

Report: U.S.-backed program gave millions to Iran, Syria

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Iran and Syria received millions of dollars from a U.S.-backed program that promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

They were two of four terrorism-sponsoring countries to receive funding under the International Atomic Energy Agency's Technical Cooperation program, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report scheduled to be released Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Iran received more than $15 million from 1997 to 2007, while Syria received $14 million. Two other states designated by the United States as terrorism sponsors, Cuba and Sudan, each received more than $11 million.

The United States is the largest funder of the program, according to the GAO report, and in 2007 supplied $20 million, or about 25 percent of its budget. It does fund a number of non-nuclear energy programs, but also funds some projects with a direct connection to nuclear energy, including a small percentage the GAO said could provide expertise on the development of nuclear weapon capabilities, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The GAO report also called U.S. oversight of the program weak.


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In Pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol also has a generic name of Acetaminophen. Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also call Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen. 

The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin. Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin. 

Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of 'cocktails', 'highballs' and just a good old-fashioned 'stiff drink'. Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT &DO. 

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them. 

Our church has finalized the canonization of our first saint.

St. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We also have some new beatified there as well.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2008, pages 54, 56

Israel and Judaism

The Long--and Largely Untold--History Of Jewish Opposition to Zionism

By Allan C. Brownfeld

Members of the ultra-Orthodox and anti-Zionist Neturei Karta (Guards of the Walls) join a Nov. 6, 2007 demonstration in Jerusalem against the city's policy of demolishing Palestinian homes (AFP photo/Menahem Kahana).


WHILE MANY in Israel and in Jewish communities here and in other countries now promote the idea that Zionism and Judaism are, in effect, the same, and that opposition to Zionism constitutes "anti-Semitism," the historical--largely untold--fact is that, for most of its history, Zionism has been a decidedly minority movement among Jews throughout the world.

Since its inception as a political movement in 1897, both Reform and Orthodox Jews have rejected Zionism's basic premise of creating a Jewish state in Palestine and having Jews either emigrate to it or, at the very least, view it as "central" to their Jewish identity.

An overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews, unwilling to accept the restoration of a Jewish state in Palestine by means other than divine intervention, considered Zionism a false messianic movement. Most Jewish liberals and socialists, having accepted the ideals of the Enlightenment, with its emphasis in optimism, reason and progress, rejected Zionism as a reactionary philosophy. Acculturated Jews in Western and Central Europe who regarded themselves simply as members of a religious community, rejected the notion that their nationality was not English, French or German--but "Jewish."

Reform Judaism's position was quite contrary to that promulgated by Zionism. The most articulate spokesman for the German Reform movement, the distinguished rabbi and scholar Abraham Geiger (1810-1874), argued that Judaism developed through an evolutionary process that had begun with God's revelation to the Hebrew prophets. That revelation was progressive, with new truth becoming available to every generation. According to Geiger, the underlying and unchangeable essence of Judaism was its morality, and the core of Judaism was ethical monotheism. He considered the Jewish people a religious community, destined to carry on the mission to "serve as a light to the nations," to bear witness to God and His moral law. The dispersion of the Jews was not a punishment for their sins, in Geiger's view, but a part of God's plan whereby they were to disseminate the universal message of ethical monotheism throughout the world. Indeed, in a Reform prayerbook he edited in 1854 Geiger deleted all prayers about a return to Zion.

American Reform Judaism, in the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform, rejected Jewish nationalism. Its fifth paragraph declared: "We consider ourselves no longer a nation but a religious community."

On March 4, 1919 Julius Kahn, a Jewish congressman from San Fransisco, delivered to President Woodrow Wilson a statement endorsed by 299 prominent Jewish Americans denouncing the Zionists for attempting to segregate Jews and reverse the historic trend toward emancipation. It objected to the creation of a distinctly Jewish state in Palestine because such a political entity would be contrary "to the principles of democracy."

On April 20, 1922, Rabbi David Philipson, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, rejected the characterization of Palestine "as the national home of the Jewish people." He insisted that, "No land can be spoken of as the national home of the Jewish people, as Jews are nationals of many lands."

A Threat from Within: A History of Jewish Opposition to Zionism (Paperback)

by Yakov M. Rabkin (Author)

A Threat from Within: A History of Jewish Opposition to ZionismAn important new book, A Threat From Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism(available from the AET Book Club) by Professor Yakov M. Rabkin, professor of history at the University of Montreal, sheds significant light on Jewish religious opposition to Zionism. After completing his university education, Dr. Rabkin studied Judaism with rabbis in Montreal, Paris and Jerusalem. He brings a lifetime of study and experience to his subject.

Noting that "the rejection of Zionism is often interpreted as an act of treachery toward the Jewish people," Rabkin explains that "'Zionism' was an invention of intellectuals and assimilated Jews...who turned their back on the rabbis and aspired to modernity, seeking desperately for a remedy for their existential anxiety."

Zionism gained support in areas where social and political conditions were unfavorable to Jews, particularly within the Russian Empire. Indeed, Rabkin argues, Zionism has far more in common with the emerging nationalisms which swept Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries than with anything to be found in Jewish tradition.

Many today forget the fact that, as Rabkin writes, "Zionism constitutes the most radical revolution in Jewish history. Opposition to this nationalist conceptualization of the Jew and of Jewish history was as intense as it was immediate. Even those rabbis who at first encouraged settlement in Palestine in the closing decades of the 19th century felt obliged to turn against Zionism. What made the Jews unique, they declared, was neither the territory of Eretz Israel nor the Hebrew language, but the Torah and the practice of mitzvahs. The pious Jews of Palestine--the only kind before Zionist settlement--enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy granted by the sultan. They had never contemplated national status, a concept as foreign to the Palestinian Jews as it was to the Ottoman authorities in Istanbul."

In the early 20th century, the reaction to Zionism among both Orthodox and Reform Jews was overwhelming. The French rabbis were unanimous. Zionism was "narrow-minded and reactionary." They refused to recognize Jews as a separate political nation. "We, the French Israelites, have a fatherland and we intend to keep it."

Israel, the state, rather than God, has become the object of worship for many Jews at the present time, Rabkin notes. Indeed, Zionism not only has changed Jewish life, but has shifted the meaning of the word "Israel." According to Rabbi Jacob Neusner, an American academic and one of the most prolific interpreters of Judaism, "The word 'Israel' today generally refers to the overseas political nation, the State of Israel. When people say, 'I am going to Israel,' they mean a trip to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem...[But] the prayers that Judaism teaches, all use the word 'Israel' to mean 'the holy community.'"

In his book, Transformation, Rabbi Israel Domb writes: "It manifestly is absurd to believe that we have been waiting for 2000 years in so much anguish and with such high hopes and with so many heartfelt prayers merely in order to finish up by playing the same role in the world as an Albania or Honduras. Is it not the height of futility, to believe that all the streams of blood and tears, to which we ourselves can bear witness in our own time apart from the testimony of our ancestors, should have been fated to the acquisition of this kind of nationhood which the Rumanians or Czechs, for instance, have achieved to a greater extent of success without all these preparations."

Professor Rabkin points out in A Threat From Within that many positions taken by anti-Zionists are close to those of the Israeli "peace camp." For example, a Neturei Karta document asserts: "The Zionist movement was not only a heretical departure from Judaism...It was monstrously blind to the indigenous inhabitants of the Holy Land. In the 1890s, less than 5% of the Holy Land's population was Jewish, yet Theodor Herzl...described his movement as that of 'a people without a land for a land without a people'...They have dispossessed thousands...and plunged the region into its never-ending spiral of bloodshed."

No one who reads Yakov Rabkin's thoroughly researched book will ever again believe that Zionism and Judaism are the same, or that Zionism enjoys the level of support among Jews in the United States and elsewhere in the world which it claims.

Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.

Hmm, phones w/o phones?

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The Channel Wire
March 30, 2009
Skype, the Internet VoIP service, is coming to Apple's iPhone and Research In Motion's BlackBerry, according to a report Sunday.

While rumors of Skype adding mobile device support have been floating around for some time, the E-Bay owned company is now delivering the goods ahead of the CTIA Wireless show, which begins Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The first device to get support for the VoIP service will be Apple's iPhone, with availability starting Tuesday, according to a report in the New York Times. Interested users will be able to download the Skype application through the Apple App Store this week. The iPod touch will also function with the application.

Who Really Goes to Hell?

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What does the Bible really say about the Judgment and Salvation?

A Controversial Book on Salvation and Judgment

Do you agree with Jesus' teachings but don't agree with the dogma of Christianity?

Do you have questions about the Judgment that your pastor cannot answer to your satisfaction?

Are you a conservative Christian who is very interested in what the Bible teaches?

Are you a Christian who shies away from a literal take on the Bible because it does not seem to make much sense?

If any of the above describe you, you might be interested in and surprised by the answer to the question in red. Most people hear some version of the gospel but never actively compare the Bible to what they've been told. Who Really Goes to Hell? --- The Gospel You've Never Heardchallenges people, both in the church and outside it, to do exactly that: read the Bible carefully for themselves without assuming it says everything conservative Christians claim. In particular, the book questions the basic modern gospel that all believers, and only believers, survive the Final Judgment.

In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus says, "If you forgive others for their offences, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your offences."

Have you ever wondered what that means for a believer who does not forgive others...or a non-believer who does forgive others?


"Rudel tries to point out that the central message (going to heaven or hell) of the church might not be the central message of the Bible. He makes a good case of it too, and I recommend that you read this book to find out all about that case....
Whether you agree with Rudel's perspectives and conclusions or not, I recommend that any honest person of faith read this book. It asks questions that need to be asked and will get your blood pumping and your thoughts surging around the Bible in a way I don't think most people ever experience. Reading "The Gospel You've Never Heard" is like reading the Bible again for the first time. It'll open your eyes." 
James Pyles at Congregation Shema Yisrael

"David Rudel's Who Really Goes to Hell? -- The Gospel You've Never Heard is an important book. He will posit ideas and ask questions about the Bible's teachings and about the Church's use of those teachings that may trouble you. The questions are honest, thoroughly researched, meticulously argued, and will wash over you like incessant waves. Most annoyingly, his questions are always referenced to scripture as the standard." - Pastor Edward Hopkins

"I found this book the first of its kind in addressing concerns I've had regarding the juxtoposition of conservative Christain dogma and the teachings of Christ. David Rudel uses a well-researched Bible-based approach to answering these questions by studiously examining scriptures whose meaning we may mistakenly take for granted." Elaine Shaw

"I feel that the book grabs the reader fairly early on with some of the very simple, but quite earth-shaking questions he raises." -Blogger Aaron Lozier

"The value of this book for liberal Christians is the joyful and refreshing realization that the priorities of the church do not reflect the priorities of the Bible. The ideas found here allow me to love the Bible and the true gospel without compromise, and inspire me to reimagine the church. At the same time, I'm challenged to re-read and evaluate uncomfortable Scripture honestly and bravely, without retreating to my modern values."-Nancy Arrens

Meet the Canadians who busted GhostNet

Researchers uncover explosive cyber-spy network infecting more than 1,200 computers worldwide

Against the backdrop of humming computers in the underground lab in Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, a screen flickered, and the most politically explosive cyber-spy network in the world began to reveal itself.

It was March 6, 12:33 p.m., and Nart Villeneuve was getting frustrated. The 34-year-old international relations student and part-time tech geek had tried everything to track down a piece of malicious software that had infected computers around the world, including those in the offices of the Dalai Lama.

Finally, he turned to the ultimate hacker's tool: He entered some of the code from those infected computers into Google. Just like that, he found one of the cyber-spy network's control servers, then another, and another. From that Eureka moment came a flood of information, almost all of it suggesting the ring originated in China.


Perish Newz from The Bishipp

Almost time to don thy wierd apparel, find a sign that fits your mood,collect the stray pennies from beneath the couch,round up the solo socks and the losing lottery tickets and think about thinking about the one hole-y day obligation that you have as unavoidable members of the world's oldest religion, the world's largest church....the First Church of the Last Laugh

You're human?...your in it. Might as well show up and find out why this parade,the


, won't go away. 

This year it's the weekday parade route on the sidewalk from the EMBARCADERO PLAZA thru the financial district with stops at the 'stations of stupid' for the time honored rituals and traditions so beloved by the people down at the bureau of rituals and traditions. Givin the annual sub text (there's a sub in every parade), that of giving homage to the buisness of religion and the religion of buisness,this year promises extra fun in the concrete canyons of greed and deceit. Stick the head of your favorite overpaid ceo on a stick (and the amount of his/her crime)....bring PINK SLIPS and EVICTION NOTICES for the HQs of the not so free market...print your own money for bail outs, pay offs and buy ins. Fun for all ages! Drums and other noise production devices encouraged. Attend at your own risk. Watch your step. Spread the word. 

Free lunch. RAIN OR SHINE. War and peace. free!! Hotcha! 

Wednesday, Noon, April 1th, foot of Market st. SF. Ca. USA 510 841 1898 


And As Well . . . . .

2008 Parade after party flier

Boycott Israel

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Join the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (NYCBI) as we launch our city-wide boycott of Motorola!

Monday, March 30
7:45-9:30 am
Motorola's NYC Office
335 Adams St., Brooklyn

(A,C,F to Jay St./Borough Hall, 2,3,4,5 to Borough Hall, M,R to Court St./Borough Hall or to Lawrence St./Metro Tech)

Why Boycott?

In the wake of Israel's recent assault on the people of Gaza and the US government's complicity in the attacks, we as people of conscience in the US must challenge Israeli policies. Israel systematically violates Palestinian human rights through unrelenting checkpoints, surveillance, house demolitions, and military aggression. Hundreds of Palestinian civil society organizations have called on the world to work on campaigns of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and New York is taking up the call! We, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, call for a boycott of Motorola until it stops profiting from and supporting Israeli apartheid.

Why Motorola?

We demand Motorola end its production and sale of fuzes to the Israeli military

Motorola Israel produces fuzes used in cluster bombs, 'bunker-buster' bombs, and a variety of other bombs. Cluster bombs, whose export was recently banned by the US government, are each composed of hundreds of exploding bomblets that spray metal shrapnel over a large area when they explode.

Cluster bombs are specifically condemned by an international consensus of human rights organizations, banned by many countries, and even the US government has voiced concern over their use, especially in civilian areas. Despite this, Israel has regularly used cluster bombs in the past few years.

Legal moves may force Obama's government into starting a new inquiry into abuses at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib

Criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to the chief prosecutor before deciding whether to proceed.

The case is bound to threaten Spain's relations with the new administration in Washington, but Gonzalo Boyé, one of the four lawyers who wrote the lawsuit, said the prosecutor would have little choice under Spanish law but to approve the prosecution.

"The only route of escape the prosecutor might have is to ask whether there is ongoing process in the US against these people," Boyé told the Observer. "This case will go ahead. It will be against the law not to go ahead."

The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney's chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon's general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.

Court documents say that, without their legal advice in a series of internal administration memos, "it would have been impossible to structure a legal framework that supported what happened [in Guantánamo]".

Boyé predicted that Garzón would issue subpoenas in the next two weeks, summoning the six former officials to present evidence: "If I were them, I would search for a good lawyer."

If Garzón decided to go further and issued arrest warrants against the six, it would mean they would risk detention and extradition if they travelled outside the US. It would also present President Barack Obama with a serious dilemma. He would have either to open proceedings against the accused or tackle an extradition request from Spain.

Obama administration officials have confirmed that they believe torture was committed by American interrogators. The president has not ruled out a criminal inquiry, but has signalled he is reluctant to do so for political reasons.
"Obviously we're going to be looking at past practices, and I don't believe that anybody is above the law," Obama said in January. "But my orientation's going to be to move forward."

Philippe Sands, whose book Torture Team first made the case against the Bush lawyers and which Boyé said was instrumental in formulating the Spanish case, said yesterday: "What this does is force the Obama administration to come to terms with the fact that torture has happened and to decide, sooner rather than later, whether it is going to criminally investigate. If it decides not to investigate, then inevitably the Garzón investigation, and no doubt many others, will be given the green light."

Germany's federal prosecutor was asked in November 2006 to pursue a case against Donald Rumsfeld, the former defence secretary, Gonzales and other officials for abuses committed in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But the prosecutor declined on the grounds that the issue should be investigated in the US.

Legal observers say the Spanish lawsuit has a better chance of ending in charges. The high court, on which Garzón sits, has more leeway than the German prosecutor to seek "universal jurisdiction".

The lawsuit also points to a direct link with Spain, as six Spaniards were held at Guantánamo and are argued to have suffered directly from the Bush administration's departure from international law. Unlike the German lawsuit, the Spanish case is aimed at second-tier figures, advisers to Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, with the aim of being less politically explosive.

The lawsuit claimed the six former aides "participated actively and decisively in the creation, approval and execution of a judicial framework that allowed for the deprivation of fundamental rights of a large number of prisoners, the implementation of new interrogation techniques including torture, the legal cover for the treatment of those prisoners, the protection of the people who participated in illegal tortures and, above all, the establishment of impunity for all the government workers, military personnel, doctors and others who participated in the detention centre at Guantánamo".

"All the accused are members of what they themselves called the 'war council'," court documents allege. "This group met almost weekly either in Gonzales's or Haynes's offices."

In a now notorious legal opinion signed in August 2002, Yoo and Bybee argued that torture occurred only when pain was inflicted "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death".

Another key document cited in the Spanish case is a November 2002 "action memo" written by Haynes, in which he recommends that Rumsfeld give "blanket approval" to 15 forms of aggressive interrogation, including stress positions, isolation, hooding, 20-hour interrogations and nudity. Rumsfeld approved the document.

The 1984 UN Convention against Torture, signed and ratified by the US, requires states to investigate allegations of torture committed on their territory or by their nationals, or extradite them to stand trial elsewhere.

Last week, Britain's attorney general, Lady Scotland, launched a criminal investigation into MI5 complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held in Guantánamo.

The Obama administration has so far avoided taking similar steps. But the possibility of US prosecutions was brought closer by a report by the Senate armed services committee at the end of last year, which found: "The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of 'a few bad apples' acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees."

None of the six former officials could be reached for comment yesterday. Meanwhile, Vijay Padmanabhan, a former state department lawyer, said the creation of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp was "one of the worst over-reactions of the Bush administration".

Dana Beal

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I should mention Dana (and his hot, apparent ex-wife, Medical Marijuana Barbie).

Dana caught my mis-send of the mail message (missive) this week.  For my loyal readers, you owe #48 of this year to him.

And he jogged my memory of other items, like the *easily* curable nature of most addictions via the semi-hallucinogenic, ibogaine.  

So, that said, here's some Ibogaine links:

Effective addiction recovery therapy using Ibogaine

Fifteen years ago, we discovered an ancient natural tribal remedy in the Tabernanthe Iboga shrub native to Gabon and other nations in West Central Africa. This substance is called Ibogaine and it has long been used in shamanic rituals of initiation and spiritual quests.

In more recent times it has been discovered that Ibogaine has the property of interrupting substance addiction. With the help of this natural extract, addicts can experience symptom-free withdrawal, a true full physiological release from chemical dependency. With a very specific type of counseling following ibogaine treatment, they are able to focus on underlying causes to heal the psychological aspects of addiction as well.

Ibogaine brings about addiction interruption by neurochemically transporting the addict to a physically and psychologically pre-addicted state, where they can evaluate their habits from the standpoint of a non-addict without having to suffer through any terrifying withdrawal symptoms. Ibogaine is a psychoactive substance. It is frequently reported that subjects using Ibogaine experience visions of an informative or healing nature directly relating to the problem that prompted them to seek help. Some undergo Ibogaine therapy for treatment of substance abuse, others seek spiritual or emotional growth. For the addict, both can be accomplished at the same time. Often spiritual or emotional damage is at the heart of a substance abuse problem, and this healing is vital to true recovery.

