Thursday, January 29, 2009

Uhaul chase... in the land of the limited


If I only had a brain, I'd use it for something wise and constructive. I wouldn't waste my precious and fleeting brain cells for something as impermanent and ungratifying as watching bullshit shows on the tele. If I had a brain... I'd use every cell it had to shout down anyone who ever wants to know the nature of the manufactured world they live in.

Yes, if I had a brain, I'd beseech my friends and confidants to not believe what their senses tell them, but to believe in the wholly unrealistic superstition which some angry boogieman is purported to have said to other mindless fools in the desert thousands of years ago.

Believe not what your lying eyes tell you, dear reader. Those aren't Palestinian children. Those are dangerous enemies of the west who hate us for our freedom! That's not a rock in that kids hand... those are mineral impact projectiles which threaten the very lives of the proud Israeli Defense Forces. Have you any idea how much it costs to paint that tank? A few rocks and you're staring down the barrel of a $20,000 paint job.

Perchance when Moses told Pharoah to "let my people go" he was misquoted. The full quote may have been: "let my people go forth and multiply, that one day they can be over run by imposters who will kill, maim, and torture with impunity because the mindless masses of the world will be so intellectually dishonest with themselves, that they'll happily believe those children are a threat to the best trained fighters on the planet!" (I know, I know - Moses was a long-winded s.o.b. wasn't he?)

Is it even possible to exist on this plain any more with a functioning brain? How millions, nay billions can ignore the lives destroyed and helpless, tattered little bodies strewn about by these savage beasts in their quest for destruction and misery, is well beyond my grasp. How so many otherwise intelligent, thoughtful, and loving individuals can recoil in horror at the mere suggestion that the state of Israel (not the religion of Judaism) is wrong in it's ever-increasing assault on it's neighbors, and decry the dead children as terrorists and less-than-human waste to merely be dealt with, takes me far beyond my depth, I'm afraid.

How can so many be held captive by an inordinant amount of dual-national Israeli citizens and their Zionist puppets and lackies without ever connecting the dots just does my head in... I can't fathom that a person with eyes to see and ears to hear can cite with robotic precision their god's proclamation of the tribes of Israel as his elect, but don't seem to know anything about Revelations 2:9 and 3:9 which state:

I [Yhshua] know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the blasphemy by those [imposters] who say they are Jews [Judahites] and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9)...

I [Yhshua], will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews [Judahites], and are not, but lie - behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9).

It's truly befuddling to see so much of the world, enamored with "the Jews who aren't".

If one were so inclined, they could read a wonderful article by Leo Heiman called "The Jews That Maybe Aren't" and get an excellent history of the lying impostors who currently run the synagogue of satan. I would maybe look up the historical significance of the Khozars, or Khazars, or even the more than 80% of the worlds Jews who are not in fact Shemitic peoples but "Askenazi". I would try to find out everything I could about these horrible people who run this horrible, inhuman little shit of a country before I cast my spiritual lot with them. That's what I'd do...If I only had a brain.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

video

Spying on YOU

This video shows just how far the Bush administration had fallen into corruption and crimes against the American people. There's so much more...

Wanted: International WAR Crimes




On 10 December 2008, a formal complaint was submitted by Lebanese lawyers to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, against Ehud Barak and four other Israeli's: Ehud Olmert, Matan Vilnai, Avi Dichter and Gabi Ashkenazi on the suspicion that they had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by ordering and maintaining a siege on Gaza.

Description of the suspect: a white man, about 65 years old, lower than average height, graying hair, brown eyes, with glasses.

Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson

Anyone who has information about the suspect when he is outside of the Israeli borders, report immediately to:

The Prosecutor
POBox 19519
2500 Hague
Netherlands
Fax +31 70 515 8 555
otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int


* All calls will be treated in confidence

Heroin, Taliban and Pakistan














(To be read in continuation of the earlier article dated 30-4-00 and titled "Heroinisation of The Pakistani Economy" at this link )

------------------------------


by B.Raman

Pakistan's illegal heroin economy has kept its legitimate State economy sustained since 1990 and prevented its collapse. It has also enabled it to maintain a high level of arms purchases from abroad and to finance its proxy war against India through the jehadi organisations.

While no estimate of the money spent by it on its proxy war is available, it has been estimated by Pakistani analysts ("Friday Times" March 9 to 15,2001) that about 80 per cent of its total external debt of US $ 38 billion, that is, about US $ 30.4 billion, was incurred on arms purchases since 1990. This includes its purchases of aircraft and missiles from China, missiles from North Korea, for which payment was made partly in cash and partly in imported US and Australian wheat, Agosta class submarines from France, reconditioned Mirage aircraft from France, Lebanon and Australia and other items from countries such as Ukraine. The clandestine procurement of nuclear technology and material from Western countries and the Chinese-aided nuclear power station at Chashma were also financed through external borrowing.

The use of the heroin dollars for such purposes started after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988. In the 1980s, at the instance of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US, the Internal Political Division of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), headed by Brig (retd). Imtiaz, who worked directly under Lt.Gen.Hamid Gul, the DG of the ISI during the later years of Zia-ul-Haq and during the first few months of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto's first tenure as the Prime Minister (1988-90), started a special cell for the use of heroin for covert actions.

This cell promoted the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistani territory as well as in the Afghan territory under Mujahideen control for being smuggled into the Soviet controlled areas in order to make the Soviet troops heroin addicts. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the ISI's heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers for smuggling heroin to the Western countries and using the money as a supplement to its legitimate economy. But for these heroin dollars, Pakistan's legitimate economy must have collapsed many years ago.

Not only the legitimate State economy, but also many senior officers of the Army and the ISI benefited from the heroin dollars. Brig.Imtiaz was sacked by Mrs.Benazir on coming to power in 1988 for interfering in internal politics, but was reinstated by Mr.Nawaz Sharif on coming to power in 1990 and subsequently made Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

In fact, in Pakistan, Mr.Sharif is seen as the creation of Brig. Imtiaz. It was he who, as head of the Internal Political Division of the ISI in the 1980s, had persuaded Mr.Sharif, then a small businessman in Dubai, to return to Pakistan and take over the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) in order to counter Mrs.Benazir's Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

Mrs.Benazir again had him sacked on her return to power in 1993 and arrested and prosecuted him on charges of indulging in illegal activities, but he was acquitted.

After capturing power on October 12,1999, Gen.Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's self-reinstated Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), self-styled Chief Executive and self-promoted President, had Brig.Imtiaz, because of his proximity to Mr.Sharif, rearrested and prosecuted for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income as an officer of the ISI and the IB.

He was convicted by a court on July 31,2001, and jailed for eight years. According to evidence produced in the court by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Brig.Imtiaz had foreign exchange bearer certificates worth US $ 20.08 million, a Pakistani rupee account in the Union Bank with a balance of Rs.2.13 billion, a US $ account in the Deutsch Bank with a balance of US $ 19.1 million, five residential houses, five commercial units and three shops. This huge wealth was allegedly accumulated by him through heroin smuggling.

It is believed that there are at least 30 such Army and ISI officers, serving and retired, who have accumulated similar wealth through heroin smuggling.

The present estimate of Pakistan's annual earnings through heroin dollars, including by this writer, is about US $ 1.5 billion. It is difficult to come across precise, direct evidence for such estimates.

The estimate till now has been based on indirect evidence such as the following:

* The Government of Pakistan releases its foreign exchange reserves position in two parts. The first part gives the figures of reserves maintained by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). These are the amounts earned through foreign trade, investment flows, foreign aid and loans and remittances by overseas Pakistanis. The second part gives the figures of reserves available with other banks. These are the deposits of resident Pakistanis, who are allowed to maintain dollar accounts with no questions asked about the origin of the money and about its liability for income tax. Under Pakistan Government orders, these amounts cannot be used by the Government for its purposes though Mr. Sharif froze them temporarily after the Chagai nuclear tests in 1998 in order to be able to use them if the economic sanctions hit the State economy hard.

