Monthly Archives: April, 2005

Zionism = Religious Intolerance, Racism

A state grounded in racism is wrong, obviously. Using religion as the intellectual basis for racism is absurd. Yet while decrying the spectre of Islamic democracies the American religious right is stealthily working to realize it’s vision of our nation as a Christian state. This same dangerous faction, known as Dominionists/Christian Reconstructionists supports the state of Israel, an state which supports discrimination based on religion.

Finding the actions of a state repellent and criminal is different from painting individuals with a wide brush, typing them in one way or another. When the subject of Israel comes up it is a common technique for the nation’s proponents to claim anti-semitism; thereby shifting the debate from the state’s historical record of actions which is roundly indefensible to charges of racism against Jewish people, an easy technique to change the tack of a conversation. “Anti-Semitism vs. Anti-Zionism – A Practical Manual” by Uri Avnery offers some perspective on this. As will “No, anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism” by Brian Klug.

I came across the following about Orthodox Jews protesting the very state of Israel:

If you happened to be passing by the Israeli Consulate yesterday afternoon you most surely would have been shocked by the unusual sight that greeted your eyes: a group of over 10,000 Orthodox Jews who were protesting against the actual existence of the state of Israel. Behind them hung large posters showing the beating of Orthodox Jews by Israeli police while they were protesting the desecration of antiquated Jewish cemeteries which are in the path of a planned highway expansion.

The shocking sight didn’t stop there. When you studied their signs and looked at the picture posters a shocking new world was revealed. Tens of thousands of religious Jews are protesting in the streets of Jerusalem against the state of Israel stating that the state of Israel, according to the Torah (that is the Jewish teachings) is illegitimate. They state that since the time that God sent the Jews into exile with the destruction of the temple two thousand years ago the Jews were forbidden to have their own state and that the whole concept of Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel was formed by irreligious Jews contrary to the Torah and the opinion of almost all of the Rabbinical leaders of Judaism worldwide.

Read more…

More Information:
True Torah Jews Against Zionism
Jews not Zionism
Neturei Karta- Orthodox Jews against Zionism

An Islamic state marginalizing and occupying a non-Muslim people would be vilified. A Christain state that seeks to convert or marginalize non-Christians is a frightening prospect. But the state of Israel can marginalize non-Jews within it’s borders while occupying the West Bank and Gaza with impunity, defying the UN for 38 years. And it is OK.

Food for thought…

SAUDI ARABIA: KING CLINICALLY DEAD?

Riyadh, 29 April (AKI) – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah’s visit to the United States this week to discuss oil matters with President George W. Bush, took place amid growing speculation back home that the bed-ridden King Fahd’s condition has worsened with the monarch slipping out of conciousness. Speculation is rife among Riyadh’s ruling elite of Fahd’s clinical death – but even if this were true, any official announcement would delayed until a final decision on Fahd’s successor has been taken.
Sources close to the Saudi royal family told Adnkronos International about the “suspicious” disappearance of King Fahd from public scene in the last ten days. At the same time, the sources have noted frantic activity involving the Seven Sudaris – the seven sons of King Abdul Aziz’s wife, who hailed from Saudi Arabia’s Sudari tribe, around whom the succession question revolves – King Fahd and Defence Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz are two of the most powerful Sudari sevens.

Crown Prince Abdullah – who is Fahd’s half brother – has long been touted to ascend the throne, but well placed sources maintain that there is resistance from other Sudari sevens members who favour closer ties with the West, something which Abdullah, who is very popular among Saudi religious circles, seems reluctant to cultivate. However, past efforts to promote the more Western-friendly defence minister Prince Sultan as Crown Prince instead of Abdullah failed because of division among the Sudaris.

More…

"The world is getting warmer — and US scientists now know precisely how much warmer."

Global warming rate discovered
By Tim Radford
The Guardian

“They calculated the radiation from the sun, the heat reflected back into space, and the rising temperature of the seas, and say the extra warmth is equivalent to a 1 watt lightbulb shining constantly over an area of 1 sq metre everywhere on the planet.

“That would raise average temperatures by 0.6C before the end of the century, they report in Science today. Warming at that level, maintained over 10,000 years, would melt enough ice to raise sea levels by a kilometre.

“‘This energy imbalance is the smoking gun that we have been looking for,’ said James Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. ‘It shows that our estimates of the human-made and natural, climate-forcing agents are about right, and they are driving the Earth to a warmer climate.’

“Most of the world — with the exception of the US and Australia — has signed up to the Kyoto protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions and [increased] global warming. The US government has repeatedly argued that scientific opinion about global warming is divided. With this new research, US government-funded scientists have once again told the US administration that they believe global warming is real, and inexorable.”

John Bice: Creationism in Schools at Fault for Nation’s Dwindling Science Skills

According to a 2004 article from The New York Times, “The United States has started to lose its worldwide dominance in critical areas of science and innovation.” Our Republican-dominated government hasn’t exactly leapt into action. Although, to be fair, the issue of science has never been a high priority for them. They’re kept pretty busy running up record deficits, undermining church/state separation, engaging in pre-emptive wars and enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor. The title of a February 2004 CNN article, “Scientists feel stifled by Bush administration,” nicely captures President Bush’s feelings for science.

