cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

11.04.2010

the fuzzy logic of useful idiots

This guy is just outstanding. - ed.

http://neithercorp.us/npress/?p=898

By Giordano Bruno
Neithercorp Press – 11/03/2010
It hurts to be wrong. Not just emotionally, but physically, especially when it’s public, like swimming headfirst into a school of very ill-tempered jellyfish…..or maybe piranha. The horror of it is almost cinematic. The more artificially pumped your ego, or the more brainwashed with academic pretension, the more terrifying that moment of realization is, that moment when all your assumptions are dashed aside like a three-year-old’s alphabet blocks. To a certain point, it is understandable why so many people live in such violent denial, however, this does not detract from the perils of that denial…
Americans are masters of avoiding responsibility for bad assumptions. I have seen middle-aged women cry, actual tears, because they have been proven incorrect on something as simple as the price of dishwashing detergent at the grocery store. I have seen full-grown men throw wild-eyed tantrums and even threaten people with death because they couldn’t handle being wrong about the correct score of a football game. I once saw a man froth at the mouth and shout vicious obscenities for 20 minutes straight because he refused to believe there where more than three ‘Jaws’ movies (I wish ‘Jaws: The Revenge’ didn’t exist either, but I’m not going to have a spasm over it). I have seen little old ladies physically attack people because they were embarrassed to be wrong, not realizing that their response was far more humiliating and self deprecating than just being “mistaken”. I have, indeed, seen the glory of overgrown babies in action.
America is not the only culture prone to this, Americans just happen to be the worst losers. We lash out when we are wrong, while most Europeans tend to intellectualize ideas that challenge their false perceptions, as if they are “above” even considering them. They are masters of rationalizing the facts away, while we are masters of brutalizing those people who are messengers of the facts.
Some of these unfortunate members of our society are merely lemmings; sheep following each other mindlessly without questioning the purpose or the destination. They are spectators in world events, and nothing more. While others are far more dangerous because they take an active role in the shaping of events, not knowing that their idiocy is contributing to the suppression of the truth and even the downfall of our nation. They help elitists to dismantle dissent and in the process damage their own future. It sounds insane, and in a way, they ARE psychologically ill, but in a manner that has been deemed tolerable (or even practical) by society. We call these people “Useful Idiots”.
How does one know when he has encountered such a person? How does he cope? Let’s examine some of the telltale signs of the useful idiot…
Just Smart Enough To Be Stupid…
Learning is a full time job, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the very moment your ticker tocks and you find yourself sporting a cloud and a harp. Some people, though, seem to think that retirement on learning starts at around age twenty. Useful idiots are commonly men and women who are intelligent enough to retain information but not driven enough to research its validity, or to follow a thought through to its logical conclusion. They very often work in professional fields such as law, business, medicine, politics, engineering, media, entertainment, etc. (though there are many others in these fields who are not caught up in their own delusional worlds). These are people in a position to influence others just by the virtue of their work, regardless of how clueless they actually are.
Lacking knowledge is not such a terrible crime as long as you are willing to admit that you do. There is always someone out there who is going to know more than you about some things, if not many things. That’s life. Useful idiots, on the other hand, are rarely willing to admit that they are lacking in any department. They usually have just enough knowledge to make themselves “convincing” to those who don’t recognize them for what they are. In this way they are a sort of mini-Chernobyl, waiting to spew radioactive waste (disinformation) at any given moment, mutating public opinion.
Their ability to think is limited to memorization. The problem with this way of viewing the world is that it excludes critical thought, intuition, empathy, and wisdom. It traps us in a box composed of all the things we have been TAUGHT, but keeps us from the things we could discover on our own. Useful idiots are walking talking toasters; all they take is bread, and all they make is toast (and the occasional pop tart). Frankly, I’m bored with toast.
One need only take into account the vast number of so called financial analysts in the mainstream media who denied there was any threat of economic collapse back in 2006/2007. How many of them stopped to consider the consequences of ignoring the facts because of their egomania and inability to think beyond their conditioning? How many lives and nest-eggs have been destroyed, or are waiting to be destroyed, because of them? How many of these useful idiots ever apologized for their blundering? I can’t think of any…
Reacting To The Truth, Instead Of Absorbing It…
Useful idiots talk, they don’t listen. They ask lots of questions, but never wait to hear your answers. For them, questions are not a search for information, but rather a method of antagonism. It is a way to keep everyone else on guard while making themselves feel superior. In this game, the useful idiot never has to expose his ignorance because he never has to enter into a meaningful dialogue with anyone who has an opposing view. All he has to do is attack, attack, attack.
I have seen all kinds of reactionary tactics from useful idiots, but I find that the most common one for the American brand is the application of overt bravado. They turn everything into a joke whether it is funny or not. Laughing at that which we don’t understand sometimes makes things less frightening, but it also makes us more passive. Dedicated clowns, for all their theatrics and daring, are generally impotent historical figures. How many clowns or comedians have ever really dared to break the establishment mold and aim a magnifying glass at the true absurdity of our system or our culture? How many have inspired legitimate and original thought? I can think of only a handful, and almost all of them remained tied back by the entertainment industry for their beliefs.
The clowns that are the most “successful” are those that follow the establishment guidelines and play on them as if they might dare break the barrier of lies, but they never do. In Medieval times, even the most blood thirsty king would allow the court jester to make jokes at his expense. Why? Because the jester was an inconsequential figure, a powerless and non-threatening being. A jester can verbally thrash a tyrant, but nothing ever really changes, because deep down, though they make us laugh, nobody really cares what clowns have to say. Now imagine a whole subsection of our country emulating this dynamic. Imagine all these people deluding themselves into thinking that being a slave isn’t all that bad, as long as you’re the funny slave.
When confronted with a truth that threatens their established world view, useful idiots will do anything to distract or derail the exchange. Making bad jokes, resorting to childish ridicule, ignoring cold hard logic, making threats, denying you are qualified to present the facts, even though the facts speak for themselves no matter who is relaying them, etc. Rarely will they confront the truth you present on its own terms. Instead, they will try to make YOU the issue of discussion, and not your information.
Skewed World View…
Is it really that hard to double check a piece of data to confirm whether or not it is true? Apparently, it must be, because so many Americans have decided to believe whatever they are told without a second thought as long as the guy telling them is in a suit or a white lab coat. If a guy in a lab coat told you that cyanide makes you more desirable to the opposite sex, would you slam down a glass before hitting the singles bar, or would you verify the info and actually research the damned subject before hand?
You might say “well cyanide is poison, everybody knows that!” Yes, people know that because they research it. But how many other poisons do Americans ingest daily because some official gave the thumbs up? Mercury (thimerosal), aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, fluoride, rBGH, Bisphenol-A, and numerous others. One stop at the computer would produce thousands of pages of research which shows the volatile nature of these chemicals and the consequences of exposure. Why do we contaminate our guts with this garbage on pure faith? Welcome to the realm of the useful idiot…
The useful idiot is not just the guy chugging down GMO milk filled with udder puss, anyone can do that and not be useful. No, the useful idiot is the FDA official or the corporately paid scientist who SELLS us on the purity of the milk. He’s the local dentist who laughs at you when you question the safety of all that fluoride accumulation in your bloodstream. She’s the nurse who threatens to call CPS because you don’t want your newborn baby injected with half a dozen mercury laced vaccines two months after they exit the womb. The useful idiot is the guy who received his standardized academic neuron rinse but never learned that the first rule of academia used to be ‘question everything’.
World view is really a battle between inherent conscience, common sense, and the conditioning of our era. Even a single root misconception, like the belief in the legitimacy of the false left/right political paradigm, could easily skew the whole of a person’s vision to a sea of truths. The useful idiot is not only conditioned himself, but he also becomes an agent of that conditioning in others. When confronted with a truth outside of his established world view, he almost short circuits. He has lived most of his life with the ideas and propaganda of others slogging around in his skull. To be faced with the possibility that all of that time, energy, and devotion, was worthless, is almost too much to bear.