* US dollars kept by private citizens in their possession without being deposited in the banks. The SBP periodically purchases these dollars to meet debt servicing and other governmental needs.

In any analysis, it would be reasonable to presume that the dollars kept in the bank accounts of resident Pakistanis and the dollars in private circulation must have been largely, if not totally, derived from the heroin trade. There cannot be any other explanation for it because Pakistan has been having a trade deficit for many years in succession, there has been a 73 per cent decline in foreign direct investments and a negative flow of portfolio investments and there was no international assistance forthcoming from October,1999, till November,2000, when the IMF resumed its stand-by credit facilities to Pakistan.

Quoting SBP sources, the "Business Recorder" of Pakistan (August 1,2001) gave the following figures, which provide a fairly accurate estimate of the US dollars available in private hands during the financial year 2000-01:

* The SBP had $ 1.7 billion, which was the official foreign exchange reserve of the State. In addition, resident Pakistanis had deposits in various commercial banks amounting to US $ 1.5 billion.

* During the financial years 1999-2000 and 2000-01, despite the suspension of credit facilities by the IMF and other multilateral institutions after the military coup, the Government fulfilled debt servicing (debt and interest payments) obligations amounting to US $ 7.8 billion. Out of this, US $ 4 billion came from the Govt. coffers and the balance of US $ 3.8 billion was purchased from resident Pakistanis.

In other words, the total amount of US $ in private circulation since the military regime came to power was almost equal to that in the Govt. coffers, if not more.

The first direct piece of evidence about the total value of the heroin money being pumped into the Pakistani economy every year has come from an unexpected source---the Taliban. Before 1998, opium was being grown in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan and in the Nangarhar province in Taliban-controlled Afghan territory. All the Pakistani-owned refineries for heroin extraction were located in Taliban-controlled territory.

In 1998-2000, the Pakistani authorities stopped the cultivation of opium in the NWFP. In 2000-01, the Taliban too, under international pressure, ostensibly banned opium cultivation in its territory, but did not dismantle the Pakistani-owned heroin refineries. It demanded that international narcotics control agencies should reimburse to it the money lost by its farmers due to this ban so that they can shift to other crops.

US and other foreign narcotics control officials, who visited Nangarhar, confirmed that opium cultivation has been stopped. However, doubts remain on the following points:

* Has the Taliban secretly shifted the opium cultivation from the traditional areas in Nangarhar to which international experts had access to other remote areas to which they did not have?

* Due to a bumper crop and record heroin production in previous years, the prices of heroin in the international heroin market had been coming down. Pakistani smugglers, supported by the ISI, had enough heroin stocks to meet at least two years' demand of the market. Was the Taliban merely suspending cultivation during this period to stabilise the prices?

Despite these misgivings, the US announced a contribution of US 1.5 million to international narcotics control programmes for disbursement to the Afghan farmers who have stopped poppy cultivation. The Taliban has been describing this as worse than peanuts and demanding much more.

This was one of the subjects which figured during the discussions of Mrs.Christina Rocca, US Assistant Secretary of State, with Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef , the Taliban Ambassador in Islamabad, and his No. 2, Mr. Sohail Shaheen, at Islamabad on August 2. According to the "Frontier Post" of Peshawar (August 3,2001), while briefing pressmen after the discussions, a spokesman of the Taliban said : "We have told the US team that Afghanistan was earning 12 billion dollars a year from the poppy cultivation and we have eliminated the poppy from the country."

How much of this amount was going to the Taliban and how much to the Pakistanis and the ISI, who owned all the refineries? No direct evidence is available, but one can estimate roughly that out of this at least US $ 11 billion per annum was going to Pakistan from the following circumstantial evidence:

* There are no reports of large amounts in US dollars circulating in private hands in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan , whereas Pakistan is awash with them.

* There are no large-scale development and other activities in Afghanistan which would indicate the availability of large funds in cash. There is so much poverty due to lack of development that thousands of Afghans have been migrating to Pakistan.

* Since its capture of Kabul in September,1996, the Taliban had not been publishing its budget figures. Some details are now available for the first time. According to these figures, during the financial year 2001-02, the Taliban would have an estimated expenditure of US $ 82.53 million, of which US $ 43.53 million is shown as the Discretionary Fund of Mulla Mohammad Omer, the Amir. The balance is to be spent by various departments. Quoting a study of the New York University Centre, the "Dawn" of Karachi (June 4,2001) estimates that the Taliban gets US $ 45 million per annum from the heroin trade, an amount nearly equal to the Amir's Discretionary Fund.

If this figure of what the Taliban gets is taken as reasonable, more than US $ 11 billion per annum from the heroin trade goes to Pakistan, that is, more than Pakistani Rs. 715 billion at one US $ equal to 65 Pak rupees. During 2000-01, the Pakistani State had a total revenue of Rs.570.6 billion, of which Rs.471.6 billion came from taxes. That is, Pakistan's heroin economy was 30 per cent larger than its legitimate State economy.

Is it any wonder that its economy does not collapse despite the worst predictions and that it is able to defy international pressure on its sponsorship of terrorism against India and on its support to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

True Lies About US Aid To Israel

For many years the American media said that "Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid" or that "Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid." Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.

Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America's foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it's been going on for more than a generation.

Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel's Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don't.

The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts. But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel's 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

All four of those European countries have contributed a very large share of immigrants to the U.S., yet none has organized an ethnic group to lobby for U.S. foreign aid. Instead, all four send funds and volunteers to do economic development and emergency relief work in other less fortunate parts of the world.

The lobby that Israel and its supporters have built in the United States to make all this aid happen, and to ban discussion of it from the national dialogue, goes far beyond AIPAC, with its $15 million budget, its 150 employees, and its five or six registered lobbyists who manage to visit every member of Congress individually once or twice a year.

AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up solely to coordinate the efforts of some 52 national Jewish organizations on behalf of Israel.

Among them are Hadassah, the Zionist women's organization, which organizes a steady stream of American Jewish visitors to Israel; the American Jewish Congress, which mobilizes support for Israel among members of the traditionally left-of-center Jewish mainstream; and the American Jewish Committee, which plays the same role within the growing middle-of-the-road and right-of-center Jewish community. The American Jewish Committee also publishes Commentary,one of the Israel lobby's principal national publications.

Perhaps the most controversial of these groups is B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League. Its original highly commendable purpose was to protect the civil rights of American Jews. Over the past generation, however, the ADL has regressed into a conspiratorial and, with a $45 million budget, extremely well-funded hate group.

In the 1980s, during the tenure of chairman Seymour Reich, who went on to become chairman of the Conference of Presidents, ADL was found to have circulated two annual fund-raising letters warning Jewish parents against allegedly negative influences on their children arising from the increasing Arab presence on American university campuses.

More recently, FBI raids on ADL's Los Angeles and San Francisco offices revealed that an ADL operative had purchased files stolen from the San Francisco police department that a court had ordered destroyed because they violated the civil rights of the individuals on whom they had been compiled. ADL, it was shown, had added the illegally prepared and illegally obtained material to its own secret files, compiled by planting informants among Arab-American, African-American, anti-Apartheid and peace and justice groups.

The ADL infiltrators took notes of the names and remarks of speakers and members of audiences at programs organized by such groups. ADL agents even recorded the license plates of persons attending such programs and then suborned corrupt motor vehicles department employees or renegade police officers to identify the owners.

Although one of the principal offenders fled the United States to escape prosecution, no significant penalties were assessed. ADL's Northern California office was ordered to comply with requests by persons upon whom dossiers had been prepared to see their own files, but no one went to jail and as yet no one has paid fines.

Not surprisingly, a defecting employee revealed in an article he published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs that AIPAC, too, has such "enemies" files. They are compiled for use by pro-Israel journalists like Steven Emerson and other so-called "terrorism experts," and also by professional, academic or journalistic rivals of the persons described for use in black-listing, defaming, or denouncing them. What is never revealed is that AIPAC's "opposition research" department, under the supervision of Michael Lewis, son of famed Princeton University Orientalist Bernard Lewis, is the source of this defamatory material.