Ibogaine treatment provides an alternative to drug addiction, abuse, and to the treatment programs that are simply ineffective. It is easily administered, in capsule form, and has no addictive effects itself. When used in a clinical setting with proper client screening procedures, the drug thus far has proven to be extremely safe.

Because ibogaine is such powerful force in restructuring one's chemical state, it must be administered by a trained professional. This therapist can provide guidance during the dream-like state to ensure the full benefits of the treatment.

Please take the time to explore our website and see if it answers your questions on whether Ibogaine is right for you or your loved one. If you have any questions that aren't answered within the site, please contact us for a free phone consultation.

View of Beach

Treatment Center in Mexico
View All Treatment Centers 

"It may change society and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people." -Simon Witter, journalist

Healing Transitions:

The limited success of most treatment initiatives has left those in need of drug and alcohol rehabilitation with few options - until now. 

Healing Transitions Institute for Addiction Recovery is now offering a revolutionary new drug detox & alcohol detox treatment programthat is designed to break the vicious cycle of substance abuse addiction. This pioneering and comprehensive rehabilitation program uses a revolutionary drug, Ibogaine, in combination with new behavioral interventions and time-tested techniques.


Where's Waldo?

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Nazca Lines here

Put it in 'terrain' mode to see plenty of handy local vantage points from which to view the 'mysterious' lines.  Looks like about an eighty foot cliff there on  the north end.

They always said these lines were 'in the middle of the desert' (actually, on the edge, if you pay attention when zooming out).  

What they didn't mention is that this desert is in a depression, the edge of which is a fertile and long civilized area.

Head just a bit north for that.

Mystery my ass.

I think the folks over at the three sided whole should make some 'mysterious lines' in their desert that they could see from their vantage point.

I would recommend it to you.  It's a bit long, but that's because it's detailed.

This bail-shit that we are being fed is *not* inscrutable.  In fact, like most situations in which the emperor, in fact, has no clothes, it relies on the gullibility of the masses to perpetuate.

It is, in other words, *not* rocket science.

It is truthfully just boring, as numbers go.  Nothing 'incredible' or difficult to understand there at all.

It's actually quite clear.

They lied.  It was all fraud.  Just like it was some twenty years back when the last Bush did it to us.

The Mafia, CIA and George Bush (Hardcover)

by Pete Brewton (Author)

Anyway, here's some excerpts from the article at Alternet:

The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution

By Matt Posted March 23, 2009.

Published by Rolling Stone

It's over - we're officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline - a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.


That guy - the Patient Zero of the global economic meltdown - was one Joseph Cassano, the head of a tiny, 400-person unit within the company called AIG Financial Products, or AIGFP. Cassano, a pudgy, balding Brooklyn College grad with beady eyes and way too much forehead, cut his teeth in the Eighties working for Mike Milken, the granddaddy of modern Wall Street debt alchemists. Milken, who pioneered the creative use of junk bonds, relied on messianic genius and a whole array of insider schemes to evade detection while wreaking financial disaster. Cassano, by contrast, was just a greedy little turd with a knack for selective accounting who ran his scam right out in the open, thanks to Washington's deregulation of the Wall Street casino. "It's all about the regulatory environment," says a government source involved with the AIG bailout. "These guys look for holes in the system, for ways they can do trades without government interference. Whatever is unregulated, all the action is going to pile into that."


The problem was, none of this was based on reality. "The banks knew they were selling crap," says a London-based trader from one of the bailed-out companies. To get AAA ratings, the CDOs relied not on their actual underlying assets but on crazy mathematical formulas that the banks cooked up to make the investments look safer than they really were. "They had some back room somewhere where a bunch of Indian guys who'd been doing nothing but math for God knows how many years would come up with some kind of model saying that this or that combination of debtors would only default once every 10,000 years," says one young trader who sold CDOs for a major investment bank. "It was nuts."


By the fall of 2007, it was evident that AIGFP's portfolio had turned poisonous, but like every good Wall Street huckster, Cassano schemed to keep his insane, Earth-swallowing gamble hidden from public view. That August, balls bulging, he announced to investors on a conference call that "it is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing $1 in any of those transactions." As he spoke, his CDS portfolio was racking up $352 million in losses. When the growing credit crunch prompted senior AIG executives to re-examine its liabilities, a company accountant named Joseph St. Denis became "gravely concerned" about the CDS deals and their potential for mass destruction. Cassano responded by personally forcing the poor sap out of the firm, telling him he was "deliberately excluded" from the financial review for fear that he might "pollute the process."

The bonuses are a nice comic touch highlighting one of the more outrageous tangents of the bailout age, namely the fact that, even with the planet in flames, some members of the Wall Street class can't even get used to the tragedy of having to fly coach. "These people need their trips to Baja, their spa treatments, their hand jobs," says an official involved in the AIG bailout, a serious look on his face, apparently not even half-kidding. "They don't function well without them."


"But wait a minute," you say to them. "No one ever asked you to stay up all night eight days a week trying to get filthy rich shorting what's left of the American auto industry or selling $600 billion in toxic, irredeemable mortgages to ex-strippers on work release and Taco Bell clerks. Actually, come to think of it, why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jailinstead?"

april 11

Sign Up for Your City

To stop the banks, Americans are planning creative actions all over the country for April 11. Spread the word. Actions are announced in:

little signs  See more info and go!

PhoenixAZ at AIG Building, 24th Street and Camelback Road more

los angelesCA at Griffith Park

San DiegoCA at Embarcadero more

HartfordCT at Courthouse, BOA, Dodd Officemore

Washington DC at Lafayette Park more

ChicagoIL at 231 LaSalle Street, 230 S. Dearborn more

BostonMA at Boston Common more

AugustaME at State House more

DetroitMI at City County Building

Marquette MI at UP Post Office 12 Noon more

Saint LouisMO at Under the Arch more

RaleighNC at Bicentennial Plaza more

AlbuquerqueNM at First Plaza Galeria

New YorkNY at Citigroup Headquarters more

ColumbusOH at Ohio Statehouse more

PortlandOR at Pioneer Square more

PittsburghPA at City Hall more

CharlestonSC at Ravenel Bridge more

AustinTX at South steps of the Texas State Capitol building (Austin) more

DallasTX at AIG Building on Walnut Hill more

HarrisonburgVA at Court Square more

SeattleWA at Victor Steinbrueck at Pike Place Market more

OttawaON at Parliament Hill more

12 million unemployed. Foreclosures up 81%. Wall Street has taken over. We must break up the banks and never again let them get so big that they distort our politics and take down the economy.

Thank you for helping out. Thousands of People Can Change This Country.

Want to help at all? Simple way to demand change -- tell people and they'll tell others.

From now until Protest Day:

1. Sign up your city for a protest, if one has not been registered already. 
2. Be our fan of the national FaceBook fan page or twitter.
3. Publicize the protest: download or make your own flyers and distribute them around your community.

Can you?

1. Decide what your action should be -- any creative ideas. Make plans in the forum for your city.

2. Contact other organizations and local news outlets in your area who you think should know about the protest. Different groups have been holding protests of their own -- help everyone out by reaching out to them and get them to join the national protests efforts. Everyone deserves a press releaseand you can post to public calendars that are applicable -- online calendars, community calendars, calendars at your church/synagogue/mosque, school calendars, etc.

3. Help find the numbers for permit offices -- some permit offices are harder to find and applications might not be online. Can you help find phone numbers for permit offices in cities that haven't been registered yet? Please post a comment on the blog here

More About These Protests

A New Way Forward is made up of national protests that will take place all over the country in major cities on April 11, 2009. This site was set up to help people and groups organize around a progressive approach to economic recovery in a ground up, localized organizing effort. People from all backgrounds will come together to influence national policy and organize their own protests in their own city on April 11.

The site allows anyone to sign up their city for a protest and begin working out the details with other local protesters in designated forums. Though each protest will be executed differently by different groups of people, the website provides a national community that will help draw attention, support and resources to the local efforts.

I've been surprised by how quickly the blogosphere picked up on the Spock/Obama comparison. Almost immediately, I started to see people construct graphics around the Spock/Obama theme, which clearly resonated with people other than myself.


I'll wait to see if he "doesn't lie".  Looks like that from here, though, so I'm not holding my breath.

March 22, 2009 

'I'm having a very good crisis,' says Soros as hedge fund managers make billions off recession

Last updated at 5:13 PM on 25th March 2009


George Soros said the current economic crisis has been the culmination of his life's work

A hedge fund manager who predicted the global credit crunch has said the financial crisis has been 'stimulating' and the culmination of his life's work.

George Soros, who predicted the global financial crisis twice before, was one of the few people to anticipate and prepare for the current economic collapse.

Mr Soros said his prediction meant he was better able to brace his Quantum investment fund against the gloabal storm.

But other investors failed to take notice of his prediction and his decision to come out of retirement in 2007 to manage the fund made him $US2.9 billion.

And while the financial crisis continued to deepen across the globe, the 78-year-old still managed to make $1.1 billion last year.

'It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life's work,' he told national newspaper The Australian.

Soros is one of 25, top hedge fund managers from across Wall Street who have defied the credit crunch crisis to reap a total of $11.6billion (£7.9bn) last year.

The managers made their profit by trading above the pain in the markets, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha Magazine.

Former maths professor James H. Simons, who has made billions in  hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, earned $2.5 billion running computer-driven trading strategies. 

And John A. Paulson, who made his fortune by betting against the housing market, came in second earning $2 billion.


Big hitters: John Paulson and James H Simons were part of a group of 25 hedge fund managers who make a total of $11.6bn

The managers made the profit in a year when losses were recorded at two of every three hedge funds and when hedge funds lost an average of 18 percent, according to the New York Times.

Two of the three managers who tied for ninth place, at $250 million, are based in Britain and include David Harding of Winton Capital and Alan Howard of Brevan Howard Asset Management. 

Another Brevan Howard employee Christopher Rokos also made the list.


By John Upton


Federal agents raided a marijuana dispensary in SoMa Wednesday afternoon, siezing pot, patient records, scales and other materials.John Upton/The Examiner
SAN FRANCISCO - Federal agents raided a marijuana dispensary in SoMa on Wednesday afternoon, seizing pot, patient records, scales and other materials.

Armed agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raided Emmalyn's Collective Cooperative at Howard and 12th streets sometime after 2 p.m., according to witnesses.

No arrests were made Wednesday, Special Agent Anthony Williams said in a statement.

"We believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law," Williams said. "As of now, we are prohibited from releasing further details of the case."

SFGate (03-25) 22:05 PDT San Francisco -- Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco Wednesday, a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled that the Obama administration would not prosecute distributors of pot used for medicinal purposes that operate under sanction of state law.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Emmalyn's California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard St. in San Francisco's South of Market district mid-afternoon.

They hauled out large plastic bins overflowing with marijuana plants and loaded several pickup trucks parked out front with grow lights and related equipment used to farm the plants indoors.

The dispensary had been operating with a temporary permit issued by the Department of Public Health.

"Based on our investigation, we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well," DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony Williams said in a prepared statement.

Williams, who runs the San Francisco field office that covers a territory stretching from Bakersfield to Redding, would not specify the alleged violations. The information was under court seal.

"As of now, we are prohibited from releasing further details of the case. Items of evidentiary value were seized and no arrests have been made," Williams said.

A source in San Francisco city government who was informed about the raid said the DEA's action appeared to be prompted by alleged financial improprieties related to the payment of sales taxes. DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry, spokeswoman for the local office, would not comment on that information.

Representatives from Emmalyn's could not be reached for comment. It was not clear whether they were on the premises when authorities arrived.

Word of the raid spread quickly in the medical marijuana advocacy community via text-message. About a dozen people, many with cameras in hand, gathered in front of Emmalyn's as federal agents guarded the front entrance. The scent of marijuana wafted through the crowd and several bystanders shouted epithets at the agents as they walked by.

Emmalyn's provides marijuana for free to poor people on Wednesdays.

"It's awful that raids like this are still happening. Public opinion favors medicinal marijuana," said Troy Dayton, senior development officer for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization that advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana, particularly for medicinal purposes.

Thirteen years ago, California became the first of more than a dozen states to legalize medical marijuana, although federal law still prohibits its use.

In a marked shift from Bush administration policy, Holder said last month that dispensaries only would be prosecuted if both state and federal drug laws were thought to be violated.

Graffiti Research Lab Rocks

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Cheap vs. Organic food?

Sugar/Starch and heart disease:

HR 875 & S 425

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In this photo taken March 16, 2009, an Israeli model poses with a T-shirt with Hebrew that reads "Sniper platoon" in Tel Aviv. Israel's military on Monday, March 23, 2009, condemned T-shirts worn by soldiers that depict scenes of violence against Palestinians as the army faces increasing domestic criticism over its conduct during the recent Gaza war. The T-shirts, ordered by troops to mark the end of basic training and other military courses, were worn by a number of enlisted men in different units, the daily Haaretz newspaper reported. They were not made or sanctioned by the military. (AP Photo/ Yanai Yechiel)

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's military condemned soldiers for wearing T-shirts of a pregnant woman in a rifle's cross-hairs with the slogan "1 Shot 2 Kills," and another of a gun-toting child with the words, "The smaller they are, the harder it is."

The T-shirts were worn by some Israeli Defense Force soldiers to mark the end of basic training and other military courses, the newspaper Haaretz said.

The appearance of the T-shirts followed allegations of misconduct by Israeli troops during the three-week Gaza war. Palestinian officials say about 1,400 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis died, three of them civilians.

The army said it would not tolerate the T-shirts and would take disciplinary action against the soldiers involved, although it was not clear how many wore the shirts or how widely they were distributed.

The military sought to portray the T-shirts as "tasteless" humor and condemned the soldiers involved, saying in a statement that the shirts "are not in accordance with IDF values."

They were not manufactured or sanctioned by the military.

The shirts' existence was first reported Friday by Haaretz and later on broadcasts by Israeli radio and television.

Haaretz showed pictures of five shirts and said they were made at the unit level - indicating that they were made for small numbers of troops, perhaps several dozen at a time. It said they were worn by an unknown number of enlisted men in different units. The Tel Aviv factory that made many of the shirts, Adiv, refused to comment.

Few in the Palestinian territories appeared to be aware of the T-shirts. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it "reflects the brutal mentality among the Zionist soldiers and the Zionist society."

Hamas-controlled media consistently glorify attacks on Israelis, and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers frequently use anti-Semitic images of Jews as hook-nosed, black-hatted characters.
Hamas also mocked Israeli suffering, staging a play about its capture of an Israeli soldier in which it makes fun of the serviceman crying for his mother and father.

Israel's military has come under increasing scrutiny after soldiers alleged that some troops opened fire hastily and killed Palestinian civilians during the Gaza war, including children, possibly because they believed they would not be held accountable under relaxed open-fire regulations. The military has ordered a criminal inquiry into soldiers' accounts published in a military institute's newsletter.

On Monday, the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, defended his troops.

"I tell you that this is a moral and ideological army. I have no doubt that exceptional events will be dealt with," Ashkenazi told new recruits. Gaza "is a complex atmosphere that includes civilians, and we took every measure possible to reduce harm to the innocent."

The Gaza offensive, launched to end years of rocket fire at Israeli towns, ended Jan. 18.

Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fire rockets from heavily populated areas, and Israel says Hamas is to blame for the civilian deaths because it leaves the military no choice but to attack them there.

U.N. human rights experts said Monday that Israeli soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian as a human shield during the Gaza offensive. The military ordered the boy on Jan. 15 to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in a Gaza neighborhood and enter buildings before them, said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. secretary-general's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict.

Israeli army spokesman Capt. Elie Isaacson denied the military used human shields, saying "morals and high ethical standards are paramount" in the army.

Uzi Dayan, a former Israeli deputy chief of staff, said he was "shocked but not surprised" by the T-shirts.

"I spent many years in the army and I know that if you don't pay attention all the time, these things can happen. These are very young people in a combat situation, so you need to have a finger on the pulse," he said. 

New Speed Bump Invention

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The pen might be a bit more unwieldy than the sword, but a handi-cam beats them both.

Tasered Teen Terminated

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A Letter *to* Rachel Corrie

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I am a reserve first sergeant in the IDF. The military prisons are filling up with conscientious objectors. Many of them are reservists with families. These are men who have proven their courage under fire in the past. Some have been in jail for more than six months with no end in sight. 

The amount of AWOLS and refusals to serve are unprecedented in our history as a nation as well as are refusals to carry out orders that involve firing on targets where civilians may be harmed. In a time now in Israel where jobs are scarce and people are losing their homes and businesses to Sharon's vendetta, many career soldiers - among them pilots and intelligence personnel - have chosen jail and unemployment over what they cold only describe as murder. 

I am supposed to report to the Military Justice department - it is my job to hunt down runaway soldiers and bring them in. I have not reported in for 18 months. Instead, I've been using my talents and credentials to document on film and see with my own eyes what the ISMers and other internationals have claimed my boys have been up to. 

I love my country. I believe that Israel is under the leadership of some very bad people right now. I believe that settlers and local police are in collusion with each other and that the border police are acting disgracefully. They are an embarrassment to 40% of the Israeli public and they would be an embarrassment to 90% of the population if they knew what we know. 

Please document as much as you can and do not embellish anything with creative writing. The media here serves as a very convincing spin control agent through all of this. Pass this on letter to your friends. There are many soldiers among the ranks of those serving in the occupied territories that are sickened by what they see. 

There is a code of honor in the IDF - it is called "tohar haneshek" (pronounced TOWhar haNEHshek). It's what we say to a comrade who is about to do something awful, like kill an unarmed prisoner or carry out an order that violates decency. It means literally "the purity of arms". 

Another phrase that speaks to a soldier in his own language is "degle shachor" (DEHgel ShaHor) - it means "black flag". If you say, "Atah MeTachat Degle Shahor" it means "you are carrying out immoral orders". It's a big deal and a shock to hear it from the lips of "silly misguided foreigners" 

At all times possible try to engage the soldiers in conversation. Do not make the mistake of objectifying them as they have objectified you. Respect is catching, as is disrespect, whether either be deserved or not. 

You are doing a good thing. I thank you for it. 



An unrelated poster:

Text of letter by Rachel Corrie:

(My) Palestinian friends are a good example of how to be in it for the long haul. I know that the situation gets to them...I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity, laughter, generosity, family time-against the incredible horror occuring in their lives and agains the constant presence of death...I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances-which I also haven't seen before. I think the word is dignity.

DATELINE--Tallahassee, Fla.
Oranges that get you high
A Florida Biochemist designs a citrus tree with THC.

In the summer of 1984, 10th-grader Irwin Nanofsky and a friend were driving down the Apalachee Parkway on the way home from baseball practice when they were pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction.

After Nanofsky produced his driver's license the police officer asked permission to search the vehicle. In less than two minutes, the officer found a homemade pipe underneath the passenger's seat of the Ford Aerostar belonging to the teenage driver's parents. The minivan was seized, and the two youths were taken into custody on suspicion of drug possession.

Illegal possession of drug paraphernalia ranks second only to open container violations on the crime blotter of this Florida college town. And yet the routine arrest of 16 year-old Nanofsky and the seizure of his family's minivan would inspire one of the most controversial drug-related scientific discoveries of the century.

Thirty Years Ago Next Monday

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Harvey Wasserman

People died at Three Mile Island 
March 24, 2009

People died---and are still dying---at Three Mile Island. 

