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Yankee Blowback

July 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?

US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and keep us admired throughout the world.”

Paul Ryan, Congressman, Republican Party candidate for Vice President, September 12, 2012:
“We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.”

John McCain, Senator, September 9, 2012:
“The situation in Syria and elsewhere ‘cries out for American leadership’.”

Hillary Clinton, September 8, 2010:
“Let me say it clearly: The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century. Indeed, the complexities and connections of today’s world have yielded a new American Moment — a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways.”

Senator Barack Obama, April 23, 2007:
“In the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. I still believe that America is the last, best hope of Earth.”

Gallup poll, 2013:

Question asked: “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?”

Replies:

  • United States 24%
  • Pakistan 8%
  • China 6%
  • Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea, each 5%
  • India, Iraq, Japan, each 4%
  • Syria 3%
  • Russia 2%
  • Australia, Germany, Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, UK, each 1%

The question is not what pacifism has achieved throughout history, but what has war achieved?

Remark made to a pacifist: “If only everyone else would live in the way you recommend, I would gladly live that way as well – but not until everyone else does.”

The Pacifist’s reply: “Why then, sir, you would be the last man on earth to do good. I would rather be one of the first.”

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, 1947, words long cherished by a large majority of the Japanese people:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

This statement is probably unique amongst the world’s constitutions.

But on July 1, 2014 the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without changing a word of Article 9, announced a “reinterpretation” of it to allow for military action in conjunction with allies. This decision can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long effort by the United States to wean Japan away from its post-WW2 pacifist constitution and foreign policy and set it back on the righteous path of being a military power once again, only this time acting in coordination with US foreign policy needs.

In the triumphalism of the end of the Second World War, the American occupation of Japan, in the person of General Douglas MacArthur, played a major role in the creation of this constitution. But after the communists came to power in China in 1949, the United States opted for a strong Japan safely ensconced in the anti-communist camp. For pacifism, it’s been downhill ever since … step by step … MacArthur himself ordered the creation of a “national police reserve”, which became the embryo of the future Japanese military … visiting Tokyo in 1956, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told Japanese officials: “In the past, Japan had demonstrated her superiority over the Russians and over China. It was time for Japan to think again of being and acting like a Great Power.”  … various US-Japanese security and defense cooperation treaties, which called on Japan to integrate its military technology with that of the US and NATO … the US supplying new sophisticated military aircraft and destroyers … all manner of Japanese logistical assistance to the US in Washington’s frequent military operations in Asia … repeated US pressure on Japan to increase its military budget and the size of its armed forces … more than a hundred US military bases in Japan, protected by the Japanese military … US-Japanese joint military exercises and joint research on a missile defense system … the US Ambassador to Japan, 2001: “I think the reality of circumstances in the world is going to suggest to the Japanese that they reinterpret or redefine Article 9.”  … Under pressure from Washington, Japan sent several naval vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel US and British warships as part of the Afghanistan campaign in 2002, then sent non-combat forces to Iraq to assist the American war as well as to East Timor, another made-in-America war scenario … US Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2004: “If Japan is going to play a full role on the world stage and become a full active participating member of the Security Council, and have the kind of obligations that it would pick up as a member of the Security Council, Article Nine would have to be examined in that light.”  …

In 2012 Japan was induced to take part in a military exercise with 21 other countries, converging on Hawaii for the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises and war games, with a Japanese admiral serving as vice commander of the combined task force.  And so it went … until, finally, on July 1 of this year, the Abe administration announced their historic decision. Abe, it should be noted, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, with which the CIA has had a long and intimate connection, even when party leaders were convicted World War 2 war criminals.

If and when the American empire engages in combat with China or Russia, it appears that Washington will be able to count on their Japanese brothers-in-arms. In the meantime, the many US bases in Japan serve as part of the encirclement of China, and during the Vietnam War the United States used their Japanese bases as launching pads to bomb Vietnam.

The US policies and propaganda not only got rid of the annoying Article 9, but along the way it gave rise to a Japanese version of McCarthyism. A prime example of this is the case of Kimiko Nezu, a 54-year-old Japanese teacher, who was punished by being transferred from school to school, by suspensions, salary cuts, and threats of dismissal because of her refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem, a World War II song chosen as the anthem in 1999. She opposed the song because it was the same one sung as the Imperial Army set forth from Japan calling for an “eternal reign” of the emperor. At graduation ceremonies in 2004, 198 teachers refused to stand for the song. After a series of fines and disciplinary actions, Nezu and nine other teachers were the only protesters the following year. Nezu was then allowed to teach only when another teacher was present.

Yankee Blowback

The number of children attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States has risen dramatically in the last five years: In fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010) about 6,000 unaccompanied minors were detained near the border. The US Department of Homeland Security estimates for the fiscal year 2014 the detention of as many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors. Approximately 28% of the children detained this year are from Honduras, 24% from Guatemala, and 21% from El Salvador. The particularly severe increases in Honduran migration are a direct result of the June 28, 2009 military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, after he did things like raising the minimum wage, giving subsidies to small farmers, and instituting free education. The coup – like so many others in Latin America – was led by a graduate of Washington’s infamous School of the Americas.

As per the standard Western Hemisphere script, the Honduran coup was followed by the abusive policies of the new regime, loyally supported by the United States. The State Department was virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere in not unequivocally condemning the Honduran coup. Indeed, the Obama administration has refused to call it a coup, which, under American law, would tie Washington’s hands as to the amount of support it could give the coup government. This denial of reality still persists even though a US embassy cable released by Wikileaks in 2010 declared: “There is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 [2009] in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch”. Washington’s support of the far-right Honduran government has been unwavering ever since.

The questions concerning immigration into the United States from south of the border go on year after year, with the same issues argued back and forth: What’s the best way to block the flow into the country? How shall we punish those caught here illegally? Should we separate families, which happens when parents are deported but their American-born children remain? Should the police and various other institutions have the right to ask for proof of legal residence from anyone they suspect of being here illegally? Should we punish employers who hire illegal immigrants? Should we grant amnesty to at least some of the immigrants already here for years? … on and on, round and round it goes, decade after decade. Those in the US generally opposed to immigration make it a point to declare that the United States does not have any moral obligation to take in these Latino immigrants.

But the counter-argument to this last point is almost never mentioned: Yes, the United States does indeed have a moral obligation because so many of the immigrants are escaping a situation in their homeland made hopeless by American intervention and policy. In addition to Honduras, Washington overthrew progressive governments which were sincerely committed to fighting poverty in Guatemala and Nicaragua; while in El Salvador the US played a major role in suppressing a movement striving to install such a government. And in Mexico, though Washington has not intervened militarily since 1919, over the years the US has been providing training, arms, and surveillance technology to Mexico’s police and armed forces to better their ability to suppress their own people’s aspirations, as in Chiapas, and this has added to the influx of the oppressed to the United States, irony notwithstanding.

Moreover, Washington’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has brought a flood of cheap, subsidized US agricultural products into Mexico, ravaging campesino communities and driving many Mexican farmers off the land when they couldn’t compete with the giant from the north. The subsequent Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has brought the same joys to the people of that area.

These “free trade” agreements – as they do all over the world – also result in government enterprises being privatized, the regulation of corporations being reduced, and cuts to the social budget. Add to this the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and the drastic US-led militarization of the War on Drugs with accompanying violence and you have the perfect storm of suffering followed by the attempt to escape from suffering.

It’s not that all these people prefer to live in the United States. They’d much rather remain with their families and friends, be able to speak their native language at all times, and avoid the hardships imposed on them by American police and other right-wingers.

M’lady Hillary

Madame Clinton, in her new memoir, referring to her 2002 Senate vote supporting military action in Iraq, says: “I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

In a 2006 TV interview, Clinton said: “Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn’t have been a vote. And I certainly wouldn’t have voted that way.”

On October 16, 2002 the US Congress adopted a joint resolution titled “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq”. This was done in the face of numerous protests and other political events against an American invasion.

On February 15, 2003, a month before the actual invasion, there was a coordinated protest around the world in which people in some 60 countries marched in a last desperate attempt to stop the war from happening. It has been described as “the largest protest event in human history.” Estimations of the total number of participants involved reach 30 million. The protest in Rome involved around three million people, and is listed in the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest anti-war rally in history. Madrid hosted the second largest rally with more than 1½ million protesters. About half a million marched in the United States. How many demonstrations in support of the war can be cited? It can be said that the day was one of humanity’s finest moments.

So what did all these people know that Hillary Clinton didn’t know? What information did they have access to that she as a member of Congress did not have?

The answer to both questions is of course “Nothing”. She voted the way she did because she was, as she remains today, a wholly committed supporter of the Empire and its unending wars.

And what did the actual war teach her? Here she is in 2007, after four years of horrible death, destruction and torture:

“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded.”

And she spoke the above words at a conference of liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a tiny bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.

“We came, we saw, he died.” – Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State, giggling, as she referred to the uncivilized and utterly depraved murder of Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Imagine Osama bin Laden or some other Islamic leader speaking of September 11, 2001: “We came, we saw, 3,000 died, ha-ha.”

Notes

  1. Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1994
  2. Washington Post, July 18, 2001
  3. BBC, August 14, 2004
  4. Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 23 and July 2, 2012
  5. Tim Weiner, “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” (2007), p.116-21
  6. Washington Post, August 30, 2005
  7. Washington Post, June 6, 2014
  8. Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on the June 21, 2007 edition of Democracy Now!


William Blum is the author of:

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
  • West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
  • Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire


Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org

Email to bblum6@aol.com

Website: WilliamBlum.org

William Blum is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Scientists Discover That Cannabis May Reduce Brain Damage Caused By Alcohol

December 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Chemicals within cannabis have powerful antioxidant properties, and scientists believe this can protect the brain from damage. Too much alcohol can lead to permanent brain damage, among other things. A recent study from the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland concluded that a chemical in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) could be used to prevent alcohol-induced brain damage. The study was published in September of 2013 in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. (1)

The study outlines how excessive alcohol consumption results in neuro-degeneration as well as behavioral and cognitive impairments that are hypothesized to contribute to the chronic and relapsing nature of alcoholism. As a result they aimed to study the transdermal delivery of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of alcohol-induced neuro-degeneration. At the conclusion of the study, results demonstrated the feasibility of using CBD transdermal delivery systems for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.(1)

Just like THC, CBD is another chemical found in marijuana, the difference is that it doesn’t get you ‘high.’ Both chemicals are strong antioxidants.

These results justify further preclinical development of transdermal CBD for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. It has been suggested that the neuroprotective effects of CBD observed during binge alcohol induced neurodegeneration are due to its high antioxidant capacity. (1)

The authors note that CBD acts as a stronger antioxidant than many well-known antioxidants. This new study was done on rat models, using both a skin patch and regular needle injection. Both methods produced similar magnitudes of neuroprotection, approximately 50 percent. Further studies need to be done here before human trials can begin. It’s surprising that human trials have yet to begin, it seems they should have began ages ago. Year after year we have credible published studies showing the clear link between cannabis and a healthy body environment.

The potential health benefits of cannabis are overwhelming, and potentially very threatening to the pharmaceutical industry. It is a shame that despite all of the evidence supporting the medicinal properties of this plant, it still has a negative connotation within the mainstream. Nobody can deny it’s medicinal benefits, and given the tremendous amount of information and research to support it, it seems pretty clear that this plant is a natural miracle.

Things seem to be changing, however. Last week, a European based pharmaceutical company called GW pharmaceuticals announced that they are set to commence its first ever phase of clinical trials for the treatment of brain cancer. You can read more about that here.  A couple of months ago, I wrote an article presenting 20 medical studies that prove cannabis can cure cancer; I’ve presented them in this article (see below). If we want to stay on the topic of brain damage, dozens of studies have shown the potential benefits of cannabis on damaged brain tissue. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation revealed that cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis. (2) The list goes on and on, and it seems to be never-ending, especially when it comes to cannabis and the brain. If you  would like to know more there is plenty of  information that’s readily available.

Contrary to popular belief, smoking the Cannabis is not the most effective way in treating disease within the body as therapeutic levels cannot be reached through smoking. Creating oil from the plant or eating the plant is the best way to go about getting the necessary ingredients which are the Cannabinoids. Also, when Cannabis is heated and burnt it changes the chemical structure and acidity of the THC. This changes its ability to be therapeutic and anytime you burn something and inhale it, you create oxidation within the body which aids in free-radical production.

Humanity does not need to wait for a pharmaceutical company, or the medical industry to ‘OK’ its use for medicinal purposes. We constantly look towards these corporations for methods, approval and availability. This is something we can take into our own hands, the information is out there and if it’s something you feel can be of benefit you are free to try it.  For medicinal use, it should be non-GMO, grown without pesticides and completely natural. In the hands of a pharmaceutical company, or future pill form, it might be hard to trust.

Below are links to more studies with regards to cancer and cannabis. (20 out of many more)

Brain Cancer

1.  A study published in the British Journal of Cancerconducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, this study determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. They were responsible for the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. THC was found to decrease tumour cells in two out of the nine patients.

2. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They conducted a magnetic resonance imaging study that looked at THC (the main active compound in marijuana) and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats. The results of this study provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can serve to protect the brain against neurodegeneration.

3. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (CBD, non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines. The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic drop in the viability of glioma cells. Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumour.  The study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.

4. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics outlines how brain tumours are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease. This study also demonstrated the reversal of tumour activity in Glioblastoma multiforme.

Breast Cancer

5. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumour mass.

6. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics determined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth. They confirmed the potency and effectiveness of these compounds.

7. A study published in the Journal Molecular Cancer showed that THC reduced tumour growth and tumour numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumour angiogenesis (all good things). This study provides strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.

8. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.

Lung Cancer

9. A study published in the journal Oncogeneby Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more. They go on to state that THC should be explored as novel therapeutic molecules in controlling the growth and metastasis of certain lung cancers.

10. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, from the Department of General Surgery in Germany determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell invasion. Effects were confirmed in primary tumour cells from a lung cancer patient.  Overall, data indicated that cannabinoids decrease cancer cell invasiveness.

11. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by Harvard Medical School investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in lung cancer cells. They determined its effectiveness and suggested that it should be used for treatment against lung cancer cells.

Prostate Cancer

12. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine illustrates a decrease in prostatic cancer cells by acting through cannabinoid receptors.

13. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine outlined multiple studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis on prostate cancer.

14. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma is a must. That cannabinoid receptor activation induces prostate carcinoma cell apoptosis. They determined that cannabidiol significantly inhibited cell viability. 