But this is not AIPAC's most controversial activity. In the 1970s, when Congress put a cap on the amount its members could earn from speakers' fees and book royalties over and above their salaries, it halted AIPAC's most effective ways of paying off members for voting according to AIPAC recommendations. Members of AIPAC's national board of directors solved the problem by returning to their home states and creating political action committees (PACs).

Most special interests have PACs, as do many major corporations, labor unions, trade associations and public-interest groups. But the pro-Israel groups went wild. To date some 126 pro-Israel PACs have been registered, and no fewer than 50 have been active in every national election over the past generation.

An individual voter can give up to $2,000 to a candidate in an election cycle, and a PAC can give a candidate up to $10,000. However, a single special interest with 50 PACs can give a candidate who is facing a tough opponent, and who has voted according to its recommendations, up to half a million dollars. That's enough to buy all the television time needed to get elected in most parts of the country.

Even candidates who don't need this kind of money certainly don't want it to become available to a rival from their own party in a primary election, or to an opponent from the opposing party in a general election. As a result, all but a handful of the 535 members of the Senate and House vote as AIPAC instructs when it comes to aid to Israel, or other aspects of U.S. Middle East policy.

There is something else very special about AIPAC's network of political action committees. Nearly all have deceptive names. Who could possibly know that the Delaware Valley Good Government Association in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin, and even Icepac in New York are really pro-Israel PACs under deep cover?

Hiding AIPAC's Tracks

In fact, the congressmembers know it when they list the contributions they receive on the campaign statements they have to prepare for the Federal Election Commission. But their constituents don't know this when they read these statements. So just as no other special interest can put so much "hard money" into any candidate's election campaign as can the Israel lobby, no other special interest has gone to such elaborate lengths to hide its tracks.

Although AIPAC, Washington's most feared special-interest lobby, can hide how it uses both carrots and sticks to bribe or intimidate members of Congress, it can't hide all of the results.

Anyone can ask one of their representatives in Congress for a chart prepared by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, that shows Israel received $62.5 billion in foreign aid from fiscal year 1949 through fiscal year 1996. People in the national capital area also can visit the library of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rosslyn, Virginia, and obtain the same information, plus charts showing how much foreign aid the U.S. has given other countries as well.

Visitors will learn that in precisely the same 1949-1996 time frame, the total of U.S. foreign aid to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined was $62,497,800,000—almost exactly the amount given to tiny Israel.

According to the Population Reference Bureau of Washington, DC, in mid-1995 the sub-Saharan countries had a combined population of 568 million. The $24,415,700,000 in foreign aid they had received by then amounted to $42.99 per sub-Saharan African.

Similarly, with a combined population of 486 million, all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean together had received $38,254,400,000. This amounted to $79 per person.

The per capita U.S. foreign aid to Israel's 5.8 million people during the same period was $10,775.48. This meant that for every dollar the U.S. spent on an African, it spent $250.65 on an Israeli, and for every dollar it spent on someone from the Western Hemisphere outside the United States, it spent $214 on an Israeli.

Shocking Comparisons

These comparisons already seem shocking, but they are far from the whole truth. Using reports compiled by Clyde Mark of the Congressional Research Service and other sources, freelance writer Frank Collins tallied for theWashington Report all of the extra items for Israel buried in the budgets of the Pentagon and other federal agencies in fiscal year 1993.Washington Report news editor Shawn Twing did the same thing for fiscal years 1996 and 1997.

They uncovered $1.271 billion in extras in FY 1993, $355.3 million in FY 1996 and $525.8 million in FY 1997. These represent an average increase of 12.2 percent over the officially recorded foreign aid totals for the same fiscal years, and they probably are not complete. It's reasonable to assume, therefore, that a similar 12.2 percent hidden increase has prevailed over all of the years Israel has received aid.

As of Oct. 31, 1997 Israel will have received $3.05 billion in U.S. foreign aid for fiscal year 1997 and $3.08 billion in foreign aid for fiscal year 1998. Adding the 1997 and 1998 totals to those of previous years since 1949 yields a total of $74,157,600,000 in foreign aid grants and loans. Assuming that the actual totals from other budgets average 12.2 percent of that amount, that brings the grand total to $83,204,827,200.

But that's not quite all. Receiving its annual foreign aid appropriation during the first month of the fiscal year, instead of in quarterly installments as do other recipients, is just another special privilege Congress has voted for Israel. It enables Israel to invest the money in U.S. Treasury notes. That means that the U.S., which has to borrow the money it gives to Israel, pays interest on the money it has granted to Israel in advance, while at the same time Israel is collecting interest on the money. That interest to Israel from advance payments adds another $1.650 billion to the total, making it $84,854,827,200.That's the number you should write down for total aid to Israel. And that's $14,346 each for each man, woman and child in Israel.

It's worth noting that that figure does not include U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel, of which Israel has drawn $9.8 billion to date. They greatly reduce the interest rate the Israeli government pays on commercial loans, and they place additional burdens on U.S. taxpayers, especially if the Israeli government should default on any of them. But since neither the savings to Israel nor the costs to U.S. taxpayers can be accurately quantified, they are excluded from consideration here.

Further, friends of Israel never tire of saying that Israel has never defaulted on repayment of a U.S. government loan. It would be equally accurate to say Israel has never been required to repay a U.S. government loan. The truth of the matter is complex, and designed to be so by those who seek to conceal it from the U.S. taxpayer.

Most U.S. loans to Israel are forgiven, and many were made with the explicit understanding that they would be forgiven before Israel was required to repay them. By disguising as loans what in fact were grants, cooperating members of Congress exempted Israel from the U.S. oversight that would have accompanied grants. On other loans, Israel was expected to pay the interest and eventually to begin repaying the principal. But the so-called Cranston Amendment, which has been attached by Congress to every foreign aid appropriation since 1983, provides that economic aid to Israel will never dip below the amount Israel is required to pay on its outstanding loans. In short, whether U.S. aid is extended as grants or loans to Israel, it never returns to the Treasury.

Israel enjoys other privileges. While most countries receiving U.S. military aid funds are expected to use them for U.S. arms, ammunition and training, Israel can spend part of these funds on weapons made by Israeli manufacturers. Also, when it spends its U.S. military aid money on U.S. products, Israel frequently requires the U.S. vendor to buy components or materials from Israeli manufacturers. Thus, though Israeli politicians say that their own manufacturers and exporters are making them progressively less dependent upon U.S. aid, in fact those Israeli manufacturers and exporters are heavily subsidized by U.S. aid.

Although it's beyond the parameters of this study, it's worth mentioning that Israel also receives foreign aid from some other countries. After the United States, the principal donor of both economic and military aid to Israel is Germany.

By far the largest component of German aid has been in the form of restitution payments to victims of Nazi attrocities. But there also has been extensive German military assistance to Israel during and since the Gulf war, and a variety of German educational and research grants go to Israeli institutions. The total of German assistance in all of these categories to the Israeli government, Israeli individuals and Israeli private institutions has been some $31 billion or $5,345 per capita, bringing the per capita total of U.S. and German assistance combined to almost $20,000 per Israeli. Since very little public money is spent on the more than 20 percent of Israeli citizens who are Muslim or Christian, the actual per capita benefits received by Israel's Jewish citizens would be considerably higher.

True Cost to U.S. Taxpayers

Generous as it is, what Israelis actually got in U.S. aid is considerably less than what it has cost U.S. taxpayers to provide it. The principal difference is that so long as the U.S. runs an annual budget deficit, every dollar of aid the U.S. gives Israel has to be raised through U.S. government borrowing.

In an article in the Washington Report for December 1991/January 1992, Frank Collins estimated the costs of this interest, based upon prevailing interest rates for every year since 1949. I have updated this by applying a very conservative 5 percent interest rate for subsequent years, and confined the amount upon which the interest is calculated to grants, not loans or loan guarantees.

On this basis the $84.8 billion in grants, loans and commodities Israel has received from the U.S. since 1949 cost the U.S. an additional $49,936,880,000 in interest.