As the thirtieth anniversary of America's most infamous industrial accident approaches, we mourn the deaths that accompanied the biggest string of lies ever told in US industrial history. 

As news of the accident poured into the global media, the public was assured there were no radiation releases. 

That quickly proved to be false. 

The public was then told the releases were controlled and done purposely to alleviate pressure on the core. 

Both those assertions were false. 

The public was told the releases were "insignificant." 

But stack monitors were saturated and unusable, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission later told Congress it did not know---and STILL does not know---how much radiation was released at Three Mile Island, or where it went. 


The public was assured the government would follow up with meticulous studies of the health impacts of the accident. 

In fact, the state of Pennsylvania hid the health impacts, including deletion of cancers from the public record, abolition of the state's tumor registry, misrepresentation of the impacts it could not hide (including an apparent tripling of the infant death rate in nearby Harrisburg) and much more. 


A series of interviews conducted by Robbie Leppzer and compiled in a "a two-hour public radio documentary VOICES FROM THREE MILE ISLAND ( ) give some indication of the horrors experienced by the people of central Pennsylvania. 


My research at TMI also uncovered a plague of death and disease among the area's wild animals and farm livestock. Entire bee hives expired immediately after the accident, along with a disappearance of birds, many of whom were found scattered dead on the ground. A rash of malformed pets were born and stillborn, including kittens that could not walk and a dog with no eyes. Reproductive rates among the region's cows and horses plummeted. 

Raid On Entebbe (1977)

Based on a true Military operation by Israeli commandos. An Air France flight is hijacked by the PFLP. The plane has about 100 Jewish passengers. The plane is grounded in Uganda. Israelis would not negotiate. The movie then shows how less than 500 soldiers actually flew so far and rescued the passengers in one of the most successful Military operations in history. The only casualty for Israely soldiers was Lt. Col. Jonathan "Yoni" Netanyahu.. 

This is an excellent made for TV movie which will cause even non-Jewish viewers to feel pride. The Isreali government assisted in the production of a similar movie, "Operation Thunderbolt" which is very accurate historically and should also be seen for comparison. That movie used actual Isreali soldiers and several survivors of the incident. "Raid on Entebbe" is a much smoother and more enjoyable production. The cast worked very well together. This was Peter Finch's last movie. Charles Bronson is at his best. An interesting blooper is that Yoni Netanyahu was a Lt. Colonel, but is shown in the uniform of a full Colonel. Don't let that ruin the movie for you, though, it should be in every historical and military collection.

Yoni Netanyahu was Benyamin Netanyahu's older brother, BTW.

I wonder if the Netanyahu family knows it was a faked raid and a false-flag staged psy-op?

More on the glorious manure.  Freepers eat this shit up, yano?
Famed Israeli Raid on Entebbe Airport Culminated Shin Bet-Staged Hijacking Plot

Documents recently made public by the British government reveal that Israel played a direct role in the notorious hijacking of an Air France plane to Idi Amin's Entebbe in 1976 and cooperated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in staging the event remembered today as 'the Entebbe Incident.' 

In documents recently released and now sitting in the National Archives in London, D.H. Colvin, a British diplomat working in Paris, wrote that, according to sources he knew, "the hijacking was the work of the PFLP, with help from the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet." 

"The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO's standing in France" and to prevent a "growing rapprochement between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Americans," he said. "My contact said the PFLP had attracted all sorts of wild elements, some of whom had been planted by the Israelis. .. . Their [the Israelis'] nightmare is that after the November elections, one will witness the imposition in the Middle East of a Pax Americana, which will be to the advantage of the PLO, who will gain international respectability and perhaps the right to establish a state on evacuated territories and to the disadvantage of Israel, who will be forced to evacuate occupied territory." 

The hijacking, or the 'Entebbe Incident' as it is popularly known, gripped the attention of the world for nearly a week at that time. Hijackers seized an Air France plane bound for Paris via Athens shortly after it took off. The plane was diverted first to Benghazi, Libya, where it was refueled before going on to Entebbe, Uganda. In Entebbe, the hijackers released most of the hostages but kept 98 people, most of them Israeli citizens, and threatened to kill them unless Israel met their demands of releasing some 50 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel and in other places around the world. 

In a dramatic rescue that has been the subject of several books and at least 4 films, Israeli commandos flew to the airport where shortly thereafter a 36-minute battle was fought with the hijackers and Ugandan soldiers. 

In the end, six of the hijackers, 45 Ugandan soldiers, three hostages, and Col. Jonathan Netanyahu (commanding officer of the Israeli commandos and elder brother of Benjamin Netanyahu) were killed. 


In the recently released document, the British diplomat went further in his analysis of the event, saying that Israel wanted to poison French opinion with regard to the Palestinian cause, for which the French had traditionally held a certain amount of sympathy. According to his analysis of the situation, Israel wished to make the threat 'implicit but nevertheless clear' that terrorism is something that can happen in Europe just as easily as it happens in the Middle East. 

The PFLP said to be responsible for this incident was founded by a Lebanese-educated Palestinian Christian named Dr. George Habash. Unlike the larger, centrist and more nationalistic Fatah movement of the PLO, the PFLP is a far left, Marxist-Leninist movement designated by several governments including that of the United States as a terrorist organization. Since the late 1960s it has been credited with dozens of high-profile events, including hijackings and bombings. 

Along with the United States and Britain, Israel has a long and well-established history of assisting individuals and groups said to be responsible for acts of terrorism since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. 

Individuals such as the famed Abu Nidal and groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Occupied Territories and now, Fateh-al-Islam operating in Northern Lebanon all have at some point been creatures of Mossad, CIA and MI5 intrigue. 

from the original:

A former schoolteacher fluent in several languages, Mark Glenn spoke at the AFP-TBR conference on the Middle East panel. He is a prolific writer whose provocative essays have been published worldwide. He and his wife Vicki and their eight children maintain a ranch in northern Idaho. His book, No Beauty in the Beast, can be ordered from TBR BOOK CLUB (1-877-773-9077) for $28 ppd.

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Marijuana plants

In the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers announce that they have found that cannabinoids promoted a generation of new neurons in rats' hippocampi. The study held true for both a plant-derived and a synthetic cannabinoid. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that contributes to learning and memory. In particular, it has been shown that the hippocampus is essential for the formation of new episodic memories.

"This is quite a surprise, chronic use of marijuana may actually improve learning memory when the new neurons in the hippocampus can mature in two or three months," said Xia Zhang, with the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit of the University of Saskatchewan.

"Our results were obtained from rats, and there's a big difference between rats and humans," added Zhang, "So, I really don't know yet if our findings apply to humans. But our results indicate that the clinical use of marijuana could make people feel better by helping control anxiety and depression."

Zhang and his co-workers performed behavioral tests on two purified cannabinoids. The test results indicated that these two cannabinoids have anti-anxiety and antidepression-like effects in rats that may depend on the ability of cannabinoids to promote the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. Marijuana contains a complex mixture of chemicals including cannabinoids and may have somewhat different behavioral effects than the purified cannabinoids tested so far.

Previous studies examining the effects of cannabis have highlighted negative aspects of the drug's use, such as short term memory difficulties, increased heart rate, nausea, and (in a very small percentage of people) hallucinations. Long term studies about cannabis use tend to be controversial as the data is seen to be biased or flawed. The most agreed upon effect of long term cannabis use is lung damage. However, proponents argue that the correlation between cannabis consumption and lung cancer is misleading suggesting that cannabis use may correlate with tobacco use or that the data is not being properly analyzed.

The United Nations has made a stand against the war on Gaza, confirming that Israeli soldiers have seriously breached humanitarian law. 

A group of UN human rights experts said on Monday that Israeli forces had used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield and to protect themselves from being shot by fighters in the Gazan neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa. 

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general's envoy for protecting children in armed conflict, said Israeli soldiers ordered the boy to walk in front of them and enter buildings to assure the safety of the troops. 

The 43-page report added to previous confirmations that Israel committed war crimes in its three-week operations in the territory.

The use of the deadly white phosphorus shells in densely populated civilian areas is but another charge Israel initially denied. Later mounting evidence nevertheless forced Israeli officials to admit to having employed the shells. 

Coomaraswamy explained that the Israeli army shot Palestinian children, bulldozed a home with a woman and child still inside and shelled a building they had ordered civilians into a day earlier. 

"Violations were reported on a daily basis, too numerous to list," Coomaraswamy asserted. 

She said those violations she listed are "just a few examples of the hundreds of incidents that have been documented and verified" by UN officials who were in the territory. 

Israel's diplomatic mission in Geneva said it would respond to the report later on Monday at a session of the UN Human Rights Council. 

UN human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, has also confirmed Israeli violations of humanitarian law. 

Because Israel denied him entry into the strip, his latest report focuses on the legality of the Israeli war and whether it amounts to grave war crimes and the use of disproportionate force. 

According to Falk, the major question begging an answer is whether Israeli forces could differentiate between civilian and military targets in Gaza. 

"If it is not possible to do so, then launching the attacks is inherently unlawful, and would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law," Falk says in his report. 

Despite the mounting evidence and testimonies by Israeli soldiers that there had been orders to put the safety of even a single Israeli troop at a much higher priority than those residing in the strip, world bodies have yet to take decisive action against echelons in Tel Aviv. 

The last Israel-waged war on Gaza began on December 27. Three weeks of ensuing airstrikes and a ground incursion inflicted more than $1.6 billion in damages on the Gazan economy. 

The carnage also killed around 1,350 Palestinians and injured nearly 5,450 people -- mostly civilians. 


Обращение губернатора

Governor's Picture

Справочник водителя штата Калифорния

Уважаемые жители штата Калифорния!

Вы держите в руках важную брошюру, которая

поможет обеспечить безопасность на дорогах.

Для вашей личной безопасности и безопасности

других людей я настоятельно рекомендую

прочесть эту брошюру и держать ее под рукой,

чтобы обращаться к ней в будущем.

Будучи губернатором, я всегда поддерживал

вас, водителей. Я хочу, чтобы вы и ваша семья

всегда находились в безопасности на дорогах

Калифорнии, поэтому я подписал два важных

закона, которые вступят в силу 1 июля 2008


주지사의 메시지

캘리포니아 주 운전자 안내서

친애하는 캘리포니아 주민 여러분,

여러분의 안전 운전에 도움이 될 유용한 안내서

를 보내드립니다. 본인과 다른 사람들의 안전을

위해 이 안내서를 읽고 향후 참조하실 수 있도

록 편리한 곳에 보관하십시오.

주지사로서 저는 항상 운전자 여러분을 지원해

왔습니다. 여러분과 여러분의 가족 모두가 캘

리포니아의 도로를 운행할 때 항상 안전하기를

바라며, 그러한 취지에서 저는 2008년 7월 1일

부터 시행될 매우 중요한 두 가지 법안을 승인














Mensahe ng Gobernador

Hanbuk ng Tsuper sa California

Mga Kapwa Taga-California:

Hawak ninyo ang isang mahalagang hanbuk

na makakatulong na tiyakin ang isang ligtas na

karanasan sa pagmamaneho. Para sa proteksyon ninyo

at ng iba, malakas kong hinihimok kayo na basahin

ito at panatilihing nakahanda para masangguni sa


Bilang Gobernador, lagi akong sumusuporta sa

inyo, ang tsuper. Gusto kong maging ligtas kayo

at ang inyong pamilya sa lahat ng oras habang

nagmamaneho sa mga daan, at iyon ang dahilan kung

bakit pinirmahan ko ang dalawang napakahalagang

batas na magkakabisa sa Hulyo 1, 2008.

Thư Ngỏ của Thống Đốc

Sách Hướng Dẫn Lái Xe của California

Quý Cư Dân California Thân Mến:

Quý vị đang cầm trong tay một tập sách hướng dẫn

hữu ích là tập sách chắc chắn có thể giúp quý vị lái

xe an toàn. Để bảo vệ cho quý vị và những người

khác, tôi hết sức khuyến khích quý vị hãy đọc và

giữ tập sách này ở chỗ thuận tiện để dùng sau này.

Là Thống Đốc, tôi hằng luôn ủng hộ quý vị, là

những người lái xe. Tôi muốn quý vị và gia đi`nh

quý vị luôn được an toàn trong lúc lái xe trên

những đường lộ của California, và đoÅL là lý do tại

sao tôi đa ký thông qua hai điều luật rất quan trọng

sẽ có hiệu lực vào ngày 1 tháng Bảy, 2008.

Friday, 1:04 PM
MendoCoastCurrent, March 20, 2009 Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), led by Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, filed this FERC Smart Grid Policy Statement introducing a proposed Smart Grid, interoperability standards with an interim period rate plan.  FERC has invited comments by May 1, 2009.  FERC offered this summary: This proposed policy statement and action plan provides guidance to [...]  Read more...
Friday, 1:04 AM
MendoCoastCurrent, March 20, 2009 President Barack Obama has designated Jon Wellinghoff as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a position he has held on an acting basis since January. Wellinghoff is one of two Democrats on the five-member FERC commission.  Separately, the White House said Obama will nominate Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, the panel's other Democrat, [...]  Read more...
Wednesday, 1:16 PM
EMMA JACKSON, UniversityWorldNews, March 15, 2009 A research team at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland has renewed a relationship with Aquamarine Power, a leading marine technology energy company. Together they may create the next generation of wave power converters that could some day be an alternative source of power for European maritime states.  This five-year deal [...]  Read more...
Tuesday, 9:30 AM
Cherry Creek News Staff, March 17, 2009 WASHINGTON, DC - In a joint statement issued today Secretary of the Interior (DOI), Ken Salazar and Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Jon Wellinghoff announced that the two agencies have confirmed their intent to work together to facilitate the permitting of renewable energy in offshore [...]  Read more...
Tuesday, 8:49 AM
Ocean Energy Council, March 17, 2009 Researchers in Dania Beach, Fla., landed almost $1.2 million in a federal grant to continue working on an underwater turbine prototype that will use ocean currents to generate power. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET) joined Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla., today to announced the funding [...]  Read more...
Tuesday, 8:05 AM
MendoCoastCurrent, March 17, 2009 Here's a map indicating the measurement of wave energy flux around the world:   From March 2009 Greentech Innovations Report.   Read more...
Tuesday, 7:50 AM
EVAN LEHMANN, The New York Times, March 17, 2009 The oceans might not be big enough for sharp-elbowed renewable energy developers. Aspiring power producers are claiming sweeping stretches of sea along the East Coast, sometimes overlapping each other and igniting modern-day allegations of "claim jumping." Open water miles from shore is the newest frontier for prospectors, as [...]  Read more...

It's Spring

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Time to get out the guidelines:

Back to Home Page

Due to several recent changes regarding Medical Marijuana laws, this site will be updated in as soon as possible with the most current information.


Please watch this page for updates on the Zip-Tag program.

Questions & Answers - August 6, 2007

Why was this program created?

We wanted a better way to quickly determine whether marijuana plants belong to a legitimate medical marijuana patient or that patient's designated caregiver. At the same time, we want to protect the confidentiality of medical marijuana patients.

How did we arrive at this program?

The State of California created a statewide medical marijuana identification card for patients and their designated caregivers. State law provides that, in general, patients and their designated caregivers who are in possession of a valid medical marijuana identification card shall not be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medical marijuana so long as it does not exceed certain possession limits. Cities and counties can adopt higher limits than those set by the state. In Mendocino County, the current enforcement standard states that a patient can have no more than 25 marijuana plants. The zip-tag program provides a mechanism for quickly identifying the 25 plants that a pre-identified medical marijuana patient may possess.

Each qualified patient or caregiver acting for the patient will be allowed as follows:

  • No more than 25 growing marijuana plants per qualified patient, regardless of age, size or condition of the plants.
  • No more than 25 growing marijuana plants, either indoors or outdoors, per legal parcel, regardless of the number of qualified patients or caregivers who live on that parcel. A "legal parcel" is defined as a unit of land for which one legal title exists.
  • No more than two pounds of processed marijuana per patient.

Only 3 or over

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That's where to get the wind energy.  Places that have a three or more (like Cape Mendocino, which is a '4').

True/Not True?

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Borderline.  From Oregon State University's Wave Effect Briefings Paper:

4.4.2. Hard Surfaces: Buoys and Anchoring Systems - Collision,

Entanglement and/or Entrapment

Issue: The deployment of structures in a previously clear area brings the risk of collision and/or

entanglement of animals; primarily the larger fish, the seabirds and the marine mammals.

Findings. Kaneohe Bay: The risk of cetacean entanglement was considered minimal for this

project because the four buoys were attached to the seafloor instead of being anchored by buoys

with lines, and the cable was intended to run along the seafloor. Entrapment risk was minimized

by buoy design, and collision risk was not assessed (Sea Sound Technology 2002). Makah Bay:

The Environmental Assessment concluded that risk of cetacean entanglement was minimal

because the exposure of a single buoy was low, and the anchor lines would have sufficient

tension to avoid the entanglement characteristically seen with smaller and lighter tensions (FERC

2006). Programmatic Draft EIS: The MMS PDEIS for alternative energy (MMS 2007) states

that wave energy facilities may have as many as 2,500 mooring lines securing the wave energy

devices to the ocean floor. Thus, marine mammals swimming through a wave energy facility

may strike and become entangled in these lines, becoming injured or drowning. Depending on

the species affected, entanglement may result in minor to major impacts to marine mammals.

Worldwide Assessment: This assessment found it likely that migrating gray whales would

interact with wave energy devices on the US West Coast and that entanglement in mooring

cables could cause an impact. It also found that seabird exposure would likely increase due to

attraction to fish responding to the Fish Attraction (or Aggregation) Devices (FAD) (see below)

effect (Michel et al. 2007). Reedsport Project: This document addresses the possible collision

or entanglement of cetaceans by recommending mitigation via acoustic "guidance" devices.

Seabirds are not expected to have significant collision risk because all structures will be large

enough to be visible. The document also states that design characteristics of the buoys

themselves will prevent hauling-out by pinnipeds (FERC 2007). Scottish Executive: This report

dealt with vertebrate collision risk in some detail, citing many conclusions of a supporting study

by the Scottish Association for Marine Science that made clear the complexity of vertebrate

behavioral responses (Wilson, et al. 2007). The strategic environmental assessment concluded

that risk of collision for marine mammals and seabirds was very uncertain and that the

conclusion was made with very low confidence (Faber Maunsell and METOC PLC 2007).

Mitigation. Mitigation for collision and entanglement can include visual cues, such as highly

visible paints and acoustic "guidance" to cause animals to perceive the structures or avoid them.

Entanglement may also be avoided by using thick, high-tension mooring lines. Entrapment

mitigation may be achieved both by visual or acoustic avoidance, but more likely by appropriate

device design considerations.

So, given that this collision 'problem' isn't nearly as bad as was made out by Tomás, I tend to think that it's closer to a NIMBY issue.

The reason, then, that it's not a primary point to be made is mostly because it's demonstrably incorrect that 1) it's assuredly already a problem and 2) that the number of proposed units is near the number which is expected to cause a problem.

That said, here's some more from the 'Comments' section for 2008: 

40 units in an area of ocean??? Within view of the coastal bluffs?

I think that, right there, tells us at least the *major* issue going on.

We need to get these people their own political party, except they'd likely never even have one of *those* in their back yard, either.

March 23, 2009

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Johnson & Johnson shut down its headquarters in Israel.

The company's 20 employees, including its CEO were fired, according to Ynet. The announcement of the shutdown, which was scheduled to take place immediately, was made last week.

Johnson & Johnson has been operating in Israel for 13 years. The company reportedly is in the process of closing branches around the world with sales below $50 million. Its products will continue to be sold in Israel.


