Sunday, December 21, 2008

What is A me or An i - The i-concept

from Binduji


Dear friends,
>
>
>
> Namaste ----
>
>
>
> What is "A me" how can a "me" be separate from all else. hence all is
> happening to no one named "me" .. it is ALL happening "AS" existence; this
> does not mean that what seems to be happening to what seems to be me is or
> can be separated from the whole i.e. my seeming existence or seeming
> specialness is no more or less important than a mote of dust or the earth
> itself .
>
>
>
> All these beings are modes of the light of the conscious Self (what the
> yogis call the ParaAtma or supreme Self or Krishna\Siva\Visnu ) appearing
as
> such due to the light of said Self shining thru the layers (Vasanas) or
> construct of experience that the mind likes to call "me - i" .. This, let
us
> call it modulating principal (karma in yogic terms) makes a being what it
is
> but it is not the being; nor does the karma belong to the being it merely
> modulates the experience of existence that the Self in back of the mind of
a
> given being is having thru that mind or being much like light is changed
by
> colored plastic when shone thru it. it is the same light but colored by
the
> plastic . lookup prism @ wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prism
>
> The mind could be likened to a prism -
>
>
>
> This pic is from Pink-floyds Dark side of the moon album cover..
>
>
>
> See full size image or
>
>
>
> The same principal at the root of the mind operates to modulate the
> configuration of the cells of the various bodies (e.g. mental, emotional,
> and gross physical bodies etc..) thusly the body takes on the size, shape
> and health paradigm of the Karmic mind and the life experience of that
> configuration goes to maintain that configuration.
>
>
>
> The "me" then (regardless as to which being or species it is, or of
whether
> or not the "me" or "I" is a concept only) is a mode of the Self but is
not
> the entire Self nor does its existence connote any separate "i" existing
as
> "me"; rather the existence of a "me" or "i" verifies the existence of The
> Self. Else who can it be that is conscious in the absence of "i" ?
>
>
>
> In this way the Self is conscious "AS" all beings-plural as they are modes
> of That super-conscient Oneness. (Krishna has said: "I am the field and
the
> actor in all fields") or again it has been said That Siva is free in ALL
> modes of His own consciousness.
>
>
>
> The statement that "He is free in ALL modes of His own consciousness has
> been taken to mean that the free\enlightened (Jivan-Mukta) is free in the
> three states of HIS own consciousness vis: waking, dream, and deep sleep;
> (as if Jiva had any consciousness to begin with that could be free) No,
the
> foregoing is an oxymoron since the Jiva has no self who could have a mode
of
> consciousness of his own. The idea then of the freedom of the Jiva or
> enlightenment cannot be realized by said Jiva.
>
>
>
> The fact is that The Self (Krishna\Siva\ God etc) is free in all beings as
> they are modes of HIS consciousness. so then instead of thinking how
> wonderful it is that this or that is happening to a "me" how about
> entertaining the idea that all modes (beings and configurations of
> consciousness) are awesome and acceptable, even wondrous in The Self: e.g.
> accept all beings events and things with even-mindedness (i.e. to put it
in
> Buddhist terms: Develop the bodhi-chitta or consciousness that All is The
> Self).
>
>
>
> When you know you don't know .. when you know it is not you who knows -
when
> you know you cannot know - when the knowing is inexpressible and
unthinkable
> -- the knowledge that The Self alone knows appears "as" the mind.
>
>
>
> With love and respect,
bindu

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh Canada

In 2003, Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister John Howard deliver largely identical speeches urging their nations to join George W. Bush's Coalition of the Willing to go to war with Iraq.

Friday, October 17, 2008

NY Mother Faces Loss of Foreclosed Home

Earlier this year, Jocelyn Voltaire of Queens, New York lost her oldest son in Iraq. An auction is scheduled for today to sell her foreclosed home. Since news of her story broke, a grassroots effort has sprung up to help.

Original Transcript

Monday, October 13, 2008

Re: Taxes

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who Owns The Federal Reserve?

The Fed is privately owned. Its shareholders are private banks

by Ellen Brown

"Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders."

– The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s



The Federal Reserve (or Fed) has assumed sweeping new powers in the last year. In an unprecedented move in March 2008, the New York Fed advanced the funds for JPMorgan Chase Bank to buy investment bank Bear Stearns for pennies on the dollar. The deal was particularly controversial because Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, sits on the board of the New York Fed and participated in the secret weekend negotiations.1 In September 2008, the Federal Reserve did something even more unprecedented, when it bought the world’s largest insurance company. The Fed announced on September 16 that it was giving an $85 billion loan to American International Group (AIG) for a nearly 80% stake in the mega-insurer. The Associated Press called it a "government takeover," but this was no ordinary nationalization. Unlike the U.S. Treasury, which took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the week before, the Fed is not a government-owned agency. Also unprecedented was the way the deal was funded. The Associated Press reported:

"The Treasury Department, for the first time in its history, said it would begin selling bonds for the Federal Reserve in an effort to help the central bank deal with its unprecedented borrowing needs."2

This is extraordinary. Why is the Treasury issuing U.S. government bonds (or debt) to fund the Fed, which is itself supposedly "the lender of last resort" created to fund the banks and the federal government? Yahoo Finance reported on September 17:

"The Treasury is setting up a temporary financing program at the Fed’s request. The program will auction Treasury bills to raise cash for the Fed’s use. The initiative aims to help the Fed manage its balance sheet following its efforts to enhance its liquidity facilities over the previous few quarters."

Normally, the Fed swaps green pieces of paper called Federal Reserve Notes for pink pieces of paper called U.S. bonds (the federal government’s I.O.U.s), in order to provide Congress with the dollars it cannot raise through taxes. Now, it seems, the government is issuing bonds, not for its own use, but for the use of the Fed! Perhaps the plan is to swap them with the banks’ dodgy derivatives collateral directly, without actually putting them up for sale to outside buyers. According to Wikipedia (which translates Fedspeak into somewhat clearer terms than the Fed’s own website):

"The Term Securities Lending Facility is a 28-day facility that will offer Treasury general collateral to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s primary dealers in exchange for other program-eligible collateral. It is intended to promote liquidity in the financing markets for Treasury and other collateral and thus to foster the functioning of financial markets more generally. . . . The resource allows dealers to switch debt that is less liquid for U.S. government securities that are easily tradable."

"To switch debt that is less liquid for U.S. government securities that are easily tradable" means that the government gets the banks’ toxic derivative debt, and the banks get the government’s triple-A securities. Unlike the risky derivative debt, federal securities are considered "risk-free" for purposes of determining capital requirements, allowing the banks to improve their capital position so they can make new loans. (See E. Brown, "Bailout Bedlam," webofdebt.com/articles, October 2, 2008.)

In its latest power play, on October 3, 2008, the Fed acquired the ability to pay interest to its member banks on the reserves the banks maintain at the Fed. Reuters reported on October 3:

"The U.S. Federal Reserve gained a key tactical tool from the $700 billion financial rescue package signed into law on Friday that will help it channel funds into parched credit markets. Tucked into the 451-page bill is a provision that lets the Fed pay interest on the reserves banks are required to hold at the central bank."3

If the Fed’s money comes ultimately from the taxpayers, that means we the taxpayers are paying interest to the banks on the banks’ own reserves – reserves maintained for their own private profit. These increasingly controversial encroachments on the public purse warrant a closer look at the central banking scheme itself. Who owns the Federal Reserve, who actually controls it, where does it get its money, and whose interests is it serving?

Not Private and Not for Profit?

