Saturday, February 01, 2003

Germany Political Parties Losing Members
Four of the five parties represented in the German parliament lost about 500,000 members between 1991 and 2000, according to figures released by the parliament on Thursday in Berlin. The party that lost the most members was Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats. It saw its total membership fall from 919,871 to 734,693. Only one party recorded a gain: Schröder's coalition partner, the Greens. Their total rose by 8,577 to 46,631.
Germany But in recent weeks, opinion both within Germany and in some European countries has swung sharply in favor of what is now perceived as Germany’s bold anti-war stance in the face of strident American pressure to attack Iraq.
Yahoo! News - U.S.: Activity Up at N. Korea Nuke Plant "I think they're playing with fire," he said. "Even though the administration has feigned nonchalance, the reality is that tampering with plutonium that could be shipped or smuggled is extraordinarily serious, and, I would argue, crosses a very clear and bright red line."
Yahoo! News - Blair Urging Bush on New Iraq Resolution "House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, meanwhile, denounced what he called "foreign and domestic apologists," particularly France and Germany, for favoring more patience over military action. Allowing more time for inspections means more time for Saddam to arm terrorists, he said.

"No more evidence, no more smoking guns, no more unreasonable demands from fading and dissipated countries which lack the will to defend even themselves," DeLay, R-Texas, told a conservative gathering Friday night. "We've got all the evidence we need — the pages of history."

Trust DeLay to pump up the volume for war. Especially when another man's sons are going to die.
toledoblade.com The principle of pre-emptive war may seem bold and decisive, but striking out at someone before he can strike at you is at base the logic of a bully. As a guiding instrument of foreign policy, it is so morally disjointed as to invite other nations, as well as terrorists, to launch unwarranted attacks on the United States.
Yahoo! News - Report: Giuliani Employs Barred Priest NEW YORK - A priest who was barred from the ministry after he was accused of sexual abuse has been working for former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani consulting business, The New York Times reported Saturday.

That grubby liberal media again...
US Air Force jet intrudes Indian airspace - The Times of India CHENNAI: A US Air Force plane flew at a high speed some 150 nautical miles east of Chennai for over two hours on Friday and did not respond to any radio signals, airport sources said here on Saturday.
Global Anxiety Propels Euro Above Dollar (washingtonpost.com) PARIS -- Growing fear of war in Iraq has pushed Europe's common currency, the euro, sharply higher against the dollar, reversing a long-established pattern in which geopolitical jitters led investors to seek refuge in U.S. currency.
ABC News - 31/01/03 : Solomons PM on mystery Korean trip Mr Kemakeza, already criticised for signing a deal with a pyramid finance group, left the country today without explanation.

Newspaper The Solomon Star reports one official as saying Mr Kemakeza was going to talk with Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon and his wealthy Unification Church.
Guardian Unlimited | Online | New biz on the blog For Jarvis, blogging is a source of audience-generated content. "Forums on such topics as recipes and high-school wrestling bring in up to a third of our traffic. So we value this content. We saw blogging, early on, as a potential for new audience content." Advance is planning three or four blogs on its Masslive.com site (a local portal serving western Massachusetts). The idea is to get people in the community to create local weblogs on topics such as local sports.
Cursor.org - Table of Contents page An AP story that most news outlets headlined "Saddam, al-Qaida Would Be Unusual Allies," becomes "Nightmare Scenario: Iraq, Al Qaeda Linked" at FOXNews.com.
Cursor.org - Table of Contents page VP Dick Cheney surfaces to address a Conservative Political Action Conference gathering, where attendees could purchase "No Muslims -- No Terrorism" bumper stickers.
US is misquoting my Iraq report, says Blix - smh.com.au Days after delivering a broadly negative report on Iraq's cooperation with international inspectors, Hans Blix challenged several of the Bush Administration's assertions about Iraqi cheating and the notion that time was running out for disarming Iraq through peaceful means.
Opposition shifting towards likelihood of war - smh.com.au The prospect of bipartisan political support for a war on Iraq is growing, with the Government and Labor believing the United Nations will allow, but not necessarily endorse, military action.

As war nears, so the big ALP cave in to Shrub gets off the blocks.
Newsday.com - Scant Compensation for Sick Nuke Workers "The government so far has paid nearly $442 million in restitution and $5.8 million in medical bills on 6,100 claims. About half of the claims were filed by workers, the rest by families of those who are deceased.

The government doesn't track how many workers have died while waiting for benefits."

When I ask myself, is America a country that cares about its people? The only answer I can come to is no. Up to 65 million people have died world-wide due to nuclear weapons related illness (scroll down). Yet the government has paid out a scant few hundred million to the American victims of its nuclear war-making industries. What hope or assurances do non US citizens have from the US government on compensation for radiation or hazardous chemical exposure?

Friday, January 31, 2003

Court Reverses Decision on Mining (washingtonpost.com) "In a major victory for the mining industry, a U.S. appeals court in Richmond has reversed a lower-court ruling that would have ended the practice of filling rivers and streams with waste rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations."

See also Kentucky Resources Council
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | This link between Islamist zealot and secular fascist just doesn't add up "...an al-Qaida-Saddam alliance defies common sense. Osama bin Laden is an Islamist zealot who despises secular fascists such as Saddam. I heard from Bin Laden himself that he is no fan of Saddam. When I met with the Saudi exile in Afghanistan five years ago he volunteered that he thought the Iraqi dictator was a "bad Muslim". For Bin Laden, that's as bad as it gets."

From the author of Holy War, Inc., a respected book on Bin Laden.
Intergenerational Equity Tom Tomorrow spots it again: Shrub and co. aren't really conservatives at all.