Making A Difference, One Lost Freedom At A Time…

Sometimes the best qualities of good people are ironically the worst qualities in the useful idiot. Useful idiots love to participate…in anything…as long as it’s sanctioned by a recognizable organization. Bless their hearts, they just want to get out there and make a difference! Go team!
This is a serious issue with those on both sides of our fake political spectrum, left and right. How many people clamored to be a neo-con after 9/11, only to find that in their quest for public safety, they wrongly supported the weakening of Constitutional freedoms, the destabilization of our economy, not to mention the invasion of Iraq, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 (even if you believe the official story) or any other terrorist attack in this country? How many liberals ran screaming like schoolgirls at a Justin Bieber concert towards the global warming and carbon tax scam, only to find out that the climate labs responsible for all the research they had been eating up without question was actually using contrived and in some cases completely fabricated data? I won’t even get into the Obama-fever thing, mainly because my stomach isn’t strong enough at the moment.
The problem with useful idiots is that they want to participate TOO much. So much that they’ll jump on any bandwagon that is well funded and flamboyant enough to pique their interest. They are joiners with highly superficial standards, like brownshirts, or lice. This is where they do their worst damage…
Participation, for the useful idiot, is not about making a difference; it is about feeling like they are making a difference. In some cases, it’s about “hope”, but not real or effective action. In other cases, it’s about vengeance and malice, but not justice or integrity. In either scenario, the key missing factor is the truth, which is neglected or traded for a quick boost in self esteem. This makes the useful idiot the prime target of elitist disinformation. Nearly all criminal actions by governments receive their primary support from this portion of the citizenry exactly because they are so ridiculously eager. They are the zombie ditch diggers of the globalist infrastructure, chopping away at our liberties in search of brains.
Confronting The Useful Idiot…
Why bother trying to communicate with these dimwits at all? Are they not the very definition of a lost cause? Perhaps. I can say with a certain authority, though, that some of them can be introduced to awareness, especially since I used to be one of them…
I was the Democrat putting up Kerry stickers and handing out buttons back in 2004. I was the guy who shut down any conservative viewpoint no matter how accurate or valid because Bush was the devil incarnate (and also because I was uninformed enough to believe that neo-cons were actually conservative). I was the guy at those protest rallies where no one including myself really understood the topics we were speaking out on. I knew corporations were the enemy, but I didn’t understand why. I knew the wars were dishonest, but I thought they were all about oil. I knew the economy was in trouble, but I barely knew what the Federal Reserve was, let alone fractional reserve banking or fiat currency. It took many years to fully remove my head from my ass, but I did. I see no reason why others could not do the same, given the right prompting.
The useful idiot has to be faced with queries he can’t weasel out of or deflect. That means continually asking him questions and demanding he support his responses with concrete proof. He has to be shown beyond a doubt that at least one of his precious ideals is unfounded and unsupported by the facts. Just one. After that, he can no longer assume that any of his other views are rock solid either. He will be forced to finally check his sources, which usually leads to a terrifying epiphany; he knows nothing! It’s like falling down a bottomless South American sinkhole with nothing to grab onto. I know, because I felt it once.
Eventually, he accepts the loss of his old identity, the foolish man that was so confident and certain, and moves on towards a frightening world where he must teach himself, instead of waiting around for others to teach him. The empowerment and the awe of this process is nearly indescribable, it has to be experienced to be understood. It’s like being able to see and to speak clearly for the first time. You never knew what you were missing because you had nothing to compare it to; only that unsettling knot at the pit of your stomach, telling you that something was very wrong. Now, to go back would be unthinkable, even hellish.
Nobody sees themselves as a useful idiot serving the interests of tyrants in the oppression of their fellow man. But, the fact remains that many Americans are in just such a position. You can hate them, you can even wish them ill, but don’t give up on them all. Contesting ignorance is not just the civic duty of the informed, it is also an act of compassion towards those who are not.
You can contact Giordano Bruno at: giordano@neithercorp.us

10.14.2010

time to wake up and smell the coffee then?




Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary - Yahoo News

NEW YORK – In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.

In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word "affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud.

"The mortgage servicers hired people who would never question authority," said Peter Ticktin, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., lawyer who is defending 3,000 homeowners in foreclosure cases. As part of his work, Ticktin gathered 150 depositions from bank employees who say they signed foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or ever laying eyes on them — earning them the name "robo-signers."

The deposed employees worked for the mortgage service divisions of banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, as well as for mortgage servicers like Litton Loan Servicing, a division of Goldman Sachs.

Ticktin said he would make the testimony available to state and federal agencies that are investigating financial institutions for allegations of possible mortgage fraud. This comes on the eve of an expected announcement Wednesday from 40 state attorneys general that they will launch a collective probe into the mortgage industry.

"This was an industrywide scheme designed to defraud homeowners," Ticktin said.

The depositions paint a surreal picture of foreclosure experts who didn't understand even the most elementary aspects of the mortgage or foreclosure process — even though they were entrusted as the records custodians of homeowners' loans. In one deposition taken in Houston, a foreclosure supervisor with Litton Loan couldn't define basic terms like promissory note, mortgagee, lien, receiver, jurisdiction, circuit court, plaintiff's assignor or defendant. She testified that she didn't know why a spouse might claim interest in a property, what the required conditions were for a bank to foreclose or who the holder of the mortgage note was. "I don't know the ins and outs of the loan, I just sign documents," she said at one point.

Until now, only a handful of depositions from robo-signers have come to light. But the sheer volume of the new depositions will make it more difficult for financial institutions to argue that robo-signing was an aberrant practice in a handful of rogue back offices.

Judges are unlikely to look favorably on a bank that claims paperwork flaws don't matter because the borrower was in default on the loan, said Kendall Coffey, a former Miami U.S. attorney and author of the book "Foreclosures."

"There has to be a cornerstone of integrity to the process," Coffey said.

Bank of America responded to Tiktin's depositions by re-affirming that an internal review has shown that its foreclosures have been accurate. "This review will ensure we have a full understanding of any potential issues and quickly address them," Bank of America spokesman Dan Frahm said. Frahm added that, on average, the bank's foreclosure customers have not made a payment in more than 18 months.

JP Morgan Chase spokesman Thomas Kelly said the bank has requested that courts not enter into any judgments until the bank had reviewed its procedures. But Kelly added that the bank believes that all the underlying facts of the cases involved in the document fraud allegations are true.

Litton Loan Servicing did not respond to a request for comment.

Even before the foreclosure scandal broke, the housing market was in the midst of an ugly detoxification. Now the escalating crisis is likely to prolong the housing depression for at least another few years. The allegations are opening the entire chain of foreclosure proceedings to legal challenge. Some foreclosures could be overturned. Others could be deemed illegal.

For a housing recovery to occur, all the foreclosed properties — which could account for 40 percent of all residential sales by 2012 — need to be re-scrutinized by the banks and resold on the market. Now, with so much inventory under a legal threat, the process will become severely delayed.

"This just adds more uncertainty to the whole mortgage process, so buyers are asking themselves: do I want to buy a home in this environment?" says Cris deRitis, director of credit analytics at Moody's Analytics. "We need to fix these issues before the economy can recover."

