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4.30.2005

Weather information to go in the dark?

Found this article from the blog Weather Trends and Technology.

Do you want a seven-day weather forecast for your ZIP code? Or hour-by-hour predictions of the temperature, wind speed, humidity and chance of rain? Or weather data beamed to your cellphone? That information is available for free from the National Weather Service.
But under a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, it might all disappear. The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.

Supporters say the bill wouldn't hamper the weather service or the National Hurricane Center from alerting the public to hazards — in fact, it exempts forecasts meant to protect "life and property." But critics say the bill's wording is so vague they can't tell exactly what it would ban.
"I believe I've paid for that data once. ... I don't want to have to pay for it again," said Scott Bradner, a technical consultant at Harvard University. He says that as he reads the bill, a vast amount of federal weather data would be forced offline. "The National Weather Service Web site would have to go away," Bradner said. "What would be permitted under this bill is not clear — it doesn't say. Even including hurricanes."

The decision of what information to remove would be up to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez — possibly followed, in the event of legal challenges, by a federal judge A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the bill threatens to push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet era" — a questionable move in light of the four hurricanes that struck the state last year. Nelson serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has been assigned to consider the bill. "The weather service proved so instrumental and popular and helpful in the wake of the hurricanes. How can you make an argument that we should pull it off the Net now?" said Nelson's spokesman, Dan McLaughlin. "What are you going to do, charge hurricane victims to go online, or give them a pop-up ad?"

But Barry Myers, AccuWeather's executive vice president, said the bill would improve public safety by making the weather service devote its efforts to hurricanes, tsunamis and other dangers, rather than duplicating products already available from the private sector.

"The National Weather Service has not focused on what its core mission should be, which is protecting other people's lives and property," said Myers, whose company is based in State College, Pa. Instead, he said, "It spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year, every day, producing forecasts of 'warm and sunny.'" Santorum made similar arguments April 14 when introducing his bill. He also said expanded federal services threaten the livelihoods of private weather companies. "It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free," Santorum said.

AccuWeather has been an especially vocal critic of the weather service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The company has accused the federal agencies of withholding data on hurricanes and other hazards, and failing to ensure that employees don't feed upcoming forecasts to favored investors in farming and energy markets. The Palm Beach Post has the complete article here.

Spain suffers worst winter drought on record

Article can be found at Signs of the Times

30 April 2005

MADRID: Spain has suffered its driest winter and early spring since records began almost 60 years ago, data from meteorologists showed on Friday.

Rainfall from November to the end of March this year was 37 per cent below the average for the period and the lowest since records started in 1947, the National Meteorological Office said.

With water reserves in Spain at just 60 per cent of full capacity, farmers fearing water rationing say they are planting fewer crops.

Neighbouring Portugal is suffering its worst drought for 25 years and authorities there have imposed irrigation restrictions in the south, a popular tourist destination.

4.28.2005

Ozone and tsunami fears

The following articles appeared on Signs of the Times

Ozone layer most fragile on record

Fears over increase in skin cancer as scientists report that climate change continues to destroy the earth's protection

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Wednesday April 27, 2005
The Guardian

The protective ozone layer over the Arctic has thinned this winter to the lowest levels since records began, alarming scientists who believed it had begun to heal.

The increased loss of ozone allows more harmful ultraviolet light to reach the earth's surface, making children and outdoor enthusiasts such as skiers more vulnerable to skin cancer - a disease which is already dramatically increasing.

Scientists yesterday reinforced the warning that people going out in the sun this summer should protect themselves with creams and hats.

Research by Cambridge University shows that it is not increased pollution but a side effect of climate change that is making ozone depletion worse. At high altitudes, 50% of the protective layer had been destroyed.

The research has dashed hopes that the ozone layer was on the mend. Since the winter of 1999-2000, when depletion was almost as bad, scientists had believed an improvement was under way as pollution was reduced. But they now believe it could be another 50 years before the problem is solved.

What appears to have caused the further loss of ozone is the increasing number of stratospheric clouds in the winter, 15 miles above the earth. These clouds, in the middle of the ozone layer, provide a platform which makes it easier for rapid chemical reactions which destroy ozone to take place. This year, for three months from the end of November, there were more clouds for longer periods than ever previously recorded.

Cambridge University scientists said yesterday that, in late March, when ozone depletion was at its worst, Arctic air masses drifted over the UK and the rest of Europe as far south as northern Italy, giving significantly higher doses of ultraviolet radiation and sunburn risk.

The results, which were announced at a Geophysical Union meeting in Vienna yesterday, are part of a European venture coordinated by Cambridge University's chemistry department, which has been studying the relationship between the ozone layer and climate change since May 2004.

Yesterday, Professor John Pyle, from the university, said: "These were were the lowest levels of ozone recorded since measurements began 40 years ago. We thought things would start to get better because of the phasing out of CFCs and other chemicals because of the Montreal protocol, but this has not happened.

"The pollution levels have levelled off but changes in the atmosphere have made it easier for the chemical reactions to take place that allow pollutants to destroy ozone. With these changes likely to continue and get worse as global warming increases, then ozone will be further depleted even if the level of pollution is going down."

The relationship between the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change is so complex that the EU is investing £11m in a five-year project to try to understand and predict what is happening. Reporting the results of the first year, the scientists told the meeting in Vienna yesterday that "the atmospheric lifetime of these [ozone depleting] compounds is extremely long and the concentrations will remain at dangerously high levels for another half century."

Increased greenhouse gases in the air trap more heat in the lower atmosphere, but the stratosphere far above the earth is getting colder. As a result, ice clouds form between 14 and 26 kilometres above the earth, exactly in the region where the protective ozone is found.

Not only are ozone depleting compounds an issue, but also that there are times in the past when the ozone layer has dissipated as well. The timing of this is cyclical in nature...

LAKE TAHOE
Quake in lake could cause 30-foot tsunami
Major temblors hit area in 3,000-year cycles, scientists say

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Major quakes on seismic faults that run beneath Lake Tahoe have ruptured the earth's crust there roughly every 3,000 years or so, and scientists are trying to determine just when the last big one hit.

Although the temblors may be few and far between, they've thrust masses of ground up or down by 10 feet or more in the past, say the scientists, who have dug trenches where past quakes have struck on the shore of the Nevada community of Incline Village.

A team headed by geophysicist Graham Kent of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego has probed through thick sediments of the lake bottom to reveal the bedrock underneath -- and has traced, in unprecedented detail, segments of three major faults that extend beyond the lake and onto the land.

The work supports the conclusion published four years ago by a team from the University of Nevada at Reno: that a major quake might some day generate a Lake Tahoe tsunami three stories tall.

Kent's team has found that the Incline Village fault thrusts east on the lake bottom and runs just a few steps from the Incline Elementary School on land. Near the school, there's a well-defined cliff-like scarp some 30-feet high created by many past quakes. A deep trench has been dug there by another team of scientists, led by Gordon G. Seitz of San Diego State University, to analyze the long-buried remains of old trees to determine the date of the last major quake there.

Right now, Kent said Wednesday in an interview, the date is still uncertain, and Seitz is working on refining it. "It was somewhere between a few thousand and 20,000 years ago," he said, "but Seitz should know very soon."

Kent and his team of 15 scientists reported their findings in the May issue of the journal Geology and are discussing their project this week with other quake specialists at a meeting of the Seismological Society of America at Incline Village.

Ozone and tsunami fears

The following articles appeared on Signs of the Times

Ozone layer most fragile on record

Fears over increase in skin cancer as scientists report that climate change continues to destroy the earth's protection

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Wednesday April 27, 2005
The Guardian

The protective ozone layer over the Arctic has thinned this winter to the lowest levels since records began, alarming scientists who believed it had begun to heal.

The increased loss of ozone allows more harmful ultraviolet light to reach the earth's surface, making children and outdoor enthusiasts such as skiers more vulnerable to skin cancer - a disease which is already dramatically increasing.

Scientists yesterday reinforced the warning that people going out in the sun this summer should protect themselves with creams and hats.

Research by Cambridge University shows that it is not increased pollution but a side effect of climate change that is making ozone depletion worse. At high altitudes, 50% of the protective layer had been destroyed.

The research has dashed hopes that the ozone layer was on the mend. Since the winter of 1999-2000, when depletion was almost as bad, scientists had believed an improvement was under way as pollution was reduced. But they now believe it could be another 50 years before the problem is solved.

What appears to have caused the further loss of ozone is the increasing number of stratospheric clouds in the winter, 15 miles above the earth. These clouds, in the middle of the ozone layer, provide a platform which makes it easier for rapid chemical reactions which destroy ozone to take place. This year, for three months from the end of November, there were more clouds for longer periods than ever previously recorded.

Cambridge University scientists said yesterday that, in late March, when ozone depletion was at its worst, Arctic air masses drifted over the UK and the rest of Europe as far south as northern Italy, giving significantly higher doses of ultraviolet radiation and sunburn risk.

The results, which were announced at a Geophysical Union meeting in Vienna yesterday, are part of a European venture coordinated by Cambridge University's chemistry department, which has been studying the relationship between the ozone layer and climate change since May 2004.

Yesterday, Professor John Pyle, from the university, said: "These were were the lowest levels of ozone recorded since measurements began 40 years ago. We thought things would start to get better because of the phasing out of CFCs and other chemicals because of the Montreal protocol, but this has not happened.