Fri, 13 Mar 2009 14:44:41 GMT 
International lawyer Franklin Lamb
A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel's survival beyond the next 20 years. 

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region." 

The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million Israeli - who would move to the US in the next fifteen years. 

"There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more than 300,000 living in the area of just California," International lawyer Franklin Lamb said in an interview with Press TV on Friday, adding that those who do not have American or western passport, have already applied for them. 

"So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is on the wall...[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later," Lamb stressed. 

He said CIA, in its report, alludes to the unexpectedly quick fall of the apartheid government in South Africa and recalls the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, suggesting the end to the dream of an 'Israeli land' would happen 'way sooner' than later. 

The study further predicts the return of over one and a half million Israelis to Russia and other parts of Europe, and denotes a decline in Israeli births whereas a rise in the Palestinian population. 

Lamb said given the Israeli conduct toward the Palestinians and the Gaza strip in particular, the American public -- which has been voicing its protest against Tel Aviv's measures in the last 25 years -- may 'not take it anymore'. 

Some members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been informed of the report. 

According to a CIA Study currently being shown to selected staff members on the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Israel's survival in its present form beyond the next 20 years is doubtful.

The Report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

The Executive Summary states that "during the next fifteen years more than two million Israelis, including some 500,000 Israeli citizens who currently hold US green cards or passports, will move to the United States. Most Israelis not in possession of these documents will receive 'expedited waivers.' The Report claims that, "Alongside a decline in Jewish births and a rise in Palestinian fertility, approximately 1.6 million Israelis are likely to return to their forefather's lands in Russia and Eastern and Western Europe with scores of thousands electing to stay, depending on the nature of the transition."

Veggie Fest

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I went to see what was up.  I ran across a curious group of folks who are nearly completely delusional.

To wit, "Remember that cows and pigs feel love and companionship, and fear pain and death, just like dogs, cats, and people."

Um, no.

After some consideration, I'd have to say that the anthropomorphism of these concepts doesn't even necessarily extend to all the other people.

The idea that a cat or dog could feel anything remotely akin to what I feel is simply ludicrous.

However, I don't doubt that there's a potential human whose emotional existence could match a pet.  But that's it's own neurosis, and of course, they should seek treatment if they ever realize their plight.

On the food front, the sweets were ok (can't hardly mess those up, as long as it's not pie or something).  The savories were sweet and pasty, just like vegan savories often are (they don't understand the term, since savory means it tastes 'meaty').  For example, the pot-sticker with rice inside tasted like soy-flavored rice pudding in a flour tortilla.

The kabobs were pretty disgusting.  Vegans often go to the trouble of cutting up a bunch of raw vegetables, and then, leaving them almost entirely raw.  That's how these were (with green and red pepper parts soaked in soy and warmed over a grill).  They were what separated the apparently deep-fat fried textured tofu chunks on the skewer.  The net effect was like some kind of weird donut holes with raw pepper parts on a stick that had been left out in the sun.

The energy balls were quite tasty.  I don't think they knew it was madjoon they made (no kif in it, at least), but it's nearly identical to the stuff I had from one of the DJs at the radio station.

On the way out, I stopped in enough to catch the tail end of a lecture in which the attendees were admonished to be understanding of us who just "weren't as educated."

I disagree.  I think I'm quite adequately informed on the topic.

I don't think they understand the difference between 'information' and 'belief'.

You want to think about 'chickens in love' you go ahead and do it, but if you try to convince me it's some kind of 'fact' I'm going to have a laughing fit that probably won't stop for a while.

The good side of it is that I ran across an activist named Tomás who is well informed on the wave power issue, and it seems that there *is* a matter of deception going on here in the placement of these items in the ocean.  It's not what it seems on the surface, at least.

If somehow they manage to build things that whales get stuck in, they *have* to be doing something wrong.  Whales are REALLY big.  It's got to be a big hole if a whale can get stuck in it.  And destroying their eardrums to keep them away is no real help, since it only prevents damage to the devices, and not the whales.

by James Hider

JERUSALEM - The Israeli army has been forced to open an investigation into the conduct of its troops in Gaza after damning testimony from its own front line soldiers revealed the killing of civilians and rules of engagement so lax that one combatant said that they amounted on occasion to "cold-blooded murder".

The revelations, compiled by the head of an Israel military academy who declared that he was "shocked" at the findings, come as international rights groups are calling for independent inquiries into the conduct of both sides in the three-week Israeli offensive against Palestinian Islamists.

The soldiers' testimonies include accounts of an unarmed old woman being shot at a distance of 100 yards, a woman and her two children being killed after Israeli soldiers ordered them from their house into the line of fire of a sniper and soldiers clearing houses by shooting anyone they encountered on sight.

"That's the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn't have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him," one soldier told Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy, who asked him why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot.

"I gathered the graduate students of the course who fought in Gaza, to hear their impressions from the fighting. I wasn't prepared for any of the stuff I heard there. I was shocked," Mr Zamir said. "I think that the writing was on the wall, but we just didn't want to see it, we didn't want to face it."

One non-commissioned officer told Mr Zamir, himself a deputy battalion commander in the reserves, that the army "fired a lot of rounds and killed a lot of people in order for us not to be injured or shot at.

"When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up storey by storey... I call that murder. Each storey, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself - how is this reasonable?"

The same unnamed NCO said that his commanding officer ordered soldiers on to a rooftop to shoot an old woman crossing a main street during the fighting, which a Palestinian rights groups said left 1,434 people dead, 960 of them civilians.

"I don't know whether she was suspicious, not suspicious, I don't know her story," the NCO said. "I do know that my officer sent people to the roof in order to take her out... It was cold-blooded murder."

Another NCO recounted a military blunder that led to a mother and her two children being shot dead by an Israeli sniper. "We had taken over the house... and the family was released and told to go right. A mother and two children got confused and went left... The sniper on the roof wasn't told that this was okay and that he shouldn't shoot... you can say he just did what he was told... he was told not to let anyone approach the left flank and he shot at them.

"I don't know whether he first shot at their feet or not, but he killed them," the soldier said.

The soldiers' accounts were submitted anonymously at a meeting at the academy around a month ago. The Israel army said that it had started an investigation, but that this was the first time it had heard such testimony, despite having debriefed troops itself.

Breaking The Silence, an organisation of former soldiers who gather witness accounts from troops in the Palestinian territories, said that its own investigation into Operation Cast Lead, as the war was known in Israel, had revealed a similar picture of the fighting.

"It's definitely in line with what we are hearing," said one of the researchers.

Another disturbing element reported by the soldiers was the role of military rabbis in distributing booklets that framed the fighting as a religious war. "All these articles had a clear message: we are the Jewish people, we have come to the land by miraculous means, and now we have to fight to remove the Gentiles who are getting in our way and preventing us from occupying the Holy Land... a great many soldiers had a feeling throughout this operation of a religious war," said one soldier.

There were also accounts of soldiers being ordered to throw all the furniture out of Palestinians' homes as they were taken over.

"We simply threw everything out the windows to make room and order. The entire contents of the house flew out the windows: refrigerator, plates, furniture. The order was to remove the entire contents of the house." 

Federalist #29

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Yah, I know that some of the extremists take this work to indicate that you should be allowed your own personal nuclear weapons.

I take it to mean that the government is prohibited from owning them, since I can't have one myself.

The [point] of Fed #29, of course, is when the government becomes annoying, we *KILL* them.

But, that was another time.

Still, they shouldn't have that kind of shit.

World Nude Bike Ride

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Oy! I Could Have Had a V-8!

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Kid you not (look at the little logo under his leg).

Prepared by Dan Eden for

When "Robbie" the robot was told to shoot a weapon at a man in the movie Forbidden Planet, his electronic brain sparked and short-circuited. His creator had programmed him to never harm a human and so the conflicting ideas paralyzed him.

Human beings often are presented with opposing thoughts also, but our brains have developed a way of resolving these conflicts through a process call cognitive dissonance.

We are taught, like "Robbie," that killing is prohibited -- but what about war? And many anti-abortionists support the death penalty... conflicting behavior is all around us. So how exactly does that work?

Simply put, congitive dissonance theory states that when you have two opposing ideas (or ideologies) at the same time, you will act upon the one that causes the less distortion to your ego.

read it all

Cognitive dissonance is all around us. We live in a world full of contradictions. Children are killed in Gaza in the name of peace. Feminists wear makeup, short skirts and high heels. Conservationists like Al Gore fly around in private, fuel guzzling jets. Anti-gay Christians tap their feet in public bathroom stalls... these opposing ideologies are all resolved somehow, somewhere, deep in our human psyche with cognitive disonnance.

In order to intervene effectively, peacebuilders must understand the situation they are getting into. Intractable conflicts tend to be very complex: they involve many actors, many issues, a lot of history, and strong emotions. The following essays provide background information on the nature of intractable conflict, which peacebuilders may find useful when trying to understand the particular conflict they are working in.

  • What Are Intractable Conflicts? This is an introductory essay that discusses why some conflicts are more difficult to resolve than others. It explores the characteristics, causes, and consequences of intractability, and explains what the Beyond Intractability website is all about.
  • Stable Peace - Stable peace is the ultimate goal of peacebuilding. This essay explains the concept and shows how it differs from unstable peace, dispute settlement, and other "temporary" resolutions.
  • Conflicts and Disputes - Often thought to be the same, this essay explains the difference. Disputes are generally easier to resolve than conflicts. The latter, more deep-rooted problems are generally the domain of peacebuilders.
  • Conflict Stages - Most conflicts go through stages from emergence to escalation, stalemate, de-escalation, settlement, and resolution (often with a few loops thrown in). Some people believe that peacebuilding only happens after some sort of ceasefire or settlement is achieved, stopping the violence (see "Peacebuilding Stage.") Others see peacebuilding as happening throughout these stages of conflict.
  • Underlying Causes of Intractable Conflict and Factors Shaping the Course of Intractable Conflictsare two essays that look at the underlying causes of intractability. Peacebuilders should understand these causes, as they are the things that need to be "fixed," if destructive conflicts are to be transformed into more constructive struggles and eventually resolved.
  • Identity Issues - Threats to personal or group identity (racial, ethnic, national, and cultural) are extremely common causes of intractable conflicts today. Even if a conflict does not seem to involve identity issues, it often does. Peacebuilders should understand the nature of identity, why it is so important, and what can be done when identity is at the core of the conflict.
  • Fundamental Value Conflicts - Another common cause of intractability is fundamental value conflicts. Unlike interests, which can be traded, values change little, if at all. When a person's fundamental values are threatened, the conflict is likely to be particularly intractable.
  • Complexity and Complex Adaptive Systems - Intractable conflicts are typically very complex, involving many parties and issues, a long history, and strong emotions. An understanding of the implications of complexity, how "complexity" differs from simply "complicated" situations, and how complex systems can actually be "adaptive" is very useful for designing an effective intervention.

Originally published in Jewcy on December 8, 2008. Colors by Craig Leinoff, center painting by Marc Chagall. If you're not familiar with the subject of the comic -- the ongoing human and animal rights abuses at the largest kosher slaughterhouse in America -- you can read up on the most recent events in award-winning coverage here, or in articles in The New York TimesThe Forward, or The Iowa Independent. Click the Jewcy link for a larger, easier to read version.

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Since Sunday March 15th we have been hit with one of those Talk Show Tsunamis that always leave us trying to sniff out the Washington hype from the real goods. What are they saying?

- Mexico is losing control of its cities to drug gangs and could collapse. 
- Mexico is close to becoming a failed state.
- 2000 weapons each day are shipped into Mexico from the wide-open gun dealers in the US. 
- Drug syndicate criminals are infiltrating the US. 
- This situation is our top priority: Homeland Security Czar Napolitano.
- Its a serious problem: Secretary of Defense Gates.
- US Embassy in Mexico City tries to dampen it down: "The US had no intention of sending troops into Mexico".
- DEA's top intelligence official Antony Placido believes: "Calderon is making important strides against the cartels. The violence we see is actually a signpost of success." 
- Obama says he's considering putting troops on the border.
- Chief of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen says he is willing to supply unmanned drones and helicopters to chase down the Mexican drug mafia.
- Bay Buchanon (Pat's lethal sister) says Calderon and his government are down for the count. Without a US rescue operation Mexico will soon become a narco-state.
- Sen Joe Lieberman says he's: "looking into potential implications of increased terrorist activity". (Does he mean the increased activity is potential or that the implications he foresees are still potential? In other words that they don't even exist at this point in time.)

by Andrew O. Selsky

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Many detainees locked up at Guantanamo were innocent men swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants, a former Bush administration official said Thursday. "There are still innocent people there," Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a Republican who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The Associated Press. "Some have been there six or seven years."

Wilkerson, who first made the assertions in an Internet posting on Tuesday, told the AP he learned from briefings and by communicating with military commanders that the U.S. soon realized many Guantanamo detainees were innocent but nevertheless held them in hopes they could provide information for a "mosaic" of intelligence.

"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance," Wilkerson wrote in the blog. He said intelligence analysts hoped to gather "sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified."

Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, said vetting on the battlefield during the early stages of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan was incompetent with no meaningful attempt to discriminate "who we were transporting to Cuba for detention and interrogation."

Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to comment on Wilkerson's specific allegations but noted that the military has consistently said that dealing with foreign fighters from a wide variety of countries in a wartime setting was a complex process. The military has insisted that those held at Guantanamo were enemy combatants and posed a threat to the United States.

In his posting for The Washington Note blog, Wilkerson wrote that "U.S. leadership became aware of this lack of proper vetting very early on and, thus, of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released."

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney fought efforts to address the situation, Wilkerson said, because "to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership."

Wilkerson told the AP in a telephone interview that many detainees "clearly had no connection to al-Qaida and the Taliban and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pakistanis turned many over for $5,000 a head."

Some 800 men have been held at Guantanamo since the prison opened in January 2002, and 240 remain. Wilkerson said two dozen are terrorists, including confessed Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was transferred to Guantanamo from CIA custody in September 2006.

"We need to put those people in a high-security prison like the one in Colorado, forget them and throw away the key," Wilkerson said. "We can't try them because we tortured them and didn't keep an evidence trail."
But the rest of the detainees need to be released, he said.

Wilkerson, who flew combat missions as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and left the government in January 2005, said he did not speak out while in government because some of the information was classified. He said he feels compelled to do so now because Cheney has claimed in recent press interviews that President Barack Obama is making the U.S. less safe by reversing Bush administration policies toward terror suspects, including ordering Guantanamo closed.

The administration is now evaluating what to do with the prisoners who remain at the U.S. military base in Cuba.

"I'm very concerned about the kinds of things Cheney is saying to make it seem Obama is a danger to this republic," Wilkerson said. "To have a former vice president fearmongering like this is really, really dangerous."

But it auto-matched, nonetheless:


This is the homepage of the Israeli Perl Mongers, a group of people dedicated to the advancement of Perl in Israel. There are other Perl Mongers groups around the world, as well as another group -, here in Israel. 
Read on below for current news, upcoming meetings and new site content.

Next (OSDClub Tel Aviv) Meeting


On Sunday, 27 July 2008 (at 18:30), there will be a meeting of OSDClub Tel Aviv.

Ido Kanner will talk about the Ruby programming language - cool stuff and what one should be aware of.

More information can be found on the meeting page on the wiki.

Next Meeting

Non-Final Agenda

On 16 March, 2008, the Israeli Perl Mongers will hold their regular monthly meeting. The program:

  • 18:30-19:15 -- Ran Eilam will talk about "Config::* - The Alenby St. of CPAN"
  • Fallback Presentation if there are no others: Shlomi Fish will talk about "There are Too Many Ways to Do it"
  • The meeting will take place in Schreiber 008, Tel Aviv University. One can find instructions on how to get there on the Tel Aviv Linux Club site.
Pity I'm one of the few who read it (some years back).

At least it's a free download now:

Jewish Voice for Peace

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 believe we've got just a short time on this planet and we've got to make the most of it. For me that means peace. Peace - and justice.

Humor me for a minute.

Right now, while you're reading this, take a look inside your wallet. A couple credit cards. Some crumpled receipts. Photos of your sweeties. Well, at least that's my wallet.

2009 MemberJVP Logo

Richard Haley
is a voice for peace.

But here's the thing. What does all that stuff say about you? And what would you be saying if your Jewish Voice for Peace membership card was in your wallet too?

Every time you paid a bill, or thought of your sweetie, you'd also remember that you've got a job to do on this earth, and it's peace. Peace, with justice.

Here's what being a member of Jewish Voice for Peace means:

--continued pressure on the Israeli government to observe international law with regard to conscientious objectors- in particular, the Shministim, 12th-graders who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories and who pay for their courage with solitary confinement in military jails.   

--joining with hundreds of thousands of people world wide to condemn the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the killing of more than 1,300 civilians, most of them women and children.   

--thanking courageous public personalities like American TV's Jon Stewart for telling the truth about the terrible conditions of those living in Gaza, and how Israel's treatment of Palestinians does not protect, but endangers, Israeli civilians who equally deserve to live in peace.

The prospects for peace in Israel and Palestine are greater now than they have been for many years.  President Obama is calling for dialogue, thousands of Israeli citizens are calling for an end to the Occupation, and we at Jewish Voice for Peace are working extra hard to be a part of this unstoppable movement.

The truth is it's going to take a lot of people to do that job, and we'd be lucky to count you as one of them.
If we paid off their debts, they'd be able to buy stuff from us again:

  • Debts owed to the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and World Bank is currently around $153 billion
  • For the poorest countries debts to multilateral institutions is around $70 billion.

$550 billion has been paid in both principal and interest over the last three decades, on $540bn of loans, and yet there is still a $523 billion dollar debt burden.

Of course, given that all we really 'make' anymore is hamburgers, and the only stuff we could send them would likely be deadly, chances are that they'll buy from someone else.

Do Guns Cause Violence?

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Jar-Jar Says 'Sure'

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Fire play

Chahārshanbe-Sūri (Persianچهارشنبه‌سوریUniPersCâršanbe-Suri), pronounced Chārshanbe-Sūri (Persianچارشنبه‌سوری) is an ancient Persian festival dating at least back to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[1] The festival of fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Chahrshanbeh Soori, is celebrated the last Tuesday night of the year. This is a new tradition, as with the advent of the Islamic Republic. Traditionally the actual Wednesday evening was celebrated. The word Chahar Shanbeh means Wednesday and Suri is red. Bonfires are lit at sunset and the idea is to not let the sun set. Bonfires are lit to keep the sun alive till early hours of the morning.[2] The celebration usually starts in the evening. On this occasion people make bonfires on the streets and jump over them. The young shoot fireworks before and during Chaharshanbe Soori (literally: Red-Colored Wednesday). In older Persian dialects such as Pashto (Pashtoons also celebrate this annual event and call it "Sheshbieh"), "soor" means the color "red".

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make fires, and jump over them while singing the traditional song Sorkhi-ye to az man; Zardi-ye man az to. The literal translation is, Your fiery red color is mine, and my sickly yellow paleness is yours. This is a purification rite and 'soori' itself means redness which hints at the color of fire.[3] Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your paleness, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth,and energy. There is no religious significance attached to Chahar Shanbeh Soori and it serves as a cultural festival for all Persian Jews, Muslims, Armenians, Kurds, Turks and Zoroastrians alike. Indeed this celebration, in particular the significant role of fire, is likely to hail from Zoroastrianism. In addition another tradition of this day is to make a special Ajeel 'Mixed nuts and berries'. People wear disguise and chadors and go door to door knocking on doors. Receiving of the Ajeel is customary, as is receiving of a bucket of water. Persian celebrated the last 10 days of the year in their annual obligation feast of all souls, Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan or popularly Forodigan). They believedFaravahar, the guardian angels for humans and also the spirits of dead would come back for reunion. These spirits were entertained as honored guests in their old homes, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn of the New Year. The ten-day festival also coincided with festivals celebrating the creation of fire and humans. In Sassanid period the festival was divided into two distinct pentads, known as the lesser and the greater Pentad, or Panji as it is called today. Gradually the belief developed that the 'Lesser Panji' belonged to the souls of children and those who died without sin, whereas 'Greater Panji' was truly for all souls.