Though some have chalked up the foreclosure debacle to an overblown case of paperwork bungling, the underlying legal issues are far more serious. Yes, swearing that you've reviewed documents you've never seen is a legal offense. But at the center of the foreclosure scandal looms something much larger: the question of who actually owns the loans and who has the right to foreclose upon them. The paperwork issues being raised by lawyers and attorneys generals have the potential to blight not just the titles of foreclosed properties but also those belonging to homeowners who have never missed a mortgage payment.

So far, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Financial and Litton Loan Servicing have stopped some foreclosure proceedings in 23 states. Bank of America and GMAC, recently renamed Ally, have extended their moratoriums to all 50 states. Wells Fargo and Citigroup have said they are continuing with foreclosures, adding that they are confident in their documents and processes.

But Citigroup has now backpedaled some on that assertion. The bank sent out a press release Tuesday that it was no longer using the law firm of "foreclosure king" David Stern, now under investigation by the Florida attorney general's office. "Pending the outcome of the AG's investigation, Citi is not referring new matters to this firm," the bank said in an e-mailed statement.

Late last week, in an interview with the Florida attorney general, a former senior paralegal in Stern's firm described a boiler-room atmosphere in which employees were pressured to forge signatures, backdate documents, swap Social Security numbers, inflate billings and pass around notary stamps as if they were salt.

Stern's lawyer, Jeffrey Tew, did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, the public outrage continues to mount. In what is perhaps a sign of things to come, a Simi Valley, Calif., couple and their nine children broke into their foreclosed home over the weekend and moved back in, according to television station KABC of Simi Valley. The couple, Jim and Danielle Earl, say they were working with the bank to catch up on payments until they discovered a $25,000 difference between what they owed and what the bank said they owed. The family was evicted from their Spanish-style two-story in July. The home has been sold, and the new owner was due to move in soon.

The Earls and their attorney now allege that they were victims of fraudulent paperwork.

___

Curt Anderson contributed from Miami.

8.11.2010

5.07.2010

watch it while you can

1.04.2010

war on terror kabuki

1. the 14 countries considered "terror linked" by the US

U.S. government officials have reportedly said that Lebanon is among 14 "terror linked" nations whose citizens will undergo mandatory enhanced screening at U.S. airports.
U.S. officials Sunday toughened security measures for all U.S.-bound airline passengers, and warned those traveling from or via the 14 "state sponsors of terrorism" and "countries of interest" will undergo the screening.

...Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are currently the only four countries designated state sponsors of terrorism by the State Department.

But a senior administration official told Agence France Presse the mandatory stringent measures, which would include pat-downs and enhanced screening, would apply to all passengers traveling from or via a total of 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

He refused to reveal the remaining four nations on the list but The New York Times and Washington Post quoted government officials naming them as Algeria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

read more @ naharnet




2. Obama to meet with intelligence people tomorrow, hold somebody accountable


"On Tuesday, in Washington, I will meet personally with relevant agency heads to discuss our ongoing reviews as well as security enhancements and intelligence-sharing improvements in our homeland security and counterterrorism operations," Obama said in a statement issued by the White House.

...The report is also likely to make recommendations on improving the sharing of information between the United States' 16 intelligence agencies.

Admiral Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, said in a memo to staff that those who made mistakes in the incident would be held accountable.

read more @ al manar tv


3. Jordanian killed in strike that hit CIA


The eighth man killed in a bomb attack on a secret CIA base in Afghanistan last week was a captain in the Jordanian spy service known as the General Intelligence Department (GID), The Washington Post reported late Sunday.
The official Jordanian news agency Petra identified the man as Ali bin Zeid, saying that he was killed "on Wednesday evening as a martyr while performing the sacred duty of the Jordanian forces in Afghanistan."

...Former CIA officer, Jamie Smith,told The Post that Jordanians are "particularly prized for their skill in both interrogating captives and cultivating informants, owing to an unrivaled expertise with radicalized militant groups and Shia/Sunni culture." Smith worked in the border region in the years immediately after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Current and former US intelligence officials said the special relationship with Jordan dates back at least three decades and has recently progressed to the point that the CIA liaison officer in Amman enjoys full, unescorted access to GID headquarters, according to the report.


comment at al manar:

The CIA captures Muslims and the Jordanian Mukhabarat tortures them so their king can get more money to buy fancy stuff and to stay on his seat. Shameful. The real alqaida is their friend whereas various Muslims who are religious get picked up randomly and get branded alqaida loyalists and sent to the torture chamber. Why arent the CIA and their arab mukhabarat capturing those that are doing the actual bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc? With all the money, intel and time they have spent they should have stopped the bloodshed by now and known where alqaida leaders are if they really were working with stopping it THAT IS. The history will remember the arab puppets as traitors of the worst kind and their soldiers and mukhabarat as the protectors of taghout and munafekin.

more @ al manar tv



4. full body scanners to fry travelers with radiation


TSA Security Laboratory Director Susan Hallowell recently announced the agency’s intent to use back-scatter X-ray machines for passenger surveillance. These hugely expensive, closet-sized zappers can find the plastic bombs hidden in grandma’s underpants, while delivering a smacking dose of ionizing radiation to her breasts and thyroid gland.

Snooper X-rays penetrate a few centimeters into the flesh and reflect off the skin to form a naked body image for TSA security personnel to inspect. These machines are already being field tested at several U.S. airports, including JFK, LAX and Orlando.

The most lucrative growth industry of our times is the “terror” business. Legions of companies lusting for government contracts are churning out police state technology at a frantic pace. In the last 17 months, TSA has received over 30,000 proposals for Big Brother technology and equipment needed to keep 280 million citizen-suspects under careful surveillance from the inside out.

...Officials must naturally defend compulsory passenger X-rays as harmless. But they are signing no guarantees because ionizing radiation in the X-ray spectrum damages and mutates both chromosomal DNA and structural proteins in human cells. If this damage is not repaired, it can lead to cancer.

read more @ no world system



5. India's ridiculous Mumbai evidence vs Pakistan's concrete Waziristan proof


Ø See A Comparison Between India’s evidences and Pakistan’s proof of Indian terrorism inside Pakistan

Ø China Has Strong Evidence Of Indian Terror Involvement In Tibet & Western China

Ø Musharraf showed a photograph to US ambassador Baitullah Mehsood was seen coming out of one of the Indian ‘diplomatic’ missions in Afghanistan

Ø Pakistan’s Interior Ministry & Foreign Office are mysteriously quiet on ridiculous Indian evidence

Ø Use of Indian currency in all parts of Afghanistan is encouraged, another sign of how US is trampling on Pakistan’s security interests in the region

South India's Vaigai Chemical Industries and Indian Ordnance Factories provide arms and explosives to terrorists in Pakistan. Evidence of Indian-origin combustible chemicals has been found in western Pakistan. The mysterious fire that gutted Karachi’s business district is not possible without the use of such material. India has already launched a two-front secret war against both China and Pakistan.


read more @ paknationalists




6. Petraeus hails progress as US transforms command -- talk about spin


BAGHDAD: A top US general hailed progress in Iraq yesterday while American forces underwent a transformation, with their command renamed to reflect the fact that no other countries have troops here. Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I), the name of the command of the coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, was changed to United States Forces-Iraq (USF-I) in a ceremony attended by senior generals and Iraqi ministers at Al-Faw Palace at US Camp Victory on Baghdad's outskirts.



read more @ kuwait times


delusional

1. Rabbis to ambassador: time to 'go biblical' with Arabs

(IsraelNN.com) A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel.