"The pollution levels have levelled off but changes in the atmosphere have made it easier for the chemical reactions to take place that allow pollutants to destroy ozone. With these changes likely to continue and get worse as global warming increases, then ozone will be further depleted even if the level of pollution is going down."

The relationship between the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change is so complex that the EU is investing £11m in a five-year project to try to understand and predict what is happening. Reporting the results of the first year, the scientists told the meeting in Vienna yesterday that "the atmospheric lifetime of these [ozone depleting] compounds is extremely long and the concentrations will remain at dangerously high levels for another half century."

Increased greenhouse gases in the air trap more heat in the lower atmosphere, but the stratosphere far above the earth is getting colder. As a result, ice clouds form between 14 and 26 kilometres above the earth, exactly in the region where the protective ozone is found.

Not only are ozone depleting compounds an issue, but also that there are times in the past when the ozone layer has dissipated as well. The timing of this is cyclical in nature...

LAKE TAHOE
Quake in lake could cause 30-foot tsunami
Major temblors hit area in 3,000-year cycles, scientists say

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Major quakes on seismic faults that run beneath Lake Tahoe have ruptured the earth's crust there roughly every 3,000 years or so, and scientists are trying to determine just when the last big one hit.

Although the temblors may be few and far between, they've thrust masses of ground up or down by 10 feet or more in the past, say the scientists, who have dug trenches where past quakes have struck on the shore of the Nevada community of Incline Village.

A team headed by geophysicist Graham Kent of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego has probed through thick sediments of the lake bottom to reveal the bedrock underneath -- and has traced, in unprecedented detail, segments of three major faults that extend beyond the lake and onto the land.

The work supports the conclusion published four years ago by a team from the University of Nevada at Reno: that a major quake might some day generate a Lake Tahoe tsunami three stories tall.

Kent's team has found that the Incline Village fault thrusts east on the lake bottom and runs just a few steps from the Incline Elementary School on land. Near the school, there's a well-defined cliff-like scarp some 30-feet high created by many past quakes. A deep trench has been dug there by another team of scientists, led by Gordon G. Seitz of San Diego State University, to analyze the long-buried remains of old trees to determine the date of the last major quake there.

Right now, Kent said Wednesday in an interview, the date is still uncertain, and Seitz is working on refining it. "It was somewhere between a few thousand and 20,000 years ago," he said, "but Seitz should know very soon."

Kent and his team of 15 scientists reported their findings in the May issue of the journal Geology and are discussing their project this week with other quake specialists at a meeting of the Seismological Society of America at Incline Village.

4.27.2005

Actress criticized for questioning Sept. 11 attacks

Article and analysis is from Signs of the Times

Last Updated Tue, 26 Apr 2005 19:25:47 EDT
CBC Arts

NEW YORK - The website of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has been flooded with negative posts after she suggested the U.S. is partly to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gyllenhaal, 27, said in an interview last week that America "is responsible in some way" for the suicide skyjackings.

Her comments came prior to the debut of The Great New Wonderful, a film about New Yorkers coping with the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001.

Her official site was choked with critical posts, prompting the editor to turn off the electronic forum.

"I have taken away the comments system, because it's gotten too outta hand," the editor wrote.

In a statement, the star of such films as Secretary and Donnie Darko said Sept. 11 was "an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world. Because it is always useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict."

"Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11," she added, saying she grieves for "everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the catastrophe."

In another message, the site's editor stressed that the young performer did not say the U.S. deserved the attacks.

Gyllenhaal plays Emma in The Great New Wonderful, one of a number of movies soon to land in theatres or currently in production that touch on Sept. 11. [...]

Comment: Regular readers of the Signs page and other alternative news sites are well aware of the high probability of U.S. government complicity in the Sept 11th attacks. Yet consider the massive negative reaction this actress received from her fans when she merely mentioned that U.S. foriegn policy might in some indirect way be responsible for bringing these attacks upon American soil.

This shows how divorced from the truth most average Americans are as to the actual culprits behind the September 11th. The media is dominated by government propaganda, news from other countries doesn't make it onto the nightly news unless it has to do with US presence in other countries, they are brought up to consider the US as the end all and be all, and whenever alternate voices appear that attempt to deliver real news, COINTELPRO goes into overtime to discredit or divert the source. Only 18% of the US population supported Bush in the Terry Schiavo case. Over 50% think he's lying about Saddam's WMD. Obviously many Americans do not support the Bush agenda. But they are, as John Kaminski put it in the article we posted yesterday, like deer frozen in the headlights.

Because of that, they are for the most part incapable of confronting 9/11 head-on.

Elements within the U.S. and Israeli governments staged the biggest fraud against the American people and got away with it. 3,000 of thier own citizens were murdered for political gain, and most citizens will go to their grave, never for a moment doubting the official version to be true. It is left to a small minority of people who refuse to take government propaganda at face value, are courageous enough to do research, ask important questions, and to continue to publish the truth of this fraud for as long as they are able. May these numbers grow in the days ahead.

This was her first statement according to the fan site:

"I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just 'Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them,' because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way and so I think the delicacy with which it's dealt with allows that to sort of creep in."

This was her official statement on her previous statement:

" 9/11 was a terrible tragedy and of course it goes without saying that I grieve along with every American for everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the catastrophe. But for those of us who were spared, it was also an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world. Because it is always useful, as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict. Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11."

4.25.2005

‘Fireball' In The Sky Thrills And Scares People Across Region

This interesting article was posted at Signs of the Times.

The Day

As daylight was fading over the marsh behind Rick and Kim Swan's house in Old Saybrook Sunday night, a group of about 22 parents and children were setting up in the Swans' back yard and on the deck to check out the full moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

The “moon and star party” was part of a lesson on the solar system for the home-schoolers, who were both making and setting up telescopes. At about 7:45 p.m., the sky had not yet darkened enough for their observation — but they got a startling, and impressive, bonus.

A ball of flame rocketed across the twilight sky, racing east to west before vanishing somewhere over Long Island Sound.

“It was huge,” Kim Swan said. “It was really large, and it was white and yellow with green around the edges. It was really beautiful.”

People from throughout the region, and as far away as Maine, began calling police and fire departments Sunday night with reports of a multicolored object traveling from east to west at high speed. The Coast Guard put out an alert to look for an airplane that had possibly crashed near the Thimble Islands in Branford while police and firefighters were dispatched to reports that airplanes had crashed at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme and South Windham.

The Old Saybrook amateur astronomers, as space aficionados like to say, were not alone.

People called local fire and police stations to report a plane and flashes of green or orange flames in the sky, said John Mincey, a petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard's Long Island Sound office.

What everyone saw at about the same time, however, was neither a UFO, a plane in the throes of crashing, or an errant satellite.

What they saw were meteors, possibly from the Lyrid meteor shower, which was scheduled to be visible to the naked eye between April 20 and April 25.

It took about an hour for local emergency officials, town leaders, air tower operators at the region's airports, and state and federal emergency crews to figure that out. Although callers never reported a plane being down, emergency officials could not immediately rule out that possibility, said John Harland, a U.S. Coast Guard duty officer at the Long Island Sound office.

Eventually, at the Federal Aviation Administration's New England division, experts checked with Tweed and Groton-New London airports and metropolitan airports along the seaboard, and determined that no aircraft was unaccounted for , said Holly Baker, an FAA spokeswoman.

Of course, Wayne Fraser, East Lyme's first selectman, at first had no way of knowing that. Dressed in denim, he joined Niantic and Flanders firefighters who tore themselves away from jobs and dinner to be on standby after some reports came across as a plane crash between Point O' Woods in Old Lyme and Rocky Neck.

“We got our emergency operations center prepared just in case there truly was a plane down,” said Fraser. “We brought in the assistant director for public safety, an extra dispatcher. This thing kind of moved through the state police and Coast Guard.”

Nearby, at the Millstone nuclear complex in Waterford, near the East Lyme border, officials had not seen anything but had heard the same reports Fraser heard and were watching for any signs of trouble, Spokesman Pete Hyde said.

At about 8:30 p.m., Fraser and resident state trooper Michael Collins drove to the beach, only to find half a dozen boaters placidly adrift in Long Island Sound.

“There was a lot of boat activity off shore and nobody was scrambling,” Fraser said.

At the Long Island Sound office, Mincey and Harland likewise heard no reports of distress from callers. Within the hour, one of the Coast Guard's own vessels confirmed what emergency workers were only too happy to hear: the debris lighting up the night sky belonged to the tails of meteors.

Mystic Seaport Planetarium supervisor Donald Treworgy said the eyewitness reports indicate that what people saw was a meteor.

A fireball is the term that people often use to describe an exceptionally bright meteor,” he said. “It could be a piece of space junk but the military keeps close tabs on those types of things.

He said the color of the meteor depends on what it is made of and said they sometimes leave a trail.

“I didn't see it. I wish I had,” he said.

Sarah Porter of Stonington described a white ball with a red tail and said it did not appear to be a plane to her. People described the meteor has having a whole spectrum of different colors.

“It was so close it looked like it was going to hit Stonington Point,” she said.