Gee, Yathink?

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Secret emigration effort for Yemenite Jews imperiled

NEW YORK (JTA) -- A secret operation to take imperiled Jews out of Yemen could be in jeopardy after news of the effort was made public.

In the weeks since a Yemenite Jew was murdered by a Muslim in the northern Yemen city of Raida, Jewish organizations have stepped up their efforts to get the 280 or so Jews remaining in the country out of Yemen, where anti-Jewish hostility appears to be on the rise following the launch of the war in Gaza three months ago. So far, Yemen's president has taken several steps to protect the Jews in his country.

About three weeks ago, the Jewish Agency for Israel announced that it had brought 10 Jews to Israel. Meanwhile, the United Jewish Communities has been working behind the scenes to arrange for the immigration of some 113 members of the Yemenite community to the United States. The operation was a joint effort including the Satmar community of Rockland County, N.Y. -- which has ties to Yemenite Jewry and is determined that they preserve their traditional religious practices -- as well as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, FEGS, UJA-Federation of New York and the U.S. State Department.

But after Israel's daily Ma'ariv published an account this week of the UJC's effort, Jewish organizational officials involved in the operation said they were worried the Yemeni government would clamp down on Jewish emigration, possibly to placate Arab critics.

"We're concerned this will endanger this operation and will strand the Jews there," one Jewish organizational official said of the publicity.

For its part, the Jewish Agency -- which was the first group to go public with its effort to spirit Yemenite Jews out of the country -- issued a harsh condemnation of the operation to bring the Yemenites to the United States.

"We vociferously oppose the immigration of Jews, wherever they are, to the United States, including the group of Jews from Yemen that is not going to the State of Israel," the Jewish Agency said in a statement. "The place of all Jews from the entire Diaspora -- and included in this are the Jews of Yemen -- is in their homeland, Israel."

U.S. Jewish organizational officials said they simply were following the wishes of Jews in Yemen who had expressed a preference to immigrate to America.

"Our efforts were aimed primarily at trying to get them to Israel. Some did not want to go to Israel; they wanted to go to the States," Joe Berkofsky, a UJC spokesman, told JTA. "Our primary mission is to help Jews in need and save Jewish lives. And if some want to come to the United States and that's going to save their life, that's what we need to do."

sssh, it's a *secret*.


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I'm really *not* that terribly deviant.  I'm a leftie, sure, and I read alternate scripts, but really, those aren't *gay* (you can't stone me for them, in other words).

And because I'm a leftie, I do have that 'right-brain' feminine understanding (since that's my dominant lobe).  So I understand gay people (somewhat, though it's not an option to me personally).

Over time, I think these are the levels of deviation:

Normal Heterosexuals
Heterosexual Alternate Script Linguists
Homosexual Alternate Script Linguists
Left Handed Homosexuals
Left-handed Heterosexuals
Left-Handed Heterosexual Alternate Script Linguists
Left-Handed Homosexual Alternate Script Linguists

On the off-chance that Scott ever reads this, yes, Math is an alternate script, and I still think you are the smartest person I've ever met.

And I'd like to stone you again, but not with a rock, just a nugget.

Barney Frank

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A terribly intelligent man, pointed out something salient.

WE are the majority stakeholders in AIG.

We can easily deny them the contract's benefits for lack of proof.

I've noted some patterns in intelligence.

Barney's at the top end of the patterns.

He's (in his own words) a "Left-handed gay Jew."

France to rejoin NATO

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France to rejoin NATO

PARIS (JTA) -- The French National Assembly voted to rejoin the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after more than four decades of protest.

By a vote of 329 to 228, with 10 abstentions, National Assembly representatives approved President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan announced last week to reverse the controversial 1966 decision by then-President Charles de Gaulle to quit NATO's military command.

Tuesday's vote was no surprise, since Sarkozy's conservative UMP party holds the majority of National Assembly seats. The opposing Socialist Party and a handful of conservative nationalists tried to block the measure.

De Gaulle pulled out of NATO in objection to what he described as U.S. dominance over the group. The move helped establish decades of foreign policy wary of being upstaged by the United States.

Conditions now, however, are ripe for a historic NATO rapprochement because of President Obama's popularity in France and Sarkozy's non-conformist pro-U.S. views.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon defended the shift and claimed the new alliance was a simple "adjustment" to years of collaboration with NATO members, despite refusing to join their club.

Fillon insisted that the French would maintain their autonomy from the United States and would judge on their own whether to enter combat alongside their allies in the future.

France would be an "ally but not a vassal," he said. "Loyal but not submissive."

Sarkozy is expected to officially announce France's return to the organization during the NATO summit on April 3-4 in Strasbourg, France, and in Kehl, Germany.


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"Aren't I Greedy?"

and you?

Where's Waldo?

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Why, in La Paz, Bolivia (probably hanging with Butch y Sundance).

But, which one of the three?


War On Gaza On Stage

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Having it HIS Way

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WASHINGTON - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received 17 applications to build 26 new U.S. nuclear reactors and could get five more applications for seven reactors by the end of next year, the agency's chairman told Congress on Wednesday.

[Steam rises from a cooling tower in this file photo from September 7, 2007 at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City, Tennessee, 50 miles south of Knoxville. (REUTERS/Chris Baltimore)]Steam rises from a cooling tower in this file photo from September 7, 2007 at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in Spring City, Tennessee, 50 miles south of Knoxville. (REUTERS/Chris Baltimore)
"We are actively reviewing those applications as we speak," NRC Chairman Dale Klein told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at a hearing on the state of the U.S. nuclear industry.

The industry sees building more nuclear power plants as key to meeting America's growing electricity demand and also helping the United States reduce its greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

Unlike nuclear reactors, power plants fueled by coal are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Obama administration wants to implement a plan to cut America's greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time it opposes opening the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in Nevada.

The industry claims utilities would be reluctant to build additional reactors if there is not a central depository to store spent nuclear fuel.

Klein said it will take the NRC about 42 months to review and make a decision on whether to approve a reactor application. The agency received its first applications for new reactors in 2006.

The current 104 operating U.S. nuclear reactors generate about 20 percent of the country's electricity supplies.

New Nuke Plant List

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The links in the table below provide information on the applications that the NRC has received to date. The activities associated with reviewing these applications are reflected in the NRC's consolidated schedule PDF Icon for docketed COL and design certification applications.

Proposed New Reactor(s)DesignApplicant
Bell Bend Nuclear Power PlantU.S. EPRPPL Bell Bend, LLC
Bellefonte Nuclear Station, Units 3 and 4AP1000Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Callaway Plant, Unit 2U.S. EPRAmerenUE
Calvert Cliffs, Unit 3U.S. EPRCalvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project, LLC. and UniStar Nuclear Operating Services, LLC.
Comanche Peak, Units 3 and 4US-APWRLuminant Generation Company, LLC (Luminant)
Fermi, Unit 3ESBWRDetroit Edison Company
Grand Gulf, Unit 3ESBWREntergy Operations, Inc. (EOI)
Levy County, Units 1 and 2AP1000Progress Energy Florida, Inc. (PEF)
Nine Mile Point, Unit 3U.S. EPRNine Mile Point 3 Nuclear Project, LLC and UniStar Nuclear Operating Services, LLC (UniStar)
North Anna, Unit 3ESBWRDominion Virginia Power (Dominion)
River Bend Station, Unit 3ESBWREntergy Operations, Inc. (EOI)
Shearon Harris, Units 2 and 3AP1000Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc. (PEC)
South Texas Project, Units 3 and 4ABWRSouth Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC)
Victoria County Station, Units 1 and 2ESBWRExelon Nuclear Texas Holdings, LLC (Exelon)
Virgil C. Summer, Units 2 and 3AP1000South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G)
Vogtle, Units 3 and 4AP1000Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC)
William States Lee III, Units 1 and 2AP1000Duke Energy



By Rebecca Bowe

At least 200 demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli Consulate on Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco March 16 for a rally and march organized by friends and supporters of Oakland activist Tristan Anderson, who was critically wounded in the West Bank by Israeli Defense Forces on March 13.

Anderson, 38, was shot in the head with a high-velocity teargas canister while demonstrating against a wall that is being constructed through the West Bank village of Ni'lin. He was transported to a hospital in Israel, where he underwent brain surgery the following day. He remains in stable, yet very serious condition, according to demonstrator David Martinez.

He and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Silverman, had traveled to the West Bank several weeks earlier to join with efforts of the International Solidarity Movement. A protester who identified himself only as Ayr, who said he's known Anderson for some 14 years, told theGuardian what Silverman had recounted to him about the shooting, which she witnessed from several feet away.

"They hold demonstrations every Friday, and mainly they go where they're building the wall in the village of Ni'lin," Ayr explained. "The demonstration was winding down. Tristan was actually just standing around taking some pictures that he would post on IndyBay, and then he got shot in the head -- without reason." He added that the ambulance was detained for 15 minutes at a checkpoint. "Gaby was yelling, hey, let this guy through, he's bleeding from the head."

Silverman, who has remained at the hospital in Israel, called in during the rally, and protest organizers amplified the call over a speaker so that she could address the crowd. "Tristan was shot in the head for either one of two reasons: Either because they believed that he was Palestinian, or because the army was shooting indiscriminately into the crowd," she said. "I have a lot of rage and a lot of sadness right now, and part of what I'm focusing on is the end of the use of these weapons at demonstrations in the West Bank in Palestine." She noted that three others taking part in the demonstrations in Ni'lin have been wounded by teargas canisters, including a young boy, possibly 10 years old.

tristan signs.png

A short time after the rally and march had ended, a small group of demonstrators got into a scuffle with San Francisco police officers outside the Israeli Consulate. "There were five arrests made, and two who were cited and released," Sgt. Wilfred Wilkins told theGuardian. The range of charges included resisting arrest, vandalism, assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer, and attempting to free a protester who had just been arrested.

Ayr, who was one of the two who was cited and released, later told the Guardian that "we were in front of the consulate and the police rushed us and started swinging clubs." He said one demonstrator, who was not arrested, was injured and had to go to the hospital. Wilkins said he did not have enough information to confirm this account or offer any explanation.

Anderson's activism took him to political demonstrations all over the world. He is well known throughout the Bay Area for his work on causes including the Berkeley tree sits, Free Radio Berkeley, Food Not Bombs, and Critical Mass.

According to a report on Democracy Now, the US Consul General is still awaiting an investigative report about the shooting from the Israeli government.

From Belfast

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Councillor's 'disappointment' over number of tricolours

Published Date18 March 2009
Amid the bunting and colourful decorations at yesterday's St Patrick's Day parade, there were also plenty of tricolours on display.
A Unionist councillor and former Lord Mayor of Belfast said that while he did not like seeing the flag of the Republic used on the streets, he realised that many people recognised the symbol.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said: "This sort of thing happens year after year.  While I obviously don't like seeing the flag of another country being flown in Belfast, I recognise that the people flying the tricolour feel it is the flag of their country. However, we know that the real flag of Northern Ireland is the Union Flag."

Two News Letter readers contacted the paper to complain about tricolours in the crowd. One man said he hoped that, in the new spirit of cooperation between the communities, he would be able to enjoy the festival. However, on seeing the amount of tricolours in the crowd he immediately left, seeing nothing of the parade.

Belfast City Council have tried to make the St Patrick's Day parade as inclusive as possible, to appeal to all the community. Yesterday's carnival, for example, featured volunteers handing out free green and white shamrock flags in an attempt to make the parade more neutral.

Still, many of the revellers had brought along their own tricolours instead. And for those not waving the flag, there were clearly a lot of alternatives.

Green, white and gold jester hats seemed popular among some younger members of the crowd, while many of the girls accessorised their outfits with glittery tricolour hats and stetsons. There were even tricolour wigs and party horns on display from members of the crowd.

The parade itself featured around 1,000 participants from across the city, including a display from the Chinese community, dressed in traditional clothes - a sign of how the council have tried to make the festivities more inclusive.

And the crowd wasn't completely made up of people in green, white and gold. The vast majority of people were not there to wave flags, but simply to enjoy themselves. People of all ages and races watched the carnival, many just dressed in the traditional green.

Councillor Rodgers, who led the parade last year in his role as first citizen, applauded the council for trying to make the parade more inclusive: "Some people will be critical that there is a St Patrick's day parade in Belfast at all.

"However, I think it is amazing how far things have progressed thanks to the good work of the council. They should be congratulated."

Meanwhile, DUP MLA for East Londonderry George Robinson has slammed the appearance of tricolours in Limavady as "deliberately provocative, divisive and, most importantly, deeply disrespectful".

He said that in a week that saw three murders, a few people had shown the "greatest disrespect possible by erecting tricolours".

Oh, What A Terrible Fate

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I researched to find out why it is that songs about the Irish flag refer to it's colors as 'Green and Gold'.

I thought perhaps it was some allegorical item.

Perhaps a metaphor?

Nah, it's worse.  It's the Irish problem in a nutshell.  Great talent, no foresight.

Best rhymers on the planet, and they picked a set of colors for their flag that used the word 'orange'.

Fate is cruel.

cool new scam

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I just got notification in email that my Northern Trust bank account's 'Certificate of Authority' certifier had changed, and that I needed to click a link to reset it.

If you get this, and you click the link, and need help to reset your Northern Trust's 'trusted authority' my rate for accommodating this behavior is $300/hr.  I suspect it may be a few hours.

Family and/or doesn't get a *free lunch* on this one, I'm afraid, either.  It would be cheaper to just buy an iMac if you click the link.

If you buy the iMac, the 'fix' is free, BTW (go into your cert manager and delete the invalid cert).

Of course, the Mac would require that you type your administrative password, and warn you heartily before 'fixing' this 'problem' in the first place.

Not Quite A Coincidence

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When I was a young man, I asked God for 'the perfect woman' (no, I wouldn't deem to go into details), and I was given almost instantly a woman who met my qualifications (to extents that are esoteric enough that I thought it 'right').

Except for one thing.

I didn't ask for her to love 'me'.

The reason I even mention it (other than the obvious, that you, gentle reader, might learn by my mistakes), is that she looked (except for one discrepancy) exactly like the picture from the "What's Wrong With This Picture?" post below (her eyes are blue, which is an unfortunate side effect of the mix--in real life they were green).  I'd have picked 'green' in a list box.

I'd take black or blonde as colors instead of red, too.  Brown, I'm a bit pickier on (lots of crappy shades there).

Giving The World The Finger

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Geek replaces lost finger with USB drive

A Finnish computer programmer who lost a finger in a motorcycle accident had it replaced with a USB drive.

Jerry Jalava built a special prosthetic finger which contains computer storage for photos, movies and other useful files.

It looks like a normal finger but he can peel it back from the 'nail' and plug it into the USB slot on his computer, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The software developer, from Helsinki, lost his finger last summer after crashing his one week old Ducati Monster 696 motorbike.

He was rushed to Helsinki Hospital where he was examined by a hand surgeon who said they were unable to save it and amputated half of the finger.

When Jerry told doctors what he did for a living they joked he should have a USB 'finger drive' but that was good enough for him, and he set about making one.

He embedded a USB key in a traditional prosthetic finger giving him the world's only two gigabyte finger.

The finger is not permanently attached to his hand meaning it can be removed when plugged into a computer.

"It is not attached permanently in to my body, it is a removable prosthetic which has a USB memorystick inside it," said Jerry.

"When I'm using the USB, I just leave my finger inside the slot and pick it up after I'm ready."

USB Finger Beta (sealed)

USB Finger Beta (sealed) by jerry.jalava.
It is a 2Gig USB drive inside silicon finger 

size comparision by jerry.jalava.

Older adults who have higher proportions of four periodontal disease-causing bacteria in their mouths also tend to have thicker carotid arteries, a strong predictor of stroke and heart attack, according to new research.

An investigative team of researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Columbia University in New York City presented their findings Friday at the 83rd General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, convening at the Baltimore Convention Center.

First Report of Direct Link

This is the first report of a direct association between cardiovascular disease and bacteria involved in periodontal disease -- inflammation of the gums that affects an estimated 200 million Americans to various degrees. The research team's findings are published in the journal Circulation.

The researchers collected an average of seven dental plaque samples from 657 subjects (60% female; 56% Hispanic, 23% African-American, 18% Caucasian, 3% Other; average age 69 years). They will re-examine the same group in less than three years, to evaluate the progression of atherosclerosis (heart disease).

They measured both diseased and healthy sites for the presence of 11 oral bacteria -- four widely regarded to be involved in causing periodontal disease, and the other seven serving as controls.

Risks of heart attack related to bacteria in gum plaque
Bacteria that live in the sub-gingival plaques can increase the risk of heart attack //for people.

The research, which is published in the current issue of Journal of Periodontology, say that people with periodontal disease who have suffered from an acute myocardial infarction or heartattack are also the ones whose total number of periodontalbacteria in sub gingival plaques were higher than the rest of the participants of the study. Researchers had looked into the gum state of 150 participants who had been suffering from periodontal disease.

In another study, which is also published in the same journal, researchers have reported the DNA strains of the periodontal bacteria in the arteries of the patients. Researchers report that this is due to the fact that a periodontal infection can cause inflammation of the gums that cause opening of pores in the blood vessels of the area around the infection. This makes it easy for the bacteria to travel to other parts of the body by the bloodstream and succeed in causing health problems away from the place of infection.

How long have they known?  This page's date says at least 1997:

Bacteria could cause heart attacks, study finds

By Maggie Fox

LONDON (Reuter) - British researchers said Tuesday they have found intriguing evidence that a common bacteria can cause heart attacks.

They said men who had suffered one heart attack and who had antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae were four times more likely to suffer second heart attacks. Treating them for the infection lowered the risk.

The findings, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, add to a growing body of evidence that heart attacks may sometimes be due to infection rather than genetics or lifestyle.

``We know that antibodies seem to be linked to heart disease,'' Dr. Sandeep Gupta at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

In addition, the chlamydia bacteria, which cause a chest infection and which are a close relative of a common sexually transmitted disease, have turned up in the fatty plaques that line clogged arteries.

Gupta's British Heart Foundation team joined the race of >researchers trying to establish a more than circumstantial link between the bug and heart attacks. His team took 213 survivors of heart attacks and divided them into three groups according to how many chlamydia antibodies they had in their blood.

They watched for heart attacks for 18 months. ``The group of heart patients with negative antibodies, they had an approximately seven percent event rate over 18 months,'' Gupta said.

Those with intermediate levels of antibodies had double that risk, while those with high antibody levels -- meaning bigger chlamydia infection -- had a 28 percent ``event rate'' of heart attacks. That was four times the risk of the group that had no antibodies.

``But the guys that had high antibodies and also got antibiotics, their risk went down to eight percent,'' Gupta added.

They were given a single three-day course of azithromycin, although Gupta said he believed several antibiotics such as tetracycline would also have worked.

``This is a small study,'' Gupta noted. He said his team would now start a two-year study with 2,500 volunteers. ``I don't think we are in a position yet to tell people you should be having antibiotics. No way,'' he added. Gupta said he thought chlamydia was causing inflammation, which in turn caused blood clots. The chlamydia was somehow crossing into the arteries, he added. Immune system cells could be the key.