...Rabbi Dov Lior, the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, said: "G-d gave the US the power and influence to affect the rest of the world and supporting Israel is the key to America's success."

Ambassador Cunningham told the rabbis that he does not see how the problem can be solved “without taking into consideration the Palestinians,” to which Rabbi Gold remarked: "Ever since we started taking the Palestinians into consideration the situation only worsened."

The ambassador asked the rabbis, "So what is your solution to the problem?"

Rabbi Gerlitzky replied: "You must switch the entire approach to the situation. We all believe in the Holy Bible and up until now we tried every formula except for that which is delineated in the Bible. Let's try it and who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment, that G-d Almighty has placed you in this capacity in order to precipitate a new course which will bring a true peace to the entire region."

more here: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/135283


2. Ayalon says world united against Iran


Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon on Saturday said he believes that after the sanctions the international community will impose against Iran over its nuclear program, it could very well lead to a regime change in Tehran.

"It is not certain that the regime in power now in Iran will be there in one year," Ayalon claimed at a question-and-answer session in Tel Aviv.

"The world is uniting against Iran's nuclear program and within a month there will be United Nations Security Council sanctions," Ayalon went on to say.

"There is agreement in Washington, Moscow and Beijing that a nuclear Iran would destroy the current world order," he claimed.

Ayalon also addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent efforts to re0launch peace talks with the Palestinians, warning that "the Palestinians need to understand that time is working against them.

He added that he believes the US administration understands that the essential problem is that the "Palestinians aren't willing to be flexible in their approach."


source: al manar tv



3. Germany and Israel set for joint cabinet meeting on 1/18


A joint meeting in Berlin of the German and Israeli cabinets that was postponed in November will now take place on January 18, an Israeli government official said on Sunday.


more @ the local



4. the Kazakhstan plan


MOSCOW, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Russia has no knowledge of an alleged Iranian plan to import purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Kazakhstan sidestepped questions Wednesday on reports it planned to ship purified uranium ore to Iran, saying only that it complied with international law and would issue a formal statement later.


5. Iranian lawmakers reject Kerry's request to visit


TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian legislators on Sunday rejected a request filed by Head of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry for paying a visit to Iran.

more @ fars

major fearmongering: save the earth through mining (and get ready to blame China), and mass death by germs, aka the earth strikes back at humans

1. concern as China clamps down on rare earth exports

Britain and other Western countries risk running out of supplies of certain highly sought-after rare metals that are vital to a host of green technologies, amid growing evidence that China, which has a monopoly on global production, is set to choke off exports of valuable compounds.

Failure to secure alternative long-term sources of rare earth elements (REEs) would affect the manufacturing and development of low-carbon technology, which relies on the unique properties of the 17 metals to mass-produce eco-friendly innovations such as wind turbines and low-energy lightbulbs.

China, whose mines account for 97 per cent of global supplies, is trying to ensure that all raw REE materials are processed within its borders. During the past seven years it has reduced by 40 per cent the amount of rare earths available for export.

...Jack Lifton, an independent consultant and a world expert on REEs, said: "A real crunch is coming. In America, Britain and elsewhere we have not yet woken up to the fact that there is an urgent need to secure the supply of rare earths from sources outside China. China has gone from exporting 75 per cent of the raw ore it produces to shipping just 25 per cent, and it does not consider itself to be under any obligation to ensure supplies of rare earths to anyone but itself. There has been an effort in the West to set up new mines but these are five to 10 years away from significant production."

read more @ independent


2. precious metals that could save the planet


Baotou was of little interest to the outside world for millennia. When one of the first visitors reached its walls in 1925, it was described as "a little husk of a town in a great hollow shell of mud ramparts". Some 84 years later, this once barren outpost of Inner Mongolia has been transformed into the powerhouse of China's dominance of the market in some of the globe's most sought-after minerals.

The Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute is home to some 400 scientists whose work has put China at the pinnacle of research into a group of 17 metals which sound as if they were dreamt up as poisons for superheroes – yttrium, promethium, europium – but whose unique properties make them indispensable to technologies worth trillions of pounds.


read more @ independent



3. deadly animal diseases poised to infect humans

The world is facing a growing threat from new diseases that are jumping the human-animal species barrier as a result of environmental disruption, global warming and the progressive urbanisation of the planet, scientists have warned.

At least 45 diseases that have passed from animals to humans have been reported to UN agencies in the last two decades, with the number expected to escalate in the coming years.

Dramatic changes to the environment are triggering major alterations to human disease patterns on a scale last seen during the industrial revolution. Montira Pongsiri, an environmental health scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, says that previous transitions in human history have had a devastating impact in terms of the spread of disease.

read more @ independent


4. 90 day pandemic simulation




Simulation of a pandemic flu outbreak in the continental United States, initially introduced by the arrival of 10 infected individuals in Los Angeles.

The spatiotemporal dynamics of the prevalence (number of symptomatic cases at any point in time), is shown on a logarithmic color scale, from 1 or fewer (blue) to 100 or more (red) cases per 1,000 persons. Without mitigation strategies, the entire nation becomes infected within a few months.

Depending on the reproductive number R0, effective intervention strategies can be successful without resorting to economically damaging measures like school closure, quarantine, and work or travel restrictions.

This large-scale agent-based simulation involves 280 million people, and uses demographic and worker flow data at the Census tract level, as well as long-range travel statistics, to describe the geographic movement of people. In this simulation, long-range travel is assumed to occur at a lower-than-normal rate (10 percent) due to travel advisories, but with no other mitigation strategies the pandemic quickly spreads nationwide, peaking about 90 days after the initial introduction.

Blue: Few or none of the population is showing symptoms, more precisely 1 or fewer per 1000 persons.

Green: 50 per 1,000

Red: 100 or more cases per 1,000 persons

source: prevent disease


5. on the bright side: top 10 health research initiatives for 2010

Rather than pursuing a new year's resolution that may be destined for failure, why not establish educational initiatives for your health to expand your knowledge. By researching the most effective health strategies, you will not only optimize your health for 2010, but you will develop a framework for health exploration that will take you in directions you never imagined in the years to come.

In no specific order, here's a list of 10 of the most critical topics of research to optimize your health this year and beyond.

1) WATER - The quality of our water is becoming of great concern as toxins continue to increase worldwide infecting all municpial water systems. Without proper filtration, soon it will be nearly impossible to access clean water in any major city throughout the world. Most governments continue to inject chlorine, fluoride and many other harmful chemicals that equally and negatively affect drinking and bathing water. Only independent research on techniques to clean your own water will keep your body free of toxins. Moreover, water wars will likely replace oil wars in the future, so relocating near a natural water source may be a growing consideration.

Research Terms:
water filtration, ceramic filters, tap water, pure drinking water, fluoride, reverse osmosis, carbon filters, distillation, structured water, bottled water

2) ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AND WIRELESS RADIATION - The negative health effects of electromagnetic fields on biological tissue is very real although it remains highly controversial mostly due to the influence of the technology sector. However, virtually all scientists agree that more research is necessary to determine safe or dangerous levels. It's like one big human experiment which we won't know the results of for several decades. Now, with the increasing proliferation of wireless handheld and portable devices, it is literally impossible to escape EMFs in any major city.

The danger of magnetic, electric, wireless, radio (microwave), ground current, and high frequency radiation is that it is mostly invisible until great damage is done - like the increased risk of some brain tumors in long term cell phone users.