4.24.2005

9-11 Cointelpro: The bigger the lie, the harder it falls




Going through the immense amount of data relevant to 9-11, I come across all kinds of different sites, all with their own hypothesis of 'what really happened'. 'Well, as they say, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. A few other bloggers have come across some startling suggestions...
An Email from COINTELPRO and Shocking 9/11 Revelations

It is bound to happen eventually.

Search for the truth long enough, post a little about it, and you will be contacted. Apparently no blog is small enough to avoid attention.

I started a blog, 9-11 Soundbytes, to post quotes from the memory hole on the terrorist attack as I found them. I received an interesting email from Mark Robinowitz of oilempire.us regarding the blog, and I will share a small fraction of it with you.

My guess is that he regularly sends something similar to all sites that link to The Pentagon Strike Video. The email makes him appear more like a paid COINTELPRO agent, or so I think.

Stumbled upon your site -

the "Pentagon Strike" video has been debunked by many of the best
writers on 9/11 complicity issues - such as the author of the
911research site you list. [...]

Now for a bit of context. The Pentagon has all but announced that they are using propaganda:

U.S. government planting propaganda and misleading stories in the international media
BBC News
By Tom Carver
Wednesday, 20 February, 2002
Washington correspondent

The Pentagon is toying with the idea of black propaganda.

As part of George Bush's war on terrorism, the military is thinking of planting propaganda and misleading stories in the international media.

A new department has been set up inside the Pentagon with the Orwellian title of the Office of Strategic Influence. It is well funded, is being run by a general and its aim is to influence public opinion abroad.

Black and white

It has been canvassing opinion within the Pentagon on what it should do. [...]

More from Stanley...

I have written briefly here about psyop operations, and have posted an image of a propaganda wheel from a 1950's government sponsored research paper demonstrating methods used. There is plenty of evidence that such activities have never stopped, and US citizens are a primary target of propaganda or psyops as it is now called.

Regular readers know that I am opposed to the Peak Oil concept, particularly when it is used to downplay the obvious crimes of the Bush Regime. In a blatant and obvious attempt at sleight of hand trickery, Ruppert (and buddyRobinowitz) is telling us to not look at the man behind the curtain, instead focus on our impending economic collapse due to peak oil.

While searching for information on the email I received, I turned up this very interesting tidbit:

David Beckham and Flight 77 in Paris

[...] The dinner itself was "normal" in every respect, and MOST of the conversation was also "normal." It only got strange when politics - including the subject of George Bush and 9-11 - was brought up.

Our friends who circulate socially among various government officials brought out some photos to show of a recent private party. Among the attendees of said party - which I reiterate, was private and not an "official function," was the brother of Vladimir Putin! There was the usual grouping of various ministers, AND one of the most powerful men in the Financial World (and here I don't mean America, I mean the GLOBAL Financial world!)

What was interesting about these photos was the obvious camaraderie of these individuals depicted in the photographs. There was Vlad's brother whooping it up with what were obviously close pals in France.

Hmmmm...

So, of course I asked about this. What came next was, in a sense, quite shocking. It seems that it is common knowledge in these circles that Russian satellites photographed a ship-launched craft (seems to have been a drone type plane rather than a missle) that ended up impacting the Pentagon on Sept 11, 2001, and that, for various reasons this information has been withheld from the public.

I was naturally startled to hear this even though I have long held the opinion that it was NOT a commercial jetliner that hit the Pentagon. I think the thing that startled me was the fact that, if Russia (and perhaps other countries with satellites?) had proof that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon, why weren't they revealing this?

It was explained to me that during part of the time George Bush was "incommunicado" on September 11, 2001, he was on the phone to Putin "negotiating." That was a polite way of saying "blackmailing." Apparently, Bush, by way of MOSSAD and/or the CIA had enough goods on Vlad to keep him silent.

Now THAT explains why Putin has not responded publicly to the rather obnoxious criticisms of Russia made by Bush and Condi Rice.

In any event, it was explained to me further that these satellite photos HAD been revealed to Thierry Meyssan who was asked by either French or Russian intell to write his book "Pentagate" to "leak" the info that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon. His instructions were, apparently, that he had to "make the case" without recourse to official backing; he couldn't refer to the satellite photos.

Well, suddenly, a LOT of things began to make sense.

In doing some research on this subject, I came across "Comments On the Pentagon Strike" by Laura Knight-Jadczyk. Interesting that this woman seems to be at the center of so much controversy, even including the Da Vinci Code that I posted about recently!

Well, it seems that Knight-Jadczyk has really stirred up the pooh! Her research group is responsible for the Pentagon Strike video that cranked up the Washington Post!

All of this made me even more curious and my search turned up some fascinating items.

It seems that the Pentagon Strike video came out on August 23rd. Probably nobody really noticed it at that point, but it hit a chord of response in the hearts of millions of people. They began to madly download and forward the incredibly concise and well-done piece to their friends and relatives. Latest stats on how many people have viewed it to date are 300 MILLION!


Wow!! Are you kidding me? There are people who could prove the complicity of the American government in the 9-11 attacks and they withold it, just to save their own ass from being thrown under the bus.

Sometimes, I just don't understand this world.

4.22.2005

Watch out for Big Brother Google

I came across some interesting information via the blog The Tinfoil Tales. Yeah, I know, the name fits me good. I'm a tinfoil hat wearer. Anyways, from her blog

A quick look at the e-mail headlines of today reveals what Google has been up to lately. In addition to their spy-mail, er, I mean gmail, they now are going to track your internet searches!

Google enables users to view personal search histories
Google Inc. is experimenting with a new feature that enables the users of its online search engine to see all of their past search requests and results, creating a computer peephole that could prove as embarrassing as it is helpful.
[...]
"We think there is some value in providing people with visibility into their past activity on Google," said Marissa Mayer, the company's director of consumer Web products. But privacy rights expert Pam Dixon is worried the service will make it easier for mischief makers, snoops and perhaps even the government to get their hands on a user's entire search history.

"It's really a bad idea," said Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum. "If you need to keep track of your past searches, I recommend using a notebook. It would be a lot more private and a lot less risky."


So, beware what you're searching for. Not only that, Google will now provide you with Googlemaps, where you can zoom in on any location:

Connected: Google shows way with detailed map
[...]
It looks normal enough when you first go to maps.google.com. A political map of the United States and Canada pops up on your screen. But the differences are quickly noticeable. For instance, if you hold down your left-mouse button, you can drag the map around the screen. Double-clicking on any point on the map will move that point to the center of your window. Then, you can zoom or type. If you drag the zoom tool toward the + end of the scale, the map zooms quickly into a local map centered on the same point as the larger map. Taking only a couple seconds to refresh, you'll see amazingly close detail -- which you also can drag with your mouse.

Ve vill find you vherever you go, bwaaaa haaaaa haaaaa!

And finally, from the horse's mouth...

" We are moving to a Google that knows more about you."

— Google CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking to financial analysts,
February 9, 2005, as quoted in the New York Times the next day

Well, I will probably get kicked in the google for this post. I may disappear from search engines.

Watch out!!

World is heating up

Articles taken from Signs of the Times

US gov't issues drought alert for 3 African nations
21 Apr 2005 12:46:00 GMT
Source: Reuters
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. government weather forecasters issued a drought alert on Wednesday for areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia which face widespread crop losses and food shortages.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its weather satellites detected "areas of stifling drought conditions" in parts of the three countries for the sixth consecutive year.

"If the drought continues, any hope of success for a decent early-stage agricultural season in the Horn (of Africa) would be seriously at risk," said Felix Kogan of NOAA's Office of Research and Applications. "We are issuing a drought alert to notify humanitarian and relief agencies of these potentially deadly conditions so that hopefully lives can be saved."

Six straight years of extreme drought!

If this were happening in the U.S., the media would be ALL over this, but nonetheless it is in "Third World" countries, which is code for 'they don't matter'. Despite the efforts to keep people unaware to global warming the reality will hit home soon enough.

Also from the BBC...


Antarctic glaciers show retreat
By Jonathan Amos
BBC News science reporter

Antarctic glacier (Bas)
Overall, retreating glaciers have lost an average of 600m in 50 years
The glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula are in rapid retreat.

A detailed study reported in Science magazine shows nearly 90% of the ice bodies streaming down from the mountains to the ocean are losing mass.

But the authors - a joint team from the British-Antarctic and US-Geological Surveys - say the big melt could have a number of complex causes.

Although higher air temperatures are a factor, they say, the full picture may go beyond just simple global warming.

This study demonstrates the enormous importance of gathering long-term data
Dr Andrew Sugden, Science magazine,

"The overall picture is of glaciers retreating in a pattern that suggests the most important factor is atmospheric warming; we can connect the retreat with the observed warming recorded at climate stations along the peninsula," explained Dr David Vaughan, from the British Antarctic Survey (Bas).

"But it's not a perfect fit; there seem to be other factors involved as well - possibly to do with changing ocean currents and temperatures," he told BBC News.

The Western world generally sees global warming as a problem for the future. Most think the consequences will not be felt by them, so why even worry about it? The ignorance of that statement is beyond words. We are very much a nation of Dubyas.

4.20.2005

Riverbend, Iraqi blogger, gets interviewed by Buzzflash

Riverbend Is a Blogger, "Embedded" in the Real Baghdad, Telling It Like It Is, Helping Us See With New Eyes. She has continually humbled me reading her blog, along with realizing the truth about Iraq. Her perspective is as unfiltered and real as is possible. Visit her blog, get a view of Iraq that you probably didn't have before.