The Fed’s website insists that it is not a private corporation, is not operated for profit, and is not funded by Congress. But is that true? The Federal Reserve was set up in 1913 as a "lender of last resort" to backstop bank runs, following a particularly bad bank panic in 1907. The Fed’s mandate was then and continues to be to keep the private banking system intact; and that means keeping intact the system’s most valuable asset, a monopoly on creating the national money supply. Except for coins, every dollar in circulation is now created privately as a debt to the Federal Reserve or the banking system it heads.4 The Fed’s website attempts to gloss over its role as chief defender and protector of this private banking club, but let’s take a closer look. The website states:

* "The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations – possibly leading to some confusion about "ownership." For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year."

* "[The Federal Reserve] is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms."

* "The Federal Reserve’s income is derived primarily from the interest on U.S. government securities that it has acquired through open market operations. . . . After paying its expenses, the Federal Reserve turns the rest of its earnings over to the U.S. Treasury."5

So let’s review:

1. The Fed is privately owned.

Its shareholders are private banks. In fact, 100% of its shareholders are private banks. None of its stock is owned by the government.

2. The fact that the Fed does not get "appropriations" from Congress basically means that it gets its money from Congress without congressional approval, by engaging in "open market operations."

Here is how it works: When the government is short of funds, the Treasury issues bonds and delivers them to bond dealers, which auction them off. When the Fed wants to "expand the money supply" (create money), it steps in and buys bonds from these dealers with newly-issued dollars acquired by the Fed for the cost of writing them into an account on a computer screen. These maneuvers are called "open market operations" because the Fed buys the bonds on the "open market" from the bond dealers. The bonds then become the "reserves" that the banking establishment uses to back its loans. In another bit of sleight of hand known as "fractional reserve" lending, the same reserves are lent many times over, further expanding the money supply, generating interest for the banks with each loan. It was this money-creating process that prompted Wright Patman, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1960s, to call the Federal Reserve "a total money-making machine." He wrote:

"When the Federal Reserve writes a check for a government bond it does exactly what any bank does, it creates money, it created money purely and simply by writing a check."

3. The Fed generates profits for its shareholders.

The interest on bonds acquired with its newly-issued Federal Reserve Notes pays the Fed’s operating expenses plus a guaranteed 6% return to its banker shareholders. A mere 6% a year may not be considered a profit in the world of Wall Street high finance, but most businesses that manage to cover all their expenses and give their shareholders a guaranteed 6% return are considered "for profit" corporations.

In addition to this guaranteed 6%, the banks will now be getting interest from the taxpayers on their "reserves." The basic reserve requirement set by the Federal Reserve is 10%. The website of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York explains that as money is redeposited and relent throughout the banking system, this 10% held in "reserve" can be fanned into ten times that sum in loans; that is, $10,000 in reserves becomes $100,000 in loans. Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.8 puts the total "loans and leases in bank credit" as of September 24, 2008 at $7,049 billion. Ten percent of that is $700 billion. That means we the taxpayers will be paying interest to the banks on at least $700 billion annually – this so that the banks can retain the reserves to accumulate interest on ten times that sum in loans.

The banks earn these returns from the taxpayers for the privilege of having the banks’ interests protected by an all-powerful independent private central bank, even when those interests may be opposed to the taxpayers’ -- for example, when the banks use their special status as private money creators to fund speculative derivative schemes that threaten to collapse the U.S. economy. Among other special benefits, banks and other financial institutions (but not other corporations) can borrow at the low Fed funds rate of about 2%. They can then turn around and put this money into 30-year Treasury bonds at 4.5%, earning an immediate 2.5% from the taxpayers, just by virtue of their position as favored banks. A long list of banks (but not other corporations) is also now protected from the short selling that can crash the price of other stocks.

Time to Change the Statute?

According to the Fed’s website, the control Congress has over the Federal Reserve is limited to this:

"[T]he Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute."

As we know from watching the business news, "oversight" basically means that Congress gets to see the results when it’s over. The Fed periodically reports to Congress, but the Fed doesn’t ask; it tells. The only real leverage Congress has over the Fed is that it "can alter its responsibilities by statute." It is time for Congress to exercise that leverage and make the Federal Reserve a truly federal agency, acting by and for the people through their elected representatives. If the Fed can demand AIG’s stock in return for an $85 billion loan to the mega-insurer, we can demand the Fed’s stock in return for the trillion-or-so dollars we’ll be advancing to bail out the private banking system from its follies.

If the Fed were actually a federal agency, the government could issue U.S. legal tender directly, avoiding an unnecessary interest-bearing debt to private middlemen who create the money out of thin air themselves. Among other benefits to the taxpayers. a truly "federal" Federal Reserve could lend the full faith and credit of the United States to state and local governments interest-free, cutting the cost of infrastructure in half, restoring the thriving local economies of earlier decades.

Ellen Brown, J.D., developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and "the money trust." She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her eleven books include the bestselling Nature’s Pharmacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, and Forbidden Medicine. Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Hate Beauty (sort of...)


Why I Hate Beauty

Men are barraged with images of extraordinarily beautiful and unobtainable women in the media, making it difficult for them to desire the ordinarily beautiful.

By: Michael Levine, Hara Estroff Marano

Poets rave about beauty. Brave men have started wars over beauty. Women the world over strive for it. Scholars devote their lives to deconstructing our impulse to obtain it. Ordinary mortals erect temples to beauty. In just about every way imaginable, the world honors physical beauty. But I hate beauty.

I live in what is likely the beauty capital of the world and have the enviable fortune to work with some of the most beautiful women in it. With their smooth bodies and supple waists, these women are the very picture of youth and attractiveness. Not only are they exemplars of nature's design for detonating desire in men, but they stir yearnings for companionship that date back to ancestral mating dances. Still, beauty is driving me nuts, and although I'm a successful red-blooded American male, divorced and available, it is beauty alone that is keeping me single and lonely.

It is scant solace that science is on my side. I seem to have a confirmed case of the contrast effect. It doesn't make me any happier knowing it's afflicting lots of others too.

As an author of books on marketing, I have long known about the contrast effect. It is a principle of perception whereby the differences between two things are exaggerated depending on the order in which those things are presented. If you lift a light object and then a heavy object, you will judge the second object heavier than if you had lifted it first or solo.

Psychologists Sara Gutierres, Ph.D., and Douglas Kenrick, Ph.D., both of Arizona State University, demonstrated that the contrast effect operates powerfully in the sphere of person-to-person attraction as well. In a series of studies over the past two decades, they have shown that, more than any of us might suspect, judgments of attractiveness (of ourselves and of others) depend on the situation in which we find ourselves. For example, a woman of average attractiveness seems a lot less attractive than she actually is if a viewer has first seen a highly attractive woman. If a man is talking to a beautiful female at a cocktail party and is then joined by a less attractive one, the second woman will seem relatively unattractive.

The contrast principle also works in reverse. A woman of average attractiveness will seem more attractive than she is if she enters a room of unattractive women. In other words, context counts.

In their very first set of studies, which have been expanded and refined over the years to determine the exact circumstances under which the findings apply and their effects on both men and women, Gutierres and Kenrick asked male college dormitory residents to rate the photo of a potential blind date. (The photos had been previously rated by other males to be of average attractiveness.) If the men were watching an episode of Charlie's Angels when shown the photo, the blind date was rated less desirable than she was by males watching a different show. The initial impressions of romantic partners—women who were actually available to them and likely to be interested in them—were so adversely affected that the men didn't even want to bother.