"The president has laid out his agenda. Call it bold, brilliant, audacious or outrageous. But don’t call it “conservative.”
Real conservatives promote fiscal prudence, public accountability and limited government. But the policies promoted by Mr. Bush and his party, as outlined in the State of the Union speech, is a sad parody of those values. Bush and company are running a con game – they seek to gain our CONfidence by assuring us they are CONservative. But their desire to hold political power has trumped genuine public-spirited principle and the values they profess.
Fiscal prudence? The keystone of today’s “conservative” agenda is a dedication to tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, even though doing so will increase the deficit. That’s short-term thinking at its worst. Because of those tax breaks, the faltering economy and the war on terrorism, some economists estimate we’ll have deficits of $300 billion a year for the foreseeable future. The next generation of Americans will bear the burden of that debt. There’s something profoundly immoral about financing tax breaks for today’s wealthiest Americans by borrowing money from the unborn."

CNN.com - Exchange between Reid, judge follows life sentence - Jan. 30, 2003 "I'm at war with your country not for personal reasons but because you have killed so many innocents, so many children. ... My fate is in Allah's hands. ... I leave you to judge."

The chilling last act of the shoe bomber trial, now being echoed around the world in the Arab media.
More Blitzer poll madness Is the United States prepared for a bioterror attack?
Yes 13% 367 votes
No 87% 2540 votes
Total: 2907 votes

The Courier Mail: Bush not listening to UN [31jan03] "Russia's UN Ambassador Sergey Lavrov rejected reports that President Vladimir Putin was buckling and would back a US-led war.

"There is no change in the Russian position," he said, claiming Mr Putin had been misinterpreted."

Wonder who planted the idea of Russia caving in to the US in the first place?
The Courier Mail: Spies bungle arms plot [31jan03] The Brisbane Courier Mail, long the ugly sister of Mudoch's Australian newspapers, has a new editor and is actually getting to be a better, more insightful paper.

Here they report on the shenanigans of a top-secret Australian spy for ASIS who went by the name of Felix Unger, a character in 1970s TV sitcom The Odd Couple, in a series of bungled deals involving the Russian mafia, amongst others. Now the plan to grab secret Russian radars is out for all to see, and many questions remain to be answered. One story I'll def. follow.
Why an attack now would be so very dangerous - theage.com.au George Bush must wait for the weapons inspections in Iraq to run their course, writes former conservative OZ PM Malcolm Fraser.
Millions to die from nuke industry pollution Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for South-east England, said the figures gave the nuclear debate a renewed urgency. "The Government must call an immediate review of its support for the nuclear industry or bear moral, and potentially legal, responsibility for this tragic and avoidable loss of human life."

Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Beast - Buffalo's New Best Fiend Back to the size later. The second thing that was striking about this crowd was that, despite the fact that it was comprised of largely middle- to upper-middle class whites, there was no name politician from either major party there to address it.
The Village Voice: Nation: Weapon of the Week: The Electrocuting Water Cannon by George Smith The innovative savvy of American electrical engineers always astounds. If something terrible can be built in the name of security, they never shirk. Who else would be brilliant enough to come up with a water gun that carries molar-rattling electrical shocks?
U.S. Renews Claims of Hussein-Al Qaeda Link Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld went further Wednesday, saying that evidence supporting the claims of such links "has grown."

Intelligence officials said they are puzzled by the administration's new push.

"To my knowledge, there's nothing new," said a senior U.S. intelligence official who asked not to be identified. The expectation within the CIA regarding Powell's speech, the source said, "is that it's going to be more comprehensive than bombastic and new."

LRB | Anatol Lieven : The Push for War "The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless. If I had to put money on it, I'd say that the odds on quick success in destroying the Iraqi regime may be as high as 5/1 or more, given US military superiority, the vile nature of Saddam Hussein's rule, the unreliability of Baghdad's missiles, and the deep divisions in the Arab world.

But at first sight, the longer-term gains for the US look pretty limited, whereas the consequences of failure would be catastrophic. A general Middle Eastern conflagration and the collapse of more pro-Western Arab states would lose us the war against terrorism, doom untold thousands of Western civilians to death in coming decades, and plunge the world economy into depression."

Mirror.co.uk - BLOODY COWARDS "To call Blair a mere "poodle" is to allow him distance from the killing of innocent Iraqi men, women and children for which he will share responsibility. He is the embodiment of the most dangerous appeasement humanity has known since the 1930s.

The current American elite is the Third Reich of our times, although this distinction ought not to let us forget that they have merely accelerated more than half a century of unrelenting American state terrorism: from the atomic bombs dropped cynically on Japan as a signal of their new power, to the dozens of countries invaded, directly or by proxy, in order to destroy democracy wherever it collided with American "interests", such as a voracious appetite for the world's natural resources, like oil."

Pilger's open declaration of Blair as a potential criminal of war if the UK backs the US in a non UN attack on Iraq.
Light Particles Are Duplicated More Than a Mile Away Along Fiber "Employing a facet of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," scientists have taken particles of light, destroyed them and then resurrected copies more than a mile away."

Main application in short term likely to be uncrackable quantum encryption devices for totally secure communications.
U.S. to Seek Waiver on Weed Killer Harmful to Ozone Layer The Bush administration is considering seeking scores of exemptions for industries that want to keep using an ozone-depleting pesticide that is to be banned by 2005 under an international treaty.

Why do I detect Dick Cheney's withered hands all over this new policy?
Planet Ark : Run-off damages Australia Great Barrier Reef - study "The grim message from the report is that some of our actions on land are gradually poisoning parts of the Great Barrier Reef," Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said in a statement late this week.

"The reef is suffering from the way we clear, drain, settle and farm the land," Beattie said. "It is like a huge drain collecting sediments, nutrients, herbicides and pesticides from farming, grazing and urban settlements."

Beattie pledged state government action to protect the reef from land-based pollution. He did not elaborate."

It will be interesting to see what the Queensland government has to say about the WW2 wrecks in the Coral Sea, next to the Great Barrier Reef. I've put some questions to Queensland Transport and the Australian Maritime Safety Agency which I'll write about here soon.