Numerous factors contribute to our slipping science and technology leadership. Most would undoubtedly agree that a robust science education is crucially important for our children to be internationally competitive. Such an education, despite the protestations of theocrats, requires comprehensive instruction in the central, unifying concept of modern biology: evolution. As the eminent geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky observed, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The gradual and insidious imposition of religious beliefs (creationism) in public science classes represents more than a violation of church/state separation; it’s a waste of valuable time. As the National Academy of Sciences bluntly put it: “Creationism, intelligent design and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science.”

Group Details Air Force Academy Religious Bias

Religious intolerance is systemic and pervasive at the U.S. Air Force Academy and, if nothing changes, it could result in “prolonged and costly” litigation, according to a report issued Thursday by a group [Americans United] advocating strict separation of church and state. The 14-page report listed incidents of mandatory prayers, proselytizing by teachers, insensitivity to religious minorities and allegations that evangelical Christianity is the preferred faith at the institution.

Pope Ratzo and the Hucksters of Death by John Ross

The self-anointed Benedictus XVI is a kind of Teutonic John Ashcroft who promulgates edicts barring mariachis and indigenous dancers from performing during Mass (an instruction widely disregarded in Mexico.) Ratzinger’s persecution of Don Samuel who he accused of preaching a Marxist version of the Gospel, led him to attack the indigenous church that Tatik nurtured during 40 years as head of the San Cristobal diocese as “a stalking horse for Marxism-Leninism.” In his eagerness to nail Samuel to the cross, he even sent his inquisitors deep into the Lacandon jungle to gather evidence that the Bishop was ordaining women deacons.

Excerpts of stories about female soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq

A Star Athlete, a Soldier, and a Challenge
By Ira Berkow
The New York Times
June 3, 2004

danielle green“It was intensely hot when [Spec. Danielle Green] went up on the roof of the Sadoon Police Station the afternoon of May 25 in Baghdad, she recalled Wednesday from her hospital bed on the fifth floor of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Her left arm, which now ends just below the elbow, was swathed in bandages from surgery the day before for the insertion of a plate. It was her sixth operation, she estimated, since being wounded.

“She had a more vivid memory of the attack: ‘I didn’t like being alone, but I thought I’d let some of the others cool down below, and then they’d relieve me. It was like I was a sitting duck. But that’s the way it is a lot of the time over there. You want to trust the Iraqis — some are such nice people — but you know you’d better not, even the children. You just never know. And they just don’t want us there.’

“‘We have so much time in which we do nothing,’ Specialist Green said, ‘and you stand outside, or, for me, sometimes sitting in the turret of a tank with your head exposed, and you’re just waiting for something bad to happen.’

“Then she heard a burst of fire. Then there was a second blast, and a rocket from a homemade missile launcher in an apartment building next to the police station hit a water tank on the roof where she was standing guard. The explosion ripped into her.

“She screamed in pain. Her left arm had been hit and shrapnel tore at her left leg and her face.

“Within minutes, soldiers from her unit were up on the roof and covering her. She was quickly taken down to the Humvee. She never lost consciousness.

“‘This is all part of war,’ she said, ‘and you have to be brave. Good people get hurt. I was one of those people. I knew I was taking a risk in joining the Army. I felt certain I’d be sent to Iraq. It’s hard to imagine it’s going to be you.’

“When she got to the hospital, Specialist Green said, she asked her sergeant, ‘Is my hand gone?’

“‘Yes,’ said the sergeant, whose last name, Harrelson, was all she could recall.

“‘And then I broke down,’ she said. ‘And I didn’t cry again until yesterday, when Sergeant Pearce called and asked how I was doing. He was one of those who got me off the roof and onto the vehicle.’

“She thinks it was Sergeant Pearce who had recovered her wedding ring, which had been found on her left hand on the roof. Specialist Green, who was left-handed, was flown first to a hospital in Germany, then to Walter Reed on Saturday. Her husband was flown by the military from Chicago to Washington to be with her.

“Specialist Green seemed stoic, if not even accepting, of her disability. The scars on her left cheek will diminish, she said, and her leg wounds are healing…”

Two Women Bound by Sports, War and Injuries
By Juliet Macur
The New York Times
April 10, 2005

“For 25 days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Specialist Danielle Green wondered if anyone could ever understand. But on the 26th day, a nurse told her: ‘A new female patient came in today. You have a lot in common.’

“‘Really?’ Specialist Green said, and the nurse nodded.

“Like Specialist Green, the new patient was a 20-something firecracker, a 5-foot-8 former college basketball player, an Army soldier in the military police serving in Iraq. Like Specialist Green, [this soldier] also knew how it felt to have a rocket-propelled grenade shoot through her arm. Specialist Green’s left hand had been torn off.