There are many other costs of Israel to U.S. taxpayers, such as most or all of the $45.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid to Egypt since Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 (compared to $4.2 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt for the preceding 26 years). U.S. foreign aid to Egypt, which is pegged at two-thirds of U.S. foreign aid to Israel, averages $2.2 billion per year.

There also have been immense political and military costs to the U.S. for its consistent support of Israel during Israel's half-century of disputes with the Palestinians and all of its Arab neighbors. In addition, there have been the approximately $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees and perhaps $20 billion in tax-exempt contributions made to Israel by American Jews in the nearly half-century since Israel was created.

Even excluding all of these extra costs, America's $84.8 billion in aid to Israel from fiscal years 1949 through 1998, and the interest the U.S. paid to borrow this money, has cost U.S. taxpayers $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Or, put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis received from the U.S. government by Oct. 31, 1997 has cost American taxpayers $23,240 per Israeli.

It would be interesting to know how many of those American taxpayers believe they and their families have received as much from the U.S. Treasury as has everyone who has chosen to become a citizen of Israel. But it's a question that will never occur to the American public because, so long as America's mainstream media, Congress and president maintain their pact of silence, few Americans will ever know the true cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Insolvency Begins: A Systemic Meltdown Is Unfolding For 2009

Don’t expect the mainstream media to provide insight into the economic conditions that will appear in the coming months. This subject is taboo. The truth is not going to be forthcoming. There are links to support the opinions set forth in this article at the bottom of the page.

In 2007, LEAP/E2020 announced that US banks and consumers were both insolvent. More than a year ago, our team estimated that USD 10,000-billion worth in «ghost-assets» would vanish in the crisis. Both announcements came in complete opposition with the common opinion of that time; however they proved perfectly justified in the months after. In the same line, LEAP/E2020 today estimates that a new sequence of the fourth phase (so-called «decanting phase») of the unfolding global systemic crisis has begun: the sequence of global insolvency.

The heavy consequences conveyed by the global insolvency are anticipated in this GEAB N°31, of which this announcement presents an excerpt meant to put clearly what is at stake in this new sequence of the crisis. GEAB N°31 also details the 20 "ups and downs" of the year 2009 according to the LEAP/E2020 team: fifteen upward trends and fourteen downward trends, as many decision and analysis-support instruments for all those worried or intrigued by the coming year.

Contrary to what political leaders and their central bankers seem to believe worldwide, the problem of liquidity that they are striving to solve by means of historic interest rate drops and unlimited money creation, is not a cause but a consequence of the current crisis. It is in fact a problem of solvency which is digging «black holes» where liquidities disappear, whether we call these holes bank balance sheets (1), household debt (2), corporate bankruptcies or public deficits. In consideration of the fact that a conservative estimation of these “ghost-assets” reaches already USD 30,000-billion (3), our team considers that the world is now facing a situation of general insolvency affecting in the first place the most indebted countries and organizations (public or private) and/or those depending most on financial services.


Market capitalization of stock markets worldwide (in trillions of US Dollars) - Source: Thomson financial Datastream, 01/2009


How to determine the difference between a crisis of solvency and a crisis of liquidity?

The difference between a crisis of liquidity and a crisis of solvency can appear rather technical and in the end not very decisive concerning the evolution of the current crisis. However it is not a simple academic dispute; indeed, according to the answer to that question, the actions taken by governments and central banks will either be useful or utterly useless, if not dangerous.

A simple example can help to understand what is at stake. If you meet a temporary problem of cash, and if your bank or your family agrees to lend you the money you need to cross over that difficult path, their effort is mutually beneficial. Indeed, you can resume your activity, you can pay your employees and yourself, your bank or your family, get their money back (with an interest in the case of the bank), and the economy in general benefited from a positive contribution. But if your problem is not due to a question of cash-flow but to the fact that your activity has ceased to be profitable and will never be again because of new economic conditions, then the effort made by your bank or family becomes all the more dangerous because it was substantial. Indeed, in all likelihood, your first call for funds will soon be followed by more calls, always matched with promises (honest ones we suppose) that difficult times are about to be over. The more your bank or your family has lent you (and therefore the more it would lose if your activity is stopped) the more willing they will be to continue helping you. However if the situation worsens, and it will if it comes from a problem of profitability, there is a moment when the limits are reached: on the one hand, your bank will decide that there is more to lose in keeping supporting you than in letting you down; on the other hand, your family ends up with no money left because you have siphoned its entire savings. Then it appears clearly to everyone not only that you are insolvent or bankrupt, but that you dragged down with you your family or your bank (4). You have thus dealt a severe blow on the economy around you, including on your close relatives (5). It is important to highlight the fact that all this could take place in all sincerity because you were not aware of the impact on your activity of a sudden change in the economic context disrupting the conditions of your profitability.



US daily bankruptcy filings (01/2006 – 11/2008) - Source: CreditSlips, 01/2009

According to LEAP/E2020, this simple example illustrates perfectly the situation prevailing today throughout the entire global financial system, a large part of the world economy and all the economic players (including States) who based their growth on debt in the past years. The crisis translates and magnifies a problem of global insolvency. The world is becoming aware of the fact that it is a lot poorer than it used to believe in the last decade. 2009 is the year when all the economic players must try to assess their real level of solvency, knowing that many assets are still losing value. Moreover a growing number of investors no longer trust the traditional instruments and indicators of measurement. Quoting agencies have lost all credibility. The US Dollar is just a fiction of international monetary units and many countries are striving to get away from it as quickly as possible (6). Thus, quite rightly, the entire financial sphere is suspected of being a giant black hole. Concerning companies, no one can tell if their order books are reliable (7) because in every sector customers cancel their orders (8) or just stop buying, even when prices are discounted, as indicated by dropping retail sales in the past few weeks (9). Concerning States (and municipalities), slumping fiscal revenues are likely to result in even higher deficits and then bankruptcies. As a matter of fact, Russian billionaires (10), Gulf oil-monarchies, Chinese commercial Eldorados (11), all the «golden-egg geese» of companies and financial institutions of the planet (namely European, Japanese and North-American ones (12)) turn out to be insolvent or hardly solvent. The question of the solvency of the US Federal State and federated states (13) (as well as of Russia or the United-Kingdom) is beginning to be asked by some big international media; as well as the question of the solvency of large capital-based pension funds, major players in this past twenty years’ globalised economy.

According to LEAP/E2020, the trend is clear: the sequence that has begun this year is a sequence of global insolvency.

(Editor’s Note: 2009 is the year of the ‘wake-up’ for many people here in the United States. Based on my own research Pension Funds will lose dramatic amounts of value in 2009, and have lost trillions already in the latter part of 2008. Americans will face shortages of not just average products but shortages of necessities, food and electricity, especially so if we have a warmer and/or stormier mid-season than usual. Americans are about to face that which they have never faced before: Global Chaos)



Notes

(1) On this subject, here is a very useful list of US banks on the verge of bankruptcy, presented on LewRockwell and elaborated on the basis of Texas Ratio - measuring risk exposure.

(2) This dynamic map of credit card and mortgage delinquencies in the US (2nd quarter), elaborated by the Federal bank of New-York, enables to realize the scope of the crisis affecting household revenues and the size of their debt. Source: NewYorkFed, 12/2008

(3) The evolution of stock markets capitalization worldwide is a good indicator of « ghost-assets » disappearance; even if real estate and other categories of assets capitalization losses should also be accounted for in the estimation, as well as small increases (swept away by the current storm but to be restored once the peak of the crisis is behind us) should be deducted.

(4) Not to speak about employees, suppliers, costumers, …

(5) This kind of situation, repeated at the scale of a whole country, results in social chaos. As a matter of fact, the US army itself is beginning to envisage that social unrest caused by the crisis requires military action. Source : ElPasoTimes, 29/12/2008

(6) On this subject, LEAP/E2020 wishes to made a recommendation for the intention of international financial institutions, and in particular of their statistical services: it is urgent to set up an alternative international accounting system, based on a basket of currencies (for instance: 25% USD, 25% Euro, 25% Yen and 25% Yuan, until political leaders make a formal decision about a global basket) because when the US defaults on their debt and the global monetary system breaks down as we anticipated should happen next summer 2009, there will be immediate disastrous effects on the accounting of international financial assets and flows. Therefore it is urgent, even if it results from non-official discussions and “black” accounting, to backup the current statistics (calculated in US Dollars mostly) with another version, based on a basket of currencies, in order to secure the continuity of statistics while the global monetary system is being rebuilt.

