Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Final Word

I have decided to be a one blog man, meaning that this is the one that has to go. I apologize to any that would fret this but I really don't think it does myself or readers a service to compartmentalize what I know and what I research. In the past, I have had to deal with environmentalists that think I can't be trusted because of my insistence that 9/11 was an inside job. I have also had to deal with 9/11 researchers that just know that I am a cog in the New World Order because of my insistence that global warming is real. Now, I risk alienating the rest by my research into psychological operations and behavior modification, not to mention of my dabbling into elements of the UFO phenomenon.

If you are still reading, then know that what Eric Stewart and his research is all about will continue to be available, in one kaleidoscope of information, at my other blog. I warn you, however, that it is a place where the closed minded could experience symptoms of disorientation. It is a place that best suits those that have already crossed what Robert Anton Wilson calls the Chapel Perilous, what Aleister Crowley referred to as the Abyss, and what St. John the 'Divine' named the Dark Night of the Soul.

If that makes absolutely no sense to you, then you have been cautioned. Here is
my other blog.

With this blog's dying breath, it asks that you view
this video, and since Google has yet again denied me the ability to blog one of their items (see this link for more on that and click here for a story about how Google was started with CIA dollars - Google, by the way, owns Blogger), here is the link to it at Google. I am not happy about directing you to a site owned and operated by the national security state but this video may be that important. I am not sure how long I can last at Blogger, spilling the beans like I do all over the hand that feeds me; I am not sure how much longer I will want to.

This is the last episode of Big Medicine. No refills.

Philip K. Dick: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Juxtaposition: A Decompartmentalized Zone

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Heads Up for Purveyors of Reality Based Journalism

Sam Smith, the point man behind the Progressive Review, runs a superb blog. Here, I have highlighted a few recent items:

Snip: "More businesses are treating their staff more as serfs than as free employees. True, they are not technically unfree laborers as they are able to leave their jobs (to find similar employment elsewhere) but increasingly employers are seeking the sort of control over the personal lives of their workers that characterized various forms of unfree labor including serfdom, indentured servitude and slavery." (click here for more)

Snip: "Marijuana is not a 'gateway' drug that predicts or eventually leads to substance abuse, suggests a 12-year University of Pittsburgh study. Moreover, the study's findings call into question the long-held belief that has shaped prevention efforts and governmental policy for six decades and caused many a parent to panic upon discovering a bag of pot in their child's bedroom. . ." (click here for more)

Snip: "Yesterday Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to the 25-year mandatory minimum sentence received by pain patient Richard Paey for "drug trafficking" that did not involve any trafficking in drugs. As the majority explained, under Florida law 'a person need not sell anything to commit the 'trafficking' offense. . . A person may commit the offense by knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of an enumerated controlled substance in a quantity equal to or greater than a weight designated by statute' - in this case, 28 grams of the narcotic painkiller oxycodone. (click here for more)

Snip: "The Environmental Protection Agency has changed the way it sets standards to control dangerous air pollutants like lead, ozone and tiny particles of soot, enhancing the role of the agency's political appointees in scientific assessments and postponing the required review by independent scientific experts." (click here for more)

Also see:

Bush Agent Orders Demolition of 4,500 New Orleans Public Housing Units

U.N. Official: Darfur in Freefall

Recovered History

Affordable Housing Continues to Dwindle

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington under nine presidents and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review is an online journal and archive of alternative news. It has been on the web since 1995.

Meese of Arabia and the Baker Group's Grab for Black Gold

by Chris Floyd

The reaction from actual Iraqis on the just-released report by the "Iraq Study Group"? They don't like it; it won't work; it's largely a tissue of fantasies and shows no grasp of the true situation in Iraq; it has nothing to do with solving Iraq's problems but everything to do with the American Establishment's desperate attempt to save face, no matter how many people must be slaughtered in the process.

But why should we listen to these wretched malcontents in Iraq? How the hell could they know more about the reality of their lives than Jim "Bagman" Baker and Lee "Whitewash for Hire" Hamilton and Harriet "Here's the PB&J, George" Miers and Ed "Porn Man" Meese? I mean, come on: who on God's green earth knows more about the political, social, ethnic, historical, religious and military complexities of Iraq than Ed Meese? The Heritage Foundation's Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy? Man, he's the go-to guy for all things Iraqi! There's no freaking, frigging way that any Hakim or Abdul or Nouri or Motqada or Mahmoud is gonna have any greater insight on Iraq than Ed Meese. Are you kidding me?

Listen, if you start listening to actual Iraqis, you might as well hang it up right now. Because poll after poll shows that actual Iraqis overwhelmingly favor a single option for the U.S. military forces in their country: cut and run, the sooner the better. That's what they want; but of course, they're just like children, aren't they, the precious little primitive critters. And everybody knows you can't give children everything they want. It's not good for them. So we have to hold the Iraqis' hands until they can toddle on their own -- and we have to slap their hands if they don't do what we know is best for them.

Or as the Baker boys themselves put it: "If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government." Nice little country you got there, Hassan; too bad if something, like, happens to it, eh? I think you'd better play ball. See these here milestones we've concocted on the padded chairs in our paneled boardroom? You better meet 'em, chop-chop -- or we can make your life...difficult. You savvy?

The Iraq Study Group's report simply confirms, yet again, the bedrock truth of the war: the American Establishment has no intention of leaving Iraq, ever, and no intention of having anything but a pliant, cowed, bullied puppet government in Baghdad to carry out whatever the Establishment decides is in its best interests on any given day. Iraq was invaded because large swathes of the American elite thought they could make hay of it one way or another (financially, politically, ideologically or even psychologically, for those pathetic souls who get their sense of manhood or personal validation from their identification with a big, swaggering, domineering empire). And U.S. troops will remain in Iraq, indefinitely, at some level, because the American elite think they can make hay of the situation one way or another. The war is all about -- is only about -- what the American elite feel is in their own best interest, how it aggrandizes their fortunes, flatters their prejudices, serves their needs. That's it. The rest is just bullshit and murder.

There is much more of this poignant and lovely rant at Chris Floyd's website here.

Also see ISG Report - Flowers And Sweets

Six Ways That Changing Your Life Can Prevent Global Warming

by Peter Michaelson

All of the reasons for our failure to address global warming are known. But they are not known widely and deeply enough to send us rushing down the street on bicycles or even in four-cylinder cars.

Still, we want something to be done. Are we waiting for Al Gore? Is it possible it all depends on our own little selves?

A very simple axiom is at play: The better we understand our own contribution to the paralysis, the freer we become to act effectively.

Six reasons or conditions that facilitate global warming are presented here, and each is related to the others.

Reason number one is the indifference that so many of us have for our own health. When we don’t care about our health, we won’t care about the health of the planet.

We eat and drink food that has the life manufactured out of it. We become sedentary and avoid exercise. We trash our minds with trivia and commercial rubbish the way we trash the planet with garbage. We don’t know how to protect ourselves from negative influences such as cynicism, dissension, and dogmatic belief systems. If we don’t regulate our appetites, desires, and addictions, the planet’s suffering becomes secondary to our own.

Problem number two is our fear. Irrational fears abound in the psyche and are projected into the world. We have many kinds of fear, including fear of fear itself, along with fear of change, of loss, of helplessness, of abandonment, and of death. Courage is admired because it moves us through our fear.

We need passion and courage to address global warming. To generate this, we often have to move through a fear left over from childhood — the lingering impression that we’re powerless and helpless against the authorities who rule our world. This emotional association also generates a fear that if we go up against them we’re in danger of being rejected, unloved, or even annihilated.

The male values of power and domination constitute problem number three. Supreme gratification and egotistical aggrandizement reward man for his conquest of nature. Globalization is, in part, his quest to extend his “triumph” to all peoples and cultures.

The feminine mystique is the antidote. Symbolized by Rachel Carson in her book, Silent Spring, it awakened us in the 1960s to the male-engineered poisoning of the earth through the misuse of chemical pesticides. Women’s sensitivity and their alignment with nurturing gave birth to the environmental movement.