Blood Cancer

15. A study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology recently showed that cannabinoids induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in matle cell lymphoma. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Research Council and the Cancer Society in Stockholm.

16. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer also determined and illustrated that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in various types of cancer and in mantle cell lymphoma.

17. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology by Virginia Commonwealth University determined that cannabinoids induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Oral Cancer

18. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine results show cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of cellular respiration and are toxic to highly malignant oral Tumours.

Liver Cancer

19. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that that THC reduces the viability of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and reduced the growth.

Pancreatic Cancer

20. A study published in The American Journal of Cancer determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumour biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumour cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumour cells.

Notes:

(1) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305713002104

(2) http://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509

http://www.truthonpot.com/2013/09/12/marijuana-may-reduce-brain-damage-caused-by-alcohol-study/

Source: Collective Evolution

What Does Research Really Say About Cannabis

September 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

If you smoke it, you will get high. That’s about all that most people know about cannabis. A few might also remember hearing something about cancer or glaucoma patients smoking it, but that’s about it. California oncologist Donald Abrams released new information about not only the medical but also the health benefits of the plant. For example, eating or juicing cannabis without heating it will not produce psychotropic effects.

In addition to being an anti-nauseant, cannabis is also a powerful anti-oxidant and metabolism booster. Operating in much the same way as ibuprofen or naproxen, it is an anti-inflammatory drug. One can vaporize cannabis instead of smoking it in order to achieve these beneficial effects without the dangers. In fact, the FDA has recently approved doses of up to 600 mg daily as a new investigative drug.

Because cannabis raises metabolism, there is evidence that it can be a boon for weight loss. British drug company GW Pharmaceuticals recently conducted tests with mice, as did a separate firm, and both of them discovered that the animals remained thin, despite differing levels of exercise and food consumption, while being treated with tetrahydrocannabivarin, which is a variant of the psychotropic compound in cannabis that has extra carbon atoms in its structure. This extra carbon reduces the high-producing effects of cannabis to near zero. The results also indicated a beneficial effect on insulin resistance. A further 2011 study found that people who smoked cannabis three times a week were less likely to be obese; however, the researchers noted that smoking was a poor choice for administering medication. A spokesperson for GW Pharmaceuticals said the company is working on a cannabis-related drug in order to treat obesity.

The beneficial effects of cannabis are the proverbial “ancient Chinese secret,” as it is one of the 50 traditional herbs of Chinese medicine. Ming Wong outlines this history in her 1976 text “La Médecine Chinoise par les Plantes.” Despite several studies showing the possible adverse cardiac effects of smoking cannabis, a judge affiliated with the Drug Enforcement Agency stated in 1988 that the drug was among the safest known if applied in its natural form. This coincides with the results of the GW Pharmaceuticals study, which did not involve inhaling the smoke, even when contained in small containers or jars used for storage.

Building on the all-important research of the GW Pharmaceuticals study, others have discovered credible evidence supporting medical and health maintenance uses for cannabis. It has been used successfully to treat brain and breast cancer, as shown by studies at the University of Madrid and California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, respectively. Crohn’s Disease and symptoms of Lou Gehrig’s disease have also been treated, as shown by a 2013 study by the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.


Abigail Oien is a guest columnist for Veracity Voice


www.420feed.com @420feed

20 Studies That Prove Cannabis Can Cure Cancer

August 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Cannabis has been making a lot of noise lately. Multiple states across the United States and countries around the world have successfully legalized medical Marijuana, and the Uruguay parliament recently voted to create the world’s first legal marijuana market. This is good news as the health benefits of Cannabis are vast, with multiple medical and scientific studies that confirm them.

On the other hand, arguments against the use of marijuana are usually published in Psychiatric journals, which show no scientific evidence that Cannabis is harmful to human health. All psychological evaluations from the intake of cannabis are largely based on assumptions, suggestions and observations (1).

When we look at the actual science behind Cannabis, the health benefits can be overwhelming. So what does one who opposes the use of cannabis base their belief on? Nothing, not scientific evidence anyways. The negative astigmatism attached to marijuana is due to its supposed psychotropic effects; yet again, there is no scientific evidence to show that marijuana has any psychotropic effects. Nonetheless, cannabis has recently been the focus of medical research and considered as a potential therapeutic treatment and cure for cancer.

Cannabis is a great example of how the human mind is programmed and conditioned to believe something. Growing up, we are told drugs are bad, which is very true; however, not all substances that have been labelled as “drugs” by the government are harmful. Multiple substances are labelled as a “drug” in order to protect corporate interests. One example is the automobile and energy industry, a car made from hemp is stronger than steel, and can be fueled from hemp alone. Henry Ford demonstrated this many years ago. Hemp actually has over 50,000 uses!

Let’s take a look at the science behind Cannabis and Cancer. Although Cannabis has been proven to be effective for a large range of ailments, this article will focus mainly on its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer. Cannabinoids may very well be one of the best disease and cancer fighting treatments out there. Cannabinoids refer to any of a group of related compounds that include cannabinol and the active constituents of cannabis. They activate cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body itself produces compounds called endocannabinoids and they play a role in many processes within the body that help to create a healthy environment.

Cannabinoids also play a role in immune system generation and re-generation. The body regenerates best when it’s saturated with Phyto-Cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can also be found in Cannabis. It is important to note that the cannabinoids are plentiful in both hemp and cannabis. One of the main differentiations between hemp and cannabis is simply that hemp only contains 0.3% THC while cannabis is 0.4% THC or higher. (Technically they are both strains of Cannabis Sativa.)

Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce cancer cells as they have a great impact on the rebuilding of the immune system. While not every strain of cannabis has the same effect, more and more patients are seeing success in cancer reduction in a short period of time by using cannabis.

While taking a look at these studies, keep in mind that cannabis can be much more effective for medicinal purposes when we eat itrather than smoking it. Below are 20 medical studies that prove cannabis can be an effective treatment and possible cure for cancer. Please keep in mind that this is a very short list of studies that support the use of medicinal marijuana. Please feel free to further your research, hopefully this is a good starting point.

Brain Cancer1. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, conducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid, this study determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth. They were responsible for the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action. Cannabinoid delivery was safe and was achieved with zero psychoactive effects. THC was found to decrease tumor cells in two out of the nine patients.

2. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the biochemical events in both acute neuronal damage and in slowly progressive, neurodegenerative diseases. They conducted a magnetic resonance imaging study that looked at THC (the main active compound in marijuana) and found that it reduced neuronal injury in rats. The results of this study provide evidence that the cannabinoid system can serve to protect the brain against neurodegeneration.

3. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics already acknowledged the fact that cannabinoids have been shown to possess antitumor properties. This study examined the effect of cannabidiol (CBD, non psychoactive cannabinoid compound) on human glioma cell lines. The addition of cannabidiol led to a dramatic drop in the viability of glioma cells. Glioma is the word used to describe brain tumor. The study concluded that cannabidiol was able to produce a significant antitumor activity.

4. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics outlines how brain tumors are highly resistant to current anticancer treatments, which makes it crucial to find new therapeutic strategies aimed at improving the poor prognosis of patients suffering from this disease. This study also demonstrated the reversal of tumor activity in Glioblastoma multiforme.

Breast Cancer5. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by the California Pacific Medical Centre determined that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. They also demonstrated that CBD significantly reduces tumor mass.

6. A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeuticsdetermined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth. They confirmed the potency and effectiveness of these compounds.

7. A study published in the journal Molecular Cancer showed that THC reduced tumor growth and tumor numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumor angiogenesis (all good things). This study provides strong evidence for the use of cannabinoid based therapies for the management of breast cancer.

8. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) determined that cannabinoids inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation.

Lung Cancer9. A study published in the journal Oncogene, by Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more. They go on to state that THC should be explored as novel therapeutic molecules in controlling the growth and metastasis of certain lung cancers.

10. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine by the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, from the Department of General Surgery in Germany determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell invasion. Effects were confirmed in primary tumor cells from a lung cancer patient. Overall, data indicated that cannabinoids decrease cancer cell invasiveness.

11. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine, conducted by Harvard Medical School investigated the role of cannabinoid receptors in lung cancer cells. They determined its effectiveness and suggested that it should be used for treatment against lung cancer cells.

Prostate Cancer12. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine illustrates a decrease in prostatic cancer cells by acting through cannabinoid receptors.

13. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine outlined multiple studies proving the effectiveness of cannabis on prostate cancer.

14. Another study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that clinical testing of CBD against prostate carcinoma is a must. That cannabinoid receptor activation induces prostate carcinoma cell apoptosis. They determined that cannabidiol significantly inhibited cell viability.

Blood Cancer

15. A study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology recently showed that cannabinoids induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in mantle cell lymphoma. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society, The Swedish Research Council and the Cancer Society in Stockholm.

16. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer also determined and illustrated that cannabinoids exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in various types of cancer and in mantle cell lymphoma.

17. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology by Virginia Commonwealth University determined that cannabinoids induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Oral Cancer18. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine results show cannabinoids are potent inhibitors of cellular respiration and are toxic to highly malignant oral tumors.

Liver Cancer19. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine determined that that THC reduces the viability of human HCC cell lines (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and reduced the growth.

Pancreatic Cancer20. A study published in The American Journal of Cancer determined that cannabinoid receptors are expressed in human pancreatic tumor cell lines and tumor biopsies at much higher levels than in normal pancreatic tissue. Results showed that cannabinoid administration induced apoptosis. They also reduced the growth of tumor cells, and inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumor cells.

Sources:

Natural Blaze

All sources highlighted throughout article. Click on the highlighted parts of the article to view them.
1)http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/178/2/116.full

Arjun Walia writes for collective-evolution.com where this article first appeared.

Breivik Uniting Zionism And Nazism

August 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I happened to be present at the Oslo courthouse on Tuesday, April 17th, watching and listening to 22/7 terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s 75 minute main prepared defense speech. A speech that the press and media were banned from broadcasting to the general public. These are my thoughts after following the story for almost nine months.

The first thing that has to be said, is that watching Breivik defend himself for 5 hours this Tuesday removed each and every doubt that he is indeed «legally sane», in the sense that he is absolutely fit to be punished by the Norwegian judicial system for his criminal terrorist acts. All «experts» who say otherwise are flat out lying. This is a sane, rational, logically stringent man of great wit, who happens to also have some pretty effed up ideological views that have made him become a mass murderer and a terrorist.

It should also be said right from the start of this article that there is little doubt that he carried out both the bombing in Oslo and the shooting at Utøya. What remains to be seen is whether he had accomplices and what parts of the misdeeds these people took part in. There were also some pretty amazing instances of police SNAFU – 27 according to one commentator, but a lot more if you look more closely. There’s a string of maybe 40 or 50 or 60 grave mistakes on behalf of the police, guards and government, making them unable to stop Breivik before the bombing of Oslo, stop him getting out of Oslo and to nearby Utøya, and to stop the shooting ASAP when Breivik amazingly managed to get himself transported over the sound to Utøya island, using the Labour Party’s own ferry.

So many instances of SNAFU, in fact, that the mathematical probability of them all occuring on the same day or relating to the same person, should tell you all you need to know. And of course, in the weeks and months after the terror, documents, tapes and other evidence started disappearing. As by invisible hands.

OK. So, returning to the terrorist’s defense speech on Tuesday, April 17th. Breivik started telling us how there’d been no real post-WW2 democracy in Norway, because «nationalists» like himself were not allowed free speech and democratic rights. This should tell us that he wanted there to be more democracy, and that Norwegian democracy should also include «ultra nationalists», a fair point that even I could agree on.

However, he messes it up by contradicting himself completely. He loves America, and especially a certain McCarthy, the postwar communist witchhunt general, and he regrets that McCarthyism didn’t go far enough and never succeeded in sending alleged «commie» American citizens to Soviet Russia. So, really, when it comes to a more real and including democracy with less political censorship, our terrorist is only in favour of it when it applies to his chums, and to his «nationalist» parties.

Apart from this ideologically induced blindness or logical breakdown, he argues convincingly that censoring a movement like his own for too long, eventually will make members of that movement resort to other means, even violence.

His speech more generally was aimed at reaching out to a slightly broader audience than his Manifesto and his earlier writing on Norwegian websites, or to «unite national conservatism, which I support, with national socialism and militant christendom», as he put it himself. So the strategy obviously is to appeal to a broader spectrum of racists, and to play down the Zionist issue, which divides Breivik, JDL, EDL, NDL and Knights Templar, on the one side, from other nationalists and nazis, on the other.

Breivik talks rather openly about the strategy of supporting and expanding «street extremism», like the JDL, EDL and NDL (Jewish, English and Norwegian Defense League, respectively), while at the same time building a network of single cell terror operatives, borrowing tactics from – yup – al-Qaida.

The reason for using terror cells consisting of only one man, says Breivik, is to avoid the eyes of anti-terror agencies. This way he only needed to meet with his comrades once or twice during a decade, if we choose to believe him, and I guess blogs, forums, RSS feeds, social media etc took care of the rest.

Breivik also tries to use the term «counter jihad» as much as possible, rather than «zionism», which is what he really supports, and he has succeeded in selling this bogus «counter jihad» term to the Norwegian mainstream media. To quote from the terrorist’s Manifesto:

«So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists.»

So, then, this is what it came to in Norway: Where we could have had the press digging into and revealing the horrific lies of the 9/11 terror attacks ten years after the events, instead we got a snob from the West who bombed his own city using «al-Qaida tactics», and who shot fellow Norwegian kids taking part in a summer youth camp for young politicians and future administrators, because he believed the lies and racist conspiracy theories fed to him for ten years by every newspaper, radio and TV station in this nation and throughout the West. Malicious, racist lies about muslims behind every terrorist act from New York and Bali, through Madrid and London, to Mumbai and Stockholm.

The mythical snake – Midgardsormen – seems to be biting its own tail: False-flag terrorism over a long, sad decade goes unnoticed by the press, the journalists and the editors, and the inevitable end-product of these ten years of lies and cowardice and cover-up is our very own Nordic mass murderer and terrorist; Anders Behring Breivik.

Whether he had handlers or not we don’t know, and the press and the police for some reason don’t seem very eager to find out, he is now the shining example, or knight in shining armour, intended to inspire many, many followers in Scandinavia, Europe and America.

He will even be allowed internet access in jail, and thus to build, expand and strengthen his zionist terrorist networks, both on the streets and in the single-man sleeper cells.

Bølløcks.

Source: Torstein Viddal | 911TruthNorway

The Bailout of Spain

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Slow-motion Bank Run…

“The burden of recapitalizing insolvent banks or loss-making acquisitions of solvent banks will fall on Spanish citizens.” – Karl Whelan, economist at University College, Dublin.