Since these studies, the researchers have found that the contrast effect influences not only our evaluations of strangers but also our views of our own mates. And it sways self-assessments of attractiveness too.

Source

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Meditation changes temperatures:


Harvard Gazette report on Tibetan monks who can heat up their bodies at will
September 25, 2008 — Stefan Fobes


Buddhist monk meditating
A Buddhist monk has his vital signs measured as he prepares to enter an advanced state of meditation in Normandy, France. During meditation, the monk’s body produces enough heat to dry cold, wet sheets put over his shoulders in a frigid room (Photo courtesy of Herbert Benson).

Mind controls body in extreme experiments
By William J. Cromie
Gazette Staff

In a monastery in northern India, thinly clad Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room where the temperature was a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a yoga technique known as g Tum-mo, they entered a state of deep meditation. Other monks soaked 3-by-6-foot sheets in cold water (49 degrees) and placed them over the meditators’ shoulders. For untrained people, such frigid wrappings would produce uncontrolled shivering.

If body temperatures continue to drop under these conditions, death can result. But it was not long before steam began rising from the sheets. As a result of body heat produced by the monks during meditation, the sheets dried in about an hour.

Attendants removed the sheets, then covered the meditators with a second chilled, wet wrapping. Each monk was required to dry three sheets over a period of several hours.

Source

Sunday, October 05, 2008

US Banking Collapse a 'Controlled Demolition'

What does the rest of the world know that we don't? The United States Dollar is dead.

While we are being jerked around by the mainstream media here at home, the rest of the world has already drawn the final conclusion for us, and what they are saying about us isn't pretty.

We are in the middle of a crisis much larger than most Americans could imagine, a portion of America can't even handle it, for that matter. The Bailout was an awful idea, and the majority of Americans realized that. There is even a provision that would grant Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson dictatorial powers, and that is obviously insane, but here we are debating it. It's like asking a dead man whether he wants to be buried or cremated; it's a non issue and Congress is just playing a game to distract the American people. We need to move ahead, and we should begin with taking our country back from the tyrants.

Hank Paulson has already taken control of the US banking system; journalist and expert economist Max Keiser compares Paulson to the 9/11 hijackers, calling him a financial terrorist. Keiser has been making his rounds on international broadcasts, including France 24 and Press TV where he compares the collapse of the US banking system to WTC 7 - "a controlled demolition."

Source

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dan Rather explains compromised corporate journalism

Perhaps this video will open the eyes of those who used to watch this man try to tell the truth.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Joe Biden on Fire

This is awesome -- Joe Biden just tears John McCain and Sarah Palin apart for completely ignoring every single major economic issue facing America and for offering nothing but sarcastic personal attacks.

youtube

Friday, September 05, 2008

Out of Iraq by 2011...yeah right

By the wonderful Bebichan

Suggestions that America will be out of Iraq by 2011 have started spreading through the media. This just shocks and amazes me since everyone thinks that 2011 is an early exit for the US troops that have suffered enough in a country that showed them no welcome and will not mourn their exit.

The plans that were made for the Iraqi Invasion had no intention of involving some form of an exit-since the elimination of Iraq's only hope.

America started with their first invasion plan which I have entitled "Plan A-quickie-coup-cum-invasion" this suggested that America would be in and out of Iraq in three days, that was bound to fail as soon as someone mentioned "three days". There was no way the neo-con administration would achieve all it wanted to in such a short period. A man named Falah Aljibury was put in charge of-under Saddam's nose- interviewing Baa'thists for the part of Iraq's next Dictator. It was simple and straight forward-Put the puppet dictator in charge and say that Iraq is being Liberated-everybody is to stay in office and everything is to stay the same...that everything being "the oil ministry".


After it became obvious that it wouldn't be possible to gain the control that was required over Iraq in three days, the next plan came into sight-"Plan B-the Corporate Invasion (a free market Miracle plan)". This plan ordered all state owned companies-basically anything worth having in Iraq-be privatized and later be open for foreign...(American)...ownership. This changed the 3-day idea to about a Years invasion, with no exit plan and only one aim-"Privatization, asset sales, leases and management contracts, especially those in the oil and supporting industries". This made it clear that even if America didn't invade for the Oil-they sure as hell weren't leaving without it! And so began on the 17th of March 2003:

Operation Iraqi Liberation-O.I.L.

The starting idea for this was perfect and worked with helping Iraqi people to restore their country-and this is all that was wrong with it. The plan started off flawless...beautiful if i may say so myself...General Jay Garner was put in charge of post-invasion Iraq and was to arrange elections, work on domestic problems and draft plans for the economy. He had a major plan of his own and that was to ignore the Oil agenda as started by the Bush Administration: "It's their country...their oil." Garner had about 20 years of experience behind him working with the Iraqis, he was known by the Iraqi people and had an understanding of the culture and system in Iraq-which is a vital thing that the people who were later in charge lacked. The first things Garner was noted saying as he crossed the Iraqi border into Iraq was: "You prevent the epidemics, you start the food distribution program to prevent famine and you try to get elections going".
Garner knew that Iraq was filled with about 150 or so tribes (Sunni, Shi'aa and Kurdish) and that each of these tribal leaders had to be part of the decision making process post invasion-as these were the tribes that would clash and collide if they weren't involved. There was a 90 day plan to hold out meeting from the grass roots of Iraqi society...amongst these tribal leaders...to start negotiations and begin assembling things that all of them would agree on and accept, basically putting Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people.
After those 90 days elections would be held, and the people could vote on who they wanted to run their country. To further this plan, ministry officials would be kept intact-(since they had the most knowledge of running their ministry's), the army (which amounted up to about 500,000 men) would be used to secure the borders and work along side the American/British armies in policing the streets-effectively introducing a state of martial law on Iraq. Martial law seems a bit rash, but it would have prevented the outbreak of two things that were the start of the catastrophe we have in Iraq today: Crime and looting. All in all there would be no over all "debaathification" of Iraq. Post 90-days when the elections had been held and a new government was kept in tact, the country would not have run riot and the government would have found it a lot easier to take complete control. However, the idea of putting the future of Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people was absurd to the Bush administration-and meant that their agenda would not be effectively carried out.

Of course, you cannot start an agenda trying to rob the people of their assets if you have them negotiating and starting a peaceful democratic future on their own...you have to get them divided and hating each other, divided and killing each other.

The Oil Agenda
And so, Jay Garner-Iraq's only hope- was replaced by a Paul Bremer-the mind behind the catastrophe. Here we have a nobody, with no experience, and no brains, drafting the post-Invasion Iraq plan.
So here we have an ignorant man who thought that anybody hired under the Saddam regime was a terrorist-and his aim was to get rid of them all "anyone who would remind the Iraqi people of Saddam's evil leadership"- doing us a favor in his opinion. However, what he ended up doing was getting rid of people who only worked for things linked to Saddam's leadership because that was their only option and their only way of making money, and people that worked for "things to do with the Saddam Regime" formed a huge amount of the population.
Bremer's first move was to eliminate this "foolish" idda of getting Iraqi tribal leaders involved in negotiations and instead he formed his own puppet government-filled with criminals and terrorists of course- National election would have to wait until 2005-thus delaying any form of an exit which would have started rolling much much sooner had the Garner plan been used. This delay would allow just enough time for meddling in the economic sides of things, namely oil. When the Brit's occupied Iraq, they learnt one thing that was overlooked by this occupation, "you don't have to give Iraq to the Iraqi's...but then, as the British learned, you'd better expect them to shoot at you". Denying the Iraqi's freedom of Elections, was the birth of terrorist organizations. The Shi'a people formed the "Mahdi Army" in Najaf and were some of the first enemies of Bremer and the Bush administration. Religious leaders in the Najaf province where this all started were able to tame any kind of violence...But Bush decided that taunting people was the best way to go, "Bring 'em on" he said...and so they did. Order 2 consisted of firing the army of 400,000-500,000 armed men and leaving them to take to the streets angry, moneyless, no compensation for the loss of their jobs and nothing to feed their families with. Mass protests broke out across Baghdad and Iraqi soldiers threatened violence if they didn't 1. get their Jobs back or 2. get some form of compensation. Of course these demands were not met, and so the insurgency thrived. See the idea that Bremer had in his mind was that these people don't want to work with America and will only turn against them-the reality was that the army was awaiting commands from the American army so that they could help.