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

Democracy has to come from within and it has to be a request of the people -- not of expatriates who have alliances with the CIA and British intelligence. People have to want something enough to rise up and change it. They have to be ready for democracy and willing to accept its responsibility. The US could have promoted democracy in Iraq peacefully, but then they wouldn't have permanent bases in the country, would they?

* * *

"Riverbend" is a storyteller. Her "Baghdad Burning" blog is one part Anne Frank, another part Scheherazade and "A Thousand and One Arabian Nights" -- from cyberspace. As she wrote in her first weblog entry, dated August 17, 2003: "So this is the beginning for me, I guess ... expect a lot of complaining and ranting. ... A little bit about myself: I'm female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That's all you need to know. It's all that matters these days anyway." Riverbend's experience of war, her political commentary and nuanced slice-of-life descriptions, have won her worldwide respect and appreciation. Now her weblog writings have been published in paperback and are available as a BuzzFlash premium. BuzzFlash is grateful to Riverbend for all she has shared in "Baghdad Burning," as well as for her e-mailed comments to us (below) on why she writes, how she experiences American propaganda, Iraqis' hopes, fears and disappointments, and the elusiveness of "normal" life in Baghdad.

* * *

BuzzFlash: You write your blog at great personal risk. Clearly, while you focus on the personal hardships and daily lives of Iraqis in Baghdad, you are not a fan of the Bush occupation of your country. Why do you continue to write, even knowing what the Americans have done to individuals they deem "dissidents?"

Riverbend: I write the blog because it gives me a medium to express my emotions and opinions and possibly show the 'other' side of the war- the one that is not cheering on the occupation, as many news channels and newspapers like to depict. I began writing the blog because, at the beginning of the war, the pro-occupation media was overwhelming and very few journalists or politicians were willing to look at the ugly side of the occupation -- i.e. the deaths, the destruction and the complete and total lack of the most basic security.

I don't worry so much about myself personally when writing the blog as I worry that if I weren't anonymous, I wouldn't be able to write half of what I write. I wouldn't be able to write about the rise in fundamentalism, for example.

BuzzFlash: In your April 3, 2005, "Baghdad Burning" entry, you are critical of the American broadcasting which has recently invaded the televisions of Iraqis. You write, "I've been enchanted with the shows these last few weeks. The thing that strikes me most is the fact that the news is so … clean. It's like hospital food. It's all organized and disinfected. Everything is partitioned and you can feel how it has been doled out carefully with extreme attention to the portions -- 2 minutes on women's rights in Afghanistan, 1 minute on training troops in Iraq and 20 minutes on Terri Schiavo! All the reportages are upbeat and somewhat cheerful, and the anchor person manages to look properly concerned and completely uncaring all at once." Has the propaganda of Saddam Hussein just been exchanged for the propaganda of the corporate-owned American media that generally follows the White House spin?

Riverbend: Iraqis were never good at propaganda. I think I realized that at an early age while watching state-sponsored Iraqi TV. The messages the former regime wanted us to believe or to reiterate were very directly introduced on state television with few frills or introductions. American media differs in that there is more money and time spent to feed people ideas and news. A lot of the news is obviously exaggerated and sometimes even untrue but it's so carefully put together and staged that you sometimes *want* to believe it. I can see how many Americans can be misled by American corporate media. We sometimes find ourselves watching, fascinated, with news we know to be false, and yet American media makes it look so convincing!

BuzzFlash: How have your attitudes toward the occupation of Iraq changed in the past two years?

Riverbend: I think two years ago, there was a sort of general hope that in spite of the difficulties, things would improve drastically in a relatively short time. For example, we never expected that two years after the war we'd still have major problems with electricity, water and infrastructure. It's utter disappointment at this point that security issues haven't been sorted out and Iraq is still a very dangerous place. People wonder now how long this situation will last and just what is being done to improve things.

I think that two years after the war, we're also seeing more inter-factional friction between Sunnis and Shia and Arabs and Turkomen and Kurds. There are certain politicians and parties that are cultivating this friction because it helps promote them amongst their own people.

BuzzFlash: We've recently passed the two-year mark for the American occupation of Iraq. What has gotten better during that two-year period? What has gotten worse?

Riverbend: The security situation isn't very much better -- crime has become organized and we're seeing more and more assassinations, etc. The water situation is really bad this year. Last year we had problems with water but this year they seem more pronounced. The sewage system is also really quite bad. We had some heavy rain this year and the streets were overflowing with raw sewage and contaminated water. The fuel situation is also worse this year. We had some major problems during the winter with getting kerosene, gasoline and cooking gas. Improvements include the fact that Iraqis are becoming more organized -- in other words we're learning how to work around these problems. There's also the fact that at least a few of the ministries are up and running, sort of.

BuzzFlash: One way you've contributed to Americans' understanding of the Iraqi perspective is to talk about the Iraqis' reaction to seemingly small actions on the part of the Americans in Iraq that have huge negative reactions from the Iraqis, such as cutting down the palm trees that lined the boulevards to the Baghdad airport. Do you think the American military and the Bush administration have any idea of the impact of their actions on the Iraqi people, or do they not care? Please elaborate.

Riverbend: I think in some cases the Bush administration does not have any idea of the impact of some of their actions -- for example the cutting of palm trees in some areas. I think many people in the Bush administration are truly ignorant about Iraq and the culture, and it surprises me, because they had so many Iraqis on their payroll (Chalabi, Jaffari, etc.) that one wonders just what sort of information about Iraq they were being fed all this time.

In other cases, I believe the Bush administration is very aware of their actions. An example of this is the torture and humiliation that went on in Abu Ghraib. I think the people who helped engineer this war and occupation were extremely aware that, above and beyond all, Iraqis fear sexual humiliation of the sort depicted in the pictures and videos from Abu Ghraib. I also think that in many situations, women were intentionally brought in for detention and interrogation with the full knowledge that this would outrage the public. Some of these issues backfired, of course.

BuzzFlash: One thing about your blog that has struck us is your frequent references to the Governing Council as American puppets. That, because the majority of the Governing Council members have not lived in Iraq for a long time, they are not viewed by most Iraqis as representatives of Iraq. Is this viewpoint aired in the Arab press? How and how often? This perspective is rarely, if ever, seen in the mainstream media in the United States.

Riverbend: It's not so much that these people have been living abroad for such long periods of time, it's because these people did so many things over the years to prove they never really wanted the welfare of the Iraqi people. It's difficult to view someone like Chalabi as Iraqi when he was living in luxury abroad all his life and simultaneously encouraging the blockade on Iraq, helping plan a war, riding in on occupation tanks and cheering on foreign troops while the country is pillaged and burned. People who have lived in Iraq their entire lives are also seen as puppets when they cooperate with occupation people. The Arab media doesn't often portray them as puppets because, let's face it, many Arab leaders themselves are American puppets -- the Jordanian and Saudi royals, for example, and we really do have very few truly free media networks or newspapers in the Arab world.

BuzzFlash: You often state that, among Iraqis, there is a strong sense of nationhood that supercedes ethnic or religious differences. You point out that your family is a fairly typical Iraqi family in that it includes members of various ethnic and religious groups. But isn't Iraq, as a nation, an artificial construct created by Western powers at the end of the last colonial era?

Riverbend: I think many Iraqis don't care so much about how the nation was formed as they do about it remaining a united country. Iraq has a long and rich history and historically, people of different religions and ethnicities have been very able to live together in peace. The important thing to us right now is that we remain united as one country. We've been able to live together, Sunnis, Shia and Kurds, in the past -- it shouldn't be any different now. Though the language may differ in some places, we share similar cultures and beliefs -- there is nothing that should stand in the way of internal peace and unity. I know for a fact that the majority of Iraqis don't like being labeled as Sunni, Shia or Kurd. These labels are being promoted by the current new government and the Bush administration and many Iraqis believe they are being used to divide and conquer.

BuzzFlash: You focus so much on the daily travails of living in Baghdad, including the problems of buying gasoline and intermittent electricity. Yet, you also take great pleasure in the simple things in life, like going to buy school supplies for your nieces. Life goes on, doesn't it?

Riverbend: Life does go on. It's amazing what people can grow accustomed to. There are certain priorities that cannot be ignored, in spite of occupation and instability, and many Iraqis need their lives to have a certain semblance of normality. Dwelling on the insecurities and fear will only drive you insane -- it's the smaller things that make the day bearable -- buying school supplies, cooking, shopping for groceries and trying to live 'normally' for even fifteen minutes!

BuzzFlash: Who exactly are the insurgents? The White House and the American press lump them all together. We guess that it keeps it simple for them that way. But from what we can deduce from the foreign press, the resistance to the American occupation is coming from a variety of sources. Can you speculate as to how many different groups are attacking American forces, as well as soldiers in the Iraqi Army, Iraqi police and Iraqi civilians? To what extent are the bombings and attacks due to Sunni/Shiite jockeying for power?

