Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Irish Pervert Priests Get Pass From Vatican
















In 1922, the Vatican promulgated an instruction to do with what it called crimen solicitationis (the crime of solicitation within the confessional) and what it called the ‘‘worst crime’’ - the sexual abuse of children. The document was issued in Latin. No authoritative version was produced in English.The document was circulated only to bishops and under terms of strict secrecy.A new version of the guidelines was produced in 1962, but this, according to the Murphy Commission, was unknown within the Dublin diocese until some time in the 1990s.Desmond Connell, the former archbishop, told the commission he had never seen the 1962 document, nor had he met anyone who had seen it.John Dolan, the chancellor of the diocese and a monsignor, whose job is to ensure that the administrative records of the diocese are kept safe, said he didn’t know that ‘‘lurking in the very end, at the very back [of the decree crimen solicitationis], was a little paragraph on the ‘‘worst crime’’.He was unaware of the 1962 document until an Australian bishop discovered towards the end of the 1990s that it was still valid. Until then, he did not know of any guidelines by the Vatican on the issue of clerical child sexual abuse.The Murphy Commission commented on how ‘‘unusual’’ it was, ‘‘whereby a document setting out the procedure for dealing with clerical child sexual abuse was in existence but virtually no one knew about it or used it’’.In 1996, victims of clerical abuse hounded the bishops into devising a ‘framework document’, setting out guidelines for dealing with allegations of abuse. John Dolan said: ‘‘They [the authors of the framework document] did not feel Rome was supporting them in dealing with this issue ... they were meeting an onslaught of complaints, and Rome was pulling any particular solid ground that they had from under them’’.The 1922 and 1962 Vatican instructions on dealing with allegations of clerical child sex abuse demanded absolute secrecy in the conduct of investigations. T he secrecy was so pervasive that, to some, it seemed to demand that the complaint also be kept secret from the state authorities.Cannon 1341 states that the bishop is to ‘‘start a judicial administrative procedure, for the imposition or the declaration of penalties, only when he perceives that neither by fraternal correction nor reproof, nor by any methods of pastoral care, can the scandal be sufficiently repaired, justice restored, and the offender reformed’’.The Murphy Commission notes: ‘‘This canon was interpreted to mean that bishops are required to attempt to reform the abusers in the first place." In Dublin, efforts were made to reform abusing priests by sending them to therapeutic centres. But, according to the commission, ‘‘the archdiocese seems to have been reluctant to go beyond the reform process, even when it was abundantly clear that the reform process had failed’’.But, more tellingly, the commission stated they ‘‘could find very little evidence, particularly in the early decades of the commission’s remit, of any attempt by church authorities to restore justice to the victims’’.I t says the question of harm to the victims never seemed to have been considered by the archdiocese.In considering whether a person is guilty of the ‘‘worst crime’’, canon law states a person must have ‘‘deliberately’’ violated the canon law. In considering the issue of guilt under canon law, the Canon Law Society of Britain and Ireland has commented: ‘‘Among the factors which may seriously diminish their imputability (guilt) in such cases (cases of clerical child sexual abuse) is paedophilia ...‘‘Those who have studied this matter in detail have concluded that proven paedophiles are often subjected to urges and impulses which are in effect beyond their control .. .because of the influence of paedophilia (the abuser) may not be liable, by reason of at least diminished immutability (guilt) to any canonical penalty or perhaps to only a mild penalty, to a formal warning or reproof or to a penal remedy."The commission says it ‘‘finds it a matter of grave concern that, under canon law, a serial child abuser might receive more favourable treatment from the archdiocese or from Rome, by reason of the fact that he was diagnosed as a paedophile’’.What all this says is that the issue is not just a matter of negligence or complicity in clerical child sexual abuse on the part of individual bishops - it is the culture of the Catholic Church, a culture shaped by the church authorities in Rome and transmitted and refined in dioceses.A culture that hides the Church’s own guidelines concerning what it itself rhetorically said was the ‘‘worst crime’’; that caused the Vatican authorities to pull the ground from priests who were trying to draft guidelines on abuse; that prioritises the abusers over the abused; that has been essentially indifferent to the harm caused to abuse victims; that regards paedophiles as objects of sympathy and compassion.A few more episcopal resignations, with a presumption that these settle the matter, is just a continuance of the culture of denial of the Catholic Church’s institutional and cultural complicity in the criminality of clerical child sexual abuse.The Holy Roman and Apostolic Church is the problem.


The Amish Fireplace Scam




















Claiming to reduce your energy bill all while keeping you nice and toasty during cold weather, the Amish Fireplaces are nothing more than space heaters manufactured in China and will make you electric meter spin like a wild top!

The good news is that the mantles are made in Ohio in plants that employ some Amish!

American Advertising at its best-Outrageous claims that tug at your heart strings by showing pious Amish "hand crafting" the mantels!

BUYER BEWARE! Caveat Emptor!