The male propensity for power and domination has moved from the infantile level to the adolescent. It needs to be unstuck once more. We need to understand that the possession of true strength and power depends on our having wisdom and compassion, which come to us through the balance of the feminine and the masculine values.

Reason number four finds us plagued with an overabundance of political leaders who won’t lead. These men and women tend to be followers. They follow the polls that guide their re-election priorities as well as the economic elite’s signals in favor of the status quo.

The skill of many of our politicians is also measured by their ability to circumvent the most vital issues and questions. Their aim is not to represent truth, justice, or constituents, but to perform on the political stage as professional insiders and self-promoters.

Their failure to fulfill their calling, like that of corporate journalists, is related to our passivity. We need to examine the secret invitation we extend, on behalf of our own inner fears, for the solace of mediocrity and the safety of invisibility.

Number five on this list brings us to a serious fault line in our economic system. An underground stress is cracking the bedrock of capitalism. A leakage of fascism at the core of capitalism lies exposed by this failure to take appropriate action against global warming.

Fascism is, in part, an ill-fated approach to national governance that has obliterated all authority within its boundaries capable of stopping its destructive expansionism. In the United States, a fascist position might soon be formalized when the Supreme Court determines a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA’s refusal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is being challenged in the Supreme Court, and at least four conservative justices seem to believe, along with the Bush Administration, that the agency should not be regulating if it cannot show specific damages traceable to controllable emissions from cars and power plants.

If this narrow legal view prevails and the case is lost, one less impartial authority is left to make vital decisions regarding global warming. As a nation, then, we would be in a plight similar to that of a person who, because of a psychopathic or psychotic condition, can’t make decisions between right and wrong.

Reason number six finds us waiting in vain for economics to lead us out of the impasse presented by global warming. Economics has failed dismally to protect us from the excesses of capitalism.

Adam Smith’s old discipline, as now practiced at the highest levels, is no longer an exploratory system concerned with politics, sociology, and psychology. Computer-driven economics has lost (passively forfeited to its financial masters) the authority to speak to larger issues such as global warming and is left only to pontificate on profitability probabilities.

What now is the prognosis for action on global warming? Stubborn free-market ideologues are allowing conditions to deteriorate. As we bring our predicament into focus, we see an irrational and therefore illegitimate authority — like that of a raging, addictive, or bipolar parent — “taking care of us.”

Are we going to be children? Or will our moral and psychological ascendancy save the world?


Also see Professor Devises New Form of Solar Cell

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cowboy Mentality Dominates Bison Slaughter

BFC writes: "This is a terrific article that was printed in the Fall 2006 issue of the Western Watersheds Project's newsletter, 'Watersheds Messenger.' WWP's mission is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation. Learn more at their site."

Cowboy Mentality Dominates Bison Slaughter
By George Wuerthner

The continuing bison slaughter by the Montana Department of Livestock outside of Yellowstone National Park is a demonstration of the "cowboy" mentality the industry uses to address any problem. Instead of using its brains, it resorts to brute force. If left unchallenged, I believe the industry's harsh tactics pose a threat to free roaming wildlife everywhere.

When you review the facts, it is difficult to believe that minimizing the threat of brucellosis is really the motivating force behind the livestock industry's actions.

Reasonable options that could address their concerns about disease transmission are ignored in favor of deadly force. This can only be explained if the brucellosis issue is a Trojan Horse hiding another motive. Whether admitted, many in the livestock industry fear the expansion of wild bison outside of parks. Such an expansion of wild free roaming bison can only come at the expense of the livestock industry. The industry, realizing this threat, is attempting to construct a Berlin Wall around our parks, destroying any animals that wander from these sanctuaries.

There are several points to keep in mind. The threat of brucellosis transmission from wild free-roaming bison is grossly exaggerated. Most bison don't even have the disease.

Secondly, even if infected with brucellosis, transmission to livestock can only occur by contact with body fluids. In other words, brucellosis can be harbored in many parts of a bison's body and still not pose a threat to livestock. Thus even if a bison tests positive for the disease, it may not pose a threat to livestock.

The only bison body fluids that pose a threat to livestock are those associated with birth or abortion. This alone means that even brucellosis infected bison wandering near cattle outside of the primary abortion or birth season don't pose a threat of infection at all. Yet this hasn't prevented agencies from killing them.

In addition, since only mature bison cows pose any threat of transmission, the killing of bison bulls makes no sense if your goal is mitigation of brucellosis transmission and only makes sense if control of bison is the ultimate goal.

Third, the brucella bacterium is extremely sensitive to things like heat, dehydration, and exposure to the environment. Even if a bison aborted a fetus it is unlikely the bacteria would remain viable (this is why the notion of wild free roaming bison not posing a threat is important). Under a laboratory situation you might be able to transmit brucellosis from bison to cattle, but that's like suggesting you could grow oranges in Montana under laboratory conditions. It's meaningless in the wild. No attempt to determine the real risks has been performed. The risk isn't zero, but it's darn close-essentially if other mitigation measures such as mandatory brucellosis vaccination for livestock and other measures were implemented.

Fourth, elk and other wildlife also carry the disease. And if brucellosis transmission were really as much a threat as the livestock agencies would have us believe, the target of control efforts should be elk, not bison. There are far more elk in the Ecosystem than bison. Even if a lower proportion of elk carried the disease, their greater numbers and distribution poses a far greater potential threat. Yet the livestock agency ignores elk. Why? I think because ranchers do not view elk as great a competitor for forage as bison.

Fifth, snowmobile use and roads in the park has facilitated movement of bison, yet livestock agencies make no effort to restrict snowmobile use. If they were truly concerned about minimizing bison movement, they should be among the staunchest supporters of restrictions on snowmobile travel in the park. But they are silent.

Sixth, mandatory vaccination of all livestock in the region is still not required. A serious attempt to limit brucellosis transmission from wildlife should include such mandatory vaccination as a prerequisite.

Seventh, part of the problem rests with federal and state laws and regulations. For example, APHIS continues to suggest that if brucellosis is discovered among domestic animals, it will have no choice but to yank a state's brucellosis free status. Yet it does have a choice. They have the authority to restrict any quarantine to a much smaller area from a county to even a single herd. State livestock industries need not suffer merely because a single herd or a few herds contract the disease. The agencies don't readily admit this to the public because they want to create a crisis situation to justify their extreme actions.

Eighth, for a fraction of the funds currently expended on the capture and killing of bison, compensation fund could be created to assist ranchers whose livestock may contract the disease from wildlife to pay for their extra expenses incurred by quarantine. Better yet, buying out of ranches in or near public lands where bison roam-such as the Church Universal Triumphant ranch near Gardiner, Montana and a few other strategically located ranches would go a long ways towards removing any threat of livestock-bison contact.

When you consider all of these facts together, the current slaughter of bison is unnecessary and unjustified. It's time to question the cowboy mentality of brute force as a solution to any problem or conflict. ###

George Wuerthner, co-editor of "Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West," is a Western Watersheds Project advisory board member who lives in Richmond, Vermont.

Also see:

The Cowboy and His Cow (Edward Abbey)

Earth's Last Wild Bison Being Slaughtered

Dispelling the Cowboy Myth: an Interview with George Wuerthner

Sacred Buffalo, Holy Cow: The Struggle for the Western Range

Fascism Defined

Fascism, in this day and age, seems a rather nebulous concept. I can't count how many times I have asked someone to define fascism only to draw a blank stare or an amibiguous collection of rants against the Anglo-American power structure that, while often true, do little to define fascism.

A few minutes ago I decided to browse some search engines for an adequate definition of fascism and what I found was a piece that did much more. Leave it to
Third World Traveller to carry an essay of this quality, I say. I hope you find this illuminating:

Defining Our Terms
by Richard Curtis
Toward Freedom magazine, February 1998

The word democracy is used a lot these days. We're told that the Cuban system isn't democratic, and that Fidel Castro is a dictator. We're also told that the Right-wing business interests in Miami and elsewhere bent on destroying the Cuban Revolution are democrats. Does this make any sense?