Research Terms:
electromagnetic fields, EMF, electromagnetic radiation, wireless radiation, cell phones, electrohypersensitivity, radiofrequency, RF, Radiofrequency radiation, electromagnetic radiation exposure, EMR.


read more @ prevent disease


africa news

1. September 2008: Nigeria lawmakers divided over Mossad training -- what could possibly go wrong???

Members of the National Assembly have expressed different opinions on the alleged invitation of Israeli intelligence agency to train the country's security operations under a secret security pact.

Former Chairman House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Rep Abdullahi Farouk (PDP, Kebbi State), said Nigeria does not need Mossad or any foreign intelligence organisation to train the country's security agents because Nigeria has the best security training institution in the country.

However, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, said he supports the alleged security pact with Israeli. He said "They (Mossad) are professionals and they are here to help train our own intelligence agents. I don't see anyway by which their presence in the country pose any threat to our National Security."

read more @ allafrica




2. Al-Sheikh recounts horror in Niger


Al-Sheikh described the events that led to the attack: “We were driving on a road near Niamey on our way to neighboring Mali when we passed an inhabited village at which we did not stop. Three kilometers from there we heard the Azan calling for the Fajr prayer so we stopped to do the prayer and to continue our journey afterwards. At the very moment while we were spreading the rugs to say the prayer, a black Jeep with three armed men stopped near us and besieged us. The armed men got down and started searching our car. They took our money and mobile phones. Then they took us to a place with trees far away from the road. They took us out of the car and started shooting at us. I received the first bullet but luckily I survived. They shot at my colleagues one after the other. Four of them died on the spot and two of us were injured. Only the driver was unhurt.”

read more @ arab news



3. Sudan's Beshir in Saudi Arabia for talks


Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir arrived on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia for talks, the official SPA news agency said. Beshir, who will stay in the kingdom for several days, was met at the airport by King Abdullah and other top officials, before heading to the king's Janadiriyah desert farm outside the capital for a banquet, SPA said.

Beshir will be discussing regional political issues and bilateral economic relations during the visit, Sudan's ambassador Hafez Ibrahim Mohammed said in a statement ahead of his arrival.
He will also visit Medina and undertake an umrah minor pilgrimage, SPA said.

Although Beshir has faced an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Darfur since March 4, Riyadh has made clear it will not act on the warrant.(AFP)

source: naharnet



4. Ethiopian famine exaggerated?


The government of Ethiopia has moved to debunk claims by a US-funded Famine Early Warning System that has claimed that the majority of Ethiopians are starving and in dire need of food. Ethiopia has been extremely sensitive to images showing its people as starving since the famine of 1984-5 and have condemned any further portrayal of such negativity. The FEWS claims come in the backdrop of another report from IFPRI which shows Ethiopia in a distant sixth position on the Sub-Saharan Africa hunger index.

read more @ afrik.com



5. Moroccan, US military to strengthen cooperation


RABAT, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Commander of the United States African Command (AFRICOM) General William E. Ward visited Morocco, vowing to strengthen cooperation with the Moroccan army, local satellite channel Medi 1 Sat reported Thursday.

Ward met with Lieutenant General Abdelaziz Bennani, general inspector of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and governor of the Southern Zone, and the two discussed bilateral military cooperation and opportunities to strengthen partnership between the Royal Armed Forces and the U.S. Army, the report said.

This is Ward's third visit to Morocco, heading a AFRICOM delegation, after two previous visits in 2008.

Morocco is an important partner in the region for the United States, and its efforts of counter-terrorism and smuggling and involvement in peace-keeping operations are highly appreciated by the U.S. Army, the report noted.

AFRICOM command, currently temporarily headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, will coordinate U.S. military and security interests throughout the African continent.


chinaview


milestones of the rich and powerful

1. Foreign Policy names 100 top thinkers, can't think of a single Russian

Foreign Policy, an influential political magazine, published the rating of The Top 100 Global Thinkers who affected mankind the most in 2009. The list includes experts in various spheres who affect public opinion and the world in general. The authors of the project intended to identify people whose intellectual quests shape the world where we live and will live in the future. This year, no Russians whose ideas determined the agenda of 2009 made it to the rating.

read more @ pravda


2. Spain takes reins of revamped EU

MADRID – Spain on Friday assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, the first under a new leadership structure for the bloc which includes its first full-time president and a new foreign policy supremo.

...Spain has set as the priorities for its presidency of the EU a smooth implementation of the treaty and tackling the continent's economic woes.

read more @ global nation



3. world's tallest building opens in Dubai, exact height remains a secret until later today. must be a "special" number.

Developer Emaar Properties spent $1.5 billion on the tower since construction began in 2004. The building's official height will be disclosed later Monday, though it is certain to exceed the 800-meter mark. The world's second-highest tower, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, stands at slightly above 500 meters.

more @ reuters


4. Rothschild in talks to acquire Veolia Israel stake

Sources inform ''Globes'' that France's La Compagnie Financiere Edmond de Rothschild (LCF Rothschild) is in considering acquiring 30-40% of infrastructures company Veolia Environment Israel Ltd. in cash. ...Veolia Environment Israel operates through four divisions: Veolia Environmental Services; Veolia Transport Israel Ltd.; Veolia Water, which owns half of the Ashkelon desalination plant; and Dalkia Energy and Services Ltd., which owns 20% of private power producer Ofer Power Stations Ltd. (OPC). Veolia Israel's annual revenue is estimated at $350 million and has 1,600 employees and subcontractors.

more @ globes


5. butcher Sharon still in coma


JERUSALEM (AP) -- Ariel Sharon, the tough army general turned premier who shocked his hawkish supporters by pulling Israel out of Gaza in 2005, is still lying unconscious in a hospital bed, friends said Sunday on the fourth anniversary of the massive stroke that put him in a coma.

Sharon, 81, led Israel from 2001 until the January 2006 stroke that left him comatose.

Dov Weisglass, a close friend of Sharon and his former spokesman, told The Associated Press on Sunday that Sharon's vital signs are good but it was not clear if he would ever regain consciousness. Medical experts have said that is most unlikely.

read more @ rrstar

crime and trafficking news

1. woman in envoy's car

THE Romanian diplomat linked to a hit-and-run case was spotted in a car with an Asian woman less than an hour before the accident on Dec 15. The Straits Times understands he is believed to have dropped off a woman, said to be a Korean national, at her home in Bukit Timah at about 2.30am....The long-haired passenger in a white dress, who looked to be in her 20s, was quarrelling with Dr Ionescu, he claimed. The altercation was so serious that the Audi did not budge even when the lights turned green. Only after the cars behind had sounded their horns for almost a minute did the vehicle speed off in the direction of Bukit Timah, he added.

read more @ straits times

THE police are carrying out "very thorough" investigations into the hit-and-run accident linked to a Romanian diplomat, said Foreign Minister George Yeo on Monday.


2. Iranian police seize over 6 tons of opium


TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 6,256 kg of opium was seized from drug traffickers in Iran's northern city of Karaj, near the capital, the city's prosecutor office announced on Monday.

...
"More than 340 tons of drugs have been seized all over Iran in the past nine months," General Hamid Reza Hossein-Abadi said.

The United Nations credits Iran with the seizure of 80 percent of the opium netted around the world. During the past Iranian year (ended on March 20,) Iran seized more than 1,000 tons of opium smuggled from Afghanistan, the largest producer of opium poppy in the world.

read more @ fars



3. nearly 300kg of drugs seized in East Turkey


ANKARA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Turkish security forces have seized 120 kg of heroin and 170 kg of hashish in the country's east, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Monday. Gendarmerie teams impounded the drugs hidden in rice sacks believed to be heading for Istanbul from Iran, the agency quoted officials as saying.

