"Milgram's classic experiment pitted the subject's moral beliefs against the demands of authority. Of all the psychology experiments I am aware of, Milgram's produces the most startling and disturbing. Remember when this experiment was conducted - people were searching for explainations for how the attrocities of World War II had occured.
Around this time (early 1960's) research was being conducted into the authoritarian traits of Germans in an attempt to explain how the attrocities of World War II could have taken place. Milgram's study demonstrated that these traits were not confined to Germans and were not confined to certain types of situations (eg war). This was a profound and extremely thought provoking discovery."
"There is never a duel with the truth. The truth always wins and we are not afraid of it. The truth is no coward. The truth does not need the law. The truth does not need the force of government. The truth does not need Mr. Bryan. The truth is imperishable, eternal and immortal and needs no human agency to support it. We are ready to tell the truth as we understand it and we do not fear all the truth that they can present as facts. We are ready. We are ready. We feel we stand with progress. We feel we stand with science. We feel we stand with intelligence. We feel we stand with fundamental freedom in American. We are not afraid. Where is the fear? We meet it, where is the fear? We defy it, we ask your honor to admit the evidence as a matter of correct law, as a matter of sound procedure and as a matter of justice to the defense in this case."
Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee, The Fine Art of Propaganda, 1939."
"With this federally approved evil subsidy, Congress has taken a major step toward securing the future of evil and all its unholy causes," said Marion Conyers of the American Enterprise Institute. "Our legislators recognize that evil, as a belief system and a way of life, is absolutely vital to any public policy in which punishment of the righteous and the reward of the loyal servants of darkness is the goal."
The $540 million will be earmarked primarily for temptation-related evils, with 70 percent going toward the funding of greed, lust, avarice and gluttony, and hatred-based evils such as cruelty and wrath. The remaining 30 percent will go toward sloth, usury, and idolatry, with an additional, non-existent 45 percent allotted toward deception and corruption.
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Body Type Male Female Athlete <10% <17% Lean 10-15% 17-22% Normal 15-18% 22-25% Above Average 18-20% 25-29% Overfat 20-25% 29-35% Obese 25+ 35+%%
There are three major types of omega 3 fatty acids that are ingested in foods and used by the body: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Once eaten, the body converts ALA to EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids more readily used by the body. Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.
As mentioned previously, it is very important to maintain a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. An inappropriate balance of these essential fatty acids contributes to the development of disease while a proper balance helps maintain and even improve health. A healthy diet should consist of roughly one to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids and many researchers believe this imbalance is a significant factor in the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States.
In contrast, however, the Mediterranean diet consists of a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet does not include much meat (which is high in omega-6 fatty acids) and emphasizes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, as well as moderate wine consumption.
Adults BMI: Women Men underweight < 19.1 < 20.7 in normal range 19.1 - 25.8 20.7 - 26.4 marginally overweight 25.8 - 27.3 26.4 - 27.8 overweight 27.3 - 32.3 27.8 - 31.1 very overweight or obese > 32.3 > 31.1
The rise in obesity has been linked to changes in diet and leisure patterns, and even the increased use of cars.
While obese children already face health and social problems, there will also be a further price to pay, according to Jenny O'Dea, a nutritionist at Sydney University.
"We see many physical outcomes, but we also see economic costs for many decades to come," she said.
"These children are very unlikely to lose weight. Something like 80% of overweight children become overweight adults, so I think it really is quite a medical time bomb... just waiting to happen."
A major breakthrough in publicly detailing the history of the Australian nuclear weapons program was a documentary called "Fortress Australia", shown on ABC TV on 22nd August 2002. To me the main new revelations in it were the final confirmation that the Jervis Bay nuclear power station was primarily for producing plutonium, and an interview with Sir Philip Baxter (once described as "Australia's Dr Strangelove"!) where he confirms my suspicions that the primary purpose of Australian nuclear weapons was to defend the country against refugees from a northern hemisphere devastated by a future nuclear war.
By 1916 it was being fully deployed throughout the German lines. It was instrumental in the disaster of the Somme at times cutting down advancing British troops in windrows much like they were wheat.
Fortress Australia had a long gestation. Two decades ago I picked up a self-published book - Without Hardware - penned by Catherine Dalton, daughter of British poet and historian Robert Graves, of I, Claudius fame.
The story dealt with the mysterious death in the late 1950s of Catherine’s husband Clifford Dalton, a leading engineer at the newly established Atomic Energy Commission’s research facility at Lucas Heights in Sydney. Dalton drew a picture of a highly secret institution, which she believed had a malicious hand in her husband’s untimely demise. In 1983, with the financial assistance of the Australian Film Commission, I set about writing a feature-length dramatic screenplay based on the book.
Some years later, when the American nuclear film Silkwood and two Australian features with nuclear themes were released, I realised the project would not survive in an already saturated market. After more than a dozen drafts, I relinquished the option. What I didn’t drop was an interest in the affairs of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) in the 1950s and 60s. That interest deepened when I came upon an extraordinary interview in the archives with the Commission’s Chairman, Sir Philip Baxter, in which he called for a biological, chemical and nuclear-armed Australia.
I also discovered a newspaper article from the early 1970s in which Baxter suggested that Australia was capable of producing nuclear weapons within a matter of years. I wondered how this could be achieved without the scientific infrastructure, the means to produce plutonium and the years of research and development required for such an enormous undertaking. The only conclusion I could come to was that these essential precursors to bomb production already existed. And if they did exist, then there must have been the political will in Australia at some time to build atomic weapons. But in the early 1980s, the official Government documents relating to nuclear defence and atomic matters were unavailable, due to the 30-year secrecy rule. A few people, however, had investigated the subject.
In a 1975 feature article for Search (a journal published by the Australian & New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science) historian Ann Moyal questioned both the highly secretive research agenda of the AAEC and the Gorton Government’s decision in 1969 to build a nuclear power station at Jervis Bay. In Moyal’s view, the economics of the reactor didn’t add up, unless it was to be used to provide plutonium for atomic weapons. Alice Cawte, in her excellent book, Atomic Australia, made a similar deduction.
In September 2000, I felt it was now time to revisit the story. I knew that documents relating to Australia’s early atomic history would now be open to inspection. To my surprise, there were more documents relating to Australia’s interest in nuclear weapons than for both uranium and atomic energy put together.
Many of the documents about nuclear weapons' policy came from the Department of Defence, the Prime Minister’s Department and the Department of Supply, but those relating to the technical, scientific and economic aspects of bomb production were authored by the AAEC and often bore the signature of its Chairman, Sir Philip Baxter.
§ A serious concern between 1946 and 1971 about Australia’s inadequate defences in the atomic age.
§ Prime Minister Robert Menzies in the early 1950s believed that the defence forces would inevitably be armed with nuclear weapons.
§ Growing doubts as to whether Australia’s allies, the United States and Britain, would provide nuclear protection.
§ The Menzies government had made numerous but unfruitful approaches to Britain and America to secure nuclear technology.
§ In 1958 Menzies made a direct approach to his British counterpart Macmillan to buy British nuclear weapons.
§ Sir Philip Baxter, the Chairman of the AAEC, continually pressured the government to either acquire the weapons or create the infrastructure to build them in Australia.
§ A growing fear of our northern neighbours (especially after China exploded its first atomic bomb in 1964, and Indonesia boasted that it would soon have the bomb) resulting in the government calling on the AAEC to provide costs for building the bomb.
§ How Australian uranium was denied to Britain in 1966 so that there would be enough radioactive materials to start a nuclear weapons program.
§ Baxter’s preferred tenders for the Jervis Bay Nuclear Reactor were those that could produce plutonium for building the bomb.
Other defence related documents provide an extraordinary insight into the mistrust held by Australia, not only of its potential enemies, but also of its allies. They reveal both a country fearful of its future and a belief that battlefield nuclear weapons were the answer to Australia's defence needs.
With many of these documents in hand, I went to Film Australia, as it seemed a natural project for its National Interest Program. The greatest challenge was to bring the story alive on film. As a specialist in archive film, I knew sourcing newsreels and informational films dealing with defence and politics wouldn’t be difficult. But this project also required footage not in the public domain. More than 50 hours of archive footage was located, many hours of which have never before been released for public screening.
One such film was a ‘classified’ version of a documentary called Operation Blowdown, which covered the scientific and military aspects of a simulated nuclear blast in North Queensland in 1963. This bizarre experiment assumed that the next war involving Australia would take place in the jungles of South East Asia or even New Guinea and involve nuclear weapons. Out of the US National Archives came extraordinary footage of the first Chinese Nuclear blast in 1964 – an event that so worried Menzies he called for a report on the costs of producing Australia’s own bombs.
Spectacular colour footage of the British bomb tests in Australia, the Woomera rocket range and the Lucas Heights research facility was also uncovered. ANSTO - the modern incarnation of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission - generously supplied splendid historical footage and gave the production permission to film its HIFAR Reactor. Candid ABC interviews with AAEC Chairman, Sir Philip Baxter, provide a chilling insight into both the risks for Australia of another global war and the hazards of allowing scientists to plan for it. Baxter's call, in 1972, for nuclear weapons to repel refugees from a global catastrophe is one of the most disturbing interviews I have ever seen.
A rewarding aspect of the production was meeting the twelve interviewees who bring the story to life with surprising insights about Australia’s bold bid for a nuclear arsenal. A fortunate find was Jim Walsh, a Harvard University researcher, who investigates countries that have pursued atomic weapons options and either failed or succeeded, then renounced them. Walsh’s grasp of the Australian nuclear weapons story is unequalled.
During production we were able to uncover many relics of Australia’s nuclear history. Central to the story is the proposed Jervis Bay nuclear reactor, which would have provided the plutonium required for nuclear weapons' production. In 1970, hectares of eucalypt forest were removed to provide foundations for the reactor. Today, the scar on the landscape remains as a stark reminder of our secret interest in developing a nuclear bomb.
We also travelled to Woomera Rocket Range, where Australia joined with Britain to develop guided missiles for the nuclear age. The crumbling launching pads and the spent weapons that litter the range represent the last vestiges of our defence relationship with Britain.
The most striking aspect of filming these places is that we were visiting territory once prohibited to all but scientists and defence personnel. These were places that were meant to provide the nation’s protection in the event of another global war, yet at the same time they were escalating the tension and suspicions that could have precipitated it.
Ultimately, we have produced Fortress Australia to allow Australians to understand the thinking of their political, scientific and defence leaders who flirted with the bomb.
It is a story about the all-too-trusting relationship between science and society. A tale from the height of the Cold War about secrecy and deception with poignant lessons for democracy – a story that powerfully resonates into the present day.
Peter Butt - Producer/Director
Take your weight in kilograms (kg) and divide it by your height in metres (m) and then divide the result by your height in metres (m) again.
Healthy weight BMI = 18.5 -24.9
Overweight BMI = 25 - 29.9
Obese BMI = 30 -39.9
Severely obese BMI = 40 +
But since about 1980, the country has been beyond the point where further increases in weight would do anything other than harm life expectancy.
Yet the overeating has continued: the average calorie intake rose by about 10% between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s.
Now, according to some calculations, close to one-third of Americans are clinically obese - about 50% more than even the chubbiest equivalent country.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has classified 55% of adult Americans, or 97 million adults, as overweight or obese. This compares to 43% in 1960.
"The goal of this project is to determine why drivers can "look but fail to see". A large fraction of traffic accidents are of this type: drivers collide with pedestrians in plain view, with cars directly in front of them (the classic "rear-ender"), and even run into trains. (That's right -- run into trains, not the other way around.) In such cases, information from the world is entering the driver's eyes. But at some point along the way this information is lost, causing the driver to lose connection with reality. They are looking but they are not seeing"
Evensong is an office of the Anglican church. It is supposed to be sung every evening as thanks to God for the day and a prayer for protection during the coming night. Evensong has an equivalent morning service called Matins.
The book's fame did carry a word for phrenology with it; but Constitution is not a book about phrenology, instead it is a book of natural philosophy which teaches that Man is as subject to natural laws as the rest of Nature- Physical, Organic, and Moral. Ignorance of or disobedience to the natural laws led to "punishment"- such as catching a cold from exposure to the elements. The first steps towards the good life were to study and obey the distinct natural laws (notably excluding the Bible). Combe's book was hugely controversial from the 1820s through the 1850s. Evangelicals founded societies to oppose it, wrote books and articles against it, and sometimes even burned it! Thus fuss popularly believed to have resulted from Darwin's Origin of Species pales in comparison to that of Combe's Constitution, one of the most influential books of the 19th century. The 8th was the final edition revised by Combe. "
But now, more than 200 years after his death, he has been hailed as one of Scotland’s "forgotten heroes" who pioneered the theory of evolution a century before Charles Darwin, and forged the way for Scots inventors.
In a new book - written by an amateur historian - Lord Monboddo of Edinburgh, an eminent but eccentric High Court judge, has been credited as the first to come up with Darwin’s famous theory of natural selection.
Jan-Andrew Henderson, 38, claims that Monboddo circulated the theory in Edinburgh in the 1700s, but it was dismissed because he was well known for his eccentricities, once famously sending his wig home from court in a sedan chair while he walked.
Henderson, who discovered the lord’s theory while researching his book The Emperor’s Kilt: The Two Secret Histories of Scotland, said Monboddo was "light years" ahead of his time with the revolutionary ideas. "He was a minor celebrity in Edinburgh because he was considered to be very eccentric. But he actually came up with the idea that men may have evolved instead of being created by God.
"His views were dismissed because people thought he was mad and in those days it was a very controversial view to hold.
"But he felt it was a logical possibility and it caused him a great deal of consternation, he actually did not want to believe the theory because he was a very religious person."
Lord Monboddo, James Burnett, was born in the village of Monboddo, Kincardine in 1714 and educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, before settling in Edinburgh.
In 1737, he joined the Faculty of Advocates, eventually becoming an eminent judge at the Court of Session. As he grew older he indulged his passion for writing and penned two books, the first being Of the Origin and Process of Language in 1740. In his books he detailed his evolutionary theory.
He wrote: "Man is formed, not however all at once, but by degrees and in succession: for he appears at first to be little more than a vegetable then he gets sense, [sensitivity to pain] but sense only that he is yet little better than a muscle [mollusc].
"Then he becomes an animal of a more complex kind, then a rational creature, and finally a man of intellect and science."
Monboddo died in 1799, 100 years before Darwin’s theory was circulated.
Henderson believes that when Darwin finally did voice his theory of evolution, it may have been in response to Monboddo’s earlier ideas. "Lord Monboddo was famous for his ideas in Edinburgh and strangely enough Darwin went to medical college in the city so he may well have heard of Monboddo’s theory while he was studying there."
Richard Dawkins, a leading evolutionary biologist said: "There were several theories of evolution about before Darwin’s became popular. I have not heard of this one before but it sounds perfectly plausible."
Towards the end of his life, after voicing a number of opinions about orang-utans having their own language and the existence of a remote, exotic island called Nicobar inhabited by people with tails, Monboddo was seen as "mad".
Henderson said: "In the end, he became a bit of an object of ridicule. But he was a very smart man, open to ideas and light years ahead of his time in terms of thinking. He was not a scientist and came up with the idea as a complete concept. It was a process of pure logic, which was quite a feat for someone 100 years before Darwin’s time in a very religious age."
Other theories in Henderson’s book include the idea that the modern-day kilt was designed by an Englishman - factory manager, Thomas Rawlinson - in the 18th century.
But, more heartening to Scots is his theory that the Dundee inventor James Bowman Lindsay produced the world’s first electric light in 1839, 40 years before it was "discovered" by the American Thomas Edison.
The Scot first demonstrated the light in the Thistle Hall, Dundee. "What this proves is that Scots forged the path years before other theorists and inventors and influenced the world in lots of ways that people don’t even realise," Henderson said. "It’s strange that a nation that is so proud of their inventions have managed to miss so many theorists, scientists and pioneers.
"Everyone knows the famous inventors like Bell and Baird but these guys are the forgotten heroes of Scotland."
Thursday, 28th September 2000
The Scotsman "
He refused to sit on the Bench with his fellow judges but sat underneath with the court clerks. This was due to a decision, which went against him when he was the claimant in a case involving the value of a horse.
In 1773, he published a notorious book Of the Origin and Progress of Language. It included the theories that man was derived from animals, that orang-utangs were related to humans and capable of speech, and that in the Bay of Bengal there was a nation of human creatures with tails. These ideas "afforded endless matter for jest by the wags of the day", but today are seen to be related to the theory of evolution. Slightly more eccentric was his belief that babies are born with tails and that midwives cut them off at birth.
In 1785, when he was 71, Lord Monboddo was visiting the King's Court in London when part of the ceiling of the courtroom started to collapse. There was a great rush from the building, until the danger was past and order restored. Lord Monboddo, who was deaf and shortsighted, was the only person who did not move from his seat. When asked why, he explained that he thought it was "an annual ceremony, with which, as an alien, he had nothing to do". "
"While her commitment is never in doubt, Ms. Bronstein's intemperate outbursts have earned her the sobriquet of 'the swearing Mother Teresa'. Her take-no-prisoners style has landed her in hot water with many governments and citizenry, earning her severe beatings and kidnap attempts on her children."
John Cleghorn, chairman of the Royal Bank said, "Naomi's career is compelling evidence that one person can strive and triumph against the odds."
A proper etiquette does exist for how we address our Church leaders. As a point of courtesy, all Catholics should be familiar with these forms of address. Even though we may live in an increasingly informal world, such good formalities help to make us respectful of proper authority.
So let’s start at the top – the pope. A person would greet Pope John Paul II as "Your Holiness," "Most Holy Father," or "Holy Father." A letter written to him would be addressed, "His Holiness, Pope John Paul II," with the salutation, "Your Holiness" or "Most Holy Father."
Next in the hierarchy comes the cardinal. A person would greet a cardinal, for instance Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, by saying, "Your Eminence" or "Your Lordship" (which is very British). In addressing a letter to Cardinal McCarrick, one would write, "His Eminence, William Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington" with the salutation, "Your Eminence," "Most Eminent Cardinal," or "My Lord Cardinal."
In recent times, some people will reverse the word order, saying, "Cardinal William McCarrick" instead of "William Cardinal McCarrick." The formal word order originated in the time when last names were not common, but individuals were known by occupations or even places. For example, "John, the Smith" (or Blacksmith) eventually became "John Smith." The same evolution occurred with cardinals: What would have been "William, the Cardinal" would now be, with the use of family names, "William Cardinal McCarrick."
Another interesting diversion for us concerns a patriarch. Patriarchs are cardinals but have honorary precedence over a cardinal. For example, the Patriarch of Jerusalem is Archbishop Michael Sabbah. A person would greet him, saying, "Your Beatitude." In addressing a letter to him, one would write, "His Beatitude, Michael Sabbah, The Patriarch of Jerusalem" with the salutation, "Your Beatitude."
Both an archbishop and a bishop would be greeted as "Your Excellency" or "Your Grace" (again very British). For example, one would greet Bishop Loverde as "Your Excellency." In writing to him, for instance, about how much you enjoy this column (only kidding), you would address the letter, "The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington," with the salutation, "Your Excellency."
Although some people today informally would approach Bishop Loverde and say, for instance, "Bishop, how are you?" one should properly say, "Bishop Loverde, how are you?" or "Your Excellency, how are you?" Worse yet, I was at a dinner conference once in the diocese and the master of ceremonies said, "We are so happy. Tonight we have bishop." I was not sure whether "bishop" was the main course or the guest speaker. Just as a person would never approach Pope John Paul II and simply say, "Pope, how are you?" the title of office, in this case "bishop," should not be used in an address without either the definite article the or a proper name.
A monsignor would be greeted as "monsignor." A letter to Monsignor Bradican, for example, would be addressed as "Reverend Monsignor Francis Bradican," or "Reverend and Dear Monsignor," with the salutation, "Dear Monsignor." (The proper abbreviation is "Rev. Msgr.")
Prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, some Monsignori had the distinction of "Right Reverend Monsignor" or "Very Reverend Monsignor." Such distinctions are no longer made among Monsignori except for certain members of the Papal Household and those who serve in special offices of the Vatican Curia.
Finally, we come to the priest. He would be greeted simply as "father," which reflects his spiritual fatherhood to those entrusted to his care by virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A letter to him would be addressed, "The Reverend William P. Saunders," for example, with the salutation, "Dear Father Saunders" or "Reverend and Dear Father Saunders." Some "Fathers" are also formally addressed "Very Reverend" when they have a special duty; for example, Father Frank Ready, the Dean of Deanery II, would be addressed, "The Very Reverend Frank Ready."
While this review is not exhaustive of all of the Church offices, the major ones have been considered. Further information may be found in the Official Directory for the Diocese of Arlington and The Church Visible by James Charles Noonan Jr.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Blow Off Work
Loot Small High Dollar Items
Activate First Chakra
Attempt To Get Back To The Future By Forcing 1.2 GIGAWATTS Through The Flux Capacitor
"There is a long-standing, little-known, and seldom enforced provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act that requires non-U.S. citizens over the age of 18 to carry with them evidence of what is known in the law as "alien registration". Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 264.1(b), the I-94 card would suffice as evidence of registration for those in F, J, H, O, P, and TN status. Not complying with this provision can lead to a $100 fine, 30 days imprisonment, or both. Even those of us with many years of experience in this field have never known this provision to be enforced. Recently, however, we have read of several instances in which the INS has invoked this requirement. Therefore, given the climate of heightened scrutiny we are advising that it would be prudent to carry your I-94 card with you. Be aware, however, that this insignificant looking card is actually the most important immigration document you have because it is the only legal evidence of the status in which you were admitted to the United States (an entry visa in your passport does not indicate how you entered the U.S.). Don’t lose it! To travel by air - and increasingly by rail and bus - within the United States, one must present a government-issued photo ID. Although you are not required to carry a passport, for many who do not have a US driver’s license, a passport is often used for identification."
This long Scientology Sec Check, consisting of three hundred and forty-three questions, takes stock of the subject's space opera experiences on the whole time track, including all their past lives. It includes questions such as: Did you come to Earth for evil purposes? Have you ever disappeared? Have you ever killed your own body? Have you ever torn out someone's tongue? Have you ever raped a child of either sex? Have you ever zapped anyone? Have you ever implanted anyone? Have you ever eaten a human body? Have you ever made a planet, or nation, radioactive? Have you ever failed to rescue your leader?
Freedom of speech, like any other freedom, is subject to the law and must be balanced against the essential need of the individuals to protect their reputation. The words of Diplock J. in Silkin v. Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.,  1 W.L.R. 743, at pp. 745-46, are worth repeating:
Freedom of speech, like the other fundamental freedoms, is freedom under the law, and over the years the law has maintained a balance between, on the one hand, the right of the individual . . . whether he is in public life or not, to his unsullied reputation if he deserves it, and on the other hand . . . the right of the public . . . to express their views honestly and fearlessly on matters of public interest, even though that involves strong criticism of the conduct of public people.
Nuclear's ability to generate power round the clock without sending carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is testing the resolve to abandon a hugely expensive industry still tainted by the legacy of past disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Helping the industry's case are doubts that the current attempt by governments to spark a green power revolution by building hundreds of windfarms can deliver big enough cuts in CO2 or ensure that the lights stay on after existing reactors have shut down.
"Nuclear power has gone from being very peripheral to being taken seriously again," said Dieter Helm, a fellow in economics at Oxford University.
"The exclusive focus on renewables and energy efficiency in several social democratic governments in Europe is not delivering enough carbon savings to keep on track with the ambitious climate change targets."
Rising prices for fossil fuels and Europe's growing reliance on gas imported from outside the region have also encouraged policymakers to think again about phasing out nuclear, which has high initial capital costs but low production costs thereafter.
Industry sources say Britain is likely to conduct a serious reappraisal of nuclear power but because of the issue's sensitivity the question will not get a public airing until after a general election expected next year.
Britain put on hold its nuclear building programme with the completion in 1995 of the Sizewell B station in eastern England and is scheduled to close its last reactor in 2035.
A sharp drop in power prices recently forced the government to rescue privatised nuclear giant British Energy from bankruptcy, although prices have since recovered.
Despite the BE debacle ministers were careful to leave the door ajar to a new generation of reactors when they updated their thinking on energy policy earlier this year.
REACTORS GET CHEAPER Analysts say the up-front costs of new reactors are dropping because they are smaller than earlier models.
"I think there is evidence beginning to build that the capital costs of nuclear plants will be substantially lower than in the past," said Philip Ruffles, vice president of The Royal Academy of Engineers in London. "Plants would be smaller, roughly half the physical size of current plants."
Crucial to the viability of new reactors would be the cost of capital and the length of time taken to build the plants, other analysts said.
Nuclear costs must include the management of waste, problems with which remains central to the argument of the industry's widespread opponents.
"The biggest problem for nuclear is the disposal of radioactive waste in a politically and publicly acceptable way," said Frank Barnaby, a nuclear security specialist at the independent Oxford Research Group.
Nuclear power is making headway in some countries. Finland is building a three-billion-euro reactor, its fifth. France, which already relies heavily on nuclear power, is pressing ahead with plans to build a prototype pressurised water reactor as it looks beyond the retirement of its existing plants.
Shifts in opinion are also evident in Sweden. A majority voted in 1980 to phase out atomic plants by 2010 but a recent Gallup poll showed more than 55 percent in favour of keeping existing plants.
The Swiss last year voted not to scrap nuclear power after the government argued it would be premature to shut down a cheap energy source that meets 40 percent of its power needs
Lachlan's Note: (Quote often attributed to Star Trek: Generations (Gene Roddenberry) - but apparantly
really due to Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) "Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day")
"(This is the school in which we learn...)
(...that time is the fire in which we burn.)"
Two Little Boys : Whitbury Leisure Centre is celebrating its first birthday and Brittas has prepared a multitude of special events to celebrate. Unfortunately the fuel storage tank has sprung a leak and Colin is busy collecting all the oil into various containers. Meanwhile, Brittas' twin brother Horatio has been staying with him before taking up his new post in the Church as Dean of Beirut. He is having doubts about his vocation and turn to Gordon for advice. Gordon reminds him of their plans they made when they were young to cure the world of all its ills. A stray firework and a cupboard full of heating fuel gives Horatio the sign he needed to convince him to go.