After this the main aim was the introduction of laws that would mean any future government could not undo any changes made by the occupiers after the occupation ended-if it ever will. Iraq's banks were sold of to foreign companies, assets were dispersed amongst-again-foreign companies and everyone got a piece of the Iraqi pie, except for the Iraqi's. Trading laws eliminating tariffs and quotas were introduced-which led all Iraqi run businesses to go bankrupt-no free market nation in the world would do this, and yet to Bremer it seemed like the perfect idea. Unemployment soared to over 80% and the people were hungry.

"You've got 15 million people without food, but does anyone care? ...All they tell you is that "Saddam is gone and you should be happy!" Well thank you very much and that's all good- but tomorrow you need to eat and feed your family"(Iraqi Citizen).



To sum this all up: The insurgency was created by poor tactics and plans generated by an administration that was packed with ignorance and cared for nothing but their money-making agenda, there was no intention for an exit until those plans were secured and it was final. Even with the elections in place at the moment in the USA and the hope that if Obama gets the presidency the troops will go home...everyone is over looking the fact that a mess was created and Iraq is still a disaster. A withdrawal plan 5 years ago if there weren't any "agenda's" to rob the Iraqi's of everything, would have been feasible. But since that agenda took over, it brought with it disaster, making it apparent that an exit within the next 3 years is perhaps doable but absolutely insane. Rather than trying to create a whole exit plan after one administration screwed up-how about eliminating that "OIL" agenda and doing what should have been done in the beginning: Put Iraq's future in the hands of the Iraqis. Selling off Iraqi companies and taking control of Iraqi oil-which is what is in the plans-will mean there will be no official exit, insurgencies will continue and Iraq will stay as it is. The exit plan for 2011 includes the following: "If Iraq still needs America post 2011, they have to remain there". So there is a small print, and a vital one at that, because as it stands Iraq DOES need America....just perhaps an America without an agenda that fits their own needs. If that agenda is eliminated there will be hope for a 2011 exit...but I just can't see that happening as things stand.


Sources
http://www.iraqcoalition.org/regulations/20030823_CPAORD_2_Dissolution_of_Entities_with_Annex_A.pdf


http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/05/23/sprj.nitop.army.dissolve/

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/12/1052591733712.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7185276.stm

Greg Palast- "Armed Madhouse"

Weed saves lives


Killing bacteria with cannabis

By Yun Xie | Published: August 26, 2008 - 03:31PM CT

Pharmacists and chemists have found another use for the multipurpose cannabis as a source of antibacterial chemicals for multidrug resistant bacteria. Ironically, inhaling cannabis is known to damage the lung's ability to fend off invading pathogens, but the ingredients in cannabis, particularly the cannabinoids, have antiseptic properties. Although scattered research has been conducted since the 1950s, no comprehensive study existed that relates the structure of cannabinoids with antibacterial activity. Giovanni Appendino, Simon Gibbons, and coworkers attempted to remedy that problem by examining the activity of five common cannabinoids and their synthetic derivatives.

Five of the most common cannabinoids.

All five cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN) were potent against bacteria. Notably, they performed well against bacteria that were known to be multidrug resistant, like the strains of MRSA that plagued U.K. hospitals. CBD and CBG have the most potential for consumer use because they are nonpsychotropic.

Besides identifying antibacterial capability, the researchers wanted to figure out why these cannabinoids are so good at killing bacteria. They obviously are very effective at specifically targeting some vital process in the bacteria. Unfortunately, even after extensive work at modifying the cannabinoids and comparing their activities, that targeting mechanism remains a mystery. The scientists were able to figure out that the position of the n-pentyl chain (orange) relative to the terpenoid moiety (blue) serves to control lipid affinity.

These cannabinoids are promising enough to warrant rigorous clinical trials. They are applicable as topical antiseptics, biodegradable antibacterial compounds for cosmetics, and systematic antibacterial agents.

source

Monday, September 01, 2008

Richard Dawkins Debates Alister Mcgrath

This is an interview cut from a Dawkins documentary. Very good stuff. Has real debate not muddled by fundamentalist nonesense or dogmatic twaddle. Enjoy.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Converting gas-powered cars to electric

* Story Highlights
* Switching his truck to an electric engine saved one man about $700 in four months
* As gas prices rose, sales tripled for one conversion parts dealer
* Some converters are fed up with spending money on gas, foreign oil
* Others like the environmental bonus of going electric

By Curt Merrill
CNN

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Larry Horsley loves that he doesn't buy much gas, even though he drives his '95 Chevy S-10 back and forth to work each day.

Horsley, a self-described do-it-yourselfer, simply plugs his truck into an electric wall outlet in his Douglasville, Georgia, garage and charges it overnight, instead of buying gasoline refined from mostly imported oil.

"If I can keep a dollar from going overseas, I'll spend two dollars," he said. The whole conversion, including the truck, cost him about $12,000, which parts dealers say is about standard.

Another Atlanta-area tinkerer, David Kennington, converted his Honda Civic del Sol from gasoline to electric for a different reason: "I'm a raging greenie," he said.

Both Horsley and Kennington are fed up. They're among a growing number of Americans who are refusing to wait for big-car manufacturers to deliver mainstream electric vehicles, called EVs. Not only have they rebelled against the status quo by ripping out their gas-guzzling engines and replacing them with zero-emission electric motors, they say just about anyone can do it.

Another electric DYI-er in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Bob Batson, has formed a company called Electric Vehicles of America that sells vehicle parts for other anti-gasoline rebels looking to convert.

Batson said business has more than tripled in the past year. "Sales trends are definitely up as the price of gasoline goes up," he said.

60 mph on 20 batteries

Outside his metal roofing business, Horsley opened up the hood of his converted Chevy truck to show how he did it. How do the engines work? We explain »

The entire process is "basically straightforward," he said, after four months driving it on electric.

"Anyone who has basic mechanical skills can build one of these," Horsley said. "But it takes time," he said, about three months. Most of that period was spent waiting for the parts to be shipped.

He's got the motor of his maroon S-10 pickup set up to run on 20 six-volt batteries, the same kind used in golf carts. The motor connects to an existing manual transmission to propel the truck up to 60 mph.

Horsley removed the vehicle's radiator to make room under the hood for a few of the batteries. The rest are concealed in the back, under the pickup's bed.

Other components such as a fuel injector were replaced with their electric counterparts and some, like the exhaust system, were removed completely.

Horsley started the conversion amid cool temperatures in January, so he didn't install air conditioning. But in August, sweltering in Georgia's brutal 90-degree heat and humidity, Horsley calls that decision a mistake -- one he won't make next time.

He said his wife won't let him convert her car, but he's looking for another used truck to convert.