The canegrowers are losing lots of credibility by basically outright denying there are any problems with spraying fertilisers and pesticides and generating silt all over our coastal wetlands. Better to admit the problems, then work with ecologists and permaculturists to design a better solution to both the industry's environmental responsiblities as well as its economic viability as an ongoing community.

The family farm is dying out in sugar cane areas. In its place, canegrowers say Howard wants to re-introduce the old Plantation scheme in the cane fields. That hateful scheme saw the blackbirding of Indigeneous Kanakas and many other shameful, racist treatment of Aborigines perfected by squatters and their political henchmen up and down the coast. 'Cept this time they will be the new blackbirds, and the agricorporations will own the majority of the farms.
Planet Ark : Prestige tanker to spill thousands more tonnes of toxic fuel "We can conclude that, even if the holes were completely sealed, structural deterioration (means that)...the leakage of oil from the tanks cannot be avoided," a committee from Spain's Scientific Investigation Centre concluded.

The Prestige can't be "out of sight and out of mind" anymore.
BBC NEWS | UK | Authorities anti-war rally ban: keep off the grass "Chief executive William Weston said park use was barred at this time of the year due to concern for public safety and for the damage that could be caused to the grass."

Since when does grass come above the right to peaceably assemble to voice one's protest in a gathering of like-minded citizens? Surely there is some wiggle room here...
Defense Tech TIA is already steaming forward. According to people with knowledge of the program, TIA has now advanced to the point where it's much more than a mere "research project"' There is a working prototype of the system, and federal agencies outside the Defense Department have expressed interest in it.

I spotted this too...scroll down...The Senate only asked for more detail before budget negotiators work out a deal on the package.
AOL TW Posts Loss of Nearly $100 Billion (TechNews.com) NEW YORK (Reuters) - AOL Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, on Wednesday posted a 2002 loss of nearly $100 billion, the largest annual loss in U.S. corporate history, after taking a whopping $45.5 billion charge in the fourth quarter to write down the value of assets.
U.S. Links Indonesian Troops to Deaths of 2 Americans Bush administration officials have determined that Indonesian soldiers carried out a deadly ambush that killed two American teachers returning from a picnic in a remote area of Indonesia last August, senior administration officials say.
How many dead Iraqis will it take? - theage.com.au We need to speak the truth about the suffering any attack would inflict upon our fellow human beings, to repudiate the all too ready use of force.
We need to tell Bush and Blair and Howard that we will not be complicit in an act of mass murder.

MATT DRUDGE // DRUDGE REPORT 2003® If U.S. forces find themselves in control of Iraq, international law would give them a large degree of leeway in managing the country's oil fields, the WALL STREET JOURNAL reported on Wednesday.
fear and awe: the other schreck The medieval town of Louvain was heavily shelled and its university's library, a treasure-house of ancient manuscripts, was torched. 'We shall wipe it out,' declared one German officer. 'Not one stone will stand upon another. We will teach them to respect Germany. For generations people will come here and see what we have done' "(pp. 65-6).
Shock & Awe: Is Baghdad the Next Hiroshima? Ullman wants the U.S. to (in his words) “deter and overpower an adversary through the adversary’s perception and fear of his vulnerability and our own invincibility.” “This ability to impose massive shock and awe, in essence to be able to 'turn the lights on and off' of an adversary as we choose, will so overload the perception, knowledge and understanding of that adversary that there will be no choice except to cease and desist or risk complete and total destruction."
Government Proposes $59 Billion Technology Budget (TechNews.com) Forman, who spoke Monday at Oracle AppsWorld in San Diego, said the government would invest heavily in geospatial technology, which may include subscriptions to satellite services that would allow firefighters to more accurately track the spread of a forest blaze.
Many Layers To Building A Super Soldier (washingtonpost.com) The nearly $100 million project, which also involves industry partners DuPont Co. and Raytheon Co. and two Boston hospitals, is designed to develop and apply molecular materials that will help outfit American soldiers in a way that gives them a significant edge over their enemies.
Fortified by Defense Dollars (TechNews.com) "Washington didn't get hit nearly as bad as other technology centers because of defense spending," agreed Steven Cochrane, chief regional economist of consulting firm Economy.com. "Defense work is really increasingly tied into telecommunications and Internet infrastructure, and all sorts of weaponry needs millions of lines of software code."
Lockheed Results Up on Space Systems, Jets (TechNews.com) BETHESDA, Md. (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, on Friday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations on a strong performance from its space systems and fighter jets, but special charges wiped out the profits.
Northrop Reports Earnings Gains (TechNews.com) Defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. yesterday reported a 71 percent jump in profit in the fourth quarter, driven by strong revenue from its recent string of acquisitions.
The builder of Navy ships and Global Hawk drones reported net income of $224 million ($1.72 a share) during the quarter that ended in December. During the same period in 2001, Northrop reported net income of $131 million ($1.28).
Comments Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity.
Silt Idiotarians of the World, Unite!

Your views about the war
Are neither Bushian nor Blairian.
Instead of keeping mum,
You'd rather moot a stance contrarian.
You think no CEO
Is worth as much as a librarian.
You always look askance
At those whose sympathies are Aryan.
If these apply to you,
Then you must be an Idiotarian.
CNN - Content Did President Bush adequately make his case against Iraq Tuesday night?
Yes 25% 318 votes
No 75% 933 votes

9-11 Commissioner has oil link to al QaedaIn December, President Bush named Thomas Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, chairman of an independent commission examining the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But FORTUNE has learned that Kean appears to have a bizarre link to the very terror network he's investigating--al Qaeda.
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | War 'has ruined Afghan environment' "Over 80% of Afghan people live in rural areas, yet they have seen many of their basic resources - water for irrigation, trees for food and fuel - lost in just a generation. In urban areas the most basic necessity for human wellbeing - safe water - may be reaching as few as 12% of the people."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

U.S., India to Conduct Joint Air Combat Exercise The U.S. and Indian militaries are planning to conduct their first joint exercise with fighter aircraft, U.S. defense officials said, a move that has aroused concern among senior Pakistani officials because it is likely to teach India how to blunt the ability of Pakistan to use fighter jets to launch nuclear weapons.
The Seattle Times: Are we itching for war or just really stupid? It seems reasonable to wonder what percentage of Americans understand the relationship between Iraq and the perpetrators of 9/11, what with war and death and all that coming up.