How Miraculous is the Amish Fireplace?
'Free' 1500-watt made-in-China space heater costs $300Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/amish_heaters.html#ixzz0bAZtUL6u
By David WoodConsumerAffairs.com
February 4, 2009 There is a sure-shot way to perk up the ears of a consumer writer: Hand him an advertisement for a product that claims to be a "miracle." This is what happened to me recently when a neighbor asked me to check out his latest purchase.
Upon entering his living room I saw what appeared to be a small fireplace tucked inside a wood cabinet, and next to that was a large unopened cardboard box. "They were giving two of these away free to each household," my neighbor said. Then he added, "With shipping, both of them cost me $600.00."
While I was trying to figure out why he paid $600.00 for two free products, my neighbor gave me a large advertisement that described his recent acquisition.
"Amish Mantel and Miracle Invention Help Home Heat Bills Hit Rock Bottom," blared the headline on the ad. "The HEAT SURGE miracle heater is a work of engineering genius from the China coast, so advanced you simply plug it into any standard wall outlet," the ad proudly stated.Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/amish_heaters.html#ixzz0bAa1H8Db
This was just too good to pass up, so I ran home, jumped online and headed straight for the manufacturer's Web site. However, the search for their Web site popped up other sites where consumers were asking questions about this "miracle" heater.
"An Amish heater? The Amish don't use electricity," said one blogger.
"Isn't this a scam because the photos are of Amish people but the Amish don't allow their picture to be taken," said a poster on another site.
Valid questions that deserved accurate answers.
Amazing free miracle!
Officially called the "Amish Fireplace," the product is really an electric heater marketed by an Ohio-based company called Heat Surge. With huge advertisements in major publications, as well as on TV, Heat Surge based its marketing campaign on a tried-and-true advertising concept: Use power-words such as "free," "amazing," and "miracle" to get the attention of the buying public.
Add into the mix that the product is certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, and you have the makings of a grand marketing campaign.
However, in the case of getting a "free" heater, it didn't take long for consumers to figure out what was free, and what wasn't.
"An ad in USA Weekend was for 2 free heaters. When I called, you had to purchase the mantels from the Amish, but the ad said how to get 2 free heaters. The ad was very misleading. Unfortunately there is nothing free," complained Evelyn, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Reading the ad closely helps to explain the "free heater" claims. In essence, Evelyn could have purchased the heater by itself for $249.00, or if she bought the Amish Oak mantel for $298.00, the heater would be thrown in "for free." So to get the "free" heater she would need to spend $298.00 for the wood mantel, which didn't include the cost of shipping.
How amazing is it?
According to the ads, the Amish Fireplace produces an "amazing" 5,119 BTU. However, "any 1500 watt heater will provide that amount of BTU, so there is nothing really 'amazing' about that from an engineering standpoint," said Dr. Fiona Doyle, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
"Whether a space heater costs $40.00 or $300.00, 1500 watts cannot magically be converted into more BTU. The maximum amount of heat energy is 1500 watts and it cannot produce more than that," Dr. Doyle said.
Heat Surge also claims the heater can drastically lower your heating bills, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, space heaters will cut your bills only if you heat one room and then move the heater to another room, heating just one room at a time. The rooms not being heated will need to be kept at 50 or 60 degrees.
As for the cost per hour, there are many variables to take into consideration.
"It will all depend on where you live, the rates from your electric company, and other things such as how well your home is insulated," said Professor Doyle.
Made in China
The advertising says, "The HEAT SURGE miracle heater is a work of engineering genius from the China coast," but many consumers have questioned just what's so miraculous about it.
"The heating unit is made in China," said Heat Surge Vice President David Baker. "These heaters are being called a miracle because they have what's being called the 'Fireless Flame' patented technology that gives you the peaceful flicker of a real fire but without any flames, fumes, smells, ashes or mess. The patented 'Fireless Flame' looks so real it amazes everybody," Baker said.
Hence, the "miracle" is in the looks of the heater, not the heater itself, which might explain why the advertising says that the heater is the "Latest home decorating sensation."
Miracles aside, the Amish Fireplace also proudly proclaims that it has received certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), but consumers need to be aware of exactly what that means.
"When any product has UL certification it means the manufacturer submitted the product to us and we ran it through a battery of tests to make sure it meets the applicable safety standard," said John Drengenberg, an electrical engineer at Underwriters Labs for more than 40 years, and the current UL Consumer Affairs Manager.
"We test products for fire, electrical shock and mechanical hazards, so our sole responsibility is to test for safety, not if a product is a miracle, or even if it works," Drengenberg said. "A good example would be a vacuum cleaner that has earned UL certification. We don't even know if it picks up dirt because our job is testing the safety of a product, period."
The Heat Surge advertising also heavily promotes the fact that the product has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal, so we wanted to know exactly what that means.
According to a Good Housekeeping spokesperson:
"In order to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluates a product to ensure it meets product claims and confirms that all product promises and directions are accurate. We verify that all information required or recommended on a label is provided. For categories in which there are accepted industry standards, we review the data to ensure the company has followed current performance and safety methods. If a problem about a Seal product is brought to our attention, we investigate it. Products that have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal carry a limited warranty: if the product proves to be defective within two years of purchase, Good Housekeeping will replace the item or refund the consumer."
In other words, it is what it is.
The Amish Connection
Although consumers have asked many questions about the supposedly miraculous heater, no subject has been brought up more than the Amish connection. Calling something an "Amish Heater" gives consumers the impression that the Amish -- who are known for their disdain of most technology -- are somehow responsible for inventing or manufacturing the heater.
However, the only connection the Amish have is in the making of the wood mantel.
"In response to the advertising that Heat Surge were doing in showing pictures of the Amish, we toured the facility where the mantels were being put together and we were introduced to people of the Amish faith," said Joy Bender, Vice President of Operations at the Canton, Ohio Better Business Bureau.
The Canton BBB learned the Amish-made mantel represented in the ad is crafted and assembled by local craftsman from Holmes and Geauga counties in Ohio.
But what about the issue of the Amish allowing their pictures to be taken?
"There are different sects of Amish. Some do not allow their picture to be taken, but some do," Bender said.
Questions have also been raised about the quality of the wood in the Amish-made mantel. In response to our questions, Heat Surge Vice President David Baker provided ConsumerAffairs.com with the following statement:
"The entire mantle is of real wood, no pressed board. The oak mantle also is built with a true solid oak piece for the top as well as the trim. The cherry mantle also has a solid wood top and trim and is made of poplar with a cherry finish, not unlike many cherry finished pieces of furniture."
Although the Canton BBB received a few complaints about the quality of the mantel and heater, most of the complaints concerned the "miracle" claims in the advertising, as well as customer service issues.
"Heat Surge have taken steps to reduce the number of complaints. The demand for the product was much higher than the company anticipated. They really were not properly staffed to take all the orders," said the BBB's Joy Bender.
Not wanting to run up a big travel bill, I went next door and spoke with my neighbor, who said he was pleased with his heater.
"It looks nice in the room, the fake flames look good, and it gives off heat," he said. "But," he added, "I do wish I would have understood that I was paying $300.00 for basically what turns out to be a 1500-watt space heater."
I didn't want to tell my neighbor this, but I went home and checked the Target Web site, where I found a wide selection of 1500-watt heaters starting at $19.99. They didn't have an Amish mantel but when it comes to heat -- barring a miracle -- 1500 watts is, as Dr. Doyle reminds us, 1500 watts, no more no less.
Consumer comments
George of Charleston, IL December 18, 2009
A friend of ours gave us one of these "fireplaces" last week. I put it together, turned it on, and watched the disk on our electric nearly spin off its axis! What a joke. First thing I noticed when I opened the shipping container was the label "Made in China". I hadn't realized that the Amish had moved to China. There's nothing Amish about this piece of junk. Got a kick out of the advertiser stuffers in the envelope accompanying the piece of junk. Advertising for all types of vitamins and cure-alls for all that ails us.
Sandra of Concord, CA December 17, 2009
On November 24, 2008, I bought the Handmade Amish Oak Fireplace for 259.00 for the unit, 19.00 for the remote and no cost for shipping. This unit was one that, according to the email offer that I was sent was "THIS OFFER ONLY GOOD ON THE WEBSITE" and had only minor imperfections in the wood.
Well the first few days it worked ok. I live in a small house and use the heater in the living room. I pretty much keep it on low all the time with the "flames" turned way down low and it keeps the temperature at around 68 to 70 degrees (depending on how cold it is outside). I have only turned the unit on high maybe twice and that is when I noticed my electricity bill go way up! I have also found that the closer you have the unit, the less you will feel the heat. It's seems like the heat by-passes you. But if you have it a few yards away, it seems to work a lot better.
Mike of Montgomery, PA December 11, 2009
Let me first say that I am a certified thermographer and a HVAC service technician by trade. I service residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment. I have done studies where we installed new equipment – before and after – and in all cases I can say that the only variable that changed was the addition of new equipment – period! I started into the Thermal Image Field several years ago and own my equipment – I can safely say that until people wise up and take care of structural issues they can buy all the nice looking heaters they want – and set back and watch the electric or gas meter spin. I am just so shocked as to how many people buy into these “new” systems when in fact if people would correct there building deficiencies they would see a true savings. A lot of home owners will opt to lay out 8000.00 to 12,000.00 for a new A/C Heat system when in fact the average repair – plus my fee for the use of the Thermal Imager – would have ran any where from as little as 150.00 to 500.00 – this is the addition of insulation – door seals – and some real simple things we tend to over look. If you don’t intend to display this e-mail that’s ok – but please take 5 minutes to think about what I have wrote – really think about it. You might be very surprised!
Margaret of Lewisburg, TN November 21, 2009
I brought an Amish fireplace and it is now making an awful sound and caused my electic bill to from 36.00 to 95.00. Doesn't lower your heating bill. it triples them and makes an awful sound doing it
Valerie of Jasper, GA November 1, 2009
My husband bought 2 Amish Heaters thinking that he would save money on our heat in the winter and what happened was quite the opposite. Firstly, the heater is very noisy. Secondly, to make the heater blow on it's maximum output it still doesn't make much of a difference. We noticed that our heating bills went sky high. We NEVER use it. If there is a Class Action Suit we would like to be a part of it. Thank you.
Steve of Marshfield, WI October 23, 2009
We saw the advertisements for the "Amish" Heat Surge electric fireplaces on TV and decided to purchase one for our brother as a gift. We later purchased another for ourselves. Well, unless we sit directly in front of the fireplace, you can't feel the heat and it definitely does not even heat a room.
We then contact Jim, our brother/brother-in-law, and he said his does not heat anything. So it seems that we put out a lot of money for two worthless heaters. Contacting the company has been unsuccessful and with today's economic situation, we cannot afford to return the heaters unless we are offered a full refund.
We are out a lot of money (I don't have the invoices handy) and I believe it is around 600. We can't afford this as Steve is the only one working and reduced hours. We feel we were monetarily injured, scammed, and strongly believe a class-action suit should be filed again the company. From the reading of blogs regarding the same complaint, a lot of other people feel the same.
Jane of Marshfield, MA October 13, 2009
We ordered the heat surge with the cherry finish cabinet, very nice looking. We had it in a large living room, it worked fairly well in that room/ We would alternate between the heater and the furnace, trying to save on our heating bill. The amount saved on oil is questionable, but our electric bill trippled for the month we used it, due to that we use it now only as a fire place...fake fire for over 300.00.
For the month we used it our electric useage went from just under 200 kwh in October 2008, to 450kwh for November 2008. I have advised others looking into this product not to purchase it unless it is only for the fake fire.
Ambrose of Cresco, PA May 5, 2009
I purchased two Amish Heat Surge units in December 2008, one for our guest room, and one for our bedroom for over 700. The one in our guest room almost never gets used, I guess that is why it can still heat. By Tuesday May 5th 2009, six months later, the one in our bedroom died.
Cat;herine of Columbus Jct., IA March 5, 2009
Cat;herine of Columbus Jct. IA (03/05/09)Our Amish Roll-n-Glow Fireplace worked fine from October 2007 until December of 2008. Then the blower and heating element stopped working. The fireplace still glows, period. I was cautious when I ordered the heater, so paid for the extended warranty. This came to a total of 375.00, which I charged to my Chase Mastercard account. I have the Noverber 2007 statement to prove the transaction took place.
We really need the extra heat source since the main or great room was an add on to the original structure. This room is not heated as efficiently by our furnace as the rest of the house. We need to replace this heater, preferably with a more depend- able heat source. The 100.00 cost of shipping the heater back to Canton, OH for repair is not feasible, or economically possible at this time. We are retiries and like everyone else we are feeling the pinch in our budget. Turning up our thermostat is really not an option for us. Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/amish_heaters.html#ixzz0bAaHzwPh