The truck can travel about 40 miles without damaging the lead-acid batteries before the vehicle needs recharging, Horsley said. But he said 40 miles is enough to get to and from work and run errands around town.

While limited range is the main disadvantage of electric vehicles, most people don't need to drive very far on a regular basis, said Batson.

"What people don't always realize is that the average person only drives 20 miles per day," he said.

Cost versus savings

For his part, Kennington describes his sports-car red Honda as a "science experiment." He first converted the two-seater into an electric vehicle four years ago and has been tinkering with it ever since. He's swapped out components and tried multiple battery configurations.

With his current nine-battery setup Kennington gets about 20 miles per charge, so he only drives it on short trips a couple times a week from his Austell, Georgia, home.

"I did it for the learning experience," he said.

Kennington said he's waiting for better battery technologies, like nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion, to become more affordable. Those batteries can provide more power with less weight for increased range, but currently cost $10,000 to $20,000 per set, compared with about $2,000 for lead acid batteries, he said.

"I hope at some point that I will be able to drive it on a more regular basis and that it will be more useful," he said. "Do I expect it to someday to be my only car? No."

He said most people who own electric cars also have a gasoline or hybrid vehicle for longer trips.

Kennington is president of the EV Club of the South, a group of electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts. He said interest in EVs is directly tied to gas prices.

"When gas goes up, more people call me and more people come to the meetings," he said.

Horsley estimated that he has saved $700 since switching to electric four months ago. He's quick to point out that that's just the savings on gas. He also doesn't have to pay for oil or filter changes, since there is no engine oil or fuel filters to change.

"I was originally skeptical," he said. "But now I'm convinced."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Toronto High School Under Attack

OSSTF's Toronto district approves debate request by 2 teachers
Last Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2007 | 10:51 AM ET
CBC News

A decision approving a request by two Toronto high school teachers to have a union debate on whether to condemn Israel's treatment of Palestinians has come under fire by human rights groups.

The motion, set to be debated later Thursday, was brought by English teacher and Jewish activist Jason Kunin, who has often criticized the Israeli government, and Hyssam Hulays, a computer science teacher.

It was approved by the Toronto district of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, and is being opposed by B'nai Brith and the Jewish Defence League.

"The level of discourse has been just incredibly low and vile," district union president Doug Jolliffe told the Canadian Press about approving the debate. "But to turn and say we cannot have any kind of discussions on this…. It's not Holocaust denial, where there is no argument to be made."

It speaks of "Israel's continued violation of the human rights of Palestinians," and asks the union to create classroom materials on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to support an international boycott of Israel.

B'nai Brith has launched an e-mail campaign calling on teachers and others to contact the union local and urge it to drop the motion. The Jewish Defence League says it will picket the meeting.

B'nai Brith members worry anti-Israeli sentiment could turn anti-Semitic and find its way into the classrooms.

They say the motion ignores human-rights abuses in other countries and there's no condemnation of Palestinian violence.

B'nai Brith executive director Frank Dimant told CBC News the resolution is about "bringing hate into the classroom.

"This is not an opportunity to discuss. This is bringing propaganda into the classroom. And I think propaganda has no place in Canadian classrooms."

The motion also calls on the union to ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to criticize Israel's "aggression" against Gaza and Lebanon, and end sanctions against the Palestinians' Hamas government.

Neither Kunin nor Hulays returned calls to their schools on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2008


Tehran Times Political desk


TEHRAN - On the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, solemn ceremonies were held today in Hiroshima and other cities in memory of the victims of the tragedy and to encourage people to work for world peace and nuclear disarmament.

Thousands of people, including Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and elderly hibakusha (atomic bombing survivors), attended the ceremony at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.

Following is the complete text of Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba’s Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2008:

Another August 6, and the horrors of 63 years ago arise undiminished in the minds of our hibakusha, whose average age now exceeds 75. “Water, please!” “Help me!” “Mommy!” -- On this day, we, too, etch in our hearts the voices, faces and forms that vanished in the hell no hibakusha can ever forget, renewing our determination that “No one else should ever suffer as we did.”

Because the effects of that atomic bomb, still eating away at the minds and bodies of the hibakusha, have for decades been so underestimated, a complete picture of the damage has yet to emerge. Most severely neglected have been the emotional injuries. Therefore, the city of Hiroshima is initiating a two-year scientific exploration of the psychological impact of the A-bomb experience.

This study should teach us the grave import of the truth, born of tragedy and suffering, that “the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished.”

This truth received strong support from a report compiled last November by the city of Hiroshima. Scientists and other nuclear-related experts exploring the damage from a postulated nuclear attack found once again that the only way to protect citizens from such an attack is the total abolition of nuclear weapons. This is precisely why the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Court of Justice advisory opinion state clearly that all nations are obligated to engage in good-faith negotiations leading to complete nuclear disarmament. Furthermore, even leaders previously central to creating and implementing U.S. nuclear policy are now repeatedly demanding a world without nuclear weapons.

We who seek the abolition of nuclear weapons are the majority. United Cities and Local Governments, which represents the majority of the Earth’s population, has endorsed the Mayors for Peace campaign. One hundred and ninety states have ratified the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. One hundred and thirteen countries and regions have signed nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. Last year, 170 countries voted in favor of Japan’s UN resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Only three countries, the U.S. among them, opposed this resolution. We can only hope that the president of the United States elected this November will listen conscientiously to the majority, for whom the top priority is human survival.

To achieve the will of the majority by 2020, Mayors for Peace, now with 2,368 city members worldwide, proposed in April of this year a Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol to supplement the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This Protocol calls for an immediate halt to all efforts, including by nuclear-weapon states, to obtain or deploy nuclear weapons, with a legal ban on all acquisition or use to follow by 2015. Thus, it draws a concrete road map to a nuclear-weapon-free world. Now, with our destination and the map to that destination clear, all we need is the strong will and capacity to act to guard the future for our children.

World citizens and like-minded nations have achieved treaties banning anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions. Meanwhile, the most effective measures against global warming are coming from cities. Citizens cooperating at the city level can solve the problems of the human family because cities are home to the majority of the world’s population, cities do not have militaries, and cities have built genuine partnerships around the world based on mutual understanding and trust.

The Japanese Constitution is an appropriate point of departure for a “paradigm shift” toward modeling the world on intercity relationships. I hereby call on the Japanese government to fiercely defend our Constitution, press all governments to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and play a leading role in the effort to abolish nuclear weapons. I further request greater generosity in designating A-bomb illnesses and in relief measures appropriate to the current situations of our aging hibakusha, including those exposed in “black rain areas” and those living overseas.

Next month the G8 Speakers’ Meeting will, for the first time, take place in Japan. I fervently hope that Hiroshima’s hosting of this meeting will help our “hibakusha philosophy” spread throughout the world.

Now, on the occasion of this 63rd anniversary Peace Memorial Ceremony, we offer our heartfelt lamentations for the souls of the atomic bomb victims and, in concert with the city of Nagasaki and with citizens around the world, pledge to do everything in our power to accomplish the total eradication of nuclear weapons.

Tadatoshi Akiba

Mayor of the City of Hiroshima

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some friendly philosophy


some thoughts from my buddy Amos

The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts life.
Life is not lost by dying, life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.
We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it
The best way to stop smoking is to carry wet matches
When i was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant. I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when i got to 21, i was astonished a how much the old man had learned in 7 years
The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts life.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Senator Hollings Is Right It's all about Israel

By Justin Raimondo


Isn't it funny how politicians have to wait until just before going into retirement to say what they really think about Israel and its influence over Washington policymakers?

Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana), formerly the senior Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, waited until after announcing his departure from Congress to attend a symposium on the Middle East where he noted that his congressional colleagues are "not even-handed" when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "for political reasons." Rep. Hamilton went on to say:

"Israeli leaders understand our system very, very well [and] because they understand our system they can exploit it."

Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-Alabama) earned the ire of Tel Aviv's lobby by opposing "emergency aid" to Israel. In a speech on the House floor, a clearly angered Callahan lashed out at the Amen Corner:

"I am going to offer amendments as we go through the bill to strike all of the aid to Israel that was included here without any request from Israel, without any request from the administration, without any requests from anybody. But someone within this beltway decided since we were going to have a supplemental bill, they were going to get some pork in it for Israel."

Please note that Callahan did this only after announcing his retirement plans. Now Senator Ernest Hollings, whose legendary disdain for political correctness has gotten him in trouble before, has joined the ranks of the belatedly honest, and said what a few others – such as Michael Kinsley, Pat Buchanan, and myself – have said all along. In an op-ed piece first published in the Charleston Post and Courier, the senator, having just announced his retirement, took up the question of why are we in Iraq, and came up with this answer:

"Now everyone knows what was not the cause. Even President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Listing the 45 countries where al-Qaida was operating on September 11 (70 cells in the U.S.), the State Department did not list Iraq. Richard Clarke, in Against All Enemies, tells how the United States had not received any threat of terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion. … Of course there were no weapons of mass destruction. Israel's intelligence, Mossad, knows what's going on in Iraq. They are the best. They have to know. Israel's survival depends on knowing. Israel long since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction if there were any or if they had been removed. With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel."

Hollings goes on to identify "a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel's security is to spread democracy in the area," naming deputy Defense Secretary and chickenhawk-in-chief Paul Wolfowitz, neoconservative hardliner and Francophile Richard Perle, and former psychiatrist and deranged warmonger Charles Krauthammer. He furthermore goes on to savage George W. Bush, whose sole thought since taking office, according to Hollings, has been reelection, with a radical tilt toward Israel by U.S. policymakers a key part of the game plan:

"Spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats. You don't come to town and announce your Israel policy is to invade Iraq. But George W. Bush, as stated by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after inauguration. And, without any Iraq connection to 9/11, within weeks he had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq. He was determined."

Hollings has been roundly denounced and his remarks attributed to "anti-Semitism" by Israel's amen corner in the U.S. But there is nothing secret about the open effort by the Republican party to capture the Jewish vote. The whole idea of politics, after all, is mobilizing various interest groups around a particular candidate and building a majority coalition. Pandering to ethnic blocs is a grand American political tradition: it comes with being a nation of immigrants, which is something we're all supposed to glory in. Every ethnic group of any numerical significance is pandered to, in some way, and politicians are always making ethnic-based appeals. The Republican party's outreach to the Hispanic community is pursued to the point where our President often bursts into long stretches of Spanish (perhaps because it makes him sound less inarticulate, at least to those who have no idea what he's saying). Why shouldn't he reach out to Jewish voters, too?

By calling attention to the obvious, Senator Hollings stands condemned as an "anti-Semite."

I'll tell you what else is obvious: the benefits accrued to Israel on account of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The annexation of significant portions of the West Bank, and now the attack on Gaza, have both received what amounts to the imprimatur of an American President. While Israeli "advisors" teach their American pupils the basics of running an occupation, the next target on Ariel Sharon's wish list, Syria, is hit with sanctions, and accusations that Damascus is aiding the Iraqi insurgency.

Hollings is absolutely on the mark about the real reasons for this war, even if his speculation about a GOP effort to go after the Jewish vote misses the real point. What Bush is after isn't primarily the Jewish voter, but holding onto and expanding the much larger "born again" Christian fundamentalist bloc, a significant proportion of which is fanatically devoted to Israel – even over and above American interests – for wacky theological reasons. When Hollings called Prime Minister Sharon "the Bull Connor of Israel," it wasn't the Jewish vote Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) was after when he demanded that Hollings apologize. South Carolina is Pat Robertson country, where the dispensationalist Christian heresy has deep roots – and even deeper political implications when it comes to this administration's foreign policy.

"Certainly, discussing and questioning policy is the right and duty of all responsible leaders. But when the debate veers into anti-Jewish stereotyping, it is tantamount to scapegoating and an appeal to ethnic hatred," says Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.

But why shouldn't America's satellites avidly seek to manipulate and even control the Imperial Hegemon? After all, we hold their fate in our hands. That's what being an Empire is all about. Without American military and economic support, Israel could not and would not exist: one false move on the part of Washington, and the Jewish state would flounder and fall on the rocks of demographic reality and rising Arab nationalism.

Special interest groups of all ethnic and religious persuasions do their best to decisively influence U.S. foreign policy: why should Jews (and their "born again" Christian allies) be any different?

"This is reminiscent," raves Foxman, "of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government." If one so much as looks cross-eyed at Ariel Sharon, Abe Foxman is reminded of Kristallnacht, but the point is that, if I were Foxman I wouldn't pull this "age-old canard" business too often. Instead of fighting anti-Semitism, Foxman's weird insistence on re-imagining half-forgotten anti-Jewish caricatures can only encourage it. But, then again, if anti-Semitism went out of business, so would Foxman's organization. It's funny how that works….

Jonah Goldberg, who is obviously engaged in some kind of contest with Foxman to see who can do the best Al Sharpton imitation, notes the names Wolfowitz, Perle, and Krauthammer, and whines:

"Funny how the only names are Jewish. What? Jeanne Kirkpatrick doesn't count? Jack Kemp? Bill Bennett? I wonder why."

Perhaps because Kirkpatrick is a figure from another era, and only played a supporting role in the propaganda campaign that lied us into war. Jack Kemp was never a major figure, and his views on Iraq seem decidedly ambivalent, at best. As for Blackjack Bill, his reputation would certainly not have encouraged Americans to take his advice and gamble on committing our troops to a risky occupation, and so, understandably, he didn't take center stage in the prewar debate.

Wolfowitz, on the other hand, is not only a high government official but also the intellectual author of this administration's policy of preemptive global hegemony. As Richard Clarke and Bob Woodward reveal, the Deputy Secretary of Defense was the earliest and most persistent advocate of war with Iraq: Wolfowitz wanted to take Baghdad before bothering with Kabul.

As for the legendary Richard Perle, the neocon "Prince of Darkness," his style – and the numerous scandals in which he's been embroiled, all of them very high profile and exceptionally smarmy – ensures his prominence. A spotlight seems to follow him about, like a shadow.

Is it really necessary to point out the reasons for Krauthammer's prominence? Surely his was one of the loudest and most militant voices raised in support of this war, and certainly his position on the op-ed page of the Washington Post automatically lends his words a certain weight. In concert with Bill Safire and David Brooks over at the New York Times, Krauthammer constitutes a crucially important link in the neocon Iron Triangle of the American punditocracy.

If all these names are Jewish, then so what? Just as many Jews, if not more, figure prominently in the antiwar camp. Goldberg, being a clever chap, realizes this, and so falls back on trying to switch the blame from the War Party to the Bushies:

"Fritz Hollings is defending himself saying that he can provide quotes from Jews in America and Israel to support his position. I'm sure he can to some extent. But so what? His charge isn't that Jews support democracy in the Middle East to secure Israel's security (and because they support democracy). His charge is that Bush went to war to placate those Jews. The quotes he needs to prove his point aren't from Jews in Tel Aviv, they're from White House officials in Washington."