Orcinus neatly compresses the way fascism works: in a vacuum of denial.
The war generation bets on a certainty - theage.com.au "We are a generation of war... we will face this all our life," said geography student Mutasum al-Sadoon, 23. "Today is really a historic day. This war will be a point of transformation. If Iraq is destroyed there will be bloodshed, not only in the Arab world but in all of the Muslim world."
The Unseen Gulf War by Peter Turnley - The Digital Journalist Click on the thumbnails to visit their web page.
All photographs © Peter Turnley - Corbis
TOMPAINE.com - From 'Anti-Globalization' To A World Of Possibilities Saul Alinsky said the price of any successful attack was a plan for counterattack.
AM - 29/1/2003: Defence Minister on Iraq "It makes one wonder if Bush should be pushed into exile."

ROBERT HILL: Umm, I don't understand what that means."

Bullshite he doesn't. Plenty of powerful fingers are tapping on Howard and Bush's shoulders even as we speak...but they don't seem to be listening yet.
AM - 29/1/2003: Business unprepared for effects of climate change "Studies indicate there's going to be some significant changes to the weather patterns in Australia, and that has implications for the tourism industry with respect to the impact on the Barrier Reef and the natural heritage, it has impacts on the insurance industry in terms of the nature and severity of storms and other weather conditions, it obviously has an impact on the agricultural sector."
Liberal powerbroker warns Howard off war Mr Valder, who also used to head the Liberal Party in Mr Howard's home state of NSW, said the prime minister knew he was a plain speaker and he would say as much to Mr Howard's face.
"I would say just that: `Look, John, it's out of all proportion to the end, you don't need to spend billions and trillions of dollars and risk killing probably hundreds of thousands of people, causing economic havoc probably around the world and probably causing political havoc around the world'," he said.
ABC News - 29/01/03 : SA Govt blasts NRG power price grab SA Govt blasts NRG power price grab
Power company NRG is to face an inquiry over its attempts to increase prices by 3,500 per cent during a gas crisis in South Australia at the weekend.

State Treasurer Kevin Foley has described the attempt as greedy and unacceptable.

He says NRG increased its wholesale power price from $269 per megawatt hour to more than $9,500 per megawatt hour five minutes after it was told of the gas shortage caused by problems at the Moomba gas plant.

"This Government will not tolerate that cowboy behaviour from an American-owned private power company. I mean this is just inexcusable behaviour," he said.
MonitorTalk | Christian Science Monitor | MonitorTalk/Society and Culture #827.1 Did the Chinese discover America before Columbus?
20 votes (47%)
7 votes (16%)
The case still needs to be made.
16 votes (37%)
CBS News | The State Of Bush's Presidency | January 29, 2003 00:36:24 In the CBS poll taken immediately following the speech, support for military action in Iraq went up to 77 percent indicating the power of a President to persuade -- especially if the opposition is silent. Democrats came out swinging against him on domestic issues, but their reaction on Iraq was mixed. Rep Dick Gephardt reiterated his support for the President on Iraq while Senator Edward Kennedy demanded a return visit to give specifics on the evidence.
1 - Number One News Resource of Pakistan - The News - Jang Group TOKYO: Enough plutonium to produce 25 nuclear bombs is unaccounted for at a Japanese nuclear facility, but the deficit is mostly due to measuring shortcomings and miscalculations, an official said Tuesday.

UPDATE: IAEA says it is not worried. Then again, they never seem to be worried about anything.
KoreaTimes : Why Did Lim Fail to Meet NK’s Kim JI? President Kim Dae-jung’s letter to the North Korean leader, relayed via Kim Yong-sun, a Workers’ Party central committee secretary and key aide of Chairman Kim, obviously was short of Pyongyang’s expectations.
``But in the end they were disappointed that Seoul lacked new suggestions,’’ the official added.
ABC News - 29/01/03 : Computer users at risk of 'e-thrombosis' Sitting for long hours at a computer terminal can cause fatal blood clots in the same way as taking a long flight in cramped seating, doctors say.
Comments What's with the aluminum damned tubes? It's like Captain Queeg and the strawberries. Can't he let it go?
The president proposed a $1.2 billion initiative for research to develop clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. Called the Freedom Fuel initiative by the White House, the plan will include $720 million in new funding over the next five years to develop the technologies and infrastructure needed to produce, store and distribute hydrogen fuel for use in fuel cell vehicles and electricity generation.
Wolf Blizter Shocker Is the state of the union better now than one year ago?
Yes 16% 1025 votes
No 84% 5386 votes
Total: 6411 votes

A Russian law firm is reportedly drawing up legal action against the special effects people who dreamt up Dobby the Harry Potter character, arguing that the ugly but caring elf has been modelled on Mr Putin.
Desert Caution (washingtonpost.com) That dismissive posture bothers Schwarzkopf because he thinks Rumsfeld and the people around him lack the background to make sound military judgments by themselves. He prefers the way Cheney operated during the Gulf War. "He didn't put himself in the position of being the decision-maker as far as tactics were concerned, as far as troop deployments, as far as missions were concerned."