Before EU finance ministers approve the 100 billion euro bailout for Spain, they might want to ask themselves one question: Will it really help?

Sure, it’ll keep the markets bubbly until mid-week when fears of the Greek elections set in, (June 17) but that’s about it. It won’t fix the eurozone’s underlying problems, in fact, it doesn’t even address them. The narrow purpose of the bailout is to keep insolvent banks propped up to avoid another Lehman Brothers-type catastrophe. That’s it. In other words, the 100 billion will not boost competitiveness, spur growth, reduce unemployment, or increase fiscal and political integration. It doesn’t do any of these things, in fact, Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio will widen even more due to the new burden its leaders have taken on. That means, Spain’s working people will have to endure even harsher conditions for a longer period of time to repay the obligations assumed by Madrid. How does that help?

The Eurogroup has agreed to lend Spain 100 billion, but they have no way of knowing how much more the country will need in the future. Just take a look at this and you’ll see what I mean:

“Spain’s banks have over €300 billion in exposure to the real-estate sector, mostly through loans to developers. Around €180 billion of this exposure is considered “problematic” by Spain’s central bank.

Estimates suggest that there are about 700,000 vacant newly built homes, but including repossessed properties the total could be as high as one million or even higher. At current sales levels, it will take many years to clear the backlog, which will be compounded by more properties being completed and coming onto the market. Housing prices have fallen by 15-20% but are forecast to fall eventually by as much as 50-60%. A severe recession and unemployment of 25% means that losses on Spain’s over €600 billion of home mortgages loans are likely to also rise.” (“The Spanish “Bailout”, Whoops – “Assistance”!, Satyajit Das, Naked Capitalism)

Housing prices have a long way to fall which means the slump is going to drag on indefinitely putting more pressure on bank balance sheets. Expect more bailouts to come. The 100 billion is just the tip of the iceberg.

And, keep in mind,  the bailout will not ease credit conditions either. The money will be used to roll over debt, and to restructure and recapitalize underwater banks. The truth is, that none of the bailouts have eased credit conditions. Even after the ECB launched its trillion euro Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO)–which provided 3-year, low interest loans to financial institutions– lending is still in the doldrums with no sign of improvement. So, don’t expect the bailout lead to another expansion.

The same rule applies to borrowing costs. The bailout  doesn’t ensure that yields on Spain’s debt will fall or that the ratings agencies won’t continue to downgrade its banks and sovereign bonds. (which will make borrowing more expensive) In fact, adding 100 billion to the country’s debt load will probably trigger more downgrades, lowering Spanish debt to junk status.

Finally, the bailout will not stop the slow-motion bank run that’s seen 100 billion euros exit Spain in the last year. (How’s that for symmetry?) The country is borrowing the exact same amount that it’s lost due to the flawed architecture of the eurozone which does not provide blanket guarantees on deposits.

Here’s an excerpt from the Eurogroup’s statement on Spain:

“The Eurogroup supports the efforts of the Spanish authorities to resolutely address the restructuring of its financial sector and it welcomes their intention to seek financial assistance from euro area Member States to this effect….

The financial assistance would be provided by the EFSF/ESM for recapitalisation of financial institutions. The loan will be scaled to provide an effective backstop covering for all possible capital requirements estimated by the diagnostic exercise which the Spanish authorities have commissioned to the external evaluators and the international auditors. The loan amount must cover estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as summing up to EUR 100 billion in total….

The Eurogroup considers that the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (F.R.O.B.), acting as agent of the Spanish government, could receive the funds and channel them to the financial institutions concerned. The Spanish government will retain the full responsibility of the financial assistance and will sign the MoU.”

So, Prime Minister Mariano “We don’t need help” Rajoy will have accept an IMF monitoring team that will sift through the books of distressed Spanish banks and expose the boundless red ink and corruption that lies therein. The involvement of the IMF means that a lot of shareholders are going to be wiped out while bondholders take severe haircuts.

Spain will now join the other bailout-dependent countries, Greece, Portugal and Ireland, although it will not be asked to increase austerity measures which Rajoy has already implemented with gusto. With the economy already in deep recession and unemployment tipping 25 percent, EZ finance ministers believe that more belt tightening would be counterproductive. Accordingly, the European Commission has agreed that Spain should be given an extra year to bring its budget deficit down below the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP. Here’s how Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis summed up recent developments in Spain:

“Spain’s current predicament is instructive: To get money to give to its decrepit banks, the nation must be humiliated and undergo further fiscal waterboarding so that Italy and others are deterred from turning to the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) for help. In this sense, when Europe’s functionaries say that there is no need for further action on Spain since the EFSF is available to help, they are inviting the Spanish to enter the Workhouse for a life of undeserved misery on behalf of their bankers. And they have the audacity to call this ‘solidarity’ with the Spanish people.” (“Solidarity Euro-Style: Finnish loans, ECB bond purchases, EFSF tough love and assorted horror stories from the postmodern Euro-Workhouse”, Yanis Varoufakis)

The Spanish bank bailout is only going to make matters worse for working people who’ll see the losses of corrupt financial institutions heaped onto their shoulders via higher taxes, cuts to social programs, and a firesale of publicly owned assets. They’ll pay the price while the crooks walk away scot-free.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Rock’s Sympathy for the Devil

April 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 


It was popularly believed in the 1930s that the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, who inspired Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical gifts. It was believed Johnson had the ‘Evil Eye’ and was murdered because of his alleged power over women. He seduced the wife of a beer hall owner who in revenge laced the musician’s whisky with arsenic. Many moralists saw his fate as a punishment for dealing with the powers of darkness.

Johnson is said to have sold his soul to Old Nick during a midnight ceremony at a crossroads. However, that story did not originate with him. In the 1920s and 1930s there are numerous tales of black musicians and gamblers signing a pact with a mysterious ‘man in black’ at the crossroads. Famous examples are the black singer Clara Smith and Robert Johnson’s namesake Tommy Johnston, a decade before him. The dark stranger has been identified by some writers as either the Christian Devil or the West African trickster god Eshu, worshipped in voodoo and taken to the southern states of America by black slaves.

While there is little evidence of modern pop and rock musicians actually ‘selling their souls’ to the ‘Devil’, the link between popular music and the occult is a strong one. Christian fundamentalists have predictably seen the widespread use of magical and occult symbols in rock music as evidence it is the work of Satan, but the truth is far stranger than their religious fantasies.

Sometimes the alleged connections of famous rock musicians with occultism surfaced in apocryphal showbiz gossip or rumour. For example, everyone knows that ill-fated glam rock star Marc Bolan studied as a sorcerer’s apprentice with a magician in a French chateau (in fact he actually admitted it), that the late pop diva Dusty Springfield allegedly belonged to a satanic group called the Temple of the Prince in Manchester, and that Jim Morrison of The Doors married a Wiccan high priestess (which was true).

Then there was the 1970s British musician Graham Bond, accused by his fellow R & B artist Long John Baldry of sacrificing his pet cat in a magical ritual. Bond told his groupies he was one of the illegitimate sons of the infamous ‘black magician’ Aleister Crowley, and that his musical output was designed to contact “higher forces.” Bond also believed he had been cursed by a fellow occultist. When in 1974 the musician fell in front of a train on the London Underground in mysterious circumstances, many thought the curse had worked.

The Beatles & the Rolling Stones

The Beatles are well known for flirting with Eastern mysticism and transcendental meditation during their psychedelic hippy stage in the late 1960s. They may also have had darker interests. For instance, the Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley, is featured (top left corner above) in the photomontage of “people we most admire” on the cover of the Fab Four’s famous album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Antiquarian bookseller and Crowley bibliographer Timothy D’Arch Smith relates how the Beatles attended an exhibition of rare books on witchcraft and the occult he held in Swinging London. Jane Asher, Paul McCartney’s then girlfriend, had suggested the visit to him and, according to D’Arch Smith, encouraged him to buy rare books as an investment.

If the Beatles were mildly interested in the occult, then their main rivals for the pocket money and affection of teenage girls, the Rolling Stones, were definitely involved in a more dramatic way. Despite their respectable middle-class backgrounds, in the Sixties the Stones were deliberately promoted as the ‘bad boys of pop’. It now seems this was a marketing ploy by their then manager Andrew Oldham, and is summed up in the famous newspaper headline, ‘Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?’ If the parents of Middle England had known about their dabbling in the occult, the answer may have been in the negative.

Lucifer Rising

The so-called ‘satanic’ influence on the Stones was through the avant-garde filmmaker, Luciferian and Tinseltown gossip-queen Kenneth Anger. He had become interested in the band’s career and particularly in guitarist Brian Jones and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, a German film actress and model. Jones had some unusual interests, and both he and the pop singer Robert Palmer were fascinated by the master musicians of Joujouka in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in North Africa. These musicians claimed to be still practising the ancient rites of the goat-footed god Pan. Jones went so far as to travel to North Africa to record an album of the tribal music performed by this pre-Islamic cult.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine Robert Palmer described how he had witnessed one of these rites to Pan. He said the dancing tribesmen appeared to be in an ecstatic trance with their eyes rolled back in their heads. Palmer said that when “the power came down” the dancer was suddenly “not there.” In fact “something else” was looking out of his eyes, which began to “glow like ruby lasers” (Rolling Stone, 23 March 1989).

Kenneth Anger believed that Anita Pallenberg and Brian Jones, who was to drown in mysterious circumstances in the swimming pool of his Sussex mansion, were witches. Allegedly, Jones showed the filmmaker an extra nipple he had on his inner thigh and told him: “In another time they would have burned me [as a witch].” Extra nipples were regarded by witch-hunters as a sign of the Devil’s Mark. A friend of Anita Pallenberg, Tony Sanchez, believed she kept her drug stash hidden in an old carved wooden chest in her flat. One day he looked inside. Instead of drugs he found it contained bones and pieces of fur and skin from “strange animals.” Mick Jagger’s one time girlfriend Marianne Faithfull described how she and Pallenberg used to sit for hours reading aloud passages from Robert Graves’ book The White Goddess and studying the ancient Celtic tree alphabet.

In her autobiography Marianne Faithfull claims the gay Anger had a crush on the bisexual Stones’ singer which was not reciprocated. When the filmmaker’s sexual overtures were rejected he became a bit of a nuisance. One day he turned up at the couple’s house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and bizarrely threw several books by the 18th century poet and mystic William Blake through the window. Jagger responded in disgust at this stunt by burning all the copies of the occult works that Anger had given him by Crowley and the French occultist Eliphas Levi.

Despite this, Marianne Faithfull got involved in Anger’s experimental movie Lucifer Rising, allegedly financially sponsored by Anita Pallenberg, and with a score originally to be composed by Mick Jagger. Initially the Stones’ singer was to play the leading role in the film, but he got cold feet and backed out of the project altogether. In the first version, made in 1967, the lead was taken by his brother Chris Jagger. Marianne Faithfull became involved in the second version filmed in 1972 and she agreed to take the part of the demon-goddess Lilith.

Faithfull described the baby-slaying Lilith as one of the classic female archetypes and compared her with pagan goddesses such as Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite and Demeter. However, she added: “From the view of patriarchy, of course, she was the pure incarnation of evil” (Faithfull by Marianne Faithfull with David Datton, 224). Interestingly, the part of the ancient Egyptian god Osiris in the film was played by Donald Cammell, son of Charles Cammell, a friend and biographer of Crowley. The younger Cammell made his own films including the controversial Performance in co-operation with Nic Roeg. It starred Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg and the archetypal English actor Edward Fox. Donald Cammell committed suicide in the 1990s.

The shooting of Lucifer Rising took place in Egypt and Faithfull claims that as soon as the crew and cast arrived in the country it was obvious Anger did not know what he was doing as either a film director or a magician. At that stage in her life Faithfull was seriously addicted to heroin and admits she did not know what she was doing on the set either. The whole thing was a recipe for disaster. The last sequence of the film was a winter solstice rite shot at a Neolithic site in Germany. During it, Faithfull managed to fall off a mountain. She somersaulted and landed on her feet without sustaining any injury. This convinced her that her magic was stronger than Anger’s. In her autobiography she dismissed him as a “kitsch occultist” and “a witch out of a Hollywood tabloid.”

Marianne Faithfull claims that both Mick Jagger and the Stones’ lead guitarist Keith Richards were also sceptical about Anger’s “satanic hocus-pocus” and did not take any of it seriously. However, after an incident involving the magician at the house in London now shared by Richards and Anita Pallenberg, Faithfull became seriously spooked out. As a result, she believed she was under psychic attack. Allegedly, she wore a clove of garlic around her neck and slept in a circle of lit candles for protection. Whether this paranoid behaviour was connected to her heroin addiction is not known.

One of Marianne Faithfull’s tracks on her comeback album Broken English is called ‘Witches Song’. She dedicates it as “my ode to the wild pagan woman I know and have always around me.” Faithfull says she got the idea for the song after she and Mick Jagger visited an exhibition in Madrid of paintings on the theme of the Witches Sabbath by the Spanish artist Goya. Her autobiography also describes an incident when she and Jagger took LSD before visiting Primrose Hill in North London “where the ancient ley lines are supposed to run” and where modern neo-druids hold their seasonal ceremonies. Under the influence of the acid the couple saw “a great face in the sky” they were convinced was the head of the Celtic giant god Bran. This seems to fit with Faithfull’s professed pagan beliefs. In her autobiography she says she believes not in God the Father, but in the Great Goddess and her consort Pan.

Jimmy Page & Aleister Crowley

In 1969 the satanic aura around the rock mega-group Led Zeppelin reached such a pitch that, in echoes of Robert Johnson, rumours circulated in the Los Angeles music scene that its members had signed a pact in their own blood with the Devil to gain fame.

James Patrick ‘Jimmy’ Page’s well-known interest in the occult fuelled these rumours of the group’s alleged satanic activities. Described by the magazine AllMusic as “one of the all-time most influential, important and versatile [rock] guitarist and songwriters,” Page had been interested in alternative religions since childhood. While a member of the Yardbirds, he had hung out with Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg at their studio flat in South Kensington. Page has never hidden his interest in Aleister Crowley, and Led Zeppelin’s famous album Rune has a photograph of the Great Beast on its cover. In an interview with Sounds magazine in 1976 Page is quoted as saying that Crowley was “a misunderstood genius of the twentieth-century.”