CHINAMART-Where Are The Unions?
















Source:
Madison Capital Times August, 2001 Title: Wal-Mart Ravages Workers’ Rights By John Nichols Reprinted In Asheville Global Report 9/6/01
Faculty evaluator: Phil McGough Student researcher: Kathy Jensen

Wal-Mart has been pouring a considerable amount of money into a political campaign supporting a law that will reduce the wages and benefits for workers in Oklahoma. Oklahomans voted on the “right to work” law in September of 2001. The law bans labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues or representation fees. The law also makes it difficult for unions to negotiate solid contracts. Wal-Mart hopes to use Oklahoma as a model for a renewed campaign to reduce the wages and benefits for workers nation wide.
This campaign will inevitably undermine the ability of unions to effectively organize. The right to work law has union members angered and concerned, as expressed by a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers “Union members across the country should take note of Wal-Mart’s support of measures like ‘right to work’ before they spend any of their union wages at Wal-Mart stores.” Right to work laws were developed in the 1940s by segregationists to keep African-Americans, Latinos, and white workers in the South and Southwest from unionizing. Right to work laws were among the vile legacies of an era when conservatives worked at the state and national level to erect legal barriers to racial progress. Only two states have passed right to work laws since the civil rights era.
In the 21 States with right to work laws, the medium household income is $4,882 less than states where workers are free to organize effective unions. These states have higher poverty rates and less health insurance coverage than states without right to work laws.
Oklahoma rejected a right to work law in 1964, when Martin Luther King Jr. came to campaign against the proposal. This time around however powerful right-wing interests combined with Wal-Mart to push the initiative. The Daily Oklahoman contributed advertising space and Governor Frank Keating and U.S. Senator Don Nickles campaigned in support of passage.
Nichols writes, “In a sense, it is a good investment for Wal-Mart, which often has a hard time finding workers willing to accept low wages paid at it stores. If the Oklahoma campaign is a success, right-to-work advocates hope to use it as a model for passing similar initiatives in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, New Hampshire and New Mexico.”
UPDATE: On September 25 the voters of Oklahoma passed the right-to-work law by a 54% margin. Wal-Mart contributed $250,000 to the campaign. AFL-CIO had filed legal challenges to the law.