``It's a lung infection but it's found in the coronary,'' he said. ``It may be transported in the monocyte, the warrior, the white cell.''

Activated monocytes produce a chemical on their surface known as tissue factor. Meant to be part of the healing process, it can help trigger blood clotting.

Chlamydia was a logical culprit because it was so insidious, Gupta added. It could lurk in the body a long time, causing few symptoms but a lot of damage.

``If you look at other chlamydia species, it's the commonest cause of infertility in the USA,'' he said. ``It causes inflammation of the Fallopian tubes and then it causes scarring.''

With another chlamydial infection, trachoma, blindness is caused in a similar way by scarring eye tissue.

If antibiotics could help even a small percentage of people with heart disease, many lives would be saved by something as easy as taking a few tablets, Gupta said.

Infection could cause kidney stones - Finnish report on study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tiny little bacteria that build a mineral shell for themselves could be the cause of kidney stones, Finnish researchers said Monday.

They said they found the bacteria, known as nanobacteria because of their small size, in human blood serum and also in kidney stones.

The mineral shells are made out of apatite -- a kind of mineral also found in bones and teeth -- Olavi Kajander and Neva Ciftcioglu of the University of Kuopio found.

``Nanobacteria are the smallest cell-walled bacteria, only recently discovered in human and cow blood and commercial cell culture serum,'' they wrote in their report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Serum is the fluid that forms the base of blood.

Kajander and Ciftcioglu tested human and cow serum. They found nanobacteria in both.

When they let the serum sit in a test tube for a little while, the bacteria settled on the bottom. They quickly developed a thick shell. ``These apatite shelters ... were apparently the dwelling place of the organisms,'' they wrote.

These could be the starting points of kidney stones, which build up layer by layer, something like a pearl forming on a piece of sand inside an oyster. So they looked at kidney stones.

``We performed a pilot survey on 30 human kidney stones to assess whether nanobacteria might be found,'' they wrote.

Tests showed they were in all 30 kidney stones. Blood serum itself, they said, contains chemicals that suppress the formation of mineral layers. But they said they had found earlier that nanobacteria can be transported from the blood to the kidneys.

``Apatite may play a key role in the formation of all kidney stones,'' they concluded.

``In this study, we provide evidence that nanobacteria can act as crystallization centers (nidi) for the formation of biogenic apatite structures,'' they added. They said they were checking to see if nanobacteria were responsible for other calcification diseases in the body. Calcification can be seen in gallstones, for instance. 

Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times

WORRY Idil Abdull, with her autistic son, Abdulahi, said some children were sent back to Somalia in hopes of easing their autism.

Published: March 16, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ayub Abdi is a cute 5-year-old with a smile that might be called shy if not for the empty look in his eyes. He does not speak. When he was 2, he could say "Dad," "Mom," "give me" and "need water," but he has lost all that.


 Back Story With Donald G. McNeil Jr.


Health Guide: Autism

Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times

TO SCHOOL Ahmed Essa, 8, is autistic. A former Minneapolis school official said Somalis made up 25 percent of children in preschool classes for those with severe autism.

He does scream and spit, and he moans a loud "Unnnnh! Unnnnh!" when he is unhappy. At night he pounds the walls for hours, which led to his family's eviction from their last apartment.

As he is strapped into his seat in the bus that takes him to special education class, it is hard not to notice that there is only one other child inside, and he too is a son of Somali immigrants.

"I know 10 guys whose kids have autism," said Ayub's father, Abdirisak Jama, a 39-year-old security guard. "They are all looking for help."

Autism is terrifying the community of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, and some pediatricians and educators have joined parents in raising the alarm. But public health experts say it is hard to tell whether the apparent surge of cases is an actual outbreak, with a cause that can be addressed, or just a statistical fluke.

In an effort to find out, the Minnesota Department of Health is conducting an epidemiological survey in consultation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This kind of conundrum, experts say, arises whenever there is a cluster of noncontagious illnesses.

While there is little research on autism clusters, reports of cancer clusters are so common that health agencies across the country respond to more than 1,000 inquiries about suspected ones each year. A vast majority prove unfounded, and even when one is confirmed, the cause is seldom ascertained, as it was for Kaposi's sarcoma among gay men and mesothelioma among asbestos workers.

It is "extraordinarily difficult" to separate chance clusters from those in which everyone was exposed to the same carcinogen, said Dr. Michael J. Thun, the American Cancer Society's vice president for epidemiology.

Since the cause of autism is unknown, the authorities in Minnesota say it is hard to know even what to investigate.

"There are obviously some real concerns here, but we don't want to make a cursory judgment," said Buddy Ferguson, a health department spokesman. Even counting autism cases is difficult because the diagnoses are first made by the schools, not doctors, and population estimates for Somalis vary widely. Results are expected late this month.

Even if the department confirms that a cluster exists, it will not answer the question why. Still, Dr. Thun said a possible focus in one ethnic group "increases my sense that investigating it is essential." The next step, he added, would be to look at Somalis in other cities.

A small recent study of refugees in schools in Stockholm found that Somalis were in classes for autistic children at three times the normal rate.

Calls to representatives of Somali groups in Seattle and San Diego found that they were aware of the fear in Minneapolis but unsure about their own rates. Doctors familiar with the Somali communities in Boston and Lewiston, Me., had heard of no surges there.

"It's a concern here, but we haven't done anything to look specifically," said Ahmed Salim of Somali Family Services in San Diego.

Shamso Yusuf of the Refugee Women's Alliance in Seattle said tearfully that her own daughter had been given a diagnosis of autism, "and I see a lot of parents who have 5-year-olds who cannot speak." But no Seattle study has been done, she said.

Somalis began arriving in Minneapolis in 1993, driven out by civil war; now their population in Minnesota is estimated at 30,000 to 60,000. The city is welcoming and social benefits are generous, but many live a life apart as conservative Muslims, the women in head scarves and long dresses. Many Somali men have jobs as taxi drivers or security guards; others are accountants or run shops in the mini-malls catering to Somalis.

Antivaccine activists are campaigning among them, which worries public health officials, especially because some families go back and forth to Somalia, where measles is still a significant cause of childhood death, according to Unicef.

One of the first to raise the alarm was Anne Harrington, who worked in special education in the Minneapolis schools for 21 years.

In the last decade, she said, "we've begun seeing a tremendous number of kids born here who have the more severe forms of autism."

Last year, she said, 25 percent of the children in preschool classes offering the most intensive treatment had Somali parents, while only about 6 percent of public school enrollment is Somali.

Dr. Daniel S. McLellan, a pediatrician, said that when he began practicing at Children's Hospital six years ago, he was struck by how many autistic Somali children he saw.

"They had classic symptoms," he said. "Really impaired language, didn't watch faces, didn't make eye contact, didn't communicate with gestures, just lost in their own worlds. Nobody would mistake it for anything else."

NEEDING HELP Ayub Abdi, 5, who has autism, with his brother Ahmed, 7, in Minneapolis. "I know 10 guys whose kids have autism," said Ayub's father, Abdirisak Jama.


 Back Story With Donald G. McNeil Jr.


Health Guide: Autism

AUTISM'S GRIP Shumsudin Warsame, 8, and his father, Abdiasis.

Speculation is rampant about possible causes: living conditions in Somalia or in refugee camps in Kenya; traditional medicines; intermarriage; genetic predisposition; vitamin D deficiencies due to a lack of sunlight; and, of course, vaccines.

But each theory has weaknesses.

Most of the children, said Idil Abdull, one of the first mothers of an autistic child to ask the authorities to investigate, were born here and have had the same medical care and shots as any child on Medicaid. It is not a case of misdiagnosis because of language problems; many have siblings doing well in school.

The Hmong, from Southeast Asia, who also immigrated here through refugee camps, do not have high autism rates, Ms. Harrington said.

Somali refugees have many illnesses, said Dr. Osman M. Ahmed of the East Africa Health Project in St. Paul, including tuberculosis, hepatitis B, depression from the civil war, and vitamin D deficiencies.

But lack of vitamin D is a dubious explanation. Rates of the disorder are similar among black and white Americans, according to the C.D.C., and Somalis, on average, are no darker-skinned than black Americans.

In Somalia, cousins do marry cousins. Globally, according to the March of Dimes, birth defect rates are highest in Arab countries with close intermarriage. But Somalia's birth defect rate is moderate, and autism is not part of such studies.

In any case, many Somali parents are baffled and scared.

"It's beyond denial," said Hassan Samantar, a parent advocate at the Pacer Center for disabled children. "There was no word for this in Somali. We've seen Down syndrome and schizophrenia, but loosely termed -- our word is more like 'crazy.' People are calling it 'otismo' or 'the American disease.' And some are saying it's something you did or your parents did, and the curse is catching up with you."

Many Somali parents here do not read English or watch American television, he said, so they first hear of autism only when a pediatrician suggests testing a child.

Some send their children back to relatives in Somalia.

"They say, 'There's more sunshine, there's less pollution, the food is fresher because the animal was killed that morning,' " Ms. Abdull said. "They say: 'My kid won't talk? Throw him in the middle of 20 other kids, and he'll talk. They'll tease him till he has to.' You know the way kids run around in Africa? People are so isolated in their apartments here. They think maybe they'll snap out of it."

Antivaccine groups have noticed. In November, J. B. Handley, a founder of Generation Rescue, which advocates treating autistic children with wheat- and dairy-free diets, vitamins and chelation to remove mercury, wrote an open letter to "Courageous Somali Parents."

He warned them not to trust the state health department and suggested they slow down their children's shots and get exemptions to school vaccination requirements. He also offered to pay for some to attend an antivaccine conference.

The appeal has had an effect. Many parents, including Ayub's, now say that their children's autism began after seizures that started after they got shots.

"People in the Somali community have gravitated to that theory, and many are resisting immunization," Dr. McLellan said.

But there are also children like 8-year-old Shumsudin Warsame, who does not speak more than one word at a time, runs in circles and hurts himself jabbing pens into his face. He was born in Somalia, grew up in Egypt and arrived here six months ago. He started having seizures before he was a year old, his father, Abdiasis, said, long before he had any vaccinations.

To Mr. Warsame, finding something to blame is beside the point. He is a single parent, and he and Shumsudin were at a health center hoping to find a part-time home care aide.

"I have a friend from Somalia with three kids with autism, all born in Minnesota," Mr. Warsame said. "I need help; we all need help. I don't see a lot of people trying to help us. It's better than it was in Egypt or Somalia, but it's not what I expected."

What's right with this one (leastways, if you're me)?

Hmm, maybe you'd like to go to and see for yourself?

I like the architecture

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4. Woofer Speaker System

Niels Van Veen/Sander Mulder
This dog barks a bass track.

As you leave the bathroom, you notice music is playing. In the living room, you find two white German shepherds -- without their heads. They issue booming thuds synchronized with the bass notes over the speaker system.

These Woofer Speakers -- pun intended -- function as any other woofer speakers would, except their dog statue design is suited for a hunting lodge, rec room or pop art studio. Each order comes in sets of two in either black or white for $1,479.00 (free shipping to U.S. and Canada). Designed by Sander Mulder, the Woofers are made from polyester and contain 180-watt speakers [source: Generate].

If you're worried about indoor pollution, you may want to purchase the next item on our list for your home.

Nodal Notes

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North Node

North Node of the Moon Symbol GlyphThe North Node (North Node of the Moon) and South Node ( South Node of the Moon) of the Moon are points that are directly opposite each other. Together, they form the Nodal Axis. They are not planetary bodies; rather, they are mathematical points that take into account the relationship between the Sun, Moon, and Earth at the time of our birth.  More specifically, the Moon's nodes are the points where the Moon's orbit intersect the plane of the ecliptic.

The North and South Nodes of the Moon

Posted under 

What are they?

The Sun and planets do not circle willy-nilly around the Earth. Instead, their apparent path around us inscribes a circle in the skies. This disk-shaped band of the sky is called the ecliptic.

Astrology is geocentric, meaning that even though we realize the Sun does not orbit the Earth, the Earth is at the center of the astrological chart. Thus, Earth is our frame of reference.

The Moon's orbit around the Earth is not the same as the ecliptic. You could visualize them as two giant hula hoops, one inside the other, held at an angle. The Moon's orbit crosses the Ecliptic in two places-- these are called the Moon's Nodes.

The North Node is where the Moon crosses the ecliptic going toward the northern hemisphere, and the South Node is where she crosses the ecliptic headed south. The North Node and the South Node are always directly opposite one another in the sky.

The Moon's Nodes nearly always move in retrograde, meaning they travel backwards through the Zodiac. They make a complete circle through the 12 signs every 18 years.

When the New Moons and Full Moons happen near the Moon's Nodes, eclipses happen. That is because the Earth, Sun, and Moon are lined up so precisely that a shadow is cast. - The Map of Israel

No Arab state west of the Jordan there, eh?

Pity it's infested with Palestinians, no?

The Bottom Line

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For all you delusionals out there who think there *might* be peace in the middle east, but aren't reading the *REAL* policy statements of these nutjob liars over there in Israel.  Here's selections from their own Likud Party Platform:

The Likud will seek to achieve peace and permanent borders in the framework of peace treaties between Israel and its neighbors and will seek cooperation with them on the practical level. The peace agreements will include full diplomatic relations, borders open to free movement, economic cooperation, and the establishment of joint projects in the fields of science, technology, tourism, and industry.

The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

The Palestinian Authority must wage a systematic war on the terror organizations and their infrastructure. The PA must not only intensify its efforts to prevent attacks, but act with determination to prevent potential terrorist acts by dismantling the terrorist infrastructure that has developed and expanded in PA areas since the Oslo accords.

The confiscation of illegal weapons held by Palestinian civilians and the removal of weapons held by the PA forces in excess of those permitted under the agreement to areas outside PA territory.


The size of the PA police must be reduced to the level permitted under the agreement.


The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.

Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem, including the plan to divide the city presented to the Knesset by the Arab factions and supported by many members of Labor and Meretz.

The Likud government will act with vigor to continue Jewish habitation and strengthen Israeli sovereignty in the eastern parts of the city, while emphasizing improvements in the welfare and security of the Arab residents. Despite protests from the left, the Likud government consistently approved the continuation of Jewish living within the Old City and in 'City of David'.

The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel. The Kingdom of Jordan is a desirable partner in the permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians in matters that will be agreed upon.

The government succeeded in significantly reducing the extent of territory that the Palestinians expected to receive in the interim arrangement. The government will insist that security areas essential to Israel's defense, including the western security area and the Jewish settlements, shall remain under Israeli rule.

Israel is currently being ruled by these folks, who just signed off on a deal with an *even more* radical Zionist faction, the Yisrael Beytenu party.

Yes, believe it or not, this radical stance is the *moderate* party.  

Personally, I think if you wanted to alter the status quo, you should donate to Ale Yarok.

Even if I prefer pilsener to ale, this Ale rocks:

Ale Yarok

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ale Yarok
LeaderGil Kopatch

Ale Yarok (Hebrewעלה ירוק‎, Green Leaf) is a minor liberal political party in Israel best known for its ideology of decriminalizing cannabis. To date it has had no representation in the Knesset.



More on Freeman

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Normally, I consider 'Human Events' to be thinly-veiled (or not) hate speech.

However, Pat Buchanan does sometimes rise to the occasion. 

Patrick J. Buchanan
Of Patriots and Assassins

During Nixon's historic trip to China in 1972, his interpreter and I, free for a few hours, conscripted a driver to take us on a tour of Beijing. Somewhere in my files are photos from that day we toured the grim city of Chairman Mao in the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The interpreter: Charles Freeman -- the same Charles Freeman Adm. Dennis Blair chose to chair the National Intelligence Council that prepares National Intelligence Estimates on critical national security issues such as Iran's nuclear program.

Educated at Yale and Harvard Law, Freeman has served his country in Delhi, Taipei, Bangkok and Beijing. He was Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa and Bill Clinton's assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. George Bush I named him ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Freeman was our man in Riyadh when Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and 500,000 U.S. troops arrived to evict the army of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

In 1997, Freeman succeeded George McGovern as president of the Middle East Policy Council -- and he began to speak out.

He opposed the bombing of Serbia and said aloud what few privately deny: Reflexive support for Israel's repression of the Palestinian people is high among the reasons America is no longer seen as a beacon of liberation in the Arab and Muslim world.

Freeman echoed the Obama of yesterday, who bravely blurted, "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people."

At MEPC, however, Freeman committed a great crime. He published "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, which went onto the New York Times best-seller list -- and put Freeman on AIPAC's enemies list.

Hence, when his name surfaced as Blair's choice to chair the NIC, the Israel Firsters went berserk, with Steven Rosen declaring him to be a "textbook case of the old-line Arabism" that infected the Department of State when Gen. George Marshall was secretary.

And who is Rosen?

A former fixture at AIPAC, Rosen faces imminent federal criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act for transferring top-secret Pentagon documents to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen's accomplice, Larry Franklin, is serving a 12-year sentence.

Picking up the Rosen dog whistle, the neocommentariat came howling. To Gabriel Schoenfeld, late of Commentary, Freeman is a "China coddling Israel basher." Tom Piatak of Chronicles found no fewer than five blogs from National Review Online, in two hours, savaging Freemen, two by Jonah Goldberg and two by Michael Rubin.

Rich Lowry of NR calls Freeman "Chas of Arabia," a diplomat of "odious" views, a "lap dog" and "blinkered ideologue" who enjoys "pandering to and making excuses for the world's dictators and terrorists."

To The New Republic's Jonathan Chait, Freeman is a "fanatic." To Jeffrey Goldberg of Atlantic, formerly of the Israeli Army, Chait's piece was dead on. To TNR ex-publisher Marty Peretz, Freeman is a "bought man." To Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard, Freeman is a "shill for the Saudis," who defends "corrupt Arab states that foment and support terror."

Freeman is denounced as a shill of Saudi Arabia -- by people who have spent careers shilling for the Israeli lobby and Likud.

Within this smear bund (Murray Rothbard's phrase), who has given America a tenth of the patriotic service and loyalty of Chas Freeman?

What were the specific charges? That, in private life, Freeman advised a Chinese company. Would the Israel Firsters have used that argument against Al Haig or Henry Kissinger?

Saudi contributions to MEPC should disqualify Freeman, they say. But what did they say when Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser and the rest with inextricable ties to Israel stove-piped to the press the cherry-picked War Party propaganda lies about a "Prague connection" between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence, yellow cake from Niger, Saddam and al-Qaida, Saddam and the anthrax attacks, "mushroom clouds," "aluminum tubes" and WMD?

Who among them questioned State's decision to hand the Iran portfolio to Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a creation and front of AIPAC?

Realizing the assaults would not end, Freeman last week withdrew, saying, "I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction of a foreign country."

The foreign country is Israel; the political faction Likud.

Nor did Freeman shrink at naming the source of the noxious campaign of slander against him.

"The tactics of the Israel lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods and an utter disregard for the truth."

"A lobby," Steve Rosen confided in an AIPAC internal memo, "is like a night flower; it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun."

Yes, and long ago, Al Smith addressed the age-old problem of the Rosens within: "The best way to kill anything un-American is to drag it out into the open, because anything un-American cannot live in the sunlight."

Well done, Ambassador Freeman.

4 Glock

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A Tale of Two Easters
Why one faith and two celebrations?

Easter icon
Easter is not only a movable holiday but a multiple one: in most years Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on different dates. In 2009, for example, Easter is celebrated on April 12 by Western churches and April 19 by Orthodox churches. But in 2007, the two celebrations occurred on the same date, April 8. 