Jimmy Page purchased as many artefacts and first edition books belonging to Crowley that he could find. In 1969, Kenneth Anger rented Crowley’s old (seriously haunted) house Boleskine on the shores of Loch Ness where he lived in the 1900s for a few months. When it came on the market for sale, Anger suggested to Page he should buy it. This he did and hired an occult artist called Charles Pace to paint suitable atmospheric magical murals in each room. The Led Zeppelin guitarist could be seen driving around the area like a Scottish laird in a Land Rover with a stack of stag’s antlers on the bonnet. Page also visited Sicily and contemplated buying the old villa where Crowley established his ‘Abbey of Thelema’ in the 1920s.

In the early 1970s Page opened an occult bookshop in Kensington called The Equinox. It was done out in a futuristic style with glass bookshelves and display cabinets and chrome steel pillars. Under its auspices, Page published a facsimile of Crowley’s 1904 edition of the medieval grimoire Goetia.

Kenneth Anger approached Jimmy Page and asked him to provide a soundtrack for his ongoing film project Lucifer Rising. Unfortunately, the two men fell out when Page only managed to produce 23 minutes of music and Anger wanted 28 minutes. The filmmaker accused Page of being a mere dabbler in the occult and a drug addict so out of his mind he could not finish the film score. However, in 1976 Page lent Anger the basement of his London house for film editing purposes. Again, the two men did not see eye to eye and Page allegedly cursed the filmmaker. Page later branded the incident as “silly and pathetic” and said he still respected Anger as an occultist.

There has been a lot of debate about whether Jimmy Page ever belonged to one of the modern versions of Crowley’s magical group the OTO (Ordo Templis Orientis or Order of the Eastern Temple). In fact, the jury seems to be out on whether Page is an actual magical practitioner at all. In this respect New Musical Express journalist Nick Kent dismisses rumours the guitarist spends his time with “his head in a cowl ritually slaughtering various species of livestock.” Kent instead says from his experience Page is “just another seeker after esoteric knowledge, a collector of dusty old books, and committed student of the ‘magical’ information that was supposedly contained in their yellowed pages.”

Although Jimmy Page’s interest in Crowley and the occult is well known, his Led Zeppelin colleague Robert Plant also has esoteric interests. These manifest in a study of folklore, Norse and Germanic mythology, and reading ‘sword and sorcery’ novels. Plant spent most of his life living on the Welsh Border and in an interview with the rock music magazine Kerrang! he said he often visited the Black Mountains in South Wales. There he rediscovered his roots in the local Celtic culture. Using an ordnance survey map, he wandered the hills visiting Bronze Age sites and places where the Welsh had battled with the Saxons.

David Bowie

Another famous rock star who openly admits an interest in the occult, magic and Crowley is David Bowie (born David Robert Jones). In the 1970s he says he studied the Kabbalah and “Crowleyism” and more recently became interested in Gnosticism. On a practical level the singer used Tarot cards and a crystal ball for divination, an ouija board to contact spirits, and performed magical rituals for exorcism and psychic protection. His early album Hunky-Dory features a song called ‘Quicksand’ that references both Crowley and the Victorian magical group Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

According to David Bowie’s wife Angie in her autobiography, her husband’s interest in the occult was due to his desire to outdo Jimmy Page. Allegedly, he saw the Led Zeppelin guitarist as a magical rival. Bowie eventually decided, possibly because of Page’s interest in him, that Crowley and his works were “small shit.” For that reason he began studying Tibetan magic which he claimed was far more powerful than anything the Great Beast or Page had ever done.

In an interview with New Musical Express (February 1997) David Bowie admits he had been into “old fashioned magic” in the 1970s, and said he always believed Crowley was a charlatan. He reveals that Arthur Edward Waite, a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Welsh-born occultist Dion Fortune, author of Psychic Self-Defence, have been important to him. In fact, Bowie used Fortune’s book extensively when he believed he was under psychic attack. Talking of a house he rented in Los Angeles in 1975, Bowie said he decorated it with ancient Egyptian artefacts. This was because, “I had this more than passing interest in Egyptian mysticism and the Kabbalah…” (Stage Fascination: David Bowie the Definite Story by David Buckley, 235).

Angie Bowie says the musician was heavily involved with occult activities in 1975-76. This coincides with a period when he used cocaine and she believed this made him paranoid. Apparently, Bowie stored bottles of his own urine in the fridge and carefully disposed of his nail and hair clippings. This was in case magical practitioners obtained these personal items in order to cast spells on him. He also set up an altar in his sitting room with black candles on it, painted occult symbols on the walls, and performed magical banishing rituals for protection. Angie Bowie once witnessed him exorcise a swimming pool he believed was haunted.

When the couple were viewing properties to rent or buy in Hollywood they came across an old house with a pentagram of five-pointed star painted on the floor. Bowie freaked out and said he could not live there as the building had been used for black magic rites. One day he phoned his wife and told her witches were trying to steal his semen. Allegedly they wanted to create a test-tube baby and then sacrifice it in a satanic rite. It turned out the ‘witches’ were just some innocent groupies he met in a bar.

At this difficult point in his life Bowie also flirted with neo-Nazism. He explained in an interview with the British rock music journalist Tony Parsons in 1993 that this was only because he was fascinated by the use of occult symbols like the swastika by the original Nazi Party in Germany. He was interested in their quest for the Holy Grail because he was also searching for its meaning (Stage Fascination: David Bowie the Definite Story by David Buckley, 235-236). Bowie once said that it might be a good idea to have a fascist dictatorship in Britain, although he later denied he was serious and claimed it was a joke.

Black Sabbath & Heavy Metal

Partly as a reaction to the hippy ‘flower power’ and ‘peace and love’ movement of the late Sixties, heavy metal bands began to appear using violent satanic imagery and playing loud over-amplified rock music. Groups such as Warlock, Saxon, Venom, Motley Crue, W.A.S.P., Slayer, Iron Maiden, Incubus and Bathory put out albums with covers decorated with human skulls, pentagrams, hooded figures, gravestones, goat-headed demons and vampires. One of the most famous and pioneering heavy metal bands Black Sabbath came out of Birmingham in the industrial Midlands of England in 1969. They combined heavy guitar riffs with satanic inspired lyrics and an obsession with the gothic dark side that soon gave them a dedicated, if rather odd, fan base.

The band’s distinctive name was taken from an old horror movie starring English actor Boris Karloff, famous for his movie interpretation of Dr. Frankenstien’s monster. Originally, Black Sabbath started out as a jazz-blues band until they became influenced by the ‘black magic’ novels of the thriller writer Dennis Wheatley and books by Aleister Crowley. Their leader ‘Geezer’ Butler was lent a 16th century grimoire or book of magic. Its contents so freaked him out that he locked it in a cupboard before going to bed. During the night he had a spectral visitation from a dark shadowy figure who stood at the end of his bed. In the morning when Butler opened the cupboard the grimoire had vanished and it was never seen again.

Butler claims the band was invited to play a gig at a Witches Sabbath at Stonehenge, which sounds like something out of a Dennis Wheatley novel. When the boys refused the chief “warlock” of the coven ritually cursed the band. Geezer says he consulted a “white witch” to get the curse lifted and was told the band had to wear crosses to ward off the evil forces directed at them. Apparently, lead singer Ozzy Osbourne’s father, who was a bit of a handyman, made the crosses for each of the band members to wear.

Ozzy Osbourne always denies he was seriously into the occult, although he did have his Tarot cards read – twice. Famously he said the only evil spirits that interest him are whisky, gin and vodka! He describes the strange people attracted to the band, who habitually wear white face make-up and black hooded robes, as “freaks.” Ozzy says the only good thing about all the satanic stuff is it gave the band free publicity increasing their record sales and bank accounts.

Some of the heavy metal bands took their interest in witchcraft and magic more seriously. One of these, for a while, was Black Widow who played a mixture of progressive rock and folk music and used demonic imagery in their act based on serious research. In 1968 the group’s manager approached Maxine and Alex Sanders, the so-called ‘King and Queen of the Witches’. He wanted to know if the couple could recommend a nubile young witch with dancing skills to take part in their new stage act. This featured a magician played by one of the band’s members conjuring up a demon who was once an ancient goddess called Ashtaroth.

Several professional dancers auditioned for the part of the demon-goddess. Each one suffered fainting fits during rehearsals and felt they were being possessed by an evil spirit. In desperation the band wanted to hire a real witch who would not be fazed by the magical goings-on. Black Widow’s manager said the Sanders were happy to help and he described them as “clever business people” only interested in making money in any way they could.

A member of the Sanders’ coven volunteered for the role and the rehearsals were successful. Unfortunately, on the day of the first performance at the Lyceum Theatre in London, she fell ill. Alex Sanders volunteered his wife and the high priestess of the coven Maxine as a suitable stand-in. When the lead singer of Black Widow playing the sorcerer invoked the demon-goddess and accidentally stepped out of the protective magical circle, she was supposed to attack him. In her autobiography Maxine Sanders says the singer complained afterwards about the bruises he suffered from the physical assault by the ‘Queen of the Witches’.

Danny Carey

Another more contemporary band called Tool and its lead singer Danny Carey are well known for their interest in all things magical. Carey collects rare limited edition publications by such modern occult practitioners as Crowley, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare and Andrew D. Chumbley. During their recordings of albums, Tool use magical banishing rituals to get rid of unwelcome influences left in the studio by previous performers. They have also been known to employ talismans and occult sigils used by the Elizabethan magician and astrologer Dr. John Dee in their gigs. During a South American tour, local Christian workers refused to handle the band’s equipment because it was “satanic.”

The 1990s saw a sinister link established between rock music and Satanism with the rise of the so-called ‘black metal’ or ‘death metal’ groups. These new bands were committed to an anti-Christian philosophy of anarchism, nihilism, violence and an obsession with death that made Black Sabbath stage appearances look like a vicar’s tea party. Possibly the most dramatic and violent manifestation of this new trend was in Scandinavia. A new cultural trend united satanic beliefs with atavistic forms of neo-paganism and extreme nationalist right-wing politics promoting racism and white supremacy. This deadly combination was to lead to arson and murder.

In 1992 an ancient wooden stave church was burnt down in a firebomb attack. Rumours began circulating that hard-core black metal fans were responsible for the outrage. It was alleged they were pagan Viking revivalists who expressed neo-Nazi views. Further church burnings and graveyard desecrations took place followed by murders involving rival groups of black metal fans and biker gangs. Media reports said that self-styled teenage satanists saw neo-Nazism and rock music as cultural stepping stones to a revival of Aryan-based paganism. Because the historic Christian churches were built on the site of pagan temples, they had to be destroyed before the heathen ‘old religion’ could be established again.

Today the number of rock bands using satanic and occult imagery is increasing. The new ‘high priest’ of the Church of Satan in the USA, Boyd Rice, is himself a musician. Critics have dubbed his musical output as “sonic terrorism as an art form.” Strangely enough, his satanic master, Anton LaVey, who found the Church of Satan in the 1960s, preferred Gershwin and Cole Porter with his bedtime cocoa.

It seems certain that in the future wherever and however rock music is played, there will always be those who claim, quite literally, the Devil has the best tunes.

Bibliography

Heavy Metal Thunder by Neil Aldis and James Sherry, Mitchell Beazley, 2006

Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side with David Bowie by Angie Bowie and Patrick Carr, Orion, 1993

Stage Fascination: David Bowie the Definite Story by David Buckley, Virgin Books, 1999

Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page & the Solo Years by Neil Daniels, Independent Music Press, 2008

The Lives of John Lennon and the Beatles by Hunter Davies, McGraw Hill Books USA, 1985

Hammer of the Gods: Led Zeppelin Unauthorised by Stephen Davies, Pan Books, 1995

The Book of the Beast by Timothy D’Arch-Smith, Mandrake Press 2010

Faithfull by Marianne Faithfull with David Datton, Michael Joseph, 1994

No One Gets Out of Here Alive: Jim Morrison and the Doors by Danny Hopkins and Sugarman, Warner Books USA, 1980

Apathy for the Devil: A 1970’s Memoir by Nick Kent, Faber and Faber Limited, 2010

I Am Ozzy by Ozzie Osbourne with Chris Agnes, Sphere, 2009

Firechild: The Life and Magic of Maxine Sanders ‘Witch Queen’ by Maxine Sanders, Mandrake Press, 2008

Bowie: Loving the Alien by Christopher Sandford, Little, Brown and Company, 1996

When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin by Mick Wall, Orion Books, 2008

Led Zeppelin: From Early Days to Page and Plant by Ritchie Yorke, Virgin Books, 1999.

MICHAEL HOWARD became interested in the connections between rock music and the occult while working for a major record company in London in the 1970s. He is the author ofSecret Societies (Destiny Books, 2009) and Modern Wicca: from Gerald Gardner to the Present (Llewellyn, USA 2010). He can be contacted by email at mike@the-cauldron.fsnet.co.uk.

Source: New Dawn

The Saga of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Wikileaks

March 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

“Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there … They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.” (Associated Press, February 3)

It’s unfortunate and disturbing that Bradley Manning’s attorneys have chosen to consistently base his legal defense upon the premise that personal problems and shortcomings are what motivated the young man to turn over hundreds of thousands of classified government files to Wikileaks. They should not be presenting him that way any more than Bradley should be tried as a criminal or traitor. He should be hailed as a national hero. Yes, even when the lawyers are talking to the military mind. May as well try to penetrate that mind and find the freest and best person living there. Bradley also wears a military uniform.

Here are Manning’s own words from an online chat: “If you had free reign over classified networks … and you saw incredible things, awful things … things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC … what would you do? … God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. … I want people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

Is the world to believe that these are the words of a disturbed and irrational person? Do not the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Geneva Conventions speak of a higher duty than blind loyalty to one’s government, a duty to report the war crimes of that government?

Below is a listing of some of the things revealed in the State Department cables and Defense Department files and videos. For exposing such embarrassing and less-than-honorable behavior, Bradley Manning of the United States Army and Julian Assange of Wikileaks may spend most of their remaining days in a modern dungeon, much of it while undergoing that particular form of torture known as “solitary confinement”. Indeed, it has been suggested that the mistreatment of Manning has been for the purpose of making him testify against and implicating Assange. Dozens of members of the American media and public officials have called for Julian Assange’s execution or assassination. Under the new National Defense Authorization Act, Assange could well be kidnaped or assassinated. What century are we living in? What world?

It was after seeing American war crimes such as those depicted in the video “Collateral Murder” and documented in the “Iraq War Logs,” made public by Manning and Wikileaks, that the Iraqis refused to exempt US forces from prosecution for future crimes. The video depicts an American helicopter indiscriminately murdering several non-combatants in addition to two Reuters journalists, and the wounding of two little children, while the helicopter pilots cheer the attacks in a Baghdad suburb like it was the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

The insistence of the Iraqi government on legal jurisdiction over American soldiers for violations of Iraqi law — something the United States rarely, if ever, accepts in any of the many countries where its military is stationed — forced the Obama administration to pull the remaining American troops from the country.