Not A Good Day : A prominent political figure visits Whitbury Leisure Centre to help promote a public event. But he ends up accidentally chained to a railing by a small boy who has been wandering the center. The boy is the son of one of the Classical War Society members, who are staging a battle re-creation out on the soccer field. When the boy's father discovers that Brittas has placed his son under arrest, the Society attacks the centre.
High Noon : Brittas has been sacked as Manager of Whitbury Leisure Centre but has managed to get another job at a local garage. Alan Digby has taken over the management of the Centre and things seem to be picking up, the place is extremely busy and the takings are doing well. However, not all of the staff are behind Mr Digby. Colin is upset at the cancellation of some of his classes and Laura is not impressed by his rather scruffy demeanour. Carole and her children are now living with the Brittas' and causing not a little chaos for Helen, who has her own children as well as Gordon to cope with. Mr Brittas decides to pay one last visit to the Centre to deliver a special present he bought for the staff, a musical clock, in appreciation for their loyalty. It is this simple, well meaning, action that begins a string of events which even Brittas could not have foreseen.
The Last Day : As Brittas prepares for his departure to Brussels as European Commissioner for Sport, he decides that an emergency water tank ought to be installed at Whitbury Leisure Centre as an extra precaution against fire - a decision he later regrets.
In The Beginning : The year is 2019 and the ex-staff of Whitbury Newtown Leisure Centre are gathering at Colin's Scottish castle for their annual tribute to the man who gave them everything. They now include three millionaires, a world-famous concert pianist, a TV chef and a Government Minister. What is it that made them owe so much to Sir Gordon and Lady Brittas?
Hotel Ibis Euston 3 Cardington Street LONDON England NW1 2LW Tel: 020 7388 7777 Facsimile: 020 7388 0001 Email: email@example.com
London Euston Travel Inn Capital 141 Euston Road LONDON England NW1 2AU Telephone: 020 7554 3400 Facsimile: 020 7554 3419
Quality Hotel, 290 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 5Y3, Canada, Tel: (613) 789-7511 Fax: (613) 789-2434 Toll-Free Reservations: 1-800-228-5151
A David Wise article in Gentleman's Quarterly, gave the diameter of the W-88 secondary as 17.2 centimeters (seven inches), which, if spherical, means a volume of two and two-thirds liters.15 The maximum theoretical yield for a secondary is about two hundred kilotons per liter, assuming equal volumes of fission and fusion fuel. The math is simple. A secondary the size Wise reported would need to fully consume 90% of its thermonuclear fuel, including the uranium, in order to produce the W-88 warhead's advertized yield of 475 kilotons.
If that calculation is correct, there is little wonder the W-88 warhead is still our most modern warhead, despite its being a twenty-five year old, mid-1970s design. It would be a waste of time trying to squeeze out the last 10%. I was recently told that 1962 was the year when weapon designers "ran out of things to invent." A dozen years later, they apparently gave up trying.
The response to this code failure was to fix the code, not the bomb. Extra sensors were added for the next Bassoon test, to gather more data, and a hope was expressed that the next generation IBM computer would support more sophisticated simulation models that would be more accurate. Unlike bridges and skyscrapers, which can be reliably designed on the basis of theory alone, multi-stage thermonuclear weapons are designed by trial and error. Weapon codes come later, in an effort to explain the test results, and satisfy the curiosity of scientists.
According to all of these accounts, Teller's original H-bomb plan was to use a small fission bomb to light one end of a cannister of deuterium, or heavy hydrogen, and cause a self-sustaining fusion reaction to propagate through the length of the cannister, like the detonation wave that propagates through a stick of dynamite. This was the "Classical Superbomb," also known as the "Runaway Super," which Bethe referred to as Method A, in his 1954 history. In 1950, Stanislaw Ulam convinced everyone at Los Alamos that the fusion reaction would not propagate. His reports from Johnny von Neumann that "icicles are forming" meant that in mathematical simulations of the detonation, on the Princeton MANIAC computer, ignition temperatures could not be maintained by the detonation wave in the cannister of hydrogen. The true hydrogen bomb was thus abandoned, in favor of making a multi-megaton explosion, period.
The theoretical failure of Teller's hydrogen superbomb revived interest in 1946 Alarm Clock design. In the Alarm Clock, alternating layers of hydrogen fusion fuel and uranium fission fuel were arranged to take advantage of the aforementioned symbiotic relationship between fission and fusion. Uranium fission would produce the temperatures necessary for fusion, and hydrogen fusion would produce the neutrons necessary for more uranium fission. When the fusion reaction began to cool below its ignition point, more fission would heat it up again and keep it going.
The name Alarm Clock was a nonsense code name; it was supposed to wake people up to the possibilities of H-bombs. The Russians chose a physically more descriptive term for the same design concept: Sloika, a layered pastry cake. Bethe referred to it as Method B.
Because of the high energy neutrons in the Alarm Clock/Sloika design, relatively cheap uranium-238 becomes as explosive as the much more expensive uranium-235, but unconstrained by criticality considerations. The Alarm Clock design may have originated as a way of keeping the temperature up in the fusion fuel, but in practical terms it was a way to make a very cheap, dirty uranium bomb of unlimited power.28
"Peer review often doesn't work (Score:3, Interesting)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, @09:17PM EDT (#107)
Back when I was in grad school, my research happened to make a notable contribution to a hot topic at the time. I was (usually with other authors) submitting papers to IEEE journals at a rate of about 1 per 3-6 months. I also attended several conferences and got to know a lot of the major contributors in my research area.
Typically, every submission got sent to 3 experts for review. My professor (and one of his collegues) even forwarded to me several papers they were asked to review. I noticed a couple of things regarding peer review:
"The Prehistory of Postmodernism "In 'Star Trek,' every story is the same. There they are, the crew, working, working, working. Then somebody says,'Captain! I've lost control of the ship.' The rest of the episode is about gaining control of the ship." "Compare that to 'Moby Dick.' Everybody's working, doing their job too. But the captain goes insane, the ship snaps in two, the crew drowns and the captain gets dragged to the bottom of the sea." Laurie Anderson -from The Netly News, Dec 2, 1996
Dedicated to the clear-eyed Pierre Menard who faced down the tail-eating dragon of life and produced: A technical article on the possibility of enriching the game of chess by means of eliminating one of the rook's pawns. Menard proposes, recommends, disputes, and ends by rejecting this innnovation. Jorge Luis Borges (1939)
His earlier conversion to Catholicism in 1667 began to produce personal conflict with his geological observations, and shortly after writing the Prodromus, Steno lost all interest in geology. His geological career, thus, spanned three short years. Although he returned to Denmark for a few years, he was not happy, and moved back to Florence, where he became a priest in 1675. In 1677 he was appointed titular Bishop and spent the rest of his life involved with missionary work in northern Germany.
he was piloting her prize ship, a Navy Apocalypse worth billions of ISK - Eve's currency. Her lieutenant, Arenis Xemdal, flew an Imperial Apocalypse, of which only two were known to exist in the entire game universe.
'Nicole' was the go-code for a hit that took ten months of infiltration to set up. By 6am it was over. Every Ubiqua Seraph office in the galaxy was raided, the contents of every shared hangar - not to mention their corporate coffers - gone. Mirial's prize ship was annihilated, her escape pod nuked and her vacuum-frozen corpse sucked into the cargo bay of a Guiding Hand Social Club vessel.
The simultaneous ambush and galaxy-wide hangar theft inflicted financial damage upwards of 30 billion ISK - $16,500 US dollars at IGE.com's prices. The value of the stolen assets utterly dwarfed the original fee for the job. And yet the only item the Guiding Hand's anonymous client requested for himself was the cold, dead body of the target. It's safe to say this was personal.
"At the time of the contract's signing, we requested one billion ISK," says Guiding Hand CEO Istvaan Shogaatsu, "which was quite a sum so many months ago. We could never have foreseen, however, the gains upon its execution... we found ourselves staring at Fort Knox with the key in our hands."
Not that there was any question of the spoils distracting Guiding Hand's operatives from their objective. "The contract above all" is their philosophy. "The financial compensation becomes secondary to the recognition we garnered for our strike."
Et Tu, Arenis
By April 18th, the Guiding Hand had operatives in every level of Ubiqua Seraph's organisation. Several were on the board of directors, and primary agent Arenis Xemdal "rose to a rank sufficient to challenge the CEO's decisions."
"Multiple vector infiltration is a trademark of GHSC," Shogaatsu adds. "We feel one spy is rarely enough."
It took extraordinary effort, meticulous planning, and one moment of spectacularly orchestrated treachery. Xemdal had convinced Mirial - referred to as 'the objective' by Guiding Hand operatives - to fly her ridiculously valuable Navy Apocalypse alongside his even more ridiculously valuable Imperial Apocalypse "as a show of UQS (Ubiqua Seraph) might".
"The early-morning strike against Mirial's battleship was fraught with concern." Shogaatsu recalls. "One tense moment occurred when a pilot belonging to an unaffiliated third party hostile to UQS entered the system where our operatives' trap for Mirial lay. Another came soon after, when Guiding Hand operative Uuve Savisaalo - tasked with assisting the kill on Mirial - was spotted arriving in system by an Ubiqua Seraph pilot. These events spooked the objective, who made a short jump before being set upon by Uuve and - in a moment of 'Et tu, Brute' if ever there was one - Arenis Xemdal's Imperial Apocalypse."
The ambush was an unprecedented clash of the titans. A Navy Apocalypse is one of the most powerful and valuable ships in the galaxy, but even so, an Imperial Apocalypse is overkill - a few cheap Battleships would suffice. To use an even more valuable ship was an act of absurd bravado, and one with enormous risks. It's also typical of the Guiding Hand's flair for theatrical excess.
But the hard part, according to Shogaatsu, was to then 'pod' Mirial. Podding is the usually spiteful, some say dishonourable act of destroying a victim's escape pod when you've already destroyed their ship. The pod is no threat, and if it's destroyed the victim has to revert to an earlier clone of themselves - sometimes losing skills that take weeks to learn, and in this case losing an incredibly valuable set of cybernetic implants. For this reason some players log out on ship-death in an attempt to avoid being podded - Mirial included, the Guiding Hand say. Successful podding was the only way to attain the physical body of the victim, however, and Arenis pulled it off.
The moment the go-code was uttered, every Guiding Hand double-agent within Ubiqua Seraph unloaded the contents of their assigned Corp hangar - a communal storage area for trusted corporation members - into their own cargo holds and left. The assets were replaced by a note in each, stating simply that this was an act of the Guiding Hand Social Club.
That afternoon, Istvaan Shogaatsu posted on the Intergalactic Summit - a section of the official Eve forums in which posters are required to stay in character, and content is monitored by CONCORD, the in-game police.
Posted 2005.04.18: Istvaan Shogaatsu
Greetings, everyone - it has been some time since I last stood behind a podium and made a public announcement, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm somewhat out of form. The reason I stand here before you is to announce that my mercenary outfit, the Guiding Hand Social Club, has completed its most ambitious contract to date.
Our target was assigned to us many months ago - Mirial of Ubiqua Seraph. Our task was to carry out that which the GHSC has now become known for - to utterly demolish Mirial and bring all who followed her to their knees in one fell swoop. For those many months, we toiled, secreting our operatives among her ranks, steering her organization through a number of insidiously engineered events meant to engender trust and divert their attention from where it should have been.
Early this morning, our hard work bore fruit. Executing a meticulously planned, thoroughly flawless concerto of simultaneous corp-hangar heists, attacks in open space and facility invasions, the Ubiqua Seraph came to know the wrath of the GHSC first-hand. The result shatters any previous records for sheer scale of such an endeavour:
Our philosophy . . . well, we have our quirks. Little traditions we stick to religiously. There is the tradition of first blood - in any war campaign, we must be the ones to score the first kill. If we do not, it is seen as a bad omen - so far, there have not been any bad omens. Another quirk we have is a sort of 'code of retribution' - this states that any unprovoked attack on our pilots must be met with the cruellest, most unrestrained kind of revenge. We will readily massacre an entire corporation and hound their fleeing members right out of the game if they transgress against one of our pilots and do not make appropriate and timely restitution. I find things like these make the bonds of friendship in our corporation stronger - if our guys know that the entirety of GHSC is always actively behind them, they feel as though they are part of a family. A very violent, cigar smoking, alcoholic family.
Dear Mr. Mental Patient: I have thoroughly enjoyed your brilliance. Recently I ordered one of your mugs and I must say you certainly know how to treat your customers well. I love the poem you wrote about me. And the mug is made of fine quality. It will make a lovely gift to a friend of mine. I wish you all the best. char clingman
Much of the following links relating to concerts and lectures in London are now being updated in Resources relating to free classical concerts, historical Concerts, Lectures, Debates and Talks in London, UK
23rd October 2001 Tuesday 1.10pm * Royal Society Lecture Series B. Free Franklin - the Enlightenment in America Sir Alan Cook FRS
As a manager today I keep asking myself
Every manager of complex facilities, especially ones that have exceeded their design life by a decade or more, knows that he or she has problems in maintenance and operations. These problems are found in inspections and self-assessments and are appropriately documented. Every manager I know submits this list for funding and is told to prioritize them. In medicine this would be comparable to triage. Coming up with this prioritized list obviously involves a great deal of conjecture. The manager submits his or her prioritized list up the management chain and, in almost 100% of the time, even some of the prioritized items are not funded. Yet when something happens like the laser injury, only the parties that denied funding to cover identified shortfalls escape reprimands and punishment. (Chemistry Division managers had requested and been denied funding by the Laboratory Director for a person to help oversee and enforce safety compliance.)
On the other hand, a division manager threatened to lock down TA-18 a few years ago and have his people abandon the site if money to operate the site safely was not promptly provided. Strangely, the money came post haste from DOE/NNSA and the facility continued to operate safely (and securely) in spite of the fact that it was one of oldest facilities on site.
However, hardball tactics can only be used sparingly and in healthy organizations driven by principle and not "inane arbitrariness to reduce overheads" they are needed even less. Worrying about overheads seems particularly inane considering that our senior management seems to have wasted $1B by some estimates on overhead processes of dubious long term value.
As a manager today I keep asking myself, where would my facilities and those in the rest of Laboratory be if that same $IB had been used to correct specific things that we already knew about and had documented instead wasting hours finding out what we already knew and creating mountains of useless SYA paperwork?
From an Anonymous Sandian:
This is from a Sandian who thinks that LANL staff might be interested in the following letter. It was recently reissued to SNL management and staff when Tom Hunter took over from Paul Robinson. LMC has been issuing this letter periodically for several years. My earliest version goes back to 1998. Here's the text of the latest version:
I am writing to reaffirm the promise made by Lockheed Martin to the Department of Energy regarding how our Corporation conducts its management responsibility for Sandia National Laboratories. Lockheed Martin has long respected Sandia's maxim of "exceptional service in the national interest." Accordingly, we recognize that for Sandia to fulfill the extraordinary mission requirements of the Laboratories, complete objectivity and independence of judgment must be assured. Lockeed Martin also recognizes that at no time should Corporate interest be placed above the national interest. Even the appearance of this circumstance would be unacceptable.
Be assured that Lockheed Martin will continue to uphold the integrity and independent objectivity that has enabled Sandia to advise the US government on sensitive matters and to fulfill its responsibilities in certifying the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile. Should you ever be confronted with a situation that has the potential to compromise Sandia's independence, you are to contact the undersigned immediately. Appropriate action will be taken to ensure Sandia's ability to provide objective advice to the government at all times. Our corporate culture promotes the highest sense of ethics and integrity.
This Corporate wide commitment to ethical business practice permits us to confidently undertake the tremendous responsibilty associated with the management and operation of Sandia. We are proud of Sandia and greatly value our relationship.
We look forward to many more years of close association with Sandia and we are committed to sustain our excellent record of performance.
Sincerely, Robert J. Stevens, President, Lockheed Martin Corporation.
# posted by Doug Roberts : 6/17/2005 04:58:00 PM 37 comments
So there's a minor problem with a little nuclear reactor in Eastern Ontario, and half a world away, a doctor must tell a man she can't run a test to diagnose what's wrong with the guy's heart. A medical crisis erupts. Parliament is forced to pass emergency legislation to get the reactor restarted. It's stunning - who knew such a thing could happen?
People who've been reading the business pages, that's who. The fiasco in Chalk River, Ont., is no surprise to anyone who has followed MDS, which distributes isotopes used in treating disease, or Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), which supplies them. Eleven years ago, the two companies said they'd join forces to build two new reactors, Maple 1 and 2. The Maples were meant to replace the ancient NRU reactor that produces half of the world's medical isotopes.
If they were operating today, there would have been no crisis. AECL chief executive officer Michael Burns might still have his job; he quit yesterday. And those who still think it's a swell idea for taxpayers to back a bungling seller of nukes might still have a leg to stand on. They don't. The case for privatization has never been stronger.
The Maples were supposed to be running by 2000. We're still waiting. They were supposed to cost $140-million. By early last year, the costs were some $400-million and AECL had to pay tens of millions to MDS in an arbitration settlement. Understand, please, that these are not monster nuclear generating plants. The Maples are small and simple - as much as any nuke can be called simple - designed to do only one task. If AECL can screw that up, what good is it?
The situation reached a critical point when the feds' nuclear safety watchdog, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, shut down the 50-year-old NRU plant because AECL had failed to follow orders to install new backup power systems. The government balanced the risks - a minuscule chance of a nuclear meltdown, versus thousands of angry and upset sick people - and decided to fire up the reactor again. But as Mr. Burns' resignation makes clear, it was no victory for AECL.
If anything, the saga is a window on why the Crown Corp. should be carved up and sold. This isn't the first time Parliament has had to come to its rescue, after all. AECL, thanks in part to disasters like the Maple cost overruns, doesn't pay for itself, never has, and probably never will, as long as it's under Ottawa's wing. Energy Probe, a Toronto-based research group on energy issues, last year calculated that taxpayers have put $21-billion into the old beast since 1953, contributing about $75-billion to the national debt. "I would love an outcome where I [as a taxpayer] stop owning AECL," said Norm Rubin, the organization's director of nuclear research.
Energy Probe has an anti-nuke bias, so perhaps that's what you'd expect him to say. But he's right when he says there's no sign of an end to the subsidies. Crown status also can make it awkward when there are safety concerns. AECL reports to Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn. The nuclear safety watchdog is independent, but technically, it also reports to Parliament through the same minister. Can Ottawa properly regulate a company that it also owns? "All of Parliament was in a conflict [on the NRU legislation]," Mr. Rubin claims, "because Parliament owns the reactor."
The Conservatives are launching a formal review of AECL. And while that's the right move, the Tories would be wise not to let it linger too long. Nuclear power is back in vogue. Some predict the U.S., which hasn't approved a new nuclear site since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, might build a dozen or more new reactors in the coming years. Energy-rich Alberta is talking about nukes; Ontario will be building new nuclear power as well, to replace old plants and the coal-fired electricity the province wants to shut down by 2014.
Ontario already relies on nukes for about half of its power, and all of them were built with AECL's Candu technology. What about in the future? A nuke is a marriage to last a lifetime. It's a 50-year commitment, at least. No one's going to buy from a company that might not exist in five years' time. The uncertainty surrounding AECL's future is one thing keeping the province from getting moving, which it desperately needs to do, because it takes at least a decade to get a new nuclear generator approved and built.
AECL once served a useful purpose. It got a domestic nuclear industry off the ground. But there's no reason to believe that selling it to General Electric or France's Areva would mean the end of employment for thousands of engineers and scientists in AECL's employ. A private company would need those people, too. It just wouldn't need - we hope, at least - the billions of tax dollars that AECL consumes. Time to sell it.
It is not without justice that I shall claim indulgence for this work, and I beg that no one will charge me with negligence, if he finds that I have passed over some illustration. For who could prove equal to the task of examining all the records which have come down to us in both languages! And so I have purposely allowed myself to skip many things. That I have not done this without reason, those will realize who read the books of others treating of the same subjects; but it will be easy for the reader to supply those examples under each category. For since this work, like my preceding ones, has been undertaken for the benefit of others, rather than for the sake of my own renown, I shall feel that I am being aided, rather than criticized, by those who will make additions to it.
Public lynchings were common in America for much of the 20th Century. At its height at the turn of the century, two to three people, mostly southern blacks, were lynched every week.
Railroads ran special excursion trains to lynching sites, and thousands gathered to watch the beating, hanging, and burning of human beings. Spectators brought cameras and vendors printed photographs on the spot, minting a small fortune by turning the prints into souvenir postcards.
Some of those photographs are now part of a new exhibit at the New York Historical Society, and what they show is the shameless, festive carnival of lynching: Women with parasols, children lifted onto shoulders for the view, and large groups of men, all expectant and exultant.
Lynching in America in the second hour of The Connection, with Leon Litwack and James Allen.
The Exhibit can be seen at The New York Historical Society until July 9, 2000.
page 265 The first thing you have to understand is that in this place there are no martyrdoms. You have read of the religious persecution of the past. In the Middle Ages there was the Inquisition. It was a failure. It set out to eradicate heresy, and ended by perpetuating it. For every heretic it burned at the stake, thousands of others rose up. Why was that? Because the Inquisition killed its enemies in the open, and killed them while they were still unrepentant: in fact, it killed them because they were unrepentant. Men were dying because they would not abandon their true beliefs. Naturally all the glory belonged to the victim and all the shame to the Inquisitor who burned him. Later, in the twentieth century, there were the totalitarians, as they were called. There were the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. The Russians persecuted heresy more cruelly than the Inquisition had done. And they imagined that they had learned from the mistakes of the past; they knew, at any rate, that one must not make martyrs. Before they exposed their victims to public trial, they deliberately set themselves to destroy their dignity. They wore them down by torture and solitude until they were despicable, cringing wretches, confessing whatever was put into their mouths, covering themselves with abuse, accusing and sheltering behind one another, whimpering for mercy. And yet after only a few years the same thing had happened over again. The dead men had become martyrs and their degradation was forgotten. Once again, why was it? In the first place, because the confessions that they had made were obviously extorted and untrue. We do not make mistakes of that kind. All the confessions that are uttered here are true. We make them true. And above all we do not allow the dead to rise up against us. You must stop imagining that posterity will vindicate you, Winston. Posterity will never hear of you. You will be lifted clean out from the stream of history. We shall turn you into gas and pour you into the stratosphere. Nothing will remain of you; not a name in a register, not a memory in a living brain. You will be annihilated in the past as well as in the future. You will never have existed.' Then why bother to torture me? thought Winston, with a momentary bitterness. O'Brien checked his step as though Winston had uttered the thought aloud. His large ugly face came nearer, with the eyes a little narrowed. 'You are thinking,' he said, 'that since we intend to destroy you utterly, so that nothing that you say or do can make the smallest difference in that case, why do we go to the trouble ofinterrogating you first? That is what you were thinking, was it not?' 'Yes,' said Winston. O'Brien subiled slightly. 'You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out. Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instant of death we cannot permit any deviation. In the old days the heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was "Thou shalt not". The command of the totalitarians was "Thou shalt". Our command is " Thou art". No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against us. Everyone is washed clean. Even those three miserable traitors in whose innocence you once believed-Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford - in the end we broke them down. I took part in their interrogation myself I saw them gradually worn down, whimpering, grovelling, weeping - and in the end it was not with pain or fear, only with penitence. By the time we had finished with them they were only the shells of men. There was nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was touching to see how they loved him. They begged to be shot quickly, so that they could die while their minds were still clean.' His voice had grown almost dreamy. The exaltation, the lunatic enthusiasm, was still in his Face. He is not pretend- ing, thought Winston; he is not a hypocrite; he believes every word he says. What most oppressed him was the consciousness of his own intellectual inferiority. He watched the heavy yet graceful form strolling to and fro, in and out of the range of his vision. O'Brien was a being in all ways larger than himself There was no idea that he had ever had, or could have, that O'Brien had not long ago known, examined and rejected. His mind contained Winston's mind. But in that case how could it be true that O'Brien was mad? It must be he, Winston, who was mad. O'Brien halted and looked down at him. His voice had grown stern again. 'Do not imagine that you will save yourself, Winston, however completely you surrender to us. No one who has once gone astray is ever spared. And even if we chose to let you live out the natural term of your life, still you would never escape from us. What happens to you here is for ever. Understand that in advance. We shall crush you down to the point from which there is no coming back. Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years. Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.' page 269
page 275 'Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognise their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?'
At the recent trials in Kharkov some attempt was made to fix on Hitler, Himmler and the rest the responsibility for their subordinates' crimes, but the mere fact that this had to be done shows that Hitlers's guilt is not self-evident. His crime, it is implied, was not to build up an army for the purpose of aggressive war, but to instruct that army to torture its prisoners. So far as it goes, the distinction between an atrocity and an act of war is valid. An atrocity means an act of terrorism which has no genuine military purpose. One must accept such distinctions if one accepts war at all, which in practice everyone does.
Nevertheless, a world in which it is wrong to murder an individual civilian and right to drop a thousand tons of high explosive on a residential area does sometimes make me wonder whether this earth of ours is not a loony bin made use of by some other planet. "
1. The CIA is pushing crack in the ghettoes of LA While the food crops in Colombia get sprayed by the DEA The FBI is reading your email with something called the carnivore And the rich are getting richer while the poor are staying poor They're launching nuclear-powered ships up into space One little accident could wipe out half the human race And they're putting radioactive waste into your silverware Or maybe your toaster or perhaps your wheelchair 2. The Air Force is bombing people in Iraq every other day They don't like the government so the children have to pay The ozone hole is spreading and the sheep are going blind While the US spends more on arms than the rest of the world combined Journalists are getting fired from San Jose to Atlanta When they write about reality, not a fluff piece for Fanta A death threat every week and sometimes life is short When the truth is too dangerous for someone to report Who will tell the people that free speech is a ruse The corporations run the country and then they make the news Is it media or mind control, heroic victories or crimes Who will tell the people that we're living in these times 3. The cancer rates are skyrocketing though people are smoking less If you live near a nuke your life is bound to be a mess Clean water's almost gone all over the earth And what's left they want to privatize and see how much it's worth Chevron is gunning down the students of Nigeria Turning the land to waste while the babies die of dyptheria And the weather's getting hotter, the world's forests are on fire Pretty soon Brazil will be one giant funeral pyre Who will tell the people that free speech is a ruse The corporations run the country and then they make the news Is it media or mind control, heroic victories or crimes Who will tell the people that we're living in these times 4. One in three adult Americans cannot read or write And their children go to bed hungry every night And two million US citizens are rotting behind bars And while they're there they're working hard building parts for cars And the Army's running torture schools to keep the earth under control And they're relocating Navajos so they can mine some extra coal Our taxes pay McDonald's to sell tumors in Shanghai While a hundred thousand poisoned vets are just about to die Who will tell the people that free speech is a ruse The corporations run the country and then they make the news Is it media or mind control, heroic victories or crimes Who will tell the people that we're living in these times 5. And the people are resisting wherever you may go And this is the single biggest fact they don't want you to know From New Delhi to New Mexico there are battles going on And the darkest hour is just before the dawn And in Berkeley and New York they're raiding radio stations Trying to turn the voice of the people into the voice of the corporations Will we seize the airwaves, wipe the sweat off of our brow Stand and face the beast and shout, "Democracy Now!" Who will tell the people that free speech is a ruse The corporations run the country and then they make the news Is it media or mind control, heroic victories or crimes Who will tell the people that we're living in these times
Because a major factor in the prevention of suicide is the early detection of depression, on May 4, 1999, sixteen national organizations, including the National Mental Health Association, and a multitude of local groups will sponsor Childhood Depression Awareness Day. You will find additional information about Childhood Depression Awareness Day in the materials below."