Six people were also detained in the operation in the Baskale town of the Van Province, it said. Turkey is a key transit route for smuggling drugs from Asia and the Middle East to markets in Western Europe.

source: chinaview


4. theft of 30 paintings in southern France


Around 30 paintings, including works by Picasso and Rousseau, valued at around a million euros (1.4 million dollars), have been stolen from a private villa in the south of France, police said yesterday. But a Modigliani initially believed to be part of the haul has since been found, police in Toulon said. The villa's French owner was holidaying in Sweden at the time of the break-in, which was discovered by the caretaker on Thursday afternoon.

Police said the owner had returned home to carry out an inventory of his collection to establish the exact loss. The reported burglary in La Cadiere d'Azur comes after a pastel by Degas disappeared from the Cantini museum in Marseille on New Year's Eve. The 1877 pastel worth 800,000 euros had been lent for an exhibition by Paris' Orsay museum. The painting had been unscrewed from the wall and there was no evidence of a break-in, police said, indicating the thief or thieves knew how to get round the museum's security system.-AFP

source: kuwait times



5. conviction for Sweden's 'youngest female pimp'


A 17-year-old girl from Malmö in southern Sweden has been convicted for selling the sexual services of a 14-year-old mentally disabled girl. The 20-year-old man suspected of masterminding the pimping operation was acquitted....In addition, three other women, two aged 19 and one 18 years old, were also convicted for their role in exploiting the disabled teen....A subsequent police investigation revealed that the girl was pimped out weekly to about five customers, who paid between 500 kronor ($75) and 1,000 kronor for the girl's sexual service, with the lion's share of the revenue going straight into the pockets of the suspects.

source: the local

1.03.2010

useful failed states in the War on Terror: Somalia

1. Somalia: minister says Yemeni rebels send weapons to Somali Islamist groups

Mogadishu, (RBC Radio) Somalia’s defense minister of state had said on Saturday that the Yemeni rebel groups sent weapon to Somali islamist groups, to support the fighting against the government.

...The Shabab rebel groups had vowed on Friday to send their fighters to contribute the fighting between Yemen government and Shias rebel group of Huthis in the northern province of Yemen.

...He added that two boats carrying arms from Yemen and arrived at the port of Kismayo, which is controlled by a group of young people in southern Somalia last week.

There is no effective central government in Somalia since 19 years and has undermined the insurgency led by the youth movement which Washington regards as an agent of al Qaeda in the region, the West’s efforts to install a government.

And Western security services say that the role of Somalia as a haven for militants, including foreign jihadists are using Somali territory of conspiracy to carry out attacks in the region and beyond has grown over the years.

read more @ rbc radio


2. Alhu-Sunnah recapture strategic central town from rebels


Fighters loyal to Somalia’s Ahlu-Sunnah Wal-Jama have reportedly recaptured central Somali town of Dhusamareb, the capital of Galgadud region after battling with Al-Shabaab insurgents who earlier took the control of the town.

Heavy fighting in the town on Saturday claimed the lives of at least 30 people, including combatants and civilians while 70 others who were wounded are now getting treatment in a hospital in central town of Guriel.



...The two groups have long history of animosity and the latest clashes are feared to ignite more violence in the central regions where they both have large military presence.

read more @ garowe online


3. US & UK close embassies in Yemen due to aq threats

The US and Britain shut their embassies in Sana’a on Sunday after security threats from a Yemen-based al-Qaeda group that has claimed responsibility for the foiled Christmas day attack on a transatlantic passenger jet.

On its website, the US embassy said the closure was “in response to ongoing threats by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to attack American interests in Yemen”. The UK embassy made no comment. However, the closure of the embassies in the Yemen capital underlined the seriousness with which western governments are taking the threat posed by AQAP.

read more @ financial times


4. UK to help US in Yemen AND Somalia


LONDON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Britain has agreed to continue working hand-in-glove with the United States to tackle the evolving threats of terrorism from Yemen and Somalia, the prime minister's office said on Sunday.

...British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC on Sunday that Britain has been working closely with the Americans to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation in Yemen.

read more @ chinaview


5. piracy picks up off Somali coast

After an apparent lull in activity, pirates off the coast of Somalia have hijacked four merchant ships within one week, including two British-flagged vessels. Over 250 seamen are now held hostage.

...Although the location of the seized vessels is well known, they can all be seen anchored off the Somali coast, experts say it would be impossible to liberate the hostages without severe loss of life.

"If the pirates are already on board, then there is not much that we can do - if you value the lives of the hostages," Commander Pieter Bindt, head of the EU's anti-piracy taskforce, NavFor, said.

In the past, heavy ransoms amounting to millions have been paid for hijacked ships.

But it's believed the ransoms have merely encouraged the pirates, enabling them to equip themselves with faster boats, better guns and state-of-the-art tracking technology.



read more @ dw-world




6. piracy money being laundered through Kenyan real estate

Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that there is suspicion that some of the money that is being collected in piracy is being laundered by the purchase of property in the country especially at this time when Kenya is facing global challenges of security such as terrorism and others, it is very important for them to know who is where and who owns what. Mutua also hopes that this will also help the government catch tax evaders. The reason why Kenya may be an attractive spot for pirates to launder their money is because it shares borders with Somalia and has investment opportunities and a large Somali community in the country.

read more @ newstime africa



7. LONDON - A cargo ship and a chemical tanker have both been hijacked by pirates in the perilous waters off the coast of Somalia, officials said yesterday....the Singaporean-flagged Pramoni, a chemical tanker with a crew of 24, was seized by pirates in the heavily defended Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest waterways.

source: boston globe



8. limited hangout -- yeah so maybe we missed a few things what of it?


LONDON: British intelligence agencies knew three years ago the accused Detroit bomber had made contact with Islamic extremists while studying at university in London but failed to flag him as a possible terrorist risk.

And, according to counterterrorism officials, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had had ''multiple communications'' with MI5 targets who had been the subject of email and phone surveillance.

read more @ sunday morning herald



9. UN sanctions Eritrea for helping Somali rebels because *somebody* needs to be punished


Somalia — The Islamist officials of Hizbul Islam have sharply denounced the arm embargo which the United Nations imposed on Eritrean government which allegedly supporting the Islamist fighters in Somalia, officials said on Wednesday.

The information secretary said that they were very sorry for the sanction against the Eritrean government pointing out that there are more governments intervening Somalia and were not imposed any sanction.

read more @ angop


10. China to establish naval base around Somalia


Rear Admiral Yin Zhou’s, a senior Chinese naval officer has suggested that China will establish a permanent base in the Gulf of Aden to aid its anti-piracy operations. The proposal was posted on China’s Defence ministry website. The Admiral went on to say that supplying and maintaining the fleet off Somalia was challenging without such a base, and said other nations were unlikely to object. The Chinese navy currently has no overseas bases, but media outlets and forums in China are calling for this to change. On Monday, a Chinese cargo ship and its crew of 25 were rescued from Somali pirates on Monday, and a $4m ransom was paid to their kidnappers.

read more @ newstime africa


11. Aha, solution solution: bring in the international community.

In various circles—especially within the Somali Diaspora—there are lively discussions on the seemingly forgotten values of compromise, coexistence, collective security and common-good. And the consensus seems to gravitate toward two particular priorities.

...On their part, as was reiterated in the 16th meeting of the ICG (International Contact Group) recently held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the international community is committed to take a more active role in the Somali issue.