Rumsfeld, by contrast, worries him. "It's scary, okay?" he says. "Let's face it: There are guys at the Pentagon who have been involved in operational planning for their entire lives, okay? . . . And for this wisdom, acquired during many operations, wars, schools, for that just to be ignored, and in its place have somebody who doesn't have any of that training, is of concern."
U.S. to Make Iraq Intelligence Public (washingtonpost.com) "The United States possesses several pieces of information which come from the work of our intelligence that show Iraq maintains prohibited weapons," Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said in an interview published yesterday in an Italian newspaper. "Once we have made sure it can be done safely, I think that in the next week or soon after we can make public a good part of this material."
U.S. to Make Iraq Intelligence Public (washingtonpost.com) U.N. weapons inspection chief Hans Blix said three questions remain unanswered in Iraq:

• How much illicit weapons material might remain undeclared and intact from before the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and possible thereafter.
• What, if anything was illegally procured or produced.
• How the world can prevent any weapons of mass destruction from being produced or procured in the future.
Ha'aretz - Article Sharon is pretending to be Labor and Likud combined, which is a lot of baloney, of course. So, instead of choosing between two alternatives, as befitting a democracy, the public will elect Sharon today, as befitting a psychopathy. It's sad, but that's what happens when the people hate from the gut, love from the gut and vote from the gut.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Courier Mail: Aborigine slaughter recorded [25jan03] The personal reports of Sub-Inspector Frederick Urquhart who rose to become Queensland Police Commissioner from 1917 to 1921, show Aboriginal men, women and children were slaughtered on his orders after the death of a white pastoralist.
Weapons inspections an end in themselves? | csmonitor.com "We cannot rely on inspectors gradually finding [Hussein's WMD] and disarming him," says John Reppert, a retired Army brigadier general who headed the US On-Site Inspections Agency. "The US thinks that doing it quicker and more effectively [via fighting], even though it will cause casualties, is the only way we can have security."
China Executes a Tibetan in Connection With Bombing Attacks "This moves Tibetan-Chinese relations into a new phase," said Robert Barnett, an expert on Tibet at Columbia University. "The authorities had carefully avoided openly using the death sentence for political offenses for more than a decade."
30 October protest Carol Naughton, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said today: "The world has changed for the better since the 1991 Gulf War and we now have the International Criminal Court. We can guarantee Messrs. Blair, Hoon and Straw that they will be investigated and prosecuted if they repeat the attacks of that war, or in Kosovo and Afghanistan."
Howard acting like he'll go to war with Iraq: Butler - theage.com.au "If they were to wage a massive attack upon Iraq - apart from the fact that if they did it without Security Council approval it would be against international law - in practical terms, a massive attack like that ... would lose them the moral high ground completely.
Howard acting like he'll go to war with Iraq: Butler - theage.com.au "Quite honestly, one wouldn't know what to believe about what the prime minister has said on this," Mr Butler told the Seven Network.

"He's behaving exactly as a person would who has made a decision to go to war.
"On the other hand he says he hasn't (made that decision) but this wouldn't be the first time that he'd misled us."
The Courier Mail: Inland shires in deep trouble as major waterways run dry [28jan03] Kilcoy Mayor Terry Dredge said the drought was the worst he had seen and many older residents believed it was the most severe since the 1930s. He said the town had been drawing water from a sinkhole in the Stanley River for the past six months.
> 18 January 2003
> Some of the signs the 500,000 marchers had made and were carrying:
> "I don't know what weapons will be used to fight WWIII, but
> WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- A. Einstein
> Regime Change Begins At Home
> No Hitting
> And You Thought He Was Pro-Life
> "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -- Thomas Jefferson
> War is Stupid. Bush is Stupid.
> Would Jesus Bomb Them?
> Think Outside the Bomb
> Drop Acid, Not Bombs
> "All wars are fought for money." -- Socrates, 469-399 B.C.
> War is Good for Business: Invest Your Sons &Daughters
> War Mongering is the Axis of all Evils
> Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home Without War
> Weapons of Mass Destruction: Your Tax Dollars at Work
> War Solves Nothing
> No Blood for Oil
> War is Terrorism
> War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget
> War Is Not An Energy Policy
> "Imagine Nothing to Kill or Die For." -- John Lennon
> This War is for the Gullible
> Pay Attention, America.
> It Doesn't Feel Like the Land of the Free.
> No American Empire
> Act Like It's a Globe, Not an Empire
> We Can't Sit By While the World's Worst Leaders
> Possess the World's Worst Weapons of Mass Destruction
> The Best President Enron Could Buy
> America's Leadership Is Lost
> Corporate Policy is Terrorism
> I Love My Country. I Fear Mr. Bush.
> The Pro-Life President Can't Wait to Start Killing
> Not In My Name
> Not With My Taxes
> Not With My Sons
> Send in the Troops: Exxon, Chevron, Halliburton
> Two Wars Per Gallon
> "Boris! Our 401(k) Has Cratered!"
> "It's Time for Weapons of Mass Distraction!"
> Osama Who?
> Axis of Hate: Bush-Ashcroft-Cheney
> "War is always a defeat for humanity." -- Pope John Paul,Jan 13, 2003
> Bones, Not Bombs (on a dog)
> Die For Oil, Suckers!
> "If you want peace, work for justice." -- Pope Paul VI
> Resist.
> Refuse.
> Redirect.
> How Many Hijackers Came From Iraq?
> Bush: The Compassionate Executioner & Warmongerer
> Disarm Bush
> The Iraqi People Are Not My Enemy
> Middle Class White Guys for Peace
> Don't Murder Iraqi Families for Exxon
> Ensure Homeland Security: Bush Resign
> Can't the U.S.Spend Money Correctly?
> Babies Love Peace
> Bush Leaves No Child Behind
> Go to War For SUV's?
> Hell, No. Ride a Bike.
> Shoot First?
> I Thought We Were Supposed To Be The GOOD Guys!
> If We're Spreading Democracy to Iraq, Let's Start With Florida
> Hans Blix, Not Blitzkrieg
> Thou Shalt Not Steal Iraqi Oil
> Preemptive Strike.
> Translation: Unprovoked Attack
> Can't We Stabilize the Economy Without A War?
> Collateral Damage Is Murder
> Britain: Lapdog to the New Rogue Nation
> Geeks Against the War
> George Bush Likes to Kill People. That's Fucked Up.
> We Are Not Raising Our Sons To Be Soldiers
> If We Had Wanted Bush To Be President, We Would Have Elected Him
> "Violence is the refuge of the incompetent." -- Isaac Asimov
> The Children Are Watching
> Are You Waiting 'Till They Come For You?
> War's Only Fun for the Fortunate Son
> Preemptive Defense: The New Doublespeak
> Imagine Bush With Nukes
> When You Outlaw Nukes, Only Outlaws Will Have Nukes
> I'd Rather Be Gardening Than Fighting Bush
> UN > US
> 500,000 protesters > 300,000 troops
> Fellow Christians, We Are Called to "Love Our Enemies"
> Jesus Wasn't Kidding
> Secretary of Offense (picture of Rumsfield)
> How Did Our Oil Get Under Your Sand?
> *******