Official statistics show that more that 30,000 Americans kill themselves every year. The true figure is probably higher. The number of non-fatal suicide attempts is considerably greater, often resulting in serious injuries, trauma to families and friends, and economic loss to our society.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24, and is the ninth leading cause of death among all persons.
Suicide cuts across all ages, economic, social and ethnic boundaries. "
Suicides, for statistical purposes, are defined as those deaths classified to 'suicide and self-inflicted injuries' by the Supplementary Classification of the Ninth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. The actual number of suicides is thought to be higher than the number of registered suicides, because the true intention of some deaths is difficult to determine. When there is a doubt about the intention of death, suicides could be misclassified to other causes of death categories (i.e. natural cause, accident or undetermined whether accidentally or intentionally inflicted). The coroners may be reluctant to give a verdict of suicide because of the social stigma attached to suicides and the socioeconomic and emotional implications it could have on families of the victims. The extent of under-reporting of suicide is, however, difficult to assess accurately.
The age-standardised death rate for suicide rose from 13.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 1988 to 14.6 per 100,000 population in 1997, a 9% increase over the 10-year period. Between 1988 and 1996 the overall suicide death rate was relatively stable at 12 to 13 deaths per 100,000 population, but it then increased by 12% to 14.6 in 1997.
The trend in the overall death rate from suicide reflects the underlying trend in male suicide deaths, which generally account for over three-quarters of the total number of suicides each year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Australian Suicides Age-standardised death rate per 100,000 population(a) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Males Females Total Males Females Persons Sex ratio (male death rate/ female death rate) Year no. no. no. rate rate rate ratio -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1988 1,730 467 2,197 21.5 5.6 13.4 3.8 1989 1,658 438 2,096 20.1 5.2 12.5 3.6 1990 1,735 426 2,161 20.7 4.9 12.7 4.0 1991 1,847 513 2,360 21.7 5.9 13.7 4.4 1992 1,820 474 2,294 21.1 5.3 13.1 3.6 1993 1,687 394 2,081 19.3 4.3 11.7 3.6 1994 1,830 428 2,258 20.7 4.7 12.6 4.8 1995 1,873 495 2,368 20.9 5.4 13.0 4.4 1996 1,931 462 2,393 21.3 4.9 13.0 3.9 1997 2,146 577 2,723 23.4 6.1 14.6 3.8 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9.4 AGE-SPECIFIC Australian SUICIDE RATES PER 100,000 POPULATION(a), By Sex - 1988-97 Age group (years) Australian MALES -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ All ages(b) rate rate rate rate rate rate rate 1988 27.9 28.3 26.0 24.4 23.8 31.9 21.0 1989 23.9 30.0 22.4 23.9 22.8 29.5 19.8 1990 27.0 29.1 25.4 21.4 24.8 28.2 20.4 1991 26.7 29.9 30.3 26.1 21.3 28.1 21.4 1992 27.0 30.4 24.9 25.8 23.1 28.4 20.9 1993 24.7 28.7 21.4 23.5 22.9 25.8 19.2 1994 27.0 29.2 26.1 24.7 23.1 26.6 20.6 1995 25.4 33.4 27.8 23.9 23.3 22.9 20.8 1996 25.7 32.5 29.4 22.7 23.4 25.9 21.2 1997 30.6 37.5 30.2 24.4 22.6 28.3 23.3
There are also very large differences in male suicide rates by marital status. In 1995 the suicide rate for widowed and divorced men aged 15 to 44 was 35 per 100,000 population, more than double the rate for married men. The rate for single men has risen markedly since 1983, from 15 per 100,000 population to 22 per 100,000 population in 1995.
Data for Chart 7.15 Death rates from suicide1: by gender and age United Kingdom - Rates per 100,000 population(2) Males Females 65 and 65 and 15-24 25-44 45-64 over 15-24 25-44 45-64 over 1974 8.6 14.1 19.8 23.6 3.8 8.4 15.0 15.0 1975 10.1 14.3 19.7 22.0 4.4 8.3 14.7 14.9 1976 9.8 15.1 20.9 24.0 4.6 9.1 14.1 15.1 1977 9.5 16.5 20.0 24.1 5.5 8.6 14.9 15.1 1978 10.5 16.8 20.7 24.7 4.4 9.0 14.5 16.1 1979 10.3 18.0 20.5 24.8 4.0 8.5 17.1 15.1 1980 9.7 18.8 21.3 24.8 4.2 8.2 15.6 16.5 1981 10.8 19.6 23.0 24.1 3.4 7.9 14.9 15.7 1982 9.7 18.9 23.0 25.1 3.4 7.9 14.0 15.1 1983 9.7 19.2 22.6 24.4 3.1 7.3 13.0 14.5 1984 10.1 19.6 22.4 23.9 2.6 7.2 13.6 13.6 1985 11.6 20.8 23.2 24.6 3.0 6.8 14.0 15.3 1986 12.5 20.3 22.6 26.3 3.3 6.6 11.8 13.6 1987 13.7 20.1 21.3 23.8 3.8 6.7 10.7 11.2 1988 16.2 23.0 21.4 26.1 4.1 7.0 10.1 12.2 1989 14.7 21.1 19.9 21.2 3.8 6.2 9.3 9.4 1990 16.2 23.2 20.7 21.6 3.3 6.5 8.4 9.6 1991 15.4 24.3 20.4 18.6 3.9 5.9 8.3 8.5 1992 16.2 23.7 20.7 19.2 3.7 6.3 8.2 8.2 1993 17.0 22.8 20.0 17.7 3.6 6.5 7.3 8.1 1994 16.0 22.8 18.1 18.6 3.4 6.2 6.9 7.7 1995 15.4 24.2 18.6 16.7 3.6 6.3 6.9 6.9 1996 14.3 22.8 17.3 17.2 4.2 6.2 6.4 6.7 1997 16.3 21.7 17.5 15.4 4.0 6.3 6.9 6.3 1998 17.2 25.6 19.1 14.9 4.5 6.6 6.5 7.1 1999 15.7 24.6 19.2 17.0 3.7 6.4 6.1 6.7 2000 15.9 23.4 18.0 15.7 4.4 6.4 6.3 6.0 1 Figures are based on suicides registered in the year. Includes deaths undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted. 2 Directly age-standardised to the European standard population. All data are based on ICD9 apart from the Scotland data for 2000, which are based on ICD10. See Appendix, Part 7: International Classification of Diseases. Source: Office for National Statistics; General Register Office for Scotland; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
"There's nothing bad about suicide," said Wataru Tsurumi, author of a graphic, and best-selling handbook on the subject. "We have no religion or laws here in Japan telling us otherwise. As for group suicides - before the internet people would write letters, or make phone calls... it's always been part of our culture."
It details 10 methods of self-slaughter, including hanging, electrocution and immolation, and compares them in terms of pain, speed and disfigurement.
Illustrated with charts, maps and manga comics, the 200 pages contain recommendations about the best spots to die, tips about avoiding detection and descriptions of celebrity suicides.
Parents' groups complain that the book glamorises suicide, but only a handful of local authorities have introduced restrictions on its sale since it was published six years ago. This tolerance reflects liberal publishing laws and a traditional view of suicide as an act that is honourable rather than criminal.
But attitudes have hardened this year after an alarming 35% rise in the number of suicides has given Japan one of the highest rates in the world. Record unemployment, intense exam pressure and a rapidly ageing population are the main causes of the rise, but the finger is also being pointed at the manual.
The book has been blamed for the rising body count in Aokigahara, a dense wood at the foot of Mount Fuji that is described in the manual as "the perfect place to die". Last year a record 74 corpses were found among the trees.
In Tokyo the book was found beside two young suicide victims this year, prompting police to demand that sales be limited to people over 18.
In the wake of an 85% increase in the number of young people who killed themselves in the capital last year, suicide prevention groups agree that action is necessary.
"We have had calls from people in great pain because they followed the book's instructions, but failed to kill themselves," said Yukiko Nishihara, founder of a Tokyo helpline.
Under existing bylaws, which cover only publications of a sexual or violent nature, the Tokyo metropolitan government cannot prohibit the manual. But officials have begun looking at whether to change the rules.
"Clearly, there are growing public concerns about this book that we have to address, if necessary by enacting new regulations," said Shigemitsu Sekiguchi, who is heading the study. He said the new regulations, if approved, could be in place by the end of next year.
The book's author, Turumi Wataru, says he is being made a scapegoat. "No one ever killed themselves just because of my book," he said. "The authorities are blaming me because they are unwilling to take responsibility for the economic, political and social problems that are the real cause of suicides."
But his publishers are feeling the pressure: the Tokyo market accounts for 70% of the book's sales. To pre-empt a decision, they have slapped a warning on the book's cover saying that it is not suitable for under-18s.
This has infuriated Mr Wataru, who has vowed to find a new publisher. "I want people under the age of 18 to read this book," he said. "They need it more than anyone.
"It is important that people realise that suicide is not wrong. It is the right of every individual to kill themselves and, no matter what laws you enact, you cannot stop it."
Copyright © Guardian Unlimited, Dec 10, 1999
He found what he was looking for on a host of new Japanese-language Web sites such as "Underground Suicide" and "Deadline." Promising to supply most of the materials, he made arrangements to kill himself with two anonymous Internet friends on a mid-May afternoon. Face to face for the first time, the three young men drove to a tranquil mountain pass six hours north of Tokyo. They shared sleeping pills, and then — following detailed instructions posted on a Web site — set charcoal alight inside their car and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Maybe he didn't have high hopes for the future, but it is still so hard to understand how he could have done it," said Murata's 35-year-old brother, who shared their apartment. He spoke on condition that both their names be withheld. "I've disconnected the Internet at home, at least while our family comes to terms with this."
The deaths of the three men marked only one incident in an extraordinary string of Internet suicides to hit Japan. Over the past six months, police investigators say at least 32 people — mostly in their teens and twenties — have killed themselves nationwide after meeting strangers online. Many more young Japanese have entered into online suicide pacts, but either failed in their attempts or backed out at the last minute.
Psychiatrists and suicide experts are linking the phenomenon to a profound national identity crisis during Japan's 13-year economic funk. Indeed, the Internet deaths come at a time when Japan is undergoing an alarming surge in its overall suicide rate — with financial problems cited as the fastest growing reason for despair.
The culture of suicide, encapsulated by the honorable hara-kiri rite of the ancient samurai, is nothing new here. But even by Japanese standards, there has been a staggering jump in suicides, to 32,143 last year, compared with 21,346 in 1990, the beginning of Japan's economic slide. The current suicide rate — 25.2 suicides per 100,000 people — is about double that of the United States.
Though Western, religion-based stigmas of suicide do not exist here, the Internet deaths have nevertheless dismayed this island nation, becoming a dominant topic in chat rooms and the subject of a new play.
The deaths have drawn attention to a deadly mix between Japanese traditions of suicide and its mega-tech society, which have now melded into a proliferation of "how-to-die" Web sites accessible from schools, offices, subways, trains and cars through wireless connections on most Japanese cell phones. They have become a source of morbid fascination for a growing subculture of troubled, mostly younger Japanese.
The majority of the 20 males and 12 females who killed themselves after linking up on these sites came from Japan's "lost generation" — people in their teens and twenties who have come of age in a less secure, less confident society. Japan today is [a] nation where unemployment and homelessness have soared, and companies — long the pillars of society — no longer offer workers the promise of a job for life. The new realties have put added stress on families, sending the divorce rate steadily higher.
Given the changes, experts say, many young adults in the world's second-largest economy have become dangerously cynical about their futures.
"They are lost and confused. The long-held direction and goals of Japanese society are collapsing around them," said Rika Kayama, a Tokyo psychiatrist who has studied the Internet suicide phenomenon. "Japanese adults used to be able to say to their children that if you try very hard at school or at work, you'll see the rewards. But adults can no longer say that, because in many ways, it is no longer true."
That confusion has manifested itself in a number of new societal ills. As many as 1 million Japanese, mostly young men in their twenties, have withdrawn from society altogether, becoming "shut-ins" inside their parents' homes for six months to several years.
The news media are also decrying an increase in kireru, or the "snapping" of youths. Last month, several middle-class high school boys murdered a mutual friend after a minor disagreement. There seemed to be little real hate in the act — the boys even stopped to share a refreshment with their friend before dealing him the killing blows.
With the wave of Internet deaths, experts say, young Japanese are turning those instincts on themselves.
Police investigators have tracked the beginning of the Net death trend to a Feb. 11 tableau in a vacant apartment near Tokyo. One man and two women, all in their twenties, were found dead inside.
A 17-year-old girl who had originally agreed to join them but backed out at the last minute, told police that the three were jobless and worried about the future. They had met after Michio Sakai, a 26-year-old unemployed magazine salesman from just north of Tokyo, posted a "death ad" on an underground suicide site: "I am looking for suicide partners," it said. "If you join me, I will give you sleeping pills. ... It is lonely to die alone."
The suicides made headlines across Japan and became the inspiration for a series of copycat pacts over the Web, authorities say. The individuals find each other on bulletin boards and chat rooms in any one of dozens of suicide Web sites, including one that proudly displays gothic skulls and crossbones as readers scan tips and best methods for ending their lives.
Citing freedom of expression, Japanese authorities have been loath to clamp down on the sites, instead asking content providers to police themselves. The Internet deaths are especially shocking, however, because police say those individuals who killed themselves appeared to make relatively snap decisions to end their lives, sometimes over seemingly minor problems. One young man, for instance, wrote in e-mails that he was merely upset over a minor traffic accident.
"Their reasons were unclear. These were not obviously desperate people with unbearable problems," said Naoki Miyagi, a director with Japan's National Police Agency.
Experts say this reflects a disturbing trend: A July poll of 100 teenagers by the Japanese weekly magazine Aera found that 30 percent of respondents had considered suicide, with a majority citing "trivial matters" as reasons.
Taken alone, such feelings are unlikely to rise to the level of suicide. But through the Internet troubled Japanese are finding support from one another to die.
In a society that spends extraordinary amounts of time online, the Internet's ability to influence people has grown exponentially. It has given people with only moderately suicidal tendencies a medium to find each other — and feed off each other's depression.
Hana, the cyber handle of a 30-year-old Tokyo computer saleswoman who frequented suicide chat rooms before receiving counseling, said in an interview that she once did a live online broadcast of slitting her wrist.
"I wrote on the chat site, 'I'm cutting now' — and then I had to go to the emergency room and get seven stitches," she said. "Several hours later, I found out someone online who was reading my words also decided to slit her wrist, and had to get 20 stitches."
Murata, who killed himself with two strangers, did not appear clinically depressed, nor did he have a history of being suicidal, according to his family. He delivered sushi part-time, and liked to use his money to take long trips on his motorcycle into the countryside. Recently, however, he had less work, and was spending much of his time at home alone playing video games.
After his death, his family found e-mails in which the three men had negotiated their ends, deciding who would bring what. "I'll get the sleeping pills and the charcoal," Murata wrote to one of his suicide companions. "I'll borrow my brother's car," came back a reply from one of the other two men on the day before they set off to die.
"There was no discussion of why he was doing it, just an indication that maybe he was tired of living," said Murata's distraught father, a 67-year-old security guard. "But I don't think he could have done it alone. So he found others who were willing to do it with him. I suppose it made it less frightening for him. But I will never know for sure."
Japanese police said yesterday that a record 91 people had committed suicide together after meeting via the web in 2005, up from 55 people the previous year. The figure has tripled since the police began keeping records in 2003. Most of the victims were in their teens, twenties and thirties and sought each other out via websites that allow the suicidal to swap e-mail addresses, share stories and offer advice on the surest, least painful ways to die.
Many opt for carbon monoxide poisoning in sealed vehicles, often in secluded or scenic areas, like four young men who died while watching the sun rise from a car at the foot of Mount Fuji. The men met for the first time just hours before their death.
The latest statistics will likely lead to more demands for monitoring of cyberspace, including renewed calls to ban the word "suicide" from search engines. Net service providers already work with the police and there are signs the group-suicide phenomenon may have peaked. But Yukio Saito, who runs Japan's largest telephone helpline, cautions against complacency. "People will always find a way to end their lives if they want to. The wider issues must be tackled."
In Japan, 94 people took their own lives every day in 2003, setting a record of 34,427 that broke the previous high of 33,048, in 1999. Since the Asian crash of 1997-8, when the statistics jumped 35 per cent, suicides have claimed more than 220,000 lives, approximately the population of Derby. A suicide manual that lists effective ways of ending it all - including hanging, electrocution and pills - has sold more than a million copies. In true Japanese style it rates these methods in terms of the pain and trouble they cause to others; predictably, jumping in front of a train is given a maximum rating of five.
The dramatic rise in suicides forced the health ministry to bring out a package of proposals at the end of 2002, including a drastic boost in mental healthcare facilities. But Japan still has far fewer psychiatrists than other advanced countries, and family doctors routinely misdiagnose mental illness. A health ministry survey found that more than half of the workers recognised as having committed suicide due to work-related stress between 1999 and 2002 had been working at least 100 hours overtime a month. "This is a suicide epidemic," says Mr Saito. "We are not doing enough to help people who are suffering in silence."
Japan is not unique. South Korea has also experienced a wave of suicide pacts, and Ireland has seen a 45 per cent increase in suicides over the past decade. But, at 24.1 per 100,000 people, Japan has the highest per-capita suicide rate in the developed world.
Nearly 8,000 people in their twenties and thirties killed themselves in 2003, making suicide one of the leading causes of death for young Japanese. Many of these youngsters are drawn from the ranks of hikkikomori, social recluses who have locked themselves in their rooms, sometimes for years on end.
Many are linked to the outside world only through the electronic umbilical cord of their computers, which they use to find like-minded folk. Dozens of young Japanese can be found every day discussing suicide on online chat rooms. A typical message reads: "If you are thinking about killing yourself, please reply." Another says: "I'm in my early twenties and I want to die easily. I can go anywhere in Japan." Fittingly, perhaps, one of the last acts of the suicidal is often to e-mail a friend or relative. Several times in the past two years the police have stumbled on semi- asphyxiated young people just in time, after similar messages were sent.
On the morning of October 12, Japanese police found seven people dead in a rented van on the outskirts of Tokyo. The van’s windows were sealed with vinyl tape and charcoal stoves were found inside. The seven, some of whom had taken sleeping pills, died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Police found the bodies after receiving a call from a friend of one of the victims, who hinted in an email about suicide.
One of the dead was a 34-year-old mother who apparently posted a notice in early October on a web site seeking others who wanted to commit suicide. The rest were in their teens or early 20s, including a university student, a part-time worker and an unemployed woman—all from widely separated regions of Japan.
On the same day, police discovered two women dead in a car parked near a temple at Yokosuka, about 60 km southeast of Tokyo. The methods used were similar. Police are still investigating the possibility that the two cases are related. The two women were believed to be in their 20s.
These are not isolated instances. According to Japan’s National Police Agency, 45 people committed suicide in groups between January 2003 and June 2004 after meeting through Internet web sites.
Public shock over the recent suicides has provoked calls for the government to close down suicide web sites, which provide information about methods and the means for contacting others. Yet, the causes of such suicides, which are a tiny fraction of the total number of suicide cases in Japan, do not arise from the Internet. They lie in the immense psychological pressures produced by the country’s growing economic and social uncertainties.
Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide of industrialised countries. It has been rising throughout the 1990s—a decade of economic stagnation, failing businesses and growing levels of unemployment. Many of those who killed themselves were middle-aged men who had lost their jobs or faced financial problems for which they saw no solution.
Last year, a record 34,427 people took their own lives. An article published by Asia Times Online entitled “Suicide also rising in land of rising sun” pointed out that Japan’s suicide rates of 40.2 per 100,000 for men and 14.9 per 100,000 for women were approaching levels “witnessed in countries suffering severe economic hardships such as Russia, Latvia and Lithuania”.
Just over a quarter of the suicides were officially put down to financial problems. Asia Times commented: “Some of the dominant economic factors that have contributed to the current suicide crisis include large-scale bankruptcies, increased unemployment, a sluggish business climate, accumulated debts, lower incomes, inadequate bankruptcy laws, prolonged economic stagnation, an unregulated financial loan market and corporate restructuring.”
The cases of Internet suicide have, however, highlighted a disturbing trend toward younger people taking their lives. The number of people in their 30s committing suicide jumped by 17 percent to 4,603 in 2003 as compared to the previous year. Among school and college students the percentage increases were much higher—the largest, 54 percent, being among elementary and middle school students.
Hiroshi Sakamoto, a retired local government official and volunteer suicide counsellor, explained to Asia Times that the growing problem of youth suicide is barely addressed either by government or the media. “We only read about suicide in the press, it is never on TV. They say it is too gloomy, too dark, not a happy subject. I feel the whole country is in a state of denial. This is perhaps why we cannot solve this problem. We are trying to ignore it, but wishing it away gets us nowhere,” he said.
The attempts by the media and government to ignore the problem are matched by a lack of services to cope with the growing number of people contemplating suicide. Lifeline, which was founded in 1971, now has 8,000 trained counsellors operating 50 call centres round-the-clock to handle a variety of emergency calls. In 2001, it received more than 700,000 calls, of which nearly 25,000 were suicide related. Lifeline, however, is one of the few such services.
An article in Newsweek in June, highlighting an earlier group Internet suicide, pointed to the limited character of mental health services in Japan. “While mental health care is widely available in Japan, it is heavily centred in mental institutions. Newer medications, including most anti-depressants common in the United States, are not widely available. And out-patient counselling, where it exists, is still in its infancy.”
In comments to Asia Times, former MP Keiko Yamauchi berated Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for doing nothing. “How many children, young people, fathers or mothers have to die before our government takes any real action? Instead of wasting so much energy and national resources in assisting in the destruction of human life in Iraq, why doesn’t Koizumi declare war on suicide in Japan and save thousands of lives in this country?” he asked.
But the lack of government action and preventative services, while significant, does not explain the rising number of youth contemplating taking their own lives. All the evidence points to a profound and growing alienation among young people who are under enormous pressure to succeed at school and university and to find and keep a job. Over the past decade, competition for the top schools and universities has become increasingly intense and unemployment among young people has risen sharply.
These pressures are compounded by a culture in which relationships, even within the family, continue to be rather formal. As a result, young people often feel isolated and unable to discuss their personal problems.
Yukio Saito, who founded Lifeline, explained to Newsweek: “Generally, they have a serious emotional problem, which is that they have difficulty dealing with others face-to-face, a kind of phobia or fear of talking about their feelings in front of others. Maybe this is quite a Japanese-type emotion. They have difficulty having personal relations, so they tend to use the Internet to communicate their feelings.”
Saito noted what appears to be a related social phenomenon—“hikikomori”—young people who withdraw completely from society for months and even years and refuse to leave their homes, or even their rooms. According to some estimates, more than a million young Japanese have cut themselves off from the world and barely communicate.
While such intense alienation may take particular forms in Japan, similar processes are occurring internationally. Confronted with a society that offers them no future and a world increasingly dominated by militarism and war, layers of young people, lacking any vision of a progressive alternative, retreat into a variety of destructive activities, including drug abuse, violent anti-social behaviour and in some cases suicide. Japanese capitalism is no more capable of dealing with these problems than its counterparts around the world.
Albert Axell - Thursday August 22, 2002 - The Guardian
The mission of to-go units
Transcend life and death. When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life. This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills.
Exert the best in yourself
Strike an enemy vessel that is either moored or at sea. Sink the enemy and thus pave the road for our people's victory.
Take a walk around the airfield
When you take this walk, be aware of your surroundings. This airstrip is the key to the success or failure of your mission. Devote all your attention to it. Look at the terrain. What are the characteristics of the ground? What are the length and width of the airstrip? In case you will take off at dusk, or early morning, or after sundown, what are the obstacles to be remembered: an electric pole, a tree, a house, a hill?
How to pilot a fully dressed-up [heavily equipped] aircraft that you dearly love
Before taking off. (After taxiing the plane from the camouflaged emplacement to the airstrip.) You can envision your target firmly in your mind as you bring your plane to a standstill.
Breathe deeply three times. Say in your mind: "Yah" (field), "Kyu" (ball), "Joh" (all right) as you breathe deeply. Proceed straight ahead on the airstrip. Otherwise you may damage the landing gears.
Circle above the airstrip right after take-off. Do so at the minimum height of 200m. Circle at an angle within five degrees and keep your nose pointed downwards.
Principles you should know
Keep your health in the very best condition. If you are not in top physical condition, you will not be able to achieve an ideal hit by tai-atari (body-crashing).
Just as you cannot fight well on an empty stomach, you cannot deftly manipulate the control stick if you are suffering from diarrhoea, and cannot exert calm judgment if you are tormented by fever.
Be always pure-hearted and cheerful
A loyal fighting man is a pure-hearted and filial son.
Attain a high level of spiritual training
In order that you can exert the highest possible capability, you must prepare well your inner self. Some people say that spirit must come first before skill, but they are wrong. Spirit and skill are one. The two elements must be mastered together. Spirit supports skill and skill supports spirit.
Aborting your mission and returning to base
In the event of poor weather conditions when you cannot locate the target, or under other adverse circumstances, you may decide to return to base. Don't be discouraged. Do not waste your life lightly. You should not be possessed by petty emotions. Think how you can best defend the motherland. Remember what the wing commander has told you. You should return to the base jovially and without remorse.