With revenues of roughly $400 billion and 1.4 million workers at more than 4,000 stores in the United States alone, Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world.
Yet for the last five years, the United Food and Commercial Workers — the largest union in the country representing retail workers — has largely eschewed organizing drives aimed at Wal-Mart workers.
After years of unsuccessfully seeking a toehold within the retail chain, the union simply decided that under current labor laws trying to organize workers in the face of fierce corporate resistance was futile.
“Workers at Wal-Mart have wanted to organize for a long, long time and have made efforts in various places,” says Doug Mork, organizing director for UFCW Local 789. “But there just hasn’t been a real possibility. If their employers have been committed enough and capitalized enough to fight them to the mat on it, workers simply haven’t had the opportunity to organize under existing labor law.”
But the UFCW now vows that its capitulation to Wal-Mart is over. The union has started organizing campaigns in 17 states, including Minnesota, targeting more than 100 stores. The impetus for the organizing drive: the new administration in the White House and the possibility of passing the Employee Free Choice Act. Under the proposed legislation, workers would join a union after more than half of the workers sign a card indicating support. Under present law, an election must be held to determine whether a majority of workers are in favor of joining the union.
President Obama has consistently voiced support for the Employee Free Choice Act. UFCW organizers are utilizing cards with a picture of the popular president to entice workers to sign off on unionization. The cards include a 2007 quote from Obama specifically calling out Wal-Mart. “I don’t mind standing up for workers and letting Wal-Mart know they need to pay a decent wage and let folks organize,” he said at the time.
But the proposed legislation has floundered as the economy has tanked. President Obama has not made it a top legislative priority, and some former supporters, including Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) and Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), have turned against it.
UFCW’s Wal-Mart campaign is part of an effort by organized labor to build support for the Employee Free Choice Act and apply pressure to Congress.
“Every union has been lifting up clear examples of where current law has not worked well,” says Mork. “Wal-Mart is clearly one of the examples for the UFCW. There’s adequate evidence that all sorts of people can look and say, ‘Yes, workers at Wal-mart wanted to organize.’ There’s been clear energy and interest in the past, and they’ve been able to completely shut it down.”
In the Twin Cities, UFCW has had discussions with workers at nine stores, according to Mork. But it’s difficult to say whether the union is gaining significant traction. Mork is reluctant to specify exactly how many workers have so far signed cards indicating support for joining the union.
“I don’t want to give Wal-Mart any information that they don’t have in terms of what’s happening here,” he says. “We’re certainly not a majority anywhere yet. But we’ve got stores where significant numbers of folks have signed.”
Wal-Mart seems unfazed by the campaign. “We have noticed that the UFCW has been working harder in its attempt to get Wal-Mart associates to sign union cards,” says Daphne Moore, a spokesperson for the company. “We don’t think our associates have any reason to be more interested than before.”
However, the retailer is notorious for the lengths it will go to keep organized labor out of its stores. When meat cutters at a Texas store voted to unionize a decade ago, the company responded by eliminating meat cutters from 180 stores in six states. After workers at a Wal-Mart in Canada voted to join a union in 2004, the company shuttered the store.
But less dramatic tactics are the backbone of Wal-Mart’s crusade to keep unions out of its stores, as documented in a 2007 report by Human Rights Watch. Managers are given extensive training in union prevention techniques. New workers are required to watch anti-union videos. There is a union hotline that managers are directed to call at the first hint of organizing so that advice can be dispensed directly from the corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Nelson Lichtenstein, author of the forthcoming book The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business, says such tactics have now become standard for national retail chains. “It’s no longer extraordinary,” says Lichtenstein, who teaches labor history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “Now everyone does it. Target does exactly the same thing.”
While these tactics have undoubtedly played a major role in keeping organized labor out of Wal-Mart stores, some observers also argue that unions haven’t made a persuasive case to workers.
“Why is it that workers that everybody acknowledges are not really that well paid are also not willing to vote to put a union in place at Wal-Mart?” asks Charles Fishman, author of the The Wal-Mart Effect. “That’s the $12-an-hour question. … What it says is people don’t think the union has more to offer them than Wal-Mart.”
Fishman points out that if every Wal-Mart worker received a $2 an hour raise, it would eat up all of the company’s $12 billion in profits.
“If Wal-Mart were to be unionized, the stores might look the same,” he says. “The prices wouldn’t be the same, and the way the place operated wouldn’t be the same. Because there’s no room in there to be quote-unquote more generous to people on benefits or pay or staffing without changing the operation.”
After years of unsuccessful battles with Wal-Mart, the UFCW has been content in recent years to concentrate on bloodying the company’s image. The main vehicle for this effort has been the “Wake-Up Wal-Mart” marketing campaign. Through a Web site, protests and other communications tools, the UFCW has tarred Wal-Mart as a corporate behemoth that treats its workers like dirt and routinely violates labor laws.
There is some evidence that the campaign has been successful in affecting consumer behavior and instigating changes in Wal-Mart’s personnel policies. For example, the company has twice in recent years altered its health-insurance policies to make them somewhat more affordable for workers. And in December it settled 63 lawsuits alleging that Wal-Mart failed to pay employees their rightful wages for $352 million.
“They’ve had a positive impact, particularly on health insurance and particularly on the notion that somebody’s watching Wal-Mart,” says Fishman, about the “Wake Up” campaign. “We all know how we do the dishes, clean the kitchen, fold the laundry, rake the leaves if someone’s standing there with their arms crossed watching us.”
Now the UFCW hopes to capitalize on that groundwork by organizing workers.
Peter Rachleff, a labor historian at Macalester College, believes the time is ripe for the UFCW to take another run at Wal-Mart.
“Their anticipation of EFCA getting passed and their estimation of a changed political and economic climate all make this a time — not necessarilly a good time or an easy time — but a necessary time to shift their strategy and try to organize Wal-Mart,” he says.
But that doesn’t mean he believes they’ll be successful. “There‘s a lot at stake,” he says. “I’m not optimistic.”
Lichtenstein is even more blunt in assessing the UFCW‘s chances. “They know it will fail,” he says. “It’s designed to fail.”
But even failure can have an upside. “Demonstrating that failure shows we need something new,” Liechtenstein says. “We need a new law.”
More villain than victim
By Joe Hansen
As America's largest company, with more than $285 billion in sales and more than $10 billion in profits, Wal-Mart has a responsibility to set the standard for customers, workers, families and communities. America's largest employer — with nearly 1.3 million workers — must reflect America's values.
Wal-Mart is not the victim of globalization, lower wages and lack of health insurance. More accurately, Wal-Mart's business practices created many of these problems in America today. Look at the record.
A company that reflects America's values doesn't pay below poverty-level wages to its workers. At 34 hours per week (full-time at Wal-Mart), the average Wal-Mart associate makes $17,114 per year, well below the poverty level for a family of four.
A company that reflects America's values doesn't have 660,000 of its employees without company-provided health insurance, forcing workers to seek taxpayer-funded public assistance. In fact, in 11 of the 12 states that have disclosed employers who have employees on Medicaid, Wal-Mart tops the list. In Georgia, for example, a state survey found more than 10,000 Wal-Mart employees on Medicaid — 14 times the next highest employer.
A company that reflects America's values doesn't ask taxpayers to subsidize its $10 billion in profits. A U.S. congressional study found that Wal-Mart costs you, the American taxpayer, up to $2.5 billion in public assistance. One newspaper editorial titled it, "Wal-Mart Welfare."
A company that reflects America's values doesn't put profits before its people, morality and the law. In the past few months, Wal-Mart agreed to pay a record fine for exploiting illegal immigrants and settled extensive child labor violations. It still faces the largest gender discrimination lawsuit, 1.6 million women, in U.S. history for unfair pay and unequal promotion.
Wal-Mart is not creating jobs in our communities. Wal-Mart's business practices simply exchange decent jobs with health benefits for lower-paying jobs and taxpayer-subsidized health care. The truth is Wal-Mart is forcing good-paying American jobs overseas. Wal-Mart is creating an America of lower wages, no health care and lack of retirement security.
We think it's time for Wal-Mart to wake up.
Joe Hansen is president of United Food and Commercial Workers.Posted 4/17/2005 9:39 PM

American Military-The Ultimate Killing Machine
















According to the Vietnamese government, 1,100,000 Vietnam People's Army and National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam military personnel and 2,000,000 Vietnamese civilians on both sides died in the conflict.[4] (Technically, some of these dead were South Vietnamese members of the NLF, but it would be impossible to separate their constituency from the total.) Estimates of civilian deaths caused by American bombing in Operation Rolling Thunder range from 52,000[1] to 182,000.[7] Although most researchers of war history puts the civilian toll closer to 4 million[citation needed]. Complete statistics for the 1972 bombings are unavailable. Overall figures for North Vietnamese civilian dead range from 50,000[1] to "several million."[8]

Sources:
After Downing Street, July 6, 2007 Title: “Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More?” Author: Michael Schwartz
AlterNet, September 17, 2007 Title: “Iraq death toll rivals Rwanda genocide, Cambodian killing fields” Author: Joshua Holland
Reuters (via AlterNet), January 7, 2008 Title: “Iraq conflict has killed a million, says survey” Author: Luke Baker
Inter Press Service, March 3, 2008 Title: “Iraq: Not our country to Return to” Authors: Maki al-Nazzal and Dahr Jamail
Student Researchers: Danielle Stanton, Tim LeDonne, and Kat Pat Crespán Faculty Evaluator: Heidi LaMoreaux, PhD

Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB). These numbers suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq rivals the mass killings of the last century—the human toll exceeds the 800,000 to 900,000 believed killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and is approaching the number (1.7 million) who died in Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s.
ORB’s research covered fifteen of Iraq’s eighteen provinces. Those not covered include two of Iraq’s more volatile regions—Kerbala and Anbar—and the northern province of Arbil, where local authorities refused them a permit to work. In face-to-face interviews with 2,414 adults, the poll found that more than one in five respondents had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, as opposed to natural cause.
Authors Joshua Holland and Michael Schwartz point out that the dominant narrative on Iraq—that most of the violence against Iraqis is being perpetrated by Iraqis themselves and is not our responsibility—is ill conceived. Interviewers from the Lancet report of October 2006 (Censored 2006, #2) asked Iraqi respondents how their loved ones died. Of deaths for which families were certain of the perpetrator, 56 percent were attributable to US forces or their allies. Schwartz suggests that if a low pro rata share of half the unattributed deaths were caused by US forces, a total of approximately 80 percent of Iraqi deaths are directly US perpetrated.
Even with the lower confirmed figures, by the end of 2006, an average of 5,000 Iraqis had been killed every month by US forces since the beginning of the occupation. However, the rate of fatalities in 2006 was twice as high as the overall average, meaning that the American average in 2006 was well over 10,000 per month, or over 300 Iraqis every day. With the surge that began in 2007, the current figure is likely even higher.
Schwartz points out that the logic to this carnage lies in a statistic released by the US military and reported by the Brookings Institute: for the first four years of the occupation the American military sent over 1,000 patrols each day into hostile neighborhoods, looking to capture or kill “insurgents” and “terrorists.” (Since February 2007, the number has increased to nearly 5,000 patrols a day, if we include the Iraqi troops participating in the American surge.) Each patrol invades an average of thirty Iraqi homes a day, with the mission to interrogate, arrest, or kill suspects. In this context, any fighting age man is not just a suspect, but a potentially lethal adversary. Our soldiers are told not to take any chances (see Story #9).
According to US military statistics, again reported by the Brookings Institute, these patrols currently result in just under 3,000 firefights every month, or just under an average of one hundred per day (not counting the additional twenty-five or so involving our Iraqi allies). Thousands of patrols result in thousands of innocent Iraqi deaths and unconscionably brutal detentions.
Iraqis’ attempts to escape the violence have resulted in a refugee crisis of mammoth proportion. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration, in 2007 almost 5 million Iraqis had been displaced by violence in their country, the vast majority of which had fled since 2003. Over 2.4 million vacated their homes for safer areas within Iraq, up to 1.5 million were living in Syria, and over 1 million refugees were inhabiting Jordan, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Gulf States. Iraq’s refugees, increasing by an average of almost 100,000 every month, have no legal work options in most host states and provinces and are increasingly desperate.1
Yet more Iraqis continue to flee their homes than the numbers returning, despite official claims to the contrary. Thousands fleeing say security is as bad as ever, and that to return would be to accept death. Most of those who return are subsequently displaced again.
Maki al-Nazzal and Dahr Jamail quote an Iraqi engineer now working at a restaurant in Damascus, “Return to Iraq? There is no Iraq to return to, my friend. Iraq only exists in our dreams and memories.”
Another interviewee told the authors, “The US military say Fallujah is safe now while over 800 men are detained there under the worst conditions. . . . At least 750 out of the 800 detainees are not resistance fighters, but people who refused to collaborate with occupation forces and their tails.” (Iraqis who collaborate with occupation forces are commonly referred to as “tails of the Americans.”)
Another refugee from Baghdad said, “I took my family back home in January. The first night we arrived, Americans raided our house and kept us all in one room while their snipers used our rooftop to shoot at people. I decided to come back here [Damascus] the next morning after a horrifying night that we will never forget.”
Citation
1. “The Iraqi Displacement Crisis,” Refugees International, March 3, 2008.
UPDATE BY MICHAEL SCHWARTZ
The mortality statistics cited in “Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month?” were based on another article suitable for Project Censored recognition, a scientific investigation of deaths caused by the war in Iraq. The original article, published in Lancet in 2006, received some dismissive coverage when it was released, and then disappeared from view as the mainstream media returned to reporting biased estimates that placed Iraqi casualties at about one-tenth the Lancet estimates. The corporate media blackout of the original study extended to my article as well, and has continued unabated, though the Lancet article has withstood several waves of criticism, while being confirmed and updated by other studies (Censored 2006, #2).
By early 2008, the best estimate, based on extrapolations and replications of the Lancet study, was that 1.2 million Iraqis had died as a consequence of the war. This figure has not, to my knowledge, been reported in any mass media outlet in the United States.
The blackout of the casualty figures was matched by a similar blackout of other main evidence in my article: that the Bush administration military strategy in Iraq assures vast property destruction and lethality on a daily basis. Rules of engagement that require the approximately one thousand US patrols each day to respond to any hostile act with overwhelming firepower—small arms, artillery, and air power—guarantee that large numbers of civilians will suffer and die. But the mainstream media refuses to cover this mayhem, even after the Winter Soldier meetings in March 2008 featured over one hundred Iraq veterans who testified to their own participation in what they call “atrocity producing situations.” (see Story #9)
The effectiveness of the media blackout is vividly illustrated by an Associated Press poll conducted in February 2007, which asked a representative sample of US residents how many Iraqis had died as a result of the war. The average respondent thought the number was under 10,000, about 2 percent of the actual total at that time. This remarkable mass ignorance, like so many other elements of the Iraq War story, received no coverage in the mass media, not even by the Associated Press, which commissioned the study.
The Iraq Veterans Against the War has made the brutality of the occupation their special activist province. The slaughter of the Iraqi people is the foundation of their demand for immediate and full withdrawal of US troops, and the subject of their historic Winter Soldier meetings in Baltimore. Though there was no mainstream US media coverage of this event, the live streaming on Pacifica Radio and on the IVAW website reached a huge audience—including a vast number of active duty soldiers—with vivid descriptions of atrocities committed by the US war machine. A growing number of independent news sites now feature regular coverage of this aspect of the war, including Democracy Now!, Tom Dispatch, Dahr Jamail’s MidEast Dispatches, Informed Comment, Antiwar.com, and ZNet.
UPDATE BY MAKI AL-NAZZAL AND DAHR JAMAIL
The promotion of US general David Petraeus to head CENTCOM, and General Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as commanding general of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, provoked a lot of anger amongst Iraqis in both Syria and Jordan. The two generals who convinced US and international society of improvement in Iraq do not seem to have succeeded in convincing Iraqi refugees of their success.
“Just like the Bush Administration decorated Paul Bremer (former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority), they are rewarding others who participated in the destruction to Iraq,” stated Muhammad Shamil, an Iraqi journalist who fled Iraq to Syria in 2006. “What they call violence was concentrated in some parts of Iraq, but now spread to be all over the country, thanks to US war heroes. People are getting killed, evicted or detained by the thousands, from Basra (South) to Mosul (North).”
Other Iraqi refugees seem to have changed attitudes regarding their hopes to return. Compared to when this story was published in March 2008, the refugee crisis continues to deepen. This is exacerbated by the fact that most Iraqis have no intention of returning home. Instead, they are looking for permanent residence in other countries.
“I decided to stop dreaming of going back home and find myself a new home anywhere in the world if I could,” said thirty-two-year-old Maha Numan in Syria, “I have been a refugee for three years now living on the dream of return, but I decided to stop dreaming. I have lost faith in all leaders of the world after the surges of Basra, Sadr City and now Mosul. This seems to be endless and one has to work harder on finding a safe haven for one’s family.”
Iraqis in Syria know a lot more of the news about their country than most journalists. At an Internet café in Damascus, each of them calls his hometown and reports the happenings of the day to other Iraqi refugees. News of ongoing violence across much of Iraq convinces them to remain abroad.
“There were four various explosions in Fallujah today,” said Salam Adel, who worked as a translator for US forces in Fallujah in 2005. “And they say it is safe to go back! Damn them, go back for what? For roadside bombs or car bombs?”
It has been important, politically, for the Bush administration to claim that the situation in Iraq is improving. This claim has been assisted by a complicit corporate media. However, the 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria, and over 750,000 in Jordan, will tell you differently. Otherwise, they would not remain outside of Iraq.
To obtain updated information on the refugee crisis, see http://www.irinnews.org/IRIN-ME.aspx, http://www.iraqredcrescent/ .org/, http://www.refugeesinternational.org/section/waystohelp, http://www.unhcr.org/iraq.html, and http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/.
To obtain updated information on the number of deaths in Iraq see http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

HUMANS- NOTHING LIKE US IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!
