The mysterious rush to war - theage.com.au In Washington, there is an obvious feeling that this is a tide that must be taken at the flood. If war therefore comes soon, and America, Britain and Australia fight it alone and without international endorsement, the precedent will not be a good one, and the damage to trans-Atlantic relations will be large, as will that to relations between Britain and its European partners.
Crean's speech OK, but as for the venue ... - theage.com.au Burchett's most egregious activities involved his false allegation that the allied forces used germ warfare against the communists in the Korean War and his rationalisation of North Korea's appalling treatment of allied PoWs. The case against Burchett is documented in Robert Manne's pamphlet Agent of Influence (1989).
Anti-gravity and us - smh.com.au This item is going to sound like a bad reject from conspiracy publications like Nexus or New Dawn, or an X-Files fanzine. It isn't. The indisputable fact is that both the US and the UK are putting serious money into anti-gravity research with military aerospace applications. The only question is how far it is from operational status. There is informed speculation that it is already used in the American B2 bomber.
U.S. to Make Iraq Intelligence Public (washingtonpost.com) The concealment efforts have often taken place days or hours ahead of visits by U.N. inspection teams, which have been operating in Iraq during the past two months, according to these accounts. In many cases, the United States has what one source called "compelling" intelligence that is "unambiguous" in proving that Iraq is hiding banned weapons.
Eject! Eject! Eject!: WAR In this, I am guardedly optimistic due to our recent victory in Afghanistan. Not the military victory, magnificent though it was.
CNN - Content When it comes to Iraq, whom do you trust more?
The Bush administration 20% 325 votes
The United Nations 80% 1278 votes
Total: 1603 votes
The Australian: Iraq germ attack could bring nukes [January 28, 2003] When asked if that included nuclear weapons, President George W. Bush's close confidant said: "I am not going to put anything on the table or off the table, but we have a responsibility to make sure that Saddam Hussein and his generals do not use weapons of mass destruction."

Monday, January 27, 2003

US Carrier Kitty Hawk leaves for North Korea :: UnderReported.com :: Surprising stories from the media and primary sources The U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk left its home port Thursday at the U.S. Navy base in Japan to monitor the Korean Peninsula, Kyodo News reported, citing Navy sources.
The sources told Kyodo the 83,960-ton Kitty Hawk is expected to stand by in waters near Japan, given increasing tensions in North and South Korea following Pyongyang's announcement of its withdrawal from an international nuclear accord, and will not head for Iraq.
InstaPundit.Com And have you ever noticed how it's okay to show religious prejudice against Moonies, but not against fanatical Muslims? Nothing political there. Jeez.
US to developing world: be worried about bioterrorism "The US warned on Sunday night that a bioterrorist attack that could kill thousands was inevitable and urged industrial and developing nations to spend tens of billions of dollars more to gear up medical systems to cope with the threat."

This is one of the most bizarre comments to come from an increasingly bizarre adminstration. As always, Cheney's pro-drug hand is obvious.
Homeland insecurity Care to register a .mil Web site of your own for free? The DoD has gone out of its way to make it a snap.
Warning Sounded Over Security Spending Plan "Even at face value, the officials' comments suggest that the White House is preparing to ask for an extra $2 billion to $3 billion for homeland security. That's less than one-third of what a recent Brookings Institution study said is needed, and barely one-tenth of what a key official with a bipartisan Council on Foreign Relations task force thinks should be spent."