When turning back and landing at the base
Discard the bomb at the area designated by the commanding officer. Fly in circles over the airfield. Observe conditions of the airstrip carefully. If you feel nervous, piss. Next, ascertain the direction of the wind and wind speed. Do you see any holes in the runway? Take three deep breaths.
Single-plane attack. Upon sighting a target, remove the (bomb's) safety pin. Go full speed ahead towards the target. Dive! Surprise the enemy. Don't let the enemy take time to counter your attack. Charge! Remember: the enemy may change course but be prepared for the enemy's evasive action. Be alert and avoid enemy fighters and flak fire.
This varies depending on the type of the aircraft. If you are approaching the enemy from a height of 6,000m, adjust your speed twice; or from a lower height of 4,000m, adjust speed once.
When you begin your dive, you must harmonise the height at which you commence the final attack with your speed. Beware of over-speeding and a too-steep angle of dive that will make the controls harder to respond to your touch. But an angle of dive that is too small will result in reduced speed and not enough impact on crashing.
Where to crash (the enemy's fatal spots)
Where should you aim? When diving and crashing on to a ship, aim for a point between the bridge tower and the smoke stack(s). Entering the stack is also effective.
Avoid hitting the bridge tower or a gun turret. In the case of an aircraft carrier, aim at the elevators. Or if that is difficult, hit the flight deck at the ship's stern.
For a low-altitude horizontal attack, aim at the middle of the vessel, slightly higher than the waterline. If that is difficult, in the case of an aircraft carrier, aim at the entrance to the aircraft hangar, or the bottom of the stack. For other vessels, aim close to the aft engine room.
Just before the crash
Your speed is at maximum. The plane tends to lift. But you can prevent this by pushing the elevator control forward sufficiently to allow for the increase in speed. Do your best. Push forward with all your might.
You have lived for 20 years or more. You must exert your full might for the last time in your life. Exert supernatural strength.
At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.
You are now 30m from the target
You will sense that your speed has suddenly and abruptly increased. You feel that the speed has increased by a few thousand-fold. It is like a long shot in a movie suddenly turning into a close-up, and the scene expands in your face.
The moment of the crash
You are two or three metres from the target. You can see clearly the muzzles of the enemy's guns. You feel that you are suddenly floating in the air. At that moment, you see your mother's face. She is not smiling or crying. It is her usual face.
All the happy memories
You won't precisely remember them but they are like a dream or a fantasy. You are relaxed and a smile creases your face. The sweet atmosphere of your boyhood days returns.
You view all that you experienced in your 20-odd years of life in rapid succession. But these things are not very clear.
In any event, only delightful memories come back to you. You cannot see your own face at that moment. But because of a succession of pleasant memories flashing through your mind, you feel that you smiled at the last moment. You may nod then, or wonder what happened. You may even hear a final sound like the breaking of crystal. Then you are no more.
Points to remember when making your last dive
Crashing bodily into a target is not easy. It causes the enemy great damage. Therefore the enemy will exert every means to avoid a hit.
Suddenly, you may become confused. You are liable to make an error. But hold on to the unshakeable conviction to the last moment that you will sink the enemy ship.
Remember when diving into the enemy to shout at the top of your lungs: "Hissatsu!" ("Sink without fail!") At that moment, all the cherry blossoms at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo will smile brightly at you.
Official statistics show that last year, a record 32,863 Japanese and foreigners committed suicide in Japan, or a huge 35 percent increase over the 1997 figure.
Many of them were failed businessmen or jobless workers who could no longer cope with doing nothing, while some killed themselves because of work-related stress. In a disturbing trend, however, about 339 students committed suicide last year, largely because they were being bullied by classmates. Observers say the youngsters may have been taking their cues from adults, many of whom are being driven by the recession to choose death instead of facing reality or trying to figure a way out of an oppressive situation.
Many Japanese regard suicide as a show of sincerity to expiate their shortcomings, and view it as an act that would restore honor to their name, their family, or organization.
Such an attitude has made it possible for the macabre book, ''The Perfect Suicide Manual'', to consistently land in the local bestseller lists even five years after it first came out. The book, written by Wataru Tsurumi, a sociology graduate of Tokyo University, gives explicit instructions on how to commit suicide by hanging, self-immolation, electrocution, drug overdose and other gruesome means.
Lawmakers have apparently become so worried at the rising suicide rates that they recently designated the book a ''harmful publication.'' This designation was given last month, shortly after a 12-year-old girl used the manual prior to hanging herself.
Meanwhile, the Japanese public and the media are now up in arms over those perceived to be pushing people to take their own lives during these hard economic times - financial institutions and prosecutors who interrogate suspects in financial scandals too roughly.
Commented crime expert Akira Fukushima of Tokyo's Sophia University: ''Whenever prosecutors investigate a bribery case, someone ends up committing suicide.'' According to Fukushima, suspects - who are subjected to intensive grilling by prosecutors in an effort to break their will - resort to suicide to protect their superiors and to save themselves from shame.
At the same time, banks and financial institutions are getting harsh criticism for granting reckless and unrecoverable loans of several billions of dollars during Japan's so-called bubble economy - and then today refusing to extend credit to needy small and medium enterprises.
Last year, the suicide of three Tokyo business partners facing bankruptcy and who were unable to secure a new loan became the subject of much public discussion and dismay. Checking into a hotel, the three friends took a last drink before retreating to their respective rooms and hanging themselves.
In another incident, the president of a picture-frame manufacturing firm and his wife hanged themselves because they could no longer pay their nine workers.
At times, despondent parents have been known to take not only their own lives, but that of their children as well. Known as ''oyaku-shinju,'' the parent-child suicide is considered an act of mercy and the last demonstration of the parents' wish that their children do not become burdens to society.
But despite the current uproar over the mounting deaths, some observers fear that there will be no let-up in the suicides until the recession ends, or the Japanese begin viewing the act in a different manner.
As it is, there is a 2,400 hectare dense forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji that has become infamous for being a favorite suicide spot, after mystery writer Seichi Matsumoto described the woodland as ideal for the perfect death. In 1998 alone, the bodies of about 70 people were found in the notorious forest. Some of the victims were discovered hanging from tree branches, while others apparently swallowed sleeping pills or bled to death after having slashed their wrists.
Then there is the railway system, which has been the site of a rash of suicides as well. Close to 100 people jumped in front of trains last year. Ironically, though, Japanese Railways is now seeking compensation from the families of the dead - because of the delays caused by the suicides. Railway officials say they expect as much as $70,000 from each jumper's family.
His father, Roy Boffey, has written to the Home Office demanding an urgent investigation into suicide chat rooms. He wants people who run them to face prosecution.
"The website played a significant part [in Phillip's death]," said the retired teacher and hospital chaplain who, lives in Solihull in the West Midlands. "He wasn't suffering in any way. He wasn't having medication or suffering from depression."
There is no official regulation of suicide website chatrooms. Experts believe they are dangerous because they may lead vulnerable young people to encourage one another to end their lives.
Last year 35-year-old Michael Gooden jumped to his death from Beachy Head after entering into a death pact with fellow chatroom user Louis Gillies. Mr Gillies, 36, hanged himself on the day he was set to stand trial for assisting his friend's suicide.
Under existing laws, anyone who helps another person to commit suicide faces a maximum prison term of 14 years. A Home Office spokeswoman said: "If anyone has evidence of a website that is encouraging anyone to commit suicide, we urge them to report this to the police." The Government has already drawn up a national suicide prevention strategy.
However, providing information that enables someone to kill themselves is not necessarily illegal. Charities which support families of suicide victims said more research is needed. "There may be situations where people are encouraged to take their lives," said John Peters, spokesman for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. "These sites are not likely to stress the effect that suicide will have on those who are left behind."
The Samaritans said there were benefits in people being able to share suicidal thoughts with others who can empathise with them but said there were "better places" to find such support.
"There was one incident when a guy not interested in suicide was encouraging others," said a spokeswoman. "He was part of a cult who think the world is over-populated.
"It's impossible to know who is using [a chatroom] and if people really are who they say they are. If someone is feeling vulnerable, there are other places that would be more constructive to visit. These sites can be very negative sites to visit."
After Phillip's death, his family learned that he had been logging on to internet suicide sites for more than eight months. His diary entry a couple of days before he died on 8 September read: "The one thing that must not happen is for this to go wrong. I do not want to be saved."
Yet Mr Boffey said there was no indication that Phillip was in emotional distress. Having passed his A-levels, he was looking forward to a gap year before taking a film studies course.Mr Boffey said: "He was perfectly normal nine-tenths of the time, but with the website he had a secret obsession on the subject of death. For reasons we will never know, he chose to take his life.It's not a healthy society that tolerates instructions on how to do this. It's not something to ignore."
Who knows? Maybe my life belongs to God. Maybe it belongs to me. But I do know one thing: I'm damned if it belongs to the government. ARTHUR HOPPE
The rate of suicide among Quebec males was 30.7 per 100,000 people in 1999-2001. The rate among men in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia was 16.1 per 100,000.
“It's not just men, the real problem is among middle-aged men 30-49 years old who have the highest rate and largest increase in rates of suicide in the past few years,” said Danielle St-Laurent, one of the authors of a report by the National Public Health Institute of Quebec.
A similar, but less forceful, trend existed among women.
Only 7.7 per 100,000 females took their own lives in Quebec, about a quarter the suicide rate among men in the province. However, the rate among women in the rest of Canada was 4.6 per 100,000 people.
The suicide gap between Quebec and English Canada has widened annually since the late 1970s. In prior years, suicide in Quebec was less common than elsewhere.
Ontario, Alberta and B.C. were selected for the report because of the size of their populations. The western provinces were also included because they used the same process to track suicides as Quebec.
The disparity in provincial rates can be partly attributed to a better reporting system for suicides in Quebec and an underestimation in other parts of the country, said the study, released Tuesday during an international suicide conference.
But the rates in Quebec would still be high even if the reporting discrepancies were factored, Ms. St-Laurent said in an interview.
“The phenomenon of suicide is very complicated,” she said. “We don't know exactly why.”
Among the theories are cultural and social differences between Quebeckers and other Canadians.
In New Brunswick, suicide rates among francophones were higher than among anglophones, said a provincial government report.
Quebec's rates mirror those in western Europe while those in the rest of Canada compare with Anglo-Saxon countries, Ms. St-Laurent said.
“There is a cultural dimension that is present, but it is difficult to explain why Quebec has increased while it has decreased elsewhere in Canada.”
Suicides have continued to rise in Quebec despite prevention efforts over the past 20 years.
The number of Quebec men who killed themselves had increased by nearly 40 per cent between the late 1970s and late 1990s.
Rates among women, however, remained relatively stable over the same period.
In 2001, 1,334 Quebecers — 1,055 men and 279 women — took their own lives. Suicide represented 2.4 per cent of all provincial deaths.
About half the deaths were the result of hanging. Nearly 30 per cent of women overdosed, while 18.7 per cent of men shot themselves. Weapons were used more frequently outside Quebec.
The suicide gap between men and women isn't unique to Quebec. Similar trends have been experienced in such industrialized countries as Austria and Finland, which have the highest rate of suicide.
Once you hear "objection, form," you'll often know right away what was wrong with the question. Often, it was just too wordy, making it vague. Simplifying the question will usually take care of the form problem and is good practice anyway. Withdraw the question and ask a better one. You don't need to feel like this is an admission of defeat: it's not.
What about those bothersome opponents who interject form objections just to be bothersome? If you don't know what's wrong with the form of your question, ask your opponent to tell you. You're entitled to an opportunity to fix your question. If it turns out that your opponent can't explain, it means he was just trying to harass you. Keep asking for the reason for the form objection, and chances are he'll stop.
Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. __Crimes __are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. __Vices__ are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime --- that is, the design to injure the person or property of another --- is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practises his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.
* Matthew 2.1: the wise men from the east - surely at least one of them would have written about such an important journey. They were wise men weren't they? And they visited Herod's court. That must have been documented in the palace records.
* Matthew 2.16: Herod's ordering killing of all the male children in Bethlehem and vicinity, two years and under. There would have to be a record of such an order, perhaps even a message from the local Roman commander back to Rome saying "Guess what crazy Herod did now..."
* Matthew 14.15 - 21: The feeding of the multitude with five loaves and two fishes: With five thousand people getting a free meal, couldn't one of them would have written about it at the time.
* John 11: The raising of Lazarus from the dead was widely reported and reached the ears of the chief priests and Pharisees who apparently discussed it. It seems reasonable that someone would have documented the incident.
* Matthew 26:14 - 15: The thirty pieces of silver; As anyone who has worked in a organization knows, you don't go spending thirty pieces of silver without filing an expense claim.
* Matthew 27: The crucifixion - is there a record? The correspondent quoted in the opening seemed to feel so, even though he was unclear on dates. Whether 6 AD or the more commonly accepted approximately 27 - 33 AD, is there really any independent record of this specific event?
VOLUME 8 of 16
(TESTIMONY OF LEAD DETECTIVE, Cross Examination)
Q. Wasn’t that one of the first things you always look at, point of entry, when somebody, quote, burglarized the house to see how the whole thing started, how you got in?
A. Yes, Sir, we looked, and there was no point of entry. There was no forced entry.
Q. Would it be fair to say, Detective, that you have, in charging Mr. Whisenant, that we’ve ignored the medical evidence, we’ve ignored the alibi witnesses, we’ve ignored the lack of physical evidence and you are going purely on what Tracy Whisenant has told you?
A. Somewhat, yes, sir.
Q. Is anything I said untrue? The alibi witnesses back up Howard Whisenant; is that correct?
A. Yes sir, that’s correct.
Q. There is no physical evidence linking him to the crime; is that correct?
Q. You have not fully reviewed the medical evidence from Harris Hospital where she went after she was shot?
A. That’s Correct.
Q. That’s the only evidence there is her testimony?
A. That’s correct.
Q. This is a situation, is it not, Detective, where you feel like you had to give the victim the benefit of the doubt?
A. I couldn’t hear that, sir
Q. Isn’t this a situation where you felt like you had to give the so-called victim the benefit of the doubt?
A. No. No, sir. I believe her totally on what she told us
Q. You haven’t always believed her.
A. I didn’t talk to her until the day after
Q. Three or four other investigators all thought it was self-inflicted; is that right?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. The big question in your mind at some point as to whether or not it was self-inflicted?
A. At the beginning yes, there was.
Q. And you could tell this jury that you’ve disregarded all this other evidence and charged Mr. Whisenant with this crime, but you’re not giving the benefit of the doubt to Tracy Whisenant—
A. Yes, sir.
Q. --because she is the alleged victim in this case?
A: That’s correct. I can definitely say that. I definitely believe her.
Today, the revisionist account of Pearl Harbor is more widely accepted, and is gaining ground fast. Another journalist, Robert B. Stinnett, recently found the "smoking gun" – an 8-page 1940 memo by a lieutenant commander in the navy on how to get Japan to attack us, a memo that Roosevelt adopted, point by point. His book is titled, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (Free Press, 1999). Stinnett served under a young George Bush during World War II. His book is the capstone to his career.
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was First Lady for 12 years. An outspoken advocate of social justice, she became a moral force during the Roosevelt administration, using her position as First Lady to promote social causes.
File copy of letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to president general of the DAR.
In a dramatic and celebrated act of conscience, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) when it barred the world-renowned singer Marian Anderson, an African American, from performing at its Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Following this well-publicized controversy, the federal government invited Anderson to sing at a public recital on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, some 75,000 people came to hear the free recital. The incident put both the artist and the issue of racial discrimination in the national spotlight.
The DAR had adopted a rule excluding African-American artists from the Constitution Hall stage in 1932 following protests over "mixed seating," blacks and whites seated together, at concerts of black artists. You may read a 2-page letter from Mrs. Henry M. Robert, Jr., president general of the DAR, responding to Mrs. Roosevelt's resignation.
In her autobiography, Anderson recalled the historic concert: "All I knew then was the overwhelming impact of that vast multitude . . . I had a feeling that a great wave of good will poured out from these people."
Perhaps the most significant achievement of the Daughters was the banning of Marian Anderson from singing at Constitution Hall, a building they own in Washington D. C., in 1939. It would appear it had something to do with the fact that Anderson was black. Eleanor Roosevelt then invited Anderson to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial which she did to the thundering applause of seventy five thousand people--and the enduring embarrassment of the DAR. More recently, the Daughters similarly banned Joan Baez. They apparently don’t like Hispanics either.
The Daughters have also demanded a recount of the gold in Fort Knox. President Truman responded by inviting the Daughters to come down to Kentucky and do the inventory themselves.
Which is why I always keep the Nutrition Action Health Letter on my coffee table. Together with my monthly copy of Shape magazine, I figure that, with all that valuable nutrition and fitness information sitting right in front of me as I watch TV, some of it has got to sink into my brain eventually. Diet through osmosis, I call it. :)
You probably have already heard of the group that publishes NAHL -- the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). This is the group that first publicized the evils of Chinese restaurant food (Sept 93). They bought some of the most popular dishes from Chinese restaurants around the country, sent them to an independent lab for nutritional analysis, and then published the ugly results. How bad was it? How about an order of Kung Pao chicken that had the same amount of fat (76 grams) as four MacDonald’s Quarter Pounders? –- that’s more fat than a person should consume in an entire day.
They really tell it like it is, no holds barred -- the cold, ugly truth about health and nutrition.
What the NAHL is
Created in 1974, the Nutrition Action Health Letter is a full-color 8-page health and nutrition newsletter that is published 10 times a year. Their advisory board includes more than a dozen MDs and PhDs from institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Stanford University, and the National Cancer Institute. The NAHL contains no advertising, which means the newsletter is 100% information.
Here are the three main reasons why I subscribe to the NAHL:
#1: Brand name food comparisons
• This is probably the most important feature of the NAHL. Any publication can tell you to eat less fat and sodium; NAHL rates name-brand products with their exact fat and sodium content. This makes it a virtual no-brainer to pick the right products at the supermarket!
• Example: the March 2000 edition compares the nutritional value of various frozen fishsticks (a favorite meal of the under-12 crowd, or so I’m told). Four ounces of Mrs. Paul’s Healthy Selects Baked Fish Sticks has 3 grams of fat; the same amount of Gorton’s Crunchy Golden Fish Sticks contains 15 grams of fat.
#2: Cheers and Jeers
• The back cover of the NAHL always features the dynamic duo of “Right Stuff” vs. “Food Porn.” As you may guess, “Right Stuff” showcases a food product with high nutritional value, whereas “Food Porn” exposes another product for its lack of nutritional merit.
• Example: In the January 2000 issue, cheers went to Mann’s Broccoli Cole Slaw prepared salad kit (using shredded broccoli instead of cabbage for the slaw results in meeting 150% of a day’s requirement for Vitamin C in a single 1-1/2 cup serving); jeers goes to T.G.I. Friday’s frozen potato skins, which have 510 mg of sodium and 17 grams of fat per serving.
#3: Healthy recipes that are easy to prepare
• Besides comparing name-brand items, the NAHL also provides recipes (from leading healthy cooking cookbooks) that supplement a particular story. It also provides a “Tip of the Month” for a quick and nutritious snack or dessert.
• Example: “Place 4 peeled pears, with bottoms trimmed flat, in a bowl with 1 cup of water. Drizzle with the juice of ¼ lemon and microwave for 8 to 12 minutes. Discard the water and spoon 2 teaspoons of warmed raspberry or other preserves over each pear.” (From the January 2000 edition, and doesn't it sound yummy?)
Other features of the NAHL
The NAHL also contains in-depth articles (“Exploding Exercise Myths,” “Diet and Behavior in Children,” “Phytoestrogens for Menopause”). All articles are written for the average consumer, not the medical professional. Well-illustrated diagrams, colorful tables, and simple quizzes often accompany the articles, making the subject material even more engaging.
NAHL versus the competition
Consumer Reports publishes a competitive newsletter called “On Health.” It is also an 8-page newsletter of current health and nutrition issues, and also backed by a distinguished panel of medical professionals. While it offers the same type of information as the NAHL, it’s only a 2-color newsletter with fewer illustrations and tables. I also didn’t see any recipes in the one issue I received. For the same subscription price, I would recommend the more colorful and user-friendly NAHL.
All in all
If you’re a couch potato and the most exercise you ever get is to walk to the refrigerator, this newsletter might be overkill. But...if you are interested in learning about health and nutrition in small digestible chunks, and are particularly interested in brand-name food comparisons, this is a perfect addition to your coffee table!
There are optimal amounts of all nutrients. Too little and you get a deficiency. Too much and you can exhibit toxicity from certain vitamins and minerals. Too much of everything and you weigh more than you should. Tea has been promoted as preventing or curing everything that ails you.
In the April 27-02 issue of The Lancet is a case report of a man in Austria who drank up to 4 liters (over a gallon) of black tea daily for 25 years. His favorite type of tea upset his stomach, so he switched to Earl Grey tea. A week after switching, he developed muscle cramps in one foot. Within five weeks, both feet, hands and one leg suffered from muscle cramps. He also had blurred vision. After five months the subject stopped drinking Earl Grey tea and the symptoms disappeared in a week.
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Earl Grey tea is flavored with oil of bergamot, extracted from a type of orange. This is also found in grapefruit and Seville orange juices, celery and parsnips. The chemical sensitizes skin to ultraviolet rays from the sun but also affects transmission in nerve cells. Don't overdo it is a message that bears repeating.
Cybercheese - which boasts "It's a joke doing business with you" - runs an item on its site entitled "150 Ways to Kill the Purple Dinosaur".
It warned that Cybercheese was in breach of trademark and copyright laws and gave the site until June 27 to comply to its demands to remove the material or face the threat of further legal action.
Last week Cybercheese replied to the legal letter threatening to counter sue if the Lyons Partnership proceeded with its lawsuit.
It said: "This mouth is counsel to Cybercheeze, ("Media Beyond Inc."), the owners of the exclusive right to use the copyrighted term 'Kiss my ass'® as well as the federally registered and famous trademark and service mark 'piss off'.
It continued: "It has come to the attention of Cybercheeze that you are operating an illegal scam called 'Strong Arm' under the guise of 'Intellectual Property'. We have reviewed your letter and found that it not only is about as intellectual as the purple quivering mass of gyrating goo you call Barney, but that it also is demeaning to everyone that visits our website and reads this worthless attempt and scare tactic."
Cybercheese believes that the idea that "Barney is 'a recognised and distinctive famous trademark' slightly overrated" and points to a 1998 court ruling in which Barney's owners lost a similar case to "The Famous San Diego Chicken".
At the time the judge ruled that a comedy sketch ridiculing Barney was nothing more than "a parody, pure and simple" and the copyright and trademark infringement case was thrown out of court.
The success of that case has prompted Cybercheese to boast: "Lyons Partnership Can't do Dick!"
Barney's attorney, Mr Carlin, told The Register: "This case is being discussed today. I'm not sure what we're going to do next."
"It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome."
Dear everyone, Well, interesting things sure keep happening, don't they? It seems there's an outfit out there calling itself Fandom, Inc. They've put together a website at www.fandom.com , and are now attempting to drive other websites with the word "fandom" in their top tiers off the 'net. The owner of http://fandom.tv was hit with a cease & desist letter a couple of weeks ago. (Read it at http://fandom.tv/fcom .) Her response was met with a second letter ( http://fandom.tv/fcom/fcom2.html ). As some of you know, I work in an intellectual-property law firm, and have been communicating unofficially on this with the partner who handles trademarks; she seems unfazed by the language of the letters (pretty standard stuff), but is puzzled at F.com's insistence that they have exclusive rights to the word "fandom." Even if they have a trademark on it -- which they don't, by the way; the application was abandoned, presumably because the word is more generic than descriptive -- they should, she notes, at least recognize that there's a fair use problem, and if the matter went to ICAAN, fandom.tv would prevail. A note about trademarks: the fact that the word "fandom" has been in routine use among fans since at least the 1970's does not preclude anyone from securing a trademark on it. Trademarks are not patents, and a mark need not be original to get protection. However. If, as in this case, the word is common -- or even if it's not; what if my name really were Leia Organa? -- a trademark-holder cannot legally stop someone else from making legitimate fair use of that mark. I can, therefore, trademark "Sugar-n-Spice" as the name of my bakery company -- but I can't prevent others from claiming that their baked goods include sugar and spice. A note about domain names: the fact of registering a domain name confers no trademark rights on the registrant. These guys own fandom.com , which has no earthly bearing on anyone else's right to use the term. And, as I've noted, the application for a trademark on "FANDOM" by Fandom, Inc. seems to have been abandoned when the PTO refused to register the mark. As you can see from the C&D letters, Fandom, Inc. is prepared to spend more money than most private citizens have at their disposal to protect their (get this) "famous and valuable mark" (standard legalese in this context, but pretty amusing). Don't let them win. Boycott fandom.com , and encourage your fannish friends to do the same. Tell them you're doing so, even. (Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org) Visit http://fandom.tv , and send its operators a note showing you support them. I mean to say -- a lock on the word "fandom" so that even the fans themselves can't use it? I ask you. If you disagree with me here, by all means, disregard this whole message. Hey, go lend your support to Fandom, Inc., if you're so inclined. It's a free country. But if, as I suspect, most of us are on the side of actual fans, pass it on. Fox
"By clicking below I agree to accept all Billboard Liberation Front (BLF) terms and conditions, explicit and implicit, rational and irrational, regardless of my location in physical space and irrespective of the laws of that or any jurisdiction. I understand that this website may contain subversive ideas, unsafe suggestions, hazardous memes, cultural contaminants and/or intellectual waste, and agree to hold BLF harmless, along with its agents and assigns, for any damages, psychic or otherwise, that may occur as a result. I further indemnify BLF and its operatives from any liability for expanded political or aesthetic consciousness and/or socioeconomic dementia. I understand that BLF is not responsible for lost or stolen items, and that any structural damage incurred during time of cultural warfare is outside of warranty and exempt from indemnification. I understand that some information in this website has been satirized for my protection. Known side effects of BLF agitprop include confusion, light-headedness, and mild mania. No animals or signmen were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Close cover before striking. Not intended as a substitute for direct action. "
Of the five million photographs in the Imperial War Museum in Londen none would give you the impression that there were ever more than a couple of dozen dead to be seen at any one place.