Top 10 Things that Make Humans Special
Humans are unusual animals by any stretch of the imagination, ones that have changed the face of the world around us. What makes us so special when compared to the rest of the animal kingdom? Some things we take completely for granted might surprise you.
Life after Children
Most animals reproduce until they die, but in humans, females can survive long after ceasing reproduction. This might be due to the social bonds seen in humans -- in extended families, grandparents can help ensure the success of their families long after they themselves can have children.
Long Childhoods
Humans must remain in the care of their parents for much longer than other living primates. The question then becomes why, when it might make more evolutionary sense to grow as fast as possible to have more offspring. The explanation may be our large brains, which presumably require a long time to grow and learn.
Blushing
Humans are the only species known to blush, a behavior Darwin called "the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions." It remains uncertain why people blush, involuntarily revealing our innermost emotions. The most common idea is that blushing helps keep people honest, benefiting the group as a whole.
Fire
The human ability to control fire would have brought a semblance of day to night, helping our ancestors to see in an otherwise dark world and keep nocturnal predators at bay. The warmth of the flames also helped people stay warm in cold weather, enabling us to live in cooler areas. And of course it gave us cooking, which some researchers suggest influenced human evolution -- cooked foods are easier to chew and digest, perhaps contributing to human reductions in tooth and gut size.
Clothing
Humans may be called "naked apes," but most of us wear clothing, a fact that makes us unique in the animal kingdom, save for the clothing we make for other animals. The development of clothing has even influenced the evolution of other species -- the body louse, unlike all other kinds, clings to clothing, not hair.
Speech
The larynx, or voice box, sits lower in the throat in humans than in chimps, one of several features that enable human speech. Human ancestors evolved a descended larynx roughly 350,000 years ago. We also possess a descended hyoid bone -- this horseshoe-shaped bone below the tongue, unique in that it is not attached to any other bones in the body, allows us to articulate words when speaking.
Hands
Contrary to popular misconceptions, humans are not the only animals to possess opposable thumbs -- most primates do. (Unlike the rest of the great apes, we don't have opposable big toes on our feet.) What makes humans unique is how we can bring our thumbs all the way across the hand to our ring and little fingers. We can also flex the ring and little fingers toward the base of our thumb. This gives humans a powerful grip and exceptional dexterity to hold and manipulate tools with.
Nakedness
We look naked compared to our hairier ape cousins. Surprisingly, however, a square inch of human skin on average possesses as much hair-producing follicles as other primates, or more -- humans often just have thinner, shorter, lighter hairs.
Upright Posture
Humans are unique among the primates in how walking fully upright is our chief mode of locomotion. This frees our hands up for using tools. Unfortunately, the changes made in our pelvis for moving on two legs, in combination with babies with large brains, makes human childbirth unusually dangerous compared with the rest of the animal kingdom. A century ago, childbirth was a leading cause of death for women. The lumbar curve in the lower back, which helps us maintain our balance as we stand and walk, also leaves us vulnerable to lower back pain and strain.
Extraordinary Brains
Without a doubt, the human trait that sets us apart the most from the animal kingdom is our extraordinary brain. Humans don't have the largest brains in the world -- those belong to sperm whales. We don't even have the largest brains relative to body size -- many birds have brains that make up more than 8 percent of their body weight, compared to only 2.5 percent for humans. Yet the human brain, weighing only about 3 pounds when fully grown, give us the ability to reason and think on our feet beyond the capabilities of the rest of the animal kingdom, and provided the works of Mozart, Einstein and many other geniuses.

Somalia - A 3rd World Sinkhole Used As A Toilet

















Sources:
Al Jazeera English, October 11, 2008 Title: “Toxic waste behind Somali piracy” Author: Najad Abdullahi
Huffington Post, January 4, 2009 Title: “You are being lied to about pirates” Author: Johann Hari
WardheerNews, January 8, 2009 Title: “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other” Author: Mohamed Abshir Waldo
Student Researcher: Christine Wilson Faculty Evaluator: Andre Bailey, EOP Advisor Sonoma State University

The international community has come out in force to condemn and declare war on the Somali fishermen pirates, while discreetly protecting the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fleets from around the world that have been poaching and dumping toxic waste in Somali waters since the fall of the Somali government eighteen years ago.
In 1991, when the government of Somalia collapsed, foreign interests seized the opportunity to begin looting the country’s food supply and using the country’s unguarded waters as a dumping ground for nuclear and other toxic waste.
According to the High Seas Task Force (HSTF), there were over 800 IUU fishing vessels in Somali waters at one time in 2005, taking advantage of Somalia’s inability to police and control its own waters and fishing grounds. The IUUs poach an estimated $450 million in seafood from Somali waters annually. In so doing, they steal an invaluable protein source from some of the world’s poorest people and ruin the livelihoods of legitimate fishermen.
Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s, but hard evidence emerged when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported that the tsunami washed rusting containers of toxic waste onto the shores of Puntland, northern Somalia.
Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told Al Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a “frightening activity” that had been going on for more than a decade. “Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” he said. “The waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes—you name it.”
Nuttall also said that since the containers came ashore, hundreds of residents have fallen ill, suffering from mouth and abdominal bleeding, skin infections and other ailments. “What is most alarming here is that nuclear waste is being dumped. Radioactive uranium waste that is potentially killing Somalis and completely destroying the ocean,” he said.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia, says the practice helps fuel the eighteen-year-old civil war in Somalia, as companies pay Somali government ministers and/or militia leaders to dump their waste. “There is no government control . . . and there are few people with high moral ground . . . yes, people in high positions are being paid off, but because of the fragility of the Transitional Federal Government, some of these companies now no longer ask the authorities—they simply dump their waste and leave.” In 1992 the countries of the European Union and 168 other countries signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The convention prohibits waste trade between countries that have signed, as well as countries that have not signed the accord, unless a bilateral agreement had been negotiated. It also prohibits the shipping of hazardous waste to a war zone.
Surprisingly, the UN has disregarded its own findings, and has ignored Somali and international appeals to act on the continued ravaging of the Somali marine resources and dumping of toxic wastes. Violations have also been largely ignored by the region’s maritime authorities.
This is the context from which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged.
Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somali fishermen who, at first, took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia.
One of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, explains that their motive is “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters. . . . We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish, and dump waste, and carry weapons in our seas.”
Author Johann Hari notes that, while none of this makes hostage-taking justifiable, the “pirates” have the overwhelming support of the local population for a reason. The independent Somalia news site WardherNews conducted the best research we have on what ordinary Somalis are thinking. It found that 70 percent “strongly support the piracy as a form of national defense of the country’s territorial waters.”
Instead of taking action to protect the people and waters of Somalia from international transgressions, the UN has responded to the situation by passing aggressive resolutions that entitle and encourage transgressors to wage war on the Somali pirates.
A chorus of calls for tougher international action has resulted in multi-national and unilateral Naval stampede to invade and take control of the Somali waters. The UN Security Council (a number of whose members may have ulterior motives to indirectly protect their illegal fishing fleets in the Somali Seas) passed Resolutions 1816 in June 2008, and 1838 in October 2008, which “call upon States interested in the security of maritime activities to take part actively in the fight against piracy on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, in particular by deploying naval vessels and military aircraft . . .” Both NATO and the EU have issued orders to the same effect. Russia, Japan, India, Malaysia, Egypt, and Yemen, along with an increasing number of countries have joined the fray. For years, attempts made to address piracy in the world’s seas through UN resolutions have failed to pass, largely because member nations felt such resolutions would infringe on their sovereignty and security. Countries are unwilling to give up control and patrol of their own waters. UN Resolutions 1816 and 1838, to which a number of West African, Caribbean and South American nations objected, were accordingly tailored to apply to Somalia only. Somalia has no representation at the United Nations strong enough to demand amendments to protect its sovereignty, and Somali civil society objections to the Draft Resolutions—which makes no mention of illegal fishing or hazard waste dumping—were ignored. 