(7) A series of articles in Der Spiegel (12/18/2008), entitled « The calm before the storm: Bracing for the global downturn », gives a good idea of the crisis as seen from Germany. And the downturn of goods transport market in the Eurozone illustrates further this fact. Source: LibĂ©ration, 01/12/2009

(8) One advanced indicator of the global economy is provided by the market of core machines. Indeed core-machines make it possible to anticipate 6 months to 1 year in advance the state of the global manufacturing industry. The world’s two largest constructors and exporters of core-machines are Germany and Japan. The evolution of their production and export in this sector is a reliable indicator of the future global manufacturing industry. In this case, perspectives for 2009 are rather grim since, like Germany, Japan’s machinery orders registered a staggering 16.2 percent slump between October and November 2008, i.e. the worst fall since 1987, when this kind of statistics began to be published. Source: MarketWatch, 01/15/2009

(9) In the US, 2009 could see a quarter of the retailers go bankrupt. Source: ClusterStockAlleyInsider, 12/27/2008

(10) « Russian billionaires » are reduced to beg money from the Kremlin, whose financial reserves are themselves melting away. Source: Spiegel, 01/08/2009

(11) A « Chinese Eldorado » turning in 2009 into a socio-economic quagmire. Sources: Janelanaweb, 12/25/2008 ; Yahoo/Reuters, 01/07/2009 ; Guardian, 01/13/2009

(12) The recent bankruptcy of Nortel, North-America’s leading telecommunication industry, is a striking example.

(13) Sources: USAToday, 12/28/2008 ; Reuters, 01/02/2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Israel Uses Palestinians As Human Shields


Israel claims Hamas uses the people of Gaza as human shields. Is this true? Or did Israel start this practice using Palestinians as human shields?

During the Israeli war on Gaza, Western media propagated Israeli propaganda that the Palestinian resistance have been using their family members as human shields. Sadly, Israeli propaganda is often presented in Western media as facts, and the Israeli version has been accepted with little verification. The goal is simple: dehumanise the Palestinian by showing that he does not care about his family members, and once that is done it becomes much easier to accept him as a legitimist target.



This dehumanizing campaign is as old as the Zionist movement; it was articulated by Golda Meir (a former Israeli Prime Minister) when she said: Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. This racist and derogatory comment is often propagated in Western media without a second thought to its dehumanizing consequences. It paints the Arab as a sub-human creature, who has neither affection nor love towards his or her children. When I first heard this racist comment from an American, I felt as if he was telling me: “you are not much of a human as I”!

To this date, the Israel Occupation Army (IOF) still refuses to comply with orders from the Israeli Supreme Court to stop using Palestinian civilians as human shields (click here for a BBC article about this subject). If the IOF is a “professional army” as it claims and it treats Palestinians according to International Law, then:

* I wonder why Israel’s highest court would issue such an order?
* I wonder why IOF refuses to stop using Palestinians as human shields?

It has been an Israeli strategy from the start to use civilian target as a strategic weapon. Israeli leaders assume this would cause the civilian population to pressure Arab leaders to submit to Israeli dictates. Sadly, this Israeli tactic has been historically effective with the corrupt and unpopular Arab leaders who are more interested in protecting their corrupt regimes than defending their countries. The reader should be reminded of the “Grape of Wrath” agreement between Hizbullah and Israel 1996 which restricted both sides from hitting civilian targets. This agreement signaled the end of the Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon, and as a result a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict have begun where Israel’s deterrence power suffered a major setback. It should be noted that Israel has been determined not to fall into this trap again; that would explain why Israel rejected signing similar agreements with Hamas.

A Palestinian killed by Israeli Occupation Soldiers used as a trophy.

The allegation that Palestinian resistance use their own family members as human shield has been concocted by Zionists to delegitimise any Palestinian resistance, and to deflect from the war crimes that are being perpetrated on the people of Gaza. Palestinians are no different than other colonized people; they’re simply defending their homeland from foreign aggressions. The following list of pictures, articles, movies, and Israeli quotations will conclusively prove that the Israeli Occupation Army is the one who use civilians as human shields.

Watch the videos HERE and HERE

iPeace - Do They Really Want Peace or...




Start With Trust!

Are They An Arm Of The Israeli Media Campaign And A Larger, Broader Goal To Destroy, Occupy and Annex Palestine?


iPeace claims to be a peaceful website. A place where people that want peace can congregate. As a member of iPeace, for now and until I am relieved of my membership by the administrators of the site for this post, I have my doubts about the people and motives behind iPeace.

I have had numerous private (well, that's what they're called) emails with the administrator, David Califa. His personal perspective on the war in Gaza is that he wants peace but his personal perspective on who is right and who is wrong is that Israel is right and had no choice but to attack Gaza, which is not the perspective of most 21st Century intellectuals writing on the subject across the internet. Nor is it the perspective held by millions globally as can be easily ascertained by watching the many protests worldwide, in Israel, Lebanon, Paris, Lisbon, Greece, and yes, even in the United States. There are many more that I haven't listed that occur globally each and every day.

After quite a bit of investigation and motivated by the fact that iPeace and David Califa are struggling to raise funds to help Palestinians with the assisstance of the United Palestinian Appeal and some type of arrangement made between David Califa's iPeace organization and UPA, I've got many doubts but nothing perfectly concrete.

What I do have is that United Palestinian Appeal is NOT recommended by the National BBB, or Better Business Bureau, who maintains a collection of not for profit organizations that it does represent as being bona fide along wth a collection of those that it indicates are not, for a variety of reasons.

As the information below suggests, taken from his LinkedIn profile, David Califa has had experience working with money. There's nothing wrong with being a banker. They're just not held in high esteem these days.

  • Managing Director

    Sumitomo Finance

    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; Financial Services industry)

    19951997 (2 years)

    Proprietary Trading

  • Managing Director

    Bankers Trust

    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; BT; Financial Services industry)

    19941995 (1 year)

    Proprietary trading

  • Vice President

    Salomon Brothers

    (Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; Investment Banking industry)

    19861994 (8 years)

    Proprietary Trading


Since United Palestinian Appeal does NOT meet National BBB standards which are not difficult to meet and also do not cost money to meet, I would have second thoughts about donating any money at all to any charities connected with iPeace and United Palestinian Appeal.

The real truth is that it isn't that difficult to connect with an individual Palestinian over the internet. It's quite simple to send a blanket, a bag of rice, flour or beans or other similar items of your choice. There's also the International Red Cross operating in Gaza which is always in need of funding and with a bit of research on your part you will find many non-profit and bonafide organizations operating in that part of the world that are always in need of help. The very last thing we need is another questionable non-profit organization incapable, for whatever reason, of getting the funds where they need to go and in this case that's directly to the children of Gaza.

The National BBB uses very loose criteria to accredit an organization. They are:

  • In how they govern their organization,


  • In the ways they spend their money,


  • In the truthfulness of their representations, and


  • In their willingness to disclose basic information to the public.
So before donating your hard earned money, ask yourself, "would I be willing to meet the above criteria if I were operating a non-profit organization?"

This link will take you directly to the National BBB page where you'll find more detailed information on United Palestinian Appeal HERE

Is Plastic Making Us Fat? An American Obesity Epidemic

Is Plastic Making Us Fat?

Obesity Epidemic


Researchers are exploring whether exposure to common chemicals during
early development could set us up for a lifetime battle with the bulge

Being fat has long been seen as a personal problem, fixed only by struggling against the proliferation of fast food restaurants, unlucky genes, and a sedentary life.

But could something in the environment also be making Americans fat in epidemic numbers?

