Jan 312008
 

Compare this:

Each member of parliament is being offered $5 million dollars to vote for the law, that would give big oil up to 88% of Iraq’s oil income, a deal no other major oil producing country would take without a gun to their head. Big Oil Tries To Bribe Iraqis

to this:

The Management Rule is the heart of Norway’s economic miracle. It is a profound act of self-discipline: All but 4 per cent of Norway’s oil earnings must be placed in the fund for savings; nothing can be withdrawn from the fund until the oil is gone, decades from now; and most crucially absolutely none of the money can be invested inside Norway. Mr. Slyngstad and his traders spend their days funnelling the oil wealth into foreign stocks and bonds, so none of it will touch the Norwegian economy. Frugal Norway saves for life after the boom

Jan 312008
 

A new study out reveals that the western United States will experience higher drought conditions due to global climate change. It’s a bit ironic, considering our current snowfall levels, but they’ve accounted for that too:

Those findings may come as a surprise this year, when the West is getting so much snow that skiers and snowmobilers are dying in avalanches in places that normally don’t get that much snow.

50 years of data and computer modeling have led researched to believe that drought will now affect much of the West. This will lead to more forest fires, topsoil loss, even power generation failures.

Jan 312008
 

Quite possibly another sign of things to come: Military-type Occupation On American Streets

Under the guise of “protecting us” of course (from ourselves, apparently). Kind of like this case, keeping our streets safe from dangerous speeders justifies running this woman’s car off the road, smashing her window and dragging her into the street.

Do NOT drive in Arizona. Don’t even visit Arizona. Arizona law enforcement has made it very clear many, many times, you’re the enemy.

Check out Botched Paramilitary Raids for how close this danger is to you and how often this keeps happening.  Also, Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids In America.

Jan 312008
 

[bolded text mine for emphasis – Admin]

The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America
Reviewing Jennifer Van Bergen’s book

by Stephen Lendman

Global Research, January 28, 2008

Jennifer Van Bergen is an author, activist and educator who currently teaches English and writing at Sante Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. Professionally, she’s also a journalist, legal analyst and non-practicing attorney who’s written, spoken out and debated widely on Patriot Act justice and other civil liberties issues. Her newest book is titled “Archetypes for Writers: Using the Power of Your Subconscious.” It analyzes the component skills writers need to learn about their “own already-existing characters” through a series of exercises in the book. Continue reading »

Jan 312008
 

I’ve been hearing and reading information regarding the EM (electromagnetic radiation) that we are all exposed to for some time now.  The danger is real, while the effects are not entirely understood (or at least obfuscated by industry).

Cell phones, in particular have become ubiquitous, especially among the younger generation.  Here is a list of the risks involved from Natural News:
Using a cell phone regularly ““ even a modern one ““ raises the risk of developing a brain tumor for many users, a new Finnish study published online in the International Journal of Cancer. The study, done by a collection of researchers from many universities and led by Anna Lahkola of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, found firm corollary evidence that using a cell phone causes the risk of getting a brain tumor called a glioma to rise by 40 to 270 percent on the side of the head preferred for using the phone.

“¢ The study compared 1,521 cellular phone users who received a glioma to 3,301 control participants without tumors.

“¢ For people who have used a modern cellular phone for more than 2000 hours in their lifetime, the risk of getting a brain tumor rose by 270 percent.

“¢ The study is considered the second that firmly correlates cell phone usage with an increased risk of developing certain brain tumors.

“¢ The risk was highest among people under the age of 20.

“¢ Older-style analog cell phones already have been shown as a source of brain tumors, but even with the development of digital cellular phones, the risk is still there.

“¢ According to a scientist associated with the web site foodconsumer.org, the study results should not make readers assume that ten years of cell phone use will correlate to an immediate tumor, but that the tumor will show up later than that.

“¢ Mobile phone manufacturers have tried to suppress the dangers of mobile phones by funding their own distorted research that concludes the phones are perfectly safe.

“¢ All people — but children and teens especially — should be warned against using mobile phones due to the increased risk of brain tumors.

“¢ Cell phone usage is shown to increase your risk of a brain tumor.

In as little as 10 minutes of cell phone usage can trigger changes in brain cells linked to cell division and cancer, suggests a new study conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and published in the Biochemical Journal.

Previously, advocates of cell-phone safety have maintained that the phones cannot cause brain damage because the microwave radiation that they emit is at a level too low to heat the body’s cells. But in the new study, changes in biological processes began at an energy level even lower than that used by a typical phone, even without heating occurring.

“Safety guidelines assume [that] health effects from mobiles can only occur when significant heating of body tissue occurs. [But] this study shows biological changes in response to low-level mobile phone radiation — something that could potentially have implications for health,” said Graham Philips of the British nonprofit Powerwatch.

Researchers exposed both human and rat cells to low-level radiation at a frequency of 875 megahertz, a similar frequency to that used by most cellular phones. The intensity of the radiation was far lower than that used by most phones, however.

Even so, within 10 minutes the scientists observed changes within the cells. A chemical switch regulating cell division was switched on — a switch that has been linked to a variety of cancers.

There was no direct evidence of cancer inducement in the current study. However, the researchers point out that the changes occurring at the low radiation level were non-thermal in nature, something previously said to be impossible. Thus, the study challenges the entire basis on which cell phones’ presumption of safety has been based.

“The significance lies in showing cells do react to cell-phone radiation in a non-thermal way,” said co-author Rony Seger. “We used radiation power levels that were around one tenth of those produced by a normal mobile. The changes we observed were clearly not caused by heating.”