Hari asks, “Do we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes—but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil.” If we really want to deal with piracy, we need to stop its root cause—our crimes —before we send in the gun-boats to root out Somalia’s criminals.”
Update by Mohamed Abshir Waldo The crises of the multiple piracies in Somalia have not diminished since my previous article, “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the Word Ignores the Other,” was written in December 2008. All the illegal fishing piracy, the waste dumping piracy and the shipping piracy continue with new zeal. Somali fishermen, turned pirates in reaction to armed foreign marine poachers, have intensified their war against all kinds of ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
On international response, foreign governments, international organizations and mainstream media have been united in demonizing Somalia and described its fishermen as evil men pillaging ships and terrorizing sailors (even though no sailors were harmed). This presentation is lopsided. The media said relatively little on the other piracies of illegal fishing and waste dumping. The allied navies of the world—fleets of over forty warships from over ten Asian, Arab, and African countries as well as from many NATO and EU member countries—stepped up their hunt for the Somali fishermen pirates, regardless of whether they are actually engaged in piracy or in normal fishing in the Somali waters. Various meetings of the International Contact Group for Somalia (ICGS) in New York, London, Cairo, and Rome continue to underline the demonization of the Somali fishermen and urge further punitive actions without a single mention of the violation of illegal fishing and toxic dumping by vessels from the countries of those sitting in the ICGS and UN forums in judgment of the piracy issue.
At the ICGS Anti-Piracy meeting in Cairo on May 30 2009, Egypt and Italy were two of the loudest countries calling for severe punishment of the Somali fishermen pirates. As the ICGS are meeting in Rome today (June 10, 2009), two Egyptian trawlers full of fish illegally caught in Somali waters and an Italian barge that had been towing two huge tanks suspected of containing toxic or nuclear waste are being held in the Somali coastal town of Las Khorey by the local community, who invited the international experts to come and investigate these cases. So far, the international community has not responded to the Las Khorey community’s invitation.
It should be pointed out that both the IUUs and waste dumping are happening in other African countries. Ivory Coast is a victim of major international toxic dumping. It is said that acts of piracy are actually acts of desperation, and, as in the case of Somalia, what is one man’s pirate is another man’s Coast Guard.

SO IT IS OKAY FOR CORPORATE POLLUTERS TO JUST DUMP THEIR TOXINS WHERE IT IS CHEAP, CONVENIENT AND UNREGULATED. SO WHAT IF THE LOCAL POPULATION IS POISONED! THE BASTARDS!
READ THIS!

By Christine Wilson The international community has come out in force to condemn and declare war on the Somali fishermen pirates, while discreetly protecting the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fleets from around the world that have been poaching and dumping toxic waste in Somali waters since the fall of the Somali government eighteen years ago.In 1991, when the government of Somalia collapsed, foreign interests seized the opportunity to begin looting the country’s food supply and using the country’s unguarded waters as a dumping ground for nuclear and other toxic waste.According to the High Seas Task Force (HSTF), there were over 800 IUU fishing vessels in Somali waters at one time in 2005, taking advantage of Somalia’s inability to police and control its own waters and fishing grounds. The IUUs poach an estimated $450 million in seafood from Somali waters annually. In so doing, they steal an invaluable protein source from some of the world’s poorest people and ruin the livelihoods of legitimate fishermen.Allegations of the dumping of toxic waste, as well as illegal fishing, have circulated since the early 1990s, but hard evidence emerged when the tsunami of 2004 hit the country. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) reported that the tsunami washed rusting containers of toxic waste onto the shores of Puntland, northern Somalia.Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told al-Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a “frightening activity” that had been going on for more than a decade. “Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” he said. “The waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes—you name it.”Nuttall also said that since the containers came ashore, hundreds of residents have fallen ill, suffering from mouth and abdominal bleeding, skin infections and other ailments. “What is most alarming here is that nuclear waste is being dumped. Radioactive uranium waste that is potentially killing Somalis and completely destroying the ocean,” he said.Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia, says the practice helps fuel the eighteen-year-old civil war in Somalia, as companies pay Somali government ministers and/or militia leaders to dump their waste. “There is no government control . . . and there are few people with high moral ground . . . yes, people in high positions are being paid off, but because of the fragility of the Transitional Federal Government, some of these companies now no longer ask the authorities—they simply dump their waste and leave.” In 1992 the countries of the European Union and 168 other countries signed the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The convention prohibits waste trade between countries that have signed, as well as countries that have not signed the accord, unless a bilateral agreement had been negotiated. It also prohibits the shipping of hazardous waste to a war zone.Surprisingly, the UN has disregarded its own findings, and has ignored Somali and international appeals to act on the continued ravaging of the Somali marine resources and dumping of toxic wastes. Violations have also been largely ignored by the region’s maritime authorities.This is the context from which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged.Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somali fishermen who, at first, took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia.One of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, explains that their motive is “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters. . . . We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish, and dump waste, and carry weapons in our seas”.Author Johann Hari notes that, while none of this makes hostage-taking justifiable, the “pirates” have the overwhelming support of the local population for a reason. The independent Somalia news site WardherNews conducted the best research we have on what ordinary Somalis are thinking. It found that 70% “strongly support the piracy as a form of national defense of the country’s territorial waters.”Instead of taking action to protect the people and waters of Somalia from international transgressions, the UN has responded to the situation by passing aggressive resolutions that entitle and encourage transgressors to wage war on the Somali pirates.A chorus of calls for tougher international action has resulted in multi-national and unilateral naval stampede to invade and take control of the Somali waters. The UN Security Council (a number of whose members may have ulterior motives to indirectly protect their illegal fishing fleets in the Somali Seas) passed Resolutions 1816 in June 2008, and 1838 in October 2008, which “call upon States interested in the security of maritime activities to take part actively in the fight against piracy on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, in particular by deploying naval vessels and military aircraft . . .” Both NATO and the EU have issued orders to the same effect. Russia, Japan, India, Malaysia, Egypt, and Yemen, along with an increasing number of countries have joined the fray. For years, attempts made to address piracy in the world’s seas through UN resolutions have failed to pass, largely because member nations felt such resolutions would infringe on their sovereignty and security. Countries are unwilling to give up control and patrol of their own waters. UN Resolutions 1816 and 1838, to which a number of West African, Caribbean and South American nations objected, were accordingly tailored to apply to Somalia only. Somalia has no representation at the United Nations strong enough to demand amendments to protect its sovereignty, and Somali civil society objections to the Draft Resolutions—which makes no mention of illegal fishing or hazard waste dumping—were ignored. Hari asks, “Do we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes—but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20% of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil”. If we really want to deal with piracy, we need to stop its root cause—our crimes —before we send in the gun-boats to root out Somalia’s criminals.”Update by Mohamed Abshir Waldo The crises of the multiple piracies in Somalia have not diminished since my previous article, “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the Word Ignores the Other”, was written in December 2008. All the illegal fishing piracy, the waste dumping piracy and the shipping piracy continue with new zeal. Somali fishermen, turned pirates in reaction to armed foreign marine poachers, have intensified their war against all kinds of ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.On international response, foreign governments, international organizations and mainstream media have been united in demonizing Somalia and described its fishermen as evil men pillaging ships and terrorizing sailors (even though no sailors were harmed). This presentation is lopsided. The media said relatively little on the other piracies of illegal fishing and waste dumping. The allied navies of the world—fleets of over forty warships from over ten Asian, Arab, and African countries as well as from many NATO and EU member countries—stepped up their hunt for the Somali fishermen pirates, regardless of whether they are actually engaged in piracy or in normal fishing in the Somali waters. Various meetings of the International Contact Group for Somalia (ICGS) in New York, London, Cairo, and Rome continue to underline the demonization of the Somali fishermen and urge further punitive actions without a single mention of the violation of illegal fishing and toxic dumping by vessels from the countries of those sitting in the ICGS and UN forums in judgment of the piracy issue.It should be pointed out that both the IUUs and waste dumping are happening in other African countries. Ivory Coast is a victim of major international toxic dumping. It is said that acts of piracy are actually acts of desperation, and, as in the case of Somalia, what is one man’s pirate is another man’s Coast Guard.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Intrusion Supreme! Google Profile!
