The theological inconsistency of two Easters has remained a thorny problem for the Christian Church. "It has long been recognized that to celebrate this fundamental aspect of the Christian faith on different dates," states the World Council of Churches, "gives a divided witness and compromises the churches' credibility and effectiveness in bringing the Gospel to the world."

A Simple Formula, Complicated Interpretations

The formula for Easter--"The first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox"--is identical for both Western and Orthodox Easters, but the churches base the dates on different calendars: Western churches use the Gregorian calendar, the standard calendar for much of the world, and Orthodox churches use the older, Julian calendar.

That much is straightforward. But actually calculating these dates involves a bewildering array of ecclesiastical moons and paschal full moons, theastronomical equinox, and the fixed equinox-- and that's in addition to the two different calendar systems.

When is A Full Moon Full?

The two churches vary on the definition of the vernal equinox and the full moon. The Eastern Church sets the date of Easter according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem, site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Relation to Passover

The Eastern Orthodox Church also applies the formula so that Easter always falls after Passover, since the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ took place after he entered Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. In the Western Church, Easter sometimes precedes Passover by weeks.

Why One Faith and Two Easters?

Easter Features

Quick Guide to the Dates of Passover and Easter

Sweet Easter Facts

Movable Feasts

Kosher for Passover

Eastern Orthodox Holidays
The Western church does not use the actual, or astronomically correct date for the vernal equinox, but a fixed date (March 21). And by full moon it does not mean the astronomical full moon but the "ecclesiastical moon," which is based on tables created by the church. These constructs allow the date of Easter to be calculated in advance rather than determined by actual astronomical observances, which are naturally less predictable.

This division between the Eastern and Western Churches has no strong theological basis, but neither is it simply a technical skirmish. As the World Council of Churches has noted, much of Orthodox Christianity is located in the Middle East, where it has frequently been the minority religion, and in Eastern Europe, where until recently it faced hostility from communist governments.

The emphasis on honoring tradition and maintaining an intact religious identity was therefore crucial. Seen in this context, changing the rules governing its most important religious holiday chisels away at the foundations of an already beleaguered religious heritage.

Reconciling East and West

A meeting organized by the Council of World Churches (in Aleppo, Syria, March 5-10, 1997) proposed a solution thought to be favorable to both East and West: both methods of calculating the equinox and the paschal full moon would be replaced with the most advanced astronomically accurate calculations available, using the meridian of Jerusalem as the point of measure. Since that meeting, however, no further progress has been made and the problem remains.

Pinning Down A Movable Holiday

Since the beginning of the 20th century, a proposal to change Easter to afixed holiday rather than a movable one has been widely circulated, and in 1963 the Second Vatican Council agreed, provided a consensus could be reached among Christian churches. The second Sunday in April has been suggested as the most likely date.

Common Legitimate Uses

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Typical Chemicals Found in Lab Sites

Common Legitimate Uses



Toxic Vapors



Skin Absorption

Common Health Hazards


Fingernail polish remover, solvents







Reproductive Disorders


Brake cleaner fluid, fuel







Blindness, eye damage









Blistering, lung damage


Dye, varnishes, lacquers







Carcinogen, Leukemia


Starters fluid, anesthetic









Refrigerant, propellants







Frostbite, Lung damage

Hydriodic Acid

Driveway cleaner







Burns, Thyroid damage

Hydrochloric Acid (Hcl gas)

Iron ore processing, mining







Respiratory, Liver damage

Iodine Crystals

Antiseptic, Catalyst







Birth defects, Kidney failure

Lithium Metal

Lithium batteries







Burns, Pulmonary edema

Muriatic Acid

Swimming pool cleaners







Burns Toxic vapors

Phosophine Gas








Respiratory failure


Cold medicines







Abuse: Health damage

Red Phosphorus

Matches, fireworks







Unstable, flammable

Sodium Hydroxide

Drain cleaners, lye







Burns, skin ulcers

Sulfuric Acid

Battery acid







Burns, thyroid damage


Paint thinners, solvents







Fetal damage, pneumonia

Liquid Lab Waste








Unknown long term effects

Manny Aragon pleads guilty in corruption case 

Manny Aragon apologized to his family and the public after making the plea deal.
Former New Mexico state Senate President Pro Tempore Manny Aragon pleaded guilty Wednesday to three felony counts of conspiracy and mail fraud in the Metro Courthouse construction scandal. 

Aragon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud. Aragon also admitted to taking more than $600,000 in inflated invoices from architect Marc Schiff.

Californians still waiting for refunds

I was certainly hopeful when California finally hammered out a budget last month.

But apparently there's a big chasm between enactment of a budget and its practical implementation.

For Californians awaiting their state tax refunds, that means the checks are still not in the mail.

"Even though the budget is enacted, the state must now determine if there is sufficient cash to pay outstanding debts, including tax refunds," says the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Web site. "Until then, refunds will continue to be delayed."

IOUUh oh. IOU: Even worse, officials say if the state's cash flow problems do not improve, Controller John Chiang may need to issue IOUs.

That's right. Old-fashioned pieces of paper promising to eventually pay.

"If the Controller has to issue IOUs," say the FTB Web page, "you will receive a paper IOU warrant, even if you requested a direct deposit of your refund."

Yeah, that's going to be a real popular piece of mail.

So when might the FTB start cutting tax refund checks? No one knows.

All the FTB will say is that "as soon as the cash problems are solved, the refund delay will be lifted." So keep checking the state Web site for updates.

from the wiki:

 is a group of phosphate minerals, usually referring to hydroxylapatite,fluorapatite, and chlorapatite, named for high concentrations of OHF, or Cl ions, respectively, in the crystal. The formula of the admixture of the three most commonendmembers is written as Ca5(PO4)3(OH, F, Cl), and the formulae of the individualminerals are written as Ca5(PO4)3(OH), Ca5(PO4)3F and Ca5(PO4)3Cl, respectively.

In the United States, apatite is often used to fertilize tobacco. It partially starves the plant of nitrogen, which gives American cigarettes a different taste from those of other countries.

Background (Preamble):
The American Computer Scientists Association has discovered that ALL Tobacco grown in cheap "Calcium Phosphate Based Fertilizers" (CPFs), which were adopted for Tobacco fertilization in use since the late-1940's, contain sufficient radioactive Polonium 210 isotope in them to be the agent responsible for the nearly 100% tumor (benign and malignant) rate found among almost all smokers, leading to the vast majority of Smoking-related Lung Cancer that occurs in later life. The rise of Smoker's Lung Cancer in the 50's, 60's and after mirrors the usage of CPFs by the Tobacco Farmers. 


The Hoidas Lake property lies within the Northern Rae Geological Province, which consists of blocks of ancient granitic rock separated by major faults. The company holds a 100% interest in thirteen claims totalling 25, 470 acres or an equivalent of 10, 188 ha.

All of the Rare Earth Element (REE) prospects are present in the minerals, apatite and allanite, and occur in veins that parallel the Nisikkatch-Hoidas Fault.

Originally discovered in the 1950s as a direct result of

post-WWII uranium exploration

, the Hoidas Lake property covers more than 30 known rare earth showings situated along a fault structure with a ten-kilometre strike length.

This structure is part of the Black Bay Fault system, a major geological feature that runs for 50 kilometres, southwest to Uranium City. These showings have never been investigated for their rare earth potential until recently, and only one showing (the JAK Zone) has seen any serious exploration work.

It sure does look like this is Manhattan Project tailings we are spreading on our crops.

Aztec Macuilxochitl (Xochipilli), god of songs, dance and music.

Xochipilli was the god of art, games, beauty, danceflowersmaize, and song inAztec mythology. His name contains the Nahuatl words xochitl ("flower") and pilli (either "prince" or "child"), and hence means "flower prince". He is also referred to as Macuilxochitl, which means "five flowers".

Image of Xochipilli.

Xochipilli Statue

In the mid-1800s, a 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli was unearthed on the side of the volcano Popocatépetl near Tlalmanalco. The statue is of a single figure seated upon a temple-like base. Both the statue and the base upon which it sits are covered in carvings of sacred and psychoactive plants including mushrooms(Psilocybe aztecorum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), Ololiúqui (Rivea corymbosa--morning glory), sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia), possibly cacahuaxochitl (Quararibea funebris), and one unidentified flower. The figure himself kneels on the base, head tilted up, eyes open, jaw tensed, with his mouth half open and his arms raised to the heavens. The statue is currently housed in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City.

"Caught" Smoking

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Celebs Caught Lighting Up Hayden Panettiere

Smoking Celebs

Hayden Panatierre went shopping in Waikiki and was seen smoking a cigarette March 8, 2009. 
(Splash News)PreviousNext
1 of 17

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Six years ago, today.

Live version of 'Rachel Corrie' available 18/04/06A live version of Billy's new song, The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie, including his explanation of how he came to write it on his recent American tour, is available as a free download from the American blog site Huffington Post.

It was recorded live at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, on 28 March 2006. The song uses a tune borrowed from Bob Dylan's The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.

Download 'Rachel Corrie' live   Visit The Huffington Post   

The Lonesome Death Of Rachel Corrie - Free Download

Billy's song about Rachel Corrie, who was killed in Gaza trying to help Palestinians, is available as a free download from this site.

A play created from her words due to be performed in a New York Theatre was cancelled.

The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie was written on Billy's recent tour of the USA, and recorded at Big Sky Recordings, Ann Arbor, on 22 March. It was first released as a download on The Guardian web site, and the tune is borrowed from Bob Dylan's The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll.

An Israeli bulldozer killed poor Rachel Corrie
As she stood in its path in the town of Rafah
She lost her young life in an act of compassion
Trying to protect the poor people of Gaza
Whose homes are destroyed by tank shells and bulldozers
And whose plight is exploited by suicide bombers
Who kill in the name of the people of Gaza
But Rachel Corrie believed in non-violent resistance
Put herself in harm's way as a shield of the people
And paid with her life in a manner most brutal

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Rachel Corrie had 23 years
She was born in the town of Olympia, Washington
A skinny, messy, list-making chain-smoker
Who volunteered to protect the Palestinian people
Who had become non-persons in the eyes of the media
So that people were suffering and no one was seeing
Or hearing or talking or caring or acting
And the horrible math of the awful equation
That brought Rachel Corrie into this confrontation
Is that the spilt blood of a single American
Is worth more than the blood of a hundred Palestinians

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

The artistic director of a New York theatre
Cancelled a play based on Rachel's writings
But she wasn't a bomber or a killer or fighter
But one who acted in the spirit of the Freedom Riders
Is there no place for a voice in America
That doesn't conform to the Fox News agenda?
Who believes in non-violence instead of brute force
Who is willing to confront the might of an army
Whose passionate beliefs were matched by her bravery
The question she asked rings out round the world
If America is truly the beacon of freedom
Then how can it stand by while they bring down the curtain
And turn Rachel Corrie into a non-person?

Oh, but you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

Hamel Spinner

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The "Magnetic Principle" : It uses same principle as the "Hamel Spinner". The destabilizing magnet on top is the "Hamel Spinner" & the first Cone that wobbles would equate to the smaller disc magnet and ball bearing. The Spinner wants to move in a circular path under the larger destabilizing magnet. That is in part why the cones Wobble. The cones want to seek equilibrium, but can only find it in a dymanic way!


This "Magnetic principle" device will, if built right, run for many thousands of years!

From 'Mythbusters': 

Hamel Generator

The Hamel generator was designed by man "abducted by aliens," who then copied their designs. This was the most comical and complex-looking of the devices they selected. It used 1000 magnets lining 3 cones set inside one another. Unlike the other devices, it wasn't even capable of generating lift.

Tory: "I really wish the aliens were here to show me how to build this thing"

Boat Ramp Is Open

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Just a note, the rain has done wonders for making islands out of hills.

Early Returns?

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Note: The California Franchise Tax Board has instituted a refund delay due to the
state's budget situation, but will begin processing refunds as soon as funds allow. 
For more information, go to

So, I got this BS letter from the hatemongers over at Human Events, and they are trying to tell me all about how Barack Hussein Obama (II) isn't a citizen.

Now, I understand that 'reading' isn't their strong point (god knows how they manage to write as much as they do, or why, given the ability to receive that transmission).

Anyway, guys, I know you are *sure* that this isn't really the real Birth Certificate, and it's not really something that's 'official'.

I know it, because that's the topic of the letter that had the tiny version of this in it.

But, look at the bottom line (not figuratively).  The last 'line' in the document (as opposed to the title frame that encloses it).  Read it.  Don't worry about the numbers/letters stuff (all government forms have to have those).  Just read the statement at the bottom.

In a *fair* solution, there would be a 'house' of people allocated by total tax burden who had power.

In a *fair* solution, there would be a house of warriors who could vote by remaining parts (the fewer, the higher the vote).

I suspect both houses would rather determine their proportionality on their own.

Magen David über alles,

Über alles in der Welt,

Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze

Brüderlich zusammenhält.

Von Jordan bis an das Mittelmeer,

Von Galiläa bis an der Sinai,

Magen David über alles,

Über alles in der Welt!

מגן דוד על כל דבר 
על הכל בעולם, 
אם הוא תמיד להגן ו Trutz 
Fraternally יחד. 
מאת ירדן אל הים התיכון, 
מן הגליל אל סיני, 
מגן דוד על כל דבר 
עוד על כל העולם!

Full Mental Jacket

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The entire (uncensored) interview with Mad Money host Jim Cramer:

The interesting points I found were at one minute into the second clip, where Jon says "Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic?"  Right after clip 208, at two minutes in, is Cramer's lie about whether or not he "did it" (generated a false news flurry to drive a stock's price down and 'sell short').  At three minutes in is Jon saying "I want the Jim Cramer on TV to protect me from that Jim Cramer."  At eight minutes in he explains how to manipulate Apple stock.

I counted three fucks and a "Doucheborough" (Morning Joke Scarborough).

You should note the arrival of these (in sequence): the tear gas canister that hits Tristan, the medics (in 'Red Crescent', not 'Red Magen David' uniforms), and the arrival of *subsequent* tear gas canisters on top of the medics.

Veteran Bay Area activist Tristan Anderson was critically injured Friday during a protest against the building of a separation barrier in the village of Naalin on the West Bank, according to a friend from San Francisco.

Kate Raphael, who said she has known Anderson for six years through their mutual participation in local peace rallies, said he was hit with a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli armed forces and suffered a large hole in his forehead.

Raphael said Anderson, 38, who has lived in Oakland the past several years and previously lived in San Francisco, was one of the tree-sitters who protested the University of California at Berkeley's plans to tear down a grove of trees so it could build a new sports training facility next to its football stadium.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack said in a telephone interview that he was with Anderson when he was hit with the tear-gas canister.

Pollack, who said he has known Anderson "for many years," said Anderson was hit from "a pretty short distance" by a powerful new type of tear-can canister that can shoot up to a distance of 500 meters.

Pollack said Anderson was struck at about 4:30 p.m. local time toward the end of a lengthy protest that had started about noon.

He alleged that Anderson "was shot for absolutely no reason" because he wasn't threatening anyone and the group of protesters had dwindled from about 400 people to about two dozen people.

Anderson's skull was fractured and some of the bone fragments entered his brain, Pollack said.

Anderson underwent surgery to have part of his frontal lobe removed and it "went relatively well," said Pollack, who was at the Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv to monitor the surgery.

However, Anderson is still unconscious and "his life is still somewhat at risk," Pollack said.

The International Solidarity Movement is one of the groups that participated in the West Bank protest today.

Raphael said Anderson isn't closely involved with the group but knows people in the group.

Raphael said she was closely involved with the group but hasn't been as active in recent years.

Although Raphael said she has known Anderson for about six years, she said she doesn't know what he does for a living.

Pollack said Anderson has been in Israel and the West Bank for about a month and participated in other protests before the one today.

Israel began building the barrier in 2002 after an outbreak of Palestinian violence and it has been a source of controversy and protest ever since.

Supporters say the barrier is a necessary tool to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombing attacks.

But opponents argue that it is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land and violates international law.

Anderson came down from his perch in a tree near UC Berkeley's football stadium on June 19 and was given a stay-away order but was found near the tree the following day.

Attorney William Simpich said Anderson, who used the nickname "Cricket" during his tree-sitting days, resolved the civil case that the university filed against him by pleading guilty to contempt of court charges.

In return, the university agreed not to seek legal costs or jail time from Anderson and other tree-sitters who accepted the deal, Simpich said.

Anderson and the other protesters had to pay fines and perform community service.

Simpich said Anderson has fulfilled all his legal obligations and he was planning to document that in writing next week.

Simpich said he was shocked to hear that Anderson was seriously injured Friday.

Anderson also faced misdemeanor criminal charges for his tree-sitting activities but Simpich wasn't involved in that case and the attorneys who handled the case weren't available for comment today.

Tristan Anderson Critically Injured in Demonstrations Against Israeli WallOn March 13th, 2009, Tristan Anderson, from Oakland, California, was critically wounded in the village of Ni'lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a high-powered tear-gas canister. Tristan is a dedicated activist and reporter who has long been committed to social and environmental justice in the U.S. and abroad in places such as Oaxaca, Iraq, and Palestine. Tristan has posted his reports to Indybay since 2001. 

As a result of his injuries, Tristan Anderson, 38 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and had been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a serious injury to his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on. 

"Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500 meters," reports Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) with the International Solidarity Movement. "I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed." 

Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked a demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni'lin's land. Another resident from Ni'lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition. Several other demonstrators against the wall have been killed or rendered brain dead as a result of IDF use of rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition in the villages of Ni'ilin and Bil'in. 

Other ISM activists killed or injured by Israeli forces: Rachel Corrie, killed by a bulldozer in 2003; Brian Avery, shot in the face in 2003; and Tom Hurndall, shot to death in 2004. 

American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni'lin

Updated Press Release follows

For Immediate Release

13th Friday 2009, Ni'lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni'lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated ... Continue reading

I think he needed this like a hole in the head.

Culture Jamming

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The Brand America T-Shirt
The Brand America T-Shirt Close up


The Brand America T-Shirt

Can citizens take back the nation? (100% organic cotton. All proceeds support our non-profit media campaigns.)

$25.00 US (Shipping Not Included)

How long will it take?

Shipping in North America takes approximately 2-3 weeks; International 3-4 weeks.

Notes for Trish

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The gathering at the Redwoods Fairgrounds is *not* the 'County Fair' (that happens over in Boonville).

Marijuana is *not* legal in Amsterdam, it's decriminalized.

The inner workings of the thriving American marijuana trade.

9:00 - 11:00 PM (EST) CNBC 8:00 - 10:00 PM (CST) CNBC 7:00 - 9:00 PM (MST) CNBC 6:00 - 8:00 PM (PST) CNBC 

For Andres

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Not often I get to turn the tables.  I've had an issue with this 'swastika' (suavarstika, actually) thing for quite some time.

The genocide that the Zionists are perpetrating is not any different than *any* of their predecessors in this field.

I told Andres that I thought about removing the little cross, but then, I realized it was the Xian Zionists they kept in the corner.

Just for the record, the Rastas are the current Lions of Zion, and we are the inheritors of the kingdom.

The Kimo Theater, ABQ, NM

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Skulls, Detail


Skulls & Shields, interior detail

About the swastika symbol

BTW, this looks *really* cool when they dim the lights and all that's left before it goes dark is the red lights in the eye sockets.
Coca-Cola promotes drink with 'swastika' robots 

A Coca-Cola promotion in Hong Kong featuring a robot adorned with 'swastikas' has been condemned.