...Though the international community’s interest in Somalia is broad, here is some of the oft-cited strategic rationale:

- To prevent potential spread of transnational terrorism
- To prevent radicalization of Somali Diaspora youth
- To find a home for the floating command center known as AFRICOM ( Africa Command Center )
- To control the Indian Ocean and thus control the life-line of China ’s energy security as its oil imports from various African nations travel through that route
- To protect one of the world’s most critical commercial arteries from piracy
- To monitor and stabilize the threat coming from a volatile geographical area that the Pentagon refers as The Arc of Instability [ Somalia , Sudan , Eritrea , Ethiopia , Yemen , and Kenya. 2/3 of the world’s refugee population come from three of these countries]
- To provide access to the identified but unexplored natural resources DING DING DING DING DING!

read more @ global politician

1.02.2010

watch the corporate media *not* make the connection

1. Mumbai terror suspect David Headley was 'rogue US secret agent' - times online, December 17, 2009

According to documents put before a court in Chicago, Mr Headley had links with the Pakistan Army and, through it, with al-Qaeda.

As well as helping to co-ordinate the Mumbai atrocity, Mr Headley is accused of planning attacks on Mumbai’s Bollywood film industry, the Shiv Sena, a Hindu extremist group also based in Mumbai, a major Hindu temple, and a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The US authorities allege that he was close to Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a former Pakistani schoolmate and businessman who is also being charged with planning to attack the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Mr Rana is accused of having known about the attack on Mumbai in advance.

The CIA denied that Headley had worked for the organisation.

more at link



2. Danish police shoot 'terrorist' trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist's home - telegraph uk, January 2, 2010


Danish police have shot a Somali man linked to al-Qaida who tried to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The man, 28, who was armed with an axe and a knife, went to the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time on Friday, police said.

Police shot him in the leg and arm and he was arrested. The man, who is expected to recover, was later charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Mr Westergaard, 74, was commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago, including one which depicted the Prophet with a bomb in his turban.

He has received several death threats since the cartoon was published, but had spoken recently about trying to live as normal a life as possible at his home in Viby near the western city of Aarhus.

Mr Westergaard was there with a five-year-old granddaughter when the attacker tried to get in.

"I locked myself in our safe room. He tried to smash the entrance door with an axe," he said.

He said that the assailant shouted "revenge" and "blood" as he tried to enter the bathroom where Mr Westergaard and the child had sought shelter.

"My grandchild did fine," he said. "It was scary. It was close. Really close. But we did it." [they "did" it? was it an assignment? that's a bit of a strange thing to say. - ed.]

Officers arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an axe at a police officer. One officer then shot the man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Nielsen said the suspect was admitted to hospital but his life was not in danger.

Mr Westergaard was said to be "quite shocked" but was not injured.

Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service, PET, said the attack was "terror related".

"The arrested man has according to PET's information close relations to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida leaders in eastern Africa," he added.

An umbrella organisation for moderate Muslims in Denmark condemned the attack.

"The Danish Muslim Union strongly distances itself from the attack and any kind of extremism that leads to such acts," the group said in a statement.

Denmark's cartoon crisis began in September 2005 when the Jyllands-Posten cultural editor Flemming Rose commissioned the satirical drawings as part of a discussion on free speech.

The cartoons inflamed anti-Danish and anti-Western sentiment among Muslims across the world.

In January 2006, after both the newspaper and the Danish government refused Muslim demands for an apology, a wave of violence ensued during which several Danish embassies were set alight, a boycott of Danish goods was encouraged across the Muslim world and violent anti-Danish demonstrations were held, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Several demonstrators were killed in separate incidents as security forces sought to control the protests.

In the past several people have been arrested on suspicion of plotting Westergaard's murder, Danish police have since offered protection to everyone in the country called Kurt Westergaard.




1.01.2010

we are slowly awakening after centuries-long enslavement


Viktor Zoloty, our reader from Mykolaiv oblast, first wrote to The Day last February and immediately had his letter published. Editor in chief Larysa Ivshyna then wrote in the foreword to his letter that Zoloty reminded her of “an almost lost but all the more interesting culture of epistolary genre.”

Our regular readers remember that when Zoloty read in The Day about the publication of Oxana Pachlovska’s book Ave, Europa, he was eager to get hold of one, but, naturally, it is impossible to do this “in a faraway Mykolaiv region village.” Then he “dared” to turn to The Day’s editorial board. We sent him the book he dreamed of and, simultaneously, a gift from The Day – a collection of articles James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me. Since such a well-mannered person as Zoloty was too embarrassed to accept valuable gifts, the editor in chief offered “barter.” “As a sign of gratitude, please send us a photo of your special cows,” Ivshyna wrote. (Zoloty also wrote in his letter about his pets that they are sometimes “wiser than some people.”)

We have received photographs only now. Zoloty, naturally, had no time to resume correspondence because of the heavy workload in the summer and fall. As the farming work went on, his letter, which we consider extraordinary, not in the least because of the level of the problems addressed, was included into Extract 150, a collection of Den’s key articles, so now the letter can be read nationwide. Zoloty is certain to receive this two-volume book as a gift from us, as well as our Christmas and New Year greetings.

“Good afternoon, dear Ms. Ivshyna,

I sincerely apologize for being silent for so long. You may not remember that you mailed me earlier this year as a gift three books, which I think are invaluable, especially for the Ukrainian reader. It is Ave, Europa! by Oxana Pachlovska, Your Dead Chose Me by James Mace, and The Apocrypha of Klara Gudzyk. But even if you remember, you must have thought that I am no longer living. For it is at least uncivil to get a gift like this and then keep silent for months on end. But you magnanimously offered me a ‘barter’ of sorts to alleviate my torments, i.e., to send to the newspaper a photo of me and my, as you put it, ‘special’ cows, which I have failed to do so far.

My son photographed me with the cows, but the photos were dark and of low quality. But the main factor that delayed the photos was a perennial shortage of time.

For, to survive in very difficult conditions (and we have always had such conditions in our village), one has to work very hard. This takes up all your strength and, what is more, time.

I have just received some classical music discs from a Kharkiv family leisure club: Bach, Liszt, Beethoven, Wagner, Vivaldi, Schumann, Paganini, Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky … but I don’t have time to listen to them.

When I retired in March 2000, I hoped I would have lots of free time. For a human exists not only to work – he also works to create conditions for a full-fledged intellectual life, as well as to travel, know the surrounding world, read, listen to music, and mingle with interesting people.

Unfortunately, this did not happen.

I have no opportunities to use the Internet. The only little window for cultural self-improvement is the three or four months of winter. And the newspaper Den’ occupies ranks topmost for me in this connection.

I only wish I had not lost as many as eleven years, when I could not read this newspaper before 2008, when I accidentally heard and saw on TV the editor in chief, i.e., you, charming Ms. Ivshyna, and began to subscribe to it.

It is hard to imagine how many extremely interesting things were published in Den’ at the time thanks to an editor in chief like you – and all this went past me.

Now I would like to raise some sore issues of nationwide importance. Maybe, my reflections are not worth being spotlighted in a newspaper. But I do not insist on this. I just have a desire to share them with you, respected Ms. Ivshyna.

The newspaper Den’ addresses all kinds of very acute problems in our life. It is perhaps impossible to add something new to this. And I am not actually going to do so.

Please forgive me for my possibly too categorical judgments. I do not think my opinion is the ultimate truth. You should not think that everything in our life is clear to me.

Our greatest woe, the woe of Ukraine, is that most of our people are bereft of historical awareness and national self-identity, i.e., patriotism. We are very slowly awakening after the centuries-long slavery.