You would have to be nuts to put your private information on the internet, that is unless you are an entertainer, sports figure or politician! But Google profile allows you to do just that! A voluntary option to be sure, but I do value my privacy,[what remains of it] and don't think I'll be registering today!

U.S. military is liaising with extraterrestrial life according to independent sources
















Independent sources have claimed an on-going set of face-to-face meetings between U.S. military officials and extraterrestrial life. The sources reveal that senior U.S. Navy officers have played a leading role in an inter-services working group responsible for the meetings, and that different extraterrestrial groups are allegedly involved. One source claims that the contact involves extraterrestrial groups known as Reptilians, and a silicon based life form dubbed ‘the Conformers’. Another source claims that the extraterrestrials are called Ebens from the Zeta Reticuli star system, but known colloquially as the Grays. A third source claims that human looking extraterrestrials representing an association of star nations are liaising with military officials. Two of the sources have been interviewed by this writer who has been aware of their claims for more than a year, and finds them credible. The similarities in these independent reports gives reason to conclude that an ongoing program of secret meetings involving senior military personal from the U.S. Navy and other military services with one or more extraterrestrial civilizations is underway.

One source claiming to have participated in face-to-face meetings is a serving U.S. Navy officer that in February 2008 revealed the existence of a confidential set of meetings at the UN where UFOs and extraterrestrial life were discussed. Known as Source A, the Navy officer claims that he was sanctioned by a working group comprising a number of admirals to disclose the UN talks without revealing his identity. In June 2008, Source A claims he was assigned to another project that involved direct meetings with two groups of extraterrestrials in a covert project where he was sanctioned to board their spacecraft on three different occasions. One group is a Reptilian looking species, and another is a silicon based life form he dubbed the ‘Conformers’.

This author and a number of other researchers have met with and interviewed Source A, and have been able to confirm that he is a serving U.S. Navy officer. Recently, two New York based UFO investigators, Clay and Shawn Pickering, gave a three hour interview concerning Source A’s involvement in a covert project involving face-to-face meetings with extraterrestrial life. They revealed that a covert inter-services working group has attempted to brief President Obama about the extraterrestrial liaison project. Given Source A’s identity and unlikelihood that more senior U.S. Navy officials would sanction a serving officer to openly misinform the general public over extraterrestrial life, there is reason to take his claims of participating in a covert project involving face-to-face meetings very seriously.

An anonymous source associated with the Defense Intelligence Agency recently claimed that military officials on November 12, 2009, met with extraterrestrials called Ebens, from the Zeta Reticula star system, on Akau Atoll in the Johnston Islands. The alleged meeting was part of an ongoing set of diplomatic discussions and exchanges that date several decades. The information was the latest installment related to an alleged classified project called Serpo, a secret exchange program with extraterrestrial visitors from Zeta Reticulum. According to Victor Martinez, who maintains a large email list where he distributes Project Serpo reports released to him by ‘anonymous’:

… the Ebens met on Akau Island with a total of 18 representatives from the U.S., United Nations, Russia, China, the Vatican and certain other guests. U.S. representatives are said to have included five military personnel, two intelligence officers, one linguist and one person representing the Obama administration.

The Johnston Islands are a U.S. territory and lie 750 miles south west of Honolulu. That places the Islands directly under the military authority of Pacific Command that historically has been run by the U.S. Navy. Although the latest Project Serpo release does not identify the service of the five military personnel at the alleged meeting, the choice of Johnston Atoll suggests a leading role for U.S. Navy officials in the latest face-to-face meeting.

The Serpo story raises considerable controversy with many inconsistencies in the claims of the sources revealing the Serpo information. Nevertheless, there are many events revealed in the Serpo story that are very likely based on real events such as President Reagan being secretly briefed at some point about extraterrestrial life. A number of Reagan’s public statements are circumstantial evidence that he did receive such a briefing. An alleged transcript of the briefing was released as part of the Serpo material in November 2007. This author’s assessment is that the Serpo releases mix real events with fiction in an officially sanctioned acclimation program. While the Serpo material requires much discernment given the level of disinformation in it, it is very likely that it accurately reveals the existence of secret military meetings with extraterrestrials, but mixes this with contrived details. The implicit leading role of the U.S. Navy in the alleged Akau meeting is consistent with the revelations of Source A.

The third and final anonymous source has revealed face-to-face meetings between U.S. military officials and human looking representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations. Again officers from the U.S. Navy are described as playing an active role, and are deeply involved in promoting public disclosure of the existence of extraterrestrial life. What distinguishes this alleged set of military meetings with extraterrestrials is that according to the source, the meetings were convened due to distrust over the way a covert international control group initially called “MJ-12” ” (current name unknown), has been managing information and technology concerning extraterrestrial life. The various military representatives were apparently shocked over the extent to which “MJ-12” has deceived them in oversight and management of extraterrestrial affairs.

In conclusion, there is very real dissatisfaction in the U.S. military, especially officers from the Navy, over the way in which extraterrestrial affairs has been secretly run and managed by a covert transnational group initially known as “MJ-12. The dissatisfaction can be traced back to an incident involving a Vice-Admiral serving as the head of Intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was denied access to a covert extraterrestrial related project under corporate control. The incident was in June 2008 publicly revealed on Larry King Live by former Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell (see video clip). Since at least 1997, groups of U.S. Navy officers through covert inter-service working groups have been trying to restore military/government oversight over extraterrestrial affairs that has been increasingly privatized in the corporate world.
The details of alleged face to face meetings between U.S. military/Navy personnel with extraterrestrial life is not known with great accuracy due to conflicting accounts of representatives of what occurred at such meetings. Nevertheless, given three independent sources reveal such meetings, two of which have been personally confirmed by the author as credible, it can be concluded that extraterrestrial military liaisons are currently underway. Retired officers from the two military services making up the Department of the Navy (US Navy and US Marine Corps) feature prominently in the Obama administration. These include Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence (ret Admiral, USN); James Jones, National Security Advisor (ret. General, USMC); and Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator (ret. General, USMC). Consequently, a U.S. military extraterrestrial liaison program that is being leaked to the public by US Navy officers from a covert inter-services working group will encourage the Obama administration to move forward with a public announcement concerning the reality of extraterrestrial life.