And how silly it may seem: researchers looking for pictures of dead soldiers are still not very welcome in this War Museum ('We are looked upon as traitors or freaks', one of these scholars wrote).
As a result of this old and new censorship romantic and heroic illusions about the Great War still widely exist. Socalled re-enacting groups even replay war scenes like it was some kind of childrens play."
Execution. At 10.05am on January 31, 1945, Private Eddie D.Slovik, 36896415, of Company G, 109th.Infantry Regiment, US 28th.Infantry Division, was executed by a twelve man firing squad from his own regiment. The execution took place in the garden of a villa at No.86, Rue de General Dourgeois, in the town of St.Marie-Aux-Mines, near Colmar in eastern France. Slovik, the son of poor Polish immigrants, was the only American since the Civil War to be shot for desertion. Of the hundred thousand or so GI deserters from the US Army, 2,864 were tried by General court-martial for desertion since the war began. Forty nine were sentenced to death but in only one case, that of Eddie Slovik, was the sentence carried out. Colonel James E. Rudder of the 109th Infantry Regiment would later write to his men "The person that is not willing to fight and die, if need be, for his country has no right to life". The villa at No.86 has since been demolished and three residential apartment blocks have been built on the site. The street name has also been changed.
Military Crimes. A total of 49 US soldiers were hanged for crimes that were committed on French soil after the D-Day landings. In the whole European theatre of operations, 109 civilians were murdered by American soldiers. In Germany, 107 German nationals were murdered.
The 1903 Australian Defence Act stipulated that the Governor General of Australia had to confirm the sentences passed by courts-martial - and he never endorsed the sentences. Although Haig made strong representations for power to inflict the extreme penalty upon Australian soldiers, the sanction was continually denied."
In total British court martials condemned 306 soldiers to be shot at dawn. Among them were 25 Canadians, 22 Irishmen and 5 New-Zealanders. Australia was the only country that did not want its soldiers (all volunteers) to be executed.
The German army carried out at least 48 death-sentences. The real figure is probably much higher; most documents seem to be destroyed.
In the French army more than 600 soldiers were put to death. Little known is the French decimation (the shooting of every tenth person in a unit) of the 10e Compagnie of 8 Battalion of the Régiment Mixte de Tirailleurs Algériens. During the retreat at the beginning of the war these French-African soldiers refused an order to attack. They were shot on the 15th of December 1914 near Zillebeeke in Flanders"
This happened before. In the past historians also almost reached a sort of mutual agreement on a revisionist interpretation which developed in the 1920's. Many years and thousands of studies later this interpretation is now, slowly, giving way for a new one.
This view of the origins of the war was challenged by the German historian Fritz Fischer. To the chagrin of other German intellectuals, who preferred the theory that the other countries involved in World War I were at fault, Fischer's concluded that the Germans under the Kaiser had expansionist goals in the war. Writing in the 1960's, in the aftermath of the Second World War, Fischer argued that leading groups in Germany - including the Kaiser - sought a war which would establish German control over much of Europe.
Canadian leading military historian prof. Terry Copp, who wrote most of the summary above, adds that this 'new consensus' must seem ironic to allied First World War veterans, ,,...because it presents the origins of the war much as the people of 1914 understood them."
No preacher is listened to but Time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that older people have tried in vain to put into our heads before
When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
It is unwise to punish cowards with ignominy, for if they had regarded that they would not have been cowards; death is their proper punishment, because they fear it most.
The greatest inventions were produced in the times of ignorance, as the use of the compass, gunpowder, and printing, and by the dullest nation, as the Germans.
The chameleon, who is said to feed upon nothing but air, hath, of all animals, the nimblest tongue.
When a man is made a spiritual peer he loses his surname; when a temporal, his Christian name.
It is in disputes as in armies, where the weaker side sets up false lights, and makes a great noise, to make the enemy believe them more numerous and strong than they really are.
Some men, under the notions of weeding out prejudices, eradicate virtue, honesty, and religion.
I have known some men possessed of good qualities, which were very serviceable to others, but useless to themselves; like a sun-dial on the front of a house, to inform the neighbours and passengers, but not the owner within.
It is a miserable thing to live in suspense; it is the life of a spider.
Physicians ought not to give their judgment of religion, for the same reason that butchers are not admitted to be jurors upon life and death.
The reason why so few marriages are happy, is, because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
If a man will observe as he walks the streets, I believe he will find the merriest countenances in mourning coaches.
Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.
Although men are accused for not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is, in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
No wise man ever wished to be younger.
Praise is the daughter of present power.
How inconsistent is man with himself!
I have known men of great valour cowards to their wives.
I have known men of the greatest cunning perpetually cheated.
Small causes are sufficient to make a man uneasy when great ones are not in the way. For want of a block he will stumble at a straw.
If books and laws continue to increase as they have done for fifty years past, I am in some concern for future ages how any man will be learned, or any man a lawyer.
A nice man is a man of nasty ideas.
Apollo was held the god of physic and sender of diseases. Both were originally the same trade, and still continue.
Laws penned with the utmost care and exactness, and in the vulgar language, are often perverted to wrong meanings; then why should we wonder that the Bible is so?
Although men are accused for not knowing their weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength
A man would have but few spectators, if he offered to show for threepence how he could thrust a red-hot iron into a barrel of gunpowder, and it should not take fire.
..Introduction ..Satire 1 ..Satire 2 ..Satire 3 . Satire III: On the City of Rome c. 118 CE ..Satire VI ..Satire VI (xi.199-304, 475-503): The Women of Rome.
Teach me, my God and King, In all things Thee to see, And what I do in any thing To do it as for Thee. Not rudely, as a beast, To runne into an action; But still to make Thee prepossest, And give it his perfection. A man that looks on glasse, On it may stay his eye; Or if he pleaseth, through it passe, And then the heav'n espie. All may of Thee partake: Nothing can be so mean Which with his tincture, 'for Thy sake,' Will not grow bright and clean. A servant with this clause Makes drudgerie divine; Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws Makes that and th' action fine. This is the famous stone That turneth all to gold; For that which God doth touch and own Cannot for lesse be told
'If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the
wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's
brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform
the duty of an husband's brother unto her...
And if the man like not to take his brother's wife...
Then the elders of the city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face...
And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.'
Such science-related conspiracy theories usually betray a lamentable lack of understanding of even the rudiments of science in their proponents, and this one is no different. A thread that runs through all anti-Apollo conspiracies concerns the photographs brought back by the astronauts. The most common objection is one that even otherwise intelligent people frequently fall for: “No stars are visible in the sky in any of the photographs taken from the Lunar surface”.
They are right. Try as you might, you won’t find any stars in photos taken on the lunar surface by any of the astronauts. However, contrary to what the conspiratologists would like us to believe, that is precisely what we should expect to see (or not to see). As with other misconstrued beliefs, there is more than a little psychology mixed in with the physics in this problem.
Consider some facts. Because we have sunlight and an atmosphere on Earth, in the daytime we see a blue sky while at night we see a black sky speckled with stars. By contrast, on the Moon in the daytime, because there is no atmosphere (but there is sunlight), we would see a black sky, whereas at night we would see a black sky speckled with stars. This is where the psychology comes in - if the sky is black we expect to see stars, but the reason we don’t see stars in the daytime is not primarily because of the atmosphere, it is because of the sunlight.
Until recently, if you wanted to take a photograph you had to set the aperture, set the time and then focus the camera. In bright sunlight if you wanted to snap a picture of the spouse and kids standing by the family car, you set a small aperture, a moderate speed, focused and went click. We all have examples of these snapshots, so look through the family albums to see just how many of these photos show stars. (Don’t bother, you have none.) The stars were there all right, they were just too dim to be seen by your stopped-down eyes, or captured by the film. To shoot stars you need to set a wide aperture, a very slow speed and wait until the Sun is well below the horizon.
The same thing applied to the cameras used by astronauts on the Moon. You can’t see stars in their photos for the same reason that you can’t see them in your holiday snaps - their cameras were set up to take pictures of each other, the lander and the surroundings, not the stars in the sky. The fact that the lunar sky was black had nothing to do with it - the fact that the Sun was up (all lunar landings took place in the morning) had everything to do with it.
Almost as popular an objection is the notion that shadows shown in the photographs are somehow wrong, but this one is just as readily demolished. It holds that, with no atmosphere to scatter the Sun’s light, anything not in direct line with the Sun should be in pure black shadow.
This would be fine if air is the only thing capable of reflecting light, but it isn’t. The lunar surface is also a pretty good reflector (if it wasn’t we would never be able to see the Moon from here), as are all those shiny panels on the lander and the white space suits worn by the astronauts.
Slightly more subtle is the objection to a couple of photos that show two shadows that seemingly converge. That shouldn’t happen if the only light source is the Sun, but careful scrutiny of these photos shows that the “convergence” is simply an optical illusion caused by shadows running down a sloping surface.
Simple facts or rational thought will never convince dedicated conspiratologists that they are wrong, but there is no reason why we should give them credence simply because a TV producer thinks the story would sell soap powder.
For a comprehensive demolition of the entire “Apollo was a hoax” myth, the best place to start is with the Bad Astronomy web site (www.badastronomy.com).
Barry Williams is Editor of The Skeptic (www.skeptics.com.au).
If the group were stranded on Gilligan's Island, what would the theme song be? "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale A tale from Brother Jed, Some religious types and some alien dorks The latters' brains were dead. The mate was an anal preacher dude The skipper anal too The rest were a dirty heathen lot A rotten hellbound crew! The language started getting rough The small N.G. was tossed They argued all religious points Like the man who'd once been Crossed. The group's adrift in the midst of this uncharted cyberspace, With Brother Jed And Lawyer Jim The alien dork Disco Queen The psycho witch The Juggler and Erin too Here on Brother Jed's grooooooup! ;)"
Not for publication or distribution in the United Kingdom. Copyright Jonathan Caven-Atack, 1996. This material may be published in its entirety in any form, except by members or agents of the supposed religion of Scientology (to include all members of the International Association of Scientologists and their agents, heirs and assigns), who must pay $250,000 to Karin Spainks legal defence fund prior to copying or reading the following. Anyone publishing this document accepts full liability for its contents. Copying or reading or being in possession of this document constitutes an agreement to all of the foregoing conditions. Karin Spaink is hereby given the right to sue any violator on behalf of the author and to put the proceeds of such action towards the defense of herself or anyone else suffering litigation from the cult.
OT III - Scientologys "secret" course rewritten for beginners
According to Scientology theory, we are all multiple personalities made up of hundreds of compacted extraterrestrial entities. We have reincarnated for 75 million years since this happened to us all. Scientology has claimed that this is a business trade secret...
There has been great controversy, and massive litigation, concerning the Scientology cults once secret "Operating Thetan Section Three Course". To save the brain strain of reading this purportedly lethal material in the original Ronspeak, and to save any danger of litigation for violation of copyright, this version is humbly tendered as a gift to mankind...
Scientologists believe that they have reincarnated from before the beginning of time. They believe that many interplanetary civilizations have existed. Hubbard restyled the spirit the "thetan". Before the beginning of time, thetans existed, separate from one another (thetans were not created they have existed for all time and indeed precede the creation of time). With the creation of energy and matter, thetans have gradually become trapped. The principal method of entrapment is through "implanting", where the thetan is hypnotised and given positive suggestions which limit its powers. This process, according to Hubbard has been going on in this universe for four quadrillion Years (4,000,000,000,000,000, rather than the mere 8-20,000,000 held by astrophysicists). However, this is just one universe in a series of several.
Scientology seeks to return the thetan's power by stripping away implants and using drills to heighten extrasensory perception and ability. The goal of these procedures is an "operating thetan" - a being who can act independently of his physical body, and can cause physical events to occur through sheer force of will. The "operating thetan" would be capable of dismissing illness and psychological disorder in others at will.
The Scientologist generally undertakes hundreds of hours of preparation prior to taking the first section of the Operating Thetan level courses - OT 1 (a version of which is available on Karin Spainks homepage). OT 2 consists of over a hundred pages of handwritten lists of opposites, such as "create - create no". These are supposedly the basic positive suggestions from implants administered 75 million years ago. These implants were part of the so-called OT 3 incident.
According to Hubbard, 75 million years ago, there was a confederation of 76 planets, including Earth. The "Galactic Confederation" (the title comes from the science fiction of E.E. 'Doc' Smith), was ruled by Xenu (also called "Xemu" by Hubbard). Overpopulation had become a serious problem, which Xenu resolved by murdering many of the inhabitants of the Confederation. Hubbard estimated that the 76 planets averaged 178 billion people each. The people were killed and the thetans (or spirits) gathered, frozen in a mixture of glycol and alcohol, and brought to Earth where they were placed near volcanoes which were exploded with hydrogen bombs. The thetans were gathered on "electronic ribbons", packaged together as clusters and given 36 days of implanting, to render them servile and incapable of decision. A cluster is a collection of body thetans containing a leader and an "alternate" leader. The cluster conceives itself to be an individual. According to OT 3, everyone on Earth is in fact a collection of such clusters (Hubbard says that each person doing OT 3 will find "hundreds" of body thetans - many victims of this course believe that they find millions).
On OT 3, the individual finds "body thetans" by locating any sensation of pressure or mass in his or her body. This is addressed "telepathically" as a cluster, and taken through the cluster-making incident of 75 million years ago. Once this is done, the individual body thetans should be available to be taken through either the same incident or the incident of entry into this universe. This is called "incident one", and supposedly occured four quadrillion years ago. This incident is described in the materials as: "Loud snap - waves of light - chariot comes out, turns left and right - cherub comes out - blows horn, comes close - shattering series of snaps - cherub fades back (retreats) - blackness dumped on thetan." Most scientologists are unaware of the true definition of "cherub".
The Scientologist spends days or years dealing with "body thetans" (I have known two people who "audited" this procedure almost every day for eleven years). Scientology materials of different dates assert that at the end of OT 3 the individual will be "stably exterior" (from his body - out of his head, it might be rephrased), free from "overwhelm" (i.e., nothing will ever overwhelm him emotionally again), and have total recall of his entire round of incarnations from four quadrillion years ago to the present. Secret materials seen only by those selling the course give the "end phenomenon" as a "big win" urging that the person be put onto the next course - where they pay by the hour - quickly.
Anyone who encounters this material without having undertaken Scientology courses up to OT 2 will supposedly die from pneumonia.
OT 3 is of course in substantial disagreement with conventional geology. Geologists hold that almost all of the volcanoes listed by Hubbard and both Hawaii and Los Palmas came into being far more recently than 75 million years ago. On a simple point of logic, it seems strange that none of these volcanoes was damaged by the explosion of the hydrogen bombs. Hubbard was taking barbiturates and drinking heavily when he wrote this material, according to letters he wrote at the time which are kept from scientologists by the management of Scientology.
OT III glossary for those who have the original materials but cannot make head nor tail of them:
7s - a set of supposed "implants", part of the OT 3 incident.
ARC - Affinity, Reality and Communication.
ARC break - upset.
auditing - Dianetic or Scientology "counselling".
basic basic - the earliest traumatic incident.
blow - leave.
blowdown - a sudden change in electrical resistance, shown by downward movement of the Tone Arm on the E-meter. Held to mean release of emotional "charge".
body thetan - "a thetan who is stuck to another thetan or body but is not in control".
BPC - bypassed charge, q.v.
BT - body thetan.
bypassed charge - upset stirred up during auditing but unhandled.
case - personal difficulties, the "reactive mind" and the "implants" and "body thetans" of OT levels.
C.C. - Clearing Course.
chain - a string of similar traumata arranged according to time.
charge - harmful energy stored in the reactive mind.
circuit - post hypnotic suggestion.
clear - an individual without a "reactive mind".
cluster - a group of fused body thetans.
cognite - realize.
comm laggy - (comm - communication) hesitant.
C/Sing - case supervising, overseeing auditing sessions.
earlier similar - earlier similar incident or trauma.
exterior - out of the body.
exterior with full perception - out of the body and able to perceive fully (this is the goal of Scientology).
flat - finished.
F/N - floating needle, an E-meter reaction supposed to show that "charge" has been released from the topic being addressed.
GF 40 - "Green Form 40", an auditing repair list.
grades - preparatory auditing.
grades IV & V - preparatory auditing.
grind - keep on going over a traumatic incident without change.
HDG - "Hubbard Dianetic Graduate", Dianetic auditor.
implant - implantation of post-hypnotic suggestion.
Interiorization processes - designed to return an "exterior" being into his body.
item - something that bothers the individual psychologically.
itsa earlier itsa - itsa "it is a", to find earlier realizations.
LIC - "list one 0", an auditing repair list.
low TA - unable to face life.
meter - E-meter (Hubbard Electropsychometer). The psychogalvonometer adopted by Hubbard. A simple lie detector.
milazzo - an auditing technique used on OT 3.
none on OT 3 - no body thetans found.
one-hand electrode - soup can used as an electrode. The "solo auditor" uses two soup can divided by a piece of plastic connected to an E-meter.
O/R - overrun, q.v.
OT - "Operating Thetan", a being who can operate independently of his physical body; who can supposedly cause events through intention (or will-power).
out of valence - behaving as if he were someone else (see "valence").
overrun - taken beyond the end of an auditing process.
PC - preclear, person receiving auditing.
picture - mental image picture.
process - auditing procedure.
R3R - "routine 3 revised", the procedure of Dianetic auditing.
R6 - the "reactive mind", supposedly created by the "OT 3 implant" or "incident 2".
Review - review auditing which seeks to "repair" earlier auditing errors.
rudiments - upsets, problems or "withholds" that prevent the individual from being attentive to an auditing procedure.
ruds - see "rudiments".
running - going over a memory or following an auditing procedure.
S & D - "Search and Discovery", procedure for finding who is supposedly suppressing the individual receiving auditing.
soaring TA - increased electrical resistance, supposed to indicate an inability to face a memory.
solo auditing - on OT 3 the subject audits himself.
SP - Suppressive Person. A critic of Scientology. Anyone who thinks that OT 3 is nonsense.
space opera - science fiction.
TA - Tone Arm action - change of electrical resistance, supposed to show relief of emotional "charge".
Teegeeack - Earth.
theta bop - E-meter reaction, supposed to indicate that the thetan or spirit is going in and out of the body.
thetan - "an individual being ... not a body".
TR - training routine. Role play drill (which can be practiced to hypnotic excess, leading hallucination, euphoria, heightening of colour and sound and a feeling of floating). The most famous of these is TR 8 where scientologists shout "stand up" and "sit down" at an ashtray.
TR 1 - a drill to make sure you can be heard (and induce obedience, but that isn't the point here).
TR 4 - getting questions answered (in the role-play drill the scientologist repeats either the question "do fish swim" or "do birds fly" sometimes for hours on end).
rim knob - an E-meter control.
triple flows - what was done to the individual, what was done by the individual and what the individual saw others doing.
unflat - not finished.
valence - an adopted personality.
withhold - an undisclosed moral transgression.
For anyone wondering what all this NOTs stuff is about, it's time to once again comment on the NOTs. RTC still seems to think this stuff was wiped off the internet. It wasn't, sorry Helena. NOTs exists on thousands of suppressive disks across the planet. As I read through Vorlon's NOTs (every word, yawn!), there are all these admonishments to NOT audit the same old way. For the uninitiated, or those with better things to do than wade through Ron's turgid prose, I'll summarize: OT III (see Karin's homepage for a summary) introduces the concept of BTs. BTs are a sort of spiritual parasite, messing up the harmony under the tinfoil hat. Body Thetans are bad karma. They can give you arthritis if they have Evil Purposes and attach themselves to your elbow. (There are other Medical Conditions that Auditing Can Cure, which is the subject of Keith Henson's complaint to the FDA, but I digress). BT engrams are constantly being picked up by your GnAl3y 0aTte3 telepathy, rendering you UnClear. That's the excuse ElRong used for the remarkable lack of OT3 super-powers. In actuality, BTs were once people like you and me, though Co$ doesn't seem to remember this. OT III involves direct communication with your BTs, telepathically auditing them until they cognite (realize) "I'm me!" and stagger off to the pub for a Guiness. This OT III mini-drama is repeated until no more BTs answer the call. NOTs deals with dormant BTs. Some of them were asleep! Surprise! (go pay the Registrar, dude). The NOTs procedure is similar to OT III, except you need to nudge the BT awake first. NOTs auditing is done telepathically. Yup, that's right - you direct an "attention beam" (honest, it's right there in the NOTs) on one BT/cluster, wake up the sleepy-head, audit him until he realizes "I'm me" (rather than your elbow), and "blows" (leaves). Repeat this procedure until you perceive your body to be transparent (really! Read the NOTs. I am not making this up). This is called "exorcism" in other religions. In Scientology, it's called "clearing the planet, one wallet at a time". As you can imagine, this process creates a large number of disoriented BTs in the vicinity of Clearwater, FL and East Grinstead, UK, where NOTs are delivered. They've cognited "I'm me", but haven't quite figured out "where am I?". Xenu's BT Recycling (a subsidiary of the ARSCC) as a humanitarian gesture picks up the Clearwater BTs, gives them a hot meal, shows them around the universe (they've been asleep for 76 million years and a lot has happened, you know), and sends them on their way. There is another ARSCC subsidiary in the UK. But I digress. There's a bait-and-switch in NOTs. The old processing style in D:MSMH just doesn't work. You NEED this new technology (NOT). Ron says so! Talk to the registrar, dude, your immortal thetan is in danger. Here's the switch: Clears and OTs have no bank [reactive mind: see D:MSMH], by definition. If you use Dianetics to run a chain [find earlier incidents of an engram] on a Clear or OT, you are actually contacting the banks of Body Thetans. BTs compulsively make pictures of other BTs, other BTs' engrams, the dog the other BT had on HoiPolloi, etc. (Kodak needs to tap into this market.) So, BTs may have pictures of engrams [engrams are pictures, according to TheRon], but there isn't a "chain" of engrams (see D:MSMH again) or a Primary. The danger is that you may skip around from one cluster to another, waking them all up at once, then leave them hanging out, all restimulated with nowhere to go. This is A BAD THING TO DO. Bless Ron's little heart, he alerted us to this problem in the first NOTs issue: HCOB 15 SEP 78 "NED FOR OTs RD, THEORY OF" "The reason Dianetic auditing messes up Clears and OTs is that when an auditor asks for an earlier similar which doesn't exist, you'll probably go over into a cluster or BT where it does exist." [there. a fair-use NOTs quote. finally.] There are a couple other twists in other NOTs issues, mostly involving the chorus of BTs and the OT3-completion getting their processing mixed up. If your attention beam wavers (tinfoil hat recommended per HCOB 12 DEC 85) and you ask a question of BT2 (who happened to be Clear) instead of BT1 (who still doesn't realize that he Mocks up his Reactive Mind), you've just invalidated BT2's State of Clear, and he has to pay $40,000 to Co$ next lifetime. AND HE'S PISSED!!! So BT2 gives you a somatic to the nose, BT1 is still unClear, and all their BT friends are talking about how you "goofed the floof". You have a MAJOR repair cycle, and it's gonna cost you, buddy. Please see the registrar. Seriously (for a moment), can you see why NOTs can induce schizophrenia? You're talking to demons inside your head. Alone. Mumbling to yourself and watching an over-amplified, underdamped e-meter's random motions for signs of BTs. You have to follow a rigid process to the letter, or you could get sick (Ron said so!). And there are pictures of BT engrams inside BTs inside clusters so the task is overwhelming. So, be especially nice to any OT3 completions. Don't invalidate their case, or they'll have to spend another six hours on the meter reassuring themselves that they're really deloused. That extra bit of self-delusion could send them right over the edge. Perry Scott Co$ Escapee
"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion"
Reader's Digest reprint, May 1980, p.1
Hubbard later created the Church of Scientology...
A Second Opinion!
The Church of Scientology is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion. Its purpose is to make money. It practices a variety of mind-control techniques on people lured into its midst to gain control over their money and their lives. Its aim is to take from them every penny that they have and can ever borrow and to also enslave them to further its wicked ends.
It was started in the 1950s by a science fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard in fulfilment to his declared aim to start a religion to make money. It is an offshoot to a method of psychotherapy he concocted from various sources which he named "Dianetics". Dianetics is a form of regression therapy. It was then further expanded to appear more like a religion in order to enjoy tax benefits. He called it "Scientology".
Scientology is a confused concoction of crackpot, dangerously applied psychotherapy, oversimplified, idiotic and inapplicable rules and ideas and science-fiction drivel that is presented to its members (at the "advanced" levels) as profound spiritual truth.
The Harm it Does to a Person
The results of applying their crackpot psychotherapy (called "auditing") is to weaken the mind. The mind goes from a rational state to an irrational one as the delusional contents of the subconscious mind are brought to the surface and are assumed to be valid. It also makes a person more susceptible to suggestion since it submerges the critical thinking faculties of the mind into a partial subconscious state. It results in a permanent light hypnotic trance and so from thenceforth that person can be more easily controlled. The person will, to a much greater extent, believe and do whatever they are told. And of course this is used to the full in persuading them to hand over further money and dedicating themselves further to the cult.
The results of applying their oversimplified and inapplicable rules in life is to lose the ability to think rationally and logically. A person loses the ability to think for themselves and so they lose the ability to challenge incorrect ideas. This makes them easier to control. It also isolates and alienates the person from society so that they withdraw from normal society and into their "Scientology" society. This further increases their susceptibility to the influence of their group. They end up being afraid of society, believing all society to be controlled by a group of drug companies, psychiatrists and financiers all of whom report to more remote masters. In other words they are in a state of mass paranoia. They therefore avoid reading newspapers and the like since they fear it will disturb their safe Scientology world. It is a downward spiral into madness.
The science fiction content of Scientology is revealed to them after they have reached the state they call "Clear", meaning freed from the aberrations of the mind. However, perhaps "brainwashed" would be a more applicable word to describe the mental state of someone who has survived the near entire delusional contents of their subconscious mind brought to the surface and presented to them as "truth". On the "advanced" levels (called OT levels) above the state of "Clear" they encounter the story of Xenu. Xenu was supposed to have gathered up all the overpopulation in this sector of the galaxy, brought them to Earth and then exterminated them using hydrogen bombs. The souls of these murdered people are then supposed to infest the body of everyone. They are called "body thetans". On the advanced levels of Scientology a person "audits out" these body thetans telepathically by getting them to re-experience their being exterminated by hydrogen bombs. So people on these levels assume all their bad thoughts and faulty memories are due to these body thetans infesting every part of their body and influencing them mentally. Many Scientologists go raving mad at this point if they have not done so already.