To find out, let's look at two other popular labels - Right and Left. During the French Revolution, the Right referred to those in the original revolutionary assembly who physically sat on the right side of the hall. The ones with money and historic influence, they were suspicious of including the masses in decision making.

Those on the Right felt that people with money and property should make the decisions. Like the "Founding Fathers" of the US, they were concerned that a government representing the unpropertied could challenge their freedom of action. On the other side of the hall were those who. thought the franchise should be extended to all, regardless of property holdings. Since then, we've come to use the terms Left and Right to define, positions on government and its relationship to property-more properly capital.

The Right claims to be concerned about the rights of individuals (they just don't mention that they only care about individuals with wealth). As representatives of capital, they have always been suspicious of democracy. In fact, they believe that democratic government represents a threat to freedom -that is, the freedom to pursue individual economic interests. Of course, when the wealthy get together and vote on policy, that is a kind of democracy-democracy of the few, or oligarchy.

Removing power from its traditional roots in the aristocracy meant granting some to small property holders, and over time to those with no property. But this extension of the franchise (and democracy) threatened the freedom of capital. And so, these days we hear that the problem is big government. As it's always done, the Right says that the government is a threat, that it ruins things and controls us.

In fact, government is the compromise the ruling class makes with the working class. The ruling class retains power, but gives up some freedom, like the freedom to pollute, use child labor, or make dangerous products. Mainly, however, the Right claims that the market will sort all this out, and that government just gets in the way. Some working people and small farmers have been persuaded to agree.

The Right, which in modern history is known as fascism, advocates a system in which those with wealth are free to do as they please and the functions of government are limited to policing and war. Some self-described conservatives reject the term fascism, claiming that the fascists were actually statists who believed in retaining the power of government. But that just suggests an ignorance of history.

Fascism has always been about ensuring the rights of capital. The police and army are necessary to protect corporations, human services aren't. Thus, the Right-in all its forms, regardless of what it calls itself - wants less government in areas that serve human beings, but just as much or more in areas that protect capital and the pursuit of private profit.

Ironically, the political philosophy of the Right, fascism, has been so discredited by history that contemporary so-called conservatives refuse to identify their politics with its roots in European history. Even 70 years ago, the leading German exponent of conservatism, Adolf Hitler, called his fascist party the National Socialist German Workers Party. It was national in the sense that the Nazis were ultimately protecting large German corporations from those of other nations. But the word socialist was used only because Hitler felt he could appeal to working people by appropriating the language of the Left.

Today, capitalists call themselves democrats. As a result, Right-wing groups in Miami can advocate the overthrow of a government in Cuba while lining up for money to pursue what they call ''democracy building." But capitalists claiming to be democrats rings as true as fascists claiming to be socialists. Big capitalists are and always have been fascists-Rightists who believe the rich should be free to do as they please. Socialists are and always have been democrats-Leftists who believe every citizen should have power.

As Jim Hightower puts it, there's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos!

SOURCE: Third World Traveler

Thursday, December 07, 2006

None of Us Really Matter to Them

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Intellectual Property or Neurotic Greed?

The following is copied from the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Stealing Fair Use, Selling It Back to You

"Apparently, Hollywood believes that you should have to re-purchase all your DVD movies a second time if you want to watch them on your iPod." That's what I said last week, commenting on the Paramount v. Load-N-Go lawsuit, in which Hollywood studios claimed that it is illegal to rip a DVD to put on a personal video player (PVP), even if you own the DVD.

Well, this week the other shoe dropped. According to an article in the New York Times:

Customers who buy the physical DVD of Warner Brothers’ “Superman Returns” in a Wal-Mart store will have the option of downloading a digital copy of the film to their portable devices for $1.97, personal computer for $2.97, or both for $3.97.

So you buy the DVD, and if you want a copy on your PVP or computer, you have to pay a second time. Despite the fact that you bought the DVD, and you have a DVD drive in your computer that is perfectly capable of making a personal-use copy. Imagine if the record labels offered you this "deal" for every CD you bought -- pay us a few dollars extra, and you can have a copy for your iPod. And a few more dollars, if you want a copy on your computer, too! As LA Times reporter Jon Healey puts it in his blog: "So from the perspective of the studios and federal officials, consumers have to pay for the privilege of doing the sorts of things with DVDs that they're accustomed to doing with CDs (and LPs and cassettes)."

This latest bitter fruit from Hollywood is brought to you by the DMCA, which treats "protected" content (like the encrypted video on DVDs), differently from "unprotected" content (like every audio and video media format introduced before 1996). Thanks to the DMCA, Hollywood believes fair use personal-use copies simply do not exist when it comes to DVDs.

Given that the Copyright Office has refused [PDF, see p. 71-72] to recognize any DMCA exemption for space-shifting, claiming that putting a DVD you own on your iPod "is either infringing, or, even if it were noninfringing, would be merely a convenience," (excuse me, Copyright Office, that's a decision for a court to make) the ball is now in Congress' court. Let's hope Congressman Rick Boucher is listening and will reintroduce his DMCA reform bill first thing next year.

SOURCE: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Blogger note: In a way, the very concept of intellectual property is absurd. It is one thing to ensure that your work is not misrepresented, though I consider that something that has happened since the dawn of thinking and something that will probably be around as long as there are thoughts and voices to spread them. It is quite another to say that you cannot repeat what I say to you.

Fair use is not a loophole. It is fair use.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brad Will's Alleged Killers Released from Jail

by Sarah Ferguson December 1, 2006

Protesting Friday in New York at the Mexican Mission to the U.N.

The two Oaxacan town officials accused of gunning down Indymedia journalist Brad Will were released from prison today after a state judge claimed there was a "fading of evidence" against them.

The Mexico City daily Milenio reports that local town councillor Abel Santiago Zárate and his chief of patrol, Orlando Manuel Aguilar Coello were both set free after the judge concluded that the two "could not be guilty" because they were too far away to have delivered the fatal shots.

Will was killed on October 27 while filming a street skirmish between protesters and town officials in the Santa Lucia del Camino, on the outskirts of the state capital in Oaxaca.

The judge's ruling was based on new and conflicting evidence presented by state prosecutors, who recently tried to pin Will's murder on the demonstrators he was filming.

According to the judge, the state's autopsy and ballistic reports found that Will was shot by a 9 mm gun at a distance of "less than 10 meters away." (The state's estimate of the distance keeps changing: last week there were reports of 1 to 3 meters and 2 to 4 meters).

However, the judge said Zarate and Aguilar were firing .38 revolvers from a minumum distance of 35 meters away.

In court the two men tried to claim they had only fired in the air, despite the ample news footage and photographs showing the two officials firing directly into the crowd of demonstrators, who had been chasing the gunmen through the town after they opened fire on a protest barricade.

Several people were wounded in the shootings, including a teacher and a photographer for Milenio who got hit below the knee just as Will was shot. (Two others were killed later that day in separate attacks.)

It's unclear whether state officials are still trying to blame supporters of the protest coalition APPO (Oaxaca People's Popular Assembly) for Will's murder. One news account named six other men implicated in the crime, although there was no indication of who these men are or why prosecutors suspect them.

Indymedia activists in Oaxaca immediately accused state prosecutors of a coverup and said they had "no confidence" in the ability of state officials to investigate the shooters, who are all members of the state's governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have accused Oaxaca's governor Ulises Ruiz of backing paramilitary-style assaults on APPO demonstrators by plain clothes gunmen tied to his party.

The news of the shooters' release came as about 30 people stood in the rain outside the Mexican Mission to the United Nations in midtown New York to demand a "credible" investigation into Will's murder as well as the deaths and "disappearances" of scores of other activists in Oaxaca.

Following the violent clashes this weekend, more than 200 people have been rounded up, many of them shipped off to a maxium secuirity prison in the central state of Nayarit, where there are reports of abuse and torture. At least 50 others are unaccounted for, rights activists say.