If Manning had committed war crimes in Iraq instead of exposing them, he would be a free man today, as are the many hundreds/thousands of American soldiers guilty of truly loathsome crimes in cities like Haditha, Fallujah, and other places whose names will live in infamy in the land of ancient Mesopotamia.

Besides playing a role in writing finis to the awful Iraq war, the Wikileaks disclosures helped to spark the Arab Spring, beginning in Tunisia.

When people in Tunisia read or heard of US Embassy cables revealing the extensive corruption and decadence of the extended ruling family there — one long and detailed cable being titled: “CORRUPTION IN TUNISIA: WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE” — how Washington’s support of Tunisian President Ben Ali was not really strong, and that the US would not support the regime in the event of a popular uprising, they took to the streets.

Here is a sample of some of the other Wikileaks revelations that make the people of the world wiser:

  • In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which plays the leading role in the investigation of whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or is working only on peaceful civilian nuclear energy projects. A US embassy cable of October 2009 said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”
  • Russia refuted US claims that Iran has missiles that could target Europe.
  • The British government’s official inquiry into how it got involved in the Iraq War was deeply compromised by the government’s pledge to protect the Bush administration in the course of the inquiry.
  • A discussion between Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and American Gen. David H. Petraeus in which Saleh indicated he would cover up the US role in missile strikes against al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Saleh told Petraeus.
  • The US embassy in Madrid has had serious points of friction with the Spanish government and civil society: a) trying to get the criminal case dropped against three US soldiers accused of killing a Spanish television cameraman in Baghdad during a 2003 unprovoked US tank shelling of the hotel where he and other journalists were staying; b )torture cases brought by a Spanish NGO against six senior Bush administration officials, including former attorney general Alberto Gonzales; c) a Spanish government investigation into the torture of Spanish subjects held at Guantánamo; d) a probe by a Spanish court into the use of Spanish bases and airfields for American extraordinary rendition (= torture) flights; e )continual criticism of the Iraq war by Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, who eventually withdrew Spanish troops.
  • State Department officials at the United Nations, as well as US diplomats in various embassies, were assigned to gather as much of the following information as possible about UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, permanent security council representatives, senior UN staff, and foreign diplomats: e-mail and website addresses, internet user names and passwords, personal encryption keys, credit card numbers, frequent flyer account numbers, work schedules, and biometric data. US diplomats at the embassy in Asunción, Paraguay were asked to obtain dates, times and telephone numbers of calls received and placed by foreign diplomats from China, Iran and the Latin American leftist states of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. US diplomats in Romania, Hungary and Slovenia were instructed to provide biometric information on “current and emerging leaders and advisers” as well as information about “corruption” and information about leaders’ health and “vulnerability”. The UN directive also specifically asked for “biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats”. A similar cable to embassies in the Great Lakes region of Africa said biometric data included DNA, as well as iris scans and fingerprints.
  • A special “Iran observer” in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku reported on a dispute that played out during a meeting of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. An enraged Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff, Mohammed Ali Jafari, allegedly got into a heated argument with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and slapped him in the face because the generally conservative president had, surprisingly, advocated freedom of the press.
  • The State Department, virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere, did not unequivocally condemn a June 28, 2009 military coup in Honduras, even though an embassy cable declared: “there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch”. US support of the coup government has been unwavering ever since.
  • The leadership of the Swedish Social Democratic Party — neutral, pacifist, and liberal Sweden, so the long-standing myth goes — visited the US embassy in Stockholm and asked for advice on how best to sell the war in Afghanistan to a skeptical Swedish public, asking if the US could arrange for a member of the Afghan government to come visit Sweden and talk up NATO’s humanitarian efforts on behalf of Afghan children, and so forth. [For some years now Sweden has been, in all but name, a member of NATO and the persecutor of Julian Assange, the latter to please a certain Western power.]
  • The US pushed to influence Swedish wiretapping laws so communication passing through the Scandinavian country could be intercepted. The American interest was clear: Eighty per cent of all the internet traffic from Russia travels through Sweden.
  • President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy told US embassy officials in Brussels in January 2010 that no one in Europe believed in Afghanistan anymore. He said Europe was going along in deference to the United States and that there must be results in 2010, or “Afghanistan is over for Europe.”
  • Iraqi officials saw Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling democratic state. The Iraqi leaders were keen to assure their American patrons that they could easily “manage” the Iranians, who wanted stability; but that the Saudis wanted a “weak and fractured” Iraq, and were even “fomenting terrorism that would destabilize the government”. The Saudi King, moreover, wanted a US military strike on Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia in 2007 threatened to pull out of a Texas oil refinery investment unless the US government intervened to stop Saudi Aramco from being sued in US courts for alleged oil price fixing. The deputy Saudi oil minister said that he wanted the US to grant Saudi Arabia sovereign immunity from lawsuits
  • Saudi donors were the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
  • Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial 1996 drug trial involving children with meningitis.
  • Oil giant Shell claimed to have “inserted staff” and fully infiltrated Nigeria’s government.
  • The Obama administration renewed military ties with Indonesia in spite of serious concerns expressed by American diplomats about the Indonesian military’s activities in the province of West Papua, expressing fears that the Indonesian government’s neglect, rampant corruption and human rights abuses were stoking unrest in the region.
  • US officials collaborated with Lebanon’s defense minister to spy on, and allow Israel to potentially attack, Hezbollah in the weeks that preceded a violent May 2008 military confrontation in Beirut.
  • Gabon president Omar Bongo allegedly pocketed millions in embezzled funds from central African states, channeling some of it to French political parties in support of Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • Cables from the US embassy in Caracas in 2006 asked the US Secretary of State to warn President Hugo Chávez against a Venezuelan military intervention to defend the Cuban revolution in the eventuality of an American invasion after Castro’s death.
  • The United States was concerned that the leftist Latin American television network, Telesur, headquartered in Venezuela, would collaborate with al Jazeera of Qatar, whose coverage of the Iraq War had gotten under the skin of the Bush administration.
  • The Vatican told the United States it wanted to undermine the influence of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez in Latin America because of concerns about the deterioration of Catholic power there. It feared that Chávez was seriously damaging relations between the Catholic church and the state by identifying the church hierarchy in Venezuela as part of the privileged class.
  • The Holy See welcomed President Obama’s new outreach to Cuba and hoped for further steps soon, perhaps to include prison visits for the wives of the Cuban Five. Better US-Cuba ties would deprive Hugo Chávez of one of his favorite screeds and could help restrain him in the region.
  • The wonderful world of diplomats: In 2010, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown raised with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the question of visas for two wives of members of the “Cuban Five”. “Brown requested that the wives (who have previously been refused visas to visit the U.S.) be granted visas so that they could visit their husbands in prison. … Our subsequent queries to Number 10 indicate that Brown made this request as a result of a commitment that he had made to UK trade unionists, who form part of the Labour Party’s core constituency. Now that the request has been made, Brown does not intend to pursue this matter further. There is no USG action required.”
  • UK Officials concealed from Parliament how the US was allowed to bring cluster bombs onto British soil in defiance of a treaty banning the housing of such weapons.
  • A cable was sent by an official at the US Interests Section in Havana in July 2006, during the runup to the Non-Aligned Movement conference. He noted that he was actively looking for “human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess”. [Presumably to be used to weaken support for Cuba amongst the member nations at the conference.]
  • Most of the men sent to Guantánamo prison were innocent people or low-level operatives; many of the innocent individuals were sold to the US for bounty.
  • DynCorp, a powerful American defense contracting firm that claims almost $2 billion per year in revenue from US tax dollars, threw a “boy-play” party for Afghan police recruits. (Yes, it’s what you think.)
  • Even though the Bush and Obama Administrations repeatedly maintained publicly that there was no official count of civilian casualties, the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs showed that this claim was untrue.
  • Known Egyptian torturers received training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
  • The United States put great pressure on the Haitian government to not go ahead with various projects, with no regard for the welfare of the Haitian people. A 2005 cable stressed continued US insistence that all efforts must be made to keep former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whom the United States had overthrown the previous year, from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process. In 2006, Washington’s target was President René Préval for his agreeing to a deal with Venezuela to join Caracas’s Caribbean oil alliance, PetroCaribe, under which Haiti would buy oil from Venezuela, paying only 60 percent up front with the remainder payable over twenty-five years at 1 percent interest. And in 2009, the State Department backed American corporate opposition to an increase in the minimum wage for Haitian workers, the poorest paid in the Western Hemisphere.
  • The United States used threats, spying, and more to try to get its way at the crucial 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen.
  • Mahmoud Abbas, president of The Palestinian National Authority, and head of the Fatah movement, turned to Israel for help in attacking Hamas in Gaza in 2007.
  • The British government trained a Bangladeshi paramilitary force condemned by human rights organisations as a “government death squad”.
  • A US military order directed American forces not to investigate cases of torture of detainees by Iraqis.
  • The US was involved in the Australian government’s 2006 campaign to oust Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
  • A 2009 US cable said that police brutality in Egypt against common criminals was routine and pervasive, the police using force to extract confessions from criminals on a daily basis.
  • US diplomats pressured the German government to stifle the prosecution of CIA operatives who abducted and tortured Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen. [El-Masri was kidnaped by the CIA while on vacation in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. He was flown to a torture center in Afghanistan, where he was beaten, starved, and sodomized. The US government released him on a hilltop in Albania five months later without money or the means to go home.]
  • 2005 cable re “widespread severe torture” by India, the widely-renowned “world’s largest democracy”: The International Committee of the Red Cross reported: “The continued ill-treatment of detainees, despite longstanding ICRC-GOI [Government of India] dialogue, have led the ICRC to conclude that New Delhi condones torture.” Washington was briefed on this matter by the ICRC years ago. What did the United States, one of the world’s leading practitioners and teachers of torture in the past century, do about it? American leaders, including the present ones, continued to speak warmly of “the world’s largest democracy”; as if torture and one of the worst rates of poverty and child malnutrition in the world do not contradict the very idea of democracy.
  • The United States overturned a ban on training the Indonesian Kopassus army special forces — despite the Kopassus’s long history of arbitrary detention, torture and murder — after the Indonesian President threatened to derail President Obama’s trip to the country in November 2010.
  • Since at least 2006 the United States has been funding political opposition groups in Syria, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country.


William Blum is the author of:

  • Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
  • West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
  • Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire


Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org

Email to bblum6@aol.com

William Blum is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Corporations Have No Use For Borders

January 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

What happened to Canada? It used to be the country we would flee to if life in the United States became unpalatable. No nuclear weapons. No huge military-industrial complex. Universal health care. Funding for the arts. A good record on the environment.

But that was the old Canada. I was in Montreal on Friday and Saturday and saw the familiar and disturbing tentacles of the security and surveillance state. Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Accords so it can dig up the Alberta tar sands in an orgy of environmental degradation. It carried out the largest mass arrests of demonstrators in Canadian history at 2010’s G-8 and G-20 meetings, rounding up more than 1,000 people. It sends undercover police into indigenous communities and activist groups and is handing out stiff prison terms to dissenters. And Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a diminished version of George W. Bush. He champions the rabid right wing in Israel, bows to the whims of global financiers and is a Christian fundamentalist.

The voices of dissent sound like our own. And the forms of persecution are familiar. This is not an accident. We are fighting the same corporate leviathan.

“I want to tell you that I was arrested because I am seen as a threat,” Canadian activist Leah Henderson wrote to fellow dissidents before being sent to Vanier prison in Milton, Ontario, to serve a 10-month sentence. “I want to tell you that you might be too. I want to tell you that this is something we need to prepare for. I want to tell you that the risk of incarceration alone should not determine our organizing.”

“My skills and experience—as a facilitator, as a trainer, as a legal professional and as someone linking different communities and movements—were all targeted in this case, with the state trying to depict me as a ‘brainwasher’ and as a mastermind of mayhem, violence and destruction,” she went on. “During the week of the G8 & G20 summits, the police targeted legal observers, street medics and independent media. It is clear that the skills that make us strong, the alternatives that reduce our reliance on their systems and prefigure a new world, are the very things that they are most afraid of.”

The decay of Canada illustrates two things. Corporate power is global, and resistance to it cannot be restricted by national boundaries. Corporations have no regard for nation-states. They assert their power to exploit the land and the people everywhere. They play worker off of worker and nation off of nation. They control the political elites in Ottawa as they do in London, Paris and Washington. This, I suspect, is why the tactics to crush the Occupy movement around the globe have an eerie similarity—infiltrations, surveillance, the denial of public assembly, physical attempts to eradicate encampments, the use of propaganda and the press to demonize the movement, new draconian laws stripping citizens of basic rights, and increasingly harsh terms of incarceration.

Our solidarity should be with activists who march on Tahrir Square in Cairo or set up encampamentos in Madrid. These are our true compatriots. The more we shed ourselves of national identity in this fight, the more we grasp that our true allies may not speak our language or embrace our religious and cultural traditions, the more powerful we will become.

Those who seek to discredit this movement employ the language of nationalism and attempt to make us fearful of the other. Wave the flag. Sing the national anthem. Swell with national hubris. Be vigilant of the hidden terrorist. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, responding to the growing opposition to the Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway pipelines, wrote in an open letter that “environmental and other radical groups” were trying to “hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.” He accused pipeline opponents of receiving funding from foreign special interest groups and said that “if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further.”

No matter that in both Canada and the United States suing the government to seek redress is the right of every citizen. No matter that the opposition to the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines has its roots in Canada. No matter that the effort by citizens in the U.S. and in Canada to fight climate change is about self-preservation. The minister, in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry like the energy czars in most of the other industrialized nations, seeks to pit “loyal” Canadians against “disloyal” Canadians. Those with whom we will build this movement of resistance will not in some cases be our own. They may speak Arabic, pray five times a day toward Mecca and be holding off the police thugs in the center of Cairo. Or they may be generously pierced and tattooed and speak Danish or they may be Mandarin-speaking workers battling China’s totalitarian capitalism. These are differences that make no difference.

“My country right or wrong,” G.K. Chesterton once wrote, is on the same level as “My mother, drunk or sober.”