The "Ethics" Trap
On the surface the Church of Scientology seems reasonable. The insane content of it is only revealed to a person when the early stuff has done its work and made them more susceptible. After a short while a person "believes" that Scientology is doing them good. They are then persuaded to help their new-found group further by donating money and/or working for the organisation for almost no money. Many people do exactly that.
"Ethics" is used to good effect to trap a person. A person’s natural tendency to do good is worked upon. Yes - they want to be more ethical, but what is ethical? This is where a clever trick is pulled! "Ethics" is redefined by Scientology in such a way that to be ethical is to be a better Scientologist and obey the "church". Young people, not yet made cynical through the machinations of life and politics, are very keen to contribute to the world and to be ethical. So the "ethics" trick works easily into persuading them to join the "church". Many of them join an elite group called the "Sea Org" where they become brainwashed slaves. There they work a hundred hour week for almost no pay. There they are subject to every cruel whim of their masters. It is a living hell that they endure because of the conditioning they have received and this now perverted sense of ethics that they have accepted. The "Sea Org" is the ultimate in brainwashed slavery. They are expected to work harder and harder to achieve ever higher targets of production. If they fail to meet their targets there are various penalties. One of them is to be put onto a diet of beans and rice and to miss sleep. Another is to be sentenced to a period on the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force). This is the equivalent to "hard labour". Such is the extent of their brainwashing that they actually write "success stories" when they complete their sentences.
Brainwashing Bites Back
There is no doubt at all that L. Ron Hubbard incorporated brainwashing techniques into Scientology to put people under his control. He even wrote a "brainwashing manual" which is still in existence today. However there was a cruel twist in his scheme. He fell victim of it himself. In creating his devoted slaves, the Sea Org, he created an audience that believed every word he said. Now L. Ron Hubbard had an over-active imagination plus delusions of grandeur. The negative feedback he would obtain by being part of normal society was replaced by the positive feedback from his devoted followers. Through this his imagination got the better of him and combined with his delusions of grandeur, his thinking became increasingly bizarre which, on acceptance, led on to more bizarre thinking and the idea that he and Scientology had the job of saving the entire universe He wanted to take over the world in order to further Scientology’s aims to save the universe and so branches of Scientology were set up to try to influence governments and gain positions where they could influence to world to a high degree. So what started out as a mass confidence trick backed up with brainwashing became a monstrous and insane organisation with fantastic, fanatical ideals. Because of this change, the Church of Scientology survived the death of their founder. It is like a runaway monster machine that tramples on society and peoples lives that is very difficult to stop.
In studying what became known as prestige suggestion, Asch manipulated the attribution of quotations like "I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical." American students agreed more with this quotation when it was attributed to Jefferson than when it was attributed to Lenin. Behaviorists interpreted this result in terms of simple associations, but Asch showed that the attribution affected the meaning of the quotation: Lenin meant blood whereas Jefferson meant politics. Hence, Asch helped establish the dominant view of contemporary social psychology: behavior is not a response to the world as it is, but to the world as perceived.
Asch's most famous experiments set a contest between physical and social reality. His subjects judged unambiguous stimuli – lines of different lengths – after hearing other opinions offering incorrect estimates. Subjects were very upset by the discrepancy between their perceptions and those of others and most caved under the pressure to conform: only 29% of his subjects refused to join the bogus majority. This technique was a powerful lens for examining the social construction of reality, and gave rise to decades of research on conformity. Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority were inspired directly by Asch's studies.
On scale: "We must see group phenomena as both the product and condition of actions of individuals."
On culture: "Most social acts have to be understood in their setting, and lose meaning if isolated. No error in thinking about social facts is more serious than the failure to see their place and function."
On complexity: “We cannot be true to a fragment of man if we are not true, in at least a rudimentary way, to man himself."
Sherif's experiment involved the so-called autokinetic effect whereby a point of light in an otherwise totally dark environment will appear to move randomly. You may have experienced the effect yourself when looking at the stars. Subjects were invited to estimate the amount of 'movement' they observed. They made their estimates in groups where each member could hear the others' estimates. Ultimately, the group members' estimates converged on a middle-of-the-road 'group estimate'. This would appear to show an urge to conform.
In effect, it's probably about what you would expect, if you remember that much perception appears to involve 'hypothesis-testing'. For example, with the Rubin vase (click here: if you'd like to take a look at it) there is not enough information for us to decide what we are seeing. We form the hypothesis that we're looking at two faces, then the hypothesis that we're seeing a vase. As there's not enough information to decide for one hypothesis or the other, our brains keep switching between the two. So you could argue that all the subjects were doing was to use additional information from their environment (other people's estimates) to aid in arriving at a decision. (see section on Perception)
One after another, the members of the group announced their decision. The confederates had been asked to give the incorrect response. The subject sat in the next to last seat so that all but one had given their obviously incorrect answer before s/he gave hers/his. Even though the correct answer was always obvious, the average subject conformed to the group response on 32% of the trials and 74% of the subjects conformed at least once.
On the face of it, an astonishing result. The correct answer was entirely obvious. Subjects had to override the very clear evidence of their own senses to give an answer conforming to the others'. Why did they do it?
Factors affecting conformity
When interviewed afterwards, subjects all said that they had been influenced by the pressure from the rest of the group. This, on the face of it, may appear to be an example of 'groupthink'. However, we normally associate 'groupthink' with those groups where cohesion has already been established - which was not the case in Asch's experiment. What, then, may have been the factors involved?
The need for social respect
Many said that they did not want to appear silly. That ties in with Rom Harré's claim that one of our secondary needs is a need for 'social respect', which includes the need to avoid looking ridiculous in front of others, the need to avoid criticism from others. That need would be likely to motivate us to seek compromise with others (see the section on Motivation) - and seems to be supported by some subjects' reports after the experiment that they wished to avoid embarrassment.
Oddly enough, research shows that the pressure to conform does not increase as the groups size increases above around four or five. One possible reason, suggested by Wilder (1977) in Baron and Byrne (1984) is that the subjects begin to suspect collusion amongst the group members once the group goes beyond that number. If that is the case, then that suggests that the best way to influence a person would be to get them to receive the same message from a variety of independent small groups, rather than from a single large group. That seems also to fit with Noelle-Neumann's view that, as the interpersonal support for the deviant opinion decreases, so the deviant opinion will be weakened and the dominant opinion become even more dominant (see the section on Spiral of Silence).
In Asch's later experiments, he introduced others who disagreed with the consensus. This disagreement led to a marked increase in the subjects' readiness to disagree with the dominant view. Other experiments have also shown that social support can help us to resist conformity, even if the person giving us the support is not particularly competent and even if she doesn't share our views. It seems that any old support will do. However, the support is more likely to be successful if she is competent and does share our views. It also seems to be especially important that dissent, if it is to be effective, should be voiced early on in the proceedings.
It is conceivable that we are genetically predisposed towards social conformism and ethnocentrism (i.e. the tendency to support and conform to the norms of our own group). Such a predisposition would be advantageous in promoting cultural group selection in the same way that in natural selection sharp teeth or the ability to run fast from something with sharp teeth confer an advantage. Sociobiologists found it difficult to account for such behaviours as altruism, co-operation and group loyalty in terms of Darwin's theory of evolution, which would be expected to lead to primarily egocentric behaviour. However, it might be possible to demonstrate (theorists disagree over this) that cultures whose members' behaviour is purely egocentric tend to die out whereas co-operative cultures survive. If so, then it would follow that the surviving cultures are those with the 'co-operation gene'. That would go some way to explaining the behaviour of Asch's subjects.
As an irrelevant aside, I should say that, personally, though this is an interesting idea, I'm inclined to treat it with a measure of caution. Evolutionary psychology is currently rather fashionable and is certainly challenging and thought-provoking, but it does sometimes seem to depend rather suspiciously on finding an adaptive advantage for every human behaviour. Behaviours which are clearly not advantageous are explained by saying that they 'must have' been advantageous at some point in our evolutionary history and then finding a likely scenario. For example, our sweet tooth leads to massive overconsumption of sugar. This is obviously not likely to give our species an evolutionary advantage today, but it 'must have' done so when a sweet tooth meant a predilection for a diet of fruit. Hmmm..... That rather neatly and conveniently shelters the evolutionary psychologists' claim from any possible falsifiability.
Asch's experiment has been criticised for being unrealistic to the extent that in the real world we expect to take decisions on subjects more complex and more important than the length of a line. In the real world, therefore, we might put up more of a fight to defend our point of view. On more complex issues, we could reasonably expect that a variety of shades of opinion might be expressed, giving us more chance to argue our point of view. On the other hand, though, just think what the studies reveal. They suggest that group pressure can be so strong that we are willing to deny the evidence of our own eyes for the sake of conformity with the rest of the group.
There have been other experiments which have tended to confirm Asch's results by and large. Crutchfield's lengthier and more complex experiments seem to confirm a correlation between high intelligence and other personality traits and low conformity.
... in a small band of hunter-gatherers, it might have been a ... useful habit to obey the fashion. To a large extent, human society is not a society of individuals, as the society of leopards, or even lions, is - albeit the individual lions are lumped together in groups. Human society is composed of groups, superorganisms. THe cohesiveness of groups that conformity achieves is a valuable weapon in a world where groups must act together to compete with other groups. That the decision may be arbitrary is less important than that it is unanimous.
Ridley puts this even more bluntly elsewhere in his book:
Humankind, I suggest, has always fragmented into hostile and competitive tribes and those that found a way of drumming cultural conformity into the skulls of their members tended to do better than those that did not.
She was referring to her former membership in the People's Temple and the Jonestown mass suicide.
There are thousands of different "mind control" techniques which can be used for positive benefit. Some these techniques include: prayer, meditation, chants, singing songs, visualizations, affirmations, positive self-talk, breathing techniques, hypnosis, "speaking in tongues", ecstatic dancing, music.
My family and friends are constantly asking me to tell them the "latest" thing my neighbor has done so this page will save me from repeating myself. Besides, I thought it would be fun. Everything you read here is entirely true, that's what makes it so funny. Enjoy!"
Scratch the Christian and you find the pagan--spoiled.
Let us start a new religion with one commandment, "Enjoy thyself."
The law of dislike for the unlike will always prevail. And whereas the unlike is normally situated at a safe distance, the Jews bring the unlike into the heart of every milieu, and must there defend a frontier line as large as the world.
Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.
It is impossible to think of a man of any actual force and originality, universally recognized as having those qualities, who spent his whole life appraising and describing the work of other men.
For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavouring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.
On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say.
In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.
History, a distillation of Rumour.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.
I don't pretend to understand the Universe--it's a great deal bigger than I am.
Good breeding . . . differs, if at all, from high breeding only as it gracefully remembers the rights of others, rather than gracefully insists on its own rights.
The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.
Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.
It is uplifting to lose one's faith in a reality which looks the way it is described in a newspaper.
He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.
Truth is a clumsy servant that breaks the dishes while washing them
When a culture feels that its end has come, it sends for a priest.
How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.
Traveling, you realize that differences are lost: each city takes to resembling all cities, places exchange their form, order, distances, a shapeless dust cloud invades the continents.
Oh senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm, and yet will make Gods by dozens.
The future is made of the same stuff as the present.
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
If we do not maintain Justice, Justice will not maintain us.
For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.
Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried, or childless men.
Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.
We are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.
It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self.
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out.
An apology for the Devil--it must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.
One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.
The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man's ingratitude.
As in a theatre, the eyes of men, after a well-graced actor leaves the stage, are idly bent on him that enters next.
And do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone.
Every harlot was a virgin once.
Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
We all labour against our own cure, for death is the cure of all diseases.
Yet is every man his own greatest enemy, and as it were his own executioner.
There are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.
It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.
I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.
Repentance is but want of power to sin.
War is the trade of Kings.
Even victors are by victories undone.
The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement.
"Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed" was the ninth beatitude.
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.
It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilised taste.
Politics is not an exact science.
You don't need to pray to God any more when there are storms in the sky, but you do have to be insured.
Science knows only one commandment--contribute to science.
Greek philosophy seems to have met with something with which a good tragedy is not supposed to meet, namely, a dull ending.
All social rules and all relations between individuals are eroded by a cash economy, avarice drags Pluto himself out of the bowels of the earth.
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
A commodity appears at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing. But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.
Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.
In all the silent manliness of grief.
There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas.
History may be read as the story of the magnificent rearguard action fought during several thousand years by dogma against curiosity.
What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
This is one of the paradoxes of the democratic movement--that it loves a crowd and fears the individuals who compose it--that the religion of humanity should have no faith in human beings.
In really hard times the rules of the game are altered. The inchoate mass begins to stir. It becomes potent, and when it strikes, . . . it strikes with incredible emphasis. Those are the rare occasions when a national will emerges from the scattered, specialized, or indifferent blocs of voters who ordinarily elect the politicians. Those are for good or evil the great occasions in a nation's history.
No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.
The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.
When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.
There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral.
Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail.
Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.
Unless democracy is to commit suicide by consenting to its own destruction, it will have to find some formidable answer to those who come to it saying: "I demand from you in the name of your principles the rights which I shall deny to you later in the name of my principles."
The effort to calculate exactly what the voters want at each particular moment leaves out of account the fact that when they are troubled the thing the voters most want is to be told what to want.
I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where Christianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.
The most positive men are the most credulous.
It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.
The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.
I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little, odious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.
We are so fond of one another, because our ailments are the same.
Come, agree, the law's costly.
Principally I hate and detest that animal called man; although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth.
It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.
Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath.
Once kick the world, and the world and you will live together at a reasonably good understanding.
The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved. One can trust nobody and nothing.
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
A friend in power is a friend lost.
Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic.
Morality is a private and costly luxury.
He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers.
Accident counts for much in companionship as in marriage.
The progress of Evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.
Only on the edge of the grave can man conclude anything.
Everyone carries his own inch-rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.
Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humor?
That is the consolation of a little mind; you have the fun of changing it without impeding the progress of mankind.
Many people lose their tempers merely from seeing you keep yours.
In the face of moral uncertainty and public controversy it is often helpful to consult the wisdom of our forebears in faith. When the subject of war arises I find myself looking back at the theory of a "just war." The idea of a just war appears in early Christian writings but received its most influential historic development in the work of the Dutch Protestant philosopher Hugo Grotius (1583-1645). Historically most wars have involved not only combat between armed soldiers but the enormous suffering entailed by the destruction of crops and towns, the rape and slaughter of non-combatants, the enslavement of defeated armies, and the forced payment of tribute from conquered nations. Many wars have been fought sheerly for aggression and conquest.
The theory of a "just war" is an attempt by persons of religious perspective to state the conditions under which a nation may morally engage in war. According to Frederick Copleston, Grotius believed that it is permissible for a state to wage war against another state which has attacked it, or in order to recover what has been stolen from it, or to restrain another state that is obviously violating natural or divine law. Preventive wars, Grotius said, may not be waged unless there is moral certainty that the other state intends to attack; nor may war be waged simply for advantage’s sake, nor to obtain better land, nor out of a desire to rule other peoples under the pretext that it is for their own good. War should not be waged in cases of doubt as to its justice, and even for just causes, it should never be undertaken rashly, but only out of necessity, and peace should always be kept in view. Treaties should be scrupulously observed.
To this list, other just war theorists such as Francis Suarez (1548-1617) have added the condition that the war must be properly conducted. Generally this means that injury to non-combatants must be prevented, and even enemy soldiers must not be made to suffer unnecessarily or barbarically.
We are now living over three hundred years after the time of Grotius and Suarez, and no one would suggest that we should follow their specific principles unreflectively. Nevertheless, we are, I hope, still a nation that wishes to be just - and therefore the obligation which we do have is, if possible, to revive the concept of a just war in a form that is valid for our own time. Present world circumstances require each one of us to consider whether we believe there are characteristics or qualifications that can make any war "just." If you had to revise Grotius’ and Suarez’s ideas, what would you say?
Perhaps, with only slight modification, most of Grotius’ and Suarez’s ideas still make sense. For example, it is very difficult to think that our nation should attack Iraq unless we have some "moral certainty" that Iraq itself is bent on attack. It is very difficult to accept the idea of bombing a city like Baghdad in which 50% of the people are children. It is increasingly difficult to give uncritical credence to our Denver newspapers and TV stations, with their daily banners proclaiming "COUNTDOWN TO WAR" and "SHOWDOWN WITH SADDAM" -as if the impending bloodshed were a new release of Shoot-out at the OK Corral, or just another story to build up ratings - while they downplay divergent responses and demonstrations both in our own country and overseas.
The idea of a just war reminds us that we cannot go to war just because it is popular in the polls or because it makes for good news stories or because we feel entitled to get revenge on an evil man. If we go to war it must be with profound sorrow, and only because it is truly and absolutely the last option.
General William T. Sherman, for whom one of our central Denver streets is named, is widely known to have said that ‘war is hell.’ Sometimes we quote his remark in a light-hearted way, but the more complete quotation goes like this. "I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell."
May God guide us in the days ahead.
- David E. Conner
Closure is a term used by psychologists and social scientists to describe events or rituals which help to acknowledge an end point to some facet of life. For example, at the close of this worship service we will have a benediction which could be termed an act of closure. Or, a funeral helps to bring closure to our grief when someone has died. Therefore memorial services are of great value for most families.
"In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of an economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say, 'Those are social issues with which the Gospel has no real concern.' And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other-worldly religion which makes a strange, unbiblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.
How often the church has been an echo rather than a voice, a taillight behind the U. S. Supreme Court and other secular agencies, rather than a headlight guiding human beings progressively and decisively to higher levels of understanding.
If the church of today does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authentic right, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for modern times."
Dr. King did of course believe in the church, and served as the pastor of one in Montgomery, Alabama. He believed that the Christian faith, when it serves to motivate human beings to high courage and sacrifice, is the greatest force in the world.
British pastor Leslie Weatherhead liked to tell the story of a place in Foo Chow, China, where there are three graves side by side. Two of the graves are for two sisters from Australia, Christian missionaries who were murdered by hostile Chinese. When the news of these murders reached Australia, their mother, who was a widow sixty-two years of age, sold all that she had, journeyed to the place where her daughters had died, learned the Chinese language, and set up a school to continue their work. By the end of the story she had given her final twenty years in service to China. She died at eighty-two and was buried by grateful citizens next to her daughters.
Johnny said, "Moses had quite an adventurous life. He went behind the enemy lines, he rescued the Israelites by building a pontoon bridge over the sea, he led the people over the pontoon bridge, and when the enemy chased them onto the bridge he called some air force guys on the walkie-talkie and they came in and bombed the bridge so that all the enemy guys drowned. After that he took them out into the desert and the air force parachuted some C-rations down to them."
In amazement his mother asked, "Now Johnny, is that actually what the Sunday school teacher told you?"
Johnny said, "No, Mom, but if I told you what she really said, you'd never believe it!"
As Alice Walker answered, I tried hard to listen, but I was unable to perceive that she had any clear response. At least at that moment, in that interview, she had no positive or articulate approach pertaining to the use of force in society. As I reflected on this, it occurred to me that perhaps an African-American woman who was born in 1944 in Georgia in a sharecropper's cabin has never had the option of any ample, effectual force that was hers to wield, never had any coercive power which was available to her to address problems. Maybe, therefore, a woman such as Alice Walker learns, as many women have learned in our society, to adapt to life in a way that is devoid of the use of coercion and force. That may not be good, it may not be right, but perhaps that is the way it is.
Now, a story about a different person.
One of the great American theologians of the twentieth century was Reinhold Niebuhr. Reinhold Niebuhr came out of the Evangelical and Reformed tradition back before the E&R merged with the Congregational Christians in 1957 to become the United Church of Christ. Niebuhr told of the time when he was a young pastor in Detroit. It was during the Depression. He was teaching a Sunday school class of junior high boys. They were studying the Sermon on the Mount and, specifically, Jesus' teaching to that you turn the other cheek when someone strikes you on one cheek, and if someone takes your coat, you give to them your cloak also. As the boys heard these words of Christ, a lad fourteen or fifteen years old raised his hand. "Pastor Niebuhr," he said, "my dad's out of work. I sell newspapers on the street corner and right now the little bit of money I earn selling newspapers is our family's only source of income. Sometimes," he continued, "another boy will come along and try to steal my newspapers so he can sell them. Does turning the other cheek mean that I have to let him take my newspapers? Because if I do, my family will go hungry."
In Niebuhr's mind, as he reported later, this innocent question was like a bombshell. As he mulled this over, it altered his whole theory of ethics. He realized that it is one thing to turn the other cheek on your own behalf, but when you are responsible for the well-being of others a different ethic emerges - an ethic in which some use of force may sometimes regrettably be necessary. Niebuhr certainly did not reject Jesus' teaching about turning the other cheek, but he did come to believe that that teaching may not be applicable in every circumstance.
This is an impressive-sounding phrase, but "rational self-transcendence" means that we are always trying to use our intelligence in order to look beyond ourselves. It means that we ponder at length what it is like to stand in the other person's place. Rational self-transcendence means that we listen carefully to others, and think long and hard about the impact that our actions and our policies may have on them. And note well that the more power you have, the more important it is to do this. In our nation we do so many things of far-ranging impact, and yet we are clueless, oblivious, regarding the effects on people we never see.
Years ago I was at home with my youngest daughter, Cathy. Cathy was then three or four years old - old enough to feed herself with a spoon, and at that particular time in her life she was willing to eat just about whatever was placed in front of her. For lunch I had made soup. Some of you know that I am rather fond of hot sauce, and so I had dumped a rather generous quantity of Tabasco in my serving of soup. I also ladled up a bowl of soup for Cathy. Then I put her in her high chair, gave her her soup, and I sat down and began to eat. I was about halfway through my soup when I realized that my soup was far too bland. As I began to think about what had happened it occurred to me that the bowls of soup had gotten switched. Sure enough, I looked over at little Cathy and there she was, cheerfully eating her soup with tears streaming down her face because of all the Tabasco.
When we have power, when we have an advantage, when we have authority over other people who are smaller than we are or who somehow depend upon us, we have to seek a capacity for rational self-transcendence. We have to pay attention to them. We have to live beyond our own needs and our own standards and our own opinions in the effort to see what effect we are having on others.
As the most powerful nation on earth, we in the United States too frequently find ourselves unwittingly putting hot sauce in other people's soup - not only militarily, but economically, as when we buy coffee and fruit from Latin America without any knowledge of the wages paid to workers there, or when we buy shoes and clothing from China without any concern for the working conditions of laborers there. Even our entertainment industry is part of this problem. Do you remember those women in Polynesia who almost became malnourished after they obtained televisions and then began trying to look like the bikini-clad women in Bay Watch? Putting our trust in God means that we see our impact on others from their perspective.
Butler's overall finding of a "group think" failure was pure charity. Absurdities like the 45-minute claim were adopted by high-level officials and ministers because those concerned recognised the substantial reason for war - oil. WMD provided only the bureaucratic argument: the real reason was that Iraq was swimming in oil.
Some may still believe the eve-of-war contention by Donald Rumsfeld that "We won't take forces and go around the world and try to take other people's oil ... That's not how democracies operate." Maybe others will go along with Blair's post-war contention: "There is no way whatsoever, if oil were the issue, that it would not have been infinitely easier to cut a deal with Saddam."
But senior civil servants are not so naive. On the eve of the Butler report, I attended the 40th anniversary of the Mandarins cricket club. I was taken aside by a knighted civil servant to discuss my contention in a Guardian article earlier this year that Sir Humphrey was no longer independent. I had then attacked the deceits in the WMD report, and this impressive official and I discussed the geopolitical issues of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and US unwillingness to build nuclear power stations and curb petrol consumption, rather than go to war.
Saddam controlled a country at the centre of the Gulf, a region with a quarter of world oil production in 2003, and containing more than 60% of the world's known reserves. With 115bn barrels of oil reserves, and perhaps as much again in the 90% of the country not yet explored, Iraq has capacity second only to Saudi Arabia. The US, in contrast, is the world's largest net importer of oil. Last year the US Department of Energy forecast that imports will cover 70% of domestic demand by 2025.
By invading Iraq, Bush has taken over the Iraqi oil fields, and persuaded the UN to lift production limits imposed after the Kuwait war. Production may rise to 3m barrels a day by year end, about double 2002 levels. More oil should bring down Opec-led prices, and if Iraqi oil production rose to 6m barrels a day, Bush could even attack the Opec oil-pricing cartel.
Control over Iraqi oil should improve security of supplies to the US, and possibly the UK, with the development and exploration contracts between Saddam and China, France, India, Indonesia and Russia being set aside in favour of US and possibly British companies. And a US military presence in Iraq is an insurance policy against any extremists in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Overseeing Iraqi oil supplies, and maybe soon supplies from other Gulf countries, would enable the US to use oil as power. In 1990, the then oil man, Dick Cheney, wrote that: "Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well."
In the 70s, the US agreed with Saudi Arabia that Opec oil should be traded in dollars. American governments have since been able to print dollars to cover huge trading deficits, with the further benefit of those dollars being placed in the US money markets. In return, the US allowed the Opec countries to operate a production and pricing cartel.
Over the past 15 years, the overall US deficit with the rest of the world has risen to $2,700bn - an abuse of its privileged currency position. Although about 80% of foreign exchange and half of world trade is in dollars, the euro provides a realistic alternative. Euro countries also have a bigger share of world trade, and of trade with Opec countries, than the US.
In 1999, Iran mooted pricing its oil in euros, and in late 2000 Saddam made the switch for Iraqi oil. In early 2002 Bush placed Iran and Iraq in the axis of evil. If the other Opec countries had followed Saddam's move to euros, the consequences for Bush could have been huge. Worldwide switches out of the dollar, on top of the already huge deficit, would have led to a plummeting dollar, a runaway from US markets and dramatic upheavals in the US.
Bush had many reasons to invade Iraq, but why did Blair join him? He might have squared his conscience by looking at UK oil prospects. In 1968, when North Sea oil was in its infancy, as private secretary to the minister of power I wrote a report on oil policy, advocating changes like the setting up of a British national oil company (as was done). My proposals found little favour with the BP/Shell-supporting officials, but Richard Marsh, the then minister, pressed them and the petroleum division was expanded into an operations division and a planning division.