Meanwhile, new allegations are surfacing in the Mexican media suggesting that members of the PRI may have been involved in the fires that engulfed the State Supreme Court house on Saturday as well as other government offices.

The fires and destruction in the capital have been used by federal police to justify their aggressive crackdown on APPO, a coalition of unions, students, indigenous councils, and other grassroots groups that formed to seek the ouster of Governor Ruiz.

Yesterday, the state teachers union announced a strike to protest the actions by federal police, who have been raiding schools to arrest teachers who took part in the demonstrations.

"We want to call attention to these human rights violations," said Harry Bubbins, an activist from the Bronx who was a close friend of Will, as he passed out flyers outside 2 UN Plaza, the soaring green office building where the Mexican Mission is located." The next step is putting pressure on American Congress members to ensure there is a full State Department investigation into Will's death."

But given the chaos in Mexico, one wonders whether anyone is listening. Fist fights broke out in Mexico's Congress this morning as opposing lawmkers challenged the inauguration of incoming president Felipe Calderon.

When Bubbins and another New York demonstrator tried to phone up to the Mexican Mission from the front desk, they were told by a woman who answered the phone that no one was there "because of the protests" and because the office was expecting an "exterminator."

"What kind of exterminator?" Bubbins asked.

SOURCE: Village Voice

Brad's Killers

Kissinger to Serve As Papal Adviser?

I provide this article as a source for the essential information contained therein. I would be suspicious of the analysis of a Catholic publication, however, so caveat lector.

Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger, former adviser to Richard Nixon, to be a political consultant and he accepted.

National Catholic Register
November 26-December 2, 2006 Issue

VATICAN CITY — Over the course of his long and controversial career, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has had many titles. Now he reportedly has one more — adviser to the Pope.

According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Benedict XVI has invited the 83-year-old former adviser to Richard Nixon to be a political consultant, and Kissinger has accepted.

Quoting an “authoritative” diplomatic source at the Holy See, the paper reported Nov. 4 that the Nobel laureate was asked at a recent private audience with the Holy Father to form part of a papal “advisory board” on foreign and political affairs.

As the Register went to press, Kissinger’s office was unable to confirm or deny the report. La Stampa stood by its story, although the Italian press is less rigorous in its authentication of stories as is the United States Press.

If true, there is speculation on which issues Kissinger would advise the Holy Father. Relations with Islam, Palestine and Israel, and Iraq — Kissinger has been critical of the conduct of the war but opposes a quick withdrawal — are likely to be high up on the agenda.

It has also been speculated that, in view of the Muslim hostility to Benedict’s recent Regensburg speech, Kissinger might provide advice on dealing with an increasingly fractious Islamic world.

Furthermore, like the Pope, Kissinger has analyzed the challenges of globalization and might provide advice in this area as well.

“The idea [of his appointment] sounds like a good one,” said veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister. “But so would it also be to consult other experts on geopolitics with different orientations.”

As possible expert advisers with different perspectives, Magister listed Catholic philosopher and former diplomat Michael Novak; Bernard Lewis, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University; and foreign policy experts such as Charles Kupchan and G. John Ikenberry.

Expert Advice

The recruitment of Kissinger would not be unprecedented. Experts from a variety of disciplines, including the realm of economics, politics and philosophy, are regularly invited to advise popes and Vatican officials on current affairs.

Pope John Paul II was close friends with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Polish-born national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, partly because both had a common Polish heritage (though this caused the Soviets to suspect the Vatican of “fixing” the election of Karol Wojtyla, which occurred during the Carter presidency).

Similarly to John Paul and Brzezinski, Benedict and Kissinger are close in age and were both born in Bavaria (a Jew, Kissinger and his family fled Nazi Germany before World War II).

In recent years, other figures invited to share their expertise with the Holy See have included Paul Wolfowitz, a former President Bush adviser and now president of the World Bank; Michel Camdessus, the former director of the International Monetary Fund; American economist Jeffrey Sachs and Hans Tietmeyer, former governor of Germany’s central bank.

The pontifical academies also regularly call on academic luminaries as consultants, such as Nobel laureates Gary Becker, the successor to Milton Friedman at the Chicago School of Economics, and Italian medical researcher Rita Levi-Montalcini.

In comments to the Register, Novak said that “many, maybe most” of these experts are not Catholic, but that the Pope “can call in certain experts he wants to talk to, or hear a paper from, with discussion in a small group.”

Novak said this is true of both Benedict XVI and John Paul II, whom he described as having “very curious and searching minds.”

Any appointment of Kissinger is likely to cause some unease, however. One Iranian radio station is already reporting the news as a “papal-Jewish conspiracy,” while others object to the Pope consulting with someone who has been widely identified with the realpolitik school of political analysis, an approach that places practical considerations before morality.

‘Different Voices’

Yet like Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI is winning recognition for his intellectual ability and his capacity to discuss international issues with a diverse spectrum of world figures, ranging from the Dalai Lama to the late atheist polemicist Oriana Fallaci and to Mustapha Cherif, an Algerian Muslim philosopher whom he met this month.

“Such an appointment would really show Benedict XVI to be contrary to his media image, as someone who’s willing to listen to other voices not in accordance with his views,” said one Holy See diplomat about the reported enlistment of Kissinger as a papal adviser. “It’s always helpful to hear different voices offering different views.”

SOURCE: National Catholic Register

On Global Warming: A Challenge to Skeptics

To deny that humans are affecting the warming of the planet and exacerbating it is to deny that either A) the gases released by human industry trap heat or that B) human industry emits such gases. Either is easily proven. So, global warming deniers, which is it?

This is my standing challenge to all that would deny the human effect on climate and I seriously doubt that any scientist (or anyone for that matter) is up to the task of denying either. If it can be shown that human industry produces such substances and if it can be shown that such gases trap heat (none of these individual pillars of the global warming "theory" has ever, to my knowledge, been denied by anyone - even the most vehement critics), then the global warming "debate" is over. Period.

I fully expect to be waiting until the extinction of the species for this to be adequately addressed by those who would deny.

Carbon dioxide emissions growth accelerating, reduction efforts fail

Carbon emissions show sharp rise

Sunday, December 03, 2006

World Scientists' Warning To Humanity

Some 1,700 of the world's leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued this appeal in November 1992. The Warning was written and spearheaded by UCS Chair Henry Kendall.

Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.

The Environment

The environment is suffering critical stress:

The Atmosphere
Stratospheric ozone depletion threatens us with enhanced ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface, which can be damaging or lethal to many life forms. Air pollution near ground level, and acid precipitation, are already causing widespread injury to humans, forests and crops.
Water Resources
Heedless exploitation of depletable ground water supplies endangers food production and other essential human systems. Heavy demands on the world's surface waters have resulted in serious shortages in some 80 countries, containing 40% of the world's population. Pollution of rivers, lakes and ground water further limits the supply.
Destructive pressure on the oceans is severe, particularly in the coastal regions which produce most of the world's food fish. The total marine catch is now at or above the estimated maximum sustainable yield. Some fisheries have already shown signs of collapse. Rivers carrying heavy burdens of eroded soil into the seas also carry industrial, municipal, agricultural, and livestock waste -- some of it toxic.
Loss of soil productivity, which is causing extensive Land abandonment, is a widespread byproduct of current practices in agriculture and animal husbandry. Since 1945, 11% of the earth's vegetated surface has been degraded -- an area larger than India and China combined -- and per capita food production in many parts of the world is decreasing.
Tropical rain forests, as well as tropical and temperate dry forests, are being destroyed rapidly. At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years and most of the tropical rain forest will be gone before the end of the next century. With them will go large numbers of plant and animal species.
Living Species
The irreversible loss of species, which by 2100 may reach one third of all species now living, is especially serious. We are losing the potential they hold for providing medicinal and other benefits, and the contribution that genetic diversity of life forms gives to the robustness of the world's biological systems and to the astonishing beauty of the earth itself.