Animal studies in recent years raise the possibility that prenatal exposure to minuscule amounts of common chemicals — found in everything from baby bottles to toys — could predispose a body to a life of weight gain. The chemicals, known as endocrine disrupters, mimic natural hormones that help regulate, for example, how many fat cells a body makes and how much fat to store in them.



These findings have led some scientists to put forth a provocative argument: They say diet and too little exercise clearly are key reasons for the worldwide rise in obesity in the past 20 years, but they may not be the only ones. Food intake and exercise just haven't changed that much in that period, they argue. And while genetics obviously play a role — just think of someone you know who can eat three Big Macs a day and never gain an ounce — these researchers say it would be impossible to see such widespread genetic change in just two decades, giving them more reason to suspect the environment.

"This is a really new area . . . but from multiple labs on multiple levels we are getting preliminary data that all say the same thing: Chemicals can play a role," said Jerry Heindel, a program administrator for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "We know that nutrition and exercise are very, very important, but underlying that could be environmental exposures during development that alter your physiology, including how you respond to food and exercise."

Thousands of chemicals have come on the market in the past 30 years, and some of them are showing up in people's bodies in low levels. Scientists studying obesity are focusing on endocrine disrupters — which have already been linked to reproductive problems in animals and humans — because they have become so common in the environment and are known to affect fat cells.

One key researcher in the field, Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, Irvine, has even coined a new word for chemicals that can make you fat: Obesogens.


Dr. Bruce Blumberg

A recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that about 93 percent of the US population had bisphenol A, a chemical that can be found in canned goods and in hard, clear plastic items such as baby bottles and hiking containers, in their body. A study at the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that mice fed bisphenol A during early development — at lower amounts than what would have resulted in the levels found in most people in the CDC study — become markedly more obese as adults than those that weren't fed the chemical. Tufts University scientists observed similar phenomenon in rats.


Most Of The Plastic Bottles We Use Today Contain This Deadly Chemical, Bisphenol A

The chemical industry, however, disputes those studies and says dozens of others that examined bisphenol A showed no weight gain.

"The scientific evidence shows that bisphenol A . . . does not have any effect on body weight," said Steven Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate/BPA global group of the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers.

Bisphenol A is only one of the chemicals scientists are studying. Blumberg's lab has also studied tributyltin, an endocrine disrupter that is used as an antifungal agent in agriculture and in marine paints to keep ship hulls free of barnacles. Female mollusks exposed to the chemical were seen to grow male sex organs. Lab mice exposed to tiny levels of tributyltin during prenatal development became fatter adults than those not given the chemical.

"It predisposed them for life," said Blumberg.

These scientists are focusing on early development because it is a critical time for determining a baby's long-term health and weight. For example, studies show that babies born underweight are likely to be fatter later in life, possibly because undernourished fetuses learn to use fat cells more efficiently — and it gets embedded in their physiology. Researchers suspect the same thing may be taking place with chemical exposures.

Exposure "can be critical on the front end of one's life where the rest of your life's physiology is being programmed," said Frederick vom Saal, a biological scientist at the University of Missouri-Columbia who studies bisphenol A.


Dr. Frederick vom Saal

His lab is studying genes in the fat cells of mice to better understand why the animals became fatter when exposed to the chemical.

Growing up with more fat cells isn't necessarily a problem if you are running around a lot, says Pete Myers, chief scientist for Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes the online journal Environmental Health News. But in a world where exercise is down and poor diets abound, it could exacerbate a weight problem.

Vom Saal says as people become adults, they may be able to shake off the weight with extreme diet and exercise, but it won't be easy. "It is a very intractable thing to change," he said.

Scientists who study obesity's link to chemicals say the research is still in its infancy. Among the many unanswered questions that remain: How do the changes happen? What about the combined impact of exposure to many chemicals? Are humans affected by the chemicals the same way as animals?

For those who don't want to wait until all the evidence is in, there is another question: How to avoid these chemicals now?

"It can be difficult," said Felix Grun, assistant researcher in the department of developmental and cell biology at the University of California who works with Blumberg. To minimize exposure to bisphenol A, Grun said people can avoid buying plastics with the recycling number 7 marked on the bottom, but similar types of chemicals abound in other products, too. "These compounds are everywhere, the carpet fibers, the PVC piping, etc," he said.

Scientists say years of research into a once-popular synthetic hormone — diethylstilbestrol (DES) — also bolsters their belief that chemical exposure during early development can affect weight later in life. DES was once given to women to prevent miscarriages until it was linked to cancer in female offspring. Now, research by Retha R. Newbold at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shows that mice exposed to DES in utero are fatter than those not given the chemical.



Ana Soto, a Tufts University professor who studies endocrine disrupters and development, says scientists already know that the most serious health problems of DES impact mice and humans similarly. Now that mice exposed to low levels of bisphenol A are behaving much the same way they do when exposed to DES, it makes sense to conclude that humans may be at risk too. She wants the chemicals like bisphenol A to be regulated by the federal government.

"What else are we waiting for?" Soto asked. "There is evidence these chemicals have a multitude of deleterious effects in animals. . . We should be worried."

Infants sleep in cribs made of plastic, covered with synthetic sheets that are treated with fire-retardant, and washed in harsh detergents containing toxic many synthetic chemicals. Sheets are dried at high temperature creating dioxin from the chlorine bleach residue. The mattress cover’s flexibility is from plasticizers and it’s treated with an antibacterial agent. The room’s new synthetic carpeting and freshly painted walls offgass toxins. Snugly fitting disposable diapers contain toxic ingredients such sodium polyacrylates, and ethylvinylacetate-based glues, resins, softening agents and antioxidants. The lotion their precious bottoms are covered with contains phthalates, which are known to mimic hormones. A fluoride supplement is prescribed if drinking water is from a well. The water itself could be high in nitrates and coliform.


These Toxins Are Everywhere and We Rarely Think About The Effects They May Have

Their food has been drenched in a variety of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, then wrapped in plastics, coated with sealants, or canned. It’s heated in, eaten from and eaten with plastic. Warm leftovers are saved in plastic and refrigerated. The health effects of few of the constituent chemicals of plastics are known, but their collective effect is completely unknown. The FDA interestingly calls chemicals that migrate from plastic into food “indirect food additives.” Regulations governing the use of plastic in contact with food offer only limited protection.

While being driven about town, the child sits in a car seat made of several types of plastic in a car that has that new car smell, which is off-gassing of plastics. Dry-cleaned clothes, perfume, hand cream, deodorant, hairspray, nail polish, lipstick, and cigarette smoke are also part the car’s air. Driving behind a diesel truck, fine particulate matter carrying carcinogens and endocrine disruptors are forced deep into the child’s lungs.


We Use And Discard More Toxins Into The Environment Than Any Other Country And There Is Simply No Reason For It. We've Been Programmed By The Complicit Corporate Media To Feel As Though We NEED All Of These Things When In fact We Don't.

They drive through factory fumes to pick up the father, where he works in PVC or pesticide production. He could be smoking, wearing after-shave lotion, or his clothes carry the residue a toxic chemical that he worked with. If he’s a dentist, he just finished filling a cavity with mercury. If he does auto body repair, he just finished using paints and plastic filler.


Thanks But I'd Rather Have My Car Repaired At YOUR Place...

On the way home, they stop off to fill up the car’s gas tank and the fumes flow through the open window along with the odor of the degreaser the mechanic uses. During the summer ozone levels are high and smog is thick. In the winter, oil, gas, coal, and/or wood combustion byproducts permeate the air, depending upon the locality.


Something We Do Almost Every Week... But The Question Is, "Is It Even Safe To Fill Your Gas Tank?"

A few years later, when the child goes to school carrying a plastic lunch box on a bus. Diesel fumes will fill the bus. Even a nonsmoking diesel bus could be exposing the child to dangerous levels of exhaust. The air in rural areas will be laced with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, dust, diesel fumes, and anything else that drifts out of the urban areas. Jets fly overhead, sometimes dumping jet fuel at high altitudes, which vaporizes before reaching the ground.