Sadly, when I was promoted out of private office the free-trading petroleum officials conspired to block my posting to the planning division, where I would surely have advocated a prudent exploitation of North Sea resources to reduce our dependence on the likes of Iraq. UK North Sea oil output peaked in 1999, and has since fallen by one-sixth. Exports now barely cover imports, and we shall shortly be a net oil importer. Supporting Bush might have been justified on geo-strategic grounds.
Oil and the dollar were the real reasons for the attack on Iraq, with WMD as the public reason now exposed as woefully inadequate. Should we now look at Bush and Blair as brilliant strategists whose actions will improve the security of our oil supplies, or as international conmen? Should we support them if they sweep into Iran and perhaps Saudi Arabia, or should there be a regime change in the UK and US instead?
If the latter, we should follow that up by adopting the pious aims of UN oversight of world oil exploitation within a world energy plan, and the replacement of the dollar with a new reserve currency based on a basket of national currencies.
· John Chapman is a former assistant secretary in the civil service, in which he served from 1963-96
That's when the true wealth of the country will become self-evident and we will no longer be able to afford the extravagant expense of pursuing an American empire. No nation has ever been able to finance excessive foreign entanglements and domestic entitlements through printing press money and borrowing from abroad.
While the US’ position may seem inviolable, one should remember that the more you have, the more you have to lose. And recently there have been signs of how, for the first time in a long time, the US may be beginning to lose.
All of this is bad news for the US economy and the dollar. The fear for Washington will be that not only will the future price of oil not be right, but the currency might not be right either. Which perhaps helps explain why the US is increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs: military force.
>Subject: *** It's not about oil or Iraq. It's about the US and Europe going >Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 01:16:19 +1100 > >with all that we try to do the most important commodity in our success >of the task is INFORMATION, none of us has it or access to it, with >regard to the impending war on Iraq we can only guess. How close is this >article, it's written by a Melbourne writer called Geoffrey Heard. > >is this serious food for thought, > >*** It's not about oil or Iraq. It's about the US and Europe going >head-to-head on world economic dominance. *** > >Summary: Why is George Bush so hell bent on war with Iraq? Why does >his administration reject every positive Iraqi move? It all makes >sense when you consider the economic implications for the USA of not >going to war with Iraq. The war in Iraq is actually the US and Europe >going head to head on economic leadership of the world. > >America's Bush administration has been caught in outright lies, gross >exaggerations and incredible inaccuracies as it trotted out its >litany of paper thin excuses for making war on Iraq. Along with its >two supporters, Britain and Australia, it has shifted its ground and >reversed its position with a barefaced contempt for its audience. It >has manipulated information, deceived by commission and omission and >frantically "bought" UN votes with billion dollar bribes. > >Faced with the failure of gaining UN Security Council support for >invading Iraq, the USA has threatened to invade without >authorisation. It would act in breach of the UN's very constitution >to allegedly enforced UN resolutions. > >It is plain bizarre. Where does this desperation for war come from? > >There are many things driving President Bush and his administration >to invade Iraq, unseat Saddam Hussein and take over the country. But >the biggest one is hidden and very, very simple. It is about the >currency used to trade oil and consequently, who will dominate the >world economically, in the foreseeable future -- the USA or the >European Union. > >Iraq is a European Union beachhead in that confrontation. America had >a monopoly on the oil trade, with the US dollar being the fiat >currency, but Iraq broke ranks in 1999, started to trade oil in the >EU's euros, and profited. If America invades Iraq and takes over, it >will hurl the EU and its euro back into the sea and make America's >position as the dominant economic power in the world all but >impregnable. > >It is the biggest grab for world power in modern times. > >America's allies in the invasion, Britain and Australia, are betting >America will win and that they will get some trickle-down benefits >for jumping on to the US bandwagon. > >France and Germany are the spearhead of the European force -- Russia >would like to go European but possibly can still be bought off. > >Presumably, China would like to see the Europeans build a share of >international trade currency ownership at this point while it >continues to grow its international trading presence to the point >where it, too, can share the leadership rewards. > >DEBATE BUILDING ON THE INTERNET > >Oddly, little or nothing is appearing in the general media about this >issue, although key people are becoming aware of it -- note the >recent slide in the value of the US dollar. Are traders afraid of >war? They are more likely to be afraid there will not be war. > >But despite the silence in the general media, a major world >discussion is developing around this issue, particularly on the >internet. Among the many articles: Henry Liu, in the 'Asia Times' >last June, it has been a hot topic on the Feasta forum, an >Irish-based group exploring sustainable economics, and W. Clark's >"The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War with Iraq: A Macroeconomic and >Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth" has been published by >the 'Sierra Times', 'Indymedia.org', and 'ratical.org'. > >This debate is not about whether America would suffer from losing the >US dollar monopoly on oil trading -- that is a given -- rather it is >about exactly how hard the USA would be hit. The smart money seems to >be saying the impact would be in the range from severe to >catastrophic. The USA could collapse economically. > >OIL DOLLARS > >The key to it all is the fiat currency for trading oil. > >Under an OPEC agreement, all oil has been traded in US dollars since >1971 (after the dropping of the gold standard) which makes the US >dollar the de facto major international trading currency. If other >nations have to hoard dollars to buy oil, then they want to use that >hoard for other trading too. This fact gives America a huge trading >advantage and helps make it the dominant economy in the world. > >As an economic bloc, the European Union is the only challenger to the >USA's economic position, and it created the euro to challenge the >dollar in international markets. However, the EU is not yet united >behind the euro -- there is a lot of jingoistic national politics >involved, not least in Britain -- and in any case, so long as nations >throughout the world must hoard dollars to buy oil, the euro can make >only very limited inroads into the dollar's dominance. > >In 1999, Iraq, with the world's second largest oil reserves, switched >to trading its oil in euros. American analysts fell about laughing; >Iraq had just made a mistake that was going to beggar the nation. But >two years on, alarm bells were sounding; the euro was rising against >the dollar, Iraq had given itself a huge economic free kick by >switching. > >Iran started thinking about switching too; Venezuela, the 4th largest >oil producer, began looking at it and has been cutting out the dollar >by bartering oil with several nations including America's bete noir, >Cuba. Russia is seeking to ramp up oil production with Europe >(trading in euros) an obvious market. > >The greenback's grip on oil trading and consequently on world trade >in general, was under serious threat. If America did not stamp on >this immediately, this economic brushfire could rapidly be fanned >into a wildfire capable of consuming the US's economy and its >dominance of world trade. > >HOW DOES THE US GET ITS DOLLAR ADVANTAGE? > >Imagine this: you are deep in debt but every day you write cheques >for millions of dollars you don't have -- another luxury car, a >holiday home at the beach, the world trip of a lifetime. > >Your cheques should be worthless but they keep buying stuff because >those cheques you write never reach the bank! You have an agreement >with the owners of one thing everyone wants, call it petrol/gas, that >they will accept only your cheques as payment. This means everyone >must hoard your cheques so they can buy petrol/gas. Since they have >to keep a stock of your cheques, they use them to buy other stuff >too. You write a cheque to buy a TV, the TV shop owner swaps your >cheque for petrol/gas, that seller buys some vegetables at the fruit >shop, the fruiterer passes it on to buy bread, the baker buys some >flour with it, and on it goes, round and round -- but never back to >the bank. > >You have a debt on your books, but so long as your cheque never >reaches the bank, you don't have to pay. In effect, you have received >your TV free. > >This is the position the USA has enjoyed for 30 years -- it has been >getting a free world trade ride for all that time. It has been >receiving a huge subsidy from everyone else in the world. As its debt >has been growing, it has printed more money (written more cheques) to >keep trading. No wonder it is an economic powerhouse! > >Then one day, one petrol seller says he is going to accept another >person's cheques, a couple of others think that might be a good idea. >If this spreads, people are going to stop hoarding your cheques and >they will come flying home to the bank. Since you don't have enough >in the bank to cover all the cheques, very nasty stuff is going to >hit the fan! > >You are big, tough and very aggressive but you don't scare the other >guy who can write cheques, he's pretty big too, however given a >'legitimate' excuse, you can beat the tripes out of the lone gas >seller and scare him and his mates into submission. > >And that, in a nutshell, is what the USA is doing right now with Iraq. > >AMERICA'S PRECARIOUS ECONOMIC POSITION > >America is so eager to attack Iraq now because of the speed with >which the euro fire could spread. If Iran, Venezuela and Russia join >Iraq and sell large quantities of oil for euros, the euro would have >the leverage it needs to become a powerful force in general >international trade. Other nations would have to start swapping some >of their dollars for euros. > >The dollars the USA has printed, the 'cheques' it has written, would >start to fly home, stripping away the illusion of value behind them. >The USA's real economic condition is about as bad as it could be; it >is the most debt-ridden nation on earth, owing about US$12,000 for >every single one of it's 280 million men, women and children. It is >worse than the position of Indonesia when it imploded economically a >few years ago, or more recently, that of Argentina. > >Even if OPEC did not switch to euros wholesale (and that would make a >very nice non-oil profit for the OPEC countries, including minimising >the various contrived debts America has forced on some of them), the >US's difficulties would build. Even if only a small part of the oil >trade went euro, that would do two things immediately: >* Increase the attractiveness to EU members of joining the >'eurozone', which in turn would make the euro stronger and make it >more attractive to oil nations as a trading currency and to other >nations as a general trading currency. >* Start the US dollars flying home demanding value when there isn't >enough in the bank to cover them. >* The markets would over-react as usual and in no time, the US >dollar's value would be spiralling down. > >THE US SOLUTION > >America's response to the euro threat was predictable. It has come >out fighting. > >It aims to achieve four primary things by going to war with Iraq: > >* Safeguard the American economy by returning Iraq to trading oil in >US dollars, so the greenback is once again the exclusive oil currency. > >* Send a very clear message to any other oil producers just what >will happen to them if they do not stay in the dollar circle. Iran >has already received one message -- remember how puzzled you were >that in the midst of moderation and secularization, Iran was named as >a member of the axis of evil? > >* Place the second largest reserves of oil in the world under direct >American control. > >* Provide a secular, subject state where the US can maintain a huge >force (perhaps with nominal elements from allies such as Britain and >Australia) to dominate the Middle East and its vital oil. This would >enable the US to avoid using what it sees as the unreliable Turkey, >the politically impossible Israel and surely the next state in its >sights, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al Qaeda and a hotbed of >anti-American sentiment. > >* Severe setback the European Union and its euro, the only trading >bloc and currency strong enough to attack the USA's dominance of >world trade through the dollar. > >* Provide cover for the US to run a covert operation to overturn the >democratically elected government of Venezuela and replace it with an >America-friendly military supported junta -- and put Venezuala's oil >into American hands. > >Locking the world back into dollar oil trading would consolidate >America's current position and make it all but impregnable as the >dominant world power -- economically and militarily. A splintered >Europe (the US is working hard to split Europe; Britain was easy, but >other Europeans have offered support in terms of UN votes) and its >euro would suffer a serious setback and might take decades to recover. > >It is the boldest grab for absolute power the world has seen in >modern times. America is hardly likely to allow the possible >slaughter of a few hundred thousand Iraqis stand between it and world >domination. > >President Bush did promise to protect the American way of life. This >is what he meant. > >JUSTIFYING WAR > >Obviously, the US could not simply invade Iraq, so it began casting >around for a 'legitimate' reason to attack. That search has been one >of increasing desperation as each rationalization has crumbled. First >Iraq was a threat because of alleged links to al Qaeda; then it was >proposed Iraq might supply al Qaeda with weapons; then Iraq's >military threat to its neighbours was raised; then the need to >deliver Iraqis from Saddam Hussein's horrendously inhumane rule; >finally there is the question of compliance with UN weapons >inspection. > >The USA's justifications for invading Iraq are looking less >impressive by the day. The US's statements that it would invade Iraq >unilaterally without UN support and in defiance of the UN make a >total nonsense of any American claim that it is concerned about the >world body's strength and standing. > >The UN weapons inspectors have come up with minimal infringements of >the UN weapons limitations -- the final one being low tech rockets >which exceed the range allowed by about 20 percent. But there is no >sign of the so-called weapons of mass destruction (WMD) the US has so >confidently asserted are to be found. Colin Powell named a certain >north Iraqi village as a threat. It was not. He later admitted it was >the wrong village. > >'Newsweek' (24/2) has reported that while Bush officials have been >trumpeting the fact that key Iraqi defector, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, >told the US in 1995 that Iraq had manufactured tonnes of nerve gas >and anthrax (Colin Powell's 5 February presentation to the UN was >just one example) they neglected to mention that Kamel had also told >the US that these weapons had been destroyed. > >Parts of the US and particularly the British secret 'evidence' have >been shown to come from a student's masters thesis. > >America's expressed concern about the Iraqi people's human rights and >the country's lack of democracy are simply not supported by the USA's >history of intervention in other states nor by its current actions. >Think Guatemala, the Congo, Chile and Nicaragua as examples of a much >larger pool of US actions to tear down legitimate, democratically >elected governments and replace them with war, disruption, >starvation, poverty, corruption, dictatorships, torture, rape and >murder for its own economic ends. The most recent, Afghanistan, is >not looking good; in fact that reinstalled a murderous group of >warlords which America had earlier installed, then deposed, in favour >of the now hated Taliban. > >Saddam Hussein was just as repressive, corrupt and murderous 15 years >ago when he used chemical weapons, supplied by the US, against the >Kurds. The current US Secretary for Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, so >vehement against Iraq now, was on hand personally to turn aside >condemnation of Iraq and blame Iran. At that time, of course, the US >thought Saddam Hussein was their man -- they were using him against >the perceived threat of Iran's Islamic fundamentalism. > >Right now, as 'The Independent' writer, Robert Fisk, has noted, the >US's efforts to buy Algeria's UN vote includes promises of re-arming >the military which has a decade long history of repression, torture, >rape and murder Saddam Hussein himself would envy. It is estimated >200,000 people have died, and countless others been left maimed by >the activities of these monsters. What price the US's humanitarian >concerns for Iraqis? (Of course, the French are also wooing Algeria, >their former north African territory, for all they are worth, but at >least they are not pretending to be driven by humanitarian concerns.) > >Indonesia is another nation with a vote and influence as the largest >Muslim nation in the world. Its repressive, murderous military is >regaining strength on the back of the US's so-called anti-terror >campaign and is receiving promises of open and covert support -- >including intelligence sharing. > >AND VENEZUELA > >While the world's attention is focused on Iraq, America is both >openly and covertly supporting the "coup of the rich" in Venezuela, >which grabbed power briefly in April last year before being >intimidated by massive public displays of support by the poor for >democratically-elected President Chavez Frias. The coup leaders >continue to use their control of the private media, much of industry >and the ear of the American Government and its oily intimates to >cause disruption and disturbance. > >Venezuela's state-owned oil resources would make rich pickings for >American oil companies and provide the US with an important oil >source in its own backyard. > >Many writers have noted the contradiction between America's alleged >desire to establish democracy in Iraq while at the same time, >actively undermining the democratically-elected government in >Venezuela. Above the line, America rushed to recognise the coup last >April; more recently, President Bush has called for "early >elections", ignoring the fact that President Chavez Frias has won >three elections and two referendums and, in any case, early elections >would be unconstitutional. > >One element of the USA's covert action against Venezuela is the >behaviour of American transnational businesses, which have locked out >employees in support of "national strike" action. Imagine them doing >that in the USA! There is no question that a covert operation is in >process to overturn the legitimate Venezuelan government. Uruguayan >congressman, Jose Nayardi, made it public when he revealed that the >Bush administration had asked for Uruguay's support for Venezuelan >white collar executives and trade union activists "to break down >levels of intransigence within the Chavez Frias administration". The >process, he noted, was a shocking reminder of the CIA's 1973 >intervention in Chile which saw General Pinochet lead his military >coup to take over President Allende's democratically elected >government in a bloodbath. > >President Chavez Frias is desperately clinging to government, but >with the might of the USA aligned with his opponents, how long can he >last? > >THE COST OF WAR > >Some have claimed that an American invasion of Iraq would cost so >many billions of dollars that oil returns would never justify such an >action. > >But when the invasion is placed in the context of the protection of >the entire US economy for now and into the future, the balance of the >argument changes. > >Further, there are three other vital factors: > >First, America will be asking others to help pay for the war because >it is protecting their interests. Japan and Saudi Arabia made serious >contributions to the cost of the 1991 Gulf war. > >Second -- in reality, war will cost the USA very little -- or at >least, very little over and above normal expenditure. This war is >already paid for! All the munitions and equipment have been bought >and paid for. The USA would have to spend hardly a cent on new >hardware to prosecute this war -- the expenditure will come later >when munitions and equipment have to be replaced after the war. But >munitions, hardware andso on are being replaced all the time -- >contracts are out. Some contracts will simply be brought forward and >some others will be ramped up a bit, but spread over a few years, the >cost will not be great. And what is the real extra cost of an army at >war compared with maintaining the standing army around the world, >running exercises and so on? It is there, but it is a relatively >small sum. > >Third -- lots of the extra costs involved in the war are dollars >spent outside America, not least in the purchase of fuel. Guess how >America will pay for these? By printing dollars it is going to war to >protect. The same happens when production begins to replace hardware. >components, minerals, etc. are bought in with dollars that go >overseas and exploit America's trading advantage. > >The cost of war is not nearly as big as it is made out to be. The >cost of not going to war would be horrendous for the USA -- unless >there were another way of protecting the greenback's world trade >dominance. > >AMERICA'S TWO ACTIVE ALLIES > >Why are Australia and Britain supporting America in its transparent >Iraqi war ploy? > >Australia, of course, has significant US dollar reserves and trades >widely in dollars and extensively with America. A fall in the US >dollar would reduce Australia's debt, perhaps, but would do nothing >for the Australian dollar's value against other currencies. John >Howard, the Prime Minister, has long cherished the dream of a free >trade agreement with the USA in the hope that Australia can jump on >the back of the free ride America gets in trade through the dollar's >position as the major trading medium. That would look much less >attractive if the euro took over a significant part of the oil trade. > >Britain has yet to adopt the euro. If the US takes over Iraq and >blocks the euro's incursion into oil trading, Tony Blair will have >given his French and German counterparts a bloody nose, and gained >more room to manouevre on the issue -- perhaps years more room. >Britain would be in a position to demand a better deal from its EU >partners for entering the "eurozone" if the new currency could not >make the huge value gains guaranteed by a significant role in world >oil trading. It might even be in a position to withdraw from Europe >and link with America against continental Europe. > >On the other hand, if the US cannot maintain the oil trade dollar >monopoly, the euro will rapidly go from strength to strength, and >Britain could be left begging to be allowed into the club. > >THE OPPOSITION > >Some of the reasons for opposition to the American plan are obvious >-- America is already the strongest nation on earth and dominates >world trade through its dollar. If it had control of the Iraqi oil >and a base for its forces in the Middle East, it would not add to, >but would multiply its power. > >The oil-producing nations, particularly the Arab ones, can see the >writing on the wall and are quaking in their boots. > >France and Germany are the EU leaders with the vision of a resurgent, >united Europe taking its rightful place in the world and using its >euro currency as a world trading reserve currency and thus gaining >some of the free ride the United States enjoys now. They are the ones >who initiated the euro oil trade with Iraq. > >Russia is in deep economic trouble and knows it will get worse the >day America starts exploiting its take-over of Afghanistan by running >a pipeline southwards via Afghanistan from the giant southern Caspian >oil fields. Currently, that oil is piped northwards -- where Russia >has control. > >Russia is in the process of ramping up oil production with the >possibility of trading some of it for euros and selling some to the >US itself. Russia already has enough problems with the fact that oil >is traded in US dollars; if the US has control of Iraqi oil, it could >distort the market to Russia's enormous disadvantage. In addition, >Russia has interests in Iraqi oil; an American take over could see >them lost. Already on its knees, Russia could be beggared before a >mile of the Afghanistan pipeline is laid. > >ANOTHER SOLUTION? > >The scenario clarifies the seriousness of America's position and >explains its frantic drive for war. It also suggests that solutions >other than war are possible. > >Could America agree to share the trading goodies by allowing Europe >to have a negotiated part of it? Not very likely, but it is just >possible Europe can stare down the USA and force such an outcome. >Time will tell. What about Europe taking the statesmanlike, >humanitarian and long view, and withdrawing, leaving the oil to the >US, with appropriate safeguards for ordinary Iraqis and democracy in >Venezuela? > >Europe might then be forced to adopt a smarter approach -- perhaps >accelerating the development of alternative energy technologies which >would reduce the EU's reliance on oil for energy and produce goods it >could trade for euros -- shifting the world trade balance. > >Now that would be a very positive outcome for everyone. > >. . . . > >Geoffrey Heard is a Melbourne, Australia, writer on the environment, >sustainability and human rights. >. . . . > >Geoffrey Heard © 2003. Anyone is free to circulate this document >provided it is complete and in its current form with attribution and >no payment is asked. It is prohibited to reproduce this document or >any part of it for commercial gain without the prior permission of >the author. For such permission, contact the author at >email@example.com. > >SOME REFERENCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION: > >http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html >'The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and >Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth' by W. Clark, January >2003 (revised 20 February), Independent Media Center, >www.indymedia.org > >http://www.indymedia.ie/cgi-bin/newswire.cgi?id=28334 >This war is about more than oil. OIL DOLLARS!!!! DOLLARS, THE EURO >AND WAR IN IRAQ. >This story is based on material posted by Richard Douthwaite on the >FEASTA list in Ireland. > >http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/12/1550023_comment.php#1551138 >USA intelligence agencies revealed in plot to oust Venezuela's >President > >http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp- >dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A41444-2003Jan11¬Found=true >Washington Post >Split Screen In Strike-Torn Venezuela >By Mark Weisbrot Sunday, January 12, 2003; Page B04 > >http://www.atimes.com/global-econ/DD11Dj01.html >Asia Times online: Global Economy >US dollar hegemony has got to go >By Henry C K Liu > >http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm > >http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/EnemyWithin.html >The Observer >The Enemy Within >by Gore Vidal London, Sunday 27 October 2002
This is a human security project to establish an independent and comprehensive public database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from military action by the USA and its allies in 2003. In the current occupation phase this database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation. Results and totals are continually updated and made immediately available on this page and on various IBC counters which may be freely displayed on any website, where they will be automatically updated without further intervention. Casualty figures are derived solely from a comprehensive survey of online media reports. Where these sources report differing figures, the range (a minimum and a maximum) are given. All results are independently reviewed and error-checked by at least three members of the Iraq Body Count project team before publication.
The project takes as its starting point and builds upon the earlier work of Professor Marc Herold who has produced the most comprehensive tabulation of civilian deaths in the war on Afghanistan from October 2001 to the present, and the methodology has been designed in close consultation with him.
Professor Herold commented: “I strongly support this initiative. The counting of civilian dead looms ever more importantly for at least two reasons: military sources and their corporate mainstream media backers seek to portray the advent of precision guided weaponry as inflicting at most, minor, incidental civilian casualties when, in truth, such is is not the case; and the major source of opposition to these modern ‘wars’ remains an informed, articulate general public which retains a commitment to the international humanitarian covenants of war at a time when most organized bodies and so-called ‘experts’ have walked away from them”.
Its industrial base is so uncompetitive that it consistently imports more than it exports; its current-account deficit, the gap between all its current foreign earnings and foreign spending, is now a stunning 5 per cent of GDP, continuing a trend that has lasted for more than 25 years and which is the cause of all that foreign debt. As a national community, it has virtually ceased to save so that government and individuals alike live on credit.
To finance the current-account deficit, a reflection of the lack of saving, the US relies on foreigners supplying it with the foreign currency it can't earn itself. The Old Europe that Donald Rumsfeld mocked last week has been helping to prop up the US economy, buying shares and bonds on Wall Street, taking over American companies and investing in real estate, compensating for the saving that the Americans aren't doing themselves
Even while I have been in the United States, a Congressional failure to continue the temporary extension of social security from 13 to 26 weeks has, almost casually, placed 750,000 unemployed Americans close to destitution. It has been little reported in the mainstream media, but on the streets people know the implications.
There is all the tinder for an anti-war movement over Iraq as powerful as that against the war in Vietnam. Distressed corporate America is considerable and growing; even in areas like criminal justice policy, popular opinion is wondering whether denying ex-prisoners access to social security and public housing forever - one of Clinton's so-called welfare 'reforms' - does anything more than create a permanent criminal class beyond the reach of society.
Now even the pro-gun-control documentary, Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, has been a surprise box-office sensation. The country is definitely on the turn.
Which is why either being simplistically anti-American or, alternatively, an uncritical follower of a foreign policy that is about to be fiercely challenged within the United States equally makes no sense. Rather, the task is to hold America to account for the values it purports to stand for. America's real friends are those who will do just that.
The retreat of equality and fairness over the last 20 years as key values around which we should organise ourselves economically and socially has become a rout. The new mantra, justified by hack right-wing economists, is that just as nature is a Darwinian struggle of the survival of the fittest, so we should extend the principle to economy and society. The natural order of things is to give free rein to those animal acquisitive spirits that will benefit us all in the long run. After all, where would be if we tried to suppress those 'natural' instincts with progressive taxation, caps on executive salaries, regulations that tried to make the rules of the game fair and all the rest? That would be - dread word - socialism. And we know where that leads.
If this bleak philosophy dominates the British national conversation, it is the ideological inspiration of George Bush's Republicans, standard-bearers of the rise of a particular brand of conservatism that has not only polluted American culture, but which, in my view, has become one of the US's least desirable exports. Last week, for example, witnessed one of the most extraordinarily unfair budget proposals made in any Western industrial country. Half the funds consecrated to a tax-cutting stimulus were earmarked for the very rich, whose dividends on their share portfolios would now be free from tax.
Europeans do not understand the curious civilisation that the current America is becoming, and the grip that a visceral and idiosyncratic conservatism has on its national discourse. They especially do not understand the undercurrents of an increasingly self-confident and subtle racism that is its own variant of the forces that in Europe gave us Le Pen and Pim Fortuyn. George Bush Jnr is a chip off the old multilateralist, transatlantic establishment, runs the European argument. He may seem hawkishly conservative but, in the end, he seeks UN resolutions like other American Presidents. Even at home, his bark is worse than his bite.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Anyone who thinks the Tory party is 'nasty' has not encountered contemporary American republicanism. Georgia's Republican Party, for example, is now lead by Ralph Reed, a long-time crusader against abortion, divorce and single parent families. He would regard last week's vote in the House of Lords allowing unmarried and gay couples to adopt as the work of Satan. He is part of US conservatism's ideological hard core.