Much of this damage is irreversible on a scale of centuries or permanent. Other processes appear to pose additional threats. Increasing levels of gases in the atmosphere from human activities, including carbon dioxide released from fossil fuel burning and from deforestation, may alter climate on a global scale. Predictions of global warming are still uncertain -- with projected effects ranging from tolerable to very severe -- but the potential risks are very great.

Our massive tampering with the world's interdependent web of life -- coupled with the environmental damage inflicted by deforestation, species loss, and climate change -- could trigger widespread adverse effects, including unpredictable collapses of critical biological systems whose interactions and dynamics we only imperfectly understand.

Uncertainty over the extent of these effects cannot excuse complacency or delay in facing the threat.


The earth is finite. Its ability to absorb wastes and destructive effluent is finite. Its ability to provide food and energy is finite. Its ability to provide for growing numbers of people is finite. And we are fast approaching many of the earth's limits. Current economic practices which damage the environment, in both developed and underdeveloped nations, cannot be continued without the risk that vital global systems will be damaged beyond repair.

Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth. A World Bank estimate indicates that world population will not stabilize at less than 12.4 billion, while the United Nations concludes that the eventual total could reach 14 billion, a near tripling of today's 5.4 billion. But, even at this moment, one person in five lives in absolute poverty without enough to eat, and one in ten suffers serious malnutrition.

No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished.


We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.

What We Must Do

Five inextricably linked areas must be addressed simultaneously:

  1. We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth's systems we depend on. We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water. Priority must be given to the development of energy sources matched to third world needs -- small scale and relatively easy to implement. We must halt deforestation, injury to and loss of agricultural land, and the loss of terrestrial and marine plant and animal species.
  2. We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively. We must give high priority to efficient use of energy, water, and other materials, including expansion of conservation and recycling.
  3. We must stabilize population. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that it requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.
  4. We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.
  5. We must ensure sexual equality, and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.

The developed nations are the largest polluters in the world today. They must greatly reduce their over-consumption, if we are to reduce pressures on resources and the global environment. The developed nations have the obligation to provide aid and support to developing nations, because only the developed nations have the financial resources and the technical skills for these tasks.

Acting on this recognition is not altruism, but enlightened self-interest: whether industrialized or not, we all have but one lifeboat. No nation can escape from injury when global biological systems are damaged. No nation can escape from conflicts over increasingly scarce resources. In addition, environmental and economic instabilities will cause mass migrations with incalculable consequences for developed and undeveloped nations alike.

Developing nations must realize that environmental damage is one of the gravest threats they face, and that attempts to blunt it will be overwhelmed if their populations go unchecked. The greatest peril is to become trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic and environmental collapse.

Success in this global endeavor will require a great reduction in violence and war. Resources now devoted to the preparation and conduct of war -- amounting to over $1 trillion annually -- will be badly needed in the new tasks and should be diverted to the new challenges.

A new ethic is required -- a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth. We must recognize the earth's limited capacity to provide for us. We must recognize its fragility. We must no longer allow it to be ravaged. This ethic must motivate a great movement, convince reluctant leaders and reluctant governments and reluctant peoples themselves to effect the needed changes.

The scientists issuing this warning hope that our message will reach and affect people everywhere. We need the help of many.

We require the help of the world community of scientists -- natural, social, economic, political;

We require the help of the world's business and industrial leaders;

We require the help of the worlds religious leaders; and

We require the help of the world's peoples.

We call on all to join us in this task.