A child riding a school bus may be exposed to 23 to 46 times the cancer risk considered "significant" by EPA and under federal environmental laws.

At school, the child will sit at plastic desk, on a synthetic floor covering, within walls covered with a vinyl material, under vinyl covered ceiling tiles and fluorescent lighting. The school has air conditioning with no fresh air supply, recycling stagnant air through dusty, damp, mold ridden ducts. The teacher’s perfume mixes with the accelerants of the whiteboard markers. Pesticides are used regularly throughout the school, whether needed or not. Many surfaces will be treated with bleach and antibacterial liquids. The halls are filled with the smell of the vinyl flooring. The grounds are covered with pesticides herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers that can contain just about any kind of toxic waste.

For lunch, the child eats and drinks highly processed, pesticide-ridden, irradiated foods with synthetic preservatives, colorings, and a score of unnamed substances whose only purpose is to extend the food’s shelf life. The food is often prepared at another location miles away, transported in plastic, served on, and eaten with plates and utensils made of polystyrene. Before eating the child’s hands are washed using a soap that is antibacterial/antimicrobial, using chlorinated/fluoridated water.

Someone asked for more, so here goes. . .

With iPod inserted in ears, the child is an adult now and has access to money that brings contact with all sorts of wonderful pollutants from corporations devoid of ethics, morals and accountability. The child's plastic diapers have been replaced by plastic condoms and IUDs coated with spermicides and clothing coated and impregnated with every sort of anti-this and -that. The politics of the day are of stupidity and have no link to history other than expanding on the errors of the past, with frequencies approaching instant replay. Nobody learns from the past. The house pet is treated with Bayer Advantage Flea Control, making the whole animal a pesticide-release device from the tip of its wet little nose to the end of its tail. The computer is wired with Wi-Fi. But then, the whole city is a giant Wi-Fi zone, potentiating whatever else comes around. The house stereo and a number of other devices are radio-controlled. And there are so many of them in the house that there is a general stink from off-gassing electronic components. FDA rules have become even more acceptant of food containing greater amounts of synthetic chemicals. Ambient levels of the bacterium e Coli increases while food quality is significantly lower than ever. Yet it costs more and travels significantly greater distances from farm to plate. The farms are growing in size, as are the problems with them.

Because of time constraints, less fresh, whole foods and more highly processed packaged products are eaten. After sitting on a shelf in the food store for months, the plastic-wrapped, pesticide-treated foods are microwaved. By this molecular zapping, free radicals are added to the already existing ones from the plastics, pesticides and processing agents. This pathetic, disgusting meal is shoveled into the recipient's mouth with all the care that it took to create the mess. Along with antipsychotic medications and others for ADHD, diabetes, high cholesterol, growth hormones, the food products are washed down with water from the city's aging water supply system that is rapidly being replaced with PVC piping.

Each year there are many millions more cars on the road, sending a greater load of pollutants into the air, all of which is heavily bolstered by steel foundries, paint factories and assorted incinerators burning remnants of plastic wrappings, worn-out tires and chicken parts, as well as those used condoms and worn-out IUDs. Small family-owned shops have been replaced by big-box outlets. Working or shopping in one exposes one to all of the above and more. The adult passes by the garden products area with hands over nose. But the volatile chemical off-gassing enters through every pore and sticks to synthetic clothing and hair for later delivery into our bodies. The same thing happens in the tire department or the electronics or clothing departments, as well as health and beauty aids and whatever else is in the place. It all amounts to one very large toxic waste dump that effects everyone who enters, lives nearby or has anything at all to do with the system.

The result of our constant exposure is that the human species is nearly done. Our chances of contracting cancer grow each year along with the abundantly evident health problems. Our ability to reproduce is rapidly decreasing. I for one, am certain that much of this poor health is related directly to our exposure to all the wonderful technologies that have created the world we now live in. No cures will be possible without reductions in exposures. Any dreams of cures without drastic reductions in exposures are mere fantasy. Mostly the cures are nothing more than money-making schemes.

That's all I have the stomach for at this point in time. I feel out of touch with much that goes on now. Each day is a learning experience as I walk down the street and see what others are doing. . . .

Why Israel Attacked Gaza - The Real Story Behind The War

Geopolitical Time Line: War, Natural Gas and Gaza's Marine Zone
Fishermen's Rights versus the Development of Natural Gas

BACKGROUND:


There is an historical connection between the Gazan community and the off shore fishery. In recent times some 3000 fishermen in over 700 boats made their livelihood in the waters off the shores of Gaza. Before 1978 when the fishing area included the sea off the Sinai coastline the area covered some 75,000 square kilometers.


Rafah Today via BBSNews 2007-03-26 - In an act which only adds to the chaos in the Gaza Strip these days, over 50 fishermen were recently arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces while fishing along the southern Gaza beach of Rafah. Palestinian sources said that most of the fishermen were released later on.

The larger boats are about 20 meters in length and usually carry a crew of 7. They are typically trawlers using downriggers to lower their nets to the ocean bed. Currently their main catch is bream or sardines that average between 8 and 14 inches. The smallest craft are rowboats normally used to deploy nets a few hundred meters off shore. The nets are then hauled in by hand from the beach. These catches are very modest.

After the 1994 GAZA-JERICHO AGREEMENT the fishermen were free to use a corridor extending 20 nautical miles from the Gaza shore bounded by restricted zones to the north and south abutting Israeli and Egyptian waters. After the UN's 2002 Bertini proposal the approved location was reduced to an area within 12 nautical miles of the coast. More recently the area available has been reduced to 300 square kilometers.


Rabin and Arafat: On May 4th 1994 Rabin signed the “Gaza-Jericho” agreement in Cairo, the agreement dealt with the implementation of the first stage of the declaration of principles. In 1994 the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan was signed in Eilat, and at the end of that year, Rabin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat for their efforts to achieve peace in the region.

Beginning in late 2000 the Israeli military began a campaign of intimidation and harassment against the fishing boats that ventured near or beyond a 6 nautical mile limit. No formal notice or explanation was ever given to the Palestinians. Instead the regulation was written and enforced by Israeli machine guns and water cannons. At least 14 fishermen have been killed by the Israelis, over 200 injured and numerous boats damaged or impounded.

WHY?

In the late 1990's the British Gas Group (BG Group) discovered a vast deposit of natural gas under the waters off Gaza: Over 1 trillion cubic feet equal to 150 million barrels of oil was estimated to be there. A significantly smaller deposit was also found in nearby Israeli waters.


This Map Illustrates The Size Of Gaza. Approximately 6 Miles Wide And 14 Miles Long Gaza Is Smaller Than Most People Realize.

On 11/8/99 Chairman Yasser Arafat signed an agreement giving BG Group 90 percent interest and 10 per cent to Consolidated Contractors Company, an Athens based Palestinian entity connected to the PLO. A final allocation of the rights continues to be contested between BG Group, Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians in obscured ongoing negotiations. The Israelis began their program of killing and harassing the Gazan fishermen only after the discovery of the natural gas deposits. It is a reasonable assumption that the two events are linked: That the Israelis are asserting control over this resource valued at over 4 billion dollars; And that they are intent on denying any benefit to the Palestinians regardless of who controls Gaza.


BG Group's CEO Frank Chapman gestures as he speaks to the media in Sydney Tuesday, June 24, 2008. Britain's BG Group launched a fresh bid to buy Australian power company Origin Energy Ltd. in a deal worth almost 14 billion Australian dollars (US$13.3 billion).

TIMELINE:

- May 4, 1994: PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed The Gaza-Jericho Agreement. Article XI established three Maritime Activity Zones that extended out to sea 20 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza. Two narrow Zones running parallel to the boundaries of Egyptian and Israeli waters were designated No Fishing Areas. Under the terms of the Agreement the larger remaining Zone "will be open for fishing, recreation and economic activities." The Gazan fishermen operated freely for the next 6 years within this Zone with no major confrontations with the Israelis.