Riverbend: The White House makes it very simple when talking about the insurgency -- foreign, Islamic terrorists. It's hardly that simple. I guess most Iraqis believe there is resistance and there is terror. Resistance is coming from various sources -- former Iraqi army people, Islamists, Ba'athists, nationalists and ordinary people who hate this new way of life Iraqis are being relegated to. Terror is also coming from various sources and in many cases it is a complete mystery. Many people believe the attacks against the police force and security forces are the work of outsiders or people who want Iraqis to hate the resistance. It's difficult to tell at this point just what is going on. Some attacks are meant to cause sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shia, but those are quite easy to see through (for example the bombing of Sunni mosques or Shia Husseiniyas) and Iraqis have proven over the last two years that they are far too tolerant to fall for such underhanded techniques.

BuzzFlash: You are obviously a secular Iraqi, with great skills of observation in writing in English. You are also an independent, thinking young woman. Do you have fears of a fundamentalist Islamic takeover of the Iraqi government?

Riverbend: I have fears of fundamentalism of any type. I fear Sunni fundamentalism and Shia fundamentalism. I fear we might be slowly working our way towards a state run by Mullahs and clerics. I fear Iraq being turned into another Iran by parties like Da'awa and SCIRI, currently being promoted by the occupation powers. It is not Islam that I fear -- I am a Muslim and a practicing one -- it is the deformation of Islam practiced in places like Iran and Saudi Arabia that I fear.

BuzzFlash: Would you leave Iraq if you had the opportunity to live a peaceful life in a Western country?

Riverbend: I have had the opportunity to leave Iraq several times already. I don't know if I'd want to live in a Western country, but I do yearn for some peace and security sometimes. I know I would like to travel ... but it is not so much to leave the country behind as it is to experience a different way of life. I am afraid, though, that Iraq is experiencing a brain drain like never before. While many educated Iraqis left the country during the blockade, many, many more are currently making plans to leave because they fear for their lives and for their lives of their children.

BuzzFlash: The American military successfully kept reporters from describing what was clearly a devastating assault on Fallujah, as well as some other cities. But, again, from reading the foreign press, it appears Fallujah was decimated and that countless civilians were killed. Do you have any information on Fallujah or other cities that the American military assaulted without allowing the media to cover their activities?

Riverbend: Many cities are assaulted by the military without proper press coverage. The latest is Qaim, for example. There has been a siege and assault that has lasted several days already. Last week it was Haditha and Mash'had. We know things are not going well in these areas when we get refugees in Baghdad -- often women and children of men who have been detained for no reason or killed. Very few media sources are actually covering it, and the only casualties discussed are the deaths of 'insurgents' and 'terrorists.' Very few media outlets report about the deaths of women and children -- only when they are caused by roadside bombs or terrorists. Even Arab news networks aren't reporting casualties like before.

BuzzFlash: Is it true that the reconstruction money is being spent on employing American companies like Halliburton and that the Iraqi unemployment rate is 50%?

Riverbend: It is true. The Iraqi unemployment rate is atrocious. People literally wander the streets looking for some sort of employment. Factories have shut down, companies, ministries, etc. and the decision to disband the Iraqi army has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unemployed Iraqis. Many Iraqis currently graduating from college spend months and months looking for work, even if it isn't related to what they studied.

Many American companies are getting millions of dollars for reconstruction contracts and then giving the work to Iraqi sub-contractors who have 'relations.' Reconstruction work right now is not about the good job a contractor can do, but just who he is related to or how many people he's bribed to get the contract. This has resulted in shoddy work, and millions of dollars literally going to waste, because the contract is given to American companies for very large sums of money and then to Iraqi sub-contractors for a pittance.

BuzzFlash: A study in the British journal, "The Lancet," which was largely ignored by the American press, indicated that possibly more than 100,000 Iraqis have been killed since the American invasion. Do you think this might be accurate?

Riverbend: I'm sure more than 100,000 people have died in the last two years. Everyone literally knows more than one person who died -- often a relative or a friend. We have people dying of bombs, dying under torture, dying of malnutrition, a lack of shelter, missiles, attacks, abductions, etc. We have illnesses emerging that Iraqis hadn't even heard of in the past -- cancer rates have gone up drastically and in some areas we hear about cholera or typhoid. It's difficult to know just how many people have died because the Ministry of Health was given explicit instructions about not keeping tabs.

BuzzFlash: The Bush White House and their representatives keep saying it was all worth it to get rid of Saddam Hussein. We think there might have been other ways of getting rid of Saddam Hussein besides wrecking a nation and taking over its oil. What do you think?

Riverbend: I think this wasn't about the welfare of Iraqi people and ridding them of a dictator. I think this has been about the US strategically placing itself in a Middle Eastern 'hot spot' -- in the middle of Turkey, Iran, Syria and the Gulf countries -- to wreak havoc and promote instability in the area, and have direct access to the oil, of course.

Democracy has to come from within and it has to be a request of the people -- not of expatriates who have alliances with the CIA and British intelligence. People have to want something enough to rise up and change it. They have to be ready for democracy and willing to accept its responsibility. The US could have promoted democracy in Iraq peacefully, but then they wouldn't have permanent bases in the country, would they?

BuzzFlash: What would happen if the U.S. forces completely pulled out of Iraq within a month?

Riverbend: No one knows what would happen. Some people say civil war, others say Iraqis would be able to sort things out. I think the best thing would be to set a timetable for complete withdrawal. This would have the dual effect of giving hope to the millions of Iraqis who feel their country will be under occupation for at least another decade, and it would also push the current Iraqi government to organize themselves and try to win over the favor of the people instead of looking out for personal gain and power. It would also inspire Iraqi security forces to take better charge of the situation in the knowledge that, eventually, they'll have to protect Iraqis instead of Americans.

BuzzFlash: How are the children of Iraq faring under the psychological pressure of the ongoing violence?

Riverbend: Many children have lost their childhood in this war and occupation. Children saw things no child should see -- corpses in the streets, foreign tanks, their countrymen being shoved to the ground or detained at checkpoints for no reason -- and this is the average child ... Other children saw their parents killed in front of them ... or lost arms, legs, eyes in an explosion or gun fire ... or were abducted ... thousands of children were privy to raids on homes which were once sacred and symbolized security and shelter. Many Iraqi children know a lot about politics and religion -- they've come to understand the differences between Sunnis, Shia and Kurds -- differences that weren't emphasized before the war.

BuzzFlash: In your journal, you talk about what a restless sleeper you are, amidst the uncertainty and the noises of war. Have you ever dreamt of peace and normalcy returning to your life?

Riverbend: Peace and normalcy seem like a distant thing. One begins to forget what 'normal' was in the first place. We've come to realize that peace and normalcy are also relative. What we consider peace is obviously very different from the American concept of peace. Normality also changes with time. Three years ago, normal was being able to walk down the street with a sense of security. Today, normal is hearing at least three explosions a day and the hum of helicopters above.

At the end of the day, why dream of such mundane things as peace and normalcy? A stable, secure, prosperous, united and above all independent Iraq -- that's a dream.

BuzzFlash: Thank your for your thoughts.

Riverbend: You're welcome.

4.19.2005

Pres. Chavez gives away 1 million copies of Don Quixote!!

Picked this up from Rigorous Intuition originally from The BBC.

What will the Fortunate Son's response be? Two million copies of My Pet Goat?


The Venezuelan government has printed one million free copies of Don Quixote to mark the book's 400th anniversary.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged everyone to read Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish classic.

He called on everyone to "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world".

"To some extent, we are followers of Quixote," he told viewers of his Hello President TV show.

The Venezuelan edition contains a prologue written by Portuguese Nobel literature laureate Jose Saramago.

The free copies will be handed out in public squares this weekend, said Mr Chavez.


One of the most heartening things of the Venezuelan miracle - and let's call it that - has been the symbology of the 1999 constitution. The sight of a mobilized populace, largely dark-skinned and underclass, waving copies of their own constitution, must make the hearts of oligarchs quail. It's easy to forget that history's most celebrated constitutions are revolutionary documents, but it's easy to see that the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is making living history.

Dawn Gable writes:

Article 132 states that everyone has the duty to fulfill his or her social responsibilities through participation in the political, civic, and community life of the country with the goal of promoting and protecting human rights as the foundation of democratic coexistence and social peace. Article 133 repeals forcible recruitment into the armed forces, but recognizes everyone’s duty to perform civilian or military service as may be necessary for the defense, preservation, and development of the country.

Article 135 says that the state’s obligation to the general welfare of society does not preclude the obligation of private individuals to participate according to their abilities. These duties describe participation much beyond the electoral process. They compel the public to see themselves as not so much the governed masses, but as active builders of their own society.

Meanwhile, the multi-generational campaign of intentionally dumbing down the populace, of encouraging public disengagement with the processes of governance, continues apace in the United States. There's something about a literate and educated citizenry that frightens tyrants even more than the right to bear arms. And when an informed and mobilized people compose a militia, it's the inclination of tyrants to back down.

The more I read of Chavez the more I am convinced he will not be allowed to survive the year. Various US gov't officials have already labelled Venezuela as one of the "outposts of tyranny" which is code for "won't allow us access to all their resources"

Islanders flee as volcano erupts

More volcanic activity in the Far East...

MORONI (Reuters) - A volcano erupted on the Indian Ocean Comoros islands on Sunday, forcing hundredsof villagers to flee in fear of poison gas as the crater spewed ash and flung boulders over molten lava,witnesses said.

Darkness enveloped homes near the summit of Mount Karthala as black rain pounded the mountainside,sparking panic among residents afraid of the kind of noxious fumes that seeped from the volcano a centuryago, killing 17 people.