Anatole Abragam, Physicist; Fmr. Member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences; France
Carlos Aguirre President, Academy of Sciences, Bolivia
Walter Alvarez Geologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Viqar Uddin Ammad, Chemist, Pakistani & Third World Academies, Pakistan
Claude Allegre, Geophysicist, Crafoord Prize, France
Michael Alpers Epidemiologist, Inst. of Med. Research, Papua New Guinea
Anne Anastasi, Psychologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Philip Anderson, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Christian Anfinsen, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; USA
How Ghee Ang, Chemist, Third World Academy, Singapore
Werner Arber, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Switzerland
Mary Ellen Avery, Pediatrician, National Medal of Science, USA
Julius Axelrod, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Michael Atiyah, Mathematician; President, Royal Society; Great Britain
Howard Bachrach, Biochemist, National Medal of Science, USA
John Backus, Computer Scientist, National Medal of Science, USA
Achmad Baiquni, Physicist, Indonesian & Third World Academies, Indonesia
David Baltimore, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
H. A. Barker, Biochemist, National Medal of Science, USA
Francisco J. Barrantes, Biophysicist, Third World Academy, Argentina
David Bates, Physicist, Royal Irish Academy, Ireland
Alan Battersby, Chemist, Wolf Prize in Chemistry, Great Britain
Baruj Benacerraf, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Georg Bednorz, Nobel laureate, Physics; Switzerland
Germot Bergold, Inst. Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Venezuela
Sune Bergstrom, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Sweden
Daniel Bes, Physicist, Argentinean & Third World Academies, Argentina
Hans Bethe, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Arthur Birch Chemist, Australian Academy of Science, Australia
Michael Bishop, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Konrad Bloch, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Nicholaas Bloembergen, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
David Mervyn Blow, Wolf Prize in Chemistry, Great Britain
Baruch Blumberg, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Bert Bolin, Meteorologist, Tyler Prize, Sweden
Norman Borlaug, Agricultural Scientist, Nobel laureate, Peace; USA & Mexico
Frederick Bormann, Forest Ecologist; Past President, Ecological Soc. of Amer.; USA
Raoul Bott, Mathematician, National Medal of Science, USA
Ronald Breslow, Chemist, National Medal of Science
Ricardo Bressani, Inst. of Nutrition, Guatemalan & Third World Academies, Guatemala
Hermann Bruck, Astronomer, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Great Britain
Gerardo Budowski, Natural Resources, Univ. Para La Paz, Costa Rica
E. Margaret Burbidge, Astronomer, National Medal of Science, USA
Robert Burris, Biochemist, Wolf Prize in Agriculture, USA
Glenn Burton, Geneticist, National Medal of Science, USA
Adolph Butenandt, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Fmr. President, Max Planck Inst.; Germany
Sergio Cabrera, Biologist, Univ. de Chile, Chile
Paulo C. Campos, Medical scientist, Philippine & Third World Academies, Philippines
Ennio Candotti, Physicist; President, Brazilian Soc. Adv. of Science; Brazil
Henri Cartan, Wolf Prize in Mathematics, France
Carlos Chagas, Biologist; Univ. de Rio de Janeiro; Fmr. President, Pontifical Academy of Sciences; Brazil
Sivaramakrishna Chandrasekhar, Center for Liquid Crystal Research, India
Georges Charpak, Nobel laureate, Physics; France
Joseph Chatt, Wolf Prize in Chemistry, Great Britain
Shiing-Shen Chern, Wolf Prize in Mathematics, China & USA
Christopher Chetsanga, Biochemist, Affican & Third World Academies, Zimbabwe
Morris Cohen, Engineering, National Medal of Science, USA
Stanley Cohen, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Stanley N. Cohen, Geneticist, Wolf Prize in Medicine, USA
Mildred Cohn, Biochemist, National Medal of Science, USA
E. J. Corey, Nobel laureate, Chemistry, USA
John Cornforth, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Hector Croxatto, Physiologist, Pontifical & Third World Academies, Chile
Paul Crutzen, Chemist, Tyler Prize, Germany
Partha Dasgupta, Economist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Jean Dausset, Nobel laureate, Medicine; France
Ogulande Robert Davidson, Univ. Res. & Dev. Serv., African Acad., Sierra Leone
Margaret Davis, Ecologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Luis D'Croz, Limnologist, Univ. de Panama, Panama
Gerard Debreu, Nobel laureate, Economics; USA
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Nobel laureate, Physics; France
Johann Deisenhofer, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Germany & USA
Frederica de Laguna, Anthropologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Paul-Yves Denis, Geographer, Academy of Sciences, Canada
Pierre Deligne, Mathematician, Crafoord Prize, France
Frank Dixon, Pathologist, Lasker Award, USA
Johanna Dobereiner, Biologist, First Sec., Brazilian Academy of Sci.; Pontifical & Third World Academies, Brazil
Joseph Doob, Mathematician, National Medal of Science, USA
Renato Dulbecco, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Heneri Dzinotyiweyi, Mathematician, African & Third World Academies, Zimbabwe
Manfred Eigen, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Germany
Samuel Eilenberg, Wolf Prize in Mathematics, USA
Mahdi Elmandjra, Economist; Vice President, African Academy of Sciences; Morocco
Paul Ehrlich, Biologist, Crafoord Prize, USA
Thomas Eisner, Biologist, Tyler Prize, USA
Mohammed T. El-Ashry, Environmental scientist, Third World Academy, Egypt & USA
Gertrude Elion, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Aina Elvius, Astronomer, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
K. O. Emery, Oceanographer, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Paul Erdos, Wolf Prize in Mathematics, Hungary
Richard Ernst, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Switzerland
Vittorio Ersparmer, Pharmacologist, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
Sandra Faber, Astronomer, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Nina Federoff, Embryologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Herman Feshbach, Physicist, National Medal of Science, USA
Inga Fischer-Hjalmars, Biologist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Michael Ellis Fisher, Physicist, Wolf Prize in Physics, Great Britain & USA
Val Fitch, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Daflinn Follesdal, President, Norwegian Academy of Science; Norway
William Fowler, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Otto Frankel, Geneticist, Australian Academy of Sciences, Australia
Herbert Friedman, Wolf Prize in Physics, USA
Jerome Friedman, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Konstantin V. Frolov Engineer; Vice President, Russian Academy of Sciences; Russia
Kenichi Fukui, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Japan
Madhav Gadgil, Ecologist, National Science Academy, India
Mary Gaillard, Physicist, National Academy of Sciences. USA
Carleton Gajdusek, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Robert Gallo, Research Scientist, Lasker Award, USA
Rodrigo Gamez ,Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica
Antonio Garcia-Bellido, Biologist, Univ. Auto. Madrid, Royal Society, Spain
Leopoldo Garcia-Collin, Physicist, Latin American & Third World Academies, Mexico
Percy Garnham, Royal Society & Pontifical Academy, Great Britain
Richard Garwin, Physicist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Georgii Georgiev, Biologist, Lenin Prize, Russia
Humam Bishara Ghassib, Physicist, Third World Academy, Jordan
Ricardo Giacconi, Astronomer, Wolf Prize in Physics, USA
Eleanor J. Gibson, Psychologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Marvin Goldberger, Physicist; Fmr. President, Calif. Inst. of Tech., USA
Maurice Goldhaber, Wolf Prize in Physics, USA
Donald Glaser, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Sheldon Glashow, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
James Gowans, Wolf Prize in Medicine, France
Roger Green, Anthropologist, Royal Society, New Zealand
Peter Greenwood, Ichthyologist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Edward Goldberg, Chemist, Tyler Prize, USA
Coluthur Gopolan, Nutrition Foundation of India, Indian & Third World Academies, India
Stephen Jay Gould, Paleontologist, Author, Harvard Univ., USA
Roger Guillemin, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Herbert Gutowsky, Wolf Prize in Chemistry, USA
Erwin Hahn, Wolf Prize in Physics, USA
Gonzalo Halffter, Ecologist, Inst. Pol. Nac. ,Mexico
Kerstin Hall, Endocrinologist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Mohammed Ahmed Hamdan, Mathematician, Third World, Academy, Jordan
Adnan Hamoui, Mathematician, Third World, Academy, Kuwait
A. M. Harun-ar Rashid, Physicist; Sec., Bangladesh, Academy of Sci., Bangladesh
Mohammed H. A. Hassan, Physicist; Exec. Sec., Third World Academy of Sciences; Sudan & Italy
Ahmed Hassanli, Chemist, African Academy of Sciences, Tanzania & Kenya
Herbert Hauptman, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; USA
Stephen Hawking, Mathematician, Wolf Prize in Physics, Great Britain
Elizabeth Hay, Biologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Dudley Herschbach, Nobel laureate, Chemistry, USA
Gerhard Herzberg, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Canada
Antony Hewish, Nobel laureate, Physics; Great Britain
George Hitchings, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Roald Hoffman, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; USA
Robert Holley, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Nick Holonyak, Electrical Engineer, National Medal of Science, USA
Lars Hormander, Wolf Prize in Mathematics, Sweden
Dorothy Horstmann, Epidemiologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
John Houghton, Meteorologist; Chairman, Science Working Group, IPCC; Great Britain
Sarah Hrdy, Anthropologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Kenneth Hsu, Geologist, Third World Academy, China & Switzerland
Kun Huang, Physicist, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Hiroshi Inose, Electrical Engineer; Vice President, Engineering Academy; Japan
Turner T. Isoun, Pathologist, African Academy of Sciences,
Nigeria Francois Jacob, Nobel laureate, Medicine; France
Carl-Olof Jacobson Zoologist; Sec-Gen., Royal Academy of Sciences; Sweden
Dorothea Jameson, Psychologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Daniel Janzen, Biologist, Crafoord Prize, USA
Cecilia Jarlskog, Physicist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Louise Johnson, Biophysicist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Harold Johnston, Chemist, Tyler Prize, USA
Victor A. Kabanov, Chemist, Lenin Prize in Science, Russia
Jerome Karle, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Robert Kates, Geographer, National Medal of Science, USA
Frederick I. B. Kayanja, Vice-Chnclr., Mbarara Univ., Third World Academy, Uganda
Joseph Keller, Mathematician, National Medal of Science, USA
Henry Kendall, Nobel laureate, Physics; Chairman, Union of Concerned Scientists; USA
John Kendrew, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Elisabeth Kessler, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Maung-U Khin, Pediatrician, Third World Academy, Myamnar & USA
Gurdev Khush, Agronomist, International Rice Institute, Indian Natl. Sci. Academy, India & Philippines
Susan Kieffer, Geologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Klaus von Klitzing, Nobel laureate, Physics; Germany
Aaron Klug, Nobel laureate, Chemistry, Great Britain
E. F. Knipling, Agricultural Researcher, National Medal of Science, USA
Walter Kohn, Physicist, National Medal of Science, USA
Janos Kornai, Economist, Hungarian Academy of Science, Hungary
Aderemi Kuku, Mathematician, African & Third World Acads., Nigeria
Ikuo Kushiro, Geologist, Japan Academy, Japan