America is not a happy place. A generation of increasingly conservative policies has shrunk the American middle and induced not just fantastic inequality but a sharp decline in social mobility and opportunity. The US's social contract, never more than minimalist, is now threadbare. Consumer confidence is low; job insecurity high. American capitalism is viewed with deep scepticism. Nor are the majority of Americans social conservatives and closet racists; they do not want the clock put back over women's rights, the environment and race.
The trouble was that this silent liberal majority was only prepared to voice its preoccupations at state rather than national level, if it bothered to vote at all. The Democrats had to find a way of voicing the concerns of the mass of Americans while not undermining the President during a national emergency, but to do that they had to have a powerful pitch based on a liberal ideology as animating and dynamic as that of the conservatives. They didn't and they lost.
But the game isn't up. America's conservatives, blinded by their ideology and in control of every lever of government, will overreach themselves and the reality of what they plan will become evident to all, stirring the apathetic voter and reminding the best of America what it stands for. Last week represented the highwater mark of American conservatism and, although it looks bleak, the beginnings of the long-awaited liberal revival. Not just the United States, but the world, needs it badly. In the meantime, despite its flaws, give thanks to the European Union for partial shelter from the conservative storm.
Wayne Morse, the senior senator from Oregon, did not resort to euphemism. He spoke of the "tyranny that American boys are being killed in South Vietnam to maintain in power." Moments before the hearing adjourned, Morse said he did not "intend to put the blood of this war on my hands."
It's hard to imagine the late senator going along with claims today that the U.S. government has a right to attack Iraq because of the doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense."
A fierce advocate of international law, Morse had no patience for double standards. In 1964 he told a national TV audience: "I don't know why we think, just because we're mighty, that we have the right to try to substitute might for right. And that's the American policy in Southeast Asia--just as unsound when we do it as when Russia does it.""
"Transfixed with tactical issues, none of the senators on television in recent days would dream of acknowledging the current relevance of a statement made by Morse a third of a century ago: "We're going to become guilty, in my judgment, of being the greatest threat to the peace of the world. It's an ugly reality, and we Americans don't like to face up to it.""
The media do not remind the citizenry of the history of that dire Guatemalan "threat" of 1954, nor the hugely undemocratic sequel to that earlier "regime change." They rarely mention that the pitbull actually helped Iraq acquire "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) in the 1980s when Saddam Hussein was fighting Iran, a U.S. enemy of the moment, and that he and Poodle Number One went to some pains to prevent any international condemnation of Iraq for using chemical weapons in those years. The media also fail to mention or reflect on the fact that Iraq didn't use such weapons during the Persian Gulf War when the United States would have retaliated.
To mention these things the media would have had to be willing to show the monumental U.S. hypocrisy in this demonization process and claim that Iraq's possession or use of WMDs poses a serious threat. They would have to recognize that Iraq can't use them without committing suicide, unless it did so once again against a target approved by the pitbull. This might lead to the further reflection that perhaps the real global problem is the pitbull's possession of WMDs, which he has used lavishly from Hiroshima to Vietnam to its depleted uranium "dirty" weapons employed in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, and which he is actively readying for use in the future as he prepares to dominate the world by threat and violence.
Really large-scale killing and torture to terrorize-"wholesale" terrorism-has been implemented by states, not by non-state terrorists. The reason people aren't aware of this is that states define terrorism and identify the terrorists, and they naturally exempt themselves as always "retaliating" and engaging in "counter-terror" even when their own actions are an exact fit to their own definitions.
Two Phases of Cambodian "Genocide"
The Times, along with everybody else in the mainstream media, also fails to mention that before Pol Pot came to power in 1975, the United States had devastated Cambodia for the first half of what a Finnish government's study referred to as a "decade" of genocide (not just the four years of Pol Pot's rule, 1975-78). The "secret bombing" of Cambodia by the Nixon-Kissinger gang may have killed as many Cambodians as were executed by the Khmer Rouge and surely contributed to the ferocity of Khmer Rouge behavior toward the urban elite and citizenry whose leaders had allied themselves with the foreign terrorists.
The U.S.-imposed holocaust was a "sideshow" to the Vietnam War, the United States bombing Cambodia heavily by 1969, helping organize the overthrow of Sihanouk in 1970, and in collaboration with its puppet Saigon government making period incursions into Cambodia in the 1960s and later. "U.S. B-52s pounded Cambodia for 160 consecutive days [in 1973], dropping more than 240,000 short tons of bombs on rice fields, water buffalo, villages (particularly along the Mekong River) and on such troop positions as the guerrillas might maintain," a tonnage that "represents 50 percent more than the conventional explosives dropped on Japan during World War II". This "constant indiscriminate bombing" was of course carried out against a peasant society with no air force or ground defenses. The Finnish government study estimates that 600,000 people died in this first phase, with 2 million refugees produced. Michael Vickerey estimated 500,000 killed in phase one.
At the end of the first half of the decade of genocide, with the Khmer Rouge victorious and occupying Phnom Penh in April 1975, Cambodia was a shattered, embittered society, on the verge of mass starvation with crops unsowed and vast numbers of refugees in and around Phnom Penh suddenly cut off from the U.S. aid that had kept them alive. High U.S. officials were estimating a million deaths from starvation before the Khmer Rouge takeover. The Khmer Rouge forced a mass exodus from Phnom Penh, whose population they were in no position to feed, an action interpreted in the West as simply a completely unjustified exercise in vengeance.
There is no question but that the Khmer Rouge were brutal and killed large numbers. Michael Vickerey estimated 150-300,000 executed and an excess of deaths in the four years of Pol Pot rule of 750,000. David Chandler estimates up to 100,000 executions (Newsweek, June 30, 1997). The Finnish study estimated the total deaths in the Pol Pot years at a million, encompassing both executions and deaths from disease, starvation and overwork. Other serious studies of Cambodia yield comparable numbers.
Whereas, the war in Iraq will cost hundreds of billions of dollars (former Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey estimated the cost at as much as $200 billion), a cost that will come at the direct expense of working families; and also will divert urgently needed funds from job creation, healthcare and education; and
Whereas, the sudden urgency to disarm Iraq is widely believed to be a cynical ploy to distract Americans from the Bush Administration's abysmal economic record and to help the Republican Party; and
Whereas, the September 11 attacks and the "War on Terrorism" has become the guise under which Bush has carried out an agenda that has nothing to do with combating terrorism; and
Whereas, the "War on Terrorism" has been invoked to silence critics, stifle debate, curtail civil liberties, scapegoat and round up immigrants; and it has further been used as an excuse for union busting, from the administration's intervention in the west coast dock workers' struggle to the efforts to de-unionize federal workers in the Department of Homeland Security; and
Whereas, the "War on Terrorism" has perverted the very important task of actually reducing terrorist threats and turned it instead into a political weapon of repression and manipulation; and
Whereas, there is growing opposition to war in Iraq as shown by Congress being flooded with hundreds of thousands of calls and letters opposing the war during the recent debate on the war resolution; tens of thousands of people demonstrating against the war in at least three dozen cities and towns on October 6, including 25,000 in Central Park, and 1.5 million in Italy; 100,000 people demonstrating against the war in Washington, DC, on October 26, while another 60,000-80,000 demonstrated in San Francisco, 10,000 in St. Paul, 8,000 in Seattle, thousands in Denver and Chicago, additional demonstrations in Maine and Vermont, and internationally, 10,000 in Berlin, with demonstrations in 70 other German towns as well, 4,000 in Amsterdam, 1,500 in Copenhagen, 1,000 in Stockholm, and additional demonstrations in Rome, London, Tokyo, San Juan and Mexico City; and over 27,000 U.S. scholars signing an anti-war letter; students mobilizing on college campuses; four U.S. generals publicly opposing unilateral U.S. action in Iraq; and
Whereas, opposition to the war is also growing within the labor movement and among community organizations; AFL-CIO President John Sweeney recently wrote to Congress expressing concern that "the sudden urgency for a decision about war and peace… has as much to do with the political calendar as with the situation in Iraq. It is an apparent contradiction that there is no similar urgency to take action to address the economic crisis that is also inflicting
WFP Resolution on the U.S. War Against Iraq, continued
immediate suffering on so many of our people." Mr. Sweeney further called for assurances that "war is the last option, not the first, used to resolve this conflict." In addition, more and more local unions, central labor bodies and community organizations are speaking out each day as they consider it their duty to act on a matter that directly threatens their members and families;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Working Families Party oppose the current drive for war, oppose U.S. military action in Iraq, and oppose the Bush doctrine of "preemptive strikes;" and
Be it further resolved, that the Working Families Party opposes abuse of the legitimate need and effort to combat terrorism and condemn the invocation of the "War on Terrorism" to silence critics, curtail rights and bust unions; and
Be it further resolved, that the Working Families Party support the growing anti-war sentiment among the people of the United States and publicize its own current opposition to war in Iraq; and
Be it further resolved, that the Working Families Party send copies of this resolution to Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Hillary Clinton and the New York State Congressional Delegation and express dismay at their votes in favor of the war resolution in the face of massive opposition from their constituents.
Protocol 1, Article 51.2. states: "The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited."
Article 57: "Works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dikes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. "
Article 51 explicitly outlaws carpet or area bombing tactics: "Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate: an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated."
Article 55: "Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage."
The press talked for weeks about whether it was acceptable for U.S. forces to violate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Is it unreasonable to expect at least equal attention to the question of whether U.S. assaults are violating international law?
An analysis of 33 skulls found on the Mexican peninsula of Baja California suggests that the first Americans were not north Asians who crossed to the American continent about 12,000 years ago.
This came as no surprise to Europeans however, as Iraq had made extra copies of the complete weapons declaration report and unofficially distributed them to journalists throughout Europe. The Berlin newspaper Die Tageszetung broke the story on December 19, 2002 in an article by Andreas Zumach.
At the same time, according to the investigation by Michael Niman, the Iraq government sent out official copies of the report on November 3, 2002. One, classified as "secret," was sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency, another copy went to the UN Security Council. The U.S. convinced Colombia, chair of the Security Council and current target of U.S. military occupation and financial aid, to look the other way while the report was removed, edited, and returned. Other members of the Security Council such as Britain, France, China and Russia, were implicated in the missing pages as well (China and Russia were still arming Iraq) and had little desire to expose the United States' transgression. So all members accepted the new, abbreviated version.
But what was in the missing pages that the Bush administration felt was so threatening that they had to be removed? What information were Europeans privy to that Americans were not?
According to Niman, "The missing pages implicated twenty-four U.S.-based corporations and the successive Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. administration in connection with the illegal supplying of Saddam Hussein government with myriad weapons of mass destruction and the training to use them." Groups documented in the original report that were supporting Iraq's weapons programs prior to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait included:
- Eastman Kodak, Dupont, Honeywell, Rockwell, Sperry, Hewlett-Packard, and Bechtel,
- U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense,
- Nuclear weapons labs such as Lawrence-Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia.
Beginning in 1983, the U.S. was involved in eighty shipments of biological and chemical components, including strains of botulism toxin, anthrax, gangrene bacteria, West Nile fever virus, and Dengue fever virus. These shipments continued even after Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran in 1984. Later, in 1988 Iraq used the chemical weapons against the Kurds.
But perhaps most importantly, the missing pages contain information that could potentially make a case for war crimes against officials within the Reagan and the Bush Sr. administrations. This includes the current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - for his collaboration with Saddam Hussein leading up to the massacres of Iraqi Kurds and acting as liaison for U.S. military aid during the war between Iraq and Iran.
Nobel Peace Prize candidate, Helen Caldicott, states that the tiny radioactive particles created when a DU weapon hits a target are easily inhaled through gas masks. The particles, which lodge in the lung, can be transferred to the kidney and other vital organs. Gulf War veterans are excreting uranium in their urine and semen, leading to chromosomal damage. DU has a half-life of 4.1 billion years. The negative effects found in one generation of US veterans could be the fate of all future generations of Iraqi people.
An August 2002 UN report states that the use of the DU weapons is in violation of numerous laws and UN conventions. Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagons DU project says "We must do what is right for the citizens of the world- ban DU." Reportedly, more than 9600 Gulf War veterans have died since serving in Iraq during the first gulf war, a statistical anomaly. The Pentagon has blamed the extraordinary number of illnesses and deaths on a variety of factors, including stress, pesticides, vaccines and oil-well fire smoke. However, according to top-level U.S. Army reports and military contractors, "short-term effects of high doses (of DU) can result in death, while long-term effects of low doses have been implicated in cancer." Our own soldiers in the first Gulf War were often required to enter radioactive battlefields unprotected and were never warned of the dangers of DU. In effect, George Bush Sr. used weapons of mass destruction on his own soldiers. The internal cover-up of the dangers of DU has been intentional and widespread.
In addition to Doug Rocke, the Pentagon's original expert on DU, ex-army nurse Carol Picou has been outspoken about the negative effects of DU on herself and other veterans. She has compiled extensive documentation on the birth defects found among the Iraqi people and the children of our own Gulf War veterans. She was threatened in anonymous phone calls on the eve of her testimony to congress. Subsequently, her car, which contained sensitive information on DU, was mysteriously destroyed.
He said he was concernedby a 25 per cent increase in alcohol-related deaths in the past 10 years. This was compounded by a 32 per cent increase in alcohol misuse by young males aged between 18 and 24 in the past 12 years.
"All the indicators are upwards," Professor Drummond said. "If you look at women of the same age, there's actually been a 70 per cent increase in alcohol misuse over that period. There are huge marketing effects taking place. There's a lot of money spent on making drinking attractive to women and this is part of the reason."
Ordinary people who consider themselves honest and law-abiding citizens are involved in a massive rip-off that is costing insurance companies and the Government some £13.8bn in fraud and forgeries, criminologists told the conference. These hidden crimes included a range of non-serious offences from the non-payment of income tax and fraudulent insurance claims to stealing pens from work and a failure to return money that was accidentally "overchanged" in a shop.
At the same time, insurance companies, shops and services are engaged in a war with consumers, which is resulting in a deliberate policy of trying to rip off customers.
This includes everything from selling poor-quality food and overstating the benefits of holiday accommodation to unnecessary repairs to goods.
"We think that these illegal, unfair and shady practices committed by consumers and businesses alike are very important for the understanding of the morality of our society," said Professor Susanne Karstedt of Keele University.
"I think we have to see it as part of a vicious circle in which producers and consumers are engaging. We find that consumers are hitting back. These are the citizens and consumers of the middle classes who would reject the labels of criminals and crime for themselves and their own actions.
"We found that the more people were self interested, the more they were legal cynics and the more they were disengaged citizens, that is the lower were their citizenship values.The promotion of self interest in society obviously results in that type of behaviour."
Stephen Farrall, a criminologist from Keele, said young people were more likely to be engaged in such illegal behaviour, which has been increasing since the early 1990s.
"The early 1990s ... was, if you like, the high-tide mark for Thatcherite values and the acceleration towards a reliance on a market society," Dr Farrall said. "I don't think any of the people we interviewed would consider themselves to be dishonest or to be criminals.
"The offending was not just aimed at insurance claims, we have people ripping each other off in second-hand sales ... it's also about being a predator against one's neighbour."
* Avoiding VAT by paying in cash
* Keeping money when given too much change
* Stealing from the office
* Not having a television licence
* Wrongly used ID card
* Padding out an insurance claim
* Getting friends to bend rules
* Accepting refunds from shops when they are not warranted
Then came December 22, 2001. Richard Reid, on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, attempted to light his shoes on fire, using matches. His shoes, the police said, contained a plastic explosive and, had some passengers and flight attendants not taken quick action to restrain him, he would have been able to blow the entire plane out of the sky. But his lighter would not light the shoes fast enough, and everyone survived.
I was sure after this freakish incident that the lighters and matches would surely be banned. But, as my book tour began in February, there they were, the passengers with their Bic lighters and their books of matches. I asked one security person after another why these people were allowed to bring devices which could start a fire on board the plane, especially after the Reid incident. No one, not a single person in authority or holding an unloaded automatic weapon, could or would give me answer.
My simple question was this: If all smoking is prohibited on all flights, then why does ANYONE need their lighters and matches at 30,000 feet -- while I am up there with them?!
And why is the one device that has been used to try and blow up a plane since 9-11 NOT on the banned list? No one has used toenail clippers to kill anyone on Jet Blue, and no one has been blowing away the leaves in the aisle of the Delta Connection flight to Tupelo.
BUT SOME FRUITCAKE DID USE A BUTANE LIGHTER TO TRY AND KILL 200 PEOPLE ON AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT #63. And this did nothing to force the Bush Administration to do something about it.
I began asking this question in front of audiences on my book tour. And it was on a dark and rainy night in Arlington, Virginia, at the Ollsson's Bookstore a couple miles from the Pentagon that I got my answer. After asking my Bic lighter question in my talk to the audience, I sat down to sign the books for the people in line. A young man walks up to the table, introduces himself, and lowering his voice so no one can hear, tells me the following:
"I work on the Hill. The butane lighters were on the original list prepared by the FAA and sent to the White House for approval. The tobacco industry lobbied the Bush administration to have the lighters and matches removed from the banned list. Their customers (addicts) naturally are desperate to light up as soon as they land, and why should they be punished just so the skies can be safe?
The lighters and matches were removed from the forbidden list.
I was stunned. I knew there had to be some strange reason why this most obvious of items had not been banned. Could the Bush mob be so blatant in their contempt for the public's safety? How could they do this, and at the same time, issue weekly warnings about the "next terrorist threat"? Would they really put Big Tobacco's demands ahead of people's lives?
Yes, of course, the answer has always been YES but not now, not in a time of national crisis, not NOW, so soon after the worst domestic mass murder in U.S. history!
Unless there was no real threat at all.
The hard and difficult questions must be asked: Is the "War on Terrorism" a ruse, a concoction to divert the citizens' attention?
Accept, if you will for just a moment, that as truly despicable as George W. Bush is, he would not be so evil as to help out his buddies in tobacco land that that would be worth suffering through another 9-11. Once you give the man that – and for once I am asking you to do just that – once you admit that not even he would allow the murder of hundreds or thousands more just so Marlboro addicts can light up outside the terminal, then a whole other door opens – and that door, my friends, leads to the Pandora's Box of 9-11, a rotten can of worms that many in the media are afraid to open for fear of where it might lead, of just how deep the stench goes.
What if there is no "terrorist threat?" What if Bush and Co. need, desperately need, that "terrorist threat" more than anything in order to conduct the systematic destruction they have launched against the U.S. constitution and the good people of this country who believe in the freedoms and liberties it guarantees?
Do you want to go there?
I do. I have filed a Freedom of Information Act demand to the FAA, asking that they give to me all documents pertaining to the decisions that were made to allow deadly butane lighters and books of matches on board passenger planes. I am not optimistic about what the results of this will be.
And let's face it - it's just one small piece of the puzzle. It is, after all, just a 99-cent Bic lighter. But, friends, I have to tell you, over the years I have found that it is PRECISELY the "little stories" and the "minor details" that contain within them the LARGER truths. Perhaps my quest to find out why the freedom to be able to start a fire on board a plane-full of citizens is more important than yours or my life will be in vain. Or maybe, just maybe, it will be the beginning of the end of this corrupt, banal administration of con artists who shamelessly use the dead of that day in September as the cover to get away with anything.
I think it's time we all stood up and started asking some questions of these individuals. The bottom line: Anyone who would brazenly steal an election and insert themselves into OUR White House with zero mandate from The People is, frankly - sadly - capable of anything...
Yet even after tragedies that could not have occurred except for the availability of guns, their significance is either played down or missed altogether. Had the youngsters in the celebrated schoolyard shootings of 1997–98 not had access to guns, some or all of the people they killed would be alive today. Without their firepower those boys lacked the strength, courage, and skill to commit multiple murders. Nevertheless newspapers ran editorials with titles such as “It’s Not Guns, It’s Killer Kids” (Fort Worth Star–Telegram) and “Guns Aren’t the Problem” (New York Post), and journalists, politicians, and pundits blathered on endlessly about every imaginable cause of youthful rage, from “the psychology of violence in the South” to satanism to fights on “Jerry Springer” and simulated shooting in Nintendo games."
While avowing his fondness for the American people and many of their achievements, Hutton is excoriating about the injustices and inequalities of the US economic model. His is a devastating critique of the economic waste and social cost of its Wall Street finance driven, short termist, high tech bubble style "boom/bust" economics. Radicals will find a great deal of valuable material to mine from Hutton's book in analyzing the price society pays for being shackled by the bizarre excesses of modern American capitalism."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer © 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust"
In an increasingly plural society such as that of modern Britain it is necessary not only to respect the differing religious beliefs, feelings, and practices of all but also to protect them from scurrility, vilification, ridicule, and contempt. . . . I will not lend my voice to a view of the law relating to blasphemous libel which would render it a dead letter, or diminish its efficacy to protect religious feelings from outrage and insult."
"This book was used by many as an excuse to torture, maim, and kill many thousands of women. James became convinced at the Danish court that Witchcraft was real and that the central source of the Witch's power was the demonic pact. James focused attention on Witchcraft because his underlying fear was that magical means might be used to end his life as the divinely ordained king of Scotland.
"After his return from the Continent in 1590, he became intensely interested in sorcery and Witchcraft trials and particularly the trial of his political enemy, Bothwell (1590-1591). Witches were vigorously hunted and persecuted - to such an extent that some villages had no females left in them. The period ends with the publication of this Daemonologie in 1597. Because of the impact of the Daemonologie on the ruling classes, more trials were now held with the King's approval, and very many more convictions were obtained.
"This book should therefore be in every true Witch's library, at the very least as a monument to those who died.""
'In an increasingly plural society such as that of modern Britain it is necessary not only to respect the differing religious beliefs, feelings and practices of all but also to protect them from scurrility, vilification, ridicule and contempt... When nearly a century earlier Lord Macaulay protested in Parliament against the way the blasphemy laws were then administered, he added (Speeches, p. 116): "If I were a judge in India, I should have no scruple about punishing a Christian who should pollute a mosque" (1922) C.L.J. 127, 135. When Macaulay became a legislator in India, he saw to it that the law protected the religious feelings of all. In those days India was a plural society: today the United Kingdom is also.' (R v Lemon  AC 617, p.658). "
My will is easy to decide, For there is nothing to divide. My kin don't need to fuss and moan- "Moss does not cling to a rolling stone." My body? Ah, If I could choose, I would to ashes it reduce, And let the merry breezes blow My dust to where some flowers grow. Perhaps some fading flower then Would come to life and bloom again. This is my last and final will. Good luck to all of you, Joe Hill
A MAN travelling in a desert met a Woman.
"Who art thou?" asked the Man, "and why dost thou dwell in this dreadful place?"
"My name," replied the Woman, "is Truth; and I live in the desert in order to be near my worshippers when they are driven from among their fellows. They all come, sooner or later."
"Well," said the Man, looking about, "the country doesn't seem to be very thickly settled here."
On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond, Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond. A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat. The water was warm. There was plenty to eat. The turtles had everything turtles might need. And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed. They were... untill Yertle, the king of them all, Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small. "I'm ruler", said Yertle, "of all that I see. But I don't see enough. That's the trouble with me. With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond But I cannot look down on the places beyond. This throne that I sit on is too, too low down. It ought to be higher!" he said with a frown. "If I could sit high, how much greater I'd be! What a king! I'd be ruler of all that I see!" So Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command. He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone And, using these turtles, he built a new throne. He made each turtle stand on another one's back And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack. And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile. What a wonderful view! He could see 'most a mile! "All mine!" Yertle cried. "Oh, the things I now rule! I'm the king of a cow! And I'm the king of a mule! I'm the king of a house! And, what's more, beyond that I'm the king of a blueberry bush and a cat! I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! For I am the ruler of all that I see!" And all through the morning, he sat up there high Saying over and over, "A great king am I!" Until 'long about noon. Then he heard a faint sigh. "What's that?" snapped the king And he looked down the stack. And he saw, at the bottom, a turtle named Mack. Just a part of his throne. And this plain little turtle Looked up and he said, "Beg your pardon, King Yertle. I've pains in my back and my shoulders and knees. How long must we stand here, Your Majesty, please?" "SILENCE!" the King of the Turtles barked back. "I'm king, and you're only a turtle named Mack." "You stay in your place while I sit here and rule. I'm the king of a cow! And I'm the king of a mule! I'm the king of a house! And a bush! And a cat! But that isn't all. I'll do better than that! My throne shall be higher!" his royal voice thundered, "So pile up more turtles! I want 'bout two hundred!" "Turtles! More turtles!" he bellowed and brayed. And the turtles 'way down in the pond were afraid. They trembled. They shook. But they came. They obeyed. From all over the pond, they came swimming by dozens. Whole families of turtles, with uncles and cousins. And all of them stepped on the head of poor Mack. One after another, they climbed up the stack. Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high, He could see fourty miles from his throne in the sky! "Hooray!" shouted Yertle. "I'm the king of the trees! I'm king of the birds! And I'm king of the bees! I'm king of the butterflies! King of the air! Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair! I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! For I am the ruler of all that I see!" Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack, Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack. "Your Majesty, please... I don't like to complain, But down here below, we are feeling great pain. I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights. We turtles can't stand it. Our shells will all crack! Besides, we need food. We are starving!" groaned Mack. "You hush up your mouth!" howled the mighty King Yertle. "You've no right to talk to the world's highest turtle. I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea! There's nothing, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!" But, while he was shouting, he saw with suprise That the moon of the evening was starting to rise Up over his head in the darkening skies. "What's THAT?" snorted Yertle. "Say, what IS that thing That dares to be higher than Yertle the King? I shall not allow it! I'll go higher still! I'll build my throne higher! I can and I will! I'll call some more turtles. I'll stack 'em to heaven! I need 'bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!" But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand And started to order and give the command, That plain little turtle below in the stack, That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack, Decided he'd taken enough. And he had. And that plain little lad got a bit mad. And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing. He burped! And his burp shook the throne of the king! And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees, The king of the air and the birds and the bees, The king of a house and a cow and a mule... Well, that was the end of the Turtle King's rule! For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond, Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond! And tosay the great Yertle, that Marvelous he, Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see. And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen
Pay attention even to trifles
Do nothing which is of no use