Our most dangerous opponents, in fact, look and speak like us. They hijack familiar and comforting iconography and slogans to paint themselves as true patriots. They claim to love Jesus. But they cynically serve the function a native bureaucracy serves for any foreign colonizer. The British and the French, and earlier the Romans, were masters of this game. They recruited local quislings to carry out policies and repression that were determined in London or Paris or Rome. Popular anger was vented against these personages, and native group vied with native group in battles for scraps of influence. And when one native ruler was overthrown or, more rarely, voted out of power, these imperial machines recruited a new face. The actual centers of power did not change. The pillage continued. Global financiers are the new colonizers. They make the rules. They pull the strings. They offer the illusion of choice in our carnivals of political theater. But corporate power remains constant and unimpeded. Barack Obama serves the same role Herod did in imperial Rome.

This is why the Occupy Wall Street movement is important. It targets the center of power—global financial institutions. It deflects attention from the empty posturing in the legislative and executive offices in Washington or London or Paris. The Occupy movement reminds us that until the corporate superstructure is dismantled it does not matter which member of the native elite is elected or anointed to rule. The Canadian prime minister is as much a servant of corporate power as the American president. And replacing either will not alter corporate domination. As the corporate mechanisms of control become apparent to wider segments of the population, discontent will grow further. So will the force employed by our corporate overlords. It will be a long road for us. But we are not alone. There are struggles and brush fires everywhere. Leah Henderson is not only right. She is my compatriot.

Source: Truth Dig

The Feds Knew: 50 years of Fracking-Induced Earthquakes

November 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Washington’s Blog posted some info last August confirming that the US federal government has long known of the link between fracking and earthquakes, as well as the link between deep well fluids contaminating shallow drinking wells. As more info keeps coming out, this collection should serve as a handy resource for those confronting (or occupying) well sites or state regulatory agencies.

At a recent oil & gas conference, frackers urged colleagues to engage in psyops to con Americans into accepting carcinogenic drinking water and earthquakes as the price to pay for oil and gas. The Oil & Gas Accountability Project taped the speakers and turned it over to CNBC which posted the audio.

Business Insider recently posted 10 Counterinsurgency And ‘Psy-Ops’ Tactics Companies Use Against Protesters, based on the recommended Army’s counterinsurgency manual.

In Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma, Brian Merchant writes:

In a surprising turn of events, Cuadrilla Resources, a British energy company, recently admitted that its hydraulic fracturing operations “likely” caused an earthquake in England….

Right on the heels of Cuadrilla’s announcement, news is spreading that theUnited States Geological Survey has released a report (pdf) that links a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma last January to a fracking operation underway there….

The U.S.G.S. determined that “from the character of the seismic recordings indicate that they are both shallow and unique.”

From the report:

Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located. Most of these earthquakes occurred within a 24 hour period after hydraulic fracturing operations had ceased. There have been previous cases where seismologists have suggested a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, but data was limited, so drawing a definitive conclusion was not possible for these cases.

The report is still under peer-review, and even then, the correlation between fracking and the quakes is inconclusive. The U.S.G.S. notes that region has historically been seismically active, though the summary states that the “strong correlation in time and space as well as a reasonable fit to a physical model suggest that there is a possibility these earthquakes were induced by hydraulic fracturing.”

While Merchant tiptoes around the issue, it’s clear to many that fracking is more than correlated; it’s causative.

The US Geological Survey confirms that “the link between fracking fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established” in 1990 at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal by Craig Nicholson and R.I. Wesson in “Earthquake Hazard Associated with Deep Well Injection” (1990).

In 2001, the EPA also confirmed the link between deep injection fluids and toxic contamination of shallow water wells near Boulder, Colorado. (See Underground Injection Control Regulations 2001.)

Fracking in the New Madrid Fault zone has generated hundreds of earthquakes each year, far exceeding the previous annual earthquake history prior to the advent of mass drilling. (SeeFracking the life out of Arkansas and beyond.)

On Jan. 31, 1986, I stood in my office on the 13th floor in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, when we experienced a 30-second earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale. (News video) The quake rumbled 11 states and Ontario, Canada. Researchers Nicholson and Wesson questioned if the quake was induced by fracking, writing in 1988:

Three deep waste disposal wells are currently operating within 15 km of the epicentral region and have been responsible for the injection of nearly 1.2 billion liters of fluid at pressures reaching 112 bars above ambient at a nominal depth of 1.8 km. Estimates of stress inferred from commercial hydrofracturing measurements suggest that the state of stress in northeastern Ohio is close to the theoretical threshold for failure along favorably oriented, preexisting fractures.”

Daneen Peterson collected the following videos and reports:

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story (17:53)
This video is an original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK’s Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale deposits. It covers the introduction of toxic chemicals that end up in the drinking water, the unregulated interstate dumping of radioactive waste and that the wells leak radioactive radium.

The following video reveals that a “Halliburton loophole [in a] 2005 energy bill completely exempted natural gas industry and gas fracking from any regulation under the Safe Water Act.” That fact is PROOF, like the vaccine exemptions given, that “they” know full well that what they are doing is extremely harmful.

If that ONE ‘loophole’ were eliminated . . . the OVERWHELMING revelations would KILL ALL FUTURE FRACKING!

60 Minutes Video Piece on Dangers of Natural Gas Fracking

Pittsburgh’s drinking water is radioactive, thanks to fracking. Only question is, how much?
Grist

Residents of Pittsburgh — as well as potentially tens of millions of other everyday citizens in the Northeast corridor who rely on their taps to deliver safe water — are consuming unknown and potentially dangerous amounts of radium in every glass of water. That’s the buried lede in the Sunday New York Times‘ massive exposé on fracking, the relatively new process for extracting natural gas from the massive shale formation that stretches from Virginia to New York state.

Even frackers admit that the Marcellus Shale formation “is mildly radioactive since it contains a small amount of uranium and produces gamma radiation from decaying organic matter.” But, of course, it denies that any “significant amount of this radioactivity is released in the natural gas produced from the shale.”

Gasland‘s reach and Oscar nomination brought enough attention to the issue to warrant apparent censorship of industry concessions that the documentary got things right:

“We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror,” Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp., was quoted as saying in [The Wall Street Journal].

However, if you go to the article, you won’t find Pitzarella’s statement because within the hour the quote disappeared, say citizen journalists, whoscreen captured it and posted it on Twitter.

Toxic Contamination From Natural Gas Wells
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/27/us/natural-gas-map.html?ref=us
This shows an interactive map of the types and areas that are contaminated in Pennsylvania.

Water Problems From Drilling Are More Frequent Than PA Officials Said
http://www.propublica.org/article/water-problems-from-drilling-are-more-frequent-than-officials-said-731

When methane began bubbling out of kitchen taps near a gas drilling site in Pennsylvania last winter, a state regulator described the problem as “an anomaly.” But at the time he made that statement to ProPublica, that same official was investigating a similar case affecting more than a dozen homes near gas wells halfway across the state.

In fact, methane related to the natural gas industry has contaminated water wells in at least seven Pennsylvania counties since 2004 and is common enough that the state hired a full-time inspector dedicated to the issue in 2006. In one case, methane was detected in water sampled over 15 square miles.

In another, a methane leak led to an explosion that killed a couple and their 17-month-old grandson.

The Tyee: Fracking and Quaking: They’re Linked

The number of mini-quakes in highly drilled Alberta alone has increased so demonstrably in recent decades (from 60 to more than 200 a decade) that the government launched a project “to document and understand their relationship to oil and gas production.” Concluded researchers in the Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics in 1994: “there do appear to be spatial and temporal correlations between the earthquakes and oil production in the Eagle West and Eagle fields [in Fort St. John, B.C. ]. Fluid injection in particular must be considered as a possible cause.”


Rady Ananda is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Rady Ananda’s work has appeared in several online and print publications, including three books on election fraud. She holds a BS in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University’s School of Agriculture.

A Hellenic Haircut

October 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There will be no Greek default—not for months to come at least, as we predicted here two weeks ago. The private banks that had splashed out on ostensibly lucrative Greek bonds will have to accept a “haircut” of fifty percent of their nominal value, according to an agreement reached early Thursday morning after days of tense talks between French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, other euro zone leaders and private financial institutions.

Greece’s private-sector debt is now down to 100 billion euros, and the country will continue its long road to nowhere with zero growth, cuts and austerity. Even after the 50 percent write down its debt is still 90 percent of the country’s GDP and for as long as it stays in the euro the burden can never be paid off. To make the banks agree to the deal, however, the euro zone governments had to offer them inducements in the form of “credit enhancements”—bureaucratese for provision of low-cost government liquidity—worth over a third of the “haircut” itself.

More significantly perhaps, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will be boosted to €1tn ($1.4tn)—which may not be enough to preempt another crisis in a big southern economy, such as Italy or Spain. Merkel’s plan is to use the facility to provide insurance on new Italian and Spanish government bonds, but private investors are yet to be convinced that the fund will actually pay out in case of a large sovereign getting into trouble. If the insurance option is not embraced by private investors, the EFSF’s one trillion euros will be woefully insufficient to contain even the likely fallout from Grece’s half-default, let alone a major future crisis. This is the main weakness of the deal reached in Brussels. The European Financial Stability Fund needs to be expanded to be credible, and yet it cannot be done without issuing Eurobonds which the Germans unsurprisingly refuse to underwrite.

The elephant in the room is the euro itself. Back in 1990 the common currency was a French idea, the late François Mitterrand’s condition for his approval of Germany’s reunification. In theory it was supposed to remove exchange rate risks from the euro zone market, reduce the costs of transactions, stimulate cross-border trade, create an area of monetary stability, and force member countries to practice fiscal responsibility. The unstated intent was to curtail the power of the Deutschmark and to bind reunited Germany more closely to Europe. It was to be Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s burnt offering on the altar of European integration. In January 2002, colorful new banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in the initial 11 countries of the Eurozone.

In the early years the plan worked to the advantage of the periphery. All of a sudden, it was possible to obtain loans in Athens, Madrid or Dublin at interest rates as low as those in Berlin or Frankfurt. The result was a period of southern rapid growth—largely financed by northern capital in quest of fresh opportunities—and German stagnation. The “PIIGS” (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) used the cheap cash not to modernize their economies, however, or to increase their competitiveness, but to finance speculative projects and to indulge in excessive public and private consumption. Tens of billions went into building booms along the Spanish Costas and into Greek government bonds. Ireland’s growth reached 4.5 percent in 2004, fueled by a property boom but not accompanied by an improvement in its international competitiveness.

However seemingly disadvantageous for the Germans, the new situation proved to be a blessing in disguise for them. The periphery was awash in investment funds and it was temporarily oblivious to the fact that it could no longer defend its markets against future German imports through periodic devaluations. The Germans grasped the implications, however. The manufacturers realized that their only chance was to become ever more efficient and globally competitive. The workers had to endure years of flat wages and high unemployment. The fruits have been ample: since 2007 Germany’s export-led economy has continued growing in spite of the crisis. Its budget deficit will drop to zero in 2014 and likely move into the black thereafter.

A conspiracy theorist may argue that the Germans had known all along that the euro would create a captive market for their export juggernaut. The southern periphery could no longer protect its domestic markets from the deluge of better made, more efficiently produced German goods by resorting to occasional devaluations vis-à-vis the Deutschmark. The gap was bridged by northern commercial banks supplying loans for southern purchasers of mainly German goods. The southern periphery is now caught in a triple bind: its exports cannot grow because they cannot be boosted by devaluation, its domestic demand cannot be stimulated because they are forced to implement draconian austerity measures, and its economies are additionally burdened by high interest rates on German-led, multi-hundred-billion rescue packages.

By design or by default, Germany appears to have created a new European order which it dominates more effectively than she ever controlled the short-lived New European Order seven decades ago. The trouble is that the financial and political burden of the euro-project is becoming almost as steep for Germany as the price of running the global empire continues to be for the United States. Writing off a significant portion of southern debt, a la Greece’s “haircut,” creates a precedent that may create similar expectations in other, much larger troubled economies. The alternative is to continue making large net transfers and putting together ad-hoc rescue packages when crises erupt, but the will of the German political and financial establishments to continue doing so is wearing thin. The periodic crises will continue until the euro is taken apart, or until the four PIGS—and perhaps Italy, too—are expelled from the Eurozone.

Euro-enthusiasts predictably argue that without monetary union the exchange rates would fluctuate wildly and destroy the Union. In reality, trying to keep the euro zone afloat at any price is the biggest threat to the Union. For as long as the euro is upheld, the European Central Bank will be trying to square the circle of operating a single monetary policy and uniform interest rates for a widely different group of countries. The results will be periodical emergencies all along the periphery. They will take different forms at different times—a fiscal crisis here, a banking collapse there, a property slump everywhere—but like the erupting lava finding its way through the Earth’s crust, the crises will never stop and can never be resolved.

Only on the ruins of the Eurozone, or perhaps after it is reduced to its northern, hard-currency, inflation-free core, will it be possible to recreate a self-adjusting exchange rate mechanism reflecting different countries’ economic efficiencies and fiscal policies. Once it is accepted that the euro had always been a political project not justified by economic considerations, the ongoing drama would be finally over. Such outcome would benefit Europe and the rest of the world.


Srdja (Serge) Trifkovic, author, historian, foreign affairs analyst, and former foreign affairs editor of “Chronicles” (1998-2009). He has a BA (Hon) in international relations from the University of Sussex (UK), a BA in political science from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and a PhD in history from the University of Southampton (UK).

www.trifkovic.mysite.com

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Is The U.S. Government Stockpiling Food In Anticipation Of A Major Economic Crisis?

September 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Is the U.S. government stockpiling huge amounts of food and supplies in anticipation that something bad is about to happen?  Is something about to cause a major economic crisis that will require large quantities of emergency food?  For a while, I have been hearing things about the government storing food through the grapevine and I have not been sure what to think about those rumors.  Well, today I received a phone call that blew me away.  I debated for quite a while before I decided whether or not to share this information with you all.  Normally I do not like to talk about anything unless I am able to prove it by pointing to an article in the mainstream media.  But the source of the information that I am about to share with you is rock solid.  I cannot reveal his name, so you will just have to trust me on that.  Hopefully the following information will be one more “dot” as we all try to connect the dots about what is really going on out there.

This morning I received a call from a very prominent person in the storable food industry.  He has asked me not to reveal his name.  I have been dealing with him for an extended period of time and I consider him to be a rock-solid source.  When I talked to him today, he had just received a huge order for storable food from a U.S. government source.  He told me that the dollar amount of the order was in the “five figures”.

When he asked about why so much food was being ordered, the government source told him essentially that “you know what is coming”.  When pushed further, the government official did not elaborate.

It was unclear whether this was part of a larger food stockpiling program by the government.  Perhaps this order was just part of the normal preparations that government agencies make for potential emergencies.

Nobody could blame the government for storing up some emergency food.  That is something that we all should be doing.