For the first time in the years of independence, we only recently formed, by a narrow margin, a seemingly national-oriented majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Where has it gone? What criteria are the majority MPs guided by? And the rest of MPs and different-level officials are taking an openly hostile attitude to the state.

Take, for example, our energy dependence on Russia. It is a noose on Ukraine’s neck. Why aren’t we exploiting our own fuel deposits?

Our press reports that we have a unique phenomenon – Black Sea gas outbursts discovered by an expedition of the Institute of the Biology of Southern Seas in 1989–1991. The total output of these seafloor rock discharges is about one billion cubic meters in 24 hours. The phenomenon is so obvious that outbursts in the vicinity of Serpent Island reach the water surface, and the sea is ‘bubbling’ there. The explorations carried out by our and foreign specialists show that the Black Sea shelf contains more oil and gas than there is in the Caspian Sea or the North Sea.

It is also known that huge deposits of natural gas (about 120 trillion cubic meters) were discovered in the late 1970s in the so-called estuary triangle: Sloviansk—Starobilsk—Luhansk. This would suffice to meet the needs of entire Ukraine for several centuries.

It is not accidental, of course, that anti-Ukrainian separatists and their supporters among Moscow’s top officials chose, of all places, Severodonets to proclaim the so-called PISUAR autonomous republic on the territory of sovereign Ukraine. For this city is next to the object of interest for those who hate independent Ukraine.

It is also known that the US oil industrialist Richard Hart visited Ukraine in 1993. He studied all the NASA exploration data as well as the results of Soviet geological surveys, which had leaked, for unfathomable reasons, from the USSR Ministry for Geology to the West. After making a fact-finding tour, Hart said: ‘You have a sea of oil here, as well as a two-kilometer layer of methane hydrate and a meter-thick layer of anthracite. I offered you favorable conditions: I take 10 percent of the extracted oil and you take 90. But the offer was turned down. I all probability, you have quite a lot of those who are interested in keeping Ukraine dependent on imported energy resources.’

Academician Heorhii Lapin, chief of the Odesa regional branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, once said: ‘Today, when the invaluable results of geological surveys are resting in special repositories of Russia’s Ministry of Geology, Kyiv pretends to know nothing about our underground treasures, and those who know too much and are very stubborn are told that there are no funds available. Does it mean that there are funds to buy somebody else’s and there are no funds to produce your own?!’

Let us make a conclusion from all this. There are no problems with energy resources in Ukraine. We have big problems with anti-Ukrainian sabotage and the antinational ‘fifth column.’

If we are afraid of Americans but still unable to develop our deposits, why not invite someone else, for example, Norwegians who have great experience in extracting oil and gas in the North Sea. You can be sure the Norwegians will not colonize us.

Our energy dependence on Russia is the most powerful and by no means the only economic instrument of pressure on Ukraine. Electronic and print media of mass information (disinformation?) hold sway here. Books, cinema, and television are almost all Russian or pro-Russian. Very powerful forces are acting against us, and their arsenal is rich. But we are so defenseless with our disunity. To hold out in such conditions and keep up Ukraine’s and Ukrainians’ movement for genuine independence and a better life, we (or the vast majority of us) must rally together, instead of lying low, and at least elect patriots, not ‘janissaries’ and aliens, as our pastors.

Actually, unity is the hardest and almost impossible task for us. For, over centuries, especially in the past few decades before we gained independence, our enslavers have squeezed love for freedom and the feeling of national pride out of us, Ukrainians. It is now in our genes. We are even born with an inferiority complex: ‘please come and sit down on our neck.’ This is why we are being treated so brutally.

But I still hope that not evething is lost. I was not on Kyiv’s Independence Square in 2004. My son and I were on a smaller Maidan in Mykolaiv at the time. We were chanting ‘Yushchenko!’ so avidly and sincerely that our voices became coarse and we could not speak for two weeks after that.

But this is just by the way.

We were glued to the television, watching the Main Maidan – as long as it was shown. I could not fight back tears because I felt happy and saw Ukraine rising from its knees.

The hopes were optimistic…

Now, five years later, how can we assess Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency?

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer.

On the one hand, instead of bringing election riggers and lawbreakers to justice, he has been conferring state awards on them. I cannot fathom this from the viewpoint of common sense.

And his ‘memorandums’ and ‘universals’ helped Yanukovych stage a comeback from political oblivion.

All this greatly encouraged anti-Ukrainian forces and triggered a mayhem of lawlessness and corruption, which, naturally, pushed Ukraine away from Europe.

On the other hand, Yushchenko has revealed, on the official level, the truth about the Ukrainian Holodomor. He has also rightly assessed and extolled the UPA and Ukraine’s liberation movement. He has instituted the freedom of speech and promoted the Ukrainian language as an indicator of our identity and independence.

He has been making strenuous efforts to have Ukraine admitted to the Euro-Atlantic system, for membership in them, especially in NATO, would guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty. But his practical actions inside the country did not harmonize with these intentions. Anti-Ukrainian forces in the Verkhovna Rada and in society, which he encouraged with difficult-to-understand actions, have thwarted this by far the most important step.

Yes, Yushchenko have made mistakes. But he is an honest, frank, and faithful person who boundlessly loves Ukraine. He is not afraid, if it is to the state’s benefit, to take unpopular steps that can adversely affect his rating. Now, too, on the eve of the presidential elections, he is not among the race’s leaders. This is very sad.

We, those who are concerned about the destiny of Ukraine, are sure to ‘bite our nails’ (and very much so!) and repent that we did not vote for Yushchenko and elect him for the second presidential term.

Should Yanukovych win the elections, Ukraine will be neither democratic nor independent.

There will be no Ukraine at all.

If Tymoshenko wins, it is not clear whether Ukraine will go East or West.

Kostenko and Hrytsenko have, unfortunately, no chances – just like Tiahnybok.

So in the runoff we will have not to elect but to choose between the well-known non-existence (Yanukovych) and the unknown (Tymoshenko). I’d rather have the unknown than well-known and guaranteed non-existence.

We have a lot of problems.

Take, for example, the attitude of our people to the environment. There is a garbage dump all around. Trees in the forests are being cut down and even uprooted because somebody cashes in on selling the sand on which these trees, once planted to solidify the sand, grow.

What is a still bigger eyesore are our rivers into which garbage is dumped. There is almost no fish left in them. Fishnets were set up 50–100 meters from each other. Meanwhile, the fishing authorities are busy collecting ‘tribute’ from the owners of these fishing cobwebs, thus legalizing poaching.

But what worries me the most is whether Ukraine will manage to hold out and preserve its statehood, taking into account the indifference, or even hostility, that we can see everywhere, and a formidable foreign danger that keeps hanging over us. And the most terrible thing is that our society does not see and is not aware of this.

The newspaper Den’ is pursuing a great cause by rousing the Ukrainians. But, unfortunately, it is only read by people who share its position.

And how can one reach those who do not read Den’ or read nothing at all? They just watch the ‘boob tube’ which mainly pours out dirt, obscenities, and anti-Ukrainism.

I am sending a photo with one cow, Kvitochka, only. Incredibly hard as it is, we had to do away with her mother, Chaiechka, who lost her reproductive power. It was impossible to keep a cow (a big animal, not a cat or a dog) until it died a natural death, like in a zoo, spending expensive fodder, efforts, and precious time.

Some strangers led her away from my homestead. I ran away from home not to see this. But this could not ease my mind.

I am sorry for being sentimental and robbing you of your time.

Yours very truly, Viktor ZOLOTY, Vasylivka, Snihurivsky raion, Mykolaiv oblast


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