“In the intensive care unit one floor below, First Lt. Dawn Halfaker lay in a coma, battered and swollen after surviving an ambush. Her right arm was attached to her body by sinews…

Lieutenant Halfaker said she saw a flash and heard Staff Sgt. Norberto Lara scream in the front passenger seat, then slump. A rocket-propelled grenade had pierced the engine and entered the cab, slicing off his right arm and flinging it onto the driver.

The grenade exploded next to Lieutenant Halfaker’s right shoulder. “I’m hit!” she yelled. The blast temporarily blinded her right eye and deafened her right ear.

dawn halfaker“She lifted her right hand with her left, then watched it drop in her lap. The grenade had burst through her upper arm, shattered her shoulder blade and broken five ribs that bruised her lung. She recalled herself saying, ‘I am not going to die.’

“Lieutenant Halfaker, who is from Ramona, Calif., never even contemplated war while attending West Point during the later years of the Clinton administration, a time she characterized as happy-go-lucky.

“But after graduating in 2001, she joined the military police, the branch of the Army that would bring her close to ground combat, and jumped at the chance to test her leadership when the war began. Lieutenant Halfaker said she had ‘kicked and screamed’ to be stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., where the 293rd Military Police Company was about to deploy.

“In Iraq, her platoon was in charge of the Diyala Province police station, where she and her soldiers lived amid constant mortar fire, trained Iraqi policemen and guarded a prison, squeezing in time to play basketball in the courtyard, where they gingerly avoided the barbed wire. In what she calls her worst moments, she had to kill insurgents.

“Now it was June 18, and her Humvee was barreling back to the station. Medics kept her alive until she was transported to a nearby base. There, she ordered the doctors, ‘You bastards better not cut my arm off.’ Then she passed out.

“Lieutenant Halfaker has no memories of what came next: a helicopter trip to Balad Air Base, 50 miles north of Baghdad, several operations at a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and at Walter Reed, where she was in an induced coma.

“On June 30, the unfamiliar voice of a nurse urging her to open her eyes lifted the veil of fog. Lieutenant Halfaker woke up, thrashing, thinking she was lying next to the Humvee. Three nurses subdued her to remove her breathing tube. Her father came into view.

“‘Is my arm going to be O.K.?’ she remembered asking him.

“‘Honey, they already took your arm,’ Stephen Halfaker said.

“Doctors at Walter Reed had amputated it at the shoulder to save her…”

Refer to article for more about Halfaker and women in combat.

"Windows has just experienced a fatal error. Would you like to report it, and everything else you were doing at the time, to Microsoft?"

“In a move that could rankle privacy advocates, Microsoft said Monday that it is adding the PC equivalent of a flight data recorder to the next version of Windows, in an effort to better understand and prevent computer crashes. [Build better software? --Ed.]

“The tool will build on the existing Watson error-reporting tool in Windows, but will provide Microsoft with much deeper information, including what programs were running at the time of the error and even the contents of documents that were being created. Businesses will also choose whether they want their own technology managers to receive such data when an employee’s machine crashes.

“‘Think of it as a flight data recorder, so that any time there’s a problem, that “black box” is there helping us work together and diagnose what’s going on,’ Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said during a speech at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Seattle…

“Industry analyst Richard Doherty said he doubted Microsoft got enough feedback on how users might feel about such a feature. Even airplane pilots, Doherty said, have been able to keep from having their routine in-flight dialogue preserved. Microsoft’s version of the black box, Doherty said ‘is begging for more real-world testing.’”

Condi Sin of Ommission # 32823

Evidence that the U.S. May Be Losing the Global War on Terror

“Independent Institute” – - The Bush administration is attempting to suppress key data showing that its Global War on Terrorism (or GWOT as government bureaucrats have dubbed it) likely has been counterproductive. According to Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and State Department terrorism expert who still has many sources within the intelligence community, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s office is suppressing data showing that the number of major terrorist attacks worldwide exploded from 175 in 2003 to 625 in 2004, the highest number since the Cold War began to wane in 1985.
U.S. officials said that when analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center declined the office of the secretary’s invitation to use a methodology that would reduce the number of terrorist attacks, her office terminated publication of the State Department’s annual “Patterns of Global Terrorism” report.

Ms. Rice utilizing the sin of ommission for the good of the Bush regime? To the detriment of popular democracy?
Thats right:

“I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile,” said national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on May 16, 2002.

This report was news the next day, May 17, 2002:

Exactly two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal report warned the executive branch that Osama bin Laden’s terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building.

“Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al Qaeda’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House,” the September 1999 report said

February 10 2005 we learn:

This morning’s New York Times reported that in “the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations.” [1] The article explained that the Federal Aviation Administration “received 52 intelligence reports” that mentioned Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001, and that the FAA warned airports that if “the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable.

This information was included in a staff report by the 9/11 Commission dated August 26, 2004. The 9/11 Commission report found that there was “intelligence that indicated a real and growing threat leading up to 9/11,” but that this intelligence “did not stimulate significant increases in security procedures.” Although the report did not find that the government had advance information about the specific September 11, 2001, attacks, it reported that the FAA took various measures to warn airport security officials about “the possibility of a suicide hijacking.”

One shameless Secretary of State, that one…

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