If the idea is to prove Washington's willingness to go along with Ariel Sharon in spite of American interests, how about quotes from the President of the United States and U.S. government officials in response to Israel's outright annexation of parts of the West Bank, and the IDF's current rampage through Gaza? Having endorsed the Israeli Lebensraum (marketed to world opinion as a "withdrawal," albeit a partial one), our President couldn't bring himself to condemn an Israeli attack on a peaceful Palestinian demonstration that killed 10 children and wounded 50, aside from urging "restraint." Bush has consistently referred to Israel's "right of self-defense" to excuse each and every bloody incursion into Palestinian territory, no matter how brutal – and no matter how much it ratcheted up tensions between the American army of occupation and its sullen Iraqi charges.

As Israel rampages through the Holy Land with unholy determination to dominate and drive out any who stand in her way, and the promise of a pipeline from Iraq's oil fields in Mosul to Haifa comes closer to reality, the key question, cui bono? – who benefits? – demands an answer. Last year, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, now Finance Minister, told a group of British investors:

"It won't be long when you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa. It is just a matter of time until the pipeline is reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean."

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, now a partner in Cannistraro Associates, writes in the current issue of The American Conservative that "There are rumors that the deservedly moribund pipeline project to send Iraqi oil to Haifa may again be on the table."

But the oil is just the gravy on the meatloaf, or perhaps the dessert that comes after the main course, which is Israel's improved geopolitical position as a result of the Iraq war. Syria is outflanked, and now under U.S. sanctions, while the rest of the Arab world is psychologically demoralized, politically destabilized, and militarily defeated. Bush and Sharon – or, from the Arab viewpoint, Sharon and Bush – are masters of all they survey. Arab democrats, secular nationalists, and moderates in the region are more isolated, and even more powerless, than ever: only Osama bin Laden's followers are overjoyed to see that their leader's warning of an invasion of "Crusaders and Zionists" has proved prescient.

What irks American patriots, not a few conservatives among them, is that Sharon and the Israelis have shown no restraint: they are utterly heedless of the effect of their policies on the ground in Iraq. We undertook a vast project of social and political engineering in Iraq largely on Israel's behalf, only to see that they don't feel the least bit obligated to spare us the consequences of their actions. Surely such ingratitude contributes to rising resentment against the catalytic role of Israel's supporters – both in and out of government – in dragging us into Iraq.

Senator Hollings is right: this war was, and still is, all about protecting Israel's security and plans for expansion – at our expense. Not surprisingly, the catcalls are coming from the same people who say any reference to "neoconservatives" – up until recently a word that had entered the American political lexicon (sometime in the 1970s) without a hint of ethnic overtones – is really a "code word" for Jews. What they hope to accomplish is to close down all debate on a question the War Party would just as soon not see raised. But that question – why are we in Iraq? – is one that urgently requires explaining. Jonah Goldberg may persist in applying rules of political correctness that he would never otherwise invoke, but I would urge critics of Israel to take some solace in the words of John Derbyshire, Goldberg's colleague at National Review, who invokes what he calls:

"Derbyshire's First Law": Anything – anything whatsoever – that a Gentile says about Jews or Israel will be taken as rabidly antisemitic by somebody, somewhere."

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

Speaking of neocons trying to shut down all debate: I see that Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and formerly of the Office of Special Plans, is attributing rising resentment against the neocons for pushing us into this war to a grand conspiracy involving The Nation, Lyndon LaRouche, Louis Farrakhan, and – me. He writes:

"Louis Farrakhan subsequently adopted the theme. 'All of the agenda of the neo-conservatives was to bring President Bush in line with Israel and use the power of the American military to destroy the real and perceived enemies of Israel,' said Farrakhan on May 3, 2004. Pat Buchanan and Justin Raimondo have pursued the theme in the pages of The American Conservative."

So, let's see if I get this straight: Karen is a LaRouchie, I'm a follower of Farrakhan (hey, that's a sun-tan!), and so is Pat Buchanan. What's next? I can hardly wait for the revelation that Ernest Hollings is really a former prison guard at Treblinka, or, more likely, Martin Bormann himself.

What drugs were they doing in the Office of Special Plans, anyway? Put down the crack pipe, Rubin, and check yourself into a rehab program.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

China Earthquake caused by HAARP weapon 引发地震的证据

Prove of HAARP was used to cause the big earthquake in China.
World War III is coming... borealis

A comment from a Japanese, id named fonett:
"why sichuan? cause theres china's largest natural gas field, SARS was a biological weapon by these same people.
why they do it? start ww3 essence is to kill off most of the human race, manage less people in the new world order plan. it's all starting right now with basic food shortages, spreading disease, and war. to present day there are still groups of white men believe racial superiority, they are the true criminals, they are crazy; believe it's destiny and god's will to do this.
olympics must be hold, wish china have successful olympics. i am japanese, sincerely support... go china!"
and i have to add sichuan is china's most populous province, and where china's nuclear research center and site are.
Prove of HAARP was used to cause the big earthquake in China.

HAARP info

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ecLwVgvvTvU


Monday, July 07, 2008

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney
________________________________________

I've Had Enough

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
Who Are These Guys, Anyway?
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.
And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.
Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?
The Test of a Leader
I've never been Commander in Chief, but I've been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I've figured out nine points—not ten (I don't want people accusing me of thinking I'm Moses). I call them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It's up to us to choose wisely.
So, here's my C list:
A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags about never reading a newspaper. "I just scan the headlines," he says. Am I hearing this right? He's the President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound system, he's ready to go.
If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he's right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don't care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big point of saying he didn't listen to the polls. Yeah, that's what they all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong track. It took a "thumping" on election day to wake him up, but even then you got the feeling he wasn't listening so much as he was calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was right.
A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-flopping. There's a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval Office outlining his concerns to the President—the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the oil fields. "The President was serene," Joe recalled. "He told me he was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be well. 'Mr. President,' I finally said, 'how can you be so sure when you don't yet know all the facts?'" Bush then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe's shoulder. "My instincts," he said. "My instincts." Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush, "Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough." Joe Biden sure didn't think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn't.
Leadership is all about managing change—whether you're leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.
A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem. I don't know if it's denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it's painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who didn't cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we've stopped listening to him.
A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's character, give him power." George Bush has a lot of power. What does it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to their deaths—for what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he's tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy.
A leader must have COURAGE. I'm talking about balls. (That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn't courage. Tough talk isn't courage. George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.
If you're a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. Bush can't even make a public appearance unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.
To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION—a fire in your belly. You've got to have passion. You've got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President—four hundred and counting. He'd rather clear brush on his ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was catching a seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.
It's no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That's eleven days less than the record set in 1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress managed to find the time to vote itself a raise. Now, that's not leadership.
A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It's the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That's my definition of charisma. Maybe George Bush is a great guy to hang out with at a barbecue or a ball game. But put him at a global summit where the future of our planet is at stake, and he doesn't look very presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding around he enjoys so much don't go over that well with world leaders. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received an unwelcome shoulder massage from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up behind her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to go right through the roof.
A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You've got to know what you're doing. More important than that, you've got to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing. Bush brags about being our first MBA President. Does that make him competent? Well, let's see. Thanks to our first MBA President, we've got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life support, and we've run up a half-a-trillion-dollar price tag (so far) in Iraq. And that's just for starters. A leader has to be a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to be on the back burner.
You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE. I call this Charlie Beacham's rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in the car business, one of my first jobs was as Ford's zone manager in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham, who was the East Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used to tell me, "Remember, Lee, the only thing you've got going for you as a human being is your ability to reason and your common sense. If you don't know a dip of horseshit from a dip of vanilla ice cream, you'll never make it." George Bush doesn't have common sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You know—Mr.they'll-welcome-us-as-liberators-no-child-left-behind-heck-of-a-job-Brownie-mission-accomplished Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton once said, "I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood trying to get into the reality-based world—and I like it here."
I think our current President should visit the real world once in a while.
The Biggest C is Crisis
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.
On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.
That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.
A Hell of a Mess
So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?
Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.
I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?
Had Enough?
Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

George Galloway On Iran

Telling it like it is. This man is simply awesome.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sumerian clay-tablets translations: Chapter1 1/6



This collection of clay tablets are interpretations done by Zacharia Sitchin. The tablets were found in what's now modern day Iraq. Famous locations where allot of tablets in ancient libraries were found: Sippar, Nippur and Nineveh.