- Late 1990's: The British Gas Group (later BG Group) began explorations off the Israeli and Gazan coasts for natural gas. A modest deposit was found in Israeli waters close to the Gaza Marine Activity Zone. A significantly larger deposit was found in a section of this Zone centered some 10 to 15 nautical miles offshore. It was estimated that there were sufficient reserves to generate electric power for all Palestinian needs for a decade and still have surplus to export.

- July 25, 2000: Yasser Arafat walked out on the Camp David meeting.

- September 27, 2000: Yasser Arafat traveled 19 miles off the Gaza coast to light the first flare stack flowing from the natural gas. An Israeli oil consortium had contested the Palestinian rights to the gas but was overturned in an Israeli court. The initial agreement with the BG Group gave them 90 percent interest and 10 percent to Consolidated Contractors Company, an Athens based Palestinian group. They and the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) had the option to later assume up to 40 per cent interest.



Initially BG Group negotiated with Egypt to run an undersea pipeline designed to import the gas. Under pressure from Tony Blair BG Group was forced to negotiate with the Israelis instead. Those discussions, which centered over price, have been so long and contentious that BG Group closed their Israel office and again began dealing with Egypt.

- September 28, 2000: Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount despite warnings by Arafat and other leading Palestinians. The predictable riots and deaths following this provocation marked the beginning of 2nd Intafada. Sharon was elected Prime Minister in February 2001. He vowed that Israel would never buy gas from the Palestinians. After the outbreak of the 2nd Intafada the Israelis began an ever-tightening blockade of Gaza with fewer and fewer trucks allowed to enter.



- Late 2000: Attacks by Israeli patrol boats against Gazan fishing boats began and have continued to this day. These attacks began 5 years before Hamas freely won the legislative elections on January 25, 2006. It is apparent that these assaults on the fishermen had nothing to do with security or with Hamas. Instead it had everything to do with a 4 billion dollar resource belonging to the Palestinians.

- August, 2002: In response to a request from Prime Minister Sharon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed Ms. Catherine Bertini as his Personal Humanitarian Envoy to asses humanitarian needs of the Palestinians. At the end of her visit to the area she made numerous recommendations including one that dealt with the fishing boats. In her report she included a list of "Previous Commitments Made by Israel". Item 2 states: "The fishing zone for Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast is 12 nautical miles. This policy needs to be fully implemented." But never was!

- Although the attacks occurred throughout the Maritime Activity Zone they were more common once a boat had passed the 6-mile limit. Most boats now carry GPS's in order to know their exact positions. Some captains are intimidated by the Israeli threat and turn back before crossing the line. Others go further despite the increased danger from the Israelis. The fishery closer to shore has collapsed after so many boats were forced to operate in such a limited area. In addition the waters near shore are polluted due to sewage pouring in from broken pipes. One more consequence of an infrastructure crippled by the Israelis. Since the outset of these assaults at least 14 fishermen have been killed and over 200 injured. Boats continue to be damaged or impounded.

- 9/12/05: Israel announced that it had ended the occupation of Gaza and withdrew its forces. It maintained control of land and sea-lanes as well as all border crossings on land.

-1/25/06: Hamas won 76 of 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council in an open honest election. After a bloody battle with Fatah elements Hamas took control of Gaza. Israel and the United States branded Hamas a terrorist organization and have had no public contact with it thereafter. The restrictions at the border crossings were tightened further with severe limitations on the traffic of produce, materials, medicines and people. Anemia and malnutrition were widespread as a result.



- Early June 2008: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to covertly prepare for an invasion of Gaza to be known as operation "Cast Lead".


Barack Obama and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak hold gifts given to them by a woman, whose house was destroyed in a rocket attack. Will American Support Continue?

- June, 2008: Israel contacted BG Group to propose reopening negotiations over the natural gas deposits. Actual negotiations overseen by Ehud Olmert were taking place in October, 2008. It appears that Israel wished to reach an agreement with BG Group before the secretly planned invasion began.

- 6/19/08: Hamas and Israel signed a 6-month truce agreement calling for cessation of rocket firings by Hamas and military incursions by Israel. In May over 300 rockets had been fired. In September only 5 to 10 were fired. Hamas was lead to believe that significant increase in shipments would be allowed to enter Gaza. Before the truce roughly 70 trucks were allowed to bring provisions into Gaza each day compared with some 900 permitted before the Israeli clamp down in 2000. Hamas believed that a similar flow of traffic would be restored. Instead Israel allowed only an increase from the 70 to 90 trucks.


August 24th, 2008 - Two small boats carrying 42 human rights activists broke the siege of Gaza. They sailed from Cyprus in defiance of Israeli threats to intercept the boats to enforce its blockade of Gaza. The arriving boats were greeted by thousands of jubilant Gazans and former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Intense international support was crucial in persuading Israel to allow the boats through. Forty-two unarmed human rights activists from 17 different countries, including Jews from Israel and an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor, have broken the Israeli siege of Gaza by sailing two small boats from Larnaca, Cyprus to Gaza City. They arrived in the early evening on Satuday, 23 August 2008 to the cheers of thousands of jubilant Palestinians who lined Gaza Port.


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attend a signing ceremony between OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) and the Palestinian Investment Fund in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 2007. (Omar Rashidi/ MaanImages/POOL). Israel has dramatically intensified its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, stepping up air strikes and shelling of the beleaguered coastal strip. UN officials and human rights advocates warn that Gazans now face a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented magnitude with widespread disease and famine rapidly becoming reality as electricity generation, water supply, sewage treatment, food supplies and medical services grind to a halt as a consequence of the ever tighter Israeli blockade.


- 11/5/08: IDF forces killed 6 Palestinians while supposedly searching for a tunnel passing under the border. In effect the truce was over after this provocation. During the next 5 weeks 237 rockets were fired into Israel compared with the 5 to 10 fired in September. The increase in rocket fire was Israel's public justification for launching the long planned "Cast Lead" invasion.

The following sentences is paramount to the reasoning behind the war ~

- 11/18/08: An Egyptian court ordered the government to stop shipping natural gas to Israel. Under a 2005 agreement Egypt agreed to deliver 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas to Israel over a 15-year period. The gas began to flow in May, 2008. A lawsuit followed seeking to bar delivery since the Parliament had not given its approval. The court supported the lawsuit and its findings are being appealed. The potential cutoff of the gas from Egypt gave Israel even more incentive to take control of the Gaza Marine deposits and to deny any benefits to Palestinians whether Hamas or Fatah.


- 11/18/08: Israeli naval vessels attacked three Palestinian fishing boats located seven miles off the coast of Deir Al Balah, clearly within the limits permitted in the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement. Fifteen Palestinian fishermen and three international observers were kidnapped and taken with the boats to Israel. The fishermen were held for a day and then released. The boats were eventually returned but damaged. The internationals were jailed in Israel for many days and then deported.

- 12/27/08: Israel began bombing Gaza as phase 1 of operation "Cast Lead". The vast natural gas deposits of Gaza Marine 1 and 2 rest a few miles offshore.



To the victor the spoils one more time? Only time
and perhaps the conscience of the world will determine.


Although the violations of law and basic human rights to the Gazan fishermen pale in comparison to the horrors that have unfolded they should not be forgot or forgiven. Based on the limited reports coming from Gaza due to Israeli restrictions on journalists it is possible that there are no fishing boats left or even a harbor. Perhaps justice will never be served on those who initiated and perpetuated these assaults. But let us never forget that the greed and self-interest embodied in these policies are those of a country that has lost its shame. Has lost its honor.


Sometimes and Unfortunately Most Of The Time, War Is About Natural Resources. Here Is A Quote To Think About From Someone Everyone Should Be Familiar With: “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”
~ Henry Kissinger ~ The quote is found in “Final Days,” a book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Kissinger has never disputed it.


David K. Schermerhorn has traveled on humanitarian missions to Gaza on three separate occasions in recent months aboard Free Gaza (www.freegaza.org) boats. He spent spent two days aboard fishing boats that were harassed by Israeli machine gun fire and assaulted by water cannons.