Devendra Lal, Geophysicist, National Science Academy, India
Gerardo Lamas-Muller, Biologist, Museo de Historia Natural, Peru
Torvard Laurent, Physiological chemist; President, Royal Academy of Sciences; Sweden
Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate, Physics; Chr., Amer. Assn. Adv. Sci.; USA
Sang Soo Lee, Physicist, Korean & Third World Academies, Rep. of Korea
Yuan T. Lee, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; USA
Susan Leeman PharmacologistX National Academy of Sciences, USA
Jean Marie Lehn, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; France
Wassily Leontief, Nobel laureate, Economics; USA
Luna Leopold, Geologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Louis Leprince-Ringuet, Physicist, French & Pontifical Academies, France
Vladilen Letokhov, Physicist, Lenin Prize in Science, Russia
Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA & Italy
Li Chang-lin, Environmental Sciences, Fudan University, China
Shan Tao Liao, Mathematician, Chinese & Third World Academies, China
William Lipscomb, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Jane Lubchenco, Zoologist; President-Elect, Ecological Soc. of Amer.; USA
Christopher Magazda, Limnologist, African Academy of Sciences, Zimbabwe
Lydia Phindile Makhubu, Chemist, Third World & African Academies, Swaziland
Khursheed Ahmad Malik, Microbiologist, Pakistan & Third World Academies, Pakistan & Germany
Lynn Margulis, Biologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Paul Marks, Oncologist, National Medal of Science, USA
George Martine, Inst. for Study of Society, Population, & Nature; Brazil
Frederico Mayor, Biochemist; Dir. Gen., UNESCO, Spain & France Ernst Mayr, Zoologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Maclyn McCarty, Wolf Prize in Medicine, USA
James McConnell, Physicist, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Ireland
Digby McLaren, Past President, Royal Society of Canada; Canada
James Meade, Nobel laureate, Economics; Great Britain
Jerrold Meinwald, Chemistry, Tyler Prize, USA
M. G. K Menon, Physicist; President, International Council of Scientific Unions; India
Gennady Mesiatz, Physicist; Vice President, Russian Academy of Sciences; Russia
Jan Michalski, Biologist, Polish Academy of Science, Poland
Hartmut Michel, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Germany
Brenda Milner, Neurologist, Academy of Sciences, Canada
Cesar Milstein, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Argentina & Great Britain
Franco Modigliani, Nobel laureate, Economics; USA
Andrei Monin, Oceanologist, State Prize, Russia
Marcos Moshinsky, Physicist, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Mexico
Nevill Mott, Nobel laureate, Physics; Great Britain
Teruaki Mukaiyama, Chemist, Japan Academy, Japan
Walter Munk, Geophysicist, National Medal of Science, USA
Anne Murray, Ethnographer, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Joseph Murray, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Noreen Murray, Biologist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Lawrence Mysak, Meteorologist; Vice President, Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada; Canada
Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Astrophysicist, Indian & Third World Academies, India
Anwar Nasim, Biologist, Third World Academy, Saudi Arabia
Kim Nasmyth, Biologist, Royal Society, Great Britain & Austria
James Neel, Geneticist, National Medal of Science, USA
Louis Neel, Nobel laureate, Physics; France
Yuval Ne'eman, Physicist, Natl. Acad. of Sci. & Humanities, Israel
Oleg M. Nefedov, Chemist; Vice President, Russian Academy of Sciences; Russia
Erwin Neher, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Germany
Marshall Nirenberg, Biochemist; Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Yasutomi Nishizuka, Biochemist, Lasker Award, Japan
John S. Nkoma, Physicist, Third World Academy, Botswana
Paul Nchoji Nkvvi, Anthropologist, African Academy, Cameroon
Howard Odum, Ecologist, Crafoord Prize, USA
Bede Nwoye Okigbo, Agricultural Scientist; Dir., U.N. Unv. Pgm. Natrl. Res. in Afr.; Nigeria & Kenya
Ayub Khan Ommaya, Neurobiologist, Third World Academy, Pakistan & USA
Cyril Agodi Onwumechili, Physicist, Fmr. Pres., Nigerian Acad. of Sciences, Nigeria & Great Britain
Mary Jane Osborn, Microbiologist, National Academy of Scientists, USA
Yuri Ossipyan, Physicist; Vice President, Russian Academy of Sciences; Russia
Autzr Singh Paintal, Physiologist, Fmr. President, Indian National Science Academy, India
George Pake, Physicist, National Medal of Science, USA
George Palade, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Mary Lou Pardue, Biologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate, Chemistry & Pence, USA
Barbara Pearse, Molecular Biologist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Muhammed Abed Peerally, Biologist, Third World Academy, Mauritius
Manuel Peimbert, Astronomer, Univ. Nac. Aut. de Mexico, Mexico
Roger Penrose, Mathematician, Wolf Prize in Physics, Great Britain
John Philip, Agricultural Science, Australian Academy of Science, Australia
Lilian Pickford, Physiologist, Royal Society, Great Britain
John R. Pierce, Electrical Engineer, National Medal of Science, USA
John Polanyi, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Canada
George Porter, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Ilya Prigogine, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Belgium
Giampietro Puppi, Physicist, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Italy
Edward Purcell, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Atta ur-Rahman, Chemist, Pakistani & Third World Academies, Pakistan
G. N. Ramachandran, Mathematician, Inst. of Science, India
Tiruppattur Ramakrishnan, Physicist, Indian & Third World Academies, India
Chintamani Rao, Inst. of Science, Indian and Pontifical Academies, India
Eduardo Rapoport, Ecologist, Third World Academy, Argentina
Marianne Rasmuson, Geneticist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Sweden
Peter Raven, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden; National Academy of Sciences, USA
Martin Rees, Astronomer, Royal Society & Pontifical Academy, Great Britain
Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, Anthropologist, Columbian & Third World Academies, Columbia
Tadeus Reichstein, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Switzerland
Frederick Reines, Physicist, National Medal of Science, USA
Alexander Rich, Biologist, National & Pontifical Academies, USA
Burton Richter, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Ralph Riley, Wolf Prize in Agriculture, Great Britain
Claude Rimington, Inst. for Cancer Research, Norwegian Academy of Science, Norway
Gustavo Rivas Mijares, Engineer; Fmr. President, Academy of Sciences, Venezuela
Frederick Robbins, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Wendell Roelofs, Entomologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Betty Roots, Zoologist, Academy of Sciences, Canada
Miriam Rothschild, Biologist, Royal Society, Great Britain
Sherwood Rowland, Chemist; President, American Association for the Advancement of Science; USA
Janet Rowley, Physician, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Carlo Rubbia, Nobel laureate, Physics, Italy & Switzerland
Vera Rubin, Physicist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Yuri Rudenko, Energy Research Inst., State Prize laureate, Russia
Elizabeth Russell, Jackson Laboratory, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Albert Sabin, Virologist, National Medal of Science, USA
Carl Sagan, Astrophysicist & Author, USA
Roald Sagdeev, Physicist, Russian & Pontifical Academies, Russia & USA
Ruth Sager, Geneticist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Farrokh Saidi, Surgeon, Third World Academy, Iran
Abdus Salam, Nobel laureate, Physics; President, Third World Academy of Sciences, Pakistan & Italy
Frederick Sanger, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Jose Sarukhan, Biologist, Third World Academy, Mexico
Berta Scharrer,Neuroscientist, National Medal of Science, USA
Richard Schultes, Botanist, Tyler Prize, USA
Melvin Schwartz, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Julian Schwinger, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Glenn Seaborg, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
Michael Sela, Weizmann Inst., Pontifical Academy of Science, Israel
Arne Semb-Johansson, Entomologist, Norwegian Academy of Science, Norway
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Chemist, Pontifical & Third World Academies, Pakistan
Kai Siegbahn, Nobel laureate, Physics; Sweden
Thomas Silou, Biochemist, African Academy of Sciences, Congo
Herbert Simon, Nobel laureate, Economics; USA
Alexej Sitenko, Physicist, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Jens Skou, Biophysicist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Denmark
Charles Slack, Agricultural Science, Royal Society, New Zealand
George Snell, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Roger Sperry, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Alexander Spirin, Biologistn Lenin Prize, Russia
Earl Stadtman, Biochemist, National Medal of Science, USA
Thressa Stadtman, Biochemist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Ledyard Stebbins, Geneticist, National Medal of Science, USA
Jack Steinberger, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA & Switzerland
Janos Szentgothai, Fmr. President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Hungary
Tan Jia-zhen, Geneticist, Shanghai Univ., China
Andrezej Tarkowski, Embryologist, Polish [text missing]
Valentine Telegdi, Wolf Prize in Physics, Switzerland
Kirthi Tennakone, Physicist, Third World Academy, Sri Lanka
Walter Thirring, Physicist, Austrian & Pontifical Academies, Austria
Donnall Thomas, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Jan Tinbergen, Nobel laureate, Economics; Netherlands
Samuel C. C. Ting, Nobel laureate, Physics; USA
James Tobin, Nobel laureate, Economics; USA
Alexander Todd, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Susumu Tonegawa, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Japan & USA
Cheng Kui Tseng, Oceanologist, Chinese & Third World Academies, China
Hans Tuppy, Biochemist, Austrian & Pontifical Academies, Austria
James Van Allen, Physicist, Crafoord Prize, USA
Simon van der Meer, Nobel laureate, Physics; Netherlands & Switzerland
John Vane, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Great Britain
Harold Varmus, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Martha Vaughan, Biochemist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
George Wald, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Henrik Wallgren, Zoologist, Society of Science & Letters, Finland
E. T. S. Walton, Nobel laureate, Physics, Ireland
Prawase Wasi, Hematologist, Third World Academy, Thailand
Gerald Wasserburg, Geophysicist, Crafoord Prize, USA
James Watson, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Victor Weisskopf, Wolf Prize in Physics, USA
Thomas Weller, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Diter von Wettstein, Physiologist, Royal Academy of Sciences, Denmark
Fred Whipple, Astronomer, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Gilbert White, Geographer, Tyler Prize, USA
Torsten Wiesel, Nobel laureate, Medicine; USA
Jerome Wiesner, Physicist, Fmr. President, Mass. Inst. of Tech., USA
Maurice Wilkins, Nobel laureate, Medicine; Great Britain
Geoffrey Wilkinson, Nobel laureate, Chemistry; Great Britain
Richard Willems, Geneticist, Estonian Biocentre, Estonia
Edward O. Wilson, Biologist, Crafoord Prize, USA
Lawrence A. Wilson, Agricultural Science, Third World Academy, Trinidad
Evelyn Witkin, Biologist, National Academy of Sciences, USA
Yang Fujia, Physicist, Chinese & Third World Academies, China
Alexander L. Yanshin, Geologist, Karpinsky Gold Medal, Russia
Yongyuth Yuthavong, Biochemist; Director, National Sci. & Tech. Devl. Agency, Thailand
Zhao Zhong-xian, Physicist, Chinese & Third World Academies, China
Zhou Guang-zhao, Physicist; President, Chinese Academy of Sciences; China
Solly ZuckerInan, Zoologist, Royal Society, Great Britain