The Pentagon grabs the big bucks, of course.
The wit and wisdom of Uday Hussein "This is the nature of the Americans. They like a strong man to sit down and negotiate with. Proof is that when North Korea expelled the inspectors and resumed its nuclear activity, the Americans accepted the principle of negotiation with it."
Clear Ties of Terror British intelligence believes the limping terrorist took one of his products, ricin, to Algerian contacts in Turkey. This is a poison that can be delivered in warheads and one well known to Iraqi chemists, who cannot speak to U.N. inspectors. Two weeks ago, a British detective, Stephen Oake, was killed arresting Algerians suspected of making ricin in North London.
Blair Pays a Price at Home for Supporting Bush on Iraq An American official who sees Mr. Blair frequently said the Bush administration put high stock on his efforts to sway European opinion. "For us, he is the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike," the American said. On Friday, Mr. Blair will fly to the United States for an Iraq strategy meeting with Mr. Bush at Camp David.
The Courier Mail: Mayor warns Premier over Milton Rd pedestrian risk [27jan03] PREMIER Peter Beattie would have blood on his hands unless pedestrian safety was improved around Suncorp Stadium, Lord Mayor Jim Soorley has warned.
The Courier Mail: US says there's no rush into war [27jan03] A White House move to give weapons inspectors more time to continue their work in Iraq would be a concession to European countries which are firmly opposed to military action at this stage, as well as a sop to domestic US opinion.
Future of international relations to be decided - theage.com.au A war without the blessing of the Security Council would confirm the view that, after NATO's Kosovo campaign of 1999, which bypassed the council, the UN can be regarded as an optional extra in global security. But conceding too easily to the hawks within the Bush administration may marginalise the council in another way.
Times Online So far only Britain, Australia and the Czech Republic have committed forces to the Gulf which will serve alongside any US-led invasion force.
Connect, They Say, Only Connect "We like to think of our world as full of atomized individuals," he said. "But decisions people make and the actions they take are so hopelessly entwined with the behaviors of everyone else that it's difficult to draw the boundaries around the individual." When it comes to choosing a CD or explaining the success of Harry Potter, your preference may matter less than the network's.
TIME.com: The CIA's Secret Army -- Feb. 03, 2003 Profile of the CIA's rough and ready supersecret Special Operations Group (SOG).
BBC NEWS | Technology | Backlash against ID card scheme The government was accused of using Orwellian language to convince the public that ID cards were a good idea while others questioned the cost and uses of the £1.5bn database of biometric information necessary to support the scheme.
Massive dustbowl as China dries up and blows away "No country has ever faced a potential ecological catastrophe on the scale of the dust bowl now developing in China," says Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, based in Washington. "Merely grasping its dimensions and consequences poses a serious analytical challenge."
Fisk's latest Today, when I listen to the threats of George Bush against Iraq and the shrill moralistic warnings of Tony Blair, I wonder what they know of this terrible reality. Does George, who declined to serve his county in Vietnam, have any idea what these corpses smell like? Does Tony have the slightest conception of what the flies are like, the big bluebottles that feed on the dead of the Middle East, and then come to settle on our faces and our notepads?
Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea Views on the Korean War also showed generational gaps; 44.5 percent said it was a power struggle between the US and the former USSR, while 31.2 percent commented it was a war started by an illegal attack by North Koreans. Minority answers included it was an independence war for unification (11.9 percent) and it was a war for unification that started with an attack on the North by South Korea (3.3 percent). More than one out of two Koreans in their 20s and 30s (58.7 percent) viewed the Korean War as a power struggle between the US and the former USSR.
Heard In Asia:US Dlr Decline May Reshape Economics At the moment though, the currency markets remain unconvinced. Steve Chang, head of treasury at State Street Bank in Hong Kong, says the dollar seems to be in the midst of a major change, "from a strong currency to a weaker one." His clients, pension funds and the like, have started trading again after the Christmas break and they "just want to get out of dollars. That looks like it's going to continue."
Malaysian PM says U.S. eyes control of Iraq oil Saddam "did not inflict violence against the Americans" but Washington was adamant on attacking Iraq even after the Gulf war ended 10 years ago, the official Bernama news agency quoted Mahathir as telling a rally of some 2,000 people chanting slogans against plans for war in the Gulf.
"This is why we feel that U.S. plans to attack Iraq are for other reasons -- to take control of Iraq's oil found in abundance."

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Bush Aims at a Forceful Return to Center Stage "He'll say, `I know what needs to be done and I'm going to get it done.' "
Alert, but hotline alarm bells aren't ringing - smh.com.au When the Government opened its terrorism hotline on the last Sunday in December, it was prepared to cope with between 1200 and 2000 calls an hour, or up to 336,000 calls a week.
But the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, revealed on Monday that the hotline received a total of just 2615 calls in its first week of operation - an average of fewer than 16 calls an hour.
Veteran returns medals as protest grows over looming war - smh.com.au Mr McLeod, a member of the 32nd Small Ships Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, during the Vietnam War, is not alone among veterans who had considerable doubts about Vietnam and are entirely unconvinced about Iraq.
Many are now speaking out. "I am now handing back my medals," Mr McLeod said.
"I am not saying we should not go to war, I am saying we should make sure there are very good reasons before we decide to stand and fight."
Time to end rampant 'penal populism', MPs warned - smh.com.au "These problems have less to do with leniency per se than with reductions in the probability that offenders will be apprehended and punished, delays in imposing punishment, sentencing disparity and a lack of responsiveness to the needs of the victim," it says.
The burning issue: Sydney would choke of smoke throughout winter, warn experts - smh.com.au Also, the level of burning demanded by those opposed to national parks would require an army of firefighters and would mean that every clear, cold day - the worst times for pollution - would lead to a dense smoke haze descending on the city.
U.S. Spy Plane Crashes in South Korea An American U-2 spy plane crashed Sunday in South Korea, injuring three people on the ground. The Air Force pilot ejected safely.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gunmen flee after Saudi shooting In an interview with Qatari-based al-Jazeera television, he claimed that Saudi police morale had "collapsed" since "pro-jihad men" had received a fatwa, or religious decree, "ordering them not to surrender or be taken prisoner".
BBC NEWS | Europe | Belgium braced for oil slick The Belgian army is on alert after reports that an oil slick from a sunken cargo ship in the English Channel may wash up on its beaches within hours.
Reuters AlertNet - U.N. hasn't found any Iraqi nuclear arms programme The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said on Sunday that it has yet to find any proof of Iraq's alleged secret atomic weapons programme and would be informing the U.N. Security Council of this in Monday's update report.
Reuters AlertNet - UPDATE 1-Powell tells Europe US ready to attack Iraq alone Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told Reuters on Saturday a U.S.-led war against Iraq would likely inflame the Middle East, fuelling popular anger and anti-American unrest.
"It will add to the frustration and the agitation of the people in the Middle East because of the catastrophic situation in the occupied (Palestinian) territories, and the double standard followed by the policy of the United States in the Arab world," he said.
Reuters AlertNet - UPDATE 1-Powell tells Europe US ready to attack Iraq alone Powell said Saddam had "clear ties to terrorist groups including al Qaeda" and had not yet made a strategic decision to comply with his obligation to disarm under a U.N. resolution passed in November.
Reuters AlertNet - UPDATE 1-Powell tells Europe US ready to attack Iraq alone "Multilateralism cannot become an excuse for inaction," Powell added, referring to opposition to an early war among key veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council, France, China and Russia.
2. "What, in your opinion, are the objectives of the Bush administration in pursuing its current policy toward Iraq?"
(a) oil.
(b) oil.
(c) oil.
(d) US elections: distraction and rally-round-the-President in November 2002 and November 2004; and with the hope of
(e) shifting American Jews from the Democrats to the Republicans, semi-permanently, by total backing of Sharon's (Greater Israel) policy, while gratifying the Christian Right by the same policy, in their current alliance with Likud and Likud-supporters in the US, reflecting the Christian Right's bizarre apocalyptic beliefs (about the necessary in-gathering of Jews in Israel as a precursor to Armageddon: at which time, incidentally, the Jews either convert, belatedly, or are doomed along with other unbelievers).
Control of Iraq's oil, by US occupation, is seen as instrumental to a number of other desiderata by the oilagarchy that is the dominant influence on US foreign policy: control of the rest of the oil reserves of the Middle East and the Caspian: Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.; this to the end, not only of assuring access to cheap oil for the American market but to control the oil needed by Germany, Japan, China, etc., as a basis for all kinds of diplomatic and economic leverage; direct profits from development and sale of oil and gas in the region; assurance of the regime of petrodollars, to sustain the US economy.
Greens Welcome Belgian Nuclear Phase-out - The Green Tiger (16 December 2002) 16 December 2002Updated 12/17/2002 04:14:08