The truth is that the government is taking emergency preparedness very seriously these days.  For example, you can see video of a high-level NASA official urging NASA employees to develop preparedness plans for their own families right here.

But what if this is a sign of something bigger?

Remember, this is not some rumor I just pulled off the Internet.  This is not something that someone got from “an aunt” somewhere.

I got this information over the telephone from the person who took the order.

I promised that I would not reveal any more specific details, so I won’t.

But this does seem to fit with a pattern that we are beginning to see emerge.

Earlier this year, FEMA issued an RFI (Request For Information) that inquired about the availability of 140 million meals of emergency food.  Apparently the food was meant to be stored up in case there was a “catastrophic disaster event” along the New Madrid Fault.

You can view this FEMA RFI right here.  The following is an excerpt….

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely.  The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.   FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M meals per day):

- Serving Size – 12 ounce (entree not to exceed 480 calorie count);
- Maximum calories – 1200 and/or 1165 per meal;
- Protein parameters – 29g-37g kit;
- Trans Fat – 0;
- Saturated Fat – 13 grams (9 calories per gram);
- Total Fat – 47 grams (less than 10% calories);
- Maximum sodium – 800-930 mg;

Requested Menus to include snacks (i.e. fruit mix, candy, chocolate/peanut butter squeezers, drink mix, condiments, and utensils).  All meals/kits must have 36 months of remaining shelf life upon delivery.   Packaging should be environmentally friendly.

Mysteriously, seven days later this RFI was cancelled.

At that same time, FEMA also issued an RFI that sought to identify a supplier for 140 million blankets.  You can view that RFI right here.  The following is an excerpt….

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores blankets to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely.  The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for blankets in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.   FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M blankets per day):

- 100% cotton;
- White;
- 66″ x 90″

Also, there have been some much publicized shortages of storable feed recently.  There has been much speculation about whether or not the government is part of the reason for these shortages.

There are some products that simply were not available for an extended period of time.  For example, the following was posted on the Mountain House home page….

As you know we have removed #10 cans from our website temporarily. The reason for this is sales of #10 cans have continued to increase. OFD is allocating as much production capacity as possible to this market segment, but we must maintain capacity for our other market segments as well.

The shortages around the country got so bad at one point earlier this year thata special alert was posted on Raiders News….

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

Unfortunately, shortages have not been limited to storable food.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but there is a significant shortage of certain pharmaceutical drugs in many areas of the country right now.  Just check out the video news report posted below….

In addition, it is not just in the United States where food is being aggressively stored up.  For example, a recent article in The Telegraph noted that governments all over the globe are now stockpiling food….

Authoritarian governments across the world are aggressively stockpiling food as a buffer against soaring food costs which they fear may stoke popular discontent.

Also, some governments are now gobbling up as much farmland as they can.

According to the New York Times, China has been buying up “vast tracts of Latin America’s agricultural heartland” and is seeking to acquire quality farmland all over the globe.

So what does all of this mean?

It could mean something.

It could mean nothing.

But as I have written about so much recently, we really do seem to be on the verge of a major economic crisis.

The signs that the financial world is melting down are all around us.  I won’t take the time to repeat what I have covered in the last few days here.  If you missed any of it, just go back and read these articles over….

*Is Financial Instability The New Normal?

*Depressed As A Nation? 80 Percent Of Americans Believe That We Are In A Recession Right Now

*Nervous Breakdown? 21 Signs That Something Big Is About To Happen In The Financial World

One thing that I haven’t covered yet is a very curious move by Lloyd’s of London.  It turns out the Lloyd’s of London has started pulling money out of banks in Europe’s peripheral economies according to Bloomberg….

Lloyd’s of London, concerned European governments may be unable to support lenders in a worsening debt crisis, has pulled deposits in some peripheral economies as the European Central Bank provided dollars to one euro-area institution.

At this point, world financial markets have officially entered “bear” territory.  In fact, global stocks are down approximately 20 percent since May.

Many believe that what we have seen is just the beginning of another major financial crisis.

For example, in a recent editorial for The Ticker, Karl Denninger (who saw the 2008 crash coming) warned that the house of cards is starting to fall once again….

Well, America (and the world), you’ve been scammed by the financial institutions and governments for the last 30 years.  2008 was the first spasm of recognition but was short-circuited by…. you guessed it…. even more scams.  Rather than demand truth and an end to the games the American consumer lapped up the frauds and schemes of the politicians on both sides of the aisle who conspired with the financiers to rip you off once again.

Later on in the editorial, Denninger stated that he hopes that all of us have “taken the last couple of years to become prepared”….

Now recognition of that fact is dawning on people in a convulsive fashion, and markets of all sorts are reacting as one would expect when their entire worldview is exposed as having been a gigantic and intentional pyramid scheme constructed of debt layered upon debt thatcannot be paid down.  The wrong thing was done in 2008 and there is zero evidence that our government has changed one iota in their singular focus on misdirection and lies in this regard.

Welcome to awareness; I hope you’ve taken the last couple of years to become prepared.

Well, if the anecdotal evidence presented above is an indication of a larger trend, it appears that the government is getting prepared.

And if the government is stockpiling food, who can blame them?

It should be obvious to anyone that the world has become an incredibly unstable place.

Hopefully we are not about to enter another major economic crisis, but it never hurts to be prepared.

If anyone out there has any additional information that is relevant to this report, please let me know.

If the government really has started to aggressively stockpile food, that would be an important thing to know.

If it is happening, the mainstream media surely will not tell us about it.  So we will have to rely on one another for information.

Source: The Economic Collapse

Sell, sell, sell: everything must go in great European fire sale

July 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Europe’s most indebted countries – and Britain – have put prized assets up for grabs to bolster their creditworthiness. So what exactly is on offer?


Britain’s decommissioned HMS Ark Royal, Madrid’s Barajas airport, Ireland’s National Stud and the air traffic control services of several countries are likely to be up for sale. Photograph: Montage

Greece

Europe’s most ambitious sell-off is taking place in its most indebted nation: Athens plans to sell €50bn (£45bn) of state assets by 2015.

Looking at the sales list, it seems that very little has been left off the table. The government’s stakes in the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, 39 airports, a state lottery, a horse-racing concession, a casino, a national post office, two water companies, a nickel miner and smelter, hundreds of miles of roads, a telecoms operator, shares in two banks, electricity and gas monopolies and thousands of hectares of land, including coastal stretches, are among the host of assets on offer.

While a 50% stake in Athens international airport is probably the best-known asset on the block, when it comes to sheer beauty the Anavyssos saltworks could prove difficult to beat. The saltworks, an hour south of Athens, shut down in 1969, and is situated on a mile-and-a-half of beach.

However, while Greece’s privatisation scheme apparently offers plenty of desirable assets, experts say the country will struggle to raise the hoped-for €50bn because investors are wary of the country’s bureaucracy, strong unions, corruption and lack of transparency. Barely a year ago, Greece itself estimated that privatisation could raise, at best, €1bn to €2bn a year. Suzie Bird

Ireland

The national airline, ports, power stations and even the Irish National Stud, which hosted a visit by the Queen in May, face being broken up or sold off under plans to get Ireland out of the red. A government-commissioned review of state assets published in April said privatisation could raise about €5bn for the cash-strapped country.

Energy suppliers, transport and sporting assets were all earmarked for divestment. However, the plans could end up in the shredder. The Irish government is in no rush to sell off the family silver and the private equity company Terra Firma, which made an approach about the sale of Electricity Supply Board assets, was told that no talks could take place.

The economist Colm McCarthy, who chaired the Review Group that wrote the report, recommended the break-up of the electricity and the gas boards. Other assets he recommended putting on the block include Rosslare port, Dublin Bus and the government’s 25% stake in Aer Lingus, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The Irish Aviation Authority, which regulates aviation and provides air traffic control services in Irish airspace and the north Atlantic, could be merged with the UK’s National Air Traffic Services or other north-west European services, and the forestry commission should dispose of forests but the land they grow on should remain in state hands, McCarthy said.

On the sports front, the National Stud should be sold and Horse Racing Ireland should put racecourse interests up for sale. The greyhound racing body should also get rid of its stakes in dog tracks.

But the report was attacked in parliament and the government agreed there would be no “fire sale” of assets and certainly no sale until market conditions improve.

Joe Higgins, a Socialist member of parliament, branded the privatisation blueprint a “neoliberal huckster’s deal which will involve pawning the assets of the people to pay off moneylenders”.

So far little progress has been made and McCarthy has also said that he would be surprised if any assets could be sold this year. Top of the government’s wish list is the sale of its stakes in the five bailed-out banks but until they emerge from the current wreckage there are unlikely to be buyers.

The country’s biggest life insurance operation – Irish Life – is being prepared for a trade sale on government orders. It is expected to fetch about €1.6bn but this will be used to shore up losses at the bailed-out sister bank Permanent TSB, which will disappear from the high street. Lisa O’Carroll Dublin

Spain

The world’s biggest annual lottery payout, Spain’s famous Christmas El Gordo (Fat One), spreads joy to tens of thousands of winners – but the biggest winners of all may soon be investors who snap up part of the state company behind the lottery.

The country’s State Betting and Lottery (LAE), which offers a series of prize draws, also brings a huge dose of Christmas cheer to the country’s treasury. Of the €2.15bn Spaniards bet on the draw, almost a third is retained by the lottery administrator.

Spain is not as badly indebted as other European countries, but bond yields have soared as Greece, Ireland and Portugal have been forced into bailouts. Spain’s socialist government, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has set strict deficit targets to avoid the fate of its southern European neighbours. Sales of stakes in the state lottery and the country’s airports authority form part of the plan for pulling safely back from the brink.

Some 30% of the state lottery will be sold as the organisation behind the 151-year-old El Gordo becomes what may be the world’s biggest listed gambling company, valued at up to €25bn.

The company recorded €3bn net profit in 2009 on sales of €9.8bn – meaning the sell-off will reduce treasury income by about €1bn a year.

RBS recently won a contract to run the privatisation of up to 49% of Spain’s airports authority, AENA, which has a book value of €2.6bn. The government also plans to auction off Madrid’s Barajas airport and Barcelona’s El Prat by the end of the year.

Reform of the country’s savings banks means that many will also soon be seeking stock market listings. Giles Tremlett Madrid

Portugal

Neighbouring Portugal is in even starker need of money after accepting a €78bn bailout. On Thursday, the newly elected centre-right prime minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, announced a rush sale of state holdings in the utility company Energias de Portugal and the power-grid operator REN by October.

Passos Coelho recently told the Financial Times that he wanted to sell off up to 49% of water utilities as well as several state media interests, reportedly including television and radio channels, plus the national news agency Lusa.

The state airline TAP and the airport owner ANA – which runs airports in Lisbon, Faro, Oporto and the Azores – are also due to be sold along with the insurance business of the state-run bank CGD, although the government had not given a time frame. Portugal will also be selling off real estate belonging to its civil governors’ offices, which are being scrapped. Giles Tremlett

Italy

There had been talk of Silvio Berlusconi’s debt-laden government raising cash by means of privatisation. But a package of fiscal adjustment measures being finalised in cabinet this week appeared to include only one sell-off.

The government was expected to clear the way for radio frequencies to be auctioned off to telephone companies. The frequencies, made available by the shift to digital radio, were expected to bring in €2.4bn.

The package of cuts, which has yet to be approved by parliament, aims to trim €47bn from the projected budget deficit but the bulk of the squeeze – €40bn – has been deferred until after 2012. John Hooper Rome

Britain

The coalition government in Westminster is in the process of selling off the 49% state stake in the air traffic control service Nats, decommissioned naval ships and its own collection of fine wine.

In the March budget the chancellor, George Osborne, set a target of raising £2bn from asset sales to finance the Liberal Democrat’s idea for a green investment bank. The bulk of that is coming from the sale of its remaining stake in Nats and the Tote, the government-owned bookmakers. The private bookmakers Betfred have been chosen to buy the Tote for a reported price of £200m.

Last week, the telecoms regulator Ofcom approved plans to sell spectrum for mobile broadband. Ministers will decide this summer whether to proceed with the sale of the student loan book and in the March budget, the Treasury indicated that plans for a new Public Data Corporation would involve selling public data to the private sector.

Plans in the budget to sell off government buildings have been stymied by the poor property market and many departments are opting to “sweat their assets” instead by squeezing more people into the buildings in order to get out of expensive leases elsewhere. The Treasury is renting desk space to the Cabinet Office to allow it to end an expensive lease.

Dozens of judicial buildings are due to go up for sale as the coalition pushes through its rationalisation of the courts service with a reduction in number by 142, including 93 magistrates courts.

The government is planning to sell off HMS Ark Royal, the aircraft carrier that was decommissioned in March after 25 years’ service. The deadline for bids is next month, and among those bidding is someone hoping to sink it off the Devon coast and turn it into a wreck for divers.

The Commons has announced it will sell its wine cellar though the proceeds will not go to the Exchequer but to fund a larger stock of cheaper wine for official functions.

The British public’s appetite for the sell-off of public assets has been sorely tested and other attempts have gone spectacularly wrong.

Plans to sell off as much as 150,000 hectares of forest and woodland in England in the biggest sale of public land for nearly 60 years were confirmed by MPs in October last year. The U-turn – after a huge groundswell of public opposition –came in February. Polly Curtis

Source: guardian.co.uk

AID Destroyed Detroit, The Destruction Is Coming To Your Town

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

For 15 years, from the mid 1970’s to 1990, I worked in Detroit , Michigan . I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs and human depravity. I watched entire city blocks burned out. I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses and school yards.Trash everywhere!

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Detroiters walked through it, tossed more into it, and ignored it. Tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands today exist on federal welfare, free housing, and food stamps!

With Aid to Dependent Children, minority women birthed eight to 10, and in one case, one woman birthed 24 children as reported by the Detroit Free Press, all on American taxpayer dollars.

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A new child meant a new car payment, new TV, and whatever mom wanted. I saw Lyndon Baines Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ flourish in Detroit . If you give money for doing nothing, you will get more hands out taking money for doing nothing

Mayor Coleman Young, perhaps the most corrupt mayor in America , outside of Richard Daley in Chicago , rode Detroit down to its knees… He set the benchmark for cronyism, incompetence, and arrogance. As a black man, he said, “I am the MFIC.” The IC meant “in charge”.

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You can figure out the rest Detroit became a majority black city with 67 percent African-Americans. As a United Van Lines truck driver for my summer job from teaching math and science, I loaded hundreds of American families into my van for a new life in another city or state.

Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today. At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan , but most work in Detroit . As the whites moved out, the Muslims moved in.