"Villagers are in total darkness, gritty rain is falling and visibility is zero," a resident from the village ofIdjinkoundzi on the western flank of Mount Karthala, who gave his name as Charif, told Reuters by telephone.

The 2,361-metre (7,746-ft) Mount Karthala and its forested slopes form most of the land mass of GrandeComore, the main island in the Comoros chain which lies 300 km (190 miles) off east Africa, and which haswitnessed periodic eruptions.

Jean Marc, a pilot with Comoros Aviation, who flew over the summit, said: "I saw the start of a lava flow, butfor the moment it's confined to the inside of the volcano."

Families from the villages of Trelezini and Tsorale piled into taxis and buses and headed for the capitalMoroni, which lies on the west coast of Grande Comore, about 15 km (9 miles) from Karthala's crater, whichtowers above the Indian Ocean.

"Dust is still falling, with torrential rains and high winds sweeping across the region," said Ibrahim Youssouf,a resident in the town of Fomboni on the southeastern coast of Grande Comore who visited the scene.

Defence Minister Houmed Msaidie warned residents to avoid the area to avoid the risk of exposure todangerous gases.


Story compliments of Signs of the Times

4.16.2005

Teetering on the precipice

What does one do when I can see nothing but death and desctrucion coming?

It seems there are stages to this, it can cause horrible things like lethargy and apathy.

It can make one so terrified that even writing a post on my blog seems like a useless task.

But still something inside me tells me that even a small, innocuous event like one person believing that there can be something different can have unforseen effects.

America is poised to conduct regime change on a global scale, all the while creating the very evil it intends to extinguish. Our economy is crashing, with blue chips like GM, IBM, and Ford reporting losses and the housing bubble ready to burst and Fannie Mae going down with it.

We are poised for a turbulent hurricane season and several regions are on wildfire alert. Also, the Yellowstone Supervolcano is coming under the attention of more and more people. The affects of Yellowstone going off would be devastating to the environment...





Is there an alternate reason for our country's political actions, maybe to get as much control as possible before the brown stuff hits the spinning blade? Why else are we closing our military bases at home and opening new ones abroad? Putting pseudo-colonial bases where our business is most needed like near the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf is merely a move to privatize our military to act for the wishes of businessman. Or they will become one big prison, like Afghanistan, with no rules or treaties to abide by.


It certainly looks like we have plenty of Signs in our life to wake us up even though most do not wish to.

Gotta remember, small things can make big changes.

4.13.2005

Patriot Act being used to implement currency controls

The following exchange of letters appears on the Gold Eagle board in the Gold Forum.

[http://www.gold-eagle.com/cgi-bin/gn/get/forum.html ]

A letter to and reponse from Jim Sinclair:

Dear Jim:

My Bank in London called me today to inform me that in order to comply with new US laws, they are halting all new services to American residents (citizens?).

I can keep my accounts for the moment, but I cannot add any new currency accounts or any other investment products to my portfolio. They will not allow any US residents to open accounts in the future.

Just my thoughts but:

1. New bankruptcy law (last week)
2. Announcement that travel to other parts of North America will require a passport (papers please)
3. New compliance standards for foreign banks (this past year)
4. Elimination of foreign accounts for US residents (one by one)

Currency controls have been initiated.

Regards,
Your "Anonymous Pal”

Dear "Anonymous Pal:”

I have cautioned the Community that financial privacy is all but a chapter of history - with the exception of bullion coins.

Anyone attempting to open international bank accounts at major and reputable non-US banks will run into the difficulties you have outlined, making it all but impossible to accomplish even with the best of intentions.

The net result is an effective form of currency control as part of Patriot Act II. This covert method of currency control is a preemptive strike at what is coming when it is realized - as the Economist put it - that there is no constituent support and therefore no real political will to reduce the US Budget Deficit.

As a result, the dollar must decline. The result of a declining dollar is logically a move towards other currencies which in itself is a form of Gresham’s law.

Of all the possibilities you outline, there is only one that is in the black: Patriot II will be just as effective as any currency control put into law. This has significant implications for gold once all of this hits the proverbial fan.

Regards,
Jim

Have we taken another step in the creation of the AntiChrist? Is the Mark of the Beast just a formality?

4.12.2005

Indonesian volcano erupts... Is it part of prophecy?

Picked up this article at Terra Daily

MOUNT TALANG, Indonesia (AFP) Apr 12, 2005
A volcano spewed into life Tuesday on Indonesia's disaster-blighted Sumatra island, spreading new panic after the recent tsunami and earthquakes and driving thousands from their homes.

Mount Talang, 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Sumatra's coastal Padang city began pumping out volcanic ash shortly before dawn, prompting scientists to urge people to move away from the fall-out zone.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from the volcano's slope, the Antara news agency quoted local official Bustamar saying. It said the volcano's status had been raised to "beware", one rung below full-blown eruption.

Vulcanologist Gede Suwantika described Talang's activity as "serious" saying there was a risk of molten magma and clouds of super-heated gas that burn everything in their path.

"This is what I worry, that this activity will be followed by a larger eruption that is magmatic in nature," he said.

"Heat clouds could also descend, and this is what is risky as they can reach several kilometres" he said.

An AFP photographer at the 2,599 metre (8,680 foot) volcano said a narrow road leading to the mountain was clogged by people deserting the area, which was shrouded in thick fog.

The volcano issued another outburst at 11:30 am and another at 6:45 in the evening, accompanied by a loud bang, according to a police spokesman in Solok, 40 kilometres northeast of the volcano. He said the situation was calm.

Elfi Sahlan Ben, an official in Solok, told the Detikcom news website that ash was being carried by winds further down the slopes while strong gaseous odours were permeating the air around the mountain.

The volcano's activity comes just two days after the city of Padang was gripped with fear following a powerful 6.7 magnitude quake that caused only minor damage but revived memories of last year's deadly Indian Ocean tsunami.

On Monday the city's offices and schools were deserted, with many people having left the town to seek refuge on higher ground, their unease fuelled by rumours and scientific reports of another impending disaster.


A massive earthquake struck off the southwest coast of Sumatra on March 28, killing more than 600 people on the offshore islands of Nias and Simeulue -- most of the victims crushed by collapsing concrete structures.

On December 26 last year, a 9.3-magnitude shockwave from the same geological faultline unleashed tsunamis that destroyed vast tracts of coast in Sumatra's westernmost Aceh region and left more then 160,000 dead or missing.

The Indonesian archipelago sits atop a series of faultlines where three continental plates collide with immense pressure, causing almost daily earthquakes and frequent eruptions from more than 130 active volcanoes.

Though inured to seismic activity, thousands of Indonesians, particularly on Nias and Simeulue, have been spooked by the recent quakes and rumours of another imminent disaster and have sought refuge on higher ground.

Last month a prominent seismologist said he could not rule out the risk of a third big quake off Sumatra, although the exact timing of the event could not be predicted.

According to Fauzan, a geophysicist with the meteorology and geophysics agency, Talang's eruption is directly linked to the recent seismic activity off Sumatra's shores.

"Tectonically speaking, it is true that there are links between tectonic activities in the Indian Ocean and volcanic activities in Sumatra," he told

He said the massive December quake had activated Leuser Mountain, a volcano in Aceh province along the same range of peaks as Talang, while the Nias quake had sparked activity in lake Toba, an ancient crater in Sumatra.

Talang has had at least four major eruptions, all in the 19th century, and three smaller eruptions in 1981, 2001 and 2003.


The major earthquakes that have ocurred of late all contain some synchronicity. The two Indonesian quakes were after two very religious days, Christmas and Easter.

A sign? One blogger has an interesting take, even bringing in the famous Nostradamus quatrains for clarity...

This leads us to the issue of Supervolcanoes and Toba.

The Toba supervolcano is situated in the very same geologic region as the recent monster earthquake on the day after Christmas that killed hundreds of thousands in Indonesia and the Indian Ocean basin by the generated tsunami. This was followed by the second deadly earthquake, on the day after Easter. An Australian expert is now saying that these earthquakes may very well be precursors to the eruption of Toba, a supervolcano whose eruption would dwarf all previous catastrophes.

Professor Ray Cas of Monash University’s School of Geosciences (Australia) says the world’s biggest supervolcano at Lake Toba on Indonesia’s island of Sumatra sits on a faultline running down the middle of Sumatra where some seismologists say a third earthquake might strike following the killer quakes on December 26, 2004 and the more recent one in late March, this year. Both those quakes occurred along faultlines running just off Sumatra’s west coast and created seismological stresses which could, according to Dr. Cas, hasten an eruption of Toba. Toba’s “last eruption released 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles) of ash and rock debris into the atmosphere, much of it as fine ash which blocked out solar radiation, kicking the world back into an ice age,” he says.

To get a handle on this, consider the following: Back in 1883 the volcano Krakatau (”Krakatoa”) in Indonesia exploded.

“The eruption was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recorded history. The effects were experienced on a global scale. Fine ashes from the eruption were carried by upper level winds as far away as New York City. The explosion was heard more than 3000 miles away. Volcanic dust blew into the upper atmosphere affecting incoming solar radiation and the earth’s weather for several years. A series of large tsunami waves generated by the main explosion, some reaching a height of nearly 40 meters (more than 120 feet) above sea level, killed more than 36,000 people in the coastal towns and villages along the Sunda Strait on Java and Sumatra islands. Tsunami waves were recorded or observed throughout the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the American West Coast, South America, and even as far away as the English Channel.”