Sitchin used well over 800 Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian sources for this collection. He named this bundle of tablets he selected 'The Lost Book of Enki' because he thinks that the stories where Enki speaks about himself are remnants of an ancient autobiography from Enki.

(Pt.1) describes:
-Lamentation over the desolation of Sumer
-The tragic results of heavy nuclear war blasts on earth.
-How the Annunaki's fled their cities on earth as the nuclear cloud spreads.
-The debates in the council of the Annunaki's.

Source

Book of Enoch translations: Chapter 1 to 8/150




Enoch the Prophet, the great-grandfather of Noah and son of Jared (Genesis 5:18), who calls himself the Seventh of the First. These works are the product of ancient Jewish literature.

The Book of Enoch is declared apocryphal. Apocrypha comes from the verb 'crypto', which means 'to hide'. In other words these books were secret books, i.e, one that belonged to the catalogue of temple libraries under the guardianship of the Hierophants and initiated priests. It was never meant for the profane.

This version is called 1Enoch and is written in the Ethiopic language, with Aramaic fragments from Qumran and medieval Greek fragments.

Discovered in 1773 by James Bruce the version you read here is translated by Richard Laurence and until this day still not accepted as part of the Old Testament.

(Chapter 1 to 8)
-Introduction of Enoch
-Enoch was told by the sons of God, that in the future, the ones that express the light, joy and peace will inherit the Earth and the corrupted wicked ones will be condemned.
-Sons of God having sex with human females that bring fourth a race of giants that eventually turn themselves against mankind.
-Sons of God coming down to Earth and educate mankind.

Source

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Law of the Game on Joystiq: No Freedom of Trash Talk

by Mark Methenitis Jun 25th 2008 5:45PM

Source

In a recent Sessler's Soapbox, Adam took the opportunity to comment on some of the trash talking on Xbox Live. During the course of that diatribe, he mentioned that he thought the First Amendment argument was a "crock of s***" with respect to trash talking. Well, as the resident lawyer here on Joystiq, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain the First Amendment argument is just flat out wrong. In fact, it's one of my greatest pet peeves that the First Amendment gets thrown about as an excuse for most everything that is said in the realms of gamer culture, from trash talking in online matches, to posts on forums, to comments on gaming blogs.

In case you're one of the thirty-four people worldwide who has never experienced the phenomenon in question, this is essentially what's being talked about: Typically, someone will do something offensive online, be that posting something in a forum or saying something on Xbox Live. Then, someone in power will either reprimand that user, often through censoring, or banning for the behavior. This is typically either followed by that user or some other user decrying this exercise of authority as a violation of their 'rights.' The responses do vary, but as a moderator of one of the biggest forums on the internet, I've seen everything from 'OMG U R VIOL8ING MY FURST AMNDMT RYTES!!!11!' to some very lengthy and polished answers. The only commonality between these varying levels of responses is that they are all wrong.

There's one other point of clarification that goes along with this particular discussion, and that's the 'First Amendment' reference. For those of you abroad who aren't as familiar with the American system, people are referring to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The text of the first amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Shortened to the relevant portion for this discussion: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech. Beyond the fact that this right is more or less limited to applicability in the US, the text of the amendment itself is a huge hint as to why this argument is doomed to fail.

In short: Any claim to freedom of speech being abridged online in the forums we're discussing isn't by act of government. Xbox Live, message boards, and blog comments are all activities on what amounts to the digital equivalent of private property. Think of it this way: If you were to go down to your local mall and start shouting things that offended other mall patrons, would the mall be able to force you to leave the premises? Of course they would. Your right to free speech is limited while you are on private property, be that real world property or someone's digital network. US courts have generally held that digital property is analogous to private property and thus have found against free speech in a number of cases, mostly on the issue of spam.

"In short: Any claim to freedom of speech being abridged online in the forums we're discussing isn't by act of government."
But there are two other fundamental reasons why speech can be limited on private digital networks. First, based on the Prodigy case, there is precedent that the owner of the network can be held liable for the content put on that network. Secondly, and more importantly, all of these relationships are governed by contract, and those usage contracts almost always have clear rules as to what is or is not acceptable behavior on that network. There are clear content rules on Xbox Live and most of the major message boards. Abiding by these rules is part of the terms of service that you agreed to in order to participate in that forum.

There are, of course, other laws beyond the US. Far be it from me to ignore three other potential sources of a right to freedom of speech, which are: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The text of each is as follows:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

European Convention on Human Rights:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

"Calling people names after they stick you with a grenade in Halo 3 is not political speech. "
Ultimately, though, I would expect that these would be interpreted much the same way as the First Amendment is, requiring that the censorship be some governmental action. More importantly, these declarations, especially the United Nations ones, have a significant problem with enforcement. There would be a far greater chance of enforcing the European Convention through the EU than there would be utilizing the UN measures. I'm not aware of any precedent for utilizing UN conventions to enforce free speech on private networks, much less on something that is as trivial as trash talk.

And in the grand scheme of things, trash talk is trivial speech. Freedom of speech has its roots in political speech, which in the US receives the highest protections from the courts. Calling people names after they stick you with a grenade in Halo 3 is not political speech.

Ultimately, content restrictions and behavior rules ensure that the online community can be enjoyed by the largest possible audience. While I'm not personally bothered much by the things people say online, I know a lot of people are. Even though I'm not bothered, there is a substantial amount of time when I didn't even bother to wear a headset, because I know most of the chatter is meaningless. Ultimately, that is what online play has become in the vast majority of matches. We, as a gamers, could have much more meaningful in-game interaction and build a much greater sense of community in online play if we wanted to. Maybe the better solution is to subdivide Xbox Live based on preferences like these, but that could create even more complications in online play. I would expect that even some of the most ardent supporters of freedom of speech online would likely be worn down if subjected to the dregs of in-game chatter for a few hours.

Mark Methenitis is the Editor in Chief of the Law of the Game blog, which discusses legal issues in video games. Mr. Methenitis is also a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with The Vernon Law Group, PLLC and a member of the Texas Bar Assoc., American Bar Assoc., and the International Game Developers Assoc. Opinions expressed in this column are his own. Reach him at: lawofthegame [AAT] gmail [DAWT] com.

The content of this blog article is not legal advice. It only constitutes commentary on legal issues, and is for educational and informational purposes only. Reading this blog, replying to its posts, or any other interaction on this site does not create an attorney-client privilege between you and the author. The opinions expressed on this site are not the opinions of AOL LLC., Weblogs, Inc., Joystiq.com, or The Vernon Law Group, PLLC. As with any legal issue that may confront you in a particular situation, you should always consult a qualified attorney familiar with the laws in your state.