Rabbi Yakkov Kermaier, of Ohel Leah Synagogue, says it is probably an honest mistake, but he's called toy sets featuring the "Robocon" characters unacceptable.

One character, the robot-like "Robowaru," has two swastikas on its chest and can be bought in the UK for around £2.60 with any purchase of six bottles of Coke.

The figurines stand on small plastic pedestals with Coca-Cola logos on them.

"It's not simply a politically incorrect symbol," Rabbi Kermaier said. "It's an emblem that represents the wholesale slaughter of six million Jews."

Rabbi Kermaier acknowledged the Nazi swastika can easily be confused with Buddhist swastikas that are common in Asia. The two symbols are close to being reverse images of one another, with the arms pointing in opposite directions.

Coca-Cola says the figurines were made according to the original Robowaru design, but a spokeswoman declined any other immediate comment.

Animation International, which sells rights for Robocon and worked with Coca-Cola on the toys, says the symbols were designed by the creator and "did not have anything to do with any organisation or religion."


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Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Describes 'Executive Assassination Ring'

by Eric Black

At a "Great Conversations" event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an "executive assassination ring."

[Journalist Seymour Hersh speaking in Doha at an Al Jazeera forum on the media in 2007. (REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)]Journalist Seymour Hersh speaking in Doha at an Al Jazeera forum on the media in 2007. (REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)
Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn't written about yet.

In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were "an honest response to a question" from the event's moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and "not something I wanted to dwell about in public."

Hersh didn't take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be "effective...that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical."

The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled "America's Constitutional Crisis," looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government officials who had experience with many of the crises.

And it was mostly historical, and a great conversation, in which Hersh and Mondale talked about the patterns by which presidents seem to get intoxicated by executive power, frustrated by the limitations on that power from Congress and the public, drawn into improper covert actions that exceed their constitutional powers, in the belief that they can get results and will never be found out. Despite a few references to the Founding Fathers, the history was mostly recent, starting with the Viethnam War with much of it arising from the George W. Bush administration, which both men roundly denounced.

At the end of one answer by Hersh about how these things tend to happen, Jacobs asked: "And do they continue to happen to this day?"

Replied Hersh:

"Yuh. After 9/11, I haven't written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven't been called on it yet. That does happen.

"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC it's called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it. It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

"Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us.

"It's complicated because the guys doing it are not murderers, and yet they are committing what we would normally call murder. It's a very complicated issue. Because they are young men that went into the Special Forces. The Delta Forces you've heard about. Navy Seal teams. Highly specialized.

"In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.

"I've had people say to me -- five years ago, I had one say: 'What do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they don't get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee.?'

"But they're not gonna get before a committee."

Hersh, the best-known investigative reporter of his generation, writes about these kinds of issues for The New Yorker. He has written often about JSOC, including, last July that:

"Under the Bush Administration's interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding, because the President has a constitutional right to command combat forces in the field without congressional interference."

("Finding" refers to a special document that a president must issue, although not make public, to authorize covert CIA actions.)

Here is a tape of the full Mondale-Hersh-Jacobs colloquy, a little over an hour, without the audience Q and A. If you want to look for the Hersh statement quoted above, it's about at the 7:30 mark.

The rest of the evening was, as expected, full of worry and wisdom and quite a bit of Bush-bashing.

Jacobs walked the two elder statesmen through their experiences of:

The My Lai massacre, which Hersh first revealed publicly and which he last night called "the end of innocence about us and war."
The Pentagon Papers case, which Mondale called the best example of the "government's potential for vast public deception."
Henry Kissinger's secret dealings, mostly relating to the Vietnam War. (Hersh, who has written volumes about Kissinger, said that he will always believe that whereas ordinary people count sheep to fall asleep, Kissinger "has to count burned and maimed Cambodian babies.")
The Church Committee investigation of CIA and FBI abuses, in which Mondale played a major role. (He talked about the fact that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, not only spied on Martin Luther King but literally tried to drive him to suicide.)
The Iran Contra scandal. (Hersh said the Reagan administration came to office with a clear goal of finding a way to finance covert actions, such as the funding of the Nicaraguan Contras, without appropriations so that Congress wouldn't know about them. Mondale noted that Reagan had signed a law barring further aid to the Contras, then participated in a scheme to keep the aid flowing. Hersh said that two key veterans of Iran-Contra, Dick Cheney and national security official Elliot Abrams, were reunited in the George W. Bush White House and decided that the key lesson from Iran-Contra was that too many people in the administration knew about it.)
And the Bush-Cheney years. (Said Hersh: "The contempt for Congress in the Bush-Cheney White House was extaordinary." Said Mondale of his successor, Cheney and his inner circle: "they ran a government within the government." Hersh added: "Eight or nine neoconservatives took over our country." Mondale said that the precedents of abuse of vice presidential power by Cheney would remain "like a loaded pistol that you leave on the dining room table.")

Jacobs pressed both men on the question of whether the frequent abuses of power show that the Constitution fails, because these things keep happening, or whether it works, because these things keep coming to light.

Mondale stuck with the happy answer. "The system has come through again and again," he said. Presidents always think they will get away with it, but eventually reporters like Hersh bring things to light, the public "starts smelling this stuff," the courts and the Congress get involved. Presidents "always, in the long run, find out that the system is stronger than they are."

Hersh seemed more troubled by the repetitions of the pattern. The "beautiful thing about our system" is that eventually we get new leaders, he said. "The evil twosome, Cheney and Bush, left," Hersh said. But he also said "it's really amazing to me that we manage to get such bad leadership, so consistently."

And he added that both the press and the public let down their guard in the aftermath of 9/11.

"The major newspapers joined the [Bush] team," Hersh said. Top editors passed the message to investigative reporters not to "pick holes" in what Bush was doing. Violations of the Bill of Rights happened in the plain sight of the public. It it was not only tolerated, but Bush was re-elected.

And even Mondale admitted that one of his greatest successes, laws reforming the FBI and CIA in the aftermath of the Church Committee, were supposed to fix the problem so that "we would never have these problems again in the lifetime of anyone alive at the time, but of course we did."

Kid you Not

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Chuck Norris
I May Run for President of Texas

On Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped, in response to our wayward federal government, "I may run for president of Texas."

That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not I, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star State, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.

From the East Coast to the "Left Coast," America seems to be moving farther and farther from its Founders' vision and government.

George Washington advised, "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible." Yet the Obama administration just pledged $900 million in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

Thomas Jefferson counseled us, "We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt." Yet the feds have skyrocketed our national debt by trillions of dollars, and they plan much more fiscal expansion, with few expectations of resistance. George Washington admonished, "To contract new debts is not the way to pay for old ones." But we keep borrowing and bailing out, and we watch the stock market plunge further every time we do.

Patrick Henry taught, "(Our Constitution) is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." Yet our Congress and president stampede that founding document, overlook its explicitness and manipulate its words to abandon a balance of power and accommodate their own desires, partisan politics and runaway spending.

John Adams declared, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people." Yet we've bastardized the First Amendment, reinterpreted America's religious history and secularized our society, and now we ooze skepticism and circumvent religion on every level of public and private life.

How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen, or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority, according to America's Declaration of Independence, which states:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."

It was this type of thinking that led me to utter the tongue-in-cheek comment on Glenn Beck's radio show that I may run for president of Texas.

Just a Point

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The founders considered a number of things "inalienable rights".

Patents (ideas, and the right to profit from them), weren't one of them.

If John Galt were to withdraw, we'd just do his designs off-patent, generic.

It's not like he's a 'right' to his ideas.

He's a privilege to them, granted by the Constitution.

It can be revoked.

Mar 11 2009, 2:50 pm 

Karma (and Charles Freeman) on the Bus

On Monday I recorded an episode of blogging heads with Brian Beutler on the subject of Charles Freeman. I took the position that, since Freeman had managed to become Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, AIPAC's ability to crush its critics must be exaggerated. Of course, a couple of hours after after the episode appeared, Freeman went and resigned. The timing could not have been worse.

I now know that Karma does not work in subtle ways. A few stops after I got on the 42 bus this morning, Charles Freeman plunked down across from me. He was reading an old paperback copy of Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds, and looking more like a high school English teacher than an existential threat to the state of Israel.

I introduced myself and told him I was sorry that he resigned. He recoiled only slightly when I mentioned I worked for the Atlantic, then smiled broadly. "Shit happens." He added a little wistfully: "I wasn't so eager to go back to the government, anyway."

I asked him what he thought of his critics. "I don't pay much attention to the blogosphere. But I did read Jim Fallows. Fallows actually seemed to have read what I said."

The woman next to me suddenly pieced it together. "Now I know who you are!" She hesitated for a second. "I still disagree with you." Others on the bus started to look confused, even a little worried.

Freeman smiled again, and laughed. "I guess now I'm a notorious  personality." He went back to reading his novel. A few stops later, he got off the bus.

Cutting back on fossil fuels, shutting down our coal plants, and building seas of wind turbines, will be useless unless we nip population growth.

All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population. Books and documentaries that deal with the climate crisis, including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," fail to discuss the danger of population growth. This omission is odd, given that a doubling in population, even if we cut back on the use of fossil fuels, shut down all our coal-burning power plants and build seas of wind turbines, will plunge us into an age of extinction and desolation unseen since the end of the Mesozoic era, 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared.

We are experiencing an accelerated obliteration of the planet's life-forms -- an estimated 8,760 species die off per year -- because, simply put, there are too many people. Most of these extinctions are the direct result of the expanding need for energy, housing, food and other resources. The Yangtze River dolphin, Atlantic gray whale, West African black rhino, Merriam's elk, California grizzly bear, silver trout, blue pike and dusky seaside sparrow are all victims of human overpopulation. Population growth, as E.O. Wilson says, is "the monster on the land." Species are vanishing at a rate of a hundred to a thousand times faster than they did before the arrival of humans. If the current rate of extinction continues, Homo sapiens will be one of the few life-forms left on the planet, its members scrambling violently among themselves for water, food, fossil fuels and perhaps air until they too disappear. Humanity, Wilson says, is leaving the Cenozoic, the age of mammals, and entering the Eremozoic -- the era of solitude. As long as the Earth is viewed as the personal property of the human race, a belief embraced by everyone from born-again Christians to Marxists to free-market economists, we are destined to soon inhabit a biological wasteland.

The populations in industrialized nations maintain their lifestyles because they have the military and economic power to consume a disproportionate share of the world's resources. The United States alone gobbles up about 25 percent of the oil produced in the world each year. These nations view their stable or even zero growth birthrates as sufficient. It has been left to developing countries to cope with the emergent population crisis. India, Egypt, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, Cuba and China, whose one-child policy has prevented the addition of 400 million people, have all tried to institute population control measures. But on most of the planet, population growth is exploding. The U.N. estimates that 200 million women worldwide do not have access to contraception. The population of the Persian Gulf states, along with the Israeli-occupied territories, will double in two decades, a rise that will ominously coincide with precipitous peak oil declines.

The overpopulated regions of the globe will ravage their local environments, cutting down rainforests and the few remaining wilderness areas, in a desperate bid to grow food. And the depletion and destruction of resources will eventually create an overpopulation problem in industrialized nations as well. The resources that industrialized nations consider their birthright will become harder and more expensive to obtain. Rising water levels on coastlines, which may submerge coastal nations such as Bangladesh, will disrupt agriculture and displace millions, who will attempt to flee to areas on the planet where life is still possible. The rising temperatures and droughts have already begun to destroy crop lands in Africa, Australia, Texas and California. The effects of this devastation will first be felt in places like Bangladesh, but will soon spread within our borders. Footprint data suggests that, based on current lifestyles, the sustainable population of the United Kingdom -- the number of people the country could feed, fuel and support from its own biological capacity -- is about 18 million. This means that in an age of extreme scarcity, some 43 million people in Great Britain would not be able to survive. Overpopulation will become a serious threat to the viability of many industrialized states the instant the cheap consumption of the world's resources can no longer be maintained. This moment may be closer than we think.

A world where 8 billion to 10 billion people are competing for diminishing resources will not be peaceful. The industrialized nations will, as we have done in Iraq, turn to their militaries to ensure a steady supply of fossil fuels, minerals and other nonrenewable resources in the vain effort to sustain a lifestyle that will, in the end, be unsustainable. The collapse of industrial farming, which is made possible only with cheap oil, will lead to an increase in famine, disease and starvation. And the reaction of those on the bottom will be the low-tech tactic of terrorism and war. Perhaps the chaos and bloodshed will be so massive that overpopulation will be solved through violence, but this is hardly a comfort.

James Lovelock, an independent British scientist who has spent most of his career locked out of the mainstream, warned several decades ago that disrupting the delicate balance of the Earth, which he refers to as a living body, would be a form of collective suicide. The atmosphere on Earth -- 21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen -- is not common among planets, he notes. These gases are generated, and maintained at an equable level for life's processes, by living organisms themselves. Oxygen and nitrogen would disappear if the biosphere was destroyed. The result would be a greenhouse atmosphere similar to that of Venus, a planet that is consequently hundreds of degrees hotter than Earth. Lovelock argues that the atmosphere, oceans, rocks and soil are living entities. They constitute, he says, a self-regulating system. Lovelock, in support of this thesis, looked at the cycle in which algae in the oceans produce volatile sulfur compounds. These compounds act as seeds to form oceanic clouds. Without these dimethyl sulfide "seeds" the cooling oceanic clouds would be lost. This self-regulating system is remarkable because it maintains favorable conditions for human life. Its destruction would not mean the death of the planet. It would not mean the death of life-forms. But it would mean the death of Homo sapiens.

Lovelock advocates nuclear power and thermal solar power; the latter, he says, can be produced by huge mirrors mounted in deserts such as those in Arizona and the Sahara. He proposes reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide with large plastic cylinders thrust vertically into the ocean. These, he says, could bring nutrient-rich lower waters to the surface, producing an algal bloom that would increase the cloud cover. But he warns that these steps will be ineffective if we do not first control population growth. He believes the Earth is overpopulated by a factor of about seven. As the planet overheats -- and he believes we can do nothing to halt this process -- overpopulation will make all efforts to save the ecosystem futile.

Lovelock, in "The Revenge of Gaia," said that if we do not radically and immediately cut greenhouse gas emissions, the human race might not die out but it would be reduced to "a few breeding pairs." "The Vanishing Face of Gaia," his latest book, which has for its subtitle "The Final Warning," paints an even grimmer picture. Lovelock says a continued population boom will make the reduction of fossil fuel use impossible. If we do not reduce our emissions by 60 percent, something that can be achieved only by walking away from fossil fuels, the human race is doomed, he argues. Time is running out. This reduction will never take place, he says, unless we can dramatically reduce our birthrate.

All efforts to stanch the effects of climate change are not going to work if we do not practice vigorous population control. Overpopulation, in times of hardship, will create as much havoc in industrialized nations as in the impoverished slums around the globe where people struggle on less than two dollars a day. Population growth is often overlooked, or at best considered a secondary issue, by many environmentalists, but it is as fundamental to our survival as reducing the emissions that are melting the polar ice caps.

An American rabbi reports on her visits to the 'oldest ongoing Jewish community in the world:' Iran

Roger Cohen's recent editorial in the New York Times about Iranian Jews continues to reverberate. Below is a reflection by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb (pictured below). Rabbi Gottlieb led a delegation to Iran last April and visited again in December. AMiddle East Program Associate with the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, she will be visiting Iran again this August.

Rabbi-Lynn-GottliebReading Roger Cohen's piece in the NY Times confirmed my own experience in Iran. I have had the pleasure of meeting the ancient community of Jews from Esfahan, Shiraz and Teheran on two separate occasions. I attended services in each of the cities, met with the official representatives of the community twice in Shiraz and Teheran and had several private conversations in hotel lobbies and private homes for hours on end, with youth and elders. I was also surprised at the depth of study of Jewish sources by Muslim scholars at Mofid University who quoted Maimonides, Rashi and Torah with ease and were anxious to learn more. As in any culture there is a diversity of attitudes. The condition of Jews is really no different than the condition of others who are in the 'reformist' camp. There is a need for interfaith civilian diplomacy so that those relationships can be explored and nurtured.

The Jewish community of Iran has been present in their society for nearly 3000 years. They object to the attitude by non Iranian western Jews that we want to save them, or educate them, or in any way interfere with their cultural and religious  life. Before we make assumptions about what they need or who they are, it would be well to acknowledge that they are the oldest ongoing community of Jews in the world continuously associated with one place. They are not Jews of exile. They are deeply rooted in the land of Cyrus. They can visit the graves of Esther and Mordecai, Daniel and Habbakuk. They possess a Torah that is over 1200 years old. The Jews of Esfahan have their own language! The Jews of Iran are deeply proud of their own heritage, even though they, like other Iranians, may struggle with the limitations imposed by the Islamic Republic on freedom of expression.

The second delegation I led to Iran in December 2008 composed of 10 Jewish participants and four non-Jewish participants, included two rabbis, a rabbinic student,  and six other members who identify as 'religious' Jews. During our visit to Yusef Abad, the largest of approximately 22 synagogues in Tehran, I was invited to speak from the bimah (for the second time). Like the first time, people clapped and shouted in appreciation for our visit. When I identified the members of our delegation and asked them to stand, and pointed out that Sarah Bassem was also studying to be a rabbi, the congregation cheered again. Many people came up to me and began asking me 'rabbinic' questions, regardless of my gender.

Obviously, there are limitations on life for non-Muslims. There are limitations on life for minorities in the States as well. Still, the Jewish community is extremely proud of its heritage, and views the Iranian American Jewish community as somewhat lost. They point to the increase in divorce and inter-marriage as an example of the impact of assimilation which they do not feel in Iran.

The idea of Israel attacking Iran is an anathema to the Jews of Iran. Certainly, it would endanger them. We should cease and desist all bellicose language that threatens military action toward Iran immediately. For those of us in the Jewish community who have had the pleasure to visit the Jews of Iran, we understand the preciousness of that community. Any actions taken by Israel that would put the Jews of Iran in danger is a travesty. 

Finally, I look forward to my next visit which will occur this coming August. I pray that the gates will remain open, and I will have the profound pleasure of deepening my experience with this ancient and honorable community. 

What Iran's Jews Say

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Esfahan, Iran

Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Roger Cohen

At Palestine Square, opposite a mosque called Al-Aqsa, is a synagogue where Jews of this ancient city gather at dawn. Over the entrance is a banner saying: "Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from the Jewish community of Esfahan."

The Jews of Iran remove their shoes, wind leather straps around their arms to attach phylacteries and take their places. Soon the sinuous murmur of Hebrew prayer courses through the cluttered synagogue with its lovely rugs and unhappy plants. Soleiman Sedighpoor, an antiques dealer with a store full of treasures, leads the service from a podium under a chandelier.

I'd visited the bright-eyed Sedighpoor, 61, the previous day at his dusty little shop. He'd sold me, with some reluctance, a bracelet of mother-of-pearl adorned with Persian miniatures. "The father buys, the son sells," he muttered, before inviting me to the service.

Accepting, I inquired how he felt about the chants of "Death to Israel" -- "Marg bar Esraeel" -- that punctuate life in Iran.

"Let them say 'Death to Israel,' " he said. "I've been in this store 43 years and never had a problem. I've visited my relatives in Israel, but when I see something like the attack on Gaza, I demonstrate, too, as an Iranian."

The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighborhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live on in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey's, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful caters to about 1,200 Jews, descendants of an almost 3,000-year-old community.

Over the decades since Israel's creation in 1948, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the number of Iranian Jews has dwindled from about 100,000. But the exodus has been far less complete than from Arab countries, where some 800,000 Jews resided when modern Israel came into being.

In Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Iraq -- count