On the newly devised scale of volcanic eruptions, a “Supervolcano” is a volcanic eruption of a magnitude of “8” on the Volcano Explosivity Index, meaning that more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of magma are erupted. Krakatoa was only a “6″.

But then, there is also the slumbering Supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park. It has been “sleeping” for about 640,000 years and is said to erupt about ever 600,000 years. So, it’s a bit overdue. Scientists have recently begun to sound the alarm, saying that the global risk posed by a supervolcanic eruption somewhere in the world is between five and ten times greater than the probability of earth being struck by a giant asteroid

Quatrain 9,83

Sun twentieth of Taurus the earth will tremble very mightily,
It will ruin the great theater filled:
To darken and trouble air, sky and land,
Then the infidel will call upon God and saints.

I decided to check my ephemeris for when the Sun will be at 20 degrees of Taurus and noted that this year, it occurs on May 11. Funny that the number 11 keeps popping up in strange ways, such as September 11 and then March 11, both dates of so-called “terrorist attacks.

4.11.2005

Nostradamus, The Pope, and..... Muslims??

Surfing through the blogosphere, I have come across the some interesting articles on the future Pope. One article states,

Thursday, 07 April , 2005, 10:57
Bogota: The pope elected to succeed John Paul II will be assassinated and his death will spark a Muslim invasion of the West that will split the Roman Catholic church, according to an interpretation of Nostradamus’ prophecies by a leading Colombian author.

“The next pope elected will be subsequently murdered in central Italy. Then comes pope number 112, who will flee Rome because of an attack by Muslims,” Gonzalo Echeverri, a Colombian investigating judge and author of a book on Nostradamus told AFP.

According to Echeverri, the pope will base himself in Avignon, France and another pontiff will take control in Italy, splitting the Catholic church in two.

“There is a very clear prophecy that says the holy father will move to another place, even warning that the French pope will not be able to stay in Avignon due to the Muslim invasion and will flee again to Lyon, where he will be attacked, according to Nostradamus,” Echeverri said.

Avignon was a base for popes for much of the 14th century, another time of grave divisions in the Church and Europe.

Nostradamus was a 16th century scholar who made prophecies. His supporters say he predicted the French revolution, the rise of Hitler and the assassination of President John F Kennedy.


So, how nicely this fits in with the negative impression people have of Muslims, especially the right wing Christian fundies. One blogger has done some excellent work connecting the dots of Nostradamus and has made some good observations...

What if Nostradamus was not ALWAYS writing about the future? What if Nostradamus was writing also about the past, that is, recording things for posterity so that people would know “what really happened?”


Yes, what if?????

4.06.2005

Global Warming: Shutdown Of Atlantic Current Would Ravage Food Stocks

Paris (AFP) Mar 31, 2005

If the North Atlantic Ocean's circulation system is shut down - an apocalyptic global-warming scenario - the impact on the world's food supplies would be disastrous, a study said last Thursday.

The shutdown would cause global stocks of plankton, a vital early link in the food chain, to decline by a fifth while plankton stocks in the North Atlantic itself would shrink by more than half, it said.

"A massive decline of plankton stocks could have catastrophic effects on fisheries and human food supply in the affected regions," warned the research, authored by Andreas Schmittner of Oregon State University.



The circulation system is like a conveyor belt, taking warm water from the Caribbean in the tropical western Atlantic to the cold latitudes of the northeastern Atlantic.

There, the warm surface water cools and sinks, gradually getting hauled around back to the southwest, where it warms again and rises to the surface.

This movement is vital for northwestern Europe, for the warm water brings the region balmy, wet weather. Without it, Ireland, Britain, parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany would be plunged into prolonged, bitter winters.

The circulation is also essential for plankton, providing an upwelling of deep-water nutrients on which these tiny creatures feed. In turn, the plankton feed fish and other marine animals, which in turn are harvested by humans.

Schmittner, writing in the British weekly science journal Nature, said his computer model of plankton loss was based on a disruption of the circulation system over 500 years, during which the conveyor belt lost more than 80 percent of its power.

Temporary slowdowns in the Atlantic's circulation system have occurred in the past, most notably after the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, said Schmittner.

Isotope traces from Greenland icecores suggest there were bursts of rapid warmings of 10 C (18 F), which melted huge amounts of Arctic ice.

This influx, because it comprised cold freshwater, sank to the bottom of the ocean floor, essentially acting like a giant sandbag thrown on the conveyor belt, braking its movement.

Today, Earth is considered to be in an "inter-glacial" period - a balmy period between ice ages.

But scientists say there is a possibility of another big temperature rise induced by man-made global warming, caused by the spewing of fossil-fuel greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

One scenario, considered outlandish only a few years ago but now increasingly taken seriously, is that a fast melt of part of the Greenland icesheet could slow or stop the warm-water circulation in the North Atlantic, with catastrophic, long-term results.

Climatologists Discover Deep-Sea Secret

From the Terra Daily

Cardiff, UK (SPX) Apr 04, 2005

Climate changes in the northern and southern hemispheres are linked by a phenomenon by which the oceans react to changes on either side of the planet.

A research team from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and the Cardiff University has shown for the first time that ocean circulation in the southern hemisphere has, in the past, adapted to sudden changes in the north.

The research published today in Science will enable more accurate forecasts to be made on how the oceans will react to climate change.

The scientists have observed that at several periods in history when the temperature has increased in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere has entered a cooling period, which creates a decrease in the amount of deep water transported to the Atlantic Ocean from the south.

The opposite effect also took place: when the climate cooled in the North Atlantic, the southern hemisphere entered a warmer period, causing water to be transported northwards.

These mechanisms linking the two hemispheres had already been observed in computer climate simulations, but this is the first time they have been confirmed with detailed data obtained from scientific experiments using weather records from the past.


The scientists have observed that at several periods in history when the temperature has increased in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere has entered a cooling period, which creates a decrease in the amount of deep water transported to the Atlantic Ocean from the south, and vice versa (with water being transported northwards, when the southern hemisphere entered a warm period).

This is the first evidence showing that waters in the southern hemisphere play an active role in sudden climate changes.

Today's climate in Europe and North America is greatly influenced by the gulf stream. This ocean current carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico northwards along the Florida coast, eastwards across the Atlantic and southwards along the west coast of Europe, bringing a mild climate.

The strength of the current is dependent on the salinity of the water travelling from the south.

If the salinity decreases, the current weakens. Scientists predict that global warming could cause part of the Greenland ice sheet to melt, giving rise to increased levels of freshwater in the Atlantic Ocean.

This could reduce the strength of the gulf stream, creating a cooler, dryer climate in Europe and North America.

However, according to the authors of this latest study, the Atlantic Ocean could already be adapting to the changes brought about by global warming in the same way as it adapted to climate changes in the past.

The waters in the southern hemisphere are less salty than those in the northern hemisphere, and this freshwater in the south sinks to the ocean floor and is transported to the rest of the Atlantic, reducing the salinity of the North Atlantic Ocean and strength of the gulf stream.

Nevertheless, the researchers have observed a decrease in the volume of freshwater sinking to the floor of the South Atlantic Ocean.

According to Rainer Zahn, "although we don't know where global warming will take us, this could be a sign that the oceans are already adapting to the changes".

4.05.2005

Bad Wildfire Season Feared in West

From Yahoo

By ANGIE WAGNER, Associated Press Writer

It was a dry, warm winter across the Northwest, with experts in some areas saying they can't remember the last time the snowpack was this low. It was just the opposite in the Southwest, with record winter rainfall that flooded deserts and caused murderous landslides.

Strangely, both face the same worry: Conditions are ripe for a bad wildfire season. Along with the dry forests in the Northwest, all that rain in the Southwest has fed lots of tall grass and brush that will become tinder when it dries this summer.

Ordinarily, when April arrives, Jack Owen considers himself lucky if any homeowners call his firm to remove brush from around their houses. But in this dry year in Oregon, his Wildfire Fuels Reduction is grinding up trees and bushes as fast as it can.

By this time last year, Owen's company in Bend had only done $1,200 in business. This year, edgy homeowners already have given the company $18,000 worth of work.

"At this time last year, one reason I didn't have much business was too much snow on the ground," he said.

Despite the rising threat, money for firefighting is expected to be tight.

"It's a concern, but we've implemented a significant number of cost management measures with our incident management teams and folks out there on the fire line looking at what we can do to cut our costs," said Alice Forbes, assistant director of operations for the Forest Service at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has already authorized more than $1.2 million for firefighters and equipment.

Some governors fear fewer National Guard troops will be available to fight fires because of the war in Iraq, though Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the fire center, said plenty of other firefighters will be available.

"People are very nervous," said Heath Hockenberry, predictive services meteorologist at the Boise fire center.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has asked the Pentagon to return some of the state's troops and helicopters.

Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told Schweitzer in a March 17 letter that he could not do that, but he said half or more of each state's National Guard force will be available to help in disasters. Blum also said the Pentagon would help Montana acquire troops from other states if they are needed.

In parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, the snowpack is only about 25 percent to 50 percent of normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which tracks conditions across the country, rates vast tracts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as "exceptional drought," the worst of five drought categories.

"In a lot of places, there's no comparison," Tom Perkins, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said of the snowpack. "It's never been this low before."

The fire season in the Northwest could start as soon as late May.

"The wild card and the key element in our Northwest fire season is lightning," said Mike Fitzpatrick, predictive services coordinator for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. "We'll have to wait and see what spring brings."

That's also the threat for the lush crop of grass and brush in the Southwest.

"Any spark, any dry lightning outbreak, there's going to be grass fires," Hockenberry said.

Southern California had its second-wettest rainy season on record, and rainfall in Arizona was well above normal. The snowpack in California's southern Sierra Nevada was 53 percent above average, and the Arizona Snowbowl ski area on northern Arizona's highest mountain reported a seasonal total of 37 feet of snow.

4.02.2005

Comedian Mitch Hedberg dies at the age of 37

I'm taking a slight break from reporting the news of our planet, to pay my respects to a guy who helped me laugh. A lot!! RIP Mitch, and here's my tribute...

A long list of jokes by Mitch

I got an ant farm. Them fellas didn't grow shit.

I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long.

Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck.

I got my hair highlighted, because I felt some strands were more important than others.

I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.

I want to be a race car passenger: just a guy who bugs the driver. "Say man, can I turn on the radio? You should slow down. Why do we gotta keep going in circles? Can I put my feet out the window? Boy, you really like Tide."

I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap.

I type a 101 words a minute. But it's in my own language.

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run. He's fuzzy. Get outta here.

I don't have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who'd be mad at me for saying that.

My sister wanted to be an actress, but she never made it. She does live in a trailer. She made it half way. She's an actress, she just never gets called to the set.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

If carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be fucked up.

I like vending machines, because snacks are better when they fall.

Pickles are cucumbers that sold out.

I was walking down the street with my friend and he said "I hear music." As if there's any other way to take it in.

2-in-1 is a bullshit term, because 1 is not big enough to hold 2. That's why 2 was created.

I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.

This shirt is dry clean only. Which means...it's dirty.

At my hotel room, my friend came over and asked to use the phone. I said "Certainly." He said "Do I need to dial 9?" I say "Yeah. Especially if it's in the number. You can try four and five back to back real quick."

My lucky number is four billion. That doesn't come in real handy when you're gambling. "Come on, four billion! Fuck. Seven. I need more dice."

I love blackjack. But I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi circle.

I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time.

I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.

I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.

The thing about tennis is: no matter how much I play, I'll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They're fucking relentless.

I think Pringles initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles is a laid back company. They said "Fuck it. Cut em up."

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an "Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order" sign, just "Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience."

Because of Acid, I now know that butter is way better than margarine.

So, I sit at the hotel at night and I think of something that's funny. Or, If the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of wasn't funny.


You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain't open. That's why I don't buy it, I don't need another step between me and toast.


This product that was on TV was available for four easy payments of $19.95. I would like a product that was available for three easy payments and one complicated payment. We can't tell you which payment it is, but one of these payments is going to hard.


You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.


I would imagine if you could understand Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy.


I don't wear a watch because I want my arms to weigh the same. So if somebody asks me what time it is, I have to tell them something that is going on. "What time is it, Mitch?" "Uh, that guy is eating a hamburger." "Shit, I had to be somewhere..."


I went to the park and saw this kid flying a kite. The kid was really excited. I don't know why, that's what they're supposed to do. Now if he had had a chair on the other end of that string, I would have been impressed.


At my hotel room, my friend came over and asked to use the phone. I said "Certainly." He said "Do I need to dial 9?" I say "Yeah. Especially if it's in the number. You can try four and five back to back real quick."


I played golf... I did not get a hole in one, but I did hit a guy. That's way more satisfying...


I saw a human pyramid once. It was totally unnecessary.

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don't even act like I didn't buy a doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D".


My friend was walking down the street and he said, "I hear music." As if there is any other way of taking it in. I tried to taste it, but it did not work.


I snake bite emergency kit is a body bag.

Sometimes I wake up and I think I should start wearing a beret, but I don't do it though. One day I'm gonna though. You bet your ass, I will have a beret on. That's ridiculous, but it's true. I always fight with wearing a beret.

A minibar is a machine that makes everything expensive. When I take something out of the minibar, I always fathom that I'll go and replace it before they check it off, but they make that stuff impossible to replace. I go to the store and ask, "Do you have coke in a glass harmonica? ...Do you have individually wrapped cashews?"

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.

It's hard to dance if you just your lost wallet. "Whoa! Where's my wallet? But, hey this song is funky..."

It's very dangerous to wave to people you don't know because what if they don't have hands? They'll think you're cocky.

If I was a locksmith, I'd be pimping that out man. I'll trade you a free key duplication for... That joke made me laugh before I could finish it, which is good, because it had no ending.

I wrote a letter to my dad - I wrote, "I really enjoy being here," but I accidentally wrote rarely instead of really. But I still wanted to use it so i crossed it out and wrote, "I rarely drive steamboats, dad - there's a lot of shit you don't know about me. Quit trying to act like I'm a steamboat operator." This letter took a harsh turn right away...

I don't own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone needs to get ahold of me they just say, "Mitch," and I say, "what" and turn my head slightly...

Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupis... one of those two doesn't sound right.

I like cinnimon rolls, but I don't always have time to make a pan. That's why I wish they would sell cinnimon roll incense. After all I'd rather light a stick and have my roommate wake up with false hopes.

People teach their dogs to sit, it's a trick. I've been sitting my whole life, and a dog has never looked at me as though he thought I was tricky.

My friend said to me, "You know what I like? Mashed potatoes." I was like, "Dude, you have to give me time to guess. If you're going to quiz me you have to insert a pause."

I used to be a hot-tar roofer. Yeah, I remember that day...

That would be cool if you could eat a good food with a bad food and the good food would cover for the bad food when it got to your stomach. Like you could eat a carrot with an onion ring and they would travel down to your stomach, then they would get there, and the carrot would say, "It's cool, he's with me."

If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptible...

I have a cheese-shredder at home, which is its positive name. They don't call it by its negative name, which is sponge-ruiner. Because I wanted to clean it, and now I have little bits of sponge that would melt easily over tortilla chips...

I bought a seven dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.

Every time I go and shave, I assume there is somebody else on the planet shaving as well, so I say, "I'm gonna go shave too."

Why are there no during pictures?

I have an underwater camera just in case I crash my car into a river, and at the last minute I see a photo opportunity of a fish that I have never seen.


I had a velcro wallet in a casino. That sound annoyed the hell out of me. Whenever I lost money, and I opened the wallet, it was like the sound of my addiction.

Sometimes I fall asleep at night with my clothes on. I'm going to have all my clothes made out of blankets.

My apartment is infested with koala bears. It's the cutest infestation ever. Way better than cockroaches. When I turn on the light, a bunch of koala bears scatter, but I don't want them too. I'm like, "Hey... Hold on fellows... Let me hold one of you, and feed you a leaf." Koala bears are so cute, why do they have to be so far away from me. We need to ship a few over, so I can hold one, and pat it on its head.

I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before.

I never joined the army because at ease was never that easy to me. Seemed rather uptight still. I don't relax by parting my legs slightly and putting my hands behind my back. That does not equal ease. At ease was not being in the military. I am at ease, bro, because I am not in the military.

I had a bag of fritos, they were texas grilled fritos. These fritos had grill marks on them. They remind me of something, when we used to fire up the barbeque and throw down some fritos. I can still see my dad with the apron on, better flip that frito, dad, you know how I like mine.

I opened-up a yogurt, underneath the lid it said, "Please try again." because they were having a contest that I was unaware of. I thought maybe I opened the yogurt wrong. ...Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me... "Come on Mitchell, don't give up!" An inspirational message from your friends at Yoplait, fruit on the bottom, hope on top.

I hate flossing, I wish I just had one long curvy tooth.

The next time I move I hope I get a real easy phone number, something like 2222222. People will ask, "Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?" I'll say, "Just press two for a while, when I answer, you'll know that you've pressed two enough."

A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap.

You know they call corn-on-the-cob, "corn-on-the-cob", but that's how it comes out of the ground. They should just call it corn, and every other type of corn, corn-off-the-cob. It's not like if someone cut off my arm they would call it "Mitch", and then re-attached it, and call it "Mitch-all-together".

I like buying snacks from a vending machine because food is better when it falls. Sometimes at the grocery, I'll drop a candy bar so that it will achieve its maximum flavor potential.

On a traffic light yellow means yield, and green means go. On a banana, it's just the opposite, yellow means go ahead, green means stop, and red means, where'd you get that banana?

My roommate says, "I'm going to take a shower and shave, does anyone need to use the bathroom?" It's like some weird quiz where he reveals the answer first.

I wrote my friend a letter with a highlighting pen, but he could not read it, he thought I was trying to show him certain parts of a piece of paper.

I use the word totally too much. I need to change it up and use a word that is different but has the same meaning. Mitch do you like submarine sandwhiches? All-encompassingly...

I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill...

...and then at the end of the letter I like to write "P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.

My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said "No, but I want a regular banana later, so, Yeah."

Mr. Pibb is a poor imitation of Dr. Pepper. Dude didn't even get his degree