“This helps explain why mobile phone radiation has been linked to increases in cancer tumors,” said consumer health advocate Mike Adams. “Until now, skeptics have said the radiation wasn’t intense enough to cause cells to overheat, but now we’re learning there can be significant cellular changes taking place at far lower levels of exposure.”

A remote (wired) headset can help with cell phone usage by keeping the phone away from the brain.  I don’t know yet if the Bluetooth headsets are acceptable, maybe somebody else could chime in on any dangers these might cause.

Jan 312008
 

I’m still suffering (truly) from more snowfall here.  This is turning into pure hell.  Last night’s snowfall was wet, heavy and cold.  I’m only mentioning this because it’s keeping me away and outside and I’m not blogging much.  When I come in, I’m exhausted.

But boy oh boy, am I learning a few things.  I like my chickens and rabbits far enough away from the house that I don’t have to smell them in the summer time, but plowing through 4 ft of snow by hand over and over again is becoming excruciating. I’m half-ready to move in with my chickens or vice versa.  That’s how people used to do it, sharing warmth, food, water and feces I suppose.  Yech!

The other thing I’ve learned is cover as much walkways as you can and keep your outbuildings close by.  Even my firewood pile is a serious task of digging out right now.

I’ve got quite a few square feet of roof here by my standards and it’s proving to be a big challenge to keep them lightly weighted.  My thoughts for future home: steep roofs (on everything), small foot print, underground storage including tunnels, covered walkways, slave labor and plenty of food!

Jan 302008
 

Once again, the Decider has decided for the umpteenth time (last count was over 800) that he’s not bound by the laws of this country and can do whatever the hell he wants:

WASHINGTON – President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill.

Bush made the assertion in a signing statement that he issued late Monday after signing the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008. In the signing statement, Bush asserted that four sections of the bill unconstitutionally infringe on his powers, and so the executive branch is not bound to obey them. Bush Asserts Bogus Authority Claim

More proof that we have a Dictator (who’s also a rather lousy Decider).  He’s right, it’s just a goddamned piece of paper, no point in pretending anymore.  We should start a bonfire with it under the Liberty Bell and celebrate the demise of the Republic with roasted marshmellows and hotdogs.  What could be more Amerikan then that?

Anybody want to bet that our weak-kneed and cowed Congress won’t do a damned thing except bluster (again)?  Still think we have a lawful government?  Still think (s)Election 2008 is going to make a whit of difference?

I know I’m ranting, but this shit has got to stop, because it basically means we have absolutely NO control whatsoever over our government (both sides).  And if we have no control, then what do we have?  We have a Dictatorship with a complicit Congress.

I won’t post that smirking monkey’s picture here, or his evil twin.

Jan 302008
 

Sent in by Lonewolf.  Both of these articles are interesting in what they imply for the future:

Last week in Currituck County, N.C., Superior Court Judge Russell Duke presided over the final step in securing the first criminal conviction stemming from the deadly actions of Blackwater Worldwide, the Bush administration’s favorite mercenary company. Lest you think you missed some earth-shifting, breaking news, hold on a moment. The “criminals” in question were not the armed thugs who gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded more than 20 others in Baghdad’s Nisour Square last September. They were seven nonviolent activists who had the audacity to stage a demonstration at the gates of Blackwater’s 7,000-acre private military base in North Carolina to protest the actions of mercenaries acting with impunity — and apparent immunity — in their names and those of every American.

The arrest of the activists and the subsequent five days they spent locked up in jail is more punishment than any Blackwater mercenaries have received for their deadly actions against Iraqi civilians.The symbolism was stark: Re-enact a Blackwater massacre, go to jail. Commit a massacre, walk around freely and perhaps never go to jail. Pioneering Blackwater Protesters Given Secret Trial and Criminal Conviction

And this:

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — Barton Biggs has some offbeat advice for the rich: Insure yourself against war and disaster by buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with “seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc.”

The “etc.” must mean guns.

“A few rounds over the approaching brigands’ heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage,” he writes in his new book, “Wealth, War and Wisdom.” Bigs Tips For Rich: Expect War

Ok, what I’m hoping to convey is this – the future holds much more of these type of things. Why? Because it is the only course of action now available. Private armies will be used by politicians (and the rich) and they will be protected from scrutiny (and accountability). The rich will be encouraged to do what I’ve long advocated for everyone else – buy hard, tangible assets to help you with your survival.

Both stories are about the future and what it holds.  This (should be) self-evident.  That future isn’t going to be pretty, moral, safe or just.  It will be about survival of the fittest, including those legal machinations employed by the elite to quell any protest.

Blackwater (with the help of a compliant judge) is setting a trend here, and that trends is “don’t mess with us, don’t question us, don’t bother us“.  Barton Biggs is stating that the “strategy” is to dig in and get ready for hungry hordes.

Sound familiar? As signs of the times, these news stories are more indications of what any and all of us should have come to expect by now. They’re also instructions.  Don’t engage in useless protests, something I’ve long advocated.  Don’t plan for a rosy future either, it’s too late for that.  Gear up and get ready, the world that awaits you will be brutal, hard and totally “unfair”.  No point in whining about it either, because to be honest, nobody is listening.  You’re not going to find a lot of friends on your side either, they’ll be too busy trying to survive themselves.

Lessons are there for the learning if we read carefully and understand what the news is trying to tell us.

Jan 302008
 

This is how bad it can get:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) “” It was lunchtime in one of Haiti’s worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,” Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. “When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too,” she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well. Poor Haitains Eating Dirt