Nuclear Phase-out in Belgium
The Belgian Government has decided to phase out nuclear power. Greens have always promoted safe clean energy through renewable technologies such as wind, wave, biomass and solar power. Nuclear power is uneconomical, outdated, dangerous and creates massive nuclear waste problems and at last this reality is being acted upon.

In an historic vote, the Belgian coalition of Liberals, Socialists and Greens voted for a ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants and limited the license of the existing seven nuclear reactors to a maximum of 40 years. This is despite the fact that at present two thirds of their power is provided by nuclear.

Nowadays a majority of EU countries are either non-nuclear or have now agreed to phase out nuclear power. Belgium is now one of five EU states planning to phase out nuclear energy. The others are Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. In all, eight EU states have nuclear plants. Closer to home the uneconomical support of Sellafield by Britain is being challenged by Ireland and Norway at the OSPAR Convention meetings.

This is a huge story that I don't think got a run anywhere much in the U.S. or Oz media. I suspect this is also one reason Shrub is rushing to build a new generation of nukes.
CNN.com - Studies: Exxon Valdez oil still harmful - Jan. 15, 2003 ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) -- Small oil patches left from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill are still releasing toxins that harm sea life, government scientists said this week.

The big story here is, how does Exxon Mobil keep getting away with it?
RuminateThis: Get behind the bill to stop Shrub from launching a preemptive war on Iraq Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced legislation last week that aims to repeal the unprecedented authority Congress gave George Bush last fall...the power to declare war whenever and for whatever reason. Jackson Lee and her co-sponsors in the House, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Diane Watson (D-CA) need your support. Pick up the phone, dial your representatives ( 1-800-839-5276), and let them know you want to repeal the authorization for use of force against Iraq.
They will assume you're OK with this unless you voice your discontent.
Do it. 1-800-839-5276

I am going to do it by ringing Bill Frist's office...believe it or not, he is my Senator from Tennessee, as well as Senate majority leader now that Lott has dudded out for supporting a fellow racist.
Tim Blair JOHN HOWARD'S middle name is Winston. Simon Crean's middle name might as well be Neville

And so the "moral equivalences" the neocons love to portray in their opponents as an example of sloppy thinking comes immediately to the fore. Tim, next thing you'll be the one wearing the tin hat, along with the faint traces of a well-clipped handlebar mustache that most neocon bloggers seem to be wearing these days, what with instapundit and the Japanese internment camps issue.
800 missiles to hit Iraq in first 48 hours - smh.com.au "We want them to quit, not to fight," Ullman said, "so that you have this simultaneous effect - rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima - not taking days or weeks but minutes."

The main objective was not just to disable Iraq's fighting capacity but to leave the population dispirited and unwilling to support Saddam's regime."

And there's more:

"It is based on a strategy known as "Shock and Awe", conceived at the National Defense University in Washington, in which between 300 and 400 cruise missiles would fall on Iraq each day for two consecutive days. It would be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War.

"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," a Pentagon official told America's CBS News after a briefing on the plan. "The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before."

Deliberate targeting of the civilian populace -- an arguable war crime under international law, which prohibits the "wanton destruction of towns, villages and cities." Planned openly by Shrub.

The Democrats have gone missing in action, haven't they? Who is going to stand up and speak some truth to power to these morons before it is too late.
Pauline chases NSW upper house seat - smh.com.au Pauline Hanson is set to resume her political career by standing in the March state election as a candidate for the NSW upper house.

She has decided to leave her Ipswich home and Queensland political launching pad to take up residence in Sydney, possibly Sylvania Waters.

Unbelievable. More soon on this important development.
Green Stones roll out a rare freebie - smh.com.au "The timing is excellent to draw attention to the problem of global warming just as President Bush will be unveiling another half-hearted round of 'do nothing' voluntary measures allegedly aimed at fighting it."
Alternative News Network, Cairns, tropical north Queensland, Australia _*_"We sentenced Nazi leaders to death for waging a war of aggression," says International Law Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
By contrast, Prof. Boyle wants merely to impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft for their plans to invade Iraq and create a police state in America.

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