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As the crimes became more violent, the whites fled. Finally, unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace. Detroit suffers so much shoplifting that grocery stores no longer operate in many inner city locations. You could cut the racial tension in the air with a knife! Detroit may be one of our best examples of multiculturalism: pure dislike, and total separation from America .

Today, you hear Muslim calls to worship over the city like a new American Baghdad with hundreds of Islamic mosques in Michigan , paid for by Saudi Arabia oil money. High school flunk out rates reached 76 percent last June, according to NBC’s Brian Williams. Classrooms resemble more foreign countries than America . English? Few speak it! The city features a 50 percent illiteracy rate and growing.

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Unemployment hit 28.9 percent in 2009 as the auto industry vacated the city. In Time Magazine’s October 4, 2009, “The Tragedy of Detroit: How a great city fell, and how it can rise again,” I choked on the writer’s description of what happened. “If Detroit had been ravaged by a hurricane, and submerged by a ravenous flood, we’d know a lot more about it,” said Daniel Okrent. “If drought and carelessness had spread brush fires across the city, we’d see it on the evening news every night.” Earthquake, tornadoes, you name it, if natural disaster had devastated the city that was once the living proof of American prosperity, the rest of the country might take notice.

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But Detroit , once our fourth largest city, now 11th and slipping rapidly, has had no such luck. Its disaster has long been a slow unwinding that seemed to remove it from the rest of the country.

Even the death rattle that in the past year emanated from its signature industry brought more attention to the auto executives than to the people of the city, who had for so long been victimized by their dreadful decision making.”

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As Coleman Young’s corruption brought the city to its knees, no amount of federal dollars could save the incredible payoffs, kickbacks and illegality permeating his administration. I witnessed the city’s death from the seat of my 18-wheeler tractor trailer because I moved people out of every sector of decaying Detroit .

“By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit ‘s treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services,” Okrent said. “The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers’ union to reject a philanthropist’s offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans , unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit today, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. That’s worth spelling out: twenty-eight point nine percent.

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At the end of Okrent’s report, and he will write a dozen more about Detroit, he said, “That’s because the story of Detroit is not simply one of a great city’s collapse, it’s also about the erosion of the industries that helped build the country we know today. The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character ofAmerica in the 21st century.

If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can’t find a way to get up, what does that say about America ’s future?”

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As you read in my book review of Chris Steiner’s book,”$20 Per Gallon”, the auto industry won’t come back. Immigration will keep pouring more and more uneducated third world immigrants from the Middle East into Detroit , thus creating a beachhead for Islamic hegemony in America . If 50 percent illiteracy continues, we will see more homegrown terrorists spawned out of the Muslim ghettos of Detroit . Illiteracy plus Islam equals walking human bombs.

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You have already seen it in Madrid , Spain , London , England and Paris , France with train bombings, subway bombings and riots. As their numbers grow, so will their power to enact their barbaric Sharia Law that negates republican forms of government, first amendment rights, and subjugates women to the lowest rungs on the human ladder. We will see more honor killings by upset husbands, fathers and brothers that demand subjugation by their daughters, sisters and wives. Muslims prefer beheadings of women to scare the hell out of any other members of their sect from straying. Multiculturalism: what a perfect method to kill our language, culture, country and way of life.

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I PRAY EVERYONE THAT READS THIS REALIZES THAT IF WE DON’T STAND UP, AND SCREAM AT WASHINGTON , AND OUR STATE, CITY AND LOCAL LEADERS THIS IS WHAT AWAITS THE REST OF AMERICA . IF YOU THINK MEXICANS AND MUSLIMS AND OTHER FORIEGNERS WILL EVENTUALLY FIT RIGHT IN THEN YOU ARE AS BIG A PART OF THE PROBLEM AS THEY ARE.

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“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” — Benjamin Franklin


Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece.

He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at his website: www.frostywooldridge.com

Frosty Wooldridge is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Europe’s Uncrowned Leader

March 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Angela Merkel“Total German triumph as EU minnows subjugated,” The Daily Telegraphheadlines a report by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s latest diktat. Whoever wants credit must fulfill our conditions, she declared. Her conditions amount to capitulation by three vulnerable states on core policies, and further erosion of sovereignty for the rest of the eurozone.

For Greece, Evans-Pritchard explains, the terms include a fire-sale of €50bn of national assets within four years—a tenfold increase from what premier George Papandreou thought he signed up to a year ago—and include state holdings in Hellenic Post, Hellenic Railways, Athens Public Gas, the Pireaus port authority, Athens airport, Thessaloniki water, and ATEbank. In return, Chancellor Merkel has agreed to a slight reduction in the penal interest rate on the EU share of Greece’s €110bn loan package and stretch the maturity to 7.5 years; but “[t]his does not restore solvency. Greece’s debt spiral is too far advanced. The debt load will approach 150pc of GDP this year, and debt service costs are 14.4pc of tax revenue.” Coupled with 15% unemployment rate (closer to 40% among the young), the mix is politically explosive.

For Portugal, the condition is more austerity. “Pensions, welfare, and health will be cut, following wage cuts already under way… Fiscal tightening of this magnitude in a country with public-private debt of 330pc of GDP, an over-valued currency, and reliance on fickle foreign financing, is not a happy prospect.” For Ireland, one condition is to give up its 12.5% corporate tax rate. This comes on top of an “exorbitant” 5.8% interest on the EU rescue package—a rate “suffocating for an economy in the grip of core deflation, already reeling from a 22pc contraction in nominal GNP.” Overall, Evans-Pritchard concludes, we are witnessing a new stage of “economic integration on Teutonic terms, but without the prize of shared debt liability”:

Just as eurosceptics always feared, monetary union has led to a state of affairs where—in order to “save the euro” as Mrs Merkel puts it—Europe’s ancient states find themselves having to accept a quantum leap towards political union and a degree of subjugation that would not have been tolerated otherwise. There is no democratic machinery to hold this central system to account since the European Parliament lacks a unifying language or demos, and remains a technical body in practical terms. Raw power is shifting, but to whom exactly? It is as if Merkel has somehow been crowned Magna Mater Europae by the Consilium, behind closed doors.

The British analyst’s summary is accurate. This is not how the experiment with monetary union was supposed to work, however. Back in 1990, the euro was a French idea, the late President François Mitterrand’s condition for his approval of Germany’s reunification. In theory it was supposed to remove exchange-rate risks from the eurozone market, reduce the costs of transactions, stimulate cross-border trade, create an area of monetary stability, and force member countries to practice fiscal responsibility. The unstated intent was to curtail the power of the Deutschmark and to bind reunited Germany more closely to Europe.

A decade ago the scheme worked to the advantage of the periphery. It was possible to obtain loans in Athens, Madrid, and Dublin at interest rates as low as those in Frankfurt. The result was a period of rapid growth in the south and German stagnation. The “PIIGS” (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) used the cheap cash not to modernize their economies, however, or to increase their competitiveness, but to finance speculative projects and to indulge in excessive public and private consumption.

In the long run this proved to be an unexpected blessing in disguise for the Germans. Their manufacturers realized that they had to become more efficient and globally competitive. Workers had to endure years of flat wages and high unemployment, but since 2007 Germany’s export-led economy has continued growing in spite of the crisis, and her superior quality products are successfully competing with those of the Asian Tigers. Her budget deficit will drop to zero in 2014, and her budget will likely move into the black thereafter. A conspiracy theorist may argue that the Germans had known all along that the euro would create a captive market for their export juggernaut. The southern periphery could no longer protect its domestic markets by resorting to occasional devaluations vis-à-vis the Deutschmark. At the same time, because of stagnant German wages there has been no offsetting demand north of the Alps for southern goods (food, oil, wine, textiles, coastal real estate) or services (tourism). The growing trade deficit was bridged by northern banks supplying loans for southern purchasers of German goods.

Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain are now caught in a triple bind: their exports cannot grow because they cannot be boosted by devaluation; their domestic demand cannot be stimulated because of draconian austerity measures; and their economies are additionally burdened by high interest rates on huge, German-led rescue packages. By design or by default, Germany appears to have created a new European order. Decisions made in Berlin and Frankfurt are affecting the economies of some half-dozen peripheral countries inhabited by a hundred million people.

In the long run this is but a Pyrrhic victory for the Germans. Eventually they’ll still need to write off a significant portion of southern debt, but this would set a precedent that would undermine the credibility of the eurozone. Even less acceptable alternatives entail allowing higher inflation rates all over the zone, or else continuing with large net transfers and ad hoc rescue packages when crises erupt. Squaring the circle of operating a single monetary policy and uniform interest rates for a widely different group of countries will continue to produce periodic emergencies all along the periphery. The alarms will take different forms at different times—a fiscal crisis here, a banking collapse there, a property slump everywhere—but like the erupting lava finding its way through the Earth’s crust, the crises will never stop and can never be resolved.

If the eurozone is abolished—or perhaps after it is reduced to its northern, hard-currency, inflation-free core—it will be possible to recreate a self-adjusting exchange-rate mechanism that reflects different countries’ economic efficiencies and fiscal policies. Once it is accepted that the euro has always been a political project not justified by economic considerations, Germany will no longer be obliged to go on “helping” the EU periphery, and southern Europe’s historic small nations will be free from the unloved Leaderin’s coldly suffocating embrace.


Srdja (Serge) Trifkovic, author, historian, foreign affairs analyst, and former foreign affairs editor of “Chronicles” (1998-2009). He has a BA (Hon) in international relations from the University of Sussex (UK), a BA in political science from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and a PhD in history from the University of Southampton (UK).

www.trifkovic.mysite.com

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com

The 10 Leading Theories For Dead Birds And Fish

January 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Nicholas West and Zen Gardner | Activist Post…

As the mainstream media attempts to downplay the latest die-off event, which has now gone global, it is worthwhile to keep track of the story lines.  Feel free to add your own to the comments section, and we will update accordingly.

Mainstream Explanations: Lightning, hail, mid-air collision, power lines, and New Year fireworks for the birds . . . but disease for the fish.  This is even rolling eyes in the mainstream media.  Birds are incredibly sensitive to their environment (think Canary in the coal mine), and the thought that they were caught by surprise, or that they “fowled” up their flight pattern is patently ridiculous.  And where are the roasted birds from this lightning strike?  And what about fish dying in the same region?  Just a “disease” coincidence.  One mainstream headline has to be enshrined as the saddest attempt at sensationalism, while revealing an obvious natural conclusion Falling Birds Likely Died From Massive Trauma.  Really?

Meteor showers: We are in a period of intense seasonal meteor showers, and several perennial YouTubers reported hearing sonic booms in the area that could have indicated a local shock wave.  This would be one non-conspiratorial, natural cause that actually makes sense, but it is hard to connect to both birds and fish, unless it produced a disabling frequency.  There were indeed other sound anomalies according to the report highlighted above.

New Madrid Fault Line: An excellent article by The American Dream collated data about the recent earthquake activity along this fault line that runs along the mid-eastern section of the U.S.  Combined with gas fracking, the immense geological activity in the region, and the BP oil drilling disaster, which off-gassed the dispersant, Corexit, into the atmosphere, and we should be wondering about any mass deaths in the region.  Nevertheless, this has turned into a global event, so the above could be a side effect of something larger, or a direct contributing factor.

Government testing: The long history of government testing has been exposed by many researchers.  The strange component to this die-off is that only certain species have been affected, but within the entire region.  And some reports have indicated that the organs of these birds were liquefied, which could indicate a possible virus. Could this implicate species-specific bio-weapons? It is on record that discussions have taken place about race-specific bio-weapons; perhaps this is a test of delivery capability?

GMO mutation: Mike Adams of Natural News sets forth an interesting theory: this latest event is local, but the die-offs are happening across species as bee populations and bats are also declining.  Adams points out that Monsanto has a corporate office in Arkansas.  Just wondering.

Geoengineering: Could spraying in the area have caused this type of fallout?  Perhaps something new added to the mixture? Chemtrails have quickly moved from conspiracy theory to documented fact.  So much so, that the powers-that-be have had to admit to the program, but a beneficial one in their view.  Between cloud seeding and possible connections to HAARP, chemtrail fallout must be considered, especially as it is being conducted nearly worldwide.  Rosalind Peterson has been at the forefront of connecting geoengineering to GMOs as a combined source for oxygen-depleting algae blooms that very well could affect a wide spectrum of natural systems. Furthermore, some believe that the delivery system for chemtrails can also disperse pathogens.  If there is a flu or disease outbreak in the coming days or weeks among the human population in areas where the birds have fallen, the chemtrail connection could be made.  If this happens, the contagion could be blamed on a new, deadly bird flu.  A last possibility connected to chemtrails would be nanoparticles.

HAARP: Birds and fish can be susceptible to subtle frequency alteration.  An interesting YouTube post from a long-time fisherman mentioned the “pearl” plate behind the eye of the affected type of drum fish in this event.  He made a plea for anyone in the area to look for signs of damage to this plate.  Both birds and fish navigate in highly coordinated ways that indicate that they move and communicate via frequencies.  Could the HAARP array in Alaska have short-circuited their navigation systems?  Or, perhaps this is the beginning of a cascading effect from decades of electromagnetic pollution emanating from EMF and ELF waves shot around the planet via a wide range of modern communications.

Scalar Weapons: These directed energy beam weapons can be deployed via satellite and create a wide range of “natural disasters” that can be tuned to certain frequencies.  Their radius is reported to be several miles.  Even crazier is that we have been told that the dead birds encountered massive trauma.  One of the reported abilities of scalar weapons is to create a Tesla shield of plasma, like a bubble, that could explode anything that enters its airspace.  Some have speculated that this technology is in full operation.  But what if it truly is still at the testing phase?  Remember, this is happening in South America, too.

Project Blue Beam: Were they testing a sound generator for the global theater of alien invasion?  This one is “out there” for sure, but NASA itself has announced its preparation for such a scenario. Project Blue Beam, like its counterpart HAARP, uses the natural energy present in the ionosphere as both a visual and acoustical device.  Again, perhaps they are not at the ready stage yet, but, like Tesla, have made an unintentional misstep.

Geomagnetic and other Earth changes: As anyone can see from the above range of possibilities, we are facing an array of human tampering.  However, the backdrop to this are the anomalies beginning to take form with the apparent wandering of our magnetic pole, as even National Geographic reported that the north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia.  Add to this a dwindling magnetosphere and falling oxygen levels, and the deaths among more delicate species might portend a larger problem.  Finally, an increase in sun activity and magnetic storms might be weakening our overall natural habitat.

The widespread die-off of nature should lead us to look more intently at the world around us, and to question our relationship to it, and our effect upon it. Perhaps this is what we should have been doing all along.

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