Over 1,500 members of national, regional, and inter-national science academies have signed the Warning. Sixty-nine nations from all parts of Earth are represented, including each of the twelve most populous nations and the nineteen largest economic powers. The full list includes a majority of the Nobel laureates in the sciences. Awards and institutional affiliations are listed for the purpose of identification only. The Nobel Prize in medicine is for physiology or medicine.

A WORLD SCIENTISTS' WARNING BRIEFING BOOK is available from the Union of Concerned Scientists. It provides the citations to support their WARNING.
Union of Concerned Scientists
96 Church Street
Cambridge, Mass 02238-9105, USA

VOX: 617-547-5552
FAX: 617-864-9405

Warning issued on November 18, 1992

SOURCE: The Deoxyribonucleic Hyperdimension

Judge Says Road Ban Applies to Oil and Gas Exploration in Forests

by Terence Chea (Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge ruled that a Clinton-era ban on road construction in national forests applies to hundreds of oil and gas leases sold by the Bush administration.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte's ruling Wednesday means that holders of more than 300 leases that permit oil and gas exploration in national forests cannot build roads to access those areas.

Laporte's order follows her September ruling that reinstated the 2001 "Roadless Rule" that prohibits logging, mining and other development on 58.5 million acres of pristine wilderness in 38 states and Puerto Rico.

In that earlier ruling, Laporte said the Bush administration had failed to conduct necessary environmental studies before it replaced the rule in May 2005 with a process that required governors to petition the federal government to protect national forests in their states.

She sided with 20 environmental groups and four states - California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington - that had sued the Forest Service over the changes.

On Wednesday, Laporte ruled in favor of the plaintiffs who argued that her ruling should apply to all actions taken since the Roadless Rule was issued in January 2001. The Bush administration had argued that it should only apply to actions taken after she reinstated the ruling in September.

The oil and gas leases cover more than 340,000 acres in seven Western states, including 179,000 in Utah, 87,000 in Colorado and 55,000 in North Dakota.

Hunting, fishing, hiking and conservation groups had opposed the sale of many of the leases, fearing they would open wilderness to road construction.

Laporte ruled that leaseholders cannot build roads in those areas, but did not rule out other ways to access the land.

Laporte also ruled that the Roadless Rule applies to the Coal Creek-Big Creek Road Project in Idaho, but left it up to the plaintiffs and defendants to decide whether the construction should go forward. The judge allowed logging to continue in two regions of Oregon - Mike's Gulch and Blackberry on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest - where timber sales were approved after the rule was changed.

Tim Preso, an attorney for the plaintiffs, called Wednesday's ruling "a victory for hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers and anybody who wants to see their national forests wild instead of industrialized with roads for oil and gas development."

The Forest Service could not comment because administration lawyers were still reviewing the ruling, said spokesman Joe Walsh.

SOURCE: The Mercury News

By the Numbers: The Boreal Forest

Lloyd Alter writes: "The North American boreal forest stretches from Newfoundland to Alaska. In it: 5 million square kilometres. One quarter of the earth’s original forest. 80% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. 136 Billion tons of sequestered carbon. Three billion migrant landbirds every summer. But with the easy sources of energy disappearing and the insatiable demand for Kleenex, there are also scary numbers. Two hectares are clearcut every minute. In Ontario alone, 4400 mining claims have been staked. 1,000 square kilometres are staked for coal bed methane production. 62,000 kilometres of logging roads run through it. According to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, the portion that should be park and preserve: 50%. The portion that should be managed sustainably: 50%. Portion that actually is protected, notwithstanding the Government’s pledge to 'institute meaningful planning': 5%. Scary."

Click here for more.

Surveillance: It Affects Us All..

..and I don't need to explain that to any activist.

FBI Activates Cell Phones Remotely for Wiretapping
by Purav Sanghani

They can see us, read our emails, watch our IM conversations, and now even hear us whether we want them to or not.

It seems as though George Orwell hit it the bullseye again when he wrote about Big Brother and the government's way of keeping track of the general public. It has been recently revealed that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has a way of tapping a cell phone and using the microphone to listen in on nearby conversations.

The method used for listening in on conversations held by alleged members of Cosa Nostra is called a "roving bug" and was ruled to be a legal method of wiretapping by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The bug was alledgedly used on two Nextel phones. It looks like all cellular phones are vulnerable to this sort of wiretapping according to CNet's findings:

The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."

Kaplan further added that the functionality of the roving bug was in place even when the phone was powered off -- or at least when the phone looked to be powered off. One possible method that the FBI used to tap into the two Nextel phones is by getting the network to install a rogue firmware update which gave the agency access to such features.

Such capability has long been rumored to exist in Motorola phones after it was discovered how the 9/11 terrorists used cellular phones to coordinate most of their activities.

Still there are some skeptics who believe that this method does not exist and that the FBI had to have physically planted a bug into the cellular phone to monitor conversations. But with the recent boom of PDA phones and devices that support custom software it was only a matter of time before hackers, or the government found a way to exploit similar features.

SOURCE: Daily Tech

Saturday, December 02, 2006

This blog is not dead!

It's just going through a transition period, a period of intense introspection and adjustment. New information has been made available to its author and, as such, there will be a period of digestion. Expect a shift back to universal themes, universal concerns, universal issues.

Without a healthy ecosystem, including clean air, water, and a food chain with integrity, what befalls the constitutional rights of Americans or the lives of Iraqis or the problems of any one group of people on Earth will be but a distant 'ting' in a symphony of cymbals and drums that may be our downfall as a species. I wish to stop it but I will not put humans before Earth. Earth can exist without us but we cannot exist without her.

To put the Earth first is to give humanity its only chance. From now on, this blog will be a big picture information source, resisting the temptation to get mired down in minutia, in the details that can, in overload mode, give the author and any potential readers what I often call the deer in the headlights phenonenon. If you have truly keen insight, you see that this means this blog will take a decidedly spiritual bent, if decidedly anti-religious.

Please stay tuned. I still have much to share.

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